The Craftsman - July 2022

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July 2022
Magazine of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

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Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 3 Contents FEATURES British Army Advanced Manufacturing Centre of Excellence 6 Op NEWCOMBE 3: Life as a Recovery Mechanic 10 Road to CABRIT with 1 R Welsh Battlegroup – The Best Battlegroup in the Army 14 The search for the missing Major Award Boards 19 EXERCISE IRON HORSE EUROPE, 26 February – 13 March 2022 20 REME Engineering Awards 2022 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Life as a Metalsmith in REME . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Army Netball Trials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 Ex SNOW STORMER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 REME Stallions return to the ice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 British Army Reserve Operational Shooting Team – Ex FORTUNA 2022 . . . . . . . . . . .42 The Ford Files 46 MTI Seminar 48 REGULARS Guest Editorial: Col Mike Bullard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Letter to the Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 From the Museum: Help to improve our War Grave Records . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23 From the Museum: REME TRADES IN THE ARCHIVES: METALSMITH – Making the Sparks Fly! 28 Corps Notices 44 Corps Calendar 47 JULY 2022 Volume 78 No. 7 Corps Formation: 1 October 1942 Corps Motto: Arte et Marte Corps Patron Saint: St Eligius (Celebrated 1st Sunday in December) Front Cover: Team members during the night shooting combat barricade. Photograph taken from the Ex Fortuna article. Editor: Mrs Katie Tarbard + Corporate
address) ( Mil:
Civ: 01249 894529

Army Personnel Centre (APC)

REME Career Management Update

wrote a guest editorial just over a year ago when I updated readers on key changes to the way Career Management (CM) was being done, brought about by APC’s digital transformation programme, as well as the impact from the Army’s People Change Programme – CASTLE. These developments continue at pace and are well covered by the excellent APC ‘CM Monthly Update’ accessed via Defence Connect or SharePoint, which along with MS Web remain the key APC and CM communication channels. Defence Connect:


I strongly commend the CM Monthly Update; it provides timely Updates and Headlines across the full spectrum of CMOfficers/Soldiers/Regulars/Reserves - as well as really helpful digital links to policy and dates for important CM forums and events - it remains a must read for all

With the CM Branches now back in Kentigern House and having settled into efficient and flexible working patterns, in this editorial I will take the opportunity to update you on specific REME Soldier and Officer Career Management developments.

REME Soldier Wing (RSW) Career Management Update

RSW remains the principal CM branch for REME soldiers, with the primary role of managing, appointing, advising and assuring all careers. There are four military and 19 civilian staff within RSW, divided into four sections to career manage the varied CEGs in the REME.

Section A is the single point of contact for managing the training of REME soldiers, ensuring they are loaded onto all necessary career courses. Section B is responsible for CM of all Artificers and Technicians, whilst Section C is dedicated to the VM cohort. Section D provides CM to TSS, Metalsmiths, Armourers, Recovery Mechanics and Artisan WOs. Also, in support of the RSW is the REME Boarding Section, responsible for setting up and coordinating grading board activities; promotions, acting rank reviews, artificer and MTI selection. There has been some significant churn of the RSW staff over the past few years – so these are the key personalities:

RSW Career Management (CM)

– Recent Developments

Most recently, after two years of reduced activity, RSW has now opened its doors to external visits into the APC and to conducting unit visits. Face to face communication is fundamental to gaining understanding and maintaining trust, and is key to the way RSW remains engaged with units. If you cannot find the answer you need from Corps Instr E6 or the CoC/RCMO/Adjt, you are invited, and really encouraged, to get in touch with RSW via their shared mailbox ( All the RSW Career Managers are on hand to speak to you; gone are the days of service personnel not being allowed to speak to APC – please call and arrange a visit to the APC. For ‘push notifications’ direct to you or if you have any generic questions, RSW also provides advice and notices on the CM REME Soldiers page via APC Defence Connect site and REME Career Management site via Facebook. Please follow these sites.

A key aspect of transforming RSW career management has been exploiting the new functionality introduced via Defence Gateway

This provides an excellent means to enable service personnel to have greater access to CM information whilst also ensuring full transparency. The CM Portal gives you complete access to all your individual CM profile information from JPA; Annual Reports, Future Assignment Date, Competencies, and any other personal details you may need. Also included is a list of appointments for each rank and CEG in the REME; this is a great planning tool to allow you to look to the future and see what opportunities exist. Most recently, the new Digital Transfers tool has also been developed within the CM

4 Guest Editorial
Colonel Mike Bullard MBE
Key personalities SO1 RSW Lt Col Fred Oakes Armourer Ashley Paterson SO2 / Section A RSW Maj Coward Rec Mech Margaret Gow WO RSW WO1 (ASM) Reed TSS & Mtsm Maria Dougan Art RSW SSgt Thorpe Aviation Tech Andrew Smith & Paul Viola C2 Section B Chris Reid Elec Tech Marion Ferguson C2 Section C Kelly Patterson Land Artificer Eleanor Taylor C2 Section D Carol-Anne Forrest and David Johnson Aviation Artificer Andrew Smith C2 Boarding Section Derek Webster Vehicle Mechanic Laura McIntosh, Paul Vandermotten, Linda Crossan & Max Crumlish

Portal, and since its launch circa 80+ opportunities across a number of capbadges, trades and ranks have been advertised on the app. The application process is fully transparent so all professional users and transfer applicants can see the entries, progress and timelines of any actions.

Promotion and Appointment Boarding has also been digitised within RSW. For these new ‘e-boarding’ activities, the Grading App (accessed via LUMS) is used to conduct boarding from anywhere in the world, with board members and observers drawn from across the REME. The Core Operating Model (COM) as specified in the APC Boarding Manual ensures standardisation across all APC CM branches when conduction boards; thus ensuring greater transparency, assurance and a common approach to all boarding activity. Of note, RSW can provide demonstrations of the boarding process to all ranks during their unit visits. It is also worth highlighting that this functionality is completely compatible for use with the Reserves and can be made available for REME Reserve soldier grading boards.

Corps Instr E6 – Regular Soldiers Career Management has been updated and was released in Mar 22. You are encouraged to read it as there have been a number of significant changes, which include providing greater accessibility to all members of the Corps. Hyperlinked Army-level policy and contents allows you to accurately navigate and find the information you require faster; whether it be general or specific CM information relating to REME soldiers. RSW has also introduced useful editable forms that can be used by units

CM Portal Grading

and service personnel. Please take a look at the updated Corps Instruction.

Objectives Based Reporting (OBR). Due to evidence of inflated reporting, grading and recommendations across the Army, OBR is a directed change to recalibrate the correct delivery of OJARs and SJARs in line with JSP757. The OBR is to start with all Warrant Officers in reporting year 22/23 with the aim to roll it out across all ranks for reporting year 23/24. Essentially, Reporting Officers are to support their subjects in defining and capturing evidence that supports accurate report writing. Objectives set at the start of a report period must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound), appropriate, agreed, and reflected on during the MPAR. They should be the basis for the evidence in the performance paragraph of the SJAR. This should not be a dramatic change for most as from a RSW perspective the standard of REME soldiers SJARs remains high, but this is a directed change that will ensure greater compliance and parity in grading across all capbadges and formations.

Looking forward, the next RSW external unit visits this year are Colchester (3-7 Oct), and Catterick (14-18 Nov). Please try and attend if you are in the area and want the most up-to-date CM advice; including face-to-face engagement with your Career Managers. Finally, if you ever get the opportunity to visit RSW in Glasgow, please take it; you will not only help your own understanding and delivery of CM, but you will also help RSW and the CoC in establishing trust in the system.

REME Officer Wing Career Management Update

App. Most will be aware that lockdown and remote working forced some welloverdue changes to the way Boards are conducted in the APC. The accelerated introduction of the CM Portal on MODNet removed the need to pass AR Books around a Board Room during Promotion and Appointment Boards. Whilst there have been teething problems along the way, the CM Portal Grading App is now well established and all Promotion and other Grading Boards (LAD / SUC / Unit Command / ASB etc) have been successfully conducted on the CM Portal over the last 1218 months. The Grading App allows board members to navigate extremely quickly through an officers’ AR profile, helping them immediately find and focus on specific evidence – it is therefore so important that ARs are written to ensure the appropriate evidence stands out where it should, be it in the 2RO potential paragraph, Head of Arm Insert or the individual’s aspirations etc.


CM Portal Appointing App. The CM Portal Appointing App is now also being used and the Summer No.4 Board (Lt Cols) has just been conducted using it. Officers running for E2 Appointments on the Board did not write a PPP in the normal way and send it to their Career Manager for checking and staffing, instead they logged onto the CM Portal (through Defence Gateway) and using the MyProfile section explained to the Board what their domestic circumstances are and what it is they want from their careers and specifically from that Board. Then, by linking to the Jobs List which they are given access to by being declared a Runner to that Board, they chose their preferences against the appointments advertised on the Jobs List, using the normal nomenclature (WL/WM etc).

So, whilst the processes that underpin Career Management haven’t changed, the nature by which we conduct our business has. I suspect this will continue to evolve as the relationship between service personnel, employers and CMs (the CM Triumvirate) matures in light of CM digital transformation and the empowerment of our soldiers and officers.

E1 Mini-Board. Other key changes include the formalising of the E1 Mini-Board process for staff appointments at every level, again conducted electronically. E1 Boards have always been conducted to assist with making selections for E1 Appointments, but now they’re established on a more formal basis in compliance with the APC Boarding Manual’s Core Operating Model – ensuring complete fairness, transparency and assurance.

LAD Command Board. Of particular note has been the move of

the LAD Command Board from March annually to September/October to select officers for appointments the following year; this change is being implemented now, so two LAD Boards are being convened this year. The first Board took place in March and selected officers for LAD Command Appointments this year; the next Board sits in October and will select officers for LAD Command Appointments next year. Thereafter, the Board will be conducted annually in the Autumn and will usually coincide with the REME Arms Selection Board (ASB) that comprises of the Subunit Command Board, Senior Soldier Entry Commissions and Conversions of Commission.


Corps Instructions – Engineering Competence. Engineering Competence remains a vital consideration for REME Officer Boards when making selections for command at all levels in the Corps and also for some critical REME Staff Appointments. Corps Instructions will soon be updated, in line with direction from Col REME, to formalise this requirement. Key appointments will be identified where the level of engineering competence (C Eng / I Eng / Eng O) is prescribed and selections at E1 Appointment Boards will be made accordingly. Clearly, having the required engineering competence needed for appointments provides more opportunities to run for the jobs you want.

Closing Comments. As I retire in September having completed 34 years regular service, I reflect on the changes happening in the CM space right now – not least the important digital transformation and the development of the Army Talent Management System (ATMS), which has the potential to significantly transform the nature of the CM business. I am convinced that this is all good change which will in the fullness of time benefit both the Army and its people. Skills and competencies will increasingly be the new currency that ensure a fulfilling career and I believe the REME with its CEG trade structure, comprehensive education/training programme and professional accreditation is ideally placed to engage, inform and exploit future opportunities.

As mentioned previously, the APC is open for business, so please get yourself up to Glasgow and visit the REME CM Branch, which incidentally has now moved to the back-right corner of the 4th Floor in Kentigern House. We want to provide you with the best service we possibly can.

On behalf of all REME CM Branch thank you once again and Arte et Marte.


Before submitting an article you are requested to read the
on the inside front cover 5
SO1 REME offrs Lt Col Brian Burke MBE Lt Col Bryan Houston SO2a Maj James Hill SO2b Maj Ian Hodgkiss Ann Marie Rush Maureen Connell Gemma Breen
Alex Gilfillan

Corps News

British Army Advanced Manufacturing Centre of Excellence


all started with a basic hobby level printer and a big ambition. Since then, Additive Manufacturing (AM), more commonly known as ‘3D printing’, has caused significant interest as a concept and its use has developed from an idea, into a state-of-the-art capability within 1 Fd Coy, 5 Bn REME.

