THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY JOURNAL
The Household Cavalry Journal Incorporating The Acorn and The Blue and Royal No. 16 2007/8 Editor: Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) J S Olivier, 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 PJ Tabor MVO, The Blues and Royals Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel EA Smyth-Osbourne, The Life Guards Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment:
Lieutenant Colonel RRD Griffin, The Life Guards
The Life Guards Battle Honours Dettingen Peninsula Waterloo Tel el Kebir Egypt (1882) Relief of Kimberley Paardeberg South Africa (1899-1900) Mons Le Cateau Retreat from Mons Marne (1914) Aisne (1914)
ArmentiĂ¨res (1914) Messines (1914) Ypres (1914) Langemarck (1914) Gheluvelt Nonne Bosschen St Julien Frezenberg Ypres (1915) Somme (1916) Albert (1916) Scarpe (1917) (1918) Broodseinde Poelcappelle
Passchendaele Bapaume (1918) Arras (1917) Ypres (1917) Arras (1918) Hindenburg Line Epehy St Quentin Canal Beaurevoir Cambrai (1918) Selle Somme (1918) France and Flanders (1914-18)
Mont Pincon Souleuvre Noireau Crossing Amiens (1944) Brussels Neerpelt Nederrijn Nijmegen Lingen Bentheim North West Europe (1944-1945) Baghdad (1941) Iraq (1941)
Palmyra Syria (1941) El Alamein North Africa (1942-1943) Arezzo Advance to Florence Gothic Line Italy (1944) Gulf (1991) Wadi al Batin Iraq (2003)
The Blues and Royals Battle Honours Tangier (1662-1680) Dettingen Warburg Beaumont Willems Fuentes dâ€™Onor Peninsula Waterloo Balaklava Sevastopol Tel el Kebir Egypt (1882) Relief of Kimberley Paardeberg Relief of Ladysmith South Africa (1899-1902)
Mons Le Cateau Retreat from Mons Marne (1914) Aisne (1914) Messines (1914) Armentieres (1914) Ypres (1914) Langemarck (1914) Gheluvelt Nonne Bosschen St Julien Ypres (1915) Frezenberg Loos Arras (1917)
Scarpe (1917) Ypres (1917) Broodseinde Poelcappelle Passchendaele Somme (1918) St Quentin Avre Amiens Hindenburg Line Beaurevoir Cambrai (1918) Sambre Pursuit to Mons France and Flanders (1914-1918)
Mont Pincon Souleuvre, Noireau Crossing Amiens (1944) Brussels Neerpelt Nederrijn Lingen Veghel Nijmegen Rhine Bentheim North West Europe (1944-1945) Baghdad (1941) Iraq (1941) Palmyra
Syria (1941) Msus Gazala Knightsbridge Defence of Alamein Line El Alamein El Agheila Advance on Tripoli North Africa (1941-1943) Sicily (1943) Arezzo Advance to Florence Gothic Line Italy (1943-1944) Falkland Islands (1982) Iraq (2003)
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Contents Preface by The Commander Household Cavalry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Diary of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 A Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 B Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 C Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 D Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Headquarters Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Quartermaster’s Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Quartermaster Technical’s Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Light Aid Detachment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 The Band of The Life Guards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Diary of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31 The Life Guards Mounted Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 The Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Headquarters Squadron . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 Quartermaster’s Department . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Medical Centre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 The Forge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 AGC Detachment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Pages 30 - 55
Musical Ride . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 The Band of The Blues and Royals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Household Cavalry Training Wing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 Winter Training Troop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Equitation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Regimental Information Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Household Cavalry Recruiters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Coach Troop’s 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 110 Detachment Blues and Royals Army Cadet Force, Crayford, Kent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
Household Cavalry News The Household Cavalry Pageant 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56 The Falkland Islands, Operation Corporate, 25 Years later . . . . . . 61 The Hyde Park Bombing - Recollections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66 The Unit Welfare Office . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment visit to the Presidents Bodyguard and 61st Cavalry in India . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Band of The Life Guards CBRN Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71 Iran Iraq Border 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72 Mounted Trooops on P Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 An Intelligent Move . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Pages 5 - 29
Pages 56 - 90 Knowledge is Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75 Rowing for the United Kingdom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76 Spruce Meadows 2007 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77 Three Cavalrymen in Kampala . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 Yee-hah! 10 Days with the ‘Blue Devils Horse Platoon’ . . . . . . . . . 80 Exercise Highland Blue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Separation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82 Cockney Coaster . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Breaking the Strangles Hold . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 Household Cavalry Sports Round-up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
News from the Associations
Pages 92 - 144
The Life Guards Association Annual Report 2007 . . . . . . . . . 92 Minutes of the 73rd AGM of The Life Guards Association 2007 . . 92 The Life Guards Association and Charitable Trusts . . . . . . . . 94 The Life Guards Association Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95 The Life Guards Association Regional Representatives . . . . 95 The Blues and Royals Association Annual Report 2007 . . . . . 97 Minutes of the AGM of The Blues and Royals Association 2007 . 98 The Blues and Royals Area Representatives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99 The Household Cavalry Museum . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Nominal Rolls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Obituaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
Features . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Household Cavalry Associations 1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiments Annual Reunion 118 North East Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118 North Staffordshire Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119 Dorset Branch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120 Household Cavalry (East Anglian) Dining Club . . . . . . . . . . 121 Blues and Royals Band Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121 Notices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122
Front Cover: Members of B Squadron returning from Op Billabong, Iraq. Back Cover: The QLG and The Household Cavalry Massed bands at the beginning of the Pageant June 2007. Many of the photographs in this Journal were taken by LCpl D Short LG.
Preface By Colonel P J Tabor MVO, The Blues and Royals Commander Household Cavalry he past year has been another extraordinary one for the Household Cavalry which continues in excellent shape. 2007 has again seen your Regiments right at the centre of everything the Army is doing. Continuous operations in Iraq and Afghanistan lie at the heart of the Household Cavalry Regiment’s activity, while world class public duties and State ceremonial are being delivered every day by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
The Regiment in Windsor has had more soldiers deployed for longer and to more diverse locations certainly than any other RAC regiment. A and B Squadrons left for Iraq in May, and D Squadron will not return from Afghanistan until October this year. Battle Group Headquarters, C and most of HQ Squadron are coming to the end of six months in Afghanistan or have already returned. All have performed magnificently, and we should be immensely proud of their achievements. Most impressive has been the way in which individuals have tackled so many very challenging though often completely unfamiliar roles. They did so time and again and to the highest possible standards. The Mounted Regiment has been astonishingly busy. State ceremonial has been consistently executed to the highest standards despite 90% of newly joined soldiers going straight to mounted duty. Providing most of the participants for the Pageant, the Regiment was stretched as seldom before around the Birthday Parade, but everyone did their part and succeeded in magnificent form. Mounted duty is key to what makes Household Cavalrymen different, and we should celebrate the superb way in which it is carried out every day. The Household Cavalry Training Wing, which trains all mounted dutymen and has been working at more than full capacity without respite for the last two years, continues to be instrumental in this. The Pageant in June performed before our Colonel-in-Chief evoked magnificently the extraordinary histories of our Regiments over 350 years. Produced by a former Life Guards officer, it was performed almost solely by Household Cavalrymen and women. Few regiments, I suspect, could boast of entertaining 7000 of their closest friends at a private per-
formance in the heart of London. It may be a while before we do something similar! Your new museum has made a steady start. This project has sometimes seemed endless, but has concluded spectacularly. There are teething problems. Bear with us; even on a slow day Horse Guards gets more visitors than Windsor received in a year. The Museum is genuinely impressive but is not, nor intended to be, the same as the old Museum. Do come and visit and bring all your friends and relations! The old Museum is being rebuilt to house the reserve collection and archive and an education centre for schools. We do face two major challenges: a large overdraft; and the completion of the exhibition in London. We still need financial help. If you know anyone who might help or wish to be involved, please let us know. As for the exhibition, once we have a sponsor, we will bring it right up to date. Once we start to make a profit, it will be ploughed back into regimental charities. Recruiting continues to be buoyant, and our very small recruiting team is recruiting the maximum numbers allowed. We seek and are receiving high quality recruits with the ability to adapt to mounted duty and operational soldiering in equal measure. We will continue to recruit across the whole of the country. This year brings a historic change. Household Cavalry recruits have for many years trained in Pirbright, originally at the Guards Depot. Guards Company is now in Catterick without us, and we will not be joining them. So, our Phase 1 training (the first 14 weeks) will, from July, take place at the Army Training Regiment in Bassingbourn with the RAC. We will retain the squadron second-in-command’s post and the same number of instructors as now. I am fully confident that this new organisation will
continue to deliver high quality trainees to our two regiments. Last Year brought two significant anniversaries. Twenty-five years ago, two troops deployed to the Falklands performing magnificently and cementing a relationship with airborne forces which continues today. Also, The Queen’s Life Guard was attacked in Hyde Park with great loss of life, an event remembered daily as the New and Old Guards pass the memorial on the South Carriage Drive. 2007 saw the passing of a great Household Cavalryman. Major General Lord Michael FitzAlan Howard, last Colonel of The Life Guards, died in November. All who knew him will sorrow at his loss but celebrate someone who brought so much to the Household Cavalry in general and to The Life Guards in particular.
Time precluded many traditional sporting fixtures in 2007, but one notable achievement was Bronze Medals in the World Rowing Championships in Munich by Lt Robin Bourne-Taylor LG and Capt Al Heathcote RHG/D. We offer heartfelt congratulations to them. Both are very strong prospects for the British Olympic eight for Beijing, and I know that all of us will be right behind them in their quest for gold in the summer. Articles about the past should be a major part of the Journal. In 2006, I invited readers, particularly the retired fraternity, to submit more articles for publication. The response was tremendous. This year fewer have contributed, but I am sure we can do better. Many of you served at mounted duty, as National Servicemen or on operations all round the world and will have amusing stories to tell. Please share them with us. This will educate today’s generation in the same way as you read of their exploits. In the same vein, I wish the Museum to become the ‘national collection’ of all the best Household Cavalry items. If you have or know of collections of objects or photos, archives or diaries, please contact us. Many collect Household Cavalry memorabilia; please consider the Museum when deciding what to do with them. They will add much to our knowledge of our regiments’ stories. The operational casualties fund has continued to grow due to the large number
of generous donations, and the many initiatives by Household Cavalrymen or their families to raise money for this hugely worthwhile cause. A big thank you to all who have helped in any way. The catalyst for the fund was the ambush in 2006 that killed 2Lt Ralph Johnson and LCpl Ross Nicholls and wounded LCpl Martyn Compton. I know we would all wish to pay tribute to Martyn and his fiancée, Michelle Clifford, for the determination they have shown to get him well following his harrowing experiences that left him with 71% burns and a gun shot wound to the leg. He continues to make real progress at Headley Court and through his operations in Chelmsford. Martyn and Michelle are due to marry in early July. I am sure we all wish them every happiness and him continued success during rehabilitation in the months and years to come.
We are sorting out our websites – it is taking a long time. The Army is bringing all regimental sites under its own umbrella and soon all sites will look very alike but be easier to find your way around – and they will not cost us anything! Within the Army system, we aim to create a new site; HouseholdCavalryNet to benefit all Household Cavalrymen, serving and retired. This is covered later in the Journal. While not running yet, we hope it will be soon.
We like to think of the Household Cavalry ‘family’. This encompasses not only those serving at either regimental duty or ERE but as importantly, the two Regimental Associations which provide such constant support to retired Household Cavalrymen and to those still in uniform. I would like to pay particular tribute to the small team working tirelessly in Home Headquarters in Windsor: Maj Paul Stretton and Capt and Mrs Dick Hennessy-Walsh, who act daily as the link between serving and retired members of the Regiments. We owe them an enormous amount.
Today’s Household Cavalry is working at a pace not seen for many years. We should all be hugely impressed by the excellence and outstanding professionalism displayed by everyone in many very trying situations and be immensely proud of them. D Squadron is now the only squadron still on operations. We wish them well for a successful tour of Afghanistan and, most importantly, for a safe return.
There are some major anniversaries coming: the 350th Anniversaries of the formation of The Life Guards in 2010 and of both the Royal Horse Guards and Royal Dragoons in 2011, the next Standards Parade in 2013 and, in 2015, the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. We will keep you closely informed as to how we hope to mark them.
Afghanistan Medal Winners from L to R: SCpl Fry, LCoH Radford, Capt Williams and SCpl Flynn flanked by Household Cavalry members of The Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of The Guard.
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword by Lieutenant Colonel E A Smyth-Osbourne, The Life Guards Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Regiment 007 has been characterized by operational focus almost and somewhat inevitably to the detriment of the fabric of regimental routine. A and B Squadrons deployed to Southern Iraq in the Spring, Battle Group Headquarters and C Squadron deployed to Southern Afghanistan in the Autumn and D Squadron recuperated, regenerated, and reconstituted in preparation for their second tour to Helmand in 18 months. Operations aside, single soldiers were finally able to enjoy 21st century accommodation, the Regiment hit and surpassed full manning and the Pageant proved an outrageous success. The events are well and faithfully recorded within the Journal, but I sense that it is worth pondering the cost and implications of such operational focus and saying why I believe it to be vital for the long term health of The Household Cavalry.
The Pageant graphically illustrated the impact of operations on our development. Indeed the story was told through an operational prism as we navigated through time pausing to stop for the principal campaigns. It is no coincidence that we owe much to our historical operational exposure; it should be no other way. This year the Regiment was hit with a remarkable series of demands, initially for a Battle Group Headquarters, 3 squadrons and an echelon for Iraq and subsequently for the eventual split between both theatres. First and foremost, there was no ducking the order and nor should there have been. Secondly, it was quite clear that reconnaissance was in demand and it was our turn to answer the call. Put simply our raison d’être would be determined by our utility in an Army that is increasingly designed for regular use across the spectrum of modern warfare. D Squadron path found the role in Helmand last year under 3 PARA. A Squadron took over a cracking operation from The Queen’s Royal Lancers in the Maysan desert working under the King’s Royal Hussars (KRH). Their work was probably more akin to the Long Range Desert Group of days of yore and, given the summer temperatures, they experienced some of the most extreme condi-
tions on the planet. Indeed they were universally praised by the Brigade Commander who stressed their grit and determination to succeed whatever the odds. It was a time when the bomb threat was high, drivers were wrapping rag around their arms to prevent burns from the engine wall and sight rubbers were melting on gunners’ faces. It was a very fine balance between survival and effectiveness. Meanwhile, B Squadron metamorphosed into a Brigade Reconnaissance Force and undertook a bespoke, sensitive and highly regarded role where they added huge value during a time that saw the planned British withdrawal from Basra. It has proved a capability that could pay huge dividend in the years to come and links to our core business. We must foster the capability and develop its use more widely, potentially as a lightly equipped and highly mobile scouting force with the requisite training and equipment to operate throughout the surveillance/reconnaissance spectrum. Turning East, the Battle Group focus is now firmly on Southern Afghanistan as part of Task Force Helmand. We find ourselves operating in the South of the Province with a remarkably diverse organization comprising B Squadron KRH, C Squadron HCR, B Company 1st Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles (RGR), Helmandi Scouts, the Coldstream Recce Platoon (aka Guards Recce Force) and a bespoke HCR Echelon. And this, of course, supported by guns, engineers and an increasingly sophisticated array of technical and niche capabilities. We rely on strength through diversity but our mind, body and soul are firmly routed in our blue red blue heritage! The role is certainly demanding and the pressures on a fairly antiquated vehicle immense, but the structure is wholly apposite given the task and the environment. In brief we are responsible for defending a District Centre in Garmsir, marauding the enemy and winning over the hearts and minds of the indigenous Afghans on behalf of their Government and Coalition Forces. There will be many highs and lows until the first rays of spring herald our return and the full story of this deployment will have to wait to be told.
Meanwhile D Squadron and the Rear party continue to hold the fort at home: D are already preparing for their second tour to Helmand Province in 16 months and up to their ears in an increasingly busy and over-heated pre-deployment training package leaving Headquarters Squadron to mind the ship until the return of A and B. The pressures to support such an operational focus are significant, and I am conscious of the relentless pressure on the families at home – without whose support such actions would be untenable. However, I remain absolutely convinced that we shall be judged by our ability to conduct operations in the principal theatres of Iraq and Afghanistan, and our people are producing the goods at every turn. There will be much to catch up on next year and we shall major on leave, individual courses, adventurous training and our quality of life. But it is my view that our readiness to march to the sound of the guns and our ability to more than hold our own will buy us the credit that we shall need when the operational focus changes – as it surely will. Enjoy!
Household Cavalry Regiment
Diary of Events Having integrated with 1st Mechanized Brigade during the proceeding year, the Household Cavalry Regiment entered 2007 preparing to complete the pre-deployment training that would privilege the entire regiment, save for D Squadron who remained part of 16 Air Assault Brigade, to an operational deployment in Iraq on Operation TELIC 10. In January the Regiment formed up in a state of near full manning. A successful recruitment drive had served us well and, when called to provide extra soldiers to boost the surveillance capability in Iraq, we were able to step up to the mark, albeit with the help of twenty six volunteers from D Squadron who had just returned from a gruelling deployment in Afghanistan at the end of 2006. RHQ, with HQ Squadron in support were to deploy as a Battle Group HQ with A and C Squadrons in the formation reconnaissance role, and B (Command and Support) Squadron which would provide additional Surveillance capability. B Squadron had metamorphosed into an organization which had three key elements: first, the Specialist Liaison Team (SLT), which would act as a plug-in liaison capability to the Brigade HQ Information, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) co-ordination cell; second, Surveillance Troop, which would be equipped with MSTAR radars and provide a focus for developing surveillance skills and, particular to Iraq, the Static Covert Surveillance (SCS) tasking; and third, the TACP/Forward Air Controller (TACP/FAC) which would allow the Regiment to call in and control close air support as well as providing battle group HQ with an air planning, co-ordination and advice capacity. Whilst the Regiment prepared for Iraq in the early part of the year concentrating on completing mandatory individual and collective training including yet another successful Gunnery phase, D Squadron focused on the Bowmanization of their personnel (training on the new radio system) and CVR(T) fleet (equipping the vehicles with BOWMAN radios) and individual career courses as well as providing essential support to the deployment of the rest of the Regiment. B Squadron was involved in special to role training at Lydd consisting of a Static Covert Surveillance Camera course and the notoriously physically demanding Close Observation Training Advisory Team (COTAT) course. RHQ, HQ, A and C Squadrons indulged in pre-deployment training up until March when
Household Cavalry Regiment
Scorpions make a rare appearance at The Pageant.
the Regiment was given orders that RHQ, HQ and C Squadrons were no longer to deploy to Iraq in May as originally planned, but to switch both theatre and Brigade - to join 52nd Infantry Brigade, based in Edinburgh, and deploy to Afghanistan in the autumn on Op HERRICK 7.
Afghanistan and was tragically killed. Services were held in Iraq and Windsor to commemorate the loss of such a bright and respected soldier.
May witnessed the deployment of A Squadron, now under command of the Kingâ€™s Royal Hussars (KRH) BG, and B Squadron who continued in the specialist surveillance role, less the TACP/FAC and SLT elements who had moved to within RHQ to support the upcoming Afghanistan deployment. The Maysan desert and border provided initial employment for A Squadron in the reconnaissance role whilst Basra was the hunting ground for B Squadron.
Over the autumn months in Iraq, A Squadron was switched from the Iranian border to the port of Umm Qasr in Southern Iraq where, now under command of 1 RHA, soldiers worked within the Aviation Reaction Force and the Umm Qasr MASTIFF sub-unit. Within Basra The Palace and PJCC were handed over to the command of the Iraqi Security Forces and provided momentum for the provision of security to be handled by the Iraqis and altered the manner in which British troops were employed. B Squadron were subsequently tasked to provide additional mentoring of Iraqi forces in Tallil.
June provided those troops set for Afghanistan an opportunity to partake in a live firing exercise in Castlemartin on the CVR(T) fleet prior to a small arms training package in Lydd as well as ISTAR and Counter Insurgency study days for the command element. An Afghanistan specific confirmatory exercise was held over June and July with 52 Brigade in Norfolk and on Salisbury Plain. D Squadron were heavily committed to Ex EAGLEâ€™S EYE with the 2 Para BG as part of the Airborne Task Force (ABTF) role during which a number of the Squadron were able to re-qualify as parachutists. On the morning of 29th June LCpl Farmer, RHG/D, was involved in an road traffic accident on exercise while training to deploy to
Over September and October the initial wave of deployment from RHQ, elements of HQ Squadron and C Squadron to Afghanistan formed the HCR BG and took command of operations in the south of Helmand province. Over this period D Squadron commenced their pre-deployment training with 16 Air Assault Brigade in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan in the spring of 2008 where they take the task currently occupied by C Squadron. The end of the year witnessed the successful return of A and B Squadrons from Iraq who were welcomed home with a medals parade presided over by Colonel Life Guards and attended by the Divisional Commander, Major General B W B WhiteSpunner, late Blues and Royals.
A Squadron Operation TELIC 10, Iraq: May – November 2007 n 30th November 2007, three flights of Merlin Support Helicopters lifted the final elements of A Squadron from Umm Qasr port in Southern Iraq. The short flight into Kuwaiti air-space brought to an end six months of varied tasks undertaken in three main locations and working to two different battle groups (BGs).
A Squadron had deployed on TELIC 10 in May 2007 as part of the King’s Royal Hussars (KRH) Battle Group (BG). We were the 1 Brigade Borders North BG, taking over the role of the Maysaan Battle Group from the Queen’s Royal Lancers. As PIC (Provincial Iraqi Control) had been achieved in Maysaan Province on 19th April 2007, our primary focus was on the border, Federal rather than Provincial business. We were based in mobile FOBs (Forward Operating Bases) in the desert for the first two and a half months.
275km border with Iran. We also mentored the border police, customs and immigration forces based in the many border forts.
BG HQ deployed into the desert with two sabre squadrons equipped with CVR(T) and WMIKs (cut down Land Rovers) and a sizeable A1 Echelon. The BG was bolstered by a LEWT (Light Electronic Warfare Team), a MUAV (medium unmanned aerial vehicle) and Log Support Detachment. Additional Brigade surveillance assets were made available to the BG providing imagery and MASINT.
There was an obvious shortfall in resources to cover such a large frontage – conventionally, two reconnaissance squadrons would expect to cover a 30 km frontage. Therefore, we could only ever have an effect along limited stretches of the border and only if we concentrated our force. To have a hope of success, we would need to have a good intelligence and surveillance picture to direct and focus other ground forces.
We were tasked to find an interdict crossborder smuggling of lethal aid along the
The problem was how to move undetected in the desert. Where possible the
LCoH Abbott FAC Maysaan Province.
BG avoided travelling on roads and relocated every 24-48 hours: there was an unwritten rule that if we stayed anywhere for longer than 48 hours, we would be subject to indirect fire. When the whole BG moved, it created a dust cloud at least ten times the size of Buckingham Palace! To achieve secrecy and stealth, we had to cut the size of squadron packets and move exclusively at night. A key factor was the brutal heat of the Iraqi desert in high summer; July brought temperatures of 65º C in the open and 55º in the shade. The heat in the drivers’ cabs was worse; rubber soles of drivers’ boots were melting and, in some cases, so too were the plastic hand grips on SA80 rifles. We all drank 12 litres of water a day, which
A Squadron, Op TELIC 10, Maysaan.
Household Cavalry Regiment
stretched the resupply chain and, although some of the Squadron went down with heat exhaustion, it was testament to the leadership at Troop level that only one soldier was sent back to the UK suffering from mineral deficiency. Despite the challenges, the Squadron remained strong and eager to achieve success. We operated covertly, albeit for a short time, establishing a limited OP matrix on the border, and reporting on illegal crossings. We led BG HQ on a 24hr operation through the marshes and across the River Tigris to marry up with the Brigade manoeuvre BG and, when it came to withdraw from the desert, we lead over a seven day period right up to the final night when the BG drove through An Nasariyah into the safety of Tallill airbase. Looking back, it is difficult not to feel disappointed by our time in the desert. We had arrived in Maysaan Province hungry to get to grips with the conditions and determined to succeed. We had hoped for greater independence and the opportunity to establish a thorough understanding of cross border activity – both covertly and overtly. In the end, we left frustratingly having achieved neither. Nevertheless, to dwell on the lack belittles the whole. There is much to be thankful for. Throughout our time in the desert, the insurgents failed to inflict a single casualty on us, despite our frequently running the gauntlet, most notably on the final withdrawal through An Nasariyah when success looked unlikely. Time and again, our people showed their quality and mettle in one of the most severe operational environments in the world, and as always our skills were in demand whether as first class vehicle mechanics, forward air controllers, snipers, or linguists. The next two tasks: the aviation reaction force (ARF); and the Umm Qasr MASTIFF sub-unit, took place over a period of considerable change in the British operating area in Iraq. British forces supporting Iraqi Security Forces in Basra were withdrawn between August and September. The two British base locations in Basra, the PJCC and Basra Palace, were handed over to the Iraqi Security Forces and a political dialogue began with the leadership of the Jaish Al Mahdi (JAM). These two elements were intrinsically linked and effected a significant change in the continuing development of the Iraqis to ensure provision of their own security and in the manner in which the British forces would be employed. With the Iraqi Army and Police Force becoming more capable, the focus of British Forces could shift to developing the military assistance mission.
Household Cavalry Regiment
LCoH Pearce driving a WIMIK in the desert in Maysaan in July.
The situation in the British sector following the accommodation with the JAM was not perfect and significant turbulence in the security situation continued. Inter-tribal and inter-ethnic violence did not cease in Basra nor did attacks against Coalition Forces either against the main base of Basra Contingency Operating Base (COB) or against troops operating across the region. Despite this continued violence, however, and despite the almost one hundred percent negative reaction in the British press, considerable progress was being made in southern Iraq. All the British forces contributed greatly to progress, but none more than A Squadron. When looking at the development of the country as a whole and the British sector specifically, it is easy to miss the impact that sub-units operating on the ground every day are really having. Yet it is the actions of these sub-units, the troops within them and each and every individual soldier that provides the key support to the high level political processes. The reassurance offered to Iraqis, the engagement with economic and humanitarian reconstruction and the mentoring and training of Iraqi Security forces taking place 24-hours a day in trying circumstances and against considerable threat of direct and indirect attacks were vital in the wider achievements. A Squadron made a considerable and continuous contribution to this process. After successfully extracting with the King’s Royal Hussars BG into Basra COB at the end of July, we were tasked with providing the ARF for the Brigade for a period of five weeks. This saw us relinquishing the CVR(T) and WMIKs with which we had been equipped in the desert, which were returned to the UK for support to Afghanistan, and to rapidly train and develop procedures as a
dismounted force ready to rapidly respond to incidents across the Brigade area of operations. Concurrently, we worked in support of the BG in developing security along the Iraq/Iran border. On becoming the ARF, we changed the orbats used in the Maysan desert, moving from five troops to three large troops of approximately 20 men each. There had been a large scale changeover of key Squadron personalities with the Squadron Leader, Major M P GoodwinHudson RHG/D being replaced by Major A Lawrence LG and two of the troop leaders, Lieutenants M Fry and E Olver, returning to new posts in the UK. The three ARF troops were commanded by Lieutenant J Mann RHG/D, SCpl Bentley and SCpl Newton, all of whom rapidly assimilated the new requirements and set about ensuring that the low-level dismounted skills of their troops were at the high level required. The ARF task required rapid response and a high level of flexibility. The situation, location and requirements for each task were only ever going to be known in outline before the ARF troop was dispatched. The details would follow later. It was to the considerable credit of every member of the Squadron that our ARF quickly became the response of choice, a reliable and robust asset on which the Brigade could call at a moment’s notice. The ARF taskings were numerous. Over the period, tasks increased by several hundred percent compared to the time when the ARF had been met on a rotational basis by other BGs. The troops worked a nine day rotation; three days ARF, three days pre-planned aviation tasks and three days in camp duties. The ARF on-duty troop had to be able to muster, move to and load on to the assigned Merlin helicopter within thirty
minutes. This is demanding to maintain, limiting troops to staying in Camp Charlie in Basra COB, the Squadron camp location, and requiring them to keep all weapons and kit with them at all times whether showering, eating or sleeping. Frequently, the thirty minutes had to be reduced but the Squadron never failed to meet the time. On several occasions they had to sit fully kitted awaiting a task for several hours in the Merlin helicopter before the green light for the operation was given and they could finally deploy on to the ground. No less demanding was the quantity of equipment each troop had to carry with it. To respond rapidly to an incident or situation, a troop had to ensure it had not only sufficient weapons and ammunition to overmatch the potential opposition but also had to carry water, rations, communications, medical and other equipment to operate without re-supply in a hostile environment for up to 48 hours. This meant each soldier carrying a minimum of 40 lbs of kit, something both the GOC and the Brigade Commander came to understand as, on a visit to the Squadron, they attempted to lift an individual’s personal kit. The high level of fitness achieved before deploying and maintained during the tour paid considerable dividends. It was a bonus that in the likes of LCpl Faram and Troopers Van-Wyk, Batikaikai and Nawari, we had the heavy muscle which would not have embarrassed a professional pack of rugby forwards. ARF tasks varied widely. They included support to Special Forces operations, key point clearance for logistic convoys, overflight escort for movement of diplomats and response to attacks against British patrols. The latter was the most demanding especially when British forces had suffered casualties or fatalities, and it was a particular credit to 2 Troop for the manner in which they responded to the fatal attack against an Irish Guards vehicle escorting a logistic convoy. In this incident and in harrowing circumstances, the performance and professionalism of every soldier was exemplary and resulted in specific recognition for SCpl Newton in the form of one of the three GOC’s Commendations the Squadron received over the tour. The second element of the nine-day rotation was pre-planned helicopter missions. This directly supported the work of the rest of the KRH BG in developing security on the border, a task from the time the Squadron and BG had spent in Maysan, but with an increased focus on the border/crossing points near Basra. The integrity of the border was key for both security and economic reasons. It
A Sqn as the Bde ARF on the Iranian border.
was highly likely that many of the munitions being used by insurgents to launch roadside and rocket attacks against the British were being smuggled into Basra from Iran. Interdicting this supply line was crucial and we were to build relations with the main border crossing point. There were regular visits to the border fort, in large part facilitated by Lieutenant RTH Ayton LG as the stand-in staff officer responsible for developing Iraqi Ports of Entry, a role which was to bear fruit in the latter months of the tour as we took on that task along the Kuwaiti border. In August when much of the Squadron was fully committed to the ARF, the wider talents and skills of members of the Squadron were playing key roles in other areas. Our snipers, LCoH Harrison, LCoH Smith and LCpl Bateman, were fully committed to operations in Basra supporting the defence of the PJCC. Subject to almost daily direct and indirect attack, the defence was one of the most crucial Brigade operations of the tour. The snipers spent much of August at the PJCC; admittedly, LCoH Smith 67 had to collar the Brigade Commander personally to secure a helicopter ride into the city before closure of the PJCC, but he made it eventually! They undoubtedly played a vital role in the security of the centre coordinating joint security action between the British and Iraqi forces in the city. Without a secure PJCC, the pace of change that allowed the handover of the security situation could not have been achieved. LCoH Harrison received specific recognition of his contribution and became the second member of the Squadron to be awarded a GOC’s Commendation. The Squadron also contributed significantly by providing Forward Air Controllers (FACs) to the Brigade. At one point, we held 50% of the whole Brigade capability; LCsoH Abbott and Smith 67. Both had done well in Maysan and were to continue to do so for the remainder of the tour both with other units and within
the Brigade operations centre. HCR FACs supported all major operations over the period British forces extracted from Basra and subsequently during surge operations on the Iranian border to interdict weapon smuggling routes. They were exemplary Regimental ambassadors. Always in demand, having to balance the FAC role with being Squadron vehicle commanders, theirs was a demanding tour which received formal recognition in LCoH Abbott’s GOC’s Commendation and informal recognition in that both are due to accompany the Brigade Tactical Air Controllers on exercises to America over the summer of 2008, a well earned perk. Throughout August, the accommodation with the JAM in Basra that had allowed extraction of forces from the city had yet to take effect. The number of attacks on the COB remained high. The impact of these daily attacks should not be underestimated, as soldiers remained on high alert, reacting to the attack alarms instinctively and ensuring they carried out fully drills designed to protect them. Thankfully, despite some close calls, we were to suffer no further battle casualties, and it was with a mixture of anticipation and some relief that we received news that at the end of August we would be moving into a third phase of the tour and to a new base. On 1st of September, we finished our affiliation to the KRH BG and moved under command of 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery (1RHA) who had the role of Borders South BG. We also changed location. Over a period of a week, we moved from Basra COB to the UK base location in Umm Qasr Port. Umm Qasr is in the south western corner of Iraq on the border with Kuwait. It is an un-noteworthy town with the air of being at the end of the line. It would be insignificant in the overall picture save for the fact that it is Iraq’s only deepwater port. It was, therefore, highly significant economically and militarily. Its
Household Cavalry Regiment
significance became obvious to us when it was specifically mentioned during the new Prime Minister’s first speech to the House of Commons on Iraq. The port was the most effective route for movement of reconstruction aid and military equipment into Iraq. It was also key to extraction of forces via a southern route should it be necessary. It was therefore a ‘jewel in the crown’ and it fell to A Squadron to ensure the security and integrity of the port and the surrounding area. Ensuring and developing security in the region was a major task for a Squadron with only 85 soldiers and officers and nine MASTIFF vehicles. The move did mean, however, that we had a base location to ourselves. A former port office complex, the base was within metres of the dockside. Its perimeter measured only 500m but it met all our meagre requirements and, as soon as we had assumed command, the SCM, WO2 Foster, and the two Squadron engineers, SSgt Gurung and LSgt Gurung, set about the place with a vengeance to bring it to the high standards expected of an HCR subunit. Security was re-vamped as were the operations room and welfare facilities. Two significant benefits were that the base was not to be subjected to indirect fire attack for the remainder of our tour and that its isolated location meant all high ranking visitors had to arrive by helicopter about which we were warned, although the RAF did on occasion test this when unannounced arrivals were first noticed only when a descending helicopter passed low over the camp. The isolation of the location refers only to the distance from the remainder of British forces. By the end of September, Umm Qasr was the only major location outside Basra COB, a fact not widely acknowledged by the British press. In terms of interaction with Iraqi people and Iraqi local government organisations, the base was far from isolated. Our level of activity over the period from September to the end of November was, if anything, greater than that in the COB. Daily patrols engaged in security tasks, escort tasks, liaison with and development of local government and liaison with US forces in the area. The pace of life was high, and the Squadron was frequently called upon to deploy fully on to the ground leaving only a skeleton staff headed by the Squadron 2IC, Captain The Marquis of Bowmont, who at one stage began to display symptoms of cabin fever, to ensure crucial communication links into the BG and the security of the base. We operated to ensure the integrity of convoys moving south into Kuwait, to stem attacks against the American base and to ensure the security of British
Household Cavalry Regiment
equipment moving into and being shipped out from the port itself. The two key towns of the area, Umm Qasr and Safwan, became extremely familiar to all soldiers. These towns had very different atmospheres and it was to the credit of all soldiers that they were able to read the situation on the ground impeccably to ensure their own safety but also the success of the mission. Hard aggressive actions had the potential to de-rail much of the slowly won gains that British forces had achieved, and it was with considerable restraint that troops suffered aggression, referred to as sporting stoning, without over-reaction. Tpr Dunne, one of the taller soldiers in the Squadron, had to suffer more than most as he stood literally head and shoulders above the other soldiers and as a result seemed to become a natural target. Notable also was the rapid way in which members of the Squadron became versed in the different types of ships and cranes that were operating in the port. As the resident force it fell to us to answer questions of detail on the activity in the port that would normally, and should, have fallen to economic advisors. Much reference was made to the Shipping Insurance Handbook being used by Lieutenant Bourne WG to study for resettlement exams and most of the Squadron became passable at describing tonnage and ‘stacks’. The three months in Umm Qasr also offered the Squadron the chance to entertain some lighter moments whether it was Tpr Onwubiko’s unbeaten record at Table Tennis or the semblance of normality that visits to the local American camp (Camp BUCCA) brought with access to wi-fi and coffee shops. This final part of the tour was an undoubted success. Measuring success on the tactical scale can be incredibly difficult, assessing increased security can best be done subjectively as can assessing the
Patrol transport home.
economic development of an area. It was clear, however, that at the end of the A Squadron tour in Umm Qasr, relations with local leaders had developed both in warmth and purpose and the actions of the Squadron to support economic and social development had paid dividends. It was with no small sense of relief that the final three Merlin helicopters lifted out from Umm Qasr across the candystripe of the Kuwaiti border on the first leg of the journey back home. The Squadron’s return was celebrated at the presentation of medals by Colonel Life Guards in early December and followed by a period of much deserved post operational tour leave. At the start of 2008, the Squadron is fully committed to individual courses and qualifications and preparing for the slow development of skills and training needed to prepare it for operations in Afghanistan in support of 11 Brigade in late 2009. Twelve members of the Squadron have volunteered to accompany D Squadron on their upcoming operational tour to Afghanistan. The remainder of the Squadron wish them God speed.
A WMIK mounted patrol sets off at last light.
B (Command & Support) Squadron hese reviews traditionally start by stating how busy we are. So I will move past that and say that our work-up for Iraq was not as bad as 2004. But what it lost (just) in compression it made up for in duration. All 11 months of it. In the meantime we have had a ringside seat on the developments in Basra – whilst the campaign has turned a corner in the South, indeed Iraq. On our watch, the British have finally moved out of Basra and ‘reconciliation’ has taken hold. Comparisons with the last tour are in the Guards Magazine and elsewhere in this journal. So, a long busy year, but here is a place to record some of the anecdotes and atmospherics that have made it memorable.
In August 2006, in a moment of weakness, 22 members of D Squadron raised an arm on a Sangin hillside in Afghanistan. They were volunteering for B Squadron’s bespoke tour as 1 Mechanised Brigade’s Recce Force in Iraq. It sounded interesting, different and challenging. Come forward to their return from leave on 3rd January, and they were reminded of their pledge as they found themselves joining the Surveillance-Reconnaissance Troop (back from Belize) at the start of the Iraq training pipe. So, we bounced through Heavy Goods Vehicle training and pre-operational (OPTAG) training as infantry in Norfolk, which included some serials amusingly similar to the previous tour. The minor aggro stays the same, only the official solution changes. We found ourselves at Lydd under the guidance of the Close Observation instructors for a fast and furious recce work-up. And the sun shone all the way through April, which made it all very pleasant. Apart from thrice weekly PT at 6 a.m. on the unforgiving shingle. And being too busy to visit the local pubs in the Romney Marsh. We had adopted the Chindit approach – rather than take the best from the whole regiment and leave the other squadrons with nothing, we had taken a few good men and told them that, owing to the job and the threat in Basra, the standard was higher, and that they were expected to meet it. All rose to the challenge, and almost invariably those who failed were from honest injury rather than lack of moral fibre. We congratulate the 4 JNCOs who received coveted instructor passes. After a week of acclimatisation in Kuwait, we arrived in Basra airport (the ‘COB’). As we arrived, the outgoing Brigade managed to kill the military
B Squadron SNCO: WO2 Hemming, SCpl Davidson, WO2 Hitchings, SCpl Adams and CoH Goodwin.
leader of the Jaysh al Mahdi in a shootout whilst he resisted arrest; the cycle of violence increased by a notch. The Brits ran arrest operations in retaliation for rocketing or roadside bombs, which resulted in increased enthusiasm in the locals to attack us. Throughout this phase, members of the Squadron were either busy in the Permanent Joint Coordination Centre (PJCC) in central Basra, or waiting in the Basra Palace for rare opportunities to go out the gate on task. Both locations were effectively under siege, but the boys stuck to their posts. Those on the COB also did their duty, as we took a steady drizzle of rockets (over 500). Norwegian Lines had already received a large rocket in the Corporal Major’s (empty) bedspace days before we arrived. It did not explode, but is still there, buried deep. When the infrastructure people wanted, without so much as a ‘by your leave’, to redevelop our camp into a car park, the author was particularly amused to receive a suitably stiff email thanking him for pointing out this inconvenient ordnance. Having sat (slept?) through the bombardment, we finally, at the middle of the tour and as the rocketing tailed off, received an upgrade to our protective earth walls. The next day we accidentally discovered that we were to move barracks immediately as our improved protection was suddenly deemed insufficient. Weeks if not days were mentioned to move the whole camp.
As this article was first drafted 3 months later, we still waited the official move. In the meantime, like TELIC 4, we have started in comfortable billets and ended aggressive military camping in a split site, living in sandbagged bed-spaces in tents, but still working out of the old ops room. Our stay was made bearable by the hospitality of the Irish Guards and then of 1 SCOTS. One of the many experts involved in dictating this move took umbrage that his pet subject was being given insufficient importance. One of his underlings was dispatched to find fault with the ammo store. Alas, the SCM had been awarded ‘best ammo bunker in theatre’ only weeks before. So whilst the unsightly earthworks might have been crumbling, no fault could be found. Tpr Rowlands impressed with his timely and accurate observations. Having accidentally woken up CoH Goodwin (who had just returned at dawn from an operation), he woke him again 10 minutes later to tell him he should not have been disturbed the first time. LCoH Ridge used up numerous lives with explosions, rolled vehicles, near misses from snipers and an explosively formed metal slug passing between his legs. For the record, he is still smiling. LCpl Bennett and Tpr Leach had a similar close call, catching on video an ex-
Household Cavalry Regiment
ploding roadside bomb. And LCpl Bennett (again) was flying as an observer in a Sea King helicopter which lost all electrics and had to make an emergency landing. Others managed several hundred hours in helicopters. Tpr Collinson was last seen navigating a helicopter over the city every night, even though he hasn’t yet passed his Map Reading test. The aircrews, in sporting fashion, tried to obtain flying pay for these gallant observers, but to no avail. LCoH Quickfall did however manage to acquire a jump suit complete with badges when flying with the USAF. Tpr (now LCpl) Gray became an honorary croupier having flown with the Reno, Nevada Air National Guard. Others flew in Nimrod, returning with tales of the privations of Qatar. Our congratulations go to LSgt Young, who earned a GOC’s commendation for his work on adapting the sights on BULLDOG (up-armoured FV432 in oldspeak) for our own nefarious purposes. We worked with the No1 Squadron RAF Regiment, whose squadron commander observed that our last collaboration was probably in 1941 in the relief of Habbaniyyah. A dip into the history of 1HCR also reveals familiar sounding problems with water obstacle crossings, and another Regimental diversion to Taji, north of Baghdad. The author had the unusual experience of visiting there the Iraqi-run reconnaissance school, shared with their reformed secret police, to see how they did ‘recce’.
We were suitably grateful for the prompt medical support to Tpr Faulkner. Foolish enough to stand next to LCoH Ridge in the PJCC, he was seriously wounded, but has since made a complete recovery. All we know is that the morphine needle is bigger than you might think, and hurts! LCpl Bradbury survived a rolling landrover (along with Tpr Faulkner and LCoH Ridge) but with a broken wrist. 5 weeks of Health-and-Safety mandated driver training did not prevent the accident whilst driving covertly on blackout at night; but 20 minutes of critical instruction and strict discipline meant that all were belted up or ducked in time. LCpl Bradbury also made a complete recovery and returned to theatre to play his part in the second half of the tour. A sizeable part of the squadron were loaned to the Australians. There have been no requests to transfer, but the sweatbox diet of Basra was replaced by onion rings and ice-cream-with-everything, at the shared American base at Tallil. Captain Crosthwaite-Eyre found himself charming not just the Aussies, but the American Airborne, US Navy, US Air Force and the Romanian Army. All in a day’s work. His real job was mentoring the Iraqi Army, who are now moulded in his image. We requested some large video screens to watch some of the downlinks from these various surveillance and reconnaissance platforms - bread and butter for us, as opposed to nice-to-have for others. However, we seemed to end up at the back of the queue. When submitting a reason
why we should receive some, SCpl Davidson argued because the Royal Welsh have them. To which the Quartermaster replied, ‘Ah-ha, you really are keeping up with the Joneses’. The heat was mostly bearable – certainly we had no real heat casualties. The weather finally eased in October, and fell off a cliff in November. In the final week, night temperatures dropped from the low ‘teens to 2 degrees above freezing in the space of a few days. A bit of a change from 55 degrees, staying at 36 at night, for the first 4 months! The Prime Minister came to visit. Some of the Squadron briefed him. It was a momentous week of ‘will he, won’t he call an election’, of which the trip to Basra may have been a part. Our otherwise low-key PR approach was relaxed for Remembrance Sunday, where we joined on parade the Irish Guards, ever the gracious hosts. It was a fine excuse to put on berets and blue-red-blue flashes for once on the tour. We promptly appeared on the BBC website, interleaved with the Cenotaph. Towards the very end of the tour we held our own act of remembrance at the memorial wall just outside Divisional Headquarters. The format was similar to that of Cavalry Sunday up in the desert 3 years before. Alas, A Squadron could not join us from Umm Qasr port, but a wreath was laid on behalf of all, for those comrades killed on operations, both on TELIC 1 and in Afghanistan.
Op BLACK VIPER. Standing L to R: Medic, LCoH Quickfall, Capt Nicoll, LCoH Woodgate, LCpl Bennett, LCpl Butchard. Front row: LCpl Parry, LCpl McCann, LCpl Loftus, LCpl Haywood.
Household Cavalry Regiment
And so we returned in time for a medals parade, taken by Colonel The Life Guards, with GOC 3(UK)Div, Major General B W B White-Spunner, formerly RHG/D, also attending. A fine if crisp day, followed by a march to the garrison church for a heartfelt service of thanksgiving, and lunch in the WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess. It was well attended by the families, but then the day was as much for them as for the squadrons. And so we went on leave, tired but happy. We say goodbye to Captains A R Tate LG and J E A de St John-Pryce RHG/D and Lieutenant C T Meredith-Hardy LG, all off to Knightsbridge. We also salute Captain M J V Nicoll LG, WO2 (SCM) Hemming and SCpl Davidson for volunteering to bounce straight off to Afghanistan, and to SCpl (now WO2(SCM)) Hitchings who is moulding the next generation for HERRICK in his own image, supported by LCoH Wolfenden and Tpr Sedgewick. Captain D L O Crosthwaite-Eyre RHG/D finished not just the tour but his military career to be a househusband in Dorset. And Lieutenant R R Smith LG successfully completed his transfer into the Regiment. The depth of experience now in the Squadron, reflected in the disproportionate quantity and quality of the junior
Capt Tate lays a wreath at the Squadron Remembrance Parade.
NCOs, has shone through; their operational experience should stand them in good stead for the rest of their careers. We were supported throughout by welfare packages from the Holy Trinity Primary School in Liverpool, and Ms Shirley Elliott and her Ladies’ Club in Essex. Their thoughtfulness and gen-
erosity, before it became fashionable in the press, were most welcome. Finally, we thank our families for their support and forbearance throughout. For all the political football that is the argument about public support, it is the support from home which has really made a difference to us.
Meeting the locals.
Household Cavalry Regiment
C Squadron he past 12 months have been a testing time for C Squadron as it has grown in size to rise to the challenges of operations. The Squadron was initially training for Op TELIC 10 (Iraq), however switched with A Squadron rather late in the day in March. This was generally well received, not only because the challenge was more appealing, but more importantly, it gave a small and growing Squadron more time to build its strength. The Squadron Leader was extended in post for continuity having initially been warned that he would be short toured to allow his replacement time to bed in. It is comforting to know that even Squadron Leaders get short notice postings and also last minute reprieves! This gave us a brief respite prior to very intensive pre-deployment training.
Before focusing our efforts on training for Op HERRICK 7 (Afghanistan), we had to cover an enemy commitment on Thetford training area for units deploying to Iraq. Some individuals took the challenge to the extreme putting previous TELIC experience to good effect to provide very realistic enemy activity. Others, LCoH Bodycoat and LCpl Priv-
ett to name two, proved adept at borrowing equipment from UK patrols during the market place public disturbance serial, as well as proving worthy adversaries during riot practices. In one such, LCoH Walsh managed to set himself alight while playing the petrol bomber. Lieutenant C T Meredith-Hardy LG tried to demonstrate “sneaky beaky” skills by infiltrating the local US Air Force base bar pretending he was an American. Tpr Messias came to the rescue and ensured a hasty retreat prior to compromise. Lieutenant Meredith-Hardy (‘Woody’) was then sent on the Close Observation course and deployed instead with B Squadron to Iraq. Dismounted training in Long Valley followed brought to life by SCpl “sizzler” Fry with scenarios based on his experiences in Helmand Province. The first three days involved low-level dismounted training and general field craft, a useful reminder for all but particularly pertinent for those recent arrivals, mostly from the Mounted Regiment. There followed a 36 hour final exercise. We worked out of a mock patrol base with its own field kitchen which provided excel-
Finding some shade.
Household Cavalry Regiment
lent service. We were all tested, especially LCpl Ashford REME, who had to take control after the hierarchy of his fighting patrol was wiped out. We then focused on completing of mandatory training (MATTs), deploying as a Squadron to Wyke Regis, near Weymouth. The ground didn’t lend itself to completing the Combat and Personal Fitness Tests which had to be done another time, much to the delight of Lieutenant C E B Dale LG. Wyke Regis was ideal, away in a pleasant environment, and we concentrated solely on bringing everybody up to speed on the essentials. We also had the opportunity to enjoy the delights of Weymouth, Cornet R P WalkerOkeover RHG/D taking the lead on liaison with the locals. The Squadron sponsored a B3 Gunnery course run in tandem with the OPTAG (Operational Training and Advisory Group) briefing week. We eventually reunited at Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire for three weeks of firing. The first week, planned and run by CoH Ireland, concentrated on dismounted field firing, including team and inter-troop
Crossing the Red Desert in Southern Helmand.
Everybody's favourite pastime.
C Sqn in formation.
Hear no evil.
CoH Stevens backbriefing Maj Bedford with 2Lt Gordon-Dean.
Tprs Rayner and Reddyhoff, CoH Goater, LCoH Sentence and Tpr Clarke.
O Group in Southern Helmand.
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skills competitions with a march and shoot. Support Troop furthered dismounted skills while the Scimitar troops fired live. In a live fire exercise, a locked gate proved a challenge, but did not delay the Squadron’s strike from going ahead on time. We held a sea side barbecue which included prize giving and entertainment by way of a demonstration by CoH Lewis of the Pinzgauer’s limited cross country capability on sandy Welsh beaches. Field firing in Lydd & Hythe was followed by a well deserved long weekend. Next, to Thetford for the live firing exercise. Although not a complete waste of time, it would have been so much better if properly resourced. Frustrations were lack of suitable real estate, lack of armoured reconnaissance experience in OPTAG and limited resources and exercise serials, which we had to share with A Squadron Queen’s Royal Lancers, already off the tour. Our SOP of digging shell scrapes was soon dropped due to regularly uncovering unexploded ordnance! Concurrently, LSgt Smith RE led an eight man AA search team on a demanding course where they did very well. With no rest for the wicked, we deployed straight to Salisbury Plain for the mission rehearsal exercise – for some “the straw that broke the camel’s back”. It included an epic road move from the Plain to Sennybridge in Wales and back. The “lean line” equipment care process was trialled and met with mixed reviews. The lack of suitably trained CVR(T) mechanics made it emotional for many. We then returned vehicles to Windsor and redeployed 36 hours later to the Com-
Capt Gannon RIH liasing with locals.
bined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) in Warminster. The Squadron Leader was falsely accused of force marching the Squadron back from CATT to Knook Camp every day - except for one occasion, the march was voluntary! A few individuals (obviously not including Squadron Leader, 2IC or SCM) were accused of taking others’ vehicles to fire a few rounds to make the most of a rather dull experience.
Moving up the Rud y Farrad Wadi.
