Iraq

Andy Salmon

Andy Salmon CMG OBE

Major-General Andy Salmon CMG OBE, spent 36 years in the Royal Marines and is a former Commandant General, Head of Service.  He served in many global conflicts, including The Troubles, The Falklands War, Angola, Sierra Leone, The Balkans and Iraq. Three tours of duty in Iraq spanned 19 years: from 1991 and the Kurdish humanitarian crisis, to 2003 in the Green Zone, Baghdad, and to 2008/9 when he was the last British General in Basra, closing down the UK Campaign. He retired from the services in 2013.

He now produces, directs and narrates the Journey Through Conflict events. Uniquely fusing original artworks and live music, Andy shares his experiences and learning from conflict to inspire people to seek peace and reconciliation.

Tom Donald

Tom Donald

Australian Pianist and Film Composer

Australian-born classically trained pianist Tom Donald is regarded as a leading music innovator in today’s post-jazz/classical fusion music genres in concert and on screen. Now based in London and Europe, Tom has performed in many venues such as Abbey Road Studios, Hackney Empire, National Opera Studio, BBC Maida Vale Studios, Ronnie Scotts, Vortex Jazz Club, The Horcynus Festival, Sicily and the Dubai Film Festival.

As a composer of scores for films, Tom’s soundtracks have won acclaim throughout North America, Europe and The Middle East, including Haider Rashid’s Tangled up in Blue and Koutiba Al-Janabi’s Leaving Baghdad.

Ismail Ginwalla

Ismail Y Ginwalla MBE

Local Muslim Community Leader

Ismail is a member of the Muslim community in Gloucester and has lived in the county of Gloucestershire since 1965. He has worked in local government for 38 years and sits on the boards of various local and national charities. He is a Trustee of the Convalescent Fluck Fund, which donates grants to those women with children living in Gloucester, who are suffering from illness and facing hardship.

Ismail speaks English, Gujarati, Arabic, Urdu and Hindi. He supports multi-faith initiatives, to enhance the understanding of different faiths and cultures amongst communities. His community work aims to create cohesion within communities, so that people work together to find common ground.

Ismail regularly performs around the country, the call to prayer for Karl Jenkins’ millennium piece, “The Armed Man.”

He is married with four children, enjoys travelling, reading, swimming, gardening and world politics. Ismail was made MBE in 2004, for services to the community in Gloucester.

Nawroz Oramari

Nawroz Oramari

Kurdish Singer

Nawroz Oramari is a renowned Kurdish singer. His music is banned in several countries. In Turkey it was, until recently illegal to sing in the Kurdish language. Nawroz says his only crime was to sing in his native tongue.

From growing up in a troubled Iraq and facing persecution, to fleeing for his life, Nawroz shares his haunting indigenous music bringing a hitherto unknown vocal to our soundscape.

Beck Donaldson

Beck Donaldson

Project Manager

If you would like to talk further about Journey Through Conflict events, please contact Beck at info@journeythroughconflict.org or 07496 129967.

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Nick Grace

Dr N J Grace OBE

Music Consultant & Conductor

Nick retired from the Royal Marines in 2017 as the Principal Director of Music and the nation’s senior military musician. His extensive 35 year career included serving onboard HM Yacht Britannia, operational duty in Iraq and leading major national and international ceremonial events. He has made numerous recordings and conducted the world première performance of the restored film ‘The Battles of Coronel and Falkland Islands’. He conducted the stage orchestra for the BAFTA winning ‘Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebration’ and regularly led the international massed bands at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Awarded the OBE and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in 2013 he is now a freelance music consultant and conductor.

Nicholas McCarthy

Nicholas McCarthy

Nicholas McCarthy was born without his right hand in 1989.

Having once been told that he would never succeed as a concert pianist, Nicholas would not be discouraged and went on to study at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London. His graduation in 2012 marked him as the first one-handed pianist to graduate from the college in its 135 year history.

