Craftsman Magazine - February 2022

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Magazine of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

February 2022

The importance of Professional Registration in the Armed Forces By incoming IET President, Air Marshal Sir Julian Young KBE CB FREng CEng FIET Professional Registration is increasingly important in the Armed Forces and plays a significant part in creating a competent and skilled work force across the UK. Qualifications and associated Continued Professional Development should help bridge the gap between military and civilian trades. Although simply being registered doesn’t guarantee ex-military engineers a job, it could level the playing field and get someone an interview. After a 40-year career in the Royal Air Force (RAF), I’ve always supported people developing themselves further through additional qualifications. The route often is through distance learning, which is hard work in a busy job. However, when you’re dipping into academia and then back into the workplace, the first time you answer a question or write an essay, you are better in your role because you are instantly applying that new knowledge and thinking. I led the team with the MOD and HM Treasury that helped the roll out of the Defence Engineer Registration Scheme (DERS) across different branches within the Armed Forces; the scheme demonstrates clear value in people. The streamlined application process is excellent, and the Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) that step forward and take on the work to translate military skills and experience into qualifications will benefit greatly from doing so. I’m proud to be a member of the IET, because when I started campaigning on professionalisation within the RAF some 15 years ago, it was the first PEI to offer a streamlined route to Chartered Engineer (CEng). The IET for me was the RAF’s PEI of choice. Anything that can help streamline both the route of people into a PEI and the payment of fees is a positive. As well as the DERS agreements, the IET is working hard to implement Central Payment Schemes in the Armed Forces. Having been successful with the RAF, with over 1,000 members Professionally Registered, we should be looking to roll Central Payment Schemes out for the other Services as widely as we can, including more companies in industry that already have had a lot of success with it. The IET welcomes engineers and technicians from all backgrounds; if you care about engineering in any or multiple sectors, the IET can be your professional home and has a unique position to fill. We need to be engaging with seniors and Fellows in all engineering organisations to promote the value in their people being Professionally Registered. I’m looking forward to my term as IET President (2021-2022) and follow in the successful steps of all past Presidents. My specific area of focus will be to champion technicians and seek to facilitate the continued growth in their membership. I believe the majority of the ‘missing 3 million’ mentioned in Professor Uff ’s 2017 review of our engineering profession are technicians. We need to understand better what technicians are, what it means to be a technician and then offer them more through membership of the IET.

Find out more about becoming professionally registered by attending our latest webinar: What you will learn: – Benefits of membership and professional registration – Professional registration categories and application process – Our guidance and support

Register here: The Institution of Engineering and Technology is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No. 211014) and Scotland (No. SC038698). The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AY, United Kingdom.

Eat, sleep, engineer, repeat Julian’s President’s Address will be broadcast live on 14 October 2021 at 1pm BST

Sign up to watch at:

Corps Formation: 1 October 1942 Corps Motto: Arte et Marte Corps Patron Saint: St Eligius (Celebrated 1st Sunday in December)


Contents Volume 78 No. 2

FEATURES A year with The Royal Lancers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Editor: SSgt Andy Chammings + Corporate Communications Officer RHQ REME, The Prince Philip Barracks, Lyneham, CHIPPENHAM, SN15 4XX  (preferred method)  (for changes of address) ( Mil: 95481 4529 Civ: 01249 894529

Unit Life: 5 RIFLES LAD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 REME Veterans Recognised . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 COVID Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Remembrance rescued: 146 Div Sp Coy (102 FS Bn REME) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 UK REME Locations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 St Eligius Day: RTR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 Sporting Fixtures Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 REME Squash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 REME Clay Target Shooting . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 Overseas Sport: BATUS Lions FC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 REME Association: Widnes Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36

REGULARS Guest Editorial: Colonel Tim Gillies MBE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 From the Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 Screwjack Letter No 25 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Corps Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42 Corps Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

SUBMITTING ARTICLES TEXT: should be submitted in MS Word and name saved as per the article. No formatting, columns, power point etc. Articles to be cleared by CO/OC/EME or appropriate REME CoC, or nominated substitute and should be submitted as soon as possible. PHOTOGRAPHS: MUST be submitted separately, in jpeg format and be at least 500kb preferably 1mb or more. Only photos over 3mb can be considered for the front/back covers and please remember captions. FILESHARE: websites, such as dropbox are ideal for submitting larger files. EMAIL: The ONLY email address which should be used is: Not MODnet. Please use the article title not ‘Craftsman Article’ as the email title. TIMINGS: The latest submission date is the first day of the month prior to publication. This does not guarantee the article will be published in that specific edition. Births, Engagements, Marriages and Deaths: These will be inserted free to all past and present members of the Corps. Contents: The contents of The Craftsman are strictly copyright and all rights are expressly reserved. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy and views, official or otherwise, of the Editor, the Corps or the MOD, therefore no responsibility for these will be accepted. Whilst including an advertisement we are not necessarily endorsing the product and as a result, the publisher and its agents do not accept responsibility for any transaction between the reader and the advertiser. Whilst we take all precautions with regard to advertising, readers are advised to take professional advice before entering into any commitments. Letters concerning reproduction, contributions or any other matter should be addressed to the Editor. © Published by RHQ REME. Funded by The REME Charity. Advertising All communications regarding commercial advertising rates should be made direct to the Editor. Sustainably produced on paper sourced from responsible sources using vegetable based inks. Jamprint Design & Printing Ltd 01249 823 950

Front Cover: The Royal Lancers Battlegroup on Ex SOMME LANCER, full article on page 8.

© Crown Copyright General Handling: This publication contains official information and should be treated with discretion.

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Guest Editorial

Colonel Tim Gillies MBE, Chief Aircraft Engineer (Army) – REME Aviation in 2022


s the Chief Aircraft Engineer (Army,) I firmly believe that 2022 promises to be an exciting and rewarding year for the Corps in many ways. My top priority remains the ongoing programme of modernisation for REME aviation. The foundations of which come from higher level direction such as the Army’s CASTLE programme, the REME Corps Strategy and Skills Review, as well as wider work, such as the 22 Group RAF led Next Generation Technical Training programme. Within Army Headquarters significant change has happened and continues with the refresh of the Army’s operating model. The Initial Operating Capability was

Colonel Tim Gillies MBE

The latest team of new REME Aircraft Engineering Officer’s after passing their Viva Voce in Yeovilton (Photo: Maj Mike Lavelle, REME


declared in September 2021 and Full Operating Capability is due for April 2022. This has seen the CAE(A) team move from what was the Capability Directorate to the newly formed Programmes Directorate as part of the Combat Aviation Programmes team. CAE(A) retains the role as an Army Service Advisor, the Training Requirements Authority for REME aviation, an Army Competent Advisor and Inspectorate for Army aviation engineering and the Chief Air Engineer to the Senior Duty Holder, CGS. In addition, CAE(A) oversees Aircraft Branch, a team of dedicated Civil Servants who manage the ranging and scaling of aviation tooling and specialist equipment. With an Assistant Head role in the Combat Aviation Programmes team, CAE(A) leads on combat aviation infrastructure, training and simulation. With the Integrated Review complete, the conditions are set for Army aviation structural approval in Feb 22, under the governance of the Army’s Future Soldier programme. This will consolidate 2-years of Project COLINDALE 1a work to review the 1st Aviation Brigade’s Combat Service Support structures based on the Integrated Operating Concept. With 1AvnX now established as one of two Very High Readiness Brigades, this is a significant step forward for Army aviation. COLINDALE 1a has been especially challenging when considered against the backdrop of an Army reducing in size and the drive to bolster forward aviation units. This is whilst retaining and, in some cases, regaining the niche specialist skills required for the operating and operational environments. The new structures set the right conditions and I anticipate that we will quickly move into subsequent liability work, especially as Defence and Army considers the support options for the New Medium Helicopter which will have Army aviation equity. TITUS, the CAE(A) led and Head of Personnel Strategy championed project to address the issues resulting in REME

aviation high rates of voluntary outflow, continues to move at pace whilst making notable gains. The project has three strands: Professionalisation; Recognition; Training and Career progression. This edition of the Craftsman contains an article on Project TITUS. Focusing on platforms, the Apache E-Model gained its formal Release to Service at the back end of last year. The aircraft sits at the tip of the spear in the delivery of modern Army capabilities. Of interest, the E-Model provides an impressive suite of engineering data. This places REME aviation another step forward on the journey towards conditions-based maintenance. With the REME Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisations driving platform Technical Data Exploitation, work continues to improve the management of maintenance data at unit level, including the convergence of management information systems. This work dovetails with the Army’s Programme THEIA, ‘Building an Asymmetric Army for the Digital Age’. Looking ahead, it is anticipated that the Army will release its long-term strategy for aviation synthetic training. Considering the global environmental challenges, and with technology marching on, this can only drive the requirement for higher levels of synthetic training, for both aircrew and Engineers. It is my view that for those at the start of their careers, the use of synthetic technologies will feature as a generational shift, as seen through the use of computers and cloud-based technology, which we all take for granted today, but not so when my generation joined the Army. With the Integrated Review complete and the implementation phase now beginning, I firmly believe that 2022 promises to be an exciting year as we move into the era of Future Soldier. Arte et Marte CAE(A)

The first AH-64E conducts flight trials prior to UK delivery (Photo: Boeing UK) Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 5

Engineering Excellence

Project TITUS, a year in review Scribe: Major Mike Lavelle REME


s an Army Headquarters-led project, Project TITUS addresses the systemic issues faced by REME to get our aviation workforce on a sustainable, enduring footing towards future success. A year into the initiative, Maj Mike Lavelle, SO2 for the Chief Aircraft Engineer (Army) (CAE(A)), highlights some of the successes and lessons learned so far. The Field Force response to the May 2020 REME Aviation Survey couldn’t have been clearer. Something major needed to be done to address the challenges of retaining talented Aviation Technicians. For more than ten years, the cohort has suffered from low strength and high tempo; putting significant work and lifestyle pressures on those we need to keep the most. This enduring and acute situation is recognised by Army Headquarters and forms the requirement for Project TITUS. The REME conduct ES on highly complex aircraft, in a controlled regulatory environment, delivered by specialist Technicians. A major factor in generating capability lies within how we employ our people, retain talent and nurture skills. Project TITUS concentrates on three main work themes; ‘Professionalisation,’ ‘Recognition’ and ‘Training and Career progression.’ The activity driving these themes will enable Avn Technicians to work to recognised civilian standards, whilst being appropriately paid, and receiving modern training and continuous personal development throughout their careers. In a little under a year, the CAE(A) team has looked to address those quick wins that sat at the top of Technicians’ agendas. Project TITUS has introduced flexibility into assignment policies, increased the number of opportunities for Artificer’s by creating the ‘Artificer Aviation’ CEG and introduced a scheme to enable Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Aircraft Maintenance Licences, through career for all

AH Force Technicians maintain AH-64 Mk1 whilst on Ex PINION OMAN (Photo: Airtrooper Davila)

1 AAC Wksp Technicians on Ex PINION OMAN (Photo: Capt Si Longworth, AAC)


our Technicians, to name but a few. Alongside the quick wins, the team has sought to address the issues that undermine retention; reducing training pipelines, broadening interesting assignments and improving access to through-career learning. With the REME Avn Training Review the CAE(A) team has challenged the existing system to enable progressive accreditation, timely training and reduce training repetition. The REME Aircraft Maintenance Licencing scheme drew far more interest than expected, initially

having 100 applicants during the preliminary cohort and now enabling 315+ Technicians’ access to Army funded elearning and CAA Pt66 B Licence examinations. Passing these modules provides Technicians with externally recognised, professional qualifications that can be enhanced across at least ten years of their careers, and which, underpin a future career in Aviation following the Army. In the Autumn, around 280 Aviation Technicians completed the 2021 REME Aviation Survey, laying out their ideas and issues which will help inform the future direction of Project TITUS. Independent analysis of the survey is underway to provide statistical evidence to best focus our resources and the team’s activity. Initial feedback appears to highlight the positive affect of Project TITUS, particularly in the area of improved communications; with plenty still more to be done. During the second year of the project, the CAE(A) and Army HQ will be re-evaluating the systemic factors that drive specialist retention. This will mean working with Army wide programmes such as CASTLE to inform how we support our people to succeed long-term and regain organisational size and shape to deliver future battle winning capability.

REME Aviation Training Review

Cfn Gurung, Limbu Sene and Reilly under instruction at Cotswold Airport (Photo: Emma Dunleavy-Harris, Resource Group.)

– WO2 (AQMS) Graham McConaghy This year, the CAE(A)’s team conducted the REME Avn Trg review to better understand the timing and content of technical career courses under the REME Avn TRA remit. It highlighted areas where we repeated training or taught it too early in a Technicians’ career to be useful. Over the next year, the review will create changes to training that will mean less time away from home and closer alignment to European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) standards, as well as a shorter, combined Artificer course and options for Artisan development. The Project TITUS team have also been driving an innovative training trial which sees 12 REME Aircraft Technicians undergo a civilian CAA A-Licence training course. The trial emulates the training methods of Airbus, BAE Systems and Easyjet, to provide training against civil regulations, rather than through our current military specific course. This will help inform future training and, in particular, influence the Next Generation Technical Training Review.

659 Sqn LAD conducting a crew hot-debrief whilst on Ex PINION OMAN (Photo: Capt Si Longworth, AAC)

REME Aircraft Technicians commenced a 12-month training trial to become CAA licenced Certifying Maintenance Mechanics. (Photo: Emma Dunleavy-Harris, Resource Group.)

