THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY JOURNAL 2009/10
The Household Cavalry Journal
Incorporating The Acorn and The Blue and Royal No. 18 2009/10 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 WT Browne LVO, The Blues and Royals Commanding Ofﬁcer Household Cavalry Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel HRD Fullerton, The Life Guards Commanding Ofﬁcer Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel CA Lockhart, MBE, The Blues and Royals
The Life Guards Battle Honours Dettingen Peninsula Waterloo Tel el Kebir Egypt (1882) Relief of Kimberley Paardeberg South Africa (1899-1900) Mons Le Cateau Retreat from Mons Marne (1914) Aisne (1914)
Armentières (1914) Messines (1914) Ypres (1914) Langemarck (1914) Gheluvelt Nonne Bosschen St Julien Frezenberg Ypres (1915) Somme (1916) Albert (1916) Scarpe (1917) (1918) Broodseinde Poelcappelle
Passchendaele Bapaume (1918) Arras (1917) Ypres (1917) Arras (1918) Hindenburg Line Epehy St Quentin Canal Beaurevoir Cambrai (1918) Selle Somme (1918) France and Flanders (1914-18)
Mont Pincon Souleuvre Noireau Crossing Amiens (1944) Brussels Neerpelt Nederrijn Nijmegen Lingen Bentheim North West Europe (1944-1945) Baghdad (1941) Iraq (1941)
Palmyra Syria (1941) El Alamein North Africa (1942-1943) Arezzo Advance to Florence Gothic Line Italy (1944)
Mont Pincon Souleuvre Noireau Crossing Amiens (1944) Brussels Neerpelt Nederrijn Lingen Veghel Nijmegen Rhine Bentheim North West Europe (1944-1945) Baghdad (1941) Iraq (1941) Palmyra
Syria (1941) Msus Gazala Knightsbridge Defence of Alamein Line El Alamein El Agheila Advance on Tripoli North Africa (1941-1943) Sicily (1943) Arezzo Advance to Florence Gothic Line Italy (1943-1944) Falkland Islands (1982) Iraq (2003)
Gulf (1991) Wadi al Batin Iraq (2003)
The Blues and Royals Battle Honours Tangier (1662-1680) Dettingen Warburg Beaumont Willems Fuentes d’Onor Peninsula Waterloo Balaklava Sevastopol Tel el Kebir Egypt (1882) Relief of Kimberley Paardeberg Relief of Ladysmith South Africa (1899-1902)
Mons Le Cateau Retreat from Mons Marne (1914) Aisne (1914) Messines (1914) Armentières (1914) Ypres (1914) Langemarck (1914) Gheluvelt Nonne Bosschen St Julien Ypres (1915) Frezenberg Loos Arras (1917)
Scarpe (1917) Ypres (1917) Broodseinde Poelcappelle Passchendaele Somme (1918) St Quentin Avre Amiens Hindenburg Line Beaurevoir Cambrai (1918) Sambre Pursuit to Mons France and Flanders (1914-1918)
Crown Copyright: This publication contains ofﬁcial information. It should be treated with discretion by the recipient. The opinions expressed in the articles in this journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reﬂect the policy and views, ofﬁcial or otherwise, of the Household Cavalry or the Ministry of Defence. No responsibility for the goods or services advertised in this journal can be accepted by the Household Cavalry, publishers or printers and advertisements are including in good faith. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the Editor and Publisher. The Journal was designed and printed by Brian Smith Associates, 145 St Pancras, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 7SH. Tel: 01243 539999 Fax: 01243 539999 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contents Preface by The Commander Household Cavalry.......................... 3
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Ofﬁcer ......................................... 4 Diary of Events .................................................................................. 5 A Squadron ........................................................................................ 7 B Squadron ...................................................................................... 10 C Squadron ....................................................................................... 13 D Squadron ...................................................................................... 16 Headquarters Squadron ................................................................. 18 Command Troop ............................................................................. 19
Quartermaster’s Department ......................................................... 20 Quartermaster (Technical) ............................................................. 21 The Light Aid Detatchment ........................................................... 23 Warrant Ofﬁcers’ and Non-Commissioned Ofﬁcers’ Mess ....... 24 The Band of the Blues and Royals ................................................. 25 Catering Department ...................................................................... 27 The Regimental Aid Post ................................................................ 29 Images from Afghanistan ............................................................... 30
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Ofﬁcer ........................................ 32 Diary of Events ................................................................................ 33 The Life Guards Squadron ............................................................. 35 The Blues and Royals Squadron .................................................... 37 Headquarters Squadron ................................................................. 39 The Quartermaster’s Department ................................................. 40 The Forge .......................................................................................... 41 AGC Detatchment ........................................................................... 42 Warrant Ofﬁcers’ and Non-Commissioned Ofﬁcers’ Mess ....... 43
Pages 81 - 144
Memorial to British Servicemen Unveiled in Cyprus ................ 99 The Household Division Memorial ............................................. 101 Nominal Rolls ................................................................................ 102 Notices ............................................................................................ 109 1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiments ............................... 111 Household Cavalry Associations - Dorset .......................................................................... 111 - North Staffs ................................................................. 113 - North East ................................................................... 114 - North West & Yorkshire ........................................... 115 Features .......................................................................................... 116
Cover Photographs: Front: Horses in desert, Abu Dhabi Back: Tpr Reid on SANGAR duty
Pages 54 - 80
A Fortnight in Brazil ........................................................................ 64 Exercise Cockney Charger ............................................................. 65 Community Engagement ............................................................... 66 Media Ops .................................................................................. 67 Regimental Training ................................................................. 68 LG Band Gliding Course .......................................................... 69 PTI, Band of The Life Guards .................................................. 70 Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ................................... 71
News from the Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report .............................. 81 Minutes of the 75th AGM of the Life Guards Association ........ 81 The Life Guards Association and Charitable Trusts .................. 83 The Life Guards Association Notices ............................................ 84 The Life Guards Association Regional Representatives ............ 84 The Blues and Royals Association Annual Report 2008 ............. 86 Minutes of the AGM of the Blues and Royals Association ......... 87 The Blues and Royals Assoc. Regional Representatives ............ 89 Household Cavalry Museum ........................................................ 91 Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund .............................. 92 Obituaries – The Life Guards ......................................................... 93 Obituaries – The Blues and Royals ................................................ 94
Pages 32 - 53
Musical Ride ..................................................................................... 44 The Band of The Life Guards ......................................................... 46 Household Cavalry Training Wing .............................................. 46 Coach Troop ..................................................................................... 47 Winter Training Troop .................................................................... 48 Equitation ......................................................................................... 49 Regimental Support Team ............................................................. 51 Faces of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ................ 53
Household Cavalry News Musical Ride Deployment to Abu Dhabi ..................................... 54 Working with the Afghan National Police .................................. 56 Exercise Mustang Return ............................................................... 57 Exercise Kalahari Thorn ................................................................. 59 Exercise Slovak Selection 2009 ....................................................... 60 Household Cavalry Regimental Pipe Club .................................. 61 Spruce Meadows 2009 .................................................................... 62 The Kingsley Challenge .................................................................. 63
Pages 4 - 31
By Colonel W T Browne LVO, The Blues and Royals Commander Household Cavalry
he Household Cavalry is in robust health, in this its 350th year. Our manning figures remain buoyant and both regiments are as fully engaged as ever. You will read extensively in this journal of their experiences; of the breadth of activity and of opportunities for excitement and adventure both within and away from regimental life. The focus this past year has been Household Cavalry Regiment’s deployment, less D Squadron who deploy this October with 16 Air Assault Brigade, to Afghanistan in Autumn 2009 on Op HERRICK 11. The deployment is still underway as the journal goes to print, and is widely covered in this edition. Suffice it to say, the Battle Group has been immensely busy and at the forefront of 11 Light Brigade operations. It has been a very challenging tour; the tempo of every day activity exceeds recent experience with almost daily enemy contact and constant exposure to Improvised Explosive Devices (IED). There have been some outstanding acts of courage, and leadership of the highest order at all levels. The lead up to the deployment was to an extent fraught with uncertainty over roles and orbats, a reflection of the fluidity of the situation in theatre and the nature of contemporary operations. It was also a reminder, if one were needed, that a 6 month deployment effectively means a period of almost 18 months with preparation and training. We should be under no illusion about the immense strain that this puts on the families and on relationships; I am hugely grateful for the patience and support of those families, without whose understanding the soldiers’ job becomes so much more difficult. Having visited HCR on several occasions both in Combermere and on exercise I have nothing but admiration for the total focus and professionalism of all ranks. For most this present tour, and that to come for D Squadron, is certainly not the first and yet everyone has a belief in what they are doing and a resolve to make a difference in Afghanistan. It is humbling, as it is when visiting those who have been wounded so far on this tour; particularly Troopers Richard Ward RHG/D and Corrie Mapp LG who have suffered double amputations of their lower legs, and Trooper Daniel Dunn LG who has
lost his lower right leg. All three were wounded in incidents involving IEDs, as several others have been. Their good humour and determination to return to duty as soon as possible is remarkable. The Mounted Regiment have had what the commanding officer might describe as a routine year. I am not sure there is such a beast at Knightsbridge! Every year has its challenges and surprises. One of the highlights in 2009 was the Musical Ride’s trip to perform in Abu Dhabi at the Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, ADIHEX. It was a vast undertaking but a great success both in terms of diplomacy but also in the excellence of the Ride’s performance; quite simply it was outstanding. The challenges for HCMR are presented by the fabric of the barracks. The tower block is now empty and awaiting the start of a major refurbishment. The result is that the families are now spread between Putney and Windsor; a far from ideal situation but one that may endure depending on the future of the tower block. The soldier’s accommodation continues to be a cause for concern, and the stables are still a long way from perfect even after the renovation, particularly for the Life Guards Squadron. None of this should overshadow the fact that the regiment continues to perform magnificently, and has as ever drawn warm praise from several quarters. The highlight was, I thought, The Double Standard Sovereigns Escort with two mounted bands in Windsor for the Indian State Visit in October; it was a wonderful example of the excellence that can be achieved on State Ceremonial. This year was tinged with sadness by the tragic death of Tpr Jason Roughley LG in a road traffic accident; he had only recently passed out of kit ride and was showing considerable promise. The continued support of all members of the regimental associations to both regiments should not be underestimated. The interest you take in the welfare of serving Household Cavalrymen is a
practical demonstration of the strength and importance of the regimental family. The fundraising activities, not only by the association members but many others besides, particularly for the Operational Casualty Fund have been diverse and extraordinarily productive. Capt Ed Seyfried (ex RHG/D) deserves special mention for donning boxing gloves, and winning his bout, in order to raise funds. It was a brave achievement. Thank you all and keep it up; you will hear through the associations of the activity to upgrade the appeal this and next year. I end by paying tribute to Lt Col Shamus Olivier who is retiring later this year. He has for the last 15 years been the Regimental Adjutant and editor of this journal; in both guises he has been both a great success and the mainstay in HQ Household Cavalry. I am sure that everyone would join me in wishing him a long and happy retirement. This, his last journal as editor, is an excellent record of another packed and demanding year for the Household Cavalry. I commend it to you. Postscript: It is with regret that the death of LCoH Woodgate, B Sqn HCR has been announced on going to press. Our thoughts are with his family.
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreward
By Lieutenant Colonel H R D Fullerton, The Life Guards Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Regiment
write this forward from the District Centre in Musa Qaleh, Northern Helmand Province. This is the second time in 2 years that The Household Cavalry Battle Group Headquarters finds itself in Musa Qaleh. As I write, we are 2 months into this Afghan tour and the year has been dominated by preparations for the deployment. The year seems to have been swallowed up by the need to train soldiers, not only on their basic trades and skills, but also on new equipment and tactics. This has meant there has been lit tle time in barracks. I know how hard this has been on our families in terms of separation. Such is the change in what we train on and how we train that, since the beginning of 2009, we have been committed to some form of pre deployment training at all times, with less leave. As ever with a reconnaissance regiment, we found ourselves dispersed for much of the training, only coming together for specific events. In particu lar, B Squadron, who formed the core of the Brigade Recce Force (BRF), has been exceptionally busy since January. Selection was followed by a training exercise in South Africa and soon after the Squadron were on their specific Surveillance and Recce Course (SRTAT). C Squadron has been through the mess of the uncertainty that comes with a changing tactical picture, converting their role for this deployment no less than 4 times, ending up in the Mastiff role, something we are now very glad about! Mastiff is quite sim ply a life saver and a battle winner. A Squadron have trained and deployed in the more conventional role of a Fo rmation Recce Squadron, but they too have had to ensure a broad range of skills to furnish the requirements in Helmand, converting half their crews to Jackal. D Squadron have had a steady build up this year and have just started their own training programme to get them ready for a Helmand deployment in October 2010 with 16 Air As sault Brigade. As we are fully manned, it has meant that even with the bulk of the Regiment deployed, D Squadron can still muster near on a full squadron. HQ Squadron and Command Troop have been exceptionally busy, both preparing themselves for a dispersed and diverse role in Helmand, as well as supporting all the training and deployment that we have undertaken.
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In preparing for Afghanistan, HCR was the first Battle Group to mix adaptive foundation training with the training required specifically for Afghanistan. We had an intense but highly successful Ex ercise Wessex Warrior where, instead of fighting a traditional enemy in a rmoured vehicles, the threat was on quad bikes with rocket propelled grenades and IEDs. It made us completely rethink our drills and meant that we could focus on what we were likely to face on de ployment, not tactics that have lost their relevance in the current campaign. The pre deployment training that followed seemed to go on for ever and was dispersed around the country, but it has stood us in good steed. What was frustrating was the lack of Afghan specific equipment to train on, such as vehicles, mine de tection equipment and body armour, something that will be less of a problem for future Battle Groups I hope. Our first 2 months in Helmand have been challenging, but nevertheless suc cessful. HCR Battle Group is in Musa Qaleh, operating alongside C Squadron and companies from 2 Yorks, 2 Royal Welsh and 1 Royal Anglian. A and B Squadron find themselves fighting in and around Babaji and the Helmand Central Areas, mostly un der command of 11 Light Brigade, although they have operated with and close to the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards. We have Forward Air Controllers working with 3 Rifles and the Combat Logistic Patrols and one officer working with the Afghan National Army mentoring. So HCR finds itself geographically stretched out across the Helmand battlespace. Operations have been relatively “kinetic” with regular engagements with the insurgents,
which have produced some remarkable acts of courage and initiative from our troops, both Household Cavalrymen and those attached under com mand. The result has been an enemy that finds itself defeated in most tactical engagements and fractured in many parts. We have gained ground and influence of the people and we know that the vast majority of locals want to see the end of the Taliban. However, the insurgents’ IED campaign is relentless and it poses great danger and problems for us all, along with their ability to regenerate. Thus far we have had 6 armoured vehicles struck by large IEDs and countless more that have gone off and missed their target or have been found or defeated. The scale of the problem cannot be underestimated. The heroics of young soldiers who have the responsibility of finding these wicked devices cannot be overstated. It would not be uncommon to find 5 IEDs in a single incident. The soldiers all do the Regiment proud and it is an honour to command such an outstanding and professional team.
Diary of Events
009 has been, as usual, a busy year for the Regiment. With the exception of D Squadron, the Regiment was deployed on Op HERRICK 11 in Afghanistan from September. The range of tasks being undertaken by the Regiment has meant that skill sets have had to be diversified to an even greater extent than that normally expected. The large number of new vehicles and weapons in service in theatre has led to an exponential increase in the number of mandatory courses, coming on top of preparation for a demanding and complex theatre. After some well-deserved Christmas leave, the Regiment commenced the second selection course for the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF), which was also open to other units in 11 Light Brigade. It was held locally on the Aldershot Training Area, with tem peratures plummeting to well below freezing for the four day period. This was the final opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their skills to join the BRF prior the BRF Commander’s Cadre at the Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing. D Squadron, back in the fold after so long, were straight back into reforming as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade. The Squadron is busy training in preparation for another Afghanistan tour in 2010; their third in four years. The first few months also saw the return of the Regimental Ski Team from Verbier, with a combination of expe rienced and novice skiers having both enhanced their skills and enjoyed some well-deserved fun. The Alpine Ski Team, under Capt E Howland-Jackson LG, was an inexperienced team that performed admirably with Tpr N Bond RHG/D picking up the Best Novice award at the Divisional Championships and was also the unofficial Best Novice at
A Sqn Assault Assets the Army Championships a week later. The soldiers, mostly new to the sport, are travelling at speeds well beyond their capability. It requires nerves of steel and plenty of physical strength to succeed.
commanders hone their traditional Formation Recce skills in preparation for Ex WESSEX WARRIOR in May.
February was dominated by the BRF four week dismounted exercise in South Africa, (Ex KALAHARI THORN). The combination of an Formation Recce (FR) Regiment’s core skills and the additional infantry punch that mortar, sniper and AT capabilities provide as well as other niche capabilities from Combat Support Arms, make the BRF a highly capable asset for the Brigade.
In March Collective Training continued in Norfolk for Combat Team 2 level training prior to Easter leave, and the Regiment was visited by General Bismillah Khan, Chief of Staff of the Afghan National Army. The Regiment was also subject to a Combined Inspection Week covering everything from Health and Safety to Equipment Care and fleet management. All departments were rightly awarded the sought after ‘Green’ pass.
Training began to focus on more sp ecific Pre Deployment Training (PDT) with the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) introducing elements of the contemporary operating environment, before a Tactical Commanders’ Cadre started to bring the Regiment up to speed with the latest deve lopments in theatre. RHQ, A and C Squadrons deployed to CATT, letting
Following leave in April, the focus was heavily on Exercises Druid’s Dance and Wessex Warrior, a series of testing Battle Group operations run on Salisbury Plain that crescendos through three weeks starting from sub-unit missions to a final week-long Brigade-level TESTEX, all on a cold but fortunately sunny Salisbury Plain. A and part of C Squadrons were deployed in a broadly classic Formation
Soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment conduct pre-deployment training in the sandunes of North Devon prior to their deployment on Operation Herrick. The training gave the soldiers the opportunity to increase their operating skills in the Jackal vehicles.
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 5
Musa Qal’eh Reconnaissance role, with RHQ and HQ Squadron also deployed running and supporting HCR Battle Group, which was strengthened by Warrior-borne A Company 2 Royal Welsh and light role C Company 2 Yorks. This unusual force-mix had strengths and weaknesses which challenged BG HQ but proved to be flexible and containing sufficient ‘punch’ when required. The exercise writers had experimented for the first time with providing an enemy that was semi-conventional, semi-insurgent in nature. This provided excellent training for the sub-units who were tested in their ability to conduct classic reconnaissance tasks but would then have to switch to combating suicidebombers, IEDs and ambushes, all within the space of minutes. This complex and unpredictable enemy threat is entirely realistic and will stand the Regiment in excellent stead for the deployment. Allin-all, it was a highly successful exercise in which the operational experience of our crew commanders over recent years shone brightly, and cemented the plans of deploying a Household Cavalry Battle Group in Afghanistan. The Regiment was tested at all levels throughout a three week period, and obtained a high grade report. It has been a period of unprecedented levels of activity and Combermere Barracks has been a ghost-town for much of the time, with the majority of the Regiment dispersed in a number of geographical locations, conducting a plethora of training activities. Principal among these have been the numerous driver-training courses which soldiers undergo to prepare them to drive the four main vehicle types in which the Regiment will operate on tour. Throughout May and June B Squadron, who have formed the bulk of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) in Afghanistan, were meanwhile pre-
6 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Commanding Officer in discussions paring for their main training phase, a physically and tactically demanding Surveillance and Reconnaissance course, run on the South Kent coast. Under the newly-installed command of Maj A MacGillvray 3 SCOTS, a strong emphasis has been placed on high standards of fitness and Jackal training to prepare for the course. The BRF also contains a strong infantry element of around 40 soldiers who passed the BRF Selection phase and provide specialist infantry skills such as mortars and Javelin. RHQ attended a counterinsurgency study period at Sandhurst. July saw yet more Pre Deployment Training (PDT) for the regiment with the Confirmatory Exercise (CFX) and the Mission Rehearsal Exercise (MRX) building up to the Regiment level. The Regiment, less B Squadron, headed for Castlemartin Ranges in Pembrokeshire where pre-deployment firing replaced the annual gunnery camp. The Combined Arms Live Firing Exercise (CALFEX) integrated the All Arms Battle with fast jets turning up to add further realism to the exercises. Summer training was completed by an excellent small arms package at Lydd Ranges, with static ranges building into complex and realistic scenarios. As if this was not enough activity D Squadron also deployed onto Salisbury Plain for low level exercise. August brought with it a much needed respite from Pre Deployment Test (PDT) and everyone left Combermere tired but with a feeling of satisfaction that they had completed an arduous training year and had not been found wanting. Bar a limited sweep-up package, all Household Cavalrymen were fully trained to face the rigors of Operations in Afghanistan. In September, C Squadron and the advance elements from elsewhere deployed, with the remainder of the Regiment attending to the final details
before their departure in October. B Squadron conducted a final range package in Sennybridge but managed to make it back in time for the Officers Mess ‘Khyber Pass’ Summer Ball. Over 400 guests attended and all commented on how much they enjoyed the evening. Particular praise must go to Maj Davies for organising the event. Throughout October the remainder of the Regiment deployed to Afghanistan and completed to RSOI package before moving off to their various forward locations. RHQ have taken command of Battle Group (North West), based around the town of Musa Qal’eh, with A Company 2 Royal Welsh and C Squadron HCR coming under command. They are supported in this by HQ Squadron. The town is well known to HCR, as it was the HCR BG that first took over the running of the town following its recapture in 2007. C Squadron have had to adjust somewhat, being responsible for the Mastiff group of heavily protected vehicles, while retaining the ability to go back to Scimitar. A Squadron, as the final element to deploy, will largely be operating in the accustomed Formation Reconnaissance role, using the adaptable CVR(T) fleet and has moved down to Forward Operating Base PRICE and are conducting operations under the command of the 1 Coldstream Guards Battlegroup in and around Babaji. This area was made famous by Operation Panthers Claw over the summer and A Squadron are continuing to do good work over hard fought ground. D Squadron have taken on rear party duties while the bulk of the Regiment is away. This has been done in conjunction with the Rear Party, which has allowed D Squadron to continue with what is now their PDT training year encompassing Ex Druids Dance and Wessex Warrior under 16 Air Assault Brigade.
745hrs 26 Nov 09, Desert of NahrE-Seraj, Helmand Province.
Silhouettes of the vehicles within the A Squadron leaguer are now only barely visible against the barren, undulating ground. This particular grid square draws upon every skill learnt at BATUS (barren British Training area in Canada); A Squadron first cut its teeth there in late 2008. Here, though on OP HERRICK 11, the threat is very real. Noise and light discipline are faultless, and the vehicles are parked methodically, in a manner that would make even the Mounted Regiment baulk. Major Tom Giffard and WO2 Henry Newton are firmly stamping a Life Guard’s panache on the place. In a country where the Pashto word for ‘order’ hardly gets a mention, we appear to be adding it to the lexicon. The eager but barely trained Afghan National Police, have both been onlookers and cohorts. They are bewildered at the precision of ISAF, and in particular A Squadron HCR. For this mission, we are alone in the Lying up point (LUP), and everyone has confidence in how the plan is going to unfold. Another great night-time tasking has come our way. This time we are privileged enough to be supporting US Special Forces and their Afghan Special Forces mentorees in a helicopter assault. The target: a facility for manufacturing Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). It is not difficult to justify this type of action to the soldiers of A Squadron. We are all agreed that these crude devices still represent the biggest hurdle to progress in Afghanistan. Hitting a factory that makes them is always good for morale. Scimitars, Odin Spartans, Samsons, Sultans, Jackals and a 15 tonner SV. It’s a mixed packet, but all are there to complete a specific role, and we are well versed in using them too. These vehicles, with their theatre speNo 3 Troop (32) in action
No 1 Troop looking sad that Ex Druids Dance is over cific modifications, were all encountered last year during Pre-Deployment Training. Though it all seems a distant and sometimes painful memory, the training has undoubtedly paid off. The year at Windsor essentially started with the delivery of the new CVR(T) variant, seemingly one without a name. The 102 (the number they modified). The 235 (the horsepower). The Sable (a badgerlike creature from China). Nobody quite knows what to call it. However, you will all still recognise it as the workhorse of the Medium and Formation Recce regiments. This time it is painted diarrhoea yellow, has some snazzy Formula 1 radiator, a new turbocharger, extra drilled ‘biscuit’ armour, a new thermal sight (MSPIRE), and a plethora of antennae to get caught on. It is also meant to be faster and more reliable, said LCoH Acker-
man as he converted the Squadron to its automotive systems. While fresh from BAE, this was undoubtedly the case. We got to grips with these vehicles in the usual training areas, starting with Collective Training (CT1&2) in Thetford, moving on to the notorious CT3&4 Druids Dance/Wessex Warrior on Salisbury Plain. At this stage we still had the venerable Major Adam Lawrence and Captain Tom Long (a veteran of OP HERRICK 4) at the Squadron reins. Their wisdom and experience clearly helped with our build up. Advice was also at hand from a few transferees from C Squadron (their careers clearly going uphill), Messrs Bodycoat, Capp, O’Leary et al. Our core skills, basic field craft and vehicle life, OPs and CTRs were revised. Then we tackled advanced contact drills, convoy drills, and helicopter A quick dip
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 7
casualty evacuation, now called MERT in theatre. It was in sandpits at the sides of the road in Thetford that we started to learn to counter that old Afghan favourite, the IED. The drills would soon become second nature. Secretly, we all hoped that it would come down to Lieutenant Andrew Jelinek and CoH Harrison’s 4 Troop (should read stürmgruppen ‘vier’) to do the majority of the route clearance. In reality, it has come down to every troop to maintain a route clearing capability.
Support Troop advancing
Lt J Hulme testing the limits
Traditionally it is gunnery that incites the greatest inter-Squadron and interTroop rivalry. CoH Moffat and LCpl Deavall walked away with the highest level 6D in their Annual Crew Test. 1 Troop tops the board, yet again, a nice average by 2 Troop as well. A Squadron underwent three long periods at Castlemartin, engaging both targetry and engaging with the locals of Pembroke with our night-time skills. In all seriousness, gunnery is becoming increasingly important; such is the demand for accurate 30mm and coaxial 7.62 gunnery in Afghanistan. The stability of the Scimitar’s weapon systems, and our ability to remain mobile in the most demanding situations, mean that we can always expect to be called upon to support our dismounted brethren. No longer is the emphasis on practising against rogue Eastern Block BMPs or low-flying Hind gunships. It is now about positively identifying one be-turbaned local over another as hostile, or a Toyota HiLux with an RPG team working out of the back. The strain upon all ranks to assess the threat posed, and to decide whether or not to engage is considerable. In a counter-insurgency struggle, we are all well aware of the danger of engaging bystanders, even if they look almost identical to their violent neighbours, who may have a long barrelled weapon under their kaftans. The new Live Firing Exercises reflect this complexity, particularly during the Confirmatory Exercise that we completed in late July. All the while, our Fire Support Teams (our friends at 1RHA) were calling for ‘shows of force,’ now the preferred option to conventional bomb-runs because of the obvious lack of collateral. A strafing run by the new Eurofighter Typhoon, built our confidence that the RAF are now doing their part in the war on terror. It was at this stage that we heard with great sadness that A Squadron had to say goodbye to 4 Troop who would be deploying with the HCR Battlegroup in Musa Qul’eh. The newly formed 5 Troop (Lt Daniel Cole, CoH Cawley & Sgt Snell) would have to step up the adaptability of a traditional Support
8 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Troop. It soon became obvious that half the Squadron would likely be deploying on the Supacat Jackal anyway. Securing places on heavy weapons courses (.50 Browning and Grenade Machine Gun) and obtaining over ten HGV licences had to be done at break-neck speed, crammed in to those valuable months immediately before deploying. Through all this, the Squadron still managed to get people on leave, a planning miracle from Captain Dickon Leigh-Wood, the new Squadron Second-in-Command. When it comes to paperwork, having mild OCD would appear to have its merits. It was with a sense of relief that the Squadron made its way to RAF Brize Norton in three packets, leaving behind Afghan-like villages among the Pine Forests of Thetford, to live and operate among the real thing. A week and a half at Camp Bastion was spent getting ‘current’ with a 6-7 day long RSOI package provided by the Irish Guards. Our friends the Light Dragoons handed us our vehicles … and war stories galore, and we were off to dwell in the desert. Such are the politics of Afghanistan and Task Force Helmand that we had only just discovered we were to be operating as part of the Coldstream Guards Battlegroup in FOB [Nice] Price, just outside Gereshk. A whistle-stop tour around the personnel stationed there, and we were out taking over from B Squadron HCR’s BRF in OPS BOX MEDAL née ARISTOTLE. And so we were at action, GDA patrolling, engaging with the locals, providing welfare and assessing enemy movement corridors. From time to time, we would work to Brigade, such is the envy of our mobility that we can rerole and relocate at such short notice.
Digging in at Command Post A
Shared ANP and A Sqn Command Post
At the time of writing, the vehicles are holding up, just. I would argue that CVR(T) 102 is probably not going to be the stand-in for FRES that we thought it was going to be. A Squadron’s maintenance skills are still being called upon, hourly. Many thanks to SSgt Rowatt and his LAD for keeping the fleet going and to SQMC Forsdick for the supply of equipment, and morale (your many kind letters and parcels). The Squadron continues to face another six months in theatre, with many potential changes to Orbats, vehicles, roles, locations. It is an exciting time, morale is high, and the training has already proved itself. A great thanks to everybody that has made A Squadron the force to be reckoned with.
Sunset at CP A
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 9
Soldiers from the Brigade Reconnaisance Force prepare to deploy on another pa trol from the Lashkar Gar Main Operations Base
he Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) is an established element within 3 Commando Brigade and the concept has been employed by the Army in both Iraq and Afghanistan since Op HERRICK 6. The idea behind it was to form a bespoke reconnaissance unit for complex environments where Formation Recce cannot alone conduct the FIND function. The unit must be large enough to support itself and with additional assets and capabilities for the environment. This unit would deliberately be separate from the Battle Groups, to provide the Brigade with a highly mobile asset, able to deploy wherever it was needed. Its main tasks are to FIND, UNDERSTAND, DISRUPT, and to conduct limited STRIKE. The BRF is trained in both mounted and dismounted skills. Mounted it uses the Jackal vehicle which is an extremely capable all terrain, long range, and well armed vehicle. This enables the BRF to venture into areas of difficult terrain, and punch further and deeper than
others. When mounted we operate in a not dissimilar way to Formation Recce, with vehicles working in troops rather than pairs. It also doubles up as an extremely good weapons platform for fire support. Dismounted we have operated both as Troops, Platoons and as a Squadron, depending on the task. We have been able to insert deep into the green zone with the whole Squadron, and operate from compounds, for sustained periods of time. With the help of helicopter re-supplies, it has enabled us to remain mobile and flexible, in order for us to out manoeuvre the enemy and successfully carry out our key functions. The squadron is a composite unit with force elements from The Household Cavalry Regiment, 1st Bn GREN GDS, 1 Royal Welsh, 1 RHA, 2 YORKS, 3 RIFLES, 5 RA, 10 QOGLR (Queen’s Own Ghurkha Logistic Regiment) , 14 Signals Regiment, 28 Regiment RE, 254 Medical Regiment, 261 Signals Squadron and the Theatre Provost Group, under command of Major Gus MacGillivray SCOTS.
