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Proud to serve: Iain Gulliford

Veteran and Senior Production Engineer, Iain Gulliford, takes pride in his family’s seven generations of service. Iain has given more than 40 years to supporting the military, search and rescue, and commercial marine sectors, both in Defence and the private sector through his work with Babcock.

I was just seven when I decided to join the Navy. In 1979, aged 16, I was accepted and went on to serve for 28 years as an electronics technician, specialising in communications. During my service I was deployed to several interesting places, but the three that stand out were the Falklands, the Gulf and Sierra Leone.

In Sierra Leone I was deployed to support various shore missions, including the rescue of troops held hostage by local factions. After landing in a plane under mortar and small arms fire, we had to run to the shelter under accurate fire. This set the tone for the next couple of days until I made it to my ship anchored offshore.

This memory remains very vivid and has, in part, shaped my respect and awe for those who have served with active fire as a much more constant part of their lives.

I am the sixth generation of my family to serve, my grandfather was on the Western Front. My son and daughter are the seventh generation, both of whom have grown to love serving their nation wherever they can get involved.

Service personnel are generally reluctant to sing their own praises, but we take pride in the “all of one company” sentiment. That was the phrase used when I enlisted in 1979, and remains true today.

On a personal level, I’m immensely proud that my children have followed in my footsteps and have continued the family tradition of service.

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