The Craftsman - October 2023

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Magazine of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

October 2023

for Scan ort Supp

In 2020, REME launched the Lifting the Decks initiative, with a focus on the mental wellbeing of serving REME personnel and veterans. We are in the process of re昀ning Lifting the Decks, increasing accessibility with an added emphasis on reminding our REME Family to speak out about ‘what’s on their mind’ and that, whatever stage in their life, we will always be here to listen to and support them. If there is something on your mind troubling you, big or small, whatever the cause, we are here to listen and to help. If you wish to get in touch regarding yourself or concern for someone else, please don’t hesitate to contact

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


Contents Volume 79 No. 10

FEATURES 9 Theatre Support Battalion REME Established! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Ex PHOENIX WOLF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6 Repairing Three Chieftains . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9 Ex LEAPFEST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10 5 (Force Support) Battalion REME, 2 Field Company, Vehicle and General Platoon Fitness charity event in Support of SSAFA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 Montreal 1976 Olympic vest – Captain Jim Fox OBE OLY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 Potteries and District REME Association August 2023 Branch Newsletter . . . . . . . . .19 REME ARMS SCHOOL – Professional Recognition Awards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 The Annington Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Op DOWNBIRD . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Defending a Parachute Regiment – Battle Honour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26 Ex DEEP SOUTH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 REME Golf North Society . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34

Editor: Mrs Katie Tarbard + Corporate Communications Officer RHQ REME, The Prince Philip Barracks, Lyneham, CHIPPENHAM, SN15 4XX  (preferred method)  (for changes of address) ( Mil: 95481 4529 Civ: 01249 894529 SUBMITTING ARTICLES TEXT: should be submitted in MS Word and name saved as per the article. No formatting, columns, power point etc. Articles to be cleared by CO/OC/EME or appropriate REME CoC, or nominated substitute and should be submitted as soon as possible. PHOTOGRAPHS: MUST be submitted separately, in jpeg format and be at least 500kb preferably 1mb or more. Only photos over 3mb can be considered for the front/back covers and please remember captions. FILESHARE: websites, such as dropbox are ideal for submitting larger files. EMAIL: The ONLY email address which should be used is: Not MODnet. Please use the article title not ‘Craftsman Article’ as the email title. TIMINGS: The latest submission date is the first day of the month prior to publication. This does not guarantee the article will be published in that specific edition. Births, Engagements, Marriages and Deaths: These will be inserted free to all past and present members of the Corps.

Corps Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44

Contents: The contents of The Craftsman are strictly copyright and all rights are expressly reserved. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy and views, official or otherwise, of the Editor, the Corps or the MOD, therefore no responsibility for these will be accepted. Whilst including an advertisement we are not necessarily endorsing the product and as a result, the publisher and its agents do not accept responsibility for any transaction between the reader and the advertiser. Whilst we take all precautions with regard to advertising, readers are advised to take professional advice before entering into any commitments. Letters concerning reproduction, contributions or any other matter should be addressed to the Editor.

Corps Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47

© Published by RHQ REME. Funded by The REME Charity.

REME Shooting Competition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35 REME Martial Arts Ju Jitsu Training Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36 The Powerful Benefits of Engaging in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at Corps Level . . . . . . . . . . . .39 A season with REME Boxing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40

REGULARS From the Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16

Advertising All communications regarding commercial advertising rates should be made direct to the Editor. Sustainably produced on paper sourced from responsible sources using vegetable based inks. Jamprint Design & Printing Ltd 01249 823 950 Front Cover: HRH The Duchess of Edinburgh. Back Cover: 9 (TS) Bn REME with HRH (credit © H Tempest Photography Ltd)

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

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Unit Life

9 (Theatre Support) Battalion REME Established! Scribe: CO – Lt Col John Anthistle


n 18th July 2023 the Corps’ newest unit, 9 (Theatre Support) Battalion REME, was formerly declared as established. Our Colonel-in-Chief, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Edinburgh, along with the new Commander 104 Theatre Sustainment Brigade and the Corps Colonel attended the unit for a demonstration of its capabilities and to formally recognise the unit as open for business. In just 10 months since the first member of the Battalion arrived into Aldershot, the speed at which capabilities have been grown from nothing within the unit to get us to this point is remarkable. HRH spent the day speaking to the soldiers who showcased their capabilities across all trade groups. We began the visit with a brief to HRH on the unique role the HRH arriving in Aldershot

A lunch fit for royalty which the whole Bn enjoyed


Battalion has in being held at very high readiness to conduct Theatre Entry and then Theatre Enabling activities as first in, last out. We explained where and how we operate within a realistic warfighting scenario and how we interact with other Battalions within her Corps to collectively keep the punch in the Army’s fist. After the briefing, HRH was taken on a tour of our capabilities using an end to end repair scenario. We used the story of a badly damaged vehicle in a road traffic accident to it being recovered, repaired and even a part being additively manufactured to bring the vehicle back into full service. Starting with the Recovery Section, they delivered a live recovery demonstration and explained the unique role they will play in the theatre space in recovering equipment forward; whilst keeping routes clear across a vast area of operations. Next the Vehicle and General Platoon demonstrated how they have been equipped with the most modern tooling which include cordless speed tools such as impact guns and ratchet spanners; vastly improving efficiency in the field. The Electronics Platoon then presented their capabilities, which include cable repair, electronic fault diagnosis and repair in austere environments, power management and distribution maintenance and the rapid development of a deployable, Additive Manufacturing maker space Mk2. HRH was especially interested in the vast array of applications for Additive Manufacturing from expedient repair to the production of parts and tooling. As part of the

scenario, they manufactured a component that could not be sourced through the supply chain and which in reality, would work if fitted to the vehicle. The last stand on the capability demonstration was the Metalsmith’s who showcased their deployable capabilities, acquired only a few weeks prior. HRH kindly sat for the obligatory photograph before the morning’s REME focused capability demonstration then led into the showcasing of 9 (TS) Bn REME as a multi cap badge, whole force effort. Our Battalion Master Chef and catering team provided an exceptional lunch for the entire Battalion with handmade delicacies and food carvings that demonstrated their unique skill. HRH then spent time talking to the RAO’s dept, RLC Stores and BHQ teams; some of whom were the first people to arrive into the unit and have been a part of the establishment journey from the very beginning. The visit culminated in a review of the significant achievements made in such a short space of time by a small but ever growing, highly dedicated team. HRH then unveiled our new Battalion flag and thanked the team before departing. The 18th July 2023 formally marked the occasion of the establishment of the Corps’ newest Battalion and shortly after, 6 Theatre Enabling Company deployed on their first Theatre Enabling Group Exercise supporting 9 Regt RLC in Europe. With Op LINOTYPER on the near horizon next for an entire Battalion deployment, 9 (TS) Bn REME has come a long way since the establishment team of just 12 people in September 2022.

QR code to our welcome pack should you like to know more about us

Recovery Platoon giving a live recovery demonstration

HRH declaring 9 (TS) Bn REME formally established

HRH being shown V&G Platoon capabilities

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Ex PHOENIX WOLF 23 Scribe: SSgt Martin Scarlett


Regiment RLC LAD deployed on Ex PHOENIX WOLF (PW23) in June 2023. This was a collective Training Level CHARLIE assurance exercise under the direction of RHQ. The aim of Ex PW23 was to exercise the logistic chain, both chronologically and geographically in accordance with the MODUS Battle Craft Syllabus (BCS) schedule. As a 3rd line Divisional Logistic Regiment (DLR) most of the LAD were co-located at Barton Stacey in the Divisional Support Area (DSA). The 2nd line Close Support Logistics Regiment (CSLR) was simulated with a Brigade Support Area (BSA) at Abingdon and Otterburn. Ex PW23 acted as the primary Field Training Exercise (FTX) to prepare 27RLC for Ex IRON TITAN a Brigade level exercise scheduled for late Autumn. Before Ex PW23, the LAD had deployed on Ex EQUUS SPANNER a CTA under instruction from the LSM SSgt Chris French. The exercise

CST fully loaded

Casualty evacuation drills was a great shake out for the LAD and certainly put us in good stead for the forthcoming exercise. Ex PW23 was the first exercise for WO1 (ASM) Reason as he was new to the Unit, which was subsequently missing OC LAD; the wearing of two hats became the norm for him for the duration of the exercise. The LAD were enthusiastic during the exercise, and everyone played their part. Trade skills were used daily, and ES Mat deliveries were tried and pushed accordingly. Some of the Basic Unit Fleet (BUF) did require 3rd line repair and was recovered back to Aldershot for E&MA. The Rear Operations Group (ROG) played a vital part in this delivery and jumped straight on to the vehicles on arrival to await ES Materiel. Throughout the exercises the LAD sustained the fleet achieving more than 85% availability utilising all repair processes and effective demand system, repair by repair, repair by replacement, via the BEME.

Cpl Hillier – Metalsmith It was my role on exercise to support the Regiment with all metal work related tasks from vehicle repairs to general improvements. Whist deployed I was asked to facilitate a range of tasks from designing and building a body armour & webbing rack to other vital improvements to the regimental headquarters. This included some bespoke TV stands for them to view data and deliver orders more effectively with. There were some unique challenges that I haven’t faced before on a UK exercise. This was due to the extreme heat and lack of rain, which meant adapting the way I operated to ensure the fire risk was minimised as much as possible. This meant moving the Metalsmiths vehicle out of its camouflage net and onto hard standing. However, it wasn’t long until we had a colossal thunderstorm, which resulted in the area being saturated making it safe to work for the remainder of the exercise back in the wood block.

Cfn Lemon – 8 Sqn Fitter Section (SFS) Cpl Hillier cleaning his wagon (whilst Cpl Smith-Langridge applies the finishing touches to the Body Armour Stand) 6

8 Squadron were tasked to do a road move from Barton Stacey up to Otterburn. We left in 4 packets with 6-8 vehicles per packet. 8 SFS deployed with an SVR, Fitter truck and Land Rover with trailer. There

were also Class 2 VMs integrated within Squadron vehicles with toolboxes to make sure every packet had support. After route cards were given out and the bonnet brief was complete, we were on our way. It was all going smoothly until we hit traffic just before junction 9 on the M1 where we quickly found out that the motorway was shut with road works between junctions 9 and 11. The Packet Commander managed to find a route back onto the M1 with about an hour added to the journey. The rest was smooth sailing other than a single EPLS vehicle with a fuel pressure fault. The whole journey Cfn Caine under the watchful eye of LCpl Yaman Gurung took a mammoth 12 hours with 3 stops. Once in Otterburn we had 6 hours rest before the return trip. On the way back, we managed to avoid the road works which resulted in the journey taking a slightly shorter 10 hours with minor issues that were rectified safely on roadside. On our return to the DSA at Barton Stacey we thankfully had enforced 24 hours rest. Once rested we set to work on faults that we had found that included, a cracked fuel sedimenter, CST indicator, Land Rover tie rod and CST diffs not engaging.

Cfn Caine – LAD MAIN This was the first REME based exercise I’ve been on, thus, I was extremely hesitant. I didn’t entirely know what to expect but my CoC made me feel comfortable there as if I was back at the LAD in Aldershot. Whilst on exercise it was International Women in Engineering Day, for me it started at 0400 hrs for a 2-hour roaming patrol of LAD MAIN. My first task was at 0600 hrs and everyone had to be woken up for morning routine; thankfully breakfast was was prepared by RLC Chefs which was always on point. After breakfast we all gathered at the CP to be briefed on the day ahead. My first VM task was changing a vacuum pump on a Land Rover. It was there I realized working out in the field is very challenging compared to a workshop. The ground was very muddy and what is a relatively simple job turned into a rather messy one. My second job was a ball joint on a MAN SV. This gave me the chance to do a job that I’ve never done before and which I was looking forward to. After the task was complete myself and LCpl Gurung went back to the CP for any further taskings of which there were no more, so we used the rest of the day for personal admin in preparation for the next day. The exercise gave me a wealth of expertise on how REME functions and operates when out in the field. Overall, the exercise was a very positive

Custom made TV stand for RHQ

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Cpl Richardson conducting repairs

Cpl Yaman Gurung taking a break

experience for myself, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I now look forward to the next challenge of a Brigade level exercise to further my experience.

routines, i.e., cargo drops from the air etc. We were also lucky that the weather held up throughout. Felt it was a good shake out on prep for EX IRON TITAN.” Cpl Gurung – “It was a good exercise at a steady pace but a significant amount of refresh and revise on setting up working areas, camouflaging vehicles etc. Overall good exercise”.

