The First Civilian Man To Fight ISIS
Tim is believed to be the first British civilian without a military background to head to the front line to fight IS.
Just a few months earlier he had left his comfortable life in Britain to fly to the war-torn region as a volunteer, to fight against IS with a Kurdish militia group.
The 39-year-old sold everything he owned, including his home, and shut down his construction business after watching news reports of the atrocities carried out by IS terrorists.
And now he tells his astonishing journey from builder to soldier in detail for the first time in his book, Fighting ISIS.
Speaking in a London restaurant, he is very quick to downplay any talk
He says: “I’m just a guy who was lucky enough to get out there and do his tiny part.”
It was August 2014 when Tim made the big decision to go. “I thought, ‘This is the worst thing that’s happening in the world and everyone says they’re appalled but they don’t do anything about it.’
“I started to question myself. I’m saying that people should be doing stuff but what am I doing about it?”
At the time, Tim, who has also worked as a nightclub bouncer and prison officer, ran his construction business and had built himself the “perfect bachelor pad”, with a swimming pool and bar. But suddenly all those material possessions became meaningless. Apart from a select few friends, no one knew of his plans – not even his parents.
“I didn’t know whether I would be stopped at the airport if word got out about why I was going, so I was careful who I told,” Tim says.
“Friends knew my house was on the market and my cover story was that I was going to Turkey, as I’ve spent a lot of time out there.”
His spare bedroom became his kit room as he bought body armour and other equipment online. “It’s amazing what you can buy on eBay when you know where to look,” he smiles.
Tim also took a basic firearms training course but it “barely scratched the surface”.
He flew out to the city of Sulaymaniyah, in Iraqi Kurdistan, in February 2015, to join the Christian militia called Dwekh Nawsha, which translates as the self-sacrificers.