THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY JOURNAL
The Household Cavalry Journal Incorporating The Acorn and The Blue and Royal No. 13 2004/5 Editor: Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) JS Olivier, The Blues and Royals.
Section Editors: Major SC Tomes, The Blues and Royals Major MP Goodwin-Hudson, The Blues and Royals
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
Commander Household Cavalry and Silver Stick:
Colonel HPD Massey, The Blues and Royals
Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Regiment:
Lieutenant Colonel CBB Clee, The Blues and Royals
Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment:
Lieutenant Colonel GV de la F Woyka, 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)
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Contents Preface by The Commander Household Cavalry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 Diary of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 A Squadron, The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 B Squadron, The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 C Squadron, The Blues & Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 D Squadron, The Blues & Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Headquarters Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Quartermaster’s Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
Quartermaster Technical Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 Light Aid Detachment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 The Band of The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 RWCO RLC Catering Troop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 B Squadron The Household Cavalry Regiment in Iraq . . . . . 26 Mentoring the Iraqi Customs and Border Police . . . . . . . . . . 29
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Diary of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 The Life Guards Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 The Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Headquarters Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
Pages52-86 Life Guards go Baroque . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 The Band of The Life Guards, Goodwill Tour to New Zealand .66 The Band of The Life Guards, Hamina Tattoo - Finland . . . 70 Sticking Your Head above the Parapet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Exercise IRON HORSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Five go Sailing in La Rochelle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74 Ocean Guardsmen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Exercise HIND ALLEY II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Exercise ROYAL PAP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 One Year With The Welsh Cavalry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78 ATR Pirbright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Sports Round-Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
News from the Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87 Minutes of the 69th AGM of The Life Guards Association . .87 The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust Accounts . . . . 88 The Life Guards Association Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90 The Life Guards Association Area Representatives . . . . . . . . 91 The Blues and Royals Association Annual Report . . . . . . . . . 92 The Blues and Royals Association Accounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 Minutes of the AGM of The Blues and Royals Association . 93 The Blues and Royals Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 The Blues and Royals Association Area Representatives . . . . 95 Household Cavalry Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 The Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund . . . . . . . . . 96 Obituaries The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 Obituaries The Blues and Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98
Notices for both Regiments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Balaclava 1854 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 Reunions (1 HCR and 2 HCR) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 The Household Cavalry Association South East Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113 North East Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 North Staffordshire Associaiton . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114 Dorset Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115 Household Cavalry (East Anglian) Dining Club . . . . . . . . . 117 Life at The Royal Hospital Chelsea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117 Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Back Cover: Caslemartin Ranges - CoH Simpson in an unusually contemplative state.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Nominal Rolls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Front Cover: Comd H Cav leading the Mounted Troop down the Champs Elysées.
Musical Ride 2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 The Band of The Blues and Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Household Cavalry Training Wing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Winter Training Troop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Equitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
Household Cavalry News Mission Complete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 The Queen’s Own Yeomanry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Combats to Cuirasses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Laying Up of Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 The Entente Cordiale Centenary - Bastille Day Parade . . . . 58 Household Cavalry Support for the International League for the Protection of Horses . . . . . . . . 61 Farriery in The Gambia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Farriery in South Africa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 Farriery in Fiji . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 Visit to the French International Farriery Competition . . . . 64 Exercise COCKNEY MAPLE 2004 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Preface By Colonel HPD Massey, The Blues & Royals, Commander Household Cavalry ll years are eventful and 2004 has been no exception. A and B Squadrons returned a month before Christmas from a successful but demanding tour in S Iraq as part of the Multi-national Division (South-East), coincidentally commanded by Maj Gen WR Rollo, late RHG/D. You will find accounts of their experiences in the pages which follow. C and D Squadrons have been no less busy supporting training at home.
HCMR, too, have played their part in meeting the demands of mounted and dismounted ceremonial on all State occasions. They continue to do so despite the difficulties of operating during the complete rebuild of the Hyde Park Barracks stables over 10 months and the necessity of keeping half the horses in temporary stabling on the tan opposite, and the other half out of London. Much debate during the year centred on Future Army Structures, the shape of which were made public before Christmas. As I said last year, we sought to maintain our current structure of 4 sabre squadrons at Windsor. This idea did not find favour with DRAC because funding only exists for 13 armoured reconnaissance squadrons overall, and to have allowed four of them to be in HCR would have meant contracting 2 RAC regiments into one. However, DRAC has won agreement from the centre that every Formation Reconnaissance (FR) regiment should receive an established Command and Support squadron. This new Command and Support squadron will be permanently established (unlike D Sqn currently) and take shape during the current year. It will have an enhanced command and liaison element to provide robust 24 hour ISTAR co-ordination capability to the formation being supported. There will be a Surveillance Troop with MSTAR and a formally established air operations cell. It will also be the framework into which any future capability can be fitted. Most importantly for the Household Cavalry, HCR will therefore continue to have 4 squadrons as the basis for providing the manpower throughput to HCMR at Knightsbridge. Turning to manpower, the Household Cavalry is currently a little under strength despite the excellent work of
the Regimental Recruiting Team who have recruited our full allowance. We are losing too many young soldiers during initial training and, among other measures, work is currently in hand for us to rejoin the rest of the Household Division during this vital phase in a soldierâ€™s career. In this we are fortunate to have the strong support of the Major General.
continue to raise funds and I would appeal to all to remember the Museum when you are arranging your affairs. In the meanwhile, Mr Simon Corbett, formerly The Blues and Royals, and Major David Waterhouse, formerly The Life Guards, continue to earn our gratitude for giving their time and energy so unstintingly to the project.
The Household Cavalry Museum project continues. Enabling work is almost complete and the main construction phase will be starting about the time of publication. The Trust has now turned itself into a charitable operating company of which the ex-officio trustees are now directors. It is hoped that the Museum will open during the first quarter of 2006. I am pleased to say that the Trustees have appointed as Director Mr John Lange from the City of Oxford Museum. I am also delighted that Lt Col Sibley has agreed to continue as Curator and Chief Adviser on Household Cavalry artefacts. There is, however, a need to
The majority of HCR is due to go to Canada in the spring and convert to BOWMAN radios on return, although this new equipment has not been without its problems. HCMR looks forward to returning to their rebuilt and modernised stables in July after 10 months and a busy ceremonial season spent al fresco. As Household Cavalrymen we continue to meet the challenges of our tasks to the very best of our abilities as we have done in 2004 and these are recorded in the pages which follow. On behalf of all of us, I wish to thank the Editor, Lt Col JS Olivier, and I commend this edition of the Journal to you.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword By Lieutenant Colonel CBB Clee, The Blues and Royals
The Commanding Officer having weathered the storm.
ast year I wrote that we have much to live up to during 2004 and I am confident that, by and large, we have delivered. I first congratulate Corporal of Horse Bell RHG/D for his Military Cross and Captain CJL Speers RHG/D for his mention in dispatches, won during the closing stages of D Squadron’s tour in 2003. While this last 12 months has been arguably less news worthy, in many respects it has been as challenging as any of its forbearers.
A and B Squadrons had a highly demanding period at the beginning of the year training for their tour of Iraq. It was complicated by the fact that they were subordinated to 2 different battle groups, neither of which they deployed with, which meant that their special to arm training had to be squeezed into evenings and weekends; this effectively extended the tour from 7 months to 81⁄2 months. It says much about their resilience, determination and professionalism that this was accepted with barely a murmur. Both Squadrons had most successful tours, mercifully without loss of life, but certainly with much to report. They are covered most eloquently further in the journal.
been some 50 below strength. D Squadron has had a busy year supporting 16 Air Asslt Brigade, including the fielding of APACHE, while a demanding programme of exercises in support of the Regular Army Assistance Table effectively fixed C Squadron. We had a superb firing camp in Castlemartin, matched by some excellent adventure training. Meanwhile the unsung heroes of HQ Squadron managed to adopt an altogether more offensive role as “Lindsay’s Lynchers”, the OPFOR, during the regimental training on Dartmoor. Captain ES Lane-Fox RHG/D and Lieutenant TB Eastwood LG successfully completed the Trans 333 Marathon, a 333 km race through Niger. 8 members of the regiment have taken their place on legs of Ocean Guardsman, the Household Division transglobal sailing expedition; judging by the damage done to the yacht to date, the experience has been a demanding one. The downhill ski team made it through to the army championships, while our Nordic Skiers have managed to provide a firm foundation for next year. 2 Officers have successfully completed SF selection, and we have an NCO attempting the course as I write.
For the remainder of the regiment it has been hectic, not least because we have
Our people continue to deliver, but there is little doubt that the tempo of
Household Cavalry Regiment
commitments over recent years has impacted upon the investment being made in them. The recently re-embodied JNCO cadre is now on its 3rd runout, with 40 Troopers and Lance Corporals successfully completing the demanding month long course. The Cadre has served to highlight the lack of low-level training opportunities over the preceding 2 years, and the priority for 2005 will remain focussed at this level. Looking forward to 2005, the theme for the Army at large remains that of uncertainty and crisis management. For the Household Cavalry Regiment we hope that the current plan for our short deployment to BATUS as the OPFOR survives the ravages of the BOWMAN teething problems, before we convert ourselves as a regiment in October. We enter this year having weathered a storm; it has been 24 months since we last sat as a regiment in one country as a result of a continuous period committed to operations. We now have the opportunity to do some housekeeping, recharge, rebalance and retrain: we should not squander it.
Diary of Events he year began with the entire Regiment together in Combermere Barracks, which in the present climate is rare indeed. The Commanding Officer was keen that whilst we should all enjoy ourselves the tempo of training new blood, officers and soldiers should not relent.
The deployment of A and B Squadrons to Iraq dominated the year. They were earmarked to support 1 Mechanised Brigade in Basra and their pre deployment training was demanding and lengthy. Prior to embarking on the 1 Mechanised Brigadeâ€™s training cycle the whole Regiment undertook Troop Training, including Troop Tests on Salisbury Plain. Excellent training stands were produced and the competition was fierce, made more exciting by the filthy weather. Major J P Eyre RHG/D devised an urban ambush situation during which the troops came under effective enemy fire and had to extracate themselves. This sorted out the Rambos from the mice. The remaining squadrons not deployed to the Middle East prepared for a monthâ€™s deployment involving one week at the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer and three weeks to Castlemartin gunnery ranges. We were excellently placed to reach level 9
Capt Armitage with the next Iraqi generation.
combined arms firing, which incorporated a 16 Air Assault Brigade exercise, but to no avail. After two glorious weeks of sun, it rained and thick mist coated Pembrokeshire. The Commanding Officer and his Regimental Headquarters Staff enjoyed Freshwater Bay to the full with the Commanding Officer teaching all the art of surf kayaking. The latter half of the year was dominated by a dismounted live and dry exercise on Dartmoor. The live fire package was
carried out in sunshine, unusual conditions for Dartmoor. However, the dry training phase was far from dry and the tasks and weather challenged all to breaking point. A huge amount was learnt during the exercise, especially the art of navigation. With large weights being carried across the moor it became an imperative to be absolutely exact with the compass. The Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Officer, Captain G C Dougall REME volanteered to lead a troop, a mistake he will never make again.
Commanding Officer with his team on Dartmoor .
Household Cavalry Regiment
Second in Command leading the Regiment back from the Church on Remembrance Sunday.
A and B Squadrons returned from the Middle East having experienced a most demanding and sometime frustrating tour. Major J D A Gaselee LG managed a full tour and Major A B Methven LG swapped after 3 months to be replaced by Major S C Tomes RHG/D. A Squadron was involved in several IED incidents and were instrumental in a counter attack in order to retrieve a patrol of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. Their main task was mentoring the border police as well as
instructing in communications. B Squadron patrolled the Az Zubayer Port area as well as combating possible hijackers on the Kuwait border. They discovered, and were involved with, a series of IEDs which they dealt with expertly. The Regiment managed to get 4 adventure training trips away; mostly involving stalking in Scotland, and the Commanding Officer led a battlefield tour to France by boat. The conditions were so
MILITARY AND CIVILIAN TAILORS WE ARE PLEASED TO BE REGIMENTAL TAILORS BY APPOINTMENT TO
Maj Gen Lamb CMG, DSO, OBE with HQ Sqn Ldr Major Lindsay during a visit to Dartmoor
demanding that some members of the tour probably will never sail again. The Operation Officer, Captain D S Brooks LG promptly changed his holiday plans, involving a ferry crossing, and opted to fly. Several members of the Regiment had the wonderful opportunity to complete various legs of an around the world yacht trip - Ocean Guardsman, an experience they will never forget.
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A Squadron The Life Guards here to start? The old cliché “it has been busy year”, I am afraid still runs true. We started the year with 3 Tp under Lieutenant HJ Floyd RHG/D and CoH Brown from C Sqn joining us in preparation for our tour to Iraq. We then went straight to Salisbury Plain for Troop Training and that always popular activity Troop Tests! It came as no surprise that the weather was incredibly cold and wet so a plenty of time was spent was in barns. These might have been dry but acted as a very efficient wind tunnel, this action unfortunately failed to drown out the combined noise of the Sp Tp’s synchronized snoring team of CoH Jukes, LCsoH Edisbury and Marsh.
On Troop tests, A Sqn were very successful with 1 Troop under the leadership of Lieutenant TB Eastwood LG and CoH Gallagher scooping the top prize. The newly joined 3 Troop also did well and came third much to CoH Brown’s disappointment. Lieutenant A Galloway LG excelled himself by being the politest troop leader to a rather unruly crowd from the LAD. It was a good set of troop tests that set the Sqn up well for its Iraq training. The training started with a series of lectures and presentations from the OPTAG team in Aldershot, which the whole Sqn attended. Our biggest frustration was the fact that no one knew what A Sqn was going to do in theatre let alone whereabouts it was going! It was thus necessary for us to train for all eventualities; jack of all trades! We therefore continued our training amid rumours of our possible roles in Combermere Barracks. HQ Sqn kindly lent us some very realistic “Arabs” who greatly assisted our training. The next progression was in Kent with 1RHA, this involved a number of different activities run by OPTAG: ranges,
The heart of A Sqn: Lt Galloway, CoH Fearnley, Lt Edwards, CoH Lochrane, SCpl Musgrave, CoH Brown, CoH Gallagher, Capt Bond & SSgt Bailey.
rural, urban and CIVPOP. The ranges took the sqn well beyond the usual gallery range with the soldiers gaining hugely in confidence in their use of the SA 80 A2. The highlight of the rural package was a cordon and search op which allowed the Sqn Ldr, Major J D A Gaselee LG, the opportunity to practice his diplomatic skills as he tried to negotiate his way into the Sheik’s house. A career in the Foreign Office beckons. The urban package had us patrolling in Rype village where all the Irish Republican paraphernalia has been covered in Arabic and pictures of Saddam Hussein. 3 Troop had an interesting experience and were chased back to the fort with their tails between their legs by an angry crowd of CIVPOP. The rest of the troops suffered equally and it proved a very challenging 36 hours although LCoH Fitzgerald and LCpl Preston conducted a text book search operation. Needless to say the Sqn enjoyed being CIVPOP the most; led by Sheik Ali Stephenson they gave Chestnut Troop
from 1 RHA a good run for their money. Lieutenant TWC Edwards LG made a fatal error when he was caught behind the shield war in the riot and came close to having his unique profile spoilt. The Sp Tp team again proved the most effective storm troopers and were highly efficient at creating gaps in the shield wall, although LCoH Edisbury’s use of his head should not be copied. Finally we deployed to Salisbury Plain for our confirmatory exercise. 1 RHA in recognition of our need for acclimatization put us in Greenlands Camp, possibly the coldest spot on the plain! Unlike the other locations it had no power or windows but we made ourselves at home and cracked on. On completion of the exercise, the Sqn had a very quick turn around and deployed straight down to Castlemartin for our pre-touring firing. The snow in Wales again helped with our acclimatization for the desert, the package went well with all of the crews achieving creditable passes on the Annual Crew Test. There was some debate over who was
A Sqn firing.
Household Cavalry Regiment
An ever present hazard.
top gun, but it was eventually decided that Tpr Mills deserved this accolade. Once back in Windsor the Sqn departed on two weeks leave prior to deployment to Iraq. Iraq. It is going to be difficult to include everything that the Sqn got upto over the 6 months it spent but there will be over articles in the magazine which will help build up the whole picture. The Sqn deployed as part of 1 RHA whose role was to help improve the Iraqi Security Forces. The Sqn was given the task of helping the Border and Customs Police and was thus initially spread over the whole length of the Iran/Iraq and Iran/Kuwait borders in the British Sector. 3 & 5 Tps were in Al Amara, 2 Tp in Al Zubayr with B Sqn, 4 Tp in Basrah Palace and 1 Tp drew the short straw living in the Shat Al Arab Hotel with SHQ, Echelon and the Fitters. Each Troop was initially responsible for a section of the Border helping improve the Police in that sector and the local HQ. SHQ itself had to help the province HQ which was in the centre of Basrah. The accommodation for the Sqn was pretty good although the Hotel did not get Air Conditioning until mid June, it
had begun to get pretty unpleasant by then; WO2 (SCM Stevenson) had started to suffer! 4 (Pie and Brew) Tp ended up living above the Palace Cookhouse, LCsoH Edisbury, Marsh and Tprs Duggan and Bennett were very happy; even Lietant TB Edwards LG managed to put on weight. 3 Tp had very good portacabins but because their camp kept getting mortared they had to sleep in very unpleasant bomb shelters. 2 Tp fell on their feet in Al Zubayr, not because they were with B Sqn, but because of the proximity of the Kuwaiti Border. This allowed them to eat most days in an American Camp, where the food is substantially better and the PX actually sells things that you might need at a reasonable price! CoH Fearnley still cannot understand why the troop is known as the Operational Stand Down Troop. One explanation may be that the only RTA 2 Tp has had involved a jet ski! The troops basically spent their days visiting the Border Police installations and teaching them how to do their jobs. This was frustrated by a lack of equipment and basic supplies, this however steadily improved during the tour and by the end they were working well; this is however covered in more detail elsewhere. Half way through the tour there were some changes to the way we did business. 2 Tp moved to the Airport and if possible even more luxurious accommodation! 4 Tp had to move from their opulent set up to a large shed in Al Faw, they really had to rough it with no air-conditioning and very basic food; the weight gain was quickly reversed. They soon however discovered that the interpreter delivered Kebabs from the local town! 5 Tp moved from Al Amara to the Hotel to help 1 Tp. The newly promoted SCpl Lochrane moved to Al Amara to command a very briefly formed 6 Tp. None of our tasks changed massively except that 2 Tp lost responsibility for the Kuwait Border and gained the task of running a Port; Lieutenant A Galloway LG is now an expert on all matters maritime!
The Sqn Ldr and SCM with Maj Gen W Rollo.
Household Cavalry Regiment
So that in outline is what happened but to give a flavour of the tour, it is necessary to recount a number of anecdotes and impressions. Lieutenant TB Eastwood LG managed to impress his Tp CoH, CoH Gallagher, with his efforts at photography. Unfortunately whilst practising his new found skills the flash went off whilst the Tp were setting up an OP, nearly causing the tactical pathfinder to have a heart attack! The state of the SNCOs: WO2 Stevenson, SCpls Lochrane, Overton and Musgrave; has also been a cause for alarm, their fixation with sun bathing has been quite extraordinary. They all turned a rather nasty colour. Although the Sqn Ldr was put off for life after a rocket hit the roof of the hotel 30 yards from where he was lying! After the eight sailors were taken by the Iranians, Lieutenant TB Eastwood LG and the Sqn Ldr were despatched the Border Crossing with Iran and to negotiate their release. It was pointed out to Brigade that this, having been on the Television, would require the aid of a diplomat rather than a couple of Household Cavalrymen because it had probably gone beyond them being quietly slipped back across the border. Unfortunately there were also no Arabic or Farsi interpreters. Needless to say all the Iranian officers had left so negotiations were conducted with a large bearded Iranian Sergeant (who looked uncannily like George Michael) waving an AK47. These negotiations were slightly protracted given the language barriers, but with the aid of some Iraqis with a smattering of English and Farsi and some magnificent charades from the officers, the message was passed. But to no avail the Iranians refused to admit anything had happened. The Sqn held a small memorial service on Cavalry Sunday for Lieutenant Alex Tweedie and LCpl Shearer at the spot where their Scimiter overturned. The service was very simple but poignant for us all and we even managed to belt out
LCpl Bond instructing labourers.
Lt Floyd proving he is ready for HCMR.
Jerusalem rather badly. Unfortunately it is impossible to report that the site where they died was particularly beautiful or spectacular. It is in the middle of a large flat piece of scrubby desert intersected by waterways with large oil wells looming in the distance belching out huge palls of black smog. A depressing spot which hopefully has now been enlivened by a plaque that the Squadron has made and placed there. The Sqn was remarkably fortunate in the incidents it was involved and was not heavily contacted. All the Troops have experienced their fair share of mortar fire as the insurgents harass the bases. 3 Tp were also involved in the “Danny Boy” incident. They were returning up Route 6 to Al Amara when they were ambushed by small arms, RPGs and an IED. They drove straight through and met up with a multiple from 1 A and SH who were in contact. They then gave them some extra ammunition and secured their position whilst they cleared the enemy. Warriors and Challengers then appeared and took them back to Al Amara although they had to debus once more to disperse more insurgents. The troop behaved exceptionally well and were a credit to the Household Cavalry. The troop also managed to engage the mortar team attacking Abu Naji Camp although they missed them. Lieutenant HJ Floyd RHG/D and LCoH Walsh will obviously be needing to spend much longer on the ranges next year! Lieutenant TB Eastwood LG and his troop also managed to discover an IED under a bridge although the clearance did involve Lieutenant TB Eastwood LG paddling about in a very small boat which struggled for buoyancy! The tour was not all work and the majority of the Squadron managed to visit Kuwait for a period of Operational Stand Down. This was based at a huge American Base called Camp Doha where
3 Troop bathing.
there was an R and R centre with a pool, gym and crazy golf course. There was also the opportunity to go into Kuwait City where the popular entertainment was to go jet skiing. Apparently the shopping was quite good but judging by the purchases made LCsoH Griffiths and Preston, this cannot be true! The tour has also been enlivened by the addition of 13 members of the QOY and 5 Welsh Guardsmen. These all fitted in well to the Sqn, although the Welsh Guard sniper pair were very disappointed not to have the chance to use the rifle although they gave all the Sqn lessons whilst we were on the Ranges. These Ranges were run by Captain ES Lane Fox RHG/D and SCpl Overton in the middle of the desert just outside Basrah. The whole Sqn less 5 Tp and SCpl Musgrave came together for 5 days to fire the vehicles. Not only was there plenty of ammunition for the Scimiters, there was also plenty of 51 mm mortar ammunition. All the crews managed to complete a single car FMX using a mixture of Iraqi tanks and screens as targets. The prize for top gun went to LCpl Strangeways and LCpl Mckay of the QOY, much to the disappointment of CoH
Fearnley! The 51 mm shoot was also a first for many and was run by Sgt Day, attached from 1 Gren Gds who was excellent. The highlight of the period however was the night shoot using 51mm illum and culminating with a spectacular display as the smoke grenades were fired. The only downside was Pte Benoit’s cooking efforts which managed to poison most of the Sqn! The other very amusing aspect of the tour has been watching members of the Sqn trying to avoid being kissed or having their hands held by the Iraqis. Captain ES Lane-Fox RHG/D and LCoH Griffiths are particular favourites amongst the Border Police and have been lunged at on numerous occasions. Rumour even has it that the SCM was seen holding hands with a member of Border Police in Maysan, unfortunately there is no photographic evidence! The Sqn returned from Iraq at the end of October 2004 and said a sad farewell to WO2 (SCM) Stevenson and 3 Tp. The Sqn has also said goodbye to Lieutenant TWC Edwards LG and Captain ES Lane-Fox RHG/D. We welcomed Cornet WA McCarter RHG/D from his Tp Ldrs Course.
LCpl Preston stalking.
Household Cavalry Regiment
B Squadron The Life Guards nother year has flown past with a myriad of exercises, tasks and operations all blending into one, being too numerous to separate. The year has been almost entirely focussed on the deployment with 1RWF Battle Group on Op TELIC IV with a considerable amount of build up training taking place in the early half of the year.
Following dismounted training in January and annual firing for Guided Weapons and Scimitar, the Squadron began their Op TELIC training. This was conducted with the 1 PWRR Battle Group as our exact role and area of operations remained uncertain up to the eleventh hour. With some imagination the streets of the Lydd training village were turned into an unnamed Iraqi town, and the Squadron was put through its paces practicing drills largely based on Northern Ireland experiences. Soon five and twenty metre checks became second nature. After some brief pre tour leave the Squadon gradually reconvened in the Bedouin Camp of Shiabah Logistics Base, and having completed the mandated acclimatisation period moved to Az Zubayr Port to begin our takeover from the 9/12 Royal Lancers. Our Area of Operations (AO) covered roughly 1200 km2 in the southern part of Al Basrah Province, a mostly rural area populated by small scale tomato farmers and criss-crossed with oil pipelines and other petroleum infrastructure, but dominated by border towns of Umm Qasr and Safwan. The former being Iraq’s main deep-water port, and the latter primary Kuwaiti border crossing point from multi-national forces. The areas main problems were readily identifiable; the lack of an effective
police force, and the poor provision of essential services, in particular water supply. Troops were quickly set to training the Iraqi Police and trying to combat hijacking on the main road heading north from Safwan. This was an incredibly frustrating task, and the idleness, fecklessness, and corruption of the majority of the Iraqi police infuriating to B Squadron and the local Iraqi population alike. Small successes were achieved, for example Captain A R Tate’s securing of vital checkpoint equipment, and LCoH Park’s impromptu PT sessions for police provided some amusement, if nothing else. Despite a very lucky escape by Tpr Mathis and others from an improvised explosive device attack, and the constant threat such devices posed, the heat often felt like our most significant adversary. Nothing can quite prepare you for temperatures of 50 degrees and more, and this temperature not whilst one is lying on a beach but wearing a flak jacket, helmet webbing, helmet and carrying a radio! It was not uncommon to find that we were drinking 10 litres or more a day whilst out on patrol. We did not use our CVR(T) as much as we might have predicted. Quite simply the temperature was so severe that the vehicles, not to mention the crews, were almost unable to function effectively. Driving down the road in temperatures of 50 degrees was bad enough, however when the commander had to tell the driver that the engine was overheating and that he would have to put the heating on, things really became unpleasant. The cries of ‘Mister, mister, give me water’ from Iraqi children will probably be one of the enduring memories of the tour, but it was also the catalyst for the tireless efforts of Captain AR Tate LG
CoH Pearse proving that experience on the riding staff is never wasted.
Household Cavalry Regiment
and his team to improve the provision of water in our area. The results of which were the drilling of several new wells, and some improvement of existing infrastructure- both water and electrical. Whilst this work continued throughout the tour the main effort of the Squadron shifted following the transfer of authority to the Iraqis. Interaction with the police became less frequent, and a new tasking emerged; the patrolling of the oil infrastructure against terrorist attack became the main focus. But with patrol programmes carefully planned to coincide with the meal timings of the two US bases in our area. If in doubt of when exactly lobster was served in either of these camps Lieutenant N K TwumasiAnkrah could quickly provide you with an answer. July saw the changeover of two key personalities. WO2 Tovell LG joined the Squadron from the Manchester UOTC to take over from WO2 Hodder LG on his return to HCR and Major S C Tomes RHG/D arrived to take over as Sqn Ldr.
LCoH Dowsett smiling for one.
Rather uniquely Major Tomes was not only taking over the Sqn from Maj A B Methven but also handing over his job in the MOD directly to him. There was also much that kept us occupied above and beyond the normal remit of framework patrolling. One major success that we managed was the safe holding of local elections in the three main towns in our area. This was no slight undertaking considering the international and domestic pressure on the elections to come. The Squadron suddenly saw a plethora of people, some invited and some uninvited descend on us. The entire world seemed to be involved. The Prime Minister, Ayad Alawi visited one of the polling stations during the day. Anyone who has experience of the amount of rubbish strewn around Iraq and also has experience of the downdraft of a Chinook will understand what the immediate results were at the moment he landed! As most of the hierarchy of Southern Iraq clustered into a small school building a gunman with an AK47 started to fire some bursts over our heads and the Sqn Ldr did begin to wonder if there were perhaps a few too many chiefs in the vicinity for his liking! We said goodbye to Captain W R G Kenyon LG four months into the tour as his escape route across the Southern Seas on Exercise Ocean Guardsman came to fruition. Captain AR Tate LG rapidly took over as second in command providing him with a brief but necessary respite from the day to day ardours of providing water and electricity to a, sometimes, grateful nation. Capt T J Armitage LG was then dropped in directly from Brigade HQ where he had been acting as AMA/ADC to the Brigadier. As with all such moves it was from the top of the pile to the bottom but we were glad to have him back and he in turn was glad no longer to be OC sudden helicopter requests. We also said farewell to Captain R J Moger RHG/D who left the rigours of Iraq for the rigours of Riding School. The last two months of the tour were spent under the command of the newly formed Danish Battle Group. This was an interesting experience with many lessons to be drawn out. Putting British units under foreign command is something that we are all used to by now. However, this was one of the first occasions that this had been done at sub-unit level. It certainly brought about a significant number of problems. These were wide ranging and included almost anything that you can imagine; the brick wall of national integrity and non-disclosable information and equipment; simple misunderstandings; different cul-
Tpr Mathis showing the gun that saved his life, shielding him from a large fragment at an IEO.
tural expectations; no communications back to the RWF who controlled every G1 aspect of pay, allowances and our flights home! Overall, whilst frustrating at times, the experience was one that had significant plus points. One of these was undoubtedly the Danes themselves who were extremely pleasant to us and keen to learn from our corporate experience. And then one day the Gunners arrived and we were furiously handing over. What had seemed like a never ending period of time was suddenly rushing towards us. The trip back was probably as smooth as we could make it, hampered only by our friends in light blue who contrived against us at every turn (or so it seemed!). The last flight was cancelled, sorry postponed, by two days which was an extreme frustration at the time. There is nothing more depressing then having
handed over everything and being forced to wait in a camp that no longer belongs to you. The new team are polite but desperately want you to go! Finally we left and the big jumbo charter arrived in the desert to take us all home. As with all Squadrons returning from a good operational tour, it took a very short period of time to be reminded that we are only a small cog in a large machine and that many changes were to take place. After a good period of Post Operational Tour Leave we said our farewells. The C Sqn Tp under Lt Twamusi-Ankrah and CoH Blackburn RHG/D left us complete with CoH Blackburn being posted to the FAC team after a good period of downhill skiing. CoH Pearse leaves us for the D&M School.
Tpr Hunter taking a rest.
Household Cavalry Regiment
C Squadron The Blues and Royals C Squadron have had an exceedingly full year, with numerous postings in and out and a variety of RAAT tasks, as well as taking on the important role of being the Regimental Support Training Squadron. On the postings out side of affairs the squadron said goodbye to Captain JEM ‘ORBAT’ Howell LG, the Squadron 2IC, who has now moved on to HCMR where he was desperate to be posted due to his passionate love of all things equine. Our source in the mess at Knightsbridge has informed us that he is rarely seen far from his chargers, or the gym, the other love of his life! The most important task the squadron had at the start of the year was to assist A and B squadrons in their preparation for deploying to Iraq. Our role was to get all the augmentees from the QOY trained up and ready to deploy on OP TELIC 4. It was a period of frantic activity but the end result was good after an interesting range package at Lydd and Hythe Ranges and an exercise on SPTA, where the squadron took on the role of being the training team and OPFOR. In some cases they got a little carried away their ‘role’ playing; Captain NGP van Cutsem LG couldn’t speak Arabic so instead blathered away in school boy Spanish when playing the role of angry Iraqi militia man, and it is suspected that what he actually spoke was nothing short of jibberish! We also lost two troops to the deployment to Iraq. Lieutenant H J Floyd RHG/D and 2 Troop went to A Squadron and Cornet NK TwusamiAnkrah RHG/D and 3 Troop went to B Squadron. Both Troops had very successful tours with contacts
The JNCO Cadre being briefed by C Sqn leader on SPTA.
galore; indeed, 2 Troop was mortared every night for about a month, which forced them to sleep in an ISO container surrounded in sandbags whilst wearing body armour and helmets in temperatures of more than 50 degrees. Surprisingly, this Weight Watcher scheme did little for those out there who were perhaps regarded as carrying a little excess baggage! To everyone’s relief they all came back alive and well. Meanwhile, back in the Windsor war zone, the squadron got fully stuck into Training Support and assisted in the forthcoming and running of the JNCO Cadre, on which the likes of WO2 Pickard RHG/D and SCpl Trinnick RHG/D were gleefully involved and saw it as a way of getting the most out of the stu-
dents on the course in their own inimitable style! This then ran into Exercise VIXEN’S EARTH, the Brigade Support Troop Concentration, a mixture of live firing and demolitions to skills such as CTRs and Patrolling. It finished with a night navigation exercise followed by the infamous Sennybridge Assault Course, which, as expected was gruesomely wet! The Squadron did get some time to squeeze in some extra curricular activities and a small group of us had some very inaccurate entertainment on the clay pigeon range at Bisley, while the remainder of the squadron went for a Roller Coaster session at Thorpe Park. Reports back told of several gut churning rides, hardly surprising after what had been consumed beforehand! In July, the Squadron sent One troop and Support Troop, with D Squadron to Castlemartin for the Regimental Gun Camp. The deployment was excellent and the hard work out in
Lt Viney instructing. LCpls Scollick & Buckingham RHG/D on the JNCO Cadre.
Household Cavalry Regiment
JNCO Cadre – Staff preparing for the next phase.
It’s amazing what people dump on the plain. WO2 (SCM) Pickford RHG/D discovering his musical side.
by all the crews prior to deploying was evident in the high standards of gunnery achieved, notably LCpl Hollis RHG/D who achieved a level 6 distinction in his Annual Crew Test. Also worth mentioning were Tprs Clarke, Leedham and Thomas (all RHG/D) who all attained level 6. Impressive results all round. The main drive after summer leave was ROYAL STANDARD, the dismounted field firing and dry training exercise on Dartmoor in November. From first hand experience it was a fairly damp and soggy enterprise, with many an individual going waste deep in the excellent selection of bogs to be found in what is a very tough training environment. As we all know, ‘if it aint raining, it aint training’! Straight after ROYAL STANDARD a few lucky members from the squadron deployed on Adventurous Training to Scotland where they took part in Exercise HIND ALLEY II, the regiments annual Red deer culling adventure.
L CoH Taylor instructing on the JNCO Cadre.
The three monkeys - Deaf: LCoH Taylor RHG/D, Blind: SCpl Brown RHG/D, Dumb: LCoH Baxter LG ……No Comment!
Enormous excitement was had by all, with LCoH Eulert RHG/D and LCpl Smith RHG/D getting their first Hinds and subsequently bloody faces. Christmas leave is now looming with a week of excessive partying to get through before all will have a much-
deserved rest. Next Year will see the squadron deploying to Canada as OPFOR Tank Company 1 and The Infantry Company and Major R R Philipson-Stow RHG/D will finally have his moment of glory as he no doubt leads his troops in many a mad charge across the prairie!
LCoH Eulert RHG/D on the simulator at CATT Warminster.
Household Cavalry Regiment
D Squadron The Blues and Royals Sqn started the year with the remainder of the Regiment in the all too familiar surroundings of Salisbury Plain Training Area taking part in Ex Royal Flush. With our resources stretched we could only enter the Airborne Task Force Troop (ABTF Tp) into the Troop Tests. Ably led by CoH Simpson the Troop acquitted themselves well and CoH Simpson finally discovered for himself that often unanswered question as to why Troop Leaders have such notoriously poor personal administration, ‘I just didn’t have time for admin!’
Within 24 hours of completing Ex Royal Flush the Squadron was turned around and heading for Thetford and a two week air skills exercise with 16 Air Assault Brigade (16Air Asslt Bde). The Exercise began with a series of Tactical Air Landing Operations (TALOs) working closely with 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment. The remainder of the exercise was more suited climatically to Artic Warfare with a good dusting of snow and some biting winds. Trying to ignore the icy conditions LCoH Gerrard conducted some very useful Helicopter Handling drills with the majority of the Squadron whilst SSgt Weller and the remainder of the REME Fitter Section seemed to conduct endless recoveries of cursed vehicles. The return to Windsor and subsequent defrosting saw an all too brief rest bite as we headed for ‘a small former Colonial African country’, well
actually it was back to Salisbury Plain to do battle with the 1st Battalion King’s Regiment as part of the ABTF TESEX. With the return of Lieutenant AR Heathcote RHG/D from Bosnia, CoH Simpson was allowed to return to the well administered life of a Troop CoH and Lieutenant AR Heathcote RHG/D could embrace the life of a Troop Leader under pressure. The Troop gave a very good account of themselves working closely with Support Company 1 PARA achieving a number of ‘K’ and ‘M’ kills on the enemy Warrior AFVs using MILANs. During the final assault on Copehill Down LCoH Gerrard had his vehicle destroyed led his crew into the village to assist 1 PARA with house clearing much to the initial bemusement and subsequent admiration of the assaulting companies. Having spent most of the coldest two months away it was a relief to recuperate, service our vehicles and catch up on some sizable in-trays. In late March a composite Troop was sent off to Otterburn to take part in an Offensive Support Group (OSG) exercise with 7th (Parachute Regiment) Royal Horse Artillery. The Troop took part in some 30mm live firing but once again foul weather conspired to cancel the final part of the exercise. With Easter approaching the Squadron bade farewell to WO2 Rees and welcomed back WO2 Pass and looked forward to some deserved leave.
Training day on Ex Eagles Strike.
Household Cavalry Regiment
With the approach of the summer came the annual gunnery indoctrination for those whose 30mm drills might have rusted over the winter. In May Exercise Pegasus Nemesis brought some welcome relief for a number of the Squadron who took part in this Pathfinder Platoon (PFPL) exercise. A Troop of CVR(T) was flown from RAF Lyneham to a disused airfield in Northamptonshire from where they conducted a number of enemy serials over private land. As well as providing a convincing enemy for the PFPL the troop conducted a minor public relations exercise taking their vehicles to the local landowners that had kindly allowed the use of their land. LCoH Santi conducted his own form of public relations demonstrating a novel method of harvesting sugar beet using only a Scimitar. With the absence of A and B Squadrons Gun Camp at Castlemartin Ranges was conducted at a more stately pace than usual allowing the Squadron to make maximum use of range time and ammunition to reach a very high standard of gunnery. The 30mm culminated in a combined arms withdraw conducted at troop level against a variety of targets including simulated SCUD missiles, sniper positions and even attack helicopters. Once more scuppered by poor weather the Harrier GR7 booked to take part in the shoot were unable to fly. The final part of the shoot involved the nomination of an unlucky callsign receiving an ‘M’ kill and having to dismount and conduct a fighting withdrawal on foot, something LCoH Bennet will no doubt not forget in a hurry. The Squadron also had an opportunity to familiarise themselves with a variety of small arms
CoH Simpson and CoH Flynn CGNM getting to know the workings of a AH64 Apache.
including the Heckler Koch MP-5 series, CR-15 Dimarcos and Minimis. Summer leave was a much needed opportunity for all the Squadron to recharge after a furiously busy seven months. As Major Eyre headed for the MOD to be sized up for a comfy chair Major Dick replaced britches and boot polish for a weapon and webbing returning from HCMR to command the Squadron. With hardly a moment to spare Squadron HQ was thrust into a series of gruelling Command Exercises at Catterick in preparation for the main 16 Air Asslt Bde exercise of the year, Exercise Eagles Eye 04. This exercise had a number of aims. The first was confirmation of the integration of the Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter into the Brigade and also the handover of the ABTF from 1PARA to 2PARA. We once again found ourselves on our beloved Salisbury Plain before the Squadron was flown into West Freugh in Scotland. The exercise was one of the largest conducted in recent years and with the
LCoH Santini and LCpl Sampson. Thetford Eagles Strike.
exception of operational aircraft nearly all of the RAF Support Helicopter and Air Transport Fleet was used to move the Brigade around the country. Lieutenant B J Vestey RHG/D found himself operating in the Kielder Forest Area with the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders in appalling conditions whilst the remainder of the Squadron was working with 9 Regiment Army Air Corps (9AAC) and their Apache Aircraft conducting screens and targeting missions.
deployed with the exception of looking picturesque. The first week concentrated on basic skills and the second week was an exercise involving covert movement across the training area. Very few escaped the joys of this phase of the exercise with even the SSgt Weller, the EME and the Squadronâ€™s new Troop Leader 2nd Lieutenant MJV Nicholl LG being dragged onto the moor. Overall there were some strong performances especially from some of the junior Troopers.
The final exercise of the year was to prove the most challenging for some. Exercise Royal Standard was a dismounted exercise conducted on Dartmoor, very picturesque, cold and almost entirely damp. Which was how much of the Squadron spent their time whilst
With the dawning of a new year the Squadron looks forward to fulfilling the role of Recce Company in OPFOR in Canada and delivering a much needed drubbing to any of the Battle Groups unfortunate enough to encounter us on Medicine Man Exercises.
Sqn waiting to lift off.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Headquarters Squadron his article has for the past few years started by saying that it has been an extremely busy year and this year is no different, although in terms of achievement this year would probably stand apart as one of the most satisfying. The year started early with TES Ex, an exercise with a live enemy and computer controlled lasers, and although the weather was against us the Echlons got a good run out.
That was the last the echlons would deploy tactically for the year as the main effort was about to switch to A & B Sqns who were to deploy to Iraq on Op TELIC. The Sqn put its administrative might behind the sabre sqns as they went through a build up package prior to deployment and in addition we filled 19 gaps whodeployed with both sqns. In the middle of the year there was some changes in the senior personalities in the sqn as we said farewell to the Sqn Ldr, Major RP Manning RHG/D, the QM(T) Captain TM Carpenter RHG/D and the RQMC on commissioning WO2 Carter LG. We wish them well in their new appointments. We welcomed the new Sqn Leader Major WR Lindsay LG, the new QM(T) Captain JC Fisher RHG/D, and the new RQMC WO2 Rees LG. We also deployed on a 3-week firing camp
LCpl Lindsay, LCoH Barter & LCpl Haward taking a well deserved rest.
and adventure training package in Wales in July. The first 2 weeks were filled supporting the sabre sqns whilst completing a very good small arms package designed and ran by the SCM WO2 Kellett and the Trg Wing WO WO2 Foster. The third week was the opportunity to do some challenging adventure training. There was 4 activities, climbing on the coastal cliffs, land yachting on the beaches, mountain biking and canoeing. Lots was achieved by all but none more than Pte Fletcher who could not swim, was scared of heights and had never ridden a
bike but she still gave everything a go. After the ranges it was time for some well earned leave and even the threat of a firemanâ€™s strike did not spoil the time off. On return from leave it was time to start the preparations for a dismounted exercise on Dartmoor which promised to test everyoneâ€™s survival skills and fitness levels to the full. The sqn were tasked with providing a troop to work with the sabre sqns and 2 troops to act as enemy, as well as providing the support infrastructure to enable the training. This was a tall order and it meant that it
SCpl Fermor and LCoH Hopkins explaining that they could not give anyone a lift.
Household Cavalry Regiment
CoH Walker (Tech) – I knew I should have got a GPS.
was all hands to the pump as we reconfigured the sqn to meet the challenge. Individuals now found themselves in very different jobs with clerks and mechanics finding themselves in rifle sections and even the QM(T) stepped forward as one of the enemy troop leaders(much to the disappointment of the sabre sqn troop leaders).
and LCpl Allwood will forget the embarrassment and maybe they will start talking to LCoH Baxter again.
Having completed a comprehensive physical training package the sqn deployed and with a short stop in Okehampton camp went straight onto the moor for a build up package. 3 days of build up and after a short break 4 days on the final exercise asked a number of questions of everyone. After some significant successes against the sabre sqns perhaps changed the perception of the sqn only being full of storemen and clerks. Certainly the EMEs troop which was with the sabre sqns will rue the day when they met the OPFOR at midnight. Command Troop did not cut any slack to their command troop comrades in the Blue force. Surely one day LCoH Smith
The Inter Troop Sports Competition has been resurrected and has rekindled interest in sport. There are 10 different sports in the competition and before Christmas, Volleyball, Basketball and Orienteering have already been completed. The team made up of the RAO, Trg Wing and SQMC have won all 3 and have a healthy lead. However as they say in the Premier League, its not a sprint it’s a Marathon, so it’s a long way till April and we will have to wait and see. Finally the sqn went on a Battle Field Tour to Ypres at the beginning of December. Fifty of the Sqn went and with a very early start and a late finish we managed to fit it all into a 1 day trip. Even with the short time available lots was fitted in with visits to the first 3 battles of Ypres as well as laying wreaths at the Household Cavalry Memorial at Zandvoorde and the Menin Gate. There
Shrapnel Charlie presents a souvenir to Commanding Officer.
was also time to visit the excellent museum at Passchendaele. And we even met a very interesting character called Shrapnel Charlie, who is wheelchair bound but still manages to collect waste from the battlefield and model it into small gifts. All those who met him were given a moulded miniature replica of the Menin Gate as a souvenir of the visit. Looking forward to 05 the sqn will be as busy if not even busier as we are deploying to Batus with at the moment 90% of the orbat taking part in some way. For those left behind life will not be quite either as they will assist with the administration and security surrounding the rebuild of the single living accommodation and looking after the regiments vehicles ensuring they are ready for the return of the regiment towards the end of the year.
Quartermaster’s Department he Quartermasters Department strives to deliver a first class service in order to sustain the Regiment prior to, during and returning from deployment.
The year has brought many challenges, A and B Sqn deploying on a 6-month tour to Iraq, Regimental Gun Camp, CATT providing administrative support to Ex Vixens Earth (1 Recce Brigade) dismounted support troop concentration at Sennybridge and Ex Royal Standard, which was a dismounted exercise in Dartmoor. No evidence of the Beast of Dartmoor was found but a ginger moggie was seen in the camp!
The Quartermaster, Capt Richard Carney RHG/D is fully involved with the normal Quartermaster work as well as all special projects. His phones never stop ringing - ever! In order to maintain his high energy levels the snickers chocolate sales in Windsor has increased by 50%. We have had some changes in manning, WO2 RQMC Carter handed over to WO2 Rees having received his commission to Capt and we wish him well in his future employment. The incoming RQMC having had a correction operation to eliminate problems from a previous leg break and has spent much of his
time in his secondary office on Ward 3, Frimley Park Hospital. We all wish him a speedy recovery. CoH Billy Beaumont has worked extremely hard at H&S matters ever since SCpl little Jack Horner left the corner. He actively took part in SHEF matters to ensure the Regiment passed its annual inspection, he has since been promoted to SCpl and we wish him well in his new rank. CoH Hughes is the Accommodation SNCO and when not playing Golf spends much of his time attempting to
Household Cavalry Regiment
fly. He does spend long hours in his cage, cataloguing the photos of the regiments accommodation. He has been allowed out on a number of occasions to take over the different camps needed for the Regiment’s training. LCoH Couling when not issuing clothing spends most of his time training for the marathon! This year he took on the webbing account from Tech, completed his Ammunition Store man Course and was awarded his LSGC medal. We wish him good luck for his move to the Quartermaster Technical Department where I am sure he will carry on with his marathon training! LCoH Costain wears many hats within the Department. Apart from odd jobs for the RQ (Staff Car Driver) he assists with MFO, ORP, Ammo, Sports store and anything else that is needed. This year he received his LSGC medal and conducted VIP driving for Windsor Horse Show. LCoH Jones is employed as the Local Works Liaison (LWLO) within the Dept. Much of his time is spent working with contractors, which has proved to be time well spent. LCoH Parr is the Regimental tailor and this year has also run the PRI account. He has had a busy year tailoring desert combats for A&B Sqn deployment, JNCO Cadre, D Sqn Medal Parade to name but a few as well as having to
spend time helping the tailor shop in Knightsbridge. LCoH Gerrard joined the Dept just prior to Christmas leave. I am sure he will be missed from the ranks of D Sqn. He is to take over the clothing store. LCpl Buckingham joined the team and now runs the stationery store as well as assisting CoH Hughes with the mammoth task of accommodation and preparing for project SLAM. A large amount of his time is spent counting toilet rolls and expense items; maybe he Quartermaster giving notice that he has sold Combermere Bks will receive an NVQ for this. to the highest bidder. The Junior Ranks Club has been shut for some time (much to the junior ranks dismay) while Sodexho has replaced NAAFI. Deep cleaning as well as decor has made the building much better. Having been renamed Charlie’s Bar it now fulfils the needs and appetites of all. Block 13 (the old HQ Sqn block) has been emptied of personnel and is now undergoing refurbishment into the Regimental and Squadron offices, this will be ready by March 2005. A rebuild of Combermere Barracks has been mentioned a lot over the years but now I am very pleased to say its full steam ahead with Project SLAM. Since
November the whole camp has been painted on, this includes the floors, grass, trees and bushes! Drilling for the foundations will start in February followed by the main site work beginning in March 2005. SLAM will provide 280 rooms in 3 four-storey blocks. This breaks down as 3 self contained flats on each floor. Each flat will then contain 8 individual rooms. A two-storey block will also be built for the Household Cavalry Training wing, containing 5 instructors’ rooms and 42 bed spaces. Following on from this will be a new Cookhouse, NCOs Mess and Officers Mess. New buildings to contain the hangers and stores will complete the project
Commanding Officer and Quartermaster with Manageress opening Charlie’s Bar.
