THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY JOURNAL
The Household Cavalry Journal Incorporating The Acorn and The Blue and Royal Vol. No. 7 1999 Editor: Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) JS Olivier, The Blues and Royals.
Colonel-in-Chief Her Majesty The Queen Colonel of The Life Guards and Gold Stick : General Sir Charles Guthrie GCB, LVO, OBE, ADC (Gen) Colonel of The Blues and Royals and Gold Stick: HRH The Princess Royal KG, GCVO, QSO Deputy Colonel of The Blues and Royals: Brigadier The Duke of Wellington KG, LVO, OBE, MC Commander Household Cavalry and Silver Stick: Colonel WT Browne, The Blues and Royals Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel PJ Tabor MVO, The Blues and Royals Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel NMA Ridley, 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) Messines (1914)
Ypres (1914) Langmarck (1914) Gheluvelt Nonne Boschen St Julien Frenzenberg 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 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 Florenec Gothic Line Italy (1944) Gulf (1991)
The Blues and Royals Battle Honours Tangier (1662-1680) Dettingen Warburg Beaumont Willems Fuentes dâ€™Onor Peninsula Waterloo Balaklava Sevastpol Egypt Tel el Kebir Relief of Kimberley Paardeberg Relief of Ladysmith South Africa (1899-1902)
Mons Le Cateau Retreat from Mons Marne (1914) Messines (1914) Armentieres (1914) Ypres (1914) Langemarck (1914) Gheluvelt Nonne Bosschen St Julien Ypres (1915) Frezenberg Loos Arras (1917) Scarpe (1917)
Ypres (1917) Somme (1918) St Quentin Avre Broodseinde Poelcappelle Passchendaele Amiens Hindenburg Line Beaurevoir Cambrai (1918) Sambre Pursuit to Mons France and Flanders (1914-1918)
Mont Pincon Souleuvre, Noireau Crossing Amiens (1944) Brussels Neerpelt Nederrijn Veghel Nijmegen Rhine 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)
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The Queenâ€™s Life Guard called out for State Opening of Parliament.
Working with the US Apache force on the Kosovo - Serb border.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Contents Preface by The Commander Household Cavalry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Household Cavalry Regiment Preface by Commander Household Cavalry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Foreword by the Commanding Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Diary of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 A Squadron, The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 B Squadron, The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 C Squadron, The Blues & Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 D Squadron, The Blues & Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Headquarters Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Quartermaster’s Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Quartermaster Technical’s Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Light Aid Detachment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 The Band of The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 The Regimental Information team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The Household Cavalry Recruiting Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Orderly Room . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Diary of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 The Life Guards Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Musical Ride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Headquarters Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 WOs’ & NCOs’ Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 The Blues and Royals Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46
Pages 52 - 92 The New Girl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 The British Tentpegging Team Tour of South Africa . . . . . . . 84 Metal Fatigue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Opening of Scottish Parliament . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
The Household Cavalry Regiment Sports The Household Cavalry Ski Team 1997/8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 Polo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 Squash . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Army Swimming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 Cricket HCMR . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 HCR Football . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 HCMR Football . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Sub Aqua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Rugby . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Fencing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
News from the Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Minutes of the 65th AGM of The Life Guards Association . . . 96 The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust Accounts . . . . . 97 Life Guards Association Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98 Life Guards Association Area Representatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 The Blues and Royals Association Annual Report . . . . . . . . . . 100 Minutes of the AGM of the Blues & Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 The Blues and Royals Association Accounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 Area Representatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Household Cavalry Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Obituaries: The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Pages 26 - 48
The Band of The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Household Cavalry Training Wing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Winter Training Troop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Equitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Regimental Training Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Regimental Winter Camp . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Household Cavalry News Op Agricola . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Op Harvest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Adventurous Training Centre (Brac) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 HCR- A Dedicated Formation Reconnaissance (FR) Capability for the Ground Manoueverement of 16 Air Assault Brigade . . . . . . . 66 The Household Cavalry Museum Development Project . . . . 67 Army Sea Fishing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68 An Englishman in New York . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Gliding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 The Armour Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Notes from Sandhurst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Rejoining the Army . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 HMS Westminster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Exercise Maple Leaf, Spruce Meadows Sept 99 . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Exercise Iron Horse . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Exercise Capital Dragon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Visit to Ethiopia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 HMCR Participation in a Romanian Expedition . . . . . . . . . . 81 The 50th Edinburgh Tattoo . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Exercise Kape Crusader . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
Pages 5 - 25
Pages 96 - 120
Obituaries: The Blues and Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104 Nominal Rolls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Notices for both Regiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .113 Musical Ride 2000 Season Forecast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 1 HCR Annual Reunion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 53rd 2 HCR Reunion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 The Battle of Arnhem - Operation Market Garden . . . . . . . . . 116 North Staffs Annual Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Doorkeeping in The House of Lords . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Front Cover: D Squadron on patrol in Kosovo. Back Cover: LCpl Kent and Janus at the Royal Tournament. Photographs by courtesy of Henry Dellal
Household Cavalry Regiment
Preface By Colonel W T Browne, The Blues and Royals Commander Household Cavalry 1999 was proof, if proof was needed, that the Household Cavalry remains at the forefront of many aspects of the Army’s role today. The year was summed up for me on the day of the Trooping as I pulled on my buckskins while watching, on television, D Squadron entering Kosovo in the van of the allied force. This was a moment of pride and apprehension; and it was well captured by the split screen showing the ceremonial and the operational sides of the Household Cavalry on the same day. Almost all of the Household Cavalry Regiment has been on operations in the last 12 months. D Squadron’s deployment to Kosovo was an added dimension to a year that saw most of the remainder deploying to Bosnia. I visited Bosnia in July, with the Colonel of the Life Guards and the Deputy Colonel of the Blues and Royals, and found them in great heart doing a repetitive and often frustrating job very well. The Colonels both visited D Squadron during its deployment to Kosovo. The Regiment continues to be at the cutting edge of the operational Army, and this year’s activities, with an exciting exercise in Canada, will be no different. Meanwhile the Mounted Regiment carries out its ceremonial role with great aplomb. Twice this year escorts have had to use those skills learned during Ex Try Out at summer training to good effect, in Edinburgh and London. Both occasions highlighted how important it is that The Sovereign has a mounted escort on State occasions. I continue to receive many letters extolling the virtues of the Regiment; surprise at the incredibly hard work that goes in to the public face of its activities, and pleasure at the maturity and dedication of the soldiers. There are two current issues of concern to the Household Cavalry. The outcome of the Strategic Defence Review dictated that HCR should reduce to 3 squadrons. However, in order to be able to carry out our dual roles we cannot, if we are to offer the soldiers a full and rewarding career, do so with less than our present strength. Thus it is vital that we retain the fourth squadron at Windsor. It also makes cap badge symmetry easier. Thus far the fourth squadron has been retained, its structure and role have yet to
Household Cavalry Regiment
be confirmed. Equally the importance of Windsor as a base in this dual role cannot be underestimated. There are compelling arguments for us staying in Windsor, not least that it is a model for the more stable Army . The proposed move of the museum to a new site at Horse Guards is now picking up speed. There are many hurdles still to jump, funding being the trickiest, and I hope that the target for opening at Easter 2002 will not be too far out. This exciting project will allow much wider access to a unique collection of national importance. Recruiting has continued to go well, and by the time you read this both Regiments will be closer to full strength; than for some time. The efforts we are making in recruiting from ethnic minorities are being rewarded, and as I write we have 17 such soldiers. We must not however be complacent, but at a time when more is being asked from less we are in a strong position.
We continue to produce very high quality WOs and SNCOs. At present there are 11 WO1s in the Household Cavalry, 7 serving ERE. This is a remarkable figure when measured against other Regiments. In January, 8 of our WOs were selected for LE commissions, which amounted to 27% of those selected in the Cavalry, again a remarkable achievement. I do not want to steal the thunder of the Commanding Officers or other authors in this journal. It has been an outstanding year for the Household Cavalry, a year in which its utility in both disciplines has been tested and has not been found wanting. This year will see lengthy exercising abroad for HCR, and a particularly busy summer for HCMR, with the added excitement of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s centenary birthday celebrations. You can be confident that as we enter the 21st century both Regiments are well up to the rigours that they will face.
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword by Lieutenant Colonel P J Tabor, The Blues and Royals, Commanding Officer. t the beginning of 1999, no one at Windsor could have foreseen how deeply involved in the Balkans the Regiment would become over the year. Since 1994, we have sent 14 squadrons there, as many as any other regiment.1999, however, was different in terms of the scale of our commitment. It was to see D Squadron deploying to Macedonia and then Kosovo and HQ, B and C Squadrons heading for Bosnia, with which many Household Cavalrymen have become more than adequately acquainted. A Squadron, remained behind in Windsor. May, was also to witness a disastrous fire in the Quartermaster’s which destroyed much of the personal property of those who had deployed or were about to deploy.
Amidst enormous excitement, D Squadron was expected to deploy in February. Those destined to be left behind or spend half the year somewhere quieter were filled with envy at the prospect of their being involved in something ‘real’. However, after two frustrating months they were still waiting for the call forward. There are still many who remain unconvinced about the usefulness of manned reconnaissance especially in potentially dangerous situations. D Squadron’s exploits proved how wrong they were. Fortuitously perhaps,their brigade commander happened to be my predecessor but two. Watching our television screens from Bosnia on the day of the Queen’s Birthday Parade, on which were riding the new Colonels of both Regiments for the first time, and seeing simultaneously the escort in the Mall and D Squadron leading the advance into Kosovo, gave us all a very understandable sense of pride. In early June, HQ, B and C Squadrons set off for Bosnia. They were split between two different battle groups in three scattered locations. This meant hours of travel to get anywhere. The Household Cavalry Battle Group was designated UK Battle Group (North). HQ Squadron was based in Mrkonjic Grad, sharing a camp with the King’s Royal Hussar Squadron which was also under command. Reservists, TA soldiers and 17 Coldstreamers who all played a key role in ensuring the success of the tour augment-
ed HQ squadron. Throughout the tour, they consistently maintained an amazing level of support over the very large Battle Group area of operations. B Squadron was part of UK Battle Group (South) based in Jajce which for most of the time changing latterly to the Royal Regiment of Wales. Despite a relatively small area, they were kept thoroughly busy. Patrolling to maintain the peace was their bread and butter, but their great success story was in persuading many of the locals to hand in the illegally held weapons which are part of the culture in Bosnia and are a hang over from the war. We never ceased to be amazed by the arsenals of mines, heavy weapons, anti-tank rockets and rifles that the average Bosnian family keeps under the bed in case of emergencies. C Squadron’s area of operations was much the largest and meant that they operated mostly from dispersed troop houses. This provided troop leaders with a degree of autonomy, which the incoming infantry battle group found hard to comprehend. The war had not touched this area in the same way as elsewhere but inter ethnic mistrust, corruption at every level, criminality and a refusal to allow peaceful implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement were prevalent. The Squadron’s area was predominantly Serb and much time was spent in persuading the majority population to accept the return of minorities. Diplomacy became a key military characteristic. The tour was highly successful leaving the incoming squadron form the 9/12L with a hard act to follow. A Squadron held the fort back home. More of a large troop than a fully formed squadron, until September they provided a troop at two days’ notice to deploy with 5 Airborne Brigade as part of the Joint rapid Deployment Force. In February a troop joined D Squadron for the tour to Kosovo and individuals went to Bosnia. Other than Rear Party duties, the priority for the year was the conversion in April and May of their petrol engined CVR(T)s to diesel, the first in the Army. They supported various key demonstrations, the opening of Joint Helicopter Command and most significantly, the launch of 16
Air Assault Brigade alongside which we are now working hand in glove. For 2000, the Squadron is virtually fully manned again. I could not finish without paying a particular tribute to all the Regimental families without whose support during a long period away from home the tours could not have been so successful. Everyone deployed in either Bosnia or Kosovo felt that support and felt able, as a result, to get on with their jobs safe in the knowledge that all was well. And everyone was extremely glad to get home. 1999 was quite a year. The Regiment was undeniably stretched but everyone rose magnificently to the challenge. The coming year will bring challenges of a different sort. Already as the first Lead Reconnaissance Task Force, HCR will be called on to deploy at short notice to troubled spots around the world. We will have just lost our fourth squadron’s worth of vehicles to the QDG with little prospect of seeing replacements at least in the short term. The first six months will see our elderly CVR(T) being fitted with diesel engines. All this while we train to go to Canada in the autumn. You may rest assured that the Regiment remains at the cutting edge of the Army’s business of preparing for warfighting and is more ready for the challenge.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Diary of Events January After a buoyant Christmas the Regiment began the New Year in high spirits; A and D Squadrons looked forward to a quiet year in Windsor, as the remainder of the Regiment prepared for summer in the Balkans. At least for one squadron all this was going to change rather dramatically. At the end of the month Captain Simpson-Gee, double hatting as A Squadron Leader and Air Adjutant, organised a spectacular families Sunday at Hankley Common when fathers dropped into the family picnic beside the Drop Zone.
February On 4 February it was announced that a peace enforcement Brigade would be sent out under the command of one of our former Commanding Officers, Brigadier W R Rollo, to Macedonia to train for future operations in Kosovo. D Squadron was put on standby. So began a very busy month for the new Kosovo squadron, made up of both Life Guards and Blues and Royals. The rest of the Regiment looked on convinced that all D Squadrons frantic preparation would be to no avail as, just like Belgrade, they thought that no NATO troops would ever be sent into Kosovo.
March The Deputy Colonel RHG/D visited the Regiment. Colonel W T Browne took over as Commander Household Cavalry, and Colonel P S W F Falkner headed North to the wet weather in Glasgow to run officersâ€™ careers in the Household Cavalry and The Royal Armoured Corps in the MCM Division.
April B and C Squadrons successfully carried out GW firing, whilst the sabre troops perfected the Bosnia Battlerun in Castlemartin in preparation for their summer deployment. D Squadron were finally given the thumbs up and flew out to Greece to train with 4 Armoured Brigade for a possible invasion of Kosovo.
May On a bright Sunday morning the old and bold formed up with serving members of both Regiments for The Cavalry memorial Parade in Hyde Park, on 12 May. Notably some of the Blues and Royals present were recovering from the
Household Cavalry Regiment
Commander Household Cavalry enjoys a joke with 2Lt Bond LG and his troop during UNTAT training on Salisbury Plain.
night before after a fine Association Dinner. The month ended with the burning down of the Quartermasters Department at Combermere Barracks.
June At the beginning of June the Regiment deployed to Bosnia, however not before the Life Guards Officersâ€™ dinner at the Savoy. On the 12th D Squadron triumphantly led NATO into Kosovo and spent their first night in the capital Pristina.
July The majority of the Regiment enjoy -the hot weather in Bosnia, whilst A Squadron ran the rear party, and D Squadron restored law and order in Kosovo. The Colonel of The Life Guards visited D Squadron.
August The Colonel of The Life Guards and the Deputy Colonel of The Blues and Royals also visited Bosnia.
Commanding Officer and RCM welcoming Rt Hon Robin Cook, Foreign Secretary, in Bosnia.
September This was a busy month for D Squadron who carried out a number of successful arms confiscation operations in their AOR, as the KLA were encouraged to demilitarise. A very successful firing camp took place in Bosnia and the Blues and Royals Band came out to entertain the troops, and get a break in the sun. Back in Windsor A Squadron went on a Kape Tour in Norfolk.
October D Squadron handed over to a Swedish battalion, complete with their Nordic skis in preparation for the long cold winter in Kosovo. Major General A R B Pringle visited the Regiment in Bosnia and brought the good news that in future there will only be the need for one Battle Group rather than two in the British sector. At the end of the month 2 HCR had a Reunion Lunch.
November The Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme visited for four days and were suitabley impressed. At the end of the month the GOC 1 (UK) Armoured Division, Major General C R Watt formerly WG, also visited the Regiment. The Regimental rugby team did outstanding-
On Patrol in Kosovo.
ly well winning an international rugby tournament at Makasha in Croatia. After the triumph Major Sackett was offered a job as Manager for the Croatian rugby team, which he reluctantly turned down
December By the end of the first week the whole of the Regiment had returned from the Balkans, at last Major Tomes could get out of RHQ! The 13th was chosen for
the Medal Parade. Unfortunately the weather was foul, but afterwards a fine lunch was enjoyed by all, in the gymnasium, with friends and family. The Colonel of The Life Guards and the Deputy Colonel of The Blues and Royals took the salute. The normal Christmas festivities ensued and once they were completed the Regiment departed for leave.
Colonel of the Life Guards and Deputy Colonel of the Blues and Royals at Medal Parade.
Household Cavalry Regiment
A Squadron The Life Guards t times over the last 12 months, ‘three men on parade, may I have your leave to carry on, Sir, Please’ was a familiar cry at A Squadron first parade. Rear Party is often seen as a holiday: no work, few vehicles, no exercises, no RCM, a SCM, an Officer and the week taken up by a few guard duties. For ‘A Section’ this was far from the case – every soldier wanted to be part of the operational action but was resigned to the fact that there were many commitments and responsibilities at home, with few soliders to fulfill them. In February a troop joined D Squadron to start training for a possible deployment to Kosovo. This became reality for CoH Stevenson and his men when they deployed on Op AGRICOLA in April. The Regment’s operational tour, rather than going off with a ‘bang’ was marked by the fire, and despite the sterling work of the Regimental 2IC (who was bitterly disappointed to have to delay his deployment to Bosnia) still left a handsome mess to clear up. The Regiment also took 8 A Squadron troopers on Op PALATINE to bring some expertise to Command Troop!
Other than Rear Party duties A Squadron’s main priority for the year was the conversion of the CVR(T) petrol engines to diesel. The Squadron had the dubious privilege of being the first in the Army to be dieselised. All eyes were on our conversion during April and May. The conversion was then proved and tested at ATDU Bovington shortly thereafter. The preparation of the vehi-
LCpl Davies and Tpr Mountfort preparing for TALO as part of Ex Gryphon’s Eye.
cles, before they moved to Bramcotte for conversion, was the most testing time. SSgt Penfold was at the helm of the undermanned crew that was battling in unpredictable conditions. Patience wore particularly thin when trying to extract the petrol from the vehicles without the help of electrical pumps. For two days troopers were rotated through a ‘hand pump workout’ which solved having to spend valuable man-hours doing PT. Throughout, CoH Hemming did an admirable job juggling tasks and manpower, with a very satisfactory result and not one mutiny. The Implementation
Team of five helping Alvis at Bramcotte, led by LCoH Farrimond and LCoH Carrington also did an excellent job. Even Captain Simpson-Gee, the acting Squadron Leader, was seen on the Vehicle Park in coveralls until he was spotted replacing the rear sidelights with indicator lights. LCoH Hoggarth politely reminded him to stick to what he is good at. Overall, the Squadron, being guinea pigs for the conversion scraped through with outstanding end results. Success was down to close liaison and teamwork between the LAD, SCM Kitching, Alvis and the Implementation Team.
Working with Royal Marines (Poole), beach landing for the Staff College Demonstration Naval Week.
Household Cavalry Regiment
The envy of the deployed Regimental troops and the regret of being left off the 5 Airborne Brigade ORBAT for Kosovo was minimalised by ongoing commitments. D Squadron entered Pristina on the day of the Trooping of the Colour. The Life Guards Association dinner that night was excellently organised by SCM Kitching. Meanwhile, Capt SimpsonGee was asked if he would inform the world, live on Sky News, about D Squadron’s activities. With no first hand news from Kosovo he went to the studios in Combat 95, to create the right image only to be forced to wear makeup. The only other Squadron media exposure this year came from Tpr Cassar who was seen, but thankfully not heard, on Songs of Praise. The Squadron had plenty of opportunities to have a break from Combermere Barracks and the duties that were synonymous with it. It was involved in several demonstrations. CoH Hemming led a troop as part of the Staff College Demo. CsoH Stewart and Holden, with crews supported a 42 Commando display and SCpl Irving took some vehicles to the opening of Joint Helicopter Command. The largest and most significant though was the launch of 16 Air Assault Brigade. This involved a TALO assault onto Wattisham Airfield with a company of 3 PARA. Prince Charles and sons, and George Robertson were amongst the guests. Tpr Wood and LCpl Davies did an excellent job describing to The Defence Secretary the benefits of the new diesel engine, while Prince William was being persuaded to join the Regiment. The new Squadron Leader, Major Wheeler, spent the day trying to convince everyone, including the Squadron, that the new Brigade could not operate
LCoH Carrington, Big Frank Bruno and LCpl Wood, Troop House, Kosovo.
without a Squadron of CVR(T) from the Household Cavalry. The Squadron’s relationship with 16 Air Assault Brigade was consummated a few weeks later on Ex GRYPHON’S EYE. It supported 1 PARA and 6AAC in every conceivable way for 10 days on Salisbury Plain and is now, hopefully, grafted into their ORBAT. Adventurous training included Ex COCKNEY WALKABOUT, an LAD inspired trip to Bavaria. Despite the appalling weather, fun and adventure was found. Some went on gliding courses, LCoH Haggarth and LCoH Auld found that soaring in the skies, watching the Trials for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, far more entertaining than Tpr Hare, who found heights not his style
but driving the winch tractor far more appealing. This phobia was confirmed recently when attempting the Trynasium on P Company. CoH Bowtell ran a good Squadron expedition to Fremington. SCpl Richards, the Chief Instructor, ensured that the Squadron had preferential treatment. It has been a testing year for the Squadron with uncertainties and frustrations. Most would have preferred to be on operations but someone had to stay behind. It is admirable that the Squadron accepted the task it was presented with and got on with it in a totally professional manner. It can now look forward to the challenge of a busy training year culminating in Med Man 4/5 in September.
SCpl Irving plus his troop on Ex GRYPHON’S EYE.
Household Cavalry Regiment
B Squadron The Life Guards hank goodness that’s (OPFOR) over with. What ever will they think of next? Well, in fact the “Next” was Bosnia where B Squadron has spent 6 months of 1999 along with RHQ, HQ and C Squadrons. Having spent just under 6 months of 1998 in Canada there was time for a brief respite. December 1998 saw the usual bout of Christmas festivities and the advent of New Year brought about the required inspections, dismounted training, ranges and not only a new Squadron Leader, a new 21C but also in April a new SCM. Major C A Lockhart took over the reins from Major R R D Griffin, Captain J B C Butah took over from Captain J R D Barnard and WO2 Douglas took over from the now WO1 Tate. The Squadron also welcomed three new troop leaders; 2nd Lieutenant R S I Derry and Cornets O B Birkbeck and N P Harrison.
On the Tank Park. Cpl Romney, LCpl Lofts, LCpl Goddard .
In early February Lieutenant J G ReesDavies took a Squadron KAPE tour up to Sunderland. Ably assisted by WO2 Tate and LCoH Conway, the tour visited many schools during the week with the highlight undoubtedly being a visit to the Stadium of Light where visitors who came to see Sunderland vs Wolves were greeted by a Scimitar and a Striker. Lieutenant J G Rees-Davies had managed everything down to a tee including the final score of 2:1 - much to the chagrin of his CoH, CoH Paternotte who believes to this day that Wolves was robbed. March saw the focus turn to gunnery and the pre Bosnia firing period. CoH Hodder trained the Squadron extremely well ably assisted by CoH Sykes who had not long since left the shores of Lulworth. The weather proved to be a double edged weapon, providing us, on the one hand, with some glorious days but on the other hand giving the squadron some well needed fire practice putting out a series of fires - doesn’t that remind you of Canada! Come the crew tests expectations were high. Lieutenant ReesDavies led the way with LCpl Forsdick as gunner - a creditable 4. After this things just got better and better with 5’s,6’s and two 6 distinctions. By the end the whole squadron had passed the crew tests first time, something which had never been done before so congratulations must go to all the commanders and gunners for an outstanding result. This, of course, left C Squadron with a mighty challenge, which sadly could not be achieved a second time!
Household Cavalry Regiment
From firing, time flew by with leave, Bosnia training followed by more leave until the Squadron deployed at the end of May to a town called Jajce. Within the first two weeks the Squadron carried out its’ first Operation - OP HARVEST. This in essence was the collection of illegally held weapons throughout our area and which is covered in greater detail elsewhere in the magazine. Suffice to say that during the tour B Squadron collected approximately 10 weapons,20 rocket launchers, 30 anti personnel mines, 25 anti tank mines, 620 grenades Lt Harrison wondering if he’s in the correct place.
and up to 20,000 rounds of ammunition… and one TANK! The end of August saw Jajce hold some celebrations including a road run to which we were invited to enter a team. Those willing were the Squadron Leader and of course his driver Tpr Catterall, the 21C, LCoH Pickard, LCpl Flood and Tprs Anderson, Murray 31, Webster, Williams and Gray. After a epic struggle (or should that be fight) through the last tunnel LCpl Flood took the line and the 250DM first prize which he kindly donated to our Dartsathon fund raising evening.
The next few months were taken up with plenty of Op Harvest’s 4 range days, a live firing Squadron exercise, rumours of an early return to England, the CSE show and GW firing. The live firing exercise giving the 21C room to practice his new found trade of being a Range Demolition Safety Officer. With the assistance of CoH Foster they created an extremely creative mine field crossing exercise with mine strikes, artillery and anti tank rockets all being simulated. The whole Squadron has now learnt that if the 21C says “. . . . just press this”. . whatever you do, don’t! That is unless you want the fright of your life as our attached marine Captain Taylor found out to his cost. The GW firing in Glamoc saw similar success that was found in the pre Bosnia firing with the Squadron coming out on top again due to the excellent firing by Tprs Webster, Nixon, Nelson and Murray 77. Visitors throughout the tour have included The Colonel of The Life Guards, GOC MND(SW), the Deputy Commander, The Chaplain General, The Deputy Colonel of The Blues and Royals, Commander Household Cavalry, Commander Recce Brigade, soldier magazine and of course the Daily Star who brought along Jordan and Michelle resulting in B Squadron on masse becoming Centre Folds for the Daily Star. In October the Squadron held a Dartsathon in order to raise money for a charity of the Squadron’s choice. The idea was to have someone throwing at a darts boards continually for 24 hours. This task was split with 2 throwers throwing
B Sqn discussng fishing. Lt Rees Davies, Lt Harrison, SCpl Core, Lt Sykes, WO2 Novslay, Capt Benge.
for an hour with a total of 24 teams. The total score came to just over 360,000 with some creditable scores coming from LCoH Cornock and Tpr Catterall. This combined with further fund raising that evening ensured that the Squadron raised 1500DM. October ended with a small Squadron exercise when a troop’s worth of vehicles were lifted by SH to a training area called Ravno Rostovo. Tprs Stafford and Beech were relieved to find out that it was not in fact crew positions for the flight! In November the Squadron held another fund raising event although this time for LCoH Lythe. It involved the selling of raffle tickets all of which were sold, a
games night organised by the SCM, SQMC, CoH Paternotte, LCoH Fry, LCpl Gibson and Tpr Smith 19. HQ Squadron LAD very kindly carried out a sponsored run. The entire event raised about £1000 which we all hope will go some way to helping LCoH Lythe. The Squadron returned to Windsor at the end of November ready for the Christmas festivities and the thought of spending the first few months of next year without any vehicles due to dieselisation - that is after some well earned leave. It bids farewell to CsoH Paternotte and Hodder and LCsoH Bell, Smith 62 and Cornock. We wish them well in their new jobs.
The JACE Run.
Household Cavalry Regiment 11
C Squadron The Blues and Royals he start of the year saw a bleary gathering of Sqn Members, all looking well fed after the excesses of Christmas. However it was not to be long before all and sundry had gathered their wits and all eyes turned towards the rapidly approaching deployment to Bosnia.
It was the tour to Bosnia that would dominate the year, with the six-month deployment preceded by all manner of courses and training. As has become something of a tradition, the New Year heralded a welcome quiet period in the diary that allowed us time to run the usual sprinkling of courses. These included Map Reading, Signals, and Gunnery. By the end of February, the Sqn Ldr Major T E Thorneycroft could no longer contain himself, and the lure of Salisbury Plain – his old hunting ground – proved too strong. He succumbed to temptation and on 23 February the Sqn mounted up with the now familiar cry of “It’s good to be alive on a 2m Whip” ringing in its ears. In a former life, the Ldr had had the pleasure of teaching tactics to most of his vehicle commanders, and it was therefore with considerable glee that he set about putting his former students to the test. A game of cat and mouse ensued as he went to work with a bag full of his old tricks.
C Sqn Scimitar taking a break. LCpl Harrison, Tpr Toomey.
The beginning of March brought with it two new Tp Ldrs, 2nd Lieutenants M P F Dollar and R T Sturgis having just completed their Tp Ldrs course. They took over Support and One Tp respectively under the watchful eyes of CsoH Trinick and Horner. March also featured a trip to Sandown Park for a day at the races, and in particular the opportunity to cheer on the Sqn
3Tp Scimitar, Savici, Bosnia. Cfn Musgrave and LCoH Burton on route clearance patrol.
Household Cavalry Regiment
2ic Captain P T Stucley as he made his second bid for glory in the Grand Military. The race was eagerly anticipated as the culmination of several months of arduous training during which the 2ic was rarely seen. A promising start had those who had been bold enough to place a bet feeling increasingly confident of a return, until an unfortunate collision from behind rendered Captain Stucley’s mount lame.
It was back to business the next day as the Sqn moved down to Lulworth for Gunnery Camp. Those who had hoped to enjoy fine views of the heath land and coastline were to be disappointed as it was soon obscured by smoke as large parts of the range went up in flames. This did however prompt an exceptional display of fire-fighting skills by LCpl S Hodgson. The range package presented the Sqn with an excellent opportunity to hone their skills and to familiarise themselves with the thermal Spire sight. At the end of the week LCpl Spencer was judged to have been the best shot, an award that he thoroughly deserved – as he kept reminding everyone. The end of March not only saw the start of a well-deserved Easter Leave, but also the dining out of WO2 (SCM) Ford in April after an enjoyable 18 months with us. He was sent off with warm regards and our best wishes for the future. Fortunately, we were not to be short changed, and were pleased to welcome back WO2 (SCM) Kibble (known as Corporal Major by his friends and family) after an absence of two years. His return to Regimental Duty from Sandhurst had a debilitating effect on several of the subalterns who were seen heading to the Medical Centre complaining of a lack of sleep caused by the onset of vivid nightmares. As the bulk of the Sqn returned to Windsor, GW Tp moved north to Otterburn for their recruit and annual Firing. At the culmination, Tprs Blake and Nolan were so impressed with their Tp’s perfor-
Squadron Group on adventure training.
mance that they treated all concerned to a cultural tour of Newcastle. April brought with it the final part of the pre-Bosnia training, that is to say the UNTAT training package at Copehill Down, Salisbury Plain. The experience of those who had previously been to Bosnia shone through, and proved to be an invaluable asset to the Sqn, not only then but also later on, during the start of the tour itself. With May marching on and the time for the loading of the vehicles and predeployment leave drawing close, the Sqn Ldr saw one last opportunity for an exercise - Hide and Seek. This was conducted in the A vehs in and around the local
area. All appeared to be going well until the entire of Lieutenant Scott’s GW Tp conspired to simultaneously brake down outside the same pub. On questioning as to the extraordinary nature of this unfortunate event he , as usual, seemed to piece together a remarkably plausible story. On 23 May Captain Stucley was the first Sqn Member to arrive in Bosnia, with the remainder of the Sqn flying in on a succession of flights; and on the 04 June 99, the Light Dragoons flag came down to be replaced by our own. As for the rest of the tour…read “Metal Fatigue” by LCoH Callow.
Ex JOINT RESOLVE.
Household Cavalry Regiment 13
D Squadron The Blues and Royals A Quiet Year at Home. ertainty generates an uncertainty all of its own. It was with a high degree of certainty, therefore, that we sent the squadron off on regimental low-level training at Sennybridge, safe in the knowledge that we would become rear-party custodians when the regiment deployed in May to Bosnia. It was perhaps inevitable, therefore, that before that training period was over we would be warned off to deploy to Macedonia, and hopefully Kosovo, as part of 4th Armoured Brigade on Op AGRICOLA.
The drafts of recent recruits had gone into B and C Squadrons to bring them up to strength for Bosnia. We were, therefore, reinforced by about a troop and a half from A Squadron, led by Lieutenant A M N P Howard LG with CoH Stevenson LG in close support. They were formed into 2 troop, with the others backfilling key positions in the squadron. We had a huge rush fitting SPIRE thermal imaging sights to the SCIMITARs, conversion firing, carrying out mine awareness training and, of course, the usual pre-deployment obsession with first aid. Then we waited. The fog of war played its part. Despite having left 2 troop’s vehicles in the LAD already prepared to receive SPIRE, a helpful Craftsman went into the squadron hangar and helped himself to a troop of elderly vehicles that we had decided to leave behind. The contractor then duly fitted the sights. We were then told there was no alternative but to deploy with these older vehicles. The squadron settled down for the long wait. CoH Smith and support troop busied us all with more mine training. CoH McKThe Junior Ranks BBQ, Pristina.
Household Cavalry Regiment
echnie found time to run a phase 2 signals course, and LCoH McMullen a map reading 1 course. It was amazing how many experts on Balkan affairs their were residing in the regiment, and how freely they shared their views with us on the likelihood of our deployment. We concentrated on running the vehicles for 18 kms a day, and watching the news. By the end of March, it 1Tp, LCoH Bestwick and LCpl James smile for the camera. Tpr Whelan, CoH Fermor and LCoH Glasgow in the background. was still no clearer whether we were going to deploy. It then became necessary to Captain M P Goodwin-Hudson discovshift the priority to B&C squadrons who ered a previously undiscovered talent for were definitely going to Bosnia. Easter languages, and the importance of multileave came and with it, the Easter Bunny national recognition, when he walked out brought confirmation of our deployand greeted a contingent from the Irish ment. We were off, and on the 22nd Army with a warm ‘Buon Giorno’, to April the Squadron Leader, Senior FAC, which a bemused Irishman replied – SCM, SQMC, and SHQ CoH left for ‘actually I speak quite good English’. Macedonia as the advance party. Captain M Whatley LG joined us from being QM Lieutenant J H Blount LG discovered at HCMR, and CoH McKenzie had had that the best way to stop the Squadron enough of Tech and so stowed away on Leader finding your OP is to give him the our Tech Binner. wrong grid. The rest of the tour is covered in a separate article. Even so, I will draw out a few highlights. 2 Troop became our self appointed experts on subterranean OPs, but discovered some of the occupational hazards of being a bush when an Irish Guard found Lieutenant A M N P Howard LG and his team by peeing on them.
LCpl Goodwin felt homesick for GW troop whilst driving the squadron leader, and managed to get himself sacked (but it wasn’t personal). Trooper Trencher then took on the onerous task, but decided that he was just plain homesick and resigned as well (it was personal). Then LCpl Darby became so good at it he became christened ‘Benson’ after the American butler TV show.
LCoH Irwin, LCpl Butler, LCpl Spink and Tpr Preston ‘Cruising Pristina style’.
Captain JAS Bellman thought he had discovered an unreported Serb technology, when his ‘mine’ was identified by EOD experts as a weather balloon. LCoH McMullen discovered that it is easier to balance a SCIMITAR on its nose than it is oneself.
LCoH McMullen and LCoH Hutchings take a breather.
Sgt Hadleigh REME enjoyed a front row seat during a firefight between the UCK and Yugoslav Army and shared the experience, round by round, with us all over the radio. As most of it was automatic fire, it was just as well he was a Geordie! The Squadron Leader discovered the benefit of humble pie when, after giving the squadron a stern lecture on the importance of personal hygiene, he went down with gastro-enteritis. CoH Stevenson discovered during a raid on a mining village that, when marking a landing site for a CHINOOK flying at 90 knots and 15 feet above the ground down a narrow valley having been lying in a covert OP for 48 hours, you should make sure that you have a smoke grenade that works. CoH Fermor impact tested his SCIMITAR with a T72, and won. LCpl Wood did a fine line in pen-pals, some of whom sent his offerings to the local paper. With all the tales of desperate firefights, corpses and near misses, it was quite clear he was on a different tour to the rest of us.
LCpl Butler went on R&R and celebrated by getting injured in a train smash, missing his Capt Bellman demonstrates his prowess on the “air” guitar. planned trip to New York and SC Tomes to take over as second in comgetting punched in the face on his birthmand. Captain JAS Bellman has entered day (he has suddenly found it difficult to the murky world of the RSO’s course. find people to go drinking with!). Lieutenant PBA Townley is posted to HCMR, Lieutenant J H Blount has gone Meanwhile Trooper Illston discovered skiing, then is posted to HCMR. Lieuthat beer in Kosovo was much more tenant A M N P Howard is posted to the expensive than Liverpool. RAC centre. Others who have left, or will shortly be leaving are; Captain M Overall it was a challenging tour. It had Whatley and CoH McKenzie who return so many memorable moments, one could from whence they came; LCoH Websternot do justice to it here. The overriding Smith and LCpl Simkins, Tprs Cane 63 memory is the odours. It was often disand Tpr Terry to civilian street; LCoH tressing, usually interesting and occaBrown 06, LCoH Fortune, LCpl Derby, sionally frightening. But the main thing LCpl James and Tpr Trencher to HCMR was that under trying and difficult operon promotion; LCoH Sharpe to HCMR; ational circumstances, we were not CoH Carrington and LCoH Haresign to found wanting. The rank and file across ATR Pirbright. Finally, all those who the board had the discipline, expertise joined us from A Squadron have now and determination to succeed that returned. I am bound to have missed ensured that we generated our own luck, someone – sorry - it is a reflection on my and brought everyone safely home. staff work rather than my appreciation for your contribution. During the tour we said goodbye to WO2 (SCM) Carney who went to Pirbright as It has been a busy 2 years for D Squadron RCM, and welcomed WO2 (SCM) Pilsince I took over. Most of us have been chowski from the gunnery school. The together through the virtual wars in SQMC’s changed, SCpl ‘Widger’ Smith SIMNET, TESEX on SPTA, 3 or 4 Med fled to the sanity of HCMR on promoMan Exercises in BATUS, and finally tion, and SCpl Flanagan joined us from Op AGRICOLA. However, it is not the the Signals school. CoH Stevenson was events that have made this tour so memalso posted to HCMR on promotion, and orable, it is the individuals. SCpl Brockhurst followed WO1 (RCM) Thank you all. Carney to Pirbright. LCpl Snarey REME replaced LCpl Johnson REME. Major C B B Clee handed over to Major
2Tp training in Macedonia. LCpl Vost, LCpl Spink and Tpr Preston.
Sqn Ldr shares a ‘Condor’ moment with Lt Blount on the boundary with Serbia.
Household Cavalry Regiment 15
Headquarters Squadron n return from leave in January 1999, the Squadron was reinforced to ensure that the full ORBAT was met for the forthcoming Bosnia Tour. Many troopers were posted from A Squadron to make up numbers in Command Troop and MT. This ORBAT was to change at short notice, due to the D Sqn deployment to Kosovo a month before our departure. They had to be reinforced with a slice of the Regimental Echelon and so a period of frantic post filling and finding began. What hit us worse, was the lack of trained personnel in MT. This was to be the headache of WO2 Atkinson for much of the tour, however he never let “the customer” down! Knowing how dangerous the roads were in Bosnia, it was imperative that we found and trained as many HGV drivers as possible. It must also be remembered that HQ Squadron also has to leave behind a small but effective rear party, to carry out all the routine HQ jobs at Windsor, as well as manage the rear link for the operations in Kosovo and Bosnia. For some personnel, especially both Quartermasters Departments, the tour was split with soldiers doing approximately 3-4 months in Bosnia and the remainder at Windsor.
For the first 2 months of the year, the Sqn had no Sqn Ldr, and SCM WO2 “Granny” Grantham found himself with a slightly busier job than he would have liked and it was not until just before the Pre-Bosnia training that Major Fullerton HQ Sqn Ldr Maj Fullerton on route Gull. The signs remind everyone that Herz Bosnia is recognised by the Bosnian Serbs as two countries.
Household Cavalry Regiment
took over as the new Sqn Ldr. The post of SCM also chained during the tour and WO2 Cripps took over in August. WO2 Grantham returned to Windsor to take over as the new RQMS. The continuity in the Headquarters was provided by the SQMC, Staff Corporal “Dino” Gray. When not improving his all over bronzed tan in the Balkan midday heat, the SQMC was the man making sure that the Echelon of the Squadron was running smoothly. An additional, but essential task of his was to run the Squadron Bar and ensure that the “2 can rule”, (or later more liberally referred to as the “2 can concept”) was enforced! We arrived in the “Republica Serpska” in late May and were immediately hit with the extreme summer temperatures that this country is so renowned for. We were based at a Bus Depot, some 5 miles from the town of Mrkonjic Grad. Just over the hills to the south east was the “Zone of Separation” a line decided at Dayton to split Bosnia between the Federation and where we were in “Republica Serpska”. The base was new to most of the Squadron and was situated in a little village called Bjeljce. The depot had been an SFOR Base for 3 years now and conditions were considered on the whole to be extremely “cushy”, with reliable running hot water, good food, reasonable accommodation and good facilities at hand to keep everybody amused at the quieter moments, (including the obligatory Volley Ball Court and a “Muscle Men” weights room!). HQ Squadron
WO2 Grantham in a relaxing mood.
numbered approximately 140 personnel at any one time. Add that to the 2 other squadrons in the camp and it is easy to understand that one of the busiest departments in the camp was going to be the chefs. Fortunately for the all of us, we had a very strong team of chefs, commanded by Master Chef (WO2) Ali and his second in command Sgt Johnson. Furthermore, both the Officers’ Mess and the WOs’ and SNCOs’ Mess were run with true style and dedication by the Mess Corporal Major, SCpl Irving and his 2ic, LCoH Doga. One of the more enchanting things about the bus depot is that wherever you look
out from, you saw hills. With the exception of the main road that runs through the village, there was no such thing as flat ground. It was therefore an ideal area to keep everybody extremely fit! So under the instruction of the PTIs, LCoH Hunt, CoH Moore and LCpl Gafor, the Squadron remained in top shape. The Sqn Ldr was keen on a little Battle PT, to brake the monotony of standard runs and a memory of the tour for many will be the Saturday Morning exercises, (boots CBH and black HQ Sqn T Shirt obligatory!) The Squadron had a good number of additional attached personnel, to help cover all the posts. The bulk of this were 17 Coldstream Guardsmen, who fulfilled a number of roles throughout the Squadron, ranging from dog handlers, to MT Drivers and Command Troop Operators. It only leaves me to say that they were outstanding and got on very well with their “Cavalry Cousins”. Their ability to adapt to a whole range of jobs was impressive. The Squadron also benefited from approximately 15 reservists. They filled posts as drivers, chefs, clerks, operators and more. We were joined by 2 mounted specialists from HCMR, in the form CoH Slingsby, the tailor and CoH Twyman, the saddler. Both came out for a month tour and put their skills to good use both in the camp and out with the locals. Most soldiers who wanted to, managed to get away for a week’s adventure training on the island of Brac, on the Croatian Coast. This “Army Club Med” outpost is
SCpl (SQMC) ‘Dino’ Gray, HQ Sqn Ldr Maj Fullerton, Range Liason Warrant Officer, WO2 Smith.
designed to give those attending it a real break from the rigours of being “Up Country” (as it was so termed). Our instructor at the centre was the QMSI, WO2 Davidson, who was a great help in getting so many of the HCR Battle Group soldiers away on this week. A little nearer to the base, there was a lake nestled in the hills, called “Balkana”. This was always a favourite exercise, as it not only allowed soldiers the opportunity to cool off, but also to observe the local talent at the lake! By early October, the first signs of Winter had arrived. However, there were
‘Snarl for the camera’, Bus Depot dog handlers, Gdsm Garbutt and Tpr Harvey.
still 2 months of the tour remaining. Driving became more hazardous and it was not long before many of the roads were covered in snow and ice. It was now time to appreciate the fact that we had had the privilege of a summer tour, when the weather was favourable and there was more to do. At least we would all be home for Christmas and the New Year! For many officers and soldiers of the Squadron, this had been either their second or third tour of Bosnia and it would not be a lie to say that December 4th 1999 was a date that they very much looked forward to!
