A surprise visitor to the archives during the summer holidays, and a very welcome one too, was Matt Cochrane (Class of 97).

Over the years, a number of BSN alumni have had connections with flying, as owners of their own light aircraft or working as pilots for airlines, but Matt has perhaps the most exciting connection of all. After finishing university and finding his job in ‘civvy street’ (for those unfamiliar with this military phrase, it means civilian life) rather boring, Matt joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) to be trained for a commission as an officer.

BSN Alumnus Matt and his son, after his final flight in a RAF

Having successfully completed this training he went on to be taught basic flying and from that he progressed to advanced training as a fighter pilot. No crawl through the traffic to his office each morning at 20 kph but rather sitting in the seat of a Tornado GR4 combat aircraft with a top speed of 2,300 kph, twice the speed of sound.

As a fast jet pilot and mission commander Matt deployed on numerous combat operations from 2007-2010 in Afghanistan and Iraq. He was selected to support ground troops on operations in very low light levels using night vision goggles (NVG) and he gained considerable experience in demanding environments, both at home and abroad. He finished up as a Master Air Attack Planner, responsible for planning, tasking and presenting the daily air plan for all fast jet and support aircraft in Afghanistan.

BSN Alumnus Matt Cochrane during a RAF flight

Nowadays Matt is back in ‘civvy street’ but in a far from boring job. He is owner and director of a company dealing with high tech optical products, in particular night vision and medical imaging. He is also happily married with two children.

His brother Tim and sister Sarah, whom some of us remember as excellent students and thoroughly likeable youngsters, have also done well in their careers and have families of their own. At least one of them, we know, is coming to the October BSN alumni event, the BSN Big Reunion.

We just wish it could be all of them.

Mr Mike Weston

BSN school archivist, detective and storyteller

Mike came to the English School at The Hague (BSN) in 1972 as Head of German, intending to stay for two years. Mike has been at the BSN for nearly 50 years. Over the years, he has taught a range of subjects and has been involved in many school activities. Starting a school archive from scratch and tracing the school’s history is the activity that has given him the most pleasure. Once he reached retirement age, he asked if he could stay on as the school archivist in hopes to be of service for a while yet. In this capacity, he regularly dives into the archives and comes up with some great stories. His stories are all our stories; enjoy them.

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