LONDON BRIDGE The Journal of the Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association for Greater London
IN THIS ISSUE: Gold and Silver Awards for London organisations Supporting the National Citizen Service Bomb Disposal – BD75 commemorations Reservist honoured by Sikh community Canoe Slalom World Championships
Contents 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 10 11 12 13 14 15
> View from the Bridge
> Lord Mayor honours Reservists > Briefing for HR specialists > 600 Squadron Marking Milestones
17 18 19
> 600 Squadron Parachute School > Ex TITANIUM FALCON 15
20 21 22 23 24
> London Poppy Day > Employer Engagement update > National League Signing > Gun Salute for Chinese State Visit > Exercise SHARPE SHOOTER > Gold and Silver Awards > National Citizen Service > Royal Yeomanry Veterans Party > Lord Mayor’s Show > HAC Awards > HAC Ex VAMBRACE HORIZON > 106 Regiment Slalom Champion > Supporting 16 Air Assault Brigade > 101 Regiment BD75 > Sapper Blanchard Challenge > DIY SOS > Employer Reception > 144 Para Med Sharing Best Practice > 103 REME Honing Field Skills
VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE Colonel Hugh Purcell Chief Executive Opportunity beckons as a result of the good news that much of the 2015 Strategic Defence and Security Review will redress the faults of the 2010 Review and the Government’s commitment to sustain the NATO target of spending 2% of GDP on Defence. However, some capability enhancements will not be usable until 2025 which, coupled with the requirement to deliver major efficiencies over the period, can only increase the challenges faced by this generation of military personnel.
Keeping ahead of the times will be possible if RFCAs also have the opportunity to reinvest – the Paterson Review made this point – and an efficiency of 5% may be achievable within our current manpower count, should such a figure be required. However, with reinvestment, any new model would probably look similar to what we have already, provided we remain both imaginative and innovative. There is the potential as an Arm’s Length Body to operate more as a Regional Association and to make better use of our Professional Support Staff to provide more services.
The carrot is reinvestment, but failure to make demonstrable efficiencies will undoubtedly be penalised by the Treasury. As some military programmes are currently unaffordable, we wait to see where the pain will fall, especially as manpower ceilings will be uplifted slightly and Cadet Strategy 2020 has been endorsed.
Examples are a cadet administrative support model for the ACF and ATC, building on the current 4Cs model and provision of ‘best value’ across London’s estate by delivering work on the Regular estate as well; building on six current projects – two earlier projects having been delivered to specification, on time and within budget, to the satisfaction of the customer.
> 151 Regiment Courier Awards > Liaising with the US Army > Reservist receives Sikh Honour
> 135 Geo Squadron in Mongolia > OP TRIG MED > The LONDONS Commemorate Loos > It’s a Wrap! > Royal Yeomanry Ex COCKNEY TOUBKAL
••• Stop PRESS ••• Stop PRESS ••• Huge congratulations
to Major Henry Dowlen of RMR London who was awarded ‘Best Reservist’ at the Sun’s ‘Millies’on 24 January.
London Bridge and Cadet London Bridge are published twice a year – in January and July. We always welcome feedback, so if you have any comments or suggestions please contact us. Equally if you would like to submit an article for future issues of either newsletter, please email it by 1 December or 1 June to Mark Demery: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7384 4676
> 256 Field Hospital Passing out from Sandhurst > 150 years in Braganza Street > 3 MI Battalion Ex COCKNEY SKADI > 7 RIFLES Display Webb Ellis Cup > WW1 Soldier’s Tale update > Scotland – Coast to Coast > Alternative Venues
The best article in London Bridge submitted by a unit or individual will receive £100. The star article for this issue can be found on page 20.
Front Cover Gunner Greg Pitt from 106 (Yeomanry) Regiment RA taking part in the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships for Team GB.
Edited, designed & produced by DNA Ltd. www.dnal.co.uk
LONDON POPPY DAY
On London Poppy Day, as always, there was a splendid turn out of Reserves and Cadets collecting money at tube and mainline stations throughout London. 600 Squadron targeted British Airways headquarters at Waterside where ten Reservists joined with colleagues from British Airways and a party from RAF Halton to raise an amazing £13,000. The total collected by Armed Forces personnel in London – Regular and Reserve – plus Cadets and Veterans was £850,000.
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
Niall Ahern – Employer Engagement update Although we are now in 2016, it’s important to look back at an incredibly successful events programme in 2015. Just a few highlights have been selected for you in this edition of London Bridge. All of these wouldn’t have been possible without the Regular, Reservist and Cadet Instructors who turn up to help ensure these events go smoothly for employers. Thank you for all your work in 2015 and we look forward to replicating a similar successful events programme throughout 2016. In addition to events, 2015 built on the success of the inaugural year of the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). For the Greater London region, 18 organisations were successful in obtaining the prestigious Silver Award ranging from small charities to international banks and professional bodies. Successful organisations were treated to an exclusive afternoon at RAF Northolt – see page 6. On 14 January, 16 national Gold Award winners were announced and received their Award in Downing Street. Nominations for 2016 will be open soon and we encourage all readers to nominate organisations large and small through the dedicated ERS website (details below). Finally, some of our readers will have heard that the SaBRE Campaign (Supporting Britain’s Reservists and Employers), which had been running for over 12 years, has now come to an end. In its place, Defence Relationship Management (DRM) has now taken on defence engagement initiatives. Having started in response to call outs during the OP TELIC & HERRICK years, defence employer engagement has now progressed and covers several other elements that SaBRE simply
Greater London RFCA has added its name to the growing list of organisations that have signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant. The Covenant was signed by GL RFCA’s Chairman, Colonel Marc Overton, a business leader and senior Army Reservist and GL RFCA’s Chief Executive, Colonel Hugh Purcell.
couldn’t encompass. DRM continues to support Reservists and employers in exactly the same way SaBRE did, but now includes support to service leavers, Cadet Instructors, spousal employment and the wounded, injured and sick. Throughout 2016, you will begin to see the MOD logo and brand being used more widely. If you would like to get in touch about any of our events or defence initiatives please contact me via my email or the web link below.
Niall Ahern Regional Employer Engagement Director for Greater London
Email: email@example.com Web: www.gov.uk/mod/employer-relations
A National League The National League, which covers the fifth and sixth tiers of football in England and Wales, has joined an ever-growing list of leading organisations (over 800) in signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant. The event took place at Horse Guards with the Chairman, Brian Barwick, signing on behalf of The National League and Major General John Crackett, Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff, signing on behalf of the Armed Forces. Further recognising the close link between the Army and the game of football, two players from Aldershot Town – the home of the British Army – were present alongside soldiers from the London Irish Regiment and HQ London District. 100 years ago members of both these were among those soldiers who took a break from hostilities on the Western Front to play the ‘beautiful game’ – the WW1 Christmas football match which has become an icon of how sport can transform lives, even those enduring the horrors of war.