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A year in the life

A year with The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own) EME - Captain Chris Eastman. EMELt - Lt Andy Rodgers. ASM - WO1(ASM) James Reid. AQMS - WO2(AQMS) Ben Watkin

Introduction: Captain CD Eastman, EME


he Royal Lancers LAD has continued to seize opportunities, integrating in and out of primary role. Consistently delivering effect and as REME, enhancing Corps reputation on multiple highly successful deployments around the world. Post Op RESCRIPT, the focus has been on multiple overseas deployments in 2021. Initially as the EME deploying in role as the BGLO within BGHQ to Fort Hood, Texas for Exercise WARFIGHTER 21.4 (WFX 21.4) as the 3rd (UK) Divisional Reconnaissance Battle Group (DRBG). The exercise was the largest of its kind, and from a G4 perspective tested sustainment conceptually, identifying some of the challenges supporting the DRBG with stretched Ground Lines of Communication. This was an excellent opportunity during which the DRBG displayed their excellent capacity in role. All while WO1 (ASM) Paul Smith and the team held the fort back in the UK supporting the equipment within an Armoured Cavalry Regiment (ACR). The LAD continues to support A Sqn Short Term Training Teams (STTTs), deploying personnel to Ukraine to train and develop the country’s Armed Forces; which has been a great opportunity for multiple personnel. We have enhanced our dismounted competency with a Battle Craft Syllabus (BCS) exercise on Catterick Training Area, in a heat wave, which was fortunate for most. The LAD of course has remained focussed on ES effect towards supporting training on multiple CVR(T) exercises and ranges prior to deployment on Ex SOMME LANCER, a RL BG led TL(F) event in Northern Germany. This was a resounding success from all aspects, generating 98% availability on 71 CVR(T) platforms prior to departing the UK. Once deployed, the RL BG LAD managed to ensure 68 of those 71 tracked

vehicles completed a 140km road move. This culminated in challenging field training and live fire training serials all supported excellently by 6 Battalion REME which has been a real positive with their forward leaning and highly positive approach to supporting 1X LAD’s. We have continued to engrain EC culture within the Regt’l context with an enhanced and improved marginal gains approach including an enhanced Level 1(+) mentoring approach, improving user competency. There are challenges with so many focuses towards multiple excellent opportunities; but we have some very talented people to continue this drive. In November, REME personnel deployed with A Sqn to the Belizean jungle, dismounted and as ES. The Regiment now assumes responsibility as the United Kingdom Standby Battalion (North) over Christmas and through Q1 2022, ready to support the Government at very short notice. On the horizon, multiple varied opportunities remain, while maintaining @R5 readiness on CVR(T) and supporting D Sqn re-rolling to Jackal as they prepare to deploy on Op CABRIT (P) in Oct 2022. The Regiment continues their support to Op ELGIN, deploying to the Balkans on a Regt’l Sqn rotation, providing yet another fantastic opportunity for REME SP when selected to deploy and enhance their experience. I continue to be amazed at the talent the REME offers. From some exceptional Artificers and SNCO’s through to the most recent additions to the team. The REME still continue to put technically talented, industrious and tenacious soldiers into the Field Army. We all have our opinions of what a REME Soldier should be; but evidence would suggest that right here the integrated REME Soldier within an ACR in the DRBG role; when given the opportunity continues to shine in all areas regardless of the challenge and consistently

Op ORBITAL (Ukraine) SNCO Leadership Development Course


performs at an extremely high level. In summary, while Ex WFX 21.4 conceptually practised the challenges of ES 50-100km in front of the Forward Line of Troops; the opportunities on a BG TL(F) deployment at trade physically displayed those challenges to an extent identifying the realistic challenges of supporting equipment over vast areas and at reach. Outside of primary role, dismounted training opportunities in the Belizean Jungle continues to enhance integration of Fitter Section personnel with further opportunities to display instructor ability in Ukraine and work with foreign forces which now can be utilised as we ready for Op CABRIT(P) with Jackal.

First year at The Royal Lancers LAD: LCpl M Pether (Electronics Technician) My time at The Royal Lancers has been pretty amazing so far; filled with loads of unexpected opportunities and experiences. Arriving upon the completion of my initial trade training, I was very apprehensive however after my first week I felt welcomed and knew I had made the right decision. The Royal Lancers (Queen Elizabeths’ Own) are an Armoured Cavalry Regiment based at Cambrai Barracks, Catterick Garrison, part of the 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade (for now). They specialise in armoured reconnaissance, providing vital information from the battlefield to higher headquarters. They are famous for their iconic motto, which I personally think is the best in the Army, ‘Death or Glory’ with Cfn Crocker conducting a lesson on personal administration in the field a Skull and Cross Bones is without debate pretty cool. I am sure nearly all would agree, remembering our primary role as the Regiment on Ex SOMME LANCER on a Battlegroup deployment. soldiers first. I had always wanted to be attached to an Armoured During the initial phase my main role was as a CVR(T) driver for C Cavalry Regiment and was overjoyed to see The Royal Lancers as an Squadron Fitter Section. This was my first major deployment and the option for my initial assignment. I was not only excited to work on first time in the role as a CVR(T) driver. Although I was honestly vehicles such as the CVR(T) Scimitar but also to be a part of a busy initially extremely nervous; I was excited to get out and put my Regiment with plenty of PT and opportunities for myself as REME to training and experience to the test, driving on the German public get involved outside of trade. roads and across challenging terrain. After the Field Training Exercise, So far, my experience has been better than I could have imagined. I conducted dismounted ranges, going through ACMT, IBSR and LFTT From the beginning I’ve been able to get stuck in with the LAD and in preparation to deploy with A Sqn as a dismount to the Belizean integrate into the wider Regiment. Within the first few months I had jungle. represented The Royal Lancers in orienteering at the 1st Armoured Reflecting on the year, I can wholeheartedly say that I have Infantry Brigade Orienteering competition and as part of the reserve thoroughly enjoyed my time as part of The Royal Lancers LAD. I’ve team for the BAWF (British Army Warrior Fitness) within 3 (UK) made many friends and learnt so much towards my own trade; whilst Division; winning both as a team. I was also able to achieve my also developing my soldiering ability and knowledge in other trades. Category H (Tracked) licence, expanding my competence and Having been lucky enough to deploy to both dismounted as a versatility within the Regiment. soldier in the Belizean jungle and in role as an Electronics Technician During September 2021 I deployed to Sennelager, Germany with in Germany in 2021; I am excited and looking forward to seeing what new opportunities present themselves in 2022.

Op ORBITAL: SSgt S Neary (IC D Sqn Ftrs)

Cpl Gledhill delivers a set of orders to his Section

In May this year I deployed to the Ukraine on Op ORBITAL heading up a SNCO Leadership & Development Course alongside 38 other members of A Sqn The Royal Lancers, Scots Guards, Grenadier Guards and The Danish Royal Life Guards. We were tasked with covering multiple topics which included basic infantry skills, recce, med, CEO, range packages and others. Amongst the instructors Cfn Crocker and LCpl Lang from the LAD were also selected to teach the Basic Infantry Course (BIC) with British and Danish guards, no pressure! Arriving in a warm Kyiv in Ukraine, we conducted a period of isolation prior to heading off on an 11hr drive to our training base by the Sea of Azov between the Russian border and Crimea. A drive that would take only 6hrs in the UK was nearly doubled due to the undulating nature of the Ukrainian road network (think mortar holes rather than potholes). For the four weeks that followed we hit the ground running, teaching the Ukrainian Army’s 56th Motorized Brigade everything from basic field admin and hygiene to urban ops and trench warfare, plus everything in-between. Our hosts were a mixture of GCC cap badges and experience levels. However, all were very open to learning new skills with many getting stuck in at every opportunity.

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It quickly became apparent that whilst many of the course participants had varying abilities, the SNCO course was full of operationally experienced and tactically good soldiers which could be daunting, with most having seen action in the initial stages of the Russo-Ukrainian war. This illustrated that whilst we were teaching them, they were also learning from each other, with their experiences being an excellent source of knowledge for the team to draw from. On the Basic Infantry Course, LCpl Lang and Cfn Crocker both more than held their own, often teaching upwards of 40 Students while dealing with the added complexity of using an Interpreter to bridge the communication divide. This was an excellent achievement for two young tradesmen and only enhanced the LADs reputation. In the six weeks I spent in the Ukraine, I met some exceptional soldiers from multiple nations including Danish and Ukrainian; which helped make it an experience that I will likely remember for a long while.

1 Section conducting a command task

Ex ROWCROFT REVIVAL: Scribe LCpl Cook (VM) The Royal Lancers LAD deployed onto Catterick Training Area (CTA) during July to conduct Ex ROWCROFT REVIVAL (Ex RR). The aim of the deployment was to develop our basic soldiering skills which is a key skill for all REME soldiers. Ex RR began with a 4-mile insertion TAB onto the training area followed by the occupation of a previously chosen harbour location. This was the first test for the JNCOs as it required them to take control of their Sections in a tactical situation, whilst under some physical exertion. The following two days were packed with a round robin of stands which were organised by department heads to specifically focus on different aspects of Battlecraft Syllabus. Each stand would consist of a scenario based around a training objective in which each soldier plays a vital part in ensuring mission success. Some of the training objectives achieved included: camouflage and concealment, the 7 S’, target indication, fire control orders, casualty evacuation and the 6 Section Battle Drills. All of the stands gave each soldier the opportunity to remind and revise their infantry skills and drills and more importantly gave the chance for aspiring JNCOs to step up and lead their Section, helping improve their command and control, leadership and confidence; all essential attributes for junior leaders within the Corps. As well as covering elements of the Battlecraft Syllabus, the Artificers within the LAD set up command tasks. These comprised of small tasks given to each of the Sections which had to be completed

A casualty extraction following the final attack in a predetermined period of time. To make the tasks harder, the DS would on occasions set a rule that the Section Commanders were unable to speak. This encouraged everyone in the group to voice their ideas and was great for enhancing team cohesion within the Section. The command tasks also provided a good insight into an area which is assessed on the Potential Assessment Board (PAB). On a more personal note, having not long arrived at The Royal Lancers, I found the exercise was a great way to get to know the personalities within the LAD and it helped me quickly develop a bond with my peers. It also gave me the chance to develop as a JNCO and encouraged me to take a greater commanding role both in and out of the field. The camaraderie brought through this

The Royal Lancers Battlegroup complete following a 70km road move


6 Bn REME working into the night, conducting repairs on 2 CVR(T) deployment was fantastic and I would look forward to doing a similar exercise next year.


conducting simultaneous offensive actions following a hasty withdrawal back to STA. The Squadron Fitter Sections all the way back to 6 Bn REME, provided level-3 repair and proved their utter competence built through enhanced relationships prior to deploying; then of course our tradespeople worked around the clock to ensure the Battlegroup remained at the highest possible vehicle availability. Throughout the FTX, availability of the CVR(T) fleet did not drop below 74%; impressive considering the challenges of the deployment and age of the CVR(T) fleet. The Live Fire Exercise (LFX) which followed the FTX comprised of a mixture of mounted and dismounted ranges and culminated with a combined arms operational shoot. The combined arms operational shoot was an impressive spectacle, integrating both mounted and dismounted elements of the Battlegroup with air support from Luftwaffe Tornados. The LFX would also see the Regiment achieve a 100% first time pass on the Annual Crew Test (ACT). From an ES perspective, the challenges during the LFX, and throughout the deployment was primarily ES Mat. The prioritisation of resources became key to ensuring maximum availability which was achieved amongst the Scimitar fleet to maintain Combat Effectiveness. On completion of the LFX, there was period of HOTO and an excellent mess function followed by recovery back to the UK. Exercise SOMME LANCER well and truly marked a return to business as usual for the Regiment. Like with all exercises of this kind, the REME continues to prove its worth, time and time again; maintaining an availability above what was expected prior to deploying. Without this, the ambitious training package that the Regiment conducted throughout their month in Germany would certainly not have been possible.

On return from summer leave, The Royal Lancers LAD began the preparation for and subsequent deployment on a BG TL(F) Exercise SOMME LANCER; a Regt’l deployment on a scale not seen since the Regiment’s amalgamation in 2015; A, C, D and HQ Squadrons along with elements from 4th & 5th Regiments Royal Artillery, 21 Regiment Royal Engineers, 6 Armoured (Close Support) Battalion REME, 1 Regiment RLC and 5 Medical Regiment all centred on Sennelager, Germany to conduct and support both a field training and live fire exercise. Building on the months of hard work completed in the UK, upon arrival in Sennelager the Battlegroup began the takeover of an additional 100 platforms approximately from the Land Training Fleet Sennelager (LTFS). This included MAN(SV) variants, Panther and Land Rover, while the Regiment’s own CVR(T) fleet was taken across from the UK; post completion of full Final Drive implementation. Concurrent with the takeover, the LAD was kept busy ensuring this aged fleet of CVR(T) was in the best possible start state prior to deploying onto the Field Training Exercise (FTX), building resilience with EC orientated focus prior to the deployment. This hard work culminated in a 98% availability start state which set the conditions to what went on to be an extremely successful BG deployment. Deployment day came around and in true fashion it wasn’t without its last-minute curve balls. A small handful of the CVR(T) tried their upmost to remain on the tank park and after some persuasion from our VMs and Techs, the Battlegroup deployed complete onto Sennelager Training Area (STA). This marked the start of the 10-day FTX. The initial two days of the FTX were spent on STA and were an opportunity for the Squadrons and attachments to conduct low-level training and continue their battle prep. This also acted as a warmup for the vehicles prior to the more onerous actions which lay ahead. As expected, when using a tired fleet after a period of inactivity there were plenty of teething issues, most commonly brake callipers and master cylinders. Leaving STA for pastures new, the Battlegroup ‘marched’ 70km North-East to an area of private land to the West of Hamelin. Much to the excitement of the local population, this involved over 60 CVR(T) navigating their way along public roads and through quaint German towns. The Recovery Mechanics proved indispensable throughout this action with both SV(R)s working non-stop and late into the evening sweeping the route for casualty vehicles. Following a period of rehabilitation, the Battlegroup spread out across the 5000sq km of private land, conducting reconnaissance activity typical to their role as the Divisional Reconnaissance Battlegroup CVR(T) Scimitar getting rounds down range during the LFX (DRBG). The FTX culminated in the Squadrons

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Unit Life

October in 5 RIFLES LAD OC LAD – Capt Andy Hardman


fter returning from a successful deployment on Op CABRIT 7 followed by Combat-Ready Training and some much-needed summer leave, 5 RIFLES have returned to normal in-barracks routine whilst being held at readiness for both Op TEMPERER UKSB and VAIB Battlegroup 2. Here is a brief look at what October had to offer for the LAD personnel.

