Ben Griffin is a founding member of Veterans For Peace UK serving as our National Coordinator from 2011 to 2018. He will retire from VFP at the conclusion of our Annual Gathering in November 2019.
Dear Veterans for Peace
Since 2005, I have been persistently engaged in anti-war activity. I have given my all and it has taken its toll.
When I summon the energy for one more meeting, one more speech or one more action, I no longer have the capacity to absorb the negative psychological by-products.
Difficult as it is, the time has come for me to accept that everyone has a limit and I passed mine some time ago.
At the conclusion of this year’s Annual Gathering, I will retire from Veterans for Peace.
The table attached to this letter spells out in detail the tasks I presently carry out for VFP and information helpful to the process of handover. I await instruction from the Policy group.
I look forward to seeing you all at our Annual Gathering.
I remain at heart a Veteran for Peace.
The future is unwritten.
[Read a PDF version with table attached by clicking here]
Coming very late to these comments but Ben Griffin has been a solid friend and an inspiration of deep articulate courage since I know him, shortly after VFP UK was founded. I respected his decision when he made it and still do. He has done enough for peace, justice and truth to last lifetimes. That said, Ben’s ethical and moral humanity and sense of serving will never cease to uplift and inspire those who come in contact with him.
Met u in 2016 in Galway you’re a legend and will never be forgotten you’re the epitome of integrity they say live as you’d like to be remembered you’ve certainly done that mucker
I have some sad news to report to you concerning Ben.
His application to join the RAF reserves as a Steward have been dashed. He failed the PT and subsequent appitude tests and was, sadly, rejected.
Ben is deveststed at this failure and requires your support at this stage in his life. Wearing the covetted blue RAF beret was everything to Ben, and the thought of never setting foot in a SNCOs or Officer’s Mess serving cocktails at mess functions has left Ben traumatized.
I’m sure we all send Ben our condolences as he goes on with life this huge set back. The scale of this challenge was simply too huge to undertake.
Ben, our thoughts are with you.
Aged 49 and 3/4.
It was Ben’s commitment to VFP and the many shared values that gave me great empathy and respect for him and brought me into VFP. Ben has nevertheless always seemed to me an enigma; a paradox at every turn. I always put it down to an inner conflict; empathy with his fellow soldiers vis a vis his enlightened view of the military and war. The thought of Ben being traumatised at by not being able to serve cocktails in the officer’s mess, or of being denied the right to wear the RAF Blue Beret will stand as a marker for one of the terrible, unfathomable afflictions that plague the human spirit. To persist for as long as I have a mind among those reflections that stand out in our memory and leave us gaping; wondering, Why?
From what I hear, Allen, the poor, retchid creature was found cowering in a ditch after starting the 1.5 mile run. He was found almost delirious after abour 1/3 of a mile, whimpering in pittiful and dedected state. They gave him another chance, but, alas, it was simply too much for him. On the trade assessment appitude trials, he was given 2 chances to prepare a gin and tonic. He poured the gin but forgot the tonic on the first attempt and poured the tonic but forgot the gin on the second attempt. He was given his train ticket back to London but left a broken man. From all accounts, he is selling himself at Picadilly Station and has gone back to pole dancing again. He’s a shadow of his former self. It such a sad stort, it brings me to tears when I think of all those people who will be quing up to take advantage of him and abuse him. I also hear he has another party time job testing love eggs and is also a poster boy for Grindr. He’s getting by, which is rhe main thing, I suppose. Such a waste. Such a sad, tragic and deeply moving personal narrative. I’m sure we all wish him well.
Yes, Gary H is taking the mick and Allen Jasson has come in spinner.
Someone tell me where he lives!