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
Aldershot Town are the first football club to sign the Covenant with others of the 68 member clubs planning to sign individual pledges at the League’s half-yearly conference in Telford in January.
EMPLOYERS OBSERVE A ROYAL GUN SALUTE Employers who support defence initiatives and who have an interest in China were given the exclusive opportunity to observe a Royal Gun Salute in honour of the State Visit by the President of The People’s Republic of China, Mr Xi Jinping and Madame Peng Liyuan. Soldiers from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery fired a 41-Gun Salute in Green Park – just after midday on Tuesday 20 October. At the same time, Army Reserve Soldiers from the Honourable Artillery Company fired a 41-Gun Salute at the Tower of London. The guests, hosted by GL RFCA, included representatives from Alexander Hughes, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, BNY Mellon, Bouygyes, CBRE, ICBC Standard Bank, J.P.Morgan, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Marsh, Moody’s Investors Services and Standard Chartered Bank.
They watched as the 68 soldiers with 86 horses from the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery pulled the six guns into position for firing the 41-Gun Salute – which took place at eight minutes past the stroke of midday. This was the exact moment when the President of China was received by HM The Queen. After the Salute, the guests saw the Royal procession return to Buckingham Palace, escorted by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
Metropolitan Police Team Scoops Top Prize Ten teams from Greater London’s employers got together at the Honourable Artillery Company in October to battle it out at 2015’s Exercise SHARPE SHOOTER.
The winning team from the Metropolitan Police Service joined runners-up from PwC with teams from Defence Relationship Management, Financial Reporting Council, GL RFCA, J.P. Morgan, Moody’s Investor Services, Morgan Stanley, International Bankers and UK Power Networks.
Hosted by the City of London Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, SHARPE SHOOTER is the annual indoor military skills competition at which London organisations are given a chance to compete against each other in a fun and friendly military environment. The aim of the event is to promote and generate awareness of the Volunteer Reserve Forces among London employers, many of which have employees serving as Reservists and Cadet Force Adult Volunteers.
During the course of the evening each team visited 10 stands run by some of London’s Reserve Forces units. Scoring and guides were provided by the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and the University of London Officer Training Corps and the Silver Salvers, for the winners and runners-up, were kindly provided by The Worshipful Company of International Bankers.
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
Prime Minister thanks employers for supporting the Armed Forces
On Thursday 14 January, the Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, recognised employers who provide outstanding support to the Armed Forces and presented Gold Awards to the winners of the Ministry of Defence’s Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). These organisations later met the Prime Minister at No.10 Downing Street. Businesses who hold ERS Gold Awards proactively advocate and support the Armed Forces community, both internally to employees and externally to the
wider community. They have introduced HR policies to encourage the recruitment of Armed Forces personnel, spouses and veterans, and they enable Reservists to fulfil their annual training commitments or support them during mobilisation. This year the Gold Awards focused on commitments to employ Reservists, veterans, and Forces family members. The winners from London were: Deloitte, J.P. Morgan and PwC. J.P. Morgan run a market-leading Ex-Military Internship Programme to help service leavers of all ranks transition into successful careers in the private sector, whilst PwC have created a ‘Military
Network’ which provides invaluable guidance to those transitioning out of the Forces and the veterans and reservists employed throughout the firm. Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, said “Support from these organisations is making a real difference to our Armed Forces community. They are ensuring that the men and women who have done and continue to do so much for our nation are treated fairly. Whether allowing Reservists the time to train, providing jobs or supporting veterans and spouses, these companies embody what the Armed Forces Covenant is about. I am delighted to thank them for their unwavering support.’’
London companies receive the Silver Award Reservists additional leave to attend training; advertising jobs to Service Leavers; offering work placements or interviews to veterans and encouraging staff to join the Reserve Forces or to become a Cadet Force Adult Volunteer. Presenting the awards on behalf of the three Services were Commodore Andrew Jameson, Commander Maritime Reserves, Major General Edward Smyth-Osborne, General Officer Commanding London District and Air Commodore Dom Toriati, Air Commodore Air Staff.
18 London-based businesses were invited by the Ministry of Defence to RAF Northolt to receive a Silver Award in recognition of their outstanding support to Defence. Julian Brazier MP, Minister for Reserves, welcomed the employers and said: “It is wonderful to see so many organisations representing private and public 6
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
sector excellence supporting the Armed Forces. It is really important for Reservists to know they have supportive employers, and for Service spouses and veterans to know that they too have the support of their employers.” The 18 companies receiving the Silver Award all employ Reservists and have actively demonstrated their support for Defence personnel. Some of the ways companies can do this include offering
The companies presented with Silver Awards were: AECOM, Amey, ATOS, BNY Mellon, Bouygues, Brent Council, Department for Work and Pensions, Domestic and General, HMRC, KPMG, Kuehne + Nagel, Metropolitan Police Service, Network Rail, Royal Free Hospital, SAAB, The London Vape Company, The Warrior Programme and Triforce Recruitment. The event was organised by GL RFCA with support from RAF Northolt.
SUPPORTING THE NATIONAL CITIZEN SERVICE The National Citizen Service (NCS) is a once in a lifetime part residential experience open to all 16 to 17 year olds across England and Northern Ireland. The programme helps young people build skills for work and life while taking on exciting challenges, making new friends and contributing to their community. Groups of students taking part in the NCS had the opportunity to visit Reserve units in Greater London. A group from Croydon went to 151 Regiment RLC where they were introduced to a professional military environment and met officers and soldiers from the Regiment as well as seeing some of the vehicles they use. The students also presented a social action project to a panel from the Regiment. Captain Derek Gregory from 151 Regiment, who helped co-ordinate the Croydon visit, said, “The group had a well thought-out plan and delivered their presentation professionally. Collectively, the group had a constructive answer to every thought process challenged by the military panel. The exercise clearly demonstrated the group’s ability to plan and
work as a team – very much the qualities sought after by the Army.” Another group from Bromley went to 265 (Home Counties) Air Assault Battery, 106 (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery based at Grove Park. As well as having a tour of the missile training facilities, gyms, vehicles and specialist equipment, the students were given presentations on the values and standards of the British Army which acted as a point of reference for an interactive workshop on the qualities of an employee. They also presented a campaign idea
around a social action project; to raise awareness of homeless youths and, healthy eating on a budget. Six groups of young people from Tower Hamlets were hosted by HMS PRESIDENT. The groups had to give a ‘Dragons Den’ style presentation on a social action project to a panel of Naval staff and were given a tour of the facilities at the Naval base, where they met personnel from Naval Regional Command, the University of London Royal Naval Unit, Sea Cadets and the Royal Naval Reserve.
