THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY JOURNAL 2016
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The Household Cavalry Journal
Incorporating The Acorn and The Blue and Royal No. 25 2016 Editor: Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) H S J Scott, The Life Guards
Colonel in Chief Her Majesty The Queen
Colonel of The Life Guards and Gold Stick: Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE DL Colonel of The Blues and Royals and Gold Stick: HRH The Princess Royal KG KT GCVO QSO Lieutenant Colonel Commanding and Silver Stick: Major General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne KCVO, CBE, The Life Guards Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel E P W Hayward MBE, The Blues and Royals Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel J D A Gaselee, The Life Guards
The Life Guards Battle Honours Dettingen Peninsula Waterloo Tel el Kebir Egypt (1882) Relief of Kimberley Paardeberg South Africa (1899-1900) Mons Le Cateau Retreat from Mons Marne (1914) Aisne (1914)
Armentières (1914) Messines (1914) Ypres (1914) Langemarck (1914) Gheluvelt Nonne Bosschen St Julien Frezenberg Ypres (1915) Somme (1916) Albert (1916) Scarpe (1917) (1918) Broodseinde Poelcappelle
Passchendaele Bapaume (1918) Arras (1917) Ypres (1917) Arras (1918) Hindenburg Line Epehy St Quentin Canal Beaurevoir Cambrai (1918) Selle Somme (1918) France and Flanders (1914-18)
Mont Pincon Souleuvre Noireau Crossing Amiens (1944) Brussels Neerpelt Nederrijn Nijmegen Lingen Bentheim North West Europe (1944-1945) Baghdad (1941) Iraq (1941)
Palmyra Syria (1941) El Alamein North Africa (1942-1943) Arezzo Advance to Florence Gothic Line Italy (1944)
Mont Pincon Souleuvre Noireau Crossing Amiens (1944) Brussels Neerpelt Nederrijn Lingen Veghel Nijmegen Rhine Bentheim North West Europe (1944-1945) Baghdad (1941) Iraq (1941) Palmyra
Syria (1941) Msus Gazala Knightsbridge Defence of Alamein Line El Alamein El Agheila Advance on Tripoli North Africa (1941-1943) Sicily (1943) Arezzo Advance to Florence Gothic Line Italy (1943-1944) Falkland Islands (1982) Iraq (2003)
Gulf (1991) Wadi al Batin Iraq (2003)
The Blues and Royals Battle Honours Tangier (1662-1680) Dettingen Warburg Beaumont Willems Fuentes d’Onor Peninsula Waterloo Balaklava Sevastopol Tel el Kebir Egypt (1882) Relief of Kimberley Paardeberg Relief of Ladysmith South Africa (1899-1902)
Mons Le Cateau Retreat from Mons Marne (1914) Aisne (1914) Messines (1914) Armentières (1914) Ypres (1914) Langemarck (1914) Gheluvelt Nonne Bosschen St Julien Ypres (1915) Frezenberg Loos Arras (1917)
Scarpe (1917) Ypres (1917) Broodseinde Poelcappelle Passchendaele Somme (1918) St Quentin Avre Amiens Hindenburg Line Beaurevoir Cambrai (1918) Sambre Pursuit to Mons France and Flanders (1914-1918)
Crown Copyright: This publication contains official information. It should be treated with discretion by the recipient. The opinions expressed in the articles in this journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy and views, official or otherwise, of the Household Cavalry or the Ministry of Defence. No responsibility for the goods or services advertised in this journal can be accepted by the Household Cavalry, publishers or printers and advertisements are including in good faith. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the Editor and Publisher. The Journal was designed and published by Brian Smith Associates, 145 St Pancras, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 7SH. Tel: 01243 576279 Email: email@example.com
Contents Preface by Lieutenant Colonel Commanding .......................... 3
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer ................................................ 4 Diary of Events ......................................................................................... 5 A Squadron ............................................................................................... 5 B Squadron ................................................................................................ 8 Exercise ASKARI STORM ................................................................. 9 My Experience of Exercise ASKARI THUNDER .................. 11 C Squadron ............................................................................................. 11 D Squadron - A Force Multiplier ......................................................... 13 HCR Operation TACET STTTs 2016 ....................................... 16 The Challenge of Collective Training to a New Troop Leader ................................................................ 17 A Better Me ....................................................................................... 18 My Time in the Household Cavalry .............................................. 20
Exercise IRON GRAPPLE - D Squadron Fitter Section ....... 20 Changing of the (Life) Guard .................................................. 21 Headquarters Squadron ........................................................................ 22 Light Aid Detachment ........................................................................... 24 Quartermaster’s Department ............................................................... 25 Quartermaster (Equipment) Department .......................................... 26 Regimental Engagement Team ............................................................ 27 Brimstone ................................................................................................ 28 Regimental Administration Office ...................................................... 29 Officers’ Mess ......................................................................................... 29 Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess ............. 31 HCR Families Open Day ...................................................................... 32
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer .............................................. 34 Diary of Events ....................................................................................... 35 The Life Guards Squadron ................................................................... 36 The Blues and Royals Squadron .......................................................... 38 Headquarters Squadron ........................................................................ 41 Medical Centre HCMR ......................................................................... 43 The Forge and Veterinary Department .............................................. 44 Regimental Administration Office ...................................................... 45 Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess ............. 46 Household Cavalry Training Wing ..................................................... 47 Equitation ................................................................................................ 48 The Musical Ride ................................................................................... 49 The Royal Windsor Horse Show and Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday Celebrations ................................ 51 Coach Troop ........................................................................................... 53 Community Engagement ..................................................................... 54
Joining Celebrations in Bruges for the 600 Years of the Guild of St Sebastian ........................................................................ 65 Exercising the Freedom of the City of London .................................. 66 Cambrian Patrol 2016 HCR ................................................................. 67 Against the Odds: Cambrian Patrol 2016 ........................................... 69 Laying Up Standards of the Household Cavalry ............................. 70 Exercise DUNVILLE BLUECOAT ...................................................... 71 No Bridge Too Far for 2HCR ............................................................. 72
Pages 74 - 85
Cricket ............................................................................................... 81 Skiing ................................................................................................ 82 Boxing ............................................................................................... 83 Winter Training Troop 2016/17 .................................................... 83
Pages 89 - 144
The Household Cavalry Regimental Collection Trust ............. 104 Obituaries The Life Guards .......................................................... 106 Obituaries The Blues and Royals ................................................. 107 Nominal Rolls ................................................................................ 113 Notices ............................................................................................ 120 Household Cavalry Associations Dorset ........................................................... 124 North East .................................................... 125 North Staffs .................................................. 126 North West & West Yorkshire ................... 127 Features .......................................................................................... 128
Cover Photographs: Front: The Field Officer’s Trumpeter, Trp Chivers, canters back to his position having blown the Trot Back: Lt Bryce Titman’s crew, 2 Troop C Squadron, at speed on exercise on Salisbury Plain
56 57 58 59 60
The Band of the Household Cavalry .................................................. 62
News from the Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report 2016 ...................... 89 Minutes of the 82nd AGM of The Life Guards Association ....... 89 The Life Guards Association Accounts ........................................ 92 The Life Guards Association and Charitable Trusts .................. 92 The Life Guards Association Notices ............................................ 93 The Life Guards Association Regional Representatives ............ 93 The Blues and Royals Association Annual Report 2016 ............. 96 The Blues and Royals Accounts .................................................... 96 Minutes of the AGM of The Blues and Royals Association ........ 97 The Blues and Royals Association Regional Representatives ... 98 Household Cavalry Foundation .................................................. 101 The Household Cavalry Museum ............................................... 103
Pages 34 - 73
Scandinavian Ceremonial Exchanges ............................................... The Dartmoor Derby .......................................................................... Endurance Riding and Tent Pegging in the Rajasthan .............. Jordanian Short Term Training Team ............................................ Mongol Derby 2016 ............................................................................
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up Exercise COCKNEY CHAMOIS ................................................... 74 Polo .................................................................................................... 76 Sailing ............................................................................................... 77 The Original Mountain Marathon ................................................ 78 Rugby ................................................................................................ 79
Pages 4 - 32
By Major General Sir Edward Smyth-Osbourne KCVO CBE, The Life Guards Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Household Cavalry unrelenting desire to get the basics right on Salisbury Plain, there being a little of ‘back to the future’ about the admirable B CHAT cards RHQ brought out of hibernation (formatted Report Cards for various scenarios). Troop Tests on Dartmoor were innovative - and the aim: to instill robustness, resilience and initiative is exactly what we should be doing in an Army that preaches mission command but often fails to practice it, and at a time and in an environment where you may need true grit. The first deployment of 2017 to Brunei looks imaginative, novel and refreshing. This is all about readiness and relevance, attributes that the Service Regiment has in spades.
ow you hardly need me from a far and distant bunker in the Southern Alps to recite that which you have achieved but I shall observe on some of it. Conscious of the notably successful recent inter regimental boxing night, it strikes me that you have lived up to Kipling’s aspirational quip in his poem If; ‘If you can fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run ...’. And, boxing aside; the laying up of Squadron Standards of both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals in St George’s Chapel, Ypres (where they hang astride the altar), the splendid Freedom of the City of London Parade and the particularly noteworthy achievements of the Mounted and Service regiments at the Cambrian Patrol all speak of cohesion, cooperation and credibility in an Army fraught by change. Hackneyed though it maybe to say it, seldom has peacetime been so busy. The Service Regiment completes its tenure as the Lead Armoured Cavalry Battlegroup. Despite not being called, we saw many individuals mobilized to support operational training teams and advisory groups ranging from the Black Sea to the Baltic. This has brought spice and variety whilst keeping our thinking at the forefront of contemporary operations. Back at home, the focus on field skills and vehicular trades has been a welcome and timely return to our armoured heritage and role. It was difficult not to be impressed by the
And throughout all of this our Mounted ceremonial continues apace. Her Majesty’s 90th was brilliantly orchestrated in Windsor and standards were as high as usual at the Queen’s Birthday Parade, or The Troop as our Foot Guard cousins call it. The State Visitors see a shop window second to none, and that buys influence across the world. For me, who never served on State Ceremonial and Public Duties until I took over as the Major General, two things surprised me. First, fresh out of Kabul, I was struck by the unrelenting demand, often in excess of an operational day and way beyond the norm. We expect a lot, but the discipline and administration that our soldiers learn pays real dividend and we should be justifiably proud of what they do. Secondly, Mounted Ceremonial is widely admired from Copenhagen in the Baltic to Bahrain in the Gulf. The Danes, our allies through the campaigns of Iraq and Afghanistan, request ceremonial liaison at the same time as we strengthen our military ties. The King of Bahrain chooses to visit Knightsbridge whilst in London, and requests support to form his own Mounted unit - whilst building links in the Gulf. You only have to consider the number of tourists who flock to watch the Queen’s Life Guard and what they bring into London, to appreciate their contribution to prosperity. Those of you serving at Knightsbridge do more for our Nation and Defence than
most ever realize. Now I think it is worth me saying a little about AJAX. The decision to go down that route was taken in 2012. It was based on our pedigree of armour and armoured reconnaissance. It is a role that offers a place at the heart of the STRIKE brigades and by that token the Army; that brings investment and operational utility. It also comes with an establishment that allows us to sustain the delicate balance between the Service and Mounted regiments; in effect keeping the committal rate to ceremonial duties at a reasonable level whilst preserving our armoured skills. The recent exercise in Texas was important because it looked at how the capability could and should be used and we shall be at the forefront of that. But there will be challenges too. It is big and heavy. Our armoured doctrine has perished somewhat over the years and will need refreshing. It will drive our move from Windsor to Bulford for reasons of training, operational fleet management and engineering support. And though we have moved numerous times before, many of our families will now be committed to routine movement at a rate beyond all others in an Army that has placed a premium on stability. This is unpalatable and unattractive. It will require guarantees and understanding. But we must prioritize role and operational utility over bricks and mortar. We shall be judged on what we can do rather than what we are or what we have achieved in the past. So, as we face a resurgent and more belligerent Russian Federation to the East, an aggressive Daesh to the South, and an unpredictable North Korea in the Far East, we might occasionally belie the loss of the comfort blanket of the Cold War’s uneasy but nonetheless stable
balance of power. It is a catalyst for us to consider the cost of sovereignty, democracy and freedom. Civilizations die in the night when none can be found to give their lives for them. At such a time, in the aftermath of the Russian Federation offensives in the Ukraine, the testing of ICBMs across the continental landmass of Russia and
readiness exercises for the population; the enduring threat of attacks at home following those in Europe, Asia Minor and North Africa and the repeated testing of ballistic missiles in North Korea, we should have no illusions about the human capacity for irrational violence or our need to remain vigilant and prepared. Organized force enables
the peaceable to go about their daily lives undisturbed and provides breathing space in which the slow business of building a better moral order can be undertaken. And that, of course, is the subliminal message behind laying our Standards to rest in St George’s Chapel in the heart of Ypres on the eve of the centenary of Passchendaele.
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword
By Lieutenant Colonel E P W Hayward MBE, The Blues and Royals Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Regiment
o many the announcement before Christmas regarding the future of the Regiment and the wider Army came with little surprise. Recce soldiers have an instinct for understanding the world around them and many of you anticipated the changes in front of us. As the Household Cavalry Regiment looks to an exciting future, we should remind ourselves of how we arrived here and reflect on all the hard work that has set us up for the success we so rightly deserve. First, may I pay tribute to the families and friends of the Regiment who have continued to support us this year. I would also like to personally thank the Lady Mayoress of Windsor and Maidenhead who chose us as her key charity for 2016, thereby helping to promote the Regiment further and also raise money for the Household Cavalry Foundation. I trust the families’ day and various trips we arranged forged further links with our wider family in Knightsbridge and also demonstrated our commitment to more than operations.
4 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
2016 was a year in which the Household Cavalry Regiment embraced the new, whilst rebuilding past skills and drills. The training conducted saw us use more simulators and synthetics than ever before, and with great success. The 100% pass rate at 2016’s gun camp was testament to how the Squadrons embraced this to achieve “Excellence” in gunnery not achieved by any other RAC regiment in years. This has helped us refresh and cement our ‘mounted excellence’ and also remind us of the core tactical skills we so rightly hold in high esteem. An example of this was the creation of BCHAT cards combining SOI’s and SOC’s, which many may remember as an effective way of passing-on information and turning a plan into action. These old recce commander’s cards, dug out from dusty battle boxes, have been refined by each Squadron in turn before being tested on exercise. As a result they enabled C Squadron to move 30km across Salisbury Plain on radio silence into a Screen, remaining undetectable by the (to date) best electronic surveillance kit parked at a distance of only 4km. Just as the fusion of history, tradition and dual role makes us unique, this year we have combined the ‘old ways’ with ‘new means’, making us better than ever against a modern enemy. We have also excelled in our dismounted drills. Our results in 2016’s Cambrian Patrol is something that also fills me with the utmost pride, with the Regiment being awarded not one but two Silver Medals (many regiments do not achieve even one). An outstanding accomplishment considering that these were Squadron not Regimental teams, thus confirming that we are masters of our craft: both mounted and dismounted. To help build on these successes and the knowledge that exists from this
training, we have implemented a new mentoring system. The aim of this is to develop soldiers, both as they join us from Knightsbridge and also those currently in Windsor, to enable continual development throughout their careers. This holistic approach to training with the deeper amalgamation of Windsor and Knightsbridge will create a far more structured approach to career management which will support soldiers right through their time as dual-trained Household Cavalrymen and women; and those who have earned them have returned to wearing maroon or green berets at both Windsor and Knightsbridge. All this hard-earned success has helped ensure that the Regiment has received a most positive outcome from the recent announcements. The role of reconnaissance is as connected to us as we are committed to it. As such, we are the chosen regiment to develop the new rules and ways of operating AJAX, and how these will then be employed in the new STRIKE Brigades. This mentoring scheme combined with the newly crafted and enduring “Ethos and Creed” of the combined HCav Regiments will ensure that we are in a strong position to face up to the challenges the future holds. We are strong enough together to deal with the upheaval that the next few years has in store and smart enough to embrace the opportunities it will present. On a personal note, I would like to finish by saying how immensely proud I feel to be part of such positive change and I would like to thank you all for your continued support, hard work and effort. Strong in Will. To Strive; to Seek to Find; and Not to Yield.
Diary of Events
by Captain H J B Jordan, The Life Guards, Adjutant
hroughout 2016, the Regiment has concentrated on maintaining preparedness in all respects to deploy overseas at short-notice. In January, we took over the operational vehicle fleet - the largest we have held since the Army decided to fleet manage its vehicles some years ago. In February, the Commanding Officer put the Regiment through two weeks of simulated and staff training at the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer at Warminster - closely monitored by the directing staff and the 1 Armoured Infantry Brigade Headquarters. Without respite, the Regiment hopped from Tidworth on the west side of the Plain to Bulford in the east to conduct a two-week activation exercise, rehearsing the procedures for going to war. Following a rather muddy few weeks, the Regiment took rather greater pleasure in exercising our Freedom of the City of London, marching behind divisions of the Mounted Regiment to the Guildhall. The parade was commanded by the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Household Cavalry and was an unusual opportunity for both regiments to parade together. After Easter, the Regiment returned to its old stomping ground in Castlemartin to complete Annual Live Firing. The results were excellent, with a 100% firsttime pass rate on the test ranges - testament to the pedigree of the Squadron Gunnery Instructors, but also perhaps to our prototype gunnery simulator on loan from Thales UK. Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie visited and kindly promoted 2Lt Piers Flay RHG/D during a memorable evening at The Stackpole Inn. Elsewhere, B (C&S) Squadron deployed to Warcop, conducting a very arduous programme of dismounted field firing in preparation for their deployment to Kenya as the OPFOR company. In May, A Squadron deployed to Salisbury Plain to complete their collective training, working up from Section Level to the final four days of Squadron level drills. Of note, they were the first squad-
ron to train with the Army Air Corps’ new Wildcat helicopters and have hence formulated the first procedures for working with the aircraft. At Windsor, C Squadron worked hard to prepare for the annual Derby Day events which were a great success. Following an intensive period of training, B Squadron (reinforced) deployed at the beginning of June to act as the opposing forces for the Grenadier Guards battlegroup in Kenya. The exercise was pretty arduous and the Squadron acquitted themselves admirably, supporting the Grenadiers with a realistic and free-thinking opposition. The experience of patrolling past elephants and buffaloes is unlikely to be forgotten in a hurry! Later in June, C and D Squadrons played the leading role in a Brigade Reconnaissance and Deception concentrations. Winning the ‘Scrapheap Challenge’ was a particular highlight - C Squadron’s dummy CVR(T), made largely from cardboard boxes, successfully deceived a Wildcat helicopter’s cutting-edge thermal camera. The newly invigorated Regimental Engagement Team, under Capt Peter Ireland RHG/D, toured the South throughout June, drumming up recruits to fill the Phase 1 courses at Pirbright. Given the contractor’s lack of success in finding recruits, we have taken responsibility again for finding our own recruits. In July, Capt Rory Horgan RHG/D laid on an excellent Officer Development week, notably including a day at Chatham House and the Ministry of Defence in London. By kind permission of the Colonel-in-Chief, the Regiment paraded in fine weather on the Short Walk for a regimental photograph with the magnificent south aspect of the Round Tower in the background. Shortly before Summer Leave, C Squadron and a cohort of the Late Entry officers flew to Bosnia to learn about the regiment’s experiences there during the 1990s. Of note, General Sir Michael Rose KCB CBE DSO QGM, who had commanded
UNPROFOR in 1994, briefed the Squadron before their departure. After a glorious and rather extended Summer Leave in August, the Regiment returned in early September, preparing for C, D and HQ Squadrons’ annual mounted training. A small number flew to Brunei to complete Jungle Warfare Instructor training in anticipation of A Squadron’s deployment to Brunei in Jan 17. C and A Squadron both travelled separately to Sennelager - now a shadow of its former self - to undertake simulated training safely away from distractions at home. The simulated environment proved to be the perfect mechanism for experimenting with different procedures and, perhaps more crucially, allowed junior ranks to try their hand in a senior role as gunner or Crew Commander. In early October, a slimmed-down Battle Group Headquarters escaped the deteriorating weather to join the Brigade Headquarters for a month of high-intensity staff training under a US Divisional Headquarters at Fort Worth in Texas. Unfortunately, social opportunities in the local area were rather limited but the exercise proved a useful chance to think again about how we plan to fight. In November, A Squadron, reinforced with troops from C and D Squadrons, undertook three weeks of build-up training in Norfolk in preparation for Brunei. Many new skills were learned and practiced - not least setting up an effective and reasonably watertight jungle hammock. The Squadron is now ready for an exciting and demanding exercise in Brunei. Also in November, under the ominous bill of ‘Civil War’, soldiers from both Windsor and London fighting for their own Regiments, LG v RHG/D, hammered it out at a regimental boxing evening in the gymnasium. There was strong attendance from both the mounted and armoured regiments. The result was 5-4 to The Blues and Royals. As the year ends we look forward to festivities of Christmas Week and some hard-earned leave.
ebuilding and re-focusing have dominated A Squadron’s year, with the ultimate goal of Exercise ULU RAJAH, a jungle exercise that will take place in Brunei in January 2017. The year began with the Squadron being used as a resource to enable the
others, with Maj J A Mawson RHG/D and WO2 A G Slowey LG battling to maintain a sense of collective identity as personnel bounced from exercise to tasking in ad hoc groups. Their hard work came to fruition in the Squadron’s Collective Training Exercises in May 2016, when the newly arrived Maj R J
Spiller RHG/D was able to field a cohesive group by the time the Commanding Officer arrived on Salisbury Plain. In order to facilitate this, the early part of the exercise focused heavily on teambuilding and junior leadership, with the main effort being that troops felt
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are incredibly valuable to both sides as a means of sharpening our respective ideas about recce.
A Squadron poses with a WILDCAT
that training was being done for them, not to them. Thus a diverse programme emerged that meant the Squadron was able to undertake a complex range of tasks when being trained by the Regiment. Not least among these was being the first outside the Army Air Corps to work with the WILDCAT helicopter. This, an extensively re-worked version of the LYNX, is unique among helicopters in having a BOWMAN radio that enables the crew to talk directly to any vehicle. They were also used to test us, and HCR vehicle crews were immensely reassured at how difficult it was for the helicopter crews to find their skilfully concealed hide locations, despite an extensive array of very sophisticated sensors. A crowded forecast of events meant for further disruption, mitigated by the new scheme of centralised vehicle ownership. This means that, while some weeks are written off to maintaining
the fleet, others are freed for training. This has made an enormous difference to soldiers’ lives and its full impact will be seen in 2017, which has been planned with the cycle in mind. In the meantime, the Squadron was heavily used to provide ‘enemy’ for other Squadrons’ exercises and to support other tasks. A highlight among the latter was Exercise ITALIAN STALLION, in which a group led by Lt J A Kjellgren LG enabled Italian Airborne Troop to test their integration with UK forces.
More conventional training was conducted in an individual skills package in Castlemartin, focusing on the absolute basics of soldiering, and a visit to Germany to use the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT). This is a simulation system that enables realistic mounted training while allowing experimentation. In this case, B-Chat cards, revitalised after years of neglect, were extensively re-worked as a means of communicating the minimum necessary information. On both voice and data, they provided an excellent means of controlling information flow. Despite considerable risk being taken with crew members swapping roles throughout (at one point Tpr Bridgeman RHG/D found himself in command of the Squadron - robust direction to Troop Leaders followed!), a penetration at night on radio silence was successfully achieved.
CoH Aspland-Monger RHG/D, LCoH Brown LG and LCoH Hookham RHG/D were deployed at different times to Ukraine and Latvia, supporting our allies in their preparations to meet a resurgent Russia. While only a few weeks at a time, these deployments
Lt Pagden-Ratcliffe and Tpr Hinchcliffe surge for the finish on Troop Tests
Command Tasks building junior leadership
LCpl Massey kills a dummy
The summer was shaped by the absence of Troop Leaders and CsoH supporting the Army Warfighting Assessment in the USA, with Lt FAX Pagden-Ratcliffe LG being chosen as acting ADC to the new Brigade Commander. With A Squadron’s Troop Leaders having taken the lead on delivering the Officers’ Mess Ball, there was little let up for them. Nonetheless, Lt PRM Flay RHG/D has managed to find a little spare time in which to convene a group to restore the Regiment’s Daimler Dingo. A very enjoyable Squadron lunch, marking many comings and goings, was organised by LCsoH Day and Lampard, with LSgt Simpson RAMC following the
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 7
comedian onto the stage for his own impromptu set.
Tpr McRitchie admires the WILDCAT’s camera
After a chance to do something a little different on Troop Tests, the real focus became preparation for Exercise ULU RAJAH. This exercise will entail five weeks of living in the jungles of Brunei - a searching test of soldiering skill. While it might seem odd to take an Armoured Cavalry Squadron on such a long and specialised dismounted exercise, it nests perfectly with the Commanding
Officer’s intent that all Troops be able to operate silently. The jungle will demand the most rigid application of low level skills, helping soldiers to know what ‘good’ feels like and inculcating the self-discipline, robustness and agility that make Household Cavalry soldiers special. A Squadron is being reinforced by Troops from C and D Squadron, as well as a large number of enablers from Headquarters Squadron, to make a group of 150 containing six Sabre Troops under WO2 Allen RHG/D and SCpl Rosendale RHG/D newly in position as SCM and SQMC respectively. It will be a unique experience.
by Major R W Horgan, The Blues and Royals ARMOURED CAVALRY IN 2025 THE ISTAR SQUADRON What has it been used for in the past? B Squadron, the Household Cavalry Regiment has worn the mask of reccestrike well. The Squadron fulfilled a theatre-specific deep disruption task with bravery and tenacity. However, as the Command & Support (C&S) Squadron of a Formation and later Brigade Reconnaissance (FR/BR) unit it was pulled out of shape by Op HERRICK. The RAC secured the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) role for C&S Squadrons as the dismounted infantry skills that this type of squadron possessed (by virtue of Support, Surveillance and Sniper troops), combined with a reconnaissance mind-set that lent themselves to the requirement of the BRF. Therefore a squadron designed to hold Battle Group (BG) capabilities and support Sabre Squadrons became the premier strike and recce asset of FR/BR Regiments. These squadrons operated very successfully, largely in an air-mobile role during the later tours, for brigades who were becoming increasingly fixed by the
enemy and theatre policy. Focusing on Reconnaissance in Force and Raid tasks (Maj A Foden, Officer Commanding the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, (BRF) on OPERATION HERRICK 17, 09 July 2013), their tempo and employment was more akin to US 1st Air Cavalry Division operations during the Vietnam War (Stanton, Shelby, Anatomy of a Division: The 1st Cav in Vietnam). They were very effective at operating in the rear-area of dispersed insurgent groupings which used soviet era weapons. Why is it no longer required? Evolution. In Ajax, Armoured Cavalry Regiments’s (ACRs) are faced with employing the most expensive piece of land equipment ever procured by the Ministry of Defence (Defence Land Equipment Plan, Ministry of Defence, 2015). It will enter a battlefield where belligerent adversaries exploit the Electro Magnetic Spectrum (EMS) more than any time in history. These adversaries are specialising in blurring the lines between combatants and civilians in a form of legal reflexive warfare. To add to this, several of these belligerent adversaries possess
B Squadron (BRF) in contact on Op HERRICK
8 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
near-peer or super-peer capabilities. Unlike HERRICK, Defence no longer needs Armoured Cavalry Regiments to field an air-mobile recce-strike capability. It needs solutions to modern, intractable problems based around and in support of a ground mounted ISTAR platform. What is the requirement now for B Squadron? The current and likely future requirement is for a specialist ISTAR Squadron to work inside an ACR, who can conduct technical reconnaissance, surveillance and counter-surveillance across the Electro Magnetic Spectrum (EMS). As ‘war amongst the people’ (Smith, R, ‘Methods of warfare’, International review of the Red Cross’) is likely to be a defining paradigm of modern conflict, this squadron will also need to operate in and develop an understanding of where people live i.e. the urban environment. As with the ACR in general, their tasking should be scalable from Battle Group to Division providing high-quality human and technical intelligence assurance in an expeditionary setting. Crucially, the ISTAR Squadron should focus on developing understanding forward. This understanding, in the form of intelligence ‘fusion’ and network analysis needs to happen at or near to the point of collection, where the context of the information is freshest. The goal should be to move beyond the reporting of facts and provide the customer (BG, Bde or Div) with understanding. In this way, through technical means, the ISTAR Squadron can hope to provide bespoke answers to the Commander’s Critical Information Requirements, complimenting the work of Ground Mounted Manned Reconnaissance. By exploiting the EMS, the ISTAR Squadron can hope to allow the commander/customer to make better, faster decisions.
sion Centre(DFIC) would also provide this fast fidelity of understanding at the Battle Group level.
How can this be achieved? The ISTAR Squadron will need to consist of organic and inorganic assets. For training and resourcing reasons the ACR will not be able generate capabilities such as Electronic Warfare or some Military Intelligence functions. These will have to be Battle Grouped when conducting operations and importantly during collective training. However, as the reconnaissance soldier is imbued with the mounted manoeuvre mind-set, there are a number of functions which could and should fall to ACR ISTAR Squadron soldiers. The core capabilities of this squadron are: •
A Quadcopter is used to launch Scan Eagle
VHF/UHF bands. ACRs should look at how people communicate, not just the military. Equipment such as Stingray developed by Harris should be used to intercept cellular phone traffic in urban areas for analysis either by the Squadron MI or Brigade MI attachments. The ability to infiltrate Wi-Fi or in the future Li-Fi networks will also be a crucial capability as the vulnerabilities of mobile cellular technology become clear (to our adversaries).
Surveillance troop - providing a dismounted, covert EO/TI surveillance capability, especially in the urban environment. Subject Matter Experts at MSTAR - Ground Surveillance Radar for the brigade deep battle and remote camera systems.
UAS - currently provided by DH3 detachments from 32 Regt RA but ACRs should look to reclaim this role and should look at more suitable technologies such as Scan Eagle (with Synthetic Aperture Radar) and Quadcopters for the urban environment.
LEWT - SCARUS is the current intercept and direction finding equipment but only focused at the HF/
2 MI (Exp) Bn - Employing intelligence experts further forward will help to establish understanding quickly. Deployable Specialist Counter-Intelligence and Field Exploitation Teams from 2 MI Bn could conduct this work. Reach back to Defence level analysis organisations (e.g. Joint Cyber & Electromagnetic Activities Group (CEMA)/Defence Intelligence Fu-
MLT - Manoeuvre Liaison Team are a discreet profile human terrain reconnaissance capability that can be deployed into a permissive or semi-permissive environment. Their principle role is to establish lines of communication with local nationals in order to garner information that would otherwise not have been readily available through passive surveillance. This can be achieved in both a civilian and military profile. It is similar in nature to 2 MI Bn’s covert passive surveillance capability but conducted by reconnaissance soldiers seeking active human connections.
Summary The Army Warfare Fighting Assessment conducted by 1 AI Bde in conjunction with 1st US Armoured Division in October has shown the need for UK to recalculate its assumptions for reconnaissance. The ability to project, survive, exploit and understand will remain vital. However, the ability to fight in the EMS or what 1 AI Bde Commander has termed ‘the fourth dimension’ will be a determinant of our future success. The ISTAR Squadron will allow Armoured Cavalry to achieve this next step in reconnaissance
Exercise ASKARI STORM by Captain J R G Faire, The Blues and Royals
mmediately after Easter Leave, B Squadron took on strength the Support and Javelin Troops from both C and D Squadron, to create a 106 strong Squadron Gp. The purpose of this Gp was to exercise as OPFOR (enemy) to the 1 GREN GDS BG on Exercise ASKARI STORM 3/16 in Kenya. We were to act as a light role infantry company, so created an 8-week pre-deployment training (PDT) programme that would mould the Squadron Gp into a cohesive infantry sub-unit, able to exploit our core recce skills. This ensured we deployed to Kenya in June for five weeks ready to give the BG a competitive and realistic enemy. The highlight of Pre Deployment Training was a week of dismounted live fire tactical training in Warcop, Northumbria. Ranges progressed from individual close quarter battle and pairs fire and manoeuvre, through 60mm mortar, right up to a squadron attack on the final day. Credit should go to CsoH Sedgwick, Perryman and Ottaway for running a fantastic training package.
Other notable elements of this package included a two day navigation exercise on Dartmoor and training days covering defensive engineering (arranged by Sgt Tyrie RE) and guerrilla warfare. Having flown into Nairobi, the Squadron moved 200km North to Laikipia Airbase East (LAB(E)), just outside Nanyuki. This base is shared with the Kenyan Air Force, and is home to British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK). It was a sobering thought knowing that every time we heard a jet take off, it was likely to be starting a live bombing mission on Al-Shabaab on the Kenya-Somalia border. After a quick 48hr RSOI package, the highlight of which was the immediate action drill for each type of dangerous wild animal we would encounter on the training area (a bewildering amount, and no drill entirely convincing!), the Squadron mounted our collection of trucks and land rovers, and set off for the first phase of the exercise. This four-day period was an invaluable chance to acclimatise and develop troop
drills and procedures. Special thanks must go to Aidan Hartley, the noted African conflict journalist, on whose land we trained. Aidan also provided a very realistic civilian population for some serials through his rangers and employees, and played the role of an upset local landowner himself. It is not often Lt Hunt-Grubbe RHG/D will find himself being grilled without warning by an expert in difficult questioning, and with a pistol on the desk between them! The phase ended with a final display of generosity from Aidan, a lesson in the Askari method of animal slaughtering and preparation, followed by a feast of barbequed goat. The second phase saw the Squadron move a further 120km North from LAB(E) to Archer’s Post training area. This deployment threw up yet more reminders of the turbulence Kenya is currently undergoing. The Squadron was sent up in two packets on consecutive days, as departure from LAB(E) to Archer’s Post is not permitted after 1500hrs, and vehicle repair issues meant
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not all would be ready in time. This rule is in force as the route passes through Isiolo, a town in which the road splits the Muslim and Christian communities. Occasionally, small arms fire is exchanged across the road during darkness, and BATUK therefore needs to be sure that troops passing through can do so in daylight hours. Aside from this, the journey encapsulated the natural variety Kenya has to offer. LAB(E) sits in the shadow of Mt Kenya, roughly 2000m above sea level. To reach Archer’s Post, we had to cross hills that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Scotland or North Yorkshire (and the weather certainly wouldn’t), before dropping over 1000m vertical to the southern edge of the Kaisut Desert.
One of the many long road moves from LAB(E)
Once at Archers Post training area, the temperature did not drop below 27C at any point, and was pushing towards 40C at the hottest part of the day. It was in this phase that we had our first encounters with the 1 GREN GDS BG. They were put through three Company level 36hr serials, one of which was live firing. We therefore had to provide an enemy to their convoy escort and obstacle crossing, and their pre-dug company defensive position. The Squadron worked hard in the heat and had particular success in holding up the obstacle crossings with carefully placed OP’s and accurate fire missions. Notable leadership was shown by junior commanders when assaulting the dugin defensive positions, as the Grenadiers obstacle plan meant that small teams working quietly and quickly were most effective in keeping momentum, taking trenches and confusing the enemy. The phase ended with the first opportunity
A patrol leaves the Squadron Leaguer
for the BG to run out, attacking the Squadron in a Forward Operating Base. The cunning and deviousness on display from HCR soldiers ensured the Grenadiers had a rough time achieving their mission, despite their overwhelming numerical superiority. The third and final phase of the exercise began after a much needed three day maintenance period as the arid scrubland in Archer’s Post had taken its toll on the vehicles. Another long move from LAB(E) saw the Squadron and BG deploy onto Loisaba training area. This hadn’t been used for around 10 years before our arrival, and we were therefore sharing it with a considerable amount of wildlife, including roughly 200 elephant and a pride of lions; the latter of which was encountered more than once at a rather shorter range than was comfortable. After disrupting the BG river crossing by excellent use of our core recce skills, and thereby delaying their plan by 12 hours, the Squadron withdrew to prepare to attack the BG defensive position. Assaulting a dugin BG in just company strength was always going to be a tough task, but after a lengthy insertion tab to try and get all the way round to their rear area, the Squadron managed to dislodge a Coy and cause nearly 20 casualties in their BGHQ. Real robustness and determination was shown by all, and we started the final mission in high spirits. Having created a militia training base around a flat-pack village built and in-
B Squadron Gp on completion of the FTX
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B Squadron hold off the 1 GREN GDS BG dawn assault
habited by locally employed contractors, the Squadron put the final touches on our dug-in positions and obstacle plans before awaiting the BG assault. As before, the 1 GREN GDS BG struggled to deal with a forward OP screen and subsequent fire missions, although the deception they achieved when crossing a river 5km to our front was exceptional. An excellent final battle ensued when the BG crossed their line of departure, and as ever, initiative at the lowest level made sure they were tested and forced to work hard to clear every single position. Overall, the exercise was a fantastic and unusual opportunity for HCR soldiers that took them to a country most had never been to before. Overlaying core recce skills with quickly improving dismounted infantry tactics ensured that the contest between the B Squadron Gp and 1 GREN GDS BG was evenly matched throughout. The theme seemed to be that we would win the distance battle with our core recce skills, before their superior dismounted close combat skills told. After some much deserved and enjoyed adventure training, including mountain biking and white water rafting in the Great Rift Valley, the Squadron Gp flew home to settle back into routine at Combermere Barracks.
My Experience of Exercise ASKARI THUNDER by Lance Corporal A S Parker, The Blues and Royals
s soon as 2016 kicked off, the Squadron was straight back into the routine training we conduct annually, beginning with CATT/CAST. A number of us were, however, lucky enough to be picked to deploy to Kenya on Exercise ASKARI THUNDER as enemy forces against the 1st Grenadier Guards Battle Group. Those chosen were primarily from the Regiment’s Support Troops and Guided Weapons Troops as they would benefit most from the dismounted focus of the pre-deployment training and exercise thereafter. We began our training straight after Easter leave with various range packages and fitness build up training, culminating in a full LFTT package in Warcop with a slick live-fire company attack across the area to give us that warm fuzzy feeling that we were ready to dismount our wagons and take on the Foot Guards at what they do best and in a testing environment too. Eventually, it came time to pack our bergans and get on the plane and for many there was a great deal of excitement mixed with anticipation as, since operational deployments around the world have dried up, this would be the first time deploying to a hot and somewhat hostile (if only from the thorny bushes and camel spiders in the areas we’d be training in) part of the world. I myself am South African born and bred, however, I have not been back in 12 years so for me it was the perfect opportunity to get back to Mother Africa and embrace all that I’ve been missing since moving to the UK - mostly the sun, which as soon as we stepped off the plane hit us like a freight train and we knew then even before starting the exercise that it would be as much of a test for us as it would for the Grens. The initial period in the days upon arrival were spent acclimatising and taking over vehicles, which thankfully were only TCVs and land rovers and nothing with a track on it. We were staying in Laikipia Air Base East, a Kenyan Air Force base. We got a chance to head down to the lo-
cal curio shops and, strangely enough, they had already produced wood carvings of our respective cap badges before we even got there. After about a week we were ready to deploy onto the area. We headed out on what was a very long and hot drive with the lads in the back of the TCVs. We got to our first of three training areas, called Tangamaus - a large area of land owned by a War Correspondent who was more than happy for us to use it to conduct some in-house training before meeting up with the Grenadier Guards. We pitted the three Platoons against one another across about four days, slowly ramping up the intensity in section attack and defence. The heat was a consideration across the training package and down time was granted accordingly. However, for the most part the boys were put to the test both mentally and physically. We ended the first week on a high with the local Askaris coming by to show us the traditional way of slaughtering a goat before letting us have a go with a further four. It was an eye opener to say the least, but everyone jumped in and quite literally too, as one of the traditions is to drink the blood of the goat as it rather quickly bleeds to death from a slit made in the arteries in its neck. For the record, it tastes like a blood milkshake - I went back a second and third time, though I’m not sure I’ll be a danger to any farmers livestock back in Blighty. We butchered them and got them on a big fire pit. The name for chunks of meat cooked this way is Nyama Choma. With a couple of local Tusker lagers, that was the first week done and dusted. The second week we were up against the infanteers with various serials along the lines of defile crossings, company defence and company attack. We put up a tough fight, better than any of us thought we would do in all honesty as this was their bread and butter, and ended up testing them at every turn. We got some excellent feedback from the BATUK DS and some from
the Grens, with perhaps some advice to tone it down a touch. (We took this as advice and dutifully ignored it) The final week ramped things up again: the serials were largely the same, however, on a much grander scale both in terms of our defence and their attack. The area was just as hostile with a full compliment of camel spiders, snakes, wolf spiders, lions, elephants, giraffes ... the list goes on. The exercise culminated with a full scale Battle Group attack on our fortified defensive position. We didn’t hold back until the bitter end, when their numbers, albeit rapidly dwindling as a result of our efforts, overpowered us and they took the position with what seemed to be only a platoon at best still alive. Endex. The exercise was serious fun but more to the point offered great training value for all involved and each and every one of us returned to the UK with a greater appreciation of operating in a different environment; seeing the other side of our tactics, an incredible and vibrant culture, and how to go on a shovel recce knowing there are things at your feet and around you that will give you a run for your money if you don’t do your (very necessary) 5’s and 20’s. For myself, it was excellent being back in Africa. Although far from Cape Town, where I grew up, many of the sights, smells and sounds were largely the same and I thoroughly enjoyed experiencing the African culture once again. We got back on the plane all with a pretty god-like tan and prepared to resume regimental training on the plain, Salisbury Plain, oh joy of joys. I think it’s safe to say we all came away from the exercise and overall experience with a greater appreciation of our job and for many a renewed enthusiasm to see more and do more whilst flying the flag of the Household Cavalry wherever until the world we may find ourselves.
Squadron returned from BATUS in November 2016 to dive straight into training for a six month Op TEMPERER commitment, where it worked to 1 Mercian followed by a switch to 4 Rifles. The requirement saw all individuals trained via All Ranks Briefs to the SQMC department constantly either in the middle of taking over or handing over the equipment to the various sub units coming on and off 12hrs’ NTM. Each change of readiness state was faultless and thanks are to be given to all ranks for
making the change so swiftly after what had been a demanding year. The Squadron disappeared before we knew what had hit us on Christmas leave, which also marked the departure of Colonel Denis and the arrival of Colonel Ed back into the Regimental fold after quite some time away. The Regiment formed up in the New Year to be greeted by
Advancing on radio silence on Collective Training
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the new Commanding Officer; almost immediately we began working to the High Readiness year with the Squadron mercifully free of any commitments until we deployed disregarding some of the newer ones from the previous few years as we began to further refine SOIs on a Battlegroup CSTTX. Memories flooded back of a similar exercise from June 2015 and, as the Squadron always does, it performed well under pressure with various fastballs thrown in for good measure. The natural ability of our commanders and their willingness to take the initiative saw us triumph against a determined digital enemy! A week post return and trying to tie down the best practices from CSTTX saw the Squadron deploy on Exercise TRACTABLE, a readiness test exercise which the Brigade set up centred around old Carter Barracks on the outskirts of Bulford. C Squadron parked up its vehicles, did a spot of maintenance and then sat around in the snow watching everyone watching everyone else. The Troop Leaders amused much of the Brigade late into the night by their never ending enthusiasm for dinner party games in the cookhouse marquee. A quick 20km lap of the plain as a road move and the Squadron eventually collapsed back to Windsor, smug in the knowledge that it didn’t have to go on to South Cerney to drive CVR(T)s through mock up cut outs of C130s with 16 Brigade as D Squadron did. Easter leave came and went before we deployed on gun camp to Castlemartin where, blessed by good weather as we had been the previous year, the Squadron was able to show it had lost none of last year’s ability with another 100% first time ACT pass rate. The Freedom of the City of London was exercised in a dual parade with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment which added to the ever growing sense of variety seen by us so far this year.
code; all designed to invest in our people and aiming to turn them into individuals ‘good enough to leave but happy enough to stay.’ As ever the Squadron’s Notice to Terminate (NTT) rates remained the lowest across the Regiment. The Squadron visited Bosnia on a battlefield study (covered by the author elsewhere) which proved to be a huge success; for some in the Squadron (mostMaj Rupert Gorman and C Squadron on the ly our attached LEs Freedom of the City of London parade who were very keen to come back and see how the country had relentlessly began an ambitious training changed some 20 years after last serving week of Tp and Squadron level tactics there) it was quite surreal seeing how almost immediately on radio silence roads and villages had changed; for the where we aimed to instil confidence more junior it was a quiet education in in all the Squadron members. Achievthe delicate nature of peace where the ing all tasks set with aplomb, planning interests of ethnicity are not always was thus set in stone for our Collective aligned. Training 1 exercise on SPTA. After summer leave the Squadron began ramping up its training to meet the Commanding Officer’s intent that “all Troop and Squadron level mounted drills be carried out by both day and night with full voice and radio silence”. The Commanding Officer was keen that old lessons from the past were not forgotten though for the majority that meant learning these from scratch. ‘BChat’ cards (a slimmer version of Secure Orders Cards) were produced for all commanders; these aimed to reduce complexity in the turret and provide a concise format for the delivery of orders for tactical actions. The Squadron adjusted its head to last year’s Training Year and began the rounds of ROC drills and Tp level training in earnest. We visited CATT Germany where we
CT1 and 2 rushed up to meet C Squadron quite quickly. As the last sabre squadron to go through the rotation there was little doubt that the pressure was on from RHQ! A demanding exercise with little chance for rest in the first week led us onto a day of much needed maintenance while I wondered what was in store for us on CT2. By the end of CT2 we had achieved a great deal and I was delighted with the Squadron. We had achieved the establishing of a Guard at night on radio silence with our attached LEWT team unable to locate us despite being 2kms from the Squadron, a 30km delay, a series of raids and advances and a counter descent operation to name but a few. In the margins the Squadron has sent
A period of back in camp for the next couple of months saw us really tuning into management of our people in camp with revitalised career structures, unit healthcare and the Army leadership
C Squadron personnel are briefed on the Bosnia conflict in Sarajevo
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Using the weather as well as the ground
personnel on a myriad of training opportunities; highlights of which were a group that was taken to the Royal Navy’s Damage Repair Instructional Unit in Plymouth and soldiers learnt more teamwork in the simulated sinking ship repair drills; the achievement
of a highly commendable silver medal for the Squadron team entered into the Cambrian patrol competition and winners of the Brigade scrapheap challenge where the Squadron constructed a fake CVR(T) Scimitar which fooled overflying Wildcat.
As I write from Tallinn where I am currently based, I look back on my time as C Squadron Leader with huge pride and awe in what our people have achieved. I wish you all the very best but I can’t resist reminding you all just one more time - “Recce must survive!”
D Squadron - A Force Multiplier
t is 1930hrs and I am sitting on Baltic Airlines flight headed to Riga the capital of Latvia, I am joined by a nineman team which has been selected to mentor elements of the Latvian Army on their recently purchased CVRT fleet. I am an hour away from landing and so I have decided to make a list of the different events and exercises D Squadron has completed in the last year; to quote a well-used phrase by the lads, the list is “as long as a baby’s arm” from: the Brigade (Bde) Reconnaissance (Recce) Concentration to Troop (Tp) Tests, we have been inundated with challenging and enjoyable opportunities that have displayed the talent from across the Squadron (Sqn). On returning from a well-deserved Christmas leave we rolled into Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) and Combined Arms Staff Trainer (CAST) under the watchful eye of the new Commanding Officer (Comd Offr). Despite only recently being in CATT the summer before the Sqn had new faces in all ranks and positions, so achieving the tick for readiness was not going to be easy. The CATT team had clearly done there home work as we were given a selection of mentally challenging missions, taking us out of our comfort zone with a level of complexity not previously seen. This meant the Sqn had to be flexible at all levels to ensure we understood our tasks, knowing the fine detail and executing with precision and speed. I am glad to report that we were successful in all missions but only because of the determination and commitment displayed by Crew Commanders and Troopers in the Sqn, who rose to the challenge on assuming command. Particular credit should go to CoH Collinson who delivered an excellent lesson on the use of the Scimitar targeting system; the ability to synchronize enemy targets and grids. CATT is an exceptional aid to training in a combined arms environment that allowed us to prepare gradually for the final mission with the expert feedback during After Action Reviews by the Directing Staff. It was not long before we were heading back west along the M3 heading to Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA), this time on Ex TRACTABLE, this Bde level exercise saw us working with the
other Battle Groups from 1 Bde demonstrating that we had achieved Readiness: the culmination of several weeks of preparation conducted by the whole regiment, ensuring that both men and machinery were trained and assembled, in the right area at the right time. These statistics also had to be reflected accurately in Bde Manning Returns and also on the JAMES database. Particular credit needs to be given to CsoH Doran and Morgan who worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure that our preparation was to the highest of standards. Following the first phase of TRACTABLE the Sqn then moved to the Joint Air Mounting Centre (JAMC) to prepare for the pre-flight mobilisation process which would ensure we would be able to deploy by air is the orders came. Our surroundings here were more to our taste as we settled into barrack blocks which replaced the freezing SPTA. The process was much more meticulous than expected and highlighted the need for all the preparation and rehearsals we had conducted to ensure a smooth departure. The Sqn’s hard work was also noted by Brig Wright, Bde Comd, when he visited us at JAMC. Speaking to the various elements of the Sqn he was able to gauge opinion and understand how hard we had worked. After spending a delightful Easter with our friends and family the treadmill of training continued as we prepared for
the Annual Crew Firing Tests (ACFT), though this year our preparations would be different. Our Gunnery experts in the shape of the Sqn 2ic (in his capacity as Regimental Gunnery Officer), with CsoH Fetigan and Collinson constructed one of the most comprehensive packages to date. Using a combination of synthetic and practical training, which built up individual and then crew training, followed by B3 Gunnery and then Gun Camp itself. Therefore it came as no surprise when our students on the B3 Gunnery Course did so well. On completion of the course the Sqn deployed for their iteration on the gunnery package to the rolling receptionless Castlemartin Ranges (CMR). The variety of 30mm and Panther shoots both static and advance brought out the best in our crews: with sharp eyed responsive Drivers who were often first to see the target, active Commanders giving direct and clear orders as well as reporting, and cool and precise Gunners acquiring the targets and executing the shoots. All crews from across the Sqn competed favourably for top shots but the honour of that position went to CS 20. As the clash of ‘The Titans’ unfolded on the ranges, background activity took the form of lessons provided by JNCOs and the CsoH. No Gun Camp would be complete without a mention of the SQMC packet and the Burger Stand. SCpl Cox nailed it this year by featuring some of the most talented Burger Chefs
D Sqn SHQ on CT2 on SPTA
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outside HQ Sqn, such as Cpl Bodily and at or Tpr Gilgrass; if cooking was a crime they would both be in jail for life. This confirmed the old adage that ‘an army marches on it’s stomach’. An exceptional feat which needs recognising was LCoH Hurworth’s Burger Challenge - 8 burgers and enough hot sauce to stop the All Blacks was smashed in record time. On a parallel program Support Troop (Sp Tp) had also reached the culmination of their preparation to to take on the 1st Bn Grenadier Guards on the African plains as OPFOR. This unique opportunity meant that all the dismounted regimental specialists would conduct a combined training package prior to deployment. Under the unstoppable double act of Lt Comyn and CoH Ridge the Tp breezed through the package assisted by the force multiplier that is Sgt Tyrie RE; they would be ready for anything that would come their way. The training was hard and relentless, and this was reflected in the attrition rate. Despite the steep learning curve, baking African heat, ferocious wildlife and not forgetting the Grenadiers our Household Cavalrymen and Attached Arms prevailed by pushing themselves to new limits. One of the most challenging tasks the Sqn have to deliver was the 1 Bde Recce Concentration. With the aid of the new regimental planning process we delivered a series of Backbriefs to the Comd Offr and the Bde Comd as well as several Planning Conferences. This was not just going to be a SHQ affair, as LCpl Cleary found himself sitting with both the SCM and I delivering the Backbrief to the Bde Comd. With plans sanctioned from the highest level we continued with the G4 execution and liaising with external agencies and speakers who would add crucial elements to the plan. The Recce Concentration was split into three parts over the three days: Theory, Practical Application and a Consolidation phases. The theory day was conduct at Combermere and saw a range of presentations from Academics, a Falklands Veteran and a plethora of specialists from the Land Warfare Centre Armcen Recce Division, 47/3 Special Ops. Their presentations led to a host of questions from the audience of Bde and BG Recce Tp, Pl and Sqns. The presentations helped us to understand how future adversaries think and operate as well how to deal with their activity with the use of Counter Surveillance. The second day was conducted on SPTA through a series of stands (OPs: mounted and dismounted) manned by Recce Div, 4 RIFLES, 1 MERCIAN and RTR Recce Pls. We also had stands manned
14 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
by DH3, LEWT and FST teams from across the Bde and hides manned by the Sqn. The day culminated with a manoeuvre demonstration involving a Troop advancing as a Screen and then transitioning into a Guard followed by a HOTO with the 4 RIFLES Recce Pl. This was all assisted with other ISTAR assets being used to cross D Sqn on CTO at LCoH Tipling giving a CTR brief. D Sqn having a CTR lesson during CT0 on Longmoor Training area cue and track enemy targets. On the third day we returned to Combermere ness. This was also the first exercise for for the consolidation where we listened SCpl Salmon, a baptism of fire as the to speakers from 16 Bde ISTAR Gp, 30 new SQMC. With his gritty yet calcuIX Commando who both explained how lated leadership style, he put the SQMC they utilised their ISTAR assets. Before packet on tactical footing maintaining lunch we were given a comprehensive our supply chain despite enemy action. presentation on AJAX by the current These actions helped to sustain the D Regimental second in command who Sqn Fitter Sect which achieved a 88% was the AJAX project lead. This was vehicle availability as Tiff’s (SSgt Slater) followed in the afternoon by discussion men worked through the night regugroups on lessons learned and collating larly to ensure vehicles were kept in the best practice, with a closing summary fight. The Sqn owes a lot to our fitter secbeing delivered by the Comd Offr. The tion; their commitment is legendary. results of the Recce Concentration went to Bde as a PXR to shape future Recce After the final serial of CT1 which intraining and then subsequently onto 3 volved an Advance, a Raid and then an UK Division. The successful delivery of Obstacle Crossing we then transitioned Bde Recce Concentration was directly into a 24hr maintenance period, which due to the commitment shown at all also allowed everyone to get some feedlevels. back on their performance to date. The Sqn was also fortunate to have a dediAfter the summer leave period, we cated and professional Enemy from A were able to combine the previous Sqn who gave constructive criticism aleight months of experience and utilise lowing us to improve on mistakes and it on three weeks dedicated to collective reinforce success. Most importantly it training. This started with a week of CT0 also gave people the opportunity to involving us using the Longmoor local make their feelings known. Following training area; here we were able to use a Warning Oder and then a two pager the Light Aid Detachment to transport 4 late Sunday night, we re-orbated, and CVR(T)s and then we conducted a series deployed onto our area of operations. In of stands and lessons, which involved a similar fashion to the CATT training, us being tested on our knowledge and there was a gradual build up in tempo creativity. A series of first class lessons but this time we were given several was delivered by the SCM, CsoH Perry, tasks which required individual Troop Turner, Selby, LCsoH Tipling, Hendy attention and necessitated the use of and Miah. ENCOM measures and counter surveillance measures. Initially, we were found CT0 enable us to confirm our lowwanting in areas but the Sqn learned level skills and drills. Weeks later this fast from mistakes, and surfed a wave of was followed by a comprehensive CT1 success and with rising morale as each package carefully crafted by the Sqn 2ic task was completed. The Sqn conducted Capt Vaughan supported by the Trainan excellent insertion followed by an efing Wing we formulated a challenging fective raid on an enemy rebro station exercise which increased in tempo over before being tasked into a Screen. the week. Our performance and utility was aided by the use of the new B-Chat Our performance was good but we were cards that we had first employed during still left with room for improvement to our synthetic training on BC2 in camp. add that extra bit of polish. ThroughHaving basic drills reduced to commuout the exercise we could see the gradnications cards with diagrams increased ual improvement with the Crews and our communication speed and effectiveTroops; it was clear that the demanding
nature of the CT1 training had created the foundations for success but we must maintain our guard and not become too complacent. Of particular note were the performances of LCoH Tipling who stood up as CoH for 1 Tp. After less than a week back in camp, in which we conducted Roll Back as the Maintenance Sqn, we received our airline tickets for Latvia, of which more elsewhere. Our STTT was then followed by another Gunnery orientated STTT in late Nov-Dec 16 which included CsoH Fetigan and Turner, who ran a 30mm live firing package with the Latvian Army. Most importantly these STTT enable us to foster better relations with our Latvian allies and improve their capability, assisting them in the protection of their nation. Whilst we were in Latvia, Lt Crosthwaite-Eyre led his D Sqn Cambrian Patrol Team to a creditable Silver medal supported by the equally talent LCoH Hinchley as his 2iC. They were only beaten by 2 Infantry Battalions who won Gold. The team had undergone a rigorous training package whilst conducting all the previously mentioned events and exercises; this shows the nature of commitment they have displayed and the reason why they were so successful. To his credit, Tpr McLaughlin’s performance set him apart through both the preparation and the competition, though just as much credit should be given to the Support Team enabled by Sgt Tyrie and others. Not content with the training themselves, they Lt C-E also run a familiarisation package for the Swiss Army team whom we hosted at Windsor both before and after the Competition. One of the most demanding events we have taking part in and also the most rewarding was the regimental Troop Tests Exercise IRON WILL. Possibly the best kept secret in regimental history saw every Sqn deploy three teams on a Bear Grylls meets Commando challenge. Unlike anything done before, 12 man teams deployed to Dartmoor to
Tpr Keeney taking part in a Sandhurst exercise which enabled O’Cdt to interview soldiers for the first time
D Sqn on Remembrance Sunday returning from the Garrison Church
be taught SERE skills by elements of UKSF and survival specialists before deploying on different scenarios with missions and task which not only tested individual mental robustness and team work but also stretched people to their physical limits - notably the river crossing. All our teams put in a fair performance but most importantly they all built on their basic knowledge and soldiering skills. Credit should go to 3 Tp as they were the most successful Sqn team; well done Lt Adcock and CoH Barbour. Another interesting fact was that SCM Harris was the only SCM in the Regiment to complete every obstacle on the assault course including the monkey bars; from his performance it was clear that this was not his first Rodeo. As usual this was another great year for Regimental sportsmen with the Sqn members distinguishing themselves in: rugby, cricket, football, basketball and athletics and not forgetting their success in swimming. LCpls Cleary and Atkin put a monumental effort into the boxing team; LCpl Hurst for planning and delivering the swimming camp, Tpr Redford represented the RAC at cricket; LCpl Duffield has been a Army Football Association Referee. The Sqn said goodbye to several long standing members this year and became the home for new friends and colleagues and these included: SCM Quickfall who move
onto become RQMC(T) being replaced by SCM Harris; SCpl Cox who leaves to go on tour to Afghanistan in the acting rank of WO2, he was replaced by the talented SCpl Salmon; SSgt Paterson move to HQ Sqn in an elevated role and was replaced by SSgt Slater; CoH Morgan moves onto HCMR. CoH Armstrong leaves the Army to take over his family business, CoH Fetigan joins HQ Sqn as Gunnery Warrant Officer, though not leaving the Sqn CoH Doran is elevated to Senior Tech Rep. We have welcomed CsoH: Turner, Barbour and Perry whose presence has been instantly felt at Tp and Sqn level. With myriad of changes, constant demands and tasking plus the standard requirements of being on high readiness, the Sqn has experienced many highs and lows. People have shown great robustness and sacrifice in order to achieve effectiveness and meet the high standard dictated by Battle Group HQ. At the same time, we have been enabled by all elements of the Regiment and also supported and backfilled all Sqns in return, for the greater good of the Regiment. I am proud of our combined performances and would like to extend my thanks also to your families and loved ones for their sacrifice in your absence whilst serving the Sqn. And it has not all been hard work.