Household Cavalry Regiment
After a swift ‘roll-back’ came the joys of another equipment care inspection. Some lucky few avoided this by being deployed to Otterburn for a combined arms live fire exercise. The SCM made everyone aware of Newcastle’s best nightspots. No major incidents were recorded, although LCpl Blake was spotted holding hands with a female! We then finally enjoyed a very well deserved summer leave immediately after which we deployed on
Ex KUSH HUNTING on Salisbury Plain to confirm the manoeuvre limitations of MASTIFF, the Army’s newly acquired protected infantry vehicle. There has been much turbulence, with many new faces, and a number of not so new having moved on. Late arrivals, including Captain R A E Leigh-Wood RHG/D (Support Troop Leader) and others, had to attend a tedious training period in Chilwell. Others had to do pre-deployment training in Germany. Despite a lengthy trip, the local refreshments made it worthwhile, although LCoH Young may have aged somewhat during it all! Some late arrivals attended ranges with the Light Dragoons at Castlemartin increasing the number of those qualified at annual crew test level and bringing the Squadron to an acceptable level. Some attended ‘survival’ Pashtu language courses, as well as successfully completing the modern language aptitude test, albeit too late for the long course. Tpr Camaibau’s and many of the Fijians’ ability to communicate in Urdu would pay dividends out in Afghanistan. Individuals have completed many other courses, some career, but most theatre specific. We built up skills including sniper and Forward Air Controller (FAC) qualifications. LCoH Horton qualified as our second FAC just before deploying. CoH Newell can be credited for ensuring that everybody had at least Map Reading 2. Three new crew commanders qualified at the last moment; LCsoH Nicol, Queen and Bassett, filling essential slots. Congratulations to Captain L O D McCallum RHG/D and Tprs Greene and Murphy for passing P Company in a brief window in our training programme. CoH Ireland deployed at very short notice to backfill a FAC vacancy with 1 Royal Anglians. Captain Russell’s Recce Group, including snipers and the anti-tank platoon from the Coldstream Guards, was briefly attached, but as expected, was re-tasked here, there and everywhere once in theatre. The Squadron Leader conducted a last minute, but particularly useful, recce to Afghanistan which he had not managed previously, deploying straight into the desert to B Squadron Light Dragoons and the Regiment’s advance party. The problem with helicopter availability soon became apparent as he was lifted three days later than anticipated and only just in time to catch a connecting flight back to Kandahar. The realities of the campaign became clear as he flew out in an aircraft full of ammunition and returned with a number of compassionate cases and the bodies of British soldiers recently killed in action - a salutary re-
minder of the realities of the environment the Squadron would be deploying into. The Squadron started deploying early, with the 2IC, CoH Salmon, Sgt Journeaux and Sgt Carpenter amongst others taking the lead. We bade farewell to SSgt Yarborough and welcomed as his replacement SSgt Hopkins at the last safe moment. We deployed at just under 120 (not including the Coldstreamers) in two waves. Lieutenant ‘Chin’ Dale arrived a week late and was “volunteered” for the attack dog demonstration, providing much hilarity as the ravenous Alsatian bit his rear end through a well protected suit, so no permanent damage! Usual frustrations of a handover were compounded by constant changes to accommodation resolved as we left for our first mission. We eventually took over the Danish lines, since renamed Cavalry Crescent (Palmyra and Kassassin Lines having been turned down by popular vote). Unfortunately, the Danes didn’t leave their sauna and female medics behind! We manned four Scimitar troops and a Support Troop with five cars (each armed with Javelin anti-tank missiles). Support Troop included the all arms search team, two snipers and a Royal Engineers CVR(T). This allowed us always to field three gun troops and a four vehicle support troop, particularly when mid-tour R&R kicked in. The Squadron deployed in what were originally termed Mobile Operations Groups (MOGs) and more recently Combat Teams. Missions have so far ranged in duration between three and six weeks, mission dependent, and have seen the Squadron cover much of Helmand Province. We have benefited from new equipment both for vehicles and individuals, including the new air cooling system ingeniously modified by CoH Salmon for keeping water cool as well. That said, night time temperatures started dropping soon after our arrival, and then, so did daytime temperatures. We have operated in all types of desert terrain and weather conditions ranging from very hot and dusty to very wet and cold, including snow – a particular challenge for attached B vehicles. Vehicle availability has seen almost everybody throwing their teddies in the corner at some stage. ØC, the command vehicle with the 2IC and CoH Salmon, spent most of the first MOG on top of a low loader, during which time we had our first contact and first CASEVAC: “Monty”, our search dog, which had mistakenly consumed plastic explosive during training in the field! LSgt Edwards (RAMC), our Medic (not vet qualified) provided emergency life saving, for
which she was commended, saving the dog’s life. The CASEVAC unfortunately meant the helicopter to extract LCpl Cassidy to depart on paternity leave was delayed yet again! The Squadron has worked with many other units, including Scots and Coldstream Guards, and the Afghan National Army (ANA). The latter are becoming progressively more competent although they still have some way to go. One incident had the Squadron assisting in the evacuation of an ANA SSgt allegedly possessed by a ghost – marijuana or post traumatic stress disorder more like! Another saw us having to shunt ANA vehicles forward as they all miraculously broke down driving past their accommodation during poor weather. LCpl Davies had to jump into the Musa Qa’leh river to assist a broken down ANA vehicle, much to the hilarity of the Afghans who just watched from the side, and his Troop Leader, Cornet G V Wellesley, as he later “chuntered” on about wet boots. Our integral RE, as well as those bomb disposal (EOD) teams attached on an ad hoc basis, have proved their worth numerous times, with LSgt Hunt RE regularly taking the lead and making some significant finds. The Squadron has seen a number of new arrivals including; Captain M Gannon RIH (QOY) (Squadron Intelligence Officer), SSgt Hopkins REME, 2nd Lieutenant R J Gordon Deane LG, who deployed immediately on completion of the Troop Leaders’ course (he was later renamed “Chin Mk 2” as he was the second Squadron officer to miss his flight back from R&R). Cornet Wellesley, arriving in December, took over 1 Troop from Lieutenant Dale, getting stuck in immediately and having a slightly bumpy start. A further six soldiers from the Royal Yeomanry joined us, namely; LCpls Sesay, Denman, Dunsby and Boulton, and Tprs Exeter and Honeysett. LCpls Blake and Cassidy recently rejoined after stints in the outside world. SCpl Fry who had been instrumental in getting the Squadron ready not only as an advisor during training but also in ensuring that we deployed with the best available kit, was unable to deploy. CoH Anderson was promoted and took over as SQMC just prior to deploying. Both Troopers Josiah and Mann have been promoted in the field. The Squadron bids farewell to a number of individuals: Lieutenants T Mundawarara, C T Meredith-Hardy and C E B Dale all LG to HCMR, CoH Ireland, Sgt McGowen, SSgt Yarborough, LCoH Hession, LCpls Ashaa, Fourie and Jones and Tprs Messias and Cox to A, B and D Squadrons.
Household Cavalry Regiment
D Squadron he Squadron returned to work in January following a prolonged two month period of post operational tour leave coupled with Christmas leave and our entitlement to R&R that we could not take during Op HERRICK 4 in Afghanistan. Arriving for first parade, it was immediately evident that D Squadron had been decimated by postings and backfill to B Squadron for their impending tour to Iraq: twenty-six bold volunteers had moved across to undertake the challenges of the Close Observation Training Advisory Team (COTAT) course and subsequently deployed to Iraq in very short order following the course’s end. We wished them every success and hoped for their safe return. Replacing them and those who had been posted were all those personnel non-deployable to either theatre for numerous reasons, many with medical or mental issues or due out of the Army having opted to move on to civilian life.
The early part of the year was taken up with managing these unfortunate soldiers; however, we managed to persuade most of those who had signed off to sign back on, testament to the strong sense of teamwork and personal care still existing in the Squadron. The focus for the immediate future fell into three categories: the organisation of ‘A’ vehicle handovers; fitting and training on the new BOWMAN radios; and career courses. The first two proved particularly difficult due to their order; however, with typical determination and an intense work ethic displayed by all, work progressed well.
Escorting the Guidon on the Pageant.
The Bowmanisation Team was unable to run a full package for us due to shortage of time and resources and so a short, tailored programme gave us foundations to build on and we continue to do so. By the end of May, the Squadron had refurbished, cleaned and nurtured some 57 ‘A’ vehicles to different places (including their own fleet back from Op HERRICK 6 following three and a half months on a boat!) with a manpower strength of only 60, most of whom could not work on the tank park. Much credit goes to SSgt ‘Stiffler’ Wright REME, his section and those Corporals of Horse who smashed in the hours with their limited manpower. The Ashchurch Bowmanisation Team receiving these vehicles expressed extreme surprise at the high standards achieved by so few in such a short space of time.
Castlemartin for Annual Firing Oct - Nov 2007.
Household Cavalry Regiment
In order to blow the cobwebs off our basic military dismounted skills, WO2 (SCM) Goodall RHG/D organised a Squadron mandatory skills training week, Thetford training area. We could then start to train junior members of the Squadron who had started arriving from Phase 2 training and HCMR for the build up to pre-deployment training for Op HERRICK 8 in 2008. Enjoyable dismounted ranges, patrols lane battle simulation and good weather ensured a really worthwhile package. The realisation that WO1 A Panter RHG/D (now retired) owned a public house not too far from camp also ensured a relaxing and entertaining week benefited all. Tpr Stokes LG showed everyone his singing and drama skills following a pint of shandy that would warrant a place in next year’s X-Factor final!
As a reward for hard work, the Squadron Leader organised and led an adventure training package to the Slovak Republic. This included essential cultural awareness stops in Prague (Czech Republic), Krakow (Poland) and Amsterdam (Netherlands). LCpl Oakes LG managed to take an impromptu cultural tour of his own to the Slovak capital Bratislava after falling asleep in a taxi some 150 miles away, proving a costly mistake! Sixteen personnel deployed and conducted canoeing, white water rafting, climbing, paragliding, hill walking, horse riding and a battlefield tour of Auschwitz. LCsoH Scott and Cox both RHG/D and Sgt Matea REME developed an unhealthy appetite for ‘Borovicka’, a liqueur you could probably run your car on! A superb three weeks were enjoyed by all, with Cfn Knight REME sustaining hilarious superficial injuries daily and the emergence of LCpl (Errol the Hamster) Bowers AGC as a prolific Amsterdam window shopper. He leaves the Army in early 2008 and has already applied to Dutch Vision’s Technician School to qualify as a local window licker (I mean cleaner)! We next provided the armoured element to the fabulous Household Cavalry Pageant on Horse Guards in early June. The CVR(T) were driven to London for rehearsals, were cheered through the streets of Kensington and Knightsbridge and looked immaculate on the parade. CoH Park RHG/D could have been left red faced had it rained after painting all the vehicles with soluble paint! It proved a marvellous occasion and, to cap the day, D Squadron soldiers sold out the remaining tickets to the public in a matter of minutes and collected over £8,000 from generous attendees and the public for the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. In early June, an announcement was made that both Lieutenant Charlie
Church RHG/D (now in Iraq with A Squadron) and LCpl Hamnett RAMC had been awarded extremely well deserved Joint Commander’s Commendations for their work on Op HERRICK 4. They had not been included in the awards following the tour due to changeover of Battle Groups (BG) and submission dates of the citations which had to be given to 42 Commando instead of 3 PARA who had already left theatre. Their awards are thoroughly deserved and many congratulations to both of them. Another notable achievement was the winning of World Rowing Championship Bronze Medals by Lieutenant Robin Bourne-Taylor LG and Captain Al Heathcote RHG/D in Munich. Both are in the British Olympic eight and we wish them the best of luck in their quest for gold in Beijing in the summer. It was with mixed emotion that D Squadron said goodbye to two more key personnel, Captain Al Galloway LG, the Squadron 2IC, and WO2 (SCM) D Goodall RHG/D, who moved on to civilian life and CGS’s Briefing Team respectively. Mixed emotion because input to Squadron life would be greatly missed, but we were happy to see the back of Captain Galloway’s extremely sweaty upper lip and appalling dress sense and SCM Goodall’s excessive gurning! With leave fast approaching, some of the Squadron deployed on Ex EAGLE’S EYE with 2 PARA BG to validate the Airborne Task Force (ABTF) role. This saw us re-qualifying our parachutists (including a reluctant SCpl (SQMC) Hoggarth LG who would have smoked twenty cigarettes in his nine second descent given the chance) and qualifying Rigger Marshallers, Landing Point Commanders and Helicopter Handling Instructors. It also saw Leutnant Phillip Violin of a German Reconnaissance Regiment attached for a week. He enjoyed the opportunity to jump with British
LSgt Matea REME, LCoH Preston RHG/D and Sgt Hocking REME enjoy a break during hillwalking.
LCpl Dave (nails) Oakes LG on the high wire confidence course in the Tatra Mountains Slovakia.
parachute forces before getting on a horse at HCMR to experience all we had to offer as a Regiment. I think it safe to say he had the most diverse visit of all those German Officers attached to the British Army at the time. 2 PARA and 5 SCOTS also managed some Tactical Air Landing Operations, supported by D Squadron CVR(T) from C130s out of RAF Lyneham. Validation awarded, there followed a battle for Copehill Down Village with significant losses taken on both sides. Just prior to leave the Squadron conducted a fantastic water skiing day and party firstly at Thorpe Water Ski Park and subsequently back in the NAAFI and bars of Windsor. Only minor injuries were sustained during the water skiing, although the Tiffy did manage to break a rib and another member of the Squadron dislocated some fingers after falling at speed from a large rubber sausage! Leave was taken for almost all of August with the knowledge that on return, we would commence pre-deployment training in earnest with a dramatic
Maj W Bartle-Jones RHGD (Sqn Ldr) chases down Cfn Hemmingway REME and LCpl Scott RHG/D .
Household Cavalry Regiment
uplift in manpower. Each troop found itself with a Troop Leader, less Javelin Troop who had other problems to worry about! The new Squadron 2IC, Captain J Mann RHG/D, and new SCM, WO2 D Hitchings LG, arrived back from Iraq and, after a short period of leave, were thrown into the lion’s den of pre-deployment training. It was quickly evident that they were the missing link in the Squadron jigsaw as they made a significant impact on morale and cohesion, essential at that time. We ran another MATTS package to sweep up all those in the Regiment deploying to Afghanistan in Penally, South Wales. C Squadron personnel found their sense of humour and thoroughly enjoyed their week attached to us. On return, we engaged in a full evening of go-karting, which saw the team of road hogs lead by LCoH Harris RHG/D and CoH McWhirter RHG/D lift the trophy. Many were also surprised at the bully boy tactics employed by the Squadron Leader and Cornet W A P Wales RHG/D which saw them blackflagged from the track for dangerous driving! Essential courses, equipment care inspections (passed with a green) and the deployment of the rest of the Regiment successfully flashed by whilst we organised numerous training opportunities before heading to Castlemartin to conduct annual firing. With almost 90% crew turbulence since the previous firing in early 2006 and the relative lack of experience in the Troops, the Squadron performed exceptionally well with a 88% first time pass of Annual crew Test and similar at ASA, higher than many Squadrons had achieved previously. Lieutenant WAP Wales, LCpl Ross and Tpr Hendy all RHG/D, won the Hearson Trophy for best crew and were awarded commemorative silver dragons for their achievements. Highlights of ‘Dick of the Day’ were Lieutenant MF Gris LG for putting chocolate sauce on his roast potatoes and two members of 3 Troop dressed as a pantomime horse for blatant misdemeanours on the range. The SCM downed copious amounts of ‘Gunnery Juice’ but must remember in future to turn his wagon key to start the engine before attempting to move off! Brigade and BG Command and Staff Trainer exercises, instrument and small arms inspections, ranges, Afghan Immersion Training and the Squadron Leader’s recce to theatre all preceded the 5 SCOTS confirmatory exercise at Thetford, the culmination of the later part of the year’s training. The exercise was Afghan centric and allowed us to work alongside the BG we would be serving with. A mutual respect was certainly forged over the week although minor al-
Household Cavalry Regiment
Maj Bartle-Jones on his Recce waiting for breakfast.
tercations with naive and some what selfimportant OPTAG staff could have been avoided. Training value was limited due to the restrictions of the ground and appalling weather conditions that severely hampers communications with BOWMAN. Two Troops and elements of SHQ and the LAD deployed almost immediately back to Castlemartin to support 3 PARA’s combined arms live firing exercise (CALFEX) and improve their knowledge and experience of working with CVR(T), its firepower and surveillance capabilities. Prior to Christmas leave the Squadron NCOs, SNCOs and Officers attended a particularly healthy and boisterous Brick Hanging in the WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess. The Squadron Leader received yet more charitable donations for the Casualties Fund, for which we are all extremely grateful, and has apparently been approached by the 2012 Olympic Committee in conjunction with advice as to the opening ceremony firework display! We say goodbye to Lieutenant W Wales
RHG/D who moves to the RAF to conduct his helicopter pilot training and wish him well for the future. We look forward to the challenges of 2008, specifically the deployment back to Afghanistan in April and the safe return of C Squadron and RHQ from whom we take over. Finally, a mention should go to LCpl Martyn Compton LG and his fiancée Michelle Clifford for the continued speed and determination they have shown to get Martyn well following his harrowing experience on Op HERRICK 4 that left him with 71% burns and a gun shot wound to the leg. Martyn continues to make significant progress at Headley Court and through his operations at Broomsfield Hospital, Chelmsford. Martyn is due to marry Michelle on 12th July 2008, while the Squadron is deployed. We all wish them both every happiness and continued success during rehabilitation in the months and years to come.
Sgt Hocking REME attemping a paragliding landing at speed.
Operations - Afghanistan
Capts Williams and Brill relaxing in PB Delhi.
CO's Tac relaxing before another long trip though the desert.
Cornet Wales shares a joke.
Little and Large!! The Padre and Capt Yam.
Remembrance Sunday Service FOB Dwyer.
Household Cavalry Regiment
The weather was changeable!
Maj Lewis finds a new Trumpeter's horse in Kabul
CoH Marsh and RCM Pickford prepare to deploy into the Margow Desert.
CO HCR briefs the Brigade Commander.
LCoH James looks south over Taliban country as the sun goes down.
C Sqn at dusk.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Capt Leigh-Wood showing off his white teeth.
WO2 Gardner with the BG Engineer.
The Commanding Officer concerened someone else might get the chicken.
Cornet Wales ready to go.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Operations - Iraq
LCoH Quickfall in deep thought.
LCpl Dimbylow, Capt DeMarco (US ARMY),Capt Tate at Saddamâ€™s Bedrock Village, Baghdad.
LCpl Parry and LCoH Brown.
A and B Squadron Officers in the Contingency Operating Base, Basra.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Headquarters Squadron Quartermaster’s Department efore writing this article, I read last year’s to ensure I knew the start/finish time for the piece. It brought a smile to my face when I read ‘most articles in this journal will start with ‘it’s been a very busy and challenging year’. For the past 12 months that must be the biggest understatement I have ever seen written. It also doesn’t begin to let the reader know what all individuals and families have been through for the preparation for the Op tours recently carried out. Not only is it the tour itself, but it is all the pre-deployment briefings, exercises and firing packages to ensure that all are ready for deployment. To ensure this all goes well and to plan, the Quartermaster’s department is involved throughout.
The whole department has contributed this year with the deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. From CoH Oliver always being on the advance and rear parties to take over all accommodation whether it’s for a three week exercise or a range package, to ensure that with his contacts he can smooth over any problems or the extra numbers who always turn up. Lovely weather! The Sqn Ldr digging in.
With WO2 (RQMC) Chris Trinick and then with an untrained WO2 (RQMC) Sean McMullen, ably assisted by LCoH Lickfold, ordering and reordering ammunition for all range periods whether they be small arms ranges, field firing ranges now at our second home, Castlemartin ranges. These were always the first to arrive and the last to leave the range periods. We then have LCoH Stay, the clothing store NCO who has in the past year demanded and desert clothing and all the miscellaneous equipment that comes with the initial issue for A, B C, D Squadrons and 70 people in HQ Squadron. Not to name the last minute dot com individuals who arrive at the store saying ‘I’m off on tour, have you my clothing? By the way, I fly next week’. It’s a tribute to his hard work and effort that all individuals departed on tour with the correct clothing and equipment.
vember, is a great success. We now have 280 single man rooms, each containing its own tiled shower, wash basin, double bed, fitted wardrobe and connections for telephone and sky TV. Oh, I forgot to mention the shared common room and utility room. The common room has connections for Sky TV and two double sofas, with the utility room consisting of a two ring hob, microwave, washing machine and dryer. I can honestly say it was not like this when I was a trooper. At this moment I would like to thank Darren Fuller from Debut Services who, while the building work was in progress, became a helpful part of the Regiment. Not only did they sponsor the Regimental Ski Team, they also re-fitted the QM Tech’s exercise vehicle with table, shelves and a bed.
LCpl Halligan was the lucky one within the department because he was able to carry out all the required training and deploy with the Regimental Aid Post in September. No doubt he will have many a story or tale to tell on his safe return.
This is the point where I will mention LCoH Bond, who is the local works liaison JNCO. With the arrival of SLAM, his workload has at least doubled (so he tells me). However, he always tries his utmost to ensure he gets the best service he can for the Regiment and the individuals within it. The only downside to SLAM is that it merely highlights the funding required to improve the accommodation and conditions that our SNCOs to live in.
The new single soldier accommodation (SLAM), which was finished in late No-
Due to commitments, unfortunately, there was no pensioners’ Christmas
lunch, and with the arrival of a multi-activity contract this year, with Sodexho Ltd, we will have to wait and see if it can return this year. The boys’ Christmas lunch, on the other hand, did go ahead, with all who were sitting down entered into a free prize draw, with the star prize being a 32” flat screen TV. There was no food fight. It also helped that the SNCOs and Officers did not allow anything to stay on the table that could be used as a missile in the direct or indirect role. The prize draw itself brought jeers, boos and cheers; jeers, when the majority of prizes went to individuals who were serving on ops, boos, when The Band of The Life Guards seemed to be winning a good selection of the top prizes, and cheers when Tpr Hendy’s name was drawn, only to select an envelope that gave him a Fireman Sam’s outfit as his prize. The star prize was won by Tpr Davis–Moore. The department has said farewell to Captain Ben Harris, who moved from QM to QM(T), WO2 (RQMC) Trinick, to Manchester and Salford UOTC on promotion to WO1, and SCpl (Stan) Smith to civilian life, where we wish him and his family all the best in their future careers. The department welcomed WO2 Sean McMullen as RQMC.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Quartermaster (Technicals)’s Department t has been a busy start to the year with the spread of the Department over three theatres since last September. It was good to see the return from Camp Bastion of WO2 Chris Elliott, the stalwart of the Windsor Unit Spares Account (USA). Chris was promoted to WO2 during his tour, though Windsor will not see his expertise again as, after a small amount of post operational tour leave, he was to attend his RQMC’s course at Deepcut. All this, prior to taking over as RQMC(T) in BATUS. We all wish Chris and his family the best for the future!
January also saw the handover/takeover of the RQMC in Windsor, as WO2 Wayne Foster, who has recently returned with A Squadron from Iraq took over the post from the current RQMC, WO2 Ade Gardiner. There was another re-shuffle as SCpl Walker returned from HCMR and assumed the position as the ET G1098 Storeman. This allowed CoH Pettipher to take over the USA from the outgoing Elliott! So to say January was a busy month was an understatement!
The month also saw the return of Tpr O’Carroll from Afghanistan after a successful tour and the deployment of LCpl Jas Wharton forward, so the only real stability for the Department has been the Brox. LCpl Broxholme has been the bedrock of the Department during the period. Those of us who know him will understand that his size and stature allow him to take the weight of the Department easily!
of inspections and the return from and deployment to Op HERRICK of the sabres squadrons. With Whole Fleet Management and the arrival of Panther and the New Mann Support vehicles it will as always be another challenging year for the whole Department. Department Personalities:-
During February we supported D Squadron at Castlemartin Ranges as the crews undertook their final gunnery period before deploying to Afghanistan to replace C Squadron. Also that month saw the preparation in the Board Of Officers for the Handover of Commanding Officers in May. The Department now awaits the return of the QM(T), Maj Ben Harris from Afghanistan, where he has underpinned the technical support to 52 Brigade during the whole of Op HERRICK 7 at Camp Bastion. It will be another busy year as the Department readies itself for the next wave
QM(T) RQMC(T) G1098
Maj Harris (Op Herrick) WO2 Foster SCpl Walker
LCoH Johnson (Op Herrick) LCoH Davies
CoH Pettipher LCpl Broxholme LCpl Wharton (Op Herrick) Tpr O’Carroll Tpr O’Dell
Light Aid Detachment uring what has been another action packed and operationally focused 12 months, the LAD has found itself supporting and training with three different brigades and deployed in two operational theatres. In addition, the Regiment has embraced LEAN thinking and Whole Fleet Management (WFM), received GREEN grades in Equipment Care Inspections (ECI) and Logistic Support Inspections (LSI) and completed digitization of the CVR(T) fleet.
On the back of a busy collective training (CT) year, the LAD entered a hectic phase of Regimental and OPTAG (Operational Training and Advisory Group) led pre-deployment training (PDT) for deployment on Op TELIC 10. As well as the requisite training for operations in Maysaan came also the requirement to complete specific equipment courses and train up new members of the fitter sections as CVR(T) drivers and commanders. In addition, D Squadron’s CVR(T) fleet had only recently returned from a tough tour of Afghanistan and, under the guidance of SSgt Wright and Sgt Hocking, this equipment had to be rehabilitated for entry for BOWMANisation in short order, no mean feat given how hard the vehicles had been pushed on Op HERRICK 4.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Only A and B Squadrons would eventually deploy to Op TELIC 10, each taking with them their own chunk of the LAD. A Squadron deployed a fitter section under the command of Sgt Parkin, initially operating as an independent fitter section with the squadron in Maysaan but ultimately being pulled back and integrated into the Central Equipment Support Technical Area (CESTA) in the Contingency Operating Base (COB) in Basra. Having been Shemaghs to the wind and experienced the rigours of op-
erating in the Iraqi dessert during the peak of summer, one would have thought that some time in the rear would have been well received. However, the reality was quite different and what followed was a trying time for the fitter section, frustrated by the lack of promised adventure with only limited opportunity to utilise the trade and soldiering skills developed during PDT. B Squadron were conversely enjoying a thoroughly rewarding tour with LSgt Skinner providing intimate equipment support to the guys on
LEAN line at Windsor – Preparing the CVR(T)s fleet for Whole Fleet Management.
the ground and LSgt Young putting in a commendation winning show in the Brigade J2 (intelligence) cell. In and amongst all of this, the LAD also deployed Sgt Wright on a short notice trawl to head up the Metalsmith Section in the COB and Sgt Collins to Kosovo as IC NSC(K) LAD supporting Op OCULUS. Meanwhile, back in Windsor the Regiment was preparing the majority of the CVR(T) fleet for entry into WFM and C Squadron and RHQ were readying themselves for deployment to Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 7. Following the 52 Infantry Brigade mission rehearsal exercise, the Regiment conducted a comprehensive Roll Back utilising the LEAN planning principles currently being championed by the REME. A slick plan and determined execution led by HQ Squadron’s fitter section saw the Regiment successfully prepare the CVR(T) fleet, less one Squadron’s worth, for entry into WFM, a feat that many thought impossible in the given time. In September, the HCR Battle Group began deploying to Helmand. OC LAD, Capt Tolhurst, and Sgt Henderson took up positions in the Task Force Helmand (TFH) LAD and C Squadron fitter section, commanded by SSgt Hopkins and Sgt Journeaux deployed with their squadron. C Squadron initially deployed to the south of Helmand Province, in and around Garmsir, then switched fire to the north, playing a key role in the retaking and stabilisation of Musa Qa’leh. The fitter section remained on the ground throughout, only returning to Camp Bastion for planned inter-mission rehabilitations. CVR(T) proved notoriously unreliable and the fitter section worked incredibly hard with no respite to maintain the required levels of equipment availability and sustain
Sgt Journeaux commands the diesel variant, following the JP8 variant, during the Top Gear-esque CVR(T) fuel trial on Op HERRICK 7.
the required tempo of operations. During the course of the operation, HCR BG and TFH LAD were instrumental in developing REME operational doctrine, air dropping engines for the first time and in improving the reliability of the CVR(T), conducting trials to prompt the move back to operating on diesel and trialling environment mitigation measures, a concept initialled suggested by SSgt Wright in the D Squadron Op HERRICK 4 post operational report. During the course of Op HERRICK 7, A and B Squadrons returned from Iraq and D Squadron began OPTAG and PDT to take over from C Squadron on Op HERRICK 8. The rear party, headed up by the ASM, WO1 James, and the AQMS WO2 Bichard, were kept busy with equipment handovers between the squadrons. Not that the last year has been all work. In between the operational and training commitments, the LAD has managed to visit RMCS Shrivenham for a quick fa-
“Ah yes, very clear sir” – the EME’s plan for the WFM LEAN line someone hide the crayons in future!
miliarisation on some foreign and concept weapons and visited McLaren headquarters for an insight into the world of F1, including a celebrity spot of Lewis Hamilton, a random appearance in Professional Motor Mechanics magazine and also held a pre-HERRICK deployment party for LAD families and friends. The last 12 months have been incredibly busy, even by HCR standards, and it’s sometimes good to take stock and realise just how much has been achieved in a relatively short period of time. Here’s hoping for a quieter end to the year. The LAD have an Easter ski trip planned and the Regiment have planned some much needed down time for the summer of ‘08. However, with D Squadron due out to Afghanistan in Apr ‘08 and 1 Mechanized Brigade due to start their CT year soon after, there will be little time to tread water for what will be, with the ASM and OC moving on in May and August respectively and many old faces posted, a relatively new look LAD.
Draining possibly contaminated fuel during an inter-mission rehabilitation at Camp Bastion during Op HERRICK 7.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Warrant Officers’ and Non-Commissioned Officers’ Mess n New Year’s Eve we held a Mess Disco and danced the New Year in. A fabulous evening was experienced by those who attended. It was a well attended evening with Chinese and Indian take away being the food theme. Blossoms of Windsor and the Binoy made a mint from us that night, even after CoH Toon had done his utmost to barter for a reasonable price. This was the first evening function in the Mess for sometime due to operational deployments, and it was a good opportunity to catch up with members from A and B Squadrons following their safe return from Iraq.
January was also the time for the handover of the RCM as Sean Pickford left the post for civilian life. The Mess wishes Sean and his wife Justine all the best for their transition to civilian life and we will be looking forward to seeing them both back for his 22 year dining out in due course.
As we moved into February, plans were afoot for a St Valentine’s Day dinner and Disco with a romantic weekend away for the winners of the raffle. It was touch and go to see if the boiler for the Mess would be repaired in time for the event to go ahead, as otherwise it would have been a cold affair for members and their partners! However, with the boiler still u/s, it was decided to continue, so it was time to wrap up; the dinner was a success and LCpl Barden from the Dental Centre was the winner of the raffle. Life though remains quiet in the Mess with the deployment of the remainder of the Regiment to Afghanistan, though plans are in motion to get the Summer Ball and the return of Derby Day, to name a few major events, into the calendar for this year. The remainder of the Mess, though, reforms in May/June following a well deserved POTL Leave for C Sqn and RHQ.
D Squadron are currently rolling through their Operational Pre-deployment training, prior to another deployment to Afghanistan with 16 Air Assault Brigade in April. As a Mess we are looking forward to their safe return in October so that a Christmas Ball will, for the first time for sometime, encompass the whole of the Mess. The Senior Mess Members are: WO1 (RCM) A C Gardiner RHG/D, WO1 (ASM) M James REME, WO1 (BM) P Collis-Smith LG, WO2 (RQMC) S McMullen RHG/D, WO2 (RQMC(T)) W Foster RHG/D, WOs2 (SCM) W Brown LG, N Hemming RHG/D, J Lochrane RHG/D, D Hitching LG, J Reason RHG/D, WO2 (RSWO) Taylor LG, WO2 (AQMS) Bitchard REME, WO2 (RAOWO) C James AGC, WO2 (BCM) M Redman LG and WO2 (RCWO) A Heath RLC.
The Band of The Life Guards 007 seems to have been the busiest year to date. This has become a predictable statement but it is just as true this year as it no doubt will be next.
The Band returned from Christmas leave and spent two weeks of January providing musical support at the Royal Military School of Music (RMSM), Kneller Hall. The interaction encourages those musicians in phase two training and boosts band numbers to benefit the student bandmasters honing both their skills in conducting and in leading a marching band. At the beginning of February, most of the Corps of Army Music attended a dinner at Kneller Hall to mark the 150th anniversary of RMSM. Soon after, we were travelling to Germany to play our part in the medal parade for the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps just back from a tour of duty in Iraq. The success of the parade was worth the rehearsals in heavy snow. After the usual healthy dose of guards, including the Band’s first St James’s Palace Guard, we were able to take an early Easter week’s leave. The recruiting team flourished in March with an event in Richmond for which the Brass Quintet played. Shortly after came Viva Musica 2 in the Cadogan Hall in London where hand picked musicians from all Household Division bands entertained several hundred school chil-
Household Cavalry Regiment
dren; a logistical nightmare for IC Transport! Towards the end of the month newly appointed Trumpet Major Tim West was straight into his role organising eight trumpeters to perform at St Paul’s Cathedral for a United Guild Service. April consisted of the Band’s staple diet of Windsor Guards, Guard’s, afternoon concerts on Castle Hill and Passing Out Parades at Lichfield in Staffordshire and the Police College in Hendon. In addition, the Band achieved a high pass rate for the Annual Personal Weapons Test with a handful becoming marksmen! We also played at the Guard’s Chapel for the Falklands Families Remembrance Service attended by The Duke of York. May, as always, sees the start of the mounted season including, from the Band’s point of view, Queen’s Life
Guards, Major General’s rehearsals and parade and rehearsals for Beating Retreat and the Queen’s Birthday Parade followed by The Life Guards Association dinner which take place in a ‘jam-packed’ June; this year even more so with the hugely successful and not a little demanding Household Cavalry Pageant to rehearse and perform. We were pleased to host 70 members of an Australian College who visited us in July and, continuing the month’s international theme, the Band marched from Hyde Park Corner to Trafalgar Square to open the proceedings for the 60th Anniversary of Independence for Pakistan. Another week was spent as the supporting Band at Kneller Hall and we also played for a Buckingham Palace garden party along with The Prince of Wales’s Division band for the Caravan Club be-
LG Band with 2RRF Corps of Drums – Dhekelia, Cyprus Dec 2007
fore dispersing for a much deserved summer leave. There was no shortage of reasons for celebration in 2007 with the marriages of CoH Walsh to Karon in July, Musn Welsh to Hannah in August and of Musn Ruffer to Claire in September. The Band also congratulated SCpl Wheeler and his wife Melanie on the birth of their daughter Tamsin Louise and LCoH Hinchliffe and his wife Sarah on the birth of their daughter Sophie Imogen. September presented us with an increasingly rare opportunity to perform as a concert band. We went to play for an Army Benevolent Fund concert, performing a marching display beforehand at the unusual venue of Bressingham Live Steam Museum in Thursford. October brought the continuance of our Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear/Casualty Decontamination Area (CBRN/CDA) training at Winterbourne Gunner in Wiltshire supported by the Band’s own instructors, CoH Walsh and Trumpet Major West (see the additional article about what went on although there are no tips on coping with the first day’s ‘death-by-PowerPoint’). As IC band recruiting, Bandmaster WO1 Collis-Smith, who completed riding school and joined us in June, led several visits to schools including Stamford in Lincolnshire and Bournemouth School towards the end of the year. In November, it was The Band of The Life Guards’ turn to ride for the Lord Mayor’s Show and the trumpeters played a fine ceremonial opening fanfare. The weather was mild and the time seemed to fly; what more could we ask for! SCpl Goodchild was interviewed by Claire Balding on what was the final show of his 22 year career. Another highlight of the
month was a concert for the Royal British Legion for whom we play annually, this year at Loughborough which was thoroughly enjoyed by Band and audience alike, in particular the ‘seat of your pants’ rendition of the William Tell Overture. December was a good month for a five day trip to Cyprus which was scheduled to provide musical support for a medal parade for 2nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers on their return from Afghanistan. The regiment’s Corps of Drums also played a musical supporting role that was a credit to them taking into account many of them had not had much experience playing instruments - it was obvious their regiment were very proud of them. The day of the parade typically was the hottest day of our time there but in true British style, even when the clouds covered the sun in our free time, the Band still had a dip in the sea and played sport on the beach. WO2 (BCM) Redman was keen to ensure as much as possible that we would be able to make the return journey on the scheduled day having experienced frustrating delays on military flights first hand in recent years, but thankfully everything ran smoothly. Following the introduction of the new Variable Engagement (VENG), posting on promotions and the Army band cuts of last year, we have had possibly the largest ever number of postings in and out of the Band therefore challenging the balance in keeping numbers up for duties whilst people are either away being trained for mounted duties, on various courses, or on the Musical Ride. We welcome WO2 (Band Corporal Major) Mark Redman poached from The Band of The Blues and Royals, SCpl Colin Thomas from the Royal Logistic Corps Band,
LCpl Sanders ‘on the ball’– Dhekelia, Cyprus
LCpl Paul Williams from the Irish Guards Band, Musn March from The Band of the Blues and Royals, Musn Annabel Lamb from the AGC Band and Musn Sue Chatterway from RMSM. We congratulate WO2 (BCM) Richard (Dickie) Allen on his promotion to WO1 and wish him every success on his appointment in recruiting at HQ CAMus having dedicated over two decades of service to The Band of The Life Guards. His knowledge, experience, commendable musicianship and enthusiasm will be sorely missed. We also bade farewell and good luck to SCpl Neil Atkinson who was posted as Band Sergeant Major to the RLC band after a relatively short and mostly sweet phase with The Band of The Life Guards, LCoH Damien Isherwood, LCoH Chris Barker and LCoH John Embry who returned to the Royal Artillery Band after a brief posting. Finally, congratulations to CoH Gilbert Wheeler on promotion to SCpl, LCoH Tim West on his appointment to Trumpet Major, LCpl Vic Hinchliffe on promotion to LCoH and Musn Steve Gibbs on promotion to LCpl.
Household Cavalry Regiment
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Foreword By Lieutenant Colonel R R D Griffin, The Life Guards Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment t was apparent at the start of the year that 2007 was going to be an intense year. The Mounted Regiment was understrength due to the operational needs of HCR. Both the sabre squadron leaders were still in riding school, honing their skills for the forthcoming ceremonial season and the go ahead for the Household Cavalry Pageant had been given. Furthermore, to make matters more challenging, an outbreak of strangles had put a near halt on the remount replacement programme. Whatever happened in 2007, considerable risk was going to have to be taken at some stage.
The spring period was dominated by the normal round of inspections, but overlaid on top of this was a concentrated period of preparation and planning for the Pageant and the training required to bring the Musical Ride back up to show standard after the winter break. In addition, training wing was working at near capacity to keep the Mounted Regiment topped up with those most important assets, namely manpower and horsepower. Drafts to Windsor continued in order to keep HCR up to full strength for their forthcoming multiple deployments. The first challenge of the year came when the new Blues and Royals squadron leader had to command the Sovereign’s Escort for the State Visit of the President of Ghana less than a week after passing out of riding school. Although it may have appeared to be a normal State Visit, the addition of Ghanaian drummers playing traditional “melodies” as they ran alongside the Escort provided an unanticipated spice to proceedings. The only person not taken by surprise by the drumming was the fourth division commander who later informed the Regiment that drumming was not only traditional in Ghana but also to be expected. The next challenge was the Major General’s Parade. The Regiment was undermanned, partly focussed on the vignettes required for the Pageant and working towards The Queen’s Birthday Parade. However, with some imagination, a routine was developed which would allow some degree of practice for all the forth-
coming ceremonial events. However, like all good plans in Britain, the weather disrupted the rehearsals. Hyde Park became waterlogged and Chelsea Barracks’ Square was pressed into use for the adjutant’s rehearsal. Horse Guards Parade was the only dry and available area for the Commanding Officer’s rehearsal. Commander Household Cavalry’s inspection took place in Hyde Park, which for many of the horses was the first time their feet had touched grass for five months! I rode alongside the Major General as the Regiment followed us back to barracks. I asked him if he was satisfied with the standard he had seen. He replied that he was delighted with both the standard of turnout and of horsemanship. I then felt honour bound to admit to him that at least half a dozen of those on parade had still yet to pass out of riding school. Under manning had forced me to take this gamble, but my confidence in the soldiers and in their instructors was such that I assessed that it was a risk worth taking. It also meant that these troopers were ready to take their place on both The Queen’s Birthday Parade and the Pageant. The detail of the Pageant is covered elsewhere in the journal, but the risks taken on that day, aside from the weather, were perhaps greater than many might have perceived. Not many London shows will go on stage with but one real time rehearsal. Not many producers would mix horses, former politicians, a museum, gunfire, recruits, camels, musicians, trained soldiers, recorded music, vehicle enthusiasts, a film show, camera crews, armoured cars and the Colonel-in-Chief. The Household Cavalry did. If that was not enough, The Queen’s Birthday Parade held a number of unique challenges. Over fifty per cent of those riding on this parade were doing so for the first time. The Life Guards squadron leader was commanding his first Escort and only one officer within the Escort had ridden on the Birthday Parade before. Summer training was similar to previous years, with a full programme of equine
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
events, military training and a chance for some adrenaline fuelled adventure pursuits which included high wire climbing, paint balling and go-carting. The mix of different activities certainly kept the whole Regiment on its toes, particularly with the unexpected challenges that were thrown in. The Regiment certainly deserved summer leave when it eventually arrived. September has traditionally been a relatively quiet month at HCMR. However, with the ever increasing number of courses mandated by the Army, there is never a quiet period. The sabre squadrons again reduced to minimum manning in order to get large numbers away on B3 and B2 equitation upgrades, signals courses, Command, Leadership and Management courses, P Company and the annual visit to Spruce Meadows in Canada. The autumn was spent preparing for the State Visit of the King of Saudi Arabia and the State Opening of Parliament. The Riding Staff, working at full capacity, accelerated a large batch of remounts on to these parades. This certainly helped
refocus everyone on to matters equine. The challenge for RHQ this time was to find enough officers to man the Escorts. This required both the Careers Management Officer and Commanding Officer to ride on the State Visit. The State Opening of Parliament saw the Quartermaster volunteering to command the staircase party!
been a year of considerable risk taking. However, when the focus is for the task in hand to be completed correctly, risk can in some ways be mitigated. The constant churn from HCMR to HCR allows the newest recruit to set a number of graduated and achievable goals. The non commissioned officers returning to HCMR currently bring the full range of operational experiences. This has certainly helped reduce potential hazards, as they
truly understand the value and worth of planning, assessing and being ready for the unexpected. They also have become the masters of team work at every level. The troop leaders remain fully committed to their troops, but also prepared to take on considerable additional burdens in all sorts of different fields in order to achieve the regimental goals. So, would I take the same risk again? Why ask? You already know the answer.
n January the Regiment returned to full fighting capacity, with the arrival from grass of the horses to start the conveyerbelt process of getting ready for the start of the ceremonial season. Furthermore, the addition of a new officer Major D S Brooks LG who, subject to a little training, was to take over The Life Guards Squadron from Major J G Rees-Davies LG. Horse beautification and Mandatory Army Training Tests consumed most of the month, and leave soon became a distant memory. The confirmation of the Ghana State Visit in March focused the attention of the Regiment on manes and good old tail “banging,” which is still a privilege of the SCMs, but they no longer keep the cuttings.
and clipping and the men due to the horse’s every effort to dirty itself as much as possible moments before the inspection. Once every horse was deemed shining from nose to croup, the Regiment began the usual ceremonial “warm up” of troop and squadron drills and, by the end of it, every man was fully reacquainted with his “dobbin,” whether he wanted to be or not. Thereafter, the State Visit was upon us and Horse Guards parade was turned into a plasticized reception area for the President of Ghana. The joyful day soon appeared and in glorious sunshine the Sovereign’s Escort clattered effortlessly down The Mall to the beat of Ghanaian drums and the waving of brightly coloured flags.
imental drill loomed in preparation for the Major General’s Inspection.
Into February where, on a cold, frosty and dark morning the Officers found themselves once again at the mercy of the Riding Master, with the first set of Officers’ drills of the year. Leading the way, as Officers are supposed to do, they were then subjected to the Commanding Officer’s Full Dress inspection and, by this stage, the ceremonial season was full steam ahead.
April was partly consumed by leave and by the selection and preparation of the Princess Elizabeth Cup, known more commonly as the ‘Richmond’. This was the annual frantic battle between squadrons to demonstrate who was the smartest and the “cleanest” man. This year it was won rather convincingly by The Life Guards who took the first 4 places, which clearly demonstrated that someone had been listening to the Adjutant during Queen’s Life Guard inspections; well done to them! Accusations of a “Red” conspiracy led by a very “Red” RHQ were soon dismissed as further reg-
As I reflect on 2007 I realise that it has
Diary of Events I
March brought the rigours of the Commanding Officer’s horse inspection, feared by every man and beast in turn; the horses due to the relentless tail pulling
The Escort waiting to start the Lord Mayor's Show.
May. The Major General’s Inspection parade was to combine The Queen’s Birthday Parade and the “extravaganza” known as the Pageant. Extremely technical, involving the Regiment in line, it was highly ambitious and a little “hairy” at times but with no exception, a marvel to watch and, as such, the Major General was highly entertained and our “MoT” was granted for another 12 months. Further jubilation was had at the final completion of The Queen’s Life Guard stables’ rebuild, and the horses were able to inspect their updated original home. With “Dobbin’s” approval granted, we were able to revert back to the traditional guard change format for The Queen’s Life Guard which had changed as a result of the Museum rebuild. With a further increase in tempo both the Garter Service and Queen’s Birthday Parade preparations alternated with vigour and without cross pollination and, on the last day of the month, we had reached the Early Morning Rehearsal and the climax of the ceremonial season was about to begin. June was seasonally disappointing, and the rehearsals for The Queen’s Birthday
Blues and Royals Escort for The State Opening of Parliament.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
training, ranges and pre-deployment preparation for Regimental Training.
Colonel Blues and Royals waiting to take the salute on Cavalry Sunday.
Parade were as meticulous as ever with the dulcet tones of the Massed Bands and that familiar order of music. However, the pomp and circumstance of the Household Cavalry Pageant was coming into full effect and, if the troopers were not doing one parade rehearsal, they were performing out-takes for the Pageant. The Pageant, a historical account of the Regiments’ histories narrated by Michael Portillo, had become all consuming and was the new high point of the ceremonial season. The Pageant was deemed a huge success and was found to be most entertaining by The Queen and by those who came to watch it. Fearful of an anti-climax, the week ended with The Queen’s Birthday Parade which was executed with all the passion expected of the Household Division. Following the weekend, the Garter Service came around, which almost proved to be a wash out but the rain cleared just in time and soon the Regiment was enjoying the BBQ which marked the end of the first half of the ceremonial season. The rest of June was occupied by mandatory military
July. The Tour de France, starting outside Horse Guards, was the highlight of the month with the most roads in central London consumed by men in tight lycra and arm waving officials. The Queen’s Life Guard was to become the centre piece and the start point of the race, thus obtaining global coverage, as the Tour is the world’s most popularly followed sporting fixture. Therefore, The Queen’s Life Guard was able to reach even parts of the world that had not seen the famous postcard of the box men. Regimental Training followed shortly after with the usual experiences apart from The Blues and Royals Squadron who became proficient in river crossing, snaring, gutting and the preparation of rabbits in the wild. Furthermore, The Blues and Royals also came back from camp to attend the Hyde Park Bombing Memorial Day, where family and friends attended a small service at the Regimental Memorial. August loomed, and expectant faces looked to leave and the virtues of the summer, apart from The Blues and Royals’ Band and a grooms’ party who ventured up to Edinburgh for the Tattoo. On return from leave, a series of adventure training camps were held in Cornwall where some soldiers took part in a variety of water sports while the remainder were belt fed through courses or remained looking after the horses. September culminated with Exercise London Responder, which was a civil aid exercise, defending London from terrorist threat at Heathrow airport and from the flood waters of the Thames. October was unseasonably warm and pleasant conditions for squadron and regimental drills which preceded the Autumn State Visit of the King of Saudi Arabia and his enormous en-
Cornet W A P L Wales at the Cenotaph.
tourage. Unusually bland, the State Visit passed without incident and immediately the focus was turned to the State Opening of Parliament. November. Post the State Opening of Parliament, some of the horses returned to grass for wintering out and to provide some welcome relief to the residents of Knightsbridge, Fulham and Chelsea. Unfortunately, this always leads to a down turn in Mr Starbucks’ profits and hence retards their global expansion until the horses return in January. December. The last week of term before the Christmas Holidays was as festive as ever, with the officers versus the WOs and SNCOs football match. This was an obvious mismatch of ability, with the WOs and SNCOs having the technical knowledge and ability but lacking in robustness and fitness (due to being old men) and the officers having limited ability but being fitter and able to hack at the opposition’s shins with their rugby boots. The rugby boot is never a good match for the lighter weight football pump! “Silly week” drew to a close and there was not a man who was not worse for wear, but time was taken to reflect upon another extremely successful year for the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. We welcome 2008.
Sovereign’s Escort for the State Visit of HM King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Life Guards Mounted Squadron he New Year in the Life Guards Squadron saw Major D S Brooks attempting to complete the impossible task of not only filling the void left by the departure of Major J G Rees-Davies but also learning to ride at the same time. A difficult task, however he had an immediate impact on the Squadron. Winter training troop was in full swing under the direction of Captain T B Eastwood with several members of the Squadron making the trip up to Melton to join in with the busy hunt programme.
The first ceremonial commitment of the year was the State Visit of the President of Ghana. The Squadron’s horses were brought back from grass and training wing moved up from Windsor to boost the numbers. It was a colourful parade with the streets lined with proud Ghanaians who were loud in both their dress and appreciation for the parade, neither of which help contribute to a steady performance, but all riders coped well with some excited horses. Before breath could be drawn it was the Major General’ Inspection. The Squadron’s ranks were bolstered with new troopers still going through the rigours of kit ride. It is an unusual situation for trainees to participate in parades, however the gamble paid off, and it proved to be a valuable experience for the up-coming ceremonial season. This year’s silly season was set to be one of the busiest with the added pressure of the Household Cavalry Pageant. The
LCoH Powell and friends.
evening is covered in greater detail later in this Journal. The Squadron performed impeccably, and all of the hard work and extra effort paid off. Everyone enjoyed the opportunity to perform in front of a packed Horse Guards almost as much as some enjoyed dressing up in some unusual orders of dress! Special mention must go to Captain C W Wren whose tireless work behind the scenes not only made it a possibility but also a huge success. While the Pageant and its associated rehearsals provided a distraction, the core business of The Queen’s Birthday Parade and its dress rehearsals was still at hand.
Once again, The Life Guards were an impressive sight, and Major Brooks, the Field Officer, even managed to make trotting sideways past The Queen look stylish. The parade marked Captain Eastwood’s final day in the Army before joining the rank and file city bankers. With the Pageant and the Birthday Parade consigned to the history books, the final chapter of the summer season was the Garter Service in Windsor. The fact that it is the last parade for several months helped to ease the pain of standing still for a few hours. >
Which way to the beach?
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The SCM is not cross-eyed.
CoH Wyard at the CO's Inspection of the Squadron.
LCpl Baksh at the CO's Inspection of the Squadron.
July came around and with the inconsistent weather came an opportunity to get the horses and men out of London and into the fields of Norfolk. Summer camp was an enjoyable three weeks for all; the Squadron Leader provided most of the amusement by falling off more than once! There was ample opportunity for the soldiers to practise their riding in a different environment other than the streets of Chelsea. On the equestrian side, the Squadron seniors did well, Captain T S L Mundawarara won the senior show jumping, Captain R M P Bavister celebrated his last day in the Army by winning the open day show jumping and Captain Wren and Corporal of Horse Mount won the senior Handy hunter. Summer camp ended and leave began, and with that we saw a number of changes in the Squadron: Major Brooks left to the Intermediate Command and Staff Course; The SCM, crutches and all, moved downstairs to become RQMC. The SQMC handed his shop over to SCpl Jukes and moved upstairs to take over the big chair as SCM.
mand, found himself taking part in the State Visit of the King of Saudi Arabia as Escort Commander, a distant shout from the hills of Nowzad in Afghanistan. The two Life Guards Divisions led The Blues and Royals standard on the State Opening of Parliament, which was a relatively painless escort as The Queen only spoke for 8 minutes, meaning the Regiment was back in camp relatively quickly.
disappeared in a hazy blur! All in all it was a good year for the Squadron, everybody looking forward to a well deserved rest over winter leave.
After a well deserved leave, the Squadron had a few weeks before we welcomed back some very shaggy looking animals from grass. Some of them decided that they wanted a little more time out in the fields and refused to be caught! However, all horses were soon accounted for, clipped and back on watering order.
Most were lucky enough to hang up their ceremonial helmets until spring, however the chosen few had the mixed privilege of being selected for the Cenotaph Parade on Remembrance Sunday. While it is a great opportunity to honour those who have valiantly served in foreign fields, it also requires the marching party to stand still for up to three hours. This is no mean feet with nothing to distract the mind except the sound of falling King’s Troop soldiers. As quickly as the horses had come back from grass, they were back on the boxes and heading back out of the gates. The small respite allowed a troop at a time the chance to get up to Melton Mowbray for the winter hunting camps in November.
The year saw the Squadron say farewell to Captains Wren, Bavister and Eastwood who have all left the Army while Captain Harley moved on to become ADC to Major General B W B White-Spunner formally RHG/D. We welcome Captains Long and Mundawarara, Lieutenant E P Olver and CoH Plant. LCpl Powell was promoted to LCoH and LCsoH Partridge and Howell moved to the forge. The Squadron is eagerly anticipating the arrival in January of a Squadron Leader in the form of Major A R Tate recently back from Iraq. The Mounted Regiment is also due for a new Adjutant but it remains to be discovered if it is a case of ‘better the devil you know’ or will the ‘future be bright’ with Captain J E A de St. John-Pryce RHG/D?
The year wound down and the Christmas party season came and
Some of the troopers escaped Knightsbridge for a weeks’ adventurous training in Newquay, throwing themselves into activities including surfing, coasteering, rock climbing and abseiling at Penhale camp’s excellent facilities. The Squadron had a very successful build up, and found themselves well prepared for the 2 State parades. Captain T M R Long, newly promoted as second-in-com-
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
CsoH Saunders and Mount having fun.
The Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron t’s 0215 hrs on an Early Morning Rehearsal as I wander past the signs extolling the virtues of integrity, loyalty and selfless commitment, view the troopers furiously grooming, and into 1 Troop’s office to find the Troop Leader examining his teeth in his highly polished boots, planted firmly on the desk. Oh, how things have changed in The Blues and Royals Squadron over the decades…
As ever, 2007 has been a busy year filled with turmoil. Only one officer and two SNCOs remain from those who were serving in the Squadron at the beginning of the year, and so once again the continuity has fallen to the JNCOs and Troopers who provide so much to this establishment. The Blues and Royals had the primary Standard on the State Visit of the President of Ghana, were lead on the State Opening of Parliament, and participated in every other State occasion through the Ceremonial year; most memorably the Household Cavalry Pageant. January saw an influx of both horses returning from grass, and officers and soldiers passing out of kit ride; all in preparation for the Ghana State Visit. The Commanding Officer conducted his annual round robin inspection of stables, horses and accommodation, each preceded by a Squadron Leader and Troop Leader version, so that by February, Christmas seemed a distant memory. We bade farewell to Major R H A Lewis who was last seen heading to Afghanistan and rather optimistically carrying his skis. As sunlight started to return to the morning watering orders, the Adjutant and Riding
But it was not all fun. CoH Faires, LCoH Griffiths and CoH Bonham.
Master did their best to ensure we never saw it by instigating a series of punishing early morning rehearsals to prepare for the Ghana State Visit. Their usefulness quickly became apparent as the Christmas fat and inactivity were worked off. Squadron Drills followed Troop Drills and, by the beginning of March, we were ready to participate in the Regimental build up for the first State Visit. The gloomy winter weather cleared to provide a sunny and cheerful day for the President of Ghana and, despite the Escort being pursued down the Mall by 300 Ghanaians banging kettle drums, the parade was completed without a hitch. Much of the focus was centred on Captain N K Twumasi-Ankrah commanding No.4 Division who received special interest as a Ghanaian by birth. He proved particularly skilled at accepting and enjoying the media attention.
With the first State occasion completed, the Squadron turned its focus to extra curricular equestrian activities and, under the direction of SCpl Jones, the tent pegging team started training while CoH Taylor took command of the Squadron show jumping team. Talent was often surpassed by enthusiasm, and it was heartening to see soldiers who work a six day week, volunteer to compete on the seventh, but after six weeks, two effective teams were ready to compete at the Royal Windsor Horse Show. One of the tent pegging teams qualified for the final in front of The Queen, but didn’t make the podium despite Tpr Warren’s attempts. The show jumping team were first on for Saturday’s listings and much hope was placed on the victorious pairing of Tprs Evans and Gustavus but to no avail. The teams’ spirits were soon lifted as WO2 Gaddes conducted a stylish dismount in front of a packed arena. Tpr Petitt’s particular tent pegging prowess resulted in the chance to compete in the United States which is covered later.