South Carolina, USA! Sorry mate, I thought you got the joke and was in on it, so to speak. This is the kind of rubbish I have been subjecting poor Ben to since I’ve communicated with him on the internet for almost 7 years. He’s a top guy. It took a lot of balls for a young, fit, and ambitious soldier who had passed SF Selection to leave on ethical grounds. He could have had a very good career ahead of him with 22 SAS. He’s a very nice bloke indeed with a wicked sense of humor. I am coming back to the UK in March for the first time since I left in 2008 and an meeting up with him. I look forward to meeting him and some of his friends from VFPUK. Sorry about the misunderstanding with you mate, in no way did I mean to embarrass you in any way. You’re an Aussie though, aren’t you? You guys have great sense of humor too…..I mean, you have to bring Australians, I suppose! 👍😁🇬🇧🇺🇸
Don’t worry, Garry H, it was a good-humoured joke and we need all the good humour we can get to keep us sane in a world full of violent psychopaths. If you put something like that wriggling about in the water it’s probably going to catch some credulous fish sooner or later. Not embarrassed here, even if I ought to be, and certainly not pissed off in any way. Funny thing is, with all this depressing talk about Ben’s state of mind I actually believed for a time that Ben had lost the plot. Sorry Ben – how quickly we lose the faith :-). When you’re in the UK I hope we can meet up. Ask Ben to give me a call and I’ll come into London for a few drinks and a pizza or something.
That is very nice of you mate. Here’s my personal email address. email@example.com. Keep in touch if you wish and it’ll be great to meet you. Maybe we can throw a few shrimp on the barbie, get sloshed and give a few Sheila’s or two a good rogering! G’day, mate.
Ok now I think this joke has gone too far. How about taking your bromance to a private email from now on.
Relax, Angela. I’m married to a great lady. It was just humour, as I’m sure you will work out easily if you read all of the posts between us. It was a good natured reference to the sterotype of Australian men which, of course, us absurd. Nice to talk with your again, Angela. Garry
You are right, Angela. I apologise to you. No offense intended, it was just a take on the absurd sterotype of Australian men. It was inappropriate for this web site which is devoted to seeing a world at peace, something I certainly subscribe too. Take care. Garry
I sorry to report that I have some s
Hi Ben, Thanks for being so kind to me, and all of what you have done for the peace movement.
THANK YOU. I wish I could have met you to say these words to you. I have struggled to understand why war is legal but murder is not. I’ve been asking that question since the age of 7 when I learnt that my grandad died in 1952 as result of WAR. I’ve never understood. I’ve questioned it, the ‘system’ and was sectioned in 2015 for raising my concerns. War doesn’t stop, the loss and hurt is inherited. THANK YOU for PEACE. Look after yourself…you have fought a courageous battle for millions who couldn’t. PEACE to you and PEACE to them all. Now and in the future. All my love to you. Lou
Now back on line I have only just caught up with your news. I am truly sorry that you feel the need to step down but I can well understand why you might. You have made a major contribution to the cause of Peace and inspired many people as their comments show, I am proud to be your friend.
You have made a major contribution.
God Bless you Ben
Dear Ben, when I read, that you did have to take that difficult decision, I again was remembered, that we all have our limits. Unfortunately, we are all just humans. But you are a strong and wonderful son of this planet! Thankful and with great respect I understand your decision. Sometimes it is wise to pull the emergency break. Please take all the time you need and enjoy your life until you have the wish and the capability to fight again, my friend.
Thank you for your leadership and superior guidance. You are a true activist and champion for the people.
It has been a pleasure being a part VFP because of you, as you pass the torch I feel confident that the organisation has been set on a steady path, because of your diligent efforts.
Thank you my friend for all you do for others.
Good luck Ben. You’re a very strong person. Thanks for planting a seed of truth for so many people. Appreciate all your effort and the empowerment you’ve given to so many other people. You’re a good person, often in my thoughts. Wishing you and your family the peace, love and happiness you so well deserve. Thank you.
I forgot to wish you the best of luck for your upcoming screen test for
John Merrick, a life. I know you have what it takes to easily stand head and shoulders above all other applicants for this role, a role that could only really be for you and you alone! You deserve this! I look forward to seeing you soon on the
silver screen. At least you will not need to spend hardly any time at all in makeup or voice coaching. Go for it1 Remember, you are not an animal, you are Ben Griffin!
