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Magazine of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

July 2021

REME Alpine are looking for skiers What we’re looking for in our squad members: - Physical fitness - Willingness to work and learn - Commitment

Experienced and developing skiers wanted If you are interested in being selected for the REME Alpine squad then please get in touch with your Bn sports reps or email Capt K Burgess at christopher.burgess107@mod.gov.uk

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

JULY 2021

Contents Volume 77 No. 7

FEATURES Notes From the Editor: The Readers’ Survey Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5

Editor: Capt Christopher Burgess + Corporate Communications Officer RHQ REME, The Prince Philip Barracks, Lyneham, CHIPPENHAM, SN15 4XX  craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk (preferred method)  subscriptions@reme-rhq.org.uk (for changes of address) ( Mil: 95481 4529 Civ: 01249 894529

Training: Ex WYVERN YOMP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12 End to End REME Support: Part 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 A Year in the Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .17 Excellence in REME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Equipment: Op NEWCOMBE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 COVID-19 Relief: Op MOONSHOT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 REME Virtual 10k . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31 Corps History: Talbot House Altar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

REGULARS UK Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Global Reach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 Ask the ASM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 RAJA Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .11 The Screwjack Letters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39 Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40 Corps Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45 Corps Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 Sudoku . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

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

Front cover: A mosaic of the hundreds of photos sent in by those who took part in the REME 10k callenge. A fantastic achievement by all.

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

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 3

Be recognised for your professionalism

With you now and for the rest of your career.

Professional registration provides recognition of your military skills and experience and may mean you are eligible for up to £3,000 once achieved*.

Become professionally registered with the IET. We are licensed by the Engineering Council to award CEng, IEng, EngTech and ICTTech. With IET membership discounts available for technicians and annual fee reimbursement by the MOD, there is no better time to apply.

Find out more by registering for our latest webinar What you will learn – An overview of the IET – Membership benefits – Professional Registration Categories – Overview of the UK SPEC – The benefits of Professional Registration – The Professional Registration Application process – The guidance and support we offer

Register here:

theiet.org/craftsman-magazine Heather Brophy, MOD Development Manager heatherbrophy@theiet.org *More information can be found by asking your Trade or Branch Sponsor about the Engineering Professional Registration Award (EPRA). The Institution of Engineering and Technology is registered as a Charity in England and Wales (No. 211014) and Scotland (No. SC038698). The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Michael Faraday House, Six Hills Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire SG1 2AY, United Kingdom.

© Crown copyright 2019

Notes From The Editor

The Annual Readers’ Survey Scribe: Capt Kit Burgess, Editor



he Readers’ Survey conducted earlier this year was the first opportunity The Craftsman has had (in recent history) to really analyse what the readers, you, are looking to get from the Corps’ monthly magazine. The Craftsman is now looking to make this an annual feature to allow the Editor to receive reliable data that will steer the direction of the magazine for the next twelve months. From the 539 responses to the survey, we have been able to find trends in the stats and I’m going to take you through how this is going to shape the changes that you will see in The Craftsman.

monthly feature as the process of researching the story and collating information and images can be a pretty lengthy one.

Accessing The Craftsman The survey asked the reader how they prefer to read the magazine; “Online” (through REME Connect), “In print” or “Both”. !""#$$%&'%()#%*+,-&$.,/%0#$12&$



The survey gave the reader the opportunity to rate each of the segments and features published in The Craftsman from “Very interested” to “Not interested”.








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From this we can see that the segments that received the highest number of “Very interested” responses where: 1) Operations 2) Postings 3) Career pathway 4) Global reach (Ops and Ex) 5) Corps history The Photo Articles feature tops the “Interested” results table, and when combining the “Very interested” and “Interested” data, the top five segments switch to: 1) Operations 2) Global Reach (Ops and Ex) 3) Photo Articles 4) Career Pathway 5) Postings From this, we can easily see that, not only are the readers interested in what the REME / REME soldiers are doing, but want this information in visual, bite-sized chunks. In response to your suggestion we have introduced a “UK Activity” segment in order to increase the amount of this style of content. The Craftsman will also increase the number of more visual articles as opposed to text-heavy content. Looking at the popularity of the “Career Pathway” features, we have introduced “Ask the ASM” and “RAJA Advice” segments as a means of open communication between RHQ REME and our readers. When it comes to postings, however, The Craftsman really struggles with the currency of the information. Due to the nature of the publishing process, any information about postings and trawls we could (legally) publish would most likely be out of date by the time it got to you, the reader. We are looking into what we could do in this area (suggestions welcome), in the meantime, I would highly recommend following the “Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers – REME” Facebook page and jumping onto REME Connect. For “Corps History” we are working with the REME Museum to gather interesting snippets from the Corps’ past. Unfortunately, although we’d like it to be, it may not be possible for this to be a

The editorial team has internally reviewed, as well as receiving plenty of comments concerning, the sustainability of printing the magazine each month. With 79% of the readership using the printed version exclusively, and 95% reading the printed version in some capacity, we are not looking to cease the physical publication. If any individuals would like to opt out of receiving their printed copy in favour of accessing it through the REME Connect website then you can e-mail subscriptions@reme-rhq.org.uk. You can always request to opt back in again via the same e-mail.

Summary This process has been really insightful for me as the Editor and it has provided a base from which we can take The Craftsman forward. We can only implement these changes with your input and backing, however; we can only provide up to date information on the Corps’ activity if we are receiving it in good time to publish. We discovered that out of those who responded to the survey (circa 5% of the reader-0ship) 48% only have an input to The Craftsman when asked to by their Chain of Command and only 3% contribute more than twice a year. !"#$%&'($&"#) *+,(-$, *((

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The Craftsman is a REME Charity publication, and therefore outside of any Chain of Command. As such it belongs to the entire REME family. Your input, either articles, updates or suggestions will have an impact on what is published, so please do get in touch.

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

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

Ex LIGHTNIG FORCE 71 Avn Coy from 7 Bn REME deploy to Otterburn on Ex LIGHTNING FORCE supporting the Apache platform.

Ex TIGER ESCAPADE Soldiers from 1 R WELSH LAD, 4 Bn REME and 5 Bn REME return from Ex TIGER ESCAPADE in Snowdonia National Park where they completed a multi-activity AT package.

Key: RHQ REME Operations Exercises Other

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

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

4 Bn REME prepares to take over Public Duties in London, sending down a recce to learn the ropes.

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

ALDP Soldiers from 4 Bn and 6 Bn REME deploy on ALDP in Okehampton in a joint exercise.

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

REME Global Reach


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

Ex COSSACK MACE 4 SCOTS LAD are deployed to Ukraine for Exercise COSSACK MACE, a joint exercise with the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

AH64E Model Transition Service Personnel from 7 Bn REME are attending courses in the USA to become fully qualified on the new model of Apache Helicopter.

Key: RHQ REME Operations Exercises Other

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1 MERCIAN BG LAD are currently deployed in Estonia on Op CABRIT 8. The photo shows LCpl Curran and LCpl Taylor from 30 Armd Engr Sqn, 26 Regt RE, recovering a French Armd Engr Vehicle (EBG) on an Estonian Integration Exercise..

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: subscriptions@reme-rhq.org.uk Facebook: facebook.com/REMECorps Twitter: @Official_REME Instagram: @REME_Official

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!

Ex NOBLE JUMP 2 3 Rifles are currently deployed on Ex NOBLE JUMP 2, an overseas NATO exercise in Romania. 10 tradesmen deployed from FSp Coy, with Cpl Philp (VM) received a CO’s coin for his outstanding contribution to Equipment Support.

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

ASK THE ASM WO1 (CASM) Daniel McNeill Each month the Corps ASM answers your most pertinant questions from Twitter.

Sir, I am a Vehicle Mechanic Class 1 Cpl currently employed in a Phase 2 Training Regiment away from Regimental Duty and have been for 2 years. I’m not sure that I want to become an Artificer and was wondering if this means I can’t get any more qualifications? I have spoken to my RCMO but she hasn’t been able to help too much. She isn’t REME.

Sir, Really like the Corps’ ‘Lifting the Decks’ initiative. It’s great stuff and as someone who has suffered with poor mental health in the past, it’s long overdue. I liked the Mental Health Self Help QR Code Poster displayed on the REME Facebook page last month. I’d be keen to get it up on our noticeboards. Where can I find it?

Firstly, thanks for getting in touch and good to hear you’re accredited as an EngTech; I checked with the Manning Brick and I know that you received the £3000 EPRA that goes with achieving this status. This is good news because something that has surprised me since becoming Corps ASM is that the uptake from eligible Class 1 soldiers for the EPRA has been less than 70% – shocking given the little effort required to receive. To get back to your question, there are already qualifications that you can get now that you do not have yet. As a starter for ten, you are able to apply now for an Engineering Level 4 Licentiateship award from City & Guilds via a partnership agreement with the REME Arms School. It’s the equivalent of a Certificate of Higher Education and you’ll receive the postnominals LCGI after your name. The REME pathway involves zero additional work and it is a simple application process – no harder than the work you did to apply for EngTech status. It costs £82 but this is well worth it in my opinion. I have asked the Editor to advertise in this month’s Magazine for greater awareness. Have a look and see what you think. As an aside, the team here at RHQ REME has been reviewing the current accreditation and career pipeline and we are updating our policy. It’s clear that we need to provide direction for everyone irrespective of CEG. A new Corps Instruction – E8: Whole Life Development – is being developed now and it will be live on RHQ REME SharePoint before 30 June. Moving forward, we’ll advertise this information on REME Connect and Defence Connect in the future.  

Thanks for your engagement on Twitter and glad to hear you think the Mental Health Plan is useful. You can get a highresolution copy by going to the RHQ REME SharePoint page. Under the Corps Welfare tab you’ll find a ‘Lifting the Decks’ tile and the poster is contained in the ‘Products’ folder. I have also asked the Editor to make sure it is displayed again in this month’s Crafty Mag so find it in here. Thank you for helping us support ‘Lifting the Decks’.

Sir, My question is about beards. Why can’t we have them? We need to move and as an organisation, we are behind the times. As you probably know, beards can only be worn with the Commanding Officers’ authority and usually this will only be given for medical, religious or traditional reasons. Most of us are not allowed to wear a beard because Army policy dictates so. This policy was discussed recently by some as a barrier to recruitment at the Field Army Conference so I know it’s on people’s radar at Command level but, as it stands right now, AGAI 59 provides statute guidance to Soldiers and Commanders. I don’t see any change coming in the near future.

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Sir, I’ve seen that you’ve been selecting Military Training Instructor (MTI) posts recently on Twitter. I’m an Armourer Class 1 who thinks she would be a good instructor. I’ve already done BCDT and I’m really keen to give it a go. I’ve spoken to my Tiff and he thinks it will affect my progression at trade and I really want to be an Artificer. Can I ask what the Corps outlook is please? Thanks for your question and it’s something I get asked quite a lot. The very short answer is that you can be an MTI and an Artificer. In my opinion, being an MTI will make you a better commander and a more rounded leader; these are traits that we are after in our Artificers and shine through when reading the SJARs of a good instructor. If this year’s Artificer Selection Course Loading Board is anything to go by, becoming an MTI at Phase 1 or Phase 2 is only career enhancing and, statistically, you actually have an increased chance of being loaded onto an Artificer Course as a result. We have 81 MTI posts at ATR Winchester, ATC Pirbright, AFC Harrogate, DSEME Lyneham, DST Leconsfield, RACTR Bovington and ATG Grantham. I have an MTI Champion who will talk you through the process and give you a bit more information. From there, you can decide what’s best for you.

Ask the ASM on Twitter

RAJA - The REME Association Jobs Agency The RAJA team, headed up by ASM Bashford, have agreed to provide The Craftsman with a quarterly nugget of wisdom, weather that’s advice on courses that can be paid for by SLC or skills you can look to improve while serving. This month, we’re introducing ourselves and what we provide to the REME family. Advise soldiers and veterans on; possible career path changes within the Corps or MOD, resettlement opportunities and services available, and further education and professional accreditation opportunities. Retain service personnel in order to provide support to the wider army. We will advise on different career paths within the forces for soldiers who are seeking a different challenge. Transition help. We provide CV advice and help to tailor the content to the job they are seeking. We provide biannual CV workshops and networking events. Engage with prospective employers and service personnel at all levels. We actively engage with industry, showcasing what our Corps’ members can offer their companies. If you would like advice from the RAJA team, then get in touch through your chain of command and RCMO.