Household Cavalry Regiment
The Quartermaster Technical Department s with the remainder of the Regiment it has been a busy year for the QM(T) department. The start of he new year saw the arrival of a new QM(T) Captain J C Fisher RHG/D arriving from a desk to take over from Captain T M Carpenter RHG/D leaving for a desk. The continuity therefore remained very much in the hands of the RQ(T) WO2 Gibbons who now with an untrained QM at the helm found himself at his desk more than at the golf course.
The early part of the year the department supported the build up training for A &B Squadrons forthcoming deployment to IRAQ. Castlemartin proved a success with all vehicles eventually being brought up to speed despite a lack of ESPIRE spares. For first line support once deployed A & B squadrons received further assistance in the form of LCoH Dove, LCpl Harris and Tprs Blackburn and Kynoch who all deployed on Op TELIC 4 with 2 fully loaded spares 4 ton trucks. Meanwhile as they say time stands still for no man and the ongoing saga of vehicle handovers as part of whole fleet management (WFM) continues unabated. This year alone fleets have been handed over to LD, QDG, QOY and the newly re-rolled QRL. Crews on the vehicle park have done sterling work on this thankless task. C & D squadrons deployed to Castlemartin to complete their annual firing and again Tech went alone to support not only the field firing but also some
QM(T) Capt Fisher thinking “I’m too old for this lark”.
dismounted training with the help of SCpl Carrington. During both these periods as part of the HQ Squadron training programme the majority of Tech passed their ITD’s. Keen to prove that they are not a bunch of desk bound war dodgers tech played a full part in the OPFOR to the regiment during the Dartmoor dismounted training. The QM(T) came out of retirement to Troop lead for a short spell until the call of his desk in Windsor became overpowering. CoH Walker led a section and willing cannon fodder in the form of Tprs Carouso, Skipper and Morgan also took to the field. BATUS is our next big
challenge with the majority of the department heading west as part of the Base Admin Group. As with all things everything comes to an end and we have said goodbye to LCpl Wood and Tpr Smith on discharge to civilian life with SCpl Carrington and LCpl Blockley soon to follow. LCoH Plant has now joined us along with a return of LCpl Bond from A Sqn. Career requirements mean a change of personnel in the New Year but the department plans to continue providing the best support possible to the sabre squadron warriors.
The QM(T) Department move out of their natural environment: L/R Tprs Gill & Evans, Pte Brooks, CoH Walker.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Light Aid Detachment emembering back to this time last year and somebody saying that it will a quiet year once the Sqns have deployed on Op TELIC 4:
The year started with the Regtl Exercise and the receipt of the Mine Blast Protected vehicles for the deployment on Op TELIC 4, with only 3 days to go the crews worked hard to get them ready for the exercise. The exercise went smoothly with the normal recovery of vehicles and tasks for all the LAD personnel. D Sqn Fitters worked especially hard in placing a recovery task for the newly promoted Sgt Morelli, or was it just that they rolled their TM and needed 2 Samsons to get it back on its wheels. A chilly week was spent in February on the ranges at Castlemartin getting the 2 Sqns through their firing. Thales proved to be a big help in getting all the faults out of the TNTLS system and passing on some valuable tips. The Sqns then deployed on all their pre-deployment training that saw the Fitter Sections going through the training as part of the multiples. Before we knew it March had been and gone and the Sqns were deploying on TELIC 4. At the same time the small fitter section returned from Op OCCULUS having got rid of the remaining CVR (T) from Bosnia. The remaining members of the LAD were looking forward to a smooth 6 months and there was even talk about adventure training! The LAD ran a low level exercise in June that concentrated
LAD JNCO Exercise.
on the skills that are key to operating in the FR world. Everyone learnt new skills and the EME did an excellent job of placing a recovery aid in the biggest lake on Bordon heath. July saw the Regt depart for 2 weeks firing at Castlemartin, that famous HCR seaside resort. The Gunnery almost became the back ground activity as members of the LAD were put through their paces on the infantry ranges and firing of foreign and specialist weapons. The 2 weeks ranges were finished off with the first of the much talked about adventure training, every one who
Household Cavalry Regiment
In the autumn C and D Sqn Fitters spent most of their time on exercise and whilst other LAD personnel undertook essential courses. Other activities were the Windsor Beavers visit, several displays at the REME Museum and Brig McCall, formerly the EME at Windsor. As the end of the year approaches we are again moving vehicles around, getting drivers converted to petrol vehicles, working out orbats for BATUS with the constraints of posting and there is a bloke walking around saying that next year will be quiet!
The mighty D Sqn Fitters.
A Sqn OpTELIC 4
B Sqn Op TELIC 4.
attended enjoyed it, especially the change in weather!
Recovery aid placed by the EME.
SSgt McGlynn working hard.
The WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess 004 Mess life started with the New Year’s Dinner. 180 Mess Members attended the dinner to hear the Commanding Officer give the State of the Nation speech. The evening went extremely well however all bets for the length of the Commanding Officer’s State of the Nation speech were void due to him breaking the one hour barrier. A Dining Out was then held for the outgoing RCM WO1 RCM Kibble, this was followed closely by a 22 year dining out for senior Mess members that had completed their service or had received a commission. For all those concerned, the Mess members wish them every success for the future.
January through to April was then a quiet time for the Warrant Officers and Non Commissioned Officer’s Mess due to A and B Squadrons preparing for OP TELIC 4. As one would expect though, a good knees up was arranged prior to them going on pre tour leave. Heads may well have banged well into the weekend. LSGC presentations were given in the field to members of A and B Squadrons, prior to their deployment. These were presented by The Life Guards Gold Stick, Gen the Lord Guthrie, during his visit to Castlemartin. In March, having served five years with the HCR and almost mastering three jobs, WO2 RAOWO Leslie Taylor was bade farewell by the member. She now takes up a similar post with the Light Dragoons. Having returned from Bosnia, WO2 Thomas was posted to HCMR as The Blues and Royals Squadron Corporal Major. All Mess members wish them the very best of luck in their new appointments.
else observed that evening. The event was well attended and enjoyed by all who took part. It proved very popular with the younger Mess Members and their wives and will certainly be attempted again. The last quarter for members of the WOs and NCOs Mess was a particularly busy period. The Blues and Royals Association Dinner was held in the Gymnasium on Saturday the 8th of May. It was an extremely well attended evening with just under 320 people being seated. WO2 Pickford C Sqn SCM was congratulated on his efforts and I’m sure all Association Members would agree whole heartily with my comments. The Life Guards Association Dinner took place in the gymnasium on Saturday the 12th of June. Again a well attended evening and one that was again very well organised by WO2 Foster, the Training Wing WO. The Euro 2004 championships then took the Mess by storm. WO2 SCM Kellet introduced his CD collection to the Mess as well as sporting the latest England shirt. The atmosphere met that of any other venue around. July saw the remainder of the Regiment deploy to CAAT and Castlemartin Ranges. The weather at that time of year as all you readers will be aware was very good. This allowed various activities to take place, the first one being a Regimental Football competition between all ranks. The Mess provided a Warrant Officers and SCpls team led by the RCM. The remainder of the team were WO2 RQMC (Daz) Carter,WO2 (Stevie) Goodwin, WO2 SCM (Andy) Kellet, WO2 SCM (Johny) Pass and SCpl (Sean)
RCM WO1 RD O’Connor, Remembrance Day.
McMullen. Unlike England, we were beaten by the winning team of the tournament but managed to draw the other games against the youngsters which took some effort, especially for Stevie the Slug Goodwin, who was particularly slow at getting back no matter going forward. All that considered, I was not kept too busy in the nets. The one achievement had to be beating the Officer’ team 1 – 0. CoH Flynn also displayed his agility in the nets with the CoH’s Team. Sadly the expected fitness differences between the teams did not exist. All who took part had a (cracking) time literally, especially Capt Fisher. The evening finished with a Regimental BBQ and a few beers. On the Saturday night the Mess Members hosted a games night against the Officers Mess. The PMC, PEC and the committee worked hard to set up some really
April saw the completion of A and B Squadrons deployment to TELIC 4, the last of which deployed just after Easter Sunday. The remainder of the Regiment were then able to stand down for their two weeks well earned leave. While both A and B Squadrons have been serving in Iraq the rest of the Mess members have continued to make the most of the facilities. A “Stars in Their Eyes“ night was held in the early part of May. This was a posh title for what turned out to be a very enjoyable Kareokee competition. The RQMCs wife Nikki stormed away with the votes after displaying an awesome rendition of FAME. The costume and the enthusiasm displayed were above all
Greese Night. L/R RCM,CoH Mount, RQMC,CoH Simpson.
Household Cavalry Regiment
good games, concluding with an “It’s the Knock Out” type assault course. The result at the end of the evening was a draw. No surprises there. The final event to be held between the two Messes was the cricket. This took place on the Sunday afternoon. The NCOs Mess was triumphant winning with nine balls to go. However on the injury stakes we came second, with the RCM suffering from a badly bruised toe and Corporal Major Kellet hurting his ribs. A result of the somewhat sporadic bowling displayed by the Officers team. With Castlemartin completed, a Luncheon was held in order to say farewell to WO2 RQMC Darren Carter who returned from leave as a late entry Commissioned Officer. Our best wishes go to him for the future. SSgt Longstaff was also bade farewell to prior to starting civilian life. A Grease theme night was then held on the evening we broke up for leave. It was an ideal time for Mess Members to let their hair down. All who attended made a really great effort with their costumes and it was like stepping back in time in the Mess. It is certainly a theme worth re - visiting. On returning from summer leave our main effort was to ensure that A and B Sqns return from Op TELIC went as smoothly as possible prior to their well deserved and long awaited post operational tour leave. They did, thank god, all return safely by the 1st of November. It was a great relief to have them all back in camp. This certainly reduced the pressure on guard duty and at the same time made a big difference to the Mess liquidity state.
Due to the rest of the Regiment’s departure to Dartmoor training area for the first two weeks in November, we were unable to get together as a complete Mess until our Christmas function which was held at Legoland in early December. This was something new and enabled every Mess member to get together and enjoy the evening. We were extremely well looked after and the bumper cars and jet ski challenge went down a treat. In the early hours we all returned back to the Mess to carry on the motion and enjoy some welcoming breakfast baguettes. Prior to this event, a 22 year Dinning out was held on the 20th November. Judging by the list below, you can see we were playing catch up for this year. The Mess Members dinned out were as follows:
their efforts. LCoH Stay is to be congratulated on taking the Brick down, even if the EME did try at one point. For that he learnt a valuable lesson, which reduced the price of the New Year’s Dinner Night substantially.
WO1 Band Master Darren Wolfendale LG on Commissioning.
The Senior Mess Members are:
WO2 RQMC Darren Carter LG on Commissioning. WO1 Steve Granthem LG. WO2 Andy Curson LG. WO2 John Postance LG. SCpl Chris Hepple LG. COH Wibberley MBE LG. Sgt Andy Armstrong REME. It went without saying that all Mess Members wished them every success in the future. We thanked them for their friendship and comradeship over the years, or in some cases, the last two decades. December was one of our busiest times of the year. It was great for the Mess Members and old comrades to come together for Brick Hanging. I felt that it was an extremely enjoyable day and credit for that must go to the RCWO and the Mess Manager for all
That concludes what has been an extremely busy time within the Warrant Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers Mess of the Household Cavalry Regiment. The RCM would like to take this opportunity to thank all Mess Members and their partners as well as our Old Comrades for their support over the past year. We should never forget that this is the one place that not only reflects our character as a Regiment, but also reflects our efforts and enthusiasm as individuals and couples alike.
WO1 RCM O’Connor LG WO1 ASM Saward REME WO1 BM Hallet LG WO2 RQMC Rees LG WO2 RQMC(T) Gibbons RHG/D WO2 SCM’s Stevenson LG Tovell LG Pickford RHG/D Pass RHG/D Kellett LG WO2 AQMS Speakman REME WO2 RAOWO Green AGC WO2 FSA Comerford AGC WO2 RCWO Green RLC WO2 MTWO Goodwin LG WO2 TRG WO Foster LG WO2 BCM Allen LG
The Band of The Life Guards 004 has been a vintage year for the Band of The Life Guards. Two full band overseas tours to New Zealand and Finland, a small group to Dubai, a move from Knightsbridge to Windsor and a visit by the Inspectorate from Kneller Hall have kept the band busy and very much in the public eye.
Returning from a late Christmas break, in sub-zero temperatures, the band performed the first of this year’s 25 Windsor Guard mounts. Musns Rockey and Sills were simultaneously experiencing somewhat harsher conditions in St Moritz with the musical ride. The following weekend was the first of a total of 11 divine services at Guard’s Chapel,
Household Cavalry Regiment
which also included 5 further Sunday afternoons on the bandstand at Windsor Castle to follow in the summer. Our eye was keenly set on the visit by the Inspectorate of the Corps of Army Music on 27th January from the start of the year however. A successful day earned commendations for all concerned and a fit for roll grading as anticipated. Particular mention was given to the trumpets and band performance of the Director’s composition Charles II and the assured playing of Percy Fletcher’s march, The Spirit of Pageantry.
formance for visitors from the International Military Music Society was quickly turned into a workshop concert in the practice room, with combined lectures about the band by the Bandmaster. We are grateful to members of the Regiment who extended visits to various departments in order to fill in time too. All our friends from the society had a good day. The marching rehearsals were in preparation for the band’s goodwill tour to New Zealand from 7th to 28th February, which can be read about separately in this journal.
The weather continued to hamper other activities. Due to a completely frozen square a planned marching band per-
Following this highly successful trip, but sadly not sporting quite the expected suntans, our focus turned to the move
to Windsor. There was time to squeeze in an Investiture at Buckingham Palace with the orchestra prior to the move, one of four completed this year. It was also during this period that the Band Corporal Major, WO2 Francis handed over the reins to WO2 Allen. WO2 Francis completed two outstanding years as BCM and is warmly thanked for his meticulous management throughout his tenure. He remains with the band on an extended contract. Our strings were part of the compliment of the Household Division Easter Choral Concert at Guards Chapel, where the band also performed on Easter Day. Our Queen’s Life Guards early in April were punctuated for the fortunate dance quartet by a whistle stop trip to Dubai to play for the St George’s Day society there. They played at the fabulous Jumeria Beach Hotel, where they were lucky enough to stay for one of the three nights too. LCoH D’Arcy was the project officer for the occasion, an outstanding success that we hope to repeat in future years. The quartet also managed a better sun tan in four days than during our entire trip to New Zealand! The rest of the band also celebrated St George’s day at the Dorchester with the St George’s Day Dining Club. As part of the after dinner entertainment we accompanied a wonderful group called Tenors and Divas Incognito, a brilliant group of singers who masqueraded as guests, waiters and cooks throughout the dinner, bursting into song at the appropriate moment. Cavalry Sunday and the Major General’s Parade were spliced by the laying up of the Sovereign’s Standard at Blenheim Palace, the main ceremonial season then moving on swiftly to the Trooping of the Colour. Glorious weather for the Garter and the entire Royal Ascot week was most welcome. Due to the Ascot rebuild we played on the wonderful bandstand in front of an audience in excess of 2,000 for the last time prior to its destruction.
The Life Guard Orchestra.
DOM conducting the Band at the Laying up of The Life Guard old Sovereign Standard at Blenheim Palace.
We look forward to being back there in two year’s time in the wonderful new facilities. Sadly the weather didn’t hold and our planned concert the following week at Kneller Hall was rained off. In slightly better weather conditions we joined forces with many colleagues from the Household Division Bands to present ‘Music on Fire’ at Sandhurst, although one rehearsal day was extremely wet. This was to prove another magnificent Michael Parker spectacular (he of Royal Tournament fame) which featured not only the fanfare trumpets with a massed band but also a combined string section at the same time. The programme was demanding yet rewarding and the event raised a significant sum of money for the Army Benevolent fund whose 60th anniversary was being celebrated. Also celebrated in July was 1st Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment’s Minden Day, for which we combined with their Corps of Drums for the parade. We also assisted the ‘boys in blue’ (and girls!) with a pass off parade at the Police College Hendon Training Centre. The very warm day didn’t help unavoidable logistics of having to pack our uniforms immediately on return for our trip to Finland the following morn-
ing, more about which can also be found elsewhere in this publication. Our return left no pause for breath as we re-packed and headed off to the Shrewsbury Flower Show, a return visit after many years away, to join forces with the bands of The Coldstream Guards, the Corps of Royal Engineers and the Light Division. Our bandstand performances were very well attended throughout the day and the evening massed bands retreat with 1812 overture and impressive firework display also attracted large crowds. More modest crowds were present at our final event prior to summer leave, but we were very pleased to witness the victory and offer our support to the polo team from The Life Guards who were competing in the 2004 Major General’s Cup. Our uniforms then marched themselves to the cleaners while we took our summer break. The first major event after leave was a Christmas spectacular for which we did not have to wait until the festive season. The ‘Songs of Praise’ Christmas special was recorded at the Albert Hall on 12th September, to eventually be broadcast on 12th December and featuring once
The Band playing at a Windsor Castle Guard.
Household Cavalry Regiment
again the trumpet team. Routine duties at this time were interspersed with the laying up of a Squadron Standard at Melbury and a welcome return to Lincoln Cathedral for another Army Benevolent Fund concert. Our programme for the occasion reflected the 60th Anniversary of the D Day landings, and we took the opportunity to revive Louise Denny’s march ‘The Mulberry Harbours’, written and last played at the time of the 50th Anniversary. Also on the programme were the haunting ‘Hymn to the Fallen’ from Saving Private Ryan and a new version of the Benedictus from Carl Jenkins Armed Man, expertly played by LCpl Isherwood on soprano saxophone and combining the band with the Lincoln Choral Society. More trips to Chester, Leicester, Godalming and regularly to the capital continued, but during the autumn our focus turned to a new recording of Regimental Music, recorded at the Chapel in Chelsea Barracks. As these notes are prepared more details of the recording are unavailable, but it will hopefully be completed in the early spring. The trumpets returned to the Royal Albert Hall for Festival of Remembrance in November. This was another notable event, details of which can also be found as a separate feature. The sad passing of Major Walter Jackson, “Jacko”, also happened in November. He served as a young musician in
the Royal Horse Guards from 1927 to 1939 and was Director of Music of the band of The Life Guards from 1959 to 1970. The band made a significant and fitting contribution to his memorial service at the chapel in Pirbright. During the latter part of the year rumours were rife about the future of the bands within the ‘Future Army Structure’ plans being laid by the government. Despite everyone’s best efforts, assurances and council, this proved to be something of a preoccupation throughout the autumn. Relief was eventually delivered on the 16th of December when the two bands were left untouched despite the 25% reduction in the rest of the corps. During the course of the year our ranks have slowly increased. Musn Appleby graduated from phase two training in April on clarinet and violin, and was joined by another junior member of the band in September, Musn Ruffer on cornet and violin. SCpl Atkinson also arrived in September from the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers playing french horn and violin and our latest recruit arrived in December in the shape of Musn Sinclair on cornet and violin. Three other happy events were the marriages of Trumpet Major Wheeler to Mel, LCpl Hinchliffe to Sarah, and Musn Jones to Doug. Our final recruit
arrived in October in the shape of Mrs Shirley Crawley, our new band secretary. By a complete coincidence her daughter was one of three young work experience personnel who all started on the same day! The one sad departure was LCpl Thorpe who has settled with her husband on the Isle of Wight. During the course of the year we have also bade a fond farewell to the Bandmaster, WO1 Wolfendale, who was commissioned to become the officer in charge of the Corps of Army Music’ recruiting team. This new and challenging appointment is entirely appropriate for Capt Wolfendale as it is through his concerted efforts over the years that have seriously improved the band’s recruiting and retention statistics. His many other attributes and outstanding talents will be sorely missed and we wish him, his wife Michelle and family the best of luck for the future. WO1 Hallatt arrived from the Lowland Band of the Scottish division and soon swapped his plaid and spats for helmet and spurs. With equitation training safely behind him we warmly welcome him and wife Debbie to the band. With two more phase two trainees at Kneller Hall and one further bursar following soon, the band is in a strong position to look forward to the challenges of 2005.
RWCO RLC Catering Troop e knew the true meaning of prosperity when 5 days into 2004 the catering troop embarked on its roller coaster of adventure and opportunity, supporting the regiment both in the field and in barracks the length and breadth of England and not to forget Iraq.
As February approached, no sooner were the bergens unpacked than the chefs who were to deploy to Iraq deployed to Lydd and Hythe, and to return once more to Salisbury Plain to complete dismounted and OPTAG training packages. This left the remaining of the catering troop to pick up the reins in camp and once again jump onto yet another one of life’s mystery tours. It wasn’t too long after arriving before the snow had fallen and the confines of Pembroke Dock were more than just a car journey away. Easter progressed into survival of the fittest and there was no room for any chef who ate all the pies! Out came the bergens (not that they had been put away but just repacked) and so did the sunshine, religiously every Fri-
Household Cavalry Regiment
day for the Colonels PT; CFT training around the Great Park. May mediated into a dramatic 48 hour MCCP for all remaining as a possible further deployment to Iraq was probable for The Blues and Royals as was suggested by the Sun newspaper! Business as usual, if there is such a thing; continued throughout and into June. Mess and Squadron life continued with functions, Regimental, Welfare and Association events, Environmental Health Inspections, trade and ITD training, NVQ’s, Range packages, CES & Equipment maintenance, Dining Room Improvements, Ex Recces, meetings, SHEF, Sodexho partnering, NAAFI business and the administration and logistic support alike continued. July was spent at The Household Cavalry Regiment’s Time Share, 3 weeks at the glorious Pembrokeshire coast. Gun Camp and Adventure Training; under canvas and in camp, fulfilling the training objectives: Hygiene and Account training, Improvised and Field Catering;
exercising and developing skills in readiness for 3 UK Div Improvised Field Catering Competition. Hosting and providing hospitality in the field, supporting the contract and Regimental Gun Camp and once again spending every last penny. The third week was rewarded with Adventure Training, allegedly! Sgt Owen after spending 8 hours a day (by choice) for 4 days perched on a herringbone saddle peddling the Pembrokeshire peaks and valleys would possibly see it different. What was obvious though was that chefs invariably like their feet firmly on the ground and not within 6ft of the cliffs. The bravado of the mountain biking kings soon turned to caution as we approached the spectacular views 2-300 feet above sea level; colonies of birdlife and breaking of waves below would not deter their pigeon clawed grounding. S was for September, Sennybridge, Strike or Scare mongering (OP FRESCO) and not to forget ‘Standard’ of the
Sgt Owen operating OFCS Salisbury Plain Ex ROYAL FLUSH.
Royal variety. But for a team of 4 Household Cavalry Chefs, they went Straight into competing; LSgt Tremayne captained a team of three: LCpl’s Lee & Perrett and Pte Koroiyadi in Bulford’s 3 (UK) Div Improvised Field Catering Competition. A sterling achievement, they placed 5th overall and the first team in, in the junior rankings. Well done. October saw us moving onwards and upwards as we continued to conquer the sand hills of The Great Park, in the build up or was it beat up training for Dartmoor! With HQ Squadron leaders daily PT, the catering departments fitness overall ran head and shoulders above its allies, Pte Masilela running a mere effortless 7 min 15 sec BFT and placed first in GOC’s X country event also teamed up with 4 other chefs in the RLC X Country Championship with Sgt Owen, LSgt Tremayne, LCpl Lee and Pte Staples to take 6th place overall as individual entry. Dismounted and some may say discomfort but for what Exercise Royal Standard on Dartmoor offered was an opportunity for 4 chefs to operate in the OPFOR and BLUFOR. Integrated alongside the Household Cavalry Regimental personnel, LCpl Lee and Pte Staples observe as some of their highlights of their year. Pte Brooks crippled with boot bonding problems, whilst grinning and bearing it survived the pain, unfortunately not quite the recovery. Pte Koroiyadi assisted some survival catering training, to find that chicken on the menu there after had unappealing lasting effects within the OPFOR Troops. December seemed like one long day, lots of dress parades, hallucinations of weekends and family, complimented by fatigue, sore eyes, sore feet and dehydration or possibly hangover! As the festive season bestowed the catering department, a warm welcome was in hand for our chefs along with A & B Sqn who had returned safely from their successful 6 months on OP TELIC 4.
3 UK Div IFCC September 2004 HCR Team.
nal Verifications, Brick Hanging and not to forget New Year preparation and Planning with BATUS on the horizon. Oh and yet another Recce.
All just in the nick of time and the arrival of LSgt Barnes we’re almost there it would seem, but look what’s ahead and the clock still ticks: ? cert checks, LSI preparation, ECI, Battlefield Tours, Chelsea Pensioners, Christmas parties for the Regiment, Mess, Pensioners and Staff to mention but a few. Briefings, Meetings, Christmas Cake Challenge, Christmas Carol Service, X Country, Appraisals, CR’s, Inter-
With Christmas around the corner, the race for 2004 is almost run but before we’re on the starters’ block of what is anticipated to bring prosperity once again to 2005, for now Life’s Good.
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Household Cavalry Regiment
B Squadron Household Cavalry Regiment in Iraq in 2004 The Long Hot Summer or Toil, Tears, Sweat and what we did in our holidays By Major A B Methven The Life Guards. magine near-anarchy. Imagine a semi-dysfunctional society. It is not just that there is rubbish and excrement everywhere. It is not just that looters have stolen even the breeze blocks from the walls. It is not just that everywhere looks like a landfill-cum-bomb site, and sadly often a self-inflicted one at that. These are mere physical manifestations. But imagine instead a civil society that has been so oppressed for so long that no-one can remember what normality is. Corruption is endemic. For the old regime corrupted nearly everybody, such that it was the only way to survive. The question is not ‘is he corrupt’, but ‘how much is he corrupt?’ No-one tells the truth. No-one takes responsibility. It is never their fault. Every answer contains lies, half-lies, and whatever they think you want to hear. Ask about a neighbour and he is always ali-baba, a thief, a hijacker and a smuggler. A terrorist too, if that is what you are looking for. Ask for details, a name, and address, or even to be shown these alleged hideouts and the information suddenly becomes vague; the house doesn’t look like the right one, he suddenly can’t remember after all. Everybody will denounce everybody, but no-body will testify and no-body will volunteer reliable information. Fear is everywhere, compounding tribal loyalty, corruption, racketeering and occasional terrorism. There are a few who have vision, who
want things to be better, who know that things can be better. But so long as the majority refuse to stand up, continue to turn a blind eye, say that everything is too difficult, and have no initiative or leadership (for those with initiative used to be shot) then the lowest common denominator will prevail. It is a Hobbesian struggle of all against all in a world of fear. This is Iraq, and into this strange melting pot stepped B Squadron on April Fool’s day 2004. Having sat out TELIC 1 in a Temporary Services Fire Station near Finsbury Park Mosque, and prepared for Warfighting in BATUS last year, we thought we were ready for the Wild West which is Southern Iraq. What we had not prepared for was the militarily quietest Area of Operations (AO) in the quietest Battle Group in the quietest sector in the country. This was a frustration for the troopers, who were looking for any excuse to go scrapping in Nasariyah. But a mixed blessing for me: although I shared their frustrations I had no illusions about the survivability of CVR(T), pretending to be a tank, if fighting against insurgents armed with RPGs in a built up area. As we arrived, Moqtada al Sadr finally called for a revolt from his followers, the disaffected, unemployed, angry young Shia. Simultaneously the Americans decided to revenge themselves on the Sunni town of Fallujah, with inconclusive results. Al Amara rose up, the road to
B Sqn HCR May 2004 Az Zubayr Port.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Baghdad was repeatedly cut, the centre of Nasariyah was lost and regained several times and throughout things occasionally went bang, out-and-about in the bazaars of Basrah. A few suicide bombers went off in the neighbouring company’s town of Az Zubayr. The country appeared to be going up in flames. But the border towns of Safwan and Umm Qasr remained stubbornly quiet. That our border AO was quiet merely meant that a different set of problems bubbled to the surface. The squadron was responsible for the real estate from the head of the gulf, along the Kuwait border to Saudi Arabia. It included such sites as Iraq’s only deep water port; the control room for all electricity in the southern third of the country; the fuel dock for the import of all Iraq’s petrol (it cannot yet refine its own); one of the 3 strategic pipelines that export Iraq’s light crude oil, which is its only source of revenue and funds both its welfare state and what passes for its reconstruction; and the motorway and dual carriage-way leading to Baghdad and Basra respectively. Our problem initially was to keep the area quiet in order to maintain Coalition freedom of movement. This fitted in with the flavour of the month, Security Sector Reform. The idea was to bring on the Iraqi Police and Civil Defence Corps (later renamed the National Guard – the symbolic changing of names was a recurring theme) so
that they could do the legwork in clamping down on terrorists, hijackers and general lawlessness. The aim was to mentor the police to ‘adequate’ standards ready for the 30th June handover of power. In the meantime we also considered such soft security issues as provision of essential services to the towns, trying to reform the governance of the area, and kick-starting the economy. All these were interwoven, and cut against each other. As an example, there was a project to start a market in Safwan to boost the local economy. That the self-appointed local council had gone on strike did nothing either for governance or for pushing this project through. The locals could find few reasons for doing anything, but many reasons for doing nothing. The easy answer was for us to open the market by fiat, but this would have had no validity in Iraqi civil law, and was not in the spirit of the approaching transition of power. Nor was it helpful that traders were reluctant to trade due to daylight robbery and hijacking. But the police were too afraid of tribal retribution to act, in spite of our encouragement. Internment of suspected criminals (even if we had reliable tipoffs) by the coalition was a short term fix but increasingly inappropriate as we rushed to transition. Reforming the police to have the will to catch criminals was hampered by corruption, cronyism, intransigence, laziness, poor leadership, lack of initiative and incompetence right up to their highest levels. We redefined the words ‘solution’, ‘adequate’ and ‘satisfactory’ when we persuaded ourselves that an Iraqi solution would always be adequate for an Iraqi problem. Our dilemma was to do it ourselves, and never have an exit strategy, or let them
Members of B Squadron gather to the north of Rumaylah to remember colleagues lost during Op TELIC I.
do it, and pretend that it was ‘adequate’ and ‘satisfactory’, even though we knew that it was not achieving the effect. Thus, much as we deceived ourselves, the hijackers, tribal gangs, smugglers and terrorists were not defeated, but were constrained to a background level of violence. And those in Safwan who had hoped that regime change would bring freedom from lawlessness as well as state oppression continued to be disappointed for the time being. At time of writing we are making yet another effort to cajole the latest council into opening their trade area. It is a shame that they are making so much trouble over something the City of London mastered in the thirteenth Century and my own county, Gloucestershire, mastered in the fifteenth. Space precludes me from a detailed account of our other main headache, water. Suffice to say that allied bureaucracy did not help, and that only the stubborn efforts of my G5 Officer, Cap-
tain A R Tate LG, achieved short and medium term relief. But as a flavour of the place, I offer the following. A pumping station manager refused to pump to the neighbouring town, which had had no water for 9 days. Even when ordered by his boss he refused, saying he did not live there, so why should he. Having eventually agreed to do his job, and pump water for 8 hours, he turned the pumps off again as soon as we left. We were left with no option but to have a troop in attendance all the next day to make sure they stayed on. The background threat from terrorists endured throughout. This was threefold: the Sadr Militia (mostly Shia) , Al Qaeda (foreign Islamist radicals and militants who provided the suicide bombers) and the ex-Baathists (mostly Sunni). Of these, the fundamentalists were focused on the Americans in Baghdad. That left the slowly splintering Sadr Miltia and the unreconstructed Baathists. We had several mysterious
Household Cavalry Regiment
rocket attacks on the American PoW camp in Umm Qasr, believed to be the Sadr gang. And several close shaves with the infamous 2 Mosques Roundabout bombing syndicate of Az Zubayr. Having been tasked to dominate this vital road junction, we had a lucky escape when Tpr Mathisâ€™ rifle absorbed the shrapnel from a cheeky device planted on one of the approaches, saving his life. Our tame RMP detachment had a similar escape when the IED functioned just behind their vehicle. What was required was high levels of force protection. This meant that a troop leader had to go everywhere with 8 men, to guard both him and themselves inside and outside the police station, council office, court house, utility compound or wherever. Eternal vigilance was also required, and with it strong battle-discipline and junior leadership to keep alert, looking out for bombs, snipers and RPGs, hour after hour in 50 degrees of heat. Unsurprisingly, this was not a problem for Household Division Troops, both from the Household Cavalry or the small group of Welsh Guardsmen kindly on loan for the first half of the tour. As an example, we discovered that our troops in Safwan had been recce-ed for a revenge attack by a Sadr militiaman. We had been continuing business as normal in the towns during the revolt rather than hiding in our camp. In this instance the good burghers of Safwan supposedly warned off the trouble-makers since Safwan wanted a quiet life and had a good relationship with the British. So whilst the benign environment might not translate into positive intelligence with which to take the fight to the insurgents, at least it partially constrained the insurgentsâ€™ freedom of action. Hearts and Minds really does work.
1 Troop pause before a bullet scarred effigy of the former dictator.
We were hampered throughout by a lack of central direction. One has the example of Malaya, with the lessons of integrated effort and political lead at all levels. Yet, alas, the Coalition Provisional Authority did not impress. Instead of a political lead, the country was run by the accounts department of a petty bureaucracy, long on hand-waving policy, short on effective project management and delivery. That is why the advanced return of Prime Minister Allawi was so refreshing, with his ability to compromise politically, and so split and marginalise the insurgents. At last some manoeuvre in the campaign! So what is the way forward? Again, as I write, we have just supported the Police in the security of the first democratic local election. The idea is taking root that only an election gives legitimacy to government at any level. This does not, in itself, guarantee that democracy will necessarily flourish, but at least the locals have a sense of direction. The more one sees of this, the more one is grateful to the early Victorians for creat-
Patrolling the oil pipelines to the west of Basrah.
Household Cavalry Regiment
ing for us a culture of public service where corruption was not tolerated. But such a culture change here will take time, as it gradually accommodates with the bottom-up ingrained selfishness and tribalism. The theme that has run through this is of the frustration at the rate of progress, constrained by the glacial cultural shifts. But in order to win there is no alternative but stubborn determination in the face of the oppressive heat, the endless grind of patrols, and the repeated disappointments from a crippled society, which muddles along somehow. In the meantime we wait for our relief by the Scots Guards and Welsh Guards in 4th (Guards?) Armoured Brigade. As Household Division troops we continue to do our duty, such as is required, with as much style, discipline and panache as the most un-British weather allows. Authors Note: this was written in midsummer around the time of the transition of power and before the 2nd Sadr rising and the American action in Fallujah.
Mentoring The Iraqi Customs And Border Police By Major J D A Gaselee, The Life Guards Sqn deployed to Iraq in Apr 04 to mentor the Iraqi Border Police in order to improve their capability to such an extent that they did not require coalition support. Before explaining more about our task it is necessary to describe the terrain we operated over. A Sqn operated exclusively on the Border with Iran, in Basrah and on the Shat Al Arab Waterway, this was a distance of some 200 miles and covered some interesting and diverse geographic features. Starting from the North the border runs through the foothills of a small mountain range before entering a large desert like plain. The Border then enters the famous Maysan Marshes, it really is almost impossible to describe what can only be one of the natural wonders of the world. On the borders of two fairly arid countries is this vast sheet of water and it is getting bigger as the local tribesmen have started to undo Saddamâ€™s work. This did not make our work any easier because the best way to reflood areas is to cut the dike carrying the road! The bird life is also spectacular with lovely cranes and storks, this can only be a tourist destination of the future. The terrain again changes on entry into Basrah Province, this is just a large featureless piece of dirt intersected by defensive berms, destroyed tanks, minefields, trench systems and huge sand observation platforms that look rather like pyramids all courtesy of the Iran/Iraq war. Finally is the Shat Al Arab Waterway a truly filthy but large waterway running from Basrah to Al Faw and the Persian Gulf which separates the two countries.
One also must mention the people we met during the tour; again there is a huge variety; the peasant farmers along the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates producing delicious tomatoes; the fishermen in the marshes poling through the reeds in the same boats that their great-great
A border fort.
Comd 1 Mech Bde with CoH Gallagher, Tpr Tayali and Tpr Alsop.
grandfathers used; the nomadic tribesmen and their camel herds in the north still living in tents and following the grazing; yet contrasted to this is the hurly burly of Basrah where its dormant population is beginning to wake again. The city dwellers are real wheeler-dealers and natural businessmen, in fact the construction industry is booming and the ports are becoming operational and hopefully the airport will reopen early next year, thus money is literally pouring into the country. One characteristic underlies all of this and that is their generosity. At every meeting one is offered Che (a very sweet tea), cold drinks and even food and is this from people who can ill afford to spare anything. There is always a flip side and they will also purloin anything they can! So what exactly did we do on Op TELIC 4? We were part of the Security Sector Reform Battlegroup, 1 RHA, whose role was to train up and mentor the Iraqi
Security Forces. Our small part in this was to look after the Customs and Border Police. The Customs and Border Police had been established by the Coalition to secure the Borders and to prevent smuggling. This was no easy task and A Squadron took on the role of advising and helping them to achieve this. Given the size of the area the Squadron was therefore split up with the troops in 4 different locations, a Troop Leaders dream but a Squadron Leaderâ€™s nightmare. We reckoned that geographically we must have been the most dispersed subunit with a troop in Al Faw and 2 in Abu Naji, Al Amara. The biggest hurdle the Border police and we faced was the lack of equipment and infrastructure, literally there was none. Unfortunately the Border Police had been poor relations to the Police and the Iraqi National Guard so the money had not yet been pointed in their direction. The majority of the Border Police initial-
The Shat Al Arab Hotel home for SHQ and 1 Troop.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Customs and Border Police on patrol.
On the ranges.
Lt Floyd, Capt Bond, Lt Galloway & Author.
The Streets of Basrah.
Household Cavalry Regiment
A Sqn night Ranges.
SCM Stevenson viewing IRAQ.
Lt Floyd hitching a lift.
Lt Eastwood and CoH Gallagher supervising a customs post.
ly lived in tents or ruined forts in the middle of nowhere with hardly any life support; it was therefore hardly surprising that it was at times difficult to motivate them to work. Things did however steadily improve throughout the tour. The big rebuild programme has now started; radios, although not enough, have been issued; all the stations have vehicles; and weapons and ammunition were slowly arriving. The troops therefore worked hard to get the Iraqis to use this new equipment correctly. They also concentrated on the Sector HQs ensuring that these started to function, giving direction, passing information and coordinating activities. SHQ itself was working in the provincial Headquarters to ensure that this itself functioned relatively smoothly. It was a steep learning curve for us all, the most we knew about Customs prior to our arrival was trying to sneak through the Green Lane with an extra bottle of whiskey. Capt Ed Lane-Fox had to learn Quartermastering skills, he consequently became rather bad tempered! Capt Ethan Bond acted as the de facto Adjutant and Operations Officer, while I advised the commander. This became even more complicated towards the end of the tour when the Customs and Border Police in Basrah split, so we had another HQ to look after. Fortunately by this stage the Customs Police were pretty well sorted out so we were able to focus our efforts purely on the Border Police. We all also had to learn a lot patience, for example the Iraqis have a fascination with pistols and for the last 4 months we were constantly asked where were their pistols. They consequently appeared not to care that their policemen had no equipment!
The Author with senior Border Policemen.
The other area of interest was 2 Tpâ€™s work which has been slightly different to the rest of the Sqn in that they have been focussing on Abu Al Falus Port. This was a hotbed of corruption and smuggling until 2 Tp arrived and since that time through a combination of robustness and diplomacy, the port has completely turned around. It really is a true success story and the income from the port has gone from 4 million Iraqi Dinar a week to 40 million Iraqi Dinar a day. 1 Tp also had to help run a large Border Crossing Point with Iran, this has been incredibly frustrating for them, the Crossing Point required a massive injection of money which was continually promised but never delivered. It also was not helped by the fact that the site was continually criticised by people who had no idea of the ground truth. So what have we achieved, to be honest quite a lot; the Border and Customs
Police at the lowest levels can now stand on their own two feet. We have doubled the number of Border Forts and massively improved their command and control. They now have a set of SOIs, reports and returns and the means to coordinate their activities. We have also learnt many different skills, going to show that there is nothing that the British Soldier cannot do with a little common sense. But what about the future; there is no doubt that corruption exists in the Customs and Border Police and that many are lazy but the majority of the commanders are desperate for it to work. They simply need the correct buildings and the right kit for the right manpower and they will secure their own borders. It will not be perfect but it will work. As to the whole of Iraq, I really believe that there is cause for optimism; the population just want to get on with their lives and build a better Iraq.
Cavalry Memorial Sunday.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword By Lieutenant Colonel G V de la F Woyka, The Blues and Royals I n the past my predecessors have highlighted the critical bond between our commitment to State Ceremonial here in the Nation’s Capital and Armoured Reconnaissance operations worldwide from Windsor. Yet again this professional linkage has been worked over and tested to the full with A and B Squadrons HCR deployed in Iraq and the LG and RHG/D Mounted Squadrons completing another full and varied ceremonial season to include a major refurbishment of the stables concurrently with the latest Defence review and the resulting Future Army Structures. The Regiment has used this period of introspection to rebalance, looking at manning levels and responsibilities, individual career and recruit training, administration and quality of service.
The summer ceremonial was both eventful and successful. Again an early State Visit required a fine balance to be found between ensuring that men and horses were fit enough for the annual inspection by the Major General Commanding Household Division yet steady enough for the State Visit by the President of Poland. The unexpected and spectacular dismount by Trooper Wharton in the centre gate of Buckingham Palace usefully demonstrated that no amount of training or rehearsals can guarantee that horses will do “whatever they did last time, and do it now!” as the apocryphal story goes. This year the Major General, much to our surprise, expressed a desire to experience what it was like to ride in our Mounted Review Order. So, having inspected the Regiment and watched us canter past squadron in line he was led to the riding school to slip into the Commander Household Cavalry’s uniform and onto a horse to learn some of the tricks of the trade from the Riding Master. Thankfully the Queen’s Birthday parade in comparison was achieved without incident. The official summer programme was followed by two unique events, the Olympic Games torch ceremony on The Mall and the 100th Anniversary of the Entente Cordiale in Paris. Corporal Major Jenkins and Corporal of Horse Arkelly escorted Mrs Pippa Funnel, riding a Household Cavalry troop horse,
across the Forecourt of Buckingham Palace as part of the national Olympic Torch ceremony in London. The highlight for many, however, was the Entente Cordiale. After Her Majesty’s visit to Paris and Toulouse in April it was a great honour for us to be included in the detachment of British ceremonial troops selected to represent Her Majesty in Paris on the French National Day Parade. 63 horses and 83 members of the Regiment commanded by Captain A H James LG deployed to Paris with members of the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, to be looked after by the Garde Republicaine. The Garde Republicaine are split between two barracks in Paris with one Squadron and their Mounted Band stabled in Celestin Barracks off the Bastille. The other two Squadrons are stabled on the southeastern corner of Paris in the Bois de Vincennes. We were stabled in the Bois de Vincennes in a delightful, if slightly tired, 19th Century Cavalry Barracks with two enormous outdoor and indoor riding schools. Interestingly, like us, their horses are stabled in stalls and there are no turn out facilities. The only draw back to this otherwise perfect situation was a two and a half hour ride back
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
into Paris for rehearsals and parades, a feat that our horses thought nothing of, so in the best of tradition neither did we. The visit climaxed with the parade itself, with 4000 troops, 238 horses and 400 armoured vehicles lining the Champs Elysees in blazing sun light and a fly-by consisting of 78 airplanes, led by the Red Arrows, it was never going to be a small affair. The parade started with a review by the President of France along the full length of the Champs Elysees followed by a dismounted and mounted march past on the Place de la Concorde. The Queen’s company lead off, followed by the Mounted Detachment led by the Commander Household Cavalry. Throughout our visit the welcome and hospitality extended to us all was overwhelming and we were especially pleased to be able to renew our acquaintance with the Garde Republicaine. In August the Regiment deployed to Bodney Camp in Norfolk for Regimental training. This continues to be a very popular and valuable opportunity. Good weather and an excellent programme devised by Major OM Bedford RHG/D
ensured an enjoyable and fruitful three weeks. The regiment shared the camp with the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards and Her Majesty’s Queen’s Company who we had last seen in Paris taking part in the 100th Anniversary of the Entente Cordiale. The military training culminated in a 24 hour field exercise before moving to a deserted village to train in emergency escort drills with the Royal Mews, Royalty Protection Group and Emergency Services. The equine training climaxed in a highly competitive and very amusing Regimental Eventer’s Grand Prix devised by the Riding Master, Captain RG Waygood LG, and watched by the Regiment. The competition pitted the more confident riders and forgiving horses against a mixed show jumping and cross country course. A genuine horse did not guarantee success as many discovered despite substantial encouragement and some blunt advice from the assembled crowd. A good memory, a sense of humour and a healthy sense of direction invariably won the day. A blazingly hot day guaranteed record attendance for our annual public Open Day.
cient in their new quarters as they did in the old, although I cannot deny that we are looking forward to moving back into our fully waterproof and refurbished old home as soon as possible. In November it was our turn to host the return visit by the French. Having been received so well in France it was incumbent on us to return as much of their hospitality as possible. The highlight of the visit was a combined Household Cavalry - Garde Republicaine staircase party on the steps of St George’s Chapel commanded jointly by the Second in Command of the Garde Republicaine, Major Alain Puligny, and the new Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron Leader Major MP Goodwin-Hudson on his first ceremonial outing since returning to Mounted Duty. A late State Visit by the President of South Korea and Her Majesty’s State Opening of Parliament at the beginning of December rounded off the year.
though sadly the only prize he got in recognition of this feat. The wives club continues to meet regular under the leadership of my wife and Mrs Stephenson. They have had a number of successful functions in the Warrant Officers and Senior Non- Commissioned Officers’ Mess to include their Christmas Party. The year was rounded off with the usual round of festivities. The highlight of which was a surprise visit by Father Christmas with presents for all the children to the Regimental Families Carol Service and Winter Wonderland on the Square organised by Major M Whatley LG, Headquarter Squadron Leader.
While training, State Ceremonial and improvements to the quality of life and barrack infrastructure have been the most demanding priorities, the Regiment has continued to be active in the sporting arena. The farriers, once again, have had an excellent run of victories. Highest placed was Farrier Lance Corporal Hamilton LG who came first in the Eagle Eye section of the Army Shoeing Competition. In September Captain RG Waygood and WO2 Weller LG won the Celebrity Pairs Challenge at Blenheim Palace on Peter Pan and Just Dabs respectively. At the Royal Wessex Yeomanry Race the Adjutant, Captain JG Rees-Davies LG was the first Household Cavalry Officer across the finishing line much to everyone’s surprise. It was
This year has been a period of refurbishment and consolidation for the Regiment, returning to the core values and basic skills and disciplines that underpin our more public appearances. The Regiment now looks forward to full ceremonial season in 2005, to include a possible general election, moving back into our fully refurbished stables and a full sporting and equestrian competition programme for our gladiators and enthusiastic amateurs alike. As ever the challenges of location and recruiting remain with us. The creation of the House Cavalry Museum and adjustments to the routine of the Queen’s Life Guard to facilitate its construction, will I suspect test us. However, the long term benefits of this facility can only serve to encourage and sustain future generations. Regimental Training is due to return to July for the first time since it moved to Bodney Camp in Thetford. This will bring our year into line with the rest of the Field Army and school holidays. The Regimental Open day will therefore be on the 31 July this year.
The usual slow start to the year ensued after the Christmas break with half the regiment still away on leave until after the second week of the month. The usual suspects ventured off to Verbier and St Moritz under the pretence of sport while the rest of the regiment carried on with duties.
Continuation training took place throughout March, horses came in from grass and the process of preparation commenced for the upcoming season. Officers started Spring Drills and various Chargers were sacked and reemployed once people’s egos had been satisfied.
The month was taken up by the Major General’s Review of the regiment which, after a shaky start on the Commanding Officer’s rehearsal with three fallers, progressed to a very successful parade culminating with the Major General having a riding lesson from the RM in full MRO in the indoor school. The LG Sqn provided an escort for the President of Poland.
In our absence work started on the long awaited stables refurbishment. The initial task was to move half the horses into a purpose built stockade alongside the barracks in Hyde Park . The remainder were turned out for an extended period of grass at the Defence Animal Centre at Melton Mowbray. My initial concerns over climate change, services and practical problems of moving horses outside whilst leaving tack inside were misplaced. Showing characteristic adaptability and versatility the Regiment soon looked as comfortable and profi-
Diary of Events
February February saw all change at the helm of HCMR with Lt Col S H Cowen RHG/D relinquishing command and journeying to Iraq to work in Baghdad and Lt Col G V de la F Woyka RHG/D returning to take over command from a stint with the 9/12 Lancers in Germany where he had been the Regimental 2 i/c.