Ben Griffin; the man with the face that only a mother could love and the intellect of an autistic single celled organism, with possible ginger tinged hair and the voice of a scared trapped boy: All the best to you, you mong`. Thanks for putting up with all my emails over the years. All the best in your pole dancing career. I wish you luck for the grueling selection process you will face for the RAF reserves should your application be accepted. Stay ugly! Garry H, South Carolina, USA. living the American Dream!
Respect. You’ve done a great job Ben. Thank you.
I had the very great pleasure of interviewing Ben and his colleague Darren Cullen a while back and was pleasantly surprised at his sincerity and forthrightness regarding war and those too young to be of any use other than cannon fodder, it wasn’t just enlightening to hear a veteran speak but through his wise words a real hope for the future presented itself from someone fully qualified to finally cement that positive footing for the future generations. It’s hard to imagine he is not going to be there but everyone has a right to there own space and most certainly his has been well earned, so here’s to wishing you a secure and comfortable future for you and your family and thank you so much for your excellent work and for the pleasure of meeting you and of course your colleague Darren that day at the Red Gallery in London. (ifnmedia.com)
As Ben’s father it makes me feel so proud and humble to read the lovely comments made by so manyabout his retirement…he has made a wonderful contribution to peace…others have picked up the mantel as it has always been my hope that the big oak will have grown from the little acorn…I hope to be in London for the annual gathering meeting in November …if I am unable to be there then enjoy under the new team…TAG 🙂
Terry, be proud. That’s one fine son ye have x
I`m so sorry that you are the father of someone so ugly as Ben. I have never me him myself, but I bet he scares children a lot. PS: Did he get the part of John Merrick in the local dram club that he auditioned for?
Ben, you came along at the right time. You were a fantastic mouthpiece for peace and your eloquence drew me in as a VfP supporter. A wise person knows when to step up and when to step away. Be kind to yourself now and know that you made a difference and ‘let your life speak’.
you have fought the good fight, and will, I’m sure, continue to do so- as I once quoted from the Frenchman, Jean Jaures, who was murdered in July 1914 : real courage is in everyday work. Perhaps especially when one has a family.
Yes Ben, you’ve done an excellent job. What more can I say.
Your work has been genuinely inspiring and I have regularly shared your presentation on the Making of a Modern British Soldier.
I have found you to be an articulate and convincing anti-militarist and pro-peace advocate.
I am sorry to hear that you feel you can’t do your work with VfP anymore but I am glad that upon realising that you have had the self-awarness and ability to choose to stop and tend to your own needs.
I wish you the best in your future endeavours.
In solidarity and in peace,
What VfPs have had to say about you and what you have achieved is truly moving and, I know, fully deserved. You are an inspiration. Now is your time to let others shoulder all the burdens you have willingly but bravely and tiringly borne.
Very best wishes.
Very best of wishes to you Ben. It was the light you lit which made me aware of VfP, & I will be forever grateful.
Regret my old bones are too ancient to take on any of your duties, or to do more tan offer moral support from afar, here in Ireland.
Sad news but as you say there’s a cost that has to be borne.
As a supporter of VFP I can only thank you for your vision and effort in upholding the cause of peace. Enjoy your retirement.
What can i say that hasn’t already been said so eloquently and by so many?
You really have no idea how you have helped people and what strides forward many have made because of your honest and direct actions.
When I first became aware of you, I was just another of the many folk out there living with the consequences of the actions of the British military. Being a young girl of 7½ in 1976, living in Derry City, enduring house raids, harassment and most horrifically, the murder of my brother Jim by a British soldier. I was the one person who never imagined making any contact, nevermind a friendship with a former soldier.
Yet here we are, 5 years after finally meeting and I would call you my friend. And I do so with pride. I’ve made many friends among the VFP and still keep contact.
For such a young man to have faced down the military elite, the peddlers of war, the angry, vitriolic ‘patriots’, the soldiers still fighting a war within themselves that can’t stand down even though their service is done.. Ben, that takes some doing! Don’t diminish that achievement.