Royal Yeomanry Veterans Christmas Party Army Reserves from The Royal Yeomanry and 150 Recovery Company (REME), based at Mitcham Road Barracks in Croydon, hosted a group of Second World War and Korean War veterans plus others from the Royal British Legion at a special Christmas party. The guests were treated to festive fayre with Christmas Carols and military music played by The Band of the Royal Yeomanry. Other attendees included the Representative Deputy Lieutenant for Croydon,
Colonel (Ret’d) Ian McRobbie DL, the Deputy Mayor of Croydon, Councillor Wayne Lawlor and Councillor Emily Benn, Croydon Council’s Armed Forces Champion. Daphne Clarke, 94 (above), accompanied by her sister Pauline Youthed, enjoyed the opportunity to meet up with some old comrades and share stories and reminisce about the old times. Daphne, probably the only remaining female survivor to have served in Normandy on D-Day, was a secretary with 21 Army Group under Montgomery. Originally from Upper Norwood, she was too young to enlist at the age of 19
and had to have special permission from her parents. She said “I didn’t have to go, I didn’t even have to join up but I was so proud of my country, I felt I had to do it.” Daphne spent time in France, Holland, Germany and Belgium where she experienced dreadful conditions including a bitterly cold winter in Brussels, staying in the unheated former Gestapo Headquarters, where she and many others contracted pneumonia. Even though she was offered repatriation, she refused. Daphne wrote many letters home which are now kept at the Imperial War Museum and are available for anyone who would like to read about her experiences. LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
LORD MAYOR’S SHOW
The Lord Mayor’s Show can trace its history back to the sealing of the Magna Carta when King John agreed that the City of London could have its own Lord Mayor provided he swear allegiance to the Monarch and ‘show’ himself to the people. To celebrate the 800th anniversary of the Lord Mayor’s Show, more than 7,000 people, 173 horses, 140 vehicles, marching bands and floats representing school children, businesses, Livery Companies and community groups paraded from Mansion House to the Royal Courts of Justice and back to Mansion House via Victoria Embankment. The world famous St Mary-le-Bow church bells rang out a special 800-change at noon.
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
The original Lord Mayor’s journey was always taken by river. The new Lord Mayor, Alderman Lord Mountevans, celebrated that history by travelling to the City in a splendid flotilla of traditional Thames barges and small boats accompanied by Sea Cadets. Tower Bridge opened in salute and the new Lord Mayor then alighted at HMS PRESIDENT to be greeted by the Commanding Officer, Commander John Herriman, before inspecting the Guard of Honour. He subsequently met AB Dawid Wozniak from the City of London SCC (HMS Belfast), who is a Lord Mayor’s Cadet for 2015/2016, before participating in the traditional rum ceremony “up spirits”. 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment (EOD) formed the Guard of Honour for the Parade, ahead of which the Lord Mayor presented the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Dickie Hawkins, with a ceremonial Scroll granting the Regiment ‘City Privileged Regiment’ status.
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
THE HONOURABLE ARTILLERY COMPANY In July last year, in front of friends and family, the Minister for Reserves, Julian Brazier MP, presented Operational Service Medals (OSMs) to members of the HAC who had served on Operations in Afghanistan, (Op HERRICK) and during the Ebola crisis (Op GRITROCK).
also a trained musician, teaching music and playing in an orchestra in Lincolnshire. Matt was deployed as part of the Band of the Royal Armoured Corps. One of the highlights of his tour was to take part in the last Remembrance Day service held in Khandahar, attended by Prince Harry.
In addition, Volunteer Reserve Service Medals (VRSMs) and Clasps were presented to five HAC soldiers who had completed 10 or more year’s loyal service.
Another recipient of the OSM was Lieutenant Nic Clark (pictured 7th from right) who served on Op GRITROCK, working alongside volunteers from all over the world during the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. He deployed with the Regular Army working as part of a mobile team that assessed the state of Ebola screening checkpoints along the Guinea/Sierra Leone border.
One of the recipients of the OSM was Lance Sergeant Matt Quick (pictured 5th from left), the only Army Reserve Musician to have served on Op HERRICK. He is an infantryman with the HAC but
communications specialists. The second, Enabling Troop, brings together all the specialist logistics posts from across the HAC Squadrons into a centre of excellence to provide agile and robust sustainment to the Regiment. The Regiment also conducted a guns course, run by their Regular counterparts at 7 PARA RHA, which qualified soldiers from the HAC’s newly-formed PARA Gun Troop for Light Gun STRIKE level 2. This exercise was significant in many ways. The training took place almost exclusively on private land and included participation from no less than 18 external military units and civilian agencies. There was significant cooperation with the civilian authorities including the Isle of Wight Council and emergency services. The civilian population were also engaged with from the start by the HAC info-ops team establishing connections to the Island media outlets and Civil-Military Co-operation (CIMIC) teams conducting door-to-door engagement with local communities.
The HAC conducted its Annual Training Period with Exercise VAMBRACE HORIZON, a test of its developing Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) skills, on the Isle of Wight. The Exercise was designed to test the concept of the HAC’s ongoing role and assess the performance of sub-units, some of which had only recently been formed.
The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jim Doherty, said: “Exercise VAMBRACE HORIZON was an impressive and challenging undertaking, about which the HAC should be rightly proud. The Exercise has set the standard for unit-delivered training in the Army Reserve (and in fact the Army in general) and it continues to demonstrate how the HAC is the exemplar when it comes to unit activity and, therefore, recruiting, retention and the other fringe things that are crucial to continued success.”
Having simulated a real overseas operation by travelling on an MC-130 Hercules from RAF Mildenhall to the South Coast, courtesy of the Special Operations Wing of the US Air Force, the Regiment spent two days training for the exercise at Thorney Island before moving across the Solent. Curious residents on the Isle of Wight lifted their eyes skywards as the first move of US Air Force CV-22 Osprey helicopters flew overhead, while the main elements of the task force landed at Yarmouth aboard mexeflotes from the military port at Marchwood. The exercise then moved into distinct operational phases as the Regiment tested the STA skills and those of the supporting elements that have been developed since its re-role last year. The first, Communications and Information Systems (CIS) Troop, has given the Regiment its own 10
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2013 2015/16
General Sir Richard Barrons, Commander Joint Forces Command and also Colonel Commandant and President of the HAC, addresses members of Enabling Troop
106 (YEOMANRY) REGIMENT RA
Slalom Champion Gunner Greg Pitt, an Army Reservist with 106 (Yeomanry) Regiment Royal Artillery, took part in the Canoe Slalom World Championships at the Lee Valley Olympic Course in September for Team GB. His canoe was funded by the Regiment with assistance from GL RFCA. Team GB won the Bronze Medal in the Men’s C2x3 SENIOR. Greg has an impressive track record having previously competed in four World and seven European Championships, consistently winning team medals – top 15 in all Championships Individual Class; five times Senior GB
Slalom Athlete (2010-2015); previously under 23 level for GB, Junior World Bronze Medallist and European Silver Medallist. He just missed out on qualifying for Rio and so his current focus is on Tokyo and being competitive on the championship circuit. On the military side, in July 2015 Gunner Pitt passed Bravo – the 2-week Phase One course designed to be the climax of an Army Reserve recruit’s training – and is continuing with trade training and promotional courses, making use of the facilities and opportunities offered by the Army, both Regular and Reserve.
