THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY JOURNAL
The Household Cavalry Journal Incorporating The Acorn and The Blue and Royal No. 10 2001/02 Editor: Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) JS Olivier, The Blues and Royals. Section Editors: Major JRD Barnard, The Life Guards Captain RAH Peasgood, The Life Guards
Colonel-in-Chief Her Majesty The Queen Colonel of The Life Guards and Gold Stick : General the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB, LVO, OBE Colonel of The Blues and Royals and Gold Stick: HRH The Princess Royal KG, KT, 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 HPD Massey, The Blues and Royals Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel MC van der Lande OBE, The Life Guards Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel SH Cowen, The Blues and Royals
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)
Crown Copyright: This publication contains official information. It should be treated with discretion by the recipient. The opinions expressed in the articles in this journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy and views, official or otherwise, of the Household Cavalry or the Ministry of Defence. No responsibility for the goods or services advertised in this journal can be accepted by the Household Cavalry, publishers or printers and advertisements are included in good faith.
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HCR on TESEX
The Queenâ€™s Life Guard passes through Wellington Arch.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Contents Preface by The Commander Household Cavalry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
Household Cavalry Regiment 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 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Quartermaster’s Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Quartermaster Technical’s Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Light Aid Detachment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 The Band of The Blues and Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Regimental Information Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 The Regimental Admin Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Diary of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 The Life Guards Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 The Blues and Royals Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Headquarters Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 WOs’ & NCOs’ Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44
Musical Ride 2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 The Band of The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Training Wing . . . . . 53 Winter Training Troop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Equitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Household Cavalry News Exercise Cockney Maple . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 Visit by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Presentationof the Princess Elizabeth Cup 2001 . . . . 57 The Recollections of an Argentinean Exchange Officer . . . . . 58 A Month in the Country - Task Force Harvest . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Regimental Cricket Tour to the West Indies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Language Training in Croatia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Eventing on the Continent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Mongolia - Detox for the Ratrace? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 Training with the Royal Thai Horse Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67 Belfast - The Christmas Tour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 D Squadron Ex Adventure Exchange, Turkey . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 2nd Battalion The Light Infantry Attachment to Sierra Leone . .73 Exercise Iron Horse 2001 - Normandy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Pages 56-85 The Medical Centre- A Very Peculiar Practice . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 18 Tp HCR (Windsor Boys School) ACF . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 The Household Cavalry Sports Round-up The Ski Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Polo 2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Modern Pentathlon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 HCR Cresta 2002 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Rugby League Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Golf 2001 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 Diving Club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85 Real Tennis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
News from the Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86 Minutes of the 67th AGM ofThe Life Guards Association . .86 The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust Accounts . . . . 87 The Life Guards Association Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89 The Life Guards Association Area representatives . . . . . . . . 90 The Blues and Royals Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91 The Blues and Royals Association Accounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92 Minutes of the AGM of The Blues and Royals Association . 93 The Blues and Royals Association Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 The Blues and Royals Association Area representatives . . . . 94 Household Cavalry Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 Obituaries The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96 Obituaries The Blues and Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
Nominal Rolls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 Notices for both Regiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103 Musical Ride 2002 Forecast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Reunions (1 HCR and 2 HCR) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 105 Features The Story of Shrapnel Charlie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 9 Men and Their Clubs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Ypres and The Menin Gate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107 National Service Remembered - 50 Years On . . . . . . . . . . . 109 Hilvarenbeek - A Reflection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 The Commemoration of the Death of CoH Legget . . . . . . 111 Associations Blackpool Reunions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 The Life Guards - The Brickhangers Association . . . . . . . 113 North Staffs Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114
Front Cover: D Sqn on Ex ADVENTURE EXCHANGE in Turkey Back Cover: Rank Past on the state visit for the President of South Africa. Photograph by courtesy of The Daily telegraph.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Preface By Colonel H P D Massey, The Blues & Royals Commander Household Cavalry he pages of this Journal demonstrate the purpose and pace of life for the Household Cavalry. At the time of going to print, A Squadron The Life Guards is about to hand over its peacekeeping duties in Bosnia to C Squadron The Blues and Royals. I said in last year’s Journal that we would face our fair share of challenges during 2001, and we have. HCR’s Commanding Officer and just over a dozen from his RHQ deployed to Macedonia in September as part of Brigadier White-Spunner’s Force collecting weapons on behalf of NATO; B Squadron The Life Guards went to BATUS in Alberta while D Squadron The Blues and Royals did invaluable, if unenviable, work providing the interface between MAFF and farmers in Wales during the foot and mouth epidemic. Recently, the Household Cavalry Regiment has successfully completed a demanding exercise (TESEX) on Salisbury Plain to prove their fitness for role.
The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment was no less busy. They were honoured with a visit by The Queen in May to present the Princess Elizabeth Cup for the Best Turned-out Trooper. The Regiment then concentrated on working through one of the most intensive ceremonial seasons in recent years culminating unprecedentedly in the State Opening of Parliament during Ascot week. Meanwhile, the training package delivered to trainees in the Household Cavalry Training Wing has been held up within the Royal Armoured Corps by the MCM Div in Glasgow (known to more senior Household Cavalrymen as the Records Office) as an example of best practice. In addition, during his inspection, the Major General described the manner in which soldier’s NVQs and personal development records are managed as examples of best practice in the Household Division. I am pleased to be able to report that the Household Cavalry continues to be more or less up to strength. This is in great measure due to the exertions of Captain Norris, his Regimental Information Team and our special recruiters across the country, all complemented by the positive internal recruiting measures taking place in both Regiments. We
Household Cavalry Regiment
have carried out an appraisal of our recruiting effort across the country and re-deployed some of our special recruiters while trying to ensure that these talented senior non-commissioned officers come from the younger end of the age spectrum. We now have recruiters newly appointed to the Army Careers Information Offices (ACIO) in Preston, The Strand and Croydon. I continue to urge every member of the Household Cavalry to take a minute or two to visit his nearest ACIO when on leave. This will help by putting straight mistaken ideas about the Household Cavalry in recruiters’ minds, and also put us uppermost in their minds when they are advising uncommitted recruits given that we undoubtedly enjoy the most varied, exciting and satisfying roles in the Army. As always, there are issues of the moment in the Army which affect the Household Cavalry. One such is the centralisation of all infantry recruit training at Catterick by the Army Training and Recruiting Agency (ATRA). Of course, this includes the Foot Guards and, on current plans, excludes other arms. Work continues on the future of Household Cavalry recruit training, but the Major-General is arranging for a number of Foot Guard recruits to continue to be trained with our own at Pirbright, sufficient to guarantee the integrity of the Household Division system and ethos. They will continue to be trained by instructors from the Household Division, not just our own. The plans for the move of our Museum from Windsor to Horse Guards continue to develop satisfactorily thanks to the effort and energy of Major Waterhouse, late The Life Guards. Following the submission of our case for funding we must now wait patiently for a decision due in the summer before proceeding to the next stage. There have been achievements in which we can all take great pride. It gives me considerable pleasure to record that WO1 (RCMI) Valentine, The Life Guards, was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and Lieutenant Colonel van der Lande, The Life Guards, was appointed OBE during the course of last
year. We were also delighted when the Colonel, The Life Guards was made a life peer in the spring on completion of his appointment as Chief of Defence Staff. To them all, I offer congratulations on behalf of all members of the Household Cavalry, past and present. Looking forward to the celebrations for The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, it is an indication of the versatility of our system that HCR will be assisting HCMR on 4 June by providing 4 officers and 30 men to find the Step Lining Party at St Paul’s Cathedral. Further ahead in the spring of 2003, we look forward to the Presentation of new Standards and a new Guidon by Her Majesty. The Household Cavalry are trained and prepared for operations wherever they might be ordered to serve. We have a respectable caucus of parachute-trained officers and soldiers, which fits us for deployment on operations anywhere with, among other formations, 16 Air Assault Brigade and places us at the forefront of the Army. The privilege of having our mounted ceremonial role and continuing ability to meet it makes us unique. I commend the following pages which reflects this versatility in all its kaleidoscopic variety and successful forms.
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword By Lieutenant Colonel M C van der Lande OBE, The Life Guards he fact that this foreword was written whilst returning from the Reconnaissance Brigade’s sports day at Catterick is indicative of the type of year the Regiment has had. Those of you who read The Guards Magazine will have seen what a busy and unpredictable year it has been. While difficult and challenging it does, however, in many respects illustrate the adaptability, professionalism and capability which has characterised Household Cavalrymen over the years. We have had to deal with considerable change, often at short notice, the excitement of anticipated operations and, for many, the disappointment of not deploying. At all times, the Regiment has earned praise for what it has achieved.
The year has been dominated by operations. If those currently on standby for Afghanistan deploy, they will be the fifth element to deploy this year to a fifth separate theatre. Certainly the most number of separate operational deployments in a year for the Household Cavalry Regiment and, probably the most for any regiment of the Household Cavalry outside the two World Wars. A Squadron are currently deployed in Bosnia, again at Banja Luka, as part of the 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifle Battle Group. This is the sixteenth squadron rotation from the Regiment to Bosnia since 1994. On current plans, C Squadron are to take over from them in March, as part of the Welsh Guards Battle Group. In August D Squadron, heavily reinforced by C Squadron, was reduced to one hour’s notice to move for Operation Essential Harvest in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. When it was confirmed that armoured reconnaissance for the force would come from Canada (in the form of A Squadron, the Royal Canadian Dragoons) and Italy, they were stood down. In their place a party from Regimental Headquarters was stood up and deployed for a month to co-ordinate the reconnaissance aspects of the weapon collection operation. Small parties have also been deployed to Sierra Leone, to assist 2nd Battalion the Light Infantry in training the Sierra Leone Army, and, very recently, to Northern Ireland for a month with the Grenadier Guards.
The Foot and Mouth epidemic dominated the early part of the year. D Squadron were the first to deploy to address the crisis in Devon. They had the particularly difficult task of assisting in the clearance of the backlog of carcasses, many several days old. At the end of March, Regimental Headquarters, C and D Squadrons deployed to Wales. The Regiment’s area of operations stretched from Cardiff and Newport in the South to Welshpool in the North. A Regimental operations room was established next door to the tax office at Llanishen and was co-located with the emergency MAFF, later DEFRA, offices. Close liaison was also established with the National Assembly of Wales. Our commitment ended when A Squadron eventually withdrew in mid June. The deployment presented the Regiment with new and unusual challenges, including a wild sheep drive. It also placed considerable responsibility on the younger non commissioned officers and soldiers who displayed the very highest standards of professionalism in dealing with local farmers in what were often harrowing circumstances. Our training programme was also severely disrupted. Dismounted training was postponed and the deployment of B Squadron to Canada as OPFOR was delayed by a month. As I write, while the political fallout of the crisis continues to drop, thankfully the disease appears to have been brought under control. There have, as usual, been many exercises over the year and it has been particularly reassuring in the later months of the year to have been able to train regimentally both at Garelochead, a beautiful piece of Scottish scenery, and on Salisbury Plain. These will no doubt be described in detail in the Squadron notes so I will not discuss them further. The Regiment has also been busy on charitable matters. We have a growing association with the Lions Club of Windsor. On their behalf we host an annual Christmas lunch for local pensioners and in October we hosted a charity lunch at which the Band of The Blues and Royals provided a musical extravaganza with old favourite Aker Bilk. The monies raised from this event were divided between the Lions Club and the Regiment for distribution to charities. We received £3,000 which included £1,000 to support our projects
in Bosnia. This relationship with the local community at Windsor is especially important to us. On a separate front, in August we worked with the Make A Wish Foundation to allow a very ill little girl to be a princess for the day. The Governor of Windsor Castle and the Coaching Troop from the Mounted Regiment combined with us to make the day as special as we could. 2002 appears to be less busy than 2001. The Regiment, with the exception of the Airborne commitment, moves off high readiness. I see the year as an opportunity to consolidate on the considerable work achieved in 2001 and to prepare ourselves in every respect for the following year. C Squadron will take over from A Squadron in Bosnia in March and, when they return in October, the complete Regiment will be in barracks together, a rare event these days. We must wait to see how the rapidly changing situation in Afghanistan affects us. The other issues which will become increasingly important over the year are likely to be the rebuild of Combermere Barracks. This is long overdue. Current plans are to begin work in the Autumn of 2003 and for the rebuild to go up around us. We will, as the technical term suggests, “rattle”. We must also consolidate our position with 16 Air Assault Brigade; this in turn will strengthen the case for our fourth squadron. Finally, the year will give us an opportunity to develop the wider aspects of the Regimental family in the context of Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Diary of Events January HCR returned to work on 9th January after a generous helping of Christmas Leave and having assumed the mantle of the Lead Reconnaissance Task Force on 1st January 2001. In this high readiness capacity the Regiment was mandated to produce a squadron on 5 days Notice to Move with a second squadron and RHQ on 10 days notice to move.
February The Regiment became the first exponents of the Army’s new Whole Fleet Management (WFM) concept. The handover of D Squadron’s vehicles to QDG forced upon us somewhat earlier that the rest of the Army. The Regiment also hosted the Reconnaissance Brigade’s annual study period. The two day event allowed key members of the reconnaissance community to gather and discuss topical subjects alongside organisations such as DRAC and DERA.
Padre Mark Christian leads the unveiling ceremony of the Household Cavalry Memorial.
MAFF (now DEFRA) with crisis planning and the coordination of the cull.
Lande OBE assumed command from Lieutenant Colonel P J Tabor MVO.
Major S St M Miller ran the new Leadership Development Cadre at Fremington. The course’s objectives mirrored many of those of the old Junior NCO cadres in assessing and enhancing the leadership skills of potential LCpls. The tasks were nearly all non-military. However there was a distinctly physical feel to many of the activities. Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) forced major changes upon the Regimental Programme. The annual dismounted training package in Sennybridge was cancelled and replaced by 2 weeks of in-barracks training. D Squadron deployed to Exeter on Op PENINSULA to assist
As FMD strengthened its hold, so the Regiment’s commitment grew. C Sqn and RHQ deployed to join D Squadron in a new area encompassing much of Wales. A slaughter troop lead by Lieutenant P J Williams deployed to Carlisle for 72 hours to assist with the cull. B Squadron belatedly deployed to BATUS as part of Light Dragoons OPFOR. On 27th April Colonel The Life Guards and Deputy Colonel The Blues and Royals unveiled a new memorial in Combermere Barracks to those Household Cavalrymen who have died since 1945 whilst on the active list. After the ceremony Lieutenant Colonel M C van der
Op PENINSULA continued. However as events began to slow down, the opportunity arose to begin a drawdown. At the end of May D Squadron withdrew to be replaced by A Squadron.
HQ SQMC tells another ‘whopper’ !
Household Cavalry Regiment
June As June progressed, so the drawdown continued, leaving just A Squadron in Wales. On 25th June a small closing ceremony marked the end of HCR’s deployment with Carwyn Jones, the Welsh Assembly’s Minister for Rural Affairs, thanking the Regiment on behalf of the National Assembly, DEFRA and the local communities for
…and here is our SCM, he usually saves the forked tongue for the troopers.
A refreshing dip.
its support throughout the crisis. A gradual move began to refocus the Regiment on its warfighting role, beginning with an in-house mini-CAST, followed by the Recce Brigade CAST in Catterick.
July The Regiment undertook its Annual Firing at Castlemartin and its own LRTF CAST in Catterick before departing on Summer Leave on 27th July. The latter part of July was spent with one eye on the Balkans as events indicated a possible deployment to Macedonia.
August The Regiment returned to work on 20th August, although for many the very real possibility of a D Squadron deployment on Op BESSEMER (Macedonia) had brought this about somewhat prematurely. On 23rd August D Squadron was stood down whilst on the brink of deploying. In its place a small RHQ team deployed to form a Reconnaissance Coordination Cell within HQ 16 Air Assault Brigade. A Squadron began its pre-Bosnia training package with an exercise at Thetford.
CO presents LSGC to Sgt Clarke in Banja Luka.
Lt Col PJ Tabor, is dined out.
ing made this a very useful exercise.
RHQ(-) continued its work in Macedonia, returning after the 30 day deadline had passed. A Squadron finished their pre-Bosnia training on 9th September before departing for some pre-tour leave. They subsequently deployed to the Banja Luka Metal Factory on 25th September as part of a 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles BG. Those left behind in Windsor participated in a glut of fitness training in preparation for the forthcoming dismounted training exercise. The QM led an adventure training exercise to Scotland whilst the LAD went SCUBA Diving in Spain.
The pace of events really began to pick up. On return from Garelochead, the Regiment quickly prepared for its NATO Operational Evaluation on 9th November. Following this there was just time for a drill rehearsal before the Regiment marched to church for the Remembrance Day service. Ex Wessex Acorn started the following day. This was a 2-week mounted exercise on Salisbury Plain designed to build troop cohesion. During this, elements of C Squadron were placed on a reduced Notice to Move for Op ORACLE 2 (Afghanistan).
D Squadron deployed on exercise to Turkey as part of a Queenâ€™s Dragoon Guards BG. On 11th October the remainder (including some guests from Le Premier Regiment de Hussard Parachutist) deployed to Scotland on Ex Tartan Eagle. This was the replacement for the earlier dismounted training package lost to FMD. The rugged terrain, unhelpful weather, and interesting train-
The Regiment sent Rugby, Football and Hockey teams to Catterick to compete in the Recce Brigade sports competition (The Sika Trophy) on 11th December. Set against the backdrop of the previous 3 months, the effort was a commendable one, securing 3rd place. As December progressed, the possibility of a deployment to Afghanistan began to loom large. Christmas Leave began on 14th
Collection of arms - Op BESSEMER.
Harrowing sights for young men!
Household Cavalry Regiment
A Squadron The Life Guards At the time of writing, A Squadron finds itself about to celebrate Christmas in “Republika Srpska”, Bosnia. At the start of the year, the Squadron entered an intensive training period with the majority of personnel on courses, both external and internal, knowing that by mid May it would be time to start training for Op PALATINE. In February, a number of tprs attended the Leadership Development Course and spent two weeks either submerged in the helicopter crash simulator or canoeing down freezing torrents. Tpr Hogg’s performance particularly impressed the DS. The remainder of the Squadron spent a fortnight acting as Civpop for minor units’ Northern Ireland training. After Ex Combermere Eagle, a lucky few went on the Regimental Cricket tour to Jamaica. Tpr Ashaa managed to persuade his troop leader that he should go despite having already spent 3 months skiing with Tpr, (and now L Cpl) Howell earlier in the year. At the end of May, Op PENINSULAR beckoned. We took over from D Squadron, who had coped with the worst of the crisis, and spent a fascinating but harrowing month helping Welsh farmers and MAFF. All ranks spent considerable time with men and women who had found their inheritance, business and way of life destroyed by Foot & Mouth disease. On behalf of the Regiment we attended a closing ceremony with Carwyn Jones, the Welsh Assembly’s Minister for Rural Affairs. In between visiting farms, LCoH Hitchings found time to prepare the Squadron for Gun Camp at Castlemartin. It was now time to think about training for Op PALATINE. The Squadron was to deploy as part of the 2nd Battalion The
CO promotes Tprs Dove and Johnson to LCpl at BLMF, Dec 01, during his visit to the Squadron.
Royal Gurkha Rifles Battle Group, the first infantry battalion to serve in Bosnia without Warrior or Challenger 2. A Squadron were to provide the only form of mobile direct fire platform with any kind of armour at all. 35% of the Squadron had been to Bosnia before and so most lessons were just revision periods. A new experience however, was training with the 2 RGR and this proved very successful. In July the Regiment went Annual Firing. Gunnery Camp spanned 2 gloriously sunny weeks on the Pembrokeshire Coast. 2 Troop came out as the Squadron Top Guns, albeit with the regular absence of 2nd Lieutenant Wren, who spent a lot of time on the road back to the Thames Valley to cox for the Army Rowing Team. Tpr Rawasa, our one soldier from Fiji, put in a particularly good performance in the gunner’s seat. Guided Weapons Troop also fired their annual allocation of missiles, under the mental
A Sqn form up for 1st parade at Banja Luka Metal Factory.
Household Cavalry Regiment
and physical guidance of CoH Heaton. When not in the tower controlling the firing, Major J R Wheeler and other fanatics were to be found catching the Atlantic Surf on the Pembrokeshire Beaches. In the final week before leave, Major Wheeler handed over command to Major H R D Fullerton, who was hot out of the Joint Staff College and glad of that situation! Summer Leave was followed by Squadron Training on SPTA, where the first thing to do was let the newly formed troops get to know each other and revise the very basic skills of movement and recce tactics. The training avoided Peace Support Scenarios, as we knew these would come later. For a Squadron who had not been out in CVR(T) on exercise since BATUS the year before, it was a welcome return to our main role. We went straight onto Thetford the following week to carry out our specific Bosnia training. We were the
Going Native… CoH Heaton and 2LT Kenyon at the Prijavor Trogs
first Battle Group to go through the newly formed OPTAG organisation, (NITAT and UNTAT together). Due to recent events in Bosnia, civil riot drills were a high priority for the training periods. For a sub unit that has had little Northern Ireland experience, the riot training proved fun and challenging for the Squadron. In mid to late September, A Squadron deployed to Banja Luka, via Zagreb and Split. We took over from A Squadron, the Queen’s Dragoon Guards. They in turn had been busy taking over new areas in the weeks leading up to their departure, as the Czech Battle Group had been moved out of Bosnia at short notice. It freed up 2 new counties, or “Opstinas” as they are known here. SHQ are based just outside Banja Luka in a disused metal factory, (home for a second time for a few), along with the LAD and Echelon and one of the troops. The remaining 4 troops are based out over the 5 Opstinas of North Western Republica Serbska (RS), in troop houses. We arrived to find the security situation escalating as the US led coalition commenced the operations in Afghanistan. Although the Squadron found itself in an ethnically pure Orthodox Serb area, it nevertheless changed the direction of operations here. Suddenly the threat from extreme organisations, both Islamic and any other that might wish to take the opportunity to disrupt NATO, became more real. In many ways it was a good way to start the tour, putting all of us in the right frame of mind. That said, Bosnia is a relatively benign environment and the Entity Armed Forces, (now known as the Armed Forces of BiH) are being reduced considerably under pressure from SFOR and the OHR. This operation, known as Op GAUNTLET, is ongoing and we are in the last stages of closing all of the weapon storage sites of the reserve brigades in our area. Cooperation with the VRS (Bosnian Serb Forces) is good. CoH Rogers heads up the G2 Factions Cell and he has had good
fun meeting old military faces from his last tours in 97 and 99. Even though Bosnia is militarily benign, it does not stop ongoing national disputes between the RS and their neighbours. A Squadron’s northern boundary is along the Sava River with Croatia on the opposite bank. A town called Kostajnica is proving one area that has a Balkan Dispute. The Dayton Peace Agreement draws the border on the River Sava. However the Croats have demanded that a piece of land on the RS side is handed back to them. Naturally, the Bosnian Serbs are a little reluctant. The situation has come to head because a bridge has just been rebuilt linking the 2 towns. The Squadron has deployed once to the bridge area in force to prevent any disturbance but nothing came of it. It remains an unsettled dispute and the sad thing is, of course, that the bridge is still not open, thus stalling much needed trade on both sides of it. Bosnia continues to suffer from economic stagnation. Troops are busy carrying out NFO, (Normal Framework Operations) which include keeping an eye on minority returnee areas. There are a number of small Bosniac, (Muslim) returnee areas within the AO, but the area is still 95 % Serb. Disturbances are few, but the potential is never far below the surface, especially as religious buildings, such as Mosques, are being built where they were destroyed in the war. Troops also keep themselves busy with Op HARVEST, which involves obtaining illegal weapons from locals. Whereas in past tours, Op HARVESTs have relied on the local population to come and hand their weapons in, it is now the case that troops will select an area and carry out house searches for weapons and explosives. Deliberate Op HARVESTs, based on intelligence, have produced very large finds of ammunition recently, (230,000 rounds in one house alone!) Such ops are enjoyable for the soldiers and can produce tangible results.
2 Troop A Sqn on patrol near Mckonic Grad.
A Sqn Leader with “junior local warlord” .
Operations and NFO have not stopped us training and we have so far carried out a 30mm firing package on the Manjaca Ranges, (in a foot of snow) and plenty of small arms firing, including firing foreign weapons such as the C7, (the new M16), which the officers and soldiers thoroughly enjoyed. We look forward to comparing that with the new SA80 A2! Also, the Squadron has had a visit from Commander Household Cavalry and the Commanding Officer. With 3 months left of the tour we feel as though the tour is going by very quickly and are looking forward to events of 2002. This year has seen us say goodbye to Major J R Wheeler, Captain C J Trietline, Lieutenant J R Greany, Lieutenant T A H Giffard, Lieutenant M S P Berry, SCpl Irving, SSgt Penfold, CoH Hemming, CoH Grey and CoH Hayes and we wish them well in their new jobs. We have said hello to Major H R D Fullerton, Lieutenant C W Wren, Lieutenant W R G Kenyon, 2nd Lieutenant J G K Anderson (the officer airborne brotherhood), SCpl Rees (the gunnery guru), SSgt Conroy (the new Tiffy), SQMC SCpl Foster, CoH Rogers and CoH Simpson.
3 Troop with soldiers of C Coy 2 RGR pose with ammo found during Op HARVEST, Dec 01.
Household Cavalry Regiment
B Squadron The Life Guards Squadron began 2001 fully aware that a hectic year lay ahead, with the immediate focus being preparations for our March deployment to BATUS as part of the OPFOR. We hit the ground running, sending 8 troopers to Fremington to participate in a Leadership Development Cadre during which Tprs Murray and Shenton performed particularly well. This was followed by an OPFOR Training seminar in Catterick with the Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG) to discuss any initial tactical and logistical problems. Whilst there, we developed a sound working relationship with them despite the squadron officers fleecing them at cards in the mess each evening.
The regular March engagement of dismounted training in SENTA was cancelled due to the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). With the ensuing restrictions, a 2 week in-barracks exercise called Combermere Eagle was initiated to focus on pre-deployment OPFOR training, ITDs, sport and fitness. Highlights included a regimental job-swap with appointments going to the highest bidder. Tpr Grime performed excellently as the Squadron Leader until he cracked under the pressure of receiving phone calls from young ladies. Tpr Barfoot did a superb impression of a troop leader by making the most of the Officers Mess hospitality. Immediately afterwards, the BATUS Advance party departed for Canada under SCpl Bridges and CoH Hepple, whilst the remainder squeezed in a week of pre-deployment leave.
celled and the QDGs were replaced by the Light Dragoons as the OPFOR Battle Group for the remainder of the training season. The Canadian Port and Customs Authorities would not allow the ship carrying B Squadron’s freight to dock, and the whole deployment appeared to be in jeopardy. Eventually the signal came through to confirm our flights and with enormous relief the main body departed for Canada some 3 weeks late. Of course the delay meant the Advance Party in Canada had extra time on their hands which was filled by a liaison visit to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Ottawa organised by SCpl Bridges and CoH Hepple.
The FMD crisis was now at its peak and the repercussions were being felt across the Army. This included BATUS, where Ex Medicine Man One (MM1) was can-
On arrival in BATUS, we quickly took over the vehicles and moved straight out onto the prairie for 2 weeks of intensive build-up training. Some elaborate short-
B Squadron Troop Leaders, BATUS 2001. Lts Instone, Howell, Lipman, Gibbs and Viney.
OPFOR Tank Killing Champions, BATUS 2001, CoH Byrne, Maj Hughes and Tpr Murray.
Household Cavalry Regiment
cuts and codes were adopted by OPFOR in an attempt to speed up drills and this period will certainly stick in many of our minds for constant referrals to “barfoot”, “banana” and “Wimbledon” (short halts, split-company advance and extended line). At one point LCpl Williamson managed to single-handedly stop the exercise by accidentally setting fire to the prairie. LCoH Cooper then nearly lost his entire vehicle and crew in the resulting inferno, only being rescued at the last minute by the SCM. Luckily his crew-guard was the only casualty! After this initial training the squadron enjoyed a trip to Calgary followed by an excellent adventure training package. Many different options were available including skiing, riding, parascending and canoeing and we returned ready to take on the Irish Guards Battle Group during Ex MM2. The Irish Guards used
B Sqn Halt Parade BATUS 2001: Tpr Walker, Tpr Mehrban and Tpr Light.
a large all-arms ISTAR formation to provide them with early warning of OPFOR movement, but our training paid off and we used speed, aggression and surprise to ensure mission success for the duration. CoH Byrne distinguished himself by destroying every rock and grassy knoll in the vicinity with his main armament (believing they were enemy vehicles). Once all work on the vehicles was complete, the squadron departed on a trip to Edmonton (capital of Alberta) followed by a water sports extravaganza to Lake Newell which included water-skiing, canoeing, banana boats, intensive sunbathing and BBQ activity. Early July brought around MM3, this time against the Royal Dragoon Guards Battle Group. Their increased numbers of Challenger 2s created some very interesting meeting engagements and great training value. Captain R T Sturgis and CoH Benge particularly shone, claiming to have destroyed thirty-four enemy echelon vehicles, including the Battle Group ambulances! However they are both noticeably short-sighted and enjoy telling tall stories, faults that LCpl Close may also be guilty of after his “100 Stone” marathon. After a range sweep, we departed to the UK for Summer leave, except for a distraught Lieutenant D L Lipman and LCoH Young who remained behind as Range Safety staff (Lieutenant D L Lipman was successfully comforted by members of the BATUS Officers Mess staff). Overall, the squadron performed extremely well in Canada, with all the diverse elements of OPFOR working together as a potent and cohesive force. The squadron thoroughly enjoyed the deployment and gained invaluable experience as a result. Post-leave, there was a flurry of activity as the Macedonia crisis loomed and minds turned towards the remainder of the training year. The squadron deployed to STANTA to act as civpop for A Squadron’s OPTAG training, where
there was no shortage of volunteers for ‘lunatics’ required to incite violent and realistic riots. LCsoH Gibson and Brown were particularly successful at adopting this role, as was LCpl ‘Swampy’ Close until being effectively subdued by Ghurkha batons. LCoH Conway instructed a course for six new GW controllers and we fulfilled commitments to support both the Staff College Demonstration and the Divisional Artillery Group exercise, both run on Salisbury Plain. All training was over-shadowed by the appalling events of September 11th, which added an extra and thought provoking dimension to our activities. October continued to be extremely busy and the increased emphasis on endurance training was put to the test on Ex Tartan Eagle, a dismounted infantry exercise in Scotland. The wet and mountainous terrain provided an ideal environment for a progressive infantry training package. Highlights included boat drills with the Royal Marines, FIBUA training and a CQB range, whilst most participants are unlikely to forget the night NAVEX conducted over some challenging terrain. Tpr Waites performed extremely well throughout, gaining the award for most outstanding trooper, while Tprs Galer and Dimbylow put in strong performances on the CQB range. On our return Lieutenant S A Instone and CoH Irwin took GW Troop to conduct Annual Firing camp in Otterburn during the last week of October. This was very successful and we are unlikely to hear the end of CoH Irwin’s “text book” target destruction! The pressure remained on in November, with the OPEVAL and Remembrance Day parade taking place during preparations for our main FR exercise on SPTA. Ex Wessex Acorn saw us take to the field for 2 weeks of Troop and Squadron training, Troop Tests and a Regimental Exercise. A few rusty drills were soon ironed out and we eventually managed to dig 2
Smoke break: L CoH Swinburne and LCoH Pickard.
