Conrad Molloy (he prefers to be called Molly) served with the Royal Anglian Regiment and was injured following an IRA bomb attack in 2000. He struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and lived with severe pain in his left leg for many years before it was amputated in 2017. Being a keen model maker, a Blesma-funded craft shed has been hugely beneficial to his mental health.
Why did you join the military, and how was your early career?
I grew up in Peterborough and joined the Army straight from school in 1991, at the age of 16. My grandad had fought in World War II and was always talking about it, so I was very interested in serving. I joined the Royal Anglians and spent quite a bit of time on tour. I deployed to Northern Ireland three times and to Bosnia once. I enjoyed military life – doing something different every day rather than putting up with the same old nine-to-five job – and I was jumping in and out of helicopters all the time, which was fun!
Can you tell us a bit about your injury?
It happened in April 2000. I was based at Ebrington Barracks in Londonderry. The peace talks were going on, so we weren’t allowed out, apart from to protect the Royal Ulster Constabulary (RUC) during riots. The IRA would attack us at the barracks by throwing bombs over the wall. One morning someone threw a device into the guard room. My bed was 30m away. You’re taught to get under your bed in a situation like that, and as I did that I smashed my knee on my bed box – a big wooden box with metal corners. It hurt
but we were cleared to a safe area, and then went out to try and find who had done it, so I didn’t get immediate treatment.