Cfn Woolley – 19 Sqn Fitter Section (SFS) On 12 Jun 23 19 SFS deployed alongside the Squadron on EX PHOENIX WOLF. Upon arrival at the training area, vehicle cam and concealment was the first lesson to be conducted. This came in very useful as some members of the Fitter Section had never done this before. The section quickly settled to make comfortable what was going to be home for the next three weeks. The visit of a rainstorm quickly identified some much needed modification to sleeping areas, utilising ponchos to create added shelter. During the exercise the Fitter Section took part in lessons delivered by the Squadron consisting of vehicle patrol procedures, driving with NVG and use of the Truhitch, HET recovery asset. This training was well received by some members of the Fitter Section as they had never done this type of training before. LCpl Tompkins and Cfn Woolley also had the opportunity to accompany the Tank Transporters on multiple road moves across the Southwest UK. Throughout the exercise the Fitter Section was faced with challenges and situations where they showcased their professional work ethic and trade skills enabling the Squadron to successfully conduct their training. Here are some personal reflections of the exercise: Cfn Woolley – “This exercise was great career development for me as it gave me the opportunity to show my leadership and trade capabilities conducting expedient repairs and being outside my comfort zone as I did not have much to work with”. Cpl Taylor – “The exercise encased a good balance of learning, tradebased activities, and day to day tasking for the Squadron. It was a good opportunity for the younger and less experienced soldiers present to see how we do business in the real world whilst simultaneously hitting training objectives in a thorough manner. This included green skills, trade skills and routine admin skills”. LCpl Tompkins – “Good change of scenery in the working environment, was able to get a few BDR’s in and see neighbouring units also carry out exercise


Cfn Sweetman – Rear Operations Group (ROG) During Ex PHOENIX WOLF I was placed into the ROG, due to an injury stopping me from deploying. While on ROG, I was given the task of sorting out the workshop floor and exterior. This entailed moving where the inspection bay was located, creating a scrap wood and metal area, and moving lockers and work benches around to create more room around the vehicle bays and make the overall look of the workshop tidier. This task was no small feat as the workshop had remained un-changed for a good few years. I also took on a couple of extra responsibilities. These being, the setup of a combined and centralised shop floor expense area, and the running of the LAD “Tuck Shop” from our rest room. The expense was created to stop having a split between the two sides of the workshop, and the tuck shop certainly raised the moral of those working through the heatwave at the time.

Cfn McIntosh ready for top cover

Life after REME

Repairing three Chieftain MBTs Scribe: Michaela Reay


Michaela in the middle, Jeremy Blowers, Museum Executive Director, to the left as and Chris Sworik, Museum Member and retired member of the Ontario Regiment, on the right

Photos credited to Michael Wong - Ontario Regiment Museum

t was a return to Canada in June after a long hiatus to fix Chieftain tank electrics again, only this time the destination was the Ontario Regiment, Regimental Museum, Oshawa, Ontario (https://www.ontrmuseum. ca/tankmuseum) rather than BATUS. The Museum has three of these magnificent vehicles which, unsurprisingly, need a lot of ongoing attention to keep them working well. The occasion was the Aquino weekend commemorating that WWII battle, and a Gulf War display; the latter featuring some vehicles used in that campaign with their original crews. The event was managed by some two hundred volunteers, re-enactment Actors and staff, with fourteen helpers from the UK, US, Australia and other parts of Canada. Some five thousand visitors attended and enjoyed the excellently presented re-enactments and many static displays too. Two of the Chieftains were used both for the re-enactments and for visitor rides. It was interesting to think that my REME training had positively paved the way for my (still ongoing) civilian career in IT, mature student degrees and now with a PhD in AI in flight, yet here I was full circle and enjoying it too. I have looked at some UK based Chieftains too, though this occasion was the big one. The Museum had kindly covered travel and accommodation for the fourteen visitors and added much excellent hospitality too; including an invite to the Ontario Regiment Sgts Mess members courtesy of the RSM. It is a grand mess that marks much of the Regimental history including a Victoria Cross awarded to Lt Milton Fowler Gregg, (later Brigadier Gregg, VC, PC, OC, CBE, MC, ED, CD) for action in the First World War right there on display. The final day was wrapped up in the Museum Club House where high praise and gratitude was expressed by Museum President Alan Duffy and Executive Director Jeremy Blowers to the helpers, which was likewise reciprocated, and as this had been a hot and dusty day,cold beers were issued to one and all. Here’s to next year.

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Exercise LEAPFEST 2023 Scribe: SSgt T Duffy, IC LAD, 16 AA BCT & 216 (Para) Signal Squadron


x LEAPFEST 23 is an International Parachuting Competition held in Rhode Island, USA, over the period 31 Jul – 9 Aug 23. The purpose of the Exercise is to enhance the readiness and interoperability of the Airborne community, whilst strengthening alliances & partnerships by promoting camaraderie and esprit de corps of Airborne soldiers through international competition. The competition is routinely attended by representatives from various branches of the US military and multiple international teams.

This year saw teams from Armenia, Canada, Czech Republic, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands and Portugal. With eight teams representing the UK from across 16 Air Assault (AA) Brigade Combat Team (BCT), with REME tradesman and personnel representing their respective units (16 Bde HQ, 216 (Para) Sig Sqn, 7 Para RHA, 16 Med Regt and 2 Para). Bleary eyed with a 0400 hrs start, the UK teams boarded the coach to Heathrow to catch the 7-hour flight to Boston, Massachusetts. With bags and equipment collected and with “Born in the USA” screaming from our Minivan we made our way to Rhode Island University where we would be accommodated for the next ten days.

Familiarisation jump Upon arrival, unpacking and initial J1 we then went for team registration. Here, each participant received an assortment of Ex LEAPFEST swag and conducted familiarisation on the MC-6 parachute before our first jump. An innovative approach, as this was conducted using simulation software and apparatus from

Winning Team


216 Team US Wings presentation

ParaSim. This allowed all participants to understand the characteristics of the MC-6 parachute and recce the Drop Zone (DZ) in a safe and controlled environment. Once the simulation was completed all participants then carried out the mandatory three phases of Sustained Airborne Training (SATS) that’s required 24 hours before each jump. This consists of Actions in the aircraft and mock door training, Pre-jump training and Parachute Landing Falls (PLFs). The following day was our first jump onto Glen Rock DZ. Another early start, we boarded buses to the airhead and was greeted with a Parachutist Life Preserver (PLP) and a breakfast wrap (with the amount of melted cheese in this thing, it was ironic the PLP was issued on arrival). Once our PLPs were fitted we were then issued our MC-6 parachute and began fitting our parachutes. Once complete and with our pre-checks carried out during the Jump-Master Personnel Inspection (JMPI) we lined up in chalks to board the aircraft. Having never exited a Chinook by parachute, I approached the exit ramp to board with some trepidation. The tenminute flight to the DZ went by without concern, albeit some knee jerking, and was given the word of command “6 minutes, stand up, hook up!”. Upon hooking up and staring out over the Rhode Island landscape all nerves ceased, and the adrenaline took over. From here I could see the DZ, which was

a repurposed Farmers field, and the Farmer had cut out “U.S.A” in 30-foot letters! (‘Merica!!). “1 minute, check equipment!” echoed from the Jump-Master (JM) over the sound of the twin rotors. Equipment checks complete, I’m good to go… “30 Seconds, Stand-by” screamed the JM as my team inched closer to the rear door. “GO!!”. One by one we exited into the downwash of the Chinook with the heat of the exhausts passing overhead. Once airborne and with compulsory flight checks carried out, I took in my surroundings. Most striking in comparison to the British LowLevel Parachute, was the manoeuvrability of the MC-6, it is a brilliant piece of kit. Sightseeing complete, I prepared for landing and made a solid PLF. Once all team members had returned parachutes we were then presented with our US Parachute wings by Col MacDonald (Commander of 56th Troop Command). The next day was a rest day and allowed my team to get some respite. This allowed us to travel to Boston to watch the Boston Red-Sox face off against the Toronto Blue Jays. Having never been to a Baseball game before, I’m now an avid fan. Although the Red-Sox lost 13-1, it was a brilliant experience.

Red Sox Game

Table 1 - UK Team standings








23 Para Engr Regt


Competition day


16 Med Regt


With SATS completed the previous day, the competition was now upon us. The rules were simple. Each team would make three descents. As a jumper hit the ground, they had to make a PLF and run to the nearest of four crosses on the DZ. Judges timed each jumper in the team from feet contacting the ground to reaching a cross. The winner was determined as the team with the lowest time across all three descents. For my team (216 (Para) Sig Sqn), the first couple of descents were not so good, averaging about 18 seconds for each of the


3 Para



216 (Para) Sig Sqn



2 Para



7 Para RHA



4 Para (Injury – DNF)


jumps. The third jump, all team members landed and reached the cross within 5 seconds. After chatting to various UK and international teams, we felt reasonably confident with our overall time. As it turned out, that confidence was misplaced, and our team finished 30th of 50 with a total time of 02:22:11. The winners of the competition were 16 Bde HQ with a total time of 01:09:11. A brilliant achievement and further enhanced as the team comprised of our very own BEME, Maj Aidy Mortimore and BASM, WO1 Si Rose.

International wings exchange

SSgt Duffy on the DZ

To develop interoperability and strengthen esprit de corps amongst other Airborne nations, a wings exchange jump is carried out. This is achieved through education of partner nations parachute descent drills and

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practices, and finally being dispatched by another nation’s Jump-Master/Dispatcher. To determine who jumps what, a lottery was carried out with the opportunity for individuals to swap. Unfortunately for me, I selected Dutch which I already had. Fortunately for me, an Officer from the Czech Republic selected Czech so I secured a desirable swap! Although the Czech drills were not too dissimilar from our own, they were definitely “loose”. With the rigidly structured and well drilled actions we’re used to, the Czechs method used a much more laissez-faire approach which in all honesty was kind of refreshing. The jump went well and upon arrival at the airhead a parade was formed where all jumpers received foreign nation parachute wings and a certificate.

Rest and return The final couple of days allowed for the teams to return accommodation, out processing and recover form a whirlwind week. Our team decided to take in some sights, so we set off for New York City, Manhattan where we had one day to take in all we could before the return journey the following morning. With the well-known hospitality the US display towards all military personnel, we capitalised on this opportunity. Taking in sights such as the Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Central Park, Statue of Liberty and the American Museum of Natural History (all of which at minimal cost/free). With over 25,000 steps completed it was a rollercoaster of a day and one I’m glad we took the opportunity to complete.

Airborne REME SP

The next morning, we headed back to Boston, MA for the return flight to the UK. Upon reflection, I can honestly say it is the best exercise I have ever attended in my time in the military. Only made better by the fact that the vast majority of teams had REME personnel which highlights 16 AA BCTs motto “Ad Unum Omnes” (All to one end). NB: The prerequisites for individuals to compete in next year’s iteration is 10 parachute descents under Low Level Parachute and Combat Ready (CR). With the new A400 trials close to completion CR status should be achievable for the majority of SP within the BCT. If interested, please contact your Unit Air Cell for further direction.

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5 (Force Support) Battalion REME, 2 Field Company, Vehicle and General Platoon Fitness charity event in Support of SSAFA Scribe: Sgt Thompson, V&G Pl. “Get yourself to 5 Bat”.


n the 2nd August at 0800hrs, 5 (Force Support) Battalion REME, 2 Field Coy, Vehicle and General (V&G) Platoon commenced a fitness challenge that would see them complete a 457 Km event to commemorate the 457 lives lost in Afghanistan and to raise money for the Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Families Association (SSAFA) charity. Each member of the team (consisting of 15 people) would have to complete 30.5 Km, split between a Watt bike and an indoor rowing machine to reach the distance. There were two rowing machines and two Watt bikes that the troops had to keep moving at all times. In true Army fashion, this quickly turned into a competition to complete 5 Km on the Watt bike and rowing machine in the fastest time possible. First onto one of the rowers was myself, Sgt Thompson. Before the start I stated that I wanted to get the fastest row time, which was possibly a bit stupid of me, considering I was blowing after the first 1,000m. I completed the first 5,000m row of the day in 19 minutes 27 seconds; which set a good target for the others. Second place for the

rowing was Cpl Coupland with a time of 19 minutes and 57 seconds. My row time was not beaten on the day. I then had to try and beat a very good time of 6 minutes and 27 seconds on the Watt bike, which was set by LCpl Purton. This record was not beaten by myself on my first go and I will blame the bike seat for collapsing…. Traumatised by the first experience, but still in good Craftsman spirit, I would not let faulty equipment beat me. On my second attempt I set a record on the bike of 6 minutes and 11 seconds. My bike time was not beaten on the day. Since this event was set up in memory of the 457 lives lost in Afghanistan, I wanted to give the challenge my best effort. I truly believe the rest of the Platoon also gave the event the effort and respect it deserves, and we all had fun whilst doing it. In just one week we raised £1,170 + £175 gift aid, giving a combined total of £1,345 for SSAFA. This was an excellent achievement by the Platoon, of which I am extremely proud to serve in.