D Sqn Community Engagement Cincinnati Bengals Cheerleaders
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 15
HCR Operation TACET STTTs 2016 by Major Twumasi-Ankrah, The Blues and Royals
s part of OP TACET, HCR has deployed four separate Short Term Training Teams (STTT) to support the Latvian Army in developing their proficiency on the CVR(T) vehicle platform in our year on High Readiness. The teams have run initial Driving and Maintenance Courses, Gunnery Courses, a Company Mentoring programme and a 30mm live firing range package. I was very fortunate to have been nominated to command the 3rd HCR STTT over a four week period late in 2016. The Team consisted of SCM Harris, CoH Selby, LCoH Hookam and SCpl Crawley and CoH Carrier who are currently permeant instructors with ARMCEN in the Recce Division down at the Land Warfare Centre. After the three hour flight we landed in the capital Riga where we were met by the British Contingent lead Maj Orminson PWRR and Capt Keogh the EME. They had arrived six days earlier as the advance party; they drove us to our accommodation, a military hotel next to their military academy. The following morning I drove with elements of the advance party to the home of the 1st Mechanised Infantry Regiment our host for the duration. The Battalion was originally an airborne reconnaissance regiment and the over time they had morphed into a light role and then a mechanised Infantry Bn mounted in Humvee armoured cars. They had served on Operations: throughout the Balkan conflicts of the 90s; in Iraq; and also in Afghanistan where they had rotated Companies and then Platoons on a regular basis. The unit was based on a similar construct to the US Army - similar roles, terminology and Standard operating procedure. All the Officers, Warrant Officers and SNCOs spoke fluent english to NATO standard and this meant they also briefed in English throughout the exercise down to company level. They had 3 Rifle Companies though only one had been fully equipped with CVR(T). The companies had 4 platoons (Pls); 2 Scimitar Pls that provided the FIND Function and two Spartan Pls that carried dismounts armed with Anti-tank weapons conducting a STRIKE function. The Company HQ was deployed in two Spartans with the Coy Comd and the XO. The Latvian Defence Force, though only 8000 strong, is manned by volunteers; they have now also started taking females in their combat arms. After an introductory brief from the Bn HQ led by the Commanding Officer Lt
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Latvian Coy Comd delivering Orders prior to deployment on Exercise SILVER ARROW
Col Mogilnes, who had been a graduate of the British Army Command and Staff Course, we were introduced to the Company and so our journey as Mentors began. We spent the first few days getting to know our opposite numbers, to gain greater understanding about how they work both in camp and in the field; this would prove vital in the field a week later. The Latvians are a very proud and reserved people who have suffered repeated occupations by German and Russian forces over time and this has lead to a robust nature and mistrust of foreigners. Therefore it did take us a while to break the ice, though once we did the bonds were established the trust nurtured was incredibly strong. The Company lived and worked on the same floor within the Bn Barrack blocks. The Armoury, Tech Stores, Sqn HQ, offices, rest rooms and 10 man Pl rooms all in the same area for convenience. In recent years they had hosted several different nation’s mentors who had deployed to increase their capacity and advise them on weapons and tactics. It soon became obvious that the Latvians had a wealth of experience as an army though what they required was advice on best practice for operating out of CVR(T) and maintaining their fleet. They had conducted minimal work on CVR(T) and had never deployed at Company level so this was going to be challenging for them. They were also hampered by not having recovery assets such as a Fitter Section within the companies nor did they have an SQMC Section; these assets were all centrally located in a CSS Company and an LAD collocated with BGHQ. The Coy Comd and CSM had both attended the British Crew Commanders Course and other elements of the command chain had completed other nation’s tactics courses
including the American Platoon Leaders course. We observed their lessons and noted a high standard of skills and drills from their juniors who were all bright and well motivated. Their basic knowledge of D&M was also impressive, as they dealt quickly with small automative problems; as a unit they experienced the same day to day issues felt by us back in the UK but they also have an incredibly high retention rate. They used the American estimate planning system, which was relatively easy to understand, and they had also adopted the process of briefing orders off Powerpoint; as a result their plans were detailed and well thought through. Our assistance was desired as we provided the corporate knowledge on how to employ CVR(T) which is not easy for soldiers from a non-armour background. We spent the next week working in camp with the Company learning how they did business and preparing for Exercise SILVER ARROW. Exercise SILVER ARROW is the annual confirmatory exercise for the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) and our Company were to play OPFOR with the assistance of a US Army, Marine Corps and Lithuanian companies under command of the Latvian’s Battle Group HQ. We received several capability briefs from the various Companies and Attachments which was enlightening and made us think about our own capabilities, especially organic ISTAR and Anti-Tank capability. BGHQ soon produced a Warning Order, followed by an Op Order and then the process of planning started after the BGHQ hard delivered a perfect set of orders in English demonstrating the range of talented staff officers. Our acting
Company commander, following some consultation, delivered a comprehensive backbrief to his Comd Offr, which to his credit rivalled that of the US Company Commander. This was impressive for a Lt who had recently been posted in as an XO stepping up for his OC whose wife had just given birth. Briefing with confidence to his doctrinally pure Comd Offr, who pulled no punches, he carried himself well. Twenty four hours later he delivered his orders observing the 1rd 2rds rule in the Company lines in English to his Pl Comds and they too repeated the backbrief process assisted by the rest of the STTT with the SCM aiding the CSM. The Coy had been task to Confirm enemy in NAIs and then Identify and Destroy HVT to enable Airborne Coy to conduct Decant operations. After a three hour road move the Coy split into a Northern and Southern Group. The Southern Group inserted covertly in the south achieving all its objectives despite the XO breaking down. The lead units discovered and raided the VJTF HQ showing the versatility of CVR(T) in forest and marsh terrain. Their success was repeated in the following three missions over the five day exercise which saw the Company being Task Organised with light role Infantry Companies as fire support, and then as the BG mobile reserve and for shock action deep behind enemy lines. Being infantry they did more STRIKE than FIND, though it was interesting to see the way their AntiTank teams took on enemy armour with such tenacity; dismounting in cover and then manoeuvring into position to
D Sqn Ldr and SCM with the Latvian Coy Comd and CSM
engage armour with both Carl Gustav and SPIKE Anti-Tank systems. We were very impressed with how quickly they had picked up on the points we raised, taking on board British Recce doctrine. SCM Harris focussed particularly on the difficulties of mastering the CSS chain and the casualty extraction which was further complicated by distance and the lack of a committed ambulance with their CSM. It should be noted that both CoH Selby and LCoH Hookam performed above the standard required, working late after hours to ensure their Pl Comd and Pl Sgts were happy with the practical application of mounted tactics and vehicle husbandry. They would often take it that next stage further by deploying on foot as part of the Anti-Tank teams. The instructors from ARMCEN were able to bring the overarching assurance; doing the deep dive analysis of what the Bn required in the way of further development and how they could best develop and structure future training.
ican Black Hawks and a ground assault led by CVR(T)s followed by Estonian wheeled APCs. The event was attended by the Latvian Defence Secretary and a host of foreign dignitaries and press. We conducted a BG level feedback session and then Company feedback session which were warmly accepted and in return the Company gave us work on points about our approach to mentoring. On our last day with the battalion we were presented with regimental coins, pens and mugs by the Comd Offr and in return I presented the Company with a copy of ‘Pageantry and Performance’.
Latvian Bde Comd addressing Inf Coy and after the exercise
Latvian Anti Tank Teams beside Spartan armed with a Karl Gustav
By the end of the exercise it was clear to see how much the Company had developed and the pride they had it their CVR(T)s which have been the largest procurement project the Latvian Government had undertaken. On returning to Barracks once Endex was called we were greeted by the Latvian Bde Comd who informed us that Ex SILVER ARROW had been a success and they wished to grow their CVR(T) capacity further by mounting AT systems on top of Spartan for added flexibility and speed of engagement. The day after the exercise we were invited to film the Latvian Defence Force and their allies in the JRTF as they displayed their military capability which saw sorties conducted by Euro Fighter, an air assault by Amer-
Prior to leaving we were invited to a drinks reception by the British Ambassador in Riga; he and his team were incredibly helpful throughout our stay, particularly his Head of Security who was a former Coldstream Guardsman. The following evening we watched the local ice hockey team play in Riga before meeting up for drinks members of the 3rd Company. Being on this STTT was an amazing experience which gave us the opportunity to share all our CVR(T) knowledge, developing and enhance their capability and we also learnt a lot from the Latvians due to their creativity and tenacity. Our observation points were included in the 3 Div PXR and will shape and assist future STTT. I strongly recommend that we all take opportunities to serve on STTT as they will become the norm in the current future climate and provide a challenging environment for senior and junior commanders in which to operate, especially with cultural and linguistic barrier. Most importantly it is the best environment to develop and grow our soldiers.
The Challenge of Collective Training to a New Troop Leader by Lieutenant C M A Marlow Thomas, The Life Guards
ollective Training (CT)1 and 2 offer few surprises with regards to what to expect both as a troop leader and as a junior driver. It will inevitably
incorporate the standard mounted actions from an Observation Post screen to a withdrawal, identifying, tracking, assessing and prosecuting
the enemy where necessary. However, to confine the exercise experience to the one worded ‘actions’ the troops and squadrons perform, would be
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to diminish the challenges that these actions pose in execution. As a brand new Troop Leader there are many things to consider and CT1 and 2 clearly brought out some definitive work-on points as a troop and some moments where a pat on the back was well deserved. CT1 is quite clearly a test for the individual Troops. Troops deployed on the ground after some vehicle maintenance to fan out across the all-too familiar Salisbury Plain, home to an ever present threat of NDF invasion. The troops were empowered to conduct two days of inter-troop training under their own chain of command. As a troop leader this was an excellent opportunity to invest in soldiers and allow them not only to develop their own skills but step forward to develop others. As such lessons were conducted on everything from the perfect camouflage net for a guard to the intricacies of troop Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for a Close Target Recce (CTR). As such come Tuesday evening the troop was well rehearsed in the simplicity of hide establishment and vehicle manoeuvre. However, as a wise man once noted, ‘no plan survives contact with the enemy.’ Needless to say, when it comes to performance as a troop it is not always the overt NDF enemy that can compro-
mise performance. Come night, hunger, thirst, fatigue and all the other inevitable exercise experiences, no amount of theoretical non tactical training can prepare the uninitiated. Therefore, the simple drills that were so on-point in the original two days began to be tested. Furthermore, there was a real enemy to think about as well. The troops performed well in this initial phase whilst those new to mounted exercise found their feet before the swooping wind of SHQ taskings could blow them away. CT1 allowed troops to complete missions as directed by SHQ. As such, SHQ were able to direct enemy forces in total awareness of where the vulnerabilities lay. Whether it be an inter troop boundary or an unidentified approach route, SHQ could exploit it with enemy forces to push individual troops as necessary. This was excellent training from a Troop Leader’s perspective. It encouraged commanders to explore the detail of their plans, the particularities of ‘actions on’ and the potential loopholes in their Estimate. This enabled troops to consider solutions organically, that would often come in the form of tasks for Support Troop, Arty Target or some imaginative thinking. Furthermore, the enemy appeared to come better equipped as the week progressed, acquiring VIPER thermal sights and CWS seemingly out of nowhere as you pedaled around a
position on a CTR. As such, the need for a disciplined well-drilled troop became even more essential, further hammering home the need for Emission Control (EMCON) measures and an awareness of signature. As a Troop Leader there is always the desire to have the best Troop possible, striving for perfection. The reality of this progression throws into light sharply the requirement of regular mounted training. Recce must survive. We will only do so if our battlefield discipline, situational awareness and low-level skills and drills are at the gold standard. Professional at all times and totally aware of the possible real enemy capabilities we are likely to contend against, there is no room or survival for amateur soldiering. As such, the need to recognise failures, think about them, communicate them and apply oneself again where necessary, is absolutely essential. This is the essence of CT1 and 2. Allow a week for the troops to be tested and blow the dust off, with individual commanders feeling the heat so that by the time the complexities of CT2 beckoned a well-trained and slick-oiled machine of Troops were stepping up to the challenge. D Squadron performed well throughout and returned to Windsor happy to pat themselves on the back from a productive and testing two weeks on the Plain.
A Better Me
by Lance Corporal J J Watson, The Blues and Royals
n January I decided I wanted to bring something unique to the Squadron, so I decided to look at a career as a sniper. I started with a two month training program within the Regiment which was run by the sniper troop. My training started with a general assessment into my military knowledge along with map reading and section attacks. I found out that I was below the required standards and would have to work hard to get myself to where I needed to be. After the classroom-based section of the training was complete, we deployed to Pirbright for a week. Here we practiced our skills in Navigation, Observation, Sketching and Camouflage and Concealment. The days were long and intense with a lot of information to take in on a regular basis; thankfully, the instructors were always prepared to go through any points we still didn’t understand. At the beginning of March I went back to Pirbright but this time under the HDPRCC. This was another aptitude course, but this time was under the scrutiny of the Sniper Wing instructors. It started off with a PFA followed
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by an 8 miler and later on in the week a 2-mile best effort. The rest of the week was filled with lectures on the history of sniping and characteristics of the L115 A3 rifle along with more tests on 6 section battle drills and navigation. During the remainder of the 4-week course we went on several night navs as well as other fieldcraft lessons. Once I had proved I had potential, I was offered a place on the Basic Snipers Course starting in May. Yet again it started with an 8 miler and tests on military knowledge and map reading. However, this time they were pass or fail. The next two weeks were solely based on shooting. This ranged from the key spots to aim for on a target to being on the ranges starting from 300m up to 600m; this again was pass or fail. Then came our skill phase. This time everything I had learned over the past six months was put to the test. At the start of each day we all handed in our phones, a jump onto a minibus and at some point en route we pulled up and did a resection. We had a time limit of 20 minutes and had to be within 20 meters
of the instructors answer. Secondly, we had a judging distance stand. This tested a variety of judging distance methods with an overall score and a pass mark of 70%. After lunch we conducted observation and sketching and ended each day with a night nav. In the 6th week we had our Snipers ACMT. The setup was simple enough: 10 targets and various ranges and 14 rounds, hit a score of 70% to pass. I entered this test extremely confidently; it was on a familiar range and the weather was clear with a moderate wind from right to left. Unfortunately, this is where my course finished since I failed to reach the required mark and was sent back to the Regiment. Although I failed this course, I believe it has made me a much more effective soldier and I have brought these extra skills to my Troop and Squadron, demonstrated over CT1 and 2. I hope to try again and be badged as a sniper next year, and become an even greater asset to the Household Cavalry.
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Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 19
My Time in the Household Cavalry by Trooper C Gammon, The Life Guards
have been a regular soldier since August 2013 and a member of the Household Cavalry Regiment since May 2015. Beforehand I had been in the Reserves, and had some operational experience. In the time since I have joined the Regiment I have deployed on several exercises and have taken part in many other trips and courses.
CT1 and 2 in September of 2015. CT1 and 2 are exercises at squadron level practicing all of the drills we need as mounted recce soldiers. Once again I was in the SQMC department and did many rolling replens and dead letterboxes. I also spent a few days as OPFOR in which I faced my own squadron and was told not to make it easy for them.
The first thing I did in the Regiment was the annual gunnery camp in Castlemartin in June 2016; gun camp is an annual exercise in which the Regiment deploys to Castlemartin ranges in Pembrokeshire to practice 30mm gunnery and dismounted ranges. My role was as a Trooper in the SQMC dept; I helped with the running of the ranges and in looking after the administrative needs of the squadron. A more unusual trip in June saw the Squadron go to Belgium to help commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. As well as a battlefield tour and taking part in the Belgian National Day parade in front of the King himself; there was also the opportunity to sample the culture of Brussels, namely the local lagers, which were enjoyed by all.
Not all exercises in the HCR are muddy and wet; in February this year we deployed to Warminster to conduct virtual training in the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer - CATT. This involves the entire Regiment simultaneously playing through scenarios in what is essentially a huge computer game. We went through a scenario each day for two weeks which went well but got progressively harder as the Comd Offr killed off certain callsigns or jammed our comms to make it harder for the remainder of us. It was a valuable experience for all ranks and I learnt a great deal about how an armoured battle group moves and how as a driver I can aid my commander in my route selection.
After summer leave the Squadron deployed to Salisbury Plain to conduct
Op TRACTABLE in March of 2016 was another unique exercise. It involved the entire Brigade deploying to Salisbury Plain to test our readiness. After several
days we moved as a squadron to South Cerney to practice the mounting procedure for deploying on aircraft; this involved working with members of the RAF who weren’t accustomed to working with armoured vehicles and needed help telling them apart. Owing to injury, I had the opportunity to attend a Lower Limbs Course in Aldershot. The course at the Regional Rehabilitation Centre was three weeks long and seemed at first sight to be just PT. But going on it was a great experience and I’d recommend it to anyone else who becomes injured; the staff are knowledgeable and understanding, and equip you with a great deal of knowledge for when you are sent back to your unit to continue your recovery. Working in the HCR isn’t all exercises; there are also lengthy periods of maintenance which is needed to keep the ageing fleet of vehicles in fighting order. There’s also training for tasks like Op TEMPERER, a way to aid the police in the event of a terrorist attack. Life in the Regiment is varied and rewarding; with many different opportunities to break up the routine of maintenance and exercises.
Exercise IRON GRAPPLE - D Squadron Fitter Section by Staff Sergeant (Art Elec) M G Slater BSc
took command of D Squadron fitter section in July of this year and after a brief handover-takeover, it was straight into preparation for the Squadron’s upcoming CT1/2 exercise on Salisbury Plain. The fitter section compromises nine tradesmen including: an Artificer, five Vehicle Mechanics, a Recovery Mechanic, an Electronics Technician, and an Armourer. The manpower is spread between two Spartans (C/S 24A, 24B) and a Samson recovery variant (24C).
to practise its tactics and SOP’s for the following weeks CT 2 exercise. During the first week the fitter section was able to hone our camouflage and concealment skills in order for us to blend in with the rest of SHQ; and most impor-
tantly learn to move more tactically on the ground. The majority of faults encountered were generator and fuel line faults, the latter proving to be a major bone of contention
With many a busy day on the tank park behind us, the Squadron successfully managed to prepare 23 CVR(T)’s, 2 MAN SV and a solitary Land Rover for the journey to DD gate. After some imaginative packing of toolboxes and spares we crammed into our vehicles awaiting our first casualty of the exercise. The initial move from DD gate onto SPTA surprisingly passed without incident and we managed to get all of the vehicles into the Squadron leaguer without a breakdown. CT 1 consisted of a series of low level serials (skilfully co-ordinated by Capt Vaughan) which allowed the Squadron
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D Squadron’s Fitter Section on CT 2
for the section and for the whole exercise. Thankfully we had a fuel line expert within the section and it is a credit to LCpl Rarawa that he managed to rectify these issues and keep the affected vehicles on the road until the end of the exercise. The final serial of CT 1 was an obstacle crossing which culminated in the Squadron forming up at crossing 3 for some well earned rest in preparation for the following day’s maintenance day. Ironically this fell on the Corps birthday so the fitter section was able to celebrate in style with a Pot Noodle and a can of Monster from the SQMC’s tuck shop; prior to catching a well deserved ‘straight eight’ nights sleep. The maintenance day commenced on the morning of the middle Sunday; we were met by the SQMC packet and a forward echelon of the QM’s department. After all the level 1 servicing and maintenance was completed (under the watchful eye of our Squadron Tech Reps, CoH Doran, and LCoH Curtis); the fitter section had a small list of faults to rectify. The majority of the faults were turret related, however 14B decided to blow its generator and this took up the majority of our resources to ensure it was ready to go by 0001hrs. CT 2 started with a Squadron night move and it wasn’t long before shouts for 24A were heard across the net. A 4
Troop Spartan had managed to throw its track in the worst location imaginable, which resulted in a rather emotional 4 hour recovery/repair task. Crisis averted, all 24 call signs managed to make it into the SHQ hide under the escort of 4 Troop just prior to sunrise. The remainder of the week saw 24C move forward from SHQ with the SCM’s TAC, where Cpl Still and LCpl Foulds provided the first line of repair/recovery cover to the forward troops advising me what 24 assets would be required for each job. A thankless and busy task, they were both a credit to the fitter section and Squadron for their tireless efforts. As the pace of the serials on CT 2 started to ramp up, so did the volume of vehicle faults. Despite his best efforts to remain in Westdown Camp, CoH Ridge’s Spartan C/S 40 was swiftly returned to the exercise every time it had a fault (4 times). In fact the theme of 4 Troop’s vehicles breaking down continued with a variety of faults occurring including Bowman, fuel and rear idler arm issues. All faults were repaired and returned to the user in good time with the exception of C/S 43’s rear idler, which unfortunately was ‘Dues Out’ in the supply chain. The final two days of CT 2 proved to be the most demanding for the fitter section with an abundance of faults being reported, culminating in two Scimitars requiring recovery to the ECCP in order for 6 Bn REME to conduct level 3 repairs on a gearbox
and final drive respectively. As ENDEX was called at 2230hrs and the Squadron moved to their final leaguer position, 24C roamed the area collecting the last few casualties and recovered them to the ECCP where the fitter section worked through the night to ensure all vehicles were repaired prior to the next days wash down and move to Windsor. By dawn vehicles started to move out of the ECCP under their own steam to Tidworth, with 24B finally bringing up the rear with the SV(R) recovering the final Scimitar into the wash down. In summary, it can be seen that the fitter section had a demanding but rewarding two weeks on Salisbury Plain. It was an excellent opportunity to embed in the Squadron and build on our professional and personal relationships with them; as well as refining our tactics to align with their SOP’s. The average equipment availability for the two weeks was an impressive 89% and this is a testament to the hard work and diligence of not just the fitter section but of all the vehicle crews. A special thanks must be given to the QM’s, Tech Reps and LAD ES Ops who managed to facilitate the demands and delivery of all level 1 and 2 spares from Windsor to SPTA in order for us to turnaround non-taskworthy vehicles in good time. All of the lessons learnt on this exercise will put the fitter section and the Squadron in good stead for our BATUS OPFOR deployment next summer. Arte et Marte
Changing of the (Life) Guard
by Lance Corporal of Horse R A Darty, The Life Guards
would like to describe a tumultuous period in my life, making the decision to transfer from the Corps of Royal Engineers to The Life Guards. It all started when I gained an assignment order to D Squadron HCR in October 2014. As the only Engineer in D Squadron at the time, and there being no support troop then, I found myself in 5 (Guided Weapons) Troop, and hit the ground running to learn as fast as I could. What on earth did I as an engineer know about javelin ? Nothing, absolutely nothing. My time in 5 Troop didn’t last long as Sgt Tyrie was soon posted in so we could wear our day sacks around camp and constantly say we were on Engineer business, which I can tell you is very important business. All engineer business is conducted in the NAAFI with brews. With the formation of Support Troop we started training for CT2 CATT and BATUS; we also took the Troop to Gibraltar Barracks the home of the Fella, and to Tidworth to learn how to build bridges and conduct basic engineering tasks for our future deployment on Exercise PRAIRIE STORM 4. It was during these
dark days of bridging and combat engineering, and also acting as the lead call sign in support troop that I had a conversation with my wife about actually staying in Windsor as I was actually enjoying it; and for the first time in a long time we were both happy. I jokingly broached the subject with a few people at work to see what the reaction would be and if it we possible, most responses consisted of either being laughed at or “are you mad”. So I eventually just went and asked the Careers Management Officer what the score would be if I wanted to transfer. The conversation went something like: Me: Sir I actually like it here in Windsor CMO: Well that’s good then Me: Yeah I like it here, I like that you guys don’t move around so much CMO: Oh yeah ME: Yeah I really like that CMO: Yeah Me: Yeah I’d like to stay CMO: Oh well we can try and put in for an extension ME: Well that’s not what I meant I’d
like to stay properly, you know transfer over CMO: ................................... This was all before leave just before we deployed to BATUS. I wrote a letter stating why I wanted to make the jump and how much I would be a valuable member to the HCR and completed all the relevant paper work and handed it in before flying to Canada; that is when I started telling people and the other engineers too of my decision. There is something I need to say about BATUS that tickled me. We had an RE Sgt as our safety staff; his C/S was 6E and he followed us and mentored us in Support Troop. For the first week or so he was very chatty and brought us treats now and then: by us I mean engineers. Someone decided to tell him that I am in the process of transferring. 6E never spoke to me again! Upon return from BATUS I found out that come 11th January 2016 I would be an engineer no more, from that day on I shall be a Life Guard. Brick hanging 2015 was the de-Engi-
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 21
neering. I was not officially a Life Guard yet and only just a Royal Engineer, but all that was about to change thanks to a group of fellas. A few friendly beers between fellow fellas, and suddenly I’m surrounded by fellas and frog marched to the Mess garden for a de-Engineering, by what can only be described as a group of angry Engineers. My 2 Dress jacket lanyard was ripped off tied in knots and thrown away; my collar dogs were ripped off snapped and thrown down; my 2 Dress jacket buttons were pulled off one at a time and thrown in the same direction as my collar dogs and lanyard. I’m left with just a bare
jacket and a bottle of Household Cavalry port in my hands. It’s at this point I am taken by the fellas and presented to the RCM to see if I can carry on as a Life Guard; he says “Yes! More port!” Christmas 2015, and my parents come up to Windsor for few days; my Dad lays eyes on one of my Leathermans - quick as a flash says to me “are you allowed to use that now?” Talking of tools, my wife will not allow me access to the tool box anymore as apparently I am no longer qualified to handle tools. Why did I actually transfer? Everyone
has said I must be mad to transfer, and I’m positive it probably helps being a bit mad. Yes, if I had have stayed in the Engineers I would be a Sgt now, and no I will not be able to promote within the HCR till I have completed all the relevant courses. But, if I am honest, there are a few reasons for making the jump across. Family is a major reason for my choice and the stability of living in Windsor, and I live in Windsor now too. You will have noticed my casual use of the word fella in this; well now that I’m not a fella anymore it really has no meaning whatsoever.
by Major A C Gardner, The Blue and Royals
Q Squadron has deployed with or in support of the Regiment throughout this Readiness year, completing exercises from Salisbury Plain to Castlemartin. That would be expected, though also deploying as far as Texas USA for the Army Warfighting Assessment (AWA) to continue learning key interoperability lessons with other countries is beyond normal.
bat Effectiveness (CE). Capt Taylor, QM(E) and his team, worked relentlessly to achieve this task: recalling vehicles from around the Brigade and the relevant Fleet Managers; working up until the last safe moment to get them to Salisbury Plain in time for the start of the Exercise.
Changes to the ORBAT have seen the move of Maj Rogers and Capt Taylor to HCMR, and the internal move of the SQMC Salmon to D Squadron. We wish them well and they have been suitably replaced by Maj A C Gardner, Capt Fry MC and SQMC Martin respectively.
After Easter leave the Squadron played a key role in the Command Tp Panthers move through City of London Freedom of London Parade. Joining up organised by Capt Peter Ireland and the Squadron’s Panther (PLCV) from SCpl Martin who took a coach across the Command Troop with the Mounted channel. All Squadrons provided men Regiment, as well as supplying a disto attend a four day historical battlefield mounted division. The Drill Ninjas were study to Normandy, with the main back within their comfort zone as they focus being on the Ops GOODWOOD prepared the Squadron for the day. Gun and BLUECOAT and the Breakout from Camp followed for the next two weeks Cavalry Bridge. with the Squadron utilising the period to hone their marksmanship skills and The LSI was conducted in September completing their mandatory training. fixing the Squadron as we prepared the accounts in readiness for Inspection. Exercise DUNVILLE BLUECOAT the Both QM Departments and MT were Battlefield tour to Normandy was working hard to ensure the Regiment remained in a good place on every front. This was evident after the report was
The Squadron began the year with CSTTX and Exercise TRACTABLE to ensure the Regiment and 1AI Bde were ready to deploy within the specified time to any theatre of Operations as required. This tested HQ Squadron’s ability to gather the resources and Vehicle Platforms to deploy the Regiment to its full Com-
22 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Sgt Blake serving both the QM and SSgt Smart on Joint Caterer
1 Bde at ENDEX of the Army Warfighting Assessment
disclosed with some good results and a firm foundation established for future Inspections. Sgt Blake entered the Joint Services catering competition. Joint Caterer is a prestigious event for the Army Chef as it pits the Army against both Navy and RAF chefs. Sgt Blake volunteered and entered the Open steward Class, a senior event predominantly won by the RAF and Navy. Competitors have 40 minutes to greet customers serve the carefully selected wine that accompanies the dish perfectly, lay the table ahead of cooking three servings of a dish with salad followed by a specialty coffee. A classic Steak Diane was the dish chosen. An almost seamless service saw her winning her heat with a silver medal and second overall. The Army won Best in class as well as 2nd and 4th place. This was a fantastic result for team Army and for Sgt Blake. In October, Command Tp TAC and a small contingent of Staff Officers with the Comd Offr deployed to Fort Bliss
CoH Queen keeps an eye on selected routes at Beeches Barn on Salisbury Plain
Texas for the Army Warfighting Assessment (AWA) which lasted the enHQ Sqn Ldr, RAO, MTO and RCM keep the Squadron in Check. tire month. 1 Changing Tyres as the QM Tech looks on Armd Inf Bde was the UK Bde, supported by the DanSquadron on CT1/2 with WO2 (SCM) ish. The Canadians and the Australians Jaworski. Both A1 and A2 Echelons also deployed a notional Bde as part of deployed with the remainder of the 1st Armoured US Division, known as Squadron, whilst the Real Life Support the Old Ironsides. The Exercise was and other events continued in unison. part live and part simulated. 24hr manTypical November weather tested ning was required and the Ops/Offr, the drivers in Cross Country driving RSWO and his Team, CoH Robinson (A and operating in all conditions. The Squadron) and LCoH Morris selected Squadron was tested in its ability to the day shift, leaving the Sqn Ldr on conduct manoeuvres in silence, both in nights with LCoH Hattingh and Raj day and night scenarios. LUCIE night who both became frustrated at the lack viewing aids were used for driving at of killing power provided by the notionnight and basic navigation was tested at al CVRT Fleet. The Panther PLCV soon every level. became the weapon of choice with a notional .50Cal gun among other exaggerAs we move towards the end of the year, ated weapon systems. Real Life Support the Squadron finds itself in Good Order (RLS) was run by 1X with the assistance with additional training happening in of LCoH Knight and Tpr Berry who November to support A Squadronâ€™s brought their transport prowess to bare deployment in early 2017 on Exercise moving the Bde around the base the size ULU RAJAH in Brunei. The Squadron of Reading. will deploy a team led by CoH AsplandMonger on Tp tests in Dartmoor. This Back in Windsor life continued, with will be both multi skilled and talented the QM Capt Hitchings leading the individuals from across the Squadron
The HQ Squadron at Windsor Castle
Household Cavalry Regiment â– 23
from every discipline to represent HQ Squadron against the other Sabre Squadrons. In Camp the Squadron remains committed to hold its own on Regimental PT and the Old and Bold
work extremely hard to keep up with the next generation of Cavalryman. Looking further forward we have another run out for BGHQ on Exercise
KEY RESOLVE in South Korea and the training opportunities and value in different theatres of the world remain promising as we head into the next committed year.
Light Aid Detachment by Captain M J Keogh REME
testing yet incredibly rewarding year for the LAD; the ruthless determination of tradesman to succeed has directly supported the Regiment’s vital task of being held at high readiness and, despite the odd faux pas, the LAD has come out as strong as ever with its head held incredibly high. The year started as it would go on; supporting readiness and keeping the fleet in the highest of standards possible. Exercise TRACTABLE would be the first deployment of the year; requiring the Lead Cavalry Battle Group to crash out its entire vehicle fleet; it would be the HCR LAD that would take ES responsibility of approximately 160 platforms. Despite LSgt Nelson flattening his hand and drastic measures being taken to fit the Panther fleet with communications, the exercise went without a hitch averaging an availability of 96% throughout. Exercise TRACTABLE 16 was also the swan song for SSgt Brumpton-Taylor; a long serving and highly respected member of the LAD, his presence since moving onto bigger and better things has certainly been missed.
HCR LAD Lead Vehicle Mechanic Course to Latvian Army
The LAD continued to provide astounding Equipment Support to the Regiment for the remainder of the year. Particular mentions go out to AQMS Kenyon for taking sole responsibility of all manpower during the Annual Firing Camp, LCpl Spencer also for his herculean efforts in Castle Martin, Sgt Davidson for supporting two overseas commitments firstly deploying to deliver a Vehicle Mechanic course to the Latvian Army and then doing exactly the same in Oman and finally LSgt Nelson for stepping up splendidly as both Production Sergeant and Artificer of C Squadron Fitter Section. It’s a testament to both the tradesman of the LAD and the immense effort made by the Regimental personnel that an average availability of 92% in 2016 has been achieved whilst holding an enhanced Base Unit Fleet under readiness.
The LAD has been proud to welcome a fresh cohort of Artificers in the guise of SSgt’s Slater, Squibb and Devlin. Not only has there been a massive change to the LAD’s middle management, we have seen quite a substantial baby boom with six new arrivals to the REME family and three more due shortly! Whilst heavily committed with supporting readiness, Collective Training activities and paternity leave, the LAD has pushed itself hard to organise and deliver Adventurous Training to its tradesman and those from the Regiment it has been incredibly proud to support. From paragliding in the Brecon Beacons to skiing in the Austrian Alps, the LAD’s most notable expedition was
LATF formed up on Ex TRACTABLE
Sgt Davidson in Oman
LSgt Collier paragliding in the Brecon Beacons
24 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Mountaineering in Imst, Austria
The EME’s improvised communications
the Multi-Activity package in Imst, Austria. The astonishing effort from Sgt Radcliffe had afforded for 25 members of the Regiment to get a taste of some of the finest AT on offer; white water
rafting, canyoning and rock climbing, to name only a few of the activities on tap. A resounding success, it saw several soldiers deploying on their first ever overseas Adventurous Training package
since completing Basic Training. In 2016 the LAD has been incredibly fortunate to get over two thirds of its manpower away on adventurous training or overseas sport.
Quartermaster’s Department by Captain D Hitchings, The Life Guards
he Quartermaster’s Department has once again enjoyed a year filled with logistical challenges, supporting the Regiment both in barracks and in the field. There have been deployments aplenty on UK based exercises to the usual haunts, exercises on Salisbury Plain, Castlemartin, Lulworth, STANTA and Warcop to name just a few. The Department had a relatively steady start to 2016; however, by mid-February the pace had quickened and saw support to a plethora of Regimental events. LCoH Elder and LCoH Jordan (the regimental ammunition storemen) spent the first three months of the year moving around the UK between ammunition compounds and training areas, supplying from Lulworth to Warcop on one particular weekend. Following a much-needed Easter break, the Department split into two groups: one headed up by the RQMC (WO2 Parker) at Castlemartin ranges, where the regimental annual firing camp took place; and the second in Windsor facilitating the handover of Quartermasters with Major A J Galvin (moving on to Staff College) handing over the reins to Capt D J Hitchings, who had completed
a two year post as the RCMO. The turbulence within the Department did not stop with the change of Quartermaster’s as the regimental health and safety advisor SCpl Billy Goater completed his colour service and moved on to civilian life, handing over his role to the irrepressible SCpl Grice. Upon completion of the handovers within the Department, planning began to support the Regiment in a number of training serials which included Collective Training (CT) 1 and 2 for all squadrons, a PNCO Cadre, Troop Tests and EXERCISE ULU RAJAH, A Squadron’s OTX in Brunei. HQ Squadron deployed its finest G4 warriors onto Salisbury Plain at the start of November for Collective Training level two (CT2). This enabled both QMs Departments and MT to hone some field craft skills and be put through its paces by Regimental Headquarters. The main focus was to conduct the echelon movement and set up all resupply options at night whilst on radio silence. This was a hugely enjoyable week and the Squadron is better placed to deliver the necessary support in the field. As we move towards the end of 2016,
The Quartermaster’s Department. Rear rank from left to right - Pte Evans, LSgt Abdulahi, LCoH Scheepers, LCpl Philips, LCpl Margison, Tpr Beelur. Front rank left to right - LCoH Elder, WO2 (RQMC) Parker, Diesel, Capt DJ Hitchings, CoH Queen. Absent - SCpl Grice and LCoH Jordan
The Quartermaster and LCoH Elder collecting ammunition from D Sqns Collective Training Exercise
the Regiment will see a complete change of logistical support staff, known as the first line optimisation team (1LO). These are four Royal Logistic Corps RLC soldiers that serve a two year post across both of the Quartermasters’ Departments. The 1LO team have been a huge asset and have all become members of the Regimental family. The team will all post to pasture new between
WO2(RQMC) Parker hands over to WO2(RQMC) Slowey
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 25
now and April 2017. They all leave the Regiment on promotion and should be commended for their efforts. QMs drinks will take its place within the Regiments Christmas week and we will celebrate our relationships with Carillion Amey, the Defence Infrastructure Organisation and supporting civilian staff. The year will end with the final move within the Department with that
of WO2 Parker having completed his tenure as RQ and handing over to WO2 Slowey, the former to become the next RCM and he cannot wait to assume this highly demanding position. As we look to 2017, the forecast is full of bright opportunity and despite all challenges the realm of G4 logistical support will continue to serve the fighting echelons in barracks and overseas.
The Quartermaster and CoH Queen during HQ Sqn CT2 Training
Quartermaster (Equipment) Department by Staff Corporal Privett, QM (T) SNCO, The Blues and Royals
fter a challenging BATUS in Canada prior to the end of 2015, which gained excellent results, the Department began its Regimental roll back of all equipment of Technical support in preparation for our Readiness year of 2016. The year started with providing real life support for various Collective Training exercises for regimental deployments, ensuring that all vehicles and equipment were up to the correct standard to enable the Squadron fully to deploy with full capabilities.
JAMES administrator to SCpl Privett.
Within this busy period the Department had movement of key personalities. WO2 Eulert was promoted on commission to Captain and completed a handover of RQMC(T) to WO2 Quickfall. SCpl Gerrard gaining promotion to WO2 to take up the role as MTWO ensured a handover of QM(T) SNCO and
A fast and furious Exercise TRACTABLE call out took place which saw all available Department personnel deploy as A2 packet down to Salisbury in March. SCpl Privett new into the JAMES world had the pleasure of taking the lead of deploying JAMES for LCBG and all other attached personnel from other
The first main event for the Department was to deploy as A1 and A2 support on CAST and CATT in Warminster. With half of the Department deployed and the other half completing regimental duties and providing RLS back in Windsor for a possible deployment of Exercise TRACTABLE. All personnel played their part ensuring vehicles were at the correct readiness, location and ready to deploy at a momentâ€™s notice.
The Department on Cavalry Sunday
26 â– Household Cavalry Regiment
units to allow a true vehicle availability to take place under exercise conditions. Once the Exercise had completed it was back to Windsor, all hands on deck from the accountants to ensure an excellent role back procedure took place. With preparation in force for an upcoming Equipment Care Inspection (ECI) and Logistic Support Inspection (LSI) driven by the QM(E) Captain Taylor, RQMC (T) WO2 Quickfall and under the guidance of the department G4 subject matter expert SSgt Lutunatabua, all accountants followed a well set plan to ensure we as a regiment were up to the standards of both inspection teams. Whilst the Department was in daily routine we still provided real life support to A Squadron Collective Training, providing unit collects around the UK and
SSgt Lutunatabua during CT2
Tech Supplying the need
providing support on maintenance days between exercises. Hard work and dedication from all personnel played its part and the regiment passed the ECI to a good standard. With the completion of the ECI a farewell of QM(E) took place with Captain Taylor departing to his new role as QM HCMR replaced by Captain Fry MC. The Department was notified that the LSI would now come at a later date. Summer leave fast approaching saw the departure of committed LCoH Simkins to become 2ic SQMC HQ Sqn and dedicated LCoH Hawley to civilian life, replaced respectively by LCoH Chaplin from HCMR QM Department and LCoH Silk from HCR MT who both settled in well to their new roles. On return of leave a slight change around within the Department took place, with his dedication and knowledge of the G4 MJDI role saw LCoH Solis in the chair of ET SNCO. Preparation carried on towards the LSI alongside the new fleet
management headed up by the QM(E) and RQMC(T). Considerable changes took place throughout the Department and Regiment to allow the management of maintenance to the vehicles to run as smoothly as possible allowing the Squadron to exercise its troops to the full extent. New procedures and guidelines were put in place. The dedication of all accountants and Senior Tech Reps CoHs Doran, Thomas and Parker that are now integrated within the Department has allowed this new system to excel with in the Regiment. Excellent management, late nights and full commitment from all members of the Department allowed excellent improvement and great results from the LSI. With the successful LSI results, the team were allowed to continue with their daily routine and a Department day out to Top Golf with SSgt Lutunatabua coming in 5th place overall for all club golfers that day with an excellent ending of a well-deserved post match celebration.
SCpl Privett displaying character
All Department personnel deployed on HQ Squadron CT1 and 2, whilst also providing Real Life Support (RLS) to C Squadron Exercise. On return more changes to the Department took place, with the departure of SCpl Privett with a deserved posting to Cyprus and with a warm welcome of CoH Elliott taking on the roles of JAMES UA and QM (T) SNCO and the switch of LCoH Pagnell to D Squadron being replaced by newly promoted LCoH Hurworth. The departures of Pte Evans, Tprs Hardy and Spartan saw replacement of newly promoted LCpl Hodges. LSgt Abraham was congratulated by the team on a well-deserved promotion to Sgt. Lots of Changes to personnel and work commitments ensured that the normal festive activities happened prior to a well-deserved Christmas leave period the Department finished off a very busy year and with another busy year yet to come.
Regimental Engagement Team by Captain P G Ireland, The Blues and Royals
assumed command of the Regimental Engagement Team in May; it is evident that recruiting Army wide is facing difficulties for a myriad of reasons. We needed to understand why an individual would want to join our regiments in particular, so we carried out a survey (and still do) of the latest HCTW trainees to identify if there was a common theme. The results were not remarkable but affirmed that the main attraction was the dual roles, with state ceremonial parades coming a close second. The survey also confirmed that we recruit nationally, as 23 of the 25 trainees attended different recruiting offices nationwide. Armed with these facts a strategy was written using three lines of operations: Indirect Events where the
main purpose is to attract public interest like the Royal Windsor Horse Show and Musical Ride; Direct groups or individuals are targeted at major recruitment events; Re-joins and internal transfers these are a speedy way to fill the gaps in manning. With all this in mind it is quite simple get out there and promote the iconic Household Cavalry brand, inform information seekers directly of the variety of career opportunities available, and attract new recruits, re-joins, and internal transfers. Knitting recruiting and engagement together is key to the long term effect of improving manning. We are working hard to improve local youth and cadet engagement, establish links, and
Carrying one Eagle wearing another
Household Cavalry Regiment â– 27
Recruiting Trailer at Public Services Show Bracknell
developing trust to generate better long term outcomes on recruiting. With assistance from both Associations and the HCF the recruiting trailer has been updated, to remove the generic Army photographs. A TV has been purchased and sits neatly in the centre. This makes us stand out from the crowd at events and proves to be a good crowd-puller. Liaison with Army Careers Centres (ACC) across the country is proving its worth, as we are invited to events all over the country with no cost. The lack of knowledge about us in some ACC is poor. To improve this, two visits to HCR and HCMR will be organised for next year. Measuring the impact, we are having at these events is a murky field. The effect we are having on recruiting will probably not be noticeable for at
Regimental Engagement Team at Lincolnshire Show
least a year, where hopefully we will see a surge of recruits. We must be having some effect already as our email, phone and social media enquiries have gone from one every month to at least twothree a week. The people we are trying to attract as potential new recruits are of the social media generation and it is proving to be an excellent promotion tool, with all Household Cavalry social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) increasing their number of followers vastly across all platforms. Direct messages and comments are monitored and acted upon. If you follow, please comment positively and re-tweet as much as possible, spreading the word that we are recruiting now. Recruiting is everyone’s business; it is definitely a case of helping ourselves to
help ourselves. The Regimental family needs to think this way. If you see one individual who you think is suitable, try your best to get them to join our fantastic regiments. Recruitment does not finish when the individual arrives at their training establishment. It is only just beginning as the potential soldiers require nurturing. These recruits if not monitored and mentored by the Household Cavalry and mentored by our instructors will be lost. Thanks must go to CoH Johnson who will shortly be leaving for civilian life At times he was operating with little manpower and aged equipment; without his knowledge and contacts this job would have been all the more difficult.
by Padre Gary Scott
n June this year I found myself sitting in a tent in Kenya while on exercise with B Squadron. It was the middle of the night and I was on radio stag listening to the sounds of the bush and to the grunts and snores of sleeping men. Two soldiers on patrol outside met close to the tent and had a brief conversation during which one said: ‘Where’s the Padre from - can’t work out his accent?’ The reply came back ‘Oh, he’s the Mick Vic that speaks Jock’. It’s always interesting to know what other people think of you and this was actually pretty accurate. I am Irish (Mick) and was born and brought up in Belfast. I trained for the priesthood (Vic) in Edinburgh and had a number of parishes in Scotland where apparently I picked up a Scottish accent (speaks Jock). Coming to the Regiment has been fascinating as all my previous experience as an Army chaplain left me completely unprepared for Household Cavalry life. Given that I have previously spent
28 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
time with the Foot Guards and a Royal Armoured Corps tank regiment this is quite a statement. After a year with HCR I am just beginning to get to grips with the rank structure although I doubt I’ll ever be completely confident when talking to one of the numerous soldiers who wear three stripes in a variety of colours and directions. The intricacies of the two regiments making up the Household Cavalry is also a minefield to the uninitiated as I found out to my cost at the Remembrance Sunday service. I couldn’t understand why there was muttering in the ranks as I read the Regimental collects only to find that I had used the one for The Blues and Royals and another for the Royal Horse Guards. Perhaps this year I will read The Life Guards’ collect twice to redress the balance? The Chaplain’s hold Cavalry is week are spent and a day each
posting to the Houseunusual as four days a in Windsor with HCR week in Knightsbridge
In full flow speaking clearly to the flock
with the Mounted Regiment. The drawbacks of paying double Mess bills are more than compensated by involvement in all aspects of regimental life and getting to know the wider regimental
family as people are posted back and forward. There has also been the challenge of learning to ride which I am thoroughly enjoying, although I think my confidence in my own ability may
be unrealistic. When the Riding Master heard of my plans his only comment was; ‘The Padre riding? - What could possibly go wrong?’
Regimental Administration Office by Major M Callaghan AGC
or most of us within the Staff and Personnel Support (SPS) detachment, service with the HCR is a new experience. This year we’ve represented the Regiment in various different sporting events, including winning the LONDIST GOC Cup, and supported deployments to Kenya, USA, Germany, Belize, Brunei and other countries. The SPS detachment has been in the “thick of it” from the beginning to the end. One of our more notable achievements this year was placing 4th out of 150+ teams in the Adjutant General Corps’ Triple Crown Competition (TCC) held in Worthy Down, Winchester. A section strength took part in the TCC event, with four personnel competing in the military skills competition and the other four in the 12 miles march and shoot challenge. WO2 Slater, Sgt Edwards, LSgt Njie, LSgt Jammeh, LCpl Bojang and Pte Kusi are all regular players of the Regimental football Team; we are grateful to the Household Cavalry Fund which was the main contributor to this year’s Football tour to Exeter. A truly memorable event for all involved and the tour proved invaluable for team and unit cohesion. Sgt Hill, LSgt Jammeh and LSgt Pun (Team Captain) represented the Regiment at volleyball whilst Capt Green and Sgt Waugh represented the
Regiment in orienteering. Our new arrival Pte Hasan plays cricket at Corps level and is eager to cement his position within the Regimental Team. We ensured that personnel were in good order from a G1 perspective for over 25 collective deployments this year. We deployed Pte Bajogo on Exercise ASKARI STORM with B Squadron in Kenya, processed over £1,000,000.00 in salaries, over £250,000.00 in travel allowances, processed over 600 longer separation allowance applications and paid many more thousands of pounds in other allowances. Thus far, we have processed 49 passport applications ensuring that personnel were able to deploy overseas on operations and exercises. Sgt Waugh and LSgt Anywar had the exciting task of counting and accounting for all funds made at this year’s Derby day. I’m sure it wasn’t all work and no play. I would like to think that they enjoyed one of the many bottles of champagne offered that day. There were an array of stunning horses, beautiful dresses and not to mention the extravagant hats; an experience more common for Household Division units. Our detachment deployed on a Collective Training exercise as part of Headquarter Squadron. This deployment provided our newest members with an
insight to how the Regiment operate on exercise and operations. The majority of the detachment had never served with a recce armoured unit which made it all the more exciting. Maj Callaghan relished the opportunity to deploy so much, that he was asked by more than one JNCO whether or not he had given his notice to terminate his service and was now buzzing about life as a civilian. This was because of his infectious enthusiasm. Little do they know that this was his last job at Regimental life so he was making the most of the opportunity to be in the field with his team. I guess their interpretation of his enthusiasm wasn’t far off. There are many plus points for serving with HCR. One of which is the location. We have enjoyed a number of team bonding events from paint balling in Maidenhead to treasure hunting in central London. To be located a stones throw away from Windsor Castle is an obvious attraction as well. Apart from that, the Commanding Officer’s vision for the Regiment holds the attached personnel in high regard and encourages us all to return for a second tour here at HCR. Overall, it has been a very rewarding and enjoyable year at the Household Cavalry Regiment.
he Officers’ Mess has experienced a wave of change over the last year which has given us the opportunity to look at who we are as Household Cavalry Officers, what we represent and how to best maintain our traditions, ethos and culture whilst also ensuring the evolution of a modern institution that both embraces change and remains a home for all serving officers. The arrival of a new Commanding officer, a recently appointed PMC and Committee Members gave us a new canvas on which to regenerate Mess life, maximising the range of opportunities we were given. After much debate, the Mess members voted to redecorate the public rooms and put more Mess silver on display which, until that point, had spent the majority of the year in the Silver room. For the first time in 12 years the Zetland Trophy returned for
The Bde Comd and officers before dinner
a dinner night taking pride of place in the entrance hall from its regular spot in the Museum at Horse Guards. Mess furniture was also rearranged in order to maximise room and to take
advantage of the main entrance. The aid of the very talented LSgt Wright has rocketed the quality of Mess food making us the envy of 3 Div but, more importantly, has seen meal attendance
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 29
Lt Titman, Lt Marlow-Thomas, Capt Mountain
The whole Mess with past Commanding Officers and other officers currently serving away from Regimental Duty prior to Christmas lunch
Lt Pagden-Ratcliffe, Ct Lye, Lt Penrose, Capt Faire, Lt Crosthwaite-Eyre, 2Lt Marlow-Thomas and Lt Flay, posing before lunch
and entertaining increase. The Mess has also hosted a range of Mess Functions. The year started with the laying of an LG Squadron Standard in the Garrison Church, reception drinks and a luncheon in the Mess. This was attending by serving and retired officers and local dignitaries including a host of former commanding officers. This was a perfect event to start our social calendar which allowed the current crop of officers and their families to meet and mix with former officers and members of the local communities that have given us so much support. The Mess also
hosted the Bde wellbeing study day which saw all the 1 Bde Comd Offr’s and Bde Staff officers attend for a series of lectures followed by a first class buffet to the delight of those attending. The Mess also opened its doors as part of the Regimental Families day as officers to visitors on a tour of the public room regaling the history of the Mess paintings and silver. The families were then treated to a BBQ in the Mess garden. The Mess has held a series of dinner nights: the Bde Comd, Brig Bill Wright as part of the officer Development week: three ladies dinner nights throughout the year accompanied by quintets from the Bands of the Household Cavalry and the Scots Guards; the Mess also took this opportunity to dine out the outgoing 2ic Maj Rupert Lewis, Maj Jonathan Mawson and Capt Cameron Bacon in July: this was then followed by the newly appointed Bde Comd Brig Zac Stenning in Nov preceded by a fireside chat that
highlighted the changes the Army faced and the range of operations and activities in which the Bde was involved. The Mess also hosted a number of overseas military representatives and dignitaries including the Brunei Ambassador and a group of visiting officers as part of their visit to the MoD and to increase our regimental ties prior to A Squadron’s deployment on a Jungle Exercise in Brunei. Prior to the Cambrian Patrol Competition the Mess hosted the Swiss Army Team who were also very impressed by lunch. We have also been delighted to see the Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead on several occasions for lunch and drinks after the Regimental Carol Service; the Mayor has tirelessly supported and championed the Regiment across the Royal Borough at every opportunity, and has made the Household Cavalry Foundation her charity for the year. On a lighter note, the Mess hosted both the LA Rams and
Paper hats will be worn at the Officers’ Christmas luncheon
30 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
the Cincinnati Bengal Cheerleaders a part of the Community engagement leadership packages and the NFL games held at Wembley, they also very kindly held cheerleading workshops for wives and children. After some light persuasion and direction, the Mess committee planned and executed one of if not the best Mess Balls in living memory in September. The
theme was Game of Thrones and the event was a spectacle which included a mounted display by Dothracky Death Riders care of the Riding Staff from the Household Cavalry Training Wing, followed by a range of performances in the garden, a medieval banquet and dancing into the early ours. Much fun was had by all and much praise should go to Lts Flay, Kjellgren and Pagden-Ratcliffe whose hard work and dedication was
instrumental in the event’s success. This year we have rediscovered our Mess. None of this would have been possible without the commitment and hard work of the Mess Steward, SCpl Benson, and his team of staff and stewards, cooks, kitchen staff, cleaning staff and the gardener. They have all contributed to making the Officers’ Mess a great place: we are incredibly grateful.
Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess
by Warrant Officer Class 2 (SCM) A Slowey, The Life Guards, and Warrant Officer Class 2 (SCM) P D Harris, The Blues and Royals
his year again started with the tradition of The State of the Nation Dinner as the Mess welcomed the Commanding Officer to talk about the year ahead and sample the atmosphere having been away from the Regiment for some time. Cavalry Sunday was another great day. This year on 8th May, the Memorial Service in Hyde Park allowed the HCR Mess Members to turn out in force looking dressed to impress and remember those who have fallen from all Cavalry Regiments, catch up with some old friends and enjoy the sights of capital. May was a busy month in the Mess with the success of last year’s Father and Son’s dinner still in our minds; the Regimental Corporal Major this year extended the invitation to Mess guest night, allowing serving members to bring family members or friends. As part of the JNCO’s development, the task of organising the night was given to LCsoH Scollick and Esmond. A huge success, it began with members and guests enjoying the Regimental Museum, a sample of weapons, vehicles and simulators, before an excellent meal and entertainment.
The jewel so far this year has to be the Leadership Dinner in which the Mess welcomed some footballing greats to the Mess to talk about their experiences of good and bad leadership during their careers and tell tales of which I am sure will soak into the Mess walls forever. The evening was also enjoyed by some of our neighbours from 1st Bn Coldstream Guards with WO1 (RSM) E Pickersgill and members of the Sgts’ Mess taking time out from their busy drill rehearsal schedules to join us. Special thanks should be given to the Quartermaster Technical, Captain S Taylor for helping make it possible. The evening allowed Mess Members to listen to and question Mr Alan Smith, Mr Ray Wilkins, Mr Mark Bright and Mr Bob (the Cat) Bevan MBE. June saw WO2 (SCM) Allwood and members of C Squadron organise another highly successful Derby Day at Epsom. The months of meticulous preparation and attention to detail allowed over 400 guests on Oaks Day and 1200 on Derby Day to have a stress free day at the races, even if the weather had other ideas.
LA Rams cheerleaders being welcomed into the Mess by WO1 (RCM) M Ireland
It’s been a busy and entertaining few months in the Mess, with a mixture of formal and informal functions. July saw the most of the Regiment back in Windsor having recovered from various deployments and exercises, notably B Squadron from their deployment with the Grenadier Guards to Kenya. B Squadron were also the first to wet their lips in the form of a Squadron lunch which saw them say goodbye to some key members who moved onto pastures new. Entertainment consisted of some fairly rigorous jousting sticks on top of a bouncy castle and some rather dodgy dancing from the JNCOs, but was very much enjoyed by all. August saw D Squadron’s lunch in the form of a BBQ in the mess garden with food laid on and prepared by the RLC; there was a high turn out from the Squadron Officers, with activities based on knocking ten bells out of each other in sumo suits and more jousting sticks than you can imagine. The Mess had a number of weddings and christenings booked throughout the summer months.
WO2 (SCM) Slowey, Mr Matt Smith (son of Alan Smith) W02 (SCM) Harris sharing a joke; Mr Ray Wilkins checks his menu
The Life Guards Association Annual Dinner on 17th September was the wellattended and chaired by Brigadier van der Lande CBE. This turned out to be a fabulous night with once again some outstanding food from the Regimental
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 31
HCR WOs’ and NCOs’ Leadership Dinner
Catering Depts, but a dreadful failure of audio equipment. October was a fairly quiet month for the Mess with the Squadrons on their respective collective training exercises and build up for Exercise ULU RAJAH in Brunei which gave the Mess Manager CoH D Short a chance to hand over the mess to CoH R Hendy in good order. CoH Short leaves the Army and will be sorely missed in the Mess; meticulous in all aspects of Mess life he had professionalism and panache deserving of a Household Division Mess. We wish him all the best. With the Mess quiet it came as a pleasant surprise to find out we were to get a visit from the cheerleaders of the LA Rams. The PMC could barely contain his excitement when the email came though and was made POC for the visit;
however, life has a way of bringing you back down to earth with a cruel blow as he found out he was to be away on a STTT to Latvia; the RCM reluctantly volunteered himself to take the reins on this one, but ‘wasn’t happy about it ... but hey for Queen and Country and all that’ (his words as he sympathetically tapped the PMC’s shoulder, who then cried over the Main Events List for the Latvia trip). The visit went smoothly with the cheerleaders trying various outfits of the typical Household Cavalrymen uniform for a photo opportunity; it is reliably recorded that none other than SCpl Allen reciprocated, managing to squeeze his tiny figure into some hot pants and pom-poms. There followed some normal months as the Mess was visited by potential officers and potential NCOs’ to educate and inform all on Mess life and the
importance of traditions, and to keep up and how to do this safely and responsibly and in line with the new Army Drinking Policy, which through the RCM has been cascaded and briefed to all ranks. The busiest few months for the Mess are over the Christmas period begun after the Remembrance parade with family and friends welcomed into the Mess for a carvery; the Silver member had his work cut out chasing kids round the mess confiscating mess silver used as toy soldiers! As the year closed the Christmas function was organised by SCpl (SQMC) Allen, which had Mess Members taken by boat to Windsor Racecourse for a night of great food and entertainment. Preparation for next year’s Epsom Derby has begun and the Mess would like this opportunity to invite (official invitation to follow) all members of the Household Division brotherhood past and present to the Household Enclosure on Saturday 3rd June which always makes for a good catch up and social event for all members of the Division - something we rarely do these days.
Cheerleaders pose while NCOs try to remain steady
HCR Families Open Day by Captain B K Gibson, The Life Guards
ome 20 years have passed since the Regiment last formally opened the gates of Combermere Barracks for an open day. 21st May 2016 would see a return to tradition when once again families, friends and old comrades were formally invited by the Commanding Officer into camp for an insight into the Regiment and the technical aspects of an Armoured Cavalry Unit. Over 400 guests attended the day, an event specifically designed to give as
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much ‘hands on’ experience of equipment used in a modern day regiment; added to which was a large dose of fun, primarily for the children, but fully enjoyed by most of the attending adults. The Regiment presented a multitude of different stands inviting guests to try their hand at a variety of military skills. These included using a ‘Valon’ to uncover prizes on the IED lane, identifying enemy positions at the ‘OP’ stand and honing their skills with a weapon on the
rifle range. The vehicle stand allowed visitors to investigate the full range of ‘wagons’ used by the regiment, ask as many questions as they wished as well as pressing the vehicle’s horn as often as necessary - much to the anguish of those in close proximity. The day was intended to be much more than just a display of military paraphernalia: fun was the key ingredient and there was plenty to be had. The gym was transformed into an indoor assault
course - intended for children, but very quickly monopolised by many adults regressing back to their youth. Along with balloon modelling and face painting, the gym area quickly became a magnet for all those with young children. For the older children a mobile climbing wall was supplied and manned by our local Cadet Troop, 18 Troop Windsor.
such a diverse audience. The enthusiastic response by all those who took part in the tours only goes to demonstrate how much history and tradition we take for granted. While much regimental history was discovered by families during the various tours, surprisingly just as much was learned by their serving soldier escorts.
Tradition has always been a mainstay for the Regiment and this was reinforced during the event by guests joining guided tours of the Museum, the WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess and also the Officers’ Mess, an opportunity not usually afforded to
No Open Day is complete without offering refreshments. This came in many forms, including a chance to cook and eat issue rations via the generosity of the QM at his departmental stand. However, the icing on the proverbial cake was
Capt S Fry LG explaining the application of fire to his bemused son!
most definitely the garden party style barbeque hosted in the Officers’ Mess garden, where the catering department executed a magnificent meal for all in attendance. The barbeque spanned three hours and saw over 50 burgers, steak and wieners served to all those enjoying the day. The first Regimental Open Day in over twenty years was a firm success, giving a foundation for the event to continue into the coming years. Having laid the cornerstone in 2016, the Regiment will again hold an open day in the summer of 2017.
Tpr Clayson with a younger, more efficient SHQ
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 33
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword
By Lieutenant Colonel J D A Gaselee, The Life Guards Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment the Swedish Life Guards. This will allow some of our soldiers to experience Scandinavian horses and learn from their Swedish counterparts. In total, around 17 countries, from Algeria to Ghana, have benefited from HCMR engagement this year.
The Commanding Officer with Oracle
ou will be delighted to know that the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment remains in rude health and as busy as ever - mind you, I always say that! I will, however, try to both prove this and also highlight how diverse our activities have become. Without a doubt the highlights of the year were the events surrounding Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday Celebrations. These ranged from the Queen’s Birthday Parade to the Windsor Celebrations (HMQ90). That the Regiment produced such immaculate results after torrential rain and knee deep mud was nothing short of miraculous, although all in a day’s work for a mounted trained soldier. The week succeeding HMQ90 left a mark on all who suffered it. One hundred horses and men returned to London on Sunday night for recces on Monday, an early morning rehearsal the next morning, the State Opening of Parliament the following day and the String Band early morning rehearsal after that.
We have also continued to build on the success of our operational achievements by entering more Army Competitions. The Shooting Team held its own at the Army Operational Shooting Competition but sadly did not challenge for a position on the rostrum this year. The Cambrian Patrol team, led by CoH Minter, succeeded in winning a Bronze Medal after a gruelling three day patrol and a fraction of the training time afforded to other teams. These activities remain important in keeping our soldiers engaged and ready for their move to HCR, but they also remind us of our greatest asset; the ever versatile and professional Household Cavalryman. It further demonstrates our ability to respond to contingency operations in the capital if necessary - a role we trained for specifically this year. In other areas, we had men away to play sport and partake in Adventure Training. Of note, we sent a team of five soldiers to the Mongol Derby, a 1000km ride across Mongolia on semi wild horses, which is billed as the toughest horse race in the world. Closer to home, we took part in the less ambitious Dartmoor Derby, which was a battle of weather rather than endurance. Indeed, I have encouraged all ranks to treat our 260 equine assets as an opportunity for
Much success this year has been in Defence Engagement. We forget that we have an international reputation that is second to none. At short notice the Jordanian Royal Guard requested specialist support to assist them in establishing a mounted guard. A team, made up of the vet, farriers and riding staff, was despatched to assist. The result was a mounted unit parading in front of HM The King of Jordan as part of the centenary commemorations of the Great Arab Revolt. We also continue to build strong ties with our European allies and have set up an exchange with
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challenge and adventure and not just as a means to duty. The rise in entries to annual equine events show this has been taken on board. This has included mounted skill-at-arms which, led by the Adjutant, is experiencing something of a revival - although this may be explained by the invitation to compete in India this winter. More conventionally, plenty of sport is being played and we have combined teams playing rugby and football; many of the former travelling to the States this autumn for a bruising but enjoyable trip. We also placed second in the GOC’s Sports Competition and won the London District Cross Country championship. Finally, a word on the future of Hyde Park Barracks. The MoD has agreed infrastructure requirements to meet army commitments in Central London. This includes the requirement for the Mounted Regiment, complete, to remain in London with safe access to Hyde Park. The Defence Infrastructure Organisation is now working out how best to implement this and has a little more time before presenting options to us. So it is good news so far, with us remaining in Central London, but there is still some water to flow under this particular bridge. While life at HCMR remains challenging, busy, but hugely rewarding, the Regiment is only as good as its people. To that end, I must encourage you all to extol the virtues of your regiment to the next generation and call the brightest and the best to this privileged role as Her Majesty’s Trusted Guardians.
The Comd Offr and Philip flying during the Senior Ranks Show Jumping
Diary of Events
by Captain H B H Boyt, The Life Guards, Adjutant
aving looked through the Regimental Forecast of Events in preparation to write this, I have noted some 42 major events, all worthy of a mention but unfortunately unlikely to receive any detail as I have the unenviable job of trying to sum up the Regiment’s activities in a few hundred words. Knightsbridge remains an incredibly busy place and to give full justice to the breadth and variety of activities available to both horses and men is certainly a challenge but here we go! We continued to lay up the old Standards and by the end of April all Sovereign and Union Standards were safely laid to rest in a variety of holy and notable places far and wide. These are: LG Sovereign’s Standard at Guards Chapel; LG Union Standards at The Holy Trinity Garrison Church in Windsor and Winchester College; RHG/D Sovereign’s Standard at The Robin Chapel, Edinburgh; RHG/D Union Standards at Exeter Cathedral and Radley College; and lastly both remaining LG and RHG/D Union Standards in St George’s Chapel, Ypres. The Regiment continues to support both Nordic and Alpine teams, as well as some excellent multi activity expeditions organised by the Regimental Physical Training Instructor. We also sent a few dozen soldiers to spend a week on the Household Division’s yacht Gladeye. Moving onto sport, we sent Tpr L Matthews RHG/D to South Africa with the Household Division Cricket Team in January; won an Army Cross Country Running completion at Headley Court in November (just tipping HCR to the finishing line who came second); we came 2nd in the GOC’s Sports Competition (this time being tipped to the finish line by HCR!); and we beat Watton (the local team whilst at Bodney during Regimental Training) at both Rugby and Football. Further afield we sent soldiers on a US Rugby tour and four members to India to join an Army Team of Mounted Skill at Arms. This year we have also
Determination on the rugby field
HMQ 90. The Captain’s Escort commanded by Maj Ben Woolf LG
had a Regimental Boxing Match, but unlike previous turns, not HCR versus HCMR, but LG versus RHG/D, with RHG/D winning 5-4. The evening was a great success and has helped mantain some healthy Red v Blue rivalry. This years ‘silly season’ was unprecedented in many ways, the Major General’s Inspection was not held as there was a City of London Freedom parade; the Spring State visit was cancelled which was supposed to be in Windsor on 8th March; and the Garter procession was cancelled due to an awful downpour. This of course created some welldeserved and welcome ‘white space’ in the diary and some ridiculous rumours around camp that the Adjutant was sabotaging the silly season! Unprecedented also with the addition of the Freedom of City of London, which saw The Blues and Royals exercise their right to march through the city for the first time since being awarded the freedom in 1963, and The Life Guards exercise the right for the first time since its recent award. The parade was a resounding success and unique in many ways but notably because it was led by the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Household Cavalry, Major General Sir E A Smyth-Osbourne for the first time in his state helmet and cuirasses, and involved both dismounted troops from the service Regiment and mounted troops from Knightsbridge. Undoubtedly a highlight was Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday celebrations during Royal Windsor Horse Show in May, which saw the Regiment turn out a Captain’s Escort with a Sovereign’s Standard as part of a eclectic array of performances from around the world
and hosted by Ant and Dec. The State Opening of Parliament followed soon after; in fact in May the Regiment was on parade, in one way or another, a total of 15 times! We continued our strong relationship with the Swedish Life Guards, both visiting them in Stockholm and receiving them during the Colonel’s Review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade. For the first time we conducted an exchange which saw us receive an officer and three other ranks and sent the same to them to spend a week learning from each other. Following the theme of ‘mounted ceremonial capacity building’ we sent a short term training team to Jordan from the end of March to June to help the Great Arab Revolt Parade (think Queen’s Birthday Parade with camels and fighter jet fly pasts!). After a long ceremonial season the Regiment headed to Norfolk for three weeks for a chance for both horse and man to hone equine skills and relax a bit. Exercise TRYOUT, the Regiment’s escort security drill and annual exercise, was yet again a success. Open Day saw a record turnout; some 7,000 visitors were treated to spectacles including the Musical Ride, an excellent junior motorcycle display team (The IMPS) and equine competitions. August saw five members of the Regiment head east to take part in the Mongol Derby, a 1000km, two week race across Mongolia on horseback. They all returned thrilled, having successfully completed the race as a team but having suffered much from many days in the saddle. In September, the Regiment
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A team of eight soldiers were entered into the Cambrian Team competition and despite the majority of the team being under 22 and with very little ‘green’ experience other than their ‘basic training’, they came home with a well-deserved bronze medal. A Brazilian Commando patrol was hosted at HCMR for the third year running.
‘And another thing’. Ex Household Cavalryman Michael Paling and Tpr Smith
entered a team into another endurance race, this time in Dartmoor and on Cavalry Blacks, the ‘Dartmoor Derby’ - a ride across Dartmoor over a period of four days.
In October, on the back of the show jumping successes at Regimental Training, a team of show jumpers from across the Regiment, of varying abilities, put on a strong showing at the Royal Tournament held at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray. On 1st November President Juan Manuel Santos, recent winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was met by Her Majesty
The Brazilian and HCMR teams after the Patrol
Queen Elizabeth II and escorted safely to Buckingham Palace by four divisions from the Household Cavalry.
The Household Cavalry await the arrival of the Colombian President
The Life Guards Squadron
he Life Guards Squadron has had a fantastic and demanding year. 2016 has been much the same as years gone by but this year saw Her Majesty turn 90 and, with this, the diary filled up. In usual style, the Squadron embraced the increased workload and ensured that the highest standards were always maintained. Manning the Squadron has been a real issue at points and has had a direct impact on the workload of the soldiers. The situation got so bad that in April there were concerns we would not be able to man the State Opening of Parliament. This pressure has now been relieved and we are in a position to send extra men on the next draft to the Armoured Regiment in Windsor. It is important to ensure our junior soldiers are sent to HCR at the right time to ensure their skills and motivation are best utilised. The quality of our men is clear as we were able to send Tprs Jones, O’Mara, and Westlake on the 2016 Cambrian Patrol where they gained a Bronze medal. The beginning of the year began, as
usual, with the Squadron on split leave with very few horses in the lines as they were on a well-earned Christmas break in Melton Mowbray, where also the Winter Trainers were in full swing. The only difference was that Maj W Douglas LG made way for Maj B F Woolf LG as Squadron Leader. Luckily Maj Douglas and the team had in place all the administration for the eventual return of the horses at the end of January in preparation for the return of the Queen to London and the State Ceremonial season. The customary concentration on achieving our annual tests (MATTs) followed in March alongside the news of a cancelled Major General’s Inspection in light of the Freedom parade. In April, The Life Guards exercised the great honour of the Freedom of the City of London which had been
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bestowed on us in 2014. This joined the honour given to The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) in 1963 and passed to The Blues and Royals after amalgamation. It was a wonderful morning spent
Winners of the man truck pull - powerful men doing powerful things
LCpl Harvey showing nothing but class to the people of London
processing through the streets of London. On reaching the City bar the City Marshal challenged the Household Cavalry; the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding replied in terms that the Household Cavalry would exercise their Freedom with “Standards flying, Drums beating Swords gleaming, and Bayonets fixed” that will live long in the memory. The parade at the Guildhall ended with a reception for both the Armoured and Mounted Regiments which was hosted by the Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, Alderman Ian Luder. The main difference to normal business came in May when we first received a new Squadron Corporal Major, WO2 (SCM) Sentence, and also when the Squadron were used for the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle. Fifty of our best men and horses were sent to live and work in the back garden of Her Majesty and, despite a rather haphazard programme and torrential rain, we were able to parade in front of a huge crowd and enormous TV audience. The celebrations allowed the boys to take advantage of the Royal Windsor Horse Show which mainly involved them walking around trying to use their charm and charisma to talk to girls and get freebies from the shopping stalls. It was a once in a lifetime
100 Years after the Somme and the LG lines looking incredibly similar in The Queen’s back garden
Lt Penrose leads his division on the early morning rehearsal for the State Opening of Parliament
opportunity and whilst logistically difficult everyone enjoyed it. The Squadron returned to the ‘week of hell’ which saw two Regimental Drills and two Early Morning Rehearsals for the State Opening and Queen’s Birthday Parade. It was one of those weeks where everyone looked more like a zombie than a ceremonial soldier. It was made slightly better by the free breakfasts that were provided. Interestingly, once again when under pressure and tired, the Squadron were able to exceed expectations and deliver on our high standards. The Squadron definitely earned their pay that week. Silly Season had well and truly begun and did not let up until after the Birthday Parade. This year, again a standout year for Her Majesty, saw the Blues take their Standard on Parade but the Life Guards manfully assisted them in making the occasions befitting of the Queen’s 90th year and Her 63rd Birthday Parade.
Regimental Training Tug of War - who’s stronger Red or Blue?
There was a collective sigh of relief once the Squadron were dismounted on 11th June 2016 as it signed the end of a busy ceremonial season and the start of some well-earned recuperation at Regimental Training in Bodney Camp, Thetford. Regimental Training, as always, was hugely anticipated and the Squadron deployed to the great pleasure that the accommodation at Bodney Camp had been updated. It is still not five star luxury but at least the showers were hot and the doors to the accommodation would lock. After the fun and frolics of Op TRYOUT the Squadron were able to concentrate on the more interesting side of horse riding. The streets of Chelsea and Fulham had been replaced by the open fields of Norfolk and the horses were in their element. The screams of ‘loose horse’ became a daily occurrence and poor WO2 Holliday (Health and Safety Co-ordinator) had his work cut out trying to chase people for Accident Report forms. The writing was slightly on the wall when on the first day LCpl Cartwright was thrown from Panzer and broke his arm, luckily this was the worst of it for the Squadron and the rest of Camp went without any more significant injuries. The Regiment went on leave almost as soon as all the horses were back from Thetford. Upon their return, September saw the opportunity to give some of the Squadron the Army’s fable reward of adventurous training. We had soldiers on sailing trips, a rugby tour to the USA, kayaking instructors’ courses, Cambrian patrol, the Mongol Derby and a battlefield tour (on horseback) of a civil war battleground in Wiltshire. The relative quietness of September quickly turned, however, into a rather desperate October with the preparations for the
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 37
The Life Guards Squadron at Regimental Training
Columbian State Visit as we were struggling to find horses. Over the summer three horses (Egypt, Firefox and Norfolk) went to the great grassy paddock in the sky. This, combined with retiring some of the older horses, put the pressure on
to keep the rest taskworthy. We as always managed to get there and the State Visit was a great success. It has been a busy year as it always is but it would seem the manning issues are
starting to alleviate which is allowing more leave and less time on duty. As we look forward to 2017, the Squadron will again see a new Squadron Leader, up to three State Visits, a full ceremonial season and much much more.
The Blues and Royals Squadron
hen the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve and heralded in 2016 it was said by some that eagles were heard calling across London. As the sun rose later, the dawn broke in Oxford blue; blue sky in the morning, Life Guards warning ... Whatever the truth, it is safe to say that 2016 was a Blue and Royal year. The Commanding Officer’s competition win, Richmond Cup blue wash, victories on troop tests, Annual
Camp sporting prowess and Cambrian Patrol success meant the men, quite rightly, finished the ceremonial season with morale so high they were lifted up with wings as eagles. [Ed. I say, steady on.] Impressively though, they did this in the midst of yet another frenetic ceremonial season. Two surprise diary gaps made space for the ‘funnies’ of the Freedom of
Maj Owen leads The Blues and Royals Squadron through the streets of London during the Freedom of the City Parade
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the City of London Parade and Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday Pageant (HMQ90). With the appointment of Capt J B Barnes RHG/D to ADC Director Special Forces, we found ourselves without a Squadron Second-in-Command. This was fixed with the return to the colours of Capt M D de B Wilmot RHG/D after a very brief sojourn to The City; he doesn’t like to talk about that dark week. From FTSE to forelocks, Capt Wilmot was soon blooded to mounted ceremonial on the Freedom Parade in April. Here he was unfortunate enough to lose a stirrup on The Mall and, as it remained lost, his right leg was considerably longer by Guildhall. This all-walk parade served as a gentle warm up to the ceremonial season and its conclusion begged the question, why don’t we get stirrup cups and canapés served to us by Colonel The Blues and Royals after every parade? The Armed Forces Equitation Championships followed in Buckinghamshire and two teams from the Squadron competed including Tprs Annetts, Chew, Grinstead and Taylor lead by Lt AC Soames RHG/D and the Squadron Leader, and instructed superlatively by LCpl Glendenning. Lt Soames’s team had strong rounds to clinch a rosette in the prize-giving but, more importantly, they beat The Life Guards team. Maj
for them. This same manageress was so obliging that a resourceful Tpr Grinstead convinced her to open her bar for an impromptu Household Cavalry after show party. Inspired!
Tpr Andriev, LCpl Kelly and Tpr Gill on the Musical Ride performing at Chatsworth
Owen’s team would have excelled were it not for their valiant leader - whose spectating guests numbered higher than the jumps he and Llamrei managed to clear. Within three weeks of the Freedom Parade we boxed-up a division, plus band horses, for Windsor and HMQ90. A testing but rewarding week was had by all but special mention goes to the men of the Musical Ride who outdid themselves twice daily in the main arena. Of note, and embodying the versatility of the Household Cavalryman, LCpl Kelly, a soldier more at home in a fire fight than under an ITV spotlight, could be seen sitting deep and masking well his constant state of near-falling. In the meantime, recce soldiers through and through, LCoH Fisher and LCpl Penman wasted no time in seeking, striving, finding and never yielding their places at the bar of The Mucky Pheasant, where a delightful manageress ensured that dehydration would never be a concern
The Squadron highlight of the HMQ90 week, however, was without doubt the announcement of the Princess Elizabeth Cup winners. The huge effort across the Squadron meant that The Blues and Royals made five out of the eight finalists qualified for Windsor. It was no surprise, therefore, to see one of ours take the cup. The immaculate Tpr Evans (3 Tp) was presented with the cherished prize by Her Majesty before she congratulated Tprs Foster, Simmons, Oswell and Godsmark. A cracking effort across the board. However, the rough comes with the smooth and after a final televised performance we boxed-up, packed up and shipped off back to London at midnight. This two-lift move was completed at 0600 on the Monday and the men then went straight into briefings and recces for the State Opening of Parliament. Up again on Tuesday at 0200 for the State Opening early morning rehearsal (EMR) and the real thing on the Wednesday, and then the EMR for the Queen’s Birthday Parade (QBP) on the Thursday - and breathe. With grit and red eyes we persevered and came through. Kicking on, the next three weeks were dominated by drills, rehearsals, recces and parades as we prepared for the QBP and Garter Service. The former
Tpr Chivers keeping Onyx under control after blowing the call to Trot
Tpr Bridger does some ‘Community Engagement’ on Holkham Beach
Lt AC Soames’s Division on the Early Morning Rehearsal for the State Opening of Parliament
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 39
went exceptionally well with Maj A G R Owen RHG/D commanding the mounted troops and WO2 (SCM) Sampson proudly dipping the standard in front of Her Majesty. However, Tpr Chivers stole the show with some inspirational trumpeting and riding. After only learning to play the trumpet mere weeks before, he blew a true trot before kicking into a rigid canter across the parade ground. Unfortunately, Claire Balding mixed up Tpr Chivers with Tpr Rope (the other Squadron Trumpeter) and assigned him Tpr Rope’s fiancée. This was identified to the BBC by some robust twitter exchanges from Tpr Chivers’ mother, and Ms Balding, cowed by the ferocity of a Geordie mum, soon gave a public apology. The following week inclement weather caused the cancellation of the Garter Service street lining and the focus immediately switched to Regimental Training in Norfolk. We deployed en masse three weeks later. Looking pallid and malnourished from months in the SQMC’s department SCpl Eade, LCpl Leslie and Tpr Yates rose into our lives like a G4 phoenix. The concept of a ‘Choccy Tree’ paled in comparison to the 24 hour, all terrain, multimedia tuck wagon that they brought to camp - the Child Catcher has nothing on them. Any gathering of more than three men and the Land Rover would screech up with tunes blaring to draw others to LCpl Leslie’s pied piping, chocolate peddling business. The poor Life Guards didn’t have a chance and a few were so entranced by Tpr Yates’s cornettos that they crossed the line and bought Blue and Royal product. Rumour says they spent the night in Benghazi’s stall thinking on their sins. Thus commenced a Summer Camp to be proud of. The junior ranks claimed all but first place rosettes on the Junior Ranks Show jumping and the unlikely pairing of Tprs Halfhide and Pacey stormed clear to win the Junior Ranks Cross-Country. In the senior ranks show jumping CoH Boswell proved that
his hips don’t lie with an impressive seat, and CoH Camaibau proved that neither do his ribs as he fell off and broke them. The win was stolen from the Squadron Corporal Major as he took second place on Middleham and, to the surprise of Tpr Florez-Serna meets President Santos of Colombia all, including himself, the Squadron Leader claimed third slick operator that he took the coveted place on the Open Day with Llamrei. Lt prize for top student; Lance Corporal Soames and Tpr Eckley impressed all tapes. In October, LCpl Annetts and with their tent-pegging prowess, the five others from the Squadron, includlatter earning a place on a tent-pegging ing Richmond Cup winner Tpr Evans, trip to India. All this success was largely were led through the Brecon Beacons down to the excellent instruction of CoH by CoH Minter on the Cambrian PaEvans, the Squadron Equitation Instructrol Competition. They all completed tor (when he wasn’t in Jordan flogging the course and were awarded a Bronze camels). medal. A terrific achievement given that they had a fraction of the training On the sports field The Blues and Roytime to other teams and testament to the als performed like Spartans, demolishsterling leadership of CoH Minter. ing all comers in cross-fit, tug-of-war, soft ball and football. A bold few also The year was rounded off with the State proved themselves worthy by repreVisit of Colombia, on which Tpr Florezsenting the Regiment on the Watton Serna, artfully placed at the top of the RFC pitch against a local 1st XV - which Staircase Party in the House of Lords had the average BMI of Harambe. Tpr was introduced by Black Rod, General Maddocks had an excellent ball-stealing David Leakey, to his compatriot, Presigame, CoH Minter brought undiluted dent Santos. With this straightforward pain, CoH Sabatini proved to have the parade behind us the horses looked for nimbleness of a teenage ballerina and grass, the men looked for leave and the LCpl Cox epitomised ‘Bosh Ball’. Lt SCM looked for a trail laid in LeicesterETG Nicole RHG/D also had a physishire. Capt J R Fitzgerald RHG/D ascal game on the wing, from which he sumed the mantle of Squadron 2iC and escaped unscathed only to fracture his the Squadron welcomed CoH Morgan kneecap playing cricket two days later. who stepped swiftly into CoH Boswell’s boots as he grabbed the reins of the Over the summer and autumn months, Training Wing. A truly fantastic year the men proved to be as competent in for the Squadron. The bar has been set green as they are in blue. On the Potenhigh for 2017; another year where eagles tial NCO Cadre Tpr Annetts was such a dare?
Tpr Pacey clears the final fence to win the Junior Ranks Cross Country with Tpr Halfhide (out of shot)
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Someone made a booboo
Headquarters Squadron by Major B Rogers, The Life Guards
he past 12 months have been, as always, remarkably busy for HQ Squadron. The delivery of logistical, clerical, transportation, training, veterinary, farriery, saddlery, tailoring and welfare support, combined with a busy State Ceremonial calendar, and boisterous Mess life have all contributed. The Squadron started the New Year having returned from a split leave period, with preparation for the numerous inspections that take place prior to the start of the ceremonial season. All focus was towards the State Visit of the King of Spain at the beginning of March, but this was cancelled at the eleventh hour. The Squadron then found itself in an unexpected lull towards the end of March, which was the perfect opportunity to conduct MATTS training and get people away on career courses. But before we knew it, and in quick succession, the Freedom of London, Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday celebrations, the Royal Windsor Horse Show and the State Opening of Parliament had been and gone. All departments within the
Team HQ digging deep and pulling hard
The Master Tailor, now HCTW SCM, encouraging Team HQ during Tug-of-War
“Headquarters Squadron Assemble!”
Squadron stepped up and not always in their primary roles; forming Staircase Parties, plugging holes in the Mounted Divisions and backfilling other departments, truly highlighting the dynamic nature of the Household Cavalryman. The Queen’s Birthday Parade was next and, after the high tempo of events in April and May, it was welcomed as something familiar; all departments again produced the goods and supported the Sabre Squadrons in what was a successful parade. Owing to poor weather the Garter procession was cancelled; the Squadron had been tasked to form the Staircase Party, which was also not required. Come July, the Squadron found itself stood on familiar ground looking at the wind sock in Bodney Camp. Regimental Training was enjoyed by all, and even the Permanent Cadre had to admit it was the best they could remember in quite a while. Riding kit was dusted off and many of the most unlikely HQ personnel were seen conducting mounted activities in the mornings with some taking clandestine private riding
lessons in the afternoons (the Farrier Major and Master Tailor being the two prime offenders). All this paid off, and there were some respectable placings in the Juniors and Seniors Show and Cross Country jumping competitions. However, less said about the InterSquadron Tug of War competition the better (old comrades from the Forge will no doubt be aghast that things have dropped to such a low ebb). Post Summer Leave, men and horses returned and preparations began for the State Visit for the President of Colombia. This went well and after the municipal dust cart had finished business after the Lord Mayor’s Show, the focus turned to getting the horses out to grass as soon as practicable. Within the Quartermasters Department we bade farewell to the QM, Major A Gardner RHG/D who moves on to HCR as HQ Sqn Ldr and WO1 Salina to Lulworth. They have been replaced by Captain S Taylor and WO2 (RQMC) Lewis. Other notable arrivals were LC’soH Backhouse and Smith from HCR and promotions of LCoH Wharton
The Saddlers Inspect spurs during Troop Tests in Bodney
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 41
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42 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
fulfilled numerous roles now faces new challenges in civilian life, and steps off to be the Beadle at the Victuallers Guild. He has been replaced by WO2 (SCM) Holliday who has put away his thimble as Master Tailor. CoH Snoxell has been promoted SCpl and has moved to HCR as B Squadron SQMC and has been replaced by CoH Radford CGC. LCoH Murphy attended his Crew Commanders course and has also now moved to HCR and has been replaced by LCoH Sinclair.
WO2 (SCM) Horton plays Poldark on Holkham Beach
to CoH and LCpl Woodward to LCoH. MT has now been taken over by CoH Baksh from CoH Henderson with LCoH Orr stepping up as 2i/c where his vigour and approachable manner have made an impact from day one. LCpl Harrison has finally left for HCR and has been replaced by LCpl Jarvis. The Household Cavalry Training Wing continues to coach and instruct trainees and horses to the highest standard, and the hard work of the entire team in Windsor continues to impress. They too have had their share of losses and moves. WO2 (SCM) Fitzgerald who has completed 28 years of service and
Within the Forge the Veterinary Officer, Major Housby-Skeggs RVC said her goodbyes and we welcomed Major H Church RVC. LCoH Neal and Tpr Moore passed their B3 farriery courses and LCoH Jones and Pettit are now B2 qualified. Promotions raised LCpl Ashurst to LCoH and Tpr Crimmins to LCpl. The Saddlers Shop has had little turnover apart from Tpr Connoll deservedly promoting to LCpl. The biggest move in the Tailors has already been mentioned with the Master Tailor now stepping up to be HCTW SCM. LCoH Morrison has now qualified as a Master Tailor and LCpl Scheepers swapped with LCoH Blackmore- Heal from HCR. The Riding Staff continue to do the business and bade farewell to CoH Evans to
the Sandhurst Saddle Club, and LCpl Joyce and Harvey to Paderborn Equitation Centre and Northern Ireland respectively. CoH Puddifoot and LCoH Veness were welcomed back into the fold and LCpls Alden, Martin, Robinson and Strange were selected from the Sqns to join the burgeoning Blue Mafia. The Guardroom has had its fair share of personnel come and go. CoH Haywood returned to the D&M School and CoH Cowen is now the Sheriff. LCoH Ross attended crew commanders course and is now at HCR and LCoH Owusu-Mensah soon followed. LCpl Hawkshaw is a welcome addition to the team, recently returning from a sabbatical in civilian life. The Officers Mess said farewell to SCpl Spink and his “Orderly’s Eyes Right” will be sorely missed. He now prepares himself for civilian life with SCpl Mowatt ably steering the ship. The final and saddest loss was that of the Squadron Leader, Maj W Douglas, who has now stepped off from his final regimental post and Annual Training and is now looking after our interests as Officer Commanding the RAC Training Squadron at Army Training Regiment Pirbright.
Medical Centre HCMR by Surgeon Major William Wall
he medical team at HCMR have enjoyed another busy and productive year and have continued to support the Regiment with the provision of daily primary and emergency care. The medical routine and patient pathology has not changed significantly over the years. The sick parade starts at 0700 and a small but steady stream of soldiers usually appear with a selection of coughs, colds, D+V and horse related trauma. The latter are usually identified by a dusting of tan on their breaches if they have been thrown off or they are clutching an ice pack to a bruised limb if they have been kicked. In the last year we have said goodbye to Sgt Kennedy the practice manager and medic LCpl Afranie, who have both been posted to new units. Mrs Sharon Cargill the practice nurse retired after a career lasting 30 years and she has been replaced by Mrs Ditte MacGregor. Sgt Forbin is the new practice manager and LCpl Morgan is our new medic; both are very sporty so should help set the right example for good health across the Regiment. Capt Mark Winstanley continues
The HCMR medical team enjoying the Yorkshire spring weather on Whernside. From left to right, Sgt Kennedy, Pte Smith, LCpl Morgan, Surgeon Major Wall, LSgt White-Doyle
as the general duties medical officer although his time is split between HCMR and 4 Medical Regiment. Mrs Epi Addison continues to work in reception and LSgt White-Doyle remains with us and has taken on the role of deputy practice manager. In April 2016, the medical centre did an adventure training expedition. We com-
pleted the Yorkshire three peak challenge and did the 24 mile route in just under 12 hours. We decided against going for a record breaking time in favour of sampling the various pubs and cafes along the route to ensure we remained well fuelled and well hydrated! We started with Pen-y-Ghent, then Whernside and finally Ingleborough. The day was extremely enjoyable as it proved to
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 43
be a good physical challenge, in beautiful countryside; Sgt Kennedy also amused us all by falling into a bog up to his waist. The weather was typically varied with all seasons being represented along the way. Regimental training in Norfolk proved to be another busy period for the medical team. Fortunately, we did not have any serious injuries to deal with but we did have a number of significant frac-
tures and tendon injuries. As is often the case with regimental training, a number of the more serious problems came from sports and team building exercises. The cricket match between officers and troopers and the SNCOs was particularly costly with two officers needing hospital treatment significantly reducing their strength and helping with an easy win for the SNCOs. After a busy and varied year moral in
the medical centre remains high; thanks to a hard working team who get on well and get the right balance between work and play. Everyone in the medical centre is looking forward to 2017 which should be another busy year for HCMR; we aim to continue supporting the regiment ensuring the important work of mounted ceremonial duties continues smoothly.
The Forge and Veterinary Department by Major Harriet Church
demanding year for the Regiment is inherently an extremely demanding year for our horses. The parades, visits, rehearsals, musical ride deployments, mounted battlefield tours and endurance rides were all patiently prepared for and supported by the unending shoeing, re-shoeing, cold hosing and Bute (properly named Phenylbutazone) issuing by the forge and veterinary department. January saw the return of the merry but muddy grass horses and the cold winter days were warmed by the heat from the forge fires. LCoH Harris managed to avoid the bi- annual bedlam as he remained with the Winter Training Troop at the DAC. The lull prior to the first parades of 2016 provided the white space required to hold the forge’s hotly contested selection process. Tpr Moore and LCoH Neal proved their mettle and were welcomed into the fold. They were rewarded in true army fashion with their Basic Military Farrier Course in April 2016. Capitalising on the year’s ‘gucci deployments’, LCoH Harris deployed to Jordan with Maj Housby-Skeggs and members of the riding staff in April. To mark the Centenary of the Great Arab Revolt, 700 members of the Jordanian
Maj Housby Skeggs is unsure why the horse is a strange colour
The team at the top of Ben Nevis
Armed Forces were on parade including their mounted contingent. Whilst the equine patients may have seemed familiar to the clinical team, treating camels was certainly novel ! Luckily Maj H-S managed to unwind with some deeply relaxing Dead Sea mud scrubs (photos intentionally withheld)... Following Queen’s Birthday Parade the Forge staff, with a few additions (Capt Dean Owens, Sgt Curtis Cumberbatch and LCpl Morgan), headed off to conquer the Three Peaks Challenge on Exercise COCKNEY ANVIL. After a great pub dinner and an appalling night’s sleep in a hostel (tourists have bad admin), the team set off at 0600hrs. The team successfully completed Ben Nevis in less than 5 hours returning to some restorative bacon sandwiches supplied by the support crew. The ascension of Scafell Pike was a breeze, completed in 3.5 hours, made far more enjoyable by some extraordinary Lord of the Ring’s re-enactments. The arduous challenge was completed with a 4.5 hour trek up Snowden by which time everyone was feeling the pain. By that time the PTI was asleep on his walking
44 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
LCoH Munoz-Hermosa and LCoH Cooper as DS for the Regimental PNCO cadre in July
poles; however, fortunately he woke up to turn on the charm at breakfast.
and RCM’s conveniently quick time which landed them first place…
July was filled with Norfolk fun as horses and men relocated to Bodney. The forge took full advantage of all available opportunities: heading off on beach rides; competing for Headquarters Squadron in cricket; rugby; football; tug of war where they were unfortunately beaten at their own game; and the anvil toss. The RVO and Farrier Major went clear on the Handy Hunter and came third. Thankfully, no one was suspicious of nor questioned the Comd Offr’s
The successful training year continued with LCsoH Jones and Pettit returning from their IMFC course at the DAC qualified as civilian farriers and LCoHs Cooper and Ashurst completing their Blacksmith Class 1 course. Far from one trick ponies, members of the Forge have managed temporarily to escape Hyde Park Barracks for a range of activities. LCsoH Jones, Cooper and Munoz-Hermosa swapped black ‘wife
beaters’ for field kit, returning to the field as DS for PNCO cadres; Tpr Moore took up Rugby having never played before and SCpl Thomas led the Regimental tug of war team to victory at the GOC’s cup. The end of the summer brought with it the end of Major Housby-Skegg’s time as RVO. An outstanding clinician, jockey extraordinaire and tireless promoter of cold hosing she will be sorely missed by both two and four legged members of the Regiment.
The Regimental Administration Office
by Major R J Seargent, AGC (SPS)
busy 2016 has seen members of the SPS Detachment conduct individual adventure training, play sport at Corps and unit level, provide support to Phase 2 training, play enemy on RAAT tasks, deploy on a tri-service exercise, deploy on operations, provide manpower and G1 support to Op TEMPERER, in addition to providing the backbone of G1 support to a unique unit. There have been a number of changes in personnel within the Detachment. Capt Price has replaced Maj Seargent as the RAO. Cpl Faux-During was posted in from the windswept Falkland Islands to the relative warmth of HQ Sqn. Pte Curle-Taylor also arrived from Phase 2 training. Sgt Tawakilai arrived as the System Co-ordinator from Kenya in January, spending four months in unit before swanning off on Op ORBITAL and enjoying his nightly jacuzzi in a Kiev hotel. Congratulations go to LCpl Nesbitt who has been promoted to A/Cpl and will remain in the unit. Pte Carter has been selected for promotion to LCpl and, at the time of writing, is lying in a ditch on Bramley training area enjoying the delights of her PNCO Cadre. LSgt Lesmond completed her SIPAC training and deployed on Exercise JOINT VENTURE 16 as an observer.
HCMR SPS Detachment at the end of the Triple Crown challenge
SSgt Luciano and Army outrigger canoe team
After four and a half years Sgt Shackleton will depart the Regiment and Army to take up life as a financial advisor. She has been a stalwart of the Detachment (along with Rose Kinani and Rick Nunn) and we wish her well despite her dubious choice of profession. LSgt Kashaya is also departing to civilian life. LCpl Prest has managed to bag himself an assignment to Cyprus in January 2017, with the rest of the Detachment already making their holiday plans to go and visit him. One the key areas for SPS personnel is integration into the unit as they move to a different unit every two or three years. In the spirit of integration and unit cohesion, four members of the team have taken advantage of the unique assets and men at HCMR and are on track for the riding assessment. Sport and fitness is a high priority amongst the Detachment, with LCpl Nesbitt completing the London marathon in a very creditable time of 3 hours 42 minutes, finishing in the top 1800 females. The usual sporting suspects, WO2 Cochrane, LCpl Nesbitt and Pte Carter, have participated in various running and triathlon events and
the Detachment competed in the AGC Triple Crown challenge, ably lead by LSgt Kashaya. Captain Price lead a three-man team to the Army Inter Unit Golf championships in Catterick where HCMR won the plate. This was prior to snapping his Achilles tendon over-exerting himself on the cricket pitch. SSgt Luciano yet again organised Army Outrigger Canoe team events in France and UK and LCpl Nesbitt is currently training with the Regimental boxing team and is the only female to be doing so. 2016 has been a diverse, challenging and interesting year. With Detachment adventure training and various sporting events planned there is no reason to believe this will change in 2017.
The Detachment deployed to Norfolk
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 45
Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess by Warrant Officer Class 1 (RCM) S M McWhirter
ith everybody back from Christmas leave and the prior festivities just a distant memory, the Mess began to prepare for the upcoming ceremonial season. The first real event of note was in March when the Mess had a change of Regimental Corporals’ Major. WO1 (RCM) Ireland, now Captain, handed over his Mess and moved on to pastures green as the Recruiting Officer. In the two years he was RCM the Mess flourished and this was reflected in a flawless handover. On 19th April we had the honour of hosting a veteran, Mr Charles Foster, for lunch. Trooper Foster saw action in
The Regimental Corporals Major handover
Normandy whilst serving with 2 HCR. Earlier that day Charles had been invited by the French Ambassador to receive the Legion d’ Honneur at their Embassy. This medal is the highest accolade the French can bestow on a foreigner and it was awarded to Charles in recognition of his part in freeing France from Nazi control. What Charles didn’t know was that his two daughters had arranged for Charles to be brought to camp for a tour. It was quite a sight when, at the end of the tour, I walked over and met Charles in the forge. As I entered he instantly brushed off his daughters, steadied himself and braced up. Old habits die hard. I then asked if he would accompany me to the Mess as my guest for lunch and on the ‘unch’ of lunch he was already on the move with his daughters struggling to keep up; not bad for a 90 year old. We then had the privilege of hearing his anecdotes and sharing some fish and chips. Charles was overwhelmed by the whole day and we were overwhelmed by him. It is a day we will cherish for a long time. In May we hosted Team GBs Modern Pentathlon Team whilst the media announced the Rio 2016 participants from
Your success is our goal.
Tpr Charles Foster meets another old Trooper in The Life Guards lines
the comfort of our Mess. This was a real success with the world’s media gathered for the launch. However, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t tested by the anarchic dress code of the paparazzi. Maggots! In June we held a post-Queen’s Birthday Parade buffet, which saw a great turn out of Mess members and their families; all wanting to take part in the Queen’s 90th birthday celebrations. The Mess looked splendid with an array of plants, flowers, bunting and balloons. Once the ceremonial season was complete, the Mess moved lock, stock and barrel to Norfolk for Regimental
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46 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
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The RCM in full flight on the Handy Hunter
Training. We had a fantastic three weeks and hosted the likes of the Colonel The Life Guards, Field Marshal Lord Guthrie and the Major General, Maj Gen Ben Bathurst. One of the highlights of camp was taking the Officers on at the, now traditional, WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess vs Officers’ Mess Cricket match; an event they normally win - but not this year! The highlight was WO2 (RQMC) Lewis retiring after putting 30 runs on
Major Owen holds court at the RHG/D Dinner
the board. Camp culminated with Open Day and the Mess marquee was erected under the diligent guidance of our Mess Manager, CoH Brophy. It looked as splendid as ever with 150 guests inside. The Master Chef and his team put on a first class spread and we suckled at the teat of Bacchus to finish the camp in style. In the autumn the Mess hosted lunches for the Riding Staff, LG Squadron, RHG/D Squadron and a Christmas Ball to go down in history.
The winning cricket team
Finally, I would like to thank all of the
staff that have helped to maintain such a busy and prestigious Mess: CoH Brophy (Mess Manager), LCpls Hardy and Van Der Walt (Barman), and the orderlies, Tprs Colthorpe, Greenhow, Huxtable and Mortimer. The senior Mess members are: WO1 (RCM) S M McWhirter RHG/D, WO2 (RQMC) C Lewis RHG/D, WO2 (SCM) D Sentance LG, WO2 (SCM) D Sampson RHG/D, WO2 (SCM) T Horton RHG/D, WO2 (Master Farrier) N Sherlock RHG/D, WO2 (Master Tailor) P A Holliday RHG/D and WO2 (RAWO) M Cochrane.
Household Cavalry Training Wing
by Major N M Stewart, The Life Guards
s per normal the Training Wing (HCTW) has been like Piccadilly Circus and as sure as a Monday comes each week, so does a new ride start every five weeks. The rumour of reduced numbers joining the Army and in particular, the Household Cavalry, has not
hit us yet. We have a constant steady flow from Phase 2 in Bovington and we are still benefiting from transferees too. These are either done whilst at Phase 2 or from other regular and reserve units. As with all new Household Cavalry soldiers, they too start their new life with the Mounted Regiment and first of all with Riding School. There is no let up at the moment as the next four rides due to arrive are just about full. Our completion success rate was better during this training year, with a total of 82 students completing Kit Ride from April 2015 to April 2016. Currently from April 2016 until the time of writing, we have 47 passed out so far. This of course is a mixture of Phase 2 soldiers, Officers’ & NCOs’ from HCR who have never been to Knightsbridge before, Household Cavalry Band personnel, either from another Band or directly out of the music factory and Transferees too. So, there we have it, quite a mix which normally makes for a good ride.
Musa Qal’eh Ride Gaining Confidence
As with the horse naming procedures at Knightsbridge (like car registrations), we have been going up the alphabet
The Commanding Officer presenting CoH Lewis the Best Student Shield for Lashkar Gah Khaki Ride
with naming rides. For those of you who can remember all of our battle honours (where the ride names are usually chosen from), you will note that we do not have every letter in the alphabet covered. Therefore, we have used other names such as key personnel, recent operations locations or names of Household Cavalry horses. Since the last Journal we have had or have the following
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 47
SCM Holliday Delivering Troop Tests
rides; Waterloo, Egypt, Falklands, Granby, Hindenburg Line, Italy, Jutland, Knightsbridge, Lashkar Gah, Musa Qal’eh, Nadi Ali, Oman and Palmyra. Some of these will be recognisable to past members of the Mounted Regiment and some to those who have been on the more recent operations. Either way, each ride has pride in the rides name and what it means to members of the Household Cavalry who have served on operations throughout our history. Three of the rides were conveniently named to coincide with milestone anniversaries,
HCTW Staff Bonding at Summer Camp
those being Waterloo’s 200 years, Battle of Jutland 100 years and Operation Granby’s 25 years. As luck could have it, ‘Q Reg’ falls next and with it being Her Majesty’s 90th birthday year, the chance to have ‘Queen Elizabeth II Ride’ would be too much of an opportunity to miss. During this year we have sadly said farewell to the following members of our training staff: WO2 SCM Fitzgerald and SCpl Mount (both to civilian Strasse), CoH Snoxell (on promotion to HCR), CoH Lacey (back to HCMR),
LCoH Baksh (on promotion to HCMR), LCoH Murphy (to HCR) and Tpr’s Mighall, Tambi-Spicely (to HCR for their first time) and Tpr Watson (back to HCMR). In their place we have gladly welcomed the following: WO2 SCM Holliday, SCpl Scholes, CoH Radford, LCoH Mansfield, LCpl Webb (now LCoH) and Tprs Edwards, McCannon, Nolan, Jackson and Peck. At the time of writing, we eagerly await our new Ride Admin CoH - CoH Boswell (from HCMR).
HCTW Rides on Holkham Beach
by Major R I Chambers, The Life Guards
he Royal Tournament selection show jumping preliminary competition takes place in mid year at Melton Mowbray. The finals of the Services Show Jumping at Olympia and the International Horse Show close the year in December. The Riding Master, having qualified earlier in the year, after two very strong rounds brought the second place trophy back to HCMR narrowly pipped to first position. Things improved.
Early this year we saw the preparation of the remounts for the upcoming ceremonial season as well as riders preparing for the 2016 military show jumping calendar. With the cancellation of the Spring State Visit, remount training took a backward step, as we were unable to pass out the numbers expected. However, this was remedied during the course of the year. In April, the UK Armed Forces Equitation Championships (UKAFEC) were held again at
48 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Addington Manor and the Staff put out some strong rider/horse combinations winning a horde of high placed rosettes and prizes. Notably, LCoH Raffel and LCpl Harvey did exceptionally well in the Skill-at-Arms classes. Moving forwards into the heat of the ceremonial summer, remount training began to show some positive results with a number of very good young ‘Q Reg’ horses being passed out and
Band, show-casing mounted training in the First World War period. Even with limited time to practice and the obvious difficulties in obtaining period costume, all involved pulled it off in spectacular fashion with compliments from the Director of Music and the Major General for a moving and skilled performance.
