Richard Westley OBE MC

Richard commanded soldiers on operations at every rank from Second Lieutenant to Colonel in environments as disparate as Albania, Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivoire and the Balkans.  In 1995 and surrounded by the advancing Bosnian Serb Army in the exposed enclave of Gorazde with his company, they prevented the fall of the Town and saved the people from the fate of neighbouring Srebrenica. His book, “Operation Insanity” published in September 2017 charts his experiences in the Balkans in 1995. He was awarded a Military Cross for gallantry and leadership.

In 1999, he led a small and discreet intelligence operation charged with undermining the main criminal gangs operating out of Albania and into Kosovo, preventing weapons, people and drugs smuggling and organised crime.

In 2007 he took his battle group from ceremonial duties to Helmand in 6 weeks and occupied Gereshk, driving back the Taliban and securing the erstwhile financial capital of the Province and setting the conditions for the development of the Town. His citation for his operational OBE spoke of “unswerving and gallant leadership, often at the forefront of danger, in securing and providing long-standing governance for the town”.

He retired from the Army in 2010 having been responsible for all pre-deployment training for UK forces bound for Iraq and Afghanistan for 3 years.