Take off your beret and tell me a story!

"Storybook Soldiers" at Weeton Barracks. Major Simon Whittaker with wife Louise and son George (12 months).
"Storybook Soldiers" at Weeton Barracks. Major Simon Whittaker with wife Louise and son George (12 months).
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GEORGE Whitaker loves story time with his daddy.

Major Simon Whitaker reads to the one-year-old and his sister, Charlotte, three, as often as possible.

So when the soldier from Second Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment (2Lancs) flies out to a tour in Afghanistan later this month he’s ensured the children won’t miss out on hearing stories by recording himself reading their favourites.

The family are just one of many based at Weeton Barracks who have taken up the Storybook Soldiers scheme to provide quality recordings of parents reading their children’s best books.

Major Whitaker said: “It’s going to be tough, there’s no two ways about it so helping to keep that link back home is really important.”

The recording scheme has been offered to soldiers across the British Army for the last few years.

“It’s nice the technology that’s out there to help,” said Sinead Pinchen, whose husband Garry, will head to the warzone by the end of March.

The mum-of-two will be able to listen to recordings of with their boys Cillian, four, and Finn, one.

Major Pinchen added: “It’s great for them to hear stories anyway but it’s important, especially at the age they are, they hear my voice.”

Though Kingsman Peter Glynn will miss his children’s birthdays while on tour Tyler, nine, and Jade, seven, plan on sending him their own voice message recordings.

Tyler said: “He’ll miss us so he’ll really like it.”

Commanding officer Lieut Colonel Neil Unsworth has done recordings for his boys, William, nine, and Sammy, eight, while on tours to other conflicts.

He said: “It’s great to be able to do it. And to get a recording from them, or a handwritten letter, is very special. There’s a bit of a scramble of excitement when things arrive at base. It makes a huge difference.”

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