The REME Institution Dinner (Retired Officers) th

Friday 24 September 2021 Princess Marinas Officers’ Mess The Prince Philip Barracks Lyneham Chippenham SN15 4XX Open to all Retired REME Officers Ticket Price: Institution member £15, Non-Member £45 Book on the REME Connect website from 1st July 2021 https://remeconnect.org/

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Green Skills Training

Ex WYVERN YOMP – Basra Coy, 8 Trg Bn REME 8 Trg Bn REME deliver high-quality training through the lockdown restrictions. Scribe: Cpl S. Wright


n the first weekend of February, with the third English Government lockdown in full effect, Basra Company of 8 Training Battalion REME, embarked on Ex WYVERN YOMP (Ex WY); the Battalion’s first COVID-19 secure patrol competition. Aimed at the Company trainees, the goal was to expose them to every trade group and department within Basra Company, whilst also developing their military skills by utilising expert military instructors. It also gave an opportunity for 8 REME and DSEME to demonstrate their ability to deliver extant training objectives, in line with the current government restrictions; both of which were a resounding success. The exercise was structured as a 36-hour patrol competition, consisting of a round-robin of team building exercises, military skills stands and trade contextual training scenarios. The trainees – who were patrolling in their COVID-19 Fixed Teams (FT) – patrolled around the clock to complete each checkpoint, receiving a score at each one. The exercise culminated with the top three performing FTs winning prizes for their endeavours. The experience level ranged from fully trained Royal Marine Commandos and transferees formerly of the Household Division, to Initial Trade Trainees (ITT) who have had a condensed phase one experience (8 weeks) due to COVID-19. The range of knowledge and

Patrolling to a stricken vehicle to conduct a battle damage assessment

Metalsmith stand: Fabricating a torque extraction tool

Command Task – The team are deciding whether a plank or a Cfn is the better option 12 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

Command Task: A team eager to recover the stranded, critical spares

experience was evident but did not detract from the opportunity the trainees had to enhance their team cohesion outside of a classroom environment. The exercise provided the perfect opportunity for the more experienced trainees to mentor and develop their peers in fieldcraft, demonstrating leadership and mentorship in equal measure. The Saturday saw a cold winter morning reveille before the FTs emerged from the notorious Lyneham shroud at their first stands for 0700hrs. By the end of the first stand all teams had settled into the exercise and were getting some high scores; obviously eager to get their hands on the Amazon vouchers that were up for grabs! Throughout the night serials, the FTs were given two rest periods (4 hours); a chance to conduct some necessary admin and shake off the fatigue that was inevitably setting in. The competition was interspersed with a visit from Col McArthur, Comdt DSEME who visited the Metalsmith stand ran by SSgt Parker and Sgt Hill. This stand was a welcome chance for the ITT to warm up and dry off by the furnaces, having conducted a very boggy section attack lane with Sgt Gurung and movement with/without weapons with Sgt Kimmings and Cpl Johnstone. By Sunday morning the temperature had dropped considerably, with the wind being comparable to the frozen tundra of the Arctic Circle. Nonetheless the ITT were still pushing on and all were grateful for the abrupt mid-afternoon finish, when the Company convened on the sports pitches for a socially distanced photo and prize-giving. Maj Catchpole, OC Basra Coy, thanked all involved and congratulated the winners, FT7 (Royal Marines) as well as FT8 (Metalsmiths) and FT15 (Recovery Mechanics) who came second and third. Although this will hopefully be the last time 8 REME have to conduct a COVID-19 secure military skills competition, Ex WY has proven how the trainees and Permanent Staff alike are willing to adapt to limiting restrictions and that regardless of the circumstances at hand, 8 REME and Basra Coy can continue to deliver tradesmen to the field force – striving to succeed at trade and as a soldier.

Recovery stand: Operating tirfor winches as an antagonistic pair to right a rolled vehicle

Royal Marine Detachment stand: Close Target Recce patrol brief


SSgt Andy Beacock EngTech MIMechE

Gain professional registration as an EngTech, IEng or CEng through a route specifically designed for REME personnel. Enhance your military career Benchmark your skills and training Develop your professional network and connections Apply now at imeche.org/armedforces For more support contact our Defence Liaison O cer 07590 735816

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20/01/2021 20:26:45

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Engineering in Action

End to End REME Support to Enable Mission Ready Training From Aug 20 until Jan 21, BATUS Workshops, 4 Armd CS Bn REME and 1 MERCIAN LAD provided a continuous REME chain which took equipment from BATUS and prepared it for Mission Ready Training in Sennelager, Germany. This three-part series shows the successes of this joint effort and a highlights an effective and truly collaborative delivery of Equipment Support. Vehicles awaiting loading

Part One: BATUS The first link in the chain Scribe: Major Scott Thompson


ue to COVID-19, the 2020 and 2021 training seasons in BATUS were cancelled, with the training instead being conducted in the UK and Germany. Sennelager Training Centre (STC) in Germany was chosen as the alternative location to facilitate mission ready training for Operational deployments. To ensure Units training in Germany had the right type and quantity of equipment, BATUS was asked to provide 150 platforms to bolster the Land Training Fleet Sennelager (LTF(S)). It was clear from the outset that the task of bringing all this equipment together from Germany, the UK and BATUS into one location before preparing it for an exercise starting in early January 2021 was going to be monumental. To ensure training success it was vital the vehicles being sent from BATUS would leave in the very best condition possible to alleviate the burden being placed on LTF(S) and 4 Armd Bn REME.

COVID 19 and Preparing the Fleet Scribe: Cfn Nicholls Like the UK, CO-VID-19 changed a lot for BATUS Workshop. It went from being a busy and demanding Workshop full of tradesmen to an

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empty Workshop under lockdown. However, as the restrictions changed, and we learned to adapt to working under the threat of COVID-19, in May 2020 we safely came back into work with new ways of working. It was decided in July that no training would take place for the rest of the year in BATUS and that training for 2021 would take place in the UK and Germany. At this point we were told that we would need to send a proportion of our armoured vehicles (150 platforms) to Germany so that the units deploying on Op CABRIT could train and prepare effectively in Jan 21. The task before us was massive! We had to prepare all of these vehicles to be ready to leave BATUS on Ex PRAIRIE TRANSPORTER in September. The majority of the platforms were armoured, but as a Workshop we had very limited personnel with any armoured experience. Those that did have the experience were given the task of overseeing the armoured lines while also teaching all the VMs how to repair WRs, BDs, CR2s and T3s. We knew that the vehicles would be going to LTF(S) and that 4 Bn were up against it with preparing not just these vehicles, but also ones from across the UK and the ones in LTF(S). It therefore made sense that we did everything we could at our end to help them out. As a Craftsman I had thankfully worked on WR before and so I found myself working long hours to inspect, repair and service the vehicles ready to deploy to LTF(S). Everyone in the Workshop was in coveralls, even the ASM was on the shopfloor in his coveralls as the only person with T3 experience. The whole Workshop worked long hours

The fleet at the port

and managed to get every spare that was available in the system fitted to get the vehicles in the best possible condition. Speaking from a Craftsman’s point of view it was a lot to ask for, but it provided us with a great opportunity to work on equipment we wouldn’t normally touch.

Loading the Vehicles for Ex PRAIRIE TRANSPORTER Scribe: Sgt Bibi Exercise PRAIRIE TRANSPORTER is the exercise name for the movement of vehicles from BATUS to the Port of Becancour, Quebec, to be loaded onto a UK Roll On Roll Off (RORO) ferry for transport back to the UK and Germany. It involves the loading of vehicles, ES Materiel and ammunition onto heavy lift transporters and trains for the 4,000 km journey East across Canada. This Ex PRAIRIE TRANSPORTER was going to be the largest one for over 10 years and would fill an entire RORO with kit destined for either Emden (LTF(S))

or for the UK and disposal (DROPS). The loading of the trains was the first task. Six of us travelled to the rail head in Oyen where we loaded 26 Ridgebacks and Mastiffs. The task was thankfully not too difficult as most of the vehicles were able to move by themselves. However, it took an entire day of hard graft to chain all 26 vehicles to the rail flats. The second task involved moving all the heavy armour from BATUS to the rail head in Suffield. This was further complicated by a lack of crews and the odd vehicle having to be recovered to the rail head. The task was a BATUS effort and many Canadians driving along the Trans-Canada Highway got quite a shock when the traffic was held up by the British and Canadian MPs to allow Challenger 2 tanks to cross the highway. With all of the rail flats safely loaded and underway we then started the task of loading 113 civilian low loaders with light Armoured Vehicles, B Vehicles and ISO containers. Thankfully, we had 4 Recovery Mechanics from 6 Armd CS Bn REME, headed up by SSgt Jones, fly out from the UK to help us with this task. Over the period of a week, we loaded 250 vehicles and 40 ISO containers for their

A SV (R) unloading the Cougar fleet from the railhead

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A CRARRV unloading the armoured fleet from the railhead

4,000 km trip across Canada. With some of these truckers completing the long distance move in 3 days, the team immediately flew to Becancour to receive and unload the kit at the port.

Loading and Unloading at Port Becancour Scribe: Cfn Nicholls With the kit loaded, myself and a team of three others deployed to Montreal, Quebec as part of the Port Task Group (PTG). Our role was to help unload the vehicles, load the boat and try and fix any problems that had occurred from the move. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions we had to undergo a number of precautions including an extensive testing regime. Once at the port the OC of the PTG put us into ‘family’ bubbles so that we would operate independently of other bubbles in case one of the ‘family’ bubbles caught the virus. Over 10 days we unloaded all the equipment, pre-positioned everything at the dock side, and then once alongside, we loaded the boat. The most complicated part of the whole operation was loading the boat which had to be done in 72 hours, under strict COVID-19 restrictions and involved everyone. Unfortunately, the boat wasn’t able to fully deploy its ramp at the port, which meant that all armoured vehicles that were ‘non-runners’ had to be painstakingly winched onto the boat using two recovery assets. Thanks to Sgt Bibi and SSgt Jones, a 2-hour procedure was safely completed in 45 mins

Some vehicles were easier to load than others

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for each ‘non-runner’. With the boat at maximum capacity every inch was vital, so all the vehicles were carefully squeezed on and chained into position. In all we loaded 3,982 tons of kit and equipment, a mammoth task! Being part of the PTG has been an interesting experience to see how the RLC movers and VSS carry out their roles. The task was quite complex at times, and was complicated further by COVID-19, but I learned a lot and now understand how difficult it is to move kit and equipment across countries. The whole task from start to finish has been a challenge for BATUS Workshop but it has given us a mission for all of us to focus on. I have definitely progressed professionally as a result and I look forward to using my new equipment knowledge and skills in the future.

The Loaded Boat

A Year in the Life of…

Equipment Support Group Equipment Support is part of REME’s DNA. In this month’s edition, we are given an insight into the group that provides the policy and direction for such a crucial part of our Corps’ role in the Army. ES Gp Mission: “To provide Equipment Support policy advice, direction and the coordination of Engineering and Technical Assurance across Regional Command and it’s dependencies in order to support the delivery of GOC Regional Command’s intent.” Headquarters Regional Command Support Branch (HQ RC SP Br) Scribe: WO1 (ASM) Cameron


ontgomery House is home to the Headquarters of Home Command (HC), Regional Command (RC), Standing Joint Command (SJC) and 29 EOD Gp. It was built in 2014 on the grounds of Hammersley Bks in Aldershot, the old Army Physical Training school accommodation in Aldershot. RC is primarily responsible for delivering the Firm Base for the Army and consists of several branches, with the Equipment Support Group (ES Gp) sitting within the Support Branch of HQ RC. The HQ element of the ES Gp comprises of a team of 11 military personnel, two Civil Servants and three Aspire staff. The team provides ES direction and guidance across all RC OPCOM responsibilities to Nepal, Cyprus, Brunei and Gibraltar along with UK based training establishments under the Army Recruiting and Initial Training Command (ARITC). In addition to this, the ES Gp also support the Army Cadets. The Branch also has responsibility for several niche areas such as the Inspectorate of Engineering Resources (IER), Carriage of Dangerous Goods inspection (“Accord Dangereux Routier” (ADR)), Land Equipment Audit Teams (LEAT) and the delivery of contracts with organisations such as Babcock (BDSG). As the Staff Assistant (SA), I report to SO1 ES and SO1 ES (Reserves), providing advice on ES policy, along with various G1 tasks, and I directly report to SO2 ES Ops Plans for Technical Assurance and ES liaison between Cadets Branch and Babcock BDSG for the repair and inspection of Cadet weapons. With a variety of service and non-service weapons, this has given me the opportunity to work with Army HQ, DE&S and other outside agencies, helping to create a more robust activity that delivers a first-class service. With

ER Estonia

some 30,000 weapons across 400 sites throughout the UK, it is a challenge and there are always areas to improve. After spending a very busy period in the field force, a major benefit of this role is to be able to create space to conduct personal development. During the past 12 months, I have been able to complete the TECHEVAL assessors’ course, attended the ISO 9001 Lead Auditors course, registered and gained my Incorporated Engineer and I am currently studying for my Engineering Management Degree. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was also able to attend organised sport on a regular basis.

Inspectorate of Engineer Resources (IER) Scribe: Mr C Winstone The inspection and certification of bridging and associated equipment is conducted by the IER teams. Due to the complexity of its design and/or function, many items of Royal Engineer Infrastructure Equipment are subject to periodic technical inspections. These examinations detect faults beyond the remit of the equipment user, identify and provide assurance to ensure that the equipment remains fit for purpose, available and is safe for use. Command, planning and performance management of these detachments’ rests with the ES Gp in HQ RC. The IER team comprises of 1 military role and 8 Civil Servants based in the North at Dishforth, the Midlands in Ashchurch, and the South at Minley. During the year, the IER team conduct over 150 equipment inspections in 10 different countries worldwide. Having transferred into the MOD from the Department for Transport in September 2018 and taking up my position as an IER examiner, I have had the good fortune to travel to a variety of different locations including Brunei, the Falkland Islands, Canada, Kenya, Germany, Jersey and Cyprus.