From left to right: Cfn Foden, LCpl Woodcock, Cpl Brennan, Cpl Ward, LCpl Compton, Cpl Lowe, LCpl Blackburn, Sgt Thompson, LCpl Hamuza, LCpl Purton, LCpl Carrig, Cpl Coupland, Cfn Sunter, Cfn Oruni and LCpl Westwater.

WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Are you ex-serving REME? Did you have a partner or family who were in REME? Where are they Now? is a new feature giving you the chance to share your stories with the wider REME family.

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People’s Stories

Montreal 1976 Olympic vest – Captain Jim Fox OBE OLY Scribe: Lt Col (Retd) S D Cowen


n 18th August 2023, the REME Museum welcomed many family, friends, comrades and team-mates of the Corps and Team GB hero Jim Fox to the unveiling of his Olympic vest. The vest Jim wore when securing the Modern Pentathlon Gold medal in the final event, Cross-Country at the Montreal Olympics in 1976 was donated to the Museum earlier this year. Sadly, Jim passed away before the unveiling could be scheduled as it was in a lengthy preservation process having been stored in a loft for decades. The date was chosen as it fell near the opening of the Modern Pentathlon World Championships in Bath and many pentathletes and dignitaries from Pentathlon GB were able to attend

Marie Indge from BBC Radio Wiltshire filming the event

VIPs Francesca Williams (left) and Julia Smith (right), respectively the lady who donated the vest and Jim Fox’s sister, following the unveiling The guests gather in the Memorial Garden following the ceremony. Current GB Pentathlete Sam Curry in the centre

Lt Col (Retd) Stuart Cowen welcomes the guests


Col REME chatting with Members of the Arborfield Old Boys Association (AOBA) including Jim’s best friend Maj (Retd) John Glasspool (left) and Roger Traves with his back to camera

Former GB Pentathlete and Royal Navy sailor Mike Ellis shares his memories of Jim

the unveiling. Michael Howard, who first competed at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and a team mate of Jim’s from the 1964 Tokyo Games was present, as were Jim’s team mates from Mexico 1968 and Munich 1972, Robbie Phelps and Barry Lillywhite. The vest was unveiled by Jim’s sister, Julia Smith, and the lady who had donated the vest, Francesca Williams. Many others were also present not least Jim’s Brother, John Fox and many of his Arborfield Old Boys Comrades (57B) including his best-friend Maj (Retd) John Glasspool. The vest is now on permanent display at the REME Museum.

Padre Nathan King chatting with guests with Col (Retd) Bob Fram MC facing the camera

Stay Social During these challenging times, make sure you keep in touch with everything that’s going on with the Corps. @reme_of昀cial @Of昀cial_REME /REMECorps

Lt Col (Retd) Barry Lillywhite and Maj (Retd) Keith Allcock sharing their stories of Jim

Want to to share your Want you news and andactivities? activities? Sendyour your stories, stories, photos Send photos and andvideos videosto:to:

REME Reserves Conference 4th November 2023 PWOG Barracks Grantham

REME Reserve Officers, WOs and SSgts are invited, as are permanent staff working at REME Reserve Bns. Please use the QR code to register by the 15th October 2023.

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REME Museum

REME Trades in The Archives: Vehicle Mechanic, Part I, ‘A’ Vehicles Scribe: Museum Archivist – Celia Cassingham

“A High Test of the Young Corps”


A damaged Sherman Tank, El Alamein, from a photograph album depicting experiences of the Western Desert Campaigns. (E: 06.0602.062)

System of Repair, LADs at El Alamein (REME Notes, Issue 1, Item 2 A: 1960.0266.)

Craftsman’s impression of a workshop at El Alamein (REME Notes, Issue 1, A: 1960.0266.)


t this stage in our series, we are now familiar with the fact that the history of REME Trades, which is represented in our archives, stretches back to 1942 and the formation of REME. This includes, of course, Vehicle Mechanics (fondly known as VMs). Due to the vast scope of the VM trades and space constraints, there’ll be a separate article for the history of each VM trade category starting with the ‘A’ Vehicle trades. As ever, it is worth having a look at Malcolm Heppolette’s article (History of REME Trade Changes since its Formation in 1942, REME Journal, 2011, pp 25-29) and noting his introductory comment about the VM trade: “… probably the greatest turbulence in individual trade categories in terms of appropriate employment, job satisfaction and career opportunities, occurred within the trades of Electrician, Gun fitter and VMs A/B/C!” The article describes in detail developments in the trade since 1942, from: the early Driver Mechanic; Fitter, MV; Motor Mechanic to Vehicle Mechanic, and Vehicle Mechanic (AFV) by the time of Phase II REME in 1951; through continuing changes in the trades (Vehicle Mechanic ‘A’ and Vehicle Mechanic ‘B’ by 1963); in 1985 Vehicle Mechanic ‘C’ joins the trades. (Although, of course, ‘C’ Vehicles were in use from 1942 onwards); changes in the noughties varying between Vehicle Mechanic and separate ‘A’ and ‘B’ categories again. Of course, today, the modern trade of Vehicle Mechanic covers all vehicle types. As this article coincides with the Corps birthday month, it seemed appropriate to highlight the role of Vehicle Mechanics in the repair and maintenance of AFVs during the second battle of El Alamein in October 1942, as well as the subsequent campaigns in the Western Desert (of course, ‘B’ Vehicles also featured, which we’ll discuss in the next article). “It was in the Middle East that REME was first called upon to work under active service conditions. The Battle of El Alamein took place almost immediately after the formation of REME and the following months … proved a high test of the young

The section shown is from a document from a personal collection entitled The Evolution of the 8th Army, which appear to be notes for a talk (E: 08.0403.08)

corps.” (REME Middle East War Report, Volume II, p. 200, held in our archives). It is not within the scope of this article to discuss sources relevant to the battle and campaign in detail, but the items shown in the article, should give you a flavour of what we have in our archives. We return to a previously mentioned item in our archives, namely the first issue of REME Notes of August 1943, for its references to El Alamein, as illustrated above. The first item explains the brigading of the LADs of armoured Brigades as 1st echelon repair workshops in order to facilitate the repair of tanks according to operational conditions. The second gives the impressions of a Craftsman who was with a workshop at El Alamein (unfortunately, we don’t know which one). A photograph album in our archives entitled Armoured Fighting Vehicles. 19391945. Volume 1, includes images of types of ‘A’ Vehicles that would have been familiar to VMs working on AFVs during the 1940s, of which two examples are shown alongside. The following recovery and repair statistics are taken from a report in our archives entitled: Report on REME Units in 10 Corps during the period October 23-November 27 1942. (All the armour of the 8th Army was placed under the command of 10 Corps and included 1st, 10th and 7th Armoured Divisions in the ORBAT). The report outlines the methods used and difficulties

Map of Battle of El Alamein, REME War Report, Middle East, Volume 1 p.76 (A: 1958.0104.044)

US Tank, Medium, M4A1 (76mm) (British Sherman IIA) (E: 07.0037.12)

Armoured Car, Daimler (E: 07.0037.23)

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REME in 10 Corps Tank Recovery and Repair Statistics (A: 1960.0287)

encountered in a battle; which from the REME point of view was a unique one, and is dealt with in its two phases: the static and the mobile battles. This image from the photograph album mentioned above, which depicts the experiences of the Western Desert

On test - a Sherman tank (E06.0602.075)

Campaigns, shows testing a tank after repair. Static Base Workshops, such as No 7 Base Workshop, Alexandria, Egypt, also played a significant role in supporting the campaigns of the Western Desert. 7 Base Workshop was the main base for the repair and overhaul of British tanks and during the Alamein Period it played a vital part in direct support of the Eighth Army. During the battle Main Workshop ‘A’ was responsible for tank overhauls chiefly on a flow line. The line moved every five hours, during which a battle casualty was put on Station No.1 and a completed tank removed from Station No 28. (Official War Office History of REME, Volume I Organisation and Operations and IITechnical). The images included from a photograph album of 7 Base Workshop, depict the interior of the workshop and work on the repair of a Crusader tank. It is worth returning to our Middle East War Report which includes a review of the development of the Fitter and related trades in the Middle East establishments. They proposed that there should only be 7 Base Workshops REME: repair of a Crusader Tank (A: 1960.0241.063) one grade of Fitter trade, namely Fitter, within which the other trades could be classified as Fitter, General (Class I Fitter); Fitter, MV (Class II Fitter), Driver Mech (Class III Fitter) and Motor Mech (Class IV Fitter). The reason for this proposal was that in the Middle East workshops, they had Driver Mechanics and Motor Mechanics working as Fitters on tanks, ‘B’ vehicles and guns; Fitter, General and Fitter, MV working on tanks, guns, armoured cars, etc. and “it was quite impossible to segregate these trades in the various base workshops according to the label these Fitter trades had around their necks with the ever changing priorities of work in an Expeditionary Force. In field units … the same condition applied … each and every man had to turn his hand to the work urgently required at the time (Middle East War Report, Vol II, pp 224 – 228). 7 Base Workshops REME: inside Workshop (A: 1960.0241.051)


REME Association

Potteries and District REME Association August 2023 Branch Newsletter Scribe: Maurice Hope


espite the lousy weather that Storm Antoni threw at us, the hardy members of the REME North Staffs Breakfast Club turned out for the August event at The Weathervane, in Meir, on Saturday 5th. A hearty and not very expensive” brekkie” was enjoyed by all with the usual banter of days gone by, experiences all but forgotten, until someone mentions something or somewhere or someone to transport you back many years, to when we could all do BFTs and enjoy the occasional “Crash Out”!! A crash out nowadays amounts to a nap in the afternoons, and BFT’s are all in your dreams. Tuesday 8th of August saw our monthly Branch lunch event held at a Staffordshire Moorlands country pub called “Charlie Bassetts” in the village of Dilhorne, not a stone’s throw (if you have a good arm) from Alton Towers Theme Park. The village for hundreds of years was the centre of the Cheadle Coalfield, now long gone and given over to dairy farming. The pub has the rare distinction of being named after a previous publican,

John Edwards celebrates yet another raffle win

Brian Billings wins at Charlie Bassetts’

and even rarer is the village church (All Saints), that traces its origin back to the Norman Conquest and has one of only a very few octagonal church towers in the country. With an increase in Branch numbers this year, our monthly lunch event numbers are beginning to reflect this, with this month’s attendance being the most for many a while, totalling eighteen in attendance. On Wednesday 30th, Branch President Maurice Hope and Vice President Lt Col John Edwards OBE visited the Civic Centre building in Stoke-on-Trent to meet the new City Council’s Armed Forces Champion, Cllr Desiree Elliott, with the intention of making ourselves known and putting her in the picture about the Branch and the Corps. A brilliant laptop presentation was given by John, which seemed to have hit the spot giving a full insight into our own Branch and the Corps history. The lady is an ex Wren from many years ago who was an Aircraft Mech, so was very interested in our trades etc. If she wasn’t aware of the REME before then she certainly is now.

The Corps Communications Team Are you emailing the right person? The Craftsman Magazine Editor The Digital Media Manager (Temporary) Change of postal address Submissions (Digital and Print) Other Communications and Media requests

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Professional Recognition

REME ARMS SCHOOL – Professional Recognition Awards


he REME Arms School is a City & Guilds qualification provider for Professional Recognition Awards (PRAs). As such, it can offer the Level 4 Licentiateship (LCGI), Level 5 Affiliateship (AfCGI), Level 6 Graduateship (GCGI) and Level 7 Membership (MCGI) awards in Engineering to personnel who meet the criteria set out below. The awards are Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) accredited qualifications which enable candidates to demonstrate their knowledge and skills within any sector or role. City and Guilds are the experts in accrediting work-based achievement. Those achieving these awards will be entitled to use an appropriate, internationally recognised post-nominal: Licentiateship, Affiliateship, Graduateship and Membership. They can also help candidates working towards higher level qualifications. Successful candidates will receive two certificates from a PRA (Professional Recognition Awards): A City & Guilds award (which entitles the holder to use post nominal) and a Regulated Qualification Framework award. These awards are part of the PRA scheme from City & Guilds that is recognised in civilian industry. They are vocational qualifications based upon your experience and expertise. The awards are offered under Royal Charter.

Licentiateship - Level 4 - £98.00 REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive Cpl and have completed parts I & III Phases of the JNCO/ALDP (MT/ME) CLM training are eligible for the Level 4 - Licentiateship (LCGI) award in Engineering. Comparable to Higher Level Apprenticeships and Certificates of Higher Education.

Affiliateship – Level 5 - £117.00 REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive Sgt and who have completed parts I & III Phases of the SNCO/ALDP (MT/ME) CLM training are eligible for the Level 5 - Affiliateship (AfCGI) award in Engineering. Comparable to Diplomas of Higher Education and Foundation Degrees.

