The Craftsman September 2023

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September 2023 Magazine of the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers


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)

Editor: Mrs Katie Tarbard + Corporate Communications Officer

RHQ REME, The Prince Philip Barracks, Lyneham, CHIPPENHAM, SN15 4XX

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( Mil: 95481 4529 Civ: 01249 894529


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Before submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 3 Contents FEATURES My first year 3 RIFLES LAD 7 Ypres 100k 2023 8 Warriors Conquer the Mud 13 TDS BATUS WKSP: Jan-Jul 23 14 STEM Ambassadors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20 Ex TORRES TIGER – Trekking in Patagonia, Chile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 Ex DRAGON SUN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28 HERMANNSLAUF 2023 30 REME in Burma 32 Find Your Thing 33 Ex EAGLE 23 Overseas Sports Visit – Golf Tour in the Algarve 36 REME Association – Potteries & District 40 REGULARS Guest Editorial 4 From the Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22 Corps Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Corps Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47 SEPTEMBER 2023 Volume 79 No. 9
Front Cover: Ypres 100k, p.8

REME Strategy Line of Operation 4 –


Line of Operation 4 aims to ensure that:

Military and technical professionalism is at the heart of all REME soldiers and officers, Regular and Reserve, recognised by those both inside and outside of the Army

The enabling activities of enhancing individual professionalism and learning and continuous improvement will together enhance individual competence through knowledge, skills, experience, currency and behaviours; although there is also a dependency on the other three REME Strategy Lines of Operation. There are a variety of short (12-month) and medium term (24month) tasks supporting delivery of Line of Operation 4 (LOO 4) aims, some of which have already been delivered. The focus is on delivering the remainder of these tasks, whilst simultaneously identifying both additional tasks within and beyond these timeframes, and, the Key Performance Indicators which will demonstrate progress. Your support to both the delivery of these tasks and the identification of additional tasks is key (more of that later).

This is the first of 3 Craftsman articles focussed on this Line of Operation.

Chris King, Head Military Capability Plans, Army Headquarters


The strength of our Corps is and has always been the quality and professionalism of our soldiers and officers. Deployed, often in small numbers, across the whole of the Army [and Defence], we not only ‘keep the Punch in the Army’s fist’, but also arguably ‘punch above our weight’ in the effect that we have. Aristotle notes that ‘We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then, is not an act but a habit’. We can equally replace excellence with professionalism, thus professionalism is a habit and one which we, the Corps, have consistently displayed - our foundation is strong. Whether in the field force or on the staff we are seen to be the Army’s professional Engineers and we are trusted to get the job done.

But we should not rest on our laurels; assuming that continuing to do what we are doing now, or have always done, will continue to maintain this level of professionalism in the future is flawed. The recent challenge we faced regarding inspection standards and the assurance of the Inspector’s competence highlights the danger of complacency, (but we should be proud of how quickly and decisively we have acted to rectify the situation – the Improvement Notice was closed on Fri 4 Aug 23).

So the purpose of LOO 4 is to look at what it is that makes us professional and then to assist everyone in the Corps, both as individuals and collectively, to have the tools, training, culture and skills to be able to consistently deliver and display those professional habits.

The strategy sets out the intent and details the initial way forward; it is an excellent start and we have already made significant progress. But we do not have all the answers, so would welcome your thoughts on what things we can do to make us more professional and what blockers there are to achieving it. We will then ruthlessly pursue them on your behalf. I look forward to hearing from you.

Progress Update: Colonel Nick Sharples, Chief Engineer (Army), Army Headquarters

Enhancing individual professionalism

Our professionalism includes both our military and technical acumen; managed through Land Systems Maintenance Engineering Authorities (LSMEAs) and similar aviation engineering authorities. Next month’s Craftsman article will focus on aviation acumen; this article will therefore focus on LSMEAs and professional engineering registration.

LSMEAs were introduced in Land Equipment Engineering Standards (LEES) in Dec 19. Supported by competence management, equipment proficiency and professional accreditation, they provide a mechanism to clearly identify the appropriate competencies required for engineering tasks and to ensure that only suitably competent personnel are empowered to carry out these tasks. Recent developments and deployments have reinforced the need for, and power of, this framework.

LOO 4 seeks to inculcate LSMEAs further into the heart and culture of the Corps and to reflect lessons from their use to date. Current training requirements now include LSMEAs and this will be extended to the REME Trade Training Review and the Equipment Support Skills Transformation being delivered under other Lines of Operation. Future Army ES trawls will be based on the relevant LSMEA(s), targeting competent personnel accordingly. Strat Org in Army Headquarters, the owner of REME Battalion 8005s and who provide advice to other cap badge liability owners, are also investigating the opportunity for LSMEAs to be force driving;

Be professional in all that we do
Guest Editorial

informing the size and scale of REME units and sub-units. LSMEAs are, of course, an internal Army mechanism. We also need to ensure that the professionalism of our personnel is recognised outside of the Army, including through professional engineering registration. Recent changes to Corps Instructions E6 (Career Management of REME Soldiers) and E1 (Career Management of REME Officers) have also linked the attainment of appropriate professional registration to selection for promotion and / or relevant positions on the staff or in command.

The Engineering Council (EC) website includes links to the current list of 39 licenced Professional Engineering Institutions (PEIs), allowing these PEIs to assess candidates for inclusion on the national register of professional Engineers and Technicians. These 39 PEIs include the following PEIs typically used by REME personnel:

Typical Professional Engineering Institutions used by REME Personnel

Since 2018, the Army has offered eligible Service Personnel, including many Regular REME soldiers and officers, an Engineering Professional Recognition Award (EPRA) on completion of

Professional Engineering Awards

appropriate professional engineering registration. The Army also reimburses annual PEI fees and EC subscriptions for eligible personnel.

Engineering Council Professional Engineering Registration Titles

All eligible personnel are encouraged to register as professional Engineers through the EC at one of the above titles and to apply for EPRA and other available financial remuneration. Details of these schemes can be found in the REME Bulletin and from REME Workforce Plans. REME RHQ are also refreshing the Special Accreditation Processes with relevant PEIs and can support profession registration applications.

The effect of EPRA can be seen in this graph, which shows how the numbers of professionally registered REME personnel have increased significantly since Sep 19. The most notable increase is in the number of registered REME Engineering Technicians (Eng Techs), aligned to Class 1; there were almost 3 times the number of registered REME Eng Techs in Apr 23 as there were in Sep 19.

The number of REME Chartered and Incorporated Engineers has also increased by approximately a third across this period.

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Be professional in all that we do

Learning and Continuous Improvement

Individual professional development, including appropriate courses, must continue to develop to reflect lessons learned and data exploitation, including collaboration with our industrial and international partners. There are plenty of lessons available to improve our professionalism. All REME Conferences now include lessons tailored to the audience and REME Arms School are developing an ES lessons and engineering knowledge base: the Engineering Hub (EHub) Forum is available on Defence Connect. Although this is in its initial development, useful information / updates have already been published and the intent is to enable future discussions on engineering subjects. Engineering lectures are also taking place; more details and the forward lecture programme are available from the REME Arms School.

How can you engage?

In addition to supporting delivery of the various actions, please volunteer any ideas for further improvements, identify any relevant KPIs or volunteer your intellectual horsepower to the Chief Engineer (Army).

Gain professional registration as an EngTech, IEng or CEng through a route specifically designed for REME personnel. Enhance your military career Benchmark your skills and training Develop your professional network and connections Apply now at 07590 735816 a l r CE ng or C ayd a l ly d n nel taryc BE RECOGNISED BE REWARDED st eg is Engthrouugh tration as as areer and tr al ne arme imec r si desi des e r aining work and connections dforces Eng throu gned igned Sgt Edem Siawor EngTech MIMechE Craftsman_ad_ver_II_01_01.indd 1 24/11/2021 16:14:48

My first year in 3 RIFLES LAD

In only my second week in the Bn I travelled with the AQMS down to England to join the deployed Armourers’ Workshop and conduct Weapon Inspections on Non-Service Pattern Light Weapons (NSPLW) for Op INTERFLEX.

Over the last 12 months I’ve worked on numerous range packages and Bn level exercises. Firstly, a GPMG range in the snowy hills of Otterburn Training Area. As Heavy Mechanised Infantry 3 RIFLES use Mastiff, Ridgback, Wolfhound and Jackal. The night shoots were a great experience and getting hands on with repairs on a live range, fixing faults in real-time, was as satisfying as it was the first time; I got to apply the skills that I learnt in MOD Lyneham.

I’ve been lucky to have hands on experience with various real-time fault repairs on the ranges, but I also had the chance to live fire on several range packages including .338, HMG .50 Cal, and GMG 40mm. Working with live fire has been valuable from a trade perspective but I think it also helps to get a deeper understanding of what is expected of a Rifleman. The more time spent away, the more you get to know faces and it’s been good to get to know people outside throughout the Bn.

3 RIFLES also Deployed on Ex ORION, a MultiNational Exercise in France ranging between 6 -8 weeks throughout Spring 2023. It was a NATO exercise that spanned large areas of Northern France, incorporating villages and roads, and not limited to established training areas. My role for the exercise was the ASM’s driver, Armourer, and as a general Engineer to assist when needed. I found myself sleeping in a quarry “The Dust Bowl” fixing weapons in the back of the Armourer Fitter Truck (MAN SV 6T) driving on the “wrong” side of the road and many other jobs way outside the remit of an Armourer. This was a great experience and opportunity. Unlike working on ranges, Ex ORION gave me an insight of other trades within the LAD, assisting VMs, Recovery Mechanics, TSS and Tech Elecs.

After a year at 3 RIFLES, I feel well embedded in the working routine and social side of being in the Field Army. Although daunting at times, the somewhat steep learning curve I’ve experienced has been a welcome challenge which I look forward to further building on going forward into my second year based in Edinburgh.

Outside of work I get on well with people in the Workshop and the wider LAD. People are approachable and we’ve definitely had many opportunities to explore the local nightlife and culture. I hope to take part in some Adventurous Training, continue my trade skill development and continue to explore Edinburgh.

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Scribe: Cfn Pounds 3 RIFLES LAD posing with a captured AMX-30 MBT
Unit Life
Firing GMG on Otterburn Ranges

Ypres 100k 2023


Four members of 118 (CS) Company, 103 (FS) Battalion REME, went to Ypres, Belgium, to complete the Ypres 100K event to raise money for the REME Charity. The team consisted of Sgt Whittaker, LCpl Kneeshaw, Cfn Bajerski and Pte Darley.