Tpr Marc Stock, RHG/D, prepares his kit
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The formation of the BRF was planned by RHQ HCR and a call out to Brigade units followed in October 2008 to raise the manpower from 64 men to 105. Two selection cadres were held on Salisbury Plain in December and another cold week in Long Valley in January. These selection cadres tested 160 soldiers in military skills such as fitness, patrolling, map reading and target indication. The most testing part of all was the weather, as temperatures dropped well below freezing; this definitely separated the men from the boys. Following this the Squadron then deployed on Ex KALAHARI THORN from mid January to mid-February, which consisted of troop and squadron low level training and a live firing dismounted small arms package. This was all conducted at Lohatla Training Area in South Africa with the kind support of Colonel Riaan Gray and the South African Defence Force. The squadron let off steam with a bit of Rest & Recuperation at the end. This included safaris, rafting, and quad biking. Apart from the good training value gained over those weeks, the differences between each regiment were put aside and we walked away as one unit. After South Africa, the Squadron dispersed in order to carry out individual courses such as driver training. In May the squadron reformed at Lydd Camp for our seven week course run by the Surveillance Reconnaissance Wing. This started with the gruelling Basic Combat Fitness Test (BCFT) on Monday morning over a route of sand and gravel. The physical training was challenging but also the hours spent in the classrooms reading PowerPoint presentations were too much for some! In week three the squadron split into two to conduct crew training on Jackal mobility vehicles down on Saunton Sands, Devon. This was key for drivers and commanders to assess what the vehicles can do and also,
Soldiers from the Brigade Reconnaisance Force
in two cases, find out what they look like upside down. This was a great opportunity for the HMG/GMG instructors namely CoH ‘Stevie’ Parker and Sgt ‘Scouse’ Kerry to drill the squadron, as well as the All Arms Skill At Arms (AASAA) instructors to show their abilities, all as concurrent activity. It wasn’t all work and no play. In between weapon drills and dune bashing the lads got in a bit of beach action, and managed to show off their volley ball skills. The rest of the training progressed smoothly with some short exercises to practise the skills learned. The physical training culminated in the seven mile burden carry race, pretty much covering the BCFT course. Everybody got stuck in firstly with log followed by bergens, then the final dash on the loaded stretcher. The squadron carried out a ten day Field Training EX on Salisbury Plain TA, overtly discovering the entire Ex Wessex Warrior armoured formations and not-so-politely being asked to move away from their exercise! The intense training continued with Mortar, Javelin and Sniper training. Then onto the Brigade Mission Rehearsal EX in a fleet of Land Rover on Salisbury Plain and then up to Northumberland for a dismounted Combined Arms Live Fire EX across the babies-heads of Otterburn. Summer leave was a welcome break for all and a good opportunity to see friends and family. After leave in September, the now complete BRF conducted an extremely challenging dismounted range package in Sennybridge which was without doubt the closest training possible outside of real close combat that can be conducted in the UK, as well as language courses and some more HMG firing. September also brought some appreciated pre tour leave prior to getting onto the flights to Camp Bastion. After deploying on Op Herrick 11, the L CoH Hall
Capt R Bourne-Taylor
Capt R Smith
squadron conducted a swift handovertakeover with 19 BRF, followed by a good range package outside an Afghan National Army camp to finish off our training. This allowed for the crews to get used to their equipment and gain confidence in night driving. The squadron has then been deployed on a number of missions both mounted and dismounted, in desert and green zone. The squadron is currently working very hard both with Helmand Battle Groups and the US Marines across the Brigade Boundary. With R+R programmed for February 2010 the squadron is very focused and keen to push through the winter months.
LCoH Andrew Spicy MacWilkie and the Rampant Dragon, Corporal Darren Chard (1RW), the Troop have bonded incredibly and will no doubt continue to do so through all the challenges that Afghanistan can thrown at them.
One Troop, with its distinct Welsh flavour, has grown into a formidable unit since its birth in the Kalahari sun. Commanded by Captain Rhys Smith and CoH Steven Parker, the men of the Fighting First are in safe hands. With the strong leadership of SCM Anderson
LCoH Stephen Dim bylow and Billy Elliott were recently promoted, along with LCpl Chakra ‘Jackie’ Rai (QOGLR), Max ‘The Beast’ Loloma and Nigel ‘Ash from Corrie’ Bunt (RAMC). ‘As close to’ the ultimate sacrifice was made by Dim bers during pre deployment training, when he informed his wife-to-be that the honeymoon would have to be put on the backburner to accommodate the SRW course. You are a very understanding woman, Mrs Dimbylow! Trooper Simon Rowlands is as ever putting the style into the unit and Gunner Tristan King (1RHA) continues to try and avoid having the worst day of his life. Trooper Adam Syer graduated top of his sniper cadre and has been used to great effect in Helmand Province. Fusiliers Ben Jer emiah and Mark Jones (1RW) bring a final piece of Valleys style to the outfit. The men of One Troop may have been brought together by chance, but what they have become (like all of the BRF) is truly remarkable. At the conclusion of HERRICK 11, One Troop will cease to be. But lifelong friendships have been forged here in Afghanistan, and nothing will ever take that away. 2 Troop BRF, or Foot Troop, as we often felt was more appropriate, in reflection may liken itself to the Dionaea Muscipula, commonly known as the Ve nus Flytrap – very relaxed, welcoming but with a savage snap when the time was right! In reality 2 Troop was the same as everyone else, we just enjoyed each other’s company and had fun doing our job. We were blessed with
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 11
a mix of sorts with barely half the troop composed of the valiant members of B Sqn HCR and the rest coming from all over. Close to home LCpl McGoldrick of 2 Yorks gave us our fill of Northern pessimism and Cpl Nicholas, 1 RW, a hint of Welsh logic. The gaggle of Sgt ‘Scouce’ Kerray, Cpl Walker and Spr Richards from 28 Engr Reg paid such diligence to their technical skills to be the only vehicle in the troop to maintain a scolding hot BV heater for brews for the entirety of the six months. Further afield from the depths of the Himila yas, LCpl Limbu, while most likely a master of jungle warfare and Shao-Lin trained, kukhri fighting expert, thought it better to grace us with his erratic driving techniques. Instead the knife skills were left to 2 Troop’s answer to Jamie Ol iver, LCpl Waisele, with his own take on Kentuckey Fiji-ed Chicken. LCoH Butchard spent most of his time clearing up Officer’s Admin (Capt Bourne-Taylor). The old stalwarts such as LCpl Parry provided the Cavalry wisdom and Tpr ‘Dobby’ Morris, well he just provided…. The glue that would bond this rabble together came in the form of CoH ‘Luggs’ Allwood who, with the occasional angry turn, but otherwise thor oughly charming, led from experience and won the hearts of his men. Oh, and who could forget Gdsm Bennett? If you ever need anything shot, with any weapon system you chose, he’s your man. As I’ve already vastly exceeded my word limit our summary of events will have to be to the point. PDT good…. HERRICK 11 much, much better.
Rather than start with selfcongratula tory and very insightful look in to the Three troop inception, I’ll cut to the chase. Commanded by Captain Andy Breach and Sgt Stewart Cain from Recce Platoon, 2 Yorks, as with the rest of the BRF, our strength is definitely in our diversity. LCpl Hall adds his laid back Jamaican flavour, as well as ensuring the Troop commander’s admin is relatively done and Trooper Stock a lways manages to raise morale with his dour South London comments. LCoH Ridge still struggles to read a map and recently promoted LCpl Sedgewick has brought his considerable Afghan experience to bear. Trooper McNiell’s erratic and al most constant laughter ensures there is never a dull moment and when there is, fills it with his Yam Yam ramblings. Not having quite adopted the Household Division dress standards, LBdr Askew manages to astound with his ability to look so much scruffier than anybody else. Also recently promoted, LCpl Castle’s medical skills have been put to good use, thankfully not too often so far. Trooper Hopper loves his GPMG and it would seem, can never carry enough ammunition. The Three troop entry wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Team Sapper, Sgt Fox, Cpl Barnicoat and Sapper Hosegood, who always provide a Gerber, hot brew and continue to want to blow stuff up. 4 Troop commanded by Lt MackayLewis, since its formation has grown from strength to strength. CoH Quick fall, using his charismatic and proactive approach, has been the driving Sqn Ldr, LCoH Bradbury and Cpl Williams
12 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
force throughout pre-deployment training and the tour so far. LCoH North and LCoH Woodgate have both added their fair share of experience and knowledge to the mix, making sure that the troop was ready for the different roles and environments we’ve encountered so far. The latter also ensuring that he set the standard of how ‘ali’ to look in the field. LCpl Thapa who bravely fought off snakes during Ex Kalahari Thorn has continued to show such courage and hold up the fearsome reputation of the Ghurka’s. LCpl’s Collinson, Gardyne and Rincon are all BRF veterans and have been the bedrock of the troop, not only providing solace and morale, but also that much needed sniper cover during the slightly more sticky moments of the tour. Tprs Ross and Coul son, who between the two always seem to carry the largest of weapons, have fair ed far better being mounted on Jackals rather than Horses. And then there’s the infamous SAS-MAC (Tpr McAuliffe), I’d need say no more. A slight late comer to the troop, Tpr O’Callaghan brought with him, that suburban Slough slang when the occasion called for it. Also originals Riflemen Rawson and Mir, adding their infantry expertise, and regularly paying tribute to their regimental motto ‘Swift and Bold’. And finally last but not least, Fus Lee, our representative from the valleys, who added that slightly more laid back attitude to the party. 4 Troop BRF has performed to an extremely high standard since their formation. There are a lot of memories and sadness that the BRF must disband at the end of Op Herrick 11. However, all good things must come to an end.
ow time flies! It only seems like a few weeks ago that the squadron was submitting its Household Cavalry Journal article to Headquarters Household Cavalry. At the last time of writing, the theme was one of uncertainty as to what, if any part, the squadron was going to play in operations on Op HERRICK 11. That theme continued up until the middle of July 2009. The squadron has had a very turbulent year, both with uncertainty as to the roles we were to fulfil and also as to the number of personnel the squadron would require to fill those potential roles. Sadly, early on in the process, we lost some C Squadron men to the two squadrons with confirmed roles on the forthcoming operation. Three crew commanders to A Squadron, LC soH Capp, Cassidy and Dav ies, LCpl O’Leary also went across and is now also a Crew Commander with A Squadron. A number of troopers also went across to both A and B (BRF) Squadron; from a starting strength of 103, the squadron went down to 55. Our Fitter Section was also not free from the hands of disruption; they all but folded with REME manning priorities also directed towards A and B Squadrons. So to the roles we have shaped and trained for; initially, we were told that just the squadron headquarters and a few senior and junior NCOs would deploy across Afghanistan to form the Non-Commissioned Officer Training Team (NCOTT) doing exactly what the title suggests in support of the Afghan National Army. Whilst the role sounded quite interesting, it only involved 21 people leaving a good number of the squadron uncommitted to the operation. The next iteration of our role was the NCOTT and manning a Close Reconnaissance CVR(T) troop. This engaged most of the squadron and was a workable solution, however, from a squadron perspective, it was still less than satisfactory. We were then warned off to place our squadron headquarters into Forward Operating Base KEENAN in LCoH Francis
C Squadron Section Headquarters and 5 Troop
Battlegroup Centre, in a ground holding role with the possibility of having our recce troop with us. This was an exciting prospect; however, as A Squadron’s inclusion to the operation was firm but also as yet undefined, we were warned that we may have to relinquish the role to them and to wait out yet again. Indeed, we went as far as conducting a recce on this particular task. After the Commanding Officer’s recce, it became glaringly apparent that the Mastiff Group in Battlegroup North West was a sub unit task which was being conducted by a sub unit. However, 11 Light Brigade (11x) were really being hindered by political machinations, the Prime Minister having capped the UK force level to 8,300. Therefore, finding the headroom to replace the incumbent sub unit with another was proving exceptionally difficult, especially against the background of trying to find an extra Battlegroup to hold the Babaji area, taken during 19 Light Brigade’s Operation PANSHAI PALANG. After being threatened with becoming the Battlegroup Influence Group, we were given the nod to deploy as the Battlegroup Mastiff Group. Turning to training, we have conducted three Gun camps since November 2008, two on CVR(T) and one on 0.50” and Grenade Machine Gun systems with a
little CVR(T). All three Gun Camps were a success. All three times, the squadron exceeded the DRAC mandated 80% first time pass rate for CVR(T) Annual Crew Tests (ACT) and on the third occasion, we also managed to qualify a number of personnel on the new weapon systems and complete ACTs, again exceeding the 80% first time pass rate. Also during the first two Gun Camps, dismounted ranges were run alongside in order to qualify all soldiers in dismounted Field Firing. SCpl Ireland was the key enabler to this running comprehensive range packages for the squadron but also enabling elements of A and HQ Squadrons to conduct equivalent training. The squadron has also completed a CATT and supported the Battlegroup CAST period as well as 40 Commando’s CAST. Exercise wise, we have completed a dismounted low level training period which was made very realistic by some imaginative FOB preparation done by WO2 (SCM) Fry MC and SCpl Newell. This was followed by Ex DRUID’S DANCE/ WESSEX WARRIOR. Originally, the squadron was either to have completed the exercise dismounted or not take part at all. Eventually, the exercise was undertaken with very little preparation in an unfamiliar fleet of Battlegroup Thermal Imager equipped Scimitar. Squad ron headquarters for this exercise
Tpr Brown looking over De Zohr Sofla
Maj Butah Sqn Ldr and Sgt Hunt liasing with the Afghan police
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 13
C Squadron Fleet
consisted of the squadron leader mounted in a Spartan. Despite this situation, the squadron produced creditable results. During Pre Deployment Training, the squadron also undertook a bespoke range package at Lydd with the confirmatory exercise up at Thetford starting immediately after the range period. The Mastiff vehicle training bill placed on us late in the day was not insignificant. We had a whole raft of Category C driving licences to achieve, then Mastiff specific driving courses to be undertaken, Mastiff commander’s courses, all alongside the other courses such as Team Medics, Helicopter Handling Instructors, Drop Zone NCOs, weapon training and qualification, etc. This was all achieved in seven weeks which included three weeks Summer Leave. It is a credit to members of the squadron that they remained positive and accepted an incredible amount of ‘on the bus, off the bus’ activity, eventually leading to a fully formed and trained squadron standing at 95 in strength. Getting to 95 from 55 at the very last minute also proved challenging, the squadron could not have achieved this without the help of D Squadron who prepared many personnel for operations at a late stage, some of whom had just come to the regi-
C Squadron Mastiffs
ment from HCMR for the first time. The last piece of the puzzle that we were exposed to was the fact that the Relief in Place was to take place a month earlier than we had expected and we eventually deployed on 5 September 2009. Our arrival into theatre was remarkably painless, especially as the majority of the squadron deployed on one flight. We were met by WO2 Hockings who showed us to our accommodation and briefed us on what to expect from the Reception Staging and Onwards Integration (RSOI) process. Essentially, this brought the squadron right up to date on all matters Afghanistan, whether it was welfare phone entitlements or the latest enemy tactics. It also provided us with an opportunity to practise a number of skills and drills in differ ent areas before finally being let loose. We then moved to FOB EDINBURGH where we linked up with the incumbent Mastiff squadron from 206 Pioneer Regiment, signed for our vehicles and equipment and proceeded to get some ‘on the job’ training. We eventually patrolled into Musa Qal’eh District Centre (MSQ DC) on 14 September 2009. Our first month was spent under command of 2nd Bn, The Royal Regiment
WO2 SCM Fry having some alone time
14 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
of Fusiliers who were a pleasure to work for. It quickly became clear that putting men with a recce mindset onto armoured vehicles produced a different range of effects. We were soon invited to move to a town named Shar Kariz in order to conduct some joint patrolling with the local militia in the town. This we did and came back with some bomb making components that we were handed as well as having observed some pretty strange cultural practices by the local militia. A subsequent visit to the town coincided with a significant attack by the militia onto the Taleban but with the Taleban eventually gaining the upper hand and the militia requiring our assistance in order to extract and move their casualties. There have been other significant actions and patrols that the squadron have been involved in to date. The reaction and steadfastness of the men of C Squadron during these incidents has been remarkable humbling. This was typified by one incident that comes to mind when 5 Troop were in contact and LCoH Saurara’s vehicle was struck by an RPG, his reaction was to say on the radio in a very calm manner ’50 this is 51, I have been hit by an RPG, stupid people.’ This was followed by the insur gent firing point receiving a significant
WO2 SCM Fry, MC, LCPL Perryman and Tpr Booth
amount of grenades delivered by LCoH Saurara’s grenade machine gun, funnily enough, no more RPGs were fired. A mention must go to the vehicles we are equipped with, Mastiff. To date, we have had five vehicles struck by improvised explosive devices (IEDs). So far, we have had one casualty resulting from those strikes which was a mild concussion suffered by a driver. The squadron has great faith in these vehicles for being able to counter the most prolific and debilitating threat in theatre, the IED. We also run a fleet of Scimitar, this capability is operated by 3 Troop under Lt B W E Campbell RHG/D and CoH McGuire and adds a great deal of flexibility in the offensive and surveillance aspects of the squadron. Just recently, they were used to great effect in supporting the Afghan clearance of a large urban objective by providing intimate fire support from the line of departure right through to the limit of exploitation. Both 1 Troop under Lt A Lin RHG/D and CoH Nicol and 2 Troop under Lt A R Owen RHG/D and CoH Anderson have spent time in Himal Observation Post, living a fairly austere life with water being rationed and virtually no electricity less for that required to power batteries. The troops have enjoyed it there and during 2 Troop’s tenure, Tpr Hutchinson actually spotted and engaged a Command Wire bomber who was about to detonate a device underneath vehicles in a resupply convoy. His swift actions certainly saved some severe injuries if not potential fatalities. 4 Troop under Lt B Woolf LG and CoH Bonham have been placed under command of A Company, 2nd Bn The Royal Welsh Regiment and take their
place as dismounted troops on patrols as well as mounted ones on Mastiff. 5 Troop under SCpl Ireland and Sgt Hunt (RE), provide the squadron ‘boot’ troop capabilities. They bring a real punch to the party with Javelins, snipers, 60mm mortars and machine gun sections. With Sgt Hunt aboard, they also provide an enhanced IED find capability as well as mobility support through being able to blow our way through difficult terrain. SCpl Newell has run a very tight ship in the SQMC’s department with LCoH Brophy, the 2ic, looking after the Camp BASTION end of business. Their work has been endless from preparing the squadron equipment and freight for shipment to Afghanistan, taking over accounts and getting them reconciled properly, whilst keeping us going with spares. The department has yet to look forward to getting us all back with everything we took out!
Maj Butah sunset and Mastiff
Other news included the successful participation in the regimental ski team of Lt A Lin RHG/D and Tpr Murphy. 30 members of the squadron were able to go to the Guards Adventurous Training Wing, now based at Capel Curig and take part in a series of activities including white water rafting, this was organised by Lt A R Owen RHG/D. The squadron bade farewell to Capt L O D McCallum RHG/D who found his way back to Afghanistan via a Private Military Company, Lt A Bourne WG who returned to the Welsh Guards, SSgt Hopkins, CoH Fitzgerald, CoH Goater, CoH Faires and CoH Mardon, we also welcomed Capt S P Deverell RHG/D, Lt B W E Campbell RHG/D, Lt A Lin RHG/D, Lt A R Owen RHG/D, Lt B Woolf LG, CoH Anderson, CoH Bonham, CoH Faires, and CoH Mardon (he arrived then left and has re-arrived as SQMC). This is just a quick synopsis of the senior element of the squadron clearly there have been many moves in and out amongst the junior element. At the time of writing, the squadron is halfway through its tour, although the end of tour date is being toyed with and not to our benefit. The R &R plot is well underway with 3 Troop leaving for their break next and we roll into December with a number of operations on the cards to keep us busy. We look forward to completing the deployment with distinction and returning to Windsor. Already on the cards is a potential 10s rugby tour to Cyprus and a spot of adventurous training. In summary, a busy preparation period, a busy operational tour and looking forward to getting home and getting back into routine!
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 15
Squadron’s year has been a quiet one as it recuperated from the rigours of Operation Herrick 8 and prepared for its next deployment to Afghanistan in October 2010. Members of the Squadron have been to Uganda, Germa ny, Slovakia, Sic ily, the Caribbean and the rather less glamorous Castlemartin, Thetford, and Salisbury Plain training areas. Most of the Squadron has been adventure training, some more than once. One of the most striking observations about 2009 is that the Squadron has remained close to full manning despite expectations otherwise. This is a symp tom of the current financial climate and it is mirrored across the Army. It makes life so much easier for everyone; it helps to maintain cohesion, and fosters a Squadron spirit to pass on to new members. It is difficult to believe that D Squadron was reduced to less than 10 men following its return from Operation Herrick 4 in 2006. This year’s experi ence has been a breeze in comparison. The knock on effect is that D Squadron’s hierarchy for its next deployment has already been identified and the majority are in post, 10 months in advance. The Squadron Leader will be the last to turnover and it is
Animated D Squadron Troop Leaders
hoped that this will happen by late March 2010 giving the new one at least six months run in. D Squadron could not be in a stronger position.
Highlights of the year include Major Bartle-Jones’ epic adventure training trip to Slovakia and the even more epic 48 hour minibus journey there and back – not for the Capt Mann D Squadron 2ic gives a lesson during troop training faint hearted. The ski suits sported by Tpr Hodges and Brown on the Lower Tatra slopes were partic ularly memorable (and possi bly illegal). Capt Mann’s fishing exploits in Thetford and Salisbury Plain were legendary. Having been bet £5 that he could not catch crayfish in the River Wissey he proceeded to win the bet in prodigious fashion, hauling in pot after pot of freshwater crayfish. These crayfish apparently loved Lancashire Hotpot but they tasted muddy and need mayonnaise. The battlefield tour to Sicily was educational, poignant and brought
16 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
together D Squadron’s new hierarchy well. The Squadron lunch in May was made very memorable by the attendance of author Andy McNab, a friend of SCpl Flynn. He (McNab) is a fascinating individual who was a source of inspiration to many of the younger members of the Squadron with his tales of derring-do and political insights. It is the individuals who make a squadron and therefore it is the individuals to which this article will now turn. It was with great regret that 12 members of the Squadron left for HCMR in Janu ary 2009, part of the annual flow of soldiers either way. Heading up this group were some stalwarts of Herricks 4 and 8 in the form of CsoH McWhirter and Harris, LCoH Gallagher, and LCpl Ross. None were enthusiastic about the move but all understood their duty as Household Cavalrymen and knew they would one day return to Windsor. Coming the other way has been what seemed like wave after wave of eager HCMR troopers. Their enthusiasm and maturity cannot be faulted and it has been a great pleasure to welcome them to the Regiment and Squadron. Some have even found their way to Afghanistan to backfill C Squadron and Command Troop. Capt Will Goodhew was posted to HCMR, Lt Tom Davie to Army Training Regiment Bassingbourn, Lt Mau Gris became OC of a TACP in 11 Bri gade, and Capt Roly Spiller was made the Intelligence Officer. They have been replaced by Lts Elliot Richardson and Fred Hopkinson and by Cts Charlie Talbot and John Rawdon-Mogg. SCpl
Flynn took over as SQMC from the much-loved SCpl Hoggarth whose de parture to the Regimental Recruiting Team greatly diminished the quality of the Squadronâ€™s banter. CoH Taylor went on promotion to the BRF Squadron as SQMC and was back in theatre less than 10 months after returning. CoH Moses, another Herrick 4 veteran, was promoted and left for Cambridge OTC. CoH Park departed for HCMR. CoH Santi went on promotion to Command Troop as BSM, also Afghanistanbound. A band of die-hard troopers headed up by LCpl Foster back-filled C Squadron in Musa Qaleh. CoH Davies has moved to MT in advance of being posted to the Queens Own Yeomanry as Driving & Maintenance Instructor next year. LCoH Cox left for the Strand Recruiting Office on promotion to CoH. There are others that have left the Squadron, too many to mention. All have done sterling work, often in difficult and unpleasant circumstances, and it is sad to see them go. It would be a delight to see them return to D Squadron in the future. D Squadron is at the start of another pre-deployment training cycle and in a few months it will be in Afghanistan. A busy and testing period lies ahead but D Squadron stands strong and confident, containing a group of talented, experienced and committed individuals who will meet the challenges ahead square on. CoH Eulert SCM Hitchings and CoH Townsend control proceedings LCoH Todd shows LSgt Robinson RAMC how to do it
Household Cavalry Regiment â– 17
ou could say that a tour of Af gh anistan takes up ten months to a year off your Army career, with five to six months of Pre Deployment Training (PDT) included, to prepare you for what you will expect once out in theatre. Headquarter Squadron was no exception and our run up training even start ed as early as October the previous year, before ramping up in the last six months before deployment. The structure of the Battle-Group was always unde cid ed, but it was always going to be our Battle-Group and be commanded and administered by Household Cavalry. Our training really kicked in properly during early March 2009, with the Squadron commanded by Major V Mayer RHG/D and WO2 (SCM) Hemming, neither of whom would be deploying. Towards the end of March, W02 (SCM) Hemming moved onto bigger and better things in Civie Street and at the time of writing has now been employed by Salisbury College as an NVQ Assessor within Combermere Barracks. He handed over the reins to WO2 (SCM) Robson (RHG/D) upon his return from HCMR. On reverting to the armoured side of the Regiment after sitting pretty on Horse Guards parade for four years, this was a minor culture shock. Let alone the tour itself, the PDT meant that the men and women of the squadron were away from home for many weeks during the build up to our deployment date. This was quite correct and proper if we were going to deploy as fully trained and as well prepared as possible for the job ahead. However, this did not make the long absences any easier to bear. The training package started with a series of low level exercises to sharpen up our basic military skills, with all cobwebs blown away. This, before we could start injecting and integrating the various Afghan scenarios into the mix and bring us all upto speed with the latest procedures prior to deployment. We travelled far and wide across Britain from Norfolk to Salisbury to Kent and of course, Wales, to name a few, training in tactics, logistical procedures and skill at arms on various weapon systems. As well as the training, we were raising our level of fitness at all times. After each chapter of training ended the next one would begin shortly after, with the level of the bar raised every time, to achieve the final standard of excellence required for the tour. This came as quite a challenge for HQ squadron as it consists of all flavours and walks of life from Clerks to Chefs to the Light
18 â– Household Cavalry Regiment
RQMC briefing arrivals at Bastion
Aid Detachment (LAD). However, towards the final stages of the PDT we were holding our own as a Squadron, especially on the Combined Firing Exercise (CFX), which was some of the best training and most intense we had all experienced in a long time. We were paired with C Squadron for the week and achieved some impressive results as far as skills and drills were concerned.
coming forward. The Squadron Leader, SCM, SQMC and a few other chosen men, (or waifs and strays, depending on your point of view) are based in FOB EDINBURGH. The remaining few of the Squadron are in MSQ DC with Battle-Group Headquarters. Obviously on top of this members of the squadron are also split to the independent squadron groups who are also in theatre.
Eight weeks prior to our deployment the incumbent squadron leader, Major V Maher (RHG/D) moved on to his new job in Theatre Troops and was replaced by Maj R Carney (RHG/D). The new Squadron Leader immediately got stuck right into his new post and leading from the front, the fitness level of the Squadron remarkably improved in the eight weeks prior to our flights.
On the whole, a very busy year, with yet another few gruelling months to go before we see light at the end of the tunnel, however, a rewarding year with many challenges overcome and a squadron fit, trained and doing their bit to support the rest of the regiment.
Headquarters Squadron continues to form the backbone of the regiment and currently sits at 182 strong. As well as deploying many of its soldiers to Afghanistan, the Squadron still has to administer and run the estate in Windsor whilst still providing support to D Squadron. By the end of the PDT period, the Squadron as a whole were well and truly ready for the challenge that lay ahead both abroad and at home. At the time of writing the Squadron is split between Windsor, Camp BASTION, Forward Observation Base (FOB) EDINBURGH and Musa Qalâ€™eh District Centre (MSQ DC). The QM and a small team remain in Windsor whilst the QM(T) is currently in Camp BASTION with a small team of chosen men, keeping the mail and supplies
SCpl Gibson thinks like the enemy
Capt M Nicholl, Adjutant, working! with the Dutch
hen they were up they were up, When they were down they were down, When they were only half way up, they were neither up nor down. Just like the Grand Old Duke of York we have been up and down a few times this year. There was never really any doubt that we would go to Afghanistan, but in what form and shape we would deploy, was always the question. The troop reformed just over 18 months ago after returning from the HERRICK 7 tour, keeping only the newly promoted LCoH Warren and WO2 Stainsby (RHG/D) as well as CoH Carrington who, as many an RSO and RSWO has done for many a year, was signed for as part of the office furniture; Command Troop would not be the same without his boundless enthusiasm, dynamic energy, eagerness to please, and sharp wit. Sadly we lost some sharp operators at the beginning of the year to B Squadron who reformed as the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF), and a fond farewell to Tpr Syer and LCoH Woodgate. We also lost CoH Parker to BRF, but luckily we had LCoH Phelan waiting “Casper” like in the shadows to takeover the mantle of Troop CoH. The Grand Old Duke of York analogy also fits our series of pre-deployment exercises, with the Regimental 2IC, Major R Philipson-Stow (RHG/D) fitting into the Duke of York’s shoes. We lost count of the number of times we put up, took down, and half erected the series of 12x12 Tents, misshapen pieces of canvas and camouflage nets that made up Battle Group Headquarters (BGHQ). We were affectionately known as the travelling circus and hopefully that was in reference to the amount
Chief of Staff, Maj R Phillipson-Stow, at his desk
of tents, rather than in any way to do with clowns and buckets of confetti. We took part in all of the regimental pre-deployment exercises as well as being dragged into a few brigade ones as well. In the most, the exercises were well thought out and relevant to our deployment to Afghanistan. There was some confusion on Ex DRUIDS DANCE, with over zealous staff asking where our Air and NBC sentries were posted. In the last month prior to deploying we lost all of our drivers to C Squadron to help man their MASTIFF vehicles prior to the tour. Again fond farewells to LCpl Onwubiko, LCpl Perryman, Tprs Archer, Banda, Garcia and Williams, who are with C Squadron, but as this is written they share the joys and luxury of Musa Qal’eh District Centre. Also in the month or so before deployment, we took under our wing the remnants of HQ SHQ and welcomed on board LCpl Doyle and LCpl Knight as well as having Tprs Margison, Yeates and Sinclair volunteer to join us from D Squadron. CoH Santi came into the fold from D Sqn to takeover as BSM, in the wake of CoH Carrington’s move, hopefully on promotion in the very near future.