Rehearsing for the Major General’s in Hyde Park.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Squadron with a buzz and on a high that has not been out stripped through the rest of the year. It brought the amateur dramatists out in us all, no more so than the Squadron Leader in his bid to star in every serial.
Tpr Sayer dreaming of Windsor and operations.
As the excitement of competition riding faded, the Squadron built up to the Major General’s Inspection; this year themed as a rehearsal for the Pageant. The Riding Master drilled all in a series of new manoeuvres, most notably Regiment in Line and the about turn. Rain stopped play for the majority of this build up but Chelsea Barracks provided a suitable alternative to grass, and variety is always the spice of life. After a few interesting rehearsals, the day of the parade was a worthy culmination of the practice and the Regiment distinguished itself. During the inspection, the Major General let slip that despite always wearing Foot Guard red he really did think soldiers looked smarter in blue. I suspect this is mostly down to the handsome chaps currently serving in the Squadron. > With the Inspection complete and June fast approaching, our focus switched to the acting aspect of the Pageant while remaining acutely aware of the proximity of The Queen’s Birthday Parade. After a couple of long mornings, the Squadron were fitted with period costumes, some displaying more flair for acting than others, and it soon became apparent that the event would be a changing parade more than anything else. A welcome influx of two kit rides provided us with a surge in troopers, SNCOs and officers. It proved something of a first to gain three Corporals of Horse who had never served at HCMR before, adding a different aspect to the Squadron. A series of late nights and early mornings ensured that not only were we ready for the Birthday Parade, its protracted rehearsals and the Pageant but we were also getting pretty tired. On the actual days, The Queen’s Birthday Parade and the Pageant proved huge successes, though unfortunately the horse lines in St James’s Park ensured that any tree within striking distance was ‘barked’ in the cavalry blacks’ search for fodder. As an aside, the Pageant was initially perceived by all as an extra burden during an already busy period, but the event itself left the
With the Garter service reminding us why we didn’t join the Foot Guards, the Squadron moved into three weeks of respite before we headed for Thetford and summer training. The two tactical exercises proved short, but energetic and aggressive and though its infantry basis left some more experienced recce NCOs perplexed, it fulfilled a worthwhile teaching platform for the more junior soldiers. The Adjutant had his day with Op TRY OUT followed by what the Riding Master classified as “the real reason for coming to Bodney”; the show jumping and cross country. With much competition for favoured horses, all ranks threw themselves around the show jumping arena resulting in Tpr Groom winning the Junior Ranks Show jumping before disappearing to Bovington to learn how to drive. The Open Day proved popular and competitive, no more so than for Lieutenant R J Spiller who posted a sentry on his horse to ensure the public did not ruin its condition by over feeding with carrots, and thus rather foolishly losing a valid excuse for not winning. Cross country proved just as challenging and the added speed resulting in a greater number of injuries. This last fortnight was interspersed with beach rides, pub rides, troop days and nights out. The Squadron returned to Knightsbridge poorer but happier. A relaxing three weeks leave in August led to a course-intense September with only a few members of the Squadron
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
managing to escape for the adventure training package. Suddenly, the Autumn Ceremonial season was upon us with returning horses and the usual build up that is required. October proved intense but, by the beginning of November, the Squadron was ready to be led by the Commanding Officer for the State Visit of the King of Saudi Arabia. Interspersed within this build up, Lieutenant Spiller took LCoH Jones and Tpr Sabatini to Catterick to complete P Company; they all performed well. The State Opening of Parliament followed and, with Major C J L Speers completing his last parade, the Squadron started to focus on winter camps, Olympia and Christmas. No one has seen Captain W A McCarter since the hunting horn was first heard, but his team have put on a very good, testing and enjoyable winter training camp. Cavalry blacks continue to make sturdy hunters but not quite as sturdy as some of the riders; never proved more thoroughly than by Major M P Goodwin-Hudson falling off 23 times in one day. Olympia proved fun for all involved and the Musical Ride is now looking forward to a quiet period after all the socialising the event involves. Christmas saw the Squadron fully manned with officers and NCOs but, as ever, lacking in JNCOs and troopers; the system seems to swallow them quickly. Despite this, we have managed to train all our soldiers being posted to HCR in at least one armoured trade and it is heartening to hear how they are performing on operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This year has been interesting, challenging and enjoyable. It has been a pleasure to serve in The Blues and Royals Squadron at the Mounted Regiment.
Capt Twumasi-Ankrah tucking in accompanied by Tpr McNeil.
The Mounted Regimentâ€™s Year
Sovereign's Escort for the State Opening of Parliament.
The Queen's Birthday Parade - Awaiting the Rank Past outside Buckingham Palace.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
LCpl Tate with Watton, both smiling.
CoH Anderson testing the aquatic abilities of his mount.
HQ Ldr parted from his mount.
Coach Troop battling through the waves.
RHG/D Sqn Ldr showing off.
Squadron beach ride.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
LCpl May, LCoH Screen, LCpl Witter and TM Sewell-Jones Beating Retreat.
Garrison Sergeant Major judging the pre-Richmond.
Officers of The Blues and Royals on Cavalry Memorial Sunday.
The Major General with Commander Household Cavalry.
The Staff Officers: Majs Tunley, Lewin and Holdom, Padre MacPherson and the Riding Master, unusually in a State helmet.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Tpr Banda - Guard Mount, Christmas Day.
SSgt Taylor, Master Chef at Camp.
Maj Waygood dropping down.
LCsoH Costain, Holliday and Plimmer paint balling.
Breakfast after clay pigeon shooting.
The successful Officers’ cricket team.
The Officers at Summer Camp.
CoH Parr in the Tailors’ shop.
QM’s adventurous training at Fremington.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Headquarters Squadron he Squadron has had another busy year administering and supporting the Regiment in its various undertakings. As normal, all of the Squadron’s mounted trained personnel were employed over the Christmas period helping the hard pressed sabre squadrons to exercise and administer their horses, thus allowing everyone to take their full Christmas leave entitlement.
The departments have been working tirelessly throughout the ceremonial season, ensuring the troops’ kit, equipment and horses are to the highest standard to carry out their State Ceremonial commitments. From the daily Queen’s Life Guard to the extremely high profile state visits, Headquarters Squadron personnel have been fully involved in either a supporting role or being seconded to fill gaps in the ranks. If the Ceremonial season wasn’t busy enough, the Regiment had the added commitment of the Household Cavalry Pageant which fell during the week between the Colonel’s Review and The Queen’s Birthday Parade itself. The Pageant involved every man in the Squadron, either as a player in one or more of the vignettes or in a supporting role. Those who could ride did so, and many others found themselves dressed as French infantry, unsuccessfully trying to save their Imperial Eagle standard from capture by The Royal Dragoons. In order for an event such as the Pageant to run smoothly and professionally, the administration and planning must be second to none, with every man being briefed down to the finest detail in order to prevent any hiccups. The Pageant involved some 400 men, 150 horses, two camels and over 50 various historic vehicles which all needed coordinating to ensure they were in the right place at the right time and wearing the correct costume. The Quartermaster’s Department,
under the strict control of Captain L J Kibble RHG/D did a marvellous job in setting up and running the admin area in the corner of St. James’s Park, ensuring that all men and horses were fed and watered as required and dressed and equipped correctly for their next appearance in the arena. At the end of a very hectic but rewarding summer ceremonial season the Regiment prepared itself for its annual trip to Bodney Camp in Norfolk to conduct its three weeks of Regimental Training. The training took place during the last three weeks of July when the majority of the UK was subjected to torrential rain and severe flooding. Our little corner of Norfolk, however, was thankfully spared and what could have been a very damp and dismal camp turned out to be a relatively dry and sunny one. Regimental Training started with the first week being dedicated to ‘green training’ where the Regiment carried out their Mandatory Army Training Tests in Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) drills and Battlefield Casualty Drills (NBC and First Aid to the old soldiers among you). In addition, the squadrons carried out their own 24 hour low level exercises, incorporating patrolling skills, close target recces (CTRs) and section attacks as well as refreshing the younger soldiers’ memories about living and surviving in the field. The end of the first week culminated in Ex TRY OUT, when the Regiment practised its mounted drills for protecting The Queen during an escort. The majority of HQ Squadron and the Training Wing played the part of the civilian population whose job it was to make a lot of noise and be difficult and obstructive, a task which came very easily to certain people. In addition, there were a number of controlled explosions during the exer-
CoH Scovell receiving a prize in the Open Day show jumping.
The Commanding Officer honing his alternative hunting skills.
cise which had an adverse effect on certain horses, testing the equitation skills of the riders to the full. The latter two weeks of camp were taken up with equitation, from show jumping to cross country, pub and beach rides. The Squadron was kept busy supporting these but managed to get away for an afternoon of Go Karting at the local track. The heavens opened that afternoon but, rather than spoil the fun, it added to the excitement, seeing a number of people pushing the envelope a little too far and spinning off, quite spectacularly in some cases. The winning team was once again headed up by the Riding Master, showing his competitive streak to the full. The afternoon culminated in a delicious BBQ, courtesy of The Master Chef and the SQMC. The Squadron also managed to squeeze in an afternoon of clay pigeon shooting, organised by the SCM and CoH Downing. Those who managed to turn up had a good afternoon’s shooting, some of whom were only shooting for the first time. The
HQ Sqn Ldr having a quick glass of courage before the Handy Hunter.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Master Chef looking confident.
winning team for the day comprised the Commanding Officer, Major Lord Manton and the Squadron Leader, which was no doubt a very unfair combination, so the prize was passed on to Lance Corporal Puddifoot’s team, the runners up. The Regimental Open Day at Bodney Camp always features highly in the local calendar and is always well supported by the locals. This year was no exception despite a steam rally and a county show happening on the same weekend. Once again, SCpl Hadden and his crew worked tirelessly setting up the event, leaving nothing to chance. His vast experience in setting up and running the Open Day certainly made the Quartermaster’s job a lot
The Veterinary Officer and the Farrier Major receiving their prize.
easier and far less stressful than it could otherwise have been. The riding staff also worked tirelessly over summer camp, preparing the various equestrian events and in particular building the cross country course for the ‘Handy Hunter’. CsoH Broom and Nichols and their team are to be congratulated for all their hard work in producing an extremely good and challenging course. This year has also seen members of the Squadron being picked up on trawls to go on Operational Tours. CoH Doga, LCoH Beaumont, and Tpr Catton all caught the selector’s eye and were sent for a six
months stint to Iraq. CoH Doga still has half a tour to go but, thankfully, the others are back safe and sound. LSgts Grundy and Jones both AGC were also chosen from a cast of thousands to go on a six months tour of duty to Kosovo to help administer what is left of the British contingent still out there. All in all, this has been a busier year than normal with the Squadron working hard behind the scenes, supporting the Regiment in all it does. The work carried out be members of Headquarters Squadron is often unseen by most but without their dedication and hard work the Mounted Regiment would not be able to achieve the high standards that it does.
Quartermaster’s Department nother 12 months have passed in the G4 world; that’s the posh term for the Quartermaster’s Department. The Department continued to provide an outstanding service to support the Regiment, made more difficult this year with the Pageant that you will all have read about in previous articles. As the Quartermaster, I wish to thank the entire department for their excellent work and support.
With some strategic planning, the Department managed to find five days in the hectic diary to go adventure training, returning to an old haunt of the Guard’s Depot days; Fremington. The Regimental Quartermaster Corporal (RQMC) was tasked to arrange an arduous package, putting the senior soldiers of the Regiment in an unfamiliar environment, enabling them as individuals to push the envelope of fear and adrenalin. After arriving at Fremington and meeting up with the RQMC and the advance party, I quickly worked out the Department had a different approach to adventure training from the one with which I had convinced the Commanding Officer. There was a lot of golf, quad biking, paint
balling and body boarding, (or what could be referred to as a lot of body on a board) done by all of the guys. In mid April the water was far from hot, yet it did not affect some of the larger call signs. All enjoyed a great week away from Hyde Park Barracks. The relentless pace of the silly season was upon us all, nothing different than previous years; however the Pageant was looming. Behind the scenes, the Department had a vital role to fill. Staff Corporal Peet, the Master Tailor, and his team started sizing and fitting the Regiment with the additional 400 period uniforms. Sgt Shaw, the Armourer, took charge of over 450 weapons - he was like a child in a sweet shop as he went to Patty’s, a company which holds over 12,000 replica and live firing weapons that they loan to the film studios around the world. Sgt Shaw was trained on the drills for all the weapons being used in the Pageant. The Master Chef put together a comprehensive feeding plan to feed all the cast of the Pageant in many different locations, then he was tasked with organising the VVIP cocktail party in Horse Guards. We had
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
QM and RQMC in regal pose.
most of the Regiment’s horses on grass in Central London (on picket lines), nearly all of the Regiment’s ceremonial uniform and 400 additional costumes, over 500 weapons, 50 plus old military vehicle, 500+ people to feed: it was an audacious plan that was executed with consummate ease due to the professionalism of all ranks of Household Cavalry plc.
Summer Training this year was a welcome respite and a breeze to organise compared to the Pageant. With a bout of enthusiasm and after receiving his promotion, SCpl Hadden MBE and the team ensured Regimental Training passed to the normal excellent standard of previous years, not letting the Regiment want for anything. I learnt my lesson on the paintball field this year and came away with only three hits - I’m not sure whether the Department have now accepted me as the QM, or that they just did not want another bollocking. Shortly after summer leave, WO2 (RQMC) Gardner handed over the reins of RQMC to WO2 (SCM) Heaton. WO2 Gardner returned to HCR for an Op Tour before moving on to Divisional Corporal Major at the Land Warfare Centre in Warminster. The Department wishes WO2 Gardner the very best for the future and welcomes WO2 Heaton. CoH Walker 85 assumed the new post of Tech CoH in the Department - some ‘old school’ may question the appointment and responsibilities of a Tech CoH, but all manpower is gratefully received in a busy department. The Department welcome LCoH Beaumont back from his Op Tour to Iraq, where he had spent 6 months kitting out the Iraqis in State kit - only joking; he
QM's Christmas lunch.
did an excellent job as a Crossing Point Commander, well done. With the new RQMC in the chair, I took the annual pilgrimage to Canada on a Business Leadership Scholarship. During the long flight out to Canada, I started to analyse the Commanding Officer’s decision to send me on this leadership course, was it that I had no leadership qualities and needed to improve, or was it that I had something to offer leaders of civilian companies? I am glad to say it was the latter. I learnt a lot during the
course, and it was good to see that in civilian companies there is a leadership style that fits the Quartermaster style of leadership - by Fear or Compliance. On my return from Canada, I, the RQMC and a band of merry men formed the staircase party for the State Opening of Parliament. Christmas festivities are drawing in for another year. The Department organised the Troopers’ Christmas function, which was very well supported. An enjoyable evening was had by all.
Medical Centre he Medical Centre has been through yet another busy but productive year. One of the main thrusts of the Medical Centre’s activities has been the introduction of the Defence Medical Information Capability Programme (DMICP). This will revolutionise each soldier’s medical records, ensuring that their personal information is accessible no matter where they might be posted in the world. LCoH Royston LG has been busy ensuring the smooth installation of the new computer system working to a very tight schedule of three days to limit the disruption to the Regimental sick parade and services already provided. The system is now in place with the usual teething problems, but is proving to be very useful.
As usual, there have been changes yet again in the Medical Centre with the departure of Surgeon Major J Lewin RHG/D to HCR before he was deployed straight to Afghanistan. Surgeon Major J Baidwan LG has taken up the reins, quite literally by shooting off to the Defence Animal Centre at Melton to polish up his riding skills ready for the Major General’s Parade. Not wanting to be left out, Surgeon Captain J Biswas LG has also taken the RMO’s lead and joined the Household Cavalry Training Wing down in Windsor for riding lessons to enable
him to ride on the Major General’s Parade alongside his mentor. LCpl Brown has had a busy and fun year teaching and testing the Regiment’s knowledge of first aid, also managing to complete his advanced trauma life support course in time for Regimental Training camp. Regimental Training was its
usual busy time, with all the varied medical covers required. LCpl Brown was always on standby with his crash bag, ready to pounce. We have sadly said goodbye to Tpr Beddar LG after 6 years’ commitment to the Medical Centre, with his move into civilian life and computer security. Hopefully, we will be bringing in some new blood for the approaching year.
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Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Forge ork in the Forge began in earnest after the New Year’s leave period. All Farriers were training hard for the National Shoeing Competition, with the team selection being held at the Army School of Farriery (ASF) at the Defence Animal Centre (DAC). The grass horses returned in late January, and after an industrious few days they were all shod and ready to start their build-up programme for the oncoming ceremonial season.
February began with the Forge running a potential Farriers selection week and preparing for the annual Cavalry Pairs shoeing competition held at Hyde Park Barracks. The competition welcomes both army and civilian Farriers, testing their skills in traditional ‘roadster-type’ shoeing. The competition was highly competitive with 40 qualified Farriers flexing their muscles and egos! Congratulations went to the winning civilian pair of Mr D Smith and Mr N Fennall and also to FWO2 Macdonald and FSCpl Freeman for winning the ‘Best Military Pair’. There was also a prize in the form of a bronze medal presented by the Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers to FLCoH Black-Wood for the most improved apprentice Farrier. Both the summer and autumn ceremonial season proved remarkably demanding for the Forge this year, especially with The Queen’s Birthday Parade and the Household Cavalry Pageant happening during the same week. The Forge responded well to this added pressure, and the high standard of shoeing and turnout of Farriers riding on parade never dropped. Regimental training camp passed at its usual pace, and the Forge completed all Mandatory Army Training Tests (MATTs) with the usual vigour and enthusiasm that has come to be expected. The Forge’s equitation skills were kept to their usual high standard, with the Farrier Major and the Regimental Veterinary Officer flying around the handy hunter course finishing 5th, and the rest of the forge being non-runners!
The Farrier Major practising his welding.
FLCoH Hayden and FCoH McThune figuring out what to do next!
FLCoH Blakeway competed at National level with the Army team in Warwick whilst on their Intermediate Military Farriers Course, and FWO2 Macdonald competed at National and International level with the Army team; their best result was second in the Swiss Army Shoeing competition in Switzerland.
FLCoH Scott played an active role in the Regimental football team.
Members of the Forge were kept busy throughout the year with extra-curricular activities. FCoH McThune and FLCoH Blakeway travelled to Essen in Germany, taking part in an Exhibition of Army Farriery. FLCpL Turpie competed with the Army Tent Pegging team in Michigan, USA, FLCoH Blakeway provided farrier cover for The Blues and Royals Band horses during the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, FLCsoH Sherlock and Hayden played for the RAC rugby team and
There was plenty of change within the Forge during 2007, with the new Farrier Major, SCpl Freeman, taking over the reins from FWO2 Macdonald who was posted to the Army School of Farriery. We welcomed FLCsoH Scott, Howell and Partridge, and FLCpls Cooper and Stanford after they had passed the Basic Military Farriers Course. We also congratulated FSCpl Freeman on passing the Advanced Military Farriers Course, as well as congratulating FCoH McThune and FLCoH Blakeway on passing their Intermediate Military Farriers Course. With regret, the Forge said goodbye to WO1 (FSM) Newman, FLCoH Knaggs and FLCpl Hill who have all left the Army in favour of civilian life.
FLCpl McCabe checking that the Vet is really a size 10!
FLCoH Black-Wood smoking in the Forge!.
During Open Day, the Forge held the annual apprentice shoe making competition with FLCpl Turpie winning the ‘Casey Cup’. Because of the demanding ceremonial year, the Forge was only able to compete in a few farriery competitions: The London Cup held at The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery; and the Army and InterRegimental competitions held at the ASF at the DAC. FCoH McThune and
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
AGC Detachment - A Dynamic Year of Change es, it really has happened, the Mounted Regiment is now on the Army Net, and Joint Personnel Administration (JPA) is here to stay! Only weeks before this revolution, the congestion charge zone moved to engulf the barracks, bringing with it many administrative and financial implications. The Detachment has now decentralised with the implementation of JPA (a tri-Service personnel computerised administration system!), making each squadron clerk a pay office in his or her own right and all this with three members of an already small Detachment on operations. How did we do it all? I look back over the year and wonder.
Quite simply, we were an awesome team, not just the Detachment, but the Regiment as a whole with strong support from their clerks. We are not unique; the whole Army is embracing the largest systems change in over 40 years, but in HCMR, we also had the congestion charge to cope with. Each individual in the Regiment was taken through a process not just to ensure correct and fair claims but more importantly to ensure that the agreed negotiations between the Regimental Administration Officer (RAO) and London District were not violated and that the individuals did not suffer. With its usual fervour, the Regiment has embraced the change as the JPA logo has
encouraged us all to do. Sure, there have been reservations (what change doesn’t create those) but with its usual diligence and determination, HCMR is alive and kicking and thoroughly modern, yes modern, in Hyde Park Barracks. The Adjutant General’s Corps Detachment should blow its own trumpet in the part it played to ensure the best JPA implementation in the District and a strong Measurement of Fighting Power inspection, to boot. With each member’s usual enthusiasm: the RAO ensured one of the first places on the JPA course, WO2 Smith, ensured that HCMR was one of the first Regiments to have their data transferred over, SSgt Johnson’s thorough JPA implementation work is being used as an example of best practice in the District, and possibly further still, Sgt Dignan moved all the Regiment’s data over on target, LSgt Jones’s IT expertise came to the fore for the Army as a whole, assisting the JPA team at LAND, and the squadron clerks, one per squadron when there should be two, continue to support their squadrons with good humour, and be first base for all enquiries. Away from the office, the Detachment has made the most of the opportunities around them: LCpl Peterson has proved that the “sky’s the limit” on a parachute
RAO balancing the books.
adventure training course when he wasn’t dressed as one of Napoleon’s legion in the Pageant and on Summer Camp. The RAO proudly paraded on the parade for the Major General’s Inspection in May and on the Pageant in June, Sgt Bonner started riding at summer camp and hasn’t looked back (probably a good thing when on a horse) and Sgt Turner, LSgt Grundy and LCpl Peterson all represented the Regiment at football. And now the end is near…..of the financial year that is… and we “the team” definitely did it… our way.
Warrant Officers’ and Non-Commissioned Officers’ Mess 007 started in earnest with the Commanding Officer’s ‘state of the nation’ address to the Warrant Officers and NonCommissioned Officers of the Mounted Regiment at the end of January after what is now synonymous with the extended leave that the Regiment has to contend with at Christmas. Although in great depth and filled with passion, it was all over in 17 minutes, much to the delight of the less inexperienced Mess members.
the President of Ghana, before moving off to take up the role of Regimental Recruiting Officer on promotion. March saw the departure of a number of characters including WO2 (SCM) Thomas,
WO2 (EWO) Jenkins, CoH Callow and CoH Beulah into civilian life after 22 years service. The 22 year dining out that followed turned into an epic with WO2 Jenkins not only forgetting he was mar-
February saw the Mess hold a ‘back to school’ night, an extraordinary coup for the RCM to get the ladies into the St Trinian’s look. A fantastic evening then ensued with the Master Chef providing a chocolate fountain for CoH Callow to wallow in for the last time. The Regimental Corporal Major, WO1 J Pass RHG/D, then proceeded to hand the reins over to WO1 A P Kellet during the first two weeks of March which also combined conveniently with the State Visit of
RCM briefing his fatigue party.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
ried but also managing to reminisce the whole of his career and every event he had entered for the last 10 years. The Riding Staff also managed to resurrect their biannual meeting and dinner of all past and present members; they did, however, manage to spread it over two days with a working lunch the first day followed by a dinner the next. As is probably normal through the summer months with the State Ceremonial and the Major General’s Parade under way, and with it the opportunity to rehearse parts of the Household Cavalry Pageant, Mess life does slow somewhat. The dining out of the Major General Household Division was held at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 5th May. A very Guards Division evening ensued as all Regiments were represented with a cross section of Mess members in the Old College Mess. It was somewhat dampened by what appeared to be an early closure of the bar at 0100hrs, but if you allow a civilian company to run the Mess, you have to prepare for the consequences of a few broken fingers as they close the shutters on them. May also saw a Warrant Officers’ lunch in the Mess at Hyde Park Barracks where the guests included the Academy Sergeant Major, WO1 Nicholls IG, and the Regimental Sergeant Major Welsh Guards, WO1 Pridmore. Mr Pridmore managed to wade himself through a crate of Magners fine Irish cider before confessing how late he was before at-
tempting to find a tube for the journey home. June quickly disappeared and gave way to the departure for Camp, once again to be held in the nether regions of Norfolk where SCpl Hadden is the self confessed Mayor of Watton. Although there were many memorable moments, none more so than the Riding Staff winning all the Mess games with CoH Broom beating the RCM at pool in a gripping final, the Welsh contingent (CoH Griffiths) sent packing early. The Mess Manager was given clear direction for Open Day with the remit of ensuring that the Warrant Officers’ and Non-Commissioned Officers’ Mess was better than the Officers’ Mess. CoH Clare did a sterling job and far exceeded the expectation of all Mess members.
Household Cavalry in outstanding form managed to thrash the opposition even with the host’s creative accounting.
A well earned summer leave was then upon us with a chance to recharge before the second half of the season commenced with a State Visit by King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and the State Opening of Parliament. The Welsh Guards invited the Mess to Wellington Barracks for a games night in early October in an effort for our two Regiments to reacquaint themselves with one another. It was with this in mind that HCMR mustered 40 Mess members on an evening in early October to participate in a thoroughly good evening, all the better for the fact that the
Christmas festivities are now upon us with the Mess Christmas party being held on the Thames, on a boat, and all the usual festivities and activities synonymous with this time of year. The officers will undoubtedly receive their thrashing at football and that evening I’m sure the Mess members will revel in their glory as we are kindly hosted in the Officers’ House by the Commanding Officer. Brick Hanging in 2007 will this year be made by a former Regimental Corporal Major, S R Carter, who was RCM of The Life Guards from 1991 - 93.
having watched an early morning performance in Kensington Palace Gardens. This was particularly pleasing as over 70% of the soldiers performing in full kit were new to the role. Thus we set forth on our first foray on the May bank holiday to find the Melton Mowbray showground under water!
Eagle from the French at Waterloo; unchartered waters also for the Ride Officer who found himself allowed to break into canter.
Christmas Ball afloat by Tower Bridge.
Musical Ride he miserable British summer endured by the majority of the country had an unfortunate and disappointing effect on this year’s Musical Ride calendar. However, despite cancellation of a number of events, due to flooding and the busy ceremonial season, the Ride was still able to perform at a few events, the year culminating at Olympia.
In early May, the Commanding Officer declared the Musical Ride fit for purpose
The all encompassing Pageant found the Ride in unchartered waters playing the Royal Dragoons wrestling the 105th
The Musical Ride waiting to start.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Attempt number two was more successful with the Shropshire and West Midland Show crowds suitably impressed, despite the weather, by four polished performances by the Ride. Well fed and liberally watered, the Show, albeit coming the weekend after The Queen’s Birthday
Capt Long leading the Musical Ride.
Parade, had been an enjoyable experience for all the new and old members of the Ride. The regulation performance at summer camp was unfortunately the only bright spot on a rained off summer calendar. The Ride reformed in September under CoH Nicholls who had assumed the role from CoH Broom, who was posted to Germany. In early September, the Ride put on a private performance for the Army Benevolent Fund and the Officers’ Mess in Hyde Park, where Captain T M R Long LG took over from Captain W A McCarter RHG/D as Ride Officer. With this year being the centennial year of the International Horse Show at Olympia, the show was always going to be bigger and bolder than before. More importantly it was going to reflect the history of the prestigious event. The Household Cavalry and the Musical Ride have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Olympia through either performing as the main ring attraction or competing in the various jumping events. The build up started early in November with the Riding Master and CoH Nichols refining the performance and working hard to condense the entire show into the 15 minutes slot we had been allocated for both the afternoon and evening performances. Not content with recorded music played over the PA system, the Riding Master demanded that not only should the music be played by a professional musician on the electric violin but that she should also be young, blonde and scantily clad. In order to add the ‘wow’ factor, he off handily suggested that it might be
nice if she descended from the roof on a floating stage. This idea was taken up by the show organisers at great expense and effort but what the Riding Master wants the Riding Master gets! The move to Olympia was conducted on the Saturday two weeks before Christmas down High Street Kensington, packed with last minute shoppers who were surprised to see not only thirty mounted dutymen but also the drum horse and four state trumpeters all in full state kit. After rehearsals on Saturday and Sunday, the first performance was not only televised on Eurosport but the salute was taken in person by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall, who was very impressed with the performance and took time afterwards to meet each member of the Ride. The Royal theme continued with the salute been taken the following night by Colonel Blues and Royals who spoke at length to all the soldiers involved. Despite the bright lights and TV crews, the men of the Musical Ride worked extremely hard over a punishing week that not only involved two performances a day but also kit cleaning and horse management in damp temporary stables. All involved put one hundred percent into everything they did and helped to cement the good name of the Household Cavalry in what is considered the inner circle of the horse world. In addition to the work commitments, the Ride also organised and hosted two parties which were a great success with the help of the Ukrainian Cossacks home brew to fuel the festivities. As the week drew to a close, the final performance was commanded by the Riding Master, Major R G Waygood, as this would be his final Olympia before leaving
The Mucial Ride Officer escorting HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
the Army. Not only was this shown live on Eurosport again but it was also to be one of the best performances of the week with the crowd all rising to their feet to sing Land of Hope and Glory as the four home Nations’ flags and Union Jack were carried out of the stadium at a gallop with barely a dry eye in the house. The centenary year of Olympia was a huge success due largely to the hard work behind the scenes by the Riding Master, CoH Bonham and SCpl Marsh who were tireless in their pursuit of excellence. However, it is the Troopers and JNCOs of the Ride who with their boundless energy and enthusiasm made it all a reality. The Ride has had something of stop-start year but, as ever, has produced first class entertainment and acted as fabulous ambassadors for the Regiment in areas and to people who would otherwise have limited contact with The Household Cavalry.
The Band of The Blues and Royals 006 ended with two superb concerts at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. The concert manager was Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Watts who started life as a Musician in The Blues and ended his career as the Principal Director of Music of the Army and is now a Gentleman Knight. This feast of festive music and carols, featuring the Band, Chapel Choir and Organ, was a tremendous musical experience in a majestic setting, which raised a considerable amount for charity.
After a short Christmas break, the New Year started abruptly with a tour as duty band at Kneller Hall, the home of Army music, supporting the training of Student Bandmasters and providing some necessary experience for Foundation Course personnel in refining the art of ‘marching
St James's Palace Guard Marching out of Buckingham Palace.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Trooping the Colour Royal Salute.
up and down the square!’ This was also an opportunity to prepare for the Kneller Hall Inspection by the Director of the Corps of Army Music, an important and career threatening time for the Director of Music and the Band Master. Whilst searching for inspiration on the internet for a test piece, the title ‘Equus’ sprang to mind and, sure enough, an American composer had written a piece with that title. More astounding, was that it is an exciting piece requiring a high capability of Band and conductor. This musical portrait of horses running in perpetual motion, with repeated but complex rhythms, proved to be an ideal challenge. After a great deal of hard work, the Band peaked at the right time and, combined with a fine marching display and varied and interesting ensembles, the inspectorate gave a very favourable report. The Band’s high reputation is maintained with the Director and Band Master remaining in post! The ski adventure training exercise was a resounding success even with a day lost to high winds and lack of snow. The accommodation was superb and food even better. The instructors were great fun and very patient. The Director, SCpl Thomas, Musns Wrighton, March and
Porter all gained their advanced awards. Musn Wrighton, amazingly, achieved this standard in just one week, the first time he had ever taken to the slopes. The mounted season went well with no major problems during The Queen’s Life Guards, Major General’s Inspection or Queen’s Birthday Parade. Unfortunately, Reavley decided to dump LCpl May on the Pageant, a reminder to us all that these things happen – it was apparently a trick this particular horse had pulled on previous occasions. Thankfully, neither horse nor rider was seriously injured. Royal Ascot has been totally transformed with its new Grandstand and substantial landscaping since we were last there. The new Bandstand is impressive, and the Band’s performances attracted thousands of happy punters. After a hot tip from Joe, the coach driver, the Band made a considerable amount on the outsider Eddie Jock. Unfortunately, the winnings were not donated to the Household Cavalry Museum fund as suggested by the Silver Stick who happened to be passing, so the Director’s OBE will have to wait. The highlight of the summer was the appearance of the Mounted Band at The Ed-
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
inburgh Military Tattoo. A large undertaking, with 30 horses, all the trappings and equipment required to support a mounted band for a month, 15 HCMR personnel including the Veterinary Officer, members of the Riding Staff, a saddler, a farrier and grooms. The temporary stabling was probably more comfortable than the accommodation for the troops, but Redford Cavalry Barracks have been host to Tattoo personnel for years and is superbly run, with an emphasis on making the visit to ‘Auld Reekie’ as much fun as possible. Various bars and organised social events made for a most enjoyable post performance wind down; the highlights being the stable beach parties organised by SCpl Marsh and his team. They managed to employ the services of the Trinidad and Tobago Steel Band, who, along with the highland dance teams from the Commonwealth, made for some of the most memorable evenings I have ever experienced (and I’ve experienced a few!) The stable was bouncing to the intoxicating Caribbean rhythm of the steel pans, the exuberance and sheer enjoyment of our friends was infectious and we danced through till dawn.
Finale sequence Edinburgh Tattoo.
As for the show and performance itself, these were a resounding success. All the horses and musicians behaved themselves, apart from the Band Corporal Major who ran down the Russian Band’s mascot, a Muscovite dressed in a bear suit, who now knows that he should not get in the way of a Household Cavalry warrant officer on a Cavalry black who has set his coordinates on getting back to the Sergeants’ Mess as quickly as possible! Our gratitude goes to the grooms and permanent staff, who must have been a little worried to enter the world of the ‘Muzzy’. They were all superb and were a credit to the Household Cavalry, acquitting themselves with exemplary behaviour and with the customary style and panache one would expect. Back to London, and public duties. These have changed slightly for the Household Cavalry Bands, in that, due to the absence of the Foot Guards Corps of
Drums, we now provide musical support for the St. James’s Palace Guard. Until now, to play on Buckingham Palace forecourt has been the domain of our brethren in furry hats, a privilege now bestowed on us too. Although it has taken a little time to get used to performing, often, to 5,000 tourists as part of this showcase of the State, it has been a challenge and has raised the profile of Household Cavalry Bands even further. The State Trumpets, led by Trumpet Major Sewell-Jones, have appeared at all the usual State occasions, maintaining their immaculate performances with the outstanding professionalism we have grown to recognise over the years. The Falklands’ Memorial and Her Majesty’s Diamond Wedding Anniversary were two impressive and successful additions to the calendar. Capping it all was probably the finest performance at The Festival of Remembrance for some time, quite an achievement given the high standards achieved over the years.
The orchestra moves from strength to strength, with the Garter Luncheon, Investitures and Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award ceremonies all receiving high praise. The Russian Summer Ball at the Cavalry and Guards Club, Piccadilly was a challenging engagement, taking a great deal of rehearsal, which resulted in widening our repertoire and experience. The Russian Ambassador personally thanked us for our performance on an evening that evoked images of an Imperial Russia 150 years ago. There have been a few personnel changes and achievements: WO2 Redman has turned coat to become BCM of The Life Guards Band replacing WO2 Allen who has taken the WO1 appointment at Kneller Hall running the Corps recruiting team. Congratulations to them both and to LCpl Crofts, LCoH Screen and SCpl Marsh on their well deserved recent promotions.
Household Cavalry Training Wing fter spending just over a year in the Household Cavalry Training Wing (HCTW), having first done the job in 1996/7, I feel as qualified as anyone to comment on just how much the place has changed over the years.
Firstly, it is encouraging to see how many soldiers are coming out of the Phase 1 Training regime. Credit must go to the Regimental Recruiting Team who have produced a constant supply of manpower for our organisation. Our thanks go to them and all the recruiters at ERE who work tirelessly to ensure the Regiments are well supplied with good quality recruits. Special mention also goes to Captain K Poynter LG and the other Household Cavalry staff at the Army Training Regiment Pirbright, who do such good work in preparing our soldiers for life with the Household Cavalry. Second, it is clear to me that the majority of trainees actually want to be at Mounted Duty first as they now understand the importance we, as an organisation, put on it. As I explain to every trainee on their arrival at HCTW, the Mounted Regiment is a perfect environment to prepare a soldier to go to HCR in Windsor particularly on operations. The ability to administer oneself, overcome fear and work to tight timelines are relevant in both regiments, and soldiers with a mounted background continue to prove this on operations. It is encouraging also to see soldiers with operational experience being posted to HCTW, either as trainees or staff; this can
only be a good thing and young Phase 2 trainees are all the better for it. But what about the year itself? As you would expect, rides have formed, been trained and passed out in front of the Commanding Officer, so no change there. However, there have been a number of noteworthy events. The introduction of Project SLAM, the accommodation rebuild in Combermere Barracks, has resulted in the Army Training and Recruiting Agency financing a bespoke Phase 2 training accommodation block for HCTW. Complete with rooms for the permanent staff, the block can accommodate 48 trainees in comparative luxury. However, with 66 trainees in training, it is still necessary to use one of the old accommodation blocks. Known by my staff as ‘West Beirut’, that accommodation is appalling, but provides a good deterrent for those living in luxury; if you don’t keep your room clean, you are moving to the old block!
move on to a one week Command, Leadership and Management Course, also held in London. Concurrent to this, all the kit they need is issued before they move on to the three weeks Cavalry Drill course. Finally, in Windsor, they undergo a one week signals course. There has been an ongoing programme to repair the Estate in which we work. The SQMC, SCpl Anderton RHG/D, must be commended on his sterling efforts to improve our working environment. A new horse walker has been installed, and we are in the process of having the outdoor manege drainage system brought into this century before having a new surface put on it. We have been promised a new presentation suite (not that we really have an old
The 14 weeks riding course remains as it has done for a number of years. Run in a number of modules, the trainees are inspected at the six week point after which they are awarded their spurs. Following the 12 week inspection they receive their Squadron silk and after the 14 week (Commanding Officer’s) inspection, they receive their Forage Cap. Before learning to ride, however, the trainees go through a number of other modules. Starting with a one week induction module in Hyde Park Barracks, they
The Training Wing on Musketry Drill
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
CoH Downing trying to turn back the tide at Bodney.
one) but, as yet, this has not materialised. The indoor riding school is also due major refurbishment and, if this does happen, will improve dramatically the working environment for its users. Special mention must be made of CoH Kendle RHG/D and his team in Coach Troop. These unsung heroes have, in my mind, done as much as anyone in the Regiment to raise our profile in the equestrian world. Consistently successful in civilian competitions, and admired throughout the driving community, they have been great ambassadors for the regiment as well as a great recruiting tool. Most importantly of
Capt Mundawarara and LCpl Sam giving some direction.
all, they give us the ability to train for our operational role on rehearsals for parades. So, another year has past at what I refer to as the ‘Windsor outpost’. Recruiting levels look as strong as ever, and our retention at Phase 2 is way above the average for a Phase 2 Training establishment. Things look good for the forthcoming year but we must remember that our strongest asset are our trainees, and for them to be looked after we need a constant supply of qualified and motivated staff and I ask both Regiments to keep them coming. There have been a number of changes in the permanent staff over the year. Capt R
Gibbs RHG/D left for civilian life to be replaced by Maj A D Dick MBE RHG/D following his tour with D Squadron. SCpl (SQMC) Anderton filled the gapped post of SQMC, also on his return from Afghanistan. We welcome CoH Wyard who replaces CoH Couling as the Drill Corporal of Horse and CoH Taylor who has replaced CoH Downing RHG/D as the Admin SNCO. LCoH Hancox RHG/D has returned as a Ride NCO, and we welcome LCoH Perry as the SQMC’s 2IC. We say goodbye to LCpl Tuffs RHG/D, who leaves us to be Commander Household Cavalry’s driver, and welcome LCoH Walker LG.
Winter Training Troop he practical advantages of hunting are many. It makes the body healthy, improves the sight and the hearing and keeps men from growing old. It affords the best training for war. For men who are sound in mind and body stand always on the threshold of success.’
Sat at my desk in Melton Mowbray nursing bruises from four falls in two days, one might question this, however the officers and soldiers from Knightsbridge and elsewhere who have already enjoyed over twenty days trail hunting, the Wessex Yeomanry Race, the Cotswold team chase, a winter camp and an Officers camp all before December will, I am sure, agree that they left Leicestershire turf feeling sharper than when they came. Despite early season restrictions due to Foot and Mouth and Blue Tongue outbreaks and the operational commitments of the armoured Regiment and its effect on officer and soldier manning in Knightsbridge, there has been significant interest in the equine activities that the winter training troop offers.
Major W Bartle-Jones RHG/D, Lieutenant W J A Goodhew LG and Lieutenant W A P Wales RHG/D spent two busy days refreshing and honing their cross-country skills before commencing OPTAG training. Major Bartle-Jones left a poorer man having contributed a trooper’s monthly wage to the fall pot. His jaw also came off worse but this did not deter a visit to Tubes nightclub, Melton’s other school of excellence. Lieutenant Goodhew showed us all how to ride properly and Lieutenant W A P Wales gave Melton’s favourite curry house some excellent publicity and confirmed to us that Earnshaw really does only have two paces, walk or gallop. A team consisting of Captain W A McCarter RHG/D, Major C J L Speers RHG/D, LCoH Powell and Tpr Miller had a successful time at the Cotswold team chase despite Captain McCarter’s efforts to get lost on the course. The Wessex Yeomanry race was less successful. The Veterinary Officer was left talking in riddles after a heavy fall, Captain R M P Bavister LG was caught in the carnage of
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Tpr Pickup on Dettingen.
Captain (retd) R T Sturgis’ fall and Captain McCarter was unseated after his horse clobbered a post and rails. He insists that Tony McCoy would not have sat to it, others may argue differently. He did however manage to catch his horse and complete. Those who had raced were kindly invited to hunt afterwards with
the Beaufort. Foul weather conditions and a lack of scent contributed to an unmemorable morning. However, the mood of the field was lightened by the sight of Captain Bavister being deposited in a very full stream by the winter trainer’s old faithful, Bovington. A gap in the calendar after The State Opening of Parliament allowed a number of soldiers to attend a winter camp run from Melton Mowbray. This was a highly successful three weeks. The ‘Welsh equine’ CoH Griffiths took the lessons and Captain McCarter escorted a dozen troopers on their first day’s trail hunting. A memorable morning was had over the Burton Wolds with Trooper Archer and McGrath (both RHG/D) having their nerve significantly tested by some very stiff hedges. The camp achieved its aim of improving soldiers’ equine knowledge and allowing them to see what fun can be had on a horse when you are not riding backwards and forwards to Horse Guards. As stated above, about twenty days trail hunting has been enjoyed so far this season. Whilst scent has been indifferent, everyone who has come up has been able to enjoy some fun over the Leicestershire countryside particularly Major Speers
Capt McCarter team chasing and lost.
who has been improving his ‘stickability’ and Lieutenant R J Spiller who has been largely out of control. The ‘winter training troop officer’ can often be seen two fields in front of the field master ‘schooling’ young horses. ’Unting is all that’s worth living for - all time is lost wot is not spent in ‘unting - it
is like the hair we breathe - if we have it not we die - it’s the sport of kings, the image of war without its guilt, and only five-and-twenty per cent of its danger.” Perhaps a little extreme but the opportunity remains for the beginner and thruster alike to enjoy an experience like nothing else, love it or hate it at least say you have done it!
Equitation he rise and fall of any domination whether in sport, politics or regimes is always fascinating to observe. History has time and again kept in unison with Sir Isaacs’s law of gravity; what goes up must come down, and the Mounted Regiment’s domination over!!! The Royal Windsor Horse Show this year saw competitive performances in the Services jumping, however the spoils were not to end up in the hands of the Mounted Regiment. Three teams entered the jump-off on clear rounds, three teams finished the jump off with clear rounds, but however, the spoils went to our arch rivals, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The Mounted Regiment needed, therefore, to assert its dominance once again; the next duel would be the Royal Tournament show jumping held at the Defence Animal Centre. Was this going to be our chance to settle the score? The going was rather like hunting on a ploughed field in January, but the experience of the Blue Mafia in such bad conditions was to eclipse the King’s Troop’s efforts. Not only did the Mounted Regiment keep the Troop at bay but we won two of the major classes, both with the author riding The Queen’s Peter Pan. Of the eight riders to qualify to jump at the Services final at Olympia in December, four of them were
from the Mounted Regiment and none from the Troop. Normal service had been resumed; domination had again been reestablished. The Pageant, I am sure, will feature in many parts of the text in this journal. Apart from the history making event, no one should overlook the 1932 hours Household Cavalry Sweep Stakes which consisted of the Boer War re-enactment. The Royals rode on to the parade ground, dismounted, engaged the Boers and then remounted to gallop after them which saw Captain N K Twumasi-Ankrah (T-A) RHG/D give a fine demonstration of horsemanship when he vaulted on to his horse and was subsequently taken off at a flat out gallop; arms, legs and stirrups flapping in the wind. He disappeared out of the arena with the remainder of The Royals trailing in his wake. He certainly lead by example and only managed to pull up at the stable lines some 500m to the rear - for a rank outsider, the man did well. Maybe the Grand Military next year! Two years ago, the Riding Staff started a tradition of holding an annual lunch for members of the Staff including those at ERE posts. The idea of the lunch, apart
from putting the world to rights at the bar afterwards, serves as a way of keeping those at ERE up to date with new events and helps to keep them part of the fold. In addition to the lunch, it was decided to hold a reunion biannual dinner for past and present members of the Staff. The first dinner was held in March 2007 and was deemed a great success with over 95 attendees. It was great to see the likes of Steve Hague, Chris Webb and Barry Mckie (a previous Riding Master) to name but a few. Barry had not set his feet
SCpl Hackman takes the cross country seriously.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
on English soil since he left the Regiment for the USA some 17 years earlier. It was a nostalgic evening. At one point, I looked over to the bar in the early hours to see Barry holding court with three young engrossed members of the Staff. I am not sure if he was telling them how to run the Regiment, the Musical Ride or how to train remounts; the good old days!!! The evening was a monumental success which must be attributed to both WO2 Moore and SCpl Hackman for their organising skills and flair. Water, water everywhere, the country was under water with a record amount of rain fall during July whilst on the fields of Bodney the sun shone on the righteous. Amazingly, the rain kept off for most of Camp. The Regimental Handy Hunters caused the normal amount of thrills and spills. The Officers’ and Senior Ranks’ competition went to Captain C W Wren LG and CoH Mount whilst the Junior Ranks went to Tprs Metcalf and Foran. Captain T S L Mundawarara LG came first in the Officers’ and Seniors’ Regimental Show Jumping and Tpr Ward scooped up the Junior Ranks. The rain just managed to hold off during Open Day when the competitions were hotly contested. Captain R M P Bavister LG won the Daly Cup for the highest placed officer, CoH Scovell won the highest placed Senior Rank and LCoH Osbourne won the highest placed Junior Rank. The HCMR Grand Prix went to Tpr Groom who also won an immaculate silver statue modelled on the horse Sebastian in Mounted Review order. This statue was kindly commissioned by the Civil Service Riding Club to say thank you to the Regiment for the use of our horses on Tuesday evenings.
The Regiment sent a small contingent to compete at the Tulip Festival in Holland, USA. The HCMR rogue’s gallery consisted of Captain M J Harley LG, SCpl Payne, FLCpl Turpie and Tpr Pettit. Tpr Turpie won the Tent Pegging while SCpl Payne was third and Captain Harley managed not to break any horses or a peg for that matter. Since then, FLCpl Turpie has returned to the USA and if you tap his name into U Tube you will see a video clip of him riding a bucking bull. He never quite made the Riding Staff but he can “goddam ride a bull”. Once again, the National Tent Pegging Championships took place on Open Day. This not only provides the audience with a cracking competition but also provides a great demonstration of a sport that is on the increase and may well become an Olympic discipline if Captain Mark Avison gets his way. The winner was PC Brown and the Skill at Arms went to WO1 (RSM) Gasgoine, the Regimental Sergeant Major at the King’s Troop RHA. In the eventing world, I had a few notable successes and a very smooth round at Hickstead in the Eventer Grand Prix as seen on Sky TV. CoH Betts, who is currently posted to the RMAS, came a very creditable third at the Aldon Two Day Event in the late autumn riding Evolution. This year I chose to retire Master Fred who had carried me around Badminton. When asked how many times had I got round, my reply is three and a half times by the time you add it all up; in fact, he was successful on the cross country on two occasions. The Services Show Jumping Championships at Olympia rounded the year off. The competition consists of the top eight
RM at Royal Windsor Horse Show.
horses and riders who had qualified at the Royal Tournament Show Jumping. The competition this year was presided over by The Princess Royal and some 8000 people so the pressure was well and truly on. Riders jumped two rounds; faults were carried forward to the second round which was against the clock. After round one, four riders carried zero faults forward to the second round including Avison and Waygood. Unfortunately, the spoils did not end up in the hands of the Household Cavalry. Midshipman Neave, competing for the Royal Navy, stole the honours with the only clear in the second round. Next year could prove to be an exciting year for Services riders, as I am currently trying to instigate an International Services jumping competition at a major horse show, fingers crossed.
Regimental Information Team he recruiting year started in April and immediately many changes were im-plemented from new computer systems to the manpower employed within it.
The British Army as we know is a volunteer Army for which recruiting is a fundamental but unstated task. Therefore, it is self evident that without a strong inflow of volunteers, the Army will founder. Couple this with an ever changing society from which we seek our recruits, and it becomes clear why the Army had to refocus its recruiting business. One Army Recruiting (OAR) represents the single biggest change in Army recruiting since the end of national service in 1963; luckily for me, this all started
the week of my takeover! Unperturbed, CoH Telling and I quickly filled the diary over the summer months attending Royal Windsor Horse Show, Devon County Show, Bramham Horse Trials, Royal Highland Show, Horse of the Year and the Sunderland Air Shows. The team also supported Army Careers Exhibitions for schools (ACE) at Bassingbourn, Colchester, London and Northern Ireland. Further activities included the Household Cavalry Pageant, Open Day at Bodney, the Windsor Festival in support of the Windsor Rotary Club and International League for Protection of Horses event in Blackpool. The Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps recruiting team has recently started running free five day residential In-
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
sight courses in Bovington, allowing interested potential recruits a full ‘look at life’ in the Corps, more importantly the Thursday of every course is spent at HCMR/HCR giving them a flavour of our unique dual role. Further changes include that eye sight levels for recruits to join the Household Cavalry have been reduced which should help to limit the number of individuals being turned away. A Corps brochure is finally being put together in which the Household Cavalry will be well represented. Finally, we have managed to secure a ninth external recruiter at our local Army Careers Office in Reading. More recently, the team have been presenting to schools and colleges, targeting many of the public service courses. This is proving to be very successful with the team covering areas from York to the Isle
Tpr Archer presenting to Berkshire College of Agriculture public service course.
of Wight. Recruiting overall is going very well, although there was a slow start to the beginning of year, but figures have improved. This is in part down to the hard work and commitment of our ex-ternal recruiters.
LCpl Baksh and Veness, SCpl Flynn CGC MC and Capt Pass, recruiting with the Musical Ride at Olympia.
The plan for 2008 is to have a large recruiting drive nationwide with the assistance of the recently returned A and B Squadrons from Iraq. Our external recruiters are currently working on plans to utilise manpower and equipment up to
troop size to flood and surge in their areas. Should anyone have any further ideas or would like the team to support an event in your area please contact the recruiting team on 01753 755213 or e-mail HCRRHQ-OCRecruiting@mod.uk
Household Cavalry Recruiters CoH D E Hartshorn Ground Floor St George’s Court 2-12 Bloomsbury Way London WC1A 2SH 0207 73054795
CoH L P Brown Sharp-shooters House 1 Mitcham Road Croydon CR0 3RU 0208 6887226
CoH S J Pickard 3 Lord Street Oldham Lancashire OL1 3HB 0161 6273233
CoH M P Bestwick 2 Magdalen Street Norwich Norfolk NR3 1HX 01603 624 616
CoH P D Venables 2nd Floor Princess House The Square Shrewsbury SY1 1JZ
CoH C D Crighton 22 Westbury Street Greenock PA15 1RY 01475 786 383 01743 232 678
CoH A L Stokoe 3 Saville Place Borough Road Sunderland SR1 1PA 0191 565 0542
CoH A S Preston 36-38 Old Hall Street Hanley Stoke ST1 3AP 01782 212 070
CoH D J Edmond 19-20 St Mary’s Butts Reading RG1 2LN 0118 959 4533
WO2 A Lowe (LSL) Senior Recruiter 36-38 Old Hall Street Hanley Stoke ST1 3AP 01782 212 070
WO2 P Henney (LSL) ACA West London 594 High Road Wembley Middlesex HA0 2AF 0208 902 1376
WO1 A P Farmer (LSL) Senior Recruiter 7 The Parade Market Square Northampton NN1 2EA 01604 633318
WO1 E D Kershaw (LSL) G3 Rec Ops HQ RG Trenchard Lines Upavon Wiltshire SN9 6BE 01980 615780
Major M Norris ACA(S) Dorset & Wilts ACIO Salisbury 13 Castle Street Salisbury SP1 1TY 01722 334172
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Coach Troop’s 2007 he year started with a completely new team of lads so it was back to basics again to prepare for the up and coming season. Regimental Drills soon loomed and we found ourselves once again driving around Hyde Park with new officers learning the drills from atop the carriage (a good vantage point!)
We took a small part in the Major General’s Inspection in Hyde Park which was a great success with guests who were more used to camels but nevertheless seemed to enjoy themselves. Coaching competitions consist of a close inspection by the Judge looking at every detail; from the coach, the coachman, horses and harness, the grooms’ conduct and turnout, even the guests to make sure that they are in keeping with the desired overall appearance – coaching really is a team sport! The Judge then watches how the Coachman drives his team on an 8-10 mile road drive, noting the fitness of the horses and that they are all working together and the manner and style in which they are driven by the Coachman. Back in the main ring, the Coachman gives a display showing the horses trotting at a nice pace (no cantering!). The aim is to show them to their best advantage with the Judge sometimes asking to see perhaps a rein-back (reverse) or the team complete a specific manoeuvre, before finally coming to the all important decision. The 2007 competition season began, interspersed with weddings and drills, and with a few coaching meets which is useful for getting the horses used to driving in company again. Then it was on to Royal Windsor, coming first in class and taking third overall, out of thirteen other teams.
