joe smith: where is he now?

A while ago I said that I was going to regularly post old photos and I have forgotten to do that — so here is one now.

I took this shot of "Joe Smith" in the early 1980s after we spent the night yomping (running) across Salisbury Plain in the rain (the things we did for fun in those days). "Smith" was not his real name but it was the only name he went by; Joe was a former SAS sergeant who had a hard time settling into civvie street after he left the service. I met Joe at Tower Hamlets Mission, a church we both attended in London’s East End, and as a former soldier myself Joe and I became good friends (hence yomping across Salisbury Plain at night!)

I last saw Joe in London during the later 1980s; he was with a group of several hundred protesters in Trafalgar Square making a full frontal assault on this South African High Commission in an attempt to bring down apartheid (happened a lot in those days). Shortly after that I left for Canada and never saw Joe again.

If anyone out there knows Joe, tell him that I won’t yomp across Salisbury Plain again, but wherever he is in the world right now I would like to come and buy him a beer, or two, or three. Give him my blog address and say "hi" from an old friend.

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