Ex JOINT ENDEAVOUR – D Coy Class 1 Armr Scribe: LCpl Fell D Coy, 5 RIFLES deployed to Urzuf, Ukraine on Ex JOINT ENDEAVOUR in October 2021. We were deployed for 2 weeks and were joined by both the Ukraine Navy and the Swedish Marines. My toolbox and I accompanied D Coy as the sole REME tradesman and their Class 1 Armourer. We were housed in 5-star accommodation throughout (twelve-man tents) which felt slightly unprotected when we realised D Coy were the first British unit to be based so close to the Donbas – a ceasefire zone with hundreds of violations each day!

In the field repair by A Coy Fitter Section

While on exercise, D Coy were practicing live fire training with the Swedish and Ukrainian forces. Each day was a different scenario – on day two everyone assaulted a position where they believed enemy forces were held up. One night, 4 of us played enemy for a night serial where we each carried rifles and had a machine gun set up to test the Riflemen’s observational skills. This was all build-up for the final attack, which saw all three forces working together to push back the ‘advancing Russian troops’. This was my first deployment as a Class 1 Armourer which I really enjoyed due to the responsibility and independence I held. It was also great to see the Infantry and NATO forces in action from the enemy’s perspective. At the end of the training, we managed to squeeze in a trip to visit Chernobyl, the site of the 1986 nuclear reactor disaster. We explored abandoned buildings, visited the famous Ferris Wheel and stood just 100 meters away from the reactor that exploded over 35 years ago.

Ex DYNAMIC WARRIOR (Army Warfighting Experimentation) – A Coy Ftr Sect Scribe: LCpl Thomas

LCpl Brum (Rech Mech) excited to be called upon yet again


The future of Army training was tested on Salisbury Plain with A Coy, 5 RIFLES supporting from their WARRIORs. The Coy were testing cutting-edge products for the first-time, where industry partners were hoping to design kit that made training more effective. As with all exercises the success or failure depended on efficient ES provided in the field by their supporting Ftr Sect, led by Sgt Bri Hazelman. After weeks of grafting to prepare the WARRIOR fleet, it was finally time to deploy on a sunny Tuesday morning. The exercise began as all good deployments should - with half the convoy

wash-down and was blocking our path to comfy beds and warm scoff.

5 RIFLES LAD vs Combined Veterans FC Scribe: SSgt Durkin

The usual suspect on tow

turning right on the southern transit and the other half turning left. After some navigational embarrassment covered up by a reminder not to set patterns, headings were corrected and the Coy arrived at West Down Camp. The first half of the exercise was relatively slow pace, with the company busy studying ‘Gucci kit’ on show at the stands. Nevertheless, we still managed to find time for a cheeky recovery serial and pack lift to rectify a broken oil pipe. Unfortunately, the Coy’s hard work in rehearsals was slightly in vain as it was decided in the final hour that the WARRIORs would not be part of the demonstrations, banished for not being ‘the future of the Army’. The Ftr Sect used this time to correct niggling faults and give vital equipment care lessons to the vehicle crews, many of whom were new. The second half of the exercise however saw a turn of pace, starting with a Saturday morning Power Pack change and generator repair. This was followed by a week of daily recovery taskings by the heroic 513 crew, who were soon on first name terms with a certain callsign that seemed resistant to keeping their tracks on the road. Finally, everyone’s favourite word was called ‘EndEx’ and all vehicles trundled back to Bulford. Although there was still time for just one more recovery serial as another Coy’s wagon had broken down at the

We first heard about the prospect of playing against some military Veterans in early September, they were a newly formed team combined of ex-service personal across all ages. Their overall aim was to play against US Veterans on their home soil sometime in 2022. For them to achieve this goal they had to play local teams to have some build-up training. Fortunately for us their team Captain got in touch and we began formulating a plan for them to play against the LAD. This was an exciting opportunity for LCpl Pick to also prepare our team for the upcoming Craftsman’s Cup competition. Sadly, the night before the game the weather was not kind to us, rain had been relentless throughout, causing the designated pitch to become waterlogged. The Veterans FC team Captain made a last-minute change of venue and we moved to a 4G pitch. At around 1500hrs we kicked off! Immediately the game was off to a fast pace, we got caught cold and conceded not one, but two goals in the first five minutes. We became more vocal and organised and quickly pulled two goals back. The Veterans quickly became despondent and we had the advantage, we continued to score a couple more goals before half time, but they also pulled one back. We went into the break 4 – 3 up. The second half we started the better team, quickly scoring a fifth, but suddenly the Veterans turned up the heat, much like we did in the first half. They began to dominate possession, passing with precise accuracy which led to three goals in very quick succession. Some of our players were beginning to show signs of fatigue so LCpl Pick started to make some changes, resting certain players who put a good shift in. We became more organised and structured soon after, defensively we became a solid unit, nothing was able to get past us. Attacking-wise we became potent yet again, scoring three further goals in rapid succession. The final whistle

Cfn Bell refusing to go Airborne for the challenge

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was blown soon after, the game finished 8 – 6 to us. We shook hands with our hosts, exchanging pleasantries which included a suggestion to play each other again at the earliest opportunity. It was an honour to be invited to play these Veterans and we hoped it’s helped their team cohesion develop which will be needed for their upcoming fixtures.

Oktoberfest Social Cohesion Event Scribe: Cpl Clark As we headed towards the end of October, the LAD held its monthly social to aid LAD cohesion and esprit de corps. This month was the perfect opportunity to celebrate 5 RIFLES’ historic relationship with Paderborn (Germany) by donning our best lederhosen and dirndl to celebrate Oktoberfest. The monthly cohesion event is also an opportunity to welcome ‘the new’ and say farewell to ‘the old’. The evening consisted of several humorous leaving speeches, some interesting introductions from new members and a collection of games/quizzes to celebrate the traditional occasion. Cfn Fox led an excellent quiz based around the heritage of Oktoberfest, reminding everyone why the not-so-aptly named event usually begins in September. This was followed by the infamous Steinhold where each team selected their strongest player to face-off holding two 1L Steins full of water with extended arms. The game soon became mischievous as other team members began adding extra weight to the opposition’s glasses in a bid to win themselves. However, LCpl ‘Muscles’ Bailey was declared the rightful winner in the end. The final game was the well-known ‘nails’, where teams demonstrated their mastery of the claw hammer. Overall, the evening was a great success with good memories made and plenty of bratwurst/pretzels cooked – so much so that

Cpl Gurung dominating the centre of the park

there was enough to relight the BBQ the next day to help feed the tidying-up admin party.

Summary Overall a mixed month with plenty to offer all trades for their own development and extra-curricular activity to keep everyone entertained. We also conducted RFTs, competed in the Corps Badminton Competition and enabled Mortar Live Fire Cadres. Looking forward; the LAD will remain busy up to winter standdown, deploying to France on Ex GAULISH 21, supporting Ex COMBAT SPIRIT 3/21 on Salisbury Plain, hosting a number of external audit teams and finally delivering a combined Bulford Garrison St Eligius Day celebration for HCR, 1 MERCIAN, 4MI and 3 Sig Regt.

5 RIFLES LAD vs Combined Veterans FC


REME MTI SEMINAR 22/03/22-23/03/22 Why should I attend? MTI Seminar is for JNCOs selected for MTI posts at Recruit Training (RT) and Initial Trade Training (ITT) establishments.

What does the seminar aim to provide? The main aim of the seminar is to set the selected MTI up for success at their training establishment. Seminar dates 22/03/22 – 23/03/22 Duration – 2 working days.

Where to apply – APC Glasgow will nominate candidates post MTI board. Seminar Snr Instr- REME Arms School ALDP Instr Sgt M Stokes ( Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 15

Peoples Stories

REME Veterans Recognised Scribe: Andy Allen MBE (Colonel Retired) - Head of Land Domain MBDA


hat a night at the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards – especially when three REME Veterans win awards! On 2 December 2021, the fourth annual British ExForces in Business Awards took place in the InterContinental London – The O2’s spectacular Arora Ballroom, bringing together 1,000 business leaders for the world’s largest celebration of veterans in second careers. Host of the Awards, TV presenter Jacqui Oatley MBE, welcomed keynote addresses including Lt Gen Sir Andrew Gregory KBE CB DL, CEO SSAFA and Neil Watkinson, Deputy Director of the Office for Veterans Affairs. The Ex-Forces in Business Awards is the world’s largest celebration of ex-military in second careers – recognising the value veterans add to businesses as well as the employers that support the transition of servicemen and women. Founded in 2017 by Disruptive Media Group, and with annual events in London and Glasgow, the Ex-Forces in Business Awards is the flagship platform globally for providing that visibility by celebrating the achievements of veterans in the wider workforce and promoting the strong synergies between military values and business excellence. The awards highlight the military-gained skills and qualities that have helped enable their business achievements and recognises the organisations that have supported them. There are 20 impressive award categories. These exciting, high-profile awards ceremonies not Mark Smith (centre) receiving his Outstanding Achiever of the Year award on stage, only gather business leaders and veterans to honour with Nick Worrall (Barratt Developments) and presenter Jacqui Oatley MBE the winners, but also bring together top companies and other stakeholders to advance dialogue and share As a Panel Judge (and 2021 presenter of the Engineering in best practice around the benefits of ex-forces employment Excellence Award on the night), the quality of submissions from a initiatives, and ultimately promote the significant value that militaryrange of companies or organisations (large and small, profit and notgained skills can provide to the UK economy if better utilised across for-profit) gainfully employing ex-military is overwhelming. To be the workforce. truthful, each nomination is a worthy winner in their own right as its clear evidence of the value each individual is making to their organisation. And that’s why it was even more impressive when three REME Veterans won awards in their individual categories: Mark Smith (Workshop Sergeant Major, Master Welder) - Head of QHSE and Business Improvement at Red7Marine. Outstanding Achiever of the Year Winner “It was an absolute honour to have received the Outstanding Achiever of the year Award out of such a strong cohort of finalists. I hope this event’s result of multiple REME Veterans success inspires and reassures future REME personnel transitioning out of service life that we do possess the skills, resilience and ability to thrive and succeed in our second careers. Arte et Marte.” Jimmy Quinn (Sergeant Major, Regimental Duty) - Senior Health and Safety Manager at Multiplex & Immediate Past President IOSH. Advocate of the Year Winner “A wonderful evening to be surrounded by so many worthy winners and nominees not forgetting all the amazing sponsors of this world beating event which truly awards veteran excellence in all that we do. To share the evening Left to right: Andy Allen, Steve Lagadu, Jimmy Quinn with friends and colleagues as well as amazing 16

veterans and old friends from the Corps and army alike was an amazing experience. To have so many REME veterans nominated was again exceptional and to be part of that crowd made me particularly proud. It shows that in second careers we veterans thrive, deliver and show off the wonderfully diverse skills we possess in all that we do.” Steve Lagadu (Lt Col Aviation) – Solutions Director Serco. Military Values in Business Award Winner “I was deeply humbled to be selected for an award in the Military Values in Business Award category given the strength of the nominations across industry from companies like Amazon and Barclays. For me this award is a true testament to the values we in the REME family have of resilience and ingenuity where no problem is without its solution. To all those leaving remember you have these values as part of your DNA and, when the time to leave comes as it does to us all, Industry needs you.” Whilst there were other ex-Army winners, as well as ex-RAF and exRoyal Navy, REME were the only Corps/Arm that received multiple awards. Moreover, there were many other ex-REME nominations/Shortlisted. So, what a wonderful night of celebration for the Corps – Arte et Marte (serving and veteran!) To find out more about the awards and how to nominate visit, there is also a video showing highlights from the Awards night itself. Nominations for the 2022 Ex-Forces in Business Awards open in March and close in May. For the Nominations for the 2022 Scottish awards are open now and close on 18 February.

Left to right: Jimmy Quinn and Mark Smith

The Ex-Forces in Business Awards in 2021:

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Peoples Stories

COVID Recovery Scribe: WO2 P M Chambers – WOIC 2 Mercian LAD REME


am 6 foot 8 inches tall and around twenty stone (130kg give or take), anyone who knows me will testify that I’m a “Giant”. I pass all fitness tests and I’m probably the fittest 20 stone bloke you’ll ever meet (barring England RFU team members). I want to share my experience with the Corps that I love, so that it might help even just one of you get through this. I’ll be as brief as possible because I think we’ve all had enough of it, I certainly have. This article seeks to do a few things, firstly tell my story to give the benefit of my experience so that you can pass it on to those “Covid deniers” that we all come across from time to time. Also, to give you an idea of the impact it can have on not just you, but your families and finally to thank the people who got me through it. I did a lateral flow test on Thursday afternoon in the CQMS dept before heading home for a long weekend, I passed the test and headed off. When I got home, I thought my dinner didn’t taste of anything special, but didn’t think anything of it. That night I had horrendous fever, cold sweats, temperature, shivering, all the signs of a decent flu kicking in. My Wife insisted I do another LFT test even though I had done one the day before, guess what…? A PCR test hastily booked that same day confirmed I had Covid and I settled in for a fantastic 10 days of forced rest, meals in bed, films and maybe a little X-Box time. The symptoms ramped up slowly, more fever, headaches, temperature, increasing difficulty breathing until after 5 days I agreed that perhaps all the Paracetamols and Ibuprofens I had accumulated weren’t cutting it. The first ambulance said I was a borderline case and I told