The team arrived the day before the event and wanted to use this time to pay respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice and learn about the history of Ypres throughout WW1. The team decided to go to Tyne Cot Cemetery, which is the largest Commonwealth war cemetery in the world in terms of burials. There are now 11,961 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War buried or commemorated in Tyne Cot Cemetery, 8,373 of the burials unidentified. Along with the cemetery is the Tyne Cot Memorial which commemorates nearly 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom and New Zealand who died in Ypres Salient after 16 August 1917 and whose graves are not known.

This visit was extremely moving, and the team were humbled to have been able to have this experience, which helped motivate them ready for the challenge ahead and support an armed forces charity of today.

REME Charity
(Above and below) Tyne Cot Cemetery
On 19th-21st May 2023, 4 REME Reserve personnel walked 100km over three days, Cfn Bajerski recounts the events from syringed blisters to the feeling of pride upon finishing that final day.

Menin Gate

On the Thursday evening the team had the privilege of laying a wreath on behalf of the Battalion at the Menin Gate during the Last Post Association ceremony. This was an extreme privilege and the CO of 103 Battalion, Lt Col David Haslam, attended to support the team

and lead them in the wreath laying ceremony. This ceremony is completed every night at 2000 hrs and is attended by a vast amount of people from all over the world who wish to pay their respects to the victims of WW1.

The Menin Gate ceremony started on the 2nd July 1928 and is conducted every day, now totalling over 32,000 times. The only time in which this ceremony could not take place was during 1940-1944 when Leper was occupied by the German forces; instead the ceremony took place in Brookwood Cemetery, UK.

Despite this ceremony being conducted every day of the year, the attendance was staggering for a standard Thursday night out of season, and to see a vast array of people from children to Veterans

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The team at Menin Gate Menin Gate The REME Wreath Thank you to EKA Ltd for sponsoring us

shows the honour and pride people have for the British soldiers and their allies who died to protect the people of Ypres. So being able to be a part of this main ceremony was overwhelming and an incredible honour.

Day 1 – 30km, 8 hours

The first day of the event commenced with registration at 0800 hrs, the CO and other personnel from the BHQ were in attendance to wish the team good luck and send them off on stage 1.

Day 1 gave the team a reality shock that this task was going to be a lot tougher than they imagined; leading to all the team hobbling back to the campsite at the end of the day. A well-earned BBQ in the sun was then enjoyed whilst they prepared themselves for the long day to follow.

Day 2 – 50km, 11 hours

Day 2 was the long haul of 50km and saw the team walking to the border of France. The team had climatized better and they had a good boost of morale for the start of this day, also learning that music goes a long way to keep you going; which was greatly enjoyed by the locals who were joining in by singing along.

The team made friends with a group of multinational forces who were completing only 40km on the Saturday, they were extremely proud to have set off at the same time as this group and managed to arrive back to the finish line before them despite completing 10km further. Upon crossing the finish line each day, they were met by a gentleman from the German Army who gave the team a drink to celebrate their achievements showing the camaraderie of everyone involved; everyone was also extremely impressed that the team completed the 50km as majority of participants only cover 40km.

Day One – off we go Day Two Day One – The start

Day Two

Day 3 – 20km, 5 hours

Day 3 commenced with a trip to the medical tent for three of the team; each requiring foot treatment. Treatment varying from blister popping, bandaging and fluid extraction from toenails.

The final day started with a sense of relief that the team were nearly finished, however the 20km quickly felt like the longest distance yet as their bodies were suffering from fatigue within the first few km.

20th May, 50km Map

19th May 30km Map

cover 11
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21st May 20km Map

This event does not require everyone to complete 100km, there are a varying number of distances that can be completed each day starting from 6km. So as the team crossed the finish line, they were met with a rousing applause led by the German Army as they had completed an amazing achievement which was recognised by all. They were then issued their individual medals, in addition to which, they were taken aside by the organiser of the event and issued a secondary larger medal for being one of the only British Military teams to complete the full 100km distance.

Overall – 100km, 802m elevation, 24 hours, over 150,000 steps each

The team worked extremely well together supporting each other at different points as each person hit their own times of difficulty, aiding each other with motivation to push them on be this with ice

cream or music. One team member had an unfortunate stomach ailment for the first two days of the walk and had to complete their event from toilet to toilet; which is an amazing achievement in itself and something that we can laugh about now.


Overall, the team have raised an amazing £1,742 for the REME Charity, and are extremely grateful for the generous donations received, notably the £500 from EKA Limited which included a personalised t-shirt for each team member.

This was an extremely difficult task for the team, but the pain was worth it to be able to raise such an incredible amount of money for a charity that supports the Corps. The team wanted to express its thanks to everyone who helped them achieve this.

The team were also extremely honoured to have been presented with a CO’s coin for excellence for the self-motivation and organisation of the event and wanting to push themselves outside of their comfort zone to help raise money to aid other people.

First aid for feet on Day 3 Medals The team with their medals on Day 3

Warriors Conquer the Mud: 1 (CS) Bn REME Triumph at Tough Mudder, Skipton 2023

In a display of unwavering spirit and camaraderie, 30 members of 1 (CS) Bn REME geared up to conquer the toughest challenge of their lives – The 10Km Tough Mudder event in Skipton on 30 July 2023. The soldiers proved that their determination and resilience extend beyond the workshop and into the muddy battlefield of the course. The 30 individuals were put into 3 teams of 10: a team from the Officers’ Mess, the WOs’ Mess and the Cpls’ Club.

Months of intense preparation preceded the event as the participants traded their spanners for sweatbands. The training regime was not for the faint-hearted; involving gruelling workouts, endurance runs and obstacle-specific drills. Tough Mudder events are renowned for pushing participants to their limits, testing both their physical and mental endurance. The Skipton event was no exception, boasting a gruelling 10Km course riddled with daunting obstacles. From muddy trenches and icy water pits to electrified obstacles and towering walls, the course demanded determination and grit.

With the rain coming down over the Yorkshire Dales, the scene was set. The participants gathered to recite the Tough Mudder prayer, affirming their commitment to overcoming the challenges that lay ahead, and helping their fellow ‘mudders’ along the way. A hushed silence fell over the crowd as they bowed their heads in unity,

embracing the sense of purpose that united them all. At precisely 1030 hrs, the gun fired and the 30 soldiers surged forward, determined to conquer the course. Their indomitable spirit didn’t last long, as they were soon met with their first obstacle.

Cpl Price and LCpl Robison (Team PTI) set an early lead, closely followed by a contingent from the Officers Mess. Faced by many challenges, they overcame them as a team by identifying individual strengths and weaknesses. Where Lt McCormick may have struggled getting over the towering Everest Obstacle by himself, he excelled at crawling through the ‘Birth Canal’ – a tiny pipe almost completely submerged in water.

A gruelling 10Km later, the tired and muddy soldiers arrived at the final obstacle, ‘Electroshock Therapy’. A field of wires dangling from a rectangular frame, clicking as 10,000 volts crackle through them. The last thing standing between the soldiers and victory. A few final words of advice were exchanged like; ‘Stay low, move fast’ and ‘Run like hell’. A shivering war cry from Maj Muir set everyone off charging into the belly of the beast.

Overall, it was an extraordinar y demonstration of teamwork and resilience that exemplified the true essence of REME ethos. Many thanks to those that took part and to the Corps ASM’s A10 Fund for subsidising the personal cost.

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Scribe: Capt A J Nonas Cfn B-K battling electroshock therapy Team PTI leading the way
REME Sport
The Mud Mile Teamwork makes the dream work


On the 29th March, guys and girls embarked on Adventure Training (AT) at the Rift Valley Adventure Training Centre.

AT Rift Valley

Being at British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) WKSP we do not get much chance to get on AT as we are always trying to ensure vehicles are ready to be used out on the exercise area. But as we just finished handing the vehicle over for exercise ASKARI STORM 5/22 we had the opportunity, thanks to Lt Drysdale, to enjoy down time and nice weather.

The second we stepped off the coach at Rift Valley, the two days AT started. Firstly, we jumped straight into to a bush craft lesson where a ‘Masai’ tribe member taught us how to build a spear and bow and arrow out of your surroundings, we then had the opportunity to use the weapons at targets. After that, we were then taught how to make fire with just a stick and some dung which was an experience. The highlight of all that was watching people thinking they were Katniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games!

As we finished lunch, we then set off to do Rock Climbing where we climbed up a mountain face with three very professional RockClimbing Instructors. We all had a go at four rock climbing paths but a big shout out to Cpl Rai who climbed up that mountain face like Spiderman with zero fear. We then got taught how to abseil down for the next day of activities; where everyone thinks they’re SEAL Team 6.

We finished up all the activities for the day with some team cohesion, drinking and playing Mario Cart and a very competitive game of UNO at the lodge. Personally, for me that was the highlight of the two days watching everyone have fun and wind down and enjoy the time off.

The next day we set off for what was going to be a very packed day of adventure where we started by going on a canopy walk that went through the jungle tree tops where the wildlife lived below. People took in amazing views whilst some others had their heads down praying the bridge would not break. After we finished this

Unit Life
Scribe: Cpl Robinson (Class 1 Technical Storeman) Wksp Cpl Ellis enjoying the River Canyoning Cpl Rai (right) and Sgt Wong (left) geared ready for Rock Climbing Cpl Hughes bravely posing for his descent

activity we set off on a hike through the jungle where we came to the top of the canyon. We put our wet suits on and set off down the canyon where we came to obstacles such as cliff jumps into the water and abseiling down a water fall. This in my opinion was what I joined the Army for where I could travel to places I would have previously only ever dreamed of and where I can experience things like abseiling down a water fall.

We then finished the day knowing the two days was worth doing, we saw people conquer their fears and have a very good time.

Scribe: Cpl Shelley (Class 1 Metalsmith) Local Community Engagement

With Kenya being a third world country, as a Unit BATUK gives back as much as we can. As a workshop it was decided that we should do something that will help schools in the area to harvest and store rainwater during the short but heavy rainy seasons in this climate. This would enable schools to use water for flushing toilets and basic sanitary needs.

We first went on a scouting run to Nanyuki Township secondary school. On our initial visit we estimated what guttering would be required to capture rainwater and then store it in a 10,000 litre above ground tank. Lt Drysdale was the lead for the scouting trip; it was noticed that the school had a Football field however they had no goals. It was decided that time permitting we would try and get some goals built within the Metalsmith department.

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Sgt Gardner about to take the Leap of Faith down a 15-metre rock face at the Canyons Masai Bush Craft Lesson on how to make a fire Cpl Shelley having a go at spear throwing Lt Drysdale all smiles and relieved after the Canopy Walk

The day came and as we waited for transport everyone on the team was excited to give something back, and after a brief from the Head-Teacher giving us the lay of the land we went to work, unloading the SV and helping the minibus out of the sticky mud. We then unloaded the large tank from the back of the truck, although not overly heavy it proved an awkward shape and size to manoeuvre. During this we tried our best to not disturb classes too much as we screwed the guttering into the side of the buildings; with on-going lessons happening in front of us.

