Craftsman Magazine - January 2021

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75 YEARS OF THE CRAFTSMAN Magazine of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers


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

Editor: Katy Walton + Corporate Communications Officer RHQ REME, The Prince Philip Barracks, Lyneham, CHIPPENHAM, SN15 4XX  craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk (preferred method) ( Mil: 95481 4529 Civ: 01249 894529 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: craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk. 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. www.remecharity.org. 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 www.jamprint.co.uk info@jamprint.co.uk 01249 823 950 © Crown Copyright General Handling: This publication contains official information and should be treated with discretion.

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Contents JANUARY 2021

Volume 77 No. 1

FEATURES A New Year’s Message from the Corps Col . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Electronic Support Group, BATUS Wksp REME win the coveted Churchill Medal Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 New Officers Commissioned into the Corps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Excellence in REME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 Looking Back… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18 Trade Talks: Recovery Mechanics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 My Service (Part 2): From 38 Engr Regt to Retirement and Beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 THE 75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE CRAFTSMAN MAGAZINE A Message from the Master General . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 From the Corps Archives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Why Have a Corps Magazine? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15 Editors through the Years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 Every Editor Leaves Their Mark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 The last 25 years . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 What Does the Craftsman Mean to You? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 OPERATIONS AND EXERCISES Op CABRIT 6 in Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Ex IRIDIUM SPROCKET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34 REGULARS Engineering Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Tales of Frank Reynolds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41 Death Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Extracts from The London Gazette . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44 REME Charity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 The Screwjack Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46 Corps Diary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 SPORT Cricket in a Time of COVID-19 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 Front Cover: A selection of front covers from across 75 years of The Craftsman Magazine. January 1946: The first edition’s front cover shows the original REME cap badge. October 1958: The front cover remained very simple with just the cap badge for almost twenty years. February 1964: 8 Indep Recce Flt Workshops were called on to help with lifting a seven year old rhino up to allow circulation to return to his legs, in order to overcome cramp. The exercise had the desired effect though the rhino did charge the fence with his horn. April 1973: A recovery operation in prehistoric times. Publicity picture provided by DAF Motors (GB) Ltd. January 1983: HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother being introduced to Cpl Taff Jones, when she visited 1 QDG in Omagh. January 1998: Her Royal Highness The Queen Mother flanked by Cfn Days (SEAE) and WO1(RSM) Roberts the Corps RSM at the 1997 Field of Remembrance. Photograph by Cyril Luger, Arborfield Branch REME Association January 2006: 6 Bn REME Open Day, QM Maj Pete Smith pictured with In Pensioners from the Royal Hospital Chelsea , Former WO1(ASM) K F Brunger (left) and Former WO1(ASM) Bert Skirrow. This was also the first full-colour edition of The Craftsman Magazine. October 2017: The front cover of the 75th anniversary commemorative edition shows the front covers from the 1st edition, 25th anniversary edition and the 50th anniversary edition of The Craftsman Magazine. Back Cover: The back cover of the first edition. Please note though, that you can now email in your submissions to craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk. And definitely don’t post them to Arborfield; there won’t be anyone there to read them!


The Craftsman Magazine in Numbers The first full-colour edition was printed

15

This month we are There have celebrating the been anniversary of The Craftsman Magazine

75th

900

There have been

years ago, in 2006

24 Craftsman Editors

4 48 4 000 4 2 editions

Currently, each edition of the magazine has

On average, each magazine takes

pages

Editors were also Corps Secretaries and

Each month, over

,

magazines are sent to the REME family

weeks to create and print

were the Assistant Corps Secretaries

Achieved over 90% availability while on exercise? Beaten a fundraising target for The REME Charity? If you have the numbers, we want to share them. Email your best stats and facts to craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


REME Global Reach

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Each month we highlight the global reach of REME personnel, whether it be on operations, exercise or any other challenge set before them.

!

Station Commander’s Commendation – Cyprus SSgt Donaldson, who works within the Joint Engineering and Mechanical Transport Sqn in RAF Akrotiri, was awarded a Station Commander’s Commendation in November. This commendation was awarded to recognise the efforts of SSgt Donaldson throughout the COVID period and is the same level as a Comd ES Commendation.

Op TANGHAM – Somalia

Key: RHQ REME Operations Exercises Other

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1 CS Bn REME has 1 x VM deployed on Op TANGHAM, Somalia as the Equipment Support NCO. This role involves managing and maintaining a fleet of CAV to ensure training can be delivered to the Somali National Army.


IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII Op CABRIT 7 – Estonia D Squadron Fitter Section of the Queen’s Royal Hussars are currently deployed on Op CABRIT 7 in Estonia as part of the 5 RIFLES Battlegroup. The Squadron has worked hard to maintain D Squadron’s 10 Challenger 2 tanks whilst conducting intensive training with the Battlegroup and NATO forces. Most recently, the Section CRARRV crew were put through their paces, taking part in obstacle clearance training with Royal Engineers personnel. The CRARRV made short work of the hasty urban obstacles, flattening all of the cars in its path!

GET IN TOUCH Where in the world are you keeping the punch in the Army’s fist?

Phone: (Mil) 95481 4528/ (Civ) 01249 894528 Email: emediamanager@reme-rhq.org.uk Facebook: facebook.com/REMECorps Twitter: @Official_REME Instagram: @REME_Official

Op CABRIT 7 – Estonia 104 REME personnel are now over halfway through their winter tour of Estonia as the eFP Battlegroup (BG) LAD. Recent operational deployments have seen the BG in Latvia for CT4/Live Fire ranges and Lithuania as OPFOR. Two Armourers have also assisted their NATO counterparts in an advisory role to support a recent purchase of CVR(T) and its 30mm RARDEN Cannon. Five members of the BG LAD have successfully completed an arduous All Arms PNCO Cadre run by 5 RIFLES and two SP have completed their Cl 3-2 trade progression. St. Eligius Day celebrations went ahead, under Force Health Protection measures, and saw eight teams engineer their very own ‘spud launchers’. Personnel are now looking forward to the highly anticipated Cold Weather Operators Course and future deployments in the snow.

Keep an eye on our social media channels for weekly updates on REME’s Global Reach. Then catch up on everything you’ve missed in this dedicated section of The Craftsman!

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 5


Guest Editorial

New Year’s Message from the Corps Colonel, Colonel Andy Rogers ADC 2020 did not turn out to be the year any of us had anticipated and the pandemic has certainly affected every member of the REME family, be they Serving or Retired, Regular or Reserve, or our civilian staff, friends and families. I have not had the opportunity to meet many of you over the past 12 months but we are certainly wellpractised in new methods of communicating by Skype, Zoom, Teams and social media. I have been humbled by the extraordinary resilience, tenacity and spirit of our people in adapting to new ways of working, embracing technology and remaining positive. The mental health and resilience of all members of the REME Family remains at the forefront of my mind after almost a year of enforced isolation and restrictions to our social gatherings. Although the end is not yet in sight, I have been impressed by how the Corps has operated, adapting to new roles in support of the NHS and developing technologies with Other Governmental Departments that will ensure we are ready to enable the rollout of mass vaccination, when it has been approved. Not everybody has been able to play a leading role, however, and many have felt isolated and disenfranchised from their units and colleagues. Regular dialogue is important to maintaining a connection and I urge you all to talk openly about how these restrictions have affected you. The REME Mental Health Strategy has delivered training to a network of people who can provide help across all regional areas. If you would rather speak to someone outside of your organisation, try the ‘SHOUT’ service by sending a text message to 85258 and a professional will respond. I am very proud of the work that the Corps has done to increase our representative networks. The appointment of SSgt Tom Agyekum as the REME POC within the Army BAME Network in June and the formation of the REME Women’s Network in November have provided our service personnel with cap-badge-focussed groups to discuss issues and raise concerns. Even the creation of a new Recovery Mechanic Trade Branch in October has helped change our narrative on how the REME Family remains connected. The eagerly awaited launch of the REME Strategy and Skills Review will ensure we remain relevant and current amidst the technological advancements being brought in to service across the Army. This is an exciting time to be in the Corps and our future is only just being written. I promised last year that we would launch ‘REME Connect’ as a way

75th Anniversary

A Message from Lieutenant General P W Jaques CBE the Master General REME

T

he Craftsman Magazine has for 75 years been at the heart of informing the REME family, Serving and Retired, on what the Corps is doing. From operations and training to parades, sport and adventurous training, The Craftsman Magazine keeps us in touch with each other. It reflects how the Corps is adapting to ever changing operational and engineering demands and how we continue to keep the ‘punch in the Army’s fist’. Over the last 75 years it has also become the key historical record of this change and what the Corps and its people have achieved.

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to keep all members of the Corps together and I am happy to say that it is now live and growing. This is a hub through which all members of the REME Family can contact each other, or access information and support (e.g. applying for grants; signing up to Corps Mess events; details of branches, clubs and groups; or raja links). You can now also find the latest edition of The Craftsman Magazine online, through REME Connect. Who knows what 2021 will throw at us. If the 75 years of Craftsman articles have taught me anything it is that the Corps can adapt and evolve to meet any challenge, ‘Keeping the Punch in the Army’s Fist’. I wish you all a very prosperous year ahead and I hope to meet many more of you over the coming months. Arte et Marte Colonel Andy Rogers ADC Colonel REME


Corps News

Electronic Support Group, BATUS Wksp REME win the coveted Churchill Medal Award

T

he Churchill Medal Award is the premier prize awarded by the Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs) for Defence Engineering Achievement. The award is presented on an annual basis to an individual or a small team for ‘achievement in Engineering and Technical Advancement in support of the development and use of capability to support Military Operations/Readiness’. Sir Winston Churchill gave the approval for the medal’s title on 27 November 1946. This followed the presentation of an Honorary Fellowship of the Society to Churchill by the President of the Society of Engineers. Churchill, who expressed great enthusiasm for this award, reflected on the important contribution by engineers of all disciplines to the military needs in the Second World War. Notable recipients of the Churchill Medal include Sir Frank Whittle in 1952 for the jet engine and Sir Bernard Lovell in 1964 for his work on radio astronomy. In recent years two REME individuals have won the award: 2013 Capt Pip Lines REME and 2014 Sgt Kevin Cuthbert. This year there were five submissions entered from across the Corps and a further 20 from across Defence. The judging panel then produced a shortlist of five nominations, these were then further assessed by the panel who eventually selected the Electronic Support Group, BATUS Wksp REME, as the winner. When asked for comment on this outstanding result, Colonel REME said: “The Churchill Medal is the most prestigious engineering achievement across the whole of UK Defence and is a hard-fought competition each year, against some of the highest levels of technical performance. To win this title, the Technicians from the Electronic Support Group have demonstrated incredible levels of innovation and engineering acumen in support of the operational output of BATUS, despite some difficult restrictions placed on the fleet. On behalf of all members of the Corps, I am immensely proud of their achievements and delighted to see the Churchill Medal awarded, not only to the Army this year, but specifically to REME. Arte et Marte.”

Rear Admiral P Marshall CBE wrote: “My role as the Defence Engineering Champion and Head of Profession (Engineering) is to provide leadership and oversight to the c.55,000 military and civilian engineers across Defence and I wanted to personally recognise your significant achievement in delivering engineering excellence. Please continue to push the boundaries and strive for excellence in all that you do. Your achievements make me proud to be a Defence Engineer. Well done” Maj SC Thompson, OC BATUS Wksp, wrote: “The Churchill Medal Award represents a fantastic achievement for the BATUS Electronic Support Group (ESG) team who have pushed the boundaries of Engineering excellence within the British Army. The examples presented to the IET are only a few of the many outstanding projects that the team have completed to date. The award showcases the collective efforts of not just the team today, but all those who have been a part of ESG. These innovations have all been conducted by ESG while supporting demanding exercises in BATUS throughout the year. But the team will not rest on its laurels and even today they are working on several projects that will continue to improve the capability of the British Army.”

British Army Training Unit Suffield Workshop – Electronic Support Group Churchill Medal Citation In the challenging conditions of the Southern Alberta Prairies, Canada, a small team of highly skilled British Army technicians have been quietly pushing the boundaries of engineering excellence. They have solved problems that had been previously deemed unsolvable, found imaginative solutions to technical issues and, most importantly, delivered improved availability of critical equipment, significant manpower efficiencies and financial savings

BATUS Workshop – Electronic Support Group Voltage Standing Wave Ratio Test Rig The VSWR test rig being used on a Challenger 2 tank before deployment onto the exercise area

BOWMAN Test Rig The BOWMAN test rig testing different radios simultaneously by one REME tradesmen

TITAN and TROJAN NBC Pannier Cover The new NBC pannier being fitted to a TITAN during a simulated NBC situation

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 7


BOWMAN TEST-RIG SCHEMATIC The system diagram shows the complexities of testing the radios together in one test rig. ANT

ANT

ANT

ANT

RFPA

ANT

TEST CAPACITY VHF- 8 HF-1 HCDR-2 BNAU-2 UCD-16 BUDT/VUDT-2

VHF Radios

RFPA

AAC

KEY Blue Box – LRU Orange Line – Power Cable (PWR-XXX) Green Line – Data Cable (VIDS-XXX) Black Line – Signal Cable (COAX) (BRAD-

VHF

VHF

VHF

HF Radios

HFPA

VHF Power & Signal Processing

HF Dual Radio Mount

Dual Radio Mount

ANT

BNAU

UCD

PDU – C/B

UCD

HCDR

BUDT VUDT XANTRAX High Capacity Data

to Defence. They have enhanced the British Army’s state of readiness and its ability to protect the nation, exemplifying all that the Churchill Award represents. The British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) is home to one of the largest and most demanding live firing training facilities in the world, designed specifically to deliver complex Combined Arms Live Firing training to forces preparing for, or deploying on Operations. The Electronic Support Group (ESG) forms part of BATUS Workshop and is responsible for the electronic Equipment Support of over 1200 vehicles and 2500 pieces of equipment deployed in Canada. ESG is formed of eight young but exceptionally talented technicians who are at the pinnacle of their trade abilities. Despite the relentless day to day requirement to provide technical support to units exercising in BATUS, they have found time to innovate, improve safety and drive efficiency. This exceptional team of dedicated engineers have found solutions to issues with in-service capabilities that had been deemed too complex or difficult for many years, even by the Design Authorities (DA). They have delivered three engineering solutions of particular significance which have genuinely improved the ability of the British Army to fight and win. The TITAN and TROJAN (T2) Armoured Engineer vehicles form an important part of any Armoured Force, providing mobility and counter-mobility to the Force, enabling them to overcome obstacles including minefields, gap crossing and other impassable terrain. These battle winning pieces of equipment are used extensively within BATUS to deliver the highest level of combined arms manoeuvre training. A serious fault with the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical (NBC) pannier cover has allowed the ingress of water into the T2 for eight years, with debris and dirt rendering them, at times, un-usable. No solution to this issue has ever been developed by the Design Authority (BAE Systems) or by Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S). The complex challenge was to prevent this ingress whilst maintaining the correct level of air flow, operating temperature and allowing the NBC system to function correctly. In just four months, Cpl Bloomfield of ESG had solved this issue. He has designed, assisted with the manufacture of, and trialled a modified 8 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

User Interface VUDT/BUDT & UCD

cover, testing it both statically and dynamically. Robust engineering embodiment testing confirmed he had eliminated the issue and fully restored the capability of this battle winning asset. This modification alone will save BATUS 250 man-hours a year, and £200,000 of spares and material. Having been unable to resolve the issue themselves BAE Systems have taken it forward as a pan-fleet modification, saving the British Army thousands of hours of inspection and repair as well as up to £1 Million in spares annually. More importantly this modification will deliver the correct level of NBC protection to Soldiers, should they need it. Not content with solving only one issue, Cpl Bloomfield and the ESG team have identified a unique way of simultaneously testing the 600 digital communication systems in BATUS. These systems had been tested individually against the platforms that the radios are fitted to since being introduced into service in 2004, consuming thousands of man hours in bringing together the platforms and vehicles. Testing more than one radio at a time had never previously been attempted because of the system’s sensitivity as they require the correct voltage and power from the parent platform to function correctly. The team used commonly available spares and resources to produce a test rig that can easily and efficiently test multiple radios simultaneously. During its recent use, the test rig saved 2000 manhours allowing several highly qualified technicians to focus on other priority tasks. When this saving is replicated across the Army’s fleet the man hour savings will be huge. A major problem with the Army’s BOWMAN digital communication systems is the difficulty in fully testing their output before they deploy on to the training area. Every year, during initial use, several radio systems would be returned to camp for being incapable of fully transmitting within the prescribed area. Although the systems have a Built-In Test (BIT) these have proven to give erratic readings. In tackling this third issue Cpl Snape designed and procured the parts to build a test device capable of accurately confirming the transmitting power and acceptable Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) of every radio prior to deployment. This was only possible because of his incredibly detailed understanding of the


outputs of these radios, to a level surpassing that of any other tradesmen in the Army. ESG can now fully diagnose any BOWMAN radio system with transmission faults before it is given to the training audience, giving exercising troops the confidence to train safely without the delays resulting from faulty communication systems. Since its introduction the issue of faulty radios being returned on initiation has been eradicated. Over the last 12 months ESG has driven forward engineering innovation at a level that far exceeds what would normally be expected of their ranks and experience. The collective efforts of this small team will save the MOD over £1 Million each year in ES material and manpower, and all of this has been achieved whilst at the same time delivering exceptional day to day electronic support. Colonel Dan Scott CEng, FIMechE, MIET, the senior Engineer within the UK’s Armoured Fighting Division declared “the unique engineering solutions developed by REME technicians in the Electronic Support Group of BATUS Workshop have already delivered: exceptional influence on training; reduced engineering failures; financial savings

and ultimately enhanced the British Army’s operational effectiveness in protecting the nation’s interests.” It is for all these reasons that the BATUS Workshop Electronic Support Group should be awarded the prestigious Churchill Medal. Members of ESG: Warrant Officer Class 2 (AQMS) David Thomas Sergeant Graham Baker Sergeant Matthew Clayton Corporal Christopher Bloomfield Corporal Kate Bramley Corporal Steven Kendrick Corporal Isaac Royals Corporal Samuel Snape The Churchill Medal Award is formally presented at an event hosted by the IET in London. This year’s event has been cancelled due to CV19 restrictions, but the ESG will be present to receive this coveted award at the event to be held in November 2021.

