From Majorca to fighting in Basra

A former Majorca school pupil is now at the frontline in Iraq serving with the British Army, while his parents in Majorca, are just hoping that he keeps his head down and comes home safely. Philip Vane-Percy, married with a young daughter and his wife expecting their second child soon, is a mechanic in the Royal Mechanical and Electrical Engineers (REME) attached to the 7th Armoured Brigade, the Desert Rats presently fighting on the outskirts of the port city of Basra, southern Iraq. Former school mates at the Baleares International School in San Agustin may remember him winning the sponsored walk one year, organised by Walter Foster from Genova to Capdella. Proud dad Peter of PVP Marine in Port Andratx explained that Philip was born in 1978 and studied at BIS, Queen's College and Scal, finally going to England to Wycliffe College. At the school he joined the Cadet Training Force and enjoyed the experience, so he was encouraged to join the army at 18. He became a mechanic in the REME and served in Bosnia and is now part of a team of four or five men, mechanics, electricians, electronics experts who can fix all aspects of a tank that needs repairing. Two of his colleagues in the Black Watch have been killed by enemy action this week. Peter said: “It is making us all rather nervous.” Asked if he and his son had talked about the risks of war he explained: “We have talked a bit but the subject was rather glossed over. I told him light heartedly what I used to say to him as a teenager. Go out and do your own thing without embarrassing me! I'm not really in favour of war, who is, but I agree that something had to be done against Saddam.” With a young Scottish wife, Jill who was brought up in Canada where Philip met her while he was based there, a young 13 month daughter, Storm, and another baby on the way, we can only hope that this brave young soldier does in fact manage to do what his father last said to him “Keep your head down!”

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