IER M3 Inspection Germany

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As a team, our main taskings involve the examination and inspection of Royal Engineers bridging and trackway equipment. This ranges from man portable equipment such as the infantry assault bridge, all the way up to the Automated Bridge Launching Equipment (ABLE) launched 44 metre General Support Bridge (GSB). Typically, however we spend most of our time supporting units operating no. 10 and 12 Close Support Bridges. This equipment is designed to be launched from the Titan armoured bridge layer and can be deployed in hostile or CBRN environments with the deployment and recovery managed from within the hull of the vehicle. We also inspect the launching gear of the Titan and the ABLE. This year, we assumed additional responsibility for the inspection of the M3 amphibious bridging equipment which is located in Minden, Germany. This forms a key part of the UK’s commitment to NATO in Europe as the British and German Armies have the only Wide Wet Gap crossing equipment capability. In order to carry out these inspections, we use several nondestructive testing methods. Specifically, we employ ultra-sonic examination for the detection of sub surface defects in metallic objects, and, magnetic particle and dye penetration for detecting surface breaking defects. These are new skills I have acquired since my arrival at the MOD and reflect the training opportunities the MOD offers to Civil Servants. Other equipment we support includes tactical fuel handling equipment on behalf of the RAF and JHC, certain small boats and diving tools and we audit water safety equipment stores for units required to hold life jackets and other similar apparatus. As previously mentioned, I have been fortunate to travel to several different countries, but our visits are normally very busy and short in duration. I was, however, able to visit one of the Penguin colonies in the Falkland Islands, which was an incredible experience and one I would not have had were it not for this job. Being part of the IER team has provided me with some great experiences and, although we are busy, it still allows for an excellent work / life balance.

International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road (ADR) Scribe: SSgt Philbrick AUTHORISED BUSINESS UNIT 1 (ABU 1), commonly known as the ADR Team, is tasked with the responsibility to undertake ADR training. We are also authorised to conduct tank testing and degassing of vehicles on operations. Within the team, there are 3 ASMs and 2 SSgt Artificers who deliver the ADR function on behalf of the MOD to Tri-Service units, both within the Firm Base and abroad, such as Belize, Brunei and Germany. It includes support to units on operations in Afghanistan and Mali and also supports UK units with non-compliant vehicles, such as RAF aircraft refuelers in the UK. During 2020, the team have been working at a high tempo in support of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ADR Manager was able to

create a bespoke package, allowing the team to deliver ADR support to UK garrisons as Civilian DVSA testing sites were closed. This has enabled units and brigades to continue delivering the output required to carry out their commitments to MACA as well as preexisting tasks. This has been in addition to an already hectic overseas inspections and audits program, which saw the ADR team cover over 700 inspections in the UK, Belize, Brunei, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Canada and Kenya. The role of an ADR examiner offers a lot of travel to locations all over the world, as well as allowing time for professional and personal development. Due to the current ADR demand, the team have been on task conducting inspections throughout. Despite just returning from three weeks in Estonia and a short trip to Northern Ireland, I have still found time for personal development, both physically and academically. Most importantly, I have been able to find the right work/life balance regardless of the long periods away. The key to the job, is to be motivated and grasp all that it offers, making it work for you. The team looks forward to taskings away to Brunei, Op TORAL, Op CABRIT and Belize in 2021, as well as individual commitments to Corps sport and academic progression. I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of ABU 1 within Regional Command, as it’s totally different from previous experiences in my career. Working in this team delivering this vital function, enabling units to operate legally is refreshing, but not without its steep learning curve in understanding ADR policy and doctrine. During my short time on the team, I have re-discovered a job satisfaction, which is the genuine highlight for me. I would encourage any Artificer Vehicles to consider this, as a first-choice job in the future.

2020 Key functional events, achievements and outputs During 2020, COVID-19 brought about many changes to the group’s dynamics and ways of working, which we have very quickly had to learn to adapt and overcome. Travel restrictions affected our support to British military overseas deployments, with some waivers and dispensations having to be applied to maintain operational effectiveness. The positive outcome from this, is that it has allowed all of the functional areas (LEA, ADR, IER) to conduct internal reviews in order to further professionalise the delivery of engineering and technical assurance, and thus, engender a value-added approach in the pursuit of excellence. This has been achieved through accreditation, training and recruitment, which has resulted in enhancing competencies and alignment between the teams. Although the ES Gp functional areas find themselves travelling throughout the UK and around the globe on a regular basis, we are proud to highlight that there is also representation, both administratively and physically, at Army and Corps level in a range of sports including skiing, golf, cricket, football, rugby and karate. It was also with great pride that Lt Col LT Williams (SO1 ES Reserves) from within the ES Gp was awarded the Queens Volunteer Reserves Medal (QVRM) in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

ADR Training

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Headquarters Regional Command Support Branch Equipment Support Group

Col Jason Philips ACOS Sp Sep 18 Lt Col Jerry Lockwood SO1 ES Apr 20

Maj Neil Alcock MBE SO2 ES Ops Plans Sep 19

Lt Col ‘LT’ Williams TD VR SO1 ES Reserves Jan 16

Maj Mick Patey SO2 LEA Aug 20

WO1 (ASM) Stu Cameron SA ES Apr 20

WO1 (ASM) Colin Jones SA LEA Jul 20

WO1 (ASM) Post Gapped WO1 (ASM) Lee SO3 TECHEVAL Kirk Ross Westmorland SA IER ADR Manager Apr 19 Jul 20

Capt Neil Gallagher SO3 LEA (South East) Apr 19

Capt Gav Mackrell SO3 LEA (South West) Aug 18

Capt Mark Walker SO3 LEA (Midlands) Sep 19

Capt Rob Cupples SO3 LEA (North) Apr 19

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Excellence in REME

Brigadier Lizzie Faithfull-Davies CBE and Brigadier Phil Prosser CBE Following on from last month’s Excellence in REME, Brigadiers Lizzie Faithfull-Davies and Phil Prosser talk with us about how being an Engineer and an Officer has shaped their careers. Brig Lizzie: One of the principles behind providing Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) is that the military only provide support when there is no alternative means for those skills/capabilities to be delivered in the timeframe required. For much of the last year, the skills the military has brought have been support to rapid planning, enabling a plan to be operationalised as quickly as possible and providing a trained workforce that can swiftly step in to deliver an urgently needed output (in this example of COVID testing it was a combination of logistic and general duties workforce). In stepping in to assist in the short term, the military enables the necessary civilian organisations to build the skills and resources they need to deliver their outputs on a more enduring basis. It is therefore hoped that the COVID testing programme now has the capacity and resilience to provide what is needed to support the nation’s on-going approach to managing COVID. The military (including REME) could be called upon in the future to support new MACA tasks, but we are all hoping we can return to focussing on our core roles.

Brig Phil Prosser CBE

In part 1, we discussed Op RESCRIPT and your roles in it. The nation is now, hopefully, moving out of recurring lockdowns though testing and vaccinations will continue for a while. Where do you see the Army, and REME, playing a role as Britain moves forwards? Brig Phil: The future is going to be a challenge between managing new variants of the virus and the effect that has on the effectiveness of the vaccines and being able to deploy rapid testing to stop the spread at the local level. It’s the combination of those two things over the next three to five years that is the way we will get through this. That will also be reinforced by investment in new medicines and therapeutic treatments. Together this will reduce the transmission and hospitalisation rates. The National Health Service (NHS) and the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) have been really impressive in the way they have responded, but there is always the threat that we are faced with the unexpected. If the scale and complexity reaches a threshold where the military need to be called in again, due to the relationships 101 and 102 have forged, I think they will now come to Defence much more easily. There are three things that we as the military bring: the ability to help the organisation analyse the exact problem, so they don’t use their instincts but we work with them to frame the problem and understand exactly what the mission is within it; we then offer choices, narrowing it down to courses of action with factors for selection; moving to execution we do that via discipline and tempo. We work together with the organisation to provide an amazing team effort. It’s important to stress that it’s always a team effort, working hand in glove.

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Brig Lizzie Faithful Davies CBE

As Commanders of Logistics Brigades, how have your experiences as Engineering Officers impacted on the way that you work today? Brig Phil: Engineers are natural problem-solvers, we have curiosity reinforced by an ambition to solve problems to make the world a better place - that’s just what engineers do. That methodical approach has paid dividends on Op RESCRIPT with the NHS. Coming into another organisation we have gone through the stages of analyse, choose, and execute. Ultimately this is about setting up a system, using the methodical approach of an engineering brain. That has been a really powerful combination. Setting up a system about supply and demand in exactly the same way that 101 Logistic Brigade enables 3 (UK) Division armoured manoeuvre by keeping their guns firing and tanks moving. Balancing logistic supply against combat demand. Brig Lizzie: All of our military training (both generalist and as engineers) has helped shaped who we are today. As an engineering officer in REME, I think the variety of experiences and different people I have worked with have had a great influence on how I operate. Having worked at both first line and second line supporting many different units, in barracks and on operations, as well as in staff roles, I have had the opportunity to see how all parts of the Army work and integrate together. These experiences have been immensely valuable as a Brigade Commander. I think as engineers we tend to be able to break complex problems down to smaller and more manageable parts, we instinctively like to solve difficult issues and we like to find practical solutions. We are also content to work in lots of different teams at the same time and draw on the skills of others around us.

Promoting beyond the rank of Lieutenant Colonel requires you to take up roles with an Army-wide perspective, as opposed to working within REME and Equipment Support. What lessons would you want to share with a Craftsman or 2nd Lieutenant who has just joined the Corps? Brig Phil: The overall lesson is be proud of the Corps you have the honour of being a member of. I would base that pride on three factors. The people, the mindset, and the value of the role; we are everywhere because everyone needs us. The more senior you get the more you realise the power of those three things. And looking to the future, new equipment means new horizons; it’s a great time to be joining the Corps. Brig Lizzie: Whilst I may now be a member of the Army’s General Staff, my heart is still very much with REME. I have no doubt in my mind that I made the right decision to join the Corps and I am grateful for everything I have gained from REME over the last twenty plus years. I would certainly encourage all our Craftsmen and 2Lts joining the Corps to pursue their dreams and be comfortable with

Brig Phil cycled Coast to Coast with 1 Bn REME in 2016

Brig Lizzie on running an ultra with her dogs striking out on a slightly different paths to their colleagues. We are all different and there is a place for us all. Some will seek the more technical roles, others will value the variety of opportunities such as being an instructor or stepping in to acquisition. When I look back at the different assignments I have had, I have enjoyed them all and it is the variety of roles and the people I have worked with that have kept me motivated. Enjoy your career; sign up for roles that will keep you motivated and happy!

What else has been a highlight of your career so far? Brig Phil: The people have been a highlight throughout. I’ve had the honour of commanding the finest soldiers in the world and creating teams from those amazing people. The opportunities I’ve had serving with 5 Airborne Brigade, which was a real highlight of my career. I’ve done Op tours, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan and now with the NHS. The foreign travel, sport and AT opportunities have been amazing; diving in the Red Sea, lots of skiing and spending time on my bike in my REME cycling jersey. I guess the overall highlight was finding myself on the podium next to the Prime Minister. It’s been an absolute honour to be at the heart of the national response to COVID and keeping our people safe and protecting the Nation. Brig Lizzie: That’s an incredibly difficult question to answer. There have been a huge number of highlights in my career! I had a fantastic time as a LAD Commander, Coy Commander and CO. I also loved being an instructor at RMAS. Deploying on numerous operations overseas is what we all train to do, so my Op tours have been amazing (and challenging) experiences. And the last year in support of the nation during COVID has also been incredibly professionally fulfilling. Beyond this, I have also had wonderful opportunities to do the sports and outdoor pursuits I love, meet fantastic people and travel the world.

If you could sum up your life now, how would you do it? Brig Phil: I have learnt through hard times that I need three things. First, a job I love that adds value and gives me self-worth, and the Corps has done that for me for 30 years, for all the reasons I’ve already mentioned. Secondly, to be surrounded by a Family and my friends. I’ve made a lifetime’s worth of friends, many of whom are in the Corps, Third, time on my own to chill, think and reflect, and to be proud of everything I’ve achieved. And I am really proud of what I have done, and grateful to all the opportunities and skills the Corps has given me. Brig Lizzie: I count myself lucky to have had such a rewarding career and to have worked with so many impressive people. Even when times have been tough, it’s the people that help us through. I’m not quite sure how to “sum up my life” as there’s still much more living to do! But if I were to sum up my career so far, I would say that I picked a great career, I’ve made loads of friends, I work with impressively capable people, I have worked my way up to being a Chartered Engineer, I have loads of hobbies that I have learned through the military (skiing, ultra-running, mountaineering etc) and I still have lots more to look forward to. So if anyone were thinking about a career in REME, I would unequivocally say: “go for it”!