Qaleh District Centre (MSQ DC). LCpl Simkins is manning the rear link back in Bastion looking after our accounts and all the Electronic Counter Measures equipment. LCoH Doyle, LCpls Knight and Bremner along with Tpr Margison are manning the net in FOB Edinburgh whilst the remainder of us are all in the DC. The RSWO is double hatting as the Ops WO, whilst LCoH Goodsman, LCpl Cox and Tpr Reid are doing intelligence work under the able tutorage of Capt Spiller and SCpl Gibson. CoH Phelan is now the “Buzzard” and looks after all our helicopter movements and has taken under his wing LCoH Biddlestone as the affectionately known “Buzzard Chick”. The BGHQ now has a new addition in the shape of an Influence Cell which is manned by 12 Platoon, 3 Royal Anglian and Support Troop from A Sqn, HCR. We have recruited our old Battery Commander, Major Simon Potter (1RHA) to head up the organisation and have welcomed back for the tour Capt Matt Heath from his oriental wanderings in civi street. The organisation is kept in check and supplied, by the able scrounging and foraging of SCpl “Gunner” Mardon who is a one man SHQ, Echelon and in extremis all things to all men.
In the week before deployment and, in some cases the night of deployment, we saw some well earned promotions within the troop. CoH Santi and CoH Mardon promoted to SCpl, LCpls Doyle and Minto to LCoH and Tprs Cox and Taylor to LCpl. This set the tour off on a high for the troop but sadly we will have to wait well into the New Year for them all to buy a round of beer.
We are also bolstered by having our own Echelon as the main BG Echelons are in FOB EDINBURGH and Camp BASTION. Again we are helped out by outside agencies with Maj Tom Barker (QOY) becoming the BG Logistics Officer. Our very own CoH “Bill” Lindsay is SQMC with his merry gang of LCpl Tirimaidoka, Tpr Justin and the OC of the Locally Employed Civilians Tpr “Yam Yam” Watson.
The tour finds us split between Camp BASTION, FOB EDINBURGH and Musa
We now have the added bonus of SSgt Harris (APTC) as part of
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 19
the Commanding Officers TAC Group, and he is now in charge of Op MASSIVE, where some of the scrawnier members of the troop are feebly attempting to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger by the end of the tour. On the whole as mirrored by the
squadron leaders comments earlier, a busy year with lots of change, but like good Household Cavalrymen we have endured, overcome and adapted. We have taken over as Battle-Group North West in Musa Qal’eh and made it our own. The place is swept and mopped
and everything at right angles, the red and blue paint is on order, the flag is flying and the RCM is bracing up the attached arms for sideburns and slovenly dress. In some ways, it’s just like home!
The Quartermaster’s Department
ince writing my last article, the Regiment has been through the now typical busy training year, with not only support from the Quartermasters Department at all levels of training, but active engagement to fully prepare those members of the department that have deployed on Op HERRICK 11. WO2 (RQMC) Brown led the advance party for the department in late September closely followed by LCoH Holliday, LCpl’s White, Kemp and Tpr Puckett. They have taken over a very busy job in theatre, but find themselves relishing every new task that is thrown at them in support of the battle group, in what can only be described as difficult conditions. On the home front we continue to embrace the introduction of integrated Catering Retail and Leisure (CRL) and Pay As You Dine (PAYD) which rolled out in Combermere in January. Officers and soldiers now only pay for Maj Tate in MSQ
20 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
what meals they take, which is a much fairer system. The introduction of CRL meant that the old NAAFI, now called the HUB and the main kitchen both got a much needed refurbishment by the contractor, SODEXHO. I was once told jokingly by a friend that “one day son all this will be yours”, if I had known that prediction was to come true I’d have probably run a mile. We all start any job with the optimism and motivation to improve that post and hope that it does not diminish whatever obstacles are placed in our way. The financial climate we currently find ourselves is frustrating but doubly so for a Quartermaster, you know the areas that you would like to improve, projects you endeavour to undertake for the benefit of the Regiment and its soldiers. I would like to say that we as a Regiment have taken great leaps over the last few years to improve our
surroundings and will continue to do so wherever possible. One such area we have improved beyond recognition is the Welfare Flat, the permission of the Commanding Officer to use his public Fund for this project means that we now have a facility in which we can be proud and that can be utilised for welfare purposes or soldiers families when they visit. Bookings for both past and serving members of the Regiment can be made through this department. We continue to plan for the demolition of two of the old living accommodation blocks and to re-establish a parade ground in their place. Also the refurbishment of the remaining two old accommodation blocks and relaying of the main car park. All projects are just waiting funding. The department has said farewell and congratulations to WO2 (RQMC)
LCoH Jones promoted by Maj Tate
McMullen on commissioning and wishes him well in his new post as Unit Welfare Officer and CoH Oliver on promotion and posting to Bovington. The department welcomes WO2 Brown as RQMC, CoH Young takes over the Accommodation SNCO post and LCoH Stables is the new clothing storeman. The next year will be a testing one for the Regiment. The Quartermaster deploys later in the tour with the remainder of the department either taking an active role or ready to support in every way possible.
Quartermasters’ Flag Day
uring the last 12 months, Tech has been occupied with helping prepare the Regiment for deployment on Op HERRICK 11. Demanding, receiving, then issuing the various equipment required for training and use in Afghanistan. It is estimated we have been involved in the takeover and handover of over 150 vehicles, which included Mastiff, Jackal and all the CVRT variants which had been modified for the extreme weather conditions to be endured in Afghanistan. There has been a wide array of personal equipment issued out including various weapons, sighting systems and attractive items such as multitools and maglite torches. The department has been represented at all the post deployment training, firstly delivering a service while completing our own personal training. During exercise Wessex Warrior we were visited by a team from a Human Rights organisation checking our procedures on how we would manage any detainees when in Afghanistan. They left content that we matched if not exceeded the basic requirements of care. At Castlemartin and Thetford the small arms firing periods were enjoyed by all who took part, but less so was the two day 24 mile march carrying nothing short of a “small house” on our backs. You can imagine there are still people shuddering about their sore shoulders
and feet instead of the fine views they experienced on the Thetford training area. The combined inspection week required considerable preparation by Squadrons and Departments alike. As a result of the fine policies and procedures that we have in place, the inspecting team left happy with what they had seen. As I write, we are having another management health check inspection in Windsor to confirm we are still maintaining the standard in Combermere Barracks set earlier in the year, while preparing for our operational inspection in 12 days – the inspections never stop no matter where we are! At the end of July we returned from Castlemartin ranges, reallocated more equipment we had received, followed by packing our ISO containers then finished for some well earned leave. In September ground rush set in with C Squadron leaving early followed by the advance party, Maj (Tadge) Tate, RQMC WO2 (Warren) Brown, ready to prepare the ground for the remainder of the HCR Battle Group’s arrival at Camp Bastion. At various times during the year we have lost members of the department, mainly to other employment or career courses. The RQMC(T) (W02 Wayne Forster) completed his RQMS course, leaving SCpl (Grandad) Walker to fill his boots. CoH Pettipher as a driving examiner regularly disappeared to
carry out HGV tests – I should imagine his happy smiling face helped relax all his nervous pupils. LCoH (Harry) Ramsden completed his education for promotion to CoH; LCoH Lickfold attended his storemans course and so far LCoH Evans only managed to get away from his desk to be briefed on how to use the GPC card. LCpl Nardini and Tpr O’Dell learning how to drive a fork lift; while LCpl Wharton has added to his work load by passing his Fire NCO’s course. Tpr Mapp has attended various CVRT courses in pursuit of his crewman qualification and LCpl Broxholme has left us for a posting in Cyprus and is expecting a reunion as we pass through there during the ROSI package next year. The RQMC who recently became a father for the second time in 18 months is completing his resettlement courses and has handed over the mantle of RQMC(T) to WO2 (Alan) Anderton. To those that have left us we wish them the best of luck and a warm welcome the new members of the Tech. And I leave you with the knowledge that the QM Capt Darren Carter’s packed lunch of “Corndog sandwiches” arrived safely in Camp Bastion on 15th November, 15 weeks after being made for him on 3rd August and accidentally being packed into one of our ISO containers!
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 21
The Light Aid Detachment
his year has been a busy period, fitting in the last stages of predeployment training, equipment specific courses, rehabilitation of the CVR(T) training fleet and some summer leave. This period also saw a change of command of the LAD with Capt Mark Woods handing over to Capt James Biffen in early July. With all the training completed, the majority of the LAD deployed on Op HERRICK 11 at the beginning of October. The fitter sections are spread across Helmand province with A Sqn Fitter Section working in the Babaji area, B Sqn Fitter Section supporting the Brigade Recce Force whilst C Sqn and HQ Sqn Fitter Sections are based with the Regimental Headquarters in the Battle Group North West (BG (NW)) AO. D Squadron Fitter Section remain in Windsor and start their pre-deployment training for Op HERRICK 13 in the near future. Op HERRICK 11 has seen a change in how the REME tradesmen are managed with separate LADs being formed for each AO rather than there being one central LAD as on previous tours. This has brought some early challenges in ensuring that new processes are put in place to pull together all the Fitter Sections working to BG (NW); but this is definitely a change for the best, with the LAD already being able to give improved equipment capability to the BG. It has been a steep learning-curve for the tradesmen with many new types of equipment to support such as MASTIFF and JACKAL; however they have risen to the challenge working many late nights in order to get the equipment fully fit. It is still early in the tour but everyone is looking forward to the next five months out
here and to a safe return next April. Since returning from Op HERRICK 8, it has been relatively quiet for D Squadron Fitter Section. Over the last six months, there have been new members posted into the section, LCpl Greenhill, LCpl Wilde, LCpl Were, Cfn’s Toundrow, Kirby, Majahan and Hulme and the following promotions for LCpl Gooch, LCpl Greenhill and Cfn Holland. The section deployed to Salisbury plain in July to undertake CT1/2 training which ended up being an extremely busy period of repairing gearboxes and engines on the CVR(T) fleet. They also encountered problems with their own wagons especially their wellused Samson which had a gearbox, engine and then whilst driving around the area the rear idler sheered which resulted in it being back loaded. The CT 1/2 exercise was an excellent opportunity for the new members of the section to bond with the old and bold of the fitter section and gave then an insight into Regiment basic operational tactics. Adventure Training opportunities arose for some after the exercise, which saw LSgt Gooch help 43 Wessex brigade instruct windsurfing down in Newquay and LCpl Holland taking part in EX Slovak Selection, which saw him and 19 oth ers from the squadron travel to Slovakia for skiing. Slovakia also allowed them to take part in other activities such as white water rafting, go karting, paragliding and water sports. The return journey from Slovakia ended with a historical stop at Krakow in Poland for a visit to Auschwitz, which everyone found most educational.
The LAD always have time to pose
The Squadron’s annual Gun Camp at Castle Martin Ranges oc curred in October. This again was a busy time for the section. LCpl Wilde was busy during the day with activities such as rectifying boresighting problems on the Scimitars. Cfn Kirby initially had little to do concerning his trade discipline until the RAF Regiment decided to roll a Panther on to its side; he was then tasked to recover it. LSgt Gooch and LCpl Holland were kept busy teaching 8 Field Company on how to replace a Gearbox on a Scimitar, the section leader “Eagle Eye” SSgt Tommy Macmillan went live firing using the 30mm Rarden on a Scimitar and was recommended not to give up his day job. There has also been time for the section to let their hair down as LCpl Holland organized a karting day. This was a fun day out that saw “Eagle Eye” SSgt Tommy Macmillan lose his rag as he was crowned the “slowest driver” the karting centre had ever seen. SSgt Tommy Macmillan did what any other artificer of the Corps would do in the face of defeat he turned to “dirty tactics” by ramming anyone that come close to him off the track. This was a great day out which saw the section bond even more at the funny side of our boss “Tommy”. The section is now in the process of preparing to embark on exercise with 16 Air Assault Brigade on Salisbury plain for three weeks. Then after Christmas the focus is on HERRICK 13 as we begin OP TAG training.
MASTIFF engine lift
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 23
Warrant Officers’ and Non-Commissioned Officers’ Mess
ue to the Regiments impending deployment, the Mess has remained relatively quiet following summer leave, though two main functions and a host of visits have suddenly made the month of September one of the busiest. We first bade farewell to C Squadron in early September as they deployed as the lead element to Afghanistan on OP Herrick 11. Sadly due to the Squadrons early deployment they were unable to attend the 22 year dining out the following week to say goodbye to some larger and smaller than life Mess characters, including the Squadrons previous SCM, WO2 Jason Lochrane. I am glad to say that the night was a great success with some excellent speeches and a few reminders of past tours including the Serbian Navy and, more particularly, submarines as WO2 Danny Hitchings re-capped on WO2 Graham Gardner’s early days as a Crew Commander in Bosnia. So on the night of the 12th September
HRH The Princess Royal meeting RCM, WO1 Gardner accompanied by the CO at Combermere Barracks
the Mess bade farewell to the following on their completion of 22 years service: WO2 Jason Lochrane RHG/D – who has completed his 22 years service and has just taken up a position in Wigan ACIO as a Recruiter on the Long Service List. The Mess wishes Jason and Tracy all the best for the future. WO2 Nick Hemming RHG/D – who finished as HQ SCM, and has taken up a position in Combermere Barracks as the NVQ Co-ordinator. We wish Nick and Janet all the best for the future. No doubt Nick will remain a prominent figure in Camp in his new role! WO2 Graham Gardner LG – finished his service at the Land Warfare Centre and has taken up an entirely new career in Property Management. We wish both Graham and Keri all the best for the future. COH Bob Stokoe
Right Said Fred or A Sqn SCM and the RGWO at the Summer Party LG – finished his
career as an Army Recruiter in Sunderland ACO. He is now looking to pursue a career within employment placement schemes. We wish both Bob and Margaret all the best for the future. The following week the down scaled summer party took place and Mess Members and their guests arrived to an Excellent Curry Buffet, Money
24 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Tree and Disco. Sgt Lloyd of the LAD was lucky enough to win twice on the Afghanistan Map money tree which left the remainder to enjoy the rest of the night in good company. WO2 (RAWO) Andy Draper organised the event and our thanks go to the Chefs and Mess Staff who always produce a first class event when called upon! The Mess also had the privilege to host both Regimental Goldsticks during the Pre-Deployment visits to the Regiment as well as the GOC Household Division. In October the Mess in Windsor hosted the LG Warrant Officers past and present annual dinner. Followed by Brickhanging, which took place on Thursday 17th December. D Squadron and those on Rear Party did their best to fill the Mess this day and in Afghanistan the RCM plans to host a similar event in Musa Qa-leh, operations dependant and of course with no alcohol and no band. The
WO1 RCM A C Gardner RHG/D WO1 ASM T Smith REME WO1 BM R Cregan RHG/D WO2 RQMC W Brown LG WO2 RQMC (T) W Foster RHG/D WO2 SCM’s M Newton LG L Anderson RHG/D S Fry MC LG D Hitching LG D Robson RHG/D WO2 RSWO P Stainsby RHG/D WO2 MTWO Hockings RHG/D WO2 TWO G Tennant LG WO2 AQMS M Carrahar REME WO2 RAWO A Draper AGC WO2 BCM R Goth RHG//D BAND WO2 RCWO K Timney RLC
RCM and HQ SCM share a joke
LCpl Simpkins and the future Mrs Simkins at the Summer Party
The Band of The Blues and Royals
he Band of the Blues and Royals ended an eventful 2008 with a well deserved Christmas break and could look back proudly at their achievements over the previous year. Also in the knowledge that it was going to be a busier and more challenging 2009, with greater musical commitments throughout the country as well as proposed ventures abroad. On the Band’s return from leave, there was a week long stint providing musical support for public duties in London, with the ‘bread and butter’ guard mounts at St James’s Palace, but with one eye firmly focused on the impending Adventure training week at the ski slopes of Serre Chevalier in the French Alps. The members of the band departed on a flight to Turin on the 11th January and were transferred to their hotel in France. LCoH Matthew Screen once again was the team leader and organiser for this event, and his predictions for good snowfall had proved to be correct. Most of the band members on the trip were quite experienced skiers and made the most of the excellent skiing conditions and the fine recreational and social facilities on the resort. There were, as always, a number of good falls and wipe-outs, epitomised by Musn Simon Gray’s ‘Eddie the Eagle’ impression and ‘head banger’ Musn Summerfield LCpl Bishop and Trumpet Major SewellJones at Basel Tattoo
Band on the Officers’ Mess Lawn
who had an obvious death wish in the aptly named ‘Mellezone’. The band members had all arranged to bring fancy dress outfits for a party night to celebrate Musn Holly Wilson’s birthday on one of the nights, with people cross dressing or wearing quite outrageous 1970’s attire. The whole week proved to be a fantastic team building exercise, with all of those involved pushing themselves to new levels. The highlight being Musn Alex Miller’s performance on a borrowed guitar, as ‘Blue Juice’ the band’s rock group blew away the local artistes in the classy venue ‘La Grotte’! Preparations had been afoot for the band’s impending move to Combermere Barracks in Windsor. This occurs every five years whereby The Band of The Blues and Royals exchange locations with The Band of The Life Guards. It was a big undertaking and required months of planning and preparation. The move itself was intended to be made over a period of two days during the first week of February, though it had to be postponed by a day due to the heaviest snowfall in London in recent memory. Therefore, the entire move took place over one day with band
LCpl Stringfellow at Finale Basel Tattoo
members of both bands working from dusk till well into the evening to move all the instruments, office equipment, filing equipment, furniture, fixtures and fittings as well as the entire band music library to Windsor. The following week was spent settling into the new band block and facilities, by which point the band was able to resume normal duties.
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 25
not know who Ian August brought along an engagement Botham was! The with a difference, a moonlit Beating Refollowing day the treat at Windsor Castle for His Royal band performed at Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and a St George’s Day the D of E Awards. A week later at the Charity luncheon Windsor Castle charity cricket match at the Dorchester for the Army Benevolent Fund, Her Hotel, merely a Majesty the Queen passed on her constones’ throw away gratulations to the Director of Music from the venue of for an entertaining display, as she had the previous day’s secretly watched the performance from events. The purpose a window in the State Apartments. of the luncheon was to raise money for An added highlight to the summer ‘Help for Heroes’ diary came in the shape of the and was once renowned Basel International Military again attended Tattoo in Switzerland. This was a by many notable major undertaking and required the figures such as support of the Mounted Regiment, SCpl Marsh on the Musical Ride on Achillies in Abu Dhabi actor Ray Winstone who provided Grooms, Farrier, Riding and celebrity chef Brian Turner. Instructor, Saddler and Vet to assist in On settling into the new working In the course of the afternoon they the preparation, welfare and turnout of environment in Windsor it was full managed to raise a spectacular sum of the 30 horses. The hospitality provided steam ahead with full band, and money for the charity through various by our Swiss hosts was second to orchestral rehearsals for the impending auctions. The band shared the stage none, and judging by the enthusiastic functions. Rehearsal time comes at for the second time in a year with the audience, a total of 86,000 over the a premium due to the band’s busy comedian Brian Conley who put on 10 days, we were proud to represent work schedule, so any time available an excellent showcase performance. the UK in such a positive light. in the practice room is scooped up to rehearse new music and programmes There is no greater example of Later in the year the Band was called for upcoming engagements. During pag eant ry and performance than the upon to perform at the Special Air Servthe month of February the orchestra Queen’s Birthday Parade, it follows the ice Mess at Hereford for a Regimental performed at Buckingham Palace same tried and tested methodology year dinner commemorating the conflict for Investitures, receiving no red after year, but for the Mounted Bands of in Iraq. The event played host to four lights and a rare round of applause! The Household Cavalry there is always Generals including Colonel The Life an unpredictable element, namely the Guards and General Sir Mike Jack son, During March the band was to perform steeds upon which we find ourselves. as well as members of the Regiment’s at the Memorial Service for Captain This year, thankfully, the rehearsals and American cousins from Delta Force. Legge-Burke an ex member of the Regiparades were performed to the highThe Band provided a varied proment. The family are well known both in est standards and passed without misgramme of music and found this event Royal Circles and within the Regiment. hap. It was to be the inaugural Queen’s a real privilege at which to perform. They are especially noted for having had Birthday Parade for the Blues and Roya family member from each generation als’ Kettledrummer, Musician James The Band then returned to its mounted serving as a commissioned officer in the Ballantine, whose appearance gained ceremonial role with provisions for Blues since the Restoration in 1660. The special interest from his folk back home the State Visit of the President of InMemorial itself was held on the Famin Gibraltar, who watched the parade dia. This took place in Windsor. Both ily Estate in Powys in Wales. The band with pride, as he put in a flawless perHousehold Cavalry Bands provided performed the hymns during the service formance. There as well as many of his favourite tunes, was also a family which had been requested by his famconnection worthy ily, and provided a very personal touch. of note, with the Gray brothers, The State Trumpeters are one of the playing cornet and busiest branches within the band. trombone, Simon The Guilds of London Commemorafor the Blues and tion Service at St Paul’s Cathedral in Royals and Matt March, as well as at the State Ban quet for the Life Guards. for the President of Mexico at the Guildhall and various functions for July started with the Lord Mayor of London at his resia memorable trip dence at the Mansion House were just to the fields of a few of their notable performances. Flanders to commemo rate the First Towards the end of April the band World War. The performed for the St George’s Day Club, poignant cer emowhich was held at the Grosvenor House nies at Thiepval Hotel in Mayfair with many notable and the Ulster public figures, sports personalities and Tower remembered celebrities including members of the the tens of thouEngland rugby team. Although the sands of soldiers Director of Music was shocked to find who lost their lives. Musn Ballantine riding Spartacus on The Queen’s Birthday Parade that some members of the band did
26 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
musical support for this event and were called upon to run their own stables, prepare and exercise the horses. The morning exercises were very interesting, as the route was never the same twice, we suspect that this was down to the Director of Music’s lack of any sense of direction, more than a carefully thought out strategy! A reminder of the unpredictability of the horses was also apparent; Musn Holly Wilson and LCpl Lawrence Wootten sustained injuries
from unplanned dismounts. Both are thankfully on the mend, as the Household Cavalry Musician is a robust breed.
reception at the Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess, performing until the early hours of the morning.
November proved to be a busy month with various diverse engagements highlighting the bands versatility. The band returned to Hereford to perform for a Regimental Boxing night for the SAS Regiment at Hereford. They also provided a rock band for post event party, receiving a tremendous
With the onset of December came the usual Festive events and carol services both for the Regiment and for the general public culminating with Carols on the Hill at Windsor Castle, after which the band could look forward to a well deserved Christmas after an altogether successful and groundbreaking year.
The Catering Department was being carried out by the Chefs left behind in Combermere Bks and our soldier chefs when not training. Both the Lifeguards and Blues & Royal Associations had large functions held in the gymnasium, then the beast that is Derby Day. This is a monumental task which was managed with ease by Sgt Garraway. He had been here the previous year so all of his experience was called upon. Sgt Garraway managed and orchestrated this occasion to perfection, so good he has already volunteered to do it again next year. July brought about additional training such as Team Medic and Trim, the chefs were trained on alternative weapon systems, should the need arise. HRH Princess Royal chatting with Mr James Canning. Pte Boast, LSgt Wallace and Sgt Rutledge as the CO looks on.
here has this year gone? I arrived late in April taking over from WO2 Heath who moved onto Londist on promotion, a nice gesture from The Household Cavalry. After a short but comprehensive handover I was into the thick of things. Pay As You Dine (PAYD) had only just arrived, but I had good knowledge of this new system from my previous Unit. I was so amazed at the attendance at all meals. There are many factors as to why PAYD works or does not. Paying only for what you eat was working and the customers really liked the new system. The soldiers were managing themselves and their finances impeccably and to this day, unlike so many other locations, we have not had a soldier who was unable to pay for his food due to financial difficulties. This is testament to the Household Cavalry soldier. The Regiment were already moving at a fast pace, gearing up for their imminent deployment on Op Herrick 11. The chefs who had been nominated to deploy with the Regiment were now redundant from their normal workplace and
bearing arms conducting the requisite training with the Cavalry soldiers. Castlemartin, Lydd and Hythe and Thetford became focal points. This came as a shock to most, not just the chefs, but also from the lads and the banter flowed, it’s not every day you see chefs conducting fire pairs manoeuvre, casualty extractions and FOB defence. The AQMS was most thankful of Sgt Garraway and Pte Boast. Whilst under simulated attack in extreme heat, he went down with a heat injury. First to react was young Pte Boast, the training had become real in a flash, the AQMS was naked and being treated as a real casualty. Then step to the fore Sgt Garraway and take command. The Regimental Catering Warrant Officer as a Troop Comd, oh yes, all good practice but where was the warmth and comfort of my kitchen; all so amusing yet painful on that range shingle. At the end of June the chefs were officially trained up as real soldiers, able to deal with any situation that they may encounter in theatre. Remember we are soldiers first and chefs second.
August was a time for leave and holidays for those who were talking them with relaxation, fun and family time. As always this was over in the blink of an eye and we were back into work. The Officers, the Officers. When I arrived here one of the questions I asked was “Do the Messes hold their major functions in or out of Barracks?” The answer was “Out of course, there are too many of them and there is more money than sense”. Oh how wrong, enter Maj Will Davies. “Mr Timney we would like to hold our Summer party in the Officers Mess on Sept 11th for some 400 people, what do you think?” “Madness WO2 Timney (Catering Warrant Officer) Briefs the HRH Princess Royal on PAYD
In between all of the training during this period, normal day to day routine
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 27
FOB Nolay kitchen - LSgt Bethune and Pte Boast at work FOB Nolay kitchen
Sir! Madness” was my initial response. As always we produced the goods. Sgt Rutledge and his team produced a remarkable spread and the food was of the finest quality. The team worked solid for two days to prepare the food for this themed event. We even entered into the spirit of the night, dressing up all of the chefs in period attire. Pte’s Boast and Brennan were most happy at dressing up as Victorian buxom serving wenches. We decorated the Mess with pieces from the BBC props dept and local garden centres. The evening was a major success, with many a favourable comment. As the Colonel said “I cannot tell you how much fun was had by all those that attended. I have heard nothing but praise and good words about the evening. The food was certainly the best I have seen at a ball”. Many a hangover was nursed the following day. Deployment was looming but still the show went on. “Master Chef HRH The Princess Royal would like to speak to you and receive a brief on your dept and PAYD when she visits next week”. My first though was “What does she want to know? Sept 14th arrived, the chefs were all pristine and white on parade. Better late than never (only 10mins) HRH arrived, I introduced her to a number of the team and proceeded with the briefing. It was not a briefing as we know it, more of a chat. She holds a role within the RLC so was very keen to learn the workings of PAYD. She was most impressed with the fact a soldier can purchase a 3 course meal for only £1.63, yet on some occasions they still decide to eat in town where it is more expensive, this she found amusing. Young Pte Boast had great pleasure in speaking to her mother after the event; she had never before been in the company of Royalty. She touched on her visit to Afghanistan and Camp Bastion then wished us all good luck. Deployment day came. All the chefs deployed over a two week period. There was a buzz of anticipation at RAF Brize
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Norton, even more so when we realised that we were travelling on a civilian charter flight. No offence to the RAF, but civilian trolley dollies are better to look at! It was along journey but in the late of night we arrived. We were given a bed for the night then straight in to the RSOI package, not more soldering the chefs thought. Four days later, better trained chefs emerged, now with that weathered look. Or was it sunburn or dirt. We set about putting our training to good use in the catering facilities around Camp Bastion. I took over the reigns of Bastion 2 along with Pte Godden and a team of already embedded chefs embarked on feeding some 2300 soldiers. It was tough going; the kitchen is only temporary with only field catering equipment and scaled to feed only 750. The chefs do a tremendous job given all the factors against them. I take my hat off to them. Prior to deployment all of the Household Cavalry chefs had been informed they would remain in Camp Bastion. Oh no, that all changed as soon as we hit the ground. LSgt Wallace and Pte White headed off to FOB Edinburgh to look after Maj Carney and his team, good to get our own chefs looking after the boys. The reports back are all good, plus LSgt Wallace could do with losing some weight so I feel he is in the right place. LSgt Bethune and Pte Boast headed north to FOB Nolay looking after The Rifles. Not a nice place but again the guys are making the most of it, doing what Army chefs do best. Their food is of the highest quality and I think the Rifles want to keep hold of them after the tour. Well, it is now nearly December and Christmas is upon us. The silly season is truly here with function after function. The year is just about over but our thoughts go to those that are in theatre and we wish them a safe tour and journey home. We all look forward to 2010 and all that it brings.
FOB Nolay dining room
LSgt Bethune working hard
Pte Boast producing lunch
The kitchen view
The Regimental Aid Post endless series of exercises that made up pre-deployment training, added to the workload in the Medical Centre, with more than a few vaccinations to administer and Team Medic Cadres to teach.
Capt Boyd, Assistant Surgeon leading casualty loading
he year began with an overseas jaunt for the majority of the RAP, to cover Ex KALAHARI THORN. With the risk of heat injury ever present, LCpl Erskine kindly collapsed as the first heat casualty, allowing the rest of the medics a chance to refresh their skills. Capt Boyd RAMC, Assistant Surgeon, stepped outside his usual remit to command the elite force of Sandfly harassing their elite opposite numbers in the BRF. LSgts Donovan and Durham were tested to the limit when they were called urgently to see a casualty in the cookhouse who had been shot in the chest. As they ran in, weighed down by their medical bergans, it quickly became apparent that there was little they could do for the kudu that the Regtl 2IC had despatched earlier, and the chef’s were in the process of butchering. When the Surgeon Colonel was woken with the news that a snake had curled up between a soldier’s legs, he was heard to remark “What do you want me to do? Wake me up when he’s been bitten.” Returning from S Africa, the seemingly
Tprs Dominey and Land survived the rigours of Keogh Barracks, and successfully completed their RCMT 2 courses and joined the Medical Centre. Looking further a field, LCpl Erskine decided to move to Australia to start his own didgeridoo business. Our Assistant Surgeon, Capt Boyd, has moved onto his surgical training in Plymouth after a fruitful seven months with HCR. LSgt Robinson moved on as Med SNCO to OPTAG, and LSgt Donovan has taken to wearing a little nurse’s cap as she prepares to start her nursing degree. In Afghanistan, the Regimental Aid Post Found itself occupying the same garages as on HERRICK 7 in Musa Qal’eh, although the real estate had expanded to cope with the increased casualties dealt with on subsequent tours. The first month of the tour saw a number of severely injured children, mostly from IED blasts, pass through it’s portals, in addition to a steady number of mainly ANA and ANP battle casualties, as well as the routine sick and non-battle injuries. All of the medical staff also deployed out on the ground in support of operations; the Surgeon Colonel being kept on an extremely tight leash, only being let out on special occasions when another MO could be brought in as backfill to maintain medical cover in Musa Qal’eh.