Maj Paul Whitbread C Coy Comd, 1RHF Commanding Officer and WO1 (RCM) Carpenter overlooking the ANVIL from high ground above Jezero Village.
Household Cavalry Regiment 17
Bosnia and Kosovo
Support Tp C Sqn on patrol Crnaja.
Commanding Officer HCR meeting the Prime Minister in Bosnia.
General Walker C in C talking to a group in Bosnia.
LCpl Butler was in demand with locals for his famous ‘foot rub’! Kosovo.
Wild horses being rounded up. Krivolac training area - Macedonia.
HCR Battle Group ‘O’ Group Personnell.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Commanding Officer HCR presenting the MND Smith Web Driver of the Month to Tpr Parr
LCpl Harman finally finds someone in the Squadron to have a conversation with.
LCoH Hunt poseing.
Commanding Officer HCR in deep discusion with Deputy Colonel LG and 2IC Costing
Confiscated KLA weapons found during a search for kidnapped Serbs . Kosovo.
Capt Jim Eyr and Maj Henry Faulkner on Majaca Ranges.
Tpr Preston. An OP on the Serb/Kosovo border.
“Well - it’s a road on a map!” On patrol - Kosovo.
Household Cavalry Regiment 19
Quartermaster’s Department nce again this year has been diverse. It will come as no surprise to hear that this year has been very busy. Maybe it as we get older however every year becomes busier than the last, and always at the end of the year cry of “Don’t worry next year will be quiet” lasts only for a couple of days because it never is.
The year started with the handover between Captain Harding and Captain Sackett, this is the second time they have handed over, the present QM hopes that he is lucky enough to take over for a third time in Cyprus. This was followed by a myriad of regimental firing camp, exercises and the ever present RAAT tasks, these coupled with those mundane tasks that are needed to keep the wonderful old barracks running, took up the first part of the year. Time was already upon us then to start our Pre – Bosnia training, this is a very tried and tested package which all the department liked, maybe their reason for liking it so much was the administration was carried out by a separate team. The whole team including CoH Slingsby the tailor carried out the training. The planning stage now well and truly over it was time to wait for all the equipment extra clothing and boots (the average member of the regiment now has as many pairs of different style boots as Imelda Marcus has shoes), required for the tour to be issued. Time for the department to relax, have some downtime, NOT SO! Just as we thought we had reached the end, D Squadron was stood by for Kosovo. Late nights, confusing signal, counter demands and resubmissions of demands become the norm for a couple of weeks. However as always the squadron deployed with all the correct equipment. Now the Battle Group (BG) was ready to deploy, the place of residence for the next 6 months for BGHQ was an old bus depot on the out skirts of Mrkonjic Grad. This must have been one of the few places in Bosnia that we had not been stationed. We had a very good handover from the previous unit, however in true Household Cavalry style we build and changed things to suit ourselves. Once this had been completed the loveable old place become a true Household Cavalry location. The department due to lack of working
Household Cavalry Regiment
space joined forces with “Tech” this made for a more streamlined G4 focus. Everyone gained further experience whilst on this deployment, as a BG different units were attached to us. There was an armoured squadron from the KRH, an armoured infantry company from 1 RHF and a light infantry company, which change between 2 Para,1 RS and 2 LI. Therefore the daily work programme was varied, it was also enlightening to see how other units carried out their G4. Perhaps the most unfortunate part of the year was just after the advance party had deployed. A call reached Bosnia at approximately 0130 hrs 27 May, to say that the QM department had been destroyed. As is always the case when units are handing over the message was not clear, however it was not possible to call back as the telephone exchange was in the QM’s building and had been melted by the intense heat. Via the medium of mobile phones contact was made with Windsor and the stark reality that the building had been destroyed was beginning to be realised. The loss of the building was very sad, as it must have been one of the oldest buildings in barracks. However because of deployment and a pending State Visit, all single soldiers had placed all their belongings in the MFO store. Everything in that store was lost, many people lost artefacts and personal treasures that can never be replaced; this was the true loss in the fire. As you can gather the main part of these notes have concentrated on our deployment. Whilst any deployment takes place then there is always behind the scenes work. CoH Cox (LWLO),
Donations and information: BLESMA, Frankland Moore House,185 - 187 High Road, Chadleigh Heath, Essex RM6 6NA.
because of the nature of his employment was left in Windsor. He has been the unsung hero, he has had everything from the fire and the resulting burst water mains to fixing windows that broke during high winds to cope with. Without his assistance the QM and RQMC could not have been able to have a fairly trouble free tour. Another group of unsung heroes are the chefs, over committed due to so many squadrons deploying, they were really thinly spread. All squadrons reported that their individual chefs had make such a difference to morale by producing excellent food in many cases under extreme conditions that they were an asset the squadrons could not afford to lose. The team in Mrkonjic Grad lead by the RCWO WO2 Ali, were the envy, or enemy of many a QM, after their CO’s had eaten at the bus depot. I’m sure that many a RCWO was asked why he was not producing such high standards. As with all years there have been changes not too many, CoH Birch has been posted to the QOY on promotion and his place as Accommodation SNCO has been taken by CoH Hooker. CoH Slingsby (regimental tailor) has joined the team from HCMR, he has the honour to be the first tailor for many a year to deploy on operations. He has been seen wearing his No.2 Dress more since his return form Bosnia. At the time of writing these notes work is already starting to take place for next year’s activities, which will culminate in an exercise in Canada. Still next year is a training year so it will be quiet!
Quartermaster Technical’s Department year with the QM(T) Department is never dull and 1999 has not disappointed us, Salisbury Plain, Bosnia and Kosovo are deployments that we will remember this year.
After returning from BATUS in Canada late in November after an excellent year’s training, Christmas was soon upon us. The Christmas and New Year’s festivities were as usual well attended and enjoyed by the entire Troop. The New Year brought a return to work, and a change of Quartermaster Techs. Captain N P Sackett moved across the barracks to Quartermaster ‘boots and socks’ and was replaced by Captain J S Holbrook. A nice steady year was the briefing from the new Quartermaster, however a certain Serbian leader had other ideas. In mid February D Squadron with CoH Mackenzie stood by to move out to Macedonia. The department sprang into action and provided the service to enable the Squadron to deploy in the best possible order! At the same time the remainder of the Regiment, less A Squadron, were getting ready to move to Bosnia, again the department ensured they were equipped and ready to deploy. Wherever the Regiment deploys then spares parts are always required; all members of the Troop have been on operational tours and gained further NATO medals to an already impressive tally. For some of the newer members of the Troop this was their first experience of the Balkans, LCpl Newall, Tpr’s Gannon and Townsend settled in well and played a vital part in the running of the Unit Spares Account in the main base of The Tech - hard at work.
The A Team.
Mrkonjic Grad. Other more experienced personnel have been able to split the tour up and attend courses and helped keep the store in Windsor going. The Quartermaster’s Department in Bosnia consisted of a 10 man team made up from Household Cavalry and King’s Royal Hussar personnel. The daily tasks were to support the Battle Group with all their equipment and material requirements. During our time in Bosnia the team processed approximately 8300 demands with a total value of £7.5. Most demands were met from stock, if the item was not available then it was sent out from the UK within 10 days. During the summer the department was split between three countries, Kosovo, Bosnia and the United Kingdom. A Squadron also started to support the newly formed 16 Air Assault Brigade in Colchester. We also had a changeover of RQMC(T), WO2 Godson handed over to WO2 Grantham who has moved the short distance from HQ SCM. We all wish the ‘old TQ’ the very best of luck at Pirbright in the future.
become fathers again, many congratulations to both families on their additions. LCsoH Elliott, Jones and Beulah, continue to run the main accounts with excellent reports from the external inspection teams. LCpls Marsh and Spares both continue to do sterling work under the watchful eye of SCpl Peat. Christmas 1999 finds us all back in Windsor after a truly dramatic year. The medal parade in December was attended by the whole department which only highlights the work the Quartermaster Technical Troop has done this year. After some well earned leave the department will return to prepare the vehicles for conversion to the new diesel engine and moving the Unit Spares Account onto computer. Yes it really is the 21st Century! LCpl Newell, never forget the basics.
During 1999 both WO2 (RQMC(T) Grantham and Tpr Gannon have
Household Cavalry Regiment 21
Rehearsal for Staircase Party for State Opening of Parliament.
Sovereignâ€™s Escort outside the House of Lords.
Silver Stick in Waiting and Field Officer in Bde Waiting
Household Cavalry Regiment
State Opening of Parliament Nov 99.
Colonel The Blues and Royals talking to Maj Daniels.
HM The Queen, Commanding Officer and Adjutant at The Richmond Cup Inspection.
Duke of Wellington Hanging the Brick, 1999.
Changing by Holyrood Garden Wall before the parade.
Colonel The Blues and Royals riding Harvester.
LCpl Salmon and Reaverly having trouble at the State Visit of The President of Hungary
Household Cavalry Regiment 23
The Light Aid Detatchment he LAD has seen a very busy year providing Equipment Support to the Regiment from Windsor and Salisbury Plain to Bosnia and Kosovo. Such was the extent of Regimental commitments that only a handful of tradesmen were left in Combermere Barracks as A Squadrons’ CVR(T) were put through the LEP(D) (Dieselisation).
A Squadron Fitters, were left back in Blighty to carry out the much needed and long promised LEP(D) programme, as well as the very unrewarding job of rear party. They were also on call to the wives of those men in the Balkans to repair any broken or failed MOT cars if asked nicely, in between adventurous training and renovating MGB’s allegedly. Life in Windsor was hell! Duties were also long and plentiful during the summer months and contrary to popular opinion the lads did not have a lot of time off. On a serious note, it was a thankless task that started long before the other Squadrons deployed and did not finish until long after they had returned. Earlier in the year, SPIRE systems were hurriedly being fitted to the Scimitars of D Squadron for Op AGRICOLA in Kosovo. The fitters, under the new command of SSgt ‘BJ’ Smith were quickly kitted out and after some waiting, left for the Balkans. Not only did they carry out equipment support to the Squadron, they also contributed to the mobile medical clinic by providing manpower and resources. The section was also involved in not only day-to-day Ops, but also airborne patrols with the Canadian Air-
Sgt Mew not looking forward to his bosses (Fitter Section) project.
force. On return to the UK, it is unfortunate to learn that the Squadron is to lose their vehicles to the QDG and the fitter section is aparantly to be absorbed into the remaining LAD. It is, however, good news that ‘BJ’ is to be the newly titled ‘Quality Tiffy’, and oh, is he quality! There does remain an aspiration to re-kit D Squadron in one way or another and by the next Journal all should have been revealed. As D Squadron left for Op AGRICOLA in Kosovo, the remaining fitters from B, C and HQ Squadrons packed their bags for Bosnia.
B Squadron fitters were hidden away at Jajce, where they were originally sited in a “Rub” shelter. Some weeks later the section were moved into the luxurious surroundings of concrete walls and a roof in an old industrial building. The fitter section took on the responsibility of running the Squadron bar, which was allegedly a great success, in that each man had his daily 2 can ration without fail, nightly! During the tour, the fitter A proud Sgt Penfold (A Sqn) collecting his summer project. section saw LCpl
Household Cavalry Regiment
Shoemaker become a father, LSgt Brewis and LSgt Hick casevaced through illness and Cfn Wigley and Windle promoted to LCpl. B Squadron Tiffy, SSgt ‘Johnny’ Wilson was posted with short notice, just managing to complete the qualification period for his medal, leaving Sgt Williamson at the helm. SSgt ‘Mouse’ Penfold flew to Bosnia to head the section over the last 6 weeks preparing the Squadron for dieselisation. The fitter section is now run by SSgt ‘Ian’ Stringer newly arrived on posting in December. C Squadron fitters were located in Banja Luka Metal Factor, where day and night merged under the gloomy, dim interior of the factory complex. Not knowing which of the factory overhead lights were being turned on from day to day, made parking the vehicles for the best lighting conditions something of a gamble. Working under SSgt ‘Del’, ‘Abe Simpson’, Rogers and his trusty sidekick parrots, or was it the other way round? C squadron was constantly busy, so they say, accumulating high Sqn track mileage and so only a couple of times were they caught playing cards, computer games, darts, cribbage and Boxing Kings 2000 with Tiffy being the Tyson of the section. HQ Squadron were based in Mrkonjic Grad Bus Depot and acted as the Battle Group LAD, taking additional work from RMP, LSD, MRS, Engineers and any passer by with a problem. Headed up by the EME and ASM - or more likely the AQMS - all of whom took turns
D Sqn Ftr Section June 99
playing with the train set. The HQ LAD element had a number of sub departments, HQ fitters, Optronics, Armourers, MT and Recovery, G1098, Electricians and last but not least the Master Welder. Each of the sections would run daily and a spontaneous idea was formed over a ‘Stella’, that the LAD would run a 20 miler through the local hills for the ‘Phil Lythe Appeal’. The Commanding Officer, invited himself along and as a consequence he kindly volunteered his Adjutant to keep him company. Brigadier Cook (Deputy Commander MND(SW)) also volunteered to run with the Colonel and by this time there was no turning back. All of the HQ LAD ran the route, raising over 4500 DM for Phils Appeal. On return from Christmas leave, having survived Brickhanging and the Christmas festivities, the new millennium has now dawned, with the only sign of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse being the clip-clop of the riding school. The Barracks is still standing despite Y2K – just - and it’s back to work in preparation for Dieselisation, E-Spire fitment and Med Man 4/5 in BATUS. The end of 1999 has also seen a change in EME’s with Captain Gordon-Sawyers (winner of the crystal decanter set by collecting the most frequent Bosnia fly miles) leaving for pastures new at 4 Bn REME after JDSC. Our new EME, Captain Hulme, arrived from 5 Battalion REME, and continues to give Equipment Support to HCR, having been FRT Commander with 5 Bn REME in Bosnia. Oh, and lest we forget that ASM Gary Valentine will be leaving, not only the Regiment but the also the Army. Not normally printing his christian name for obvious reasons, I thought it now apt, as he will be leaving for Civilian Street and I am sure he would not like to be called any of those other names…. like sir of course! All the best ASM and all those newly departed from the LAD. We wish all of you the best of luck for the future.
Household Cavalry Regiment 25
WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess HCR’s Battle Group Headquarters was based in Mrkonjic Grad, Bosnia where we set up the WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess very quickly upon our arrival in June and made it home. The Queens Royal Lancers from whom The Mess was very kindly invited to the we took over had Sgts’ Mess of the 1st Bn Coldstream built a very nice little Guards for lunch in February. About 40 Mess which we Mess members attended expecting a bufenhanced by buildfet lunch and a few drinks but were taken ing a large patio outcompletely by surprise by the full silver WO1 (ASM) Valentine REME, WO2 (RWSO) Shatliff and WO2 (RIWO) Evans. side and erecting a service lunch that had been laid on for fence to enclose it. The majority of the Pidhajeckyj or ‘PJ’ to his friends. It is us. It was a first class afternoon and a lot work was undertaken by WO2 (SCM) not normally customary to dine out of friendships were struck and old Grantham and SCpl Irvin who just manSCpls/SSgt when they leave the Regiacquaintances renewed. We now have a aged to complete it in time for the CSE ment but SSgt PJ was leaving the army very good rapport between the two Messshow. after 22 years service so it was considered es and long may it continue. appropriate. We were visited by the CSE (Combined Sadly this year we have said goodbye to Services Entertainment) Show on the Although life back in Windsor was quiet WO2 Sandercock RHG/D, WO2 Stan21st July. The show consisted of the with just the rear party staging on, the worth LG, SCpl (SQMC) Cross MBE ABBA tribute band ‘Bjorn Again’, a rear party SCM, WO2 (SCM) Kitching LG, SCpl Rendall RHG/D and SCpl female magician come fire eater and a managed to hold a number of functions Cowton RHG/D after completing their troupe of dancing girls. After the show in the Mess, not only for the rear party 22 years service. We wish them all the both our’s and the Officers’ Mess hosted personnel but for the wives of all those best of luck in their new careers and the performers in our new patio area Mess members in the Balkans. These hope that they will come back from time with a BBQ and a few drinks. functions were well attended and a good to time to see us. chance for the wives to get out and Although we were restricted to the ‘2 can socialise. The majority of 1999 has been dominatrule’ we managed to hold a few very ed by the Regiment’s deployment to amusing quiz nights run by the LAD. With the Regiment’s deployment to Bosnia on Operation PALATINE and D We also held a couple of Dinner Nights, Bosnia and Kosovo at an end we are Squadron’s deployment to Kosovo on one of which was to say goodbye to SSgt looking forward to the Christmas festiviOperation AGRICOLA. ties and some time with our families and loved ones. Birthday festivities in the Mess in MG June 99. Sgt Taylor, WO2 (SQMS) Ali, 999 started in fine style with the New Year’s Dinner on the 28 January. It is always nice to see the Mess sat down to dinner in Mess dress, something that we do not get a chance to do that often. The Commanding Officer, who is traditionally the guest of honour gave a very entertaining ‘state of the nation’ speech and a thoroughly good night was had by all.
WO1 (ASM) Valentine, WO2 (RWSO) Shatliff, WO2 (RIWO) Evans.
The senior Mess members are: WO1 (RCM) Carpenter RHG/D WO1 (ASM) Valentine REME WO1 (BM) Brigden RHG/D WO2 (RQMS) Harris RHG/D WO2 (RQMC(T)) Grantham LG WO2 (SQMS) Thorne AGC WO2 (SQMS) Kubiscek AGC WO2 (SQMS) Ali RLC WO2 (SCM) Kitching LG WO2 (SCM) Douglas LG WO2 (SCM) Kibble RHG/D WO2 (SCM) Pilchowski RHG/D WO2 (SCM) Cripps LG WO2 (RSWO) Postance LG WO2 (BCM) Billington RHG/D WO2 (AQMS) Griffiths REME WO2 (MTWO) Atkinson RHG/D WO2 (RIWO) Evans RHG/D WO2 (ABCM) Kitchin RHG/D WO2 (QMSI) Davidson APTC
Household Cavalry Regiment
The Band of The Blues and Royals 999 started with an eight-week duty tour of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst where the band was used in various training activities for the newly enlisted Officer Cadets. This slightly extended tour (normally six weeks) was to fill-in for the Band of the Grenadier Guards who were on tour in America (poor lads!).
During this period we said farewell to the Director of Music, Major Bob Owen who has gone on to the Band of the Scots Guards, and we welcomed our new Director of Music, Captain Douglas Robertson who joined us from the Royal Tank Regiment. After Sandhurst we moved back to Knightsbridge to pack up and prepare to swap band blocks with the Life Guards. On arrival at Windsor, not only was the barracks empty due to the Regiment being away on active duty, but also so was the practice room. Our opposite numbers in the Life Guards had taken everything, even the carpets!! Almost immediately we were travelling daily back to Knightsbridge for the usual mounted season of Major General’s Parade, Beating Retreat and Trooping the Colour. 1999 was our year to perform at Royal Ascot Week again. This is an engagement the band enjoys as it gives us a chance to have a little flutter on the races. Winnings are not announced but it was noted that LCpl Kent did arrive at work shortly after with a shiny new car.
The State Tumpeters inside The Guildhall, London.
The year ended as busy as it began with a ten day trip to Germany where we performed a concert in Osnabruck and at the International Military Music Show in Munster. Just before Christmas we said farewell to SCpl Tim Francis who transferred to the Band of the Life Guards on promotion to WO2(ABCM). We wish him all the best. Some news hot off the press is that he will be riding in this years mounted season if he can find his Jackboots.
Congratulations go to the following who were promoted in 1999: CoH Paine to SCpl, LCoH Gough to CoH, LCpl’s Collin, Groves and Thomas to LCoH and Musn’s King, Speight, Tulip and Bishop to LCpl. It is with regret that we have to announce the death of a former band member, Ian Kimberley. Ian served as trombonist in the band from 1985 to 1991 and died recently in a tragic accident in Costa Rica.
The Director of Music outside the front gate of Battle Group Headquarters at Mrkonjic Grad during the Band’s visit to Bosnia.
With just enough time to fit in a few duty commitments and the State Visit of the President of Hungary, we were quickly back to London and Earls Court for the Royal Tournament. Whilst the band has performed at the Royal Tournament many times, this one was particularly poignant as it was the last. The band took centre stage with the bands of the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards, Royal Marines and Royal Air Force for twenty-five performances, every one sold out. After some well deserved summer leave we packed out kit and flew out to Bosnia for a week to give musical support to the HCR. Whilst the workload was intense, we were extremely well looked after by all squadrons and it gave some insight as to what the regiment were doing over there.
Household Cavalry Regiment 27
The Regimental Information Team ecruiting is still a priority for The Household Cavalry and the Regimental Information Team (RIT) has had a very busy year attending 265 event days in different locations covering the country from Wales to Norfolk, Folkestone to Newcastle.
The recruiting figures for the Regiment over the last 12 months have again been maintained at the level set in the previous years and may even be improved upon however this information will not come available until April 2000. At the time of writing this article 131 soldiers have been put into training for the Household Cavalry since April 99. This is by no means the end of the tunnel but there is light. All efforts will be maintained until the Household Cavalry is up to strength. The Team has spent its year visiting Schools, colleges, Job fairs and also active on the street recruiting in town centres and shows. The time spent in the education system is important for the future of the Regiment as it has been shown that the majority of young people who join the Army make the decision very early in their lives between the ages of 14 and 16 years. Hopefully this line of recruiting will give the Regiment a good grounding for the future. The new Army Foundation College (AFC) at Harrogate that most people would recognise as the old Junior Leaders system has produced its first 5 Recruits to the Household Cavalry. After completing 12 months training at A. F. C they moved onto riding school and are planned to pass out in February 2000. The new intakes at A. F. C, which started in September 99, and January 2000 at present have 17 Household Cavalrymen who hopefully on successful Royal Visit to the RIT. 16AA Bde Open Day.
completion of the course will be at Regimental duty by the end of the year 2000. In 1999 despite HCRs operational commitments the RIT have completed three K. A. P. E tours with which without the support of A sqn would not have been possible. In February we went to Sunderland despite the typical north east weather we were met with the usual Geordie good humour and hospitality. Birmingham was the task in April where we CoH Carey, CoH Lochrane and Tpr met with a very positive people from Sandwell, Birmingham. response from the local communities and we have been invited back on several occasions in the past year. Norfolk was the final KAPE in August which coincided with HCMRs Summer Camp . We covered most of east Norfolk in the time allowed from Lowestoft, Felixstowe, Ipswich and Attlebourgh completing the KAPE at HCMRs open day in Bodney. I am sad to report that the old recruiting trailer, which many of you I am sure can remember, has finally seen the end of its day being sent to rest at Bovington. However I am pleased to inform you that with Funds from both Associations and the Major General London District a new trailer has been purchased and was taken into service in March. It has already seen good use on many activities and has already completed 9800 miles since March. We hope it will give us as good and long service as the old trailer. Technology is also playing its part in Regimental recruiting. The Household Cavalry has now its own Web Site. The idea being via the Internet you will be able to access information about what the Regiment is doing, PRI sales, Association business and of course recruiting information,at:-www. householdcavalry. co. uk . Captain Mannering CoH Carey CoH Lochrane WO2 Kershaw CoH Pattenotte CoH Lowe CoH Wibberly CoH Howie CoH Dixon CoH Hagan CoH Taylor CoH Callow
Household Cavalry Regiment
OCRIT Windsor RIT Windsor RIT Windsor Birmingham AFCO Birmingham AFCO Preston AFCO Norwich ACIO Sunderland ACIO Oldham ACIO Wembley ACIO Halifax ACIO Liverpool ACIO
Carnock with the EMRT and young
LCoH Lochrane recruiting another fine example of youth today.
At present The Household Cavalry recruiting machine has 1 Officer and Two SNCOs who work from Windsor and 7 recruiters who work in offices around the country whoâ€™s names and locations are at the end of this article. If you know of any potential recruits please put them in contact with any of the recruiters in a office near you or contact my office in Windsor from were we will give you information and any assistance we can.
01753 75 5213 Fax 01753 75 5161 01753 75 5213 01753 75 5213 0121 633 4963 0121 633 4963 01772 203030 01603 624616 0191 5658817 0161 6273233 0181 9021376 01422 362860 0151 33717666
Orderly Room nd so it continued, the relentless toil and drudgery after the Detachment’s return from Canada! Brickhanging was a totally new experience for both the Detachment Commander, Lieutenant Lovett and the Regimental Admin Officer, Captain V Larmour and not one that Lieutenant Lovett was going to forget in a hurry, after she was handcuffed to the bar, with her pint of guiness.
January found the Detachment back in the office to answer pay queries and UNICOM problems though it also witnessed several members on the HQ Squadron range period, a novel experience for many including WO2 (SQMS) Moore, as it was the first time that he had ever fired a 5.56mm rifle! LSgt Clark proved himself with his “Dead Eyed Dick” performance, even if his glasses did need windscreen wipers to deal with all the rain. Sgt Seabright also outshone himself after saving Miss Lovett in a ‘can’t get the canister back on the respirator incident’ in the gas chamber. However he did not need to rush, as the Det are well used to the smell of gas, after working in an office with his own brand of biological hazard! It was then work, work, work, in the run up to the MFP Documents and Finance Inspection. Senses of humour were almost lost but we managed to get the nod for a pass. Conscientious efforts were made by all the Sqn Clerks, including the newly posted in Pte Sacco, all under the guidance of the Documents Supervisor, Sgt Shearer. The Detachment finally waved goodbye to WO1 O’Donnell, our TA supernumery, who after two and a half years decided it was time to go, especially as he was only meant to be on attachment for two weeks! His absence has meant that the new FSA, WO2 (SQMS) Kubiscek cannot rest on his laurels as the Imprest account is now back in his hands. The Det then prepared the Regiment for their deployments to Kosovo and Bosnia. Ptes Sacco and Hersey posted to us straight from Worthy Down training were completely thrown in at the deep end with Pte Sacco deploying to Kosovo almost immediately (adamant that his feet were the first to touch Kosovo soil ) and Pte Hersey left to sort out HQ Sqn. . But Pte Burford helped them to settle in and get things straight, though it seemed as if the SFOR ID cards would never be
finished! But it was ‘alright on the night’ and the Sqns arrived in sunny Split with little fuss. Having painted the RAO Corimec white to reflect the burning sun, it was with a little embarrassment that Captain Larmour and Sgt Seabright discovered that they had used water soluble paint! But it was soon business as usual, with the inevitable pay problems, (APC Glasgow are now on the office BT Friends and Family calling number list), R&R flights to organise, adventure training places to allocate and bar profits to pay in – B Sqn’s staggering stash just about financed A/R payments for the entire HCR BG! The hot summer months quickly passed with the never ending round of pay runs to Banja Luka and Jajce. These provided good opportunities for AGC staff to escape the confines of camp, and to explore the stunning Bosnian countryside and Jajce castle, courtesy of B Sqn’s ‘Tour agency’. On one stiflingly hot day, en route back to the Bus Depot, Captain Larmour even ordered all her pay staff to strip off and take a quick swim in the aquamarine coloured Plivo Lakes, much to the horror of the unwarned boys, all clad in their grey Y fronts!! WO2 Moore and his successor WO2 Thorne, both escaped the unrelenting task of counting their mountains of DM cash, and proved themselves on the volleyball court, with a little assistance from LCpl Anstee and LSgt Dunlop, poached from the LAD, who were all demon players. LSgt Morazzani patiently waded through every person’s pay statement every month and vented her frustrations by thrashing us on all the local hill runs, and even represented us in the AGC championships in the UK. WO2 Thorne managed a cheeky few days back in the UK to play Army level rounders, though she missed the highlight of playing against England, owing to her return
The AGC Detachment in Bosnia.
flight to Bosnia. With nearly 50% of the AGC Detachment being female now, we will soon have our own HCR rounders team!! In addition to being the butt of all anti male jokes, and the token male in the main RAO in Bosnia, Sgt Seabright has continued to keep us all amused and even organised an AGC Dinner Night. Lieutenant Lovett and WO2 Thorne collaberated to dress up in Halloween pink fairy costumes from the PX, which caused much amusement and envious sideways glances. The Rear Party held the fort valiantly dealing with lots of trivia, and SSgt Taylor amazed us with her tenacity in ensuring that mess bills could reach just about any part of the Balkans. Now that her Boxer guards the office, there will be even less arguments about who the Regt Acct pays money out too. ‘General’ LCpl Winterburn has also done a sterling job as the self appointed SSA Rear, and is now training our new Irish arrival, Pte McMullen.
Household Cavalry Regiment 29
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword by By Lieutenant Colonel N M A Ridley, The Life Guards Commanding Officer The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment his has been a mixed and varied, but generally positive year for The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment; morale in the Regiment has been and remains high. The story of this year is covered in detail in the Regimental notes that follow, so I only intend to pluck out and highlight some aspects which have characterised this period.
All ceremonial events went well; each occasion was well commented upon. However, an observation I have is that the real security aspect of our escort role has regrettably come more to the fore. For years we have practiced VIP protection and security has always been a key aspect of briefings in preparation for escorts. However, this year we had to use our horses to protect the Monarch at both the Opening of the Scottish Parliament and during the visit of the Chinese Head of State. On both occasions the mounted escort provided extremely effective protection and gained significant praise from the Police, and on the second occasion from a Home Office Minister. I do hope disturbances of this nature will not become routine, but I feel that their potential media value to pressure groups may lead to this. We shall see, but if there is a positive aspect, it is that our soldiers are more focused on a real operational justification for their escort tasks.
The Kosovo Crisis caused us to look seriously at the Regiment’s war role. We were asked to staff plans for closing down ceremonial duties and deploying our manpower. Our deployment would not have been as a formed unit, but as individual reinforcements to reconnaissance regiments, largely our sister Regiment, the HCR from Windsor. Captain RAH Peasgood was appointed the Mounted Regiment’s first Operations Officer; he did all the staff checks and the outcome was that we would have deployed some 80 trained armoured reconnaissance crewmen, plus some 150 general duty soldiers. Our horses would have been placed out at grass at Melton and/or on rented land, supervised by the Riding Staff, our Vet
and civilian grooms. Returning the Regiment to its ceremonial role would have been quite a challenge, but possible; mercifully this was not tested. Nonetheless, the events of the summer highlighted the fact the all Household Cavalrymen are first and foremost operational soldier.s Recruiting seems to have gone well and our Training Wing has been bursting at the seams with young soldiers undergoing mounted duty training; as I write, there are no less than 57 trainees in rides at Windsor. The policy is that recruits are encouraged to do their turn at Mounted Duty before proceeding to the Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment at Windsor, hopefully for operational service. I have no doubt that this is the correct policy, but it does mean that there is a tremendous strain on our training staff, the more so because these soldiers are extremely young (2 only 16 years old) with all the consequent welfare and disciplinary problems. Mounted training and duty is tough; it is dangerous, unpleasant, monotonous and involves very long hours of work often in wanting conditions. I therefore believe that it is to the tremendous credit of our officers and senior NCOs that morale has not suffered. The Regiment places great emphasis on recruiting from the ethnic minorities; this is a largely yet untapped source of quality recruits. We have sent recruiting teams to several London Boroughs including Lambeth and Brent. Further afield Captain RR Philipson-Stow and CoH Welsh led a mounted team to 8 city centres including Glasgow, Cardiff and Birmingham. Influential personalities, known as ‘gate keepers’, from these communities have visited the Regiment and we have contributed to several presentations away. While there is much left to do, these efforts have borne fruit. We have 3 first class soldiers from the ethnic minorities at ceremonial duty and another 3 due to pass out in the spring. Inevitably these individuals have a high media profile and are interviewed and filmed on a regular basis; it is to their
30 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
credit that they have coped with these distractions whilst carrying out their busy duties. Captain LAJ Brennan chaired an all ranks millennium committee to establish the most appropriate ways of marking this important milestone. The upshot was a millennium dance for all troopers held in a marquee adjacent to the gym just before Christmas leave. No expense was spared and the set up was far smarter than at most officers’ dances. All our soldiers made a real effort to match the importance of the occasion, many buying or hiring black tie. The evening was a tremendous success and resulted in at least one engagement. Most importantly, the costs were within budget. The millennium was also marked by the drawing of a Regimental Muster Roll. This was based on Royal Dragoon muster roll produced for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee in 1897 and lists all those serving with HCMR and in the two Household Cavalry Bands. This was beautifully drawn by WO2 Atkinson and everyone serving at Knightsbridge received one of 450 copies. The original was unveiled by the Silver Stick and hangs in the Warrant Officer’s and Non Commissioned Officer’s Mess. This was a successful year for our sportsmen. The Regiment won the London
District Football Cup after a hard fought match against The Duke of Wellington’s Regiment which went to extra time. LCpl Woods and Musn Barnes both won their Army Colours for fencing and LCpl McKenzie has been training full time at Sandhurst in a bid to be included in the British Olympic Team set for Sydney, as a pentathlete. We have also be extremely successful in equestrian sports with Captain CT Haywood, WO2 Waygood, and SCpl Weller and others accumulating an impressive pile of national and international prizes. Particular mention should be made of LCoH Weston’s success in becoming Master at Arms for skill at arms in the Royal Tournament. In most sports competitions we have at least held our own.
had an excellent year performing abroad in Holland, all round Britain, including at Olmypia and at the last Royal Tournament. Captain H F Whitbread brought together a photographic exhibition in Kensington Palace showing aspects life in the Regiment. These photographs, taken by professionals mainly in 1998, are contained in magazine format now on sale. This really is a splendid record of life in the Regiment around the millennium and if you don’t have one you should order one from us while stocks last! All these ventures require a considerable amount of work above our basic obligations, but are important, not only for recruiting, but to demonstrate the value for money that The Household Cavalry gives the taxpayer.
The Regiment continues to provide excellent value to the Country and the British Army in terms of Public Relations. Apart from being seen on public duties, a record number of people visited Hyde Park Barracks last year, including some 1000 on an Open Day for the public held in October. The Musical Ride continues to be in tremendous demand; they
The future programme is taking shape and as always, 2000 will be busier than ever. In addition to the customary events, there are a mass of smaller, but no less important tasks. We will have a major input to the Royal Military Tattoo 2000 in July as well as ceremonial duties for the centennial birthday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen
Mother. It is also likely that we will provide a traveling escort for the Opening of the Manx Parliament on the Isle of Man. Our Regimental Training period will follow all this in August at Bodney as usual (open day will be on Sunday 27 August). Outside the programme, we will review our training for mounted dutymen and continue the endless battle to improve our soldiers quality of life against a backdrop of declining resources. In conclusion, I would like to pay genuine tribute to my predecessor, Lieutenant Colonel HSJ Scott, who handed me a Regiment in first class order and with a real vision for the future. Maintaining these high standards will remain a constant challenge, particularly while resources remain tight, but I am confident that the initiative and determination of all Household Cavalrymen will ensure that they succeed. Not one of the innumerable visitors to the Regiment this year has failed to praise the clear dedication and enthusiasm of those they have met.
Diary of Events January January was a reasonably quiet month for the Regiment on the equine / parade front, but we kept ourselves occupied with a series of visits. Most notably, the Colonel of the Blues and Royals paid her first visit to the Regiment. We were also visited by the Hammersmith Mounted HRH Princess Royal talking to SCM Maxwell.
Winter Camp - Crowborough.
Police and a delegation from the US Army Veterinary Department. Later in the month the Commanding Officer and RCM visited the memorial to 2 HCR in Zandvoorde.
February February, as always, was taken up by a series of inspections. The barracks were inspected for the last time by the outgoing Commanding Officer, who also completed the full dress inspections. We also held a series of Troop Camps in Crowborough.
March History was made in March when, for the first time, two female soldiers completed Kit ride prior to going to their respective bands. The Regiment was visited by the Lord Mayor of Westminster who arrived in time to see the start of our Spring Drills. The Commanding Officer inspected the horses prior to the forthcoming ceremonial season.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Capt Catsaras with 2 Div LG at the State Visit of the President of Hungary, Windsor.
April was dominated by the preparation for the Major General’s Parade. Whilst not practising for the parade, we found time to get in some leave. The bands rode on QLG in preparation for their season.
As always, the highlight in June was the Queen’s Birthday Parade. However, we also provided a double standard Sovereign’s Escort for the State visit of the President of Hungary, troops for the garter service and the bands for Beating retreat – all in all, a very busy month! To recover the Officers’ Mess held a drinks party at Burton’s Court.
May In May the Major General’s Parade went without a hitch. There was a great deal of success on the equine front with members of the Regiment winning at both Aldershot and Windsor Horse Shows. Many of the photographers who have visited the Regiment over the last few years exhibited their work in Kensington Palace; many of the photographs are included in the magazine that has been produced by the Regiment.
July July saw the Musical Ride performing in the emotionally charged final Royal Tournament. The Life Guards Squadron provided a travelling escort for Her Majesty The Queen when she opened the new Scottish Assembly. The Escort received national media coverage as its commander Captain RJCD Phelps, and
The Commanding Officer of the Mounted Regiment , Lt Col NMA Ridley LG, presents a cheque to the RDA at Covent Garden on completion of Ex Kape Crusader.
Trumpeter, LCoH Radford dealt swiftly with a group of protesters. At the end of the month we managed to get men away on leave.
August The leave period continued into August, but then preparations were on for Regimental Training (Summer Camp), which we deployed to towards the end of the month. As always, an extremely good time was had by all, and both horses and men benefitted from the experience.
September The Regimental Open Day, held at Bodney towards the end of our stay was a great success. Over 7000 people visited on a gloriously sunny day; a record sum was raised for a local charity, the ‘We Care 2000 Appeal’. On return to barracks, those who were not on leave saw visits by groups from DPR(A), DAVRS and The Friends of the Imperial War Museum.
October October was dominated by the visit of the President of China. Not surprisingly there were a number of demonstrations, but members of the escort countered these. On return to Barracks, the Field Officer of the escort claimed a ‘brace’ of protestors! Members of the regiment competed in the RMAS Hunter Trial with varying degrees of success, whilst back at Knightsbridge we were visited by DASD and his staff. The Regiment also held an Open Day within Barracks, which drew in large crowds from the local area. On the equine front, members of the Regiment represented the Army in the International Military Event with the team winning gold and Captain CT Haywood being the individual winner.
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November brought with it a number of parades. The Blues and Royals provided a division to escort the new Lord Mayor of London, whilst the Life Guards provided a dismounted division at the Cenotaph Parade. We also provided a Sovereign’s Escort for the State Opening of Parliament and found time to fit in a visit by the Director of Defence Policy.
December, as always, was a social occasion. We held a Millennium Ball for all Troopers which went down extremely well. The WO’s and NCO’s Mess held a very successful Christmas Ball, whilst at Olympia the Musical Ride performed its new routine to a screaming crowd. Dry ice, Robbie Williams, the Spice Girls – the crowd went wild! On the equine front members of the Regiment competed in the Wessex Yeomanry Race at Badminton.
The Silver Stick presents Capt Catsaras and CoH Holden with the prize for the Senior Ranks Handy Hunter
As always, it was a laugh a minute as Captain LAJ Brennan claimed the honour of being the first faller, and Captain MC Antelme managed to finish the race on a totally different horse from the one he started on. This wasn’t a bad thing as his horse Waterloo preferred going through hedges to jumping them. On Christmas day gunfire was served early in the morning and, as tradition dictates, the statue of the horse that stands on Whitehall was given a haynet by members of the Queen’s Life Guard.
After the Scottish Opening of Parliament, Royal Company of Archers. L to R: Comd Offr, Capt RJCD Phelps LG, The Earl of Airlie, Maj The Hon Sir Lauchlan Maclean BL.
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Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Out and About
Capt AD Dick and COH Overton at the WIndsor Horse Show.
Open Day, Regimental Training Fancy Dress Competition.
LCpl Stevenson at Holkam Beach.
Commanding Officer, WO2 (SCM) Smith and Maj JP Eyre
WO2 (SCM) Lanahan, CO HCMR, Colonel The Life Guards, Maj JDA Gasilee and Maj I Sanderson at Bodney.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
LCpl Coupe and Quartz.
Vet talking to her horse.
Capt Trietline with his two horses.
LCoh Weston, Tpr Hill and others at Summer Camp.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Life Guards Squadron he Life Guards Squadron has had a very good year with the Squadron participating in all major ceremonial parades, including the new Scottish State Opening of Parliament and the Chinese State visit. The beginning of the year followed its usual routine. The Squadron completed its ITDs at Pirbright and prepared for horse and kit inspections. Captain RJCD Phelps, however, resurrected Winter Camps at Crowborough Camp in West Sussex. This was a great success with all troops rotating through the camp for a week each; they jumped, hacked out and some managed to go out drag hunting and had some fine sport. The Camp was a great success which all participants thoroughly enjoyed and our thanks go to Captain RJCD Phelps for all his hard work.
The Ceremonial season then began in earnest and followed the usual run of events. The Major General’s Parade was a quiet affair with the Squadron only involved in the parade itself. The Squadron found the Standard Party, 1 and 2 Divisions for the Queen’s Birthday Parade. The parade went extremely well with no Life Guards involuntarily dismounting. This was followed by the Garter Parade and then a very rapid move to Combermere Barracks for a State Visit. Though the move was hurried the time in Windsor was a lot of fun, with troops enjoying the warm weather
R to L: Colonel the Life Guards, Capt CJ Trietline and CoH Hepple with the prize for Troop Tests at Regimental Training.
and making the most of riding in the Great Park. 3 Tp under the guidance of Captain ZN Catsaras and CoH Holden rode to the Fox and Hounds for lunch and then had an interesting “ride” back. The rest of the Squadron decamped most afternoons to the outdoor pool at Eton. LCoH Cooper showed off his high diving skills, which Tpr Johnston attempted to emulate it with painful results. The parade itself went very smoothly. The other highlight of the Ceremonial Season for the Squadron was the State Opening of the Scottish Parliament in
Capt Catsaras and 2 Div LG at QBP.
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Edinburgh. This was a totally new parade and a Travelling Escort under command of Captain RJCD Phelps and Captain CJ Trietline was despatched to Redfern Barracks. After some initial language difficulties and interesting ceremonial debates the Escort rehearsed for the big day. The parade went well until some protesters broke through the barrier and approached the carriage but Captain RJCD Phelps and LCoH Radford under directions from WO2 (SCM) Lanahan rode them off and so showed why the Household Cavalry ceremonially is still relevant today.