Arrival at York Hospital for Triage

CPAP Treatment


them I could handle it without hospital treatment providing it doesn’t get worse. They left me with strict instructions to call if I deteriorate any further. 36 hours later at 0500 in the morning, becoming delirious having had little sleep due to difficulty breathing, my distraught Wife called the ambulance, who took me into hospital with signs of pneumonia and possibly sepsis(?). I could barely walk at that point, I had neither the strength nor the lung capacity to move my body more than a few feet. They tell you that people die from Covid with no under-lying symptoms. What they fail to mention is that you need to have a reasonable level of cardio-vascular fitness to survive the treatment. If your lungs are not strong enough to manage the treatment, then it ends very badly. I’m not trying to tell a horror story, just my personal experience. The treatment for me was horrendous; The CPAP machine is basically a low-pressure oxygen pump that forces air into the airway while you are conscious (as opposed to a ventilator when unconscious). I spent 5 days and nights with a pressurised mask secured to my face. Only disconnecting for meals and toilet breaks (that’s another horror story). Undoubtedly the CPAP treatment and the professionalism of the NHS staff saved my life, make no mistake, Covid-19 was trying to take my life. The mental robustness that the military instils gave me the strength to dig in when I was suffocating in the middle of the night. This happened multiple times and I’m not ashamed to say I was terrified, I thought I would black-out and

never wake up. The Nurse would hold my hand and coach me through the very worst moments of my life, I can’t thank them enough. At home, my Wife and two children could only sit and worry. No visitors allowed. Dad and husband communicating via text (my voice had completely disappeared due to CPAP) in between sleep and some days without the strength to lift my arms to pick up the phone. The effect it has had on my family is now my biggest concern, it has left mental scars. I made it through and came out the other side renewed with a positivity that I had beaten it. Covid did its very best, almost won. At times I thought it had me, but my body fought it off. I was powerless, it didn’t matter what I decided in my mind. My body would either win or it wouldn’t, I was a passenger. Luckily, I had my fitness and it carried me through. I was in hospital for 10 days in total. They’re a bit of a blur now, I remember how horrendous the feeling of suffocating was and its left me with a little anxiety about feeling breathlessness again. I needed someone to tell me its ok to feel that way. Someone to check me over and say, “go for it”, get back into PT, your lungs have healed, its safe, you won’t suffocate doing exercise. Three months later I attended DMRC in Stanford Hall for a post-Covid assessment reserved only for those worst affected. I’ve been given the all-clear and which now leaves me having to shift all that excess weight I gained post-covid, but I’ll dig-in and get back to fitness. Having reviewed this over and over in my mind, there are many small events that conspired to save my life and get me back to normality. My Wife for calling an ambulance, I would stupidly have carried on suffering unnecessarily. The Paramedics who attended me, the Doctors who triaged and treated me, the Nurses who held my hand, the physio who started my recovery, the team at DMRC who do amazing work, the list goes on and on. I will never be able to repay some of these debts and thank you seems a very small phrase. I try to see my experience as a positive one, despite the horror at the time. The Corps had “Lifting the decks”, well I’ve just lifted mine for all to see. My name is on the top of this article, I’ve left lots of details out and if you want to discuss your own experiences with someone outside your CoC who understands, hit CTRL K and drop me a line.

Post CPAP Oxygen reduction

We need your Friendship Stories! Have you formed life-long or lasting friendships at REME? Are your REME friends like family? In celebration of National Friendship Day, we will be telling the stories of friendships formed within the REME Family in the July issue of The Craftsman. Whether you are a Retired, Reserve or Regular, we want to hear your stories (and include a photo!)

Send your stories to: Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 19


2021 Scunthorpe Remembrance rescued Scribe: Captain Terry Reilly


normal year of remembrance would see 146 Div Sp Coy of 102 FS Bn REME, continuing to be just one of the integral fabric parts of North Lincolnshire’s Veteran community that supports the Royal British Legion (RBL) during Remembrance events, much in the same way it also does for the Rotherham Borough Council RBL in South Yorkshire.

But this was about to rapidly change in 2021. The Company received word that the RBL would not be able to lead in this year’s Scunthorpe Remembrance Parade, a town with a population of over 80,000 and the biggest conurbation in the County, instead the Council would have to take up the planning and execution by making it a civic event. Additionally, and more importantly, the RBL Scunthorpe Poppy Appeal Organiser was standing down with no nominated replacement with only seven weeks to go until Remembrance Sunday. 146 Coy stepped up to the plate without hesitation. After a quick conversation amongst the Permanent Staff, we decided that we could not let the Poppy Appeal or the Remembrance Parade fail; especially after they were severely hampered and/or cancelled last year due to Covid. It would also take time and effort to regain the public’s support and fund-raising appetite towards the RBL if we lost the yearly poppy wearing ‘habit’ in the town, as well as affording the Company one of its most visible military presence every year. Led by our ReMSO, Sgt Jones and with additional volunteer support from across the Coy; including Regulars, Civil Servants, Reservists and FTRS, our Company stepped up to the challenge. Not only delivering a faultless Remembrance Parade on behalf of Councillor Peter Clark, Mayor of North Lincolnshire and the local MP Holly Mumby-Croft, but also Various Poppy products and memorabilia enabling hundreds of locals to attend and continue their ready to be sold in the Scunthorpe area involvement in a special day in their yearly calendar. Sgt Jones was the overarching organiser whilst SSgt Grills acted as the Parade Marshall, overseeing over 200 marching participants that were drawn from across North Lincolnshire’s Military, Veterans, Local Authorities, Tri-Service Cadet Forces and Military Covenant supporting organisations. The Order of Service was refreshed in conjunction with the RBL’s Ceremonial Handbook and delivered by The Rev Philip Brent of St. Lawrence’s Church under the stewardship of WO2 Paula Siddall. Arguably though, the bigger challenge was delivering in short order the RBL Poppy Appeal in Scunthorpe and surrounding areas; especially as the person Serving Military personnel walking on to the pitch before Scunthorpe United vs Doncaster Rovers FC, in the FA Cup first round who had led it for


numerous years had stood down so unexpectantly. The Company in its typical no-nonsense “northern style”, grabbed this complex task by the scruff of its neck and delivered it faultlessly. In that short four-week window the Company planned, enabled, administered, and delivered over 300 collection and poppy boxes to, amongst others; 46 Schools, 4 Community Champions based across a number of local supermarkets with 15 willing volunteers, NHS sites, Humberside Police & Fire and Rescue Services locations, and scores of businesses across the Scunthorpe area. We also

Collection pots ready for distribution to the local areas

Behind the scenes, counting and verifying the collection money, in total £43,000 was raised for the RBL

managed to collect at Scunthorpe Utd’s home ground in their local FA Cup Derby against Doncaster Rovers FC. From this herculean effort, the RBL banked £43,000, almost £9,000 up from 2019. This was a fantastic result, as our Veterans will be the beneficiaries, but just as important is the fact that walking out through Scunthorpe through the period up to the 14th November, almost every other person including many children were wearing a Poppy with pride – a true testament to the work of 146 Div Sp Coy, 102 Bn REME.


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RAJA Careers and Employment Support Event Wednesday 30 March 2022* Open to all REME personnel who are in the resettlement process. REME Reservists, and Veterans are also invited to attend. A fantastic opportunity to engage with companies that have an Engineering and Technical focus.

Sponsored By Figure 1

Figure 2

The event will be held in the Catterick Garrison For Service Leavers, this is Leisure Centre, DL9 3EL. an excellent networking The majority of opportunity to assist with exhibitors attending are the transition into civilian national companies and employment. have vacancies available across the UK. If you are interested in attending this event, please contact *This event could be postponed dependent on COVID-19 social distancing measures at the time.


Part 2: Monday 21 February 2022 Watch online at 7.00pm and join in the live Q&A Find out more at琀on 22

UK REME LOCATIONS as at 09 Oct 2020 (V4)

Regimental Headquarters REME LYNEHAM - The Prince Philip Barracks

Regular REME LADs and Wksps 1) LISBURN 2 RIFLES LAD - Thiepval Barracks 2) ALDERGROVE 5 Regt AAC Wksp - RAF Aldergrove 3) BELFAST 1 SCOTS LAD - Palace Barracks 4) INVERNESS 3 SCOTS LAD - Fort George 5) KINLOSS 39 Engr Regt Wksp - Kinloss Barracks 6) LEUCHARS SCOTS DG LAD - Leuchars 7) EDINBURGH 2 SCOTS LAD - Glencorse Barracks 3 RIFLES LAD - Dreghorn Barracks 5 SCOTS LAD - Redford Barracks 8) NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE 3 RHA Wksp - Albemarle Barracks 9) CATTERICK LD LAD (Light Dragoons) - Gaza Barracks 5 Armd Med Regt LAD - Gaza Barracks RL LAD (Royal Lancers) - Cambrai Barracks 1 YORKS LAD - Alma Lines 5 Regt RA Wksp - Marne Barracks 32 Engr Regt LAD - Marne Barracks 4 SCOTS LAD - Bourlon Barracks 1 MI Bn LAD - Bourlon Barracks 1 RMP LAD - Bourlon Barracks 10) RIPON/THIRSK 21 Engr Regt LAD - Claro Barracks 4 Regt RA Wksp - Alanbrooke Barracks 6 Regt RLC LAD - Dishford Airfield 11) STRENSALL 34 Field Hospital LAD - Queen Elizabeth Barracks 12) YORK 2 Sig Regt LAD - Imphal Barracks 13) PRESTON 2 MERCIAN LAD - Weeton Barracks 3 Med Regt LAD - Fulwood Barracks 14) HULL DST Wksp - Normandy Barracks 15) CHESTER 1 LANCS LAD - Dale Barracks 16) TERN HILL 1 R Irish LAD - Clive Barracks 17) STAFFORD 1 Sig Regt LAD - Beacon Barracks 22 Sig Regt LAD - Beacon Barracks 16 Sig Regt - Beacon Barracks 18) OAKHAM 2 R Anglian LAD - Kendrew Barracks 7 Regt RLC LAD - Kendrew Barracks

19) NUNEATON 30 Sig Regt LAD - Gamecock Barracks 20) SAFFRON WALDEN 29 Engr Regt (EOD) Wksp - Carver Barracks 23 Engr Regt (EOD) Wksp - Carver Barracks 21) DEREHAM QDG LAD - Robertson Barracks 22) IPSWICH 3 Regt AAC (AH) Wksp - Wattisham Flying Station 4 Regt AAC Wksp - Wattisham Flying Station 23) WOODBRIDGE 23 Engr Regt (Air Asslt) Wksp - Rock Barracks 24) COLCHESTER 2 PARA LAD - Merville Barracks 3 PARA LAD - Merville Barracks 7 PARA RHA Wksp - Merville Barracks 8 Field Coy (PARA) REME - Merville Barracks 13 AA Sp Regt RLC - Merville Barracks 16 Med Regt LAD - Merville Barracks 25) BICESTER 1 Regt RLC LAD - St David’s Barracks 26) ABINGDON 3 Regt RLC LAD - Dalton Barracks 4 Regt RLC LAD - Dalton Barracks 27) WINDSOR 1 Welsh Gds LAD - Combermere Barracks 1 Coldstreamm Gds LAD - Victoria Barracks 28) WOOLWICH 1 R Anglian LAD - Royal Artillery Barracks 29) HOUNSLOW 1 Irish Gds LAD - Cavalry Barracks 30) ALDERSHOT 10 QOGLR LAD - Gale Barracks 29 (EOD) Sp Gp - Mont House 1 Grenadier Gds - Lile Barracks 4 RIFLES LAD - Normandy Barracks 27 Regt RLC LAD - Traver Barracks 22 Field Hospital LAD - Keogh Barracks 2 PWRR LAD - Keogh Barracks 1 Scots Gds LAD - Mons Barracks 31) PIRBRIGHT 2 LANCS LAD - Elizabeth Barracks 32) MAIDSTONE 36 Engr Regt Wksp - Invicta Park 33) FOLKESTONE 1 RGR LAD - Sir John Moore Barracks 34) SOUTHAMPTON 17 P&M Regt RLC Wksp - McMullen Barracks 35) PORTSMOUTH 12 Regt RA Wksp - Thorney Island 16 Regt RA Wksp - Thorney Island

36) TIDWORTH / PERHAM DOWN 1 R Welsh LAD - Lucknow Barracks QRH LAD - Assaye Barracks 1 RRF LAD - Mooltan Barracks 1 Armd Med Regt LAD - Bhurtpore Barracks 4 Armd Med Regt LAD - Bhurtpore Barracks RTR LAD - Aliwal Barracks KRH LAD - Aliwal Barracks 22 Engr Regt LAD - Swinton Barracks 26 Engr Regt LAD - Swinton Barracks 15 Sig Regt LAD - Swinton Barracks 37) BULFORD 3 RMP LAD - Ward Barracks HCR LAD - Ward Barracks 5 RIFLES LAD - Ward Barracks 4 MI Bn LAD - Ward Barracks 3 Sig Regt LAD - Picton Barracks 1 MERCIAN LAD - Picton Barracks 38) LARKHILL 32 Regt RA LAD - Roberts Barracks 47 Regt RA Wksp - Roberts Barracks 19 Regt RA LAD - Purvis Lines 1 Regt RHA Wksp - Purvis Lines 26 Regt RA Wksp - Purvis Lines 39) UPAVON 2 MI Bn LAD - Trenchard Lines 40) GLOUCESTER ARRC Sp Bn LAD - Imjin Barracks 41) SOUTH CERNEY 29 Regt RLC - Duke of Gloucester Barracks 42) CORSHAM 10 Sig Regt LAD - Basil Hill Barracks 43) HULLAVINGTON 9 Regt RLC LAD - Buckley Barracks 44) COLERNE 21 Sig Regt LAD - Azimghur Barracks 45) WARMINSTER RDG LAD - Battlesbury Barracks 46) BOVINGTON ATDU - Allenby Barracks 47) YEOVIL 1 Regt AAC Wksp - RNAS Yeovil 48) PLYMOUTH 29 Cdo RA Wksp - The Royal Citadel 49) BARNSTAPLE Cdo Log Regt RM - RMB Chivenor 24 Cdo RE Wksp - RMB Chivenor 50) HAVERFORDWEST 14 Sig Regt (EW) LAD - Cawdor Barracks 51) CHEPSTOW 1 RIFLES LAD - Beachley Barracks

Regular REME Battalions 1) CATTERICK 1 CS Bn REME - Megiddo Lines 2) LEUCHARS 2 CS Bn REME - Waterloo Lines

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24 Lisburn

2 Belfast Aldergrove 3 12 1 1

38 Irish X


11 2

East Kilbride





6 2




51 (Inf) Scottish X & HQ Scotland




13 Newton

Newcastle Upon Tyne

3 816

102 Bn 4




UK REME LOCATIONS Regimental Headquarters REME Regular REME LADs and Wksps Regular REME Battalions Reserve REME Battalions REME Association Branches

as at 17 Jan 2022 (V5)

