John Beckett

Veterans Community Worker North West

John joined the Royal Navy at 18 years old in 1989 and specialised as a Weapons Engineering Mechanic (Radio), Following further training in HMS Dolphin he joined the submarine service. John disclosed his sexuality to a Chaplain which triggered an investigation. He was interrogated by the SIB Special Investigation Branch and discharged from service for being Gay.

Following discharge John approached Stonewall for advice and his case was adopted into a legal challenge alongside three other discharged personnel. This test case progressed through the domestic courts and was finally heard by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg who overturned the military Ban.

In 1996 John joined the police service and achieved the rank of Inspector before his retirement, He spent a period on Foreign Office secondment in Jordan training overseas police officers. He qualified as an EMCC Coach and has a background in training and development. He was awarded a police commendation in 2016 for his work supporting the local community. John also represented the UK at the European LGBT+ Police Association Conference.

John’s hobbies include exploring the Peak District, military history, travel and 1980s pop music. He applied for the VCW role to help support Veterans who served both during and after the Ban.

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