Alumnus of the Month: August 2023
Alan Williamson is our Verulam School Alumnus of the Month. Alan left Verulam School in 2001 and is now an Officer in the British Army.
I was at Verulam between 1994 and 2001. When I left I spent a year as a Gap Year Officer in the Army before reading Business Studies at Brighton University on an Army Bursary.
In 2005 I went to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, commissioning as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers in 2007. I have been privileged to command soldiers on Operations in Afghanistan, Kosovo and the Balkans. The army has given me the opportunity to travel the world; from diving in the Caribbean to conducting military exercises in Malawi. I am about to deploy for the second time to Estonia as part of NATOs forward land force to deter Russian aggression in the Baltic states. I now hold the rank of Major and I am employed as the Second in Command of the First Fusiliers Battlegroup.
What are some of your proudest achievements since leaving Verulam School?
My proudest achievements have been commissioning from the Royal Military Academy. Receiving my first medal on return from Afghanistan and being awarded a commendation in the New Year’s Honours list for my efforts as part of the military response to the COVID pandemic.
Outside of work having a family has definitely been my proudest achievement.
What advice would you give someone looking to follow a similar career path?
Speak to an army careers advisor and get on a ‘look at life day.’ Visit as many units as you can to see where feels the most like home to you. Build your teamwork and leadership skills through sports and clubs at school; it all helps build your confidence.
How have your experiences at Verulam School contributed to your life and successes since leaving school?
Being part of the school rugby team helped me develop my teamwork skills. The great diversity within the school has really helped me find common ground and to empathise with my soldiers compared some of my peers from less diverse schools. The army understands that diversity within a team is an advantage, seeing this from a young age at Verulam helped me to recognise this early.
What House were you in at Verulam School and can you describe one of your fondest memories?
I was in Brampton house.
I have great memories of playing in the school rugby team, playing football at break in the back field and just hangout in the 6th form common room. But I think my fondest memory is the 6th form Business studies trip to Barcelona. What a great experience seeing the city, visiting the Nou Camp and having some great nights out with friends in Barcelona.
On returning from Estonia I will hopefully be promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and if I’m lucky, command a unit.
We love hearing what our alumni have been doing since leaving Verulam School. Each month, we are inviting a member of our alumni community to share their story of life after Verulam. If you’re an alumnus who would like to take part, or you’d like to volunteer an alumnus that you know, then please drop us an email.