The Squadron was not quite so successful on the equestrian front as last year with WO2 (SCM) Lanahan, Tpr Coupe and Tpr Ravenscroft failing to repeat last year’s success at the Royal Windsor Show. Members of the Squadron did however compete in all the military shows and Captain CJ Trietline had some success in civilian competitions on his charger/pet/lover “Yeti”. The new 2IC, Captain AJL Fox-Pitt appeared briefly before disappearing at regular intervals to play polo. He has had a good season playing for “Hackett”, who also kindly provided suitable prizes for the Squadron Competitions at Camp. The Squadron also entered a team into the Kingsclere Team Chase made up of Major JDA Gaselee, Captain CJ Trietline, Tpr Griffiths and Tpr Norris. The team was very successful though unfortunately was not quite fast enough to be placed. Captain CJ Trietline has now set up a Life Guard Team Chase team, coached by WOII Waygood LG and sponsored by Hackett. The Squadron managed to make up for some poor showings in the Richmond Trophy over the last couple of years. Tpr Gray won and Tpr Jordan came a close second, with Tpr Stephenson in fourth and Tprs Jacobi and Adamson in seventh and eighth places. This was an excellent result, which reflected the effort put in by the whole Squadron. Under the new Commanding Officer, the Squadron departed for Norfolk and Regimental Training Camp (formerly known as Summer Camp). This was a highly rewarding period for the Squadron with LG Squadron sweeping all before them. The usual activities took place, the beach rides and pub rides again being hugely popular. All the troops managed a day away, with 2 and 3 troops enjoying a formula one experience at the Red Lodge Go-Karting Track. Captain RAH Peasgood proved he could rival Michael Schumacher in the skill and dirty tricks department and a few of our learner drivers demonstrated very clearly why they have yet to pass their tests! 1 Troop decided to be different and went paint balling. The Fire Brigade were called during the first game, several grenades exploding in all the wrong places causing a widespread fire, leading to the banning of grenades. Tpr Smyth had the chance to act as a President; his power, however, was short lived and he was assassinated by an anonymous trooper or two. Finally, Captain CJ Treitline and CoH Miller decided to take cover under the same bush; all was well until, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid realising they were being surrounded, they tried
to make a break for it with guns blazing. The rest of 1 Troop, like the Federales of the Mexican Army soon put an end to them. The troop returned to Bodney looking like something out of the retreat from Moscow. SCpl Coles, in his own inimitable way, put on a very successful BBQ though fortunately not by any water this year. The cabaret was provided by CoH Miller, who was in fine voice and sang many an old camp fire/smoker favourite with plenty of audience participation. On the competition side, we had a very exciting Squadron Show Jumping Competition: Tpr Gooding and Tpr Slowey shared first prize, Tpr Slowey’s horse “Opera”, whom many will remember, has now won this competition more times than any other man or horse! In the Junior Ranks Competition Tpr Prest swept all before him and won on Sebastian after a second jump-off. In fact, the Squadron furnished five people in the top seven. In the Senior Ranks HandyHunter Captain ZN Catsaras and CoH Holden won - the Squadron Leader and SCM were robbed again. In the Senior ranks Show Jumping, CoH Gray on Utopix won for the second year running with the SCM in 3rd place and Captain ZN Catsaras, in his first year, came sixth which was a very impressive performance. On Open Day, the Squadron was beaten in all the Show Jumping competitions by a ringer: Captain CT Haywood decided that he was now not part of the Riding Staff! Tpr Jacobi, however, produced a blinding performance by coming second in the Six Bar but he unfortunately fell off in the process and broke his finger! His mount Warlord had earlier that day carried the Squadron Leader into fifth place in the Show Jumping. A new talent was discovered on Open Day when LCpl Dowsett came 3rd in the Tent Pegging having only done it twice before.1 Troop also scooped the winning prize in troop tests, so all in all a fine camp. Finally, we gave a prize for the most improved rider at Camp and this again was shared between CoH Miller and Tpr Goodsman, both of whom have improved out of all recognition. The Squadron found the primary Standard for the eventful State Escort for the visit of the President of China. On his swansong, Major JDA Gaselee had his moment of national fame snatched from before him as the protestor who ran out of the crowd was apprehended by several policemen and a zealous guardsman just before Major Gaselee could get stuck in with his sword! In any event, the Escort again proved that its role is practical as well as merely ceremonial.
LCoH Arkley and a potential recruit at the Crown and Manor Boys Club, North London, whilst on Ex Kape Crusader.
With Captain AJL Fox-Pitt away with the Winter Training Troop, the reins were passed to Captain ZN Catsaras for three months until the arrival of the new Squadron Leader. A cold but successful State Opening of Parliament took place. Despite the changes to the House of Lords, the Regiment’s role remains unchanged. On the Sporting front, the Squadron entered all the GOC’s Sports days with some success. Our biggest success, however, has been LCpl Mackenzie who has won a string of Modern Pentathlon titles this year, including the Army Championship and he came seventh in the National Finals. He is now training hard to get into the Olympic team, which for a novice is exceptional and we wish him all the best. The Squadron also managed to keep ties with the Foot Guards going by sending soldiers to Seattle. LCpl Pratt, Tpr Bassett and Tpr Howell went with the Grenadiers and LCpls Pratt and Jordan, Tprs Prest and Waite went with the Welsh Guards. All had a brilliant time learning infantry skills which will hopefully hold them in good stead when they are posted to HCR. As usual, we also sent soldiers to Spruce Meadows and to visit the Garde Republicaine. The Squadron says a sad farewell to Major JDA Gaselee, who goes to Staff College, Captain RC Taylor to Northern Ireland and SCpl Coles to Bovington, and welcomes Major HCB Briscoe and Captain AJL Fox-Pitt and SCpl Stevenson from HCR.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Royal Tournament
The Life Guards preparing to charge.
“Eight Across” Tpr Early in the foreground riding Yeastvite.
Trumpet Fanfare Foreground; The Ride Officer, Captain CWG Rodway, RHG/D on Tadcaster. Middle: LCpl Kent on Janus. Trumpeters seen: Msns Bowen and LCpl Barker.
The Blues and Royals Tent Pegging Team receiving their prize after winning the Team Event. L to R CoH Overton (Warsaw), Tpr Cooper (Selkirk) and Tpr Scott (Paxton).
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Rehearsal, State Opening.
Ringing the bookmaker!
The Supporting Group, Major Generalâ€™s Parade
Tpr Scott with friends.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Musical Ride of 1999 By Captain CWG Rodway, RHG/D he 1999 Season was a year which saw the Musical Ride perform in front of two reigning monarchs and to an audience of 16 million at the greatest show of them all – The Royal Tournament. It was also one of the longest years in terms of manpower and horse commitment as the first show, an international, started mid-March, whilst the last was to take us right up to almost Christmas Eve !
Our first engagement was at Indoor Brabant in Holland, where the world dressage championships took place this year. The pressure to train a new ride so early in the year necessitated many early and blustery wet mornings practising in the park before the Riding Master, Major I Sanderson, was happy to let us go. This was a real “in at the deep end” for the Ride, as not many of us knew what to expect – certainly not the blinding spotlights and the huge Wembley-esque TV screen which were to confront us. The atmosphere in the changing room that first night was electric. You could have cut the air with a knife if limbs had the strength to do it. How different it would be for the ‘old pros’ for the rest of the year ! But the horses – ever humblers of men – and two young but totally reliable leading files, Tprs Blakeway and Bovey saw us through and on the last night Queen Beatrice of Holland led the applause, while the British Ambassador came down the lines to congratulate the soldiers. Special mention must go to Majors JDA Gaselee and H Carruthers (Life Guard Squadron Leader and Veterinary Officer respectively) whose overall contribution was invaluable and CoH Goodwin for the smooth return to England. March moved quickly into May and we were off to The Royal Windsor Horse Show, and a chance to catch up with old friends at Combermere Barracks. An outdoor arena is a very different stage to an indoor one and perhaps we, as artistes, wistfully missed the huge TV screen we had become accustomed to in Holland! Royal Windsor is one of the most prestigious shows as it is very much the Royal Family’s home show and when Her Majesty The Queen visits, it is a personal occasion. All went very well, though the approach and departure routes, through the back of Home Park and around the castle, meant that the Ride spent some six hours a day in the saddle, enough to make even the Ride Officer feel equine.
The Royal Tournament, the opening sequence. The Mounted Band leads on the Musical Ride commanded by Captain CWG Rodway RHG/D.
But Windsor could not dampen our spirits as June raced on with the usual heavy commitments for the Regiment. On the 30th June, a small body consisting of the Drummer, State Trumpeters and two dutymen, Tprs Stafford and McEndoo, appeared on GMTV’s Get Up and Give in support of the Royal Tournament. This was a huge success as a tour behind the scenes followed and meetings with various celebrities, including Gary Barlow and Mr Motivator. July then beckoned with performances at the Great Yorkshire Show at Harrogate, where the warmth and generosity of the Yorkshire people was amazing; then straight on to Earls’ Court and ‘The Last Run’, the very last performance of The Royal Tournament. The theme for this year was the evolution of the Tournament. This brought to light the very raison d’etre for the creation of the Ride: previously the Tournament was purely a military skills display, when it was first held in Islington. The crowds were not interested, so a decision was made to add some cavalry sparkle and splendour – and so the 2nd Life Guards formed the first Ride in 1880. So it was that, in 1999, we were to lead the opening ceremony and be the first event at the Tournament. Stardom was to beckon for two likely lads yet still! One of the events of the Tournament in the past had been the “cleaving of the Turk’s head” – so it was that LCoH Griffiths and Tpr Lutherborrow were drafted in to show their skills at slicing in two
40 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
watermelons at the gallop! A truly unforgettable sight, when they did it, as indeed was the whole Tournament as every seat was sold out for every performance for two and a half weeks. Some 290,000 saw the show live while the last performance was televised to an estimated audience of 16 million. A challenge is laid down to the Recruiting Team to get to more people than that! Regimental Training saw the Ride perform at two local shows, Thetford and Wayland, for goodwill relations and of course Open Day at Bodney Camp. There would now be a quiet period which meant saying goodbye to LCoH Griffiths to a saddle club in Germany; Tpr Jordan to the forge; Jaworski to SCM’s orderly, and Tprs Blakeway, Bovey , Stafford and Early to the AMEC course at Melton Mowbray and the Drum Horse Groom, Tpr Broxholme returned to the troops. All looked forward eagerly and with anticipation to the great and innovative success that was to be the Olympia Horse Show, for which we welcomed hot into their saddles, Tprs Nelson, Douglas and Kettle with a star return for Tpr Carmichael again. A cabal of the Ride and the show producers came up with a plan – to get right away from the image of the formality of the Ride and do something spectacular for Olympia, an indoor and Christmas show, which would appeal
to a younger audience. So the Riding Master created a ride which would burst through stage smoke and darkness to spotlights and a crescendo of music from Robbie Williams’ ‘Let Me Entertain You’ to veritable screams from the audience, followed up swiftly with ‘Mambo No5’ and a few more of the most popular musical hit songs of 1999 - all chosen by the Ride and mixed by the resident discjockey, CoH Goodwin. The effect that had been planned was undoubtedly achieved and all commented on the radical and welcome change. The seal of approval was received from the Royal Box in the shape of Lady Gabriella Windsor, though history does not record the comments of her father, HRH Prince Michael of Kent! A spectacular end to the year in many ways and sad in others as we say goodbye to the Riding Master, who retires after 30 years of service, and many others who now move to the Regiment at Windsor or into civilian life. But the Ride is looking healthier than ever with trips to Denmark, Jersey and the South of France firmly in the pipeline and a host of county shows jostling for place.
GMTV “Get Up & Give” Members of the Ride enjoy a quiet period in the GMTV Studio, waiting for Richard and Judy ? L to R… Msn Carnell, LCpl Barker, Tprs McEndoo, Littlebarrow, Msn Witter, Tprs Broxholme, Stafford, Ravenscroft, Msn Bowen and Capt CWG Rodway RHG/D.
As Ride Officer, I can safely say that the Ride has been my best memory of life at the Mounted Regiment, from point of view of personal pride in the Household Caval-
ry as an institution, but more, pride in the men who against odds make the Ride the spectacular and unequalled display team that the public want and expect to see.
133rd September 2nd & 3rd 2000 Chatsworth, Bakewell, Derbyshire The biggest country fair in Great Britain including the Household Cavalry Musical Ride with the Band of the Light Division
Remembrance Visits Specialists in pilgrimages and tours to war cemeteries and memorials worldwide
There is a vast interest in war graves and in the campaign areas associated with them and The Royal British Legion specialises in visits to them worldwide. Ideal for veterans, relatives or Regimental groups wishing to visit areas of special interest, all tours are escorted, fully bonded and , medical support is provided. Anyone may apply.
Destinations this year include: ARNHEM, BERLIN/COLDITZ, SINGAPORE, THE SOMME, THAILAND, TUNISIA, YPRES/VIMY/LOOS, EGYPT, ITALY.
Videos ‘Escaping from Colditz’ - an account by Col Peter Storie-Pugh, Colditz, 1940-45 ‘Chindit Commander’ - featuring Brigadier Michael Calvert, Commander 77th Chindit Brigade in Burma 1944. For full details of the tours and videos or if you wish to receive Brochure 2000 please contact: Pilgrimages Worldwide, Royal British Legion Village,Aylesford, Kent ME20 7NX Tel: 01622 716729/716182 Fax: 01622 715768
THURSDAY, 21st SEPTEMBER, 2000 “England’s Largest One Day Agricultural Show” • • • • •
Competitions Demonstrations Displays Tradestands & much, much more.
Free Car Parking
Main Ring Attractions • The Musical Ride of the Household Cavalry
• Gundog & Falconry Display • Agricultural Pageant For Tickets & all information: Contact: Mike Howes, Tel: 01844 212737
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Blues and Royals rticles such as this tend to start with ubiquitous phrases such as “December 1998 saw the Squadron carrying out such-and-such”, and “With the usual this-and-that”; or, “A well earned something-or-other”, so here goes……. .
December 1998 saw the Squadron carrying out the usual Christmas activities, prior to a well earned spell of leave. The Squadron found itself on Queen’s Life Guard on Christmas Day and therefore carried out the annual Fancy Dress on the square prior to departure. Tpr Knight and Templer won No1 Box dressed as a Sylvet, with Tpr Dallimer and Utopia coming a close second as a Maori. Captain R R Philipson-Stow and WO2 (SCM) Maxwell escorted the Commanding Officer to Horse Guards to present the Guard with its Christmas lunch and “Bonuses”. The New Year brought with it the annual bout of ITDs, seeing a mad scramble to get things finished by 1 April. All three troops rotated through Winter Camp in Crowborough, which brought welcome relief to those horses which hadn’t got to go out to winter grass. In addition troops also managed to complete their CFT in a more rural environment than Hyde Park or Windsor Great Park. This was soon followed by Spring Drills in Hyde Park in preparation for the Major General’s Parade in May. At about this time we also assigned chargers to the New Colonel of the Regiment,
with Harvester being the first choice, and Tunis the reserve and next year’s choice. In addition we also received this years Remounts, which for those in the know start with the letter ‘Z’, causing the Squadron 2IC and the SCM a lot of consternation. In the end, Zara (after one of the bombing horses), Zavidovici, Zepce, Zestful, Zeus, Zorro, Zodiac, Zsa Zsa, and Zulu were chosen for the new blacks; and Zandvoorde and Zetland as the new greys. The Major General’s Parade went without a hitch (save for the SQMC’s unexpected contact with Terra Firma), and was closely followed that weekend by Cavalry Memorial Sunday which was led by The Blues and Royals Squadron marching party. This gave the Squadron just one week before preparations for the Queen’s Birthday Parade, during which The Blues and Royals Band mounted the Queen’s Life Guard, and the Musical Ride moved to Windsor for the Royal Windsor Horse Show. Unfortunately for the Squadron the Cardiff Escort was cancelled, although this did afford the Squadron more time to prepare for the Queen’s Birthday Parade. With at least three major rehearsals prior to perhaps the biggest parade in the calendar, the Squadron Chargers were doing the rounds after the Commander Household Cavalry found that Port Stanley was not happy in his position at Horse Guards. Indeed “Stan” had taken
Maj I Sanderson assists Capt R R Phillipson-Stow,QBP.
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Tpr Ridgewood, Richmond Cup Inspection.
a distinct dislike to the Master of the Horse’s stallion, who although substantially smaller than the Regiment’s biggest charger, weighed in at about £40,000, and as such “Stan” was the horse who had to go. The next problem occurred when Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) J S Olivier, riding Subhadar, could not gain access to Buckingham Palace Forecourt, and when ultimately he did, Subhadar, decided to dance over all drain covers and gutters.
After all this excitement, it was perhaps from an unexpected quarter that trouble did arise. Watton decided that he did not enjoy having the Squadron 2IC on his back, and unceremoniously though thankfully quietly, dumped said officer in front of the Guards Memorial. Remembering advice which ran along the lines of “Once you’re down, stay down”, Captain R R Philipson-Stow did exactly that - although at the time he was unconscious - and on coming round in Casualty, was greeted with the wonderful sight of the nurses walking about in his State Kit. The Regiment then moved to Windsor, firstly for the Garter service, and then the State Visit of the Hungarian President. With all this happening (and The Life Guards Squadron in Edinburgh), July brought with it a welcome spot of leave, with two leave periods taking the Squadron neatly up to Regimental Training, more commonly known as Summer Camp. The start of Regimental Training saw the Squadron Leader hand over to Major J P Eyre, and WO2 (SCM) Maxwell to WO2 (SCM) Smith, leaving the 2 IC and the SQMC to pick up the pieces. As with every year “Camp” provided the thrills and spills that keep the Regiment going and brings the Squadron closer together as a unit. This included the usual round of Bar - B - Q’s and parties, with Squadron personalities “Finding their confidence” and producing Academy Award winning performances at the Skit night. Although The Life Guards did well in Showjumping, the Blues and Royals Squadron fared better in the Handy Hunter competitions. On Open Day, the large Squadron Tug of War team led by the partnership of new Squadron Leader and SCM, pulled all the other teams out of the arena. LCpl Ansell came 3rd in the
Master at Arms and CoH Overton 2nd in the Tent Pegging. The highlight had to be the outgoing Squadron Leader, Major T P R Daniel, winning the Master at Arms competition, and the trophy he had given to the Regiment as a leaving present. This dark victory raised cries of “Fix”, and questions as to the relationship between Major Daniel and the RM - who judged the competition. Further sporting successes were attributed to LCoH Short, who came in the top ten of the London District golfing final. At the Royal TournamentCoH Overton came a credible 6th in the Individual Pegging competition, with Tprs Cooper 54 and Scott 06 combining with CoH Overton to win the Team Sword and Lance event. With a further spell of leave for those who had not yet had the pleasure, the Squadron had some time to reflect on a CoH Jones 47 riding Rangoon during Troop Tent Pegging, Bodney 99. busy year prior to yet another State Visit in October, and the State Opening of Parliament, during which the Opening of Parliament in November. Squadron had the rare privilege to parade both the Sovereign’s Standard and the As many will remember, the Chinese Regimental Guidon. Sate Visit caused some controversy concerning the Police handling of The Squadron has had to say a sad protesters, not least on the day of the farewell to Major T P R Daniel to civilian main parade. However, from a Regilife, all our regards and best wishes go to mental and Squadron point of view, the him and his wife Lucinda in their new parade was a resounding success, with life. In addition CsoH Polley and Welsh Police actions allowing the parade to move to HCR Windsor to take up their progress smoothly, although the Carnew positions in C Squadron in Bosnia riage Officers were kept on their toes and D Squadron respectively. We welright up until arriving at Buckingham come Lieutenant P B A Townley and Palace. The final parade of the year, and CsoH Gardner and Brown from Windsor. indeed the millennium, was the State
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Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Headquarters Squadron osovo, Bosnia, Rumania, Canada, Ethiopia, Gibraltar and Northern Ireland are just a few of the places visited by members of the squadron over the past year, proving that life is never dull when serving with Headquarters Squadron at the Mounted Regiment. A majority of the team has remained in place over the past year, which is an achievement, but sadly, as always, some have left. Although still greatly undermanned, the squadron continues to maintain its support to the squadrons so that ceremonial commitments are always met with correct manning levels.
The specialist trades of the squadron continue to provide an excellent service not only within barracks but also in support of various outside organisations. The saddlers, normally locked away below ground, have ventured out firstly with LCoH Scovell on his motorcycle taking part in a battlefield tour of Arnhem. Next to follow were CoH Twyman and LCoH Mackenzie on attachment to HCR in Bosnia both of whom have returned safely with tales to dine out on for some time yet. CoH Goodwin now having been with the Musical Ride for another successive year has applied for a new passport, as the pages are now full. LCpl Woods has again proved his fencing skills by gaining his Army Colours and being a member of the winning team for the Army six man competitions. The Master Saddler SCpl Mills and LCpl Woods both received awards this year for saddlery. SCpl Mills received the Qualified Training Master Certificate and LCpl Woods received his Saddlery Millennium Apprenticeship Portfolio.
successful period of Regimental Training. CoH Hadden MBE and his team again worked hard on the latter, ensuring that the Regiment wanted for nothing on its arrival. Overlooking the barracks is the Regiment’s new Health and Safety Officer, the Master Tailor, who like many of the tradesmen within the regiment now has a secondary task. Not only has this allowed them to have another qualification for their portfolio, but it also allows continuity within the Regiment on subjects which are now playing an important part in modern soldiering. The small but busy department has had its share of trips abroad. CoH Slingsby has been serving in Bosnia with HCR and LCoH Peet has just returned from Northern Ireland with 8 Royal Irish. This has left the new arrival LCpl Sherlock to hold the fort. As the millennium approaches there is great concern amongst the Tailors as to whether or not their machines will survive the Y2K problem. The Forge has said goodbye to WO2 Wright, FCoH Cox-Rusbridge and FLCoH Middleton. FLCpl Darlington, FLCpl Gray and Tpr Jordan have joined the forge having just completed their training. Captain JF Holmes RHG/D has joined as the new veterinary officer replacing Major H Caruthers LG. As with the other departments in the squadron, the Farriers have had their fair
Multi-activity contracts set and running, the dreaded UNICOM ‘Q’ Package on the horizon and the initial issue of Combat Soldier 95 are just a few things keeping the Quartermaster’s Department busy. As with industry, there is now constant change, sometimes on a weekly basis, to the procedures employed with accounting and distribution of equipment. With yet another operational tour on the horizon for British Forces, the Quartermaster got his calling to Kosovo in early April where he joined D Squadron HCR as the Administrative Officer. This left RQMC Atkinson steering the admin ship under the watchful eye of the Squadron Leader who felt quite at home. The department has also been kept busy with the setting up for the State Visit in Windsor and the very
44 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
SCpl Button ‘The Master Tailor’ instructs LCpl Sherlock.
RQMC Atkinson briefing the press.
share of travel with FLCoH Carrel spending five weeks in Rumania and FSCpl Newman returning to Ethiopia for three weeks. Over the next year further trips are planned in association with the International League for the Protection of Horses, allowing those Farriers who participate to pass on their skills to others and increase their own knowledge. As the year draws to an end the squadron prepares itself for a well-earned rest over Christmas. A brief look into next year’s program has revealed another busy year.
The WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess fter a well earned leave it wasn’t long before the Mess was swiftly into action with the Annual New Years Dinner on the 12th January. The Commanding Officer delivered a most informative “State of the Nation Address”; it looked as if it was going to be another busy year for the Regiment. On the 21st January the Mess was honoured by a visit from Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Colonel of The Blues and Royals. This was her first official visit to the Regiment as Colonel. After a very relaxed walk around the barracks and the opportunity to meet as many soldiers as possible the visit culminated with drinks in the Mess. On behalf of the Mess the RCM presented her with a Sefton print.
The main event of February was the dining out of WO2 Pringle LG. This was combined with the Valentine’s Party; so great was the response that we had to move down to the Regimental Gymnasium in order to seat everyone. This proved to be a superb evening and gave WO2 Pringle a fitting send off after serving 22 years in the Household Cavalry. We wish him and his family all the very best for the future. The March “Hares” were about and on the 13th the Mess gathered together for a “Generations Dinner Night.” It was a huge success topped off with guest speaker Martin Bell MP talking about his personal experiences of working with the Armed Forces, in particular his correspondence from the Gulf and Bosnia, where he had been attached to the Regiment for a short period. This was most enlightening and was listened to with great interest by all generations. The NCOs’ Mess charity boxing match.
The Princess Royal’s visit Jan 99.
Ladies were not forgotten: Mothering Sunday followed the next day, and a Sunday Lunch with a small gift of chocolates rounded off a most enjoyable weekend. Tuesday 16th was devoted to the dining out of the Commanding Officer Lt Col HSJ Scott LG. The dinner was preceeded by a sight seeing tour of Knightsbridge, SCpl Mitchell, Coach Troop and a Mounted Escort of Warrant Officers were also provided. An excellent dinner followed, at the end of which he very kindly presented a silver cigar cutter to the Mess. This was certainly appreciated and not at all expected. The Mess wish him and his family well for the future. On the 27th March The Regimental Corporal Major, Warrant Officers and NonCommissioned Officers of The Blues and Royals celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the formation of the Regiment, with a
Vesting Day dinner. One hundred and twenty four were seated, under the superb organisation of WO2 (RQMC) Atkinson. The dinner was attended by Commanding Officers and Regimental Corporal Majors from 1969 to the present day. Personalities holding appointments during the amalgamation were asked to say something about what they were doing on the day. This proved to be very enlightening, and to hear that the first Mess meeting took 5 HOURS was incredible, but showed that some things never change! The Blues and Royals Squadron took on the responsibility of Mess entertainment for the next quarter; it wasn’t long before they had produced a full programme starting with a Tramps Night. The Mess was totally transformed into a cardboard city; it would have almost passed for the Embankment. An apprehensive RCM
Games Night. Bodney 99.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Col Faulkner hanging brick 98.
Mess Christmas Party, Dec 99.
was assured that the pigeons were not alive and that the Mess would be restored to its former glory. The Salvation Army put in an appearance to serve the main course. The Blues and Royals Association Dinner on the 8th May proved once again to be a popular event with both young and old. This Annual event still seems to have the after effect of amnesia for one reason or another. The Mess played hosts to just over 350 serving and nonserving Officers and other Ranks. On Saturday the 26th June the Mess held its Summer Ball. This year’s theme was “Abu Klea”. The venue was Chelsea Barracks and a marquee was hired and most aptly and beautifully decorated. The food and entertainment (a 10-piece band) were top class, and everyone really enjoyed themselves. WO2 (SCM) Maxwell and his committee produced a first class function and are to be congratulated for all their hard work. It was Headquarter Squadron’s pleasure to form the Mess entertainment committee during July and September. Under the guidance and driving force of the incumbent PMC, WO2 (SCM) Harris, the nettle of dedication and commitment was once more seized firmly by all the willing volunteers. There were two functions, which consisted of a cabaret/disco dinner night and a 22-year dining out. The former, by those capable of forming sentences the next day, was considered to be one of the most successful and entertaining nights the Mess has seen. Mr Chris Hare formed the basis of the evening’s events. During a very fine dinner he did his strolling minstrel act, walking from table to table enthralling everyone with his
sleight of hand, conjuring and most of all his memory act. He seemed to know everything from hat size to birthplace of the in-laws. His skill reached its peak when, after coffee, a dozen or so volunteers found themselves in a hypnotic state. CoH Heaton,007, hard targeted his way round the Mess, side stepping the ballet dancers, Messrs Arkley and MacKenzie, before being interrupted by Thunderbird 2’s crew commander AKA CoH Parkinson and all this with LCoH Jock “Elvis” Mckay in the background. The buffoonery was endless. Afterwards dancing continued into the small hours. In all, a great night. On Tuesday 17th August 1999 the Regiment and Mess moved to Bodney Camp near Watton in Norfolk. The Mess programme was opened by a visit from The CGS, General Sir Roger Wheeler GCB CBE ADC, after the first week of Camp. Immediately following this, and breaking with tradition, the WOs held a lunch to a departing fellow Warrant Officer in a local pub, this being a farewell meal to WO2 Maxwell, which turned out to be a resounding success. The SNCOs’ and Officers’ Show jumping was again won by CoH Gray, on Saturday 28th August the Twelfth Day of Camp. The SNCOs led by the RCM, moved to the Officers Mess for lunch and the now customary game of softball, the winner of this being less clear or important! The next day the RCM and WOs formed a “Posse” which rode to the Officers mess and formally laid down a challenge to the Commanding Officer and his Officers, a games night. The challenge was accepted and the eagerly awaited NCOs’ Mess v Officers’ Mess Games night took
46 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
place. The theme was ‘Wild West’ and was marked by the wearing of Stetsons, daft boots and toy six-shooters (and lots of checked shirts). Some of the games put the old Pirbright assault course to shame and mostly involved giant inflatable obstacles! The following night a local expert in firearms, Mr Richard Ashley, gave a very amusing and informative talk on his firearms collection; this was punctuated with bangs and flashes. On the sixteenth day, the SNCOs and Officers played cricket at the local cricket club (the ashes staying firmly with the Officers Mess) with good humour and gamesmanship being the order of the day. Sunday 5th September was the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment’s Open Day - a pleasant, well-attended event that proved a great success for old and young alike. The good weather added considerably to the fun had by all, with events including a fancy dress ride, Sword Lance and Revolver, tug-of war (won this year by the Blues and Royals) and culminating in a display by the Musical Ride. A variety of fairground-type sideshows, stalls and refreshment trailers provided additional entertainment. On 25th September we bade farewell to WO2 F Willacy RHG/D and WO2 P Simpson RHG/D at a dinner in their honour. The statutory disco was embellished by a couple of lads from Birmingham with the unlikely name of ‘Mersey Street’. Although they only numbered 2 people, the sound they produced was immense and after a couple of songs the dance floor was packed. Definately one for the diary when they next return. With good food, good company and great entertainment both Warrant Officers were certainly given a good send off.
After a quiet October, the Mess was back in harness on the 10th November with a Warrant Officers’ and Staff Corporals’ lunch. The occasion was to say farewell to WO1 (BM) Cooper and WO2 Wright, as well as a special farewell to Maj P Kersting for all the help and expert advice he has given as curator of The Household Cavalry Museum. Remembrance Sunday at the Cavalry Memorial in Hyde Park saw one of the best turnouts for many a year. It was followed by an act of Remembrance at The Blues and Royals Bombing Memorial. The Regimental Corporal Major then very kindly invited everyone back to the Mess for a buffet lunch. November was rounded off with a dinner for WO2 Wright LG and WO2 Young LG, in acknowledgement of 22 years service to The Household Cavalry. Food being a subject close to WO2 Wright’s heart, an excellent menu was chosen by him, with dancing following into the early hours. The Mess wishes them and their families good luck and best wishes for the future. December arrived along with the Wives’ Annual Christmas Dinner
and its traditional Xmas fayre on the 4th December. Thanks must go to the Commanding Officer who arranged for an array of prizes for the ever-popular raffle. Thanks also to the Wives Club Committee who, as always, worked extremely hard on behalf of the Regimental wives. As usual, the husbands waited on expertly! With just enough time to catch our breath, 11th December saw the festive spirit take off in the form of the Christmas Party. An excellent marquee was hired which was joined to the gymnasium wall. The reception was held in the Mess itself, with a quartet from the LG Band playing festive music. Six men in LG and RHG/D period costume lined the route to the mess. From the reception, 350 Mess members and guests sat down in the marquee. They were called forward to the gymnasium to be greeted by a marvellous array of traditional and adventurous food. The gymnasium was split into four quarters with each food bar having a theme (Fish, Traditional Hot Carvery, Pub Scene and Indian Taj Mahal), each having a suitable backdrop.
the disco took over until the early hours. In amongst all this was a Christmas draw which had some superb prizes that included holidays, widescreen TVs and several more top prizes. It was a marvellous opportunity for all Mess members and their partners to say farewell to the twentieth century. Thanks go to WO2 (SCM) Smith who put together a most excellent party and also the Mess Manager LCoH Young and the committee. The Millennium Brick Hanging was the highlight of the day on the 15th December. WO2 (SCM) PC Lanahan and his committee once again produced a most successful occasion. Brigadier His Grace The Duke of Wellington very kindly hung the Brick. The ceremony brought together many past and present members of The Household Cavalry, and was the most fitting way to bring the century to an end. We wished each other a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year for the Regiment.
After the meal members and guests were treated to a high-energy performance from the ‘Mersey Street’ band and then
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Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Band of the Life Guards very year it seems that our Band’s diary is more busy than the previous one. If this is the case, then the year 2000 will be extraordinary, as the last twelve months have been an extremely busy time indeed. In the last publication of this journal the Band was in the run up to Christmas and all its accompanying festivities, the highlight being The Household Division Concert in The Royal Festival Hall. This was performed in the presence of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and a packed auditorium. During this period we were also back in the saddle taking part in the State Visit of the President of Germany.
The New Year saw the Band returned to more mundane duties. Amongst these we provided the marching band for the Windsor Castle Guard. Over the last twelve months The Band of The Life Guards, along with that of The Blues and Royals, has carried out a total of 39 of these duties. This is to relieve some of the strain from the Foot Guards Corps / Pipes and Drums, post “Options”. In addition to this the two bands have provided the band for 21 Guards Chapel Sunday services. We have also done a number of Pass-Out parades at ATR Pirbright.
During March we prepared for our posting to Knightsbridge. The two Household Cavalry Bands exchange locations between HCR Windsor and HCMR Knightsbridge every five years. Just before the move we gave a farewell concert to HCR who were live firing down at Lulworth. As soon as the move was completed we dug out our jackboots for the Commanding Officer’s inspection and all the mounted events of the “season”, including The Major General’s inspection, Beating Retreat and The Queen’s Birthday Parade. We also supported HCMR by providing musicians for the Queen’s Life Guard, Musical Ride, horse scaring bands and remount Pass-Outs, as well as appearing at the Summer Camp Open Day and Kit Ride Pass-Outs. Never a year goes by without one event overshadowing all our other engagements. This year it was the “Edinburgh Military Tattoo” which saw the Band a small “Troop” of helpers and 31 horses move to Scotland for the whole of August. We played an extremely important role in the organisation of the Tattoo, with Maj M J Torrent being The Principle Conductor who also arranged
The Lord Mayors Show.
48 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
most of the music for the opening and finale sequences. During our display, the BCM was required to ride to the front of the esplanade and perform the “Post Horn Gallop” whilst mounted on Ivanhoe. Unfortunately, shortly into the first week he injured his groin whilst out hacking in the Pentland Hills. All was not lost, however, as CoH Goodchild came galloping to the rescue, though not literally. His first night in the role was quite a test, with his rendition being given in front of HRH The Princess Royal and in heavy rain. He continued with his solo spot for the following two weeks and was presented with a Tattoo medal for his efforts. In addition, during one of the last shows, Maj Torrent gave a blinding interpretation on the post horn (although some would say deafening!) Bets were also placed as to whether he would fall off his rostrum in his jackboots; we can happily report that he remained on his feet throughout the entire month. One of the more taxing parts of our evenings was the seven minutes that we were given to get off the esplanade, down the hill, untack, get travelling kits on and the horses onto the horse-boxes before the start of the firework display. This produced more thrills and spills than the show proper,
Trumpeters waiting to go on.
with LCpl Walters “water-skiing” along behind his horse, sparks flying from his heels only to come to a thundering halt on the front of one of the artics. Every evening after the performance the band would retire to the NAAFI, at which point a lone piper would disrupt their relaxation. Accordingly, on the last evening four trumpeters formed up at one end of the bar with the cavalry contingent behind them and the lone piper and the Scottish infantry opposite. The scene resembled the film “Braveheart” and the end result was the same, with the English cavalry taking the field and carrying everything before it. They then “legged it” before they were mobbed by angry Jocks!
Edinburgh Tattoo - Headdress Options for Change (sponsored by Mr Cadbury’s parrot) Musn Carter, TM Weeler, LCpl D’Arcy.
Woodhouse on their retirement from the Army. WO1 Cooper will also be leaving us soon on his commissioning to Capt. DoM. Prince of Wales Division. In addition LCoH Matthews is posted to RMSM Kneller Hall as a course instructor and Musn Bowen to the band of The Royal Lancers. They shall all be sorely
missed for their individual talents and we wish them and their families the best of luck for the future. Finally, to end on a happy note, we would like to welcome WO1 (BM) Wolfendale and WO2 Francis upon their posting to our band and congratulate WO2 Lazenbury on taking up the appointment of BCM.
Since returning from Edinburgh, the orchestra has been busy at Investitures and Banquets and the trumpet team have had their usual full programme, the highlight being involved with the opening and closing ceremonies of the Rugby World Cup. The Band, meanwhile, gave concerts in Wales, Brighton, Southampton, Cheltenham, Norwich, Hearstmonceux, Clivedon and Eastbourne. They also provided entertainment at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Band members have had a number of sporting achievements over the last year. Trumpet Major Wheeler won both the Corps of Army Music Cup and the Tattoo Golf Open. The BM, BCM, LCpl Kirk and Musn Isherwood were in the HCMR cricket team and LCpl Kirk and Musn Barnes were in the hockey team for GOC’s sports day. Musn Barnes also attained her Army colours for fencing. In addition to this Musn Dickenson has been part of the HMCR rugby team and will shortly be going to Cyprus with them. Unfortunately, we have had to say farewell to WO2 Young and SCpl
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Household Cavalry Training Wing By Captain C T Haywood RHG/D 999 has been one of the busiest in recent years for the Training Wing, with 6 Rides, each with an average of 10 trainees. This has resulted with 50 to 60 trainees in Phase 2 training at any one time. All in all, some 150 men and women have passed through HCTW during 1999. These were mostly from ATR Pirbright, a small number of musicians, including three females, and half a dozen transferees from other regiments. We have also received our first intake from the Army Foundation College at Harrogate. These young men are similar to the old Junior Leaders, who use to be trained until the mid 80’s at Bovington.
The training syllabus has changed since last year, when my predecessor reported on the 13 week Phase 2 course. Due to ceremonial commitments and leave periods, the course has been lengthened back to the 16 weeks to allow for time lost out of training and to ease the pressure on the young soldiers. This has resulted in a lot of rewriting of the training syllabus, much of which has been done by WO2s Boyd and Coleman and CsoH Stewart and Spandley. The annual Household Cavalry Show Jumping Show held at HCTW was once again a great success, although it was held mid week so as not to interfere with weekends during such a busy year. It still attracted a good number of entries from the Mounted Regiment, the Kings Troop RHA, the Defence Animal Centre at Melton Mowbray and a number of saddle clubs.
Coach troop has had a busy and successful year appearing at a number of county shows and driving meets, where it has again raised the profile of the Regiment, which has in turn helped with recruiting. We were also lucky enough to secure 4 days at Royal Ascot but, horses being horses, we lost the middle two days due to SCpl Mitchell, Col The Life Guards and Commanding Officer. lameness. A number of members of the Regiment have used the Coach for their wedfinished his visit with a lunch at the local dings during the past year, when, thankpub where he was fully briefed by the fully, no Horses off the Road were trainees on just what they thought of reported. With the return of HCR to Riding school. Windsor, we hope this facility will be in demand in Y2K. Since the last report, there have been a number of changes in the Training Wing Regimental Training was very successful staff. WO2 Coleman LG has taken over for the Training Wing, with staff and on promotion from WO2 Pringle LG, trainees being placed in most of the comwho has now moved into civilian street petitions. The OC and WO2 Coleman and set up the Household Cavalry were 3rd in the Senior Ranks Handy National Vocational Qualification Hunter. The trainees’ team was knocked (NVQ) office at Hyde Park Barracks, out in the Tug of War semis, so were from where he steers members of both unable to repeat last year’s success in the HCMR and HCR through their NVQs. final. The OC kept the Training Wing The SQMC post vacated by WO2 Coleflag flying on Open day by winning the man’s promotion has been filled by the Regimental Show jumping final and the long standing Coaching Guru SCpl 6 Bar competition. Mitchell RHG/D. SCpl Weller LG has handed over to SCpl Avison LG. CoH The Colonel of The Life Guards, honStewart LG has moved to the HCR on oured us in mid November with a visit. being replaced by CoH Carr RHG/D. He spent an enjoyable morning riding LCsoH McCauley LG, Shaw RHD/G, and driving in the Great Park whilst Brook and Saunders LG are the hard watching all the rides in training. He working ride NCOs.
Coach Troop at The Great Yorkshire Show
50 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
At the time of going to print, WO2 Waygood LG is about to hand over the post of Equitation Warrant Officer to WO2 Boyd LG, who has just returned from the French Cavalry Equitation School at Saumur. He takes over not only as the 2ic to the Riding Master, but also 21 Remounts, which are now in the riding away stage of training. We look forward
to seeing these equine recruits on parade in the next century! We also look forward to the introduction, for a trial period, of two Barrack Room Instructors to assist the young soldiers in the basics of life in Phase 2 training. Looking further forward into Y2K, we are planning the trial of a modular train-
ing package consisting of focusing the trainees’ attention and efforts on each of the phase 2 subjects in turn, i.e. drill, equitation, signals and driving. ‘Dutyman 2000’, as it will be known, will, we hope, aid the learning process and produce a more rounded, better-trained individual on completion of Phase 2 training.
Winter Training Troop he 1998 – 1999 Season provided a total of 297 days hunting. This was despite appalling weather, which not only caused the Household Cavalry race to be cancelled but a curtailment to the season.
During the summer the Mounted Regiment hosted a visit by the Quorn Hunt Farmers chaperoned by Adrian Danger MFH. This included a tour of the barracks and Horse Guards followed by watching Beating The Retreat. It was a huge success setting the scene for the following winter and my thanks go to all those that helped. It was decided at The Household Division Annual General Meeting that the Winter Training Troop (WTT) should subscribe to 4 places on Monday and Friday with The Quorn, 4 places on Tuesday with The Cottesmore and reduce the number of places from 4 to 2 with The Belvoir on Saturdays. WTT formed later than usual due to the untimely Chinese State Visit. This limited Autumn’s hunting to two weeks. The late start meant the normal teething problems occurred during November rather than October. A few horses were
changed leaving nineteen good horses in Melton. Viscount, Sultan, Reavely, Troodos and Umpteen provided the experience. This was mixed with newer talent in Yogi and Zut-Alors. The new Saddle club horse box arrived just in time, the day before the first meet! After much searching, two new Saddle club horses were acquired, bringing the total to three. November was unseasonably dry, enabling the horses to settle in well and not suffer undue stress. Stress was, however, encountered by Gdsm Kavanagh and Pte Mathews looking after twelve fit horses when most members of WTT returned to London for The State Opening of Parliament! At the beginning of December, eight members of The Household Division took part in The Wessex Yeomanry race at Badminton. Major General E WebbCarter was the first Household Division member home, finishing 6th riding Reavely. Capt LAJ Brennan RHG/D won a bottle of champagne as the first to fall. Capt MC Antelme RHG/D deserves a mention; having fallen at the eighth, he managed to remount and finish the race
Tpr Goodwin LG jumping, Gdsm Kavanagh and Tpr Bells stand by.
on a chestnut! After the race most of the competitors joined the Duke of Beaufort’s Hounds for a morning’s entertainment. The rest of December was patchy with days being lost due to frost and the festive season. January picked up with all packs providing great sport. Stories of two hour runs were becoming commonplace. The troopers have excelled in their task of looking after the horses. The equine facilities at Melton have been used to the full. Riding skills have improved hugely under the enthusiastic instruction of LCpl Ravenscroft. At the end of the season Sgt Russell will return to Knightsbridge to run The Household Division Stables, ending his ten-year reign as WTT NCO. With him goes a wealth of experience, which will be missed by subsequent WTT Officers. Finally, one has to thank all the departments at the Defence Animal Centre without whose cooperation, the effective running of WTT would not be possible.
Capt Antelme, Capt Brennan and Maj Briscoe.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Equitation espite our very busy commitments on ceremonial duty, the Mounted Regiment has still managed to support all the Military Equestrian disciplines throughout the season, as well as achieving good results in some civilian competitions.
In April the season started off with Show Jumping. CoH Jenkins won the Discovery and the Open at Stowe Equestrian Centre, riding Ramillies. The same combination then went on to win the Novice Championships at Patchetts Equestrian Centre gaining qualification for the National Championships, where they put up a very creditable performance against all the top civilian riders. The first of the team events got off to a good start with the HCMR A team consisting of Captain CT Haywood, SCpl Weller and CoH Chambers retaining the team trophy at Aldershot Horse Show for the second year running. CoH Chambers then went on to win the Newcomers class of 90 starters, closely followed by CoH Jenkins and Captain Haywood in 4th and 5th place respectively. The Royal Windsor Show followed in May, with the Mounted Regiment A team, consisting of WO2 Waygood, Captain Haywood and CoH Jenkins, retaining the Queens Cup for the second consecutive year.