“Lets talk tactics” Lt Howell and CoH Hepple BATUS 2001.
Troop out of the proverbial. On return to Windsor the squadron held its own during the pre-Christmas drinking marathon and departed for some well earned Christmas leave. In summary, this has year has been the busiest for some time, and one of the most successful on record. A wide range of commitments and training objectives have be met and tackled effectively. There have been numerous changes to the orbat throughout the year. We have welcomed as troop leaders 2ndLieutenants J P Thomson, A H James and T J Armitage; WO2 O’Conner as SCM; SCpl Bonner as SQMC; CsoH Byrne, Vernon and Irwin; LCsoH McCauley, Hodge, Young and Brook. We sadly said farewell to WO2 (SCM) Douglas who took over as RQMC; Captain R T Sturgis to HCMR; Lieutenant R A H Gibbs to ATR Pirbright; Cornet J R C P Viney to ATR Basingbourne: CsoH Benge and Knowles to HCMR and LCoH Bassett to RG. A special thanks and farewell is also due to SCpl Bridges who retired from the Army in November.
“Come on then”… OPFOR OPTAG Trg, Oct 01. LCoH Gibson.
Household Cavalry Regiment 11
C Squadron The Blues and Royals he Squadron started its’ high readiness year expecting that there was a high possibility of being warned for operations in the coming year. As it turned out this was rather an understatement and the periods in which we weren’t warned for operations seem to have been shorter than when we were.
In January the Squadron was responsible for the running of the Regimental Leadership Development Cadre on which Major S St M Miller bounced many of the senior troopers of both HCR and HCMR across Dartmoor and leaping from bridges into freezing Cornish streams. Having had their moral fibre suitably reinforced by these activities, the focus moved to more fair weather activities with the planned annual pilgrimage to the Celtic delights of Sennybridge for dismounted training. In the background the development of the foot and mouth crisis gave some hope that 2001 would not see us fighting once again against the particular Welsh speciality of horizontal rain. When all army training areas were declared out of bounds little did we know the implication that this ‘respite’ was to have for us! In a rapidly improvised programme Ex Combermere Eagle took shape. Combermere open prison as it became known was the base for the annual ITD training packages. Having completed one year’s worth of mandated training so early on in the year there was a belief that this would stand us in good stead for setting our own training goals, to include some adventure training, for the rest of the year. Again how wrong we were. Having narrowly missed Sennybridge the month before the Squadron found itself en-route to the delights of Welsh-
Lt Lane Fox asking directions again.
Household Cavalry Regiment
pool and under Captain M P F Dollar’s insistence the Dragon Hotel was to set up to be a Squadron Headquarters and to coordinate the cull and disposal of infected premises. All members of the Squadron became extremely familiar with the clinical signs of infected sheep and the fashion for white suits. In often less than pleasant circumstances teams from the Squadron worked long and hard hours to help MAFF regain control of the crisis within the Welsh Heartlands. At the same time those soldiers who had showed a particular bent for enjoying blood and gore had passed the selection process to train as augmentee slaughtermen to help in the most badly affected areas in Cumbria. Lieutenant P J Williams, CoH Burton and LCoH Anderson saw it as a personal challenge to eradicate all forms of life from the area and had to be cautioned that certain ‘innovative’ measures may not necessarily be sanctioned by the RSPCA! Release from Wales was short lived, as the next major Squadron deployment was back to the eastern most tip of Wales in the form of firing camp at Castlemartin. Having practised whole fleet management at the lowest level the Squadron performed extremely well, often despite the well-intentioned help of Captain RHA Lewis and the RGOs personal harassment of LCoH McNamara. The only downside to the proceedings was the news from the Commanding Officer that should events that were brewing in Macedonia require regimental commitment then D Squadron would take the lead.
This was a bitter blow to the Squadron who to a man felt fully worked up and in the best of positions to deploy. As with all leave periods this year, summer leave was hampered by international events. D Squadron having been called back in preparation found that they required considerable manpower support and so C Squadron duly provided. The Squadron provided to the extent that the Squadron Ldr managed to confuse D Squadron with his own at first parade! In the end only three people deployed to Macedonia: The Squadron Ldr, Staff Sgt James and LCpl Aston. All were required to bring a semblance of calm and skill to Command Troop! Meanwhile for the majority left in UK, RAAT commitments made up the bulk of work for September. The Divisional Artillery Group saw two troops spend a fortnight on Salisbury Plain refreshing themselves in the art of Arty Tgt Indication and attempting to keep attached Forward Observation Officers alive long enough to allow them to do their job. This brief refresher of operating with vehicles was succeeded by a return to the basic skills of dismounted reconnaissance. After a small dismounted exercise that allowed the Squadron the opportuni-
ty to refit webbing and hone their skills at carrying all their kit with them and living in a basha the Squadron deployed to Gaerlochhead for exercise Tartan Eagle. Several days of dismounted skills training was followed by a three-day exercise based around locating and evacuating English nationals from local factions. Many of the troops, who had been split into patrols for the exercise â€˜went nativeâ€™ disappearing from view into covert observation posts across the hillside as they attempted to get as close as possible to their targets. This was taken slightly to the extreme in some instances where the patrols not only made their way inside the bases of the enemy, but also decided that they would use the facilities, staying unknown to the enemy for some tea and refreshments. The use of the Royal Marine boat troops to insert the forces was enjoyed by most, with the noticeable exception of a rather green SCM. At the end of the exercise the Squadron was performing very well, training and drills had paid considerable dividends and bode well for the next jaunt to SPTA. Regimental Training to SPTA followed closely on the back of Scotland as for the first time in a year the Squadron deployed as a whole for high intensity formation reconnaissance training. With a batch of new commanders freshly qualified and with as competitive bunch of CsoH as one can find Troop Tests, had the potential to be very much a C Squadron affair. As it was, after three days in which the troops were given free reign to tour the plain and attack each other at will, the troops performed extremely well only narrowly missing the top slot. The only exception was one troop, who on a cold morning were informed that they had been selected along with an element of SHQ and the LAD to support 16 Air Assault Bde in any potential deployments to Afghanistan. Much rushing around ensured that very quickly the troop had had all the requisite injections, weapon training and intelligence briefs. The manic activity level, however, preceded several weeks of waiting and the troop is still awaiting its movement instructions to join the ISAF in Kabul. The end of the year brings with it, in addition to the normal round of drinks and parties, a level of uncertainty as to what the next twelve months hold. Some of the Squadron are currently in Northern Ireland supporting The Grenadier Guards, Afghanistan is still very much in the picture and governs the planned deployment to Bosnia in March.
Lt Williams leads his Troop in the slouching competition.
Build-Up at TESEX.
Sqn Ldr leads the Sqn on Remembrance Day .
Household Cavalry Regiment 13
D Squadron The Blues and Royals he first year of the new millennium has been unpredictable and challenging throughout for the fourth Squadron. The initial programme of progressive training followed by four months playing OPFOR in BATUS was put asunder by the ‘Foot and Mouth’ epidemic and events in Macedonia (FYROM).
The first casualty of ‘Foot and Mouth’ was the Regimental dismounted Ex PHANTOM EAGLE in Sennybridge. Undaunted, the exercise was re-written and conducted within barracks as ‘Ex COMBERMERE EAGLE’. A lot of imagination was put in, with CoH Overton’s Tp Hide Drills in the Urban Environment stand and a very graphic presentation on Close Air Support by CoH Pass and LCoH Roberts. This was only surpassed by LCoH Roberts raiding the Regimental museum and local armouries to conduct a lesson in foreign weapons. The Foot and Mouth epidemic hit its peak just as D Squadron was preparing for Easter leave. Lieutenant E P W Hayward led a half-squadron group with the SCM down to Exeter to assist the burgeoning crisis in Devon. The initial excitement of being split into 2-man teams and issued with a mobile phone and hire car quickly wore off as the realities of the task grew. The squadron worked up to 18 hours a day deploying to a different farm each day. Their task was to liaise with the farmer and coordinate the arrival and operation of the vets, slaughtermen, disinfection teams and
2 Troop Dominoes. Ex ADVENTURE EXCHANGE, Turkey, Oct 01.
the carcass disposal. MAFF in Exeter were completely overwhelmed by the extent of the crisis and the Squadron often had to assist in the ‘spigotting’ of cattle, holding lambs for injection or the disposal of carcasses. Some of these carcasses had been lying around for up to 2 weeks and their disposal was particularly gruesome – as Tpr Smith found out when a bullock carcass exploded, showering him in fluids and making him the least popular man at the bar that night! Tpr Smith was not the only one in for a surprise; on arrival at MAFF HQ in Exeter, Lieutenant E P W Hayward found the ‘Ops Room’ to be inefficient and struggling up to 48 hours behind
events on the ground. He therefore adjusted its operation so that the various civilian departments and the military liaised more closely and had a data management programme written to keep the HQ and London more current with events on the ground. Ten days after the deployment to Devon, the whole Regiment was ordered to Wales to assist in the Foot and Mouth operation there. After a training and regrouping weekend in Brecon, a reunited D Squadron and a Royal Navy detachment moved to Maindy Barracks in Cardiff to cover Glamorgan, Gwent and the Black Mountains. Unbeknown
2 Troop having just been briefed by their guide,LCoH ‘Mohammed’ Roper.
Household Cavalry Regiment
to us the Regimental Mascot of the RRW (a goat) had to be evicted from Maindy in case it too fell victim to Foot and Mouth! Initially the work was just as frenetic as it had been in Devon, with the Squadron Headquarters running a joint Ops Room with the civilian agencies at the Inland Revenue Offices in Cardiff. Teams were working a myriad of tasks across southern Wales: Lieutenant W H A G Snook and LCpl Bodycoat mapped the deer population in Monmouthshire and CoH Overton’s 2 Tp team even managed to get an article in the Hereford Times for a challenging task in the Vale of Ewyas. His team not only had to shepherd the sheep together from the surrounding hills, but also had several sets of minifascines delivered from Windsor to allow the pyre to be built on the other side of the valley in accordance with the wishes of the Environment Agency. At the end of April the Regiment returned to Windsor leaving D Squadron in charge of Foot and Mouth in Wales; SHQ split and Captain A R Tate took over the Llandindrod Wells office. With the number of new cases now in decline the nature of our work changed. Support for the cull desolved, pyres were banned and farmers began to barricade their drives to MAFF vets. Much of the time was spent working out how to get articulated rendering trucks into Welsh hill farms and calming tempers between MAFF and the local farmers. At one point Lieutenant W H A G Snook had to brief the local television, when one poor farmer had barricaded himself in and threatened to shoot his neighbour and any MAFF vet that entered his farm! After two months D Squadron had become the stalwarts of the Foot and Mouth crisis, we received many visits from the military chain of command. LCoH Wall led a very sobering visit by the GOC 3 (UK) Div to cull at a farm in Brecon. The Squadron was finally relieved in June by A Squadron. Although it was a gruesome task, the 2
2 Troop planning conference, Ex ADVENTURE EXCHANGE, Turkey, Oct 01.
months on Foot and Mouth were more rewarding to deal with than the many tours abroad. This was the first time that the Regiment had been working in uniform within our own community and many misconceptions were broken. After some well earned leave the Squadron launched into Annual Firing at Castlemartin. Unfortunately the Squadron Leader was called back a week early – just before the Squadron BBQ - to stand in for the Commanding Officer on a Divisional CPX. This was the first portent for the Macedonia deployment as the Commanding Officer had been called away to prepare contingency plans for the deployment of an international force to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) with 16 Air Assault Bde. The following week D Squadron were discreetly warned off for Macedonia, joined the OPTAG training
and planning conference in South Cerney and grew from 60 to 109 men! Although the last week in July was spent on exercise with the Recce Division LWTC on Salisbury Plain, all our eyes were on the news and developments in Macedonia. Eleven days into Summer leave D Squadron was called back from across the holiday spots of the world – the Squadron Leader was wine tasting in Bordeaux and Lieutenants M J Heath and W H A G Snook were parachuting in Spain. LCoH Wall returned to barracks before he received the call, as he had seen news and knew he was indispensable! A frantic week followed preparing men and vehicles for deployment. As the ship was being loaded we had still not received official confirmation of our deployment; hopes were raised and dashed daily. Then ‘LCpl Mac’ from the RLC Tpt and
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Household Cavalry Regiment 15
Movt Sqn informed us (a couple of hours before the chain of command) that the ship had been unloaded and it’s departure had been delayed, and that the transporters were on their way to Windsor. The next morning all the newspapers announced that a Squadron from the Household Cavalry was joining the Macedonia force – alas the night before the decision had formally been taken not to send us and the Squadron unloaded the transporters in sombre spirit. The Divisional and Brigade commander came to visit that day to explain the decision; but rather than dwell on the disappointment the Squadron had several barrels to drown their sorrows, disappeared on a long weekend and then went straight out on a Regimental exercise with the QDG on Salisbury Plain for two weeks! The exercise on Salisbury Plain was in preparation for the AMF(L) Ex ADVENTURE EXCHANGE in Turkey as part of the QDG Battlegroup. The first week was spent conducting Troop and Squadron training in glorious sunshine. After a short tactical pause to watch the football and enjoy a Squadron ‘smoker’, D Squadron was launched into a busy Regimental FTX. At one point the Squadron was reduced to playing enemy with two Troops, as 2 Tp were whisked off in a Chinook to conduct dismounted patrolling in the north. The next day the Squadron was regrouped to hold seven Troops with which to insert and control a depth OP Matrix. By the end of the exercise the Squadron had performed so well with the QDG, that the HQ Sqn Ldr had bet the Commanding Officer that he could get the entire BG through a replen in under 2 hours. With 2 vehicles and 10 minutes to go he was fairly confident of his receiving his
bottle of champagne – until Captain M S P Berry managed to reverse his Sultan over a 3’x 2’ white concrete bollard as he overshot the turning! With the vehicles prepared and loaded on the boat, the Squadron had a week to kill before the flights to Turkey. Whilst LCoH Goodwin squeezed in a Gliding course and a few disappeared on other courses, the Squadron completed some dismounted training and an Inter-Tp March and Shoot competition. The competition was held at Pirbright and – naturally – had an Afghan theme to it. LCoH ‘Mohammed’ Roper met the teams at the start of the march on his prayer mat. At the end of the march the teams were met by the local guide Sgt ‘Wahid’ Mallen to show them around the assault course, before they conducted a Fire Team Assessment on the ranges. The scores were very close, but Lieutenant M J Heath’s 1 Tp finally won. The AMF(L) Ex ADVENTURE EXCHANGE in Turkey was the highlight of the training year. The detail of the exercise is covered in another article by the Second in Command. It was very rewarding to be on exercise in an area much bigger and different to Salisbury Plain. As a formation unit it was interesting to see all the Divisional Troops and Brigades deployed on the ground and to operate with multinational aviation, engineers, air defence and the armoured and mechanised BGs. Finally we were warmly welcomed and looked after very well by the QDG. After a week’s leave in lieu of the lost summer leave, D Squadron returned once again to Salisbury Plain to join Regimental training and prove to the Commanding Officer that we had not spent our time in Turkey merely sunbathing!
Tpr Holliday tackles the mesh sheet, Pirbright Sep 01.
Household Cavalry Regiment
The first week of Troop and Squadron training was bitterly cold – CoH Findell had to resort to putting cardboard on the floor of the Sultan to ward off frostbite! The Regiment received another call to arms that week; this time C Sqn were chosen to stand by for a possible deployment to Afghanistan - much to the disappointment of D Squadron – although Lieutenant E P W Hayward was extracted to become the LO. Lieutenant E P W Hayward’s place was taken by Cornet C J L Speers, who had just finished his Tp Leader’s course the day before! With only 2 days to go before Tp Tests, CoH McMillan and the rest of 2 Tp quickly assimilated him into the Tp. After 3 gruelling days of Tp Tests, 2 Tp did exceedingly well – beaten only by a nose at the winning post by 3 Tp D Squadron. The final few days of the exercise were spent as OPFOR to a Regimental exercise across the breadth of the Plain. Having won Tp Tests, Lieutenant W H A G Snook was obviously going to attract a lot of attention on OPFOR. He was finally taken prisoner during a raid on A2 Ech and it took a lot of bargaining by the umpires to get him released for the next phase! After a helter-skelter year of disappointment and triumph, D Squadron will be temporarily disbanded again in the New Year to allow the Regiment to complete TESEX in January. However this is not the last journal article for D Squadron; the chain of command is determined that the Household Cavalry should retain a fourth squadron permanently attached to 16 Air Assault Brigade. So D Squadron will arise again in the New Year like a phoenix out of the ashes to prove its strength – and win Tp Tests again, of course!
“What do you mean I can’t keep them?”
“So many guns, so little time”
Lt D Brooks with Commander Household Cavalry on a VRS pontoon bridge on the River Vrbas near Srbac, Bosnia.
The Squadron Leader, Major HRD Fullerton, with CoH Gardner and SCpl Rees on gunnery range at Manjaca, Bosnia.
Panoramic views in Macedonia
Household Cavalry Regiment 17
RCM and CO, HCR.
See we can pose better than Major Hughes.
Colonel The Life Guards celebrating his birthday.
‘Chill out Baby’, B Sqn BATUS 2001, CoH Byrne.
Some of A Squadron Troops at Banja Luka Metal factory before the Remembrance Day service.
Household Cavalry Regiment
LCoH Bestwick comes out of his shell.
Gymnastics trials for the Olympic Games reach an all time low!
D Sqn, Ex Adventure Exchange, Oct 01, Turkey. LCoH Bestwick and Tpr Scott.
Ex Adventure Exchange, D Sqn going through the Czech contamination unit, or is it a washdown.
Enjoying the views in Bonny Scotland.
B Sqn Gun Troop Annual Fireing, Otterburn, Oct 01.
Household Cavalry Regiment 19
Beached landings in Scotland.
B Sqn Ldr and SCM - “This isn’t Cannes!”
Walking he wire in Gare Lochead.
“Did you spill my pint?”
G5 with schoolchildren in Bosnia.
The CO HCR welcomes The Mayor and Mayoress of Windsor.
Household Cavalry Regiment
The Alfa Male.
Unveiling of the Memorial. L to R: Commander Household Cavalry, The Duke of Wellington, CO HCMR, Colonel The Life Guards and CO HCR.
Headquarters Squadron o sooner had the 2000/01 Journal appeared than it was time to start writing the next edition’s contribution, before everything became lost in the fog of anecdotes and mission oblivion.
January/February: The year started quietly with the changeover of SQMC; we said goodbye to SQMC Gray on promotion to the Household Cavalry Training Wing and welcomed SQMC Panter. Behind the scenes serious preparation for Exercise Phantom Eagle, a 17 day dismounted exercise in March at Sennybridge, Wales was undertaken. The exercise was planned to allow a large proportion of field firing under instruction from Senior Tactics and Senior Weapons Wings of ITC Wales, specialist training field craft, ITDs and a 3-day Regimental exercise. Alas, the great plans of mice, men and HQ Squadron did not take into account the Foot and Mouth factor and the closing of all Army Training Estates from the end of February. March/April: With an almost seamless transition and with 5 days to Startex, the programme was redirected to an intense period of in-barracks training, re-named Ex Combermere Eagle. All Regimental resources were pooled, working hours extended and a centralised programme of
Official opening of HQ Sqn Accommodation Block 13.
PT, ITDs, a battle damage repair (BDR) course, deep battle medics course, command tasks and briefings ran throughout the period of March. In addition over £1700 was raised for charity by the Regiment through Ex Job Swap, when key posts were auctioned for an afternoon. Tpr Hagan entered the realms of fantasy when he made a subsidised bid of £110
for the Sqn Ldr’s post and Pte Pretious raised a whole fiver for the Master Chef ’s job following an unsuccessful late telephone bid by the Master Chef himself. No sooner was ENDEX called than the Squadron was moved to a rapid deployment state for Op PENINSULA; military assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (MAFF) during
Blind leading the Blind!
Household Cavalry Regiment 21
The RMO showing exactly why he is limited to prescribibg Asprin.
the outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). The majority of the Squadron initially deployed to administer Dering Lines at Brecon near Sennybridge (spooky that this place keeps coming up), which was to be the initial base for the Regiment. Individuals subsequently joined C Squadron to form a number of Military LO Teams. The composite squadron deployed to the Welshpool area of Wales while it’s C2 element with HQ Squadron Leader driving, moved into MAFF Regional HQ in Llandindrod Wells, officially abbreviated to Llandod, unofficially referred to as Ken Dodd. Within hours of taking responsibility for the AO, the pace picked up considerably and within 2 days over 24 incidents had to be dealt with. It was soon apparent that more LO teams were required to deal with the outbreak therefore, the squadron was reinforced by 5 teams from D Sqn and 5 Teams from the Royal Navy, agreeably known as JACKFORCE. One of the trickiest areas for C2 was the pronunciation of farms, many having a Scrabble triple word score and a tongue manipulation degree of difficulty greater than some locations in Bosnia. STRETFORCE (a megalomaniacs term given by D Sqn SCM) was now over 90 strong and worked tirelessly to contain the outbreak within the AO and bring all local agencies together to achieve a satisfactory end state. This was generally completed by the end of April when almost 100,000 animals had been slaughtered in the AO and no new outbreaks had occurred. Not to be forgotten were elements of RHQ and Command Troop who provided the interface to the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff. The RAO showed amazing control in remaining aloof to RN terminology of “Captain Chick.” The Squadron trickled back to Windsor as the need arose in order to grab back some leave that had been missed over Easter. May brought the start of the busy season for all members of the Squadron as prepa-
Household Cavalry Regiment
Captain Fisher on the set for the remake of Dr Who and the Daleks.
rations were made for a number of CAST(N) activities and Annual Firing. The Recce Bde CAST was a notable nonsuccess in logistic planning for the Operations Officer who single handily booked a table for 5 HQ officers in a pub opposite the entrance to the ladies toilet cubicles (nice view!); allowed the Commanding Officer to drive off alone to find the Regtl 2IC; tried to accommodate 6 in a 5 seater car for the return journey and topped it all by allowing the Commanding Officer to leave his wallet in the pub. June: SQMC Panter organised an excellent day trip to the RN in Portsmouth to see colleagues who we had met during Op Peninsula. The day included a tour of HMS Victory (similar to Block 13 prior to refurbishment), HMS Invincible, lunch, HMS Sultan to study some extremely interesting gas turbine engines, the PO’s mess and a cultural visit to a venue in Portsmouth which allowed the more mature elements of the party (RAO included) to strut their stuff whilst dressed as Secret Service agents. July: The first week of July was a travelling nightmare for the Sqn Ldr and QM who from Sunday to Friday managed Windsor-Castlemartin-Windsor, Windsor-Faslane Naval Base ScotlandWindsor-Castlemartin-Windsor-Bulford. Excitement was generated at the Div CPX, Ex Spring Foray when messages were relayed informing the Regiment of a possible deployment to Macedonia. The quick return to Windsor allowed certain individuals of the squadron to have the opportunity to cram in 20 hour working days to come up with the planning that would allow troops to be trained and equipped to deploy. August came and only those going on holiday to Italy were closer to Macedonia. Op BATISTE, a visit by signatories to the Vienna Document 1999 to check vehicles and organisation of London Dis-
trict, interrupted the leave period. Command Troop was fortunate to catch the selectors eye as crews for a vehicle display. Tpr McCrae was additionally fortunate to have his (plus 6 other co-habitants) room selected by the delegation for inspection. Considering that the Regiment had been on leave for 2 weeks and there had been no area inspections, it was with some trepidation the Sqn Ldr took the entourage to the accommodation, wishing and hoping that no one, but no one, would have left rubbish, beer cans or empty pizza boxes on route or in the accommodation block. Fortunately all was in good order and the Inspection Team attention to the state of accommodation was completely negated by their amazement that we should allow our soldiers to have TVs and Hi-fi equipment in their rooms. September. The thought that we wouldn’t get to Macedonia for some late sun took a knock when we were back on the bus again! Furious, preparation was made to support the deployment of D Squadron however, working on the basis of expecting the unexpected and it won’t be unexpected; a Co-ord Cell consisting of the Commanding Officer and leading personalities made the draw with a couple of Sultans and Land Rovers. The Squadron Cinderella’s who couldn’t make the ball, planned for a Regimental dismounted exercise in Scotland in October. A new SQMC in the guise of SCpl Stevenson arrived to take over from SCpl Panter who moved to HCMR on promotion. October. The Co-ord Cell returned from Macedonia much tanned and experienced and within days joined the remainder of the regiment at Garelochhead Training Area 30 miles NW of Glasgow. A fairly eventful B vehicle move particularly by Comd Tp resulted in LCoH Toon (selected for a map reading instrs course) moving south along the M6, another vehicle leaving a fuel stop a
joining the end of another packet. However, the most exciting incident of the journey must go to SCpls Tovell and Stevenson who gave chase to what they suspected was a drunk driver along the M6 whilst notifying the police by mobile phone. After the hapless driver was stopped and subjected to a verbal lashing on his driving abilities by SCpl Stevenson during the process of making a citizens arrest, it came as a bit of an anti-climax when the police discovered the offender had actually experienced an epileptic fit in the centre lane of the motorway! The exercise itself went well and was generally enjoyed by all especially the QM (the 105th Most Wanted) and the Catering Staff who took role-playing to new heights as they played potential hostages and secret agents often with a little over the top conviction. RCM and Ops notice the Page 3 Girls.
November. The next crocodile to keep out of the canoe was a NATO OPEVAL which required a serious amount of staff work from all departments to ensure the regiment could notionally mount a deployment of 2 Sqns, BGHQ and HQ Sqn echelon. After much application and inkjet cartridge ink, virtually all the right results were found and the examiners recorded a very satisfactory result. Following completion of the OPEVAL we departed as a squadron echelon to Salisbury Plain for 2 weeks troop training and tests. Needless to say it was cold however, Squadron spirits were not cooled as we also managed to support the moving of a troop of C Sqn to R1 in preparation for a possible deployment to
Afghanistan and a 100% change of personal weapon for SA80 by A2 in the field. Troop tests were set up and controlled by HQ Sqn and proved to be demanding and beneficial for all concerned with numerous anecdotes to be dined out on for months to come. We returned to Windsor with a structured Roll Back to allow all resources to be available to turn vehicles and equipment around ready for any deployment. Additionally, all the new weapons were zeroed to each individual.
This has been a fragmented and varied year, with many deployments and tasks not only being challenging but also occurring in competition to a forecasted programme. During the year the squadron has witnessed a change of Commanding Officer, Regimental 2IC, Adjutant, Operations Officer, IO, RGO, 2 RSOs, RMO, RSWO, MTWO, 3 SQMCs, introduction and posting of a new MTO.
We now prepare for the Christmas season, leave and hopefully some stability, which will be well received.
MT not sure of which gate to use on the way out of Slipper City.
Household Cavalry Regiment 23
Quartermaster’s Department he year 2001 started where the year 2000 left off with the Department being busier than ever. One of the first things that had to be done was to say farewell to WO2 Harris who was commissioned , took up the post of MTO and was promptly sent to the Falkland Islands to keep the penguins company(quite right for the new boy). In his place we welcomed WO2 Douglas as RQMC and it did not take him long to discover how different the job was from being SCM in B Sqn.
The start to the year was very frustrating as the initial plans of deployment to Sennybridge were cancelled when the regiment got involved in the foot and mouth problems in Wales. At the same time as all the accounts were being checked and re-checked for the hand over of Commanding Officers we found ourselves spread to the four winds. The RQMC and LCpl Costain were supporting the Ranges at Castlemartin. The Quartermaster, WO2 Maunder, SCpl Horner and LCpl Smith were in Brecon and Cardiff supporting the regimental involvement in MAFF and the remainder of the team were holding the fort in Windsor.
At the beginning of May life began to return to normal as plans were discussed to get the training schedule back on course and for a while it was looking quite good. This came to an abrupt halt however as we all started to get involved in the Macedonia deployment and although only a small RHQ deployed in the end the whole regiment had to look at its procedures just in case. For the department this meant a lot of equipment, ammunition and rations being brought to barracks ready for issue should it be required. In the end very little of this was needed it was never the less a good exercise for us all. After summer leave the department managed to get eight days adventure training in Scotland. The idea was to walk the West Highland Way with one group on each day doing another event. These included Canoeing, Rock Climbing, Mountain Biking and White Water Rafting. The intention was also if time permitted to climb Ben Nevis. The whole event was set up by CoH Smith, and the week could not have gone better. At times during the week we had to wonder if we were in Scotland or in the South of France, the weather was fantastic. Although we did have some hardened accommodation booked we camped every night and not a cloud was spotted for all the time we were
there. The highlight was definitely the Rafting which was done North of Fort William. This ended in a raid on each other’s boats to see what you could steal. The RQMC’s boat won with a grand total catch of 3 paddles, 1 helmet and a nurse from Glasgow. SCpl Horner managed to get himself stuck under the boat and under CoH Slingsby for what on the Quartermaster’s watch was 3 seconds but his watch must be slow because according to Jack it was at least 11⁄2 Minutes!. All the objectives for the week were achieved with a very early start on the last day. SCpl Tovell led a group with head torches up Ben Nevis, only to find that they were third to the top on the day. The Quartermaster’s group completed a 22 mile hike north to Kings House and CoH Smith’s group completed a very difficult 22 mile hike South from Fort William to Kings House to close the loop. The RQMC and LCoH Gerrard even managed to fit in some fishing(never caught anything though). All in it was a very satisfying week in which everyone enjoyed themselves. Hopefully the Commanding Officer will allow us to do something similar next year. After the Adventure Training there was little time to let the grass grow as we were off back to Scotland just north of Helensborough on a regimental exercise without vehicles. This was a very new and arduous training area for us but the administration involved was pretty straight forward. So much so that the department managed to get involved in the exercise m o r e
LCpl Lawrence (3rd from right -front) and the ‘stores are for storing’ (QM Dept) team on Ex HIGHLAND ADVENTURE.
Household Cavalry Regiment
SCpl Tovell wishing he had stuck to climbing.
than they normally would. The Quartermaster became the exercise bad boy but was never caught. The RQMC and LCpl Costain were Ex Pats and the new addition to the department LCoH Flynn at the tender age of 41 volunteered to live out with the Squadrons and Pte Allen our eight stone female chef managed to escape custody by outrunning half of B Squadron. This time the weather was not like the South of France and faith was restored in the wet weather in Scotland as time and time again we heard that old saying “If it ain’t raining it ain’t training”. On our return from Scotland there seemed little time to draw breath before we were off on the Regimental Exercise to Salisbury Plain. For the first time for a long time the Quartermasters Department deployed as B Ech on light scales and in the field. It proved good training as the department and the Chefs got used to dealing with the elements again as opposed to living in hardened accommodation. The one thing none managed to master was getting to sleep within 100 yards of LCpl Costain’s snoring. In the end we had to send him back to camp for a couple of days to get some sleep.