Lunch came around and the second trip for the SV arrived with a Chef who had been working all morning preparing lunch for 250 students and faculty members. After lunch we had a game of Football with all the students; some might say it was hectic playing 8 vs 24 but we all had a laugh and witnessed some skill for kids playing bare foot.

Once the Football had finished, we were invited to an assembly of all students and faculty members where they thanked us for all the hard work we had done. I question the maths program within the school as we allegedly lost both games we played. We left on the minibus back to camp and all workshop members felt a sense of achievement knowing we had left somewhere in Kenya better off and all for a few hours work and a Football game.

Scribe: Cpl Hughes, (Class 1 VM) LEC FRT Commander

As you can expect with being an LEC FRT Commander there are certain challenges, the main one being the language barrier. I was lucky with the two LECs I had with me on exercise because their English was really good, better than most Jocks. The FRT on exercise is usually just a Class One Vehicle Mechanic and two LEC Vehicle Mechanic. Recovery Mechanic do occasionally come out on the ground but

Lunch is served to the orphans BATUK Community Engagement Team Sgt Wong (centre) with the BATUK Community Engagement Team

normally we just get a civilian contractor to do the work for them. The bonus of working with the LECs is their immense subject knowledge across most platforms but even more impressive was their knowledge of where all the wildlife across the training area lived and their migration patterns. This led to great photo opportunities as the vehicles were in a good state. Even SSgt Moran ventured out of his office for some wildlife pictures. FRT Commanders during the exercise phase were, Cpl Chris Parker, LCpl Ben Newbold, and LCpl Cory Robertson Tripadvisor review – Fresh food, great views, limited work - 4.5/5 would recommend.

Scribe: LCpl Ellis, (Class 2 Recovery Mechanic) Recovery Section

Since my arrival at the BATUK as a LCpl Class 2 Recovery Mechanic, my days have been consistently busy and filled with a wide range of tasks. Being one of only three Recovery Mechanics covering Kenya, duty rotations come around quickly, and the work tempo can be quite intense. I have been deployed multiple times for recovery jobs and to support BATUK exercises across diverse areas. However, what I truly appreciate are the long drives to the recovery sites, as they offer breath-taking scenery that varies from wildlife-rich areas to majestic mountains and expansive flat plains.

When the demands of the week weigh heavily upon me, I have discovered solace in the local pools near the camp. They provide a refreshing place to cool off, and the best part is that they are quite affordable. Although the nightlife in this region possesses a different atmosphere compared to what I am accustomed to back home, I still manage to enjoy good times with friends, colleagues, and the welcoming locals. Moreover, the cost of entertainment here is considerably lower than what I’m used to in the UK.

Another aspect that has enhanced my experience out here is the Local Overseas Allowance (LOA) and Local Supplementary Allowance (LSA). These allowances have provided me with the means to explore the surroundings during my downtime. I have made the most of these opportunities by visiting remarkable places like Ol Pejeta for an unforgettable safari experience, the Animal Orphanage, Nairobi, and the nearby vicinity of Nyati Barracks. These ventures have allowed me to embrace the unique wonders of this region and enrich my time spent here.

submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover TDS WKSP posing with beautiful backdrop of Ngare Ndare National Park Sgt Gardner nursing a baby Hyena FRT Recovery in full swing Sgt Gardner feeding the oldest resident tortoise

Scribe: LCpl Thorpe, (Class 1 Armourer) Armourer’s Workshop

Iam a member of 2Bn REME and currently posted as TDS Armourer here at BATUK. BATUK is a great opportunity that I think any soldier should want to jump on if given the opportunity. As an Armourer I have the opportunity to contribute from an Armourer’s perspective to high level light role training for Battle Groups as they rotate in and out of Kenya; I help to maintain their kit and provide effect third line support where needed. It is extremely rewarding when they have a great exercise with no issues and knowing you have helped contribute to that training. It is also not all work and no play; I have had great opportunities out here to contribute to the local community in Nanyuki by going to schools and installing water collection systems and in going to Nairobi to contribute essential items to an orphanage and improve the kid’s lives. In addition to that, there are amazing safari’s on your doorstop. I have seen wild Lions, Elephants, Giraffes and others not forgetting the AT packages

which included gorge jumping and abseiling down a 25-metre waterfall. Visiting Kenya has been a wonderful experience for me and I would highly recommend it for those who want a challenge and to experience something most people could not even dream of doing, and, the extra money isn’t too bad either.

Scribe: Sgt Wong, (Class 1 Electronics Technician) ESG

Ivolunteered to come out to BATUK simply because I had never been and to gain the experience of working in a different operational theatre. My primary role was to conduct inspections and maintenance on Field Electrical Power systems and Lightweight Field Generators, whilst ensuring that the exercising Battle Group had electrical support when needed.

Apart from daily work, there was always additional activities to look forward to every weekend; whether it be going out on Safari, bargaining at handicraft shopping stalls, taking a leisurely drive around the base of Mount Kenya, participating in a local community engagement project or just taking a dip in the Indian Ocean; everything you’d ever imagined was right here at your doorstep.

I definitely recommend BATUK as a once in a lifetime experience, whether it be Permanent Staff for 2 years or Temporarily based for 6 months – it is worth every penny and, on that note, it isn’t too bad with the added bonus of LOA and LSA that you receive for just simply being out here. The opportunities are bountiful and adventures are endless so don’t be shy and volunteer - you won’t regret it!

Scribe: Cpl Johnson (Class 1 Recovery Mechanic) – BATUK Golf society trip to Mombasa

On the 21st of May, the BATUK Golf society took a 3-day inter departmental Golf tournament coastal trip to Mombasa, to play Golf at new locations at a championship length Golf course outside Nanyuki. The REME Wksp had two members as part of the society, Cpl Shelley and myself.

The first goal was to take the 8–10 hours’ drive to get all 15 participants to our first location in Diani, Mombasa. We decided the plan of action was to first drive to Nairobi where we would have our first Golf stop. We joined the competition that was being run by Muthaiga Golf course. It was a great warm up, which was well needed to get rid of the cobwebs before we settled down for the night back at Kifaru Barracks ready for the journey to Mombasa the next morning.

Once setting off at 0600Hrs from Nairobi, we made good timing and arrived at our first location in Diani at 1600Hrs. The first evening was spent with a little team cohesion around the hotel pool and a nice meal at “The Cave” in Diani.

The next morning, we set off at 0800Hrs bright eyed and bushy tailed to our first 18-hole course in Diani Golf course. We weren’t

Whilst on Safari Tusker Beer – Kenya’s favourite Sgt Wong ready for his Scuba Dive into the Indian Ocean at Diani in Mombasa

ready for what was to come. For the next 7 hours we played in a tropical rainstorm and tensions flew high between the more capable players of the group as they fought back and forth with their Caddy’s in an effort to “keep the grips dry” to allow them to play how they usually play apparently.

Once scores were all counted and the members were briefed at the end of the day on their performance, we set off to our next location up the coast to the outskirts of Mombasa to a town called Nyali. Once we arrived at our accommodation, which had no mosquitos whatsoever and felt extremely clean, we all headed down to the local beach for some great food and a few well-deserved mocktails after a rainy start to the day.

The next day we headed to Nyali Golf course and had another tough day. It was 35 degrees and there was wildlife all over the golf course to watch out for. Families of Zebras, Howler Monkeys, Baboons and Crane birds. We played 18 holes and our own version of golf called “Texas Scramble” which was fun. Then we were done for the day. Once the day was over, we headed back to the Golf club house for a good meal and a few social drinks.

We saved the best till last; on our last day in Mombasa we headed to Vapingo Golf course. This was the day everyone was looking forward to the most. It is traditionally one of the Women’s PGA courses which runs in Kenya and as you can imagine the facilities are amazing and just in general everyone wanted to get their best scores for the week. To that end, to start with the security at the front gate would not allow us to get onto the premises (probably because we had no female partners on the trip). After an hour we finally convinced them, we were highly ranked officer’s from BATUK and we pleaded with them to let us in so we could carry on with our well-planned day.

Wednesday 18 Oct 23

After a quick change of clothing and a team photo we all rushed onto the first tee. No names mentioned but through the excitement of the build-up, one of the officers (Royal Regiment of Scotlandknown for their cool temperament) proceeded to tee off his first three shots out of bounds. This was followed by his driver taking a quick pit stop into the nearest bush where thankfully he had a great Caddy to do the dirty and go get it for him. It’s safe to say everyone struggled for the rest of the day except for myself. I managed to beat Cpl Shelley by 10 shots and came back off the trip knowing I was the best golfer in the workshops.

Careers and Employment Support Event

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Open to all REME service leavers currently in the rese琀lement, REME reservists, and veterans are also invited to a琀end.

A fantas琀c opportunity to engage with companies that have an Engineering and Technical focus.

For service leavers, this is an excellent networking opportunity to assist with the transi琀on into civilian employment.

The event will be held in the Ca琀erick Garrison Leisure Centre, DL9 3EL. The majority of exhibitors a琀ending are na琀onal companies and have vacancies available across the

If you are interested in a琀ending this event, please contact

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Sgt Gardner doing monkey tricks again

STEM Ambassadors

Becoming a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Ambassador within the Armed Forces can be a rewarding experience for individuals who are passionate about STEM education. As a STEM Ambassador, you will have the opportunity to inspire and engage young people in STEM-related careers by demonstrating practical and theoretical applications of STEM subjects. STEM Ambassadors play a critical role in supporting the Armed Forces technological and engineering needs. They help to drive innovation within the military by sharing knowledge and expertise with colleagues and the next generation of Armed Forces professionals. As a result, they play a vital role in

maintaining the Army’s technological edge in current and future conflicts. In addition to supporting the Army’s technological needs, STEM Ambassadors also play a crucial role in promoting diversity and inclusion in the military. By engaging young people from diverse backgrounds in STEM education and careers, they help to promote social mobility and create an inclusive and diverse workplace. STEM Ambassadors also benefit from the experience of working within a military context. They have the opportunity to work alongside highly skilled professionals and to develop leadership, problem-solving, and teamwork skills. Additionally, the Army offers a range of training opportunities and career progression options, which can help to shape individuals’ career paths and support their continued professional development. Becoming a STEM Ambassador within the Army is an excellent opportunity for individuals with a passion for STEM education and a desire to make a difference in the world. Whether you are an experienced professional or a recent graduate, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved and inspire the next generation of Army professionals.