Supporting 16 Air Assault Brigade 265 (Home Counties) Air Assault Battery, part of 106 Regiment, now wear the maroon beret of the Parachute Regiment.
mentally and physically challenging All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection course – the first step towards earning the famous parachute wings and becoming a fully qualified Airborne Gunner.
265 Battery is affiliated with Regular Army counterparts 12 (Minden) Battery Royal Artillery of 12 Regiment Royal Artillery. The two units work together to support 16 Air Assault Brigade, the Army’s high readiness rapid response force. As part of the closer affiliation between the two, there will be extra training and the opportunity for members of 265 Battery, who are based in Grove Park, to secure a place on the
Addressing the Battery, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Birch, Commanding Officer 7 Parachute Regiment RHA, welcomed the members of 265 Battery to 16 Air Assault Brigade. He said “The maroon beret signifies the link that exists between us, our relationship, history, capability and joint pride in what we do. It takes hard work to earn the right to wear the beret. I urge you to take the opportunity to get your wings.”
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
101 (CITY OF LONDON) ENGINEER REGIMENT (EOD) 2015 marked 75 years of Bomb Disposal (BD75) and to commemorate the anniversary, a series of events took place, primarily to honour the fallen but also, to raise funds for three deserving charities: Blesma, Walking with the Wounded and The Royal Engineers Benevolent Fund. Together with 33 Engineer Regiment, 101 Engineer Regiment set themselves a target of £75,000 which they have now more than exceeded. The events included a concert at Saffron Walden Hall hosted by The Corps Band and supported by the Wimbish Military Wives Choir and Jools Holland, the Regimental Honorary Colonel; also a charity boxing match, ‘Battle of Bethnal Green’ held in May; the Service of Remembrance at St Paul’s Cathedral in October and providing the Guard of Honour at the Lord Mayor’s Show in November. All these events provided veterans and serving officers and soldiers from both regiments many opportunities to remember those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. The year culminated with 101 Engineer Regiment (EOD) being granted the very rare honour of ‘City Privileged Regiment’ status by the City of London which has been granted on only 10 prior occasions in the last 600 years.
Raising Funds in memory of Sapper Blanchard
Reservists from 221 Field Squadron (EOD) in Catford took part in their annual charity event in memory of Sapper Will Blanchard, a fellow soldier killed in action in Afghanistan in October 2010.
Challenge. 2015’s charity, Walking with the Wounded, was chosen by the CO of 101 Engineer Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Dickie Hawkins and is one of the charities that will benefit from BD75.
The challenge was for two teams of six soldiers to carry a stretcher weighing 50kg over a 40 mile route – which they achieved in 13 hours and 16 Sapper Blanchard was an outstanding Reserve minutes – an outstanding effort! Bewl Water soldier and who is still much missed by all who Country Park in Kent were extremely supportive knew him. In Will’s memory, the Squadron started and provided use of the Egg Box Field, free of an annual challenge for charity – the Blanchard charge, for the Squadron to use as a base. 12
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
Summing up this year’s challenge, Captain Tom Roach, Permanent Staff Administration Officer (PSAO) at the Catford Army Reserve Centre said “For the last five years I have had the privilege of working with some truly outstanding Reserve soldiers from our Squadron. They never fail to amaze me with their tenacity and appetite to keep Will’s memory alive and strong. Each year they conquer whatever task is set them with gusto and camaraderie. This year’s target was to raise £2,000, before the day began we’d already raised £2,100.”
Army Reserves complete their own DIY SOS in Southwark
Army Reservists from Catford’s 221 Field Squadron (EOD) spent a day in Nunhead transforming the life of someone in need. The band of 18 soldiers gave up their time to conduct their own ‘221’s DIY SOS’, to help a member of the local community, Jeremiah Sheenan, an American who has lived in the UK for twenty-five years, and has Multiple Sclerosis. He uses both crutches and a wheelchair and increasingly had difficulty getting to the main road outside his house, some 40m away.
He was bowled over when Captain Tom Roach proposed building a pathway to enable him to access the road more easily. Ian Messenger, Branch Manager of Buildbase in Peckham, agreed to supply all the materials needed and delivered them for free. On the unseasonably warm November day, there was a great community spirit. Neighbours kindly laid on tea and cakes and let the soldiers use their facilities. The mother of one of the Reservists also generously cooked a delicious lasagne to feed the hungry volunteers.
Jeremiah said “The whole experience, from the first meeting with Captain Roach and the arrival of his team, has been so very humbling. This path will simply change my life; that’s how much it means to me. I can’t thank them enough for what they have done for me. Bless our Armed Forces.” Captain Roach added “Our Reserve soldiers continue to impress me with their generosity of time and professionalism. To be able to help Jeremiah was such a good feeling for us all and the support of Buildbase and the local community has been fantastic.”
Army Reservists from 101 Engineer Regiment hosted an evening reception at HMS PRESIDENT in September to thank their employers for their support. Guests met local civic dignitaries, senior military officials and members of the Regiment who train in Catford and Bexley. Employers, including representatives from organisations which have received Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards for their support to the MOD through the Employer Recognition Scheme, were given demonstrations of specialised search and bomb disposal equipment used by the Reservists, many of whom have served overseas in both combat and humanitarian operations. The guests were also entertained by The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra, a 24-piece orchestra which is part of the Corps of Army Music and based at Woolwich Barracks.
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
144 PARACHUTE MEDICAL SQUADRON
Sharing Best Practice… …with Regular Counterparts
…and with the Royal Naval Reserve Reservists with 144 Parachute Medical Squadron spent two weeks in Gibraltar on a training exercise with 16 Medical Regiment. More than 100 soldiers, both Regular and Reserve, took part in Exercise BARBARY SUN. The training consisted of three phases including medical training, Role 1 validation – ensuring the Reservists are current and able to deploy on operations with their Regular counterparts – and finally some well-earned adventure training. The medics are trained to provide battlefield advanced life support and during the course of the exercise were tested on their handling of a wide variety of simulated casualty scenarios.
144 Parachute Medical Squadron and the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) Medical Branch conducted a clinical study day in October at HMS PRESIDENT. The aim was to learn and develop knowledge of Contingency Operations and humanitarian relief response/medical HADRO (Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Operations) in a tri-Service environment, in order to enhance Squadron and RNR preparedness for potential future requirements. 40 senior Reserve and Regular clinicians attended, including a Member of Parliament, Surgeon Commander Andrew Murrison MP and the Clinical Director 16 Medical Regiment, Colonel Nigel Tai.
Also present was Colonel Kevin Davies, who is President Designate of The Interallied Confederation of Medical Reserve Officers (CIOMR). As CIOMR is a truly tri-Service organisation, he was keen to make contact with colleagues in the RNR medical community in order to set the conditions for the UK’s tenure of the Presidency. The event provided a great opportunity to foster relationships between Services – Regular and Reserve – and doctors and nurses and will facilitate further clinical training opportunities.