April April bought with it the usual round of Troop, Squadron, Regimental and Early Morning Rehearsals that make this time of year more difficult than most. With a full yard the regiment was fast approaching top speed in its preparation for the Birthday Parade.
June The usual medley of parades arrived in June with rehearsals for the Birthday Parade and the Garter Ceremony all blending into one two week period of early mornings and rehearsals. The Garter Ceremony occurred on a pre-
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Maj Gen Review – RHG/D Sqn on the canter past.
dictably warm day, however, fortunately, neither squadron lost anyone to the heat. The second half of the month saw the first leave period begin; earlier than usual but crucial to allow the activities of July to take place.
July The main event of July consisted of taking a Captain’s Escort to Paris to take part in the Bastille Day celebrations to commemorate the Centenary of the Entente Cordiale. After a series of extremely early morning rehearsals the parade finally took place on the Champs Elysee. The regiment sent the second set of soldiers on leave just as soon as the regiment was complete back in barracks.
Household Division in Paris for the Bastille Day Celebrations.
September September saw the final summer leave period take place and a general period of relaxation but not before the regiment, after some delay, moved into temporary stabling set up in Hyde Park. Quite how it would affect our ability to get on parade no-one really knew.
October Horses came back in from grass in preparation for the Autumn season. With the Rattle Stabling at full tilt it was, as ever, impressive to see the soldiers coping with yet another difficulty thrown in their way and still being able to produce the same results.
The usual build up training and preparations for Summer Camp take up the beginning of August with imminent deployment to Bodney Camp looked forward to by all. The first week contained the usual ITD training and Ex Tryout followed by two weeks of Squadron and then Regimental activities. Although camp was tempered by the wet weather Open Day proved to be extremely hot, drawing a record crowd.
Early Morning Rehearsals seem to be a thing of the past with the Congestion Charge enforcing Very Early Rehearsals from now on. However the Regiment got on parade on time and The President of Korea was received by Her Majesty The Queen in the usual fashion despite The Irish Guards worst intentions.
Bodney Camp – 2 Troop RHG/D Sqn on the beach.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Garter Ceremony 2004.
December With a late State Opening of Parliament at the beginning of the month, the regiment was hard pressed to fit in all the necessary pre-Christmas leave activities; however we still managed all the obligatory drinks in the various messes and with new inventions such as The Winter Wonderland, HQ Leader improved the family atmosphere of the occasion.
The Life Guards Squadron t was another busy year for The Life Guard Squadron. The Major General’s Parade was a great success; particularly the Squadron’s canter past in line that made a memorable impression on both the participants and the spectators. Especially those who were struggling to remain on the parade ground or struggling to remove them selves from it, in order to avoid being trampled by the advancing cavalry charge.
Captain JP Thomson took a Captain’s Escort to Paris to participate in the Bastille Day parade down the Champs Elysee as part of the Entente Cordiale celebrations. Despite a four hour ride in from the outskirts of Paris and a low level fly by from a squadron of French helicopters as the escort approached the saluting dais the escort remained perfectly dressed throughout and was the envy of the French. One of the highlights of that visit was an officers ride thorough Paris with Colonel Salvador, the Commanding Officer of the Garde Republicaine. Colonel Salvador led us through those famous Parisian boulevards pointing out places of interest along the way. Paris by horseback is definitely the way to take in the sights. The French where equally thrilled when they joined Lieutenant Colonel GV de la F Woyka RHG/D and his officers for a long watering order through London when the Garde Republicaine visited us in November. Regimental training as always provided a welcome relief from the busy summer ceremonial season. One of the highlights was our beach ride at Holkam, a photographer from Soldier magazine risked life and limb to get the perfect shot as the Squadron cantered thorough the surf. Captain AH James LG departed in the last week of Regimental Training with a small detachment of Life
Guard’s to attend the Spruce Meadows Show Jumping Masters Tournament in Calgary. The soldiers earned their place on this expedition through their hard work for her Majesty’s inspection of the Richmond Cup. The detachment provided an escort for the competitors as they paraded around the arena before receiving their prizes. Adventure training followed which saw Capt Thomson breaking his lance during tent pegging at Thetford. the men white water the horses were roughed off in preparation for a month or two of charging around fields in Leicestershire, while the men packed their suitcases for a well earned break from ceremonial duties. We were all back in the saddle again in September preparing for the Winter Ceremonial Season. A string of investitures was followed by the Lord Mayors Procession, which saw a Life Guard division commanded by Captain JEM Howell LG and the band of The Blues and Royals parade through London. The State Opening of Parliament and the State Visit of the president of South Korea both went smoothly. A week of Christmas festivities followed as the brick was hung for another year and the soldiers of the Life Guard Squadron went on a wellearned Christmas leave. Garter Ceremony Capt Anderson leading his troop.
rafting, quad bike touring and ranching. The expedition was a great success and the participants all returned to London with great tales and suntans. Having returned to Hyde Park Barracks both horses and men prepared for leave,
Staircase Party at Buckingham Palace for the State visit of President of Poland.
The Squadron bid a sad farewell to Captain DL Lipman and Slippers. Captain Lipman is now working as a Ground Liaison Officer with the RAF. He was replaced as Squadron Second in Command by Captain JEM Howell. We also said goodbye to Captain JGK Anderson who has immigrated to Australia and welcome his replacement Lieutenant TJ Edwards .
The Life Guards waiting at the State opening of Parliament.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron t is a time honoured tradition that Squadron articles for the journal nearly always begin with at least one sentence containing the words, “been busy….worked very hard….went on well deserved leave”. Indeed it would be difficult to imagine anything different in a year at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. However there is always more vitality, panache and character in The Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron than just hard work and well earned leave. Having only taken over as Squadron Leader in September 2004 I cannot comment at first hand on the whole of the year, but from my understanding, the landmarks of 2004 were a good ceremonial season, equine and sporting triumph, and the move into temporary stabling in Hyde Park.
The standards of turnout and drills in The Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron during a compact Summer ceremonial season were notably high in 2004. This was due to the leadership; the industry and preparation that went into the horse build up; Troop and Squadron drills, and kit inspections, during the Spring. The Queen’s Birthday Parade was particularly fine, not least as this year it was The Blues and Royals Standard on parade. This was also the centenary year of the Anglo-French Entente Cordiale, and the regiment was invited to send an escort to Paris as part of the celebrations. The detail of the event is well covered else where in the journal. However it was very gratifying that we could send our half French officer, Captain de St John Pryce to ride down the Champs Elysées in front of his Division on his charger Agincourt. It is shame that the Blues and Royals Standard Party was not also on parade, then at least we could have given greater prominence to two other great Blues and Royals horses: Wellington and Trafalgar. But that probably would not have been the best way of celebrating the harmonious nature of our Anglo-French understanding – it would be interesting to know whether from amongst the ranks of the Garde Republicaine there were any horses on parade called Crécy or Hastings. Nearly all the senior appointments in the squadron have changed in the last twelve months. Major AD Dick handed over to me just after Summer Camp having appropriately ended his tour in command by winning the Senior Ranks Show Jumping Competition. Captain RD
Capt St John Pryce riding Agincourt down The Champs Elysees.
Gibbs moved up into the second in command post replacing Captain CT Haywood, a Knightsbridge veteran who had proudly ridden on over twenty Queen’s Birthday Parades. Captain MA MacEwen came back from an interesting tour in Bosnia to replace Captain Gibbs as 3 Troop Leader. Squadron Corporal Major Panter handed over to Corporal Major Thomas at the start of the Summer season, and headed South for Bovington in the process exchanging his horse and sabre for a WW2 jeep, duffel coat and pipe thereby establishing himself half way between the nineteenth and twenty first century. I think that it is fair to say that Corporal Major Panter will probably now settle around circa 1945 and it would be unkind to expect him to progress any further towards the twenty first century. Amongst the Troop Leaders Captain WAG Snook stepped down just before Christmas in order to start a new job shuffling paper behind closed doors in Whitehall. His replacement is the much taller proper looking officer, Captain RJ Moger. Amongst the Corporals of Horse the recent arrival of CoH MacNamara in 3 Troop to work alongside CoH Hockings has confirmed that the Troop is now strictly Welsh. Something that will continue when CoH Griffiths arrives in March 2005. Before leaving 1 Troop, CoH Findell in preparation for his return to Windsor, shed the Frank Willacy look and went for a much leaner cut, thereby ending the myth that it is only the horse that can be fit in Knightsbridge. The Squadron welcomed CoH Robson from Windsor just
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
before Christmas and looks forward to the arrival of CoH Walker. Sporting achievement has been a key part of 2004. The Richmond Cup was awash with Blue and Royal success: Tpr Smit took the top prize, and Tprs Corbett, Monger, and Copper all came in the top five. At Summer Camp 1 Troop won the Silver Fox, LCpl Mckay won the Grand Prix and also the show jumping final on the Open Day riding Zara, and Captain de St John Pryce and SCpl Gaddes won the Senior Ranks Handy Hunter. Note all the best Blues and Royals win the Handy Hunter: see 1998 winners. The Squadron almost achieved the double by claiming the Junior Ranks Handy Hunter as well; sadly Tprs Monger and Allen came second, and Tpr Scholes and LCpl Mackay riding a remount, came third. Finally Cedric won the competition for dropping the most riders and Doormouse for biting someone every day. It would be fair to say that the Squadron is in danger of becoming a footballing Squadron. The beautiful game is now a weekly event in the park, and there are some exceptional players in Squadron most of whom help make up the Regimental team. Some unusual stars have also come out of the wood work, not least Tpr Mann playing for Paderborn United; Tpr Collins of Braveheart, and Tpr Chaplin who scored the opening goal on his debut performance for the Squadron. It is hoped that if only Tpr Chaplin can get to the Lillywhites sale in time, then he might be able to buy a pair of football boots, and we will see more of his goal scoring ability.
Major Dick and Standard Party, Queen’s Birthday Party.
During September and October the Squadron played some friendly games against the Padre’s team which proved ideal preparation for the run up to the GOC’s six aside competition in November. The competition was well supported with eighteen teams entering, and it was therefore with a mixture of surprise and delight, at the end of twelve games of hard fought football we found ourselves the overall winners, and collecting our prizes from the Commanding Officer who was conveniently standing in for the GOC. It was a good day for football in The Blues and Royals. Worthy of note were performances by LCsoH Broom and Scott, and Tprs Rennock and Daley, all of whom scored some outstanding goals. For the last four months the Squadron has been living out of the “Rattle”. It is not immediately obvious from where it gets its name - could it possibly be named after one of the Quartermaster’s dogs, after all the “Rattle” has become one of Captain Kingston’s pet subjects ? For those not aware the “Rattle” is the regiment’s temporary stabling in Hyde Park – otherwise known as the best
campsite for horses in central London. Initially the mixture of limited overhead cover, deep litters, and the potential for the hard standing to crumble or turn to mud, did not make the “Rattle” an instantly appealing new work place. The most obvious attraction appeared to be for the horses who clearly relished the fresh air and the bigger stalls. The weather and the organisation of the horse movements between Windsor and London during the Winter ceremonial season, have been the hardest aspects of the “Rattle”. Indeed it is difficult to forget the sodden expressions on the faces of Tprs Elliot and Davies-Moore at the Squadron “Feedaway” during the cold, wet Christmas leave period. Both soldiers looked as though they had come from a place more akin to the trenches of WW1, than the modern day Metropolis in the full swing of its festive season. However it has been greatly to the Squadron’s credit, flexibility, and resourcefulness that everybody has pulled together and done their utmost to make the “Rattle” work. Moreover there has been an unwavering commitment to upholding the Squadron’s high
Troop watering order at Regimental Training.
Major Dick leads The Escort down The Mall.
WO2 (SCM) Thomas collecting the Standard.
standards of turnout and excellence, which was reflected in two successful Winter parades. The year 2004 has been busy with plenty of hard work and a number of additional demands, but remaining in character the Squadron has been robust and good humoured, and each member of the Squadron should take pride in our collective successes and achievements.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Headquarters Squadron he squadron continues to support the regiment in all its endeavours, providing Logistic, Medical, Veterinary and Administrative assistance throughout the year and in particular the summer, winter ceremonial season. The squadron headquarters changed ownership in August with Major O M Bedford RHG/D being replaced by Major M Whatley LG who returned to regimental duty from service with HQ ARRC, Rhiendahlen. Major Bedford RHG/D leaves the squadron to pursue a career in finance. Whilst serving with the squadron he strived constantly to ensure that the squadron and regiment were well prepared for its State Ceremonial, training and operational commitments. It is to his credit that he achieved virtually all of his aims, ensuring that the regiment completed its mandatory training objectives and was also Green across the board following our annual external inspections. We wish him and his family every success and good fortune for the future.
SCM Parkinson left the squadron to join the LG squadron and was replaced by SCM Stewart from that squadron. We hope that they find their new positions in the regiment both challenging and rewarding in equal measure. Rather than produce a chronological series of events describing the squadrons activities it has been left to the squadrons departments to give a prospective of the previous year’s activities and achievements.
The Quartermaster’s Department The Quartermaster’s Department has had a particularly good year, all be it a year of change. In May Captain Vince Maher MBE handed the Department over to Captain Mark Kingston MBE who took the bit between his teeth and carried on the good work of his predecessor. In addition, the Department said goodbye to the inimitable CoH Halfhide, whose regimental knowledge and showmanship was put to good use in the Full Dress Store. Although these changes undoubtedly had a considerable impact on the Quartermasters Department, continuity and direction was maintained by the WO2 (RQMC) Elliott and CoH Hadden, both of whom worked tirelessly to preserve the high standards expected from a department that is in constant high demand.
diale 100 where elements of the regiment travelled to Paris to take part in the events celebrating a 100 years of friendship and understanding between Great Britain and France. With the assistance of the efficient Eurostar the advance party, which included the Quartermaster and CoH Hadden arrived in Paris on 5 July. The party was met by their hosts, the Guarde Republicaine, Regiment de Cavalerie and was taken to Fort Neuf in Vincennes. LCoH Stevenson immediately proved to be a great asset to the party with his understanding of the French Language. Not to be out done the Quartermaster broke into fluent Turkish in the hope that someone might understand him. It was clear by the look of confusion on the faces of the Guarde Republicaine that nobody was particularly impressed by the Quartermaster’s linguistic skills. Once settled into their new accommodation, the party was treated to a tour of the elegant Barracks, Quartier Celestins, which is the home of the Guarde Repulicaine, Regiment de Cavalerie. The whole event was a great success and what the Quartermaster failed to achieve through his command of the Turkish language he made up for in his ability to consume red wine. Closely on the heels of Entente Cordiale 100 came summer training camp, which once again was held at Bodney. CoH Hadden and the advance party constructed the tented camp in double quick time and the fence building party created a jumps course designed to test even the most accomplished of the regiment’s riders. CoH Hadden resumed his duties as the camp patriarch and ensured that the regiment was adequate-
A departure from the norm was the regiment’s involvement in Entente Cor-
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Vet getting confused about where he and his horse live.
ly accommodated and fed. The saddlers and tailors shop were kept busy by repairing and making equipment in what can only be described as Dickensian conditions, LCpl Wait was often heard asking ‘for more’, more of what will be left to the readers imagination. Open day was outstanding, not only did attendance by members of the general public exceed all expectations but the weather was uncharacteristically fine. This was due, in part, to the RQMC and CoH Hadden who organised the vendors and the fatigue party. Without doubt one of the most notable events of the year has been the commencement of the stable refurbishment and the construction of temporary stables or Rattle in Hyde Park. A total Decant of horses into the Rattle was achieved three weeks after the regiment’s return from summer camp. The
Capt Saddler (RAO) looking more at ease than his predecessor.
The Adjutant showing off his riding skills.
horses, already hardened by their camp experience, settled in quickly and displayed a real liking for their new environment. The soldiers also adapted well and the whole transition raised little concern. With the horses and men removed from the stable block the work on the Barrack’s horse lines could start. Within a very short space of time the troop lines were reduced to rubble and the business of replacing the old stable area with modern stalls and loose boxes could begin. As is often the case with major projects the initial stage of the refurbishment programme had a number of problems, the majority of which were faced by the Quartermaster’s Department, who to a man worked long and hard in an attempt to resolve any difficulties induced by the project. The refurbishment will be finished by summer 2005 and will clearly create a far better environment for both men and horses. Another major change has been the introduction of the PAYD scheme. This has given the soldiers a greater choice in how they spend their hard earned money and has meant that the Barrack’s dinning facility has undergone a much needed face lift. Once again this has not been a particularly easy transformation as nobody likes change. However through careful negotiation and collaboration with the contractor, the scheme has now moved forward. As a result of this new facilities will be made available in the first half of 2005 which are to be centred on the fifth floor of B block. In addition to this Hyde Park Barrack’s PAYD is no longer a trial site which means that the regiment in partnership with the contractor can work towards improving an already first class facility. The Quartermaster’s Department like the rest of the regiment has experienced
LSgt Speer, the new Regimental Veterinary Assistant, with Acrobat, one of the new 280 loves of her life.
FLCpl Hamilton, who achieved a rare merit in the Worshipful Company of Farriers Diploma exams this year.
a demanding year and looks forward with stoic enthusiasm to the next twelve months. Through careful planning and good management the Quartermaster’s Department is confident that it can provide a consistent level of service to the regiment which they regard as being always a privilege and never a chore!!
rubber inserts were nailed between shoe and foot to prevent snow “balling” up in the hoof and allow better grip. The system proved extremely effective, and horses performed for a week in Switzerland without any horse losing a shoe or slipping over. The second was the requirement to send three farriers to support the Life Guards Standard and Escort in Paris in the summer. This was an interesting experience, with Household Cavalry farriers working closely with their French equivalents. The French farriers could not have been more generous in their hospitality, and despite an almost complete failure for either side to understand the other’s native tongue, both seemed to be able to hammer out a universal language on their anvils, and good friends were made.
The Forge The Forge was, as ever, central to the Regiment’s strong performance during 2004. There were farriers present at all ceremonial events, and six riding on the Queen’s Birthday Parade. It would be fair to say that “no battle was lost for the want of a shoe” and the quality of shoeing within the Regiment continues to be of a high standard. Two particular military commitments stand out, from a farriery perspective, this year. The first was the need to shoe the horses of the Musical Ride for the snow and ice of St Moritz. Semi-circular,
Away from formal military commitments, all members of the Forge have been active in farriery competitions throughout the year. The Regiment’s annual Cavalry Pairs Competition in February got the year off to a good start.
FLCoH Ravenscroft and FLSgt Dean on Cardigan and Avalon at Regimental Training
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The competition was well attended and the Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers attended to award the prizes. WO2 Newman, the Farrier Major, and ex-Household Cavalry farrier Steve CoxRusbridge were the winning pair overall, and FLCoH Roberts and FSgt Bennett won best military pair. In the National shoeing competition at Stoneleigh in March, the Army Apprentice team, consisting of FLCoH Ravenscroft, FLCpl Hamilton and two King’s Troop farriers, won the apprentice shoemaking class, and the Army team of WO2 Newman, SSgt Watson (KT RHA Forge), FSCpl Macdonald and FSgt Bennett came third in the senior competition. In the International competition later in the year, the Senior team again performed very well coming 6th of 12 international teams. The last competition of the year was the Army Farriery Competition. Household Cavalry farriers again acquitted themselves extremely well, with FLCpl Hamilton winning the Eagle Eye Competition, and SCpl Macdonald being judged to have produced the Best Dressed Foot and the Best Specimen in the Open Therapeutic Class. WO2 Newman was fourth overall in this class and SCpl Macdonald finished sixth. During the course of the year a number of the Regiment’s farriers gave up their own time to work closely with the International League for Protection of Horses to do charitable work in the Gambia, Fiji and South Africa. Travelling out as part of an ILPH equine team all farriers were required to instruct local farriers in the different countries in basic farriery techniques in order to improve horse welfare in local communities there. There have been some major changes within the Household Cavalry Forge during the last year, but none that will
have the long-term impact to the Regiment’s Forge as the wide-reaching decision, taken by the Director Army Veterinary and Remount Services, to stop recruiting farriers directly into the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC). This decision was arrived at after considerable debate and with much regret, because RAVC farriers have, over many years, contributed an enormous amount to military, and even national, farriery. The decision is particularly significant to farriers at the mounted units, because they will now be able to compete on even terms for all posts at the Army School of Farriery (ASF) in the Defence Animal Centre (DAC). This offers Household Cavalry farriers the prospect of a WO1 post, as well as additional posts at WO2 and SCpl. Military farriery as a whole should benefit from the move, because of the greater amount of competition for the instructor posts at the ASF, which should maintain the highest standards there, and because there will be greater circulation of teaching skills back into the mounted regiment forges. Whilst they may have been slightly overshadowed by the more general changes to military farriery, there were still some very important changes in the home forge. Most significant of these was the departure of WO2 Steve Newman, who was posted to the ASF as Senior Instructor in June after a period of more than five years as Farrier Major. WO2 Newman, a man passionate about farriery and with a very strong record in national and international competition, did much whilst Farrier Major to ensure high standards of farriery within the Regiment. Always striving to apply the very best and most up to date veterinary and scientific evidence to any farriery decision he implemented some important strategic changes to the way horses in the Regiment were shod and in doing so
improved herd welfare. He also did much to rationalise and improve the farriery tools and shoes used within the Regiment. In his new post as Senior Instructor at the ASF he will continue to have a very significant role to play in the development and education of junior Household Cavalry farriers, and will take to the School a clear understanding of how that organisation can best support the Regiment’s junior farriers and the Forge in general. With the departure of WO2 Newman, SCpl Frazer Macdonald was left as the senior farrier and only Class 1 in London. In order to retain his skills on the floor of the Forge, the possibly unprecedented step was taken to appoint a nonfarrier, WO2 Dave Dixon, to the “top job”. WO2 Dixon came to the Forge as Farrier Major on extension of his regular service, and brought with him enthusiasm and a wealth of experience from the wider Regiment. Only given a sixmonth extension of service, WO2 Dixon was sadly to be on his way by the end of the year, but in the short time he was with the Forge he very definitely made his mark. Focusing on improving real estate and equipment issues during his short period in office, the benefits of his work will be enjoyed for some time to come. Following his departure SCpl Macdonald has now stepped into the role of Farrier Major. As a former member of the Riding Staff and with experience at the Armoured Regiment, he brings to the job a broad knowledge of the Household Cavalry, something that will no doubt stand him in good stead in the coming years. There were other significant personnel changes in the Forge during the year. LCoH Stuart Gammage left the Army in September to set up his own farriery practice on the outskirts of London.
FCpl Hayden flying majestically around Junior Ranks cross-country course.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
LSgt Bennett RAVC returned to the ASF after a two-year tour at Knightsbridge, and three new apprentices were welcomed into the Forge, LCoH McThune, LCpl Blakeway and LCpl Bradbury. The latter three all passed their Class 3 successfully, with LCoH McThune doing particularly well and coming away with an A grade pass. Also welcomed in under the wing of the Forge at the start of the year was LCpl Speer RAVC, who replaced LSgt Roberts as the Regimental Veterinary Assistant. LCoHs Ravenscroft and Freeman, and LCpls Hamilton, Sherlock and Hill all passed their Class 2 and were awarded the DipWCF, with LCpl Hamilton doing exceptionally well to pass with Honours.
Medical Centre The Medical Centre of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment is embracing change. Clinical governance, audits, quality targets, patient satisfaction surveys and practice development plans have been ushered into this quiet backwater of the barracks by the Army Primary Health Care Service. We are now officially a “primary healthcare facility providing a comprehensive service to our clients in-line with National best practice standards”. LCoH Royston is now the practice manager, Tpr Beddar the pharmacy technician and Tpr Hounsome remains the brew boy (some things don’t change). In reality the changes will be subtle, taking the form of improvements to the medical centre structure and function as time goes on. Sick parades are being lengthened and access made easier for soldiers, waiting times for physiotherapy will be shortened and practices in general will be regularly checked or audited. More obvious signs of change have been the computer system upgrade to bring it up to civilian counterpart standards and the anticipated recruitment of a civilian clerk. The Regiment may be thought of as being traditional, eschewing progress in favour of the status quo. It is worth remembering that General Practice in the Army started in The Life Guards, the first Regiment to recruit a uniformed doctor to look after their soldiers. This bold welfare move was taken up by other Regiments until finally the RAMC was created just over 100 years ago. During this present transition from seat-of-the-pants medicine to a more structured, monitored way of conducting the noble art, the staff will try not to forget what they are really here for: to keep a bountiful supply of brufen and tubigrip on hand for all eventualities.
FCpl Sherlock and Hayden at the front line in the Regiment’s campaign to lift the Cavalry Cup at Rugby.
The AGC (SPS) Detachment The AGC (SPS) Detachment has had a major turnaround in staff this year with nine of the fifteen members being posted in within the last 12 months. Nevertheless, the Det still found time to enter a team into this year’s Triple Crown Competition at Worthy Down. LCpls Finn and Hewitt, Ptes Gray, Ngugi and Veeren entered into the Mil Skills and Assault Course competition with LCpl Finn as the Team Captain. With little time for training prior to the event they still managed to achieve a credible 9th place in the Mil Skills with the fastest time over the Assault Course achieved by any team. We welcomed LSgt Soloman back from Iraq only to say farewell to LSgt Turner who leaves early in the New Year. Pte
Ngugi completed a successful Ex Grand Prix with 1 RGBW and we were very lucky to get him back from the QM of 1 RGBW, who wanted to post him to Hounslow! We rounded off the year by achieving a high pass in the MFP Inspection and are now working towards the next one in April. The Squadron bids farewell to: Major O M Bedford RHG/D, Captain J G ReesDavies LG, WO1 (RCM) Smith RHG/D, WO2 (SCM) Parkinson LG, WO2 Goodwin RHG/D, WO2 Dixon RHG/D, SCpl Lowe LG, SSgt Cook RLC, CoH Wills, CoH Johnson, CoH Halfhide. The Squadron welcomes: Major M Whatley LG, Captain T A H Giffard LG, WO1 (RCM) Pointer LG, WO2 (SCM) Stewart LG, SCpl Payne LG, SSgt Hopkin RLC, CoH Adams.
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Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The WO’ and NCOs’ Mess et again as the year has progressed it has seen the WO’s and NCO’s Mess seem busier than the previous one. That point aside it has also seen CoH Callow and his team continually turning out high standards in both quality and presentation.
Our year began as always with the Commanding Officer giving his State of the Nations speech detailing what lay in store for the Regiment in the coming year and carrying this off with style while holding the Badgers head filled with champagne. The Mess Members as always seem for this function to be in excellent spirit and looking smart in Mess dress. January as usual was a quiet recovery period with the next function of any notoriety being ‘Valentines Day’. This went off smoothly with not too many lovers tiffs with lots of balloons, roses and candles making the Mess into a romantic setting befitting the occasion. The Regiment bade farewell to the previous Commanding Officer Lt Col S H Cowen RHG/D. The evening went splendidly beginning with an open topped bus tour of London assisted by copious amounts of bubbly. The Colonel finally leaving the Mess in the early hours of the morning. The new Commanding Officer sat down to lunch in the Mess with the senior members and in our comfortable surroundings laid out his stall on what was expected from us and what we could expect from him during his tenure as Commanding Officer with both parties leaving the table happy with their lots. In May the Mess dined out a number of senior members all of whom had completed 22 years service: Warrant Officer Coleman Goodwin, Francis Avison (now Captain), SCpl Goodchild and Lowe and CsoH Cox, Wills and Miller. We also
The RQMS and Lt Col Cowen share a joke at the CO’s dining out
bade farewell to CoH Halfide, the Mess now being strangely quiet without him.
number of different nationalities serving in the same camp.
In June we said goodbye and thanked Capt V.P Maher MBE for all his support the outgoing Quartermaster. The Mess again was in good spirits and it was a fine farewell until the rugby ball came out!
The Regiment deployed to Regimental Training at Bodney Camp in August with WO1 (RCM) K J Poynter at the helm and a full programme of events planned. The Mess was narrowly beaten by the Officers in the inter Mess cricket match. Much fun was had by all on the games night which was very well organised by WO2 (SCM) Gardner and his team. This was followed by the race night which proved beyond doubt that you will never find a skint bookie, that is of course apart from LCoH Knaggs who left the Mess substantially better off than he had entered it.
This was closely followed by the Summer Ball which proved to be an immense success. The Mess Members moved to the Carlton Tower Hotel for drinks and the meal. Sumptuous surroundings and a fine meal was had. We then returned to the Mess for the disco. This must have proved a fine sight to passers by as the majority of Mess members walked up Sloane Street dressed to thrill. Our thanks go to WO2 (FCM) Newman, WO2 (SQMC) Reast and the committee for all of their hard work put in. The Mess bade farewell to WO1 (RCM) T Smith and wished him luck on his posting as Garrison Sergeant Major in Sarajevo, a testing job being as there are a
A pensive SCpl Lowe wonders if he has collected all the tickets.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The wives have had another successful year, Mrs Jo Stevenson took over the reins in February and along with the committee they have managed to put on a function every month varying from a mothers and daughters disco to a chocoholics Party! Plans for the Christmas function are well
The Jolly Boys outing. CO’s dining out..
Maj (Retd) Milo Watson hangs the brick for 2003.
in place and as always a high attendance is expected on this very popular night with some fabulous prizes donated such as a night for two in Claridges. The committee already have plans in place for 2005 including a night at Walthamstow dog track. Thank you’s go out to all the committee, Sarah Bodycoat for her excellent ideas, Lucy Kemp, Laura Lacey and Siobhan Partridge who will be leaving in January and Jodie Sherlock and lastly Clair Williams for keeping the accounts.
Mess Members at Brickhanging.
and full Christmas period. This begins with the Christmas draw and disco with what sounds like some great prizes to be won by a few lucky Mess members. This is being closely followed by an inter Mess football match which has the prospect of being quite a painful affair especially as the seniors are then moving onto the Officers Mess. Brick Hanging is to be on the 8th and is to be hung by Lt Col GGE Stibbe OBE. Mess Senior Members
WO1 (RCM) K J Poynter WO1 (BM) R H Watterson WO2 (RQMC) C J Elliott WO2 (SCM) P Thomas WO2 (SCM) J C Parkinson WO2 (SCM) N M Stewart WO2 (SCM) G Gardner WO2 (EWO) J Weller WO2 (BCM) R B Howe WO2 (SQMS) D H Reast
We are now moving into the usual busy
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Household Cavalry Musical Ride 2004 he Musical Ride had a fairly quiet yet impressive year in 2004. Captain D Lipman LG handed over the role as Musical Ride Officer to Captain A H James LG in June 2004.
The season started with a performance at the Windsor 3 Day International Horse Trials where HRH The Princess Royal attended. Fortunately the torrential rain and lightning did not start until the end of the performance, consequently on the route back to Combermere Barracks there were a few nervous faces looking at the steel points of their lances pointing up to the menacing thunder clouds above. A shortened Musical Ride went to the Cartier International Polo Day having supported the British 3 Day Event team in their build up to the Olympics at a race night in Windsor. Pippa Funnel and William Fox-Pitt were seen enjoying a ride on our Cavalry Blacks escorted by members of the Musical Ride. Pippa Funnel also made a second appearance on a Cavalry Black for the Lighting of the Olympic Torch on The Mall where she handed over the torch to Sir Steven Redgrave. The biggest show of the year was The Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) 2004 where the Musical Ride spent a week camped out at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. This was the first time in the season that the Ride had managed to spend such a significant amount of time together. Captain RG Waygood LG, the Riding Master, choreographed a display that added in a few extra routines which were enjoyed hugely by the large crowd. During the rehearsals the horses had become accustomed to the flashing lights, the noise of the crowd, and the smoke filled entrance, consequently they settled down to perform a series of displays such that had never been seen before. It was a long week for the ride due to a combination of the amount of commitments to the show that were fulfilled and the enjoyment of the local facilities. SCpl Welsh rolled back the years and performed the duties of a Rough Rider, laying down the equally â€˜old and boldâ€™ Quartz. The Musical Ride wound down after the highly successful HOYS 2004 and it is now looking to be doing its first performances in early May 2005. The biggest show of the year will be at Olympia in December.. Musical Ride Programme 2005
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
A tunnel of crossed lances is made for a jumping lane at HOYS 2004.
Musn Kennedy, riding Spartacus, awaiting orders.
Forecast of Events 2005 Date 07 May 200 12 to 15 May 2005 29 May 2005 30 May 2005 1 and 2 June 2005 24 July 2005 12 and 13 August 2005 01 September 2005 3 and 4 September 2005 11 September 2005 13 to 19 December 2005
Location Patchetts Equestrian Centre Royal Windsor Herts Coy Show Surrey Coy Show Bath and West Show Guards Polo Club (Cartier) Shrewsbury Flower Show Bucks Coy Show Chatsworth Coy Fair Blenheim Horse Trials Olympia
The outiders burst through the smoke with a dramatic entrance to HOYS 2004.
The Band of The Blues and Royals On returning from the Christmas holiday, the Band of The Blues and Royals began a short tour of duty at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst until the end of February. Although the beginning of the year is a fairly quiet period for the Duty Band at Sandhurst, however, we still made regular appearances on the parade square both in support of passing out parades and entertaining the lucky inhabitants every Friday with “listen to the band” (a short outdoor concert to an indoor audience). In March we returned to Windsor, with the Jazz Quartet travelling to Castle Martin to play for the Regiment whilst they were on gunnery training, as well as playing at both the HCR and HCMR Officers’ Messes. At the end of March the Band went through the quinquennial house-swap with the Band of the Life Guards, and no sooner had we re-familiarised ourselves with our old haunt at Knightsbridge than we were preparing for the Commanding Officer’s inspection in early April. By mid-April the riding season was upon us with a khaki ride and Queen’s Life Guard to get ourselves back into the saddle before the usual hectic May and June schedule. No sooner had we completed the Queen’s Birthday Parade when jack boots were being polished again for the Garter Ceremony at Windsor Castle two days later. Just to prove their adaptability, the string group played for the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust on the day before the Queen’s Birthday Parade.
Director of Music leads the Regiment down the Mall – QBP 2004.
Trumpet Major and LCoH Grant Jones at Glanusk Park for the Lying up of Standards.
The laying up of Squadron Standards saw the trumpeters travelling to Harrow School in June and both the trumpeters and brass quintet to Glanusk Park, Wales in September and to Minto Church, Hawick in October. The full band played at St Mary’s Church, Stratfield Saye in October for the laying up of the Sovereign’s Standard.
Brentwood, and kept up the concert programme in November by travelling to Bristol and Stevenage.
With autumn upon us we began rehearsals for a busy concert schedule. The sea air of Scarborough gave us a welcome change from London’s atmosphere in early September, where we played a very successful “Last Night of the Proms” concert. Three days after that, a very full Salisbury Cathedral provided the setting for a concert in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund, hosted by ITN Newsreader Alastair Stewart. In October we were on stage again in Leicester and
At the end of November the band enjoyed a week in Osnabruck for a public concert given jointly with a German marine band, and also for the Munster Military Music Tattoo (needless to say we also found time to visit the Christmas market and sample the local mulled wine). This year we said congratulations and farewell to L/Cpl Stu Tulip, who got married in September and promptly left to start a new life with the band of the Royal Irish Regiment. A big personality in every sense of the word, he will be sadly missed and we wish him and Kirsty every happiness for the future.
In late June the band traveled to the Somme region of France to take part in celebrations to mark the centenary of the Entente Cordiale. Our part in these celebrations was to play at a ceremony at the Jardins de Valloires on June 25th, where HRH The Duchess of Gloucester was christening “The Rose of Picardy” – a red rose variety bred in England, but “symbolic of the understanding between France and the United Kingdom”. Later that same day the jazz quartet played at the home of the British Consulate General in Lille at an evening reception to celebrate the centenary of the Entente Cordiale. In July the band and trumpeters traveled to the picturesque Cotswold village of Northleach to play at a service of thanksgiving for the life of Major General Tabor.
Queen’s Birthday Parade 2004.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Household Cavalry Training Wing The hectic pace of life at the HCTW has continued unabated over the last year. There has been much coming and going and several people have moved on to pastures new to test whether the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence. The main change was on 5 July with Captain M A Avison LG took Command of the Household Cavalry Training Wing from Captain P G Leavey LG who moved on into civilian life. From the staff ’s point of view it has been a busy, generally enjoyable and overall, very satisfying year. It is, however, a little like a sausage machine; a constant stream of raw material being fed into the system, and a noticeably less constant but smarter trickle leaving the production line. Over the last year there have been 94 recruits and 9 rides passed out with a total of 84 soldiers passing Phase 2 Training. It’s a good job the Training Wing are around because they have had a busy year on the Ceremonial side with mem-
bers of the training being involved with the Major Generals, Trooping the Colour and the Garter Service Parades and they also provided the Staircase and Banquet for the French Garde Republicaine Visit in November and also that month they were on the Staircase Party for the State Opening of Parliament and the State Visit of the President of Korea and I must say a job well done. As usual Training Camp was the highlight of the year, with the annual visit to the beach and was completed with relative safety with all the rides taking part with all the national press and the holidaymakers having a good laugh at the expense of the trainees. The HCTW reach the finals of both the football and volleyball, with the finals not been played because the sabre squadrons made some pathetic excuse that they didn’t have time to play them. Any excuse! The OC and the SCM WO2 G Gardner had a clear round in the Handy Hunter, the OC been place 3rd in the Senior’s
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Show Jumping, 2nd in the Eventers competition and 1st in the Tent Pegging Competition on Open Day. The Training Wing took part in an excellent Open Day with around 5,000 spectators; the Camp was finished with a trip to the local Go- Karting Circuit for all the Training Wing. The Coach Troop, under the effective guidance of CoH Kendle have continued to compete at all the top County Show’s including the Royal Windsor Horse Show. The troop has also worked at various weddings and of course during the week of Royal Ascot. During the year we have bade farewell to WO2 (SCM) D Dixon to the Forge in London, SCpl (SQMC) Carr to Yeomanry and SCpl Foster to the Officer’s Mess HCMR, LCpl Royston to the QM`s in London and finally LCpl Carmichael to civilian street we wish him well in the future. We welcome WO2 (SCM) Gardner, SCpl (SQMC) Martin and CoH Crighton who replace them.
Winter Training Troop
The Royal Yeomanry Race, November 2004. L to R: Capt de St John Pryce RHG/D, Capt Reese-Davies LG, Capt Thompson LG, Maj Haywood SG, Lt Col de la F Woyka RHG/D, Capt MacEwen RHG/D, Capt Snook RHG/D, LCpl King LG, Maj Goodwin Hudson RHG/D
Winter Training Troop and The Household Division Saddle Club reformed at The Defence Animal Centre Melton Mowbray on 1st October 2004. The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Squadrons supplied one JNCO, 6 Troopers and 14 horses between them. The Household Division Stables supplied 2 Guardsmen and 2 horses. New in post were Lieutenant TWC Edwards LG and LSgt Kincade, who replaced LSgt King as yard SNCO from 15th November 2004. Due to the late deployment up to Melton, only four days Autumn Hunting were possible, however a successful pre-hunting course was run with the help of Kim Smith-Bingham MFH. This was attended by four of the troop leaders, and provided them and the Winter Training Troop Officer with some vital learning points. The highlight of the season thus far has without doubt been the Wessex Yeomanry
Race, with twelve Officers and two ORs participating. With the exception of the Winter Training Troop Officer, Captain A H James LG and FLCpl Ravenscroft a very successful ride and mornings hunting was enjoyed by all. Hunting has been well supported, with many of the troopers enjoying days hunting and gate-shutting, most notably by Tpr Wenham who managed to come to grief twice on his first day out! Hunting has been with the Quorn Hounds of a Monday and Friday, the Cottesmore Hounds on a Tuesday, and the Duke of Rutland on a Wednesday and Saturday. The troop again provided the security for the Quorn Hunt Ball, which was particularly eventful when the Marquee went up in flames, fortunately there were no injuries save a handbag around the head for one of the troop, who was trying to prevent an anxious lady from rescuing her coat from the flames!
The main focus now for Winter Training Troop is the Household Cavalry Regimental Ride, which will take place on 27th February 2005 at Waltham on Wold with the kind permission of Mrs Migs Greenall and the Duke of Rutland Hunt. A large thank you must go to all who have aided the smooth running of Winter Training Troop this season, in particular the Master Saddler for constantly repairing and manufacturing tack, the RQMC and SCpl Welsh, as well as the two SQMCs for providing the troop with all the necessary items of kit, and kindly exchanging broken rugs and head collars at the drop of a hat. Without the co-operation of these individuals and their staff, Winter Training Troop would struggle to function, and our heart-felt thanks go out to them for all of their help and hard-work on our behalf.
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Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Equitation he 2004 season started well with the Grand Military Gold Cup Meeting at Sandown Park and a great win for Captain RT Sturgis RHG/D riding Mercato, which inevitably kept CoH Mcnanara and CoH Beaulh (HCMR racing pundits) in beer tokens after a fruitful flutter. It was not the only Household Cavalry winner that day as Major The Lord Manton on Silk Trader won an early race and the RHG/D SCM WO2 Panter won the first to the bar race. We all waited with bated breath hoping for WO2 Moore to make his debut appearance in the great race but rather like that flying pig it did not materialise, maybe next year. On a serious note, it is very likely that LCoH Ravenscroft will have rides next year, watch this space.
Royal Windsor Horse Show proved to be very fruitful. The HCMR A Team won the coveted Queen Elisabeth II Cup, the team consisted of Captain RG Waygood LG, SCpl Jenkins and CoH Arkley. It was a special moment for Captain RG Waygood LG as he rode Her Majesty’s horse Peter Pan in front of Her Majesty at Her Majesty’s show to win, which made up for him falling off in front of HM some 10 years before at the same venue. The Royal Tournament Show Jumping held at the Defence Animal Centre proved to be a far more of an open competition this year than last. The classes were spread evenly between the Tri Services with wins going to SCpl Welsh and Captain RG Waygood. WO2 Weller only just missed out on the Derby were he was a close runner up and he managed to secure the Senior Show Champions Prize. Captain DR Boyd RHG/D headed the Loriners competition which is a Tri Service event, taking place over 3 legs and 3 disciplines consisting of the following: a One Day Event, Team Show Jumping and Combined Training. The Army won two of the legs and the RAF the third which resulted in a draw between the two after a equality of points due to high minor placings from the RAF. Having negotiated with Gatcombe Park and Tweseldown Horse Trials Captain RG Waygood managed to secure two more services events for the annual calendar. Zara Philips won the Gatcombe class as a dependant and CoH Bye won the Tweseldown class on Avalon a Blues and Royals troop horse. At summer camp this year we started a new competition, the HCMR cross country Grand Prix. This class consisted of a course of show jumps followed by a cross-country course followed by show jumps all against the clock; it was not for the faint hearted. The Regiment turned out to watch this equestrian spectacular; the equine gladiators were on
Her Majesty The Queen presenting the Queen Elizabeth II Cup at The Royal Windsor Horse Show to the Household Cavalry A Team (Capt Waygood, SCpl Jenkins and CoH Arkley).
parade. After lots of ooh’s and ah’s from the crowd the only person to get a rough ride was the commentator Captain DL Lipman LG when his mouth ran away with him. Nothing unusual there. WO2 Weller and Captain RG Waygood won the celebrity pairs challenge at Blenhiem Palace 3 day event in front of a large crowd. Captain RG Waygood had a rough ride at Badminton and was forced to retire, but made up for this at Burghley when the course proved so demanding that less than half the field finished but all this was marred by the tragic death of Caroline Pratt. The Golden Boys Posh and Becks WO11 Moore and CoH Hackman competed a string of young horses from the DAC, which puts them in a very enviable position next year.
WO 2 Evans in front of 150 guests. The highlights of the display included jumping a saddle and saddle rack, two horses being laid down and a poll rested across them, whilst two more horses jumped the poll and as a grand finale the Commanding Officer dared Captain RG Waygood LG to jump a sword stuck in the ground, point down of course.
Another successful year by our Regimental tent peggers saw LCpl Carmichael win the Royal Tournament Master at Arms and share the title with LCpl Powell at the Royal Armouries, HCMR won the Team pegging at the royal Tournament and won all the classes at The Royal Armouries. Captain Avision won the tent pegging at Summer Camp on Open Day and represented the Regiment at a demonstration at the Tulip festival Holland, Michigan, USA; the Regiment will be sending a team next year. Its is hoped that a team will be sent to the World Championships at New Delhi, India early in 2005, a full report next year.
Officers rides continued through out the year with the Troop leaders providing the entertainment, Captain PG Leavey LG bought his share of champagne, on one occasion he had a dramatic fall causing dizziness where upon he flung himself upon his horse and was seen to ride madly off in all directions. SCpl Jenkins and CoH Arkley escorted Pippa Funnell Olympic 3 day event rider on her leg of the Olympic torch lighting ceremony, which was viewed by millions on BBC 1 prime time television. When asked by SCpl Jenkins for any tips Pippa replied by saying “heals down, thumb on top, sword blade upright, carry your plume and please do dress back my public are hear to see me not you”. Equine potted sports continued to take place through out the year with a selection of activities taking place, which included pillow polo, vaulting, show jumping, tent pegging and sword lance and revolver. The prizes were shared equally between the Squadrons.
There were through out the year a number of equestrian activities that fall into the miscellaneous account, these started with a lecture demonstration held by members of the Riding Staff and the Equitation Instructor from the KTRHA
This concludes a busy year, and it is the end of an era as the Regiment says goodbye to that equestrian legend Captain CT Haywood RHG/D who has moved on to civilian life. Things look set for next year so heads down and keep kicking.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Action on the Officers V NCOs cricket match. The Officersâ€™ Mess at Summer Camp.
Perfect weather and a huge crowd on Open Day.
Tpr Corbett and Tpr Monger, Ex COCKNEY MAPLE.
SCpl Welch, Regimental Training at Thetford.
LCpl Foster and Centurian
A charge across the sands
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Band leading the Regiment.
The Prince of Wales with The Princess Royal
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Staircase Party marching on.
Musician at ease.
HCMR Street Lining
Regimental Adjutant escorting Garter Knights.
DOM RHG/D finding it hot work.
Life Guards marching home.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Household Cavalry News Mission Complete LCpl Spence The Blues and Royals Aim Move in convoy from Anaconda Air Base to the Jordan border, with the US Army and US Marines, to deliver 20 CVRT’s and 15 BTR 60’s, transferring them by low loaders to southern Baghdad-Taji. Day 1 22.07.04 We departed from Basrah International Airport by Hercules and we all were looking forward to the prospect of working with the American Army to see how they react in an operational environment. When we arrived in Baghdad we reported to the personnel terminal to receive flight details for the trip to Anaconda airbase. We were given two black hawks. We really enjoyed the experience of flying on them and appreciated the fact that they had gone to the trouble of tasking them just for us. When we arrived in Anaconda we were given accommodation and told to attend ‘rock drills’ for the convoy move to Jordan. These drills are very different to British Army SOP’s; it ended up being very confusing as they had a lot of TLA’s (Three Lettter Acronyms) for their different types of equipment and drills. The drills were not laid out as succinctly as our British ones may be. I thought they were unprofessional and when we asked questions they didn’t really answer them in a way we would understand. Day 2 23.07.04 0200 The convoy was staged and formed ready to leave at 0400 to depart to Ar
Household Cavalry News
Rhamandi. We were travelling with US Marines. Personally I thought that we would be a lot safer with them than with the US Army but that was until I saw the vehicle we would be travelling in; a 7 tonne Osh Kosh vehicle quite like our Bedford’s but with a 50 callibre machine gun mounted on the top of it. They assured us it was the safest vehicle in the convoy apart from the heat and distinct absence of space we would have to endure. 0700 We arrived at Ar Rhamandi where we fuelled the low loaders and received a driver’s brief on the next part of the mission to the US Marine camp (Korean Village). It took around six hours to travel there – a journey fraught with contacts involving the convoy being hit with two IED’S and small arms fire. Shrapnel to the neck and chest injured one marine; he was subsequently air lifted out but we later heard that he was in a stable condition. We spent the night in camp. Day 3 24.07.04 0900 We finally departed for the Jordanian border, which seemed like a lifetime on the back of the 7 tonne vehicle. The experience was unbearable spending all day in the heat as we had no tarpaulin cover in the back. Day 4 25.07.04 0300 We arrived in Jordan only to find that they did not need us! The Jordanian army had a crane to lift them on to the low loaders. Naturally we were very disappointed, but the Jordanian army
wanted to do it this way and hence we did not do or say anything. We decided to first parade the vehicles and inspect their condition. Fortunately we did as there was oil where there was meant to be coolant, no oil in the road wheels and petrol driver’s instrument panels in diesel vehicles! Most of the vehicles were also fitted with Jaguar petrol engines instead of Cummings inline diesels. This gave us an estimate on how many would break down when we eventually got them to Taji! The Jordanian army were very hospitable; they let us eat and shower in their accommodation, which was actually very nice. We gave our thanks to their Colonel and headed on our way back to the Korean village.