The next event in July was the Royal Tournament Jumping preliminaries at Melton Mowbray. This tournament started with a good result for CoH Barrett finishing second on Vesta in the Princess Anne Cup and Captain Haywood winning The Prince of Wales Cup with CoH Jenkins coming second. Many minor results continued over the 3 days finishing with Captain Haywood, WO2 Waygood, SCpl Weller and CoH Jenkins all qualifying to jump at Earls Court in the last Royal Tournament. The main event of 1999 was the show jumping finals at Earls Court where Captain Haywood and CoH Jenkins in the afternoon performance jumped off against 4 riders from the King’s Troop in front of a capacity crowd of 10,000 for the King’s Cup. Captain Haywood took victory on Vengeful with CoH Jenkins coming third. In the Queen’s Cup in the evening performance the King’s Troop had their revenge when Captain Haywood lowered a pole to come 3rd. The successful season of showjumping ended during Regimental Training, with an invitation to jump at the Wayland show in Norfolk. We won three out of the four main classes of the day; LCpl Arkley winning the novice, Captain Haywood the Newcomers, and SCpl
CoH Jenkins on Rammillies at the Royal International, Hickstead, (Hunter Wilson Championships).
52 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
CoH Gray winner of the Senior Ranks Show J umping on Utopix.
Weller the Open. Whether we get invited back next year is another question! In Horse trials SCpl Weller upgraded his horse Utopix to Intermediate level. They had many good results including a win at Cleobury Mortimer. The highlight of their season was completing Sansaw and Weston Park International 3 Day Events. WO2 Waygood had many placings including wins at Bicton and Cleobury Mortimer on HM The Queen’s horse, Joust. He competed in 5 Interna-
SCpl Weller Jumping Utopix at Sansaw Three Day Event.
tional 3-day events. The highlight was selection to ride as an individual for Great Britain in Leon International 3 Day Event in France finishing 14th on Master Fred. Skill at Arms within the HCMR is certainly thriving with a good start in April at The Aldershot Show where many results were achieved. Royal Windsor was next in May where some serious competition took place. Major T P R Daniel gained victory in the individual Tent Pegging with LCpl Ansell coming 2nd and Tpr Scott 4th. LCoH Weston qualified in the Sword, Lance and Revolver to compete in front of HM The Queen, finishing 6th. CoH Jenkins on Ramillies at Royal WIndsor Horse Show (Foxhunter Jumping Class).
The Skill at Arms at the Royal Tournament was very well supported with the Regiment providing three of the six finalists in the individual Tent Pegging. Major TPR Daniel was 2nd, LCoH Weston 3rd and CoH Overton came 5th. The team Tent Pegging produced a victory for the RHG/D Sqn with CoH Overton and Tprs Scott and Cooper. In the Sword, Lance and Revolver, LCoH Weston and Major T P R Daniel came 5th and 6th respectively in the finals of the SLR. The highlight of the 3 days competition was LCoH Weston winning the Master of Arms for the most successful competitor.
take part in the South African Championships. The team won 1 gold,10 Silver and 4 Bronze medals. An excellent result to end a very successful yearâ€™s Skill at Arms. The Coach Troop has had a busy time with regular functions spread throughout the year, the normal outings like Royal Ascot, Summer Camp and the weddings of Captain AJL Fox Pitt LG and Captain ZN Catsaras LG. They did, however, find time to enter some Showing and Driving marathons being placed 5th at the Suffolk Show,4th at the Yorkshire Show and 7th at the New Forest.
In September LCoH Weston was selected for the British Tent Pegging Team to The Aldershot Show.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Regimental Training Camp he Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment’s break from ceremonial duties has been renamed, permanently, Regimental Training Camp. This year’s training was again held at Bodney Camp, Stanford Training Area, Norfolk. With the advance party deployed and working hard under the experienced eye of SCpl Weller, everybody in London packed their bags and turned their minds to three weeks training in Norfolk. The exodus began once the Queen’s Life Guard had been handed over to The King’s Troop RHA, on 16th August. With a flotilla of cars, vans, buses, motorbikes and horseboxes they moved through London, turned left at City Airport and headed up the A11 to Norfolk.
The initial cold and wet welcome from the Norfolk weather lasted four days and thankfully gave way to a virtually unbroken period of two weeks sunshine. The Troops settled into the different routine quickly. Each Troop had cross country and show jumping tuition as well as visiting Holkham beach for a swim. We are
continually indebted to the Leicester family for allowing us to use Holkham beach. Troop tests were a valuable experience for many of the younger soldiers in the Regiment. All Departments provided imaginative stands, particularly the RVO, who proved that Map Reading should and indeed is, an integral part of Troop training. The RAO baffled the Troop Leaders by setting a string of brainteasers and riddles whilst the Troop attempted to put up a tent blindfolded. Fortunately, Captain L Chauveau, the RAO’s aide de camp, assisted the Troop Leaders by making sure that they completely understood the questions and some of the answers. WO2 Waygood and co ensured that country matters were recognised by everybody in the Regiment by testing the Troops on plucking a pigeon, making a wisp and flycasting. In the end, Mounted Duty experience prevailed and 1 Tp Life Guards won, led by Lieutenant CJ Trietline and CoH Miller.
Maj TPR Daniel RHG/D - on his way out.
The Senior ranks show jumping was won by CoH Gray on Utopix for the second year running, proving that the hours talking about the 1998 trophy in the
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54 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Commanding Officer with the top six of Senior Ranks Show Jumping.
Guardroom were not wasted. The Handy Hunter saw Captain ZN Catsaras and CoH Holden to victory. The junior ranks Show jumping was won by Tpr Prest. This year saw an unusual amount of visitors at Bodney Camp. We were fortunate to have Colonel The Life Guards to visit us. He presented Lieutenant Trietline with the winning prize for Troop tests. The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Roger Wheeler, stayed overnight and watched a full days training including The Blues and Royals Squadron Handy Hunter won by LCoH Anderton and Tpr Martin. The
Tpr Carmichael on Umpteen.
GOC London District, Major General Evelyn Webb – Carter, visited during Ex Try Out. The exercise was again essential training for both us and the civilian organisations which deal with the security implications of ceremonial occasions. Commander Household Cavalry visited us with an avuncular eye, to see that Regimental Training was conducted within the spirit of the Household Cavalry. The Open Day, held on the final Sunday, was the biggest ever and provided Major Lodge with the prospect of closing the gates at one point. The sun shone as an estimated 5,000 visitors, friends and fam-
ily came from miles around. Captain CT Haywood on Vengeful won the 6 bar competition. Major TPR Daniel, for his swan song in the Army, won the Mounted Skill at Arms. Having presented the Regiment with a prize (as a leaving present) imagine his surprise when it was presented back to him by Mrs Daniel. As September arrived so did the Autumn and the time to return to London. This year’s Regimental Training was a well deserved and invaluable rest from ceremony by both soldiers and horses alike, as the ceremonial season gets longer and busier for the Regiment every year.
Regimental Winter Camp 14 February to 7 March at Crowborough Training Camp, West Sussex. he Household Cavary Mounted Regiment had gone on Winter Camp in 1995 when Troops filtered through David Broom’s yard near Chepstow. Prior to this, camps had been delegated to Troop Leaders to take their men and horses home or to arrange another location. It was decided that Winter Camps should be re-established for 1998/9, being organised for the Regiment to pass through, two troops at a time. The place chosen was Crowborough Training Camp, which lies to the south of the Ashdown Forest, near Tunbridge Wells in East Sussex. Built as a wartime transit camp with capacity for a whole battalion, it was very similar in layout to other camps known by Household Cavalrymen such as Sennybridge, Westdown and Bodney. After initial recces it was decided to arrange a three
week camp at Crowborough with a troop of The Life Guards and of The Blues and Royals going down together for a week each. As with summer Camp, the usual arrangements of woodhouse stabling were made and our arrival on St. Valentine’s Day whilst not the most romantic way to celebrate that playful Saint, proved to be the start of a much needed rural break. Ideally a winter camp would take place before Christmas so as not to interfere with drafts to Windsor, formation of the Musical Ride, leave, and grass plots (horse leave); however, with a December escort this was impossible. It also meant that the renowned Sussex clay, always such a bane on the life of hunting folk in the area, had absorbed several months of autumnal and winter rain!
Capt Phelps and Courier reporter Miss Emma Shankland.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
We took down 22 horses to stay at Crowbrough for the duration of camp, they being the most suited ones to show jumping and cross-country riding. S/Cpl Weller, LG was the permanent equitation instructor and was quick to make use of his course building skills by literally building a bridge to the elation of a local farmer. This enabled us to use a section of the forest that would otherwise have been inaccessible. The countryside in which the Ashdown Forest lies in undulating heathland with heather, tracks and some forestry. There are many fine views and a number of delightful Public Houses, affording respite to weary travelers. Here was born A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, and the bridge which bears his name may still be visited and that hallowed game of youth indulged in. When the horses drew their first morning breaths on that beginning day, they were aware that here was a country of sweet air infused not with the breath of their metal successors, but with the honeyed shades of undisturbed nature. An inquisitive observer would have been struck by the horses contrasting expressions of curiosity, alertness and freshness. The world of tarmac, traffic and routine was now far distant and men and horses, united in this enchanted garden took on an almost centaur like unity. The occasions when this was not true, were of course, when people fell from their steads. The horses were excited by the broad expanses of open space and became much more animated and vital. Thankfully there were no real injuries. Everyone took park in show jumping, cross-country schooling and extended hacks. One idea of Corporal Major Weller’s was to spend a day out each week and learn to use a picket line. This proved popular and was the occasion for
a sense of camaraderie more reminiscent of Squadron smokers on exercise that the rivalry engendered atmosphere of Knightsbridge. The more varied and testing riding was widely enjoyed, especially by the many junior troopers who had little experience of it. Captain Phelps also took some soldiers out on more energetic equine pursuits. The first was a day with the Southdown & Eridge Foxhounds who met at the riding school on the beautiful Eridge estate. The owner, the Marquess of Abergavenny, is one of the oldest former Life Guards and who served with 2 HCR in the last war. He was interested to meet members of the Regiment and here its news. It was a warm and bright day and the hounds found it difficult to find a scent. We did, however, have a thoroughly enjoyable day and found the field a particularly friendly and welcoming bunch. The second day of energetic equine activity was a special meet of The Coakham Bloodhounds who kindly agreed to meet at Crowborough Camp and organise three lines with their runners over Ashdown Forest, concluding with a slap-up tea in the cookhouse. Eight of us went out and joined their field of about 30. It was fast work, but the horses were fit since this was near the end of camp. It was a good introduction to many of the way that hounds are worked and the pleasure of the chase.3 of our number were presented with goblets for their performance: Tpr: Holt, Walker and LCpl Ansel. Our area was bordered to the north by Tunbridge Wells and the south by Brighton. Both were popular evening destinations and a change of scenery from the customary expenses of the
The start of the Cross Country Course.
56 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Capital. The locals were welcoming and receptive to our presence and a pleasing way to conclude Winter Camp presented itself with a ceremony on Chapel Green in Crowborough. The town was honouring 9 Canadians who were killed by a doodlebug in 1944 whilst stationed there, by opening a landscaped piece of grass and path called “Canada Green”, with 9 Canadian maples, each with a plague bearing the name of one of the nine. The Major and councilor’s were presented as well as the Canadian Military attaché from London and some local dignitaries. We took a mounted detachment of two Life Guards (LCpl Hammond and Trp Stevenson) and two Blues and Royals (Tprs Brown 47 and Scott) in No 2 Dress and brown kits with service swords. Captain Phelps and Corporal of Horse Overton, RHG/D, took part in the ceremony which consisted of a dedication and parade of veterans with association banners. The Recruiting Team (Captain R P Manning, RHG/D and Corporal of Horse Irving, LG) came down to fly the flag, although the audience were generally those who looked back on military service rather than anticipated it as a possible future. It is, however, hard to assess the intangible value of raising the regiments profile and certainly a good deal of good will was gained and both those at the camp and in the Town were keen to see us return next year. Organising Winter Camp was complicated but refreshing for a particular reason. The Camp Commandant and his staff as well as local landowners, farmers and horse owners were very helpful and positive. In the days of civilianization and contracts it made a pleasing change to find so much willingness and co-operation. The name of the Household Cavalry were clearly respected and our standards admired.
Tea after hunting with the Oakham Bloodhounds. Tpr Holt RHG/D, LCpl Ansel RHG/D and Tpr Walker 44, LG.
Household Cavalry News Op Agricola - 1999 By: Major CBB Clee RHG/D and Captain MP Goodwin Hudson RHG/D he Commanding Officer had said “Kosovo: be ready to go in five days”. Kosovo…. . the word sounded more like an aftershave that you might uncover in the bottom of one of the riding Staff ’s lockers in Knightsbridge. You could just imagine the advertisement: “KOSOVO FOR REAL MEN! TRY IT AND EXPERIENCE THE FULL FORCE; SHE’LL LOVE IT!” Realising that if we did go in five days that it would mean no Valentine’s Day, I was not convinced that she was going to love it at all. I went to see the Squadron Leader and found him staring at his laptop; he looked as though he’d been there all night, busy designing a squadron Tshirt. He said that he had heard the news as well. “Don’t you think we ought to do something about it?” I said. Major Clee said nothing; apparently sales from his last squadron T-shirt were going badly, despite the fact that everybody who joined the squadron had to buy one.
It was not long before we began preparing in earnest; D Squadron was rapidly turned around from looking forward to a fine summer in Windsor whilst the rest of the regiment stagged-on in Bosnia, to being at the forefront of a major NATO expeditionary force. Sponsorship for adventure training packages did not matter any longer, sailing in the Solent was about to be replaced by the arid plains of
Macedonia; ORBATs, test firing, SPIRE sights, and winterisation (a woolly hat, pair of socks and set of mittens – thanks!) became the matters of highest priority. Volunteers were calling up from everywhere, but the numbers were made up with a handpicked Troop from A Squadron. Two events are particularly memorable during the planning phase. The first was what must be a fairly unique occasion in the Regiment, when assembled in the Squadron Office were four Regimental Quartermasters (three from Combermere and one from the Mounted Regiment). Collectively they brought together almost one hundred years of military experience, in order to brainstorm all matters relating to admin, equipment and demands. The second was when one of the Regiment’s more operationally experienced officers, Major GGE Stibbe LG, came to give us his support and advice. The veteran’s help was well received, but we were amused at the time by his approach to the whole expedition. It was as though we were organising some huge dinner party! “Oh don’t worry; I’ll telephone Colonel Charles and find out who else is going with you, I am sure you’ll have a marvelous time!” Although we worked and trained hard to get organised as quickly as possible, the
Squadron did not leave England until the last week in April. We flew to Thessaloniki in Greece to marry up with the vehicles that had been sent by boat. Our first night in Greece was very interesting. The plan was to leave by train together with our vehicles and head into Macedonia, where we were to join the other elements of 4 Armd Bde. As we trundled out of the port at two o’clock in the morning a large anti NATO demonstration began as late night revellers staggered out of the cafes to hurl abuse at us and the occasional rocks through the windows of the train. The scene was more macabre than intimidating. The Squadron’s reaction was merely to curl up and sleep on the seats or the floor of the train, like bored lions in a cage that could strike at any moment should they so wish. This nonchalant approach infuriated the Greeks, especially the film crews who had arrived looking for some action. This, of course, amused us no end and the WO2(SCM) Carney RHG/D was captured on video trying to shut up giggling members of the Squadron as the sound of our laughter was not helping the mood of the crowd! However, the train was not allowed to leave Thessaloniki, and we were forced to return and spend the night back at the dockside. After this incident I think we all felt less inclined to go back to Greece for a holiday.
Kacanick. D File waiting for Paras to clear route in.
Household Cavalry News
The arrival of the vehicles in Macedonia was delayed by almost a week but was only a minor hiccup to the squadron’s training programme. Ironically Krivolac had been a training area for the Yogoslav Army (YA) before the trouble in Bosnia started. The real estate was outstanding, a rugged, mountainous terrain, completely deserted except for the occasional farmstead and flock of sheep. The latter had an unhealthy habit of arriving on the ranges complete with elderly shepherd, quite often just as we were starting an advance to contact. It all helped to add a new element to the live firing. When we raised the issue with the Macedonian range authorities they simply asked that we didn’t shoot the sheep, they were government owned. Not so the shepherds……! We ran a series of dry training exercises. Our own squadron exercise involved an attempt at night to find a series of routes into the heart of the training area over some very rugged terrain, avoiding the impact areas (which the sappers discovered the Macedonians had marked with mines!). The troops were then put into an OP matric for a further 48 hrs. The night move was horrid, and the heavens opened turning the dusty tracks into skating rinks, and visibility was appalling. It turned into a series of troop tactical recovery camps. LCoH McMullen RHG/D in particular managed to balance his vehicle on its headlights as he discovered why the contours appeared to be so close together! No one got through, and at first light they had to hurriedly withdraw as the range template was about to turn red. An administrative move later the OPS were in. Lieutenant JH Blount’s LG was particularly memorable as he went to great lengths to avoid detection: he provided the squadron leader with the wrong grid and, just to make sure, positioned himself outside the training area.
Air freight. A Spartan being recovered by Chinook. Kosovo.
Later on we supported a three day exercise acting as enemy for the Micks. The squadron was divided into three groups; Serbs, Albanians, and refugees. The Micks were to move into an imaginary Kosovo as the glorious KFOR. The squadron presented a number of different scenarios to test the Battlegroup’s resolve. SCpl Brockhurst made an excellent refugee leader in his sports clothes and bandanna, with the LAD in close support who, as with LADs everywhere, were already dressed for the part!? Lance Sergeant Ivanovic’s REME Serb roadblock was doubly effective when he launched into a long dialogue in SerboCroat. So convincing was he that the recce Sergeant anxiously looked to him and then his gunner, not sure whether this was real or exercise play. Three troop were pleasantly surprised by the Micks Recce Platoon when they drove into their ‘village’. They stopped and then promptly abandoned their vehicles as they all ran off to chase after a sniper. The troop leader enjoyed demonstrating his legendary
Where would you like your vehicle Sir? The RAF oblige with a spot of recovery.
Household Cavalry News
singing prowess by crooning lovingly over the recce platoon radio net, and feeding his ‘villagers’ from their rations. Two Troop’s stay behind Serb OP is now famous, having been compromised after a Guardsman relieved himself on what he though was a rock, but turned out to be a jerrycan and Lieutenant AM Howard LG plus three other members of his OP team. After a characteristic ““Do you mind?””from the Life Guard officer, the embarrassed Guardsman made himself scarce. Two Troop, after this, were tarred with the OP brush, something which did not leave them in Kosovo. There was, however, a sneeking suspicion that in CoH Matthew’s LG case, not only did the cap fit (he lost a lot of weight out there), but he also enjoyed wearing it. He was assisted by his elite team of little helpers; LCpl Spink RHG/D, Tprs Hansford LG, Preston LG and Kay RHG/D. They spent long hours looking wistfully at their bergens wondering where they could carry them next.
Major Clee and Comdt Shehu, the local KLA Commander liasing.
Troop Leaguer on patrol in Kosovo.
LSgt Keogh and LSgt Mays with the mobile Clinic, note the very smart waiscoats.
The training in Macedonia proved to be invaluable. Although after a series of imaginative exercises personally planned by the squadron leader, the expression ‘Round-Robin’ caused the troops to slink away into the bush and hide. At the end of May the Squadron moved up to the Airport at Skopje and deployed a Troop on the border. However, not before we had a farewell to Krivolac BBQ at which the guitar-playing Lieutenant JH Blount LG sang his latest tune called “Kosovo! Here we Go!” Thankfully the words never really deviated from the title so everybody was able to sing along as well. Of the skits that followed during the evening, it was generally considered that LCpl Butler RHG/D made a more convincing squadron leader than Major Clee did. However, as the sitting incumbent, Major Clee refused to relinquish his casting vote. From the border we got our first glimpses into Kosovo, and a chance to watch the unrelenting air strikes. We were working alongside the Italians, and 3 troop leader and the Italian platoon commander communicated to each other over barely compatible radios in schoolboy French, their only common tongue. Captain JAS Bellman RHG/D was despatched to liase with the Italian battalion HQ, and rapidly settled into their working hours and dining habits. The upshot of this was that you could only contact him between 1000 hrs and 1400 hrs, but not during lunch or on a Sunday. During one patrol 3 troop leader could be heard screaming ‘right – NO – err…. Á droit, á droit!’ as the Italian platoon headed straight towards the Kosovo border. The main treason for being there was to recce by line of sight an alterna-
Capt Whatley supervises the rebuilding of the Krivolac Clinic
tive route into Kosovo, in case the main axis of advance through the Kacanik Defile was denied. During one of the many brigade planning exercises for the entry into Kosovo, this possible alternative route was depicted on the planning map, and was spotted by the French brigade liaison officer. The first we knew was when a sheepish request came from the French to use the fictitious ‘HCR’ route (but it’s a line on the map – it must exist!?)… Our brief moment of glory never arrived and we were not called upon to open an alternative gateway into Kosovo. This was an uncertain period and it looked possible that there would be no cease-fire, no agreement with the Serbs, hence no move into Kosovo. The prospect of a long hot summer (36ºC in the shade) spent rotating through training areas in Macedonia did not in any way appeal. In the round it was a difficult and unsettling time for all. It appealed even less to Tpr Glaister LG who developed a mysterious knee complaint that baffled the medics, who implied that he would be lucky to walk again, and promptly medevaced him. He evidently was more than lucky as when we returned from Kosovo some 4 months later, he was busy putting himself forward for P Company! When the cease fire did finally come it was greeted with great relief and excitement. Orders were given and the squadron was to lead the Brigade up the main axis of advance into Kosovo through the Kacanik Defile. In the early morning on 12th June, after the Paras and Gurkhas had secured the defile, the squadron was given the green light for go. As we
Tprs Preston and Kay on Patrol in Kosovo.
crossed the border, Captain M Whatley LG and Trooper Frampton RHG/D were there by the side of the road waving us on – like starters at a racecourse! The squadron was reinforced by the addition of a medical section, Royal Engineer recce troop and bomb disposal team, various rebroadcast vehicles that we had to drop off en-route, and a collection of recovery vehicles that were being placed at critical junctions and bridges to prevent snarl-ups. All in all we were over 50 vehicles strong. With all the excellent staff work, and contingencies on what to do if swarms of malnourished Kosovars came out of the hill blocking our way. It was ironic that the one major impediment to our progress was the shear quantity of Press that tried to pile into Kosovo as we crossed, exacerbated by the troops of 5 AB Bde who were evidently too busy sitting on their backsides watching the traffic jam. The only time they could be stirred from this state of inertia was when a film crew pointed a camera at them. At this stage they would march off meaningfully (any direction would do), leaning grittily into their bergen straps, great bandoleers of ammunition chiming gently as they moved. The press came in any form of vehicle available; from air conditioned Landrovers, to taxis, to typical Eastern European sharabangs, the only form of transport not evident were tractors, the refugees were holding onto them for their return. The floodgates into Kosovo had been opened and now everybody was pouring in. From our point of view the Press very quickly became the main hindrance to our freedom of movement.
Household Cavalry News
At one point a renowned female war correspondent ‘jumped ship’, concerned that the organisation that she had been assigned to was getting left behind. She propositioned Captain JAS Bellman RHG/D, pleading with him to let her ride on the back of his vehicle. His concern was, quite rightly, about the uncertainties that lay ahead and he quietly declined. Although as far as Tpr Kinsey RHG/D was concerned, perhaps if she had been a little younger and better looking, it would have been a different story. She was later seen being picked up by the Paras, who clearly lacked Tpr Kinsey’s discerning taste. Despite our concerns over the press at large, this was a major media event and we had attached to us a team from SKY. They were responsible for live coverage on split screen of HCMR …. On the Queen’s Birthday Parade on one half, and on the other D Squadron entering Kosovo…. pennants flying. In the end, having forced vehicles out of the way, Lieutenant PBA Townley RHG/D and LCoH Bestwick RHG/D doubled up two of their Scimitars at the back of the squadron package to prevent any more press vehicles attempting to over-take us. It was a frustrating first morning and no doubt it will prompt a new MEDIA heading in the factors column of the Commander’s Tactical Aid Memoire. There has been a lot of debate as to who actually “took” the capital Pristina, first. The Paras stormed in some time after the Irish Guards (who had to secure their landing zone so must have been there before them!) and claimed Pristina as theirs, and more recently a gunner in the KRH has been writing into Soldier Magazine that it was his Challenger that got there first. The facts are a little different. Russian Paras dig in at Gradenik.
The people who arrived in Pristina were a small SF team escorting an Irish Guards Liaison Officer. They were probably preceded by our medical section who failed to turn left at a critical juncture as we initially headed to the airport and were lost for some 3 hours (Whoops! But that is another story!). They were not quite sure where they had been, but vaguely remembered driving through a ‘city’. The SF went firm on the southern edge of Pristina at 1600 hrs in the afternoon. At about 1800 hrs that evening D Squadron was ordered by Commander 4 Armd Bde to make best speed from the Airport, where we had met the Russians, and RV with the SF team in Pristina before nightfall. On route we passed three Challengers from the KRH who were stationary just short of the roundabout where the SF team were waiting for us in the garage. As we passed the 3 Challengers they were withdrawn to rejoin the Micks battlegroup further south. The race to, and the first night in, Pristina were memorable; we arrived in a thunderstorm just as darkness was falling. Pristina was grey, silent and uninviting, interrupted by the rattle of gunfire. The YA was still at large, like some drunken, marauding pack of wolves in the final throws of a hideous and grotesque stag night. We rendezvous’d with the SF team who were sitting in a small room at the garage, talking quietly amongst themselves. In the corner of the room sat a journalist maniacally typing on his laptop. No-one paid any attention to him, and the scene was rather surreal with the long haired smock wearing SAS team looking more like models from one of those survival catalogues. With SHQ one of the Sultan
commanders, LCoH Sharpe RHG/D, lit up a cigar. He had kept it in his top pocket since leaving England in April; he inhaled deeply and murmured something about saving it for the entry into Pristina – sure it is only in the Household Cavalry that style and substance can ever come together! Each Troop had been given an area on the outskirts of the city and Corporal of Horse Smith RHG/D and elements of Four Troop were detailed to escort the SF team into the centre of Pristina to liase with YA Commander. While all this was going on, 1 Tp with Lieutenant PBA Townley RHG/D and CoH Fermor RHG/D were working hard to get two R Signals vehicles into a mountain communications site at Plitkovic. Suddenly all the recovery work we had done in Maceedonia paid off. One of the 432s broke down, and then the 2nd 432, which was by this stage towing the 1st threw a track on a steep section of track in appalling weather. They were surrounded by the KLA, who were not sure what was happening, and to cap it all, there was the all pervading mine threat. Not used to dealing with Household Cavalry grit the signalers, who instinct was to sit back and wait for the REME, were whipped and cajoled into get their vehicles sorted and by 2200 hrs the rebro was in place. Having made contact with the SF team, the troops were deployed around Pristina. In the morning of 13th June we pushed into the city amongst the withdrawing YA as the Micks arrived and secured the city. At about mid-day the Paras arrived, hanging onto the back of stripped down Pinzgauers as they drove through the city at reckless speed to investigate incidents that had finished already. 1st blood went to CoH Stevenson LG who came across 3 murdered YA soldiers who had been shot that morning looting and after this the handling of corpses was, sadly, to become something of a way of life. As D Squadron left Pristina on 14th June in order to recce further north, Pristina was divided between the Paras and the Micks. So there is really no debate; Hereford aside, the little ‘Primus Pristina’ can only ever belong to D Squadron. To be fair to the Paras and the Micks they were always so far behind us that when they finally did arrive in Pristina they probably did not realise that we had been there since the previous night! One of the most interesting aspects of the initial eight days was getting a close look at the YA as they withdrew. Whilst we trained in Macedonia, inevitably in the back of our minds we had many
Household Cavalry News
questions about the YA: how professional were they; how much affective resistance they would put up, and to what extent had they been broken by NATO bombing campaign? As we monitored the withdrawal the YA was not the rag tag ill-disciplined force we might have thought it to be. Their withdrawal was well organised with good command and control in a mixture of old and new serviceable military vehicles. Equally, it was disconcerting to see very little evidence of destroyed Serb military hardware as a result of the NATO bombing. Where were those bombed-out tanks and artillery pieces we had been promised? The closest the Squadron came to seeing any damaged YA vehicles was when a careless Serb drove his T-72 into the side of CoH Femor’s Scimitar. Remarkably the Scimitar came off better than the Russian tank, which received a good denting. Full marks to Alvis and serves the Serbs right for trying to take-on such a robust member of the squadron. The first eight days were a period of intense activity during which the squadron covered over five hundred miles per vehicle. There were many incidents, too many to note here, not only monitoring the withdrawal, but also escorting Serb officials to and from meetings in Pristina. SCpl Brockhurst inserted a R Signals Rebro vehicle into the hills overlooking Podujevo, without the knowledege of the Serbs. LCsoH Brown RHG/D and Bestwick RHG/D bluffed their way into the water filtration plant that provided water for North East Kosovo, despite the protestations of a bemused YA commander. LCoH McMullen RHG/D led his troop up to a YA road block (who were also training
Lt Howard and LCoH Irwin in Pristina.
their weapons on him at the time) in the middle of a fire fight with the UCK, and calmly dismounted in the middle of it.1 Troop spent a nervous night camping in front of a YA army T55 tank (staring down a 100mm barrel!), complete with snipers, who had just murdered an elderly Albanian on his way to collect bread for the 200 (!) people living in his house. Lieutenant PBA Townley RHG/D boldly drove, with one other vehicle, into a village at dusk that was being burnt by withdrawing YA soldiers. He was armed with a loudspeaker system broadcasting in Serbo-Croat that if they did not desist, he would use force against them – only to find that there were some 150 of them! 3 Tp were escorting the Yugoslav Foreign Secretary in Pristina when a bomb exploded some 400m away; they deftly
avoided an international incident by calmly ducking down an alley, as if nothing had happened, and continued on their way (try ducking down an alley in a Challenger or Warrior!). And so it went on…. The truly outstanding feature, however, was the common sense and judgement demonstrated by all ranks throughout this time. The pick-up points for the escorts were inevitably on the boundary with Serbia. The only problem, as CoH Carrington RHG/D found out, was that not only was the boundary not marked on the ground, but also in one instance the boundary marked on our maps was a good three kilometres out – three kilometres into Serbia! Thus not only were we the first into Pristina but we can also claim the
LCpl Derby and Tpr Terry enjoying the fruits of their labour.
1 Tp on patrol.
LCpl Goodwin decorating the Pristina Hospital’s childrens ward.
Serbs going home.
Household Cavalry News
more dubious title of first into Serbia (kidnapped Americans aside). In this instance some kind MUP (Serb special police) informed them of the whereabouts of, what they considered to be (and who were we to argue), the boundary and politely asked them to return back to Kosovo. After 8 days the squadron was re-tasked, attached to the Micks, and given a rural area of four hundred square kilometres, running from Pristina up to the eastern boundary with Serbia. The remaining three months of the tour were spent patrolling the hills, acting as a Brigade early-warning system to any Serb insurgency back into Kosovo, as well as creating a secure environment in which the Albanian and the minority Serb communities could start to reconstruct their lives. The squadron received air support from RAF Chinooks, Canadian Gryphon and the American Apache helicopters. The Chinook force was excellent, and given the hostile nature of the terrain they became the preferred method of recovery. In total we recovered 6 vehicles by air, and the locals were mightily impressed by our ability to fly our ‘tanks’! In one instance LCoH Bell RHG/D got the ambulance so badly stuck, it took 3 days to cut a landing site so that we could recover it. The Apache’s were great fun, and extremely menacing. When we suspected houses of concealing arms, we found it much more effective to get an Apache to hover over head (with perhaps a few aggressive very low level passes) then politely ask them to give them up, than actually go in and search the house! Meanwhile we patrolled the area twice daily in the Gryphons using them, amongst other things, to provide top cover during raids and to insert and recover Ops; we struck up an excellent rapport with the squadron. The squadron worked hard to try and meet the medical and material needs of the villages in our AOR. Captain M Whatley LG became our focus for civil aid projects. With the help of SSgt Smith REME and the LAD, he organised the running of a mobile clinic in our AOR; the rebuilding of two medical centres, and construction of a refugee centre in Keqokola in preparation for the winter. The way was also paved for the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service to come out to Pristina and help re-establish a local Fire Service. One of the more interesting tasks during the final phase was the liaison with the UVK and ensuring their complete demilitarisation. Not only did we beat
Household Cavalry News
D Sqn leaving Pristina 02 Oct 99.
them at football, but also the squadron carried out a series of very successful village raids discovering and confiscating a significant number of weapons from illegal arms caches. In one raid on a small remote farmstead, enough medical supplies were found to take care of a whole regiment! Throughout the tour the squadron came across destruction; house burning; halfmutilated livestock; poisoned wells, as well as corpses and mass graves. It is rare in the UK that we are brought face to face with the logical conclusion to hatred and racial prejudice. Since returning, people have often asked what this aspect of the tour was like. The expressions unpleasant and even bewildering come to mind. However, in the round the squadron coped with it all very well, dealing with it with a mixture of professional detachment, camaraderie and good old fashioned humour. Once the YA had left, the boot was on the other foot and revenge became the spurious excuse for further outrages. In one instance 2 Troop had a coffee with a couple in the Serb village of Slivovo. The next morning they returned to find 4 men had had their throats cut in the night by some Albanians, including the old man who had welcomed them into his house the day before. One is left with that dreadful feeling that we should have been there, wherever ‘there’ is at that particular moment in time. On the face of it is difficult to understand the Balkan problem. This is the third time D Squadron has been back there since 1994. Since returning to England reports continue of unrest and inter ethnic conflict in Kosovo. For how much longer will the scourge of their his-
tory of personal grievances continue in the Balkans? The Turks defeated the Serbs and Albanians (who fought together, but this has been conveniently forgotten) in Kosovo at the battle of The Blackbirds in 1389. This gave rise to a Turkish rule in the Balkans that lasted five centuries (to put this into perspective, this is more than twice as long as the United States has been in existence). Now in the 1990’s, after the privations of both world wars, Belgrade has said it is our turn, and we know only too well the dreadful consequences of Balkan nationalism, first in Bosnia and then Kosovo, that was so skillfully moderated by Tito during his lifetime. And yet one day, as they all surely know, the descendants of today’s raped and mutilated victims will arise to seek vengeance on the avengers. Hence it is with feeling more of despair than surprise, that we greeted the steady trickle of victims from both sides during the tour. As Ghandi pointed out, if everyone followed the ‘eye for an eye’ principle of justice, eventually the whole world would go blind. In summary D Squadron were very privileged to play a part, and to lead the NATO Forces into Kosovo. Even to play just a small part in, what seemed at the time, the liberation of fellow human beings must be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. However, let us come briefly back to where we started. Kosovo, a stunningly beautiful country – most definitely, a fragrance – possibly, worn by the riding staff – never. Yet its odours will linger on the memory for a long time to come. The heady cocktail of rotting rubbish, rotting flesh, mixed with the ever-pervading smell of the portaloo.
Op Harvest By Captain J B C Butah LG Squadron, The Life Guards deployed to Bosnia in June 1999, as part of the 1st Royal Highland Fusilier Battle Group. The Squadron was based in a town called JAJCE and controlled an area, roughly rectangular in shape, measuring 60kms North to South and about 25km East to West.
During our time in Bosnia, one of the main operations that we were directly involved in, was OPERATION HARVEST or OPERATION BOALUACH (the RHF version standing for Bugger Off And Leave Us Alone with a CH on the end for good Scottish measure). Harvest, conjured up all manner of gleeful prospects for Lieutenant N P Harrison RHG/D, the squadron’s Cirencester man and skilled exponent of agriculture. However, corn, it was not. OP Harvest is the collection of all illegally held weapons and ammunition from society in Bosnia. This in itself sounds a simple enough task, however, with no actual powers to do anything other than persuade people to give up their arms caches, it was often tricky. At the beginning of the tour, the Squadron Leader, Major C A Lockhart RHG/D chose a number of conurbations that the squadron’s OP Harvest efforts would centre upon over the forthcoming months. Some of these areas would require squadron sized operations, though most were troop sized. About a fortnight before an operation, the squadron second in command, Captain J B C Butah LG would meet to discuss the result of previous operations, coordinate fine details for the next one, such as where we would meet the police and the locations of our Unexploded Ordnance Pits (UXO pits). Simultaneously the well harmonised duo of Lieutenant R S I Derry LG and Lieutenant OB Birkbeck RHG/D, the squadron Media operations team, would go into action. This involved broadcasting the successes of previous operations to the local population and letting them know when and where the next operation would be. This was done on one or both of the radio shows that they ran weekly, one in DORNJI VAKUF and one in JAJCE. Patrols would also be tasked to go out with flyers and hand them out to inhabitants of the particular area that was to be targeted.
Lt Harrison and LCoHs Pritchard, Bassett and Simpson, GW Troop, taking a break.
With a week to go, it was up to either the squadron second in command or troop leaders, depending on the size of the operation, to ensure all fine details had been finalised. A real team effort was required for every operation. The SCM,
WO2 Douglas would book extra interpreters for the day and, the SQMC, SCpl Core and his team would cart the sandbags out for construction of the UXO pits. CoH Benge would ensure that SHQ Tp sent a Sultern to act as the command
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station for the operation. The chefs, after winging about not having enough time to make packed lunches would do so and last but not least the Royal Engineers would send an Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team along. On the actual day of an operation, the soldiers would start from one end of a town and systematically work their way through to the other. Whilst doing this, small teams consisting of 2 or 3 soldiers with an interpreter would knock on the door of every inhabited dwelling they came across, asking the occupants, if they had any weapons or ammunition to hand in. This tactic proved to be very effective, as some citizens were fairly laid back about coming forward to us with weapons and ammunition that they had stashed away for a rainy day. On occasion there were one or two complaints about soldiers knocking on peopleâ€™s doors, however successes from conducting the operation in this fashion far outweighed those when a UXO pit was left in an area overnight. Invariably, those complaining had something to hide and the civil police were informed. Not every citizen made collecting weapons and ammunition difficult for us, indeed on one fine morning after handing out leaflets, an old lady approached members of 3 Troop with a box of 60 grenades in pristine condition. She had obviously decided that they were somewhat of an overkill for Guy Fawkesâ€™ night. If ever we needed a timely reminder of the importance of carrying out OP Harvest and not to be complacent when hanEOD Pit. Capt Butah.
Household Cavalry News
Found on Op Harvest, Lt Col NA Campbell and Maj CA Lockhart RHG/D take a look.
dling a lot of the equipment we were given, it came in September when, a Corporal from the Royal Engineer EOD Tp and a civilian were killed whilst handling a grenade. Over the duration of the tour, the Squadron collected 1 pistol, 8 rifles, 1 heavy machine gun, 18 rocket launchers, 29 anti personnel mines and 25 anti tank mines with some 620 grenades of various guises. Items such as rounds and explosives are not included in this summary. The best find of the tour was 2
Troop, when Lieutenant R S I Derry LG and his merry gang stumbled across a T55 tank. This went up to the Divisional headquarters on a sitrep and sent quite a few pulses racing, as they had not been told that it was burnt out! OP Harvest has been a very worthwhile task to carry out as, it has been easy for all concerned to view the fruits of their labour. Ultimately it has directly contributed to the success of our mission in making Bosnia a more stable environment.
Adventurous Training Centre (Brac) By WO2(QMSI) M Davidson APTC hen I was told by the 2IC Major G C E Stibbe that the Regiment were off to Bosnia, my first question was “am I going”?
Kayak GP, Kayak Sea, Rock Climbing, Diving, Trekking, Sailing, Windsurfing and Mountain Biking.
Kayak GP It has now been 5 months since I asked that question and as the days become shorter and the warmer clothing is donned I guess it is time to look back and reflect on the highs and very few lows of my tour at the Adventurous Training Centre at Brac. Biokovo, the highest and longest mountain in Dalmatia provides a dramatic backdrop fo the small fishing village of Povlja in which the Adventurous Training Centre is situated. Accommodation is in a civilian hotel, including chambermaids and waitress service, a far cry from the “Cor-I-Mecs” up country. During the summer months liberal amounts of sun cream were required and the view from the hills above the village would grate the front pages of any brochure or “Wish You Were Here” programme. However, the students who arrive for the 6 day package (2 days travelling) soon realise that this is no holiday. The HCR managed to ensure that 260 soldiers from the Regiment were put through the level 2 Adventurous Training package at Brac during the last 5 months, these have ranged from Sqn Ldr to Tpr with positive feedback from all. The first real “experience” that the students received was when they were met at the main entrance by the staff. It is then that they realised how fortunate they were to have had so many highly qualified instructors from the APTC to the TA and Reservists to pass on their wealth of knowledge and expertise during the 4 days of Adventurous Training. The centre is controlled by a Captain and WO1 both Army Physical Training Corp, posted to the centre for 6 months. All other members of the staff are attached for periods of 2 weeks to 6 months some from within theatre other from UK and Germany. With 2 of the 6 days taken up with travel, the remainder are filled with 8 different activities, students receiving half a days training on each. Of course the weather plays its part, dictating which contingency plan (A.B.C or D) is adopted, generally though the following activities take precedence:
Before the students are let loose on the open sea they are introduced to the technical skills and strokes involved in kayaking. Here we encounter the first of many little problems to overcome. Within Theatre there are employed TA and Reservist personnel. Although they do an admirable job supporting many of the units, the size of their waistline far exceeds their interest in keeping fit. A comment made suggested that one individual had something wrong with his feet, he couldn’t “keep them out of the chip shop”!
Kayak Sea Once the skills have been honed and the larger personnel eased into a kayak using ingenuity and lard, students are taken on a little excursion along the coast testing their mettle and upper body endurance.
Rock Climbing Approximately 10-12 km from the Centre is a small disused quarry, adjacent to the village of Selca. Brac is littered with these quarries created by the mining for the marble like stone for which the Island is famous. It also makes for ideal conditions for top/bottom roping activities.
Trekking Low level trekking takes the students out across the local countryside to one of several selected destinations. As well as brushing up on basic navigational skills students are introduced to the flora, fauna and wildlife indigenous to Brac. For those interested, during the early summer months wild herbs are in abundance. Sage, Thyme, Fennel and Mint fill the still air with their own distinct aroma heightening yet another of the senses. Species of wildlife described by the students on their return included spiders the size of dinner places, caterpillars with fangs, ants that kept moving the bergans and snakes that could easily swallow donkeys whole, you most probably think I am joking.
Sailing The sailing is carried out in the bay at the front of the hotel. After being
QMSI Davidson at the dive site with a crew of novice divers.
briefed on how to rig the boats and given some basic tuition in sailing and interpreting the wind, students are allowed to take charge of the dinghies, forget everything and attempt to crash into anything moving or stationary.
Windsurfing Our windsurfing instructor is “Jonny” the Coatian. Jonny commented that you can tell the wealthy Croatians as they are fatter than the others, the staff wonders where Jonny keeps his millions. Another aspect of the Povlja bay is that the bowl in which the village sits creates acoustics on a par with that of the Albert Hall. The constant eerie crackling of the crickets’ echoing in the surrounding trees is only broken by the expletives from yet another windsurfer falling in the water.
