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Ex-armed forces members earn higher rank with Leicestershire homebuilder

Ex-armed forces members earn higher rank with Leicestershire homebuilder

Ahead of Armed Forces Day (Saturday 25th June), Coalville-based David Wilson Homes is celebrating the achievements of three ex-military personnel who have received promotions after completing the housebuilder’s employment programme.

Toby Battison (30), Wes Norton (42) and Adam Kirby (22) all joined the homebuilder’s growing construction team in 2021 via its Armed Forces Transition Programme and, after completing the programme, have now all been promoted to Assistant Site Managers.

Toby, from Leicester, has previously served in the Grenadier Guards for 13 years and has served as a guard at Buckingham Palace, St James’s Palace, The Tower of London and Windsor Castle. He has performed duties in various countries around the world including Kenya, Canada, Denmark, Latvia and Afghanistan.

Based at David Wilson Homes’ Ashlawn Gardens development in Rugby, Toby said:

“The Armed Forces Transition Programme has helped to ease any worries or concerns and has created a like-minded network of people who can relate to the transition from army to civilian life. We’ve been able to lean on each other for support.

“It’s been brilliant for me to go from nothing to be able to learn the adequate skills required to help manage a construction site.

“Given there aren’t many of us with Armed Forces backgrounds, David Wilson Homes has been so welcoming and understanding, and I’m looking forward to taking on more responsibility.”

Also among David Wilson Homes’ recent promotions is Wes, from Hinckley, who served for 22 years and was formerly a Warrant Officer Class 2 in the Coldstream Guards, having undertaken roles such as Senior Tactical Surveillance Instructor, in addition to Operations and Training Development Manager.

He works onsite at David Wilson Homes’ development in Kibworth, and commented:

“Service leavers hold many transferable skills and adaptable qualities that they can bring into construction, and many have tested their skills both in the UK

“It’s a nice feeling of satisfaction having transitioned into construction, with no previous industry knowledge, and to have come out the other side with good workable knowledge. This couldn’t have been achieved without the hard work from Charlotte (Learning and Development Project Manager for the Armed Forces Transition Programme).

“The training days have been pivotal for the successful completion of the programme.  They allow us more insight into other areas of construction that we may not get exposure to on our current sites.

“It’s certainly a team game, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be guided and mentored by my seniors who have bags of knowledge and experience to share.” 

Also transitioning into his new role is Adam, who is originally from Stamford in Lincolnshire. Before joining David Wilson Homes, he was set to join the Royal Armoured Corps but suffered a broken hip during his 15-month spell in Officer Training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Berkshire.

After spending six months on crutches and a year in rehabilitation, Adam was given a medical discharge and is now based at the housebuilder’s Fernwood Village development near Newark.

He said:

“When I left the army, I went back to my previous job with a construction company doing preliminary works for house builders. I’d heard great things about David Wilson Homes, therefore when I found out they were hiring it was a no-brainer to step up to site management.

“I’ve really enjoyed networking with the other ex-Armed Forces personnel during my time on the programme as we’re all in the same boat.

“David Wilson Homes invests a great deal into this transition programme and I’ve been given a lot of training, which makes it worthwhile for both parties.”

The Armed Forces Transition Programme provides all the training and support required to work towards becoming a qualified Assistant Site Manager in approximately 12 months. It uses skills formerly gathered in the Armed Forces which can apply to construction, making it a comfortable transition for ex-forces personnel.

Darren Langton, Construction Director at David Wilson Homes East Midlands, said:

“We’re thrilled with the progress of Toby, Wes and Adam following their completion of our Armed Forces Transition Programme, and we’re looking forward to seeing them take the next step in their careers with us.”

For further information about ex-forces careers with David Wilson Homes, a subsidiary of Barratt Developments PLC, visit the website at

For further information about any David Wilson Homes developments, contact the sales team on 033 3355 8483 or visit 

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