Next was the Suffolk county show for the coaching class, again picking up a third in the open class out of fifteen teams. Royal Ascot went smoothly, with all guests reaching the races in one piece (no mean feat having negotiated Ascot High Street on race day!). As usual, we provided stabling for the other Coaching teams at the Training Wing in Windsor. This is always slightly awkward, but with the help of the Windsor guardroom, this year was successful and the Coaching Club of Great Britain is always grateful for the privilege. It is certainly a great spectacle to see these lovely old coaches and teams of horses leave the barracks. Summer camp enabled the Commanding Officer to take the reins and work on his team-driving skills - only scaring me a few times with ditches and banks! A trip to Holkham beach had us driving the carriages on the sand and in the surf - great fun but it takes us day to get rid of all the sand! Camp ended with the Coaching Officer and the Commanding Officer competing against each other with an exciting win by the latter (driving practice paid off!), with shouts of ‘D O N ‘T C A N T E R!!!!!’ from me again but to no avail……. Two senior officers competing against each other? - No chance! After summer leave, we were straight back to the shows; at Newbury and Berkshire Royal show coming 3rd (again!) and then to the Welsh Nationals with a *Win*! Lastly, to the British Driving Society Golden Jubilee Championship Final coming 2nd in a competition highlighted by a dramatic bolt out of the ring
At Royal Ascot.
by another team, with bits of coach flying in its wake! All has gone well for Coach Troop this year; Tpr Worsey is still trying to get to grips with the coach but still needs more work to avoid sounding like a strangled donkey while Tpr Bray has at last learnt how to harness up! Hopper has found a new love in his skin tight white breaches. All have become an asset to Coach Troop Coach Troop drives out most days and still is very happy to do regimental weddings for anyone who would like to use this amazing way to get to the church on time. Alternatively, if you ever feel the need to step back in time to a slower pace of life, come for a drive out with us and have a go on the reins and try one the oldest traditions in the Household Cavalry.
At Holkham Beach: CoH Kendle driving the Commanding Officer, Tpr Worsey standing and LCoH King providing the ballast.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
110 Detachment Blues and Royals Army Cadet Force, Crayford, Kent By Lieutenant Gary Fish, Army Cadet Force t is with the greatest of pleasure and a sense of humbleness that I have been asked to write this short article for the Journal. I write as the detachment commander of this first, cadet force cavalry detachment with a direct affiliation to the Household Division.
The detachment itself is located in Crayford Kent in an old air cadet hut. The air cadets having moved out, the hut and facilities were left in a somewhat unkempt condition. However, in March 2007. Lt Fish and Sgt Merritt both took on the challenge of getting the detachment into shape as near to Household Division standards possible. It is necessary to note in support of that comment that Lt Fish is an ex-Coldstream Guardsman and Sgt Merritt an ex-trooper in The Blues and Royals. This previous military background was the impetus to “get it right” and blue red blue. The detachment was slow to get off the ground but thanks to direct assistance from Colonel Clinton Riley, Commandant South East London ACF chairing a meeting with the local neighbourhood watch and local police, the detachment attracted its first recruits in earnest in mid June. I am extremely pleased to state that the detachment was officially opened on the evening of the 5th November 2007. The opening was attended by the Mayor of
Commander Household Cavalry explains Blues and Royals Badges of rank, Lt Fish ACF looks on.
Bexleyheath and our official Blues and Royals VIP, Colonel Paddy Tabor, Commander Household Cavalry, who graciously handed out the cap badges to the 25 uniformed cadets on parade. Moreover, he spoke with every cadet and reinforced the ideal in the detachment staff that they had to be excellent in all their undertakings as they were wearing his cap badge. The detachment has already established some tentative links to The Blues and Royals in Hyde Park Barracks. Thanks
are offered again to the Master Taylor, SCpl M. Peet and his staff for sewing blue red blue backings on berets, LCpl Carey in the clothing stores for much needed boots and various Gucci items of kit. It is the earnest ambition of the staff to impart The Blues and Royals’ long and proud traditions of history, and excellent standards into the cadets who come through the detachment door. The detachment is fully aware of the commitments the officers and men have within London and abroad at this time and wish you well in all your future endeavours.
Col Tabor and The Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Nigel Betts, meet Cadet Jack Ward, the son of a local publican.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Household Cavalry News The Household Cavalry Pageant 2007 by Christopher Joll, formerly The Life Guards - Pageant Director n the last edition of the Household Cavalry Journal, written in December 2006, I described preparations for the Pageant. As 2007 dawned, the pace of the preparations quickened with just five months to go. By the end of March, the audio visual (AV) programme was complete and had been issued to all the vignette commanders in DVD format along with the final version of the script. Rehearsals for the ceremonial part of the Pageant also began in earnest and it was decided that the Major General’s Inspection of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in May would be used to try out the three principal drills.
Meanwhile, the individual vignettes were coming together. The Coronation Procession of Charles II had already been tried out at Summer Camp 2006, so we knew that it worked, but Lieutenant Colonel Griffin now decided that the procession would not conform to 21st Century drill standards and that the participants would “engage” with the crowd by waving – although the suggestion that they should carry placards was firmly and instantly quashed by me. This was an inspired change as, on the night, it “broke the ice” and set the mood for the rest of the Pageant. Major Jules Speers was of the view that the ten minute AV sequence, which followed the Coronation procession, was rather dull and he suggested re-enacting the loss by Lord Granby of his wig and hat at the Battle of Warburg, a story
HCMR Staff Officers.
which was already in the script narrative. We all agreed that this was a good idea and, as it was (a) his suggestion, (b) he was a Blue and Royal and (c) “follicly challenged” it was also agreed that the task should fall to him. The trick removal of the wig and hat, by attaching them with fishing wire to the trumpet of his accompanying trumpeter, was to prove a continuing problem as even a 60lb fishing line broke under the strain. Initial rehearsals for the Waterloo sequence, involving the charge of The Royals and the capture of the Eagle of the 105th Infantry Regiment also threw up a number of changes. The ten re-enactors
Capture of Eagle at Waterloo.
Household Cavalry News
under the command of Alan Larsen looked less than impressive in the wide open space of the Hyde Park football pitch, where rehearsals were being staged, so, as Angels had ten Life Guard Waterloo costumes, we decided to double the mounted element and increased the number of French to 70, all of whom were provided with active period muskets. It took surprisingly little time for the horses, under the firm guidance of Major Dicky Waygood, to become accustomed to the thunderous gunfire and even less time for the soldiers to learn how to fake hand-tohand combat without killing each other, yell in French and die realistically. One of the last rehearsals for the Waterloo vi-
Maj Speers as the Marquess of Granby.
Musicians preparing to lead the Restoration.
The Commanding Officer as King Charles II.
Capt Deverell leads part of the cavalcade.
Yeomen march on.
Household Cavalry News
tude on the part of the contractors each problem was addressed and dealt with as it arose. By Monday morning the build up was virtually complete and sound testing commenced; meanwhile, the temporary military infrastructure in St James’s Park under the direction of Major Tim Carpenter and Captain Les Kibble started to take shape.
gnette was witnessed by The Princess Royal. At the time she remarked that it “all looked most exciting”. Privately, after the Pageant was over, she admitted that she thought it would “end in carnage”. The Relief of Gordon/Camel Corps vignette rehearsals were also problematic as the camels (and the number and availability of the said beasts kept changing – at one point we had four, then only one) would only be available on the dress rehearsal. Less problematic in rehearsal was the Boer War sequence which evolved from a simple appearance of a mounted troop in khaki to a full scale skirmish with Boers mounted on Household Division horses. The rest of the vignettes covering from the First World War to the present day were in the capable, but somewhat secretive hands of Major Mike Whatley, who was drawing on the resources of the Army Training Regiment (Pirbright) and his extensive network of military vehicle enthusiasts. Every time he was asked: “How are rehearsals going?”, his inevitable reply was “don’t worry, I have it all in hand…..” which he did, until he had to admit that finding 17 period bicycles for the Life Guard Cycle Company vignette was proving problematic. In the end we bought them, confident that they could be resold, after the event and with a heightened provenance (“as seen by The Queen at the Household Cavalry Pageant”) on eBay. And so the day of Pageant loomed. On Sunday 9th June the infrastructure build-up and the Royal Box (now known as the Horse Guards Box) construction commenced. This was not without it problems, which arose on average every 15 minutes during the next three days. But with good will and a “can do” atti-
Household Cavalry News
For reasons I could never fully comprehend, the sound testing involved playing very raucous pop music extremely loudly. A messenger from the Prime Minister’s office appeared to ask when the music was going to stop: “The Prime Minister quite likes it, but it is disrupting his meetings”. If he was tolerant of the appalling din, I was not – and when it was repeated on Tuesday morning I had some sympathy with the messengers from the Treasury, No 10, the Foreign Office and the Major General’s office all of whom demanded its immediate cessation. The quick changes required between vignettes were not working at the speed they should have done and, on the dress rehearsal, two of the vignettes were very late and one did not appear at all. The problem was soon identified and arose from an excess of zeal on the part of the Quartermaster’s team, who were individually signing in and signing out the hundreds of costumes. The second problem was quickly dubbed “Camel wars” and arose from a dispute between the two camel owners. Lady Chichester asserted that Alastair Fraser’s camel was “putting Thérèse off her stride” and that Thérèse would not perform all her party tricks in the presence of a clearly inferior camel - and matters were being made worse by her designated cameleer whom she sacked on the spot…..needless to say this too resolved
Relief of Gordon.
itself, although I still don’t know how Captain Christopher Wren, who I delegated to the task, calmed the warring factions. The full run through started half an hour late but ran to schedule and, at the midnight “wash-up” afterwards, the only issue of substance arose from the imbalance between the music and the voice tracks. Detailed issues, such as late cues and entries, and some tweaking of the reenactments to make them more exciting, were identified and dealt with on the Tuesday morning. And so the actual day dawned, with a weather forecast of thunder and lightening! Perhaps our very expensive cancellation insurance would be needed; clearly the Regimental Padre had an important role to play in addition to his ride-on part at the very end of the Pageant. As the clock ticked inexorably towards 5pm problems continued to arise Hydralike – a block of 20 seats had unexpectedly restricted views and needed to be swapped, the cable covers at the entry
The Household Battalion marches on.
105th March on.
The French at Waterloo.
One of the many historic vehicles.
Infantry view of charging cavalry.
Comd H Cav leading the advance in review order.
Household Cavalry News
and exit were too narrow to allow two vehicles to enter together, the steps of the Horse Guards box could only be kept clean for The Queen if all the guests entered from the rear of the box and so on and so on…..but at 5 pm the gates opened and people started filing into their seats. Then, at 5.15 pm, a building collapsed in Westminster, half the police assigned to security were redeployed and Birdcage Walk had to be kept open to ease the traffic chaos. The security choke points of the north and south gates started to cause problems and the queues started to lengthen. Would everyone be in their seats by the time The Queen arrived? In the end they were, but only just. On the dot of 7 pm the Royal Bentley swept into the Front Yard. Her Majesty The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh were duly greeted by The Princess Royal, Lord Guthrie and Colonel Tabor, and the Royal party then practically sprinted to the Museum, arriving there two minutes ahead of schedule - thereby leaving us two minutes short of music for the tour of the Museum. No matter, if we ran out of music we could always revert to the start of the Overture, which most people had not heard anyway. However, there was no way of informing the music co-ordinator, Philip Evans, who was sitting in the stands and who nearly had a seizure as the music programme careered off schedule. But his anxiety was about to be repeated in the commentary box. The script provided for the pre-recorded music to stop as The Queen started to mount the stairs into the Horse Guards box, to be followed first by a live trumpet fanfare by Four mounted State Trumpeters formed-up in front of the box and then by the start of the AV programme. To my horror, as The Queen’s foot hit the first step, the show caller sitting next to me, launched the AV programme – leaving the State Trumpeters “high and dry”. Fortunately they held their nerve,
Michael Portillo ordered the AV programme to freeze in 20 seconds on the image of King Charles II and the trumpeters, taking their cue from the temporary silence (they had their backs to the AV screen and so could not see what was happening) sounded their fanfare as though that was what had been intended all along. And no one in the audience noticed….The Coronation Procession of Charles II followed and the waving to the crowd duly broke the ice. The ship was now in full sail, but there were still rocks ahead. The fishing wire designed to remove Granby’s wig and hat again broke, but Major Speers had the presence of mind to flip them off with a wave to the crowd. The Waterloo sequence started with a quite spectacular fall by the trick horse, which cart wheeled right over its rider, drawing gasps from the crowd and fears in the commentary box that he had broken his neck. And an unscheduled fight between a Royal and a Frenchman left me fearing that the Waterloo vignette would end in an unseemly brawl having to be broken up by the police – but it was another of Major Waygood’s ideas which he had slipped in unannounced and at the last moment and, of course, worked brilliantly. By now thoroughly warmed up, the audience responded to the jokes in the script and some deliberate absurdities we had introduced at the last minute into the Relief of Gordon vignette; the Boer War re-enactment was again late starting, but no one seemed to notice that it was completely out of synch with the AV programme; Major Whatley’s cavalcade of World War bicycles, infantry and vehicles went off without a hitch as did his World War II vignettes and the rank past of old military vehicles that brought the history up to date. The fact that the parade failed to halt, as a mark of respect at
The final horseshoe.
Household Cavalry News
the point in the AV programme covering the murder of Lord Mountbatten and the Hyde Park bomb, didn’t seem to matter – and Michael Portillo’s eleventh hour decision to allow the parade ground to empty of vehicles whilst Elgar’s Nimrod was played out meant that the “Letter from Iraq” which followed, delivered by Major Mark Goodwin-Hudson, left many reaching for their handkerchiefs. And so into the final furlong: the ceremonial mounted displays involving a rank past in Line of Squadron, two ranks past in Line of Regiment, an Advance in Review Order, the formation of a horse shoe in front of the box and Colonel Tabor’s live address to The Queen. It duly went like clockwork, the only hitch arising when The Queen’s car failed to roll-up to the box at the appointed time, the Director of Music lost his nerve and played the National Anthem early and Colonel Tabor, who was still “live”, was heard by those nearest the PA system to mutter: “Where’s the car?”, luckily without any form of expletive! But the final word on the ceremonial display should be left with Michael Wyndham, scion of a long line of Life Guards, who afterwards was heard to say: “My father, when he was commanding the Regiment before the war, would never have dared to stage a rank past in Line of Regiment, and certainly not in front of the Sovereign!” High praise indeed for all involved, many of whom had not ridden 12 months previously. Beyond the inevitable clear up the following day, that was about it. Despite the moments of high drama, and the inevitable mistakes, everyone involved could take pride in contributing to a critical and commercial success that left the Colonels grinning with pleasure, the Museum spectacularly launched and materially better off - and me in a state of exhaustion.
The Falkland Islands, Operation Corporate 25 years later By Major M R Coreth, formerly The Blues and Royals he trials, tribulations, achievements and stoicism of the Regiment in recent years are fresh in our memories. For those of us who are no longer serving, the quiet respect we have for Household Cavalrymen currently serving, for those who have lost their lives in the service of the Regiment and for their families is extreme.
I would like to take you back 25 years to 1982. On the 2nd April 1982, Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands. At the time I was 4 Troop Leader, B Squadron, The Blues and Royals based in Combermere Barracks. Two Troops from B Squadron, 3 and 4 Troops, were placed on immediate standby to join a task force which was rapidly being formed to retake the Islands. A number of the names involved will be recognised even to the most junior soldiers of the Regiment today: 4 Troop Lt M R Coreth CoH P F Stretton LCoH S S Meiklejohn LCoH S A Ward LCpl G Farmer Tpr M J Flynn Tpr P R Fugatt Tpr K Lambert Tpr P G Maxwell Tpr E C Tucker Tpr D C Voyce Tpr A R Widdowson
3 Troop Lt Lord Robin Innes-Ker CoH S Thomson LCoH P Henney LCoH M G Dunkley LCoH J C Fisher LCoH M Brown LCpl M D Mitchell Tpr G W Birch Tpr H Ford Tpr C K Hasting Tpr J Holdsworth Tpr S J Round Tpr J W Pilchowski The Falkland Islands
Maj H St J Holcroft
by my Squadron Leader was “Get me down there”, an order I dismally failed to achieve. The inevitable consequence was a hugely increased workload at all levels. As a Troop Leader I attended all ‘O’ Groups from Brigade down, as well as commanding a Troop in battle and fighting an armoured car. The Corporals of Horse were tasked with all duties as would be expected within the Troop, but also the tricky business of acting as QM and dealing with the logistics, far beyond the norm.
A very noticeable absence in the roll call was the then Major T J Sulivan, B Squadron Leader and indeed the remainder of the Squadron. This absence left the troops sorely lacking not only in command and control, but also in logistical back up. The last order I was given
We set forth with both trepidation and the excitement of youth aboard Canberra to rendezvous with the bulk of the fleet at Ascension Island where we transferred over to HMS Fearless where the war footing became more real. After considerable on-board training and live firing both on
LAD Sgt S C Reid LSgt A Gill LSgt A E Watts LCpl A Lamblein Watchkeeper, 5 Infantry Brigade Capt R A K Field Watchkeeper, C-in-C Land Forces Operations Centre, Northwood, England
3 & 4 Troops and REME LAD B Sqn The Blues and Royals Op Corporate. Standing: Sgt Reid, CoH Stretton, Tpr Fuggat, LCoH Ward, LCoH Dunkley, Tpr Maxwell, Tpr Voyce, LCoH Micklejohn, Tpr Pilchowski, LSgt Watts, Tpr Holdsworth, Tpr Hastings, Tpr Flynn, LCpl Birch, Tpr Round, CoH Thomson, LCoH Brown Sitting: LSgt Gill, LCpl Mitchell, Lt Lord Robin Innes Ker, LCpl Farmer, LCpl Lambert, Lt Coreth, Tpr Ford, LCpl Lamkin, Tpr Widdowson Absent from photograph (getting more Champagne) LCpl Fisher, Tpr Tucker
Household Cavalry News
Ascension and on the landing craft, we sailed for the South Atlantic. Unfortunately, we had received our first casualty while live firing on Ascension when LCoH Henney accidentally grabbed the red hot barrel of a GPMG. For him the war was over. He was replaced by LCoH Dunkley. Amongst mounting military drama and rough seas, we got the occasional glimpse of whales, sea birds and most dramatically, the albatross. We arrived in San Carlos Sound on the night of the 21st May where the realities of war, naval gunfire, air-raids and the initial encounters with the Argentinean forces hit home. I landed at Port San Carlos with 4 Troop and 3 PARA. 3 Troop landed slightly further south at San Carlos with 40 Commando. The realities of war for both troops became immediate with severe air strikes against the Task Force by Argentinean Skyhawk, Mirage and the scary tank-busting Puccara aircraft. Early casualties were taken amongst the Task Force with the loss of 2 Army Air Corps helicopters and their crews, but most significantly a number of valuable ships were lost in San Carlos Sound with numerous casualties aboard. Although both Troops were dug in while the Task Force organised itself for the advance, we sharpened our teeth with OPs, recces and surprisingly successful attempts at becoming anti-aircraft gunners using both the 30 mm Rarden cannon and the 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun. Although the method was not ‘in the book’, surprising success could be had by swinging through the bird and giving sufficient lead, not far akin from a fast moving pheasant. The Argentinean air force put our Task Force under considerable pressure when they succeeded in sinking the Atlantic Conveyor, a ship carrying the majority of our heavy helicopter fleet and vital re-supply for our own Troops. Without helicopter support, the advance across the Islands had to be on foot and by track. I should point out that, however hard we tried to persuade the hierarchy that our CVR(T) had a remarkably low ground pressure and
4 Troop near Teal Inlet.
that we would be able to tackle the difficult terrain of the Falkland Islands, which not only included rocky outcrops and stone runs, but also considerable and very mobile peat bogs, the marine engineers insisted that we could only be used as pillar boxes and transported below a Chinook as an underslung load. How wrong we were to prove them to be. The consequences of this mis-appreciation proved severe as Brigadier Julian Thompson decided he could not risk deploying us to the battle at Darwin and Goose Green, a battle in which our armour would have proved decisive. This was made clear to me by the Brigadier when we finally met up at ‘Endex’ in Port Stanley on the 14th of June; he said to me that it was in his opinion his big error. We earned our spurs as far as mobility was concerned with the hierarchy when both Troops deployed east through Teal Inlet and Lower Malo House to Estancia House, to group together with 3 PARA in preparation for the assaults in the days and nights to come towards Stanley. It’s fair to say that the going across East Falkland was far from easy, but we soon learnt that each vehicle had to take its own route across the
3 Troop: LCpls Brown and Mitchell - C/S 23 dug in at San Carlos D+1.
Household Cavalry News
peat bogs, for as soon as you followed another vehicle’s tracks, you sank like a stone into the mire. We had, however, been issued with the kinetic energy recovery rope, an enormous elastic band with which you sprung a bogged vehicle from what seemed an impossible situation. On occasions we recovered wheeled vehicles being used by the PARAs and Marines. It’s hard to tell whether their drivers’ jaws stretched longer than the rope as our vehicles accelerated away from them. We had achieved this surprising lengthy and difficult journey with great success, but not without considerable trial, not least of all due to the lack of logistical support. Very quickly we learnt how to con, beg and steal fuel from the other battalions and units. The REME crew with their SAMSON equally had to make up their game on the hoof. Again, initiative and cunning at all levels became vital. While at Estancia House we had our first real chance of action when Lt Col Hew Pike, CO 3 PARA, decided to make a battalion-sized patrol to take Mount Longdon, somewhat into the valley of death as the Argentineans, their Mortar Fire Controllers (MFCs) et al held the commanding ground. Life warmed up somewhat; I re-
A CVR(T) from 4 Troop crossing a river near Teal Inlet.
4 Troop: Lt Coreth and his crew (LCpl Farmer and LCpl Lambert) recover some of their possessions from C/S 24 hours after it had been disabled by a mine during the diversionary attack at Mount Tumbledown on 13 June.
member bumping heads with another infantry officer as we dived into a mortar hole as further shells could be heard whistling in. We were in fits of giggles as were I suspect the Argentinean gunners. The Argentine MFCs rather carelessly exposed themselves to CoH Stretton’s gunsights and that kept them quiet! This push came to a halt when the Brigadier pulled us back, much to our dismay and his good sense. On 3rd June, both Troops were ordered south to join 5 Brigade at Bluff Cove. Although we had a local Falkland Islander as a guide, we were given several days to attempt to cross the high ground between Smoko Mount and Mount Challenger. We managed this crossing, if I remember rightly, in less than 6 hours to the surprise of the powers that be. We very soon became involved in recce patrols pushing forward along the low ground south of Mount Challenger and also in the tragedies surrounding the loss of the Sir Galahad and Sir Tristram at Fitzroy on 8th June. Lord Robin Innes-Ker and 3 Troop were ordered back north over the mountains to rejoin the PARAs, while I with 4 Troop, was to have fun and games with 5 Infantry Brigade and the Guards Battalions in the south. The campaign was picking up momentum rapidly with 3 PARA securing Mount Estancia, 45 Commando taking Mount Kent on the night of 12th June, 42 Commando securing Mount Challenger, 1/7 GR taking the Two Sisters and 3 PARA then securing Mount Longdon. Amongst all this fighting there was considerable initiative and courage shown by all concerned. As far as The Blues and Royals Troops were concerned, the momentum was building to a crescendo. The vehicles had now done considerable mileage in extremely difficult conditions and not without incidents that demanded quick thinking and initiative from all members of the Troops. At this stage, not one of the vehicles would have been passed fit for the road in more normal circumstances! 3 Troop unfortunately received a casualty
On 2 June both troops moved south to Bluff Cove to assist the arriving 5 Inf Bde. This is 24C subsequently patrolling out of Fitzroy.
when LCoH Dunkley inadvertently and at night hit a hole and had to be evacuated with a nasty attack of ‘hatch rash’. His place was taken by an eager watch-keeper from 5 Infantry Brigade, namely Captain Roger Field, although command of the Troop was firmly held by the Troop Leader! 3 Troop had an exciting and action packed night on 13th June when they advanced with 2 PARA on to Wireless Ridge. The action was decisive and well executed. 4 Troop was given the somewhat unenviable task of creating a diversion in the low ground below Mount Harriet and south of Tumbledown for the Scots Guards attack on Mount Tumbledown. It is without doubt that the Argentine forces were expecting an attack to the south as the ground was well covered and very heavily mined. The diversionary attack was a great success in that we attracted a considerable amount of attention from the Argentine gunners as we advanced to engage a well dug in Company position. The night was not without incident. 4 Troop was attached to a detachment of Scots Guards led by Major Bethell. The infantry were to
push forward while I was to take my Troop along the only bit of metalled road yet encountered to engage the enemy from the flank. Unfortunately, night had already been turned into day by star shells from our opponents. I advanced my troop as rapidly as possible as the shells fell about us, but was stopped by an enormous crater in the road. By now, Bethell and his men were in contact with the enemy and I felt it imperative to get further forward and in so doing risked driving through a minefield – a risk too far. We were abruptly stopped as the vehicle went up, though luckily other than a whacking great hangover, no casualties were taken. We managed to lay down fire with the remaining vehicles on the enemy position, but to push further forward would have been futile and without doubt would have ended with further loss of vehicles and probably men. Unfortunately, the Scots Guards did take a number of casualties including 2 fatalities before they were withdrawn. As dawn broke, Mount Tumbledown had heroically been secured, and I took 4 Troop up to secure Sapper Hill overlooking Port Stanley. Endex was called, 3 Troop picked the plum and were advanced to Stanley
Aboard Fearless, Plymouth, Jubilant.
Household Cavalry News
The Troop Leaders with the then Colonel The Blues and Royals.
where they were billeted in comfort. Unfortunately, 4 Troop picked the prune and were sent back to Fitzroy without picking up £200 as they passed go! It wasn’t long however before we were reunited in Stanley and boarded HMS Fearless for our trip home. This rapid flip through what was an action packed and trying campaign inevitably leaves out an awful lot of detail and individual acts of courage and initiative that made it from The Blues and Royals’ point of view, the success it was. How well I remember, for example Tpr Tucker dropping back into the turret of his SCIMITAR as the first wave of Skyhawks came over us having hit the Sir Galahad. Tpr Tucker loaded the 30 mm, tracked, fired and hit one of aeroplanes. At this stage I also remember Tpr Fugatt obeying the call of nature in a quarry; he too saw the aeroplanes and without breaking stream or accuracy let rip with his sub-machine gun and a string of expletives! I remember advancing south of Mount Challenger when our vehicles were engaged by surprisingly accurate artillery fire and our crews singing on the very illegal Troop net “Always look on the bright side of life!” as the shells went boom, boom. The stories go on as stories amongst soldiers always do. We returned home with great ceremony and excitement to a ticker-tape reception back in Plymouth, reunited with our families and with the Regiment jubilant in our success and ultimately took part in the victory parade through London. We returned also to the realities of soldiering in the UK and the tragedies of the Hyde Park Bombing, also a bit later the tragic death of Trooper Holdsworth who died in a car accident while returning from Germany for his wedding. To a great extent those members of the Regiment involved in Operation Corporate are still in contact with the Regiment, some inevitably more than others. What is remarkable is that some are still serving and have, since this conflict a quarter of a century ago served the Regiment, Queen
Household Cavalry News
4 Troop: CoH Stretton, Tprs Flynn and Widdowson arrive back in Combermere Barracks on 14 July.
and country so loyally and gallantly, namely: SCpl Flynn CGC MC, currently SQMC at Bovington; Major Klaus Fisher, who has just handed over as HQ Sqn Leader at HCR and is on the staff in Afghanistan; Captain Paul Maxwell as OC 6 Cadet Training Team; my then CoH, now Major Paul Stretton, is RO2 in Home HQ and Secretary of The Blues and Royals Association; and WO2 Henney is still serving on the long service list in Wembley Army careers office. He has recently survived a heart attack, but is still flying the flag and wondering why he is not as skinny as Taff Flynn! Others of us have spread to the four winds and to mention a few, Peter Fugatt has worked for the 6th Earl of Normanton (an ex-Blue) for the last 16 years as the estate carpenter, Eddie Tucker, Badger Brown and Scott Ward are all policemen, and Gary Dunkley finished as a WO1 and has now gone into business. As for me, I am a simple sculptor… and as such in 2005, I was approached by Robert Mason, who in 1982 was Adjutant of the Welsh Guards and is now a trustee of the Falkland Islands Chapel Memorial Trust, to create a sculpture to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the conflict in 2007. He also asked me to make a few pieces with which we could raise money for the Chapel at Pangbourne. I do not want to major this article on Coreth the sculptor, but I feel that my return trip to the Islands in February 2006 and what I learned from it aptly demonstrates the reason why we all put our lives on the line then and would be prepared to do so again. My mission was to revisit the battlefields and to find the inspiration for the memorial at Pangbourne. I travelled a path around the Islands made smooth by the Falkland Island Government Representative in London, Sukey Cameron, and by Brigadier Jeff Mason from the MOD. It was inspiring to revisit the country I had seen nearly a quarter of a century previously but some of the sights brought back frightening memories. It was also an
eye-opener to meet many of the islanders who had been involved during the conflict, members of the Falkland Islands Council and the Governor, His Excellency Howard Pearce. I learned through talking to these people how the Islands have progressed from the spiralling decline of the difficult years before 1982. Then, the economy was in tatters and the population was decreasing as the young left permanently for greener pastures. Since the conflict, the Islanders’ morale has soared as has the economy and their individual wealth. Opportunities exist through fisheries, and mineral wealth that has been discovered. Currently, the Islands are not just self-governing, but self-financing in all respects other than military protection. It is, however, tragic to see so bluntly the extent of animosity that is still shown to the Islands from Argentina. One might indeed say that the success of the Islands since 1982 has aggravated this. Argentina still claims sovereignty over the Islands. Despite the continued economic growth, Argentina appears to be trying to bring the Islands to their knees through what amounts to economic warfare through measures like punishing the fish stocks and preventing flights to the Falkland Islands flying over Argentinean Territory, thus making a viable airline impossible and hindering the growth of the tourist industry. Relations between the Falkland Islands and Argentina are regrettably every bit as bad as they were in 1982. However, it must not be forgotten that the big difference one sees today is, as I have already said, the Islands and the Islanders are now thriving under a sovereignty that they never wished to lose. The Islands and the Islanders have regained their confidence and their self esteem…the war in 1982 put the Islands back on the map and back into the conscience of the world. As my journey went on, it became clear to me that the work that I was to do for the Chapel should not only commemorate the war of 1982, but should salute the Is-
lands’ past, present and future, reflecting its strengths and fragilities. Re-living the war as I retraced my steps brought some terrifying memories back, I stumbled across the temporary graveyard for all those who were killed at Mount Tumbledown, the names of those who perished during my diversionary attack seemed to flash by; how lucky my crew was to step out of our crippled vehicle in one piece. I found my minefield below Mount Harriet. I saw for the first time the terrifying extent of those minefields covering the ground through which we had to travel. They are still marked and are likely never to be removed as the terrain on which they were laid makes it impossible to guarantee total clearance. These minefields will for ever be a reminder of the ’82 conflict. I found during my visit that the local Falkland Islanders were, to a man, totally grateful to us for coming to their rescue; they re-lived so many incidents, not shy to shed a tear when necessary. As I travelled further and met more people, I began to realise that my Falkland Island memorial piece at Pangbourne could not be of a sailor, soldier or airman. It had to be a piece that would salute the complete situation, the Islands past, present and future as well as the Campaign. So to get a broader overview of the Islands, I wanted to see some of the more outlying areas and get a feel for life in the ‘camp’ (their term for the countryside). I travelled down to Sealion Island in the south and saw the remarkable antics of the elephant seal, colonies of gentoo, magellanic and rock-hopper penguins as well as the beautiful king cormorant. I was highly amused by the varying characters of the penguins I saw throughout the Islands. The rockhopper pengFFuin, bouncing from rock to rock is surprisingly small with an amusing and unkempt hairstyle, the king penguin has a military arrogance to it and the magellanic looks at you with a shy eye. The sea is the elephant seal’s element where it dives to huge depths and swims
and catches fish with such freedom. When it climbs out on to the beaches it drags that huge, blubberous weight and collapses in an exhausted heap every few yards as it heaves itself up amongst the rest of its mates. You would not believe that any further movement is possible. Equally unbelievable though is the reaction it makes to the tussock bird, a small, finchlike bird that lands on its back and pecks mites from its body. The elephant seal arches itself up like a Henry Moore or Barbara Hepworth sculpture, shouting and screaming at this very small but sharp irritation. I also saw other wildfowl – the flightless steamer duck and many upland geese, a bird ubiquitous in the Islands and known by every soldier who yomped across them. There were many other species like the striated caracara and the giant petrel. Although Sealion Island was not involved directly in the conflict, it was off its shores that the fleet lost HMS Sheffield. I also flew up to Saunders Island in the north, an island farmed by the Pole-Evans family. I stayed in their guest house, a self-service, very typically Falkland corrugated iron hut, painted bright white with a red roof. I was taken by day to the wildlife colonies in the Neck. There is a huge diversity of species and they have their own, small, colony of king penguin, but in my humble opinion the jewel in their crown is the enormous colony of black-browed albatross. As I sat on the cliffs with the South Atlantic pounding in, bringing with it spray, high winds and all too often rain, I found myself close to heaven with hundreds of these beautiful albatross wheeling above and below me. Albatross would land yards from where I was sitting and sculpting. Their nests, which resemble flower pots, had their extraordinary grey, fluffy chicks sitting in them, all clack, clack, clacking their beaks at me. The adult birds seemed much more trustful. I could sit quietly while these huge seabirds with their fine plumage and deep, dark eye shadow wandered past and around me. To take off, they just open
Mark Coreth presenting his sculpture to HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
their wings and dip into the rising air currents, launching straight into that effortless, swooping flight on their wings that span over eight feet. I watched the birds flying inches above the waves with complete control and then their antics as they approached to land; head up, tail feathers splayed and their feet dangling as airbrakes. I was close enough to them to watch the contour feathers flutter as the air broke from the top surface of their wings on approach to landing. It seemed to me then that the albatross was surely the very subject I needed to tackle for the memorial. Although some may be spooked by the Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, we must learn to look after and respect the albatross, so that its demise does not become a weight around our necks. Like the soaring albatross, the Falkland Islands and their future should be cherished. The albatross speaks of enormous endurance in its flight, reflecting the distances that the Task Force travelled to reach the Islands, the endurance of the sailors and soldiers throughout every aspect of the campaign and the airmen who flew so bravely. It also, not only reflects the extreme fragility of the operation, but of the Islands as a whole both past and present. On 14th June 2007 The Queen unveiled my sculpture of 3 albatrosses which are flying around the outside walls of the chapel. For those who have not visited the Pangbourne Memorial Chapel, whether a veteran of the campaign or not, I strongly advise when the chance comes by, to do so. It is a fitting place for those who were unfortunate enough to lose loved ones and who have left them in the cemeteries on that distant shore to visit and acknowledge their sacrifice. Not all of us, for one reason or another managed to get together at the parade at Horse Guards on 17th June or subsequently at the dinner at Combermere Barracks, but we all share the memories of those distant days together 25 years ago.
After the 25th Anniversary Parade.
Household Cavalry News
The Hyde Park Bombing – Recollections By Brigadier A H Parker Bowles OBE, formerly The Blues and Royals ust over twenty-five years ago on 20th July, all seemed well with our world: a beautiful Summer’s day and the welcome anticipation of getting away from London in a couple of weeks to camp and for the soldiers and horses to have a break in their routine followed by all ranks taking their summer leave.
The Queen’s Life Guard (QLG) had been inspected and had left the barracks. I was standing on the square talking to RCM Lawson and enquiring why Lieutenant Anthony Daly was commanding the QLG whilst the roster had Captain Barney White-Spunner’s name down as the Commander. (I discovered later that the change was to allow the latter to take part in a military show jumping competition.) Then around 1040 hrs we heard the explosion. It was similar to those in Northern Ireland, especially in the early 1970s, and seemed a long way off. It didn’t occur to me that the QLG was the target until a junior NCO came down from the tower block from where he had seen the bomb go off shouting ‘the bastards have got the Guard’ The barracks emptied, everyone running down the South Carriage Road, some in sweatshirts and trousers, braces hanging, some in boots and breeches, and the farriers, their long leather aprons flapping. For what had happened when the IRA bomb went off I rely on a Fleet Street journalist who happened to be driving through Hyde Park. I quote from his recollections: “The moment that will haunt me for the rest of my days arrived at 10.40 and 23 seconds yesterday morning.” And then the full horror of the carnage in Hyde Park enveloped and engulfed me, and almost blotted out my consciousness. Seconds before, the world had been a different place. Now it was irrevocably changed, and nothing would ever seem the same again. Seconds before it had been a beautiful summer day, and I had been driving to work down the South Carriage Road towards Knightsbridge. Idly, I watched the detachment of Household Cavalry clip-clopping down the road 100 yards ahead of me, plumes dancing, breast and backplates gleaming in the sun, their horses groomed and equipment burnished.
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Slaughter…..Horses lie beside the wreckage of an overturned car.
It was at that moment that my bright red Ford Cortina car shook as the very earth trembled beneath me.
maining on their haunches, looking around with almost human panic and shock in their huge brown eyes.
It was at that moment that I looked at my watch. And it was at that moment that the world went into slow motion.
And still there was not a sound. Not from the horses and not from their riders either.
A ball of flame shooting into the air was the first sign that a catastrophe had happened.
And as the column of thick, evil black smoke coiled into the summer skies, the sun prepared to turn red… blood red.
This was immediately followed by an ear splitting thud and a column of black smoke.
Now I saw more red. The bright, glistening red of the blood that started to seep, and sometimes spurt, from the glossy black coats of the horses.
But it was what I witnessed a few moments later that will live with me forever. I saw bodies – huge misshapen masses – start to rain down from the sky. They were horses – animals that had seconds before been so beautiful and sleek.
They had been scythed to ribbons by the thousands of nails and bolts packed round the infernal device planted in that humdrum looking car.
And coming down after them were the men, their riders.
And at last, when I was beginning to wonder if that dreadful scene was to be frozen for all time, some of the less seriously injured troopers staggered to their feet.
Suddenly robbed of all humanity, they became grotesque figures, dazed and wandering among the stricken animals or lying dreadfully still.
I watched, mesmerised, at what happened next. For every single man who could walk reacted in the same way.
And there was the terrible, total complete silence – a silence so absolute that it chilled the mind of the senses. A complete vacuum of noise.
They started to look around for their horses…to see they were all right… to catch the ones who had struggled to their feet.
Not one horse made a single sound. No whinnying. No snorting through the nostrils. Their great breasts lay on their sides, or half sitting-up looking pitiful, their eyes half starting out of their sockets.
Instinctively, the troopers had cared more for their horses than for themselves.
One or two of the stronger or less seriously wounded horses were somehow re-
By now I was beginning to cry, the horses were clearly in more pain. They were still
Of course, each man was concerned for his comrades – but first, they wanted to look after their terribly mutilated horses.
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh talking to CoH Pitt and survivors.
making no noise, but they had that look in their eyes. And then a man with very kind eyes and an oh-so-gentle touch started to work among the stricken animals. Every few seconds, there was a mini-explosion as his humane killer put each horse out of its misery. Dazed myself, I counted five of those shots followed by a twitching of legs as the horse sank slowly on its side for the last time. Later I was told that this had happened seven times. But I didn’t notice the final two executions. By now I was crying my heart out. Nearly everything on which I place my values had been shattered with this terrible, cowardly act of violence. And my first angry thought was that it had been so easy for the terrorists. The car in which the bomb had been placed was, by now, burning from end to end. And there was a stench of burning flesh and blood in the air.
the farriers to plug the hole in Sefton’s neck thinking I wouldn’t see Sefton alive again. We persuaded the armed policeman on duty at the nearby French Embassy to give us his pistol to put down seven horses we knew had no chance of surviving. A little later on we heard a distant explosion. I thought it was the IRA bombing the King’s Troop. In fact it was the bandstand explosion cowardly set off by the IRA in Regent’s Park killing seven of the Green Jacket’s bandsmen. We had lost four men: Lieutenant Anthony Daly, married for 27 days, described by his Eton tutor as “one of the best-liked students between 1972-76”, SQMC Roy Bright, an all-round sportsman with Army colours for fencing, married for sixteen years with two children; Lance Corporal Young, an enthusiastic rugger player, also with two young children; and lastly, Trooper Tipper, married for less than one month, a quick thinking and intelligent trooper who would have done well in whatever he chose to do. Seven horses did not return to Hyde Park Barracks.
The battered Standard of The Blues and Royals on The Queen’s Life Guards the day after the bombing. The Standard is now laid up in the Guards Chapel.
The Aftermath The Queen’s Life Guard did not change on 20th July. The following day, Major John Carr-Ellison, The Blues and Royals Squadron Leader, commanded The Queen’s Life Guard with SCM Martin carrying the battered and torn Squadron Standard. Both QLGs, the returning Guard commanded by Captain Jim Wordsworth, were much moved by the crowds who came out to of their offices and off busses to clap the passing Guard. Captain Wordsworth wrote “Not wild clapping, but gentle reserved applause that went on for ages. People had made the effort to show their support not necessarily for us, the Guard. But for everything we stood for, the Army, the Country, the System”. On passing the spot where the bomb had been exploded the custom started that day of the QLGs saluting the spot where their fallen comrades had died and this salute continues today.
It may seem as if I was only concentrating on the horses. Well, really, I was. The troopers are so small in comparison, and it was hard to spot them as they lay among their beautiful steeds, hidden by the thrashing legs and the sheer bulk of the horses” Coming up the road towards us were dazed troopers from the shattered Guard, with their cuirasses still glinting in the sun but their faces and uniforms spattered with blood. The first horse rider I met was Trooper Pederson with a twisted four-inch nail through his hand. He was leading the horse Sefton who had blood pumping from his jugular. I got one of
The Commanding Officer (Lt Col A H Parker-Bowles) and the Vet (Maj Noel Carding RAVC) visit Sefton.
Household Cavalry News
Memorial at the site of the Bombing on the South Carriageway.
On the evening of the bombing our Colonel-in-Chief HM The Queen rang me to express her sadness and to enquire into the condition of the wounded soldiers. I talked away about the condition of the horses and Her Majesty reminded me that we can buy more horses but we can’t buy soldiers. Also that evening I spoke to the Regiment updating them with all I knew. Not surprisingly very strong emotions were expressed about the IRA in particular and the Irish in general so I decided that no member of the Regiment, unless he lived away from the barracks, was to leave Hyde Park Barracks for thirty-six hours. The following day HRH The Duke of Edinburgh broke into his programme and came and spoke to those injured in the bombing. There were telegrams from HM The Queen, The Prince and Princess of Wales, the Pope (“He utterly condemns this despicable act of cold blooded terrorism”), letters from thousands of people including HM The Queen Mother (“That precious men and beloved horses should suffer like this is beyond comprehension”) and the Prime Minister, Mrs Thatcher. Titbits for the horses flowed in; Polo mints by the tens of thousands, a mass of carrots from Covent Garden whole sellers
Household Cavalry News
Marking the 25th Anniversary of the Bombing.
and thousands of get well cards. No appeal fund was set up but we received over £100,000 of which nearly half came from Ireland and the band of the 2nd Bn of the Parachute Regiment raised £18,000 from concerts that they organised. The money was split between the four widows and four children. On the third day, I received the sad news that SQMC Bright’s life support machine had been switched off. His widow donated his kidneys which we afterwards learnt had saved the lives of two middle aged ladies. The equine hero was Sefton who, at the venerable age of 19, became the best known horse in Britain with veterinary bulletins on his progress published daily. Besides his major jugular injury he had 38 pieces of metal or nails in his body and head. It was thanks to the skill and long hours of work put in by Major Noel Carding (RAVC) that Sefton and the rest of the horses, all of whom suffered injuries, were saved. Sefton went on to have two best selling books written about him; medals and medallions were struck, commemorative ashtrays, spoons etc appeared; veterinary buildings were named after him and he became 1982 Horse of the Year.
We in The Household Cavalry were very keen to have a memorial to our fallen comrades placed on the spot where the IRA bomb went off. The Royal Park authorities and the Civil Service Minister of State for Defence were all against it. I was then informed by Charles Morrison (MP and ex-LG) that “Michael Heseltine (exWG) was infinitely more sympathetic than John Nott to the project.” HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother then stepped in and we got our memorial in Hyde Park. Our great supporter, Her Majesty, was there for the dedication in June 1983. Twenty-five years on I cannot forget the tragic waste of four young men killed by an IRA bomb; the tangible reminders are the memorial and the torn Standard hanging at the rear of the Guard’s Chapel. I was the Commanding Officer at the time and how lucky I was to have under command, Officers, Warrant Officers, NCOs and Other Ranks who reacted to the bombing with such courage, maturity and dignity. It was indeed The Household Cavalry living up to its own high standards.
The Unit Welfare Office By Capt N Stewart, The Life Guards he Unit Welfare Office I hear you ask! What is that? Like most things over the years, it has changed its title a number of times. Most will have known it simply as ‘The Families Office’. Why change? As its former name suggested, we were here purely to serve the families and that is no longer simply the case. The Unit Welfare Office provides support to every soldier serving with the Regiment and also to the families of married soldiers. The Unit Welfare Office’s main effort is to assist the chain of command in providing soldiers who are able to carry out their employed role both at home and on operations.
The office has had a busy year which has seen a change in the staff and the support to two different operational theatres. The office has said farewell to Captain Paul Maxwell, who moved on to working with the cadets in Woolwich and CoH Alan Hughes who has moved on promotion to Headquarters Squadron. The office has welcomed Captain Nick Stewart and CoH Roger Swinburne. A new job, a new team, two squadrons departing for six months to Iraq and two squadrons preparing for Afghanistan, not to mention a major change in business process with Defence Estates – welcome! Yes, we hit the ground…. running. Hidden away in a dark corner of the Broom Farm married quarters estate you will find what looks like a garage, but is actually the hub of the fourth emergency service, ‘The Unit Welfare Office’. It is not a particularly attractive or welcoming place but has served its purpose as an office. Very shortly we will relocate to the former MHS (Modern Housing Solutions) office at 2 Liddell Way, also on the Broom Farm estate. When fully equipped, we will be able to provide a friendly little drop in centre with couple of internet terminals for family use.
Families day out at Birdworld.
The Welfare Team: LCpl Fourie,CoH Swinburne and Capt Stewart.
A and B Squadrons departed in April/May for a six month tour of Iraq. Therefore, we quickly set about organising a few lunches and trips to keep the families briefed up and give them something to look forward to whilst their spouse or parents were away. We managed to provide one lunch a month which consisted of a briefing, lunch and something to keep the children occupied. All the lunches were well attended and enjoyed. The families were kindly invited to a BBQ with the King’s Royal Hussars in Tidworth as we were part of the same battle group. The squadrons were represented by Mr and Mrs Cruddington who thoroughly enjoyed the day. The days out have included; a day at Brighton beach, a trip to bird world, a Disney dancing on ice show at the O2 Arena and a great day out at the Longleat estate near Warminster. Entrance for a coach party was free; this was very generously donated by Lord Bath, who was a former Life Guards officer himself. Unfortunately, there was so much to do and see that one visit was not enough. Most people have said that they plan to revisit in the near future. Hope-
fully, we will be able to take another coach party during the current or next deployment. At the time of writing, we are preparing for the busy Christmas period and have just had 50+ family members enjoy the Panto at the Windsor Royal Theatre. The Children’s Christmas party approaches shortly which will be a major military operation with 80+ children attending from both HCR and HCMR. All will have a full Christmas dinner and see Santa in a short space of time. We look forward to the arrival of the last return flight from Iraq and towards the medal parade. For me it only seems like yesterday that I waved goodbye to A and B Squadrons, time has flown! I hope that we have helped someway in making the families time pass just that little bit quicker. I hope that it is the same for C and HQ Squadrons who are already two to three months in. For the current deployment we plan to continue with the regular Sunday lunch updates and to organise some fun days out. Shortly, we have a coach party going
A & B Sqn families’ trip to Brighton Beach – Taking it easy.
Household Cavalry News
Families lunch – Children’s Halloween fancy dress competition.
to London for a Christmas shopping trip. Whilst there, we will have two free pods on the London eye and a visit to the Household Cavalry Museum at Horse Guards. In the New Year we have been invited to Beaulieu and will have lunch provided by the local clergy. Both of these trips are free and have been arranged by C Squadron Leader’s wife, Helen Bedford. We have other plans up our sleeves for the coming year. If any reader of the Journal can help in any way towards activities for the families during deployments, I and the families would be very grateful. I would like to thank everyone who has helped the Welfare Office this year in anything that they have done or provided; it
Op Herrick 7 families’ trip to London - Watching the Guard change from the London Eye.
is truly appreciated by both the welfare staff, the soldiers and their families. Former Life Guards Officer, Capt Damien Lipman for toys from his father’s company ‘Global International’, Tomy and Hasbro toys, the local Woolworths, Asda, Tesco and Waitrose to name but a few. Also, to all who have been sending parcels to the Squadrons on deployment, particularly LCpl Hannaford’s mother, Jacky and her friends, who organised 293 parcels and to the local Royal British Legion rep, Mr Bill Fryer, and teams of local ladies’ groups. I must not forget the regular support from the wives: Karen and Ruth. To those of you whom I have missed, sorry! And thank you. Finally, I would like to let you know
about our “Support the Household Cavalry in Afghanistan and Iraq” wristbands. We have been selling these bands to gain support for the Household Cavalry and to raise monies towards the Household Cavalry Regimental Welfare Fund. This money is to assist the Welfare Office in providing welfare support to the families of soldiers on deployments. The Bands are on offer for a minimum donation of one pound. There are a number of ways to purchase bands: The Household Cavalry Museum at Horse Guards, Both Regimental Bands, The PRI shop in Windsor, Home Headquarters, the Recruiting team and, of course, the Welfare Office. Big thanks to all who have already purchased bands and also to those of you selling on our behalf. Thank you for your support!
The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Visit to the President’s Bodyguard and 61st Cavalry in India By Cornet B W E Campbell, The Blues and Royals hen I left Sandhurst I was blissfully happy in the perceived knowledge that the only connection I would have with horses in my military service was safely behind me; slipping during the commissioning parade on the droppings of Winston, the Academy Adjutant’s charger, during the march past the Sovereign’s representative. It was a shock, therefore when 6 months later I would find myself pole-axed headfirst into the sand of the Indian desert, having just been launched into orbit by a horse whose demonic savagery even the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse would bridle at. When the Indian Presidential Bodyguard and the Indian 61st Cavalry invited 3 officers from HCMR to visit them, they had every reason to believe that the mystery third officer would be of the same equestrian calibre as the Badminton and Burleigh maestro, Major R G Waygood LG, and Polo guru Capt T S L ‘Nine Goal’ Mundawarara LG. How wrong they were. I may talk a good horse
Household Cavalry News
game, but talking is all very well when one resembles a torn bag of compost when actually mounted. Faced with horses far skinnier and skittier than the good old cavalry blacks, radiologists at the Jaipur and Delhi infirmaries were gleefully charging up their X-ray machines. Against all expectations, how-
ever, our rides in the desert and jungle and jumping sessions passed with my skeletal integrity unblemished. More than can be said for my pride. In stark contrast to their horses, however, at both regiments we were looked after with the utmost generosity, were enter-
Capt Mundawarara and Cornet Campbell hope their steeds won't take off in India.
Major Waygood makes a presentation.
tained marvellously and were fed and watered like kings. We were witness to the presentation of a new trumpet and colours to the President’s Bodyguard, met the President of India at a polo match the following day, attended an all ranks party, met the Maharaja of Jaipur, saw an extraordinary ‘horse dance’ and even were party with the President to a forum on the latest Indian fashionwear. In amongst all this activity, we also found ample time to
Riding Master winning the sweepstake.
indulge the local taxi drivers in their favourite hobby, viz. attempting to murder their passengers. One particular Delhi specimen saw fit to drive us one mile down the fast lane of a motorway on the wrong side of the road. Another viewed use of brakes as downright sinful. Another hijacked the journey and virtually marched us at gunpoint into his brother’s carpet emporium. All part of the fun though, and all three of us had the
most fabulous time. The Commandant of the 61st Cavalry in particular stressed his wish that an officer of the regiment go to visit for a couple of months, to jump or play polo, and I would heartily recommend this to any officer of a seriously equestrian bent. They would never regret it. Hopefully this visit will be the start of a really fruitful relationship between ourselves and these two admirable regiments.
Band of The Life Guards CBRN Training n 25th September 2007, having tested our respirators and practised our drills with our Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Instructor, CoH Walsh and Assistant Instructor, TM West, the Band travelled to Winterbourne Gunner to receive training in our role of decontamination in a CBRN environment. We discussed the possibility of such an event occurring and were shown the monitoring equipment and specially constructed ‘tent’ for surgical requirements. We have better knowledge of medical equipment and the kind of time restrictions in which a casualty can be made stable depending on several factors.
The most valuable experience was to put into practice various roles we would take on if we had to set up and run a deconta-
mination ‘station’ along with supporting transport, logistical and clerical personnel. We all got to practise (in the respirator testing facility (gas chamber) as well as outside) the ‘cutters’ role in the first stage of decontamination with plenty of fullers earth and trying to cut a person’s suit off without further contaminating anything– this proved more tricky than it looked which was demonstrated when LCoH Carter cut through both the suit and SCpl Goodchild’s combat 95 trousers from bottom to top! The last day and a half were taken up with the complete exercise. Half the Band would design and set up a decontamination station based on the knowledge we’d gained. Then, on seeing a lot of orange smoke simulating a chemical vapour hazard, they donned their respirators for
Maj Pennington is allowed to step over the ‘clean-dirty’ line.
the next three hours which on a very sunny afternoon was a challenge in itself. You have to rethink your methods of communication and make time for regular drinking drills. The other half of the Band provided some extra challenging casualties whether they were very vocal and efficient actors in pretending they were dying or in carrying a teeny bit extra weight for the cutters to carry on their stretchers! All in all The Life Guards Band rose to the challenge and turned what could have been a mundane necessary exercise into a useful one which was a good laugh in the end and strengthened an already close knit team.
Buddy-buddy system as the vapour hazard is prominent!
Household Cavalry News
Iran Iraq Border 2007 By Captain R T H Ayton, The Life Guards
or hundreds of years, the border between what are today Iraq and Iran has served more as a line on a map than a fact on the ground. Cutting northwards from the Gulf along the Shatt al-Arab and beyond, across marshes, desert and mountain, this old Ottoman frontier has sat uncomfortably astride local tribal realities and done little to impede the free flow of people and contraband.
coastguard and troops from the 1st Duke of Lancaster’s Battle Group returning fire with heavy machine guns, RPGs and Javelin anti-tank missiles. Operation Sea Lion led to the seizure of 60 vehicles on three barges. It would be wrong to think such convoys are anything short of a nightly occurrence, particularly with the strong influence of the militia within the ports.