As part of an AHQ ten-year business case, AM is at the forefront of Advanced Manufacturing (AdM) and provides a considerable force multiplier to conventual manufacturing. Whilst the AM Platoon focuses solely on additive technology, the AdM Centre of Excellence (CoE) includes the application of more traditional subtractive

manufacturing such as Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) mills, lathes, metal bending and manipulation. This combined capability is a step change in the Corps’ ability to manufacture, enables experimentation and manufacture critical spares, right down to ground level.

Situated in Lyneham, AHQ has invested heavily in this capability; in providing over £3 million of specialist machining, printing and designing capability. 5 Bn REME has been tasked with establishing the Army’s only AdM Centre of Excellence (CoE) and AM Platoon. The CoE is the spearhead of AdM capability in the Army; bringing the capability into general service focusing on deployability and leading into the DTI programme.

Whilst AM has many uses the Platoon are also authorised for Expedient Repair on non-safety critical components, allowing the Army to rapidly prototype replacement parts for in and inter mission repair; maximising equipment availability. Cutting repair downtime and resupply timelines down from weeks or days to hours. The CoE, through the AM Platoon, is delivering

CRARRV PTO Alignment tool PUMA UAS Battery charger prototype TROJAN to AVRE trailer connector Brigadier King’s visit to the CoE PUMA UAS Battery charger prototype location

significant output supporting multiple operations and exercises in both the deployed space and support from the home bank. This is rapidly increasing.

The CoE is also a deployable capability. The ‘Makerspace’ is a bespoke self-sustaining vehicle to offer AM capability to deployed units. It is a containerised, vehicle mounted capability that is currently operating at reach on Op CABRIT and deploying with US forces on Ex DEFENDER. They can deploy on any UK exercise upon request through the CoE and can design, scan, print and even recycle AM solutions for 1st or 2nd line units.

The AM Platoon is equipped with over 15 different printers ranging from the Ultimaker 3 all the way to the industry leading Stratasys F370 and F450. This enables the Platoon to print items in different materials; from Polylactic Acid (TPU) and Thermoplastic Polyurethanes (PLA) material, great for rapid prototyping with heat and chemical resistance capabilities, through to carbon fibre infused nylon (Nylon 12 CF), which can offer a lightweight and high strength characteristics alternative to traditional metals.

SSgt D Feather in Mali

Each member of the Platoon is trained on the use of CAD software such as Solidworks with the CoE providing bespoke training packages on request to outside organisations. They can create designs from engineering drawings measure by hand, or scan using LIDAR or LASER 3D scanners. These designs can be replicated or modified to meet any requirement.

Whilst only in its first year of service, the AM Platoon has proven itself to be an asset with a reputation for innovation and

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AM Examples table CR2 Gunner sight eye piece SSgt D Feather En route to Mali Stratasys
Sniper spotter scope to HMNVS adapter
CoE on display at RMAS
Mali AM Pl Workshop 2 AM Pl Workshop 3 professionalism befitting its status as the lead for AM in the British Army. As AM technology continues to grow, the reputation and capabilities of the Platoon with links and attachments with industry will only continue to grow. This is a capability open for utility throughout the Army. Please contact the unit for training, use case development, experimentation, experience and SME advice either in camp or deployed. POCs: Capt Tom Warner – CoE Comd – 2Lt Jon Laundon – AM Pl Comd – SSgt Dale Feather – AM Pl Art – AM Pl Workshop


Dear Editor,


back on my service in REME with fondness and some pride; although it was shorter than most of my contemporaries’ military careers. I look forward to receiving every edition of the Craftsman but, having “come out” in 1982, things have moved on and the present-day Corps and Army is unrecognisable in many ways. I have become accustomed to all of my friends having left the Corps, indeed, some have died already.

This month’s copy was a good read, and I was delighted to see people in it that I knew. On p41, Steve Colling’s article, there is a picture of Brig Probert on his retirement, but who should I see behind him? Major (later Lt Col) Romney Higson, my CO at 5 Armd Wksp, Fallingbostel. His favourite line? “Explain yourself, young man – mine’s a pink gin”.

Turning the page, a super eulogy on our former DGEME, Pat Lee. I was a YO at Arborfield on my OLEE course when he was Commandant REME Trg Centre. At a mess function, we were all detailed to welcome our guests, and engage them in conversation. Enter Brigadier Lee stage left, with Peggy. We introduced ourselves, and I asked, somewhat off frequency, “Have you come far?” His reply was “No, not really – couple of hundred yards across the grass”. My reply – “Ah… ‘that’ Brigadier Lee!” had them in stitches. He pulled my leg about it many times later. A lovely man.

Happy days; since then I’ve had some time in industry in process control and instrumentation, and a whole second career as a Solicitor. Approaching 30 years now and still enjoying the challenges - still a problem solver, but with a different toolkit. Arte et Marte!

Yours ever, Will Cowell

The Corps Communications Team

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to the EDITOR Send your letters/emails to: FAO Craftsman Editor, RHQ REME, The Prince Philip Barracks, MOD Lyneham, Wiltshire, SN15 4XX Or email:
For all your Corps needs including: A digital version of The Craftsman Magazine A map of units where REME serve Information on the Corps Sgts’ & WOs’ Mess and Corps Officers’ Mess Details about Association Branches and groups Applications for REME Charity grants Visit today The Online Home of The REME Family

Op NEWCOMBE 3: Life as a Recovery Mechanic

previous articles in the Craftsman from Op NEWCOMBE all invariably show things bogged in up to the axles. This is for good reason – everything and everyone gets stuck. Starting the tour with a bang, literally, as the SV(R) crane hook fell from the sky, this is the life of a Recovery Mechanic on Op NEWCOMBE.


Life on Ops is not for everyone

Cfn Hall is the youngest member of QDG LAD Recovery Section. Turning up with a ridiculous hair cut and without an iron; he quickly gained his Class 2 and deployed as the junior callsign.

Unfortunately, one of the skills he did not learn on MRX was looking for holes in the dark. Recovering the Task Group anchor saw that his tour lasted precisely six days deployed on the ground, three of which were on crutches. Though he “tried” to continue he unfortunately was sent home for an early bath.

The Reccy Mechs cooking up a storm with the 10-man rations26T Ridgeback on the hook after being driven off a cliff in the dark Anything but UN Menu 2 please A JACKAL with a battery issue on the hook

Death of a Light Field Generator (LFG)

When there is no moon, driving in the dark isn’t ideal. It is especially not ideal when a Ridgeback decides to kamikaze off what can only be described as a cliff. Even more so when said cliff is only 600m from the Task Group Leaguer. As the call came that the SV(R) was needed, which is the most unwelcome sound that can ever be heard from a camp-cot, the SV(R) moved out of the leaguer with Kestrel night vision goggles fitted. Unfortunately, what the Kestrel failed to see was the LFG camouflaged metres outside the lines. There was of course a cyalume on it... Or there was on what was left of it by the time the Ridgeback arrived back to the Task Group on the back of the SV(R). Broken beyond repair in the field; a 150km cross country tow was in order.

Arrival of the Illustrious Leader

As Sgt Fell’s phone rang at 2230hrs on a Sunday with the EME as the caller he knew before he answered that the family trip to Harry Potter World would be taking place in his absence.

With a high-five handover from Cfn Hall, Sgt Fell eagerly awaited his acclimatisation walks as I reverted to 2IC Recovery.

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A VM driving an SV(R) due to an injured Reccy Mech
“Just mark up with a cyalume after it’s been run over, nobody will notice.”
Sgt Fell enjoying another evening in the desert Sgt Fell putting on a show for the crowd

The joys of Wadis and the SV(R)

The dust and debris that is an integral part of Op NEWCOMBE life is not kind to SV(R)s. From cranes that do not work (but now do thanks to having Brian from EKA in theatre with us), air compressors pumping out more oil than air, to a general lack of power. The big issue with them is of course the thing we need them the most for –towing. Firstly, for the SV(R)s, route selection is everything. People talk of Wadies, when in reality a small ditch awaits. However, a ‘Wadi’ found on the route from Gao South turned into what can only be compared to landing on Sword Beach. Bogged in wagons were strewn everywhere as the approach to the Wadi resembled the sand found in Aladdin. The SV(R)s of course, approached with something on tow. The sight of a UST on the hook with its diffs engaged and a 12-wheel train powered through the soft sand was something to behold; admired by the many holders of shovels in the area.

The A Sqn Fitter Section enjoying the show along with the locals A C17 giving birth to an SV(R) EOD team being rescued from their dip in the River Niger Pulling out an UST SV(R) flying through the desert to rescue the EOD

A new lease of life for the SV(R)

A new SV(R) arrived in theatre and was immediately struck down with a coolant leak in the radiator; in keeping with the rest of the Op NEWCOMBE SV(R) fleet. It was not all bad however, the new SV(R) alerted us to the fact that neither of the incumbent SV(R) had the topspin air filtration mod, explaining why air starvation had destroyed turbochargers, air filters and air compressors. With their new lungs, towing became easier; useful as the same vehicles invariably filled the hooks. Local nationals also proved their worth when the EOD team decided their Mastiff could maybe be better utilised as a submarine. The perilously close call with the River Niger necessitated the winch, and the locals –perhaps seeing the EOD team stood around – decided to get amongst pulling the rope out. Hopefully those in attendance managed to learn something.

Preparation for ROTO 4

Work now starts in earnest for handover to ROTO 4. From rebirthing almost every piece of L&RE to the continual improvement of the SV(R)s work continues for the LRRG Recovery Section. One last Op awaits before I depart, morale high, safe in the knowledge that no-one in the trade has used a Multi-function Control Box as much as me in the last six months.

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The two SV(R)s returning to the Leaguer Two proud Reccy Mechs and their VM vehicle commanders “You can’t park that there mate!” SV(R) to the rescue SV(R)s in the wild The NH90 medevac bringing some spares to get the CALM off the hook

Exercise Road to CABRIT with 1 R Welsh Battlegroup – The Best Battlegroup in the Army!

OC LAD: Capt Cox ASM: WO1 Townsend


to the Welsh Warriors on the 4th January to start my EMELt attachment, I spent my first morning meeting the personalities of the LAD and organising the paperwork, heavy admin to get into Germany. Early the next morning, we were on a coach bound to Normandy Barracks, Sennelager. Then the next six weeks saw my knowledge and experience of a first line unit increase exponentially.

Previously being a Recovery and Metalsmith Pl Comd, my knowledge of the other CEGs within the REME land environment was limited. Largely colocated with HQ Fitter Section, my horizons were broadened and gained a fair understanding of most trades within the REME.

Having gone through the theory of an Equipment Collection Point (ECP) during my Phase 2 training; being able to deploy, manage and maintain an ECP during the live and blank fire phases allowed me to gain the practical applications of the echelons of ES, and with such a great team as well.

Then with the escalation of Russia’s movements and the news that the BG was surging forward to Estonia on Op IRON SURGE, little time

was given to REHAB the vehicles prior to most of them being sent forward. After a short respite back in the UK, in a blink of an eye, we were all in Estonia, finding ourselves trying to analyse the situation of having platforms collated from different places with the first Integration Exercise in sight. Navigating our way through the spares system as well as the snow, the teams dug in and the Battlegroup met the start standard.


8AES Fitter Section

LCpl Graham

Ex TALLINN DAWN is a Pre-Deployment Battle Group (BG) Ex held in Sennelager, which is broken down into Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT), Combined Arms Live Firing Exercise (CALFEX) and FTX. Each phase starts with a BCS / SubUnit level training and progresses up to BG level.

After arrival in Germany on Ex TALLINN DAWN, I tested positive for COVID-19 so I spent the first 10 days in isolation. Being released from isolation, the following two weeks were extremely busy trying to get a full Armoured Engineer Squadron fleet into a deployable state. Due to limitations of Suitably

Battlegroup Photo The ELSO (SSgt Mahoney) taking a quick nap during the long nights on Exercise

Qualified and Experienced Personnel (SQEP) held within Land Training Fleet (Sennelager) (LTF(S)), we had limited support to work on our T3 assets. As usual, with some REME magic dust we somehow got the fleet ready to roll out of the gate and as usual as soon as they started moving, two vehicles failed to make it out of the back gate!