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Oversees Operations

DE&S working to support Op NEWCOMBE Teams from DE&S describe the unique solutions and modifications to equipment in response to the new operating environment in Mali. Scribe: Maj Andy Kennedy and Maj Rose Constantinou, VST, DE&S

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lready widely known, Operation NEWCOMBE is the United Kingdom’s contribution to the United Nation’s Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali, or MINUSMA for short. In December 2020, a 250-strong United Kingdom peacekeeping force was deployed to support the Peace and Reconciliation process by creating a secure environment for state authority to flourish and humanitarian assistance to reach those most in need. It has now been agreed that there will be 6 rotations of Op NEWCOMBE. This is far from a simple series of deployments, for 2 main reasons. Firstly, the human terrain is incredibly complex. Violent extremist organisations have benefited from weakened political reach, crossing porous borders and projecting their influence to threaten European security. Secondly and arguably more importantly from a REME perspective, is the arduous physical terrain. Mali is situated in the Western African Sahel, covering a vast area of 2,000 by 1,500 kms. The Long Range Reconnaissance Group (LRRG) is required to operate across challenging terrain and at significant reach from their logistical hub in Gao, in North East Mali. The extreme heat, copious amounts of dust and cross-country routes, combined with a lot of the vehicles not being designed for use off road, has led to a significant number of equipment failures and capability gaps identified. In order to support the deployment and reduce the number of equipment failures, members of the Vehicle Support Team (VST) in DE&S have swiftly set to work to fulfil the complex and urgent requirements of the operation. VST is the New independent suspension centre for in-service support system on a Cougar vehicle to our vehicle fleet,

Modified Ridgback

managing all aspects of support for our 36,000 vehicles, ranging from Challenger 2 to Quad Bikes! VST is tasked with ensuring all these platforms are safe and suitable to use on whatever mission or task the Army undertakes. Due to the variety in these missions, a crucial part of VST’s job is to incorporate modifications to the vehicle platforms, ensuring they can be operated successfully in the new environment.

Cougar Mobility Upgrades The Mastiff and Ridgback platforms were never designed to operate in the conditions required in Mali. Their beam axles and leaf springs significantly limit the amount of time the tyres can stay in contact with the ground when off road, greatly reducing the ability of the platform. To address this the vehicle was modified to have fully independent suspension. This included driver-controlled height adjustable hydro struts, a central tyre inflation system (CTIS) and larger run flat tyres. The newly upgraded vehicles can now keep up with the Jackal, allowing EOD and ambulances to stay alongside the vehicles they are supporting; significantly increasing vital support to our front-line soldiers. In addition, the Mastiff has been reported to be the only platform capable of recovering to the MAN SVR once bogged in; a testament to the improved mobility. WO2 (AQMS) Adamson is the SME for the Cougar platforms. He acts as the conduit between the Field Army, DE&S and industry. He has worked extremely hard on the delivery of these modification, due to his desire to provide the best service he can to our soldiers. He said, “My tenure as the MRW SME has seen me use my Artificer course training to its fullest. Using old skills in project management and building on them with further education. The MRW XC project was a real challenge, adapting the standard platforms with state of the art technology is the highlight of my career. It is a privilege to put the “S” into DE&S”.

A sample of the new recovery equipment

Hand over parade for the final Cougar platforms at MIRA Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 23

One of the newly possible recovery layouts, enabled by the new extension ropes and snatch blocks

Design drawing showing a Jackal with the addition of a mast

The locations for the brackets allowing side over side recovery

Lightweight Recovery Vehicle We currently have no Lightweight recovery vehicle, which leaves the MAN SVR to recover all lightweight platforms. Significantly heavier and less manoeuvrable, the SVR is unable to reach the remote areas which the Jackals within the LRRG are operating. An Urgent Capability Requirement has been created and VST are currently engaging with industry to procure a small number of Lightweight recovery vehicles to use specifically in Mali. An immediate solution has been devised to allow greater Jackal and Coyote self-recovery. It was developed between DE&S, CSS Trials and Development Unit and the vehicles design authority and tested in just two months. This ‘Recovery in a bag’ includes soft shackles, Dynema winch rope extensions, snatch blocks, vehicle mounted brackets and more. Together it allows a Recovery Mechanic to recover a bogged-in vehicle with the Jackal’s existing winch by increasing its mechanical advantage, 30T of winching power from a single Coyote (providing enough anchorage can be found), while reducing the stress placed on the casualty. Most impressively, a Recovery Mechanic can also use the equipment provided to allow a Jackal to safely right a rolled vehicle.

Communications All service personnel will know the inherent difficulties of using Combat Net Radio over long distances. SLINGSHOT is a modification which acts as an addition to the BOWMAN system, making it far more effective. It transfers the analogue signals to a digital, which are then sent by satellite to anywhere in the world. This effectively removes terrain and distance constraints normally characteristic of Very High Frequency Combat Net Radio.

However, the Jackal has little excess space and the platform’s existing radio racking had insufficient space to add the new SLINGSHOT system to it. This meant that VST had to work with BATCIS (the management team for BOWMAN) to ensure all the required modifications to the vehicle could be made safely whilst still allowing the users to fight and communicate. The solution was not easy to find as the communication demands and vehicle safety requirements initially seemed at odds. Eventually, collaboration paid off and a solution was found, which has already proved successful. The bare steel holed box in the pictures is the prototype for the final equipment. This allows all of the SLINGSHOT equipment to be safely housed without impacting on the drivers or commanders blast seats or working areas.

Side over side recovery 24 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

Jackal Sighting System On Op NEWCOMBE, Jackal is being used as a recce vehicle, yet it has no in-built sighting systems. To overcome this a sighting system was procured, the JIM Compact. An excellent sighting system, it can identify targets 15km away, however it works on a line of sight principle. In order to provide adequate line of sight it was decided that it needed to be fitted to the top of a 6m mast. This required power and high pressure air to be taken from the vehicle’s on-board systems. VST looked at how this could be done, whilst maintaining the safety of the vehicle control and braking systems.

Conclusion There have been a wide range of capability gaps and issues identified on Op NEWCOMBE, which this article only briefly touches on. Despite these challenges, exacerbated by COVID-19, DE&S and industry have worked hard to deliver for the user. Brigadier Anna-Lee Reilly, Head VST stated “I am incredibly proud of what the Vehicle

Support Team has achieved for Op NEWCOMBE. The soldier is at the heart of everything we do and the team has gone above and beyond, working extended hours during a particularly challenging period. The capability we have delivered has provided a step-change to the LRRG, allowing them to safely operate under conditions, distances, and for extended periods of time – an outstanding achievement by all concerned!” The support has been incredibly well received by the Customer, allowing the user to exercise a vastly improved capability. On their first Operation, Op MEERKAT, the LRRG deployed for a 28-day period, testing the range of the modifications to their full extent. VST and the wider Land Equipment Operating Centre (LEOC) continue to support Op NEWCOMBE by placing the operation onto a robust and sustainable footing. As the first rotation comes to a close, further capability-enhancing modifications and support packages are nearing delivery, including persistent Intelligence Surveillance and Target Acquisition System integration and ongoing work with the Lightweight Recovery Vehicle.

Cougar vehicles

The 2020 REME Annual Report

Thank you to the REME units and other organisations who contributed to the 2020 REME Annual Report. There is a huge range of articles, from right across the Corps and its supporting functions, containing lots of detailed information about who we are and what we did last year. Whilst not all units were able to be included, we hope you will find it a useful reference.

Read it online at REME Connect You can read the full Annual Report at REMEconect.org, the online home of the Corps Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 25


How are you feeling during these challenging times? Fears about COVID19 can take an emotional toll, the mental resi















If you’re isolating or working from home, you can create a daily structure, which will be your goal. For example:   • • • •

Consider what is important and set priorities. Set clear working hours, take regular breaks. Set aside time for exercise and eat healthily. Communicate with others ; friends, family and work colleagues. 

Stay Positive and we will get throu We must be Ready. We must be Res


ilience skills can help you remain motivated, focused and calm.

















What pillars are a昀ected by this? Think positive, challenge any unhelpful or negative thoughts, focus on things you can control: • • •

This will not last forever, we will get through it as a Team. We have a military family - support each other. Defence is supporting those in need.

gh this together. ilient. We must be Responsive.


Operation MOONSHOT was a Government initiative to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 through the implementation of mass testing to enable maximum precision of future lockdowns. The ambition was to eventually deliver over ten million tests per day, which was to be achieved using new testing technologies.

REME Stood Up for MOONSHOT SEP 20. By the time the team finished, we had been on task eight months and 20 members of the Corps contributed to Op MOONSHOT.

REME Support Op MOONSHOT Service personnel from across the REME have been helping the UK government retrofit civilian vehicles with all the necessary equipment to turn them into mobile laboratories. Their herculean effort has made a huge difference in projecting the NHS’s testing programme.

REME Led the Design or Build of Four Different Mobile Laboratories. With the team of 20 spread across all ranks and most trade groups of the Corps and the competence of REME Engineering Officers, we had the capability to Design, Build or Project Manage multiple specialist mobile laboratory projects.

20ft Articulated Lorries Converted into Laboratories. The biggest of the builds the team assisted with the conversion of 20ft lorries capable of processing thousands of samples a shift.

30 Vans Converted into High Readiness, Fast Reaction, Mini Mobile Laboratories. The longest of the builds with the most REME input, 30 vans were designed and built to provide a national quick reaction force able to operate nationally throughout the UK.

The team


ith REME involvement in the first iteration of Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in April 2020, the Corps were the best choice to support the next generation of capability; Mobile Processing Units (MPU). Mobile Processing Units provide a laboratory function to process COVID swab samples at source. Designed and built with high sensitivity and specificity processing technology, they provide results back to the public within two and a half hours of swab. The solution; a direct targeting, mobile capability for outbreak response during the SARs pandemic. With a REME Engineering Officer embedded in the DHSC since September 2020, the Corps has been able to surge, a mix of engineering capabilities when required to Design, Build and Deliver a number of these processing laboratories ahead of schedule to support the unlocking of national lockdowns.

MACA 20/350: 20 Oct 20 – 23 Nov 20 Capt Fionidi Parker 4Bn REME and Capt Ian Taylor 6Bn REME Design and Build of Small PCR Trailer Laboratory. Mini Laboratories in Small Trailers. The biggest of the engineering challenges, a whole laboratory was squeezed into a small 2.5 ton trailer and is the next generation to Mobile Testing Units (MTUs). REME Provide Engineering Support to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) Mobile Processing Units (MPU).

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The first of the Engineering Military Aid to Civil Authority (MACA) tasks to DHSC, Captains Fionidi Parker and Ian Taylor embedded directly into the Blizard Institute, at Bart’s Hospital, London. With a tight schedule to deliver a concept demonstrator laboratory, their first week entrenched them in the Blizard laboratory understanding the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) process and how they could reduce the eight processing steps and deliver within a mobile setting. Producing a neat set of Key User Requirements (KURs), their solution was a small 2.5 Ton trailer, which could work directly with MTUs and by week two they had purchased the trailer and designed a layout. By the end of the four weeks they had a fully operational laboratory, had

designed a small evaluation, overcome numerous engineering challenges and worked directly with industry to produce a fantastic capability. On viewing their platform, Head of DHSC Laboratories, Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak DBE quoted it as; the best small laboratory she had ever seen - on three continents. We therefore knew we were on a winner and decided to push mobile processing as the new game changer, in the fight against COVID.

MACA 20/375: 6 Nov 20 – 27 Nov 20 Sgt Parsons, Cpl O’Toole, LCpl Gaskell, Cfns Gurung, Harrison, Small, Yates 5 Bn REME Build of 20ft LamPORE Trailer Laboratory. In conjunction with the small trailer, a team, under the direction of Sgt Parsons, were stood up to support the build of larger laboratories to ensure we could process the mass. An amalgamation of DIY SOS and Scrapheap Challenge, this MACA saw a team from 5 Battalion REME embed seamlessly into the vehicle fabricator SES Events, in Northamptonshire, to assist the build of Large Mobile Processing Laboratories. The team were given clear direction, they were to provide TEMPO, RESILIENCE and REPUTATION and they delivered in spades. With the timing of the MACA critical, prior to a second national lock down, the Prime Minister was looking at every option to prevent imposing any further restrictions of the nation, hence the quick mobilisation of the team was key. They had a clear date to complete the build of the platforms by the 23 Nov, to coincide with the whole city testing of Liverpool and this was critical to the TEMPO the military were able to deliver. With a civilian firm leading the build who were experts in their field, a platform of this type usually takes six months to construct, we were creating four laboratories in less than 23 days. This tested the RESILIENCE of the team, never questioning what was required of them they worked late into the night every night, never baulked at a task Attaching the steps to the presented at them, from Mobile Testing Unit painting to welding, to fabricating and even using the Battalion specialist capability to 3D print; they got it all done. Cfn Shannon Yates said: “It’s been a fantastic experience which I have thoroughly enjoyed, taking me back to foundation skills; filing, drilling, hand-skills. Not just spannering.” Most importantly within that short space of time they had to build the trust of the civilians they worked with. With a range of trades, they seamlessly integrated into the civilian workforce, the confidence that their training provided them, gave them the foundation to conquer these new engineering challenges; they all gain invaluable engineering experience and left a striking REPUTATION of the Corps.

Wiring an incubator used for test sample handling directly with the Bio-Medical Scientists from Basingstoke Hospital the team were now gaining a reputation as leaders in mobile laboratory production with many organisations and experts interested to support and get involved. This provided a level of support for the team who were able to push their designs with assistance from several Clinical Science Professors to assist their working designs. Once again, the team overcame multiple engineering challenges to design a world class platform able to manage a high throughput of samples in a short space of time which now operates outside Basingstoke Hospital. Captain Maling remarked “that this has been one of the one interesting, fast and dynamic projects I have ever worked and have enjoyed contributing to the fight against the pandemic.”