Corps News

New Officers Commissioned into the Corps Scribe: 2Lt Deborah Williams Let us extend a warm welcome and hearty congratulations to the six new Officers who commissioned on a spectator-less parade on Saturday 21 November 2020 at Sandhurst (CCS 203). Here is a brief introduction to our newest ‘subbies’. 2Lt Deborah Williams – 103 Bn REME Deborah spent her childhood in Philadelphia and returned to the UK to study at Loughborough. As a keen athlete competing at a high level in both hockey and rugby, she naturally chose a Sports Engineering degree at Loughborough University, and enjoyed an internship year developing footwear for PUMA in Germany. Deborah will start her commissioned career on the LEAD FIRST scheme (a year-long FTRS contract) where she will be attached to Regular and Reserve REME units to learn from whatever amazing experiences we can throw at her! 2Lt Thomas Wells – 102 Bn REME Born in Lincolnshire and raised on the family farm, Thomas found REME a natural choice having done repairs and fabrication in the yard from a young age. He joined 146 Coy in Scunthorpe/Rotherham and spent some time ‘on tools’ before progressing through the commissioning route. He will also be employed for a year on the LEAD FIRST scheme and thereafter is keen to explore part-time, full time and deployment opportunities. 2Lt Benjamin Johnson – 103 Bn REME Ben is from South Bedfordshire and initially moved to Bristol to attend University but after the first year was offered a job at Jaguar Land Rover, working as a mechanical CAD design engineer for the powertrain department. Now in the Midlands he continued his

degree with Warwick University while sponsored by JLR. Ben’s family has a rich military history which inspired him to serve, so he joined 4 PARA two years ago and completed Phase 1 training with them before transferring to 118 Rec Coy REME. He is a keen sailor and likes to ski so we are confident he will fit right in! 2Lt Jonny Bruce – 103 Bn REME Jonny’s interest in the military was sparked thanks to a nearby UOTC, whilst he studied Mechanical Engineering at an Agricultural University in Shropshire. He moved South for employment and signed up to Reserve service as a Craftsman within 103 Bn. A subsequent move to his family’s farm in Cambridgeshire saw him transfer to 118 Rec Coy in Northampton and following a successful run of Officer selection and training he will serve there as a Platoon Commander. 2Lt Alastair Shapland – 7 Bn REME Alastair is 18 years old and is embarking on a gap year in the Corps. Growing up on Dartmoor, he became familiar with seeing the Army in action and the Ten Tors event helped inspire him to join. Alastair completed A-levels this year and has a place to read Mechanical Engineering at the University of Edinburgh in 2021. 2Lt Will Barker – 2 Bn REME Born and raised in Southampton, Will really enjoyed team sports growing up and loves any excuse to be active and ‘hands on’. He has completed A-Levels and had a variety of jobs before starting at Sandhurst this autumn. Will is also with us for a short term commission on his gap year, and thereafter he aspires to become an engineer to develop future technology and materials.

Well done and we all wish you all the very best in your careers.

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 9


Excellence in REME

Former WO1(ASM) Raymond Olive WO1(ASM) Raymond Olive retired from REME in September after 24 years service. Before his retirement, he was the Senior Strategic Advisor Org to HoC CSS and T Level SME policy advisor to ESRR. Alongside his military career, WO1 Olive also achieved success in REME and Army Sailing, winning multiple events at Corps, Army and Inter-Services level. In this month’s Excellence in REME interview, he reflects on the lessons learnt from 24 years of engineering and sailing. What made you join the Army? I was very keen as a child to be involved with cars and bikes. From an early age I used to help my uncles build stock cars and banger racers; because I was small I could get in to places they struggled to reach. This education gave me a desire to learn about how things worked and from then on I would love to take things apart and put them back together again. The more complex something was, the greater my desire to take it apart and then reassemble it. So when I was told I could do this and get paid for it, whilst gaining an apprenticeship, it was the most logical thing I could think of doing. I joined REME as an apprentice and I was recruited as a Control Equipment Technician (or ECE as it was known), something that sounded perfect to me! After all it meant I would get to play with tanks, and everybody loves tanks!!

Are you happy you made the right decision? This is probably the easiest of all the questions to answer. Having completed 24 years service, I think I really did make the right decision. Being an ECE was the perfect blend of engineering skills for me and it fed my thirst for engineering knowledge. As the years progressed the way that the Corps was structured changed, but this allowed me to adapt and develop my engineering skills and to broaden my horizons into many different areas. The Corps has always been great at adapting and providing all members with opportunities to expand and develop themselves. I have worked on some of the best cutting-edge equipment, assisted with the design and development of this equipment and then managed the repair of the same equipment. The Corps has taken me on a learning journey, from my Level 3 apprenticeship to gaining Level 7 qualifications in Strategic Leadership and Management and an Engineering Level 7 qualification. The Corps encourages you to develop professionally, which is recognised by the numerous professional institutes and sets you in good standing professionally with your civilian counterparts. I am proud to say I have served in the finest Corps the British Army has to offer! REME develops you from the moment you join in all aspects of life and has some of the best people you could ever hope to meet.

What were the highlights of your career? There are several highlights to my military career. Representing the Army in the SB20 World Championships is 10 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

At the Palace for the Queen’s Garden Party

definitely one of my proudest moments along with receiving my Op Herrick Commendation for Valuable Service, but the most satisfying moment was helping to develop the next generation whilst working in DSEME. The final highlight of my career was being selected as Chairman of a national panel of senior employers for the new T Level qualification in Engineering and Manufacturing, Maintenance Installation and Repair; I was responsible for


Fixing a Jackal whilst on Op Herrick 16. I was awarded a Commendation for Valuable Service during this tour. Salvaging serviceable parts from vehicles that had been CAST helped keep availability for the BG above 95%. It also allowed me to go back to my roots as a kid, where I learnt to re-use anything and everything!

overseeing and developing the content and requirements for this qualification in conjunction with the Department for Education and Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. This was a truly unique accolade that showed the difference that could be made. The years of developing my skills in REME were put to use designing a qualification that will shape the nation’s children for generations to come.

How did WO1(ASM) Olive at the end of service differ from Mr Olive who first came to the Army and the Corps? I can safely say that the Corps and the Army have given me so many things that I could never have achieved as a civilian. I have been developed in so many ways and given opportunities that I could never have dreamed of doing as a civilian. The Corps has made me the confident and competent leader that I am today, which is quite a change from the meek 16 year old that joined the Army Apprentice College in Arborfield. This transformation has bought numerous benefits to my new civilian life, including providing me with the skills to manage complex programmes in my new job with the NHS. Joining the NHS during a global pandemic has been a challenge, but the skills that I have learnt from my years in the Corps has seen me lead the response to asymptomatic testing for my trust and now the planning of the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.

You had Corps and Army Colours for sailing, won every REME Sailing trophy, and captained the Corps team for several years. How did you achieve these successes? The sailing qualifications, the coaching and support that I have been given would never have been available to me if I had not joined up. I have gained a world of experience and skills that have set me up for life and given the opportunity to have a greater reach than even I thought possible. I truly doubt I would have been able to take part in a World Championships or even national events if it were not for the Army and the Corps’s support. Sailing is a sport like no other. When sailing single handed it makes you determined and self-reliant, but in all other formats it a team sport, whether that’s as a pair racing a dinghy or a 17 person crew racing a class zero extreme racing yacht. Like many other aspects of military life, every person counts in the team, and I am very lucky to have raced with some truly great teams over the last 24 years. It was hard at times to keep the balance when training for some events and it meant that I had to spend a lot of my weekends travelling around the country to compete, but it was worth every early start and late finish! The support I have had during my career has been immense; without it I would never have been able to achieve what I have. I have been very lucky that I have managed to balance

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 11


an active sports career and a full military career. On top of sailing, I have managed to compete at Army and Corps level for hockey and captain the Corps golf team, but I have always put sailing first.

Along with competitive sailing, you were awarded a sporting Lifetime Achievement Award for services to REME and Army Sailing and you were involved with Toe in the Water. Why did you choose to get involved with sailing to this extent?

I was lucky enough to be a BLOODHOUND and STEM Ambassador whilst serving with DSEME. A great way to pass on knowledge and skills, whist working on an amazing feat of engineering

From early in my sailing career I was taught that if you didn’t give back there would be no next generation for this sport, so I took it upon myself to make sailing open to all. I have encouraged and developed several generations over my career and I know that the current crop I leave this mantle with have the same mantra. Over the years I have taught everyone from General to Craftsman, all with my unique style. This amounts to over 2000 serving individuals. There is the REME Dependants’ course that I have taught on every summer for longer than I care to put to paper, but let’s just say that one of the children is now a Flying Officer in the RAF! This has helped develop the REME family and has helped build a bright future for the Corps home of sailing at South Cerney Sailing Club. I am also very proud to have been part of the Toe in the Water Charity and to have helped raise money for this great charity that helped get injured service personnel back in to competitive sport through the medium of Yacht racing. This was about giving back to those that needed it and helping them on their road to recovery.

The Army Inter-Services Champions team – all four members were serving REME personnel at the time

12 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


How did you balance being a successful Sportsperson and a Soldier with your other responsibilities? It is very difficult to balance being successful at sport, being a Soldier and having a family. I found the easy way with the latter was to get the person you wanted to have a relationship with interested in sailing! Then they never really have a problem with it, especially if you then get the kids involved! The balancing of Soldier and sailor was much harder, and the job had to come first on occasions. You make sacrifices along the way with both elements in the military, but if you are dedicated, then you can do it all. It’s not easy, but nothing that is worth it is ever easy.

You’re now a civilian, having left the Corps in September 2020. How have you found the change from military to civilian life? Leaving the Corps during a Global Pandemic was a brave call and one that I debated on long and hard. If I’m honest, I was looking for a new challenge and a new career away from engineering. Life is certainly different and you do miss some things (and things I thought I would never ever think I would miss!), but it has definitely been the challenge I was looking for. In the military we have a set of values, which in the Corps is very much based upon the team or the REME Family, that isn’t always there with some employers. I am lucky that the establishment I now work for (The University Hospitals of Morecombe Bay NHS Foundation Trust) has a very family orientated set of values and it’s almost like working for the Corps, just without the uniform (oh and longer hair!!). Managing civilians is a challenge, and most of them have little understanding about the real military, but the skills that I

have learnt from being in the Corps have definitely made it easier for me to make the change. I have even managed to make the Executive Directors turn up five minutes before for meetings, which is some achievement.

What have been the advantages of completing a full military career before joining the civilian world? Completing a full career in the Corps has allowed me to gain experience at a senior level, which I have been able to take in to the civilian world. Had I left earlier and not completed my career I would not have gained this valuable experience, something that is so commonly overlooked. The experience of having a full military career under your belt, along with all of the excellent qualifications, really does open doors for you! The other big benefit from serving a full career is the immediate pension it gives you! A pension that is the envy of everyone that I work with – in my current job, at least 10% of your salary is taken as a pension contribution.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering joining REME today? This is probably the second easiest of the questions to answer, as I know exactly what I would say! To quote Nike, “Just do it”!! Joining the Corps in the current climate is full of opportunities that should excite anyone. Right now the Army is looking at how it will operate in future and that is providing some really exciting prospects right now. It is a time of exploring new ways of doing things and will develop the next generation of Engineers, ready to support the Army in all of its adventures! There are exciting times ahead; it is something that the Corps can exploit. Joining REME will not only develop you as an individual, but it will make you part of a family! One that I hope I don’t lose contact with!

DEVELOP Your PROFESSIONAL

SKILLS FREE WEBINAR Date: 24/02/20 Time: 13:00

Whether you are serving in the REME or a service leaver, veteran or reservist, APM will be offering advice and guidance on how to maximise your CPD and the possibility of becoming a chartered project professional. To be part of this event please contact robert.allen@apm.org.uk

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 13


In 2011, the Corps Archivist, Col (Retd) Mike Sibbons, shared this article on the birth of The Craftsman Magazine. It is after all “the glue that binds us and ensures we maintain Corps identity.”

From the Corps Archives by Col (Retd) Mike Sibbons, Corps Archivist

The Corps Archives, which are located in the REME Museum at Arborfield, contain a wealth of information on the Corps’ heritage. In particular, the Museum holds every copy of our Corps magazine since the original publication. This article describes the birth of our Corps Magazine ‘The Craftsman’.

Birth of ‘The Craftsman’

With the publication of the first edition of our ‘REME Monthly Magazine’ (see front cover below), the last brick in building the edifice of the Corps was firmly put in place: However, many of you may wonder why we did not have a magazine of our own until 36 years after the formation of the Corps. The answer is simply ‘Paper Control’. During the war years, in spite of the great pressure continuously brought to bear on it, the Ministry of Supply was unable to release the necessary paper, and it is for this reason alone that we did not go into print on our own. The gap was, manfully, filled by the RAOC, who placed their own Corps Gazette at our disposal and even went to the length of altering REME Magazine Volume 1 their cover to include the REME January 1946 b a d g e . A c o py o f t h e R AO C Gazette, incorporating the Journal of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, produced on the formation of the Corps (October 1942), is shown below: This, in effect our first Corps magazine, was printed on extremely flimsy paper and contained a short biography of our first Director of Mechanical Engineering (DME) Major General E B Rowcroft CBE; a message from DME on the formation of the Corps; an article on the newly formed Headquarters Training Establishment REME; and a list of Prisoners of War and the names of the camps in which they were incarcerated. With the majority of the new Corps being formed with personnel from the RAOC, Major General Rowcroft wrote in the RAOC Gazette: ‘The birth of the new Corps, REME was celebrated on 1 October 1942, with ceremonial parades, messages of congratula- The cover of the RAOC Gazette tion, guest-nights and similar jollifidated October 1942 cations. It is time now to take stock and see where the new Corps stands vis-à-vis its sister Corps and Arms of the Service… …The whole mechanical maintenance of the Army in its widest sense now rests on the shoulders of REME and without efficient service on our part the whole of the land fighting service would, in only a matter of weeks, be completely paralysed – a sobering thought but not a discouraging one… ...Our best efforts, in turn, can be brought to naught through lack of spare parts – the life-blood of any repair organization – and here comes in the reciprocal nature of our work with that of the RAOC; for while we are in their hands as regards the flow of spares, they are equally dependent on us for the scaling of spares. Ours is the responsibility for assessing the rate of wear or the incidence of failure of the various parts

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of every one of the hundreds of machines in use in the modern Army; theirs is the responsibility for converting these scales into quantities sufficient to cover the requirements of: REME ‘expense stores’ in our workshops; the bins of Ordnance Field Parks; the reserves in Base Ordnance Depots; the precarious ‘pipe lines’ of shipping between producer country and user; and, finally, the reserves in Central Ordnance Depots in the UK. The close interlocking of these two components of the Army’s maintenance services therefore needs no elaboration… …There is another reason for the closest cooperation between the two Corps, which is a matter of the heart rather than of the head. REME took, on formation, some 60% of the personnel of RAOC and this exRAOC element represents roughly 90% of the total strength of the new Corps. We must, therefore, regard the RAOC in a very real sense as our parent Corps… …It is a particularly obnoxious child that does not hold its parents in affection and remembrance, and it is an unnatural parent who does not feel a pang of regret to see its offspring cast off the parental leadingstrings and set forth into a difficult world on its own. Let us see to it that we are not an obnoxious child and let us remember, too, the inevitable parental regrets of the RAOC and, indeed, the other two great Corps (RASC and RE) from which we are sprung… …Let us always remember, therefore, that, while our responsibilities are to every arm of the Service, and while we correctly value and jealously guard our newfound independence, we are called upon to maintain the closest liaison with the RAOC and to keep in mind our many obligations to that Corps… …With cooperation and goodwill, the future of both Corps is bright. Without it, neither can give of its best to the Army as a whole and they will, individually, come to grief!’ In his foreword in our first magazine published in January 1946, Major General Rowcroft wrote: ‘This magazine is written almost wholly by REME for REME and their friends. It must have food – letters, articles, pictures – or it will die, and it is up to you, our REME readers, to supply the food. If you do not forget that fact, then we are certain to go on from strength to strength… …Good luck to the magazine and to the Corps of which it is the mouthpiece’. The next significant change to the Corps magazine came in October 1959 with the change in title to ‘The Craftsman’. However, as documents in the Corps Archives show, this new name was not original; it was the title of the weekly newspaper of 22 Advanced Base Workshop up until September 1945 and ceased only due to rationing of paper. The REME Museum has a set of these original newspapers. Finally, as seen in the results of ‘The Craftsman Readership Survey’ published in the May 2011 edition, the magazine continues to flourish with 82% of the readership valuing it very highly and, in the spirit of the foreword published in the first 1946 edition, one comment from the recent survey stands out: ‘The Craftsman provides a great means of keeping up with people and developments in the wider The cover of ‘The Craftsman’ Corps – particularly for those of us dated October 1959 deployed in LADs – and is read avidly by REME and members of our parent unit alike. It is the glue that binds us and ensures we maintain Corps identity’. Long may it continue! (If you have any anecdotes about the original Corps magazine or comments on the current format, please contact the Corps Archivist by email: mike.sibbons@rememuseum.org.uk or 0118 9763469 and let us know).


75th Anniversary

From the Editor Katy Walton, the current Craftsman Editor, explores what the purpose of The Craftsman Magazine has come to be over its 75 years of life.

75

years of The Craftsman Magazine. That’s 900 magazines published since 1946, recording the news, stories, opinions, and development of The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Even in the two years that I have been editing the magazine, there have been articles ranging from raising awareness of mental health through to introducing new features such as ‘Trade Talks’ and ‘Where Are They Now?’; passionate former Soldiers telling their stories of early REME and serving personnel sharing what happened on operations. Amidst all the articles and features though, there is one constant thread: every story is written by a member of the REME Family. This is The Craftsman Magazine’s greatest strength – it is the REME magazine precisely because it is the REME Family who fills it. In his editorial for the 50th Anniversary, Maj (Retd) Peter Beeken said, “…a regimental journal (magazine) is a great assistance to morale and comradeship and this is still a major factor today. It is also an important means of informing and sometimes educating both serving and retired members of the Corps.” As the REME Family has grown in size, this has become increasingly the case. The Craftsman Magazine is the link between the generations of REME, keeping our Veterans aware of how the Corps is changing to stay up to date with modern technology while also reminding those serving whose shoulders they are standing on. Regular updates from REME Association Branches remind us that the bonds forged in the Corps don’t disappear overnight. The Scotland Branch’s story celebrating their 25th Anniversary in the December 2020 edition exemplified this, with photographs showing Serving and Retired personnel enjoying themselves during Robbie Burns Night. Celebrating in The Craftsman Magazine isn’t restricted to anniversaries or the Association either. This month, we are able to celebrate with Electronic Support Group, BATUS Workshop, who won the Churchill Medal for their innovate solutions to various challenges. In a normal year, which 2020 was certainly not, the magazine is filled with stories of REME sportsmen and women achieving success at every level. And, of course, we recognised throughout 2020 the hard work put in by REME personnel across the country in the fight against COVID. You can read about other achievements reported in the magazine in ‘Rounding Up 25 Years of REME News’, from charity work to sport successes and even rescuing a BBC Generator Truck (read more on page 19). A personal favourite was when I had the chance to interview Cpl Lewis Staton for the October 2019 edition about his Operational MBE and his work with AMISOM. Those are just a few examples of times that the achievements of REME Officers and Soldiers have been shared and celebrated in the magazine. Along with sharing good news from across the Corps, The Craftsman Magazine has two other key roles. Firstly, it is one of the best ways to share information across the Corps. Take, for example, the four-page spread from REME Soldier Wing that appeared in the October 2019 edition. Even here in RHQ, I

regularly see the centre spread still stuck up on the walls of Officers and Soldiers alike. The return of the OF5 Guest Editorial is another example, presenting Senior Officers from across the Corps a chance to talk to everyone from Craftsmen still in Phase 2 through to the COs and ASMs. These may not be the most exciting of stories but when it comes to putting the necessary information in the hands of Soldiers, The Craftsman Magazine is the magazine to choose. The final role of the Corps magazine is perhaps its saddest but no less vital for the REME family - the Obituaries column. Though no one likes to think about death, sharing the stories of much-loved, recently deceased Corps members is perhaps one of the biggest honours of being the Craftsman Editor. Often the stories that come through are of individuals who loved the Corps – I’m fairly sure some would have bled blue, yellow and red – and lived a full life both during and after their service. Occasionally, an obituary will inspire further trips down memory lane, inspired by those Corpsmen who can only be described as ‘characters’. Major (Retd) Frank Reynolds was one such individual, with many who knew him contributing their memories of his various exploits to the magazine. Even in the sadness surrounding obituaries, there is still joy to be found in remembering those who formed the Corps and the values it stands for. On a personal note, editing The Craftsman Magazine is both an honour and a challenge every month. Whilst a nine year old Katy might have dreamed of working on a magazine, she never imagined it would be one about the Military or engineering. Considering that when I joined RHQ and the Corps Communications Team two years ago I knew nothing about REME, you may agree that on paper I don’t look like a Craftsman Editor. Yet with each month of editing your stories about operations and exercises, sports matches and fundraisers, buffets and quiz nights, I have grown very fond of REME*. There are some stories that will stay with me forever, such as the rescue of a half-submerged BARRV in Brunei, and editions I will always be proud of, such as the first Black History Month special in October 2020. Then there are the back-and-forth emails about the size/quality of photographs and formatting of articles that are a regular part of the editing process, which many of you will have been on the receiving end of. As with any job, there are lows as well as highs. However, when the magazines arrive in the Communications Office at the end of the month there is a definite sigh of relief mixed with pride… before starting it all again. Looking forward, things are changing once again in the world of Corps Communications and Media. As Colonel REME mentioned (see page 6), REME Connect is coming and with it a digital version of The Craftsman Magazine. Editions and articles for 2021 and even 2022 are being planned out as requests for specific months come in. As a team, we are reassessing the best way for stories and news to be submitted, depending on whether it is for print or social media. Despite all of this, one thing will remain the same for the next 25 years: every story being written by a member of the REME Family.