Mountain Biking During my tour at BRAC I had the dubious honour of instructing the Mountain Biking Package. This initially was extremely torturous (getting used to the saddle) and tiring but the aches and pains soon subsided the more accustomed I became with the route and the beautiful sights around me. The students first glimpse of Povlja was from the top of the hill as they arrived by coach. The view they saw was a picturesque little fishing village in a secluded bay surrounded by a beautiful turquoise sea. It was only when they came to do Mountain Biking that they realised that the 4.5
Household Cavalry News
km hill they drove down on day 1 was the only road into Povlja and had to be cycled back up during the 20 km bike ride. This resulted in the views now before them being viewed in a more emotional state than on their arrival. Due to the rugged state of the local tracks, covered with sharp pieces of limestone and thorns the Mountain Bikes are not taken “off road”. This is primarily to extend the life span of the already Overused bikes (I guess road biking is more accurate). The HCR soldiers showed high levels of enthusiasm and effort when undertaking all the activities at Brac, and the break from the normal day to day routine of
operations up country was gratefully received by all who attended. Seriously, the activities described were both physically and mentally demanding and although an idyllic picture has been painted the troops were under no illusion that this was not an R&R Centre, and were made fully aware of the high standards expected. Strict drinking and curfew rules were implemented with disciplinary action being taken against those who transgressed. Finding the fine balance between achieving the aims set out for level 2 Adventurous Training while still allowing the troops to feel that they have had a significant break is difficult to find. However, the feedback from unit commanders and the
soldiers themselves has been nothing but positive ensuring that the “guilt trip” of receiving a medal for serving in Brac soon subsides. With unit manning being down yet commitments being increased the training received here at the ATC(Brac) goes far beyond the expectations of AT. With some members of the HCR being on their 3rd tour of the Balkans, this in conjunction with the stresses of separation takes it toll on the young soldier. Having a facility such as this delivering quality Adventurous Training yet still allowing the soldiers to feel that time and money has been dey to addressing any imbalances regarding priorities in the Forces today.
HCR - A Dedicated Formation Reconnaissance (FR) Capability for the Ground Manouevrement of 16 Air Assault Brigade By Major J R Wheeler LG he Strategic Defence Review (SDR) confirmed the requirement for Joint Rapid Reaction Forces (JRRF) and identified 16 Air Assault Brigade, based at Colchester, as the ‘flexible, deployable… and uniquely powerful force’ that will meet the country’s military challenges of the future. On 1 September 1999, 16 Air Assault Brigade was formed by the amalgamation of elements of 24 Airmobile Brigade and 5 Airborne Brigade. The HCR, with some 15 years of ‘air manoeuvre’ experience with 5 Airborne Brigade, has been identified by 16 Air Assault Brigade as a major contributor to its force package and it now has an understanding of the utility of FR as part of its force development. In particular, the Brigade recognises that the HCR offers a light force, considerable firepower, manoeuvre and protection, and is as versatile in its form of delivery to the objective as it is in the tasks that it can carry out in support of the commander’s ground plan.
A Sqn with 1 Para TALO.
Household Cavalry News
So, the Regiment is working alongside 16 Air Assault Brigade in the development of its evolving doctrine. A concept of operations and operational architecture is being developed for FR in the air assault role. A Squadron conducted a TALO operation with a company of 3 PARA as part of the Brigades launch at RAF Wattisham on 3 September. The Brigades first exercise, Ex GRYPHONS EYE, was held in October 1999 during which the Regiment supported the Airborne Battle Group (ABBG), based on a Parachute Regiment battalion, and the Lead Aviation Battle Group (LAvnBG), based on a Regiment of the Army Air Corps. The exercise validated the HCR’s role as part of the Brigade. The strategic mobility and air assault capability that FR offers will undoubtedly provide 16 Air Assault Brigade with the much-needed protection, firepower and strike capability it requires. The HCR,
therefore, provides direct FR support to Airborne and Air assault operations as part of the Joint Rapid Reaction Force’s ABBG. It will also provide combat support to ground elements of Air Manoeuvre operations as part of the LAvnBG. What does this mean for the Regiment? Well, apart from the geographical difference in the location of the bulk of the new Brigade, and a new badge, there appears at this stage to be very little difference in the way the HCR conducts its business. The Regiment will continue to encourage soldiers to do Parachute Selection and the affiliated squadron, which at the moment is A Squadron, will continue to train alongside the Brigade in a similar way as with 5 Airborne Brigade. The important thing is that the Regiment is part of this new, dynamic and exciting Brigade that is on everybody’s lips.
A Sqn SPTA, Ex Gryphon’s Eye.
The Household Cavalry Museum Development Project By Major D T Waterhouse, formerly The Life Guards Project Oficer s long as six years ago the Silver Stick of the time, Colonel Peter Rogers, felt that The Household Cavalry Museum was failing to attract the number of visitors that it deserved. Our museum with arguably the most complete and significant military collection in the country was attracting approximately 6,000 visitors a year who were being admitted free of charge whilst a Welsh Regiment in Cardiff Castle and a Scottish Cavalry Regiment in Edinburgh Castle were each attracting over 100,000 paying visitors a year to collections of far less Heritage significance.
At the same time a potentially suitable site for a new, purpose built museum was identified in the north west corner of the Horse Guards building in London. The specific area measured approximately 280 square meters and comprising of little used storage areas belonging to RQMS London District. A shallow feasibility study was conducted to see if conversions could be made to turn the area into a potential museum which would also incorporate six stalls of The Queen’s Life Guard stables. As far as it went the study was positive but for many reasons the project was not developed any further for a number of years. A year ago The Household Cavalry received a security of tenure guarantee from The Crown Estate who own Horse Guards at which point the Trustees decided to push forward the project to redevelop the museum in London. A Project Officer was appointed and then a
consultancy was taken on board to look at all aspects of management, marketing and business planning for the project. In addition four Architect and Design practices, all recommended by English Heritage, were invited to tender submissions for an Options Appraisal Study for the new development. After some rigorous interviews and with guidance from the HQ Land Project Sponsor Team (Aldershot), the Design and Project Services practice of The Hampshire County Council were selected. At the time of writing the two consultancies are working closely with The Project Officer and working toward presenting their findings by mid February 00.
The front entrance of the proposed new museum site at Horse Guards. The Queen’s Life Guard Stables are to the rear, some of which would be integrated into the new development.
An application for funding of up to 50% of the overall capital expenditure costs of the project will be made to the Heritage Lottery Fund by April and the earliest that their decision will be announced thereafter is September 00. If everything went according to plan the project would then enter the detailed design phase for six months prior to a tender being let for the actual building work to commence in the autumn of 2001. Building and the museum fit out would then take six months enabling a formal opening to occur around the spring of 2002.
Realising matching funds for the project will be an enormous task; indeed planning must be done on the basis that our application to the Heritage Lottery Fund may be unsuccessful in which case 100% of the project costs will have to be found by The Household Cavalry from within. The extent and strategy of any appeal or fundraising campaign will be drawn up by the Trustees in the early part of the year when detailed costings of the project have become known.
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Army Sea Fishing By WO2 (SCM) Douglas LG here are several reasons for joining the Army and one in particular is the ability to play a sport that you are good at with the complete support of the Regiment. I have now practiced the art of sea fishing for nearly twenty years and I must admit that the first ten were a waste of time and money as you need to know exactly what you are doing most of the time. When writing this article I decided to keep it short and sweet as there are many stores that I can tell that canâ€™t appear in this journal plus you would think that I have been branded with the infamous anorak.
In 1995 I attended the gunnery School Cadre at Lulworth, which was a blessing in disguise as although the cadre in those days was difficult, to say the least, I still had the pleasure of taking off every Friday night to a beach nearby and cast my troubles away. I also used other methods of reducing gunnery stress syndrome and anyone who remembers splosh! being played in the mess bar with Paula understands me completely. I must admit that there was a stage during the end of the cadre that I nearly cooked my goose. It was in the last week of the Challenger stage and an instructor called Wolfie McKendric then 4 RTR asked if I would like a bass fishing session down Kimmeridge bay, obviously I could not refuse so we headed off one Wednesday after work and fished through until 2300 hrs. The fishing was very slow so we got talking about gunnery, as you do! Wolfie then asked me who was on their teaching practise all day tomorrow? I replied that it was not me so I donâ€™t care, well you can guess what happened at 0815 Thursday morning. The crew asked me if I needed any help prepping last night as they could not find me and then it hit me like a train, it was me on the teaching practice. I sank to the floor as my instructor walked in, I had not prepared any part of the lesson but decided to cuff it. It all went horribly wrong and I ended up getting stopped half way through, needless to say I never went fishing with my instructor again. I joined the Army Angling Association in June 1995 and ended up winning the league, all the trophies and being selected for the Army team. It was incredible as every time I entered a competition I would either win or come in the top five. It is all down to preparation and lots of fact finding. The professional fisherman spends more time studying the areas
Household Cavalry News
WO2 Douglas after a successful day.
they fish than actually fishing. I also represent the Army on the boat-fishing scene and until last year was the Army press officer writing articles for magazines and getting the team on the map. I do remember one very embarrassing moment when I attended a competition on the Inter Service boat match, which is a very serious affair. I had to be in HMS Osprey at 1900 hrs one particular Sunday night to meet the respective competitors from the other services. Like true servicemen socialising is a great art and I had it down to a tee that particular night. One thing led to another I ended up in bed at 0400 hrs we had to be on the boat for our one and only practice match at 0700 hrs. I made the boat feeling very ill and I never get sea sick, but this day was an exception. I caught a conger eel and whilst playing the fish a strange sensation came over me, I asked a team mate to hold my rod and I darted to the stern where I ground baited most of the English Channel. Needless to say the Captain of the team was not very impressed but at last the fish was landed which weighed a decent 40lb On my return to Windsor in 1997 with my team place secure I started work in the Training Wing and after several weeks of utter chaos the time came to get out and find another venue to fish. This time it was Kent and I managed to enrol CoH Fermour and CoH Reason. We entered the Southern section of the Asso-
ciation and entered many competitions that year gaining experience all the time. Last year I fished against the England Internationals and on the first day of the competition I came a creditable fifth out of forty competitors, beating the likes of Alan Yates who is the world number one. The second day was a total disaster. This year due to operational commitments I have had to hang my sea rods up in the shed. All is not lost though as I have been taught fly fishing by Lieutenant J G Rees Davies, and we have each taken grayling and trout from the river Pliva North of Sipovo. It did take several attempts to get the casting right and I did catch more articles of clothing than fish on the first few trips. I now have one month left in theatre and I have asked the wife to start dusting off my rods ready for a marathon session on a Kent beach sometime over Christmas. If there are any members of the Regiment interested in joining the Sea Angling Association then please contact me as we are always looking for support. Finally, I would like to thank Captain D Pickard and the Second in Command of the Regiment for the time I have been given to compete and for the donation for bait and entry fees. Tight lines.
An Englishman in New York By LCpl Goddard fter fighting in the Inter-Services Judo Championships and gaining a place in the Army Judo Squad (even though I had dislocated my shoulder), I was asked by the Team Manager if I would be interested in representing the British Army in a Judo competition called The American/Canadian International Invitation Open providing my injury healed in time. This is the biggest judo competition held in the USA & Canada, and the British Army had been invited to compete which naturally left me feeling overjoyed at the honour of representing them. With a massive amount of co-operation and help from the Commanding Officer, 2IC, SCM and my Squadron Leader I shortly found myself flying out to America.
We were accommodated in an American Air Base in Niagara Falls (Yes – where the waterfall is!) and trained at a local judo club nearby in Buffalo, New York where the competition was to be held. Our training was very intense with two hard judo sessions during the day followed by fighting with the local club members during an evening session. The club members were very friendly and accommodating and didn’t seem to mind being slammed onto the mat by a bunch of British soldiers!! During our training period we ventured across the border and trained at a traditionally run Japanese Dujo in Hamilton, Canada. However, as we were soon to find out the Canadians seemed very intent on trying to put us out of the competition before we had even got there by using ‘alternative’ judo techniques and injuring two of our fighters in the first few minutes of the session. The sessions soon became very heated and aggressive with full competition style fighting taking place. We emerged after giving better than we received in the true style of the British forces (basically we knew more ‘alternative’ judo techniques that they did). On the day of the weigh in we were shocked to find that the scales we had been using were wrong and we were actually heavier than we thought. Luckily due to the intensity of the training most of us were under our category weights, with only three team members having to run around looking like Michelin men to sweat off the extra weight. Due to the problem of weight the team manager decided to fight me in the category above my normal one which
was a shock to me as I had spent the week dieting down. However, I thought that this would be OK as I’m a bit of ‘big lad’. Not so, as when the listing came out I was the lightest in the category, not to mention the only Brit with the other nationalities being American, Canadian, Russian and a couple of Frenchmen. All nations who are not exactly renowned for being shy and retiring. The next day, Competition Day, we arrived at Buffalo University to be shown an indoor arena of immense proportions. It was so large that eight full size judo mats were in the middle of the arena and there were trader stands dotted around the outside. We were all stunned!! We had to take part in the opening ceremony that involved marching around the arena holding the Union Jack flag, and it was strange that most of the team could not be found for this part…… After the ceremony had finished the team got down to the business of warming up and it wasn’t long before my category was called out to fight. On arriving at my mat it became abundantly clear that I was definitely the smallest there with all the other fights being real muscle-bound giants. I was well aware that my tactics were going to have to involve me fighting clever and fast rather than trying to use strength and power. On watching the first few fights it soon became apparent that the style of judo being used was more a wrestling type rather than the traditional stuff that we British were used to and therefore I had to be very careful which techniques I uses, otherwise I would be on my back quicker than LCoH Swinburne on a day off!! My first fight was against a Frenchman who was one of the smaller giants in the contest. He was very strong whilst stood up but pretty useless on the ground. I used this to my advantage and won by a submission from a strangle hold. My next fight was against a Canadian who every time we went to ground left his arms flailing around just inviting me to break them! It was rude not to really. The third contest pitted me against a Russian who was by no means small and who came onto the mat shouting and screaming at me. As soon as the fight began I ran at him and he fell over!! I went straight into a strangle hold and yet he still wouldn’t submit and he ended up unconscious (which at least stopped him
An evenings training session at the Kin Tora Judo Club in Buffalo, New York.
from shouting at me). As I lined up for my fourth fight against an American who was even bigger than the Russian I remember thinking to stop him getting a grip and generally keeping away from him as he looked mad, bad, and not very nice to know. Eventually he got a grip and pulled hard. I was launched skywards (now I know what’s it like to be in the space shuttle during take off) and my next recollection was of me being held horizontally above his head at his full arms length. It was at this precise moment that a deep-seated panic set in within me at the realisation of three things. Firstly I was being humiliated by this yank, secondly that I was in a very bad position and thirdly that I was going to get seriously hurt. I started flapping up and down looking something like fish does when out of water and at this point he lost his grip on me. I dropped like a bag of spanners but on my way down I vaguely recall managing to grab various bits of his anatomy. His resulting flip landed him flat on his back and to my surprise when I got off the ground I had won the fight and there was a very upset American opposite me. Unfortunately I lost the next two fights, the first by making a stupid mistake by which I deserved to lose and my last fight was against the biggest guy in the weight division – a real gorilla. He grabbed the collar of my Judogi (Judo Suit) and lifted me straight into the air and soon after I was on my back with him on top of him (not very pleasant and I’d hate to be his girlfriend). All in all I
Household Cavalry News
finished fourth in a category of fifteen fighters which wasn’t too bad but I missed out on a trophy. However, in the lighter weight categories the army team managed to pick up a silver in the under 80kgs and a bronze in the under 85kgs. The day after the competition we were given a day to see the sights and in particular the Niagara Falls which were absolutely breathtaking and provided me with some nice photos for my album. We also managed to preview the new Star
Wars movie. The Phantom Menace, some four weeks before it was released in UK. Finally we had to say goodbye to all our new fiends and return home. On arriving back in the UK I had a couple of days to get myself sorted out and say goodbye to my wife and daughter. I then hopped on a plane bound for sunny Bosnia to rejoin B Sqn who are currently serving as SFOR. However, judo has not been forgotten as SQMC Core is working
extremely hard to lay a raised floor in the gymnasium so I can lay out some judo mats (kindly lent to me by Mr Roy Flowers) and continue instructing the Regimental Judo Team. Generally it was a very interesting experience from which I learned a lot and if the chance ever arose again I would leap at it. Finally I would like to thank the Regiment for all the support, advice and encouragement that I received.
Gliding By LCoH Auld LG hilst the Regiment were on operational tours in Bosnia and Kosovo, I took it upon myself to take to the skies. Except it wasn’t in a Puma, Lynx or Chinook, it was in a K21 training glider. On 23 August,1999, I arrived at RAF Bicester and found myself in a pilot’s briefing room with men and women from all three services.
Flight Sergeant Stuart Simpson and myself were tied on to the back of a plane by a piece of rope. This was not high tech rope, just standard everyday rope that you could buy in the shops. At this stage I began checking that my parachute straps were done up nice and tight.
I saw the plane in front begin moving off and then we went for it. Stuart told me The first part of our training was to put a he would take us up, then I could start parachute on, jump into the aircraft and go flying- talk about being thrown in at the through pre-flight checks. Once we had deep end! It took us around a minute to mastered that we were off. My instructor, ascend and be released from the plane. Once released we began The Officers’ Pensions Society flying on our own. . It was fantastic. I had Chairman: never experienced anyAir Chief Marshal Sir David Evans GCB CBE thing like it in my life. General Secretary: Anxiously, I took control of the glider, flying Major General P R F Bonnet CB MBE through the air and The Society was formed in 1946 in the aftermath of the Second putting my faith in a World War to protect and promote the interests of retired officers and few plastic controls! It their dependants. Today, the aims of the Society remain much the same: they are to procure, where equitable, improvements in the was nerve wracking at Armed Forces Pension Scheme and to advise and assist members of first but once I got the the Society on Service Retired Pay and pension matters. The Society hang of it, easy. The works in co-operation with all the Service Associations and Charities. first flight was brief in The Society has brought about many improvements in the pen- order to familiarise us sions and benefits now available to officers and their dependants. And with the plane, so the so the Society’s activities are of critical interest to all officers to keep flight duration from abreast of what is happening in the field of Service pensions - and 1,500 ft to landing took joining the Society is one easy way of doing this. For example, memall of 5 minutes. Over bers of the Society can receive personal, expert advice on all aspects of the next few days we the Armed Forces Pension Scheme and the DSS War Pensions Scheme. Also, members are kept informed about Service Retired Pay, attempted at least 3-4 pensions and related financial matters through the Society’s popular flights per day. journal, Pennant, published twice a year in May & November. Membership is open to all serving officers, to retired officers, to dependants of serving or retired officers, and to widows of officers of the Armed Forces. Membership exceeds 50,000. The annual subscription is £17.00 for all, except widows and dependants of deceased officers, for whom it is £9.00. Full particulars and an application form can be obtained from: The Membership Secretary, The Officers’ Pensions Society 68 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, LONDON SW8 lRL Telephone: 0207 820 9988 Fax: 0207 820 9948 E-Mail: email@example.com
Household Cavalry News
DAY 2 The day went downhill from getting out of bed onward. I opened the curtains to discover black clouds and lightning in the distance. We would be unlikely to fly that day. Nevertheless, we still pre-
pared our kit just in case and I did in fact manage one flight before the heavens opened. Once that happened we had to return the gliders to the hangars and dry them off as gliders and rain do not mix well. Day 2 over.
Day 3 This is where it began to get interesting. This course was not what I expected it to be: turn up, jump into a glider and fly. Not a chance, you become Biggles himself. It felt incredible being up there giving it negative G, s- step aside Top Gun. I managed another 3 flights that day. Once you finish for the day everyone mucks in with returning gliders to the hangars before washing them down to remove bugs from the canopy. As you are flying at 55 knots, the bugs can become difficult to remove! Day 3 over.
Day 4-5 All I can say is FAB. I got another 8 flights in on these two days. We did virtually everything that it is possible to do in a glider. Had the course been longer and the weather better, some course members could have flown solo. The day was coming to an end and we had taken lots of flights. My pilot’s logbook was full and we were ready to leave, but it was not over yet.
The Weekend Once I got home and explained to my wife what I had been doing, she decided that she would have a go too, so on Saturday morning we left for Bicester. My wife jumped straight on to a glider and off she went. I managed a total of 15 flights, including some long distance and aerobatics flying. Sadly, gliding is not an all year sport, but who knows, maybe next year we could have a glider Recce Squadron?
Training - The Army of Today The Armour Centre By Captain MG Holden-Craufurd LG, Adjutant, Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment fter a year of training Phase II trainees for Mounted Duty in the Household Cavalry Training Wing, I have now been fortunate enough to take up another post in which I can affect the standards of training and expertise of not only the Household Cavalry, but also the Royal Armoured Corps as a whole. The position of Adjutant of the RAC Training Regiment in Bovington involves a great deal of advice giving to the Commanding Officer as to how he moulds his policies (within the Army Training and Recruitment Agency’s guidelines) for the training of armoured soldiers at Bovington. At present the whole system is under stringent review in order to increase the effectiveness of the Phase II package and hence to produce a more rounded individual for his Regiment. I therefore hope to be of some influence in the refinement of the 14 week course that all young armoured soldiers attend whilst with the Training Squadron.
The Phase II course is currently split up into three distinct components. Upon arrival, and after an initial administrative period, trainees will commence a two weeks signals course before embarking on the more relaxed period, lasting two weeks, in which they obtain their Category B Driving Licence. Once this has been achieved, they are then able to begin what most have joined to do, namely to learn how to drive a Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked). The CVR(T) course lasts a further 6 weeks before the now
qualified soldier returns to his hometown in order to ‘preach the word’ during a Satisfied Soldier tour. Although the majority of Household Cavalry recruits opt to spend their initial tour of duty at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, the number that pass through Phase II Training at Bovington have during my 7 months in post, acquitted themselves very well indeed. The credit for this may well be due to the professionalism of our country-wide recruiters, and the standards set at the Guards Company at Pirbright, but we certainly have less than our fair share of problems concerning trainees at Bovington. It must be noted however, that we have also found this to be the case of trainees received from the two Army Foundation Colleges recently set up at Harrogate and Bassingbourne. The Household Cavalry has only had 6 graduates from the revised Junior Leader scheme and from my experience, it is certainly an area worthy of increased interest for the training of our future young soldiers. Most readers will have sometime in their careers, spent at least one period of time posted to Bovington, for career development or to take up one of the many positions that Bovington offers. The infrastructure has remained largely untouched since the mid-seventies, however the personnel within have changed considerably. A large slice of the administrative organi-
sations such as the Military Transport, Fleet Management and Supply Departments are now entirely contractorised to civilian organisations. A great deal of the instruction is also carried out by blue overalled civilian instructors, most of whom are ex-service personnel, and the symbiosis seems to be running smoothly. To follow the new organisation of Bovington, a rebuild of the facilities and buildings is also planned and due to be completed before the arrival of the fourth reconnaissance regiment, The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, in mid 2001. Of course it is not all work and no play, and the Dorset countryside still offers up all the rural activities required to keep a young captain occupied, whether on his horse, or with gun in hand and his dog attentively (!) by his side. The opportunities for sport are also great, and after a season having cricket balls hurtling towards me in the name of the Royal Armoured Corps, I feel I am in a safe position to comment. Since arriving in post in May 1999 I have discovered the Armour Centre, and the Royal Armoured Corps Training Regiment within it, to be a dynamic organisation with ongoing and updated forward plans. From my situation I can say that the training of our soldiers is certainly not taken for granted, and improvements are continually being sort, within resources, to produce a high standard of young soldier who will be an asset to his Regiment.
An Adjutant at Sandhurst / Notes from Sandhurst By Captain C E O Allerton, LG t was only seven years ago that I first walked up the steps of Old College, with my soon to be ‘restyled’ postgraduate length hair, on my way to start what was then the newly created “Common Commissioning Course”. Today, apart from the odd exception in health and safety regulations, training area restrictions and some doctrinal developments, (born out of contemporary operational experiences in the Balkans) the course is fundamentally the same as it was then. An Officer Cadet will spend a year at Sandhurst, on a course that is divided into 3 terms. The first term is spent in Old College where they gain an
essential grounding in military skills (Basic Training with some extra bits!), before moving over to New College for their final two terms. It is in new college that each cadet really begins to practice and develop his/her own individual style of leadership. While, at the same time, building up an understanding of key operational concepts and military doctrine. The end result being a young officer who at the very least is equipped with the essentials to lead men competently. The YO’s course (Troop Leaders in our case) along
with in-house training at the regiment, then provides the Special-to-Arm skills that ‘finishes off the job’ – as it were. In January 1999 I had the privilege of being appointed as the Adjutant of New College. In mental preparation for the post I tried to remember exactly what I thought the Adjutant did when I was at Sandhurst. I have to admit I drew a bit of a blank. I had conjured up some rather dimmed memories of a chap, on a horse, looking smart (and little superior) but apart from that he appeared to do very little else. Though I do remember that he
Household Cavalry News
was not a man you wanted to see that often, as this usually meant you were ‘in it’ up to your neck. I can now freely admit that I perhaps drew some wrong conclusions?! Like any other adjutant, the vocation includes spending a lot of time plowing through small mountains of paperwork to produce still more mountains of paper for others to enjoy. However, what is perhaps unique about the Sandhurst experience is the extremely high rate of turnover of permanent staff as well as cadets. For this reason I have learnt (I hope) to act as the guide and director to all (directing staff and Cadets alike) who move through the college and who find themselves wondering - baffled - at the associated complexities of the Commissioning Course and academy politics. This perpetual turnover amounts to about 600 Officer cadets, 40 Officers and 50 Warrant Officers and SNCOs every year. My responsibilities are numerous but to keep the list short and at least relatively interesting to the reader I will mention the two most often associated with the post: Firstly, I organize the Commissioning Ball for each and every course. Despite some rain, 1850 people attended the August’99 Ball which proved a success. So if you are looking for contacts in ‘the trade’ do give me a call. I could possibly get you a good deal in dance floors, dogems or even Horizontal Bungie Jumps. Secondly, I ride on each of the major parades that take place every term. This
latter task I find extremely enjoyable as it gives me the chance to team up with my old charger from Knightsbridge, NEMESIS, who is coincidentally enjoying life in her new home. It should be noted at this stage that I am not the one who rides up the steps at the end of each Sovereign’s Parade. This is the role of the Photo courtesy of Jim Farrar. Academy Adjutant. The Author and Nemesis on Parade at Sandhurst. My job as the 2IC is to Though, as someone said afterwards take Junior and Intermediate Terms off (holding a video camera under his arm!) parade once the seniors (who are com“At last! A memorable parade”. I now missioning) have done their stuff, all relwait in fear of Candid Camera coverage atively simple - or so I thought. on television. Hence my admission with excuses now, as an exercise in damage I have to admit that I nearly came control? unstuck during the Summer Term, when asked at the last minute to be the Parade In conclusion – and as recruiter potential Commander for a TA commissioning Household Cavalry Directing Staff – I parade. With no parade experienced can recommend to every Non-Commischarger available anywhere, due to the sioned Officer who is looking for a Queen’s Birthday Parade, I took the calchance to do something challenging and culated risk of riding MANDARIN (not different, that they knock on one of the charger trained) who was whisked out of adjutants’ doors and ask for information retirement from Melton Mowbray for on postings as instructors to Sandhurst. the job. To his credit he looked superb in By all means pop in to see me for a quick the kit, however he became rather over rundown before signing up for any awed by the whole ‘out-at-the-front-byCadre. As for those who have been himself ’ and ‘where-am-I- anyway?’ through the Sandhurst experience firstexperience and duly persisted in revershand I can only recommend a return ing (at speed!) straight through the trip. The cadets still have Shining parade every time the band struck up. It Parades you know! was a messy affair to say the least.
Rejoining the Army By LCpl P D Garton n 1998, having decided that I had had enough of the Army, I thought I would start a new career in the fire brigade. 2 months after leaving, I attempted the Fire Brigade entry tests. The tests included the bleep test, a ladder climb, hose pipe running and gas mask tasks in a tunnel. Most of these were relatively straight forward however, I failed on the hose pipe running test. I should have paid more attention at the washdown.
I decided to revert to driving trucks as I had gained an HGV licence on my resettlement course prior to leaving the Army. Although the job meant that I was employed for a while, it was a very repetitive one with little career advancement prospects and quite frankly, it held no real interest for me. Two months after driving trucks, the company started to lay off people and I was one of them.
Household Cavalry News
Even though I had no interest in driving trucks, being unemployed was even worse. This was a bad blow to my confidence and morale. Life over the next couple of weeks became very unpleasant, as finding employment proved to be very difficult. A couple of months passed by and I felt at my lowest. My vision of life in Civilian Street wasn’t going to plan. It was at this point that I realised I had made a big mistake by leaving the regiment and the Army. I had joined the army at 16 years of age and served with the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment for 5 years. I had had a fulfilling and exciting life, where I did various ceremonial duties and the pleasure of trooping the colour four times. I then went over to the armoured
side of the regiment where I served for a further 2 years. I had been to countries such as America, Egypt and Bosnia. I had given up an interesting and varied career. Having had time to reflect on this, I wasted no time and went back to my local army careers office to sign up and hopefully carry on where I left off. It took about 6 months to go through the process of rejoining and I managed to retain my rank. Life in the army is far better than the one that I experienced in civilian life. It is very fulfilling even though there are times when you feel you have had enough. You have the companionship of your mates and the excitement of the job. I’m now back with my regiment and currently serving in Bosnia where I’m enjoying every minute of it.
HMS Westminster By Captain RAH Peasgood LG t was with great pleasure that I took on the role of Liaison Officer with our affiliated ship, HMS Westminster, as my nautical knowledge is at the best of times shaky and required a good deal of improvement. Thus it is that now we are forging ahead as never before in our relations with our Naval colleagues.
Until quite recently the closest any of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment had come to developing the bond between our two establishments was a quick Christmas card and a cheery letter of goodwill from Commanding Officer to Captain and vice versa, but that was all to change with the arrival of Lieutenant Colonel NMA Ridley LG as our Commanding Officer, and Commander JH Stanford RN as the Captain of HMS Westminster. The two chiefs decided that there were great advantages to be made from knowing one another much better and not only at the command level. With the Millennium fast approaching and HMS Westminster being docked in Greenwich over the entire New Year period, it seemed that fate had finally stuck a hand in to force the collaboration between ship and shore. After an initial visit to the Regiment by Commander Stanford, it was decided to begin a more detailed familiarisation package, starting with a ‘Sea Day’ held on board ship down in sunny Portsmouth. 20 soldiers and Non Commissioned Officers spent the day being shown around the ship, being taken for helicopter rides and generally discovering that space is even more limited at sea than at Knightsbridge!
“The Royal Navy prepares to mount Queen’s Life Guard”
This provided a good start and it was with a degree of trepidation that we received the fateful invitation for the Officers to join the Ship’s Officers in the Wardroom on board to celebrate Trafalgar Day. In many ways, this is the naval equivalent of Brickhanging and is celebrated in a similar fashion with large amounts of alcohol imbibed by all. During the meal we were entertained by speeches from both our own Commanding Officer and the Ship’s Captain, including the exchanging of gifts (we received a portrait of HMS Westminster and happily gave away a framed trumpet banner).
rehearsal as he sat in a carriage during preparations for the State Opening of parliament. It is thought that he is planning his revenge on the Commanding Officer by inviting him to go aboard HMS Westminster in the very early hours as she arrives in London as part of the Millennium celebrations. This has been the beginning of what we all hope will be a long and fruitful affiliation. With the New Year closing fast upon us the phone seems to be hot with communications for a celebration of some sort both on board in Greenwich and right here at home in Hyde Park Barracks.
Commander Stanford was able to enjoy the delights of an early morning
“Commander J Stanford RN standing in for HM The Queen on early morning drills in Hyde Park.”
“Lieutenant Commander C Percival RN and Commander J Stanford enjoying Regimental Drills”
Household Cavalry News
Exercise Maple Leaf Spruce Meadows September 1999 By Captain Mark Antelme - RHG/D he Masters at Spruce Meadows is now the Premiere show jumping tournament in North America. Fourteen national teams competed for in excess of $1.5 million over five days, watched by a daily crowd of 55,000 and broadcast to seventy countries. As is now something of a tradition The Household Cavalry were invited to take part. And so it was that six members of The Mounted Regiment embarked upon the trip to Calgary at the invitation of Mr and Mrs Ron Southern.
After a warm welcome we were dropped off at our hotel and given the chance to overcome our jet lag. Somewhat strangely line dancing was seen as the best cure for the time difference and so we bit the bullet and got straight into Canadian time at “Cowboys”. A place dear to the heart of many Spruce Meadows teams and Batus visitors before us. Our guided tour of Spruce Meadows on our first morning left us all slightly in awe of what has been achieved over twenty fours years of Spruce Meadows’ existence. The transition from the one paddock and two barns set up nearly a quarter of a century ago, to today’s state of the art venue seemed testament to the drive and commitment of the Southerns and their team. The horses we were given made us wish we had any one of our more difficult friends from Knightsbridge. On the first morning we discovered many of their vices. These ranged from the horse that somersaulted as soon as the girth was
LCoH Payne and Tprs Crowther and Burns in action.
Household Cavalry News
Tpr Crowther, Tpr Burns, Capt Anteline, Tpr Phelan, LCoH Payne and LCpl Woods, Spruce Meadows 99.
touched, to the “charger” with an ear complex. Under the guidance of LCoH Payne we made good progress and gradually introduced the horses to jack boots, scabbards, plumes and all. We had three days to get ourselves ready before the five days of the tournament. During this time LCpl “Rodriguo” Woods worked wonders with fitting all the kit and had his year made when mistaken for the Brazilian world champion. When “The Masters” started we were ready to go and embarked upon our new employment eagerly. We were performing one of two tasks. Either stationary guards, mounted or dismounted, or leading competitors around the arenas. The latter was called “The Radetsky”, after
the accompanying tune. This involved cantering around the arena leading the top ten competitors; The King’s Troop and a host of others. Our recce skills were called upon to select the best route around the mountainous jumps. In true Household Cavalry style we led the way with style and panache giving an “eyes right” to the sponsors on the way round. The Canadians were thrilled to have the Regiment there and were enormously welcoming. At the end of the day we would form up under the Canadian flag whilst our National Anthem was played. The cheers were always deafening. The amazing generosity of our hosts extended to giving us brilliant jackets and
Tprs Burns and Crowther leading the victors around the International Arena.
clocks that count down to the millenium (we might open the champagne seven hours late). We were included in a brilliant BBQ for the riders and all enjoyed meeting the British team and hearing LCoH Payne give the Whittakers some good pointers. At a dinner for the sponsors an officer from another ceremonial Regiment in London turned to the President of Samsung and with his best impression of a Brigadier asked, “Do you get back to Japan much?” to which the obviously unimpressed executive replied, “why would I know, I’m from Korea!”
After a fantastic nine days at Spruce Meadows we headed up to the Rockies for some adventure training. We were once again very well looked after, this time by Major Ted Turner and his team at Trials End Camp, part of Batus. We were kitted out, made “bear aware” and headed out into the most spectacular scenery imaginable. Out three days were divided between trekking, climbing and mountain biking, all around an area called Kannanaskis. Highlights of the adventure training include Tpr Burns displaying Spider Man tendencies at climbing, Tpr Phelan never quite mas-
tering the brakes on his mountain bike and Tpr Crowthers’ impression of the Marlboro Man at every opportunity. Perhaps best of all was the three of them running into the night from their tents fleeing a spider, leaving the rest of the group assuming there was a grizzly bear on the rampage. We returned to Knightsbridge having a fantastic trip and are all extremely grateful to the Southerns and their team for their exceptional hospitality.
Exercise Iron Horse The Household Cavalry Motorcycle Club’s Battlefield Tour of Northern Europe By Captain R R Philipson-Stow RHG/D he Regimental Motorcycle Club has been running for three years, but up until now has not seen much action due to constant tours of Bosnia. Since it was clear that the Regiment’s relationship with the Balkan region was destined to continue for quite some time it seemed as good a time as any for the Club to go on tour.
It was a sunny Cavalry Sunday afternoon when sixteen motorbikes left Hyde Park Barracks for Dover, and from there to Calais. As always, the first casualty was the plan, with many an hour spent waiting for lost comrades. It fell to WO2 (SCM) Harris RHG/D to lead the way to the first campsite which he did in spectacular fashion, one roundabout in particular becoming very familiar. It wasn’t until midnight that a rather disgruntled set of bikers arrived at their destination. Once the tents had been erected, and the beers opened morale was so high that even the deluge that caught the less well prepared couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm. On the second day the Club moved to a campsite in Le Quesnoy which had experienced fierce fighting in the First World War. The Club was in the area to visit Le Cateau; however, finding the various sites proved to be quite difficult. The Tour Officer attempted to get directions by communicating in French with the locals; unfortunately this only proved that there are two different languages, his and theirs! On returning to the campsite the club put its feet up at a Bar-B-Que organised by the truck driver (AKA the Officers’ Mess Manager) to celebrate the official launch of the Household Cavalry Motorcycle Club.
The next day saw the Club move to Mons passing through the town of Landreicies where the Guards fought in the streets on 25 August 1914, holding off the Germans and allowing 1 Corps to retreat. On arriving in Mons and finally locating the campsite we moved off following a Battlefield Tour route. Mons is remembered rather poignantly as the place where the first and last shots of the war were fired. The Club visited the sight of the first shot of the Great War, fired by Cpl Thomas of the Royal Dragoon Guards. For this distinction he was promoted in the field to Sergeant and received the Military Medal. In addition Mons is renowned for being the campaign during which the first two Victoria Crosses of the Great War were earned by Pte Godley and Lt Dease. A platoon of the 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers led by Lt Dease defended the old canal bridge over the Meuse. Every man in the Platoon was killed or wounded slowing the German Advance and allowing the remainder of the Division to withdraw. Lt Dease himself was killed whilst manning the machine gun in place of another wounded soldier. Pte Godley then took over and was captured after exhausting all the ammunition and destroying the gun. We then visited what was possibly the most sobering location of the trip, the Binche Cemetery. Resembling a landscaped garden with small well kept paths and shady grottoes, the cemetery had been laid out by the Germans at the start of the war. They buried both British and German casualties in small segregated areas, one of which is dedicated to the memory of the “Royal” Middlesex Regi-
ment. The Germans could not believe that any Regiment displaying such discipline and courage as the Middlesex Regiment was anything other than “Royal”. Nearby, in a small group, ironically facing each other, are the graves of Ptes J Parr, G Ellison and G Price. The former was the first Allied soldier to be killed in the Great War on 21 August 1914 whilst on a bicycle recce. Pte Ellison was the last British soldier to die on the 11 November 1918. The most lamentable of all is Pte Price who was the last Allied soldier killed in the Great War, just two minutes before the cease fire was announced. The Club finally arrived at the Wellington Centre (Waterloo), which had been sign-posted from every direction but the one used. On meeting up with our Belgian guide Serge, the Club spent two hours on a guided tour of the Battle Site starting with a general overview from “The Mound” followed by a tour of the visitors’ centre and panorama room. Sitting atop “The Mound” is a twenty ton lion dedicated to the spot where the Prince of Orange was wounded. To reach this imposing edifice we mounted two hundred and fifty steps, a very long way in leathers. One could only wonder at what the monument would have been like if the dashing Prince had actually been killed! After a brief stop at a high class colonial caterer (McDonalds), the Club proceeded to Brussels and after negotiating a bizarre Diversion around the equivalent of the M25 finally arrived at Mol for a well deserved rest, some bike maintenance and mosquito swatting. Thursday saw the Club on route to Nijmegen, stopping off at the Son Bridge
Household Cavalry News
where we met the family who lived at the bridge house during the Second War cycling past at the time. Our Flemish was worse than their English but we received an extremely accurate impression of what had happened. The bridge had been captured by units of the American 101 Airborne Division, who were quickly pushed back by the Germans who captured and executed the remaining Americans at the bridge. The next day the bridge was recaptured and the Americans met up with Lt Parmar, a Troop Leader with 2 HCR, to the south near Eindhoven. Lt Tabor, also with 2 HCR, met up with the 101st at the bridge which had been destroyed in the fighting. Here German prisoners were helping to repair the damage, one even telling a British Engineer to get out of the way as he was slowing things up. The following morning the Club set off for Amsterdam, CoH O Gook LG, by then having repaired his bike with sticky-back-plastic and a washing-up bottle. A brief stop at the Nijmegen bridge with WO2 Coleman starting his brief on the route to Arnhem and we were off towards that infamous town.30 Corps had been given the task of capturing the Nijmegen road bridge and relieving the Airborne Division.2 HCR was to support the 82 Airborne in the east of the town and to recce east and west of the bridge. On 21 September the push by 30 Corps had been halted short of Elst due to a bottleneck on the road. This ground did not favour tanks with waterways and dykes making movement off the road impossible. The ensuing bottleneck provided the 88 mm German guns with good shooting. Whilst this battle was taking place the Polish Airborne Brigade flew over and was dropped North West of Elst near Driel. On the 22 September there was a thick mist which Capt Wrottesley (2 HCR) used as cover to move his troop west following the River Waal and then the River Neder Rijn. He moved west around Elst and met up with not only RAF pilots from downed aircraft but also the Polish Brigade just South West of Driel. The Troop arrived just in time to assist the Poles in fighting off a German attack. It then assisted the 1 Airborne on the far bank by calling in artillery fire on to German positions. Later Lt Col C B McKenzie and Lt Col Myers swam the river and using the Troop’s radios sent the first message from Arnhem. 30 Corps then made a push North to relieve the troops at Arnhem with tanks of the 5/7 Light Dragoons and DUKWs of the 5 Duke of Cornwall Light Infantry. As they approached Driel, soldiers of 2 HCR showed recognition panels; however, in the half-light the lead tank failed to
Household Cavalry News
recognise the signals and fired two rounds at the 2HCR scout car killing Tpr Holmes outright. After this briefing the Club set off to Arnhem where we promptly got lost and ended up on one of the many cycle-come-footpaths. When WO2 Coleman eventually stopped at the front, much to his dismay, he saw a large group of bikes and one lorry behind him, being closely scrutinised by the Dutch Police. On nearing the front they inquired of WO2 Coleman “Are you zee Leader of zee Pack?” However, we soon found our way back to the beaten track and another handy McDonalds. By now the group was convinced that WO2 Coleman had either been using a MacDonald’s A Memorial dedicated to “Forces of The British Empire who fought in the road map to navigate first and last battles of the Great War.” L to R: CoH Robertson, WO2 (SCM) Harris, Capt R Phillipson-Stow, around Europe, or had LCoh Lovell, CoH Stewart, CoH Cook, SCpl Mills, LCoH Allum, shares in the company! CoH Moore, WO2 (SCM) Coleman, WO2 (RQMC) Godson. The Club then followed the spectacular route along the sea wall acknowledgement of the members of road to Zuider Zee, and ended up campHCR who had served and died there. ing in Amsterdam in a site in the middle of Haarlem which seemed to be entirely After laying the wreaths we proceeded to populated by Germans. the Menin Gate. A simple ceremony of sounding the last post at the Gate each The next day we packed up and set off evening at 2000 hrs has continued ever towards Zandvoorde along the motorsince November 1929, the only excepway and the long flat Dutch roads arrivtion being during the German Occupaing in the afternoon at one of the tion of WW2. There are 54,896 names smartest campsites we had yet stayed! engraved on the gate commemorating The small town of Zandvoorde near soldiers who died between August 1914 Ypres is situated on a hill which was and August 1917 and whose bodies were strategically important as it commanded never recovered. The day had been a a vital cross-roads. The Household Cavsobering one giving us much to think alry charged the slope from nearby Zilleabout. As we headed back to the campbeke on 26 October 1914, and in the site we were looking forward to a drink days that followed it manned trenches in at the bar. Unfortunately the bar had and around the village. It came under been commandeered by a large group of heavy German artillery fire, facing Belgian pensioners dancing to an oomretreat and complete annihilation. pah band. WO2 Harris was quite keen When the German XV Corps eventually to join them, but he was persuaded to took the town, they found dead and adjourn with us to the local town. wounded men still with their machine guns. With warming thoughts of home and loved ones we quickly packed our kit On the eastern edge of the village we and headed for port, and onwards back eventually found the Household Cavalry to Blighty. SCpl Brown finally arrived Memorial in the back garden of No 10, two ferries later and the Club was Brielen Road. The Memorial is situated reunited with its equipment at Hyde at the approximate centre of the British Park Barracks late in the evening. The position. It was built after the war on club has now had its baptism of fire and the site where the body of Lord Worsley is planning bigger and better trips in the (RHG) was found, where he had died future - next year to Italy. The new, manning a machine gun, single handedimproved bike club is open to all ranks ly holding off the German advance. We of the Household Cavalry past and prelaid wreaths at the Memorial in sent, as well as dependants.