The Riding Master jumping to glory and victory at the Royal Windsor Horse Show
handed over to the Sabre Squadrons. During May, the Royal Windsor Horse Show proved challenging with the Riding Staff assisting the HMQ90 Parades, Musical Ride, Skill at Arms and the Service Teams Show Jumping. LCpl Harvey found himself finishing high in the Sword, Lance and Revolver classes and an HCMR team consisting of Major N Housby-Skeggs RAVC, Captain RI Chambers LG and CoH C Lacey LG brought home the first place shield in the team Show Jumping; this is the second year CoH Lacey has been on the top step at Royal Windsor and he keenly intends to make it a hat-trick next year.
LCoH Veness and Invader acting out the ‘Goodbye old friend’ routine during the Beating Retreat WW1 tableau
In June, the department was active in the annual Beating Retreat to mark the memorial of the beginning of the First World War. Aided by the Musical Ride, LCsoH Veness, Mancey, Raffel, LCpl Harvey and Tpr Alden (now LCpl), watched over by SCpl Scholes, produced a mounted element to complement the music of the Mounted
LCoH Raffel and LCpl Harvey during prize giving for the team tent pegging at Open Day
Then came the difficult task of preparing for Regimental Training 2016. This saw CoH McGrath head up the fence building team who produced a fantastic cross country jumping course for all at Camp to use. SCpl Powell headed up the reconditioning and preparation of all the show jumping equipment and CoH Lacey prepared everything ‘admin’. Once at summer camp each staff member was assigned to a Troop. The achievements were obvious in the encouraging performances and seamless running of the regimental competitions and Open Day. At the 2016 Royal Tournament, held at the Defence Animal Centre in October, the Riding Master, now wearing his Majors crowns, qualified for the services jumping championship at the London International Horse Show at Olympia in December, but he only just qualified; maybe the burden of promotion was weighing heavily on his shoulders.
The Staff fresh from the Beating Retreat 2016
The Musical Ride
by Captain J H S C Harbord, The Life Guards
he Musical Ride has once again steered a successful course over a jam-packed year with shows up and down the country, in addition to the soldiers’ and horses’ annual output of state ceremonial and public duties. Committed heavily to the Royal Windsor Horse Show / Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday Celebrations, the Ride persevered in what could only be described as truly atrocious weather. Rehearsals
were cancelled, extra straw was ordered and the RHG/D SCM was even seen in rubber boots, wellington, for the use of. Yet we refused to allow the elements to beat us; some of the soldiers even had double the workload, starring in both the main HCMR as well as Musical Ride performances. Long days and nights ensued but televised performances in front of the LG and RHG/D Gold Sticks and Her Majesty were met with rapturous applause; and even Capt (Retd)
James Bl(o)unt LG made an appearance, in support of the Ride’s final performance in front of Her Majesty. Regimental Training’s Open Day in Norfolk in July produced record numbers of 6,000+ and was a great opportunity not only to engage with the local community but also to showcase the Regiment’s riding skills. Unfortunately, we were left without the contribution of the Band for the occasion and, for this
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 49
LCpl Robinson on Invader carrying the Union Flag
and a further two shows, an unprecedented degree of improvisation pushed CoH Jones’, Tpr Sayer’s and Tpr Collins’ musical talents to the limit. August saw the Ride heading dangerously close to the Welsh border for the Shrewsbury Flower Show. Tpr Yates stepped up at the last minute as a Monkey Man and demonstrated his equine prowess before hanging up his sword. As it was also Maj N Housby-Skeggs’ last show she also made a special contribution by breaking a lot of rules, setting a number of new records and evoking the Commanding Officer’s ire. There was some difficulty getting some of the horses to lie down - and not wanting to copy the Omani whipping technique demonstrated at HMQ90 - SCpl Powell was forced to improvise, requisitioning LCpl Smith and Tpr Strange to test their balance by standing on their saddles. It had been almost six years since the Ride had last performed in the spectacular grounds of Chatsworth House for the Chatsworth Country Fair. It made for a thoroughly enjoyable show and the latest addition to the team sheet, Maj
The Ride formed up
H Church RAVC, the new RVO, was in her seventh heaven amongst a myriad of dog breeds. Two points also to note, the RM celebrated his recent promotion to Major and LCpls Robinson and Alden rode out with the Duchess’es niece, against her better judgement. Unfortunately, rain was to plague almost all our performances over the weekend but, whilst the Band of the Royal Engineers deliberated about playing in the inclement conditions, the Musical Ride soldiered on, bolstered by the high spirits of the recently returned Tprs Strange and Alden from the Mongol Derby (fortunately in one piece). Next year’s calendar is already beginning to fill up. As it currently stands, the Ride will be performing at Windsor on 10th-14th May, HCR’s family open day on 24th June and at Regimental Training open day in Norfolk on 23rd July 2017. Inevitably, 2017 will see the annual
Maj Housby-Skeggs demonstrates how it’s done
50 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
change of line up with promotions, drafts to Windsor and postings, but the ride will continue to exist in much the same way as it has since it first appeared at the Royal Tournament in 1892. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have been part of it and indeed all those who have come to watch and support over the last year. The large number of former LG and RHG/D soldiers and officers who have dropped in over the year is testament to the unique opportunities that the Household Cavalry has to offer and its value to Household Cavarlymen past and present. Special mention goes to the welcome presence and experience of CoH (Retd) Jock Bissett RHG/D throughout the year - educating the ride on the good old days, providing much entertainment and imparting his wisdom to all who would listen to him - as well as his primary and indispensable role of transporting the horses up and down the country.
Walking over the bridge at Chatsworth House
The Royal Windsor Horse Show and Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday Celebrations
by Major A G R Owen, The Blues and Royals
hen we were told we would be sending two divisions, the Musical Ride and the Mounted Band, to Windsor for the HMQ90 celebrations it was viewed as a sort of working summer camp; potted sports and squadron socials even came into conversation. Oh how foolish we were. The last time such an undertaking had occurred was for the Diamond Jubilee Horse Power pageant in 2012 and the memories of that rain lashed mud bath clearly hadn’t survived into the corporate memory for four years. It is easy to forget how many frictions can be caused by the simple act of transplanting a mounted ceremonial unit away from its custom made cleaning rooms, tack rooms and stables and putting them under canvas in a field. With blue skies and overflowing optimism, we arrived in Windsor the weekend before the pageant and tried to settle in before moving back to London for Cavalry Memorial Sunday. On the Monday, nursing sizeable hangovers, we started rehearsals with ITV for the televised evening performance at the end of the week. However, soon the clouds assembled and the sky darkened and within the hour 150 men and horses were sitting in lashing rain waiting for cameraman 4 to sort his life (or his man-bun) out. We stayed this way for the better part of 7 hours and thus began a theme that ran through the next two days of rehearsals. Morale was lost somewhere in the hoof-sucking, ankle deep quagmire around the stables, and thick Royal Estate mud made a swift march onto all and every bit of state kit, uniform, skin and horse. I am not wont to being overly melodramatic, but the Regiment started to take on a distinctly 1916 vibe.
Some kit evades the relentless march of mud in the cleaning tent
In true Household Cavalry fashion, the men endured it with a Blitz-like stoicism. They were the first to arrive at the grounds in the morning and the last to leave (some 17 hours later). When the author commented on the lack of rest, the men were getting in a tent cluttered with boxes, kit and tack, WO2 (SCM) Sampson, remarked, “Don’t worry sir, they’re so knackered they could sleep on a chicken’s lip”. How true this was. An unexpected respite arrived on the Wednesday, the dress rehearsal day, when the rain reached such a climactic torrent that the Horse Show and rehearsal were both cancelled with the order going out banning all troop and horse movement at the ground. Dawn broke on Thursday morning with a patchwork hint of blue sky to come. Bussed from Combermere Barracks down to the show ground, the troops
The boys can sleep on a chicken’s upper lip. Tpr Bath rests his eyes
arrived to find 150 steaming, soggy and sore-footed horses awaiting a watering order through Her Majesty’s back garden. As we trotted out to the
Tpr Bridger RHG/D helps a LG on top. Hours of preparation went into ensuring the men were immaculate at Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday Celebrations at Windsor, including extensive work by the ‘brushers down’ once mounted’
Tpr Metcalfe asks Mr Penrose the secret to cleaning kit
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Staff Corporal Powell punches out with the Union Flag on the Gallop Past
Long Walk in crisp morning sun the fatigue and misery of the previous days dropped away and the Show began in earnest. Teams from the Regiment competed in preliminary show jumping and tent pegging throughout the day as the remainder sorted out the horses and prepared kit for the evening performance in front of The Princess Royal, Colonel The Blues and Royals. The performance itself demanded a Captain’s Escort for the Royal Guest of Honour into the arena, followed later by two mini re-enactments of the Coronation and a State Visit. Added to this was the Mounted Band and Musical Ride; the latter performing a shortened four minute version of their display to the
musical accompaniment of Capt (Retd) J Blount LG. Following Thursday’s performance, the Regiment then escorted The Duke of Kent and The Duke of York on the Friday and Saturday nights in a gradual build up to the final televised performance in front of Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh. As the men became more familiar with their roles and the programme became more civilised, Household Cavalrymen could be seen throughout the day enjoying the Royal Windsor Horse Show and all it had to offer. It was impressive to see how many freebies the boys could charm out of the vendors, artisans and trades people at the show; from limited edition Bendick’s Mints, to bottles of finest sloe gin. One resourceful Blues and Royals Trooper even managed to persuade a delightful young lady to open up the show’s Jack Wills pop up bar, The Mucky Pheasant, as a venue for a Saturday night after show party with significantly discounted beverages for Household Cavalrymen. Morale had returned.
LCpl Harvey reaches for his lance having thrust his sword into the centre of the target
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In the foreground of all the preparations and performances for HMQ90, the Royal Windsor Horse Show was in full swing. Of par-
ticular note were our teams in SwordLance-Revolver and Inter-Services Show Jumping. After a number of tense rounds in front of the Colonel-in-Chief in the main arena, the Riding Master, Captain Richard Chambers LG, jumped clear to the win on a suspiciously brown horse. Following the Parade of Teams, the Princess Elizabeth Cup (Richmond Cup) finalists entered the arena mounted to hear the results of three months sweat and tears. Taking the top spot and presented to Her Majesty was Tpr Evans from 3 Troop The Blues and Royals Squadron. (Ed. It may be forgotten that Richmond was the name of a horse transport business that gave a prize to the event, so the name remains connected but alas not the prize). With game faces back on, cuirasses strapped, plumes carried and swords drawn we embarked on the final Captain’s Escort of the week for Her Majesty The Queen. Such was the occasion that the Commanding Officer himself commanded the escort. Life Guards Trumpeter, Tpr Mortimer, did extraordinarily well to blow a fine Royal Salute as the Escort entered the arena with the world watching. The Tri-Service Guard of Honour (or ‘foot people’ as they were termed by the organisers) snapped into a ‘Present Arms’ and riders did very well to keep skittish horses under control as the crowd erupted. In homes across
the country mothers were pressing the pause button on their remotes and pointing, “There’s my boy!” The rest of the show was mostly enjoyed waiting in the holding ring or back in the stables packing tack away. Had we been in the arena throughout, however, we would have seen the likes of Kylie Minogue, Alan Titchmarsh, Katherine Jenkins and Helen Mirren; not to mention a multitude of horses from Canada, Oman, Azerbaijan and France to name a few.
The Adjutant, Capt H B H Boyt LG, during the Inter Services Tent Pegging competition
While waiting for the finale at the end of the show, it was somewhat surprising for Maj Woolf, the LG Leader, to be approached by a very smart mounted lady awaiting her turn to go on. “Ah! Good evening Colonel”, says the ever alert Red Leader to Colonel The Blues and Royals (wearing riding mufti) as she enquires how the men are.
by Corporal of Horse T Baker, The Life Guards
oach Troop had an extremely productive and enjoyable year, during which we attended numerous events and parades. One of the biggest events was the Suffolk show where the competition was extremely high, so we did well walking away with a respectable 3rd place. This was an amazing achievement as the team consisted of two brand new horses (Bentley and Classic), who had only been part of the team for a very short period and it was their first show of this size. The Regimental (daily exercise) Carriage has had many outings, taking part in most of the Regiment’s parades throughout the season. Coach Troop had the pleasure of assisting the Foot Guards with their rehearsals for the Queen’s Birthday Parade; something normally done by the Royal Mews who were otherwise engaged. The Troop deployed on regimental training in Norfolk and took part in all of the usual regimental training antics. We hosted a number of VIPs and guests where CoH Baker had his work cut out, handing over the reins to The Major General, Maj Gen Ben Bathurst.
CoH Baker and Team at the Suffolk Show
The Major General taking the reins
The Victoria (wedding) Carriage has seen a few outings this year, fighting its way through London traffic to deliver a bride on time. We already have at least one booking for the coming year. Coach troop bade farewell to the following: Tpr Marskell to civilian life and Tpr Blowes to HCR. A few new members joined the troop too: LCpl Hansford who has taken up the role of 2ic and is currently under the instruction of CoH Baker - being brought up to speed on how to drive and all the aspects of coaching. The daily exercising and training of Coach Troop horses is always enjoyable, especially whilst driving around the Windsor Great Park which happens to have some stunning views when it’s not raining.
Morning exercise for Coach Troop on the short walk
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Community Engagement by Major A G R Owen, The Blues and Royals
n our privileged position at the heart of the capital, and perpetually in the public eye, Community Engagement takes on a unique perspective. The city, the nation, nay the world is our community and our engagement within it can have strategic consequences. During the 2016 ceremonial season the Mounted Regiment conducted defence engagement with over 10 nations including France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Canada, Morocco, Belize, Bahrain and Jordan. We also held or supported 45 unique events building relationships within the community and, at the culmination of the ceremonial year, welcomed some 7000 members of the public to the Open Day in Norfolk. In our immediate local area, since the founding of the Armed Forces ‘Community Covenant’ in 2010, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is closely linked with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC) and the Borough of Brent to our North West. The Covenant notably seeks to support veterans, families and youth within the services community but the unique environment at HCMR doesn’t allow this support to be utilized in the way it might be in a garrison town or more provincial community. With barracks in the most exclusive area of London, and married quarters further afield, homeless veterans and struggling service families are not an issue Brent and RBKC can help with. Despite the onus on the community supporting its Armed Forces, there is an implied task for the Regiment to engage with these boroughs to strengthen bonds proactively. It was for this reason that in February 2016 the Regiment opened the ceremonial gates to nearly 100 young people from assorted Army Cadet Force (ACF) detachments across the city. Household
Cavalry cap badged detachments, units from Brent and RBKC and even one rogue Air Cadet unit all arrived for the Open Day. Troop Leaders guided these mixed groups of cadets through the daily Queen’s Life Guard inspection, the Forge, Drum Horses, stables, Saddler’s Shop and Full Dress Store; fielding some of the most amusing, imaginative and downright bizarre questions asked on a tour. For some of these inner city kids it was the first time they had touched a horse and the effect this had on them was palpable. Post lunch, cadet helmets were strapped on and A thank you letter from Francesca (9¾), a patient LCsoH Boachie-Ansah at the Royal Marsden, to Her Majesty The Queen and Fisher and their team of PTIs led the cadets through a the trip out to Sutton in 2015 to visit the warm up routine before putting them in-patients on the ward with a saddle, through a competitive assault course in full state kit and a slide show. Having Hyde Park. After a morning of informapiqued the interest of the children and tion overload, this physical challenge their parents we invited them to visit us was just the thing to leave them buzzto see the horses. ing on a high for a final award ceremony and departure. Hopefully, a few of the Having completed a number of tours new generation of Household Cavalry and visits, it was universally agreed that recruits may have had their penny dropthis visit was one of the most worthping moment that day. while, moving and hugely humbling the Regiment has done in recent years. With ‘Youth’ still at the forefront of the Six children, aged 7-11, all outpatients at Commanding Officer’s Community Enthe Royal Marsden undergoing chemogagement intent, our next young visitherapy or other treatments for cancer, tors to the barracks were young patients arrived with their parents and were imfrom the Oak Centre for Children and mediately dwarfed by the cavalry blacks Young People; the youth arm of the being inspected on the parade square. Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital. Capt The children were tentative about apJ H S C Harbord LG, the author, and a proaching the horses at first but, when number of NCOs and Troopers made standing in front of Fortress for a photo,
The new Mayor meets the Troops during the Armed Forces Flag Raising Ceremony
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Joshua meets Llamrei (aka Sausage) on The Blues and Royals balcony
Buck’s Fizz and bacon baps with the In-Pensioners
it took only one lick on a hairless head for the ice to break. Well done Fortress. By the end of the visit Lt A C Soames RHG/D had to drag two of the children away from grooming Oxford (much to the Troopers annoyance). Llamrei also had a tender moment with young Joshua on the balcony that has been immortalised in an image that tells the story of the day. After the success of the visit, three more of the children were invited to watch the Colonel’s Review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade, after which they wrote a letter to Her Majesty The Queen thanking her for having them. The Palace replied.
feel they are still living in the bosom of the field army. Therefore, after attending the Royal Hospital beacon lighting for Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday, a visit was arranged with Lt Col (Retd) Andrew Hickling, the Quartermaster, to bring men and horses to Chelsea. After a week of all night horse moves, two early morning rehearsals and the State Opening of Parliament it was with pleasure that both mounted squadrons arrived in front of the chapel at the Royal Hospital early on a Friday morning in time for bacon sandwiches and Buck’s Fizz with the pensioners. This is a link that must be maintained in the future.
Another worthwhile relationship fostered over the last year is that between the Regiment and the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation. This Foundation acts as a conduit for charities working within the RBKC and has a particular interest in helping underprivileged children in the north of the Borough where a large number of immigrant families suffer economic deprivation. Supported by the Foundation, a charity called ‘Summer Sparks’ runs a series of activity packages and cultural programmes for these children during their summer holidays. This summer a visit to the Queen’s Life Guard and Household Cavalry Museum featured on the rotation of programmes available for the children. For the sake of an hour of the Guard Commander’s time a group of children gained a unique experience that will remain with them forever.
Finally, the ceremonial season was brought to a close with the biggest community engagement event of all; the Household Cavalry Open Day. To think that this was once a Families Day would shock anyone that has not been in recent years. The Open Day has grown in
Veterans are another key pillar of the Community Covenant. As such, it has been the intent of the Community Engagement Officer to strengthen ties between the Regiment and the Royal Hospital Chelsea. As the Royal Hospital’s local Regiment it is fitting that we do all we can to ensure the In-Pensioners
such popularity that it sits on a delicate line between Open Day and County Fair. With between 5,000-7,000 patrons attending each year the logistical operation has become a QM department’s masterpiece; one they pulled off with aplomb. From vendors, to recruitment stands, to the smoothly run equitation displays and huge parking and queuing operations, it was a sight to behold. However, the question has been asked, ‘What does it achieve?’ It is fair to say that the crowd is no longer solely composed of families of soldiers or the local Norfolk community. Spectators travelled from all over the UK to be there, with one couple having flown in from the Republic of Ireland. With the Musical Ride acting as the main pull, it is important to remember that every grandparent, parent, girlfriend and brother/ sister in the crowd will have come away with a positive opinion of the Regiment; an opinion that may influence a future potential Household Cavalryman (or woman) into joining up. So, the community engagement diary has been a busy one overlaid on a highly frenetic ceremonial year. At times it is easy to say no to CE, but we must not forget that it is very much part of our mission here in London. We hold a privileged place in the weaves of the fabric of the nation and it is our duty to our regiment, our community and our country to lean in to engagement in order to allow those at combat readiness to concentrate on the important tasks they have been set. Equally, it is a credit to the Household Cavalryman that he can patiently give tour after tour, attend last minute taskings and present himself to outsiders with a charm and charisma that you would be hard pushed to find elsewhere.
Around 7000 people gathering at Bodney for the 2016 Open Day
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Scandinavian Ceremonial Exchanges by Major B F Woolf, The Life Guards
he Commanding Officer and both sabre Squadron Leaders were invited to attend the State Escort of Her Majesty Margrethe II of Denmark in the town of Langeland on Thursday, 8th September 2016. The visit was an excellent opportunity to share best practice and foster growing relations between international ceremonial units. After some initial delays we departed Hyde Park Barracks and, after a surprisingly smooth check-in at the airport found that Wetherspoons was already full of our countrymen drinking beer at 0600hrs. The fry-up was subsequently off the books and we had to settle for a delightful Pret breakfast bap (or two). In contrast to a British visit with endless admin instructions we turned up at Copenhagen airport without a clue of what the visit would entail except that we would be meeting a man called Stig. We were duly greeted by Stig, a retired Major, who was Denmark’s answer to our own Regimental Adjutant, who had the whole plan in his head.
If Tuborg did Mounted Rehearsals...
Whilst not particularly different to daily exercise at HCMR, it was inspiring to see Maj A G R Owen RHG/D assigned a drum horse in the morning to ensure he had an easy ride. After a quick tour of the local area and lashings of pickled herring and aquavit with our incredibly knowledgeable host, we returned again to the stables to ride with the Regiment on their final rehearsal for the Escort. It highlighted a huge difference in the way our regiments rehearse and perform. The rehearsal had no road closures or
LG Sqn Leader more at home on a submarine than a horse
police escorts and they moved freely through the town without any due disturbance or worry. It was refreshing to see the general public given such close access to the military. One of the main improvements the Sqn Leaders wish to export back to HCMR, however, is the tradition of finishing the rehearsal with an ice cold Tuborg (or Carlsberg) on top of one’s horse. Wednesday finished with a visit to a Cold War fort and,
The temporary stables in Langeland
We were quickly whisked off to the Guard Hussar camp to visit their stables and armoured vehicles before moving to Langeland were the Regiment had already deployed in preparation for the Escort. That evening the Hussars had arranged for their equivalent of the Musical Ride to perform for the local town. It was an excellent show of horsemanship and culminated with the riders (all female) jumping whilst trying to catch a pint of beer and slashing at watermelons with their swords - food for thought Riding Master? The next day we were given the opportunity to exercise the Danish horses and refresh ourselves after a slightly overenthusiastic evening in the NCOs ‘Mess Wagon’ (which resembled the drinking halls of Valhalla plus the occasional insert of Blue Leader’s sea shantying).
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The Danish Guards Hussar after their escort
The Royal Yacht, The Danneborg II
despite the tour being given in Danish, we were able to see some phenomenal fortifications as well as a landlocked submarine.
alone be given a guided tour. We were excellently hosted again by a Danish Naval Officer and our five minute tour soon turned into half an hour.
The day of the Escort was again remarkable owing to the access the public were given to their Sovereign. Queen Margrethe arrived via her Royal Yacht, the Danneborg II, before being escorted to the town hall by the Guard Hussars. While spectating from the dock we were offered the chance to have a look around the Royal Yacht by the Crown Equerry; an opportunity too good to miss. It was a rare chance to see such a vessel let
Despite a delayed flight home, the visit was a huge success and we were able to gain new ideas on best practice and experience the inner workings of a unit similar to our own. Our hosts, to a man, were incredibly generous, polite and made us feel welcome at all times. In fact they were so hospitable that all three Household Cavalry officers have had concerning symptoms of gout since the trip.
The Dartmoor Derby
by Captain T L Seccombe, The Life Guards
n e-mail with just a link can be the birth of an exercise, and that is exactly what happened when the Commanding Officer sent me a link with a blank subject heading. By googling ‘Liberty Trails’ and clicking through to the Dartmoor Derby you will arrive at a polished, luxurious looking website that offers riding experiences and holidays set in Dartmoor. The Dartmoor Derby was inspired by the Mongol Derby and involves participants riding long distances each day and camping by night in yurts. A pilot event staged last year was successful, so 2016 was billed as its inaugural year. A meeting was set up with the event organiser and there must have been some miscommunication as later an invoice for £15k was delivered based on six riders taking part in the event. Rather than pull out, the Household Cavalry philosophy of ‘make it happen’ went into full effect. With very little funds and an event that didn’t fall into the category of Sport, AT or Individual Military Training, the author’s organisational skills were tested to a level not seen since his mountain biking battlefield tour in Monte Cassino. The team of six riders and four enablers
LCpl Morgan and Tpr Hare attend to the Cow shed roof that is soon to become luxury stabling
The team, without author, approximately 15 miles into the first day. Note missing silks due to the high winds
departed for Dartmoor on a bright and sunny Monday morning and spent the next three days putting up penning and fixing an old cow shed. LCpl Morgan, our exercise medic, and Tpr Hare, our driver, threw themselves into the hard work that was required to turn a dilapidated farmyard into stabling fit for paying participants. The horses arrived on Thursday and were accommodated in a farm that was literally on the perimeter of ‘The Moor’ or properly HMP Dartmoor. It is an impressive Grade II listed granite structure built in 1808 and, along with the local town Princetown, has seemingly slipped into the 21st Century. By Friday, all of the work that was required to earn our place on the event was complete; even after being issued only half of an eighteen by twenty four foot tent. LCoH Backhouse was dispatched to collect the remaining half from Windsor, only to be met by a very angry Regimental Quarter Master Corporal who was under the impression he
was trying to hand his half back into the stores and was told not to come back until he had found it. This argument went on for some time... With Saturday morning came the start of the Derby and we set off along our planned route. The amount of rain made the going relatively treacherous as peat bogs, not present or seen on the recce, suddenly materialised. If a horse went into a peat bog it could go up to its hocks and present a serious problem. The going started slow and the mist descended as we approached our first summit, this made navigating difficult but we made the first three summits on time. A canter along a track resulted in one shoe flying off and narrowly missing Tpr Mathews’s head. He carried on with a wide smile and positive attitude that remained throughout. By one o’clock we were ready for lunch and, although we had army rations, the organisers had laid on a luxury picnic. Tprs Sparks and Calvert tucked into
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their smoked salmon and quails eggs as LCoH Jones attended to the loose shoes and replaced the missing one. It is safe to say our horses are not familiar with the type of terrain on Dartmoor. The rocky ground and protruding stones made a marked difference from Bodney and Knightsbridge. We carried on into the afternoon with sideways rain which eventually lifted into overcast grey cloud. There were a couple of very technical descents that really tested our riding as a false move could end in a nasty fall. We crossed several streams and returned to our first campsite at approximately four o’clock in the afternoon, six hours after we had set off. The horses were put into the stabling and then our problems really started. A thunderstorm was no match for the tents that had been put up for the paying participants so an evening of moving luggage out of waterlogged tents and ferrying guests around into hastily arranged accommodation ensued. We finally got to bed at two o’clock in the morning, absolutely soaked through, although Tprs Mathews, Calvert and Sparks somehow managed to miss the rain and instead had a memorable supper keeping BBC Radio 2 DJ Sara Cox entertained; who then thanked them by tweeting about it and name checking the Regiment. The morning revealed some very stiff horses with some saddle rubs so the
Holkham, with the white face, leading the charge at the canter to the second summit under cloudy skies over Dartmoor
decision was made to keep exercise to a minimum. The soldiers switched to helping the rest of the participants enjoy their day and we manned the lunchtime checkpoint and helped with loose shoes and any injuries. The upcoming state visit of Colombia meant that any horse going lame would become a big issue, so after covering so much distance on the first day and the fact that the final day would be the same, a decision was made to ride a shorter route from Dunnabridge Farm to Prison Farm. The ride was completed successfully and the horses were boxed up and returned to Knightsbridge. Although Holkham looked lame, it transpired he was just
very stiff and thankfully returned to normal riding a couple of days later. The exercise aims were satisfied and the war of G4 began. Penning was collapsed and the farm was returned to its normal state. The exercise gave the riders a new experience in unfamiliar terrain in arduous conditions. The amount of planning, driving and man hours that went into the event is disproportionate to the distance covered. However, if the horses were pushed to the full 25 miles per day we would have come back with six fewer available for the State Visit. All in all it was as fantastic opportunity and one that should be supported again.
Endurance Riding and Tent Pegging in the Rajasthan by Lance Corporal of Horse Harvey
n November this year, as part of an Army Tent Pegging team, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment tent pegging team travelled to India to compete at the Rajasthan Tent pegging completion. The trip was a culmination of the team’s successes at Addington, Royal Windsor Horse Show and the Open Day at Summer Camp. The Regiment’s team consisted of LCoH Raffel, Tprs Sayer and Eckley and myself. We met the other teams from the Royal Logistic Corps and The Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery at the airport. I’ve often felt uneasy trying to get through security with 12 litres of Chanel de Blue, but here I was clutching a bag full of swords attempting to waltz through security. After the long flight we embarked on an eight hour coach drive to the fort. I thought Army cutbacks would mean we were in a Holiday Inn at best... but a fort? Over the long drive I pondered on the life of a maharaja or his
courtesan; however, I was continuously interrupted by the screech of breaks and the sounds of horns. I think I speak for the entirety of the group when I say I would much rather drive down Park Lane blindfold than drive in India. The first thing that hit us was the abundance of livestock that swarmed the streets and roads to the fort. For every car there must have been at least two cows, a goat and a one legged chicken. The coach sped through roads that a rally driver would call ‘bouncy’ until we came to the fort gates. And by golly was it a fort! It could have been taken straight out of the history books. Our bags were unloaded by some lovely gentlemen in orange turbans as we moved up to the long set of stairs at the front of the fort. At the top of the stairs stood our hosts, Bonnie and Francesca. Bonnie was an old school Indian military man; tall in stature with the biggest and bushiest moustache one has ever seen. He would certainly give Kipling’s a run for his money. (That’s the military one not the
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fella that makes the cakes). His beautiful partner Francesca dressed for the duration of the trip as if constantly safari in the 1800s; lots of waistcoats, tall boots, and flowing shirts. Needless to say I loved her style. The first event we were entered was the 40km race. Our horses where prepped and primed at the mass start of what must have been 40-60 horses. It certainly was an eclectic mix; stallions from the Indian army ridden by sikhs
CoH Harvey ponders a QLG by elephant
with swords on show; most of the other teams had dropped to the back so as not to cause an affray with them, but not us. Two hundred metres after the start and at the first turn on the course, a sharp right hand turn onto a road, Tpr Sayer and Tpr Eckley came in front of me and then in an instant they were gone; saddles slipped straight off their horses. The last I saw of Tpr Sayer was his body clinging onto the side of his horse as it cantered towards the village. The route took us through sprawling desert dunes to little villages, navigating through barbed wire fences and the odd wild dog that certainly aided in gaining speed. LCoH Raffel and I made it over the line together on the first lap 20km down on the leaders. The horses then had to go through a vigorous vet test to ensure they were still safe to race. My horse passed with flying colours and I was off leaving LCoH Raffel behind. It was on my second lap half way round that I found Tpr Sayer. Tpr Sayer’s horse was lame; in a strange environment paying no heed to his own wellbeing he decided
to walk his horse in hand through the desert, a proper embodiment of selfless commitment and horsemanship; that took the Indian Army and our hosts back in awe. But before I inflate his ego anymore may I also inform you that Tpr Sayer found himself walking an extra 15km through the desert as he had gone the wrong way back to the start! Thirty-five km into my lap my horse threw a shoe and flipped herself over a few times launching me forward (and breaking my aviators in the process). She went into shock and began to lose condition; luckily enough a jeep arrived with the vet and we were able to save her. Tpr Eckley was given the opportunity to ride the next day on the 60km race on which he did not disappoint. An enormous sense of pride filled me watching someone that I took through Khaki, someone who had not ridden before, then seeing him complete a 60km race and being placed 4th. A gargantuan task and pulled off by a Blue and Royal none the less. Our last night at Dunlod fort was momentous, a feast with traditional music and entertainment. I was asked to dance by a lady with a fair few vases on her head. I did not wish to offend by imitating a dance I know nothing of so I
Tpr Sayer realises he may be carrying his horse across the finish line
LCoH Harvey prepares to mount as the Indian version of the Riding Master points out a twisted stirrup leather
Relaxing before a long day of tent pegging
stuck with half the Macarena; needless to say I went down a treat. Our racing careers over, we travelled down to Jaipur for the tent pegging competition. The Malwari, the breed of horse we were riding, are ridiculously fast and agile creatures, far more streamlined than our hearty cavalry blacks. So therefore we were taken aback by the speed at which we were to travel. The Hindi for slow down or stop is ‘bos’. The sight of four chaps from England screaming ‘BOS! BOS! BOS!’ in pure terror must have been something of a novelty to our hosts. With each run each rider became more accurate with peg after peg being taken from the field. Tpr Eckley was battling out a ‘stomach problem’ so the fact that he continued with such accuracy should be commended. The Regiment was placed a respectable 2nd in each class. In conclusion, the trip was a fantastic success, a true experience that every member of the team shall not forget in a hurry. On a sadder note, I did not become a maharaja nor find a courtesan but I did ride an elephant.
Jordanian Short Term Training Team
by Corporal of Horse D Evans, The Blues and Royals
his year the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, decided that His Jordanian Armed Forces (JAF) would celebrate the centenary of the Great Arab Revolt by holding a large scale, combined arms parade which would continue on a yearly basis. The parade was to consist of approximately 800 infantry from the Royal Guards Regiments, 60 camels from the Jordanian Police, and 45 men and horses from the newly formed Royal Horse Guard. Realising the magnitude of the parade, the Royal Protocol staff sought
equine advice, and who better to ask than us? But, unfortunately, for Jordan, they received LCpl Joyce and me as instructors for two months, with the objective of assisting in the training and execution of a successful mounted parade. The Short Term Training Team (STTT) also consisted of Farrier LCoH Harris, Saddler LCpl Giesen, and the Regimental Veterinary Officer Maj N HousbySkeggs RAVC, all of whom would be staying for three weeks. This full team allowed our hosts to seek advice on all
aspects of ceremonial horsemanship. The cultural and language barriers were obvious and proved challenging at first, but after learning the appropriate hand signals, and once the Jordanians became accustomed to hearing Arabic spoken in a cockney accent, it was clear that mounted units, wherever they may reside, share a common passion that transcends language. The horses used by the JAF were of Portuguese and Spanish origin, the Lusitano, which for centuries
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with jet pilots trying to get the best view of the parade ground and be close enough to catch a glimpse of the King himself! All of this was alien to the horses, but with a carefully planned and executed timetable it was achieved. Cross training - CoH Evans makes a The venue of the pareturn to the Camel Corps tradition rade was a purpose built pavilion with that the STTT stay for longer to assist in room enough to rithe forming of the new mounted unit; val our own Horse the Jordanian Royal Horse Guard. This Guards Parade was both flattering and confirmation The STTT - CoH Evans, FLCoH Harris, Maj J Housby-Skeggs, ground. No expense Jordanian Guard Comd, LCl Giesen, LCpl Joyce that we had succeeded in the parade had been spared and and our mission. It was also obvious once completed it was ‘fit for a king’. have been bred for bull fighting, makthat a deep bond of friendship between There were two full dress rehearsals, ing them brave and quick to react. This British soldiers and the JAF had been prior to the King seeing the parade, meant training was difficult, but still forged. The Jordanians were kind, hoswhen problems were ironed out disachievable, with the help of experienced pitable and accepting of our methods, creetly and photography was banned. hands from both sides. experience and sometimes humour. For The latter was to prevent any leak onto a country that is geographically situated social media as the whole parade was The STTT shared valuable insights into in such a volatile region, to see such a a surprise for the King. The chairman the positioning of horses and men durpublic display of pride and patriotism of the armed forces and Crown Prince ing the training process. As this was was particularly stirring. To witness Hussain bin Abdullah presided over Jordan’s first ever mounted parade it first hand was a privilege. After the these reviews and were both very hapthere was no room for trial and error, contacts that have been made and the py and proud of what their troops had and the learning curve for both horse experiences enjoyed by all, we are lookachieved. and rider was steep. New horses were ing forward to working with our Jordatrained to deal with loud military band nian colleagues again in the future. On the Arab Revolt Centenary Day music, infantry were used to conduct there was a huge drill so the noise was not foreign to the amount of media horses, and then there was the fly past coverage, and dignitaries from all over the world, including Great Britain, attended. The parade went off without a hitch and the King was extremely proud and gave nothing but praise to his soldiers. Spirits were high and it was requested The Parade Adjutant’s horse, Hamza The AL REYEH parade ground
The Mongol Derby 2016 Household Cavalry Team Report by Captain J H S C Harbord, The Life Guards
ir Winston Churchill famously said “there is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man”. But, as a cavalryman himself in the late 19th century, he didn’t stop there. He also went on to say that “no hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle”. It was with those words ringing in his ears that, in November 2015, the author submitted his application for five soldiers (himself included) to compete in this year’s Mongol Derby - the world’s “longest and toughest” horse
race at 1000km. A thousand kilometres. For the purposes of context, the straightline distance from Land’s End to John o’ Groats is 970km - and this officer was about to submit himself and four mad (volunteer!) troopers to complete this aboard a total of 28 semi-wild ponies per person, across some of the most barren, albeit beautiful, landscapes in the world. The unrelenting pace of life at Knightsbridge put paid to all aspirations
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The Mongol Derby Team the day before flying out to Mongolia
The Approach to the Finish, after 1008km: Tpr Bridger RHG/D, Capt Harbord LG, Carin Östergren (a Swedish Sports Physiotherapist whose riding partner dropped out of the race, she rode with the team for the last six days), Tpr TegoTagne LG, Tpr Strange RHG/D
The team at the start, from L-R: Tpr Sebastian Bridger RHG/D, Tpr Anthony Strange RHG/D, Capt James Harbord LG, LCpl Tom Alden LG, Tpr Urbain Tego-Tagne LG. Team HCMR set out on the hardest horse race on earth confident, composed and crucially, uniform!
of genuine training before the event started. But with up to 13 hours per day in the saddle during the race, this was very quickly made up for once ‘toes hit the turf’ in Ulaanbaatar. The event is organized by a Bristol based company called ‘The Adventurists’ whose aim is “to make the world less boring”. Once entrance fees are paid, they plan out the route (which changes each year tracking the nomadic herders with whom the competitors stay), assess potential horses (just shy of 1,300) and coordinate medical and veterinary cover during the race itself. The rest, is up to you. Towards the end of July, the Regiment returned from its annual Summer Camp in Norfolk. Buoyed with confidence from successes (or not) in the various show jumping and cross country events therein, the team tried on their lycraheavy outfits for the first and last time before boarding the flights to Mongolia. Bleary-eyed with jet lag (and the faintest whiff of ‘Chinngis Khan Vodka’), the team survived the three days of briefs and familiarisation. Before they knew it, they found themselves between two posts in the middle of nowhere on the Steppe and realised that, this was it: The Start Line. Their journey lay North West. The plan had always been to
LCpl Strange, BEFORE even crossing the Start Line!
complete the event as a team, but this presented many additional difficulties - principally that they were only ever as fast as their slowest man, or in this case; pony. Not coming into each horse station (or ‘Urtuu’) first, meant that the best ponies had largely already been taken. However, what was left behind, whether rogue stallion or scatty gelding, was something else entirely - ADVENTURE. In total, the team’s statistical tally reached a total of 23 “unseatings” from 124 ponies with only one forced medical withdrawal for LCpl Alden. Thrown off, repeatedly kicked and rendered unconscious for 8 minutes, the team was given a real scare by the accident that happened first thing on the fifth day, just shy of half-way. Medics had to be called to the scene and, after a medevac to Ulaanbaatar (via plane) LCpl Alden made a full recovery and joined the rest of the team at the finish: 41 people from all corners of the globe had started the
race and 14 of them either chose to quit, or were forced to stop. The sense of achievement at crossing the finish line is impossible to exaggerate. After hobbling a horse (tying its legs together) and having it STILL manage to disappear into the dark of the night, then spotting it 1km away in the dawn light and riding it bareback to the camp; after being thrown off so violently that the pony shook not only its rider, but whole saddle and saddlebag clear (with girth still tied!); after galloping 20km faster than could ever be thought possible, only to find that the pony couldn’t gauge the concept of endurance and would insist on lying down and going no further. Every man in the team pushed himself beyond a point he knew he could. The team relied on each other throughout the race to overcome the challenges provided by the elements, terrain, food and task, whilst constantly being reminded of the real risks requiring courage and guts to stick it out and finish. Lessons learned for life after the trip of a lifetime. Just keep going. With thanks to our sponsors and the Household Cavalry Foundation for funds and support as none of the above would have been possible without their assistance.
Joy and relief after the finish
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 61
The Band of the Household Cavalry by Corporal of Horse Wootten and Lance Corporal Taylor
here have been many highlights for the band in 2016, which is not only the biggest, but is now widely regarded as one of the best bands in the Corps of Army Music. In May 2014 the Bands had performed separately both mounted (The Band of the Life Guards) and dismounted (The Band of The Blues and Royals) at the Standards Parade, and so fittingly in February 2016 we played as a unified band for the Laying Up of Standards Ceremony at Windsor Garrison Church. In March members of the Band were privileged to appear on stage alongside the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Choral Society at the Royal Albert Hall for the ‘Classical Spectacular’ concert, a lifetime ambition for many military musicians. The band and orchestra together played many popular classical favourites including Ravel’s Bolero, Sibelius’s Finlandia, and Handel’s Zadok the Priest. The Band regularly conducts equine training sessions in Hyde Park to maintain its riding skills, as well as providing an opportunity for young horses to acclimatise to the sound of the Band, so we were more than ready to lead the Regiment to The Guildhall as part of the Freedom of the City of London Parade, where we also provided a dismounted ensemble for this unique ceremonial occasion.
funk” ensemble “Loosebox”. May also marked a life changing moment for one member of the Band, when after a tense and gruelling audition process, magician (and band trombonist) LCpl Jones, accompanied by the Band went on to win Britain’s Got Talent 2016. LCpl Jones is now somewhat a public face of the Army, aiding the Band’s (and wider Army’s) recruiting, whilst still performing as a magician around the country. He now looks forward to performing at the Royal Variety Performance, where the Band will be joining him on stage once again.
LCpl Jones in State Dress during The Queen’s Birthday Parade
The Band endured a busy summer season of public duties including The Queen’s Birthday Parade, and a very successful First World War-themed Beating Retreat, and then after two weeks’ leave, it was off to Scotland for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. The theme this year was ‘Tunes of Glory’ and after a few days of intensive rehearsals, the Band performed an intricate marching display alongside three other bands from the Corps of Army Music. This is the first time that
the Band had performed at the monthlong tattoo since 2007, and the show’s production team were thoroughly delighted with our performance. On returning from Edinburgh, the Band enjoyed a well-deserved third week of summer leave, and then returned to the practice room to rehearse for a concert in the Guards Chapel as part of the Household Division Concert Series. The concert on 15th September featured a challenging musical programme, particularly after a morning providing musical support for the Guard change at Windsor Castle. The band was the biggest to have played at the Guards Chapel this year, and the concert was wellreceived by an appreciative audience. In early October, the mounted band performed for the State Visit of the President of Colombia, leading the Regiment once again to Horse Guards Parade and providing both travelling and static music during the parade. The equine training sessions and early morning rehearsal again ensured that the Band performed to its usual high standards on well-behaved horses. The very next day the Band boarded a coach for the long drive to Berlin, to perform for the 2016 Berlin Tattoo. On arrival we quickly put the finishing touches to a complex musical marching display, which delighted an international audience for all three shows. Our display included musical themes from The Lord of the Rings and James Bond, featuring a saxophone solo by LCpl Kitchen, as well as classic British marches. The Band also played the dance band classic Sing Sing Sing to accompany a fierce drum improvisation
LCpl Ballantine leading the Band to The Guildhall
April also saw the Band regularly performing at Windsor Castle for the socalled Easter Court Guards, a public duty which our symphonic capacity has allowed us to perform since the union of the bands in 2014. May was a particularly memorable month for the Band as we had the honour of performing mounted for Her Majesty’s 90th birthday celebrations in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Throughout this event the Band took control of its own yard as well as providing evening entertainment for the masses in the cast bar through the Band’s “symphonic
62 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Musn Lamerton-Reece on the Buckingham Palace forecourt
SCpl Walsh leads the Band out of Buckingham Palace LCpl Diggle relaxes before Beating Retreat
battle between LCpl Diggle and WO1 Marsh, who was previously the Band Corporal Major, and now holds the post of Corps Regimental Sergeant Major at HQ CAMUS, Kneller Hall. Needless to say, WO1 Marsh proved that he’s not forgotten how to play, and remains a percussive musical force with which to be reckoned. The Band’s prestigious State Trumpet team, under the direction of Trumpet Major SCpl Bishop, continue to provide fanfares for the most high profile engagements and are among the busiest members of the Band. This year they have played for the State Opening of Parliament, the State Banquet for the President of Columbia, as well as the
Service of Thanksgiving for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, and The Queen’s 90th Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Adventurous Training continues to be an important part of the yearly calendar for the Band, with activities including skiing, sailing, rock climbing and mountain biking in March and October. For most Adventurous Training exercises, we are self-sufficient with our own qualified instructors. For aspiring military musicians across the country we are fast becoming a more popular career choice for recruits, and so our Recruiting Team led by CoH Wootten are kept busy organising regular Open Days and school visits to show what life in the Band (and the Corps of
Army Music) has to offer. In conclusion, the Band continues to operate at the tip of the ceremonial spear, and we are highly respected by our peers across the Household Division and the Corps of Army Music. At the time of writing we are looking forward to two weeks at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in December where we will be providing musical support to the Sovereign’s Parade in particular. We will also be performing Christmas public duties this year, including playing for the Christmas Day service at the Guards’ Chapel. Morale, as always, remains extremely high, and we look forward to whatever 2017 brings.
The mountain bikers in Bavaria
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 63
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Joining celebrations in Bruges for the 600 years of the Guild of St Sebastian
by Captain E M B van der Lande, The Life Guards
n early September, Capt Ed van der Lande, LCoH Healey-Potter, and two Trumpeters travelled to Bruges to gild a Flanders weekend that celebrated 600 years of the Guild of St Sebastian, and present them with a Trumpet banner. They were able to blister onto a large detachment from Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards and their Regimental Band and the Company of Pikemen and Musketeers. The Life Guards and the Grenadier Guards had their origins in the historical city of Bruges. It was in this city that King Charles II settled and raised his Royal bodyguard. At the crack of dawn on a mild September morning, the marching party left Wellington Barracks and made their way for Belgium, the Advance Party having left the day before, and arrived at their Barracks nears Bruges in the late morning. After a quick practice of the parade in a nearby barracks, the troops formed up in the iconic Burgh Square ready to celebrate the event in front of a select group of VIPs. Prior to the parade, however, The Life Guards detachment, formed of Capt Ed van der Lande and LCoH Nathan Healey-Potter, provided the guard for the unveiling of a mural of King Charles II to remember the established bonds between the regiments and the city. The Unveiling of a Bust of King Charles II on the house where he had lived in Bruges was carried out by HRH Princess Astrid, The Crown Princess of the Belgians. This
Princess Astrid unveils the monument to Charles II
was immediately followed by a Parade in Burg Square with Belgian Grenadiers, Nijmegen Company, The Company of Pikemen and Musketeers and the Regimental Band. After the Parade, the City of Bruges entertained everyone at various Receptions. Despite the late finish on the Friday evening the tempo of the weekendâ€™s events did not abate. On Saturday the Grenadier contingent, along with the Pikemen and Musketeers, were inspected by the Mayor of Bruges, accompanied by the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel, and then marched through the City to the Guild of St Sebastian ending at the Royal Guild of Saint Sebastian, where an impressive display of 17th Century drill was put on by the Pikemen and Musketeers. This was where Charles II was housed in exile and kept 40 gentlemen troopers with him who later grew in number and became The Life Guards. As we marched through the old cobbled streets surrounded by the iconic buildings of Bruges, the narrowness of the streets intensified the crunch of boot and thud of drum which created a powerful atmosphere that the locals found thrilling. The gentlemen of the Royal Guild lavished us with Belgium beer and food and a merry time was had by all. The hospitality of the Royal Guild and the uniqueness of the march was a definite highlight of the trip. The final day saw the Grenadiers march through Pont a Marcq; this town had been liberated by the Grenadiers in the Second World War. Much to the ire of the Foot Guards, The Life Guards detachment did frequently remind them that impressive as this liberation was by
The new monument in close up
the Grenadiers, the Household Cavalrymen of 2HCR were first in the liberation of Brussels; a city of much greater size. A service in the church of Pont a Marcq, though, provided a poignant reminder of the sacrifice made by our forebears to ensure European freedom, a sacrifice certainly not forgotten by the local residents of the town. After a commemorative lunch in the local town hall held by the villagers, we travelled to Ypres so that the Grenadiers could lay a wreath at the Menin Gate. Most of the group had not visited this sombre commemoration to the fallen from the Great War but all were left with a lasting impression of the devastation war can bring. It was a fitting way to end a thoroughly enjoyable, tiring and reflective weekend in Belgium.
The Grenadiers march through the streets of Bruges
Now on the outside wall of the The Grand Hotel Casselbergh is this monument: the inscription reads:
three were members of the Guilds of Saint Barbara, Saint Georges and Saint Sebastian of Bruges.
This house was the Royal Palace of England, Scotland and Ireland where King Charles II held Court from 1656 until 1659.
It was in the latter that he raised the First Guards (1656), later the Grenadier Guards and the Life Guards (1658) as his bodyguard and to defend the Low Countries against France in the Franco-Spanish War.
King Charles II lived here with his brothers James, Duke of York and Henry, Duke of Gloucester until the restoration of the monarchy. All
King Charles II loved Flanders and Bruges in particular. In 1662 the
grateful Monarch wrote ‘The Flemmings are the most honest and truehearted race of people I have ever met with’. Our thanks go to the Grenadier Guards and particularly Maj Stephen Dehnel, Gren Gds, for the comprehensive administration of the trip, all organised with characteristic thoroughness, attention to detail and flair.
Exercising the Freedom of the City of London by Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) H S J Scott, Silver Stick Adjutant
n Wednesday 20th April 2016 the Household Cavalry exercised their Freedom of the City of London. The 1st Royal Dragoons, with a history as a London raised regiment, were granted this privileged status in 1963, and demonstrated that right by marching through the City before a grand ball at the Mansion House attended by The Queen Mother.
The Royals marching through in London in 1963
The City allowed this privileged status to be inherited by the successor regiment, The Blues and Royals, in 1969. However, only in 2014 did The City of London bestow this honour on The Life Guards. Since then efforts to celebrate this award were successively frustrated until this year allowed a date to be found. Led by the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding, the then Maj Gen E A Smyth-Osbourne, the Band of
HCR march on their way from St Paul’s Cathedral to Guildhall Yard
The Life Guards headed mounted and dismounted contingents of Life Guards and Blues and Royals from the service and mounted regiments through the City with swords drawn, bayonets fixed and Standards and Guidon proudly carried.
On arrival at Guildhall they marched round the square and saluted the Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, Alderman Ian Luder who was standing in for the Lord Mayor abroad on business. Also present were The Colonels of the two regiments, Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie and The Princess Royal. Following a short ceremony on the square, the dismounted contingent fell out to attend a reception in Guildhall while Alderman Luder, The Princess Royal and FM Lord Guthrie talked Elements of The Life Guards division crossing Trafalgar Square to members of the
mounted contingent as they received a stirrup cup before riding back to Barracks for a sumptuous picnic laid on by the
The Band entering the City
HCR soldiers in front of the mounted contingents
HRH The Princess Royal, Colonel The Blues and Royals, going forward to give stirrup cups and talk to The Blues and Royals Squadron
City. Meanwhile, preceded by gracious short speeches by Alderman Luder and the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding, a lavish reception was laid on in Guildhall for the dismounted element and friends
A most friendly greeting from the Colonel The Life Guards and Lady Guthrie to a long lost friend in Guildhall
and family of the Household Cavalry. Both speakers acknowledged the debt the Household Cavalry owed the City, for the gold coats of the Band funded by the Lord Mayor on King Charles
II’s request. The Band only wear gold coats in the presence of members of the Royal family, and exceptionally for the Lord Mayor acknowledging the City’s original funding for them.
The troops dressing after marching past
Cambrian Patrol 2016 HCR
by Lieutenant O W Crosthwaite-Eyre, The Blues and Royals
his year the Household Cavalry Regiment entered two Squadron teams into Cambrian Patrol 2016, both of whom won Silver medals. This is in stark contrast to many Regiments who single teams selected from across whole Battalions; many of these, including all the Foot Guard teams, were to finish
below us. The patrol leaders were to be Lt Robert Perera from C Squadron, with the author leading a team from D Squadron; there was also an HCMR team headed up by CoH Minter. All teams were made up of volunteers, which was a particularly important criterion for the team leaders and was at
the core of our resulting success. The first hurdle we faced in starting the training for both teams was finding a suitable window in the forecast of events. Due to many commitments this year the only time we were able to conduct training was in September. We
Back row. From the left. LCpl Watson, Trooper Mclaughlin, CoH Minter, Trooper Robinson, Tpr Millea, Tpr Barrett, LCpl Annetts ,Tpr Davies, Tpr Webb, Tpr Sidwells, LCpl Penman, Tpr O’Mara, LCpl Reuter, Tpr Jones. Middle Row. From the left. Tpr Winston, Tpr Cox, Tpr Westlake, Tpr Evans, Tpr Chivers, Tpr Chapple. Front Row. From the left. LCoH Hinchley, Lt Crosthwaite-Eyre, Capt Boyd-Thomas, Mr Ireland, Lt Perera, LCoH Thompson
were granted two weeks’ during white space from C and D Squadrons and decided upon the arduous terrain and conditions of Dartmoor Training Area. We also chose to each take a section plus additional reserves, allowing us to select patrol members from a pool based on merit - as well as to train reserves in case of unforeseen injury or illness. This last decision proved to be crucial, as both team leaders had to make changes to our teams in the week before the Patrol. During our time in Dartmoor we structured the training to be progressive. The aim was to build up rather than over-train and thus avoid injuries. We also placed an emphasis on recovery - and as such we spent each night in Okehampton camp. The days were structured around MATT based lessons in the mornings with afternoons spent out on the training area; we gradually increased carried weight and distance steadily as the training progressed.
hour of each other. The whole patrol is between 55 to 70 kilometres depending on the route taken between the check points. The terrain we walked over is the hardest I personally have ever encountered. The steepness of the hills was only part of the problem. The ground is used for commercial timber industry and once the trees have been felled the ground is left covered in deep tracks and dead branches where the water collects the makes the ground very slow going indeed. Walking over this ground carrying between 70 and 90lbs of kit is very degrading, both physically and mentally. I made it clear to the teams before we left that my main effort was to finish with all members of the patrol. On the way round the route there were times when this aim was threatened particularly the river crossing. However, the way this famously tricky part of the competition was handled gave me enormous pride. Out of our
eight men we had two particularly under-confident swimmers. The 75-metre crossing of a freezing reservoir in the middle of the night with rifle and full patrol kit is daunting for the most confident swimmer. However, all eight patrol members made it across, with the two non-swimmers showing a huge level of individual courage. The stands came and went as we progressed around the route and between the checkpoints. On the way around the course we had to tackle a medical emergency involving a crashed helicopter and three casualties of varying seriousness, who were played by very convincing actors. There was a chemical, biological, radioactive and nuclear, or CBRN, stand where our knowledge of what to do if a chemical attack was sprung upon us was tested. There was the close target reconnaissance, or CTR, which involved us observing an enemy location without being detected and reporting back to the
160 Brigade contacted me in the time leading up to the patrol and asked if we would host the Swiss team. During a long and convoluted email chain we managed to organise the arrival and basic training of the Swiss whilst away on various exercises. They proved to be capable and motivated soldiers and were a real pleasure to host. Their success this year by achieving a Silver medal is a testament to their professionalism. It was a huge relief to be en route and to be getting on with the patrol after waiting to start for so long. All three teams leaving Combermere Barracks were allocated to Phase 7 (there are a total of eight phases) of the Competition, which meant we all stepped off within half an
Silvers on parade in front of the church. Back row, from the left. Lt Crosthwaite-Eyre, Lt Perera, LCoH Thompson, Tpr Webb, Tpr O’Mara, Tpr Westlake, Tpr Chapple, Tpr Millea, Tpr Mclaughlin, Tpr Winston, LCpl Penman, LCpl Annetts, CoH Minter, Tpr Barrett. Front Row, from the left. Tpr Jones, Tpr Davies, LCpl Reuter, Tpr Sidwells, LCoH Hinchley, LCpl Watson, Tpr Cox, Tpr Robinson, Tpr Evans, Tpr Chivers
chain of command what we had found via a patrol report that the whole team helped write. There was a captured personnel stand where we encountered hostile forces at a Red Crescent AID post. I was impressed how every member of the patrol stepped up their focus at the times when it mattered most and how morale seemed to increase as we covered the miles. It was not until early morning on the second day that I started to realise that we were indeed going to finish as an eight-man team. I had been so focused on the navigation and the serials that I hadn’t really thought about the finish. As we neared the end I really believed that the guys had done them-
selves and the Regiment very proud. At the finish itself at around 0500, after being on the go for 45 hours non-stop, we were met by several members of the Regiment who had come to see us cross the finish line.
finished strongly just after us (also with a full eight man team). At the awards ceremony we found out that not only had C and D Squadron achieved a Silver Medal each, the patrol from HCMR also achieved a Bronze Medal.
