Probus Club were delighted to welcome their guest speaker Lieutenant Colonel Clive Lee, Herefordshire County Coordinator, Help for Heroes to lunch before settling down to hear his talk which gave a summary of his life so far as well as describing the work of his charity.

Inspired by TE Lawrence's dictum that we should dream our dreams while awake, in order to live them, Clive's talk was a roller coaster tour d'horizon of his life first in the Army and subsequently in the most active retirement that can be imagined.

A cold-war Sapper, parachutist and a giant, club rugby union player, Clive gave club members an insight into challenges faced and overcome in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), in UK - including four very demanding tours in Northern Ireland and in The Gambia and Kenya.

His Army career spanned duties as operations and intelligence NCO, at regimental duty and on the staff in a variety of appointments including a secondment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and command in the ranks of Major and Lieutenant Colonel.

To keep himself and his wife entertained they drove to The Gambia in a VW convertible across the Sahara.

This desert crossing was repeated later in life, this time in two Landrovers, climbing Mt Kenya and Kilimanjaro, mapping the receding waters of Lake Chad and also crossing the Okavango on the expedition's way to Capetown.

Clive's involvement in UK counter terrorist operations stood him in good stead in operational activities in Africa which included overthrowing a coup and dealing with the aftermath of terrorist atrocities in Kenya.

In between, Clive did a few boring jobs which he enlivened by doing a trans-continental parachute drift from Asian Turkey across the Dardanelles and as a principal member of what was to become the UK Olympic bobsleigh team. His last military posting found him in a command appointment in Brecon in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

Following this and his eyes wide open dreams, retirement from the Army was spiced up by forming and successfully developing a security company; meanwhile, while working with the well-known Herefordian adventurer, Colonel John Blashford-Snell, Clive led Operation Raleigh expeditions in Kenya.

Later, in Sierra Leone he took on the appointment of security director of a joint venture BP/Sierra Leone Government diamond mining company. In this, as in other appointments his military experience proved priceless.

Following a spell of some years in Kenya, during which he and his wife set up and led numerous safaris under the banner of Clive Lee Safaris, he also joined, expanded and developed the business of a private fire and rescue service in Nairobi. This was much to the fore in a string of unfortunate fires and natural disasters. This highly successful and very well equipped business also boasting a highly motivated and well trained staff was subsequently sold to a global security company. Clive then felt the time had come to return home to Hereford.

Immediately grasping that there was a shortage of support for the Help for Heroes charity in the county, he became county coordinator and has since recruited an extremely active group of fund-raising supporters.

Through case studies, Clive described Help for Heroes' work which in continuing to be required, to the tune of £28 million last year, is increasingly needed to help veterans and families cope with mental health issues caused by the demands of military service.

Bromyard Probus Club members responded to his inspirational talk enthusiastically, and dipped into their pockets for Help for Heroes.

If you would like to enjoy events like these, why not go along to one of the meetings, held on the second Tuesday of each month at the Plough Inn Stoke Lacy or contact secretary, Malcolm Penny for details on 01886 884027.