Day 5 26.07.04 I decided that I had had enough of the Osh Kosh, so I asked the US Marines if I could tag along in their HMMVW reconnaissance vehicle. This was particularly interesting as they head out before the convoy to do route clearance. We found IED command wires and road stingers to form some kind of ambush. It was alarming to see how the Marines work on snap Vehicle Check Points; they do not allow the occupants of the vehicle to get out during the search and so you can understand that they may, on occasion, miss things out. We arrived back in the Korean Village to once again fuel the low loaders and allow the drivers to rest. We also managed to liaise with the Iraqi National Guard so they could give us more protection on the convoy. We ended up waiting most of the day for them until around 2200 when we left for Taji. Day 6 27.07.04 We arrived in Taji at 0300 so we had to wait until first light to unload the vehicles. We finally had the chance to do something after a frustrating week, even if it was only unloading vehicles. Unloading was easy until the American soldiers were told by their officers to familiarise themselves with the vehicles; they drove through barbwire fences and stalled quite a lot. As one can imagine, it made our job slightly more time consuming! All in all we only had around ten broken down vehicles out of the thirty-five we received. We were due to leave Taji at 2000 by a CH 47 to Anaconda that night, so we thanked the marines for an extremely uncomfortable journey and said goodbye as they left for their long journey back to the Korean Village.
Tprs Butler and WIlkinson.
Day 7 28.07.04 We arrived into Anaconda Air Base only to find that we had been abandoned because there was no one to meet us for accommodation and flight details. We decided to go back to the accommodation we lived in before we set out on the convoy. We then had to take it upon ourselves to get us on a flight back to Baghdad International Airport; they didn’t even know that Basrah had an international airport or even where Basrah was! The Major who gave us the unusual rock drills was unfortunately out on another convoy, so we were not able to speak to him about getting back. We found the personnel terminal again and the officials helpfully got us onto a flight at 2330 that night. We turned up on time only to find that the flight had been cancelled and no one had bothered to tell us! We once again made our way back to the terminal where they told us there were no flights available until the 02.08.04.
We became quite popular with the staff of the accommodation, as we had been thrown back and forth for the past few days. We were trying every place on camp to see if they could book us on an earlier flight but nothing seemed to be available. We eventually got in touch with the British contingent – they informed immediately that there was a direct flight to Basrah on the 01.08.04 at 0430. We touched down at 0700 that day. With hindsight I found the US Army unprofessional to work with. This was ultimately due to my experience of their standard operating procedures and how they reacted and worked in an operational environment; they had magazines full of rounds lying all over the floor of their vehicle, night vision goggles and body armour scattered without any care or attention. In contrast however, I found the US Marines a lot more disciplined and hospitable. The experience was very different to our current tasking in theatre at the moment – it was refreshing to have an unusual and unique insight into the lives of other forces.
Household Cavalry News
The Queen’s Own Yeomanry By Major ADT Carrick-Buchanan TD Squadron Leader A (Ayrshire (Earl of Carrick’s Own) Yeomanry) Sqn.
hat on earth is the Ayrshire Yeomanry and how did The Household Cavalry Regiment find themselves tied up with a Scottish Yeomanry Squadron? - Fair questions.
I will attempt in these brief lines to set out some of the background in which I find myself writing these brief notes. Some prelims. The Sqn is one of the five Squadrons of Newcastle based the Queen’s Own Yeomanry (QOY) consisting of Y Sqn (Yorkshire Yeomanry, York) A Sqn (Ayrshire Yeomanry, Ayr) D Sqn (Northumberland Hussars, Newcastle) C Sqn (Scottish Horse/Fife & Forfar Yeomanry, Cupar) and B Sqn (North Irish Horse, Belfast). These were all regiments until the reorganisation of the Yeomanry in the 1960s when these five separate regiments became Sqns. A union of regiments if you like. The Ayrshire Sqn was raised in 1793 by the 12th Earl of Cassillis at Culzean Castle Ayrshire, with membership drawn from the local aristocracy, gentry and yeoman farmers and farm hands. The enemy was Napoleon and his considered intent was, of course, invasion. When he failed to appear, the Yeomanry throughout Great Britain and Ireland were used as a reserve cavalry and largely deployed during the 19th Century to suppress civil unrest, as the country struggled with the tensions of political and economic reform.
ian’s tank divisions. Many Yeomanry regiments were rapidly retrained in armoured warfare. The Ayrshire Yeomanry for some reason was informed they would be converting to Artillery. Apparently this was a partially democratic process and they were offered a choice - anti-tank, anti-aircraft or field artillery. An officers mess meeting opted for Field Artillery, largely as most of the mess were huntsman and although few recognised the word artillery they were all very familiar with the word field, which offered the prospect of more ‘sport.’
Returning to the present day. The QOY is the only Territorial FR regiment and is mandated to provide trained individuals and crews in order to support regular FR regiments. Each Sqn of QOY has been affiliated to a regular FR regiment. A Sqn QOY has been privileged to be role affiliated to The Household Cavalry Regiment. In practice, when RHQ HCR calls for additional personnel, as was the case for TELIC 4, the 25 Yeomen who deployed were drawn from across the QOY. That is why you received a cocktail of Scots, Ulster, Yorkshire and Geordie accents to deal with.
152nd Field Regiment R.A. (Ayrshire Yeomanry) spent the war supporting 1st Guards Brigade in North Africa and Italy. A second regiment was also raised, the 151st Field Regiment R.A. (Ayrshire Yeomanry) which landed in Normandy and fought into NE Europe.
It is early days for any judgements on the success of FR role affiliation to be made. However, YEO FAS is looking at how it can be further enhanced and an announcement is expected during 2005. Bean counters allowing of course.
Post war ironically witnessed the regiment becoming properly mechanised and have been equipped with various vehicles including Centurion, Fox, Sabre and finally Scimitar.
I hope the above provides a flavour of where the QOY is coming from and trust that the Yeomanry and A Sqn in particular is able to provide continued support when required to the Regiment.
The Boer war was the first overseas deployment for the Sqn, then a regiment, along with the rest of the Yeomanry. They were considered the ideal formation to take on the Boer, for the Afrikaners were also essentially rural people. Both had an intimate understanding of ground, horsemanship and hunting. The First and Second World Wars witnessed extensive Yeomanry service. The Great War in a largely dismounted role, as part of the ‘Broken Spur’ cavalry division. The regiment endured such pleasures as Gallipoli and Ypres. At the outbreak of war in 1939, mechanisation had yet to reach the depths of Ayrshire. Perhaps, sensibly, the powers that be decided horsed cavalry would be at a distinct disadvantage against Guder-
Household Cavalry News
Sgt Jim Shoebridge with B Sqn HCR.
Combats to Cuirasses by Captain R A Gibbs The Blues and Royals
y the end of June 03 I had spent nearly 5 months with D Squadron in Iraq, my job involved being the Squadron Liaison Officer and a Staff Job “ISTAR” with 16 Air Assault Brigade HQ. This intense time was similar to an emotional roller coaster. The Squadron experienced highs and tragic lows, sometimes daily. The relentless pressure surrounding the job of D Squadron was enormous, but was eased by the enormous support from families and friends.
The realities of Iraq were a constant upward struggle especially when having to drink ten litres of water a day in 55ºF heat, whilst wearing body armour and helmets. There were many sleepless nights, luckily NBC suits were rarely worn as they were certainly no fun to sleep in. Vehicle maintenance was important and spare parts for the CVRT were crucial. One could not afford the weapon system to jam at an inopportune moment, or the track to be damaged. Throughout my training I have always been told to “play the game, Sir”. Reality bites when dealing with real life sighting, and contact, reports, especially when an enemy force is firing live artillery, and all other weapon systems at the Squadron. When lives are at risk, it is far from being a game. Nobody will forget the “blue on blue” and the road traffic incidents. I felt incredibly humbled and proud with how every member of the Squadron went about their job and dealt with everything in such a professional and mature manner, under enormous pressure. Riding started in August 03, after a month of leave. The main shock was the six o’clock stables six days a week, and strange expressions including; “Last two’s”, “Forty Eights” and “Your kit is bogging, Sir!” Looking after a horse is very similar to the CVRT, both as temperamental as each other, and both need an extensive first and last parade. The riding was intense; sitting trot for a ninety minute lesson, sometimes twice a day is not something to wish on the faint hearted. Thank goodness for padded cycling shorts. The kit cleaning was certainly a new emotion unto itself. I cannot believe having taken eight hours bobbing the black kit, it can be ruined in that many seconds once the horse moves or decides to rub its tack against the brick wall. I remember I almost
wished I was back in Iraq, maybe only just for a split nano-second. Hopefully I have managed to lose the kind observation “he just looks like a rugby player plonked on a horse”. Luckily the riding staff gave me countless extra lessons, hours of patience and good humoured banter. I have become quite accustomed to “dirty stops” whilst show jumping. I have learned horses can really slam on the brakes; unfortunately I don’t tend to stop quite as well. I can confirm that the riding school surface is much more palatable than the sand in Iraq. Riding in ceremonial state kit instructed by the Riding Master is very comparable to running in full NBC kit in the desert heat. Both are just as exhausting, and certainly as uncomfortable as each other. I feel I deserve a “Riding School” medal having completed khaki and kit ride. However, everyone else seems to share the opinion that my poor horse should receive it, having had to carry my sixteen stone around for the past six months. My experiences in Iraq and Knightsbridge have been challenging to say the least. The soldiers of both Regiments, in the Iraqi desert under Iraqi artillery, and in the cleaning rooms of Knightsbridge, bobbing 24/7, they have proved their professionalism, adaptability and tenacity when it really counts. I now have a balanced idea of what it really means to be in the Household Cavalry.
Capt Gibbs (left) on Queen’s Birthday Parade 2004.
Capt Gibbs in back of Landrover in Iraq on Op TELIC 1.
Household Cavalry News
Laying Up of Standards Her Majesty The Queen graciously presented The Household Cavalry with new Standards and Guidon on 21st May 2003. Therefore there was a requirement to find suitable homes for the four Life Guard and four Blue and Royal Standards as well as The Blues and Royals Guidon. The Household Cavalry Standing Orders state that the Colonels of the two Regiments, in consultation with Commander Household Cavalry and the two Commanding Officers will decide when and where the Standards are placed and that this has to be endorsed by Her Majesty. They are to be lodged in Churches attended by distinguished Household Cavalry Officers or in Cathedrals or Churches of towns with close Regimental connections. They are also allowed to be in Public Buildings which can include the Regimental Museum. PS12 (A) also lay down that the place that they are lodged is to be accessible by the public. Her Majesty has agreed that the Standards are to laid up as follows:
The Life Guards
The Blues and Royals
Chapel at Blenheim Palace by courtesy of The Duke of Marlborough on 16th May 2004.
St Maryâ€™s Church Stratfield Saye by courtesy of The Duke of Wellington on 27 October 2004
Squadron (Union) Standard
Squadron (Union) Standard
Chapel at Melbury House, Devon by courtesy of The Hon Mrs James Townshend on 19th September 2004.
War Memorial Building Harrow School on 23 June 2004.
Squadron (Union) Standard Squadron (Union) Standard Milton (Marholm Church), Peterborough by courtesy of Sir Philip Naylor-Leyland to take place on 22 May 2005.
Penmyarth Church Glanusk Park by courtesy of Captain William and The Hon Mrs Legge-Bourke on 23 September 2004.
Squadron (Union) Standard Squadron (Union) Standard Chapel at Eton College to take place on a date in 2005.
Minto Church, Harwick by courtesy of Major and Mrs Gavin Tweedie on 10 October 2004.
Guidon to be lodged in the Household Cavalry Museum.
The Life Guards Sovereignâ€™s Standard, Blenheim Palace 16 May 05
Standard Party entering the Chapel at Blenhiem Palace.
General The Lord Guthrie, Colonel LG, giving the address.
Household Cavalry News
Lt Col HSJ Scott LG handing over the Standard.
The Life Guards Squadron (Union) Standard - Melbury House 16 May 2004
Standard Party waiting to go on.
The Life Guards Band Beating the Retreat.
Standard Party marching off.
The Blues and Royals Sovereig’s Standard, St Mary’s Church, Stratfield Saye, 27 October 2004.
Standard Party waiting to start.
Blues and Royals Sovereign’s Standard resting on the altar.
Trumpet Major and LCoh Jones.
The Blues and Royals Squadron Standard, Penmyarth Church Glanusk Park, on 23 September 2004.
Squadron Standard The Blues and Royals resting on the Altar.
Squadron Standard in final resting place.
The Blues and Royals Squadron Standard, Harrow School, 23 June 04
The Squadron Standard of The Blues and Royals was laid up in the War Memorial at Harrow School on 23 June 2004. To its left is the Squadron Standard of The Life Guards which was laid up 10 years ago.
Captain William, Mrs Legge-Bourke and Trumpet Major.
The Blues and Royals Squadron Standard, Minto Church, 10 October 2004
Squadron (Union) Standard Minto Church, Harwick.
Household Cavalry News
The Entente Cordiale Centenary - Bastille Day Parade By Capt JEA de St John-Pryce, The Blues and Royals ive la France and God Save the Queen are not often heard in unison but it has happened .... once, and I was there to witness it. 100 years ago, amidst a Europe torn by war and instability, Great Britain and France decided to put aside their ancestral hate for each other to form the Entente Cordiale and balance the threat posed by other European nations. Like the EU and the single currency, the French somehow managed to turn things their way and had it called the ‘Entente Cordiale’ when it would have sounded equally good as the more Anglophile ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’. But that’s all history.
To celebrate the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, the Household Cavalry, Grenadier Guards, King’s Troop and Band of the Royal Marines were invited to join elements of the French Army in their parade down the Champs-Elysees on the 14th July. But it is hard to grasp as an Englishman the importance that Bastille Day holds for the French as the holiest day in their secular calendar, it’s like Yom Kippur in Tel Aviv, and the huge honour it is for a French serviceman to be there. Having a soupçon of french in me, I jumped at the opportunity to be part of it and to gain the approval of my French cousins who are still coming to terms with me joining the ranks of the enemy.
As June turned into July, the full enormity of the task became apparent: to move 70 men and 60 horses to France; set up a yard; train and rehearse to produce a unique performance in a foreign city. The whole Regiment set to work and in the very early hours of the 8th July, the long convoy of coaches, lorries and horseboxes set off for Dover. The rendezvous with the Garde Republicaine, our French counterpart, proved to be a little more ‘special’ than expected as a fleet of their motorcycle escort group, more accustomed to escorting the President, turned up to lead us to Paris. The motorway traffic parted as we cruised comfortably through, leaving French motorists curious as to what type of VIPs would be travelling in 5 coaches, 4 lorries and 16 horseboxes! They worked very hard to accommodate us comfortably and to ensure that we were impressed. Once encamped in front of the Chateau de Vincennes on the eastern edge of Paris, we began a most demanding build up program both for the men and horses. After only a day to settle in, the recces and early morning rehearsals began and instead of sight seeing we found ourselves kit cleaning. Every part of the parade had to be worked out to the finest detail between what the French wanted us to do (we said No to returning the
The Household Cavalry in good order arriving at the Dias.
Household Cavalry News
Colonel Massey leads the Household Cavalry and King’s Troop. The Helicopter display can be seen above the Arc de Triomphe.
Eagle), what we wanted to do (they said No to letting us have another one) and what the Silver Stick said we would do. One ‘minor’ detail that emerged was the 20 mile round trip from the barracks to the Champs- Elysées, meaning a 71⁄2 hour ride there and back for a 30 minute rehearsal! The incredible sight of 300
The President arrives. The French prefer a DMP Jeep to a gold coach.
horses marching through the wide avenues of Paris in the small hours of the morning was certainly as memorable as the rush of trotting down Les Champs. Day after day of early morning rehearsals and late night parties took its toll but we were not to be out done and certainly not by the Queen’s Company. Colonel Salvador, the Garde’s unmistakable Commanding Officer with his unique moustache, invited the officers for a ride round all the major sights of the capital, an exceptional priviledge. The big day was heralded by reveille just after midnight, in order to groom, dress and mount up in time for the 3:30 step off! The 31⁄2hour ride down in full state
The Band of Garde Republicaine, notice they only have trumpets and two drums.
kit went by quickly as we enjoyed the tree lined Grands Boulevards and other sights of Paris from a very unique ‘point de vue’. The two divisions and standard party were in place on time ready to parade down the Champs-Elysées, but unlike the Prussians and Germans before us, we had been invited. After a showery week and initial fears that we might have to cloak up, the 14th had a clear blue sky and summer sunshine, in the heat and under the helmets, I’m sure some were praying for rain. The enormity of the event and grandeur of our place in it hit us as we emerged onto the main drag to take up our position for the initial drive past of the President. To our left were thousands of troops, vehicles
and tanks lined up all the way to the Arc de Triomphe along with tens of thousands of patriotic spectators clapping and cheering. The Regiment looked particularly smart, especially stood between the Grenadier Guards and the King’s Troop, as the President passed us flanked by our hosts from the Garde Republicaine. After almost an hour of waiting for the troops on foot to parade, it was our turn. Led by the Silver Stick and the Commanding Officer, the King’s Troop took up position in front of The Life Guards division with The Blues and Royals behind them. The order was given and the contingent broke into trot. The
The Blues and Royals Division on the Champs Elysées.
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The Life Guards Division.
The leading edge of France’s modern army - the Pioneers of the Foreign Legion.
The British Officers and their host in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral.
The Queen’s Company, Grenadier Guards opens the Parade wth the French ‘Red Arrow’.
cheering and clapping from all side was overwhelming as everyone focused on speed, alignment, dressing and posture. The experience of trotting down the Champs was very accurately described by one the French officers as going down a tunnel, the crowd and the noise disappeared from our minds as we steadily progressed. A quick glance over my shoulder, as we approached the Presidential box, confirmed that The Blues and Royals division was looking it’s best. The ‘Eyes Left’, ‘Head Right Wheel’ in front of the dias came and went in a split second and before we knew it we had emerged onto the Place de la Concorde and were calmly trotting onto the bridge. At once came the thunderous noise of dozens of helicopters over the parade behind us, our horses were not affected but it was the Garde Republicaine who suffered. The helicopter display arrived two full minutes early just as the Garde were passing the dias and the majority of their horses took off. Their divisions were scattered with a number of riders on the ground, a similar outcome to the last time the Household Cavalry and the Garde were together, at Waterloo. The long ride back to camp was highlighted by all the marching troops having done their bit, drinking champagne and cheering us on along the embankments of the Seine. The adrenaline slowly wore off and the incredible sense of satisfaction at what we had just achieved came into mind, only to be immediately replaced by the painful thought of another 21⁄2 hours in the saddle to get to Vincennes!
July for them and a first for us were memorable if only one could remember what happened after the second glass of what they claim was home made wine, but tasted very much like absynth. The ensuing clear up happened extremely quickly with everyone getting stuck in and following a seven day lead up to the parade, we were all packed and on the way home only 12 hours after it, a job well done.
The ensuing celebrations laid on by the French to mark the end of another 14th
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The immense pride of all Brits in France, no small number of which has been brought to my attention, is a clear testament to the success of the Household Cavalry’s part in the Bastille Day parade and that of the soldiers who worked so hard to ensure that we were the best.
The French stables at Celestin Barracks.
Captain Richard Waygood on his trusted steed.
The officers of The Household Cavalry and the Guarde Republicaine in the Quartier des Celestine immediately before mounting to go on the 14 July Parade.
Household Cavalry Support To The International League For The Protection Of Horses By Major MCE Morrison RVC his year the Forge was approached by the International League for the Protection of Horses (ILPH) to help support charity work in a number of developing countries. The Regiment was asked to provide a number of farriers to make up teams that could travel out to countries to teach basic equine skills to communities in need. There was no shortage of volunteers within the Forge to support the charity’s work, and FLCoH Darlington travelled out to Fiji, LCoH Ravenscroft to the Gambia, and LCpl Hamilton to South Africa, all giving up leave to do so.
of students in selected areas hoping that they in turn will deliver training to others in the community. The charity runs a series of courses training students in basic farriery, saddlery or horse husbandry. Typically each course trains some ten students, runs over a year and comprises four modules, each lasting about two weeks. At the end of a training year, students are awarded a certificate and are given the tools they have been training with. The aspiration is that they will pass on what they have learned to those around them.
ILPH, in trying to improve horse welfare, concentrates on educating groups
Once a project in any particular country has started, ILPH continues to return to that country for some ten years or so,
each year concentrating on training people in different areas. Whenever possible, selected students from previous years are encouraged to assist with the delivery of training to new students. The ILPH try hard to work closely with other local charities, often relying on them to provide continuity in the intervals between each of the modules. For the work in South Africa, the Cart Horse charity provided that continuity, and in the Gambia it was the Horse and Donkey Gambia charity. The personal experiences of the three different farriers who supported ILPH this year are recorded in the following paragraphs.
Farriery in The Gambia FLCoH Ravenscroft
Most of the donkeys and many of the horses are looked after by the children of the villages and so I took part in some of the classroom lessons at the local schools, especially at the primary and middle schools, where we found many children keen to learn how to manage their animals better. I also helped with English lessons and gave talks to the children on the western world.
Many of the horses and donkeys were severely malnourished, and had little or no dental care. There were a lot with open wounds, caused either by ill fitting harness or by injury, but their owners have no way of treating the sores so they become infected and get worse. Many were covered in excrement or engine oil to keep the birds and flies from eating the flesh. One very small donkey had a huge open wound caused by being beaten by his owner, which he had covered in battery acid to “help him heal”. The flesh of the wound had started to cook as the acid burned into the skin in temperatures, some days, of 45oC. This sort of thing was a common sight and it took all the will in the world to stay focused on the main task, which was to educate both trainee farriers and owners and to relieve suffering.
LCoH Ravenscroft demonstrates farrier techniques in the Gambia.
A nasty open wound that had been treated with battery acid to help heal it.
he opportunity for a trip to the Gambia doesn’t come around very often and when asked to travel there as part of an ILPH training team, I jumped at the chance. As a newly qualified farrier, being asked to teach ten Africans my job in three weeks I knew I had a huge responsibility, not only to the course members, but also to the ILPH, who had entrusted this vital role to me.
A donkey in Gambia with a fractured right foreleg.
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We visited many villages, and a typical day would start around 0730hrs and finish about 1930hrs. There was very little time to stop and rest in during the day because of the sheer number of horses and donkeys requiring assistance. When word travelled that we had arrived in a certain village for the day, we were inundated with cases, some requiring small amounts of work others more lengthy treatments. At least once a day we would be presented with a donkey or horse with a broken limb. Many had walked miles to see us, with the owner thinking we had a cure to fix the leg and have the animal return to work
soon, obviously this was not going to happen and it was very distressing to see them being led away again to continue working with these terrible injuries. The Gambian people are very proud and will not agree to any animal being put down as it is forbidden, and frowned upon when suggested, regardless of the degree of suffering. With that in mind it is easy to imagine the frustration we felt when faced with these kinds of problems on a daily basis.
Farriery in South Africa
returned to help me teach the new students. I was very relieved to find that both the assistants and the students spoke good English and were enthusiastic and keen to learn, and this made my job that much easier.
FLCpl Hamilton After some fairly typical airport complications I flew into Capetown early on a Sunday morning in August, some 12 hours behind schedule. My late arrival played to my advantage in the end, for it left me a day to my own devices while I waited for transport to take me out to join the ILPH training team on the outskirts of the city. Spending the day ambling along the Waterfront with a wonderful view of Table Mountain, I had a great chance to catch up with some rest and soak up some of the atmosphere. Early on Monday I was picked up and driven some forty minutes out of Capetown into the Cape Flats shanty areas, where I met up with others of the ILPH training team, and almost immediately presented with my group of eight students. All the students belonged to a community colloquially known as “Carties”. Carties are scrap metal collectors by trade, and are so called because they use horse and cart to do their collecting. I was given two assistants, who were also both Carties. They had been on a previous ILPH training course and had
At the conclusion of the modules there remains a lasting legacy of competently
ILPH has been involved with horse welfare programmes in South Africa for many years now. In the Cape Flats area they work in close cooperation with a local charity called the “Cart Horse Charity”. The latter organisation provides a regular presence in the shanty area and, over time, has been able to introduce some fairly strict controls on equine welfare. The organisation, for example, has the authority to confiscate horses that are being mistreated and they do exercise that authority, and I was aware that some of the inspectors would go around with guard dogs just in case a controversial decision of theirs was challenged. The Cart Horse Charity delivers its support by travelling round the different shanty areas holding equine clinics. Setting up in a particular area, locals bring their horses into the clinic for advice and shoeing. As the ILPH training team, we tacked on to the Cart Horse clinics, and used the horses that were
Typical “Cartie” horse carrying its scrap metal load. Note: the lady in the centre belongs to the Cart Horse charity and is deciding whether to confiscate the horse on welfare grounds because it is suffering.
Household Cavalry News
trained farriers, harness makers and nutritionists who can not only make an improvement to the horses and donkeys of Gambia, but also to their owners and handlers through further training. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity of being involved in a sustainable solution for a brighter future for the horses, donkeys and people of the Gambia. I would strongly recommend anyone who is fortunate enough to be offered this type of opportunity to make a small difference, to take the offer up, it was a truly worthwhile trip and a very humbling experience.
Students practising newly learned farriery skills in the Cape Flats shanty area outside Capetown, South Africa.
being brought in as teaching aids. For allowing us to use their horses to teach on, the locals would get their horses shod at a reduced rate. All money generated went back into the Cart Horse charity. The course was structured to start with a couple of days of theory, and then progressed, through foot-trimming, to rudimentary shoeing. Whilst the students worked hard to improve themselves and
A typical equine Clinic being conducted in the Cape Flats shanty area outside Capetown, South Africa.
Typical “Cartie” horse shod with shoes the wrong size, and with long thin feet resulting from toes being left too long and the hoof walls on the side being excessively rasped.
A typical equine Clinic being conducted in the Cape Flats shanty are outside Capetown, South Africa.
to shoe horses as best they could, what I found hardest to contend with was the owners themselves, many of whom had very traditional ideas of how their horses should be shod. This meant that when they brought their horses in there was often debate as to how the job should be done. This did sometimes hinder the training process, and we occasionally made efforts to separate owner from horse, or sometimes just had to ignore the owner.
through his front door only to reappear moments later through the same door leading a horse behind him. I could only imagine how the horse and family lived in such close proximity, but it was clear that both sides were very reliant on each other. Seeing this sort of inter-dependence between horse and owner made me realise how important it was for the charities to be there to help provide a little more understanding about horse management.
I became aware of a number of typical farriery problems. The locals all seemed to like having horses with very long narrow toes. They would consistently fail to take enough toe off, and to make matters worse would often rasp the sides of the foot. There seemed to be a belief that a longer, narrower foot would make a horse go faster. All it actually did was make horses have to lift their knees higher to pick their feet up. Perhaps the Carties reckoned that this made their horses faster. It did not, but it was definitely increasing lameness. Another problem was that the locals would rarely attempt to and put the right sized shoe on their horse. Instead, they would take any size of shoe, no matter how big, and simply bend it inwards to fit the width! This often left a lot of spare metal at the back of the foot. Such problems led to many brushing and tread injuries.
Equine welfare in this area of South Africa has been supported for many years now, and having spoken to the two
Despite all the efforts of the ILPH and the Cart Horse Charity, there were plenty of lame horses to see. The main causes of lameness seemed to be worn out shoes and concussion, but there were plenty of interference injuries from illfitting shoes that did not always cause lameness. A few horses presented with owner-induced injuries, and at least one came in with its own wounds having been washed specifically in petrol because it was believed to be an appropriate treatment. I was surprised how intimately the Carties live with their horses. It wasn’t odd for a local to walk in to his house
farriers, who visited The Gambia and Fiji, it was clear that equine welfare was considerably more advanced. On a farrier footing, this meant that in South Africa it was practical to be teaching farriers to shoe horses. In the Gambia and Fiji courses were only aimed at dressing feet rather than placing shoes. I look back on my two weeks of work with happy memories and satisfaction. All the students on the course had been genuinely keen to learn, and when I left I felt that many of the lessons had been taken on board.
Farriery in Fiji FLCoH Darlington What a buzz to be offered an overseas trip, let alone all expenses paid, two and a half week trip to Fiji, just a pity I had to work for my keep. I flew out to Fiji on 14th June, and my brief was to teach ten Indo-Fijians the art of trimming horses’ feet with the help of two Fijian assistants. As it turned out, on my arrival at Nadi airport, I was informed by the team leader, John “Cider” Perrin (formerly of the Blues and Royals and Master Saddler) that there would, in fact, be only three students. This was because the sugar cane harvesting season had just begun and all hands were required to assist with that. During my trip I spent my time within the villages of the main island, Viti Levu, teaching my formal students about basic foot trimming. Additionally I found myself teaching the villagers about general horse care. They seemed to have no concept of good horsemanship, thinking of their horses only as a cheap form of transport. The only unpleasant part of visiting the villages was the “kava” that I had to
drink each time I arrived somewhere new. Kava, or as it is more commonly known, Muddy Water – because that is exactly what it tastes like – is a Fijian drink made from the ground up root of a Fijian pepper plant. The plant is put into a cloth bag and has water poured over it, much as you would do for tea, to produce a foul tasting drink. Kava is used as part of a welcoming ceremony for foreigners, but is drunk by Fijians and Indo-Fijians as an every day drink. As part of my trip, John Perrin felt it was only appropriate that, whilst I was in Fiji, I should see some of the sights. To that end we drove around the main island, and we also visited the capital, Suva, where we had the chance to sample some of the night life and one particular club called “Purple Haze”. I was sad when the course came to an end, not only because where I was staying had become something of a home, but also because I had made some good friends, not least John Perrin, who kept me entertained throughout the trip. To say that I enjoyed the whole experience is an understatement. It was a chance of a lifetime that I would recommend to anyone.
Household Cavalry News
Visit To The French International Farriery Competition January 2004. By WO2 Newman, The Blues and Royals uring the month of December 2003 the Regimental forge was sent an invitation to compete in the French International Farriery competition at the Chambre De Metiers De L’Oise in Beauvais. WO2 Newman HCMR, FCoH Macdonald HCMR, SSgt Watson KTRHA and FLSgt Bennett RAVC made up the team that would be representing both the Army and Britain.
After a two hour minibus ride from Calais to Beauvais the team arrived at the forge, which is a training establishment for farriers. The afternoon was spent practising and getting used to the fires and anvils, which are totally different to those back in Britain. That evening there was a managers meeting (mostly in French) and the competition started early the next morning, with the first round of shoemaking. This was the start of three days of intensive shoeing and shoemaking rounds with a total of up to 14 different types of shoes being made by each member of the team. During a gap in the competition the team members travelled to a small village called Auneuil, 7 miles outside Beauvais. Buried in the village cemetery are seven British Soldiers, two of whom were from The Royal Horse Guards; Cpl Hoddinott and Tpr Littler who died on 30 August 1944. During the Second World War the Guards Armoured Division (GAD) were one of the first to reach Beauvais and the surrounding area.
WO2 (Farriery Corporal Major) Newman.
These well-tended graves are situated against the cemetery wall, and on an obelisk nearby the names of those who lost their lives in a local prisoner of war camp.
French media who featured, SSgt Watson in a front page spread in the local newspaper and an interview with WO2 Newman was shown across the country on channel three.
The competition ended on Sunday evening with the team being placed fifth out of eight from across Europe. In the individual competition WO2 Newman made it through to the final, picking up the trophy for fifth place. FLSgt Bennett came fourteenth, SSgt Watson twentieth and FCoH Macdonald twenty-third. Overall it was an excellent competition, which was hard work but thoroughly rewarding. The team made a distinctively big impression with the
On the final day on route back to Calais, the team visited a large cemetery at St Pierre to the North Eastern side of Amiens (Somme). At the rear of the cemetery, 676 Commonwealth Graves from World War 1 and 82 from World War 2 can be found. On locating the grave of Cpl G W Smith RHG who died on the 1st September 1944, the team laid a Guards Division wreath remembering all those from the Guards Division buried there.
Exercise COCKNEY MAPLE 2004 The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (HCMR) was invited to return to Spruce Meadows for the 29th anniversary celebrations of the annual International Masters Show Jumping Tournament. Canadians do not do things by halves and Spruce Meadows is one of the largest Show Jumping complexes in the world attracting up to 55,000 visitors in any day. HCMR’s role was at the centre of the special features programme, specifically with event presentations and the provision of guard duties outside ‘British House’ during the tournament (8 - 12 September 2004). CoH Scovell, the Saddler, and LCpl Hume, the Riding Instructor, formed
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the advanced party heading out a few days earlier and they tuned up the Canadian horses and prepared them for Captain A H James and Troopers Fourie, Monger and Corbett. The horses were all ex-show jumping horses and took time getting used to the military kit and the weight of the rider. We had little time to prepare and before we knew it we were underway fulfilling our duties. There were a few interesting moments to start with but soon enough the horses had become accustomed to their new role and were escorting the winners around the arena with the finesse that we are used to seeing on the Musical Ride. The tournament was a tough week but
LCpl Hulme’s “Rodeo Ride’.
L/R LCpl Hume, Tpr Corbett, CoH Scovell, Tprs Monger and Fourie.
the team got to let their hair down during the Adventure Training week that had been planned. Initially we stayed on a ranch in the foothills of the Rockies where two cowgirls, Heidi and Marlene, looked after us and taught us a few tricks, one of which was how to lasso cattle. LCpl Hume was the only one to get the lasso around a bull’s neck; however before he could wrap it around his pommel he lost the bull with the lasso
HCMR at Spruce Meadows Masters Tournament.
still attached. Marlene and Heidi lead the chase with their lassos whirling around their heads thus setting everyone off in hot pursuit. We eventually brought it down and then LCpl Hume showed us how to ride a ‘wild bull’.
Rockies stunned us all even Trooper Fourie’s beer goggles cleared up long enough for him to appreciate the beauty of the mountains. The quad bikes proved to be an ideal way of getting deep into the forests where there were many hidden picturesque sights.
Having stayed on the ranch for a couple of days we then moved off to Banff in order to try the white water rafting and quad bike touring. The sight of the
None of us wanted to return to England and it was with a heavy heart that we left the mountains for home.
Life Guards Go Baroque By Major D W Cresswell, Director of Music The Life Guard t all started with a chance remark. LCoH Eddie Eccles, a trombone player of the Band of The Life Guards and regular member of the State Trumpet team, was entertaining his Mother in London over the Christmas period. A visit to the Tower of London was planned and Mr Ken Bryant, an ex musician of the 10th Royal Hussars, and now a Yeoman Warder, kindly hosted them. The trip was just about complete, and over a cup of tea in Ken’s kitchen the question was asked ‘”The trumpets in the Jewel House, are they ever played?” At that time, despite the trumpet’s actual location, the magnitude of the apparently innocent question wasn’t entirely clear.
The 16 trumpets in the Jewel House represent, by chance, the original establishment for the Royal Household from the reign on Henry VIII until the mid nineteenth century. 11 trumpets are normally on view, of which 8 bear inscriptions indicating their use by the 1st Regiment Life Guards, and others were made for the Royal Household, most of which bear the name of the trumpeter to whom they were first issued. Although bearing different goldsmiths’ marks, it is believed that all the trumpets were made by the famous Shaw firm, and are of course solid silver. The earliest is dated 1780, the newest 1848. (More precise
details of the trumpets are available from the Tower of London) The question was put to Mr. Keith Hanson, the chief exhibitor at the Tower, who, in conjunction with the Crown Jeweller, Mr. David Thomas, liked the idea and suggested that preliminary tests be made to see if sufficient of the trumpets were indeed still playable. SCpl John Ravenor of the Band of The Life Guards has an interest in natural trumpets and those of this era in particular. As a trained instrument repairer and through his other specialist knowledge he realised that the task was not quite as simple as it may appear on the surface. Baroque trumpets have a different mouthpiece receiver, so special adapters and tuning shanks had to be made up. Mr Matthew Parker, another expert instrument maker in this field also made two replica baroque mouthpieces and a further Schilke replica was purchased through the Internet. The first visit to the Tower was made early in January. SCpl Ravenor, LCoH Eccles and Mr. Parker were accompanied by another specialist player of baroque trumpets, Mr Michael Diprose. It was at this stage that first indications of the size and complexity of the project
became clear. Simply removing the trumpets from their highly secure cabinets in the Jewel House is a complicated affair in itself. It was known that all the mouthpieces were of no use at all as they are cosmetic replicas of the originals and not the real thing. The majority were also wedged solid in the instruments and required specialist tools to remove them, despite which three still refused to budge. Eventually four instruments were identified as being playable that day, being structurally sound and well tuned to each other, there being no tuning slides of any description. The Governor of the Tower, Major General Geoffrey Field vetted the final result of the day’s work. He agreed that a suitable date should be found to sound the trumpets in an official capacity. The project nearly faltered at this stage, as the initial proposed date in July became unsuitable. Having come this far however the Director of Music, Major David Cresswell suggested that the trumpets might be played at the Festival of Remembrance in the Royal Albert Hall to sound the Royal Salute and opening fanfare. This complicated the issue even further however, requiring the use of eight trumpets. There was to be no possibility of combining old with new as baroque pitch is almost a
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Behind the scenes ready to go.
Initial rehearsals at the Tower.
semitone sharper than that of today. The logistical and security nightmare of transporting these priceless items to the Royal Albert Hall also would have to be addressed. Further visits to the Tower by the entire team followed, and permission to proceed was granted by Sir Hugh Roberts, Director of the Royal Collection. Matching banners now had to be identified and fitted to the trumpets. Mrs. Janet Wood of the Tower’s textile department furnished the banners to the appropriate trumpets, utilising the Cambridge blue silk bows as opposed to the modern leather straps of today’s pattern. All bar one of the banners bore the ‘E R’
Old meets new Right, Shaw Silver Trumpet 1820.
A priceless quartet of silver Shaw Trumpets 1780 – 1840.
In action at the Festival of Remembrance.
cypher, surmounted however by the King’s crown, presumably from Edward VII’s reign. One banner bore the ‘G R’ cypher however. The design, continued to this day on the present State Trumpet banners, can be traced as far back as James II’s reign in the late 17th century. Special packing cases were constructed and extra security was provided in the shape of Mr.’s John Perkins and Allen Ivory of the Tower of London.
which time the Household Cavalry assumed responsibility for royal fanfares, due to the disbanding of the Corps of State Trumpeters by the Duke of Wellington as an economy saving measure. Both performances, including the Royal Salute for the arrival of Her Majesty The Queen were impeccably played, exactly as they must have been on these self-same instruments over 200 years ago.
Rehearsals went well. By now the team had grown accustomed to the different pitch and the trumpets themselves seemed to be awakened from their years of rest. It is thought the trumpets have not been played since the year 1848, at
To have had this opportunity of a very physical link with our forebears and to play such rare and valuable instruments in this way has been a wonderful opportunity, and we extend our gratitude to all those who have made it possible.
The Band of The Life Guards Goodwill Tour To New Zealand 8th – 27th February 2004 By Major D W Cresswell, Director Of Music The Life Guards Introduction. It was during the summer of 2002 that Mr Bob Davies, an old friend of the band, contacted us and made an appointment for a meeting. Bob, a leading light in the International Military Music Society, is also an entrepreneur who had organised a concert or two previously for the band. One previous occasion, a concert at Haileybury School in 2000 was not without incident, when a piece of band equipment was set alight by a stage light at the rear of the stage. We imagined that Bob had an idea for another such concert for us. Little did we suspect………
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Bob visited the band on 12th June 2002 to inform us that he was about to emigrate to New Zealand, and, once settled, could he look into the possibility of organising a tour for the band? The Director and Bandmaster cast each other knowing glances, laid out a few tenuous ideas and parameters, said farewell to Bob, and whilst genuinely wishing him the best of fortune for his emigration, wryly thought that was the last they would be seeing or hearing of him. The first Email arrived from Bob within a week of his arrival in NZ. By this time he had not even bought a car, let alone a
house, but was already making enquiries about a tour in February 2004, one of the indicators that had been given to him. By his own reckoning, and certainly justified by the huge files that the band possess, computers whirred and Internet traffic between NZ and GB increased significantly over the next 18 months or so. Plans were hatched, contacts were made and eventually the following message was received from Bob on 3rd September 2003 “You can tell the band they are coming to New Zealand!” Up to this point a huge amount of work had been completed, but now it started
in earnest. Manning forecasts at the time of the original plans had indicated that the band would almost certainly be up to strength, so 35 seats had been booked, plus another 2 for a pair of dismounted Dutymen to accompany the band. Regrettably the band still had a number of vacancies approaching the tour, so the services of SCpl Redman (RHG/D), Sgt Gwyther (WG), Sgt Dawson (DG), LCpl Lumb (DG) and Musn Snell (Para) were secured. The addition of CoH Payne and Tpr Bradbury to the party as the two Dutymen brought the full compliment to 37, and in the second week of February 2004 the tour started. Sunday 8th. Deployment started with the movement of the baggage party to the Air New Zealand freight depot at Feltham at 06.00 hrs. Pre-packing had estimated 1,450 kg of freight that was eventually weighed in at 1,477 kg, a good start to the administrative planning that had gone on in advance. In order to accommodate such a large amount of freight on the same routine domestic flight as the band, band members’ personal allowance had been restricted to only 25 kg. Within the band’s ranks were two experiencing their first ever flight, Musns Kennedy and Snell. Naturally all the band were very supportive and gave them useful tips on emergency procedures, the best position to adopt in case of unexpected crash landings and other general helpful information about flying. Sadly, Musn Snell, with us from the Band of The Parachute Regiment, didn’t prove to be such a good flyer and did experience some airsickness. His band will be keen to continue his training in this respect in the very near future. Tuesday 10th. We arrived bright and early at 0545 hrs local time to be met by Bob Davis and representatives from NZ Air Force base at Hobsonville, where our first accommodation was to be found. The temperature was in the mid 20s and it was clear and sunny, fatefully not a sign of things to come. It was our first introduction to our bus driver, Max and truck driver Bev, both M.T. drivers from the Whenuapai air base who were to accompany us for the entire tour. By this time we had experienced the first casualty of the tour. Having crossed the date line on the way over we had all inadvertently become members of the lost day club, the day in question being 9th February, WO2 Lazenbury’s birthday. He still can’t work out if he is actu-
ally a year older or not, but isn’t so bothered as he has clocked up so many anyhow! Wednesday 11th. The day dawned bright and sunny and after a morning kit cleaning and generally shaking out uniforms that had been packed for two days, the band were ready for their first engagement. The Bruce Mason Theatre is a lovely venue in Auckland town centre that had just been renovated and was to be reopened. The band was a surprise element to a small ceremony marking the occasion, the trumpeters also adding to the occasion in their inimitable style, supported by the two dismounted Dutymen. We then stayed on to set the concert band and rehearse for the following day’s performance. Thursday 12th. Four of the trumpeters, the two Dutymen, DoM, BM and BCM were up at 06.00 hrs the following morning on their way back to the Bruce Mason Theatre for a live T.V. interview on breakfast T.V. news. The trumpeters gave a splendid brace of fanfares and the DoM and BCM were interviewed live via a camera link with the studio, resplendently flanked by the two Dutymen. The Director of Music did a very good impersonation of a politician by ignoring a question completely and ensuring that the tour dates received a good plug. The phone in the Bruce Mason centre was hot with booking enquiries within two minutes of the piece going out on air, an encouraging sign. The band returned to the Bruce Mason Theatre for the first concert performance that evening. An audience of over 750 had gathered, and were over-awed by CoH Payne and Tpr Bradbury who looked splendid in the foyer. Warm was not the word however. Doors had to be opened and stage lighting reduced in order to make performing conditions more comfortable. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the concert, the Director of Music taking the opportunity to remind all of our rugby world cup champion status, repeated regularly throughout the tour and widely applauded due to Kiwi/Aussie rivalry. Friday 13th. The band was afforded the honour of marching through the centre of Auckland on another fine day, possibly the hottest of the tour. The march was preceded by a civic reception at the town hall in the presence of Sir Edmund and Lady Hillary, The Mayor, Counsellors
and the British Consul. SCpl Goodchild has climbed in the Himalayas and been photographed in front of Everest, so he was chosen to make a small presentation to Sir Edmund on behalf of the band. What was already a special moment for him became even more so when in return Sir Edmund gave him a signed a bottle of champagne to celebrate SCpl Goodchild’s 36th birthday that day. At the end of the march one member of the band was approached by a lady with the question, ‘Might there be somebody in the band called Richard Allen?’ WO2 Allen naturally replied, ‘Actually yes, it’s me.’ The lady replied, ‘Oh good, I’m your Auntie!’ Another wonderful moment. The band then travelled to Rotarua during the afternoon, via Matta Matta and some stunning scenery, the area in which much of the Lord of the Rings was filmed, arriving in the evening to stay for two nights at the Kingsgate Hotel. Saturday 14th. The day started with the opportunity to do some sightseeing and a tour around the wonderful Maori culture centre called WHAKAREWATONGAOTEOPETAUAWAHIAO, which roughly translates as the gathering place for the war parties of Wahiao. The centre included impressive geysers and hot mud pools, both with a temperature of over 90°C. Our excellent guides split the group and took the girls away to learn the traditional Maori Poi-Poi dance involving swinging balls on strings, whilst the chaps were taken into a large traditional hut to learn the Hukka. The Hukka is the traditional Maori welcome dance involving much shouting, growling and tongue sticking out, made famous by the all-black rugby team. LCpl Isherwood was appointed HukkaMajor, and we enjoyed the learning experience. We were informed that our final performance had to be in traditional topless mode. Just as we had stripped off and made our way to the stage, about 150 tourists walked in and sat down. What followed was not one of our best performances of the tour, but we gave it our all. The girls charmed us with their Poi-Poi dance to the tune ‘My Guy’ which of course the band joined in with the ‘My Guys’. A quick plug for our evening’s concert probably sold a few more tickets, having assured the audience that they could look forward to something slightly more professional later in the day! The concert was a great success with an audience in excess of 700 people.
Household Cavalry News
WO2 Francis a riding lesson….