After deploying the assets, we settled into the Exercise which comprised of 3 phases SU training, CALFEX and FTX of which I was part of the CRARRV crew, which being a BG asset was busy. Not only did we find ourselves looking after the TITANs and TROJANs but due to the bad ground and inexperienced crews, we found ourselves dealing with a lot of thrown tracks from BULLDOGs. We even came close to throwing a track on the CRARRV but somehow managed to wrestle it back on within 15 minutes which impressed the BG as they assumed it was a serial, due to the speed it was finished!

After Op IRON SURGE was called, we were called off the area early and our last week of Exercise was spent conducting a REHAB on the platforms ready for onward travel to Estonia. This included a couple of late nights, especially one which was spent trying to repair a TITAN ready for the final mission. The job was challenging and everything that could go wrong did although we did manage to win an ice cream off the ESLO from a side bet, that he lost.

Although due to COVID-19 limitations in place over the Exercise, all in all, the team in Germany worked hard and we gained a lot of experience, during my time in Germany I started to realise I was part of the best Battlegroup in the Army.


B (Rorke’s Drift) Coy Fitter

Members of B (Rorke’s Drift) Coy Fitter Section were deployed at short notice from Ex TALLINN DAWN on Op IRON SURGE, a NATO Operation to redeploy personnel and equipment from 1 R Welsh BG attending Ex TALLINN DAWN to Estonia, providing an uplift of an additional Armoured BG from across 3(UK) Div and Stored Equipment Fleet (Germany) (SEF(G)).

Sgt Andy Goodwin, Cpl ‘Bish’ Bishop and LCpl ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald…

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Ajax Sqn Fitter Section representing the BG at the start line Op IRON SURGE team (left to right, LCpl Fitzgerald, Cpl Bishop & Sgt Goodwin) before the road move’

Using the Danish Recovery Vehicle

were lucky volunteers and they set off on a 10-day road move from Sennelager. The convoy included CR2, WR, Artillery and Engineer equipment which passed through NATO allied countries including Poland, Lithuania, and Latvia before finally arriving at Tapa Camp in Estonia.

Arriving into theatre before most of the BG, these three were in place to set the conditions for the arrival of the Company and the arrival of the RORO, which included the remainder of the uplifted equipment.

Fast forward 10 days, with the Fitter Section and Company complete in theatre, with a fleet of 19 armoured vehicles that had been received from several different locations. In an unknown state, this is where the best Fitter Section in the best LAD then came to the fore; inspecting, diagnosing, and remedying faults where possible, we very quickly identified the burden and the ES Mat required.

Overall, Op IRON SURGE has had its limitations and several lessons were learnt; especially with this being the first time, as an organisation in a number of years, that we’ve deployed so much armour at such short notice. However, there were many successes and I think, overall, the BG and indeed B (Rorke’s Drift) Coy Fitter Section can be hugely proud of their achievements.

Bulldog Monopods

D (FSp) Coy Fitter Section

Cfn Fleming

During Ex GOTHIC DRAGON the Bulldog mortar monopods were found to be in need of inspection due to a Safety Notices via Email

Capt Forster digging out his Panther during a CPX (with Lt Ramsey overlooking) 1 RW LAD members keenly awaiting the start of the march Cfn Gardiner receiving a CO’s coin for his efforts since arriving to the unit

(SNvE). They had not been inspected or fired from a mounted platform in years and were deemed unsafe to use. The LTF(S) Workshop undertook the task of inspecting the monopods, where they quickly realised this was an impossible task with the current SQEP and more importantly the test equipment.

A one metre long Vernier calliper was required to take measurements. These measurements were not known as that data could not be found, only the tolerances were detailed. LTF(S) demanded new monopods so that the ones fitted could be Level 4 assured. New replacement monopods were quickly sent out to be used ready for Ex TALLINN DAWN. When they arrived and were examined, they were found to also be in an unserviceable state. Then Op IRON SURGE became the immediate priority, and the Mortar Bulldogs were quickly dispatched to the Port to sail to Estonia.

New Monopods quickly arrived in theatre, and these were inspected and found to be at the correct standard for implementation. Cpl Rai (D Coy 1R Welsh) and Cpl Bufton (3 REME) set to the task of swapping the tired old monopods to the shiny new ones. A team of Armourers from both 1 R Welsh and 3 REME completed this work well ahead of schedule. It was originally forecasted to take 6 days, they completed the task in 3. Proving that level 2 and 3 can work in unison as an effective team.

Once fitted the Enhance Forward Presence (Estonina) (eFP(E)) ISTAR Gp Mortar lines became the only Armoured Mortar line in the British Army that can fire and are due to drop their first mortars on Ex DRAGON THUNDER Jun 22.


HQ Fitters

Ex BOLD DRAGON was the first opportunity for the R Welsh BG to work with the other nations deployed, during the interoperability exercise. As you can imagine, there were lots of very interesting jobs for the Recovery Mechanics of the BG, while Drivers and Commanders alike get to grips with the unforgiving terrain of the Estonian training area. Snow hides a lot of hidden dangers, and no one was safe from being bogged in, including the EME and CO. Ironically the EME was the first recovery task of OP CABRIT 10.

HQ Coy Recovery Mechanics had the opportunity to work with one of the Danish recovery assets, who accompanied us on several jobs. This was a very eye-opening experience for us, being able to see the differences in capabilities, kit and equipment used and their methods of recovery. Along with swapping rations which I’m certain worked out better in our favour.

Along with the Danish, SSgt Smith (1 R Welsh BG WORM) has organised an interoperability camp over the course of a couple days across all four nations based with us here at eFP(E) (French, Danish, Estonian and British). This will be an intriguing and exclusive opportunity to see other nation’s differences and similarities to our own recovery assets and the capability of cross nation recovery on some of their vehicles.

Ajax Sqn

SSgt James Cooper

The Estonian Armed Forces, Scouts Battalion, conducts an annual event known as the Scouts March 30. This is, as the name suggests, an event where the many participants carry out a weighted march over 30km around the Central Training Area (CTA), well known by anyone who has served on a CABRIT Operation. There are two “uniforms” of

how one dresses/equips themselves for the race. Uniform 1: 10Kg day sack carrying rife, and, uniform 2: 15kg daysack no rifle. The event is a big one for the Estonian military and most of all the Scouts Battalion. The Scouts March 30 is a big event.

Participants are welcomed from all three services of the Estonian Armed Forces, from the Estonian Emergency services, Civilian service and of course from the eFP(E) BGs. 1200 people took part in this year’s Scouts March 30 which took place on the 1st of April 2022. 1 R Welsh BG took part in the event with Fitter Sections (FS) competing as teams. AJAX SQN FS, put forward a team of six competitors, all in uniform 2. The team was made up of a good spectrum of abilities with ranks ranging from the Tiffy down to the junior Cfn and all ranks in between.

The Estonian winter has been a cold one and there is still plenty of ice and snow on the ground with the morning temperature at -10C. But the sky was blue and soon the sun came out as the competitors got ready to set off. The more experienced members of AJAX FS knew how to pace themselves and knew their limits. The younger tradesmen were keen to start the race to prove to themselves mostly that they can do it and everyone has in their heads a time they would like to achieve. The record for this event in Uniform 1 and 2 is approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes. The Section though not aiming so high were hoping to do well.

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Scoutsrännak 22
Danish and UK recovery discussing each other’s platforms during EX BOLD DRAGON Capt Forster receiving his leaving gift from the LAD

Once the race started it was carnage as 1200 people tried to all leave the camp as fast as they could and with snow flanking the road it was hard to overtake if you wanted to try and run ahead. The terrain was typical to most training areas, dirt and gravel tracks. The difference here was that the ground was rock solid from the cold with thick ice patches in places and as the miles racked up the terrain got snowier and icier.

Once the race was complete, there was relief and the Estonian Scouts Battalion members welcomed you back into camp and prizes were given for those who made it in certain times/categories. They weighed your daysack, gave you a reflector and a certificate that you had completed the race. Anyone under 4 hours got a medal and anyone in the top 100 got a Scouts March 30 T-Shirt. The FS did very well. Sgt Baker was the fastest REME Soldier, at a time of 3 hours and 17 minutes. As well as that, several members of the FS who had never done anything of this nature before did better than they thought possible. Overall, the event was hard but did well to raise morale and confidence in people’s abilities and fitness. It was great to see REME soldiers pushing themselves to achieve great things; it is apparent that 1 Royal Welsh BG is the best BG in the Army, this is due to tradesmen and women who work tirelessly, pushing themselves and achieving great things at trade and personally.

Recognising Excellence

EMELt – Lt Ramsay

Throughout the last six months, every soldier has pushed themselves personally and professionally. With the teams regularly changing through the trawls, the R WELSH has been a great facilitator for experience, especially for our junior soldiers.

During April, the BG got to recognise the hard work that some of the soldiers have put in, varying from a couple of different coloured berets, from Cfn Johnson (1 Regt RLC LAD) who joined us from the start of Ex TALLINN DAWN and will continue until the end of Op CABRIT 10, to Cfn Gardiner, arriving from 2 PARA LAD at the start of January to expand his knowledge on Armoured Platforms.

CO awarding Cfn Johnson for his high performance through EX TALLINN DAWN

REME 2023 CALENDAR We need YOUR photographs! 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 SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 01 OCTOBER 2022 £250 PRIZE FOR BEST SHOTS

The search for the missing Major Award Boards


2012 and 2015, I followed the progress of the Arborfield Old Boys Association (AOBA) committee in their search for the missing Award Boards, dating back to 1939, listing the names of Apprentice Tradesmen (AT) awarded the following awards;

• The Award of Honour/The Commandant’s Cup

• The Chief Instructor’s Cup/The Commandant’s Special Award

In January 2015, I approached the committee and asked, as a non-committee member, if I could continue the search on their behalf. They wished me well. These boards were originally located between the two exit doors at the top of the sloping floor in the main camp hall/gym Rowcroft. Each name inscribed in gold leaf on a black background. When the Army Apprentices College (AAC) moved from Rowcroft to Princess Marina College (PMC) in Hazebrouck in 1981, the boards were relocated to the side walls of PMC camp hall/gym; close to the later slide in name tablet version fixed to the stage wall.

All boards remained there until 1995 when the College relocated again back to Rowcroft as the AAC. It has been reported in the past, that the boards were

The original Award Boards

moved from PMC to RAOC Depot, Bramley Camp along with other items for storage. I now know the boards were last seen, by the then AT RSM, behind gym equipment, in a storeroom, off the main hall floor area. When asked, the incumbent Commandant 1995/96, Lt Col R Mount informed the AT RSM that he intended to get them back on display after the relocation. There are no confirmed sightings since.

I have been able to contact all the Commandants and Commanders between 1991 and 2003 except Lt Col R Mount. I managed, sometime ago now, to get my contacts details and reasons to Lt Col R Mount, via a third party, but have not received a reply. In 2020 I was joined in the search by Rob Castell and in addition to many other establishments, we have contacted AMOT (Army Museums Ogilby Trust) members asking if they have any of the boards. Their replies have all been negative. Yes, there are Award Boards in our own REME museum in Lyneham, but we are told these are the replacement ‘slide in tablet’ versions. Now the BIG QUESTION is: Does anyone out there recall seeing these boards after the relocation from PMC to the new ‘AAC’ in 1995? Please contact Alan and Rob on if you have any information.

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The Award boards can be seen at the far end of the Rowcroft gym hall The Award Boards as seen in the gym
People’s Stories

IRON HORSE EUROPE, 26 February – 13 March 2022


In February 2022, tradesmen from 128 Div Sp Coy augmented by others from 103 Bn REME, an Army Reserve Battalion deployed to the Land Regional Hub in Germany in support of Exercise IRON KRANE, to prepare the Stored Equipment Fleet (Germany) (SEF(G)) for current and future operations.