103 BATTALION REME
REME Reserves hone their Field Skills 69 Army Reserves from 103 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME), which has two new London-based companies in Croydon and Barnet and new platoons in Warley and Bexleyheath, spent their two-week annual exercise on Salisbury Plain. They were supporting the Regular Army’s 4 Armoured Battalion REME, and were tested
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
and validated over the fortnight as they carried out maintenance of armoured equipment. They spent some of the time ‘in the field’, away from garages and hangars, where they were tested on setting up a field workshop; vehicle engineering and maintenance; carrying out defensive position manoeuvres; CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear) scenarios; casualty evacuation; CIED (Counter Improvised Explosive Device) drills and resupply.
151 REGIMENT RLC
Army Reservist honoured at National Courier Awards Private Claire Williams, a Reservist with 562 (Southall) Transport Squadron RLC, was presented with an award for Heavy Vehicle License Excellence by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt MP, at the 19th Gala National Courier Awards organised by the Institute of Couriers.
The event, which took place in October at the Institute of Directors in Pall Mall, celebrated excellence from courier companies large and small, regional and networked. Claire is a land and buildings surveyor in her civilian life. She joined the Squadron as a nondriver but completed her General Service (GS) driver qualifications just nine months later. An outstanding soldier, she has demonstrated commitment to the Squadron above and beyond
her role by undertaking a Recruiters Course and is engaged in training new recruits who will one day become Army Reserve drivers. She is involved in all aspects of Squadron life, including running the Army Reserve Centre’s bar. Claire maintains a high standard of fitness and was selected to represent 151 Regiment RLC in the annual RLC Military Skills Competition. She was part of the winning Female Team and the runners-up – out of the entire RLC – in the shooting.
151 Regiment cross the Atlantic to build relationships Officers and soldiers from 151 Regiment RLC have been taking every opportunity to expand upon their understanding of ‘the conceptual and moral components of fighting power’, by engaging in liaison activities with the US Army. These began with 124 Squadron RLC leading personnel on Exercise GOLDEN COYOTE in South Dakota – a Combat Support and Combat Service Support exercise involving mounted and dismounted operations. The logistic component of the exercise involved both military scenarios and other tasks, including delivering timber to Native American reservation areas for use in community
projects. As well as practical exercises, the Reservists were also able to shadow National Guard counterparts and conduct a Battlefield Study of Little Big Horn as well as visiting Mount Rushmore and Harney Peak. What struck them in particular was the warm welcome they received from their military and civilian hosts. On a reciprocal visit, 7 US Army Reserve and National Guard personnel joined 562 Squadron in the UK. The visitors travelled to training areas in Aldershot and ranges in Lydd, before visiting 17 Port & Maritime Regiment and RAF Odiham. They also visited Stonehenge and HMS VICTORY and HMS WARRIOR in Portsmouth, concluding with a trip to London which took in the Battle of Britain bunker in Uxbridge and The Royal Hospital Chelsea.
Army Reservist Honoured with Sikh Siropa Staff Sergeant John Rock from 151 Regiment RLC was honoured by the local Sikh community in Southall with a ‘Siropa’ presented to him by Sant Baba Amar Singh Ji in the presence of a congregation of 10,000 at the Guru Nanak Sikh Academy PARKASH 2015 event. The Sipora is a garment of dress bestowed on someone as a mark of honour and acknowledgement of devotion. Staff Sergeant Rock’s commitment to serving the communities was highlighted in both Punjabi and English and broadcast to the Sikh community in the UK. He is part of the Regiment’s Outreach
Team and has worked hard engaging with the local community, building strong links with organisations such as the Guru Nanak Sikh Academy. On receiving the award he said, “I am extremely proud to be awarded this great honour from the Sikh community. I have been privileged to have the opportunity through our outreach programmes to engage with local communities, gaining understanding and mutual respect by communicating the values and standards of the British Army.”
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
Lord Mayor of London Honours London’s Reservists
Briefing the City’s HR Specialists More than 50 future business leaders from the City of London and beyond attended a Briefing Dinner at the Guildhall in July, hosted by the City of London Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association. One purpose of the event was to give HR Specialists from among the City’s businesses, institutions and organisations an understanding of what Reservists do for the country. The guests met with people who are in the Reserves or who train Cadets, to gain an insight into the value of the Reserve and Cadet experience.
The former Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Alan Yarrow, hosted a special reception at the Mansion House in September for London’s Reservists, their guests, partners and employers. As Lord Mayor, he was also President of the City of London Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association and was accompanied by the Chairman, Brigadier Alastair Bruce.
The volunteer hosts, many of whom work in the City and manage their business life with their Service activities, were able to explain to their peer group what the City’s Reserves are up to particularly at a time of change and growth in the Reserves. Guests were asked to provide an insight into their company’s policy on, or experience of, employing Reservists and were invited to contribute to the discussions on how mobilisation affects members of the Reserves and their employers.
The reception was held to pay tribute to members of all Reserve Forces Units with links to the City of London, who had either been mobilised or who were recommended by their Commanding Officers for exceptional service. One such Reservist was Corporal Rosie Dicks, an intensive care staff nurse, from 256 Field Hospital (pictured), who had recently returned from a six month tour in Sierra Leone, as a member of the British military and medical response to the Ebola crisis. London’s Reservists have consistently supported their Regular counterparts on humanitarian and peacekeeping missions.
600 (CITY OF LONDON) SQUADRON
Marking two milestones at The House of Lords October saw 600 (City of London) Squadron RAF Reserves who are based at RAF Northolt mark the milestone of 90 years as a unit. The Squadron was formed in October 1925, and since then an annual all-ranks dinner has been organised which usually takes place at the Butchers’ Company Hall. The Company have sponsored the unit since it was reformed in 1999. This year the dinner was of such importance that the Honorary Air Commodore, Viscount Trenchard, made the facilities at the
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
House of Lords available. The event was well attended by serving and retired personnel. The Guests of Honour included Group Captain Paul Atkinson from 1 Group, who spoke glowingly of the Squadron’s record, professionalism and achievements today. The Squadron also marked another milestone: Sergeant Derek Jelley, currently a trade coordinator on the Squadron, was among the first members of the RAF Reserve to be awarded a ‘Blue’ since Reservists became eligible for the award. Derek’s was a Sailing Blue presented for
participating in an inter-Service sport. He is pictured receiving the award from Group Captain Atkinson.
Parachute Training School Corporal Laura Evans has just completed a two-year detachment with the Parachute Training School at RAF Brize Norton. While still dedicated to her civilian job as a Firefighter, she has used her spare time to work alongside regular RAF colleagues in flight operations management, building RAF experience around her civilian shift pattern. Laura learnt about the different types of parachutes used, the structure of the training courses, the locations of the numerous drop zones and much more. She had the opportunity to see how working in flight operations with the RAF brings everything together for world-class training. She even had the chance to go on two major exercises to the USA where she was able to contribute to the training of military parachutists in specialist skills, in all weathers and conditions. Laura said, “The experiences that I’ve gained from being a Reservist have been some of the best in my life. I never dreamed I would be in America sitting on the open ramp of a transport aircraft, watching the troops jump out over California during all hours of the day and night.” Wing Commander Andy Calame, Officer Commanding 600 Squadron said, “Corporal Evans has demonstrated by her professionalism what today’s part-time Reservists are able to contribute to the whole RAF, paving the way for future Reservists to follow her. The skills she has learnt in leadership and management will no doubt easily be used in her civilian career as well.”
