Joseph Marshall was out on Sunday for the Service of Remembrance at St Kiarans, along with Stewart Young, our tanker driver, who was representing the Islay Coastguard. Though it was a year like no other – no singing in the church, and strict limits on numbers attending – they laid their wreaths at the Memorial Plaque and held the 2 minute silence to think of the fallen. The lay preacher who took the service, Maggie Alexander of Nerabus, is herself a retired Army Nursing Officer.
Joe has been Quality Assistant at Bruichladdich Distillery for a little over 2 years. In a previous, pre-Islay life, he was in the Royal Navy, where as well as working closely with servicemen and women, he amassed knowledge of procedure and process writing and gained serious experience of Health and Safety matters. He did a tour of Iraq. After moving to Islay, he apparently spent “a couple of years relaxing” before bringing his skills into our team.
We support Joe’s raising donations in his role as local Poppy Scotland representative; if you would like to enter a raffle for pair of special commemorative bottles, please make a pledge to this Just Giving Poppy Appeal 2020 page. Send an email after you have donated any amount to firstname.lastname@example.org marked FAO Poppy Joe? We’ll pull a name out of a hat at the end of next week and be in touch to get your address.
Meanwhile, here’s what Joe told us about his military career, his life in Islay as a service veteran, and the work of Poppy Scotland.
Joe Marshall [JM]: As a family we had been coming to Islay for about 4 years on holiday. We loved the peace and quiet, and there was safety yet adventure for our two girls. Since moving over in 2015, we have all definitely slowed down and enjoyed the slower pace of life. Everyone has been very welcoming and friendly. The variety of the job at Bruichladdich keeps me on my toes – from sending samples for analysis to preparing for external audits – every day’s a school day. I am very much enjoying learning the intrigues of a busy distillery.
I originally joined the Royal Navy as a Medical Assistant in the early 1990s. I undertook my training at Royal Naval Hospital Haslar in Gosport, Hants. My experiences during this time include assisting in preparing the hospital for receiving casualties during the first Gulf War and working a lot with the Royal Marines spending time on exercise in Norway and Egypt. Plus training for duties in Kosovo. In 2000, I transferred to the Dental Branch. From being a dental nurse, I progressed up the ranks, and ran the dental surgeries for HMS Neptune in Faslane, and HMS Drake in Plymouth. I deployed to Basra, Iraq in 2008 on Op Telic. After that, I ran the Dental Centre at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, where we looked after all the personnel working in MOD Main building, Whitehall. Then in 2010 I returned to Faslane, was promoted to Chief Petty Officer and ended up managing all military dental centres in Scotland and Northern Ireland.