Historically, Exercise IRON HORSE was a winter repair deployment to BATUS in Canada, which saw the repair of the vehicle fleet in support of the summer Battle Group exercises. With the revised direction of the Integrated Review and Future Soldier, focus has now shifted towards operational support and enhancing readiness for Op CABRIT, the NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group and Multinational exercises such as Ex DEFENDER EUROPE 22.


128 Divisional Support Company, 103 Bn REME support to SEF(G) alongside 6 CS Bn REME in Monchengladbach, Germany. Scribes: OC: Major Abi Brown. 2IC: Captain Luke Gallantree Cpl Bailey (Babcock Instructor) hard at work

deployed at relatively short notice for Army Reservists as a proof of concept. It was to see Army Reserve Tradesmen integrated with their Regular counterparts to conduct a specified task; to repair and rehabilitate equipment in order to enable the required equipment to be at the required start state for Exercise DEFENDER EUROPE 22.

With formal confirmation of the requirement only 12 working weeks prior to deployment, the estimate and planning time was very limited, and employers were persuaded to let their employees deploy at short notice. As seen with any planning effort in the recent years, COVID 19 was a significant factor with the deployment, and as a result, the total deployed number was 30 including an HQ element with a target 1,100 productive hours to be completed.


Exercise IHE saw the deployment of Vehicle Mechanics, Armourers, Recovery Mechanics, TSS, a Chef and HQ element. This enabled the deployed elements of the Coy to provide a self-contained Useable, Credible and Deployable force; which could prepare and rehabilitate the operational fleet.

The VM team focussed on delivering production on the B vehicle fleet and Armourers on the mounted weapon systems on CVR(T) and WR. The total number of JAMES completed hours was 1,138.75, exceeding the initial target.

Training Value

In addition to meeting production targets, trade training was

conducted for all CEGs wherever possible to improve the capability of the Army Reserve soldiers. The Land Regional Hub (SEF (Germany)) was a fantastic environment for training, providing a diverse range of jobs on different platforms, immersed in a busy workshop for a period of two weeks (a typical annual deployment duration for the Army Reserve) exposed to equipment and faults that Army Reserve units struggle to get hold of in the UK.

The deployment enabled the completion of 86 Training

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A change is as good as a rest for LCpl Wright (Operational Support Manager of a tree surgery company) Vehicle mechanics from across the Battalion working together Cfn Shah (Lockheed Martin) working on her Class 3-2

Objective sign offs for Class 3-2 tradesmen and MEI Inspector refresher training.


During the course of the exercise the Coy received a number of high-profile visitors including amongst others the Deputy Commander Field Army, GOC 3(UK) Division, Commander 101 Logistics Brigade and our Battalion Honorary Colonel Maj Gen (Retd) Bill O’Leary. As a proof of concept, the visitors were there to observe the impact and the capability that the Army Reserve can offer and there was also the valuable opportunity for the tradesmen to provide feedback to the visitors. The visits also offered the chance for the presentation of various awards; including a Commander Field Army Commendation to Sgt Sorrell for his work on Foxhound within 16 Air Assault Brigade, and a Long Service and Good Conduct medal to SSgt Cadman. Army Media also conducted a number of interviews which have subsequently been published on Forces News, BFBS Radio and British Army social media.

Cultural Activity

As part of the deployment, there was an opportunity to visit Düsseldorf and other areas of Germany to experience some of the culture and cuisine of the country. Our thanks must go to Mr Jim Craigen, from SEF(G), who provided an exceptionally enjoyable and informative tour of the city of Dusseldorf… we have already requested his expertise for our next visit!

Ex IHE was an outstanding and unique opportunity for Army Reservists; exceeding productivity output expectations, whilst also gaining immense training and experience. Integrating successfully with both SEF(G) and the Regular Force of 6 Bn REME who could not have been more accommodating and undoubtedly assisted in proving the concept of the Army Reserve as a Useable, Credible and Deployable force.

It bodes well for an exciting future as we now look ahead to growing the Battalion strength following revisions to the

structure of the Battalion as a part of the Integrated Review. The Commanding Officer, Lt Col Dave Haslam commented that “I am always amazed at the work rate and dedication that my Army Reserve soldiers and officers give on Battalion deployments (away from their day jobs), and this key deployment as the first REME Army Reserve unit into a Land Regional Hub is no exception – they knocked it out of the park!”.

Sgt Sorrell receiving his CFA Commendation from DCFA The Team enjoying some of the local German culture

REME Engineering Awards 2022

TheREME Engineering Awards ceremony was held in the Princess Marina Officers’ Mess, MoD Lyneham, on Wednesday 15th June 2022. This event developed from a desire to formally celebrate the Corps’ engineering and professional achievements. The first awards ceremony was held in April 2019 and since then awards were announced on social media during the Covid restrictions; so, we were thrilled to be back (stronger). A huge thank you to Babcock International who kindly sponsored the lunch as well as providing prizes for the REME Apprentice and Apprentice Champion awards, the award sponsors for their prizes and continued support, and also to the Mess staff at Lyneham for hosting the event so superbly.

Apprentice of the Year*:

LCpl Allely, 29 Regt RLC.

‘As the lead for engineering standards within 29 Regt RLC, LCpl Allely has simply been outstanding’ {quote from QMT/MTO}. LCpl Allely is a shining light who embodies all the best qualities that we strive to see in an Apprentice and Engineer. She has challenged the status quo within the Regt, and with confidence and authority she has argued her case backed-up with sound engineering insight. She has learned well, she studies hard, completing all assignments on time and to a high standard, and ‘was an absolute pleasure to work with’ {quote from her Vocational Learning Advisor}

She has made the most of opportunities on deployments to Canada and the Falklands, gaining experience on armour and wheeled vehicles and learning to repair-by-repair in austere environments. Mentored by a fantastic SNCO, she completed her Class 3 to 2 ahead of schedule and deservedly has been selected eight months early for her Class 1 course.

What stands out is Allely’s selfless commitment. She enthusiastically gives Equipment Care advice to members of the Regt to improve their understanding; which is always done with civility. She eagerly volunteered to be part of the Regt’s outreach team, engaging with local school children and Cadets, and furthermore became an Army STEM Ambassador, delivering talks on the benefits of apprenticeships within the Armed Forces.

Earlier this year (March) LCpl Allely won the Army Advanced Apprentice of the Year which is a huge testament to her, her mentors and our apprentice scheme. She is a perfect example of the very best of what the REME apprenticeship produces; a critical thinking,

knowledgeable and committed Engineer that the Army needs in a competitive age.

*Note: the following two apprentice awards winners were announced in late 2021 to meet the entry deadline for Army Apprentice awards.

Apprentice Champion of the Year* Cpl Hancock, 2 Signal Regt.

Cpl Hancock has demonstrated tremendous drive to improve apprenticeship delivery in the LAD, alongside his normal duties and while recovering from a significant injury. Cpl Hancock used his great initiative and communication skills to act as a liaison between Apprentices and Babcock Assessors, inspiring tradesmen to progress and holding them to account for output. He established trust with the Babcock learning advisers, giving them confidence in the evidence the Apprentices submitted and in return giving the Apprentices the confidence that they would receive an honest assessment. His personal effort and his model have been praised by the learning advisers as standout.

Cpl Hancock has left his legacy; he has formalised the process in LAD policy, giving clear roles, target dates and standards for the Apprentices, and a formal role for himself so he too could be held to account.

“His personal motivation and the support he offers to others is of the highest standard and he has undoubtedly gone the extra mile for a qualification process that he truly believes in” {quote OC LAD}.

Gardiner Trophy for the best Reserve Battalion

103 Force Support Battalion REME.

An outstanding year across an array of activity for 103 Bn in 2021. They have met their @Readiness obligations including Fitter Section support to affiliated units (i.e., first-line ES to the Army Reserve), provided capability to bolster 101 Log Bde, and deployed to the Land Regional Hub in Germany to rehabilitate fleets. They have integrated with Regular units frequently, supporting HCR and MAB, supplementing Regular REME Bns, and they received a CFA commendation for their contribution to 16 Bde.

Through intelligent planning, 103 Bn have increased training attendance and are focussed on high maintenance output,

LCpl Allely being presented with the award by Phil Bwye from Babcock Cpl Hancock being presented with the award by Mike Pringle from Babcock
Corps News

exemplified on Ex IRON VIPER and reinforced by a LWC assurance team who highlighted numerous instances of best practice in the training regime. A positive TECHEVAL and an outstanding LEA demonstrates their professionalism.

Amidst a challenging time for retention, the Bn fought hard to keep its amazing volunteer citizens engaged. The Bn has successful Nordic skiing and operational shooting teams (members selected to represent the Army Reserve in the USA), it was the only REME team at the CAMBRIAN PATROL, and provided numerous opportunities for fitness, sports and AT.

103 Bn are ambassadors for the Army in the community, reaching out to Cadets, Scouts, employers and the populations surrounding their 9 sub-unit locations across the South and East of the UK. Their recruitment is strong and there has been a marked improvement in Officer inflow; owing to a comprehensive and vibrant training system run by a team that adapted quickly to the demand for virtual training.

The Blackford Trophy for the best Reserve Sub-Unit 133 Recovery Company REME.

133 Rec Coy have embodied the work-hard, play-hard spirit that was intended when this award was donated by Colonel Blackford. Set against the ever-changing landscape of COVID, 133 Coy excelled in seeking innovative and novel training approaches to achieve objectives and keep people engaged. 133 Rec Coy was assigned the battalion Main Effort and deployed on Ex IRON VIPER, and this commitment shaped the training requirements both individually and collectively. They developed their own series of trade development weekends which has grown their capability. The

magnitude of 133 Coy’s success was applauded by GOC 3 (UK) Div who cited the ‘best practice of how to integrate and affiliate Reserves’.

133 Coy have been exploiting many opportunities to reach out and influence. They entered the CAMBRIAN PATROL, represented REME at the London Lord Mayor’s Show, have engaged with children and Veterans in their local area and won their own battalion CO’s trophy competition. All of this was accomplished with the selfless commitment, drive and professionalism of 133 Coy’s Regular and Reserve personnel.

The Society of Operations Engineers award for the best Junior Soldier (Cfn – Cpl):

3rd – Name Withheld

2nd – Cpl Brown, QDG

1st – Cpl Walker, 1 R IRISH

Cpl Walker has had a superb year. He has contributed to the unit’s Training Level FOXTROT validation, supported the maintenance of the VJTF readiness vehicle fleet, and deployed to Zambia on a counter-poaching Short-Term Training Team.

Utterly dependable, he has delivered at every turn. He acted as the Fitter Section lead in the absence of a SNCO, demonstrating impressive leadership and enviable capacity. His OC on Op CORDED referred to him as “the best JNCO that he has ever worked with from any cap badge including his own” [Royal Irish]. His versatility was underlined during his deployment to Zambia where he was required to maintain a composite vehicle fleet under austere working conditions, nursing it over the most challenging terrain; all the while instructing Zambian’s on basic vehicle maintenance.

Cpl Walker’s quest for innovation has been hugely positive for REME. He contributed to a tooling study in an attempt to enhance VM effectiveness and the LAD trialled his novel solutions on exercise. Whilst in Zambia, he installed (and subsequently maintained) a solar electrical power system to a local school, managed all power for the Zambian Counter-Poaching Operators camp and maintained the local water pump whilst training the LECs to maintain their own equipment and infrastructure. He has also produced a High Mobility Tactical Vehicle (HMTV) maintenance handbook that acts as a guide for any VMs that haven’t been trained on the equipment; it is full of useful tips and failure diagnosis recommendations.

Cpl Walker puts his heart and soul into everything, he is capable, inventive and selfless, but humble with it.

Cpl Walker is deployed on Op DETELINA so Col REME spoke to him on a video call just prior to the ceremony, joined by his LAD colleagues who dialled in from Op NEWCOMBE.

The Institute of Mechanical Engineers award for the best Senior Soldier (SNCO – WO):

3rd – WO2 Mackenzie, 1RRF

2nd – WO1 (ASM) McGlone, nominated for his outstanding contribution to 1 R IRISH as a WO2.