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Isles of Scilly













41 43



South Cerney


Walsall Northfield



Stoke -on- Trent

21 20




46 Bovington


9 47

7 36




Isle of Wight

7 (Inf) X & HQ East




















22 4 23 24


If your organisation is incorrect or not listed please contact the Editor

Brighton & Hove










29 Londist 25 28 Catford Hounslow 31


25 Barnet

31 11 (Inf) X Bordon & HQ SE












16 18

38 Portsmouth






17 10 14




8 Scarborough

103 20 Northampton Bn




19 15Chilwell

18 Derby






42 5 44Corsham 26 1 Lyneham 101 Colerne 39 Bn Upavon 36 3 38 37 Tidworth 28 45 Larkhill Bulford





11 12 Strensall

4 (Inf) X & HQ NE

10Thirsk Ripon






1 (Sig) X & HQ WM


4 18

Tern Hill



12 Chester





1 (Arty) X & HQ SW



160 (Inf) X & HQ Wales






42 (Inf) X 7 & HQ NW

9 1 Catterick

UK REME LOCATIONS as at 17 Jan 2022 (V5)

3) TIDWORTH 3 Armd CS Bn REME - Assaye Barracks 4 Armd CS Bn REME - Jellalabad Barracks 6 Armd CS Bn REME - Delhi Barracks 4) IPSWICH 7 Avn Sp Bn REME - Wattisham Flying Station 5) LYNEHAM 5 FS Bn REME - The Prince Philip Barracks 8 Trg Bn REME - The Prince Philip Barracks

Reserve REME Battalions 101 Bn - BHQ BRISTOL 1) 127 Coy - Manchester 2) 127 Coy - Liverpool 3) 159 Coy - Walsall 4) 159 Coy - Telford 5) 160 Coy - Bridgend 6) 160 Coy - Gloucester 7) 158 Coy - Bristol 8) 159 Coy - Swindon 9) 130 Pl - Yeovil

13) 124 Coy - Newton Aycliffe 14) 146 Coy - Scunthorpe 15) 146 Coy - Rotherham 16) 186 Pl - Newcastle 17) 147 Pl - Hull 103 Bn - BHQ NORTHAMPTON 18) 148 Coy - Derby 19) 148 Coy - Nottingham 20) 118 Coy - Northampton 21) 118 Coy - Coventry 22) 133 Coy - Ashford 23) 133 Coy - Croyden 24) 128 Coy - Portsmouth 25) 169 Pl - Barnet

REME Association Branches

102 Bn - BHQ NEWTON AYCLIFFE 10) 153 Coy - Glasgow 11) 153 Coy - Grangemouth 12) 157 Coy - Belfast

1) NORTHERN IRELAND - Lisburn 2) SCOTLAND - Grangemouth 3) TYNESIDE - Newcastle upon Tyne 4) SOUTH WEST DURHAM - Newton Aycliffe 5) TEESIDE - Billingham 6) CUMBRIA 7) LANCASHIRE - Blackpool 8) SCARBOROUGH 9) WEST YORKSHIRE - Bradford 10) HUMBERSIDE - HULL 11) MANCHESTER 12) WIDNES


The Online Home of The REME Family For all your Corps needs including: A digital version of The Craftsman Magazine A map of units where REME serve Information on the Corps Sgts’ & WOs’ Mess and Corps Officers’ Mess Details about Association Branches and groups Applications for REME Charity grants Visit today


Commando Speed March 2022 Register now – Spean Bridge Commando Speed March, Saturday 05 March 2022


he prestigious seven-mile Commando Speed March Competition is held annually at Spean Bridge, Fort William, commemorates the original preliminary test of all WW2 Commando recruits. On arrival at the local train station, the unexpected test was to traverse the route from the train station to the entrance of the Commando Training Centre at Achnacarry House, carrying all belongings, in under an hour. The annual competition therefore replicates the same route with a weighted march in the same time limit. The REME have a notorious track record with podium finishes most years. More recently in 2021 Sgt Coster (REME) won the race with a time of 51:07. Pictures below.

For more information please email WO2 (AQMS) Gaz Hooson –




Corps Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess Spring Dinner Night Tuesday 08 March 2022

Tickets are available now from the REME Connect website, closing date for tickets is Tuesday 22 Februaryt Any questions or queries should be directed at WO2 Iain Campbell

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Unit Life

RTR BG Ex St Eligius day Ex Director Capt McKenna, OIC WO1 Bush, Ex 2IC SSgt Morris. Instructors: Cpl Dent, Cpl Steiner, Cpl Helm, LCpl Desmond. Scribe: Cpl Bates


t Eligius Day is celebrated every year by the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and being on Op CABRIT doesn’t change that for REME personnel deployed with the enhanced Force Protection (eFP) Battle Group (BG). Two junior tradespeople were selected to represent each of the six sub-units. They competed in technical challenges from all trades and demonstrated the intelligence, outside thinking and physical resilience that underpin how REME tradespeople operate. The day started in typical REME style with tea and biscuits, a safety brief, and a short inspirational speech from WO1 Bush. He explained to the soldiers the reasons for the celebrations and how it fits in with improving trade knowledge and team cohesion. This was particularly pertinent for those that haven’t experienced an Op tour or St Eligius Day. When asked what St Eligius Day means

VM Stand: Cfn Fairhurst fault finds on a Land Rover

Recovery Stand: The task included finding and connecting the equipment to achieve a 2:1 direct pull from a CRARRV to recover a stricken Warrior 512 in the distance


to him, WO1 Bush commented, “displaying engineering excellence and improving best practice whilst driving home the Corp’s gritty and determined work ethos. Delivered with an enjoyable and competitive spirt in mind and ready to defend Europe.”

EME’s notes The Vehicle Mechanic stand ran by LCpl Atkiss (3 REME) was a simple Land Rover hazard warning fault simulating a corrosion fault on a terminal, followed by a secondary fault of a bad connection with side bulb. This stand not only challenged soldiers on ability to fault find and repair, but also to check the job all the way through. Cfn Wilkinson (RTR LAD) said ‘the whole day enhanced my skills as a tradesman, it showed the importance of attention to detail as missing the secondary fault lost my team points.’ The dreaded Recovery stand, with the heavy CRARRV equipment, ran Tech Stand: Cfn Shackleton and Cfn Robbins complete a cable repair by Cpl Dent (RTR LAD) was a simple 2:1 direct pull from a CRARRV to recover a stricken Warrior 512. To start the task soldiers had to Not to make it too easy extra parts were thrown in to make the run to the top of the nearby hill where they could find the plan soldiers think about what was needed rather than the process of left by the Recovery Mechanic for them to follow. Having elimination. LCpl Sommerville (RTR LAD) said “the Reccy Mech assessed the plan, they had to put it into action and start stand was tough but enjoyable, however the Armourer stand was connecting correct equipment to get the task done. Cheekily the my best stand, and it was good to get hands on weapons REME last connecting piece was hidden and teams only received it on aren’t often exposed to.’ answering correctly ‘why things are seen.’ This stand pushed The Metalsmith stand ran by Sgt Boardman (3 REME) soldiers to their physical limits while showing the need to always comprised of two parts. Firstly, an intro to Manual Metal Arc keep a sharp mind even when exerted. LCpl Smith (Royal Welsh (MMA) welding where soldiers had to complete a basic weld LAD) said “today was a great day with exposure to different being judged on neatness for this task. Secondly, Blacksmith trades and appreciation for other trades, it was a great stand as I had only worked previously with a Warrior 513, while the layout is the same the kit was different, by far the best stand.” The Electronics Technician stand delivered by Cpl Steiner (RTR LAD) was for competitors to repair a cable post pack lift by removing the damaged part, stripping, soldering, and taping the smaller cables back together before protecting it with heat shrink and testing for a successful repair. Cfn James (RTR LAD) said “the whole event was challenging, interesting to see what other trades do taking me outside my comfort zone. The Tech stand really helped my ability to do my job as a VM better as I am confident to conduct cable repairs without seeking outside help.” The Armourer stand delivered by LCpl Bartlett (Royal Welsh LAD) was to reassemble a GPMG, Sharpshooter, SA80 and Glock from parts in a box in the quickest time. Metalsmith Stand: Cfn Davidson faces the heat with MMA welding Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 29

skills were tested by making a chisel from a Warrior track pin by heating the metal, beating it into shape and finally grinding to a workable point. Cfn Davidson (RTR LAD) when asked about his favourite stand said, ‘the Metalsmith stand was my favourite by far, it is something unusual to me and a trade we aren’t often exposed to.’ This sentiment was shared by most competitors and is easy to see why it won best stand by a sizeable margin. No St Eligius Day would be complete without a test of some sort, this test delivered by SSgt Morris (RTR LAD) challenged soldiers on REME general knowledge, vehicles used by REME in theatre, cold weather questions, Estonian rank structure and as always military questions with cheeky bonus points for drawing the REME cap badge, producing some interesting results. Ending such a competitive day wouldn’t be complete without a get together for all the REME soldiers in theatre to catch up as the high demand and fast pace of the tour has meant most soldiers have been dispersed across the Battlegroup keeping ‘the punch in the Army’s fist.’ The evening started with prize giving for the winners of the day activities which went to LCpl Sommerville and Cfn Davidson from RTR Egypt Fitter Section and the best stand went to Sgt Boardman from 3 REME. This was followed by a general knowledge quiz and relaxing environment for all to talk and play games provided. Overall, everyone was a winner showing key attributes required of REME tradespeople and showing breadth of perspective to successfully complete tasks from all trades.

Armourer Stand: Cfn Shackleton and Cfn Robins fire through weapon assembly

What does St Eligius Day represent to you, and how will this develop you going forward on Op Cabrit?

LCpl Sommerville

Cfn Robins

LCpl Sommerville RTR LAD, Egypt Fitters. As this was my first St Eligius Day in the field army it has set a high bar for what a St Eligius Day should be. The competition was particularly good, and every team wanted to win. In terms of development, having that amount of exposure to each trade was invaluable, especially the Recy Mech and Metalsmith stands. It has also confirmed that I definitely don’t want to be a Recovery Mechanic… Cfn Davidson, RTR LAD, Egypt Fitters. St Eligius Day is a day where all the different trades can come together as one and show off their trade specific skills. It is important we as Corps understand other trades to help with team cohesion. I enjoyed St Eligius Day because I took part in different tasks which I have never done before which developed new and existing skills. The competition was good fun, and everyone put a lot of effort in to make sure they won. Cfn Brownhill, 3 RHA WKSP. As a Craftsman it is always a pleasure taking part in the events situated around St Eligius Day. It is all about the cohesion of the REME and the Fitter Sections. Having the Fitter Section there throughout the day, cheering me on was good to see, whilst knowing they’re always around when support is needed. The days tasks have made me more aware of the roles of others within the LAD and how to appreciate others skill sets, so that when they are combined the REME can always achieve the very best. Cfn James, RTR LAD, Dreadnought Fitters. As a Craftsman, St Eligius Day meant a lot to me. Being a part of the REME this day Cfn Brownhill marks an important day to our Corp history as we come together and celebrate it with a bit of engineering competition. St Eligius Day has helped me develop all round, it afforded me the opportunity to learn other REME trades i.e. Metalsmith work, vehicle recovery and Tech repairs. Cfn Wilkinson, RTR LAD, Dreadnought Fitters. St Eligius Day represents everything the REME corps is about. St Eligius was an apprentice, a skilled craftsman and served at home and in foreign lands. He was courageous and humble in his trade and that’s what the REME stands for ‘Arte et Marte’ (by skill by fighting). Cfn Robins, 3 Armd CS BN REME, ES Platoon. For me celebrating St Eligius Day on op CABRIT 9 was a fun and educational experience. As a Technical Support Specialist (TSS), it shed a whole new light on the other trades. We come together as one powerful fighting force. It was a great experience and I’m glad I took part. From me personally hats off to the Recy Mechs. That was by far the hardest challenge physically and just shows how much true grit and determination we have as a Corps.


REME Sporting Fixtures 2021/22

FOOTBALL: Mens 25 Feb

Royal Corps of Signals vs REME, at Blandford, KO 1030hrs.

04 Mar

REME* vs Royal Corps of Signals, at Calne, KO 1030hrs.

01 Apr

REME* vs Royal Artillery, at Calne, KO 1030hrs.

13 May

RE vs REME, at Chatham, KO 1030hrs.

*all Men’s Home games are played at the Beversbrook Sports Complex, Calne, SN11 9FL.

FOOTBALL: Womens 04 Feb

REME vs AMS, MoD Lyneham, KO 1030hrs.

RUGBY UNION: Mens 02 Feb

REME* vs RLC, at Royal Wootton Bassett, KO 1400hrs.

18 May

Corps Union Finals, at Army Stadium, Aldershot. KO TBC.

*all Men’s Home games are played at the Royal Wootton Bassett Rugby Football Club, Swindon, SN4 8DS.

REME Cross Country & Running 23 Feb

Inter Corps Cross Country Championship (TBC)

20 Mar

Army Half Marathon at Fleet, starts at 1000hrs. Event incorporates the Inter-Unit and Individual Championships, all standards welcome, cost £27.

Advertise your sporting fixtures and results here, contact:

REME Sport

REME Squash Championship 2021 Scribe: SSgt White


ith COVID-19 adversely affecting many sports there was a danger of the Corps Championships being postponed once again. However, with COVID-19 restrictions being relaxed and with the determination of the REME Corps Squash Secretary, WO2 Chris Morris and the Army Sports Control Board (ASCB) the event was given the go ahead. In Total there were 64 players in attendance. The format followed that of previous years with various competitions and Trophies up for grabs meaning that lots of squash was able to be played over the 3day period from the 27th to 29th October. The event took place at the home of Army Squash, Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre. In the age group categories, Cfn Matthews, a newcomer showed his skill on court winning against LCpl Sugden in the Final of the Under 25’s. A great achievement which also saw him get a call up to play for the Army U25’s squad. In the 25 to 35 category Cpl Barker was swiftly despatched by an in-form Cpl Bert Godfrey in a fixture that always proves to be

entertaining. The Over 35’s, for the second time in a row was contested between Sgt Warren Mitchell and SSgt Fraser White. With SSgt White retaining the cup. The over 40’s was won by Major Daniel Proctor who beat SSgt Dave Parkin in a battle that proved that age is just a number. There were 2 competitions also run for the top Units in the REME. The Minor Units’ runners-up were 5 Rifles and the winners were 47 Regt RA Wksp. The Major Unit runners-up were 8 REME and the winners were 3 REME. The Open event was won by LCpl Adam Smart who beat SSgt Fraser White in the Final and securing his place as the top player in the REME. The female event was won by Cfn Elaino Pinheiro from 8 Bn REME who beat Cpl Lauren Broadbent. Two other competitions were also organised to enable those who were knocked out of the main competition in the first 2 rounds to play some more squash. These were the plate competition which was won by Sgt Owain Evans who beat Sgt Willet and the Roberts Cup which was won by the veteran WO1 Ritchie Fewtrell who beat WO2 Chris Morris. The competition was a great success with the top 16 players from the competition being selected to represent the REME in the InterCorps Championships. All trophies were presented by the Chairman Lt Col Daz Ward.

