Remembrance Day was held on Saturday 11 November and is a time where we pay tribute to the fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice, but also to those who have dedicated their lives to service, like army veteran, Peter Gallagher.
Peter was born in South Yorkshire, a coal mining village in the UK. At the age of 15 in 1971, he joined the British Army.
“It was the army or the mines, and I wanted to be a part of something bigger, so I enlisted,” he said.
“Being in the army wasn’t always easy, but the camaraderie and acts of kindness from strangers and civilians through challenging times always amazed me…the goodness in people.”
He always made the most of his down time during service, and tried his hand at everything. From drumming, to boxing, to javelin, Peter certainly has plenty of stories to tell his grandchildren. Sadly, 10 years ago, he suffered from a stroke.
“At the time, I didn’t think I would see my children get married or get to meet my grandchildren. Ten years on, and I’m still here, thankful, and enjoying life,’ he said.
Fast-forward to today, Peter is a regular member of Anglicare’s Southport Respite Centre where he attends the men’s group on a Tuesday, a service dedicated to fostering friendships and building bonds between men while participating in activities that interest them.
He has been attending the centre for the past seven years and says it’s had a positive impact on him.
“We get to do all the guy things and exchange stories. I like going to the beach and the staff take care of us really well. I’m the youngest in the group, and I like to keep the other guys on their toes!” he said.
When speaking with Peter, it’s clear how resilience and a light-hearted approach to life has helped him navigate the toughest situations.
Thank you, Peter, and all who have served, for your dedication and sacrifice. Lest we forget.