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

Benefits The Licentiateship, Affiliateship, Graduateship or Membership PRA in Engineering identifies you as a highly motivated individual who can manage resources, handle pressure, and tackle new challenges. They allow you to gain valuable recognition for your professional and academic development within the REME and are widely recognised in outside industry. C&G have now created E-Certificates as well as issuing hard copies of certificates. E-Certificates are: Globally accessible Totally secure Completely reliable This means that employers can validate a potential employee’s qualification certification quickly and securely.

Cost Level 4 – Licentiateship: £98.00 Level 5 – Affiliateship: £117.00 Level 6 - Graduateship: £133.00 Level 7 - Membership: £165.00 Note: fees are subject to change and candidates are required to pay the correct fee as set by City & Guilds at the time of application.

Payment The payment can be made by: Bank Transfer • Name of Account: Central Bank DSEME • Sort Code: 16 19 26 • Account Number: 10558271 • Name of Bank: The Royal Bank of Scotland Holt’s Branch. • Reference: CandG (then inc your name) Standard Learning Credits cannot be claimed for these awards.


REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive WO2 and who have completed parts I & III Phases of the WO/ALDP (MT/ME) CLM / WO ALDP training are eligible for the Level 6 - Graduateship (GCGI) award in Engineering. Comparable to Bachelor’s Degree

For any award you will need to complete the form below and produce a copy of your service record (JPA) to prove you have achieved the appropriate rank (with two substantive years’ experience) and that you have successfully completed the appropriate level of CLM. Please also provide certificates as evidence . Applications can be scanned to:

Membership – Level 7 - £165.00


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

Awards Administrator, EC&IV (Exam Centre & Internal Validation), Bldg. 2204, DSEME, Lyneham, Chippenham Wilts SN15 4PZ

Graduateship – Level 6 - £133.00


APPLICATION FORM Professional Recognition Award in Engineering The REME Arms School, as an authorised qualification provider of City & Guilds, can award a Level 4 Licentiateship (LCGI), Level 5 Affiliateship (AfCGI), Level 6 Graduateship (GCGI) or Level 7 Membership (MCGI) award in Engineering to personnel who meet the criteria set out below. Licentiateship REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive Cpl and have completed parts I & III phases of the JNCO/ALDP (MT/ME) CLM training are eligible for the Level 4 Licentiateship (LCGI) award in engineering. Affiliateship REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive Sgt and who have completed parts I & III Phases of the SNCO/ALDP (MT/ME) CLM training are eligible for the Level 5 Affiliateship (AfCGI) award in Engineering. Graduateship REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive WO2 and who have completed parts I & III Phases of the WO/ALDP (MT/ME) CLM / (WO ME) training are eligible for the Level 6 Graduateship (GCGI) award in Engineering. Membership REME personnel who have attained 2 years substantive Major and who have completed all parts of the ISC (L) training are eligible for the Level 7 Membership (MCGI) award in Engineering.

Name (first name(s) and surname) ...................................................................................................................................................... Rank/Service number .......................................................................................................... Date of birth ............................................................................................................................ Mobile Tel No .......................................................................................................................... Address ..................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................... ...................................................................................................................................................... Email (work/home) ............................................................................................................... Qualification ........................................................................................................................... Candidate’s signature .......................................................................................................... Date ............................................................................................................................................

The REME Cross Country Championships will be held at Tidworth and Bulford Garrison on Wed 15 November 2023 Venue – Tidworth & Bulford Range Road Cost – £6.00 per person Timings – 1330hrs Race Start

Further information can be sought from the REME Secretary Maj Mike Lovell on Race entry link: Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 21

Outward Bounds

The Annington Challenge Scribe: Lt Col Fergus Sullivan


o you have teenage children who would like to take part in an Outward-Bound adventure for as little as 10% of the normal cost? Then the Annington Challenge might be a way for them to take part next summer! The Annington Challenge ( the-annington-challenge) is a project set up by Annington Homes with the Outward-Bound Trust that gives children of service families aged 11-19 the opportunity to tackles courses designed to help them improve self-confidence, resilience and self-belief. Annington Homes will pay for up to 90% of the fees for an Outward-Bound course at one of the centres across the UK. The normal cost for a course is £575, so the cost per child through this scheme is under


£60 (although you will have to pay for transport to and from the adventure base). This summer one of my children took part in the Challenge and had a fantastic time. She did it as one of the requirements for the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme; which required her to complete a residential training course. As part of her week away she did an overnight expedition, leapt into lakes, built rafts as well as many other individual and team activities. When she came home she was on a high and felt a huge sense of achievement over what she had accomplished during her week away. This feeling has lasted all summer long and I believe that the memories and the friends that she made will last a lot longer. I can’t recommend this scheme enough and believe that more service families should know about it and use it.

The Craftsman is YOUR magazine… Air your views and submit your news. The Editor welcomes all stories – from REME Sport or raising money for the REME Charity to Exercises and Operations or personal stories from serving personnel and veterans. Please see the contents page for details on how to submit your story.

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Op DOWNBIRD Scribe: Sgt Coleman


n July 28th, over a small village in Wales called Arthog, a Chinook flying out of RAF Benson (tail number ZD575) was taking part in an exercise and reportedly suffered a small pin hole sized leak in its hydraulic system, and this caused the Pilots to choose a suitable landing site; the most obvious and spacious at the time being a local farmer’s field. Once the aircraft touched down a chain reaction of events took place. This involved the immediate deployment of a guard force from RAF Cosford to stag on the aircraft until it would eventually be in a fit state to take-off, RAF Engineers from 28 Sqn were sent to diagnose the currently unknown fault, the Joint Aircraft Recovery and Transportation Squadron (JARTS) team were preparing to crash out and arrange the recovery of the Chinook depending on the RAF Engineers verdict, Royal Engineers from Kinloss were placed on standby, and a multitude of Recovery Sections were hearing they may be tasked to offer their lift capabilities. The final verdict from the RAF Engineers was that it was a fault that could be fixed on site. The only issue now being that Wales is not exactly known for its sunny weather all year round. Several spells of rain, a soft field suitable only for grazing sheep and the Chinook weighing approximately 11 Tonnes caused the wheels to sink; leaving the hull fractionally off the ground. Speaking with a Pilot on site, he said the front blade would strike the ground if they were to attempt a take-off as it was. With the aircraft well and truly in the thick of it, the only option was to lift it out. Having already worked with JARTS on a multitude of aviation lifting tasks including Sea King, Apache, Wildcat and having joined them on their own aviation recovery camp, the Recovery Mechanics from 7 (Aviation Support) Battalion were eventually chosen as the team to head down and assist. The crews consisted of SSgt Pigott, Sgt Coleman, LCpl Martin and LCpl Woodfield. Arriving on site and being lodged at a local AT centre, there were other steps prior to the lift that had to take place. The Royal Engineers, having driven from Kinloss, oversaw setting up a temporary road suitable for the SVRs to reach the Chinook without


causing excessive damage to the Farmers land and providing a suitable platform around the Chinook in which the SVRs could deploy their cranes. Once the road was in place, an Oshkosh arrived to remove the fuel; I do not know how they managed to get through the Farmers gate given the awkward entrance and obstacles in place, it could only have been witchcraft. Friday the 4th, the road is down, and the fuel is out, time to lift. The crew with 2 Chinook recoveries under their belt already, knew how best to position the rotor blades and SVRs. Once marshalled into place, extensive supports were built under the stabiliser legs and rear spades to ensure a solid foundation to lift from. Once in place and cranes deployed, LCpl Martin and LCpl Woodfield operated their cranes under the guidance from the JARTS Appointed Person Lifting Operations (APLO). The Chinook was slowly lifted from its weeklong holiday location, allowing enough clearance for plastic bricks to fill the voids left from the wheels, and tough matting to be pulled under and pinned in place. After a couple of attempts, the aircraft was finally resting at a safe height mimicking that of a normal hard standing position and the Recovery Mechanic’s job was complete; allowing the Chinook to take off later that day. A seemingly simple task for any Recovery Section, however this is only due to our training and exposure

to all varieties of tasks throughout our careers. The SVR being the capable truck that it is, is often chosen over its civilian counterparts, due in part because of the SVR itself, but also the normal hardworking attitude we’ve come to expect within our trade group. One more job for the recovery log folder, and another job showcasing why we are God’s chosen trade.

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People’s Stories

Defending a Parachute Regiment – Battle Honour Scribe: Major Michael Strong REME (retired)


n 1983 I was invited to assist in research and displaying the results of it at the Merville Battery museum in Normandy. There had been a German gun battery in 4 concrete casemates in a field about a mile inland from the Eastern side of the Orne river estuary and the Caen canal which ran close alongside the river. 10 Field Squadron RE had cleared the site in 1982. The museum was confined to the largest casemate, No 1. On 3rd June 1984 10 of us, mainly REME, led by Colonel Ian Macpherson, arrived with enough display material to illustrate the action by the British 9th Para Battalion who were ordered to neutralise the battery at first light on DDay 6June 1944 under the command of Lt Col Terence Otway. With our group came 3 members of 9 para, CSM “Dusty” Miller, Sid Capon and Frank Delsignore. At the time I did not realise that for the next 30 years, including my last 4 years of Army service, I would remain closely involved there as a volunteer doing research and display work. Most of my expenses were paid by the Airborne Assault Normandy Trust (AANT). The purpose of the four concrete gun casemates was evident enough, but nobody knew the roles of the seven concrete bunkers. Although the museum had obtained a French 75 mm calibre M97 field gun with an interrupted screw breech mechanism, nobody knew which guns were used there by the Germans. For years it was assumed, for no good reason, that they were 75s of some sort. Also nothing was known about the men of the battery. I had much to investigate. Amongst the litter remaining at the casemate was a complete wooden ammunition box with a Cyrillic script including a word similar to “howitzer” and “100 mm”. There was also a box lid marked “Lfh14/19 (t)” (leichte feld haubitze ) ( tscheche). In a book in the School of Artillery at Larkhill I found that this was a 10 cm howitzer originally made by Skoda in Czechoslovakia. In the mud in a corner of the cellar I found a rusty steel powderbag case of 10cm diameter. It fitted the ammunition box lower compartment perfectly. German equipment tables and a few German maps showed that the battery was equipped with 4 Czech guns or howitzers of 10cm calibre with a range of 9.8 kilometers. This was enough to cover the Orne estuary and reach nearly all of SWORD beach from the enfilade position of the battery. Indicated on the maps it was also shown that the battery was equipped with two medium(?) machine guns and one 2cm Flak (AA gun). On a trip to Verdun I saw a WW1 Lfh14(t). It only needed the cosmetic addition of an extra 18 inches of barrel to make it look identical to the 14/19 (t). In 1919 Krupp or Rheinmetall had modified most Lfh14s to give them longer barrels. On another trip to Verdun in my old VW Beetle I persuaded Colonel Broisat of Souvenirs Francais to exchange it for our French 75. I then drove to 7 Rue Clichy in Paris to meet General Servranx , the head of S.F to get his agreement. An RE crew with a Scammel carried out the swap and I made a wooden 18 - inch extension on the barrel of the Lfh14. In the Exchange and Mart, I saw that a dealer called Ian Macgregor in North Wales had a yard full of old German 2cm calibre Flak38s. I drove the Volks up there to see them. I chose the one in worst condition and haggled the price down to £1,500. Back home I hired a pick-up truck and with my younger daughter Katheryn we collected it and took it home to my garage in Crewkerne. I spent 2 1/2 Winter months renovating it to display condition. The Flak 38 was designed such that a crew of 2 could dismantle it, carry it in 3 parts through a house doorway, take it upstairs to the attic, and open a wide hole in the roof with a few 26