*As evidenced by discussions between me and my mother when it comes to the Royal Artillery (whom she works with) and REME.

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 15


75th Anniversary

Why Have a Corps Magazine? An Editor is an essential part of any magazine, deciding not only on the stories, news and features but also on its design and direction. Fortunately, The Craftsman Magazine has not been short of good Editors over the 75 years. Brian Burton… The First Brian Burton was a serving Captain, who was presumably awaiting discharge after the war. We are not sure if he was REME. He remained as Editor until October 1946 (we think), when his deputy, Capt John Josephs, took over. John Josephs was a Corps cricketer (as was a later Editor, Peter Beeken).

Editor and Deputy January 1946

Editor

Capt Brian Burton

January 1947

Editor

Capt John Josephs

June 1947-50

No mention of individuals on editorial staff

1950-53

Editor

Major JH Moyle

1953-October 56

Editor

Maj DW Hearn ERD

Editor

Brig KG Clissold (Retd) late RA/RAOC Brig Clissold died suddenly on 24 February 1958 Maj JH Moyle, a previous Editor, assisted until a new Editor was appointed

November 1956

September 1958

Editor

Brig J Orr CBE (Retd)*

April 1962

Editor

Brig N Malony (Retd)*

June 1973

Editor

Brig TH Garner MBE (Retd)*

July 1973

Deputy

Col RJ Pavey (Retd)

February 1976

Deputy

Lt Col GR Riddick OBE MC (Retd)

September 1981

Deputy

Maj J C Johnson MBE (Retd)

September 1983

Editor

Brig MW Clark (Retd)*

February 1987

Editor

Maj JC Johnson

December 1989

Deputy

Mrs ZB Skivington became Deputy August 92

April 1990

Editor

Maj PG Beeken retired in 1993 and became a RO3

October 1999

Editor

Col DJ Wright (Retd)

July 2000

Editor

Maj JR Holman (Retd)**

March 2004

Managing Editor

Maj JR Holman (Retd)**

Editor

Mrs ZB Skivington

Capt Brian Burton, the first Editor

Katy Walton… Current Editor Katy Walton took over as Editor in Spring 2019, along with the role of Corps Communications Officer in RHQ REME. As a civilian, Katy was completely new to REME and soon discovered that the only thing they had in common with the Royal Artillery (where she had worked for two years) was the uniform. Though she’s still getting to grips with her 2ICs and 7Ps, she manages to pull The Craftsman Magazine together every month.

Katy Walton (right) with her predecessor, Charlotte Wilson (left) during their HOTO

March 2008

The last edition listed with a Managing Editor

September 2013

Editor

Ms A Woolley

The Corps Communications Team

July 2017

Editor

Mrs C Wilson

November 2017

Editor

Mr D Horne

May 2018

Editor

Mrs C Wilson

April 2019

Editor

Ms K Walton

April-June 2020

Editor

Mrs C Birch covered the role while Ms K Walton covered the role of Communications Manager within the Corps Communications Team

Though the Editorial Team has reduced in recent years, what counts as Corps Communications and Media has grown. To this end, the role of Craftsman Editor is taken on by the Corps Communications Officer, who sits within the Corps Communications Team. Making up the rest of this team are the Corps Communications Manager, the Digital Media Manager, and Communications Support Administrator (previously the Despatch Clerk), with SO2 Plans providing strategic and military oversight. So, whether it is Corps social media, the British Army website, or The Craftsman Magazine you’re looking at, it all comes from one team dedicated to bringing you news about what’s happening in your Corps and across the REME Family.

*Also Corps Secretary ** Also Assistant Corps Secretary 16 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


Every Editor Leaves Their Mark ...though some leave a bigger mark than others. Here are just a few of the times that Craftsman Editors have made it into the magazine that they put together each month.

Zoe Skivington still holds the record for the longest serving Craftsman Editor (Article taken from the November 2009 edition)

The new millennium was welcomed in by Col (Retd) D J Wright and the editorial team with a new front cover for the January 2000 edition

The last editorial from Maj (Retd) Peter G Beeken in the September 1999 Edition

In earlier magazines, editorials were used to share changes in the magazine as well as a bit of competition to get articles coming in, with some financial compensation (Article taken from January 1958)

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 17


Looking Back…

Chip Butties and ‘Formal’ Dinners In the fifth instalment of his ‘Looking Back’ column, Former WO1 (and former Deputy Editor) John Worrall reflects on the social side of REME Aborfield as well as the players who helped to make the Club what it was.

I

n my last article, I mentioned my association with REME Arborfield Football Club. The club was formed in 1970 when WO1(RSM) Ben Braine and Cpl Sean Hayes had the idea to enter a team in the Reading Combination League, later the Reading and District League, with the aim to provide good competitive weekend football. Enthusiasm grew and a Reserve team was fielded in the 1973/74 season. Eventually the Army Apprentice College joined the Reading League in 1982/84. For a few seasons a team also played in the local Sunday League. Over the years, several hundred players turned out for REME Arborfield, many from units outside Arborfield, including Corps players and also civilians. I can remember turning out when in my forties, on two occasions. Also, Maj (Retd) Charlie Oliver, then a young lad of course and better known as a Rugby player, played occasionally in the Sunday team. There were ‘ups and downs’ of course, but the 1985/86 season, was the best in the Club’s history; the team did the treble by winning the Premier Division, the League Cup and All Champions Cup. And to put the icing on the cake, Pete Davies was voted Manager of the Year. The original aim of Sean Hayes and Ben Braine, to provide good competitive football at weekends was well and truly achieved. The social side of football was a very important factor in the club’s success. A room was located initially in an old stable block in Hazebrouck Barracks; then better premises were made available above the NAAFI next to the main Sandhurst accommodation block. Over several years this facility was improved and hosted DJ nights and other events. It was a particularly lively place after home games, when opposing teams were hosted and food, then from the Cookhouse, was laid on. The ‘chip butty’ sandwiches were a big attraction. Throughout the history of the Club, there has always been a number of people who helped to keep the Club going both on and off the field. There isn’t room to mention all those who played or contributed to the success of the Club; in the early years Alex ‘Spud’ Taylor did a great job and of course for many years, too many to remember, Pete Davies with

Danny McIvor and Sammy Williamson were the ‘backbone’ of REME Arborfield. Sammy took over ‘the flag’ from me, when I decided to get a Season ticket to watch Reading (Royals). (Unfortunately, Sammy is now in a Care Home). Pete played for REME Arborfield and took over as first team manager in 1981, a role he carried out until his untimely death in 2015. Danny McIvor and Sammy Williamson were there until the end. They had, like myself, after retiring from the Corps, settled in the Arborfield area and continued to be involved with the Club in one way or another. The highlight of the year in the Club’s calendar was the Old and Bold Match, played at the end of the season. The winning team took away the trophy, a wooden, carved, circular object, which occasionally went missing; it was taken on holiday one year by some individual and photographs were sent back showing it by a swimming pool in some faroff resort. However, it always turned up on the day of the match. The game, between past players, the Old, and the current team at the time, was played in a light-hearted manner – well, most times! I officiated in a few of these games and somehow managed to ‘keep the peace’! After the match, which was normally held before the FA Cup Final, a ‘formal’ dinner was held. The first one took place in April 1983, with awards given out to players and others who had contributed during the year. On some occasions, we had a special guest to present the trophy and awards. I remember, former England and West Ham Manager Ron Greenwood and Stan Cullis, former manager of Wolves and English International, attending as guests. The final Old and Bold Reunion took place over the weekend 29-30 May 2015, organised by WO1 (ASM) Alan Woolley, with assistance of course, from many others. Sadly, with the move to Lyneham, REME Arborfield was no more. I understand efforts were made in Lyneham to get a club running but this proved unsuccessful.

More snippets from the Golden Anniversary Edition of the Craftsman January 1996: 1951 From the Editorial Congratulations to 4 Training Battalion REME on being the first REME unit to win the Army Association Football Cup. In front of a crowd of 8000, Aldershot on 11 April they beat the East Yorks 2 – 1. Note: 4 Battalion went on to win the Army Cup in 1957 and 1958. In the 1958 Final the Cup was presented to the Captain of the REME side, Cfn A Nelson by HM The Queen.

1952 An ‘All REME’ Troopship Since the disturbances started in Egypt, drafts for units in MELF have been much larger and more frequent than usual. On 31 January, five drafts totalling some 500 men assembled at the Depot ready to sail on the Troopship, Charlton Star, which apart for a small number of RAMC personnel was allocated exclusively for REME. Hockey Sgt J V Conroy, a Corps Hockey Player represented England against Ireland and scored two goals. Both Sgt Conroy and boxer LCpl Gooding were selected to represent Great Britain in the 1952 Olympics. Records Round-up Due to concern amongst Soldiers about the introduction of Phase II, when over 400 Soldiers from other Arms and Corps transferred into the Corps, REME Records produced several articles to explain the latest systems… Armament Artificers – Promotion to WO2 is by time. Promotion to WO1 is taking place after 9-10 years’ service as an Artificer and in some cases at the age of 33-34. That is not bad.! Expedition Cairngorm The first report of an adventurous training expedition. This was undertaken by a party from 24 Command Workshop. Operation ‘Flood Lynemouth’ A workshop, comprising of men from 29, 27 and 18 Command Workshops was formed to assist in tasks associated with floods that devastated Lynemouth in North Devon. So, what’s changed!

18 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

1953 FOR SALE: Items Officers’ uniform Service Dress with extra pair of trousers £7.0.0. (roughly £20 today) Officers’ Greatcoat £6.0.0. Sword with leather scabbard £4.0.0. World Film Premiere at Arborfield Barbara Kelly and Gilbert Harding at Arborfield. Both were big stars in the early days of Television. The first World Premiere of a film held in an Army Theatre was elaborately staged at the Globe Cinema in Arborfield on 12 March, before a capacity soldier audience. The film ‘Love in Pawn’ starred Barbara Kelly, Bernard Braden, Jean Carson and Reg Dixon. Letter to the Editor - extract from a letter from a Cfn Irwin. In the REME Magazine of March you listed a Cfn Irwin as missing believed lost, on the Princess Victoria. I went on leave in January and should have been on the ship. My unit thought I had travelled on the ship. Yours faithfully, W Irwin PS. I changed my route and travelled by Heysham Congratulations on your change of mind… Editor Note: Stop anyone on the street and ask them about Titanic, chances are they will know something about that maritime tragedy. But despite the fact that no women or children survived the sinking of the Princess Victoria, (a car ferry travelling from Larne to Stranraer, which sank on 31 January1953 with the loss of 133 lives), you might get a more quizzical look. REME Corps Staff Band An advert for a vocalist Applicants should be able to read music and have a varied repertoire. Regular Soldier preferred but a National Serviceman will be considered if possessing the necessary qualifications… Pity Matt Monroe (a former REME Soldier) wasn’t around at the time! Singer Matt Monroe’s real name was Terry Parsons, he served in the Corps in 1949/50. It is interesting, that in the 1996 Special edition of the magazine on (page 30), a ‘snippet’ mentions Matt Monroe with a picture. Matt was on a visit to Hong Kong at the time.


75th Anniversary

Rounding Up 25 Years of REME News In his Looking Back series, former Deputy Editor John Worrall has been sharing extracts from the 50th Anniversary’s Edition round up of a half-century of news. So, for the 75th Anniversary, we’re bringing you up to date with what’s happened in the 25 years since then. But first, a quick note from the 1996 Editorial Team, “We are certain that some readers will have a personal involvement in many of the events and would like to have seen more news extracted… no apologies we had to fit it all in. Some may be surprised that some events are not mentioned, it could well be that the event was never reported in the magazine, in the first place. We hope you enjoy your walk down memory lane…”

The 1990s January 1996 Multiple Sclerosis Challenge, 17-18 June 1995 Members of the Combined Arms Training Centre Battle Group LAD took part in the Multiple Sclerosis Challenge. They carried MS sufferer, Mr Neil Simpson, a former SSgt Instrument Technician, in a wheelchair over a six mile cross country course on the lower slopes of Mount Siabod, Snowdon. They raised over £1,500 for the Beckford Centre.

February 1996 Farewell to Middle Wallop: SAW Flag Lowering Ceremony On Tuesday 7 November 1995, the School of Aeronautical Engineering was formally closed ahead of its move to Arborfield, where it was merged with SEAE.

July 1996 Letters to the Editor Confused of Andover wrote ‘As a relatively young Corps we ought not to discard such historical idiosyncrasies without careful consideration. Tradition is slowly built and easily lost’ when discussing the disappearance of “Armament” from the rank of Armament Artificer (Arm Art).

Championships were held in the slightly less exciting location of Burghfield Sailing Club, where SEAE took the team prize.

March 1999 Loan Service in Oman “If you want the sunshine then this is the place for you. There is never and I mean never a day ‘when the sun don’t shine’.” These were the opening lines to a centrespread about being deployed to Oman as one of 90 Loan Service Personnel from across the three services. It must be the only feature that comments on winter’s arrival as a good thing as well.

July 1999 2 RGJ LAD Support The BBC: Exercise Rhino Peacekeepers “Exercise Rhino Peacekeeper was not your average type of exercise. In March the Battalion joined forces with the BBC to film on location in the Czech Republic. The BBC had secured a Platoon of Warriors from 2 RGJ and five of the LAD went along to support the exercise… At one point in the production we even had to come to the rescue of the BBC Generator Truck which was well and truly bogged in. Once again – REME to the rescue!”

The 2000s

April 1997

January 2000

7 Bn Naval Field Gun Competition In 1996, 7 Bn REME did not need a bonfire to warm them up. Instead, they were glowing from their victory in the Naval Field Gun Run. The article closed with CPO T Howard writing “I can guarantee it’ll be tougher next year, it is after all the Navy’s number one sport and they want revenge.”

Guest Editorial: REME Into The 21st Century Col C Ward wrote the first guest editorial of the new millennium, focusing on the future and how REME was tackling future organisations, structures, concepts and doctrine. He finished the editorial with the following: ‘REME has come a long way since 1942 but as we now enter the 21st Century it is important to begin to understand what shape we should be in when we celebrate our 75th anniversary in 2017.’

December 1997 The Director of The Science Museum Visits the New ‘REME Museum of Technology’ Sir Neil Cossons OBE, Director of the Science Museum, was invited to visit SEAE and the REME Museum. The dual purpose of the visit was to show Sir Neil how the Corps approaches the training of technicians to deal with the most advanced military electronics systems and how the Museum presents the Corps’ story to the public.

September 1998 The Future Command and Liaison Vehicle Maj Peter Angus MBE RA, HQ QMG (ES22), ILS Manager Armoured Vehicles introduced the Future Command and Liaison Vehicle (FCLV) as a replacement to the Ferret Scout car. Though he theorized that it may “gain a racier title in due course”, the summary was that the introduction of the FCLV would have a significant impact on some REME Tradesmen’s tasks.

December 1998 Windsurfing REME windsurfers competed at Corps and Army level, including the World Longboard Championships in Spain. The REME Corps

July 2000 Korea – 50th Anniversary An unknown contributor wrote an article on the role of REME units in the Korean War and the experience of personnel there. There was also a reunion of REME Korean War veterans on Thursday 6 July at Arborfield.

June 2001 To All COs and OCs – ‘Thank you’ REME Family Skiing Instructors Maj A A Allen shared the experience of his family on a REME Family Skiing package. Both his son, aged 4, and daughter, aged 7, learnt to ski and were awarded BASA 1 Star and BASA 2 Star. Andy and his wife, Linda, also improved their skiing with the help of the dedicated REME ski instructors.

December 2001 The REME Robot – Rhino REME was given the opportunity to create and enter a robot into the BBC series Robot Wars on behalf of the Army. It was described in the article as looking like a mini CRAARV, complete with armoured tracks and a huge titanium shovel. Though Rhino, as the robot was called,

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was defeated and thrown 10ft in the air, Craig Charles did say that the Army had won for pure showmanship hands down.

February 2002 Borneo Challenge 2001 – In aid of British Blind Sport SSgt Tony Cuffing, along with Sgt Lara Pinches RLC, acted as the eyes of Great Britain blind cricket player and para-Olympian Andy Graves during the Borneo 4 x 4 Challenge. The challenge included 11 other volunteers and was to raise money for the British Blind Sport charity – over £12,000 was raised.

June 2002 Northern Ireland Branch Standard Dedication On Saturday 23 March, members of the Northern Ireland Branch of the REME Association descended on Kinnegar WOs’ Mess. The reason? The dedication of the new Branch Standard, which was performed by Padre Philip Patterson. The celebrations were continued with a late lunch and then dancing into the night with a disco.

July 2003 3 Battalion REME – Op TELIC Far from just providing equipment support, 3 Bn REME’s article on Op TELIC shared what it was like to be part of the Prisoner of War Handling Organisation (PWHO) and working with a Locally Employed Civilian detachment. It sounds like those working in the PWHO met a lot of chefs and tomato farmers.

November 2003 REME Beat The Red Devils At Their Own Game! At the Armed Forces Parachute Championship, REME left with multiple medals, including two Gold Medals won by the Chairman, Lt Col Mike Smith. However, the highlight was when REME Red won the Junior 4-way FS competition, leaving the Red Devils trailing seven points in an event they normally dominated.

August 2004 REME Normandy Veterans on the D-Day Beaches for the 60th Anniversary Harold Baggalley, Joe Corben, James Henry (Harry) Graham, Maj Joseph (John) Mark MSM (Retd), Walter (Wally) F Harris MM and Ron Stevens were among the REME personnel involved with the D-Day Landings. For the 60th Anniversary, their stories were shared in The Craftsman Magazine.