A Team Player’s Experience: Cpl Godfrey Going into this year’s Inter Corps Championships there was a feeling of uncertainty within the REME squash fraternity. It was also very difficult to predict just how strong the other Corps would be after not being able to play for so long. The first match saw us pitted against the Royal Signals A Team where we took a 5-0 victory. Our second match was against the Infantry A Team; this was a much tighter affair which saw SSgt Fraser White narrowly lose out to their No 3 seed however we secured the win, 4-1 which meant we finished the first day on a respectable 33 points. Our first match of the second day was against the RLC A Team, where after some very close games we managed to scrape a 3-2 win and our second match against the Royal Engineers resulted in a 4-1 victory. We were now clear of relegation with 61 points and in contention for winning Division 1! LCpl Smart, Male Open Cup Winner 2021

LCpl Smart in action against the Army number 1 Squash player; Maj Miller (RA) 32

Cfn Pinheiro, Female Open Cup Winner 2021

On the third day we had 2 fixtures remaining, the ever-strong RA A Team and the AAC. The Royal Artillery have been practically unbeatable in recent years and it was no surprise that we suffered our first (and only) loss against the RA, 2-3 after a sterling effort from the young and upcoming Cfn Jack Matthews. The final match against the AAC saw a very strong 5-0 finish meaning we had done enough to secure the coveted runners up position! It was fantastic to get back on court and play team squash again in one of the best seasons I have competed in, and REME squash have so much to work for and look forward to in 2022.

B Team Player’s Experience: Sgt Melia In September 2021, the annual REME Squash Championships were held at Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre and the B Team tentatively prepared following the loss of three key players as they stepped up to join the A Team. Given this, the aim of the B Team was to stay in Division 2! Day One. We anticipated that the make or break of our ‘B’ team with the hardest games would be on day one. After a long and tiresome day, we managed to stay on top and were undefeated. However, our number 1 seed sustained an injury and was forced to rest on day two; meaning everyone had to step up one place to facilitate. Day Two. We continued our winning streak, winning all matches once again putting the REME ‘B’ at the top of the board. At this point all eyes were on us. Day Three. Our aches and pains were setting in on the final day as we prepared for our hardest match to play against the RAPTC ‘A’ team, which unfortunately we lost, 3-2. However, after dominating the tournament plus the games we did win against the RAPTC ‘A’ we found ourselves champions of Division 2; surpassing our initial aim of surviving All the B Team players stepped up day on one due to the unforeseen injury and I must highlight that everyone performed exceptionally throughout the tournament with a special mention to WO2 Morris who narrowly missed out on the Players’ Player of the tournament.

REME Squash 2022: WO2 (AQMS) Morris SSgt White in action at the Inter Corps Championship As REME Corps Squash Secretary, I would firstly like to recognise the fantastic turnout at the REME Squash Championship 2021, thank you to everyone that participated and for your ongoing commitment during very challenging If you are interested in REME Squash and require any information, times. Secondly, I would like to commend both REME Squash teams for please contact: an exemplary season of Squash, in the face of adversity we rose to the Lt Lemonaris – U25 Development Officer occasion demonstrated by the REME Squash B Team promoting into Division 1 for the first time as well as the A Team being runners up of Lt Dabbs – Female Development Coach Division 1, no mean feat considering the winners (RA) have an ex professional player as their number one seed. SSgt White – Team Captain On a final note, this year we aim to raise awareness of Mental Health by organising a fundraising event and taking on an active challenge in WO2 Morris – REME Corps Squash Secretary support of ‘Lifting the Decks’ to champion and support good mental health for all. All in all, an inspirational season of squash and very much to play for in 2022.

5 REME B Team, Army Squash Inter-Corps Division 2 Champions

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REME Sport

Smashing Clays – Again! Scribe: Col Mark Simpson


ver the period 6-7 October 2021, the Army Clay Target Championships was held at the Barbury Shooting School near Lyneham, and yet again the REME Clay Target Team proved its currently unassailable position as the premier Clay Target team in the Army. The team walked away with many awards at both individual and team level at all skill stages. This years’ competition attracted over 190 participants from across the Army and was spread across 2 days to facilitate the numbers who wanted to attend; whilst being able to maintain a COVID complaint

competition. It consisted of a 100 Bird shoot across 12 differing, but in some cases very technical stands, which set to test the abilities of all, from the accomplished shots to the novices, all of whom were put through their paces. It was really pleasing to see an increased number of ladies taking part for the first time in some numbers; following the recent Women In Sport introduction day. Maj AnneMarie Douglas made her first appearance at the championships as a novice and did very well too; but we need more ladies for next year – Ladies, where are you??? COVID requirements meant that unfortunately there was no final triumphant prize giving, but once collated, the scores were announced online, and yet again, for the third year running REME were the ‘Top Guns’ – literally. The Corps took all Three top slots as individuals, with Cfn Alex Horton, for the second year securing his position as the best Clay Target shot in the Army with a score of 95; winning both the Army Rifle Association (ARA) Gold Jewel, and REME Cup. He was closely followed by Sgt Ben Hunt and Cpl Mark Jones, with 93 and 91 respectively. In fact, Seven of the top overall Ten scores went to REME shooters. It goes without saying that collectively, the REME Corps team came first in the team event where those three were joined by SSgt Mike Tyler and WO2 Pete Meager, to deliver an overall score of 436 winning by some margin against their closes rival (RLC) with a collective score of 384. REME Clay Target shooting continues to work hard in identifying and nurturing our stars of today and tomorrow at every level; and clearly that hard work is paying dividends. The REME team and Committee remain very grateful for the ongoing support it receives from the REME Charity, and of course the dedication of amazing sportsmen and women, who yet again have knocked it out of the park!!

Poised and ready for those ‘Pesky’ Rabbit targets

Members of the Corps CT team on the 11th stand of 12


Cpl Milner getting in the ‘Zone’ – finishing on an outstanding score of 88

Overseas Sport



ATUS Lions F.C. (Red) conducted their Summer 2021 football tour in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada. After a season in the local league the team travelled to play against Naval Base CFB Esquimalt, the HQ for the Canadian Pacific Naval Fleet. The team of 10, which consisted of 9 REME and 1 RE personnel triumphed 3-1 in a convincing victory. The BATUS Lions opened the scoring when Sgt Tonks burst down the right wing and put in a fine cross for LCpl Clark, who calmly headed it in. From here the Lions controlled the game comfortably up until half time, coming close with efforts from LCpl Moore who was denied multiple times with excellent stops from the opposition goalkeeper. After the half time break the Lions struggled to return to their first half performance and conceded to a right footed strike from the Esquimalt Winger - an agonising goal to concede as the Lions goalkeeper Cpl Patel got a hand to it. Regardless, it squeezed into the top corner. For the next ten minutes Cpl Patel made some excellent saves to keep the Lions in the game including a double save at point blank from the opposition Striker. After the barrage from Esquimalt was over, the Lions quickly recovered dominance of the game with neat passing in midfield and confident dribbling from

the forwards. The breakthrough came when LCpl Moore collected the ball on the wing and glided past the opposing Defender before firing a pinpoint pass into Cpl Scriven (RE) who, with an excellent first touch, then slotted the ball through the keeper’s legs and put the Lions 2-1 up. For the rest of the game the Lions were well on top and wore the opposition down with excellent passing and great work rates off the ball. Ten minutes from the end Sgt Tonks received the ball from right back and carried it all the way up the pitch, navigating his way past two Esquimalt players to finally dart into the opposition box and fire the ball into the top left corner from an almost impossible angle; cementing the Lions victory with a score line of 31. The game was a fantastic opportunity to engage with another Nation’s Armed Forces through sport and being able to conduct this type of activity is greatly welcomed after the slight easing of COVID19 restrictions. A special mention and thanks go to CFB Esquimalt who gave us a tough game and were extremely accommodating on the day, providing us with a commemorative plaque and post match refreshments.

Cpl Rai rushing through the back line

LCpl Farish clearing the ball

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REME Association

Widnes Branch Christmas 2021 Scribe: Steve Hampson (Secretary)

In the festive spirit


Lots of excellent Christmas prizes to be won

Lisa and her team presented with flowers from Steve Hampson (right)


inally, Christmas celebrations can go ahead, and go ahead they did at the Widnes Branch!! Members of the Widnes REME Association started the Christmas celebrations early with a meal at the Liner Hotel in Liverpool on Saturday 4th December 2021. The event was organised by our Social Secretary Jimmy Williams and was well attended by the Association. It must be said that a lovely Christmas dinner was enjoyed by all. The afternoon was rounded off with a few drinks together, enjoying each other’s company after a long time apart. We then continued the celebrations with the final meeting of the year on Tuesday 7th December 2021. The Branch hold a Christmas social each year following the meeting when members enjoy an excellent buffet and of course the odd drink or two, before holding the traditional Christmas raffle. This year our meetings have been hosted by The Eight Towers pub in Widnes, who have provided a delicious buffet after each meeting, and who did not disappoint for the Christmas meeting. Tickets for our Christmas raffle have been sold at each monthly meeting we were able to hold through 2021, and as usual there were lots of excellent prizes to be won. All who attended enjoyed the Christmas spirit and those lucky enough to win prizes were very happy indeed! Our thanks must go to our Social Secretary Jimmy Williams for the efforts he has made over recent months to ensure ticket sales allowed us to have such a great Christmas Raffle in 2021; despite the reduced number of meetings. Following the Christmas social, the Branch had a most enjoyable weekend at the Risboro Hotel, Llandudno between 10th and 12th December 2021 where we celebrated at the Christmas party with excellent food, great entertainment and very sore feet from dancing the night away. This is a regular social event within the Association calendar and the Risboro never disappoints. An

excellent weekend was had by all who were able to attend and our thanks go to the hotel for another wonderful event. As the saying goes – behind every great man is a great woman and we must also thank some of our spouses who have worked quietly behind the scenes on behalf of the Association. We would like to thank Winnie Williams, wife of our Social Secretary Jimmy. Every year Winnie helps Jimmy to source all the raffle prizes and ensures these are ready for Jimmy to bring to the Christmas meeting. Without Winnie’s hard work, the raffle would not be so successful. Our thanks also go to Pam Whitby, wife of our Welfare Secretary, who is our social media guru and who manages the Facebook page on behalf of the Association. Pam keeps the page updated with photographs from functions, messages to members and reminders for social events. We must thank Lisa and her team from The Eight Towers Pub, where the branch monthly meetings have been held this year. Lisa has provided a wonderful buffet each month for us to enjoy. It is the behind the scenes help such as this which ensures the Association runs smoothly and thrives, so thank you Ladies. Attached are photographs of the three events which were enjoyed by all who took part including a picture of Lisa and some of her team being presented with flowers by our Secretary Steve Hampson on behalf of all members of the association to show our gratitude for their hard work. Our members would like to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year. REME Association Widnes Branch. Contact Steve Hampson, Secretary on 07786563262 or

Enjoying one of our many get togethers

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Are you ex-serving REME? Did you have a partner or family who were in REME? Where Are They Now? is a new feature, giving you the chance to share your stories with the wider REME Family. If you have a story to share, email it to # T h e R E M E Fa m i l y

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 37

REME Museum

REME Trades in the Archive:



e thought that it would be of interest to readers to provide a glimpse of what our archives reveal about the history of REME trades. Although the focus in this series of articles will be on the current eight REME trades, it is worth mentioning that some of the historic trades (in 1942 there were 59) are represented in the archives as well. This series of articles was inspired by the excellent piece entitled History of REME Trade Changes since its Formation in 1942, by the museum’s former Pictorial Archivist Malcolm Heppolette, which appeared in the REME Journal, Issue No 22, 2011. We are not, therefore, attempting to write a detailed story about each trade (for which we would probably need a whole issue of The Craftsman to ourselves), but only to provide a selection of what we have in the archives relating to our trades. Armourer’s Quarterly Inspection Report (A: 2012.5588)

REME Workshop Malta, 1944 (A: 1962.0510.07)

REME Airborne Personnel, Op MARKET (E: 08.0006) 38

Armourers’ Job Book December 1951 (A: 1975.1398)

We start off with Armourers, Gun Fitters included, which were amalgamated into the Armourer’s trade in 2001. All the material in our archives is donated, so unfortunately, we may not have everything that there is about a particular subject. The archives holds official and personal collections, including, but not restricted to, documents, photographic material and drawings. These items reflect various aspects of life as a REME Armourer. Although we are looking mainly at the paper (2D) material, the museum’s collections include objects too such as: tools, tool boxes, tool bags, badges, medals and more. All this material helps us to tell the stories of REME Armourers around the world, from the Second World War right through to more recent times. The following examples relating to the Second World War are from the official records in our archives such as war

Armourer’s Mobile Workshop Korea (E:13.1503.037)

Repairing a Browning .303 Machine Gun at 27 Command Workshops, Warminster (E: 09.0345.017)

Armourers, 23 Base Workshop, Wetter (E:09.0166.06)

reports, operational diaries, and other material describing REME trades from the period. The Armourer’s Quarterly Inspection Report for C Company, 1st Bn Coldstream Guards, provides details of an inspection in June 1943, somewhere in the “Field” and lists the various weapons and their condition. The black and white photograph is of the Central Armourers’ Shop, Small Arms Section, Malta, in 1944. An average of 1,100 jobs were turned out from this 5,000 square foot workshop. The print is from a photograph album produced at the time to give a “rapid pictorial view of the activities of REME Malta”, hoping that it would be of interest to all units on the island and to the various branches of Command HQ. REME Armourers are included in a list of REME Personnel of 1st Airborne Division in

Unit photograph of Central Armourers’ Workshop (E: 09.0354)

Assembly and disassembly of General Purpose Machine Guns (E: 11.0876)

Armourer adjusting foresight of a 7.62 mm Self-Loading Rifle in the Armourers’ shop, 1 QLR LAD (E: 11.0877)

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Armourer’s Course Notebook Front Cover and Drawing (A: 2012.5587)

Airlifts on Operation MARKET. The document forms part of an Appendix to the DEME’s (Director of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering) Report on REME activities in Operation MARKET. We can learn more about the circumstances in which REME Armourers served in Korea (1951-1953) from photographs such as the example which shows a mobile Armourer’s workshop in Korea. The work of armourers in the 1950s is also demonstrated in a page from an Armourers’ Daily Job Book, 37 Rhine Workshop, BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), in two volumes. Volume I starts in 1944 and goes through to June 1952. Volume II continues on until December 1956. The jobs were listed over two pages per week, describing the types of weapons under repair as allocated per individual (including civilians), as well as the total production for the week of 9-15 December 1951. Armourers at work in a similar large static workshop of the BAOR during the 1960s, are shown in the image which depicts Armourers in 23 Base Workshop, Wetter,

Gun Fitters on an M109 (E11.0873)


working on MOBAT Recoilless Anti-Tank Guns. Service at home is depicted in these images from 27 Command Workshops, Warminster, also in the 1960s, showing a Browning .303 Machine Gun being repaired in the Armourers’ shop and a unit photo of the Central Armourers’ Shop. Armourers’ personal collections provide a fascinating insight into the lives, careers and activities of the Armourers who donated their material to the museum. The following photographs, which form part of these collections, depict activities such as maintenance, work on exercise and training during the 1970s-1990s. These collections also include such items as notebooks, service papers, medals, objects and other memorabilia. The examples below are of a notebook used during training in the 1940s and a page from an Armourer’s Apprentice notebook.