magazines of gunfire. Or maybe that last bit was my guesswork. Suffice to say that I was able to take it apart again alone and it just fitted into my Volkswagen campervan. I took it to France for the museum the following June. Portsmouth customs only stopped and searched about one vehicle in 4, and I got lucky there. At Ouistreham, however, I had some explaining to do and was told to pay a tax of some sort. I got Olivier Paz, the mayor at Merville Franceville, to clear the way for me. The Flak and the Lfh were installed in the museum. I bought a book about WW2 German bunkers which gave all the answers about their purposes except one.This exception was a small bit of wreckage near No1 casemate,. Air photos showed that it had been knocked sideways by a bomb in March 1944. It had a strange part-triangular hole in the roof. The tripod base of the Flak fitted well within it. I concluded that it was the Flak bunker. Two of the other bunkers were identical and air recce photos showed zig zag trenches leading from one to casemates 1 and 2, the other having similar trenches to casemates 3 and 4. My bunker book showed that they were main gun ammunition storage bunkers. Each bunker had a Bereitschafts Raum (preparation room) where the 3-part shells could be assembled. From the RE clearance diagram and the periscope pipe through the roof another bunker was identified as the command bunker. Another bunker was so heavily earthed - up that its shape was hard to determine. After a dry spell of weather and with a rope around my waist I was able to enter it with a torch after digging the doorway clear. There was still about 3 feet depth of water and the whining sound of many mosquitos filled the air. I saw four stacks each of three bed frames hanging from chains attached to ceiling hooks about five feet apart. Some kind of dormitory, evidently. I think it probably housed the overnight guard. Another “bunker” was no more than a simple concrete shed.The chimney from it indicated that it was the cookhouse. The remaining bunker was a small concrete shelter over a well. When I met the Battery commander, Leutnant Steiner, he said that he remembered that as the Flak bunker had been destroyed, the Flak had then been put on the cookhouse roof. I said “Did you teach the cooks to fire the Flak or did you teach the air gunners to cook? He went “Ha !” and changed the subject. I later had a letter from Hans Staab who was the Flak gunner on DDay, He said the gun had been moved again onto the roof of the well by then. The cookhouse roof was flat but it had shaken dust into the soup when he fired the gun. He remembered firing at a Halifax bomber early on DDay. Before the howitzers were put into the casemates, the battery had been horse - drawn. The German war establishment for such a 4 - gun battery was 116 men including 3 officers, and 101 horses. With the guns now in casemates, most of the horses were moved into the nearby Haras de Retz with little exercise although a form of fox-hunting took place for some. It therefore seems certain that battery manpower was now reduced. Steiner estimated that he still had about 60 men at the battery. It later became clear, however, that a local infantry unit had a responsibility for defending the battery from a ground attack. Now for the bit about defending the honour of the Parachute Regiment. In 2013 I was contacted by Baron Helmut von Keusgen who had already written books about the American areas on DDay and he was now going to write about Pegasus Bridge and the Merville Battery. He was angry about the inaccurate and biased accounts already written about them. He was scornful about the

Merville Battery, and Pegasus Bridge operations. He also believed that the German guns at Le Havre would have made it impossible for British battleships to operate in support of the troops ashore. He kindly sent me copies of his books. I decided to write my own book very quickly to forestall him. I did, and I sent Von K a copy. Unfortunately Von K published his book anyway. Another author was Paul Carel who had written a book in German and French in 1962 entitled Sie Kommen ! and Ils Arrivent ! respectively. 9 Para plus a company of Canadians were flown from England very early on DDay some 750 strong but they came down so widely dispersed that only 150 made it to the RV, barely in time for the attack on the Battery. Carel wrote “ Nevertheless, Otway decided to attack, showing his courage and military discipline.” He goes on to say “66 of Otway’s 150 men died in the attack and in their haste the Tommies only did limited damage to the guns, some of which were repaired quite quickly.” Carel concludes that as the guns were “only of 75mm calibre, the attack was not justifiable and a waste of lives by the British”. He was unaware that the guns were, in fact, of 100 mm calibre, as proved here earlier. I found that the average weight of a sample of 6 German 75mm shells was 14.2 pounds but the weight of the 100mm HE shell used by the Merville Battery was 31.21 pounds. Some difference. Carel was wrong. The attack was justified, in my opinion. My books are on Amazon, titled Sid Capon’s War and Steiner’s War. Notes 1. A Haras is a stud farm 2. Flak38 in full is Flugabwehrkanone38 a 1938 anti-aircraft gun, updated from the 1930 Flak30. 3. Tommies were the French and German names meaning British soldiers, probably originating with Kipling’s Tommy Atkins. 4. Leutnant is the German equivalent of Second Lieutenant. An Oberleutnant is a Lieutenant. 5. Tscheche is German for Czech. 6. Lfh is Leichte feld haubitze (Light field howitzer)

We need your Friendship Stories! Have you formed life-long or lasting friendships at REME? Are your REME friends like family?

In celebration of Friendship Day, we willwe be telling storiesthe In celebration ofNational National Friendship Day, will bethetelling of friendships formed within the REME Family in the July issue stories of friendships formed within the REME Family. of The Craftsman.

Whether you are a Retired, or want Regular, weyour Whether you are a Retired, Reserve orReserve Regular, we to hear include a photo!) want to hearstories your (and stories (and include a photo!) Send your stories to:

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Sgt Edem Siawor EngTech MIMechE

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24/11/2021 16:14:48

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Ex DEEP SOUTH, REME Basketball USA OSV, 18th-26th March 2023 Scribe: WO2 Clarke


fter three years of meticulous planning, the REME Basketball team’s long-awaited tour was finally becoming a reality. Our main objectives were to remind our soldiers of the “REME Offer” and the reasons they joined the Army; as well as to prepare the team for its entry into the new Army Inter Corps Basketball League. To achieve this, we knew we needed a period of focused, highintensity Basketball training and competitive testing against our American allies. After exploring various options, we successfully put together a jam-packed itinerary spanning nine days, taking us across two

states, Georgia and Tennessee, and visiting three vibrant cities: Atlanta, Nashville, and Memphis. During this journey, the REME Basketball team had the opportunity to compete against formidable opponents such as the Atlanta Aliens and Tennessee Sting; both boasting skilled and experienced players. In addition to the intense competition, we were fortunate to have a coaching session delivered by a former college player and professional Coach; further enhancing our skills and strategies. Moreover, we were able to attend two thrilling National Basketball Association (NBA) games; immersing ourselves in the electrifying atmosphere of professional Basketball.

Day one – Traveling to Atlanta

and phone calls we found him already in the airport asking us where we had all been. Before boarding the nine-hour flight, we decided to indulge in some much-needed refreshments at the airport bar. With our spirits lifted and excitement building, the team was finally on its way. Little did we know that was just the beginning of an unforgettable adventure.

Every great adventure has its humble beginnings, and for us, it started with the daunting task of getting 15 soldiers to the airport on time, with all the necessary documents in hand. It was no easy feat, but we devised a plan to meet at the long-stay car park of Heathrow airport, four hours before our flight. Not only was it a cost-effective option, but it also allowed us to take care of any last-minute tour administration. After about 30 minuets of waiting, we had successfully gathered 14 players in the designated spot, fully equipped with their kit and equipment, ready to embark on this journey. The only missing player was Cpl Reid, who has now earned the nickname “Lone Wolf” for his tendency to march to the beat of his own drum and keep the rest of the team waiting. Nevertheless, and after a few worried messages

WO2 Cooper, Wood, SSgt Hoggarth and Cpl Ablett calming their nerves before the flight 28

Day two – Atlanta Aliens fixture Without a moment to spare for jet lag, we dove headfirst into the action with our first game against the formidable ABA pro Basketball team, the Atlanta Aliens. It was a true test for many of our REME players, as they had never faced such high-calibre opponents before.

WO2 Cooper adding to his Basketball memorabilia

Despite a slow start, we managed to find our rhythm and hold our own, resulting in a commendable 103-72 loss. To commemorate the game, we exchanged jerseys with the Atlanta Aliens, a tradition that symbolizes respect and camaraderie in the Basketball world. It was a special moment for our team, and to our surprise, we even made it onto their Instagram page; solidifying our presence and leaving lasting impressions. This experience against the Atlanta Aliens was a valuable learning opportunity for us, pushing us to elevate our game and adapt to the intensity of professional competition. It set the tone for the rest of our tour, fuelling our motivation to continue giving our all and making the most of every opportunity that came our way.

Day three - Atlanta Sightseeing After a gruelling day of travel and a challenging first game, the team was granted a well-deserved morning off to unwind and explore the sights that Atlanta had to offer. As the capital of the US state of Georgia, Atlanta boasted a plethora of attractions, including the renowned CNN Studios, The World of Coca-Cola and the Olympic Park. The downtown Olympic Park, originally constructed for the 1996 Olympic Games, proved to be a breath-taking location for the team to visit and capture some memorable photos. While immersing themselves in the vibrant atmosphere, there may have been a playful attempt to soak me as you can see in the picture below. Atlanta also boasted incredible shopping centres and treatment facilities that were simply too enticing to resist. LCpl King, in particular, took the opportunity to make sure his shooting hand looked impeccable with a personal nail treatment, leaving no stone unturned in his preparation for our next game. After immersing ourselves in the attractions Atlanta had to offer, we hopped onto the tram and made our way to Piedmont Park for a self-led training session. The park itself was like a scene straight out of a movie, with its picturesque settings and vibrant atmosphere. As we set up our training session, conducting shooting drills engaging in friendly scrimmages, we caught the attention of some curious locals who couldn’t resist joining in on the action. It was a delightful surprise to have the opportunity to interact and play alongside the locals, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie. The shared love for Basketball transcended any boundaries, and we were able to connect with fellow enthusiasts in a truly memorable way. The impromptu gathering not only added an extra layer of

Atlanta Aliens Insta post

WO2 Clarke just avoiding getting soaked in the Olympic Park

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excitement to our training session but also served as a reminder of the universal language of sport. It was a testament to the power of Basketball in bringing people together, regardless of backgrounds or origins.

Day four – Hawks v Pistons NBA game

LCpl King having the time of his life

Since the beginning of my Basketball journey, one of my lifelong dreams has been to witness an NBA game live. To my absolute delight, not only did our team have the incredible opportunity to attend an NBA game, but we were also granted the privilege of being part of the pre-game ritual. As the players emerged from the changing rooms and made their way onto the court, we had the honour of cheering them on, adding to the electrifying atmosphere. Being able to witness the skill, passion, and intensity of the NBA up close was a truly awe-inspiring experience. The energy in the arena was palpable, and the roar of the crowd was deafening. It was a moment that solidified my love for the game and served as a reminder of the hard work and dedication required to reach the highest levels of Basketball. As a team, we soaked in every second of the game, immersing ourselves in the excitement and marvelling at the talent on display. It was a dream come true, and a memory that will forever be etched in our hearts.

Piedmont Park court with the rest of Atlanta in the background

Cfn Malla getting high fived by his idol Trae Young and vowing to never wash his hand again

WO2 Cooper getting schooled in the post by WO2 Clarke. Too small was the shout after Clarke’s shot went in. Some may remember it differently and the now self-proclaimed, nothing but net, Cooper is adamant that brick master Clarky tanked that shot 30

Cfn Malla and Cfn Gurung fully photo bombing the halftime dance cam entertainment ending up on the big screen

Day five – Pro training Following the exhilarating NBA game that left us inspired, we decided to take our teams skills to the next level by booking a training session led by Jordon Johnson, a former college Basketball player. However, before we could begin, we were required to sign a waiver confirming that we had no health issues or reasons that would prevent us from participating in the session. It was at this moment that we realised we were about to witness first-hand what it truly means to be an Athlete. After an intense warm-up, our Coach reminded us of the importance of conditioning in Basketball by quoting the famous line from Coach Carter “I can’t teach you the game of Basketball until your conditioning is at a level that allows me to do so. Please report to the baseline.” Some players began to complain, questioning the absence of basketballs in a Basketball training session. Little did they know they would regret their comments. As the training session progressed, we found ourselves in various core-building stress positions, with a Basketball incorporated into the exercise. The pictures below captured the intensity and determination in our faces as we pushed ourselves to new limits. After the introduction of some other strange but equally challenging exercises the whole team was starting really see how hard professional Athletes must work before they even get to work on their Basketball skills. WO2 Cooper really enjoyed the plyometric resistance machine. Afterwards it was decided that he should have one of these at work to stop him flapping and flying away when his craftsmen have not completed their online Individual Training and Readiness System records. Despite the gruelling nature of the training session, the team emerged with a sense of accomplishment and newfound confidence for the remainder of the tour. At the end of the session there were smiles all around, perhaps partly due to the relief that it was over. However, those smiles also reflected a sense of satisfaction and pride in our ability to push through the difficulties and come out stronger on the other side.

LCpl King wishing that he got his feet manicured rather than getting his nails done

Cpl Ablett and WO2 Wood deciding if they need any more resistance to stop WO2 Cooper flying away

All of the players wishing they had kept their thoughts to themselves when asking for basketballs to be included

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Day six – Nashville fixture To continue our tour, we embarked on a fourhour road trip from Atlanta to Nashville, opting for the Greyhound bus service. For those familiar with traveling in America, riding on the Greyhound bus is an experience in itself. However, the journey was well worth it when we arrived at our new hotel, The Durys Plaza in downtown Nashville. Compared to the Holiday Inn in Atlanta, The Durys Plaza was a significant upgrade. The hotel exuded luxury and comfort, providing us with a much-needed respite after the intense training session from the day before. The sight of the hotel’s jacuzzi and swimming pool was a welcome relief, offering the perfect opportunity for some team members to sooth their sore muscles and relax, After the team had fully reenergized, it was finally time for our second fixture against the formidable Tennessee Sting. Following what felt like an eternity of warming up, the team was geared up and prepared to take the court. With the guidance of our professional coaching and the strengthened camaraderie from our team bonding and training sessions, our performance in the second fixture had significantly improved. LCpl Alex Hall’s impressive three-point shots and skilful “and one” plays had us in contention for a victory. Despite a valiant late surge, the game remained fiercely contested until the very end. However, luck was not on our side, and we ultimately fell short, suffering a closely fort defeat with a respectable final score of 86-79. Through the intense match, both teams had developed a mutual respect for one another’s skills and determination. As a symbol of this newfound respect, we had the opportunity to exchange jerseys once again at the end of the game, further solidifying the camaraderie between us.