Sunday 15th. Our whistle-stop trip to Rotarua would not have been complete without a visit to the Luge. Set on three concrete tracks (beginners, intermediate and fast) it is an exhilarating trip down the side of a mountain on a piece of equipment resembling not a great deal more than a large plastic tray on rollers. Everyone had to complete one run on the beginners’ track prior to looking forward to the more exciting challenges. It was no surprise to learn however that the Bandmaster and SCpl Redman had already come to blows on the beginners’ track. Their competitive spirit had been nurtured on the ski slopes last year whilst adventure training in Italy, and neither of them could bear to be the last down. Serious fun was had by all, including many of the band enjoying the fantastic sky-rocket chair ride, though video evidence quite to the contrary does exist on behalf of the BCM. It was on our departure from Rotarua that the weather had showed signs of deterioration. Our journey to Wellington continued via the splendid military museum at Waiouru and also dinner in the army camp there, but by now the road and weather conditions were becoming much worse. What followed can only be described as quite the most horrific journey the band has ever endured, across the desert road. Heavy rain, wind, floods, fallen trees and at one point a land slip involving quite large boulders bouncing onto the road in front of the moving coach punctuated the eventful night. It was 2330hrs by the time we found our accommodation at Trentham army barracks at Upper Hutt, also by which time the coach had started to make some rather unhealthy noises. Monday 16th. We awoke to teeming rain and the news that all roads into Wellington were blocked, this being the day of our performance at the High Commissioner’s
Household Cavalry News
LCoH Carter sheltering from the rain at the New Plymouth Tatoo.
residence. The bus went away for repairs and the Commission was contacted to make wet weather arrangements and to explain our delay. We were informed that the roads should be clear by 1500hrs. Just as we heard that the roads were clear a replacement bus was confirmed courtesy of the N.Z. army. We set off and headed south on the motorway, which follows the Hutt river. The raging torrent, which had burst its banks in many places, was feeding huge amounts of silt into the bay at Wellington and instead of the picture postcard azure blue that we anticipated, we encountered mucky brown sludge. Unbelievably just as we parked the rain stopped and the sun emerged. The lawn (not quite as large as anticipated) was wet on the surface but very well drained and perfect for our marching display. Commander Household Cavalry had arrived and witnessed us making final fine-tuning to the main display and working out how to access the garden through the trees without leaving too many plumes hanging in them. By the time the woodwind quintet started at 1800 hrs the entire event had been returned outdoors. The marching display and brass quintet continued, not only in the presence of the High Commissioner but also the Chief of the Defence Force, Chief of Air Force, Chief of Navy and Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, among the many other distinguished guests. We all had a sense of not only a job well done but a lucky escape from the weather, which was now the worst summer since 1975. Tuesday 17th . The day dawned in much the same wet mode and we suffered the first casualty of the weather with the cancellation of our marching display outside the Wellington civic centre at lunchtime. The hall staff cleared chairs in the centre itself and we gave a quick static performance indoors. The Mayor’s kind words of welcome were responded to by Commander
Household Cavalry and after an afternoon sight-seeing a very wet city, a wonderful concert was performed in the splendid surroundings of the civic hall with its lovely balcony and superb backdrop of impressive organ pipes. Wednesday 18th. The band packed up once again for the journey to New Plymouth, the location of our next engagement in the shape of the Taranaki Searchlight Tattoo. Lunch was taken at the Retired Services Association at Wanganui. Musn Jones felt a bit peckish and ordered a steak. She was presented with a meal that Desperate Dan would have struggled with, quite the largest steak any of us have ever seen. Retiring to the rest area after lunch, Commander Household Cavalry gave LCpl Gray a convincing lesson in how to play pool. On arrival in New Plymouth the Band settled into the comfortable Devon Hotel for the evening while the Director of Music was whisked off to the first rehearsals for the Tattoo. Thursday 19th. The Band travelled to the nearby town of Stratford to perform a workshop for the local children along with the Royal Australian Air Force Air Command Band, who were also to appear on the Tattoo. The Band gave a presentation of varied music charting the development of military bands since the formation of the Royal Military School of Music in 1857. Both bands marched through the town centre during a brief spot of sunshine. After lunch the Australians gave a superb presentation of their big dance band which was blessed with some outstanding instrumentalists, particularly in the saxophone section. It was back to the hotel to cement (or lubricate!) our new friendship with the Aussies that evening. There were more rehearsals for the Director of Music, although he and the Bandmaster did squeeze in a quick swim in the sea that afternoon. Others of the
High Commissioner’s Residence, Wellington.
band repeated this feat the following day, much to the amusement of the beach ‘lifeguards’ who were expecting a day off in the prevailing weather conditions! (Mad dogs?) Friday 20th. With more interruptions due to the weather, rehearsals started at the Yarrow stadium for the tattoo, including the massed bands formations for the opening and closing sequences. Major David Clearwater of the New Zealand Army, the arena co-ordinator, whipped the sequences into shape, which by now were being rehearsed outside the main stadium to protect the grass form excessive wear due to the weather. For this reason a full run through of the sequences was not possible plus the availability of many of the civilian organisations involved could not be incorporated until the weekend. Saturday 21st. Rehearsals continued under boding skies. Satellite forecasts were not good and the sad decision was taken to call off the show for the day at 1500 hrs. The cast retired to their many watering holes to drown their sorrows as the next bout of extreme weather blew in from the southwest. Sunday 22nd. The day dawned brighter with rehearsals schedule to commence at 1300 hrs. A sharp shower briefly interrupted the afternoon rehearsals for the tattoo, but the weather was slowly improving. Mammoth efforts by cast and crew finally came to fruition and the show opened with the trumpeters heralding the arrival of the principal guest, Rear Admiral Peter Molesworth, Chief of Navy. The Director of Music’s arrival was every bit as grand in a London taxicab! The show formally opened with a fanfare saluting the United Nations, which combined
On parade New Plymouth Tattoo.
Life Guard cavalry trumpeters with Aida trumpets of the NZ air force and navy bands, composed for the occasion by the Director of Music. The Band’s short individual marching display was extremely well received by a large and enthusiastic audience in excess of 15,000. The Director of Music led the cast through a finale, which comprised over 2,000 performers, including an impressive rendition of the 1812 overture, complete with a full battery of 105 mm light guns from the 16th Field Regiment Royal New Zealand Artillery. A great night was had by all, audience and performers alike and following the previous evening’s disappointment many a whistle was wetted to celebrate a sense of achievement. Monday 23rd. With little time to pause for breath or even a pick-me-up, the band were packed up and ready to move on at 0900 hrs the following morning en route to Hamilton. A stop at the enchanting limestone caves at Wiatomo broke the journey. A hearty truck-stop lunch girded us for the evening’s concert in Hamilton, for which ticket sales had been rather slow until the intervention of Gavin Marriot, a local IMMS member. His personal ticket sales of in excess of 700 seats resulted in a sell-out enthusiastic audience of over 1100, one of the best of the tour. We journeyed on back to Auckland after the concert, hitting a late night shift at Burger King. We also encountered some more horrific weather in the shape of buckets of rain accompanied by extremely impressive lightening, eventually arriving at 0145 hrs. Tuesday 24th. A completely free day for the band meant that many dispersed to sight-see, shop or simply catch up on some sleep. Sadly however some of the day’s planned activities fell foul of the weather, big game fishing, sailing and simple sunbathing amongst them.
Wednesday 25th. After a relaxing morning the band headed off to a marching display at the Whenuapai air base to thank them for their hospitality. The very high winds on the runway prevented an outdoor performance, so a hangar was hastily cleared for the display, which simply meant dragging a Hercules out of its servicing bay! As two other aircraft had been pre-positioned on the runway this meant a total of three had been moved to accommodate our display, quite an honour for us. The Bruce Mason Theatre in Auckland was the setting for our final performance of the tour, full circle from where we started. The final concert played to a sellout audience and the band certainly rose to the occasion, a high-class performance being rounded off with a stunning rendition of the Schostakovic Festive Overture. The freight was packed that night after the concert, despatched to the airport at 0900 hrs the following morning and the band flew out that evening. We were played out of the barracks by a dixie quartet from the base Air Force band and said our fond farewells to Bob, Bev and Max at the airport, arriving back at Heathrow punctually at 0945 hrs on Friday 27th. And so ended what had proved to be a wonderful experience for the band. We said a big public thank you to Bob Davies on the concert platform in Auckland and presented him with a half-size embroidered trumpet banner. His enthusiasm, attention to detail, determination and exuberance had given the band the opportunity to perform, as far as anyone can tell, for the first time in the Southern Hemisphere in their 344-year history.
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The Band of The Life Guards Finland 2nd – 10th August 2004 Hamina Tattoo By Major D W Cresswell, Director of Music The Life Guards n August 2004 the Band of The Life Guards were tasked by PS12 to participate in the Hamina Tattoo in Finland, and to also be a part of the 150th anniversary celebrations of one of the battles of the Crimea. Details of the tour were organized via the embassy in Helsinki who had also organized previous British band participation in the tattoo in the past.
Hamina is a small town on the south coast of Finland. It is laid out around a central circle, close to which is the 18th century bastion, a circular fortress now covered with a large canopy, offering 5,000 covered seats with a wonderful acoustic. It has been home to the tattoo biennially since 1990. After a comfortable flight we were reunited with our freight at Helsinki airport and rounded up two stray boxes, one of which happened to contain all the music. We were introduced to our four guides and translators for the trip. Jaana Suikkanen and Anna Mustonnen were two local ladies who had worked as guides on the tattoo previously, and Benjamin Vellacot and Riku Kilpeläinen were officer cadets undergoing conscription in the Finnish army and had been seconded to the tattoo liaison team. Interestingly Riku was completing conscription in the last year possible, having travelled from his home in USA where he is a professional ice hockey player. All four were totally dedicated and catered for our every need throughout the tour. Having traveled to our accommodation in Hamina, a two-hour drive, we headed back the following day to perform a mini-tattoo in the Town Square in
The Band relaxing in Finland.
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Helsinki. Our trip coincided with the best weather of the year in Finland and it was hot and humid, as it remained for the entire week. An impressive audience of over 4,000 people gathered on the steps of the beautiful cathedral for what was the first of a number of sweltering displays. The following day was our first introduction to the Central Band of the Leningrad Military District under the baton of Captain Grigory Sokolov, and their accompanying drill display team. We marched on to the arena through the ranks of the Russians, playing the tune Oolannin Sota, a traditional Finnish tune, our movements symbolizing the Crimean battle referred to earlier. This mysterious battle of sorts was waged at sea as a distraction to the main effort going on elsewhere. On August 6th 1855 the Anglo-French Fleet lead by Admirals Richard Dundas on Duke of Wellington and Charles Penaud on Tourville pounded the fortress at Sveaborg for three days. The cannonade caused only small material damage, despite over 17,000 shells being fired. On 13th August the ships sailed off, leaving the town intact. Intended only as a distraction this action is little known as part of the Crimean campaign, paling somewhat into insignificance alongside Balaklava and the actions of Florence Nightingale. This said, after a performance at Kotka the following day, the Band boarded a large sailing vessel and set sail for Tervesaari, where the ‘battle’ was re-enacted in impressive style, the only difference this time being that the British actually landed due to having another performance that evening!
Major Creswell (DOM LG) with the Russian Director of Music.
An evening concert in a concert hall that had been converted from an indoor riding menage, performances at old peoples’ homes and a parade in the town ‘circle’ to announce the start of the tattoo followed, all in the heat of the warmest weather in Finland for the entire summer. An outdoor concert performance on a Saturday morning for an audience of over 2,000 was probably the warmest however. Despite the temperature soaring to over 35º the programme was completed much to the delight of the audience who were in the shade, the band not of course! The main effort throughout however was the tattoo itself. Bands from Estonia, Russia, Germany, India and Finland joined forces to produce a programme with huge variety, all bands joining force at the end for a simple yet poignant finale. Chief Guests included the Finnish Chief of the Defence Staff, and on the final night the President of
Hamina Tattoo Finale.
Finland. In the town centre, away from the bastion was another large tent where a variety of rock, pop and folk bands provided entertainment every night and also the ‘officers club’ within the garrison had nightly jam sessions. These venues proved ideal to both relax and cement relationships with our musical colleagues. Mutual respect between us and both the German band, Luftwaffemusikkorps 1 from Munich and the Russians was particularly evident. The Germans in particular were impressed and mystified as to quite how a band of 31 sounded like 60. As luck would have it, less than two hours after the closing ceremony the heavens opened and torrential rain flooded the entire region.
On the final day of the tattoo relationships with the Russians were further cemented in a game of football, a closely contested match, the result of which was a 2-1 win for the Life Guards. Regrettably and showing no consideration whatsoever, the match had to be curtailed as the President of Finland’s helicopter was scheduled to land in the middle of the pitch. She was blissfully unaware of the inconvenience caused, and the Russians, claiming that a draw at least would have been achieved had the match run its course, have invited us to St Petersburg for a re-match next year!
tunity for an early morning hack out of a very impressive and well-equipped local stable. Then during the afternoon most of the band went on a cruise and swim, both activities arranged personally by our guides. Sadly the weather had not recovered and the cruise home was decidedly cool! It is the intention of the organizing committee to continue to invite British bands to Finland, which hopefully in the future will provide other bands with the same pleasure of participating in the Hamina Tattoo.
A rest day at the end of the tour provided a number of the band with the oppor-
“Sticking Your Head Above The Parapet” The road to becoming a Sandhurst Instructor By SCpl D Goodall The Blues and Royals INTRODUCTION The phrase “sticking your head above the parapet” was used by Col Gandell late Para, Col Trg at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in 2003, to describe the experience of attempting The RMAS Instructors Cadre. It is a very apt turn of phrase that could not only be used in conjunction with “The Cadre”, but also with the experience of serving at RMAS as an instructor. Now in my fifth term here at the Academy, I thought it might be of some interest to describe my experiences on the relatively long and winding road to the hallowed turf of Old College parade ground and perhaps encourage other Household Cavalrymen to go for it!
enough to already be qualified as an SAA Instr, having completed Junior Brecon in 1993. But it was obvious that it was going to take a lot of hard work, about 18 months in time, lots of assistance from the CMO and understanding from the Sqn Ldr, as well as the blessing of the CO. (Not much to ask then!) The course will certainly improve your personal drill and if your kit isn’t up to it you’ll know what you need to sort out prior to starting the cadre. I was by now getting fully qualified to attempt the RMAS Instructors Cadre. This had taken 14 months. THE RMAS INSTRUCTORS CADRE
Another day in the office.
BACKGROUND I first became interested in becoming a Sandhurst Instructor in late 2000/early 2001 and was fortunate enough to be able to quiz WOII (SCM) Pickford RHG/D who became an Instructor at the Academy later that year. It was quite daunting to think I would be following in some famous footsteps from within the Household Cavalry, but even more daunting once I realised the amount of courses and qualifications required just to attempt the Cadre. The list of courses reads like a “wish list” from DCI’s, All Arms Advanced Drill Instructor, NBC Instructor, BFAT/BCDT Instructor, Platoon Sergeants Battle Course (Senior Brecon), Live Fire Tactical Training (the old Ranges 4/5), All Arms Skill at Arms Instructor (including Ranges1-3)! Phew! I was fortunate
At the start of June, myself and 50 other SNCOs made our way to Sandhurst for the RMAS Instructors Cadre 2003. The cadre is four weeks long and is designed, as its name suggests, to select SNCOs from across the army to become instructors at Sandhurst. I already knew, or had met a little over 50% of the other candidates from attending the myriad of courses prior to getting on the cadre, which I took some comfort in. There was only one other cavalryman, and he was from the RAC, we are quite a rarity down here! During the cadre you will take part in a lot of the main events from the 12 month long Commissioning Course. These include Ex Long Reach (a 36hr patrol exercise in the Black Mountains, covering up to 60kms and completing
various command tasks on the way), the log race, the endurance competition, PRACTAC (an estimate and orders exercise) and orienteering. As well as TPs in all the usual suspects, drill, SAA, first aid, NBC, fieldcraft, tactics and the lecturette (complete with video debrief!). This is where you really start to “stick your head above the parapet”! Every one, from the Commandant of the Academy, down through the Academy Serjeant Major and beyond take a keen interest in the cadre, you receive more opening addresses than you would think are possible! You are left in no uncertain terms that you are going to be looked at incredibly closely and will be selected or not on the basis of you and your performance. This may sound fairly obvious, but at no time on the cadre are you
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safe. You become very familiar with the self and peer assessment forms (“slatea-mate”!), where your peers comment on your performance, character and personality. Just as important as actually taking the TPs, if not more so, is debriefing the candidate on his lesson. Then, you will be critiqued and debriefed on that! If your mate has cocked up the lesson and failed it you must have no compunction in giving him a fair constructive debrief and telling him he’s failed. It is unlike any other course that I’ve attended in that there is no-where to hide, and as regards your performance you have no idea as to how well your doing. Each week you will have an interview with the Pl Comd and Pl CSGT, where no punches are pulled. They will tell you in no uncertain terms the areas you need to improve on, but you will not be given your grade. It’s very difficult to gauge your performance compared to your peers because they’re all so good! You can not afford to underestimate the calibre of individual on the cadre. During your seemingly endless briefings and addresses you’ll be told time and again that the people on the cadre represent the top 10% of the army’s SNCOs and those that are selected will be the top 5%. It can be quite intimidating when you stop to consider the company your in. One of the other things you’ll hear constant reference to is the “beast” you are aspiring to deal with, The Officer Cadet (OCdt). We had very little contact with them on the cadre, their average age is 23, 85% of them are graduates and I can testify that they are a motivated and enquiring bunch. On the cadre my favourite metaphor came from our Coy Comd, who said “the beast will come in many forms, from left of arc-Einstein, to right of arc-Flip-flop!”. It seems almost too soon that “Judgement Day” arrives, the whole cadre, now numbering 48, were assembled in a waiting room and in reverse alphabetical order, were called in to the final interview board, consisting of the Coy Comd and Col Trg. There was much speculation and nail biting regarding who was in and who wasn’t, rumour control was in overdrive! I can honestly say that I didn’t have a clue whether or not I’d been successful. Eventually your name is called and like a willing lamb to the slaughter you follow the CSM, who marches you in. You halt, salute and are invited to sit down. Straight away, without any preamble, Col Trg will give you the verdict, selected, recommended-not selected or not recommended. When he
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told me I was selected a huge grin spread over my face, after a quick handshake I was out of a different door and back to my room, you’re not allowed back to the waiting room where the rest of the cadre were waiting with baited breath. The unsuccessful candidates had to pack their kit and go, while the 28 lucky ones had various bits of admin to do and briefings to attend in preparation for the two week continuation cadre starting in the last week of July. It was as though a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders, all the work of the past 18 months had been worth while and all the support shown me by the CO, CMO and my Sqn Ldr had been justified. LIFE AS A SANDHURST INSTRUCTOR Initially upon arriving at Sandhurst I was posted to the Skill at Arms Wing, one of the specialist training wings at the academy (along with the Signals wing and the PT wing). There, with 27 other CSgt/SSgts we were responsible for conducting all the weapons training, range work, field firing and range management training given to OCdts. I was also an instructor dedicated to a particular Platoon, I would instruct the same half of this Platoon in all of their SAA lessons for their first term at the academy. My initiation to the “beast” was in the young ladies of 5 Pl Waterloo Coy, all early 20’s, all graduates and not exactly the teeth arm material I’d been gearing myself up for! The learning curve was very steep! In my second term I have moved to New College, to take a Pl through their intermediate and senior terms as a Pl CSgt (well Pl SCpl). I met 3 Pl, Blenheim Coy in January this year and we’ve just fin-
ished for Easter recess. It’s been an interesting and educational 14 weeks, once again the learning curve on both sides has been pretty steep. Some of the OCdts have fallen by the way side, back termed, y-listed (long term sick) or discharged. They are, on the whole a pleasure to work for, the job is incredibly rewarding and you learn a great deal about all the parts that is the puzzle known as the Young Officer. No two days are the same on the Commissioning Course, it is an incredibly high profile job, with a great deal of responsibility to the OCdts in your care. If you fancy braving the fire and sticking your head above the parapet, I can highly recommend it, it is a long and arduous road, but the rewards are worth it. Being the only instructor down here from the Household Cavalry or RAC you tend to draw that little bit extra flak, but its nothing more than a good Household Cavalryman can’t take in his stride. PRAISE INDEED Sandhurst attracts some very high profile visitors, as guest speakers and the like. People such as Maj Gen. Brimms Comd 1(UK) Div on Op TELIC, Lord Carrington, Jeremy Paxman and the Air Vice Marshal Commanding the UK Joint Helicopter Force. One thing links all these people have in common, when commenting on Op TELIC and the British involvement in the war in Iraq is they have singled out one unit in particular for very high praise indeed, D Squadron, Household Cavalry Regiment. They all speak in glowing terms as to D Sqn’ s achievements in Iraq and it makes my shoulders swell with pride and the banter about being a “donkey walloper” that much easier to take.
Steadying the troops.
Exercise Iron Horse 2004 ‘The Italian Job 2’ (Epitaph to a good idea) By Mr David Coleman (formerly The Life Guards) aving had some extremely good IRON HORSE exercises it was proving to be very difficult to find new and exciting places and battle sites to visit for the Bike Club’s annual trip. We had visited the abbey at Monte Cassino in 2000 and had always said we had not really done it justice, therefore the aim of this year’s trip was to set the record straight with a detailed look at events in that area during 1943/44.
The bikes were loaded onto an Eddie Stobbart truck on the square in Windsor on a dull Friday afternoon and by the following Monday morning (19 Jul 04) the Club had flown to Nice in the South of France and met up with this valuable cargo. Mr David Coleman (late LG), WO2 (RQMC) Gibbons RHG/D and Mr Kenny Robertson (late RHG/D) had left on Friday to recce a route south through France and to book campsites from Calais to Nice for the return trip. Aside from a slight delay at the arrivals lounge the RV at Nice airport went according to plan. For safety reasons the club broke up into smaller groups and set off towards Italy. The Harley group: Mr Coleman, Maj R R Philipson-Stow RHG/D and CoH Hadden MBE LG with Cpl Beard AGC in tow, moved along the dual carriageway that follows the coast over bridges and through tunnels high above the Mediterranean. Spectacular views could only be admired for the few seconds possible to take your eyes from the road, however pulling into the outside lane also had its own hazards as cars would follow only inches off the rear wheel and even emergency cars with blue lights would be tailgated until they moved aside. Happily, the noise from the Harleys in the tunnels was such that they could only be followed at some distance. The first campsite was near Pisa, where on the following moring Mr Coleman got out the maps and charts prepared over many months by Maj PhilipsonStow to give an overview of the Italian campaign and the build up to the battle of Cassino. This year, as for most trips, Professor Richard Holmes (of War Walks Fame) had provided information as well as valuable contact details for local guides. The brief covered a range of operations connected with the Italian Campaign; one of the more interesting parts of the brief was the unusual case of “Major Martin”:
On the 28th January 1943, a 34 year old insane tramp called Glyndwr Michael had committed suicide in a warehouse in London by drinking rat poison. In February an inquest confirmed the death, and the corpse was handed over to British Intelligence, who gave him the false identity of “Major Martin”, a junior staff officer and made it look as though he had been killed in a plane crash on his way to Allied HQ in North Africa. In his possession were the false plans for the Allied invasion of Sardinia In April the body was put into a container packed with dry ice and loaded onto submarine HMS Seraph, which then released the body carrying these misleading documents off the coast of Spain near Huelva. The German Abwher (German military intelligence) believed the documents and that assumed that the invasion of Sicily was a decoy for the real target. After the briefing was complete, the groups set off again along the Italian coast towards the next campsite. The heat was almost overpowering (over 110 deg F) making riding at times an uncomfortable experience. The Club found a campsite on the coast near Terracina, this meant negotiating the Rome Ring Road – definitely not for the faint hearted! If we had previously maligned the French road system, we would indeed be glad to get back there after the Italian version - no junction numbers, small road signs, and a very annoying system of paying to come off roads making turning round after missing a junction very expensive. The next day heralded the visit to Monte Cassino. We broke again into groups and then moved to an RV at the museum at Mignano gap, which in November-December 1943 had been a holding action by the Germans on the Allied advance up the west coast of Italy. The Club then moved as a group to the hills south of Monte Cassino town which gave an excellent view of the Abbey, its approach to the town and the entrance to the Liri valley. The closure of the Pizzeria half-way up Monte Cassino caused CoH Hadden and others in the group to panic and a well known Scottish Burger retailer was quickly found for lunch, adding credence to the rumour that some members of the club
Members standing in front of a Sherman Memorial representing the furthest position gained by Allied armour on the Cavendish Road.
were using McDonald’s European Road Maps. Whilst this was going on, Maj Philipson-Stow went to the town centre to pick up Snr Fred Lamberti. Snr Lamberti had been a boy soldier in the Royal Ordnance Corps during the war in Italy and had been recommended by Richard Holmes as an authority on the battles in the Monte Cassino area. Snr Lamberti, for his part, had to collect the keys for the back gate of the Abbey allowing us access on to Hill 593 - part of the Abbey grounds and not open to general public. On opening the gate Snr Lamberti led the way in his car up the very poor roads to point 593. Some steps led the way to
SCpl Brown RHG/D & CoH Hadden MBE LG on Point 593, the Abbey of Monte Cassino is in the background.
Household Cavalry News
593 back around the bottom of the hill past Albaneta Farm, to the Cavendish Road where a Sherman Tank, its turret lying beside it and its tracks fashioned into a cross was positioned. The road was so bad at this point that we could go no further, as CoH Hadden’s Harley testified. We then moved back to the Polish Cemetery, the Abbey itself and then down to the British War Cemetery which, like all war Commonwealth Cemeteries, was in immaculate condition. Our thanks go to Snr Lamberti for his invaluable assistance. LCpl Camp LG and Lt Col (Retd) S Sibley RHG/D lay wreaths at the Regimental Memorial at Zandvoorde.
the top which was very overgrown with thorn bushes, although during the war this was open, rocky ground. There were several memorials built by the Polish Army here. After taking the Abbey the Polish soldiers were left in the area and they used the time to build concrete maps and a memorial to fallen friends. It is worth noting that the area is seldom visited and straying off the path could mean a fall of some distance. There were a number of caves and dug outs that the German Paratroopers of 1st Division used during the campaign; in 1998 the bodies of 2 German paratroopers were found therein. Snr Lamberti then lead the way off Hill
The following two days were slip days and after the group had moved to a campsite outside Anzio, some groups used the opportunity to go to Naples, some Mount Vesuvius and others Rome. After some essential motorcycle maintenance, most groups opted to get up early for the trip back to Pisa to try to avoid the midday sun. The Italian coast is a great place to ride, although car drivers make their presence known if you stay in the outside lane too long. The group had not suffered from any breakdowns or problems up to this point (running out of petrol does not count) but on getting into France, Lt Col Sibley’s new BMW developed an electrical fault. BMW assistance was called and duly gave him a pocket full of fuses and told him to ride on; Maj Philipson-Stow’s bike started haemorrhaging oil and SCpl Polley RHG/D had a throttle cable snap - both managed to carry on.
At the campsite just outside Cannes, Mr Rupert McKinney (late RHG/D), who had been having trouble with his feet was persuaded to visit the local hospital to have them checked out. Sadly, he had to be kept in for a few days so his bike was put onto the lorry the next day and the club had to say goodbye. The route from Cannes to Lyon took the N85 ‘Route Napoleon’, and was possibly the most spectacular of the trip. It was also going to take the longest as traversing the high passes could not be done at speed, although the locals seemed to manage it! The following day, the Club travelled on to Ypres, and a small campsite just outside the Mennin Gate. Unfortunately, en route SCpl Polley’s bike gave up the ghost and so then there were two (bikes on the truck). Once everyone had arrived, we rode as a group to the Regimental Memorial at Zanvoorde and laid wreaths, after which Lt Col Sibley gave an overview of the action there. After seeing the cemetery we broke up and moved back to the campsite. An early start the following morning saw the Club at Calais and homeward bound. The Tour had been a resounding success, with the Club achieving their aim of studying the Monte Cassino Battlefield in detail. Many happy memories were taken home along with the purchases from Eastenders in Calais. What of next year? An escaper’s dream getaway is on the cards to Colditz….stand by!
Five Go Sailing in La Rochelle Captain J G Rees-Davies The Life Guards t first glance the distance between La Rochelle in the Bay of Biscay and Lymington on the south coast of England does not seem too far, especially to the amateur sailor who would definitely not rate himself any better than an incompetent crew member and who knows no better.
with the doctor and his wife having established themselves on board as the advance party and arriving the Friday before. When we got under way the doctor revealed that the weekend had been rather like staying in a peculiarly shaped caravan and was relieved to see the thing actually moved.
Having sailed dinghies every weekend in the summer while at school, sitting on an Oyster 37 seemed to be a rare luxury – there were even seats to sit on and it didn’t even seem like we were going to get that wet. I was surrounded by competent sailers – The RVO, Major M Morrison (The Skipper), whose father’s boat we were sailing, and Captain P Leavey being the most competent and then myself, the doctor and the doctor’s wife all simply hoping for some good weather and calm seas.
Having negotiated the rather tricky exit to the port, and avoided a collision by some rather bold corrections, we were ready to hit the open water and hoist the sails. The Skipper talked us through the motions and before we knew it we were gliding through the water under power of the main sail. We sailed about 20 miles on day one and all seemed to be going well when the RMO and his wife simultaneously dived for the sides of the boat with bad doses of motion sickness. Unfortunately the RMO had chosen the windward side and Captain Leavey, who was at the helm, was directly downwind of him and experienced one of the less pleasant
We joined the boat, Mutine, in La Rochelle on Sunday afternoon in June
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aspects of sailing bearing the full brunt of the RMOs breakfast. We pulled into Les Sable d’Olonne that evening with two members of the crew down below ill, and three on deck still operating – things did not bode well for the rest of the week. A hearty dinner of steak-frite and some biere-blonde soon put the worries of the day’s sailing behind us and the weather report promised a more favourable wind the following day which broke clean and fresh. Once the author had purchased rations and a fishing line we put to sail once more. No sooner than the sails were set and course plotted then the first mackerel were hoisted on board from the line behind the boat. We were to get a steady supply of fish, which were grilled for breakfast, from the line until the author’s towel fell over board and stripped the hooks off the line on about day 4! The next few days saw us crossing the Bay of Biscay and stopping in at some
picturesque French ports including Ile de Yeu, Pornichet and La RocheBernard with the weather varying from dead calm hot days to about a Force 6 wind on the more exposed days. However it soon became apparent that we did not have the wind behind us sufficiently and nor did we have the time to get all the way home to Lymington as we were striving to do. The Skipper came up with a con-plan which saw us putting into port for the final time at Arzal in a beautiful estuary, having one final dinner together as a crew and then bidding the Skipper and boat farewell as his incompetent crew departed to journey home via the ferry from L’Havre to Portsmouth leaving the Skipper to contemplate and clean up after us. As we journeyed home you couldn’t help remembering some of the more memorable occasions such as running aground when mooring and throwing ropes ashore without tying them to the boat first – truly the marks of great sailors in the making.
The incompetent crew. L/R Mrs Hammond, Vet Maj Morrison, Surg Maj Hammond, Capt Leavey, Author.
All the crews thanks go to Brig (Retd) E C W Morrison (late RH) who trusted us with his boat for a week and apologies for the fact that he had to go back to
France to pick the boat up. (Any damages were caused by Captain P Leavey and should be charged to him.)
Ocean Guardsmen By Captain W R G Kenyon, The Life Guards n November of 2004 HQ Household Division sponsored a sailing expedition taking a former BT Challenge boat around the world. Broken down into legs of varying lengths, it has offered members of the Blue Red Blue fraternity an unrivalled opportunity to sail the oceans of the world. Aware of this, I volunteered for the Port Stanley – Caribbean leg, with stop – offs in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro before catching the end of the Caribbean cricket season. Just up my cup of the proverbial, tough enough to impress the girlfriend with tales of dearing-do (albeit with a touch of authorial licence) yet easy enough to have a rather enjoyable time. The perfect Household Cavalry Officers’ excursion. Instead, whilst serving with B Sqn on Op TELIC IV I received a phone call from the Adjutant dispatching me to the Southern Ocean. I had recently finished reading Ernest Shackelton’s South and had found the passage concerning his boat journey to South Georgia rather galling. Now I was positively terrified. It suddenly occurred to me that, being a landlubber, I had only considered the nice bits at either end of the voyage – the ports, not the deep blue bit in the middle – the ocean, and all its tempestuous ways.
However, initially my fears were ungrounded. After a few days in Sydney we departed for Wellington. It was an extremely good passage with sun and
wind both in plentiful supply. After a short stop over we pushed on into the Southern Ocean. We did not wish to go too far south initially for fear of ice bergs. However, we soon ran out of wind and found ourselves becalmed. It was rather amusing – the forties were not so much roaring as whimpering. A number of measures were taken. In cahoots with LSgt Minns (1 CG) I instigated a hunt for the Jonah aboard. Captain W Mace (1 SG) gave an offering of gin to Neptune. Yet it was all to no avail and we remained becalmed for a number of days. We resorted to teasing Captain T A H Giffard LG, the boat’s resident weatherman for his inability to find a puff of wind in the windiest place on earth. We began to wonder what the fuss was about. We were to be rudely awakened from our lethargy.
Captain W R G Kenyon - Captain TAH Giffard.
The first low pressure system to cross our path did so about a week out of Wellington. The barometer dropped – plummet would be a more apt description - and the conditions rapidly became rather interesting. Having been so placid the sea state changed within a twenty four hour period. I am sure to an experienced Southern Ocean hand this was a summer squall. For me this was rather emotional. Suffice to say that when on watch we had one man looking over the helmsman’s shoulder giving warning of any big sets. As a helmsman I found it rather disconcerting seeing
the lookouts’ eyes widen as he stared across an enormous chasm that was the trough of the previous wave onto the wall of advancing water. At times it was extremely exhilarating as we surfed the boat downwind at speeds of up to 20 knots. The forces that can propel a fifty ton, sixty foot boat at these speeds are beyond my rather limited powers of description. It was during this initial low pressure system that the boat was knocked down and I went over board. Apparently a wave had broken just short of the boat. All I remembered was water pouring into the boat as boat went flat
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and then disappearing as rapidly, carrying me with it, as the boat righted itself. As I went over the side I felt the tug of the life jacket strap stopping me from disappearing altogether. I am ashamed to admit that for a few moments I rather wished to be back in Iraq. We finally rounded the Horn at the beginning of December. After so much excitement and some weeks at sea I was rather disappointed to see it looked like the cliffs of North Cornwall. We entered Port Stanley four days later. Port Stanley is not quite in the same league as Sydney and Wellington, however to thirsty sailors a bar is a bar, even if it is the NAAFI. After a couple of days cleaning the boat and a final day at Tumbledown it was all over. We had been immensely privileged to be part of this trip. We had been to one of the most remote places on earth, seen some of the amazing sights and wildlife that the Southern Ocean has to offer. It was an opportunity the like of which I will not have again. Sailing is an extremely good vehicle for Adventure Training. It enables small groups of soldiers to work together under arduous conditions. It promotes those martial qualities – teamwork, leadership, courage etc. – that cannot be tested successfully under simulated conditions. I am confident that all soldiers who have deployed on Ex OCEAN GUARDSMAN have returned to their respective units as more robust and confident individuals. Finally, thanks must go to Captain W Mace (1 SG). Organising adventure training is a thankless task in today’s army and to do something on this scale and execute it successfully is a remarkable achievement.
Household Cavalry personnel who have taken part in Ex Ocean Guardsman Leg 1 Gosport – Rio. 24th May 2004 – 14th July 2004 SSgt George Longstaff REME 2Lt M J Harley 2Lt D Crosthwaite-Eyre Leg 2 Rio – Cape Town. 14th July – 18th Aug 2004 Tpr Christopher Finney GC LCpl Benjamin Scollick Tpr Gavin Cooper Leg 3 Cape Town – Sydney. 26th Aug – 13th Oct 2004 Capt T Giffard Tpr M Doran LCPL J King Leg 4 Sydney – Falklands. 20th Oct – 10th Dec 2004 Capt T Giffard Capt W Kenyon Leg 5 Falklands to Antigua. 1st Jan – 24th Feb 2005 Tpr M Routley Tpr G Warren Tpr G Ferguson Tpr J Allard There will be 4 HCR/HCMR crew on leg 6, Antigua to New York, and a further 3 on leg 7, New York to Gosport, names TBC.
Exercise HIND ALLEY II - November 2004 By Captain NPG van Cutsem, The Life Guards t was with a sense of enormous excitement that we set off for Scotland for this year’s Stalking Expedition. As a Regiment, we had just completed an extremely busy period, both on Dartmoor for Exercise ROYAL STANDARD and then the Regiment’s Remembrance Sunday Parade.
And so it was that having marched back in to Barracks, we scurried off for a change and dived into the waiting transport for our eleven-hour mammoth road trip. This year saw us all arriving safely at the destination, with no diesel cars being filed with petrol. Captain NPG van Cutsem’s car has yet to recover from this rather dozy stunt on the last road trip to Scotland! Thus we finally arrived at Invercauld Estate and the welcome warmth of the charming Altdourie Lodge, where we have been accommodated on both the previous trips. A quick whisky to celebrate our arrival and a hasty brief round the map to decide who was going where saw us all pushing off to bed with mixed feelings of excitement in anticipation of the first day on the hill and also curiosity as to what the surrounding countryside might look like. The last part of the journey was completed in the dark and
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due to being in such a remote area of Scotland there was no hideous orange glow from nearby towns lighting up the country just a blackness so intense that it was hard to even see ridgelines against the night sky. Monday morning saw us all dispatched to various locations, namely Glenshee, Callater, Candacraig and Mar, the first three being beats on Invercauld and the last being a separate Estate just to the west of Invercauld. It was a hugely successful day all round although the weather made life very tricky. Constant rolling mist and strong winds meant that we were unable to use the mist as cover to get in on the hinds, but you never quite knew when the mist would suddenly lift and leave you high and dry under the indignant scrutiny of a herd of a hundred hinds, who would then scarper into the next glen and leave you with the prospect of another huge climb and lengthy round about route to try and come in on them again. By the end of the day we managed to get seven in all. LCoH Eulert, LCpl’s Smith and Allwood and Tpr’s Pagan and Doyle shot their first hinds and we were duly greeted on our return to the house by
the sight of five blooded faces grinning inanely whilst they attempted to dry themselves out around the fire and all tell their success stories at once! There is a feeling of extraordinarily intense euphoria when you shoot your first one; the huge excitement is in the stalk, knowing that you are pitting your wits against a very sharp and able animal, which is extremely capable of looking after itself safe. The actual act of shooting the beast is something that afterwards fills you with a tinge of sadness but at the same time a sense of relief and satisfaction that your intended target had died a quick death. Fortunately during the week marksmanship was generally good, although there were a handful of misses! One of the greatest joys of stalking in this area is the privilege of stalking in some of the most incredible countryside. The week at Invercauld put the exercise on Dartmoor into perspective where we all thought we had been up and down some really massive hills, Dartmoor, eat your heart out!!! Invercauld and the surrounding area is perhaps some of the most dramatic in the UK. Indeed, the country is so steep that there were several hinds that when shot rolled at least
two hundred metres down the hill, this made life easy on some occasions but on others did not have the desired effect, hinds can be notoriously hard work to drag back to the Landrover!! By the end of day two everyone had had some action and there were yet more bloody faces in the sitting room at the end of the day! LCoH Smith and Tpr Hall managed to get their first hinds and thus the whole group had now reached the goal posts. And so the week continued in this fashion, weary but satisfied faces at the end of each day around the fire and the group all trying to outdo one another with their tales of the day and how much they had learnt from the stalkers that had so kindly taken then out each day. The stalker’s time is valuable because they all have a cull target to reach and by taking us out they were certainly slowing down their own progress. We were all immensely grateful to the various Estates that took us out over the week. The stalkers are hardy individuals, spending most of the year out on the ground and who know the hill like the back of their hand. Their knowledge of the area and the wildlife on the hill is second to none and they are the true cus-
The Team. Left to right: LCoH Eulert, Tpr Doyle, Tpr Hall, LCpl Smith, LCoH Smith, LCpl Allwood, Tpr Pagan.
todians of all that lives in this harsh environment. For us, it was an immense privilege to have spent a whole week with these people and all of us in the team learnt a great deal from these great characters. As many of the soldiers learnt over the course of the week, there is a lot more to stalking than merely pointing the trigger.
The end of the week arrived far too quickly and on Friday morning we reluctantly left Altdourie and Invercauld and headed back to reality. Over the course of the week we tallied up thirty six hinds on the various estates, a very creditable and busy week. Already the nominal role for next year’s trip is being applied for furiously!
Exercise ROYAL PAP 30 Nov- 5 Dec By Lieutenant B J Vestey, The Blues and Royals espite leaving at 0300 from Windsor, the Troop Leaders inability to avoid last ditch visits to co-ops on exercise meant that the team may or may not have missed, by a distance, the midday ferry from Kennacraig. Fortunately this was all in keeping with a long standing tradition on the Isle of Jura. George Orwell, who wrote 1984 on the northern tip of Jura during the 1940s, described it as “an extremely un-gettable place”.
This slight misjudgement aside, the team was still able to catch the dawn ferry instead, launching itself complete onto the hill the following morning as planned. Jura itself reassuringly takes its name from the Norse word meaning Deer Island and there are 6500 deer in total, compared to a human population of 200. The west is wild and virtually uninhabited, occupied only by the three Paps of Jura. With four days in hand, it was decided that three would be spent on the hill with the final one spent fishing, barbequing and, somewhat reluctantly as it turned out, tackling the largest Pap which stands between 2400-2500 feet above sea level. The whole enterprise was greatly assisted by an obligingly stubborn high pressure system over Western Scotland throughout the week.
Base camp for the week was Forrest Lodge the main estate of three who had agreed to let the team loose on their hinds. Forrest Lodge, extending as it does right up to the base of the three Paps, provides the most arduous stalking
opportunities. This is compounded by the fact that should a shot stray slightly off target, (and often having to snurge through gullies at considerable range makes this a possibility), at the least a two mile chase ensues as attempts are made to
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drop in and out of valleys in order to reestablish a fire position. Rohan Talen situated further north involved a lengthy boat passage through the v-shaped estuary visible on the map. This area is particularly beautiful and, more importantly for the purposes of the visit, teeming with hinds. Wild goats can also be found on this area and once shot, mounted and stuffed are apparently able to fumigate a house for twenty odd years with their uniquely musty smell. Apart from one hind falling off a cliff with a dog in hot pursuit, Rohan Talen itself provided roughly half our numbers for which we were extremely grateful. One rigorous day was also spent on the Ardlussa Estate which is still further North by the Corryvreckan whirlpool.
which in itself is no mean feat. The night before we headed to the local pub situated conveniently next to the distillery. Being the only one on the island, we were careful not to get thrown out. As the evening progressed along the top shelf, LCoH Moses voiced the groups thoughts on the following days activity. ‘Well it’s like this sir, you can tell me to climb the Pap but can you make me?’ It was not immediately clear whether this was a joke or in fact a thinly veiled threat. Either way, although the tour guide clearly states that the whole venture ‘can easily take you the best part of a day just to reach and walk up one of the 3 mountains’, the promise of a barbeque by the loch encouraged a descent in time for lunch.
With the three long days stalking sadly finished, attention switched to the Pap
As adventurous training Royal Pap was that rare example of the outcome far
exceeding initial expectations. This was mainly due to the enormous generosity of all those involved, particularly having been given such short notice. Any effects of the initial orchestrated chaos soon gave way in the face of a physically demanding but calm week. The band KLF recorded one of their music videos on Jura before returning some years later and burning one million pounds on the beach. At the time, the decision was explained as art, however the lead singer now regrets the incident due to the fact that he ‘really needs the money’. Apart from LCpl Richardson still holding out hopes of finding the remnants of these unmarked, low denomination, nonsequential bills somewhere on the island, the tour was a complete success and should hopefully be followed up again next year.
One Year With The Welsh Cavalry By WO1(RSM) A D Bowtell can still remember it now sitting at my desk in Recce Division at Warminster, when my phone rang. ‘Cpl Maj are you Welsh’ asked Capt Carney, I said no but I lived in Brecon for 6 months that must count for something. It was the start of a chain of events which changed my life forever.
What was on offer was to become an SCM with the QDG’s for one year. I had worked with the QDG’s a couple of years before and had a great friend who was one of the SSM’s in the Regiment. I quickly came to the decision to go for it, it was a great challenge and not one to be missed. After a brief stint as HQ (SCM) at Windsor just to get back into Regimental life I moved to Catterick, I remember driving up the A1 with the sign posts for Scotch Corner getting closer, with a terrible feeling of what have I done. But as soon as I drove through the gates of Cambrai Barracks that feeling disappeared and I just wanted to get on with it. I was to take over B Squadron who were still returning from Norway, this gave valuable time to settle in. At this point I must thank the Warrant Officer’s and SNCO’s of the QDG, especially the RSM (now Capt Alford) and RQMS Ivor Morris for making me feel so welcome. On B Squadron’s return from Norway, I assumed the SCM’s job and if I explained once about being called a Corporal Major then I explained it a hundred times. It was an interesting chal-
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lenge remembering I was Blue Red Blue, but not forgetting the history and traditions of the Regiment who I was serving with. The next few months flew by; Castlemartin, Sennybridge, taking SHQ adventure training (unfortunately Fremington was full) and numerous field firing packages. It didn’t take long for me to realise how much I was enjoying being B Squadron SCM, at this point I asked Colonel Baldwin if I could stay and complete the full 2 years as SCM, he said of course with a slight smile on his face. The normal busy pattern of an FR Regiment continued with BATUS, training the Cambrian Patrol Team, more field firing and CAT. Out of the Blue one day, I was sent for by the Commanding Officer, who after sitting me down, asked me to transfer, becoming the next RSM of the QDG, and I should go away and think about it. I can remember being totally shocked I had not expected this at all, what an honour but could I leave the Blue Red Blue, the Regiment which had been my life for nearly 20 years. I must thank my friends who I spoke to as I agonised over a decision, also Lt Col Woyka and the Silver Stick who were always the voice of reason. But mostly I must thank my wife of being there through some sleepless nights and long days. Of course while this was going on, the Regiment prepared for War. The next time I caught up with the Colonel was in
WO1(RSM) A D Bowtell
camp Rhino in Kuwait. He looked at my beret before speaking and noticed the glint of the Silver Eagle backed with the Blue Red Blue. Nothing further had to be said and he offered me a mug of very sandy whiskey. In May 2004 I took over as RSM, 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards. I will never and cannot forget my past. Each Regiment within the British Army of course does things differently, but the fierce pride, loyalty and the family belonging do not change. A part of me will always be Blue Red Blue, but as I say to my lads, if you get chances in your career, take them, you never know where it may lead.
ATR Pirbright Opening of Project Slam JNCO Accommodation By Major D J Haws RA n Thursday 01 July 2004 Brigadier Homer MBE, Commander Initial Training Group, opened the new Project SLAM JNCO Accommodation at ATR (Pirbright), he was accompanied by Mrs Susan Hull, the widow of LCoH Hull and her family.
Hull Building, Junior NCOs Accommodation.
Brigadier Homer and Mrs Hull, declare Hull Building open.
The new building, which sits in its own landscape grounds, contains 78 en-suite rooms, all with fitted furniture and integral storage area. Each corridor of either six or eight rooms has a communal living area and kitchen. The accommodation is a significant improvement for the quality of life for the extremely hardworking JNCOS at ATR (Pirbright).
The accommodation is named Hull building in memory of LCoH Matthew Hull who served as an instructor at ATR (P) from December 2000 – February 2002. On completion of his tour he transferred from the RLC to the Household Cavalry. He was killed in action whilst on operations with D Squadron The Blues and Royals in Southern Iraq on 28 March 2003.
Pace Sticking Competition By WO2 (Battery Sergeant Major) Picken - RA n preparation for the World Pace Sticking Championships, to be held at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, ATR Pirbright held it’s annual Pace Sticking Competition, judged by the Royal Artillery Sergeant Major, WO1 (RASM) G McIntosh.
The 59 (Asten) Battery team incorporated some of the Household Calvary staff that are integral to the Battery and that train many of the Royal Artillery recruits. Following many early morning practice sessions held before the training day started, the 59 (Asten) Battery team, driven by WO2 (BSM) Picken, claimed a respectable third place, out of the eight teams that competed. The 76 (Maude’s) Battery team, consisting entirely of Royal Artillery Staff and driven by WO2 (BSM) Shannon finished in fourth place. Unfortunately neither team qualified for the World Championships .
The 59 Bty Team (L to R), Sgt Jones QDG, LCoH Galbraith RHG/D, WO2 (BSM) Picken, CoH Newton LG.
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The Household Cavalry Sports Round-Up The HCMR Rugby Team 03-04 Season by Captain R A Gibbs The Blues and Royals he Mounted Regiment rugby team had a successful 03-04 season, despite a busy ceremonial calendar. The team managed to play 6 games, of which we won five, but unfortunately narrowly lost the Cavalry Cup final to the Light Dragoons.
In recent years, both the Armoured and Mounted Regiments have never really had the concentration of rugby players under the same roof. The 03-04 season was certainly an exception. The season started with SSgt “Cookie” Cook (Master Chef) taking some really gruelling training sessions, and putting the new team through its paces. CoH “Crusty” Downing did a cracking job as fixtures secretary and managed to organize as many games that we could realistically play. The squad grew to 25 in strength and competition was fierce for positions. Two of the players had never played a game of rugby before in their lives, namely the “Shrek” partnership from the forge; FLCpl’s Rob Haydon and Neil Sherlock. Both players took to the game like naturals and ended up as first choice props. “Team Fiji” added to our back line as they all played like “exocet missiles” and destroyed the attempts of most teams to get anywhere inside our 22. The team played its first away fixture against an unsuspecting Thames Valley University. The University forwards struggled against the might of the larger and dare I say it “fitter” HCMR forward pack. The front five were instrumental and set up a consistent platform for our
Household Cavalry News
backs; similarly the back row secured all of the open play. Tpr Smit tore open the University back line and scored in the first minute, Tpr “Herman” Ah-Sam followed scoring two tries, and by the final whistle the score stood at University 5 HCMR 55. The star appearance was from CoH “Dinger” Bell MC, whose performance for the senior generation was certainly worthy of a free bus pass. The second game was away against Portsmouth University. The team which was captained by Captain R A Gibbs RHG/D saw the forwards dominate open and set play. Big tackles were now becoming the team trademark, and the back row punched through the opposition’s defences like the Allies on D Day. LCpl “Golden Boy” Nicol played an outstanding match at open side flanker securing the ball in open play. The pack even managed to set up Tpr “Sad Sack” Rose with a “fall over the line” try. Throughout the game the backs played collectively well and demonstrated some “champagne” style rugby. CoH “Taffy” Hockings made some beautifully weighted passes and allowed Tpr “Deceptively Slow” Wharton to make some darting jogs for the opposition’s try line. The final score was University 0 HCMR 44. The “third half ” was equally as successful, the author having played at No.8, had the audacity to kick for touch and break a tradition normally reserved for the backs. The punishment for this heinous crime was severe, but certainly amusing to watch I am informed.
