Aly Renwick is working on a series of articles on the theme of Neutral Country, which it was decided at the 2020 AGM to be our priority campaign.

The articles will be under the menu item of Neutral Country.

The first one is now live, further articles will appear monthly.

1)  The Origin of Today’s British Army

A look at events during the English Civil War, when Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army became England’s first professional army – paid and controlled by Parliament.

2) A Scottish Soldier

A look at how Scots became soldiers in armies controlled by Westminster and describes how some Scottish units subsequently operated in Aden and other colonial situations.

3) Switching Soldiers-on to Violence

A look at military training to kill and how, over the last 50 years, an upped ‘Tin City’ training produced soldiers who automatically reacted aggressively – and how some were bringing home this violence to the UK.

4) Old Boys & the Officer-Class

A look at how the establishment in the UK produced a ruling system based on the Public Schools – that included the majority of senior officers in the British Army.

5) Recruitment, Basic Training & The Regiment

A look at the basic systems the military has in place for recruitment, basic training – and then serving in regimental structures.

6) Problems in Civvy Street

A look at how any veteran, including those who like the military as well as those who had an aversion to it, can have problems when they return to Civvy Street after serving.

7) Racism, Sexism & Homophobia In the Ranks

A look at how outbreaks of hate and abuse occurs among serving personnel, with those who are deemed to be different likely to be the victims – and how existing military mores and operations abroad contribute to this.

Aly Renwick is a published author and has written many articles for VFP UK.

His books; Gangrene, Hidden Wounds and Last Night Another Soldier are available for sale in our shop and offered at the special rate of all 3 three books for £10 pp inclusive.


  1. Ged says:

    As always an excellent piece from Aly today, (‘Origins Brit army’) Literally a bite-size tour-de-force of the evolution of the English military; and indeed the two British Isles. I second all his facts as were known to me, and learnt many new ones.
    It is notable that 140 years before the French/Bastille revolution it could have happened in England first. Likewise 270 years before the Russian ‘Soviets’ of 1917 and the short-lived German Soviets 1918-19, the Levellers and Co led this very path. Perhaps because the English establishment had these home ‘blueprints’, that neither continental movement ever took hold in the UK?
    Even today they know how to quietly stamp out dissent in the army as Ahmed (Yemen) has very recently shown.
    (ps. it’s not for nothing that Cromwell is seen in Ireland as “our own Hitler” and one of the worst insults that an Irish person can throw is: “the Curse of Cromwell on ye”)

  2. David Marchesi says:

    I highly recommend the books and look forward to Aly’s articles and the campaign. With NATO still threatening to drag the UK into war [say, against Iran, at the behest of Mr Biden or whoever] we really need to stress the urgency of an independent UK defence policy.We are, of course, an occupied country, with secretive, occasionally lawless Yanks overpaid and over here.

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