The team pictured with their torturer, I mean Coach for the day, Jordon Johnson

The lesser spotted photographer/waterbody Sgt Davis bottom right even managed to make it into the picture

The view out of the front of the hot tub was amazing but the view inside it was a lot less desirable


Day seven – Memphis day trip To make the most of our tour and experience the vibrant atmosphere of Memphis, renowned as the home of rock ‘n’ soul music, we decided to squeeze in another NBA game. This allowed us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in the thrilling world of professional Basketball before embarking on a memorable day trip to explore the rich musical heritage of Memphis. Despite encountering a minor setback with the deposits for the rental cars, which resulted in SSgt Clarke and WO2 Cooper having to dip into their spending money, the team’s adventurous road trip to the highly anticipated Memphis Grizzlies versus Houston Rockets game was still a go. Embracing the spirit of wacky races, we embarked on a thrilling journey to witness the class of these Basketball titans. A sense of worry swept the team as news broke that Ja Morant might not be able to play. However, as we arrived at the game, relief washed over us as we saw him confidently taking his place in the starting five.

LCpl Hall getting fouled on his way to the basket

The two teams together after a well fought contest

Final Day- Traveling home

Ja Morant on the court and the big screen where he belongs

As the players’ bank accounts dwindled and exhaustion took its toll, the time had come to bring the tour to a close. Having played two intense NBA games and faced off against American teams in two fixtures, our tour had successfully accomplished its goals of challenging ourselves against our American allies and fostering individual growth and team unity. On a personal note, I am incredibly grateful to have had such an amazing group of teammates to embark on this tour with. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who joined us, as this experience has truly become one of my most cherished moments in the Army. The bonds we formed and memories we created will undoubtedly last a lifetime, and I eagerly look forward to the adventures that the next tour will bring. The REME Basketball team has already completed two games in the British Army Basketball league, and we are now gearing up for the upcoming fixtures that will take place every five weeks until January. If you are interested in joining our training sessions and participating in any of these upcoming games, please don’t hesitate to reach out to: WO2 Martin Clarke Email:

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REME Sport

REME North Golf Society Scribe: Ritchie Henson - REME North Golf Society Organiser

REME Team at Temple Newsam


he REME Golf North Society, were invited to the Centenary Golf Day for Temple Newsam Golf Course (GC) on Friday 21st July. 12 players each were invited from the REME, RE, Green Howards and the Temple Newsam GC. We were treated to bacon sandwiches and as much tea or coffee as we wanted before attempting to make some putts on the practice green and have a few team photos. Fair to say if any of the REME team made any putts it was only on the practice green looking at the final scores. It was the first time the REME Golf T-shirts had an outing with us, and I must say we all loved them and we looked like we knew what we were doing. With its scenic views of Leeds City Centre and the local youths riding their E-bikes over the undulating greens what more could you ask for. The course was in excellent condition for a Municipal Golf course, and a thoroughly enjoyable day

was had by all. The most frequent comment I heard all day was bad golf great company. That’s all we are out playing Golf for; great company and to meet old and new friends. After the golf there was curry and a buffet and more than a few pints to brighten the mood. The presentation then started. Everybody had chucked in £5 earlier, of which, 50% was given in prize money for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place with the remaining 50% going to the RNLI, which was the chosen charity of Paul Stringer, the Captain of Temple Newsam GC. The results were in and unfortunately the REME contingent came in a fighting 4th place, with Temple Newsam being the winning team. The prize money also went to the Temple Newsam players for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places; with winner racking up 49 points (18 handicapper) 2nd place 45 points and 3rd place 37 points.

Full team photo


The REME Golf team also handed over a St Eligius Trophy as a gift to Paul Stringer as the Captain of Temple Newsam GC, to express our thanks for their Hospitality and to mark their Centenary anniversary A thoroughly enjoyable day was had by all, and as a result of this great day, this will now be an annual event.

REME North Golf Society REME North Golf Society is looking to expand and is looking for more Veterans and current Serving personnel who play Golf and would like to get involved in our three yearly meets. Even if you don’t have a handicap but play Golf; any standard and any trade is accepted.

Danny McCreesh MBE and Paul Stringer

From 2024, we will have a Spring, Summer and Autumn Event. Details to follow later in the year when all things are finalised. All Golf meets will have a price that includes breakfast, 18 holes, two course meal and prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, and, nearest the pins, with a small percentage of the fee going to the winning person’s choice of charity. If you want to get involved in our group, sponsor an event or donate a prize, head over to Facebook and join REME North Golf and join us, updates will be added there regularly, alternatively you can email me

The view

REME Sport

5 (Force Support) Battalion REME ARRC and Army Operational Shooting Competitions 2023 Scribes: Sgt Indra Singh Tamang / Capt Griffiths


apt Griffiths and SSgt Mccartney trained twenty soldiers from 5 Battalion REME’s Shooting Team in preparation for the Allied Rapid Reaction Corp (ARRC) Operational Shooting Competition (OSC). Deploying to Pirbright Range Complex throughout March and April. Upon completion the best-performing eight members were selected to compete. 5 Battalion REME finished as the highest scoring team within 104 Theatre Sustainment Brigade and were the only REME unit shortlisted to attend the Army Operational Shooting Competition (AOSC). Sgt Tamang achieved a lifelong ambition to compete for the opportunity to secure recognition as an Army 100 shot. On the first day of the AOSC, Sgt Tamang provided a promising performance and after receiving coaching from another Army 100 shot, he was also delighted to successfully secure recognition as an Army 100 shot after twenty 21 years of service. Grateful for the mentoring support he received from Sgt Pun for enabling him to achieve his dream, Sgt Tamang was the only REME soldier in 2023 to gain the prestigious Army 100.

Capt Griffiths and Sgt Singh Tamang outside 5 Battalion REME HQ

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REME Sport

REME Martial Arts Ju Jitsu Training Camp 31 Jul – 4 Aug 23 ‘The gentle art of people folding’ Opening remarks Scribe / OIC Event: Captain Beaman REME, 7 Avn Sp Bn REME (Black belt JJJ) REME Martial Arts Instructor & Wattisham Flying Station (WFS) Martial Arts OIC

Group Photo everyone came away with a firm understanding of the fundamentals s part of developing Ju Jitsu across the Corps, REME Martial of Ju Jitsu. Arts recently delivered a Ju Jitsu training camp in Plymouth The key takeaway for me was the emphasis placed on the over the period 31 Jul – 4 Aug 23. This was with the aim to requirement to be flexible and rapidly adapt your techniques. When broaden each student’s understanding of Japanese Ju Jitsu (JJJ) and your opponent has a say outside of your drills or throws, potentially Brazilian Ju Jitsu (BJJ), and also Judo and how they can all be when a shoulder or wrist lock wouldn’t work you would have to combined to add the edge in not only competition but also real-life quickly adapt and use your opponent’s momentum and positioning situations. This further refined and manipulated student techniques to maintain control; a mindset absolutely crucial to military actions to become more proficient martial artists. After a long drive from from tactical through to strategic. Wattisham to Plymouth we arrived at the Royal Citadel, home to 29 Cdo Regt RA and situated right on the coast. A short walk from the 2Lt Owen (RN), 7 Avn Sp Bn REME Barbican and its beautiful pubs and restaurants, it is a stunning location (when it finally stopped raining!) and only a 20-minute drive Our week-long training camp not only brushed off my cobwebs, but from Plymouth Ju Jitsu Dojo where we would be training for the it also kickstarted my body back into being thrown, bashed and week. In total, 11 students attended the full-time training camp; twisted; loving every moment of it along the way! The expert tuition learning techniques across the three disciplines and below are some was at the perfect level for the group, teaching techniques to deal of the student’s experiences: with punches, grabs, kicks and even knife attacks. While my body was stoat and battered by the end, I wished we could have done the Capt Gooch (AAC), 3 Regt Army Air Corps week all over again the following Monday! Chris Burch our lead Instructor had taught many a Royal Marine and Police Officer before and was very keen to ensure his teachings LCpl Dalby (REME), 7 Avn Sp Bn REME placed the most emphasis on getting stuck in to applying the (Black belt Judo) techniques. Chris expertly shaped our anticipated military Having had a limited exposure to Ju Jitsu via Captain Beaman (JJJ) enthusiasm and generated a syllabus for the week that focused on applicable throws, combinations, chokes and holds; meaning that and WO2 Little (BJJ) on a Wednesday afternoon, I knew that the



Capt Gooch and Cfn Pilcher learning leg lock techniques week down in Plymouth would be full of learning techniques with real life applications involved. I currently hold a Black belt in Judo and compete at a national level, to this end, all the throwing aspects felt natural, however the main difference would be the entrances to techniques, such as blocking strikes, kicks and knife attacks. These entrance techniques were a real eye opener and showed how the throws I’ve learnt prior can be used in real life situations. Plymouth Ju Jitsu was brilliant. The facilities the club have are 10/10. Throughout the week we had three main Instructors, all of which were extremely patient with people new to martial arts, but also offered more advanced steps to those with prior knowledge or just picked it up quicker. This meant everyone was catered for and no one ever stood around bored; we were constantly learning. The sessions were diverse however always included a remind and revise phase where we consolidated techniques learnt the previous day. Overall, the week down in Plymouth was great. I personally had never been to Plymouth before, so to experience somewhere new, stay in the Royal Citadel and experience what Plymouth had to offer was excellent. The training camp was extremely beneficial, fun, and full of learning which definitely built more of a base of Ju Jitsu of which I hope to continue to build upon, on Wednesday sport afternoons. It’s something I’d certainly do again given the chance.

LCpl Griffiths (RLC), 7 Avn Sp Bn REME The Ju Jitsu training camp was excellent. It was my first-time learning Ju Jitsu, and I initially didn’t know what to expect. After attending the training camp, I have noticed how my throwing techniques have improved compared to how I was before. The Instructors were very

LCpl Prince hip throwing LCpl Mosely welcoming and took their time when demonstrating all the techniques. They took their time and ensured that everyone had the opportunity to practice the technique and that everyone understood before moving on to the next technique. My overall experience of the week was great and I can see myself continuing doing Ju Jitsu.

LCpl Gater (REME), 7 Avn Sp Bn REME I was unsure what to expect prior to the training camp but combining JJJ and BJJ, encompassed both standing strikes and throws with groundwork. It helped me improve particularly with BJJ. The camp has given me a better understanding, faster and more fluid approach to locks and getting into the positions needed, whilst allowing my movements to flow if they fail. The Instructors had over 50 years of experience between them meaning they had a plethora of techniques and knowledge. They were keen to teach and assist with any questions and queries; even those related to other disciplines and counters to their techniques and drills. I thoroughly enjoyed the week and feel as though a lot was learned. The techniques, knowledge and memorable approach of the Instructors meant that a lot could be taken away from the week. New locks learned with a better understanding of the biology that takes place when using locks and triangular locks, smoother transitions into tighter ‘to the body’ positions meaning more success rates on tapping and faster more fluid drills.

LCpl Prince (REME), 3 Regt Army Air Corps

LCpl Dalby demonstrating Judo variations

Learning Ju Jitsu in relation to what I’ve previously done (Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing) was more beneficial because a high volume of the techniques taught could be applied to real life scenarios. The Instructors were friendly, knowledgeable, and created a very positive atmosphere at all times. The club was well equipped with kick bags, boxing gloves/pads and many training weapons to practice with. I would recommend Ju-Jitsu as it’s been a fantastic and a fun educational experience; which teaches realistic techniques and the principles of what are trying to be achieved to incorporate into your fighting style. I’ve made new friends and also achieved along with the others who attended my yellow belt, which was a nice end to the week. Seeing

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LCpl Teo grappling with one of the Instructors everyone being awarded one was quite an achievement and a sturdy first step into a hopefully long martial art journey. My overall experience was one I won’t forget. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of training and I’d do it again in a heartbeat and have already suggested it to many friends.