Why am I a STEM Ambassador? A SNCO perspective

Sgt Leaker: I became a STEM Ambassador in 2022 after my ASM mentioned to me what STEM was and how important it was becoming. Once I applied online, I had a free DBS check completed and then an online induction that took 30 minutes to complete. Once this was complete, I was a STEM Ambassador. In my current role within the REME Corps Engagement Team, I run Army Awareness Activities (AAA) and attend engineering colleges around the UK. I pass on my engineering knowledge to all the students, this also allows me

Scribe: Sgt Matthew Leaker

to build my hours of activities on my STEM Ambassadors profile; which I currently have over 250 hours. Once you become a STEM Ambassador, you can apply to attend events or even advertise events some of which are from top engineering firms.

Why am I a STEM Ambassador? An Officer perspective

There are just not enough young people making the decision to pursue a career in STEM in today’s education system. The skills gap in these areas has the potential to generate difficulty in the future for the Corps in delivering its primary purpose of keeping fit equipment in the hands of the user. I made the decision in 2017 to become a STEM Ambassador to help ensure this does not happen. Allowing children of all backgrounds to understand that they have a place in the world of STEM, and to inspire them to enter it, was my main driver. We in the REME know the power of diversity; we need more people from different backgrounds to create high performing teams. I still meet children regularly who have an outdated view of an engineer as a middle aged, white male, in a hard hat, on a construction site. The job that we do in the Army is varied, exciting, and rewarding. I strive to pass that on to children from a young age so that the view that “people like me don’t do engineering” cannot be embedded before they are at the stage of deciding what path they will take. What we as technical soldiers bring to the STEM Ambassador world, is the evidence that no matter your start in life, or your perceived lack of fit to the mould, there are exciting opportunities out there where these children can make a difference.

I would encourage soldiers and officers of all ranks to consider becoming a STEM Ambassador and volunteering at least once each year. It is thoroughly rewarding, and you will inspire future generations to join the world of STEM, and with any luck, the REME. STEM SharePoint/Teams - There is now a STEM SharePoint page

with access to a Teams site. It is here we will have general information about STEM, recourses, events, POCs and discussions about STEM learning. Army- REME RHQ-STEM

If you are interested in becoming a STEM Ambassador, if you are thinking of organising an event or have any questions about STEM please contact: Matthew.Leaker691@Mod.Gov.UK or Alexander.Shand540@MOD.Gov.UK

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21 New players are welcome OPEN TRIALS 11-13 September 2023

Collections in Focus: Perfectly Imperfect – Exploring objects that reveal their stories through their ‘imperfections’

Anyone who has served in REME will know well that no operation, exercise or plan ever goes ‘perfectly’. Whatever the circumstances, a soldier needs to be ready to adapt, improvise and overcome. Whether in the heat of battle or the remote wilderness of Antarctica, equipment simply has to be repaired with whatever is on hand. So why would a REME object collection look any different?

Much of the time in museum collections, we find ourselves looking for the ‘perfect’ objects – those that have a big visual impact and tell a great story. Captions will describe the ‘best’ features of an object or explain the most interesting, most famous parts of its history. Even in the records kept behind the scenes, condition reports will look for what is ‘wrong’ with an object and why it may or may not be suitable for display.

These objects challenge all of these assumptions. The following items within the Museum’s collection are ‘perfectly imperfect’; telling stories about REME that are all the more interesting because of the ways in which the objects are altered, broken or unfinished. Some of these items are already displayed in the Museum or discussed on our blog, while others are only now having their stories unveiled.


On first glance, this flag looks like any other REME flag that has become worn from use. However, this flag is significant for where and why it was used, and subsequently how it came to be in this state.

This flag flew in Hong Kong and Korea with 11 Infantry Workshop REME. The workshop supported 27 Commonwealth Brigade Group; which for some time included units representing Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India and New Zealand. As a result of serving alongside many allies, the unit was frequently misnamed. The title of “Free Belgians” was heard, due to some similarity in colours of flags, and it became necessary to fly a more distinctive flag on certain occasions. In addition, almost all sense of time disappeared with continued seven-day working. In order to distinguish days and weeks, this flag was also flown each Sunday. Within the workshop, the name “Sunday flag” came into being and was used by all personnel of the unit. The flag flew in 31 sites between September 1950 and June 1951; including during the Battle of the Imjin.


This simple kitchen knife is one of several items from Sergeant George Beeson’s time as a German Prisoner of War (POW) in World

War Two. Beeson was initially captured in Calais, May 1940 and many of the objects in his collection are related to his escape attempts –efforts that led to him being awarded a Military Medal after the war. His first known attempt was in the autumn of 1940, when he was captured five days after cutting the wire whilst trying to reach Russia. His clandestine efforts continued and could have even cost him his life in the least expected way! When he ‘borrowed’ this knife from the German canteen it almost cost him his life when the handle broke unexpectedly.

Luckily, his defiance was not in vain. In late 1943, he gained access to a French POW camp after bribing a German sentry and, despite the guards opening fire, he made it to Paris and eventually met up with advancing American troops.

Battledress Blouse

This patch of fabric was taken from a battledress blouse worn by a REME soldier in World War Two. Sewing stitches are visible in two areas of the patch, where bullet holes have been repaired.

The battledress belonged to Captain Harry Roberts, who was attached to the Parachute Regiment and landed at Arnhem in a glider, September 1944. On landing, the glider’s crew came under heavy German machine gun fire, killing the two Pilots, while Roberts took bullets to the shoulder and then to the base of his spine, which for a while left him paralysed. Taken to a German

The broken knife as displayed in the POW case in our World War Two gallery. 1984.2824.2
The torn and frayed REME flag (with second pattern badge). 1958.27

military hospital and then a POW camp, the German Doctors didn’t believe him when he told them there was still a bullet in his spine. It remained there until he got back to England in 1945 and had it removed!

Once an unassuming wheelbarrow handle, this wooden statuette of William the Conqueror was carved by a POW in Italy sometime between 1942 and 1945. Craftsman J Scarth (RAOC, automatically transferred to REME on its formation while imprisoned) recalled that this statuette was made by a fellow prisoner, surname Ledgerton, using a broken pen knife blade. Ironically, since its creation part of the sword has broken off; though this seems to round off the story, having been originally created from (and with) broken materials.

REME Commando Officers’ Dinner

Night 06 Oct 2023

This year’s Dinner Night promises to be a fantastic get together as always.

You will be pleased to know that Maj General David Eastman MBE has agreed to be our guest of honour this year. The event will be held at the RMB Chivenor Officers Mess on Fri 06 Oct 2023 between 18.00 - 23.59

Mess dress for those serving and black tie for all other guests.

In order to ensure this evening is a success please complete the survey linked to the QR Code below by NLT 01 Sep 23. The individual cost of the evening, payment information and a detailed MEL will be distributed once attendance numbers are confirmed.

Please direct any questions regarding the event to

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Statuette of William the Conqueror. 1999.4270.2
The repaired bullet holes clearly visible on the textile patch. E:99.0201.38 Statuette

Ex TORRES TIGER – Trekking in Patagonia, Chile

At 0445hrs on Thursday 30 April, with head torches lighting the path and the Milky Way visible above us, we set off for the final leg of our 8-day, 110 km trek of the O Circuit around Torres del Paine. We had been promised breath-taking scenery and Patagonia had not disappointed (we had also been promised all four seasons, and Patagonia had also not disappointed!).

Chile’s Torres del Paine O Circuit is listed as one of the world’s top 10 treks and it is easy to understand why. Located in Chilean Patagonia, right at the South point of South America, the scenery ranges from low lakeside paths (almost like the Lake District) and hillside forests; to snow-covered peaks and rocky windswept passes; and on to awe-inspiring, majestic glaciers. There are two possibilities for Trekking: the shorter ‘W’ which takes about 4 days and is busy with tourist hikers, or the full ‘O’ circuit, which combines the ‘W’ with much tougher terrain to the North and transits the formidable John Gardner Pass to loop back to the ‘W’. The Park is strictly controlled after two devasting fires destroyed huge areas of this natural haven. The fires were the result of human carelessness and the vast graveyards of burnt white trees still dominate lower sections. In view of this, camping is only

Looking back on the Park from the boat after an amazing experience Lt Col Macklin REME smiling through the rain
Day 3

Day 1: Paine Grande to Cuernos, including heading up the French Valley

Day 2: Cuernos to Central

Day 3: Up to the stunning Torres, and back to Central

Day 4: Central to Seron (the rain came)

Day 5: Seron to Dickson (the rain turned to snow overnight)

Day 6: Dickson to Los Perros

Day 7: Los Perros to Grey, and over the John Gardner Pass

Day 8: Grey to Paine Grande

permitted in managed-campsites, cooking is only allowed on designated hard-standing, and the O circuit can only be traversed in an anticlockwise direction.

Before we could start the circuit, we had to get there – and just getting to Patagonia is a bit of an adventure in itself. After a 14-hour flights from London Heathrow to Santiago (Chile’s capital), a 12-hour layover that included

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WO1 Russ Underwood REME traversing one of three (very wobbly) bridges crossed on Day 7 The REME contingent, WO1 Russ Underwood and Lt Col Becks Macklin, with Grey Glacier behind us (Day 7) Day 3 Climbing up to the John Gardner Pass, Day 7

experiencing an earthquake, a further 3-hour flight and a 3-hour minibus transfer, our team of 10 from different departments across the Andover site (including two from the REME) assembled in Porta Natalas for final preparations and snack-purchasing. Our first day started at 0600 hrs with another 2-hour minibus journey and a brief ferry ride to our start point of Paine Grande, and then we were finally there.

Words cannot describe the sheer natural beauty of Patagonia, so rather than try, here are a selection of the hundreds of photographs we took.

Lt Col Macklin, Day 3
The rainbows were incredible…. But they also meant rain was coming (Day 2) Beautiful scenery

The team

While Adventurous Training has well-documented military benefits, this trip gave us so much more. There is no phone signal in Patagonia, no laptops, no commitments – just trek, admin, eat, sleep, admin, eat, trek, on repeat, and the positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing was huge. We were physically exhausted by the end, but mentally recharged. I strongly recommend trying to get away – this was our expedition leader’s dream and they made it happen –you can too… and the REME will help fund it! A huge thank you goes to REME who generously donated to our personal contribution for this trip of a lifetime through the Adventurous Training Grant. This grant is available for your AT too – simply fill in the form in Corps Instructions A10 and send it to the Corps ASM.

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Looking back on the incredible Grey Glacier, Day 7 What a view to wake up to Grey Campsite, Day 7 Grey Glacier, Day 7


1-9 April 2023

Scribes: Cfn Jay Morrison & Cfn Jake Francis

During Easter, members of 8 Training Battalion REME deployed on an overseas sports visit, Ex DRAGON SUN 23, to play Football against some of the Cyprus based units. They also had the opportunity to participate in some fun cohesive activities, embrace some of the local culture and visit the Joint Mechanical Engineering and Transport Squadron (JMETS) Workshop to see what an assignment out to Cyprus could be like. Cfn Morrison and Cfn Francis, both Initial Trade Trainees (ITT) recount their first overseas deployment below.