Tpr Rowe and his boat ready to take on the river.
On our return the Department went on a trip to France. We had a great day out although we had to wonder where CoH Slingsby got the Tunnel tickets as we were almost strip searched on both the way out and on the way back. During one of the searches we almost had to pay a £5000 fine for transporting meat to France. This was in the form of a cookhouse sausage roll in SCpl Horner’s packed meal. Surprising really he normally eats it within 5 minutes of it being issued. The Chefs have also had a very busy year not helped by their under manning. In fact it was documented at a 3rd Division Log Support conference that the Household Cavalry had the worst Chef Manning state in the whole Army. To the credit of the Master Chef and his team this was never reflected in the standard of catering produced either in barracks or otherwise. Thankfully this situation has now been addressed and with some support from contract catering we are almost at full strength. There has however been a large turnover of chefs with only 4 of the 15 being with the regiment at this time last year.
In August the chefs took part in the 3rd Division catering competition and came a very credible 3rd. Led by a then new arrival LSgt Savage the team included LCpl Abbott and Pte Pretious. The result is even more surprising when the team had no time what so ever to prepare and train as had most of the other teams. Perhaps next year with a little more time and preparation they will do even better. It does however stand as a testament as to how good our chefs really are. The Master Chef WO2 Ellis showed what he could do when he gave an improvised cooking display during the regimental exercise. With only a few bricks and a shovel he produced a feast fit for a king. The Chefs also showed what they could do in the cake making department as they produced a masterpiece for the birthday of Colonel The Life Guards. As we go to print the future seems just as busy with the department getting ready the Christmas festivities in which we traditionally get involved in the planning. There are also some pending departures with WO2 Maunder leaving the service we wish him well and LCoH Gerrard moving to D Squadron after his Crew Commanders Course.
Tpr Rowe and LCoH Gerrard in Scotland.
Household Cavalry Regiment 25
Quartermaster Technical Department 001 as ever has been a very hard and hectic year for the department with every thing from foot and mouth to Regimental troop training on Salisbury Plain.
The year started with the Regiment’s recruit firing period in February which Tech deployed for two weeks in Castle Martin. We all thought that this was going to be the start of a stable wellstructured year. How wrong we were. After getting the inspection cycle out of the way we thought that we would have some time to consider the new problems of Whole Fleet Management. This for the older readers is when the Regiment has only three Squadrons of vehicles for four Squadrons of men, ideal I can hear some of you say but in practice it creates a lot more problems than it solves. However this was not to be with the Regiment being deployed to Wales for Op Peninsular (Foot and Mouth). Tech as always was expected to support the Regiment in the normal way. However some of the department answered the Squadron Leader’s call and were deployed in the teams on the ground. Not only did some of the department volunteered to work on the ground’ three
of them decided that B3 slaughterman course would enhance their career. LCOH Beulah, LCPL Marsh and LCPL Jones dutifully departed with the rest of the volunteers on the two-day course and by enthusiasm alone managed to complete the course half a day early as on the practical phase they had killed all the animals by lunchtime. After a spot of well earned leave the department got back to routine work and catching up with the backlog after being away for two months. The next thing on the agenda was a month at Castlemartin for the department as the Squadrons did their annual firing. This time of Barbecues and sunbathing was thoughtlessly interrupted by the goings-on in the Balkans. Once again the Regiment went into full swing with the department working tirelessly to get the equipment’s and stores ready for a possible deployment. After all the hard preparation work had been done the Regiment was stood down for some well-earned leave. Most of the department managed to get away to warmer climates and even the QM(T) was dragged away by his wife to Italy and is shown in the photograph talking to some of the local females he
QM(T) meeting up with the locals in Italy.
Household Cavalry Regiment
met on the way. The TQ was also dragged away by his wife to a very sunny destination but managed to return without a tan, something about the sunrise he says, Tequila we think. After leave the QM(T) took the department to Salisbury Plain for 3 days to get back to basics in preparation for troop training in November. This was a short but worthwhile exercise, which the department managed to exploit to the full and felt they had all learnt from the experience and were ready for the next challenge that would undoubtedly come along. Most of the department has got away for some adventure training this year, 6 of them where dragged to the Guards Adventure Training Camp at Fremington for a week. Once there had a great time and where well looked after by the staff. Two of our more adventurous members LCoH Beulah and LCPL Jones have learnt to dive over the summer and culminated their training on a diving expedition to Spain organised by WO2 (AQMS) Parton. Many of the salty sea dogs took time to get their sea legs and spent most of the first day with their head over the side of the boat.
CoH Hooper on his knees again.
The friendly face of Tech dealing with customers
Tech on ORP again, TQ Grantham.
The Year has ended as it began hectic and hard work but a lot has been learnt from the varied tasks we have been asked to do. Sadly as the year draws to a close
the department is losing four of its members and has to say farewell to WO2 (TQ) Grantham who is posted to Bovington, SCpl Hiscock, LCOH Jones and LCpl
Spares who are leaving for civilian life. We thank them for all their hard work over the years and wish them good luck in the future.
Light Aid Detachment 001 has proven to be another challenging and stimulating year, during which the LAD has faced many differing priorities and commitments whilst suffering from under manning. During the year the LAD has supported the Regiment in all of its activities, including Squadron exercises, the inevitable round of RAAT taskings, RHQ on Op Bessemer, and most recently A Squadron on Op Palatine. Additionally the LAD has provided integrated support to firing camps at both Castlemartin and Otterburn ranges which have also contributed to a very busy period. The main distraction during this period has been the Regimental deployment on Op Peninsular. Even with all these commitments we still found time for adventure training; there was the usual round of adventure training at Fremington, a diving expedition to Spain and a driving challenge across Europe.
Early in the year our normal daily business was disrupted by the extremely unfortunate outbreak of foot and mouth disease in February through to April. Foot and mouth was a very trying time for everybody and our thoughts are still very much with those farmers that not only suffered great financial loss, but also suffered great emotional stress. Op
Peninsular did, however, provide a differing challenge to our soldiers who displayed compassion, flexibility, resourcefulness and leadership. These soldiers not only facilitated the culling and disposal of the animals affected, but showed a compassion and understanding of the delicate nature of the task that would not normally be identified. Thus, out of the tragedy, came considerable recognition for a number of professional individuals. On the lighter side of life, the LAD has had an excellent year competing in both sporting and adventurous activities. The LAD golf society was founded, with some very good and some not so good members. Every society has a shark and the LAD society is no different; Sgt Al Grime is the man with the mysteriously high handicap. The Regimental golf day proved fruitful for WO2 (AQMS) Stu Parton who ensured that he was getting value from the day, his round of 164, gained him the prize of most golf played. SSgt Ian Stringer, Sgt Graham Robson, LSgt MacAlister, LSgt McCrea competed in the Tough Guy 2001 event where is was said that it was more like practising outdoor bathing than running. Sgt Robson also competed in the Sheffield
Marathon and the Lowe Alpine mountain marathon. SSgt Keith Robinson was reported to have done his yearly PT session in one go when he completed the Great North Run in September. WO1 (ASM) Gary Tait, whilst still protesting his youth, represented the Army at rugby whilst continuing to coach and play for the Regiment, much to the protests of his wife and LAD clerk, Sue, who still has to nurse his injuries which are becoming more frequent as the years advance. One of the LADâ€™s more adventurous activities was the Cape to Cape Challenge 2001. This is a driving competition that covers the length of Europe, driving from the most northerly part of Europe, Nordkap in Norway, to the most Southerly Cape, Tarifa in Spain. The challenge is to navigate the route and drive between the two points in the fastest time without breaking any speed limits. To ensure competitors remain legal, vehicles are linked to a GPS data logger which logs a vehicleâ€™s speed against the map every 5 seconds. The whole event is fully self funded, and the LAD also completed the event in support of Macmillan Cancer Relief in Berkshire. The LAD was sponsored in the main by Suzuki UK Ltd who pro-
Household Cavalry Regiment 27
vided a Suzuki Grand Vitara TD. In return it was agreed that the LAD would monitor mileage and reliability in order to provide Suzuki with a Mean Time Between Failure for their new engine. Thankfully the miles per gallon were exceptional and the reliability faultless. Coupled with some creative navigating the LAD team, which consisted of WO1(ASM) Gary Tait, LSgt Lee Johnson, LSgt Ben Davis & LSgt Ivan Ivanovic, won the race. In addition to the Cape to Cape, the LAD also organised a diving expedition to Spain for the Regiment. Training commenced well in advance with nine soldiers gaining new diving qualifications, however, funding proved difficult to secure. After numerous letters and some very small donations from other agencies, the Household Division funds proved to be crucial to the viability of the expedition. The first day’s diving saw only a few of the divers actually get into the water whilst others were challenged by rough seas, most notably LSgt Gary McCrea. LSgt Ben Davies managed to be heard without any special underwater sound equipment when he mistook a rather large grouper fish for a larger beast from a Steven Spielberg movie. A similar fish found LCpl Jones’ underwater camera irresistible and took the camera straight from his hand, needless to say that was the last anybody saw of it. By the completion of the expedition all members had qualified as club divers and had done the theory towards their sport diver
Household Cavalry Regiment
qualification. Having fulfilled all of the aims, it is hoped that next year’s expedition will be to more exotic waters. Late in the year, with A Sqn Fitter Section deployed on Op Palatine, the LAD manning situation really began to bite. A pending OPEVAL and a six monthly Equipment Care Inspection produced a backlog of work and with D Sqn in Turkey a situation arose where even the ASM donned his coveralls in order to overcome the challenge. As one would expect, this resulted in a few wise, and a few not so wise, comments coming from the younger generation on the shop floor such as Cfn Chadwick and LCpl Hulme. SSgt Jones, a veteran of the old days, was heard to mutter in disgust “Never in my day….”. It was during this latter part of the year that the Regiment deployed to Scotland on Ex Tartan Eagle. With the backlog of work in Windsor needing all hands, it was left to the ASM to not only be the VM cover for the exercise, but to also crew the Foden for the journey to Scotland. Strange times indeed. The OC, AQMS, Sgt Gav Leng & LSgt Gary McCrea helped form the OPFOR against the Regiment. The new EME, acting as OC OPFOR, took a liking to the execution of the CIVPOP throughout the exercise, which at times seemed all too realistic. The Regimental 2IC was heard to express to the Int Officer that undoubtedly vehicles will be presented for REME inspections on time when the Squadrons heard about the EME’s new form of discipline.
As with any unit, people come and people go and to write about them all would take far too long, however certain personalities deserve a mention. Captain Tony Hulme left on promotion to Arborfield, Sgt Chalky DeHaes White on promotion to the KRH, SSgt Ian Stringer to the Engineers in Cambridge and SSgt Mouse Penfold to the TA in London. SSgts BJ Smith &, Keith Robinson, Sgt Rod Hadleigh, LCpls Harman, Wigley, Shoemaker and Snarey all to civilian life. We wish them and their families well in what ever they intend to do. There have been a number of new additions to the LAD, most notably the change in appointment of OC; the LAD welcomes Captain Darren Crook as the new EME who has arrived from 4 Regt Army Air Corps. SSgts Bob Conroy, Andy Howard and Marcus James have arrived as Artificers for A, B and C Sqn respectively. We have also had numerous additions to the rest of the LAD and we welcome them all and wish them an enjoyable time with the LAD. Although the past twelve months has been extremely busy the LAD has remained very upbeat and still manages to smile. Next year promises to be as the last, and the LAD is looking forward to welcoming back A Sqn from the Balkans and ensuring that C Sqn deploy in the best possible state. The LAD has most certainly worked very hard during 2001, but has also managed to play hard throughout the year, finalising with the Christmas week. It was during that week that the OC’s Christmas wish became known; the fourth Fitter Section.
The WO’s & NCO’s Mess he Mess started the Year by saying farewell to old friends Warrant Officers Harris , Pilchowski and Voyce, who all move off in different directions; the Mess wishes them all well. After a successful 2 years in Windsor The 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards move to Londonderry, so it went without saying that a few small glasses of Ale went due South before they left.
For several months now the Mess Ice Hockey team had been busy preparing to play the Officers Mess. By a short mile our Mess was to be the underdog with Captain W R Lindsay (QM) the Regimental Captain and expert, coaching the Officers Mess we surely had no chance. Our team stuck to their training until days before when we were shattered with the news that WO2 Harris had picked up his Commission days before the Event and he was to turn his back on an already weakened team. Having given the incentive of a 10% reduction on their Mess bills the team came through with a magnificent win against all odds. March through to Spring saw the Regiment deploy to Wales on OP Peninsula; whilst a full Mess dining out of the Commanding Officer took place and the Mess wishes Lieutenant Colonel P J Tabor MVO and his wife all the very best for the future.
June was a busy month with 40 American Vets who served with 2 HCR during the war visiting us. We dined all afternoon sending them on their way suitably fed and watered. The famous Derby then arose on 9th June and combining it this year with Oaks day when we had 2500 through the doors. The Mess Members thank WO2 Panter and SCpl Dear who organised the event this year. The most pleasurable function of the year had to be hosting Princess Sarah Freeman who wrote in to ‘Make a Wish Appeal’ asking to be a Princess for the day. The appeal duly accepted and the Regiment were asked to organise and host the coronation and proceedings. Amongst many other things we sat down to a memorable lunch. With the Mess refurbishment safely behind us, the building was again ready for use and the bookings for Christenings came in thick and fast. October saw 2 HCR having their annual Lunch with some 80 people sitting down. The highlight of the November was to be the Fathers’ and Sons’ evening which attracted the usual 120 people. The evening started with the traditional photograph followed by a five-course meal and the Pipe Major 1st Battalion Scots Guards finished the evening off with some outstanding music. The guest of honour was a former Sgt in the Royal
Dragoons, “Taffy Evans”, who was decorated with the DCM for outstanding courage in the War. We hope he returns to visit us again. Xmas brought the usual mad week for socialising with an outstanding Brickhanging ceremony, at which Lofty Young hung the Brick once again. The senior mess members are: WO1 (RCM) Shatliff RHG/D WO1 (ASM) Tait REME WO1 (BM) Griffith RHG/D WO2 (RQMC) Douglas LG WO2 (RQMC) (T) Core LG WO2 (SQMS) Stretton AGC WO2 (SQMS) Kubiscek AGC WO2 (SQMS) Ellis RLC WO2 (SCM) Carter LG WO2 (SCM) O’Conner LG WO2 (SCM) Mills RHG/D WO2 (SCM) Smith RHG/D WO2 (SCM) Farmer LG WO2 (RSWO) Gibbons RHGD WO2 (AQMS) Parsons REME WO2 (MTWO) Hastings RHG/D WO2 (RIWO) Peat RHG/D WO2 (BCM) Kitchin RHG/D
WO1 (RCM) Shatliff - The lights do come on sometimes.
Household Cavalry Regiment 29
Band of The Blues and Royals s the year 2001 draws to an end and another year beckons, the Band of The Blues and Royals can look forward to a year with a Band up to full strength. Both Household Cavalry Bands have suffered greatly with regard to manning for the past few years, a situation mirrored in the Regiment and a much-publicized problem Army wide. Thanks to much hard work behind the scenes from the Director of Music and our Bandmaster a steady flow of new recruits is arriving and is forecast to flow for the coming years. This aside, much credit must be given to the current members of the Band who without complaint have soldiered through somewhat tough times with the Band invariably being stretched to its limits. In addition to new recruits the Band has recently been able to tempt a few ex-members to rejoin the ranks and they have proved to be invaluable assets. 2001 has proved to be as busy, interesting and challenging as ever with such diverse engagements ranging from a routine church service in the Guards Chapel to a week’s concert festival in Portugal!
January proved to be a relatively quiet month easing us gently into the year, the highlights being a Ladies Night in the Officers’ Mess HCR, and the Trumpeters performing at The South Bank Awards and then driving straight up to Catterick (to join the rest of us mere mortals) on a Passing Out Parade. February was a month for duties as the Band provided musical support for numerous Windsor Castle Guard Mounts. Also this month was the first chance for the Band’s multi-talented members to blow the dust off their string instruments as the Orchestra assembled for it’s first engagement, an Investiture at Buckingham Palace. As always the Orchestra performed flawlessly under the watchful eye of WO2 Hugh Billington (the old soldier). For those who are not familiar with the form at an Investiture the Band’s volume is controlled by a lighting system, green if the volume is OK, red when the music is too loud, we are currently enjoying a run of green lights. March was again a month for the mundane with a catalogue of Windsor Castle Guards and a chance to return to the hallowed square at Pirbright for a Passing Out Parade. However, the Band was lucky enough to be invited to take part in a musical extravaganza in the Chapel at
Household Cavalry Regiment
BCM Kitching meets the Princess Royal in her capacity as Goldstick during her visit to Knightsbridge earlier this year.
Eton College. This was a fundraiser for the Army Benevolent Fund and proved to be a superb evening enjoyed by the audience and participants alike. This month also saw Musn Simon Dodd representing the Band in The Household Division Young Musician of the Year competition. Unfortunately he finished just outside the top places but he is to be commended for his outstanding effort. With April came Spring and our first chance to spring into the saddle for the Major General’s Inspection of the Mounted Regiment in Hyde Park. Once we’d had a chance to re-hone our equine prowess, we sat firmly in the middle of the parade as the Regiment cantered past, luckily none of the Band’s horses fancied joining in! April 23rd is a favourite day in the Band’s calendar as we perform annually in The Great Room at The Grosevenor House Hotel for the St George’s Day Club, a gathering to celebrate all things English, always a truly stirring and momentous occasion. Sadly this month we bade farewell to one of our most popular and hard working Band members as Musn Arwell Thomas successfully joined the North Wales Police, we wish him well, their gain is truly our loss. June as always was a month mainly in the saddle with the Beating of the Retreat and The Queen’s Birthday Parade. After the Garter Ceremony the Band moved to Royal Ascot for a week. Always a relaxing engagement and a chance to lose some hard earned cash! We finished the month by performing a
concert with the Life Guards and the Royal Artillery Bands at Kneller Hall. This was also a chance to say hello to our previous Bandmaster who has assumed the position of School Bandmaster, the senior post for a Bandmaster in the Army. We currently have good representation of the Blues and Royals across the Corps of Army Music. We have WO1 M J Searle King’s Division Waterloo, WO1 I L Mitchell King’s Division Normandy, Student Bandmaster J Milne currently in his last year of training at Kneller Hall and LCoH I Collin waiting to attend the potential students course next year, we wish him the best of luck. July was certainly a month to savour, the Trumpeters followed the Household Cavalry’s Association with the Tynwald Ceremony in the Isle of Man with a fourday trip, which by all accounts was ‘a bit of a jolly’. Following this the Director dragged the Band screaming to Portugal for a week to take part in a concert festival in the town of Mafra just outside Lisbon. This proved to be one of the Band‘s most fulfilling, relaxing and plummest trips for years. We certainly relished the opportunity to perform with one of the Portuguese military bands, we were overawed by their immense talent and dedication. We are currently planning next year’s visit as we would obviously hope to make this an annual event and to retain ties with our ‘oldest allies’. August was time for some hard earned leave but not before a week’s concerts on Eastbourne Bandstand. It’s always a pleasure to perform for the old faithful in
Sussex. Immediately after leave the Band was off again, this time to Goodwood motor racing circuit for the Goodwood Revival meeting. The next big date in the diary was Remembrance weekend. This culminated in the state trumpeters playing a major part in the Royal British Legion’s Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall on the eve of Remembrance Sunday. The following morning the Band and the Regiment marched to the Garrison Church for the service, the first time for a few years that this has been possible and as always this occasion was solemn, moving and a day to remember. The end of November took the Band on its quadrennial tour with the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, performing at the Birmingham NEC and at Wembley Arena. This was a good chance to renew old acquaintances with the riders who like us in the Band stay in post for many years. December brings the usual round of festive gatherings as the year draws to a close. As always there is never enough space to include everything that has happened in a Band’s busy year. Some recognition must be given to the Band’s greatest ambas-
Colonel Paivra Da Cunha presenting the Directior of Music with a momento to mark the Band’s visit to Portugal in July 01.
sadors, the String Quartet, Brass Quintet and the many Trumpeters who throughout the year have worked tremendously hard travelling the length and breadth of the country and beyond, representing the Band and the Regiment and always performing to the highest of standards.
So on New Year’s Eve when the clock strikes twelve and the Band strikes up in the Savoy Hotel, we stride forth into a new year with a bigger better band to tackle the challenges that 2002 no doubt holds.
Regimental Information Team Another Year On! nce again recruiting offices throughout the country have been diligently co-ordinating visits for the team. Recruiting is still a high priority for the HCR and once again the Regimental Information Team has been aggressively recruiting the length and breadth of the country to keep the flow of new recruits coming to both sides of the Regiment! They have spent approximately 146 days (Apr 01-Oct 01) on the road going as far North as Ayr in Scotland to as locally as Englefield Green, (3 miles just outside Windsor for those of you are not Geographically enhanced) incorporating a wide range of event days and recruiting opportunities; targeting schools, colleges and other educational establishments in particular.
In addition to these visits the RIT have attended a number of job fairs, carnivals, air shows and even a military extravaganza hosted by the Royal Navy down in Portsmouth. Does the regimental infor-
mation team have no limits or bounds to which they will go to recruit? Even from the navy? ! In the past 7 months recruiting figures have looked promising with 76 recruited so far, and with our target being 90 we are well on course to achieve the target set by recruiting group. Of the initial 76 recruited this year, a total of 64 soldiers have passed out through their various training units having completed phases 1 & 2 of training. Approximately 82% have gone to HCMR, with the remainder joining HCR at Windsor. However, although we are still undermanned, the light at the end of the tunnel is definitely getting brighter. With major recruiting drives happening next year in areas not previously targeted by the regiment we hope to be out of that very, very long tunnel! Once again our web site is proving to be a success with over 250 e-mailed recruit-
ment inquiries recorded from April 01 to October 01, and requests for information from as far afield as Pakistan, Canada & New Zealand. We have sent out over 90 information packs/committal cards to various individuals up and down the country with 10 being sent overseas to the countries previously mentioned. As technology advances, the Household Cavalry cannot be seen to lag behind so the web site is continually updated by our web site manager; Captain R R Hennessey –Walsh. Check out the bulletin board to find out what’s happening with the Regiment; find out when we are in your area and drop in for a chat/update. We are only too glad to see some old faces as well as new. All squadrons and the HCMR training wing have continued to provide support to the recruiting team. As visits to the regiment have regularly occurred over
Household Cavalry Regiment 31
the past year for young men and women and they seem to be on the increase, they have been energetic in facilitating tours of vehicles and visits to the stables even during very busy periods, giving a valuable insight for the potential new recruits. Interventions such as these continue to be essential to encourage young persons to join HCR at such influential ages. Captain M J Norris currently runs the team in Windsor. If you have any suggestions or ideas for future potential recruiting events give us a call or drop us a line. However bear in mind we are already taking bookings for next year so give us plenty of notice and we will see what we can do. All calls? Requests will be considered? CoH Cox has now been posted to HCMR and LCOH Creighton to HCMR MT. We wish them both successes in their new jobs and careers? CoH Lowe fresh from the Army careers office in Preston and LCOH Brown from HCMR now form the regimental information team operating out of Windsor, assisting Captain M J Norris. They have a lot of work to catch up on as their predecessors have mapped out a lot of work and opportunities for the New Year. Should you know of anyone wishing to join, or would like further information, the following contacts should be used or
CoH Cox receiving a big bonus from the Mayor?
visit the website www.householdcavalry.co.uk.
WO2 Kershaw: Online office: Emailemail@example.com Tel No 01980-618180 Scpl Stillwell: Wolverhampton Tel No01902-423892 SCpl Wibberly: Norwich Tel No 01603-624616 CoH Callow: Liverpool Tel No 0151-2361566
CoH Taylor: Halifax Tel No 01422-362860 CoH Lowe: Preston Tel No 01772-203030 CoH Lochrane: Sunderland Tel No 0191-5658817 CoH Hagan: Oldham Tel No 0161-6273233 CoH Cox: Croydon Tel No 020 8688 7226 CoH Gaddes: Strand (London) Tel No 020 7930 8603
Regimental Admin Office 002 began with a change of management for the AGC Detachment. Captain L A Johnston took up the reins of the RAO swiftly followed by Captain A J Simmons as the AGC Detachment Commander. Being wrinkly Late Entry Officers, the team knew they were on to a good thing from the outset!
The first date for the diary came in April when the Regiment deployed to North Wales in support of MAFF. By this time, the Detachment Commander had also become the Media Ops officer and after he was assigned a gleaming new car from the MT hire pool we lost him to the Welsh hills in search of news-worthy stories. Or so he said! Actually, he did a good job of providing local newspapers an insight of a particularly challenging month for HCR soldiers supporting the foot and mouth crisis. The FSA, WO2 â€˜Loadsamoneyâ€™ Kubicsek became probably the most popular man in the valleys
Household Cavalry Regiment
Happiness is a man who has left his offfice.
as he travelled around with a very large bag of cash to ensure that everyone out on the ground in local accommodation got their claims on time. Back in Windsor life picked up pace as slowly but surely the postings out were not replaced by postings in and most of the Detachment picked up the odd extra job along with the new Corps motto that is, ‘Never Knowingly Overmanned’! However, Sgt ‘Smiler’ Shearer, the Docs Supervisor, managed to tuck his SMC under his belt – anyone would think he’s after a posting after next year’s board! Sgt Shearer admits that Worthy Down was only slightly less interesting than his recent trekking holiday to Thailand (and if the rumours are true, Thailand can probably expect a return trip). The same was heard from Sgt ‘Can I get in to Civvies?’ Simmons, the Sys Co-ord. For some strange reason, Sgt Simmons wants to be a Management Accountant. He too admitted that his EAC course was only a tad less appealing than a brief trip to Cancun earlier this year – as a strawberry blonde, he didn’t get much of a tan, so it’s a good job he passed his course as compensation. Q Taylor caught napping on Stag!
The year wore on and summer leave was cut short in order to prepare for a possible deployment to Macedonia; however, that didn’t stop LCpl ‘Happy Days’ McMullan, C Sqn clerk, treating herself to a brief Satisfied Soldiers Scheme in Northern Ireland. LCpl McMullan found herself taking 20 teenagers up the Mountains of Mourne rather than the more usual ACIO duties; our very own GI Jane was devastated to learn that none of them shared her love of Motorhead and horrified that one youngster asked where she could plug in her straightening irons (luckily it was a girl)! At around the same time, LCpl ‘I can’t help it if the entire female population find me irresistible’ Sacco, passed Pre RCB which, is a first for the AGC Detachment. LCpl Sacco departs for his PODC in Jan 02 and recommends the challenge to any AGC (SPS) readers. He has been given a suitable sending off complete with his combat handbag full of items that will be useful to any young potential officer. He has also successfully completed a short course on ‘standards of dress and room tidiness for RCB candidates’ and passed both with flying colours! As autumn loomed, adventurous training for the humorously challenged became the order of the day and LCpl ‘Shall I put another tenner in the swear box’ Lawrence took to the Scottish hills with the QMs Dept. Apparently the all
time favourite activity was watching the QM recover from a ‘wee nip to keep out the cold’. The AGC Detachment then opted for some more late nights to try and tidy up for the double hit of a NATO OPEVAL and the annual SPS MFP instead of deploying to Scotland and Salisbury Plain with the Regiment in October and November. During the inspection, it seemed as if things were going rather swimmingly until it was discovered that the RAO had never paid for her
garage in over 12 months (you wouldn’t mind but it is she who checks officer’s pay statements) and after a later misunderstanding when she inadvertently hit a portacabin with her nice new VW Golf, it was decided that double revenue should be collected in case of future emergencies with static buildings! That has really concluded another immensely busy year for the AGC Detachment and as things stand – it looks as if 2002 will be no exception.
Congratulations to: SSgt Taylor Cpl Brittain LCpl Anstee Pte Burford Pte Russell Pte McMullan Welcome to: Cpl Mills LCpl McLaren Pte Moreman Pte Akhtar Pte Crawford Pte Dimes Pte Wylie
Promoted to WO2 and taking over as RAOWO in Jan 02. Promoted to Sgt and due posting to 35 Engr Regt after the birth of her second daughter. Promoted to Cpl. Promoted to LCpl and posted to 25 Engr Regt. Promoted to LCpl and posted to 2 LI. Promoted to LCpl.
From 1 RHA. From 4 Armd Bde. From SET. From 21 Engr Regt. From 1 AAC. From SET. From SET.
Our thoughts are with: Sgt and Hannah Seabright and their daughter Courtney.
Farewell and good luck to: WO2 (SQMS) Stretton In to civvie street after 22 years service and itching to take a year out with Kate and Abigail. Pte Hersey In to the big wide world – heavens help it. Pte Duxbury In to civvie street to run his own business.
Household Cavalry Regiment 33
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword By Lieutenant Colonel S H Cowen, The Blues and Royals 001 has been driven by two strong influences; the duration and intensity of the State Ceremonial Season, and the impact of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). These influences have caused the Regiment to adapt the familiar programme and well-established procedures, and will be commented on throughout these pages. However the depth of character and experience of the Regiment has allowed us to take it in our stride. For myself, returning after 12 years, the Regiment appeared very similar on the surface, especially as Captain W Bartle Jones offered the same Adjutantal platitudes that I remember passing my lips, as Adjutant, before I exited the Ceremonial Gate. However under the surface there have been many changes. The overall size of the Household Cavalry has reduced and the pace of military activity has increased. Discipline has had to reflect the introduction of the EU code of Human Rights, and Pay 2000 has sent its ripples across the pool of pay and conditions. This is not to say that changes always create challenge. The introduction of a Career Management Officer, manifested in Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment form as Captain A R Tate, will significantly improve our management of postings and individuals careers. However, it feels like the pace and complexity of mounted duty has made the transitione from walk to “Escort Trot”.