December 2004 From the Corps Archives: 55th Anniversary of the Handover of the Volkswagen Works by the British Military Government 5 October 2004 marked 55 years since the British Military Government transferred the trusteeship of Volkswagen AG into German hands. To commemorate the event, the Minister-President

of Lower Saxony, Christian Wulff, and the Chairman of Volkswagen, Dr Bernard Pischetsrieder, staged a ceremony at Hannover’s Herrenhauser Garten. Dr Bernard Pischetsrieder stated: ‘Volkswagen is proud to have been part of German-British friendship history.’

January 2005 Opening of Poperinghe Guardroom: REME Museum of Technology The Poperinghe Guardroom was reconstructed as the new front entrance to the REME Museum, housing a team room, reception/shop area and a display of a REME Guardroom set in the 1950s. The original guardroom had been destroyed after the site of Poperinghe Barracks was sold for housing.

May 2005 The 60th Anniversary of Victory in Europe To mark this important anniversary, The Craftsman Magazine explored the contribution that REME made to WW2. As a new Corps at the time, REME had an “uphill task in making its mark… as there was little opportunity for publicity, sport or socialising.” However, as the article went on to explain, the Corps was created during a war for a purpose. Its permanent place is the result of REME Soldiers and Officers carrying out that purpose.

January 2006 Murray Selected For GB Squad Cpl Kev Murray was appointed as a rider in the Senior Trophy Team for the GB Enduro motorcycling squad. He achieved a Gold Medal and scored points for the Great Britain team on two of the six days in the 2005 International Six Day Enduro.

September 2006 Focus on REME Winter Sports Winter Sports is one of the highlights of the Corps calendar and this was no less true 15 years ago. At the time this article was written, REME Soldiers had collectively represented Great Britain in multiple international races and events, particularly in bobsleigh and skeleton.

March 2007 First Apache Rolls Off Wattisham Pulse Line The Pulse Line was introduced to allow technicians and staff to specialise in a particular stage of the process. It was a radical change at the time but enabled further development of skill, which was necessary for a new airframe, which Apache was at the time.

June 2007 The Falklands Campaign As part of Falklands 25, the magazine featured a six page spread on the Falklands Campaign, the role of REME during it, and reports from units.

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In January 2009, Cpl Doyle won the photographic competition with a snowy scene in the mountains. Unfortunately, with no caption we can’t be quite sure what this photograph was of or who is featured in it. Cfn Hill came second place and Sgt Hamlet was in third place.

May 2009 REME Badges of Rank, Qualification, Appointment and Employment A principal purpose of The Craftsman Magazine has been to share key information with serving personnel. This article from 2009 exemplifies this, detailing which badge could be worn with which appointment or trade qualification at the time. The 10 Fd Wksp area

December 2007 Naming of Train ‘The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers’ On Tuesday 16 October 2007, First Great Western High Speed Train Power Car number 43070 was named ‘The Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers’. The Colonel in Chief, HRH Prince Philip, formally unveiled the nameplate in a ceremony at Paddington Station in London.

April 2008 Conspicuous Gallantry Cross: Corporal Adam William Miller CGC Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers Cpl Miller was the first member of the Corps to be awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, which at the time of printing was the highest gallantry award in active operations to be made to a REME Soldier or Officer. The original article stated that “Corporal Miller displayed icy nerve, professional dedication of the very highest order and almost suicidal courage in an impossible situation… [his] actions stand out as the defining example of bravery under fire.”

The 2010s April 2010 DEME(A)’s Visit to the Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers: 14-19 December 2009 For the 60th Anniversary of the Sri Lankan EME Corps, the Defence Attaché and DEME(A) at the Sri Lankan Embassy were invited to attend the celebrations. It is just one example of the friendship that REME has with other Electrical and Mechanical Corps across the globe.

July 2010 REME Association Reunion 2020 The Annual REME Association Reunion is never an occasion to miss and 2010 was no different. From Beating Retreat through to the REME Big Band getting everyone on their feet, it was a weekend to remember. According to the article, Major General Stephen Andrews CBE even proved that he was indeed wearing REME socks.

September 2011 The REME Hotel In 2011, the Corps had its own hotel in Southern Germany. Then Hotel Manager, WO2(AQMS) ‘T’ McMillan, “put pen to paper to inform the Corps of what a fantastic facility The REME Hotel [was] and what it [could] offer you.” From three course dinner menus through to snowboarding and snowmen, the hotel had something to offer everyone. The article was written to raise awareness of the hotel, as many people didn’t know it existed. Unfortunately, the hotel did close a few years later.

November 2011 Corps Founding Day, 1st October 2011

June 2008 An Army Gap Year Commission Despite his mother’s protestations, 2Lt Sam McMurty embarked on the ‘Army Gap Year Commission’ for students. From cramming a year’s training at Sandhurst into 28 days through to escorting a prisoner back to the UK as Officer-in-Charge, it was definitely a gap year unlike any other. Though it would be interesting to know if other Officers agree with his assessment that Regimental life was more relaxed than Sandhurst, ‘which is like a boot camp’.

January 2009 Results of The REME Photographic Competition

The winning entry by Cpl Doyle

“On a lovely Summer’s day in Autumn at the National Memorial Arboretum, and amongst 15,000 bikers, who were attending ‘Riders to the Wall’, the Corps celebrated its 69th birthday. With over 400 current and former members of the Corps in attendance, the celebrations were led by DEME(A), Brig Martin Boswell ADC.”

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Just Launched! Official SEME Facebook Social media was taking off in 2011, with the School for Electrical and Mechanical Engineering getting in on the action with a Facebook group.

October 2012 The back cover photograph showed members of Theatre Equipment Support Battalion (4 CS Bn REME) marking ‘REME 70’ while on Op HERRICK 16.

text and photos. She was also responsible for changing the magazine to full colour in 2006.

January 2014 Wishes Come True in Colchester: Daniel Warne Visit Thanks to Starlight Children’s Foundation and 8 Fd Coy (PARA), Daniel Warne was given the opportunity to be a Soldier for a day. Though aged 5 and fighting his own battles, Daniel had “always shown keen aspirations of becoming a soldier”. 2Lt Dyer, LCpl Levack and Sgt Gilligan made sure he and his sister, Jasmine, had a day to remember as they experienced living under a poncho, cooking from rations and weapon handling.

August 2014

November 2012 Op Olympics: Live From Hainault Park 17 Soldiers from 102 Bn REME, including LCpl Amanda Hodgkinson, were deployed to Lincolnshire and then London to assist with the Olympic Games 2012. While there were concerns from the London Organisation Committee for the Olympic Games that they “should not be too military” in their approach, it was quickly made clear that “the British Army was not about to lower its standards”. Definitely a summer like no other, with plenty of memories made by those involved.

June 2013 Olympian Capt (Retd) Jim Fox OBE Gets His Gold Medal Back As part of the Olympics coming to London in 2012, the REME Museum created a display depicting those REME Soldiers and Officers who had ‘Olympic Connections’. The focus of this display was on Jim Fox, who won the Gold Medal in the Modern Pentathlon at the 1976 Games in Montreal. Jim was invited back to the Museum, where Col REME Ian Gibson ADC handed back the Gold Medal to him.

November 2013 Final Farewell to Zoe Skivington

Farewell, Well Done and Thank You to the Deputy Editor of The Craftsman On 22 May, former WO1 (Supt Clk) John Worrall marked the end of an era when he stepped down from the role of Deputy Editor. John had enlisted into the Corps in 1959, serving for 23 years before retiring to work in ‘civvy street’. 10 years later, he was back as a ‘roving reporter’ for The Craftsman Magazine until retiring in 2014. [However, it should be noted that John still contributes to the magazine each month as a proof-reader – something the Editor is regularly grateful for, particularly when translating acronyms and abbreviations.]

May 2015 Exercise EBRO CAT Members of 10 Trg Bn REME headed off to the River Ebro in Spain for a week-long fishing trip. Though there were a couple of bumps along the way, they achieved one of their targets with Cfn Atkins landing a 44lb carp. However, the elusive 100lb catfish remained uncaught, which may have been linked to the bank side commotion and noise caused by those fishing. It turns out that when fishing somewhere as unpredictable as the Ebro, a healthy dose of luck is always useful.

September 2015 School of Army Aeronautical Engineering: Relocation to Lyneham As part of the Defence Technical Training Change Programme, SAAE relocated to Lyneham from Arborfield. Training and courses ranged from initial trade training through to engineering management for Artificers, while Aircraft Engineering Officers were trained to be responsible for airworthiness assurance.

March 2016 Why You Shouldn’t ‘Man Up’ All of the Time SSgt Forsythe from 104 Bn REME shared his experience of being diagnosed with early stage bladder cancer. Though at the time of writing the small column SSgt Forsythe was officially one year clear, he shared his experience in the hope that fewer male soldiers would ‘man up’, ignoring their body’s warning signs. He also finished with the assurance that “getting a serious illness doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your career.”

May 2016 The Duke of Edinburgh Officially Opens The Prince Philip Barracks at MOD Lyneham As part of REME’s move to MOD Lyneham, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, KG, KT visited the newly refurbished site and unveiled the plaque, officially naming The Prince Philip Barracks. Hosting the visit was the Lord-Lieutenant for Wiltshire, Mrs Sarah Troughton, Commodore David Elford Royal Navy, Commandant of the Defence College of Technical Training, the Master General REME, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory CB CBE and senior members of REME.

July 2017 Zoe Skivington was awarded a Commendation and silver Armada dish by The Master General REME, Lt Gen Andrew Figgures CB, CBE, for over 34 years service to the Corps. Over 24 of those years were spent on the Editorial Team of The Craftsman Magazine. An extract from the citation says that Zoe produced over 280 magazines and corralled in excess of 21,600 unit articles into over 16,000+ pages of

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BATUS Workshop: What’s Happening in Canada? REME personnel posted to BATUS Workshop took us for a tour through the different sections, demonstrating the many opportunities open to those Soldiers and Officers willing to embrace a slightly colder climate. Although the opportunity to try ice hockey and go on some AT probably had a lot to do with the appeal too.


October 2017 75 Years of REME Charities As part of the 75th Anniversary of the Corps, the REME Charity’s Chairman, Corps Secretary and Deputy Secretary gave an insight into the history of The REME Charities. Major General S M Andrews, in his message, said, “The spirit of the REME Charities was kindled with the creation of the Corps and soon took shape in our first charitable fund, the REME Benevolent Fund.”

August 2018 2018 – Year of Engineering: The Sport of Engineering Capt Mark Saunders explored the connection between Defence and motorsports through seven key observations, born from his involvement with motorsports: Strive for simplicity, manage complexity; Develop and apply a set of rhythms and routines; People innovate naturally; Growing engineering passion; 7 Bn REME: Aviation Engineering; Motorsport to Defence (M2D); Opportunities for all. As he said in the final paragraph “Theoretically the Corps should dominate Motorsport as REME tradesmen naturally have the prerequisites; technical excellence and the skill to fight and compete!”

December 2018 The Royal British Legion – Cenotaph March Past The Arborfield Old Boys Association, the REME Association and the Royal British Legion Recovery Mechanics had 168 REME veterans representing the Corps at the 2018 Cenotaph March Past.

April 2019 Recovery Platoon Shortlisted for the Churchill Medal Award 2018 14 Armoured Company, 6 Armoured Close Support Battalion REME’s Recovery Platoon was shortlisted for the Churchill Medal Award, the premier prize awarded by the Professional Engineering Institutions for Defence. The platoon was nominated for their role in Op MORLOP, the response to the Russian chemical weapon attack in Salisbury.

October 2019 Excellence in REME: Cpl Lewis Staton In April 2019 Cpl Lewis Staton was awarded an Operational MBE for his work in Somalia. In his Excellence in REME interview, Cpl Staton explained the work he did with AMISOM (African Union Mission in

Somalia) Forces on Protected Mobility Vehicles. A credit to the Corps and an example of what can be achieved when you think outside the box.

2020 May 2020 Snow Sports Special Winter Sports is a much loved part of REME Sports, with various exercises featuring as a highlight for Soldiers and Officers across the Corps. As so many articles come in each year, with tales of daring feats and medals won, it was decided that 2020 would be the first Snow Sports Special to capture them all in one place.

November 2020 Remembrance: “The volunteers knew the risk and, showing the upmost bravery, were valiant when raising their hand knowing death was almost certain” WO2 Gaz Hooson and SSgt Jonathan Payne took it upon themselves to research and write the story of the Commandos and Airborne REME in World War 2. This article also provided the front cover of the edition, which proved to be both popular and slightly contentious when it was posted on Facebook.

What will the next 25 years have in store for The Craftsman Magazine? The last 25 years, indeed the last 75, have been filled with all kinds of stories, news and features from across the Corps and REME family. Not to mention changes that have happened in what is considered acceptable in a Corps magazine – did you know The Craftsman Magazine once included pin-ups? However, one thing has remained the same. What goes into The Craftsman Magazine, or Crafty Mag as so many call it, depends upon you, the reader. Without stories about your exercises, operations, sport, units, reunions, and Association branches, there would be no magazine. So, if you want to know what the next 25 years have in store, ask yourself this question: what do I want to read about in the magazine? Then go ahead and write it because if you don't who knows if know if anyone else will.

The Crowns Cafe is a new and stylish café, located within the REME Museum at Lyneham. It has a relaxed atmosphere, where you can enjoy homemade cakes, cookies, scones, pastries, cooked breakfasts & lunches, cold drinks or a cup of fresh barista coffee or tea. We are open to everyone, whether you are staff working on the base or you are visi�ng the museum, a group/club visit or just passing by. There is ample parking available. COVID-19 Guidelines: Please only visit inside the Cafe in your HOUSEHOLD BUBBLE. If the weather allows, groups of up to six can meet outside.

We’re open: 9.30 - 15.00 Tuesday to Saturday. Hot food is served between the hours of 9.30 and 14.30. Including daily lunch specials, freshly made sandwiches, bague�es, paninis, and a children’s menu. We also offer a call in and take out service.

Security passes are not needed to visit the café as we are the public side of the security barriers. Access to the cafe is through the Museum entrance. You do not need to visit the Museum to use the café, although a visit is highly recommended.

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75th Anniversary

What Does The Craftsman Magazine Mean to You? For this anniversary edition of The Craftsman Magazine, we asked you for your stories, memories and connections to the magazine. From keeping up with the postings through to grandchildren scrambling to read it, it is clear just how loved the Corps magazine has become. I receive the Craftsman Magazine every month and can’t wait to read about what the Corps has been doing around the world. It inspires me that we still have a generally younger generation that has so much to give, not only to HM Armed Forces but back to society in general! I also like to read about the new vehicles and equipment that REME have and it’s interesting to compare them to the REME I knew in the 80’s. John Thompson, former REME VMB George is in training to join REME already

It means appreciating my military family’s achievements and progress. Especially when I can’t physically be part of them during this difficult time. Arte et Marte

Rachelle McKay-McHugh

All everyone did was flick to the back and see if you knew anyone on the promotions list. Andy Antcliff

Lockdown was spent clearing the loft Army Apprentice School and REME memories from 1958 to 1998 were sorted I first check the obituary notices (I’m pushing 78) to make sure I’m not in and a photograph viewing of ‘Great Uncle’s them. I then go back to the front. The magazine keeps you in touch, Uniform’ arranged for the youngsters in the although I don’t know anybody anymore and the machinery and family. Sadly the hats were a little worse for technology have all moved on a pace. It’s nice to see what the Corps is wear and so were designated to be passed getting up to. on to young Army enthusiast George. We Brian Kufluk-Thackery waited until Remembrance Day and excitement levels were beyond Means hide from the guy Getting crated if there was expectations on receiving the hats! It was so carrying a camera when ever a pic of me printed successful that George now ‘needs’ you’re on exercise. inside an issue. spanners, screwdrivers and wrenches to Andrew Whatling ‘service and fix’ anything electrical or Ian Partington mechanical and a request has been put in for some medals to wear! Back in the 60’s there was an article A compromise has been in The Craftsman Magazine featuring reached. George can wear my late father, Lt Col Jim Morton and miniatures at Remembrance my late brother, Alan Morton. Alan in 2021 and our monthly was then a SSgt but went on to copy of The Craftsman become a Lt Col himself in REME Magazine is being passed on Now Alan’s daughter, my niece, and perused earnestly by the Wendy Faux is a Lt Col in the TA young enthusiast - at the working as Head of Arts in the Army moment on a daily basis! and her son, Freddie Faux, is a REME traditions are being Second Lieutenant in the Army Air shared with the youngster Corps having passed out from and it would be fair to say Sandhurst in the summer. Freddie’s there is almost a scramble to first posting was to Middle Wallop get first dibs to read The where my father finished his career Craftsman Magazine! as an RO. PS: The hats are almost Great to see the family tradition of more travelled now than George has managed to get his hands on the during their military career! Army careers continuing. November edition of The Craftsman Magazine Sharon Rogers Sue King

just in time for some road trip reading

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For me, The Craftsman is the best military monthly of the camera but fearful of being ‘crated’. So, Sophy, magazine. It gives the reader the chance to catch up with Sammy, Sam, Carol, Kita, Lou, Barney, Tracey, Jon, Gino, what the Corps is doing, from operations, the application Stace, Scotty, Al, Darren, Del, Amber, Chelsey, Billy, Tel, of engineering and technology, unit news, sport to Claire, Clare, Lee, Kat, Campbell, Mike, Gary, Gaz, Rae, Association matters, promotions, deaths, and much, much Stokesy, Danny, Ash, Harry, Jemma, Moz, Si, Nick, Lee, more. I’ve been reading The Craftsman for 45 years and, as Chas, Mick, Jess, Matty, Helen, Dot, Coops, Tommy, Stu, you would expect, it’s changed over time but I still enjoy it, Will, Shell, Laura, Mike, Bobby, Mav, Rick, Mark, Gav, Craig, whether as a ‘scribe’ or as the ‘reader’; it keeps us all Vanessa, Col, Craig, Phil, Will, Jonathan, Rory, Jamie, informed and is a great means of communication. Ashalee, Caroline, Katie, Kelly, Alana, Nigel, Beth, Johno, My first recollection of communicating to the Corps was Pete, Rachel, Brian, Tim, Timo, Yvette, Jontie, Liam, Oli, Seb, in 1983 when, as a Lt, recently arrived at 15 Fd Wksp in John, Emma, Ian, Paul, Steve, Andrew, Andy, and to those Catterick, I was ‘voluntold’ to write about the return of the who I have missed - sorry but you know who you are - you unit from Germany as a part of 24 Airmob Bde. There was have all been mentioned again. to be a ‘grand opening’ with DGEME, Maj Gen TB Palmer Although retired, I still maintain a link with REME CB, cutting the ribbon to the shopfloor. I wrote the article Football and Ice Hockey but I have little time ‘to put pen to with some trepidation; would someone correct my paper’. However, as President of the Arborfield and District English, and I do not mean the Editor, and would the Branch of the REME Association I still appear in The photographs taken with my ‘Box-Brownie’ develop ok? I Craftsman thanks to our stalwart Secretary, John Worrall. cannot remember the answers, but I do know my article is Luckily, the ‘crating rule’ no longer applies! Nowadays, now a part of Corps history, because all magazines are when I am not waiting for The Craftsman to come through held in the REME Museum’s Archives. My second article the letterbox, my time is spent constructively, as planned was two years later when I was OC 26 Engr Regt Wksp by my wife, Rosemary, and involves playing with my REME and one of the questions on the Unit Techeval was, grandson, Nathaniel, and when the weather is nice, on my “How many Craftsman articles have been written since the e-bike. (Watching Stoke City is a given). last report?” In summary, for me, The Craftsman is great for keeping As the answer was “none”, I got writing. Well, I delegated us in touch with all things REME, so, you scribes of today, it to the Chief Clerk (in 1985, REME still had its own Clerks). please keep writing and submitting articles. With digital Job done and ‘tick in the box’. Years later, when I became cameras it’s got much easier to get those 1000 words the Vice Chairman of REME Football and Chairman of down on paper. Be a part of the Corps’s history. REME Ice Hockey, I started submitting articles regularly, Arte et Marte. reporting on matches and highlighting to the Corps, and PS. Please do not increase the price of The Craftsman. wider Army, just how good we are at these two sports. The Lt Col (Retd) John Edwards OBE Craftsman is widely read. My last article was a year ago, November 2019, when the REME Stallions and BATUS Wolves, competed in the Annual John Muise Ice Hockey tournament in Base Borden, Canada. The article appeared in the April edition of The Craftsman, the front cover and a four-page spread – a few words but lots of photographs with names. Many got ‘crated’ but “a picture is worth a thousand words”, and actually saves a lot of writing/typing. Regrettably, there will be no 2020 tournament, and no article, thanks to COVID-19. Being ‘crated’ cost me, particularly when I was CO of SEME Regt as I would appear often with my Soldiers - the reader would get concerned were I to be absent for a month! I always tried to mention as many as possible so that their family and friends could see just what they had been doing - many would shy John with Nathaniel and Molly, showing their support for Stoke City away, not that they were scared

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Engineering Awards 2020 ENGINEERING

AWARDS 2020

The Society of Operations Engineers Award for the Best REME Soldier This month we celebrate LCpl Mackie, who was awarded The Society of Operations Engineers Award 2020.