MACA 20/387: 23 Nov 20 – 23 Dec 20 Capt McKenna 2 Bn REME and Lt Campbell 4 Bn REME Design and Build a Small Processing Van Laboratory With the country teetering on the edge on another national lockdown the Prime Minster was looking for all options to assist unlocking the country and due to the success of previous projects, funding was provided to deliver a further 30 laboratories. With now proven credibility the REME were requested to support and Captain Gav McKenna and Lieutenant Issac Campbell were stood up to build a laboratory in a Ford Transit van. Initially basing themselves with the Laboratory service provider Source Bio Science, in Nottingham, they again spent the time to understand the ask, produced a set of key user requirements and then moved to a vehicle fabricator in Telford, to begin the build. A more complicated build due to the size of the platform the team based their design on the lessons learnt from the original smaller 2.5 ton trailer and bled through many excellent good practices. Focusing strongly on robust trials and evaluation of the platform, they were able to test their original concept demonstrator

MACA 20/375 Extension: 27 Nov 20 – 30 Dec 20 Capt Maling and Lt Saunders 5 Bn REME Design and Build a High Functioning Automation Trailer for Basingstoke Hospital. With the success of the LamPORE trailer, the REME were asked to lead on the Design and Build of a third processing capability. Utilising Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technology the requirement was for a large processing trailer, for Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (HHFT) in which they can operate their automation technology to increase throughput. Based on the experience gained from the four LamPORE trailers, Captain Adam Maling and Lieutenant Shona Saunders chose a 20ft expandable trailer as their base platform to design their laboratory. Working

Fitting the wiring into the trailers

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over the Christmas period, before rolling out a further 29 vehicles in the new year. Another fast moving and hectic project the team worked at an incredible pace incorporating some unique ideas into their design and once again overcoming many engineering challenges. Including the design of a Class 2 Biological Safety Cabinet inside a small steel van, to ensure the vehicle was powered appropriately with both mains and auxiliary power whilst also able to cope with the demands of the system needed to operate as a laboratory. The team also investigated the most appropriate materials to build the vehicles to be both laboratory grade and suitable for mobile use - another highly rewarding project.

MACA 20/387: 19 Jan 21 – 1 Apr 21 Capt McKenna 2 Bn REME, Capt Herron, SSgt Cranage, SSgt Brady, LCpl Williams and Capt Lee, 5 Bn REME Operations Support to Mobile Processing Van With the engineering concept now firmly in the spotlight and the Chief Scientific Officer taking an interest in what the REME were producing, after Christmas 2020 the resources started to become unlocked. With national specialists asked to lean in and provide assistance and more funding unlocked to provide research and evidence behind some of the REME ideas a new team was stood up to assist. Focusing on the roll out and delivery of the platforms, the new team also assisted in providing the evidence behind the designs. With a better understanding, that we were now tackling an AIRBORNE virus, we completed Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) analysis on the platforms to understand the airflow and how we could protect the occupants. We introduced specialist UV air filtration systems and Eco-misting machines to enhance infection control and clean the vans, plus, we designed and built Vibration Plates to dampen the shock on the specialist equipment operating

All whilst LCpl Dave Williams was exceptionally busy at the vehicle fabricators in Telford rolling the laboratories off the production line ready for operations.

MACA 21/005: 19 Jan 21 – 1 Mar 21 Lt Cushworth and SSgt Davies 5 Bn REME Design and Build of Second-Generation Small Processing Trailer Laboratory. Concurrently with the work happening for the vans, we further secured the funding for 17 more trailers based on the original REME Concept Demonstrator. An additional two engineers were stood up to assist, Lieutenant Rob Cushworth and Staff Sergeant Tim Davies were moved to a vehicle fabricators in Essex to support the build. With now a deep portfolio of lessons learnt, from the vans, and already two months of trials and evaluation experience from the original trailers, Lieutenant Cushworth and SSgt Davies were able to take the new design one step further. The final design of the trailer has been a labour of love The Testing Unit in use and the Laboratory is fantastic, whilst also keeping within the limitations of a 2.5 ton trailer, suitable for UK roads. The team have been able to push the design, which in turn has increased processing capacity and ensure an excellent capability for Department of Health and UK Government. Staff Sergeant Davies remarked “as an Electronics Technician I have seen many challenges in my career, although this has been my greatest which I have thoroughly enjoyed overcoming and feel honoured to be part of this amazing team.”


Testing the systems before deployment inside a mobile platform. All throughout, we continued with a through programme of trials and evaluation to ensure we could validate the vehicles as laboratories, and we were producing first rate products. At the same time, with support from 5 Battalion REME Stores Section, we started to develop a logistics plan for the DHSC to support these laboratories operating nationally throughout the UK.

Inside a Mobile Testing Unit 30 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

Overall, the REME Military Aid to Civil Authority (MACA) Engineering tasks and the teams stood up to support have been fantastic in support of the Department of Health and Social Care. The mobilised teams have been pulled from different units, cobbled together to complete very bespoke and specialist engineering tasks. The success of the tasks has been the professional competency of the REME, the positive attitudes of the soldiers and officers within the Corps and the excellent initial training these soldiers and officers receive has ensured not only the reputational success of the REME but these teams have made a marked difference in the Governments fight against COVID-19. Of note throughout this task has been the support of the engineering family, at times most members of the team have felt out of their depth or have pushed their engineering limits, but the ability to work together, the ability to reach into other areas of the organisation for advice and guidance has been this programme’s success. Behind the scenes many people have lent in to support, including assisting at the last minute to assess the analysis of the laboratories in the Freezing Conditions experienced this winter in Scotland, through to the 3D Printing Capability of 5 Battalion REME, who have assisted when lock down took its toll and we were unable to obtain parts. The reputation of the REME has been truly paved within the Department of Health and Social Care as a First-Class engineering organisation. I have been extremely proud to not only be part of these teams but lead these Engineers in their tasks and proud of what the REME have achieved during the last eight months.

REME Virtual 10k

The REME Virtual 10k Challenge At the start of May WO2 (AQMS) Gaz Hooson and SSgt John Payne hosted the REME Virtual 10k to raise money for The REME Charity. From serving soldiers to veterans’ friends and families; from the Falkland Islands to Afghanistan; people from all over took part in this fantastic event.


irst of all, thank you to every single person that participated and supported this event, without you all this wouldn’t have been a success. The 10k was intended to be a virtual running event for everyone, be it civilians, family members, veterans or serving soldiers, everyone and anyone who had a connection to the Corps was encouraged to join in. It was an event for the REME family whilst the country was on lockdown and also an opportunity to raise money for The REME Charity. The response was fantastic, and it was great to see everyone come together as we envisaged.

Scribe: WO2 (AQMS) Gaz Hooson

“Thank you REME Virtual 10K 2021 for organising this. It was great to feel connected to the Corps again having left in 2001.

Brunei – Bandar Seri Begawan WO2 (AQMS) Mick Ship.



“Got me motivated to run, I had hardly laced up my running shoes for the previous 8 months.

Early planning began in November 2020 and by this time the COVID pandemic really hit the country hard, it had an effect on people’s mental health as well as their physical health. One of the key parts of the Corps mental health plan ‘Lifting The Decks’ is physical fitness because a healthy body = a healthy mind. The Corps ASM backed the idea right from the off and included the REME 10k into the corps mental health plan, adding weight to the fact that physical activity really can help our mental state. Lifting The Decks and The REME Charity were our main focus alongside REME family engagement. We initially thought 500 -1000 tickets may be achievable but once we went live on social media we were pretty confident we could get nearer the 1000 mark. We worked on a medal design and once we made it public the tickets really began to sell. REME Connect was certainly put to the test and all the people in the background worked hard to get almost 1000 new accounts approved manually! So a big thank you to Rachael Murphy and her team who made the online ticket sales possible. That first couple of weeks we constantly refreshed REME Connect to see the tickets

Abu Dhabi Afghanistan Australia Belgium Brunei Canada - Medicine Hat, Ontario, Cyprus - Akotori, Episkopi, Dhekelia Estonia Falklands Germany Gibraltar Iraq, Baghdad Spain UK inc Northern Ireland USA - Miami, California, New Mexico Brunei

Canada – Jim Watson Medicine Hat – “longest walk since my skiing accident, determined to finish”

Lawrence Jeffery and his dog REME Ontario

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Estonia – Sgt Dan Williams Ex Spring Storm with 661 LAD with the Army Wildcat helicopter

Falklands – Sgt Darren Young

remaining go down (sorry Rachael we are definitely responsible for crashing the website!) until we finally went over 900 sold, it was a great feeling and somewhat relief. The effort from individual Units was incredible, we honestly can’t thank you all enough, from small LAD’s to REME Battalions the

Germany – Verity Berrow Monchengladbach

Miami – Damian on Hollywood Beach, Florida

this means to them. Right from the start, the event was bringing people together in a way we couldn’t imagine. In the end we had over 1400 participants and together we all raised just over £11,000 for The REME Charity. Once again thank you and look forward to next year’s REME Virtual 10k.

“Thank you for the opportunity to do something for my old cap badge. It was nice to feel connected with the REME again after 21 years of being apart. AeM

support that was given to the event was incredible. The Corps Colonel and Corps ASM were delighted to be able to visit Units and hand out medals come race week. There were entries from all over the Globe, from Abu Dhabi to Miami. We didn’t realise the global reach the Corps had until we began to post the medals, which was eventful to say the least!

“My old man would of been over the moon.” It was great to see veterans reaching back to the Corps with such positive feedback and family members of former REME personnel, some of which had passed away. Many wrote in to tell us how much

Iraq, Baghdad – Joshua Coughan

Virtual 10k

47 Regt RA Workshop Run 10k a Day Scribe: Cpl Rai

(Most of) the team

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he REME charity offered an entry to the inaugural virtual REME 10k fun run, walk or jog, between 1st and 9th of May 2021, providing an opportunity to the entire REME family, including retired or civilian family members to participate as one big team. The entry cost was £10 per person with all proceeds directly benefiting REME Soldiers by going to The REME Charity. Ten members of 47 Regiment Royal Artillery Workshop REME ran/jogged 10km every day from 1st to 9th of May 2021 around the Larkhill area with an aim to raise £500 in Virgin Money Giving which was to be split evenly amongst two charities - The REME Charity and Cancer Research UK. We organised this charity so that we can provide financial support to these two great organisations which give amazing and incredible support to those in need or at a time of crisis. The motive of this event was also to provide fitness and mental health awareness across the Army and to encourage everyone that a healthy body is equal to healthy mind. We have raised £603.75 in total plus Gift Aid from the event which we are very proud of, and has been automatically transferred to our chosen charities by Virgin Money Giving. Our Team is appreciative of the support that we had and would like to thank the supporters for coming together to make a big difference in other’s lives.

Virtual 10k

7 Regt RLC LAD Put a Unique Spin on the Virtual 10k

Capt Hunjan OC LAD On a cold spring morning, 7 Regt RLC’s LAD took part in the REME 10Km Virtual Race, with the simple aims of fostering esprit de corps and raising money for the REME Charity. This forms part of a series of events that 7 Regt RLC’s LAD are conducting to raise money for the REME Charity in 2021. Unphased by a standard 10Km run, the LAD decided to add a twist. Initial ideas ranged from fancy dress, to pulling an EPLS; the latter was thankfully quashed! In the end the LAD decided on pulling a Land Rover for the full 10km.

SSgt Beddow, 68 Sqn Repair Sect Comd We have all bump started a Land Rover or two in our time, so how hard could it be! After making the decision to pull a Land Rover, our next task was to find a challenging 10Km route. The route was carefully considered to make it appropriately arduous, but achievable for all members of the LAD. A COVID compliant risk assessment was conducted to assure the safety of all members of the LAD throughout. As the LAD is conducting more events for the REME Charity over the summer, we acquired some REME Charity T shirts, banners and flags, which were used to decorate the Land Rover. As proud members of 7 Regt RLC, the Regimental Flag, complete with the Orzel was also on display.

Cfn Kellam, Class 2 Vehicle Mechanic Once we had settled on the idea of pulling a Land Rover, we had to think of innovative ways of making it COVID compliant. After some initial working groups, the design and modification processes were underway. Firstly, the vehicle canopy was removed to allow for a better line of sight between participants and the driver for safety. Two large scaffolding poles were attached to the frame with custom built brackets made by the LAD Metalsmith. This made it possible for four participants to push from the rear of the vehicle, with consideration for social distancing. The front portion was slightly more complex. The original idea was to fabricate a bar across the front of the vehicle, which in theory seemed workable. However, due

to issues with the mounting points on the bumper, this option was discounted as it may damage the bumper; we wouldn’t want to create work for ourselves! As such, two ratchet straps were attached to the towing points, which allowed for two extra people to pull the vehicle; a much need modification! A team of mixed tradesmen and women from across the LAD made the vehicle adjustments and modifications.

Cfn Gillick, Class 2 Vehicle Mechanic The event started with a safety brief at 0830 and we stepped off at 0900. Asides from raising money for the REME Charity and fostering team spirit, we wanted to achieve two specific goals throughout the event. The first was to complete the event in under 1 hour and 20 minutes and the second was to keep the wheels of the vehicle turning throughout. The route consisted of two loops of the Kendrew Barracks Airfield and took the LAD past all the Sqn hangars, as well as the RHQ. It’s safe to say that Airfields aren’t completely flat and that all members of the LAD now know the gradient profile of Kendrew Barracks!