1st April

An early start of 0200hrs for the those deploying to ensure we were at RAF Brize Norton in time for the flight to Cyprus. This was our first deployment and we were excited it was to go and play Football for a full week! On arrival to Cyprus we used the afternoon to start our acclimatisation and recce RAF Akrotiri to find the pitches. An organised team bonding session was held to help with organising the day’s leading up to the upcoming fixtures and helping to get to know one another ready for the games ahead.

2nd April

The morning was spent climatising on Lady’s Mile Beach in Akrotiri, where the lads spent most of it playing Football Volleyball and having a tournament between themselves. During the afternoon a light training session was held, giving us an insight to how hard it would be to play in the Cyprus heat. In the evening, the Newcastle V Man United match was on which could not be missed by WO2 Allatt!

3rd April

Day three started with a light training session with some cultural appreciation in the afternoon, during which we went into Limassol to explore the town. We visited the marina and looked around some of the different Greek architecture throughout the city before coming together as a team for a bite to eat.

4th April

Most of the day was spent meeting JMETS workshop based out in Cyprus. A tour was conducted allowing us to see all aspects of JMETS. It provided an opportunity for us to understand the prospects for an overseas posting in Cyprus. Everyone was keen to ask questions to understand what life was like and what the day to day work would be. We were able to see how challenging it can be with the high demand of work in the Cyprus heat. The rest of the day was spent at the local beach with yet more Football Volleyball; a staple for the tour! A chilled afternoon allowed the team to focus all intentions to the first game the next day.

5th April

Prior to the first game of the tour, a trip to Ancient Kourion allowed us


to soak up some of the local history exploring the various ruins within it such as the Ancient Amphitheater and House of the Gladiators. In the afternoon all intentions turned towards the game against 1st Battalion The Duke Of Lancaster’s Regiment at Happy Valley, Episkopi. A top performance from 8 Training Battalion saw a 62 win, with goals scored by Cfn Mander, Cfn Francis, Cfn Kegye and a Cfn Gray hattrick! Cyprus heat was a massive factor that we had to deal with when playing the game, the team dealt with it accordingly and adapted the game plan to best suit the conditions. The team was then invited back to JMETS mess to celebrate the first win of the tour.

6th April

The day was used as a rest and recovery day after the victory the day before. The day was spent at Happy Valley Beach where we chilled out playing numerous sports on the beach. We were able to hop on a Speed boat tour which allowed the team to see some different parts of Cyprus from the sea. The team then enjoyed a Cypriot Souvla on the beach truly embracing the local food. The evening brought on further team cohesion when the team went Bowling with some heated yet healthy competition. Some required rest was then had in preparation for the game against the Joint Service Signals Unit (JSSU).

7th April

The last game of the tour sees the team travelling a couple of hours to Ayios Nikolaos to play against JSSU. On an extremely hot day in Cyprus hard work from the everyone saw the Football team claim the second win of the tour with a 6-1 win over JSSU. Goals from Cfn Mander, Cfn Jones, Cfn Inglis, SSgt Fawcett and a brace for Cfn Gray bringing his tour tally to 5. Yet again with the Cyprus heat beating down on the team the game plan was adapted and the tempo of the game was brought down allowing the ball to do the work during the football match instead of us.

8th April

The last full day in Cyprus was spent recovering and relaxing from the Football match the day before. We headed to the local Water Park where we were able to both relax and

experience thrills from some of the rides as a last day blowout. In the evening the team had a celebratory meal at a local restaurant to enjoy our final night in Cyprus.

9th April

Two wins from two and 12 goals, it’s safe to say the team enjoyed the whole experience on island with some good Football being played amongst it. We were gutted to leave but it was time to catch our flight back from RAF Akrotiri. An excellent first deployment!

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The ES Cell of HQ Collective Training Group ambitiously set out to enter a team to run the 51st reiteration of the Hermannslauf, an arduous 31.1km Trail running event; traditionally one of the most popular and demanding races on the German racing calendar. Starting high up on the Teutoburg ridge at the Denkmal statue (more commonly known as ‘Hermann the German’) near Detmold the course runs down and along the ridge in the Teutoburg Forest through to the town of Oerlinghausen before finishing at the Sparrenburg tower in Bielefeld. The route is mixed terrain consisting of 515m uphill and 710m downhill over sand, dirt tracks, cobblestone, pavement, roads and even stairs.

The trip began with a working engagement in Germany on Wed 26 Apr, which incorporated an informal visit of Combat Ready Training Centre (Germany) CRTC(G), the aim was to forge good working relationships and a familiarisation of the facilities taken over during the unit move from the UK.

Once the working part of the trip was concluded, we set off for Bielefeld on Sat 29 Apr, starting with breakfast at the wellknown Polmiers Bakery. Once coffee and cake had been consumed, we headed to the Schuco Arena home of DSC Armenia Bielefeld Football team where the event registration was being held. Having collected our individual race numbers and Tshirts for the event including various freebies, we headed to the Mecure Hotel high up on the Bielefeld skyline looking down on the ridge which we would be tackling the very next day. A slight hiccup by the hotel with the rooms resulted in a great opportunity to get a complimentary cold refreshment from the bar whilst we had to wait. Acknowledging we had 31.1km (19 miles) to run on Sunday, we headed out locally, with the aim of consuming copious

Team photo Ice cream Nick (YORKS) race photo Pizza
Unit Life
Hotel bar photo

amounts of carbs, coffee, and ice cream we finished the night at a local pizzeria.

On the day of the event, we were up bright and early to take on some extra carbs in the form of a buffet breakfast. We headed out to the predetermined collection point near the Bielefeld train station, once there a plethora of buses were on hand to bus participants to the Hermannsdenkmal, for the start of the race. Once in the vicinity of the start, there was plenty of time for last-minute admin, most importantly toilet trips, team and individual photos and baggage drop off. With all team’s members in Group A, we were scheduled to set off at 1100hrs with the other ‘elite’ runners.

The race began promptly at 1100hrs, the first to finish in 2 hrs, 8 mins and 22 secs was WO1 (ASM) John Reed REME crossing the line knocking 17 minutes off his PB finishing 57th of 4,875 runners, having completed the event 3 times before. Next to finish was Veteran Hermann runner Maj (SO2 ES) Richie Jenkins REME competing for the 8th time crossing the line in 2 hrs, 19 mins and 41 secs. Maj (SO2 Plans) Nick Ross YORKS was 3rd in with an impressive first attempt of 2 hrs, 26 mins and 5 secs. The final 2 remaining runners also finished impressively, firstly Sgt Jase Rhodes REME from CRTC(G) of 3 hrs, 9 mins and 55 secs followed shortly by WO1 (BOWO) Mark Walters RLC with 3 hrs, 23 mins and 15 secs.

Most impressively, a strong team performance meant we finished 5th out of 22 teams in our class (Firmenwertung meaning Company Team) with a combined time of 12:27:18: a cracking effort!

All in all, it was a great event with some awesome views and severely testing inclines (running down a One in Three hill on cobbles, tends to rattle your eyeballs out!), much needed post-race soft tissue massage and thousands of spectators lining the route providing much needed verbal encouragement. In typical German fashion we finished off at a local restaurant with coffee, a glass of coke, a slice of cake and even some ‘pommes mit mayo’. The night was finished off with steak and burgers and some local beer before heading back to the hotel for some much-needed rest prior to the flight back on Mon 1 May.

Final note without the help of WO2 Mark Shelley RTR who kindly volunteered to come along to assist with the admin, attending the event would not have been possible.

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inside front
Race photo Jase (REME) race photo John Reed (centre) race photo Rich (REME) race photo Mark (RLC) race photo Post race beers at the hotel

REME in Burma: The Chindits

Scribe: Lucy Brown, Museum Assistant

In 2023, we have reached 80 years since the formation of Brigadier Orde Wingate’s Long Penetration Force, better known as the ‘Chindits’. This was the Special Force in Burma operating between 1943 and 1944 with the objectives of attacking Japanese troops, facilities and lines of communication deep behind enemy lines.

The name ‘Chindit’ came from a mispronunciation of the Burmese word ‘Chinthe’, meaning ‘Lion’. For this reason, the badge of the Chindits depicted the stylised Lion figure that guards the entrance of Burmese temples.

Supporting an Unconventional Operation

The Chindits were formed directly in response to the issue of conventional Middle East tactics being ineffective against the Japanese. The first expedition ‘Operation LONGCLOTH’ began to introduce Long Range Penetration tactics into the British Army’s arsenal, however it was the second – ‘Operation THURSDAY’ – that saw a major change in British jungle warfare. 44 Chindit Columns were formed, two by each Battalion, and were to operate individually behind enemy lines. Each was to be supported by REME personnel providing servicing and repairs to weapons, radio and any other equipment required. This included the design and manufacture of special equipment for carrying on the backs on men and mules, given the lack of vehicle support to the Columns.

To this end, REME was organised to provide support via: a REME HQ, two Infantry Brigade REME Workshops (each supporting three Chindit Brigades), one Light Aid Detachment (LAD) per Brigade and one Armourer per each of the 44 Columns (a provision that nearly doubled the usual).

From records in our Archives we know that REME’s involvement in the Special Force was extensive (Special Force was the name given to the forces in the second operation, though ‘Chindits’ had already stuck). In Operation THURSDAY alone, we see over 500 total individual ranks from REME attachments and Workshops, of which 58 were Armourers, 100 Driver Mechanics, 25 Wireless Mechanics and 15 Electricians. Between December 1943 and May 1944, it is

estimated that REME carried out repairs to approximately 1,200 vehicles, conversions of 3,715 Cwt trucks to ambulances, inspections and repairs of 69 Vickers Machine Guns, and repairs to 430 prismatic compasses and 360 Sten guns. Ironically, Sten guns were reported as largely unpopular among the fighting soldiers, as unreliable and dangerous to the operator, despite no definitive defect being found.

“REME support for the Chindit operations is recounted in some detail as an example of the way in which the Corps may be called on suddenly to turn its mind and hands from conventional support to something entirely new.” – Craftsman of the Army, vol. 1.

REME Chindits

While many REME personnel were involved in the Chindit operations, it is difficult for us to establish who served in these particular operations from tracer cards alone. Details rarely document involvement beyond the theatre of war (in this case recorded as India) and attached unit. However, in special cases where Clerks were diligent with record taking, and with use of other records, we can draw stories of a select few who were indeed Chindits.