In recent years, however, the standard smuggler’s fare of tobacco and hashish has been joined by a far more destructive trade in explosives, rockets and insurgents as Iran seeks to extend its influence over southern Iraq at the expense of British servicemen’s lives. It is no secret that the source of most of the equipment and expertise used to target our forces in Basra lies across the border, particularly with the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guard. During A Squadron’s 2007 tour in Iraq on Op TELIC 10, the struggle to secure the borders against this threat grabbed a far greater prominence within the tasks of British troops. To understand the ways in which this security is being improved, it is useful to review the challenges presented by the border as they stand today.
Due east of Basra, shortly after the border hits ground for the first time, lies the only legal land crossing point between Iraq and Iran in Basra province. Shalamcheh crossing is a purpose-built compound with sophisticated detection equipment. The post deals not only with large quantities of cargo – primarily building materials and food – but also with the bulk of Shiite pilgrims and families passing into Iraq to visit relatives or the great shrines at Kerbala and Najaf. There is no doubt that this innocuous traffic hides a number of insurgents and operatives from the Quds Force and other militant groups.
Iraq’s border security is undermined by a number of factors both affecting the work of border enforcement agencies and resulting from them. To begin with, the frontier line itself is often contested, particularly at sea. International agreements mark the demarcation line between Iraq and Iran as extending out from the coast along the deepest point of the trough that the Shatt al-Arab waterway forms once it hits the sea. Over the years since this accord was reached, this channel has naturally swung south, allowing Iran to claim an extension of its territorial waters towards the two huge oil loading platforms that account for almost all of Iraq’s 1.5 million barrels a day of crude exports. As far as the Iranians are concerned, the northernmost of the platforms already lies within its waters – a point of view the United States rejects by positioning significant naval forces around it. Iraq is the world’s tenth-largest exporter of crude oil. Moving up the Shatt al-Arab, bickering between the Iraqi Navy and the coastguard has left a stretch of the waterway bereft of Iraqi patrols altogether. With one bank Iraq and the other Iran, it is clear to see the potential for smuggling. In early February 2008, attempts to apprehend a convoy of boats laden with cars resulted in a major fire-fight, with the
Household Cavalry News
A great deal of effort has been put into training and mentoring officials, improving facilities and equipment since 2003, and the present compound itself is a testament to that effort. Shalamcheh has also been included in the U.S. programme to supply Iraqi entry points with state-of-the-art passport verification systems with permanent satellite links to databases in Baghdad. The problem, as always, is the extent to which the equipment and expertise is used on an everyday basis, particularly when there is no supervision by coalition forces. In their absence, a combination of corruption and infiltration makes it likely that significant contraband is simply driven through this crossing point unhindered. North of Shalamcheh, the border cuts a straight line into the deserts that saw so much fighting during the long Iran-Iraq war. Flanked by huge defensive positions and still strewn with abandoned armour, artillery and equipment, the churned, desolate dirt offers little shelter, though it is criss-crossed by innumerable paths that the local tribes navigate with ease. The Iraqi border forts stretching along the line every 10 to 15 miles have also been the recipients of investment, and their inhabitants – officers and soldiers of the Directorate of Border Enforcement (DBE) – are trained in a central college at the former British air station at Shaibah near Basra. The soldiers serve shifts of seven days in these forts, usually comprised of an open or closed courtyard surrounded
by eight or ten offices and barrack rooms, generators, a couple of vehicles and a radio mast. Though not the most challenging work, it is still much prized in an economy where the various state and ministerial security forces offer one of the few opportunities to earn a regular salary. The efficiency of their control over the border is, however, a matter of opinion. As the border moves north, it enters the marshes that provided the backdrop for Sir Wilfred Thesiger’s much celebrated book on the Marsh Arabs. Crossed by leveed roads that rise above the water, the marshlands are fringed by forests of reeds that hamper observation and navigation. The tribes that traditionally live in the marsh areas between Basra and Maysaan provinces suffered greatly in the latter half of the twentieth century as governments embarked on damming projects on the Euphrates and huge drainage campaigns in the marshlands. Many of these areas have now been re-flooded, but though this may benefit the local tribes, it also benefits the smuggling activities with which some of them are closely linked. An experienced local will have no trouble crossing the marshes into Iran, and the local police or border forts will do little to hamper this age-old practice. Indeed, as with all the border and particularly in Maysaan, the footprint of tribes regularly crosses over the artificial border line and it is not uncommon for individuals to cross illegally to visit family on the other side. In 2003, the United Nations estimated that there were around 40,000 displaced Marsh Arabs living on the Iranian side. It is hardly surprising that bringing contraband across from Iran provides essentially the only opportunity to earn money, as significant numbers of marshland villages have no jobs to offer and not even any fresh water or electricity for the inhabitants. Many Marsh Arabs live in reed dwellings in circumstances little changed from Sir Wilfred’s travels in the 1950s. Beyond the Marshes, we move north into Maysaan province. The border here is still heavily mined but otherwise not marked, though usually the beginning of high ground marks the start of Iranian territory, giving their border posts vantage points to watch deep into Iraq. Maysaan is well known as a province with an independent spirit. Though it shares the standard religious and ethnic characteristics of Basra, provincial politics is subject to more tribal influence than the more metropolitan province to its south. A Squadron came to know the borders of
the province well, spending over two months in the desert to the east and north of the provincial capital Al-Amarah. Between the marshes in the south and the first rocky hills and uplands that mark the limit of British responsibility in the north, there are ample opportunities to shift equipment into Iraq. The border areas are well linked to Baghdad and Basra by road, and the frequent areas of rough farmland or widely distributed quarries offer ideal sites to establish caches and stores. Faced with such a long and effectively porous border, what can the Coalition do to ensure it is secure against the infiltration of men and equipment that will target its forces? In the North, US troops regularly patrol the border with Syria and maintain permanent, company-sized groups at crossing points. Clearly, it is unrealistic and undesirable to man the southern borders with British troops, but the number of possible routes makes it difficult to rely on precise operations without constant, reliable intelligence. The emphasis has been placed on improving the skills and equipment of border posts. During A Squadron’s deployment in Iraq, we made frequent visits both to border forts and crossing points on the Iranian border, taking lowlevel equipment for passport inspections and providing training with the help of
US customs and immigration officers. This was almost universally welcomed and the guards themselves were keen to learn skills that could help them in their much-prized jobs. However, there is no guarantee that border officials will use their skills without oversight, particularly when the DBE is no less infiltrated by militia groups and parties than any other Iraqi institution. Some areas, particularly ports, are deeply infiltrated and influenced by the militias, undermining many of the efforts made in other areas to strengthen control over goods and individuals. At the same time, we cannot escape the fact that the solution to Iraqi smuggling must itself be Iraqi. The institutions that we have established and trained must be able to manage themselves and supply their outposts and stations. However, it should come as a surprise to no-one that the Iraqi bureaucratic and ministerial structure does little to improve the efficiency of its agents on the ground, and usually does a great deal to hamper them. The supply chain is a particular area where improvements are making themselves felt less quickly than we would wish. The most positive development over the past twelve months has been the increase
in support for borders training from the divisional and corps (national) level in Iraq. Whereas before there was a small but active Border Transition Team (BTT) engaged with the Iraqi authorities, this role has now been taken on by the battle groups on the ground. Shalamcheh in particular has been visited by British troops for longer periods, with a wider array of support assets available to mount operations against smugglers in the area. The Duke of Lancasters’ Operation Sea Lion is just one, high-profile example of the renewed vigour with which border operations have been pursued. Iraq’s borders are fundamentally very difficult to control, being both ill-defined and naturally porous. Whether by sea, across the Shatt, through the marshes or by isolated Maysaan back-roads, it is not realistic to guarantee security over the goods and individuals that enter the country. While a great deal of effort has been dedicated to establishing Iraqi border controls that are both fit-for-purpose and structurally sound, the nature of Iraq’s border controls ultimately rests with the Iraqis. What I hope we helped to bring about on Op TELIC 10 was a foundation for the future, giving border officials and organisations the skills and equipment to secure themselves when the political will proves sufficient to do so.
Mounted Troops on P Company By Lieutenant R J Spiller, The Blues and Royals
tandby, GO!” are words that have a particular resonance for anyone who has ventured north to Catterick in pursuit of a maroon beret, but they are ones that you don’t expect to hear in the more refined surroundings of Knightsbridge. Nonetheless, they quickly became familiar to Lieutenant Spiller, LCpl Jones, Tpr Sabatini, all RHG/D, and Tpr McAuliffe LG, who set themselves the challenge of completing the All Arms Pre-Parachute Selection, better known as Pegasus or P Company, in September 2007.
After hearing much to put us off the 16 Brigade beat-up, we were delighted to be able to join one being run internally at Windsor by SSgt Wright APTC and his team. Perhaps surprisingly, the Windsor contingent were swiftly whittled down during a series of demanding runs and tabs in the Great Park and at Aldershot’s Sand Valley, as well as some extremely sweaty gym sessions, and in the end only 2nd Lieutenant T W J Davie LG and Tpr Ross joined the HCMR group. The intense beat-up was to stand us in good
stead, providing us with the necessary physical and mental preparation without leaving people broken (other than on one rather bouncy visit to the Pirbright obstacle course), a criticism often leveled at the Brigade equivalent.
The course itself had the maximum 120 starters, reflecting 16 Brigade’s imminent deployment, making the Personal Fitness Test (PFT) on Screening Day like the start of the Grand National - one Gunner completed the course with one shoe, but
Lt Spiller appearing seemingly more on the receiving end than 2Lt Davie.
Household Cavalry News
16 finished outside the time. The trinasium and Combat Fitness Test claimed no victims, so 104 lined up for the course photograph. The first day of the course proper seemed calculated to instill an early feeling of despair, with a very fast run broken up by ‘pain stations’; the remainder of the week passed in a blur of hill reps, both on runs and tabs, in the mornings, and gym sessions, bayonet fighting and classroom lessons in the afternoons. The march from Helles Barracks to the start point and to the cookhouse added a couple of miles to each day and casualties started to build: fewer than ninety completed the ‘Four Horsemen’ at the end of the first week. The second week was broken up by the (barely) tactical exercise, largely comprising navigation exercises and section at-
tacks, and was otherwise notable for the Snake Hill run - the only long rather than repeated hill - and the infamous Land of Nod - hill repetitions in a disused quarry. 74 lined up for the ten miler that heralded Test Week, with most coming within the required time, before an afternoon on the trinasium, the aerial confidence course that makes very sure of confidence at height. ‘Black Thursday’ brought the very demanding log race: only four finishers from nine starters on the author’s log was not atypical. Exhausted bodies were then dragged around the steeplechase in the afternoon, an event conspicuous for its lack of team spirit as elbows flew at the narrow points. Friday began with the two miler, leaving many on wobbly legs for the ‘milling’. For this, the author was paired with a WO1 from the PT
Corps in a bout that HCMR troopers don’t seem to tire of watching on DVD. After the weekend, we repaired to Otterburn for a very damp twenty miler before the climactic stretcher race over four deeply uncomfortable miles. The brutal pass/fail parade followed, with 64 being presented with their berets, the remainder marching back without. Sadly only Lieutenant Spiller and Tpr Sabatini were able to enjoy this moment, with injuries having claimed the others at various points on the course. It is a course that teaches one a great deal about one’s mental and physical limits, although it requires, and imparts, almost no tactical knowledge or skill. Overall, the very high injury rate raises an obvious cost/benefit question, but anything to disabuse the myth of the chinless cavalryman!
An Intelligent Move By Lieutenant R R Smith, The Life Guards or many reasons, the Household Cavalry Regiment attracts a great number and wide variety of soldiers and officers. What follows is a short account of my journey into the Regiment. After commissioning into the Intelligence Corps in December 2006, I was immediately posted to the Regiment for a nine month attachment. The Intelligence Corps sends its officers on attachment as a way of broadening their minds and to help prepare themselves for life with the Corps. What they did not know at this time, and what I was to quickly learn, is that they would not be getting me back.
I joined B Squadron as they began their pre-deployment training for Operation TELIC 10. Initially I was concerned that I would be given a desk job. Intelligence Corps officers are not renowned for their fighting skills or soldiering ability, and I knew that many of my colleagues were all set for ‘12 on, 12 off’ watchkeeping jobs. Luckily, Major Andrew Methven didn’t like the taste of the brews I made and gave me the position of Team Commander.
diers and began to feel that I was truly part of the Regiment and of B Squadron. The course culminated with a five day exercise in which the Squadron performed exceptionally well. The pride that I felt upon finishing was for the boys and the Regiment. At this point, just days before deployment, the Intelligence Corps was at the very back of my mind.
The training was dominated by the five week Close Observation Training Advisory Team (COTAT) course. It was here that I began really working with my team – Lance Corporal Minter and Troopers Sedgwick and Glasgow. The training consisted of an intensive live firing package, a technical phase for the new equipment used by close observation teams, all aspects of urban and rural OPs and an arduous physical training programme. I was soon impressed by the commitment and professionalism shown by the sol-
It was difficult for us to predict exactly what it would be like in Basra. Looking back on the tour now, I’m sure most of the men in the Squadron would agree that we probably had the most interesting tour of any unit deployed on TELIC 10. As the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, we fulfilled an incredible variety of roles during a very active time for the British Army in Iraq. My tour started with a two week job at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar as the liaison officer to a Nimrod MR2 team. Many people cycled
Household Cavalry News
C/S AM41 – My team: Tpr Sedgwick, LCpl Minter and Tpr Glasgow.
through this position and others like it throughout the tour. It is a credit to the Regiment that its troopers are confident and capable enough to control multimillion pound reconnaissance aircraft and directly influence large operations on the ground. On my return to Basra, I was sent with a team of nine men to an isolated facility in the middle of Basra city. The conditions there were worlds apart from those of Al Udeid (which was like an American University, but with slightly fewer women). Due to the high threat and volatile conditions within the city at the time, all food and water had to be brought in on heavily armed convoys. The building that our team and around fifty other British Troops occupied was attacked almost daily by mortars, rockets, RPGs, snipers and other small arms. Added to that we lived under the constant threat of
The author on the range, August 2007.
COTAT – Endurance training.
kidnap and possible suicide attack. The living conditions were very close, and I got to know the guys very well with just the ten of us occupying a single tent within a building. During my time with the Regiment, many people approached me and asked, “why the Intelligence Corps?” For a while the DS interview response would easily fall off my tongue, but then over time the answer became a bit too robotic and rehearsed until I was soon asking myself the same question. The last part of my tour was conducted from the Contingency Operating Base
(COB). The Brigade Recee Force (BRF) continued to be extremely busy even after the tactical repositioning from Basra Palace. The transfer process to the Regiment was set in motion in August as I continued to take part in operations that strengthened the knowledge that I had made the right decision. By the end of September I was called back to a bleak Chicksands to begin the Intelligence Corps Young Officer’s course, and to explain myself to the Directorate. There began an extremely difficult period where for two months, I was thrust into a world which I had already rejected. However, The Intelligence Corps finally relinquished their grip and I sit writing this as
the most recent addition to The Life Guards. When I first came to the Regiment last year, I was not treated like an outsider, but made to feel very welcome. The men that I would go on to work with throughout that year helped me to realise what the Army is all about, what I want from the Army and what I could give back. Their dedication, resourcefulness, sense of humour and loyalty set them apart as the best soldiers and officers of the British Army. I am proud to say that I am now one of them.
Knowledge is Power By WO1 K Fortune, The Blues and Royals ime moves on quickly, and I feel that it’s important to fill life with new experiences whenever possible in order to become wiser and speak with some authority on issues that affect our day to day lives as soldiers. Often it is said that knowledge is power.
However, it was with an amount of trepidation that I moved outside my comfort zone at regimental duty after twenty years to take up a post as RCM at The AFV Gunnery School in Lulworth, Dorset. Now, after the dust has settled and being on receive for the past months, it’s been interesting to see some of the issues affecting the H Cav and RAC from a different perspective. The Armoured Centre is a hub of business, policy, training, development and resources for all our Regiments and their future operational structures. It’s been reassuring to see and learn from people who have spent a huge amount of time here at the three Schools. Daily issues are tackled, changed and moved forward which affect us all. Here, at the Gunnery School, although not on
the forward edge of the battlefield, it is committed to delivering soldiers to the front line who are fully prepared for current demanding operations. For the instructors, it is a chance to step out of the fast moving life at RD for two years and take stock of personal family welfare while still delivering professional experience and knowledge to soldiers in training or in preparation for deployment. A move to Armcen as an Instructor would for anyone be a wise move, and becoming a subject matter expert (SME) in one of the three core disciplines; Gunnery, Signals or Driving and Maintenance. The benefits to both the individual’s career profile and prospects for future promotion are very much apparent; and for the Regiment are significant in terms of professional expertise, and maintaining excellence in delivering technical AFV knowledge and training.
Schools Instructors developing into SMEs on both Challenger 2 and CVR(T) as well as other vehicle mounted weapon systems over a period which is certainly an uphill learning curve but certainly worth the late evenings burning the midnight oil to gain the career benefits which come from completion of the cadre. It’s worth mentioning that I haven’t yet seen an unhappy instructor or one who wouldn’t extend to stay longer. Unfortunately, the Household Cavalry no longer has the monopoly at the Armcen Schools which did exist in years past. This I feel will need to change, particularly on the shop floor at all the Schools. I’m sure this is something that can be addressed if as a Regiment we understand that investing in the individual and their families is in turn investing in the Regiment’s future, especially now with huge amounts of equipment change and the likes of Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) just over the horizon.
The Gunnery School Cadre is currently almost four months long, with potential
Household Cavalry News
Rowing for the United Kingdom By Captain A R Heathcote, The Blues and Royals he average height and weight of a British rower is six foot six inches and 16 stone respectively so it is understandable that two rather scrawny Household Cavalry officers might think they had an almost unimaginable mountain to climb in trying to get into the British rowing team.
During the Autumn of 2006, whilst working as the CVR(T) gunnery officer at the AFV Gunnery School in Lulworth, I instructed an intake of young officers which included 2nd Lieutenant Robin BourneTaylor The Life Guards. Having rowed in the 2004 Olympics in Athens, he suggested attempting national trails for the senior rowing team and so, without much thought of the pain and damage to my social life, it was agreed. Training started the next day in a dark, damp garage with no lights on two rowing machines at 0530 hrs. For the next 3 months, a gruelling regime of weights, rowing and running resulted in our attending the first set of long distance trials in Boston, Lincolnshire. It was obvious from the start that this was to be no picnic. Having rowed a fair bit myself in the past, I can only imagine the experience similar, in football terms, to moving from the Vauxhall Conference to the Premiership in a few short months. Despite this, our incessant training had paid off and, rowing together as a pair, we achieved fifth place out of all British crews, 40 entries in total. This performance afforded us an invitation to train with the British team full time at the training centre in Caversham near Reading and at several training camps in Spain and Italy. Although smaller than many of the other athletes, it began to emerge that our combination of rowing styles and large power to weight ratio produced a lot of speed on the water making us very competitive with some of the top boats within the squad. The season for selection culminated with a pairs trial in Hazewinkle in Belgium followed by a gruelling fortnight of racing in Caversham. By the beginning of May, our performance had resulted in success and the chief coach, Jurgen Grobler, named the boats positioning us as stern pair for the British eight. The racing season for international rowing lasts approximately four months and culminates in the World Championships each year and the Olympics every four years. Within that time, there are three world cup regattas that usually take place in different locations throughout Europe.
Household Cavalry News
The 2007 season included world cup regattas in Linz (Austria), Amsterdam and Lucerne (Switzerland). The first world cup resulted in a fairly mediocre performance with the eight coming fourth behind Canada, China and Belarus. However, things improved drastically over the next few weeks and, at the Amsterdam world cup, the eight achieved a well deserved bronze medal in a very close race although missing out to the Chinese yet again. As with all high performance sport though, injuries and illness take their toll and coming back from some very hard racing in Holland and having not had a day off for six weeks, three of the eight, including Robin Bourne-Taylor, fell ill putting them out of the crew for the next world cup. With three substitutes on board and everyone feeling the strain, the eight competed at the final world cup in Lucerne. Although some speed had been lost, the boat raced valiantly and achieved a fourth place in the final. Four weeks now remained until the World Championships, which were to be held in Munich in Germany. These four weeks were to comprise some of the hardest training of the year, most of which was done at altitude in Austria on a glacial lake. This training camp lasted three weeks and had all athletes training up to four times a day with no respite from the cold, wind, rowing machines, weights and all-male environment! During this time, the boat got stronger and stronger as all the fine tuning was done and speed was coming easier and easier. The time had come to move to Munich for the World Championshipsâ€™ build up and racing. This year had particular importance to the racing as the event also served as the selection process for the
2008 Olympics. In the Menâ€™s eights event, there are only 7 places available for the Olympics and so the main aim had to be finishing in the top 7 boats. With a total entry of 16 countries, the competition was extremely intense and the fact that most countries nominate their top boat as the eight made the prospect of selection all the more difficult. The racing started off well, despite coming a close third in the heat, and therefore missing out on direct entry into the semi-finals. However, the repercharge race was won in style which put the eight in a crucial semi-final with some of the top seeded countries; Germany, China and Canada. The semi-final proved to be the most important race of the championships as crews were required to come in the top three places in each race in order to make selection for the Olympics. In a gargantuan effort which demonstrated the power and speed of the British eight, we achieved second place just behind Canada and in front of Germany, the 2006 world champions, and China. Having secured a place at the Olympics, some pressure was off although our lightning performance only served to fuel the crewâ€™s hunger for a medal in the final. The final proved to be the toughest race of the season, especially as the eight was in last place at the halfway mark. Passing through the 1000m mark, the boat surged with a huge effort from all crew members and started closing the gap on the Canadians who were leading comfortably. The British boat moved quickly through the Polish, then the Russians and finally the Americans. Unfortunately, there seemed too little track left to take the Germans who just held on for a silver medal by less than quarter of a boat length. A medal in the world championships that seemed so elusive at the beginning of the season was at last ours!
Celebrations were quick to materialise. However, the abstinence from alcohol for the previous couple of months and the lengthy time spent purely in the company of men meant that even the Russian heavyweight women had started to look mighty appealing by the end of the first Stein. Thankfully, the arrival of the Swedish lightweight women’s team and free beer made for a thoroughly enjoyable and well deserved evening. A three week break and it was back to training. All eyes are now on the lead up to the Beijing Olympics in August 2008 and, with any luck, we should see two members of the Household Cavalry Regiment once again leading the charge for Gold…
Our programme for this year is as follows 9th - 11th May 1st World Cup, Munich, Germany 30th May - 1st June 2nd World Cup, Lucerne, Switzerland 20th - 22nd June 3rd World Cup, Poznan, Poland 30th June - 18th July Training camp, Silvretta, Austria 10th - 17th August Olympic Rowing events. Final on 17th.
Spruce Meadows 2007 By Captain N K Twumasi-Ankrah, The Blues and Royals t was a quiet Sunday morning in early September as the contingent of soldiers from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment packed the last pieces of personal kit into an MT van. The team had been hand picked from a cast of three hundred, they included: three finalists from the Richmond Cup, Tprs Bliss, Foran and Stock; CoH Walker from the Saddlers’ Shop; and Captain N K Twumasi-Ankrah RHG/D, the team leader. The sixth member, CoH Nicholls of the Riding Staff, had set off four days before as part of the advanced party. The six were to be joined by a King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery (KTRHA) contingent who were to form the British Army ceremonial contingent to the International Masters Competition.
The Contingent was tasked with Escorts and Honour Guard duties for the duration of the event which was celebrating the thirty seventh year of its existence, and this was the twenty-fourth year the Regiment had been invited to take part. Spruce Meadows was the brainchild of Ron Southern, a successful Canadian businessman, who had developed a single field and barn into one of the premier equestrian competition venues in the world. Its internationally acclaimed facilities are to be the model for the Chinese Olympic equestrian facilities for the 2008 games. Today, the site sprawls over 22 acres of countryside on the outskirts of Calgary, its grounds contain four world class competition arenas, a plaza, several conference centres, many stalls and a plethora of restaurants shops and cafes. The site would host the full range of equestrian events from Best of Breed Competition to a Six Bar Jump Off with over a million dollars in prize money.
An advance party had set off four days before and were given the unenviable task of selecting and preparing the medium schooled horses which had been loaned to us by Spruce Meadows and private owners for the duration of the competition. This task had fallen upon CoH Nicholls who was assisted by a King’s Troop instructor. All the horses, with a couple of exceptions, took well to their new found roles; they worked on a mantra that “canter was the cure for all evils”. The main body arrived at Calgary International Airport after an exceptionally comfortable flight with Air Canada and were greeted by the delightful Kelly Meldrum; an Events Coordinator for Spruce Meadows along with CoH Nicholls and Bdr Tailor. Both appeared to have gone native with their newly purchased cowboy boots, Stetsons and jeans. Following a brief welcome, we headed straight for
the competition ground to familiarise ourselves with our new surroundings. As we entered the ground we were struck by the enormity and quality of the facility which was more akin to an amusement park in appearance; it was difficult to believe all this had originated from a dirt arena and one stable block. Mastering the horse over a two day period prior to the start of the competition was an eye opening task; none of the horror stories we had been told materialised as forthright instruction and confident riding won the day as man overcame beast and cavalry horses were forged. Occasionally, one or two horses threw in the odd buck, impromptu canter and spin to test us, though fortunately none became unseated. The horses and equipment were housed in a picturesque stable complex, which would be the envy of Hyde Park Barracks, even with the rebuild.
The author conquering the Canadian wilds.
Household Cavalry News
Over the six days of competition, we were kept surprisingly busy with a range of tasks and duties. The Colour Guards required four mounted troopers outside the main buildings such as the British House, which was located on the main drag and was one of the many conference centres, and would last for two hours. Other Guards were posted outside the South Pavilion which soon became a preferred spot. The Escort required four mounted troops to lead the riders into the major competitions in the four main arenas which were: the International Ring, the equivalent of an Olympic arena; the North American ring with it palatial grounds; Meadows on the Green, which had luscious lawns; and the amazingly landscaped All Canadian Ring. Dismounted Guards were shorter in duration than those experienced on Queen’s Life Guard, though at times they were similar to investitures. One dismounted Guard involved an hour stint with swords at the carry, while dignitaries and businessmen entered a sponsor’s award ceremony at a major hotel in Calgary. The Officers were also tasked with hosting the many sponsors and Veterans groups at various lunches and dinners. We were aided in our duties by The Band of The Parachute Regiment, and Lord Strathcona’s Light Horse, the ceremonial element of a Canadian armoured regiment. They liked to canter at every opportunity which left the riders unseated on many occasions to the delight of the crowd. There were also Spruce Meadows own ‘Steele’s Scouts’ and the re-enactors of the Legion of Frontiersmen, who also provided Mounted Guards and Escorts. The highlight of the competitions was taking our rightful place at the head of the procession on Britain Day, in front of several thousand spectators. Contingent leaders presented gifts to the founders, Ron and Marg Southern, live on television alongside the British Consul and the Commanding Officer of BATUS. Even though we did not compete in any equestrian competitions, we still managed to beat all the other international and military teams in completing the Spruce Meadows Puzzle which involved the construction of a three dimensional sign against the clock using huge lettered cardboard boxes. The competitions and events were both electric and nerve-biting to watch as individual and national teams competed in a series of events such as the ATCO Six Bar Jump Off, the Molson Cup, the Bank of Montreal Nations Cup and the CN International One Million Dollar Cup. On the few evenings we were not on tasks, we attended the many social events laid on
Household Cavalry News
The Household Cavalry at Spruce Meadows
by our hosts. These included the annual Ranchman’s Party, a fun-filled night hosted by Spruce Meadows involving line dancing and other boisterous team events that kept everyone amused. We also attended the mid-week BBQ and concert as well as a closing night party. All the Spruce Meadow staff were incredibly warm and friendly and went out of their way to make us feel welcome; they had a Disney like ethos which was very family focussed and was reflected by the happy atmosphere engendered by all the staff from the senior management down. The closing ceremony passed smoothly and ended with a firework display which was watched by a crowd of fifty thousand. This brought an end to a demanding yet enjoyable first week. The second week was dedicated to challenging pursuits, and we left the comfortable surroundings of our Calgary Hotel, which had been kindly provided by our hosts, and drove to the ski resort of Banff. We took part in white water rafting and were able to take part in a real life rescue after a Swiss lady was swept out of our raft. We battled with the rapids and were completely exhausted by the time we reached the end of our adventure, though, at one stage, we nearly failed to reach the bank and could have been carried away by the current. The following day, we rented mountain bikes and then attempted to conquer a few neighbouring mountains. Team HCMR set off at an initially encouraging pace with CoH Nicholls and Tprs Bliss, Foran and Stock displaying their hardened stamina but soon altitude got the better of them and the race turned into a leisurely ride. The rest of the danger was provided on the downward journey with some hair-raising, windy and steep roads which managed to quell CoH Walker’s need for speed being the mountain bike ninja he claimed to be.
Undaunted by our down hill near death experience, we took on our next challenge which required less energy, and booked a quad bike tour; It took a couple of our number some time to come to terms with the basic controls (the author included) and to locate the brakes, though we soon adopted our alter egos and became extras from Mad Max. Some took it too far and found themselves wedged in between two trees; mention no names, Tpr Stock. Sadly, we did not see any bears though we were taken through some amazing forests and had perfect views of the mountain tops. At one stage we trekked on foot deep into the forest to overlook a waterfall from a vantage point which was worth the ankle twisting hike. For our four days in Banff, we stayed in a comfortable chalet with KTRHA two miles away from the town centre. Most evenings we cooked for ourselves, surviving mainly on a communal BBQ with fresh salads. One evening when we were feeling particularly brave, we sampled some of the local culinary delights which took the form of shark, rattle snake, elk and alligator; surprisingly, none of them tasted like chicken, but it didn’t stop Tpr Bliss “wolfing it down!” On the last day of our Canadian adventure, we made the long road journey back to Calgary for some last minute shopping and a final meal of dusted ribs and BBQ chicken wings for the Troop Leader. Then we sealed our air freight before boarding the plane. Our time in Canada had been very enjoyable and our entire contingent represented the Regiment and the Army with distinction and pride to the praise of all the Canadian we worked with and met. We are exceptionally grateful to all those at Spruce Meadows and especially Mr and Mrs Southern for their kind hospitality and making our stay most memorable.
Three Cavalrymen in Kampala By WO2 (SCM) D Goodall, The Blues and Royals t’s not every day in the Army that the opportunity arises for individuals to embark on a trip to Central Africa, but that’s exactly what happened for three Cavalrymen in June!
I was sitting at my desk early one March morning when I received a phone call from an old colleague, former Coldstream Guardsman Simon Bowskill MBE. He is currently the Regional Overseas Security Manager for the British High Commission in Kampala, Uganda. Simon is involved with organising the party at the High Commissioner’s Residence to celebrate The Queen’s Official Birthday and asked if the Household Cavalry could provide some soldiers in full state kit to add some British pomp and pageantry to the event! Being fully aware of how busy both Windsor and Knightsbridge were at the time of the event to coincide with The Queen’s Birthday Parade, it occurred to me the only people who could possibly fill the commitment would be from D Squadron. Even within the Squadron, the resources were tight; I needed a Life Guard and a Blue and Royal who were mounted trained and, with most of the Squadron on career courses or courses in preparation for forthcoming operations, the short list of potential candidates was a very short indeed! This heavy burden fell on the shoulders of CoH Dave Simpson LG and, of course, me. We would be joined by the current Pipe Major from the Royal Dragoon Guards, Pipe Major Alan Johnston, who would be providing some musical accompaniment to the ceremony. The day after the Household Cavalry Pageant on Horse Guards, we flew out to Entebbe from Heathrow; our equipment (all 85kgs of it!) had been very kindly couriered out there the previous week by Mr
CoH Simpson LG, SSgt (P/Maj) Johnston RDG & WO2 (SCM) Goodall RHG/D pose for photographs with two specially selected pupils from Kitante Primary School.
Johan Vandroognbroek of DHL. Our flights with British Airways had been very kindly organised and paid for by Mr Declan Peppard, the owner and Managing Director of Travelcare, The British High Commission (BHC) and the BHC Club, The Rose and Crane. Armed with some Household Cavalry charm we even managed to wangle ourselves an upgrade! Unfortunately the PMaj was delayed on his flight from Edinburgh to Heathrow and had to follow on 24 hours later. His baggage would eventually arrive four days after him! We would be accommodated in the British High Commission’s transit flat above the Rose and Crane social club, complete with swimming pool, squash and tennis courts and bar and club house down stairs! Straight away we could see it was going to be a tough gig! CoH Simpson and I rapidly turned the lounge into our cleaning room and began to prepare our kit for the forthcoming events. The job was made even harder by the out-
CoH Simpson LG, SSgt (P/Maj) Johnston RDG & WO2 (SCM) Goodall RHG/D with the Primary Class at Kabira International School.
standing and generous hospitality shown to us by all we met! The main event was to take place on Friday, 15th June, hosted by The British High Commissioner, Mr Francois Gordon CMG and his wife Elaine at their residence. This is a key function in the diary of diplomatic events in Kampala with a lot of high profile diplomats and members of the Ugandan government present. The previous year, two Coldstream Guardsmen and a Piper from the Scots Guards had made the trip out. The standards had been set, and now it was the Cavalry’s turn to surpass it! I and CoH Simpson flanked the entrance to the party allowing guest to have their photo taken as they entered and leaving them in no uncertain terms they were entering a British event to mark Her Majesty’s birthday. The PMaj would pipe in the High Commissioner and the guest of honour, Mr Sam Kutesa, the Ugandan Foreign Affairs Minister, escorted by the
WO2 (SCM) Goodall RHG/D & CoH Simpson LG flanking the British High Commissioner in Uganda, Mr Francois Gordon CMG and the Ugandan Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Sam Kutesa.
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pair of us. We then flanked the podium while the High Commissioner and the Foreign Minister made speeches. It’s amazing how quickly you forget the pain of being at the Carry for long periods of time!
the latest British Foreign policy initiatives very quickly. Mr Gordon heaped praise on our efforts and said the publicity we’d helped generate had been instrumental in promoting and publicising British Foreign Policy - praise indeed!
The High Commissioner used the opportunity of his speech to announce some key British Foreign policy initiatives including £1.4m in aid to war torn Somalia. With the main part of the function over we took the opportunity to change in to something more comfortable, well, Mess Dress and we continued to socialise back at the club house, with the PMaj entertaining all.
On Sunday, it was time to explore a little more of Uganda and we headed out to Jinja for a spot of quad biking along the forest tracks of the banks of the upper Nile, where the source of the Nile is. Resplendent in our quad biking coveralls and wellies, everyone had plastic hockey helmets. Unfortunately, due to the size of my bonce, I ended up with an old fashioned Metropolitan Police riot helmet and goggles! Just look at the picture to see the full effect of the “Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps Crazy Frog Quad Bike Display Team”! It was a superb experience, truly memorable; even if we weren’t cutting quite the dash the Ugandans had come to expect of us Cavalrymen!
The following morning it appeared we’d done our job more than satisfactorily, as we’d made the front page of Uganda’s national daily newspaper, taking up half of it! Poor old Rio Ferdinand, who was out at the same time promoting football academies only got a couple of inches (In the paper)! The High Commissioner was very pleased; with the majority of his speech on page one and the remainder on page two; most Ugandans would get to read about
On Monday and Tuesday, we visited a number of schools around Kampala, including the International School of
Uganda, Kabira International School and Kitante Primary School. The children were truly amazed at the sight of us being piped into their assembly; we gave them a brief talk on our uniforms and what our Regiments do and the children were full of questions. At one school, 2500 pupils singing traditional African harmony greeted us, which was a truly awesome spectacle. With Uganda hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November, which was to be attended by Her Majesty The Queen and other members of the Royal Family, our presence at the High Commissioner’s Party and the school visits also helped to raise the profile of the event and UK plc as well as of our Regiments. These types of event may well come along again in the future for articulate, sociable and smart Cavalrymen or Guardsmen to support. If you do get the phone call at your desk, don’t dismiss it out of hand; if you can’t find anyone available in your unit who fits the criteria, you can always call me!
Yee-hah! 10 Days with the ‘Blue Devils Horse Platoon’ By Capt M J Harley, The Life Guards n May, four of us from the Mounted Regiment accepted an invitation back to stay with the ‘Blue Devils Horse Platoon’ in Michigan State, USA. The ‘Blue Devils’ are a creation of Chief Richard Dyk of the US Army Reserve who wanted to form a ceremonial equine unit – something non-existent in the vast US military – to take part in military and civilian parades. The Mounted Regiment has been invited for the last few years to take part in the Tulip Festival in Holland, Michigan which, as both names suggest is the annual celebration of Edam, windmills and everything Dutch and one of the largest Festivals in the US.
The Festival was indeed a huge event. Tens of thousands of Americans from across the country come for the week robed in Dutch colonial uniforms, many of whom camp in the Park in traditional tents, keeping an eye out for aggressive Native American Indians intent on attacking their settlements. Their passion for their history is quite astounding, boarding sometimes into insanity. The re-enactors in particular are unquestionably one clog short of a pair; we politely made conversation and left them to it.
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FLCoH Turpie, SCpl Payne, Capt Harley and LCpl Pettit looking nervous before some tent pegging State-side.
As well as taking part in two parades during Tulip Week, we were kept occupied by Chief at the local showground where we also resided in caravans, complete with Union Jacks on arrival. Many of the horses were also stabled there and each day we rode a selection of them. The horses were a varied bunch, ranging from a former British Mounted Police horse
called ‘Norman’ to several quarter-horses used for barrel-racing. The latter were not exactly ‘Cav’ blacks and LCpl Turpie LG could almost touch the ground sitting on them. They were also not very used to being ridden and much amusement was had watching SCpl Payne LG of the Riding Staff lurch into reverse gear when on top. Constructive advice from the rest of
us such as “hands forward!” and “soft with the hands, Cpl Major!” did nothing to improve his mood. However, his experience came through at both the tent-pegging and at the mounted shoot in which he proved highly accurate to the embarrassment of the author who failed to hit a barn door at close range, despite being the only one to have served at Windsor. LCpl Turpie was a crowd favourite, an audible gasp emanating
from the crowd when his mount took to his hind legs before a “yee-hah” and into a gallop for a tent-pegging run. Tpr Pettit RHG/D also rode to a high standard and did well to stop a quarter-horse with very little brakes.
to a couple of bars and a restaurant. The rest of the platoon were a mixture of reservists and former policemen as well as a female trumpeter from the US Marine Corps whose blowing particularly impressed LCpl Turpie.
We were made very welcome in Holland and became friends with a large group of locals, including the local Police Chief. As well as a tour of the new station, he organised a night out for us in a limousine
The trip was a great success and we were overwhelmed by the hospitality we were shown. It is thoroughly recommended to anyone interested next year.
Exercise Highland Blue By Captain The Marquis of Bowmont, The Blues and Royals n Sunday, 3rd February, six soldiers and two officers from A and B Squadrons HCR left Windsor, heading on a long drive north for Sutherland. The exercise was to comprise five days stalking on the Reay Forest Estate on the north west tip of Sutherland. The purposes of the trip were to: firstly, help the Estate in question with the necessary annual culling of the hind, female Red Deer, numbers; secondly, provide the young NCOs and Troopers with some valuable new fieldcraft skills learnt from the stalkers; but most importantly, give the soldiers an enjoyable and worthwhile adventurous training expedition after having completed an arduous Op TELIC 10.
The sport of stalking is all too often overlooked by the Army, despite the intrinsic skills which are needed in order to succeed in it, coupled with the enjoyment which was apparent from all ranks who partook of the trip. The Orbat consisted of Captain Charlie Bowmont, LCoH Snoxell, LCpl Wilkinson, LCpl Biddlestone and Tpr Marsden from A Squadron, and Captain Charlie Church, LCpl Bennett and LCpl Loftus from B Squadron. The team arrived in time for supper on Sunday night, having stopped for lunch in the Borders, to be met by the amazing house keeper, Trish, at the “Old Laundry”, which is the letting lodge on the es-
tate. After a large lasagne, Captains Bowmont and Church briefed up the men as to how the week would run and organised the stalking rotas. The briefing ending with a rather bemused, and uncooperative, Black Labrador being made to stand up to demonstrate the points of a Deer that should be shot at! On Monday morning, the stalkers arrived at the house in order to be teamed up with the appropriate soldiers. After each man had been given a full safety brief from the Head-Keeper, the stalking rifles were zeroed and they walked out on to the hill, led by the professional stalkers. The Estate were extremely kind to the Regiment and allocated six stalkers each day, which gave us the ideal situation of all of the men being able to potentially have a shot every day.
Capt Bowmont deciding he is top of the food chain.
Despite allegedly having rained in the area for twenty nine days of the thirty one in January, the clouds moved off and gave us some wonderful weather for the week and, in spite of a fair amount of snow on the hill which the DPM of the Combat Clothing being worn did little to camouflage, we had clear and breezy days.
There had been fascination at the dressing of the animals once they had been brought off the hill, or “slice and dice” as LCoH Snoxell termed it. It was encouraging that everybody took a huge interest in the beast after it had been shot, and the end product of the cuts of meat it produces; every breakfast, we were treated to a different kind of offal which LCpl Loftus brought back from the Game Larders each night!
The soldiers returned to the Lodge after the first day in a fever of excitement; each one had managed to shoot at least one hind and, according to the stalkers, the shooting had been extremely accurate.
The other source of real interest was the “Argo-Cat”, an eight wheeled vehicle which across rough ground, steep hills and soft bog would leave a CVR(T)
LCpls Wilkinson and Loftus after a successful afternoon.
An Argo-Cat with Ben Stack.
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floundering; they are used on the Estate for transporting the deer off the hill and down to the larders. Once it was pointed out that they can have an outboard motor fitted and travel across deep water, the respect for the little vehicles only grew. LCpl Biddlestone pointed out that the vehicle would be ideally suited for snipers or FACs– small, quiet and quick. LCpl Biddlestone may also have just been looking for a posting to the procurement establishments!
As previously mentioned, the accuracy of the rifle shooting was very impressive, the sharp shooter of the group undoubtedly being LCpl Wilkinson, who managed twelve hinds with thirteen bullets; a percentage that even granted him respect from the stalkers, and competitive jealousy from those who snatched shots! Captain Bowmont shot a fox, a move which was very popular as far as the Estate manager was concerned as they are numerous in the area and eat a large num-
ber of the rare ground nesting birds such as Ptarmigan and Lapwing. After just under a week in the area, the group returned to Combermere Barracks, all with a greater understanding of the reasons why it is necessary to manage the deer population, enhanced field craft and having had a really enjoyable experience. Our thanks go out to the Reay Forest Estate and all those in the Regiment who helped make this expedition happen.
Separation By Captain Ed Lane Fox, formerly The Blues and Royals left The Blues and Royals in the second half of 2006 to study for a Masters in Photography and Journalism. While deciding on the focus for a major project, I remembered a comment made by my girlfriend after I returned from Iraq; ‘you’ll never know what it is like to be left behind’. I had to admit she was right; I had no idea what an operational tour was like for a family and embarrassingly nor had I given it any thought. So the decision was made, I would do my best to understand and explain what an operational tour is like for a family.
Armed with this idea, I approached Regimental Headquarters; the timing as it turned out was perfect, only the week before a decision had been taken to represent the role of families in Regimental life at the newly opened museum. The Commander agreed that my study, if successful, could be used for this purpose. So with the help of the families’ office we publicised the idea to the families of those in Iraq at the time. Initially the response was fairly muted. The first two interviews I did were with wives of NCOs who had served with D Squadron in Afghanistan in 2006; their candour and emotion at recounting the
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experience was incredible. It was then that I realised what an important issue I had taken on. Over the subsequent months I was able to make contact with more families who were kind enough to let me photograph and interview them. Their hospitality, openness and patience were incredible; without such support the project would have gone nowhere.
• Parents of younger soldiers find it goes against all their instincts to send their child somewhere they know they will be subject to danger.
Although this project was focused towards the impact of operations on the family, I felt it was also important to get points of view from those away. I was fortunate to visit A and B Squadrons during their tour in Iraq. I photographed and interviewed as many people as I could, focusing mainly on those whose families I had been in touch with. This enabled me to see the experience from both sides. Furthermore, while in Iraq I was also able to convince others to participate which added to the material I was able to collect.
• After returning from operations it takes a long time to adjust to family life again; the family unit takes time to re-bond.
After returning from Iraq I began to bring the project together along four key themes;
At the time of writing the project is still a ‘work in progress’, although the current version can be seen in the museum. I plan to continue working on the project and perhaps even expand it into a documentary, but that is some way off. I would like to end by thanking all those who took part and helped with the project.
• 24 hr news serves to reinforce the stress on families by constant reminders of the danger in Iraq and Afghanistan.
• Wives do an amazing job of continuing with normal life for the sake of their children’s routine, vital as life must go on.
It would be remiss of me to claim these issues were common to all families as each is unique and thus deals with a period of separation in its own way. However, these four themes seem, to a greater or lesser degree, present in many of the families I was lucky enough to spend time with.
Cockney Coaster By Captain T M R Long, The Life Guards t was a particularly busy summer season this year including the Major General’s Parade, the State Visit of the President of Ghana, The Queen’s Birthday Parade and of course ‘the’ Pageant. Therefore it was no surprise that the men deserved and needed a break from London. September offered a lull in the ceremonial tempo and these opportunities are not to be missed. Newquay and the Cornwall coast seemed to be the ideal tonic for concrete and traffic jams. Funding was applied for and, after paying several large Musical Ride cheques into the London District coffers over the year, it was good to recoup some of the money for the men who had actually earned it with their hard work. This was then topped up with an individual contribution.
Penhale Camp is still one of the most underused and underrated adventure training camps. It may be basic and in need of a major overhaul but what it lacks in comfort it more than makes up for in location. Tucked into the Cornish coast it has all the activities that nature can throw at you. Having said that, it has not es-
caped the advance of commercialism and all activities are now no longer left to subalterns to cut and paste JASATFAs or risk assessments and are carried out under the umbrella of the franchise company that now runs all military adventurous training. They provide the paperwork, instructors, equipment and local advice. The activities we signed up for were coasteering, rock climbing, abseiling and surfing, without which no trip to Newquay would be complete. However, Mother Nature had different ideas and while it was not quite the hundred year storm, it was bad enough to make it too dangerous to surf on the first day. This decision was not, however, made until after everyone had poured themselves into wetsuits with varying degrees of success and hilarity. The wet weather programme consisted of one of the most competitive games of ten pin bowling the world has ever witnessed. Needless to say, The Life Guards added another battle honour to their victorious history. The large swell then scuppered the next
day’s coasteering but, not to be beaten, the permanent staff regrouped and word had it that there was a secluded bay that was surf-able. What awaited us was some of the best surfing I have experienced in the UK. While Trooper Porter was hanging out in the ‘green room’, Captain M J Harley LG was being put through the washing machine. After a morning of being battered by the relentless waves it was a quick lunch, everyone was eager to get back in before the weather changed again. It was not until late afternoon that they decided they had had enough. The day’s activity allowed everyone the opportunity to refuel on pasties, clotted cream and fudge to their hearts content. The rock climbing and abseiling passed uneventfully before everyone took their positions on the track for some aggressive Go-Karting dominated by Trooper Bonsa. Penhale Camp and Newquay really are a winning combination and a huge thank you must go to CoH Taylor for not only driving a minibus as old as him there and back but for also being the designated driver for the various nights out.
Breaking the Strangles Hold By Andrew Simmonds, Head of Marketing, Animal Health Trust n February 2007, the Animal Health Trust (AHT) and The British Horse Society (BHS) launched an international campaign to raise awareness of Strangles, an equine plague and the most commonly diagnosed infectious disease in horses around the world.
The campaign was launched by the AHT’s President, HRH The Princess Royal and has two main aims. The first is to raise awareness of the disease in horse owners, riders and everyone involved in the health and welfare of horses. The second is to raise funds to support their new research programme – something the Household Cavalry has already played a part in. Strangles is caused by the bacterium Streptococcus equi and can prove fatal. Clinical signs include fever, profuse nasal discharge and abscessed lymph nodes of the head and neck. The swelling of these lymph nodes may, in severe cases, restrict the airway, hence the name ‘Strangles’. Strangles not only causes great pain and distress to horses but severe outbreaks can kill up to ten per cent of animals in-
fected. It can also be an economic disaster for affected yards which often have to shut down for months. Eliminating Strangles is dependent on pioneering new research and crucial funding. The ‘Breaking the Strangles Hold’ campaign has a goal of raising £250,000. The £100,000 mark has already been broken and, thanks to this, AHT bacteriologists have now been able to develop a new diagnostic test. This can be used to identify horses that have been recently exposed to Strangles during an outbreak, or screen them prior to movement, competition or sales. The AHT’s further work now includes exciting research into the development of an effective vaccine against the disease for intramuscular administration. Dr Peter Webbon, chief executive of the AHT said: “Strangles must be beaten. We believe a solution can be found through our research programme. We urge everyone to help us and the BHS to end the suffering caused by Strangles in horses and ponies.”
There are many ways to support the Strangles campaign and one of them is to buy the Passion for Horses 2009 calendar. This beautiful year planner features exclusive artwork by renowned equine photographer Marie Bushill, including shots of the Household Cavalry riding through the waves on Holkham Beach in North Norfolk. There is also a photograph of The Princess Royal with her horse, and two ‘Turf Legends’, jockey Lester Piggott riding Desert Orchid. At the launch, The Princess Royal said this was, “a serious campaign that could make a real difference in welfare and economic terms to those involved in the equine industry.” The AHT and BHS hope to have reached their £250,000 goal by early 2009. To order your copy of the 2009 Passion for Horses calendar, please use the insert included in this issue of the Household Cavalry Journal. The AHT and BHS thank you greatly for your support.
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Household Cavalry Sports Round-up HCMR Football By Captain N K Twumasi-Ankrah, The Blues and Royals he successful Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Football team has played four games this season and their only defeat came in a match where the goal was scored in injury time. After securing new funds from London District, new training equipment was purchased giving the team a new lease of life and also replacing the skin tight lycra kit that had stood the test of time well.
The first match was a friendly against The Blues and Royals Band. There had only been two practice sessions prior to this game. Needless to say, the team won a decisive victory against a fair opposition. Although the score was 3-0, the final total could have been higher as there were many golden opportunities missed. The scorers were FLCoH Scott and LCpls Baker and Kelly. In the second match of the season, the team made the long journey down the M3 arriving in Portsmouth to do battle with 33 Field Hospital in the Army Cup. Buoyed by the success of the previous match, the team registered another display of fooballing genius. HCMR took control from the start and dominated the game with four goals in the first half, followed by a further four in the second. Winning 8-0, with goals from FLCoH Scott, LCpls Pope, Peterson, Abbott, Tprs Roden and Hyett. The Match ball was awarded to LCpl Baker who scored a hat-trick; this was a truly magnificent display of champagne football. The third match was played at home in Chelsea’s Burton’s Court and was a friendly against 14 Signal Regiment, in which we fielded a weaker than average side due to Regimental commitments.
HCMR Football Team.
This was reflected with the final score being 2-3, the Master Chef and Tailor getting on the score sheet but we were cruelly cheated with a controversial goal in extra time. This left spirits low even though the Regiment battled to the end. The fourth fixture was again at Burton’s Court, and this time we faced 20 Transport Squadron Royal Logistics Corps. A revitalised team took on a hardened Logistics side that clearly played more sport than driving and offered the stiffest resistance yet. It was a very demanding, competitive and fast paced match from kick off for those both on and off the pitch. The team maintained the upper hand by playing some Premiership style football, resulting in a 5-2 victory. Both the Master Chef and Tailor were on the score sheet again, FLCoH Scott made his now regular appearance on the score sheet too. LCpls Abbott and Pope both found the back of the net leaving the
The only goal scored by the Officers in the right net.
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team on a high in preparation for the next Cup game. Sadly, the last Cup game against 216 Signals was cancelled due to their pending deployment with 16 Air Assault Brigade to Afghanistan. Thankfully, we have a paper pass to the next round and look forward to facing a robust Royal Engineer side. If successful we could proceed to a quarter finals match being held in Cyprus, “Aghia Napa here we come!” The highlight of the Regimental football calendar was the long awaited Officers vs. Senior Ranks match. This proved to be a passionate and aggressive game of footy which was staged at Burton’s Court on a chilly December morning. After a lot of hype and banter from both sides no one could have predicted the final score. The SNCOs produced a star studied side with all the departments represented; Regimental Corporal Major “Have-It” Kellet
The Master Chef and CoH Taylor destroy the Officers’ defence.
held trials in Hyde Park which were recceed by a two man close target reconnaissance consisting of the Commanding Officer and his fellow operative, Capt TA. Though sadly, this intelligence would not be enough to stop the hammer blow that was to come. The start of the match was delayed by the late arrival of Lieutenant Olver with Cornets Campbell and Cole fresh from riding school; Cornet Campbell was our secret weapon and was the only officer with real footballing experience having played for Oxford University. The first half was action packed as the determination of the Officers slammed into the wall of experience that was the SNCOs’ side and it was not long before the first goals were scored. RCM Kellet’s side were by far the better drilled and soon stamped their authority on the game with some exciting flowing football; they were also aided by an own goal scored by the Adjutant. Leading the barrage of goals was the now infamous SSgt Taylor AKA “the Red Barron” scoring ELEVEN goals, followed by SCpl Twyman who netted four goals. The SNCOs were also strong at the back,
where SCpl Marsh maintained a tight back four which was potentially impregnable and managed to put an end to the spirited runs made by Maj Speers and the CCareer Management Officer. The game was defined by some solid tackling which compelled the referee to have a few words with various SNCOs though, thankfully, no one was sent off. Captain O’Conner was one of the Officers’ most versatile players, leading the attack in the first half and then swapping over to become goal keeper after the Commanding Officer’s busy first half in goal. In the second half the SNCOs made multiple substitutions in response to the one and only change the Officer’s made, replacing the QM with Surgeon Maj Baidwan, who had a unique style of his own. RCM Kellet’s Barmy Army maintained their rampage and the goals continued to flow to the dismay of the Officers’ side. Regardless they maintained a stiff upper lip and took the fight back to the SNCOs. A surge of greatness left Lieutenant Spiller AKA “PARA POTTER” with possession of the ball on the edge of the box, as he thumped in the one and only Officers’ goal; own goals aside.
SCpl Jukes has no problem cruising past The Blues and Royals Squadron Leader.
