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Evening Talk – 20 June 2018

“The Journey from Afghanistan”

An evening talk by Dr Tom Shannon

6.15pm, Wednesday 20 June 2018

in The Kincaid Gallery, The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum.

In the winter of 1842, 16,500 soldiers and civilians fled Afghanistan with a single survivor staggering into a British border fort a week later.  Knowing a direct ancestor had been taken hostage during the retreat, Tom Shannon recently visited the Church of St John the Evangelist in Mumbai, also known as the Afghan Church; he chillingly realised that if his three times Great Grandfather’s name was among those listed in that sad place he would not have been there to read it.

His ancestor’s escape and our recent fourth military involvement in Afghanistan drove Tom to research the subject; this has resulted in a long story that hangs heavy with overconfidence, misjudgement, betrayal and retribution.  He proposes that outside intervention has helped nurture radical, fundamentalist forces including the Taliban to rise, flourish and continue to threaten the stability of that poor country.

Tom Shannon TD PhD has survived as an Australian regular soldier, naval reserve sailor and finally as a Territorial Rifleman.  He is a founder of the Oxford Metrics plc with over 30 years of international and commercial experience as a practicing engineer and scientist with a focus on medical applications of computer vision to human motion and shape.  Tom also currently holds a Visiting Professorship within the Faculty of Health Sciences at Staffordshire University researching adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.  He is also a passionate amateur historian, trustee director of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and a sheep and cattle farmer in Somerset.