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Born and raised in the mining valleys of South Wales, my father was a Polish immigrant who came to the UK during the Second World War. I was educated at Pontypridd Boys' Grammar and from an early age had a burning desire to be a Royal Naval officer.
After training at Dartmouth Royal Naval College I qualified as a bomb and mine disposal expert, specialising in diving and handling explosives. I led a crack team of underwater bomb disposal specialists and also became the Commanding Officer of various minesweeping and minehunting ships.
I survived a machine gun attack by IRA gun runners in Ireland in 1976.
Using plastic explosives I was responsible for blowing-up a number of Second World War mines found off the coast of Britain.
In the Royal Navy I had the good fortune to work with Prince Charles for a year.