Capt Deverell’s chat fails to impress LSgts Donavan a??
Surgeon Lt Col keeping warm
Hopefully the remainder of the tour will prove quieter for the RAP: no-one likes a busy medic.
Treating the little ones
Surg Lt Col orders a round of pizzas
A reflective moment for LCoH Harrison with his helmet
LCoH Schllick changes a tyre with the assistance of the Surg
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 29
Images From Afghanistan FOB Edinburgh
BRF, CoH Daley,Tpr Shepherd
The RCM replaces the Spartan with Springer!
SSA and RAO pre-marathon
Afghan style chess, Maj Butah’s move
BGHQ Ops Room Musa Qal’eh Camp
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Capt Church in a BRF op
Commanding Officer Country Life
Mail from home, LCpls Taylor, Hookham
WO2 (SCM) Cheesy Robson
CO’s Handover MSQ DC Mastiff BARMA patrol
Cookhouse MSQ DC
LCoH Woodgate in from ops
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 31
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreward
By Lieutenant Colonel C A Lockhart, MBE, The Blues and Royals Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
want to start where I finished last year by saying that manning is all important here at Knightsbridge. Well, it is a pleasure to say that the favourable situation has very much remained and if anything it has even improved with HCMR now having had a concentrated period of over manning rather than any ‘flash in the pan’ spike. Of course, the effect will never be to reduce the battle rhythm of numerous QLGs, Investitures, State Ceremonial etc, but as I highlighted in last year’s Journal it just allows more time for all the other things to take place: be it courses, adventure training, sport, exchanges etc. But the end result is a positive shift upwards and we have seen our manning figures reflect this – so well done to all for helping to achieve this. This year’s calendar has followed a similar path to previous years. The early part of the year was taken up with a spring State Visit which was followed by a heavy involvement at the Royal Windsor Horse Show and Tattoo. The timing and diary was such that the rehearsals for the Major General’s Parade occurred prior to RWHS and the actual parade after. The Birthday Parade and Garter covered June, after which there was some six weeks prior to deploying on Regimental Training. This gave ample opportunity to undertake all MATTs and a host of other courses. I note from previous Journals that each year seems to claim record numbers at Camp and this year was no different! The generosity of all those who visited ensured we raised £4000 for charity, which this year was split between BLESMA and the Operational Casualty Fund. September saw the return of soldiers and horses from ‘leave’ and preparations start for the Autumn State Visit at Windsor in October and the Opening of Parliament in November. Given that both parades were condensed into a very busy three weeks which, as it happened, also saw the Cenotaph Parade, Festival of Remembrance and the Lord Mayor’s Show it again allowed career courses to be undertaken in between the end of the Ceremonial season and the start of Christmas leave. The highlight of the year for some has to be the Musical Ride performances in Abu Dhabi. The brain child of Capt E P
Olver LG, the trip was actually dreamt of, planned, organised and executed in what turned out to be a fairly short space of time. One might have thought that moving 30 odd horses and 40 soldiers to the UAE might be a fairly straight forward task given that greater feats of logistics are carried out almost on a daily basis, but given the combination of factors such as horses, ceremonial uniform and getting just the right type of surface on which to perform, then it develops into a maelstrom of activity. Take the 10,000+ E Mails and countless meetings that were undertaken by all those involved with the organisation, then one gets a rough idea of the complexities. The trip is covered in much greater detail elsewhere in the Journal but all those involved should take great pleasure and pride in carrying off such an enterprise to the exceptionally high standards that one has come to expect of Household Cavalrymen everywhere. In terms of change, considerable work has been undertaken by firstly Maj W Bartle-Jones RHG/D and more recently by Capt A P Kellet LG at the HCTW. This work has been necessary to ensure correct procedures are in place for the welfare of the Ph2 soldiers as they pass through khaki ride on their way to HCMR. Further work is required and there is a way to go but there is an outside possibility that HCav Ph2 training will need to be undertaken at a separate training establishment, with the HCTW carrying out Ph3 training. Finally, looking ahead to next year a similar pattern is emerging. However, we are likely to have an early State
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Opening of Parliament as a result of the Election which will focus activity even more so in the summer and make for a very busy May and June with little time this year to turn around prior to heading off to Regimental Training in July. I will conclude by expressing my personal and of course regimental sadness at the death of Trooper J Roughley LG. Roughley, aged just 24, having passed out a month previously from Kit Ride and showing great promise, died as a result of injuries he sustained in a car crash. He will be sorely missed by all.
Diary of Events
009 opened with a magnanimous gesture from The Blues and Royals. An invitation on 15th January: “for the first time ever (yes indeed!)…..open to all serving officers of both regiments of The Household Cavalry”, a unified Burnaby night celebration which the majority of Life Guards duly and politely refused. The ceremonial season started early with some of the younger troopers gaining first hand experience as back to back Guards of Honour were mounted for Lieutenant General Ahmed bin Harith bin Nasser Al Nabahani, Chief of Staff of The Sultan of Omans Armed Forces and General Jeremiah Kianga, Chief of The General Staff of The Kenyan Army. The Officers also got into the swing of things with a very authentic Burns Night on 22nd of January set-up masterfully by The Life Guard Squadron Leader and in-laws. It was a rather fitting salute to The Prime Minister and his son Fraser visiting the Queen’s Life Guard that very same afternoon. Requests for Apache Gun Ships and Tanks on Horse Guards emanated from somewhere and yet young Fraser still only had eyes for the noble black. The Queen’s Life Guard remained a venue of prominence with February witnessing an honour guard for The Premier of The Chinese State Council His Excellency Mr Wen Jiabao and a more low key visit for Lt Gen Dayton from The US military. These events preceded The Commanding Officer’s full dress and horse inspections which formally kick off the Ceremonial season. In spite of this, there was still a window of opportunity for some new experiences. SCpl Peet LG led a small group onto our affiliated ship HMS Westminster. An exciting live firing exercise off the Danish coast was followed by some unique shore leave with the Danish
Her Majesty inspecting the Richmond Cup Winner at RWHS
Guard Hussars and Life Guards. The Life Guard Squadron also made use of European military affinities with a stay at an Austrian army base in striking distance of the glamorous slopes of St Anton. SQMC Marsh was a leading light in training the novice skiers and immense fun was had by all ranks within the Squadron as they relished the rare opportunity to deploy as a Squadron for some hard-earned quality Adventure Training. In this period The Blues and Royals hosted their US counterparts The Blue Devil’s Horse Platoon. The Commanding Officer’s horse inspection passed without incident in early March, with the exception of an ever present concern about drum horses suitable enough to replace the indomitable Sparticus. Six Troopers and two NCO’s enjoyed the opportunity to act as Civpop in a RAAT tasking for some SF training and proudly showed off the
‘Simunition’ (simulated ammunition) wounds received in the form of paint bullets shot from moving helicopters. How tall the stories became from Brecon to the Barracks is unclear, suffice to say they had witnessed enough of the so called green army to sustain a few more months in the tough daily rigours of the ceremonial world. March also saw an OFSTED Inspection of our work base learning facilities and the results were extremely positive and a testament to the hard work of our CMO and NVQ team. Troop Drills also began in earnest for the fist parade of the year on 30th March. The Officers had a very successful hunt race which was won by Captain Meredith-Hardy LG before his departure to Namibia for some desert training with B Squadron in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan. Captain Dale LG was extracted from Leicestershire for The Mexican State Visit, Captain Olver made more friends in Abu Dhabi
Indian State visit Escort
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The Abu Dhabi Group
and the weather began to warm up in time for a well deserved Easter break. I’ve heard The Mounted Regiment being described as being like the ‘Tardis’ from Dr Who due to it’s ability to morph time and space and as I write this now it is easy to omit the regular routine of Queen’s Life Guard, Khaki Ride and Kit Ride. They often pass by in the whirr of colour that is the daily tapestry of Knightsbridge but one must not forget they are the very foundations that enable us to mount the spectacular parades for which we are well known. No sooner had Easter leave finished, Knightsbridge, like a recalcitrant bear recovering from its wintering, begins to feel the Summer ceremonial season. The Musical Ride is the first component of the Knightsbridge machinery to polish the cuirass. The Musical Ride started the season with a high-profile outing at The Royal Windsor Horse Show and Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo in front of HM The Queen. This year The Adjutant Captain James de St John Pryce had the added complexity of splitting the rehearsals for The Major Generals Parade either side of the The Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo which saw a hefty commitment from The Mounted Regiment. The Richmond Cup was won by Trooper Obeng-Frimpong LG who rather fortuitously had been filmed by Alan Tichmarsh and his crew for a showcase of The Royal Windsor Horse Show called ‘All The Queen’s Horses’. It was a wonderful opportunity to highlight what we do and the project was well managed by Captain Mike Fry our able Press Officer. On 21st of May, The Major General carried out his annual inspection of The Regiment and The Commanding Officer thoroughly enjoyed being mounted and the rank past was in column of division for the first time in living memory. In June ‘Beating The Retreat’ happened on Horse Guards and had an international flavour with some fabulous rifle drill on display from the Dutch. The
Birthday Parade rehearsals loomed and our Officer body began to change complexion. Captain WalkerOkeover deployed on Regimental Gun Camp at Castle Martin from Knightsbridge and Captain de Goede made forays north to investigate his new pastures at JFAC. The Birthday Parade was a wonderful success and the final parade for Captain de St John Pryce who handed over as Adjutant to Captain Olver. He was dined out at Bucks by The Officers who toasted his house move, marriage and handover that all happened within a week.
back without incident. The moment we got back many who had had a horizon broadening experience were exceedingly disciplined in the manner in which they refocused to the matter in hand, the State Visit in Windsor. The Mounted Regiment was at Combermere for an extended period before the parade. The Parade was a memorable one, not least because of a picture published in the press which showcased the most immaculate dressing inside the quadrangle at Windsor Castle. It was a great fillip for all those who rarely get to see the magnificence of The Mounted Regiment. November was an intense and yet pleasurable month with commitment to The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal. The Festival of Remembrance, The Field of Remembrance, The Cenotaph Parade and The State Opening of Parliament. The launch of The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal on Horse Guards Dame Vera Lynn walking arm in arm with Trooper Watson RHG/D who preferred her to the younger Hayley Westenra. The State Opening of Parliament was a most inclement affair which was not without incident. The Advance Guard overtook the police escort after being spooked by the flapping colour of The Irish Guards, Cpl Ross RHG/D was unseated and re-mounted unaided at The House of Lords to praise from all quarters and Captain GordonDean had running repairs to his charger from the mobile farrier party.
Within days of the hand-over we had a visit from The MS Div Roadshow which preceded a quick sweep up of Hyde Park Barracks before our departure to Regimental Training at Bodney. Op Try Out remains the Number 1 priority in Norfolk and this year we found enthusiastic partners as the event grew into a comprehensive multi-agency set of drills to practice protecting the sovereign during state ceremonial. The drills were video recorded as a training aide and also witnessed by The GOC. Regimental Training also involved a fact finding mission December has been no less quiet with a from friends at The Spanish Royal StaPNCO course, Investitures, the dedicables and VIP visits from LG and RHG/D tion of The Household Division MemoGold Stick. ‘Summer Camp’ was orrial at The National Memorial Arboredained as one of the greatest ever and tum, Carol Services, The Sefton Awards, some wonderful competition was seen Brick Hanging and planning for the on Open Day. Major Armitage LG, Maprospect of an early state visit early next jor Kitching LG, Captain Dale LG and year as well as a second State Opening Captain Howland Jackson LG pushed of Parliament. Knightsbridge is also the boundaries too far with some tasty sometimes described as a ‘sink or swim’ spills, Captain Burne RHG/D survived environment with this next year we some tight turns to be crowned Vicshould hold on tight or apply the armtor Ludorum and Cpl Evans RHG/D bands because we are in for a torrent! was particularly impressive on a young horse. Captain The Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal Launch Olver and The Riding Master went to recce the facilities in Abu Dhabi and leave was upon us. The autumn highlight was Ex Cockney Falcon the deployment of 30 horses and 46 men to Abu Dhabi. It was an extraordinary success not least because we went there, performed and came
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The Life Guards Squadron
hroughout 2009 The Life Guards Squadron has been fully or overmanned on paper, but as WO2 SCM Davidson has frequently pointed out, it has not always seemed that way in the troops. At the trooper level there has been approximately forty percent turnover in soldiers and an enormous training requirement of about ten weeks for every soldier moving on to the HCR. The Ceremonial highlight of 2009 for the Squadron was the Queen’s Birthday Parade commanded by Major Armitage with WO2 Davidson as Standard Bearer. LCpl McDougall performed admirably in the role of Trumpeter and was forced to put in an unexpected, and televised, display of canter work. The Life Guard Standard was on parade again in October for an Indian State Visit in Windsor with some quick corners for the rear two Life Guard Divisions. Away from ceremonial duties and training courses the Squadron has managed to pack in a reasonable range of extra-curricular activities. In February twenty members of the Squadron deployed on an alpine skiing expedition to Austria and a number of individual soldiers have been away on adventurous training courses. With the assistance of Squadron Spurmen - LCoH Puddifoot, LCpl Heeley and Tprs Miller and McClure - the Squadron has also placed considerable emphasis on equitation training and competing. Over a dozen Squadron members competed in the military competitions run at Aldershot and Sandhurst and a similar number participated at the Royal Windsor
CoH Stay leads Capt Howland-Jackson through the water
Horseshow and the Royal Tournament in Melton Mowbray. A particular highlight was seeing Tpr Elliston-Jones competing on his own pony Misty. The only Squadron prize at the Royal Windsor Horseshow went to Tpr Obeng-Frimpong, who lived up to his role as the Squadron Leader’s Orderly, and won the much coveted Richmond Cup with the SCM’s orderly Tpr Dennis in close contention. Tprs Floyde and Bodilly are already in training for next year’s competition. The Squadron also had its own team chasing squad competing under the pseudonym of the ‘Piccadilly Cowboys’. The squad, comprising of Major Armitage, Capt Dale, LCoH
One Troop with Yeti
Capt Goodhew and CoH Daniels receiving rosettes from the Col LG Maj Armitage and Capt Dale at The Windsor Horse Show
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 35
Puddifoot and Tprs Daily, Glass, Carr and Wallis competed at the Fernie and Berks and Bucks competitions and won the military prize at the Heythrop. Approximately 25 other members of the Squadron were given a taste of jumping cross-country fences whilst rotating through Winter Training Troop.
Spurmen Tprs Miller and McClure
Tprs Tancred, Griffin, Hastings and Bool relaxing
Maj Mundawara showing off
Regimental Training provided a fantastic opportunity for the Squadron to relax from the rigours of the summer ceremonial season and for horsemen to show off their skills. In the Junior Ranks Tprs Mancey, Smith, Glass, Ellis and Flawn all put in impressive performances. Tprs Mancey and Marsh won the Junior Ranks Handy Hunter and Tpr Flawn won the Squadron Show Jumping. In the seniors CoH Smith was the surprise star riding Connery, Squadron number 007, and Capt Goodhew, under the tutelage of LCpl Lacey, performed strongly
Inseparable Tprs Skinner and Banks
on Darius. Two other remarkable performances came from One Troop. Tpr Bodilly literally hung on to the bitter end to cross the finish line of the Handy Hunter and Capt Dale put in the ride of his life on Dior during the Open Day Grand Prix, but sadly gathered pace and became unseated in the final stages, and subsequently made an impromptu visit to Norwich A&E. The Squadron has continued to provide support to operations in Iraq and Afghanistan with LCpls Backhouse and Semakula deploying to respective theatres. All mourn the loss of Tpr Roughley who died on 24 November 2009 following a road traffic accident. The Squadron bids farewell to Major Armitage and SCpl Jukes - who has been replaced as SQMC by SCpl Marsh, and will enter 2010 in a healthy manning state and under a new Squad ron Leader Major Mundawarara.
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The Blues and Royals Squadron
his has been another extraordinarily busy year for the Blues and Royals Squadron. Against this backdrop, the Squadron is enjoying a position where we find ourselves overmanned for the first time in years. The increase in manpower has allowed us to focus our attention on both ceremonial duties and on career courses; with individual preparations for those soldiers who are likely to serve on operations with the armoured regiment in Afghanistan in the near future becoming a priority. There has been a change in leadership too; Squadron Headquarters has benefited from the great experience and expertise of Captain J P Core LG, and with WO2 K McNamara RHG/D as the Squadron Corporal Major. With their hard work, the success of the Squadron over the year was never in doubt. The Major General’s Parade was the first parade for many in the Squadron. It was a phenomenal success and memorable for the regimental charge towards the awestruck Inspecting Party. The dedication of the Squadron during Troop Drills and Squadron Drills on Rotten Row led to an equally impressive Birthday Parade. The year has witnessed the arrival of two new troop leaders: Capt M E Fry from ATR Pirbright and Capt P W HanburyBateman from the civilian world where he help build a Zinc Mine in the not so safe Islamic Republic of Yemen. They have taken command of 2 and 3 Troop respectively and Capt T E Burne remains in command of 1 Tp. Combined with an exceptionally strong cohort of Corporals of Horse, the Squadron have been on the front foot of professionalism. The Spring State Visit was in honour of the Mexican President and was held in London. The Squadron provided 3 Division commanded by Capt Fry and 4 Division was commanded by Lt Mackie.
Capt Fry, WO2 (SCM) McNamara and SCpl (SQMC) Ireland
Capt Walker-Okeover commanded the Staircase Party. This was the Squadron Leader’s and SCM’s first Escort, and the SCM carried the Standard in a steadfast manor with pride. Quick changes were the order of the day when Tpr Semple discovered that his mount Ebony lost his shoe on the rehearsal, which was then replaced in record time of three minutes by the quick thinking Farrier LCoH Scott. It was pleasing to see the Mascot of the 1st Battalion Irish Guards initiate his own Mexican wave as the horses in the Divisions became aware of his presence on the Mall! The Squadron was well represented at the Windsor Horse Show which started at the beginning of May. It also featured the final inspection of the Richmond Cup. Sadly, it was not to produce a Blues and Royal’s Winner,
SCM squeezes though the Keyhole
though Tpr Ogunnusi, Smith, Tipling and Storey deserve a special mention for the effort they put in to reaching the final. For the Queen’s Birthday Parade the Squadron provided both 3 Division and 4 Division. They were commanded by Capt P R Walker-Okeover and Lt E Mackie, Capt Fry commanded the Queens Life Guard and Capt HanburyBateman was an Usher. The parade was lead by our Richmond Cup finalist on the retinue, under the watchful eye of the Regimental Adjutant on the ever reliable Waterford. The horses were turned out to an immaculate standard and were on best behaviour with even the remounts performing to the standard required, with none of the Squadron being unseated due to confident and competent riding. The parade also saw the Master Sadler, SCpl Twyman, ride on his last parade before leaving the
Capt Burne and WO2 McNamara on the Windsor Escort
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 37
WO2 McNamara RHG/D and WO2 Davidson LG before The Major General’s Parade
Regiment, and will be greatly missed. Regimental Training in Norfolk was the highlight of the year for the majority of soldiers in the Squadron and where the most fun was had across the board. At the same time it was very testing with long days. 3 Troop lead the way winning the most prizes, the prize winners included Tpr Brown, Winfield– Keanrey and not forget their resident Horse-Whisperer LCpl Evans who showered himself in glory jumping to victory on Largo. No article on riding could be completed without mention of the amazing duo of Capt T Burne and Daisy who turned prize winning into an art form with some truly graceful riding. Sadly Capt Fry’s spirited effort on Vixen left him concussed, the mantle was then picked up by LCoH Ottaway who went on to produce a faultless performance during the Handy Hunter.
Col RHG/D shares a joke
Away from the Equestrian event the SCM dominated the cross-country in his category, this was in addition to running the London marathon in an amazing sub four hour time. Indian State Visit saw the No 1 division commanded by Capt Fry and 2 Division commanded by Capt H-B with a very smooth transition to life at Windsor. The Squadron made the best of its new surroundings and rode out in the Great Park and troop ex on the Cavalry Training Ground; it took a while for the horses to adjust. Despite the far from
Maj Archer-Burton leads his Squadron
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perfect conditions in the tank park, the Divisions turned kit out to an immaculate standard. The escort itself was excellent and a huge improvement on the Early morning rehearsal that proceeded it. It was commented that the rank past in Windsor castle was the best ever seen. Opening of Parliament was sadly the last parade for Blue Leader but it was a fitting end to a very successful ceremonial period which he was saddened to leave; as usual his graceful performance was inspired on his faithful charger Empress. One of the unsung individuals of this parade and the whole ceremonial season was LCpl Green. His single handed effort in the role of Squadron Leaders Trumpeter was above and beyond the call of duty. The parade was conducted to the highest standards with some exceptional riding being displayed despite the strong gusts that had turned Parliament Square into a wind tunnel. LCoH Ross’s 9.5 quickest and best re-mount was truly outstanding. Every year we have a dedicated team who gallantly offer themselves to duties that take them away from the fame of the Parades and conduct Escort Guards. Amongst this elite stands CoH Parks, who completed 56 Guards, and Tpr Carling, who completed 21 Guards and was in the Boxes on every occasion. These actions encapsulated the level of total dedication and professionalism displayed by all members of the Squadron.
recently arrived into the new job as HQ Squadron Leader and I must say how happy I am to return to the fold. ‘A change is as good as a rest,’ so the saying goes, I am not quite sure where the saying originated from but I can assure you all, the tempo of work at the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment very rarely allows you to refer to the saying previously mentioned. When those of you have served away from our regiment as I have, on an ERE posting for example, it is then that you realise how fortunate you are to be a member of the Regimental Family and how much you miss all the familiarities and characters when you are serving away. It also makes me proud to see how we embrace those other supporting arms attached to the Regiment, without whom we could not function. I would like to wish Major Tim Carpenter a happy and successful tour as the QM of 3 (UK Div) HQ Signal Regiment and thank him for all his efforts to leave the Squadron in good order. I probably don’t need to remind too many that HQ Squadron is no less or more important than the other Sabre Squadrons. If I were to describe the other two Squadrons if I may as them being the ‘Front of the House,’ then the HQ Squadron is the ‘back bone’ of the Regiment. HQ personnel try their best to ensure what ever support is required to get the two Mounted Squadrons out of the front gate that’s what they do. The day to day running of Hyde Park Barracks can sometimes be overlooked and maybe taken for granted and the less glamorous duties, such as ensuring the broken heating system is reported, lies with the likes of LCoH Jones RHG/D the Local Work Liaison Officer, The Quartermaster Captain Douglas takes it easy during the Regimental Cross Country Competition at Bodney, Norfolk
The Riding Staff find a few minutes in their busy schedule for an impromptu gathering and photo
as I sit here shivering in my office! It is at this gesture that I keep those of our readers up to date of some of the diary of the Squadron events and some of the personalities involved. 2008 arrived in the usual manner with the Regiment returning from some well-earned Christmas leave. The year progressed slowly with the build up to the Major General’s in May. What I have missed out leading to the Major General’s is all the efforts from the various departments to prepare for this event and all the other State Ceremonies that followed on such as the uniform inspections carried out by the tailors shop, the QMs Departments efforts replacing the old worn out equipment,
LCoH Clayden crosses the finish line with a smile on his face
the saddlers, riding staff, farriery and vet team to mention but a few. The Queens Birthday Parade in June saw Capt Mark Avison see through his first parade as the Riding Master. I, having watched the parade on television, would like to congratulate his team and all other members of HQ Squadron for all their efforts that they gave to The Life Guards and Blues and Royals Squadrons during this superb parade. The HCMR families and others housed in the Peninsula Tower have also found life busy not only during this hectic period in the Regiments diary but also as a consequence of the relocation to married quarters mainly in Putney, as well as throughout London and Windsor. CoH Edisbury LG in his role as the Welfare Senior NCO has overseen this move magnificently. The purpose of the move was originally to revamp the Peninsula Tower but, as the way of many things due to financial constraints, LCoH Short, far left, and the remain der of the Officers Mess Orderlies take advan tage of the mobile Jacuzzi, I mean Hydro Theropy Spa, during Regimental Training
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 39
his riding skills as well as his sermon during the Regimental Church Parade.
After the first half of the year’s State Ceremonial Season, HQ Squadron
deployed throughout July and August to The Regimental Training Camp at Bodney in Norfolk. The Annual Training Camp fulfils many of the Regiments Equestrian Training needs but also allows the varies Squadron personnel to reacquaint with one another and build up team spirit away from the usual environment of London. This Training camp was not dissimilar to previous camps in that the Squadron participated in all the regimental events such as the Regimental Cross Country, and the various Equestrian competitions. It is at this point that I was reminded of the saying that, ‘there is no more a leveller of man than a horse,’ I think what that means is if you believe you have the better of the animal it turns round and has the better of you; for example, I fell off and unfortunately broke my wrist during Regimental Show Jumping. It was at camp that Padre Lt Col (retired) Bill Beaver (ex US army and Vietnam veteran) arrived and inspired us with
The Regimental Veterinary Officer Captain Holmes and Farrier CoH Sherlock take to the water during the Seniors Handy Hunter competition
Padre Lt Col (Retired and Late US Army) Bill Beaver awaits spiritual guidance to get the horse to move forward courtesy of the riding staff
In October the Squadron deployed to Windsor for the State visit of the President of India and Dr Devisingh Ramsingh Shekhawat, during this period of time saw 150 personnel sleep in the Combermer Barracks Gym set up as temporary accommodation and due to the double band 44 horses were stabled in temporary stalls on the Household Cavalry Training Wing car park. The State visit followed through for the remainder of the final State Ceremonial of the year that included the State Opening of Parliament, Cenotaph parade and the Lord Mayor’s parade. I sign off looking forward with the Squadron to the new and exciting challenges of 2010.
appears to be put on hold at present. If I may now welcome an old stalwart of the Regiment Captain Chris Sayer, who up until recently was the Permanent Admin Officer at the Royal Yeomanry and has now returned to the Regiment as the newly appointed Families Officer. It would appear that there have been quite a few changes in the HQ Squadron over the last year and the Adjutant General Corp attachment to the Regiment has not been immune from this recent influx. I would like to wish the Old Regimental Admin Officer Captain Delia Holmes good luck in her new job with the Brigade of Ghurkhas and welcome Major Ian Pendlbury who was also with the Ghurkhas in the hot and sticky climate of Brunei, I am sure he won’t notice much difference here in Knightsbridge.
On our return from camp some much needed summer leave was taken by the Squadron and on return the usual wind up to the second half of the State Ceremonial Season started. However, this was interrupted by the preparations and deployment in September of the Musical Ride to Abu Dhabi to perform in the Culture and Heritage Equestrian Show. As with the Regimental Training Camp there is always much unseen work carried out before the main event takes place and this move saw many from HQ assisting in this task such as the delivery of 17 tonnes of feed and supplies to support the move to the Emirates that was delivered by SCpl Hadden and a team from HQ. In September the Squadron managed to get a few members away on adventure training in Capel Curig to sample the delights and fresh air in Wales.
t does not seem that long ago that I was putting pen to paper writing last year’s memoirs. The regiment has had a particularly busy year and most would say the highlight being the Musical Ride deployment to Abu Dhabi in the late summer. Two State Visits, the Queens Birthday Parade, a three week stretch on Regimental Training finishing with the State Opening of Parliament is only somewhere near State Ceremonial duties that the department has supported. Some of you will now be aware that Peninsular Tower is vacated by families of the regiment and that they have moved to Putney in much better surroundings. The Tower has now fallen into the hands of Defence Housing and will soon be under refurbishment. Lifts and flats will get a make over and once finished will hopefully be handed back to us for Single Living Accommodation (SLA).
No date of completion has been mentioned yet but one thinks the lifts might get started sometime in the New Year. The Stables, as ever, have caused a number of issues. 3 Troop LG had a ceiling collapse due to a water surge from the roof and the LG T Piece had to be re-layered after much complaining to the financiers on Health and Safety grounds. There is still no heating and the offices leak every time it rains. Funding has not yet been granted of £350k to have a new roof and sort out the internal drainage but it is hoped that next year we will see some improvement. The regiment have had several success stories within the Logistical Chain. We have been granted uplift in ceremonial equipment to offset the influx of trainees by some 50 LG and 50 RHG/D. Come March next year the Training Wing in
40 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Windsor will have almost 85 Phase 2 Recruits on it’s door step completing the mounted course. As ever, the ceremonial equipment is stretched to accommodate all shapes and sizes. The new breeches contract is on hold until early next year as is the new riding boot. Early in the year we completed the Gel Pad trial and SO1 Logistic Support Branch authorized procurement of 200 of them to place under the severely uncomfortable Military Saddle. Recently the back specialist wrote a letter to mention that sore horses’ backs have improved remarkably since removing the old ‘four corners near and rear’. The department have also been responsible for changing our old riding helmets to a more updated one that actually protects you when you fall. The regiment has seen several bad falls
State Visit of Mexico and spent 48 hours at QLG exercising the horses on the day of the Escort with blaspheming commuters on the Embankment during rush hour. The Master Chef continues to mediate between ‘Sodexo Defence’ and the regiment and it must be said that this is sometimes a difficult affair. Since his introduction as the Catering Manager within the Contract he has been torn apart due to no other military Chef on site. He continues to impress and has produced some excellent food especially during Regimental Training, even cooking a superb 2.5lb Brown Trout caught by a certain member of the Department!