Sadly the goal came too late and the writing was already on the wall. RCM Kellet’s side had comprehensively demolished a resilient Officer’s side, with a display of footballing excellence proving that football is truly a beautiful game. The final score was 19-1 to the SNCOs
Eagles Veterans RUFC Annual Report By WO2 (LSL) J A Evans, The Blues and Royals he Eagles’ Rugby Veterans Tour held in the last week of March is now in its fifth year and continues to be a date in the calendar that I look forward to even if the body is now starting to show signs of wear and tear! Following the same format as last year, some of the touring party met early on the Friday in Leeds to play a few rounds of golf. Not only was my golf not up to scratch but my attire, particularly my red Ferrari cap, attracted a fair amount of criticism and mirth. I thought one of the main attractions of golf for middle aged men was the fact you could wear clothing you would not normally be seen in! In the golf, I can report that Mark Dyche took the honours with Adrian Phillips a close second. After emptying my wallet paying my penalty fines for being, at various times around the course, in the water features, bunkers and also three putting, we had a nice meal in the club house before setting off to the Scarborough Arms in Leeds city centre to RV with the rest of the touring party. That night, the meal was in an “all you can eat” Chinese restaurant. I suspect the profits for the night were slightly down as the touring party can certainly put the scoff away like no other sporting team I can bring to mind. The rest of the evening was spent catching up with old
friends and remembering past glories and Regimental life when the Army was not as busy as it presently is. The next morning we had a quick AGM in the pub before jumping on the transport and starting off for the tournament. The journey gave “The Veg” Kingham a chance to impress us all with his anecdotes and jokes. As last year, we had been invited by Yarnbury Rugby Club to compete in a tri-team competition at their ground in Horsforth just on the outskirts
of Leeds. We had some great support from ex-members of the Regiment and their families on the touch line and our squad this year was reinforced by some members of the Army Veterans XV. It’s a shame that this support did not improve our results. We lost out first game to Yarnbury and, in the second, we were held to a draw. The crunch moment for us came when Dave (Stone Hands) Miles spilled the ball with the try line at his mercy. To compound this he did it not once but twice during the afternoon and
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thoroughly deserved the Golden Gloves award. I don’t think Eagles Vets Club Captain, John Kilvington, will ever forgive Dave this error. After the game we retired to the club house to enjoy the third half, and I can report that we won the “boat race” with some style. That night we enjoyed the bright lights of Leeds City Centre into the wee small hours of the morning. We have promised to return to Yarnbury RFC next year to play again in the tournament even though a lot of the team promised on the Sunday morning that was their last game ever, so we may struggle to put a team out next season. Volunteers are required. Mark Dyche’s wife Liz had complained for a number of years that the long suf-
fering partners did not get a chance like us men to get together, so it was decided we would in August gatherer at Liz and Mark’s house and have a weekend for the families. The weather that weekend did us a favour and stayed nice and dry, which was good as most of us were pitching our tents in a field at the back of Mark and Liz’s house. The afternoon entertainment was the men sat in a group drinking beer and talking Regiment and the ladies sat drinking wine and talking about what I do not know. Mark put his chef’s hat on and produced a smashing BBQ for all. In the evening we all retired to a marquee in the garden to sing Karaoke songs into the small hours. John Spandley impressed as ever with his Karaoke skills as did the younger members of the Dyche family. A
great weekend and well done to Mark and Liz for all their efforts in hosting the camp. There were many other little excursions and days out for the vets during the year. A fair few of us met up at the Army v Navy game at Twickenham in May. A couple of us also travelled to France to the Rugby World Cup to soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the fine red wine. We are as ever on the lookout for old players or supporters still out there who have yet to experience a vets weekend with the Eagles. If interested contact either myself on Upavon Mil 0198061 Ext 8776 or John Dickens on 07715539141 or Aldershot Mil 94222 3508.
Army Carpers By Corporal of Horse A Anderson, The Blues and Royals arp fishing has become one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. With more and more people taking up the sport it was only a matter of time before the Army got involved.
Group 8 Army Angling Federation (Carp section) was introduced back in early 2000 and has grown in strength since then and currently stands at 65 members. All are trying to gain a place in the top six and qualify for the Army team and fish in the BCACs (British Carp Angling Championships). This championship sees all the top names and companies in the carp fishing world looking to be crowned carp fishing champions of the year. We have six qualifying matches a year to decide the top six people (three pairs) to represent the Army in the BCACs, along with the Army championships and the Inter Corps Championships, which are held over one week at the end of the year. As the sport is growing so fast it was no surprise that civilian companies and manufacturers have begun to take notice of the group resulting in sponsorship from Fox and Mainline, two large bait and tackle companies. We also get a lot of media attention from the carp magazines. How does it all work then? From April, there is usually one competition per month, with a break in August for the Army’s block summer leave. The competitions start on a Friday morning and run through to Sunday afternoon, however, it is always an advantage to arrive on the Thursday evening to have a walk around the lake and put some water craft skills to the test (BBQ and beer). Friday morning you are up early to walk the lake
Household Cavalry News
and choose your favourite swims ready for the draw, not as easy as it sounds as you fish in a pair and it has been known for a difference of opinion to occur. After all this is completed, it is time for the draw. All names go into a hat and the draw begins, although coming out first is not always best as if you choose the top swim then the pressure is on to win. Once the draw is complete you move to your chosen swim and begin to find a suitable spot to fish and bait up. The alarm sounds at 1100 hrs on Friday morning and you fish straight through to 1100 hrs on Sunday when the final alarm sounds. The competition is judged on the total weight of carp caught over the weekend with additional prizes for the first and biggest carp caught. Once the alarm to signal the end of the competition sounds, it’s then back to the car park to total up and determine the winners. Points are awarded; eleven points each for the winning pair, eight for second and so on down to sixth place. At the end of the year the points are added up and the top three pairs are then selected to represent the army in the BCACs. This past year I have been fortunate enough to have been posted to HCMR and, with the support of my Troop and Squadron, this has given me the opportunity to put a full year into the group; resulting in qualifying for the top six and representing the Army in next year’s BCACs. I also represented the RAC this year
The victorious team.
at the Inter Corps Championships, held at the prolific horseshoe lake which saw us take a very respectable third place; only pipped into second place by ten pounds. It only leaves me to say that the Army carp scene can only get bigger with the continued support of the RAC and the individual units involved. Please join us.
CoH Anderson and his mistress.
Household Cavalry Golf 2007 By Captain P G Maxwell, The Blues and Royals ue to the Army and Regimental climate and operational commitments, I’m sorry to report that a number of matches over the year had to be cancelled. Those affected were again; the Regimental Golf day at the Castle, Wimbledon Common, Royal Household, Celtic Manner and the London District Spring meeting. In those matches that were played, we well represented but we did lose three of the four and only drew the other, but the good news came from the Colonel-in-Chief’s Cup; more about that later.
I’d like to take you back to last year’s Journal’s golf report about CoH Hughes (now SCpl, congratulations) who won the ‘most improved player of the year’. He stated that by the end of next season he’d be down to a handicap of 12. Well, I’m afraid that didn’t happen to the Welsh wizard due to change of job and other commitments; sure! CoH Short, who captained the Warminster Garrison Golf Society for the last three years, handed over the reins - it’s been reported that he did a sterling job which was much appreciated. Well done. I’d like to thank Major (Retd) Paddy Kersting, Mr Neal Godson (Ex WO2 LG), LSgt Ben Clark (REME), Tpr Lee Clayton and Mr Colin Falvey for their last minute (literally) call up for various matches. Also, special thanks go to Mr Gary Dunkley (Ex WO1 RHG/D) who travels the length of the country to represent the Regiment twice a year for the Commander-in-Chief’s Cup. Finally, I would like to thank Fred Collingwood for his endless support and generosity over trophies and gifts he supplies for competitions.
Worplesdon Golf Club in August 2007 on the occasion of the Semi-Finals/Finals of the Colonelin-Chief’s Cup. It was the first time in recent years that the Household Cavalry had got two teams to that stage of the tournament. Back row (L to R): Mr Godson, Capt Hennessy-Walsh, Mr Dunkley, CoH Short, Tpr Clayton, Mr Taylor, SCpl Bye, Capt Kibble. Front Row (L to R): Lt Col Sibley, Capt Maxwell, SCpl Wheeler, SCpl (SQMC) Hughes.
Household Division Championships Worplesdon
WO1 (RCM) Andy Kellet Longest Drive
As always, this competition traditionally starts our golf season off. The weather was kind, a slight chill in the air, a little breeze, but generally ideal conditions. The course was in far better condition than the glass top greens of 2006. Out of 34 competitors, the Household Cavalry made up ten, not as high as in previous years due to other commitments. We had a challenge on our hands if prizes were to be had as the Irish Guards appeared again in force. We did not do as well as usual on the prize front but congratulations go to:
The Colonel in Chief’s Cup Worplesdon
Captain Les Kibble/Captain (Retd) Dick Hennessy-Walsh: Foursomes Scratch - Runners-up
Prize Winners in the H Div Champonship.
The 1st and 2nd rounds were held at the end of March on yet another dry, cold and bright day, ideal conditions on a well presented course. Again, we played the slightly longer course, off the white tees. We entered two teams which we thought might get to the Semis/finals day. Both teams got through the 1st and 2nd rounds. The B team had the tougher draw and played the first round very calmly against a strong IG B team but, thanks to SCpl Chris Bye and Mr Russ Taylor (Ex LG) who proudly came in 5 up, they clinched the win to go on and
The B Team.
Household Cavalry News
play the WG A team in the afternoon after a very filling four course lunch. In this match, RCM Kellet and CoH Hughes had to take the last hole for the team to go through to the Semis and, and for a wayward drive on the 18th by the WG A, they could have been in a four-hole play off. The A team of Captains Hennessy-Walsh and Kibble came in three down to the COLDM Gds C team leaving Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Sibley and Mr Dunkley to pull it out the bag. All we had now to do was practise in our pairs and turn up at the Semis in September. On the day, the course and weather were spot on. We had to replace Captains Douglas and McKechnie as operations called the night before. Therefore, Mr Neal Godson and Tpr Clayton were the only pair from the B team to come up in the Semis against SG A. Tpr Clayton felt uneasy for the first couple of holes in his first regimental match - and I was watching him. After I left, he steadied down and they produced some great golf. Unfortunately, the other pairs came in 2 and 5 down. The A team of SCpl Wheeler and CoH Short found IG A first pair too difficult to match. Show time; Household Cavalry A and B teams battle it out for third place - shame it wasn’t the finals. The first and third pairing were all square at the twelfth and the second pair at 2 down. After a challenging and tiring day the experience of the A team came through but only just, as the third pair came in all square. Congratulations to both teams for their achievements this year and hopefully we can produce a better result next year. 1st Round H Cav ‘A’ (Bye) H Cav ‘B’ vs IG ‘B’
2nd Round H Cav ‘A’ vs COLDM Gds ‘C’ +2 H Cav ‘B’ vs WG ‘A’ +1 Semis H Cav ‘A’ vs IG ‘A’ -6 H Cav ‘B’ vs SG ‘A’ -6 3rd/4th place H Cav ‘A’ vs H Cav ‘B’ +6 Finals:
IG ‘A’ vs SG ‘A’ +13
The Match ended up 3-2 to the home team which was a great shame as we were, at one stage, 2-1. Apparently, someone could not keep out of the rough which infuriated his partner, and the other pair didn’t stand a chance coming in 5-3. Let’s see what we produce in ‘08. Congratulations to SCpl Wheeler for nearest the pin. Swinley Forest As always, we were made welcome with pre-match drinks and nibbles. Overcast and breezy, we had to think a little more on how to approach shots on a course in an immaculate state. We were missing one of the original players, Phil Mitchell, so CoH Hughes stepped up as my partner with great enthusiasm and carrying us to all square at the end. Captain Carter and SSgt Stanley came in 2-1 and Last minute.com, LSgt Clark and WO2 Bell, 5–3 but, unfortunately, the other three pairs fell by the wayside with the highest being 6–4 (no names: Paul and Tim). The match ended up 3½ to 2½ which means it’s now three years since our last victory or draw. A good supper followed by the raffle and prize giving with some rather distasteful prizes which made it all the more fun. The ‘Tpr Sam Small’ tale was correctly told with only two pauses, to everyone’s delight. Longest drive for the second time was big hitter RCM Kellet. ‘Winnie Baines Memorial Trophy’ The Winnie Baines Memorial Trophy Challenge presented by CoH Andy Short in 2006 was played at Richings Park this year as Warminster wanted to come to Windsor. After pre-match coffee and bacon rolls, things started off well for all pairs but most were out played by a team whose handicaps need reviewing - or was it just us? It all ended up 4–1 to the guests meaning it’s 2–0. Longest Drive and Nearest the Pin both went to Warminster. WO2 Chrissie James’s ‘Girl Power’ (2006) didn’t work this year and she actually blamed her partner for letting the pair down as she constantly tried to keep him out of the water on the back nine (Alan). I believe next year we’re back on the north face of Warminster Country Club; better pack waterproofs!
ideal course for those needing to improve their short game. Doughnuts and biscuits were on the menu as a pre-match snack and down to the local pub for the 19th with ham, eggs, chips and a few jars. All were invited to attend the club’s Saturday morning challenges - a couple have taken up the offer. A couple faltered on the second, a very tight 128 yd demanding precision golf which few of us managed - what’s a couple of balls? The longest drive came from Capt Douglas who was one of the few to stay on the 18th fairway. The score still remains 1–0 to them. The teams have achieved much this year, a difficult one due to things outside our control. A big thank you to all who have had anything to do with this year’s and previous years’ regimental golf. Sadly, this is my last year as captain, as I hand over to Capt Warren (Dougie) Douglas in January 2008. Those interested in Regimental golf, please contact me or my successor. If you are a golfer and a member of a club/society and wish to challenge the Regiment, give us a call. Match Players in 2007: Captains Carter, Douglas, Kibble, Maxwell, McKechnie, RCM Kellet, WOs2 Bell and James, SCpls Anderson, Bye, Hughes, SSgt Turley, CsoH Short and West, Sgts Cook and Stansby, LSgt Clark, LCpl Rocky, Tpr Clayton, Lt Col (Retd) Sibley, Maj (Retd) Kersting, Capt (Retd) Hennessy-Walsh, Mr Dunkley, Mr Falvey, Mr Ford, Mr Godson, Mr Taylor, Mr Vickers.
Sunningdale Eton College Due to the pressure on big clubs, the annual two matches against Sunningdale have been reduced to one a year. This year the match was in mid May in glorious conditions on the pristine New Course followed by the sort of dinner one would expect from such a venue. Post match speeches were made by both captains then ‘open floor’ was taken up by Mr Falvey who only made a few mistakes in his tongue twister tale of ‘Tpr Sam Small’.
Household Cavalry News
The second match against Eton College Golf Society was a better performance as we managed a draw 3–3, a vast improvement from our 5–1 hammering in 2006. Four new players joined the team for this: SCpl Anderson, SSgt Turley, Sgt Cook and LCpl Rockey all of whom proved themselves as future team players. The Eton College Golf course is a 9-hole par 3 which needs a confident iron player, an
Taylor attemps a chip.
Myrtle Beach Tour 2007 By Captain R Hennessy-Walsh, formerly The Life Guards he South Carolina city of Myrtle Beach is nestled in the heart of a 60mile long beach resort lined with a stretch of white sand commonly referred to as the Grand Strand. Apparently it is the second most popular resort destination in America - after Orlando. The city is also a hub for serious (and not so serious) golfers. Currently, there are about 90 golf courses and more on the way. Myrtle Beach extends from the Little River near the North Carolina border to the banks of the Santee River. And somewhere in between, you’ll find the Grand Strand, North Strand, Myrtle Beach and South Strand.
OK, geography lesson over. This year it was an eight-man tour and although each of us had been on the tour together before, only four had previously seen this part of the world. It was also the first time that the stalwarts (the author and Messrs Dunkley, Ford and Taylor) had returned since 2003 and previous visits had sometimes been in weather reserved for Medicine Man 7. Before we set off, Gary did some arm twisting with sponsors who very kindly provided each of us with two polo shirts in very fetching pink and yellow! Paul (Maxwell) generously donated a trophy for a new challenge – about which more later. Rumours of handicap trickery were in evidence again before we left the UK when Dunkley senior decided to slot in a mid week medal at his club and managed to get his handicap increased to seven. Paul on the other hand decided to open up his bandit account by announcing, quite brazenly, that he had scored 48 points in a competition a couple of days earlier. Words failed us then and still do now! The outward flight from Heathrow was an uneventful affair with United Airlines taking us to Dulles for our connection to Myrtle Beach. The time scale was tight
All of us - bandits included.
but in the event all went well and we arrived in a hot Myrtle Beach, checked in and were all on the local course (Myrtlewood) within two hours of landing. This was a bonus nine holes which none of us had really expected and was certainly a good warm up for what followed. Humidity was high and the temperature (mid 80s) that late in the afternoon provided an indication of the weather for the week. Someone spotted that there was quite a lot of lightning around but a person with a brain explained that it was a distant airport control tower! After an uninspiring nine holes, dinner at Outback’s provided all of us with our first taste of the marvellous steaks and large selection of good beers you find in the USA. 0300 hrs on the first morning saw the two touring insomniacs wandering around the 24 hr Walmart’s trying to kill a bit of time. Surprisingly a lot of people are out at that time and, of course, have valid reasons for doing their shopping at that time. These two, on the other hand, had no idea what they were up to. Our first competitive round saw us at a hot and steamy Oyster Bay; a course that some of the others had previously played. The area is covered in such wonderful flora
The Admin team: Author, Gary and Harry.
and fauna that it was impossible not to return again. It was also the course where we saw our first (and largest) alligator and a fine specimen he was too. Fortunately, he seemed used to wayward golf balls and allowed us to proceed, fairly close to him, without harm. The average for the day was 30; a really good start and only surpassed once more during the week. In the evening a few of us met up with Keith Frape and his wife Rosalee for a most entertaining evening. Keith and the author had not seen each other for nearly 28 years and it was great to relive past memories. Fortunately neither of us has aged a bit!! Sunday was the hottest day of the tour and by mid afternoon registered into the mid 90s with humidity to match. The sleepless ones had a bit of a lie-in on Monday until about 0430! Dr Doolittle Dunkley was at it again having a chat to five or six little deer inside the fence of the estate where we were staying. They were seen on a few other occasions with the Doctor insisting on having a chat with them each time. A golfing challenge was set for different people each day and the majority failed and had to pay a forfeit. Russ Taylor had to provide each of us with a muffin as a
Paul’s special birthday cake.
Household Cavalry News
the 8 managed to hit never mind stay on. Despite the severity of the test, there were some good scores that day with a near tragedy being avoided when the scores for the week went missing but turned up in someone’s golf bag. This was after a near international incident which resulted in all the bins in and around the club, together with numerous golf buggies, being rummaged through by our own personal bin-man from Manchester.
Dunkleys major and minor.
result of failing his the previous day. The size of these things had to be seen to be believed and must have contributed to the low scoring that day (average of 24!!) although the Fazio course was, surprisingly, the poorest of the courses played during the week. Today also saw Paul enjoying his birthday and to celebrate we all went to one of the largest (and worst) fish buffet restaurants ever seen!! Despite the very average dinner, Paul still enjoyed his evening. On one of the other evenings half the tour decided to start drinking margaritas. This was allied to the fact that the author had lost his golf challenge that day and had to pay the drinks bill at dinner. He won’t forget that or the bill!! I guess for most, the golfing highlight of the tour were the 27 holes of the International World Tour and produced the highest average for the week – just over 31. This is where some of the more famous holes from around the world are reproduced for our benefit. Pinehurst No 2 (US Opens), Augusta (The Masters) and St Andrews (The Open) were all in evidence with the 17th hole at Sawgrass (The Players Championship) being the real gem. This is a small island green (about 130 yards or so) which sadly not one of
Tidewater was a strange course with long drives in and around housing complexes, across main roads, bridges and tunnels to get from the green to the next tee. In that heat carts were a real bonus. For some inexplicable reason Russ took to driving his ball over huge trees and on to the roofs of nearby houses. Memories of ‘balcony Bob’, whose antics in Southern Spain have been reported on in an earlier, edition came flooding back. Gary had to buy dinner for the author for failing his simple challenge and on the final evening the three organisers were taken to dinner by the remainder. This was much appreciated and the restaurant, Thoroughbreds, is the best in Myrtle Beach. On the last day of golf, four of us decided – rather than go shopping - to have a game on a course where grass did not play a predominant part in the architect’s design. After about four holes we had lost about 20 balls (in the various water hazards) between us and, at the turn, the author (who lost more than most!!) decided we needed more ammunition and purchased another large box of cheapies at the pro shop. In the event more land did eventually surface and not many more balls were lost. And so home after what was a fantastic week. The shoppers did their thing throughout the week and the evidence, a pile of empty boxes, bags and the like, grew daily. Paul very generously donated a new tro-
A more than usually dangerous water hazard.
Household Cavalry News
Dick and Keith meeting up after 28 years.
phy to the tour which was awarded to Harry for scoring the highest number of cumulative points on the par threes throughout the week. It will be Max’s choice to decide each year the format for his trophy. The average for the week was higher than the previous year proving that if you go to bed early you play better golf!! In Hilton Head, in 2006, some people didn’t even bother with bed. The Dunkleys did well again with junior some way ahead of Dad with Paul a very creditable 3rd. Bjorn was the only one to achieve 40 points during the week and did so on two occasions. Some people failed to achieve 40 points in two rounds!! Paul’s banditry before leaving UK has thus been highlighted and a more serious approach to handicapping will therefore have to be devised!! Russ and Bjorn won the Johnny Wilson trophy for the 2nd successive year. How they managed to get drawn together again is a mystery. There will be a bit of a break from the USA in 2009 with the majority just taking a long weekend at La Cala in Spain to help celebrate Gary’s 50th year on this planet – watch this space.
Household Cavalry News
News From The Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report 2007 Patron: Her Majesty The Queen President General the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE
Trustees of The Life Guards Charitable Trust Lieutenant Colonel E A Smyth-Osbourne Major A B Methven Captain L D Stratford MBE C D Watson Esq.
Committee Chairman: Lieutenant Colonel E A Smyth-Osbourne Vice Chairman: Major A B Methven Honorary Treasurer: Captain L D Stratford MBE Honorary Secretary: Captain R Hennessy-Walsh Co-opted Member: J J Harbord, Esq. Co-opted Member: Lieutenant Colonel R R D Griffin Co-opted Member: Major M Whatley Co-opted Member: Major A Lawrence
Serving Members Major W R Lindsay Captain A R Tate Captain M E W Kingston MBE Captain J P Core Captain W Douglas WO1 (RCM) A P Kellet WO1 BE Rogers WO2 (RQMC) L C Heaton WO2 (SCM) O Cornock WO2 S B Taylor
Non Serving Members Lieutenant Colonel A P De Ritter Lieutenant Colonel The Hon R C Assheton TD Major J T Lodge Major J S Holbrook Captain W A B Henderson Mr D Johnson Mr L K Thomas Mr C D Watson Mr A C Etches Mr J E Lloyd
Minutes of the 73rd Annual General Meeting of The Life Guards Association Held at Windsor on Saturday 16th June 2007 The Chairman, Lieutenant Colonel E A Smyth-Osbourne, opened the meeting at 1800 hours by welcoming everyone present and said how good a turnout it was. He said that he would be covering all aspects of regimental life during his talk later but if anyone had any burning questions they should raise them in Any other Business. The Minutes of the 72nd Annual General Meeting were published in the current edition of the Household Cavalry Journal. It was proposed by Mr Watson and seconded by Mr Underwood that they were a true record of the proceedings. The Honorary Treasurer presented his report as follows: Our investments are doing extremely well with the United Services Trustee (UST) and I am pleased to report that the UST was the best performing fund as
News from the Associations
measured by the independent WM Common Investment Fund Quarterly Reviews. The UST have only been included in that review since the last quarter of 2006. Our shares are now valued at £887,106 and we received a dividend for the first half year of £4831.
entirely by the Army Benevolent Fund. Total grants therefore are £5780.
I would like to mention a little about the Day’s Pay Scheme (DPS). Members of the Regiment pay a voluntary donation of 1 day’s pay into the Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund (HCCCF). They in turn donate 50% of the total to the two Regimental Associations. The money is used for the relief of ex members of the Regiment, and their dependants, in time of hardship and distress. The remaining 50% is used for the welfare of serving soldiers.
Up to 1st June members have been very generous with donations and the support of our yearly raffle. We do though need more help if we are to continue to produce a free Journal, a newsletter and to continue to provide financial support to the Dinner. As you know those over 80 do not pay for their ticket and those over 70 pay only £10. Donations received this year include £8860 from the estate of Mrs Stanley. From HCCCF we have received £1542 towards grants we made in 2006. From members we have received £4899 and the raffle produced a profit of £3171. Thank you all very much. Lastly, I was able to place £25,000 in a deposit account paying 5.25%.
This year, so far, we have received £6375 and paid out £3610 in grants. In addition we have also made grants of £2710 funded
Before sitting down, the Honorary Treasurer proposed that the cost of Dinner tickets for 2008 remain the same which
is: £25 for officers, £20 for other ranks and that the current subsidy for over 70s and over 80s remains. Mr Watson seconded this proposal. The Honorary Secretary made his report as follows: It has been yet another busy 12 months. You will all have heard of the casualties during D Squadron’s tour of Afghanistan. You may rest assured that we played a full part in the welfare needs of the families during that time. We will continue to do so as required. The Charities Act 2006 is likely to provide more flexibility in the way that we can conduct our business and your Committee are wrestling with the Rules of the Association in an effort to try and unravel some of the confusion that currently exists in some people’s minds about whether the Association is a charity; what are the different bodies; whether they are Trustees or not and what the various responsibilities are. This may take some time and we will of course be seeking the advice of the Charity Commission at all stages of the proceedings. We have concerns about the future location of the Dinner. The operational commitments of the Regiment are likely to impact on the availability of manpower both to set up and run the occasion. We are committed to holding an Annual Dinner here in June for as long as is practical and will review the position each year. Likewise the position on Brickhanging, for this year at least, is still unclear. Regional Representatives are reminded to let me know if they move address.
opment of the site will take in on-line shopping, archive research and much more. The Raffle continues to make a profit and we are convinced that whilst it still does it should continue. Membership is fairly static and continues at around the same figure - about 2,200 - it has been for about 5 years. Since the issue of the Journal 13 further members have died. For those of you who did not know, Colin Dean, who was a member of this Committee for 30 years, died in April at the age of 78. Colin’s death and the resignation of Neville Taylor after an equally long stint on the Committee have meant some changes in recent months and we are very pleased to welcome Majors John Lodge and Jeff Holbrook to the fold. To Mr Neville Taylor we offer our grateful thanks for his years of dedicated service. Sadly I must also report that Peter Jordan and David Smith are both unwell. As always, quarterly committee meetings continue to be held to review policy matters and to confirm the decision made by the financial sub-committee. The Chairman said that with regard to the Annual Dinner the manpower situation in 2008 would be better than this year and that there should be no threat. Election of Committee
small profit had been made within the Club and wanted clarification on whether it should be made to the new Operational Casualties Fund or to the Regimental Association. The Chairman explained that the Operational Casualties Fund was available for the ‘here and now’ through the auspices of HCCCF whilst the Old Comrades were cared for from Association Funds. He said that Mr Turner (and their Committee) should make their own minds up about where they would like to make the donation; whatever their decision it would be gratefully received. Mr Jeremy Harbord proposed a formal vote of thanks to Captain Christopher Joll (and his team) for all their hard work in initiating, producing and directing the Household Cavalry Pageant thereby raising substantial funds for the new Museum, the ultimate purpose of which will be to benefit members of both this Association and The Blues and Royals Association. The Annual Draw was then made and the results were as follows: 1st (£1000) No: 21716 Mr T E Roseblade - Glos 2nd (£500) No: 15697 Mr B P Thompson - West Sussex 3rd (£250) No: 10699 Mr A J Taylor - Sussex
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 Captain Cherrington and seconded by Captain Charters-Rowe.
4th (£250) No: 2401 Mr W B Lerwill – Essex The Chairman and Committee are most grateful to you all for your continued support
Any other Business The Web Site and the Bulletin Board are new and fresh and I would encourage you all to have a look. Phase III of the devel-
Mr Graham Turner, the Treasurer of the East Anglia Dining Club, said that a
The Cavalry and Guards Club 127 Piccadilly London W1J 7PX
PLEASE GIVE TO THOSE WHO GAVE
The Cavalry and Guards Club has one of the finest Edwardian buildings in London with stunning views of Green Park that is ideal for:
Weddings • Receptions • Dinner Parties Business Meetings • Lunches For further details and information please contact our Banqueting Co-ordinator on:
Telephone: 020 7659 0905 Fax: 020 7495 5956 www.cavgds.co.uk
Donations and information: BLESMA, Frankland Moore House, 185 - 187 High Road, Chadleigh Heath, Essex RM6 6NA.
News from the Associations
The Life Guard Association Notices 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. The Annual General Meeting The 74th Annual General Meeting will be held in Combermere Barracks, Windsor on Saturday 14th June 2008 commencing at 1800 hours. The 5th Annual Draw will follow this.
The Annual Association Dinner The 73rd Annual Dinner will be held in Combermere Barracks Windsor on Saturday 14th June 2008 commencing at 1900 hours. Dress: Lounge suits with medals (not miniatures). Lieutenant Colonel H S J Scott, who commanded the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment from November 1996 until December 1998, 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 chil-
dren 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 and that members should not rise during the time when speeches are being made. Christmas Cards Details of the 2008 Christmas card will be announced, as always, in the Newsletter issued in August/September 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 Association Regional Representatives The Honorary Secretary is most grateful to the following 59 Old Comrades for agreeing to act as Regional Representative for the area(s) shown. For ease you will find your representative listed under your respective post code. If it is not shown you may wish to volunteer for that region in which case you should contact the Honorary Secretary on 01753 755229 or at: email@example.com.
AB, DD, KY, PH Mr S Smith 594 Perth Road, Ninewells Dundee AnguS DD2 1QA 01 382 562554 firstname.lastname@example.org AL, EN, WD Mr JK Stanworth 79 London Road, Markyate St Albans Hertfordshire AL3 8JP 01582 841 636 email@example.com AUSTRALIA Mr GS Coleman 12 Wild Avenue, Reynella 5161 (0061) 8381 2074 firstname.lastname@example.org AUSTRALIA Mr RG Barnes 1777 Preston Main Road, Preston Tasmania 7315 0061 03 64291227 B, DY, WR Mr MPG Southerton 5 Woodbury Road, Stourport On Severn Worcestershire DY13 8XR 01 299 823882
BA, BS Mr BE Page 19 Parsons Avenue, Stoke Gifford Bristol BS34 8PN 0117 975 9721 BB Mr SG George 3 Pennine Court, Tithebarn Hill Glasson Dock Lancaster LA2 0BY 01 524 751572 BD Mr H Stangroom 48 Rockwood Drive, Skipton North Yorkshire BD23 1UW 01756 709121 BH, DT Major JT Lodge 180b York Road, Broadstone Dorset BH18 8EZ 01 202 697334 email@example.com BL, M, WA, WN Mr A Lister 120 Higher Dean Street, Radcliffe Manchester M26 3TE 0161 725 9851 firstname.lastname@example.org BN
Major TW Bridges Td Downlands The Furlongs, Alfriston Polegate Sussex BN26 5XS 01 323 870718 BR, DA, TN Mr DH Underwood Ingledene Beesfield Lane, Farningham Kent DA4 0BZ 01 322 866334 email@example.com CA, DG Mr D Pattinson The Spinney Pelutho, Silloth Wigton Cumbria CA7 4LT 01 697 332328 CANADA Mr C Grant 41-2248 Southview Drive Se, Medicine Hat Alberta T1B 1R3 403 548 7545 firstname.lastname@example.org CB Mr S Smith 29 Monarch Close, HaverhiLL
Suffolk CB9 9QW 01440 763407 email@example.com CF Mr KH SPRIGG 9 Clarence Court, Station Hill Maesteg Mid Glamorgan CF34 9AE 07855 590882 CH, LL Mr AW Rowlinson 21 Gadlas Road, Llysfaen Colwyn Bay Conwy LL29 8TD 01 492 514805 CM, CO Mr SP Puddephatt Walnut Cottage 11 Park Lane, Bulmer Sudbury Suffolk CO10 7EQ 01787 313369 firstname.lastname@example.org CR, RH, SM Mr RB Jackson 60 Fairdene Road, Coulsdon Surrey CR5 1RE 01 737 550231 CT Mr AG Taft 8 Astor Avenue,
News from the Associations
Dover Kent CT17 0AR 01 304 210041 CV Mr BN Angove Fergove Church Road, Long Itchington, Southam Warwickshire CV47 9PR 01 926 812011 CW, SK Mr JW Maxwell Jp Meadowside Cottage Wilmslow Road, Mottram St Andrew Macclesfield Cheshire SK10 4LQ 01 625 829197 DE, WS, WV Mr CD WATSON 2 Steenwood Cottages Steenwood Lane, Admaston Rugeley Staffordshire WS15 3NQ 01 889 500656 email@example.com DH, DL, TS Mr D SAYERS BEM 35 Grange Road, Belmont Durham DH1 1AL 0191 386 6912 DN Mr DA Turtle 15 The Croft, Beckingham Doncaster Yorkshire DN10 4QW 01 427 848551 EH, FK, ML, TD Mr J Docherty Mail Boxes Etc 44/46 Morningside Road, Edinburgh Lothian EH10 4BF 01 313 374255 firstname.lastname@example.org EX, TQ Mr LJ Young 1 Priory Gardens, Friernhay Street, Exeter Devon EX4 3AP 01 392 215768 FY, IM, L, PR Mr W Sewell 11 Rowland Lane, ThorntonCleveleys, Blackpool Lancashire FY5 2QX 01 253 826577 GL, SN Mr D Barnfield 9 Wickridge Close, Uplands Stroud Gloucestershire GL5 1ST 01 453 763218 GU Mr TGW Carrington 331 Yorktown Road College Town
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Syston Leicester LE7 2AF 0116 269 5794 LN, PE Mr AC ETches 43 Roman Road, Moulton Chapel Spalding Lincolnshire PE12 0XQ 01406 380640 LU, MK, NN, SG Mr IM Gilby 49 Colwyn Road, Northampton NN1 3PZ 01604 250300 email@example.com NEW ZEALAND Mr J Bell 3/280 Rangatira Road, Beachhaven Auckland 1311 (0064) 09478 8246 firstname.lastname@example.org NG MR JT Powell ‘Braeside’ 37gainsborough Road Winthorpe, Newark Nottinghamshire NG24 2NN 01636 701 681 HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org NR Mr MR Mitcheson Bronze Lodge Nursery Close, Gressenhall Dereham Norfolk NR20 4TH 01 362 860928 NR Mr AJ Gook 17 Moorland Close, Mousehold Lane Norwich NR7 8HD 01 603 484336 PL Mr CI Nicholson 25 Coleman Drive, Staddiscombe, Plymouth Devon PL9 9UN 01 752 313867 email@example.com PO Captain WAB Henderson 190 Highbury Grove, Cosham Portsmouth Hampshire PO6 2RU 02 392 385806 firstname.lastname@example.org RG Mr ID Margan 49 Chatteris Way, Lower Earley, Reading Berkshire RG6 4JA
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and Mr M A Shillabeer RVM that they be elected. The proposal was carried. 6. Any other Business SCpl Flynn suggested that The Blues and Royals Association and The Life Guards Association should be merged into a Household Cavalry Association. The Chairman thanked SCpl Flynn for the interesting suggestion; which had certainly some merit now both Regiments had
merged. Steps had been taken to merge the two Serving Officers’ Trusts. There are legal complications which can be overcome but there are other problems not least that the ex-serving members of both Associations will have to give their consent. The Chairman understood from SCpl Flynn that the serving members of the Association would be in favour of a merger.
Sibley for all his excellent work as Secretary over the last seven years and welcomed his successor Major Paul Stretton. 7. Date of the Next Meeting The date of the next Annual General Meeting will be Saturday 10 May 2008 with the venue to be decided. The meeting closed at 1850 hrs.
The Chairman thanked Lt Col Stuart
Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) S F Sibley Originally enlisted in the Royal Dragoons in 1960 having been a Junior Leader since 1958. He was a Troop CoH in B Sqn RHG/D during Op MOTORMAN in Londonderry, awarded MiD. He was assigned to Special Duties from 1978-1983. He was commissioned as LE officer in 1984, has served with RHG/D as IO, Trg Offr, Sqn 2IC and QM and was awarded the MBE in 1989. He transferred to the Veterinary Corps in Nov 1991 and left the Army in 1998. He served at Home Headquarters as the Honorary Secretary for The Blues and Royals from May 2000 till June 2007. Colonel Blues and Royals presenting Regimental Cuff Links to Lt Col Stuart Sibley .
The Blues and Royals Area Representatives Mr CJ Barrett 61 Dan-Y-Cribyn Ynysybwl Pontypridd Rhondda, Cynon, Taff CF37 3ET Tel No: 01443 791 987 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Major DS Barrington-Browne Cockleford Mill Cowley Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL53 9NW Tel No: 01242 870 266 Mr JD Bradley Blenheim Butt Park Stokenham Kingsbridge Devon TQ7 2SH Tel No: 01548 580 104 Major JW Clayton 1 Busserolles 23320 Montaigut Blanc Creuse France Tel No: 0033 555 620 734 E-mail: email@example.com Mr CD Day Flat 12 Raglan Court 11 Winn Road Portswood Southampton SO17 1WU Tel No: 02380 550 128 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mr GG Hodges The Oaklands
Turfmoor Edgerley Oswestry Shropshire SY10 8EN Tel No: 01743 741 365 Mr DE Horsefield 4 Garden Croft Forest Hall Newcastle upon Tyne Tyne & Wear NE12 9LT Tel No: 0191 266 5440 Email: email@example.com Mr E Marchington 39 Propps Hall Drive Failsworth Manchester M35 0WB Tel No: 0161 681 6712 Mr DM Miles 22 Hillcrest Road Wheatley Hills Doncaster DN2 5ND Tel No: 01302 322 757 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mr CE Mogg 6 Brynffrwd Close Coychurch Bridgend Mid Glamorgan CF35 5EP Tel No: 01656 668 590 E-mail: email@example.com Mr BJ Pyke 52 Cavendish Gardens Beechdale Estate Walsall West Midlands WS2 7JN Tel No: 01922 639 562 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr NG Sargeant 62 Hopgarden Road Tonbridge Kent TN10 4QT Tel No: 01732 355 259 Mr J Singer 49 Bradwall Road Sandbach Cheshire CW11 1GH Tel No: 01270 759 358 Mr RG Swann ‘Hillcrest’ Ramsay Wood Gatehouse Of Fleet Kirkcudbrightshire Castle Douglas DG7 2HJ Tel No: 01557 814 663 The Reverend AV Vaughan-Roberts 3624 East Liberty Avenue Spokane WA 99217, 6960 USA E-mail: email@example.com Mr N Lewis- Baker Foxwarren 1 Strathcona Avenue Little Bookham LEATHERHEAD Surrey KT23 4HW Telephone 01372 456025 Mr EJ Woodman RVM MBE 48 Western Drive Shepperton Middlesex TW17 8HW Tel No: 01932 240 495
News from the Associations
The Household Cavalry Museum er Majesty The Queen officially opened the new museum at Horse Guards on 12th June 2007 immediately before attending the Household Cavalry Pageant on the same evening. After some final modifications had been completed the museum opened to the general public a month later on 9th July 2007. This represented the culmination of 7 years’ work to transform the idea into reality.
Rarely do museums have the opportunity to display collections which are so closely linked to the building they are housed in. The story of The Household Cavalry is brought to life through the words, memories, and stunning collections belonging to past and present members of the Regiments. These stories are told through modern interactive displays, guided tours by museum assistants and special educational events. Visitors hear first hand accounts of the preparation for the great ceremonial occasions, the origins and history of The Household Cavalry and learn about the modern day fighting and operational roles of the Regiments. In the stables gallery visitors can now view the working stables of The Queen’s Life Guard through a full height glazed screen. This privileged view of ‘seeing behind the scenes’ helps to distinguish the museum from other regimental museums and nearby visitor attractions. The idea of a living museum has been a hit with visitors and the challenge is to raise awareness of what we have to offer to a bigger and broader audience. Our aim is to attract 75,000 paying visitors annually or an average of 200 a day throughout the year. After 8 months of operation the museum had broken even in its trading figures. As with any new business or attraction, the focus over the next 12 months will be on increasing the museum’s profile and the outside
Gallery 1 at Horse Guards.
News from the Associations
world’s general awareness of it and several initiatives are already in place in order to achieve this. Tour group operators have been tar-geted for the spring and summer seasons to ensure that we are on the tourist itinerary before they even get to Horse Guards. From March onwards, visitors will be able to purchase joint tickets for the Royal Mews and the Household Cavalry Museum. Partner-ships such as these will be central not only to driving visitor numbers up but also in maximising visitor related income. It has always been the aim of the whole project for the museum eventu-ally to contribute significantly to regimental funds and specifically to the Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund (HCCCF), so that more retired soldiers can be helped when required through extra donations to the two Regimental Associations and, equally important, serving soldiers can reap benefit from their own museum and the money it is making by being given more opportunities to play sport, go adven-ture training and generally make the most of life in the Army. Once the bor-rowing is paid off, most money must go to looking after our soldiers, serving or retired. Following a predictably slow winter season the museum is well placed to take advantage of the inevitable rise in tourist numbers from spring through early summer and beyond. The retail outlet at Horse Guards has been par-ticularly successful and is well worth a visit in itself. Phase 2 of the museum development project involves the refurbishment of the former museum at Combermere Barracks in Windsor. This space will be converted into an Archive and Edu-cation Centre where the reserve collections will be housed, a handling collection made available for school visits and the extensive regimental ar-chives will be accessible for research.
The old Museum gutted.
This refurbishment at Windsor is currently underway. A 16 week programme of on site work is scheduled to complete in mid May after which a short period of fit out will occur. It is antici-pated that the new centre will be open for business by the end of July 2008. Combined with Horse Guards, the museum will have all the functions that a modern museum needs to manage its most precious resource - the memories and collections of all who have served. This will not only preserve collections for future generations but also provide a rich resource for education and learn-ing. Like the story we are trying to tell, the Household Cavalry Museum is also about continuity, adaptability and change. Over the course of the next 12 months we are aiming to improve the gallery interpretation to include much more about the modern day fighting role of the regiments as well as the twentieth century conflicts.
Gallery 1 at Horse Guards.
Anyone interested in helping with the Museum as a volunteer at Horse Guards or Windsor should contact the Museum Director on 020 7930 3090 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Finally it is worth mentioning that the museum at Horse Guards is an ideal venue for private drinks parties or receptions for 25 â€“ 140 guests and all events can be tailored to suit individual requirements. Corporate details can be displayed through the extensive audio visual equipment in the public galleries and mounted dutymen or State trum-peters can be made available to greet guests on arrival. For further information on corporate and private bookings of the Horse Guards museum, please contact:
Gallery 2 at Horse Guards.
The Visitor Services Manager Household Cavalry Museum Horse Guards Whitehall London SW1A 2AX Tel: 020 7930 3070/3090 Fax: 020 7414 2212 Email:email@example.com Website: www.householdcavalrymuseum.co.uk/corporatehire
Floor plan of the Combermere Museum.
News from the Associations
Roll of those killed in Helmand Province.
Memorial to those killed in Helmand Province.
The Life Guards The deaths are announced of the following members of the Regiment who have sadly passed away 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. 295268 CoH C Craven Served from 1 April 1938 until 1 April 1960 Died 11 January 2007 aged 91 years 24021480 Tpr S Rowley Served from March 1965 until March 1971 Died 6 January 2007 aged 58 years 296222 Tpr J Jarvis Served from 1944 until 1947 Died 3 January 2007 aged 80 years 22205929 Tpr AC Billinghurst Served April 1952 until April 1955 Died 16 November 2006 aged 72 years 22184586 Tpr VG Snell Served from 10 October 1949 until 30 September 1951 Died during 2006 aged 76 6026279 CoH WG Riches Served from 1932 to 31 July 1946 Died 8 June 2006 aged 84 years 24540707 Tpr P Curtis Served from 24 August 1981 until 30 July 1986 Died 2 March 2007 aged 41 years 22205601 SQMC AC Orme Served from October 1950 until October 1973 Died 19 March 2007 aged 74 years
19058941 SCpl CE Dean RVM Served from 29 August 1946 until 17 July 1988 Died 12 April 2007 aged 78 years
19130791 LCpl DR Cleeve Served from 1 February 1947 until 31 March 1949 Died 16 June 2007 aged 78 years
22205588 Cpl DV French Served from 1 September 1950 until 1 June 1962 Died 21 March 2007 aged 73 years
296351 Tpr HJ Duggan Served from 1943 â€“ 1946 Died 1 July 2007 aged 81 years
295016 Tpr TA Beck Served from 2 July 1934 until 22 April 1939 Died 31 January 2006 aged 81 years 23215819 Tpr CI Wyndham Served from 3 September 1958 until 4 October 1961 Died 3 April 2007 aged 66 years
140503 Major CH Waterhouse Served from 1940 until 1946 Died 13 July 2007 aged 89 years 23662434 CoH CM Bailey Served from 1959 until 1971 with both LG and Army Air Corps Died 27 June 2007 aged 65 years
693395 Major GD Cooper OBE MC Served from 31 October 1936 until 28 May 1962 Died 19 May 2007 aged 94 years
Lieutenant JHG Woollcombe CBE Served from 1 September 1943 until 31 August 1947. Died 9 July 2007 aged 81 years
WO2 C Jones Died 23 May 2007. Ex RAVC and no other details
296633 Cpl GD Cunliffe Served from 1945 â€“ 1952 Died July 2007 aged 84 years
24192477 WO2 (TQMC) PD Jordan
295308 Cpl J Anderson Smith Served from 19 September 1938 until 19 September 1946 Died 16 August 2007 aged 88 years
Served from 24 August 1970 until 14 August
1995 Died 19 June 2007 aged 51 years
22556395 Cpl SH Seary Served from 4 May 1953 to 4 May 1956 Died 10 August 2007 aged 72 years 295456 Tpr JR Chandler Served from 1940 until 1944 Died 17 September 2007 aged 90 years 295624 CoH FEE Tegg Served from 1940 – 1948 Died 26 August 2007 aged 85 years 22205382 Cpl D Forsyth Served from 10 June 1949 until 21 June 1954 Died 6 September 2007 aged 76 years 22875037 Tpr HT Gentry Served from January 1952 until May 1955 Died 19 September 2007 aged 75 years 22556297 Tpr J O’Connor Served from 3 March 1953 until 3 March 1956 Died 2007 date unknown 296113 Cpl FHB Kettle Served from 22 July 1943 until 5 July 1947 Died 13 September 2007 aged 82 years 23969320 SCpl RBM Jones Served from 26 November 1964 until 2 June 1996 Died 28 September 2007 aged 64 years
431125 Lt PR Goulder Served from 18 September 1953 until 23 August 1958 Died 18 July 2007 aged 72 years
22474127 WO2 TF Casey Served from 1951 until 1974 Died 11 November 2007 aged 74 years
6085562 W Barker Died 2007 No further details of him known
24021593 CoH H Marshall Served from 1 October 1965 until 30 September 1982 Died 20 November 2007 aged 61 years
295464 Cpl RJ Hersant Served from 1940 until 1946 Died 27 September 2007 aged 90 years 522934 Captain DJ Whyte Served with LG from 1964 – 1986 leaving as WO1 on Commission to Royal Pioneer Corps (now part of RLC) and retired as Captain in 1991 Died 6 October 2007 aged 61 years Major General Lord Michael FitzalanHoward GCVO CB CBE MC Colonel The Life Guards from August 1979 until January 1999 Died 2 November 2007 aged 91 years 22556618 Tpr WN Spragg Served from 1953 until 1956 Died 8 November 2007 aged 71 years 23218716 CoH H Wood Served from 1955 until 1978 Died 9 November 2007 aged 71 years
510597 Captain JH Miles Served from 27 April 1956 until 30 January 1986 Died 22 November 2007 aged 69 years 24348582 WO1 DJ Smith Served from 4 June 1974 until 28 February 1995 Died 7 December 2007 aged 57 years 23865846 CoH AS Rymer Served from 1 April 1961 until 2 April 1983 Died 26 December 2007 296174 Tpr RG Lummis Served from 11 November 1943 until 24 April 1946 Died 20 December 2007 aged 83 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. 24158900 CoH MJ Lock RHG/D Served 25 Aug 1969 to 5 Aug 1994 Died 10 January 2007 aged 52 years
461523 G Wilson RHG Served 1 Jan 1959 to 31 Dec 1963 Died February 2007 aged 67 years
305813 Tpr FS Walter RHG Served 1 Mar 1940 to 31 Oct 1946 Died in 2006 aged 85 years
305393 Cpl HGJ Goodyear RHG Served 6 Jun 1939 to 1 Sept 1947 Died 1 January 2006, age unknown
22556883 Tpr JE Brazier RHG Served 8 Nov 1954 to 7 Nov 1957 Died 26 March 2007 aged 71 years
22556247 Tpr D Cliffe RHG Served 1 Jan 1953 to 31 Jan 1956 Died 10 October 2006 aged 71 years
21038819 Tpr GH Butler 1RD Served 1 Feb 1948 to 1 Sept 1949 Died 7 July 2006 aged 76 years
22205803 Cpl JC Chapman RHG Served 26 Nov 1951 to 15 Feb 1957 Died 6 April 2007 aged 72 years
23215242 LCoH M Mills RHG Served 4 Apr 1956 to 26 Mar 1968 Died 29 May 2007 aged 66 years
22556192 SQMC P Robson RHG/D Served 1 Jan 1952 to 31 Dec 1975 Died 21 February 2007 aged 71 years
23969226 Tpr C Bromage RHG Served 20 Jul 1964 to 6 Jan 1968 Died 5 April 2007 aged 65 years
21045900 LCpl J Barclay RHG Served 2 Nov 1947 to 1 Oct 1949 Died June 2007 aged 78 years
305407 Tpr JA Toms RHG Served 1Oct 1939 to 1 Mar 1943 Died 4 March 2007 aged 89 years
305323 Tpr HA Lambert RHG Served 1 Feb 1938 to 28 Feb 1946 Died 30 March 2007 aged 86 years
7889952 LCpl G Worthington 1RD Served 21 Nov 1938 to 29 June 1946 Died 9 October 2006 aged 85 years
341661 CB Holman RHG Served 17 Jan 1944 to 17 Feb 1945 Died 25 February 2007 aged 81 years
306221 CoH E Ruff RHG Served 11 May 1943 to 13 May 1965 Died 29 March 2007 aged 81 years
A Coles RHG Served 1952 to 1955 Died 14 June 2007 aged 72 years
304923 CoH In-Pensioner J Peart RVM Served 9 Oct 1930 to 9 May 1961 Died 11 March 2007 aged 94 years
22205095 Cpl DW Clarke RHG Served 5 May 1948 to 4 Jun 1953 Died 23 October 2006 aged 76 years
25102427 LCpl CJ Farmer RHG/D Served 16 Dec 1999 to 29 June 2007 Died 29 June 2007aged 23 years
2401226 WO2 DC Standen RHG Served 1 July 1964 to 6 Feb 1987 Died 8 July 2007 aged 60 years
210001 WO1 A Beynon RHG/D Served 21 Jan 1948 to 24 June 1970 Died 24 August 2007 aged 79 years
251977 Captain FP Mitchell RHG Served 1 Apr 1942 to 31 Dec 1946 Died 28 September 2007 aged 84 years
22205360 Tpr CM Cowton RHG Served 5 May 1949 to 2 April 1954 Died 11 July 2007 aged 78 years 430400 Major Sir Nicholas Nuttall Bt Served 1st Sept 1953 to 30th April 1968 Died 29 July 2007 aged 73 years
305396 Cpl J Gardner RHG Served 1 Aug 1939 to 1 Aug 1948 Died 24 August 2007 aged 86 years 23001797 Cpl AG Gentile 1RD Served 18 Feb 1954 to 27 Oct 1966 Died 3 July 2007 aged 71 years
24041386 Tpr D Godding RHG/D Served 22 Mar 1965 to 18 Apr 1973 Died 16 October 2007 aged 59 years
24021438 Tpr FR Gibson RHG/D Served 1 April 1965 to 1 Dec 1971 Died 7 August 2007 aged 59 years
1431972 Mr EH Hobson Service dates and date of death unknown.
24096665 Mr P O’Gorman RHG/D Died 17 November 2007
55073 Tpr BF Hubbard 1RD Served 23 Dec 1930 to 31 July 1937 Died 17 August 2007aged 93 years
Tpr R Speaks RHG Served in 1940’s Died 5 September 2007 aged 80 years
306415 CoH T McNinley RHG Served 2 Feb 1944 to 1 Mar 1956 Died 20 November 2007 aged 81 years
22063536 LCpl R Cope RHG Served 1 Sept 1948 to 1 April 1950 Died 11 August 2007 aged 77 years
Mr CE Chapman RHG/D Service dates unknown Died 8 September 2007 aged 55 years
WO2 KS Wood RHG Served 12 Jul 1939 to 12 Jul 1961 Died 29 November 2007 aged 85 years
Major OJ Lewis 1RD Served 1 Apr 1948 to 15 June 1968 Died 10 November 2007 aged 79 years
Major General Lord Michael FitzAlan Howard GCVO CBE MC Late The Life Guards By Major General Sir Simon Cooper GCVO, formerly The Life Guards Major General Lord Michael FitzAlan Howard, who died on 2nd November 2007 aged 91, succeeded Lord Mountbatten as Colonel of The Life Guards and Gold Stick in 1979 on Colonel Dickie’s assassination by the IRA. At the time it was a particular honour for a distinguished officer of the Foot Guards to be selected by The Queen to be our Colonel and was a mark of the esteem in which he was held. Colonel Michael became a Life Guard from the moment of his appointment and throughout his twenty years in the Regiment he devoted himself to The Life Guards, their wellbeing and their future. Michael FitzAlan Howard was born on the 22nd October 1916 the second son of Lord Howard of Glossop and Baroness Beaumont. Educated at Ampleforth and Trinity College, Cambridge, he was commissioned in the Scots Guards in 1938. When his brother Miles, a Grenadier, became Duke of Norfolk he was given the title and precedence of a duke’s son. He had been an accomplished and courageous soldier during World War 2, winning an MC in command of a tank squadron of the Scots Guards. His wide military experience in the war and subsequently as a brigade major, chief of staff both of London District and Southern Command and finally as GOC London District and Major General Household Division had given him all the qualities and knowledge to support and assist the Regiment throughout the difficult years of political and Ministry of Defence manoeuvrings to reduce the size of the Army.