I want to say thanks, for helping me see the humanity in people I never really viewed with those eyes..
As I said at the conference in 2015, I feel I gained healing from the people I would have considered my enemy. I feel like the circle has been completed.
Enjoy your retirement with the family. Take it easy and just float through life..
But you still owe me a pint!!!
Love and best wishes Ben x
Dear Fiona, I read your comment re Ben Griffin’s proposed retirement. It made me feel touched that Ben has affected you [as he has done with so many others] in a way that made some of your life beliefs and demons change. Several of my good friends, one who was my partner from 90-95, come from Derry and their lives were harshly affected by the British Army’s invasion of Derry. Some of their friends died, some including my partner, were in prison and one blinded with plastic bullets. My ex partner still has difficulties thinking of British armed forces in anything other than a repugnant way. Glad that Ben had such a great affect on you and others. I havent met him but I’m sure he will stand out on this Remembrance Sunday VFP parade. Obviously a very special guy. Very best wishes
Ben has indeed had an impact on my life. He’s too modest to accept it, but it is most certainly true.
The scars left after operation banner will be with me til I die. I can put it no other way. So much bitter grief and unnecessary loss.
But my past experiences I won’t forget. But I don’t want to constantly relive them. So I decided to learn more about others affected. Even if that meant even the soldiers that terrorised me and my family and community. I had to do it. Regardless what others thoughts or perceptions were of me. That wasn’t my concern. I’d lost the fear and was doing something for me and my sanity.
Hopefully more will follow in the footsteps of Ben and all the grand people of VFP.. may they see all wars are a business and they will never reap the rewards. They just do the bidding and not the fancy living of the spoils of war.
Love and luck to Ben and his family.
As we say in Derry (not london Derry 😋)
He’s a good spud! X
Remember me? (Sterophoincs and YouTube).
I just wanted to say that I hope you and your loved ones find some ever lasting peace. The events that transpired in Northern Ireland always both bewildered me as they did deeply sadden me. I have no sorrow at all for anyone that hurts and kills others Inna cause and wrongs were done on all ‘sides’. The Catholic population were, in my view, treated like second class citizens and definitely had a valid argument that required attention. Perhaps if more empathy had been been utilized in the late 1960s troops would not have been required to bridge that gap and keep an impossible peace. It’s really troubeling to to envision what effect Brexit will have on this very fragile peace that has exisited since the Good Friday Agreement. One can only hope, however, that groups intent on bringing mysery, violence, division, hartred and biggitorty back to the Province are banished from society for good and not be permitted to flourish. Peace be with you, Fiona. Peace be with the people of all of Ireland.
Garry H, South Carolina, USA
Upmost respect for all that you have done Ben…you really have put your head above the trenches….
a true warrior may God bless you on your futite path
Ben, I will always be grateful for all the reflections and insights you gave me by you selflessly and continuously putting yourself in the frame. It is a hard way to make people think and it does take its toll. I sincerely wish you all the best for the future. Always be kind to yourself mate, if anybody deserves a bit of personal peace you do.
All the best,
I am truly glad people see their limitations. The antiwar movement can devour anyone if they do not set boundaries. I am a Viet Nam Veteran from the States. My obsessive passion for exposing the lies of war eventually put me in two psychiatric facilities with massive burnout. I took a break for five years, and then came back. I had to make major changes in my life, which meant I had to quit drinking. For me, working in the antiwar movement and drinking do not mix, as I had to face the reality that I got addicted to alcohol. In essence, alcohol gave me wings to fly, and then it took away my sky. Recovery is absolute freedom !
Utmost respect Ben. Thanks to you I saw my years in the military from a new perspective. All the best for the future and it was a privilege to meet you last year.
Really sad to hear this news, though completely understand mate.
You changed my life, and I’ll always be grateful to you and to VFP for revealing the true nature of war, showing me that we can challenge the military machine, and inspiring me to stand up and do something about it.
