Reservist Case Studies

In his civilian life, Danny Railton is an account manager for a food company that produces muffins and doughnuts for supermarkets.

But as a RAF reservist based out of RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire, he has military commitments too.

Aircraftsman Danny, aged 34, of Yeadon, West Yorkshire, joined the RAF last year. He had had been in the Marines for nearly two years when he was in his twenties and missed the focus that being part of the military brought to his life.

Learning so much

“I learned so much from my time in the marines,” he said.

“It not only brought me a whole new skillset, it gave me a focus and commitment that really served me well when I moved into a civilian career.

“I joined the RAF because it’s a very professional set-up and I wanted to be in an environment which offer lots of new challenges and learning opportunities.

“I’m massively into physical fitness and the military training gives me an extra outlet for that.”

Supportive employer

Danny, who lives with his partner Kate, was full of praise for his employer Bradford-based Speedibake, who have supported his role in the reserves, including by allowing additional paid leave so he can do annual camps.

His manager Stuart Allan said: “At Speedibake we are very keen to support our employees in achieving a work/life balance so that they can pursue their passions.

Transferable skills

“We’re really proud to be able to support Danny so that he can devote the time he needs to his military training. A lot of skills gained in his training and operations are transferable to our workplace, such as team-work and problem-solving and we are delighted to be in a position to enable Danny’s participation with the RAF.”

Danny’s brother James, aged 30, from Hull, also joined up at the same time as Danny and serves with him in 609 Squadron.  

Bar worker Will to head to Afghanistan with his reserve unit

Bar worker Will Howarth is among reservists from Leeds-based Corunna Company who is undergoing training so he can deploy to Afghanistan.

Will, aged 22, from Pool in Wharfedale, is a former pupil of Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley and currently works at the White Hart country inn in Pool.

Will joined the Army reserves in 2017 and said:

“I’m into fitness and the physicality of being in the reserves really suits me. It mixes things up a bit and keeps you fresher for what you do in your civilian life.

“I wanted to go on deployment because it’s what we’ve trained for. I will learn a lot, serve my country, and hopefully, help make a positive difference.”

Sixteen reservists from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment will join regular soldiers from 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment to head to the conflict zone in autumn 2019.

The reservists’ role will be to provide protection to regular soldiers who are training the Afghans and to carry out patrol and guard duties.


Lance Corporal April Farthing,
The Band of The Yorkshire Regiment

Teacher April Farthing has two careers. She works in schools across South Yorkshire as a supply teacher.

But, in addition, April, aged 30, also serves in The Band of The Yorkshire Regiment where she is a principal cornet and bugle player as well as lead trumpet player.

She has been a reservist for eight years, performing as far afield as Ethiopia and the Falklands. During the past year she has performed across the UK as well as with 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment on Exercise Iron Wolf in Lithuania.

She said: “I really enjoy the sense of teamwork that I get from being in the Reserves. It has been great travelling the world but for me it’s the friendships that you make that are my main motivation.”

April has played the last post in ceremonies across the world but says her personal highlight was playing at the ground of her local side, Rotherham United.

Reserve Forces