1st – WO1 (ASM) Crampton, HQ 4 Bde

ASM Crampton is a human dynamo, bringing passion and energy to everything he touches. His engineering influence and contributions in the past year have been unique, ranging from providing crucial maintenance support on ops at first line, through to offering Brigade-level equipment advice and oversight to units on exercise overseas. He was instrumental in the generation and preparation of the operational fleet for Op NEWCOMBE; it cannot be understated the magnitude of the task to transforming the unit HMTV fleet up to theatre entry standard. His role in Oman required political strategic understanding and sensitivity, which he delivered impeccably.

ASM Crampton has proactively engaged with staff in Div, Army HQ, DE&S and industry, and can be relied upon to reduce highly complicated issues down to simple and logical explanations; comprehensible even to the layperson. He is regarded as a highly

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Col Phillips, RHQ REME presenting the award to Maj Nicholls, OC 133 Coy Col Phillips, RHQ REME presenting the award to Lt Col Haslam, CO 103 Bn

knowledgeable and professional Engineer; whose insights are always ‘on point’. Within the Bde ASM Crampton is the driving force for professional standards and he has championed innovation, building a network with industry and representing the Bde at the 1 Div innovation Expo.

Best Officer (2Lt – Maj):

3rd – 2Lt Tomlin, 4 Bn REME

– Capt Docherty,

Capt Walker,

Regt RA

The Institution of Engineering and Technology award for the best First Line Unit:

3rd – 1 AAC Wksp



Regt RA

Capt Walker was responsible for preparing and delivering ES to the Long Range Reconnaissance Group on its second rotation on Op NEWCOMBE. The ES demands were extreme in the immature operational theatre, with a harsh environment, a high op tempo, and at the end of a fragile supply chain. This required Capt Walker to be innovative from the outset and adept at solving problems. On Ops and during mission rehearsal training he achieved unprecedented equipment availability by making intelligent adjustments to engineering processes.

To make his improvements stick, Capt Walker communicated with purpose within his regiment and he gelled the contributing units in the pre-deployment phase. On Ops he developed inter-operability with other nation partners which proved vital on occasions. He has considerable sway and influence, and is able to get people on board.

Capt Walker pursues continuous improvement with vigour, leading his regiment towards better EC, increasing the professionalism within the LAD, developing his soldiers and championing engineering. He is an ambassador for the Corps, having presented well to the North Yorkshire branch of the IMechE.

“I have been witness to the sheer brilliance of the LAD’s innovation and positive drive for improvement this year” {quote CO 32 Regt RA}.

32 Regt RA operate the Army’s Remote Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) and the LAD’s strength is the employment of all 8 REME CEGs. The LAD supported Op CABRIT and Op NEWCOMBE with deployed tradesmen and it has consistently provided 100% aircraft availability in order to meet all missions and sorties.

As innovators in a fast-paced technology, the LAD paved the way for wider Army successes, trialling new equipment and exciting ways of working that will reap benefit across Defence for years to come. They have led a SMARTbase project as a testbed for all LADs and have listened to the soldiers whose ideas are enhancing safety, security, and maximising equipment availability by challenging inefficient systems and processes; including improvements in scheduling, logistic management, and accessibility of data. Continuous improvement is at the beating heart of their fantastic efforts and strategically woven into their intent; not just in efficiency and production terms but also betterment in their morale, sense of purpose and abundant pride. They have designed bespoke repairs to aircraft, reducing cost and increasing availability. The LAD have been fiercely professional, whether it be on Operations, supporting predeployment training, external audits or sporting events, the LAD have underpinned every Regimental success. Furthermore, the LAD are blessed with several Corps and Army level sports players, all of whom are thoroughly supported to attend and have contributed to wider triumphs.

Worshipful Company of Turners trophy for the best Battalion:

3rd – 4 Bn REME

2nd – 6 Bn REME

1st – 2 Bn REME

2 Bn has successfully delivered ES on operations and exercises during a demanding 2021. At its peak, deployments and tasks had 85% of the Battalion deployed either on Military Aid to the Civil Community tasks across the UK, supporting major exercises as part of a CSS Gp, or with individual augmentees supporting Op NEWCOMBE.

The Battalion has fully embraced innovation in the past year; it runs a 3-D printing capability and an FRT module in development as

Jill Dwyer from IMechE presenting the award to WO1 (ASM) Crampton Jo Rayson from Babcock and Capt Docherty, OC 32 Regt RA LAD Tom Newman from Babcock presenting a trophy to Capt Walker
1st –
– 32

ES including a business case to purchase an electric vehicle to reduce the carbon footprint of a stores supply loop.

2 Bn was once again recognised as the Army Benevolent Fund leading supporter in Scotland, retaining the Famous Grouse trophy for the fourth consecutive year for their fund-raising efforts. They continue to build relationships with the Veteran community through the CO’s role as President of the REME Association Scotland and the Bn ASM as the Golf Secretary.

In a year dominated by COVID and a busy programme, 2 Bn has demonstrated flexibility, resolution, and commitment to its people and mission. They have repeatedly delivered more than asked which has only been possible due to team spirit, individual sacrifice and through the empowerment of juniors.

MBDA Engineering Team award:

3rd – ECM Platoon, 5 Bn REME

2nd – 10 Armd Coy in BFSAI (Falklands), 4 Bn REME

1st – TF ANVIL, generated by 6 Bn REMEpart of the Commander Field Army’s innovation fund. Designed and developed by junior soldiers, they are seeking alternative fuel and ‘silent’ power solutions for deployments in the field; they are finding alternative lighting solutions to replace the noisy and logistically cumbersome generators that run all night; and pursuing sustainable

6 Bn generated Task Force (TF) ANVIL to deliver IRON KRANE 3 which established the Lead Armoured Task Force Battlegroup equipment in Monchengladbach.

The scale and pace at which TF ANVIL delivered was breath-taking. Their team of over 200, drawn from across the Division has shown

flexibility, adaptivity and an ability to work under extreme pressure re-generating not only the future high readiness fleet, but also directly supporting increased training activity and provision of equipment to Ops. The coordination required to bring together the platforms from all over the world, align resource and plan their reconstitution, and then generate such momentum in such a broad and diverse team cannot be underestimated; nor can how easily they absorbed significant challenges and late changes, and turned them into positives.

Moreover, TF ANVIL have strived for constant improvement; exploiting JAMES, executing LEAN on the shop-floor, creating QR codes, and changing the working day, they have generated efficiencies as they have evolved by embracing innovation and with strong leadership.

Task Force ANVIL have delivered Army Readiness at a level not seen for decades, whilst bringing together the very best of elements of teamwork from a broad and diverse congregation.

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Matthew Gaved, the Master Turner with Lt Col Davis, CO 2 Bn Maj Ward, OC 13 Fd Coy being presented with the award by Richard Wray, MBDA Brig Prosser CBE addressing the attendees


– Making the Sparks Fly!


this issue we continue with our series about REME trades in the Archives, in which we focus on the trade of Metalsmith. Not only will we be able to have a look at what the REME Archives can tell us about the Metalsmith trade, but we will also be hearing about the service and experiences of a REME Metalsmith. The author made contact after reading the article about Armourers in the Archives. I therefore suggested that an article by him describing his experiences and service would make an excellent complementary article, which appears directly after this one.

The trades of Blacksmith, Sheet Metal Worker and Welder were part of REME since the formation of the Corps in October 1942. As a consequence of the re-organisation of the mechanical trade structure in REME, which took place on 1 July 1963, these three previous trades were phased out (amalgamated) into a new trade, namely that of Metalsmith. (Malcolm Heppolette’s article: History of REME Trade Changes since its Formation in 1942, 2011, p. 26).

The material in our Archives depicts the trades from the early days of the REME Blacksmith /Welders/Sheet Metal Workers to the current metalsmiths, in theatres and operations from the Second World War right through to more recent times, from LADs to static workshops.

An early reference to the trades can be seen in one of the REME War Reports we have in the archives, namely the History of REME in British North Africa and the Central Mediterranean Force, Part 1. The internal organisation chart of 693 Base Manufacturing Workshop, Fusaro, Italy, includes No 11 Sub-Workshop, which consisted of: Blacksmiths, Tinsmiths, Plating, Sheet Metal Worker and Machinery Repair Sections.

The report also describes an incident just after the initial landings at Salerno, Italy, in preparation for the crossing of the Volturno River. It was necessary to waterproof six Squadrons of tanks, but all

Internal Organisation of 693 Base Manufacturing Workshop (A: 1978:1652.267) Advanced Base Workshop, Blacksmiths’ Shop (A: 1960.0249.18) Advanced Base Workshop, Welding Shop (A: 1960.0249.19)
Base Workshop, Sheet Metal Working Shop (A: 1960.0249.22) Museum

waterproofing kits had been returned to North Africa. The countryside was therefore scoured for sheet metal and 10 Corps Troops Workshop, 22 and 23 Armoured Brigade Workshops, assisted by practically every Welder in the corps, proceeded to manufacture and fit air chutes, completing the task in four days.

Moving on to North West Europe, we have a photograph album which depicts the history of 22 Advanced Base Workshop, in Lot, Belgium, 1945, which includes photographs of their Blacksmith, welding and sheet metal working shops.

Unit group photographs in our archives include members of the metalworking trades. This one of a ‘Stick’ from 16 Airborne Workshop, BAOR (British Army of the Rhine), 1949, includes a Welder, Blacksmith, Gun Fitter, Vehicle Mechanics and Armourers.

Other representations of the REME metalworking trades in the field and on exercise show: a Blacksmith with a portable forge, 13 Infantry Workshops, Ipoh, Malaya (now Malaysia), c. 1950s; a Welder from 29 Infantry Brigade LAD, Korea, c.1952-1953 at work cutting steel plate

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on Exercise INITIAL KANTER (E: 07.0598.07) REME in Bosnia, the workshop at Koncar (E: 07.0413.14) 16 Airborne Workshop (A:1977.1514.218)
with portable forge, 13 Infantry Workshops (E: 06.0387.02)
cutting steel plate, Korea (E: 07.0416.06)

and 13th/18th Royal Hussars LAD, at work on Exercise INITIAL KANTER, December 1985.

Our photograph collections also depict REME in support of more recent operations as can be seen in the images below showing REME Equipment Support, UN forces, Bosnia 1994, as well as Op TELIC 2006-2007.

A Metalsmith from 15 Equipment Support Company Op TELIC 9, Oct 06 - May 07 at work (three photos)

The metalworking trades in static workshops, at home and abroad are also reflected in our archives.

The following image shows a Welder arc welding on the side of a Churchill turret, No 1 Workshop Group REME Chilwell, 1944,

A photograph of a sheet metal workshop at 22 Heavy Workshops, REME, British Army of the Rhine (BAOR), shows civilian employees working in the workshop in March 1949. The work was almost exclusively fourth echelon repairs, covering vehicles, arms, instruments and telecommunications equipment. The image indicates the scale of operations.

A composite photograph album, with the theme of ‘REME in the UK’ includes a photograph of a Ferret Scout Car on a cradle designed by Draughtsman to enable Welders to operate down hand on a flat surface in safety, 38 Central Workshop REME.

Workshops, REME, BAOR (A: 1960.0248.021) Metalsmith working on a Bulldog Armoured Personnel Carrier (E: 08.0014.056)REME in Bosnia, welding in the workshop (E: 07.0413.09) Close up of Metalsmith working on a repair (E: 08.0014.061)
working on ISO Container repair (E: 08.0014.062)

43 Command Workshop 1967, Aldershot (later 43 District Workshop, later ABRO (Army Base Repair Organisation) Workshop, Aldershot, shows staff from the Blacksmith / Welder Section at work, 1967 and in a later image, the Welders Section showing Land Rover chassis repair.