Soaring with the Falcons In late September, a team of handpicked Reservist officers and airmen joined Regular Air Force colleagues as key components of one of 2015’s most important Air Exercises. Led by Squadron Leader Dwayne Dawson, the Squadron Chief of Staff, 10 personnel joined the training staff of Exercise TITANIUM FALCON 15. They moved to the Defence College at Shrivenham for two weeks’ intense work in field conditions; providing the enemy force and fictional
intelligence picture for the Joint Forces Air Component Headquarters (JFAC).
Squadron team made up almost 10% of the staff who delivered the training.
JFAC is the UK field-deployable Air Headquarters, and is in the process of working up through training and practice to be a front line asset for NATO – deployable to any crisis anywhere in the world within a matter of weeks. The team from 600 Squadron had prepared a large portion of the exercise background and the fictional events to populate 10 days of crisis management training for the JFAC experts. The exercise was the summit of months of work and the 600
Lieutenant Colonel Gavin O’Keefe, the Exercise Director, said, “600 Squadron provided a most excellent team. The civilian skills that these Reservists brought greatly enriched the scenario and helped stretch those that they were training. A brilliant contribution and I give many thanks.”
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
135 GEOGRAPHIC SQUADRON RE
Regular and Reserve geographers go mountaineering in Mongolia Led by Captain James Smith, a team of nine men and one woman from 42 Engineer Regiment (Geographic), based at RAF Wyton, went mountaineering in Mongolia last July. Two of these adventurers were from 135 Geographic Squadron, based in Ewell. Travelling by plane, 4x4, camel and foot, the team eventually reached the Tavan Bogd National Park taking nearly seven days to get there. Establishing their base camp at 3000m above sea level, the team spent the following 18 days learning mountaineering skills.
TRIG MED 2015
team summited a number of the peaks in the Altai mountain ranges within the National Park. One of the many successful summits for both teams was the ascent of a 4000m peak, which marks the border between Mongolia, Russia and China.
One of the main objectives of the exercise was to familiarise the team with mountaineering equipment, and educate them in summer and winter mountaineering techniques. For this the teams were split into two groups; one tackling the glacier within the National Park, the other ascending the surrounding mountains. During the trip the
The expedition was a great success, and was the first that the British Army has carried out in that part of the world. Adventurous training is hugely important to the Armed Forces which aims to ‘promote enhanced operational capability through controlled exposure to risk’. For 42 Engineer Regiment, this was one of the most ambitious expeditions planned to date, and it is hoped that similar expeditions will be conducted on a bi-annual basis.
OP TRIG MED 2015
In November, 135 Geographic Squadron RE deployed to Cyprus on Operation TRIG MED – the recce, reconstruction and re-survey of Sovereign Base Area (SBA) boundary pillars in support of the Sovereign Base Area Administration (SBAA). The task provided a detailed update on the condition of all boundary markers between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot Authorities. With four soldiers from 14 Geographic Squadron RE, a Plant Operator Mechanic from 521 Specialist Team RE and equipment support from 23 Para Engineer Regiment, the task was also a great opportunity to work with other members of the Corps of Royal Engineers. During the first phase, the Squadron operated within the Eastern Sovereign Base Area, working in close proximity to the UN Green Zone and the Turkish Controlled Area. Liaising with SBA Police and Turkish Military Forces occasionally posed challenges but good relationships were built to 18
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
enable easier working environments. The second phase of the Squadron deployment was in the Western Sovereign Base Area – a more rugged and rural environment. As each day finished a raft of recce reports were completed and given to the Construction Team who started replacing the majority of damaged or missing boundary pillars with steel pillars set in concrete. Where a steel pillar was not suitable a small alloy disc was cemented in to position known as a flush marker.
Despite a very busy schedule there were opportunities for Adventurous Training, whether it was mountain biking or rock climbing, and small groups of Squadron personnel were released to make the most of the opportunities. The Squadron also spent a day together enjoying a selection of watersports and an eagerly anticipated party on the beach.
THE LONDON REGIMENT
D Company Centenary Trip to Loos To mark the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Loos, a major battle honour of the London Irish Rifles (LIR) and 12 other London Regiment battalions during WW1, a contingent of D Company (London Irish Rifles) from Camberwell took part in the commemorations organised by the London Irish Rifles Association and the town of Loos-en-Gohelle. The party picked me up en route from the London hospital where I work as a senior staff nurse and, travelling through the night, we arrived in Arras in time for breakfast. With parade kit meticulously prepared, we set out for the scene of our forebear’s famous exploits, resplendent in No.2 dress, hackles bristling. Immediately catching the eye were two enormous slag heaps, which were key objectives in the battle. These were universally viewed with horror by today’s soldiers. Imagining the terrible struggle of those troops in the equipment of that era set the tone for the commemorations. In Loos we assembled in the serene setting of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s cemetery. A moving service
led by the Battalion Padre gave thanks for the sacrifice of those who had gone before us and paid tribute to the unquenchable spirit of the LIR. The service reminded all present that the true cost of that war was not just the lives of the soldiers lost, but the profound and lasting destruction meted out to the communities of the towns and villages in which it was fought. Following the service, a parade marched through the town during which the LIR band and their French counterparts provided a unique insight into the marching variations of the nations. Dedication of a memorial to the LIR at the town’s War Memorial and recognition of the ‘Mother of Loos’ followed, before we ended at a reception in the town’s gymnasium. Sunday brought a Church Parade at a Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery where LIR men were buried, and later at the larger memorial to the LIR at Dud Corner. The ‘skirl’ of the pipes added a mournful air to proceedings and time for the Company and Association to reflect on the actions of our predecessors a century before us. Lance Corporal Jonathan Elias, D Company, London Regiment
It’s a Wrap! With the power of social media in their sights, Reserves at The London Regiment tasked Sharp End Films with creating a dynamic three minute blockbuster that shows The London Regiment’s important role as an infantry regiment. The movie, which was shot at Longmoor Training Camp, promotes the wide-ranging opportunities and roles that are available in the Army Reserve with sound bites from the part-time soldiers that have experienced them. One of those featured in the video is Fusilier Lee Dobinson who has been in the Army Reserve for five years and looks after Children with Special Needs at Beatrice Tate Secondary School in Mile End. He became a part-time soldier in order to better himself. He said “I really wanted to push myself outside of my comfort zone.” Lee loves travelling and has taken advantage of the adventure training and overseas travel opportunities that being in the Army Reserve can
bring. “I’ve been skiing in the French Alps; deployed on a UN Peacekeeping Tour in Cyprus; been to Kenya on a training exercise with the Grenadier Guards and I’ve just come back from a week in Canada, working with the Canadian Army. There are always loads of opportunities.” The film is being used on a variety of social media platforms including The London Regiment page on the Army Jobs website as well as the Regimental Facebook page. It is also being used in presentations and at careers fairs. LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