Page from Armourer Apprentice’s Notebook (E: 08.0222)

Browning machine gun without barrel during assembly/disassembly (E: 11.0862)

The Screwjack Letters – No. 25 Tales from the Border


he MTO of the 9th/12th Lancers in Osnabruck had a 1962 to dig the anti-tank ditch. Standard VW Beetle for sale, on which he had rebuilt the This was being done with engine. It was an ex-Deutsche Bundespost (German statedrag-bucket machines that run postal service) car with righthand drive. In 1962, this was were in universal use until tried as an experiment to allow the Postman to exit the car hydraulic diggers like JCBs beside the pavement. It was the first of a total of eight old airwere developed. In some cooled Beetles that I or Gill drove until 1999. I bought it for £76. places there were guard The border between the British / US zones of West Germany dogs on running wires. and East Germany (DDR) was heavily defended by the East Occasionally the Eastern side German Grenztruppen (Border Guards), a force totalling nearly sent small rockets showering 50,000. This defence system was not designed to counter propaganda leaflets over the invasion from the West, but to prevent people from the East frontier villages. A favourite escaping to the West. Our border patrols therefore witnessed the leaflet was a banknote depicting cartoons of the West German astonishing sight of people building their own prison. Our British leaders. Army 5 Brigade section was along wide-open countryside. Our On one of our patrols we were at the Gasthaus when the patrols lodged for two nights at a Gasthaus (German-style inn) in village men’s choir made their weekly visit. At the end they all the small village of Immingerode, where the men put their camp sang “Deutschland Uber Alles”. To my surprise, my driver beds in a large function room. I had the luxury of a bedroom. Craftsman Moxam, produced a hymn book and the patrol joined Next morning, we met the British Frontier Force Officer, Lionel in, singing “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken” to the same tune. Corduroy, in Duderstadt town centre square. He was our guide. During the drive back to Osnabruck I asked him about the hymn His BFF uniform was more Navy style than Army, and he was book. He said “I’m a sort of born-again Christian, sir”. I asked how unarmed. We were fully armed. The purpose of our patrols, I this came about. He said “My last posting was in Munster. I had think, was to demonstrate a continuous British Army presence been out on the beer one night, and on the way back to the and gather information about the East German frontier work. The barracks I read a sign outside the Cathedral saying “God Wants Border Guards themselves, of course, were the people best You”. I said: “If you want me, you’ll have to come and get me”. Back placed to escape, and many did. One Guard said something rude at the barrack room we were just going to put the light out when to Lionel who recognised his three men came into the room. Leipzig accent and he called out They were Army evangelists and in German to the man’s officer one said “We’ve come to get “You should tell the Leipziger to you” Well, that was enough for watch his manners” Lionel had me.” been in the job a long time. During another patrol, Lionel Another time he recognised a showed us where the frontier Guard he had seen before. He turned Eastwards around a called out in German “Why so farmhouse. He said that in 1945 serious today?” The Guard a British Major and a Russian replied “I forgot to clean my Major had the job of agreeing teeth this morning”. After heavy and marking the exact line of rain some of the anti-personnel the border. The German farmer mines in the ploughed strip begged the British Major to were exposed and I was able to keep his farmhouse in the West. draw some for my report. The After some negotiation the watch towers and barbed wire British officer handed the fences were already in evidence, Russian a bottle of whisky and but the main activity now was Meeting the British Frontier Force Officer, Lionel Corduroy (middle) the deal was done.

Drag-bucket machines were used to dig the anti-tank ditches

Halt! Hier zonengrenze (‘Stop! Zonal border here’)

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Obituaries 24562327 Former Staff Sergeant Keith Carey It is with great sadness that I inform the Corps of the passing of SSgt Keith (Taff) Carey on the 18 September 2021 aged 65 years. Taff was born in Tredegar, in the Valleys of South Wales where he lived with Donald and Linda, his parents, and his brother Paul. His Father contracted the lung disease Tuberculosis and was invalided out of the mining industry – money was scarce in the Carey household, but there was love a plenty. Taff left school in the early 70’s and he played his part in the local tradition of following his Father down the mines. The profession provided a significant source of income to the Welsh economy and had been key to the Industrial Revolution of Great Britain. These, however, were changing times; many young men saw the toll it had taken on generations of their family and Taff decided to move to work for Hoover in Merthyr Tydfil where he became a Manager in the firm making washing machines for an increasingly affluent society. Then the “Wander Bug” struck and he set off on a gap year to Europe with his mates in a Camper Van. Upon his return, Taff took another change of direction, and on 18 March 1980 he joined the Army and served for almost 27 years as a proud member of The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers as an Air Technician. Ta f f s aw s e r v i c e i n t h e Falkland Islands conflict in 1982, the Gulf War in 1991, peace keeping with the UN and NATO in the Bosnia and Kosovo civil wars, and then to Iraq during Gulf War 2, as well as postings to Germany, Wa t t i s h a m , a n d N o r t h Yorkshire and detachments in BATUS. Taff was known throughout the Corps as a larger than life c h a r a c t e r. T a f f e n j o y e d watching Wales play rugby, he did though manage a regular game of golf and enjoyed much success at the 19th Hole! Away from the military life, Taff was something of a “pipe and slippers man” by the time he met, and then married Linda at the start of 2000. Taff then suffered a series of mini-strokes that led to his exemplary discharge from the Army on medical grounds in August 2006. Taff became a “stay at home” Husband and Dad, which he found very hard, but was greatly boosted by the presence of Daughter Caitlyn and Son Niall who meant the world to him. Then, in June 2016 whilst picking Caitlyn up from School he suffered a life changing stroke leaving him unable to walk and talk. Quick thinking from Caitlyn in getting the Emergency Services to her Dad’s side saved his life leading to seven months in hospital. Taff eventually moved to the Peppercorn House Care Home in Ipswich. Linda, Caitlyn and Niall would be at his side every evening and weekend at Peppercorn to help with cooking, washing, shopping and being together as a family. On Tuesday 26 October 2021 family members, friends and REME comrades attended a Service of Remembrance at the Seven Hills Crematorium, Ipswich conducted by Funeral Celebrant Patrick J Eade where the REME Association and Royal British Legion Standards were paraded with a guard of honour of 30 Veterans and a Bugler who sounded the Last Post and Reveille. Taff leaves behind his wife Linda, Son Niall and Daughter Caitlyn and also Sons Mark, Stuart and Christopher from his first marriage and Daughters Sharon, Rhiannon and Son Reece from his second marriage.


Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Maurice David Hutchins Scribe: Allan Hutchins I regret to inform the Corps of the passing of Lt Col (Retd) Maurice Hutchins who passed away on the 26th December 2021 aged 92. Maurice joined the Army Technical School (Boys) at Arborfield aged 14 in 1943. He passed out in 1946 with Field Marshal Viscount Bernard S. Montgomery of Alamein taking the salute. At the age of 21 and now a Sergeant, he attended a ball where he met Mary, who, just five months later became his wife. Married for just a few months short of 70 years Mary sadly passed away in January 2021. In May of 1953 the first of five children, Joan arrived. Maurice’s career progressed and in 1954 he was posted to Khartoum, Sudan. In December of that year their second child Allan arrived. It was in Sudan that Maurice’s love of golf started. As he recalled, “The workshop wa s s i t u a t e d i n a Fo r t beside Khartoum Airport. At the five cor ners between the For t wall, which was shaped like Queen Victoria’s crown, we built five “browns”, engine oil rolled into the sand with marmalade cans Maurice and Mary on their wedding for the holes. The clubs were manufactured in the day on 31st March 1951 workshop out of working hours of course iron heads forged by the Blacksmith, woods crafted by the chippie. Shafts provided from wireless aerials by the tells shop and leather grips by the coach trimmer. We sent home for golf balls. We played twice round the fort and over the fort wall to the 11th hole on the lawn outside the Sgts mess, the only green.” By the time he returned to England the golf bug had bitten! On his return to England, he was stationed at 4 Bn Bordon as a Lecturer and, where he proudly recalled, they won the Army Cup in football. After that, a move to 5 Bn Arborfield, having earlier converted from Artificer (Instruments) to Artificer (Radar and Telecommunications). In 1963 Maurice was commissioned from WO1. It was soon after that he was instrumental in the inclusion of

The winning football team; Maurice (Captain) sitting on the front row, second from left

golf for both soldiers and officers. He was Captain of ROGS in 1971/2 and became the first captain of the RGA in 1973/4. A year later he became the first person to receive the Corps colours for golf. Further postings were mainly in the UK with the exception of a spell at Herford, Germany as EME (Tels) 4th Division. (1967-79). By now the family had grown with the arrival of Claire, Helen and finally Douglas. In 1970 a move to Signals Research and Development Establishment (S.R.D.E) Christchurch, Dorset, was followed in 1976 as Commanding Officer (CO) of the REME workshop serving Catterick Garrison. During this period, he oversaw the deployment of the Green Goddess’s during the national Firemen’s strike in 1977. A final posting as CO REME Records Office in Leicester in 1978 before retirement in 1979. Maurice finished his career as a Lt Col. We understand he was the first to achieve this rank in the REME from joining as a boy soldier. In retirement Mary and Maurice ran a successful guest house in Bournemouth for many years. Outside of work, Maurice took over as secretary of Dorset County Golf in 1986. Over the next 18 years he transformed the post to a full-time paid position. Other interests included bridge where they both ran a local bridge club. Maurice is now reunited with Mary and leaves behind five children, eleven grandchildren and one great grandson. He was adored by them all.

Playing golf in the desert in Sudan in 1954/5!

Former Lance Corporal James ‘Jim’ Gillespie Scribe: Lt Col (retd) Adam Kaley (Jim’s previous OC) and friends who served with Jim It is with regret that I inform the Corps of the death of former LCpl James Gillespie on 10 September 2021. At his funeral at the West Lothian Crematorium on 8 October 2021, it was announced that Jim had taken his own life. Jim Gillespie was born in the British Military Hospital in Hanover, Germany on 6 May 1973 as his Grandfather was serving in the REME in Celle at the time. He grew up in Livingston where he attended Dean’s Primary School and Bathgate Academy. Being technically minded and with a love of the outdoors, Jim decided to join the Army and enlisted into the REME on 19 October 1992 at Arborfield. He completed his recruit training in the following January and subsequently spent most of 1993 at SEME Bordon undertaking his Armourers Course; which he completed in November. His first posting was to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in Dover, although Jim deployed with them to Northern Ireland for a six-month tour based at Musgrave Park Hospital. Those deployed on roulement tours were not normally allowed out of camp when off duty. This restriction meant that Jim was not allowed to meet up with one of his friends from Bordon who was also posted to Belfast,

who was posted on a residential tour, which meant that he was able to socialise locally. A plan was a hatched to sneak Jim out of camp for a night out. This involved his friend driving to Jim’s base in a military civilian vehicle and bluffing his way past the guards by pretending to be par t of the Special Forces. Hiding Jim in the boot of the vehicle, they headed off to Bangor for a night out. The following mor ning Jim was returned to camp using the same method in reverse; although he was slightly the worse for wear and almost gave the game away as he swayed back to his room. After Northern Ireland he was posted to 2nd Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment (2 R ANGLIAN) LAD in Celle, Germany in July 1995. For Armourers, an Armoured Infantry Battalion provides perhaps the best environment in which to practice their trade given the number, diversity and variety of weapon systems to maintain. Added to those challenges, the seemingly unlimited capacity of infantry soldiers to break equipment meant that Jim had an excellent opportunity to demonstrate his prowess as an Armourer. In early 1996, 2 R ANGLIAN returned back to the UK and were replaced by 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2 RRF), who had been a Light Role Infantry Battalion up to that point. This meant that the LAD, who stayed in place in Celle, had to hand in their brown Anglian berets and revert to the normal dark blue ones, albeit with a red and white hackle fixed behind the REME badge. The conversion to role training that 2 RRF conducted in the first half of 1996 provided many more opportunities for Jim to hone his technical skills. In the latter half of 1996, Jim deployed with C Company Fitter Section to BATUS on EX MEDICINE MAN 4 followed soon after by a deployment to Drawsko Pomorski Training area in Poland on the very first EX ULAN EAGLE carried out by 7 Armoured Brigade. In October 1996 Jim was promoted to LCpl, which was well deserved and reflected that he was a soldier and tradesman with considerable potential. In an LAD blessed with a significant proportion of talented individuals, Jim was one of the brightest stars, considered as a very strong candidate for Artificer training. Given this, it was most surprising that Jim requested premature voluntary release from service after being promoted. Whilst Jim enjoyed his trade and Army life, he did not see it as a long-term prospect. His aspiration was to go to university, get a degree and face challenges outside the Army. Given the worthiness of this course of action and his determination to pursue it, the LAD hierarchy and BEME supported Jim’s application to leave. In time, this would involve helping him complete his university application form and paying for some of his textbooks in his first year at university. In his final year Jim deployed with 2 RRF to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia on Op RESOLUTE from April to October 1997, as part of the NATO force. Jim served as part of the small team supporting Recce Platoon, considered as a plumb post within the LAD given the demands placed upon the Platoon and high degree of autonomy they enjoyed. Although based in Gornji VakufUskoplje, the CVR(T)s of the Platoon clocked up significant mileage across the Battalion’s area of operations and maintained consistently high availability: further testament to Jim’s ability at trade. After post-tour leave Jim finished his service in Celle before returning to Scotland and enrolling at Edinburgh Napier University in 1998, where he had won a place to undertake a Computer Engineering degree. Jim graduated in 2002 with a 1st Class Honours degree. He initially worked for Sky and then for a company in China before he was head-hunted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He spent the next 10 years living in London and working as an IT specialist supporting systems at British Embassies all over the world. Whilst in London, Jim also found time to serve with the then Territorial Army (TA) from 2004 to 2006 in the Royal Signals; where his IT skills were put to good use. He gained a TA commission from RMA Sandhurst and also served in Afghanistan on Op HERRICK.