The Regiment has maintained its high standard in State Ceremonial within a very compacted season. Moving to Windsor and conducting a State Visit between Major General’s and Colonel’s review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade, underlines the intense pace of the season. Spice this with a successful summer State Opening of Parliament and one recognizes the competence of the Regiment in its role. The autumn season was less frenetic with the State Visit of the King and Queen of Jordan in Windsor, Lieutenant Colonel N M A Ridley commanded the Sovereign’s Escort, his final duty as Commanding Officer. Whilst our primary operational role is State Ceremonial, the Regiment has had to plan for secondary roles with support to the
Army’s deployment against FMD, and after 11th September, contingency planning for defence of the Home Base. Pictures in the press of the reformation of the “US Cavalry” in Afghanistan caused a frisson of anticipation in SW7 that the Household Cavalry might be deployed outside the M25 in the mounted role for the first time since ’39. However at the time of writing Brigadier B W B WhiteSpunner has not called for “a Cavalry black in Kabul” and we focus our attention on reinforcing HCR if required. The training year has also been successful. Whilst FMD caused the cancellation of Squadron Training in spring, restrictions to Regimental Training in August and the “rugging-up” of the Musical Ride for most of 2001 (save for the Horse of the Year Show), we achieved a great deal. The introduction of Mounted Dutyman 2000 in Riding School has continued to improve the quality of Troopers arriving on the yard. This is supported by the efficiency of the Household Cavalry Recruiting system with over 50 recruits in training. The revision of mounted duty training will be extended into Class 2 and 1 courses, which are completed before moving to armoured reconnaissance training. Regimental Training went well in Norfolk despite the cancellation of Open Day. CoH Adams designed a new cross-country course close to camp and all the competitions were closely fought. Squadron Training was re-introduced in late autumn with The Blues and Royals visiting Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel C M Stone in the Quantocks, and, after losing their initial location at the ILPH Farm in Blackpool, The Life Guards basing a successful camp at the Defence Animal Centre, Melton Mowbray. Regimental and Squadron Training remain vital and underpin the capability and confidence of the Regiment. The Regiment has also been busy training horses. Corporal Major Peers and the Remount Staff at Windsor are training 31 remounts that need to be passed-out before the Service of Thanksgiving on 4th June 2002. The Regiment is also training a Drum Horse “Talavera” for the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards. She is proving to be a free spir-
34 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
it tending more towards “break-dance” than military music. The Regiment has competed effectively in a wide spectrum of sports; this can be illustrated by two extremes from the Heavyweights winning a Charity tug-of-war competition at the House of Lords, to the “whippets” winning the London District Cross Country Championship. Several members of the Regiment have enjoyed sporting success. Most notably LCpl Mackenzie has competed at the World Championship in the national Modern Pentathlon team. At Combined Services level LCoH Woods has distinguished himself at fencing and a selection of officers have played Polo. Captain JH Blount has carved out a good line captaining the Household Cavalry Ski Team. Whilst much of our training has been successful, the autumn was blighted by the tragic death of Signaller Hine of the Inns of Court and City Yeomanry who was fatally injured on a training ride for the Lord Mayor’s Procession. And so to 2002 and the Golden Jubilee year. Could we just dust off the Silver Jubilee files and amend the dates on Instructions and pick the memories of those there? Sadly the balance of celebration and the pace of the programme have moved on, and those who had lingering memories of Escorts in Glasgow and Cardiff would be disappointed. However the forecast of events appears colourful and varied. The highlights
will be a Sovereign’s and Captain’s Escort, Double Band and Staircase Party for the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s CAthedral;, a Captain’s Escort for the Opening of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in Edinburgh, and a Captain’s Escort and Musical Ride at Royal Windsor Horse Show. Before this we expect a visit by the Chief of the Defence Staff at Knightsbridge. We also hope to maintain a full training programme with Regimental Training at Bodney in August and Squadron Training in late autumn after the State Opening of Parliament. I hope our reputation for equestrian skill will grow, with competitive riding at all levels, from Captain R G Waygood at Advanced 3 Day Event-
ing to recently passed-out soldiers competing in Hunter Trials. We will also be competing competitively across a broad spectrum of disciplines from National Hunt racing to Skill at Arms. It would be easy to become distracted in a potentially eventful and exciting year, however I believe we need to remain focused on a few key themes. We need to ensure that both regiments work closely with each other, even reinforcing each other where events demand, as the Household Cavalry operates from a reduced manpower base with increasing commitments. Our manpower and families remain key to our strength. Therefore plotting leave, career courses and
postings amongst the peaks of activity will be difficult to finesse but vital retention especially amongst the Warrant Officers and Non Commissioned Officers, where so much of our strength lies. Finally we should maintain an understated pride in our ability to deliver both armoured reconnaissance and state ceremonial skills. Invariably visitors comment on the number of medals visible on parades, almost unique in ceremonial troops around the world. This blend of roles and skills gives us a quality and edge over others that is often recognized and grudgingly conceded by other regiments; we must continue to maintain and develop our skills and take quiet pride in our achievements.
Diary of Events January January remained quiet even after the Regiment resumed full capacity following its return from Christmas Leave. Life Guard officers enjoyed a memorable lunch hosting their retired Colonel, Major General Lord Michael Fitzalan Howard, the Regiment’s first visitor in 2001. This was closely followed by a visit by the Officers from The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, who enjoyed a ride in full state kit, orchestrated by the Riding Master prior to joining the Officers for breakfast.
February The month began with the Regimental Administrative Officer and his AGC attachment building up Dutch courage on a visit to France prior to commencing a series of presentations on the implementation of the new army pay system (Pay 2000). The Adjutant (Capt AD Dick RHG/D) moved off to SO3 Media Ops at 16 Air Assault Brigade and was replaced by Capt W BartleJones RHG/D. The Commanding Officer Scots Guards seemed to thoroughly enjoy taking the pass out of Sicily Ride that saw a needed influx of mounted dutymen into the Regiment. The Mounted Regiment provided a staircase party for the retirement of CDS at Main Building (MOD) and prepared to deploy to Winter Camps. Unfortunately these were subsequently cancelled due to the outbreak of Foot & Mouth disease, which severely affected many Musical Ride and eventing fixtures for the remainder of the year
The Queen accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel NMA Ridley LG presents the Princess Elizabeth Cup.
March Due to the cancellation of Winter Camps, an opportunity to send men on HCR’s Leadership Development Cadre arose. This subsequently saw Tprs Slowey and Partridge shine forth as the two top students, a fine achievement, both of whom had been sent by The Life Guards Squadron. Colonel R Rowe, Director of Army Music took Tangier Kit Ride pass out in some adverse weather conditions before addressing families of the soldiers. Captains Butah (LG Sqn 2IC & MR Officer) and Haywood (RM) returned from Germany after a week at ‘Equitana’ where elements of the Musical Ride provided a display on horses borrowed from the show, as there was a ban on horse movement. Both the new Major General and new Silver Stick conducted informal
tours of the Regiment in preparation for the on coming ceremonial season. Major G V de la F Woyka (RHG/D Sqn Ldr) conducted a successful inspection of Watton AFC forging links and promoting the Regiment in the Norfolk area along the way. At the end of the month the Adjutant commanded a detachment that formed the mainstay for the re-opening of Wellington Arch on Hyde Park Corner, which had been returned to its former glory by English Heritage. The off going QLG accompanied by the LG Band rode through the Arch to signify it’s re-opening.
April At the beginning of April, the Regiment had its first Open Day of the year, which proved extremely successful. It also saw the beginning of block leave, with a wel-
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
come break for Easter prior to what promised to be a frantic few months. Alvis utilised Hyde Park Barracks, in order to show their military hardware to the Kuwait Foreign Minister. Yet again Major General Arthur Denaro kindly came to take a pass off parade, that of Veghel Ride, which was watched by the French Military Attaché. The Regiment also sent a significant number of soldiers to the unveiling of the new memorial in Combermere Barracks, to those soldiers that had lost their lives since the end of the Second World War. The end of the month saw the return of all soldiers from block leave and the usual inspections of kit, horses and men, by the Commanding Officer prior to the first parade. It also saw the preliminaries for the Princess Elizabeth Cup (Richmond Cup) judged by guests such as the Lieutenant Colonel De Ritter LG, the Brigade Major and RSM RMAS.
May The beginning of May saw the build up to the Major General’s Inspection, Cavalry Sunday and Her Majesty The Queen’s Visit. The Major General’s inspection was conducted cloaked and saw the Regiment both canter past and advance in review order at the canter. Cavalry Sunday was well supported by Regimental members for another year, with many returning to Hyde Park Barracks in order to enjoy the hospitality and remember old comrades. The highlight of the month however, was the visit by Her Majesty The Queen who presented the Princess Elizabeth Cup, for the best turned out trooper in the Regiment, to Tpr Morgan RHG/D, in Hyde Park as this year’s Windsor Horse Show had been cancelled. Her Majesty presented the Scots Dragoon Guards with a newDrum Horse, Talevera, which remains in training at HCMR under instruction of SCpl Weller. The RHG/D Band mounted QLG in the middle of the month,
before rehearsals started for both the State Visit and Queen’s Birthday Parade.
June June is usually a very predictable month for HCMR but not so this year. It began with a visit by the Deputy Commander in Chief, General Cedrick Delves, who declined lunch as he shot round London District. This was followed by the start of rehearsals for the Queen’s Birthday Parade, Beating Retreat, a Regimental move to Windsor for the State Visit of the President of South Africa, recovery to London, the Queen’s Birthday Parade, Garter Ceremony and the State Opening of Parliament all in the space of 16 days. On average the Regiment conducted 3.5 parades a week for 3 weeks. Undoubtedly this was one of the busiest periods the Regiment has seen in many a year. On a lighter note, the month ended with some of the larger members of the Regiment, which found them victorious in a charity Tug-of-War event held at the House of Lords. The RHG/D Seniors and Officers rode to the Savoy and back for breakfast and the Commanding Officer took a Remount Pass Out.
July July was in comparison extremely quiet, with summer leave commencing in earnest. Despite the tiredness, the men were still fit enough to allow HCMR and HCR to enjoy a memorable cricket match in Windsor. The Musical Ride performed in the early evening darkness and rain at Kempton Park after cantering down the racecourse in formation, followed by performances at Cowdray Park and Pirbright Open Day, later in the month. On 20 July, we remembered our fallen comrades at the Household Cavalry Memorial on the 19th anniversary of the Hyde Park Bombing. Major H C B Briscoe (LG Sqn Ldr) started his next job at the French Staff Col-
Colonel The Life Guards, Lord Guthrie, presents Tpr Barnes with the new Class 3 Mounted Duty Badge.
36 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Brigade Major and The Life Guard retinue lead Her Majesty on to Horse Guards.
lege in Paris and we welcomed Major J R D Barnard as his replacement, from HQ London District.
August August, usually packed full of both eventing and Musical Ride commitments, was extremely quiet to start off with. All three squadrons enjoyed crosscountry and show jump training prior to deploying to Regimental Training (Summer Camp) at Bodney in Norfolk. Fortunately the Shrewsbury Flower Show was permitted to go ahead and the Musical Ride enjoyed crowds of 10,000 and more for their performances. The Kings Troop duly took over QLG on the 12 August and the Regiment moved to Bodney for what was a fantastic training package. With many visitors, a dismounted exercise, competitions both equine and of the sport variety, plenty of entertainment and a memorable skit night Regimental Training was enjoyed
The Major General inspects Zandvoorde Ride on their drill passout.
to the full. The Riding Staff built a brand new cross-country course that more than tested both horse and rider. Camp was shared for the last week with the KOSBs on NITAT training; recruiting has never been so easy!
September The Regiment moved back to Knightsbridge and resumed its duties on QLG. Brigadier PJT Maggs CBE briefed RHQ on the proposed ‘Pay As You Dine’ venture that is due to be trailed at HCMR in 2002. The Musical Ride performed in the glorious setting of Blenheim Palace in front of the Duke of Marlborough. The farriers provided excellent farrier cover for both the Aldershot Show and Windsor Horse Show. Captain NP Harrison returned from Canada after completing yet another superb trip to the Spruce Meadows Masters in Calgary. Over 300 people attended the Open Day held on the 25 September, followed by a large visit by the Kensington and Chelsea National Trust the following day.
October Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Colonel The Blues and Royals, visited the Regiment in early October, taking the march past for the 18 men strong Zanvoorde and Arras Kit Ride Pass Out. On the same day State Trumpeters of The Life Guard Band played the fanfare for the Installation of the Constable of the Tower of London, on a beautiful floodlight evening by the river. The Musical Ride performed to modern popular music for the Horse of the Year Show at Wembley, which despite the atrocious weather was well attended. They were the undoubted stars of the show, with only Daniel Naprous, a stunt rider from Portugal, receiving similar praise! The introduction of a ‘Ready Steady Cook’ competition was met with some trepidation, however it proved to be a resounding success, with LCpl and Mrs Sherlock taking first prize of a wonderful Hamper donated by SCpl (Retd) Johnny Dickens. The RAO and his department passed their annual SPS Inspection with flying colours much to the relief of RHQ. Our sister ship HMS Westminster wined and dinned all those lucky enough to have been invited and the favour was returned with interest. Bapaume Ride passed the khaki phase of their phase two training and moved up to Knightsbridge for their Kit Ride. Both the Larkhill and RMAS Hunter Trials were supported well by our budding equitators. The King’s Troop returned the visit we had hosted earlier in the year and 2 HCR had their commemorative dinner at the WOs and NCOs Mess. The Regiment finished the month preparing for the deployment to
Windsor for the State Visit of The King and Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
November Early November was dominated by the State Visit, The Lord Mayor’s Procession and the Cenotaph Parade. The State Visit was conducted with the usual panache and style associated with the Regiment. His Royal Highness The King of Jordan awarded Lieutenant Colonel NMA Ridley, WO2 Poynter and Tpr Crawford commemorative medals for their parts as the Field Officer of the Escort, Standard Bearer and senior Trooper on the day. The Blues and Royals Mounted Detachment and Band of The Life Guards looked fantastic in the bright, early winter sunshine for the Lord Mayor’s Procession, along with the Inns of Court and City Yeomanry riding in memory of their friend and colleague Signaller William Hinde who was tragically killed a week before whilst training for the event. The Life Guard Squadron provided the dismounted marching detachment for the Cenotaph Parade and many of the Regiment were in attendance at the Cavalry and Bombing Memorials for separate services of remembrance. After the customary Boards of Officers, Lieutenant Colonel SH Cowen RHG/D took over command of the regiment from Lieutenant Colonel NMA Ridley LG who moves on to the Middle Eastern Desk at Main Building. Soldiers lined the route from the Ceremonial Gate to the Officers’ Mess and Colonel Ridley shook hands with all as the Band of The Life Guards played ‘For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow’, thus bringing his tenure as Commanding Officer to a close.
December The last month of the year promised to end with a full range of Christmas celebrations, which proved high entertainment. The Sabre Squadrons finished
Junior Ranks show jumping.
their Troop Camps in Melton Mowbray (LG) and Somerset (RHG/D) before launching themselves into the Christmas festivities. The Regiment hosted a visit by Colonel The Life Guards, and managed to send a team to the London District Cross-Country Competition, who returned victorious, with Tpr Sharpe LG gaining second place overall in the junior event, a great achievement. The final week before the first leave block saw a memorable carol service held in the RHG/D Squadron stables followed by the senior ranks having a drink in the Officers Mess accompanied by wives and girlfriends. Numerous Christmas lunches took place for the remainder of the week and Brick Hanging was another memorable event for those that could remember! Following the Commanding Officer’s address the Regiment retired on the first leave block for the Christmas and New Year break. Meticulous planning has already taken place for 2002 for the Golden Jubilee, which sees HCMR taking a lead role in almost everything, again!
The Major General returning to the saluting dias.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Life Guards Squadron he year began frustratingly with the cancellation, due to foot and mouth, of the squadron’s winter camps. This was a great disappointment to all as winter camps not only provide a welcome break from the demanding routine of life in London, but also go along way to raise the standards of horsemanship.
In response to the unexpected gap in the New Year programme a number of soldiers were sent individually on various training courses and those with leave remaining were also able to get away. Most notably Trps Partridge and Slowey attended the Leadership and Development course run at HCR achieving first and second place respectively. An exceptional achievement, Tpr Partridge is now a substantive LCpl and Tpr Slowey has just been posted to HCR where he will shortly begin his armoured training. By the early part of the spring the build up to the Ceremonial season was back on track. The first major mounted parade of the year, the Major General’s, was a memorable success. Not only did the Regiment return to Hyde Park, having carried out the parade at Chelsea Barracks last year, but also for the first time in a number of years the Regiment cantered past the new Major General. Only the Band and some of the Regimental Staff Officers stayed out of the action. While many were nervous about com-
Colonel The Life Guards presents Tpr Warren with his Mounted Dutyman Badge.
pleting the canter past without hiccup before the day, afterwards, the atmosphere in the messes, cookhouse and stables was jubilant. The confidence and pride instilled as a result of returning to the traditional format of the Major General’s parade was to stand the squadron in particularly good stead for the exceptionally busy parade season scheduled for June. For the first time in memory a State Visit was requested in June at Windsor for the
The Major General inspects the Life Guard Squadron, May 2001.
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president of South Africa. As a result of the delayed General Election a State Opening of Parliament was also added to the traditional Queen’s Birthday Parade and Garter Service parades. All rehearsals, parades and briefings took place within an extremely hectic 16-day period. July saw half the squadron go on leave and Major HCB Briscoe who moved on to study at the French Staff College relinquish command to Major JRD Barnard.
Regimental Training Camp in August was as busy as ever. The Commanding Officer in his last few weeks of command was particularly keen on lavishing prizes on as many competitors as possible. An intense programme of show jumping, cross-country and skill at arms competitions saw Tpr Forrester winning the junior ranks show jumping trophy and LCpl Norris and Tpr Steadman taking first place in the junior ranks cross-country. The senior ranks did less well with a number of star riders injured out of the tournament. At the beginning of November the squadron provided the principal standard for the State Visit of The King and Queen of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The parade was commanded by the Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel NMA Ridley LG who relinquished command to Lieutenant Colonel SH Cowen RHG/D on dismounting his horse. Later in the month all three troops rotated through winter camps at Melton Mowbray. The original plan had been to go to the ILPH centre near Blackpool but this offer had to be withdrawn after a local river had burst its banks flooding many of the facilities. Many young troopers enjoyed their first attempt at riding a full cross-country course as well as sampling the unique Melton nightlife. Plans for a more original location next year are already afoot. Any offers would be much appreciated. With no state Opening of Parliament the run up to Christmas was quieter than usual. Horses went out to grass in two
Tprs Kettle, Jubb and LCpl McDowell undergoing First Aid training at Regimental Training.
phases, the first to the field and the second to a barn. Putting horses in a barn during the winter has not been tried for some years, but in response to the harsh weather conditions at Melton it is hoped some of the less hardy horses will benefit from the more sheltered accommodation. With the horses away slightly earlier it was possible to qualify a fair few individuals in map reading and horse husbandry. Three weeks before Christmas Colonel The Life Guards visited. After enjoying a ride through Chelsea, the Colonel met members of the squadron and band. A few days later he returned to hang the
brick, which WO2 (SCM) Poynter, the new Squadron Corporal Major took down and to bed with him at 4 oâ€™clock the next morning. There have been many changes to the squadron orbat in 2000. In addition to the change of Squadron Leader the following moves have taken place. Captain JBC Butah moved to be Staff Captain at Horse Guards and was replaced as second in command by Captain RG Waygood. WO2 Core moved on to be RQMC at HCR and was replaced by WO2 (SCM) Poynter and SCpl Benge replaced SCpl Stevenson as SQMC.
The Life Guard Squadron relaxing between serials on Ex TRY OUT.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Blues and Royals Squadron o quote the author of last year’s article, “2001 should prove to be a quieter year.” Well, as we know, the plan rarely survives the action! In every way this year has been exceptional. The cancellation of the Royal Windsor Horse Show meant that this year’s prize giving for the Princess Elizabeth Cup was held in Hyde Park. The Regiment was delighted when The Queen graciously agreed to present the prizes. Trooper Morgan RHG/D won the prize for the Best Turned out trooper. The Squadron’s activities from May until the end of June were dominated by a ceremonial programme, the intensity of which few Household Cavalrymen will have experienced outside a Jubilee year. Between 28th May and 22nd June, four weeks, The Squadron conducted 5 early morning rehearsals, eight Escorts, one of which was in Windsor, and a dismounted parade, an average of three and a half major parades per week.
Having successfully completed an extremely thorough Major General’s inspection in Hyde Park in adverse weather, including a rank past at the canter, preceded by Commander Household Cavalry’s rehearsal. There followed the String Band rehearsal, the Major General’s and Colonel’s reviews for the Queen’s Birthday Parade After the Colonel’s review, the Regiment departed for the first of its two brief visits to Windsor. The Squadron provided the Field Officer and Standard Party for the Sovereign’s Escort, which escorted The Queen and the President of South Africa, President Mbeki, from Home Park through Windsor to the Castle. The Squadron then returned sharply to London with the Regiment for the
Major Woyka riding beside The Queen of Jordan, Nov 2001.
Queen’s Birthday Parade. Despite two perfect sunny rehearsals, the day itself has gone down in the annuals of history as one of the Households Division’s finest and wettest hours. In the blink of an eye we were back in Windsor for the second time. This time for the Garter Service. In contrast to the previous Saturday, the weather was perfect with not a cloud to be seen. As before, our stay in Windsor was cut short as the Regiment had to return to London for the State Opening of Parliament for which the Squadron provided the Standard Party for the Sovereign’s Escort accompanying Her Majesty to and from the Palace of Westminster. It was a fitting end to an exceptional busy summer season. The horses were roughed off and the Squadron prepared to take leave. Sadly it was time also time to say the first of our farewells. Captain
Beach Ride: CoH Ashdown, LCoH Parks, SCM Smith and CoH Gardener.
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DR Boyd left us to take over as OC equine at the DAC. His vast equine knowledge and experience, high standards of stable management and steady concern for the horses had ensured a 100% horsepower throughout. In addition, by being the first commissioned member of the Riding Staff to hold the post of Squadron Second in Command and Escort Commander of a Sovereign’s Escort he had made Household Cavalry History. At the beginning of August, despite speculation and healthy odds at the bookies, horses were fit, men were thirsty and it was off to Bodney Camp in Thetford for Regimental Training. Serious matters first, Captain PBA Townley steered his Troop to victory in the Military Skills Exercise. Captain N P Harrison and CoH Fortune romped home in the Senior Ranks Handy Hunter, CoH Reason and
The Major General and CoH Ashdown.
Pass Out Parade - Tpr McKay.
RHG/D a Squadron, Queens Birthday Parade.
Troop leaders look on Capt Harrison and Capt Birkbeck.
CoH Scrivell won the dressing contest and Captain OB Birkbeck pressed “Go” on Wellington to win the Five Bar Gate competition and LCoH Williams sealed the treble with third. During his visit The Major General presented CoH Ashdown with his LSGC. A close run thing some would say. Sadly due to continued threat of Foot and Mouth, the Open Day was cancelled.
The King and Queen of Jordan. The Commanding Officer decided to step in as The Field Officer of the Sovereign’s Escort leaving the Squadron Leader as the Second Carriage Officer to Escort the Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Rania of Jordan for the Sovereign’s Escort, which escorted The King and Queen Abdullah of Jordan from the Eton Riverside Station through Windsor to the Castle. There was surprisingly very little decent at this decision.
hosts. Much was achieved on the equitation front and several lessons learned including one on the inability of a rotten Post and Rail fence to stay in the ground when attached to 7 tonnes of Cavalry Black. It was a fitting end to an exceptionally exciting and busy season.
On return to London it was time to say the second of our farewells. WO2 Smith moved on after having completed 22 years service with the Household Cavalry, the majority of which had been spent at Knightsbridge. His departure was a moment for all to reflect. As SCM he had embodied all the excellent traditions of The Household Cavalry and the rank of Warrant Officer whilst never forgetting what it was like to be at the beginning of your career. With the summer break over it was time to return to Windsor for the State visit of
With the final escort behind us, troops conducted Troop Training in Somerset. We had accepted a kind invitation from Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel CM Stone to spend three weeks in the foot of the Quantocks Hills in his new residence which conveniently has a decommissioned race yard attached. 3 Troop under Captain OB Birkbeck led off to sample the equine and social delights of the West Country. Initial reports were encouraging and everyone seemed to be enjoying the experience, including our
During the year the Squadron bade fond farewell to Captain PBA Townley in order that he can dedicate his whole time to the Orderly Officers roster as Assistant Adjutant; Captain DR Boyd who took over as OC equine at the DAC; WO2 Smith on completion of 22 years service, and SCpl Hasting who has taken over as the MTWO in Windsor. At the same time we welcomed Captain MPF Dollar who has taken over as 1 Troop Leader; Captain RT Sturgis who has taken over as 2 Troop Leader; WO2 Panter who has taken over as SCM, and SCpl Musgrave who has taken over as SQMC.
Squadron Address - not everyone seems that interested.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Headquarters Squadron his year has proved to be one of the most interesting and satisfying ceremonial seasons for many years. The Foot and Mouth epidemic has caused many problems and frustrations during the summer which has meant many cancelled shows and events which included our Open Day at Bodney Camp. Although the commitments covered were no less than any other year the period was compressed into the months of May and June, which enabled a good grass and leave plot to be undertaken. The Squadron has continued to provide manpower to both sabre Squadrons to fill saddles for escorts whilst continuing to provide the administration support for the Regiment throughout the year.
The year has been a very settled one in regards to personnel movement, however throughout the year a number of changes have taken place within the command structure of the Squadron. Major J S Holbrook LG has departed to HQ 4 Armd Bde in Osnabruck and handed over to Major D Pickard as Squadron Leader. We welcome back to Knightsbridge Captain VP Maher RHG/D as Quartermaster and Capt AR Tate as Career Management Officer, a new post in the vital area of man man-
Capt Bartle-Jones, Capt Hammond and Major Holbrook.
agement. Surgeon Major J Hammond has replaced Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel CM Stone who has left the Regiment and is practising medicine in Somerset. He still keeps in touch and has hosted the Blues and Royals Squadron Winter Camp in November. Other departures have included WO2
All work and no play - the Forge at Bodney Camp, Summer 2001.
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(SCM) Atkinson, WO2 Mills (Master Saddler) and SCpl Mitchell, we wish them and their families all the very best in the future. The year in Knightsbridge really starts in earnest with the Major Generalâ€™s Inspection, 2001 was back in Hyde Park
Passout at Camp.
and included a canter in review order and rank past. The parade proved to be a great talking point for the riding skills of the Paymaster, Major I Fryer BEM, who rode Garry aged 25 year old, which in human years is older than HM The Queen Mother. The run up to the Birthday Parade followed quickly but was broken by a State Visit in Windsor. CoH Beaumont and his drivers took little credit for these incredibly complex moves. The Birthday Parade was held in appalling conditions and gave the boys something to clean for the Garter on Monday, which was held in brilliant sunshine. Regimental Training soon approached in August, Bodney Camp has really become the second home of the Regiment, CoH Hadden MBE continues to set up and run the camp with great effect and presence. Headquarter Squadron is able to deploy en mass and departments set up in the same locations within the Camp. WO2 Button, the Master Tailor has even bought his house near the camp. The atmosphere is excellent and relaxed after the rigors of the ceremonial season in London. The programme followed this year was very different to that of any other year, as the Foot and Mouth disease caused much of the training to be
changed. New training areas and the cancellation of Open Day were the two most visible signs of change. However, the Regiment tried to keep to the normal progressive programme with the final week being filled with equine competitions. On the sporting front the Squadron, or should we say the Farriers, won the inter Squadron Tug of War, and formed the main part of the team for the volleyball, which won against the RHG/D Sqn. LCpl Woods from the Saddlers Shop represented the Combined Services at fencing in Canada in November, which was a marvellous personnel achievement. SCpl Parkinson, Padre Mcleod and the doctor all took part in the London Marathon and all put up very creditable times. The Padre then went on to take part in the New York Marathon which he said was an incredibly emotional experience. Sadly he has now been posted to Sandhurst. On the equine front due to the Foot and Mouth the Riding Staff have had a remarkably quiet season, however WO2 (SCM) Atkinson won the senior ranks show jumping on Sefton, and also recorded a credible 7th at Sandhurst in October. SCpl Goodwin had success with 3rd in the Open Competition also at
Sandhurst. LCpl Hall, the Squadron Clerk, completed the Junior Ranks Handy Hunter, which is a very creditable achievement. CoH Adams and CoH Nicholls built the cross-country course this year, which was in a new location and proved to be a great success. Rear Party commanded by WO2 (RQMC) Kibble, SCpl Brown and CoH Wills continued to â€˜hold the fortâ€™ whilst the Regiment deployed to Norfolk. As Families NCO, CoH Wills takes on the role of sympathetic ear whilst the husbands are away. Many personnel have changed over in the autumn, LCoH Pettifer from MT, LCoH Oliver from the Quartermasters and LCpl Dowsett from the Officers Mess. CoH Foster returned to Windsor after giving sterling service as the SQMC. He has made life a lot more comfortable for all of us and had organised an excellent summer water sports day whilst we were in Norfolk. The Squadron is now looking forward to 2002 with the opportunity to take Christmas and New Years leave and draw breath before the much awaited Golden Jubilee year.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess ess activities began in earnest with New Years dinner, organised by CoH Davidson LG and LSgt Goulty AGC. The evening was an extremely well organised themed dinner tilting towards Burns. A splendid job they did too. The Commanding Officer delivered an inspiring state of the nation speech.
February begun with the WOs’ lunchingout the Adjutant, Capt AD Dick a few days before posting, RQMC Kingston LG on commissioning and WO2 BCM Graves LG & CoH Spandley RHG/D on departure to civilian life. This was followed by the valentines dinner dance, an excellent night enjoyed especially by the ladies. At the end of the month we hosted a very well attended families and friends dinner night. In March, the mess laid on a Coyle night (Scottish dancing) organised by SCpl Farrier Major Newman whose reels were second to none! This was shortly followed by the Riding Staff lunch. Always a wellattended event, numbers were further swelled this time by the attendance of the King’ Troop RHA Instructors. In May we dined out WO2 Coleman LG as he was posted to ATR Pirbright. The mess hosted The Blues and Royals annual dinner, organised this year by WO2 (SCM) N Smith. The Major General’s Parade followed shortly afterwards when the Major General spoke to all the Mess Members. At the end of a busy season in June, CoH Ashdown RHG/D organised a “Stars in their Eyes” show at which the talented performers of the mess gave their all. The
clap-ohmmeter gave 1st place to LCpl Sherlock RHG/D son of madness, singing a near perfect rendition of Lamp Post. Other performers were members of the Riding Staff doing a very accurate YMCA impression, no change there. CsoH Fortune and Reason RHG/D, performed Right said Fred and the AGC girls were the Spice Girls. By the middle of August the mess had moved to Bodney Camp for Regimental Training. This year WO2 (SCM) Gray and SCpl Dixon RHG/D organised the entertainment and games night as well as two themed dinner nights, Italian and Mexican. Other events included a race night superbly organised by RAOWO WO1 Gentle and a hilarious review night, organised by WO2 Master Tailor Button LG, CsoH Ashdown RHG/D and Davidson LG, LCpl’s Golder, Sherlock RHG/D and Seedall AGC. Returning to London in September we held a farewell lunch for Dot Rowlinson from the pay office who had worked for the Regiment for 11 years. In October The Colonel The Blues and Royals visited the mess. The Riding Staff had their past and present night with lots of old faces chewing the hay. If that was not enough to finish us off soon after we held a WOs’ luncheon for WO2s Smith, Atkinson, Hunter and SCpl Mitchell, all RHG/D after 22years service. The dinning-out of the Commanding Officer followed, organised by the PMC SCM Poynter LG. A good night was had by all especially the Commanding Officer who stayed until the early hours.