His time as Marshal of the Diplomatic Corps on his retirement from the Army had allowed him to hone his great talents for persuasion and gentle coercion. He and Meg were renowned for their kindness and understanding which made him so successful in this appointment. His calm, firm and effective leadership carried the Regiment through the very troubled waters of potential amalgamations to the final and successful arrangements for the Union of The Life Guards with The Blues and Royals. Colonel Michael was elegant, smart, a man of high principle and great personal charm. He was as at ease in the Troopers’ Mess as he was in the Officers’ Mess. His smile was infectious and his sense of humour was never far from the surface. When attending a “Feed Away” at Hyde Park Barracks the Squadron Leader, Hugh Robertson, and SCM Pickard pointed out the coincidence that the charger by whose stall they were standing by was Doncaster and Trooper Doncaster was holding him. Doncaster was also very close to the house, Carlton Towers, where Colonel Michael was born. Colonel Michael immediately asked Trooper Doncaster whether he came from Doncaster. No was the reply, Wisbech. “Don’t worry” Colonel Michael said “we’ll soon have you moved.” Colonel Michael was a great countryman; he rode to hounds as a young man, was a passionate and excellent shot and a very knowledgeable gardener and loved nothing more than tending his garden at his Wiltshire home in Fovant. He was above all a devout Catholic whose faith enhanced and strengthened his personality, though even here his sense of humour was evident when he was about to place a bet on Battleship for the Grand National with the double on Cardinal Pacelli for Pope. Only at the last moment was he reminded that excommunication was the inevitable result for a Catholic betting on the papal election!
The Life Guards were immensely fortunate to have had such an erudite, charming and delightful man as their Colonel. His strength of character and his humour coupled with his diplomacy and ease of manner brought him the respect and admiration of all ranks. Lord Carrington ended his address at Colonel Michael’s Thanksgiving Service with the well known quote from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales: There was a Knight, a most distinguished man Who from the day on which he first began To ride abroad had followed chivalry, Truth, honour, greatness of heart and courtesy. And so much distinguished, he was wise And in his bearing modesty as a maid, He never yet a boorish thing had said In all his life to any, come what might; He was a true, a perfect gentleman. He was indeed a true Life Guard.
Major Sir Nicholas Nuttall Bt Late Royal Horse Guards By Major Lord Patrick Beresford, formerly Royal Horse Guards Nic Nuttall was raised at Lowesby Hall in Leicestershire, in the cream of the Quorn Friday country. Not surprisingly therefore fox-hunting dominated much of his childhood, and when he got to Eton he took up beagling and running, to such good effect that in his last year he not only became Master of the Beagles, but also won the school’s two most coveted races, the Mile and the Steeplechase, the latter over 7 miles of open country. At Sandhurst he continued his prestigious athletics career, as well as passing out third overall in the Order of Merit, from an intake of over 400 cadets. On commissioning into The Blues, he served first with the Armoured Cars at Windsor, and then with the Mounted Squadron at Knightsbridge, and it was during this period that steeplechasing superseded fox-hunting as his favourite pastime. He had won the Cadets’ Race at Sandhurst point-to-point in 1953, and now he embarked on having horses in training with Alec Kilpatrick at Collingbourne Ducis. In 1956, the Regiment deployed to Cyprus and over the next three years was engaged in operations against the Greek terrorist organisation EOKA. Nic was adjutant throughout this time and always fulfilled his duties with precision and panache, including using his 6 week annual leave in 1958 to return to England to ride racing, and to win the Grand Military Gold Cup, on his good horse Stalbridge Park. Nic was not a naturally gifted horseman, as he was first to admit, but whatever shortcomings there may have been were more than compensated for by his iron nerve and steely determination, that is to say, he had the courage to “ride his fences straight,” just as he did in all other aspects of his life.
In 1959, following the Regiment’s re-establishment at Windsor, he commanded a squadron and then attended staff college at Camberley. During this period he won a second Grand Military, as well as being placed in two others, all on Stalbridge Park. In 1963, he was posted to Ottawa on the Staff: Stalbridge Park was retired, having completed 34 steeplechases ridden by Nic without a single fall. Whilst in Canada, he met the then Major General John Nelson on a world tour. Sir John agreed to Nic’s suggestion that he be given command of the Guards Independent Parachute Company. This was a novel departure since every former O.C. had already previously served in the company as a troop leader. Almost immediately he was a huge success, partly because even amongst this band of men famous for their physical fitness there were few with whom he could not match strides, but mainly because of his unquenchable cheerfulness and force of character and his entirely genuine interest and concern for those under his command, and for their families. Put in a few words, Nic loved people and people loved Nic. It was as simple as that. In retrospect he declared that he had never enjoyed anything so much as the Parachute Company. Although he had quickly acquired the affectionate (and at times not entirely inappropriate!) nickname of “Nic the Nut”, there is no doubt that every officer and man would have followed him anywhere. When his 2 ½ years were up, he returned to the Regiment as 2IC, before resigning his commission. His mother, widowed in the early part of the war, had recently died, and both Lowesby and Edmund Nuttall’s – the family engineering business in London – required his undivided attention. Typically he flung himself wholeheartedly into each, taking a 6-month business management course, commuting between the two on a weekly basis and being onsite whenever Nuttall’s took on a construction contract, wherever in the world it might be. After 10 years of his discreet chairmanship, an irrefusable offer was made by a foreign company for a revitalized Edmund Nuttall’s. Nic judged that the political climate at the time was becoming increasingly inappropriate to both single and family companies and to large family estates, and therefore, with great regret – having first looked after the interests of all his employees at Lowesby and in London, he sold up and moved into tax exile, finally settling in Nassau, where in 1983 he met and married the last great love of his life. The Bahamas thus became his new home, into the marine environment of which he poured his energies, in order to protect its native fish and exquisite coral reefs, a battle he eventually won in the face of often violent governmental and commercial opposition. On the fitness side, he continued to run, culminating with the New York marathon in 1997, which he duly completed in 3 hours and 50 minutes, a staggering time for someone aged 64. Nic’s terminal illness first struck in March 2006. He fought it for sixteen months with a stoicism and total lack of complaint that was typical of him, though at times the pain was horrendous. When eventually the final call came, he died peacefully and was buried next to his mother and father in Lowesby churchyard. A piper and pall-bearers from amongst his old comrades in the Guards Parachute Association were in attendance. Later a Service of Thanksgiving was held in the Guards Chapel, led by the Band and Trumpeters of The Blues and Royals. Nic was married four times and has two sons and four daughters. All those who survived him were present, along with hundreds of friends and former brother officers from the Regiment.
Major Owen Lewis Late The Royal Dragoons By Lieutenant Colonel David Wilkinson, formerly The Blues and Royals Owen Lewis, who died on the 10th November 2007, was one of the last regular officers of The Royals to retire before amalgamation with The Blues in 1969. Commissioned in 1948 from Sandhurst, where he was a senior under-officer in Intake 2, he joined The Royals in Wolfenbüttel. Hitherto, his first name had been John, but he was told that there were too many Johns in the Regiment and he would have to be called Owen – so Owen he was to the end of his service. As a Troop Leader, he led from the front – his strong character and great good humour immediately endeared him to all ranks. He was a sportsman of note, boxing heavyweight for the Regiment, and was a good rugby player, captaining the Regimental XV both in Germany and later in the Canal Zone after the Regiment moved in 1951. Owen was immensely good company and could always be found close to the centre of any practical jokes going – I still vividly remember helping him set up diversion signs during a neighbouring regiment’s Officers’ Dance, so that the departing guests found themselves still circling the surrounding countryside at dawn. Always mechanically minded, at his instigation we bought an ancient WW2 truck costing twelve pounds ten shillings each – half a month’s pay in those days – which he overhauled himself and in which we set off on leave on a 2300 mile drive round Europe – a kind of poor man’s Grand Tour. Life in the bleak surroundings of the Canal Zone was never boring when Owen was around, for he was a born raconteur, telling hilarious stories, often against himself. He was already an accomplished sailor and he skippered many dinghy races and cruises on the Great Bitter Lake, personally supervising and taking part in the inevitable repairs necessary to keep the ancient craft seaworthy. In 1953, he led a small training team to the Gulf State of Qatar whose ruler, Sheikh Ali bin Abdulla al Thani, was in the process of setting up his own army, and Owen always cherished memories of his four-month detachment – he was strongly attracted to the nomadic Bedouin and to his young Arab soldiers who responded readily to this big, humorous man who so clearly identified himself with them. Looking for new opportunities, he volunteered for secondment to the Glider Pilot regiment – forerunner to the Army Air Corps – and embarked on the light aircraft course at RAF Middle Wallop to be trained as a liaison pilot. Later, he converted to helicopters and whilst piloting one of these he triumphantly brought off a hair-raising forced landing after the rotor system partially disintegrated – a feat which earned him a coveted Green endorsement, a near miss on an Air Force Cross, in his log book. Back with The Royals, he commanded ‘B’ Squadron, then attended the RAF Staff College, followed by staff appointments and a final command of HQ Squadron in Detmold before retiring from the Army in 1968.
Owen took to retirement in his beloved Fowey with ease: sailing, fishing, planting and managing a forest on Bodmin Moor, he was also closely involved with the local lifeboat and he played a leading role in the Yacht Club of which he became Commodore. In all these activities, he had the strong support of Honor – a cousin of Victor Whitworth, a former Royal Dragoon - whom he married in 1968. Together they made an enviable team and there was always a welcome for those who braved the long journey to Cornwall, whether by land or sea. He will be remembered as a man of immense good humour and with great zest for life, a born raconteur full of huge generous laughter, unflappable in any circumstances and a great companion. Our deepest sympathy goes to Honor, to his sons, Gordon, Evan and David and to his grandchildren, of all of whom he was so proud.
WO2 Peter Douglas Jordan Late The Life Guards By Major (Retired) John Lodge, formerly The Life Guards Pete was born on 15th August 1955 in Canterbury where he spent his childhood until enlisting in the Army on 24th August 1970 into the Junior Leaders’ Regiment based at Bovington. On completion of his training, Pete joined The Life Guards in 1973 seeing service in Germany, Northern Ireland, the United States, Denmark, Canada, Belize and Cyprus. It was on a tour to Northern Ireland that he met Pauline and later married her in 1976. The following year Alan was born with his brother Barry arriving in 1978. Throughout his military career Pete worked in Driving and Maintenance as a D&M Instructor becoming a Schools Instructor at Bovington. Pete also held the position within the Army of a Qualified Testing Officer (QTO). Sport from the start always figured in Pete’s life particularly football. He played as a young man for his county, and there was no team as far as he was concerned greater than West Ham, a team he supported throughout his life. As a father, he was very proud of both his sons and their football talents; Alan now playing for his Corps side and Barry for Wareham Rangers. Pete also got involved in Regimental Boxing, coaching both Regimental and Squadron Teams. He was often seen in the ring acting as a second during Regimental Boxing. Giving advice to his boxers came with all the actions, verbal and physical. At home, he was the same, perched on his chair shouting at the television, shadow boxing an opponent, reacting to blows, ducking and diving much to the amusement of Pauline. His talent in sport did not stop there; squash was another area Pete excelled in, beating most of his opponents by a considerable amount. Representing the Regiment at inter-unit level, he soon gained a reputation as an excellent player. Living next to the squash court, I often saw Pete nipping in for a quick game and then re-appearing sometime later with a smile on his face. So I thought I would indulge in a little game myself. Being a complete novice, Pete taught me the basic steps so fancying my
chances which I thought were quite good, I took him on. A big mistake - he ran me around the court to the point of exhaustion and then the final blow a ball travelling at speed to the back of the leg. Lying on the floor, he looked down at me giving me one of his infamous winks and said ‘my point I believe’. Lesson learned, my squash career was short lived, well with Pete anyway. As a non-commissioned officer and warrant officer, Pete was always a strong supporter of Mess and Regimental life. He was always one of the first to give his support and attend events. Leaving the Army in 1995, after giving 25 years of service to his country, Pete spent some 18 months working in the Arab Emirates instructing at their equivalent of the Driving and Maintenance School at Bovington. In 1996, on his return to the UK, he successfully applied to join the Civil Service and took up a post as the Blandford Garrison Health and Safety Advisor. Through Pete’s steady guidance, a robust H&S system was introduced into the Garrison. He developed a sound network of competent staff to undertake a variety of roles through guidance and training. His thirst for knowledge was never ending and during his time at Blandford he undertook a Masters Degree in Health and Safety which he successfully gained. In 2003, Pete felt the need to expand his horizons and took up a SHEF post with Defence Estates working out of Yeovilton, initially employed scrutinising the H&S aspects of the bid process that would eventually lead to the issue of a multi million pound contract. Pete’s ability to communicate at all levels and his unrivalled knowledge led to further promotion and a move to the Defence Estates offices at Portsmouth where he was tasked with putting together a regional team of H&S advisors. In 2003, his first grandchild, Amy, was born and she instantly became the apple of his eye. The proud grandfather would always find a reason to enter her into the conversation. Having met her for the first time recently, I can see why. Sadly, the following year, his son Barry was tragically killed in a car accident, which devastated the family and left a great void in their lives. With each other’s love and help from an innocent child they came through. As in the latter part of his Army career where his final report cited his expertise with computers and his ability to communicate with all from all walks of life, Pete had a vision, one that would enable soldiers and families of the Regiment when leaving to able to stay in touch with one another instead of meeting up for funerals and Regimental functions. This vision was the creation of The Old Oak Tree (TOOT) and to date has brought some 500 ex-members together and with its serving membership increasing as well. With his careful guidance and planning skills, the site became more than a place just to meet. It also became a place where old friendships were renewed and new ones made. Pauline tells of his excitement as the numbers grew on the hit counter and the message board. He took steps to spread the word as much as he could. Quoting from a thread recently on the site posted by one of his administrators: “Pete never initially envisaged what we have in front of us today, but I do know that even through some trying and frustrating times, he was pleased beyond belief with the rapid growth of his idea and creation. He has left us with a LEGACY to be proud of.” Throughout, Pauline has been a rock. I thank her for allowing us to take her home time with Pete in order to satisfy ourselves, as we thumped the keyboard with endless ‘Drivel, Banter and chatter”.
So what about the man? Pete was no shrinking violet and he was blessed with a sharp mind and a sharper tongue and was always ready to dress down any miscreant; however, he never belittled a single soul. He was always aware of people and was ever ready to help and assist regardless of the problem. This is reflected in many of the messages of condolence received this past week. During his last moments with us, his thoughts were not for himself but his family ensuring that everything was in place before he moved on. Many people have reason to be grateful to Pete. He never sought kudos, in fact he would actively divert attention on to others ensuring that “pats on the back” were shared around. A loving and loyal husband, loving father and grandfather, a friend to all he met.
William (Bill) H Mitchell, Late The Life Guards By Sam Keyworth, formerly Royal Horse Guards Bill, as we all knew him, was born in Southwark in 1925 where he spent his formative years eventually working as a mechanic in a local garage. He joined the Home Guard early in the war before enlisting in The Life Guards in 1943 and serving in Germany, Holland, Italy, Egypt and Palestine. After the war he was posted to the Household Cavalry Mounted Squadrons at Knightsbridge as the driver of the ‘3 tonner’, and one of his tasks was to transport the personal kit of the men on duty with The King’s Life Guard at Horse Guards. In 1948, he was with the Squadrons at Summer Camp at Stoney Castle, Pirbright where he met the NAAFI Manager’s daughter, Marie, and on Christmas Eve the following year they were married. Bill left the Regiment in 1950 having completed 7 years with the colours, and finished up working as a maintenance controller for IBM at Moorgate, where he quite often met Major Norman Hearson who he served with during the war. The skills that he had acquired in his youth working in a garage were put to good use, and if anything needed to be made from any material then Bill was the person to do it. Marie and Bill had a particular affection for Holland and took their holidays there each year, at first on bicycles and then, as finances improved, by car. He never forgot his Regimental roots and every autumn would visit the memorial at Oosterbeek Military Cemetery and regularly attended the parade at the Combined Cavalry Memorial each May, even when he became unfit to march. In the sixty years that I knew him he was rarely seen without his Regimental tie of which he was justly proud. In latter years Bill suffered from diabetes spending considerable time in his local hospital and, in spite of appearing self contained and quiet, his sense of humour shone through and he became one of the nurses’ favourites. He sadly passed away mid December 2006. Those that were privileged to know Bill know that he has left a great legacy behind for others to follow.
Michael John Lock, Late The Blues and Royals By Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) S F Sibley MBE, formerly The Blues and Royals Mick Lock was born on 6th August 1954 in Ipswich. He joined the Army in 1969 as a Junior Leader. He left to join the Regiment the following year and was posted to B Squadron in Windsor. The Squadron served in most operational theatres of that time including Northern Ireland and Cyprus. It was in Northern Ireland that Mick met Lesley and they were married on 6th September 1975; they had two children, boys, Darren and Martin. Mick was a larger than life character standing some 6 ft 5 in and a natural sportsman. He played most sports and represented the Regiment at football, basketball, cricket and rugby. Rugby was a big love and he went on to play for the Army on several occasions. During his time at Regimental duty he became a D&M instructor and this is how he finished his military service as an instructor at the RAC D&M School. He left the Army in August 1994, having served 22 years. It was sometime after leaving the Army that Mick was diagnosed with Huntingdon’s disease. He soon became housebound and was nursed and looked after by his devoted wife Lesley for the next 10 years, when the illness finally beat him and he died peacefully on 10th January 2007, aged 52. Mick was a devoted family man, loving husband and caring father. He is survived by his adoring wife Lesley who nursed him throughout his illness with very little help and his two sons Darren and Martin with one small addition of whom Mick was very aware. Our thoughts are with you all. R.I.P. Mick.
Lance Corporal Christopher Farmer Late The Blues and Royals Christopher Farmer joined the Army in December 1999 and, on passing basic training, joined The Blues and Royals in February of the following year, a source of much pride amongst the family as Christopher’s father had also served with the Regiment in the Falklands 17 years before. Christopher served with D Squadron initially making his mark as a driver and then a gunner on many exercises and swiftly learnt his trade before joining HQ Squadron and the MT department where he specialized as one of the few UBRE operators within the Regiment, marking himself out amongst his contemporaries. In 2004, Christopher deployed with B Squadron to Iraq on Operation TELIC 4 where he served as the MT representative and also played a large hand in keeping the fleet operational. On returning to the UK, he returned to MT Troop and made a name for himself in the servicing bay where he could be found working tirelessly on almost any occasion. He also worked in the HQ Squadron SQMC’s department and was instrumental in keeping the Squadron’s vehicles running throughout his tenure. Chris then went down to Bovington to undertake his Driving and Maintenance Instructor’s Course, solidifying his knowledge of all things mechanical, and returned with excellent grades and praise from the school. He then deployed with D Squadron to Canada in 2005 to play the role of OPFOR where, once again, he excelled in the MT department. On returning from Canada, Christopher continued to serve in the MT department in Windsor until his terrible accident in 2007. He was a familiar, well known and liked face within the Regiment whom everybody could get on with and frequently had his friends in stitches. He was a vital cog in the Regiment and, since his passing, we have lost a friend, valuable colleague and a professional soldier. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.
Photographs of the Household Cavalry 1913 to 1916 rs Albert Broom was the first woman journalist photographer. Initially producing postcards, from 1904 to 1939 she became official photographer to the household brigade. She sold the prints to the soldiers at 2d.each, which included an envelope for writing home. This led Lord Roberts, then Colonel Irish Guards, to pronounce that she had increased recruiting which had fallen off after the South African War. She took portraits of traditional hierarchical groups but also of less formal, off-duty moments and of soldiers saying farewell to families before embarkation to the First World War. The pictures on this page are from a collection of Household Cavalry photographs by Mrs Broom owned by Mr Shillabeer, formally The Blues and Royals, copies of which he has kindly donated to the Museum.
Changing Guard. Officers - Captain Sir Morgan Crofton, Mr Bethell, Captain Ashton, Mr Wallace.
Trooper Phillips, 1st Life Guards.
Officers' Mess Staff, 2nd Life Guards, 1914, probably at Annual Camp, Windmill Hill Camp, Ludgershall.
Cook, 1st Life Guards, 1915.
Band of the 1st Life Guards, 1915.
Officers of the 2nd Life Guards at Annual Camp.
1st Life Guards Vickers Machine Gunners.
2nd Life Guards, Regent's Park Barracks, 1913.
All military skills on show.
2nd Life Guards, Hyde Park Barracks,1913.
The Household Battalion training in Hyde Park, 1916.
Farewell to the Family at Victoria Station.
2nd Life Guards preparing for embarkation to France.
1st Life Guards off to the Front, May 1915.
1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiments Annual Reunion he 61st Annual Reunion of the 1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiments was held on Thursday 18th October 2007 in the WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess at Hyde Park Barracks by kind permission of the RCM, WO1 A P Kellet LG.
In the absence of our President, His Grace The Duke of Wellington, Colonel David Smiley kindly took the chair and a total of 56 members of both Regiments and their guests enjoyed an excellent lunch, at which we were delighted to welcome Colonel Patrick Tabor, Commander Household Cavalry and Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Griffin, Commanding Officer of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. The date for our 62nd Reunion has yet to be arranged, but it is hoped that this will take place in October 2008 at Hyde Park Barracks, when we look forward once
The President sitting at his ancestor’s desk at Horse Guards
again to welcoming as many members as possible from both Regiments.
Invitations will be sent out as usual during August.
North East Association Branch
Dinner and Dance North East.
At Eden Camp, an ex-prisoner of war camp, in Yorkshire.
News from the Associations
North Staffordshire Branch President: Lt Col J S Olivier, Blues and Royals Chairman and Treasurer: Mr B A Lewis, formerly Royal Horse Guards. Secretary: Mr I J Taylor, formerly The Royal Horse Guards. The first roll call of the year at the January meeting showed that the majority of members had survived the Christmas festivities and were ready for another action packed year ahead! Well, at least that was the intention, until we realised we were all a year older but while the spirit is willing.................. The provisional dates were agreed for our social functions for the coming year. As this year is the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Branch, we thought the annual dinner dance ought to be a little special. Also, booking transport for members and families to attend Cavalry Sunday, and the design for this year’s Branch Christmas card. The Treasurer informed members that we were still solvent after making our charity donations at the end of last year. At the beginning of March, a couple of members travelled to the North East to take full advantage of the hospitality of the North East Branch at their annual dinner. At the AGM, Branch Officers were reelected yet again, the reason given that things run smoother without change! April is our first social evening of the year when members and wives sit down to an excellent carvery meal at our local hotel. May saw a contingent travelling down to Windsor for The Blues and Royals Association dinner, another opportunity to meet up with colleagues with whom we served to see if they are wearing as well as the rest
of us! The event was particularly special this year, having both Princes William and Harry and The Colonel of the Regiment, HRH The Princess Royal, present, as they were also on the Sunday for the Combined Cavalry Parade in Hyde Park.
able to be with us. This event also gave us the opportunity to make our charity donation for this year by presenting our Guest speaker with a cheque for £1,000 for the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund.
At the June meeting, members were informed of the possible formation of a Branch Association being formed in Australia for former Household Cavalrymen there. The driving force is a civilian, and a lady who has a high regard for The Household Cavalry, known to all as JennyBob. Because of her sterling work, the Secretary proposed she be elected as an Honorary Member of the North Staffs Branch; this was passed unanimously. At the beginning of June, we received the sad news of the death of Major Hugo Waterhouse, who had been our President for many years from the early days of our Branch. Members have many happy memories of the visits we paid to his home at Middleton Hall for evenings of comradeship and good food.
On November 10th several members held a short service of Remembrance at The Blues and Royals memorial plot at The National Memorial Arboretum, and were also able to visit the recently opened All Services Memorial.
July is the usual time of our second social evening of the year. It’s an opportunity to have a change from a Branch meeting and include our long suffering wives, for good food, good company and finish the evening with a raffle to raise a little more for Branch funds. August and September were quiet, with only the final arrangements being made for the annual dinner and agreement on the final draft of the Branch Christmas card. October saw a very good attendance for our 20th anniversary dinner dance. All guests received an engraved goblet to commemorate the occasion, and the high spot of the evening was provided by our guest speaker, Major Will Bartle-Jones who had everyone rivetted by his talk and DVD presentation. It was a great pity that our President and his wife were struck down by a bug at the last minute and were un-
National Memorial Arboretum under flood.
On Remembrance Sunday, members provided a party and the Branch Standard at Newcastle under Lyme, before holding a small service at the grave of former Life Guard, Len Durber. Our last event to complete another year will be our Christmas dinner at the beginning of December before we descend into hibernation once more. It has been another busy year of work on The Blues and Royals memorial plot. Although we were able to make an earlier start than last year, a drought in April caused us a little concern but by the time we had thought about how to irrigate the plot, the whole site was flooded to a depth of 3 feet in June and 4 feet in July! The cost has been enormous in the number of trees that have drowned, not only our plot, but over the whole site. The estimate to replace dead trees is in the region of £10,000. The trees will hopefully be replaced by next spring. This also threw our plans to complete the modification of the plot into disarray, having lost two months working time. Once again, our hope of finishing the work this year has been scuppered, but we are so close to being finished, next year has got to see the end. Our serving colleagues continue to be in our thoughts as yet another year passes and their duties continue. Our prayers are with them and their families and we hope for their safe, speedy return
Vice President handing over a donation for the Operational Casualties Fund to Major W Bartle-Jones, The Blues and Royals
News from the Associations
Dorset Branch www.householdcavalryassociationdorset.org President The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Normanton Chairman Raymond D Peck, formerly The Life Guards Secretary and Treasurer John Triggs BEM, formerly The Blues and Royals Committee Lt Col (Retd) Mick Harding Staff Quartermaster, HQ DRAC Trevor Collett Senior, formerly The Blues and Royals Dudley Feltham, formerly the Royal Horse Guards Fred Kemp, formerly the Royal Horse Guards Brian Murray, formerly The Blues and Royals Bill Stephenson, formerly The Blues and Royals Barry Woodley, formerly The Life Guards 2007 beckoned in the 26th year for this Association and we hope and pray that we can continue in the same vein for the next 25 years. How do you improve on a year that proved as successful as our 25th Anniversary year? There is, of course, only one answer; do what we do each year, organise a jolly good do, because it’s the people who make it happen. As always there is little respite for the committee as the January newsletter, followed by a committee meeting, heralded in the New Year with a call to arms for the Spring Dinner and Dance weekend and a fist full of Winter Warmer Draw tickets. The Spring Dinner and Dance was held on the 24th March 2007. Ninety two members and guests gathered at the new venue for the Association – the Quality Hotel in Grover Road, Bournemouth, whilst 71 members stayed the whole weekend. The move from the Savoy was unfortunate but the prices and minimum numbers along with ‘sea views and garden supplements’ made it just too expensive. The Dinner was preceded by two of our Gentlemen Trumpeters, Messrs Sid Dodson and Bruce Worthy, ‘calling’ us into dinner – superb as always. The Saturday Night Dinner proved a great success with many compliments on the standard of food, portions and service, all topped by the Head Chef ‘flaming’ the haunch of beef and carving steak style portions – a stylish touch.
News from the Associations
26th Annual Dinner Top Table Rear row (L to R); Lt Col Giles Stibbe OBE LG, Lt Col Ralph Griffin LG, Lord Normanton (President), Mr Raymond Peck (Chairman) and Lt Col (Retd.) Malcolm Torrent. Front row (L to R); Miss Rosalind Nott, Mrs Paula Peck and Mrs Isobel Torrent Dutymen; Tprs Baker and Wright
The evening’s entertainment was provided by a pianist throughout dinner and our regular disco after. With 47 people still on the dance floor at 0100 hours the night proved to be a long one. However, shortly following dinner the raffle and Winter Warmer Draw were drawn. The 1st prize of £250.00 was won by Peter Truslove, the 2nd prize of a 2 night B&B break for 2 at the Carrington House Hotel was won by Charlie Greenwood and the 3rd prize of 2 Annual Dinner tickets was won by our very own Vice-President, George Dugdale. Some 1632 tickets were sold and, after deductions, the profit went towards offsetting the costs of the Annual Dinner. Our special thanks to Tony Prynne who yet again has sold over £100s worth of tickets – magnificent effort. On 1st September the committee met at the Chairman’s house to launch the annual balloon race. This was also an excellent excuse to test the quality of the proposed wine for the Annual Dinner. With a large cylinder of helium gas, the committee and their wives launched 551 balloons on a clear breeze over Bournemouth. Thirtyseven tickets (best result ever) trickled back, most from the Isle of Wight, one from France and 2 from Germany, just North of Munich, the winner being some 810 miles from launch! The President presented the winner, Doug Preece RVM, with a cheque for £150.00 and a framed certificate, at the Annual Dinner. Our sincerest thanks to our President, Lord Normanton for underwriting the total costs of the event once more. The highlight of the year once again was our Annual Dinner, this now being our
26th, on Saturday the 15th October 2007 at the Carrington House Hotel. The Quality Hotel was completely full on the Friday night; just as well we had taken over the complete hotel! The weekend started on Friday evening when 102 sat down to an à la carte dinner, which was followed by a raffle and entertainment by a solo vocalist, who had many a couple up on the dance floor. Saturday was free for shopping in Bournemouth, walks along the beach or just relaxing in the friendly atmosphere of the hotel. Our thanks to Bill and Annie Steele again, for opening the PRI/Museum shop in the bar area! Such a convivial manner of conducting trade (and profitable too). Saturday evening commenced with the AGM, which was held at 1800 hours and presided over by the Vice-President, George Dugdale, who welcomed all to the meeting and handed over to the Chairman, Ray Peck. Following the AGM we were all coached over to the Carrington House Hotel for the Dinner. Some members had elected to stay at the Carrington instead of the Quality so prior to dinner we all met up in the Windsor Room for photographs with the two Dutymen. Our very own Gentlemen Trumpeters, Messrs Sid Dodson, George Hayne, Lez Bullock and Bruce Worthy ‘called’ us into dinner in their normal note perfect and splendid performance. Brian Murray ushered in the top table led by the Dutymen to welcoming applause, After the Grace, dinner was served. After dinner the President read out the message of Loyal Greeting to Her Majesty and Her
gracious reply. The Chairman then introduced the Guest of Honour – Lt Col G G E Stibbe OBE LG who then entertained all with an amusing and informative speech, which was well received. A pleasant surprise followed with Lt Col (Retd) Malcolm Torrent, a past Director of Music of The Band of The Life Guards, playing the post horn gallop with much verve and gusto – this really got the party going. The Secretary then used this moment to announce an auction for a drum table designed and made by John Hawley – Catching us all whilst on a high. John requested the proceeds of the auction be donated to the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. The bidding started at £25 and excitedly grew in minutes to £500, which was offered by Margaret Greenwood, wife of Charlie, who successfully beat all other bidders. What a super gesture by the Greenwoods and what a bonus for the Fund.
With the dinner concluded, it was on with the dancing and then raffle time. The raffle is in aid of our sponsored charity, the East Holton Driving Centre. Ticket sales and donations raised made the charity £947, a truly magnificent effort. To round the year off we held our Christmas Lunch at the Quality Hotel on Saturday 16th December 2007. It was attended by 47 members and guests with William (Bill) Brady and his wife Lemlem attending from the USA en route to holidaying in mainland Europe. The Annual Draw was a feature of the lunch and the third prize of £150 was won by Charles Foster, second prize of £250 was won by Mrs Lila Jones, wife of Nick Jones, and the first prize of £350 was won by Captain (Retd) Bob Yates. All winners were members or close to members so it was good to see the prizes staying in the ‘family.’ Thanks to all who took part and helping us pay for the annual dinner.
This year we have bid our sad farewells to Maj Gen Lord Michael Fitzalan-Howard, who was the first President of the Association, and other staunch members: Mick Lock, Joe Chapman, Dennis Cleeve, Doug Standen, Fred Kettle and Barry Jones (Committee Member). Whilst we have being enjoying ourselves, we have not forgotten those Household Cavalrymen who have been serving in operational theatres around the world – our thoughts and prayers have been with them. We now look forward to 2008 when we hope to maintain the current high standards with the support of the members and our dedicated and hard working committee, all of whom desire to uphold the best traditions of the Househols Cavalry.
Household Cavalry (East Anglian) Dining Club By David Barnes, formerly The Blues and Royals t only seems like yesterday that the dining club was formed and yet here we are in our fourth year. Once again we enjoyed the company of the Officers and Senior NCOs of the Mounted Regiment at the George Hotel, Swaffham during a break from their training at Bodney Camp. Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Griffin, who assumed command of the Regiment from Lieutenant Colonel Valentine Woyka, entertained us with a lively speech extolling the virtues of the modern trooper, general gossip, the programme of events for the forthcoming year and some general information relating to the armoured regiment.
Everyone is most keen to ensure that this dinner becomes an annual event. Due to the splendid hospitality shown previously to us by The De Vere Dunston Hall Hotel, Norwich, it was again selected as the venue for the 2007 Christmas Dinner. Although numbers were disappointingly down on previous years, it was a most enjoyable evening. Lieutenant Colonel Daly gave an interesting talk on the history and virtues of The Royal Hospital, Chelsea. It was a pleasure to welcome Paul and Chris Hodges and their wives to the dinner. Paul and Chris are ex-Corporals of Horse in The Blues and Royals and we
look forward to their support in future. Our report for 2006 was unfortunately not published in the 2007 Journal so on behalf of the members of the Dining Club, rather belatedly, we would like to express our best wishes to Lieutenant Colonel Denis Daly on his marriage to Mrs Caroline Keith and look forward to their continued support of the Dining Club. David Barnes can be contacted on Tel: (01603) 300161 fax: (01603) 701334 mobile: 07860 737558 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Blues and Royals Band Association he Blues and Royals Band Association met for a committee meeting, lunch and drinks in the WOs’ & NCOs’ Mess, Hyde Park Barracks on 26th September with a good turn out of 48 members present.
The Association is moving from strength to strength and the Annual dinner held at the Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke in April was a resounding success. With many members turning this event into an enjoyable weekend. It was a great honour to welcome the Band President, Colonel P J Tabor MVO RHG/D as the Guest of Honour. A very special member, Ron Darling, is now a Chelsea Pensioner. It was marvellous to see him resplendent in his Royal Hospital uniform. The next Association Dinner will be held at the Apollo Hotel, Basingstoke on 26th April 2008. For Association membership enquiries please contact LCpl Steve Martin on 0207 414 2525 at Hyde Park Barracks.
News from the Associations
NOTICES Information for members of both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations Correspondence for both Associations should be addressed to: The Honorary Secretary (LG or RHG/D Assn), Home Headquarters Household Cavalry, Combermere Barracks Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3DN Gen office 01753 755297, LG Assn Secretary: 01753 755229, RHG/D Assn Secretary: 01753 755132 , Fax: 01753 755161 E-Mail for Home HQ is: email@example.com E-Mail for Secretary LG Assn is: firstname.lastname@example.org E-Mail for Secretary RHG/D Assn is: email@example.com Change of Home Address Members are requested to inform us, through Home Headquarters Household Cavalry, of any change in your address. Every year both Associations lose touch with a number of members who have failed to notify us of those changes. Any correspondence returned will result in that member being placed in the non-effective part of the database. Your E-Mail Addresses !! Notification of changes to your E-mail address is now becoming as important as changes to your postal address. Please keep us informed of these also. Regimental Items for Sale Various items with the Regimental Cipher are available from the Household Cavalry Museum and PRI shop at Combermere Barracks. The shop manager can be contacted on É 01753 755271. The Household Cavalry Museum Shop at Horse Guards can be contacted on É 020 7930 3070 or you can visit their web site at: www.householdcavalrymuseum.org.uk/
available for members through your respective Honorary Secretary. Tickets cannot be purchased through Headquarters Household Cavalry. Household Division Beating Retreat 2008 The Mounted Bands of The Household Cavalry and the Massed Bands of the Foot Guards will Beat Retreat on Horse Guards on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th June 2008. Performances commence at 7.00 pm and last approximately one hour. Ticket prices are £12.00 and £10.00 (all reserved seating). The following discounts are available: 10% discount on all tickets to those booking ten seats or more. Family tickets in the £10.00 seats for 2 adults and up to 2 children aged 16 and under cost £25.00 Basic portaloo toilet facilities are available. A limited number of wheel chair spaces are available for these parades. A member of the Royal Family or a civilian or military VIP takes the salute. No refund can be given if the event is cancelled for reasons beyond our control.
Internet Matters Sites of interest are: www.householdcavalry.co.uk which includes a new Bulletin Board for Old Comrades. To register follow the link above. www.theoldoaktree.net A web site for former members of The Life Guards. To register follow the link above. The Queen’s Birthday Parade and Reviews The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Saturday 14th June 2008 with the Colonel’s Review on 7th June and the Major General’s Review on 31st May. A limited number of tickets for the Inner Line of Sentries (standing only) will be
Household Cavalry News
Ticket requests should be made as follows: Cheques/Postal Orders, made payable to “Household Division Funds” will be accepted at any time but tickets will not be despatched 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. Credit card booking line (020 7839 5323) will be open between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday from 3rd April. There will be a £1.00 extra charge for each credit card booking. Combined Cavalry Parade and Service The 84th Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Parade and Service will be held in
Hyde Park on Sunday 11th May 2008. 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 available from your respective Honorary Secretary. Helpful Contacts The following is a list of organisations which members may find useful for future reference. “Veterans-UK” - The New Name For Services To Veterans On 2nd April 2007, the Ministry of Defence created a new brand for services to veterans – Veterans-UK. There are many organisations that provide help and support to UK veterans, both from Government and the voluntary sector. This can at times be confusing for those seeking help as they are unsure about which organisation provides which services and from whom to seek help. Veterans-UK will be the single brand or banner covering a variety of different veterans’ services provided by a range of different organisations. It will form a single point for accessing information. The first steps will involve, from 2nd April, a new veterans’ portal website www.veteransuk.info replacing the previous Veterans Agency website. This will provide a single website and e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org from which information can be obtained. Services provided by the Veterans Services Directorate of Service Personnel and Veterans Agency (SPVA) will also come under the Veterans-UK name for promotional and publicity purposes. For the future, it is hoped the new brand will include other Ministry of Defence services to veterans and later those from other Government Departments and pos-
sibly voluntary sector organisations. Again, the website will provide the focal point for accessing information on these services. For those with no access to them via the Internet they can be contacted onÉ 0800 169 2277.
help, you can contact the local TRBL branch near you (number in the local phone book), or the national Legion help line on É 08457 725 725 or visit their web site at: www.britishlegion.org.uk
Royal Windsor Visitors Information Bureau
SSFAF-FH 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 SSAFAFH can be found in the local phone book or from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau or contact the Central Office at: É 020 7403 8783 or visit their web site at: www.ssafa.org.uk.
Enquiries: É 01753 743900 Accommodation: É 01753 743907 E-mail: email@example.com www.windsor.gov.uk Those visiting Windsor, either for Regimental functions, or any other reason, may wish to know that a new Travelodge is now open offering rooms at very competitive rates. They can be contacted on É 0871 984 6331 or their web site at: http://www.travelodge.co.uk/find_a_hote l/hotel/hotel_id/329/WindsorCentral The Commonwealth War Graves Commission They have an excellent website which can be searched using basic details, for information about the final resting place of war dead at home and overseas. Their site can be found at www.cwgc.org ESHRA (ex-service homes referral agency) The role of ESHRA is to supply information and advice on both private and ex-Service Care Homes. This includes the location of the homes, general advice on funding and care assessments, and the services that the homes can provide i.e. respite and convalescent care. Contact Details: ESHRA, The Royal British Legion, 48 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5ZR. É 0207 839 4466 firstname.lastname@example.org www.eshra.com 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 É 020 7389 5219 and in Scotland on É 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
who need help in coping with their psychological problems. For more information and full contact details for regional offices telephone the Head Office on É01372 841600 or visit their web site at: www.combatstress.com.
SSAFA Forces Help (SSAFA-FH)
SSAFA Forces Help – Recruitment
The British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association (BLESMA) The objects of the Association is to promote the welfare of all those who have lost a limb or limbs, or use of limbs, or one or both eyes as a result of their service in the Forces and to assist needy dependants of such Service limbless. It will also help those Ex-Servicemen who lose a leg after Service. For more details contact them on É 020 8590 1124 or visit their web site at: www.blesma.org.
SSAFA Forces Help needs 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 out-of-pocket expenses are paid. Job satisfaction is guaranteed. If you can spare a little time for a ‘comrade’ please contact:
Branch Recruitment Office 19 Queen Elizabeth Street London SE1 2LP Telephone: É 020 7463 9223
Previously known as the Ex-Service Fellowship Centres (EFC) whose aims are 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 É 020 7828 2468. Their web site is at: http://www.exsfc.org.uk/.
who will put you in touch with your nearest team. SSAFA Forces Help Housing Advice Service Provides housing information and advice to ex-Service personnel and their dependants. For further information contact them at É01722 436400.
St Dunstan’s cares for Ex-Servicemen who have lost their sight for any reason (even after leaving the Service). For more information contact É 020 7723 5021 or visit their web site at www.stdunstans.org.uk. Regular Forces Employment Association (RFEA) contact no isÉ 020 7321 2011 or at www.rfea.org.uk. Veterans Aid
Ministry of Defence (MOD) Medal Office There is now one Medal Office, which covers all three Services and they be contacted as follows:
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 É 020 8648 0335. 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
Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Building 250, RAF Innsworth, Gloucester GL3 1HW Email: JPAC@afpaa.mod.uk Fax: É0141 224 3586 Free Phone:É 0800 085 3600 Overseas Civ:É +44 (0) 141 224 3600 For additional information about medals visit: http://www.veterans-uk.info/ Veterans’ Badges Men and Women who enlisted in HM Armed Forces between 3rd September 1945 and 31st December 1994 are entitled to a Veterans’ Badge. There is no
Household Cavalry News
qualifying length of Service. You can download a form from the Veterans Agency Website at http://www.veteransuk.info/vets_badge/vets_badge.htm or can obtain one by telephoning the Veterans Agency Help line É0800 169 2277. Army Personnel Records and Family Interest Enquiries - Historical Disclosures The Ministry of Defence (MOD) keeps the records of former members of our Armed Forces for administrative use after their discharge. A Subject Access Request (SAR) form needs to be completed in order to access records for all ranks in the Army who served after 1920. The following address should be used for ex-soldiers wishing to access their personal records: Army Personnel Centre, Disclosure 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX Tel: É0845 600 9663
The following address should be used for family members wishing to access records of deceased soldiers: Army Personnel Centre, Historical Disclosures, Mail Point 400, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX The following personnel Service records have been transferred to The National Archive (TNA) (formerly the Public Record Office) and are available for public access: Royal Navy Officers commissioned prior to 1914 Royal Navy Ratings who enlisted prior to 1924 and First World War records for the Women’s Royal Naval Service Royal Marine Officers commissioned prior to 1926 Royal Marine Other Ranks that enlisted prior to 1926
Army Officers commissioned prior to 1920 Army Other Ranks that enlisted prior to 1920 Royal Air Force Officers that served prior to 1922 Royal Air Force Airmen that served prior to 1924 Service records which pre-date those held by the MOD have been transferred to TNA and are freely available for public access. However TNA is not resourced to carry out searches. Enquirers are instead welcome to visit, or hire an independent researcher - see TNA website for further details at: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/militaryhistory/
BLUES AND ROYALS
These two Limited Edition bronzes have been sculpted by Simon Dyer and are being sold through Headquarters Household Cavalry. They each stand 21 inches high and are in editions of 12. The bronzes depict Captains in cloak order. The price of each bronze is £4850 inc VAT of which a donation of £600 will be given to The Household Cavalry Museum Fund. Both pieces also available in silver and in editions of 3. To order, or for more information, please contact Headquarters Household Cavalry on 020 7414 2390.
Countdown to Normandy By Major J A Dimond MC, Formerly The Royal Dragoons he Royals came home from Italy in time for Christmas 1943 and to prepare for the Second Front in Europe, a front almost daily urged by our distant and hard-pressed ally, Russia. Initially, the Regiment was stationed in various parts of County Durham, we in B Squadron being in a hutted camp at Blackhall Rocks, a few miles north of Hartlepool.
One of the first tasks for the Regiment was to change from a desert-based establishment to a European one. This meant the creation of a fourth sabre squadron, D Squadron. As part of this process A, B and C Squadrons had each to transfer a complete troop to the newly forming D. In B Squadron we transferred Lieutenant Timbrell’s troop intact, and that troop did very well in D Squadron, gaining the Commander-in Chief’s commendation at the battle of the Falaise Gap. Our excellent Squadron Leader, Major Eddie Calvert, was a bit of a fitness fanatic. One day he planted a football on a rock midway between us and C Squadron who were a few miles further up the coast at Seaham Harbour. On the word ‘Go’ the two squadrons closed on each other and played 100-a-side football which quickly dissolved into the sea. Meanwhile Eddie had more than achieved his aim, exercising two squadrons for the price of one. Although we were in the North-East for only a few weeks a few soldiers got engaged to local girls, and the miners of Easington Colliery gave us a conducted tour of their mine which extends some way under the sea. In February 1944, we moved down to a new camp near Ashford in Kent. RHQ was in a fine but austere country house at Hothfield, a mile or so North-West of Ashford, and we in B Squadron were equally lucky, being centred on Godinton House set in beautiful parkland approached by a winding avenue of oaks. Lodging with us were the QM, Captain Spud Lewis, and the Doctor, Captain Paddy O’Flynn, who was nicknamed the General because he insisted on attending sandtable exercises, where he argued tactics with the Commanding Officer. Just before he was killed during the Rhine crossing, he attended a briefing by the Cin-C, General Montgomery, at which he spoke, respectfully warning the General of the approaching Cold War. He was subsequently mown down by shellfire whilst searching for casualties. I was with him a minute or so previously and identi-
fied his body, mainly by the RAMC badge in his grey beret. Shortly after our arrival in Ashford some of us were sent North again to a vehicle waterproofing course at Troon in Ayrshire. It was a sobering thought that the Regiment might have to land in 3 or 4 feet of sea water. Now the crux of waterproofing is that you have to be meticulous to the point of nit-picking, working with bostic, adhesive tape and rubber sleeves on such parts as the coil, distributor, carburettor and all such sensitive areas so that not even a hint of sea water could get in. On returning to the Regiment we tried out a few waterproofed scout cars (dingos) in the sheep-dip at Hothfield with rather mixed results. I think that what was really needed were vertical exhaust pipes as on dedicated amphibious vehicles. In the event however, we landed in bucket-and-spade water of not more than 6 inches deep. Ashford was noisy, especially at night. Over Kent was the shortest route for enemy bombers to attack London and some other cities. The searchlights over Folkstone, Hythe, Ashford and Maidstone criss-crossed to pick out and hold the silvery outline of an enemy bomber whose pulsating engine was increasingly heard. Then the guns opened up in a fury which prompted our Squadron Leader, who went to bed early, to open his bedroom window and shake his fist at “that bloody man Pile” (General Sir Frederick Pile, Head of Ack Ack Command). In the late Spring a new menace appeared. Known variously as the V1 or Flying Bomb or Doodlebug, this was a winged and motorised rocket which flew at about 500 mph at 3000 feet. When its fuel ran
out it fell to earth, exploded and caused vast devastation. Aimed at London, many fell short into Kent. I saw a cluster of farm buildings burning furiously after being hit, and felt sorry for the farmer who thereby had lost much of his livelihood. One also came down plumb in the centre circle of our football pitch. We had a go at another with massed Brens but with no success. The Spitfires and Hurricanes were not quite fast enough for the V1 but it was said that if they could get alongside they might be able to tip its wing and bring it to earth, but I never saw this happen. The successor to V1, V2, was even more deadly, being absolutely silent but equally destructive. Clearly the sooner we got to the Continent and knocked out the launching sites, believed correctly to be in Holland and the Ardennes, the better for SE England. Having fired the 2 pounders and Besa MGs off the coast at Lydd, we welcomed a new arrival in the form of 2x 75mm halftracks per squadron, a sort of in-house artillery to be known in each squadron as the Gun Troop. The Commanding Officer, Humphrey Lloyd, thought it would be a good thing if the whole Regiment watched the proving of the guns and assess how we might use them within the Armoured Car Regiment. So we all motored down to Larkhill. When we arrived a Royal Artillery unit was giving us an object lesson in correcting for line before bracketing. Their bracket got smaller and smaller but they did not actually hit the target before their time was up and it was our turn on the range. We sat on a mossy bank overlooking the target valley, our guns being some 400 yards behind us under the control of 2Lt. Bertschinger (who incidentally later should have had a VC), the B Squadron Gun Troop Leader.
Our Forward Observation Officer was quite near us as were some Artillerymen who had stayed behind to see this new toy perform in the hands of these uninitiated Dragoons. The FOO wirelessed the guns saying “Put one down. We’ll see where it goes and take it from there.” A few seconds later there was a thud behind us and a faint whine overhead followed by a blue flash as the tank-hulk target split in two. The Regiment took half a second to react before leaping in the air in incredulity; the watching Gunners turned away shaking their heads and muttering about beginners’ luck, the Colonel got on the blower and said “Whatever you’ve got on your dial keep it there until the end of the war.” After some more serious firing we spent a happy hour in Salisbury before returning to Ashford. One of the more irksome tasks which fell to Regimental officers was the censoring of mail. We had no wish to enquire into the private lives of soldiers, apart from a polite interest in their welfare. In writing home however, they might inadvertently insert “I think we’ll be moving next week” or something similar, and that of course had to be blue pencilled out. We left the longest letters to our energetic second-in-command, Straker Carryer, who was always the last down to breakfast. At the end of May 1944, we sensed that the Second Front was imminent. The racing element in the Regiment opened a book on the likely date and hour of D Day. I got the date right (6th June 1944) but someone else was closer with the hour (0030 hours) when the 3 glider crews captured Pegasus bridge. Shortly after D Day our two B Squadron senior subalterns, Mandelson and Frostick, went to HQ 21st Army Group near Portsmouth as extra liaison officers. They returned a few days later full of classified information which of course they kept under their hats. They were a superb double act! During lulls in operations they enthralled us with clever innuendo and quick repartee on topics such as theatre, ballet, the London scene and fast cars. At the end of the war, after a spell in the British Military Mission Copenhagen, Frostick became Administrator at Sadlers Wells, and Mandelson (father of the Right Honourable Peter) became editor of the Jewish Chronicle. They are often quoted by the surviving officers of B Squadron. About the same time we had a change of squadron leader. Eddie went off to do a staff job and was replaced by Major Peter Thin, MC. Peter alternated between irascibility and right good humour; little did we realise then but he had the incipient
Household Cavalry News
tumour which ultimately claimed him, but we could not have had a more experienced and supportive guide through the rigours of real operations. In mid-July we received an order to move to Tilbury docks. We left Godinton at 6 am in teeming rain and motored through the lovely village of Charing to form part of the 7-mile long Regimental convoy on the A20 up through Maidstone and over London Bridge. As we progressed slowly through the Coronation-type streets of West Ham and East Ham the people came out onto the pavements with plates of bacon, sausages and eggs, part of their precious weekly ration, and bottles of milk which they passed to us. Our transit camp in a converted park near Barking was full of Nissen huts and slit trenches. We could easily see the VI flying bombs falling on London and thought we were beyond their range. Occasionally however one seemed to be coming straight at us and some people dived into the trenches. We had just finished paying out the soldiers in French money when word came through from the War Office that our embarkation was delayed for 24 hours. This however did not seem to deter the Dragoons, who somehow managed to catch a tube for the West End, from which they only emerged in time for the last train back from Embankment station. The following morning we loaded the armoured cars into an LST (Landing Ship Tank) and in the afternoon went aboard. We young officers were made honorary members of the wardroom, but we were most ungrateful guests for, before clearing the Thames estuary, and with a high swell running, we had taken to our bunks. In the middle of the night and in midChannel my sergeant came down the ladder towards my bunk and said that one of the four securing chains had broken loose from my Daimler and that there was a danger that the vehicle might fall into the sea. I followed him up the ladder as someone shouted down “It’s Ok, we’ve fixed it.” I climbed on to the swaying inky blackness of the open deck just as three or four crewmen with lights were leaving my Daimler. I thanked them and the sergeant and could quite see how the 13 ton vehicle could smash against the side rail and into the water below. Shortly after dawn we landed on Juno beach where a few weeks previously the Canadians and British Commandos had fought their way ashore. Our landing was uneventful except that one 3 tonner swung round and round on its derrick before coming to rest more or less squareon to the aperture through which it was
lowered to the drive-off deck. We drove a short way up one of the lanes leading off the beach and stopped to de-waterproof, throwing the various sealing items into the deep ditch which flanked the lane. It was only then that I remembered that there was a second ship in our convoy, containing the Regimental hierarchy, captains and above. There was a notvery-serious blue light (desert-speak for ‘rumour’) that the second ship had sunk and that the Regimental senior subaltern was the new Colonel. That same senior subaltern, Lawrenson, now sat on a fivebarred gate and allotted us our ‘fields’. B Squadron’s field was on a slight slope, beside which an overgrown lane led down to a farm where we could get real Camembert and Calvados. We had to be careful, however, for these self-same farmers a week or so previously had been just as accommodating to our enemy. When the Squadron Leader arrived he immediately instituted an inter-troop competition as to who could build the best latrine. With over a million men in the bridgehead the doctors were worried about the threat of fly-borne disease in the summer heat. My sergeant seemed to take this to heart. Selecting a shady spot he dug down half-way to Australia, filled the sides with bits of fighter fuselage, scrounged a piece of wood from the farm and fashioned it into a lid and persuaded the Echelon to part with a spare camouflage net to form a screen. I am sure we would have won but we moved before judging could take place. After some vehicle maintenance and gun cleaning some of us played an interminable game of baseball (rounders?) against D Squadron who were in a nearby field. In the afternoon a NAAFI van arrived, driven by a man (there were no women whatsoever in the so-called front line) and dispensed ‘char and wads’. In the evening two 3 tonners entered our field and backed up back- toback. They dropped their side canopies to reveal a stage on which sat George Formby, the Lancastrian comedian with his ukulele. While George was entertaining us, our field started filling up with men from an infantry battalion, some of them bloodied and bandaged, which was a bit disconcerting for us greenhorns. Next morning after the routine wireless check net our squadron despatch rider rode slowly round the leaguer, briefly stopping at each troop position. We knew exactly what that meant. Grabbing my map and chinagraphs I joined the others in the Squadron Leader’s tent, finding myself a spot on the grass floor. The Squadron Leader sat on a canvas chair near his made-up camp bed, beside
which on a small table was a photo of his wife, Sue. He said there was something of a war on this morning. Our aim was to find a crossing over the Orne, three troops up, two in reserve travelling initially with Squadron HQ, the Gun Troop and the A1 Echelon. As one of the three I was given my route and a French village as a primary objective. On hearing mention of Squadron HQ, our excellent Squadron Sergeant Major, Mr Butterworth, appeared like a genie in the doorway and was invited in. He was a strict
disciplinarian but with a fine sense of humour, and when conditions allowed ran a happy Sergeants’ Mess. The Briefing having been completed, I briefed my troop and set forth. Thus began 10 months of almost continuous patrolling apart from two 48 hour breaks in Brussels. Five weeks later we reached the Franco-Belgian border and heard that the Troop Sergeant - Edwards, later RSM and captain of army football - had been awarded the singular honour of the Croix
de Guerre, a mark of distinction from a grateful nation to the liberators. During those 10 months I discovered three things: first, that the Assault Section were never short of eggs which they had ‘found’, secondly, that the vital piece of equipment on our armoured car was the tiny pricker for the cooking stove, and thirdly that my Lance Corporal was years ahead of his time with his expression “you’ve got to be joking Sir.”
