Pictures by David Poole
Combat Barbie: Former Miss England’s memoir reveals nothing could crush her spirit – especially the Iraqi insurgent she felled with a single blow…
My stomach was in knots as I tottered in my kitten heels through the barracks gate. I had paid intense attention to my appearance.
My hair and make-up were perfect. I was wearing a new suit and pulling a pink suitcase. Joining the Army, after all, was no excuse to let standards slip.
Then, across the drill square on a warm summer’s day in July 2004, came a bellowing male voice: ‘Oh my God, lads,’ it boomed. ‘Combat Barbie’s arrived!’
I didn’t know it at the time, but a nickname for life had been born.
The remark was followed by raucous laughter, but I wasn’t going to be offended. I’d earned the right to be there.
The Army wasn’t my first career choice. I grew up in a village near Tunbridge Wells in Kent. My heroes were the Power Rangers, then the Spice Girls.
I was a tomboy and a girlie girl, more often than not to be found up a tree – in a dress.
Full story can be found on the DAILY MAIL website.
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