Father's RAF pride

The worry of having three children fighting in war zones is offset by the lack of opportunity in the down-at-heel seaside town where they live, their father said this week.

The worry of having three children fighting in war zones is offset by the lack of opportunity in the down-at-heel seaside town where they live, their father said this week.

Great Yarmouth-born Alex Bain, 58, who grew up in Exmouth Road and went to Greenacre, said his current home town of Blackpool had few career prospects for his four children - three of whom are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan with the youngest waiting to sign up.

Mr Bain, himself a former airman who now works as a warehouse manager in Yemen, spoke with the traditional stoicism of forces' families about having three children serving in hotspots, adding that the RAF had given them job satisfaction they could not have found among the arcades and seafront glitz of Blackpool which he said was suffering more than Yarmouth.

Mr Bain's two sons Shaun, 29, and Darren, 26, are due home at the end of the month from Iraq while daughter Cheryl, 25, went out to Afghanistan on Sunday. Youngest son Jon, 17, is planning to sign up after university.


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The family including their mother Margaret Bain have had an erratic relationship with Great Yarmouth since Mr Bain left to join the RAF at 18, returning sporadically.

Two of the children were born in Great Yarmouth and the family lived in Bradwell for around 18 months while all three attended Lynn Grove High School.

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Mr Bain has two sisters locally and many more other relations. The children's first cousin is Hannah Spearritt, of S Club Seven fame, and more recently ITV primetime drama Primeval.

“Blackpool is a bit worse than Yarmouth job-wise. It has a nine month season because of the lights, there is no industry here and I am really proud that they have joined the airforce,” he added.

Shaun works in communications for the RAF, Darren is an aircraft technician and Cheryl is a medic.

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