I know I speak for all team members when I say that this was hugely appreciated.
I am enormously proud of what all the teams have achieved. To take volunteers from extremely busy sub-units and to come away with two silver medals and a bronze is a huge indication of the strength and depth of character within the Regiment. These patrol members have shown they have much of what it characterises to be a Trusted Guardian of the Household Cavalry.
Then followed a nerve-wracking wait until the awards were given out at 1300. I was aware we had performed well at each of the stands but I had no idea how we had been judged. We had a catch up with the C Squadron team who had also
Against the Odds: Cambrian Patrol 2016 by Lieutenant W A Mullholland, The Life Guards
he Cambrian Patrol, the British Army’s premier patrols competition, covering 60km over the Brecon Beacons and lasting 48 hours, is a daunting prospect even for the most experienced soldiers. Despite this, HCMR’s enduring ceremonial commitments, and the high number of junior troopers at HCMR, time was found to train and enter a bronze medal winning patrol. Preparations for this year’s Cambrian Patrol started immediately on return from summer leave. Twenty individuals volunteered and after those with other commitments and duties were removed, a squad of ten suitable and available candidates remained. Owing to the ever busy schedule of Knightsbridge, and after a number of inopportune injuries there was no young officer available this year to lead the patrol, so a SNCO was sought. Command was left in the capable and experienced hands of CoH Minter who, keen to mould the team into an effective patrol, set about putting together a full training schedule. Supported by Lt Mulholland, CoH
The HCMR and Brazilian medal winning Cambrian Patrol teams
Minter arranged for subject matter experts from across the Regiment to teach the squad lessons on navigation, first aid, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear warfare (CBRN), section battle drills, artillery targetting, model building, river crossing and weapon recognition amongst other topics. They also focused on physical fitness, getting the squad running around Hyde Park and, in the absence of hills, up the Peninsular Tower stairs! After two weeks in camp the squad, along with a small support team, moved down to Bovington to use the training area and hills close to Lulworth. Lessons continued interspersed with scenarios, replicating what the eight selected patrol members would be faced with during Cambrian Patrol 2016.
The team receiving a model making lesson in Bovington before the patrol
After two weeks in Bovington, a team of eight was selected to form the patrol. A few days of kit checks and final preparations were then completed before they departed for the Brecon Beacons. Five of the eight selected had not been on a combat exercise since their phase two training and all, excluding CoH Minter, were under 21 years. Despite this they were quietly confident.
The team, along with the Brazilian Army team who they were hosting, left London around midnight to make it to the start point for their 0600hrs allotted start time. Straight away their kit was checked, their orders were issued and before long they were off on the patrol. Navigating between checkpoints, they were tested on all the areas they had been studying. As the patrol went on and fatigue set in the tests became harder and greater focus was required but all managed to soldier on. Greeted at one stage by a 75m-wide river, morale ebbed but all the rehearsals and training paid off and they crossed without a hitch. The final test was a section assault on a compound to capture a high value target. Having not slept for 48 hours this was no easy feat. They successfully completed the mission and after a few hours of administration and rest they were heading back to Knightsbridge, each with their heads held high and a bronze medal in hand. Congratulations to CoH Minter (IC), LCpl Penman (2IC), LCpl Annetts, Tpr Barrett, Tpr O’Mara, Tpr Evans, Tpr Chivers and Tpr Jones for their hard work and performance.
Laying up Standards of the Household Cavalry The Standards that left Horse Guards Parade on 28th May 2014 have now all been laid up. In late 2015, The Blues and Royals laid up a Union Standard at Radley College and their old Sovereign’s Standard at The Robin Chapel, Edinburgh. Robin Tudsbery had been an officer in The Blues who was killed in 1945 right at the end of the Second World War. He had earlier in the war been part of the force guarding the Royal Family, and a particular favourite of theirs. His parents lived in West Lothian, Scotland, and decided to build a chapel in his memory. The remainder were all laid up in 2016. The Life Guards Council chaired by FM the Lord Guthrie, Colonel The Life Guards determined that Standards would be laid up: Sovereign’s Standard The Guards Chapel - 31st Jan 2016 Union Standards St George’s Memorial Church, Ypres, Belgium - 23rd Feb 2016 Holy Trinity Garrison Church, Windsor - 14th Feb 2016 Winchester College - 13th Mar 2016 The Blues and Royals Council under Lieutenant General Sir William Rollo
The Union Standards above the alter in Ypres
determined the following disposal for the Standards of The Blues and Royals: Sovereign’s Standard The Robin Chapel, Edinburgh - 4th Oct 2015 Union Standards Radley College - 20th Sept 2015 St George’s Chapel, Ypres, Belgium - 23rd Feb 2016 Exeter Cathedral - 30th Apr 2016 Arrangements have been made for all to be erected horizontally in pride of place in all these places of worship. All were celebrated locally with our hosts in memorable style, to whom we are most grateful. HRH The Princess Royal was able to travel to Ypres to attend the service in St George’s Memorial Church, also well attended by Association members.
The RHG/D Sovereign’s Standard in place in The Robin Chapel
The Blues and Royals Standard in Ypres
Former Tpr Richard Cox taking a photo opportunity with Lt Cols Paul Bedford and James Gaselee
The plaque on the wall at Ypres
SCM Fitzgerald and Coverers lead the CCF to Chapel at Winchester
FM the Lord Guthrie talks to Lady Langley and members of the congregation after the service
Gen Sir Simon Cooper inspects and talks to the Combined Cadet force at Winchester
Exercise DUNVILLE BLUECOAT
by Captain P G Ireland, The Blues and Royals
n September 2016, 60 soldiers from all HCR Squadrons attended a four-day battlefield study in Normandy, with the main focus being on the Operations GOODWOOD and BLUECOAT, including the breakout from Cavalry Bridge. We arrived the evening before taking the longer crossing from Portsmouth to Caen and settling in to our hotel. The next day was a trip to the Battle of Normandy Museum: this gave us all a chance to get an overview of the whole campaign. It was a great museum which had everything from a cinema
to displays with weapons and vehicles; so all avenues to capture our interest were catered for! Next was a visit to the beach at Plage De Graye Sur Mer, where 2 HCR landed on 13th July 1944. The landing was brought to life by our two regimental historians, Pete Storer and Jim Lees, who we were lucky enough to have on the trip. The beach was the mirror image of the artists’ impression from the HCR book. When you visit Normandy you visit Pegasus Bridge; and that’s exactly what we did, where our pockets were emp-
An artist’s impression of JUNO beach
tied by Madame Gondrée’s expensive café. We discussed the operation orders and the glider landings by the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and how they took the bridge by surprise tactics and utter courage. Commonwealth War Graves are an important part of these visits. The sacrifice made by our men really hits home. Ranville cemetery was chosen as this is where two Royal Horse Guards volunteers’ graves are. Cpl Francis Arthur Reynolds’ and LCpl Kenneth Barnes’ moving citations were read and wreaths were laid whilst the remainder of the group observed two minutes of silence. After the collection of hotel-provided packed lunches (worse than Sodexho!) it was off to the Bourguebus Ridge. This is an area of land that General Montgomery aimed to capture under Operation GOODWOOD. Pete and Jimbo at this point bounced off each other with different historical facts, giving the students a chance to think about what they would have done tactically. The journey to the next part of the study covering Operation BLUECOAT gave us all a chance to notice the terrain 2 HCR faced and discover the meaning of the French word ‘bocage’. All you could see was pastureland divided into small hedged fields interspersed with groves and trees: good cover perhaps, but horrendous for manoeuvre. We arrived at the Museum La Percée Du Bocage; this unique museum only opens on request and they had organised local English
The tour party on the beach
people to translate for us on a guided tour. They were extremely informative and very proud to showcase their excellent museum and even Pete and Jimbo learned something. ‘Dickie’s bridge’, or ‘Cavalry bridge’, (now called, rather disappointingly ‘Bull’s bridge’ was next. It was thanks to the initiate of Lt Dickie Powle, 2 HCR, that 11th Armoured Division was able to cross this bridge. Powle’s armoured car, supported by another scout car, slipped across the St-Lo to Beny-Bocage road
and drove through the Foret de l’Eveque to find an undefended bridge across the river Souleuvre. The Germans had left the bridge undefended due to a mix up between 3rd Para Division and 326th Infantry Division, who both blamed each other. Once the bridge was secured momentum was maintained and VIII Corps was able to push on to play a full role in aiding the allied breakout. Although ‘Cavalry Bridge’ was under refurbishment, there was enough space for us to step on it and lay another wreath. Lt Powle and his team definitely showed
that they were Robust, Agile and Capable. After discussions and reflection we then moved on to our final destination, Villers-Bocage. Here we discussed ground appreciation, and received another incredibly informative brief from Pete and Jimbo. It is thanks to the efforts of SCpl Martin, Pete Storer and Jimbo Lees that those who attended enjoyed a highly enjoyable, entertaining, informed and extremely moving battlefield study.
No Bridge Too Far for 2HCR
by Lance Corporal R Speaight, The Blues and Royals
I SAY AGAIN, AT 1035 HOURS THE BRIDGE AT 637436 IS CLEAR OF ENEMY AND STILL INTACT.” This was the radio message from Lieutenant DB ‘Dickie’ Powle, C Squadron, 2 HCR that was about to turn the tide of battle during Operation BLUECOAT. It was the 30th July 1944, seven weeks after D-Day. Allied Forces were attempting to break out of their Bridgehead and push through the German defences deep into enemy occupied France. The Battle of Normandy so far had been tough, bloody and progress was a lot slower than Allied Commanders had intended. Operation BLUECOAT was launched and its intent was to punch through German lines with a powerful two pronged assault. General Montgomery saw a weak German front at Caumont and intended to break through the line to the west of Beya-Bocage and head south towards Vire, despite this being a very heavily defended area with German posts on the high ground able to watch the advancing troops every move. The attack so far led by the British Army’s XXX and VIII corps had been
bogged down by fierce German resistance. To slow down the British Army, the Germans had destroyed key bridges and the use of the feared 88mm anti-aircraft gun, set up in anti-tank screens had severely slowed the Allied Advance. 2HCR was attached to the 11th Armoured Division as a Reconnaissance Force. 2HCR were equipped with the Daimler and Dingo Reconnaissance Armoured Cars. Both vehicles were extremely fast and agile. The Daimlers also wielded enough firepower to get themselves out of a sticky situation if needed. 2HCR was tasked to go out and find crossing points over the river Souleuvre west of Le Beny-Bocage. On the morning of the 31st July as the 11th Armoured Division, under General Roberts, seized Saint-Martin-des-Besaces, 1 Troop of C Squadron 2 HCR commanded by Lt Powle set off south on its reconnaissance mission. The rolling hills high hedgerows were going to make this a tricky manoeuvre. The Germans were well dug in. 1 Troop C Squadron 2 HCR now had to put all their knowledge and soldiering skills to the test; to be cunning and agile enough to complete the mission
without being compromised. Little did they realise that morning when they set off how crucial was the part in the battle they were about to play. As 1 Troop began its advance into enemy territory, one of the Daimlers broke down. The Dingo behind it couldn’t get past, so Lt Powle decided to continue without them. They continued south, probing for a suitable river crossing. After some close encounters with the enemy, they moved out from the forest and over a railway line. According to Lt Powle’s own words, “I can remember rushing madly through the forest of L’Eveque after a German four wheeled armoured car. We followed it for two miles, then it disappeared round a corner.” Just beyond a farm situated in a valley, they found an intact bridge that crossed the river. They quickly seized the bridge and, realising the opportunity they had found, they established communications back to HQ. At 1030hrs a broken message transmitted across the net ‘‘I SAY AGAIN, AT 1035 HOURS THE BRIDGE AT 637436 IS CLEAR OF ENEMY AND STILL INTACT.” The following is an account form Trooper Bland, who was commanding a
Dingo Scout Car with Trooper Read as his driver: “The first four miles were nerve racking for us as this was the first taste of leading into the unknown, so to speak. Early on we had found ourselves with only two cars left. Shortly afterwards I had spotted a German lookout guard, he ran, but luckily a grenade I threw accounted for him. The idea of using the grenade was better than using the guns as it was harder for the enemy to determine what it was, which served us lucky as we quickly came across a couple of 88mm’s and a number of smaller calibre jobs. Fortunately they were without warning and although they tried hard they missed us, we pushed on hurriedly now, in order to get past this sticky spot and get through safely. I remember Lt Powle shouting a remark to me, “We might as well try what’s in front it can’t be worse than trying to neck it back through that lot.” After taking a number of posts by surprise, I had occasion to look at the map and realise we were close to the bridge and also a rather long way back from Headquarters. This came as a bit of a shock. We tried to get a (radio) message through but could at that time not make contact. It was decided that I should have a crack at crossing the bridge, covered by the armoured car. It worked and after dismounting myself and Cpl Read slipped up behind a German
sentry and quietly finished him off. We had to dispose of any such visitors in a similar way otherwise we were sunk as there was not a hope of holding any numbers off with just the two cars if the warning went off. I think it was sheer luck that we were never spotted as we later learned that a number of Panther tanks had the bridge covered. We had decided to hold the bridge dismounted and this kept us out of sight. The cars were covered in bushes. Only Cpl Staples remained with the cars to try and make contact. Which he did after some brilliant radio operating.” After receiving the information, Headquarters sent reinforcements to the bridge to help 1 Troop hold it. Five tanks from the 2nd Northamptonshire Yeomanry arrived in the afternoon. 1 Troop with the reinforcements, held the bridge for a further six hours. General Roberts, seeing the opportunity, made the decision to push the entire 11th Armoured Division over the bridge. The British Forces that crossed the bridge quickly maintained the momentum and captured key ground from the Enemy. This altered the course of Operation BLUECOAT and put the British Army firmly in control of battle. Operation BLUECOAT itself then became a huge part in the Allied push to breakout of Normandy. The key moment of Operation BLUECOAT was when 1 Troop, C Squadron
2 HCR secured the bridge to cross the Souleuvre River. This demonstrates the value of Armoured Reconnaissance soldiers and their ability to act on their own initiative, seizing opportunities when they present themselves. After the recent battlefield study and learning the role played by 2 HCR, we can fully appreciate the enormity of the task these soldiers faced, the hardships and the unforgiving terrain of Normandy. The bridge they found is still there today. There is a monument beside the bridge dedicated to the actions of the soldiers of 11th Armoured Division. The bridge is also still affectionately known as ‘Bridge of the Bull’, the symbol of 11 Armd Div, and ‘Cavalry Bridge’. HCR still remembers the bridge as ‘Dickie’s Bridge’. We have seen how the Household Cavalry Ethos applied as much to the regiment in 1944 as it does today. They were ROBUST, physically and mentally prepared to succeed in the demanding, complex conditions of fighting a determined enemy in the Normandy Campaign; AGILE, Determined to seize and exploit the fleeting opportunity of finding a bridge crossing over the river Souleuvre, which enabled an entire Division to turn the tables in Operation BLUECOAT; CAPABLE, tactical and technical experts in the roll of mounted manoeuvre as Armoured Reconnaissance soldiers. ”strong in will, to strive, to seek, to find and to yield”
The group assembled on Dickie’s Bridge
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up Exercise COCKNEY CHAMOIS by Lance Corporal R Speaight, The Blues and Royals
n March 2016, Lt Cochrane-Dyet led eight members of the Household Cavalry and attached arms (AGC and RAMC) to the Italian Alps to take part in Exercise COCKNEY CHAMOIS, a challenging seven-day ski tour culminating in the summiting of Gran Paradiso, Italy’s tallest mountain. Ski touring involves cross country offpiste skiing both up and down hill, while in our case, also utilising a range of disciplines including rope and crampon-work to negotiate some of the most extreme terrain the alps can offer. Uphill traction is achieved by attaching synthetic ‘skins’ to the base of the skis the smooth grain of the short hair glides over the snow in one direction and grips it when pulled back, thus achieving forward propulsion. Knife-like ski crampons (or ‘Harscheisen’ as our Bavarian friends call them), are used to ascend when the ground eventually becomes too steep or icy for the skins to grip effectively alone. The team left Windsor early on 16th March transiting through France, surviving the Mt Blanc tunnel and emerging into the wintery Italian town of Courmayeur, just in time for a spot of supper with our Alpini hosts at their winter-training barracks before an early night. The following three days were spent honing the groups skiing techniques both uphill and downhill in Courmayeur and Chamonix. There were two Ski Leaders within the team, LCoH Perry (SL2) a veteran military skiing instructor, and LCpl Speaight (SL1)
The team traverse a frozen lake, miles from civilisation
who was instructing for the first time after recently returning from his Ski Leader 1 course. A large portion of the time was dedicated to the use of the specialised ski-touring equipment each team member was to carry on the tour. This included the use of avalanche probes, shovels and the radio transceivers that are used to locate submerged victims in the event of an avalanche. Each team member was tested under pressure by ensuring they could locate and retrieve a buried daysack within the 15-minute life expectancy of a submerged avalanche victim in order to be deemed fit to conduct the tour. Soon enough the team had left the resorts behind and were venturing out for the first time into the skiing backcountry led by two guides from the International Mountain Guide Association (IFMGA) including Stuart McDonald, Everest summiteer and a retired Royal
LCoH Brown proudly surveys his emergency snow shelter
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Roped up skiing to avoid crevasses on the Gran Paradiso Glacier
Engineers Captain. The first day was a steady climb of around 800m over 15km including navigating through some treacherous steep-sided valleys and avalanche prone slopes. This brought us to the well-deserved first overnight stop in Rifugio Mario Bezzi (2279m). After being shown the bunk rooms we were soon tucking into our first mountain hut evening meal; plenty of pasta and homemade bread, which, although delicious at first became a repetitive running theme through all the huts visited. The following four days continued in a similar fashion, passing over various glaciers, between breezy cols and over avalanche debris fields. Each day we set off nice and early after conducting group dynamic risk-assessments in order to hit the snow in the coldest hours before the avalanche risk increased with
The team pauses for a photograph on the Gran Paradiso Glacier before roping-up and making the final descent with crampons and ice-axes
LCpl Nesbitt overcomes her fear of height on her final climb to the summit of Gran Paradiso
the rising afternoon temperature. We aimed to arrive at the refuge huts by mid-afternoon in order to conduct valuable learning periods including basic outdoor survival, avalanche obstaclecrossing drills and the construction of emergency snow shelters. Typically, this was followed by a carb-heavy dinner and an early night. Eventually after some hard days skiing we arrived on the 23rd in Rifugio Vittorio Emanule 2nd (2734m) Base Camp for the Gran Paradiso summit climb the following day. The summit day itself started much earlier than usual. By the light of head-torches we began the eerie six hour climb up the mountain, roping up to traverse glacial sections to mitigate the risks of falling into a crevasse - a measure that proved its worth a couple of times when soldiers fell through the icy crust. Every hour or so we stopped on a friendly bit of ground for a bite of something and a swig of water to keep moral and energy levels high. As we came to the 3300m altitude level the weather was turning decidedly grim, with strong winds blowing sharp snow into everyone’s faces. Due to the sharp wind that blew down the steep slopes, the ice line arrived earlier than expected and the team had to stash their skis at a
Captain Murphy tries not to look down
LCpl Speaight celebrates on the summit
lower altitude than originally planned. We set about attaching the crampons to boots and locating ice axes for the final ascent. Although, this was a welcome break from the monotony of the uphill ski it also marked the start of the last 350m of climbing that was vastly more tiring than the skiing. Roped up again to avoid disaster, we traversed the Gran Paradiso Glacier with the occasional foot breaking through the snow into a crevasse beneath, until eventually reaching the rocky final 50m of the mountain climb. After taking another brief water break the final attack was launched, the team picked their way over and through this rocky assault course at a slower pace than the rest of the climb. This was owing to the technical nature of the ground and having to attach themselves to the mountain every 7-10 metres using rope and carabiners with a sheer drop on one side for hundreds of metres as though the mountain had been cleaved by an axe. The summit was reached at 1315hrs, a small statue of the Virgin Mary greeting the climbers at the apex. High fives were exchanged, selfies were snapped and again more fluid taken on while the team took in the awe inspiring views over the ceiling of the Alps including the summits of the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. The team’s decent back to the skis and down the glacier was considerably quicker than expected due to the high moral and the promise of food and bed. The descent on skis provided as much adrenaline as the ascent, but with exhausted legs, balance was a little off for some members of the team!
Ski-touring is excellent adventurous training that not only challenges individuals’ courage and stamina, but draws on essential military-relevant skills including vigilant patrolling, obstacle-crossing and essential team-work to ensure that what is essentially a dangerous activity is conducted as safely as possible. Exercise COCKNEY CHAMOIS was both mentally and physically challenging, but also extremely rewarding (especially on the down-hill runs). Effectively, heli-skiing without the helicopter, ski-touring is a wonderful way to explore some of the most remote corners of mountain ranges, and Exercise COCKNEY CHAMOIS was a great adventure for all who took part.
A well-earned descent in glorious knee-deep powder
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 75
Polo Season 2016
by Lieutenant A C Soames, The Blues and Royals
he Polo season has gone well for the combined HCR/HCMR teams. Again this year the team was helped by Capt Cameron Bacon who lent his ponies free-of-charge to Troopers in the Regiment keen to learn. This has meant that the Regiment has been able to field all-Trooper teams in Inter-Regimental competitions, a feat unequalled by any other Regiment. Training has been held at a new base - Carlitos, near Windsor - this season, and the arrangement seems to be going well. Indeed, the training has paid off in the form of prizes for the team in many competitions, including in the Hackett Inter-Regimental, Captains and Subalterns and the Major General’s competitions. This year opened with our annual match against Buck’s Club in the Barbour Polo Day at West Wycombe Polo Club. Barbour have continued to provide us with a great deal of support and Barbour Day gives us a wonderful opportunity to meet the Barbour PR team in an informal setting. The first two chukkas saw a strong Buck’s team open the scoring but with an excellent series
of goals from Lt Albany Mulholland (0) and Capt Cameron Bacon (0) accompanied by supportive play from Capt Rory Horgan (-2) and Capt Henry Vaughan (-2) the HCav team won 7-4. In the Inter-Regimental Cup at Guards Polo Club we faced a strong team from the Royal Navy. Despite a valiant effort from Lt Albany Mulholland (0), Lt Arthur Soames (-1), Capt Cameron Bacon (0) and Capt Jack Mann (2) the Navy pipped us to the post 5-4.5.
Lt Mulholland, Capt Bacon, LCpl Speaight, Tpr Reuter, Tpr Sidwells and Tpr Jarman at the Captain’s and Subaltern’s tournament
The HCR came second to The Royal Navy in the Hackett Inter-Regimental Competition
The team celebrate their win at the Captain’s and Subaltern’s Tournament
Much of the emphasis for 2015 to 2016 polo has been on the development of a competitive other-ranks team. The Household Cavalry is the only regiment fielding a team of this sort in either the Royal Armoured Corps or the Household Division. With incredible dedication, hard work and tremendous support from Capt Cameron Bacon and Lt Albany Mulholland, the Troopers’ team has seen success after success this season. In the Captains & Subalterns Tournament at Tidworth Polo Club, LCpl Speaight (-2) and Tprs Sidwell (-2), Reuter (-2), Jarmin (-2) defeated the AGC (9.5-1) and the RDG (6.5-6) to win their group. The A team comprised of Maj Ed Mackie (-1), Capts Cameron Bacon (0) and Rory Horgan (-2), and Lt Albany Mulholland (0), lost to a strong Hussars team (5-3) but defeated the RA (6-2.5). The final match of the season saw us at Guards Polo Club pitched against a combined Household Division team in a subsidiary match of the Major General’s Cup where we won 5-1.5. The team continued to train over the winter with a coordinated arena polo scheme provided by White Waltham Polo Club in order to ensure a strong 2017 season.
hilst September was a time when most hung up their mallets and turned their attention to muddier equine sports, the author was lucky enough to be sent on a Defence Engagement mission to Mongolia with the Army Polo Team. There he spent four days coaching the nascent Mongolian Army Polo Team at their barracks on the vast steppe, advising on everything, from horse care to the finesse of a back-hand. Horses roam wild across the Steppe, being caught the day of a match to play a game of polo. Indeed, whilst unconventional, the Mongolian seat is unique and well-
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A Mongolian Cowboy tends to his herd nearby the barracks on the steppe
Mongolian’s have a lot to teach the Spanish Riding School
journey to the polo ground for the big match. Here we played the very team we had been coaching the days previously, this time in front of a crowd of Ministers, Ambassadors and visiting dignitaries, keen to see Polo being played by the antecedents of those who had invented the game (The Mongolians) and those who had formalised and exported it (The British). A Phase 2 Mongolian Recruit
practised from birth. The author was pleased that the Riding Master was a good seven thousand miles away. He would have died instantaneously from heart palpatations at the first sight of a Mongolian cowboy backing an unbroken horse without any tack, wearing a baseball cap, and clinging on to its mane. The Mongolian Brigadier gave us a demonstration teaching us how to do it.
Thankfully, the British Army Team came away with a respectable but not a rude win, of 8-3. There followed another bone-rattling journey back to Ulaanbaatar for drinks with our Ambassador to Mongolia, the truly delightful Catherine Arnold.
Lt Col (Retd) Simon Ledger delivering a half-time talk to the British Team, watched over by the AMA to Beijing, Maj Matt Hayward
All Photograph credits to: Mr Sam Churchill: www.samchurchillphotography.co.uk
We then undertook a six hour bus-
The Author playing in the Inter-Army match
The victorious British Army Polo Team. L-R: Capt Robert Freeman-Kerr, The Author, Lt Col (Ret) Simon Ledger, Mr Gaston Devrient, Capt Hugh Richardson
Household Cavalry Sailing Report 2016
by Major P J R Chishick, The Life Guards
he Regiment has sent teams to participate in a number of regattas this year. In May they sent a team down to Seaview on the Isle of Wight in order to compete in the Combat Arms Regatta - the major keelboat competition of the year between all the Combat Arms. Due to a shortage of personnel at Regimental Duty due to exercises and the State Opening of Parliament, the author returned from ERE to skipper the boat, crewed by LCpl Scheepers (RHG/D) and Tpr Bridgeman (LG). The racing was ably run by a series of retired officers, including two former Life Guards and two former Royal Hussars and the competition for the RAC Gold Cup on the water remained firmly between these two teams so the rivalry on the race platform and the water was maintained throughout. The HCav crew, who had not used a spinnaker on a Mermaid before and were relatively inexperienced at small boat racing, performed admirably, gaining a good understanding of the boat and carrying out some excellent drills. The PWRR crews also
put up a strong performance as well with some seasoned crews and the competition between the KRH, PWRR and HCR was tight. In the end, HCR came third overall out of 26 crews, with the PWRR (A) in second place and the KRH in first, placing HCR second in the Royal Armoured Corps trophy. With the experience gained this year, we hope that the crew will be able to return next year and knock the KRH from first place. A great couple of daysâ€™ racing and it would be good to bring two crews next year. Three crews from the Household Cavalry also made it down to Seaview for the Household The Household Cavalry Crews at the HDYC Regatta Division Regatta in June. This with the Princess Elizabeth Cup: Front: Capt (Retd) year marked the 30th anniver- Law LG, Major Chishick LG Centre: Lt Soames RHG/D, sary of the Seaview Regatta Capt Boyd-Thomas RHG/D, and it was good to see a strong Capt Faire RHG/D, Lt Flay RHG/D participation from the regiRear: Lt Cochrane-Dyet LG, Capt Lewis LG, ments of the division with 33 Capt Huda RHG/D, Capt Jordan LG
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up â– 77
The HCR Crew at Seaview: Tpr Bridgeman LG, Capt Chishick LG, LCpl Scheepers RHG/D
Officers and Soldiers taking part. A slightly less competitive regatta than the Combat Regatta, there was one helm (mostly officers) and two or three Guardsmen or Troopers in a boat who had never sailed before, for the most part. We had some very good racing on the first day with perfect conditions for novices and some close racing in the top of the fleet. Well done, in particular, to Tpr Evans, the only OR helm at the event, who despite firmly securing the wooden spoon for HCR (C) gained some valuable experience at racing - his first time ever helming a Seaview Mermaid. 2Lt Shaw RY, helming for the HCR, won the competition, followed by Maj Aldridge WG and the author. We hope to continue to see im-
proved attendance at this for the coming years and hopefully representation from each regiment in the Division. There was strong representation from Household Cavalry Officers at Cowes week again on Gladeye with the author skippering and Capts Holliday and Huda crewing for a few days. At the Household Division Yacht Club Regatta in Cowes there was an extremely good showing of Household Cavalry with two Life Guards Crews and one Blues and Royals Crew with the Life Guards A team taking the Princess Elizabeth Cup for the second year running. We very much hope to continue the regiment’s successes on the water next year and any soldiers or officers at Regimental Duty should contact the Regimental Sailing Officers.
Southampton Solent Sailing Trip - July by Trooper H A J Millea, D Squadron
n a fresh Tuesday morning LCpls Sheppard, Savage, Tprs Brammer, Evans, a young UOTC student and myself left Combermere Barracks for the Joint Services Adventurous Sailing Training Centre in Gosport. After enduring the rush hour traffic and a couple of wrong turns, the small coastal camp was located thanks to LCpl Sheppard’s outstanding navigational skills (TomTom). We were greeted by our instructor who introduced himself as Dwayne, a LCpl from the Irish Guards, with a great deal of sailing experience and a relaxed approach to teaching. Dwayne introduced us to the yacht we would be sailing on; the Household Divison’s very own Gladeye. After getting the initial briefs out of the way, it was on to the most important part of the precourse preparation: food. We set off for the nearest Tesco and bought ourselves a bountiful supply of crisps, Mars bars and jam doughnuts to ensure optimal nutrition was achieved for our arduous voyage. We made the short journey to the Isle of Wight in relatively good time, thanks
to calm seas and a high wind, mooring up in Cowes. As we sailed, Dwayne tutored us on ‘Tacking’; the practice of switching the foresail to the opposite side of the vessel, to maintain the direction of travel whilst maximizing the use of tailwind to propel us forward. As we arrived in Cowes we clumsily moored Gladeye up to the pontoon with a variety of badly tied bowlines and poorly folded sails, in an attempt to emulate what we had been taught at Gosport prior to setting off. Once the yacht was bedded down we made the short stroll into Cowes for a fish and chip dinner before getting our heads down ready for another day’s sailing.
we pulled up into Gunwharf Quay we again moored up Gladeye, this time in a lot slicker manner then before. Once in Portsmouth, we decided to sample the local cuisine and culture. Starting off in Nando’s, and eventually working our way to Tiger Tiger.
On Wednesday morning we crossed once more over the Solent to the Gunwharf Quay, Portsmouth. En route we were taught ‘Jiving’; essentially the opposite to tacking, as we were now sailing into a headwind. Much like with tacking, we pulled the rear sail from one side of the yacht to the other to make best use of the wind. As the jiving is carried out the heavy boom moves with the sail, at head height for a seated passenger. This provided the very real danger of knocking some sense into one of us; therefore we took the utmost care. As
On Friday, we discussed some of the theory behind what we had learned and Dwayne presented us with our ‘Start Yachting’ certificates; due to the course starting on the Tuesday rather than the originally intended Monday, we did not have time to complete the full Competent Crewman course. This Start Yachting course, however, did provide an excellent introduction to sailing and an insight as to what to expect on the Competent Crewman course.
The following morning we headed back into the Solent for a brush up of our new found skills. We spent the day tacking, jiving and steering before gliding back into Gosport. This time our mooring drills were down to a tee, and we were able to carry them out with the speed and efficiency of a well drilled vehicle crew erecting cam nets in BATUS.
The Original Mountain Marathon - 29-30 October 2016
by Captain E M B van der Lande, The Life Guards
ndurance events used to be reserved for a small group of sadistic maniacs who enjoyed pushing themselves for no real reason other than the satisfaction for doing so. Nowadays, however, this small band of lycra-clad men and women has grown exponentially and the numbers of endurance events
across the country are numerous and ever more mad. The Original Mountain Marathon, though, has retained its place in the history of endurance events as being the first of its kind. Its concept is simple; a two day self-sufficient orienteering event conducted in pairs; but completing it is far from simple; rough
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terrain, unpredictable weather and difficult navigation. And so with all these thoughts in mind, Tpr Tobias Hinchcliffe, A Squadron, and Capt Ed van der Lande, made the perilous seven hour journey to the Galloway Forest Park on an unsettlingly sunny Friday morning at the end of October.
Both competitors had experience of endurance events, Tpr Hinchcliffe having completed over 30 marathon distance events, but neither had experienced anything quite like it. The OMM (as it’s known to those in the know) has a variety of course options available; the HCav pair opted for the A Course (second only to the internationally renowned Elite Course), which, as the crow flies, would be 65km of orienteering over the dank Scottish hills. On race day itself, the Friday sun had been replaced with quintessential late-Autumnal Scottish drizzle and the initial three mile walk to the start line did little to settle the nerves.
hill, and the shocking visibility (about 20-30ft) did little to help the pair find the small orange control point. Some savvy navigation ensured CP1 was found in good order and next came a mammoth leg to CP2. As the control points were slowly ticked off the list it grew more and more obvious to the pair that this event would take more than fitness to get through. The often terrible ground littered with not baby’s heads but rather giant’s heads and the poor visibility made going very difficult indeed. Despite the conditions, 9 hours and 20 minutes after starting the first day the pair made it to the overnight remote campsite.
True to OMM form the first checkpoint was at the top of a rather large boggy
A damp restless night spent in an ultralightweight tent just about gave the pair the rest they needed before embarking on another long day. The OMM organisers lulled the teams into a false sense of security by placing CP1 on a knoll next to a comfortable trail path but this security was quickly dashed by another long climb up a steep Scottish slope. The pair got into their stride better on day two and made good speed reaching the numerous checkpoints littered around the countryside. The low cloud of yesterday lifted on occasion and revealed a truly spectacular scenery, and for a few moments the pair almost felt like they were enjoying the ordeal. This sense of enjoyment quickly evaporated as they stood at the foot of yet another looming climb. A strong finish meant that day two was finished a few places better than the first day and the pair therefore climbed up in the overall standings; finishing 19th out of the 24 teams who actually completed the whole course. The fact that the Royal Navy pair did not complete the second
Tpr Hinchcliffe using all methods to get down the hill
day made the result even more satisfying. This event really does test the core skills of being a soldier better than any other; it takes more than just physical and mental stamina to complete the route. Navigation, sound military judgement and keeping a sense of humour when the going gets tough are all required to cross the line after two days of hard graft. We would like to thank the chain of command from both regiments for allowing us to take part in such a worthwhile event and we hope that more members of the regiment will be keen to take part next year. It really is worth it.
Looking slightly worse for wear and bewildered at the end of the course
Exercise YANKEE CONVERSION: HCR/HCMR Rugby Tour to USA
by Lieutenant B Titman, The Blues and Royals
he Household Cavalry rugby team had not toured for almost five years and in preparation for the 2016/17 season, the rugby club took the opportunity to embark on a pre-season tour of the USA. Having recently returned refreshed from summer leave, 25 officers and soldiers from across the Household Cavalry travelled to Boston on Monday 12th September ready to play some of the United States’ biggest clubs. The tour was split into three locations: four nights in Boston, two in Princeton and the final five in New York. Having landed the day before and still jetlagged from the change of time zone, the HCRFC played their first game against Mystic River RFC on the second night of their stay in Boston. Still sore from
the morning’s dust-off the team tentatively warmed up as the 75 man strong opposition squad appeared from their various modes of transport. It quickly dawned on the Household Cavalrymen that Mystic River RFC were last season’s USA Divisional one champions and the hawk-eyed recce soldiers in the team even noticed three international players amongst their ranks. The first half was played at an incredible pace on the artificial 3G surface with the opposition taking a solid lead into half time, with only a determined effort from the HCav defence stopping it becoming a rout. The second half saw Mystic River change their entire team for ‘fresh legs’. HCRFC came out hard in the second half and again put up a valiant defensive effort and even managed to score a
The squad is formed up for a team talk before the first game against Mystic River RFC
couple of tries in the process. Although the final result was a 71-10 loss, the squad did walk off the pitch with their heads held high knowing that despite playing a superior opponent they never gave in and kept running until the final whistle. Our Man of the Match went
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 79
The post match photo after the game against the New York Athletic Club
to Tpr Moorby who toiled away in the front row at numerous set pieces and carried the ball hard in open play. The following day gave a very bruised and sore group of players the chance to explore the city of Boston before a night at Fenway Park to see the famous Boston Red Sox play baseball. The game itself proved to be pretty dull even for the surrounding native fans that actually understood what was going on, with Boston eventually losing 1-0 after 9 innings. The lack of action on the field did however make the crowd far more sociable and made for a fun evening. Amongst enjoying the rest of the local delights, the squad spent most of their remaining time in Boston training hard under the auspices of our resident PTI, LCpl Ford, to ensure they were in best possible shape going into our second game against New York Athletic Club (NYAC). Having travelled to Princeton the previous day, the squad arrived in the picturesque surroundings of NYAC ready to develop on the progress made against Mystic River RFC. However, the team did not start as well as the previous game and finished the first half behind, having let in a couple of soft tries. As a result of the changes made at half-time the team came out strong in the second half and forced the opposition to bring back some of their top players late in the game to ensure victory. The final score was 42-24 to NYAC, it proved a frustrating game for the squad as we knew our slow start had ultimately let us down, despite this the squad was starting to gel and individually there were some strong performances, especially Man of the Match Tpr Clarke who guided the team well at fly half and defended hard throughout the game. Having enjoyed the local hospitality that the University town of Princeton had to offer, the squad made the short journey up to New York for the final leg of the tour. On arrival in the ‘Big Apple’ the team watched the New York Giants take on the New Orleans Saints in the NFL and although the game wasn’t the ‘high
CoH Sabatini and CoH Qio enjoying the atmosphere at MetLife Stadium, watching the NY Giants take on the NO Saints
scoring quarterback showdown’ we had been promised, it was still a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Following a training and rest day in the concrete jungle, we travelled away from the skyscrapers to the north of Manhattan to play our final civilian match against Old Blue Rugby Club. Owing to transport issues the match started three hours late and so after a flicker of a warm-up, the match started like the two previous ones with the HCRFC under immediate pressure. Unlike previous games, however, the defensive line managed to hold up and a thrilling game resulted in a narrow 10-5 loss. Despite the defeat the team had built on the previous performances and on another day could have won. Tpr O’Mara was a very deserving Man of the Match for his consistent stoic defence and penetrating attacking play at open-side flanker.
West Point Academy development side. Despite leading for most of the game, having had three games in the previous eight days, the squad could not continue with the same intensity for the final 20 minutes and West Point took the lead, the squad did not give up the fight though and attacked hard for the final play of the game knowing that a try would seal a much eluded victory. However a knock-on gave West Point a break away try and a final score of 41-29. The after match meal gave the squad a chance to socialise with some of the US cadets and proved a nice end to a day which for many on the tour was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Man of the match for this game was Tpr Bird, who put in a dominant performance in the front row over his opposite number and set the platform for the rest of the squad to perform.
The following day saw the team assemble at the 9/11 memorial site in downtown Manhattan. Given the events of the previous days in Manhattan the memorial was that bit more poignant and the squad left the site of the World Trade Centers in a sombre and reflective mood. The final day on tour saw the squad head to upstate New York and the US Military Academy at Westpoint. On a stunning fall day the squad was treated to a tour of the Academy and their impressive rugby facilities. This was followed by a game against a
Although the results did not go the way the planning group had intended, the tour was designed to play competitive rugby and develop the team in anticipation of the upcoming season. It certainly achieved that and all members of the squad wore the Household Cavalry jersey with pride and were a credit to the Regiment and the Army. This tour, though, would not have been possible without the support from the HCF, the Associations and the both regimental chains of command, earning the gratitude of all tour members.
The whole Squad enjoying the pleasant views from the US Military Academy at West Point
80 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up
Rugby Against Watton RFC
by Corporal of Horse L Sabatini, The Blues and Royals
n 9th July 2016 Watton RFC had the honour of hosting the Household Cavalry rugby team to what has become an annual fixture at regimental training. As per usual, with a year to train and plan, it was arranged and prepared for in five days. As a result, we lost a few braves to injury before we’d even seen the inside of the locker room. From the onset of the match we were at a disadvantage, landed with four officers in the team! Maj BF Woolf LG, a rugby veteran now more suited to the Fat-Boy leagues of Surrey, forgot his place and was in danger of challenging for man of the match. It was a first regimental cap for Maj ‘two left feet’ Owen RHG/D whose heart was greater than his ability, but what a heart, and Lt ‘twinkle toes’
Lt Nicole offloads to Maj Woolf
Nicole RHG/D did his best not to get muddy out on the wing. Despite our commissioned handicap, we took to the field in high spirits. Once the dust had settled (and officers had been replaced) the tries started flooding in. At the half time break we led 36-7. Some sterling performances from crow members of the team like Tprs Maddocks, O’Mara and Clarke were only eclipsed by the somewhat monotonous ‘Fiji Ball’. With the ball flowing from CoH Qio, to CoH Camaibau, to LCoH Bataikai, to LCpl Nawari, to Tpr Raravisa, to Tpr Versoni, the Watton farmers didn’t stand a chance. As soon as the whistle blew at the start of the second half, the floodgates really started to open. Against the largely pie and ale fuelled Watton team, the score started to escalate quickly into a test cricket score and the game had to be cut 10 minutes short to save face. The game ended 72-18. However, the game was far from over as Watton Rugby Club hosted the lads for post-match drinks and this was a contest we most certainly lost. We paid the ultimate price with sore heads the following day. CoH Qio was nominated
Tpr O’Mara taking the ball from the line out
for man of the match with another great performance, despite his recently acquired glass hip. So much for hanging up his boots.
UK Power Networks Services Inter Corps Cricket Competition 2016
by Trooper S Redford, The Life Guards
he jewel in the crown of Army Cricket is the Inter Corps T20 competition that is played over the first week in September. Nine Corps teams played across the picturesque grounds of Aldershot (Upper and Lower), Tidworth and Deepcut. The Royal Armoured Corps found themselves in Group B, a tough group featuring the R Signals and the REME. Captained by the Army all-rounder Cpl C Bowden LD, the side contained players from HCR, Scots DG, QRH, RL, LD, KRH and RTR. The first match of the tournament was against the REME. The toss was an important factor on the first day of the competition. The RAC were sent into bat on a very lively wicket. Fierce pace and bounce troubled batsmen all day meaning runs off the bat were hard to come by. The pitch and poor shot selection meant the RAC could only muster 54 runs in the first innings of the day. After watching wickets fall frequently when fielding the REME opening batsmen took a more cautious approach and
chased down the small total easily. Not a great start to the tournament. The RAC re-grouped against a very strong Royal Signals side that contained many Army players. R Sigs won the toss and elected to bat. Owing to a stern team talk after the first game and some Caribbean flair the RAC bowlers made sure no batsmen could find any rhythm and broke any promising partnerships. West Indian quick bowlers Cpl Blackburn LD and Cpl Edwards Scots DG took 4 wickets each limiting the Signals to 107 from their 20 overs. The Armoured Corps reply started poorly with 3 quick wickets in the first 4 overs; however, exceptional batting from Tpr Singh RTR and Cpl Russell LD saw the team home with 5 wickets spare. Their partnership was worth 79 including 3 huge sixes and 8 fours. The win against the R Signals paired with a high net run rate in the group meant the RAC faced the Royal Artillery at Tidworth in the next round. A
gloomy overcast day at the Tidworth Oval set the mood. After losing the toss and being sent in to bat, the RAC endured a pretty terrible collapse to some mediocre bowling and gifted the win to the Gunners. (The less said the better.) Owing to this loss the RAC faced a rematch with the R Signals in the Plate Semi Final. The R Signals lost the toss and batted first, initially finding it difficult getting runs on the board. Tight bowling from Tpr Redford HCR (2 for 20 off 4 overs) restricted the run rate, leading to a flurry of wickets. The Signals ended 153 for 7 off their 20 overs. The RAC started the reply poorly losing 2 quick wickets with only 19 runs on the board. A 67 run partnership between Tpr Redford HCR and Cpl Bowden LD steadied the ship. Tpr Singh RTR saw the team home with a quick fire 50 to win the game by 7 wickets. The Plate Final saw another Group B rematch against the REME. The REME won the toss and elected to bat first. Tight
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 81
bowling in the middle overs restricted the REME to 123 off their 20 overs. Captain Bowden was the pick of the bowlers with best bowling figure all week with 6 wickets for just 21 runs. The RAC struggled to reply with the bat and failed to maintain any partnerships. Economical bowling and exceptional fielding meant the RAC fell 35 runs short in the allotted
20 overs ending up second place in the plate competition. After the main competition final between the Infantry and RLC (Infantry won by 3 wickets), all four teams in the finals were presented with whisky glasses from Lt Col (Retd) S J A Lloyd MBE. Despite the initial losses in the main tournament, everybody in the squad enjoyed the week and
the team really bonded and ended up a tight unit. The standard was exceptionally high and played in the right spirit all tournament. The squad looks forward to pre-season training in Cyprus in April 2017. Any budding Cricketers within the Regiment should speak to Tpr Redford, D Squadron.
Cricket at Mundford - The Annual Duel Between HCMR Officers’ and WOs’ and NCOs’ Messes A feverish atmosphere was brought to a climax by the contest held at the Mundford cricket ground in early July. The Regimental Adjutant agreed to umpire the match. The officers batted first and achieved only an average score. The Warrant Officers team, led by the RQMC bowled well; the RQ then put the officers attack to the sword as he carved the ball to all parts of the ground. The pictures tell the story.
The Adjutant painfully aware of the scoreboard leaves the field
LCpl Cooney celebrates as the Officers mourn
Surely not another 4 runs ...
The two HCMR Teams
he Regiments have supported the full gamut of winter sports as usual. Standards in both Alpine and Nordic disciplines continue to rise. Not only do the gladiators strap on their boots and skis annually, but fresh blood is introduced, subsidized by the HCF.
Ct Piers Flay after coming 2nd in the Verbier Touring Night Race. 4.3km uphill. Athleticism and leadership from a young RHG/D Troop Leader
82 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up
The combined Household Cavalry Nordic Ski team. Tpr Westlake, Tpr Foster, LCpl Massey, Lt Perera, LCoH Moloney and LCoH Kruger
HCR Boxing 1 Mech Brigade
by Lance Corporal L E Atkin, The Blues and Royals
he Household Cavalry boxing team entered the 1 Mech boxing competition. The team comprised three boxers and two coaches and we were granted five weeks training prior to the competition. This amount of time is enough for low level competitions. However, as the three boxers and both of the coaches found out, this competition was not an easy one. The Fusiliers were coming out of an outstanding performance from the Armyâ€™s team competition. The Rifles had been training for a considerable amount of time and also coming away from a good showing
at the Army individuals. And the Mercians were in the same bracket that we fell into.
and exchange blows, knowing that they were a lot less equipped with the training that they had received.
After reading the above you are most probably thinking that we got a very good old English beating. This was not the case, although all the professional boxing critics of the regiment will disagree as there was not a single Cavalryman in the final.
The only way that the Regiment will be able to compete at these competitions is to have more boxers to choose from. I think that this could be achieved by everyone in the regiment training in one of the many combat sports, particularly as we are a combat regiment. This in return will build bigger pools for competitions throughout all combat sports. It will also put a bit of aggression into a lot of the new lads which is lacking at the moment.
Some of the wins were marginal and some were a little more one sided but everyone of the boxers had the courage to get into a small confined space
Winter Training Troop 2016/17
by Lieutenant A C Soames, The Blues and Royals
his has been a difficult season scenting conditions were poor up to January, and the rain since then has made the going tough for our 14 horses. However, in spite of all the challenges, the Winter Training Troop has built on the success of previous years, notably the sterling work of Captains Jeremy Sudlow RHG/D (14/15) and Ed Nicole RHG/D (15/16), providing equine progressive training to dozens of officers and soldiers throughout the Household Division. The Troop has taken 44 people out hunting a trail, 19 of whom went hunting for the first time. We have hunted
fifty-four days. This has resulted in forty six days hunting for visiting Officers, and seventy two days hunting for Other Ranks. Beyond the hunting field, the Troop has focused on schooling young horses and novice riders, building their confidence over a variety of fences using the top-class facilities at
Tpr Orme and Llamerai take a Belvoir hedge in fine style
the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray. We have also resurrected the Household Cavalry Race, this year run in conjunction with the Melton Hunt Ride. This saw ten serving soldiers and officers race over two and a half miles of Leicestershire turf on Cavalry Blacks. The season began in early October, with the first morning out for the Winter Training Troop at Copt Hill with the Cottesmore Hounds. We met early on a misty morning for Autumn Hunting, which was a lovely way to introduce the horses and soldiers to the art of riding to hounds.
Morning exercise around the Canter Track at the Defence Animal Centre (DAC)
Hunting resumed in November, after a brief interlude for the Columbian State Visit. Hounds battled-on in difficult scenting conditions, and still provided good sport. Indeed, December saw a particularly sporting day for the Household Division with eight officers and
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up â– 83
The future Mr and Mrs Sudlow
LCpl Berry, Tpr Eckley, CoH Liburd, Tpr Fidling and Tpr Thomson on Llamerai, Obelisk, Kryptonite and Pole-Axe
soldiers turned out for a Belvoir meet in their Saturday country. Capt Jeremy Sudlow RHG/D showed that you can mix business with pleasure when he proposed to Lady Laline Hay next to the River Gwash after a red-letter two-horse day around Branston with the Cottesmore in December. Thankfully she said ‘Yes’ and the couple are to
be married in July this year. The record for the most days out this season goes to WO2 (SCM) E Sampson, who notched up an impressive eleven days hunting whilst also running The Blues and Royals Squadron. The New Year was ushered in with the Quorn on a beautiful day at Upper
Sqn Cpl Maj Sampson flying over a Cottesmore hedge on Optimist
Broughton, with all but two members of the Troop mounted. The season really got going in January and February, with some very good days with the Quorn at Cold Newton, the Cottesmore at Owston and the Belvoir at Long Clawson. The horses hit their stride beautifully, and by the end of February were not only hunting, but
The Winter Training Troop Complete - LCpls Hockey LG & Berry RHG/D, Tprs Keegan RHG/D and Butler LG, Capt Soames RHG/D, CoH Liburd LG, Tprs Fidling and Lakin LG
84 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up
racing-fit. The season came to an end with the last days hunting on Monday 6th March 2017, with Lt Col Ratty Thurston coming out with the Quorn for his first day’s hunting. It’s important to note how grateful the Winter Training Troop is to the Household Division Saddle Club, the Defence Animal Centre, the Mastership of the Quorn, Cottesmore and Belvoir Hounds, as well as all farmers and landowners who have let us train on their land. None of this would be possible without your help and support. The Hunting Officer showing off
The Household Cavalry Race Report
he Household Cavalry Race was resurrected this year, and run for the first time alongside the Melton Hunt Club Ride. Ten horses from the Winter Training Troop were built-up to racing fitness and ridden by serving soldiers and officers around 2.5 miles of the 3.5 mile Melton course. The day began with our heroes emerging from unfamiliar country piles throughout the Leicestershire. Most had been at the Quorn Hunt Ball the night before - so it was a gathering of weary heads that assembled at the DAC on the morning of the Race. In stark comparison, Capt Boyt (LG) and SCM Sampson (RHG/D) skipped into the tack-room, having taken a bye on the Ball in a desperate attempt to get one-over on the competition. Capt Sudlow (RHG/D) and LCpl Berry (RHG/D) had become the favourites after they drew Llamerai and Lingen (both RHG/D) out of the hat. However, having spent the past three days walking the course, it was clear that LCpl Berry was likely to have the edge over the veteran Hunting Officer. We mounted, and joined up with the Melton competitors to trot down to the
Warming up and blowing away the cob-webs
Away together over the first fence
start. By now the adrenaline was pumping, and everyone was wide awake. It was as close to the start of the Grand National that most of us would ever get. Indeed, there were many jockeys in the Melton race who will be riding around Aintree in a matter of months.
Prize-giving was officiated by Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles (RHG/D) and watched-on by Lord Patrick Beresford (RHG/D), Thomas Dunne (RHG/D), Charles Fraser (LG) and Milo Manton (LG) amongst a hundred other supporters and well-wishers.
We circled - a coiled spring of fifty horses foaming, tensing, ready to go. At the drop of the Starter’s Flag we were off.
We are indebted to Mr Nico Morgan for all the photographs above. It is most generous of this talented professional photographer to make his photographs available to us at no charge.
Two and a half miles of lush Leicestershire grassland, and a host of stiff timber rails, gates and hedges later, Llamerai, ridden by Capt Sudlow, crossed the line first, followed by Lingen three lengths behind ridden by LCpl Berry. Capt Boyt took third place, and first Life Guard home. Capt Faire (RHG/D) and LCpl Smith (LG) were the only fallers, with a threehorse pile-up at the final fence. Thankfully, all walked away from it, with nothing but bruised pride - especially for the future Hunting Officer.
Captain Soames, Brigadier Parker Bowles and the Winner Captain Sudlow
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 85
Colonel Charles photobombed in Hyde Park after the Birthday Parade
The Major General’s first carriage driving lesson
The Band come on parade at the Edinburgh Tattoo
At night on the Plain
Tpr Evans’s winning pair of Jack Boots worn for the Richmond Cup
Her Majesty’s Colonels celebrate Her 90th official birthday
LCpl Joyce and his adopted friend at Summer Camp
A grey green ghost commander
Capt Harry Wales going to Horse Guards Beer tasting - Rupert Ponsonby educating the officers on the world of beer
Night manoeuvre casualty extraction
Tired but watchful
Clearing the tracks of long grass
Maj Woolf introduces Harry to the Mess
Support Troop practicing posing
Maj Wall playing, or shopping for his newly arrived twins
Lt Soames at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day
Rest and recreation
Looking for the aerial threat?
