In the latest edition of The Army Benevolent Fund’s General Talk podcast, host Harry Bucknall and guests remember the Band of the Coldstream Guards playing for peace in Sarajevo 30 years ago.

On 20 March 1994, at the height of the Bosnian conflict, UN officials wanted to bring a sense of normal life for the people of Sarajevo by organising a football match between UN peacekeepers and FK Sarajevo. The Band of the Coldstream Guards deployed at short notice to take part and achieved international acclaim.

General Sir Michael Rose CBE, Commander UN Protection Force (UNPROFOR) Bosnia, BBC foreign correspondent Kate Adie and Major General Peter Williams, Coldstream Guards, share vivid memories of the circumstances that led to the Coldstream Guards playing, as General Rose explains “in the middle of a derelict city amongst the ruins under the guns of the Serbs…”

Drum Major Stan Jackson and Coldstream Guards veterans tell Harry about what they witnessed in war-torn Sarajevo and playing “The Peacemaker” march, Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” and cockney tunes that day in front of stadium fans.

General Rose, who once described the Sarajevo football match as a reminder of a civilised and orderly world, also compares Britain’s international peacekeeping capabilities in Bosnia with NATO’s current defence challenges in Europe thirty years later.

The ABF is grateful to Harry and his guests for telling this fascinating story for the podcast and pay tribute to all the British Army soldiers who served in the Bosnian conflict 30 years ago.

Listen to the podcast here. 

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