Hartlepool soldier wins top college prize

Junior Soldier Connor Gaffney.
Junior Soldier Connor Gaffney.
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A junior soldier from Hartlepool received a top prize when he graduated from the Army Foundation College in Harrogate.

Private Connor Gaffney, 17, was awarded the prize for the Best Junior Soldier in Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers at the college.

Connor, a fomrer student at Manor College of Technology, hopes to pursue a career in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and put his love of maths and physics to good use.

He said: “I’m really proud to have won this award and really grateful for the support I have received from the staff and my family.

“At school I was never the most academic but the subjects I did like were maths and physics.

“Being an electrical technician seemed to be the role most linked to maths and physics.”

Connor joined the Army Foundation College in September for a unique course combining vocational education and military training.

He added: “I have enjoyed experiencing new things and learning from men and women with a well respected history in the forces.

“I’m looking forward to being out in the field and working on vehicles when they break down or something goes wrong.

“I like how hands-on it is.

“I enjoy the opportunity to grit my teeth and get on with things. I find that quite fun to be honest.”

The graduation parade at Uniacke Barracks was watched by thousands of relatives and friends.

“The graduation parade is the culmination of months of hard work and dedication both by the junior soldiers and the college staff that train them,” said Lieutenant Colonel William Strickland.