Message from the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Armoured Corps: General Sir Chris Deverell KCB MBE Bradshaw and Richard Shirreff. And I congratulate him on his promotion, which will mean that two of the three serving 4* officers in the Army will continue to be from the RAC, as has been the case since I was appointed Commander of Joint Forces Command in April 2016.
t is a great honour to take up the appointment of Colonel Commandant of the Royal Armoured Corps. James Everard, my predecessor in this role, has done an excellent job of husbanding this great institution. I wish him well in his next appointment as the Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe. He will be the third RAC officer in a row to hold that position, after Adrian
I have been an RAC officer, man and boy, for over 37 years. In that time I have seen the Corps adjust from a large, armour-heavy and Germany-based organisation, facing the Soviet threat, with occasional forays to Northern Ireland, the Balkans and Cyprus, to the smaller and more balanced force that we are today, combat-hardened after over a decade of operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been privileged to have been part of this transition, from several different vantage points. Most recently as Chief of Materiel Land in Abbeywood, I placed the production contract for AJAX. Previously, as Director General Logistics, Support, and Equipment in HQ Army, I was responsible for all the Arms and Service Directors, including the (then 1*) Director Royal Armoured Corps. Before that, as Director Equipment Capability for Ground Manoeuvre, I ran the Urgent Operational Requirement programme for Iraq and Afghanistan when we bought all the Protected Mobility Fleet
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and transformed personal equipment, including small arms. I commanded 4 Armoured Brigade in Iraq and Germany, and the Joint CBRN Regiment at RAF Honington. And as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff Commitments at HQ Land, I programmed the RAC’s training and operational tasks in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. My Regimental Duty was spent in Wolfenbuttel (on CVR(T)), in Fallingbostel (on Chieftain and Challenger), in Northern Ireland (at the Maze Prison and twice in Belfast), in Cyprus (with the UN in Nicosia) and in Belize (with 3rd Battalion The Queen’s Regiment), interspersed with three staff jobs in the Ministry of Defence, on the Chieftain Replacement project, as the ground manoeuvre desk officer in Army Plans (and as one of the Secretary of State’s Private Secretaries). I was also Colonel Commandant of the Royal Tank Regiment (and of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) for five years. This experience has taught me to be ready for anything! I have also learnt that, given a modicum of preparation, there is absolutely nothing an RAC crewman cannot do. Our officers and soldiers are dynamic, imaginative, flexible, determined, and thoroughly professional. On this basis, I look forward to sharing the future with you with confidence.
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News From The Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report 2016 Patron: Her Majesty The Queen President
Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE DL
Trustees of The Life Guards Charitable Trust Lieutenant Colonel J D A Gaselee Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) H S J Scott Major (Retd) J S Holbrook Captain B K Gibson WO2 RQMC A Slowey Mr P P Lewis MBE
Committee Chairman: Vice Chairman: Treasurer: Honorary Secretary:
Lieutenant Colonel J D A Gaselee Major J H S C Harbord Captain (Retd) D O’Connor Mr K W Robertson
Serving Members Major B E Rogers Captain S Fry Captain D Hitchings Capt S Taylor WO2 (SCM) A Slowey WO2 (SCM) M Jaworski
Non Serving Members Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) W R Lindsay OBE Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) H S J Scott Major (Retd) J S Holbrook Captain (Retd) G C Davies Mr D M Darley Mr D Heath Mr G S Knowles BEM Mr P C Lanahan Mr T Land Mr P Lewis MBE Mr J E Lloyd Mr P J Richards MBE Mr C Watson
Minutes of the 82nd Annual General Meeting held at Combermere Barracks, Windsor on Saturday 17th September 2016 As the Chairman, Lieutenant Colonel J D A Gaselee, had unfortunately broken down en route to the AGM, another committee member was required to chair the meeting. Lieutenant Colonel H S J Scott chaired the meeting in his absence and opened the meeting at 1830hrs, thanking everyone present for their attendance.
HONORARY TREASURER’S REPORT
Apologies for not attending were received from Chairman Lieutenant Colonel J D A Gaselee, Treasurer Captain R D O’Connor, Captain S Taylor, and Captain S Fry.
The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust Account Donations totalling £6,391 had been received to date. Receipt of £507.87 had been received by HMRC. The grant from the Days Pay Scheme was for £35,369.00, which was found to have been an overpayment. This was to be set against future sums and taken into account for the payment for the subsequent calendar year. The majority of requests for financial assistance in 2015/2016 were met to the total £23,424.00. The sum for this year presently stood at £10,890. The dividend from investments last year was £34,464 with the sum of £18,984 being received to date after half of this
The Minutes of the 81st Annual General Meeting were published in the current edition of the Household Cavalry Journal (there incorrectly labelled 80th) and the Chairman asked for a proposer and seconder to confirm that they were a true record of the proceedings at that meeting. Proposed by: WO 2 (SCM) Slowey Seconded by: Major B E Rogers
The following report was given by the Honorary Secretary. The accounts for the year ending 2015 were as published within the Journal. There were no concerns raised during the annual audit carried out in April 2016.
financial year. A decision was made by the Committee at the start of the year to transfer £100,000.00 into the investment portfolio, thus increasing receipts from dividends. Available Cash at Bank in September 2015 stood at £119,754.03. To date for 2016 this account currently stands at £57,891.00 indicating that the receipts to date remain extremely healthy. The Treasurer was asked to ensure that the requirement for cash be reviewed to ensure that sums above that level might be considered for investment. The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust Account No 2 £5,357 was received in donations in 2015 with the fund receiving £3,131 to date. A profit from Christmas cards of £3,222 was generated in 2015 with current sales standing at £3,445. There was no annual draw conducted in 2015 nor was there one this year so no funds were generated through ticket sales. The Journal costs of £2,428.26 had remained the
News from the Associations ■ 89
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same this period. There were no unrestricted grants for the period of 2015/16. However, to date £1,600.00 was awarded to the HCR Rugby tour of the United States. The Annual Dinner fund this year currently stood at £2,640.00 as we were awaiting ticket income from HCR serving members. Payments via BAC’s had been received this year for the first time. £2,500.00 had been paid to the National Arboretum Memorial fund for the initial work on the area adjacent to the memorial of The Blues and Royals being developed for the memorial to The Life Guards. The net cost of postage to date was £988.00. Funds for the Battlefield Tour for 2017 were being received and administered through this account as they were last year. Cash at bank £39,669.00.
The Life Guards Association Account The account continues to be a conduit for standing order donations with a total of £2,675.00 being received in 2015. So far £1,103.00 had been received through generous donations to date. There was no sum awarded from the Norman Hearson Fund during 2015, nor had any sums been requested to date leaving this Fund standing at £2,912. Cash at bank currently stands at £9,399.00. Investments Last year at this point the investment portfolio stood at a Total Value of £1,035.814.00. This year as of the 5th September 2016 it currently stood at £1,254,505.00. The Chairman and members of the Committee would like to thank all members of the Association for their kind and generous donations. The Chairman asked for comment: there being none he asked that the Treasurer’s report be accepted. Proposed by: Lieutenant Colonel D James Seconded by: Major J S Holbrook CHAIRMAN’S REPORT The following report was given by Lieutenant Colonel H S J Scott. Membership now stood at 2189. Communication. We now had 1613 Association members who were now on email. While email was our preferred method of communication, we would continue with at least two newsletters per year by post for those members that did not have an email address.
Welfare. So far during 2015/16 there had been 16 cases for assistance at an average cost of £680.53 per case; ages of recipients ranged between 35 and 88. This was a slight increase on the amount of cases on last year and the cases were now recorded to fall in line with the financial year April to April. Unfortunately, there had been 39 deaths reported to The Life Guards Association to date since the 1st January 2016. Lieutenant Colonel H S J Scott thanked all Association members that had sent in donations throughout the year and he stressed how grateful and how important these donations were and he assured all members that the monies donated were put to good use. The AGM was informed that we had purchased 11,000 Christmas cards this year and that they were selling well, with over 6000 cards sold to date. The AGM was informed that regimental diaries for 2017 were now available and that individuals were advised to contact Jodie Rosendale, the Home Headquarters Chief Clerk, for copies. Lieutenant Colonel H S J Scott wished to thank the regional representatives for their hard work throughout the year. He emphasised how much the membership appreciated their efforts. The Secretary was to contact all representatives to see if they wished to continue to serve, or whether they sought to be replaced. The Life Guards Association would be carrying out a Battlefield Tour of Passchendaele from the 18th-21st May 2017. The Tour was presently full but if anybody was to drop out the Secretary would inform the membership via email. The AGM was given a short report on the work being carried out at The Life Guards plot at the National Memorial Arboretum; it was expected that work would be finished in the next six weeks. The LGA Committee had committed £5,000.00 to this memorial and to date had spent £2,500.00. When the memorial had been completed the LGA would be informed and dates would follow for a dedication ceremony. Dates for The Life Guards Association Annual Dinner The subject of the Annual LGA dinner was raised. It had previously been agreed to run this as a five year trial. There was discussion as to whether the date should remain in September or be moved back to June and be held on the same Saturday as The Queen’s Birthday
Parade. A suggestion was made that the whole membership be invited to vote. As an interim measure the acting Chairman asked for a show of hands. The count suggested that there was a substantial majority at the AGM that would like the dinner to remain in September. The dinner will be held next year in September and a vote at the dinner will be held to decide when the future dinners will be held. Election of the Non-Serving Committee In accordance with normal custom, the non-serving members of the Committee had all resigned and had all offered themselves for re-election for the coming year. They were: Lieutenant Colonel H S J Scott, Major J S Holbrook, Captain G C Davies, Mr J E Lloyd, Mr C D Watson, Mr P P Lewis MBE, Mr G S Knowles BEM, Mr T J Land, Mr P J Richards MBE and Mr P C Lanahan. There were no objections. Proposed by: Captain (Retd) L D Stratford MBE Seconded by: Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) G G E Stibbe OBE Election of a new Non-Serving Committee Member It was requested that Mr Dave Darley be elected onto the Committee as a NonServing Committee member. There were no objections. Proposed by: Mr Paul Lewis MBE Seconded by: Mr Paul Lanahan Any Other Business Mr G S Knowles BEM asked if it was possible for the annual raffle to be reinstated. This was supported. It was agreed that the Honorary Secretary and Mr G S Knowles would organise it for next year. Colonel H R D Fullerton OBE asked if the Committee would consider sending personal invites to all wounded soldiers, and also look into the possibility of offering the dinner free of charge. The Committee would discuss this at the next Committee meeting. Mr Clive Watson asked if St Catherine Church in Cossall could be added to the list of potential locations where a Standard of The Life Guards might be laid up in the future. He then explained the relevance of Cossall to The Life Guards, the Waterloo Memorial in Cossall being the only one outside London and its dedication to two 2nd Life Guards who fell at Waterloo in 1815. Lieutenant Colonel H S J Scott would add this to the possible location list held in HQ Household Cavalry. Mr Tony Prynne asked if it was possible
News from the Associations ■ 91
to have an ID card system with photo ID for the regional representatives. It was explained that the MoD was looking into various ID card systems and that it may be best to wait and see what options they offer. He also asked if the speaker system had been improved upon since last year. It was explained
that a new system had been put in. AFTERNOTE. The speaker system failed either mechanically or through user error. The Secretary was tasked to achieve success for 2017. Captain (Retd) LD Stratford MBE raised the matter of recording Honorarium
and displaying the tax paid in the Accounts. This was to be reviewed by the Treasurer and the Association legal adviser. There being no further business, the acting Chairman closed the meeting at 1845hrs.
The Life Guards Association
Income and Expenditure Account - 13th January 2017 Year 2015 £2,675.50 £5.00 0 £2,680.50
Income Donations Life Membership Excess Exp/Inc Total
£1,508.50 £0.00 £0.00 £1,508.50
0 0 £50.00 £2,912.40 £0.00 £2,962.40
Liabilities Norman Hearson Fund Creditors Excess Assets/Liabilities
Assets and Liabilities £2,912.40
£0.00 £0.00 £50.00 £2,912.40 £0.00
Stationary/Office Equip Misc Expenses St Georges Chapel Norman Hearson Prize Donations Transferred to No 1 Account Total
Assets Cash at Bank
The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust Accounts - Restricted & Unrestricted Income and Expenditure Account - 13th January 2017
Year 2015 £35,369.12 £34,464.73 £1,354.64 £9,773.12 £2,412.22 £5,357.49 £0.00 £5,140.00 £2,745.00 £0.00 £0.00 £523.00 £70.00 £1,354.64 £0.00 £98,563.96
Income Days Pay Scheme* Investments / Dividends Grants ABF etc* Donations* Postage Donations HMRC Christmas Cards Dinner Annual Draw Poppies and Wreaths* Diaries Mugs Grants Transfer of Funds Total
Year 2016 £3,204.02 £35,540.98 £332.91 £8,634.57 £1,654.77 £4,409.95 £0.00 £5,565.00 £4,090.00 £0.00 £0.00 £967.86 £0.00 £432.91 £0.00 £64,832.97
Year 2015 £11,500.00 £1,461.96 £23,424.91 £0.00 £4,740.60 £5,692.64 £5,027.51 £1,917.49 £13,109.01 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £66,874.12
Assets and Liabilities Liabilities Sundry Creditors Excess Assets/Liabilities Fund The Life Guards Charitable Trust Investment Portfolio
Expenditure Honorarium* Wreaths & Poppies* Grants* Grants Postage* Misc Exp GPF Misc Exp* Christmas Cards Dinner Annual Draw Journal Printing and And Association Badges Mugs Postage Donations Transfer of Funds* AMF Total
£0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £0.00 £100,000.00 £3,500.00 £155,868.84 -£91,035.87
Excess Income / Exp
Assets Cash at Bank No 1 Account Cash at Bank No 2 Account
Year 2016 £11,000.00 £1,331.87 £21,056.91 £1,600.00 £3,383.85 £1,339.41 £3,899.47 £2,303.60 £6,453.73 £0.00 £0.00
Investments at Current Value Total Value as at 11/01/17
Notes on the Accounts 2016 1.
For ease of presentation the Life Guards Association Charitable Trust Account and the Life Guards Charitable Trust Account No2 have been combined in accordance with Charity Commission guidelines governing the presentation of accounts. Payments and receipts from and to the Restricted account are marked with an asterix. A total of 27 grants have been paid out of the life Guards Association Charitable Trust No1 Account to date.
92 ■ News from the Associations
Donations continue to be received into the Life Guards Association account. The Total of £1,508 for 2016 has been received to date.
The sum of 100k was transferred from the No 1 Account to the Investment Portfolio to increase dividends Hence minus figure Excess Income/Exp. R D O’Connor Capt (Retd) Honorary Treasurer
The Life Guards Association Notices Rules of The Life Guards Association
All members of the Association should hold a copy of the Rules of The Life Guards Association. If you do not hold a copy please contact the Honorary Secretary Mr Ken Robertson on 01753 755229 or 07713 157849 or email him on firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership All members are requested to introduce the Association to all those that are eligible for membership under Rule 6. If you have any queries please contact the Honorary Secretary directly. The Annual General Meeting The 83rd Annual General Meeting of The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust will take place on Saturday 16th September 2017 at 1800hrs and will be held in Combermere Barracks Windsor Berkshire SL4 3DN.
To receive the Annual Report by the Honorary Treasurer To receive the Annual Chairman’s Report
Election of the Non-Serving Committee members: Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) W R Lindsay OBE, Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) H S J Scott, Major (Retd) J S Holbrook, Mr D M Darley, Mr D Heath, Mr J E Lloyd, Mr G S Knowles BEM, Mr P J Richards MBE, Mr T Land, Mr C Watson, Mr P Lewis MBE, Mr PC Lanahan. •
Any other business and closing remarks.
suits with Brigade Tie no medals. The dinner application form is an insert to this Journal and can be emailed to you upon request. Tickets are not available at the door. Personal guests will not be permitted unless authorised by the Honorary Secretary. The Regimental Corporal Major would offer the hospitality of the WOs’ & NCOs’ Mess to all members of the Association and their wives after dinner. It was, however, necessary for him to impose a restriction on children accompanying their parents into the Mess unless they were aged 18 or over. Please note that ladies should not attend until after the Dinner and that members should not rise during the time when speeches are being made.
The Annual Dinner
The 82nd Annual Dinner will be held in Combermere Barracks Windsor on Saturday 16th September 2017 commencing at 1900hrs. Dress Lounge
The Christmas card order form is inserted in this Journal but can be emailed to you upon request.
The Life Guards Association Regional Representatives Regional Representatives of The Life Guards Association are volunteers that have agreed to have their details published in the Household Cavalry Journal in order that other Association members in their area may contact them. Initially the Regional Representatives will provide contact with Home Headquarters for those who have served but have lost touch with the Regiment. Additionally, they may be asked to represent the Association at funerals of departed comrades, visit former members of the Regiment and circulate Regimental information to those in their area. If you would like to be considered as a Regional Representative for the Association please contact Home Headquarters. AB, DD, PH Mr S Smith DUNDEE email@example.com 01382 562554 AL, EN, WD Mr J K Stanworth ST ALBANS firstname.lastname@example.org 01582 794652 B, DY, WR Mr M P G Southerton STOURPORT-ON-SEVERN email@example.com 01299 823882 BA, BS Mr N S Hoon BRISTOL firstname.lastname@example.org 01454 416522 BB Mr R L Mather LANCASTER a email@example.com 01422 847547
BD Mr H Stangroom SKIPTON BD23 1UW firstname.lastname@example.org 01756 709121 BH, DT Major (Retd) J T Lodge BROADSTONE email@example.com 01202 697334 BL, M, WN Mr A Lister RADCLIFFE firstname.lastname@example.org 0161 725 9851 BN Mr Eric Reed HAILSHAM email@example.com 0 7938 858896 BR, DA, TN Mr D H Underwood FARNINGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org 01322 866334
CB Mr S Smith HAVERHILL email@example.com 07947210658 CF Mr K H Sprigg MAESTEG firstname.lastname@example.org 07855 590882 CH, LL Mr S J Rochford SOUTH WIRRAL email@example.com 07977 834092 CR, RH, SM Vacant CT, ME Mr J Dean AYLESFORD 07505 717875 firstname.lastname@example.org CW, SK Mr J W Maxwell JP MACCLESFIELD 07761 012310
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DE Mr S Wass BELPER email@example.com 07446 839054
HP, OX Mr S English IPSDEN firstname.lastname@example.org 07500 948176
NR Mr A J Gook NORWICH email@example.com 01603 484336
DH, DL, TS Maj (Retd) A Tate firstname.lastname@example.org 07783 586 900
HR, NP Vacant
PE, PL Mr R Barry WADEBRIDGE email@example.com 07915 812127
DN Mr I Sanderson MBE RETFORD firstname.lastname@example.org 07831 899918 EH,FK, KY Mr D Cumming KENNOWAY email@example.com 07921 515150 EX Mr D Murgatroyd CULLOMPTON firstname.lastname@example.org 07512 729141
IM Mr T Bougourd ISLE OF MAN email@example.com 07624 453168 IP Mr J Stanworth firstname.lastname@example.org 01582 793618 07919 015361 KT, TW Mr T Morgan-Jelpke WEYBRIDGE email@example.com 01932 854935 L Vacant
LA Mr Norman Clarkson SEASCALE 01946 841126
FY, PR Mr W Sewell BLACKPOOL firstname.lastname@example.org 01253 826577
LD, SY Mr A T Prynne BUILTH WELLS email@example.com 01982 552296
GL Mr J McCauley FAIRFORD firstname.lastname@example.org 01285 713004
LE Mr B J Dutton COUNTESTHORPE email@example.com 07887 701 007
GU Mr T G W Carrington firstname.lastname@example.org 01276 36384
LN Mr I Wild MABLETHORPE email@example.com 01507 441293
ML, TD, G Vacant
GU Mr L Cordwell GRAYSHOTT firstname.lastname@example.org 07769 694830 HD, HX, OL Mr M P Goodyear HUDDERSFIELD email@example.com 01484 605888 HG, LS, WF Mr J A Denton SOUTH STAINLEY firstname.lastname@example.org 01423 772999
94 â– News from the Associations
LU, MK, NN, SG Mr S R Carter MILTON KEYNES email@example.com 01908 670299 NG Mr D I Savage SLEAFORD firstname.lastname@example.org 01529 488575 NG Mr B W J Reece CLIPSTONE VILLAGE email@example.com 07795 842 592
PO Captain W A B Henderson RVM PORTSMOUTH firstname.lastname@example.org 02392 385806 RG Mr J Forsdick WAREFIELD email@example.com 07870 666 103 RG Mr M Stay BRACKNELL firstname.lastname@example.org 07772 438 630 S Mr W A Loftus DINNINGTON email@example.com 01909 518405 07956 478238 SA Mr R J Cobb MILFORD HAVEN firstname.lastname@example.org 01646 602084 SN Mr J M Steel ROYAL WOOTTON BASSETT email@example.com 07931 818513 SO Vacant SP Vacant ST, TF Mr F Fox STAFFORD firstname.lastname@example.org 01785 252351 SY Mr Jack Shortman OSWESTRY email@example.com 01691 680537
TA Mr B R Kelland WELLINGTON firstname.lastname@example.org 07882 969 032
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND & NORTHERN IRELAND Mr G S Armstrong email@example.com 07801 939511
TR Mr R E Jewell FALMOUTH firstname.lastname@example.org 01326 312546
YO Mr W H Graham YORK email@example.com 01904 766870 YO Mr G M McInerny FYLINGTHORPE firstname.lastname@example.org 01947 880298 WA Mr K Thompson WARRINGTON email@example.com 07913 616348 WS, WV Mr C D Watson RUGELEY firstname.lastname@example.org 01889 500656
NEW ZEALAND Mr J Bell 09 473 3343 0064 TORBAY email@example.com
AUSTRALIA Mr D Moxom CANBERRA firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr G Coleman REYNELLA email@example.com (0061) 8381 2074 Mr R Barnes TASMANIA firstname.lastname@example.org 00 6103 6429 1227 CANADA Mr C Grant MEDICINE HAT email@example.com 403 527 2982
USA Mr A D Richards CANTON NEW York firstname.lastname@example.org 001-315-714-2282 USA Mr K J Frape COLUMBIA SOUTH CAROLINA email@example.com 001 (803) 787 1244 USA Mr R J G Kay PLATE CITY MISSOURI firstname.lastname@example.org 001 816 872 6161
GERMANY Mr N J Knowles GUTERSLOH email@example.com 07890 382398
“Stunningly illustrated, this will be hugely enjoyed and greatly learned from” Lucinda Green The House Pony is a visual alphabet of items that are crucial to a horse’s welfare. Each image contains items beginning with a particular letter, and the reader can enjoy searching for them at the same time as learning valuable facts about caring for a pony.
Juliet Blaxland (Stibbe) is an architect, cartoonist, writer and illustrator, with associated rural and conservation interests. Her photomontage cartoon series Life in a Listed Building won a prize at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. She has written and illustrated ten Speedy books for the Retired Greyhound Trust and is the author of Nimrod – a Cavalry Black (J.A. Allen). She is married to a Household Cavalryman and lives on an eroding clifftop in Suffolk.
The House Pony An ABC of Horsemanship Juliet Blaxland £7.99 J.A. Allen www.crowood.com
News from the Associations ■ 95
Sec, Mr Taylor held a meeting with the curator of the NMA as how best to arrange our site to improve the visitors experience and reduce the cost of maintenance. The Chairman explained that the cmte have agreed a spend of £5K to achieve the works, all works will be carried out by Mr Taylor and the North Staff Branch with a view of all works being completed by winter 2016. The chairman explained that once the RHG/D memorial rock has been lifted and moved into its new location and that the LGA will place a like for like memorial rock in the location left vacant. The LGA has also agreed on a £5K spend to improve the whole site. With the LGA becoming a part of the RHG/D Site in the NMA it will now take the shape of the Household Cavalry site, the Chairman will be approaching the HCF to take on the maintenance of the following H Cav memorials 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
NMA Combermere Barracks Hyde Park RHG/D Ramp Zandevoorde
Accounts Before asking the Honorary Treasurer to speak on the accounts, the Chairman reported that during the past year the Association had continued to maintain its aims and objectives as laid down in the Constitution and Rules. Specifically, grants had been distributed to applications for assistance when called upon. The Treasurer ran through the statement of accounts; as the accounts are looking healthy the Treasurer explained he would transfer £50,000.00 to our Investment Portfolio in due course. No points raised
Committee Meetings The Chairman explained that given the nature of very good communication links between the cmte members and the Hon Sec that we currently hold four cmte meetings and an AGM as directed by the charter, we find ourselves covering old ground along with attendance dropping off. The Chairman would like to propose we move to two cmte meetings and an AGM, one meeting in the Spring and the other in the Autumn. As there were no objections, the Chairman asked for a proposer and a second. Proposed by Major Trinick seconded by Mr Shillabeer
The Combined Cavalry Parade The Chairman mentioned that security passes were required to gain entry into Hyde Park Barracks, if you haven’t already given your names to HHQ then members should contact Mr Ken Robertson prior to the parade so he can issue the pass. There will be a 53-seater coach on the Sq tomorrow, leaving Combermere at 0900hrs. Departing from Hyde Park at 1300hrs Christmas Card The Chairman thanked all those who ordered Christmas Cards, we sold out of Christmas Cards last year, over 11,000 were sold with the majority of members donating monies to the Association. This year’s order form (which has an image not been used before) is in the Journal, the Hon Sec has already started receiving orders. An Association member complained to the chairman that he didn’t like the image of this year’s Christmas card. The Chairman excepted the point but
explained we wanted to try a different image this year that hadn’t been used before, the Chairman then asked those in attendance if they have any pictures/ images they would like to be used then they are to contact the Hon Sec. Battlefield Tour 18th to 21st May 2017 The Chairman mentioned the successful BFT of the Somme this year, we can now confirm that next year’s tour will cover the Battle of Passchendale in which The Household Battalion took part and suffered very heavy casualties. A detailed itinerary will be available later in the year from the Hon Sec. Any Other Buisness Mr Tim Mardon brought up the subject of an Open Day, the Chairman invited Lt Col Ed Hayward (CO HCR) to reply to Mr Mardon’s question. Lt Col Ed mentioned there is a Families Day taking part on the 21st May, the chairman confirmed with the CO that a families day would include any Association Members who wished to attend, Lt Col Ed agreed. Mr P Young asked if it was possible to have visits organised around Hyde Park Barracks for spouses of ex members of the Regt. RHG/D SCM replied and informed that the visits could be arranged with prior notice via the Hon Sec. With there being no further business to discuss, The Chairman thanked members for attending, the meeting closed at 1847 hrs. Next AGM The next AGM will be held in Combermere Barracks at 1830hrs on 13th May 2017.
The Blues and Royals Association Regional Representatives 2016 Regional Representatives of The Blues and Royals Association are volunteers that have agreed to have their details published in the Household Cavalry Journal in order that they may be contacted by other Association members in their area. Initially the Regional Representatives will provide contact with Home Headquarters for those who have served but have lost touch with the Regiment. Additionally, they may be asked to represent the Association at funerals of departed comrades, visit former members of the Regiment and circulate Regimental information to those in their area. If you would like to be considered as a Regional Representative for the Association please contact the Honorary Secretary at the address shown within the Association information. ENGLAND South East Berkshire Mr P Henney 07738 150 113 firstname.lastname@example.org
98 ■ News from the Associations
Essex Mr T J Young 01702 351 228 email@example.com
Hampshire Mr G Demmellweek-Pooley 07920 131 093 firstname.lastname@example.org
Hampshire Mr L Elliott 07508 326 526 email@example.com
Kent Mr A Gaddes 07842 624 724 Alexgaddes@aol.com
Kent Mr N G Sargeant 01732 355 259 firstname.lastname@example.org Kent Mr E Lane 07827 328 760 email@example.com Middlesex Mr M Perry 07753 603 080 firstname.lastname@example.org South London/Surrey /Hamps Mr J Dickens 07715 539 141 email@example.com Surrey Mr N C Lewis-Baker 01372 456 025 firstname.lastname@example.org West Sussex Mr M Bray 07738 565 830 email@example.com South West Cornwall Mr B H Coode 01726 882 488 firstname.lastname@example.org Cornwall Mr A Baldwin 07792 581 344 email@example.com Devon Mr D F Harris 07837 101 402 firstname.lastname@example.org Dorset Mr C Jones 01202 512 416 email@example.com Wiltshire Mr N Hancock 07816 935 501 firstname.lastname@example.org Wiltshire/Gloucestershire Mr H F Jodrell 07909 887 711 email@example.com East Anglia Norfolk Mr A Wigginstein 07876401021 Andrfeath@aol.com Norfolk Mr S McCormack 07738 939 051 firstname.lastname@example.org
Norfolk Mr Paul Gray Paulgrayfarrier@hotmail.co.uk Suffolk Mr A Davies 07741 310459 email@example.com Suffolk Mr G Kingham 07766 001 919 firstname.lastname@example.org Midlands East Midlands Mr S Davies 07791 585 144 email@example.com Hertfordshire Mr C Seddon 07846 662 352 firstname.lastname@example.org Leicestershire Mr C Payne 07782 341 089 email@example.com Peterborough Mr T Uglow 07775 639 876 firstname.lastname@example.org West Midlands Mr L M Shayler 01564 775 387 email@example.com West Midlands/Staffs Mr I M Smith 07525 128 475 Ian.firstname.lastname@example.org West Midlands/Walsall Mr B J Pyke 07983 058 364 email@example.com Worcestershire Mr J Ward 07753 295 152 Julian.firstname.lastname@example.org North West Liverpool Mr K Hancock 07809 573 956 email@example.com
Durham Mr J Beard 07534 680 849 firstname.lastname@example.org Newcastle Mr D Horsefield 01912 665 440 email@example.com Northumberland Mr Tuckwood 01661 860 297 firstname.lastname@example.org Scunthorpe Mr P Smith 07897 656 825 email@example.com Sheffield Mr P Harding 07875 620 685 firstname.lastname@example.org Yorkshire Mr A Mardon 07824 468 843 email@example.com SCOTLAND Renfrewshire Mr S Newman 07983 533 436 firstname.lastname@example.org Highland Mr B Oakley 01381 620 968 email@example.com Dumfries & Galloway Mr I Munro 07724 207 321 firstname.lastname@example.org WALES Merthyr Tydfil Mr N Hardwidge 01685 841 335 email@example.com Mid Wales Mr Seager 07411 470 769 firstname.lastname@example.org North Wales Mr Bishop Mjbishop31445430@aol.com
North Staffs/South Cheshire Maj (Retd) L Villers 07876 386 513 email@example.com
South Wales/Newport Mr N Allen 07767 036 575 firstname.lastname@example.org
SE Wales Mr W Ward-Davies 07917 644 160 email@example.com
Doncaster Mr D Miles 07984 453 521 firstname.lastname@example.org
News from the Associations â– 99
We are proud sponsors of the Household Cavalry Journal Our heartfelt admiration goes out to the bravery, dedication and hard work of all the troops and families of the Household Cavalry Plastering - susPended Ceilings - drylining all rendering - Partitioning & sFs systems sCreeding - resin Flooring * Winner of the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers ‘Sword of Excellence Award’ 2014 * Winner of the 2014 Plaisterers' Award - Outstanding Drylining Residential * Member of the London Chamber of Commerce * Member of the AIS FPDC
MACS Plasterboard Systems Ltd, York House, 140 High Town Road, Luton, Bedfordshire LU2 0DJ Phone: 01582 722 060 Fax: 01582 722 040 Email: email@example.com Twitter: @MACSLuton
100 ■ News from the Associations
IRELAND Mr Timmis 0035 (0) 861 767 387 firstname.lastname@example.org OVERSEAS AUSTRALIA Mr T Dyson email@example.com CANADA
South West USA Mr W Brady 001 818 757 7050 firstname.lastname@example.org
Portugal Mr P Hulland 00351 235 772 143 email@example.com
Western USA Mr S Link 001 917 744 2243 firstname.lastname@example.org
Spain Mr M Holt 0034 9525 20260 email@example.com
Sweden Mr P Young 0046 768 83 60 95 firstname.lastname@example.org
Bulgaria Mr B Wall email@example.com
Alberta Mr P Slater 780 472 7380 firstname.lastname@example.org
Canaries Mr S MacKay 07824 706 859 email@example.com
Nova Scotia Mr Bruce Snell 1-902-467 0123 firstname.lastname@example.org USA
Cyprus Mr Seager 05338 823 935 email@example.com
Central USA Mr P Scott 001 414 541 6374 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cyprus Mr Duffy 96 39 23 41 email@example.com
Eastern USA Mr Rixon 001 781 237 6970 firstname.lastname@example.org
Germany Mr M Binks 01609 121 359 email@example.com
Southern USA Mr McDonald 001 985 845 3403 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jersey Mr D Blake 01534 608 838 email@example.com
Hong Kong Mr J Dewe +85298 660 936 firstname.lastname@example.org REST OF THE WORLD THAILAND Mr D Rushforth +66 932 432 473 email@example.com TANZANIA/KENYA Mr J Corse +255 753 353 760 firstname.lastname@example.org
Household Cavalry Foundation Report 2015-2016
by the Director, Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Giles Stibbe OBE
s last years’ report for this Journal suggested it might be, 2016 has proved to be an opportunity for more generosity to our priority beneficiaries, and to consolidate available funds and staff. To start, I believe it’s vital to remind readers that the aim of the Household Cavalry Foundation (HCF), as the official charity for HCav, remains the same: to support all members of the Household Cavalry ‘family’: operational casualties, serving soldiers, veterans and their dependants. The HCF also supports the protection and development of the heritage that surrounds the history of our Regiments, and the welfare of retired horses. Most significantly, our operational casualties and their families, and our veterans received increased welfare support. HCF is now helping some to train for second careers as well as maintaining the core funding for specialist treatment for them and their
dependants. Readers will, I hope, understand why it’s wrong to reveal details of individual cases, but examples include: •
His aim is now the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in Beijing. The attached photographs show his courage.
An Old Comrade who’s done years of charity fund-raising and now, sadly, finds himself suffering the after-effects of cancer. Wounded Care For Heroes, who look after him, say the result of six months’ care is that he looks better than he has done for at least two years.
Support for the family of one of our fatal casualties.
The wife of an Operational Casualty doing an Open University Teacher Training course.
A Paralympian won the Bronze medal in the World Bobsleigh Championships. He kept his head and won the bronze medal finishing just 0.07 seconds ahead of the American athlete. He also finished 5th in the IBSF World Para Bobsleigh Championships, and 3rd in the European Championships.
Our soldiers enjoying new sporting challenges: four Troopers won all their Polo matches; and all ranks enjoyed a charity steeplechase, and a Rugby tour of the USA.
Our Families have also asked for a small donation to help their kids’ Rugby initiative in Windsor Garrison. Their season culminates when our Veterans at the other end of the age spectrum play their annual match on St George’s Day.
Both HCR and HCMR received an average 30% funding increase to enhance the quality of life of our serving soldiers with reassuringly spectacular results. For example:
News from the Associations ■ 101
Some might claim it takes them a year to recover! •
We’re supporting our Band on their annual adventure ski-training. Many of you saw them and their Britain’s Got Talent champion LCpl Richard Jones perform at the recent ‘Scarlet & Gold Concert’. Some of you also witnessed Corporal Jones (not Dad’s Army’s Clive Dunn!) open our local London Street Party (in Motcomb Street) soon after he rode on this year’s Birthday Parade as a trombonist. Luckily he resisted the temptation to cut the official hostess in half...!! Other Household Cavalry sportsmen we’re supporting include CoH Martin. He has been selected as an Army racing cyclist
during his tour as one of the elite signals instructors at Sandhurst. •
Corie in the groove
Our Heritage has also been celebrated with support to our Museum from the charity that organised The Patron’s Lunch in The Mall; undaunted, like our Colonel-in-Chief, by the damp weather on the Sunday after this year’s Birthday Parade, the HCF has been selected to receive one of the resultant grants. This will help to refurbish our Museum’s shop which needs a revamp after ten years. This year the HCF has also funded a new robust carrying-case for The Zetland Trophy, and supported the ceremonies for laying-up our old Standards and Guidon.
Our website now links to both Regiments, Home HQ and our Museum; and readers will I hope be pleased to know that the overall HCav website with its five official inputs was praised by Army HQ as an exemplar that all similar military websites should follow. Strategically, the HCF has focused on securing more Donors; this is less risky than organising what were spectacular and popular events. In one case, their popularity resulted in a sell-out and a waiting list, but events’ income is not guaranteed. New Donors and sponsoring events such as Beaufort Polo, have been wonderfully generous; thus enabling the results described above. The HCF has also simplified operations with these initiatives:
Martin Colclough, a Paralympix Supremo and Help for Heroes volunteer with Corie Mapp celebrate his bronze performance
102 ■ News from the Associations
Most Household Cavalry monies are combined in a cost effective manner in a portfolio invested with Schroder Cazenove. HCF’s Finance Trustee will decide if the current support for both Regiments can be repeated next financial year.
The Day’s Pay Scheme continues to be shared with both regimental Associations who must receive no less than 51% of receipts.
During 2017 The Children’s Fund, set up by the Operational Casualty Fund trustees for the children of those Household Cavalrymen killed in action, is due to make its first payment to a child reaching official adulthood.
Gift Aid is being confirmed for all the HCF’s Funds. All subsidiary funds receive a quarterly dividend proportionate to their relative size in HCF’s investment portfolio.
Restricted and Unrestricted Funds. HCF only have unrestricted access to HCF (formerly HCCCF) and Serving Officer’s Trust monies. The Operational Casualties’, and Children’s Funds are restricted. HCR, HCMR, RHG/D Association and Oliver Montagu Funds are outwith the HCF, with their own separate governance.
The Life Guards’ Mounted Squadron Leader, Maj James Harbord, led a team in this year’s Mongol Derby, reported on elsewhere in this Journal.
As the HCF staff has reduced to one full-time and Mary Edwards our bookkeeper (once a week), so our work has been stream-lined. For example, all retail is now coordinated by our Museum’s shop. The only exceptions are T-shirts and other clothing memorabilia that are either supplied by Old Comrade Matt Pellett of ‘Troop Logos’, or Strath Carron; and specialist regimental accoutrements that are now sold by the PRI. Corie Mapp prepares for the bobsleigh
Finally, I want to pay tribute to the fantastic contributions from the family of Tpr James Munday LG who was killed in action in Helmand on 15th October 2008. For example, James’s brother Robert ran another London Marathon for the HCF last April. James’s nickname ‘Magpie’ is commemorated in the name of one of the LG Mounted Squadron’s horses.
Governance. There are now five Trustees: four Household Cavalrymen and one civilian (Jon Coles of Brunswick Group LLP). The Chairman is the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding.
Integrating the Household Cavalry Serving Officers’ Trust into the HCF.
Robert Munday and his mother at the finish of the London Marathon
Report for the Financial Year 31st March 2015 to 1st April 2016 The table below indicates the activity of the year end in relation to the previous year. Transfer in from HCCCF Transfer in from HCav Serving Officers’ Trust
Income Donations + Legacies Other Trading Activities Investments + Interest Total Income
381,881 26,957 85,900 773,178
321,075 140,426 69,917 3,556,551
Expenditure Fund-raising Welfare/Charitable Activity Total Expenditure
109,265 253,257 362,522
270,274 456,515 726,789
51,727 537,350 589,077
6,954 304,175 311,129
Liabilities Creditors: amounts falling due within one year Net current liabilities Total Net Assets
2,271,575 1,682,498 3,302,275
2,555,248 2,244,119 2,970,473
The Funds Of The Charity represented by Restricted funds Unrestricted funds Total General funds
1,560,462 1,741,813 3,302,275
1,226,057 1,744,386 2,970,443
Fixed assets Current assets Debtors Cash at bank and in hand Total
The Household Cavalry Museum by Alice Pearson, Director
n 9th March 2016 as part of English Tourism Week, UKinbound - the leading trade Association representing the UK's inbound tourism sector - encouraged its members to participate actively in Tourism Constituency Day. To crown the occasion Deirdre Wells OBE, Chief Executive Officer of UKinbound introduced (acting) Tourism Minister, David Evennett MP, to one of its longest standing members - the Household Cavalry Museum. Hosted by Director/ Head of Commercial Development and Operations Martin Westwood, the MP and CEO were introduced to serving members of the regiment and given a tour of the splendid regimental exhibits; including the most recent editions highlighting the Waterloo era. This was the last major publicity engagement for Martin, who after six years at the Household Cavalry Museum and over three decades in the attractions industry retired to spend more time with his family and relocate closer to loved ones in the Midlands. We know you join us in wishing him and his wife Jenny all the best in their future endeavours. Stepping into the fold, the new Director,
Alice Pearson, comes to the Museum from the Inns of Court and a background in corporate events within heritage environments. Immediate priorities included the development of the Museum’s private hire opportunities, stemming falling visitor numbers, and bringing the Museum into closer working line with the Windsor Archive, Regimental Associations, Household Cavalry Foundation, and Engagement Team.
of key agencies and suppliers and a new charging structure. New ‘Director’s Tours’ have proven to be a great success
By the end of FYQ3 the event business had exceeded profits of the previous full financial year through the engagement
David Evennett - Minister for Tourism talking to a Life Guardsman outside the Museum on Horse Guards Parade, 9th March 2016
David Evennett (Minister for Tourism) Martin Westwood (Director - Household Cavalry Museum) and Deirdre Wells (CEO UK Inbound) at the Museum, 9th March 2016
News from the Associations ■ 103
and higher quality more intimate events are being prioritised. Funds for a new CMS website were found within the existent marketing budget and will prove an invaluable tool to the business in the future. This is supported by some brilliant social media tools - one ‘tweet’ alone in October reached 41,400 people. Do follow us on the below streams. Except for the excellent performance of the Museum’s shop, 2016 continued in the trend of tough trading shown in the last few years, but we’re pleased to report that £25,000 was donated to the Household Cavalry Foundation from the proceeds of the Museum’s 2015/16 trading year.
In 2017 the Museum celebrates its 10th year. A series of anniversary events will champion the regiment’s Skilled Servicemen, Living Legends, and Historic Heroes; one each under four ‘seasons’ highlighting the regiments’ diverse talents. Mimicking the regiments’ dual roles, the seasons are titled: Sport & Horses, Fashion & Art, Music & Literature and Queen & Commonwealth. We hope everyone can find a passion within these subjects. Looking forward, we hope to continue to welcome you and yours to the Museum whenever you can visit - of the near 60,000 visitors January to December 2016, over 1,300 of them were serving
and ex-forces members. As you may know, the Museum is free to all serving and retired members of the Household Cavalry and serving members are also welcome to bring their families free of charge. Keep an eye on our social media feeds and new website for free family activities in the school holidays and discounted ticketed events throughout the 10th anniversary year. Social media streams to follow: Website: www.householdcavalrymuseum.co.uk Facebook and Twitter: @hcavmuseum Instagram: householdcavalrymuseum
The Household Cavalry Regimental Collection Trust The Windsor Museum and Archive
n reading back over previous Journal entries it does sometimes seem that we say more or less the same things every year! It is, however, true to say that we have had yet another busy and interesting year in the Windsor Museum and Archive, with much done but much still to do before our re-accreditation, which is due in September 2017.
John Lloyd, who has been the mainstay of the Museum for the last eight years, is retiring at the end of 2016 shortly before his 70th Birthday. His will be a hard act to follow but Pete Storer, who has been acting as John’s assistant for the past year, will be starting work full time in the Museum in January 2017. John will continue to provide his superb Regimental history knowledge to tours as a volunteer.
We have also digitised part of the CarrEllison South African war collection (Royals memorabilia). We have recently been granted a further tranche of money which will enable us to organise a rolling programme to continue this important if unglamorous work.
The MODES cataloguing system is now fully operational and all relevant staff and volunteers have been trained in its use. This provides us with an invaluable tool for organising, recording and cataloguing our artefacts and, as importantly, allows us to search for and find items from the Archive relatively easily. We are in the process of ensuring that everything in the Museums, both at Horse Guards and Windsor, is properly catalogued.
There has been something of a hiatus in digitising the documentary archive for the last year, largely due to a shortage of cash. Items already done, which includes most items relating to Waterloo, the First World War and approximately 80 photograph albums (including the whole of the Broom collection and all the glass plate negatives relating to it) are now properly stored and archived.
We have also replaced our antiquated microfiche reader with a new ‘state of the art’ machine which will allow us to improve our research facilities and hopefully increase our income generation in this area. In addition to paid work for outside individuals, both the Regimental Associations call upon the archive regularly for assistance with obituaries and anniversaries, we also answer many queries from old comrades.
The wall display at the Combermere Museum
The new centre display, acquired from the REME Museum
104 ■ News from the Associations
Our heaviest but most lucrative workload during the year has been in the area of guided tours. During the course of 2016 we have shepherded over 1200 people around the Barracks and the Museum in groups of varying sizes up to 35 persons. These have included members of the Women’s Institute, University of the Third Age, Alzheimer’s and Dementia sufferers, Fire-fighters, Military Vehicle enthusiasts, Retirement clubs, Theatre groups and friends of the Imperial War Museum. We have also hosted schoolchildren, Agricultural students, Beavers and Army Cadets at a reduced rate and have reintroduced Regimental History sessions for serving soldiers including those on courses at the Education centre and Equestrian centre. During the course of the year, we have taken the Museum ‘on tour’ to Regimental Summer Camp, Eton Fun Day, Windsor Guildhall (twice), The Orders and Medals Research Society show in
The medal display cabinets
The tour party on Juno beach
Stratford Upon Avon and the Windsor Royal Horse Show, as well as setting up semi-permanent displays in Windsor Library and Holy Trinity Garrison Church. In addition, we have helped out with artefacts and expertise at both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Association dinners and for functions at the Officers’ and WOs’ and NCOs’ Messes. Our indefatigable Battlefield Tour guides Pete Storer and Jim Lees have carried out two trips during the year. Both the Regimental Associations joined together in April for a trip to the Somme area and in July Jim and Pete took fifty serving soldiers to Caen to trace
the route of 2 HCR after the Normandy landings. Both of these trips were very well received and Pete and Jim are on the road again in May 2017 taking both the Associations to the Ypres area to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the 3rd battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). There is also a likelihood of another trip in late June 2017 to commemorate the VC winning action that led to the death of John Spencer Dunville, 1st (Royal) Dragoons, the only VC winner in our joint history, at Epehy in France. Our volunteer numbers have been swelled in recent months by the arrival
of Jim Evans, who is proving to be an excellent tour guide, Phil Pike, who is looking into producing an audio-visual archive, Tony Webb who is sorting out our firearms collection and Dave Voyce who will be helping with research. All are ex-Household Cavalrymen and all are keen to get stuck in. Sue Storer is now our admin assistant and brings some much-needed IT expertise and computer skills to the office for three part days per week. Sue is also intending to assist with research queries and other general work as time allows. A couple of our more senior volunteers, Harry Mitchell and Stuart Madden, are in the process of leaving us for fresh fields and pastures new (or old in the case of Stuart, who is now an in-pensioner at the Royal Hospital!). Stuart is intending to help out in future as a volunteer at the Horse Guards Museum. We wish them all the best whatever they decide to do in the future. The recent news of the proposed Regimental move to Bulford has introduced a new degree of uncertainty into the equation but we at the Museum will continue to do our best to preserve, protect and publicise the heritage of the Household Cavalry wherever the vicissitudes of Army 2020 may take them. The thought of there being no Household Cavalry representation in Windsor for the first time since 1804 does not exactly fill us with delight but we will await with interest the pending decisions as to whether we will be staying put and if so what the new occupants will make of us!
A most unusual mixed visitor group touring barracks
News from the Associations ■ 105
The Life Guards
It is with much regret that the Honorary Secretary announces the death of the following Old Comrades announced in the last 12 months. The Life Guards Association offers their sincere condolences to all members of their families. May they Rest in Peace. O Ever-living God, King of Kings, in whose service we put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation, grant we beseech thee that The Life Guards may be faithful unto death, and at last receive the crown of life from Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
23969338 Tpr Lawrence Palfrey LG Service dates unknown Died 24th December 2005, aged 58 years
498905 Lt John Richard Astor LG Served from 9th November 1974 to 24th November 1980 Died 4th February 2016, aged 62 years
24546260 Tpr Shane Doga LG Served from 26th June 1990 to 9th February 1997 Died 29th April 2016, aged 51 years
23312650 LCpl Anthony Bowell LG Served from 1st May 1956 to 1st May 1958 Died 26th January 2009, aged 71 years
24239376 Tpr Peter David Bassford LG Served from 1972 to 1979 Died 8th February 2016, aged 58 years
22556203 Tpr Gerald Doel LG Served from 5th January 1953 to 4th January 1956 Died 1st May 2016, aged 81 years
22205712 Tpr Edward Thomson LG Served From 1st March 1952 to 1st February 1957 Died 24th February 2016, aged 83 years 22195355 Tpr Terry Grogan LG Served from 5th October 1949 to 1st November 1951 Died 29th May 2010, Aged 78 Years 23452918 Tpr William Darby LG Served from 6th February 1958 to 28th December 1958 Died 4th June 2010, aged 71 years 444645 Lt John Peter James Hare LG Served from 17th September 1955 to 21st February 1957 Died 9th April 2012, aged 75 years 19073030 Tpr Arthur Ellis Dyer LG Served from the 1st May 1946 to 30th August 1948 Died 1st May 2012, Aged 84 years 23607957 Mr Silk LG Served from January 1956 to December 1960 Both date of death and age unknown 22326279 William Campbell LG Service date unknown due to no regimental number Died 1st April 2015, aged 83 years 23215565 LCpl Les Moores LG Served from 1st January 1957 to 31st December 1960 Died 25th November 2015, aged 77 years 22556012 Cpl Peter Fisher LG Served from 5th July 1952 to 5th July 1955 Died 9th December 2015, aged 81 years 22556577 Musn John Barnbrook LG Service dates unknown Died 10th December 2015, aged 77 years
106 â– Obituaries
24021408 LCoH Raymond Ellis LG Served from 5th March 1965 to 3rd June 1973 Died 9th February 2016, aged 69 years 22205418 Tpr Roland Grantham LG Served from 1st August 1949 to 15th August 1954 Died 7th March 2016, aged 84 years 23215400 F/SQMC Robin King LG Served from 19th November 1956 to 30th March 1988 Died 7th March 2016, aged 77 years 403910 Major Derek Bartlett LG Served from 12th August 1949 to 1st January 1961 Died 20th March 2016, aged 85 years 6203945 CoH RW Brown LG Served from 21st September 1937 to 19th September 1966 Died 21st March 2016, aged 93 years 24096708 LCpl Trevor (Ginge) Davies LG Served from 28th August 1968 to 1st April 1974 Died 3rd April 2016, aged 71 years Mr T Anthony LG No Service dates as we hold no number Died 5th April 2016, Aged 77 years 23099970 Tpr John Burnham LG Served from 6th January 1955 to 5th January 1957 Died 12th April 2016, aged 82 years 22589255 Tpr John Fraser LG Served from 1st January 1951 to 30th September 1953 Died 24th April 2016, aged 82 years 22172986 LCpl Eric Bonner LG Served from 18th August 1949 to 16th August 1951 Died 26th April 2016, aged 85 years
296692 Cpl John Scott LG Served from 28th January 1946 to 2nd April 1949 Died 19th May 2016, aged 88 years 23215465 Tpr George Corbett LG Served from 14th March 1957 to 14th March 1960 Died 1st June 2016, aged 77 years 295659 Tpr George Morley LG Served from 1st March 1941 to 31st December 1946 Died 3rd June 2016, aged 94 years 23740501 LCpl John Oâ€™Connell LG Served from 23rd February 1960 to 7th August 1978 Died 5th June 2016, aged 75 years 23215895 Tpr Terry Smith LG Served from 26th November 1958 to 31st October 1966 Died 7th June 2016, aged 77 years 22130888 LCpl John Wilkins LG Served from 4th April 1949 to 1st March 1951 Died 12th June 2016, aged 85 years 22162488 Tpr Anthony Price LG Served from 1st August 1949 to 1st July 2016 Died 18th July 2016, aged 85 years 22861873 Tpr Ian Bird LG Served from 19th March 1953 to 18th March 1955 Died 28th July 2016, aged 81 years 24076587 Tpr Leslie Clark LG Served from 2nd July 1967 to 6th October 1969 Died 2nd September 2016, aged 66 years 22328035 Tpr John Speller LG Served from 1st January 1950 to 15th January 1952 Died 9th September 2015, aged 85 years
22205340 Tpr Sydney Armstrong LG Served from 8th April 1949 to 11th March 1954 Died 22nd September 2016, aged 85 Years 23215479 Tpr Alan Roberts LG Served from 9th April 1957 to 9th April 1967 Died 7th October 2016, aged 77 years
295354 Tpr James Aspinall LG Served from 10th July 1939 to 24th November 1947 Died 11th October 2016, aged 94 Years 24096666 SCpl Dave Mean LG Service dates unknown Date of death TBC
22556002 Tpr John Richards LG Served from 1st January 1952 to 1st January 1955 Died 29th December 2016, aged 82 years
The Blues and Royals It is with much regret that the Honorary Secretary announces the death of the following Old Comrades. The Blues and Royals Association offer their sincere condolences to all members of their families. May they Rest in Peace. O Lord Jesus Christ who by the Holy Apostle has called us to put on the armour of God and to take the sword of the spirit, give thy grace we pray thee, to The Blues and Royals that we may fight manfully under thy banner against all evil, and waiting on thee to renew our strength, may mount up with wings as eagles, in thy name, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. 19101650 Tpr James Robinson 1RD Served from 7th November 1946 t o 13th November 1948 Date of death unknown
22205147 Alfred Garrett RHG Served from 1st August 1948 to 31st August 1953 Died 19th January 2016, aged 85 years
Lt John Newman RHG Served from 1st January 1948 to 31st December 1954 Died 10th May 2016, Aged 86 years
Tpr Andrew Ogilvie RHG Served from 19th March 1956 to 1957 Date of death and age unknown
George Edward William Beardsley RHG Service dates unknown Died 20th January 2016, age unknown
23215986 CoH Keith Marsh RHG Served from 4th August 1959 to 4th August 1968 Died 20th May 2016, aged 76 years
306739 WO1 Peter Stanton RHG Served from 20th February 1945 to 25th July 1968 Died 28th January 2016, aged 88 years
23865826 Cpl Barry Coughlan RHG Served from 8th November 1961 to 7th November 1967 Died 24th May 2016, aged 72 years
357327 Captain William David Bagnell RHG Served from 7th October 1945 to 7th February 1955 Died 5th February 2016, aged, 89 years
23215296 Tpr George Charlesworth RHG/D Served from 1955 to 1959 Died 23rd June 2016, aged 81 years
23425145 LCpl Thomas Ellis RHG Served from 1st January 1961 to 31st February 1967 Date of death unknown 306811 LCpl Bruce Kurhnert RHG Served from 27th April 1946 to 24th August 1952 Date of death unknown 306144 Tpr Arthur Budgen RHG Served from 10th December 1942 to 20th May 1948 Date of Death unknown. Aged 92 years 22556720 CoH Joseph Allen Oliver RHG Served from 24th May 1954 to 23rd November 1967 Died 24th August 2012, aged 76 years 23298304 LCpl James Nunn 1RD Served from 5th April 1956 to 4th April 1958 Died 21st December 2015, aged 78 years Lieutenant Malcom Napier RG Served from 1951 to 1953 Died 13th January 2016, aged 82 years 23736076 Trooper George Davis RD Served from 12th October 1959 to 4th August 1968 Died 15th January 2016 aged 73 23879562 WO2 V Sturrock RHG/D Served from 9th July 1962 to 23rd September 1954 Died 18th January 2016, aged 74
23875022 SCpl Brian Proctor BEM RHG/D Served from 10th September 1961 to 10th September 1984 Died 23rd February 2016, aged 72 years 23879523 Tpr Malcolm Barker RHG Served from 21st May 1962 to 23rd June 1968 Died 1st March 2016, aged 71 years 22017232 Tpr Peter Hill Marlow Served from 18th March 1948 to 1st February 1950 Died 5th March 2016, aged 86 years 22182515 Tpr Ronald Peter Wright Served From 1st September 1949 to 1st September 1951 Died 24th March 2016, aged 84 years 24239399 Tpr Shields RHG/D Served from 1976 to 1978 Died April, age unknown 22275186 Mr Fredrick Chamber RHG Served form March 1949 to March 1968 Died 7th May 2016, aged 83 years
24557966 LCpl Andrew Young RHG/D Served from 1980 to 1987 Died 5th July 2016 14497916 Cpl Thomas Edgar RHG Served 17th November 1943 to 26th December 1947 Died 16th July 2016, aged 90 years 429197 Major Bryan Wright Served from 11th October 1966 to 31st December 1973 Died 30th July 2016, aged 81 years 23879512 CoH Alan Gratton RHG/D Served from 9th April 1962 to 8th April 1986 Died 3rd August 2016, aged 77 years 24294532 LCpl Ian Davey RHG/D Served from 1st January 1972 to 31st December 1976 Died 9th August 2016, aged 64 years 22542586 Tpr Clive Piper Service dates unknown Died 25th August 2016
Obituaries â– 107
23513133 SCpl Michael Pinks RHG/D Served from 1st March 1962 to 1st September 1984 Died 31st August 2016, aged 76 years
23215334 WO2 John Von Hoff RHG Served from 5th August 1956 to 10th July 1959 Died 25th October 2016, 79 years
22078017 Tpr William Stokes RHG Served from 1st January 1947 to 31st December 1950 Died 24th September 2016, aged 86 years
23624117 Sgt George Rooke 1RD Served from 11th May 1950 to 26th June 1952 Died 1st November 2016, aged 84 years 23584546 LCpl G Brain Calvert 1RD Served from 1st September 1958 to 30th August 1960 Died November 2016, aged 79 Years
23215252 Christopher Trundle RHG Served from 16th April 1956 to 15th April 1965 Died 19th October 2016, aged 78 years
Colonel H O Hugh-Smith LVO Late The Blues and Royals by Colonel H P D Massey, The Blues and Royals Henry Hugh-Smith was born in 1937 and educated at Ampleforth. His father, who was in the Navy, tried to stop him returning to the army, but his mother supported him and his real military career began. He was commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards as a National Service officer in May 1957 serving in the UK and Cyprus, trying to hold peace between the Greeks and the Turks. He saw real action there and, while walking through the streets of Nicosia, his friend was shot dead beside him. The shots had come from an upstairs window. After graduating in History from Magdalene College, Cambridge he rejoined the Blues as a regular officer in September 1961. He served in a number of regimental and junior staff appointments until he went from commanding the Blues Mounted Squadron to the Staff College at Camberley in 1969. That was the year that The Blues amalgamated with The 1st Royal Dragoons after which he returned to command A Squadron, The Blues and Royals from January 1970 until October 1971. As the reconnaissance squadron in the force responsible for guarding the flanks of NATO, he took his squadron to arctic training in the north of Norway and on exercise in eastern Greece. In April 1971, his was the first squadron in the Regiment to be deployed to Northern Ireland. In 1972, as a Major on the staff of London District he was seconded to the Widgery Tribunal, charged with looking into the events of ‘Bloody Sunday’. While there, he lived with 2nd Battalion Royal Green Jackets. At the conclusion of the lengthy Tribunal he asked to accompany a patrol in order that he could get a feel for himself of what it was like to be on infantry operations. On the night of 13/14 March in an action lasting eight minutes in the Bogside in Londonderry, with some 600 rounds exchanged, Henry was shot in the right arm. His right hand was subsequently amputated above the wrist.