The Quartermaster’s Department
recently and the soldiers and doctors have stated that if it was not for the new helmet things could have been a lot different. Similarly, the new Back Protector has been changed to bring it in line with the latest legislation. Future Army Dress has been rolled out to the regiment under the watchful eye of the RQMC and CoH Parr and I must admit it looks better than the old style service dress. The finance has dried up to roll out the rest of the Army, hence we are the only regiment with full complement at the moment. Since last year the department has said goodbye to several stalwarts: SCpl Twyman RHG/D, CoH Scovell RHG/D, LCoH Mark Couling LG, LCoH Wayne Plimmer LG, LCpl Hammond LG, Tpr Ware LG, Tpr Groves RHG/D, LCoH Laverty LG and last but not least CoH Jock Auld LG. All shall be remembered for their remarkable dedication for the good of the Regiment and the department wishes them all well. Incoming we have seen LCpl Kettle LG, LCpl Royston LG, LCoH
Claydon LG and LCpl Henderson LG. Tpr Vass and Tpr Bray have fitted into the Forage Rat job with SCpl Hadden MBE keeping a beady eye on them. Achievements in the department are plentiful. LCpl Danny (I can only sing in the shower) Kettle LG had an audition for X Factor. He sung in front of several judges in the first round but was unsuccessful. It was a shame because he was ten times better than Jedward! CoH Beaumont LG organized several golf days for the department with the QM finishing joint first with Maj Kelly from Log Sp Branch and the RQMC in Third. Although it really chucked it down and with nowhere to stand out in the middle of the fairway we all headed for CoH Costain to keep sheltered until the storm passed. Funny thing watching eighteen golfers dive behind Cosy. The boat fishing has carried on with momentum and during the summer we had a total of 37 good size cod for our tea and one small Bass! The Quartermaster had a go at becoming the Queen’s Life Guard Officer for the
Tpr Bray RHG/D took part in a charity drive through Wales along with four horses from Coaching Troop as well as a team of civilian hackney horses. The event consisted of a five day 102 mile route, which started at Lake Verwys and ended at Abersoch. Along the route he stopped at various villages where he and his team received donations from the public. All in all over £4200 was raised, of which half went to Help For Heroes, and half to the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. Very well done! The Department assisted in setting up behind the scenes for the Annual Household Cavalry Golf Day held at Kingsdown GC in Surrey. This truly was a fantastic event to showcase both sides of the regiment. I know that the members of Kingsdown GC will talk about that day for many years. My thanks go to all of those that helped us raise money for the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. In summary, it has been a very busy but productive year. Frustrations apart, life in Logistics is good at Knightsbridge, blessed with a sound hard working team we are well set to welcome the New Year and look forward to meeting other challenges ahead.
ork in the Forge began at a gradual pace after the New Year’s leave period. The Farrier Major went on his WO’S Command Leadership & Management Course and FL/Cpl Turpie began his Intermediate Military Farrier’s Course at the ASF DAC. The Regiment had it full dress inspections with the Forge turning themselves out to the usual high standard. February began with the return of the grass horses, and after an industrious few days they were all shod and ready to start their build-up programme for
the forthcoming Ceremonial Season. The Forge then began 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 testing there skill and determination. Congratulations went to the winning civilian pair Mr A Devereux and Mr N Fennall also to SSgt Copper and Sgt Mercer for winning the ‘Best Military Pair’. There was also a prize in the
The Vet and Farrier Major in Abu Dhabi
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 41
form of a bronze medal presented by the Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers to FLCoH Howell for the most improved apprentice Farrier. The ceremonial season began early again this year with an escort in March. With four men riding on parade and the increased shoeing, the Forge had to step it up a gear to ensure that the shoeing and turn out where kept to the same high standard. Reward came with Easter leave at the beginning of April. April also saw our newest members of the Forge FLSgt Newton and Tpr Dalley depart to the ASF DAC for there Basic Military Farriers course. The summer and winter ceremonial seasons were pretty full this year with Major General’s rolling straight into The Queen’s Birthday Parade, with the Forge also providing vetinary cover for the Beating the Retreat. The latter half of the year found the Regiment back down at the HC Training Wing for a Windsor Escort. The Ceremonial Farrier Major Shoeing
Farriers reunion dinner
Season was topped off with the State Opening of Parliament. The Forge and the Squadrons where happy to wave goodbye to the Horses, as they departed to grass at the end of November, for the Christmas leave period. The Forge completed all Individual Training Doctrines with their usual vigour prior to Regimental Training Camp. Summer Camp passed at its usual pace, with the Forge doing a bit of clay pigeon and drive by shooting, again the rabbits had to go into hiding as FLCpL Turpie turned up with his Land Rover and flat cap ready to make a dent in the Thetford population. The Forge’s equitation skills were kept to their usual standard, with FCoH Sherlock slotting into FCoH Black-Wood place to ride with the RVO on the Handy Hunter. After an unfortunate slip from his stationary horse FCoH Black-Wood was rendered unfit for riding. FLCoH Scott, FL/Cpl Stanford and Tpr Dalley all rode in the junior ranks Handy Hunter. During Open Day, the Forge held its annual apprentice shoe making competition with FLCpL Stanford winning the ‘Casey Cup’.
The Forge was kept busy throughout the year with a few extra-curricular activities: competing in The Lords and Commons Tug of War event, beating the RAF 2 – 0. The Farrier Major volunteered Himself, as there didn’t seem to be any takers, to provide Farrier cover for the Musical Ride when they flew to Abu Dhabi for three weeks, FL/ Cpl Turpie double hatted as a rough rider and farrier for the same period. FCoH Sherlock went to Bahrain to teach Farriery at the Equine centre of the Bahrain defence force for two weeks. We said farewell to FLCoH Hayden, FLCoH Blakeway and FL/Cpl Turpie on there postings to DAC, ASF and welcomed back FLCoH McCabe after 2yrs at the DAC, ASF. We congratulated FL/Cpl Turpie on passing his Intermediate Military Farriers Course, and congratulated the two newest members to join the Forge after passing their Basic Military Farriers course, FLSgt Newton and Tpr Dalley.
by LSGT U Codling AGC (SPS)
009 Regimental Training Camp opened up some new experiences for our AGC Detachment. Examples include, Sgt Walker getting lost (even with the use of a Sat Nav) and LSgt Sessing finding out horses aren’t as bad as he thought, they are worse! First on the agenda was locating our work space where we would be spending three quarters of the training camp. With printers, computers and laptops all unpacked, we suddenly realised the laptops did not have the correct software for the printers; paperweights are always required! Fortunately, we managed to procure new
laptops from the QM’s (surprisingly) which worked a treat with the printers. Throughout the training there were a number of activities which were enjoyed by all. These included barbeques, clay target shooting, games night in the Mess, Squadron days (and nights!) out and go carting. Some of us even ventured into the nearby towns of Watton, Norwich and Thetford, as well as the American Air Base at Lakenheath. The first week started off with the RAWO, WO2 Draper, SSA, Sgt Walker, LCpl Thompson and I holding the fort. It was quite busy as we had to
42 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The RAWO on her first jump
work out how we were going to provide administrative cover to the Regiment whilst in Bodney. After the first few days everything was up and running and we were left thinking ‘what now’. It was then that the RAWO and I decided to get tacked up and begin lessons. We were both given not so young horses; Ujiji and Vesper – back end of the registrations! The sound thinking being older horses would be easier to control and wouldn’t run off with us, however, in reality anything could happen. LCoH Osbourne, from the HCTW Riding Staff, was our instructor and in no time at all had us trotting, changing rein and doing movements which he said took weeks of training to complete – aren’t we the show offs!
Sqn Clk, LCpl Crompton. The RAO, Capt Holdom, and the new RAO, Maj Pendlebery, also joined us at this point as it was the handover week of RAO’s. We then set the wheels in motion for the Open Day which was fast approaching. I continued with my riding lessons and went on to my first canter. It was very exciting yet equally scary. Unfortunately, the lessons had to come to a halt as the Regiment prepared for the Open Day and other events that involved the Riding Staff. At work the office buzzed into life as there were people coming and going with letters, amendments and new additions to the Open Day admin instructions. Eventually the paper trail ended, jobs disseminated and everyone given their place of operation.
penchant for handbags, after checking some 4000 or so, enough was enough! The Open Day was scheduled to start at 0930 hrs, however by 0850 hrs the car park was crowded and the traffic had backed up for miles. Even though we had not planned for so many visitors it was a fantastic day. We had Musical Ride displays, the Royal Artillery motorcycle display team and officers and soldiers demonstrating their show jumping skills. We tallied up the takings at the end of the day, and based on ticket sales and donations, collected a considerable sum. A PXR point that was agreed by all HR Administrators was that next year, a money counter should be purchased; our fingers whiffed of money for several days after!
In the second week there was not too much happening on the Admin front. There were virtually no discipline cases throughout the entirety of Training Camp which always lightens the workload. Midway through the camp we had a reshuffle and the RAWO, SSA and LCpl Thompson returned to Knightsbridge and were replaced with the A/SSA, LSgt Sessing and the LG
Early Sunday morning the camp was awash with everyone on an ‘all-hands on deck’ scenario. There were people sweeping, lifting and running around adding the last minute touches to the camp and their areas of responsibility. I was assigned to the entrance area for the bag searching along with the RAWO who had returned and was running the show. Even though she had a
All in all I have to say this Camp was the better of the two that I have attended and I hope I am here for a third. It is not exactly getting muddy and rolling in the grass (unless you are a horse) but it is three weeks of being at one with nature, learning new skills and interacting with the Regiment.
Warrant Officers’ and Non-Commissioned Officers’ Mess
he Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers Mess’ has seen a busy end to 2008. HMS Westminster, our affiliated RN ship, docked in London alongside HMS Belfast late November whereupon the Mess invited the senior Non-Commissioned Officers to lunch. This was followed by a football match which the Royal Navy conclusively won and then a cocktail party onboard ship that evening. With the State Opening of Parliament coming late in the year, 3rd December, the obligatory Christmas fixtures were condensed slightly. A farewell lunch was given by a joint Officers and SNCO’s contingent for the Commander Household Cavalry directly after the State Opening of Parliament which was an opportunity for Col Tabor to enjoy the company of us all before his departure.
To bring the year to a close Brickhanging was held on Thursday 11th December with Mr Tony Smith hanging the brick. It was good to see many past members of the Regiment this year in London as HCR Brickhanging was unfortunately the same day, something that has not happened for many years, but with the current climate and tempo unavoidable. The Brick was taken down at 0600hrs by LCoH Radford CGC, LCpl Kettle and LCpl Semakula. The Warrant Officers and Non Commissioned Officers Mess held its first
function for 2009 by holding The State of the Nation Dinner in mid January. A former Blues and Royals tradition is now enjoyed by all Household Cavalry WO’s and NCO’s and attached arms alike. A very formal affair with which the Commanding Officer (Lt Col Lockhart MBE) addressed the mess with a speech lasting a respectable 35 minutes. February was a quiet month in the mess, however we still found time to hold a Valentine’s Day function which was enjoyed by all. With the ceremonial season starting early with the Mexican
Col LG awards CsoH Smith & Ansell, winners of the Seniors Handy Hunter
The Christmas Ball was held on Sat 6th December in the Mess with a Marque extension on the Square with 260 Mess members and their guests. A Venetian theme was chosen by the PMC WO2 Anderton and the festivities finally finished in the early hours of the morning. The Senior Non-Commissioned Officers were hosted in the Officers Mess on the 8th December, but only after the Corporal Majors had beat them 5-0 at football that day (even after the Commanding Officers DIVE in the penalty box and the QM missing the following penalty).
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 43
Presidents state visit it was an ideal opportunity for the RCM’s handover to take place with the new RCM (WO1 SB Taylor) observing the outgoing duties and roles during a state visit. The day of the State Visit was also the day of the Handover Mess Meeting where the RCM thanked WO1 A P Kellet on behalf of all mess members for his time in the chair and wished him luck with his Commission and future employment. The day was finally rounded off by a Curry Lunch where the Officers were invited to the mess for curry and drinks. Major General W G Cubitt CBE late IG was hosted by the mess for drinks on the day of his inspection of the Regiment where he had the opportunity to meet mess members to discuss their roles and responsibilities. He also presented two LSGC medals to SSgt Crooke (RLC) and Sgt McNaughlty (AGC), an Iraq medal for LCoH Dallimer and a GOCs’ Commendation for LCpl Bliss during Op Herrick. With the Major General’s Parade over it was straight into Trooping the Colour rehearsals. A lunch was held in the mess for family and friends on the day itself. The Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess started Regimental Training with a successful win over the Officers Mess at the annual cricket match. The Officers were clear favourites for another victory, but with an aggressive and determined bating partnership of SCpl (SQMC) Ireland and FLCoH Scott the runs soon tallied up. Even with Capt Howland-Jackson bowling at the RCM and WO2 (SCM) Davidson at 80 mph it wasn’t enough and the Warrant Officers’ and NCOs’ Mess came off the field of play as victors. That evening the Mess hosted the Officers with a games and curry night which saw some traditional and not so traditional games being well supported by both Messes. The mess was visited during Regimental training
by both Gold Sticks where they both had an opportunity to meet the mess members. CoH Smith and CoH Ansell represented the mess well in the Seniors Handy Hunter after claiming first place a fine partnership displaying both cap badges. WO2 (SCM) McNamara received the honours for the mess in the Regimental Cross Country competition with a comfortable first place in the over 37 category with WO2 (SCM) Anderton arriving several minutes later for second place, excellent effort by both. Open day was yet again another success and mess enjoyed a fine lunch and bar facilities in the mess marquee over looking the main arena. After a well earned three week summer break the Mess held a 22 year dining out lunch for five mess members WO2 Pearse, W02 Moore, WO2 McDonald, SCpl Bye and LCpl Hammond. The outgoing mess members had a fine sending off with over 80 mess members and guests sitting down. October saw the 1 and 2 HCR hold their annual luncheon which was attended by His Grace The Duke of Wellington and the Commander Household Cavalry and 50 association members and invited guests. Andrew Strauss England cricket Captain held his annual charity testimonial in the mess with over 120 guests sitting down for a three course meal followed by an auction. Several mess members were kindly invited to the testimonial with they thoroughly enjoyed. Also in October the Mess held a Fathers and Sons night, a formal a ffair. Each guest received two crystal whisky tumblers with the Regimental cipher and date to mark the occasion. A quartet from The Life Guards Band and a piper entertained the mess members and guests throughout the evening. Looking forward to the end of the year the annual Brick Hanging Ceremony will take place with hopefully a good turn out. The PMC WO2 (SCM)
WO2 (SCM) McNamara Cross Country winner
McNa mara has being working hard to ensure the mess members have an excellent Christmas Draw and finally the Commanding Officer has kindly invited the Senior NCO’s for drinks in the Officers’ mess. Starting the New Year the mess will hold The State of the Nation at the end of January prior to the build up of the spring escort then once again build up for the forthcoming ceremonial season which, we all hope will be as successful as this year which was only achieved by the hard work of the NCO’s and the troopers alike. Senior mess members are: WO1 (RCM) S B Taylor LG, WO1 (BM) P Collis-Smith LG, WO2 (RQMC) G A Bell MC RHG/D, WO2 (SCM) B Davidson LG, WO2 (SCM) K McNamara RHG/D, WO2 (SCM) J J Reason RHG/D, WO2 (SCM) A Hughes RHG/D, WO2 (BCM) M Redman LG, WO2 (EWO) R Hackman RHG/D, WO2 M Peet LG, WO2 (RAWO) L M Draper AGC (SPS).
t all started towards the end of last year during the State Opening of Parliament when I took over the reins as the Riding Master. My predecessor, Dickie Waygood, had discussed the Musical Ride and its coming year. There were no major surprises with the Ride being programmed in to perform at the Windsor Castle Military Tattoo, Cartier Polo and on Open Day during the annual Training Camp in Bodney, Norfolk. So it looked like it was going to be a gentle introduction into supervising the Musical Ride. Until the following famous words were mentioned “BY THE WAY, THE
RIDE ARE GOING TO ABU DHABI.” We started the year with a series of selection days for riders. We had lost a large number of soldiers who had been drafted to the Armoured Regiment, but we were lucky to have the two leading files from last year. It was during this period that the Commanding Officer had decided who was going to be the new Ride Officer and that lucky person was Capt E Howland-Jackson LG. It was at this point a meeting was called by the CO and the outgoing Ride Officer Capt E Olver LG about the possibility of
44 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
the Ride going to Abu Dhabi; I paused and thought back to what Dicky had said. This was a vision of the outgoing Ride Officer Ed Olver, so we now had to consider not just the normal events and performances of the year but a trip to the unknown of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), sun, sea and sand. So the planning started, with the selection of the new riders out of the way all we had to consider was changing some of the old and bold horses as they were finding it harder to maintain their stamina for the full length of the ride.
As time went on we had to train whilst the Regiment underwent their planning and training for the State Visit Escort in March allowing the Ride to concentrate on the forthcoming Windsor Tattoo. The Ride moved to the HCTW a few days before the start of the Tattoo, the first performance came and went without a problem with a good performance by everyone. The Ride did the normal preparations and route down to the show ground via the Long Walk through the Windsor Castle grounds, the countdown went and we were on, then the heavens opened and it continued until we left the arena. This challenged everyone, none more than the lay down horses! Given the conditions during that performance and throughout the show they did an excellent job. We thought that was going to be the only challenge until the following night when the Drum Horse moved into position. He was hopping across the arena and the performance had to stop. So before we started we had to stop. It turned out that the drum strap had snapped so after a quick repair we continued. The show finished on the Saturday evening with a final performance in front of Her Majesty the Queen, with the best performance of the week. We returned to HCMR where the Ride returned back to their squadrons for the remainder of the summer until they went to Cartier Polo as a complete ride for the first time. This was followed by a swift move to Training Camp in Bodney where the Ride performed at Open Day in front of 5,000 spectators. We used the new music which was directed and composed by Capt Ed Oliver and DJ `Lockhart` in preparation for the forthcoming trip to the UAE. This year was rewarding, short, but challenging and for the Ride especially as we had new personnel and horses this year. In addition to
LCoH Puddifoot LG and LCpl Evans RHGD at Cartier Polo
The Musical Ride on a UAE Leclerc at the Sheikh Zayed Military City, UAE
the forthcoming trip to the UAE, the Ride are planned to perform at the Lambourn Open Day, Windsor Tattoo, Bodney and Shrewsbury in August this
will then be followed by the proposed British Military Tournament and Olympia Horse Show in December 2010. So please come and support.
The Musical Ride perform the Propellers in Abu Dhabi
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment â– 45
The Band of The Life Guards
ince the last edition of Fanfare Magazine the band has had a full and varied diary of engagements. Our previous article went to press just as the band was returning from a two month roulement tour of Germany, and we were preparing ourselves for the impending mounted season. The season as always was extremely busy with very little chance to stop and recharge our batteries. A slight change to the routine came in the form of a new style floodlit Beating Retreat on Horse Guards Parade. This was less a new idea and more of a return to an old theme, and actually made a welcome change despite the late finish every evening by the time we rode back to Knightsbridge and turned the horses in. Throughout the summer months the band was kept busy as always with the normal list of duties such as Windsor and St James’ Palace guards and pass off parades in Winchester, Pirbright, Bassingbourn and Catterick. We made best possible use of the long
journey north to Catterick by fitting in a concert in Scarborough which was extremely well received. Some of the band’s talented soloists were featured to good effect with SCpl Colin Thomas, LCpls Paul Williams and Matt Gray and Musn Amy Appleby all taking the spotlight and performing to a superb standard. It was good to get back on the concert platform and very rewarding to hear the band play so well. October has seen the band perform in its mounted capacity once again with the State Visit of the President of India. Along with the Band of The Blues and Royals and a mounted escort from Life Guards and Blues and Royals Squadrons, the Band rode through Windsor leading the mounted element of the parade and played a selection of incidental music before the arrival of the President. It was the culmination of a long tiring week in temporary stabling in Windsor where the entire band looked after their own horses. With the Lord Mayor’s Show only a fortnight
Evening Beating the Retreat
away we have not seen the last of the horses for this year. I’m sure we are all thrilled at the prospect of an eight hour stretch in the saddle … well, maybe not! As always, the trumpet team have been without doubt the busiest group within the band with a varied list of engagements such as Royal Holloway University graduation ceremonies and the installation of General Sir Richard Dannat as the new Constable of the Tower Of London. We are about to enter the busiest time of the year for the State Trumpet team with the annual selection of a new Lord Mayor of London, the Lord Mayor’s Show and the State Opening of Parliament. As a result of the Indian State Visit the band will be providing eight trumpets and a timpanist for the State Banquet at Mansion House. Although it can involve unsociable hours, the thrill of these jobs cannot be surpassed and it is a fantastic experience and a tremendous honour to be involved. Beating the Retreat
Household Cavalry Training Wing
he Household Cavalry Training Wing (HCTW) has seen an inordinate amount of change through this year, not only with personnel but with the policies and compliance that govern all training that is delivered throughout the armed forces.
Bassingbourn and Pirbright with Junior soldiers from ATR Winchester and AFC Harrogate, a far cry from the heady days of the Guards Depot. The large majority are now trained at ATR Bassingbourn where the Royal Armoured Corps train all senior entry soldiers over 14 weeks.
The amount of trainees that have passed through HCTW in Windsor feels like it has increased to an all time high where in fact we are training approximately 120 Phase 2 soldiers per year, and a small number of Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers and Troopers from HCR and Musicians from the Army Corps of Music. They appear at random times throughout the year from ATR
The developments that have occurred over the last year have seen the Royal Armoured Corps accepting responsibility for the training that we deliver at HCTW. This is known as a Competent Army Authority and Inspectorate (CAA&I) and is therefore responsible for the course that is delivered. The next step will be the development of what training is to be delivered to Phase
46 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
2 soldiers and where is it going to be taught. What can be certain is that the equitation course will remain in Windsor and it will not change from its current format, unless permission and authority is given by DRAC of course. The aspiration of any real estate improvements have vaporised along with any money that was left in the MOD suffice to say that we can still get a door repaired but any large scale building projects that would have improved the training environment have been shelved. The current financial climate has adversely affected the throughput at HCTW and there is not enough accommodation to house the
soldiers that are under training. Currently, there are 67 trainees in 5 rides with a further 2 rides in the New Year bringing a total to 89 in January 2010. During this year the majority of the training staff has changed. Maj BartleJones is enjoying the fruits of Loan service, once again, WO2 Anderton taking over the role of RQMC(T) HCR, CoH Anderson departing for C Sqn HCR, CoH Wyard back to HCMR as Provost CoH just to mention a few. Capt Kellet takes on the role of OC and WO2 Hughes the role of SCM with a whole new training team getting to grips with a raft of new Joint Service Procedures (JSPs) and training directives that will lead to a number of different challenges and the continual development of HCTW.
LCpl Raiwale with Vagabond
Waterloo Ride practising their Riverdance for Britain’s Got Talent
Trooper Tancred receiving the cleanest man award from The Commanding Officer
Tpr Raats taking the final fence on Commando
by CoH D Kendle, The Blues and Royals
oach Troop’s year started with our usual club meets and drives, as always providing us a good opportunity to sort the team out and shake off the cobwebs before Regimental drills began.
to drive and ride and I am pleased to report this has gone very well (I am sure Tpr Evans Webster enjoyed getting dragged around the school!).
The start of Regimental drill found me once again driving around Hyde Park with the Riding Master telling me to speed up and the SCMs saying slow down. This year’s Major General’s was a success with the troop taking a small part, taking guests to watch the parade in our new carriage which was bought last year.
The start of the competition season for us is always Royal Windsor and the team went very well, winning the prize for best turned out. I was really pleased as not only the horses and coach are inspected but the Coachman and grooms are looked at and I think the guests felt they were being inspected as well - clearly a team effort! It was rewarding for the lads to see a result for all the hours cleaning and polishing. As you can imagine, we don’t always seem to be judged the same as the other teams - always seem to have to be that bit cleaner. We were first in the military class, beating the Royal Logistics team and Reserve Champion overall. Maybe next year we will win … but I say that every year!
At the end of last year I went out to Holland with the Riding Master and the Commandant from the DAC to select two new horses which I had sourced through contacts. We were lucky to find two four year old geldings with all the right markings that would fit into the team. I have been braking and training ‘Zander’ and ‘Zorro’ this year
We were soon off to the Suffolk show where we took the second prize out of fifteen other teams. Suffolk show is always one of the main events that teams want to win with the competition growing more and more, although we are really treading on the heels of our main competition. It’s nice for the teams to start worrying about us and how well we are doing. The banter is always good from the other teams and the circuit has a friendly, close-knit atmosphere. We are doing more prize drives than ever, taking guests around Windsor in the carriage and enjoying the unique sights. They seem to keep coming thick and fast with guests arriving all the time from our Regiment and now from other Regiments as well, it’s hard to keep account of the prizes that have been given out. Prior notice of being offered as a prize would be most welcome! Royal Ascot ran smoothly with no real
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 47
problems with the Officers arriving in style! L/Cpl Wilson came along to help out although I soon wondered whether this was actually helpful when he presented me, somewhat sheepishly, with two pieces of my (very expensive) holly driving whip. Thanks - the bill is in the post….. Years ago, there would have been well over thirty coaches that drove the twenty miles return trip each day, now it’s only eight. I find this a real test for the horses and equipment, but it is certainly the most stylish way to arrive for a day’s racing. Having the other Coaching teams stabled at HCTW can occasionally be a problem but all went well this year and watching the other teams leave the barracks is a great spectacle. I know how much gratitude the regiment received for this from the Coaching Club and their guests. The competition season 2009 ended with the British Driving Society’s final show at Towerland’s in Essex in which we came 2nd. Most recently, I was asked if we would like to horse Mr. John Browns road coach “The Nimrod” on a charity run in Wales for ‘Help For Heroes’ and the ‘Household Cavalry Charitable Trust’ at the beginning of October. There was to be his coach as well as ‘The Monarch’ Royal Windsor Horse Show 2009
The Nimrod road coach
road coach horsed by another team. As John took me to have a look at the route, part of which goes over Snowdonia, I began to realise this was going to be quite a challenge! This was to become the highlight of the year for me as we completed over 100 miles in five days of real hard going, up and down some very large and steep hills. The preparation we put in beforehand paid off as we did Tpr Dowd grooming Indigo at their first pass out
not have a single problem. If anything the team improved immensely whilst at the same time raising money for a great cause. I have to thank John who paid for the whole trip and express what a privilege it was to be asked to take part in. Coach Troop drives out most days - if you ever fancy stepping back in time to slower pace of life, come for a drive out with us and have a go on the reins. Tpr Evans Webster loving his tweed in Windsor Great Park
Winter Training Troop by Captain C E B Dale, The Life Guards
espite heavy snow and the ‘big freeze’ calling a halt to any trail hunting throughout the first couple of weeks of February, the rest of the month proved fantastic, and the break had proved rather a blessing on the horses – having given them a well earned rest. By now the traditional Household Cavalry Race, or should I say Officers Cross Country Ride was looming and being an “ordered to attend” for Mounted Duty Officers, the diary started to swell rather rapidly for last minute
days out and training sessions using the excellent facilities at our disposal at the Defence Animal Centre. Old favours were being called in, and bribes offered for the ‘best’ horses… unfortunately, for Capt T. Burne RHG/D a lame horse last minute put paid to all of his hard work and persuasion! What was great to see was the enthusiasm of the LE Officers with both Capt ‘Ratty’ Core LG and Capt ‘Dougie’ Douglas LG both winding their way up north on many occasions, unfortunately a ‘dickie’ back prevent the latter from
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racing. Captain C. Meredith Hardy LG won two prizes on the big day, the first one he probably can’t remember and the second for the amount of Dutch Courage he felt he ‘required’ to complete, and win, the Race in the first place. This earned him not only a sharp ticking off from the Riding Master, Capt. M. Avison LG, but also, and probably more worryingly, his mother. The day ended with a cracking Grooms Dinner in the aptly named Stilton Cheese Inn and with excellent attendance levels
from both retired and serving Officers. It proved a great way to thank the Grooms for all their hard work over the course of the Season and in particular the day itself. The high quality of the grooms and there knowledge gained over the course of the winter is aptly demonstrated by the fact that they make up over half of the new Advances Military Equitation Course. The season had on reflection been a great success, with no major injuries, and a record of 48 Officers and 112 Soldiers days out. Typically, what goes up must come down and it was with heavy hearts that WTT was disbanded and reformed back at Hyde Park Barracks just in time for the beginning of silly season. Having the repeat honour of commanding WTT for the initial stages in its redeployment to Melton Mowbray was another fantastic opportunity to escape the confines of London and
we left with a sense of purpose and experience, namely LCoH Evans RHG/D, LCpl Miller LG and Tpr Carr LG, all of whom have been part of WTT in previous years. The initial build up programme went well and it lulled us all onto a false high, only to drop in double quick time to an all time low, from a purely selfish point of view - obviously! The majority of the horses were required to return for the Windsor Escort in mid October, and then all the Troopers were needed to back fill the State Opening of Parliament, in turn meaning the majority of the horses had to return as well! Despite being unavoidable, it has inevitably caused considerable frustration, and made it very hard to keep horses at any level of hunting fitness. The fact that WTT is now back in full swing, so quickly is testament to the vigour, determination and knowledge LCoH Evans RHG/D has displayed. To make matters worse for myself I
not only became one of those statistics to catch the dreaded swine flu, but also the secondary condition of pneumonia, effectively ending my season before it had started! Thankfully Major T.J. Armitage LG stepped manfully into the breach to cover the manning gap, and it is with much pleasure, and obvious frustration, that I now find myself handing over to the very capable and experienced hands of Capt W. Goodhew LG who is already looking ahead to many fantastic days out, in particular The Royal Wessex Yeomanry Race. With the next major parade not until March 2010, WTT looks set to go from strength to strength and will continue over the next few months to encourage Household Cavalry Soldiers and Officers of all ranks and equine knowledge to experience the delights of Leicestershire and the thrill of the chase.
by WO II Hackman, The Blues and Royals
SCpl Hackman RHG/D (Mandrake) at RMAS
LCoH Powell LG (Embassy) at RMAS
008/9 was a year of change for the Riding Staff. After six years at the helm, Major Richard Waygood retired from the Army. Like a changeover of batons by a professional athletics team, the handover of Riding Masters was seamless. Captain Mark Avison hit the ground running with a very late State Opening of Parliament on December 3rd. The Riding Master wasn’t the only member of the Riding Staff to hit the ground on this particular parade, LCoH Dan (Tyrone) Powell and Imjin had a difference of opinion in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Some heavy lifting gear was required, and in the shape of WO I RCM Kellet it arrived. Tyrone and Imjin were reunited and able to join the procession down the
Mall to the Houses of Parliament.