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In his chosen field, Jim was highly regarded and in 2020 he completed an MSc in Digital Fo r e n s i c s f r o m C r a n f i e l d University. He achieved the highest grade on the course and won the NTASC Prize for his dissertation. He secured a number of job offers as a result of his MSc, including from Cranfield University itself. He decided to take a post as a Senior Consultant in digital forensics with Northrup Grumman which led to him moving to Cheltenham with his fiancée, Sarah with who he had been with for 14 years. Jim maintained his love of the outdoors throughout his life. He enjoyed sailing, golf, skiing and mountain biking amongst other things. Jim made a lasting impression on all those he served with in the Army. We all mourn his passing but remember with fondness the friend and colleague with whom we served and enjoyed life with. If anyone who served with Jim wishes to make a charitable donation in his memory, these should be sent to the Combat Stress Charity.

Death Notices BAXTER – Brig (Retd) Anthony Baxter passed away 24 December 2021 aged 91. Dates of service 1950-1983. CANNON – Former ASM WO1 Douglas Cannon passed away 09 September 2021 aged 83. Dates of service 1956-1979. COPE – Former WO2 WM Cope passed away 15 December 2021 aged 80. Dates of service 1957-1996. DARTON – Major (Retd) Peter Darton passed away 16 November 2021 aged 93. Dates of service 1943-1983. GILES – Former SSgt David Giles passed away 13 November 2021. Dates of service 1964-1978. GILLESPIE – Former LCpl James Gillespie passed away 10 September aged 38. Dates of service 1992-1998. HOLDCROFT – Former Warrant Officer Class 2 Kenneth George Holdcroft passed away on 31 December 2021 aged 90. Dates of Service 1947-1971. HUTCHINS – Lt Col (Retd) Maurice David Hutchins passed away 26 December aged 92. Dates of Service 1943-1979 LANGLEY – Former WO1 ASM Robert Langley passed away 18 December 2021 aged 84. Dates of service 1952-1979. PARKES – Maj (Retd) Geoffrey Patrick Parkes passed away 20 December 2021 aged 81. Dates of service 1957-2000.

Extracts from the London Gazette NEW YEARS HONOURS LIST M.B.E. Acting Lieutenant Colonel Ross Alexander CARTER, Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, 559539. Staff Sergeant Timothy Alan William DAVIES, Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, 25233494 Warrant Officer Class 2 Martin Raymond PRICE, Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, 24907558

07 DECEMBER 2021 REGULAR ARMY Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Major (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) A. D. SHELLARD 24725017 to be Lieutenant Colonel 7 August 2021 Major (Acting Lieutenant Colonel) B. D. HOUSTON 565049 to be Lieutenant Colonel 11 August 2021 44

Short Service Commissions Lieutenant M. ASHCROFT 30277717 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant P. G. ASPINALL 30201406 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant C. G. BLAKE 30223080 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant R. A. BROOKS 30202771 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant N. A. CLOSE 30201430 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant C. M. DAVIDSON 30283352 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant P. EYRE 30201450 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant J. R. HART 30161197 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant K. M. HAWKINS 30222201 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant T. G. KEMPA 30222206 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant E. G. LEMONARIS 30205587 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant (Acting Captain) H. MACFADDEN-MARSH 30222477 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant L. D. MARSHALL 30222214 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant J. A. ROBERTS 30222225 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant (Acting Captain) E. J. TANSLEY 30201535 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant M. THOMSON 30133565 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant B. J. THORNE 30222235 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant D. G. B. TUCKETT 30248646 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant L. S. WILSON 30201489 to be Captain 11 August 2021 Lieutenant S. M. WOODWARD 30201490 to be Captain 11 August 2021

08 DECEMBER 2021 No Entries

15 DECEMBER 2021 No Entries

21 DECEMBER 2021 REGULAR ARMY Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Lieutenant Colonel M. A. MILLER 554426 retires 30 September 2021 Major M. R. NICHOLSON 565055 retires 25 September 2021 Intermediate Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Captain A. J. STEPHENS 25041970 retires 2 September 2021 The following have been awarded the 1st Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) SGT, P. B. EARLE, REME, 25056641 SGT, S. R. W. ALLMARK, REME, 25223855 CPL, N. R. E. CANE, REME, 25221039 CPL, N. L. DRABBLE, REME, 25224086 SGT, J. GAWTHORPE, REME, 25122049 CPL, H. T. GODFREY, REME, 25193381 SGT, M. R. HUBBLE, REME, 25226592 SGT, S. D. HUGHES, REME, 25161104 SGT, R. MARSHALL, REME, 25224161 CPL, S. P. McKERNON, REME, 25222608 SGT, C. W. STRAND, REME, 25224084 SSGT, B. J. THOMAS, REME, 25141726 SSGT, M. D. J. THORPE, REME, 25156605

28 DECEMBER 2021 No Entries

04 JANUARY 2022 No Entries

The REME Charity The Trustees of The REME Charity acknowledge with sincere thanks the donations received during the month of DECEMBER 2021. They also wish to acknowledge the regular subscriptions received from the Officers and Soldiers of the Corps and retired members of the REME Institution:





From Amount 30/11/2021 IMO Glynn Winterbottom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£120.00 01/12/2021 BW Legal Services, Camidge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£130.00 06/12/2021 Worshipful Company of Turners Charity Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1,000.00 Date sent to Craftsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23/12/2021 Total Donations (Dec) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1,250.00 Total £’s paid in Grants (Dec) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£9,841.78 No. Grants (Dec) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Average Grant (Dec) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£615.11

If you would like to see how your money is spent, we welcome one or two observers at The REME Charity meetings. The meetings are held midweek, approximately every three weeks. If you would like to observe a meeting, please contact The REME Charity Secretary on ( Mil: 95481 4527 or Civ: 01249 894527 in the first instance. The REME Charity is here for both veterans and serving personnel in times of hardship or need. Contact via SSAFA ( 0800 731 4880 or The Royal British Legion ( 0808 802 8080  or your Unit Welfare if serving. All enquiries and information is dealt with in the strictest confidence. If you wish to discuss any benevolence need you can contact us on ( 01249 894523.

Anyone wishing to leave a legacy to The REME Charity, which is exempt from inheritance tax, can add a codicil to their will. Our registered charity number is 1165868

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Corps Calendar 2022 More information regarding Corps Mess Functions can found by scanning the QR Code, or by accessing the ‘REME Connect’ website or alternatively email; for all general enquiries.


JUNE 2022 02/09

Founders Day at Royal Hospital Chelsea (TBC)


Beating the Retreat and Cocktail Party



Institution AGM and Corps Officers’ Mess AGM




REME Festival of Sport (FoS)


Charity Trustee Workshop


REME Sports Association Awards Dinner Night


Regimental Guest Night


Corps Council Meeting


RAJA Careers and Employment Support Event (Catterick) Moved to 30 March 2022

MARCH 2022

J U LY 2 0 2 2


Corps ASM Forum (MoD Lyneham)


Corps Ball Moved from 02 Jul 2022


Corps WOs’ and Sgts’ Mess Dinner Night


REME Reserve Management Board


Corps Conference (South) Moved to 04 April 2022


Regimental Sunday at Royal Hospital Chelsea


Colonel Commandant Night


Corps Council Meeting


Corps Conference (North)


Corps Mess & REME Inst Exec Meeting


RAJA Careers and Employment Support Event (Catterick)


Charity Trustee Workshop Moved to 24 Feb 2022

APRIL 2022 04

Corps Conference (South)


Regimental Sergeant Majors Forum at MoD Lyneham


Corps WOs’ and Sgts’ Mess Dinner Night Moved to 08 March 2022


Corps Spring Guest Dinner Night Postponed to 05 May 2022


REME Reunion Weekend (Nottingham), see back pages for more details


A U G U S T 2 0 2 2 No Organised Events SEPTEMBER 2022 08

REME Colonels Command Group (TBC)


Corps Dinner Night


REME Institution Dinner (Formerly Retired Officers’ Dinner)


REME Institution and Corps HQ Officers Mess Executive Meeting


National Memorial Arboretum

OCTOBER 2022 01

Corps 80th Birthday


Airborne Officers’ Dinner Night


Commando Officers’ Dinner Night


REME QM Dinner Night


REME Reserve conference


MG REME Conference

REME Reserves Management Board (Lyneham)


Corps Autumn Guest Night


Broxhead Dinner Night (Postponed)

N OV E M B E R 2 0 2 2


Engineering Awards Lunch (Provisional)


Corps WOs’ and Sgts’ Mess Dinner Night


Corps Council Meeting




Field of Remembrance


REME Reserve Conference (Shrivenham TBC)

M AY 2 0 2 2 05

REME Junior Officers Seminar and Dinner Night Postponed to 12 May 2022


Corps Spring Guest Dinner Night


REME Junior Officers Seminar and Dinner Night



STEM UTCs Craftsman Cup Final (MoD Lyneham)


St Eligius Day


Corps Colonels Command Group




Corps Dinner Night


Artificers SM Forum


REME Reunion Weekend 2022 To be held ld at: t: 4* Ea Eastw twood Hallll Hote tel, l, Mans nsfie ield ld Road,, Eastw twood,, Notti tting ngham,, NG16 3SS

Friday 22nd to Monday 25th Aprill 2022 Either Eith er 1, 2 or 3 nig nights ts Hal alf Bo Boar ard,, en suite ite ac acco commodatio ation A 15% reduction in normal bar prices will apply all weekend Pre-Dinner Drinks receptions Friday and Saturday Gala Night Dinner and Port for the loyal toast Live entertainment each evening Free use of swimming pool and gymnasium facilities

Saturday coach shuttle service to and from Nottingham city centre Numerous daytime fun activities throughout the weekend

Optio tion n 1 - 3 nig nights ts package £224 per person Optio tion n 2 - 2 nig nights ts package £174 per person Optio tion n 3 - 1 nig nightt package £95 per person n (S (Satu turdayy nig nightt only nly

- inc inclu ludes Gala Din inne ner - Limite imited availa labilility ity) BOOKING FORM Package Choice(s (s) (Please indicate quantity required) Option 1 ________ Option 2 ________ Option 3 ________ Persona nall Details ils

REME Assn Branch (if applicable) ______________________________ Name ________________________________________________________ Address______________________________________________________ Post Code____________________________________________________ Mobile/Telephone Number _____________________________________

In 26 acres of landscaped gardens, this hotel is 15 minutes’ walk from central Eastwood, the birthplace of DH Lawrence. It has a fitness centre, outdoor tennis court, indoor swimming pool and sauna.

Itinerary It Fr Friday 13:00 from14:00 17:30 18:30 20:00 Satur turday 07:30

Additional names included in this booking: ______________________________________________________________

Lounge bar in the foyer opens Check-in Welcome Drinks Dinner Fun Casino and entertainment

Breakfast Coach Shuttle to Nottingham City

*** V a r i o u s d a y t i m e a c t i v i t i e s ***

______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ tall nu number of guests ts in inclu luded d in th this is booking ing _____ Tota

16:15 18:15 19:15

Standards Rehearsal Standards Parade Gala Dinner and entertainment

07:30 09:00 09:30 10:15 10:30 18:30 Mond nday

Breakfast Padre & Standards Rehearsal Church Service with Standards Tea/Coffee and Biscuits REME Association Conference Dinner

ired Double ____ Twin ____ Single ____ Number of Rooms requir Whilst every effort will be made to accommodate all special requests this can only be done on a first come first served basis and cannot be guaranteed. A limited

number of disabled rooms are available.

Specia iall Requir irements nts (dietary/walking/hearing difficulties etc) ______________________________________________________________ All prices are inc nclus usive off VAT att the cur urrentt rate. Book Now to avoid disappointment, places are limited. Cheque ues to o be made paya yabl ble to o IOW Tour urs Please return this form with your remittance to: Moun untt Pleasantt (I (IOW)) Ltd td trading tr ng as IOW Tou ours 51 High Str treet,, Shankl klin,, Isle off Wight.. PO37 6JJ *** Book oking ngs can n also o be made by credit/debi bit card att th the number below *** Telephone (01983) (0 ) 405116 www.i .iowto tour urs.c .com

nday Sund

07:00 11:00

Breakfast Final Departures

ALL HOLIDAYS ARE SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AT THE TIME OF BOOKING. SPACE IS NOT GUARANTEED UNTIL THE DEPOSIT IS PAID. Our Trading ng Charter (our (our T&Cs)) can n be viewed on n ou our website www.i .iow owtou