PUBLISHED 05 February 2024
We were delighted to welcome alumnus, Simon Brailsford, to AKS Lytham last week as part of our 'Audience with...' speaker series, developed by our Development Office, where notable alumni return to school to inspire our students.
Simon Brailsford attended King Edward VII School from 1976 to 1983. He then joined the Royal Air Force after leaving KES and enjoyed a 28-year military career as a navigator on C130 Hercules aircraft. Simon saw active duty on operational tours in the Middle East, Bosnia and Afghanistan and was seconded to work with the United Nations, NATO, and the Royal Household. He was Equerry to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II between 1998 and 2001.
Following front-line flying tours, Simon gained a master's degree in Defence Studies at the University of London. He commanded Operations Wing at RAF Lyneham, spent 3 years at Air Component Command in Germany and in 2009 became the RAF Inspector of Flight Safety.
Simon retired from the RAF in 2012 as a Group Captain and joined the corporate world where he currently leads global aviation and land transportation with energy giant BP. The role allows Simon to influence operations in well-found and emerging countries, shape safety and sustainability standards for the industry and set the conditions for local opportunities in aviation.
Simon generously took the time to share with students stories from his fascinating career. He provided the packed audience with an insight into his role as the Queen’s equerry. Having served in the forces, Simon grasped the opportunity to work in the royal household – an all-consuming role but a time he recounted very fondly.
Simon shared with students the importance of building your network to help open the door to new opportunities and how every experience (even negative) is an opportunity to learn. He advised our students to always put themselves forward for opportunities and to do something different and exciting as part of their career journey.
When asked what the best day of his career has been so far, he had numerous. Most notably, when he was at the heart of one of the most watched events in history, when he became involved in the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on Monday 19 September 2022.
Simon also shared that the period he served in the RAF, flying into enemy territory in Sarajevo for 2 ½ years providing essential supplies such baby milk and food to the people effected by the war was also a period in his life that he was proud of.
Thank you, Simon Brailsford, for inspiring our students!
For further information about the 'Audience with...' series, contact Director of Development, Sarah.Walton@akslytham.com.