Our Archives include a wealth of material, both documentary and photographic, that represent other aspects of the trade, such as welding vehicles and equipments; training and technical manuals. The image below is of a booklet entitled Notes on Welding Technique for the use of Welders, Part II. The Repair of Armour Plate in the Field. The booklet was published by the War Office on 16 October 1943, issued by the Directorate of Mechanical Engineering, with the instruction that “this publication is to be held by each Welder”

The Museum holds many objects that represent the trades, such as: a Blacksmiths’ quenching tank and tongs, Welder’s gloves, goggles and welding sets and specially manufactured pieces which include the REME 75 Scotland Relay Torch. The Trades Gallery includes the Metalsmith trade, where you can see oxcy-acetylene welding equipment and trade test pieces made by Metalsmith Apprentices.

Also on display in the Remembrance Gallery is a Vigil Cross, created by REME Metalsmiths to commemorate those soldiers who died on active service during operations in Afghanistan.

We have not forgotten the Shipwrights, so we’ll see you later on in the series.

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 31 Welder, arc welding, Churchill Turret (A:2007.4868.13) 43 Command Workshop, Aldershot, Welders, 1967 (E: 09.0429.004)
Rover Chassis Repair (E: 09.0424.43)
on a cradle, 38 Central Workshop, REME (A: 1975.1316.324) Notes on welding technique (E: 02.0248.14)

Life as a Metalsmith in REME

REME in 1963. Initially I started a Reccy Mechs course but after driving a Scammel up and down the Devils Punchbowl and a 3-tonner round and round the Compass roundabout at Portsmouth it soon transpired that I was no driver! Years later, I rectified that by passing my test in Brunei.


Whilst considering my not too glittering future, I was asked if I fancied welding and the like. The outcome was that I started on the very first Metalsmith course on the 26th March 1964. The new trade was made up of 3 main trades which would be phased out, namely, Welder, Sheet Metal Worker and Blacksmith. The course itself was daunting as it was almost a year long and covered all aspects of the aforementioned trades such as welding armour plating, all electric and gas welding on such diverse materials like mild steel, aluminum, brass and many more. We even attempted magnesium suitably surrounded with sandbags! Oxy Acetylene Gas cutting and soldering was also on the list. The final test included examples of most of these materials and equipment.

Pattern Development was covered amongst other skills under Sheet Metal work. Final tests included the manufacture of a funnel and small toolbox, both in tin plate with wired edges and soldered joints. A copper bowl was also on the list again with a wire edge. Blacksmith equipment included the traditional Forge and a Power Hammer. Final tests included making a cold chisel, a pair of Blacksmith’s tongs and a screwdriver amongst other items. All were tested to destruction or at least it seemed that way to me!

I passed out a Metalsmith B3 on the 3rd of February 1965. The trade was upgraded to A class in 1967 but was downgraded again to B class a couple of years later. The upper echelon who decided that had obviously never picked up a welding torch and had no idea of the skill required to manufacture items from scratch!

It is also interesting to note that when I finally left REME in the mid 70’s no Metalsmith could go higher than Corporal, there were no Sergeants!! I am glad to see that situation

Craftsman Warren on the welding bench Article from The Blue Beret
People’s Stories

has been rectified in recent years with the trade being recognized for the skills undoubtedly required.

My first posting was to the newly designated United Nations Forces In Cyprus (UNFICYP) Workshops in Cyprus made up of 58 Officers and men; our OC was Captain Reg Stripling. There were two of us in the Welding/Metalsmith Section, me, and Cpl Ted Baston who was predominantly a Welder. During our busy tour, the workshop was joined by 25 REME TAVR (Reservist) Vehicle Mechanics and Electricians from Liverpool who took over roles that were left vacant through the early rotation of Regular Craftsmen. There were a few unsavory incidents involving the Greek National Guard with shots fired but apart from this the tour, which was the UN Forces longest rotation up to then, went well.

The photo below was taken on Wednesday the 4th August 1965 as part of an article on the REME Workshop during a visit by ‘The Blue Beret’ magazine, which came out every two weeks and was distributed to all UN forces on the island. The caption reads ‘Craftsman Warren on the welding bench’.

After a brief period on the Bordon Permanent Staff and SEE where I worked on the frame of a full-size Dr Who ‘Dalek’ which was going to be used around the country for recruitment purposes, I was posted to 69 Station Workshops which was later designated Det. 9 (Borneo) Infantry Workshop.

The workshop area was cleared and covered in tank tracking so that 3 large tents could be erected. One for administration plus a sleeping area seen behind the unit sign, as we were required to have someone there 24/7, another was for the vehicles and the last one was the Metalsmith tent where I worked with a Malaysian Army Private.

During my time in Borneo I was introduced to one of the most distressing duties of the Metalsmith and of my personal service. One afternoon I was taken to one side by ASM Taylor who explained that

all service personnel who died in the Ulu (jungle) were taken to RAF Labuan to be soldered into their coffins before being repatriated to Singapore, and my first job was waiting for me.

The ASM and I proceeded to the RAF base with my gas welding equipment, soldering iron and solder. The ASM was both sympathetic and supportive but would not be assisting me as the job could take some time.

I was taken to the outer limits of the camp where there was a small brick building, measuring no more than 15 x 20 feet and I can’t remember there being any windows although they may have been shuttered because it had to be a secure area. In the middle of the room was a wooden coffin on trestles and inside that was a tinplate zinced coffin with a half inch lip all the way round, the lid was on the floor and there was someone in the coffin. I was young and somewhat apprehensive but I had to treat this person with respect and do my best for them.

Before I went in, I was made to drink 3 bottles of Tiger beer! I think this was to both fortify me and to combat the smell because we were in a very hot climate and because there was no air conditioning or refrigeration in those days. That smell never leaves you. I had to heat the soldering iron and then ‘tin’ the lip of the zinc dipped tin plate and then do the same to the lid. The lid was then placed on top and fused with the lip to create an airtight seal.

A few months later I was joined by another Metalsmith called Joe (Jock) Platt who was on the 4th Metalsmith course and from then on, we took it in turns. I saw Joe many years later when I was involved with the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) Medal presentations and he, at that time, lived in the Aberdeen area. ASM Taylor went back to Singapore later and we were all sad to learn that he had been killed in a road accident.

Many years later some of these memories together with

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Workshop tent in Borneo Metalsmiths tent in Borneo Another article from The Blue Beret

some from N.I. came back to bite me on the backside as I am sure it has for so many.

After the Confrontation, we no longer had any units to support the Workshop so we took up the tank tracking, pulled down the tents and decamped to Singapore. Two of us however did not go straight to Singers. The Reccy Mech, Vic Winslet and I were to take our Scammel down to the port and board a Port of London registered LCT which took us to Jesselton so that we could then travel inland to recover a 3 tonner which had crashed coming over from Tawau and had been left halfway up Kota Kinabalu. Having taken the vehicle in tow we went back to the LCT and spent a welcome 5-day cruise to Singapore, where after dropping both vehicles of at 40 Base Wksps, we joined the rest of the lads who were waiting for new postings mainly to the UK or BAOR. We were therefore probably the last operational troops to leave Borneo after the Confrontation.

A few days later I was asked if I would do a full 2 and a half year Far East tour. I asked where and was told Brunei, I thought for a millisecond and a few days later found myself at Bolkiah Camp with Det. 10 Inf. Wksps. in support of 1/2nd Gurkha Rifles and at times the Royal Brunei Regiment. There were only about 15 of us there and between work and trips up the Limbang river in the Wksps boat, an acceptable time was had by all. I supplied the brass shear pins for the outboard motors and when they sheared I was often over the side to fit a new one. We each had a room to ourselves which was great. There was also time to play rugby for Brunei Town, sometimes on the Padang and sometimes down at Seria playing the Shell Oil team followed by a social get together at the Panaga Club which was for the Shell Oil expats and their families.

Whilst in Brunei I fell into another task which somehow became the Metalsmiths responsibility. Because we had rooms to ourselves several guys kept dogs, the problem was that when they moved on nobody took on their pets so in order for them not to roam free and perhaps form packs they were shot. I remember on one occasion the dog played up and I almost put the shot through my hand!! I felt that dogs should not be kept because of the eventual outcome which was not pleasant for all concerned.

I am still in touch with several of those who served in Brunei such

as John King and Vic Wells, I also remember seeing an article in the Craftsman a few years ago by Pete Bottley who was our OBM expert.

Another episode of note for me personally was that I was sent on a Metalsmith course to 40 Base Wksps in Singapore to upgrade from B3 to B2 but as I was on the course with 3 others who were going from B2 to B1 and I came top I went straight to class 1.

After Brunei it was back to the UK and 24 Inf Brigade in Devon which was made up of 3 Commando Brigade, an RCT Squadron and a Field Ambulance unit. The 24th was the UKs Spearhead Brigade and on the morning of the 18th of August 1969 we found ourselves in Belfast. We were the second unit to go into Northern Ireland from mainland Britain. Billeted at Magilligan Point near Limavady, a camp of Nissan huts only half a mile from the Republic of Ireland by ferry! We, including REME soldiers, immediately took up infantry duties on the two-tiered Craigavon Bridge over the river Foyle in Londonderry. The unit did 4 days on and 3 off, rotating with the Queen’s Company Grenadier Guards. During that tour we often slept on the bank of the Foyle and used the public toilets for our ablutions. Towards the end of 1969 we had a photographer visit us from ‘The Craftsman’. He took a picture of a friend of mine called Cfn Gus Hawkes next to a small dog on the sanger at the Derry end of the bridge, I know because I was stood next to him but was not thought photogenic obviously! The photo made the front page of the Craftsman magazine!

That first tour was what was called the honeymoon period because we were welcomed and feted with cups of tea and sandwiches. My second tour was taken up by putting the fiberglass cladding on all the unit’s vehicles, someone thought that fiberglass would stop a bomb blast! On subsequent tours the cladding was discarded and because vehicles were often damaged by stones and rocks etc. it was a waste of time repairing their looks and as long as they were roadworthy they were used and I was largely redundant. Most of the time we found ourselves either on the streets or out riding shotgun whilst the VMs tested vehicles they had repaired. I was also in Palace Barracks on ‘Bloody Sunday’ and witnessed 1 Para’s departure and return on that fateful day in 1972.

After my military service I moved to Corby with a view to getting a job with the steel plant. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when the unions told me that my Army qualifications were not recognized in industry! I then looked further afield and travelled extensively throughout Africa and the Middle East. I was with Lonrho in Nigeria as the manager in charge of a specialist welding division visiting mainly oil companies advising on repair rather than replacing vital and costly equipment such a cast iron pumps and high tensile steel gear wheels/teeth and shafts.

Next, I spent some time living and working in Tavistock, Devon where I served on the Town Council and became the deputy and Town Mayor. I also served as a Special Constable with Devon and Cornwall Constabulary. Later I worked in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt so I am grateful that my REME training stood me in good stead.

Returning to the UK in 2000 we settled in Blackpool where I became heavily involved in local Veterans issues as well as being the Secretary/contact for the Lancashire REME Branch and the national roll out of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia Medal, but that’s another story.

Mike in Brunei in 1966 Vehicle workshop in Borneo The front cover from The Craftsman


SKI FOUNDATION 1 – Val Thorens France, 12 Regt RA Wksp

Scribe: LCpl Elliott Hoult (12 RA WKSP)

OnFriday 11th March a group of soldiers from 12th Regiment Royal Artillery Workshop Thorney Island, who had no prior skiing experience, deployed on Ex SNOW STORMER. SSgt Overland led the exercise as the skiing Instructor. With a wealth of experience and knowledge behind him he promised us by the end of the week we would all be able to ski confidently and would earn the Ski Foundation 1 (SF1) qualification. On the evening of Saturday 12th March, and after a long drive from Thorney Island, we arrived in the picturesque resort of Val Thorens. After some initial admin and getting sized up for our skis, we were all keen to get our heads down and recharge our batteries for our first day on the slopes.

Sunday morning, we were all up and raring to go, after breakfast we all met up in the ski room at 0900hrs ready to get stuck in. Firstly, we had

to get started with the very basics, such as getting the skis on! We were introduced to sliding and then the ploughing method; a technique which allows beginners to manoeuvre the slopes at a slow speed. As we were all beginners we started off on the green (very easy) routes. A nice steady gradient where SSgt Overland could deliver some key lessons and watch our individual techniques and give personal feedback. With everybody off to a good start, the next day we would move on to more challenging routes.