WO2 (SCM) P Atkinson being briefed by the Commander Household Cavalry.
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SCpl (FM) Newman being presented with his LSGC by the Maj Gen.
In November we held a Curry lunch for those who attended the Act of Remembrance at the Cavalry and Bomb memorials a well-attended event as always. In December we held the Christmas Draw organised by WO2 Peers and his committee, a first class event with a difference. The gym was converted into a night club, the riding school a funfair with dodgems, stalls and a casino. A thoroughly enjoyable evening. Brick hanging was organised in the traditional manner by SCM Pointer LG. The brick was hung by The Colonel The Life Guards in fine fashion. On Christmas day the Mess opened it’s doors for those who wanted to avoid Christmas cooking and 43 mess members and families enjoyed a delicious traditional lunch.
WO2 Peers and Gray waiting for their interviews in the Saddlers Shop.
The Musical Ride for the season 2001 he Musical Ride has had a torrid year in 2001, not least in the state of the changing administration for it, but in the fact that Foot and Mouth disease threatened to leave the Ride ‘all dressed up with no where to go’. Captain RHA Peasgood LG had done extensive work in 2000 in order to ensure that the Ride would have a productive, profitable and enjoyable 2001. When he handed over the Ride to Captain JBC Butah LG, the hold that Foot and Mouth had on the country had not quite come to light. Once it had, it was immediately apparent that almost every show the Ride was booked for would be cancelled.
Captain JBC Butah, Captain CT Haywood and CoH Welsh continued undaunted in preparation for the season, building up horses, selecting ride members and training for their first show. EQUITANA, an equestrian sports world fair was due to take place from 3 – 11 March 01 in Germany. The Ride was meant to be delivering its first performance of the year and taking in some German hospitality for good measure. However all transportation of horseflesh to the continent was banned and only a select few men made it to Germany. On borrowed horses, a small four-man display flew the flag and brought home the bacon! Unfortunately, the organiser of all British elements of the event decided not to pay up and has temporarily vanished. If your reading Mr Avis – I will find you!! The Ride performed for the Major General on his inspection of the Regiment on 10 May 01, before being temporally disbanded for the ludicrously busy ceremonial season.
tle-Jones RHG/D decided that the Adjutant required some out of office action, and with the Commanding Officer’s permission, set about organising the remainder of the year. As restrictions on movement and Foot and Mouth free areas were promulgated, it was clear that there would be entertainment after all. The Director Royal Armoured Corps requested the Ride for his Open Day at Bovington, no doubt to add some panache for the ladies. This was duly done on 27 – 28 June 01 and proved an excellent opportunity to see how far the ride had come following its break for the season, prior to the Ride commencing its rolling leave.
were unfortunate to have been subjected to a thirty-foot shot of Tpr Killeen for more than a minute!!
A race meeting at Kempton Park is always a fun day out, however the driving rain and strong winds, not to mention no luck on the betting front were putting a dampener on the Rides next appointment. This has almost become an annual event for the Ride, cantering down the racecourse in the dark to a position in front of the stand was a tremendous experience. Although the Ride had to contend with the weather and an undulating arena (which almost cost Tpr Dunnicliffe LG a crate), perhaps the biggest obstacle was a thirtyfoot television screen directly down one side of the course. As horses crossed the arena area from quarter marker to quarter marker, they were confronted by themselves on screen. Fortunately enough, time for adequate rehearsals prevented any real drama. The crowd
The Shrewsbury Flower Show proved ever popular with an attendance of some 10,000 people on the first day. A wonderful setting with a huge audience sparked the boys into four super performances, highlighted by the amount of letters sent to the Regiment following the show. Geese by the entrance to the arena proved the only problem as Zulu, the Adjutant’s horse, refused to walk close to them – weak riding! Mass hysteria amongst pensioners is not often caused, however the ride certainly caused a stir. Fortunately for the boys, there was a high amount of young ladies
The Ride performed at a number of smaller shows at the end of June and beginning of July, such as Cowdray Park Equine 2001 and Pirbright Open Day, with the drum horse and trumpeters attending Goodwood. One of the highlights of the year came at Blenheim Palace where the Ride performed in front of the Duke of Marlborough, himself an ex Musical Ride Officer. With the setting of the Palace in the background in the early summer evening, it truly was spectacular.
The Ride was re-established under new management in June. Captain W Bar-
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Performing at the Horse of the Year Show
at the ground, many of which had unsurprisingly taken a fancy to our stable area. Tpr King LG and LCoH Forsdick LG certainly charmed the pants of one or two. Operation Shop Window saw the drum horse Spartacus ridden by CoH Purnell and our four mounted trumpeters, Musns Dodd, Nicholls, Dickinson and Patterson, help in the recruiting of band members at the fair at Chelsea Barracks. The Commandant of Chelsea Barracks took a dislike to the horse manure left on his square, so who knows what he’ll say should the Major General’s Parade 2002 have to be held there – please, oh please!! All would be in agreement that the Horse of the Year Show 2001 was the pinnacle of the show diary. Arriving with great expectations about the infamous ‘Grooms Parties’, we found our stables washed away by the rain, no food for the first day and a rather uncharacteristic sour mood from the King’s Troop adjacent to us. We set about making the best of the situation and after the first night (Military Night) was over, the show burst to life in the form of party after party. The ‘Dog’ club was frequented by the Adjutant and Riding Master, whilst the boys tucked into what ever was available! By the end of the week, the Ride was infamous; Tpr Hill held the biggest trophy, Tpr Shapland resembled Oliver Reed at the same age – 11 and Tpr Douglas still could not find his way around the arena even though he was the Life Guard leading file! All in all, the Ride performed admirably and secured numerous bookings for 2002/3, coming away with pride and heaps of praise.
Soaking up the atmosphere at the end of the first peformance.
year with bookings for both Horse of the Year Show and Olympia in the pipeline. We thought we would stay on after
Olympia as part of the Festival of Erotica, as we know the Riding Master will be taking a couple of classes!
Members Of The Musical Ride 2001 Captain W Bartle-Jones – Ride Officer Captain JBC Butah – Ride Officer Captain C Haywood – Riding Master CoH Welsh SR – Ride Administrative SNCO CoH Purnell P – Drummer LCoH Forsdick JF – Ride JNCO LCpl Caterall C – Ride JNCO Tpr Mann RB – Dutyman Musn Dickinson J – Trumpeter Tpr Douglass RA – Dutyman/ Leading file LG Musn Patterson A – Trumpeter Tpr King JA – Dutyman/ Stand in Monkey Man Musn Nicholls MC - Trumpeter Tpr Armstrong GS – Dutyman Musn Dodd SP - Trumpeter
CoH Welsh took a number of the Ride to both the National Exhibition Centre and Wembley in support of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna, who borrowed four grey horses for their display. The Ride Diary for 2002 is filling up fast and it looks like being a memorable and fun
46 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Tpr Dunsford A - Dutyman Tpr Dunnicliffe A – Dutyman Tpr Doody AJ – PSG Tpr Mason A – Dutyman Tpr Nardini PCD - Waiting Man Tpr Sampson E – Dutyman Tpr Brydon A – DH Groom Tpr Stables P - Dutyman Tpr Martin J - Dutyman Tpr Killeen R - Dutyman Tpr Greenwood LA - Dutyman Tpr Shapland A - Dutyman Tpr Gallagher P – Dutyman Tpr Hill T – Dutyman Tpr Steadman JR – Monkey Man Tpr Eames RP – Monkey Man Tpr Tingley G – Monkey Man Tpr Osbourne R Monkey Man
The Ride enjoying the Adjutant’s hospitality at a Grooms party at the Horse of the Year Show.
Band of The Life Guards s 2001 passed by, it has been, on reflection another busy year for the Band of The Life Guards.
Our engagements remain as diverse as always, both in differing combination of musicians and in the type of ‘gigs’ we take on board, or those that are thrust upon us. One such occasion at the end of January was a promotion for Jaguar cars, the new X-Type. This involved the marching band parading through the Banqueting suite at Whitehall every evening at 10 o’clock at night to the surprise of the various distributors from around the world. There were American theme nights, Last Night of the Proms spectaculars and a sprinkling of Germanic favourites spread over the ten days that we were involved. Into February, we fulfilled our training role and completed our ATD’s at Pirbright, including APWT and Medical, NBC and fitness levels maintained. Our commitment to support the rota of Household Division band engagements such as Windsor Guards, Investitures, Guards Chapel appearances and Garden Parties came along with predictable regularity. It’s all part of the service and we were happy to meet this with pride and professionalism. Meanwhile, the preparations were underway once more for the Major General’s Review. This was preceded by various preliminary inspections leading to a very successful parade, which was back in Hyde Park once
again. There was also the added ‘excitement’ of a canter past, although needless to say, the band remained static during this phase. As the band continued to perform its usual round of duties throughout the year, there was one noteworthy occasion when, on May 1st Musician SLS Thorpe became the first female to play Trumpet on a Queen’s Life Guard. The mounted season progressed unabated, although certainly not the extremes of the Millennium year, the Beating Retreat on Horse Guards at the beginning of June was certainly a highlight. CoH NJ Goodchild and Musician Martin performed well during the Post Horn Gallop, which on this occasion was mounted, leading to a finale of The Royal Fireworks Music from the Combined Bands of The Household Cavalry. The rehearsals leading up to the Queen’s Birthday Parade gave everyone an opportunity to display themselves in best Mounted Review Order. The weather on the preceding Major General’s and Colonel’s Review was extremely good. Perhaps it was an omen – for the day of the Queen’s Birthday Parade itself, it must have been one of the wettest on record. The heavens opened and the rain persisted for much of the morning. The Household Cavalry was granted permission to ‘cloak up’. A good decision. The same did not apply to the Foot
Guards, who, in a momentary burst of less inclement weather, majestically decloaked in one spectacular drill movement. However, within ten minutes, their scarlet tunics had turned a dark red under the unremitting downpour. However, life goes on, and the band enjoyed a visit to HMS Westminster as part of the International Festival of the Sea in Portsmouth Harbour during August. We were tasked to provide musical support during the day to encourage the public to come aboard and contribute to their goal of raising money for Guide Dogs for the Blind campaign. It proved to be very effective over the three days and enough was raised to the tune of two and half dogs! The frigate HMS Westminster is affiliated to Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the band are familiar with the variety of joint engagements that pass between Knightsbridge and our naval friends. In fact, on the ships arrival in July to British waters after an absence of some nine months at sea, two trumpeters from the band and LCpl Hayden were able to sound a fanfare for the occasion on board at the same time as HMS Westminster were hosting HRH The Prince Michael of Kent. This union has been maintained, and, on the occasion of a cocktail party in October, the band presented a Beating Retreat ceremony at London Docks where she was moored for a while for maintenance purposes.
The Installation of The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Michael Oliver. Nov 2001.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The band took part once again at The Grand Prix at Silverstone. It was held in July this time to much better organisation and far better weather. After a regular series of concerts at Eastbourne, the band has taken part in a variety of concerts for the Royal British Legion, particularly their Festival of Remembrance at Margate. To bring us up to date, the Christmas festivities start in earnest, with a concert in the Guards Chapel for SSAFA, and of course, the HCMR Carol Service, to be held once again the stables, a most appropriate setting. We say goodbye to SCpl “Chalkie” NA White in February, who was the bands Principal Horn Player and band accountant. We wish him every success in his hometown of Grantham. Also, farewell to CoH “Baz” BJ Dutton, a stalwart of the band as a cornet player and regular State Trumpeter for many years. He’s settling in the Bovington area at the moment where he has taken an equitation role with a stables – horses were always his first love, and he gave a good deal of experience to the band over the years. Meanwhile, the Band Corporal Major WO2 PD Lazenbury handed over the reins to WO2 TR Francis as the incoming BCM in November. However, WO2 PD Lazenbury is staying with the band as a continuation musician for a further two years. His skills on violin and clarinet are a valuable asset, not forgetting keyboard. He gave a great deal of support to the band as BCM and the band flourished under his guidance and leadership. His continued musicianship is most welcome.
already joined us through the year and are enjoying band life. Meanwhile, Musician JE Dickinson and Musician EJ Maher are transferring to The Waterloo Band of The King’s Division in March. All this ‘traffic’ of musicians is a familiar tack with bands these days, but recruiting, thanks to the industrious work of the Bandmaster WO1 DL Wolfendale, remains very healthy. Our work experience and ‘look at life’ opportunities have realised 12 candidates in various stages of enrolment to the band who are dedicated Life Guards Musicians for the future. So it all looks well on the horizon. In December 2001, the band bids farewell to the Director of Music, Major MJ Torrent, and hands over the baton to Major DW Cresswell. Major MJ Torrent has been with the band since April 1997 and enjoyed his time immensely. With three Lord Mayor’s Shows, two Birthday Parades, Edinburgh Tattoo, RMT to name but a few of the wealth of engagements undertaken, he will miss The Life Guards Band. Moving to his new postings of Lt Col in January 2002, Major MJ Torrent becomes The Chief Instructor at The Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. Major DW Cresswell completes his riding course at the end of January and will
Earlier in the year, during August, the band bid a fond farewell to CoH PJ Carson. Since having a severe road accident in March 1998, the then Trumpet Major led a long road to recovery at the Atkinson Morley Hospital, Frimley Park, Haslar and Headley Court. He undertook a variety of engagements with the band at Concerts, Windsor Guards and occasionally with the Mounted Band. This was all part of his convalescence and recuperation leading to his medical discharge in September 2001. He was a very popular member of the Band and within the Regiment, often dubbed the “James Bond” of the band with his eye for style and precision. The band welcome new members to fill the chairs, or saddles, so to speak, and this year Musician MP Gray on Bass Trombone and Musician EE Jones on clarinet will join the ranks, after riding school. Musician RL Sanders on Tuba and Musician JJ Rockey on euphonium have
The Band at the Grand Prix, Silverstone Circuit.
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Lt Col Ridley inspecting CoH Pearson on his annual inspection prior to the Major Generals Parade.
join the band at Sandhurst in the spring where the band are on a roulement tour at RMAS for the first eight weeks of the year. A parting shot from the outgoing Director of Music has been one final CD. This is a first class set of marches depicting various styles in both cavalry and marching order. It is called “Life Guards Band on Parade” and features the new regimental march of the Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Association, which was written for the Cavalry Memorial Parade held each year in May in Hyde Park. This CD can be purchased through the Band Office on request for £10.00.
Regimental Drills, Windsor.
Silver Stick and CO HMCR welcome Her Majesty.
The Unveiling of the refurbished Wellington Arch.
The Richmond Cup.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Brigade Major leads the Retinue on the Queen’s Birthday Parade.
The Retinue leaves the Palace under the command of the Regimental Adjutant.
Her Majesty inspects the Band of The Life Guards on the Queen’s Birthday Parade.
Return to Buckingham Palace after a very wet Queen’s Birthday Parade.
50 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Aboard HMS Westminster.
Trumpet Major Wheeler, LCpl West and LCpl Hayden on HMS Westminster,
The Commanding Officer on Maj Gens.
The Musical Ride.
The Major Generalâ€™s Inspection, The Combined Household Cavalry Band.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Tpr De Bruin.
Tpr Whittington LG.
LCoH McWhirter on Wellington.
Maj Holbrook at Regimental Training - The bottle said â€œ An all over tanâ€?.
Two great men - Medical Officer and Padre, Bodney 2001.
The RCM after a Commission.
What a wonderful boy - Capt W Bartle-Jones.
52 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Major General receives quad bike training from the Adjutant.
Three Wise Men.
Major Barnard after his first fall.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Training Wing By Captain J. H. Blount ne year on in the Household Cavalry Training Wing and it is all change. There has been a complete turnaround in the staff to such an extent that LCoH Shaw now claims he is â€œOld Schoolâ€?. The new SQMC, SCpl Dixon, is charging round with great gusto trying to sort out age-old problems. This is no mean feat, but the fruits of his labour are plain to see. By the time you read this, the yard will have been re-tarmaced, the menage resurfaced, and the unused water-trough demolished, amongst other things. We are due a rebuild here, but his request for a horse sauna and swimming pool may be declined. WO2 Gray has demonstrated great patience with the new OC, but has finally had enough and demanded bigger and better things. He now returns to the Armoured Regiment along with CoH Carr. LCoH Kendle is on the AMEC, but has sadly broken his leg and the future is uncertain. If he comes off the course it will be the second time due to injury and one cannot help but feel sympathy. In the absence of others, LCpl Royston now runs Coach Troop, and great things are afoot. He is presently receiving one-on-one tuition from Colin Henderson, the Head Coachman of the Royal Mews, in preparation for Royal Ascot, where he will drive a team of four. Such tuition is a great honour and fantastic opportunity. LCpl Royston will also be giving instruction at Regimental Training to those who would like to try driving a pair. He has also administered the purchase of a transportation trailer for the coaches. All we need now is a minibus to tow it.
SCpl Moore, Coh Jones and LCpl Harrison.
As for the rest of the Training Wing, trainees come and go, and some stay longer than others. Our prize to the worst trainee of the year goes to Captain R.T. Sturgis RHG/D, a former winner of the Grand Military, who could not remember which way up his spurs should be. There are generally four rides running at any one time now, with trainees from all walks of life. We have three Fijians, a South African, tranferees from the RLC and several musicians to name but a few. This year in particular, trainees are under increased pressure to
pass out before the forthcoming Ceremonial Season and Jubilee celebrations. Finally, one cannot fail to notice that it is the end of an era: Captain R G Waygood LG has released his grip on the Training Wing and moved to The Life Guards Squadron. Gone is the office that was a shrine to a lifetime of high level eventing. There is a sense of loss here in what will always be his empire, and it is with jealousy that we survey the new spring in the step of every Life Guard.
SCpl Moore in Windsor Great Park.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Winter Training Troop By Captain N P Harrison, RHG/D ue to the tentative start of the hunting season, the Troop did not form at Melton Mowbray until the 3 December. The horses came direct from winter camps and consequently were at a higher standard of fitness than usual. However, disaster struck over Christmas when the freezing temperatures bought everything to a slippery halt. The only place we could exercise the horses was the indoor school as its sand surface had not succumbed to the icy grip.
As all the horses at DAC had to be exercised in this arena we immediately volunteered for the 0500-0700 slot to ensure that the Amec course couldn’t get this prestigious niche. We continued, steamy breathed, for a week until the slush eventually thawed. Obviously this set the horses fitness back and it is a testament to LCpl Steadman and his crew that the horses were fit enough to complete the Wessex Yeomanry Ride. The ride was over two and a half miles of Beaufort country with a few decent sized hedges under the aristocratic gaze of Badminton House. After a quick pep talk by the Hunting Officer, imploring everyone not to race the horses due to their fitness – the flag dropped. Captain R S I Derry, LG by a hairs breadth, cheated the Commanding Officer out of the ‘first fallers’ bottle of Moet at the initial, deceptively small, fence. After the second it became apparent that the race was going to degenerate into a battle of
Captains Birkbeck, Dollar, Harrison and Sturgis at Badminton.
attrition. Riders were forced to contend with a full complement of seat loosening difficulties. These included; loose horses, horses running out and well-meaning spectators, all resulting in many riders being dislodged prematurely. The cloying mud in the later half of the course took the wind out of the horses and the four HCMR finishers let the horses take their time to the finish. Captain N P Harrison, RHG/D taking considerable time, lying down, at the last. Major G V Woyka RHG/D on Sarajevo sailed ahead of the HCMR flotilla but even he couldn’t compete with some very streamlined thoroughbreds that somewhat dispiritingly had been entered. Due to the Duke of Beaufort’s ruling there was no opportunity to hunt after the race, as is the case most years. Consequently the teams made straight for the ‘Hare and Hounds’ where feathers were preened or wounds licked accordingly. Our first days hunting was with the Quorn on the 12 January which was a
The Household Cavalry Race 2001.
54 Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
steady day as hounds and followers renewed their acquaintance with ground and saddle. The subscriptions for this season were with the Cottesmore on Tuesdays, Belvoir on Wednesdays and the Quorn on Thursdays and Saturdays. The field on all days tended to be quite large, between sixty and eighty. The Household Division being represented to capacity at almost every meet. The regular heavy showers kept the scent fresh throughout January resulting in some excellent runs especially with second horses. The additional horses (15 instead of 12) have meant that the hunting load can be spread more thinly, which will hopefully help reduce injuries. However the old faithful horses are busy keeping their adoring public well mounted and some new stars are beginning to shine through. All the horses, as ever, are benefiting tremendously. Many of the youngsters showing considerable development. To date it has been a very successful season with an encouraging number of Officers making the effort to flog up the M1, many of them for their first season hunting.
Equitation 001 started with much promise for all those members of the Mounted Regiment keen to participate in the various equestrian disciplines. With more shows and events listed than ever before, a great year lay ahead. January started well for Captains RG Waygood and CT Haywood being placed in indoor Show Jumping Competitions at Patchetts, Berkshire and Merrist Wood Equestrian Centres.
All was going to plan, when in late February Foot and Mouth Disease struck the country and everything came to a stand still. The Aldershot Horse Show; our own two-day show for military units at the Household Cavalry Training Wing at Combermere Barracks; the Royal Windsor Showâ€™s ever popular Services team jumping and Skill at Arms competitions and the Royal Tournament Showjumping, now held at the Defence Animal Centre (DAC) at Melton Mowbray, were all casualties. Life for the military competitor was looking grim. The horse world watched and waited. Then in early June with a reduction in the number of overall new cases, events and shows started again. Once we were able to start again, success came quickly with wins and placing for Captains RG Waygood and CT Haywood, SCpl Weller and LCoH Arkley. In July Captain RG Waygood took his best horse Master Fred to Luhmuhlen in Germany, a particularly tough 3 star, 3 Day Event. The partnership completed an exceptionally quick, clear cross-country round, which ended up as the best of the day. This caught the eye of the British Eventing committee, who accepted Captain Waygood and Master Fredâ€™s entry for Burghley 4 star, 3-day event in Lincolnshire.
In mid August the Regiment went to Regimental Training Camp at Bodney Camp, in Norfolk, where we were allowed to hold all our normal internal competitions. Unfortunately Open Day was not able to take place, but the finals of the Showjumping and Skill at Arms competitions were as usual held on the last Sunday of Camp. The Life Guards Squadron won three out of the four competitions, almost mirroring The Blues and Royals results of 2000. In the Regimental Show jumping final, 1st place went to Tpr Forrester LG riding Wykham; the Five Bar went to the RHG/D Sqn with a tie between Captain OB Birkbeck riding Wellington and Lieutenant A Bazan from Argentina riding Ramilies. The last fence stood at 4 foot 10 inches. The Skill at Arms was won impressively by Lieutenant JR Greany, LG on Sterling, having only just passed out of Riding School. Tpr Bowyer also of The Life Guards won the Tent Pegging on Auriol. Members of the Riding Staff have also spent a lot of time this year qualifying young horses in pre-novice and novice competitions for 2002. Horses to watch for next season are, Assagi, Ardent, Agincourt, Zingharo, The Coach troop managed to purchase two new Gelderlander driving horses from Holland in the spring, and these are
now settling into their job well. Towards the end of the year the regiment was able to purchase a new vehicle suitable for weddings. It has a fold down canopy, so if it rains you will not arrive at your reception looking less than perfect. Major A D Dick the last adjutant at HCMR will have wished they made that purchase prior to his wedding earlier this year, when he and his beautiful new wife experienced the full joy of a wet summer day. At the time of going to print the indoor Showjumping circuit has now started, so once again the young horses and riders will be spending the Winter months going to shows in preparation to the Spring Hunter trails and shows of 2002. We hope for a successful and complete year without the disruption of Foot and Mouth
Both pictures show Capt CT Haywood, Riding Master, competing in the Open Class at the RMAS Hunter Trial on HMCRs Vengeful.
The last time a member of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment competed at this event was in 1979 when Captain Alwyn Varley of The Life Guards rode his charger Zing round the great course finishing in 8th place. All started well with Fred and Captain RG Waygood doing a very good dressage, finishing in the top third. The next day during the steeplechase phase, Fred unfortunately overreached, causing a nasty wound on the bulb of the heel of one of his fore feet forcing the pair to withdraw. Next year all being well they will go to Badminton.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Household Cavalry News Exercise Cockney Maple 2001 By Captain N P Harrison, RHG/D he annual mission to Spruce Meadows was once again undertaken by those Troopers who had excelled themselves in the Richmond Cup. Namely: Tprs Alsop, Eames and Morgan. In addition C’soH Twyman and Jenkins made up the team as well as providing saddlery and equine advice. This powder keg of personalities came under the calming influence and direction of Captain Harrison.
The Show ground is a very slickly run affair presided over, for the last twenty six years, by Ron and Marge Southern, who appear to command the entire event with an ever cheery deft, but delicate, touch. An enormous accolade considering this is one of the biggest Show jumping events in the world and that there are some seriously high profile egos to be assuaged. Our primary role was to conduct Color (sic) Guards in the main arena, which involved escorting the winning riders into the arena for prize giving and then leading a victory canter around the ring. When not in this role we had an almost constant presence to maintain outside British House and at various locations in the show ground itself. A tertiary role, of improving the profile of HCMR in top Calgary nightspots, emerged and was taken to with equal, if not greater, gusto. Fortunately Regimental Training had deepened all our seats which was just as well as some of the horses seemed to have come straight from a rodeo class, and were especially excitable when given the chance to show off during canter work in front of appreciative audiences. However under CoH Jenkin’s program and watchful eye all the horses became more or less manageable. CoH Twyman managed to fit tack to horses which bore no resemblance to those that it had been made for, so that we were eventually ready for the televised presentations, looking the part and at least giving the impression of cool headed horsemanship. The jet lag meant that very often we found our selves wide awake in the middle of the night and more often than not in one of the bars, which welcomed us
Household Cavalry News
with open arms. As the event is so large there are hundreds of support staff and so there is a real party atmosphere after each day is put to bed in the build up to the tournament. Knowing that we were going to be in for a very busy week we took the opportunity on the Saturday before the show to do a little sightseeing around Banff and Lake Louise. Whilst there we had the chance to take a raft down the Kicking Horse River, so under the guidance of a seasonal unemployed ski - bum we hurtled down the glacier cold river, between towering cliffs of rock and stunning tree clad mountainscapes. The journey was not without thrills or spills - it is incredible quite how much water those craft can take on board without sinking and how deep CoH Twyman can be submerged whilst still laughing. The week was as busy as we had expected but was great fun, we felt fully integrated into the Spruce Meadows Team being included in the morning briefings and evening festivities. The horses behaved adequately and there were no serious problems. The organisers really want their monies worth and the timetable is chock a block. However with some quick changing we managed to carry out all the duties that were asked of us.
Tpr Alsop sky diving at the sky diving ranch just outside Calgary
Ranch’. All the soldiers completed static line jumps, with Tpr Morgan taking the opportunity of showing his natural talent and actually freefalling. CoH Jenkins took the opportunity to strap himself to burly Sky God who then jumped from 15,000ft to do some serious freefalling. It was a thoroughly enjoyable stay and one, which hopefully will continue for many years to come as it provides excellent exposure on an international stage for HCMR and of course is great fun.
After the Tournament finished Ron Southern kindly allowed us to borrow a minibus so that the Troopers and CoH Jenkins could spend a week completing a freefalling course. Unfortunately the course that usually runs for soldiers from Batus was not happening so we could not tack onto the back of it, as had happened on previous years. But a last minute whip round and a lot of grovelling from Captain Harrison secured finances and places with the ‘Skydive White Water rafting on Kicking Horse River near Banff.
Visit By Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the Presentation of The Princess Elizabeth Cup 2001 By Captain W Bartle-Jones, RHG/D oot and Mouth disease had taken a terrible toll across the country, not only in terms of livestock and tourism, but utterly raping the countryside of most local shows and events. This included the annual Windsor Horse Show, a great supporter of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) for numerous years. It is at this prestigious event, Her Majesty presents the Princess Elizabeth Cup (Richmond Cup) to the best turned out trooper at mounted duty. Fearing this would not be able to take place, plans were hatched in Regimental Headquarters, behind closed doors and out of earshot, to invite Her Majesty to Knightsbridge.
The Regiment was delighted when the date of the 10 May 2001 was put forward by Buckingham Palace. Regimental Headquarters started meticulous planning, sending proposed programs, interview notes, menus and detailed timings to the Palace. It was finally agreed that the ceremony would take place in Hyde Park, where Her Majesty would also present a new Drum Horse (Talevera â€“ or Vera to her friends) which had been in training with SCpl Weller LG and her groom, Cpl Ross Scots DG since October 2000, to Lt Col D Allfrey MBE QCVS, Commanding Officer of the Scots Dragoon Guards. Her Majesty arrived in the park, much to the surprise of the public who happened to be close by and lucky enough to see the parade and was met by the Commander Household Cavalry, Colonel HPD Massey RHG/D. The Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel NMA Ridley LG and the Adju-
The Commanding Officer, Lt CoL NMA Ridley LG, is presented to Her Majesty by Commander Household Cavalry, Colonel HPD Massey RHG/D.
tant, Captain W Bartle-Jones RHG/D were presented to Her Majesty, along with the organisers of the Windsor Horse Show, who had been specially invited by the Regiment. Lieutenant RSI Derry LG called the competitors to attention, after which Her Majesty congratulated them one by one on their out-
The winner of The Princess Elizabeth Cup, Tpr Morgan, receives his prize from Her Majesty.
standing achievements. The final eight on parade had been chosen from over one hundred and fifty of their fellow soldiers and had undergone a rigorous inspection the week previously, by a team including the Brigade Major Lieutenant Colonel MG Bence-Trower SG, Lieutenant Colonel AP de Ritter LG
Talavera, Cpl Ross, Scots DG and SCpl Weller LG are presented to Her Majesty as The Life Guards Sqn look on.