Menu from a Chindit Officers’ Reunion Dinner in 1947, depicting the Chindit badge in the upper-right corner. E:05.0145.26
REME Museum
23 Infantry Brigade Workshop REME after the Chindit operations in 1945, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Japanese POWs are working to establish a new workshop site. A:1960.0252.050

Sergeant Joseph Gould

Sergeant Joseph ‘Joe’ Gould could be said to be the inspiration for this article, as it was after contact with Gould’s Grandson that we decided it was time to dedicate some research into the REME Chindits. Though Gould’s tracer card tells us little by the way of exact details regarding his service in Burma, we can draw reasonable conclusions from the information available. Gould was attached to 163 Regiment Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) in India on 13 April 1943. 163 RAC was a short-lived unit that served in India during the war, stationed at Rawalpindi under command of 267th Indian Armoured Brigade.

Gould later became attached to 1st Battalion

The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment on 22 December 1943, a unit whose role in the second Chindit expedition was to prepare a clearing nicknamed ‘Broadway’ for a powered-aircraft runway.

It is possible that Gould served with the Chindits through 163 RAC in Operation LONGCLOTH then again with 1 King’s Regiment in Operation THURSDAY.

Craftsman Harry Jeffery

Craftsman Harry Jeffery, a REME Armourer, enlisted to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC). From his tracer card we know he embarked for India on 5 December 1941, arriving in Bombay on 30 January 1942. He was a founder member of the Corps, transferring to REME on 1 October 1942, and attached to the 13th Battalion The King’s (Liverpool) Regiment.

During the first Wingate expedition, Operation LONGCLOTH, Jeffery was recorded as missing in action [explain the x vi list] on 10 July 1943. This was a date used to collate all missing men from the expedition whose last known location had not been recorded, so it is possible Jeffery went missing before this point. Jeffery ended up as a Prisoner of War (POW) at Rangoon Jail, where he died in Block 6 on 29 December 1943. He was buried in the first instance at the English Cantonment Cemetery and later transferred to the permanent Rangoon War Cemetery as constructed by the Imperial War Graves Commission (now Commonwealth War Graves Commission).

Craftsman J Walsh

In comparison, we know less about Craftsman J Walsh’s service in Burma, however we can be certain that he served with the Chindits,

thanks to the note ‘REME Special Force India’ on his tracer card.

Craftsman J Walsh joined REME and trained as an Armourer in March 1943. By 13 January 1944, he had embarked for India and by mid-April was attached to 23 Infantry Brigade Workshop REME in the Special Force. 23 Infantry Brigade Workshop was a small mobile workshop, which serviced eight separate Chindit Columns from 1st Essex Regiment, 2nd Duke of Wellington’s Regiment, 4th Border Regiment and 60th (North Midland) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery.

If you have any further information or objects related to REME personnel who served as Chindits, please get in touch at

Information in this article was taken from E:08.0107.06, E:06.0404.35, E:06.0404.36 and Craftsman of the Army, Vol. 1.

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Craftsman Harry Jeffery’s tracer card as found in our Archives Portrait of Craftsman Walsh, c1944. E:06.0404.35 Portrait of Sergeant Joe Gould. Reproduced with thanks to Gould’s Grandson

Find Your Thing

Ijoined the REME straight from school in 2000 as a Vehicle Mechanic. I always wanted to be a Soldier, my Brother and I were the ones running around our estate in miniature combats and badly shaped berets our Dad had given us. I loved the Army, its challenges, the history, the honour and respect. I was definitely ‘green’ and chased down the operational tours having deployed on four in my 12-year career. But as I approached my 30th birthday I was about to settle in to family life and couldn’t see a way of making that work with a military career. So, I quietly gave notice to terminate, I would add many do make it work but for me it was different. I had a plan in place, through the encouragement of a kind ETS officer I was going to become a Teacher. I took advantage of the Army Accreditation Offer, and gained quite a significant civilian teaching qualification. So, I fired off my CVs and had a single reply back from the Motor

Vehicle Department at a local FE College. The person who noticed my CV happened to be an ex-REME ASM, and I will always be thankful to him for reaching out just as I got into that resettlement panic. That made me realise early on in my civilian life, that veterans help veterans.

Fast forward 10 years and I am now a fully qualified Teacher by utilising ELCs, and have built a successful training business. When I left the Regular Army, I joined the Army Reserves straight away. I took the obvious ribbing, the Saturday and Sunday jokes, but I stuck to my guns. Initially, that was as a REME Reservist VM, but as I gained more qualifications, and got further into the world of education, it seemed sensible to volunteer for a commission. In 2018, I went through Sandhurst and commissioned into the ETS Reserve. I was welcomed into a friendly and professional environment, in which I definitely added and felt valued. I get to put the green kit on when I choose to, and it is fully understood that this is no longer my main effort. I’ll always give 100% when I’m there, but I retain the ability to switch off to a degree when the kit gets stuffed back in the bottom drawer (or neatly hung back in the wardrobe). This has enabled me to maintain a great relationship with my past life and not get too teary-eyed.

Staying with Veterans helping Veterans I am also the Chief Operational Officer for Project RECCE CIO. This is a charity set up with the aim to get Veterans working in the construction industry. At Project RECCE, we challenge construction employers to think differently about the military talent pool and petition them to create opportunities within their companies for military Veterans and service leavers. The eyes of the construction industry are now opening to the wealth of benefits to be gained from employing someone with a multitude of transferrable skills and qualifications, and it is our job to make the introductions between the service leaver or Veteran, and the right potential employer. We run courses every other month that offer an excellent grounding for those that want to work in the industry. We cater for everyone from Brigadiers to infantry Privates. It is in this role that I am often asked how to make a smooth transition from the military to civvy street? I say the same thing every time. I will talk about careers and ensuring that you find the right second career in which you feel you have an effect, and you feel valued, and you know your worth, but I will also say FIND YOUR THING.

When you leave the military, you leave an allencompassing way of life. In a lot of ways, that is a

Scribe: Capt John Davies JP VR– Former REME VM
Life after REME
John Teaching in his ETS role

bonus, but you may also find that there are gaps in your life where a mess function, a regimental sport, a duty, an exercise, or some other military activity would have taken place. When we leave, we tend to fill those gaps with the only thing that becomes important in our professional civvy life, our raison d’etre, our work. You want to succeed, you want to be the best at your job, and you may feel you need to play catch-up with your civvy counterparts, because you’ve “missed out” on their qualifications and experience in civvy life. While you were on operations or exercise, they were out gaining valuable commercial experience and getting to grips with profit and loss and facilities management. My best advice is DON’T worry about this!

Don’t think you are in anyway disadvantaged by your service, don’t convince yourself it will take years to catch up, it won’t. Don’t flog your guts out. Pace yourself and find other outlets to fill the gaps, your service life experience will shine through.

As well as the Army Reserves, I am also volunteer as a Magistrate. I can highly recommend this as an opportunity to utilise some of the soft skills that were skilfully imbibed in us over the years; often without us noticing. I have found Veterans seem to have an ongoing need to serve, and this should be embraced. You may choose to manage a youth Football team, become a School Governor, volunteer for a charity, run the Scouts, whatever it is, find something that is a dutiful outlet. It will turbo-boost your self-esteem.

All of this, I believe has helped me make a fairly smooth transition from the green kit that I loved so well, to a (hopefully) productive member of society in which I still feel valued and involved. Every day, I see Veterans making a real difference in the construction industry, but you could FIND YOUR THING, elsewhere through volunteering, of just being the great members of society a life in service has taught us to be.

If you are leaving the REME and are consider a career in the construction industry, or if you want any pointers on joining the Army Reserves or the Magistracy, you can contact Project RECCE on 0161 240 7544, visit our website at or email

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Minister for Veterans, The Rt Hon Johnny Mercer MP visiting Project Recce John as a Magistrate

Ex EAGLE 23 Overseas Sports Visit – Golf Tour in the Algarve

On the 4 Jun 23, 13 Air Assault Support Regiment (13AASR) Golf Society embarked on Ex EAGLE 23, an Overseas Golf Tour in the Algarve region of Portugal.

The aim of Ex EAGLE 23 was to provide an opportunity for 13AASR Golf Society to be competitive by playing at arduous Golf courses. By doing so, the individual skills, handicaps and team cohesion will be enhanced in preparation for the forthcoming season. Also, to prepare all golfers for the forthcoming season by playing technically difficult Golf courses in various competitive fixture.

On 4 Jun 23, 13AASR Golf Society departed Merville Bks in Colchester with the renowned golfing region of Portugal, the Algarve, in their sights. On arrival, after the a few admin points were complete, the trip started with an evening of team bonding at Golfland situated in the small fishing village of Alvor. The evens events included free practice on a Trackman simulator with some handy tips from the local Golf Pro, followed by 18 holes on the adventure Golf course, more commonly known as mini Golf. This was a great way to warm up and get into the golfing spirit before hitting the actual courses. It provided an opportunity for everyone to fine-

Scribe: Sgt Charles Roberts, 13AASR Golf Society
REME Sport
WO2 Viant enjoying her first ever Golf lesson WO1 (ASM) Guy Sargeant getting some pre-round putting practice WO2 Penny Viant preparing for the longest drive

tune their skills and get a feel for the game; especially WO2 Penny Viant who came to the tour as the first female golfer and a complete amateur on the 13AASR GS – she left with a new found love for Golf and will be an advocate for the sport and its benefits going forward.

On 5 Jun, the group played at Gramacho Golf Course. Gramacho is known for its beautiful scenery and challenging layout. The course offered a variety of interesting holes and provided the perfect warm up for the upcoming games. As this was the first round it served as a shakeout round, playing individual stableford.

The highlight of the trip was the friendly fixture on 6 Jun between the

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13AASR GS Vs Carvoeiro Golf and Country Club, nearest to the pin Cfn White using Capt Jenkings putter on the mini Golf Pte Jack Pennington pin seeking after an exaggerated fade from the tee First parading the transport

society members and the team from Carvoeiro Golf and Country Club at Silves golf course. The competition added an exciting element to the trip, and both teams showcased their skills and sportsmanship. Silves Golf Course, with its stunning views and wellmaintained fairways, provided a memorable setting for the match. After a closely fought game 13AASR Golf Society came out on top, winning the match play by 4 holes. An evening soaking up the local Portuguese culture to celebrate the success quickly followed in the 19th.

On 7 Jun, the group played at Pinta Golf Course. This was a Four ball format match against Carvoeiro Golf and Country Club, giving them the

1st Flight on Gramacho 13AASR GS Vs Carvoeiro Golf and Country Club Carveiro Golf and Country Club Capt Jenkings on BBQ duties Our host Ian, receiving a thankyou bottle of Red and Black gin

opportunity for a re-gain after we beat them on the previous day. Pinta is a wellregarded course known for its challenging layout and strategic design. It offered a good test of golfing abilities and rewarded accuracy and thoughtful shot-making.