The Award: The Society of Operations Engineers Award for the Best REME Soldier

unit, having just completed Op SHADER and knowing he would deploy on Op FIRIC, is testament to his positive attitude and can-do nature. His enthusiasm for soldiering, thirst for technical knowledge and the ability to match it has made LCpl Mackie an excellent REME tradesman, who stands out amongst his peers.

I

n 2012 it was recognised that there were several awards at the Officer and unit level, but that there was not the same degree of formal recognition for the engineering achievements of noncommissioned REME Soldiers. In recognition of this the Society of Operations Engineers (SOE) agreed to sponsor an award. The relationship between the SOE and REME is a strong one with a welldeveloped path for individuals of all ranks to achieve professional accreditation. The aim of the SOE Best REME Soldier award is to recognise the individual who is deemed to have best demonstrated the tenets of the REME Soldier as summarised by the Corps Ethos. Any REME Captain or above can nominate any REME Craftsman to Corporal (Regular and Reserve) for this award. Each nomination will be judged against the following criteria: a) Delivery of technical solutions: They will have shown the ability to deliver effective equipment support when under pressure on exercise or operations. b) Innovation: They will be judged to be technically and mentally agile, able to offer up innovative solutions to technically challenging problems. c) Influence: They will be seen as having influence in their wider environment being a role model to those around them both within their own and dependant units. d) Exploitation of Opportunities: They will seek out opportunities to get involved in projects, both within and outside of their unit. This could include sport, AT, charity work or other unit activities.

Winner: LCpl Mackie (1 GREN GDS LAD) Over the 18-month period after completing his Class 1 course, LCpl Mackie volunteered for and deployed on Op SHADER, Op TORAL and Op FIRIC. During Op SHADER his adaptability ensured that he integrated into locations with ease, which was largely down to his character and ability as a tradesman. His engineering knowledge and understanding was shown when conducting an engine change on the Foxhound front engine module – a first for operations within Iraq and with reduced resources. LCpl Mackie took the lead and conducted the task within two days, before moving location again. While on Op TORAL, he developed a reputation as the ‘go to’ VM during numerous patrols. This resulted in him being deployed on mission essential tasks to ensure their success. Furthermore, the fact that LCpl Mackie volunteered for an Op TORAL tour with an outside

“I was surprised to receive a call informing me that I was successful in winning the REME SOE award for best JNCO. I was surprised and happy to find I was nominated by my Chain of Command; I never expected to be nominated, let alone win. I am very grateful to my CoC for nominating me and allowing me to demonstrate my capabilities. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 there was no awards ceremony but I am sure there will be time in the future to celebrate with the CoC and LAD.

Runners Up: 2nd: LCpl Sowter (6 ACS Bn REME) 3rd: Cpl Hopkins (16 Med Regt LAD)

Think you have what it takes to be the Best REME JNCO/Cfn 2021? Trawls for the 2021 Engineering Awards are now closed. All trawls are to be with the Formation HQs. All submissions must be with SO2 Engineering Assurance RHQ REME by 31 January 2021. Awards are in the following categories: Best First Line Unit in the Corps; Best REME Battalion; Best REME Reserve Battalion; Best REME Reserve Sub-Unit; Best REME Officer (below Lt Col); Best REME WO/SNCO; Best REME JNCO/Cfn.

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Trade Talks

Recovery Mechanics Over its 78-year history, the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers has seen multiple changes to the trades that make it up. Today, the Corps consists of eight trades who serve across the whole of the British Army and every REME Soldier becomes an apprentice in their trade of choice. This month, Recovery Mechanics give us an insight into how this trade is constantly developing to provide the best opportunities for their tradespeople and the Corps. Trade Champion: WO1 (ASM) Danny Moseley BA (Hons)

T

he Recovery Mechanic (Rec Mech) and his/her crew have continued to be the ‘front of house’ for REME on all major Operations and Exercises undertaken by UK Forces dating back to the birth of our Corps and beyond. Highly revered by all within our Corps and the units we represent, we are arguably the one trade group that is always fully integrated into all units for activities involving vehicle mobility.

Question – ‘Why are Rec Mechs such a staunch and proud Trade group?’ Firstly, they are posted out from Phase 2 training as ‘Leaders’ and have been trained and empowered as such from day 1 of their trade training. Once Initial Trade Training is complete, they move to the Field Force and complete their Class 2 training. Once that is complete, they deploy on Operations or Exercises as Vehicle Recovery Commanders in their rank of Cfn. The responsibility thrust upon them is unparalleled at this early stage of a REME Soldier’s career. It is more common than not for a young Rec Mech Craftsman to be deployed as a sole Rec Mech on an Operation or Exercise; they are trusted to plan and execute all Recovery taskings that come their way with little to no support.

So what? The Recovery Mechanic is a critical thinker and must quickly analyse and assess how best to achieve an outcome on a complex task whilst protecting themselves, their crew and any other parties. There are no AESP instructions or textbook guidance to instruct them how to affect a task as no two jobs or surrounding conditions are ever the same. They must apply Engineering principles with a cool head and think quickly on their feet. They must be fit and robust and must display physical courage when required, but also have the character and personality to lead others who they likely have just met on said Recovery task, regardless of rank. Over the span of my career and in some of my previous roles, as

WO1(ASM) Daniel Moseley BA(Hons) both a Sgt and a SSgt in charge of different Recovery Platoons, over two different periods of the Op HERRICK/Afghanistan era, my proudest memories have been serving alongside these young tradesmen. Their Operational confidence develops quickly (and has to) on Ops and they deliver 100% and more under testing conditions of an extreme nature. Listening to them brief CLP Commanders over the net, delivering accurate reports and appreciations whilst under fire and getting the job done is something I’ll always remember. These Soldiers are some of the best trained and competent in the field that I’ve ever witnessed within the entire CSS cohort on Operations and they always take their job seriously, but not themselves! It is no wonder that the Trade group has a long list of Gallantry Honours and awards to boast. In peacetime we continue to provide integral and external Recovery support to Brigades. We continue to provide engineering

Recovery Mechanics during training

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assurance in respect of all lifting and recovery equipment, enabling units to function safely to continue their mission. In the last 10 years I have seen Rec Mechs fill MTI posts at both Phase 1 and 2 and I look forward to seeing us fill a post or two as RMAS instructors. Later on in a Rec Mech career you can see WORMs, Trg Wing WOs, CSMs and we now have a decent number that have transcended (or absconded!) to Officer status. It is a fulfilling career. Here at DSEME, the Recovery Training Wing (RTW) is busy; we are also unique, with 12 Military (Sgt) Instructors and two Civil Servants (also former Rec Mechs) designing and continually improving Recovery training for the Field Force. We also run a confirmatory Ex DARKENED, which formalises training in Exercise conditions. This gives the trainees a flavour of what to expect on Ex or on Ops once with their units. We also authorise and assure distributed training, such as Recovery TTXs or Equipment courses delivered externally, and we are working hard preparing for the roll out of AJAX ATLAS training for 2021. The RTW pride themselves on innovation. One example is the new ‘Recovery Knowledge Exchange’ on Defence Connect/Jive App. If you are a serving Rec Mech you will be granted access and this page has lots of useful information that can save an operator a lot of time in units or anywhere you have access to your smart phone. We are also working on some 3D modelling to enhance training on the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). Please contact the RTW if you would like to know more. The future is uncertain. However what I am certain of, in my dual role here at DSEME as ASM and Trade Champion, is that we will continue to turn out professional Recovery Mechanics who will be ready to perform on Exercises and Operations when called upon, as all of us have done so before.

Sgt Bickerton Trade: Recovery Mechanic Unit: 8 Trg Bn REME Job role: Recovery Mechanic Instructor

Why did you choose to become a Recovery Mechanic? I worked alongside Recovery Mechanics in Poland, Oman and Canada, I instantly knew I wanted to change trade. The sense of achievement after a successful recovery task is amazing.

What have been your trade highlights or key experiences to date? Gaining the Top Student award on Class 3, Class 2 and Class 1 courses then following on to become a Recovery Mechanic Instructor has been my trade highlights. The key experiences have been the opportunities to deploy on operational tours of Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan several times.

What opportunities has your trade given you so far? Travel - my last major exercise was in California where I also got to spend time in North Carolina. I also got to organise a Banger Rally around Europe. I have gained a lot of qualifications over the years.

What are your future goals in REME? I strive to deliver the best training to the Recovery Mechanic trade that I can.

Cpl Jones Trade: Recovery Mechanic Class 1 Unit: Queen’s Royal Hussars LAD

Why did you choose to be a Recovery Mechanic?

Before joining the Army, I had a background of working in garages doing basic mechanical work on vehicles. I wanted to stay within a mechanical trade when joining, so Recovery Mechanic was perfect for me because you can still do mechanical work on your vehicle but also have the challenge of the recovery tasks. I enjoy the problem solving when it comes to recovery because no job is ever the same, so it makes you become very adaptable as a tradesman. Another reason why I wanted to become a Recovery Mechanic was the range of fleet you get to use; it’s not just a wheeled recovery vehicle that you will drive. You will be able to train to become a driver of the armoured recovery vehicles.

What have been your trade highlights or key experiences to date? I have had many great opportunities whilst being a Recovery Mechanic and have been on many exercises, including being deployed on Askari Storm in Kenya. Going on exercise is a great way to build trade knowledge and confidence within your role, because as a Class 2 tradesman you will normally be the only Recovery Mechanic on a task. Therefore, being adaptable and having the ability to problem solve is key.

What opportunities has your trade given you so far? I have had the opportunity to deploy on two operations in my career so far. My first was being deployed to Iraq on Op SHADER 6. This was my first operation as a Class 2 Recovery Mechanic and I learnt a lot of different aspects about my trade, and not just the recovery side. This was beneficial when it came to my return to my Regiment as I understood more about how a LAD Recovery Section operated. My most recent operation was being deployed to Estonia on Op CABRIT 6. I have gained many qualifications so far in my career including my HGV and ADR licences, which allow me to drive fuel tankers. I have also gained an NVQ level 3 in Engineering Management and a LEEA (Lifting Equipment Engineers Association) qualification. These two qualifications are civilian recognised, so have set me up for many opportunities when I leave the Army. I have also had the opportunity to complete a level 1 Boxing Coaching course and had the opportunity to represent the Army Boxing Team for a season. This wouldn’t have been possible without having the support from the trade and Regiment at the time.

What advice would you give to those thinking about joining REME as a Recovery Mechanic?

What advice would you give to those thinking about joining REME as a Recovery Mechanic?

Find out as much as you can and if you think it is for you then do it. Do not let anyone change your mind.

My advice for those who are wanting to join the Army as a Recovery Mechanic is that if you find yourself to be a

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‘hands on’ individual and enjoying different challenges daily this is the trade for you. Being part of the Recovery Mechanic trade will make you a more confident individual and will teach you how to take command and control of any situation. When joining the Recovery Mechanic trade you become part of a family. We are a ‘close knit’ trade and no matter what experience different tradesmen have, we will always help each other out where we can.

What are your future goals in REME? What motivates me in my trade is to be the best I can be within my role. This is so that when it comes to having new tradesmen posted into your unit you can give them extra training to widen their knowledge. My future goal is to become a Recovery Instructor at DSEME one day. I would enjoy the role of being an Instructor and having the opportunity to teach the next generation of Recovery Mechanics. My next aim in my career is to be trained on armoured recovery vehicles, as I am now posted to an Armoured unit.

Cpl Rai Trade: Recovery Mechanic Class 1 Unit: King’s Royal Hussars LAD Job role: To provide Recovery support to the Regiment, maintain LRE and develop subordinates

Why did you choose to become a Recovery Mechanic? In my last unit, I got recovered by the Recovery Mechanics a few times and had a chance to see their work, which I felt was better than my role at the time. I was very thankful to them when they rescued me as I laid in the middle of a desert in an unknown country. I liked the nature of their job.

LCpl Bies Trade: Recovery Mechanic Unit: 4 Bn REME

Why did you choose to become a Recovery Mechanic?

I started my Army career in 2 PARA with the intention of being deployed on operations to Iraq and Afghanistan. However, after passing P Company and finishing my Phase 1 training, the deployments had stopped. I had waited two years to deploy and on my third year of not deploying on an operational tour, I started looking at gaining civilian qualifications with the intention of signing off. On my last exercise with 2 PARA in Kenya, I had a chance to speak to REME Soldiers, as I took an interest in the vehicles they were operating and driving. The group of lads I was speaking to were Rec Mechs who told me about their role on the exercise and what they were doing. I was surprised by the range of tasks they were dealing with, from road-side breakdowns of Land Rovers to recovering a bogged in Challenger 2. On top of the challenging and interesting tasks they were doing, they also told me about the qualifications they had gained right from the start of their career as Recovery Mechanics. These included multiple driving licenses and a Level 3 in Engineering Technical Support, which is recognised in civilian industry. Four years later from when I spoke to those lads, I am now a Class 1 LCpl Rec Mech with no regrets about making my decision to re-trade.

What have been your trade highlights or key experiences to date?

What have been your trade highlights or key experiences to date?

I have deployed on multiple exercises abroad, including Canada and Lithuania, ranging from supporting Battlegroups using various platforms to dealing with the recovery of vehicles involved in RTCs and loading tanks from European trains onto Siberian rail lines.

I enjoyed carrying out a job whilst filmed by Forces TV, even though it didn’t go as I had planned at times. However, that is the nature of a recovery job. I have had numerous opportunities to deploy on trawls and exercises of various scales, which BATUS was one of.

What opportunities has your trade given you so far?

What opportunities has your trade given you so far?

A few good exercises and posting where I wanted. I trained to qualify for Engineering Technician and become a Member of the Society of Engineers.

What advice would you give to those thinking about joining REME as a Recovery Mechanic? Always keep an open mind; the job can be physically and mentally challenging at times. Every task will be different; it might not work the same way you have carried out similar ones. This is where it gets interesting, thinking and applying the basic principals of mechanics. You will picture every job in your mind, eradicating where things can go wrong.

What are your future goals in REME? Get to the highest possible rank and retire, completing full colour service.

I have gained many AT qualifications during non-deployment phases as well as an Engineering diploma.

What advice would you give to those thinking about joining REME as a Recovery Mechanic? DO IT! You will not be disappointed with choosing Recovery Mechanic as your trade in the Army. Let’s put it this way, I know of many people in other trades and Infantry cap-badges who have re-traded and don’t regret their decision. The constant training and knowledge exchange between other fellow Rec Mechs during events like Recovery TTXs is what makes this job one of a kind and no day is the same. You might get called in to recover the same type of vehicle, but the way to recover it depends on what ground it is in or even if it’s on its roof, which makes the task so much more different and exciting.

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Want to read The Craftsman Magazine from your phone? Unsure where to find out what the next Corps function is? Looking for your nearest Association Branch or group?

Ever wondered if you could be posted closer to home? Applying for a grant from The REME Charity?

The answer you are looking for is on...

Launching January 2021 Features include: A digital version of The Craftsman Magazine A map of units where REME serve Information on the HQ Sgts & WOs’ Mess and HQ Officers’ Mess Details about Association Branches and groups Applications for REME Charity grants


1 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Battlegroup

Op CABRIT 6 in Review During March to September 2020 the First Fusiliers Battlegroup deployed to Estonia for Op CABRIT 6. While the UK was gearing up for lockdown, REME personnel in the Battlegroup were being kept busy in woods, bogs, and snow.

OC LAD: Capt S Tooth

ASM: WO1 K Geldard

Scribe: Lt K Beckett

Springtime deployment

T

he First Fusiliers Battle Group deployed for a six-month tour of Op CABRIT in mid-March 2020 to Tapa Camp in the north of Estonia. The REME contribution to the Battlegroup took the form of a Fitter Section for each of the three Fusilier Coys: X (Armoured Infantry), W (Fire Support) and HQ (with elements of 19 Tk Tptr Fitter Section attached). They were joined by the Fitter Sections of 52 Armoured Engineer Squadron, C Squadron QRH and B Battery 1 RHA. 3 Bn REME provided the second Line ES platoon from 20 Armd Coy. In total there were around 120 REME personnel in theatre, making up more than 10% of the deployed Battlegroup. Stuck CRARRV on Ex Spring Storm

Exercises

Cpl Webster of C Sqn Ftr Sect preparing a CV90 for recovery

Throughout the deployment, the LAD took part in several exercises, most of which were on the Central Training Area, just north of the camp. The training area offered a useful space to practice ES in an unfamiliar environment; the woods and bogs, combined with limited tracks on the area, resulted in the use of confined spaces for the conduct of ES forward - as far away from the BATUS mindset as you can get! The tricky terrain also kept the Rec Mechs busy throughout. Ex FURIOUS HACKLE took place in early April in the driving Baltic snow, with the BG conducting CT1 and CT2 on the CTA. One of the major training objectives of this exercise was ensuring the Battlegroup was familiar with its Combat Team ORBAT, which involved the mixing up of Fitter Sections to ensure support to all elements of the BG when deployed. It was also our first chance to see how the Estonians worked out in the field, as they played the

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Ranges In June, the BG deployed to ADAZI ranges in Latvia. Here the BG demonstrated its 155mm, 120mm, 30mm, Chain Gun, Mortar and Small Arms abilities over a brilliant range package. The sub-units took limited Fitter Section support but were supported by a deployed group from the ES platoon who made good use of their forward repair teams. These ranges gave a fantastic opportunity for all Armourers to get eyes and hands on pre-firing checks for weapon systems that some of them hadn’t seen before, providing great insight and a great chance to broaden their skill sets. The range package provided an excellent opportunity for junior tradesmen to develop their skill sets on a wide range of equipment, with many of the Armourers never having worked with 155mm or 120mm before.