Exercise COCKNEY TOUBKAL
In the autumn, the Royal Yeomanry completed an Adventurous Training expedition in the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco. We stayed a day in the walled city of Taroudant in a small, colonial era hotel for briefings – but with plenty of water rugby and volleyball between lectures. Being woken early the next morning by the adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, reminded us that we were now in a profoundly Muslim country. Once in the Atlas Mountains themselves, we met our mules and porters who were to ferry our tents and larger bags from camp to camp. It may be an overused cliché, but Morocco really is a land of contrasts: a whole day trekking in the heat through a desolate, arid landscape of brown rocks and scree would change suddenly as we descended in the evening into lush, fertile villages abounding in orange and date trees. Three days into the trek we arrived in the bustling village of Imlil, where we met up with elements of the Moroccan Army and Gendarmerie who spent the next week with us. We then trekked towards Jebel Toubkal – at 4167m it is the highest mountain in northern Africa. To our collective disappointment we were unable to scale the mountain itself due to snow and ice at the summit. This meant we had a day spare to complete the theory part of the Summer Mountain Foundation qualification, covering navigation, weather, risk assessments and law of the countryside. Continuing our trek East, our team bagged our first peak and the highest summit of the expedition – Jebel Aguelzim South (3650m). From our vantage point we had a clear view of the snow capped Mt Toubkal so it was a slightly bitter sweet success. Ultimately though, we achieved our aim to
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
traverse the mountain range, possibly setting a new route in motion for future groups. In our next village campsite, some of us experienced one of the cultural highlights of the trip – the slaughter and skinning of a young goat according to Halal custom, which we devoured that evening. One of the REME soldiers had been a butcher and was able to talk us through the process, yet the most fascinating part of it was when the cook made a small incision in a hind leg, then blew into it to inflate the gap between the meat and the skin thus making it easier to skin – the undamaged skin commands high prices from tourists in Fez. Having completed the main part of the expedition, we journeyed to M’hamid, near the border with Algeria. We had an evening camel ride to watch the sunset before spending a night under the stars. Next morning some tried their hand at sandboarding (like snowboarding, only much slower) before we formally said goodbye to our Moroccan comrades. We then made the long journey north to Marrakesh and experienced another very different side to Morocco – a packed and bustling city full of noise, bartering and hidden cultural gems. We are grateful for the generous donation from the Ulysses Trust as well as the hard work of Captain Jules Ward and the two mountain leaders – Major David Larkham and Flight Lieutenant Chris Fawcett – for setting up and running the truly memorable and thoroughly enjoyable expedition. Trooper Dominic Kirby, C & S (Westminster Dragoons) Squadron
256 (CITY OF LONDON) FIELD HOSPITAL
Medics pass out as Officers from Sandhurst Eight medical Reservists from 256 Field Hospital passed out of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in November following a four-week intensive Officer training course. The medics had attended a Commissioning Course for Professionally Qualified Officers specifically designed for doctors, dentists, pharmacists, nurses and lawyers. The course, which is accredited by various academic and professional institution, develops leadership and professional competencies to the level demanded of an Army Officer. Whilst the focus of the course is on command and leadership, participants also spent time learning about global security, aspects of leadership psychology and the history of warfare. The tactical exercises included a week on the ranges firing the Army’s latest weapons systems, learning how to use digital communication equipment and the physical challenge of core survival skills. The final exercise saw the participants operating in a contemporary environment with peace support operations, war fighting, negotiation and media operations. Lieutenant Colonel Marie Richter, the Regiment’s Second in Command, said, “I could not have been more proud of the officers than watching them passing out from the Military Academy, which is something many aspire to but only the best achieve. They now have two careers, and their Reservist one is off to an excellent start. What an experience; they now have the best leadership training to take back to their NHS jobs and apply to their everyday lives.”
ARMY MEDICAL SERVICES RESERVE RECRUITING NOW If you’re searching for something extra from life, and would relish the chance to have a rewarding experience outside of normal working hours, you’ll find it all in the Army Medical Services Reserve (AMS Reserve). We offer the best of both worlds to people who want to experience Army life but are unable to make a full-time commitment. If you’re a doctor, nurse, allied health professional or health care assistant, and you can spare as little as 19 days a year, then the AMS Reserve could offer you the training, excitement, financial incentives and challenges that you simply cannot experience elsewhere. T: 0121 6336450 E: ARTD-RG-ProfQualRecruitingTeam@mod.uk
Search Army Medical Services Reserve
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
150 years of Training Reservists In August, members of 256 Field Hospital and honoured guests attended a ceremony at Braganza Street Army Reserve Centre in Southwark to celebrate 150 years of continuous use of the site by Volunteers, Territorials and Reservists. The Army Reserve Centre is now the Regimental Headquarters of 256 Field Hospital, who have been resident there since 1995. However, the Reserve Centre and Drill Hall in Braganza Street (at one time called New Street) has a long and illustrious history in the training of Reservists, going back to 1865.
On parade were members of the Regiment from all four of its detachments (Kennington, Kensington, Kingston and Brighton). They were joined by Her Worshipful the Mayor of Southwark, Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle; Brigadier Peter Gilbert, Deputy Director General Army Medical Services and members of the Regiment’s three affiliated Livery Companies – The Worshipful Companies of Apothecaries, Barbers and Cutlers. Councillor Dixon-Fyle said “It gives me great pleasure to be here today to commemorate 20 years of 256 Field Hospital in Braganza Street and 150 years of there being Reservist training at this location. I would like to thank all members of the Regiment, past and present, for their impeccable service. We are very proud to have your Regimental Headquarters in the Borough.” On the same occasion, Warrant Officer Class 1 (WO1) Alan Marriott, who works for the MOD as a storeman and also serves with 256 Field Hospital, was awarded a Commendation from the Chief of the General Staff for his outstanding service to the British Army. He received the award from Brigadier Gilbert.
The citation read, “WO1 Marriott is a vastly experienced and highly competent soldier who has added and continues to bring untold value to the Army Medical Services. He has contributed to the careers of hundreds of troops, provided excellent medical care, supported his commanders at all levels and represents his profession with total commitment. He is the man of choice when a safe pair of hands is required and is equally at home engaging with Generals as with recruits...” Alan said “I’m very honoured to receive this special award. I’ve always strived to be an asset and not a hindrance and to do everything to the best of my ability. I am also lucky to have worked alongside some great people.”