Nicholas has performed in notable venues all over the world and his concert performances, recordings and media features have all gained critical acclaim.

One of Nicholas's proudest moments was performing at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Paralympic games.

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Dan Elliot

Social Historian

Dan’s passion is remembrance of the men and women that took part in the “war to end all wars”. Dan, along with Al Webb RM, co-founded Old Soldier Media with a mission to give the Great War an immediacy not always found in contemporary images and literature. He works with the veteran support organisation Rock2Recovery, spreading awareness of its work and advising on mental health within the military. Dan has written and will be performing the opening monologue.

Maurillia Simpson

Maurillia Simpson

“One day I will be a soldier and live where the Queen lives,” a 7yr old Maurillia told her mother.  During 13 years as an Army Driver Communication Specialist in the Royal Logistics Corps, she completed three Operational tours of Iraq. During preparations to serve in Afghanistan she was medically discharged in 2013 after an RTA. Sporting achievements have included reserve GB 2012 Paralympics, athlete in Warrior Games 2013 and winning a Gold and Silver medal at the first Invictus Games 2014.  Using theatre as a form of rehabilitation and hope for injured veterans Maurillia was a cast member of “The Two Worlds of Charlie F”, touring the UK and Canada.  Music and song continue to give her joy, being part of projects like Gareth Malone’s Invictus Games Choir singing for Michelle Obama and for millions on BBC Sports Personality 2016.  She is also a member of Gospability choir formed for the celebrations of Prince Harry and Meghan’s celebrations.

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Richard Rochester

Former Royal Marine and Artist

Commissioned to produce a visual backdrop to the performance, Richard graduated in Fine Art from Exeter College of Art and Design in 1991. Keen for adventure, he joined the Army a few months later and began an 18 year military career, initially as an army infantry officer and later as a Royal Marine. Travelling widely he served operationally in Bosnia Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Leaving in 2012 he briefly ran a veterans’ charity project before focusing his full attention on art, now working from his home studio in Exeter.

shaun johnson

Shaun Johnson

Former Soldier Royal Artillery - Shaun served eight years with a Gun Regiment and three years’ with a Ceremonial Mounted Regiment with public duties including Royal Gun Salutes, State and Royal Visits etc Tours of duty in Northern Ireland saw him deployed to West Belfast, HMP Maze and County Tyrone. On leaving the army Shaun drifted, failed to connect, drank and suffered depression.

Shaun found acting helped him escape a constant battle of depression, paranoia and hypervigilance. He has just finished a UK tour performing in new smash hit play Soldier On by Jonathan Lewis. Other credits include playing Hamlet (Globe Theatre, London) Richard III (RSC Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon) and Malvolio Twelfth Night at (Leicester Square Theatre, West End). He has performed for HRH Prince Charles at the Shakespeare 400th Anniversary and recently made his debut in the USA at the Landsburgh Theatre Washington DC.

Shaun has appeared on television, radio, and in several national newspapers talking about his own 'mind-frag' challenges to raise awareness about mental health after leaving the military family.

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Troy Connor

Ex-Para Troy survived a bomb attack in Afghanistan 2009 that killed his three colleagues whilst travelling in a Jackal. Previously Troy served with 3 Yorks, formerly 1st Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, and 2 Lancs, joining the Parachute Regiment in 2006 completing tours of Germany, Canada, Kenya, Kosovo and Iraq before he was deployed to Afghanistan.  Amongst his emotional and physical wounds he suffered brain injury, loss of sight in one eye, replacement of part of his skull with a titanium plate and had to learn to walk and talk again. After years of therapy and rehabilitation Troy has fought back to regain his fitness and is a great supporter of charities to help those facing similar obstacles. He has climbed the Yorkshire Three Peaks several times for The Afghan Trust and The Not Forgotten Association as well as being a keen Triathlon competitor. “I’m still here for a reason. So I want to do the best I can, while I can.”