In-Camp Life CRARRV recovering a Danish CV90 OPFOR. It was interesting to observe how they fought in this different environment. This was followed by Ex SPRING STORM in late April, again during snowy conditions on the CTA. In the first half of the exercise the BG formed part of 1st Estonian Bde, alongside the Estonian Scouts Bn, advancing against the 2nd Estonian Bde. The exercise is used by the Estonian Defence Force as the culmination of the conscript training cycle to validate and confirm their training. Again, the Rec Mechs were kept busy in the difficult terrain, although this offered ample opportunities for interoperability with our Danish counterparts in the BG. The exercise week was followed by a week of live firing.

Life on camp was made difficult by the COVID-19 situation, as for a period of time the BG were gated whilst the Estonians were bracing for a big wave of infections. Along with this, other measures were put in place for force protection such as social distancing in the ‘scoff’ house, and the creation of an isolation block at the other end of the camp. Luckily, however, Estonia had a very low infection rate, meaning that we were eventually allowed out to explore the country more. Most of the Fitter Sections managed to go out on socials to the capital city of Tallinn and on battlefield studies or community engagement events to Narva, the border town with Russia. With the unfortunate cancellation of R&R, the BG instead put on an in-theatre decompression package. This saw 60 people at a time head down to Parnu, Estonia’s seaside town, for a four-day break

Cpl Templeton giving a brief on the capabilities of CRARRV Cpls Bufton and Gurung along with Cfns Jones and Wolfenden build pallet benches as part of a community outreach project from camp and work. This was greatly appreciated, as it allowed everyone to properly switch off for a short while, with the AT consisting of kayaking, fat biking, windsurfing and disc golf. It provided a well needed break that was enjoyed by all.

Development

A 3 Bn FRT conduct a pack change on a QRH CR2 down in Adazi Ranges

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Given the day-to-day nature of CABRIT, there were a lot of opportunities for personal and unit development in Estonia. Six Soldiers sat their ‘Tiffy’ Maths exams remotely in theatre, and events such as an Engineering Challenge afternoon were held. Each of the REME Sections fielded a team, designing and developing a propulsion mechanism to launch a tennis ball. B Bty Fitter Section were the victors of that event. In a junior leadership exercise all REME personnel put down the spanners for two days to come together to develop the more junior members of the REME community in Estonia. These included serials such as group discussions, planning exercises and command tasks, and as with all


SSgt Dunn took part in the NATO Velo event, which consisted of cycling the borders of the country. This attracted plenty of media attention in Estonia, with the Estonian President joining in on a leg. Throughout the duration of the tour there were plenty of sporting and charitable events taking place in which REME were heavily represented. C Sqn QRH Ftr Sect’s Cpl Mackenzie organised a 24hour tyre flip in aid of NHS Charities Together, where the team flipped the tyre 27,500 times (42.26km). HQ Coy Ftr Sect, led by Cpl Kitt cycled the distance from Tapa to Tidworth, equating to 2,749km in 23 hours whilst raising £1,265 for Cancer Research UK and The REME Charity

C Sqn Ftrs show off their design in the engineering challenge REME events on the tour, it finished with a BBQ. The exercise gave a great opportunity for junior Soldiers to develop their leadership and was a welcome break from routine work for all.

HQ Ftr Sect Charity Bike Ride

LCpl Tomlinson navigates a command task

Extra-curricular There were many opportunities for extra-curricular activities throughout the six-month period. One of the largest events was the BG Rugby team taking time out of their weekends to train with and play in the Kalev Rugby League in Finland. REME contributed a large number to the team, including AQMS Mackenzie, LCpl Eaton, LCpl Hoban, Cfn Harrison, LCpl Heath and Cpl Mackenzie. A selection of REME Soldiers were also able to attend the opening stages of the World Rally Championships in Tartu, showcasing the SV(R).

Cpl Kitt and LCpl Harris demonstrating a WR513-1

Ready for leave after a successful tour

SV(R) with REME soldiers attend Rally Estonia in the World Rally Championship

As Op CABRIT 6 came to an end, everyone was more than ready for a well-earned leave period, especially given the fact that there was no R&R during the tour. Upon reflection it was a very successful tour for REME, both from a professional perspective, in the form of consistently high equipment availability and general maintenance of the BG’s large fleet, and also for the professional development of all tradesmen, thanks to the array of opportunities that came our way. Our thanks go to our families and friends for all of their support through these times, and we wish everyone a good time with their loved ones on leave!

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102 Bn REME

Ex IRIDIUM SPROCKET: Annual Continuous Training (ACT) Exercise for 2020 Showing the flexibility that is a key strength of the Reserves, 102 Bn quickly shifted to a blended approach for their ACT exercise when COVID-19 changed their plans. Utilising multiple forms of training, they not only ran a successful exercise but also set the conditions for future ones. “…utilised one of what was three contingency plans that we had ‘wargamed’…” Scribe: Maj Jay Bartlett, Training Major The Annual Continuous Training event (ACT) is a mandated event that is conducted each year for each of the Reserve Units across the Army and is essential in maintaining both StA and BCS competency across the Battalion. After much hard work both with FHP and G7 planning, 102 Bn REME were well prepared and looking forward to Exercise IRIDIUM SPROCKET. The Unit had initially booked STANTA, but due to the COVID situation another operational unit took priority. The team reset and utilised one of what was three contingency plans that we had ‘wargamed’ in anticipation of such an event. The Exercise concept was to provide both technical and tactical training, utilising the Unit Based Virtual Trainer (UBVT), Command Post Training (CP BCS), Battle Craft Syllabus (BCS), Special to Arm (StA) and Adventurous Training (AT) based at Catterick Garrison and Warcop Training Camp. Key to the training was that the 102 Bn team provided challenging, relevant and enjoyable training to our Soldiers. The training aim was also conceptual and balanced around setting the conditions for future exercises within 101 Log Bde, Exercise IRON VIPER 21 and the Unit’s warfighting role. The

teams also had several projects for everyone to get their teeth into and provide 360-degree feedback. This meant that elements of the data could be used to shape and refine the FOE for the next training year, whilst also providing innovative ideas to the CoC. The plan was busy but achievable.

A Platoon BCS - Military Skills Scribe: Sgt Tammy Ruvino There was apprehension prior to ACT due to the ever-changing restrictions and no one was certain whether we would deploy or not, so by the time we made it to Catterick everyone was relieved. The first day of training was on the ranges. The new control measures put in place were explained as we conducted training and it was evident that they had been thoroughly thought through, putting everyone at ease and feeling very ‘safe’. The shoots went well, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the extra coaching. PT that evening was a great shake out for most people but a shock for others. The second day’s training was the UBVT at Newton Aycliffe. An absolutely amazing piece of kit and we all gained a lot from it, even for those that are not computer game ninjas. On the third day for us, the sun was booked once again for BCS. The instruction was pitched at just the right balance of classroom and field-based training on FIWAF: room clearance, vehicle extraction and a vast amount of other info that the RSM could fill our heads with! The next day was BCD, CBRN and SADCHAP for the seniors. The juniors were taken through leadership training and asked to come up with a plan for future training of what they would like to see included, in quite some depth.

AT - Hill Walking Scribe: Cfn Chis Clark

Installing a re-conditioned engine

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AT for this ACT was a multi-event affair with the opportunity to either do Mountain Biking, Hill Walking, or a mixture of the two. The walking consisted of two days in the Yorkshire Three Peaks with a wild camp between. The Yorkshire Three Peaks, located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, consists of a 24-mile route around the Ribble Valley. The views made the trek well worth it. The walk was topped at the end by fantastic panoramic views, over Keswick and the local Valleys. We finished back at the White Horse Inn with our AT period over and ready to move on to various STA activities.


STA - Vehicle Mechanics, Armourers and a Chef Scribe: LCpl David Griffin STA included VMs, Armourers and a Chef. The VMs worked with 4 SCOTS and the Royal Lancers. A wide range of work was completed on Land Rovers, from securing a steering column to changing a cam belt, which ended up needing a new engine. Cfn Clark’s first day of Armourer STA was providing support to ranges during the day and then into a night-shoot. He gained experience on the Rarden, GPMG and Glock, improving his trade proficiency towards his Class 3. Pte Heslop, the Chef, enjoyed his time working at the Richmondshire Centre Cookhouse for the four days. This phase of the ACT has given many the opportunity to progress through their trade development booklets and allowed the seniors to deliver lessons assisting us with this. It was finally rounded off with a visit from the CO who then presented Cfn Whitaker with the CO’s Coin.

B Platoon BCS - Military Skills

Royal Lancers LAD and 1 Bn REME. VMs would be supporting equipment from The Royal Lancers, Royal Dragoon Guards, and 4 SCOTS and the RIFLES. Sgt Lee, Cpl Cowburn and LCpl Robertson got stuck into a Land Rover engine change for the RDG and SSgt Owram and LCpl Morrisroe commenced work on changing the brake discs and pads on another Land Rover for the Royal Lancers. AGC SPS representatives attended 1 Bn REME to sharpen their skills on MUSTER and to also conduct pre-deployment checks. RAWO Doherty took the lead and assisted LCpl Vaccaro with elements within her 3-2 development booklet whilst Cpl Chambers helped a Regular re-trader in their new role. Cfn Harvey was attached to 1 Bn REME TSS SMEs and relished the chance to gain valuable knowledge and experience of using MJDI. The StA phase of the ACT has been an enjoyable experience for all personnel within B Platoon and we are now looking forward to the military phase. B Platoon also delivered several Project feedback sessions. There were some excellent points raised regarding the Training Year Analysis, incorporating the Training Programme, Training Events and innovative ways we could deliver them for the next year. This feedback combined with the feedback from A Platoon will go into next year’s FOE. We all feel included in the planning of the Battalion events throughout the year.

Scribe: LCpl Richard Morrisroe The B Platoon activity began with collecting weapons and making our way to the ranges to conduct live fire 4 and 5. We were also accompanied by the Commanding Officer and the Training Major. The first detail conducted both shoots, putting into practice the marksmanship principles. Throughout the morning the winds became so strong that the Range Warden contacted our safety staff to check, so fire and the shoot was cancelled. With the time that was now available, B Platoon carried out BCD and CBRN tests, of which all passed, two MATT’s down. On Saturday B Platoon took a trip to Newton Aycliffe to conduct UBVT (Unit Based Virtual Training). The morning consisted of familiarising ourselves with the controls; some got the hang of it with relevant ease. In the first scenario we mounted two WMIK Land Rovers and 4 Foxhound armoured vehicles and moved to Copehill Down. On Sunday, it was Military skills. The training for this was very enjoyable and informative, starting the day with a classroom-based lesson on fighting in woods and forest areas. The delivery style of the practical was great and gave everyone the chance to make the mistakes and to learn from them. The second lesson lead us into a basic understanding of Operations in Built up Areas (OBUA) and the reasoning why we as REME tradesmen and women and other Corps need to know this skill set.

“…a great example of combining physical and virtual training…” Scribe: WO2 (AQMS) Jimmy Goldthorp, Trg WO 102 FS Bn REME deployed to Catterick Garrison and Warcop Training Camp with the aim to deliver a three phase Exercise to two composite Platoons made up of SP from BHQ and all four sub-units. The phases consisted of StA, Mil Trg and AT. Each phase was delivered by a team of key enablers and coordinated by the Ex OIC from a CP forward based in Munster Bks in Catterick Garrison. Each Platoon rotated through each phase and a HOTO period was planned between each to allow for the full implementation of Force Health Protection measures. This was a great example of combining physical and virtual training and hopefully goes some way to making up for missing out on Ex IRON HORSE, which we would have been leading this year as part of the REME Reserves contribution to the BATUS Winter Rehabilitation Programme. We are running four annual training events this year, so there will be plenty more opportunities to continue to improve skills.

AT - Mountain Biking Scribe: Cfn Lisa Whitaker When I arrived at Warcop Training Centre for the Adventurous Training package, I intended to try both hill walking and mountain biking but after the first two days of riding through Whinlatter Forest I was hooked on mountain biking! As the days progressed, those that wanted more of a challenge moved onto the red Altura Trail South Loop, which offered more technical features for intermediate riders. Over the four days of training, I went from being a complete novice, learning about body position on the bike and gear selection, to feeling confident enough to take on the 10km Altura Trail red route that rises 500m above Keswick. We all left Warcop feeling very proud of what we had achieved and the new skills we had learnt. For some of us, it has definitely sparked an interest in a new sport!

STA - Vehicle Mechanics, TSS and AGC SPS Scribe: WO2 (AQMS) Colin Herron B Platoon was made up of Officers and Soldiers from each of the four companies and of various CEGs. The StA training was with the

A visit from the CO

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REME Sport

Cricket in a Time of COVID-19 A lovely setting at Hatherley and Reddings CC

With the arrival of COVID-19, it was thought that sport was over for 2020. Army Cricket, including our Corps squad, set out to prove that wasn’t going to be the case.

A

fter months of uncertainty for all sports at Army and Corps level during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, in July there was a glimmer of hope for the cricketing community. Following direction from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), along with strict rules introduced by the Army Sport Control Board, cricket was eventually given the go-ahead to proceed with caution in mid-August.

Match preparations at Aldershot

A socially-distanced warm-up

Dry conditions at Chatham, playing against RE

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When factoring in summer leave, that meant the REME’s normal four-month season was condensed into just the early part of September, with four matches taking place in that time. These included the inaugural three-day match against the RE and three 50 overs games played against the RLC, RE, and the RA.


Overcast conditions when playing against RLC the last six years. His presence will be missed on and off the pitch. With the constant threat of COVID-19, along with Soldiers Tom, we wish you all the best! deployed on exercise and operations all over the world, including Op The Squad conducts pre-season winter nets and a yearly preSHADER, Op TORAL, Op ELGIN and Op CABRIT, the Corps had to season training camp to Cyprus (2021 TBC). In 2022 we also have our heavily depend on the depth of the squad to field teams for these next official tour, (the previous two locations being St Lucia 2014, games. The squad welcomed a mixture of new and old players in the and New Zealand 2018). Anyone interested in Corps Cricket at any matches, including several making their debuts. stage of your career, either as a player, umpire or scorer, please get in As a team we only managed one win out of our four matches, contact through the PoCs below. beating the RA at their home ground in Larkhill. Although not ideal, it was great ‘game practice’ and good to be out in the middle again. Notable performances in all four matches are as follows: Manager: WO2 Yassin Fazeel.yassin499@mod.gov.uk  LCpl Liam Fletcher, 50 against RE (50 overs). Coach: WO2 Pugh Stanton.Pugh309@mod.gov.uk  Cpl Rome England, 5 wickets against RE (50 overs). Aldershot POC: LCpl Liam Fletcher - RMAS  Cpl Bevon Joseph, 4 wickets against RE (50 overs). Tidworth POC: LCpl Dan Pirie - R WELSH LAD  SSgt Manjit Jhajj, maiden Corps 50 Colchester POC: Cpl Craig Watts - 7 PARA RHA LAD against RA (50 overs)  Cfn Andy Pallet, 32 as ‘night watchman’ against RE (Three-day match).  Sgt Jay Boynton, 112 against RE (Threeday match). Also, at the end of the Season, as a Corps, we would all like to wish a warm goodbye to REME CA Cricket Captain, LCpl Tom Lester, who come May next year will be moving to the land down under to start his next innings. Tom has been an integral part of the Corps set-up ever since he made his debut as a 17-year-old young prodigy on the 2014 Tour to St Lucia. Since then, he has represented not only the Corps but also the Army in both formats for REME fielding at Aldershot, playing against RE

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My Life in REME

My Service Part 2: From 38 Engr Regt to Retirement and Beyond Former Warrant Officer David Webber started his life in REME as a Junior Leader and finished it as a Storeman. In the second of his two-part feature, we re-join David in Ripon, Yorkshire, after his recent promotion and new posting. Scribe: David Webber

M

y posting to 38 Engr Regt was the first time I was on my own, so it was challenging. Men were always going on detachment, taking kit with them but never bringing it back. I learned a lot about write-offs during this posting! Part of being on duty was acting as Duty Recovery and we covered the A1, so we were out a lot. Promoted again and this time off to 9/12 Royal Lancers in Detmold. It was a very happy posting. All our equipment was geared up for Centurion but we were receiving Chieftain so I had big job changing our tools from BSF to ANF. Changing the expense stocks was very difficult. There were lots of exercises, but the highlight was being part of the 2nd Battlegroup at BATUS in Canada. Relaxation was visiting the folk clubs in the area, especially Hereford. I also met Anne in 1973, the love of my life and my best friend - we got married in the Camp Church. The Regiment was fantastic; we had the use of the Colonel’s car and the reception was in the Sergeants’ Mess. The three years passed quickly. Suddenly it was Christmas 1973 and I was promoted and posted to BATUS. On arrival we were placed in a hotel in Medicine Hat until a quarter was ready. The Workshop was great and I was part of the second

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group of permanent staff. Working with the AFG1198 and two civilian Storemen was strange and I initially wondered where all the non-starred items had come from. For each Battlegroup the Workshop supplied an FRG and part of my responsibility was to equip them with tools. In the summer I was always on call, which proved a bit stressful, especially after the birth of our son. I learnt a lot more about local purchases as we frequently needed to purchase tools for the air guns and the 2 1/2-ton American trucks. Time seemed to fly by and the tour was over. It was then off to Germany to join 36 Hy Regt RA Wksp, stationed in Dortmund. As happens I had to leave Anne in Rotherham as there was no quarter available. It was a few weeks before she arrived. Not a happy situation. When I arrived in Dortmund, I was to discover that my main role was to be heavily involved in the disbandment of the Regiment. I was amazed at the size of the Workshop. The Regiment was equipped with Thunderbird Missiles, which were no longer needed. Disposal of the G1098 went well, but disposal of the vehicles did not. The Regiment had been given free vehicles and the Workshop also had some, as the purchase of the system by a foreign power had fallen through. In the end these vehicles went for scrap as they were not on the books. Then it was off again to Soest to join 5 Armd Wksp Fortunately, there was a quarter available so we moved to Soest as a family. Soest is a lovely town located very close to the historic Mohne Dam. It was difficult to settle at first,


as I would be working for a TQMS; I had been in charge of my own store for years. Our main thrust was the large NATO exercises each year, which were enjoyable as you were out and about for a few weeks every time. During this tour came my first experience of Belfast, which was quite stressful. I was soon off again as I had been promoted and moved to Colchester to join 8 Fd Wksp. We settled into a nice quarter and Colchester was a pleasure, a lovely town and a great Workshop. Little did I know that this would be my last posting. During my tour the stores position was upgraded to WO1. As we were well settled and Anne was able to return to teaching, we elected to stay put. It turned out to be a very interesting tour. I went to Cyprus on Lion Sun 4, had the opportunity to visit the Workshop in Kenya for a week and of course I had to go to Belfast - still stressful. For me, the highlight of the tour was Lionheart 84 when the Workshop was part of the reinforcements for Germany. My main memory was being left behind at Bremerhaven as the ship did not have the room for 10 vehicles and I was driving one of them. I was the senior person so off we went to 7 Armd Wksp in Fallingbostel, where I knew the QM, to seek temporary accommodation. A few days later we went to Hamburg, ferry and home. 1985 soon came around and with it retirement; off to an uncertain future in Jersey. My life in the Forces is full of memories: places I have been to, people I knew and experiences that I will forever treasure. I was very fortunate as I obtained a job as soon as I arrived. I was employed as a Dispatch Manager for a local Department Store. The hard part was getting used to working with women as it was something I had never done. I worked there for 20 years then moved to a Furniture Store until I retired. Initially I found it extremely difficult to settle, mainly because my life had been controlled since I was 15 and now my responsibilities were very different. Anne was a powerhouse and she really helped me through that very difficult period. She was able to return to teaching and we were able to buy a home and I then really started to settle. I later learned that she was also missing a lot of things about service life. My big passion over the last 30 plus years has been the Honorary Police. It is the oldest police force in the world. The senior position is a Centenier and he is responsible for all charging and presenting people in Court. He has the power to remand people into custody

and can also impose fines up to £200.00. It was a position I held for 26 years and have just retired from because of my age. Perhaps one of the biggest pleasures over the years has been attending the yearly Storemen’s Reunion. Sadly I missed the last one. It is a wonderful experience to meet up with people I have served with. It was truly great to see how well so many had done. The last time I attended I met a Major who served with me when he was a potential Storeman. Sadly, my trade seems to have disappeared. Over the years I have also managed to attend a couple of Junior Leaders’ Reunions, which are always a lovely trip down memory lane. So now, here I am, soon to be 76 and finally retired. Sadly, Anne died some years ago, my son and family are working overseas and I find myself alone. I miss my two wonderful grandsons, but the wonders of modern technology allows me to watch them grow up and hear about my son and his family’s adventures. Looking back on those days 60 years ago, I realise how fortunate I have been. Junior Leaders and the Corps put me on the right path and gave me the confidence to achieve. I have no complaints and I would do it again. I had a fabulous career. If you need a Storeman I am available!

