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Former soldier and Army skydiving instructor, retired British diplomat Adrian Hill made his first parachute jump aged 18 and while still a teenager became an officer in the Royal Engineers - his first overseas exercise as a young paratrooper was a night landing on Utah Beach in Normandy. As a diplomat he experienced more than the average share of wars serving in most trouble spots frequently in the news. Present throughout the huge tank battle for Lahore in 1965, next he served two years on the island of Cyprus in the Near East when Israel fought the Arabs in June 1967 and the Turks threatened Cyprus that November. He was voted chairman of the Cyprus Combined Services Parachute Club. Afterwards came two years in Vietnam where he spent much time on combat operations with US and South Vietnamese Forces - followed by the troubles in Ireland. There followed a reward posting in Switzerland where he met his wife. Adrian next became Director of British Information Services across Canada.
Apart from the top secret COBRA committee, Adrian was involved in two Summits, the small team that conceived the embryo Channel Tunnel, Seoul's 1988 Olympic Games and the South Koreans' struggle for real democracy. His last posting was Jamaica and the whole family have fond memories and keep in touch with friends. On retirement he became a member of Britain's leading industrial forum, the Confederation of British Industry Council.
An author of fact and fiction, Adrian has written three books - with another nearly finished - articles on strategy, armoured and airborne warfare for the internationally respected Royal United Services Institute Journal, also with Ambassador Francis (Terry) McNamara part of the State Department’s official history of its role during the Vietnam War.
During his military and diplomatic career Adrian served alongside veterans of D-Day and other legendary operations - also with six of Winston Churchill's wartime team at 10 Downing Street. Apart from his professional duties, as a keen military historian he has studied battlefields and campaigns throughout Britain, Europe, the Near East, Asia and North America.
Adrian's wife is Swiss. They have a son and a daughter, both with families. As a whole family they all ski. Adrian also enjoys tennis, walking in the Alps and sea swimming off Sussex in summer.
He belongs to the Institute of Tourist Guiding, member of the Royal United Services Institute and its History Circle for over fifty years, the Diplomatic Service Association, the Friends of the Imperial War Museum Duxford, Bern Waistcoat Club, life member of the Sky Soldiers Association and a member of Brooks's for over forty years. He says he started young, the camera never lies!
First commissioned into the Royal Artillery, Lieutenant Colonel John Esmonde-White enjoyed 30 years of service holding operational, command and staff appointments.
As a staff officer, John chaired the NATO panel for countering nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and was actively involved in a joint development programme with the US Armed Forces.
During "Desert Storm" John was in charge of the Whitehall Crisis Management Cell responsible for briefing the UK Chiefs of Staff.
Coming from an old Irish military family, two of his forbears have been awarded the Victoria Cross, one during the Crimean War, the second for the famous attack by torpedo armed bi-planes on the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau when the German battlecruisers made their dash through the Dover Strait. John's father served in the Royal Artillery throughout the war and afterwards at NATO was Field Marshal Montgomery’s Military Assistant. John has a fund of ' Monty ' anecdotes. His father's papers give fascinating insights into the mind, personality and working methods of ' Monty.'
Much of John's childhood was spent in Normandy where his father grew up. John graduated from Trinity College, Dublin. His fascination with military history dates from a time during his career when he organised education programmes for young soldiers.
John and his wife have a grown up daughter who is married with two children. He is a member of the Savage Club and the Royal London Yacht Club - he's never happier than at the helm of his sailing boat.
Click Here CCcto Read Adrian's Trip Down Memory Lane
OUR AIR ADVISER
Our team member from the Royal Navy is cruising the Mediterranean on his yacht!
‘The work of a compassionate, literate man....an inside view of the final days in the American presence in Vietnam. More important, it is an informative, uplifting inside view of how people cope in times of chaos.'
' The author is a veteran of the dangerous world of espionage, special forces and assassins. As Britain's Olympic Attaché to the Seoul Games, Adrian Hill knows all about the behind-the-scenes skulduggery.'
Brian Barron BBC TV News
' The first and crucial point about Adrian Hill's book is its authenticity. The writer knows his setting. From this position of strength he weaves a marvellous tale of intrigue and suspense. Its characters are alive. Its pace never falters and the narrative is always compellingly readable.'
Sir Trevor McDonald ITN
Adrian's new Vietnam novel under way at this time. Feel welcome to take a peep.
North Vietnamese Base Area 615 B located in the Laos high country 87 kilometres west of the frontier with South Vietnam – at the heart of the Communist supply system known as the Ho Chi Minh Trails.
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