Monday saw us take our first ski lift up the piste which definitely unsettled a few members as they were looking down at some of the epic routes back to the bottom. Staying on a green route to begin with we started making our way down. However, the increase in steepness proved overwhelming for more than a few, Cfn Middleton and LCpl Teal found themselves on their bums more than their skis. Later that day I was having a blast thinking I was untouchable when I finally came unstuck and deployed the face anchor into the piste. A quick dusting off, some hurt pride and a chuckle we were back off again. Trying a few blue (easy) routes that day was challenging but we were all coming on quickly.

Day three on the slopes, we started off on the steepest blue route we had done so far, where after one run down SSgt Overland had the great idea of coming back down without our poles; which immediately struck fear into all of us. But there was method to his madness as it actually helped a lot of us improve. Other exercises he had us doing throughout the day proved to be extremely helpful. However, as the routes got steeper the more defensive some of the members skiing

Enjoying the views of Val Thorens resort Gnr Mckeown defeated by the net

became. LCpl McMaw and Gnr Mckeown had shown they could ski very well but as the gradient started to creep up, they began to go back into a plough, but with a few wise words from the Instructor they regained their confidence.

The next couple of days things got a bit trickier as we started exploring more of the mountain and the routes became more difficult. However, we began to consolidate more of what we had been taught as the majority of the teaching points were in the bag. This enabled us to focus on getting down confidently and only take on feedback when the Instructor felt it necessary. Members were progressing very quickly, Pte Gurung in particular, who at the start of the week was skiing very defensively became ever more assured and grew in selfconfidence. We spent a lot of our time at the bottom of the runs with the group watching Cfn Leckie doing a Seal slide most of the way down the piste; much to our amusement!

Sadly, the week was drawing to a close. It was amazing to see how far we had all come in such a short space of time. With the majority of us starting to confidently ski across the Val Thorens and Méribel routes. I did attempt a red (difficult) route with instructor SSgt Overland and Cpl Pickersgill; which I managed pretty well until the bottom where I caught an edge and ended up on my back! Everybody came away with the skiing bug and are all looking forward to doing it again as soon as the opportunity arrives.

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Cfn Middleton, Gnr Mckeown, LCpl Teal, SSgt Overland, LCpl McMaw, LCpl Hoult, Cfn Leckie, Pte Gurung, Cpl Pickersgill LCpl Hoult and LCpl McMaw Red Route

REME Stallions return to the ice

Aswith all sport, the last 2 years have been problematic to say the least. Ice Hockey being an indoor sport was one of the last to return to training due to COVID 19. Ice rinks all over the country melted their ice waiting for lockdown to end and the government direction to change. In 2019 the Stallions won the title of Army Champions, and the intent was to work the team hard in 2020 to keep the title. The team went nearly 19 months without being able to put a team on the ice.

At last, in September 2021we managed to take to the ice for a training camp in Cardiff. It was apparent the team was

Cardiff training camp

far from Hockey fit, day 1 of training was taken up with basic skating skills and trying to get the legs used to being back on the ice. Ice hockey as a sport uses muscle groups that aren’t worked often and, in a game, we essentially fartlek for 60 minutes; so high levels of fitness always make the sport easier. The training camp was shared with the RLC Chiefs and as is always the way with the RLC there was as much banter as there was Ice Hockey. In fact, after one night’s activities it was agreed that 2 players from each squad would have the opposing team’s logo tattooed on themselves if they lost the John Edwards cup game at the end of the Week (thanks to SSgt ‘Ads’ Tallet for that idea).

SSgt McLuskey being presented with Corps Colours SSgt Warden being presented with Corps Colours Corps Colours awarded to WO2 (AQMS) Gething
REME Sport

REME A Team at the Army Cup

Training session

The John Edwards Cup was awarded to the Stallions by its founding member Lt Col John Edwards in 2011 and is to be played annually against the REME STALLIONS and RLC CHIEFS. This trophy has been our nemesis for years and as a Corps team we have won the Army and Combined service trophies more than the JE Cup. True to form, and after a closely fought battle the RLC won the game 7-6.

Although the game didn’t go our way it was great to get the team back on the ice. It was also an opportunity for Lt Col John Edwards to award corps colours to SSgt “Jimmy” Warden and SSgt “Mac” McLuskey for services to REME Sport.

In November the REME A and B teams took to the ice in the Whittaker cup (Army Cup) competing against the other 8 Corps teams. The Stallions won the tournament in 2019 and due to COVID were the reigning Army Champions. It was all to play for, and the A team opened their tournament with a 3-0 win against the Allstars. The B Team starting their tournament against the dreaded RLC A team came away with a 71 loss. The second games saw the REME A team tie the Infantry 3-3 and the REME B team tie the Sappers 1-1. In the afternoon the A team hammered the RLC B team with a 9-1 win and the B team beat the R Signals 6-0. At the end of Day one the REME A team were top of their group with the REME B being 3rd in theirs, a great first day.

Day 2 saw the REME B team losing to the Allstars 0-2 and the REME A team being knocked out by the eventual winners of the tournament the RLC A in a tight game 2-1. It had been a great 2 days of Ice Hockey and although the result was unfortunate, it was amazing to have both teams back on the ice and competing. Results saw the REME A coming 3rd and the REME B coming 6th in the tournament. SSgt “Ads” Tallett was also given a presentation from the Army Ice Hockey association (AIHA) for services to Army Hockey.

The last game of the year is a friendly game between the REME Stallions and the 8 Trg Bn Dragons. The Dragons have come on loads in the last few years and as the main feed to the Corps team these games are a great opportunity to identify and grow young, and sometimes not so young

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Corps Colours awarded to WO2 (AQMS) Hannon SSgt Warden’s last ever game

talent. The event also offered the opportunity for the Chairman of REME Ice Hockey, Col Tim Gillies, to present Corps colours to WO2 (AQMS) Rich Gething and WO2 (AQMS) Marc Hannon.

The team is officially back on the ice and in a short period of time have managed some good results. I am hopeful for great things from the 2022 season. Most importantly the return of the Tri Service Competition (TSC). The TSC offers the opportunity for Corps teams from all 3 services to compete against each other over the period of a week. The Stallions have won this before and we are hopeful for this year. In the evenings of the tournament the Inter service games are played, the Army “BLADES” lost the trophy to the Navy in 2019 in a narrow defeat during a penalty shootout. These full contact games are competitive and a great watch.

The first couple months of 2022 did not exactly go to plan. Storm Eunice and Franklin ruined our February training camp by destroying part of Cardiff Ice Arena the day before we were supposed to arrive. The increased tempo of Op deployments has also massively affected our ability to get the team together. We have finally managed to get a training camp planned for May and I hope this goes well and prepares the team for TSC.

Ice Hockey is an incredible sport, both to watch and play. As I’m sure most of my fellow players will agree; it is addictive and for some, an obsession. The 8 Trg Bn Dragons and Stallions train at the Swindon Link Centre every Wednesday 13301430hrs. If anyone is in Lyneham for a course, or just fancies giving it a go please contact myself or one of the other committee members. I hope to have a great year of playing, and to bring home some trophies.


breather A & B Teams together
at the Army
If interested in playing Ice Hockey please contact: New Manager: SSgt James Prout New Assistant Manager: SSgt Adam Tallett Secretary: WO2 (AQMS) Gething
SSgt McLuskey helping out the guys WO2 (AQMS) Gething during training
Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 41 The REME Institution Dinner (Retired Officers) Friday 23rd September 2022 Princess Marina's 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 2022

British Army Reserve Operational Shooting Team – Ex FORTUNA 2022

Team members during the night shooting combat barricade

The31st annual Armed Forces Skill at Arms Meeting (AFSAM) rifle and pistol competition, was hosted by the US National Guard at their Marksmanship Training Centre at Camp Joseph T Robinson from 24 Mar to 2 Apr 22. This AFSAM was attended by the British Army Reserve Operational Shooting Team (BAROST), seeing the team competing against the top shooters from the U.S. National Guard All Guard Team, U.S. Army Reserve, and the Netherlands Armed Forces.

The BAROST is selected from the highest placed individuals in the Army Reserve 50 during Army Reserve Operational Shooting Competition (AROSC). The current team was selected way back in Jul 19 and were due to compete in AFSAM 20. This suffered several postponements and cancellations due to COVID. After several intensive weekends training, 13 personnel finally made the trip to the USA.

The BAROST team had a considerable REME presence with no less

than 5 members from 12 making the cut from the REME Reserve; Major Lance Rosie (Team Captain), WO1 RSM Jim Douglas, SSgt Kev Catt, Sgt Jimmy Deville and Cpl James Hamilton with 4 of these being members of 103 (FS) Bn REME.

The intent of AFSAM is to promote friendly competition, facilitate the exchange of ideas, and hone the individual marksmanship of all those involved. New skills and ideas can then be utilised to improve marksmanship at parent units.

The team arrived at Camp Robinson late on Saturday evening and settled into the accommodation, ready to book in and conduct their admin necessary for the competition. Training commenced early Monday and for the next few days it consisted of zeroing and selected shoots from the competition.

The competition was made up of 20 events with a mix of rifle, pistol, combined arms, and night matches as individuals and in teams. The competition started on Thursday with two ‘unknown shoots’, which were set up in a 3gun style, fast moving and shoot timed scenarios engaging both metal and paper targets with rifle and pistol at varying ranges from 5 to 175 yards. Penalties were added for infringements or missing targets. The first shoot started with competitors shooting from the driver’s seat of a Humvee. All the REME members fared considerably well, finishing in the top 22. Sgt Deville was top REME securing 5th place and SSgt Catt placing 9th. The second pistol shoot saw a couple of members smashed with penalties for various infringements including “Continuous engagement of Hostages!!” mentioning no names (Cpl Hamilton).

Considerable time had been invested in the UK during training weekends on the new night shoots, getting used to operating the various night vision equipment. This

BAROST RED team firing in the Barricade Assessment Match

seemed to pay off, as both CQB type shoots ended with the REME shooters well into the top ten with RSM Douglas winning this match.

Friday started with the Hoplite Run - an 800m advance to contact in 5 minutes with target engagements from 400>100Yds. This event proved very challenging as the wind conditions were very changeable; although the team fared very well including a 1st place for a BAROST member.

The Annual Weapons Qualification shoot (read ACMT) for our American counterparts is excellent. It is completed in about ten minutes on an ETR type range – 40 rounds, 4 positions. Target ranges from 50 to 300yds in a very wide lane. An excellent shoot which we all enjoyed; mainly because team members only dropped one or two shots to earn our ‘Weapon Specialists’ certificates.

The long-range night shoot was then encountered with enthusiasm. The match is fired from 300, 200 and 100 yds in varying positions using the Common Weapons Sight (CWS), Head Mounted Night Vision System (HMNVS) and Light Laser Marker (LLM) as required during the shoot. The team smashed this event with 6 of them in the top ten. Major Rosie took top shot with SSgt Catt coming 2nd.

Saturday was a preparation day for range staff, so the team went on a cultural visit that included a Gun Show’ at a local exhibition centre. This resembled a large car boot sale, but with weapons (all of them!!)

The next 5 days consisted of at least 3 or 4 shoots a day and started with the team collecting weapons at 0500 hrs. The ability of the Americans to shoot pistols proficiently is incredible; which meant firers struggled to get close to the top ten. The team achieved some notable victories; including the BAROST RED Team winning the National Guard Infantry Match by a clear 29 points. RSM Douglas won the Reflexive Fire CQB match and a 3rd in the Rifle EIC. Maj Rosie took 1st place individual in the Infantry Team and the prestigious International Matches. BAROST RED also achieved a 3rd place in the Combined Arms Barricade Match; which has all 4 team members firing from a barricade at the same time. There were many other victories but too many to mention.

An international competition social evening was held, sampling some of the local cuisine. Most of us tried the Crawfish. Imagine a 4-inch mini lobster, the consensus was that they were a lot of work to strip down, for the measly result of a shrimp sized morsel. The very spicy Corn on the Cob, however, was responsible for several sets of lips on fire!!

