|Wearing the robes and badge of the Master Draper. This photograph taken in October 2010.|
My childhood was spent largely in the north west London suburbs, mainly in Pinner. This was enlivened by a couple of more exotic locations when my father was posted to Egypt and later to Iraq. I went to Merchant Taylors’ School between 1960 and 1964.
School did not go so well so I enlisted in the Army in 1964 and was commissioned through Mons Officer Cadet School, Aldershot in 1966. Initially I was in the Royal Corps of Transport but transferred to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in 1972.
My first 15 years in the Army involved extensive travel around the world including tours in Canada, Germany, Cyprus and Singapore/Malaysia. In contrast, after Staff College in 1980, my subsequent career was largely confined to Whitehall and Andover where I filled a number of staff appointments, generally with a logistics focus. These were relieved by short breaks to the Falklands (1983) and Hong Kong (1988-9). Additionally I taught at the School of Ordnance between 1983 and 1986 and attended the Joint Services' Defence College in 1986
I worked on the major restructuring of the Army’s logistic services in 1990-1, resulting in the creation of the Royal Logistic Corps to which I was transferred in 1993. I subsequently became the logistic director responsible for vehicles and spares procurement. I was appointed CBE for my work in this post in 1994.
After a year's study at the Royal College of Defence Studies in 1995 I was the Deputy UK Military Representative at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. My final appointments were as Director General Logistic Support (Army), the head of the Royal Logistic Corps, and Director General Defence Supply Chain. I left the Army at the end of 2000.
Portrait Commissioned by The Royal Logistic Corps to mark my tenure as the Head of The Royal Logistic Corps. Painted by Keith Breeden RP in 2001 and currently at The Royal Logistic Corps Headquarters Officers' Mess, Blackdown. The background is the outline of the five capbadges of the forming corps of The Royal Logistic Corps and the folder is embossed with the capbadge of the new corps. This is, in part, a reference to my work on logistic reform that resulted in the creation of The Royal Logistic Corps.I have been Colonel Commandant of the Royal Logistics Corps (2000-7) and Honorary Colonel of 168 Pioneer Regiment (2001-8). My remaining military link is as Chairman of Lady Grover Fund, a friendly society the supports officers' female dependants.
On leaving the Army I was Director General of the Railway Forum, the railway industry's think tank and lobby group from 2001 to 2006. Since then I have pursued a variety of initiatives, many linked with transport. As a consequence of my transport background I am also a liveryman of the Carmen's Company and was President of the Railway Study Association (2004-5).
My interests include travel, music, especially opera. I contributed to the libretto of Past Master Sir Nicholas Jackson's chamber opera The Reluctant Highwayman that was first performed at the Hall in 1995. My principal interest is however collecting and studying coins of the period 400AD-1100AD. With a colleague I am in the process of producing a three-part series on the coinage of Wessex and Mercia in the late ninth century. I am a council member of the British Numismatic Society.
Since becoming a Draper in 1995 I have been Chairman of Governors of Bancroft’s School (2002-8). I am currently Chairman of Friends of Drapers' Almshouses (2002 to present) and Chair of Governors of Drapers’ Academy, Harold Hill, Romford, that opened in September 2010.
I married Rosemary in 1993. She is an artist primarily specialising in oils and watercolour, see http://www.rosemaryfarrer.com/ We have one daughter, Grace (15) and we live in the Vale of Pewsey, Wiltshire.