The team were now beginning to find their range. Pte Pennington of 82 Sqn played a great round, winning both the closest to pin and longest drive challenge. Although we had another close match, unfortunately 13AASR Golf Society lost this one, meaning both golf societies took a win each. The day continues after Golf into the evening as we were hosted by Carvoeiro Golf and Country Clubs team Captain, Ian, a local RAF Veteran who settled in the region. Ian hosted the team for a BBQ in his villa located around hole 3, overlooking the green. Tales of service were shared, as well as jokes regarding some of the poorer performances thus far on the tour!

The trip concluded on 8 Jun with a Foursome match between the 13 AASR Golf Society members and Golfland Golf Society at Alto Golf course. Alto is a renowned course with a picturesque setting and a fair but demanding layout. It provided a fitting finale to the Golf trip, although the weather made the 13 team feel more like they were back in the UK, allowing participants to showcase their skills in a competitive environment. 13 AASR GS came out victorious with special mention going to WO1 Guy Sergeant who hit a hole in 1 - a compulsory ring of the bell shortly followed!

Throughout the trip, the accommodation was comfortable and provided a convenient base for the golfing activities. The society members had the opportunity to bond and create lasting memories while enjoying the beautiful surroundings and the local culture of Alvor, Portugal.

Overall, the 13AASR Golf Society’s trip to Alvor, Portugal was a successful and enjoyable experience. The combination of the simulator training, mini Golf, and playing at various arduous courses added variety to the itinerary; ensuring that everyone had a well-rounded golfing adventure and left in good stead for the upcoming season. The friendly matches against Carvoeiro Golf and Country Club and Golfland Golf society added an extra level of excitement and camaraderie to the trip. The beautiful Golf courses, scenic views, and comfortable accommodations made this Golf trip a memorable one for all participants.

cover 39
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Team cohesion meal at Golfland Pre-round practice Capt Jenkings looking suspicious

Potteries & District REME Association – July 2023 Newsletter

Scribe: Maurice Hope

The month started off on a good footing with nine Members attending the North Staffs REME Breakfast Club, at a new location The Weathervane (Hungry Horse) Pub / Restaurant in Meir, Stoke-On-Trent.

Considering it was the height of the holiday season and the fact that all the main roads leading to the venue were under repair, causing massive tailbacks, it was not really a bad turnout. The next event is being held on Saturday August 5th when it is

Tuesday the 11th saw an attendance of fifteen at our monthly branch lunch event at a new location for us, 11 The Stafford Arms” in the village of Bagnall, only a few short miles from the city centre. It is described as a village of rural isolation and is one of the most tranquil villages in the County of Staffordshire with a history going back to before The Doomsday Book of 1086 and Anglo-Saxon times.

It was nice to see a new couple join us in the form of Adrian and Barbara Walker who have only just recently joined the Branch. Having received no adverse comments, the venue is on the calendar for a return visit in October.

Sunday 23rd was the REME Corps Day at The Royal Hospital Chelsea; with the Branch being represented by Standard Bearer Gil Mould and Branch President Maurice Hope. An early start from the Potteries meant the alarm going off at 4am before hitting the road at 5.45am. What a fascinating place it is, with parts of it going back to 1691. It has to be one of those locations that everyone should put on their “Bucket List” to visit if the opportunity ever arises.

You never know who you might meet…I even met an old roommate of mine from 60 years ago at AAS Arborfield, for both of us it was our first visit to Chelsea. Both now with walking sticks with worn out hips, David Jackson’s could be down to his many years of playing Corps Rugby, whereas mine are just down to Arthritis. It is funny how you can recognise someone after all those years and tell him “You haven’t changed a bit” when obviously they have, the hair that once had a good colour to it now resembles “Arctic Blonde”, and that spine that used to be straight now looks more the shape of a Banana. But like all old soldiers we refuse to say we are getting old but prefer to say we are maturing like a fine wine.

A fine sight of a dozen Branch Standards being paraded with our own In-Pensioners on parade alongside a sizable contingent of regular Corps soldiers from Lyneham. Sadly, if one considers the size of the Corps it was very

REME Association
John Wright wins a bottle of wine (again)

disappointing to only have a very small handful of Veterans present, not even 10, not even a pint of beer in the pensioners bar at £4.00 a pint seems to have been enough to get more numbers to attend the event.

Following the recent local government elections, the balance of power in the city of Stoke-on-Trent has swung over to a Labour majority, as a result we now have a new Council Armed Forces Champion. We believe she has some Royal Navy service but as she doesn’t know us and we don’t know her, we have arranged a meeting in the Potteries Civic Centre for the 30th of August, when Branch President Maurice Hope and Vice President Lt Col John Edwards OBE, will be putting her in the picture regarding our existence. Hopefully paving the way for a long and productive relationship.

REME Badminton Championships

09-13 October 2023

ATR Grantham

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

We would like your spooky REME stories for the October edition of the Craftsman, in time for Halloween.

Have you any tales from your time serving of things that go bump in the night? Have you been rattled by the unexplained in a REME workshop or mystified by ghostly apparitions in your married quarters?

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Branch Standard Bearer Gil Mould at RHC Branch President and Standard Bearer enjoying a pint of Chelsea brew
Please email your submission
42 submitting an article you are requested to read the guidelines on the inside front cover 42 Are you in the REME and interested in playing Basketball? To register your interest contact SSgt Cole: Upcoming training dates (Tidworth Leisure Centre) 12-13 Sept 23 • 16-17 Oct 23 • 27-28 Nov 23


Former WO1(ASM) Edward John Dutton

The obituary was compiled from recollections from Joyce his Wife and other members of his family.

I regret to inform the Corps of the passing of John Dutton on 25 May 2023 aged 95. John was born in Birmingham on 17 November 1927 and being brought up by his Grandparents at their boarding house, for theatricals. In 1932 John began his academic life, attending Smethwick Hall (Infants) School, then onto Smethwick Hall Juniors School.

At the age of eleven he took a scholarship examination and was offered a place at Smethwick Technical School. The school was equipped with engineering laboratories and comprehensive Machine and Carpenters’ shops. He studied many subjects; his favourite being machine drawing, which was taught on a Saturday morning in the Machine and Carpenters’ shops; this stood him in good stead for the future.

In 1940 John’s Grandmother died and his Grandfather sold the boarding house, moving the family to Bedford. The beginning of a new life, whereby he joined the Army Cadets, eventually being promoted to Sergeant. When he was fifteen, took himself to the Army Recruiting Office in Bedford and requested to join the Boys’ Service.

In April 1943, he reported to the Army Technical School (Boy’s) in Arborfield, to begin an apprenticeship to become an Instrument Technician. He took easily to the routines and order of Army life; enjoying the structure and opportunities it gave him. Passing out in 1946 into the Regular Army - Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and then, going onto complete a career of 27 years colour service.

In 1945 a girl called Joyce caught his attention at the weekly dances held at Arborfield; he called it love at first sight. They were soon to meet, one day when walking along Broad Street in Wokingham. Soon after he was sent to Maidstone and then Derby; but they managed to keep in touch. John moved back south to Blackdown in Hampshire and they resumed seeing each other as often as they could. They were married in 1947 and moved into Army Quarters in Blackdown - John was then 19 and Joyce 20.

The family travelled around the world as John undertook many overseas postings. A Daughter Shirley was born in December 1947 and as Shirley was still a baby, John was posted to Lagos in Nigeria as a Corporal Guard Commander. He returned in 1949 to complete an Artificer Instrument Course, where, a second Daughter, Linda was born in February 1950 and their family was complete.

An unaccompanied posting to Korea came in 1951 where he remained for the duration of the Korean War. He came home in 1953, but was very quickly posted again in January 1954 to Lagos in Nigeria. He set about hiring accommodation, so that Joyce and the girls could join him, which they did in July 1954. The girls went to the British Army School there and John and Joyce began to enjoy a good social life. They would all go to the beaches at weekends or spend time in the swimming pool, also going on holiday on a Safari in Kenya. A house boy, Sam, who took care of the house and looked after the girls, became someone very special in their lives.

In 1957, they returned to the UK to York, but were all to be separated again for a year when Joyce was surprisingly diagnosed with TB which she had caught since returning from Africa. As a result, she needed total bed-rest for a year and went to stay with her Mother.

In 1958 they were all re-united again in Warminster where they

remained until 1962 before John was posted to Aden. John, on promotion, now a WO1(ASM). At the end of 1964, the tour came to an end, and they were posted back to the UK, to Catterick. In 1965, John, Joyce and Linda were posted to Singapore where they stayed until 1967.

John got his ‘first’ and final posting to Monchengladbach in West Germany where he served at 37 (Rhine) Workshop REME, until the end of his military career; retiring in October 1972.

On leaving the Army, John qualified in the Civil Service and worked in London, then Aldershot, as Production and Control Manager within 43 Command Workshop REME. John retired from the Civil Service in 1991. Although, he kept in touch, as he then became the Pictorial Archivist at the REME Museum in Arborfield until finally retiring in 1997.

Meanwhile, Joyce and John had lived in Woodley and Cove before buying their first Park Home in Bracknell moving to their second one in Sleepy Hollow in Tadley 24 years ago, where they remained to this day and have been very happy.

The funeral took place at Basingstoke Crematorium on 12 June 2023. In addition to family and friends present, there were representatives of friends and members of the Arborfield Branch of the REME Association. Also present, was the Standard Bearer from the Korean Veterans Association.

Personal recollections from former WOI (ASM) Antony Betts, John’s Grandson:

I have had a strong and continuous affinity with John through our lives in Service to the Army and can honestly say we have had one of the longest recorded family service histories in the Corps, and I am immensely proud of him, and know, he was very proud of the continued family service to the Corps.

John was a man of service, and served others all his life. It started with Cubs, then Scouts, Cadets, Army Boys Service and a full Army career, followed by a career as a Civil Servant, then finally serving as the REME Corps Museum Pictorial Archivist / Curator until 1997.

Grandad to me was a man of principles, a dutiful man with integrity and virtuous morals to the highest standards. He was a traditional man with a capital ‘T’, he was honourable and respected, supportive, reliable, loyal, and steadfast; he was a military man through and through.

He was also a professional Engineer, an articulate and intelligent man with a wealth of experience as an Instrument Technician. He inspired me and other people to do their best, and he was always ready to help and guide people to achieve their goals. I personally witnessed many young Apprentices succeed in their early careers, when Grandad gave me the chance to experience parts of an engineering apprenticeship, when he managed the Production at 43 Command Workshop at Aldershot. It was during this time in my life, that inspired me to be like him.