Capt Mark Avison’s succession as Riding Master at Knightsbridge meant that WO I Richard Chambers at the Defence Animal Centre could finally make some holes in the epaulettes of his shirts and wear the Captain’s stars awarded by the 2008/9 Commissioning Board. WO II Derren Payne and CoH (now SCpl) Lee Griffiths departed on ERE to the Defence Animal Centre (DAC) and the RMAS respectively in September of 2008. CoH Adam Betts returned to Regimental Duty from Sandhurst. CoH Lee Golder returned to Windsor this year and was succeeded at the DAC by CoH Karl Sc holes. CoH Ryan Osborne picked up where SCpl Griffiths left off
at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and, despite only being back from the Academy for a calendar year, CoH Betts was attached to the QRH in the former BAOR. This allowed CoH Jamie Broom to bring his ‘Race Horses’ back to English turf. If all these moves were not enough to keep the Regimental Careers Management Officer busy, 2009 also saw the arrival of four new Padawan Jedi Knights to the Dark Side of the ‘Force’. LCoH Tim Puddifoot, and LCpls Michael McGrath, Jamie Whitehead and Steve Heeley all began their apprenticeship. The arrival of these young instructors saw the departure of two larger than life characters to Civilian Street. WO II Billy (the fish) Moore collected his DEMOB suit and returned to his mother Ireland. Like David (Bobby) Boyd before him, he has reverted to using his given, yet largely unknown Christian name: Gabriel! Af ter scooping the top prize at the Services’ Jumping Championships held at the Olympia International Horse Show, Maj Richard Waygood, or Dickie as we can all call him now, hung up his spurs allowing other Military equitators the chance to win the ‘big’ class at the Royal Tournament Show Jumping Champi onships held annually at the Defence Animal Centre. Fortunately the coveted Queen’s Cup was retained by the Mounted Regiment. SCpl, now WO II, Rupert (Gene) Hackman and Mandrake were able to bring the trophy home in June. Once again there will be a strong Household Cavalry representation at Ol ympia this Christmas with Capt Avi son (Lochnagar), WO II Hackman (Mandrake), CoH Scholes (Dior) and LCoH
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 49
Commanding Officer (Falkland) at RMAS
Lacey (Darius) all competing against four other qualifiers from the RAF, AMS, RAVC and the Kings Troop RHA. As well as the busy ceremonial season, 2009 also presented opportunities for members of the Riding Staff to demonstrate other strings in their bows. SCpl Sean (Skip) Nicholls was seconded to the Bahraini Royal Guard to help establish a mounted ceremonial unit. CoH Scholes had to be on his best behaviour when he travelled with the GSM LONDIST WO I Mott to Jordan to work with their Mounted Police and Camel Corps to help them create an honour guard. LCoH Lacey spent two weeks working with the ‘Horsemanship Department’ at The Culver Military Academy in America and LCoH Powell was the SME at the Regiment’s annual sabbatical to Spruce Meadows in Canada. Finally, SCpl Hackman found himself in a very unfamiliar G4 role for the Musical Ride’s successful trip to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where he had a totally different experience with a camel. No, they do not taste like chicken!
Having not long left school, the combined contents of their pencil cases came in very handy and can be seen below. This helped to provide a testing course for the competitors this year with the return of the popular ‘Keyhole’ fence, also pictured. There was much discussion as to the shape the last fence should be cut into this year; a traditional ascending ‘staircase’ look was the eventual decision.
LCpl Dan Evans RHG/D and Iago had a well deserved win in the Eventers Grand Prix on Open Day beating one of the joint favourites, Capt Tom Burne on Daisy, and proving that the bookies don’t always come out on top. The other joint favourite in the Grand Prix, Capt Chip Dale, couldn’t get his knee down far enough on Dior and, as a result, had to be attended to by the St John’s Ambulance Brigade with an eagle-eyed Pinky Brown supervising! Not content with a win in the Handy Hunter competition, CoH Smith was also the highest placed SNCO in the Regimental Show Jumping Competition on Open Day finishing a creditable 4th on Connery. After Training Camp the regiment broke for Summer Leave, returning to work at the beginning of September. LCpl Veness had to sweep aside sibling differences of opinion and take his
Summer Training Camp at Bodney provided thrills and spills as usual. Those well know equestrian genii CoH Stuart (Smudge) Smith LG and CoH Dave Ansell RHG/D were an unlikely winning pair in the Officers and SNCO’s Handy Hunter Competition. As a result of last minute withdrawals the combination was thrown together with the unusual joining of Squadrons. They proved to be a popular winning combination, ensuring that the Kings Troop RHA Officers who were invited to compete were not allowed to go back to St John’s Wood with the top prize. CoH Betts and LCpl Dan Veness were dispatched to Thetford a week before the start of Training Camp in order to prepare the Cross Country course.
50 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Famous Keyhole
younger brother through ‘kit ride’. This, as far as the author is aware, is the first time this has happened. This was LCpl Veness’ first ‘kit ride’ and as a result he received his whip, kindly presented to members of the Riding Staff by the Worshipful Company of Saddlers. It was a great day for the Veness family who had travelled up from Portsmouth to see their sons in action. Autumn brought another Windsor Escort celebrating the visit of the President of India. Although the escort entailed moving the entire regiment to Windsor for two weeks, everyone agreed that the spectacle combined with the magnificent surroundings far outweighed any inconvenience leading up to it. This was followed in short order by the State Opening of Parliament on a typical blustery November day. Readers will be delighted to know that LCoH Powell did not fall off! The Riding Staff was pleased with the performance of the remounts under testing conditions. As the year draws to a close we look forward to 2010 and all that comes with it, not least of all ‘Horses for Heroes’, a charity ride through Windsor Great Park in aid of ‘Help for Heroes’. The idea of the event is for 2010 horses to gather in groups and ride through the royal estate, a privilege members of the Riding Staff working in Windsor get to realise on a daily basis. WO II Hackman and SCpl Griffiths were humbled at the press launch of the ride at Ascot Racecourse when they met Lt Guy Disney (Light Dragoons) who lost the lower part of his right leg when an IED exploded in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Barely a month after his accident Lt Disney got back on a horse and he plans to join the ride next summer. Gene and Griff, never more than a stone’s throw apart, also met Toni Terry, wife of footballer John (Chelsea and England Captain), who was there to provide a bit of celebrity glamour for the launch. Itchy and Scratchy (Hackman and Griffiths) can be seen here with Lt Disney and Toni.
WO2 Hackman, Toni Terry, Lt Guy Disney LD & SCpl Griffiths
Regimental Support Team
et again the Regimental Support Team (RST) has had an incredibly busy and productive year as 2009 brought about several changes in personnel. Captain Jonny Pass RHG/D handed over the post of Recruiting Officer to SCpl Jules Hoggarth LG, until the arrival of Captain Chris Trinick RHG/D on his return from Op Herrick and attachment with 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards. Concurrently, other members of the team have changed on a rotational basis. However, the personalities are not the only thing to have changed, the team’s name has also changed several times from “Recruiting Team” to “Information Team” and, finally, to “Support Team”. In February the team went to Northern Ireland with The Household Cavalry & Royal Armoured Corps Recruiting Team. This presented a perfect opportunity for the team to cut their teeth under the expert guidance of WO2 Baker KRH, a great help and avid supporter of The Household Cavalry. On return, the services of Tpr’s Leach from B Squadron and Tpr’s Khan and Robinson from D Squadron were secured by SCpl Hoggarth. Tpr Atkins from the LG Squadron at HCMR was the final member of the new team to arrive. Throughout the year the team has travelled the length and breadth of the country including Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, the re-opening of The Tank Museum at Bovington, Southend, Biggin Hill and Sunderland Air Shows to name a few. We also attended the Army Careers Exhibition (Midlands), alongside the HCAV & RAC team, where we met up with WO1 Kershaw RHG/D and WO2 Lowe LG. Both are Army Careers Advisors and their advice on all matters recruiting was invaluable. Another Army Careers Advisor always on hand to give guidance and advice on recruiting is WO1 Henney RHG/D from the Wembley Office. He was on hand at The Royal Windsor Horse Show and Military Tattoo, which was a great success, organised by Colonel Cowan RHG/D. Whilst at Windsor the senior service (in the guise of the Royal Navy’s Recruiting Team) thought it would be a chuckle to decorate our Scimitar with “Fly Navy” stickers. The Navy seemed very pleased with themselves as we removed the offending articles and were somewhat bemused by our lack of retaliation. Admittedly, Tpr’s Leach and Semple did have to be physically restrained
Tprs Khan and Robinson
but revenge is a dish best served cold. On the Friday evening, the Royal Navy packed up, leaving their mock up Lynx helicopter open. Big mistake!! That night a person or persons unknown deposited several buckets of fresh manure over the seats and cock-pit, the only evidence of the perpetrators being a Household Cavalry sticker on the inside of the windscreen. The following morning, a very petty Chief Petty Officer came over to complain. How dare he think that members of Her Majesty’s Household Cavalry would do such things?! Another highlight from The Royal Windsor Horse Show was an unexpected delivery for SCpl Hoggarth in the form of a mobility scooter. The villains in this have been sentenced in various ways. LCpl James has been posted to the Provost at HCMR and will be doing his Drill course shortly. A good word went in for him from SCpl Hoggarth when he completed his Senior Drill. Tpr’s Leach and Semple are now full members of the “Trinatron” lunchtime jogging club!!
Aldershot Army Careers Exhibition, the Colchester Military Festival, the Leicester Victory Show, the RAF Benson Open Day and a week in Portsmouth and Southampton giving presentations to public service courses at colleges in the area. As well as traditional recruiting jobs and school/college visits, the team have been keeping themselves busy raising funds for both the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund the Welfare Fund and Help for Heroes. In September a fund-raising day at “The Sun” public house in Englefield Green was organised by Mr Geoff Knowles BEM, ex- LG. With the able assistance of staff and volunteers from The Household Cavalry Museum Windsor and the RST, over £800 was raised. The team also visited Maidenhead town centre selling Household Cavalry wrist bands in support of the Welfare Office. In just three hours, over £1500 was collected.
In May we took a Scimitar to RAF Northolt for the launch of the new MoD sponsored action figures. It was a three way race as to who would be the face of Action Man: LCpl James came out on top, Tpr’s Leach and Khan came a close joint second but SCpl Hoggarth didn’t get a look in as there was no mobility scooter or Zimmer frame!!
Other fundraising events have been a Race Day at Newbury for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, a Race Day at Plumpton in support of the Army Benevolent Fund and Sandy Gall Afghan Fund (where an amazing £200,000 approx was raised) and a Christmas Fayre held at Cookham Dean for Help for Heroes. The level of support from members of the public is phenomenal; a pensioner that week had a coffee morning in her house and raised £500 for H4H.
The Regiment’s manning is in excellent
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 51
shape and continues to go from strength to strength. This is down to the tireless work that the Regiment’s recruiters do across the length and breadth of the country. We are pleased to have this year (on VEng) WO1 Kieran Fortune RHG/D, placed at the Strand, and WO2 Jay Lochrane RHG/D, placed at the Wigan Office. In the New Year the work starts again, contacting and organising events from Cornwall to Edinburgh ready for the forthcoming year. Our aim is to go to areas where the team has not been for many a year, flying the flags of the Household Cavalry Regiment and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment to ensure that potential recruits for the Regiment continue to enter the recruiting pipeline.
A typical school brief
Household Cavalry Recruiters Major M Norris ACA Bristol, Gloucestershire and Somerset AFCO Bristol 3rd Floor 4 Colston Avenue Bristol BS1 4TX Tel 0117 926 2542 WO1 P Henney (LSL) ACA West London 594 High Road Wembley Middlesex HA0 2AF Tel: 0208 902 1376 WO1 A P Farmer (LSL) Senior Recruiter Northampton 7 The Parade Market Square Northampton NN1 2EA Tel: 01604 633318 WO1 K Fortune (LSL) Commonwealth Recruiter 453-454 The Strand London WC2R 0RG Tel: 020 7930 8603
WO1 E D Kershaw (LSL) Rec Ops WO, HQ RG Trenchard Lines Upavon Wiltshire SN9 6BE Tel: 01980 615780 WO2 A Lowe (LSL) Senior Recruiter Stoke 36-38 Old Hall Street Hanley Stoke ST1 3AP Tel: 01782 212 070 WO2 J Lochrane (LSL) Senior Recruiter Wigan 2 Baileys Court Hallgate Wigan Lancs WN1 1LR Tel:01942 243 904 CoH T Aston ACIO Croydon Sharpshooter’s House 1 Mitcham Road Croydon CR0 3RU Tel: 020 8688 7226
CoH Pickard 3 Saville Place Borough Road Sunderland SR1 1PA Tel: 0191 565 0542
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SCpl L Brown 4 ACP Dalston Tel: 07852452808 CoH D Cox AFCO London 2-12 Bloomsbury Way London Tel: 020 7305 4301 CoH Walsh ACIO Oldham 3 Lord Street Oldham OL1 3HB Tel: 0161 627 3233 CoH L Walker ACIO Slough Queensmere Slough Tel: 01753 553843 CoH Hall ACIO Norwich 2 Magdalen Street Norwich NR3 1HX Tel: 01603 624 616
Facing Page Photos - Faces of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment: 1: The Queen’s Life Guard turns out on the State Opening of Parliament 2: Maj Armitage LG and The Queen’s Life Guard on the State Opening of Parliament 3: The inspecting party for The Richmond Cup 4: The Prime Minister meets CoH Radford CGC whilst visiting The Queen’s Life Guard 5: The Standard Party at The Royal Windsor Horse Show 6: Maj Archer-Burton leading his Squadron 7: Indian State visit Rank Past
Faces of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment 1
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment â– 53
Household Cavalry News Musical Ride Deployment to Abu Dhabi September - October 2009
by Captain E P Olver, The Life Guards
“I would like to salute the United Kingdom
for this outstanding contribution and for being with us in this wonderful forum. Indeed, this noble gesture will go a long way to consolidating the eternal bonds of friendship linking our two sisterly nations. “ Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. It is a convention of the age to express almost everything in numbers. The summarising numbers for the Abu Dhabi deployment were quite impressive: 46 men and women, 30 horses, 21 days away, 8 flight sectors and 7 performances. But bald numbers alone cannot convey the intensity of planning, the rigour of preparation, the anticipation of contingency and finally the sheer satisfaction of concept-delivery that characterised the deployment (coded ‘Cockney Falcon’) of The Musical Ride to Abu Dhabi in 2009. For many years, The Musical Ride has staged annual performances at Newbury, Chatsworth, Windsor, Shrewsbury, Birmingham and other UK locations. Organisers and tax-paying publics at these events have come to know what to expect. Children have often sat through long parades of lowing and lolloping heifers to ‘bag’ the best seats for The Musical Ride. Show audiences have often gone home comparing ‘The Ride’s’ monkeymen and its trumpeters with the JCB-dance drivers, motor-cycle display riders and Red Arrow pilots who have also performed.
The Musical Ride and soldiers from The UAE Army in Al Ain, UAE
So, the Musical Ride has enjoyed an assured place in the hearts of its countrymen, but participants and policymakers have long-known that ‘The Ride’ could equally entertain audiences overseas, if only funding were available. A first step in testing demand for overseas performance was to build, in early 2008, a special website (www. musicalride.co.uk) that, offering highdefinition performance footage, met in formation needs from across the world. Simultaneously, the Commanding Officer encouraged ‘The Ride’ to be alert to new performing opportunities that could involve new audiences. It was but a short step for the writer to explore the possibility of performance in Abu Dhabi. One of the first questions
The Gold Stick being presented with a memento by His Highness Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan
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that arose was: How would such a traditional equestrian display be received by an Abu Dhabi audience with no tradition of the English country show? Seated with a lap-top before a Sheikh, in February 2009, optimistically proposing an appearance of The Musical Ride at The Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition 2009, I fully expected that my host, like the Emperor in the coliseum, would simply roll-over a fisted hand with a downward-pointing thumb. Instead, perhaps because he had viewed the new web-site, he ‘phoned a friend’ in a very high place whose clipped response in imperial Ar abic, audible and understandable (even to me with no Arabic) was the unmistakable
The Gold Stick with more Sheikhs than you can shake a stick at!
command: “Do it”. From that moment on, ’til touchdown of the final horse charter at Stansted, one could not have asked for a more responsive, engaged and downright load-bearing ally than the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, which both extended a generous invitation on behalf of Abu Dhabi and which also made flawless arrangements at the Abu Dhabi end. Returning after the recce, to a cool En gland with a precious letter of invitation in my hand, I had some difficulty persuading the Commanding Officer and brother Officers of the outside dimensions of the invitation. “Can we bring our own feed supplies?” Yes, Colonel. “Must we use their farriers?” No, Colonel, we can take our own. “And who will cover all this cost?” They will, Colonel. Once the Regiment had reached a complete understanding of what was possible, April and May 2009 became months of intense liaison with our Abu Dhabi counterparts. There were email and phone exchanges, some crisp but many lengthy, and all within the limited opportunity windows of 5.00 am to 2.00 pm/Sunday to Thursday, on every small detail of the deployment. However, nothing caps face-to-face contact and this liaison phase culminated in the invitation of an Abu Dhabi delegation to Knightsbridge, concluding with a visit to the Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo on 16th May 2009. Being staged for only the second time, the 2009 Royal Tattoo was invested not only with novelty but also with gravity of its association with two continuing wars - one in the Middle East, whence our visitors came. This meeting cemented a trust that each party had placed in the other and, again, the power of the moving image was confirmed when, within 24 hours of the Tattoo, our visitors were back in Abu Dhabi with a DVD that showed them, guests in the Royal Box and in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen, watch-
Capt Ayeth and Tpr Zhanje
Tpr Davison attempting to replicate the Camel Corps
ing dramatic performances that that would soon be delivered in Abu Dhabi.
Every lamp post and hoarding, every bridge and civic-arch in the City was emblazoned with welcome flags carrying motifs of the Household Cavalry. For two weeks, it seemed, every newspaper was printed with blandishments for the six public performances that were to take place in the ADIHEX Arena.
On 19th September 2009, the first of four Maximus charter flights lifted 15 precious Cav Blacks off the Stansted runway to undertake duties in Abu Dhabi. Drafted as 3-year olds from Ireland and arriving by ferry, these horses (like some of the men in their care!) had never experienced air travel before, yet alone arrival at the Amiri Flight - normally reserved for the Abu Dhabi Royal flight and VIPs - but the whole living complement arrived in good shape to perform. A fleet of waiting transporters swiftly and efficiently moved the horses to Sheikh Zayed Military City under police escort where they came to rest in air-conditioned splendour, with true-Arab stable companions. All the preparation work of the preceding months was massively repaid by the comprehensive welcome given to the HCMR upon arrival in Abu Dhabi.
Capt Olver LG enjoys some falconry
Once the horses were moved into temporary arena stabling, rehearsal could start but there was concern about the viability of performing on a painted concrete floor overlayed with heavy gauge polythene and greasy equine sand. Even the steadiest mare proved splay-legged on this surface so, at very short notice and without a sigh, the Arena Manager agreed that five bobcats and 115 men would work through the night to underlay the ‘Topeta’ surface with rubber matting and felt. As the last bobcat exited the ring within minutes of ‘curtain-up’, The Musical Ride entered the arena, beneath huge screens and within a wonderful arena acoustic, to stage its first ever performance before 1600 private guests of The Royal Family in Abu Dhabi.
HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan with Capt Olver LG
Household Cavalry News ■ 55
In the opinion of those involved, this first Abu Dhabi performance was the equal of any staged in the UK over the last three years. The horses had been allowed a full nine days to acclimatise and blood tests had proved every horse fit and healthy for a schedule of seven performances. After a first night that went-off without fault or incident, ‘The Musical Ride’ became the hottest ticket in town and every seat in the 3000 seat stadium was sold for the next six public performances. It should be remembered that hardly any of the 21,000 ticket holders who saw The Musical Ride in September and early October 2009 in Abu Dhabi had ever seen anything like it. Audience reception was ecstatic within the context of a culture that can employ mannered restraint as a sign of approval. Correspondingly, men trained by years of duty on Horse Guards to ignore public taunts and comments could not but help notice the “crying of sheiks and the shrieking of women” that was apparent as the monkeymen and the rough riders exhibited their equine skills. All too quickly, the Abu Dhabi deploy-
Troopers Evans and Pickup in the desert
ment - an unqualified success on all fronts - came to a close. Every horse returned sound to the UK, less susceptible than ever to ‘The Mall backfire’. Every privileged soldier detailed to Abu Dhabi had the opportunity to
The Musical Ride in the desert
make new friends and to observe firsthand an Islamic culture that exhibits a truly generous hospitality and that made every effort to ensure that The Musical Ride could give its best on the Abu Dhabi deployment of 2009.
FLCoH Turpey and LCpl Tate on the gallop out at the first show in Abu Dhabi
Working with the Afghan National Police by Lieutenant AS Lin, The Blues and Royals Afghan National Police (ANP) have changed a lot in the last few years, but theirs is a progress slowed by a society which is itself changing very quickly. A day in a vehicle escorting the police and their quirks through their own country can give rise to a quiet wish that a few more steps might be taken alone.
journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step but as some journeyers will tell you, the successive steps become no easier. The
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Battlegroup Northwest has become an ISAF success, with relatively low levels of kinetic activity and the resultant opportunity for a much stronger focus on civilian development. In turn, this means that the soldiers of the Household Cavalry often work and live alongside
members of the ANP as we try to return Musa Qal’eh and its environs to a state of civil, rather than martial, law. Joint patrols in Mastiff, spending days in the desert with a mix of British troops and the ANP, can provide an awareness of Afghanistan that no amount of time studying intelligence will. Most strikingly, one is reminded of the humanity of ‘the other’; of those who do not speak English and do not wear our uniform, and whom we can tend to group together whether they be Taliban, ANP or civilian. They too, with their brief experience of British rations, immedi-
ately dig out their biscuits brown each morning to throw away. And just like us, they too stop paying attention to anything at all when it gets cold at night. Nevertheless most patrols end with a (reassuring!) feeling that our differences are greater than our similarities. Despite my continuing efforts to the contrary, my troop refuse to call me anything other than ‘Sir’; whereas no amount of explaining the rank structure will induce the ANP to stop addressing me with ‘Oi’! More fundamentally, a British soldier will achieve the effect asked of him through assessing which drills he has learnt are relevant to a situation, and applying them. Witnessing that combination of individuality and
training, especially noticeable in the Household Cavalryman, is one of the greatest pleasures of command. Individuality as provided by the ANP, meanwhile, can be a little more stressful for a commander, as your Vehicle Check Point grows, shrinks, and changes shape all of its own. Less training means less drills, and not enough discipline to apply them consistently.
the predominantly urban police force that we are used to mean little to the hierarchical and agrarian Afghan society. Such realisations help make the journey of progress feel a little shorter, but still a very long way from the end.
Harsh criticism indeed; but they are an Afghan solution to an Afghan problem, and anyone who has worked with them will agree that somehow, though the process might be incomprehensible to ISAF eyes, they very often seem to provide a satisfactory result. A fghanistan neither will nor should become Britain, and our images of
Exercise Mustang Return by 2Lt E D Richardson, The Life Guards
n September 2009, D Squadron, The Household Cavalry Regiment undertook a short battlefield study of Operation Husky, the allied campaign in Sicily in 1943. Sicily was chosen because it incorporated both armoured and airborne elements and allowed D Squadron to trace the history of 1st Royal Dragoons, an antecedent Regiment of The Household Cavalry. With Rommel still being engaged in the North African desert, Italy - the ‘soft underbelly of Europe’ - was chosen over Greece and Southern France as the next Allied target. Many will be familiar with Operation Mincemeat, the strategic deception plan par excellence, which saw the body of a British Royal Marines officer together with false documents being dropped near the coast of Spain by submarine. With the deception fully believed and Axis forces diverted away from Italy the Allies began the amphibious and airborne landing of Sicily, the largest in history. D Squadron began its study with a
visit to Primosole Bridge. The bridge was vital to Montgomery’s plan for 8th Army’s advance northwards, a plan
which bore an uncanny resemblance to Operation Market Garden 12 months later. Airborne landings by
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The group contemplating the approach to Centuripe
1st Parachute Brigade and 1st Air Landing Brigade would seize the bridge followed by a link-up with 151 Brigade and 4th Armoured Brigade. The airborne landings were only partly successful due to wayward gliders and fratricide from naval vessels and only a third of the airborne force were available to seize and hold the bridge. The coincidental arrival at the Primosole Bridge of the lead elements of the fanatical 1st Fallschirmjager Division, 24 hours before the British, did not help much either. The bridge was finally seized, but so desperate was the British position that the Brigade Commander himself was on the bridge defending it. What followed was awe-inspiring and in some ways bemusing. The bridge changed hands on a number of occasions and wave after wave of British infantry charged forward towards German machine guns with apparently little thought for any less attritional or more cunning approach. A heavy price was paid and after three days fighting the bridge was secured at the cost of 600 Allied dead and wounded. A visit to the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Catania brought this reality home starkly. Along with finding the graves of Major The Hon Jack Hamilton-Russell MC and two other Royals and laying flowers, we
paid respects to the fallen of the many diverse regiments and countries who lie in this green idyll overlooked by the beautiful yet menacing Mount Etna. A chronological move through the Husky campaign took D Squadron next to the battlefields around Sferro and Gerbini in the Catania plain. Here 51st Highland Division had met stiff Axis resistance and floundered in the flat, featureless, baking hot plain. The heat, lack of water and the absence of pack animals meant that many soldiers survived by grazing on the grape harvest. Centuripe, a heavily defended hill-top town chosen as the 8th Army’s next target, was also D Squadron’s next stop. Getting to the top in a minibus was difficult enough let alone slogging it as an infantry soldier in the 8th Army’s reserve, the 78th Battleaxe Division. The Division’s feat in conquering Centuripe was and still is acknowledged as simply astonishing. That the Division’s 38 Irish Brigade then continued to spearhead 8th Army’s advance towards the foothills of Mount Etna, doing so with such energy and success, was even more remarkable. It was a cruel twist that so many Irishmen were to contract malaria from bathing their blistered feet in the local rivers. In such a short time D Squadron was
A detour up Mount Etna (and a sharp change in temperature)
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Catania Military Cemetery
only ever going to see three battles in detail. Any future visits must make time to see the War Museum in Catania, possibly the best conceived and most brilliantly executed museum ever visited by members of the D Squadron group. Equally, one would be a most neglectful visitor if a trip was not made up Mount Etna itself, the defining feature of the west of Sicily. Ex MUSTANG RETURN provided D Squadron with a valuable opportunity to immerse itself in military history away from the distractions of every day life. Armoured and recce tactics of 1943 are very similar to those still practised today meaning that it was easy to draw contemporary lessons. The chaos and friction of war and the requirement for strong junior leadership were demonstrated very successfully by study of the battles of Primosole Bridge and Centuripe. Comparisons to contemporary operations in Afghanistan were plentiful including the need for good infantry/tank cooperation, the benefits of the indirect approach, and the complexities of fighting in close country. From a practical perspective, Sicily is accessible by low-budget airline and cheap. In sum, this was an excellent vehicle to achieve multiple aims at a low cost.
CoH Woollaston and LCoH Todd at the grave of Maj The Hon Jack Hamilton-Russell MC
Exercise Kalahari Thorn
22 Jan to 24 Feb 2009 - An overseas Squadron exercise to South Africa
s B Squadron troop leaders evenly shared out their last jammy dodger, every crumb accounted for, a bead of condensation slowly rolled off their make-shift corrugated iron shelter and down into the furnace-like fire beneath. This they had been told by the South African (SA) SF was meant to be a ‘survival’ exercise… The whole Squadron armed with a waterproof match and two raw eggs per man were tossed from the rear of the truck in pairs, to survive like two leopard cubs naked to the cruel desert around them. Dressed only in their shorts, the drum of the Kalahari rain beating at their inner spirit. The challenge - to survive the night, make fire, and return come morning, victorious with boiled egg in hand. One of two choices lay before the men: harden or crack. What the SA SF hadn’t accounted for in setting this task was the ingenuity of the British Tom. As the Troop leaders smuggly picked the last crumbs from their teeth little did they know that the entire Fijian Brigade Recce Force (BRF) contingent had come together from afar like metal filings to a magnet. They had sculpted a palatial shelter, made a fire to rival Pudding Lane, and were tucked up snuggly dozing under the Southern Star light. However, our self image of hunter-survivor was quickly shattered as the exercise came to an abrupt end - rain stopping play - a recurring feature that earned us the affectionate nickname of ‘Team Wimbledon’ by the supporting staff! The acclimatization complete, now began the two week training phase. Starting from Troop mounted and dismounted drills and moving swiftly on to full Squadron Ops. With the aim of gelling the new BRF together and setting down the basic procedures such as vehicle contact drills or actions on lost comms - the new team quickly B Squadron contact drills
B Squadron 2 Troop, South Africa
found its feet. All of this under the testing conditions and heat of the Kalahari Desert. This proved hard at best with heat casualties proving to be a real concern - even medics must practice what they preach! The only other casualty of note was the foolhardy puff adder who nestled in between the legs of Rifleman Rawson - a snake should know better than linger within the troops when there are Ghurkas lurking. Under the flamboyant guidance of CoH Parker, 1 Troop led the way into the Live Firing phase of the Exercise. Who’d have known at the time that the ‘handsome duo’ would build such a bond to lead 1 Troop for their Herrick Tour. The ten days of firing was excellent and really brought the BRF together. From pairs fire and manoeuvre to Squadron Live Attack, all involved dodged up and down the range as the directing staff gave commendations for accuracy
and the occasional bonus for style. This would not be a trip of all work and no play with the final few days reserved for some Adventure Training. Those amongst the group of a more historical tendency travelled to Kimberley to learn of the deeds of our Household Cavalry forebears in the Boer War. A group of eager marksmen under the guidance of our host Colonel Riaan Gray of the South African National Defence Force went on a hunting and Safari trip. All eventually succeeding in their aim and putting those basics such as eye-relief and sight picture to good use. The final option, with the added temptation of a log cabin bar, unsurprisingly appealed to the vast majority. Kam Kirri, the Adventure Training Ranch, offered quad biking, rafting and mountain biking to mention a few. All behaved impeccably. So, as the golden sun slid behind the B Squadron night attack
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rocky horizon waving goodbye to the day with its last rays of light, so it was time for the BRF to wave our goodbyes to Lohatla Camp. Pulling the men from the burger bar was like tearing a baby baboon from the clutches of its mother. The grease from the famed ‘Dagwood’ burger ironically loosening their grip. As the wheels rolled to mark the start of our journey home a leaping pair of kudu, in perfect synchrony, glanced into our view. And so we leapt to a new chapter in pre-deployment training.
