A FORMER Ruislip school pupil is leading the way in one of the world's most dangerous war zones.

Lance Corporal of Horse, Frankie O'Leary, of the Household Cavalry Regiment , is in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, commanding an armoured reconaissance vehicle.

The former student of Queensmead School, in Queens Walk, Ruislip, is top man in the Scimitar - a small, tank-like, armoured, tracked vehicle used by troops to go out and gather information.

He said: "My vehicle is usually in the lead, which people presume must be scary, but in fact it's the best place to be.

"At the end of the day, if anything happens, it is good to know you have the rest of the troops behind you watching your back."

Frankie, 23, is an avid Chelsea fan, although at present he doesn't get to watch many matches.

"I do get to call home via the satellite phone which is great, as I can call my mum and dad, Jane and Jerry, and my sister Charlotte," he explained.

"They are coping well. They are used to it as I've been away before."

On his return from tour, Frankie is to get married in June to his fiancée, Lauri.

He said: "I think the wedding plans are helping keep Lauri's mind off me being away.

"Due to our regiment having a ceremonial role, we will have an honour guard at the wed-ding - similar to that at Trooping the Colour."