Former commando-turned teacher pens tell-all book about his life

Former marine Terence Barnes from Ipswich, with a digital version of his book about his time serving

Former commando and college lecturer Terry Barnes finished his autobiography during lockdown - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A former Royal Marines commando from Ipswich who fought in the Falklands War has penned a revealing book about his life in and outside of the military. 

Terence Barnes, known as Terry, was part of specialist unit 40 Commando Royal Marines from 1979 to 1987, and as well as the Falklands, served in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Belize. 

The autobiography - entitled Before, During and After My Falklands War - details not only military service but also Mr Barnes' childhood in Ipswich and life after the marines. 

Following his military career, Mr Barnes went back to university to study sports science before spending 23 years working as a lecturer at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds until 2018. 

Former Royal Marines commando Terry Barnes has written a book about his life

Former commando Terry Barnes pictured in Belize - Credit: Terry Barnes

Mr Barnes, 58, said he originally wrote 12,000 words eight years ago but decided to finish the book during lockdown. 

"It was one of my lifetime goals that I promised myself that I was going to write a book," he said. 

"One of the really hidden things was that when we were out in the Falklands, the particular troop that I was under got absolutely no coverage of what happened. In the history books, it's never been written about."

Terry Barnes in the Royal Marines in 1984

Terry Barnes (fifth from left) pictured with his unit in 1984 - Credit: Terry Barnes

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Mr Barnes believes some aspects of his book, particularly his time in the Royal Marines, may shock readers. 

"I think it will [shock people]," he said. "Particularly some of the injuries that I saw and just the culture as well, some of the drinking sessions, might be startling for some people."

A chapter of the book also focuses on Mr Barnes' post-military career in teaching, which he says he was keen to include. 

"I really wanted to show how you can change and adapt leaving the military. Some people look stereotypically at military people as being very rigid.

"But also in the marines it gave you the skills - communication skills, written skills, the ability to deal with people in a variety of different situations - to be able to teach."

Former marine Terence Barnes from Ipswich, with a digital version of his book about his time serving

Former Royal Marines commando Terence Barnes, with a digital version of his book - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Mr Barnes said he also wanted to promote Ipswich and Suffolk through the book as he does not believe the town and county receives enough recognition. 

"I really wanted to show my love for Ipswich and Suffolk," he added. 

"The countryside, the coast, the people, and like Ed Sheeran, my passion for Ipswich Town FC. 

"The book is not just about the military side of things, it's about me growing up in Ipswich in the 60s/70s.

"There's lot of chapters about me running around north-west Ipswich, Castle Hill area, the Dales and following Ipswich Town in the 70s when they were a tremendous team."

Before, During and After My Falklands War by Terence Barnes is available as an e-book and in paperback from Amazon