I was educated at British Army schools in Malaya (as it then was) and West Germany (ditto) before attending private schools in the UK. I joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1972, serving in London before being assigned to the UK Delegation to NATO (Brussels, Belgium) in 1975. Transferred to Wellington, New Zealand in 1978, I returned to London in 1980 to serve as Assistant Private Secretary to the junior Minister in the FCO before being posted in 1982 to Bridgetown, Barbados, where my duties took me to much of the Eastern Caribbean. From 1986 to 1990 I was responsible for press and political work in northern Italy, based at the British Consulate-General in Milan. Between 1991 and 1995 I was head of the FCO’s International Energy Section and subsequently head of Commonwealth Section in South East Asia Department.
I was Head of Chancery at the British High Commission in Singapore from 1995 until 1998, when I took up a secondment to Standard Chartered Bank at its London headquarters. From 2000 to 2003 I was Deputy Head of Mission, Consul and First Secretary Commercial at the British Embassy in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire (also working in Liberia and Niger). Returning to London in September 2003, I was Head of the North America Team in the FCO, dealing with the USA and Canada, until July 2005. In this capacity I oversaw arrangements for President Bush’s State Visit to the UK. I served as HM Consul-General in Atlanta from 2005 to 2009, representing the UK in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. (There is a two-part video on YouTube of an interview I gave just before finishing that job – Part I and Part II.) On return to London I was part of the small team that organised the Prime Minister’s Global Investment Conference held in February 2010.
I was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in 1985 and an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2004.
Following (voluntary) early retirement from the Diplomatic Service I trained as a proofreader, gaining a Pass with Merit at the Publishing Training Centre in London, and I am a Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP). I am also a member of the Queen’s English Society. I provide copy-editing and proofreading services to clients large or small.
I live in Lincolnshire with my lovely wife and our Rottador, Jack. In April 2020 I was elected Vice Chairman of the Morgan Sports Car Club Ltd., having been Secretary of the Cambridgeshire Centre of the Club from Dec 2016 to Dec 2018. I was a committee member of my local branch of the Royal British Legion from Sep 2015 to Sep 2018, and continue to act as its press officer. I was Vice-Chairman of the Friends of Tiddenfoot Waterside Park, a voluntary conservation group in Bedfordshire, from 2011 to 2014. My memoirs were published in 2012 – click here for details.