LCpl Fisher, Class 1 Vehicle Mechanic The LAD was well supported by the Regiment, who lined part of the route to cheer us on. This provided a fantastic opportunity for members of the Regiment to show their support for the REME Charity. The LAD managed to maintain a good pace all the way around the route, with short sharp changeovers to keep legs fresh whilst pulling the Land Rover. With an average pace of 7:07 min/ Km, the LAD completed the route in 1 hour and 11 minutes, whilst keeping the wheels moving throughout. A great effort from all members of the LAD. The event kicked off 7 Regt RLC LAD’s efforts to raise funds for two charities this year; The REME Charity and Breast Cancer Now. We are hoping that our training will culminate with a triathlon style event later this year. The aim is to start at Kendrew Barracks in Leicestershire and finish at the VW Factory in Wolfsburg Germany.

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Corps History

Salvaged REME Altar finally returned to Talbot House On 9th May, during the VE weekend, Cpls Steven Holt and Ryan Morrison who are Armourers based at European Joint Support Unit SHAPE, took part in the event to return the altar to Talbot House after going missing for more than 50 years. Scribe- Cpl Holt

Talbot House


albot House was built by the wealthy hop traders of the Lebbe family in the 18th Century. Maurice Coevoet, a local brewer, bought the house in 1911. In 1915, after the house was struck by a German shell, he decided to leave for a safer place with his family. Soon thereafter, the house was rented to the 6th Division of the British Army. It was here that Chaplain Philip “Tubby” Clayton opened a soldier’s club as an alternative for the often-controversial nightlife in the rest of the city. At first the club was called “Church House”, but Colonel Reginald May proposed despite of Head Army Chaplain Neville Talbot’s protest - to call it “Talbot House” after Gilbert Talbot, Neville’s brother who died on 30th July 1915. Gilbert Talbot became the symbol of a

Cpls Morrison and Holt with Belgium reenactors and Gp Capt Fowler

22nd Advanced Base Reme Workshop Lot nr Brussels who gifted the altar

“Golden Generation” of young men who sacrificed their lives in the war. Tubby oversaw the clubhouse and wanted to make sure that there was a cosy and homely atmosphere for all, regardless of rank and status. The sign on the door of Tubby’s office, the Chaplains room, still reads: “All rank abandon ye who enter here.” This sentence became one of the pillars of the house. Everyone who entered did so as a member of the human race and not as a soldier or officer. Orders were also prohibited in the house. Tubby insisted that Talbot House had to be a place where people could forget about the war for just a moment. The sign next to the front door saying: “To pessimists, way out!” speaks volumes in this respect. The house is full of similar signs that, by making

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something clear in a humorous way, subtly takes away the need for orders. Keeping a soldiers club without order and discipline might seem impossible, but by doing this Tubby succeeded none the less. Today Talbot House is a vibrant museum and guesthouse displaying 500 artefacts, each linked to personal accounts of Talbotousians, to let you relive the old days. The guesthouse offers seven historical bedrooms in which every room is named after a historical person, event, item, valuable to the house or the association.

Dunkirk Altar In July 1944, a few weeks after the famous landings in Normandy, the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers set up three advanced workshops in the neighbourhood of Caen. One of them, the 22nd Advanced Base Workshop, was specialised in tank maintenance. In the bombed-out church of Saint-Étienne-le-Vieux, they salvaged a simple wooden altar which they used for their chapel. In March 1945, the 22nd ABW was moved to Lot in the vicinity of Brussels. Talbot House Padre Richard Tuesday was appointed Chaplain and received the altar as a gift for his new chapel. Padre Tuesday of course regularly entertained the men during outings to Talbot House. These visits would always culminate with a service in the Upper Room, the historic chapel of the club. When then 22nd ABW was transferred in October to the area of Hamburg, Padre Tuesday was recalled to England and the unit donated the altar to Talbot House “as a memorial to our comrades who gave their lives in the battles of Normandy and Germany, June 6 1944 – May 8 1945”, as the text on the memorial plaque reads. In the meantime, the emblems of the unit as well as Monty’s 21st Army Group had been added to the altar. The Altar soon became known under

Plaque on the altar

Cpls Holt and Morrison loading altar

Cpls Morrison and Holt carrying the altar through the garden

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Talbotousians as the Dunkirk Altar, in memory of the evacuation in 1940 and the Battle of Dunkirk in 1945. In preparation for the 50th anniversary of Talbot House in 1965 and the royal visit by Her Majesty the Queen & the Duke of Edinburgh in 1966, founding Father Tubby Clayton had the chapel reorganised as it was during the First World War. Hence the Dunkirk Altar was moved to storage. Rolande Blanckaert, a local volunteer who had been present when the altar arrived in 1945, saved it and arranged for it to be gifted to the local Scouts. After an impressive journey of various owners, in 1988 the altar moved to the ‘Europa Centre’ in the former Brewery Feys on the FranceBelgian border.

Padre Williams conducting blessing

Fortunate Reappearance In 2012, Ghent entrepreneur Hendrik Nelde purchased the former Brewery Feys and in 2017 the adjacent Brewery Chateau. Shortly after the purchase, local heritage enthusiast Halbe Fabriek, was asked to take some photos of the site. He discovered the memorial plaque and started his search for its origins. When Halbe joined the Talbot House volunteers, he showed the photos to Talbot House Manager Simon Louagie on the off chance of finding a clue. Simon recognised the photos immediately and visited its new owner Hendrik the same day. The Talbot House Association is very grateful to Mr. Nelde for lending us the altar for a starting period of five years. The Talbot House Association will make sure the Altar is restored to its former glory and hopes quietly its journey will come to an end when it is back in the Upper Room where it belongs.

essentially wedging the altar in place. A short drive later, we all assembled outside the front of Talbot House. After a brief shower (typical Belgium weather) and a few more press interviews we began to unload the altar. It felt a lot heavier this time around, and we made our way through the house. After some careful manoeuvring through the doorways, we finally reached the garden. A quick stint over the grass and we began to place the altar down. As we steadily rested the altar on the grass, albeit a stumble on his backside from Cpl Morrison, we were done and able to regain the feeling back in our fingers. After a quick meeting with the Defence Attaché Belgium and Luxembourg, Group Captain Justin Fowler and newly posted EJSU Padre, Captain Nia Williams headed over to give the altar a blessing which included the REME Collect. After the speeches concluded, we were treated to some fine Belgium beer as we were guided through Talbot House by the local historian. A fascinating tour included stories from WW1, right through to WW2 including various artefacts displayed around the house really showed you how important the house was to the boosting of morale for serving soldiers throughout both wars. A fabulous day out for all involved, and a great feeling to be part of such an historic REME event, we both look forward to seeing the altar once it’s been restored back to its original glory. Talbot House is a great venue steeped in rich history and is highly recommended to be added to any battlefield tour schedules.

Bringing the altar home On the morning of the 9th May, we met at the current home of the altar, Brewery Feys and were joined by Belgium reenactors in WW2 British uniforms and several Union Jack branded historic vehicles. As we waited for the event to begin, we had the chance for a quick brew and croissant whilst chatting with the brewery owner, Hendrik Nelde and Talbot House manager, Simon Louagie. Once it was confirmed that the press was ready for us to start, we assessed the weight of the altar to determine the numbers required, and being typical Brits, decided we could tackle it alone. We carefully walked the altar out of the Brewery doorway and slid it onto the back of the WW2 Dodge Jeep. The Belgium reenactors piled in afterwards

Cpl Holt, Padre Williams, Gp Capt Fowler, Cpl Morrison

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The Screwjack Letters – No. 19 Of Moths and Monsoons


luang was a small town in South Johore, Malaya, with dense jungle around it, particularly to the North and East. The British Army garrison lay on the Western side of the town. The roads were lined with monsoon drains about six feet wide and lined with concrete slabs. . Some of the houses, especially those well outside the town centre, were built of bamboo covered with leaves of the Attap palm. These were called “Attap Bashas”. We had one such building beside the workshop in which my clerk, L/Cpl Mash preferred to work. This was because our office was upstairs, closer to the corrugated iron roof. He found it too hot, but I put up with it, I needed the telephone. It often rained heavily, usually at about 4 pm. The rain could be heard coming as it approached over the jungle from the East, arriving loudly as it reached us. The monsoon drains ran in such a torrent that nobody would want to fall in. The rain lasted for about an hour, then all was calm again. In the evenings we heard the “toc toc” bird and on the inside walls of most rooms lived a small flyeating chit-chat lizard, both so - called due to the sounds they made. The day temperature was about 35°C but the air was very humid. We had no washing machines, so our amah did our washing on a paving slab in the garden in the cooler early morning. Many of the road labourers were women, all wearing gloves and wide Chinese hats tied under the chin with a thin veil material to protect their complexions from the sun. The Gurkha working day was from 7am till 2pm to avoid the afternoon sun and heat, but inside the workshop, our working day was 9 to 5. Every morning we all had to take a Paludrine tablet to protect against malaria, and we heard the Imam’s recorded call to prayer from the loudspeaker on the mosque minaret. Sunset was at about 7.15 pm and darkness fell more rapidly than in England. At night we sometimes saw the huge and beautiful Atlas moths. Early in my time there, I went out one night for a late Satay snack in the town market place. The Satay man had small pieces of meat on wooden skewers cooked over charcoal on a tin like a domestic dustpan. With it was a pot of dipping sauce, the ingredients of which he kept secret. Returning home well after midnight, I saw the flicker of a yellow flame in the darkness. I drove closer and saw a man walking with a flaming torch. Behind him, in single file, were seven

more men, each carrying a large bucket. Next day our Corporal Songhurst told me “They’re the Night Shite Shifters, sir. They have to get the empties back fast or people would have a problem on their hands.” Unfortunate wording perhaps. The various sports and games played in the Kluang garrison were of no interest to me, so I decided that jungle exploration would be more adventurous and interesting. Captain Stan Yates had done a jungle survival course so I asked him to give the Workshop a few tips. This included precautions against Leptospirosis, water treatment, eating snakes and ants, building bed platforms and erecting mosquito nets. We were already familiar with the need for mosquito nets over our beds at night, of course. A truck took us up the Mersing road for a mile, then I and a few volunteers set off into the jungle with the aim of reaching one of the tree covered Gunongs (mountains). We discovered very soon that this was not just a walk through the trees. It was virgin jungle. We had to use machetes to hack every foot of the way, climbing through fallen trees and thorny undergrowth, with ants everywhere. After about two hours of this, to my great relief, we came to a logging track. It would have taken us weeks to get to the Gunong, and I decided we would follow the track back to the road and our truck. After this chastening experience, I had another idea. I would explore by going through the jungle up the Endau River, on a raft with an engine. Screwjack

Are you interested in having the opportunity to represent the Corp in Carp fishing? You don’t have to be a professional all you need is your own kit and a competitive attitude.

For further information Contact: Cpl Joshua Row Joshua.row107@mod.gov.uk

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Obitaries Menell James Mann - 22162726 from 1949 to 1951 Scribe: Russell Mann (Son) Menell James Mann (Jim) was born on Monday 6th April 1931 at The Queens Hospital on Bath Row in Birmingham. Like most children, when the war started, he was evacuated out of city and his Mom went to work in a munitions factories at the BSA in Small Heath and later Walkers factory in Digbeth where she operated a 10 foot capstan lathe. After the war Dad finished his schooling at Ostler Street in Ladywood and started as an apprentice electrician for an electrical company in the city’s Gun Quarter. In 1948 Jim met Hilda and they married later that year. Their first daughter, Daryl, was born in 1949. Dad and Hilda would later have two other children, Russell and Samantha. He was called up for his National Service joining the REME in 1949 and started at the Ellesmere Workshop. We recently found his exercise book from the Vehicle Mechanic course he attended there. Out of interest there are notes on the front cover which are probably known to REME personnel including: No 4 ABTC, B VEH-MECH and Course T5L. Dad was later stationed in Kent and spent time in Libya, North Africa and had mentioned places such as Tobruk previously. He would talk about North Africa and Montgomery and how the direction of the war changed when a large tank battle was won against the Germans in WW2. However, for Dad there were no real hostilities whilst he was there other than his armoured car being ‘bricked’ by the locals on a regular basis! Dad loved his time in the army as it gave him an opportunity to develop his personal skills and build a camaraderie within a team setting. He often mentioned that his uniform was a Canadian issue, whatever that meant. He also learned to swim in the REME but most significantly he learned to drive, but he didn’t have to pass his test! Jim’s love affair with cars and driving had begun and during the next 69 years he had over 50 cars! In the early days he did most of the repairs, maintenance and servicing before graduating to buying new cars in the early 1960’s. Upon leaving the REME Dad worked at Morris’ Commercial cars in Saltley but moved into selling in the late 1950’s. After several jobs

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including running an electrical wares shop in Belfast, Dad joined the West Midland Gas Board (WMGB) and remained there for over 25 years moving to a Sales Manager position until he retired. In the mid-seventies, Hilda passed away and Dad re-married to Patti, who also worked at the WMGB. Dad and Patti moved to Javea in Spain for 10 years before returning to the UK and living in Ludlow and Wisbech. Patti passed away in 2013 and as Dad began to develop dementia and he relocated to Worcester to live closer to his daughter Samantha. Unfortunately his condition worsened and he entered the Willows Nursing Home in Worcester and spent over two happy years there before passing away on 14/03/2020. Due to the Pandemic situation there were only 6 at his funeral but we are hoping to give him a proper send-off later this year. Owing to Dad’s age there may not be too many comrades or colleagues around who shared REME times with him but he always smiled when his time there was discussed. Menell James (AKA Jim) is by survived by children: Daryl, Russell, Samantha and Gail plus their spouses Elaine and Darren. Grand children: Nicky, Leanne, Stephanie, Stuart, Greg and Alison. Great Grandchildren: Daniel and Hollie.