LCpl Teo (REME), 7 Avn Sp Bn REME When I signed up for this training camp I was looking to expand my experience in grappling to help my BJJ, I looked forward to a week full of intense standing and ground work. Up till now, I have only practiced basics for BJJ, and this has allowed me to expand my experience all round. The club was friendly and welcoming, and the Instructors were well informed and a great laugh. I would highly recommend future training camps to anyone getting into self-defence or martial arts. The overall experience was fun and enjoyable, I was able to learn a lot of new techniques and improve on old ones. The Instructors there were also keen on seeing what we were capable of and helping us inter-link what we already knew and adding their experience to it.

Closing remarks

Black belt grading


The camp culminated in the presentation of Plymouth Ju Jitsu Budo passes and yellow belts to all students on the Thursday afternoon, and then on the Friday morning, the Black belt grading of Capt Beaman who successfully cemented his technical expertise as a Japanese Ju Jitsu Martial artist. A Capt Beaman after receiving proud moment and lifelong his black belt ambition which only took 44 years! For those that are in or around the Wattisham area, the Station now has a dedicated Martial Arts club which supports all local units and aspiring martial artists alike. The group has continued to grow from a small handful to approx. 20 members, and under the leadership of Capt Craig Beaman REME who has grown the club from scratch with his small team of Instructors; WO2 Andy Little 3AAC and L/Cpl Sam Dalby 7 Bn, and has implemented a permanent Wednesday training slot. This has continued to push for the creation of the permanent training facility, ‘The WFS Combat Centre’ which hopefully will be the centre piece for all Station Boxing and Martial Arts. All are welcome. Anyone who is interested in joining REME Martial arts should contact the following POCs: Chairperson: Maj Paul Reynolds Secretary: Sgt Stevie Hunt

REME Sport

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ): Building Resilience and Camaraderie in REME The Powerful Benefits of Engaging in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at CORPS Level Scribe: Lieutenant John Woodman


n the dynamic world of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, the pursuit of excellence extends beyond technical prowess. Engaging in activities that foster mental resilience, physical fitness, and camaraderie is paramount to building a strong and cohesive team. BJJ emerges as a potent avenue to achieve these goals; offering a multifaceted platform for personal growth and Corps-wide connection.

A Path to Mental Resilience: Martial arts, particularly BJJ, offer more than just physical training; they serve as a crucible for mental fortitude. REME soldiers and officers who embrace BJJ learn the value of discipline, adaptability, and perseverance. The intricate techniques and strategic thinking required in BJJ mirror the problem-solving skills demanded in the military arena. Navigating through challenging situations on the mat prepares individuals to tackle real-life obstacles with a resilient mindset.

Corps and Army Networking: Incorporating BJJ into REME culture offers an exceptional opportunity for cross-unit interactions and networking. Regular training sessions, workshops, and inter-unit competitions create a platform for soldiers to interact beyond their immediate circles. This exposure not only enhances the sense of belonging but also broadens soldiers’ perspectives; enriching their understanding of the Corps as a whole.

Recruitment and Retention Strategy: BJJ’s appeal extends to both prospective recruits and existing soldiers. Incorporating BJJ into REME’s offerings can serve as a powerful recruitment tool; showcasing the Corps’ commitment to holistic development. For existing soldiers, BJJ presents an exciting

opportunity to diversify their skill sets and explore new challenges, contributing to job satisfaction and retention rates.

Overseas Sports Tours: A Unique Reservist and Regular Opportunity: One of the compelling draws of embracing BJJ within REME is the potential for soldiers, both Regular and Reserve, to be selected for overseas sports tours. These tours not only provide a chance to test skills on an international stage but also serve as a means of cultural exchange and collaboration with military personnel from other nations. The experience gained during these tours enriches soldiers’ capabilities and contributes to their growth as individuals and professionals. There have been very few REME personnel in the past that have engaged but this year has seen 2 REME personnel selected for both attendance at The BJJ World Masters and selected for the Army Elite Sport Programme (AESP) Talented Athlete Support Scheme (TASS). Support and selection would not have been possible without the support and funding of the chain of command and the REME Charity. At this year’s Inter-Services BJJ Champs, in which the Army left victorious, 6 members of the 20-person REME BJJ Expression of team were REME, almost all won gold Interest medals in Gi and NoGi elements of the competition. The team was also Captained by a REME Officer. If you have an interest in BJJ please register your details by scanning the QR code, and you will receive an email. In the meantime, please search for @remejiujitsu on Instagram and the REME BJJ Defence connect page for updates.

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REME Sport

A season with REME Boxing Scribe: Maj G Bromidge


uhammad Ali once said ‘I run on the long road before I dance under the lights’, which is a phrase epitomised by REME Boxing. The team has enjoyed its most successful season to date, but it’s taken a lot of hard work and determination to reach our goals. Additions to the committee saw WO2 (AQMS) McKendry arrive as Boxing Secretary and WO2 Douthwaite as Assistant Coach with female representation from Cpl Leo and LCpl Hutchins. SSgt Alden, Cpl Fryett and Cpl Cook aligned to the committee as Corps Coaches where they captured the talent at 8 Trg Bn REME. These additions formed a robust platform to operate from through their depth,

knowledge and experience. Our 4 tenets to our strategy remained unchanged as we looked to build on our successes from the previous season. • Reinvigorate participation (train Coaches) • Grow female opportunities • Maintain presence in Army Boxing Team structure • Maximise value of big show events Reinvigorate participation (train Coaches). Training camps have been delivered across the UK to maximise the talent of our boxers and Coaches. These have attracted all levels of experience, allowing the Corps to be competitive with our peers whilst also securing our future by maximising our talent at grass roots. We have capitalised on the increase of qualified boxing Coaches which has allowed us to deliver development camps across the whole of the UK; sharing the travel burden on our soldiers.

Grow female opportunities REME Boxing has made significant progress in growing female opportunities. Led by Cpl Leo and LCpl Hutchins a questionnaire released to the Corps female cohort identified key areas to sustain and improve. Implementing the feedback, the Corps delivered its first female training serial in May 23. We have had female representation at the Corps Championships, Army Individuals and our overseas trip to Cyprus. The next training camp is scheduled for 16 Oct in Tidworth which is gaining traction.

Maintain presence in Army Boxing Team structure

Sgt Liam Jones receiving Coach of the year award

The Army Boxing Team saw Corps representation from Cfn Brookes (QDG LAD), LCpl Stuart (1AAC Wksp), LCpl Moulds (1REME) and LCpl Glover (7REME). Cfn Brookes was crowned 57kg England Dev Champion and LCpl Stuart won the ABA 63kg Final and finished runner up at the GB Elite Three Nations Championships to 2022 Commonwealth Games representative Cpl Megan Reid (RLC). LCpl Stuart has been selected for the England Boxing Senior Performance Programme where she will take part in monthly training camps whilst also having the opportunity to compete both nationally and internationally. LCpl Moulds competed in the Harringay Box Cup where he unfortunately lost in the final. As Europe’s largest amateur Boxing event it attracted 300+ competitors; which was an awesome achievement. Sgt Allen (5REME) bid farewell as the Army Boxing Coach after spending 15 years with the team. He now has set his sights on the GB Boxing Squad where he recently attended as a performance Coach.

Maximise value of big show events

LCpl Terri Stuart receiving Sports person of the year award 40

27 Regiment RLC hosted the RLC v REME ‘Buildforce Charity Boxing Dinner Night’ at St Omer Bks on Thu 24 Nov 22. It has been a few years since both Corps’ have taken part in the fiercely contested event and 9 bouts were on the card consisting of various levels of experience. Both Corps’ put on a fantastic display during what was a high-octane evening, appreciated by the 500+ audience. Unfortunately, the evening went in favour of the RLC winning 6 – 3, however the experience gleaned from this large show event was not only unique but vital to our boxer’s development. The Tri REME Bn Boxing evening took place on Thu 9 Mar 23 at Tidworth. An evening of Boxing contested by 3, 4 and 6 REME it was the first event of its kind. All Bn’s were well represented which contributed to a fantastic event with 3REME as overall winners. The event highlighted plenty of new talent to the Corps Boxing Committee who would go on to represent the Corps. 7 Bn REME hosted the Corps Boxing Championships 15 – 18 May at Wattisham. 3 days of boxing culminated in an evening of Boxing with 8 Trg Bn REME, 13 AASR and 7REME competing for the winning trophy. 8 Trg Bn REME won all 4 of their bouts on the night but relied

on 13 AASR and 7Bn REME not to build on the points advantage they had accrued in the earlier phases of the competition. 7 Bn REME remained on form and took the points they needed to finish as overall winners. With a large representation of Boxers from 8 Trg Bn REME, the pool of REME Boxers at grass roots is becoming more established. The last major event of the Army Boxing calendar is the Army Open Championships which took place 4-8 June and attracted 100+ entrants from across the Army. The Corps entered 10 Boxers (8 male and 2 female) to compete for the title of their class and weight category. A week of high-quality Boxing saw the Corps finish narrowly behind the Infantry and Royal Engineers with personal achievements as follows. Cpl Wolfendale – 21 Engr Regt (Army Champ). LCpl Wilson – 7 Bn REME (Army Champ). Cfn Worster – 8 Trg Bn REME (Army Champ). Cpl Weldon – 1 CS Bn REME (Runner Up). LCpl Hutchins – 7 Bn REME (Runner Up). Cfn Kaminski – 8 Trg Bn REME (Runner Up). Cfn Griffiths – 8 Trg Bn REME (Semi- Finalist). Cfn Martin – 8 Trg Bn REME (Semi- Finalist). Cfn Mowles – 1 (CS) Bn REME (Qtr – Finalist). Cfn Hamilton – 4 (ACS) Bn REME (Qtr – Finalist). The team’s last event of the season was an overseas trip to Cyprus to compete against an RAF select team in Jul 23. This was open-air event which is unusual for military Boxing but a unique experience for our Boxers. The result was determined by the final bout with REME Boxing taking the victory.

Team Captain, Cpl Liam Weldon leading the way with a unanimous points victory at the Army Championships

Summary The success of REME Boxing has been recognised through the Corps and Army Boxing annual sports awards. Sgt Liam Jones was recognised as Coach of the year and LCpl Terri Stuart was awarded Sports person of the year at the REME awards. In addition, LCpl Stuart was awarded the Boxer’s Boxer at the Army Boxing Team sports awards and Corps Colours awarded to the following individuals. • WO2 (CSM) Paul Hellens. • WO2 (AQMS) Chris McKendry. • WO2 Ryan Douthwaite. • Sgt Liam Jones. We continue to remain engaged with our sponsors, Carwood who have supported REME Boxing for nearly 10 years. Chris Humphries (Key Account Manager) has been fundamental in providing the generous funding, allowing us so to achieve our goals. He has a genuine interest and through his dedication, support and knowledge of our team we can remain competitive. Chris and his colleagues hosted the team in Nov 22 at their Coventry site and gave

L-R, LCpl Nikki Hutchins and Cfn Ellie Worster receiving their Army Championship medals from England Boxing National Dev Champion, Cfn Niamh Brookes (All REME)

The REME Boxing Team and committee at the Army Boxing 2023 Championship Finals

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8 Trg Bn REME, I have worked very hard to lose weight and get Boxing fit. I managed to get my first bout representing the Bn at the REME Championships in the female 60kg category. I won by a second-round stoppage, and this resulted in me being selected to represent the REME Corps team at the Army Individual Championships. Boxing well again, I got the win, becoming the female under 60kg 2023 Army Champion. It was such a great experience and a day I will never forget. It took great grit and determination to lead me to this success. It wasn’t just me who managed to get an excellent outcome; the whole of the REME Corps team boxed brilliant and it was a very good result overall. We had 3 x Gold, 3 x Silver, 2 x Semi-finalists and 2 x Quarterfinalists. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the support and efforts of my Coaches at 8 Trg Bn and of course my family and friends. I feel privileged to be able to represent the REME in the sport of Boxing. I cannot wait for more great opportunities in the future and will hopefully be able to work towards the Army development squad when finishing training and see how far I can go with Boxing in the Army. Sgt Allen at the Army Boxing annual awards receiving his parting gift us a detailed presentation and tour of what Carwood offers; supporting the military is just one of many areas they cover across the engineering domain. Before some of the Boxers provide their own accounts, on behalf of the committee I would like to express our gratitude to the units who allow their Boxers to attend and compete throughout the season. Busy is routine for the Corps so I fully understand that unit CoC’s take risk in releasing their troops. I can only provide the assurance that when they are with REME Boxing they are fully immersed in a culture which is borne out of their experiences and the feelings and beliefs they gain from those experiences; it has been extremely positive. The committee’s intention is to always return soldiers to their units where they stand a little taller, walk with their heads held higher and work that bit harder; and always with a smile on their faces.