Good call brother! Take care of yourself and your family! Will you still be a member at large and attend VFP annual conferences? Good for you either way! Just don’t be a stranger to your brothers and sisters!
You’re a legend & a one-off. Strummer would’ve been chuffed by that quote.
Enjoy the well deserved peace Ben & thank you for your service!
Speak soon mate.
#Ben ☆The MasterMind VFP UK
Is a Most Iconic Nobel Movement Ever Made to a Human Kind #VFP UK & US
( In order to change warld for better with #Peace on Earth! )
Only way Oway is #VFP!!
Nathing Else Will Ever Be!!!
‘WAR is not the Solution
we Face in 21st Century!!!
Thanks for all you dan
Thanks for the Truth.
You safe bilions You safe As All with the Truth 🤩
😇Your legasy will leve Forever.
Let persist your legacy
till job is Dan!. AMAN
Lets make you proud 😇
Sit back and Enjoy 😇
(well deserved retirement 🤩)
True 21 century Hero #Ben ☆☆☆
That’s a long run, brother—and the toll is real. The mission-like life of anti-war activism can play its own kind of hell with your psyche and such. The biggest legacy you will leave is the people you’ve touched, motivated, catalyzed, and given hope. Three cheers for VFP-UK, may it continue the struggle until it’s no longer necessary. And if you are ever in my neighborhood (Kentucky) drop me a line and we’ll sip some bourbon.
Thank you Ben for your hard work and giving a voice for like-minded people.
Times change and we have to adpt to the changes that come our way. I hope these changes you are tackling will bring a reward in times to come
A HUGE THANK YOU from me.
Wishing you well for the future Ben. You have been monumental in the establishment and growth of VfP and I thank you for everything.
I’m sorry we had to split ways but remember,Yahuah the Creator sees what you have done.You are a Man of Principles and Moral.I pray that Yahuah gives you peace mentally.Be strong my Brother.
Happy retirement Ben, Thanks for leading this great group, We don’t have to be soldiers that are indoctrinated to hate and kill at a whim from some corrupt nasty politician, Sadly we will be targeted by horrible far right subservient from the army Peace to all.
Its a worthy move. You have helped light a fire, time to sit back and enjoy the warmth. You have most certainly earned it
You leave a great legacy, what you have achieved and accomplished is amazing. Thank you for your work and dedication. Respect ✊
Thanks for making us feel so welcome and all you have done for the Peace movement Ben.
Take care and hope to see you soon.
I’m very sorry to hear that you’re retiring from VFP.
It must have been a difficult decision to make, but with all that you have done for VFP, and the positive impact that you have made, there can be no retribution for your decision. I take my hat off to you for what you have achieved, but most of all for having the moral fibre to stand up and to say what’s right and what’s wrong.
I paid quite heavily for my thoughts, which I revealed to Tony Blair in 2007. And I was blinded, severely beaten and suffered a lot of other physical damage to my body for my humanist views. (Torture, of course, by M.I.5. and the local Police, which took place in a North Wales Hospital.)
I’m also sorry that I was unable to attend any of your rallies, but I’m in a sort of exile in Germany, as I once explained to you.
Nevertheless, I’m available at this email address anytime you want to talk, or if you ever need assistance over here, or if things get too hot for you in ‘Blighty.
Just drop me an email and I’ll do what I can to help.
In the meantime, take care of yourself and don’t let ‘them’ (D.W.P.), funnel you into work that you don’t want to do, also avoid overnight stays at Hospitals.
But most of all, “Don’t let them grind you down!”
Sincerely and with best regards,
Thank you Ben, your commitment is second to none and without you and VFP, I would never have realised that there were like minded veterans. Take it easy mate and I hope to see you in November x
Ben, you’ve been an inspiration to so many of us in the peace movement and beyond. Take good care of yourself now.
A good call Ben. You have to look after yourself. You have helped so many deal with the after effect of the military. I thank you for the many doors VFP has opened for me. See you soon bud.