A Cultural visit to the State Capital Building had us touring around the corridors and courtrooms, where the likes of Bill Clinton once resided in. Some team members had the opportunity to hold half a million dollars in the treasury vault.

Overall, the BAROST Team had a very successful and rewarding visit to the United States where the competition generated the exchange of ideas and improve operational marksmanship ability.

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 43
Sgt Jimmy Deville competing during the first unknown shoot 103 (FS) Bn REME team members receiving their trophies Shotgun training prior to the competition

Extracts from the London Gazette



Intermediate Regular Commissions (Late Entry)

Warrant Officer Class 1 Robert RICHARDS 25043345 to be Captain 1 April 2020 (Belated Entry)


Group A

Lieutenant (Acting Captain) L. CASSIDY W1033384 to be Captain 10 December 2019 (Belated Entry)

Lieutenant K. SHARRATT W1031481 to be Captain 10 December 2019 (Belated Entry)

Lieutenant (Acting Captain) D. TOMLINSON 24823275 to be Captain 2 August 2021 (Belated Entry)

10 MAY 2022


Intermediate Regular Commissions (Late Entry)

Warrant Officer Class 1 Robert RICHARDS 25043345 to be Captain 1 April 2020 (Belated Entry)


Group A

Lieutenant (Acting Captain) L. CASSIDY W1033384 to be Captain 10 December 2019 (Belated Entry)

Lieutenant K. SHARRATT W1031481 to be Captain 10 December 2019 (Belated Entry)

Lieutenant (Acting Captain) D. TOMLINSON 24823275 to be Captain 2 August 2021 (Belated Entry)

17 MAY 2022

No Entries

31 MAY 2022


Short Service Commissions

Officer Cadet Thomas Oliver HARRIS 30305511 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 15 April 2022

Officer Cadet John Andrew HILL 30255116 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 15 April 2022

Officer Cadet Charles Dominick HIRST 30295443 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 15 April 2022

Officer Cadet Jonathan Macdonald HUTCHINSON 30266741 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 15 April 2022

Officer Cadet Hamish Jack Wenlock MCMILLAN 30291175 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 15 April 2022

Officer Cadet Joel THELFORD 30328688 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 15 April 2022

Officer Cadet Sebastien TYRIE 30358187 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 15 April 2022

Officer Cadet Philip Alexander WESTON 30230486 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 15 April 2022

Officer Cadet Adam WOODYEAR 30353887 from The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst to be Second Lieutenant 15 April 2022

The following Army personnel have been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal

WO2, N. A. BABER-HALL, REME, 25051339

WO1, T. W. O’NEILL, REME, 25055845

WO1, M. D. SHEPHERD, REME, 25117173

WO1, B. J. SLINN, REME, 25084061

WO1, C. M. SMILLIE, REME, 25091190

The following have been awarded the 2nd Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military)

MAJ, R. D. JENKINS, REME, 24725525

The following have been awarded the 1st Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military)

SGT, A. A. FURNEAUX, REME, 25041794

SGT, R. GURUNG, REME, 21169638

SGT, K. GURUNG, REME, 21169706


WO1, D. M. E. SMITH, REME, 25060459

WO1, M. I. SMITH, REME, 25059096

WO1, B. D. TAYLOR, REME, 25056831

The following have been awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military)

CPL, M. R. ASKEW, REME, 25025755

SGT, G. A. DENNIS, REME, 25228211

MAJ, S. T. DICKSON, REME, 25166758

SGT, S. M. EDWARDS, REME, 25191369

SGT, B. D. GARDNER, REME, 25226800

MAJ, R. N. GENTRY, REME, 25165756

SGT, J. M. B. MACDONAGH, REME, 25233616


SGT, D. T. MOSLEY, REME, 25228153

CPL, C. J. PROCTER, REME, 25188476

SGT, A. D. REID, REME, 25156599

SGT, M. ROKA, REME, 25233802

CAPT, R. N. VOBE, REME, 557581

CPL, U. WESSELS, REME, 25234344

7 JUNE 2022


Intermediate Regular Commissions (Late Entry)

Warrant Officer Class 1 Ross Barry MURPHY 25134214 to be Captain 1 April 2022

Warrant Officer Class 1 Gary BURDON 25078663 to be Captain 4 April 2022

Warrant Officer Class 1 Peter Gordon SIMPSON 25072128 to be Captain 11 April 2022

14 JUNE 2022


Group A

Officer Cadet Andrew James CUPPLES 25139812 to be Second Lieutenant (on probation) 6 November 2020 (substituted for the notification in Gazette (Supplement) dated 17 August 2021)

Warrant Officer Class 1 Niel AVEYARD 25038862 to be Lieutenant 28 March 2022

Officer Assignments


Lieutenant Colonel








MP D SUPPORT AH EQPT OPS – SO1 Sp Solution Strategy Development 22 Jul 22
SP JADTEU – CO 18 Jul 22
TJP JCTTAT – RN 25 Jul 22 WARD D LTF(S) HQ FD ARMY – CO LTF(S) 01 Jul 22










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Death Notices

BRADFORD – Maj (Retd) Niven Sinclair Bradford passed away 17 March 2022. Dates of service 1946-1978.

FLOOK – Former Sgt Peter William Flook passed away on 03 May 2022 aged 89. Dates of service 1959 – unknown.

HANDLEY – Former Cpl George Ernest Handley passed away on 29 April 2022 aged 87. Dates are unknown but he was immensely proud of his service.

HOOPER – Maj (Retd) Ivor R Hooper passed away on 27 March 2022 aged 87. Dates of service 1957-1992.

MALTBY – Capt (Retd) Raymond George William Maltby passed away on 29 April 2022 aged 88. Dates of service 1952-1976.

MARQUAND – Former ASM Barrie William Marquand passed away on 19 April 2022 aged 96. Dates of service 1940-1970.

MCNAB – Lt Col (Retd) Ian Douglas McNab passed away on 01 May 2022 aged 75. Dates of service 1967-1998.

MITCHELL – Gavan Thomas Mitchell passed away on 20 May 2022 aged 68. Dates of service 1970-1980. Rank unknown.

RICHARDS – Maj (Retd) John Arthur Richards passed away on 23 March 2022 aged 91. Dates of service 1949-1980.

ROY – Former Sgt Stanley Roy passed away on 15 April 2022 aged 98. Dates of service 1942-1947.

WITTALL – Former WO1 ASM Frank G Wittall passed away on 12 April 2022 aged 91. Dates of service 1944-1970.

WOODALL – Former Sgt Frank Woodall passed away on 13 April 2022 aged 88. Dates of service 1952-1976.

The REME Charity

The Trustees of The REME Charity













with sincere thanks the

received during the month of


Jul 22

Jul 22

Jul 22

Jul 22

also wish to acknowledge

received from

of the Corps and

of the REME Institution:

From Amount

Rugby FC, sausage & cider festival


Death Notice Requirements

In order to publish a death notice we require the following information: Surname, first name, rank, full date of death, ages and dates of service. An obituary with additional career and life information is welcome. To inform us of the death, please contact Ms Bev Bate, Corps Welfare Manager on ( 07936 902415 or 

Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 45
SUPPORT – SO2 LFR 23 Jul 22
JF 26 REGT RA WKSP REME – OC 29 Jul 22
DB 5 FS BN REME – OC 15 COY 04 Jul 22
GV 5 FS BN REME – ISTAR 01 Jul 22
LM 3 ARMD CS BN REME 18 COY – 2IC 01 Jul 22
C 6 ARMD CS BN REME – RCMO 18 Jul 22
SA 6
MAY 2022. They
the Officers and Soldiers
retired members
09/05/2022 RWB
£52.70 12/05/2022 AvN
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£213.75 17/05/2022 Legacy Brigadier Richard Harry Chown . . . .£1,000 25/05/2022 Geoff Hurst night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£2,901.57 Date sent to Craftsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27/05/2022 Total Donations (May) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£4,168 Total £’s paid in Grants (May) . . . . . . . . . .£12,686.55 No. Grants (May) 26 Average Grant (May) £487.94 If you would like to see how your money is spent, we welcome one or two observers at The REME Charity meetings. The meet ings 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: 07936902415 in the first instance. The REME Charity is here for both veterans and serving person nel in times of hardship or need. Contact via SSAFA ( 0800 731 4880 or The Royal British Legion ( 0808 802 8080  or your Unit Welfare if serv ing. All enquiries and information is dealt with in the strictest confidence. If you wish to discuss any benevolence need you can contact us on ( 07936902415,  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

In a hole? Then stop digging

Likeall military units, a Landing Craft Tank (LCT) amphibious assault vessel is subject to an annual audit/reviews by an inspectorate. The time had come for this review by a team of RASC (formerly RCT now RLC) officers. As most of the day to day functioning equipment came under the remit of the Chief Engineer, much ‘activity’ took place as he was prone to what one calls ‘flapping’ and desperately wanted a five-star result.

It was nearing the end of a long day of poking and looking, which was all fairly routine when one of the officers spotted a foam fire extinguisher where the outlet nozzle was corroded and blocked. He pointed this out to the Chief Engineer who visibly sagged - caught

out! Just kept spluttering and stuttering – no excuse.

By the time the team were leaving the ‘Chief’ frantically got the fire extinguisher cleaned and working. As the team disembarked down the rope ladder into the launch, the ‘Chief’ desperately shouted “Sir! Sir’ it’s fixed” and pressed the release button. However, in his desperation he had forgot the constant breeze always present around a moored vessel. This breeze caught the released foam spray and predictably splattered the four Officers in their best service dress uniforms, medals and all, much to the delight of every crew man watching - resulting in some of them ‘corpsing’ on the open deck. Guess what! He didn’t get his 5 stars.

The REME Shop carries a varied range of items from branded clothing, gifts, statuettes, accessories, military uniform items and bespoke personalized products on request. The Corps shop is located within the REME Museum and offers a collection service.

The REME Trading Company (of which the shop is a part of) is a ‘not for profit’ and runs in support of The REME Charity for The REME Family.

The Ford Files 01249 894871 SHOP
Corps Calendar 2022 More information regarding Corps Mess Functions can found by scanning the QR Code, or by accessing the ‘REME Connect’ website or alternatively email; for all general enquiries. JULY 2022 04 Corps Council Meeting (New Event) 09 HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Ball 09 REME Reserve Management Board (Catterick) 10 Regimental Sunday at Royal Hospital Chelsea 22-23 TSS Seminar & Reunion, MOD Lyneham AUGUST 2022 NO ORGANISED EVENTS SEPTEMBER 2022 03 Broxhead Dinner Night (Grantham) 03 REME Reserve Management Board (Grantham) 08 Corps WOs’ and Sgts’ Mess Autumn Dinner Night 08 Commando Officers’ Dinner Night (Provisional New Date) 15 Corps Colonels Command Group 15 HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Dinner Night 21 Countess of Wessex Cup (New Event) 22 Commanding Officers’ CABAL (New Event) 23 REME Institution Dinner (Formerly Retired Officers’ Dinner) 27 REME Institution and Corps HQ Officers’ Mess Executive Meeting 28 RAJA Careers and Employment Support Event, REME Museum, MOD Lyneham (Moved to 19/26 Oct) 29 National Memorial Arboretum OCTOBER 2022 01 Corps 80th Birthday 07 REME QM Dinner Night TBC Airborne Officers’ Dinner Night TBC Commando Officers’ Dinner Night (moved to Sept) 20 MG REME Conference 20 HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Autumn Guest Night 22-28 STEM Challenge 2022 (New Event) 26 RAJA Careers and Employment Support Event, REME Museum, MOD (New Date) NOVEMBER 2022 TBC Corps Council Meeting 05 Ex SUPREME GLACIER (to 10 Dec 22) 11 Field of Remembrance 25-27 REME Reserve Conference (Shrivenham TBC) DECEMBER 2022 01 St Eligius Day 10 Ex SUPREME GLACIER Finishes TBC Corps ASM Forum