I followed his footsteps and joined REME in January 1993. Shortly after my 21st birthday, he deposited me at the Gates of the Army Guards Depot at Pirbright. I can still remember the day he was laughing his head off and telling me to get out of the car and to get on with it, as he drove off, shouting out of the car window, “see you in 10 weeks Ha Ha” It was a wonderful and proud day for us both when I made it to my Pass-out Parade, where he officially handed the Baton of Army responsibility over to me.

Grandad remained a devoted retired soldier of the Corps and participated in many events and occasions with the REME Association, he also remained an active member of the Korean War Veterans (REME) Association. The President of the Arborfield Branch of the REME Association, Lt Col (Retd) David Keymer sent his condolences and noted that:

“John was an honorary member of the Branch and some of our members knew him particularly well having some fond memories of their time spent in his company. John was a founder member of the Branch being listed as number nine on the membership list when it was formed in Arborfield in 1994”

It was clear he was so well regarded by the REME Association.

Besides being a military man, those who knew Grandad will know he was an avid technology fan who loved gadgets, especially cameras. In addition, he always needed to have the latest technology

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Edward John Dutton

gadget, tool, TV, HiFi or BBQ; in fact, anything he could say he knew all about before anyone else. He loved to watch all war movies and listen to big band music, and he was addicted to the TV series CSI on television. Other interests in his life included camping and camping trailers, fishponds and Coi Carp, modelling, especially remote-control boats, model planes and vehicles. Finally, in respect to Edward John Dutton, I would like to quote words from a poem by Robert Longley: Time to come home dear Brother. Your tour of duty is through.

Death Notices

CASTELL – Former WO1 John William Castell passed away on 05 July 2023 aged 89. Dates of service 1953- 1974.

CLARK – Former SSgt James Clark passed away on 06 July 2023 aged 80. Dates of service 1959-1983.

FLETCHER – Former LCpl Richard (Ricky) Fletcher passed away on 04 July 2023. Dates of service 1986-1993.

GIBSON – Former WO1 Lou Gibson MBE passed away on 16th July 2023 aged 89. He served from 1949-1977 and served

Operationally in Borneo (GSM with Clasp) Suez and Cyprus during the Eoka Troubles and was awarded the MBE in 1977.

JAMES – Former Cfn Vivian James passed away on 24 May 2023 aged 60. Dates of service 1980-1984.

LAGADU – Lt Col (Retd) Stephen Paul Lagadu passed away on 10 July 2023, aged 67, after losing his battle against pancreatic cancer. Dates of service 1971-2009.

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 

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.
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. Please email or to sign up and get involved!
The REME Christian Network connects serving Christians throughout their REME career.

Officer Assignments

The REME Charity

The Trustees of The REME Charity acknowledge with sincere thanks the donations received during the month of JULY 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:

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, 

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From Amount 03/07/2023 From the estate of the late Alan George Sands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£1,000.00 17/07/2023 Brigadier (Ret’d) Peter Sharpe £200.00 31/07/2023 James Underwood, completion of OUTLAW Nottingham £188.22 28/07/2023 Oliver Brooks £15.00 25/07/2023 Member of 4 Regt AAC WKSP £251.00 20/07/2023 Mr C Harris . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£25.00 13/07/2023 James Casey, In Memory of Mrs Eileen Casey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£300.00 12/07/2023 Anonymous £50.00 12/07/2023 Ruth Cunningham £20.00 12/07/2023 Karina Lough In memory of Dave Lamb £10.00 12/07/2023 Jennifer Lamb, In memory of Dave Lamb £550.00 11/07/2023 Steve Budge £10.00 06/07/2023 Anonymous - for my REME brethern in need £5.00 30/06/2023 Adam Medlock . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .£4.44 Date sent to Craftsman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .01/08/2023 Total Donations (Jul) £2,628.66 Total £’s paid in Grants (Jul) £32,326.17 No. Grants (Jul) 38 Average Grant (Jul) £850.68
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
YOUR MAGAZINE NEEDS YOU Y O U 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. See inside the front cover for guidelines.

London Gazette September 2023 11 JULY

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


MAJ, I. V. McDAVID, REME, 24815221

MAJ, N. D. McINTYRE, REME, 24678108

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

WO2, R. G. CHARTERS, REME, 25063701

WO2, S. J. COOTE, REME, 25063433

WO1, M. R. DUNN, REME, 25067413

MAJ, S. W. GROUT, REME, 562257


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

CPL, L. D. ALLONBY, REME, 30013960

CPL, T. S. ASKEM, REME, 30024449

SGT, S. D. BALL, REME, 30018178

CPL, J. A. BARNARD, REME, 30031701

SGT, A. BEATON, REME, 30013954

SSGT, R. L. BOLAM, REME, 30030659

WO2, J. P. COATES, REME, 30032879

SGT, C. P. COCKING, REME, 30024136

SSGT, J. D. R. COOPER, REME, 30025132

CPL, S. HASLAM, REME, 30019398

SSGT, R. HOARE, REME, 30025767


MAJ, J. S. HUNJAN, REME, 30014017

SSGT, M. S. JOHNSON, REME, 30013934

SGT, S. P. LONG, REME, 30032335

SSGT, L. J. MILLER, REME, 30017617

CPL, T. E. MILLS, REME, 30036701

SGT, M. T. MORRIS, REME, 25218822

SGT, A. W. PARKIN, REME, 30012143

CPL, A. REID, REME, 25239447


SGT, J. A. STORY, REME, 30019584

CPL, D. A. SUTTON, REME, 25203619

SSGT, A. J. M. WHITE, REME, 30018448

SGT, D. M. WHITE, REME, 30018449

The following have been awarded the 1st and 2nd Clasp to the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Military)

WO2, J. QUIN, REME, 24743813

SSGT, J. SAMSON, REME, 24536852

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

MAJ, M. P. CLARKSON, REME, 24725892

MAJ, A. J. DOWN, REME, 24809921

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

SGT, C. M. BANKS, REME, 25049645

WO1, S. W. CANNING, REME, 25067244

CAPT, K. K. DARNTON, REME, 24911585

SSGT, D. M. DOYLE, REME, 25000888

WO1, P. J. FRANKLIN, REME, 24957817

CAPT, S. D. JACKSON, REME, 25065524

CAPT, P. W. LAUCHLAN, REME, 25055731

CAPT, A. R. LEAH, REME, 25041923

WO2, J. D. MEEHAN, REME, 25066313

SSGT, D. T. ONGLEY, REME, 25068174

CAPT, K. R. PACKARD, REME, 25068049

CAPT, L. D. SMITH, REME, 25065554

WO1, A. W. SMYTH, REME, 25067050

SSGT, E. M. TINDALL, REME, 24898536

SGT, M. J. TOOKE, REME, 25062103

CAPT, D. M. YOUNG, REME, 25067180

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

SGT, I. AHADZIE, REME, 30039332

CPL, T. M. BALL, REME, 30033656

SGT, M. J. BOJKO, REME, 30018511


CPL, S. BUNN, REME, 30027570

CPL, R. J. DOLPHIN, REME, 30033345

CPL, S. R. FILBEY, REME, 30034312

SGT, A. J. GARDNER, REME, 25227956

SGT, A. M. GLEAVE, REME, 30014082

CPL, K. S. GRIMWOOD, REME, 30028117


WO2, S. L. HEAP, REME, W1041176

SGT, N. M. HILLS, REME, 25147691

SSGT, M. J. HOUSDEN, REME, 30019402

CPL, R. F. D. KOMAISAVAI, REME, 30043663

SSGT, R. D. A. LYNCH, REME, 25130501

CAPT, B. D. MARTIN, REME, 30028654

CPL, C. J. P. McGHEE, REME, 30030831



MAJ, H. R. MORSE, REME, 25197716

SGT, P. S. OSAHAN, REME, 25232245

SGT, D. L. REEVE, REME, 25221424

SGT, J. D. ROCKETT, REME, 30034014

CPL, T. R. ROGOCAKE, REME, 30043665

MAJ, J. P. SEWELL, REME, 25197747

CPL, D. A. SUTTON, REME, 25203619

CPL, R. J. N. TORA, REME, 30043652

CAPT, M. J. TRANHAM, REME, 30029488

SSGT, M. WALLACE, REME, 30034658

MAJ, C. J. WOODS, MBE, REME, W1055652


No Entries


Regular Commissions

Major T. L. RUDKIN 25187418 retires 18 March 2023

Regular Commissions (Late Entry)

Lieutenant Colonel D. A. BOWER 24824112 retires 4 March 2023

Short Service Commissions

Lieutenant N. J. D. COLEING 30164949 to be Captain 4 April 2023

Lieutenant C. O. GOVAN 30227454 to be Captain 4 April 2023

Lieutenant J. B. HALL 30173700 to be Captain 4 April 2023

Lieutenant A. M. RODGERS 30309636 to be Captain 4 April 2023

Second Lieutenant T. O. HARRIS 30305511 to be Lieutenant

15 April 2023

Second Lieutenant J. A. F. HILL 30255116 to be Lieutenant

15 April 2023

Second Lieutenant C. D. HIRST 30295443 to be Lieutenant

15 April 2023

Second Lieutenant J. M. HUTCHINSON 30266741 to be Lieutenant

15 April 2023

Second Lieutenant H. J. W. MCMILLAN 30291175 to be Lieutenant

15 April 2023

Second Lieutenant J. THETFORD 30328688 to be Lieutenant

15 April 2023

Second Lieutenant S. TYRIE 30358187 to be Lieutenant 15 April 2023

Second Lieutenant P. A. WESTON 30230486 to be Lieutenant

15 April 2023

Second Lieutenant A. WOODYEAR 30353887 to be Lieutenant

15 April 2023

26th July No entries


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.

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SEPTEMBER 2023 06 Airborne Officers’ Dinner Night 07 HQ Officers’ Mess Corps Dinner Night 14 REME Colonels’ Command Group 14 Corps WOs’ & Sgts’ Mess Dinner Night 28 REME Memorial Day at National Memorial Arboretum. OCTOBER 2023 01 Corps 81st Birthday 06 Commando Officers Dinner Night 06 REME QM Dinner Night 18 Northern RAJA Careers and Employment Support Event –Catterick 19 MG REME Conference 19 HQ Officers’ Mess corps Autumn Guest Dinner Night NOVEMBER 2023 01-05 The Duchess of Edinburgh Cup 04 REME Reserves Conference 09 Field of Remembrance DECEMBER 2023 01 St. Eligius Day JANUARY 2024 18 REME Colonels’ Command Group 18 HQ Officers’ Mess – Corps Dinner Night FEBRUARY 2024 23 Regimental Guest Night MARCH 2024 23 Broxhead (Reserve Officers and WOs) Dinner Night TBC REME RSM Forum


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