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Tales of Frank Reynolds

Dames and Toasts Scribe: Capt (Retd) G MacB Anderson (Andy)

D

ame Edwina Plumb was always a part of the folklore of Arborfield Garrison, particularly the Corps Officers’ Mess at West Court. I believe Frank led many West Court PMCs a merry dance, purporting to be a member of the family that had leased West Court to the MOD. He would arrange to meet the PMC on a Friday afternoon at West Court to do an inspection of the Mess, arriving fully made up (Am-Dram grease paint perfectly applied) in a long flowing dress, lace gloves up to the elbow topped with a large sun hat complete with veil. It is believed that not many PMCs saw through the disguise! I have some personal memories of Frank, which I would like to pass on to you. A very funny man with a wicked sense of humour that would erupt even during the most formal of occasions. A full Regiment Lunch had been organised by the PMC of Hazebrook Officers’ Mess in the late 1980s while I was at SEE. Frank, as the QM of the Army Apprentice College, had been invited. We were between courses and the conversation and wine was flowing, when three distinct knocks were heard. There was a hush as people wondered why those knocks had been given. Frank stood up and stated that he wished everyone to drink a toast to his father, 100 years old today! Mess members started rising, preparing to drink a toast to ‘Frank’s Dad’, when Frank said “Well it

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would’ve been if he had been alive!” Many members laughed heartily. He was a very genuine man who did a lot for charity. One Sunday I was perusing the various delights of the stalls at Blackbushe Sunday Market, when I was taken by some really colourful hand-painted clogs. A voice from behind the stall said “What are you doing here young man, you should be getting ready for church parade!” Frank was selling the shoes for the benefit of one of his current charities. Several years later, as Secretary of the REME Benevolent Fund I had to contact Frank, who was also retired, at the time, working for SSAFA in Louth in Lincolnshire. I wished to discuss the case of a former REME Craftsman who was a founding member of the Corps in 1942. The phone was ringing as I waited for Frank to answer when the answering machine cut in with Frank’s dulcet tones offering the following message: “Hello this is the Reynold’s fridge. Unfortunately the answering machine is out for the moment but if you leave a message, I will scribble it on a ‘post-it’ note and stick it to the door and the answering machine will get back to you on its return! Thank you!” They broke the mould when they made Frank Reynolds! RIP Arte et Marte


Obituaries Former WO2 (CSM) Philip ‘Blue’ Mulcock I regret to inform the Corps of the death of WO2 (CSM) Philip Mulcock REME on 14 October 2020 aged 74. Phillip and his wife Brenda celebrated their Golden Anniversary on 15 August, and although ‘lockdown’ rules prevented the celebration they had planned they nevertheless experienced a moving celebration with family. One close neighbour took the trouble to set up a disco in the street and all close friends were able to join in the celebrations. Phillip, known affectionately as ‘Blue’, was born in Worcester in September 1946 and, after completing his education, joined REME in 1964. He completed recruit training at the Trg Bn and Depot REME and moved to Bordon to train as a VMB (B). Following training he was posted to BAOR with 28 Amphibious Engineer Workshop in Hameln. Blue took to German life with gusto and enjoyed all the benefits that could be had at that time in West Germany. He played hockey for the Workshop and the Regiment, excelling for two seasons as the top goal scorer. After Hameln he was posted to Malaysia. This glamorous posting for a young Soldier, however, was cancelled as a result of the Defence Review of that year Blue found himself posted back to the Depot as a LCpl and here, like many Soldiers before him, discovered a talent for instructing and he decided to transfer from trade to Regimental Duty. Many recruits of that time have since commented and praised his genuine concern in ensuring well rounded Soldiers. His easy going manner was in sharp contrast to the rigours of training at the time. A posting to 12 Fd Wksp, Osnabruck in 1971 and promotion to Cpl followed and where he spent a rewarding three years, instructing and organising MTC 2 and MTC 1 (JMC & SMC) courses Returning to the Depot on promotion to Sgt, Blue attended the Senior Regimental Duty Course and on successful completion was posted as SSgt to 4 Armd Wksp in Detmold. Involved heavily in Workshop life, he continued to instruct on many MTC 2 and MTC 1 courses whilst maintaining his interest in Hockey, playing for the Workshop team and representing his unit in the BAOR Finals. A posting to the Outer Hebrides followed in 1980 and then to 1 Corps Tps Wksp REME in Bielefeld as the CSM. Phillip finished his service in 1986 and, like many before him, took up employment in the hospitality sector running, with Brenda, three pubs in Lancashire. Jobs as a chef followed and on retirement they settled in Clitheroe in Lancashire. Even in retirement he continued to work, assisting Brenda in her work as a chef. Blue was a first-rate Soldier and over 200 messages of condolence were placed on social media following his death. He was the epitome of a solid reliable Soldier and many will mourn his passing. He is survived by his wife Brenda, children Jason and Debbie and his grandchildren Megan, Jack, Daniel and Lucy, all of whom he doted on.

Sgt Darren ‘Daz’ Richardson 150 Pl, 133 Rec Coy, 103 Battalion REME I regret to inform the Corps that Sgt ‘Daz’ Richardson passed away at his home in Wymondham near Norwich on 15 October 2020 after a brave, but short, battle with cancer. He will be sadly missed by his friends and colleagues across 103 Bn REME with whom he had served as both a VM and Rec Mech for over 20 years. Sgt Richardson originally joined the Territorial Army in 1997 as a Rifleman in HQ Coy 6/7 PWRR in his home town of Horsham. Following his Basic Infantry course, he served for several years as a member of Recce Pl in HQ Coy. Following the closure of the Horsham TA Centre, Daz chose to change cap badge to REME and joined 150 Rec Coy in Redhill as a VM, a trade more akin to his civilian profession as an Automotive Designer. In the millennium, Sgt Richardson moved to Wymondham to join Lotus Cars, based close by in Hethel. Despite a five hour round trip to attend training with 150 Rec Coy, Sgt Richardson chose to remain loyal to the Redhill team for the next 13 years, moving ultimately to Croydon when the company moved north inside the M25 as part of the A2020 restructuring of

the Battalion. He continued to be part of the fabric of 150 Platoon on its reduction in size following the impact of A2020R and the merger of 103 and 104 Battalions, which saw the Croydon site reduce to a Platoon Detachment. Progressing through the ranks, it is clear that Daz saw his Reserve service as a second career to his work with Lotus Cars. He enjoyed successful detachments to BATSUB (2001), back to back tours on TELIC 4 and 5 (2004-05), and numerous winter deployments to BATUS on Ex DARK HORSE, including the most recent Battalionled WRP deployment to BATUS on Ex IRON HORSE 20. He also qualified as an Alpine Ski Instructor and spent a very productive period leading the 150 Rec Coy RMTT during 2008-9. Awarded the VRSM in 2007, he gained his first bar in 2012 followed by the second in 2017. A dedicated and loyal SNCO who was at the heart of 103 Bn at trade; in the field; and on the slopes. Sgt Richardson is survived by his mother, Mrs Beryl Gee, and sister, Dana Richardson, who still live in his childhood town of Horsham, West Sussex.

Major John Lintin TD Scribe: Colonel MA Simpson QVRM TD VR It is with deep sadness I must report the passing of my first REME OC, Major John Lintin TD on 20 October 2020 in hospital, following a recent stroke and short illness at the age of 82. John was born in Idle, near Bradford, and brought up in the ‘steel town’ of Rotherham in South Yorkshire; his father being employed at the local Royal Ordnance factory. Between 1957 and 1960 he attended Durham University, graduating in 1960. It was during this time he joined the REME section of Durham University Officer Training Corps, serving as both a Junior and Senior Under Officer. In civilian life, John returned to Rotherham and joined the Steel Industry. Initially he worked for Steel, Peech and Tozer on the Installation of an Electric Arc Furnace at Aldwarke. John worked at several sites in his career, latterly as head of the New Works Dept at Templeborough. With a keen eye for detail, John was always notorious for getting out his tape measure, something that was with him until the end – he was buried with it! John was also an avid fan of Rotherham United and Rotherham RUFC and was often found cheering them both on from the terraces - they needed the encouragement! John commissioned into REME TA spending his early days with 118 Army Recovery Company based in Mexborough in South Yorkshire, serving up to the rank of Captain. As the TAVR formed in 1967, 118 Recovery Company was established in Northampton. It was then that John attended the Recovery element of the YO’s course at Bordon. Between 1967 and 1974, John cut his teeth at first line support, initially with the newly formed 38 Signal Regiment in Sheffield - all the Squadrons the LAD was responsible for were downsized Regiments. John always said this was one of his best postings. He then moved to 73 Engineer Regiment Workshop (also one of my previous commands), with sub units spread as far away as Bradford to Holloway in London. John was promoted to Major in 1974, seeing life at Brigade level as BEME with 29 Engineer Brigade, which also included his old command at 73 Engineer Regiment. After a short period in the Majors’ Pool at CVHQ Bordon, John subsequently commanded 201 RCZ Workshop and 29 Engineer Regiment Workshop - both specialist TA units also based in Bordon. Between 1983-1986 John was posted to Tidworth as SO2 Maint (V) with HQ LSG, taking over from Ken Wright … apparently, he subsequently took Holy Orders, but John claimed no responsibility for that! In 1986, and taking a post a little closer to home, John became the Log Watchkeeper with 49 Inf Bde and also found time to attend the TA Staff Course at Camberley. I first came across John in 1992 when, following Options for Change and the formation of 102 Bn REME (initially commanded by the late Lt Col Alan Flower), John was given inaugural command of 146 Workshop Company (again another of my previous commands - I did keep following him about). Here he formed the

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Company out of 46 Infantry transferees (including yours truly) and set about our ‘REMEfication’. One of the first FTXs the Company conducted under John, was ‘the invasion of the South’! Personnel boarded the RFA Sir Tristram LSL in Hull – and ‘set sail’ for Marchwood, ‘storming’ Browndown Beach - on board Mexeflotes, before ‘invading’ inland - setting up a Workshop in the woods behind Perham Down!! Many of those ‘old contemptibles’ continued to serve for many years in both the TA and Army Reserve, many going on to see operational service with the Corps - he clearly taught us well. In 1994, John finally ‘hung up his boots’, but kept in touch with the Corps as one of the key members of the Broxhead Club (a dining club for REME TA Officers, named after the old Officers Mess, Broxhead House, which still stands near Bordon). He annually supported and was a stalwart of the club’s events. John also served on the organising committee for a number of years. John’s no nonsense dry wit and deep South Yorkshire accent will be sorely missed at events in the future. Our thoughts are very much with his wife Maureen, and son Mark, who followed his Dad into the Steel Industry.

Capt Chris Butt Scribe: Andy Perkowski I regret to inform the Corps that Capt Chris Butt passed on 18 October 2020 aged 51. Chris was born in 1969, into an Army family and spent his childhood living in far-flung locations, all of which had links with Army Aviation. In 1986, Chris followed in his father’s footsteps and joined REME. He joined Princess Marina College as an Apprentice Tradesman Avionics Technician, where he excelled at trade. He rapidly emerged as a very talented and professional technician and as a 26-year-old, attended Artificer Training. He went on to pass the All Arms Commando course – no mean feat for a SSgt rapidly approaching 30 - before passing Aircrew selection and attending the Army Pilot course. Reflective of his character, Chris wouldn’t accept anything other than a perfect performance and as he struggled to pull all aspects of flying training together in the final stages of the course, he chose to withdraw from the course, returning to Aviation engineering. In recognition of his professionalism, Chris went on to lead the maintenance team at 8 Flt AAC in Hereford, in direct support of 22 SAS. Further postings saw rapid promotion to WO1 (ASM) of 29 Flt AAC, BATUS where he became a passionate and committed ice hockey enthusiast and keen golfer. It was during this posting, that Chris first offered up his maths teaching skills to the resident Education Officer, starting his transition into Army education and resulting in Chris being commissioned into the AGC(ETS) in April 2008. As a Regular Officer, Chris served as a Learning Development Officer in Army Education Centres in Larkhill and Tidworth, teaching Officer and Soldier development courses and becoming a coaching expert; skills that he shared with literally hundreds of students and colleagues. Chris also served at the Army School of Education as OIC Technical Training Wing, where ironically one of his roles was to teach ‘tiffy maths’ to those REME Soldiers about to attend Artificer training. He was also heavily involved in mentoring and developing young, talented soldiers who aspired to become Army Officers, many of whom have stated that they would not have been successful without Chris’s patience, passion and genuine desire to help people. He ended his Regular career, totalling almost 29 years’ service, at Army Headquarters in February 2015. After teaching maths at Colchester Institute for six months, Chris was ‘poached’ back into Army life on a Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) commitment. He regularly joked that FTRS stood for ‘Failed the Resettlement System’. Nothing could be further from the truth; that he was too good an Officer for the Army to let go. 42 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

Chris was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2019, a disease he battled with characteristic fortitude, good humour and positivity. He had been selected for promotion to Major and was planning to step into a part-time Reservist role at the point when his illness prevented him from working full-time; unfortunately, that aspiration never came to fruition. He passed away peacefully, after a rapid decline in his health on Sunday 18 October, in the presence of his loved ones. The world is a poorer place for his passing and he will be remembered always as an adored husband, devoted father, friend and mentor to so many.

Col Malcolm Campbell Scribe: Colonel R Lucas It is with great regret that I report to the Corps the passing of Colonel Malcolm Campbell on 26 October 2020, peacefully at his home in Winchester, aged 82. Malcolm was brought up in Liverpool and we first met at Welbeck College in January 1955. As a fellow ‘Scouser’, we became firm friends and remained so ever since. Malcolm went on to Sandhurst and RMCS, where he gained an Honours Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Malcolm then served in Germany, first with 11 Inf Wksp, then commanded 15/19H LAD and back to Minden on promotion to Major as BEME 11 Bde. This was followed by a staff tour at HQ HKLF and on to command 15 Fd Wksp at Catterick, during which time he took the Workshop for an operational tour of duty in Northern Ireland. After a short spell at the REME Officers’ School, he was selected to attend the National Defence College. That suddenly changed and he was promoted to Lt. Col and sent to be CREME Cyprus and CO 48 Comd Wksp instead - I don’t think Malcolm complained! He had a wonderful tour there, volunteering to be in charge of sailing and water skiing! He also learnt to ride and ended up playing polo - no mean feat for a REME Officer. After a fun and enjoyable job he was posted as GSO1, HQ DEME (A) in Andover. This was no sinecure, working for DEME (Org & Trg). He was then posted to EME Directorate HQ BAOR for three years, then back to UK on promotion to Colonel EME 4 in Andover. This was followed by a posting to REME Wing RSA and finally as Dep Comd and Chief Instructor at SEME. He was a diligent, competent, professional engineer, with a thorough knowledge of the Corps in the field, in staff work and at third Line. After retirement from the Army, Malcolm went to work in Bordon as a Retired Officer. This suited him admirably, as he and his wife, Andree, had been settled in Winchester for many years. During his second retirement, Malcolm and Andree travelled extensively, always managing to find time to go skiing, play tennis as well as walking and visiting their two sons wherever they were able. His was a life well lived. We send our sincere condolences to Andree and the family at their sad loss.

Former WO2(AQMS) Dave Higgs Scribe: Paul Chadderton It is with deep regret that I have to inform the Corps of the passing of Dave Higgs on 20 May 2020, aged 90. As a Soldier, Artificer and REME Association and AOBA Member, Dave was a stalwart of the Corps for 26 years and 20 years civilian service. Dave was born in 1930 in Cairo where his father was stationed with the South Wales Borderers at that time. Subsequently his father was posted to Hong Kong, where he spent the first few years of his life. He arrived in England in 1936 when his father was posted to Catterick and, whilst his father conducted a tour in Palestine, David lived in Swansea firming up his Welsh roots, which would stay with him for the rest of his life. Dave joined the Army at 14½ years old in 1944, as a Boy entrant General Fitter at the Army Technical School in Arborfield. He served in many units and locations throughout the world including: Equipment Preservation Workshop in Eggingham (1948-51); 53 Light AA Regt RA LAD, Lippstadt (1951-56); 21 Command Wksp, Burscough (1958); 458 LAA Regt RA LAD, Gillingham (1959-61); 16 LAA Regt RA LAD, Shornecliffe, (1961-63); 2 Infantry Wksp


and 28 Commonwealth Brigade in Teradak, Malaya (1963-66); SID Branch REME, Donnington, Shropshire (1966-67); Lulworth Ranges (1967-68); Weapons Branch REME, Woolwich (1969-70). After leaving the Army as a WO2 (AQMS) Artificer Weapons, Dave secured employment with 34 Base Workshop in Telford, Shropshire and continued to work there repairing weapons for a further 20 years, finally retiring in 1990. Dave has been a long-time member of the Shropshire Branch of the REME Association and became fully involved in all our social activities, including Branch trips to Ypres and the Normandy 75th Anniversary Commemorations. He was also a member of the Arborfield Old Boys Association and attended their Annual Reunions where possible. In recent years, after his wife Olive died and as his health declined, he moved to live with his sister Gaynor in Derby where he lived very happily. He is a sad loss for family and friends. He will be missed by us all.