Household Cavalry News
and WO1 ASM Convery SG, who had also commented on the excellent standards achieved. Her Majesty duly presented her cup to the winner, Tpr Morgan OL of The Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron. Tpr Morgan narrowly beat Tprs Eames LG, Bright RHG/D, Scriven RHG/D, Douglas RHG/D, Francis RHG/D Alsop LG and Doyle LG, who all received a rosette (kindly donated by Windsor Horse Show) from Her Majesty to mark their achievements. Captain RSI Derry gave salute to the right prior to marching the party back to barracks. Talevera had waited patiently for her moment of glory and as Her Majesty handed her head collar from SCpl Weller to Lt Col Allfrey, she hardly moved an inch – something she had not managed for the whole of her training! The six year old Talevera, a 17-3 hand, black part bred shire gelding was impeccably behaved and later photographed alongside the Mounted Regiment’s Drum Horses, Leonidas, Janus, Constantine, Spartacus and Horatius. Her Majesty walked across South Carriage Driveway into the Officers Mess car park and passed a now growing crowd, to find four of the Regiment’s Drum Horses awaiting their carrot ration. Her Majesty looked delighted to be reunited with Janus, whom she had kindly donated to the regiment when he was just six. The Officers Mess was hon-
The Adjutant Capt W Bartle-Jones RHG/D is presented to Her Majesty and explains the scoring of the competition.
oured to welcome Her Majesty into their house for drinks and lunch. Fortunately the Mess Manager, SCpl Parkinson had done his research and duly supplied Her Majesty with her favourite drink, Gin
and Dubonet. All enjoyed a wonderful occasion and hope that Windsor Horse Show 2002 will provide similar memories next year.
The Recollections of an Argentinean Exchange Officer By Lieutenant Alvaro Bazan he programme I was given in Argentina before coming to England said that I should report to the Defence Animal Centre on the 14th of May. As instructed, I arrived in Melton Mowbray where I met the other officers on the Mounted Officers’ Equitation Course, Massimiliano Aragiusto from Italy and Lieutenants J R Greany, LG and T A H Giffard, LG.
instructors and were often released onto the cross-country course or the gallops.
I found the course very interesting and after one month we were all confident enough not to fall off the back of our horses too frequently. The daily sessions in the indoor riding school had obviously made an impact. As the second month began we enjoyed regular jumping sessions under the watchful eye of our
One day it was very hot. While we were sweeping the yard, two officers (I don’t want to say the names but one was Italian and the other is name starts with ‘J’) decided to start throwing buckets of water at each other. Unluckily for the four of us, one of the instructors was looking from one the windows upstairs. He was actually very amused, but in my army we have a saying that ‘the happiness of the instructor is the crying of the subalterns.’ The following day as we stood on our saddles in the centre of a shallow river listening to the Corporal of Horse say ‘do you still like water Mr. Aragiusto?’
Household Cavalry News
With Maj Jo Holmes after the stable visit at Windsor.
Anyway, like all the good things, the course went by quickly and before we knew it, we were riding in our pass out, giving back all the tack to the stores and embracing our beloved horses: Riley, Lucifer, Winstead Star and Paddy. They were so happy that we were leaving! It was time to take another look at my programme, which said that I was joining the HCMR in Norfolk during their Summer Camp, (also known as Regimental Training). Straight away I was made to feel at home in the regiment and I quickly got involved in many activities from show jumping to tent pegging (always under the expert and eccentric guidance of WO2 Peers). We had a superb time up in Norfolk. We had dinner all together every day, and there were many opportunities to meet all ranks at parties and competitions. The night in the WOs and NCOs Mess was a particularly entertaining evening. I also felt happy to be involved in giving the horses their well-earned summer holidays, seeing the expression on their faces, neighing in the middle of the countryside and bucking for joy after every jump. When Summer Camp finished, we came back to the Hyde Park Barracks and people went on leave. It was a quiet time, but only for a couple of weeks. Soon after the regiment returned to prepare for the State Visit of the King of Jordan. For that period I was attached to The
Captain Chauveau and Lieutenant Bazan.
Blues and Royals Squadron, and had the pleasure of spending some time with Two Troop. After a few weeks back at Knightsbridge one day the Adjutant came and told me (with his peculiar gestures and welsh accent) ‘Alvaro, you are going to Scotland for a dismounted exercise with the HCR,’ ‘Oh, thanks Will,’ I replied, and indeed in a week’s time I was walking in that beautiful land of Scotland with C Sqn (Two troop again, but slightly different to the one in Knightsbridge!!). I was soon soaking wet from head to toe. But I have to confess that in spite of the weather, I found the exercise very realistic,
with a highly believable situation. They were a highly motivated body of men, who were always willing to fulfil their task to a very high standard. I could name lots of people for whom I have the highest fondness and respect, but I wouldn’t like to forget anyone at all, that’s why all I want say is THANK YOU ALL VERY MUCH INDEED for the time I had in England. I am taking back home one of the best memories of my entire life. I will never ever forget the friends that I am leaving here, to whom I wish the best for their lives. I look forward to hosting you all in Argentina!
The Mounted Officers Equitation Course.
Household Cavalry News
A Month In The Country â€“ Task Force Harvest By Major A Lawrence, LG hotel room in Beijing, The Peoples Republic of China, was one of the least likely places I expected to see Major Alexander Dick, the last Adjutant of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. Yet on the only international channel available, BBC World News, he was calmly standing on top of a building in downtown Skopje expounding the mission and role of the NATO deployment of forces to the Former Yugolsav Republic of Macedonia.
His appearance was perhaps less surprising than it at first had seemed. Throughout the summer, particularly the months of July and August, there had been considerable debate within the political and military arms of NATO as to whether there should be intervention into the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). NATO was not a unified body. The Germans required parliamentary approval to dispatch troops for this specific mission, Britain was keen to lead in a limited deployment and the Greeks were annoyed that everybody kept referring to the country as Macedonia which they were at pains to tell everyone was a province in the north of Greece. At a British level, 16 Air Assault Bde, whom D Squadron were providing the formation reconnaissance capability for, were stood by for operations by the Permanent Joint Headquarters to be the controlling headquarters of any deployment. Brigadier Barney White-Spunner, for-
mally RHG/D, the commander of the Air Assault Bde, as part of his planning process had requested that a UK formation recce sqn be part of his force should it deploy. The force was designed to operate at the request of the Government of FYROM to negotiate the surrender of arms from the Macedonian Albanian rebel groups (the national liberation army (NLA)) who had undertaken an armed struggle against the FYROM police (MVR) and army (ARM) in order to gain constitutional reforms to more accurately reflect the number and role of Macedonian-Albanians within the country. The military successes of the NLA against the MVR and ARM had given them considerable bargaining power which, when coupled with external pressure from the international community, had persuaded the FYROM government into seeking a political solution. The benefits would be the constitutional reforms mentioned above, the price of which was to be the wilful disarming and the disbandment of the NLA. D Squadron, and as a result much of the Regiment, had undertaken much short
RHQ Tp with Brigadier Barney White-Spunner,16 Air Assault Brigade.
Household Cavalry News
notice planning to ensure that they were in a strong position to support the Bde. As was the nature for British deployments over 2001, there was to be no confirmation as to deployment until during a regimental leave period (i.e. Foot and Mouth, Macedonia, Afghanistan). With the majority of the Regiment attempting to recoup much of the leave that had been missed owing to the earlier deployment to Wales in support of the Ministry for Agriculture Food and Fisheries, the call came to prepare the Squadron for deployment. Those overseas were ordered to return to Windsor, with the noticeable exception of Lt Hayward RHG/D, who had gone native somewhere in the Greek isles and was entirely uncontactable. Preparations in Windsor were matched by frantic machinations at the political level as to who would be involved in the force. The result, so as not to bore with arguments on the deployment of the first European Union force as opposed to the NATO force, was that the reconnaissance capability of the UK was shelved in favour of the reconnaissance capability of the Canadians and the Italians. Both nations had been terribly keen to be involved and despite the fact that the Italians double bookkeeping meant that they were not providing a separate reconnaissance unit and the fact that the Canadian surveillance vehicle was so large it was unlikely to leave a main road, D Squadron did not make the cut.
lection and destruction of the required three thousand weapons the task force would extract from FYROM and be replace by a then as yet undecided force to ensure the maintenance of a stable situation within the country to ensure the success of the congressional reforms.
The heat finally gets to Capt Fisher.
All the above had happened whilst I was merrily visiting the great wall, the Forbidden City, Tiannemen Square and other treasures of China. I had not been warned to go ( I was commanding C Sqn who were not stood by for operations) so after one confirmatory long distance telephone call I returned to Windsor unphased from a fully completed summer leave. It was nine days after this that in the role of Operations Major for the Household Cavalry contribution I stepped off from a C130 Hercules at Skopje International Airport for a thirtyfour day deployment as part of Task FORCE HARVEST. Task FORCE HARVEST was the NATO name given to the British led (well Blues and Royals led) force that had moved to FYROM to implement the weapons collection plan discussed earlier. With a specific mandate the force was to facilitate the collection and destruction of three thousand weapons from the NLA prior to their disbandment at the same time as the FYROM government introduced constitutional reforms to reflect the ethnic make up of the country, specifically the Macedonian-Albanians. The outline concept of operations was that liaison teams to both the FYROM government and the NLA would establish the conditions, both physically on the ground and politically through confidence building measures, for weapon collection operations to take place. These operations would be of a short duration in targeted locations with infantry from the French, British or Italian Battle-Groups establishing themselves in an area, disarming the local NLA brigades and then removing the weapons for independent destruction in country by the Greek Battle-Group (who were still at pains to correct everyoneâ€™s use of the term Macedonia!). With the completion of the operation and the col-
The Household Cavalry Regiment contribution to the task force consisted of a Battle-Group headquarters which was to be incorporated into the headquarters of 16 Air Assualt Bde. The Commanding Officer HCR, myself, Ops Offr, IO, RSWO plus a handful a key enablers such as signallers, drivers and one crucial REME member, all of which totalled 26 moved into one end of the liaison operations cell within the headquarters. The liaison operations which provided the harvest liaison teams was commanded by the CO 7 RHA and we set about installing ourselves alongside him as the Bde formation reconnaissance capability. The role of the HCR headquarters was initially not clearly defined. The Italians as mentioned earlier would not let their recce troops operate outside of their battle group. The Canadians were still in the process of moving into theatre, they had moved from part of MND SW in Bosnia having completed four months of a six month tour, and national authority would not be transferred until they had completed their in load. The HCR role was to develop along two lines. The first of which was force protection within the task force AO. Owing to the threat of escalation of attacks against both TFH and KFOR troops within FYROM, which was highlighted by the death of Sapper Ian Collins when a group of youths dropped a concrete block from a flyover through the front of his Landrover windscreen, coordination of large vehicle movements across the AO
Major Dick pops up in Macedonia.
became a priority. Any movements of convoys over six vehicles required an escort from the battle group in whose area they were operating and the handing on of the convoy to the neighbouring force. In addition to this was the coordination of large convoys to ensure that they did not have an adverse political or psychological effect in areas where weapon-collecting operations were to take place. This was particularly the case in the west of the TFH AO, an area called the Tetovo valley, where the main KFOR route Bottle ran. This route was the major artery for the German contribution to KFOR who had their national support element along the eastern side of the Tetovo valley and were in the process of roleing their troops. Convoys of up to forty vehicles including tanks and armoured personnel carriers were regularly transiting this route and had the serious potential to upset the delicate balance between the warring parties and threaten the weapon collecting operations as a whole. The operations officer Home in Macedonia.
Household Cavalry News
of HCR Capt Zamir Catsaras LG took on the role of the ‘Eddie Stobart’ of Macedonia. Liasing with a female American Sgt in KFOR headquarters, who much to his annoyance was deemed his equivalent, there were no movements across the area that Captain Catsaras did not know about. Due to leave the British Army on his return from the task force, comments on his increasing his CV for civilian employment did not always have the desired response. The role, however, was crucial and the efficient coordination removed a potentially large headache away from the Bde Commander. The second role that HCR assumed was the coordination of the formation recce elements within theatre. In particular this came to mean the preparation of taskings for the Canadian Coyote Squadron. Captain Klaus Fisher the Regimental Intelligence Officer who had aided the Bde Int Cell in the collection and preparation of ground intelligence (routes, population density and makeup etc.) became the principal liaison to A Squadron the Royal Canadian Dragoons. The Tetovo valley region, which had been one of the principal areas of conflict owing to its’ diverse ethnic mix, was to become the major focus of the Task Force in ensuring that infractions of the ceasefire were accurately reported to the heads
of the both the Macedonian Police and Army to ensure they did not threaten the political process. The Canadian coyote vehicle fitted with both the MSTAR radar system and a vehicle mounted television system was an ideal surveillance platform to mount these operations. The HCR HQ would prepare the environment to insert the Canadian vehicles, which focussed chiefly on the village of Ratae, ensuring the operations would not prejudice weapon collection operations and that re-supply and communications were feasible. The operations were focussed in the majority against organisations such as the ‘Lions’ paramilitary forces who were operating in the margins of FYROM police sometimes with the approval of senior members of the Ministry of the Interior, who were the greatest threat to the success of the task force. The surveillance capabilities of the Canadians coupled with the HQs’ direct link into the liaison cell with the factions ensured that the Brigade Commander had an accurate real time link into infractions on the ground enabling him to bring pressure to bear on those threatening the process with the evidence he required to ensure the success of the force. Within thirty days of the arrival of the HCR contingent in FYROM the operations were being handed over to a Ger-
man run follow on force (Force Fox). The month in the FYROM has had longterm successes within the country where all constitutional reforms have been enacted. The link with 16 Air Assault Bde strengthened and ensured that two months later when the Bde once again was asked to prepare for operations, this time in Afghanistan, that HCR was very firmly part of the team.
Regimental Cricket Tour to the West Indies 30 March - 06 April 2001 By Captain J R Greany, LG ll true cricketers dream of playing in the Caribbean. Only the least imaginative devotees of the summer game have not (in idle moments on the boundary) wondered how they would cope with the world’s fastest bowling on the hardest wickets known to man. Even the humblest english seam bowler fantasises between the sheets about bowling the spell of his life in tropical heat, probably on a dusty track surrounded by cricket crazed West Indians banging drums and screaming his name to the beat of a popular rap song. The stunning beaches and perfect weather may also be part of the attraction.
The tour started extremely well as we were mistaken for the England under 19’s at Heathrow. Our blazers and cricket bags suggested that we were county pros at the very least, and no one wanted to destroy the false impression. We also felt spoilt to be spending a com-
Household Cavalry News
fortable first night in Jamaica at Kingston’s Ligunea Club, where the James Bond classic Doctor No had been filmed. Things became significantly less pleasant as we crammed into a local mini-bus for a breathtaking but terrifying ride across the Blue Mountains, all the way to the North coast of Jamaica. Coffee plantations, jungle, shanty towns and ‘jerk chicken’ stands rushed past as we headed through the valleys and over the mountains to the town of Ocho Rios, founded and named ‘eight rivers’ by the Spanish slave merchants, it is now a thriving holiday town and port to the cruise ships of the Caribbean. The stunning views, oppressive heat, spiced chicken smells and lethal driving had made the journey entertaining and frightening in equal measure. We were relieved to arrive safely, but surprised to
find that ‘de English team’s’ visit was the talk of the town. Even the taxi driver would be coming to watch our first game, and he kindly warned us that ‘you guys is gonna get wooped man’. The level of local interest was soon confirmed by the hotel staff. They had been given the day off to watch the match! English tourists were being bussed in from surrounding hotels to witness the epic struggle, billed to take place at Content Gardens ground in 24 hours time. In an attempt to acclimatise and practice, we headed for the nets in the heat of the afternoon. Herds of locals gathered to bowl, Malcom Marshall style at the English top order, and we were given a lethal introduction to genuine pace and bounce. Stumps and helmets were flying in all directions and after three hours, we beat a hasty retreat to the pool to plan our tactics for the games ahead.
Lts Will Snook and Rupert Evetts get their hand on a couple of local birds.
We played two competitive games and one friendly against local teams and clubs based around Ocho Rios. The standard of the opposition was extremely high. Each team had at least two men who had represented Jamaica, and in one case had a West Indies bowler as a paid ‘guest’ player. The regimental team suffered heavily as a result, losing both the competitive games. There were some impressive individual performances however, and the standard of our cricket improved considerably as the tour went on. Trooper Merbhan bowled with real determination and troubled even the best opposition players. Trooper Lutmann batted bravely at the top of the order, not an easy task against bowling in excess of 80 miles per hour. Lieutenant WHAG Snook looked impressive and failed to score any runs (again) while Lieutenant RS Evetts entertained the crowd with his fielding (dropping catches.) The friendly game against Club Caribbean produced better results, with a fifty from Captain JR Greany and some big hits down the order from L CoH ‘sporty’ Shorty. L CoH Brown bowled
Sit easy… do not remove head dress!
with accuracy as ever, and was well supported by the two LCpl Irelands. After a good day at the wicket, everyone managed to summon the energy for a party at the opposition’s hotel, where the rum flowed freely into the morning. A couple of days remained before we were due to return to the foot and mouth crisis, and we took full advantage of the local attractions: swimming with dolphins at ‘Dol-
phin Cove’ and experiencing the cultural delights of ‘Hedonism Two’, before flying back from Kingston. All members of the team are extremely grateful for the support of Lieutenant Colonel PJ Tabor, without which the tour could never have succeeded. I would also like to thank the Army Sports Lottery for their generous financial support.
LCpl Pratt explains the British Army’s drug policy to the island of Jamaica.
Betweeen innings at Ocho Rios, following an excellent lunch of curried goat.
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Language Training in Croatia - 1 to 29 March 2001 By Captain J R Greany, LG was surprised and delighted when my Squadron Leader, Major J R Wheeler, agreed to let me go to Croatia for a month. I had made a start on the language, formerly known as ‘Serbo-Croatian’ in Bosnia in 1999, and wanted to consolidate and increase my knowledge. Sadly, the regular military courses were available only at impossible times and were open mainly to senior officers preparing for a specific posting overseas. As a troop leader due for posting to the Mounted Regiment, I was unlikely to qualify!
I did feel however that it would be useful to be able to communicate in the languages spoken by the majority of people in the Balkans, given the distinct possibility that the armoured squadrons would be working there in the future. The main advantage of the course I attended was that it was run in Dubrovnik, a beautiful city on the Dalmatian coast (rather than at Beaconsfield). I had visited the city on leave from Bosnia two years earlier, and remembered a highly acceptable collage of beautiful women, marble streets, medieval city walls and the warmth of the Adriatic sea in summer. The reality was slightly different second time around; I fought my way through the rain at the airport armed with only grammar books and vocab lists. Nobody was sunbathing in the fresh spring weather and the marble streets were slightly less radiant than I had remembered. Yet even in the rain there is much to recommend in Dubrovnik. The history of the area now called Croatia is fascinating. The Roman, Venetian, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires have all left their mark, although memorials to the struggles of the twentieth century are
Dubrovnik aand the City Walls.
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Dubrovnik’s old city carefully restored since the siege.
harder to find; most of them have been destroyed either by Tito, or by the Croatian Nationalist party in an attempt to eradicate Tito’s legacy. The only exceptions are the memorials to the people killed by the JNA (Yugoslavian National Army) during the siege of Dubrovnik, and these plaques pepper the housing estates that surround the old city. Dubrovnik suffered heavily during the siege, with two thirds of the city’s buildings suffering damage from JNA shelling. However, a project to rebuild the city has been so successful that a newcomer would hardly imagine that such damage had ever been inflicted. The marble streets and bright white buildings are dazzling even in the spring, and this is a convenient excuse for the locals to show off their designer sun glasses all year round without fear of embarrassment.
While it is easy to grow attached to the city, a relationship with the language is harder to nurture. Croatian is not particularly easy for English speakers to master. The author of my text book tries to reassure her readers that “it is the easiest of the Slavonic languages to learn”, (as if the average reader might speak a handful of Slavonic languages already.) The sounds are unfamiliar, the grammatical rules seemingly never ending. After a month I had made a basic start, although my English accent continued to amuse beyond all expectation. I am extremely grateful to Major JR Wheeler for allowing me to go, and would recommend the course to anyone interested in the languages or history of the Balkans.
Eventing on the Continent By Major J F Holmes, RVO was fortunate enough to complete two international events on the continent this summer. Foot and Mouth Disease had wrecked the British Horse Trials schedule and travelling abroad seemed the only way to continue the competition campaign I had planned for 2001. DEFRA was never likely to put Knightsbridge into a FMD exclusion zone - one of the few benefits of keeping a competition horse in central London – so I was free to travel with a clear conscience.
Since the British eventing season got underway in May, two months later than usual and nicely timed to clash with the ceremonial season, I only managed a few outings before my first foray to Lummen Competition Internationale Complet (CIC)* in Belgium. Lummen is a small town just three hours from Calais - the Regiment kindly contributed towards my diesel costs. It is a popular event, immaculately staged because the same facilities are used for the (rather wealthier) Show Jumping Nations Cup the following week, and there were 150 entries from all over Europe. 15 British riders had made the trip to enjoy the hospitality, good going and manicured grounds, which all compensated for Belgian timekeeping. The ‘Continentals’ are renowned for their dressage prowess and show jumping power but tend to throw it all away on cross-country day when their clumsy warmblooded breeds fail to make the time without attempting
the odd ‘kamikaze’ manoeuvre. The Brits take comfort from the fact that their strongest phase is on the last day when a lot can happen. In the meantime, our Chef d’Equipe fostered plenty of team spirit… My horse, Boris, a big grey thoroughbred, will never have paces to match those elevated continentals. On dressage day, however, his temperament did come up to scratch and he performed an accurate test to lie 22nd. He show jumped beautifully but was unlucky to catch one particular pole with a back hoof – several others suffered the same fate and we all put it down to suspicious Belgian distances. The cross-country track was twisty and hilly, with some deceptively easy looking fences which caught many riders out, but this is my favourite phase and we sailed in well under the time. Overall, Boris finished 15th and even won some Euros! William Fox-Pitt won the CIC** making it all look too easy. Spurred on by this success, I entered a CIC** at Lulworth in August: the organisers went to heroic lengths to make this happen although FMD rumbled on. Boris jumped a double clear to finish 23rd and our previous Chef d’Equipe encouraged me to enter a similar competition in France. This required time out from Regimental Training which the
Commanding Officer generously granted (thanks also to Captain Eric Morgan RAVC who covered for me). To be invited to compete at Martinvast CIC**, near Cherbourg, was a great honour. It is hotly contested as it sports excellent prize-money: there were 102 entries in my class, with large contingents from Australia, New Zealand and Europe. The atmosphere was truly international and the friendly crowds on cross-country day made it all the more special. The social highlight was a massive ‘moule fight’ one evening in the dining marquee when the Brits were attacked by the locals. Revenge was messy… Although we suffered at the hands of the French dressage judges, Boris was once again fabulous in the tight show jumping arena. The cross-country course asked several new questions but he seemed to find it all very straight forward and I had a fantastic ride round. He had redeemed his dressage mark by jumping another double clear with very few time penalties and I was delighted to finish 49th – Andrew Hoy, the Australian World Champion, won. The whole trip was great experience and has given me real insight to top level competition. Boris ended the season by finishing a respectable 23rd at Windsor International Three Day Event in September and is now on holiday resting his much-stamped passport.
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Mongolia - Detox For The Ratrace? By Captain N P Harrison, RHG/D he guidebooks warn against touching Mongolians’ hats. Apparently a Westerner who did not heed the ‘look don’t touch’ rule was hospitalised – I had to go.
My idea was to ride across some of the least accessible areas of North Mongolia. Once there we would distribute medical supplies and the vet / doctor team would set about saving lives and preventing suffering. I would look on in a concerned manner. The idea didn’t seem quite so brilliant as the Miat flight came 1000 ft closer to the mountains underneath us. They had the colour and constancy of a never-ending sheet of corrugated packing paper. This freefall had caused the in flight meal of Russian style pretzels (they look like pretzels, they smell like pretzels they taste like cardboard) to levitate and relocate on my lap. Once the pretzel drama had been rectified, the reason for these aerobatics became apparent. We were about to land on a grass airstrip that had appeared between the mountains. Once the ten or so folks who either lived here or who had upset the pilot (possibly a hat incident?) were deposited, we leapt into the cobalt blue sky for our rendezvous at Moron. At Moron our Russian jeep was refuelled by a number of generous friends of the driver, ostensibly fuel deliveries were a bit irregular. Leaving a trailing dragon of dust blowing in our wake we headed north again. The mushrooms we had seen from the sky metamorphosised into Gers. The circular, felt insulated, Larch lap boned homes that have been constructed and transported by these peoples
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since before Ghengis Khaan. The Gers layout differ little. There are two beds against the walls in one half, either side of the family ‘altar’. The other half is taken up by kitchen and storage area. In the middle is a pot bellied stove that can turn the Ger into a sauna in a matter of moments. Over the whole structure is stretched linen cover, bleached an eye catching white by the sun. Passing herds of camels, sheep and horses we arrived at the Northern most lake in Mongolia. Lake Hatgal is 136 KM long, its far bank in Siberia. In the winter lorries would ferry trade goods across the frozen summer fishery. Forty lorries later they now take the long way around through the mountains. In the town of Hatgal we test rode our horses. Delivering medical supplies to the hospital. The doctors were doing a fantastic job in basic conditions and bitter cold. We were enthusiastically shown a new hospital that had just been erected on the perm a frost, which even had heating! Later on we wormed the guide’s horses with Strongip D, who had given us one hundred tubes for the trip. About 20% of the horses do not last the harsh winter due to lack of fat reserves, obviously not helped by having worms To cross the mountain range to the West of us, we had to ride up to the ‘Jiglig Pass’. Two days later the impatience I had felt at the seemingly endless duplication of forest and lake fell away. I was no longer immune to the vivid autumnal hues of the larch forest, rising away from the restless, crystal clear, freshwater lake, but relaxed into the rhythmic pace of the country, that of a 12 hand pony. Gradually I was thawing from the numbness our
celluloid existence gives to the natural technicolour landscape. The evenings are short and the last rays of the sun are best utilised preparing for bed. The red claws of the sunset rake back to the horizon dragging the warmth from your very bones. The mornings found the tethered horses smoking motionless in the cold. Mist rising from the lake. Golden snow atop the mountains – nice. Our guide steered us through the mountain pass. Between towering cliffs, broad rivers, haystacks ready for the winter and a farmer and his tiny, traditionally clad, daughter searching for their herd of horses. The whole cavalcade (12 horses, 4 grooms, 2 cooks, 1 guide and four punters) would come to halt whenever nature’s harvest was propitious. Sated by blueberry, pine nut or some other morsel we would press on, the guides’ dills (coats) bulging with the efforts of his concentrated labours. We reached the Darhat depression after five days. An area the size Bristol surrounded by mountains and filled with lakes. High in the mountains live the Reindeer people. Shamans, their lives are inextricably linked to the reindeer they follow, tend, eat and ride. This area is country wide renowned for the powerful shaman ‘doctors’ and many people come to have their ills cured. Doctor not impressed. What was initially apparent and became more reinforced the longer we stayed in the country was that there is no fat on the land, no excess, just enough but no more. This is diametrically opposed to the diet, which is heavily based upon fat. The
think of amusing games involving yaks. We delivered the remainder of our medical supplies to the hospital in the Darhat Depression. This hospital serves a greatly fluctuating population due to the nomadic nature of the people. They had very basic amenities and were enormously appreciative of the simple supplies we had bought. We started our return journey with some apprehension. The course that was indicated took us through and over the snow topped mountains, jagged teeth against the uncharacteristically sullen skies to the East.
people have a culture of giving. Embarrassing as they have conspicuously little. When droppings into a Ger for afternoon tea the visitor can expect bread, cheese, green tea (with mares milk) and milk vodka for the VIPs. This is distilled on the spot over the pot-bellied stove and is strong enough to put hairs just about everywhere. One can’t help but think that they have life cracked. For three months of the year they make hay, cheese and a few other essentials. Bartering for what they can’t make. They move their herds of yaks and horses to summer grazing in the spring then back to warmer low lands in the autumn. That’s it, the rest of the year they wrap up warm, drink vodka and
For the first day we followed a virtually dry riverbed. This wound its way, serpentine, between looming peaks. Staggeringly some of these nigh vertical cliffs provided enough nourishment for limpet like larch trees to precariously survive. After a chilly night where an idle wind blew through the valley and our tents we prepared to go ‘over the top’. This happened slightly sooner than expected. A huge dam formed by the spring floods completely blocked the riverbed we were following. There was no option but to work our way up a series of chicanes that would have worried even Jensen Button. At the highest point of the pass we came to a Shaman Altar. The wigwam like structures can be found at any particularly awe inspiring natural view, which they are constructed to celebrate. Interestingly as well as the animal bones and skulls that you would expect there were hun-
dreds of Buddhist prayer scarves; a surprising convergence of religions. The lake burst into view just as we had negotiated our way through a herd of semi domesticated horses. Its sheer blueness from the high altitude we were viewing it from was startling. The local name of blue Diamond becoming apparent. From our vantage point we could see our mushrooms comfortingly billowing smoke from the stoves. I would like to thankThe Blues and Royals Serving Officers Trust for their kind grant of £250 which helped to buy some of the medical supplies that we distributed to the hospital in the Darhat Depression
Training With The Royal Thai Horse Guards By Captain C T Haywood RHG/D - Riding Master ike most people, I had over the years heard many interesting stories about the lifestyle to be found in the Far East, in particular the areas of Singapore and Thailand. So you can imagine my shock horror when I was told by my Commanding Officer that he was going to send me to assist the Royal Thai Horse Guards based in Bangkok. He was initially very concerned that I might have difficulty fitting it in! I assured him that I would make a window.
So after one or two last minute changes of date and schedule I boarded a British Airways 747 on Fri 21 Sep, due to land at 1530 local time the next day in Bangkok. The flight like most British Airways flights was superb, with good
food, excellent service plus plenty of refreshment. Excuse the hype but it is British! On arrival I was met by a group of Thai Cavalry Officers, who nearly all spoke English, my Thai really wasn’t good. The temperature and humidity in September in Bangkok are unbelievably high. My accommodation was in a flat in the married Quarters within the barracks occupied by the 2nd Cavalry division, in central Bangkok. These barracks contain both the Horse Squadrons and the Recce armoured Squadron, which also had a British Scorpion CVRT. The barracks occupy an impressive area, approximately half the size of Hyde Park. With a golf range, Riding arenas and Maneges plus a parade square the size of Horse Guards parade, which also
doubles up as the helicopter-landing pad. The stabling for the one hundred and ninety horses which are based there is good, with each horse having a loose box which is open on 3 sides. The soldiers accommodation blocks are traditional 2 storey buildings, with large open plan rooms, with lots of ceiling fans and wide balconies. Spartan but functional. Having spent the remainder of Saturday evening sorting out my admin and sampling some of Bangkok’s delights. Sunday was taken up by a visit to the Grand Palace where I was hosted, by two officers from the Mounted Squadron, Lt Pitakpol Choosri and Capt Nattawat
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Chancharoen, nicknamed Pete and Tor. The Grand Palace was impressive, it includes many of Bangkok’s most beautiful temples. I would recommend a visit to this, if you ever go to Bangkok. At lunch I met Lt Col Sam Aniruth – Deva the DCOS of The First Cavalry Regiment. Colonel Sam attended the Advanced Military Equitation Course in 1982, along with the present Commanding Officer at HCMR. Colonel Sam had choreographed the Musical Ride whilst he was the Commanding Officer of the 29th Cavalry Squadron Royal Horse Guards (RHG), Kings Guard. After lunch we visited the parade area in front of one of the Royal Palaces, where the Musical Ride would perform prior to the Kings Birthday parade in December. On the Monday I visited Major General Sahachai Chuanchaiyasit, General Officer Commanding the 2nd Cavalry Division. I presented him with a Household Cavalry shield on behalf of the Commanding Officer and all ranks at HCMR. After the formalities it was off to watch a Musical Ride Rehearsal with the Mounted Band. The basic ideas were good, but there were quite a few areas where I could help and advise. The next three days were spent making changes and many rehearsals, followed by debriefs. The pressure was on, as up to this point the Musical Ride still had not been approved to perform by the top brass of the Thai Army. Everyone worked hard in very high humidity and regular thunderstorms, when everyone would gallop back to the stables to get some cover. Everyone managed to keep a good sense of humour, wondering why this strange British Officer with no command of the language keeps telling us to get our heels down, to sit up and keep our dressing.
