Here is a synopsis of the latest of our regular evening talks.
In the winter of 1842, 16,500 soldiers and civilians fled Afghanistan with a single survivor staggering into a British border fort a week later. Knowing a direct ancestor had been taken hostage during the retreat, Tom Shannon recently visited the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Mumbai, also known as the Afghan Church. Tom chillingly realised that if his three times Great Grandfather’s name was among the many listed in that sad place, he would not have been there to read it.
His ancestor’s narrow escape and our fourth military involvement in Afghanistan drove Tom to research the subject that has resulted in a long story that hangs heavy with overconfidence, misjudgment, betrayal and retribution. He proposes that outside intervention has helped nurture radical, fundamentalist forces including the Taliban to rise, flourish and continue to threaten the stability of that poor country.
About Our Speaker: Major Tom Shannon TD PhD
Tom has served as an Australian regular soldier, naval reserve sailor and finally as a Territorial rifleman. He is a founder of the Oxford Metrics plc with over 30 years of international and commercial experience as a practicing engineer and scientist with a focus on the medical applications of computer vision to human motion and shape. Tom also currently holds a Visiting Professorship within the Faculty of Health Sciences at Staffordshire University researching adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. In his spare time he is also a passionate amateur historian, trustee director of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and a sheep and cattle farmer in Somerset.
The talk was delivered on March 18th 2021 on Zoom.