Mick Wainhouse – From Mirfield to Mercenary via the Paras

Mick Wainhouse

I wrote this a few years ago with Terry Aspinall, an ex-mercenary who wrote the book Soldiers of Fortune.

It is about Mick Wainhouse who started at Mirfield in 1963 before being expelled in 5th year. Many of you will know him.

He joined the Paras who took part in the Bloody Sunday killings and was booted out and jailed for robbing a sub-post office in Northern ireland.

He then became a mercenary in Angola with his close Para friend ‘Colonel Callan’, Costas Georgiou.

Here is his story – From Missionary to Mercenary.

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Depression

It all felt so sudden and traumatic. One minute I was with my family and part of it. The next I was alone and on my own.  With them driving off, waving goodbye and leaving me. My family had been substituted by many anonymous strangers.

All the security and love, the things that made me who I was, had gone and left me. The attachments, the touches, the sounds, everything that I had come to know and love, and be loved by, were no longer with me.

Even now, I find it difficult to use words, and to find words to describe the loss, pain and fear that I experienced then.

It didn’t seem to matter that the move to Mirfield had been discussed numerous times beforehand. I was a child, and until it became real, I viewed the move through the eyes and mind of the child that I was. The idea of the move was one of excitement and adventure. The reality was very, very different.

Looking back – especially when looking at the first term – I realise that what I was going through and feeling and experiencing was depression. I remember spending a lot of time on my own, sobbing my heart out – literally – and being totally withdrawn and existing and living in a world of my own.

My biggest fear was that, whilst I was away, everything at home would change and consequently I would not be loved by my family any more.  I needed constant reassurance that this was not happening.  And so wrote letters home every day, with either my mum or dad – usually my mum – replying to each one.