If anyone is looking for a penpal, then why not write to a British soldier stationed in Iraq? The address is given.

Iraq soldiers look for penpals... maybe more

By Caroline Davies
The Telegraph

For the soldier out in Iraq, the path to true love is littered with obstacles. And one of the main ones is meeting someone in the first place.

Now some of the Forces' most eligible men and women are putting themselves on the market alongside the country's most desirable properties in Country Life magazine.

Not all want to get married and some have "other halves", but all are looking for penpals to help distract them from their hostile surroundings.

"For most of us it's difficult to imagine what life must be like for the soldiers representing our country in some of the most inhospitable conditions in the world," says the magazine, "so we have asked young officers from some of the British Army's finest regiments to tell us about their experiences in Iraq and about themselves.

"They're all unmarried, and, although some may have an 'other half', like anyone on tough operations they do welcome post and contact with the outside world."

Rupert Uloth, the magazine's features editor, himself a former officer, said: "These are all young single people. It's similar to a dating website I suppose. Some of them have got girlfriends, so it's a bit tongue in cheek, but who knows what might come out of it."

Letters and parcels should be sent identifying the soldier and regiment to Operation TELIC 10, BFPO 641.


Rank: Lieutnant
Age: 25
Regiment: King's Royal Hussars
From: Newmarket, Suffolk
Favourite film: Last of the Mohicans
Pastime: Stalking, polo
Hero: Richard Meinertzaggen (soldier, explorer and hunter)
Favourite building: The Carts Bog Inn (in Northumberland)
Favourite place in the UK: Cornwall and west of Scotland
Experience of Iraq: The heat distracts from the threat, but we are all too often reminded of it.


Rank: Captain
Age: 31
Regiment: Queen Alexandra's Royal
From: Hampshire
Favourite Film: Out of Africa
Favourite pastime: Alpine skiing and shopping
Hero: Delia Smith
Favourite building: Selfridges
Favourite place in the UK: Home
Experience of Iraq: The work is not too different from that on a ward in the UK, just hotter, dustier and sweatier.


Rank: Major
Age: 35
Regiment: 4 Rifles
From: Dorset
Favourite film: Out of Africa
Favourite pastime: Game shooting, sailing and eating ice cream in Provencal village squares
Hero: Richard Sharpe of the 95th
Favourite building: Salisbury Cathedral
Favourite place in the UK: My study, or Stourhead garden
Experience of Iraq: It has been a roller coaster of exhilaration and fright; dangerous, unrelenting, but rewarding. The young riflemen make me humble and proud. The pressure on them is enormous; they must stay alert and focused, knowing the danger they face. They have proven to be resilient and tough.


Rank: Captain
Age: 24
Regiment: Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), physiotherapist
From: Wokingham, Berks
Favourite film: Dirty Dancing
Favourite pastime: Horse riding
Hero: My mum and dad, and Jonny Wilkinson
Favourite building: Ascot racecourse, the new building, the horses, champagne and nice dresses (and men in suits)
Favourite place in the UK: I love riding in the fields overlooking the Thames
Experience of Iraq: Amazing. Mentally and emotionally challenging, as you see first hand the number of injuries sustained and what the soldiers have to endure. The work is rewarding, with highly motivated people. Everyone is supportive and encouraging, making the most of a difficult situation. It's a demanding environment.


Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
Age: 24
Regiment: 2 Rifles
From: Monmouthshire
Favourite film: Goldfinger
Favourite pastime: Playing in the sea - either attempting to surf or attempting to kitesurf
Favourite building: Craif-y-Dorth House, Monmouthshire
Favourite place in the UK: Pembrokeshire
Experience of Iraq: There have been some scary moments, but I have learnt so much here. I'm attached to 4 Rifles in the CIMIC (Civil-Military Co-operation) cell, which helps the local population build schools and roads, using money from the coalition. Also, I go out on patrol as a rifleman gaining invaluable experience that will hopefully benefit my own platoon when I take over in August.


Rank: Captain
Age: 29
Regiment: Irish Guards
From: Berkshire
Favourite Film: Top Gun (although I feel that A River Runs Through It would inspire Country Life readers more, and, let's be frank, it is a corker)
Favourite pastime: Shooting and surfing - have not yet tried to combine the two
Hero: Muhammad Ali and Ranulph Fiennes
Favourite building: Guards Chapel
Favourite place in the UK: Trebetherick Beach, Daymer Bay
Experience of Iraq: Having trained some of the Iraqi army, it is clear that, as a nation, there is genuine potential. It's our responsibility to help them realise this potential.


Rank: Lieutenant
Age: 24
Regiment: 4 Rifles, previously 2nd Bn The Royal Green Jackets
From: Slinfold, West Sussex
Favourite film: Dances with Wolves
Favourite pastime: Travelling with my girlfriend, Hannah
Hero: Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Favourite building: The Pantheon in Rome or Dover Castle
Favourite place in the UK: Gloucestershire
Experience of Iraq: I am the reconnaissance platoon commander and battalion pysops officer. My platoon act as the CO's eyes and ears, and are also the battalion's lead strike element, clearing, securing and exploiting targets. It's soldiering at the sharp end, and we're making a real difference to securing the future for a more stable Iraq.