I was raised in North Dorset. My father, from a family with a strong military tradition, settled in the County on retirement from the Army in 1949. I was educated in Dorset and Devon, and emigrated to New Zealand in 1970 to work for the Auckland Herd Improvement Association at the age of 20 and gained my Private Pilot’s Licence whilst working in that country.

Returning to the UK after my two year contract was completed; I applied to join the Army with a view to flying.  I was Commissioned into the Army as one of the first direct-entry Army Air Corps Pilots and served in West Germany, United Nations Cyprus, Northern Ireland, Canada and finally as Second in Command of 16 Flight Army Air Corps in Cyprus before retiring at the end of this Short Service Commission. I continued as a Territorial Army Pilot until 1982.

On retiring from the Army, I returned to the family farm near Iwerne Minster in North Dorset and diversified my farming activities with an interest in running several Game Shooting enterprises.

Drawn into local politics for four years 1989/93 when elected to be the Dorset County Council Member for Blandford Forum, I became Vice-Chairman of the Education Committee but did not stand for re-election in 1993. However, I returned to local politics on election to the North Dorset District Council in 1999 serving as Leader for the first four and a half years.  Standing for Dorset County Council again in 2001, I became Deputy Leader from 2002 to 2006 and then Leader for the seven years between 2006 and 2013. In 2013 I stood down from local politics.

Whilst serving within Local Government in Dorset, for five years I also Chaired the Strategic Leaders Board for the South West that became South West Councils, and represented the South West on the Local Government Association’s Executive Board. I was also Chairman of the Dorset Olympic Board (2006 - 2012) with responsibility for the delivery of the Olympic Sailing Events in Weymouth and Portland in summer 2012.

In January 2014 I was appointed by The Queen to represent Her Majesty as Lord-Lieutenant of Dorset.

I live with my wife Carola in Iwerne Minster and have two daughters. My interests include; Archaeology, History, Country Sports and Writing.

Dorset Youth Association has a proud history of supporting the young people of Dorset. It is vitally important that such organisations are supported so that they can continue to improve the life chances of our youth. It is a huge honour to be their President.