Ex Capital Dragon A Battlefield Tour in North Vietnam By Captain CJ Trietline LG he aim of Exercise Capital Dragon was to study a conflict that progressed from postcolonial guerrilla war to the defeat of a superpower alliance possessing massive firepower and resources.
The Exercise comprised of two parts: the campaign study day and then the actual battlefield tour in Vietnam. The study day took place at Wellington Barracks on 02 December 1999 and very much set the scene for the tour, with speakers such as John Colvin, the Ambassador to North Vietnam based in Hanoi from 1965 to 1967 and Tom Abraham, a veteran of the American war in Vietnam. Tom Abraham was a Platoon Commander in the Air Cavalry, he was awarded four Purple Hearts, shot or wounded seven times, captured once and then escaped whilst being marched north up the Ho Chi Minh trail. We set off from Heathrow on 07 December 1999, not before we had found out that we were issued with the wrong visas and it was only after the Embassy in Hanoi stepped in that we were allowed on the plane. After spending a total of 14 hours in the air we arrived at the Hanoi International Airport. The Vietnamese Government supplied two guides (against our wishes). We were then informed that we were to pay them $25 a day each for the privilege. The first two days were spent in Hanoi, looking around the museums, acclimaCaptured American weaponry in Hanoi.
tizing and trying to work out the lethal Highway Code. On the first evening the Ambassador kindly hosted a drinks party at his residence in Hanoi. Not a Fererro Rocher in sight! The first museum we saw was the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh or Uncle Ho, as the people affectionately knew him. During the later years of the American war it is believed that his body was moved to Russia for safekeeping, but now he lies preserved in his glass coffin for all to see. The other museums were basically yards containing wrecks of either French or American aircraft, artillery pieces or tanks and buildings of ancient Viet Minh, VC or NVA kit neatly exhibited. We found a flamethrower that had destroyed 15 M-113’s, an AK47 that had shot down 13 F-111’s and an RPG that had destroyed 7 M-48 tanks (incidentally the RPG was used by a 7 year old child). From Hanoi we flew to the town of Dien Bien Phu that is situated about 50 km from the Laos border and about 300 km from the Chinese border. The battle of Dien Bien Phu has been recorded as one of the all time greatest military blunders. In early 1954 General Henri Navarre, Commander of the French forces in Indochina sent a force of 12 Battalions to occupy the Muong Thanh Valley to stop the Viet Minh from crossing into Laos and threatening the Lao capital of Luang Prabang. The ‘out post’ was under the overall command of Colonel Christian de Castries. The
Muong Thanh Valley is naturally divided by relatively fast flowing river and is sheltered by high mountains on all sides. Castries placed his troops into defensive positions around the edge of the valley bottom; he positioned his artillery assets on his central command bunker and at the southern end of the valley. Castries used an airstrip smack in the middle of the valley for resupply. With regards to small arms each defensive position (each named after one of his mistresses) was not mutually supportive of the other. The Viet Minh who outnumbered the French five to one, was equipped with 105mm artillery pieces and anti aircraft
Insignia on aircraft that crashed near Hanoi.
Household Cavalry News
guns which were carried by porters through jungles and across rivers in an unbelievable feat of logistics. The guns were placed in carefully camouflaged positions dug deep into the hills that over looked the French positions. A failed Viet Minh human wave assault was followed by weeks of artillery bombardment. The situation became one of a siege with only a trickle of supplies actually reaching the French, for the aircraft would no longer land but drop supplies from ridiculous heights which were blown miles off course. The French dropped a further six Battalions of Paratroopers into Dien Bien Phu as the situation got worse. Meanwhile the Viet Minh were creating an elaborate system of trenches and bunkers that stretched from the mountains to the actual French positions. Eventually the French positions were overrun after a 57-day siege and a total 13000 men were either killed or taken prisoner. Viet Minh casualties were estimated to be in the region of 25000. From Dien Bien Phu we flew back to Hanoi where we were due to transfer to Hue. Hue has been one of Vietnamâ€™s cultural and religious centres. The Nguyen emperors chose Hue as there capital, due to its central location. As a result they left the most amazing tombs, pagodas and most importantly the citadel. Heavy flooding has recently devastated the region of central Vietnam and the city of Hue has not escaped; there is a major international relief operation in progress. Tom Eagen our resident veteran took the podium. He was a Company commander in the US Marine Corps based in Hue. Hue was the site of the bloodiest battles of the 1968 Tet offensive and was the only city to be held by the North Vietnamese Communists for more than a few days. While the American command was con-
centrating its energies on relieving the siege of Khe Sanh, the NVA and the VC walked straight into Hue. Once the North Vietnamese had lodged the Communist flag on top of the citadel, they rounded up thousands of political subversives and literally clubbed them to death. The Communist flag remained hoisted above the citadel for 25 days. During these 25 days the South Vietnamese tried without success to rout the NVA and VC, at which point the US Marine Corp was ordered to recapture Hue. During the next few weeks, whole neighborhoods of Hueâ€™s New City (which surrounds the Old City and The Citadel) were flattened by US arclight strikes (B52 carpet bombing) and VC rockets. The VC and NVA were eventually forced back into the Citadel, which is surrounded by concentric moats and walls. Vicious house-to-house fighting followed the VC and NVA retreat. Approximately 10000 people died in Hue. The New City has been rebuilt, but the Citadel area remains much the same as the Americans left it, bullet ridden. From Hue we flew to Ho Chi Minh City more commonly known as Saigon. Surprisingly for a Communist country, Ho Chi Minh City is very westernised! We were fortunate enough to stay in the Rex Hotel, which housed most of the American command during the war. Here we were again introduced to the cyclo. It came as a shock to be pedaled around Ho Chi Minh City by a chap that speaks fluent English. Before the American war many cyclo drivers were doctors, teachers or journalists, but like many of their friends they were punished for siding with the Americans. After the ceasefire tens of thousands of them were stripped of their citizenship and sent to re-education camps for seven or more years. Over twenty years later it is impossible for them to return to their old jobs, as most do not have an official residence permit. It is, in fact, illegal for them to be in the
Disabled French tank overlooking the De Castries Bunker at Dien Bein Phu.
Household Cavalry News
city. On our last day in the city we tried to have a Household Division photograph. We had organised for six cyclos to be in the photograph but just before the photograph was taken a jeep skidded to a halt next to us, four policemen jumped out of the back, stole all of the cushions from the cyclos and sped away. The first battle we looked at in South Vietnam took place at Ap Bac a relatively remote hamlet south west of Ho Chi Minh city. The Americans were simply advising and providing equipment to the South Vietnamese at this stage. The South Vietnamese Army badly needed a large victory. The VC simply would not stand and fight; they were employing classic guerrilla tactics that made conventional fighting nearly impossible. Just after Christmas,1962, the South Vietnamese Joint General Staff ordered the 7th Infantry Division to seize a VC radio transmitter and to trap and destroy any VC at Ap Bac. Instead of being a triumph for the South Vietnamese and their American advisers, the Battle of Ap Bac became the beginning of the end for the Diem regime. This battle became a symbol of catastrophe of the American enterprise in Vietnam and for those Vietnamese who had put their trust in the Americans. The ground at Ap Bac is very open, consisting mainly of paddy fields supplied by relatively large irrigation dykes. American firepower did not help the South Vietnamese much against the VC. The guerrillas simply dug foxholes to hide in during the artillery bombardment. Thus, they were fully prepared for the South Vietnamese attack. Because of the irrigation ditches, the VC could be re-supplied with ammunition, and it made it easy to retreat if necessary.
SCpl (SQML) Hastings with local soldier in Dien Bein Phu.
the VC before darkness, and the VC was given an excellent chance to retreat under the cover of darkness. 350 VC had managed to stand up to a force four times larger who had the equipment and the knowledge (due to the attached American advisors) to effect an ‘All Arms Battle’. The VC lost 18 killed and 39 wounded.
Capt CJ Trietline and Lt Maxwell-Stuart on a disabled French tank at Dien Bien Phu
The VC opened up with murderous fire with .30 cal and .50 cal machine-guns against the American helicopters. Lieutenant Colonel Vann (commanding the 7th Infantry Division), being trapped in the back seat of his spotter plane, had observed that he had an adviser and three helicopter crews on the ground. Still, there was nothing he could do at the time, and the South Vietnamese unit was in danger of being overrun by the VC. Trying to rescue the trapped rifle company, Vann wanted to send his M-113s. At 11.10 a.m.,45 minutes after Vann had radioed for the M-113s for the first time, his APCs finally started to move to make a rescue attempt for the trapped infantry soldiers. Even with the superior firepower of the .50 cal guns on the M-113s, the South Vietnamese were not able to attack effectively the guerrilla stronghold of 350 soldiers. The gunner on a M-113 was not protected against enemy fire, and when the M113s tried to attack, the gunners became an easy target for the VC. The counter attack by the M113s was soon halted, mainly because of the ground. As the APCs became bogged in they became easy targets for the VC. The South Vietnamese were rapidly losing interest in engaging the VC. Vann, asking for assistance, wanted paratroopers dropped behind the VC stronghold to cut off any VC retreat. This request was effectively denied because the South Vietnamese Army commander Cao arranged for the paratroopers to be dropped at 6 pm, an hour and a half before darkness. This was convenient for both the South Vietnamese and the VC. For the South Vietnamese, this meant that they would not have time to attack
The Last Battle we were going to study was that of ‘Fire Base Coral’ an Anzac action. At this point Alistair Mackenzie became the brunt of our questions. He was a platoon commander in 1RAR. Although he did not actually fight at Fire Base coral he still had some very interesting stories to tell. Unfortunately we never actually managed to get to Fire Base Coral. A Parachute Regiment Commanding Officer geographically embarrassed, surely not!! The Anzac force realised early in their deployment the value of the Main Battle Tank even in the dense jungle environment of Vietnam for the Centurion was virtually impenetrable to the RPG. Splintex more commonly known as Canister was used extensively for clearing paths through dense jungle and mass infantry destruction. If the Anzac Infantry came under contact and could not identify the VC bunkers they would bring the tanks forward. The Centurions would simply fire Splintex at where they thought the VC were, clearing all vegetation from the bunker. They would then fire a couple of HESH rounds into the bunker with devastating effect. The British Army does not have the capability of firing canister any more because all MBT barrels are rifled. Alistair Mackenzie had some very interesting opinions on why the Anzac force was so successful compared to the Americans. The Anzac force deployed in exactly the same way a British force would, with a clearly defined regimental system that had undergone extensive specialist training for the jungle. A proportion of the Australian soldiers had fought in Borneo and all of them had trained in the jungles of Singapore or Malaya. The American basic battlefield discipline was poor compared to the Anzacs; this was mainly because the basic training an American soldier received was cut back to about six weeks before they were sent to Vietnam. Tom Eagen reinforced Alistair’s views on this matter. We then drove straight from wherever
SCpl (SQMC) Hastings in the tunnels at Cu Chi used by the Viet Cong.
we were to the VC tunnel complex at Cu Chi. Cu Chi is approximately 60 km north west of Ho Chi Minh City. At its height the tunnel complex stretched from Saigon to the Cambodian border, in the district of Cu Chi alone the tunnels stretched for over 250 km. The network, parts of which were several stories deep, included innumerable trap doors, specially constructed living areas, storage facilities, weapons factories, field hospitals, command centres and kitchens. The tunnels made possible communication and coordination between VC controlled enclaves isolated from each other by South Vietnamese and American land and air operations. After ground operations against the tunnel complex claimed massive American casualties and proved ineffective, the Americans resorted to massive firepower, eventually turning the Cu Chi area into ‘the most bombed, shelled, gassed, defoliated and generally devastated area in the history of warfare’. Only a small section of the tunnel complex is open for tourists, but it certainly provided a good incite into how the VC lived and worked under ground. The last morning of the battlefield tour was spent in Ho Chi Minh City shopping. Fake Zippos inscribed with comments like ‘death is my business and trade has been good today’ and old American dog tags seemed very popular! Hopefully this most successful and interesting battlefield tour will pave the way for many more in Vietnam. A lot of the lessons learned by the Anzac, French and American forces are definitely applicable in todays and future operational theatres, for this was the first truly ‘All Arms Battle’.
Household Cavalry News
Visit to Ethiopia with the International League for the Protection of Horses By (FQMC) FScpl Newman Throughout the three weeks a number of lectures, discussions, demos and practical lessons were covered, including basic shoe making techniques. During this time, the other consultants were busy with the nutrition and saddlery courses. Simple teaching aids such as copies of last year’s ‘Horse and Hound’ magazine, with clear pictures of healthy horses The aim of the farriery course was to and ponies with well fitimprove understanding of the principles ted shoes, helped greatly of farriery and to introduce specialist with the training. The tools, thus improving the efficiency and local food and drink were welfare of the working ponies, donkeys the only factors against and mules. The equines could work for us. Regular trips to the longer hours, thereby increasing the toilet and 20 rolls of toilet owners’ income, which would in turn paper later, the students raise the standard of living for both the would finally be getting owner and his equines. taught. This condition was caused by the local Ethiopia has some 7 million equines of beer, made in a large clay Farriery students learning to clench-up the nails after nailing the new shoe. 1 which approximately 2 /2 million are Tools supplied by the 1LPH. pot with roasted (burnt) working horses and ponies, 21/2 million corn in the bottom, and 1 are working donkeys, and around 1-1 /2 filled with muddy water from the stream. and double caulkin hind shoes made million are working mules. The remainThese ingredients were then left to ferfrom locally bought steel. With the der comprises riding or sport horses. ment for a week, with a piece of old sack absence of rubber covering the bearing The country also has about 50 billion to stop the flies getting in. After fermensurface of the hoof, the foot could funcmosquitoes, which found me one night tation, it was served with dead flies floattion properly (expansion) and breathe while drinking the local wine in our ing on top, muddy water in the middle, normally. Over the next couple of years, accommodation grounds. This resulted and finishing off with burnt, soggy corn! all the local farriers will have been taught in two very swollen ankles and a ‘telling the basics of modern farriery. off ’ the next morning by my interpreter, All three students came from the local whose father had died of malaria six area of Debre-Zeit, and had been ‘shoeEthiopia is a very beautiful country, months previously. Thank God for the ing’ horses for a number of years prior to with lots of water and plants in the area medical centre’s malaria tablets (which the course. By the end of the course all we were working in. Due to lack of are bigger than horse tablets!). students were capable of shoeing in their money and education, the locals find it traditional way, using modern tools to hard to make ends meet. My time in vastly improve the Ethiopia put me to the test both as a FQMS FSCpl Newman teaching through an Ethiopian interpreter standard of foot consultant farrier with very limited to two local farrier students. dressing, shoe makequipment and supplies, and as a human ing and shoeing. being seeing both people and horses suffering from diseases that in their counAll of the horses try could not be treated, resulting, in shod in this area had most cases, in death. This situation was shoes of rubber cut only made easier to deal with through from old tyres with a my fifteen years of Army life and discimetal insert, which pline with the Regiment. had six nail holes in, for the home-made A follow-up course is planned for Februnails to hold the ary 2000 and again later in the year. This shoe on. During the vital humanitarian work provides the course the students Forge Department with hands-on trainwere shown to ing in testing conditions, which has replace these with already benefited the Department in plan-stamp front many ways. uring 1998 the ILPH (International League for the Protection of Horses) asked me to go to Ethiopia to look at the local shoeing skills being practised in the Debri-Zeit area about two hours drive south from the Capital of Addis Ababa. After the visit week long visit, a three week course was organised for June 1999 to teach saddlery, nutrition and farriery. Each course was run by three consultants, with ex Cavalry Saddler, Andre Bubear as team manager and myself as the farrier consultant.
Household Cavalry News
HMCR Participation in a Romanian Expedition By F/LCoH Carrel D W C F BII (Hons) uring May 1999, I was part of an Anglo-Romanian mounted expedition to ride across the Romanian Steppe, following the footsteps of Stephen the Great. With me were four British civilians, including the expedition organiser Mr Julian Ross, and two riders from the Romanian Army. My job, as well as riding, was to provide farriery assistance to the expedition.
We said our farewells to Britain on Tuesday 18th May 1999, aboard the Hoverspeed ferry leaving Dover heading for Ostende in Belgium. We passed through Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria and Hungary, finally crossing the Romanian frontier at Oradea. The next few days was spent driving through Romania to collect the six ponies of Lipizzaner type from a Romanian Army a mountain unit based at Miercurea Ciuc. Interestingly enough, this unit still uses some 150 or so of these ponies on mountain exercises, transporting supplies over terrain and conditions unsuitable for vehicles. I spent a day shoeing a couple of these ponies, showing their farrier a few British skills. Unfortunately, there are no forms of training or Government laws for farriery in Romania at all. Younger lads just simply learn the very basic skills from their fathers along with trial and error. The expedition started on the 26th May at Suceava, consisting of 6 ponies, Julian Ross upon his mare, an open topped mil-
itary lorry transporting horse-feed and supplies and a back up van carrying personal kit. We were covering approximately 25/30 km each day, making overnight stops, either at Monasteries or places of interest connected with Stephen The Great - a King who ruled the Moldovian region of Romania between 1457 and 1504. Now the Patron Saint, he is regarded as a historical idol, who built churches and monasteries, inspiring countrymen to work for him and defend the wealth and realm of the country.
affordable as opposed to 10 or 12 times annually in Britain.
I was paying particular interest to how the horse was being used and quite often exploited throughout the country. We passed through numerous villages and around each village there were vast areas of farmland divided into narrow strips growing a variety of crops, creating a patchwork quilt effect. Farming is the primary industry of northern Romania. Not many people can afford tractors, so every villager owns a horse and cart. Most people are up at first light and on the fields - returning after dark every day of the week, to make ends meet.
Towards the end of the six week trip, I spent five days working in a livery yard housing about 25 horses - most of them English thoroughbred stallions, all very well worked, groomed and looked after except for the shoeing. I thought I could do a lot of good here by showing the riders and owners what a well-shod horse should look like and how much better it works. I also corrected a few foals/yearlings’ feet with foot trims and pathologically shod a 4 year old stallion that had a grasscack in it’s foot. All the work I did I photographed for my own records.
The condition of the horses, generally, was very good, probably owing to the lush green countryside and plentiful clean water supply from numerous wells and springs. The standard of shoeing, however, was very poor and in some cases it was quite upsetting to see such a lame horse being flogged up a hill pulling a heavy load. It is normal to shoe ‘your’ horse maybe 3 or 4 times a year if
Now the people within that yard are very interested in me starting a shoeing school in Romania. I have now generated an interest in some of the younger lads who are keen to learn. I am sure that, with some help from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment together with the International League for the Protection of Horses, this could materialise.
The forge in the barrracks at Mercurea Cive where the ponies were from.
The style of shoes they use, together the difference in the Romanian approach broadened my shoeing experience. I was applying such shoes with calkins, handmade by myself, to the six ponies we were using. I took with me a portable gas forge, anvil and stand plus all my tools, nails and horseshoes necessary to do the job. This equipment fascinated everyone, especially the machine-made concave fullered shoes I took.
Examples of the primitive tools used by the Romanian Farriers.
Household Cavalry News
The 50th Edinburgh Tattoo By Malcolm Torrent, Director of Music, The Life Guards he Edinburgh Tattoo is one of the most spectacular shows in the world, enjoyed by an international television audience of 100 million.
But there’s no substitute for being there as part of the 200,000 strong audience over the three weeks season on Edinburgh Castle’s Esplanade. The ticket sales reached 100 % this year and The Band of the Life Guards were part of that show. The band appeared at the very first tattoo, and it was 1954 since their last appearance, so it was fitting that the band should appear at the 50th Tattoo during August 1999. After just two and a half days rehearsal, the 800 strong cast performed every night, twice on Saturdays, from 5th – 28th August to a packed full house of 9000 strong. The atmosphere was electric. It was quite a feat to co-ordinate such an event in such a short time. It ran like a well oiled machine thanks to the professionalism displayed by all. The music this year began with an especially composed fanfare followed by the Pipes and Drums in traditional vogue. There followed musical performances from bands as far flung as Barbados, Missouri and Vancouver adding colour and variety to the tattoo.
Of course, the Household Cavalry added their own dimension in the form of a display by The Band of The Life Guards followed by the combined bands of the Cavalry in a selection of Regimental Music familiar to the audience……. Post Horn Gallop, Radetsky March, and The Soldiers Chorus from “Faust”, complete with 80 strong choir!! The finale produced that special tattoo sound and vibrancy familiar to the Edinburgh spectacle with massed pipes, choirs, violins, drums and military bands, along with the whole cast, giving the audience the feeling of wanting yet still more! The horses, stabled at Redford Cavalry Barracks, were exercised daily on the band watering orders. They were then groomed and prepared for each performance with assistance from a team of grooms supplied by the Mounted Regiment. The locals at Colington, the village close to the barracks, became accustomed to the familiar clip clopping past their bungalows every day as the tattoo participants rode by. From the wail of the bagpipes, unnerving to say the least, even the sight of them was enough to spook them at the outset. But gradually, they all settled down and became used to the floodlights, the eagerness of the audience, the cobbled streets and the continual travelling between the castle esplanade and Redford Barracks.
The Edinburgh Tattoo Cavalcade, Princes Street, August 99
Household Cavalry News
At the end of every performance, to the cue, “Scotland, Scotland the Brave”, a burst of loud fireworks heralded the end of the show. It was sensible to remove the horses from the esplanade prior to this display, which was stage managed almost to perfection. That is, apart from Saturday night’s second performance at Midnight when the pyrotechnics lasted for twelve minutes set to dramatic film music at a hundred decibels and just about every conceivable firework going up in smoke. It was a close call for many of the horses. They were terrified by the din and it took both musicians and grooms alike extra resolve to control the animals and relieve their distress at the loading points to box up and clear out.
The Opening fanfare.
Apart form the Band of the Life Guards, we were joined by the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards with their Drum Horse “Ramilles” and four greys. The Band performed extremely well over the three weeks and it was an experience few will forget, least of all, “Cruchen III”. He was the Regimental Mascot of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, a Shetland pony who paraded on each performance with the Guard of Honour. With a particular reference to one night, the “Pony Major” went to check this miniature stallion in Redford Barracks to discover a note stating “Dad, I’ve gone to join the Household Cavalry!” That’s right, he was kidnapped by the grooms and spent the night in the Life Guards stables. He got his own back though. My horse, Kittyhawk decided to go into season in the last week of the performances. No worries normally when all around are geldings. But she knew that there was something around and was eager to find it. Well, it was Cruchan of course. Such a match would be almost impossible, but Kittyhawk, old though she is, acted up like a five year old!! The Tattoo goes to New Zealand in March taking hundreds of pipes from many countries of the world plus a variety of bands. Not the Band of the Life Guards this time, but the Band of the Scots Guards. I wish them every success.
Exercise Kape Crusader By CoH S Welsh RHG/D xercise KAPE CRUSADER originated from an idea to ride from Edinburgh to London in full state kit, raising money for charity. However due to the inherent risks to man, beast and equipment, it was decided to change the trip into a Tour of prominent cities in the United Kingdom. The plan was to spend two days in eight cities between Edinburgh and London, spending the first day carrying out recruiting tasks, and the second day collecting money for the tour’s chosen charities - The International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) and the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).
It was at this stage that the Team realised just how much work was involved. The Tour was to visit Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Leeds, Liverpool, Nottingham, Cardiff and London. It consisted of one officer (Captain R R PhilipsonStow), two Mounted Duty NCOs (CoH Welsh and LCoH Arkley), two grooms (Tprs Cooper and Skingley), one driver (Tpr Royston), one farrier (FLCpl Turner) and three horses (Yankee, Othello and Umpteen). Clearance had to be obtained from Army Districts, Police Authorities and Local Councils, with a myriad of paperwork having to be completed at every level right up until departure - and beyond! The recruiting aspect of the tour went very well, with the team collecting many committal cards, and receiving a lot of interest in the regiment. On this level we were also able to tie up with the regimental recruiting officer, Captain R P
Manning and his band of merry men at a number of the locations visited, including an evening display to a local Army Cadet group in the Liverpool area. From a publicity point of view, the tour was very well received by all the local newspapers and radio stations, as well as a number of local television and cable networks. Another aspect to the publicity was the fact that we were able to talk to the public who only ever see us on parade and never get the chance to talk to us or ask questions. Everywhere we went we were well received and drew large crowds of all ages and from all walks of life; including a new age traveller in Nottingham who was arrested for placing his pet rat on one of the police horses back. The local mounted police branches were excellent. In every city we visited they provided a mounted escort, which remained with the tour throughout the day. In every city (except Edinburgh, Cardiff and London) the mounted branches provided food and accommodation for the horses, and in Leeds for the team as well. This enabled the team to save as much money as possible so as to maximise charitable collections. To ensure the maximum interest of those taking part, the team ran an internal competition to see who could collect the most money. Tpr Cooper was well in the lead from day one, however, he let his guard down and Tpr Skingley piped him at the post with just over £ 1,300 collected in eight days. Both charities received a cheque from the Commanding Officer
CoH Welsh on Umpteen and LCpl Arkley on Yankee assist the Welsh Award Recruiting Officer Capt Hartford WG in Cardiff whilst on Ex Kape Crusader.
CoH Welsh RHG/D on Ex Kape Crusader.
in Covent Garden on the last day of the tour in excess of £1,800 each, and for this the Regiment featured in both charities’ newsletters. The tour was a very satisfying one, which enabled us all to understand the complexities of arranging such a project, even if the local council paperwork saw Captain R R Philipson-Stow lose his hair on more than one occasion. Due to its success and the amount of money raised (over £4,000), the tour is bound to feature in future years, probably in different cities or regions around the country. But wherever it is held it is sure to be of great benefit to the Regiment.
The Commanding Officer of the Mounted Regiment, Lt Col NMA Ridley LG, presents a cheque to the ILPH at Covent Garden on completion of Ex Kape Crusader.
Household Cavalry News
The New Girl By Captain JF Holmes RAVC joined the Regiment in July of this year as the Regimental Veterinary Officer, a position to which I felt privileged to be appointed. Having previously spent 3 years at Melton Mowbray, I knew most of the horses and was confident of my clinical ability; picking my way through the minefield of regimental custom was a far more daunting task. I had also completed a tour in Bosnia, so at least my tunics, if not my operational experience, matched those of the other officers.
On arrival, I spent several weeks wandering around in the wrong form of dress and irritating the Regimental Corporal Major (vets have a tendency to look scruffy no matter how hard they try). My allegiance was directed to the ‘Blues and Royals’ and I adopted Lt-Col SmithBingham’s Service Dress jacket, much to his amusement, and plagued SCpl Button for my Blues. Fortunately, Major Clayton’s No.1 Dress Hat fitted comfortably. Most other articles were obtained by frequent trips to civilian firms who struggled to fit the female form. I had six weeks in which to acclimatise to London life before we headed off to Norfolk for Regimental Training. Once we arrived at camp, dress codes changed and, comfortingly, green kit was back in. It also gave me the excuse to buy some new evening dresses. The only other essential clothing at camp was sports kit for the HQ Squadron ‘beer can’ team, required whilst entertaining the Seniors’ Mess (I’m not sure who came out on top…… the Adjutant, HQ Squadron Leader or myself!).
Camp was great fun for (wo)man and beast, the horses thriving on fresh air and grass underfoot. From a veterinary viewpoint, very few injuries were sustained, the most serious being Nurenburg’s collision with a cross-country practice fence. Although it was a tiny fence, he managed to fracture a bone in the back of his left knee, and has been box rested ever since. It is healing well (as is CoH Jones’ collarbone) and Nurenberg should be back on parade next spring. Camp allowed me to get to know the Farriers, for whom I am responsible. Swaffham was an ideal setting in which to discuss therapeutic shoeing, new theories on four point contact shoeing and body piercing……. one type of metalwork I plan to steer clear of. However, the Farriers are proving to be a dedicated team, keen to learn more and improve their skills. We have worked hard to schedule in regular continuation training for all HCMR farriers back at Melton Mowbray, so that no one stagnates within their career, whatever their ability. We also plan more trips abroad with the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH). Back in London, I am slowly reclaiming ‘Sick Lines’ for the sick, much to the Riding Staffs’ chagrin. We are fortunate to have the use of a padded knock down box for minor operations, which doubles as a monitoring box for the more serious colic cases. Sgt Tidy RAVC, the Regimental Veterinary Technician, is working hard to build up the equipment list; he is also spending a lot of time teaching recruits and generally encouraging sol-
Capt Holmes operating on Our Chester assisted by FCoH Lawson.
diers to improve their basic stable management skills. The horses seem to appreciate this. I have now completed my first State Visit without mishap and look forward to being part of the action on the Major-General’s Parade next year, where I am to wear similar uniform to the Colonel of the Blues and Royals, HRH The Princess Royal. Over the winter, I will be locating and inspecting retirement homes for some of the ‘old and bold’ horses, who have done their time in Knightsbridge. There are also one or two younger horses that simply do not suit the system but would thrive in a different setting. This rationalisation should keep the Household Cavalry horses a stronger and fitter ‘herd.
The British Tentpegging Team Tour of South Africa By LCoH Weston LG aving won the Master at Arms at the last Royal Tournament, I was selected by the British Tentpegging Association to join a mixed team of soldiers, policemen and civilians for their forthcoming tour to South Africa.
At Heathrow, there was some confusion as to who was responsible for the excess baggage, but thanks to some fast talking we were able to get away with it, and after a 12 hour flight we arrived in Johannesburg. We were met by some of the South Africans who had come over to England earlier in the year to compete at
Household Cavalry News
the last Royal Tournament. Our expectations of glorious sunshine were quickly disappointed by the overcast skies and chilly breeze. Finally, after a four-hour minibus ride punctuated with stops for food and beer, we arrived in Newcastle, Natal. Our home for the next two weeks was a police-training depot. The next day we went to the show ground to draw our horses for the following day’s competition. With the draw complete we set off to find our ‘horses’ – nothing was over 14.2HH. Mine was a
grey gelding, which I had for the next two days. We spent the rest of the day practising with our new mounts. Not only did we have to get used to the lack of height and build of the ponies, but also we had to adopt our style of tentpegging to South African rules. The South African pegs are made of cardboard, so they cannot be hit as hard as wooden pegs or else a big hole is punched through it or they fly off the lance. The competition took the form of 10 disciplines, which were:
Pegging Lance Pegging Sword Lemon and Peg Ring and Peg Sword, Lance and Revolver
Sword Lance Indian File
Lemon and peg, Indian File and Overarm Ring and Peg are all disciplines which are not practised in England. We were able to give the South Africans some competition, but the prize-giving that evening showed us that the next two British and South
weeks were going to be hard work, especially when we found out that most people in South Africa start to learn tentpegging at five years of age. Practice makes perfect, and at the next competition we did better, often taking the South Africans to run-offs and even managing to steal a gold for Indian File from under their noses. The next day was a rest day and we went to a game reserve. As luck would have it, the British weather was following us and most of the animals had taken to the bushes and woods to seek warmth and shelter. We did, however, see a giraffe, springbok and some over-passionate baboons!
The third competition, in which we were invited to participate, was held over three days and was to select African teams at the Opening Ceremony. the new South African National team for the 1999/2000 season. It took three days for everyone to complete the 10 disciplines due to the sheer number of competitors – roughly 230, a far cry from the 30 to 40 competitors in Great Britain. There was some excellent pegging with many competitors riding the full score of 222. There was even a husband and wife
LCoH Weston Overarm ring and peg.
team, both still competing at the age of 74! By the end of the three days, the team was selected. This was to be our next challenge. The last competition was next day. By this time, both riders and mounts were feeling the pressure of continuous competition. Despite a good fight to the end and everyone improving on their individual scores, we were defeated again. Better luck next time! My abiding impression of my time was the generous hospitality of our South African hosts, who made us feel very welcome throughout. All in all, I had a very memorable two weeks, and it would be an honour and a privilege to compete against the South Africans again.
Metal Fatigue By LCoH T J Callow RHG/D “Who is this happy warrior? Who is he, that every man in arms should wish to be?” The eagle officially landed and spread its ‘wings over the metal factory on the 4th June 1999, when the hand-over by the Light Dragoons was completed and the C Sqn RHG/D flag was raised above the Ops room. The squadron really had to hit the ground running, with no real time to get accustomed to our new environment. We had to partake in some serious on the job training as our area was approximately 2000 km sq, covering 4 Opstinas, (municipalities) which, in turn encompassed 5 major towns, 4 main routes, 3 large bridges, 2 airfields, one of which was international and all the little
villages, hamlets, tracks and waterways in between. Using the metal factory as ground zero, the squadron began to radiate outwards in a northerly direction as we started to get to know our new homes. One troop, under Lieutenant R T Sturgis and CoH Horner were to operate out of their troop house situated in the town of Prnjavor, to the north-west of Banja Luka. Two troop, led by SCpl Farmer and CoH McCarley were the proverbial unwanted ginger stepson as we had no area. We became the “in camp troop” acting as QRF, monitoring any training and movement serials, all will become clearer later.
Three troop, under the direction of Lieutenant R T Lewis and CoH Musgrove had the area around a small town called Srbac, but with no troop house they had to commute from the metal factory. Support troop, in the ever watchful glare of their leader, Lieutenant M P F Dollar and CoH Trinick were handed Laktasi, described as the “Hollywood of the Republic” and its surrounding area. Lastly, but by no means least we have GW troop, under Lieutenant D I Scott and LCoH Hooker based at the second troop house in the northern-most town of Gradiska.
Household Cavalry News
Based in the metal factory on a permanent basis were our SHQ and Admin troops along with the LAD, G2, G5 and as already stated, the in camp troop. For a majority of the squadron, this was not the first time in the Balkans and so we knew what to expect. What was a little surprising was how little Banja Luka itself had been affected by the conflict, there was the odd little indication that something had occurred but by and large I personally was of the opinion that, Banja Luka was just another cosmopolitan eastern European town. Driving down its’ wide centre boulevard, tree-lined and well lit, you could easily make the mistake that you were either in Paris or Rome. Reality doesn’t let its guard down for very long and in a few short kilometres from the town centre you get a feel for the area in its’ true guise. The further you get from Banja Luka, the more war damage and poverty can be seen and it’s only in the larger built up areas that a feeling of normality is portrayed. In these more populated villages and towns, the locals seem to survive on café bars, car washes and the motor repair trade to make their money, with road-side shops and flower sellers left to fight for any remaining trade. In the out-lying villages and hamlets, the people survive on what they can grow and what they can kill, pig being a very popular target and it’s in these areas that it really hits home what a simple and difficult life the locals lead. Only by driving around in a CVR/T can you get a feel for the area, and we did that in abundance. Whilst the other troops were out and about getting to know their respective domains and all of their inherent problems, my troop was to be the in camp troop. Our duties included providing a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), supplying men to aid SHQ with radio stags and runners for the Ops room and also the monitoring of training and movement serials. These involved driving to the local VRS barracks, of which there were many and then keep tracks on any troop movement, observe their training and fill out reports on their competence as soldiers. We also aided LCoH Dewe with his site inspections, which gave us the opportunity to view the Serbian military machine up close. They gave the impression that they weren’t too enamoured with this arrangement, but after a couple of visits they became quite friendly. In our free time we had the added bonus of constant hot water, decent accommodation, and the use of many facilities dotted around the metal factory. For example the gym, where members of the sqn felt compelled to build muscle and hence put on weight, or Tommy Tuckers where the rest of us feeble mortals felt compelled to eat
Household Cavalry News
3 Tp C Sqn on patrol, Savici, Bosnia.
pizza and doughnuts and hence put on weight the easy way.
maybe, just for a couple of hours, we forgot about where we were.
During the summer months many of the troops managed to fit in some recreation into an already busy schedule, whether it was sending the lads down to Brac for some water sports, or using some of the local bathing establishments. With the weather so good it went without saying that the sun worshippers would be out in force, and our airborne brotherhood of LCsoH Brown, Anderson and Burton took that particular pastime to a completely new level. GW troop leader and his merry men managed to track down some sand and, within a few days our new volleyball court was constructed. The sqn then held an inter troop competition which was eventually won by the LAD, which goes to show that you neither need to be particularly tall or particularly young to play volleyball. Tiffy Rogers and Sgt Eley being living proof that someone, somewhere has cracked the theory of cryogenics. Most Saturday nights we managed to fit in a quiz of some description which my troop proved far too clever for everyone else, even the Sqn Ldr and his team of Mensa reps were no match for us. The quiz nights soon degenerated into a verbal minefield of cheat allegations, insinuations and the type of sleaze that would shock a Tory politician, and eventually the gloss of the event became tarnished and dwindled away into obscurity. CoH Ashdown put on a very successful race night, with a lot of money being thrown away on “some old nag”. The biggest winner on the night was LSgt Jackson who won enough money to wipe out a small African Nations’ debt and then denied completely that he’d seen the feature races a week earlier on R&R. All of these events did a great deal to ensure we had fun and
On the sporting front, we entered a 5 aside team into the Metal Factory league and we were doing really well, giving out a few lessons in sexy football until unfortunately we had to withdraw due to commitments and people going on courses. We also played a couple of local teams in full internationals and again we faired quite well. We never won but lost with dignity and scored goals into the bargain, LCpl Ireland chalking up a few and holds the dubious honour of having scored more goals for his country than Andy Cole. More recently we sent a ruby 7’s side down to Makarska to compete in the Croatian War Veterans 7’s competition. This tournament is considered the premier event in the Balkans and it was no mean feat that our team eventually won, beating the Croatian War Veterans, who were fielding a trio of ex internationals. Amidst all of these sporting and recreational activities we still had a very definite job to carry out and with the onset of winter it has become harder due to the weather. But, as with everything else that has been sent our way, we’ve carried on doing what we do and doing it well. At the time of writing we still have a fortnight to go before most of us finish and there is already 6 inches of snow on the ground. We still man the troop houses sending out regular patrols and we still keep a weather eye on the VRS. During this tour many of us have had to be anything but soldiers. We’ve been police, social workers and lumberjacks, but through it all the members of the squadron have done their respective job with true cavalry panache, being flexible, versatile and above all else professional which we hope would please the SCM enormously.
The Travelling Escort of The Life Guards with Sovereign’s Standard on the Occasion of The Opening of the Scottish Parliament by Her Majesty The Queen, Edinburgh, Thursday 1st July 1999 By: Captain RJCD Phelps, The Life Guards; Escort Commander he last time that there had been an escort of Household Cavalry in Scotland was on the occasion of the State Visit to Edinburgh of the King and Queen of Norway in 1994. This had been a Sovereign’s Escort and is commemorated by an admired painting by Miss Tessa Campbell-Fraser, which hangs in the Officers’ Mess at Hyde Park Barracks. Five years later Scotland and Wales received regional assemblies as part of the new Labour Government’s election promises on Devolution. The Welsh decided on a simple affair, with the Queen arriving by motor car and therefore not escorted by her Household Cavalry. The Scots, perhaps aware that they at least had been a separate kingdom rather than just a principality, decided in favour of a carriage procession with Household Cavalry escorting Her Majesty from the Palace of Holyrood House up the Royal Mile to the initial location of the Scottish Parliament.
Whilst the ceremonial was based on the idea of a State Opening of Parliament at The Palace of Westminster, it was a very much scaled down version. The first remark made at the initial planning conference I attended in Edinburgh Castle was that this would not be a “state” opening. I came to hear the oft used word “modern” with a jaded resignation.
In 1994 the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment had been billeted in Redford Cavalry Barracks, on the western outskirts of Edinburgh. An imposing set of Victorian buildings of grey stone, it was a purpose-built cavalry barracks, and whilst the stalls in the old stable lines had been removed to improve storage space, they were re-erected where our horses had been stabled five years before. Many of the horses names remained on the wall as a reminder of our former occupation. Since it was not to be a “state” occasion we went north with a travelling escort with standard, which is 19 mounted on parade. We were therefore a small party of 30 in all, and our installation at Redford was made smoothly, thanks to the advance party’s work under the Forage Master, CoH Haddon, LG. The Veterinary Officer Maj HRS Carruthers LG.
We were to be in Edinburgh for just 6 nights, with an Early Morning Rehearsal (EMR) the day before that actual opening, after which we were to return to Knightsbridge. It was clear from the various planning conferences that our hosts, both civil and military knew little about us. In anticipation of possible interference in our ways of operating, the adjutant, Captain AD Dick, RHG/D, had wisely gained specific permission from
the Lord Chambelain. Lord Camoys, for us to wear escort rehearsal order for the EMR to save unnecessary cleaning of state kit. In theory, every soldier had packed cleaned uniform into their tin boxes before leaving! Captain Dick’s predictions proved to be very much on the mark when it became clear at the first brief from headquarters
The Travelling Escort, with Standard, about to move into position.
Household Cavalry News
52 Lowland Brigade (who were running the Services involvement in the Opening), that they expected us to sit around on our horses each afternoon whilst the infantry sharpened up their rifle drill. Apparently this would lend some realism to their practising for the big day. Clearly some diplomacy was called for, especially since even a not-very-senior Captain of The Life Guards is presumably junior to a Brigade Chief of Staff. There was no question of this being debated so I went to speak to the Brigade Commander, Brigadier the Hon Hugh Monro. He seemed to know more about the Household Cavalry and stated that since we were professionals at these matters and his Brigade frankly was not, he would not dream of having our daily routine interfered with. Whilst this did not endear me to the Chief of Staff, who for some reason seemed amazed that I should speak to one so lofty as a Brigadier, it gave us the autonomy we needed and averted much wasted time. Despite this slight teething problem, relations were good with the other uniformed personnel. I heard from several sources that we quickly made a good impression on those in the barracks who really had no idea what to expect. Credit for this must not only go to the NCOs and especially The Life Guards SCM. Corporal Major Lanahan, but also to the troopers. I really had a rather easy task, since all showed a strikingly high degree of teamwork, maturity and discipline. On another occasion the representative from the roads department of Edinburgh City Council drew a meeting’s attention to the problem of dung removal. This was a large coordination Lt CJ Trietline LG on Wyndham, fine head carriage.
conference with over 45 people from every conceivable “agency”. We had previously been discussing procedure at Holyrood. It had inevitably been mentioned that the remainder of the Household Cavalry detachment who were not part of the escort would be at Holyrood to help us. The man from the roads department conceived of an idea whereby these spare men would clear up horse manure from the entire escort route, once we had dismounted. This was not a time for effete erudition so I told him that it simply wasn’t our concern. It was, however, a most amusing interlude and afforded some cause for chuckling. Brigadier Hughie and his staff had a difficult job in planning the Opening, since the uniformed part of the event was only a fraction of it. There were 350 street liners as well as many detachments from all three services. The EMR went well and the relatively steep incline of the largely cobbled Royal Mile did not prove too much of a trouble to Windsor Greys or Cavalry Blacks. Our man at the roads department had done his stuff with the sand. The actual day came and was a strange fusion of the old and the new. The Queen’s Body Guard for Scotland, The Royal Company of Archers, were to take part, but only at the main front of Holyrood when the Queen got into her carriage. Sadly many of Scotland’s holders of important hereditary positions were excluded, such as the Hereditary Royal Standard Bearer for Scotland, the Earl of Dundee and the Hereditary Bearer of the National Flag of Scotland, the Earl of Lauderdale. There was intense Political concern
that the ceremony should be indicative of a modern Scotland, although I did not meet a single person who had any interest in the assembly itself. For the Mounted Regiment at least, we were doing what we have always done, and it was constantly stressed that we are a British Regiment and that there had been a Scottish Troop of The Life Guards in the 17th and early 18th Centuries. The two Scots in the escort, CoH Parkinson and Tpr ****, were inevitable of special interest to the media who gave us considerable coverage. The actual escort was only to last about eight minutes. Despite appalling weather forecasts, Edinburgh showed how difficult it is to predict her weather by producing a beautiful Summer’s day. The arrival of The Queen at the main door of Holyrood to a salute from the Royal Company of Archers and my trumpeter, LCoH Radford, was a solemn and dignified occasion. The escort up the royal Mile was not too fast and there was reasonable grip for the horses. There was an incident early on when some Irish protesters attempted to reach the Queen’s carriage, to draw attention to events in the Emerald Isle, which, rather understandably, were not in the forefront of most people’s minds. They were ridden off by the escort commander and trumpeter. Many rightly observed that an escort of Household Cavalry is not just a pretty sight. Whatever one’s personal thoughts on the dismemberment of the Union of the United Kingdom, it was an historic event to be involved in. it was especially good to remind people in the wonderfully visual way of escorting The Queen in Scotland, that we are a British Regiment and thus recruit from the whole of Her United Kingdom. Edinburgh was a short visit. Many would have wished it was longer; certainly the Scots have the edge over Londoners when it comes to public house opening hours and the price of the beer therein. As my last parade in The Life Guards I was honoured to command this escort. Throughout the week I was constantly struck by the high levels of team spirit and turnout in all orders of dress. Work was done quickly, effectively and cheerfully. The “sans cullottes” in barracks (everyone else!) generally had no knowledge of us. We are used to that. The hard work and style on parade from all ranks, ensured that the Regimental name was borne high. As it that wasn’t enough, I even managed to make the last three days of Henley Regatta.