B Squadron Capt Breech and 3 Troop in South Africa
B Squadron training in South Africa
B Squadron on patrol, South Africa
Exercise Slovak Selection 2009 by SCpl C A Eulert
xercise Slovak Selection began on Wednesday 22 April when two minibuses left Windsor loaded up under the supervision of the previous Squadron Leader (Maj W BartleJones) and the current (Maj W Davies). Dover to Calais followed, where upon arrival much hilarity ensued when Tpr Charles Hodges realised that he had left his wallet (with all his money) on a table in the ferry bar! A good start. Needless to say, he managed to get escorted back onboard and retrieve his wallet, empty of all cash, however renegotiating customs (the wrong way) on his Zimbabwean passport nearly put him in the illegal immigrant camp! Once back on the road it soon became apparent that everyone was more than happy to be chauffeured across Europe by a long-suffering Major and CoH, as no others had the relevant driving
licence. The long drive took us through France, Belgium, and Germany. Finally, after nearly 1000 miles and many cans of Red Bull and the popping of Pro Plus we arrived in Prague for halt one. This gave us the chance to spend the day doing as we wished, with some opting to sleep but most tempted out by the sights and sounds of a major European city. Most groups gravitated towards the Karlovy Lazne nightclub which claims to be ‘the largest nightclub in central Europe’, where a good night was had by all. The opportunity to see the Sqn Ldr do the ‘Running Man’ on stage was not to be missed! The next day was again spent on the road (with major diversions adding to BJ’s stress levels) until we were finally in Slovakia and at our destination of Liptovsky Mikolas. Paul Wilson and his staff at Propaganda Ski, Matt and
D Squadron prepares to get wet in Slovakia
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Esther, moved us into our chalet and prepared us for our late spring skiing. The next two days were spent either skiing or snowboarding on the slopes at Jasna in the lower Tatra Mountains. This again was not without its problems. Tpr White-Doyle’s size 15 feet proved problematic for the ski hire shop! Why with feet that big you need skis is a question to ponder... and who can forget Tpr Hodges cutting a dash on the slopes in a pink and purple all-in-one ski suit. He still claims it was a good look! White water rafting followed. With the amount of cross raft boarding and kidnaps, it was more like a scene Master and Commander. Next we were on to a Tarzan high wire course where the men were truly separated from the boys until finally in the evening we went to the local go karting centre where things got seriously competitive,
D Squadron skiing in the Lower Tatra Mountains Slovakia
dangerously so when the bar opened! Over the following two days the group split its time spent either paragliding in the mountains, quad biking or visiting the Tatralandia aqua park. LCoH Lindsay, LCpl Pragnell and I had an interesting experience when entering the health spa, barring all in expectation of European rules only to discover that it was not quite as ‘European’ as we expected! A hasty cover up was required. Maj Davies left for the UK and fresh support for Maj B-J arrived in the form of the Sqn 2ic, Capt Mann. He was rapidly inducted into the trip when LCoH Rose cooked up a vat of traditional Slovakian Goulash, which all present will always remember as Augustus’s burnt ‘Gloop’! Tobogganing, zorbing, a visit to the border market town of Zakopane in Poland and more white water rafting
followed. The latter was down the Olympic level kayaking course during which predictable chaos ensued as men were thrown in every direction. Our return trip took us via Krakow and a visit to Auschwitz. We saw Auschwitz 1’s notorious “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate, the famous execution wall and the rooms filled with Jewish personal effects. We then progressed on to Auschwitz Birkenau with its main gate made famous in the movie Schindler’s list. This visit was a certainly an eye opener and everyone reflected deeply on this ‘factory of death’ where an estimated 1.6 million were killed. A night in Amsterdam ensured that the return trip soon achieved epic status. Everyone had an amazing time and thanks must go to Major Bartle-Jones for organising the exercise and to Paul Wilson and his staff at Propaganda Ski.
Tpr Rautenbach swings through the Slovakian trees
Household Cavalry Regimental Pipe Club, on Tour in Helmand Province
here are three rules to Pipe Club. Rule One: Never talk about Pipe Club (this will therefore be a short article about tennis rackets); Rule Two: You’ll need a pipe; Rule Three: Well, we haven’t really got round to that one yet. Why a Pipe Club I hear you all ask. Well, for want of anything else, the need for some sort of male bonding (there are no pipe smoking women out here in Helmand, not that I have seen anyway) and the fact that the Motorcycle Club is in hibernation, meant that something had to be done. A group of soldiers, armed with pipes and a reasonable amount of tobacco, gathered early in the tour to discuss the merits of various types of ‘rag’. Maj S Potter 1 RHA and Capt M Heath RHG/D from the newly formed E Sqn HCR, the Influence Group in Musa Qaleh; along with SCpls Mardon and Gibson (RHG/D and LG respectively) helped form the nucleus of the Club
around the lone corn cob, BATUS era pipe smoking Regtl 2IC. With enough rag to seemingly last the first few months, things were looking good. The merits of light versus heavy rag were early issues. The lightweight coconut blend of rag was an early favourite, sadly gone all too soon. Others of note were the alcoholic delights of the Rum and Bourbon Blends, slightly heavier, more flavoursome with a longer lasting burn. A firm favourite for most was the American Delight, which offered a medium weight rag with strong, rich flavours. Cherry and Vanilla along with the Danish Mix (a local speciality from the Danish PX in Camp Bastion) were pleasant gap fillers in between supply runs from the UK and Bastion; although SCpl Gibson’s favourite appeared to be Uncle Bob’s Chocolate Blend, no one is quite sure if it is the chocolate, or Uncle Bob himself that does this for him. By the end of November, just two
Pipe Club Members
L to R: Regtl 2IC, SCpl Gibson LG, Capt M Heath RHG/D, SCpl ‘Pipe Major’ Mardon RHG/D, Maj S Potter 1 RHA (OC E Sqn HCR)
Pipe Club Members getting about as close to the sharp end as is possible!
months into the tour, things were not looking so rosy. It turned out that certain Club Members were hording stashes of their favourite blends and producing small supplies only when really necessary. Attempts to centralise supplies ended in the Club SQMC (SCpl Mardon, aka the ‘Pipe Major’) being accused of smoking more than his share - a large share granted - and the Club Chairman (Regtl 2IC) adopting the approach of smoking everybody elses rag but his own. Tension was high and a Third Rule for Pipe Club was proposed: You’ll also need some tobacco! As of going to print, tobacco rationing is in force. Club Members with secret stashes have been ‘outed’ and Members are rationed to one portion of St Bruno per day - those with larger pipe bowls are being asked to demonstrate restraint. Shipments from the UK have all but dried up, with the postal system taking up to three weeks to deliver valuable supplies, leading to some members suggesting we try the local ‘weed’; the medicinal benefits are well documented but we are unsure as to the legality of this particular blend. Although in the coming weeks, a number of large shipments are expected, can we hold on that long? Judging from the emaciated, tense thousand yards stares, things are not looking good and Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) Teams are on stand-by. The Club is looking to gain sponsorship from Havana House in Windsor’s Old Station Shopping Precinct and will develop and expand over the coming months to ensure that it continues on returning to Windsor in April 2010.
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Spruce Meadows 2009
by Captain P W Hanbury-Bateman, The Blues and Royals
his summer, another six fortunate Household Cavalrymen flew over to Alberta, Canada, to provide the Winners’ Honour Guard for the 26th time at the Spruce Meadows International Masters’ Tournament. For the troopers, this was their just reward for achieving a high place in the Richmond Cup competition, and offered them the chance to experience being involved in a high profile international event without the rest of the regiment to cramp their style. As well, we enjoyed the company of six members of King’s Troop RHA, who provided us with excellent company through out the exercise. The considerable challenge of convincing Hanoverian warm bloods to accept the equivalent weight of a pre-shrunk SCM McNamara covered in spectacular, Richmond radiant kit, with scabbards slapping away for extra encouragement, ensured a thrillingly unpredictable ride every time. Tpr Storey proved his equitation skills to the host nation by unseating himself on the warm-up day with suitable style and panache. We enjoyed centre stage at all the prize-givings by escorting the winning horse and rider to the podium to receive their substantial prizes in front of up to 45,000 spectators and international televised coverage. Once the prizes had been awarded, the immortal words came over the tannoy that never failed to send a considerable shiver down my spine, and slight knocking of knees… “Please, be up-standing and clap along in the time-honoured tradition to the Radetzky!” Off we ‘cantered’ around the arena with blaring music, flapping flags, clapping crowds and sparkling soldiers and terrified horses. Suffice to say, I have found God. Everybody worked exceedingly hard to fulfil our obligations to our superb
A very tight squeeze
hosts at Spruce Meadows, the Southern Family which, when combined with jet-lag and the friendly pressure to imbibe in local ‘cultural centres’ (Ranchman’s, Cowboys etc), ensured that we were all ready for a few days adventurous training in Banff. It was at this point that we sadly had to say goodbye to a proud Tpr Ogunnusis whose wife had given birth to his second child. We set off from Calgary, slightly the worse for wear, via the Olympic Skiing Village, and settled ourselves in the beautiful setting of the Rocky Mountain foothills ready to take on every challenge that was available to us. We shot down Rattlesnake River in rafts, tore around the mountains on ATVs and mountain bikes, took to the waters at Banff springs, and canoed across Lake Louise. Bonds and friendships were cemented between all who attended, Household Cavalry and King’s Troop alike, over a challenging and thrilling experience. A very successful exercise, generously hosted by the Southern Family concluded with a trouble free return to HCMR and the build up towards the Indian State visit.
AT with Kings Troop in the Rockies
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Tpr Dennis LG This was the second year that I was selected to go to Spruce Meadows, after taking part in the Richmond Cup competition. Canada is a beautiful place, and I felt very privileged to go. The first few days were taken up with getting used to riding the horse, lent to us by Spruce Meadows that we would be using for the Honour Guard. Most of these horses were not used to big shiny men trying to mount and ride them, so a couple of times we had someone fall off (not me!). Our job was to follow behind the competition winners in their specific event on a victory lap that was easier said than done due to the blistering heat and the horses not being used to us and just wanting to play. King’s troop RHA worked with us on all of this and made every second funnier and better. We spiced things up a bit by doing a bit of cross dressing with King’s Troop. Spruce Meadows had put on a night out at a local bar called Ranchman’s which had a mechanical bull which Capt Peter ‘the Cowboy’ HanburyBat eman
we all decided to challenge each other to have a go on. All I remember are arms and legs flying everywhere and regretting wearing my skin tight jeans! The organisers of Spruce Meadows really did take care of us, and we showed our thanks by presenting them a state helmet from the regiment. In our second week of being over there, we moved to Banff which is a beautiful little town surrounded by the Rocky Mountains where we enjoyed adventurous training and relaxing a bit after the tough week at Spruce. After selecting what activities we wanted to do, naturally we found ourselves in the pub. We did everything with King’s Troop as it was more fun all together. Our first experience of adventurous training was quad biking through the Rockies. This turned out to be a bit messier than we expected but didn’t mind the mud and dust getting everywhere one bit. We took on near vertical limits, deep puddles and just had a good laugh racing each other, wishing it would never end, but as soon as it did, we were onto the next adventure. White water rafting, tackling boulders, drops and anything else the water could bring to the party. At one point we were given the chance to jump in the water and swim to another raft…WOW! The water was so cold, I found myself trying to jump back into the raft. We also went mountain biking up the mountains near us which was so much fun racing down the hills, but I wasn’t a big fan of the uphill parts.
Spot the real horses!
The Glorious Honour Guard
At night, we went out to some of the bars and in one of them the live band chopped up teddy bears with chainsaws, and another one where LCoH Powell LG amazed us with his dance moves (funky chicken!) not that Capt
H-B could remember much the next day. We were all sad to leave, but we have great memories of a brilliant time and new friends from all over thanks to this experience.
The Kingsley Challenge by Captain C E B Dale, The Life Guards
The aim of The Kingsley Challenge is to row a mile, run a mile and ride a mile in a total time of 15 minutes. The Challenge was originally set by Charles Kingsley when a Don at Worcester College, Oxford, as ‘a near impossible feat’. Victors earned membership to the prestigious Kingsley Club and, rumour has it, a gold sovereign as a reward. For many years the challenge was all but forgotten, until recently, when it was resurrected by the Major General (London District) in order to promote a competitive spirit and too further enhance the ethos of the Household Division through a historic gentleman’s test.” These inspiring words were some of the first I had ever heard about the Kingsley Challenge at the beginning of May, 2009, however as they were followed by the age old army adage of ‘… it’s now your train set…’ I was certain to hear an awful lot more over the next
few months. The Kingsley Challenge is summed up very neatly in the above paragraph and is now a regular event at the beginning of July, with many a bemused Londoner or tourist having the opportunity to watch in amazement as a dozen or so Guards and Kings Troop Officers, compete against the clock and each other in order to crack the challenge and win the gold sovereign - London District finances allowing! This year, due to the high level of predeployment training we had a couple of very sad last minute cancellations, for example Maj. M. Goodwin Hudson RHG/D – a regular competitor and avid supporter of this unique event. Despite these frustrations, there was excellent representation from The Life Guards, The Blues and Royals and The Kings Troop, Royal Horse Artillery. Each of these regiments entering a team of three, for despite the individual nature of this event it is still regarded
as an inter-Regimental competition. The Challenge itself really is rather hard, but in spite of this it is a lot of fun, especially watching those ‘none rowers’ bobbing like ducks, (or fish… in the case of Lt. D. Cole RHG/D in 2008) on the Serpentine, before running a mile, invariably in wet trainers – always adding to the experience! Then hoping on a trusty stead, after donning the correct safety equipment obviously, and cantering a mile up and down Rotten Row, before crossing the finishing line. The results this year were very closely fought, on a team level The Life Guards just managed to pip The Kings Troop into first place, securing it for the Household Cavalry! On an individual level Capt. H. Wallace KTRHA won the event with a time of 14 minutes and 46 seconds and I am very glad to say that I also managed to come in under, with 14 minutes and 56 seconds for second place! This came as a bit of a surprise to all concerned, especially myself
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I hasten to add, as having been the organiser I was not banking on having the opportunity to compete as well and was still dressed in riding boots, breeches and shirt! Which while useful attire for the last leg of the competition was not ideal to say the least, for
either the rowing or running part… Having now competed and organised this ‘near impossible feat,’ I can thoroughly recommend The Kingsley Challenge to anyone who gets the opportunity in the future to take part,
A Fortnight in Brazil
it is unique in this day and age and in many ways rather light hearted, considering the Operational tempo at the moment. Further, I believe it goes far in achieving its aim to promote competitive spirit whilst all along enhancing the ethos of The Household Division.
by Captain R Walker-Okeover, The Blues and Royals
The entrance of the Vice President to the Brazilian Army Day Parade
efore the giant cogs of the ceremonial season began to pick up momentum, I was fortunate enough to find myself watching a sea of fluttering pennants bobbing on the lances of a hundred Brazilian Dragoons as they escorted the Vice President of Brazil into the Brazilian Army Day Celebrations. Although the most telling difference in this ceremonial display was that the Escort was being conducted at a gallop. Four divisions of light cavalry thundering down the vast expanse of drive that cuts through yet another of Brasilia’s immaculately groomed wide open spaces. The vice president’s car sits snugly between the ranks of the first division as they race towards the main arena and it’s a hot day for Brasilia, a day to immediately regret wearing winter breeches with service dress mounted. In late 2007 Colonel Valerio Stumpf Trindade, the military Attaché for Br azil became a friend of the Regiment and started to take a keen interest in the Equestrian side, having once himself commanded Brazil’s 1st Regimento de Cavalaria de Guardas (the 1st Guards Cavalry Regiment). In April 2008 I was fortunate enough to be the first participant in an exchange that has been set up between our two Regiments that, in large part, The author inspecting the Presidential Guard
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Fully suited up, a Troop practices mounted Public Order drills
owes its existence to the enthusi asm and hard work of Colonel Valerio. For this exchange I would be hosted for two full weeks by the 1st Regimento de Cavalaria de Guardas at their garrison in Brasilia. 1st Regimento de Cavalaria de Guardas trace their origins back to Portuguese Dragoons sent out to Rio de Janeiro to guard the Brazilian Vice roy. This duty transformed into a royal bodyguard in 1808 when the Portuguese Monarchy moved to Rio de Janeiro, then after Pedro I’s declaration of independence they later became known as the ‘Dragoes da Independencia’ (Independence Dragoons). In 1960 when the Presidency moved inland to take its seat in the newly formed Brasilia, so too did the Dragoes da Independencia. Today the primary role of the 1st Regimento de Cavalaria de Guardas, like our mounted Regiment, is ceremonial. Indeed their parade obligations compare very closely to our own. However, in contrast there are entire squadrons devoted to dismounted duties and the secondary function of the Regiment is the maintanence of Law & Order. While it is only with the express permission of the President that they are actually mobilised, watching a troop training in riot gear has made me wish we had a similar role in London. The horses are of course the key to the whole Regiment. They are of either a black, chestnut or grey variety and are sorted into troops of the same colour. Indeed, with the Troopers in their bleached white uniforms, and helmets that boast a brightly coloured plume and long flowing horse tail, movement and colour is everything on parade. Lances are carried by all except the officers who carry swords, while the plumes vary according to rank.
But the uniforms of the Dragoons are very much made for the comfort and agility of the rider and not the inspecting eye of the Queen’s Life Guard Orderly Officer. The emphasis is on horsemanship, with the majority of mounted soldiers having had previous experience and a much larger ratio having completed the equivalent of the Spurman’s course. This was clearly demonstrated when I watched rehearsals for a particular parade known as the Carousel; a ‘Musical Ride’ style display that incorporates 84 horses split into four troops performing a hugely complex routine. The shear scale of the routine made it one of most impressive things I had seen for a while. During my stay I had the privilege of visiting the Batalhao da Guarda Presi dencial (Presidential Guard Battalion) who perform the same ceremonial function as The Foot Guards. Here I was fortunate enough to see their rifle drill display team in action, performing a synchronised blur of rifle juggling feats similar to what you might expect from the best of the U.S. Marine Corps. I then spent time with the 3rd Esquadrao de Cavalaria Mecanizado (3rd Mechanized Cavalry Squadron) where I got to race around in the Urutu APC and the formidable Cascavel that looks very much like the Saladin’s bigger cousin. I also travelled outside the hinterland of Bra silia to visit the 1st Special Forces Battalion in Goiania, where because of their commitments in Angola and the Ivory Coast I was given the chance to practice my French, which proved be more successful than my current Portugese. For my part there was to be much less riding than predicted. Instead I spent my time meeting an enormous amount of people. I was incredibly fortunate to have a Lieutenant Bofill and a Cap tain
Guilherme as my personal chaperones, who were very able translators and became my firm friends after just a short time. The food was amazing and BBQ is a whole new experience to be discovered. I cannot recommend Brazil and the persistence of this exchange more enthusiastically. The 1st Regimento de Cavalaria de Guardas is currently commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Fico, to whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude for his hospitality and he is keen to send a couple of officers to us in the very near future. Pedicure at the Forge!
A Cascavel from the 3rd Mechanised Cavalry Squadron
Exercise Cockney Charger by Major T J Armitage, The Life Guards
hanks to a bilateral agreement with the Austrian military, the Regiment was offered the chance to use an Austrian Army barracks at Walgau Kaserne. With accommodation secured an Alpine Ski expedition was planned that would give all members the Basic Ski Proficiency (BSP) qualification and a very welcome break from life in the troops in Knightsbridge. On a Sunday afternoon in late February 28 Household Cavalrymen and two additional instructors boarded three minibuses to make an overnight trip to the Austrian Alps. After an epic drive the expedition arrived early on Monday morning and skis were quickly hired and lessons commenced. For some members of the group this was the first time they had ever touched snow let alone skied. Each morning the group travelled for about forty minutes from our barracks to the Saint Anton ski area that includes the resorts of Saint Anton, Zurs and Lech, each of which provide challenging skiing for novices and experts alike. But with Saint Anton itself being the jewel in the crown for après ski and night life. However, not every evening presented an opportunity to sample Saint Anton’s many bars as part of the BSP qualification involved evening classroom study and it was
Tprs Zhanje, Marsh, Van Der Walt,Palmer and Steer
amazing how much skiing under SCpl Marsh’s instruction can tire you out. I suspect that the balance and ability to listen to instructing that are developed during equitation training really helped all the skiers to progress quickly and by day three of the expedition most of those involved were up and skiing with considerable confidence. Most re alised that speed could be rapidly reduced by judicious use of the nearest
WO2 Davidson and CoH Royston
snowdrift and, since snow conditions were excellent, there was no shortage of fresh powder to choose from. The end of the week all of the group passed their BSP qualification and could ski to a level where they were confident enough to tackle most slopes. To test the mettle of all the skiers a short speed race was held on the last day of the expedition amongst the fastest men on skis were Tprs Steer, Apres Ski
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Van Der Walt and Winfield-Kearney. All members of the expedition were well equipped with Gore-Tex ski jackets and salopettes provided by the Army, but a special mention must go to Tpr Palmer LG who favoured carrying his packed lunched in ’37 pattern webbing and wearing WW2
battledress. When not occupying a piste-side foxhole he presented a most surprising sight to most Austrians. Exercise Cockney Charger was not overambitious in its adventure training aims, but provided an excellent chance for a group of young soldiers to escape Knightsbridge and experience a totally
new activity. All returned to Hyde Park Barracks refreshed by mountain air and hoping to be selected for the Regimental ski team. Thanks must go to the Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund and the Commanding Officer HCMR for making the expedition possible with their financial support.
Community Engagement by Major T J Armitage, The Life Guards
Tprs Raastrich LG and Harris RHG/D go on a photo call at the New London Theatre
he HCMR has been tasked by London District to deliver Community Engagement (CE) in the London Borough of Brent and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. CE is best described as the operation to influence the civilian population amongst which the Army is based and from which it draws its recruits. Whilst recruiting is a key aspect of CE, its approach is more subtle than that of Army Careers Office and aims to ensure that the Army is well understood in communities both in terms of our activities and the values and standards that we uphold. Such work is particularly important with ‘gatekeepers’ such as schools and community groups which, if understanding and supportive of the Army, will provide an environment in which the Army is well regarded and from which recruiting is enhanced. The HCMR’s two boroughs could scarcely be more different; one affluent
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and on our doorstep and the other further than a watering order can reach and challenging due to lack of an Army footprint in the area and a large ethnic community that has a limited understanding of what the Army is about. Unsurprisingly, the HCMR’s efforts have been focused primarily on Brent.
is already doing a huge amount of engagement with a wide variety of different groups visiting the barracks, for example equestrian, but work remains to be done to educate and convince schools and communities in Brent of the benefits of working with the Regiment. Progress in this area has been slow.
Progress has been steady and the Regiment now has well developed links with the local councils in both Boroughs and, where applicable, with Territorial or Cadet units. One recent example of CE efforts in Brent has been the unusual sight of a watering order passing through the streets; an event that resulted in coverage on the London evening news and on a number of local radio stations. However, measuring the effect of such initiatives is difficult.
One nascent aspect of the Regiment’s CE activity that shows particular promise is the development of a leadership programme for young people. The programme needs to overcome a number of funding issues before it can start, but it is hoped that it will allow a number of young people to better understand the Army and also give something back to the communities we are involved with.
A more tangible way to gauge success is in terms of specific activities with schools and community groups; either the Regiment visiting them or them coming to Hyde Park Barracks. It is undoubtedly the case that the Regiment
“To represent the Army and Cadet movement across the LONDIST AOR to endure the full range of the Army’s values, standards, capabilities and needs are freely accepted by the Communities within which our soldiers live, train and resettle in order to enhance our ability to recruit.”
by Captain M E Fry, The Blues and Royals
Alan Titchmarsh interviewing the Farrier Major for The Spun Gold Production of ‘All The Queens Horses’
or the first time in many years the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment has a Unit Press Officer from the Regiment. Captain M E Fry RHG/D has been in post for a year, having completed the Foundation Media Course at RAF Uxbridge. This has proved useful as press inquiries can be dealt with quickly, and the feedback from news organisations has been very positive. The only drawback is that HCMR has been relied upon by London District more to provide media support and the workload has increased significantly! As well as the usual glut of budding photographers hunting for a “unique” opportunity to photograph our horses and soldiers, the Mounted Regiment has taken part in a number of high profile media engagements over the past year. The horses, particularly Spartacus, stole the show when Alan Titchmarsh came to film us as part of his prime time ITV programme on the Windsor Horse Show. As well as attempting to
Nanny Mcphee filming with the Life Guard Squadron
ride Waterford, Alan followed Trooper Obeng-Frimpong LG as he prepared his kit for the first Richmond Cup inspection in Knightsbridge. That Trooper Obeng-Frimpong went on to win the Richmond Cup is entirely coincidental. The Life Guard Squadron were fortunate enough to take part in the filming of “Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang” directed by Susanna White (Generation Kill) and starring Emma Thompson. Under the command of Major T J Armitage LG they will be hitting a cinema near you soon, although six hours of filming on horseback for approximately a minute of film sequence has put many of the Life Guards off a film career. The Musical Ride performances in Abu Dhabi created a lot of media interest, and the Regiment held its first Press Open Day, which culminated in a press conference in the WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess. Our slightly raised media profile has allowed us to assist worthwhile
James Cracknell and Ben Fogel at the end of their rickshaw challenge at Hyde Park barracks
causes as well. We recently hosted Major P Packer RMP, Ben Fogle and James Cracknell on behalf of SSFA as they were filmed heading over to the “Pride of Britain Awards” after their epic Edinburgh to London nonstop cycle ride. The Regiment had a further chance to help SSFA when “Strictly Come Dancing” needed a venue to film for their Remembrance Weekend show. The new Command Clerk, Private Marshall AGC(SPS) took the opportunity to demonstrate his hidden Latin flair as he taught the professional dancers a few of his steps. As well as the big, positive events, media ops have been utilised day-to-day to protect and enhance the Regiment’s standing. The goodwill that we build up by engaging positively with journalists and news organisations has been crucial to fulfilling this function. Successful media ops are a useful tool and can help the Regiment on a very wide spectrum, from fundraising to recruitment to improving and protecting our reputation.
Capts Dale and Fry host members of the UAE delegation as well as members of the Press during their visit to HCMR in May
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by Captain WJ A Goodhew, The Life Guards
he highlight of the summer for the Regiment was undoubtedly the annual pilgrimage to Norfolk for Regimental Training. Having chosen the most competitive horses, each Squadron began the process of converting our horses from the London based 4 x 4 to the cross country 4 x 4, a task that was undertaken under the watchful eyes of the Riding Master Capt M Avison LG and his trusted gang of ‘Blue Mafia’. With Hyde Park as the most representative location of Norfolk this was no mean feat, but most of the horses managed to deploy to Norfolk having been forced over several coloured poles. The horses were delighted at the sight of the green grass of STANTA Training area, though some were possibly less delighted at the sight of some fairly solid wooden jumps that they were soon to be tested on. It was imperative however that the priority must remain with the main focus of summer camp, Op Tryout. With all the outside security agencies and The GOC LONDIST, Major General W G Cubitt CBE present, the pressure was on for the Regiment to perform. The training passed without incident, and under the direction of the newly appointed Adjutant, Capt E P Olver LG, the Mounted Regiment performed extremely well and was able to focus on the other activities that Norfolk has to provide. Regimental Training provides the perfect environment for both soldiers and horses to improve their skills, both on the flat and over fences. Without the pressure of the Escorts or indeed the Queens Life Guard, a slightly more relaxed regime was established. Within this the focus was to prepare for the varying competitions which were looming ahead. Some looked forward to these with enthusiasm yet others
Col LG watching the Senior Handy Hunter with LCpl Heeley and Trooper Steer
would possibly have liked to have kept their feet firmly rested on the ground! The competitive side of the training was taken extremely seriously with varying degrees of success. It should be noted that the competitions are not in any sense easy, and certainly put all involved parties through their paces. The standard was set with the Juniors Show Jumping Competition whose title was taken in style by LCpl Evans RHG/D on Iago. With a fierce and dogged determination, the leading competitors for the Senior Show jumping were the Commanding Officer, Colonel C A Lockhart MBE RHG/D, on Lochnagar and Captain T ‘Daisy’ Burne RHG/D, inevitably riding Daisy. It was close run thing, but Daisy and Capt Burne prevailed and jumped to victory in a very exciting jump off. Of particular note was the performance of CoH Smith LG and CoH Ansell RHG/D, who man aged to
CoH McWhirter and The Blues and Royals at Holkham beach
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settle their regimental differences and combine to form the winning team in the Handy Hunter competition. Furthermore, under the gaze of the hordes of Norfolk who flocked in for the Open Day, LCpl Evans rode a sterling round and took yet another trophy. It must be taken into account that Regimental Training encompasses all fields of discipline, and one of these that is perhaps looked upon with a due sense of trepidation is the Cross Country race. The flaw in this race is the fact that competitors are to partake minus their horse. Some great results came out of this, but of particular note in the ‘veterans’ class was WO2 SCM K M cNamara RHG/D. As the hot favourite, there was no great surprise at this result! It is not all hard work at Thetford, and there was a great deal of effort put in to ensure that there was plenty of activity
Tprs Foran and Eguasi-Acquah on the Regimental cross country
to keep everybody occupied. Amongst these were the Troop and Squadron days out, taking the normal form of the Officers and Seniors being pelted by paint balls or thrashed on the race track. Furthermore, the Clay Pigeon Shooting took on a new force this year under the direction of LCoH Shaw LG. The Forge took full advantage of this, but we cannot ignore the bril liant instruction and demonstrations of true marksmanship by Trooper Kelly RHG/D, who could be found on the range whenever he had a spare second.
The RCM and The Commanding Officer take the final fence of the Handy Hunter
Col Cowen CoS London District presenting the Commanding Officer with his trophy for the Seniors show jumping at Regimental Training
The highlight of the period was undoubtedly the Open Day. As a firm fixture in the diaries of Norfolk, vast crowds were seen blocking the roads around STANTA Training Area. Having been given a brilliant days entertainment, not only from the Regimental Competitions, but also from the Musical Ride, the Royal Artillery Motorbike Display Team and a Falconry display, they were acutely aware of the collection for the Household Cavalry Casu alties Fund. All those who attended were extremely generous, and the Regiment are eternally grateful for this. And so it was with a slightly heavy heart, yet also with an excitement about the upcoming leave, that the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment departed Norfolk to return to Knightsbridge, all having gained something from this important exercise.
