Jamie is one of the 30+ ex-Servicemen and women employed in the Production Team to make poppies, wreaths and symbols for the Remembrance period. Jamie, like many of The Poppy Factory’s workforce had a long and successful career in the Services. Here, Jamie talks about his time in the British Army and what the Field of Remembrance means to him.
Name: Jamie Micklefield
From: Castleford, West Yorkshire
Where did you serve?
I signed up to the British Army in 1999 and spent 17 years in the Royal Dragoon Guards where I was a Commander of a Challenger 2 tank. I’d always been interested in the military because my grandad was a soldier in the Second World War.
I first started as a Driver then progressed to be a Gunner and a Loader/Operator. I have done two tours of Iraq and was stationed in numerous places in the UK, and spent seven years in Munster, Germany.
Photo: Jamie is picture first on the left, bottom row.
What’s it like driving a tank?
Driving forward is fine but it feels really strange reversing. You’re wearing a headset with your Commander giving you instructions. There are two positions for the seat, one where your head is out of the hatch, but when you’re in ‘hatches down’ combat mode, you drop the seat and your vision is reduced to the size of a letterbox.
What does it mean to you to be involved in the Field of Remembrance?
As a veteran, the Field of Remembrance is really important to me. It’s great to help set up of the Field as it helps us to remember those who have gone to war and haven’t come back. To see it finished is remarkable.
This year, I also went down during the week it was open to the public to help sell poppies and symbols. You always get lots of questions from people who haven’t seen the Field before and I feel proud to explain its significance.
Jamie and Mick selling Remembrance symbols during this year’s Field of Remembrance.
What’s your proudest moment in the British Army?
I am so proud of having been in the military first and foremost. When you’re in the military you get to do so many amazing things which you wouldn’t get to do as a civilian. I served with some amazing soldiers including Mike Flynn, one of the most decorated soldiers in the Army, and Chris Finney, who won the George Cross in 2003.
Saying that, I always remember when I met The Queen. I was responsible for taking a Challenger 2 to Windsor Castle for the Royal Tattoo. The Queen came to speak to me as I stood by the tank and she asked, ‘How did you get this back here?’ I explained we’d had a police escort and gone round the back of the Castle trying our best not to chew up the grass too much.