Former SSgt Kelvin ‘Roger’ Jones MBE Scribe: Maj (Retd) Rick Henderson It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of former SSgt Kelvin ‘Roger’ Jones MBE on 20 November 2020, aged 71. Roger passed away peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family, after a short battle with cancer. Roger was born on 14 February 1949 and in his own words, “was always going to join the Army”. He enlisted in 1964 as a Vehicle Mechanic, joining intake 64C at Carlisle Apprentice College. He was a talented athlete and represented the college at Cross Country and Steeplechase. Unfortunately, during a Steeplechase event he lost a tooth; whilst wearing a brand-new set of running spikes, his foot stuck on the top of the water jump and he fell face first into the bottom of the jump. In 1967, he joined his first unit, the Gordon Highlanders LAD in Minden where he developed his passion for working on the FV430 series. Roger caused a bit of a stir at his next posting with 4 Guards Brigade HQ and Signals Squadron in a camp shared with 5 Innskilling Dragoon Guards because of his Triumph TR6 sports car. With so many Officers in the camp, the guards on the gate, upon spotting the Triumph approaching would salute thinking it must be an Officer. Roger would just wave back. He was summoned for a chat with the RSM, who asked him to change his car but Roger decided to keep his prized possession. Roger married his wife Christine in 1975 and in 1977 they welcomed a new addition to the family with the birth of their son Colin. Whilst serving with 10 Field Workshop in Tidworth, on one of his trips home at lunchtime, Roger found the road blocked off by the Military Police. Upon enquiring as to why he couldn’t get home, Roger was informed that there was a suspect car across the road. Roger peered down the road to see his father in law’s Morris Traveller. Apparently, his father in law was notorious for not putting the handbrake on and the car had travelled from the layby and out onto the road. After another spell in Germany, in Duisburg with 6 Squadron Royal Corps of Transport, he returned to the UK and was posted to SEME Bordon. During his service he completed two tours of Northern Ireland and also visited Belize and Gibraltar as part of the PRE team. Roger’s running career was curtailed after injuring his leg whilst ser ving in Norther n Ireland, but he excelled at the spor t of Rallying. He was awarded Corps Colours and became part of the Army team. In one par ticular event in Scotland, Roger and his navigator came last but were awarded the ‘Spirit of the Rally’ by their fellow competitors. This was due to stopping when they came across a competitor who had gone off the road and was stuck

in a ditch. They used an exhaust gas-filled air bag, to get them out. Whilst working at Bordon, Roger instructed on short courses for stripping, assembling and conducting Battle damage repair for the modified ‘pinkie’ Land Rovers. His can-do attitude was rewarded with a number of invites to Hereford. Roger lived and breathed the Corps and was soon involved with the fledgling Museum Vehicle Collection housed at Bordon. Roger attended shows all over the country and sometimes abroad, displaying vehicles from the collection and proudly promoting the Cor ps and Museum. He even managed to get a five-year continuation of service and was given the task of looking after the Museum’s collection. Having spent so long working for SEME, Roger’s mischievous side came to the fore once again. He decided to create a parking sign labelled LSEME to reserve a space at the WOs and Sgts’ Mess. It was years before anyone asked why he had his own spot and what it stood for, to which he replied, “Longest Serving member of SEME”. He left the Army in 1994 after a career spanning 30 years. His time serving the Corps and Museum was not over; he immediately became a Civil Servant employed as a Vehicle Fitter at SEME Bordon. Roger was quickly seconded to the Museum and carried on looking after the collection. His outstanding contribution to promoting the Museum and Corps was recognised in 2005 when he was justifiably awarded an MBE, something he was rightly proud of. When the Corps relocated to Lyneham and Roger’s post as a Civil Servant was taken as a cost saving measure, his knowledge of the collection coupled with his enthusiasm and can-do attitude meant he was soon re-employed as a Corps employee and continued his work in the Museum. If you ever met Roger, you would quickly discover what a truly helpful and generous character he was. In his desire to help others, he became a member of the Bucknell Lodge of Freemasons, raising significant funds for charities. Roger rose to the esteemed rank of Past Provincial Duty Grand Registrar and he held the appointment of Director of Ceremonies. Although a Vehicle Mechanic, recovery was very dear to his heart and his close association with this trade group resulted in him being made an honorary Recovery Mechanic. He was even invited to attend the March Past at the Cenotaph in 2019 as part of the RBL Recovery Mechanics branch. Roger was one of a kind. There is so much more that could be said about him: his hoarding; his socialising; his own amazing personal military collection. He was a great ambassador for the Corps and Museum for 57 years. He was a true gentleman, a real character and a fantastic friend to many. He will be greatly missed.

Former WO1 (ASM) Rod Smith Scribe: Col (Retd) Mike Crabbe It is with deep regret that I inform you of the passing of Rod Smith on 23 September aged 77. My wife Wendy and I first met with Rod and his wife Carole when we ser ved together as Cor poral Technicians in 655 Aviation Squadron at Detmold in West Germany, as it was then in 1970. We started Artificer courses on the same day in November 1971. On completion, he qualified as Artificer Aircraft and I qualified as Artificer Avionics and we were both posted to 70 Aircraft Workshop at Middle Wallop. Ro d j o i n e d t h e A r my i n November 1965 at the age of 22 and qualified as an Aircraft Technician (Airframes and Engines) and was first posted to the Air Troop of The Queens Royal Irish Hussars at Wolfenbuttel in Germany. At that time, many second line units were allocated three h e l i c o p t e r s, w i t h R E M E providing the maintenance and regiments providing the pilots

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and ground crew. By 1970, the Army Air Corps had assimilated these regimental aircraft into centralized squadrons such as 655. As a WO2, Rod and the family moved on to 3 Flight Army Air Corps in Northern Ireland and then, on promotion to WO1 to 3 Regiment Army Air Corps in Soest. His final posting was to 19 Field Regiment Royal Artillery in Dortmund in a move away from aviation appointments. This was unusual for an Aircraft Artificer and gave him the wonderful opportunity to expand his engineering skills. Carole says that Rod “was always tinkering with things” and I expect it was a natural move on leaving the Army in 1987 for him to take on a car repair business at his garage just outside Netheravon Camp in Wiltshire. He ran the business until he retired at age 70 in 2013. Rod and Carole had settled in Salisbury and Rod, always a keen runner, was the Road Running Secretary of the Salisbury Running Club. He passed away in Salisbury District Hospital after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. I am sure you would wish for me to pass on your condolences to Carole, their daughter Maddy and her family, their son Steven, and their many friends for their sad loss.

Death Notices GROSSART – Captain (Retd) Gordon S Grossart passed away 29 October 2020 aged 96. Dates of service 1943-1947. JONES – Former SSgt Kelvin Roger Jones MBE, known as Roger, passed away on 20 November 2020 aged 71. Dates of service 19641994. MORGAN – Lt Col (Retd) Peter Morgan passed away on 10 October 2020 aged 73. Dates of service 1966-1998.

Death Notice Requirements In order to publish a death notice we require the following information: Surname, first name, rank, full date of death, ages and dates of service. An obituary with additional career and life information is welcome. To inform us of the death, please contact Ms Bev Bate, Corps Welfare Manager on ( 01249 894523 or  benevolence@reme-rhq.org.uk

Extracts from the London Gazette 10 November 2020 REGULAR ARMY Intermediate Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Warrant Officer Class 1 Robert George WILSON 25062062 to be Captain 4 May 2020 (Belated Entry) The following have been awarded the 2nd Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) MAJ, D. A. COOPER, REME, 24896460 The following have been awarded the 1st Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) MAJ, A. FURMIDGE-OWEN, REME, 24905202 SSGT, J. C. NEAL, REME, 25042790 WO1, J. E. PHILLIPS, REME, 25042932 WO2, C. M. ROBINSON, REME, 25044454 WO1, S. C. SWORDS, REME, 25042866 The following have been awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) SGT, T. R. ADAMSON, REME, 25203832 SGT, T. S. G. ALLATT, REME, 25110721 SGT, J. S. BALDWIN, REME, 25202087 SSGT, M. P. BLACKBOURN, REME, 25205453 CPL, S. A. BOWEN, REME, 25202306 LCPL, M. A. BURGESS, REME, 25204846 SGT, G. M. CAMPBELL, REME, 25205824 SGT, M. M. COOPER, REME, 25209531 SGT, R. A. COSTER, REME, 25204949 44 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

WO2, R. I. CRIGHTON, REME, 25130550 SSGT, J. H. DEVINE, REME, 25202896 WO2, M. J. DONNE, REME, 25115890 CPL, A. EVANS, REME, 25205147 SGT, D. S. FAWCETT, REME, 25203678 LCPL, C. C. A. HARPER, REME, W1056338 SGT, C. M. HUGHES, REME, 25203914 SGT, S. R. JONES, REME, 25205065 CPL, L. M. LANDON, REME, 25205066 SGT, S. D. LANT, REME, 25205352 SSGT, R. G. LITTLEFORD, REME, 25202636 CPL, K. A. MACKENZIE, REME, 25204611 SGT, R. P. McCREADY, REME, 25205146 SSGT, J. MEE, REME, 25201442 SSGT, S. P. NEARY, REME, 25202088 CPL, J. M. C. NEILLY, REME, 25202632 SGT, C. G. NEWCOMBE, REME, 25203838 SGT, N. B. NORTHALL, REME, 25187376 CPL, M. A. PLATT, REME, 25205152 SSGT, B. A. QUINN, REME, 25204696 SSGT, S. J. RAVENSCROFT, REME, 25203103 SGT, A. S. RAVN, REME, 25205924 CPL, A. P. REILLY, REME, 25210429 SGT, S. A. SCOTT, REME, 25202571 SSGT, W. J. SHAW, REME, 25155302 SGT, J. E. TOPPING, REME, 25202869 SSGT, M. WHEAL, REME, 25201976 SGT, R. YOUNG, REME, 25203569 The following have been awarded the 4th Clasp to the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal SSGT, M. J. BELLAMY, REME, 24858641 The following have been awarded the 3rd Clasp to the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal SSGT, M. J. BELLAMY, REME, 24858641 CPL, P. A. BROWN, REME, 24919328 MAJ, P. J. SIMPSON, REME, 558923 The following have been awarded the 2nd Clasp to the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal SGT, T. PRICE, REME, 24801384 The following have been awarded the 1st Clasp to the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal SGT, S. D. MACLENNAN, REME, 25174694 The following have been awarded the Volunteer Reserves Service Medal LCPL, M. T. C. CURRIE, REME, 30038463

24 November 2020 REGULAR ARMY Regular Commissions Major O. C. MORGAN 556762 retires 13 September 2020 Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Major J. R. SCOTT 24872301 retires 29 September 2020 Intermediate Regular Commissions Major K. M. MACHIN W1053043 retires 25 September 2020 Captain A. J. RITCHIE 30089206 retires 24 September 2020 Captain M. D. MACHIN 30034456 retires 25 September 2020

10 December 2020 REGULAR ARMY Intermediate Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Warrant Officer Class 1 Stuart Alexander SCOTT 25043915 to be Captain 4 May 2020 (Belated Entry) Warrant Officer Class 1 David Jon Anthony LEO 25080777 to be Captain 31 July 2020 Warrant Officer Class 1 Paul ROBERTSON 25053426 to be Captain 31 August 2020 Short Service Commissions Lieutenant G. M. MCKENNA 30170074 to be Captain 12 August 2020 Lieutenant L. TAYLOR 30023581 to be Captain 12 August 2020 Lieutenant J. P. G. F. WEBB 30124780 to be Captain 12 August 2020


Second Lieutenant E. J. BAKER 30201408 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant J. CAPEL-SHYU 30189551 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant J. A. CHAPMAN 30180020 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant L. A. COX 30201432 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant M. J. EDWARDS 30137368 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant D. W. HORSBURGH 30201448 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant K. J. JUTSUM 30201468 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant L. R. G. M. MOTTLEY 30201506 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant F. PARKER 30180046 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant J. K. SHENFIELD 30201477 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant N. J. WEAVER 30261802 to be Lieutenant 12 August 2018 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant T. J. SWEENEY 30293885 to be Lieutenant 13 April 2020 (Belated Entry) The following have been awarded the 1st Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) CAPT, D. A. THOMAS, REME, 25032616 SGT, S. J. CAMERON, REME, 25041518 CAPT, S. I. KITCHEN, REME, 25018060 The following have been awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) SSGT, W. J. POPLE, REME, 25201168 SGT, J. RICHARDS, REME, 25209007 SGT, M. A. JONES, REME, 25208417 SGT, A. TREADGOLD, REME, 25207216 CPL, A. S. ASPERY, REME, 25203753 MAJ, A. J. SHAND, REME, 25205183 SGT, S. KIMMINGS, REME, 25206595 LCPL, N. S. SALKELD, REME, 25206311 SGT, S. P. CREIGHTON, REME, 25206194 SSGT, R. P. SWABY, REME, 25206144 CPL, G. D. R. PAINE, REME, 25206143 PL, C. P. W. APPS, REME, 25206052 SGT, D. G. REYNOLDS, REME, 25205297 CPL, S. J. HALL, REME, 25204028 SSGT, D. R. SMITH, REME, 25211183 CPL, D. R. CLUETT, REME, 25210382 SGT, O. E. ROWE, REME, 25208618 SSGT, M. T. SWIGGS, REME, 25210777 CPL, P. P. WALKER, REME, 25196709 SGT, R. F. SPENCER-FLEET, REME, 25106104 SSGT, D. T. WILSON, REME, 25059183

The REME Charity The Trustees of The REME Charity acknowledge with sincere thanks the donations received during the month of NOVEMBER 2020. They also wish to acknowledge the regular subscriptions received from the Officers and Soldiers of the Corps and retired members of the REME Institution: Donations The Edinburgh Trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1000.00 Amazon Smile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£277.36 Van Santen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£200.00 Ahsan Mohammed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£100.00 Legionnaires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£90.42 Much Loved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£50.23 47 Regt RA Wksp 24hr Charity ride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£50.00 Rob Davies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£30.00 Anon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£15.00 Sian Phillips . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£15.00 Nigel Brown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 Sam Melvin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£7.20 Charles Wright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£5.00 Payroll Giving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1.94 Total Donations (Oct) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1,852.15 Total £’s paid in Grants (Oct) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£21,872.79 No. Grants (Oct) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Average Grant (Oct) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£486.00

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 www.ssafa.org.uk or The Royal British Legion ( 0808 802 8080  www.britishlegion.org.uk 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

Share your global stories with the REME Family The Craftsman Magazine showcases the activities of the Corps all over the world in our monthly Global Reach feature. Whether you’re involved in an Exercise, an Operation, or participating in Sport, this is your opportunity to share your international experiences with the REME Family. To be featured, simply send a few sentences (and some photos) telling us where you are, why you are there, and what you are doing. Send to the Craftsman Editor at: craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk Please ensure all Global Reach submissions have been cleared by the CoC. We cannot accept anything that is Of昀cial-Sensitive (OS) or higher AND it must have been cleared for public knowledge.

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 45


The Screwjack Letters – No. 13 New Brakes

C

my MG from cable brakes to hydraulics. There was an abandoned 1937 Series 2 Morris 12 outside one of the big sheds at the College. I found that the wheel cylinders fitted perfectly in the MG back plates once the riveted cam housings were removed. I then only needed to saw the ends off the cast alloy brake shoes to convert the wheel stations. Fitting the master cylinder and brake fluid reservoir was fairly easy, given time. This worked well, but the car now had no hand brake. I heard that the Wolseley Hornet Special had rear 12 inch brake drums like my MG and hydraulic brakes with a cableoperated cam operating on the middle of its rear brake shoes. I eventually found a Hornet in a scrap yard and soon my beloved MG had hand-braking on its rear wheels using the original rear brake cables and handbrake lever. The Adjutant at Sandhurst had noticed an abandoned MG PA at the Academy and had asked if anyone would remove it. I and a pal towed it back to Shrivenham. I stripped the car for spare parts and put the engine in my car. I sold the original oil-burner to a dealer. At RMCS, Jack Black also had a P-type MG. It was a PB with the more powerful engine. Jack’s father was Norman Black, who had been a works MG racing driver. I resolved to find a PB engine. From the back pages of Motor Sport I saw that there was a burnt-out MG PB at Avonmouth Docks. I hired a Morris Minor and drove to Avonmouth. I already knew that if I removed the cylinder head, dynamo and starter motor, I could lift out a P-type engine block by standing astride it on the chassis rails and with a rope round the back of my neck. I got it into the boot of the Morris Minor. Back at Shrivenham I replaced the Sandhurst PA engine with the PB from Avonmouth. With help from Steve Gilmore, I got the PA engine up the stairs onto a table in my room. I fitted the gearbox from the Sandhurst car to it, complete with the remote gear-change lever. I did find some time for my studies that year, of course, but not enough. I now had a cracking good MG, with a huge stock of spares, but I failed most of my second year exams. Screwjack

oralie went home to Holland. She probably wondered why I had driven her around Berkshire arriving nowhere. After the Young Officer training course, we were sent to BAOR, attached in pairs to various Workshops or LADs. Dick Ayscough and I went to 5 Infantry Workshop in Dortmund. We were lodged in the 21 Field Ambulance Mess. Other mess members included civilian School Teachers and young Doctors doing their National Service. They were a cheerful bunch. It was a fine summer in Germany and one doctor, Bill Whisker, often came for breakfast in his pyjamas. Nobody batted an eyelid but I decided not to do the same, although my Guide to Young REME Officers did not specifically forbid it. One of the teachers took me to the huge Stadtschenke in Dortmund; an amazing place, with waitresses in traditional dress carrying huge steins of beer. It was 1958 and there were still a few people living in shanties beside the Ruhrschnellweg. This was the main road running east from the city. It was still cobbled and I was impressed to see how the VW Beetle independent suspension allowed the wheels to bobble up and down at speed. There were also massive German trucks, each towing trailers as big as the trucks, pounding past. I got sent on a Workshop detachment to the Paderborn field training area. Dick was nominally in charge, but the real boss was a very tolerant Staff Sergeant. I had no particular job so I had the good sense to keep out of the way. Commer gearboxes seemed to be a problem at the time. At the end of the exercise a driver was needed to drive a Bedford RL towing another on a single straight bar back to Dortmund. I volunteered and drove the front truck. At one stage of the journey I decided we would overtake a civilian truck and I put my foot down. We made it, and got back to 5 Inf safely. The lad steering the truck behind me must have been relieved. In September, Nick Hastings went off to Cambridge. The rest of our YO Course went to the Royal Military College of Science (RMCS) at Shrivenham in Wiltshire. With some others I chose to study Mechanical Engineering. Others from REME chose Electrics and the RE guys did Civil Engineering. We were required to wear full service dress with Sam Browne belts and we were compelled to attend every lecture. I managed to pass the first year exams and course work, but I realised that I was not able to learn maths-based subjects from a lecturer. I needed to sit quietly and work through the theory and worked examples from books, some of which had been written by the same lecturers. Most of us also spent far too much time at The Bell Inn in Farringdon. During the second year I decided to convert

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www.remeshop.org.uk/product/reme-corps-calendar-2019/ 46 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


Corps Diary Dates 2021 All events listed are subject to Covid-19 restrictions

JANUARY 2021

22

Corps Spring Guest Night

14

COs’ Cabal

23-25

REME Reunion

14

Corps Dinner Night Cancelled

M AY 2 0 2 1

21

REME Colonels’ Command Group

6-7

23

REME Institution Corps Ball Postponed to July.

14

30

REME Institution and HQ Officers’ Mess Exec Committee

30-31

REME Reserves Conference and dinner Cancelled

31

REME Reserves Management Board.

Young Officers’ Conference and Dinner Corps Dinner Night

JUNE 2021 J U LY 2 0 2 1 3

REME Institution Corps Ball

FEBRUARY 2021 MARCH 2021 27

REME Reserves Management Board, Lyneham

27

Broxhead Club Dinner, Lyneham

AUGUST 2021 SEPTEMBER 2021 9

Corps Dinner Night

APRIL 2021

OCTOBER 2021

22

21

Master General’s Conference

Corps Autumn Guest Night