THE LIFE GUARDS FINALISTS: HOUSEHOLD BRIGADE, PRINCE OF WALES RUGBY CUP 1950-51
Standing ( Left to right): Cpl SHEPPERD J.; Tpr RICHARDS J.; Tpr BROCK J. F.; Mus REDSILL P. T. W.; Tpr BAINBRIDGE R.; L/CPL REDLEY B. R.; Tpr STRATFORD L. D.; Tpr SHARPE A. P. ; Tpr EVANS S. Sitting (left to right): Tpr SABEY A. R.; Lt R. D. BENTLEY; Surg/Capt G. H. BULOW; Lt/Col E. J. S. WARD MC; 2nd/Lt J. W. T. SLESINGER (captain); 2nd/Lt D. MORLEY; Tpr SIMPSON V. S. sitting on ground: Mus AITKEN E. D.; Tpr BARKER D. J.
Mr Ronald Jacks
Mr Ronald Jacks served with The Life Guards from 1956 until 1958 as a National Serviceman. With help from the Association, The Army Benevolent Fund (ABF) and The Royal British Legion (TRBL) he is now the proud owner of a new EPV. Here he is having taken possession of it in October 2007.
144 Officer Cadet Training Unit RAC A sequel to the article in the Household Cavalry Journal 2006/2007 by John Dimond, formerly Royal Dragoons
By Captain Desmond Godman, formerly Royal Dragoons. n the spring of 1945, I was at 58th Training Regiment RAC stationed at Farnborough. It was to be run down and Potential Officers had an enhanced course doing all the things demanded of one ie, General Military Training, Wireless, Driving and Maintenance and Gunnery. Personally, I was very lucky having just about finished those courses and after interview was sent by the CO (Commanding Officer, Lt Col George Kidstone) to WOSB (War Office Selection Board) at Westbury. From there, I was sent to pre-OCTU (the successor to Blackdown) at Sandhurst. On the first day, we were interviewed by the CO and our Squadron Leader, Major Peter Borwick of the Greys. That lasted approximately 3 minutes. The next morning, as we were all coming downstairs, the same officers were going up presumably to inspect our rooms. To our amazement, they acknowledged our salutes with “Good morning Aston, Good morning Lavender, Godman…..” They knew all our names.
Because we had to be up to “tradesman” standard in all the disciplines before going to OCTU itself, we did a very concentrated series of courses including live firing at Warcop, long wireless exercises around Hampshire and Surrey and tank driving at Sandhurst where we made most of the roads a yard wider each side. It should be emphasised that all the Warrant Officer and NCO instructors were of just as high standard as those we were to know at the OCTU itself. They were almost entirely from the Household Brigade and Cavalry and all had seen action in the war. That took 4 months and, with the exception of 2 Cadets, we all moved next door to the OCTU itself. It was then known as the Royal Military College. Discipline was tight and the training tough. You could get a terrible bollocking in the morning yet have a pint with that particular instructor in the evening. Yes, RSM Brand was still there; he was highly respected but could be very intimidating if you had done anything wrong; there were very few Cadets who had not. His opening gambit to a newly arrived troop was “You call me Sir and I call you Sir; The difference is you mean it and I don’t”. The courses went much the same – General Military Training, Gunnery at Lulworth, Wireless all over the place,
Driving and Maintenance around Sandhurst and Collective Training which included live ammunition exercises in Wales. Our Troop was commanded by Captain Stanley-Evans (VII QOH) with enormous skill; he had served in almost all theatres of war and certainly knew what was expected of young Officers. The lanyards we wore were exactly the same as in John Dimond’s day so that one could tell immediately the seniority of any Cadet. For the last Passing Out Parade from Sandhurst, Princess Elizabeth, as she then was, took the salute. By then she was Colonel of the Grenadier Guards. To our chagrin, it was ordained that we had to do an extra drill parade which meant we had to get up an hour earlier. The drill instructors took enormous pleasure in regaling us of stories of her inspections of the Grenadiers
when she spotted the misplaced button, speck of dirt on a boot or some other misdemeanour. Needless to say, that meant a hurried trip to the Guardroom. Almost needless to say, no such thing occurred but I do think we were pretty smart. At about the same time VE night came along; it was no celebration for us Cadets as we were ordered to mount guard on the tanks (Officer Cadets never mounted Guard) to stop Staff College Officers pinching a tank and driving up to London. Just a word about the final course – combining training. As I have said, part of it was with live ammunition in Snowdonia, in our case, at the end of November when the weather could be and was ghastly. With a heavy load of ammunition, we tended to use a lot on the first exercise so
that we did not have to carry so much for the rest of the day. The climb up Snowdon was done as a race in competition with all the previous troops; the time being that of the last man up. In our troop, one cadet, having been ordered to “ease springs” did not completely unload his magazine with the inevitable result. “Close arrest” immediately followed but found to be inconvenient as he had to be escorted by two other Cadets. In front of the Commanding Officer next morning (an amazing Rifle Brigade Major who had the record for climbing every peak in Wales), “Will you accept my award or go in front of the Commandant at Sand-
hurst?” This could well have meant being RTUd (returned to unit), a terrible disgrace. “I accept your award, Sir”. “Right, you can carry a Bren Gun up Snowdon”. That Cadet was not timed with the rest of his troop but was escorted by a Sergeant of the Irish Guards (a few Cadets had died on the mountain in previous years). As I have already said discipline was tight…… Finally, our passing out parade was getting close when we were told that the whole OCTU was moving to Bovington. A terrible disappointment but luckily Peter Legh, the Assistant Adjutant took pity on
us and got the Band of the Scots Guards to play for us. The new establishment had Warrant Officers and NCOs of a very different calibre. We also missed our rooms at Sandhurst and found ourselves in big barrack rooms. One Sergeant-Major even suggested that we had to “bump” the floor whereupon Officer-Cadet Ashton (XI Hussars) pronounced “Sergeant-Major, Officer Cadets do not bump barrack room floors”. That same Cadet won the Sword of Honour while John Stanier (VII QOH) won his Sam Browne. Tom Ashton later became a Director of Barclays and Barclays International while John became a Field Marshal.
Exercise IRON HORSE 2007 HCMCC Tour of North Eastern Europe
By Mr Kenny Robertson and Mr Stuart Gibbons both formerly The Blues and Royals or the past nine years, the Household Cavalry Motorcycle Club (HCMCC) has visited Battlefields across Europe, each well documented in this fine publication. For the first time, this year’s (2007) tour did not include any Battlefields. This was due to commitments across both Regiments which meant that just two Club Members were able to tour, both of us retired. We had previously (2005) set the precedent for doing this, again due to regimental commitments, by visiting East Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic, but had visited a number of sites in the process. This time it was different.
Inspired by Messrs Boorman and McGregor, we set off on an extended tour of North Eastern Europe, following a route which took us through France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark, returning through Germany, Holland, Belgium and France back to the UK – a journey which took us 26 days and cov-
ered just over 6,500 miles. In doing so, we raised £878.06 for the Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance; again a first for the Club and something we intend to pursue more in the future, potentially for regimental charities or funds. We left the UK on 4th June, both riding BMW R1200GS motorcycles, now made famous by the ‘Long Way Round’ and ‘Long Way Down’ television series, but bikes we have been riding for more than three years now, with the intention of reaching Nordkapp in Norway (the most Northerly point in Europe accessible by road), doing some hard riding and raising money for a good cause at the same time. Our experiences of riding around Western Europe meant that it was only when we reached the eastern half of the continent and what was the former Soviet Union, did we really come across new territory. Arriving in the Baltic States, we experienced the true nature of what was once the Soviet Union: immaculately clean; very helpful people and very cheap alcohol. The exception to this friendli-
Mr Kenny Roberts outside a Slovakian restaurant.
Mr Stuart Gibbons getting friendly with the SIlver Stick.
ness being on the Estonian border with Russia, where we were set upon and chased away by some loggers in a KGB staff car, a tractor. There are still many relics from the mother country lying around and they like to use them for different purposes. One example being an
L to R: Mr Kenny Roberts (grazing), ALbino Elk (smoking).
‘Not so scary close up’, a HIND Attack Helicopter and Messrs Gibbons and Roberts.
airplane stuck on to the side of a restaurant in Slovakia and being used as the first class dining area. We were very surprised to be riding along a small road in Latvia when on our right appeared a Hind Helicopter Gunship – remember the ones we were all so scared of in the 80s (them and the dark haired girl in The Human League)? The drills have changed somewhat on spotting a Hind Gunship, we still popped smoke (got out the Benson and Hedges) but this time went and asked the farmer if we could have a closer look. They’re not so big and scary close up.
Mr Kenny Roberts outside an old Soviet missile silo in Lithuania.
seemed to go until we got back down through Norway and into Sweden.
Casino some years back still stir a chuckle.
The roads throughout were surprisingly good, with a few exceptions. We managed a bit of off-roading, which the BMWs coped with admirably – something we could not normally achieve on an IRON HORSE, although memories of CoH Hadden LG trying to get his Harley Davidson up to Albeneta Farm at Monte
On the whole, this year’s venture was very enjoyable, although sadly there was not as good a turnout from the Club as was hoped; but, as they say, “Two’s company”. Next year’s (2008) Ex IRON HORSE will most likely be a cost cutting venture into the Low Countries. Anyone interested should contact their Regimental Reps.
In Lithuania we visited a Nuclear Missile base, hidden away in the woods so well that the locals didn’t even know it was there whilst it was up and running. It was dug by Lithuanians brought in from another town, totally constructed by hand so no one would hear the machines. No mean feat, as it contained 4 x missile silos 120ft deep and all the generator, command and control and accommodations. That’s a lot of mud to shift with shovels (and to think I whinged at digging a slit trench on my GDPI). Some might find it interesting that when this site was decommissioned the missiles were actually the ones that were shipped to Cuba to take their part in the Cuban missile crisis. On the whole we stayed in cheap hotels and camping site ‘A’ frame huts only having to get the doss bags out by the side of the road on six occasions. Spending most of the time in Eastern Europe meant that the hotels were relatively cheap and made it not only more comfortable, but also cost effective. Another novelty was the 24 hour daylight from when we left Estonia until coming back down through Sweden; this made it easier to travel greater distances in the ‘day’, but also meant we tended to ride further and longer and hence became more tired. The day after we met Santa in Lapland the weather seemed to take a turn for the worse and all the sunny days and nights
The photograph was taken outside the old Officers’ Mess, Combermere Barracks, Windsor. Trooper Bentley and I worked in the carpenter’s shop. Captain Micklethwaite worked in the Orderly Office with Trooper Quirke. Lance Corporal Pound was a PTI. Warrant Officer Cruttenden was head of the Education Department. Corporal of Horse Bone was one of the Master Tailors. We played in a London division against sides such as: the Army Post Office, Mill Hill; Guards Depot, Caterham, the Household Cavalry Mounted Squadron and the Welsh Guards. We also played at the Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow with home games being played at Windsor. My Squadron Leader was Major Hopkinson and the Adjutant was Captain Glazebrook.
A Private Internet Website For The Household Cavalry By J J Harbord, formerly The Life Guards or over 65 years, excellence in communications has been a Household Cavalry hallmark, never more so than now in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has often found us showing a lead to the rest of the Army – literally, as the most forward troops on the battlefield, as well as in our thinking and capabilities. Now, thanks to the convergence of improving technologies, notably the internet, and reducing costs, we are again trailblazing with something quite new in Army communications terms, HouseholdCavalryNet. New, because so far no other Regiment or Corps will have anything comparable that will link all sides of a regimental family quite so effectively.
In simple terms, HouseholdCavalryNet is really no more than an address book with ‘attitude’: a communications centre and database with wide scope for interaction between all connected parties. Beyond this, however, anyone with even a slight or occasional interest in Army and Household Cavalry matters will also find it – and the much fuller ArmyNET website within which it rests and which is equally available to members who register with HouseholdCavalryNet – extremely informative and interesting. There is little doubt it will bring substantial benefits to both Household Cavalry regiments, to the Regimental Associations and to individuals. The site will bring: A communications centre Through the website we can find other members and email them without necessarily releasing personal information, and RHQ can email members more efficiently than at present about different events which may affect us. Therefore, HouseholdCavalryNet will enable us to communicate with each other far better than before. By ‘us’, I mean anyone who is currently serving or has once served in our Regiments, as well as the myriad different organisations such as: Associations, sports clubs, Officers’ Dining Clubs, Warrant Officers’ and Non-Commissioned Officers’ Messes and the Regiments themselves – all the extended Household Cavalry family. A database for the Regimental Associations and a notice board Your personal details on HouseholdCavalryNet, which will be for you to keep up
to date yourself, will be used by your Regimental Association as your main record for future contact purposes. Individuals and regimental organisations can post notices and manage responses efficiently. A military library at your finger-tips If you are after information about either the Household Cavalry or the Army as a whole, you will be pleased to see how much you will be able to find on either ArmyNET or HouseholdCavalryNet. ArmyNET - up until now a secure communications and information website primarily designed for serving soldiers, their families and reservists - is already a fount of interesting news and information, including video clips by the Chief of the General Staff for instance, and is expanding all the time.
the Army’s own internet team as well as individuals approved by RHQ Household Cavalry. Maximum security It is secure. Hosted within the Army’s own ArmyNET website, it is protected by the strongest possible ‘bit’ protection. So users need passwords to be able to enter. Zero cost: it is free The Army will help us to set it up and host it, and they will be available to make structural changes. We just contribute a few interested volunteer moderators to help run it - please let your Association Secretary know if you would like to help. You can even help if you live in Canada or Australia, you do not have to be a UK resident. Tangible benefits
Personalisation Each member of HouseholdCavalryNet will have his own individual web page from which he can manage his personal details and preferences and which acts as his start point for accessing other pages. You will be able to restrict who you let see your personal details. If you want to let no one else see your details except a select few old friends, you can do this. You can still receive regimental news updates by email or in the post, whatever you wish. You decide. At least you will still be ‘on net’. More constructively, you can arrange your own private social events, for example, for small groups of members. So if you wish to invite a number of other members to a get-together, in a discreet, clever and simple-to-organize way, you can do so. This facility will greatly help you to monitor replies and to get reimbursed quickly and efficiently by those attending. The Grenadiers expound the proud maxim, ‘Once a Grenadier, always a Grenadier’. But this can of course only be true in spirit once a Grenadier has retired from service. In our case, once a member of HouseholdCavalryNet, you really will be always a member, up until you die, and actually even after that: your personal record on your own web page will simply be moved to the ‘History’ section! Authority The website carries authority. It is an official site, authorised and monitored by
The greater coherence that such a site brings will give members of HouseholdCavalryNet substantial purchasing power which we will be able to use to our advantage, i.e. by being better able to secure discounted terms for members over a wide range of different services. A social service for retired members We hope the site will provide an important social service to retired members who may be in less fortunate circumstances; members who may be elderly, widowed, living alone or abroad or not in good health, for whom continuing contact with the Household Cavalry and the wider regimental family can be every bit as valuable as financial assistance. We hope that HouseholdCavalryNet will provide a real link to show that these members are far from forgotten and not out of touch. In short, we should be able to help retired members much better, and identify those in need, quicker. Individually, in practical terms, we should also often be able to help each other more simply and effectively without necessarily involving the Regimental Associations. Opportunity – down to you The site will develop and I hope flourish. But the extent that it does will entirely depend on the level of interest and participation from you, reader. Think of it as like a garden where the structure has been designed and built, with strong walls around it, also footpaths, signposts and greenhouses, and the ground fully prepared. It now very much depends on you to go in, plant some seeds and bring it to life. As always, you will personally get out of it whatever you put in.
This initiative has immense potential. You will be naturally concerned because it is new, a little complicated to begin with and raises valid questions about security. But we have hopefully addressed the security issues in about as effective a way as could be imagined, by coming within the Army’s own system. I have no doubts that the structure will change markedly as members start to use it and make suggestions for improvements. I shall very much look forward to seeing how it evolves. Equally, other Regimental Associations will be watching our progress with interest. Whatever happens, this is the path of the future. And importantly, it is a development born and driven from a purely regimental perspective, not something imposed impersonally from higher authority. It brings together serving and retired members in a uniquely effective and scaleable way that will help the Regimental Associations support the serving Regiments and vice versa, in an enduring partnership that will provide mutual strength.
What will happen to the current Household Cavalry Bulletin Board?
Who do I contact if I have any queries about registering?
The Bulletin Board will only be available via HouseholdCavalryNet. So, you will need to reregister with that.
You should contact your Regimental Association Secretary in the first instance.
What about other Household Cavalry websites? The public-facing websites of the Household Cavalry and the Household Cavalry Museum will remain. HouseholdCavalryNet is, would emphasise, a private, internal website solely aimed to be used by the Household Cavalry regimental family. Can wives and girlfriends register as members of HouseholdCavalryNet? While wives, girlfriends and family members of serving soldiers and reservists can register as members of ArmyNET, there is no provision for other retired members’ families to register either on ArmyNET or on HouseholdCavalryNet. How will I register?
Lastly, I could have taken great delight in this article and out of pure revenge, invented a bunch of acronyms - how we have used SRR (Smart Regimental Relations) guidelines and OST (Old Sweat Technology) and the like - since I for one am exhausted with OPTAG/ISTAR/MSTAR/ESPIRE/CATT! But I have refrained, even if serving members might feel more comfortable living with a barrage of abbreviations. I prefer English and I hope most of this article is reasonably intelligible. Questions and answers Need I bother? No, you may well wish to carry on as now and receive your Journal and Newsletters by post. Fine. Unfortunately, news will take time to reach you and you may well therefore miss death notices, for instance. Not to mention postal strikes and the costs of postage to the Regimental Associations which they would rather avoid. You can of course keep your head down and carry on with the Egyptian PT - ‘easy live and quiet die’. BUT if in a few years time the son of a friend asks you about joining the Army, or you hear that some old regimental friends had a reunion but did not invite you because nobody knew your current whereabouts, or someone died and you never heard about it or the funeral arrangements, or you learn about an old comrade-in-arms who is in difficulties but you do not know who to turn to in order to get help for him, then you may well regret not having joined HouseholdCavalryNet sooner.
You will be notified about the correct procedure for registering with HouseholdCavalryNet separately.
Soon, the site’s sections will comprise the following: My Profile Household Cavalry Contact Details Benefits of HouseholdCavalryNet Find a Member Email a Member Regimental News Event Information and Booking Procedures Army Careers Advice And also: Visits to HCR/HCMR, Regimental Clubs, Messes, Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund, Associations, Adventure Training and Outdoor Leisure Activities, Retired Members News, Employment Help, ‘Trade-it’, ‘Buy-it’, Regimental PRI Shop, Discussion Boards, HouseholdCavalryNet’s SOPs, Links
The Old Oak Tree (TOOT) by Paddy Baker and Keith Frape, both formerly The Life Guards he Old Oak Tree (TOOT) Web site was born from an idea to create a web-site of interest to ex-serving members of The Life Guards. The idea came from and is credited to ex-WO2 Pete Jordan, late of The Life Guards, (RIP).
Speaking with Peter about TOOT I was surprised to hear that the ‘TOOT’ I know was an accident. Pete set up a web-site with photograph albums, articles on ‘Tins’ who now live abroad and other snippets of interest such as Regimental folklore. The bulletin board (only one part of TOOT) was added as an afterthought but soon had ex-Life Guards flocking to join. Pete was (pleasantly) surprised by the interest and quickly adapted to further develop his creation and move in this new direction. What is a bulletin board (BB)? A place where you can type some text on to a board viewed on a computer screen that others can read, add to or reply to – it’s that simple. What’s the attraction? Well, what’s the attraction at Brickhanging or Association Day – you can meet up with your friends and colleagues, pass the time of day, swap stories, exchange the latest jokes and discuss the latest football re-
sults – whatever takes your fancy! TOOT is the same, albeit by computer. The membership of TOOT spans several generations of The Life Guards. There are several members over 75 years old, still (mentally at least) as sharp as when they were serving. Listening to our ‘Elder Statesmen’ recounting their experiences of the Second World War has been truly fascinating and the link to the present day is clear. The places the Regiment is presently serving today would be familiar to those who served in WWII. The gentlemen of the Band have joined us on the board and contribute regularly. We have ex-National Servicemen, Regulars who served in Knightsbridge only and those who remained solely with the armoured side. We count among our number several serving members and we follow closely reports of where the guys are currently serving. There are no barriers to comradeship on TOOT. We have members quite literally from all over the globe, containing both those who have relocated to live abroad and those who travel abroad due to work. It was a natural progression I suppose that we would start to have get-togethers.
They started small with a charity skittles night in a pub in the New Forest and have become more regular over the years with meetings in pubs (especially at Christmas) and also barbeques, where people bring camping equipment and stay overnight. Last year we held a TOOT dinner at a hotel in Newcastle under Lyme and we are two weeks away from our second Annual TOOT dinner to be held in Oxford. Recently we have allowed wives and partners (WAPs) to join the board as, quite rightly, it was pointed out that the ladies have also ‘served’ with the Regiment. The WAPs have quickly integrated to the board and are enjoying the banter (and giving as good as they get). The Old Oak Tree (TOOT) stands as testament to an idea developed and nurtured by Pete Jordan and treasured by those of us lucky to have access to such a fine resource. At the time of writing, September 2007, we have 459 members. Myself, the other moderators and the members look forward very much to welcoming more of you in the future.
Bert Keeys, RVM BEM
Following the Investiture on 25 October 2007 DSM Bert Keeys received his RVM from HRH The Prince of Wales. The photograph, all former Life Guards, shows from L to R: Yeoman John Lloyd, YBG Bill Henderson, DSM John Henderson, DSM Bert Keeys, Yeomen Bob Daysmith and Paul Lewis MBE.
The Queen’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard How It All Began By Yeoman J E Lloyd, formerly The Life Guards he Household Cavalry’s involvement with the Yeomen of the Guard can be linked back to 1660 and the foundation of today’s modern Army. The Sovereign’s body guard, in the form of the Yeomen of the Guard, started way back in 1485 when they, along with the Chapel Royal, landed at Milford Haven with Henry VII to claim the throne of England. On his return he raised an army and marched to meet Richard III at the battle of Bosworth Field (the final act in the Wars of the Roses). Richard was slain and Henry took the throne of England. From his band of loyal followers, Henry VII formed the King’s Body Guard of the Yeomen of the Guard who to this day serve the Monarch with over 522 years of loyal and devoted service, making it the oldest military body guard in the world (even older than the Vatican’s Swiss Guard).
Up to 1660, the Yeomen of the Guard provided the Monarch of the day with a travelling mounted escort. This was taken on by the private gentlemen who had accompanied King Charles II on his triumphant return to England and was the formation of the Horse Guards later to become the 1st Life Guards, part of the Household Cavalry, which continues to the present day. In the early 1800s, following his distinguished military career, the Duke of Wellington (of Waterloo fame, 1815) was instrumental in encouraging discharged soldiers or marines, with distinguished war records, to become Yeomen. The first of these was a Sgt Maj in the Coldstream Guards followed by CoH Thomas Backer of the 1st Life Guards and a FMaj Thomas Lea of the Royal Horse Guards. This method of recruitment continues to
this day with men from the Army, the Royal Marines and in recent times the Royal Air Force. All Yeomen of the Guard must be of Senior NCO rank and hold the Long Service and Good Conduct Medal. Listed below are the names and length of service of all 1st & 2nd Life Guards, The Life Guards, the Royal Horse Guards, The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons). The Blues and Royals will hopefully enrol their first in 2007. The source of this list is the well kept Yeomen’s Records (Vols 3 & 4) which are housed in the MSM’s office in St James’s Palace, and was collated by Colonel Paul Denny, Yeomen Bedhanger, to whom I am very grateful.
Former and Current Members 1st Life Guards
The Life Guards
Service Body Guard
CoH CoH TCM RCM CoH Cpl Maj Cpl Maj TCM CoH TCM QMCM TCM CoH TCM Cpl Maj QMC
Charles Barker 1805-22 Jonathan Taylor 1807-20 John Haywood 1809-37 John Herbert 1809-34 Robert Renwick 1817-29 Christopher Forge 1807- 42 John Berry 1822-47 Thomas Gibson 1820-47 John Edwards 1814-40 Henry Hole 1866-90 Sawyer Spence 1867-95 Thomas Donnelly 1868-90 George Henry Pridmore 1870-1900 Edwin Frederick Holt DCM 1873-97 John Jestico 1876-1902 Frank Boylen Nicholson 1879-1901
1832-58 1832-53 1836-68 1837-55 1841-71 1842-62 1847-66 1851-60 1859-75 1898-1916 1899-1903 1900-03 1900-10 1902-31 1904-32 1908-32
2nd Life Guards Rank
Cpl Sclmstr CoH Ord Clk CoH TCM CoH RCM RCM SCM SCM
Richard Elliot Matthew Hanby George Young Charles Robinson Edward J Tomney William Scrivens Frank Howard DCM Lionel V Popkiss Percy Lloyd King
Service Body Guard 1819-44 1820-47 1833-58 1865-91 1863-95 1877-1906 1894-1919 1894-1916 1902-22
1844-55 1847-55 1858-81 1892-1921 1899-1933 1907-34 1919-40 1920-23 1926-60
Service Body Guard
WO1 RCM SCM SCM SCM RCM RCM S/Cpl RCM WO1 SCpl WO2 WO2 RQMC WO2 WO1 WO2 WO2 WO1 WO2 WO1
Ronald James Beswick 1930-53 Alfred Henry Hyland 1928-53 John William Mcnelly LVO 1933-55 John Cawthorn RVM 1937-62 William Edward Brammer RVM1944-66 Eric Owen Lloyd RVM 1939-65 Donald Sidney Dodson 1943-65 Neville Taylor RVM 1955-80 Donald Charles 1947-83 John Henderson RVM 1960-83 Colin Missenden RVM 1951-73 Gilbert Keeys BEM RVM 1962-84 William Henderson 1961-83 Thomas Lee 1966-88 Harry A R Daysmith 1962-84 John Eric Lloyd 1962-89 John Anthony Denton 1966-88 Barry G Mills 1967-89 Paul John Richards MBE 1966-2002 Paul Lewis MBE 1973-1997 David Evans 1970-1995
1957-86 1958-73 1960-82 1967-89 1968-88 1970-91 1976-95 1982-07 1983-87 19851985-03 1985198919931995199619971999200220062006-
The Royal Horse Guards Rank
Farrier Maj CoH TCMC CM CoH
Thomas Lea Benjamin Blakely Joseph Firth William Willis Richard Barry
Service Body Guard 1810-39 1809-36 1810-30 1821-49 1813-38
1832-54 1834-59 1837-55 1849-58 1851-53
Hosp CM Henry Spence 1847-74 TCM Thomas Walker 1856-81 TCM Charles Gwinnell 1864-85 TCM George Holmes 1863-84 RCM Alfred White DCM 1870-91 SC Farrier H Gibson 1877-98 Farrier QMC Thomas Sloan 1877-98 SC Farrier John W Elliot 1881-1902 SCM Henry Jakeman 1889-1911 FQMC E Young 1895-1917 RCM George Robert Mitchell 1907-33 RCM Charles Douglas Maxted MM 1930-54 SCM James Peart RVM 1930-61 RCM Verden J P Munford 1935-57 WO2 Ernest James Woodman MBE RVM 1944-75 WO2 John Cooper 1950-72 SQMC Ivan Stubley 1960-82 WO1 John Christopher Sayer MBE1965-93
1882-98 1889-1902 1891-92 1892-1902 1895-1907 1905-40 1906-21 1914-39 1919-55 1920-26 1933-51 1955-83 1962-82 1963-81 1976-96 1978-93 1987-96 2002-
The Royal Dragoons (1st Dragoons) Rank
Service Body Guard
TSM SM SM SSM
Job Feldwick 1841-66 James F Thompson 1887-1907 Sidney James Oxford DCM 1900-1922 Charles Albert Bowles MM 1910-33
1873-99 1910-16 unknown 1939-41
The Blues and Royals The first RHG/D hopefully to enrol in 2008.
Ranks of The Queenâ€™s Bodyguard of The Yeomen of The Guard Captain: Held by an elected member of the House of Lords, from the elected party of the day. Lieutenant: Held by the senior officer in the Body Guard Clerk of the Cheque and Adjutant: Held by an officer in the Body Guard Ensign: x 2 Exons: x 2 All of the above with the exception of Captain are commissioned officers within the Armed Services Messenger Sergeant Major (Wardrobe Keeper, Lives In) Messenger Sergeant Major Divisional Sergeant Major: x 4 Yeomen Bed Goer: x 4 Yeomen Bed Hanger: x 4
Household Cavalry members.
The Life Guards BAOR Nov 1951 - 1953 Sent in by Trooper R Frost, formerly The Life Guards
Wolfenbüttel Barracks main gate.
D Squadron 1953.
NAAFI time, Wolfenbüttel
Life Guards A Team, L to R Tprs Frost, Best, Spinks and Ware.
6 Troop D Squadron 1953.
Tps Ware and Frost.
Time in Aden By Paul Riffin, formerly The Life Guards n 11th August 1949 I went to Hyde Park Barracks and asked to join The Life Guards. I was given a medical exam and told I could see Colonel F. F. B St. George the next day. He explained what my duties would be, mounted and armoured. He then told me that I was a Life Guard and to go to Combermere Barracks the following day. So far so Good! There I joined my squad, the Marne squad. There were twelve of us, roughly half Life Guards and half Blues.
We were lined up for our first parade by the drill warrant officer, a droll man WO2 Ring, known to one and all as ‘snatch’ ring! Not to his face however! I’ll never forget the first words he said to us, “Gentlemen of the Household Cavalry, you are not here to die for king and country, you are here to destroy your sovereign’s enemies”. That would give anyone a jolt, especially at eighteen years of age. I did my mounted training under the likes of Walter Thompson, George Mitchell, Bob Hutton, Jock Ferry and George Plasket. I spent about three years on public duties before being sent to the regiment in Germany, from there back to London and then on to Aden. This was the first time I was expected to destroy my sovereign’s enemies. I was then sent from Aden up to Sharjah to ‘A’ Squadron, commanded then by Major Ian Bailey. If I may digress, I seemed to follow this man everywhere. From the time he was a subaltern and I a recruit at Windsor till I left the regiment and he became Silver Stick in London. He sent Jean and I a personal note when we left and came to our leaving party in the mess. He was truly an officer and a gentleman. We were living in North America when he died. We both shed a quiet tear. We would have returned for his funeral if only we had known sooner. Back in the Middle East, my best memory was again Major Ian. We were on a flag march and had bogged down several times. Having got dug out, we were sweating like pigs; we had plenty of water on our ferrets. The Major Ian came along with an enormous flask of orange drink for us, it tasted better than Bushmills sixteen year old malt whiskey! I think it was on the same flag march that we stopped for a rest at Nizwa where a very high powered person came to see us. That night as we sat on the sand, sipping a beer when all of a sudden we heard the zip zip of bullets. We ran to our cars, mounted and got ready. My troop leader was Mr Paravicini, another bloody good bloke to us
lads, bloody gorgeous to our wives. Still is, says mine! He ran down from the mess, hopped on my car to see that we were all okay. I asked him where our guest was. He said “He had jumped behind the sofa at the first shot”. An incident I am best remembered for is again out in the desert. Bob Hutton was travelling in the centre car of our team when we ran onto a mine. He and his driver were badly shaken up but otherwise okay. The next morning Captain Rowntree (a bit of a lad, even by Liverpool – Irish standards, always giving stray Arabs a lift on his car) told me with a laugh that I would be travelling in Bob’s position. On we went; we were always well spread out and often out of sight of each other. We had been told to call in ‘Soapsud’ on any disablement by the enemy. My car hit a mine, my driver got hit by gravel and sand, which left only a bit of scarring, I was grand. ‘Only the good die young’ or so they say. I called in ‘Soapsud’. The signals three bar, Dougy Atson, (long gone to his maker) asked how the call sign was. I replied “fine but she’d gone lame on the off fore”. Doug replied ‘well, we know where your previous posting was’. People who weren’t there and don’t remember my name remember that. Later Major Ian told me the Royal Engineers had checked the remnants of the mine and found it to be an American one, left over from Korea. Things don’t always change. To finish on a happy note, the years rolled by and as the first Gulf war was starting I was in a pub in London reading that The Life Guards were going again. Now it was in Tanks. A very tall lady with a
booming voice with a very small man under her wing came in; she joined a group at the bar who were discussing the war. I knew she was Anglo-Irish and he was Irish. When I went to the bar to recharge my glass, she boomed at me ‘what do you think of this damn war?’ I replied that ‘I hope it’s over very soon with a minimal loss on both sides’ Then she bellowed ‘yes, of course, what regiment are you in young man?’ in the same way some A/I ladies talk. All men have regiments; they don’t become barbers, gigolos or join the RAF! I replied The Life Guards, ‘how terribly grand’ she exclaimed! I brushed my eyebrow with my thumb and said ‘I know’. She then pointed at her friend and said ‘well, you won’t want to talk to him, he was a 16th/5th Lancer’. He muttered ‘that lot are so grand they don’t even talk to each other; they just talk to themselves’. She then asked me if I knew Ian Bailey. I told her much of what I have just written. She then asked if us chaps had ever called him the Toad. No, I replied, when I first met him we called him Sir, and then later it was Colonel. She huffed a bit and then asked if I knew Ben Wilson? Not awfully well, I replied, but I had served with him briefly in London. She then proceeded to ask me if I’d known that he had sold his second charger to a tart. I sat down heavily, took a pull at my pint and croaked ‘a tart madam, oh my God!’ She then bawled out, ‘of course, The Blues don’t have money, you know!’ My mind drifted to many a Life Guard in the same unhappy state. Later I found out that her father had been a general, and served his sovereign in a Dragoon regiment. When I came home to Ireland a neighbour of mine, an aunt of Aidan O’Brian
got all the spiel. “So you probably know which end of the snaffle goes on then?” she laughed. She then offered me the best job I’ve ever had, helping her with
riding for the disabled, which had begun in Wexford with a friend of hers. I don’t go to London very much, but
when I do, I go to see a changing or a four o’clock. The regiment is smaller now but in my opinion better. The Pageant was marvellous!
A Trip to the Pyramids - 1 HCR in Egypt 1946 By A W Rawlinson ur army truck trundled out of the old Turkish Barracks at Nasr-el-Nil by the River Nile in Cairo, where our squadron was stationed in 1946 on anti riot stand to. For sure the sun would be burning down and the flies were out to greet it and us. On the trouble side all was quiet but still noisy and smelly as only Cairo could be.
As in 1943, when I came to join 1 HCR from the Abbassia transit depot, we went from Karr-el-Nil and headed out for the 20 minute drive to see the pyramids (mad dogs and Englishmen) – like little boys with donkeys at the sea side, we had to try the camels – knowing now of our old soldiers of 1884 who had to ride those beasts I’m glad I wasn’t one of them, as a little later to me, the horses of Hyde Park were a little lower to the ground. The Pyramids were a grand sight; we then found that one had been opened and ransacked by robbers many years ago. At the small opening were two Arabs demanding money for us to go in, but we understood there was no charge so never paid. However, we had to buy some candles from them since the light bulbs just inside the tiny opening were gone. Soon it was very dim inside as we made our way in single file through some tunnels bent double going from one passageway to another forever going upwards until we reached the middle of the pyramid where there were two chambers, one above the other (The King’s and Queen’s). I don’t know what I expected, but from memory these two rooms/cells were dirty looking but of plain stone. The Queen’s was smaller – the King’s was about the size of about two average house rooms put together and in the middle was a topless sarcophagus, empty of course, with little stones inside, like the floor, although we couldn’t see very well because of the dimness. There were air vents because we had very little trouble in breathing. I think the three of us were very impressed with the work of art of being a wonderful structure of engineering – although there was no grandeur evident today inside even like some sort of decoration on the walls as if, perhaps, there never had been any, so maybe some disappointment there. After going up inside we decided to climb the outside which we did to the top, as can
be seen with the pictures of me, also the depth of the large stones – if it wasn’t for the fact that, along each stretch, many of those large blocks were broken away, there wouldn’t have been any foot holds. To me, it was a chance in a lifetime – I understand that, today, nobody is allowed inside or up the outside of the pyramids.
Who is recruiting whom?
Were those young men in suits trying to recruit the soldiers or the other way round? Photograph taken at The Coldstream Guards’ (Exeter Branch) Association Dinner. Left to right Laurie Young, Lionel Digby, Morris Midgely, Peter Warren and John Mason - All former Life Guards.
Return to Italy Extracts from Isle of Thanet Gazette visit to a small Italian city on top of a hill bought back memories of more than 61 years ago for Ted Tate.
Ted first set foot in Camerino when he was a 24-year old officer’s cook with the Royal Horse Guards. The young man was the last regular to join the Royal Horse Guards, signing up on August 28, 1939, just days before the Second World War broke out. All men to join the unit after that date were conscripts. It was a bumpy start. The unit was stuck in tents on Aintree racecourse because plans to ship out to Europe were postponed by the collapse of France to the Germans. Then when they got going they had to pass Mount Vesuvius as it was erupting, and on landing outside Camerino, the men had to seek cover from German bombs. Ted (85) said “We had a bit of a rough time. There were mortar bombs coming on top of us but luckily we were protected by the large rocks. “Cassino was being fought at that time, and although that was not near us we could hear it all”. The unit camped for several weeks outside Camerino and were granted leave on a few occasions to go into town and blow off some steam. Due to these visits, and the kindness of the residents, Ted developed an affection for the area which would hold a special place in his heart for 61 years. In 1944 he was amazed by the generosity of the locals. On one visit to the town, Ted was invited to dinner by a family who lived near the tram station. Ted said: “The family I met wanted to show me the depot and one of the trams Hitler had stopped them from running. They took me to their house for dinner and I remember it clearly. I had salad, spaghetti and lamb chops.
he would love to go back there. Ian and Maureen decided to find out how to get to Camerino. They wrote to the Mayor to tell him that Ted and the family would be visiting, how kindly he had been treated during the war and how they would love to trace the two families who invited Ted and his pals to dinner. Arrangements were made, letters exchanged and Ian persuaded the Mayor to meet Ted and Ivy when they got to town. The reception the former Army man received was beyond anything they expected. Ted said: “There were people everywhere. I was in 12 papers and when we went to the council chambers there were more than 50 people waiting for us. The people who had been so kind to me in 1944 had passed on, but we were welcomed by veterans, dignitaries, military association members and the Red Cross nurses dressed in Second World War uniforms”. “It was very emotional to meet all the people and the way they greeted me was out of this world. “I don’t think I have ever been kissed so much in my life and people seemed to follow us everywhere. They all seemed so grateful for the help they had during the war”.
Tpr Ted Tate (Third Back Row) Sqn in Cyprus 1941.
country, England, that has remained in the memory of many co-citizens as the symbol of progress and liberty’. The town also laid on an exhibition of the Second World War in Ted’s honour. Ted said: “It was wonderful and we would love to go back sometime”
Ted was awarded with the Gold Medal of Military Valour of the City of Camerino, inscribed with his name, a pin of the mythical sea-dog figure the camerino, a book of photographs and newspaper cuttings of his visit tied in a ribbon in the colours of the Italian flag. The Mayor presented them ‘with thanks on behalf of the city of Camerino to your
Gold Medal of Military Valour of the City of Camerino.
The next time I was talking to a man who worked in the botanical gardens. He gave us schnapps and cooked a barbecue for us in the gardens. I was amazed because they made us so welcome.” Sixty-one years later Ted was in his Cliffsend living room talking about his memories of Camerino with his wife Ivy, daughter Maureen and son-in-law Ian. Ted talked about the old black and white postcards he had picked up in the Italian town during the war and said how much
Mayor of Camerino presenting the medal to Ted Tate.
Reply to last Journal, page 140 About the photograph sent in by Brian Harwood, formerly The Life Guards. Can anyone remember where and when and what they were doing? Reply by Brian Davis, formerly The Life Guards I certainly can as I took the photograph and I still have the negatives that I took of my time with the Regiment in Egypt, 1954-56. Attached are three photographs; one, the photograph in question, plus two others. The photographs were taken during one of C Squadron’s periodic schemes held in the Egyptian desert. On this particular scheme, someone produced a Soviet Union flag, probably pinched from one of the Ordnance Base Depots we occasionally had reason to visit. I presume it was thought good for a laugh driving around the desert flying the Russian flag. The two Daimler armoured cars are from No 5 Sabre Troop, C Squadron. I can identify four out of seven persons featured in the photograph, but I cannot, however, guarantee the correct spelling of their names. I am standing on the Daimler, holding out the Soviet flag with Cpl Stratford at the rear of the armoured car, leaning his arm on the engine cover.
1. Trooper, later Corporal, Stanley Moody, a Canadian from Vancouver, B.C. After he left the Regiment, he returned to Vancouver. For my part, I had signed on in 1953 as a regular for 22 years but, at the completion of three years’ service with the Colours, I left the Regiment. However, I was only out for two weeks before I was recalled for the Suez crisis. This extra spell lasted about four months and then eighteen months later, I joined the Merchant Navy, serving on P&O Steam Navigation Company ships for about seven years. On one of my trips around the world, my P&O passenger liner called in at Vancouver and I took the opportunity to visit Stan Moody. The last contact I had with him (by letter) was that he had left Canada, was married and living in New Zealand. 2. Trooper, later Warrant Officer, Ben Poynter 3. Corporal, later Captain Quartermaster, Derek Stratford 4. Trooper, Brian Harewood, known to all as “Happy” Harewood was, like myself, a gunner-wireless operator on Daimlers. He is a very lucky man and owes his life to Corporal of Horse Michael Brown. Mike Brown died saving Happy’s life during an incident in Cyprus. 5. This Trooper’s face is familiar, but I cannot put a name to him. 6. Not known 7. Not known
Photo taken during live ammunition firing practice. Three figures in the foreground are, left to right: Corporal Nigel (“Nigger”) Jacks, Trooper Brian L. Davis 22556540 and Corporal Eddie Fisher. The officer in the rear seat between Cpl Jacks and myself is Lieutenant Toby Balding. The person just visible behind him is, I am sure, CoH Clark. All other persons, I cannot positively identify.
My reason for sending in these three, somewhat poor quality photocopies, is twofold. The first is to identify the photograph reproduced in the Journal. Secondly to give you an idea of the sort of photos that I have prepared in an album of some of my better photographs that I took whilst with the Regiment in Egypt which I would like to present to the Museum. Although the 6” x 8” photo enlargements themselves are all dry-mounted on the album pages contained in a heavy-duty photo album for which I have yet to compose the captions. Once this is done, I will contact the Museum and endeavour to get the album of 30 photos to someone at the Museum.
Footsteps By Mrs Sandra Chambers (daughter of CoH Robert (Jock) Wilson) One day a long time ago, when I was only five years of age, my father left on a posting to Cyprus with the army. We, my mother, my brother Alan and myself, were to follow once he had settled over there. In readiness for this we all had our vaccinations and eagerly awaited the departure date. Dad wrote to us regularly, sending postcards of his destination, the ship he was on and one particular picture postcard of The Old Town of Famagusta. For some reason, this postcard always intrigued me and, over the years, I would take all my postcards out of my memory box and read them over and over. Dad was looking forward to us joining him in Cyprus, and described how beautiful it was to me. Sadly, trouble broke out between the Turks and Cypriots (I did not understand this at the time because I was too young) but the troops were sent back to England and the family posting was cancelled. When dad died in 1986, I frequently took the postcards out of my box and made myself a promise. If ever I was to visit Cyprus, I would follow in my father’s footsteps. As the years went by, we travelled over Europe, and never really pursued the idea of Cyprus until Sunday 18th September 2005. I knew in my heart I would not be disappointed, as I felt Cyprus was akin to the Greek Isles which I have always been in love with. We stayed in Protares – Hotel Antagoni on the east side of the island. With blue skies, aquamarine waters and green forest land, I was taken with its natural beauty. We spent our first day unwinding and relaxing by the pool. We had already booked a hire car for four days from the Tuesday, and thought we would be able to explore Famagusta by ourselves.
Unfortunately, this was not to be. Famagusta was Turkish occupied and hire cars were not allowed through. We were told that we could walk through and get a taxi on the other side, but were advised against it. The only way was to go on an organised trip. So Wednesday 21st we made an early start and picked up the coach for the Northern Trip. Not quite the same as I had envisaged, but it was the only way. On going through the check point at the green line as it is called (this is the colour which shows the division of territory on the maps) we picked up two Turkish guides. On arriving in Famagusta town we were allowed one hour on our own before meeting up to go into the Cathedral. I took out my postcard, and our search was on. Our time was limited and we had to be quick. The temperature was 32 degrees as we raced through the town, stopping the locals to ask directions as they waved us onwards. We arrived at what I thought was the old town wall, but somehow it didn’t look quite right. I took a photo anyway. The sweat was pouring off of us as I began to get a little anxious, fearing that we would not find it. We stopped on a corner and asked an old lady and man. She took the postcard from me and peered at it intently before passing it to the old man, who pointed left and said ‘not far’, we thanked him and ran on. As we turned the corner, we saw the entrance to the old town, but were facing the wrong way. We still did not see what was on the postcard. Chris dragged me under the archway and when we turned and looked back it was there, ‘my postcard’ – we had made it. I will always be grateful to Chris for persisting in the search. We stood and looked at it together, I could not believe all those years ago – 49 years, that my dad was also at this very spot. Tears of joy, relief and wonder came over me as Chris took photos
of me and my postcard. I took extra pictures for Alan and Aunty Rita as I held my precious postcard before me and started to relax but the tears just kept falling. I felt very emotional. We then walked back through the town and up some stone steps to see the harbour and where the ships would have come in. I imagined Devonshire coming in to port all those years ago, carrying the troops and their families. We had to meet the others, and made our way to the Lala Mustafa Pas Mosque where we took off our footwear and entered into this cool place of worship. Looking up, I could see the stain glass windows where the Turks would join in prayer facing Mecca. Another short journey on the coach bought us to the beach area of Famagusta, which now has a very ghostly feel with deserted hotels, badly war torn and closely
Land Gate and entrance to the Old City, Famagusta, then and now.
guarded by the Turkish military. Again, the dividing line along one half of the beach was covered in barbed wire, while an armed guard stood sentry in his lookout tower protecting the land they think belongs to them. For the Cypriots of Cyprus, they wait for the return of the country so rightly theirs. I will take my pictures home, along with my memories, and one day, maybe, one of my sons may wish to walk the footsteps of their grandfather. MV Devonshire
Extract from ‘Not Worth Reading’ by Sir George Arthur, formerly Second Life Guards f Ewart was swagger personified, Colonel Owen Williams, commanding The Blues, with rather more bonhomie then his co-equals, was extravagance itself; in this respect it was always a question whether he or the Eleventh Earl of Winchelsea was capable of disposing of the largest sum of money in the shortest possible time.
The son of a Welsh banker, the resources of the Bank of England would scarcely have sufficed for an expenditure which Owen could never be persuaded was other than reasonable. His racehorses were for the most part disappointing, his huge bets were usually disastrous, although he would insist that he was only “lending money to the Ring,” a special loom was set up at Lyons to weave his jockey’s crimson and white jackets; the entertainments at Temple, his riverside
villa near Marlow, were princely in character and profuse in cost, and it might fairly be said of him that he set the fashion of the “week-end”; he counted a host of friends – not one of whom, by the way, troubled to attend his funeral – and he accumulated a mountain of debt. Poole, who regarded himself as the doyen of the great tailors sent him a bill for fifteen hundred pounds with a polite intimation that if payment in full were inconvenient a sum on account would be welcome. Presumably Owen Williams thought this an outrage, for he spent five pounds and then rode down the wooden plank into the shop to the consternation of other customers to show that his riding trousers did not quite fit him.
tificial. He would purposely miss a train to give him an opportunity of ordering, with some ostentation, a special. On the route march from London to Windsor he liked to swim his charger across the Thames, although helmet, cuirass and jackboots were not a very suitable equipment; he would emerge dripping wet, quite unruffled, and with a large cigar still in place in his mouth. For “Owen” the British troops consisted of The Blues and the rest of the Army, and for the “rest of the Army” he had little use. After his retirement from the regiment he was promoted major-general, and at the next Levee he muttered to me: “Oh, the degradation of having to wear a red coat.”
If Owen Williams’s courage and good temper were beyond question, his proverbial nonchalance was perhaps a little ar-
Berlin to Australia via Windsor and Cyprus By Mrs Pamela Fielden, Widow of CoH Peter Fielden, formerly Royal Horse Guards t was with great interest that I read the article written by Mrs Ilse Harris in the 2006/07 Household Cavalry Journal because eventually our families would link up in the future. My husband served in the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) for 16 years.
The Blues moved into the barracks in West Berlin, which the Royals had vacated in February 1950. Then, in 1951, dogging the Royals’ footsteps, took over the barracks in Wolfenbüttel, Germany. Our first son was born there. Early in 1952, we returned to quarters in Windsor where our second son and our daughter were born. 1957 saw the Regiment posted to Cyprus, and we were there for approximately two and a half years. On our re-
turn to England, we stayed in Windsor until my husband left the Regiment. We emigrated to South Australia in 1967, settling in Adelaide where my husband joined the local Guards Association. As fate would have it our second son met the eldest daughter of Jim and Ilse Harris, which resulted in Jim joining the Association, and we all became good friends. In 1975 our son Brian married Judy Harris and they presented both grandparents with two strapping grandsons, now aged 31 and 26 and both well over 6ft tall. It never ceases to amaze me how it all came about; it seems to be a very small world indeed. Peter Fielden and Jim Harris.
Terms Governing the award of Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) The Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) is the name of a medal awarded for service in Malaysia during the 2nd Emergency and Confrontation periods. The medal may be conferred on those who served in any peace operations in Malaya or Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak, from 31st August 1957 (after the independence of Malaya) to 12th August 1966 (the end of the Confrontation). If service does not cover exactly the above dates, consideration may be given to an award.
the face of enemy) in any operation for the period of three months or more; or to have indirectly served not less than six months. Those who served in Singapore between 31st August 1957 until 9th August 1965 (Independence of Singapore) may also be eligible. This award can be conferred posthumously. Requests for application forms should be made to Home Headquarters Household Cavalry or you may download a copy from the following web site: http://www.nmbva.co.uk/
The Terms and Service include: you need to have been directly involved (in The Medal.
Ex Cpl Collins and Cpl Fred Collingwood 1RD, proudly holding their medals after presentation in London.
Derek Lees 1RD receiving his medal from Colonel Tajri Alwi, Malaysian High Commission, London 2007.
Mr Terry Sussex 1RD, receiving his medal.
60th Wedding Anniversary Ex-CoH Sid and Mrs Eileen Smith celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on 3rd January 2008 in Tasmania. They were delighted to receive greetings from H.M. The Queen, The Governor General of Australia, The Prime Minister of Australia and The Premier of the State of Tasmania. Sid (306544) joined the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) on 17th June 1944 and was discharged in the rank of CoH on 15th October 1952 .
Sid and Eileen Smith on their wedding day on 3rd January 1948 Sid and Eileen 60 years later at their wedding anniversary celebration on 3rd January 2008
Amongst those in attendance “down under” at Sid and Eileen’s anniversary celebrations were one former Royal Horse Guards trooper and two ex-Micks, the survivors of a once thriving Guards AssociaSid and Eileen celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. tion.
On their wedding day 3 January 1948.
New Honorary Member of The Life Guards and Blues and Royals Associations Mrs Jenny Bobeszko who lives in Brisbane, Australia, has recently been voted Honorary Membership of both Regimental Associations. Jenny Bob, as she is referred to, has worked tirelessly to set up a Household Cavalry Association branch in Australasia. What is more surprising is that she has no Regimental or family connection to the Household Cavalry. Jenny works as an Executive Support Officer in a large hospital in Brisbane for the director of anaesthesia, four deputy directors and over 100 staff which consists of full time anaesthetic specialists/consultants, visiting medical officers, registrars, residents and another administrative staff member. Although she enjoys her daily job, she is happier being involved in voluntary work in the community, such as structured programmes like Neighbourhood Watch and police initiatives for helping young chil-
dren. She especially liked being involved in special events such as Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games Brisbane 1982, World Expo 88, Goodwill Games – Brisbane and other important events. Jenny Bob does not have any military background however, as a child there was a neighbour who was a war veteran and every ANZAC and Remembrance Day he would put on his slouch hat and all his medals and with his old comrades would march in the parade. She remembers that they would all come back to his place and as the local pub was just 2 houses down they would drink, remember old departed friends and tell lots of stories and she would sit at the bottom of the stairs, mouth and eyes wide open and listen to them. She became interested in the art of dance and entertainment, although she did not want to make it a career. During this period she was photographed extensively, but found she liked to be behind the camera rather than in front. No matter what she did she would always come back to working on projects within the community and she enjoys working behind the scenes, doing things for
groups and in most cases volunteering for jobs that not many people wanted to do. No matter what the job her reward is to stand back when the job is done and see the happy smiling faces. Getting involved with helping set up a Household Cavalry Association branch in Australasia is a need she saw in the exregimental members faces and standing around talking about it wasn’t going to get it off the ground so she personally lead the way. She engaged with other Household Cavalry Branch Secretaries in the UK to determine procedures in order to organise the Australasia Branch which has the support of Commander Household Cavalry. She admits that the excitement on their faces at an ex-Royals reunion was enough for her just hearing them talking and laughing and remembering old times was the highest reward of all....comradeship and smiling faces. As many a number of the members with the tint of the antipodean’s have reflected: “Good on yer, Sheila!” or should it be Jenny Bob?
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