Trowbridge pupils learnt about a different side to Clarendon Academy caretaker Robert Pittman when he gave an assembly highlighting his time volunteering on an elephant anti-poaching team in Malawi.

Premises manager Mr Pittman, 46, went to Kasungu National Park for two weeks last November, representing the not-for-profit organisation Act to Protect.

Former Royal Marine Mr Pittman, who lives in Trowbridge, was part of four day armed patrols, covering about 30km, during his time at the park where there are about 100 elephants.

His presentation was on Monday at the school in Frome Road.

Mr Pittman, who has worked at Clarendon Academy for four years, said: “It all started when I got a text from my friend Gareth Francis, a firefighter in Swindon, which said ‘hey slim, fancy some trigger time in Malawi?’.

He was going out there and I joined him for the ride.

“We did carry weapons during our patrols, but purely for self-defence and we did fire a few warning shots to scare off potenial poachers.”

Mr Pittman, who served with the Royal Marines for 22 years, has now given his presentation to every year in the school, saying that he is “sending out a message to not be timid, to live life to the maximum, not to have any regrets and not to be left wishing that you had done something when you had the chance.”

He plans on going back to Kasungu in October.

For more information about the volunteer work and its application process, visit