Household Cavalry News
The Household Cavalry Sports Round-up The Regimental Ski Team By Captain J H Blount LG ast year, a large car crash and fire provided Cornet Dan Scott with many excuses for financial and administrative blunders. These excuses were still being used at the takeover of the Ski Team account this year, when Lieutenant Scott handed over just three scraps of paper to Lieutenant Blount, one of which being a letter of apology from Scott to an insurance company that he had failed to pay. Despite these initial problems, the Team arrived in Verbier well equipped and in a serious frame of mind, for this year was to be different. No longer was the Ski Team going to be a jolly for under-employed Troop Leaders. We set about a strict routine of training. The team was banned from drinking, going out at night, or liaising with the opposite sex. Sure, there was the odd slip up, such as Lieutenant Birbeck with his cousin, or Birbeck unsure whether it was himself or an RTR Trooper who got a Swiss barmaid pregnant, or Birbeck with the married woman twice his age, or Birbeck with the girl who’s boyfriend was staying in our chalet, but otherwise, things went fine.
We had brought the old and bold: LCoH Tate, now in his ninth year skiing, and if he couldn’t reach the Army Ski Team this year, then it is probably time to sack him or send him to the Air Corps; LCoH Bassett, who is still resting on his laurels after Lara Croft, but not yet admitting that I had to pay her; Tpr Eastick, no longer the Verbier Virgin; and Lieutenant Blount, who looks bigger with no Capt Blount.
Capt Blount - the Small Officer.
clothes on. New members of the Team were Tpr Sanders (HCMR); Lieutenant Birbeck “The Fat Officer”, and Lieutenant Derry “The Thick Officer”, who talked a big skiing game before we arrived, and yet was consistently useless. Over New Year we had several “official” guests, the Adjutant, Captain BartleJones, Cornet Lewis, Scott, and someone called Ings-Chambers. None of these people went skiing, and if anyone brought the Regiment into disrepute, it was them. We moved on to Serre Chevalier, France, for the Divisional and Army Championships where sadly we lost Tpr Eastick due to business at home. Captain FoxPitt came to the rescue, as often he reminded us, and drove out to be our fourth man. We warned our opponents that he was to be our secret weapon, and it was with great anticipation that we waited for him to come down the courses and save the day. At least he tried.
Individual Downhill Champion Super-G Runner-up Verbier Maison du Sport Challenge disqualified. Captain Blount Individual Giant Slalom Champion Downhill Runner-up Verbier Maison du Sport Challenge 3rdPlace LCoH Tate failed to get into the Army Team, and we have sent him to the Air Corps (care of Daddy). We are very grateful to the Regiment for their financial support, and to Ski Shoot Off Shoot for helping to supply skis. Did you see her in Playboy? LCoH Bassett
Occasionally we skied, and the results of which are as follows: RAC and AAC Champions 3(UK) Div Champions Villeneuve (Serre Chevalier) Champions UKLF Champions Army Championships 5th Place Verbier individuals results: LCoH Tate Individual Champion 2000
Household Cavalry News
Polo By Capt RHA Lewis RHG/D ith most of the Regiment away in the Balkans, the 1999 Polo season looked in jeopardy right from the start. That is for everyone except Captain AJL Fox-Pitt LG, who seemed to have as much polo lined up for the season as most professionals! It has at least paid off, as his handicap was raised at the end of the season to 2 goals, though not for the first time! Let’s just hope history does not repeat itself!!
The highlight of the season for the team was winning the Inter-Regimental Tournament, a cup that has eluded us for some years. Thanks to the new format of the Tournament, which is now played over three days rather than a two-week period, Captain RHA Lewis RHG/D and Lieutenant M Dollar RHG/D were able to come back from Bosnia for the weekend to play for the Regiment, joining Major PRL Hunter LG and Captain Fox-Pitt. Ironically our first match in the tournament was against the Light Dragoons. Part of the handover in Bosnia for Captain Lewis and Lieutenant Dollar had been a wooden horse, built by the Light Dragons, which had certainly helped them practice while they were away from the green fields of Windsor. I say ironic, as our victory over the Light Dragons was fairly resounding and set the team up with a good chance to go on and win the final. After another convincing win, this time against the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, we progressed into the final to play the Foot Guards. In front of a good size crowd and with the sun blazing there had not been a better opportunity or stage for the team to stamp its mark on Military Polo. In what proved a very exciting and hard fought match, the The Inter Regimental Winning Team.
Household Cavalry News
Household Cavalry came out victorious scoring seven goals to the Foot Guards’ three. Sadly their best player was unable to play in the final, leaving the team slightly weaker than in the semi-finals. The Chairman of Akhter Computers and Field Marshall Sir John Chapple, President of the Combined Services Polo Association presented the prizes. This year also saw what promises to be a very prosperous relationship between Hackett and the Regiment. Driven by Major Hunter and Capt Fox-Pitt, the team was set up to allow Regimental players to play with civilians in higher grade tournaments, thus ultimately improving the standard of Regimental Polo. This proved be extremely successful, as the Hackett/Regimental team amassed no less than five cups. One of these being the Major General’s Cup in which Lieutenant Colonel SH Cowen RHG/D teamed up with Captain AJ FoxPitt, Michael Barlow a former Life Guard and a civilian player from the Guards Polo Club beating Major Hunter’s Hackett B team. Other cups won were the Spring Amateur Tournament, The Ruddles Cup in Rutland and The Loyd Cup played at Windsor, named after the late Major Willie Loyd LG, former A Squadron Leader and Hon Secretary of the Guards Polo Club for 10 years. Looking forward to 2000, it seems that there is more chance of success, with the Regiment being in England for most of the season. We hope to enter the Captains and Subalterns again, after a twoyear gap and many other tournaments up to and including 8-goal. Also, with the large number of new Subalterns now at Windsor, it is hope that a few may wish
Lt M Dollar in action.
to try their hand at the game. As yet there are no overseas trip set in stone, however is hoped that members of the Regiment will represent the Army and the Combined Services on tours to the Middle East, Africa, USA and Argentina. What ever happens, 2000 promises to be a successful year for Regimental Polo. Lastly, I feel it would be wrong of me to close without mentioning a little bit about the Guards Polo Club. Over the last year the running of the club has moved into the hands of the Civilians players, although the Military still have a small presence on the Committee. The Committee have expressed their wish to continue the Club’s link with the Military and in doing so have shown great support for the Army players, in a sport that is becoming increasing difficult for the Military to compete in. Without this support, many players would find it difficult to continue playing and we are therefore very grateful and appreciative to the Club.
The Finalists of the Major Generals - Hackett A v Hackett B.
Squash By Major JR Wheeler LG otentially, this article was doomed to be the shortest in this year’s journal, if not left out all together as Regimental squash has been nearly non-existent this year. Actually it doesn’t qualify in either case due to a long pre-amble and a lot of speculation about next years activities on the squash court.
The Regiment can no longer field the excuse of having cold, old courts with chunks of plaster flying around the court as fast as the ball. The two squash courts at Combermere Barracks are amongst the best in the Army, despite attempts by bare-chested users who insist on wearing black soled shoes caked in Windsor Great Park mud! Having good quality, convenient courts has enticed many players of varying standards to play
through the year. This has produced a hardcore of potential talent. The competitive element has been added recently with the introduction of a squash ladder. It is planned to hold an inter-squadron and a Regimental competition early this year that will give players something to focus on. The driving force behind this is QMSI Davidson, who is also a keen player. In November the HCR had three players representing the Royal Armoured Corps at the Inter Corps Squash Championship. Major Wheeler, SCpl Irving and LCoH Hughes all had a good competition. The most awkward tie was against the Woman’s Army Squash Team. The pressure was certainly on. Major Wheeler left nothing to chance against the
Woman’s Combined Services Champion and SCpl Irving used his ‘northern cunning’ to outwit his opponent even though his full attention was not on the squash! The Regiment has entered the Inter Unit Championship which, depending on the draw; it may do quite well in. Unfortunately, the single cap badged Corps who have the luxury of being able to post the majority of their players to the same units, tend to dominate the squash circuit (well, that’s our excuse). Everyone in the Regiment is encouraged to play and enjoy this highly physical, all weather sport. Names to look out for over the coming years are LCoH Lochrane, LCpl Jordan and Tpr James.
Army Swimming By LCpl G J Park RHG/D wimming for the Army is by no means a cushy life, to represent the Army at any sport is an achievement in itself. I myself have always wanted to represent the Army at a sporting level, and I was lucky enough to be able to get that one chance in order to make the grade.
A year before representing the Army at swimming, I competed in the London District swimming championships, along with CoH Foster and Gdsm Mount representing HCMR. To our surprise we won the competition and got asked if we would like to go to trials for the Army. I grasped the chance once I got to HCR and asked if I could go for a trial. Thanks to Major Thorneycroft who managed to find out what was required and also set a date for a trial. The trial was at Bracknell Swimming Club at the end of August last year. On the trial itself all that they were looking for, was to see if I was able to swim all four strokes, (Freestyle, Backstroke, Breast stroke and Butterfly, ) and to see my technique and identify my number one stroke, which was freestyle. Fortunately my technique wasn’t too bad although it still needed a lot of work, and my times weren’t brilliant, (32 seconds for 50m, ). I finished my trial got changed and waited for the
outcome. They proceeded to take down my details and asked if I would be allowed to be released from my unit for a further one-month trial, again Major Thorneycroft produced the goods and allowed me to be released. The following month I arrived at Arborfield to commence another trial. The first week consisted of me having to be ready in the pool at 0800 hrs, for two hours of stroke work, then out of the pool at 1000 hrs and in the gym for an hour on the weights. Then at 1145 hrs skipping for 30 min before going to lunch from which we returned at 1330 hrs, ready to go in the pool for more than an hour of stroke work, finally we changed into running kit to go for a four mile run. The day normally finished at about 1600 hrs. Later cycling was to become an important part of training. The following week they concentrated more on the distance I swam, I was swimming about 3000m a day, which is 120 lengths in a 25m pool 6 days a week, totalling 720 lengths a week. To my surprise they said that they wanted me to start full-time training because they thought that I had come on extremely well. I had also managed to knock 2 seconds off my time. Now I was down to 30 seconds for 50m.
A letter was then sent to Major Thorneycroft asking if it was possible for me to be released for 5 months, to train full-time and represent the Army. I am pleased to say he agreed, on the condition that I qualified for the British National Championships! This, in hindsight, was a long shot but the goal was set and there for me to achieve. Training escalated dramatically from 6 days a week to 7 days a week, from 3000m a day to anything from 6000m to 8000m a day and sometimes more. This time they were concentrating on speed and stamina, for instance 10 x 100m, which meant you had 1.45 minutes to swim 100m but to get maximum rest time before you set off again. I would normally come in at about 1.30 minutes getting 15 seconds rest time before I turned to swim the pool again. Each time they would be recording my times over 50m,100m and also my heart rate, as your times improve the total time allowed was reduced. Thus making sure that you receive the minimum possible rest but still be able to maintain the same times driving you faster for longer periods of time. In the first month I lost nearly a stone in weight and managed to bring my times down. A second swim session was held at 2000 hrs along with some cycling. The times I needed to achieve in order to qualify
Household Cavalry News
was 24 seconds, by the time the championship arrived just prior to Christmas my time was a high 26 seconds / low 27 seconds. Again to my surprise I was asked to go with the Army Swimming Team to Glasgow as a reserve for the 100m relay. Major Thorneycroft asked the Regiment for funds to cover the cost of accommodation, food and travel, which they immediately obliged. The support was essential and most welcome.
Watching the competition come alive and being able to train alongside the England squad made me very proud. The Army successfully got through to the finals. Unfortunately it came last but qualifying was an achievement in itself. Unfortunately I never did reach my goal in meeting the qualifying time, all the same I was able to train for and compete in several other competitions for the Army, a privilege to have the opening
and chance. I would recommend to anyone with a little talent in any sport to go for trials with the Army. An experience and challenge that I have most certainly enjoyed and will remember. Thank you to the Regiment, and especially to Major Thorneycroft for giving me this very different opportunity.
Cricket HCMR By Capt LAJ Brennan RHG/D his year was one of high expectations, with a wealth of talent from all levels within the Regiment. Sadly, the talent was under used and a promising start turned out to be over run by the ceremonial season.
The initial team practises were well attended at Burton Court. Our first game was due to be played at Wandsworth Common vs 210 Signals Regiment. The ground was outrageously inappropriate and after the Council refunded our money, we took a weak side to Colchester and were beaten in the Army Championships by nine wickets. The two matches at Regimental Training were thoroughly enjoyable. Our hosts for the Camp were weaker than previous years and we beat them by 20 runs in a 40 over match. Tpr Walker LG, in his first game in years made 36 runs which had
the rest of the team on the edge of their seats throughout. The Mess match saw an unusually strong side of Officers beat the Warrant Officers and NCOs but not without a fight………. LCpl Featherstone made an impressive 47 and Scpl Mills, batting low down the order proved difficult to remove making a gritty 24. They went for the runs, got to 123 chasing 158 before folding. A game of enormous needle but the emphasis, as always, on fun. The annual Life Guards Vs Blues and Royals match at Burton Court turned into another Life Guard victory. The Life Guards batted first and made 262 for 8 in the 35 overs allowed. Maj (Retd) H Robertson LG made 99, and WO2 Lanahan 34. The Blues and Royals made a spirited attempt, Christian WardThomas appearing out of the woodwork with 47, but only managed to get to 182.
Next year’s format may be different. We are currently considering a Household Cavalry Past vs Present match mid week or weekend, sometime in late June. Your comments and ideas would be appreciated and should be directed to Capt LAJ Brennan, HCMR (tel 0171 414 2593) The following played for the Regiment: Capt LAJ Brennan Capt RAH Peasgood Capt ZN Catsaras WO1 Cooper WO2 Lanahan CoH Goodchild COH Halfhide LCoH Short LCpl Featherstone LCpl Eccles Tpr Perry Tpr Cochrane
HCR Football By WO2 (RQMC(T)) Godson LG ith four Squadrons away on overseas operational tours for the first three months of the football season things did not look too promising however the nettle was grasped and the Regiment was entered into the Army Football Association Challenge Cup.
I felt confident that a team could be pooled from the rear party and if the worst came to the worst I felt I could persuade Major Kersting and Mr Don Johnston to come out of retirement to make up the numbers! My powers of persuasion were not tested though thanks to the return of D Squadron from Kosovo, just in time to prepare for the first round tie against 1
Household Cavalry News
Para! We had one league match before that important game and this was against 36 Engineer Regiment at Maidstone, we had a pretty sombre return journey around the M25 having been walloped 60! As it was our first match things could only get better but we only had six days to prepare for the airborne invasion that was sure to come from 1 Para! After four one hour training sessions encompassing coaching, ball skills, set pieces, fitness and practising penalties I felt quietly confident when we eventually set off for Aldershot. The troops had been briefed, they were under orders and the battle commenced with strong vociferous support from the
Paras against myself, Tpr Allimore and three subs one of which dutily ran the line. The opening exchanges were pretty robust and hard as was expected but both sides settled into the game trying to take first blood. L/CoH McMullen, L/Cpl Jordan and Tpr Kay at the heart of our defence defied the attackers and Tpr Benfield had a quite time between the posts. Meanwhile the midfielders L/CoH Lochrane, Tprs Deakin and Smith battled away in midfield while the wingbacks Tprs Scott and Walsh patrolled the flanks trying to provide the frontrunners L/Cpl Ward And Tpr Abbott with scoring chances.
You could sense that the opposition had been caught off guard and that it wasn’t going to be as easy as they had expected which was confirmed by the fact that we were starting to get on top of the game only for disaster to strike when during a rare venture into our penalty area the Referee inexplicably gave the home team a penalty, which was duly converted.1-0! Not to be deterred we composed ourselves and with a steely determination and some outstanding skill from in particular Jordan, Deakin, Kay and Scott the players refused to take second place, however the forwards were finding it difficult going in enemy territory, a change of plan was needed. It must be noted that with their tails up the opposition were determined to press home the advantage and after being foiled time and time again the tackling started to get rather overheated. This seemed to wake the home teams Regimental Mascot from his slumber and he proceeded to entertain us with his complete inability to grasp the fundamentals of the national sport and the spirit in which the game should be played. Even he was getting frustrated in his teams inability to progress, I could tell this by the fact that he continually raised his knuckles off the ground and waved his arms around animatedly. I believe he is employed as the Provost Sergeant!! At half time Tpr Walker replaced Tpr Abbott and the team were encouraged to keep the ball on the ground and beat their defences. The advice was heeded and with the substitute determined to prove himself the chances started to come and after some very attractive approach play
our endeavours were rewarded when Tpr Smith grabbed the equaliser! Guy was not impressed!! During the rest of the second half the Cavalry outfought and outplayed 1 Para whilst searching for the winner but to no avail with the home team, having been run ragged, desperately hanging on and the game went into extra time. With another thirty minutes to play the airborne warriors thought they could see us off but they had not reckoned with the dogged determination of The Household Cavalry. After two more substitutions, Tpr Jacobi replaced L/CoH Lochrane who took a knock and L/Cpl Moore going on for Tpr Walsh who had absolutely ran himself into the ground for the cause, and continuing where we had left off we pressed forward searching for the winner. Having forced a corner the big men from defence foraged forward and from a set piece L/CoH McMullen flicked on a near post corner for Tpr Walker to head home! We were ecstatic, meanwhile on the sidelines the home supporters were stunned into silence……. except for the Regimental Mascot who was going……. . MENTAL! With time ticking away, victory in sight the Cavalry suppressed the advances until three minutes from full time when the Paras were, to everyone’s amazement, Guy being the exception, awarded a free kick on the edge of our penalty. Having organised ourselves against the danger the resulting shot that was going wide
took a wicked deflection off the back of a 1 Para player and cruelly looped into the goal to equalise. After 120 minutes of football played with skill courage and total commitment by both sides the tie was to be decided on penalties! The five players who were going to take our penalties had practised the day before so we were quietly confident. The home team won the toss to see who would go first and elected to start the proceedings…. 1 Para scored, 1-0 L/Cpl Jordan measured side foot into corner of goal, 1-1 1 Para saved by Tpr Benfield, 1-1 Tpr (Chris Waddle) Kay, 1-1 1 Para scored, 2-1 Tpr Smith unstoppable shot, 2-2 1 Para scored, 3-2 Tpr (Stuart Pearce) Scott, 3-2 1 Para scored. It was all over 1 Para won 42 on penalties!! Having played their hearts out to be beaten on penalties was devastating however our opponents recognised that they had been in a true epic battle and that they were somewhat fortunate to proceed to the next round so good luck to them, as for the cavalry we can look forward to the rest of the season and especially to the first round of the Cavalry Cup in February when we play 1RTR away at Honiton. I must offer my congratulations to the players on their display of pride, commitment to the team determination to overcome the odds and the skill and flair that they produced. Things did get better much better. If only……
HCMR Football he football season for 1998/1999 looked very promising, mixing the talent of youth and age within the squad of players at Knightsbridge. There were several successes and defeats in the league and the football team finished mid table.
The LONDIST Cup Competition was a success with a convincing win over the Coldstream Guards in the semi-finals at Windsor by 2 goals to 1. Things were certainly looking good for the final in April and the Cavalry Cup against 9/12 Lancers at Swanton Moreley.
The LONDIST Six a Side competition was held at Woolwich Garrison. The Regiment sent two teams to the competition under the guidance of CoH Twyman, LCoH Auld and LCpl McNamara. Team B was knocked out at the quarterfinal stages of the competition but Team A were the eventually winners of the competition after beating 36 Regiment the Final by 5 goals to 2.
The football squad then ventured on a long trip up to Swanton Moreley for the Cavalry Cup against 9/12 Lancers with 3 key players missing from the Squad. With strong winds and a postage stamp football pitch,9/12 Lancers scored in the last five minutes of the game from a corner kick and the help of the wind. To the credit of the squad this had been 9/12 Lancers hardest match of the season.9/12 Lancers eventually went on to win the
Cavalry Cup overall in May. This has encouraged the Squad and they have now realised they have the ability to succeed next year, the “Millennium Year”. With good results in the league and latterly the defeat in the Cavalry Cup it was soon the LONDIST Cup Final at Burton’s Court. The opposition was the 1st Duke of Wellington Regiment from Hounslow. The match was certainly entertaining for the supporters that came and watched. 1DWR scored in the first 5 minutes of the game and that was the score at half time. The second half was totally different. LCpl Featherstone pulled one back to make 1-1 and excellent perfor-
Household Cavalry News
mances from LCpl Lofts in goal and Tpr Ingram-Mitchell resulted in a penalty being awarded. This allowed LCpl Jordan to slot the ball away to make to 2-1. With 30 minutes remaining resulted in LCpl Sherlock getting sent off for a second bookable offence. This then gave 1DWR the opportunity to score in the dying seconds of the game, 2-2.
The Life Guards Band thus had the opportunity to get their music together for the second time that afternoon and the backroom staff to get the players motivated even though down to 10. Tpr Ingram-Mitchell pulled of an inspiring run with the ball into the penalty box that ended in another penalty. Yet again, LCpl Jordan slotted the ball away com-
fortably. Eventually, the team was successfully the winners by 3 goals to 2. The Man of the match was the Football Squad and the backroom staff. The Squad is now looking forward to 1999/2000 season, hopefully with some silverware yet again.
Sub Aqua HCMR sponsored dive in aid of Cancer uring the weekend of the 24th–25th of July 1999, 12 members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, British Sub-Aqua Club 1051(s), took part in a sponsored 24hr dive in aid of the Cancer Research Campaign. The dive site for this event was an old gravel pit at Wraysbury near the M25, Junction 14. The dive centre has been transformed into a first class dive site by its staff over the last couple of years. On site can be found a canteen, dive shop, air fills, toilets, ample parking (right next to the water) and a 12 acre lake with depths up to 12mtrs, soon to be 20mtrs. The dive consisted of six pairs of divers, diving in pairs for 40 min each in a relay, with a 3hr surface interval.
Many underwater sites were visited: a riverboat, four training platforms, an ISO container, computer and table, a fruit machine, and many more.
During the night many pairs of divers visited the magnetic drafts board or the noughts and crosses board found on the platforms at 6 meters. With the losing diver frequently turning off the torch and moving the pieces in the dark, fair play was not on the menu! Three local divers joined in on a couple of the dives, and many others sponsored or bought Cancer Research Campaign T-Shirts, which helped the club raise £1000.00. Safety was of a priority, with Sgt Frost REME (SADS) supervising the whole dive and F/SCpl Newman RHG/D marshalling with a helping hand from all members throughout the night. The staff were on site all night to oversee the filling of our cylinders with air and , in the event of an emergency, O2 administration if needed. Sgt Whitehill (RAF) covered all other aspects of first aid, which due to good facilities and good
diving practices by all taking part, were not needed. The only problems during the 24hrs was Sgt Frost not doing his dry suit zip up fully, which resulted in a very fast swim around the jetty to the exit ladder. F/SCpl Newman having his sleeping bag filled with talcum powder, and L/Sgt Lively losing his tooth crown, which made for a matching pair as his buddy CoH Spanley RHG/D has no front teeth though playing Regimental rugby. Our thanks goes out to the Regiment for their support, the dive site staff for the free use of their facilities and all night support, all of the Club members for taking part and any others who helped in any way, making this 24hr dive run so smoothly.
Rugby By Capt N P Sackett RHG/D nce again this year has been very frustrating for those members of the regiment who opt to play Rugby. With all the commitments the Regiment has to take on the time needed to formulate a good side unfortunately is not possible, this however does not stop the team enjoying the game. As with last season the team only came away with the runners up prize, this was for the London District Challenge Cup.
This game was played against a very rugby orientated Regiment, 1st Battalion The Duke of Wellingtons Regiment (DWR), “The Dukes” rather ironic that the Duke himself would be the winner whichever team were to win. The Dukes had been in the rugby wilderness for a number of years and had used their time, during public duties to make their resurgence. This resurgence had gone extremely well as
Household Cavalry News
they had reached the final of the Army Cup. Many a phone call was made between Windsor and Hounslow to ensure that The Dukes did not field their first team as this it was felt would not be in the sprit of the game. Many assurances were made that there would not be a full first team fielded, but you guessed it there was. The game was played in good sprits and HCR managed to spoil the Dukes game plan, which annoyed them to an extent that they lost their way. The final score was 35-3 in favour of The Dukes, a very good result for the team. With the pending deployment to the Balkans that seemed to be the highlight of the rugby season, NOT SO.
team or those members of the team that could be made available, along with other members of the Battle Group managed to play 3 games in which we were unbeaten. The first game played was against the Canadians, after a long coach journey, we arrived at their camp, to be met by a laughing gate guard, who told us that this team were in his words “MEAN”. After a few small administrative problems, like not having tall enough posts to be able to score by kicking, the game commenced. The Canadians may have been mean but not at rugby, we played three quarters of 20 minutes, and amassed 76 points without reply, at this stage we called it a day, had a well earned lunch and returned home.
With stability slowly returning to Bosnia, the amount of patrolling and tasks is slightly decreased, this on some occasions meant that rugby could be played. The
We then played 3 Armd Fld Amb, they had heard of our success, and wished to use us to train against. The game was played on a very hard pitch, which result-
ed in many players being injured. This was a hard fought contest with yet again the resolute sprit of the team forging a victory. During this game Maj Harry Fullerton, made his first appearance for the team. He said that he had not played for a number of years, to those of us watching it seemed that he had never played before. At one stage the team were under great pressure with the Fld Amb continually attacking. Maj Fullerton received the ball ran some 20 metres, had only one man to beat, and decided to kick the ball high across field. Cries of anguish and chants of don’t kick it could be heard from the spectators and coaches. Sgt Taylor RLC our fullback, on seeing the kick he made a galloping run up field. The ball landed straight in his hands and he scored the try. Wonderful tactics was the call from sideline.
The highlight of our season in Bosnia was when we were invited to take part in the Croatian War Veterans 7-a side competition. This was held in the coastal town of Makarska, the home of Croatian rugby. The competition was held over two days, teams from 1RHF and Bosnia as well as Croatia entered. The Commanding Officer kindly allowed 2 teams to participate. The first day was a league were all teams played each other; the first team did not play well against the RHF and were placed second in their league. Because of this small slip up we had to play the Croatian Army side, which consisted of 3 international team members and one player who had played in the Hong Kong sevens. These teams had yet to concede any points and were favourite to win the competition.
The team talk was very simple, just put some points on this team play hard and enjoy the game. The team played out of their skin, we won 20 –5 the Croatians were hit hard every time they had the ball, and did not know how to cope with the pressure the team put on them. LCoH Brown the captain lead from the front and guided the team to victory. The team went on to win the final, with CoH Trinnick being awarded the player of the tournament. Needless to say the Croatians thought that they would win the competition therefore the reception that even was very quiet. We are unsure whether we will return next year to defend our tittle. The team may not have won many trophies on the domestic front but in the Balkans we are a legend
Fencing he first event of the year was the Army Fencing Championships, which were held in Aldershot at the P. T. school. The club was restarted only six weeks before the event, so the pressure was on to get everybody trained and ready in all three weapons – epee, sabre and foil.
We initially started with ten people, who, it was hoped, would be able to represent the Army, but, in true Army fashion, it was impossible to get everyone away at the same time! The final team consisted of five people - three of whom had never fenced before! Luckily, LCpl Mackenzie had entered the individual epee and this enabled us to enter the sixman team event. The six-man team involves two men at epee, two men at sabre and two men at foil. The scoring system involves all the points from each fencer being added up and totalled at the end for a final score. We competed against five other teams and made it through to the final. This surprised everyone as our team consisted of three complete novices! All the fights were fought and the scores calculated. The result was a draw - something apparently never known before – so everything hinged on the last fight. LCpl Mackenzie had to fence again, with just one hit separating us from the title of Army Champions and that large silver trophy for the mess! The tension was high but LCpl Mackenzie fought and won.
This then enabled us, as Army Champions, to go on to H. M. S. Drake in Plymouth to represent the Army in the Combined Services competition. Because Musn Barnes and LCpl Woods were ‘placed’ in the individual weapons, we were awarded our Army Colours and went on to represent the Army in the triangular event. The Combined Services competition was much L to R: LCpl Mackenzie, LCoH Beech LG, LCoH Brook LG, Tpr Goodwin LG, Musn Barnes LG Band, LCpl Woods LG, Team Captain. more difficult, with the other services obviously having much Army Six Man Team Event more time to train than us! It did enable us to see some high quality fencing, HCMR. FIRST! however, and to gain a lot of valuable experience. We were also able to sample Combined Services some of H. M. S. Drake’s fantastic FOIL EPEE SABRE facilities and had some very memorable LCpl Woods 7th 8th 10th nights out! LCoH Beech 14th 12th Last 16 LCoh Brook Last 32 Last 32 Last 32 LCpl Cromie Last 32 Last 32 Last 32 The results of the competitions are as follows: Tpr Gooding Last 32 Last 32 11th Army Championships FOIL
LCpl Woods 3rd 6th LCoH Beech 12th 12th LCoH Brrok 12th Tpr Gooding 3rd Foil Plate
7th 9th 10th 11th
Ladies Results Musn Barnes 7th
Ladies Results Musn Barnes Last 16 Last 32 Last 16
Every one of the team worked extremely hard and deserves the utmost praise for their achievements. Lets hope this forthcoming year holds as much success!
Household Cavalry News
News From the Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report 1999 Patron Her Majesty The Queen President General Sir Charles Guthrie GCB LVO OBE ADC Gen
Trustees of The Life Guards Charitable Trust Lieutenant Colonel NM Ridley Major HCB Briscoe Captain LD Stratford
Auditors Clark’s Chartered Accountants PO Box 150 Cippenham Court Cippenham Lane Slough Berks SL1 5AT
Committee Chairman: Lieutenant Colonel NMA Ridley Vice Chairman: Major TE Thorneycroft Vice Chairman: Major HCB Briscoe Honorary Treasurer: Captain LD Stratford Honorary Secretary: Captain (Retd) R Hennessy-Walsh
Major JT Lodge Captain M Whatley Captain JS Holbrook Captain D Pickard WO1 (RCM) WR Lindsay WO2 (SCM) AR Tate WO2 (TQMC) SM Grantham WO2 (SCM) PC Lanahan WO2 (BCM) I Graves WO2 (SCM) MR Kitching WO2 (SCM) W Douglas
Lieutenant Colonel SV Gilbart-Denham, CVO Major NE Hearson JP DL Captain AM Cherrington Captain WAB Henderson Mr CE Dean RVM Mr D Johnson Mr NW Taylor Mr LK Thomas Mr CD Watson Mr AC Etches
Minutes of the 65th Annual General Meeting of The Life Guards Association Held at Combermere Barracks, Windsor on Saturday 12 June 1999 he Chairman, Lieutenant Colonel NMA Ridley, opened the meeting at 1800 hours and welcomed and thanked everyone for attending. For the benefit of those who had not previously seen him he introduced himself. He asked all that were interested to remain behind after the meeting for a briefing he was to give on the situation in Kosovo.
The Minutes of the 64th Annual General Meeting were published in the current edition of the Journal. It was proposed by Major Hearson and seconded by Mr Hitchman that they were a true record of the proceedings. Honorary Treasurer’s Report Captain Stratford said how proud he was to have taken over the responsibilities of Treasurer from the late Lieutenant
96 News from the Associations
Colonel Dennis Meakin. The accounts are in a very healthy state having a bank balance of £16,305.00 and a deposit account of £17,936.00 a total of £34,241.00. Our investments with the United Services Combined Charitable Funds amount to £636,474.00. At the start of 1998 we held 61,675 shares valued at £556,864.00. Those shares rose in value to £610,521.00 by December 1998 an increase of £53,657.00 or 9.64%. £25,000 of shares were purchased in 1998 giving us a total investment of £636,474. This investment generated interest of £18,191.00. 35 grants were made during the year amounting to £14,611.00. This includes 7 annuities of £520 each funded by the Army Benevolent Fund. The report was approved by Mr Lloyd and seconded by Mr Brook.
Honorary Secretary’s Report Home Headquarters Household Cavalry continues to administer The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations. The Secretary commented that the eagle eyed will have noticed that the Home Headquarters now has an e-mail address. It is hoped that in the not too distant future they will be able to open their own web site. The diary for next year has been produced and is now on sale at £2.50. If it is a success consideration will be given to producing it again. As requested at last years AGM a list of Area Reps appears in the latest edition of the Journal. Each of these Representatives has been issued with a list of all Old Comrades on the database. Early indications from some of the Representatives are that people are already contacting them for help and advice. The
Secretary reminded the meeting that he had asked, in the Journal, for more volunteers from certain areas in the UK to come forward in order to give maximum coverage across the country. Since the publication of the journal the Secretary regrettably had to announce the death of a further 16 Old Comrades. Non serving membership now stands at 2290. This compares with the previous five years at 2313, 2349, 2295, 2279 and 2256. The Secretary said that at this time last year he was puzzled at the small drop in membership from 1997 (i.e. from 2349 to 2313). This downward trend appears to be continuing. As always the Committee continue to hold quarterly meetings to decide on policy matters and the financial Sub Committee continues to make grants to worthy cases, young, old and widows. The report was proposed by Mr Pritchard and seconded by Mr Etches.
Election of Committee In accordance with normal custom the non-serving members of the Committee resigned but they all offered themselves for re-election. Proposed by Mr Reynolds and Seconded by Mr Pritchard. Any Other Business It was suggested that a possible cause of the slight drop in membership each year was that the current soldiers received no information or training about The Life Guards Association. The Chairman said that the passage of information to the younger soldiers continues but accepted that it did require continued attention. In response to a question from the floor the Chairman said that he would investigate whether additional articles could be published in the annual Newsletter.
The Secretary was asked to let Area Reps know when the Household Cavalry Recruiting Team was going into their area. The Committee was once asked to review the costing policy for the Annual Dinner and specifically the cost to pensioners. The Chairman of the North Staffs Branch thanked the Chairman and Committee for their continued support over the past year. In conclusion the Chairman reiterated the loss felt by the Association on the death of Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Meakin. He thanked the previous Colonel of the Regiment for his support over many years and welcomed our new Colonel.
The Life Guards Association and Charitable Trust Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31 December 1999 RECEIPTS 1998 50,405.13 10,000.00
1999 Balances as at 1st January Household Cavalry Charitable Trust (1 Day’s Pay)
Subscriptions and Donations 2,428.71 153.04 74.82 1,313.57 18,191.05 4,110.00
1,240.44 538.50 300.76 88,756.02
LG Association Helping Hand Fund LG CharitableTrust Interest on Deposit Accounts Dividends from United Services Trustee Grants *from Army Benevolent Fund Legacy the late Mrs WM Middleton Donation from tfm Contract Services Legacy the late Major HE Montgomerie-Charrington Christmas Card Profit/Loss Diaries Profit/Loss Annual DinnerProfit/Loss
2265.02 119.90 34.68 1,429.07 20,325.31 9,445.00 500.00 500.00 639.37 18.49 (176.35) (685.05) 78,656.61
EXPENDITURE 428.64 3,180.50 236.56 774.32 2640.84 183.24 25,000.00
Office Equipment/Misc Expenses Postage Stationery Auditors’ Fee Secretary’s Honorarium Wreaths/Funeral Expenses Purchase of Shares, UST
13.00 910.11 784.05 793.12 2,473.77 531.79
Donations 147.47 74.10 5.25 1,551.24 14,610.69 5,640.00 42.00 34,241.17 88,756.02
Combined Cavalry Association Empire Field of Remembrance St George’s Memorial Chapel Miscellaneous Donations Grants Regimental Magazine Bank Charges Cash in Hand Bank & Deposit Balances as at 31 Dec
31,892.17 7,618.37 32.00 216.63 33,196.82 78,656.61
Household Cavalry News
Obituaries The Life Guards 255841 Captain J Machin Served 29 January 1943 until 20 May 1945 Died 12 December 1998 aged 82 years
24324923 LCpl J Gawthorne Service details not known Died May 1999
294661 WO2 EH Winchester Served 16 August 1927 until 19 August 1950 Died 12 December 1998 aged 89 years
295054 Cpl R Holt Served January 1936 until December 1946 Died 2 June 1999 aged 81 years
458747 Lieutenant Colonel AD Meakin Served 17 July 1941 until 1 August 1975 Died 1 January 1999 aged 77 years (A full obituary appeared in the 1998 Journal)
410570 Captain Sir John Gooch Bt Served 3 June 1950 until 28 February 1963 Died April 1999 aged 69 years (A full obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
277862 Colonel BMB Coates OBE TD DL Served 2 July 1943 until 17 September 1949 Died 1 January 1999 aged 84 years
267981 Captain JN Creswell Served 19 March 1943 until 1 July 1946 Died 31 May 99 aged 86 years
296792 CoH D Gooch Served 1 January 1945 until 31 December 1954 Died 2 January 1999 aged 70 years
295101 WO2 (FQMC) AH Cottington Served 21 December 1935 until 20 December 1960 Died 20 June 99 aged 83 years
23478378 CoH J Clough Served 8 September 1958 until 30 June 1978 Died 27 December 1998 296032 WO2(RQMS) GB Neale Served 1 February 1943 until 1 July 1967 Died 14 November 1998 aged 73 years 24418872 WO2 (RQMS) NH Burns Served 3 May 1976 until 15 May 1998 Died 16 January 1999 aged 41 years (A full obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal) 22205531 Cpl PJ Broughton Served 25 May 1950 until 24 May 1955 Died 7 February 1999 aged 68 years 376176 Captain BRC Talbot Served until April 1949 Died 26 February 1999 aged 72 years 22556054 Tpr F Last Served 12 August 1952 until 1 August 1955 Died 2 April 1999 aged 65 years 22205?? Cpl B Holmes Served 1949 until 1954 Died 23 March 1999 470337 Major E Sant Served 9 June 1943 until 26 March 1962 (OR) Served 27 March 1962 until 1 October 1977 (Commissioned) Died 9 May 1999 aged 74 years (A full obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
295134 Tpr JW Hayes Served 30 July 1936 until 25 April 1945 Died 22 February 1999 aged 82 years 6734012 Musn JW Buck ARCM Served 8 November 1921 until 15 September 1945 Died 25 June 1999, at the Royal Hospital, aged 92 years 22205223 Cpl PM Winfield Served 1 November 1948 until 1 November 1953 Died 6 July 1999 aged 68 years 22205500 Cpl RL Pilbeam Served 10 February 1950 to 9 February 1955 Died 12 July 99 aged 68 years 21000055 WO2 (RQMC) JH King Served 17 September 1947 until 3 June 1970 Died 5 June 1999 aged 69 years 295050 Tpr WO Woodward Served 11 March 1935 until 1 January 1946 Died 7 May 1999 aged 82 years 295563 CoH PWG Harwood Served 1941 until 1946 Died 16 July 1999 aged 78 years 295832 Tpr DF Copeland Served 9 February 1942 until 25 December 1946 Died 8 August 1999 aged 77 years
21000129 Tpr K Rowden Served 16 December 1947 until 26 April 1953 Died 31 July 1999 aged 69 years 294991 Tpr JF Hall Served 1932 until 1 November 1938 Died 11 February 1999 aged 86 years Captain M Tree Served 1941 until 1946 Died 24 August 1999 aged 77 years 296179 LCpl L Walker Served 11 November 1943 until 29 August 1947 Died 2 August 1999 aged 73 years 23215354 LCpl S Hudder Served 10 September 1956 until 9 September 1959 Died August 1999 aged 61 years Lieutenant CD Peachey Served 21 September 1924 until 31 May 1927 Died 16 August 1999 aged 95 years 22556027 Tpr CE Redfern Served 15 July 1952 until 15 July 1955 Died 18 September 1999 aged 68 years 51382 Major JL Wills Served 9 March 1932 until 22 April 1947 Died October 1999 aged 89 years 22185068 Tpr WSC Cawley Served January 1949 until January 1951 Died 23 December 1997 aged 66 years 22205852 Tpr JB Franklin Served November 1951 until Novembeer 1956 Died 5 November 1999 aged 65 years 22387413 LCoH DT McQueen Served with Green Howards 1/9/53 â€“ 22/8/60 LG 22 August 1960 until 31 August 1975 Died 16 October 1999 aged 67 years 22205697 Tpr WH Griffin Served 19 April 1951 until 1956 Died 17 September 1999 aged 65 years 22205978 Tpr F Wignall Served 2 June 1952 until 2 June 1955 Died 27 October 1999 aged 65 years 277869 Captain AER Jones Served 2 July 1943 until March 1947 Died June 1999 aged 76 years
The Blues and Royals 19038738 Sgt. Williams RT 1RD Served from 1946 to 1962 died Jan 99 aged 70 years
Major (QM) CJ Coles RHG Served from 1933 to 1967 died August 1998 aged 84 years
24041256 L/Cpl Robinson AT RHG Served from 1965 to 1971 died May 1999 aged 52 years
22044946 Cpl Hufton. RL 1RD Served from 1947 to 1950 died Jan 99 aged 70 years
23875187 Cpl Reeve. D.1RD Served from 1961 to 1969 died November 1999
4974926 Tpr Morris G. RHG Served from 1936 to 1946 died June 1999 aged 89 years
Lt. CYH Mason RHG Served from 1957 to 1959 died Feb 1999 aged 64 years
574697 Sgt JS Rowlands 1RD served from 1938 to 1954 died November 1999 aged 80years
22205321 Cpl North HW. RHG Served from 1949 to 1954 died (in Canada) August 1999 aged 68 years
Capt CRW Sale RHG Served from Jan 1946 to Dec 1954 died March 1999 aged 75 years
304739 SCM Lacey. P. RHG Served from 1927 to 1948 Died Jan 1999 aged 99 years
Capt. R Angus RHG Served from 1954 to 1962 died April 98 aged 65 years
305962 Cpl E Lloyd - Lewis RHG Served from 1941 to 1946 died Jan 99 aged 88 years
14416561 Cpl C Tiplady RHG Served from 1948 to 1950 died June 1999 aged 69 years
Major Sir Alan Glynn ERD RHG Served from 1954 to 1967 died 1999 aged 81 years
306442 RQMC OT Cummings RHG Served from 1944 to 1996 died July 1999 aged 73 years
304960 CoH Edwards R. RHG Served from 1931 to 1946 died March 1999 aged 87 years
SIR RICHARD JOHN SHERLOCK GOOCH (12th BART.) Late LG 22nd March 1930 - 19th April 1999 By Major The Hon P C Baillie formally LG hen I was asked to write John’s obituary I never realised how difficult it would be. Few really knew him as he was essentially a very private person. I would like to thank those, especially his family, for their help.