For the third game we travelled to ATR Pirbright to play a confident team whose rugby officer wanted only a training game to “annihilate us”. The HCMR team captained by Capt Jonno Anderson took great pride, in front of their home crowd in running 68 points into the over confident opposition. The shock action of our powerful forward pack shattered the home team’s will to play a full second half. LCpl “3 Stone Wet Through” King proved he was a daring, gutsy player and had a storming game at second row. He was thoroughly pleased not to be the smallest man on the pitch. Unfortunately, we had to remind him that the referee did not count! Captain JGK Anderson LG, L Cpl “Rocky” Rawasa and Tpr “Morris” Camaibau scored some lovely running tries even from the half way line. However, the lasting memory of the game was FLCpl “Shrek” Sherlock’s first crash ball 10 metres from their try line and almost scoring his first ever try. The final score was ATR 0 HCMR 68. The forth game was yet another away fixture, against the KRH at Tidworth in the Quarter Finals of the Cavalry Cup. This was a tough game against a big forward pack and quick back line. However, “Team Fiji” played superbly and put in some of the biggest hitting tackles of the season. Namely; LCpl “Rocky” Rawasa, Tprs “Bobby” Brown, “Jonah” Loloma, and “Shack” Qio” The man of the match was CoH “Taff ” Hockings who tells me his performance was comparable to Welsh rugby legend “Gareth Edwards”. Having heard his third half vocals, I
think it was more comparable to Gareth Gates! Miracles can happen, the most poignant was when Tpr “Sad Sack” Rose played his finest performance of the season at hooker, and actually managed to find his second row jumpers. The final score was KRH 3 HCMR 40. The Semi Final of the Cup was a wet away fixture against the very experienced Bovington Bison’s. Naturally Tpr Smit insisted on scoring the first try within the first few minutes to take us into the lead. However, going into the last ten minutes we were losing 9 – 5. The match was by far the hardest of the season and required a change of tactics during the game. The forwards took possession and rucked into countless phases. LCpl “Brick Wall” Trencher was inspirational in his forward play and demonstrated his hard-hitting defence with great affect. LCoH Ireland put in the match saving tackle, launching his player into touch and preventing a try in the corner. There was an appearance from SSgt “Cookie” Cook as prop, who added some experience to the front row, when he finally managed to catch up with the play! Tpr Lindsay at fly half provided some quality kicks to touch and set up countless offensive actions. Captain JGK Anderson LG played very
well proving he was reliable under the high ball, exciting in the counter attack and a great last line of defence. The whole game was tightly fought, but CoH “Taff ” Hockings delivered a chip kick, similar to Jonny Wilkinson finding Ben Cohen in the corner, and found Tpr “Morris” Camaibau to score and win the match. The final score was Bovington 9 HCMR 10. The final was played against the Light Dragoons at Slough Rugby Club with a strong support from the Mounted Regiment and the Band of the Blues and Royals. The preparation had been greatly assisted by Lt Col A. Hickling the Army Rugby Coach and SSgt “Cookie” Cook who were both tremendous. The squad trained hard, but were set back by two equine injuries. Firstly, Tpr “Deceptively Slow” Wharton, the winger, involuntarily dismounted “Burnaby” at Buckingham Palace on the Polish State Visit. Similarly, Tpr Lindsay our fly half and kicker, had a disagreement with his horse “McCauley”, and had to limp off the rehearsal for the Major General’s Parade. Captain JGK Anderson gave an rousing pre match team talk, inspiring a cracking performance with some really deter-
mined play. CoH Adam Beech, blind side flanker; LCpl “Golden Boy” Nicol, open side flanker; and Tpr “Paddy” Kuruduadua, second row, all played tremendously well. The only score from HCMR came from Tpr “GV” Galavakadua who in open play made a beautiful pass sending Tpr “Jonah” Loloma crashing over the try line. Major “Head Boy” OM Bedford RHG/D made an appearance, but not even Harry Potter’s magic could help him become an impact player and affect the final score. The team was unfortunately struck with a number of injuries on the pitch and the Light Dragoons played a very tactical game exploiting our weaknesses. The game was thoroughly enjoyable, but sadly we only managed the silver medal. HCMR 5 Light Dragoons 11. The season was a great success, but the player of the season had to be LCpl “Golden Boy” Nicol, who consistently proved himself every game. However, every player displayed tremendous courage, commitment and teamwork throughout the season. This season would not have been possible without the help from so many at the Mounted Regiment and was greatly appreciated by all members of the squad.
The Eagles RUFC Second Reunion! WO 2 JA Evans (LSL) RHG/D, The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst he Second Eagles RFC reunion tour occurred during the weekend of 2/3 April 2004 again hosted as last year by Bramley RFC in the fair city of Leeds. News of last year inaugural tour had spread and in all 22 players and supporters travelled from various parts of the county to partake in turning back the clock and remembering some of the fine times and successes we had as a club in the 1980s and early years of the 1990s. In Rick Buckles’ case even the 1970’s were remembered. We gathered on the Friday evening in a Leeds City Centre Pub close to the hotel we were staying in and within easy walking distance of a traditional grease spoon café that was to cater for all are calorific needs during the sporting weekend that lay ahead of us. The word “rocket salad” was mentioned on the menu once during the tour, but was quickly ridiculed by most squad members.
Unlike last year, the weather on the Saturday was wet and windy this meant that the running open game that had been planned had to be scrapped! We played the game late in the afternoon after a league fixture had been played on
the pitch we were using. This meant the ground was churned up pretty badly and the game turned into a hard fought slog. Bramley RFC a very proud club were not going to be as charitable as last year when we ran in some tries and limited our scoring this year to just one penalty goal. We, in turn, defended the line with some zeal and were only broken once which allowed Bramley the victory 5-3.
Indeed, had the conditions been better the pressure we applied during the first half may have led to us converting that pressure into more points. Supporters on the side lines however congratulated both sides on the hard fought game some saying it was a better game then the league fixture prior to our game. Special mention must go to Neal Gaskell who really did turn back the clock and
The Mud and Glory - Eagles RUFC and Bramley RUFC, 3 April 2004.
Household Cavalry News
have a massive game playing in the back row. A new club move this year was to allow fathers to bring their sons to play and our thanks go to Mike Smith and Phil Hastings for contributing to the tour both on and of the field. After the game we retired to the clubhouse to enjoy Yorkshire hospitality at its best prior to moving to down town Leeds and a pretty long and enjoyable 3rd half. The following veteran’s caps were awarded during the weekend. Mr Adrian Phillips Mr Alan (Petal) Rose Mr Marty (Sport Billy) Elliott Mr Neal (The Fridge) Gaskell (Team Captain) Mr Pete Smith CoH M Flynn
These join club members gaining their second cap: Capt P Maxwell WO 2 JA Evans Mr Mark Dyche Mr John Kilviingto Mr Rick Buckl Mr Ted Heath Mr Joe (Panzer) Parker Mr Andy Hastings Mr Neil Smith Mr John Dickens (Tour Manager) Those sons allowed to play, but not yet Vets: Master Mike Smit Master Phil Hastings
Mr Paul (Stone-hands) Buxton Backs Co-ordinator & Coach Mr Mark Mowbray Club Treasurer Mr Andy Dear Kit and Suit man Thanks once again must go to John Dickens for all the hard work that he put into the tour, from booking hotels to tracking down old players, to providing a tour T-shirt for the weekend. If any of you old players or supporters are out there and fancy ” just one more game” for the Eagles, then you should contact either myself on Sandhurst Mil 0127641 Ext 2410 or John Dickens on 07715539141. Serving members of the Regiment are also most welcome. The outline dates for the next tour are the weekend of 2nd and 3rd April 2005.
Coaching staff and touchline experts! Mr John Byrne Diet and Fitness Coach
Polo he Household Cavalry enjoyed some success during the 2004 season. With only 4 members of The Regiment playing at Guards Polo Club in Windsor it was hard to field only military teams, but Major P Hunter LG ran a Life Guards team in conjunction with Warm-Up and Major AJL Fox-Pitt LG ran The Barbour Household Cavalry team that played predominantly at Windsor, but toured to many clubs around the country.
At Windsor the team consisting of Captain JEA de St John Pryce RHG/D (-1), Lieutenant BJ Vestey RHG/D (4), Mr Roddy Wood (3) and Major Fox-Pitt LG (2) concentrated on 8 goal level during May and June. Having just failed to qualify for the Archie David at Guards, the team came together to win the final of The Claude Pert trophy by the tightest of margins.
The emphasis then switched to the Inter Regimental tournament; captained by Lieutenant BJ Vestey RHG/D The Household Cavalry beat teams from The King’s Royal Hussars and The Heavy Cavalry before playing The Royal Wessex Yeomanry in the final at Tidworth. Our victory was much closer than the 831⁄2 in our favour, scoreline suggests and was mainly due to the sharp accuracy of Cornet L McCallum RHG/D (-2) and Major P Hunter LG (0). In 2005 the final will return to Guards, on the 10th July, after 3 years absence. With Lieutenant BJ Vestey RHG/D away on exercise Major AJL Fox-Pitt LG was the only member of the Regiment to play for The Combined Services Polo Association (CSPA) for 2 of the 3 matches played against a visiting Pakistan Army side. The CSPA won all 3 matches retaining The Chapple Trophy.
Inter Regimental Final Winners 2004 Left to right: Cornet L McCallum RHG/D (-2), Major P Hunter LG (0), Lieutenant B J Vestey RHG/D (4), Major A J L Fox-Pitt LG (2).
Household Cavalry News
In July and August when not on exercise Lieutenant BJ Vestey RHG/D had varied success playing medium and high goal at Cirencester. Well after the season had closed the Regiment sent Major AJL Fox-Pitt LG, Captain NP Harrison RHG/D and Lieutenant BJ Vestey RHG/D on a CSPA tour to South Africa where the team was undefeated on the polo field. Next year, with the return of Lieutenant Colonel S Cowen RHG/D from Iraq and Captain R Lewis RHG/D from Sierra Leone there maybe more depth to our team, and we look forward to another year of competitive sport again sponsored by Barbour.
The Barbour Household Cavalry Team after winning the Claude Pert Trophy at Guards, Left to Right: Major A J L Fox-Pitt LG (2), Lieutenant B J Vestey RHG/D (4), Mr Rodney Wood (captain) (3), Captain J E A de St John Pryce RHG/D (-1).
Alpine Skiing 2004-2005 by Lieutenant HJ Floyd The Blues and Royals he cold and altitude of the Alpine Team’s winter haunt in Verbier seemed a long way away from the heat and barrenness of the Iraqi desert but we managed to pull together the team, its funding and its equipment despite the difficulties.
After some manic final preparations the team of seven household cavalrymen set sail across the channel on the 30th November and headed for the Swiss Alps and Exercise White Knight XXI. The initial training was hampered by a relative lack of snow but the team hit the slopes at full tilt with first time skier LCpl Southon REME showing off on day 2 as he meandered down a red run on one ski! It was enough to give a reminder to the old and bold of the team (Captain CW Wren LG and CoH Blackburn RHG/D) to get their act together and with this momentum we were soon following our Swiss Ski School Instructors over moguls and through powder and generally where ever their European whims took them! Christmas came and went in its own peculiar blur with some staying in Verbier to enjoy fresh Christmas snow and others taking the opportunity to go home to their families. As New Year loomed so did the start of the proper racing and the edge of competitiveness that had been brewing amongst the training groups suddenly became palpable. We had our seeding race on New Years’ Eve and a solid team performance set us up well for one of Verbier’s most ingrained traditions – the HCR firework party! Arms of various wholesale firework dealers were twisted until we had amassed a team armoury that dwarfed most war stocks and they were let loose with the help of ex ski team captain turned rock star James Blunt in a display that drew comment on chairlifts for the next week! Brigadier Simon Mayall, Chairman of the RAC Alpine Ski Club, was heard to be cheering and said it was about time he was taking some direct fire again! The racing team was supplemented by the return of veteran HCR skiers Captain RHA Lewis RHG/D and Captain AK MacEwen RHG/D and with these additions both the A and B teams were in a strong position to take on the RAC and AAC Championships. Under the watchful eye of Lieutenant Colonel CBB Clee RHG/D and his Adjutant Captain CJL Speers RHG/D the teams performed well providing several victories
including a third for the A team in the Team Downhill, a win for the B team in the Team Slalom and an over all third place for Captain RHA Lewis as an individual. These successes allowed a team of five including LCpl Griffin LG to progress onto Exercise Spartan Hike, the Divisional Championships in Serre Chevalier. The standard of racing was cranked up on the steep North facing slopes of these French mountains and the team learnt a huge amount of racing skills which allowed all five of the team to qualify for Exercise Lion’s Challenge, the Army Championships with Captain AK MacEwen clocked as the fastest man on the hill at 115 km/h! He was comfortably flouting the UK Motorway Speed limit on a pair of skis! This is the first time in four years that the regiment has been able to field a team at this level and it is with both excitement and trepidation that we are preparing to move onto this next level of competition. Yet again Alpine Skiing has provided members of the Regiment with a combination of sporting challenge and adrena-
Cornet Crosthwaite-Eyre on the piste.
line unparralled in regular work and increasingly rare in our busy Army. We are very grateful to all who made this exercise possible and particularly to the Commanding Officer for the support he showed the team on and off the piste. It is this support that will allow us to build on this seasons solid foundations and take the team to further success in the 2005-2006 racing season.
Lt Floyd, Capt Wren, Lt Eastwood, Capt MacEwen & Capt Lewis.
Household Cavalry News
Nordic Skiing 2004/5 by Captain TJ Armitage The Life Guards or the third consecutive season the Regiment’s Nordic Ski Team departed for Norway in late November, with five of the six man team cutting short their post operational tour leave to participate. In a change to previous years, the team trained in Sjusjøen, taking advantage of its proximity to the Birkenbiener Biathlon Stadium used at the Lillehammer Olympics. Coaching was provided by ex-Olympian Biathlete Mark Gee and WO2 Jenns APTC.
This high quality coaching ensured that all the team, four of whom were novices, had a good grasp of the skiing techniques required. It was particularly important to get the techniques right as seven summer months in Iraq had taken their toll on individual fitness. The training followed a strict programme; two hours of skiing in the morning and two in the afternoon, often involving combination training on the range. Most free time was spent sleeping in an effort to recover from the rigours of the day’s training, but 2nd Leiutenant MJV Nicoll LG also ran much needed cooking classes for the team, with Tpr Rosario-Tulloch’s impromptu culinary skills later being highly praised by a group of Sandhurst Cadets. Meanwhile LCpl McGuire used his free time dry training with the Biathlon Rifle. In the space of three weeks the team consumed about twenty kilograms of pasta, and became proficient at classical skiing, skate skiing, and could get a five round grouping the size of a fifty pence coin from fifty metres, albeit with a resting heart rate. By the 23rd of December cabin fever was beginning to set in and the team took a
well-deserved break in the UK, reassembling on New Year’s Day for an overnight journey to the RAC, RA, and AAC Championships in Austria. This World Cup course provided an excellent introduction to racing prior to the Divisional Championships. The team came 4th in the RAC Championship, with notable novices performances from 2Lt MJV Nicoll and LCpl Perry, 2nd and 8th novices respectively. Tpr Elliott also demonstrated some excellent shooting during the Biathlon races. On arrival at the Divisional Championships it soon became clear that the standard of skiing was higher than previous years, and that qualification for the Army Championships would be highly competitive, especially with a predominantly novice team. Our fitness let us down in the classic races, but it was pleasing to see that the training
emphasis on Biathlon paid off, with significantly higher placings in these events. With only the top twelve teams out of a regular field of thirty two qualifying for the Army Championships, our standing from 16-20 made this an impossibility. Overall we finished 21st, a position that reflected 2Lt Nicoll’s early return to the UK to deploy on exercise, and our horconcour status in the military patrol race due to a lack of a LCoH skiing for the team. The Regiment must be thanked for backing this most demanding and militarily applicable of sports, and it is hoped that the 2005/6 season will see a greater number of soldiers skiing, possibly within an RAC Training Camp, and that qualification for the Army Championships will result.
Cresta ith months of pre-season training and preparation behind them Captains DL Lipman, LG and WHAG Snook, RHG/D headed for the extraordinary town of St Moritz in an attempt to contribute to the Army’s fifth consecutive victory in the Inter-services Championships on the Cresta Run. The prelude to the team event was the visit of the Major General Commanding London District who ventured out to St Moritz to give the prizes for the Army Novice and Inter Regimental Competitions held in the middle of January. Unfortunately, due to Capt Snook arriv-
Household Cavalry News
ing a week after Capt Lipman, the Regiment was unable to put forward a team. January saw the perils of the Shuttlecock and extreme cold weather responsible for far more injuries than usual; in a two week period the injuries sustained included a broken shoulder, two broken fingers, a broken wrist and a broken femur, not to mention a total of approximately thirty stitches. Seven of these being allocated to one Army rider, Capt Richard Rous IG, after a freak accident that meant he would not race for the team. Captain Lipman had the impor-
tant task of introducing the Major General to the run, and fortunately the General completed a safe and injury free ride, recording a very respectable time. Once the Major General (PB)and the novices had left town the main effort shifted towards the Army Championship proper, The Scots Guards Cup. The race was won by Capt Nick Fullerton RSDG who broke his personal best (PB) twice during the race, Capt Snook RHG/D followed shortly behind in 2nd place, with Capt Lipman not being placed in the top three. Capt Lipman,
sadly, was unable to bond with his toboggan this year and only managed a 1:1 ratio of completed runs to falls (similar to the equine ability of Captain Snook). The Inter-services Championship followed three days later. For the preceding two weeks the RAF team looked very strong, especially as the Army were without Capt Richard Rous IG. However tragic events in Iraq resulted in two members of the RAF team returning to the UK to handle the aftermath, and Wing Commander Andy Green, of Thrust SSC fame, had a dreadful crash that broke his shoulder and wrote-off his helmet the day before the race. The Army team won the race (for the fifth year running) and was duly presented with the Prince Phillip trophy by CGS. Run this year. Results: The Scots Guards Cup (Army Championships) The Prince Phillip Trophy (Inter-service Championships) The Lord Trenchard Trophy (Individual Inter-services)
With some of the Army team leaving the Army in the near future the team is eager to recruit new caps for next year to maintain its winning streak. It is hoped that with Regimental commitments permitting, as many members of the Regiment as possible, other ranks as well as Officers, will be released for next year’s season. As a warning order the Novice Fortnight is likely to run from the second week of January 2006; with those showing the requisite lack of self preservation and ability continuing on to the Army Championships and then the Inter-services Competition at the beginning of February 2006. As a footnote, it was great to see Capt (Retd.) O. B. Birbeck of the Blues and Royals and Dan Scott both make an appearance on the
Capt WHAG Snook RHG/D on Charybus, last bank on the run, recorded at 72.3 mph.
Capt WHAG Snook RHG/D Capt DLLipman LG
2rd (not placed in the top 3…)
1st The Army 2nd The Royal Air Force 3rd The Royal Navy Capt WHAG Snook RHG/D Capt DL Lipman LG
3rd (again not placed in the top 3)
Household Cavalry Golf 2004 By Captain R Hennessy-Walsh, formerly The Life Guards The traditional start to the golfing season - the Household Division Championships - was held at Worplesdon on a slightly damp and cold day towards the end of March. Normally the golf course is not in its best shape at this time of the year but it did look better than normal. The Household Cavalry made up almost 50% of the field and not surprisingly had a fairly successful day. Some of the prizewinners are as follows: Singles: 2nd Scratch: CoH Short Best player over 14 handicap: RQMC (now Captain) Carter Nearest the Pin (4th): Captain Maxwell Longest Drive: Captain Hennessy-Walsh Foursomes: Scratch Winners: Lt Col Sibley/Capt Hennessy-Walsh 3rd: RQMC Carter/CoH Short Captain’s Prize: RQMC Carter/CoH Short
So another successful Championships and the retention of the Captain’s Prize for the 3rd successive year shows the quality in depth we have in Household Cavalry golf.
in the knowledge that all previous records were beaten on this historic day.
Phil Mitchell and Lawson Bingham continue to run the annual fixture at Swinley Forest Golf Club. This is another fantastic place to play golf and we are so lucky to be able to do so. Although we lost again in another matchplay competition the result is not as important as being able to play in such wonderful conditions. Supper was again provided after the event supported by some nice wine interrupted only by the mandatory raffle.
Playing at Sunningdale is always a great thrill and privilege. In the first of our two visits this year we were greeted with fierce rain and slightly less than the normally immaculate greens. It did not really detract from the day and neither did it have any effect upon the result. The staff at Sunningdale continue to beat us in whatever format we choose to play. Sunningdale scored 174 stapleford points against our 143 in the 5 matches. The fixture in September provided evidence, if it were needed, that miracles do happen. In a rare moment of brilliance from the Household Cavalry they convincingly beat the opposition by 5 matches to 0. We scored 201 points – never achieved by either team before – against 163. In a most moving and emotional speech after supper the Captain paid tribute to the hordes of Household Cavalrymen who had previously laboured around the two beautiful courses in an effort to secure just one win. He now hands over the reins of Household Cavalry golf to Captain Paul Maxwell
The Colonel-in-Chiefs Cup The first and second rounds were again played at Worplesdon on an overcast day in early April. We were able to field 2 teams with the ‘A’ team being given a bye in the first round because of their placing in the 2003 competition. The ‘B’ Team played against a Welsh Guards ‘B’ team. Despite the first pair (Wharton/Gilbey) winning 5 up the other two pairs (Short/Pentith) and (Saunders/Kellet) came in 4 down and 7 down respectively thus losing overall 6 down. The ‘A’ team played the ‘C’ team of Coldm Guards
Household Cavalry News
which had demolished a strong Welsh Guards ‘A’ team earlier in the day. In our 3 matches we had to give our opposition a total of 21 shots (5, 7 and 9). Despite this we were comfortable winners coming in 8 up overall (Wheeler/Flynn 3 up), (Hennessy-Walsh/Evans 2 up) and (Sibley/Dunkley 3 up). The semi finals and final played on a beautiful day in September saw us drawn against the Scots Guards (the winners in 2003) in the morning. Despite again having to give away 13 shots to the opposition we came in 4 up overall (Flynn/Wheeler 1 up), (Hennessy-Walsh/Evans 7 up) and (Sibley/Dunkley 4 down). The final in the afternoon, after a typically full Worplesdon lunch, was a much tighter affair against the Coldm Guards. After 18 holes the whole match was level (2 up, 4 down and 2 up in the same order as the morning matches), with the match having to be resolved, for the first time in years, with a play off at the 4th hole. We halved 2 of the play offs and lost the other thus losing the final by 1 hole. It was a close run thing and the Bambi trophy, rather than the very grand cup, is with us for another year. Household Cavalry Golf Day This was again held at the Royal Household Golf Club in the grounds of Windsor Castle. It was a fine day and despite some inevitable changes a full field turned out. The morning round was, as in 2003, a fun competition played with 3 clubs in the foursomes format. Clear winners were Wheeler/Hughes on 35 points. 2nd were Carter/Owens on 27 points and 3rd, after countback, were Turnbull/Short on 23 points. The afternoon heralded the main singles stableford competition. Our most generous sponsors from the Mellon Bank organisation provided the winner with 42 points. Playing off a handicap of 24 he may not be invited back! 2nd was CoH Tennant, 3rd Tpt Maj Wheeler and 4th was CoH Hughes. The remaining places
were taken up with Mellon Bank. Captain Turnbull recorded the worst score on the two easiest holes (1 point) and CoH Gray, on a rare visit to the golf course, recorded the greatest number of blobs (no scores) ever seen on a golf course (11)! The Fred Collingwood Trophy for the best Household Cavalryman on the day was awarded to CoH Tennant thus recording the 4th different winner since its inception in 2001. Wimbledon Common Golf Club CoH Hughes took a team from Windsor and Knightsbridge for the annual trip to the Common. Donning their bright red tops (mandatory on the Common) they came very close to securing a victory losing by 335 points to 310.
Costa Del Golf 2004 Rather than freeze in Myrtle Beach, Carolina, (as we had done in January 2003), we all felt it was time to find some guaranteed sun. And so in mid 2003 we started to look at venues in Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Florida and anywhere other than Carolina which could accommodate our most discerning needs. Puerto Banus, just a little South of Marbella, proved to be both in golf and weather, exactly the place to be. The smaller than normal group of 7 (4 ex Household Cavalrymen, 1 ex RAF and 2 civilians) set off from different airports and finally met up in Malaga. Once you get used to the idea that this part of Spain is the largest building site in Europe – and move out into the country – you are treated to some spectacular scenery and outstanding golf courses. Two of these – Rio Real and La Cala (South) – were as good as any we had seen on previous tours. La Cala in particular was very hilly and spectacular. The slightly damp day did provide some treacherous journeys in the golf buggies with one or two almost toppling over. We played a further 4 courses including
Runners Up again in the Colonel-in-Chief’s Cup. L to R: Mr Dunkley, Lt Col Sibley, Capt Hennessy- Walsh, Lt Col Evans, Mr Flynn and Tpt Maj Wheeler.
Household Cavalry News
Los Naranjos where playing amongst the oranges was an unusual delight. Finding these courses, which are particularly badly signed, was an experience and challenge in itself. The ‘bread van’ – the rather strange hire vehicle occupied by Messrs Ford/HennessyWalsh/Clark and Topp – managed to get lost every day. Bob Topp was nicknamed ‘Balcony Bob’ having hit his first tee shot of the tour at La Quinta Golf Club high into one of the properties on the left side of the fairway. It was a wellearned name for he also managed this rare trick on several other occasions during the week. The sight of people enjoying a Bar-B-Q in their homes being interrupted by a Titlesit golf ball travelling at speed can only be imagined. After each game the organiser had arranged some hideously difficult hidden prizes for one person each day. It was all harmless fun and people generally were either richer/poorer or drunker at the end of the day. After the trials of the day the evenings in Puerto Banus provided some stimulating nightlife. At weekends the town is positively alive particularly in the area of the harbour which hosts some of the most fabulous yachts and boats you could ever see. The hotel was OK if you managed not to get woken up during the night by the drunken rabble returning after their night out. Even the bar at breakfast time had a few late night stragglers just about to get some shuteye. On the last evening we had a very informal prize giving ceremony where everyone got a little something as a reminder of a very good week. I think everyone enjoyed it but the value for money location still has to be Myrtle Beach where I’m sure we will go again. 2005 sees the tour in Orlando, Florida and in 2006 plans are already in hand for a trip to Capetown.
Some of the boys at Rio Real. L to R: Lt Col Sibley, Mr R Taylor (ex LG), Mr H Ford (ex RHG/D) and Mr Murray Turner (ex RAF).
News From The Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report 2004 Patron Her Majesty The Queen President General the Lord Guthrie of Criagiebank GCB LVO OBE
Trustees of The Life Guards Charitable Trust Colonel WSG Doughty Major JDA Gaselee Major AJL Fox-Pitt Captain LD Stratford MBE CD Watson Esq.
Committee Chairman: Colonel WSG Doughty Vice Chairman: Major JDA Gaselee Vice Chairman: Major AJL Fox-Pitt Honorary Treasurer: Captain LD Stratford MBE Honorary Secretary: Captain R Hennessy-Walsh Co-opted Member: JJ Harbord, Esq.
Serving Members Major WR Lindsay Captain AR Tate Captain MEW Kingston MBE Captain JP Core Captain W Douglas WO1 (RCM) RD O’Connor WO1 (RCM) KJ Poynter WO2 (RQMC) DA Rees WO2 (SCM) AP Kellet WO2 (SCM) JC Parkinson
Lieutenant Colonel Sir Seymour Gilbart-Denham KCVO Major NE Hearson OBE JP DL Captain AM Cherrington Captain WAB Henderson Mr CE Dean RVM Mr D Johnson Mr NW Taylor RVM Mr LK Thomas Mr CD Watson Mr AC Etches
Minutes of the 70th Annual General Meeting of The Life Guards Association Held at Windsor on Saturday 12th June 2004 The Chairman, Colonel WSG Doughty, opened the meeting at 1800 hours and welcomed everyone present. He said that this was his second meeting as Chairman in the absence of a Life Guard Commanding Officer. Lieutenant Colonel EA Smyth-Osbourne would be taking over as Commanding Officer at the Household Cavalry Regiment in 2005 and therefore he would hand over at that time. The Minutes of the 69th Annual General Meeting were published in the current edition of the Household Cavalry Journal. It was proposed by Mr Johnson and seconded by Mr Watson that they were a true record of the proceedings. The Honorary Treasurer’s Report The letter sent by our Colonel to all Members of the Association has been a great success. Donations to the Fund received so far amount to £13,028, in
addition, we have received Standing Orders for £3,000 per year to date. The Committee are extremely grateful for the very generous gifts from Members, too numerous to mention by name. It is hoped that more Standing Orders will be set up in the future and remember we will be able to re-claim tax from the Inland Revenue to further boost our funds. The Journal continues to be a drain on the funds but it is hoped that the Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund will increase the annual grant from the ‘One Days Pay Scheme’, which has remained the same for the last 17 years even though the income from the scheme has more than doubled. The cost of the Journal to the Association was £8294 in 2003 and £6864 this year. The annual dinner costs continue to rise. Expenditure over Income was £2250 last year and we expect this to rise to £3500
this year. We no longer can we expect soldiers to wait on the tables. The Honorary Treasurer personally thought that this was a fair cost to the Association. The Association Raffle has been a great success with 7,533 tickets sold and a profit of £5,533 after prizes. The Raffle will be drawn at the conclusion of the Meeting. He said how grateful we were for such generosity. Apart from the profit from the Raffle and the donations already mentioned, our income this year will include £1,600 from the deposit account, £10,000 from the Days Pay Scheme and £14,600 from investments. The Chairman thanked the Honorary Treasurer for his report, which was proposed by Lieutenant Colonel Sir Seymour Gilbart-Denham KCVO and seconded by Mr JE Lloyd. Colonel GilbartDenham also wanted to place on record
News from the Associations
what a good job our Treasurer was doing which was wholly supported by the meeting. The Honorary Secretary‘s Report For a variety of reasons it has been a busy 12 months not least of which saw the announcement of the Op TELIC awards details of which haave been comprehensively covered in the latest copy of the Household Cavalry Journal. The additional mail shots enclosing the request from our Colonel and the resultant setting up of Standing orders together with the raffle had resulted in additional work - all of which had been most worthwhile, There has been a further small drop in membership from 2281 in 2003 to 2235 now. Membership of the Old Comrades Bulletin Board is now climbing to nearly 500, but only a very small proportion of that number contributes with any regularity and because of The Old Oak Tree only a few Life Guards actually contribute. The Honorary Secretary regretted to announce that a further 18 Old Comrades had died since the publication of the Journal. The saga of the Members’ address list, which was to be passed to all our Area Representatives, drags on. The people at the Data Protection Act did not help matters by providing rather contradictory information. Members will recall that earlier this year the Honorary Secretary wrote to the membership informing them of his intention to produce such a list. The letter concluded by saying “..if, however I have not heard from you by 1st March 2004 I will assume your agreement…”. It was incorrect to make such an assumption and failure to reply does not signify the agreement of the members in accordance with DPA rules. Everyone must either agree or disagree and failure to respond must presumably be construed as a No. Regrettably therefore – said the Honorary Secretary – he
was no further forward – please wait out. This evening sees the first Annual Draw and it hoped we can continue this each year. For your information 23,000 tickets were sent out and the number sold is 7378. This represented just over 30% sold, which the Honorary Secretary felt, was not a bad effort for the first year. The Honorary Secretary said that he had been concerned for some time that some of our Area Representatives are more active than others. It might be that the fault lies at the door of the Honorary Secretary for not providing clearer direction on what was expected from them. He therefore intended to sit down this year and give some clearer indication of how he thought they could be a little more pro-active. It is not the intention of the Honorary Secretary to write vast tomes of SOP’s but merely outline ways that he thought they can be more helpful without making their task too onerous – they are after all volunteers and for that the Committee were most grateful. He was well aware that the lack of a Members’ Address List rather hindered his efforts. The National Arboretum seems to have been a topic of debate in recent months and some of you may know that your Committee decided against joining RHG/D in their venture. Briefly, The Life Guards Association has already made their contribution to the Arboretum. In addition £9000 was paid by the Association towards the cost of the memorial in Combermere Barracks. Your Committee therefore consider that a lasting tribute has been paid to all Life Guards that have died, in service, since WW2. Your Committee continue to look at the cost of the Journal, and whether in the future, it may be necessary to ask members for a contribution towards its production and postage. A suggestion has been made that members could be asked to contribute £25 for a five-year block period. No decision has yet been made but would have to be in agreement with RHG/D whose membership were gener-
ally in agreement at their recent AGM. In addition we are endeavouring to get HCCCF to agree an increase to the annual grant made to each Association from the Day’s Pay Scheme. Your Committee continue to hold quarterly meeting to review policy matters and to confirm the decisions made by the financial sub committee. The Honorary Secretary passed on the apologies of Mr Turtle who was unable to join us through ill health. The Honorary Secretary’s Report was proposed by Mr Jones and seconded by Mr Baxter. Election of Committee In accordance with normal custom the non-serving members of the Committee resign but they all offered themselves for re-election. This was proposed by Major Holbrook and seconded by WO1 (RCM) O’Connor. Any Other Business Mr Watson wanted to place on record the thanks of the membership for the way in which Captain WAB Henderson had pushed through the raffle. It was therefore agreed that he should make the draw, the results of which were as follows: 1st – Ticket Number 5201 Mrs Sarah Bowyer - £1000 2nd – Ticket Number 22054 Mr A Crabtree - £500 3rd – Ticket Number 7780 Mr J Barber - £250 4th – Ticket Number 10712 Mr J Clark - £250 Mr Lloyd said that if at all possible only Household Cavalry trumpeters should play at funerals of Life Guards. The Honorary Secretary explained that it was unfortunate that it had been impossible to get one for the funeral of the late Mr Tom Alderson. Mr CE Dean passed on the apologies of Messrs Speller, Patterson, Gentry and Levet.
The Life Guards Association and Charitable Trust Income and Expenditure Account for the year ended 31st December 2004 Balances as at 1st January
INCOME Household Cavalry Central Charitable Trust (Day’s Pay Scheme) LG Association (Note 1)
News from the Associations
The Life Guards Association Notices Communication Correspondence for the Association should be addressed to: The Honorary Secretary The Life Guards Association Home Headquarters Household Cavalry Combermere Barracks Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 3DN Tel: 01753 755297 (with ansaphone) or 755229 Facsimile: 755161 E-Mail for Home HQ is: firstname.lastname@example.org E-Mail for Honorary Secretary is: email@example.com
Membership All members of the Association are requested to introduce the Association to all those eligible for membership under Rule 2 of the Rules of Membership.
Life Membership In accordance with Rule 4 of the Rules of Membership any Annual Member of the Association may become a Life Member on payment of £15 in the case of Officers and £5 in the case of Other Ranks.
Regimental Items for Sale Various items with the Regimental Cipher are available from the Household Cavalry PRI and Museum Shop at Combermere Barracks. An Order Form can be obtained from the manager on 01753 755271. You may also download an order form and price list from the Home Page at:www.householdcavalry.co.uk
The Annual General Meeting The 71st Annual General Meeting will be held in Combermere Barracks, Windsor on Saturday 11th June 2005 commencing at 1800 hours. The 2nd Annual Draw will follow this meeting.
1900 hours. Dress: Lounge suits with medals (not miniatures). Lieutenant Colonel Sir Seymour Gilbart-Denham KCVO, who commanded the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment from March 1986 until June 1987, will be in the chair. Tickets will not be available at the door and must be obtained through the Honorary Secretary using the proforma enclosed with this Journal. Personal guests will not be permitted to attend. The Regimental Corporal Major will offer the hospitality of the WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess to all members of the Association and their wives after the Dinner. It is however necessary for him to impose a restriction on children accompanying their parents into the Mess unless they are aged 18 or over. Please also note that ladies should NOT attend until after the Dinner.
Christmas Cards Details of the 2005 Christmas card will be announced, as always, in the newsletter issued in August each year. In view of the large demand on them members are advised to submit their orders as soon as they receive the order form which will be included with the newsletter.
The Life Guards Band Comrades Association Any ex member of The Life Guards Band who would like to keep in touch with their contemporaries are urged to contact the Honorary Secretary of the above Association. A social is held annually and a newsletter is circulated through Home Headquarters, Household Cavalry at Combermere Barracks.
Internet Matters Sites worth visiting are: www.householdcavalry.co.uk which has an Old Comrades Bulletin Board with forums for both Life Guards and
Blues and Royals to enter into discussion and a photograph forum. www.theoldoaktree.net is a very good site run by former TQ Pete Jordan and also includes, amongst many other attractions, a stimulating message board.
E-Mail Addresses Notification of changes to E-mail addresses is now becoming as important as changes to your postal address. Please keep us informed (by E-mail!) of those changes.
Newsletter As in 2004 Old Comrades who have Email addresses will be able to read the Annual Newsletter on-line. Several members in 2004 did not get the newsletter notification because they failed to notify a change in their e-mail address. This meant they did not get the Christmas Card order form.
Area Rep’s Address List Please see the special notice at the heading of the Area Representatives page in this Journal.
Mail Boxes Etc (MBE) MBE is the largest franchise network of business and communication service centres in the world. With a growing network of centres across the UK and worldwide, MBE gives you all the benefits of a leading franchise business. Mr John Docherty opened his first centre in 1997 and he now has three. For people about to leave the Regiment but are undecided upon what sort of second career they wish to embark, and are prepared to work hard it is a great opportunity. Mr Docherty will be happy to discuss those opportunities with anyone who cares to call him on 0131 446 9777. His web site can be found at: www.mbeedinburgh.co.uk.
PLEASE GIVE TO THOSE WHO GAVE
The Annual Association Dinner The 70th Annual Dinner will be held in Combermere Barracks Windsor on Saturday 11th June 2005 commencing at
News from the Associations
Donations and information: BLESMA, Frankland Moore House,185 - 187 High Road, Chadleigh Heath, Essex RM6 6NA.
The Life Guards Association Area Representatives This notice is to inform all members of The Life Guards Association of our plans to provide all our area representatives with a list of members residing in their respective areas. This will enable those representatives to make contact with you and to keep you better informed about matters affecting The Life Guards Association. To comply with the UK Data Protection Act 1998, the area representatives will be asked to sign a contract ensuring that your personal data will receive the same amount of protection afforded by the Data Protection Act 1998. Anyone who objects to their contact details (name, address and telephone number) being provided to their area representative is to inform the Honorary Secretary, in writing, before 1st August 2005. The following 46 members have kindly agreed to act as Representatives and should you have any problem please do not hesitate to contact them. Any Representative who has an e-mail address which is not shown here please pass this information to the Honorary Secretary. Mr BN ANGOVE Fergove Church Road Long Itchington, Southam Warwickshire CV47 9PR 01 926 812011 Mr RG BARNES 1777 Preston Main Road Preston, Tasmania 7315 Australia 0061 03 64291227 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr D BARNFIELD 9 Wickridge Close Uplands, Stroud Gloucestershire GL5 1ST 01 453 763218 Mr J BELL 13 Korotaha Terrace Rothesay Bay, Auckland 1311 New Zealand (0064) 9473 0556 email@example.com Mr P BLAKE 24 Dean Court Copley, Halifax West Yorkshire HX3 0UX 01 422 351561 Major TW BRIDGES TD Downlands The Furlongs Alfriston, Polegate Sussex BN26 5XS 01 323 870718 Mr N CLARKSON Calder Park Calderbridge Seascale, Cumbria CA20 1DN 01 946 823404 Mr RJ COBB 107 High Street Neyland, Milford Haven Dyfed SA73 1TR 01 646 602084 Mr GS COLEMAN 12 Wild Avenue Reynella 5161, South Australia (0061) 8381 2047 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr MJ CREAGH Casa Mariposa Rambla Los Pardos Los Lanos De Taberno 04692 Almeria, SPAIN 0034 66000 1793 Mr G CUTHBERTSON 1 Dove Row North Shields Northumberland NE30 4QP 0191 290 2835 email@example.com Mr J DOCHERTY Mail Boxes Etc 44/46 Morningside Road Edinburgh, Lothian EH10 4BF 01 313 374255
Mr WD ELSMORE 34 Barkby Road Syston, Leicester LE7 2AF 0116 269 5794 Mr KJ FRAPE 2015 Cherry Laurel Drive Columbia, South Carolina 29204 USA 001 (803) 787 1244 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr F FOX The Radjel, 24 Bramall Lane Stafford ST16 1JD 01785 252 351 email@example.com Mr SG GEORGE 3 Pennine Court Tithebarn Hill, Glasson Dock Lancaster LA2 0BY 01 524 751572 Mr A GOOK 17 Moorland Close Mousehold Lane Norwich NR7 8HD 01 603 484336 Mr WH GRAHAM 33 Linden Close Huntington, York YO32 9RQ 01 904 766870 Captain WAB HENDERSON 190 Highbury Grove Cosham, Portsmouth Hampshire PO6 2RU 02 392 385806 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr GH HITCHMAN 27 Apple Tree Road Alderholt, Fordingbridge Dorset SP6 3EW 01 425 656444 Mr RE JEWELL Cornerways Old Carnon Hill Carnon Downs Truro, Cornwall TR3 6LE 01 872 863877 Mr RBM JONES 5 Northmoor Way Wareham, Dorset BH20 4RY 01 929 552304 Mr M KNIGHT 37 St Helens Road Abergavenny, Gwent NP7 5YA 01 873 854460 Mr PP LEWIS MBE 1 Bourton Close West Hunsbury Northampton NN4 9YT 01 604 470017 email@example.com
Mr A LISTER 120 Higher Dean Street Radcliffe, Manchester M26 3TE 0161 725 9851 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr WA LOFTUS 2a High Nook Road Dinnington Sheffield, Yorkshire S25 2PH 01 909 518405 email@example.com
Mr S SMITH 594 Perth Road Ninewells, Dundee Angus DD2 1QA 01 382 562554 firstname.lastname@example.org Mr MPG SOUTHERTON 5 Woodbury Road Stourport On Severn Worcestershire DY13 8XR 01 299 823882
Mr JW MAXWELL JP Meadowside Wilmslow Road Mottram St Andrew Macclesfield Cheshire SK10 4LQ 01 625 829197
Mr KH SPRIGG 9 Clarence Court Station Hill, Maesteg Mid Glamorgan CF34 9AE 07855 590882 Mr DA TURTLE 15 The Croft, Beckingham Doncaster Yorkshire DN10 4QW 01 427 848551
Mr MR MITCHESON Bronze Lodge Nursery Close Gressenhall, Dereham Norfolk NR20 4TH 01 362 860928 Mr BE PAGE 19 Parsons Avenue Stoke Gifford, Bristol BS34 8PN 0117 975 9721
Mr DH UNDERWOOD Ingledene Beesfield Lane Farningham, Kent Da4 0bz 01 322 866334 Dubigd@Aol.Com
Mr D PATTINSON The Spinney Pelutho Silloth, Wigton Cumbria CA7 4LT 01 697 332328
Mr DH VALLANCE 5 Highfield Drive Garforth, Leeds West Yorkshire LS25 1JY 0113 286 4621
Mr PS POTTS Wisteria House South Eau Bank Gedney Hill Spalding, Lincolnshire PE12 0QL 01 945 700199 email@example.com
Mr GP WARREN 7 Victoria Place Budleigh Salterton Devon EX9 6JP 01 395 443375
Mr AT PRYNNE 15 Daffodil Wood Builth Wells, Powys LD2 3LE 01 982 552296 Mr AW ROWLINSON 21 Gadlas Road Llysfaen, Colwyn Bay Conwy LL29 8TD 01 492 514805 Mr DI SAVAGE 65 Southfield Close Driffield, Yorkshire YO25 5YU 01377 257 424 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr CD WATSON 2 Steenwood Cottages Steenwood Lane, Admaston Rugeley Staffordshire WS15 3NQ 01 889 500656 email@example.com Mr LG WEEKES 5 Abbots Wood Headington Oxford Ox3 8tr 01 865 451318 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr D SAYERS BEM 35 Grange Road Belmont, Durham DH1 1AL 0191 386 6912
Mr DAS WILLIAMS 68 Allen Water Drive Fordingbridge Hampshire SP6 1RE 01 425 652670
Mr W SEWELL 11 Rowland Lane Thornton-cleveleys Blackpool, Lancashire FY5 2QX 01 253 826577
Mr LJ YOUNG 1 Priory Gardens Friernhay Street Exeter, Devon EX4 3AP 01 392 215768
News from the Associations
from the Committee for personal reasons. The following members have volunteered for appointment to the Committee, Mr TG Collett, Mr NW Bourne, Mr PB Lawson and Mr MA Shillabeer. It was then proposed by Mr Steel and seconded by Major Lane that they be elected. A proposal was carried. Any Other Business
The Blues and Royals Association Notices All correspondence should be addressed to: The Honorary Secretary, The Blues and Royals Association, Home HQ Household Cavalry, Combermere Barracks, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3DN
Association and only official guests will be permitted. To assist with security, members are asked to provide some form of identity on entering barracks. Ladies may not attend the Dinner, but are welcome in the Mess afterwards by kind permission of the RCM. Notification
Lieutenant Colonel GV de la F Woyka, Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, informed the Meeting that there would be a short memorial service for those that were lost in the Hyde Park bombing 1982. This service will take place after the Combined Cavalry Memorial Service. Both Commanding Officers updated the meeting on present deployments and commitments of operational and ceremonial tasks to be carried out for the forth-coming year. Mr Ian Taylor, North Staffs Branch, updated the meeting on the present situation at the National Arboretum Memorial. The Secretary informed the meeting that he would notify the Committee in due course of the proposal to form a Household Cavalry plot at the National Arboretum. Mr Eric Marchington informed the meeting about the Heroes Return Scheme and asked if this could be publicised. All information regarding the Veterans Agency and the Heroes Return Scheme have been posted on the Household Cavalry Website.
Annual General Meeting The 37th Annual General Meeting will be held at Combermere Barracks, Windsor on Saturday 7th May 2005 at 1900 hrs. The agenda for the meeting is set out below. Members wising to put a resolution to the Meeting should write to the Honorary Secretary at least six weeks beforehand. Agenda Minutes of the previous meeting The accounts for the period ending 31 December 2004 Election of Committee members Other Business The Annual Dinner The 37th Annual Dinner will be held at Combermere Barracks, Windsor on Saturday 7th May at 1900 hrs. Dress: Lounge Suits, no medals. Tickets will not be available at the door and must be obtained via Home Headquarters. Tickets are restricted to members of the
Members are kindly requested to notify the Association office of any change of contact details as soon as possible in order that they may continue to receive communications from the Association, in particular the Household Cavalry Journal. Below is an extract from one of the many thank you letters we receive. I am writing on behalf of my dad who wishes to convey his heartfelt thanks for sending him a cheque for £300. He was so happy; he skipped around the room when he opened it. It really is a tremendously kind gesture and one that will make the difference at this time of year. It will help towards some car bills, so you have also taken away the worry he would usually face in trying to pay for his car. Many many thanks, and dad would also like to take this opportunity of wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and 2005.
The Honorary Secretary informed the meeting that the Regimental Magazine was now becoming so expensive that it neutralises the grant from the Days Pay Scheme. He proposed the magazine should be self-financing through the membership and proposed that it should be paid for by members over a five-year cycle at a cost of £5 per year to include postage and packing. A once off payment every five years was proposed by the Honorary Secretary to cover the costs. Within that £5 is a small element of subsidy to help those members that feel that £25 as a block payment is beyond their means. This could be implemented at the earliest by 2006 and will be carried along in conjunction with The Life Guards Association who will propose the same at their AGM in June. There being no further business to discuss the Meeting closed at 1901 hrs. Capt J Seyfried receives his decoration from the Mayor of Cagny.
News from the Associations
The Blues and Royals Area Representatives Mr CJ Barrett 61 Dan-Y-Cribyn Ynysybwl PONTYPRIDD Rhondda, Cynon, Taff CF37 3ET Tel No: 01443 791987 E-mail: email@example.com Major DS Barrington-Brown Cockleford Mill Cowley CHELTENHAM Gloucestershire GL53 9NW Tel No: 01242 870266 Mr JD Bradley Blenheim Butt Park Stokenham KINGSBRIDGE Devon TQ7 2SH Tel No: 01548 580104 Major JW Clayton 1 Busserolles 23320 Montaigut Blanc Creuse France Tel No: 0033 555 620 734 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr CD Day Flat 12 Raglan Court 11 Winn Road Portswood SOUTHAMPTON SO17 1WU Tel No: 02380 550128 Mr GG Hodges The Oaklands Edgerley OSWESTRY Shropshire SY10 8EN Tel No: 01743 741365 Mr D Horsefield 4 Garden Croft Forest Hall NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE NE12 9LT Tel No: 01912 665440 E-mail: email@example.com .uk Mr E Marchington 39 Propps Hall Drive Failsworth MANCHESTER M35 0WB Tel No: 01616 816712
Mr DM Miles 22 Hillcrest Road Wheatley Hills DONCASTER DN2 5ND Tel No: 01302 322757 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr J Singer 49 Bradwall Road SANDBACH Cheshire CW11 1GH Tel No: 01270 759358 Mr PD Spencer 9 Buttermere Close NORTHAMPTON NN3 2BG Tel No: 01604 784582 The Rev AV Vaughan-Roberts 3624 East Liberty Av Spokane WA 99217, 6960 USA E-mail: email@example.com
Mr CE Mogg 6 Brynffrwd Close Coychurch BRIDGEND Mid Glamorgan CF35 5EP Tel No: 01656 668590 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mr BJ Pyke 52 Cavendish Gardens Beechdale Estate WALSALL West Midlands WS2 7JN Tel No: 01922 639562 E-mail: email@example.com
Mr EJ Woodman RVM MBE 48 Western Drive SHEPPERTON Middlesex TW17 8HW Tel No: 01 932 240495
Mr NG Sargeant 62 Hopgarden Road TONBRIDGE Kent TN10 4QT Tel No: 01732 355259
Household Cavalry Museum Staff: Lt Col (Retd) SF Sibley MBE (formerly RHG/D), Mr KC Hughes (formerly RHG/D) The point of contact is as follows:
The Museum The Museum is now closed and is undergoing an extensive conservation programme under the excellent guidance of Barbara Cullimore and her team from the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Society. This is on track for completion by June 2005 when all the artefacts will have been cleaned, conserved and packed ready to move to Horse Guards and to decant from the Windsor Museum, which will undergo
an extensive refurbishment. All this should come together by the end of 2005 and once again be open to the public. Enquiries from the archives are encouraged and we will do our best to answer all your questions, but please be patient as most of the archive material will be inaccessible.