3 MILITARY INTELLIGENCE BATTALION
Exercise COCKNEY SKADI 2015 Across London, for one week, desks were abandoned in the offices of major accountancies, consultancies, law firms, Whitehall departments, police stations, universities, hospitals and media businesses as their normal incumbents, who also serve with 3 MI Battalion, headed to the slopes of Val Thorens for a week of Adventurous Training. 84 personnel deployed on Exercise COCKNEY SKADI under the Ski Foundation Joint Services Ski Scheme. With the aim to ‘develop individual courage and leadership skills through controlled exposure to risk’, every participant was tested in some way, through attempting SF1, 2 or 3 qualifications or ‘Continuation Training’. The programme was physically and mentally engaging; with a balance of time on pisted slopes, off-piste, ski-trekking and avalanche transceiver drills, alongside evening lectures ranging from avalanche awareness to meteorology. For many, this was their first time skiing and for others, this was their first experience of Army Adventurous Training. With a professional and deeply instilled focus on Operational Support within the Battalion, the Exercise was a reminder for some and an education for others, of an important aspect of the Army that doesn’t exist in the civilian world. The Exercise was a great success and marked one of the highlights of 2015. Captain Martin Kent, 33 MI Company Training Officer, 3 MI Battalion
LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
Army Reserves showcase the Webb Ellis Cup On Monday 7 September, the famous Webb Ellis Cup – The International Rugby World Cup Trophy – was on show at the Army Reserve Centre in West Ham, home to G Company 7RIFLES. The Cup had been showcased to audiences around the world as part of the build-up to the Rugby World Cup 2015 before starting a 100 day tour of the UK and Ireland on 10 June, to mark the final countdown to the tournament. It was on show at the Army Reserve Centre for two hours, having been at West Ham Football Club and before moving on to the Olympic Stadium. The event was attended by over 100 soldiers and their families, giving them all a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have their picture taken with such a cherished trophy.
images from all who are Read the posts and see the shared insight into the life of part of Walter’s life, giving a unique the First World War. a soldier during the early years of
in real time on Walter’s story has already appeared comments, Facebook, Twitter and his Blog. It includes cuttings shared just photographs, maps and newspaper as they would be 100 years later. around the world followers of thousands join can you Now and read it all in this compelling book.
Back in Battersea, Ma continues to struggle with the rising cost of living, while Pa has joined the Volunteer Training Corps, guarding railway bridges
PART ONE: MARCH 1914 - JUNE 1915
is on Facebook and Like so many teenagers, Walter Carter is 1914, a few months Twitter. He also writes a blog. But this conflict the world has before the outbreak of the greatest ever seen. the devastating Aged just 19, Walter is about to share his friends, his fellow changes in his life with his family, social media. soldiers and the world. All through his job as a porter at You can follow Walter as he leaves with his Territorial Force Clapham Junction Station to train of the front line. battalion before leaving for the horrors the girlfriend he What impact will all this have on Lily, whilst working as a loves? Will his sister Rose survive How does his nurse on the ambulance trains in France? Front while his brother Home the on life with cope mother of his eldest brother refuses to sign up? And what news one of the first to arrive Charlie, a regular soldier who was
WW1 SOLDIER’S TALE
in case of an attack on Britain. Walt’s girlfriend, Lily, has seen Since war broke out a year and a half her friend Mabel leave to work at the new munitions factory in ago, Walter and 1/23rd Battalion The Woolwich and is trying to summon the courage to take on war London Regiment have completed work herself. Meanwhile, the refugee crisis has left crowds of long months of wartime training, Europeans without a home, the Balkan countries are falling fast taken their place in the front line to Austria-Hungary, the Indian infantry has been relocated from and participated in the Battle of France to the warmer climes of Mesopotamia, soldiers have Loos. During the battle, Walter, by learned to rub their feet with whale oil to stave off trench foot then a Corporal, was badly injured and the Derby Scheme hasn’t brought in enough recruits to by shrapnel. He has spent time prevent conscription… recuperating back in ‘Blighty’ and has now taken up a Sergeant’s post, training officers in Berkhamsted, where he will More than 17,000 people from across the world are stay until he has regained enough strength to return now avidly following the story of Walter Carter, to the Western Front. Walter’s sister, nurse Rose, a Territorial Force soldier from Battersea, on WW1 SOLDIER’S TALE having worked on the hospital trains going to and WW1 SOLDIER’S TALE Facebook. Told through social media as well as a from Boulogne and as part of a Field Ambulance blog, the events of the First World War are brought near the line, has finally been allowed some leave. to life through a cast of characters, who report on Whilst at home she has the opportunity to rekindle daily life 100 years ago, in real-time. her friendship with Jamie, an amputee soldier receiving treatment at the Roehampton ‘Human You can now read the first 15 months of the story in Repair Factory’. book form – Part 1 is now available to buy on Amazon.
PART ONE MARCH 1914 - JUNE 1915
Including comments, newspaper clippings, images and more, it gives a unique insight into the life of a soldier during the early years of the First World War.
To follow the story of Walter, his friends and family, visit: facebook.com/WW1SoldiersTale twitter.com/WW1SoldiersTale WW1SoldiersTale.co.uk/blog If you would like to support the project, or would like more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01235 831006
Search for WW1 Soldier’s Tale on Amazon for paperback and Kindle editions. Don’t forget to leave us a review! LONDON BRIDGE WINTER 2015/16
105 Mile Scotland Coast to Coast What started off as a personal challenge to achieve – and a perfect excuse to visit the Highlands of Scotland – turned into a fundraising challenge I could never have imagined when I signed up to the Scotland Coast to Coast on a cold January morning in 2015. The C2C involves 105 miles of running, cycling and kayaking across Scotland from Nairn on the North Sea Coast, crossing the Highlands and ending up in Glencoe on the edge of the Atlantic sea, all in
the space of a 12 hour time limit! The September day started with a perfect sun rise as we departed the North Sea coast for the first 12 mile run. However Scotland didn’t disappoint and soon the wind and rain set in. By the afternoon and into the final 15 mile run on the West Highland Way, the weather had really closed in. I made it to the finish line just in time for the cut off at 11 hours 37 mins. A fantastic way to see the Highlands, but next time I think I’ll just cross it by car...
Thank you to the many individuals who were kind enough to donate. Also, thank you to my Reserve Unit, 600 (City of London) Squadron, for whom I helped raise the money as part of their 90th Anniversary celebrations. My fundraising target of £600 was nearly doubled and now stands at £1,130.38! Niall Ahern, Regional Employer Engagement Director for Greater London
If you would like to donate please go to: www.justgiving.com/600-SQN-Nialls-Coast-to-Coast-2015
ALTERNATIVE VENUES IS A NON-PROFIT PART OF GL RFCA, RESPONSIBLE FOR THE HIRING OF THE RFCA’S BUILDINGS MEETING ROOMS TEAM BUILDING WORKSHOPS EXHIBITIONS SPORT EVENTS DANCE EVENTS EXAMINATION HALLS CLASSROOMS OUTDOOR TRAINING INDOOR TRAINING COMMUNITY GROUPS
HOSPITALITY BANQUETING KITCHENS NURSERIES FILMING REHEARSALS WINE TASTING INDOOR FAIRS PARKING STORAGE PHONE MASTS
London Bridge Winter 2015/16