Former March student receives bravery medal for his role in defeating Colonel Gaddafi

A FORMER Neale-Wade Community College student who was told he was not clever enough to become an engineer has been awarded a medal for his role in defeating Colonel Gaddafi.

Petty Officer John Bannister, 43, was one of a crew of 80 on nuclear submarine HMS Triumph which was nominated for Best Unit at The Sun’s Military Awards due to their bravery during the 2011 Libyan conflict.

They fired Tomahawk missiles at key regime targets, including one of Gaddafi’s compounds, and played a part in protecting Nato warships.

The father of three has carried on a proud military tradition in his family.

His grandfather served in the RAF while Tom Bannister, his father, was a Royal Engineer in the army.

John’s father said: “John always dreamt of becoming an engineer but at the time firms were shutting down.

“He was told by one of his teachers he was not clever enough to make it.

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“He joined the Navy in 1989 and was one of only three people out of the intake of 150 who made it to the end of the training.”

Mr Bannister paid tribute to his son who he said takes pride in protecting his country,

He said: “He enjoys what he does and we are very proud of him.

“My grandson is following in his footsteps and has joined the Royal Anglian Regiment.

“He is only 17 but will be deployed next year.”

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