A Squadron Royals crossing Danish-German Frontier May 1945. Major JA Dimond and Tpr Hubbard.
The Household Cavalry Museum Combermere Barracks St Leonards Road Berkshire SL4 3DN 01753 755 112 The Museum shop continues to flourish under the excellent guidance of Mr Trevor Collett and is very much open for business. Trevor can now be contacted direct on 01753 755 271.
Reputedly this man was a pain in the chest!
News from the Associations
The Household Cavalry Museum Development Project n March last year we received the long awaited confirmation from the Heritage Lottery Fund that they would be supporting our project proposals with a grant of just under £2 million. This pledge was nevertheless conditional upon the Museum Trust appointing a suitably qualified Director to manage the twin site Museum operation and also for the old Museum Deed of Trust that has guided the Trustees in their management of the collections for over 40 years ,to be radically altered to reflect the aims and objectives of the new development project.
After advertising for the new post of Museum Director in two national newspapers we received over 50 applicants for the job. These applicants were short listed down to a final six who were all interviewed by a selection panel last October. Mr John Lange, previously the Director of the Museum of Oxford, was unanimously chosen as the preferred candidate and started in post during the first week of March.
The old Museum Trust was terminated and replaced by a Private Limited Company in December. This Company is now in the process of obtaining charitable status at which point it formally becomes a Charitable Operating Company and will not only be responsible for the care of the collections but also will have a major trading arm. The majority of our former Trustees have retired from their responsibilities and in future the Museum will be governed by a Board of Directors. Enabling works at Horse Guards are ongoing. These works will free up all the space that the new Museum will eventually require and also implement all the internal office moves that need to occur. At the time of writing the project design team together with Wates, the main contractor, are in the final stages of establishing and agreeing the guaranteed maximum prices for all the many sub contracts that make up the project. When this process is complete and when we have successfully secured a bank loan for the outstanding shortfall in the
Appeal total, we will be in a position to let the main contract to build. It is still envisaged that this could happen in the spring and thereafter a period of 10 months has been allowed on site for construction and fit out operations. The new museum would therefore be ready to open its doors in February 2006. Our Appeal to raise the capital required has now raised £3.3 million together with guaranteed underwriting for a further £400,000. Our target figure is £4.3 million and the Museum Appeal will continue throughout 2005. For any further information regarding any aspect of the Museum Development Project or Appeal please contact: The Appeal Office Household Cavalry Museum Combermere Barracks, Windsor Berkshire SL4 3DN Tel: 01753-755194 Fax: 01753-755203 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund 1. The HCCCF was created in 1992 on the Union of The Life Guards and The Blues & Royals for the benefit of all ranks of the Regiments of the Household Cavalry past and present. 2. Its objectives are to: a. Relieve either generally or individually past and present members of the Household Cavalry and their dependants who are in need, hardship or distress in such ways as the Trustees from time to time think fit. This in the first instant is done through the two Associations. b. Promote the efficiency of the Household Cavalry and its component Regiments and the members thereof in such ways as the Trustees from time to time think fit.
3. The Trustees are: a. Ex Officio: (1) Commander Household Cavalry (2) Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Regiment (3) Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment (4) Secretary The Life Guards Association (5) Secretary The Blues and Royals Association b. Co-Opted: (1) Former member of The Life Guards (2) Former member of The Blues and Royals
Accounts 1st April 2003 to 31st March 2004 31 March 2003
31 March 2004
Fixed Assets Investments at Market Value
489989 Current Assets Bank
107015 Current Liabilities Standards Parade Life Guard Remnant Fund Rose Fund
TOTAL ASSETS MINUS TOTAL LIABILITIES
News from the Associations
6488 166400 14553
58119 6576 176525 15467
1st April 2003 to 31st March 2004 Income And Expenditure Summary of Income Subscriptions Dividends Interest Tax Rebate (Gift Aid)
49469 18820 1590 13259
Summary of Expenditure Association Grants Army Benevolent Fund Grant Adventure Training & Battlefield Tour Grants Household Division Subscriptions re-fund Director Royal Armoured Corps Sub-scriptions Honorarium H Div Employment Agency NI Memorial Guards Chapel Zandvoorde Memorial WO1 Dress Fund
20000 6000 13905 5574 600 2500 1231 960 119 3336
Obituaries The Life Guards The deaths are announced of the following members of the Regiment who have sadly died during the previous 12 months. The Committee, and all Old Comrades, offer their sincere condolences to all members of their families. O Ever-living God, King Of Kings, In Whose Service We Put On The Breastplate Of Faith And Love, And For A Helmet The Hope Of Salvation, Grant We Beseech Thee That The Life Guards May Be Faithful Unto Death, And At Last Receive The Crown Of Life From Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen. May They Rest In Peace. 22048654 Tpr JH Bliss
369048 Lt the Hon RS Borwick
296412 Cpl KB Davies
Served from 26 July 1948 until 22 March 1950 Died 1 January 2004 aged 73 years
Served from 12 June 1946 until 11 November 1952 Died 26 November 2003 aged 76 years
Served from 20 July 1944 to 3 November 1947 Died 19 May 2004 aged 78 years
23896987 LCoH I Wiseman Served from 13 February 1962 until 8 August 1978 Died 6 February 2004 aged 57 years
22556174 LCpl B Hills Served from 1 November 1952 until 30 November 1955 Died 29 March 2003 aged 67 years
22556683 Tpr J Walsh Served from 19 March 1954 until 18 March 1961 Died 26 October 2003 aged 69 years
295513 CoH BNS Emblem Served from 1 October 1944 until 1 August 1946 Died 8 April 2004 aged 83 years
23078927 JT Lee Service dates unknown Died 8 January 2003 age unknown
295265 Major JH Eaton-Hall
Served from 16 August 1938 until 6 October 1947 Died 22 April 2004 aged 85 years
Served from 1960 until 1966 Died 16 February 2004 age unknown
296634 Tpr S Marman
21067567 DP Donnelly Service details unknown Died in 2003 age unknown
Served from 26 December 1945 until 25 Febraury 1957 Died 7 May 2004 aged 76 years
295324 WO2 J Cooper Served from 29 November 1938 until 28 November 1974 Died 17 June 2004 aged 84 years
21000141 WO2 OR Levet BEM Served from 12 January 1948 until 10 January 1972 Died 22 July 2004 aged 76 years
22493574 Tpr DL Clarke Served from 1951 until 1953 Died 26 July 2004 aged 70 years
295253 Tpr R Shipman Served from 12 January 1938 until 30 January 1946 Died 19 November 2003 aged 85 years
19166080 Cpl RG Wilford Served from 8 May 1947 until 20 May 1949 Died 25 July 2004 aged 75 years
22556836 Cpl HJ Mills 22556075 Tpr D Smail Served from 1952 until 1955 Died 25 August 2002 aged 68 years
Served from 1954 â€“ 1957 Died 23 May 2004 aged 67 years
24048259 LCoH RD McDonald Served from 27 January 1966 to 17 December 1975 Died 18 August 2004 aged 55 years
23679197 SQMC T Alderson 23796660 Tpr DA Millard Served from 9 June 1960 until 19 December 1962 Died 18 July 2003 aged 64 years
Served from 1 October 1960 until 31 October 1982 Died 26 May 2004 aged 64 years
294992 Musn WA Hazelwood Served from 1 October 1933 until 13 February 1946 Died 24 August 2004 aged 84 years
24878913 LCpl GT Stafford 24125822 Tpr EJ Dillon Served from 4 August 1969 until 29 January 1973 Died unknown date/year
Served from 19 June 1997 until 21 February 2002 Died 11 April 2004 aged 32 years
24021568 Tpr CA Watts 295076 WO2 (BCM) EG Madden Served from 3 September 1935 until 1 July 1969 Died 19 February 2004 aged 82 years
Served from 1 October 1965 until 31 March 1968 Died 11 May 2004 aged 57 years
390740 Captain D Chisholm Served from 1947 until 1949 Died 10 May 2004 age unknown
22170899 Tpr G Leslie Served from 1949 until 1951 Died 30 August 2004 aged 73 years
296501 LCpl WG Francis Served from 13 October 1944 until 7 April 1948 Died Aug/Sept 2004 aged 77 years Major WG Jackson MBE Served as Director of Music for The Life Guards from 1 January 1959 until 25 July 1970 Died 10 November 2004 aged 91 years (See separate Obituary elsewhere in the Journal)
24656311 CoH M Wall Served from 29 August 1984 until 21 April 2004 Died 21 April 2004 aged 36 years
23215685 Tpr LE Pritchard Served from 11 March 1958 until 11 November 1966 Died 27 December 2004 aged 65 years
5734092 CoH DGS Gee Served from 3 November 1942 to 1 November 1954 Died 2 October 2004 aged 80 years
295104 WO2 NE Haughton Served from 7 January 1938 until 7January 1958 Died 21 December 2004 aged 86 years
295968 LCpl SA Prosser Major RJG Crosfield Served from 29 March 1942 until 28 Febraury 1958 Died November 2004 aged 82 years
22883544 Tpr N Cross Served from 1952 until 1954 Died in Dec 2003 aged 67 years
Served from 19 November 1942 until 8 May 1946 Died 17 December 2004 aged 80 years
295820 Tpr H Bracewell
22058699 LCpl G Owen
296055 Tpr AG Giles
Served from 19 August 1948 until 30 April 1950 Died 21 November 2003 aged 73 years
Served from April 1943 to June 1959 Died 7November 2004 aged 82 years.
Served from November 1941 to January 1947 Died 28 November 2004 aged 82 years.
The Blues and Royals It is with much regret that the Honorary Secretary announces the death of the following Old Comrades. The Blues and Royals Association offer their sincere condolences to all members of their families. May they Rest in Peace. 2088434 J Ashley 1RD
23215164 Tpr DW Swain RHG
Served from 1 Jan 1954 to 7 Nov 1963 Died 23 December 2004 aged 71 years
Served from 15 May 1939 to 1 Jun 1946 Died 27 Apr 2004 aged 84 years
Served from 2 Jan 1956 to 2 Dec 1958 Died 17 Oct 2004 aged 67 years
23482955 Tpr GE Hutchinson 1RD
410895 Sgt JH Webb 1RD
John Thornton Gisby RHG
Served from 1 Jan 1956 to 31 Dec 1962 Died 23 Feb 2004 aged 66 years
Served from 11 Jan 1938 to 13 Oct 1958 Died 24 Nov 2001 aged 86 years
Served during WW2 Died 25 Dec 2003 aged 97 years
22572847WO2 J MacKay RHG/D
22594129 Tpr PW Moye RHG
237402 Major General D Tabor CB MC RG RHG
433034 Colonel RF Abel Smith RHG
Served from 9 Aug 1951 to 18 Nov 1973 Died 4 Aug 2004 aged 71 years
269021 Captain MRP Burn 1RD Served from Jan 1942 to July 1947 Date of death unknown
Served from 1 Jan 1952 to 1 Jan 1955 Date of death unknown
22094906 Tpr A Deed RHG Served from 6 Jan 1949 to 10 Jul 1950 Died 28 Apr 2004 aged 73 years
Served from 3 July 1942 to 13 Oct 1977 Died 18 May 2004 aged 80 years
305481 WO1 K Harrison MBE RHG Served from 17 Nov 1939 to 16 Nov 1963 Died 30 Oct 2004 aged 87 years
22205589 WO1 (RCM) DH Clark RHG/D
23130462 Cpl JH Wilkie RHG
Served from 20 Sept 1950 to 20 Sept 1973 Died 12 Mar 2004 aged 71 years
Served from 14 Apr 1955 to 5 May 1957 Died 21 Sept 2003 aged 69 years
289118 Major BJ Hodgson RHG/D
23929200 Tpr BJ Ridgway RHG
Served from 1 Jan 1944 to 1 Jan 1980 Died 7 Aug 2004 aged 80 years
Served from 1 Jan 1964 to 31 Dec 1969 Died 28 Sep 2003 aged 59 years
22380007 SQMS IDC MacMillan 1RD
22556575 Cpl M Wright RHG
Served from 22 June 1950 to 1 Oct 1969 Date of death unknown
Served from 1 Oct 1953 to 1 Mar 1957 Died 29 Apr 2004 aged 68 years
306844Tpr EC Barton RHG
306711 LCpl RH Heslop RHG
Served from 16 Jan 1947 to 29 Sept 1952 Died 25 Mar 2004 aged 74 years
Served from 1 Jan 1945 to 1 Feb 1948 Died 2 Oct 2004 aged 77 years
22205614 Tpr C Turvey RHG
24024287 Cpl HP Curran RHG/D
Served from 1 Nov 1950 to 31 Oct 1955 Died 6 Aug 2004 aged 71 years
Served 1 Nov 63 to 1 Nov 69 Died 30 Sep 2003 aged 58 years
306296 Tpr C Wormald RHG
454916 Lieutenant MPT de Lisle Bush 1RD
Served from 18 Aug 1943 to 2 Aug 1947 Date of death unknown
Served from 1 Dec 1957 to 3 Jan 1961 Died 10 May 2004 aged 65
255842 Major JC Jenkins RHG
22205926 SCpl R Whittington RHG/D
2340615 Cpl HJA Murphy RHG/D
Served from 12 Dec 1942 to 12 Dec 1952 Died 4 Apr 2004 aged 82 years
Served from 15 Apr 1952 to 13 Sept 1974 Died 5 Oct 2004 aged 70 years
Served from October 1952 to 15 Oct 1974 Died 10 December 2004
24584223 LCpl I Seed RHG/D
22205337 Tpr ET Dowling RHG
24131575 LCpl DJ Stainsby RHG/D
Service dates unknown Died 27 Sept 2004
Served from 5 Apr 1949 to 13 Feb 1951 Died 29 Nov 2003 aged 78 years
Served from 27 Feb 68 to 26 Feb 74 Died 30 June 2004 aged 56 years
306789 Tpr KH Greenwood RHG
14556014 CoH RA Newman RHG
Captain PB Browne 1RD
Served from 29 Apr 1946 to21 Dec 1949 Date of death unknown
Served from 4 Feb 1943 to 31 Oct 1967 Died 13 May 2004 aged 79 years
Served from 7 April 1943 to 1945 Died 5 MArch 2004 aged 80 years
Lieutenant HR Swire 1RD Served from 1953 to 1955 Died 3 Jan 2004 aged 69 years
409405 Tpr N Raia 1RD Served from 7 May 1937 to 1 Mar 1946 Died 15 May 2004 aged 86 years
22772062 Sgt A Cole-Evans DCM 1RD Served from 1 Jan 1939 to 1 Jan 1957 Died 25 Nov 2004 aged 93 years
516440 Captain M Patterson RHG/D Served from July 1961 to 1 Feb 1988 Died 5 Jan 2004 aged 60 years
19130956 Tpr CG Snell RHG Served from 7 Feb 1947 to 31 Mar 1949 Died 7 Jun 2004 aged 75 years
305373 Tpr JH Vaughan RHG Served from 12 Dec 1938 to 3 July 1946 Died 1 December 2004 aged 84 years
Major General D J St M Tabor CB MC Royal Horse Guards By Colonel P J Tabor MVO, The Blues and Royals My father, David Tabor, who died on the 18th May 2004, joined the Royal Horse Guards from Eton, encouraged to do so by his uncle, Major Henry Abel Smith who went on to command 2 HCR throughout the war and then serve as Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Household Cavalry. While playing cricket at Eton, my father was summoned to see a spectator, Uncle Henry, who quizzed him on what he intended to do after leaving school. On learning that he was headed for the Coldstream Guards, the reply was “No you’re not, you will join the Blues”. After initial training at the Guards Depot which was then at Caterham, he went on to Sandhurst, immediately after which he was made an instant instructor to the newer officer cadets. He first reported for duty at Combermere Barracks where Lt Col Abel Smith had just taken over command. The Regiment deployed to France on 13th July 1944 and undertook operations first in the Bocage country as part of Guards Armoured Division. In the middle of August, B Squadron, in which my father was a troop leader, was ordered to reconnoiter the River Noireau, south west of Falaise, over which the Germans were trying to escape, blowing the bridges as they retreated. He was ordered to save the bridge in a village called Montsecret from being destroyed before the allies could cross it. Having parked their vehicles outside the village, he and an NCO advanced on foot, dealt with a couple of Germans on the way, and eventually had to make a dash for the bridge in full sight of the enemy who were watching the village from a line of OPs on the other side of the river. Under artillery fire, they crawled up to the bridge, removed the explosives with which the bridge had been prepared and tossed them into the river. The Germans were not caught napping in the same way again and all other bridges were blown before the Regiment’s vehicles could get to them. As a result of this action, he was awarded an MC. He was not as lucky on the 21st September near Nijmegen as the Regiment was trying to reach Arnhem. Attacking an enemy occupied house with a PIAT, he was wounded by shrapnel and evacuated to a hospital in an old lunatic asylum in St Alban’s where he soon found himself joined by his older brother, Bu. This was not coincidence. My Grandmother, an indomitable character, found it difficult to see her two offspring in different parts of the country – Bu was at first in a hospital in Chester. Undaunted, she telephoned the Minister of War, Lord Croft, and ordered him to stop the war and sort out her logistical problems. He did so without delay. After convalescing, my father returned to the Regiment and served with it for the rest of the campaign through Germany up to Cuxhaven. He afterwards said that the war had affected him deeply – it had been the smell which he particularly remembered. He told me that, as Adjutant after the war, he used to hold Adjutant’s drill parades on Saturday mornings, which were so unpopular that, once the Regiment was on parade, he had to send the Regimental Police round the barracks searching for absentees. He felt he had had enough of the job when it looked as though he was about to serve under a fifth commanding officer in 3 years. While in command of a training squadron near Carlisle, he and other officers would box their horses to hunt with the Dumfriesshire foxhounds which were owned by a former troop leader in 2HCR, Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine. In 1953 he spent
a year at the Indian Staff College where he continued to indulge his lifelong love of field sports, hunting the Ootagamund Hunt, the “Ootie”. We still have a jackal’s mask from those days at home. Back home, he became a successful point-to-point jockey, winning often on his horse, Icelandic. He was a fearless horseman but his racing career came to an end after he had a bad fall at Hackwood outside Basingstoke. He served as Second-in-Command to the present Duke of Wellington when the Blues were sent on emergency tour to Cyprus in 1956 during the EOKA campaign. In 1960, he took over command of the Regiment in Windsor and soon afterwards deployed it back to Cyprus only just after it had completed a 3 year emergency tour there. Things were generally calm but the Regiment exercised regularly all over the island to fly the flag and keep themselves busy. During a visit by C-inC Middle East, General Sir Basil Eugster, on being asked whether there were any problems, my father jokingly complained of a lack of ice for the gins and tonic. About an hour later, a Wessex helicopter arrived with half a ton of ice underslung in a net. When in 1977 I first joined the Regiment in Detmold, I was given the task of buying an ice machine for the Mess. I needed to get a tax exemption form from the Garrison Corporal Major, who was WO1 Godfrey-Cass. Despite never having met me he immediately saw the family resemblance. His description, “Your father was one of the last old-fashioned, traditional commanding officers, sir. Your father was a right bastard”, caused much amusement when related soon afterwards. In the same vein, I remember another regimental officer’s description of him as “God’s gift to purgatory”. Again, much mirth was caused. After two years at SHAPE in France, he took over as Silver Stick, before moving to command the Berlin Infantry Brigade. Military Attaché in Washington followed and then a year at RCDS before promotion to Major General took him to Paris as Defence Attaché. He found Paris intensely frustrating as the French were proving particularly difficult to deal with. His time coincided with an intensive IRA campaign against British people serving abroad. Security at the Embassy reported a suspicious package and, extremely reluctantly and somewhat dismissively, the French police came to investigate. Quickly agreeing this was really a bomb, a huge armoured convoy appeared soon after and the package was removed very gingerly. It was a bomb and we still have the drawings of the bomb’s mechanism. He had been very lucky – at least 4 others had exploded in various British Embassies. His last job in the Army was command of Eastern District in Colchester. He always particularly enjoyed flying the length and breadth of his enormous command looking at golf courses from the air. He was an extremely handy golfer, once having played off a handicap of 3, a characteristic inherited from my grandfather, who had been a scratch golfer in his time. After retiring in 1977, he and my mother moved to the Cotswolds, where they took on a farm, learning through practical experience rather than formal education. Only very recently did he pass on its management to my brother, Andrew, himself a former soldier. He was a real countryman and he turned the family shoot into one of the most enjoyable in the county. He kept a rod on the Colne and never missed an opportunity to spend some time there. He was a passionate gardener and throughout his Army life always left the gardens attached to houses we lived in bursting with plants and vastly improved. But it was his dogs, particularly his black Labradors which gave him the greatest pleasure. They had always done so. He had a pair of them when in command which used hugely to enjoy coursing cats in the barracks in Windsor until the day a cat turned and they were seen fleeing in the opposite direction. He was always accompanied by them wherever he went and surrounded by them out shooting. Then in 1987, my mother died after they had been married for
over thirty years. However, he was married again, in 1989, to Marguerite Arkwright in 1989, widow of Col Peter Arkwright, late 11th Hussars, who survives him. He maintained his military and especially his regimental connections. He served as Vice President of the Army Cadet Force Association and was President of the local branch of the Royal British Legion. He always attended Cavalry Memorial Service until right at the end of his life and he was punctilious in attending the Officers’ Club Dinner every year, where he particularly enjoyed catching up with old friends. He was an enthusiastic supporter of the 2HCR lunches and was latterly Chairman of that sadly dwindling band. He took an enormous interest in all things regimental and much enjoyed hearing about what was going on. Most recently, at the time of the late Queen Mother’s Lying in State, he was amused that I should be among those standing vigil just as he had done for the late King George VI. His advice was not to allow your eyes to follow the feet as they shuffled by because otherwise you would fall over! He was quietly tickled, but would never say so, when he heard that I was to take over as Silver Stick in 2005, the third member of the family to do so.
MAJOR BJ (BAY) HODGSON Late The Blues and Royals By Colonel H P D Massey, The Blues and Royals Bay was born on 3 Jul 24 in Beaumont Barracks Aldershot where his father, Walter, was commanding The Royal Dragoons. He was educated at Summerfields and Eton College, and joined the 60th Rifles as a volunteer in 1942 but transferred to The Royals joining them on their return from abroad in Feb 44 at Seaham Harbour. He was given 5th or White Scout Car Troop in C Sqn and was in command of it when he was wounded soon after the regiment’s arrival in Normandy in August. A shard of shrapnel lodged in his neck too close to the spine to be operable and was responsible for making him stoop slightly thereafter, especially noticeable in one who was so tall, and slim. In May 1945 he was still in C Sqn when they led The Royals through Schleswig Holstein to liberate Denmark and Copenhagen where they received a rapturous welcome and stayed on for 6 months, the last 3 of which were spent living in the Citadel in Copenhagen. As his godson it was a particular pleasure for me in 1995 to have the privilege of leading serving members of The Blues and Royals in company with Bay and other veterans to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the liberation in a parade in Copenhagen before Queen Margaret. It was interesting to see them all in their grey berets – a little known fact these days that The Royals rather than The Greys introduced the grey beret! By now he was 2IC of C Sqn and soon became Int Offr and Asst Adjt. In 1947 he became Adjutant first to Col Tony Pepys and then to Brig Roddy Heathcoat Amory until 1950. John Dimond wrote that Bay “really ran the Regiment in a long period of great change and was a profound influence on all new officers who joined in the next four years.” There are many stories of that period. John Scott and others have told me that on many occasions when one of them asked Bay if they could embark on some activity or approach a problem in a particular way the answer came back, “No you can’t!” and it became something of a byword.
John Hanmer and others have told me how Bay was in Berlin one night when he was rung up by the Orderly Officer to say that the duty troop had been sent to investigate a minor incident in Wolfenbuttel. “Where?” asked Bay. “GR 123456,” answered the efficient young officer. “You silly young man, do you imagine I have a map of Wolfenbuttel tattooed on my chest?” He was not a man whose leg you could easily pull but when it did get pulled, he took it in very good part. Andrew Houston told me that whenever one went into his office one was greeted with, “What do you want? Have you got a cigarette?” Well, on one occasion Tom Jones had removed the cordite from a .303 round and doctored one. “Yes Bay, I have just the cigarette for you,” he replied to the usual greeting. The ensuing firework display kept everyone amused for some time not least because it took some time for Bay’s moustache to grow again. He was a big man in every sense. Andy Barker was the Padre at the end of the war and coincidentally the Parish Priest when Bay and Sandra and the family moved to Islington in the 60s. His most vivid memory was when Bay sent him off with John Hanmer and a Polish interpreter to discover why a German had been shot and killed on the border. Andy Barker crossed the border to contact the Russians and they were promptly imprisoned, rather a serious situation. However, they were released after a day, which was some relief but he was dreading the rocket he expected from Bay on return to barracks, but not a word was said. “A really good and generous leader,” he comments. He was then sent to Sandhurst as an instructor for 3 happy years. David Jacobs who was a cadet for some of that time describes him as a “mighty instructor who was extremely kind to him and helped him through a number of scrapes.” There, too, he could indulge in his sports, cricket and riding. Cricket was a huge part of his life. He bought a horse and rode every day as well as following the Sandhurst Drag Hounds when he managed to break his collar bone over a fence from the 1948 Olympic Games Cross Country which had been staged on Barossa, the training area behind Sandhurst. He rejoined The Royals in the Canal Zone followed by 6 months in Tidworth and then Wesendorf in Germany where he was selected for the Staff College in 1957. My father, who had spent a couple of years at Fort Knox, lent him a large American car – a Buick I think – but it had left hand drive. After a dinner night somewhere, Bay was returning to Camberley up the A30 apparently on the right hand side of the road. This led to a fierce argument with an oncoming driver in the middle of the bridge at Blackwater with Bay imposing his powerful personality by insisting that he move over – to the left. One shudders to think of doing such a thing today! Afterwards he was posted to Shorncliffe where he met Sandra and they were married in Dover Castle Chapel with The Royals Band playing. There followed more service abroad – in Aden and Malaya. He then commanded B Sqn for 9 months in Singapore. Sandra first met The Royals in Ipoh where a young subaltern told her that on first being interviewed by Bay he ended by saying, “and my advice to you would be to take a risk a day.” Rather bravely the young officer asked what risks Bay took. “Well, I go riding,” came the answer. He returned to Tidworth first to a staff job and then as B Sqn Ldr once more but this time on tanks after having spent 20 years in armoured cars. There then followed a long spell of 3 successive jobs in the Ministry of Defence. By then The Royals had amalgamated with the Blues and this allowed him to serve for 6 years from 1974 to 1980 as Headquarters Sqn Ldr and Second in Command. This meant that at the age of 50 he had to start riding again and went through 20 weeks of Riding School taking a risk a day alongside those less than half his age who were just starting
out. Those who served there at the time will remember the impressive sight of Bay and his charger, Viscount. Bay was hugely respected. There was a famous occasion when Lord Bramall came to lunch when he was CGS. Bay was not there but someone asked the Field Marshal whom he regarded as the most accomplished soldier. “FM Slim,” he replied, “but Bay Hodgson comes a close second!” In 1980 he retired from Active Service only to become a Retired Officer in HQ London District working to improve their 4,500 married quarters. He was an intrepid cyclist and used to cycle from home to Horse Guards and back; he enjoyed the exhilaration of going round Hyde Park Corner in the days before the traffic lights had been installed. That was certainly taking a risk a day. Back in 1964 when he had first moved to London, he and Sandra, with Kate, Emma, Claire and Edward found a fine house with a lovely garden, which he loved, in Islington and here they settled, as he put it, “for ever”. He was a devoted husband and father and adored them all as well as, later, their husbands too, not to mention all the grandchildren. In their growing up years Bay and the children often went to tea with John Silberrad after riding in Epping Forest. As one who had known him in earlier days, he recalls being struck by Bay’s appreciation of the tranquillity of the Forest and the beauty of the wild irises and water lilies in the larger ponds. He was the most loyal friend. Tom Watson tells me that while still at Eton he started to go down to Fovant in Wiltshire to work on a farm. He made such friends of the Turners that he continued to come down each summer he was in England up to about 5 years ago. In the latter years he used to stay with the Watsons, who drove him across to see the Turners, then the widow and later the son. He was a marvellously balanced person, as a regimental soldier superb, a gifted communicator with officers and other ranks, a real trainer of the young in their profession and in how to behave and contribute to the Regiment. He was innately kind and thoughtful for others, and his wise counsel endeared him to all. He was never stuffy, always open to change and new ideas. I am sure I speak for us all when I offer our thoughts, prayers and best wishes to Sandra and all the family. As a man, as a regimental soldier, as a father and godfather he was unique and very much loved and respected. I feel that I cannot improve on Edward’s words of farewell the other day, “Well done, Bay, and thank you.”
Percy Browne late The Royal Dragoons Extracts taken from the Daily Telegraph For Percy Browne, farming was a constant background in life but he also rode his own horse in the Grand National and entered Parliament with Margaret Thatcher, serving from 1959 until 1964 as the Conservative MP for the Torrington Division in Devon. Percy Basil Browne was born in Blandford, Dorset, the oldest of three sons of William Percy Browne, and his wife Richenda Margaret. His father being a Master of the Portman Hunt, Percy spent much of his early life on a pony before being sent at the age of 13 to Eton. Despite being a member of “Pop” and excelling at games, he loathed school and was glad to leave in 1941. His father asked him if he wanted to go to Oxford or Cambridge or join the Army, and he chose the latter.
Serving with the Royal Dragoons, Browne went first to North Africa. He fought as part of the advance guard of the 8th Army in Italy before heading through Normandy and Belgium to Denmark. Returning home after the war, he went to Devon to begin farming. In 1947 he married Pamela Exham. They were joint masters of the Steventon Hunt, but she died in 1951 after a hunting accident. In1953 Browne fulfilled a long-standing ambition by riding his own horse, Knuckleduster, in the Grand National. That same year he married Jenefer Petherick. The family moved to Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, and Percy bought a coal merchant’s firm. Believing in getting his hands dirty, he would spend his days covered in soot, delivering sacks of coal to smart houses in the county. His evenings were often spent arriving at those same houses, now changed into black tie, for dinner with the owners – earning him odd looks from the staff to whom he had delivered coal hours earlier. In 1959 he was asked to stand as the Conservative candidate for Torrington in North Devon. He accepted on condition that he would not have to face a Selective Committee, and went on to snatch a seat in a dramatic victory, ousting the sitting Liberal MP, Mark Bonham Carter. The cut and thrust of Westminster suited him, and years later Margaret Thatcher, who arrive in the Commons on the same day, told him how much she admired his “swashbuckling attitude” to politics. It was a blow when after only four years he developed a blood condition that forced his retirement from politics after just on Parliament. He found a new challenge in the shape of Appledore shipyard, a Devon shipbuilding firm facing ruin. He took it on, turned it around, and saved the jobs of hundreds of local men. He carried out a similar transformation with North Devon Meat, an ailing company based in Torrington. His help to all these people, coupled with his strong aversion to snobbery of any form, earned him the respect and love of thousands across the South-West. Three causes close to Browne’s heart were the Cheshire Homes, the preservation of Exeter Cathedral, and the Exeter Canal and Quay Trust, to which he devoted vast amounts of time and energy. He served on the South West Regional Hospital Board, chaired the Minister of Agriculture’s South West Regional Panel, and was a Trinity House sub-commissioner of pilotage on the rivers Taw and Torridge. He also ran his own haulage business, and for several years was chairman of the Western Counties Building Society and West of England Building Society. In 1978 he was appointed High Sheriff of Devon and in 1984 became a Deputy Lieutenant of the county. A lifelong passion of Browne’s was National Hunt racing. He enjoyed having horses in training with Martin Pipe, and for many years was a steward at Taunton and Haldon racecourses. A popular and gregarious figure on racetracks around the country, he became chairman of Exeter Racecourse in 1990 – a position he loved and held for six years. Browne had fiercely held views on all subjects, and a vigorousdisrespect for authority. He inspired strong feelings in all who knew him. Most were devoted to him but a few, like the friend who was sent home from a lunch party after confessing admiration for Tony Blair, found him more of a challenge.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Arkell, whom he married in 1991, and by his three sons, one daughter and two stepdaughters. Percy Browne, amateur jockey, MP, farmer and businessman, was born on May 2, 1923. He died on March 5, 2004, aged 80.
Captain Maurice Albert Patterson Late The Blues and Royals By Major J W Clayton, formerly The Blues and Royals Maurice Albert Patterson, the youngest of three children, was born in Kent on 29 April 1943 and was named after his uncle who had been killed in the Second World War. Maurice was a small child, the runt of the litter, so his father, Albert, called him ‘Half Pint’ but his two sisters, Dorrie and Daph, always referred to him as ‘Titch’. Most of us will remember Maurice as an intelligent, energetic, quick witted, charismatic and forceful character who sought to achieve the very best he could in all the things he attempted; he certainly outgrew his family nickname. Maurice was persuaded to join The Blues in late 1962 when his brother-in-law Jim Hunter, invited him to visit The Mounted Regiment in Knightsbridge. Jim had organised the visit so that Maurice experienced an “enhanced” view of life of the regiment, and in particular, the Mess; he wasted no time in signing up for service and reported to Combermere Barracks for training in January 1963. During training he announced that if he was not a Corporal of Horse before his 9 years were up, he would leave the army; this was an early example of setting himself goals he knew he could attain. After training, and achieving ‘Best Recruit’, he attended riding school and subsequently reported to Knightsbridge for mounted duty. It was Jim Hunter and this initial posting that shaped his approach to military service: work hard, give of your best and maintain the highest standards. At the Mounted Regiment, he watched and learned from excellent role models, gained early promotion and was posted to the Regimental Police. Here he further developed his own brand of firm but fair discipline tempered with a mischievous sense of humour; he had made a good start on a brisk climb up the promotion ladder. On his way up he watched, listened and learned, gathering to himself the best knowledge, advice and experience from the finest the Household Cavalry had to offer. Like all of us, he made mistakes along the way, but not many. He was a great observer and he knew how to learn from other peoples mistakes. In 1966 Maurice was among the first Household Cavalry NCOs to be trained as an instructor at the Guards Depot. As a result, he experienced an extremely agreeable and successful posting with the Foot Guards. He enjoyed “enlightening” Foot Guards so much that he subsequently returned to Pirbright three more times as a CoH, WO2 and Captain. Throughout his time in the regiment, his service was as varied as one might wish of a good Household Cavalryman: he saw service in Germany, Windsor, Pirbright, and London, Northern Ireland and, with the AMF Sqn, Turkey and Greece. It was in Northern Ireland that he claimed to have “found the way to avoid being decorated with the ubiquitous LS&GC medal”. He succeeded in this by accidentally firing his Browning machine gun and ventilating the roof of a hangar at RAF Aldergrove. According to Maurice there were two other positive benefits from this incident: “The loading and unloading procedures were reviewed and made safer and he caused the RAF Regiment to become much more alert”!
Many will remember his well developed sense of humour and he often used it to good effect. When serving at the Guards Depot as SCM of the Household Cavalry Training Squadron, he was required to attend a weekly meeting chaired by the RSM. Smoking was allowed at this rather boring meeting and the RSM was in the habit of nominating one of the Warrant Officers to give a cigarette to each person; one week Maurice anticipated it was his turn and he handed out exploding cigarettes to all but himself. The RSM was highly amused when, one by one, the explosions occurred but, initially, not so amused when his own cigarette exploded. Most people were astounded that Maurice would dare such a thing and succeed in causing a Foot Guard RSM to laugh at his own discomfort. Thereafter these meetings were much more light-hearted and Maurice was never again called upon to “dish out the fags”. Maurice had a positive effect on all those with whom he served, whether they were his subordinates or superiors. Those whom he befriended discovered what a steadfast and loyal friend he was and that, beneath his sometimes brusque exterior, he was a warm hearted caring man with great zest for life. Those unfortunate to incur his displeasure experienced his acid wit and strongly delivered verbal instruction on how they might do better! All benefited in some way; he was always very fair and treated everyone equally. After 20 years service, he fulfilled his ambition and was appointed RCM in Windsor. He admired many of his predecessors and was inspired by some of them; he rightly regarded his appointment as the crowning glory of his military career. Later in life, often over a glass of fine wine, he discussed this period with me, and it is clear that the rapport he enjoyed with his Commanding Officer and Warrant Officers was a great delight to him. He loved the regiment and saw it as his duty to maintain the highest standards and encourage all his subordinates, and some superiors, to improve their already excellent performance. He was a memorable Regimental Corporal Major and his influence is still evident today. At the end of his 22 year commitment he was delighted to be offered a commission in the regiment, and with great pride he accepted. He served on with distinction as GW Troop Leader, Quartermaster and Company 2ic at Arborfield; his last military appointment was Personnel Selection Officer at the Guards Depot; he resigned his commission in 1988. Maurice soon made his mark as a civilian; working for a badly run company, his leadership and organisational skills rapidly made a difference and, within the year, he turned the company around and into profit. Sadly, he discovered that Civilian organisations do not necessarily operate a meritocracy, and he became a victim of his own success. Within the company hierarchy he was probably seen as a threat so in the middle of recession he was ‘let go’. He then accepted an appointment at Abbey Life and made an immediate impression; within a few months he was a group manager. Soon afterwards, he was headhunted by another company, and whilst they were retraining him for their particular modus operandi, a group of more experienced operators invited him to join them in a Singapore based business venture. Maurice had married his second wife, Debbie, in 1992 and they made the difficult decision to “burn their boats” and move to Singapore. It was a great success and they made many good friends from all over the World. Maurice’s clients enjoyed the same dedication and attention to detail that the regiment had benefited from during his military service. In 2000 they moved their home to the holiday island of Phuket in Thailand and it was there, where after much toil and stress, they designed and built their dream house. Tragically, shortly after moving into the new house Maurice succumbed to the illness that has torn him away from his beloved family and friends far too soon; he died aged 60 at 0130hrs local time 6 January 2004. To Debbie, his daughters Diane and Lesley and all his beloved
extended family members we extend our deepest sympathy and repeat Maurice’s favourite quote: “It’s nice to be important but more important to be nice”.
Major W G Jackson MBE psm late The Life Guards Taken from the book by George Lawn formerly The Life Guards Major W G Jackson was born on the 25th July 1913. On the 2nd December 1927 Walter Jackson (or “Jacko” as he was affectionately known) enlisted into the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) at Regents Park Barracks, a four-feet-eight-inch boy of fourteen and too short to complete his training which in those days was the same as a trooper’s. Therefore his training was not completed until he was eighteen. There are two recorded instances of boys aged 14 years joining the RHG (The Blues) Band and later becoming Director of Music The Life Guards: Firstly the late Lieutenant W J Gibson who joined the ‘Blues’ Band in 1885 and became Director of Music Life Guards (1st & 2nd) in 1926 and secondly the late Major J G Jackson MBE who joined the ‘Blues’ Band in 1921 and became Director of Music The Life Guards in 1959. Jacko was a clarinetist and in 1931 was selected for a Pupils’ Course at Kneller Hall, something of a rarity for a Household Cavalry musician at the time. He returned to Kneller Hall as a student bandmaster in 1939, the outbreak of the Second World War interrupting the course which would normally have lasted three years. He finally left Kneller Hall in May 1945, on appointment as Bandmaster to the 1st Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment. Unfortunately for Jacko the Battalion had no Band! He was then posted to the 2nd/5th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment in Austria and given the task of forming a volunteer band. After a short stay with the Fifth Northamptonshires he was recalled to Kneller Hall to teach the clarinet. The Royal Military School of Music was without Government grant at the time and so civilian professors could not be employed. This dull period came to an end in November 1946, when he was appointed Bandmaster to the Queen’s Bays were he was very successful. Thirteen years later the Bays and King’s Dragoon Guards amalgamated and Jacko became a light infantryman on appointment as Brigade Bandmaster of the Light Infantry in January 1959. On the 8th October 1959 Bandmaster Jackson became Lieutenant and Director of Music, The Life Guards. Happily back in the Household Cavalry, he was promoted to Captain and in 1960 and Major on the 14th May 1966. In 1971 Her Majesty The Queen made him a MBE. His other decorations were the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal and Bar, the War Medal and the Defence Medal. On the 25th July 1970 (his 57th birthday!) Jacko retired from The Life Guards and took over as Director of Music of the Junior Musicians’ Wing at the Guards Depot, where he stayed until the 1st April 1981.
Lieutenant J W Bertschinger The Royal Dragoons By Major J A Dimond MC formerly The Royal Dragoons By a series of chances John Bertschinger came to my troop in Normandy after Falaise. It was Hobson’s choice that became my leading Dingo. Brought up partly in Switzerland, and fluent in both French and German, he was able to put guarded questions to the French villagers as to the whereabouts of the enemy, and under his guidance we made good progress. Suddenly we saw them; teams of horsed transport galloping from left to right along a ridge ahead, like some macabre film. As we gave chase they disappeared into the village of Honroy overlooking the Somme. To my horror John and his scout car plunged straight in after them whilst I hesitated on the edge of the village, scenting an ambush. Almost immediately there was a loud explosion followed by machinegun fire, and I feared the worst. To my surprise however John came up on the air and invited me in. In the centre of the village his Dingo had been knocked out by a rocket fired into the side of the engine. He had wrenched the Bren from its socket and whirling round, firing over his driver’s head, had killed five or six of the enemy at point-blank range. John and his driver, Trooper Storey, were on their feet, blood running from all four ears. When they spoke they shouted, not realising that they were deaf. Using two of my remaining three cars I secured the crossroads ahead of us. Shortly after this the senior subaltern, Tony Mandelson (father of the Right Honourable Peter Mandelson) arrived with a recovery vehicle and evacuated both men to hospital. John Bertschinger was educated at Stationers School and l’École de Commerce, Switzerland. After two years in the Swiss Mountain Infantry he had a distinguished year at Sandhurst. Commissioned into (B Squadron) the Royals in the spring of 1944 he was given the newly formed Gun Troop (2 x 75mm half-tracks) and astounded the local Royal Artillery at Larkhill by hitting the target with the very first round. The more mobile operations following Falaise reduced the task for the Gun Troop, hence his attachment to my troop. After hospital John took over a conventional armoured car troop. As the European war closed he was on offensive patrol near the Elbe when his troop was hit broadside by enemy tanks. Two of his cars were knocked out and his popular troop sergeant, Sgt Revell – a married man – was killed. After the war John regained his family business of clothing accessories. Completely unassuming, he never mentioned his wartime exploits. He had a variety of interests – gardening, swimming, riding and music. He played the clarinet to orchestral standard. He helped to establish the Institute of Contemporary Art in London. He died in March 2004 at his home in Hertfordshire and is survived by his wife Rene (“Renay”) and his four talented children and several grandchildren, a Royal Dragoon of unflinching courage and complete modesty.
He spent the remaining years of his life playing his beloved clarinet mainly with an orchestra in Woking as principle clarinetist during which time he performed the Mozart Clarinet Concerto. He died on the 10th November 2004 aged 91 years.
WO1 (RCM) Denis Harry Clark Late The Blues and Royals By Major (QM) JG Handley formerly The Blues and Royals Denis Clark was born in the small Kentish village of Higham in July 1932. The son of a farming family, he was educated at the village school and upon leaving went on to assist his family in working the family farm. In advance of National Service, Denis enlisted into The Blues in 1950 at the age of 18 and in common with all servicemen named Clark his given name was immediately dispensed with and he became known to all as “Nobby. After recruit training and riding school at Windsor he arrived at Hyde Park Barracks where throughout a very successful tour of mounted duty which included escorts for both the funeral of King George VI and the coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, he was steadily promoted through the ranks, and having completed Unit Fire NCO, Weapon Training Instructor and Drill Instructor courses, was appointed to the post of Provost CoH. It was in this position that his insistence on high standards and keen eye for spotting the “miscreant” was developed. Many will remember the whiteness of the steps beside the Guardroom treated to the daily application of white SAP, the scrubbed floors and the polished pistol ammunition! Others, wishing to remove tea from the cookhouse for consumption by late rising friends will remember being invited by Denis (from the yard 3 floors below) to upturn the mug and demonstrate compliance with standing orders – often to the chagrin of those using the openwork stairs below! In 1960 Denis joined the Armoured Recce Regiment at Windsor and after completing the Bovington Signals Instructors course served in A Squadron of the Blues in UK and Germany until being selected to teach Radio techniques and Drill to young Officers at Mons Officer cadet school in 1966. Among many young officers passing through the school, the TV chef and gourmet Keith Floyd remembers Denis in his autobiography for his insistence on perfection in all things and for his masterly turn of phrase! Upon the introduction of Household Cavalrymen to the Guards Depot, Denis was a natural choice as one of the first senior NCOs to form the cadre of instructors in the Household Cavalry Training Squadron and his tour concluded with his return to the regiment at Windsor in time for the announcement of Amalgamation with the Royal Dragoons and retraining in the mysteries of the Chieftain tank at Perham Down. In 1969 he was appointed SCM of C squadron The Blues and Royals where he was faced with the difficult task of blending the two separate cultures within the squadron. His abilities as a disciplinarian who was never unfair, his high personal standards and his ever-present wit ensured that he was successful, and in 1971 Denis was promoted WO1 and appointed RCM of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. Events during his final tour of active duty included Her Majesty’s Silver Wedding celebrations, the presentation of the first Guidon to the Blues & Royals in Windsor Great Park and a number of visits by foreign dignitaries. In 1973 Denis retired and returned home to Kent where he began a second career in the Transport department of Courage
the brewers, rising rapidly to become a manager and finally taking redundancy during the reorganisation of the brewing distribution industry. Never one to condone idleness, Denis was accepted into the Corps of Commissionaires where he took over the building administration of an office complex in Docklands, retiring finally in 1997. Denis remained in touch with many of his friends and comrades during retirement; he served for 3 years as a member of the Committee of the Regimental Association and was a supporter of both The Warrant Officers Dining Club and The Household Cavalry Association (Dorset Branch) in addition to maintaining his links with local civilian charities and the church. Although his health was not good, it was a shock to hear that he had been admitted to hospital before Christmas and although rallying at one stage, he passed away in March 2004. He is survived by his wife and lifelong support Betty, daughter Dawn and granddaughter Rachel to whom we extend our sincere sympathy. In tune with this age of electronic communication and the Household Cavalry Diaspora, tributes to “Nobby” on the Internet filled some 10 pages of the Household Cavalry website and came from 3 continents. Mr Nigel Bourne posted the following description of the funeral service that both catches the flavour of the day and expresses the feelings of all Denis’ friends and comrades at his passing. Nobby was seen off to his last posting in true Household Cavalry style. Prior to the service the “Six Bells” public house next to Cliffe church was completely filled with ex Household Cavalrymen and their wives/partners, a sea of red and blue. The church was completely filled and as far as the old and bold from the Household Cavalry was concerned it was a complete A to Z. John Triggs BEM paid a moving and splendid tribute and Nobby’s niece read the lesson. There was sadness, there was humour, but most of all there was respect for such a legend. His coffin was draped with the Union Flag and upon it lay his forage cap and pace stick. Whilst in the church the heavens opened and it poured but as Nobby was laid to rest the sun broke through and the rain ceased, the Trumpeter played a moving Last Post and Reveille, for which Nobby would not have had to say “Play it again Fiddler”.