On leaving Eton in 1948 John joined The Life Guards. Having initially failed his WOSB he served as a Life Guard with the Royal Horse Guards in Germany. There he perfected his German and acted as regimental interpreter. Throughout his career this helped very many people and enabled him to make numerous valuable contacts. A second try at WOSB was successful and he was commissioned from Mons OCS to the Regiment in 1950 he served in the United Kingdom until 1952. Between 1952 and 1953 he served with
306129 Cpl RWD Seedall RHG Served from 1942 to 1947 died September 1999 aged 75 years 306612 Tpr F Osbourne RHG Served from 1944 to 1952 died Nov 99 aged 72 years.
the Life Guards in Wolfenbuttel as a Squadron MT Officer. He was not really mechanically minded but, with his organisational ability and with willing support of his subordinates, this ran smoothly. Between 1953 and 1956 he was a Troop leader at Knightsbridge before going to the Inns of Court as Adjutant for two years. This was followed by two more years with the Regiment and HCBTU before going back to Germany with the regiment, in Herford this time, as second in command of HQ Squadron. There, on top of his other duties, he ran the Officers’ Mess and it was in this capacity that many of us profited by his “behind the scenes” organisation. We lived extremely well, but how many of us knew of his “hot line” to a Hamburg fish merchant which meant abundant fresh fish and, on occasions, a lobster for Herr Gooch to be consumed privately at the Station Hotel? Understandably the Army telephone service in BAOR was not good enough and he had installed a line from the German civilian network, discovering by this means that he could dial UK direct - this many years before STD. Running the mess meant keeping accounts. However, official accounting, like mechanics, was not a strong point with John. Once an outside auditor, although unable to find fault with the final result, did comment that the use of the back of envelopes for recording purchases was not the required procedure! Shy, almost diffident, he never put himself in the forefront but it was always to him that people turned when in need and he ensured that things just happened. He was a prime mover in the production of the /tercentenary of Life Guard figures. Without him they would never have been made.
He retired in 1963 to help run the house and estate at Benacre, which with the title, he took over on the death of his father, Colonel Robert in 1978. Here, as in everything else, he gave his all. He became a District Councillor and a J. P for Suffolk but it was at Benacre itself that he really left his mark. On the estate, among many other things, he planted a new wood and also replaced the many trees lost during the hurricane in the excellence. In the house he started collecting 18th Century objets d’art, especially glass and furniture of the mid 1700s when the family bought Benacre. As his health deteriorated he became more and more reclusive, but this in no way diminished the affection and respect that he enjoyed from all. This was clearly shown at his funeral in April when Wrentham Church was packed with people from every walk in life. How does one sum up this man? It can only be as a perfect gentle man.
NEVILLE PALMER DL, Late The Blues and Royals By Major Lord Patrick Beresford, Formerly The Royal Horse Guards t is an unusual achievement (possibly even unique?) for a former Corporal of Horse to be appointed into an area more normally reserved for retired Colonels and above, namely Deputy Lieutenant of a County, yet that is exactly what Neville Palmer not only attained, but discharged so well that following his death on 26 September 1999 aged 69, he came to be described by his Lord Lieutenant as “absolutely invaluable, a colleague and friend who will be very greatly missed. “
Neville joined The Blues in 1948, passing through Riding School under the eagle eye of Tommy Thompson, but so great was his musical talent (he had been a Choral and Organ Scholar in Rochester Cathedral whilst studying at the King’s School there) that he was soon posted to the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, and thence to our Mounted Band, with whom he served in one capacity or another until his retirement in 1970. My own acquaintance with him started when I was a young troop leader in The Blues Squadron at Knightsbridge in 1956. In those days members of the Band were rather a law unto themselves. The Director of Music was Tommy Thirtle, an exceptional leader, and even tone-deaf. Philistines such as myself were certain that the Regiment had the finest musicians in our own or any other Army, and therefore whether or not you got a salute from a Bandsman (you seldom did!) was a matter of unimportance. It was generally accepted and unchallenged that members of the Band incremented their pay by “moonlighting” in orchestras, and so forth, after hours. One evening, whilst dancing in a nightclub called “The 400” in Leicester Square (it is now a Burger Bar!), I was slightly surprised to notice the clarinetist not only grinning at me in
a friendly fashion but also giving me what seemed to be a gesture of encouragement. The penny dropped the following morning in the stable yard when I received the same grim from a uniformed Bandsman, accompanied on this occasion by a similar gesture to that of the previous night, not exactly a salute - as defined in the Drill Manual - but something half-way between a wave and a flourish. Yes, you’ve guessed it, the Bandsman was of course Neville Palmer. It was not until 30 years later that our acquaintanceship was to blossom into true and lasting friendship. In 1986 I was asked to be Chairman of the Windsor Park Equestrian Club. I accepted (somewhat reluctantly, because honorary appointments such as this inevitably involve far more than is ever indicated) on the sole condition that Neville- already in situ - continued as Show Director. He had in the meanwhile, having left the Regiment in 1970, become General Manager and then Managing Director of the huge Ashley Cook Laundry and Dry Cleaning Service, a Royal Warrant Holder, a Foreman and Liveryman of the City of London, a Senior Steward of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, a Judge of the British Show Jumping Association, President of the Woking Chambers of Commerce, Surrey Chambers of Commerce, etc, etc, etc. What distinctions! But above all he was proud to have served Queen and Country firstly in our Band, then as Organist at the Guards Chapel, then as Organist and Choir Master at Holy Trinity Windsor, then often as musician at private parties given by Her Majesty at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, and finally as Show Director of the Windsor Park Equestrian Club (as already mentioned) under the Presidency of Prince Philip. He was married three times and eventually found true happiness with his third wife Diana; it was she who looked after him so lovingly as his health failed. To her, and to his three daughters and five grandchildren, we extend our deepest sympathy at the loss of a very fine gentleman who never gave less than his best in caring for his family and friends, and in discharging his many and diverse responsibilities. Throughout all the time that I knew him he invariably wore the Guards tie, knotted correctly Blue-Red-Blue (as it happened he only just got it right in the accompanying photograph!) but what was symbolically most important to him, as it should be to any ex-Blue or Blue and Royal was that the Blue should always be uppermost. Farewell, old friend and comrade, rest easy, your life brought nothing but credit to yourself, our Regiment and our Country.
MAJOR WL WILLS, Late The Life Guards By Colonel WH Gerard Leigh formerly of The Life Guards ohn, sadly for his family and many friends, died at his home Allanbay Park, Berkshire on 20th September 1999 at the age of 89. His military career commenced in 1932, when he joined the Grenadier Guards through the Supplementary reserve. He transferred two years later to The Life Guards and in 1936 married Jean Elphinstone, a niece of Queen Elizabeth.
Until the war broke out in 1936 John carried out the normal duties of a Subaltern in the regiment, serving alternate years at Windsor and in London. In those days regimental duties were interspersed with long periods of leave to hunt and to follow other such equitating activities, which were expected of an officer in the regiment.
John hunted regularly with the Pytchley winning on one occasion the regimental point to point beating into 2nd place, much to the pleasure of his brother subalterns, his commanding officer who was renowned for his superlative horses.
and decided to follow in the footsteps of a lifelong friend into the Blues, an ambition thwarted at the Recruiting Office by a persuasive diligence to change the young Sants minds, the end product being that on the 9th June 1943, Eric enlisted into the Regiment.
When war broke out John moved with the 1st Household Cavalry Regiment when they left for Palestine with their horses in 1940. The regiment was mechanised a year later and mounted in 15cwt trucks undertook operations in Iraq, Syria and Persia, after which they were equipped as an armoured car regiment and took part in the battle of E1 Alamein. John served as a troop leader during all these operations.
Having completed his training at the Household Cavalry Training Regiment he was posted to 1st Household Cavalry Regiment joining them in Italy during June 1944. He stayed with that regiment throughout the campaign in North West Europe to the great re-organization of July 1945, by which time, his ability had been rewarded by promotion to Corporal of Horse.
I was fortunate to serve in the same Squadron as John and have many abiding memories of him during those times; from coming under our baptism of fire while attacking Baghdad, to fighting the Vichy French in Syria and to quieter and more boring times crossing and recrossing the deserts of the Middle East. He was always calm and relaxed and ready with a laugh and a joke even under the most trying and unpleasant conditions. At quieter moments he could be seen moving from his truck carrying a basket always containing a Country Life and his knitting. John left as a much respected and popular member of the regiment, not only by his brother officers but also by the senior NCOs who were with him in the war. While at Windsor they asked him to be a member of the committee of the Life Guards Association. When John retired he continued on their committee for a further number of years as one of the only two retired officers allowed by their constitution. This was a compliment to John, which gave him much pleasure. Shortly after the war John and Jean bought Allanbay Park where he farmed until his death. Amongst his many other interests, he gave much of his time to running the Docklands Settlement charity as their Chairman. In 1961 he inherited the Appelcross estate on the west coast of Scotland and here he started, and took much interest in, the West Highland School of Adventure, giving many young people an opportunity to prove themselves under expert direction in this magnificent part of the country. In 1958 he became High Sheriff of Berkshire and later High Steward of Wokingham, a position he held for some years. Sadly for John and Jean their son Andrew predeceased them dying suddenly of a heart attack in 1998, and Jean herself died on 29th November 1999 just 2 months after John. Our sympathy goes to his daughter Susan Bertie and the grandchildren Richard, Alexander, David, Tessa and Caroline.
MAJOR (QM) E SANT, Late The Life Guards By Major (QM) D Charles, Formerly The Life Guards Eric Sant died peacefully on the 9th May 1999 at the age of 74. He was born at Birmingham on the 31st August 1924 and was the only child of strongly supportive parents. He was educated at the Birmingham Tech and on leaving he was employed as a Toolmaker, an occupation which eventually proved to be exempt from military service and difficult to escape from. Eric thought otherwise
Eric was always immensely proud of his service with 1 HCR and one can appreciate the mixed emotions that he felt over its disbandment and transition back to The Life Guards. This was challenging for all concerned and a time for exceptionally good leadership and teamwork and the ability to create and maintain high morale, were but a few of the qualities needed. Eric Sant along with many others in at the roots, had an abundance of those qualities, they bit the bullet, progressed and laid the foundations of the post war armoured car regiment. Except for a two year stint with the Inns of Court (1947-49), he served with the regiment till March 1962. During those years he moved smoothly through the ranks and by December 1953 he had been appointed Squadron Corporal Major of “A” Squadron, this was a job very much to his liking and one that he carried out with great drive and enthusiasm for several years. He became the Regimental Corporal Major in May 1958 serving with the Regiment in that capacity through tours in Aden and BAOR where he was commissioned in March 1962 and posted to 4 Guards Brigade as their Transport Officer, he stayed with them in BAOR till he returned to the regiment at Windsor as the Quartermaster early in 1965, an appointment he held to the middle of 1971. Eric spent the remaining six years of his military service first as Camp Quartermaster HQ UKLF at Wilton and finally as the Quartermaster of the Advisory Team in Iran where he made his name during an extremely difficult time before he retired from the Army in 1977. He went to live at his home in Wiltshire when he retired and after a short spell of “Gardening leave” he returned to Iran employed as Site Personnel manager of a UK construction firm, while he was there the revolution went into overdrive, he was captured by the Revolutionary Guards and after enough adventures to fill a book, he returned home in 1979. After a few months he was working for Mowlem International in East Africa and various other overseas locations not least as their Personnel Manager during the construction of the new airfield in the Falklands. Eric remained with Mowlem to his final retirement in 1989. That is a brief account of the man’s record, what of the man himself. Eric Sant was no ordinary soldier, his career was by any standard distinguished and colourful. Throughout his life he held a profound love and deep loyalty to his Regiment and those that served with him shall remember him for his kindness and understanding, for his intelligent wit and charm and his easy philosophy when dealing with life’s various problems. He was a devoted husband and father, and to Ivy, who gave him so much support during their long and happy life together, and to his family, we offer our heartfelt and deepest sympathy.
RQMC NEIL BURNS Late The Life Guards By Lt Col H S J Scott, The Life Guards t was a terrible shock to all serving in the Household Cavalry to learn of the untimely death of ex RQMC Burns shortly after the new year on 16 January 1999. Having only left Knightsbridge a year before, at the age of 41, and looking forward to a new life at Arundel this was a cruel blow to family and friends.
HORACE EDGAR BISHOP Late The Life Guards By William John Gilchrist former CSM HM Irish Guards and RSM and GSM in HM Royal Norfolk Regiment 1934-61. ormer Trooper in The Life Guards Reg No.3685 and former Guardsmen in Guards Machine Gun Company Reg No.4335 also former Australian Defence Corp Reg No.204813, “Passed Away” on Saturday 14th November 1999 aged 101 years and 56 days of living.
Neil Harcourt Burns was born in 1957 in Devon where he prospered. He never lost that slight burr in his accent, and while he subsequently spent much of his time in London it was a countryman’s mind that examined the lures and traps of London whose ways I felt he never wholly trusted. His first few years were spent at mounted duty before taking a deep breath and going to Germany to become trained on Chieftain. He approached jobs at the service regiment with caution. He always though of himself as mounted trained and a slight stranger to armoured cars and tanks. He also never gave himself credit for his own ability and intelligence, always thinking that he was not as able as the signals and gunnery kings around him. He was wrong. He was every bit as bright, and as he though he was not, he worked harder than anyone else. His Knightsbridge training and his own character always demanded that he do his utmost and never accept second best. He was a doer not a shouter and would lead by telling his team what was needed and then doing it with them. This modesty was endearing to all his subordinates as he never sought acclamation and was happy to pass any praise straight down.
It is with much sadness that I write Ted Bishops “passing”. Ted as he was known to all of us in the Guards Association of Queensland (a mixed Association of all seven Regiments former members). Ted was one of the most “Gentle” of former guardsman you could ever meet. Born in Shropshire England on 19th September 1897 son of Mr and Mrs Edwin Bishop. On reaching the age of 18 enlisted into the 2nd Life Guards, as a trooper in Combermere Barracks, Windsor.
Although he was a man to look on the bright side, and quick witted enough to be always clean and out of trouble, he enjoyed humor and laughter. In male company he had a slightly sick sense of humor trading and competing in jokes with his elder brother able to keep guests at dinner in the WOs and NCOs Mess in stitches.
I had been visiting Ted and Elsa over his last 6-8 months and saw him slowly go down hill. Elsa had two spells in Brisbane Hospitals where I visited her at times, but as Ted lost his sight and hearing I could not ring him to tell him how Elsa was because the phone was in her bedroom and he could not hear it ringing. Ted was very low without her and no visitors, I am ashamed to say that very few Association members ever called to see him, except Des McGookin IG and his wife Bernadette, congratulations to you both for all your visits, I know he did appreciate your calls.
Married when he was 23, he was a devoted family man who doted on his wife Jenny and children Clare and Thomas. When leaving the Army he had set them all up near Arundel and had found a good job before this silent and unknown heart trouble began to catch up with this outwardly slim and fit man. I knew him as a Mtd Tp JNCO in 2 Tp, as A Sqn SQMC, and as SCM HQ Sqn HCMR and the RQMC HCMR. I never once had cause to doubt his real and tangible loyalty. There were times when he said he did not know how to do something, but once shown he could master anything. He treated triumph and disaster with the disdain each is due. He had ridden an awkward horse, Cosmo, on a State Visit and been thrown in the forecourt at Buckingham Palace. He did as all are told and lay still until stretchered off. The papers the next day had pictures of Tpr Burns, not the visiting president, and he turned away good natured jeering and press interest with the same worldly smile. His funeral was better attended by Life Guards and Blues and Royals of all ranks than I have ever seen at Association Dinners or Cavalry Sunday. The dignity and silent grief of all was most moving, but while eyes were damp, upper lips were stiff with respect for a natural gentlemen. I would hope that we might all reach such standards in our lives and be as well regarded by our fellows.
Then later came WWI when the Regiment’s men and horses were all moved to France. They were all targets for Germany snipers and some got shot and wounded. Just try to picture that action, why were the chargers ever taken there in the first place. The troopers loved those chargers like their best mate. Later all the chargers were sent to Palestine and it was then that all the troopers were transferred to the Guards Machine Gun Regiment. Ted told me that although their chargers gave them a lot of extra work every man loved his charger and missed him terribly. He said his was a bid softie. He would rest his nose on Teds shoulder and Ted would scratch each side of his neck.
We had talked about how we could get Ted presented with The French Medal Legion of Honour as all soldiers from Australian Forces served in WW1 over 100 years of age were being presented with them from The French Embassy in Combermere, and Ted was very much looking forward to receiving it. But no such luck he lived in hope for 56 days longer and his son rang me to tell me his father passed away, it was like losing a brother. I arranged for a wreath of Blue, Red, Blue flowers and a bugler but the association had arranged a bugler as well. He was an older chap who knew the old WW1 bugle calls Last Post and Reveille etc, so we used him and a great job he did on the steps of the Church blowing inside. I was delighted to see so many members of the Association there. 10 days later his son rang me to tell me that his mother had been presented with his fathers French Legion of Honour Medal Posthumously. So to all you former guardsman as his comrades, please join in with expressing to Elsa and all members of her family our deepest sympathy at their bad loss.
BAND OF THE BLUES AND ROYALS Capt DD Robertson WO1 Brigden WO2 Billington WO2 Kitching SCpl Howe SCpl PAI N E CoH Haddock CoH Purnell
CoH Gough LCoH Whitfield LCoH Collin LCoH Redman LCoH Marsh LCoH Groves LCoH Thomas LCpl King
LCpl Jones LCpl Sparks LCpl Kent LCpl Bishop LCpl Tulip LCpl Speight Musn Ravenscroft Musn Thomas
Musn Witter Musn Screen Musn Carnell Musn Pithers Musn Nicholls Musn Kinsler
Notices Information for members of both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations The Queen’s Birthday Parade and Review The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Saturday 17th June 2000 with the Colonels’ Review on 10th June and the Major General’s Review on 3rd June. A limited number of tickets for the Inner Line of Sentries (standing only) will be available for members through the Honorary Secretary of their respective Association. Tickets cannot be purchased through Headquarters Household Cavalry. Combined Cavalry Parade and Service The 76th Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Parade and Service will be held in Hyde Park on Sunday 14th May 2000. 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). Due 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 be by ticket only through your respective Honorary Secretary or on the day. Royal Military Tattoo 2000 The Ministry of Defence and the three Armed Services will celebrate the Millennium with a flagship event on Horse Guards Parade from 10th – 15th July 2000. To be known as RMT2000, it will comprise a unique spectacular, combining the most imaginative staging, state of the art technology, pageantry, son et lumiere, lasers, fireworks and the largest mobile video screen ever seen in the world. The show will portray 1000 years of military history with a glimpse into the future. The theme will be’ Defence
of the Realm: Past, Present and Future’. Her Majesty The Queen has graciously agreed to be the Patron and has been invited to take the salute at one of the six performances with other members of the Royal Family, the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Defence and the Chief of the Defence Staff to be invited on the other evenings. It will be a fast moving non-stop, dramatic 90-minute show saluting the past, celebrating the present and looking into the future. Freefall parachutists from the Royal Marines, Parachute Regiment and the RAF Falcons will land in the arena. The Red Arrows, Blue Eagles and aircraft from the Royal Navy, Army and RAF will fly past at each performance and the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery will perform their Musical Drive without the space constraints imposed by most arenas. This will be the first time that the full Musical Drive has been performed on Horse Guards Parade. Bands of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines, the Household Division, the Queen’s Division, the Prince of Wales’ Division, the Brigade of Ghurkas and the Massed Bands of the Royal Air Force will provide accompanying music. They will be joined by the Massed Pipes and Drums of the Scottish Division, supported by an orchestra and choir, culminating in a grand finale, including an Anthem to be composed for the occasion to celebrate the contribution of our Armed Forces to World Peace and Humanitarian Aid. The three Service Charities: King George’s Fund for Sailors, the Army Benevolent Fund and the RAF Benevolent Fund will be beneficiaries of this unique Millennium event. Booking: Tickets may only be ordered from the ticket office of RAF Benevolent Fund Enterprises on 0870 241 0301 and for the performances between 10th – 15th July will cost £20, £30, £40 and £50 per seat (which includes commemorative programme and cushion). Wheelchairs will cost £30. (This includes carer and
programme). There are only 38 wheelchair slots per performance. For the Preview performance on Sunday 9th July (tickets not available until 1st March 2000) the cost is likely to be in the region of £6 - £10. Change of Address All members are requested to inform their respective Honorary Secretary, through Home Headquarters Household Cavalry, of any change in their address. Every year both Associations lose touch with a number of members who have failed to notify us of their change of address. Any correspondence returned by the Post Office will result in that member being placed in the non-effective part of the database. Web Site The Household Cavalry now has their own Web Site which you may find as follows: www. householdcavalry.co.uk The main e-mail address is as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org Veterans Advice Unit The Ministry of Defence Veterans Advice Unit (VAU) has been set up to assist all former members of the Armed Forces, such as veterans of the World Wars, Korea, National Service, the Falklands or Gulf Campaigns, peace-time regulars or volunteer reservists, and their dependants. The VAU is a telephone help line, which will advise individuals on where, and how to obtain expert help. It is staffed by fully trained, friendly, warrant officers aware of the needs of Veterans no matter when they served or in which Service. It is open Monday Friday (9am - 5pm) and has an answer phone service when closed. No matter what your problem, the VAU is there to provide advice. Give them a call (at local call rates) on 08456 02 03 02.
SSAFA Forces Help - Recruitment SSAFA Forces Help need more volunteers from each Association to be Casework Supporters who are visitors, treasurers, administrators and fund-raisers. 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 outof-pocket expenses are paid. Job satisfaction is guaranteed. If you can spare a little time for a ‘comrade’ please contact: Anne Needle Branch Recruitment Office 19 Queen Elizabeth Street London SE1 2LP Telephone: 0171 463 9223 who can put you in touch with your nearest team.
Household Division Massed Bands BeatingRetreat (An evening with Guards) 1. The Massed Bands of the Household Division will Beat Retreat on Horse Guards at 7 pm on Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 June 2000 (floodlit performances have been discontinued). Ticket prices are £10 and £7 (all reserved seating) and can be obtained from the Treasurer, Household Division Funds, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX (Tel No: 0171 414 2271 or Credit Card bookings 0171 839 5323). Cheques/Postal Orders made payable to ‘Household Division Funds’. There is a 10% discount for groups of 10 or more. 2. This may well be the last event of its kind. Following the demise of the royal Tournament the Government has decided that the ceremonial aspects of the Royal Tournament should be embodied
in a new tri-service ceremonial pageant, which will take place on Horse Guards after The Queens Birthday Parade commencing in 2001. Such an event will almost certainly involve the Massed Bands of the Guards Division and the Mounted Bands of the Household Cavalry and will replace the traditional Beating Retreat events which have taken place on Horse Guards in the run up to The Queens Birthday Parade. 3. Salute takers are yet to be confirmed. The Guards Chapel - Easter Concert 4. The Guards Chapel Choir and the Band of the Grenadier Guards present an Easter Choral Concert at the Guards Chapel, Wellington Barracks, Birdcage Walk, London SW1A 2AX on 19 April 2000 at 7 pm. Tickets are available at £10 each. Details on 0207 839 5232 between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm Mon-Fri.
HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY MUSICAL RIDE 2000 SEASON FORECAST ACTIVITY Rehearsal for Knightsbridge Association Liverpool Horse Show South Suffolk Sparsholt College Swansea Show Rehearsal RMT Royal Military Tattoo (RMT) Queens Mother Birthday Event Royal Welsh Show Sunderland Air Show Aylsham Show Chatsworth Show Howard Davies Show, Jersey Thame Show Blenheim Palace Stoke Heavy Horse Pageant Horse of the Year Show Montpellier, France 1. 2.
DATE 29th April 4-8may 13-15 May 19-21 May 27-30 May 4th July 10-16 July 19 July 22-28 July 29-31 July 28 August 1-4 September 4-11 September 21 September 22 September 23-24 September 26 September - 2 October December
All Dates include Travelling Dates. This is a provisional programme and therefore subject to change.
REMARKS 1200hrs in Hyde Park Depart post Maj Gen’s
1 HCR Annual Reunion he 53rd Annual Re-union of 1st Household Cavalry Regiment took place on Thursday,14th October 1999, in the WO’s and NCO’s Mess at Hyde Park Barracks, by kind permission of RCM Maher.
The President, Brigadier His Grace The Duke of Wellington presided, and a total of 70 members and guests enjoyed an excellent lunch at which we were also delighted to welcome Lieutenant Colonel NMR Ridley, the Commanding Officer at Knightsbridge, and Major
CBB Clee, the Squadron Leader of ‘D’ Squadron, Household Cavalry Regiment, who had recently returned from Kosovo. After lunch, Major Clee gave members a most interesting and informative talk about his personal experiences in Kosovo, and the Regiments’ role and responsibilities in Bosnia. Mr John Kerrell, has regretfully decided to retire from his duties as our Assistant Secretary and he was warmly thanked by the President for his valuable services to
the Association over the last 5 years. His successor is Mr Douglas Frost, who’s address is: 11 Hatchett Road, Feltham, Middlesex TW14 8DU. The date of the next Re-union has been arranged for Thursday,19th October 2000, at Hyde Park Barracks, when we look forward to welcoming as many members as possible to another ‘sitdown’ lunch Invitations will be sent out as usual during August.
53rd 2 HCR Reunion he 53rd Annual Reunion took place on Sunday 31st October 1999 in the WO’s & NCO’s mess at Combermere Barracks, Windsor by kind permission of the RCM TM Carpenter.
The Life President, Major General DG St M Tabor, presided and seventy nine members and their guests sat down to lunch. Among the guests was Major General Peter L de C Martin, President of the Normandy Veterans Association, who said the NVA Homily at the end of the meal. Twenty-nine members stayed the night In Barracks so the party went on into the late hours. The next reunion, the 54th, will take place on Sunday 29th October 2000 in the WO’s & NCO’s mess at Combermere. A formal notice will be sent out at the beginning of September by the Hon Secretary, SI Royle, who can be contacted at: Brig y Don Lon St Ffraid Trearddur Bay Anglesey LL65 2YR (telephone 01407 860713)
The Battle of Arnhem Operation Market Garden 17 - 12 September 1944 By: Major (Retd) J A Dimond, MC formerly The Royals n September 1944 there was a stalemate. The enemy had been badly mauled. The British and Americans were regrouping after a rapid advance across France and Belgium. The Canadians were still fighting. They were coming up the coast, and every port they came to necessitated a deliberate attack, which was exhausting and time-consuming.
Into this stalemate stepped Eisenhower the Supreme Commander, alighting from a light aircraft near Brussels to meet his two subordinates – Omar Bradley commanding the Americans and Montgomery commanding the British and Canadians. He called for ideas. Bradley wanted to advance on a broad front, entering Germany through the Aachen Gap, crossing the Rhine in the area of Koblenz, then aiming for Kassel, Magdeburg and Berlin. Provided he was given priority of transport and supply, he considered that he could be in Berlin by Christmas. As he had four armies between the Ardennes and the Swiss border, from the point of view of numbers, a broad front strategy looked feasible.
Montgomery however proposed a rapid stiletto-like thrust on a single axis through Holland to the lower Rhine, there to make a firm base before advancing east across the northern plain of Germany. Montgomery’s plan had three ingredients:-
We do not know what decided Eisenhower to choose Montgomery’s plan. We do know that he had great respect for Churchill and the British allies. He might also have felt that a single thrust was more economical than a broad front advance south of the Ruhr.
1. To take under command the two American airborne divisions, 81 and 101, additional to 1st British Airborne Division and the Polish Airborne Brigade, totaling 35,000 airborne troops.
It would have been advantageous for the inland deep-water port of Antwerp to have been operative. We held the town and the harbour, but the enemy held the shoulders of the 70 mile long estuary. The Scheldt. Moreover Antwerp was plagued by VI flying boms (the “Doodlebug”) launched from east of the Maas. So all supplies were coming through Ostend. This would mean an abnormally long turn round for 2nd line transport as the advance progressed.
2. To drop the majority of this force simultaneously, to seize all the bridges between the Belgian/Dutch frontier and Arnhem, a town on the Lower Rhine 70 miles to the north. 3. To advance 30 Corps on a single route up through the captured bridges to establish a base in the area of Arnhem for future operations eastwards. The priority for airlift from UK worked south to north, conforming to the advance, i.e.101,82,1 AB Div/Poles.
17th September was fine autumnal day. All morning RA and RE recce parties had been moving on the approach road, so we knew that something was afoot, but it was not until after midday that junior ranks were briefed
Americans temporarily surrounded during Operation Market Garden.
The advance began with rocket-firing typhoons of the RAF beating up anything they could find astride the road for about 20, miles. This was followed by the whole of 30 Corps artillery firing a rolling barrage to the limit of the guns’ range. This in turn was followed by the advance of Guards Armoured Division leading 30 Corps. By nightfall the vanguard had reached the outskirts of Eindhoven, and the next morning they pushed on north of the town, and there we shall briefly leave them and look now at 101 United States Airborne Division. 101 Landed on 17th September in good autumnal weather and immediately captured the bridge over the Willemsvaart Canal at Veghel. They then moved south to try to capture the bridge at Zon over the Wilhelmina Canal, but before they could get there the bridge was blown. Guards Armoured Division now arrived at this point saw that this was not a straightforward problem – a wide gap in hostile country; the leading tanks having to be squeezed into the side of the road to let the Sapper plant though, whilst for forward infantry deployed to cover the gap. Above all there was inevitably a delay, which was the last thing anyone wanted. Let us look now at 82nd United State Airborne Division. They landed in the same good weather and immediately captured the important bridge at Grave over the river Maas. They also captured two lesser bridges over the canal which links the Maas to the Waal, the southern arm of the Rhine. They then approached the Nijmegen bridge over the Rival Waal. This is a huge structure, comparable in size to the bridge at Sydney Harbour. It was very strongly defended and no match for paratroopers on their feet. Guards Armoured Division now linked up with 82 and moved a tank on to the bridge. This was promptly knocked out.82 now did a very enterprising thing. They sent a party of men by night under cover but close to the wharfs and quays along the south bank of the river to the west end of the town. They then crossed the river to the north bank, turned eastwards, and by first light on the 19 September had captured the northern tip of the railway bridge. From here they fired on the northern tip of the road bridge, allowing guards Armoured Division to bounce the bridge, led by Peter
Carrington, now Lord Carrington. They then pushed on towards the village of Elst, which is roughly half way between Nijmegen and Arnhem, but here they stuck fast. The German anti-tank screen was complete. The complexity of waterways prevented maneuvering off the road, and the sky was peppered with flak against the RAF. The weather was deteriorating. 25 miles back along the road armoured cars of the Household Cavalry and the Royal Dragoons had moved east and west to give early warning of an attack. Gradually they were forced back onto the road itself and eventually across it. Thus the road was cut in two places between Veghel and Uden and severely threatened at St. Odenrode. C Squadron now found themselves the wrong side of a cut, and through the initiative of the Squadron Leader came under command of 101 United States Airborne Division. A series of British and American counter-attacks restored the situation, which however remained fragile. Let us look now at 1st British Airborne Division. There was in Whitehall a senior officer, General “Boy” Browning, in command of the British Airborne Corps, which included the Polish Airborne Brigade. He had to select a dropping zone off the map and aerial photographs, since clearly he could not recce it. He was worried about the ladyrinth of waterways surrounding the Arnhem bridge, so he played safe and selected a DZ 8 miles west of the objective in open country. As we have already seen,1st British Airborne Division were low priority for the airlift from UK, so could land only a brigade in the first lift. Nevertheless an under strength battalion under Lt Col Frost got away from the DZ pretty swiftly, and by first light on the 18th had actually got a toe hold on to the objective itself. But then disaster struck. There were in the area of Arnhem strong elements of 11 SS Panzer Corps, under General Bittrich, thinking of course that they were some 70 miles behind the lines. The General was a competent soldier, and in order to keep the troops on their toes had ordered a stand-to, when suddenly the stand-to became a fully operational alert, for descending out of the skies were hosts of unknown paratroops – supposedly British. Bittrich then did three things; he occupied part of the DZ itself, so that
stores and ammunition destined for the British now fell into German hands; he occupied with tanks the Arnhem suburb of Oosterbeek, which lay in the path of the British advance; and he occupied Arnhem town itself, from where he could bring fire to bear on Frost’s battalion clinging on to the bridge. 1st British Airborne Division were now fighting on three fronts. Casualties mounted. The weather deteriorated. Reinforcements were few. The relief column, as we have seen, was stuck fast before Elst. On 21st September the Polish Airborne Brigade were dropped at Driel, south of the river. They could make little impression on the south of the river. They could make little impression on the south side of the Arnhem bridge, which by now was very heavily fortified. With great valour they tried to reinforce 1st Airborne Division by swimming the river, but were met by murderous fire from both banks. Later that day Frost’s battalion were surrounded and captured and the bridge abandoned. By 24th September the position had become hopeless; Montgomery had no alternative but to withdraw the garrison across the river by any possible means, mainly swimming. This virtually ended the Battle of Arnhem. Had it been successful the war in Europe might have been foreshortened by about six months. As it was, due to a series of miscalculations and a certain amount of bad luck the final bridge at Arnhem was not captured and 1st British Airborne Division sustained 6,500 casualties out of strength of 10,500. There was however a measure of success. Half a million Dutch people had been liberated. The enemy had sustained over 3,000 casualties. The airborne forces were quickly flow back to UK to re-form and to re-impose the airborne threat against the Germans. Two months later 30 Corps distinguished themselves in the Battle of the Bulge – Hitler’s last dice attempt completely thwarted by the new found Anglo/American co-operation forged in the Battle of Arnhem.
The Household Cavalry Association North Staffs Annual Report President:
Lt Col J S Olivier, The Blues and Royals.
Mr Len Pritchard, formerly Life Guards.
Mr Ian Taylor, formerly Royal Horse Guards.
Mr Harry Withington, formerly Life Guards.
t our AGM in March, last years officers were re-elected and we began to plan our activities for the year ahead.
Regular regimental or civic functions that we participate in are usually dictated by the calendar on set dates, so our objective is to arrange other events in addition to these fixtures to get us “old uns” off the sofa, to raise much needed funds for our charities, and to keep The Household Cavalry in the Public eye. This year has been as busy as ever, and was off to a start in April with a Garden Party at the home of Brian and Josie Jones on the 24th at which the Lord Major of Stoke on Trent was present, a great start to the year. Just a few days later, on the 28th our first social evening, with members and wives sitting down to dinner at the Comfort Friendly Inn, this being repeated in July and November. The Blues and Royals Regimental Association dinner at Hyde Park Barracks was well attended, a great opportunity to meet old colleagues again, and for one night of the year, we’re all young men again! On the Sunday morning a coach brought down other members, family and friends for the Cavalry Parade, and we laid a wreath at The Blues and Royals memorial. On the first weekend in June, we marched with the annual Mayor’s Day Parade in Newcastle under Lyme. The following weekend, several members attended the Trooping the Colour and the Life Guards Association dinner. On the 10th July, at the invitation of our previous President, Major CH Waterhouse, formerly Life guards, we were pleased to visit him at his home for an informal evening, it was a great pleasure to see him again. We hold our annual sponsored walk in august, being after the holiday season we hope for a good attendance, and the weather is just about right for a 10 mile hike.
The President was able to join us, and led the way, but had to drive back to London immediately we finished, leaving us to enjoy the (crisp) barbecue! Our thanks must go to Captain PRV Thellussen, formerly Royals and his wife Polly, for planning the route, reviving us with tea and cake when we start to flag, and the use of their garden and stable for the barbecue, year after year. Our sponsors donated a total of £500.00, a little less than last year, but still most welcome. We are planning something a little more ambitious for next year. With just a week to recover from the walk on Saturday 14th, members and wives attended an invitation by our Padre, Prebendary JG Ridyard, to his retirement home in Lichfield. We were given a most informative guided tour of the impressive cathedral, followed by a splendid buffet prepared by Mrs Ridyard, the evening finished much too soon! After a busy Summer timetable, we slowed down in September to plan the finishing touches to our Annual Dinner
Dance on October 30th. The event was again a huge success, with guests attending from as far apart as Newcastle on Tyne, Yorkshire, London and Sussex. Several new members were attending for the first time, including Colonel JG Hamilton-Russell. We were honoured to have as our guest speaker, Lieutenant General Sir Richard Vickers KCB LVO OBE with his wife Lady Vickers. The General’s talk was extremely entertaining, and we do hope he will visit us again. For the Remembrance Day Parade, we attended our county town of Stafford, and we had a good turnout of members. In the afternoon a short service at Tunstall cemetery, at the grave of a Life Guards, was conducted by Rev Ann Taylor. The years activities came to a close on November 24th with our Christmas Dinner at the Comfort Friendly Inn, . As in previous years, we used the occasion to present cheques for the money raised in sponsorship. A cheque for £250.00 was handed over to our regular cause, the local branch of Riding for the disabled, and this year we supported the Donna
Guest Speaker - Sir Richard Vickers, Lady Vickers and Members of the Association at our Annual DInner Dance, 30 Oct 99.
Louise Trust, an organisation formed to treat children with cystic fibrosis, with a cheque for £250.00. The Association goes from strength to strength, the fact that we are located in North Staffordshire does not deter members from all over the country joining us, if not being able to attend our regular meetings to receive the minutes and support our Annual Dinner Dance. At the end of a very busy year we look forward to the New Year and the New Millennium, hoping that whatever we have achieved this year, we can do better next year! Wishing the Regiments of The Household Cavalry every success in their duties next year, and hope that the traditions we are so proud of continue throughout the next Millennium!
New members - old friends.
The Eagle By Gerald Lowthin ho captured the Eagle of 105th Regiment de Ligne? Was it the then Captain Alexander Kennedy Clark, or Corporal Francis Stiles? There was uncertainty a few days after Waterloo and the doubt was still there in May 1949, when I was posted to The Royals. In the officers’ mess we were told that the eagle had been taken by an officer. At the sergeants’ mess our informant was equally positive that the captor was a Corporal.
“The Eagle”, follows the fortunes of Clark, Stiles and The Royal Dragoons through the Peninsula and Waterloo campaigns. The regiment was based at home until the end of September 1809 when it sailed from Cork to Lisbon. The next five years were to produce many hardships and frustrations but all of these events were borne with stoicism. The hesitation and over caution of two cavalry commanders, namely Generals Slade and Erskine, for a while, badly affected morale. Gradually the regiment moulded into an effective unit. The fighting withdrawal of the Army to the Line of Torres Vedras and the battle of Fuentes d’Onoro (a battle Honour), contributed to this process. In mid July 1814 the Royals returned to England. At the time of Napoleon’s escape from Elba the regiment was in the West Country assisting the Revenue and seemed likely to stay there. In late April 1815 they were dispatched at short notice from Ramsgate to Ostend. At Waterloo, Clark commanded the Centre Squadron. Stiles, as Standard Coverer, had to closely follow Clark wherever he went. After the initial charge, which routed d’Erlon’s infantry, Clark saw a colour being hurried to the rear. He gave the order to “Attach the colour”. It was taken. Clark had stabbed its bearer but Stiles had picked the colour up. He was ordered to take it to the rear. The participation of The Royals in the remainder of the battle is described. At its conclusion The Royals were reduced to one weak squadron in strength. Although I have written “The Eagle” as a novel it is mostly factual both as regards personalities and events. Almost all of the more bizarre happenings occurred. “The Eagle”, currently priced at £8..99 is published by Minerva Press and may be ordered at any good book shop; ISBN No .86106 504 3. It has been very favourably received and reviewed in specialist magazines.
Doorkeeping in The House of Lords By Mr D P Evans, LG former WO1 ith the dawn of a new millennium and the removal of the Hereditary Peerage after 600 years, perhaps this is the best time to remind readers of the strong links that the Household Cavalry has with the House of Lords.
I have been a Doorkeeper now for four years and I am the only Household Cavalryman currently employed by the Gentleman Usher of the Blackrod, General Sir Edward Jones. The Blackrod will probably be familiar to members of The Blues and Royals as he was the Commander of 3rd Armoured Division in which they served. Although I am the only H. Cav, we have several H. Division and members from all three services. Of the 7 Ex army Doorkeepers, 5 are H Div. (LG, CG(2), GG and WG). There are currently 23 Doorkeepers in the House of Lords, this includes 2 Judicial who work with the Law Lords in the Courts of Appeal. The first record of a Doorkeeper being employed by the Blackrod is 1641, but then they are blank until 1809 when 2 men purchased their job from the Blackrod for the princely sum of ÂŁ1700, a huge sum in the 1800s but perhaps an indication of how highly rated the post of Doorkeeper was. In 1824 a G J Oldrini was appointed by Blackrod to the most enviable job of receiver of the fees, as such he paid the other Doorkeepers keeping 10% for himself. The earliest record of a Household Cavalryman is a W D Young, late trooper RHG, who was employed from 14 July 1915. He was recruited as a temporary messenger and even had to supply his own evening dress. In 1916 the late CoH Frank Meech was recruited, he had lost a leg in action in France. The only other recorded Ex H Cav from this period is late Cpl William Young RHG. I will not attempt to list all Household Cavalrymen as the list is long, but perhaps be permitted to mention a few that may be familiar to readers from both Regiments. 1945 1949 1951 1952 1954 1956 1960 1965 1966 1969 1972 1977
WT M LT JH GD JT AR AJ A G S J
Ison Wager George Ledger Maxted MM Weston Alder Bolton Quiney Martin Keyworth Hunter
H CAV LG RHG (Later Principal Doorkeeper) RHG RHG LG RHG (Later Principal Doorkeeper) H Cav RHG RHG (Later Principal Doorkeeper) RHG/D RHG
The latter Jim Hunter was the RCM at the HCMR when I was posted there in 1975, it was a pleasure to meet him again, this time in more pleasurable surroundings than his office in Knightsbridge. The role of the Doorkeepers in both the House of Lords and the House of Commons is to ensure the smooth running of the Chamber. The House of Lords is a legislated chamber that has the role of scrutinising all future legislation from the House of commons, and advising on perhaps better ways that they could be legislated, the advice is not always listened to. A vast amount of paperwork is generated and it is one of the jobs of the Door-
120 News from the Associations
keeper to ensure that it is available for all peers. Our main role is to make sure that the rules of the house are adhered to, this can lead to a Doorkeeper having to respectfully advise a Peer of any indiscretion. One story that is told is of a Doorkeeper having to ask a Peer to put out a cigarette that he was carrying. The Peer rather angrily asked that if smoking was not permitted why did he have an ashtray? The Doorkeeper without batting an eyelid replied. So that you can put out the cigarette when I asked you my lord. Since the Hereditary Peers have left the Palace at Westminster there has been a definite change in the atmosphere in the areas around the chamber, but in the chamber life goes on as normal. Of the 92 Hereditary Peers who remain there are still a couple of Household Cavalrymen. Lord Astor of Hever (Lt.1966-70) LG and Lord Rotherwick (Lt.1973-76) LG. Editors Note - Other ex Household Cavalry Peers are: Earl of Onslow - LG in late 80s and Earl of Carnarvan - joined the Blues during the war until 1947. The House of Lords is an excellent place of work, and working alongside a group of Doorkeepers with all the same background leads to a professional and well run chamber that enables the Peers to carryout their duties with the minimum of fuss.