Major (Retd) Robert Gardner TD Scribe: Anne Gardner, his sister. Robert sadly died on 31st October 2020 after a short illness. He was born in Cardiff in 1939 but the family moved to Glasgow in 1943 after his father died. When Robert was 10, the family moved again, to Stirlingshire, and Robert took up the bagpipes, that became so important in his life. After school Robert went on to study for a degree in mechanical engineering in Glasgow. Whilst there, he joined the Pipe Band and the REME section of G l a s g ow U n ive r s i t y O f f i c e r Training Corps. He also met David Sleight t h e r e, w h o l a t e r j o i n e d t h e Regular Army and became a lifelong friend. After graduating, Robert was commissioned in the TA, joining 157 Infantry Workshop (TA) in December 1961. As well as TA service, there had to be a proper job and Robert’s career as an engineer was notable. He started work at Scottish Stamping in Ayr and became a specialist in die stamping. Thence to the Birmingham area, and Garringtons, which specialised in hammer forging. Their hammers were heard for miles. In the TA: he served as a subaltern with the Holywell Platoon of 118 Recovery Company (HQ in Prestatyn), continued as Captain with 237 Sqn RCT Wksp at West Bromwich and 35 Signal Regt LAD in Birmingham. He was promoted to major in 1980, as BEME with 30 Engr Bde (V). In 1988 Robert finally retired from the TA. After Garringtons, Robert removed to High Duty Alloys in Redditch and finally to SDF in Kidderminster. He was much respected in the forging industry. Robert’s love of the bagpipes continued throughout his life. Interesting that, in 1967, a unit based in Prestatyn had a piper to play for them. In 1998, at a farewell Dinner to Col George Illingworth as Col REME TA, the Prestatyn Mess again echoed to the skirl of the pipes during after Dinner games. Robert had joined the Birmingham Scottish Pipe Band when he moved into the Birmingham area and, when he died, he was Pipe Major of The West Midlands Fire Service Pipe Band. His piping was well known to local British Legion branches and the REME Association; he tirelessly supported both.

could. He joined the Pinner United Services Club in 1997, which was to play a huge part in his life, becoming President for 12 years and was made Life President after this term. After Pat passed away in 1996, he continued to live on his own and it was only in his last few years did he need help. He finally came to Clifftops Care Home in Swanage to be near his family. Bill loved the Army and may have made a full career of it, but as a family man he placed them first. He was fastidious in his appearance and a stickler for time keeping and made sure his family was the same. Bill leaves behind his two daughters Daryle and Paula and their families.

Maj (Retd) John Norman TD Robert was very active all his life and he had many interests. Until he became ill, he kept himself fit by playing squash, circuit training, cycling and swimming. In his 70s he took up flying. Robert was full of life and fun, kind and considerate and helped many people over the years. He is greatly missed by his family and his many friends.

Former Corporal William Frank Richens Former Corporal William Frank Richens 21187696 passed away 6 April 2021 aged 91. Service dates 21 January 1948 to 20 January 1960. It is with great sadness that I have to inform the Corps of the passing of William Frank Richens, aged 91, on 06 April 2021. Cor poral (Acting Sergeant) William Richens was bor n in Acton on the 13 January 1930 and spent the early par t of his childhood in Perivale. He was evacuated to Cornwall during the war years and spent happy times there, returning to Perivale where he started an apprenticeship at the Hoover factory. Bill, as he was known, served proudly with REME both regular and reservist from 21 January 1948 to 20 January 1960 as a Fitters Mate. As a Class 2 tradesman, Bill wa s p o s t e d t o E g y p t i n 1 9 5 0 returning to the UK in 1953 when he transferred from Regular service to become a Reservist. Following the campaign by former service personnel, Bill was subsequently presented with the Suez Canal Zone Clasp to the General Service Medal in 2003. During his time in the Army, Bill became a qualified football referee which he continued to practice after he left the Army. After completion of his service Bill worked for an electrical shop as a salesman and quickly became a manager. He later went on to become the window dresser for the company and travelled all over the south of England. In 1967 he changed his career, and with his wife Pat, he ran a Newsagent in Pinner. Bill and his wife gave many a young person a job as paper girls and boys and given his military training instilled discipline and loyalty into them with a  good amount of humour added. Many of the paper boys and girls have said that Bill had played a major part in their growing up, with one going on to join the Army and attaining the rank of Major General of which Bill was very proud. Bill was a staunch member of the REME Association’s Surrey Branch for many years, supporting the Branch in any way that he

John Norman sadly passed away, quite suddenly, on Thursday 22nd of April 2021 whilst in hospital undergoing investigations over internal blood clotting issues. Subsequently his cause of death was cer tified as an Internal Haemorrhage. He was aged 88 years old having been born on the 29th of July 1932 in Pontypool, M o n m o u t h s h i r e, S o u t h Wales. He was educated at Park Terrace Primary and West Monmouth Grammar schools leaving at the age of 16 in 1948 to enter into a Mechanical Engineering apprenticeship with Girling Ltd. A major manufacturer of braking systems, in Cwmbran. He completed this apprenticeship during which he attained the award of a Higher National Certificate. During the course of his apprenticeship, and whilst on a Drawing Board in the Drawing Office, he happened to be in a location which had a view of an attractive girl typist. This led to a romance and eventual marriage to Janet on the 25th of July 1953 - the day after completing his apprenticeship. After this the Conscription Services caught up with John, and he commenced his obligatory 2 year term of National Service. Because of his trade qualification, his service commenced with REME in May 1956 when he completed Basic Training at 2nd Training Battalion in Honiton, Devon. After this and, as was the practice then, he was creamed off as potential officer material and attended Eaton Hall Officers Cadet School. This was followed by his commission, on the 5th of January 1955, as a 2nd Lieutenant and a posting back to Honiton on an appointment as a Platoon Commander in “D” Company and later to become 2 I/C “A” Intake Company. Throughout this period he was a regular member of the rugby team representing Eaton Hall and 2nd Battalion. At Honiton he was fortunate to have his wife, Janet, move down to the area to be with him. In April 1956 his term of National Service came to an end and he was able to rejoin employment with Girling Ltd and fulfilled a very respectful career with them until retirement at the age of 59. During February 1957 Janet and John were delighted to be joined by Baby Penelope (Penny) and, in August 1959, by another daughter – Sue. Together, all continued as a close knit family and very much loved by John. This family unit increased over some years to include 3 granddaughters and 2 grandsons. During John’s service with Girling Ltd, in the 1960’s, he was transferred to a new factory in Birkenhead in a supervisory capacity and his family moved there for a period. Later in the 1960’s John was appointed a Technical Director of “Brakes India” a licensee of Girling where he was involved in the setting up of a new manufacturing unit in India. This appointment lasted over a period of 2 years during which Janet stayed there with John. In 1972 John was appointed into another distinguished position to serve as a Technical Vice President to form a new Company in Cincinnati USA. This position lasted nearly two years,

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and again, his dear wife supported his venture. John eventually retired from working with Girling Ltd in 1991 at the age of 59 after 43 years of continuance service. In May 1957 John elected to reconnect with REME by joining the local Territorial Army (TA) at Raglan Barracks, Newport and was appointed Workshop OC to 638 Regiment (RA) until April 1960. Following his civilian transfer to Birkenhead, he was able to obtain a transfer to serve as the Petrol Transport Workshop OC with 102 (Cheshire) Transport Column RASC (TA) from May 1960 until April 1966. From May 1966, John was back in Wales at Raglan Barracks to serve as the OC of 104 Light Air Defence Workshop. On the 10th of January 1978, John was awarded the “Territorial Decoration” (T&AVR) medal (AKA TD). During his TA Service he had achieved promotions from 2nd Lieutenant through to Major and received personal tributes of high esteem. Upon his retirement from Girling Ltd and the Territorial Army

John was able to enjoy his main hobby of Model Engineering, using his machining skills he was able to build a 5” Gauge Locomotive, a 4” Scale Traction Engine and Baler and a 3” Scale Traction Engine. All of these were complete working models and were often seen at Steam Engine Fairs throughout the UK. He was witnessed once showing the latter traction engine at one of Arborfield’s Open Days, and watched the REME Band’s Concert in the Park still wearing his boiler suit with coal dust and grease adorned. He was known to have provided help to the REME museum using his knowledge regarding steam engine boiler testing and certification. He was an avid and very popular member of the Model Engineering Club in Newport, Gwent, South Wales. Despite living in Raglan, John became an active member of the, then, Swansea and District Branch of the REME Association and subsequently an inaugural member of the Wales Branch. During his time with the former branch, he was adopted as the President in the place of the late Colonel (Retd.) Harry Bowen. He dutifully held this office until recommending that the position be passed on to the current Wales Branch President Lt. Col. (Retd.) Syd Thomas. John Norman became a member of the Broxhead Club in 1985 and remained so until his recent death. He was a regular attendee at the annual dinners until advancing years prevented him from travelling.

Former WO1 (ASM) David George Rowney Scribe: Captain (Retd.) Ian (Noddy) Crawford It is with great sadness and shock that I report the loss of my brother-in-law David who died suddenly of a heart attack on 9th April 2021 aged 70. He was known as Dave throughout his days at Arborfield as an apprentice then during a full career in REME Aviation. He was born in Rochester, Kent and attended Chatham Technical High School for Boys. He was interested in the military from a young age as his father had been a Royal Marine during the war and who had rebadged to REME before demobbing. Dave joined the Royal Marine Cadets in Chatham becoming an excellent flautist,

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which started his love of military music both hearing and playing it. At 16, he decided that he would follow an engineering life and enlisted on the AAC Arborfield 67A entr y (B Company) and immediately became a solid member of the College Corps of Drums. It was during our middle year at Arborfield that I became mates with Dave and shared some hairy times in his dilapidated Morris Cowley. Four or five of us would club together to buy 10 shillings of petrol (50 pence for 1.5 gallons) and then all of us would tear up and down Nine Mile Ride hoping it wouldn’t conk out. Dave’s first posting as an Aircraft Technician (Airframes & Engines) in 1970 was to Mobile Platoon, 70 Ac Wksp REME, Middle Wallop. There, we continued to try and coax his Ford Anglia to greater things by fitting a Cortina engine, but without changing the gear ratios so it would break our necks up to 30mph but could never go faster than 55mph before internally haemorrhaging. We would take it back to Rochester and leave it with his elder and wiser brother Michael to fix! It was on the first of these trips that I met and, three years later, married his sister Christine. In Mobile Platoon, Dave went on many exercises suppor ting AAC Squadrons including Ex HARDFALL where his love of Norway began, a place he would visit several times. In July 1972 he married Jennifer and very soon they were off to Omagh, Northern Ireland to join the 17/21st Lancers Flt LAD where they did a two-year tour. This was followed by a dream tour in Singapore with 11 Flt AAC LAD, which was cut short by withdrawal from the colony in 1975. After two tours with AAC flights, he was destined to come back to ‘the factory’ and was posted to 73 Ac Wksp REME, Celle. It was in 1976 that Claire, his only child was born in BMH Hanover. It was the day before my son was born on the same ward where Jennifer and Dave’s sister, Christine (my wife) were in adjoining beds for a couple of days. Dave and I spent that evening at a local Octoberfest celebration tr ying to remember which great party we’d all been at 9 months previously! Dave was always up for tr ying something new and on one visit we found him up the plum tree in the garden of his Celle MSQ ‘tickling’ every flower head with a feather to pollenate them. The tree groaned with fruit and he made a wonderful portlike wine from them. When 73 closed down, the family moved to Detmold and to 71 Ac Wksp REME. Dave had played hockey at Arborfield and again at Celle and his game kept improving until he was part of the team that won the BAOR 4 Division Championships. A member of a competing team told me he thought field hockey was a ‘girls’ game until he came up against Dave and the 71 Ac Wksp team. Dave was fearless on the pitch, whether it was played on artificial grass or on

