Soldiers’ Cyprus tour of duty

Sergeants Richard Cook, from Selkirk, and Steven Beattie, Hawick,
Sergeants Richard Cook, from Selkirk, and Steven Beattie, Hawick,

Two Borders soldiers reflect back on what was once a busy international airport terminal.

But the derelict building and deserted weed-grown runway lie abandoned in the demilitarized zone between the divided Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities in Cyprus.

Sergeants Richard Cook, 28, from Selkirk, and Steven Beattie, Hawick, are with the Royal Scots Borderers forming part of the British contingent with the United Nations forces patrolling the buffer zone at Nicosia and the city airport which was abandoned after the hostilities between the two factions ended just over 40 years ago.

The Borderers, sporting the light blue bonnets of the UN forces, are midway through a six-month tour of duty on the island.