SSgt Amwel Cole Evans DCM late Royal Dragoons By Lieutenant Colonel S F Sibley MBE formerly The Blues and Royals ‘Taffy’ Cole Evans as he was affectionately known to all his friends, was a larger than life character and his life is well documented in the annuls of The Royal Dragoons. He still managed to throw his weight about even at the grand age of 93. For all of us that knew Taffy and wish to remember him, just take time out after the service at Cavalry Sunday and go and stand in the corner that Taffy frequented in the WOs’ and NCOs’ mess in Knightsbridge and he will be there. (Remember, not to speak or he will probably answer you.) The following citation sums up the man: Copy Of The Citation For The Award Of The Distinguished Conduct Medal
Date of Initiation: 24th October 1944 404474 WS/Sgt. Amwel C. Evans On the 31st August 1944, the troop of which Sgt Evans was a member approached the southern outskirts of Grusmenil, during the advance to the Somme. The village was found to be strongly held by the enemy and the troop came under heavy fire from machine guns and mortars. Sgt Evans left the leading car and advanced alone towards the village and was able to get valuable information about the enemy. While he was returning, still under heavy fire from machine guns, he saw a wounded British soldier lying in a ditch. On further investigation he found an officer and 3 men, all seriously wounded, who had been there for some considerable time. He applied first aid to all the wounded and then went back for a stretcher party, which he guided back. During the whole time Sgt Evans showed complete disregard for his own safety though under constant and accurate fire. He undoubtedly saved the lives of the wounded men. During the time the Regiment has been operating, Sgt Evans has shown exemplary courage and energy on operations. On several occasions he has lifted mines and dealt with booby traps, under fire, which had been holding up the advance of our infantry. On 1st September he led his section on foot, into Picquigny where there were still a large company of German infantry. Though greatly outnumbered he fought his way to the bridge over the Somme in an attempt to prevent it being blown. He was badly wounded in the leg but continued to direct his section for some time and was responsible for killing 30 of the enemy and causing many more to surrender in the village. (Signed) H. W. LLOYD Lt Col. Commanding, The Royal Dragoons King George VI presented the medal. Rest in Peace Taffy.
WO1 Superintending Clerk, Kenneth Harrison MBE Late Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) by Sam Keyworth MBE, formerly Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) Ken Harrison was born in the small Shropshire town of Much Wenlock in 1917 where he grew up and worked locally until the start of World War II, when, after consultation with my Grandfather, he decided on his 22nd birthday to join Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) rather than wait for his call up papers.
of amazement would form on his face and that was a polite ‘No Sir’ Then would follow an amendment or suggestion. Cleverly including a rather better solution to the innovation than the young Adjutant had thought of himself ”. Promotion eventually led him to the position of Superintending Clerk at RHQ from where he retired after a long and distinguished career in 1963, with the MBE to show for his endeavours. He returned to Much Wenlock and initially helped his sister Mildred in her Baker’s shop, but being the energetic person that he was, he then took over an Ironmongers which became a thriving concern. It was hard at times to realise that Ken was as knowledgeable about DIY as he had been about military factors. His time with the regiment was put to good use when in 1965 the Freedom of the Borough was given to the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry. He organised the parade and succeeded in getting the timings for the processional march of nearly a mile correct, and ensuring that all the visiting Mayors, Dignitaries and Military arrived at the correct place at exactly the right time. Not bad for somebody trained in the routine of the Orderly Room! He had been an active member of the local Royal British Legion, Chairman of the Gardening Club for many years, and a long serving member of the Much Wenlock Male Voice Choir. He was a deeply religious Christian and strongly committed to the local Holy Trinity Church with much of his time devoted to working with, and supporting, the Parochial Church Council. I will always remember Ken Harrison as a friendly ‘Father Figure’ who was ready to give helpful advice whenever it was asked of him, and this is reflected in a comment made by his Vicar. “Ken had a great love of meeting people and was regularly out and about in the town. He would know most people and would greet them, and keep in touch. His generosity of spirit extended to generosity with spirits and visitors to his house needed to understand the true nature of a ‘Small Gin’ poured by the generous hand of Ken. It was more suited to the constitution of one of the Royal Horse Guards horses”. He was one of a few ‘Blues’ who has taken a group to the passion play at Oberammergau, which is only performed every 10 years, and is looked on worldwide as a special pilgrimage. Ken was greatly admired for his faith, and his inspiration affected so many. He passed away after a small illness on 30 October 2004, age 87, and like other regimental characters before him, we say farewell knowing that he will long be remembered.
He went abroad with the First Household Cavalry Regiment, serving in the North African and Italian campaigns and quickly found his niche as a Clerk. He made his career in this department and served with the Second Household Cavalry Regiment in Germany until the end of hostilities, when the regiment was formed in BAOR. Ken worked for a long time in the Orderly Room where he served a number of Adjutants, and one is quoted as saying that:- “Perhaps they served him. When he took under his wing a newly appointed Adjutant, his wise counsel was of inestimable value. Ken had a particularly constructive way of expressing his views if he did not agree with the innovation. He would say little or nothing but an expression
Notices Information for members of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations The Queen’s Birthday Parade and Review The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Saturday 11th June 2005 with the Colonels’ Review on 4th June and the Major General’s Review on 28th May. A limited number of tickets for the Inner Line of Sentries (standing only) will be available for members through the Honorary Secretary of their respective Association. Tickets cannot be purchased through Headquarters Household Cavalry. Household Division Beating Retreat 2005 The Massed Bands of The Household Division will Beat Retreat on Horse Guards on Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 June 2005. Performances commence at 7pm and last approximately one hour. Tickets prices are £10 and £7 (all reserved seating). There is a 10% discount for groups of 10 or more. No refunds can be given if the event is cancelled for reasons beyond our control. Ticket requests should be made as follows: A: Cheques/Postal Orders, made payable to “Household Division Funds”, will be accepted at anytime but tickets will not be dispatched before April. Cheques (in sterling only) should be sent to The Treasurer, Household Division Funds, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX, together with a stamped addressed envelope. B: The credit card booking line (020 7839 5323) will be open from 1 April. There will be a £1 extra charge for each credit card booking. Combined Cavalry Parade and Service The 81st Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Parade and Service will be held in Hyde Park on Sunday 8th May 2005. Members of each Association should assemble in Broad Walk at 1030 hrs on the grass behind their Regimental Marker Board. Dress will be lounge suits and medals (not miniatures). Due to the security arrangements members should give themselves plenty of time to get to the Assembly area. Members are invited to Hyde Park Barracks after the parade but admission will only be by ticket from your respective Honorary Secretary. RHG Reunion Mr Ken Rowe, Chairman of the Household Cavalry Club North East, is proposing to organise a 50th year reunion for all members of C Squadron RHG
who served in Famagusta, Cyprus between 1956 – 1959. If you are interested please contact him on 0191 5273029 Change of Address All members are requested to inform their respective Honorary Secretary, through Home Headquarters Household Cavalry, of any change in their address. Every year both Associations lose touch with a number of members who have failed to notify us of their change of address. Any correspondence returned will result in that member being placed in the non-effective part of the database. E-Mail Addresses Notification of changes to your E-mail address is now becoming as important as changes to your postal address. Please keep Home Headquarters informed (by E-mail!) of those changes. Internet Matters The Household Cavalry Web Site can be found at www.householdcavalry.co.uk. The E-Mail address is as follows: email@example.com The Web Site now incorporates a Bulletin Board with forums for both LG and RHG/D giving Old Comrades the opportunity to discuss topics of interest. There is also now a photograph forum. Also on this site is a notification of deaths section.
They also have a Web site whose address is: www.veteransagency.mod.uk SSAFA Forces Help - Recruitment SSAFA Forces Help need more volunteers from each Association to be Casework Supporters who are visitors, treasurers, administrators and fund-raisers. SSAFA Forces Help volunteers are there to provide practical help, advice and friendship to all serving and ex-serving men, women and their families. More than 85,000 call on the charity every year. Training is given (2 days), and outof-pocket expenses are paid. Job satisfaction is guaranteed. If you can spare a little time for a ‘comrade’ please contact: Anne Needle Branch Recruitment Office 19 Queen Elizabeth Street, London SE1 2LP Telephone: 020 7463 9223 who can put you in touch with your nearest team. Helpful Contacts The following is a list of organisations which members may find useful for future reference: Royal Windsor Visitors Information Bureau Enquiries: 01753 743900 Accommodation: 01753 743907 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.windsor.gov.uk
The Veterans Agency The Veterans Agency (VA), formerly the War Pensions Agency, is available to assist all former members of the Armed Forces, such as veterans of the World Wars, Korea, NationalService, the Falklands or Gulf Campaigns, peacetime regulars or volunteer reservists, and their dependants. The VA is a telephone help line, which will advise individuals on where, and how to obtain expert help. It is staffed by fully trained personnel aware of the needs of Veterans no matter when they served or in which Service. It is open Monday - Thurs (0815 - 1715) and Friday (0815 – 1630) and has an answer phone service when closed. No matter what your problem, the VA is there to provide advice. Give them a call (at local call rates) on 0800 169 2277. They can also be contacted by e-mail as follows: email@example.com.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission They have an excellent website which can be searched using basic details, for information about the final resting place of war dead at home and overseas. Their site can be found at: www.cwgc.org Ex-Service Homes Referral Agency (ESHRA) ESHRA provides information and advice on nursing; residential, convalescent and respite care homes owned by Service and ex-Service charities. Information is also available on 19,000 nursing and residential care homes throughout the country including private and other charitable homes. Their telephone help line is: 020 7839 4466 or you may write to them at PO Box 31096 London SW1Y 5ZR. You may also visit their web site at: www.eshra.com.
News from the Associations
Officers’ Association (OA) and OA, Scotland Helps ex- officers in financial distress, provides homes for disabled officers and families, and operates a residential home in Devon. It also assists ex-Officers to find suitable employment after leaving the Service. They can be contacted in England on 020 7389 5219 and in Scotland on 0131 557 2782 The Royal British Legion (TRBL) TRBL is the UK’s largest ex-service organisation with some 570,000 members. One of its objects is to promote the relief of need and to promote the education of all those who are eligible, their spouses, children and dependants. If you need help, you can contact the local TRBL branch near you (number in the local phone book), or the national Legion help line on 08457 725 725 or visit their web site at: www.britishlegion.org.uk SSAFA Forces Help It exists to help, according to need, all men and women serving, or who have served at any time, in the Armed Forces of the Crown, their families and dependants. Local branches of SSAFA Forces Help can be found in the local phone book or from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau or contact the Central Office at: 020 7403 8783 or visit their web site at: www.ssafa.org.uk. The Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society (Combat Stress) For nearly 80 years it has been the only organization specialising in the care of men and women of all ranks discharged from the Armed Services who suffer from injury of the mind. The Society has 3 short stay treatment centres that specialise in providing treatment for those who need help in coping with their psychological problems. For more information and full contact details for regional offices telephone the Head Office on 01372 841600 or visit their web site at: www.combatstress.com. The British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association (BLESMA) The objects of the Association is to promote the welfare of all those who have lost a limb or limbs, or use of limbs, or one or both eyes as a result of their service in the Forces and to assist needy dependants of such Service limbless. It will also help those Ex-Service men who lose a leg after Service. For more details contact them on 020 8590 1124 or visit their web site at: www.blesma.org. St Dunstan’s
News from the Associations
The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals marching to Holy Trinity Church on Remembrance Day with their Association Banners.
St Dunstan’s cares for Ex-Servicemen who have lost their sight for any reason (even after leaving the Service). For more information contact 020 7723 5021or visit their web site at www.stdunstans.org.uk. Regular Forces Employment Association (RFEA) contact no is 020 7321 2011 or at www.rfea.org.uk Ex - Service Fellowship Centres (EFC) The aim of the EFC is to relieve distress among ex-servicemen of all ranks and their widows or widowers who, at the time of application for assistance, are unemployed, homeless or for reasonable cause in need. They can be contacted at 020 7828 2468 SSAFA Forces Help Housing Advice Service Provides housing information and advice to Ex-Service personnel and their dependants. For further information contact them at 01722 436400 Haig Homes Haig Homes have some 1100 homes throughout the country for letting exclusively to ex-regulars and their families on assured tenancies. For details of where properties are located and application forms contact them at 020 8648 0335 The Eagle This year sees the 190th anniversary of the capture, at Waterloo, by Captain Clark and Corporal Stiles of the Royal Dragoons of the Eagle of 105th Regiment of the Line. To enable you to read an account of this exploit and part played by them and the Royal in the Peninsula campaign, the author, Gerald Lowthin a former Royal, has reissued his previously well-received book the
Eagle. It is not currently available in bookshops and enquiries should be made by email: Gerald@lowthin.fsnet.co.uk. Price £7.50 plus postage and packing. John Keegan seeks stories of Sandhurst Former Sandhurst Cadets are being invited to bare their souls by contributing to the content and subscribing to a new book about the Royal Military Academy. Subscribers will have their names recorded, as supporters of Sandhurst, in the book, which is due to be published in late 2005. Third Millennium Publishing and The Academy are producing the book, Sandhurst – A Tradition of Leadership in association with the Sandhurst Foundation Those wishing to contribute or who would like to receive details on the special subscription book offer are asked to contact Third Millennium Publishing, Farringdon House, 105-107 Farringdon Road, London, EC1R 3BU. Tel: +44 (0) 20 7837 4004 or firstname.lastname@example.org
International Military Music Society I have been asked by the UK branch committee of the International Military Music Society to collate details of British Army musicians who died on active service or were awarded decorations. The aim is to publish this information to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall in 2007. I would therefore ask if you know of such musicians that you let me have their details. My major problem concerns the rank shown on casualty records/medal rolls or London Gazette. They may be listed as private, corporal or sergeant with no link to their band role. If at all possible
could you let me have details of their name, rank, band and casualty/award detail together with the source of your information. Please note that given the nature of my task I am only looking for details of musicians serving in estab-
lished battalion, regimental or corps bands; unfortunately I am excluding drummers, buglers and pipers. I am however including former bandboys who progressed to regimental duty.
My address is: Stephen Mason, 82, Southwell Road, Camberwell, London SE5 9PG My email address is: Masonste@yahoo.com
The Balaclava Memorial.
A Royals button found on the battlefield at Balaclava by a member of the group celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Battle. Donated by Mr Alan Lawson.
1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiments Annual Reunion he 58th Annual reunion of the 1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiments was held on Thursday 14th October 2004 in the WOsâ€™ and NCOsâ€™ Mess at Hyde Park Barracks by kind permission of the RCM.
In the unavoidable absence of the President, His Grace The Duke of Wellington, Colonel W H Gerard Leigh
presided and a total of 62 members of both regiments and their guests enjoyed an excellent lunch, at which we were also delighted to welcome Silver Stick, Colonel H P D Massey; Lieutenant Colonel C B B Clee, the Commanding Officer at Windsor; Lieutenant Colonel G V de la F Woyka, the Commanding Officer at Knightsbridge; and Lieu-
tenant Colonel Shamus Olivier, the Regimental Adjutant. The date for our 59th Re-union has been arranged for Thursday 13th October 2005 at Hyde Park Barracks when we look forward once more to welcoming as many members as possible from both Regiments.
The Household Cavalry Association South East Association Branch President Chairman Hon Secretary Treasurer The above Household Cavalry Association Branch held their inaugural meeting in Maidstone, Kent on 19th November 2004 with the above Officers and a Committee of four appointed. Obviously we are still very young and have a lot of organising to do. Never-
The Rt Hon The Lord Astor of Hever DL, formerly The Life Guards Lt Col S F Sibley MBE. The Blues and Royals Derek Underwood, formerly The Life Guards theless we hope to provide a programme of interests for our members during 2005.
provide membership for ex servicemen from other Regiments and for anyone who has an interest in promoting the Household Cavalry.
For Membership information please contact the Hon. Secretary Derek Underwood on 01322 866 334 or by email: Dubigd@aol.com. We can also
News from the Associations
North East Association he told us that he had just handed over to a new Colonel.
he Club is still going strong. The North East Dinner Dance went very well at our new venue,The Crossways Hotel at Thornley near Peterlee Co Durham. I think it was about 3am when the last stragglers went to bed. Lt Col Cowen was our guest this year and
We have, after a long time obtained a Standard for the North East. On behalf of the committee, I would like to thank all the members who helped the club to
purchase the Standard. Its first outing was at the Remembrance Ceremony Sunderland. It was nice to see so many serving members there. The Secretary and other members of the North East Club attended the annual Dinner Dance, and all had a very enjoyable weekend.
North Staffordshire Association President Chairman Secretary Treasurer he year did not get off to a good start the January meeting being postponed until the first week in February because of bad weather.
The date for our Annual Dinner Dance had been confirmed immediately after last year’s event, so arrangements could be made and menus chosen. Plans were aired for our activities this year, what ideas for fundraising, and work to be done at the National Memorial Arboretum, Social Evenings etc. By the time of the February meeting we had been invited to join some other events, the usual Mayor’s Parade, and a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of D Day. In March, several members travelled North to support the North East branch dinner, a good time was had by all. At the AGM at the end of March, standing officers were re-elected, no reprieve yet then! Our April meeting was the first Social get together of the year for members and wives, when we enjoyed a meal at our dinner dance venue.
Lt Col J S. Olivier Mr. Barry Lewis Mr. Ian Taylor Mr. Harry Withington
The Blues and Royals Formerly Royal Horse Guards Formerly Royal Horse Guards Formerly The Life Guards
Some of our Life Guard members attended the Life Guards Association Dinner in June. On 13th June, several members attended a service at St Giles’ Church, Newcastle to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D Day landings, and the sermon was given by our Padre, Prebendary J.G. Ridyard. It made one proud to be joined by so many survivors and many Association Standards were on parade. At the July meeting, we finalised the details for our Charity Auction on the 31st. The day was a great success. We were surprised by how many of the donated items are now regarded as antiques. In this area, of course, there is no shortage of pottery, but as a lot of well known factories have ceased business, many of their products are quickly becoming collectors items. The top item was a silver snuff box donated by member Mr. Malcolm Davies, previously seen on the Antiques Roadshow. Thanks go to the members who ran the auction and to the Stop Inn for the use of their function room to hold the event. Some unsold items were saved for a car boot sale later in the year.
Mr B Allan at The Blues and Royals site. National Arboretum.
On the 11th August we were once again invited down to Lichfield by our Padre for an informal buffet, how could we refuse? Norma’s reputation as hostess is unrivalled. Our dinner dance was held on 9th October and was well attended. Our guest
A number of members attended the Blues and Royals Association dinner on the 8th May, and a coach brought families and Life Guard members down for Cavalry Sunday. Our fund raising has taken a different tack this year. The sponsored walk was raising less as time went by and something new is always required to attract peoples generosity. We decided on a Charity Auction, with goods from members attics or cellars, and gifts from friends and the charities we were supporting. The auction was planned for the end of July, our normal fundraising date.
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Lt Col Olivier, Mr B Lewis, Lt Col Woyka, Mr George Kelsall, Dinner Dance October 2004.
speaker was Lt Col G V de la F Woyka, who gave us an informative speech. We were pleased to have Mr George Kelsall from the Chelsea Hospital and his partner on the top table. As a ‘local boy’, George was pleased to visit the area of his youth. Clal and Frieda Card, Brian Allen and the Secretary spent six hours on a Sunday morning running a car boot sale to dispose of the remaining items from our auction. The total raised from both events was £900, which was equally divided between Riding for the Disabled and the Donna Louise Trust. On 11th November a few members attended a Remembrance Service at the National Memorial Arboretum. On Remembrance Sunday we paraded at Newcastle under Lyme, and joined a moving service taken by the Revd. Ann Taylor. Later we held our usual service at Tunstall cemetery at the graveside of Life Guard Len Durber. Our last get together of the year was our Christmas dinner on 8th December. An excellent turnout and we were glad to see our colleague Terry Lockett again. At the event we presented our sponsorship cheque to members of the Endon Riding School for Riding for the Disabled. We have enjoyed another full year, there’s never a dull moment. In between our regular events we have been very busy tending the Blues and Royals plot at the National Memorial Arboretum. Several ex members on the various asso-
Mr C Card presenting a cheque to Mrs D Machin of Riding for the Disabled, at the Christmas Dinner, December 2004.
ciation Bulletin Boards have raised enough cash for us to purchase a petrol strimmer which makes our job much easier. Our thanks to them. Thanks must go to our green fingered members, Clal and Frieda Card and Brian Allen for their continued hard work to keep the site as we would wish, we have had a lot of compliments from visitors and NMA staff. We have welcomed Mr. J. Johnson and Mr. T Collett to our membership this year, but we are sorry to see our first President, Major C.H Waterhouse leave the area, but he will still receive minutes of our meetings as he does enjoy keeping in touch with us.
first Chairman and Founder of the Association. He will be sadly missed and the sympathy of all members goes to his widow, Cynthia. His funeral was attended by members of the Association who formed a guard of honour. The situation in Iraq seems to have no end and our thoughts are with our serving colleagues working under very difficult circumstances to bring peace to a troubled area. We know that their training and the traditions we hold dear will see them through, our prayers are with them. Our good wishes to all our colleagues, wherever in the world they serve, in the knowledge they stand out as Household Cavalry men!
Sadly we have to report the death of Mr. Leonard Pritchard formerly The Life Guards, on 27th December, who was the
Dorset Association www.householdcavalryassociationdorset.org President Chairman Secretary and Treasurer ost years start quietly, and 2004 was no exception until the ‘Dorset Squadron’ newsletter dropped through member’s letterboxes to announce, amongst other things, that Saint Valentine was to visit The Savoy Hotel, Bournemouth and invited members and their guests to participate in a weekend of fun, fine food, and wine. Guests that arrived on Friday enjoyed an excellent dinner and cabaret, so much so, that there were no participants for the ‘between the piers swim’ the next morning. Valentines Day saw the number of guests swell to 114, and the added attraction of Geedon Cartouche deputising for St Valentine. He decorated the dining room with streamers and balloons, and
The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Normanton Raymond D Peck, formerly The Life Guards John Triggs BEM, formerly The Blues and Royals
placed a velvet bag containing red foil covered chocolate hearts at every ladies place. Charlie Greenwood was heard to comment that they tasted better than the roses last year and there were not any thorns to get in your teeth. The banquet was superb and it was with difficulty that everybody managed to move into the Imperial Ballroom to fill the dance floor, although there was a short break when the Committee entertained those present with a raffle. It was warming to see how far some members had travelled, and how everybody enjoyed themselves.
abled. It had been decided to spend the £1900 raised in 2003 by the Association to purchase a medium size wooden building as a clubhouse to replace the on site caravan, whose steps restricted access to the less able bodied. After a lot of financial discussion and even more hard work, the flat packs were delivered and transformed into a smart new building with the Household Cavalry Association – Dorset plaque sited prominently by the door. Credit must be given to our charity representative Wally Pitt and to Dud Feltham for their effort.
During the Spring there was quite a bit of activity involving members and our selected charity, Driving for the Dis-
We were well represented on Cavalry Sunday at the 80th Anniversary of the unveiling of the Cavalry Memorial and
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after the service; we moved the short distance to attend the Blues and Royals Memorial, where Bill Steel laid the wreath in honour of those soldiers of the regiment killed by an IRA bomb in 1982. Early August was again time to put on the straw hats and cross the start line to the ‘Ellingham Show’ on the estate of our President, the Earl of Normanton. Watches were not synchronised, alarm clocks failed to function, or the map reading of the Committee Members was below par, because the Regimental Recruiting caravan, and others from Windsor arrived first. Once the Hon Secretary had ordered crews to dismount, it was all hands to unload the cars, erect the gazebo and lay out our wares. This was carried out in a smart soldier like manner, much to the surprise of the Regimental Recruiting Team. Members and wives were soon in action and cuddly toys were being given to those holding prize-winning tickets. Later in August preceeded with Puff Puff Scribe Wee VI, or the Balloon Race in non-Dorestzee! we launched 625 balloons, the results of members buying and selling tickets with the wining ticket being found near Como in Italy! The single winner was Bruce Worthy who received his £150 cheque at the Annual Dinner. Our thanks to Lord Normanton for yet again sponsoring the whole event by underwriting the costs. Some members were fortunate enough to enjoy a little ‘R & R’ during September, but not the Committee who were busy preparing for the Annual Dinner and Dance in the middle of October. By 1400hrs on Friday 15th October, some 25 members and wives had already arrived and this increased during the afternoon to reach 145 by dinner, and the evening was spent dining, dancing, and circulating until it was decided at
23rd Annual Dinner and Dance - Top Table. L to R: Rear: Maj (Retd) Jeff Holbrook, Col Simon Falkner OBE, Ray Peck (Chairman), Lt Col Retd) David O’Halloran. Centre Row: Mrs Isobel Falkner and Mrs Frances O’Halloran. Front Row: Mrs Paula Peck and Mrs Arlene Holbrook.
0330hrs that it was time to sound ‘Lights Out’. In some cases they remained out well into Saturday, when another 65 arrived to complete the gathering. We were honoured to have Colonel Simon Falkner OBE as guest speaker, who was accompanied by his charming wife Mrs Isobel Falkner, and together with the other top table guests they were heralded in to a rousing fanfare played by the ‘Gentlemen Trumpeters’ and the respect of the 205 diners present. Col Simon gave an excellent speech with a great deal of humour, touching on one or two regimental characters that we either knew or had heard about, to which our Chairman, Ray Peck, suitably replied. It was then time to adjourn to the Imperial Ballroom, and if you had enough energy, dance the rest of the night away, interrupted only by a raffle, with Brian Lampard winning a hand-made bespoke grandmother clock made by George Collett and transported from Norway, where he lives. Brunch is
The new building provided by the Association for the sponsored charity - East Holton Driving Centre.
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the order of the day now for Sunday, after which members quietly slipped away throughout the day until only 45 were left to live their yesterdays in the evening before bidding their farewells on Monday, and promising to meet up again at the next function in March 2005. Christmas Lunch occupied 60 plus member’s attention on 19th December with an excellent meal and followed by the 24th Annual Draw. Suitably weighed down we assembled and watched as our members won two of the three cash prizes a total prize money of £750, very useful just before Christmas! And so with seasons greetings exchanged and of happy heart we finished 2004, with just over 300 members worldwide and looking forward to 2005, where, due to attendance, the annual dinner meal will be moved to a bigger hotel.
Presentation of the keys for the new building to Brenda, a founding member of East Holton Driving Centre, watched by Wally Pitt, left, and Gentleman Trumpeter Bruce Worthy, behind Chairman.
Household Cavalry (East Anglian) Dining Club n idea of David Barnes – ex RHG/D and Graham Turner – ex LG for a dining club for ex-members of the Household Cavalry to renew comradeship, and to keep and renew interest in Regimental activities whilst enjoying a convivial meal, it was formed in July 2004.
The first dinner was held in September 2004 with a total of 30 past members attending; some had not met for some 40 years! After a very good meal at the De Vere Dunston Hall Hotel, Norwich it
was agreed by all present, that Lt Col Daly RHG be elected President, David Barnes, Secretary and Graham Turner Treasurer. In December 2004 the first ladies night was held, again at the De Vere Dunstan Hall Hotel. This proved a highly successful evening with over 50 members and guests attending. It is intended that various functions will be arranged within the coming year, the
first being a stag dinner on Friday 18th March at The Cottage, Thorpe St Andrew, Norwich. Other future dates will be notified in due course and the Secretary would be pleased to hear from any ex-member wishing to attend these most entertaining and enjoyable evenings. David Barnes maybe contacted on tel: 01603 300161 mobile: 07860 737 558 or email: email@example.com
Life at The Royal Hospital Chelsea All Work, Rest And Play (or, Never A Dull Moment………….) Do not get the wrong idea. The Royal Hospital is not a ‘hospital’ as such – the name given to almshouses in the days before hospitals, was we know them, were invented. The Royal Hospital is an old people’s home – albeit a rather special one for the soldiers who have served for King, Queen and Country. So, we offer sheltered accommodation, care and, for some, a hospice. A few of the In-Pensioners are aged under 65 and our oldest is 99. The average age of our 310 residents is just over 80. The Royal Hospital has all the things that are required for a comfortable old age – all means and accommodation found, no laundry and other delightful chores, comradeship and security. Full medical and nursing care is also available for those who need it. For many a pleasant lifestyle is complete with a visit to the Club to take in a concert or a game of bingo, a game of snooker, and a trip to the library or just chatting over the papers. Yet, for those with more energy, there is a lot more to Royal Hospital life. There is action……. In-Pensioner Jim McGovern completed the 2004 London Marathon in less than 6 ? hours, not bad when you are over 68 and in uniform, collecting over £8,000 for the charitable work of the Royal British Legion and the Royal Hospital’s development programme. In 2002, aged 82, Buck Taylor went over the assault course at Pirbright and he has been snowboarding in Germany. Earlier this year a party of In-Pensioners joined in the annual 12km walk at Soest. However, not every In-Pensioner does such athletic things……. The Bowls
Club is very active and popular. There is a full programme of matches, both home and away throughout the year. The putting green is always available for a quiet ‘round’ with friends and family. Both are, of course, close to the 19th hole in the In-Pensioners Club. For those of a more practical and artistic bent there is a fully kitted out Arts and Crafts Block and all manner of pictures and objects are displayed at the popular annual Arts and Crafts exhibition, which is open to the public. The more musical In-Pensioner can join The Royal Hospital Band. It plays at concerts within the Royal Hospital, for the Infirmary residents and at local shows and carnivals. For the green fingered there are allotments, the fruits of which often grace the tables of the Great Hall. In-Pensioners also travel widely. Many go off on cruises or visit family all over the world. Organised trips are undertaken regularly – in 2004 to Gibraltar for the 300th anniversary of its capture and more recently to the D-Day beaches and Arnhem for the 60th Anniversary of those momentous events. In 2002 a party event went to Washington and met the President. Every Autumn a battlefield tour is undertaken, this year taking the opportunity of international reconciliation to go to Libya. Some, however, prefer the more mundane, but possibly profitable ventures of going on one of the many trips to the races. These, like many other activities are organised by the wide number of people and organisations who support us. For those with more sedentary interests there is a computer suite which is available for all to use – tuition is no problem and internet access always on line.
Apart from pure pleasure, around 90 of the In-Pensioners elect to work around the Royal Hospital. This is not onerous but allows them to maintain an interest in what goes on, meet people and, of course, receive additional income. InPensioners are valued as guides for the many tour parties that visit. They enthral the visitors with interesting and often lurid stories about the Royal Hospital (soto voce if the staff are around!). others assist in the Chapel, Museum and Souvenir Shop and in many other ways in the various departments. They make a considerable and valued contribution to the running of the Royal Hospital. There are a few duties that each In-Pensioner is expected to perform. Attendance is required at the Annual Founder’s Day, which is held in the second week in June and occasionally each In-Pensioner has to attend the Governor’s Parade which takes place on Sunday morning before Chapel. (Compulsory Chapel attendance ended some years ago, but many enjoy attending the service). The Royal Hospital is acting to ensure that it can continue to provide the most modern residential accommodation and care, maintaining the fabric of the buildings and tradition of the past. Work has now started to provide a complete new Infirmary building. This will offer ‘state of the art’ medical and care facilities for up to 125 In-Pensioners. Additionally, the In-Pensioner’s accommodation in the Long Wards is to be improved to 21st Century standards. This will offer a much enhanced quality of life within the historic buildings. Importantly, it will eventually allow accommodation to be allocated to eligible women former soldiers.
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We welcome at any time from any former soldier who is qualified. If you would like to apply (or you know someone who may be interested) the criteria for admission are: 1) You must be in receipt of a Service or Disability Pension awarded for Army Service.
2) You must normally be at least 65 years of age and you must be free from the obligation to support a wife or family. If you are interested in joining please contact us through the Royal Hospital website www.chelsea-pensioners.org.uk or ring 020 7881 5204 for further information. The Royal Hospital is open to
the public (entry is free) on nearly every day of the year (not Sunday mornings unless attending Chapel) – if you are in Chelsea take the opportunity to visit us and see the Chelsea Pensioners in action!
Features Operation Goodwood Revisted - July 2004 By Mr Morris Midgley, formerly The Life Guards n the 18th July 1944, General Montgomery launched his armoured divisions to the south east of Caen, his object to reach the Bourguebus Ridge and Vimont and from there to exploit the open countryside in a general breakout. Owing to high casualties amongst his infantry regiments, he planned to use his armoured divisions, until not fully engaged with the Germans. The Guards Armoured Division, with the 11th Armoured Division, was given this task, named Operation Goodwood.
A and B Squadrons of 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment were to act as traffic marshals for the Guards Armoured Division’s assembly behind their start line. In the event of the anticipated break through they would then take up their usual role as the Division’s forward reconnaissance. The village of Cagny lay ahead of them in the centre of the line of advance. Montgomery ordered a massive air and artillery bombardment of the Germans positions across two Divisions’s front. Whilst this resulted in tremendous damage to the enemy, significant pockets were untouched, one of these was centred on Cagny.
As the Guard’s tanks advanced across open corn fields a battery of 88mm guns caused very heavy casualties to both the Guards and 11th Armoured Division; well over 100 tanks were put out of action, in a matter of half an hour. But by the late afternoon Cagny was in our hands. To celebrate this event the people of Cagny invited veterans of The Guard’s Division to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of their liberation.
stupendous firework display. The affection for the veterans shown by the villagers of Cagny was obviously heartfelt. They said very little of their own casualties, which were great in the air bombardment and the battle itself. Major General Roberts did however, place a wreath on the village’s memorial to their own dead and those forcibly transported to Germany to labour in Hitler’s factories.
Major General S Roberts led a party of 40 veterans, with their carers and others representing the Division’s regiments. Captain Johnny Seyfried was the only 2 HCR veteran of Operation Goodwood able to make the trip, Pete Wilson, RHG and his wife Gwen, Surgeon Major Lewin, Medical Officer for the whole party, and myself represented the Cavalry.
I doubt that any equivalent small community in the UK, could have staged such a Gala Dinner, plus a most talented floor show and final firework display. The food was delicious; champagne flowed, served by the village’s teenagers. Laughter, tears and much cheek kissing pervaded the whole assembly.
Once in France all expenses would be born by our hosts. We had a very warm welcome in Cagny and were allocated billets with French Families. There followed three days of receptions, Museum visits, battlefield tours, wreath laying, and a Church service and finally a magnificent Gala Dinner complete with a
Mrs Gwen Wilson after laying a wreath on behalf of The Household Cavalry at the memorial in Banneville la Campagne cemetery.
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On the Sunday morning a bi-lingual Church Service provoked tears of a different kind. However, this was followed by a final “Vin de Honour”, we were getting used to them by now, then back to our billets to collect our things and we boarded the coach for home. This involved being hugged and kissed by all the neighbours. So much so that the
Major General Sebastian Roberts, commanding the Household Division, placing a wreath on the Memorial to the Dead and Deportees of Cagny.
The cornfield through which the Guard’s tanks advanced. It was in this field that their advance was checked by the 88s and heavy casualties were inflicted.
coach departed without yours truly and the Welsh Guard’s veteran I had shared a billet with. But we were bundled into a taxi and arrived at le Havre in time to catch the ferry home. The four and a half-hour crossing gave all of the party time for a much needed nap.
The wreath laying party prepare to lay a wreath from each of the Division’s regiments at the memorial plaque outside Cagny’s church. L to R: M Midgley, Tpr (Retd) LG, Brigadier Breitmeyer, GG, Major J Lawrie SG, Major General R Corbett LG, Major J Carson WG, Major P Tower-Clark CG.
Praise is due to Colonel Oliver Lindsay and his helpers from the Irish Guards, for their organisation of the trip, their unfailing help to those less able to manage luggage and stairs-ways on rolling ferries etc. they also made a significant contribution on formal occasions in
their state dress and in sounding the Last post and Reveille. All those who took part in this Anniversary will retain happy and yet poignant memories of the occasion.
The Musical Ride 1947 by Mr DT Bashford, formerly The Life Guards was very interested in the article “Three Musketeers” in the last issue of the Regimental Magazine and it has prompted me to put pen to paper regarding an unusual occasion (then) in my early years in the Regiment.
I was a member of the first recruit ride post WW2. We transferred to Knightsbridge Barracks on the 1st June 1945 and we were taught to ride by the then SCM, “Tommy” Thompson. We eventually “passed out” and performed guard and escort duties but not in full dress uniform; we were still in khaki. In early 1947 it was decided, for recruiting purposes, to perform a Musical Ride in Liverpool. Twelve Life Guards and twelve Blues were selected and I was lucky enough to be one of them. We did our training in Hyde Park. For uniforms we were taken to the RAOC Depot at Greenford, Middlesex where we rummaged through kit which had been put into store in 1939. We received tremendous help from the pre-war chaps who were finishing their time having been all through the war. We duly entrained at Olympia Station and detrained at Liverpool where we were based at Aigburth Road Barracks. The snapshot shows us parading at that
The Musical Ride at Aigburth Road Barracks, Liverpool.
barracks prior to going to the Wavertree Playground where our performance took place (we actually did two performances). We then returned to Knightsbridge, handed in the uniforms etc and went back to routine. At the end of 1947 we returned to Windsor and, in early 1948, we of The Life Guards rejoined the Regiment in Palestine while the Blues rejoined their Regiment in Germany. I cannot remember any of the others who took part in the Ride other than Cpl Ken Smith, but I remember that CoH Char-
lie Rodwell (now an In-Pensioner at the Royal Hospital) was in charge of us. Perhaps some of the others are still about and will make themselves known. I think that this was the first occasion that full mounted ceremonial uniform was officially worn after WW2. I’m getting a bit long in the tooth now and so I thought that I would get the occasion recorded although it probably already has been and I have missed it.
My Visit to Otterburn Ranges By Sam Moor am Moor is the 10-year-old grandson of Mr David Horsefield an RHG/D Area Representative in the North East. This is Sam’s story of his visit to Otterburn in March 2003.
At 10:00am I arrived at Otterburn Ranges. When we got there we were told to ‘sign in’. When we signed in we followed a Land Rover, which took us to meet with the troops and Major Griffin. At that time the troops had started their exercise, which observed how not to be seen by the enemy and how to protect your partner in battle by moving back and forth. Major Griffin asked me if I would like to go and listen to what the training officer had to say to the troops. I said yes and with that the Major took me over to join them. I sat down to listen when one of the soldiers let me hold his rifle, which was heavy, but I managed carry it. When the troops went to do their exercise the same soldier let me hold a different gun, which was much heavier than the last one I had held. The third gun I was given to hold was the heaviest gun out of all the guns that I had held that day. It was so heavy that they put it on a stand for me; this gun was different because it had telescopic sights for a much better range. The soldier gave me a radio headset to wear; this is so that a four-man group can have a conversation without fear of being overheard. I was given a helmet to cover the headset so no one could detect it. The helmet was camouflaged with dried grass the same as the surrounding moor land. The troops by now were filling up their magazines with blanks for a shooting
Sam looking the part behind an LSW.
exercise, which included information that had to be remembered from their previous exercise. While they were doing that it was time for a ‘brew’, which was an army-style cup of tea out of the back of a Land Rover. We then walked up the road with Major Griffin to the woods. We went there to see an ‘observation’ exercise. We saw some soldiers just finishing the exercise which was set. We went inside of the woods where Major Griffin set us a task to find an OP (observation point), which is a hole dug by the troops to conceal themselves while observing the surrounding area and any enemy movements, this is done under the cover of darkness. I was told all about setting booby traps.
I was then taken into a Land Rover to do a radio check; this has to be done every twelve hours to make sure that the radios are working. I had a fun time and thoroughly enjoyed the whole day, I learned a lot about surveillance and my ambition now is to join the army and work in Bomb Disposal and all that it covers. I would like to thank Lieutenant Colonel M C Van der Lande OBE, Major Griffin and all the rest of the Staff for inviting myself my Grandfather and Mr. John Reay to spend the day with you on the Otterburn Ranges.
We started to talk about weapons and
Sam receiving instruction on the Light Support Weapon (LSW).
gadgets that were used in past Wars. We were invited to have lunch ‘in the field’ with the troops, stew and dumplings.
Sam playing with his new “toy”.
The Somerset Ride 1953
The Somerset Ride passing out at Cambermere, WIndsor Park. from Right to left: Position 1, J Talbot, 2, E Frape, 3, Rhodes, 6, Ginger P, 9, Wilkinson, 10, Langworthy, 11, Gache.
Somerset Squad 1997.
The Life Guards, Sporting Heroes from 1950
The Life Guards Rugby Team - finalists in the Household Brigade, Prince of Walesâ€™s Rugby Cup 1950-51
The Life Guards Swimming Team, British Army on the Rhine 1952
Jacko’s Coda By BCM Bernard Harman, formerly The Life Guards Band. eflecting on the Funeral Service of Major Jackson and the subsequent Service of Thanksgiving for his life and work, the contrasting nature of the two services reminded me of those contrasting “a” and “b” numbers Jacko used to include in his concert programmes.
A slow, reflecting number. The funeral service, attended by his family and a few others including his first Band Corporal Major and the present BCM of The Life Guards who stood together to hear an impeccably played ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’, was indeed, a rather sad, reflective “a” number. Last respects having been paid it was then
‘Mount Up’ and ‘Charge’ down the A332 to Pirbright. A very different number – Much lighter and ‘up beat’. All Saints Church at the Army Training Regiment, Pirbright (Guards’ Depot, as was, to most of those present!) was filled with a gathering of Jacko’s family, friends and former colleagues. These included the former Major General Sir Desmond Langley, together with Sir Tim Gooch Bt, and former Director of Music colleagues and many others who had served with him. All very indicative of the high esteem in which Jacko was held. As the service progressed with the Life Guards Band conducted by the
present Director of Music, Major D W Cresswell, producing a magnificent sound, one could not fail to be caught up in a wave of nostalgia with so many happy memories of times past. In the foyer of All Saints, after the service, the sound of the animated chatter of former colleagues reminiscing could almost be likened to that of a packed Eastbourne Bandstand audience applauding the “a” and “b” numbers! Friday 26th November 2004 – a day to remember. A very fitting CODA* to Jacko’s life so dedicated, as it most certainly was, to music and his musicians. * Musical term approximately meaning “postscript”
Remembering Harry Bellwood’s Pancakes An account of The Blues and Royals at Wolfenbüttel: 1950-52 By Anthony Phillips formerly The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) he summer of 1950 being a warm one, I found the basic training at Combermere quite tough going in the heat. But on reflection, I think our drill instructor, CoH Michael Bone LG, was really an old softy at heart. He was certainly no Ronald Brittain. Mick would come into our barrack room above the stables and help us with our kit in the evenings.
The lads actually were quite a cheerful lot. We sang the songs of the day as we polished boots and burnished brasses. Tpr Bob Smith from Chingford had just seen the latest Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly musical and trilled: “New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town, the Bronx is up and the Bowery down…..”. Tpr Johnny Kingston and his half-back George, both from the Elephant and Castle, duetted on: “It’s love, It’s love, my foolish heart…”. And from the corner of the room came: “You can throw a silver dollar down upon the ground, and it will roll…” This is from “Blondie” from Ealing . It was always “Blondie”. What was his name? Guided by Lieutenant Edgely LG, and CoH Bone, we successfully completed our basic training and passed out in front of the Commanding Officer , Lieutenant Colonel John Ward LG in the autumn of 1950. For the potential drivers of Armoured Fighting Vehicles, the training included driving lessons on
Bedford 15cwt and 3-ton lorries as well as on Daimler Armoured Cars. For potential gunner/operators, the training included gunnery and lessons on the 19 set under the aegis of Captain The Marquis of Blandford LG at the Wireless Wing. I was receiving 24 shillings a week at that time, of which 7 shillings were sent home to my mother. 17 shillings would pay for a visit to the cinema, a very few beers, and once weekly, steak chips at the Nell Gwynne restaurant in Windsor. Cleaning materials, blanco and brasso, would have to be paid for. Then there were the cigarettes – nearly everybody smoked at that time. Following basic training, the Blues section of the intake were posted to Wolfenbüttel, Germany, while The Life Guards remained at Windsor. Wolfenbüttel. Lower Saxony, was a small town of about 25,000 at that time (now about 60,000) and seemed to have been untouched by the war. Not far from the commercial centre of Braunshweig (Brunswick), Wolfenbüttel is noted for the Ducal Palace with its striking tower. Originally built in the 16th century, it was rebuilt in the baroque style in the 18th century. The palace houses municipal and state offices. The town also houses the Herzog-August Library founded by the Duke of Brunswick-
A recent picture of the author taken at Horse Guards.
Wolfenbüttel. The library contains medieval copies of the gospels. The barracks was an Albert Speer special. A concrete edifice to the Third Reich and its Panzer divisions. It was a self-contained unit with small billets, some individual, ample garages with inspection pits for the armoured vehicles, swimming pools, hot showers, gymnasium, running track, sports field, cinema, mess halls, and a beer cellar selling a potent rather grassy lager, Dortu-
munder-Union. When British troops came, a NAAFI and WVS were added. Imagine my surprise on arrival at Wolfenbüttel to find that we had to do a further two weeks of basic training. This comprised mainly foot drill, conducted by the instructor, SCM Smith. SCM Smith seemed to be obsessed by the “A’s on sentry” drill movement which we performed several times a day. I was told at the time by an onlooker that it looked very effective as performed by a squad. It must have pleased the Colonel (Lieutenant Colonel Sir Peter Grant-Lawson Bt) also because when on our passing out parade he requested an encore for this particular drill movement. Following the additional basic training I was posted to A Squadron, 4 Troop. A Squadron was commanded by Major Lawrence Rooke with his second-incommand being Captain Roy Redgrave. The transport officer was Captain King. The SCM was Pat Kelly. 4 Troop, a sabre troop, consisted of two Mark II Daimler armoured cars, and two Daimler scout cars (the dingos). Over about 15-months period 4 Troop personnel were: car commanders Lieutenants Michael Hughes and YoungHusband and C’soH’ Harry Bellwood and “Silver” Wright. DAC drivers were Tprs Denis “Chuck” Jakeman, Doug Vennels, and Tony Phillips. Gunner/operators were Trevor Ratcliffe and Brian Bowks. The dingo crews were made up of Tprs Barry Lucas, “Nobby Clark”, “Jock” Penman, Peter Markworth, John Bowden, and LCpl Bryne. When I arrived at Wolfenbüttel, A Squadron had just returned from a tour of duty in Berlin. Many times in 4 Troop I was told: “get some in, pink – you should have been parading down the Kurfürstendamm with us”. Imagine the consternation of these twenty year old troopers when they were ordered to take down their Berlin ring shoulder flash and put up the charging bull flash of the 11th Armoured Division.
There was plenty of sport. Some sort of football match was always going on, and there were cross-country runs organised by the PT sergeant major. I captained A Squadron table tennis team, and Tprs Jack Cole and Tony Strevens (long distance runners), and Captain Redgrave (hurdles) represented the Blues in the BAOR Athletics Championships. The boxing reached a very high amateur standard. Most of 4 Troop found a border patrol exciting. It meant the four vehiclesdriving round the periphery of the Russian Zone mainly “showing the flag” en route. I drove across the picturesque Harz Mountains several times and remembered thinking to myself: “My God, just a few months ago I was on the drawing board doing floor plans for prefabricated houses”. Then I looked to my right and there was a sheer drop of 1500 feet. One of the checkpoints on a boarder patrol was Helmstedt where we stayed at a Royal Corps of Military Police base. They did us proud for dinner with table cloths and bread rolls served in bread baskets. My word! On one of the schemes I was in the Celle area. The two armocreds were separated from the dingos which had gone off on a reconnaissance mission. We bivvied in a forest for the night and in the morning CoH Harry Bellwood found that most of the rations were with the dingos. We had enough for a cup of tea but little else except flour, margarine and a little sugar. But quick as a flash it came to CoH Bellwood – we would have pancakes for breakfast. There was one snag. There were no eggs so Harry Bellwood’s pancakes were made from merely flour and water. A little heavy perhaps but sprin-
kled with sugar they warded off hunger pangs. Unwittingly, CoH Bellwood had created a sort of Indian chapatti. Years ahead of his time. On one occasion we went to the firing ranges at Belsen where the two pounders and Besa 9mm machine guns were put through their paces. Oh! the naivety of a teenage trooper. I sent my mother a photo when we were on the range at Belsen. Inscribed on the back were the words: “Here I am at Belsen. Under this mound I’m standing on lie 1000 bodies”. I expect my mother was thrilled to bits. In the summer of 1951, the Blues were involved in a vast Rhineland exercise “Broadside” which lasted about six weeks. All allied armies took part and conditions were as close to the real thing as possible. There were several deaths by accident. The Colonel called for several StandTo’s during my time at Wolfenbüttel. At very short notice the vehicles were loaded with ammunition, fuel, and personal belongings ready for march. The perimeter roads within Wolfenbüttel barracks would be crammed with military vehicles akin to Paris on VE day: Daimler armoured cars and scout cars, the tracked white scout cars of 7 troops, staghounds of 6 troops, the Bedford three-ton and 15-cut lorries of support echelons, jeeps, ambulances, water trucks; in fact, anything on wheels that makes up a modern cavalry regiment. And so, in July 1952 the intake of Life Guards and Blues stood on the same barrack square at Combermere where they had received basic training two years previously. They were demobilised. It had been an eventful two years.
For the next 15 months or so, life at Wolfenbüttel for me consisted of vehicle maintenance, routine morning drills and parades, sport, border patrols, stand-tops, and schemes small, schemes large, and schemes very large. On a cold German morning, most troops welcomed a quick double around the parade ground but lying under a Daimler armoured car doing an oil change in sub-zero conditions was no fun at all. The Ducal Palace Wolfenbûttel - the Baroque building houses State and Municipal Offices.
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