Much will be written about the passing of Maggie Thatcher. More than any other contemporary political figure she polarised public opinion, and we all have our own strong opinions of her.
As a young serviceman I was a beneficiary of her drive to improve pay and conditions for members of the armed forces. Her tough stance on the IRA, and the way in which she handled the Falklands crisis make her a great leader in my personal opinion. There were social aspects of her policy that I do have problems with, but she was certainly the leader we needed in 1979.
Whatever we may think, nobody can ever take away from her the achievement of becoming our country's first woman prime minister. Today marks the end of an era, and hearing the news with a group of friends over a lunchtime pint in a Brussels bar, I noted how the mood became very sombre. Maggie Thatcher, the Iron Lady, touched all our lives. As we all went on our seperate ways, we all agreed that we would always remember where we were and who we were with when we heard the news.