L to R: Adjutant, Major Vithai, Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Sahda Niamkham and Second in Command.
On Friday the Musical Ride and mounted Band were presented to Major General Sahachai Chuanchaiyasit the District GOC and other senior officers from the Thai Army. This was definitely crunch time for the Colonel Sam’s Musical Ride and Mounted Band. Thankfully for them everything went well, the Generals agreed that it would all look very spectacular as a forerunner to the King’s Birthday Parade. I had done my job, leaving behind a training plan to take them up to the parade day. I flew back to England the next day, with some great memories of a wonderful and interesting country. Much to my surprise in late October I was informed by the Commanding Officer that I was to return to spend the week prior to the parade to put the finishing touches, plus ensure that the training plan which I had left behind had been followed. I arrived back on the 23rd November, with a full rehearsal scheduled starting
DOM with Royal Thai Horse Guards Mounted Band Musical Ride.
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on Sunday 25 November. This was a full rehearsal of the Musical Ride, followed by the King’s Birthday Parade rehearsal, on the parade area in front of the Royal Palace. Everyone wore the Thai Army version of Escort Rehearsal Order (ERO). This went well, with over two thousand soldiers, seamen and airmen plus the Thai Cavalry doing a rank past, led by the Mounted Band at the end, it was a spectacular sight. On Monday there were the usual parade debriefs, with a day off for the horses. The rest of the week was spent rehearsing all movements within the Musical Ride as well as the Rank past. Plus a Commanding Officers full dress inspection, followed by the customary Regimental and Squadron photographs. The only area of concern was the uniforms for the Musical Ride, which didn’t appear until the Friday afternoon prior to the parade.
Officers of the Royal Thai Horse Guards prepare to mount up for the King’s Birthday Parade.
On the parade day, the horses and men left at 1130hrs to travel to the Bangkok district Headquarters. The parade was not due to start until early evening due to the heat of the day. The Musical Ride accompanied by the Mounted Band rode on to the parade area around 6 pm and produced a stunning performance to a crowd of some 4000 people, including all the military Attaches and Ambassadors from the various embassies in Bangkok.
There followed a short break prior to the marching on parade of over two thousand soldiers, seamen and airmen, in tunics of Yellow, Green, Scarlet, White, Blue and Navy. Their drill and bearing was impressive, making for a very amazing sight. The Royal Thai Horse Guards led by their Mounted Band came onto parade once the dismounted units had completed their march past. They did their rank past then followed the King
off parade. The horses behaved impeccably, with near perfect dressing, which received praise from the watching crowds. From my two trips to Bangkok on behalf of the regiment have many great memories, but not least the number of people they had on parade, and no one lost the step, not even the horses!
Belfast - The Christmas Tour by Lieutenant P J Williams RHG/D “Alright, you can go to Northern Ireland.” “Great, when do we go?” “End of November returning early January.” “Oh, over Christmas and New Year then. Any chance of leave?” “Well you did volunteer. Ah yes and make sure you are back for TESEX.” “Happy Christmas to you too.” (Muttered out of ear shot) So went the conversation between the Adjutant, Lieutenant White and myself. We were to spend Christmas and New Year on attachment to the First Battalion the Grenadier Guards based in Girdwood Park, north Belfast. The build up for the tour started in early November with seven of us from both B and C Squadron completing the Northern
The Ardoyne Road, scene of unending riots centred on The Holy Cross Roman Catholic Girls School.
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ground familiarisation first in the Operations room, then the Intelligence Cell. Finally we were out on the streets getting our first taste of the open hostility shown towards the Security Forces by both sides of the sectarian divide.
The call of duty! My birthday on the Ardoyne Road, 22 Dec 01.
Ireland Roulement Training (NIRT). The course lasted a week and was based in Ballykinnlar, County Down. It served as an introduction to the Province and its history, geography and politics as well and teaching the fundamentals of patrolling and reaction to terrorist incidents in the urban and rural environment. Having completed and thoroughly enjoyed the course we had to return to Windsor to take part in Troop Tests on Salisbury Plain. After Troop Tests Lieutenant White and I had to attend the Northern Ireland Commanders Course organised by OPTAG in Folkestone. So with all the necessary qualifications behind us we departed for Belfast. The reception from the Grenadier Guards was warm and particularly sobering as the Commanding Officer detailed the previous weeksâ€™ events in our area of operations. It appeared that we were to have a busy few weeks ahead of us. The remainder of the day was spent with
Belfast is a city of divisions and continuing sectarian conflict. Our area of operations was north Belfast, an area of particular division and tension at several sectarian interfaces. Our role was to ensure that these interfaces remained trouble free in order to assist the Police Service of Northern Ireland with the normalisation of policing in the city. This took the form of mobile patrols along the main roads and through the housing estates surrounding the city. Combined with this were static checkpoints that maintained a twenty four hour presence at certain flashpoints. What at first we thought was extraordinary became the ordinary with daily assaults of bottles, bricks and fireworks and the witnessing of extreme and deeprooted hatred towards us and between Loyalist and Republican communities. That said there was great generosity shown by many people from both sides of the religious divide, my multiple alone racking up an impressive six bottles of whiskey, a case of wine, numerous crates of beer and countless boxes of chocolates given to us over the Christmas period. It was a shame there was a â€™two canâ€™ alcohol allowance only about once a week! Many from both communities welcomed our presence as a stabilising force within their area yet this remained a fragile trust that had to be treated with care. Most of the public order problems developed from boredom, antagonism and alcohol and so weekends and the Christmas holiday period were particularly busy for the All-Ireland stone and bottle
Static Patrol - Limestone/Hallidays Sectarian Interface, N. Belfast.
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Lieutenant Julian White indulging in Sanger life!
throwers. The ability for even small children to hit a moving target with any kind of projectile is quite amazing as is some of their language! As our tour was nearing its conclusion all of all of us were keen to stay. Having spent just over a month in Belfast it gave us only an introduction and an opportunity to learn something of the area and associated personalities so it seemed a shame to waste the experience gained. There were even rumours of transfers, I had no idea that a TESEX could be so unpopular! The experience gained by all of us on the attachment has been invaluable. To patrol the streets of a British city aware of the threat towards you and your soldiers is a sobering thought and one which will not be forgotten by any of us in a hurry. Also to work with the Grenadier Guards was interesting, enlightening in parts and fun- and, surprisingly, no drill!
D Squadron Ex Adventure Exchange, Turkey Captain M S P Berry LG fter two weeks on exercise on Salisbury Plain training with 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, D Sqn The Blues and Royals, bolstered by 2 Tp C Sqn travelled to Turkey in late September for Ex Adventure Exchange, the annual AMF (L) exercise held in Turkish Thrace. Vehicles were sent by boat under the supervision of CoH McMillan, whose tan bore testimony to his conscientious insistence on remaining on deck to watch them…..
The Exercise developed from Troop training through Squadron and Regimental level training to a five day Divisional exercise involving troops from eleven nations. The level of chaos that such a multi national organisation can create was accurately anticipated by 1 Tp Ldr, Lieutenant M J Heath who personally commanded his vehicle into static objects no less than three times on the Tp Trg phase, on one particular occasion removing an unhelpful telegraph pole from the ground while withdrawing from a Turkish barracks that he had caused to “Stand To” by his unexpected approach. Regimental training saw D Sqn inserting OP matrices and tracking 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards as they advanced across country. The “return match” saw D Sqn advance with great success through a QDG matrix, a frantic 2 Tp Ldr, Lieutenant E P W Hayward frightening five QDG enemy Ops into withdrawing, one kindly leaving all its maps, codes and radio frequencies for him to peruse at his leisure. Throughout these phases of the exercise troops were able to stop in villages and supplement their rations with local bread (to which the Squadron Second in Command developed an unhealthy addiction), chat to the very hospitable locals and drink Turkish coffee. On one such occasion,
Tpr Holliday was unlucky enough to play dominoes against an apparently unbeatable village elder, only to discover after several losses that his opponent was pushing his dominoes onto the floor through a hole in the table. Lieutenant M J Heath was able to transform his troop into a body of men deeply immersed in the Turkish culture through these local visits, occasionally squeezing OPs and hides into his hectic cultural awareness programme… Those not available to take part in this programme were given their own introduction to the culture in the form of the morning call to prayer, a highly reliable reveille, although not always well received. The exercise area used for Adventure Exchange is huge, visible on a world map, and covers numerous towns and villages, presenting troops with myriad opportunities for training and many challenges, the most notable of these being navigation. Turkish Thrace is a wide open agricultural region covered in gently rolling hills and countless tracks through unbordered fields. This is enough to make navigation tough at the best of times but the problem was exacerbated by the scale of the maps, (1:100,000) whose detail was often misleading. Early on LCoH Bell found to his cost that major tracks were often not marked, while minor tracks were. After a treacherous two hour journey handrailling a river he noticed a metalled road running parallel to his three kilometre route which would have reduced the journey by about an hour and three quarters. Communications were also affected by the terrain and often the distances over which the squadron was working resulted in troops having their rebro skills practised. The fact that the taxi companies in
LCoH Wall and CoH Overton’s home made burger stand after Endex at Pinarhisar.
Thrace used radio frequencies very similar to our own ensured that rebro work was often interrupted by a Turkish “Taxi for Ahmad, Pinarhisar Bazaar, ten o’clock”. If taxi companies were not busy poorly insulated telephone wires meaned that D Sqn was plagued by the telephone operators. Such a vast training area provided many opportunities for inventive hides and vehicle commanders showed ingenuity in their choice of OPs. LCoH Goodwin reversed his section through gravestones to mount a somewhat irreligious OP in a graveyard while Lieutenant M J Heath (with the aid of a Turkish dictionary) tried to talk his way past a guard into a disused factory. Lieutenant J E A De St John-Pryce (C Sqn 2 Tp Ldr) stuck to the more traditional concealment methods and dug in a particularly impressive OP, but CoH Galvin placed himself twenty five metres above the ground on a water tower. One of the greatest achievements of the exercise must have been Lieutenant W H A G Snook’s efforts to hide SHQ in a disused garden in a small
CoH Overton on Squadron road move across the large exercise area in Thrace
Household Cavalry News
village in order to escape a bloodthirsty Hungarian LRPS Platoon. Credit must be given to his communication skills, including a previously hidden talent for sign language which emerged on the realisation that not one of the crowd of twenty seven surrounding him in the village square spoke English. Prior to the Divisional Exercise a Turkish Tank Coy was attached to D Sqn, presenting some interesting planning problems prior to our Rear Area Security tasks. The Turkish commanders proved very determined in their ideas and several lengthy meetings (involving compulsory Turkish coffee and innumerable cigarettes) yielded eventually a plan as to how we were to work together. Again credit must be given to Lieutenant W H A G Snook (whose communication talents were given true recognition in the form of a position as Turkish Liason officer) and the Second in Command of the Turkish Tank Coy who displayed an extraordinary ability to speak English faster than Lieutenant E P W Hayward. Despite our efforts to plan procedures meticulously D Sqn Ldr experienced a moment of anxiety when the Tank Coy arrived for rehearsals the following morning without tanks. The skills of the Liason Officer were again quickly brought into play. The eleven other nations taking part contributed personnel to all parts of the ORBAT and the difficulty of integrating such a diverse force was illustrated well by the Hungarian FOO who arrived a mere seven hours after his guns were due to start providing fire support to the QDG. Equally difficult were the US Air Defence platoon who while providing us with cover insisted on broadcasting from Uncle Sam’s deluxe radios on 100 watts ensuring that while doing so the less deluxe British radio would not communicate at all. Soldiers are always keen to
show off their equipment to foreign armies and Belgian helicopter pilots are no exception, as D Sqn Ldr discovered. Having secured a recce in their Eurocopters an overexcited Lieutenant E P W Hayward managed to cajole the pilots into auto-rotating, diving and pulling “negative G” with the result that the Sqn Ldr vowed never to fly with Lieutenant E P W Hayward in a helicopter again. Working with east European countries one may expect to have to address soldiers with unpronounceable names. Strangely it was the US Army that caused us problems in Turkey, with the charming American Engineer Officer, Captain Bob Bender. Although not a difficult name to pronounce, D Sqn Ldr was tactfully briefed that searching for the individual at O Groups should not be done by calling out “Is there a Bender in the house?” Sadly the Sqn was unable to take part in the final phase of the exercise as the British contingent was quickly withdrawn from Ex Adventure Exchange due to a security threat connected with the Afghanistan crisis. This was manifested in the form of an anticlimactic message passed in the dead of night while the squadron waited for its first report of the enemy advance. Great disappointment was felt throughout the squadron as exercise play was exchanged for “house arrest” in barracks, but the squadron bore confinement to a barn in camp with fortitude. After the vehicles had been prepared for the return journey D Sqn occupied itself with a quiz night (including a “Biscuit Brown” eating competition, won decisively by the favourite, Tpr Broxholme) and once the walking out rules were relaxed, a battlefield tour to Gallipoli, a trip to Istanbul and countless trips to Turkish baths. Lieutenants MJ Heath and W H A G Snook even managed to improve international relations with a period of teaching English at a
WO2 (SCM) Smith with sheep in Thrace.
Household Cavalry News
1 Troop river crossing in Thrace.
local school and CoH Overton and LCoH Wall raised morale with their home made burger stand. The addition of “Dave’s Insanity Sauce” (which must lay a claim to being one of the hottest sauces available to mankind) was a regular feature to all food on exercise but hands must be thoroughly washed after a bottle has been touched as LCoH Hutton discovered when he went to remove something from his eye…. Adventure Exchange proved a useful and interesting exercise in terms of training in a different environment and revealing in terms of the difficulties involved in operating with different nations. D Sqn were made to feel very welcome by its hosts, “The Welsh Cavalry,” as the Queen’s Dragoon Guards refer to themselves, and acquitted itself very well while attached to them. A difficult and frustrating end to the exercise was met with typical Household Cavalry resourcefulness, patience and good humour to the credit of the squadron as a whole.
Tpr Hawser in Discreet Op.
2nd Battalion The Light Infantry Attachment To Sierra Leone By Captain M S P Berry, LG ierra Leone has a strong claim to be the Worst Country in The World. Last out of 174 countries in the UN Human Development Record, it boasts 69% illiteracy among adults and 164 deaths per 1000 among children. Disease, dangerous animals, lawlessness and disorder make life expectancy no greater than 38 years. The majority of the 1990s saw Sierra Leone ravaged by a civil war renowned for its brutality in which drunk and drug-fuelled rebels of all ages have raped, robbed, and dismembered its opposition, including civilians and children.
In 1991 Foday Sankoh, an officer in the Sierra Leone Army led an uprising in the area of the diamond rich Sierra Leone Liberian border giving his followers the title of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF). This force received aid in the form of training from Libya in return for diamonds and Sankoh gained particular aid (and arms) from Charles Taylor, a man hoping to win power in Liberia (achieved in 1997). With this support the RUF gained control of diamond mines in the North and East of Sierra Leone and by 1995 were poised to launch an attack against the capital, Freetown. A combination of ECOMOG (Economic Community of West Africa Monitoring Group) forces and a mercenary force, Executive Outcomes were able to drive the rebels back from Freetown and create conditions for the first free elections in the country since 1961 which saw the election of President Ahmad Kabbah. The balance of power fluctuated constantly between Kabbah’s government and a rebel militia led by a self appointed colonel, Johnny Paul Koroma until January 6th 1999 when the rebels held Freetown for two weeks before being pushed out by the mainly Nigerian ECOMOG force. During this fortnight 6000 civilians in Freetown were murdered. In October 1999 the UN Security Council passed a resolution agreeing to help the government’s disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration plan. Today this help is manifested in the form of Operation Silkman, a mission to train the Sierra Leone Army (SLA) to operate efficiently against rebels in Sierra Leone with the intention of making conditions less favourable to further uprisings. The SLA are trained initially in Benguema Training Camp and then in Newton Battle Camp in intakes of approximately
The authors arrive to search for diamonds.
1000 men. Short Term Training Teams (STTT) provided by the British Army are responsible for the training. 2nd Bn The Light Infantry were tasked with providing three STTTs (later extended to four) and the Household Cavalry Regiment attached CoH Hayes, LCoH Hunt and the author for two months of their tour. Arriving in Freetown is no easy process. The sole airport for the capital is Lunghi and it is separated from the city by a two hour drive and an hour spent aboard a very rickety ferry crossing the mouth of the bay. On arrival one is greeted by a very colourful sign: “Enjoy your stay in Freetown”. Resting on top of this is a rather less welcoming machine gun post. Despite this ominous sign the city is a thriving, chaotic third world capital and the only immediate signs of the turmoil are buildings puckered with bullet holes and a barber shop offering “Free haircuts for amputees”. A further two hours on potholed roads sees one arrive in Benguema, tired and ready for a tent. The oppressive heat makes sleeping in military camp beds difficult and the onset of the monsoon ensured that the tents were regularly battered by ferocious winds and rain. This surely is the only time in his life that the author will be glad of a leaking tent, dripping water directly onto his face….
part of the front line, the few existing buildings are badly damaged by small arms fire or are simply ruins. Outside the camp itself are two “villages” of rodent-gnawed tents and a smaller settlement of houses (married quarters which would make the most determined British Army whiner think twice of complaining about his lot…) through which goats and chickens have uninhibited strolling rights. The most peaceful part of the camp is the vast, packed sand parade ground whose emptiness at all times of day would make any British Battalion Sergeant Major proud. The arrival of the two battalions of Sierra Leone soldiers coincided with what was to become a regular mid afternoon downpour. An indication of the task
Benguema Training Camp does not immediately strike one as being Sierra Leone’s most prestigious training establishment. Once a fiercely fought over
Household Cavalry News
ahead of the Training Team was given as the heavens opened and long lines of SLA soldiers, painstakingly placed by patient Sergeants Major, spread to the four corners of the parade ground for the few bits of cover available. The slowest twenty five, unable to run for cover attempted noisily to shelter themselves under a single poncho. Clearly the SLA did not adhere to the steadfastness on parade to which the British Army is accustomed. This was reflected six weeks later at the pass off parade of the same intake, whose anticipated celebrations resulted in the attendance of sixty armed riot police. Their skills were thankfully not called upon at any point in the day. Undaunted by the Herculean task ahead of him, Major Mike Scarfe, aided by Sgt Maj Averill, led the Training Team with vigour and training programmes were written by the author and other junior officers. Training was divided into three phases, beginning with very basic skills and working towards a platoon collective standard. Senior and Junior NCOs acted as company Directing Staff and were responsible for ensuring that their companies arrived in the right place at the right time with the aid of three Sierra Leone instructors. These colourful figures acted as translators where necessary and assistant instructors. CoH Hayes had three SLA corporals for his three platoons who introduced themselves to him on the first day as Cpls Sunny, Poison and Carpet. The Training Team had to overcome difficult problems and fundamental cultural differences. Sierra Leone soldiers are deeply superstitious. Some wore small mirrors to ward off evil. Many were convinced that the use of the sight system on the SLR was of no consequence and none would use it unless prompted. One soldier, delighted with a three out of ten score on the range was perplexed to be asked by the author where he thought his other seven rounds had gone. After much thought he answered with conviction “They just fly away.” Combined with a reluctance to wear their issued boots (preferring flip-flops, and in some cases a single boot and single flip-flop) these attitudes initially made conducting ranges a rather nerve-wracking job. However the persistence and patience of excellent NCOs created safe, if not award-winning shots. CoH Hayes’ love of SAA was reflected in a win for his company of the battalion March and Shoot competition, largely on account of a much begrudged extra afternoon on the ranges… Other problems to be overcome included the obvious language barrier. This was eased by the interpreting of
Household Cavalry News
They finally rounded up the erring Provost CoH.
characters such as Cpls Poison and Carpet, but some instances proved that few would easily adapt to English. On one occasion a particularly keen soldier volunteered himself to give a demonstration of a fire control order. After describing the ground to his front he ordered “Section, look left” while dramatically pointing to his right. Officers trained alongside their men, but were given an extra leadership cadre. The Sierra Leone Army has a great number of enthusiastic young officers, many of whom had seen much active service. One of these, a twenty two year old Lieutenant had had a company command between 1997 and 1999. At an age when most British officers are half way through Sandhurst, this officer had commanded a company during two years of the most violent fighting in the conflict’s history. As with any army, the SLA has its fair share of less enthusiastic officers, who quickly found that British NCOs have numerous innovative ways of motivating a reluctant man… “Health and Safety” concerns, long the bane of modern armies have not yet had a great impact on the SLA command structure. The free use of the AK47 (issued to each new SLA soldier prior to the arrival of the British and kept on the person night and day) had encouraged a somewhat lackadaisical respect for firearms among the soldiers. The urgency of pointing a weapon down range at all times was difficult to impress upon SLA soldiers who appeared to use a loaded SLR as a useful pointer or walking stick. Range safety was therefore of paramount importance and British NCOs were accordingly extra vigilant. Clearing ranges was, however a difficult process as the surrounding hills were the main wood collecting ground for the nearby villages. Occasionally shooting
was abruptly stopped by a local nonchalantly strolling across the range with a bundle of wood balanced precariously on his head. As if the dangers of the range were not sufficient, local wildlife made outdoor lessons equally perilous. While watching a lesson one afternoon the author was surprised to see the assembled platoons suddenly leap to their feet, shouting wildly and stamping madly on the ground. The commotion abated when a young soldier proudly held aloft the now dead snake that had interrupted the lesson. The SLA soldiers were generally extremely keen to learn skills taught by the British Army, for whom they have a high regard. However, achieving our aim would not have been possible without great effort on the part of all instructors. That soldiers left Benguema Training Camp trained to platoon level and acting as such was entirely due to the hard work of a very dedicated Training Team and through the support of the Sierra Leone instructors. Working with the infantry is an unique opportunity for members of The Household Cavalry, particularly in deployments to theatres not usually visited by the Cavalry. Our contingent was warmly welcomed by both messes and immediately was made to feel part of the battalion. At no point in our stay did this change and made for an extremely enjoyable attachment to a fascinating theatre. Our tour ended on a high note when, after a series of competitions, CoH Hayes’s Company was announced Champion Company in the Sierra Leone Battalion. Although one is never sad to be going home, the attachements from the Household Cavalry were sad to leave behind a colourful mélange of trainees and a very hospitable hosting regiment
Exercise Iron Horse 2001 - Normandy The Household Cavalry Motorcycle Club Annual Battlefield Tour By WO2 Coleman, LG t was a hot Wednesday afternoon when the Advance Party for Exercise IRON HORSE 2001 consisting of WO2 Coleman, LSgt Candlin and LCpl Hall, departed from Hyde Park Barracks for Dover and then on to Calais. Departure had been no easy task as the original support vehicle had gone into workshops for minor repairs and the wrong parts had arrived. By Tuesday morning it was obvious that its condition was terminal. After a great deal of telephoning around, CoH Hadden managed to obtain the guard van from the Mounted Regiment. Our thanks go to WO1 (RCM) Maxwell and CoH Beaumont for their assistance. For reasons best known to themselves, the Army would only allow the Admin party of 2 Military vehicles to sail from Dover to Calais and not from Portsmouth to Caen like the rest of the group, so once in France it was a long overnight drive to Caen. The advance party eventually arriving in Caen at 0400hrs thursday morning and groggily decided to stay in a hotel and negotiate the intricacies of the Caen ring road after a good night’s sleep.
The following day, on arrival at the Caen Municipal campsite, the owner could not remember the Club’s booking. Eventually WO2 Coleman’s French was exhausted and LSgt Candlin came to the rescue, crouching and twisting her right hand saying, “Broom-Broom!” This did the trick and we were finally in. The Municipal Campsite in Caen was very clean and well laid out, with excellent facilities
including a barbecue area and canoeing on the adjacent canal. The admin party busied themselves setting up tents, and then split up, with WO2 Coleman going to meet the Bike Club at Caen Ferry Terminal, and LSgt Candlin and LCpl Hall going to buy supplies for the BBQ that night. Everything went smoothly at the port except that Sgt “Scruff ” Tidy’s Laverda was playing up (as usual), having lost the use of one of its coils. The plan for the tour was to start with a brief on each particular battle, then move as a group to that area. The next day, Friday, was the first day of the tour. WO2 Coleman gave a brief on the build up to and invasion of Normandy and then the group set off for Sword Beach, after a short stop at a well know burger outlet. The admin party had a choice of motorbikes to pillion on, SCpl Stewart’s BMW 1150 RT being the most popular with its comfortable seat and full-length fairing taking away all wind resistance, CoH Scovell’s Honda Blackbird being another comfortable choice. Sword beach was subdivided into 4 separate beaches from West to East: Bobo, Peter, Queen and Roger, and these were subdivided again into Green, White and Red. We were at the small town of La Breche, which was part of Roger/Green. The area had not changed a lot even though the paraphernalia of war was gone, and the scene could easily be visu-
LSgt ‘Scruff’ Tidy relaxing on his classic Laverda, now in working condition, at Caen ferry terminal
alised by using old photographs and reading quotations from books. The Club then moved to Ranville, the site of one of the main British airborne drops on D-Day, followed by a stop at the new museum at Pegasus Bridge. On entry to the museum the group asked if there was a discount for Military personnel. Happily the answer was yes and in addition we were treated to a guided tour. The centrepiece of the museum was a large diorama showing the entire area, with small lights and models showing the significance of Pegasus Bridge, the blowing up of the bridges along the River Dives,
The Bike Club testing the MLC of Cavalry Bridge. L t R: LCpls Beard and Hall, LCoH Crighton, WO2s Gentle and Coleman, (really testing the limit), SCpl Stewart. CsoH Irvin and Brown, CoH Hadden MBE is out of shot, thus sparing this historical landmark.
Household Cavalry News
The original Pegasus Bridge, now moved a short distance downstream to the Pegasus Bridge Museum.
and holding the high ground between the Rivers Orne and Dives. The Club’s original plan for the Tour was to visit the museum at the Merville Battery but the tour at the Pegasus Bridge had gone on too long, so the group split up for the short ride back to the campsite. That evening the group was invited to CoH Irwin’s father’s house (about an hour’s ride south of Caen) for a BBQ. Mr Irwin had invited a few of the local farmers along, and the table creaked under the strain of local produce including meats, wines and a local delicacy made from tomatoes, ham and a home made cheese. The group so endeared themselves to the local populace that it proved almost impossible to get away in the morning. The following day was a rest day to enable Club Members to pursue individual activities; CoH Hadden with LCpl Beard on pillion went to Paris. LCpl Chinn went to Le Mans on his Harley Davidson Buell and managed a lap of the famous circuit. The majority of the group went to the beaches. Meanwhile, WO2 Coleman and Sgt Tidy went to the local bike shops to get a new coil for the Laverda. As luck would have it the part in question was the same as a car coil and purchased quite easily. Sunday started with another short talk on the build up to the battles of VillersBocage and Cavalry Bridge. After this there was a debrief on the previous day’s activities prior to moving off. After a short stop at a local fast food outlet, the Club moved to the Town of VillersBocage. In June 1944 the strategic importance of the high ground near Villers-Bocage could not be over-stated; Point 213 could be seen for miles and it dominates the surrounding countryside. A large gap had been made between the German line, which was exploited by the 7th Armoured Division who pushed up behind the German Panzer Lehr Regiment. The British tanks pushed through Villas-Bocage at 0800hrs on 13th June 76
Household Cavalry News
Sword Beach, The Battle of La Breche: WO2 Coleman demonstrating his marching technique.
1944 and parked up near point 213 without any German opposition. With the vehicles parked nose to tail, the soldiers dismounted for breakfast and tea. Unfortunately the German Panzer Ace, Captain Michael Wittmann, and the 2nd Company consisting of 5 Tiger Tanks of the 101st Heavy Panzer Battalion, had parked up near this point the night before. So as breakfast began Wittmann’s Tiger broke cover on the south side of the road, and after knocking out the rear tank and then the front tank, he drove along the column, and at a range of about 50m destroyed the remaining tanks. He then drove into Villers-Bocage destroying more Tanks and vehicles as he went. When his tank was disabled he ran back to the Panzer Lehr Workshops, got into a Panzer 3 and took his remaining Tigers back into Villers-Bocage. The battle can be followed using the book “Panzers in Normandy then and now” with the pictures taken during the battle and in 1984. The Club then moved on to the town of Caumont where LCoH Hadley’s Kawasaki Z650’s clutch cable gave up. (With LCpl Chinn’s assistance he returned slowly to the campsite.) The rest of the group pushed on out of Caumont and using “2 HCR War Diaries” as a reference managed to follow Lieutenant Powle’s Troop route to “Cavalry Bridge”. 1 Troop were probing in front of 159th Brigade Group where the troop had discovered a track which was a boundary between the German 2nd Parachute and 326 Infantry who had omitted to make it inclusive to either formation or guard it. The troop followed the track and found that the bridge over the river Souleuvre on the main road from St Lo to Le Beny Bocage was also unprotected, and promptly seized it. Two hours later they were joined by a Troop of tanks from 2nd Northants Yeomanry. The capture of the bridge was a turning point in the campaign in France. The route has changed little since the war and gave everyone a real feel for the Bocage. Budding mili-
tary historians should note that each important battle in the Normandy area has a triangular pillar marking the spot with a map and a short description of the events; the bridge also has a metal plaque marking the events. The trip back to the campsite was a motorcyclist’s dream with long lanes and bends. On return to the campsite the Suzuki cleaning team consisting of CsoH Brown and Irwin, and LCoH Crighton got into full action, as did WO2 Gentle, although not a full member as he had a Honda CBR 600. That evening the group went into Caen, a medieval town with William the Conqueror’s castle near the centre, none of which showed any evidence of the damage that had been caused during the war. The following day it was time to visit the area used during Operation Goodwood, the first action undertaken by 2 HCR in France in 1944. We followed the same format as the previous day with a talk on the battle site and once everyone had breakfasted we moved to the Bourguebus Ridge. From the Ridge the large red and white tower in Ranville could clearly be seen, this was the start line for Operation Goodwood, and, unlike to the West of Caen with its closed-in fields, the area to the East was open plan and easy going. The prelude to Operation Goodwood was the largest bombing raid yet seen in Europe. Then the 7th, 11th and Guards Armoured Divisions crossed the first two bailey bridges built in France and Pegasus Bridge over the river Orne. From our vantage point on the Ridge, we could see how 11th Armoured would have gone to our left into Bras, and that where we were standing lay directly in the path of 7th Armoured. From here the group then moved south to Villedieu les Bailleul near Falaise, where the American and British forces met in the encirclement of German forces at what became known as the “Falaise Pocket”. The museum outside Falaise is very small with little else but
pictures on the walls, the centrepiece again being a diorama. Earphones were given out and the commentary could be followed again on the diorama by watching small lights that flashed on and off. From there we moved to a cinema and were shown a film documentary about the battle. Still keen to ride our bikes, the group took the longer, more scenic route through the country lanes back the Campsite at Caen. That night the group reminisced about the trip and other IRON HORSE Tours. It had been a departure from previous years in that the
group had stayed in one place and ridden short distances out to each site. Previous tours involved far greater mileages, and although this year saw less ground covered, it was a welcome change. The group left Caen the following morning, and made its way back via Portsmouth – the Admin Party again having to go via Calais. Although low key, the trip was an immense success as it enabled members of the regiment to view a modern battlefield, and relate to how previous members of the Household Cavalry had fought not so very far from home.
