Just an Island Boy

Hiding behind his torn sofa, fearing for his life, adamant that they were his new enemy.

Introducing this week’s guest veteran and author Jamie Fineran.

Written by Jamie Fineran himself.

Jamie Fin second image
Jamie Fineran

 

Jamie’s Army Career

Jamie Fineran is a unique and charismatic character that thrives on creativity. Born on the Isle of Wight on Christmas Eve 1977, Jamie went on to do some extraordinary things with his life.

At just sixteen years of age, he signed up for military service with the British army and joined the 2nd Battalion, Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment as a Combat Infantryman.

He served a total of six years and ninety-two days as a regular soldier, and by the age of just twenty-one, he had already served two operational tours of duty in Northern Ireland during the troubles, totaling a massive eight-hundred and ninety days in the country. For this, he was awarded the General Service Medal.

 

Jamie in Army

 

 

He also served with the British army in Botswana, Africa. He spent a total of seven weeks working alongside the Botswana Defense Force (BDF) teaching them basic weapon drills, including the 81mm Mortar.

His Colonel and Chief was the glamorous Princess Diana. When she passed away, his regiment provided the burial party at her family home in Althorpe, England.


Jamie’s Transition from Soldier to Civilian

On leaving the British army Jamie found civilian life a little difficult. He moved off the Isle of Wight and up to Redditch in the Midlands, the birth place of his mother. It was meant to be a fresh start, but it didn’t turn out the way he hoped for.

He struggled to settle, completely lost in his own bubble. He went from job to job, mainly working in small factories packing fish in plastic containers on a production line.
Making ends meet was difficult and it didn’t take long before the bills started piling up. In fact, he stored them in a black bag under the stairs.

He soon found himself in court, thankfully bailed out by SSAFA – a military support network. Only when he found himself in front of the judge for the second time did life become severely uncomfortable, resulting in bailiffs taking action against him. Jamie would spend hours – each day, hiding behind his torn sofa, fearing for his life, adamant that they were his new enemy.

Jamie got to the point where he only had one egg and half a tin of baked beans left to survive on. With no money to buy electric, and too afraid to leave the house in the day, he only felt safe going out at night, He gathered sticks from a nearby wood so that he could make a small fire to cook his food upon, and to keep warm, all done in his bedroom, on a carpet-less floor. In his own words, ‘It was just a way of surviving, it had to be done.’

He begged his neighbours for petty cash to buy basic food and was unable to function properly in the real world, eventually becoming homeless. However, his luck began to change and he returned home to the Isle of Wight, moving in with his grandfather, Ronald, in 2004.

Turning his life around, he went on to hold a full-time job in the Civil Service, where he still is today.

In 2007, heading towards Freshwater, on his way home from work, he was first on the scene to a fatal car crash, which tragically took the life of sixteen-year-old Pascha Elizabeth Burgoyne.

To deal with this tragic event, he put pen to paper, wrote a song called Crash, and formed a rock band. Jamie was the front man, lyricist, and guitarist in the indie band – The Kurves. The band went on to gig around the UK, playing various music festivals, and radio. In 2010, the band performed their final gig, which was their fourth appearance at the Isle of Wight’s award winning Bestival. A month later the band split up due to personal differences.

‘In 2014, aged 36, Jamie was officially diagnosed with Adult ADHD’

 

Jamie on Radioe
Jamie on Isle of Wight Radio

 


 

Novelist Jamie Fineran

Six months later, Jamie had written his first self-published novel, Just an Island Boy. And then in 2012, he married his beautiful wife, Debbie.

He then bagged himself a major publishing contract with Percy Publishing in Westminster, London. He sold thousands of books and came third in the Peoples Book Prize, 2014.

In between all of this, Jamie found the time to train as a reserve trooper in 21 SAS, but due to an unforeseen illness, Jamie was later medically discharged from the regiment.

He then went on to give inspirational/behavioural lectures in schools, and as of late, has written a Sci -Fi screenplay for a feature film that may be on our screens sometime soon.

 

Jamie Book Signing
Jamie at his book signing.

 


 

If you could give one piece of advice to someone leaving the Armed Forces, what would you say?

“Think first!!!! Don’t just leave without a secure job. In my opinion, I wouldn’t leave!!! You will never find this kind of rush when yr out, and trust me the grass isn’t greener on the other side as one day you’ll read this and find out, as I once did” – Jamie Fineran.

Jamie’s new book titled Vincent Black MI6 will be available on Amazon soon and the book is also available at Griffer Island Books or can be purchased via PayPal with orders through Private Messaging on Facebook for signed copies costing £10.00.

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“Big thanks to “PAUL ‘Tug’ Hartley – Hero of the 2014 WAR FILM – KAJAKI for writing a testimony on my book cover, big shout out to him!

 

We’d like to thank special guest Jamie Fineran for taking the time to write this week’s blog.

We hope you enjoyed the read as much as we did. Take care and see you next week for another Soldier to Civi blog.

 


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