108 ■ Obituaries
452721 Colonel Henry Hugh-Smith LVO BA RHG/D Served from 1st January 1956 to 31st December 1991 Died December 2016, aged 79 years 24263387 F/CoH David Garland RHG/D Served from 7th May 1974 to 1st May 1988 Died 17th December 2016, aged 59 years
While Henry was recovering in King Edward VII hospital, he was visited by the Colonel, The Blues and Royals, Field Marshal Sir Gerald Templar. A considerable number of senior officers assembled to accompany the Field Marshal. However when they reached the door of Henry’s room he turned round and told them all to bugger off. At a later stage Henry presented the 2 Royal Green Jackets Officers’ Mess with a silver figure of a swan with a broken wing mounted on a marble plinth with a suitable inscription to commemorate his ‘swan’ going out on patrol. Two years ago the Commanding Officer of Second Rifles, the natural successors, met and reassured Henry that the Swan is still in pride of place next to him at all dinner nights.
He then served on the staff of Northern Ireland and 2 Infantry Brigade until in June 1974 he became Equerry to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, a post he was extremely proud to have filled. During this time he had to learn to do everything with his left hand including writing, getting dressed, saluting, firing his personal weapon, riding a horse and sailing while wearing a hook to replace his right hand. The only thing he admitted to having given up was shooting with a shotgun. At the end of this tour he was appointed MVO, later converted to LVO. A series of postings to both Regimental and Staff appointments followed culminating in his taking command of The Blues and Royals, a Chieftain tank regiment in Detmold, in February 1978. Before doing so he had to satisfy the authorities that he could manage the duplex controller in the turret of his Chieftain with his hook. This was a challenging tour in command because he had to lead his Regiment on a roulement infantry tour in West Belfast the following year. Here the Regiment suffered several casualties, four of them fatal. Henry maintained his exceptionally high standards throughout and in subsequent enquiries was described as “an officer of the highest personal integrity whose personal sense of honour and commitment to his Regiment are absolute.” His personal
example was instrumental in keeping the Regiment on an even keel during this difficult time. Henry was a hugely popular Commanding Officer with both his officers and his men. He had a quick brain and gave clear direction at all times. In matters of opinion there were no grey areas. He was quick to defend those he commanded from external criticism and was kind hearted in a no-nonsense sort of way. When a Guards Brigadier complained about the standard of saluting by one of Henry’s soldiers, he was very swiftly invited to look at the standards of saluting in the rest of the Garrison. Certain topics could provoke a furious reaction sometimes resulting in hilarious consequences. On one such occasion, while emphasising a point, Henry flung his arm out, thereby managing to spot-weld his hook to the battery of the engine in his yacht, Shabraque. He was a keen sailor and would frequently invite his officers to join him on board. After command, Henry had a number of roles including command of the UK element in the Sinai. In 1987 he was promoted full Colonel and served as Defence Attaché in Nairobi until his retirement on medical grounds in 1991. He was appointed National Chairman of the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association (BLESMA) in 1996 until 2010. He was elected a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1970 and also belonged to the Royal Cruising Club. In 2010, aged 72, he sailed across the Atlantic in the Royal Ocean Racing Club 600 Yacht Race with fourteen ex-service men as the first all-amputee crew. His philosophy was that “there is no disability when everyone on board is somewhat in bits.” He owned a number of boats - the last two being named appropriately Drum Horse - and based in the Caribbean.
volunteered for military service and was commissioned, aged 18, into the Royal Dragoons. Crossing over to France after D-Day, he saw action in France, Holland and Germany and was mentioned in dispatches after volunteering to paddle across to small hilly island to spy out enemy positions. Though the island came under sustained enemy fire (and was obliterated by the Germans the following day), he made his escape and after paddling back, relayed the vital information. In Holland, leading a group of armoured cars through a town, his car was blown up by a panzerfaust anti-tank weapon, the explosion throwing him clear of the car, and knocking him unconscious. When he came to he was deaf from the blast and since the burning wreckage shielded him from the Germans, began to crawl towards a muddy ditch. Instead, remembering that his driver was still in the car, he ran back and pulled the man out. As they ran for cover, Strachan received a bullet in the leg. Captured by the Germans, Strachan was taken to a hospital, in which he was the only Allied patient. There he played chess with his German neighbour and when on Hitler’s birthday an SS officer arrived to distribute sweets and cigarettes, he pulled the sheet over his head and held out his hand, later speculating that he was probably the only Allied soldier to have received a “birthday” present from the Fuhrer. He nearly died from blood poisoning until the hospital was overrun and he was flown back to Britain.
Henry was a dedicated, courageous and professional officer and a good friend of many. He always stuck up for those less able to look after themselves. No one will forget his indomitable spirit and he will be remembered with respect and affection by his family, those who served with him, and all who knew and worked with him.
Ben Strachan Late The Royal Dragoons with acknowledgment to The Daily Telegraph Benjamin Leckie Strachan, who was 92 years old when he died on 12th July, was born in Edinburgh on 4th January 1924. His father was a doctor who had won an MC in the First World War for rescuing wounded men under fire. A brother, Gordon, would become well known in Scotland as the Reverend Gordon Strachan, author of Freeing the Feminine and Jesus the Master Builder. Ben won a scholarship to Rossall School, Lancashire, followed by an exhibition to Oxford, but instead of going up he
After the war Strachan joined the 4th Hussars and, while serving in Malaya during the Emergency in 1948, was shot in the arm during an ambush. It was only later that he discovered that the bullet had gone straight through his arm and penetrated his chest, lodging a few centimetres from his heart. He later transferred to the 10th Hussars, taking command of the regiment as major. During his Army service Strachan had studied at the Royal Military College of Science and learned Arabic at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the Army’s Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies in Lebanon and served as an intelligence officer in Egypt, ending his military career as deputy head of MI10 (technical intelligence). By 1961, however, he had concluded that he was not a good peacetime soldier and decided on a whim to apply for the diplomatic service. When asked at the interview what he would do about the Egyptian president Nasser, he responded that it was a bit unfair to ask him to solve in 10 minutes a problem that had baffled the British government for 10 years. Nonetheless, he was appointed head of the Middle East section of the Foreign Office’s counter-propaganda department and ran the information services of the British colonial government in Aden. He followed that with postings in Kuwait, as commercial attaché, and as chargé d’affaires in Jordan, where he had to barricade himself into the downstairs cloakroom of his house
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in Amman as it came under grenade attack during the civil war that erupted between the PLO and the Jordanian army. His first ambassadorial posting, at the end of 1976, was to Yemen, being appointed CMG in 1978. In 1979 he was appointed ambassador to the Lebanon. As ambassador to the Lebanon he became the first senior British official to meet the Palestine Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat. The meeting with Arafat had not been sanctioned by the British government and almost led to Strachan’s dismissal. But it helped to open a dialogue which would eventually lead to the Oslo peace accord. Strachan had been approached at a party by a Palestinian businessman, who asked him whether he would be interested in meeting the PLO chairman. He agreed, not thinking that Arafat would turn up 15 minutes later with an armed guard. The PLO leader immediately launched into a tirade, blaming Britain for the plight of the Palestinians. But Strachan, according to family members, was having none of it. “Look,” he said, “the people in charge at the time have been and gone, governments feel no guilt, so here we are.” Thereupon Arafat visibly relaxed and they were able to talk the problems through. When Arafat got up to leave, he stretched out his right hand and smiled, saying: “We shall ask for you as a first British ambassador of our new Palestine.” That was not to be. Instead Strachan was posted to Algeria, where in 1982 he got caught up in the drama of the disappearance of the prime minister’s son. Mark Thatcher’s car had broken its axle and he was missing for several days; there was speculation that he might have been kidnapped. Mrs Thatcher was distraught, so Denis flew out, and he and Strachan set out to look for him alongside a fleet of aeroplanes, helicopters, trucks and Land Rovers containing hundreds of soldiers, border patrolmen and police from Algeria and neighbouring Mali. After 31 hours of searching from the air, Mark Thatcher was spotted by an Algerian pilot 400 miles west of the Mali border and retrieved alive and well. Strachan was quoted as saying that the prime minister’s son and his colleagues had made a makeshift tent in the desert to shelter them during the six days they were missing. Denis Thatcher, it seems, was inclined to take a less charitable view of his son’s rallying career than his wife. Asked whether his son would compete again, he said: “I jolly well hope not.” Although Strachan got on well with Denis, he was less convinced about his wife and never got round to accepting her invitation to Chequers to thank him. “I’ll be blowed if I’m going to waste my holiday hanging round that lot,” he said. He retired as ambassador to Algeria in 1984 but returned to the Foreign Office as a special adviser (Middle East) during the first Gulf War in 1990. After retirement he returned to Scotland and settled on his farm, Mill of Strachan in Aberdeenshire, where he dabbled, not always very successfully, in a series of business ventures including a language school, a gift shop, a trout fishery and importing Algerian wine. He also became an active member of the Liberal Democrats. A keen golfer, he created a nine-hole pitch and putt course round his fields and published a book, The Skirts of Alpha, on the internet, in which he attempted to prove that consciousness exists in the atom, and that even electrons have free will. In 2005, at the age of 91, he finally graduated, with an MA in Mathematics from Aberdeen University. Ben Strachan is survived by his second wife, Lize, by their two sons, and by a son from his first marriage to Ellen.
Captain Richard Astor Late The Life Guards Richard Astor was a quiet, self-deprecating man. He treated all people the same, and would listen and talk to anyone in
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any circumstances, of whatever rank, or background, in exactly the same manner. He was most fortunate to have met, courted and married Katherine. He was born on 20th November 1953, and educated at Eton. He was from a Life Guards family; Richard Astor joined the Army and attended Brigade Squad at Pirbright in 1973, where his biggest problem was missing Kaper, his black Labrador. A Brigade Squad story Richard loved to recall was when he was caught out on some minor error that was reported to his instructor. The instructor barked into Richard’s ear, red faced and apoplectic rage and expletives - ‘Astor were you cuttin’ about, or leapin’ about ?’ Being recent arrivals the Squad had not yet learned the right answer to such a question. Richard replied, carefully hedging his bets and with that air of sublime vagueness, or cultivated diffidence ‘I, er’m, think, um, I was, er, doing a bit of both Sergeant...’ He was instantly marched at quick time to the Guardroom and given the chance to be further educated in the use of the floor bumper. At Sandhurst, the junior intake was also on duty for the Sovereign’s Parade. The salute was to be taken by his uncle, Lord Astor. Having been marched out onto the square in No 1 Dress and highly polished ammo boots, Staff Corporal Smart RHG/D, an immaculate figure in Blue Patrol Jacket and tight overalls, was doing the final checks, and said to Officer Cadet Astor ‘wouldn’t Nanny be pleased to see you now Sir ?’ But then his eagle eye settled on a small piece of striped viyella pyjama just sticking out above the blue patrol jacket collar, which he then pulled out - ‘No she would not Sir!’ Richard later asserted that Nanny would have laughed heartily and still have been very proud. His Uncle, on the other hand, was no doubt mildly surprised and may have wondered why all this laughter was breaking out amongst the junior cadets in the rear ranks. He joined the Regiment in Germany for a year on Chieftain tanks as a Troop Leader, returning to Windsor in 1975. He was in B Squadron on the tour to Northern Ireland, securing RAF Aldergrove, with 5 Troop at the Police station in Aghalee, with CoH Denton. This involved extensive vehicle patrolling, and searching Lisburn shops for firebombs. The roads often had inadequate markings, and it was possible to take a wrong road, not realising one was leaving the main road. Richard got annoyed with his Land Rover driver for making this mistake, and told him late one evening not to turn off the main road unless told to. Some time later the driver asked Richard
which way to go, and had to repeat himself as Richard had dozed off. Richard looked up to find they were at the docks in Belfast having driven down the Falls Road. In the very early days of hang gliding he and David NaylorLeyland convinced the Commanding Officer to help fund a pair of early models. These intrepid aviators had mixed success and returned from their first outing with a new perspective of the dangers and some broken struts. They persevered; on one occasion Richard and others took one up to the gibbet on the downs overlooking his house and assembled it in a stiffish breeze. With the instruction manual in one hand, a pair of pliers, mole wrench and screwdriver in the other, it came together. Without much further ado he strapped into the harness and ran down the hill, caught an updraft and was airborne over the downs; after a few moments, and to huge relief, he started to descend and landed, nose first, unscathed, in a barley field, not far from his house at Kirby. Shortly after returning to Windsor, Richard was posted to London. He would ensure that his morning exercise ride, on Bucephalus, his dependable charger, took a route to Billing Place, their house just short of Stamford Bridge off the Fulham Road (it was less of a strain after they had moved to Pelham Crescent). It was here that he secured his horse, gave him a cup of tea, and went in for breakfast. The neighbours got something free as well, scooped off the road for their window boxes. On 7/7/77, Richard and Katherine had their fabulously happy and glamorous wedding on the Hispaniola, a boat moored to the Thames Embankment in glorious sunshine. It was a splendid occasion, memorable also to Col Toby Browne (RHG/D) and Richard Dorman (IG) who jumped off the boat into the Thames in their morning coats. Having got the flying bug from hang-gliding, he applied to be a helicopter pilot in the Army Air Corps. He passed all the entry exams and coordination tests with his usual ‘this is easy’ approach, and commenced training at Nether Wallop. On his first solo flight he landed Her Majesty’s helicopter on the lawn, at Kirby in time for tea and cakes, with a fairly anxious wife looking on. There was a regular theme in his conduct as regards home, at Billing Place and Kirby. From Knightsbridge he took his Troop to Kirby, along with their horses for a winter camp fortnight. Physically things came easy to Richard. He was a good shot, took to riding easily, and had the coordination to fly, although unfortunately he did not have quite what the AAC wanted in a pilot. He left the Army and concentrated on his family and estate. Richard was above all a family man. He was a proud member of the Royal Yacht Squadron (RYS), although firmly a motor rather than sail exponent. He showed determination as a sailor. This keenness combined with his sense of decorum once led him in rough seas in the Solent to sail past one of Majesty’s finest, HMS Invincible, determined to see the proper acknowledgments made; the ship has to acknowledge a RYS vessel. The fact that Emily, who had to raise the pennant while he drove, was nearly swept overboard as Richard had to make successive passes to be seen, was a risk worth taking and eventually the aircraft carrier dipped her
White Ensign. Richard liked the role of ringmaster and loved having people around him. He was very proud of his service and of his regiment, The Life Guards. He hated pretension in anyone, and whilst highly traditional himself, he was by no means a stickler for convention; he had good manners, and style. Cruelly, his last 10 years were blighted by his worsening early onset dementia, bravely borne, which robbed him of his ability to understand his circumstances. He would have been very flattered that three of his former Corporals of Horse attended his memorial service. He leaves behind Katherine and three accomplished children; Emily, Charles and Tamara.
SQMC Mick Pinks Late REME, Royal Horse Guards, and The Blues and Royals Mick died on 31st August 2016 aged 77 years. He was a straight talking no nonsense Yorkshireman. After completing his National Service with the REME (ironically attached to the Royals) after his demob he was unsettled and he rejoined the army with the Blues in 1964 and became an armoured car crewman in the British Army of the Rhine (BAOR). His service covered tours in Windsor, Cyprus, Northern Ireland and back to BAOR after amalgamation as a Blue and Royal crewing Chieftain tanks. He took the long course as a Signals Instructor at Bovington and thrived in the teaching role on his return to the regiment. Mick also spent time at ERE as a recruiter at ACIO Brighton and as a Radio Instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He was a keen sportsman and represented the regiment at cricket and hockey; he was also a skilled footballer and played for an independent C Squadron in Cyprus Northern Sovereign Base Area in the ‘Saluna Bar’ cup final (fairest teams in the league): C Squadron won. Mick was an easy person to get along with as a friend and work colleague taking pride in his work always wanting to get the job done with minimum fuss. He completed his service with the Regiment at Windsor in 1984, and took on civvy street in his easy-going manner. Buying a house in Windsor and eventually securing a job with a freezer food company where he was made redundant three times. During this time he suffered an accident when a pallet load collapsed on his leg. After weeks of treatment he returned to work, was made redundant again and retired. Mick was a regimental association committee member for a few years and also went on to become a committee man of the Windsor Ex Servicemans Club which he greatly enjoyed, involving himself in all aspects of the running of the club until it was closed a few years ago. Mick took delight in life and was especially proud of all his
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children; it was an honour to know and serve with him. Rest in peace, Mick.
Trooper George Morley Late The Life Guards by Major Brian Rogers, The Life Guards Tpr George Morley served with the Household Cavalry from 1941-1946. He was born on 10th February 1922 into a farming family at Sleights, North Yorkshire. George, despite being in a reserved occupation enlisted in The Life Guards, influenced by his Uncle Jack who had served before him. He attested at Scarborough on 20th March 1941, aged 19yrs 31 days and was posted to the Household Cavalry Training Regiment until 14th September, from where he was posted to 2HCR. He embarked for North West Europe with 2 HCR on the 11th September 1944 and served through France, Belgium, Holland and Germany and was subsequently awarded the ‘39-‘45 Star along with the France and Germany Star. At the end of the war he was cross-posted to 1 HCR on 17th August 1945 to The Life Guards as they reformed; he was eventually demobbed on the 17th January 1946. Over the radio George was known as “The girl with the golden voice” due to his higher pitched vocals. He was a despatch rider and armoured car driver in NW Europe, involved in the breakout from Vernon to Arras; at the end of the war he was in the force that met the Russians as the war in Europe came to an end. George kept in touch with many of the men he served with, and he and Hilary would visit many old comrades, and in return also host them in North Yorkshire. After the war he returned to farming and was a frequent visitor to Irish cattle markets. When he attended Roscommon Market in Ireland he was immediately recognised by the auctioneer, Jimmy Conry-Candler, whom George had last seen lying badly injured on the outskirts of Brussels. George and Jimmy stayed in touch and George went on to visit Jimmy on his numerous trips to Ireland. George was also an avid horseman; he
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would visit Ireland to purchase young stock which he would break in and sell on to the Police, for hunting, eventing and all equestrian disciplines. Growing up I knew George as the owner of the local riding stables, and I had no idea until after I had joined The Life Guards, that we shared that service in common. I last bumped into him at a recent Life Guards Association Dinner, which was the first one he had attended for a while. Like many wartime soldiers, he had attended the 2HCR Dinners and subsequent lunches, rather than the Association Dinner. George enjoyed many hunt meets and also hired horses out to local hunts and continued riding himself long after his official retirement age. He only really “retired” and moved away from his farm in 2014, into a bungalow aptly named Guardsgate, in Pickering. George died suddenly aged 94 on 3rd June 2016 and was cremated at East Riding Crematorium, Octon with donations going to The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust. He leaves behind his long term partner, Hilary, and he was the father of Christine, the late Richard, William and Robert as well as being a Grandfather and Great-Grandfather. He was dearly loved and will be sorely missed, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Hilary and his family.
Mr Royston William Vines Stokes Trooper 22078017, Royal Horse Guards Royston “Roy” Stokes was born on the 10th July 1930 in Bristol, an only child to Reginald and Evelyn Stokes. He had a happy childhood up until his father died when he was eight years old. He was then brought up by his mother and grandparents. He joined and served the Royal Horse Guards at the age of 18 years old, from 1947-1950. Also being called up again for Korea. But not being required. Good food, hard training and discipline set him up for life! His pride at being part of the family of Guards continued until his passing. After being demobbed, Roy carried on to have a very varied working life, from working in the boot factory’s in Kingswood, Bristol to being a milkman, salesman, driving instructor, a continental HGV 1 driver, taking Westland Helicopter parts down to Marseille, France. Following that he went on to become a machinist for British Aerospace, Filton for 11 years before taking early retirement. Not content with taking life easy he then became a Security Officer for a retail park until he was 78 years old, becoming the oldest guard in Bristol. His love of the Regiment stayed with him always and wore his blazer and guards tie with immense pride. For which myself, his daughter Anita and his granddaughters will carry this legacy with pride for the rest of our lives.
The Army’s National Charity Last year, we spent some £7.7million on delivering grants, to over 5,000 soldiers, veterans and their immediate families, and provided funding to 72 charities which deliver specialist support on our collective behalf.
Working with every Regiment & Corps of the British Army to support our soldiers, veterans and their immediate families – for life. To donate or to find out more ways you can support our Charity, visit www.soldierscharity.org ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is a registered charity in England and Wales (1146420) and Scotland (039189). Registered as a company limited by guarantee in England and Wales (07974609). Registered Office: Mountbarrow House, 6-20 Elizabeth Street London SW1W 9RB Tel: 020 7901 8900, Email: email@example.com
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Information for members of both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations Communication Correspondence for both Associations should be addressed to: The Honorary Secretary (LG or RHG/D Assn), Home Headquarters Household Cavalry, Combermere Barracks, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3DN General Office: 01753 755297 LG Assn Secretary: 01753 755229 RHG/D Assn Secretary: 01753 755132 E-Mail for Home HQ is: firstname.lastname@example.org E-Mail for Secretary LG Assn is: email@example.com E-Mail for Secretary RHG/D Assn is: firstname.lastname@example.org Recruiting and Admission procedures for In-Pensioners Royal Hospital Chelsea The Royal Hospital Chelsea are currently reviewing their recruiting and admission procedures as they now believe there may be some senior citizens with military experience who might be eligible to become In-Pensioners but who are not aware of the eligibility criteria or what being a Chelsea Pensioner means. To be eligible for admission as a Chelsea Pensioner, a candidate must be: • Over 65 years of age • Either a former non-commissioned officer or soldier of the British Army; or a former officer of the British Army who served for at least 12 years in the ranks before obtaining a commission; or have been awarded a disablement pension while serving in the ranks. • Able to live independently in the sheltered accommodation (known as Long Wards). The Royal Hospital does not usually accept direct entries in to the Infirmary. • Free of any financial obligation to support a spouse or family. If you are in receipt of an Army Service Pension or War Disability Pension you will be required to surrender it upon entry to the Royal Hospital. Please note that if your Army Service or War Disability Pension does not meet a minimum threshold you will be required to ‘top-up’ to that amount,
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providing it does not place you in financial difficulty.
A Bulletin Board for former Household Cavalrymen. To register follow the link.
If you have access to the internet more information can be found here: http://www.chelsea-pensioners. co.uk/becoming-a-chelsea-pensionerbrochure Or you may ring for more information on 020 7881 5204
Household Cavalry Information site run by Peter Ashman: http://www.householdcavalry.info/
Change of Home Address Members are requested to inform us, through Home Headquarters Household Cavalry, of any change in your address. Every year both Associations lose touch with a number of members who have failed to notify us of those changes. Any correspondence returned will result in that member being placed in the non-effective part of the database. Your E-Mail Addresses Notification of changes to your E-mail address is as important as changes to your postal address. Please keep us informed of these also. Regimental Items for Sale Various items with the Regimental Cyphers are available from the PRI shops at Combermere Barracks, and at Hyde Park Barracks. Opening hours may be determined by calling the Guardrooms on 01753 755244 and 020 7414 2550 respectively. The Household Cavalry Museum Shop at Horse Guards can be contacted on 020 7930 3070 or you can visit their web site at: www. householdcavalrymuseum.org.uk/ Websites The MoD official Household Cavalry Website can be found at: http://www.army.mod.uk/armoured/ regiments/1627.aspx ArmyNet is the serving Army’s private Web site to which Association members have now been given access. To open an account with ArmyNet non serving members must first register with Home HQ on the numbers and addresses above.. www.theoldoaktree.net A web site for former members of The Life Guards. To register follow the link above. http://www.theseniorcavalryclub. proboards.com/
The Queen’s Birthday Parade and Reviews The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Saturday 17th June 2017 with the Colonels’ Review on Saturday 10th June and the Major General’s Review on 3rd June. A limited number of tickets for the Stands (seating) and the Inner Line of Sentries (standing only) will be available for members through your respective Honorary Secretary. Tickets may be sought through Home Headquarters Household Cavalry. Applications to attend the Parade in the seated stands should be sent in January and February. Combined Cavalry Parade and Service The 93rd Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Parade and Service will be held in Hyde Park on Sunday 14th May 2017. Members of each Association should assemble in Broad Walk at 1030 hrs on the grass behind their Regimental Marker Board. Dress will be lounge suits and medals (not miniatures). Owing to the security arrangements members should give themselves plenty of time to get to the Assembly area. Members are invited to Hyde Park Barracks after the parade but admission will only be by ticket available from your respective Honorary Secretary. Helpful Contacts The following is a list of organisations which members may find useful for future reference. Veterans-UK (0800 169 2277) www.veterans-uk.info email@example.com Royal Windsor Visitors Information Bureau Enquiries: 01753 743900 Accommodation: 01753 743907 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or www.windsor.gov.uk Those visiting Windsor, either for Regimental functions, or any other reason, may wish to know that a Travelodge is now open offering rooms
at very competitive rates. They can be contacted on 0871 984 6331 or their web site at: http://www.travelodge. co.uk/find_a_hotel/hotel/hotel_ id/329/WindsorCentral. We are in the process of identifying ‘Friends’ of the Household Cavalry who might be willing to offer up a bed or two during Association Dinners. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission They have an excellent website which can be searched using basic details, for information about the final resting place of war dead at home and overseas. Their site can be found at www.cwgc.org ESHRA (Ex-Service Homes Referral Agency) The role of ESHRA is to supply information and advice on both private and ex-Service Care Homes. This includes the location of the homes, general advice on funding and care assessments, and the services that the homes can provide i.e. respite and convalescent care. Contact Details: ESHRA, The Royal British Legion, 48 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ZR. 0207 839 4466. email@example.com www.eshra.com
the Armed Forces of the Crown, their families and dependants. Local branches of SSAFA Forces Help can be found in the local phone book or from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau or contact the Central Office at: 020 7403 8783 or visit their web site at: www.ssafa.org.uk. SSAFA Forces Help - Recruitment SSAFA Forces Help need more volunteers from each Association to be Casework Supporters who are visitors, treasurers, administrators and fundraisers. SSAFA Forces Help volunteers are there to provide practical help, advice and friendship to all serving and ex-serving men, women and their families. More than 85,000 call on the charity every year. Training is given (2 days), and out-of-pocket expenses are paid. Job satisfaction is guaranteed. If you can spare a little time for a ‘comrade’ please contact: Branch Recruitment Office 19 Queen Elizabeth Street London SE1 2LP Telephone: 020 7463 9223 who will put you in touch with your nearest team or make contact through www.ssafa.org.uk/volunteering.html
Officers’ Association (OA) and OA, Scotland
SSAFA Forces Help Housing Advice Service
Helps ex-officers in financial distress, provides homes for disabled officers and families, and operates a residential home in Devon. It also assists exOfficers to find suitable employment after leaving the Service. They can be contacted in England on 020 7389 5219 and in Scotland on 0131 557 2782 or their web site at: http://www.officersassociation.org.uk/
Provides housing information and advice to Ex-Service personnel and their dependants. For further information contact them at 01722 436400 or www.ssafa.org.uk/housing.html
The Royal British Legion (TRBL) TRBL is the UK’s largest ex-service organisation with some 570,000 members. One of its objects is to promote the relief of need and to promote the education of all those who are eligible, their spouses, children and dependants. If you need help, you can contact the local TRBL branch near you (number in the local phone book), or the national Legion help line on 08457 725 725 or visit their web site at: www.britishlegion.org.uk SSAFA Forces Help SSAFA-FH exists to help, according to need, all men and women serving, or who have served at any time, in
Haig Homes Haig Homes have some 1100 homes throughout the country for letting exclusively to ex-regulars and their families on assured tenancies. For details of where properties are located and application forms contact them at 020 8648 0335 or through www. haighomes.org.uk The Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society (Combat Stress) For nearly 80 years it has been the only organization specialising in the care of men and women of all ranks discharged from the Armed Services who suffer from injury of the mind. The Society has 3 short stay treatment centres that specialise in providing treatment for those who need help in coping with their psychological problems. For more information and full contact details for regional offices telephone the Head
Office on 01372 841600 or visit their web site at: www.combatstress.com. The British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association (BLESMA) The objects of the Association is to promote the welfare of all those who have lost a limb or limbs, or use of limbs, or one or both eyes as a result of their service in the Forces and to assist needy dependants of such Service limbless. It will also help those Ex-Servicemen who lose a leg after Service. For more details contact them on 020 8590 1124 or visit their web site at: www.blesma.org. Blind Veterans UK Blind veterans UK, formerly St Dunstan’s, cares for Ex-Servicemen who have lost their sight for any reason (even after leaving the Service). For more information contact 020 7723 5021or visit their web site at www.blindveterans.org.uk. Regular Forces Employment Association (RFEA) contact no is 020 7321 2011 or at www.rfea.org.uk Veterans Aid Previously known as the Ex - Service Fellowship Centres (EFC) whose aims are is to relieve distress among ex-servicemen of all ranks and their widows or widowers who, at the time of application for assistance, are unemployed, homeless or for reasonable cause in need. They can be contacted at 020 7828 2468. Their web site is at: www.veterans-aid.net Ministry of Defence (MOD) Medal Office There is now one Medal Office, which covers all three Services and they be contacted as follows: Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Building 250, RAF Innsworth Gloucester GL3 1HW Email: JPAC@afpaa.mod.uk Fax: 0141 224 3586 Free Phone: 0800 085 3600 Overseas Civ: +44 (0) 141 224 3600 For additional information about medals visit: www.veterans-uk.info Cyprus GSM Clasp – 1963-64 As a result of an Independent Medal review conducted by Lt Gen Sir John Holmes a General Service Medal is available for those qualifying between 21 Dec 63 and 26 Mar 64. This is relevant
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to some Household Cavalrymen. Veterans Badges Men and Women who enlisted in HM Armed Forces between 3rd September 1945 to date are entitled to a Veterans Badge. There is no qualifying length of Service. You can download a form from the Veterans Agency Website at http:// www.veterans-uk.info/vets_badge/ vets_badge.htm or can obtain one by telephoning the Veterans Agency Help line 0800 169 2277 Army Personnel Records and Family Interest Enquiries - Historical Disclosures The Ministry of Defence (MOD) keeps the records of former members of our Armed Forces for administrative use after their discharge. A Subject Access Requests (SAR) form needs to be completed in order to access records for all ranks in the Army that served after 1920. The following address should be used for ex-soldiers wishing to access their personal records: Army Personnel Centre, Disclosure 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX Tel: 0845 600 9663 The following address should be used for family members wishing to access records of deceased soldiers: Army Personnel Centre, Historical Disclosures, Mail Point 400, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX
held by the MOD have been transferred to the National Archive and are freely available for public access. However the National Archives is not resourced to carry out searches. Enquirers are instead welcome to visit, or hire an independent researcher - see the National Archive website for further details at http:// www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ militaryhistory/
Charitable Fund (Charity No 1013978), whose Declaration of Trust for this Fund was made on 10th February 1975. Its primary function then was to build up funds to deal with major regimental casualty incidents, and major events such as the Standards Parade. With the Union of the two Regiments in 1992 the Declaration was re-issued on 6th August 1992.
The Veterans Oyster Photocard
Its primary source of income is from The Day’s Pay Scheme (formerly The One Day’s Pay Scheme) into which Household Cavalrymen voluntarily contribute (less musicians). A minimum of 51% of this income is passed to each Assn (LG and RHG/D) and that must be spent on the ‘welfare’ of retired members and their dependants who are in need. The HCF is here to support all the Household Cavalry family in times of need or distress with five noted pastoral care objectives:
You can travel free at any time using your Veterans Oyster photocard on: Bus - Travel free at any time on buses within London Tube, tram, DLR and London Overground showing the TFL symbol You can apply for a Veterans Oyster photocard if you are: • Receiving ongoing payments under the War Pensions Scheme in your name (this includes widows, widowers and dependants) • Or receiving Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme in your name (this includes widows, widowers and dependants) Transport for London will not issue a Veterans Oyster photocard if you live in London and are eligible for the Freedom Pass. Visit - http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ tickets/14424.aspx or Oyster photocard team on 0845 331 9872 for further details and application. Household Cavalry Charities
The following personnel Service records have been transferred to the National Archive (formerly the Public Record Office) and are available for public access.
We are always extremely grateful if past and serving members of the Household Cavalry wish to make donations or leave legacies in their Wills to our principal charities.
• Royal Navy Officers commissioned prior to 1914 • Royal Navy Ratings who enlisted prior to 1924 and First World War records for the Women’s Royal Naval Service • Royal Marine Officers commissioned prior to 1926 • Royal Marine Other Ranks that enlisted prior to 1926 • Army Officers commissioned prior to 1920 • Army Other Ranks that enlisted prior to 1920 • Royal Air Force Officers that served prior to 1922 • Royal Air Force Airmen that served prior to 1924
To help you decide which of our charities you may wish to benefit, and how, please read the following summaries of the objects and payment details of the main Household Cavalry charities.
Service records which pre-date those
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If you have any queries please ask the Secretary of your Regimental Association. Household Cavalry Foundation (HCF) (Charity No 1151869) http://www.hcavfoundation.org HCF is now the umbrella organisation for all Household Cavalry charities and funds. The origin of the Foundation lies in the Household Cavalry Central
1. Support for serving soldiers. The HCF aims to help serving Household Cavalry soldiers by providing funding for additional training, sporting activities, life-skills or educational opportunities with the assistance of the Regimental Welfare Officers external to those already provided by the Armed Forces. This will help to ensure that our troops remain motivated and dedicated to their careers within the Regiment or assist them in the transition to civilian life. 2. Caring for our casualties. Building on the excellent work of the Operational Casualties Fund, Household Cavalry personnel who suffer either physical or mental injury during their service can rely upon the HCF to provide them with the best possible support. This help extends to families and dependants too, and can take many forms. Our core aim is to ensure that our personnel and their families are aware of and have full access to all possible existing welfare provision. Where these welfare systems are found to be insufficient, the HCF will provide funds and physical support to ensure that our casualties can confidently either return to their regimental duties or move into civilian life with the reassurance that they will be supported for as long as they may require it. 3. Welfare support for our Veterans. The HCF works closely with both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations, which both continue to conduct business in the usual way. We are extremely fortunate to benefit from the
excellent communication networks and goodwill provided by the two Associations and thanks to this the HCF is able to increase the levels of help for former members of the Regiment in time of financial need or hardship. We look forward to liaising with Paul Stretton and Dick and Di Hennessy-Walsh in ensuring that all of our veterans remain an integral and well supported part of our Regimental family. 4. Helping maintain our History and Heritage. The HCF is extremely proud of our Regimental history and ethos. The Household Cavalry Museum boasts locations at Horse Guards and Windsor, the latter acting as an educational source and additionally housing the unique archives, both of which will be of benefit to the HCF. The Charity will seek wherever possible to promote the Regiment’s unique heritage to a wider audience and help to maintain our physical artefacts and memorabilia for generations to come. 5. Horses remain at our heart. The Government does not provide funding for our horses in their retirement years. The HCF will help and work closely with external charities and individuals who ensure the welfare of our horses post service. In addition the Charity will provide, when necessary, funding to provide training for soldiers to ensure the highest levels of equitation and horse welfare are maintained. Household Cavalry Museum Trust Limited (Charity Reg No 1108039) Objects: to educate members of the general public and Household Cavalrymen about the regimental history of all regiments that now constitute the Household Cavalry, to preserve regimental memorabilia, and to operate the two museums, one at Horse Guards and the other at Windsor. In addition there is a trading fund the Household Cavalry Museum Enterprises Limited (HCMEL) which handles the Horse Guards Museum trading as well as incorporating the stock for internet sales and in due course regimental PRIs. Items for military personnel would not be sold to non H Cav personnel. Comment: The Museum is now debt free, and the HCMEL is trading at a profit. In 2015 there will be an allocation of profit to the HCF, and it is hoped that this will be annual from now on. Profits from the Museum will go towards
helping past and serving Household Cavalrymen and their dependants who are in financial hardship. The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust (Charity No 229144) from 25th October 2010 This charity, established by a Scheme dated 25th October 2010, was formed from the previous three LG Association charities, namely the Helping Hand Fund, The Life Guards Charitable Trust and the Sir Roger Palmer Fund. The objects of The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust are: 1. To relieve members or former members of The Life Guards (“the Regiment”) or their dependants who are in need by virtue of financial hardship, sickness, disability or the effects of old age by: a. making grants of money to them, or b. providing or paying for goods, services or facilities for them including education or training, or c. making grants of money to other persons or bodies who provide goods, services or facilities to those in need. 2.
To promote the efficiency of the Regiment in any charitable way as the trustees from time to time may decide including, but not limited to: a. maintaining and promoting contact between serving and former members of the Regiment and providing for social gatherings for them; b. fostering esprit de corps, comradeship and the welfare of the Regiment and perpetuating its deeds and preserving its traditions;
The objects of the Association and the Charitable Trust are identical. They have separate legal identities for the purposes of clearer lines of responsibility, especially important for management of the Trust’s funds. The new Trust’s objects were expanded to include all the reasons most regiments have a regimental association, including now also the overall object of promoting the “efficiency” of the Regiment which simply means that the Association can support the serving Regiment more closely if it ever wishes to. Hitherto, the Association’s charitable trusts had no legal power to support the Regiment. The priority for any cash grants by the new Trust remains to help members and former members who are in need because of hardship. Also, although the new Charity rules allowed the three old charities to be merged, the existing funds in the three charities were “ring-fenced” so that they can only ever be used for hardship cases. This means, for example, they can never be used to pay for a memorial or a social function: only new money received after the establishment of the new Trust can be used towards any of the new ‘efficiency’ objects. The Blues and Royals Association (Charity No: 229144) The Blues and Royals Association is itself a registered charity reformed in 1968 after the amalgamation. Its aims are very much similar to those of LG Assn. The Blues and Royals have two charities, The Blues and Royals Association (Charity No. 259191) and the Oliver Montagu Fund (Charity No. 256297) which have similar, but not identical, objects to The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust. The Oliver Montagu Fund has less restriction on how its funds may be spent. Also subsumed in RHG/D funds is The Rose Fund. Request for Information
c. providing and maintaining a memorial or memorials to those members of the Regiment who have died in the service of their country;
Andrew Lownie is a biographer of Earl Mountbatten. He would very much like to hear from anyone who met Colonel Dickie Mountbatten or has any information about him. If you have information please contact:
d. advancing the education members of the Regiment;
Andrew Lownie, 36 Great Smith St, London, SW1P 3BU,
e. promoting the advancement in life of members of the Regiment by the provision of assistance to enable such persons to prepare for or to assist their re-entry into civilian life.
Lownie@globalnet.co.uk or telephone 0207 222 7574
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Spectemur Agendo Waterloo 2016 After the display of the 105th Eagle at the RHG/D Association dinner in 2015, a few old Royal Dragoons suggested they raise the old tradition of a dinner on Waterloo Day to commemorate the day. Come Sunday 19th June some 30 old and bold Dragoons gathered at the Union Jack Club, London, to mark the occasion. All attending agreed it was a grand event to be maintained until ‘last man standing!’ Contact details for 2017 dinner is firstname.lastname@example.org. The Gang
Household Cavalry Association - Dorset www.dorsetsquaron.co.uk Email: Dorsetsquadron@aol.com Facebook: Household Cavalry Association - Dorset
President The Rt Hon The Earl of Normanton - formerly The Blues and Royals Vice President George Dugdale - formerly The Life Guards Chairman Raymond D Peck - formerly The Life Guards Secretary and Treasurer John Triggs BEM - formerly The Blues and Royals Committee Fred Kemp - formerly Royal Horse Guards Brian Murray - formerly The Blues and Royals Bill Stephenson - formerly The Blues and Royals Barry Woodley - formerly The Life Guards
e mounted 2016 with relish and enthusiasm for this was the 90th birthday year of HM The Queen. The Committee agreed in 2015 to commemorate this event as near as possible to the day by way of a Celebration Dinner and Dance. Contracts argued and agreed with the Hotel Celebrity and we were off for this first event of the year - which incorporated the Winter Warmer Draw. We agreed to host two draws this year - the profit made from each is used to subsidise the Annual Dinner, thus making the event as affordable as possible to members. The weekend centred on Saturday 16th April and saw members and friends assemble from the Thursday night onwards at the Hotel Celebrity in Bournemouth. Friday night was the usual ‘meet ‘n greet’ night where the lamps were
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swung and family news updated and exchanged with 55 souls gathered and enjoyed dinner and a later disco. Come the next day, 83 members and friends gathered for the Queen’s Dinner and a much enjoyed informal dinner was savoured with good food and the most excellent of company. Our sincere thanks to our Gentlemen Trumpeter Steve Hyett for the most hair on the neck raising perfect Mess Call and for looking the part -immaculate as always! Many members posted photographs on Facebook to demonstrate their enjoyment of the event. Each diner took home an engraved souvenir glass to remember the occasion. The Winter Warmer Draw drew some anticipation as the three prizes of short hotel breaks and inner tickets were most attractive. Again, very special thanks to Tony Prynne who yet again produced in excess of £300 of ticket sales - many thanks Tony! On Sunday 8th May, Committee Member Barry Woodley again laid our wreath at the Memorial to the 1982 Fallen in Hyde Park after the CCOCA Annual Parade, many members assembled on the day to join the muster and the service of remembrance followed by refreshments in HCMR and many thanks for the privilege. After the success of the Waterloo Dinner the previous year, we expected the slow take-up for the Annual Dinner in October. Not a bit of it! By mid May all 150 seats had been sold and there was a waiting list running too! We completely filled all the accommodation in the hotel for the weekend and the establishment was running at full bore all weekend. Friday night dinner proved most popular, with 95 giving the kitchen an exercise in al carte menu dining! Marty Elliott again entertained after dinner with his cracking cabaret show, truly
excellent and much appreciated. Come the Saturday, diners gathered in their finery well suited to mark the event and post AGM, photographs were taken along with pre-dinner drinks. At 6:40 pm our Gentlemen Trumpeter of the night, Steve Hyett gave a resounding call to dinner and diners were invited by tables into the restaurant to reduce congestion. The hotel did us proud in being able to seat everyone on both round and square tables, there were many good comments about the layout and good table displays. The Rules of Engagement were explained and then the top table was paraded into dinner to tremendous applause and vigour. Grace was uttered and once seated a grand gala dinner. Come the moment and the President read the Salutation to Her Majesty and Her kind Reply, he then proposed the Loyal Toast which was well joined by all. The Chairman introduced Col Toby Browne LVO RHG/D and former twice Commander Household Cavalry and Crown Equerry, who gave us as ever a most amusing and illuminating slant on Waterloo and the Household Cavalry, rounding off with a toast to the Household Cavalry. The Chairman finished off the ‘talk-talk’ element of the dinner with a toast to The Ladies. It was then time for a welfare break and diners were asked to take their seats again for the Charity Auction element thereafter. The Secretary then warbled on in rapid order asking the diners to thank Steve Hyett for his ‘blowing’ and that was well appreciated. There followed the charity auction and with donations from members and the 2016 diaries donations we happily raised £750.00 for each of the regimental associations - a total of £1500.00 in all; the Secretary announced that this would be the last auction he would run due to ill health. Overall an excellent night with superb food and wonderful company was enjoyed. The
35th Annual Dinner and Dance Top Table Rear row, left to right: Mr Jon Neaga, Maj Gen Sir Simon Cooper GCVO, The Earl of Normanton, Mr Ray Peck, Col Toby Browne LVO Front row, left to right: Miss Ana Macedo, Lady Cooper, The Countess of Normanton, Mrs Paula Peck, Mrs Serena Browne
faith that the Committee put into the Hotel Celebrity was very well repaid and maintains the standard for our Annual Dinners to come. Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day saw members commemorate this special year’s occasion in their own way
around the world. Finally, Members and friends celebrated the Annual Christmas Lunch with over 50 members, family and friends enjoying the tradition seasonal meal in excellent company; we were nobly entertained at the Hotel Celebrity again.
After the raffle, we held the 35th Annual Draw for three cash prizes. The fanfare set the scene and with much anticipation we waited with bated breath as the hotel staff drew out the prizes. The Third prize of £100 was drawn first for Mrs Margaret Diggins from Knockholt, who bought the ticket from the Museum at Windsor on a visit; the Second Prize draw of £200 was won by Keith Knotridge’s daughter Sarah. Finally, Winner of the First Prize of £300 was Tom Winstanley, who immediately converted it to his booking at the Spring Dinner in March. Again, a huge vote of thanks to Tony Prynne who sold a massive £470 tickets - an outstanding effort very many thanks again Tony and well done - and well done for all who took part thank you too! As we move into 2017 as an Association, we are ever aware our numbers are reducing due to age and the general shrinkage of the Household Cavalry over the recent years, and we are still clouded with uncertain times still ahead for the Army and therefore the Household Cavalry. But with the professionalism, courage and dedication of all past and present Household Cavalrymen, we will continue with pride, relish and comradeship into 2017.
Household Cavalry Association North East President Lt Col (Retd) G G E Stibbe OBE - formerly The Life Guards Chairman/Secretary Maj (Retd) A R Tate - formerly The Life Guards Membership Secretary Mr K Kidd - formerly The Life Guards Treasurer Mr A Tuckwood - formerly The Blues and Royals
his year started with our annual dinner at the Angel View Inn on Saturday 9th April 2016. Lt Col Giles Stibbe OBE was the guest speaker. He
entertained everyone as he regaled humorous anecdotes of people he recognised around the dining room, and there were quite a few! Our President, Peter Townley, announced he was standing down and had found a suitable replacement, the guest speaker. He also formally thanked Mr Ken Rowe on behalf of the Association members, for all his hard work over the years as Chairman. Ken retired from his position following the last dinner. Our thanks go to Lieutenant Colonel Gaselee, Commanding Officer HCMR, for releasing the two mounted Dutymen who are always greatly received by the veterans.
We visited Sunderland Mayor’s Parlour numerous times during the year to maintain our links with the Mayor and his staff and to invite him to our annual dinner, which he readily accepted. In August a few members visited Newby Hall where Adrian ‘Gunner’ Mardon warmly hosted the members like only Gunner Left to right Tpr Chivers, Mayor of Sunderland Cllr B Curran, Lt Col and Mrs Giles Stibbe, Maj and Mrs Anthony can. We are hoping for a better turnout this year. Mr Tate, Mayoress Mrs Curran, Capt Peter Townley, Tpr Gamston at the Angel View inn, Gateshead, 9th April 2016 Tony Tuckwood and Mr Ian
Barwick attended Eden Camp Veterans parade, with Ian carrying our banner. In November, Association members formed an unusually small marching
Mr Ansell and Mr Watson with HCMR’s marching party
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party for Sunderland’s Remembrance Parade. The parade salute was taken by the Mayor and the Brigade Commander from 4th (NE) Brigade. As always the Temple Chambers were opened providing those on parade with a much needed warm drink and bacon sandwich. We also took part in a Sergeants Mess games night hosted by C&S Sqn QOY and members of the Northumberland Hussars OCA. The games, aimed at 6-12 year old children, were deemed highly entertaining. Watching burly ex-servicemen playing Buckaroo was a sight to behold! Our next main event is the annual dinner
Mr Les Cooke studying his next move Games night. Mr Trevor Watson playing hungry hippos
at the Angel View hotel on Saturday 7th April 2017. Anyone wishing to attend should contact the Chairman. Our
meetings are held at 1930 hours on the last Tuesday of the month at Command and Support Squadron Sergeants Mess, Queens Own Yeomanry, Fenham Barracks. All are welcome.
Household Cavalry Association North Staffs Branch President: Lt Col (Retd) H S J Scott - formerly The Life Guards Vice President: Capt P V R Thellusson - formerly 1st Royal Dragoons Chairman: Mr B A Lewis - formerly The Royal Horse Guards Secretary: Mr I J Taylor - formerly The Royal Horse Guards
to get together for members and wives to enjoy a meal and good company. The Secretary had made a visit to a quarry in the Derbyshire Peak District to choose a memorial stone for the new Life Guards memorial at the NMA, the stone generously donated by the quarry owner. There was a good turnout at the NMA for the dedication of The Cyprus Veterans Memorial, for all the losses of police and service personnel lost in that conflict, the centre piece being a piece of stone from Cyprus. There has been a matching memorial erected in Cyprus for those who did not come home.
Treasurer: Mr R Adams - formerly Royal Horse Guards
President presented several awards. A signed book of Uniquely British, photos of a year in the life of the Household Cavalry, was handed to the owner of the company that supplied the marble plaques for both Regimental memorials free of charge. A similar book was presented to member Ken Healey who had contributed so much hard work on the memorials, and the Secretary was presented with a mounted Life Guard officers helmet boss from The Life Guards Association. The President was delighted to present a silver mounted Standard Bearer from The Blues and Royals Association to the Secretary for his tireless and exemplary work on the Memorial.
reasonable turnout of members for the year’s first meeting was encouraging, considering the weather was so miserable and would continue well into the summer. The Secretary briefed members about some possible modifications to the RHG/D memorial at the NMA, and a meeting was planned with the Chairman and Secretary of the Regimental Association to discuss the proposed work. At that meeting in February at the NMA a plan was put forward, discussed and agreed upon, that the RHG/D memorial would be reduced in area and modified to include a memorial for The Life Guards.
Heroes Square and the new visitor centre at the NMA
The work done at the NMA on the Regimental memorials is covered in more detail in another article. The Remembrance Day parade and service was held at our adopted church of St Giles in Newcastle. Our Chaplain the Revd Ann gave the sermon, and the Secretary gave the bible reading.
At the Branch AGM in March, there was an update of Regimental activities passed on via our Chairman, and last year’s Branch officers were voted in again; no rest yet then! The Secretary supported the North East annual dinner, and then several members travelled down to Windsor to renew old friendships. Why is it that everyone else looks older?
The Branch Christmas dinner was held at the usual venue, The Borough Arms Hotel in Newcastle, and we were pleased to have amongst out guests Ken Robertson and Chris Elliott, Secretaries of The Life Guards and the RHG/D and Maj Adrian Gardner HCR HQ Sqn Ldr. We had earlier in the day had a meeting at the NMA to view the completed work on the Household Cavalry Memorials.