asphalt. He went on to play hockey for BAOR. The family then moved back to Bulford and shortly afterwards bought their first house in Warminster. He had several postings over the 1980s and 90s to Netheravon-based LADs including 658 Sqn AAC and latterly 2 Flt AAC. While there, he had trips to Norway on several winter exercises, he was also an active member of various Sergeant Mess Committees. Over this time, his inner thespian was aroused through the medium of the Athenaeum Variety Group (AVG), a Warminster amateur dramatics group where he became chairman, a role he held for many years. He is fondly remembered as a great organiser who made the group more professional and organised, devising new ways for setting up the wings so that props weren’t needed and making many after show speeches. Never one to let pass an opportunity to dress up or putting on the slap, he played various parts from baddie to the dame, and wrote and directed the last ever AVG pantomime, Babes In The Wood. AVG brought pleasure and fun to many old folk’s homes around Warminster, often he would play one of the chars serving tea and biccies! He was tr uly multi-talented: great at directing, set building, acting, running the group, getting things done. He was dedicated and reliable, only wanting the best for the AVG. Then in 1981 it was back to SEME and Middle Wallop on No. 53 Artificer Course and return to BAOR for a stint at 1 Regt AAC living in Hildesheim. He continued the movement by joining Hanover Amateur Theatre Society (HATS) at BMH Hanover where he wrote and directed the Princess and the Pea and was in several plays. In one, a review, he played Mr. Darcy and in another, Alfonso, an Italian gigolo (perfectly as he had the looks!). He enjoyed managing and acting very much and so did his audience. The family came back to Warminster when he commuted to the aforementioned Netheravon units where he enjoyed trips to California on Ex TRUMPET DANCE, Canada on Battle Group support at BATUS and more trips to Norway. Memories recounted to me by all those who knew Dave said he was a real team player, full of fun and the perpetrator of many an escapade, often requiring some considerable setting-up. One alternative Christmas party he formed a ‘Magic Semi-Circle’ to perform a 3-part trick that included a pack of cards, a disappearing rabbit and him being cutting in half. The rabbit escaped and his blood-soaked leg looked so real, a civvy member of staff had an attack of ‘the vapours’. He was a fiend at all sorts of games including Bridge and Uckers (Ludo on steroids) and would cheat like mad but overtly and loudly so as to bring a certain flamboyance to the otherwise placid pastimes. All agreed, he was a true Bon Oeuf. In his last posting before leaving the service at the end of 1992, he was the WO1 (ASM) AETW Support Service at the Aircraft Engineering Training Wing, Middle Wallop where he ensured the training aircraft and equipment was in excellent condition for trainees. He left the service after a 26-year career. Dave joined Steelcraft Fabrication Ltd in Amesbury as the Production Manager and remarried shortly after leaving the ar my moving to Durrington near Salisbury where he

set up house with his wife Lorraine. He had learned a huge amount about the commercial side of engineering, steel fabrication supply chains and Just-In-Time production processes while there. This experience led him back in the aircraft world in 2004 to take on a new role when he joined Augusta Westland Ltd as a Business Improvement Manager. He was involved in procurement, governance, quality management and continuous improvement, and crash-worthiness testing of internal equipment on the EH-101 Merlin, CH-149 Cormorant, USMC Marine One AW 101 and AW149 for a range of contracts until he finally retired from work in January 2016. Dave had damaged his left ankle abseiling from a helicopter a few years before retiring and over time he had it operated on and then fused, which prevented him taking the dynamic exercise he had been used to. However, he kept busy and only COVID stopped him getting about more than he would have wanted. He had enjoyed fishing since childhood and retirement allowed him to spend more time with his brother, Michael, fishing in many lakes and rivers around the country. He also continued with his lifelong hobby, developing his huge and eclectic music collection containing literally thousands of albums, from current bands and types of music, back to those from the 1970s. He was an excellent cook and would develop his own take on a particular dish. It would start with research into the history of the dish, next a trip to the most select food emporiums in and around Salisbury to buy the best quality ingredients. Then he would cook and test two or three variations on a recipe before he felt it met his high standard. An invitation to friends and family was eagerly awaited so to enjoy his unique three or four course feast, which was photographed and with an accompanying relevant story, poem or some musings, added to his take on a ‘Jamie Oliver’ cook book. We treasure our copy of it. He replaced running and jumping for digging and sowing by taking on an allotment where he spent many a satisfying hour finding that he had, along with his many other talents, green fingers, the fruit of which ended up in many of his feature dishes. It was in 2016 that Dave asked me if I was going to the 50th anniversary. I asked him, ‘anniversary of what’, he answered, ‘of us joining the army’. I stopped in my tracks! What a shock. However, it was wonderful to remember we’d been great mates for nearly 50 years. To celebrate, we went to ‘our year’ AOBA reunion dinner in 2017 and to the next two as well. Seeing our friends for the first time in so many years, I’m glad we were able to experience that together. Dave had always been a family man enjoying time with his wife Lorraine, daughter Claire, step-daughter Sasha and three granddaughters from both families; Sienna, Olivia and Elsie who are all heartbroken. He also leaves behind his siblings, Michael, Christine and Trudy who, along with me, loved him very much and miss him terribly. The family’s abiding memory of David is a man who was funny, hard-working, loyal and trustworthy - a good soldier, friend and family man.

The Corps Communications Team Are you emailing the right person? The Cra�sman Magazine Editor Cra�smanEditor@reme-rhq.org.uk The Digital Media Manager Dawn.Cainey100@learn.mod.uk Change of postal address Subscrip�ons@reme-rhq.org.uk Submissions (Digital and Print) remerhq-comms-groupmailbox@mod.gov.uk Other Communica�ons and Media requests remerhq-comms-groupmailbox@mod.gov.uk

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Professional Accreditation

REME ARMS SCHOOL Professional Recognition Awards



Affiliateship – Level 5 - £98.00

he REME Arms School is a City & Guilds qualification provider for Professional Recognition Awards (PRAs). As such, it can offer the Level 4 Licentiateship (LCGI), Level 5 Affiliateship (AfCGI), Level 6 Graduateship (GCGI) and Level 7 Membership (MCGI) awards in Engineering to personnel who meet the criteria set out below.

REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive Sgt and who have completed all 3 phases of the SNCO CLM training are eligible for the Level 5 Affiliateship (AfCGI) award in Engineering. Comparable to Diplomas of Higher Education and Foundation Degrees.

The awards are Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) accredited qualifications which enable candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and skills within any sector or role. City and Guilds are the experts in accrediting work-based achievement. Those achieving these awards will be entitled to use an appropriate, internationally recognised post-nominal: Licentiateship, Affiliateship, Graduateship and Membership. They can also help candidates working towards higher level qualifications.

REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive WO2 and who have completed all 3 phases of the WO CLM training are eligible for the Level 6 Graduateship (GCGI) award in Engineering. Comparable to Bachelor’s Degree

Successful candidates will receive two certificates from a PRA: A City & Guilds award (which entitles the holder to use post nominals) and a Regulated Qualification Framework award. These awards are part of the PRA scheme from City & Guilds that is recognised in civilian industry. They are vocational qualifications based upon your experience and expertise. The awards are offered under Royal Charter.

Graduateship – Level 6 - £113.00

Membership – Level 7 - £139.00 REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive Major and who have completed all parts of the ISC(L) training are eligible for the Level 7 Membership (MCGI) award in Engineering. Comparable to Master’s Degree and Postgraduate Ceftificate.

You must be either currently serving in the Army or have left within the last 2 years to qualify for this award. These qualifications are available for all REME trade groups.

Licentiateship - Level 4 - £82.00


REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive Cpl and have completed all 3 phases of the JNCO CLM training are eligible for the Level 4 Licentiateship (LCGI) award in engineering. Comparable to Higher Level Apprenticeships and Certificates of Higher Education.

The Licentiateship, Affiliateship, Graduateship or Membership PRA in Engineering identifies you as a highly motivated individual who can manage resources, handle pressure and tackle new challenges. They allow you to gain valuable recognition for your professional and academic development within the REME and are widely recognised in outside industry.

Application Inquiries to: Mrs Debbie Jefferies: debra.jefferies102@mod.gov.uk Standard Learning Credits cannot be claimed for these awards.

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Extracts from the London Gazette 18 MAY 2021 ARMY RESERVE Group A Officer Cadet Deborah Sian WILLIAMS 30302021 to be Second Lieutenant (on probation) 21 November 2020 TERRITORIAL ARMY Group A Second Lieutenant (on probation) S. L. GUILFOYLE 30031976 is confirmed as Second Lieutenant 29 September 2012 (Belated Entry)

25 MAY 2021 REGULAR ARMY Intermediate Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Warrant Officer Class 1 Kenneth Andrew CHALMERS 25067104 to be Captain 4 May 2020 (Belated Entry) Short Service Commissions Officer Cadet Hannah-Beth Jean HALL 30246455 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 10 April 2021 Officer Cadet Jacob Benjamin MARKHAM 30337082 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 10 April 2021 Officer Cadet Alasdair Peter MERCER 30330859 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 10 April 2021 Officer Cadet James Maurice Alexander WITTY 30267840 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 10 April 2021

30 July 2021 31 July 2021 27 July 2021 26 July 2021 26 July 2021 24 July 2021 12 July 2021 24 July 2021


19 July 2021 01 July 2021 31 July 2021 01 July 2021 01 July 2021 26 July 2021 01 July 2021 05 July 2021 31July 2021 31 July 2021 31 July 2021 01 July 2021 01 July 2021 01 July 2021 01 July 2021 01 July 2021

Death Notices MANN – Former Pte Menell James Mann aka Jim passed away 14 March 2021 aged 89. Dates of service 1949-1951. WRIGHT – Former Sgt Michael Leslie Wright passed away 18 May 2021. Dates of service 1962-1976.

Death Notice Requirements

01 JUNE 2021 REGULAR ARMY Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Major S. G. HUGHES 25022307 retires 16 February 2021 ARMY RESERVE Group A Lieutenant S. L. GUILFOYLE 30031976 to be Captain 27 October 2015 (Belated Entry) Second Lieutenant (on probation) D. S. WILLIAMS 30302021 is confirmed as Second Lieutenant 21 November 2020 (Belated Entry)




DATE 01 July 2021 19 July 2021 26 July 2021 01 July 2021 15 July 2021 23 July 2021 26 July 2021 05 July 2021 31 July 2021 01 July 2021 13 July 2021 30 July 2021 26 July 2021 10 July 2021 19 July 2021 31 July 2021 26 July 2021

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

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Working in engineering or hospitality? Moved into construction or education?

If you’re on your second career, The Craftsman Magazine wants to hear from you! Email your ‘Where Are They Now?’ story to craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


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

Donations 27/04/2021 30/04/2021 26/04/2021 26/04/2021 26/04/2021 26/04/2021 26/04/2021 06/05/2021 06/05/2021 06/05/2021 06/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 12/05/2021 19/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 17/05/2021 18/05/2021 12/05/2021 19/05/2021        

CAFGYE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 STRIPE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£2,247.07 Walking the equivalent of Camino de Santiago . . . . . . . .£27.50 In Lieu of a donation at the annual Broxhead Club Dinner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£50.00 In memory of Michael costanzo from Hayley Costanzo .£15.00 In memory of Tom Paine, husband in a million, with love, Anne x . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£100.00 Running 10km . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£226.35 1601 miles in 13 days . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£451.50 47 Regt RA Wksp Team-Virtual 10k . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£25.00 In Memory of Arthur lincoln . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£100.00 Payroll Giving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1.94 1601 miles in 13 days . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£25.00 47 Regt RA Wksp Team-Virtual 10k . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£215.00 TheREME Charity & Breast Cancer Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 James Doughty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 Sam Melvin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£7.50 Charles Wright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£5.00 Melissa Gannon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 Maxine Smart . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£25.00 The Ohallorans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 David Neely . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£50.00 Nik Brock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£5.24 Amanda WS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 C.Longley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 In Memory of Bill Ritchen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£30.00 Angove Kim & Del donation in memory of Dave RoulstonBates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1,000.00 REME Charity & Breast Cancer Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£20.00 1601 miles in 13 days . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£36.00 Cfn Charti Magar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£25.00 Andrew Cowan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£15.00 George Jones, in memory of our friend Betty Gimson & her son Paul . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£25.00 Ian Turner, well done to the Edwards clan, so proud of you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£30.00 Robert Airey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 Bethan Airey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£10.00 Cpl Fox, my children doing REME 10k Virtual race . . . . . .£50.00 Other . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£30.00 Much Loved . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£59.85 Central Bank DSEME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£13.16 Via PayPal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .362.97 Amazon Smile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .518.39 Date sent to Craftsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27/05/2021 Total Donations (May) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£5,882.47 Total £’s paid in Grants (May) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£9,847.86 No. Grants (May) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Average Grant (May) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£492.39




We need your stories.

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.

Whether reporting on an Exercise or Operation, reviewing a Sporting Event, or detailing your trade or experience within the REME Family, we want to hear from you!

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.

We also accept Covid-19-related content and welcome your news.

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 46 craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk

Please email your stories to: craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk



Fill in the puzzle so that every row across, every column down and every 9 by 9 box contains the numbers 1 to 9.

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

J U LY 2 0 2 1


Corps Memorial Day


REME Reserves Management Board, Portsmouth.



Governors Review – RH Chelsea.


Quartermaster’s Dinner Night.


AOSB SSE REME Briefing Day.


Reserves Conference


Mental Health Forum.


Corps Autumn Guest Night


Master Generals conference.

AUGUST 2021 6

RMAS Commissioning Parade


Warrant Officer’s and Sergeants Mess dinner Night.



N OV E M B E R 2 0 2 1 11


Corps Dinner Night Colonel’s Command Group

Corps council Meeting.


REME Reserves Management Board (Teams)

REME 2022 CALENDAR We need YOUR photographs! £250 PRIZE FOR BEST SHOTS

The calendar requires input from your units to ensure we are able to produce a high-quality product. We need photographs of your unit on operations, in barracks, on exercise, adventurous training or participating in sport – all within the last 12 months. Send your high-resolution JPEG photographs (minimum 1MB) with accompanying captions to craftsmaneditor@reme-rhq.org.uk


Profile for Official_REME

Craftsman Magazine - July 2021  

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