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Smile your way through misery

Edward Denmark

Edward Denmark

travels from UK

British veteran and best-selling author inspiring his audience to tackle their challenges by sharing his personal story

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About Edward

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Keynote speaker Edward Denmark is the author of two bestselling books: one on his experiences in the British military, and the other on his experiences growing up in poverty. He has spoken on national television a number of times and is frequently interviewed on BBC radio regarding military matters.

When alcohol addiction took control of his Mother’s life, it became a fight for Edward to survive the hunger, bullying and misery which surrounded him as a child growing up in extreme poverty. Remarkably, he still found moments to laugh and be happy. In order to escape the past and seek adventure, Edward joined the army, where he did not find escape, but faced a hardship and terror beyond anything he imagined. His military journey took him to the 1982 Falklands war, as well as to Northern Ireland fighting the IRA.

His is a journey of contrasts, from utter sorrow and sadness to hilarious escapades, which captivates and inspires audiences. Let the resilience and positivity Edward needed to deal with crisis after crisis inspire you to tackle your own challenges, while teaching you about the reality of war and poverty.

See keynotes with Edward Denmark

    Keynote Speaker Edward Denmark

    Not for Queen and Country: A No-Holds-Barred Account of Life as a British Soldier

    • This talk covers Edward’s action in the 1982 Falklands war where he served as an anti-aircraft missile operator. It tells of the bitter filthy conditions in which he and his comrades fought, and what it was like to come under air attack day after day, with vivid descriptions of British ships being bombed and sinking, and men losing their lives, to the desperate fight to survive each day. Edward eventually returned home a completely changed man and was never the same again.
    • This talk focuses on the reality of war, it is not a child-friendly description that sugar coats the fear and vulgar attitude needed to live and fight.


    Keynote Speaker Edward Denmark

    Northern Ireland   

    • This talk covers Edward’s time serving as a soldier in Northern Ireland as part of the British government’s response to sectarian violence that erupted in 1969 and only ended in 2007 after the death of many thousands of people. The most viable threat came from the Provisional Irish Republican Army (The IRA) who carried out many ruthless attacks against British soldiers. Edward and his comrades also had to contend with daily petrol bomb and brick attacks from the nationalist community who supported The IRA. The streets of Northern Ireland were some of the most dangerous places on earth for British soldiers and the threat of death was ever present each and every day. One disturbing incident occurred that nearly ended his life, and which no training could have prevented.


    Keynote Speaker Edward Denmark

    We Spoke in Whispers: When you have nothing, there’s nothing to lose

    • This talk covers Edward’s childhood growing up in a council house in a family of 12 in extreme poverty and with a mother addicted to alcohol. What was it like to live in a house that was dominated by addiction, to go without food? He had to steal to eat, had to go to school feeling hungry and looking scruffy, was bullied for his scruffy appearance and didn’t know which way to turn. Eventually, in his teens, he watched as his mother’s addiction take the ultimate price. And yet, in all this sadness, desperation and poverty, he somehow remained resilient and found time, as children do, to laugh. Find inspiration in the stories of Edward’s life and how he has overcome adversity.

Interview with Edward Denmark

Who or what inspires you?
People who go through life giving more than they take, those who really care about others, people who have courage but don’t know it

Were there any life skills you learned from your experiences as a soldier that you found useful later in your career as an author and speaker?
Yes, I learned to be honest about my own mistakes and weaknesses. To give the people honesty and look them in the eye even when that feels awkward. You are who you are.

Of all the obstacles you’ve overcome, which has been the most challenging?

This is by far the most difficult question and I simply cannot answer it with one answer because if I did so it would be very disingenuous of me. So there are a number that stand out and they are.

  • Childhood poverty. I had to find belief in myself and understand that I was as good as everyone else.
  • War. After seeing action in the Falklands war and Northern Ireland I had to reconcile with myself that my experiences had changed me and those changes could be used in a positive way not just for my own benefit but for other people.
  • Following a road traffic accident I managed to save one person but was unable to save another. It took me many years to realise I had done my best for that one person who died but I couldn’t save them.   
  • In June of this year I underwent a gruelling Stem Cell Transplant for blood cancer. The volume of chemotherapy administered was life threatening and there was a real threat to life during my isolation recovery period. I was also recovering from five breaks in my spine.

How did you begin your speaking career?
Many years ago I was asked if I would speak to a squadron of young cadets about war and it went very well and they wrote me letters when they went into the army thanking me.

Do you have a favourite experience from your speaking career?
One member of the audience asked me if we had executed the pilots who had ejected from their damaged aircraft during the Falklands war the answer was a firm NO! And I went on to explain they were cared for very well and given a nice cup of tea!

How do audiences gain from your keynote presentations?
I think any audience I speak to will first of all recognise I have been through my fair share of adversity and tragedy, but more importantly I think they will understand that regardless of how bad a situation you may find yourself in, no matter how desperate, you have got to keep hope and stay positive.  Be grateful for what you have and use it to the best of your ability. I think and indeed hope that any audience will gain the knowledge that life can throw anything at you, and you are much stronger than you think.

See keynotes with Edward Denmark
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Keynote topics with Edward Denmark