Army Individual Championships By Cfn Ellie Worster, 8REME Having boxed prior to joining the Army, I always intended on restarting the sport while serving. Since starting my trade training at

REME Boxing in Cyprus By LCpl Marcel Lincoln-Francis, 7REME Cyprus was a great experience for the team, and I personally gained a lot from it. It was a challenging experience and the conditions we trained in added to this. Having to adapt to the climate and training in the heat was probably the most difficult part of the fight. The temperature reached up to 40 degrees, which coupled with 70% humidity made for hard training. Everybody agreed that the training camp leading up to our bouts went really well. Each day we carried out a morning session and an evening session which ensured that we acclimatised to the conditions we would be fighting in. The training made sure that each Boxer had one on one time with the Coaches during training sessions so that everyone got the most out of training as possible. Fight night had a remarkable atmosphere, as the ring was outdoors, and all the tables and seating surrounded it looked great. As a team, we were all ready to go and achieve our aim in which we travelled all the way to Cyprus to do. With the scores locked at 2-2, going into the final bout we would go on to take the win and finish as 3-2 winners on the night. Once all the bouts had concluded, all Boxers paraded back into the ring, where as a team we collected the award for winning against the RAF Boxing Team. I was also awarded best Boxer which I was very shocked but very grateful to achieve for myself and the team. It was an amazing experience to be able to represent the REME Corps Boxing Team for the first time especially on such a great show as RAF vs REME. Being able to do this in Cyprus at an open-air show made it even more memorable.

Team Captain’s Season Summary By Cpl Liam Weldon, 1REME

REME Boxing Team in Cyprus after beating the RAF Boxing Team


It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as the REME Boxing Team Captain this year. Together, this season we embraced perseverance, dedication, and unity, forging a bond that elevated us to new heights. From the end of last season, we have boxed on various shows and worked hard to develop skills on our training camps in between events to remain active and sharp for when it mattered. Highlights of the season for me would have to include the Corps Championships in May, where numerous different units entered Boxers and really showed the talent we have across our Corps. We then took a group of 10 Boxers (male and female) to the Army Individuals, where it was clear that REME Boxing was not here just to take part. Our victories and performances at the Army Individuals, at a variety of different weight categories, reflected the hard work the Coaches and Boxers have put in this year. This gave the team even more confidence for our most recent outing against the RAF in Cyprus. The whole overseas Boxing experience is something I will never forget. Of course, it made it even sweeter the fact we managed to get a 3-2 win overall taking away the team trophy on the night. I know this is just the start of many successful seasons with REME Boxing and I look forward to the next.

Are you in the REME and interested in playing Basketball?

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Upcoming training dates (Tidworth Leisure Centre) 12-13 Sept 23 • 16-17 Oct 23 • 27-28 Nov 23

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Obituary Sergeant (Retired) Peter Charles Vaughan Scribe: D J Vaughan I regret to inform the Corps of the passing of 23661022 Sgt Peter Charles Vaughan on Sunday 13th August 2023 aged 82 years. Pete Vaughan was born in Wednesbury in 1940 and joined the Army in Wolverhampton on 2nd July 1958. On joining he carried out his Basic Training in Blandford before completing his trade training as a Tels Tech in Arborfield. Once qualified he was posted to Kenya for three years before returning to Arborfield. Pete then deployed to British Guiana for nine months, after which, he returned once more to Arborfield. His following postings included Anglesey for two years in 1965; Germany (4 Armd Wksp) for six years in 1967; Benbecula, Outer Hebrides for three years in 1973; Hong Kong for two years in 1976 and he completed his 22 years’ service in Larkhill from 1978 for two years; retiring from the Service in December 1980. During his time in the Army, Pete was a very competitive footballer representing REME and Combined Services Africa. He was part of a REME Military family with his Father, Charles Vaughan, serving in REME from its inception in 1942, his Brother John serving from 1946 and his Son WO1 (ASM) DJ Vaughan serving from 1985. On his retirement from the Army, Pete worked with Marconi Space and Defence, and Celab in Bordon, before joining the Civil Service. As a Civil Servant, Pete worked at HMS Mercury and HMS Collingwood before becoming the Health and Safety Representative for Bordon (SEME), bringing him back into the REME family. He finally retired for good in 2003 (after retiring from the Civil Service aged 60 and contracting for three years) and was given a send-off in the Sgts Mess at Bordon; which was an institution that he always spoke fondly of. Pete is survived by his Wife Jill of 59 years, his Daughter Diane and Son DJ. The funeral will take place on Monday 18th September in Havant. AeM.

The REME Charity The Trustees of The REME Charity acknowledge with sincere thanks the donations received during the month of AUGUST 2023. They also wish to acknowledge the regular subscriptions received from the Officers and Soldiers of the Corps and retired members of the REME Institution:

03/08/2023 16/08/2023 16/08/2023 30/08/2023 11/08/2023 09/08/2023 31/08/2023

From Amount In memory of Fred Hills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £290.26 In memory of Edward John Dutton . . . . . . . £100.00 In memory of David Lamb . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £50.00 Adam Medlock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £4.44 Steve Budge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £10.00 Major (Retd) Chris Prince . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £150.00 Thetford & District REME Association . . . . . £100.00 Date sent to Craftsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 05/09/2023 Total Donations (Aug) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £704.70 Total £’s paid in Grants (Aug) . . . . . . . . . . £31,811.58 No. Grants (Aug). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Average Grant (Aug) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . £837.15

If you would like to see how your money is spent, we welcome one or two observers at The REME Charity meetings. The meetings are held midweek, approximately every three weeks. If you would like to observe a meeting, please contact The REME Charity Secretary on ( Mil: 95481 4527 or Civ: 07936902415 in the first instance. The REME Charity is here for both veterans and serving personnel in times of hardship or need. Contact via SSAFA ( 0800 731 4880 or The Royal British Legion ( 0808 802 8080  or your Unit Welfare if serving. All enquiries and information is dealt with in the strictest confidence. If you wish to discuss any benevolence need you can contact us on ( 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


YOU The Craftsman Magazine exists for The REME Family but it is only kept going because you provide the articles in it. From engineering to fencing, if it is about the Corps you can write an article about it. Peter Vaughan


See inside the front cover for guidelines.



04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23 04-Sep-23

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REME Badminton Championships 09-13 October 2023 ATR Grantham

The REME Christian Network connects serving Christians throughout their REME career. Events include: Novice/Men’s/Ladies Singles Men’s/Ladies/Unit Doubles Veterans/Mixed Doubles For further details/entry forms please email: Cpl Alex Evans Assistant Secretary

#REME Badminton

Please email or to sign up and get involved! 1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

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


London Gazette 2nd AUGUST No entries

9th AUGUST No entries

15th AUGUST REGULAR ARMY Intermediate Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Warrant Officer Class 1 Jason Robert MARKS 25130686 to be Captain 3 July 2023

22nd AUGUST REGULAR ARMY Intermediate Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Warrant Officer Class 1 Paul Michael HARDING 25118338 to be Captain 3 July 2023 Warrant Officer Class 1 Neil Ronald STEVENSON 25081455 to be Captain 3 July 2023 PROMOTIONS COMMANDS AND STAFF The undermentioned Majors to be Lieutenant Colonels 30 June 2023 with seniority 30 June 2023 R. M. ASHTON 25174502 R. N. GENTRY 25165756 J. A. HILL 25154722 E. G. MCCANN 25092728 B. J. MURPHY 555540 C. J. POSTLETHWAITE 25210972 K. M. SMALL 563638 N. C. WHITEHEAD 560374

29th AUGUST No Entries

5th SEPTEMBER REGULAR ARMY Regular Commissions Lieutenant Colonel S. D. JONES 551309 retires 22 April 2023 Major C. J. CORNES 30088947 retires 2 April 2023 Major S. J. L. JACKSON W1048807 retires 6 April 2023 Regular Commissions (Late Entry) Lieutenant Colonel J. M. MURLEY MBE 24725022 retires 17 April 2023 Major M. P. CLARKSON 24725892 retires 4 April 2023 Major C. R. FIELDER 25027111 retires 6 April 2023 Major S. C. CONNOR 25036747 retires 8 April 2023 Major P. J. HAIG 25004422 retires 13 April 2023 Major S. S. SYKES MBE 24868989 retires 15 April 2023 Short Service Commissions Captain J. A. CHAPMAN 30180020 retires 10 April 2023

GENERAL LIST ARMY RESERVE The following have been awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) with 1 Clasp SGT, J. C. FOLEY, REME, 24781334 The following have been awarded the 1st and 2nd Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) WO2, A. P. EVANS, REME, 24801204 WO2, M. THOMAS, REME, 24754997 The following have been awarded the 2nd Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military CAPT, C. G. BENSON, REME, 24809745 46

The following have been awarded the 1st Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) CAPT, A. J. D. ALCOCK, REME, 25067658 WO2, G. C. BLACKALL, REME, 25069072 CAPT, G. S. BROMIDGE, REME, 25042581 SSGT, N. J. CONNOR, REME, 24865208 CAPT, P. CULLEN, REME, 24781187 SSGT, A. E. J. EVANS, REME, 24742792 WO1, N. D. GEERING, REME, 25070273 SSGT, D. GILMOUR, REME, 24882203 SSGT, I. R. MACLEAN, REME, 24742703 CAPT, J. C. MATHER, REME, 24781416 WO1, D. L. MATTHEWS, REME, 24836642 SGT, J. F. McFARLANE, REME, 30285288 WO2, K. R. MUMFORD, REME, 24757816 CPL, P. SUTHERLAND, REME, 25047059 SGT, M. J. TOOKE, REME, 25062103 The following have been awarded the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military) SSGT, S. M. BOYLE, REME, 25180543 SGT, M. J. COSSINS, REME, 25222619 SGT, S. P. COYLE, REME, 30024238 CPL, D. A. FONG, REME, 30046024 SGT, D. M. HARCUS, REME, 24844874 SGT, S. E. D. HOULTON, REME, 25208351 SGT, D. S. T. JONES, REME, 30008398 CPL, G. MARBELL, REME, 30036420 WO2, S. A. B. T. MCCARTNEY, REME, 30020351 SGT, S. MOYO, REME, 30023855 CFN, S. RAI, REME, 21170452 CPL, D. C. WOOD, REME, P064783J CPL, S. YEATES, REME, 25216676

12th SEPTEMBER The following Army personnel have been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal WO2, A. ABDULRAHMAN, REME, 25119246 WO2, K. A. HOLLAND, REME, 25035696 WO1, M. D. LINDSAY, REME, 25113298 CAPT, A. M. MURRELL, REME, 25097658 WO2, C. S. THOMPSON-HAY, REME, 25135419 CAPT, M. LYNCH, REME, 25041716

Death Notices OCTOBER 2023 ALLEN – Former Cpl Robert Leslie All passed away on 29 July 2023 aged 94. Dates of service 1947-1949. KENNARD – Former SSgt Steven John Kennard passed away on 31st August 2023, aged 53. Served with the corps between 19872012 McDONALD – Capt (Retd) Ian Donnelly McDonald passed away on 14 August 2023 aged 77. Dates of service 1961-1989. MULHERN – Capt (Retd) John Mulhern passed away on 21st February 2023, following a long battle with prostate cancer. He served with the Corps between 1971-1993. Previously published with incorrect dates of service. STOCK – Former LCpl Robert ‘Bob’ John Stock passed away on 17 June 2023 aged 98. Dates of service 1940-1946.

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 

Corps Calendar 2023/24 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. All dates correct at time of printing, please check your monthly Craftsman magazine for amendments.




Corps 81st Birthday

APRIL 2024


Commando Officers Dinner Night


Engineering Awards Lunch


REME QM Dinner Night


HQ Officers’ Mess – Corps Spring Guest Dinner


Northern RAJA Careers and Employment Support Event – Catterick

19 19

HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Autumn Guest Dinner Night

01-05 The Duchess of Edinburgh Cup


19-22 REME Reunion Weekend

M AY 2 0 2 4

MG REME Conference

N OV E M B E R 2 0 2 3




Southern RAJA Careers and Employment Support Event – REME Museum


STEM UTCs REME Engineering Cup


HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Dinner Night


REME Colonels Command Group

REME Reserves Conference Field of Remembrance

JUNE 2024 DECEMBER 2023 01

St. Eligius Day

JANUARY 2024 18

REME Colonels’ Command Group


HQ Officers’ Mess – Corps Dinner Night

FEBRUARY 2024 23

Regimental Guest Night


Founders Day at Royal Hospital Chelsea


Airborne Officers’ Dinner Night


REME Junior Officer Conference and Dinner Night

14-16 AOBA Reunion Weekend 20

Beating Retreat and Cocktail Party


80th Anniversary of the Lenham Incident


Sports Awards Dinner

MARCH 2024 23

Broxhead (Reserve Officers and WOs) Dinner Night

26-27 REME Festival of Sport

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