Next year, Exercise IRON HORSE 2002 will visit Spain and Portugal, and follow the fortunes of Wellington’s Peninsula Campaign, visiting (amongst others) the battle sites of Busaco, Salamanca and Vitoria. The Household Cavalry Motorcycle Club is open to any serving and retired members of the regiment, attached personnel and their dependants. Anyone interested in joining the Club, or attending future IRON HORSE trips should contact their Regimental Rep.
The Medical Centre - A Very Peculiar Practice By Surgeon Major J Hammond, LG n first impressions the medical centre at Hyde Park Barracks is a quiet and cosy little niche. Tucked away beneath RHQ on the quiet side of the barracks it appears to be a good place in which to settle down for a comfortable life. In fact the only ripples to disturb the still waters seems to be the noise from above of soldiers marching in and out of the Commanding Officer’s Office as their careers rise and fall. It hardly seems enough to rouse the medics from their slumber! Admittedly there is a small band of unwell to see each morning, the annual immunisations to wade through and the matter of shadowing regimental drills in an ambulance. But at a casual glance it is hardly an adrenaline-filled day as a medical centre medic.
FIBUA exercise in a conventional regiment is likely to result in an ankle being twisted, if there are any incidents at all. A quiet ride in the park has far more dramatic consequences if things go wrong and the danger does not diminish when the horses return to barracks either. We have seen perfect horseshoe prints on the chests of coveralls from a friendy double barrel and giant lovebites on the backs of the unwary. An affectionate kiss on a horse’s nose has often been reciprocated with a little nibble from the horse, resulting in a torn lip and a red face.
The barracks are a natural first point of contact in case of any kind of medical emergency in the area. It seems to be a beacon of common sense and authority in a civilian World of mumblings and indecision. Not only do we receive the summons to riding accidents but have also found ourselves tending to an elderly German tourist on a number 9 Routemaster bus on Knightsbridge. The heat of a June day and the excitement of seeing the barracks had obviously been too much for her. By the time the civilian ambulance arrived she
The casual observer, however, misses the unusual role that this medical centre fulfils. In the past year the RMO and three medics have dealt with military and civilian riding accidents in Hyde Park, civilian medical emergencies on the streets of Knightsbridge and have provided dedicated medical cover for members of the Royal Family on visits and State Occasions. The last task is certainly enough to keep the pulse rate up and the hands perspiring! Riding is undoubtedly a very dangerous pursuit. In fact it is the most dangerous sport in the World, ahead of mountaineering. As a hobby it is twice as dangerous as motorcycling, which must be a cause of satisfaction to the Motorcycle Club, for once partaking in a relatively safe pursuit. Accidents are an accepted hazard of daily riding and the consequences can be extreme. A CFT or
Surgeon Major J Hammond, LCoH Roysston and LCpl Short in action at Regimental Training Camp.
Household Cavalry News
had recovered consciousness, but not quite her composure, as her wig had fallen off as LCpl Short and I manoeuvred her into a horizontal position. LCpl Short was not called upon to administer the kiss of life on this occasion. The guardroom staff are quick to alert us of any accidents that they hear of and it is common for us to arrive several minutes in advance of the civilian ambulance. It makes sense, therefore, for our staff to be trained and equipped to a standard expected of any paramedic crew. This has been our goal and this is what makes us a peculiar general practice. The skills required to deal with a medical emergency, be it a suspected heart attack or a broken back, need to be constantly updated and honed. Casualty management in the first few minutes following an injury have been shown to be of vital importance to long-term survival
and handicap. Anyone who has passed their first aid ITD3 recently will realise that not only have their skills and knowledge faded, but the methods of treatment have changed as well. Medicine is as prone to fashions as Chelsea girls are and the skills that may have made you look slick and man-about-town last year quickly look so-last-season if you don’t keep up to date. This is our job, after all, and we should be expected to be seen armed with this year’s fashionable airway, or performing chest compressions at the rate of the moment. The only problem is that Regimental Medical Assistants are regarded as the tea boys of the Army Medical Services. Once they have qualified as a class 1 medic they receive absolutely no more training from the Army. They could easily drift into the Dad’s Army Godfrey role, with canvas bag full of bandages and a flask of hot tea at the ready, but this is not what is expected of the first response team at
Trooping the Colour or on the tan in Hyde Park. In the past year, therefore, the medical centre has undergone training in cardiac and traumatic emergencies. As lessons are learnt and skills acquired, practices are changed and equipment ordered. Each ambulance is positioned for easy access on either side of the building; snatch equipment is available centrally in the medical centre; the crash bergans have been updated and a state-of-the-art monitoring system has been acquired. The plan is to continue the education process, practice our skills in casualty play scenarios and to provide the best emergency service possible. If you ever have the misfortune to fall off in the park in the future you may receive a drip, oxygen mask and spinal board and not a grey blanket, GS stretcher and comforting words!
18 Troop HCR (Windsor Boys School) ACF Combermere Barracks By R J Oakley-Watson The Life Guards (Berks ACF) t the end of last year the troop shooting team was preparing to defend The Blundy Trophy which, I am proud to report, we did in fine style, beating off a strong challenge from a team of REME cadets from Caversham. The year had past by in a blur of activity, starting with a J/NCO cadre in January, another Nowell Cup success for the shooting team in March!, Spring Bank Camp at Browndown in May, a visit by our new friends and fellow Household Cavalry cadets from 26 Troop City Cadets to Combermere in July and then to annual camp in August.
Camp was held this year at the old home of The Household Division, Pirbright. This was not, however, our original destination but, due to the foot and mouth epidemic causing our planned training area to be re-allocated to a priority regular unit, HQ Berks had to cast about and were fortunate enough to be offered a two week slot at Brunswick Camp. For many it was a first visit, for others, who remember D Lines circa 1977, it was a trip down memory lane. Sandy’s, the sisters, the sand hill (now off limits), but where was Polly’s Perks on the ranges? Anyway, everyone agreed it was, despite the weather, an excellent annual camp. In September, the Arborfield Cup military skills competition took place with
Household Cavalry News
our team dropping two places to fourth last year, which can be excused by the unforeseen cancellation of two of our strongest stands, shooting and tug of war. October saw a Cinnderford expedition for our gold Duke of Edinburgh cadets. The troop’s annual inspection was carried out this year by the Adjutant Captain O M Bedford - RHG/D in late October. Which brings us to November and the present. Once again the shooting
team are sharpening their skills for Blundy under the eagle eye of SCM Sharp. SCpl Howard is polishing his newly issued bars and I am deep in preparation to lead a mixed group of Berkshire cadets to Norway courtesy of the Norwegian TA in February 2002. In December the troops say goodbye to two senior cadets SCpl Johnstone and CoH Sturt, both of whom are joining up! Good luck to them for the future.
Remembrance Wreath Laying Ceremony. L t R: LCpl Bishop, SCpl Johnstone, LCoH Sturt 18 Tp HCR/WBS, Garrison Church, Windsor.
The Household Cavalry Sports Round-up The Ski Team By Captain J H Blount LG lobal warming seemed to be in full swing this year as the Ski Team arrived in Verbier to find fantastic weather but very little snow. As a result, much of the training was carried out at high altitude on the glacier. Captain R S I Derry LG came out to give the novice skiers some additional tuition, and under his watchful eye, Tpr B Toomey broke the cartilage in his knee and was flown back to Windsor. Captain R S I Derry was asked to give no more lessons.
The glacier training was paying off and fitness was at a high level. Sadly just after Christmas our secret weapon, Cornet C J L Speers RHG/D had to go home for compassionate reasons. At the same time, Tpr K Smith LG fractured his leg and was heli-lifted off the mountain. For a moment it looked as if the team was going to fall apart at the seams. With the Team Captain sporting a broken nose and LCoH C Eulert RHG/D in danger of being sent to Afghanistan, things were as bad as they could be. As usual, New Year past quietly. Tpr Smith recovered, LCoH Eulert’s call up was delayed, and so the racing began. Initial racing went well with Smith winning Overall Novice Champion. The Team Captain won the Super G, and also came third overall in the Championships.
Rabbit - Lt RS Everts RHG/D, Frog - LCoH C Eulert RHG/D, Pig - Capt JH Blount RHG/D and Mouse - Tpr K Smith LG.
Results: Team Result Tpr K Smith 62 Captain J H Blount
Army Championship Cornet C J L Speers Lieutenant R S Evetts
Divisional Champions Champion Novice (Verbier) Divisional Super G Champion Novice Super G Champion (Verbier) Divisional Super G Runner-up Third Place Overall (Verbier) Winners (RAC Team) Qualified for Army Championships Provisional Qualification for Army Championships
We moved to Serre Chevalier in France for the Divisional Championships and were rejoined by Cornet C J L Speers, but LCoH Eulert at last left to assist Brigadier B W B White-Spunner RHG/D in Afghanistan. Lieutenant R S Evetts RHG/D was beginning to find form in the faster races and Cornet “Granddad” Speers proved himself to be a useful allrounder. After ten days of racing, the Household Cavalry team had a clear lead and we were declared Divisional Champions. Captain J H Blount went on to the Army Championships and was selected for the RAC Team. This team went on to win the Army Championships as a whole. Disappointingly however, he failed to make selection for the Army Team after initial indication that he was in the running. Capt Blount winning the race.
Household Cavalry News
Polo 2001 By Captain M P F Dollar, RHG/D ith the devastating outbreak of Foot and Mouth across the country and the implications this had on the movement of livestock, Polo was always going to be a casualty. During March and April, when the bleak forecasts over the spread of the disease were at their peak, it was doubtful that any polo would be played at all.
However, with the introduction of movement licences and strict regulations imposed by the MAFF, mid June looked promising for the start of the season. This however excluded our home club, Guards Polo Club at Smiths Lawn, due to the additional restrictions placed upon the Royal Parks. The Regimental pool of players remained similar to previous years, Lieutenant Colonel SH Cowen RHG/D, Captain AJ Fox-Pitt LG, Captain RHA Lewis RHG/D, Captain MPF Dollar RHG/D and Captain NP Harrison RHG/D. However with the success of the Sandhurst Polo Club, a number of younger Officers were able to get a run later in the year. The 2001 season has definitely got to be one to forget. We should have realised after all the problems caused by F and M and its implications on the Guards Polo Club, that things were not going to go well. Tidworth was to host both the Military tournaments, the first being the Inter-Regimental. With the Regimental Team having won it for the last 2 years, and no great changes taking place in the team line out, our chances were good, in fact we had by far the strongest team. Our first game was against 3 UK DIV HQ, a team put together for a bit of fun. We had a convincing win and having
Household Cavalry News
received a bye in the first round, put us on course to meet the Light Dragoons in the semi-finals. On paper there was no competition we were by far the stronger at 5 goals. When it came to the game, however, their large goal advantage and our failure to put the ball through the goal posts, meant that we lost 7 1⁄2 - 5. We cast our heads in shame, however admitted defeat gracefully, and kicked ourselves all the way home. In contrast the Household Division team did make it to the final with Captain NP Harrison RHG/D as one of the team members. Unfortunately they too were to eventually succumb to the winning Light Dragoon team. The next major contest was the Captains and Subalterns, again held at Tidworth. The team was made up of Captain AJ Fox Pitt, Captain RHA Lewis, Captain NP Harrison and two younger members of the Regiment, 2nd Lieutenant NPG Van Cutsem and Cornet AK MacEwen. The tournament was split over a two- day period, with matches taking place on both days. In the first contest against Sandhurst, the cadets were given a 21⁄2 goal start on handicap, which was to prove very useful. After a pretty poor start by the HCR, 2nd Lieutenant NPG Van Cutsem decided to dismount elegantly from his horse and concuss himself. His replacement Cornet AK MacEwen was then brought on. After a temporary lapse, the game resumed, with Captain AJ Fox Pitt and Captain RHA Lewis stringing together some good play to make up the goal difference. However by the end of the match, Sandhurst was to leave victorious, yet again we could not get it together on the day.
On Sunday in the play off for 3rd and 4th, we were to again meet 3 Division, the cry, ‘we must do better’ was heard from the pony lines before the start. With 2nd Lieutenant NPG Van Cutsem still in a daze, Cornet AK MacEwen was to play from the start, only to be hit by a ball in the 3rd Chukka, however fortunately the damage was minimal and he continued on. Everybody played considerably better and all those goals missed on the previous day were scored. By the last whistle the score line read 9 – 31⁄2 to us. All energy is now being focused on making next year a greater success, with outside assistance from Barbour Clothing, we hope not only to replicate the successes of the past few years, but more importantly improve the standard of our existing players. With the re-opening of the Guards Polo Club for the 2002 Season, hopefully we can make polo a greater part of Regimental life once again.
Modern Pentathlon By LCpl McKenzie, LG odern Pentathlon is a sport, which is based on the story of a king’s messenger. The king sends his messenger out on horseback to get a message through the front line. The messenger first shoots his way through the enemy, and then having his horse shot out from under him and being out of ammunition, he draws his sword and fights off the rest of the enemy. With no horse he must run the rest of the way to deliver his message. The last challenge he faces is a wide river, which he swims across and finally the message gets through.
It is these five events: shooting, fencing, swimming, show jumping and running, which make Modern Pentathlon a great sport for the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment to excel in. LCpl MacKenzie and LCpl Wood.
We may not use our sword to fight with any more, but if you go back through the history of our Regiments you will see that we used to. When I think of the story of the king’s messenger, I always think of our Regiment back in the 1600s when we first formed, and I can believe that some of those men found themselves in the same shoes as the king’s messenger. In more recent years our Regiment has had some great success at Modern Pentathlon. Maj. D. Mahoney (LG) won an Olympic team bronze medal and many other individual honours internationally. In fact he was the last army person to make the British Modern Pentathlon Olympic Team, and is now the British Modern Pentathlon team manager. I have been training at the Modern Pentathlon Centre of Excellence since January 1999, where SSgt B. Moss (R.E.M.E) is the coach. Having represented Great Britain Internationally at Modern Pentathlon, he has a lot of good advice for beginners like myself. My goal is to win the 2004 Olympic Gold Medal in Athens. I have made a great start in the sport and I am improving all the time. This summer I was selected for the team relay at the World Championships, where our team finished 13th. Walking out at the opening ceremony in my British tracksuit was a dream come true. The noise of the crowd and the union jacks made me feel very proud to be representing my country and my Regiment.
On the back of my World Championships result was an invitation to train with the British team at Bath University. Christian Raudalt, former head coach of the French Modern Pentathlon team, coaches the men. He has produced many world class Pentathletes and a two-time world champion. So I am looking forward to working with him in the future. I am not the only member of the Regiment to have achieved results in Modern Pentathlon. For over fifty years the Army have been holding their championships to find the best team, male and female Pentathletes. Last year LCpl T. West (LG Band), Tpr P Scott (RHG/D) and myself won the team competition, which the Household Cavalry hadn’t won for almost fifty years. Then this year LCpl M. Woods (LG), Tpr P. Scott (RHG/D) and myself retained the title. LCpl Woods was the real star. Having only been asked two weeks before the competition to step into the team, he jumped at it even though he had never shot an air pistol before. After only one practice shoot and one session in the pool, he finished in third place beating people who had more training and experience than him. Very few Regiments have won the Army Pentathlon team championships three years in a row. Next year LCpl Woods and myself will need a new team member to help us achieve three in a row. So if you would like to take up this challenging sport please contact me for more details.
Household Cavalry News
HCR Cresta 2002 By Lieutenant W H A G Snook, The RHG/D he HCR’s involvement on the Cresta Run was more successful this season than last year. Lieutenants William Snook (RHG/D) and Damien Lipman (LG) were joined by Cresta virgins Lieutenants Chris Wren (LG) and Rupert Evetts (RHG/D) (both riding from Junction only). Lieutenant Wren, on leave from Bosnia, put in a stirling effort, clocking up a fastest time of 56 seconds, as well as falling with boundless style and grace at the infamous Shuttlecock corner. The “Ever Late Evetts” also tasted the straw of shuttlecock but not before posting a truly excellent first season time of 50.6 seconds. Both novice riders displayed a natural aptitude to the Cresta and it is hoped they will both return to become “True Cresta Riders”.
Lt Rupert Evetts RHG/D at Charybdis.
“The Dreadful” Lipman, equipped with a friend’s toboggan, slashed his best ever time from Top to a 58.30 and won his first cap for the Army. Lieutenant “Flatworm” Snook was unable to defend his title as Army Champion, due to TESEX, but rode solidly on a new toboggan posting a best ever time of 55.46 from Top. He joined Lieutenant Lipman in the Army team for the Interservices Championship. The Army and the Navy both began the race with a full compliment of six riders, where as the RAF fielded a bare minimum of four. This was soon to change, however, as after the first course both the Army and the Navy lost their Captains and the Army also lost their number four rider. This meant that Lieutenant Lipman’s times, as the Sixth rider, were to count, with only a seven-second lead over the Navy who lay in second place. However, at the end of the second course the Navy had lost yet another rider, resulting in the Army extending their lead to just over twenty seconds. Lieutenant Lipman was the first to ride in third and final course, a very difficult thing to do. Never before has the race reached the stage where only four riders remained in each team and, as such, every one still riding had to finish for their respective teams to remain in the competition. With due diligence all made it to the charming village of Cellerina, with each Army rider riding two seconds slower to ensure the result. Ultimately, the Army team was victorious (for the second year running), defeating the RAF by 29 seconds and the Navy, a second behind the RAF, taking third place. With the hat
Lt Damien Lipman LG only just makes it round Shuttlecock Corner.
trick in mind, it is our hope the Regiment will maintain a presence in the Army team next year and make the sport more accessible to others within the Regiment to ensure future success. Captain L Chauveau (RHG/D) made a welcome return to the Cresta Run this year and rode against his brother Paul, amongst others, in the Harland Cup Race for retired military. He posted sensible times commensurate with his limited experience of the run this year. As a final note, both Major J R Wheeler and Major D E Hughes were sadly missed in St Moritz this season, but rumours of “Lost bottle” are apparently unfounded. We look forward to seeing them both back on the Cresta Run as soon as they are able.
Household Cavalry Rugby League Team By F/LCoH Conroy, LG n Thursday 23rd of August 2001 the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment rugby league team took to the field for the first time in its history. The match was a friendly against RAF Honnington and although the final score didn’t go our way, the match was a success. It all started back in May when FLCoH Conroy got together a group of twenty lads who all wanted to play rugby
Household Cavalry News
league. Some of them were born and bred northerners who were brought up on the game and some were lads who had either never played before or were from a rugby Union background.
to get the team off the ground. The London Bronco’s (London’s only Super League club) expressed an interest in supporting us and are willing to help us in our development.
The training started in earnest, twice a week after work in Hyde Park. The team coached by FLCoH Conroy put in lots of hard work and commitment
The training continued throughout June and July and it was easy to see that the team was beginning to gel together and a strong team spirit was beginning
to develop. The players were working hard to learn the game and better themselves every training session. The match day was getting closer and it was good to see the players really looking forward to the game. RAF Honnington is in Norfolk and this is where the match was played while we were at Regimental Training in Bodney Camp. RAF Honnington’s team was very similar to ours in the fact that they were also just starting out with a rugby league team but they did have more match experience than us because this was their fourth match compared with our first. The match day arrived and the team left for Honnington at lunchtime. On arrival we were informed that the referee had not turned up so FLCoH Conroy stepped into the breech and agreed to referee the game. This too worked against us as the team coach was now the referee and wasn’t then available to give advice and sort out problems that inevitably happen during any Teams first match. The game was a hard fought match with 100% commitment on show from both sides, HCMR had by far the bigger pack and they didn’t waste any time in reminding Honnington of this with some crunching tackles from the team captain LCoH Edisbury and his fellow prop forward LCpl Bickerdike. We remained in RAF Honnington half of the field for the first twenty minutes and were finally rewarded with a well-worked try by the centre LCoH Parks. RAF Honnington
replied with a good try to level the score. HCMR then had a try disallowed late in the first half so the score at halftime was RAF Honnington 8 HCMR 6. The second half started like the first did with lots of pressure from HCMR. An early try for LCoH Smith in the second half was again disallowed by the referee and slowly RAF Honnington began to show the greater match experience they had by throwing the ball out wide and discovering some gaps in the HCMR defence. Honnington ran in two late trys as we began to tire.
petitions and are involved in our first full season in the Army Rugby League. The year will start late January with training followed by some friendly matches (hopefully against RAF Honnington) then we will progress into the season. Anyone who requires more information about the team or wishes to be part of it please contact FLCoHConroy in the forge at HCMR ext. 2548.
LCoH Edisbury (capt) LG
Every player who played in the match gave 100% and played their part in making the game a success. Some players deserve a special mention; they are LCoH Edisbury who, as captain, led from the front with his hard running and his constant organising during the game. LCpl Bickerdike who played 80 minutes of hard rugby league as prop forward and never missed a single tackle. But the performance of the match had to go the Hooker Tpr Hume who, in his first match of rugby league, played out of his skin. After the match in the bar was a different story, the Honnington team had all left by 2100 hrs but our boys remained there to the bitter end and again the feeling of team spirit was overwhelming, it was the perfect end to a most successful day.
LCoH Smith LG
LCoH Beaumont LG
LCoH Parks RHG/D
LCoH Featherstone RHG/D
LCpl Bickerdike LG
LCpl Ramsden RHG/D
FLCpl Gray LG
Tpr Hume LG
We are now looking forward to next year where we will be playing in the cup com-
17 Capt Angus MacLeod
The Team Coach F/LCOH Conroy LG
10 Tpr Dunnicliffe LG 11 Tpr Slowey LG 12 Tpr Powell LG 13 Tpr Smith LG 14 Musn Dickinson LG 15 Tpr Ryan RHG/D 16 Tpr Pusey RHG
Household Cavalry News
Household Cavalry Golf 2001 By Captain (Retd) R Hennessy-Walsh t the end of last year’s article I said that the revelations of a golf trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, would appear in this year’s magazine. It was a wonderful trip and a full report, written by Mr Harry Ford, does appear elsewhere in this Journal.
There has been quite a lot of golf played both on an individual as well as a team basis. We have been fortunate again to be able to use the Eton College Golf Club throughout the year. Later in the year, after the foot and mouth problem had been resolved, we were able to use the facilities of the Royal Household Golf Club in the grounds of Windsor Castle. Household Division Championships This competition, to have been played on 28th March, was victim to the dreadful winter and Worplesdon just was not playable. This was a great shame as historically the Household Cavalry shine at this meeting. Sunningdale We only played once this year in March – the October fixture sadly had to be cancelled. Traditionally we play in the cold and wet and we were not let down this year either. Our ten-man team did score pretty well (Stableford) but sadly lost. It was the first visit to Sunningdale for three Household Cavalrymen. The Commanding Officer, Lt Col Tabor, Major Miller and SQMC (now Mr) Bridges graced the fairways with their presence and I think enjoyed their first experience on the New Course. The late Mick Brown would be pleased to see that the belt he presented still resides at a very fine address!
The Colonel – in – Chief ’s Cup The 1st and 2nd rounds were held in April on yet another wet and windy day at Worplesdon. The ‘A’ team (bearing no resemblance to George Peppard’s boys) received a bye in the 1st round and did some serious practice for the afternoon! The ‘B’ team were drawn against a very strong Welsh Guards team and lost 13 down. In the afternoon the ‘A’ team, suitably refreshed after a relaxed lunch, played Scots Guards ‘A’. After 18 holes the whole match was level and it was therefore necessary, under the rules of the competition, to play ‘sudden death’ down the first. Messrs Bowman and Rankin – both new to this competition, and, thinking they had finished for the day – had showered and changed and were enjoying afternoon tea when the call to arms came. Not wishing to change back to their wet kit they remained as they were and played the first hole again. Sadly the second match lost to a birdie three and Scots Guards were therefore declared the winners by one hole in the closest of matches. Members of that team will wish to console themselves with the fact that Scots Guards were the eventual winners of the final in September. We look forward to having another go in 2002.
Household Cavalry News
Wimbledon Common Golf Club This was a new fixture brought about by the introduction of some of the Club members to the Mess in Windsor by Peter Hulland a member of The Blues and Royals Association. He lives on Wimbledon Common and the RCM invited him and some of the Club members to lunch in Windsor. It was long afternoon and this was one fixture during the year that we won! Curiously Mr Hulland continues to remain a social member at Wimbledon and has not yet ventured out with bats and balls. In September for the return fixture on the Common we lost 332 – 236 in a cumulative stapleford score match. The highlight, apparently, was the argument Lt Col Sibley had with a local tree. He lost the argument and had to retire early with a sore head. It was a good afternoon – if not a little wet – followed by a splendid supper and we very much look forward to visiting SW London again in 2002. Household Cavalry Golf Day
Swinley Forest Played in May and after an early threat of rain we played, for a change, in warm weather. SCpl (now Mr) Mitchell marshalled his troops and sadly the Household Cavalry lost 4 matches to 2 (Hennessy-Walsh / Waterhouse and Douglas / Dear being the only winners). A new trophy, made by Mr Mitchell, was presented to the winning Captain – Mr Lawson
The Household Cavalry Golf day at The Royal Household Golf Club, Windsor Castle (Bandits One and All !!!)
Bingham - after a very good supper. The Household Cavalry had the consolation of winning most of the raffle prizes! Despite the loss though Swinley remains an outstanding place to play golf.
A golf day was held at the Royal Household Golf Club, Windsor Castle, on 26th September. It was the first time for some years that we have held it at this location. Despite some ‘fuzzy’ heads everyone turned out for a 0915 hrs shotgun start in the Singles Stableford Competition. Notwithstanding the very deep ‘rough’ some very good scores were put together.
RQMC Douglas, Lt Col (Retd) SF Sibley and SCpl McGuire (RQMC insisted that this photograph was printed as he was not in the main picture.)
Singles Stableford Compeition The results were: 1st Lt Col Sibley 38 points 2nd
After a light lunch the fun started with a 3 – club pairs competition. In spite of the Secretary publishing hugely complicated rules everyone managed to get round and put together some decent scores.
Club Pairs Competition The results were: 1st Tpr Bullen and Mr T Smith (guest) 33 points 2nd SCpl Irving and Mr T O’Neill (guest) 30 points 3rd Lt Col Sibley and CoH Dixon 28 points Following a splendid supper in the WOs’ & NCOs’ Mess afterwards prizes were presented by the Second in Command Major RRD Griffin.
The Household Cavalry were greatly honoured by being presented a magnificent trophy by Mr Fred Collingwood which is to remain in the WOs’ & NCOs’ Mess Windsor. It is to be played for annually and presented to the ‘Champion Golfer’. For 2001 the trophy was won by Lt Col Sibley for his win in the morning round.
Household Cavalry Diving Club m This year, like the previous, members of the diving club have been working hard at both the Mounted and Armoured Regiments, leaving little time for diving. With the Golden Jubilee creeping up fast, time is still being found for a visit to Wraysbury Diving centre near Windsor or to Stoney Stanton Diving Centre in Leicestershire. Although some of the diving activity has moved down to ATR Pirbright with LSgt Storey. LSgt Storey has had a successful year having passed the Army qualification of Sub Aqua Diving Supervisor (SADS), for which he has been working towards some time. LSgt Storey is now at ATR Pirbright where he is training the recruits in basic diving skills, whether that is a ‘come and try’ or a full-blown
course. He has just gained his ‘colours’ at Pirbright for this work in diving.
Membership has seen a steady drop over the last 2 years with the loss of CoH Spandley to civilian life, but the hard-core divers are still braving all that the British weather can throw at them. A bid for 3 diving suits has been put in for use on open water training, hopefully this will add to the Regiment’s diving equipment in the new year. The Outer Hebrides (the Silver Stick’s retreat) was the destination for FSCpl Newman this year. During a week long visit at North Uist, he dived several picturesque sites including scallop collecting for the local Hotel’s menu. He is at present aiming for the Open Water Instructor Qualification.
At present the diving club have collected nearly enough money for an overseas trip. This will be to the Red Sea later on in the year and organised by SCpl Goodwin and CoH Scovell from the Saddlers shop. This trip will double-up as our annual training of new divers from the Regiments.
Real Tennis By Major J R Wheeler LG he Household Cavalry Regiment are now the Regimental Real Tennis Doubles Champions. Major JR Wheeler LG and Lieutenant WAG Snook RHG/D capitalised on the absence of one of the holders, Major S Segrave IG, to seize victory in the final against a ‘Household Division’ partnership consisting of Major A James GREN GDS and Capt O Bedford RHG/D. The latter being drafted in at short notice to ensure that, regardless of the outcome, a part of the trophy would belong to the Household Cavalry! Amongst the other entries was the ‘8 star MOD partnership’ of the Chief of Defence Staff and the Chief of the Air Staff. The Competition was one of six to be held at the Combined Services Rackets and Real Tennis Championships held at The Queen’s Club, London from 13-15th February. The trophy was last held by the Regiment in 1994 by the Reed-Fel-
stead/Wheeler partnership in the days when The Household Cavalry, through the cunning and dexterity of Lt Col D M Reed-Felstead RHG/D and Col J D Smith-Bingham RHG/D, retained most of the Army’s and Combined Services’ Real Tennis and Rackets silverware. For those of you who are not familiar with the game, Real Tennis is the oldest of all court games dating back to the 12th Century when French monks played it in their monasteries’ cloisters. It is played in a bizaare court with an asymmetric heavy racket and solid felt balls. The general aim, as in Lawn tennis, is to return the ball over the net. But then there are walls to play off, galleries to aim for and unfamiliar bounces and spins with which to contend. Of the 20 odd courts in the country a number are easily accessible to our Regiments for those wishing to give it a try.
Captain WAG Snook RHG/. and Major JR Wheeler LG.
Household Cavalry News