A couple of times during the year the usual social evenings were held, a time
The Christmas dinner went well, but the surprise of the evening was when our
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Mr Ian Taylor holding his presentation from the RHG/D Association marking his herculean efforts at the National Memorial Arboretum
This event was the last for this year, a little quieter now time is catching up with us, but we will continue to represent the Household Cavalry in this area. Sadly, we have seen the passing of several colleagues during the year. We heard the sad news that a colleague who many of us had served with, Ted
The Annual Branch Dinner at The Borough Arms
Beardsley, had passed away. Member Ray Ellis (LG) passed away and his wife only a month later. The Secretary acted as Standard Bearer at both these funerals. We lost our previous Padre, Revd Prebendary John Ridyard, who always let everyone know of his great pride in having been a Padre to the Household Cavalry. We hear of changes in the future, new vehicles, change of
home; whatever challenges our serving colleagues face, they will take them in their stride, like professionals, like the Household Cavalry! If any former or serving member of any Regiment in the Household Cavalry wishes to join our Branch, contact the Secretary on: 01782 660174 or ianandann.taylor@btinternet .com
Household Cavalry Association North West and West Yorkshire
President: Lt Col The Hon R C Assheton TD DL Chairman: Mr John McCarthy - formerly The Life Guards Vice Chairman: Mr Kev Lambert - formerly The Blues and Royals Treasurer: Mr Kev Thompson Secretary & Webmaster: Mr Rob Mather - formerly The Life Guards Events: TBC Four-man Sub-Committee: Mr Lenny Key Mr Peter Ditcham Mr Neil Hagan Mr TBC
n May 2016 the Northwest Branch held its annual dinner, hosted at the Queens Own Yeomanry Army Reserve Centre in Wigan. A big thank you to Captain Jimmy Aspinall for the use of their excellent facilities, which was attended by over 60 veterans from The Life Guards, The Blues and Royals,
From Left to Right: Band Member, Mr Kevin Thompson, Mr Rob Mather, Mr Don McKenzie, Mrs Jeannette Ditcham, Mrs Judith Hager
Grenadier Guards, Scots Guards, QOY, friends and family. An excellent three course meal was consumed, and we where entertained by a live band, Kitty and the Tomcats, who where excellent. The branch held its last commitAnnual Dinner. From Left to Right: Reserve Soldier of the QOY, tee meeting in the Mr John McCarthy, Mr Brian Morrall, Mr Kevin Thompson, form of a Christmas Mr Kevin Lambert, Mr Jim Evans, Mr Leonard Key, Mr Rob Mather, lunch in December Mr Peter Ditcham, Mr Rob Hearn, Reserve Soldier of QOY 2016, attended by The Chairman, Mr John McCarthy and Ralph, I will ask the question again, wife, Lenny Key and wife, Rob Mather however, I think he’s tied up with other and wife and Kevin Lambert and wife. responsibilities. Also, regarding a NW The branch respectively requests addiDinner 2017. The vast majority of the tional volunteers to become both membranch will be attending the TOOT dinbers of the branch, and also volunteers ner in March, and will take a view on a to take up positions on the committee. 2017 dinner after this event. The ChairInterested parties please email the Secman is due to go in for a heart operaretary below. No formal branch dinner tion shortly, and various other members is planned for 2017, however we will have work commitments outside the be planning a short trip to Normandy region, so we don’t expect any major acbeaches in mid 2017. In addition, the tivity in the first half of 2017. entire committee will be attending the TOOT dinner in March. And finally, ref our last Colonel Scott, regarding paying funds from the branch Also, Ken, did you see the post on the to the HCF; something I am very pro Household Cavalry Brotherhood page, all-round, but as previously mentioned, ref a new Household Cavalry Veterwas out voted by the committee memans organisation being created? Just bers. I am addressing this again, and wondering how that might affect the will come back to you shortly, hopefully branches? with a positive outcome. In addition, we have yet to receive an updated Constitution from Colonel
If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
From Left to right; Mr Jim Evans, Mr Brian Morrall.
From left to right; Mr Kevin Thompson, Mr Don McKenzie.
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Features North Pole Expedition by Henry Macpherson
(Ed. Henry Macpherson, a schoolboy at Stowe and potential officer, raised £33k for the Household Cavalry Foundation. This is his account of the trip.)
s we touched down in Spitsbergen for our arctic training, the reality really hit me. This place felt remote, and yet in just a few days’ time we would fly another 1800km north to the Russian drift station Barneo. The temperature in this remote frontier town, well inside the Arctic Circle, was fifteen below zero and yet that would be comparatively tropical to the temperatures of minus forty we would experience once we began our expedition. My brother, father and I had always been keen to go the Arctic, excited by its remoteness - only thirty people a year reach the North Pole on foot (compared to about 500 people who reach the summit of Everest annually) and having a fascination with arctic landscapes from reading accounts of Amundsen’s expeditions. It’s also getting harder: global warming fears mean some believe it may soon become impossible to reach the North Pole on foot. After some research we made contact with a Belgium polar explorer called Dixie Dansercoer. We first met Dixie in a Pret-A-Manger on Cannon Street. It seemed totally bizarre to be discussing everything
from down-jacket requirements to polar bear attack strategies while hundreds of commuters rushed around grabbing their morning coffee. After some discussion back at home and of course reassuring my mother that the chances of a polar bear attack were minimal, we confirmed the expedition start-date. The North Pole ice cap melts and refreezes every year so we were limited to a short weather window in mid-April. The expedition would start with three days arctic training in Spitsbergen learning to camp in sub-zero conditions and of course learning to pull the sledges on cross country skis. Longyearbyen, the only town on the island of Spitsbergen, was to be our base. We would man-haul sledges with all our kit for about 120 kilometres. The sledges were awkward fibreglass structures and as soon as you began piling in all the kit we would need for our expedition (food, cooking equipment, clothing, sleeping bags, tents, flares and a rifle), they became very heavy and tricky to handle on anything other than a flat surface. We worked late into the evening to pack and repack them for best balance. The next morning, we left Longyearbyen on skis, pulling our sledges behind us to begin our arctic training. To start off with, we trekked across the frozen sea inlet. This seemed fairly easy and once in the rhythm one could cover quite some ground. However, the energy and excitement wore thin after a few hours and then we settled into the ‘polar plod’ - a slow but steady pace. After hours of trekking, we set up camp. The cold had sapped all our energy, and even doing the most menial tasks
The helicopter departs having placed us at our start
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such as lighting the stove or putting the tent poles in seemed to take much longer than usual. Those few days were tough, constantly preparing for different situations from what happens if your sledge falls through the ice to polar bear attacks. We made hundreds of mistakes, basic things that made little difference in Spitsbergen but could end the expedition when we headed further North; such as touching any metal with bare skin which would be uncomfortable in Spitsbergen but on the ice cap at extreme temperatures the frozen metal would burn your skin. Upon completion of the polar training we felt ready to go. However, Barneo was not ready. Each year the Russians build a runway on the polar cap 1 or 2 degrees from the pole for scientific research purposes. It lasts a maximum of eight weeks before the ice melts and the runway melts into the ocean below. This year, they were having huge problems because of warmer weather (didn’t feel like it) and turbulence in the Arctic sea (due to El Niño and climate change). When they built an ice runway to take the plane, it would crack and become unusable. Finally, word came that our plane could fly, but on the drive to the airport we were told the new runway had cracked as well so we were back to town to continue waiting. Longyearbyen is a great place for two or three days but it wasn’t until the tenth day we were finally able to leave by which time we had seen and explored everything and were pretty close to becoming tour guides ourselves. Skidding and bouncing along the
The polar plod. Challenge accepted
Crossing a compression zone
runway we arrived in Barneo with an outside temperature of -40c. After a quick turnout we were in an old military helicopter flying to our drop off point from which we would begin our attempt to the North Pole. The helicopter dropped onto the ice, engines still going, and in the noise and the whirling ice crystals, we were turned out. Once the snow settled, and the whumpwhump of the helicopter’s propellers grew weaker, I looked around knowing there was just the four of us and then literally nothing but ice and snow for hundreds of miles in every direction. The sun was still out and the sky and snow were so bright.
What struck me first was that it wasn’t flat; I had imagined it would be reasonably level with the odd ice block stuck up here and there. However, instead there was a jumble of ice blocks some the size of the sledges, others the size of a house. Then the cold hit me. It was quite unlike normal cold - much harsher and drier. It hurt to breathe, it stung my face but I knew it wasn’t going to go away - I couldn’t simply retire back to the bar in Longyearbyen. I had to make do and live with it because for the next five days this was going to be
the warmest I got. Making camp that first night was entertaining, exciting and sleep came quickly. However, when we woke up the next day with a full day of trekking ahead it seemed bleak, and the weather was grey and windy, making the cold feel worse. Getting going was a real team effort as we broke camp and headed North. One of the things I found hardest about trekking was the landscape didn’t change and the sun didn’t move in the sky so time was meaningless. It gave the impression we were never moving forward and were covering no ground at all – but in fact we were making good progress. Furthermore, at each ‘compression zone’ - an area where two ice flows have pushed together and pushed the ice up - we would have to pull the sledges through these cracks and broken ground which could be up to a kilometre wide and between 2 and 10 metres deep. After each day’s trekking, doing even simple tasks such as cooking or setting up the tent was really hard. We would encourage each other or help out when someone was too tired. Reaching the pole itself was both incredible but also a bit of an anti-
All engaged crossing this lunar landscape
climax. Because the polar ice cap moves constantly the actual point of the pole is not marked by anything. We reached a huge compression zone and knew from the GPS it was somewhere inside. So after un-hitching our sledges in the general vicinity, we ran around with our GPS’s out looking like children on an Easter egg hunt all desperate to find the exact point of the North Pole. After ten minutes or so of looking we found it and took some photos, drank whisky and congratulated each other on making it - we were the first people to reach the North Pole on foot in 2016. While our expedition was an amazing experience and tough at times it only lasted five days and we had each other to keep us going, to help each other out from forcing each other to eat, to replenish energy, to working together to get our sledges through the toughest of the compression zones. The Antarctic hero Henry Worsley was by himself; he had no one to help push him along and help him out in the toughest moments and his expedition lasted 69 days. I can’t tell how hard it must have been to keep going and push on and always to have the energy at the end of each day to set up camp; and the loneliness of being in a polar landscape knowing there is no one to help if everything goes wrong. Worsley was a great inspiration to me; after completing our expedition I have the upmost respect for him. I am not sure I would have had the drive to push on alone for our trip let alone for 900 miles?
At the top of the world - The North Pole!
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Maglaj Revisited 29th September - 2nd October 2016
ovember 1994 saw D Squadron HCR deployed to Maglaj for a six month tour with the United Nations during the war in Bosnia. In October 2014, 20 years after our deployment, WO2 Nick Hemming, Mr Ken Robertson, and Mr Jay Naylor all former RHG/D, and Mr Mark McKay, went back to Maglaj to see how things had improved since the 1992-1995 war. We were fortunate in that a member of the Organisation for Security and CoOperation in Europe (OSCE) Alen Cosic was on the D Sqn Maglaj Facebook page and had contacted me via a Facebook page when he realised that a small group of us were planning the visit. So, luckily for us, he was in a position to book us a hotel and also to ask the school Director if it was possible for us to gain entry into the school. We arrived in Zagreb on the Thursday lunchtime; we took over our hire car and then left for Maglaj. We entered Bosnia Herzegovina through Gradiska down through Banja Luka and Prnjavor and then entered Maglaj from the North through Doboj about a five hour road trip. On the face of it the country was well on the road to recovery. Roads are now fantastic, most of the houses have been rebuilt, businesses are trading and there’s plenty of traffic on the roads. All the positive signs that you would expect to see in a country that has been improving since the end of the war.
A little more work required on the school
there for most of the war and in turn took us up to the frontline and gave us our own battlefield tour.
On the Friday morning Alen took us to the school and introduced us to the School Director who was very welcoming and pleased to meet us. During the tour of the school the first thing we noticed was the building from the outside had just recently been painted; inside looked like a building site but there was a lot of activity going on. Teachers, parents and children were mopping floors We arrived in Maglaj, met up with painting walls; electricians, carpenters, Alen Cosic and over the following few plasterers and builders were all at work. days he showed us around the town. It was at this point that Alen explained He introduced us to the Local Deputy to us that in April/May of 2014 they Mayor who took us up to his summer had the worst floods ever recorded house in the mountains for a BBQ and in that region and the whole area had introduced us to a former BiH soldier been flooded up to three metres deep who had served on the frontline during in some parts of the town. The water our tour of Maglaj. In fact, he had been had flooded basement and ground floor dwellings and families had to share their homes on the second floor until the water had subsided. The school had been closed since May and they were trying to open it in October. We were informed that the Bosnian Government couldn’t afforded the total rebuilt and the EU had funded the whole school project amongst many other local projects to try Visit one to Maglaj School in 2014 with two locals. and get the town back Rear: Mr Jay Naylor, Mr Ken Robertson up and running. After Front Centre: WO2 Nick Hemming, Mr McKay
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Captain Paul Maxwell, Mr Steve Gillespie, Mr Mark McKay, Mr Ken Robertson
The new Mosque in the centre of town no shortage of these
listening to the Director on how the rebuild had taken place, one item that had not been funded was renewing the security fences and a new outdoor artificial sports pitch. Upon returning to the UK we asked the school to find out how much the fence and the artificial sports pitch would cost. When we found out the price we set about raising money for the school and agreed that we would return in two years’ time. Over the next two years we, Captain Paul Maxwell, WO2, Mr Nick Hemming, Mr Ken Robertson, Mr Steve Gillespie, Mr Jay Naylor and Mr Mark McKay, raised a total of £4,250. A family fun day was held in Eton Wick with a number of stalls, and fun activities for the whole family; a 136 mile sponsored cycle ride from London to RAC tank museum Bovington in one day; selling numerous items on ebay; and a few of us, along with our wives, entering a full on but fun mud run. October 2016 saw Captain Paul Maxwell, Mr Ken Robertson, Mr Steve Gillespie and Mr Mark McKay with wives and partners going back to Maglaj. We took the same route as our previous visit and arrived in Maglaj where again we were met by Alen, who had organised for us a meeting with the school Directors, Amela Hidic and Ermin Tankovic, on the Friday morning. This was an opportunity formally to hand over the funds raised, and also meeting up with the Mayor. In the meantime, we had booked into the local hotel which was best described as functional but clean, yet did still show signs of the war and flooding. Before leaving for this trip we had explained to the ladies ‘not to expect too much from this visit in terms of comfort’; they were not to be disappointed in that statement. When I was quizzed before we left ‘does the
Castle Maglaj visitors and other halves: Mr Mark McKay, Mr Ken Robertson, Captain Paul Maxwell, Mr Steve Gillespie
cost of the room include breakfast’, I had to check. The response from Alen was they don’t normally do breakfast but they will for us so don’t worry about it. At breakfast due to lack of our verbal communication skills we had cheese omelettes on both days, not a bad result I thought. On our visit to the school we were pleasantly surprise that the school had organised a history briefing which included Mayor Mehmed Mustabasic, then followed by interviews for National and Local TV. The ladies were welcomed with red roses presented by the students and we had refreshments in the old Ops Room. As the day unfolded, it was explained to us that raising money in the manner that we are used to was not something they have ever thought about and not done in Bosnia. They couldn’t believe the efforts made from people that they did not know, and indeed from another country who had gone out of their way to raise funds for the benefit of all those in Maglaj. The Headmaster mentioned that instead of paying top dollar for a contractor to do the work he intends to get the school children - those studying engineering, metal and woodwork to do the construction of the fence with support and direction from a local building company which we thought was
a fantastic idea and cheaper plus a great experience for them. After the interviews, briefing and presentation of funds, we were given a short tour around the school and grounds where we shared a few stories of our own experiences. From the school we were then given a tour of the local Mosques, old and new, plus the Castle that looks down onto the town. The Mayor and the school Director then treated us all to a rather lovely lunch on the river which was greatly appreciated by all; we had arrived at the school at 1000hrs and it was now 1430hrs. The Mayor told us of his routine in 1994; he’d be on the front line on duty then he’d return to teach the children in basements between stags. Although we had Alen doing the translating, as English is their first foreign language, they could grasp what we said, which made Alen’s life a little easier. After lunch we had another guided tour up into the hills where the tank and artillery were positioned during those years of conflict, plus a piece of land Alen had bought and was developing into holiday huts for those who are after peace and quiet, or love hill-walking. Socially, we hit a couple of bars and were made very welcome - I will not mention the dancing that took place, but take my word, the locals loved it. We intend to revisit within the next year or two to just see how things are going. We returned to Zagreb on the Saturday afternoon and took up residence in a very nice hotel, then out for dinner. Zagreb = a recommendation for an affordable weekend break - it’s only three hours away.
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The Household Cavalry Memorials at the National Memorial Arboretum
by Ian Taylor, Secretary North Staffs Branch of the Household Cavalry Association
he National Memorial Arboretum was conceived by David Childs in 1988. He believed that it would form a living tribute to service men and women for future generations to reflect upon and enjoy. The Arboretum was officially opened on 16th May 2001. The National Memorial Arboretum is situated at Alrewas in Staffordshire and the area of worked out gravel quarries was gifted by LaFarge Aggregates Ltd, a total area of 150 acres. The Regimental Association of The Blues and Royals was one of the early organisations to install a memorial to remember former members of the Regiments of the Royal Horse Guards, 1st The Royal Dragoons, and The Blues and Royals, who had died in service since WW2 up to the present day. In the early days any applicants could purchase quite an area of land to install a memorial of their choice. Not so now, with the growing popularity of the memorial site, organisations wishing to erect a memorial must have a good, original idea and plenty of money to convince the Trustees that their memorial is worthy of a place.
The coloured aggregate in the name plaque bed
Memorial back to some sort of order, and over the next few years with a grant from the Association, ninety tons of top soil was delivered to re-profile the raised banks making it possible to use a motor mower instead of a strimmer and clippers.
In its original form, the RHG/D memorial was quite a large piece of ground with a curved avenue of different fir trees, 97 in all with plastic name plaques on each tree with details of the person remembered there. In 2003, members of the North Staffs Branch decided to purchase a memorial bench in memory of past Branch members and have our Branch Padre conduct a dedication service. This was the first time any of us had visited the memorial, and we were shocked to find that no maintenance schedule had been implemented and the grass and weeds were knee high! A meeting was arranged with the Regimental Association Secretary and the Branch Association Secretary to discuss what could be done. Members of the Branch volunteered their time to bring the
Then some sort of blight caused the trees to die one after another. To prevent causing any distress to relatives, name plaques to a new design were mounted in holders and posted between whatever trees were left. A kind supporter of the Branch who happens to own a quarry in the Peak District, donated a large piece of natural limestone, and another sponsor supplied a black marble plaque, etched in gold to give us a great centrepiece, and the new layout was dedicated by General Sir Barney WhiteSpunner in October 2012. A couple of different contractors were trialled to maintain the memorial, but more damage was caused by the uprooting and damage to the name plaques caused by their strimmers, so the contractors were dismissed. Branch members cut a long trench in the turf, filled it with slate chippings and installed the name
The new Life Guards memorial stone in position
The Blues and Royals memorial stone being lifted
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plaques there, well away from any strimmer! As age had caught up with many of the members who had been caring for the memorial, it was time to reduce the labour requirement. It was getting to look as though I was going to be the last man standing and after working on the project for 13 years I thought it about time to retire. A meeting was called with myself, Capt Chris Elliott, Regimental Secretary, and Colonel Toby Browne, Chairman, of the RHG/D Association, Ken Robertson representing The Life Guards Association, and representatives of the NMA to propose a new design to make the Memorial smaller, and also include The Life Guards on the plot to make it a Household Cavalry memorial, smaller than the original so as to reduce the amount of maintenance. The RHG/D memorial stone would be moved and be positioned in front of the bed of name plaques, a walkway and access ramp of flag stones laid and an additional flagpole sited behind the plaque bed. Again our sponsors were kind enough to donate a new memorial stone and black marble plaque for The Life Guards Memorial.
Limestone hardcore delivery
any shortcomings addressed, the new grass will be cut and any bare patches reseeded. The Life Guards memorial will be completed and a dedication service will be organised. During the time this project was being executed, a stunning new visitor centre has been built and opened.
Inside the new visitor centre
Because the spring was so wet, it was almost July before we were able to make a start, as first we required a tracked excavator to remove quite an area of turf and soil in the area in order to put in a base of hardcore and limestone dust to lay the concrete flagstones. The excavator was used to cut out the embankments to separate the outlying areas and identify the smaller area the joint memorial now covered. With a few weeks of favourable weather we made good progress; with the flagstones laid, we were able to hire a truck mounted crane to collect the new memorial stone for The Life Guards from the quarry, and in the same operation, we firstly moved the original RHG/D memorial stone to a position in front of the name plaque bed, before placing The Life Guards stone in position and mounting the marble plaque. The plaque bed was topped with lines of coloured aggregate
to represent the blue/red/blue of the Household Division colours. During the progress of the project I had been working on a scheme to reuse the topsoil previously removed so as not to have any material to dispose of or purchase any new topsoil. So a massive soil screen or ‘riddle’ was constructed to separate the usable soil from the turf and stones and this successfully cleaned up the soil to use in levelling the ground up to that of the flagstones. As it was now too dry to lay turf, the new levels were seeded. The work was finished only a couple of days before the weather broke and once again the area was too wet to work. During the winter/spring, the NMA ground staff will be planting some new trees and a box hedge along the rear of the RHG/D area. In the spring of 2017 the area will be checked over and
Thanks must go to Branch members Clal Card and Brian Allen for their work in the early days, and this last major project could not have been completed without help from several former serving colleagues, especially Ken (Billy) Healey. At the Branch Christmas dinner, our President Colonel Harry Scott presented our marble plaque supplier with a signed book of Household Cavalry photographs, and also one to Ken Healey. I was overwhelmed and humbled to be presented with a mounted Life Guard officers helmet boss from The Life Guards Association, and, a silver mounted Standard bearer from the RHG/D Association. All this for a bit of gardening? The two Memorials are now where they should be, together!
Ian Taylor and Ken Healey at the North Staffs Branch Christmas dinner
Operation ALBERT - The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations Battlefield Tour - The Somme, Arras and Vimy Ridge - 14th-17th April 2016
ollowing on from the success of The Blues and Royals Association trip to Waterloo in 2015 it was decided to organise something similar this year as a combined trip for both the regimental Associations and, it being the 100th anniversary of the start of the battle of the Somme, the area of Albert seemed a logical starting point. Accommodation in Amiens and coaches for each association were duly organised by Ken Robertson and Chris Elliott, the two Association secretaries. Itineraries were published, researched, amended, re-published, re-amended and finally settled by Messrs Jim Lees and Pete Storer who had ably carried out the same role for Waterloo 2015 and we set off, 34 strong on the LG coach, led
by Jim and 35 on the RHG/D coach with Pete at the helm on Thursday 14th April. The original plan had called for a swing through Belgium on day one for a flying visit to Ypres and Zandvoorde on route. This however was impossible to organise due to the ongoing security issues in Belgium and the presence of serving soldiers on the party. It was decided that a good alternative was a visit to Etaples CWGC cemetery, near le Touquet, instead. This is the largest CWGC cemetery in France having been located, throughout WW1, in the main British Expeditionary Force logistical base area. It contains over 11,000 graves, mainly of those who died in the nearby hospitals. These include a number of Household Cavalrymen from all the
regiments but particularly notable are a group of over forty 1st life Guards who were killed or died of wounds following a German air raid on the area in May 1918 while they were in training
The group at the cemetery
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Mess call, attacking the picnic
The contemplation of Capt Trinick
to become machine gunners. The group was suitably impressed by the scale of the losses, wreaths were left and a short silence was held before we moved on. Our hotel in Amiens proved more than adequate if not quite up to the baroque splendour of the Brussels hotel last year! After booking in and a few warmers in the hotel bar we dispersed in small groups to seek out the delights of the city, which proved to be the magnificent cathedral and a large number of bars and hostelries in the old quarter by the river. Many of these were tried out. On day two the coaches remained together in convoy and we started with a brisk walk around the Northern part of the Somme sector near Serre where the ‘Pals’ battalions were particularly badly mauled trying to advance through unbroken German barbed wire and into the teeth of fierce resistance including many entrenched machine
guns. The huge Serre Road No 2 cemetery and a series of smaller but no less poignant cemeteries along the open and exposed shoulder of the hill leading to Sheffield Park and the Accrington pals memorial brought home to all the sheer scale of the battle. Next we moved on to Newfoundland Park at Beaumont Hamel. This area was purchased after the war by the Canadian government and preserved as a memorial to the Newfoundland regiment who went “over the top” from their reserve trenches here on the morning of 1st July 1916 and suffered 90% casualties in half an hour. It seemed sensible after this visit to wind down with a spot of lunch, so tables and tablecloths were set up by the coaches and the party lunched on fresh French bread and butter, a variety of cheeses and meats and three boxes of wine, two crates of beer and garlic sausage, which made the coaches fairly interesting in
The panorama of Etaples CWGC cemetery
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The Lochnagar crater at La Boiselle was the next stop. Made by a mine under the German lines containing 60,000lbs of ammonal explosive this is the largest mine crater remaining in the area and was one of 22 to be blown on the day (not all of which went off!) to assist with the destruction of the German lines and strongpoints before the infantry attack went in. The group was suitably impressed by the sheer scale of the crater and the effort which had gone in to tunnelling under the German positions to make it happen. After a photo opportunity and a pause for reflection we moved on to the final stop of the day at the Devonshire cemetery near Montauban. The carved sign at the entrance to the cemetery states “The Devonshires held this trench, the Devonshires hold it still.” This gives pause for thought before entering the cemetery where 163 men of the regiment are buried in their own front line trench having been shot down by one German machine gun while advancing from it. And so, after a long day, back to the delights of Amiens for another round of food and a little wine! On for the the
day three the coaches were split logistic reasons. We finished off Somme battlefields with a visit to main memorial to the missing at
at Neuville St Vaast. Slotted in as something of an antidote to far too many beautiful and serene CWGC cemeteries (and there are 242 of them in the Somme area) this contains the remains of 44,000 German troops whose bodies were brought here after the war from all over the Somme area. Many rows of stark black crosses with four names on each, but also a large number of headstones bearing the Star of David commemorating German Jewish soldiers, make this a fascinating and thought provoking place. By this time it was raining and a number of those on board were ‘cemeteried out’ but for those who did see it it was an interesting postscript to the tour and a reminder, if one was needed, that there are always two sides in a conflict.
Left to Right - LCoH Buckingham, Capt Maxwell, D Voyce, Chris Elliott, C Falvey, Pete Storer, Lord Patrick Beresford
Thiepval. There are 73,000 names on here of soldiers killed at the Somme who have no known graves. Several members of the party with relatives named on the memorial were disappointed to find that the main arches were still covered with scaffolding while preparations were being made for the official Somme 100 celebrations on 1st July. This was particularly galling as Pete and Jim had made several enquiries during the planning stages and been assured that the monument would be accessible. However we accepted the situation with our usual aplomb and laid wreaths and paused for reflection at the cross of sacrifice in the Anglo-French cemetery here instead. Moving swiftly on, during the day both coaches visited the recently opened tunnels at the Carriere Wellington in Arras. This is a high tech experience which includes a fascinating short film about the battle of Arras in April 1917 and a descent by lift some twenty metres below the town into the ancient quarries and tunnels which were enlarged and improved by New Zealand tunnellers during the war. These, at one stage prior to the battle, held 24,000 British and Empire troops who went into action out of thirty exits blown at the last minute under the German lines. Definitely one of the high points of the tour with many who will have seen nothing like this before relating to the First World War. When the tunnels were being opened and improved for public access many relics were found and these, along with inscriptions and drawings on the walls, are on display at various points. A short distance from Arras we visited
Vimy ridge and the superb Canadian memorial looking out over the Douai plain below. Taken by the Canadian corps in 1917 after previous failures by the French and British armies this place has become part of the founding myth of the Canadian nation. The whole of the top of the ridge is owned in perpetuity by Canada and is beautifully maintained with preserved trenches and crater fields which have been filled in and ploughed over in most other places along the front. We also managed to squeeze in another al-fresco lunch where several more wine boxes and crates of beer were disposed of along with quantities of cheese etc, etc, ...and the weather was kind again. While the LG coach spent more time at Vimy the RHG/D coach returned to Amiens via the German cemetery
During the evening the majority of the party met up for an excellent evening’s entertainment organised for us by Chris and Nicky Elliott at L’Usine restaurant in Amiens old quarter where a great time was had by all. At short notice they provided us with a good quality meal and were more than happy to keep the wine and beer flowing, and so to bed drawing a veil over much of the evening.. After a leisurely start on the last day, we made one last stop just outside Amiens at Villers Brettoneux to allow David and Dennis Bradley to lay a wreath on their grandfather’s grave in Adelaide cemetery and despite slight delays at Calais and on the M25 returned to Windsor within twenty minutes of the planned time of 1700hrs. Thanks are due to all who assisted in making what was quite an intensive four days into a success, particularly to Chris and Ken who managed all the bookings and most of the admin and to Jim and Pete for organising and running the tour.
The Tour group
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As part of the advertising plan for the release of The BFG film of the Roald Dahl book, an effort was made to link elements of the plot. As the Army are the good guys in the ending, who better to call on than the Queen’s Life Guard. Anyway, that’s showbiz. The film extra dressed up in a mock Coldstream Guardsman uniform was getting £1500 for the day. Well, it was never about the pay.
Combined Services Past and Present Rackets Championship Queen’s Club, London - 17th-19th February 2016
by Charles Fraser, formerly The Life Guards
he Army Tennis & Rackets Association has held this respected tournament since just after WW2. Rackets as well as the ancient game of Real Tennis are played in a frenetic three days of fierce competition at The Queen’s Club in West London (the Queen’s Lawn Tennis Championships precedes Wimbledon each year, Andy Murray the victor in 2016). There are separate competitions for singles, doubles, serving Army personnel as well as retired members of all three services. As a young Life Guard Troop Leader stationed at Knightsbridge Barracks, Lt Charles Fraser won the Regimental doubles rackets championships back in 1985 with Major David Reed-Felstead (RHG/D). Thirty one years later, Fraser found himself this time against his former doubles partner having reached the semi-final of the ‘retired’ element of the competition (arguably
a tougher tournament due to a larger entry), the Combined Services Past and Present Rackets Championship. ReedFelstead had already found himself a highly experienced partner and multiple champion in Lt Paul Nicholls 4th/7th DG, which left Fraser with the opportunity to form a new, untested Household Division pairing with Lt Col Stephen Seagrave, IG, Divisional Lieutenant Colonel Foot Guards. A close match going to five sets eventually saw Fraser & Seagrave through to the final, where they met an even more formidable pairing of Capt Mark Nicholls (brother of aforementioned Paul, also 4th/7th DG), who had been Public Schools Champion twice and winner of this tournament no fewer than twelve times. He was partnered with Major General Tim Toyne-Sewell, late KOSB, himself also a multiple winner of this tournament, three times paired with Mark Nicholls.
2016 Lt Col S O’N Seagrave and Lt (Retd) C T de M Fraser LG
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1985, Lt C T de M Fraser LG and Major D Reed-Felstead RHG/D
As the final showpiece match of the tournament, the gallery was chock
full of fellow competitors awaiting the much anticipated and always enjoyable cocktail party and further swelled by a large contingent of spectators form the United Services Defence College in Belgrave Sq. In a match of great entertainment and much skill, belying the handicap that age normally confers upon athletes of this experience, the match entered the fifth and deciding set with the Number 1 seeds and Nicholls in particular serving with hostile ferocity. At 13-16 down (first to 18 was the winner) and with both servers to dispose of, the Household Division pair’s cause was looking somewhat bleak. However, in the closing moments of great excitement, Fraser/Seagrave
won back the serve and then served out to win 18-16 in one of the great upsets of this prestigious Tournament. Interspersed amongst all this rackets, Fraser managed to find himself in the semi-finals of the Real Tennis competition, but against the RAF squash champion and with his mind dwelling on his more favoured discipline of rackets, this was a step too far for the ageing body. He would dearly love some younger subalterns, officers or soldiers to partner or indeed to take over the Regimental banner in this enormously enjoyable and valued tournament.
ormer SCpl Keith Allen remembers his efforts to be ready to train The Life Guards at Chieftain D&M. He reports that in 1971 he was given a handbook and had to learn as much as possible before going on his B1 Course. At that point he did not have a B3 Chieftain licence, having just been posted from the Mounted Regiment. On arrival at Bovington he had a driving test, passed, and subsequently passed top of the Course. First prize was to go back three months later on the Instructor’s course and be ready to train the Regiment on first conversion to tanks.
Cpl Allen outside the Miniature Range in Combermere Barracks in 1971, preparing for his B1 D&M Course
Explaining the Blast from the Past 1 by 22556776 Laurie Young, The Life Guards, 1954-69
he photo of the escort forming in the yard at dear old Knightsbridge Barracks could be anytime during the fifties and sixties. I think it could quite possibly have been taken on the morning of 7th April 1960
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prior to riding to Horse Guards Parade to take part in President De Gaulle’s Review of the Household Troops. This was the third day of his state visit and the Mounted Squadrons had already carried out the arrival Escort from Victoria Station on the 5th and Guildhall
Escort on the 6th. All in a dutyman’s day’s work. The actual Review consisted of the Mounted Regiment parading with three Standards, The Kings Troop with their Guns, and three Battalions of Foot
experts. To return to the photo of the Form up, it has been taken either from the landing outside 3 Troop LG or from the next Landing which was then the Band Room Landing. The roof lower right is the MT Garage; above the MT Garage at the right is 1 Troop LG Forage Barn. The iron staircase directly to the right leads up to 4 Troop LG and 1 Troop LG; at the top is the cookhouse. Over to the left of the photo below the white faced clock is the Guardroom. The iron staircase on the left just past the Guardroom leads up to the NAAFI shop and The Life Guards Sqn stores.
Guards: 3rd Grenadier, 1st Irish and 1st Coldstream, with their Commanding Officers and Adjutants mounted in front of their respective Battalions. If I recall
on the rehearsal, one of the Mounted Foot Guards officers went for a splitarse around Horse Guards Parade which caused a few sniggers among the
Blast from the Past 2
Looking West Down the yard is The Blues end and directly facing you is the Riding School. To the right of that but out of sight is the Commanding Officer’s and Adjutant’s Offices and the Orderly Room. The right side of the Barracks led out to Hyde Park, the left via the Guardroom took you out to Knightsbridge.
by Laurie Young and George Lawn, The Band of The Life Guards
eorge Lawn reports this is likely the Armistice Day, or Remembrance Sunday parade of 1951 at Combermere Barracks, and no later than late ‘52. The Band are wearing Tprs tunics, and have adopted the white plume instead of the red plume that had been worn uniformly before Easter 1951. The Band are marching out of the Barrack Gate, and the Offrs Mess can be seen in the background beyond the cricket pitch. At the time the Band were resident in Victoria Barracks as there was no room in Combermere. Looking up the road on the right you can see the Squadron Living blocks. To the centre between the chestnut trees can be seen the Officers’ Mess. To the left can be seen the corner of the Recruits and Equitation Block; beneath this block are the Stables. The Riding School is way out of sight to the left between the trees. To the bottom left of the picture, the building with the flagpole is the Colonel’s, 2IC’s, Adjutant’s, and Orderly Room offices. Out of sight to the right is the domain
of Corporal of Horse Jock Lippe, RHG, namely the Guardroom. This was
how it looked when in ‘54. The Band is approaching the Main Gate.
In the Picture in 1946 - Cinderella
by David Cobb, formerly The Life Guards
s Christmas 1946 approached, The Life Guards had spent almost six months since their arrival in Egypt living in tented camps. First, a month at Qassassin, where the Moonlight Charge of 1882 seemed long ago but might be recalled with pride. But their immediate task was to take over five squadrons of Daimler armoured cars, scout cars and other service vehicles and restore them to a condition fit for internal security
duties. Then they moved into camp at El Amariya, half an hour to the west of Alexandria, on the road to El Alamein. By November hostility from nationalists had reached a pitch where the city was declared out of bounds to troops. A certain boredom had set in. In November, in this atmosphere, the Welfare Officer, Lt Bentley, was charged with ensuring Christmas was a festive
and morale-boosting occasion for all. The cookhouse, used to serving a ‘tiffin’ meal at midday, made a gallant attempt to provide a traditional Christmas dinner, served up (though none too conspicuously) by officers and NCOs. Lt Bentley made himself responsible for activities in the post-lunch period: a football match, and then what he styled, rather preposterously, an Olde Englishe Countrie Fayre. Soldiers trudging back
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from the sandy arena muttered about the coconuts they had knocked down but not been allowed to keep (there were not enough prize ones); the donkey race on which they had placed their bets but the animals refused to start. Preparations for the evening’s entertainment the Welfare Officer had delegated to his Clerk, Tpr Roy Watson. Watson, who had spent a period of his service seconded to Ensa, announced to his buddies that they must put on a show. The HQ Squadron Clerk proposed that the main feature of the show would be a pantomime and he would write it. Cleansing the HQ Office’s pre-war Remington and the stencil copying machine of their accumulated khamsin dust, he set to work preparing scripts for a version of Cinderella in four scenes. This entailed a cast of 13 players plus a number of stagehands. There were also 500 programmes to be run off for distribution to the audience. The first part of the show, styled ‘We Put You In the Picture’, consisted of a number of variety turns, such as Tpr Ferguson (‘Idlewitz Fergenberger’) on the piano; Benson & Hedges - the Middle-Eastern Brothers; and Eric Probyn with his ukulele. After an interval for free beer came the panto. Cinderella? A wise choice? Some parts were obviously male ones (Cinderella’s father, Baron Rearup, Buttons the valet, and various footmen, a coachman and a messenger.) No problem casting those, using the inducement of relief from fatigues and guard duties for the period of rehearsals. Some parts traditionally taken by cross-dressing males (the Ugly Sisters and their wicked mother) were not difficult to fill. The same inducements tempted burly lads of six feet and twelve stones to put on powder and lipstick and pad themselves in all the essential places. Yet, male parts that are normally taken by cross-dressing girls? (Well, one could get away with a Fairy Godfather instead of a Godmother, even with a male Prince and Dandini, but was there anyone in the tent lines who could possibly pass for Cinderella?) Well, we did find someone, serving out a whole litany of punishments for turning up late on parade, speaking out of turn to an officer, making excuses that the faint down on his chin did not mean he was unshaven, but that he was struggling to grow a moustache. He was our man, sorry, girl, with quite a juvenile face. And for remission of past sins he allowed us to make him up as a very pretty girl. All set fair until the second week of rehearsals - when Cinderella didn’t turn up! Message from the Regimental Police (RP): she
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is charged with abusing an officer, perhaps physically, and is locked away pending trial! Lt Bentley intercedes with the Adjutant and Cinderella is restored to the cast, under condition that she attends every rehearsal, and the final show itself, escorted by an armed member of Regimental Police. Meanwhile there is a whole industry going on off-stage. Tpr Peter Smart causes puzzlement in the neighbouring camp of Royal Ulster Fusiliers by stealthily removing all their lighting equipment and building a versatile switchboard on the stage: Tpr Jim Fairhead is engaged in carpentry: Tpr Bernard Marshall is working on scenery and décor, which involves a visit to the QM Stores in search of camouflage netting to make costumes: the NCO i/c Education Centre produces wigs, makeup and costumes. Under the direction of Cpl Peter Coleman, Tprs Ken Davies and Tom Kirk learn their moves as stage hands. And the result, it was generally agreed, was hilarity, at one point surmounting near disaster. Hilarity, when the first glance at the programme identifies the Ugly Sisters as Imshi and Yallah - soldier’s Arabic for ‘shove off’ and ‘sod off’. Hilarity, when the Fairy Godfather’s magic wand (a beanpole) turns a water melon into a ‘coach’ with coachman to take Cinderella to the ball seen, as the smoke clears, to materialise as a despatch rider on his motor bike. Hilarity, as Cinders pulled up her skirts and leaps onto the pillion. Hilarity, as the bike sets off down a ramp into the auditorium and out the back door, with a rude gesture from Cinderella to her armed escort in the front row. Hilarity when the Prince invites Cinderella to dance. Hilarity, when twelve blows with an entrenching tool handle on a fire bucket announce it is time for her to scarper. Hilarity, when she and the Ugly Sisters all try to fit on the glass slipper (decorated gym shoe) and none of them can do so, for it has shrunk in the heat. Near disaster, when the magic spell goes awry. At the clonk down on the woodwork of Fairy Godfather’s wand, one of the stage hands (Cpl Ken Davies) is primed to light a heap of flash powder. Flame and smoke will burst through a small trap door in the stage floor. The stunt has always gone off well in rehearsals. But this time one of the players is standing too close to the trap door and is nearly set on fire. It was obvious to the audience that the character of Baron Rearup was at the expense of one of the officers. He was a man of some girth and a tic in his speech. There were those who thought it was a dig at SQMC Watlington. The
script writer had actually intended the Adjutant, who had a similar tic. The Clerk stayed mute when, after the panto, the Adjutant congratulated him on a perfect caricature of the Colonel (Colonel Ferris St George) who also had a stutter. The Regimental Padre, sublimely innocent of smut, declared ours was ‘the cleanest Army show he ever saw’ and ‘wanted to know when the next one would be.’ There never was. The Regiment moved on shortly afterwards into Palestine where conditions were far different. FOOTNOTE: Trooper Roy Watson when on secondment to Ensa, had been a member of a concert party, playing the double bass. Later, in civilian life, he played this instrument in the Royal Philharmonic and Royal Liverpool Orchestras. Watson produced the pantomime and played the part of Fairy Godfather. Cpl Peter Coleman, D Squadron, painted the scenery - a change from his main regimental duty, which was painting the Divisional symbol (a Rhino) on all our vehicles. He was also compere of the evening show of which the pantomime was only one part. Tpr Ferguson played piano music for Cinderella and Prince Charming to dance to. The name of the wayward and allegedly pugilistic Trooper who played Cinderella is (perhaps mercifully) forgotten. The ‘coachman’ (despatch rider, that is) was Cyril ‘Snacky’ Hammond of the RP, who remembers the Comd Offr ‘nearly following through’ when he roared past him with Cinderella on his pillion. Baron Hardup spoke his lines with a tic and was obviously intended to be a caricature of someone. As script writer I can confirm it was not. I had to keep a straight face when the Adjutant congratulated me after the performance on the caricature of the Colonel. Both officers were apt to stutter. ‘Remington’ was the typewriter I inherited as HQ Squadron Clerk, complete with a vast quantity of desert dust which the khamsin had blown in off the Western Desert. I don’t remember the name of our padre, but he wrote me a note saying ‘a standard had been set of which the whole company should be proud’, and that he hoped there would be another show soon. There never was. It was not very long before the Regiment moved to Palestine. However, when the Padre embarked on a 4-day tour of the Holy Places there, and needed an armed escort because he was not permitted to carry arms himself, he accepted me as the virtuous sort of trooper who might sit in the back of his jeep with an aging Smith & Wesson and 6 rounds of .44.
Caring for the Mascot Philip the Bear, the mascot of 2nd Life Guards, surrounded by well dressed men, the officer wearing a very natty frogged overcoat.
A Short Memoire - We are the Last Ones, Children of the 30s & 40s
by Ex Corporal Ian Swain, formerly The Life Guards
orn in the 1930s and early ‘40s, we exist as a very special age cohort. We are ‘the last ones’. We are the last, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the war itself with fathers and uncles going off. We are the last to remember ration books for everything from sugar to shoes to stoves. We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans. We saw cars up on blocks because tyres weren’t available and milk was delivered in a horse drawn cart. We are the last who spent childhood without television; instead imagining what we heard on the radio. As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood “playing outside until the street lights came on.” We did play outside and we did play on our own. The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.
Our Saturday afternoons, if at the movies, gave us newsreels of the war and the holocaust sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons. Newspapers and magazines were written for adults. We are the last who had to find out for ourselves. As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth. Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work. New roads would bring jobs and mobility. The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics. In the late 40s and early 50’s the country seemed to lie in the embrace of brisk but quiet order as it gave birth to its new middle class. Our parents understandably became absorbed with their own new lives. They were free from the confines of the depression and the war. They threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined. We weren’t neglected but we
weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus. They were glad we played by ourselves ‘until the street lights came on.’ They were busy discovering the post war world. Most of us had no life plan, but with the unexpected virtue of ignorance and an economic rising tide we simply stepped into the world and went to find out. We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed. Based on our naïve belief that there was more where this came from, we shaped life as we went. We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future. Of course, just as today, not all share in this experience. Depression poverty was deep rooted. Polio was still a crippler. The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks. China became Red China. Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power.
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We are the last to experience an interlude when there were no existential threats to our homeland. We came of age in the late 40s and early 50s. The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, climate change, technological upheaval
both. We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better not worse. We are the ‘last ones’.
Cecil Robert Tidswell - Royals and RFC
ying in an isolated grave located on a hillside 600 metres south-west of Etricourt-Manancourt Communal Cemetery, Northern France is a Royal Flying Corps Officer who was killed in October 1916 whilst flying over enemy lines and was buried by the Germans beside his aircraft. That Officer was Flight Commander Cecil Robert Tidswell, formerly of the 1st (Royal) Dragoons. It is thought that he was a victim of Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen known as the ‘Red Baron’. Cecil Robert Tidswell was born on 22nd November 1880 at Bosmere Hall in the parish of Creeting St Mary near Needham Market, Suffolk, son of Robert Henry Tidswell, a barrister and his wife Helen Maud Tidswell formerly Brooke. Young Robert was educated at Harrow between 1894 and 1898 and joined the Militia on 18th September 1899. In 1901 he was attending a course at the School of Musketry in Hythe, Kent and was described as 20 years of age and a Lieutenant in the 7th (Militia) Battalion, King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Having had some family connection to the 1st (Royal) Dragoons, Lieutenant Tidswell was commissioned in the Royals on 11th September 1901. His papers held at the Household Cavalry Archive at Windsor state that he was 5 feet 6 inches in height. After attending a regimental riding class and a musketry course at Hythe he embarked for active service in South Africa on 11th December 1901 and joined his Regiment on 7th January 1902. He returned home to England on 25th September 1902 and was promoted to Lieutenant on 27th January 1904, which was the same day in which the Royal Dragoons embarked on their first tour of service in India. Having served in Lucknow and Muttra, he returned home to England and whilst attending an officer’s course at the Cavalry School at Netheravon he was promoted to Captain on 1st April 1909. He returned to the Regiment in India and later accompanied them to South Africa on 25nd November 1911. After war was declared in August 1914, the 1st (Royal) Dragoons returned home to England sailing from Cape Town on 27th August and arriving back on 19th
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and perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with insistent unease. Only we can remember both a time of apocalyptic war and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We experienced
September. After refitting, the Regiment finally joined the British Expeditionary Force on 8th October 1914, with Captain Tidswell being a member of ‘A’ Squadron being temporally in command until Major McNeile returned to the Regiment on 13th October 1914, when he became 2nd in command later moving to ‘B’ Squadron. Throughout his service Tidswell wrote extensively to his parents and after the war his father had all the letters from France printed and bound into a hardback volume of which one was given to each of Robert Tidswell’s six sisters. The Household Cavalry Museum is fortunate in a having a copy of these letters the first being dated 11th October 1914 in which he writes ‘The weather is lovely and warm, and so far, we’re having quite a good time; most nights we’ve billeted, which is very comfortable when one’s settled in, but till you’re used to it, takes a long time finding accommodation for such a number of horses and men, though their being used to it here it’s not such a job as it would be at home, most of the inhabitants having had soldiers quartered on them dozens of time before and knowing exactly what’s wanted. It’s all very interesting, with aeroplanes flying round all day and armoured motors buzzing about the roads. The inhabitants are frightfully enthusiastic, and line the streets shouting “Vive l’Angleterre” and handing up apples, pears, cigarettes, etc, as you go past; even the poorest give away all sorts of things like that, and won’t hear of being paid for them.’ On 17th July 1915 Tidswell was evacuated home to England and joined the 5th Reserve Regiment of Cavalry at York on 20th July 1915. It is during this time that Tidswell saw no future for the cavalry on the Western Front so on 15th September 1915 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as an Observer and on 1st April 1916 he obtained his pilot’s certificate (No. 2670) at the Military School Farnborough, flying a Maurice Farman biplane. On 2nd June 1916 he was appointed a Flying Officer and on 10th June 1916 he was appointed a Flight Commander and joined 19th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps stationed at St Omer, France On 12th August 1916 Tidswell was flying a BE12 fighter aircraft (No.
6540) of 19th Squadron on an offensive patrol over Bapaume and at 6.45 a.m. he found himself being attacked by a hostile aircraft. Fortunately, he survived the dogfight although his aircraft was damaged but repairable. This was noted as being the first aerial combat involving this particular fighter aircraft which was apparently an ill-fated attempt to develop a single-seater from the BE2c. On 6th September 1916 Tidswell was again flying aircraft number 6540 this time on a bombing raid over Le Transloy and at 3.30 p.m. whilst at a height of 1200 feet he was again in action with an enemy aircraft. He once again survived the encounter and later wrote the following report: Was escort to bomb raid in Le Transloy. Was following the leader after he had dropped his bombs, when I heard a machine gun and saw hostile biplane about 200 yards off my right front. I immediately turned on him and dived after him firing about 20-30 shots before my gun jammed. When I had rectified this jam the hostile machine was some way down, being pursued by two of our machines until he dropped into the clouds. On 16th October 1916 Tidswell, in escort with Lieutenant J Thompson, was flying aircraft number 6620 on another bombing operation. He was again in combat with an enemy aircraft but this time his luck ran out and he was shot down. He was originally reported missing but it was later discovered that he had been killed in action. Lieutenant Thompson was also killed. On the same day it is known that 7 BE12s from 19 Squadron bombed Hermies Station and aerodrome, as well as Royaulcourt in the afternoon. The Royal Flying Corps Casualty Report dated 17th October 1916 states the following details: No 19 Squadron No 9 Wing. Type and No. of Machine: B.E.12 6620. Engine No.: 140HP R.A.F.4a No.25216/W.D.5717. Pilot: Captain C.R. Tidswell. Observer: Nil. Duty: Bomb Raid. Locality: [not completed] Lewis guns carried, with gun Nos.: 10106 Vickers Gun No.: L6911. Camera (Yes or No): No. Wireless (Yes or No): No. Other appliances (bomb racks, etc.): Two 20lb Bomb Carriers, Verys Pistol, Colt Automatic, Bomb Sight, R.A.F. Lighting Set, Combination Set. Where brought
down: Not Known. Short report as to fate of personnel and machine: Not returned from Bomb Raid on 16-10-16. Signed. R.M. Rodwell Major, Commanding No. 19 Squadron. Remarks by Wing Commander as to whether machine is to be struck off, repaired in Squadron or recommended for transfer to A.D. for repair: Struck off. [Signed] H.C.T. Dowding Lieut.-Colonel. Tidswell’s parents received the following letter from Major R M Rodwell, officer commanding 19th Squadron, which is dated 19th October 1916:
his loss and I particularly heavily, because he was the Senior Flight Commander and my right hand man; he was a great asset to the squadron and to the Mess and in another month he would probably have been promoted to Squadron Commander. Your son left instructions about the disposal of his letters and kit; these are being carried out and his personal belongings will be forwarded to you in due course. Please accept my sympathy in your loss which I believe to be only temporary. Yours faithfully,
R. M. RODWELL,
I regret to inform you that your son, Captain C. R. Tidswell has not returned from a Flight over the enemy’s lines on the 16th. I have waited two days because it is difficult to make certain for a short time whether a pilot has not had a forced landing a long way off. Your son was the leader of a bomb raid about 7 miles over the lines. He was seen to have dropped his bombs and had turned to come back when some hostile machines were encountered. These were driven off after a short combat and the last that was seen of the leader was when he was gliding down apparently to attack a Hun, but quite as possibly from engine failure. No one saw him attacked or hit by anti-aircraft, and it seems likely that he must be a prisoner. We all feel
Captain Tidswell is buried in an isolated grave close to where he had crashed. Three months after the war ended Robert Henry Tidswell wrote to the Imperial War Graves Commission (IWGC), now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), asking for his son’s grave to remain where it was; it had been put in order by the Army, a British cross had replaced the German one, and railings were being erected to protect it. Mr Tidswell’s wishes were respected and he bought the ground. His uncle Major Benjamin Ingham Tidswell, 1st (Royal) Dragoons, died on active service on the first Nile Expedition on 18th June 1885 and was buried at Abu
Simbel temple in Egypt. (In 1884 his horse won the Grand Military Gold Cup and was ridden by Mr J.F. BurnMurdoch.) The family had a granite headstone sent out from England to his grave, which still survives at the temple of Abu Simbel, so perhaps that is why Mr Tidswell wanted his son to stay where he fell. The cross is inscribed: ‘RIP PER ARDUA AD ASTRA’ and on the upper base are the words: ‘CECIL ROBERT TIDSWELL CAPTAIN 1 ROYAL DRAGOONS AND FLIGHT COMMANDER ROYAL FLYING CORPS’ and on the lower base: ‘BORN NOV. 22ND 1880 KILLED IN ACTION WHILE FLYING OVER THE GERMAN LINES OCT. 16TH 1916’ Although his family visited it every year, the difficulties of looking after a grave in such a remote spot soon became apparent and in 1926 Tidwell’s sister, Miss A C Tidswell, wrote to the CWGC from Bosmere Hall seeking help. At that time the grave was surmounted by a rose tree, planted by his mother, and surrounded by a box hedge. The rest of the plot was crazy paved and fenced by
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posts and chains. Discussions continued for some time; the family resisting pressure for the grave to be ‘gathered in’ and finally, in 1930, a suitable financial arrangement was agreed. Thereafter the CWGC looked after it and continued to do so until 1983 by which time major work was needed. While adequately funded for routine maintenance structural work required new finance and, happily, this was forthcoming from Tidswell’s nephews. Thus, in 1983 the grave was fully restored with new iron railings and kerbing. Routine painting and pointing were carried out again in 1995 and this grave on a remote hillside remains a credit to Tidswell’s family and the CWGC. The following information is taken from a letter written by former Royal Dragoon A.R. Cooke and was published in the regimental journal of the 1st (Royal) Dragoons The Eagle of December 1965: The Regiment was involved in action behind the Hindenburg Line early in October 1918. The 6th Cavalry Brigade was ordered to follow up the successful penetration of the
redoubtable Le Tronquoi Tunnel by the Australians, starting from Maguy La Fosse. This attack did not get very far owing to a strong German counter-attack, although the Brigade, Royals, 10th Hussars and 3rd Dragoon Guards were heavily involved. On the 15th October we withdrew. Quoting from my diary for 15th October 1918 – ‘Trekked all day and arrived at the village of Etricourt. Not one single building of any sort was left standing. Our horses miserable, standing out on breast lines in pouring rain and feet of mud. We ourselves slept huddled together in leaky and broken remains of Nissen huts. There we eked out the rest of October in more or less continuous discomfort while re-fitting.’ This of course was one of the worst areas of the Somme battlefield (1916) and during this time I and several of my brother officers of ‘B’ Squadron went out to look at some graves in a plot on the hill not far from our quarters. Amongst several hundred graves, all marked and inscribed, we came across that of Captain C.R. Tidswell, attached R.F.C., killed in action, 16th October 1916. This was discovered by us about 20th October 1918 and duly reported.
Cecil Robert Tidswell is also remembered on the parish war memorial of Creeting St. Mary, Suffolk, which is located in the churchyard of St. Mary’s Church and in the church there is a stained glass window dedicated to Captain C R Tidswell, which was constructed by Messrs C E Kempe & Co. It consists of a figure of St George on the left and on the right the figure of St Edmund and below an inscription which reads: ALLEVAT DOMINUS OMNES QUI CORRUUNT ET ERIGIT OMNES ELISOS PS. CXLV V. XIV FOR REMEMBRANCE BEFORE GOD OF CECIL ROBERT TIDSWELL CAPTAIN 1ST ROYAL DRAGOONS AND FLIGHT COMMANDER ROYAL FLYING CORPS WHO WAS BORN IN THIS PARISH 22ND NOVEMBER 1880 AND KILLED IN ACTION WHILE FLYING IN FRANCE 16TH OCTOBER 1916, HIS PARENTS DEDICATE THIS WINDOW
Mounted Oddities This photograph is of Tpr Hopton in 1916. Opinions are sought to explain some oddities. Why does a trooper have an officer’s head rope ? Why a black head kit and not brown? Was it usual to have tunic pockets on the hip ? Where and when was this taken, preliminary to what ?
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