The Forge at Regimental Training
LG Band Gliding Course
by WO1(BM) P A Collis-Smith, The Life Guards
welve members of The Band of The Life Guards took part in a Basic Training Gliding Course last September as an Adventurous Training activity. The course was held at Upavon Airfield opposite Trenchard Lines and organised by LCoH Danny Carter who is a Gliding Instructor. None of us knew anything about flying before (in particular, Gliding) and this added to the tension of what we were going to experience. Firstly, there were many tasks the group Who is going first?
needed to do at all times in order to keep the gliders safely in the air. The gliders had to be re-positioned after every flight to prepare for their launch on the winch and the control tower needed manning and operating to include all flight logs. There were also various driving duties to perform which included towing gliders with a tractor and collecting the cables from the winch. We also had to assist the actual launch of the gliders themselves which involved connecting them
to the winch and signalling to the control tower when they were safe to launch. Secondly, there was the flying. There are so many different aspects to flying an aircraft and amazingly most of the team managed to learn to fly from take off to landing by the end of the week with supervision from an instructor. This included take off, maintaining a heading, maintaining a constant speed, entering a circuit, approach and landing. Each of us had around twenty flying lessons and Get set
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Ready to go
All on my own
now have the ability to continue as members of the Army Gliding Association to eventually become solo pilots, which is included in the cost of the course.
teamwork to keep the airfield running smoothly and the inevitable nervousness associated with flying an aircraft gave us a real sense of achievement.
All in all, this was an excellent activity; it was great fun whilst providing each member with a sense of achievement at the end. It was also a highly rewarding team building exercise as the mix of
The aim of the Army Gliding Club is to provide serving soldiers with the opportunity to fly. There are seven courses per year which last for one week. The cost of the course is £150 per individual
which includes membership for one year and free flying until the pilot is capable of flying solo (for up to 6 months), which is a stepping stone to achieving a Private Pilot’s Licence. For details of arranging this adventure training activity through your band email LCoH D Carter: email@example.com
PTI, Band of The Life Guards by WO1(BM) P A Collis-Smith, The Life Guards
hrough many years of taking part in Passing Out Parades you come to realise that there is always a standard format: The Band marches the troops on, the Sgt carries out the dressing procedures, we wait until the inspecting officer arrives, play incidental music during the inspection, march past, prizes, speeches etc. Maybe apart from the famous adjutants Sovereign’s Parade rehearsal at Sandhurst, they are more or less the same, so I thought. On Friday 11th September, I had the pleasure of attending the Army Physical Training Corps Passing Out Parade as Musn Julian Sandford from The Life Guards Band had completed the six week AAPTI (All Arms Physical Training Instructor) course and this was his big day. In addition, thirteen PTI Sergeants whose course had been 30 weeks long had also graduated from their
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part of the course and were transferring to the PT Corps on graduation as Physical Training Sergeant Instructors.
onto the floor and (cue music) a whole ‘Matrix’ film fight seen was carried out complete with slow motion effects.
The parade took place in the Gymnasium within Fox Lines, Aldershot and as expected, the soldiers on parade were dressed in white vests or blue jackets. No surprises there then. The next event which followed was the Inspecting Officer, Maj General R L Kirkland CBE awarding the usual prizes for outstanding achievements to individuals. After his address, Gen. Kirkland took his place in the front row of the seating area for the display by all members of the course and Permanent Staff. The display was a number of presentations given by each class or course within the School. There were displays about how soldiers are trained for the fitness side of combat and displays about rehabilitation of injured soldiers, showing the important role PTSI’s carry out when integrating an injured soldier back into a unit. There was also an impressive display of fitness teamwork during the log display; but what added a pleasing yet surprising twist to the whole thing was that there were ‘plants’ in the audience, designed to throw in an element of surprise into the proceedings. For example, one class of PTI’s were showing the benefits of combat conditioning training; a cross between boxing and self defence. One member of the audience (who actually came in with his family before the parade) starting shouting at the group saying that it was “embarrassing” and “this is not how you should be training them”. Of course, he was invited
During another display, the AAPTI’s were demonstrating the rifle exercises as a group. It was uncomfortable watching at first, because it wasn’t very well co-ordinated as you could see a number of them struggling to keep time with the instructor. However, you soon realised that this was deliberate when the PTI stopped the exercise, gave them a bit of a morale sapping warning, then cue the music again into Tom Jones singing ‘Leave Your Hat On’ when the class demonstrated a perfectly synchronised version of the final scene of ‘The Full Monty’. All in all, the blend of humour with the evident professional world class service the APTC provide across the Army was something to be proud of. It must have been proud for the friends and families that attended and I know it was a proud moment for the Military visitors supporting members of their units. As for Musn Julian Sandford, he should be congratulated for being one of a very small group in Corps of Army Music (CAMUS) who have completed the course. Speaking to him afterwards, he explained how he had been on the assault course nearly every day for six weeks, and that he could complete a PFT in less than eight minutes. He then went on to tell me what plans he has for the remainder of the band on his return. One step at a time Jules…
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up Nordic Ski Team 2009/10
by Lieutenant C T D Talbot, The Blues and Royals
his was the second year that the Household Cavalry had sent a team to take part in Nordic Skiing and it was with trepidation that ten of us set off from Windsor to Norway for the month long pre-competition training. The first part of the Exercise was to take place in Norway, where we eventually arrived after an interesting two-day journey. Upon arrival we took over our cabin and sorted the kit ready to commence training the next day. The first day in Norway was also the first day on snow for many of the squad, with Tpr Richardson LG and Tpr Smith 23 RHG/D providing some high quality entertainment for the rest of the team (although both were to prove their ability once they got to grips with moving on snow). After everyone had grasped the idea of Nordic skiing the real training began apace, and under the brilliant instruction of SCpl Marsh the team began to cover longer distances and occasionally treated ourselves to some hill repetitions, endurance work and the now infamous pain sessions in the evenings. Throughout this period the members of the team, who had already completed a season, LCpl Hulatt; Tpr Wallis; Tpr Hill; and Tpr McQuade continued to set the pace for the novices, constantly reminding us of the standards we needed to achieve. After four weeks of this intense training we left Norway and returned to the UK for Christmas leave and well earned rest and recuperation before we embarked upon the competition stages. We left the UK before the New Year and headed to Munich for a pit-stop and to enjoy the entrance of 2010 German style, needless to say the Household Cavalry Nordic Ski Team had a fantastic time and for more information I suggest asking Tpr Wallis LG! From
Hochfilzen in Norway to take part in the RAC & AAC competition. For most of us, this would be a severe baptism of fire as it is a World Championship course with severe hills, steep corners and treacherous downhills. Needless to say, the first race was a real shock to the system for the ma jority of the team, and we very quickly realised how much this sport really was a ‘real man’s sport’ as SCpl Marsh had repeated told us in Norway. From this first race the team really settled in to their racing rhythm and we slowly climbed up the leader board, with some very good performances being put in by LCpl Hulatt RHG/D and Tpr Hill LG. On entering the biathlon events; it became evident that the team were slightly wayward in their shooting. We managed to remedy this quite quickly however, with some very good scores being recorded by the novices (Tpr Smith 23 RHG/D and Tpr Richardson LG). Luckily, the rest of us we were allowed to enjoy extra time on our skis in the beautiful countryside… on the penalty loops! After the racing was finished, we prepared for the prize giving ceremony. Amazingly, we managed to scoop one team medal, for best ‘B’ team, a clear sign of the depth within our squad; as it is virtually impossible to compete against the RTR, REME and RLC who have dubious past times and very strong teams with many of them in the GB development squad. From Hochfilzen we headed off to Serre Chevalier for the divisional championships which took a very similar format to the RAC’s competition. With the Christmas cobwebs well and truly brushed aside, the team started very well in the 10km Classic where once again Tprs Richardson and Hill put in a very good time along with the more experienced LCoH Perry LG. From this point, we improved further in the 7.5km Skate race where good performances were put in throughout the team, particular mention should be made of Tpr Smith 23 who
showed a remarkable flair for skating. He continued to improve to become one of the best in the squad. The team then competed in the team relays where some hard graft from the guys, pushed us up to a very admirable 10th position. At this stage the majority of the races were over, and the team took to enjoying the local nightlife and experiencing all that an alpine resort has to offer. Meanwhile, LCpl Hulatt; Tpr Hill; Tpr Richardson and I, began to prepare for what many view as the main event of the divisional competition; the patrol race. This is a military style patrol over 20km, with various tasks along the way. It started inauspiciously, with some very rogue drill when I presented the patrol to the GOC of 5 DIV. From this, less than ideal start, we headed off and things began to look up. We set a good pace and began to eat up the kilometres, the guys performed very well on the ranges and we hit every check point easily. It was with a mix of pleasure and pain that we crossed the finish line; at once realising that this was our last race, and normal life would soon have to resume, but all good things have to come to an end. It was with a mix of relief and disappointment when we returned to Windsor, on 21st Jan after two months of training and competing. The soldiers had performed brilliantly to a man, showing all the characteristics that make the Household Cavalry different. They took a new and difficult sport in their stride, whilst battling freezing temperatures and severe physical endurance and all the time they had a smile on their faces. I for one hugely enjoyed the two months we spent away, and this was made all the sweeter knowing that Lt Hopkinson was slog ging on in Windsor!! The novices and those who had skied before all improved leaps and bounds; and we now have a very good platform which can be developed and improved upon next season.
by Cornet J C T Rawdon-Mogg, The Blues and Royals
or the twenty-sixth year, the Household Cavalry returned to Verbier at the beginning of December for the Royal Armoured Corps skiing championships. With the majority of the regiment on tour in Afghanistan the team was made up from HCMR and D Squadron HCR. We arrived in some
style, in fantastic jackets provided by Barbour and Discoveries provided by Land Rover which proved the envy of all other cavalry regiments competing. The long relationship that the army has with Verbier as a resort means that we all felt completely at home, whether on the slopes or in one of the
various establishments around town. Almost invariably it is the Fér a Cheval which was the meeting place for all competitors at about four thirty each afternoon for ‘une grande biere’ and a competition to see who can sing Country Roads the loudest! The Racing was of a particularly high standard this year, with
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competition between the four HCMR novice skiers dominating our chalet. Tpr Flawn came out on top, fighting his way rather mellifluously to finish sixth team member in the combination. Although we were rather depressed to be leaving Verbier, the five ‘survivors’ packed the Land Rovers and headed to Serre Chevalier, full of hope for success and silverware at the Divisional Ski Championships. Although we could not replicate the impressive haul accumulated by LCpl Bond last year, together with the Nordic ski team we became the London District Combined Champions, while Captain Ed Howland-Jackson LG won the prize awarded to either the best Non-Commissioned Officer of the championships, or to the team captain who contributed the most; much laughter ensued as to which criteria was used! In contrast to both Verbier and the Divisional Championships, the sun shone on the Army meeting in Chantemerle for the four remaining skiers to top up on the much needed tan. The road along the bottom of the valley provides the passenger with a view of the infamous Piste Luc-Alphond, the setting for the Army Downhill and Super-G race. On our way into Serre Chevalier the previous week there had been much exclamation as to quite how we were going to straight-line it down this incredibly steep slope and here we were, now quite literally staring it in the face. 2100m of piste, with a vertical drop of over 600m is not to be sniffed at, especially when skiing at speeds of over 100kph and so it is fair to say that there were quite a few worried faces on the morning of the downhill, myself included. A considerable amount of bad luck and bruised prides disqualified us from the team competition in the slalom. However the results of the downhill showed that we at least have mettle and the smile on the face of everyone who crossed the finish line proved that all of the hard work was worth it - as they say, downhill skiing is for real men.... We all consider ourselves to be extremely lucky to be able to represent the Household Cavalry at these championships. For those who had never been on skis before, all of whom can now say that six weeks later they have completed a downhill course in one piece can be justifiably proud of their achievement, while those of us who competed at the Army Championships can say that we held our own against stiff competition from regiments with far fewer commitments elsewhere. Overall the ski team has had a very successful season and looks forwards to next year when we hope to further build on the successes of this year.
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The Team pose for a photo on a cold morning during the RAC/AAC Race week.
Clockwise L-R: LCpl Bond HCR, Ct Rawdon-Mogg HCR, Capt Howland-Jackson HCMR, Tpr Flawn HCMR, Tpr Hattingh HCMR, Tpr Lewis HCMR, Tpr Gibson HCMR, Tpr Notley HCR, Lt Richardson HCR, Tpr Barnes HCMR
The team who made it to the Army Finals after completing the Luc Alphand Downhill seen in the backround. L-R: Capt Howland-Jackson HCMR, Tpr Notley HCR, Ct Rawdon-Mogg HCR, Tpr Hattingh HCMR
Household Cavalry Cresta Run Trip 2010 by Cornet J C T Rawdon-Mogg, The Blues and Royals
2Lt Chishick & Ct Boyd-Thomas
he Household Cavalry took a team out to St Moritz this January for the Army Inter-Regimental Cresta Run competition, continuing the strong tradition of the Regiment’s participation in the event and in Army Cresta. The Cresta Run is an ice run, similar to a bobsled run, carved new every year by hand since 1885 in St Moritz, Switzerland and is the only one of its kind in the world. The Run differs from a bobsled run and skeleton in that it is not based on a concrete shell and thus differs slightly from year to year, as well as the fact that the corners are not all banked up; some, indeed, are deliberately shallow causing riders to fall out if they do not steer around them. The Cresta is not all about speed, but a combination of speed and control. Riders go head first on toboggans with sharpened metal runners, steering with their body weight and with spikes on the toes of their boots for controlling speed. This year 2Lt PJR Chishick LG and Ct WE Boyd-Thomas RHGD, recently arrived from Sandhurst, represented the Regiment in the Inter-Regimental Pairs race. Ct Boyd-Thomas, having not ridden before, started the beginners’ school on the Monday together with the other Army
novice riders from a variety of different regiments including amongst others, the Irish Guards, Kings Royal Hussars, Queens Royal Lancers, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards and the King’s Troop RHA. The first stage of the week comprised practice on the run. During these days the novices got to grips with the run and started to improve their times, experimenting with more advanced techniques the more experienced they became. It is quite a daunting experience to ride the Cresta for the first time, and riders can potentially reach speeds of over 60mph, lying only inches off the ice. All riders start off on a traditional toboggan with a sliding seat provided by the Club, from a point two thirds of the way up the run known as “Junction”. Once they get good enough on the run and are able to get their times down to 48 seconds from Junction they are able to qualify to ride from Top or to convert to the more modern Flat Top Toboggan. The infamous Shuttlecock corner acts as a safety valve, causing those who are not in control to fall out and land in the soft snow and straw. All riders end up in the straw eventually and Ct Boyd-Thomas (or “The Boy” Thomas, as he became known by the Club Secretary!) had a
Trying to stay on
brief visit after a rather ambitious second run, earning him his Shuttlecock Tie. Going from Top is a rather different ball game altogether; the initial stretch of the run is almost a sheer drop increasing the rider’s initial speed substantially, hence why riders have to prove their ability before starting from Top. 2Lt Chishick having already qualified to ride a Flat Top a few years previously, managed to get his times down to regular rides of 46 seconds this year, qualified to go to Top. On the Race Day itself there were a number of prizes on offer: the 17th/21st Lancers Cup (the Inter-Regimental Pairs Trophy), The Army Novice Competition and the Army Handicap Competition. Ct Boyd-Thomas did well in the Army Novice competition, getting some good times considering he had not yet progressed onto a running start. In the Inter-Regimental Race, the pair from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards came first, followed by the Queens Royal Lancers and the Household Cavalry in third place. Given that both the first two pairs were made up of Army Riders, the Regiment acquitted itself well. Hopes are high for next year and there is also potential for getting Household Cavalry riders back into the Army Cresta Team.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment – A Year in Sport by WO2 (SCM) Davidson, The Life Guards
his last year has been an incredibly busy one for The Mounted Regiment, and as a consequence, some of the nicer things in life have had to take a back seat in order to achieve the results required. Regimental sports, whether they are team or individual events, are more often than not the first things to be sacrificed in order to achieve this. That said, thanks to some very creative management, good fortune and a lot of
sympathy from the respective Squadron leaders and Squadron Corporal Majors, the Regiment has still managed to turn out some impressive performances. So where to start? Well, the beginning of the year seems to be as good a place as any, and that can only mean one thing. As with any other year, the Regiments, both Windsor and London, provide a healthy amount of person-
nel for the downhill Alpine ski team, which is covered elsewhere in this publication. The other winter skiing event that so often gets overlooked for the party boys in Verbier is the Nordic ski team. Again, this is covered later. On a slightly different note, Maj. Tom Armitage led a 30 man exped to Austria’s St. Anton resort in the last week of February. This gave members of
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The Commanding Officer retires to the pavillion
both Squadron’s the chance to gain entry level qualifications in Alpine skiing, and hopefully fire their enthusiasm for the discipline come the next Alpine team selection. Yet again, SCpl SQMC Ian Marsh headed up the instructors, with some less than expert help from WO 2 EWO Rupert Hackman. The author was also on this particular trip, so you start to get the idea. I can speak for all when I say that I am forever scarred by Tpr Floyde’s exploits… trust me, the least said about that, the better. One sport that the Mounted Regiment always seems to over achieve in is football. Managed by WO2 RAWO Richie Pryor, and captained by Sgt Aaron Walker, the team once again excelled and won the London district minor units league, no mean feat when it is remembered that due to Escorts and Queens Life Guard etc, the same team rarely appeared twice. It has to be noted that even the author dusted off his boots and gloves, and returned with cat like grace to the team. The season was topped off with an incredibly success ful five day tour of the Isle of Wight. Would never have happened in my day!
it is rumoured they were etched at the same time as Mo ses received the Ten Commandments. That’s right folks, it’s the inter mess cricket and football. In the period since the last journal, there have been two football matches and one cricket match. The first football match being early December last year, turned into a bit of a goal fest for the WO’s and NCO’s Mess team, with them running away with a 7-0 victory. This year however, was a completely different story. The addition of “Rufus of the Rovers” Gordon-Dean was a master stroke for the Officers Mess team, and with his eye for goal, the WO’s and NCO’s mess never say die spirit, this years match turned into the stuff of legend. Swaying first one way then the next, the Officers Mess ran out eventual winners 7-6. Jumpers for goal posts!
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the tempo of mounted ceremonial does take it’s toll on the sporting calendar, but it seems that there are two events that are so set in stone,
The Mess cricket at Regimental training this year also saw a gladiatorial-esque struggle between the two houses, with some notable (Scott and Ireland) performances’, and some not so notable (Capt. Core). With the WO’s and NCO’s mess batting first, we started appallingly and shed 5 wickets for 25 runs. En ter Messers Ireland and Scott to steady the ship, with strong contributions from the RCM and the LG SCM. Still, it wasn’t thought that the total would be enough to see them through. The
The Commanding Officer gets tackled ‘mess style’ as the PTI (Capt Kellet) looks on
“Super Sub” RHG/D Squadron Leader getting ready to come on to the football field
74 ■ Household Cavalry News
The winning team
Officers mess started strongly with a good opening partnership between the Commanding Officer and the Quar termaster. It took two great spells of bowling from SCpl SQMC Ireland and WO2 EWO Hackman to see the WO’s and NCO’s mess team to victory, with the EWO notching up the unbe lievable figures of 5 wickets for 2 runs. Sport of any kind has so much to offer the soldiers in our charge, and with competitive sports falling ever more by the wayside in schools, the chance to compete and participate at any level, at any sport should be grasped with both hands. Hopefully we can continue to give such chances in the forthcoming year, as we have over this last one.
The RCM gets off the mark
Polo - 2009
Capt Mundawarara riding off one of the cadets at Sandhurst
egimental Polo can be a rather hit or miss affair depending on who is around and other commitments. Last year saw a majority of those who would usually make up the team either deployed or just about to deploy on operations and thus we saw our entry in the Inter Regimental coming to a very dramatic halt in the first round with a rather comprehensive defeat by the Royal Wessex Yeomanry (RWxY). In complete contrast, this year we have seen a healthy availability and willingness to play from all levels of players. We were extremely fortunate to be able therefore to split the teams between the Regimental side and a ‘Developing’ team. We were even more fortunate in being picked to form the backbone of the Army developing team. Developing Team RAF Cranwell has traditionally hosted the first meet on the Army calendar. The first game, against RAF Rock, started off slowly and although a spirited fight back was on the cards, saw the Regiment lose
The Commanding Officer, Maj de St John Pryce, Capts Mundawarara, Meredith-Hardy and Mackie. The winning team at RMA Sandhurst polo tournament
3-2. The second game was against the Adjutant General’s Corps. By now the side had loosened up and the first win of the season edging the ladies out 2-1 ½ was notched up. Having come second in the group the team went into the third place game on the Sunday against the local Leadenham team. Capt J E A de St John-Pryce RHG/D and Lt E P Mackie RHG/D played well at number 4 and 3 respectively, proving too strong a match for the opposition which saw a runaway victory. The next event saw the team take on the cadets at RMAS on Heritage day in front of some 5000 plus people. The game got off to a great start with Capt C T Meredith-Hardy LG getting an early goal seconds after the start of the first chukka, the fact that the Commanding Officer hit the ball towards the goal and it stopped rolling before Meredith-Hardy knocked it in from about 3 inches is beside the point. The team went into the final chukka 7-0 up. As fatigue set in, the cadets were able to score three goals at the end to make the final score slightly more respectable.
Mrs Cubitt and the winning team at the Household Division polo tournament
The next game at the Guards Polo Club was a Household Division American style tournament. De spite Lt E P Mackie RHG/D falling off his horse… twice … the team prevailed 3-1 in the first game. However, in true Household Division fashion by the end all the teams had each won and lost one putting them all on equal points, although goal difference saw the Regiment triumph. The culmination of the season came as the team travelled down to Tidworth for the Captains and Subalterns tournament. The team got off to a poor start though, losing to the Welsh Guards, but quickly bounced back with a confident win over the Gunners. The final game would have seen the team finish second however an injury on the opposition at the end of the final chukka saw play stopped just as a goal was begging. Regimental Side The Regimental side had a very successful year… ’entered one tournament, won
The Commanding Officer, Lt Wales, Capt Mann and Major Lewis after winning the Inter Regimental
Household Cavalry News ■ 75
one tournament!’ The Inter Regimental had eluded the regiment for the last three years and so it was with anticipation that we awaited the draw… a bye in the first round! It was straight to the semifinal that we (Lieutenant Colonel C A Lockhart RHG/D, Major R H A Lewis RHG/D, Capt J W Mann RHG/D and Lt W A P L Wales RHG/D) came up against an extremely strong Kings Royal Hussars side at the well prepared RMAS ground. Receiving one goal, the KRH came out firing on all cylinders. By the end of the first chukka they had stormed into a three goal lead. This was pegged back by the second and after a close third chukka, the final one proved to be the clincher with the team well ahead by the end. The final was no less frantic with the rhythm of the game in reverse of the semi-final. We faced the RWxY who received a half goal advantage. Having leapt ahead by 2.5 goals by the end of the first chukka, this was pegged back in the second with RWxY going ahead and staying this way until late into the final chukka. Some magnificent play from Capt J W Mann and Lt H C A D Wales RHG/D (having replaced his brother from the semi-final) clinched a frenetic last two minutes with only half a goal separating the two sides after nearly an hour’s play.
Maj De St John-Pryce mounting an attack at RAF Cranwell
t is a humbling thought that within the Household Cavalry, either Operational or Ceremonial, the game of golf brings all ranks together to unite and socialize whatever adversities stand in our way. 2009 was no different, with the majority of Combermere ploughing through another slice of Pre-Deployment training for Herrick 11 and Knightsbridge providing the Sovereign Escorts for two State Visits and the usual Ceremonial Season commitments. The year started with the annual Household Division Championships where the Household Cavalry must have had over 40% of the field, which just goes to show how popular the sport is within the regiments. On a glorious Thursday morning at Worplesdon GC in Surrey, both Combermere and Hyde Park met in the club house and discussed the day’s tactics. Although this event is an individual and pairs championship, it is a great warm up before the Colonel in Chiefs which is usually played three weeks after the Division. Needless to say, Dick Hennessey-Walsh was runner up in the scratch singles, Kellet and Douglas took the pairs and Captains prize whilst Taff Hughes came second in the singles handicap competition. Les Kibble won longest drive and, in retrospect, we had cleaned up.
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Some of the illustrious
The Colonel in Chief’s competition allowed us to enter three teams this year with thanks to the generosity of HCCCF, and the Blues and Royals Association for donating extra funding to field three very respectable teams. All three teams played well, with the A team afforded a bye in the morning. The B team beat the Welsh Guards and, unfortunately, our C team had to play the Coldstream Guards and lost but with a very respectable score. In the afternoon the B team lost to Irish Guards A team by 4 points, but the Cavalry A team comprising of
Hennessey-Walsh, Dunkley, Gilbert Wheeler, Flynn, Taylor and Harman easily qualified for the September final. In May we played our annual competition against the Swinley Forest Artisan’s captained by our old friend Lawson Bingham. As previously mentioned, Phil Mitchell used to be the composer for this fixture and again we all wish him well on his recovery. The afternoon was hit and miss for two players from Knightsbridge as at 1300hrs the QM and RM were called for by the CO with a possible outbreak
of Strangles and after the meeting had finished both had 20 minutes to change and get to the first tee in Ascot to lead the way. Unfortunately, even Jenson Button could not achieve that remarkable feat and so we ended up teeing off last. A great course with wonderful company, the Household Cavalry convincingly beat the Swinley Forest crowd for only the second time in the competition history; Paul McKechnie played a fantastic game and managed to scalp his opponents with some outstanding short game pressure. On a highlight at the supper, Mr Tom O’Conner the old comedian had played and gave us a great rendition of his favourite jokes. In June the regiment hosted the third Household Cavalry Golf Day for the Operational Casualties Fund. This was held at Kingswood GC in Surrey. Mr Brian Smith and the Quartermasters department in Knightsbridge set everything out within the club house as it would be for a regimental dinner with a splattering of pomp and ceremony from the Full Dress store and of course the fantastic Band of the Blues and Royals. It was one of the hottest days of the summer but, with the armoured regiment supplying PANTHER and Knightsbridge bringing down horses and State Troopers, the day was buzzing. To add to the glory of the spectacle, LCPL Ben Hansen won individual and Nick Wood (ex LG) with his brother Steve and Ben won best team, all Blue Red Blue. Out of 22 teams that was Rocky in full flow
a fantastic effort although I felt slightly embarrassed when handing out the prizes! It turned out to be a great day and the money we raised will help our boys and girls if ever they need it. Thanks must go to Mr Brian Smith, Tom Hilliard OBE and to the plethora of Household Cavalrymen who made the day so special. Later in June the Household Cavalry played Norway at Bird Hills GC. This was the first of hopefully many future years. Instigated by my Brother who lives in Norway and a very accomplished player, he flew over eleven Noggies to compete. Again, a very warm June afternoon that the Norwegians relished and I must admit their dress sense needed some attention, most looking like Jasper Parnivick with striped white and pink trousers etc. It was a great day and although the Norwegians were beaten quite convincingly another date is set for 2010. In September the regiment’s played against Wimbledon Common GC and once again we were treated to some fine weather. A new Captain and mostly a different team from the previous year, we all were apprehensive prior to the first tee. Once away however the regimental players came out on top with some excellent play, and once again beat Wimbledon for the second year in a row. After the game we were treated to a fine supper and wine and although Chris Bye had lost his dog at 0300hrs, no thanks to Taff Hughes, the evening was a great success. I think
that Wimbledon were slightly scared losing for a second year but that’s golf. Within the Ceremonial Regiment golf has provided great entertainment for many. CoH Beaumont was tasked with organizing a QM’s golf day and surpassed himself with great organizational skills that afforded the QM to win joint first prize! September too was the highlight of the regimental calendar. The final of the Colonel in Chiefs Cup. In the morning the players faced the Coldstream Guards and made light work of it over the last four holes by playing steady percentage golf. They were then faced with the Irish Guards who have won the event for the last four years. This game was always going to be tough and although the team played with their hearts on their sleeve, they just could not break down the immaculate clever golf. In the end the team lost but were runners up. A great result and let’s hope in 2010 we can get another team in the final to give the Mick’s a run for their money. All in all it has been a fantastic year for both regiments. We have found some terrific players; we have been privileged to play some exclusive courses with great company and long may it continue. If you are interested in playing golf for the regiment either serving or retired please contact the QM at HCMR. Wishing you all straight drives in 2010.
Neil Godson after nailing a 250yd drive
Steamy In Tampa
by Captain R Hennessy-Walsh, formerly The Life Guards
aving not been to the West side of Florida before, the annual golf tour set out in May to the stunning resort of Innisbrook. Nestled on 900 pristine acres of Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor Florida is one of America’s premier golf destinations. Not far from Clearwater, it is very accessible from Tampa International Airport and because we
could not fly direct, we elected to take the shortish drive across from Orlando. There are four excellent courses on the resort including the renowned Copperhead Course (home to the PGA Tour, Traditions Tournament), so there was no real need to venture elsewhere for golf. However, because we choose to play a different course each day, we played
outside of the Resort on two occasions. The usual suspects signed up but very sadly a few days before departure Nick Oke (our touring professional) received news of a family bereavement and had to pull out leaving us with seven. Andy (Consterdine) a former policeman and hailing from the ‘Royal Dewsbury Golf Club’ (with Gary Dunkley) joined us for
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nearly killed his truck load of passengers by deciding - for reasons only known to him - to drive over some red lights; evasive action was needed and the journey to our first evening meal at Outback’s, which should have been less traumatic, was further compounded by the severity of the ‘hot wings’ starter, adding even further misery to the night.
From L to R: Dunkley, Maxwell, H-W, Ford, Consterdine, Dunkley and Taylor
the first time. They both left from Manchester and splashed out on Virgin Upper Class! The Gatwick flight had the added bonus of celebrating Harry Ford’s birthday and unknown to him the crew announced to the whole flight that he was now 40-something and followed this with a bottle of champagne kindly donated by that nice Mr Branson. The remainder of the flight was uneventful and after the inevitable delay we met up with the Manchester flight about 90 minutes later than scheduled, picked up the two cars and off we went to Innisbrook. After a speedy unpack, we took off to the local clubhouse and munched some huge ‘sandwiches’. Tired, after the day’s travelling, and the enormity of the sandwiches, we slept early and well. The following morning saw us warming up on the practice ground ready for our 1st round on the ‘Highland North’ Course. Warming up took on a slightly different significance when, after no more than ten minutes, and having only
hit about two balls each, we had all lost about 3lbs in weight. Even at 0830 hrs the temperature was in the 90’s and the humidity matched. Sun lotion did not stay in place for very long and litres of water were poured into and over our leaking frames. Needless to say, we never went to warm up again during the week!! What we had not realised was that Florida was in the middle of a heat wave which continued throughout the week and we were very fortunate not to have lost any golf time in the tremendous storms that followed later each day. The first round was uneventful, and the overall winner was Bjorn (Dunkley) coming in with a very respectable 30 points. The greens were very fast and the two ‘nearest the pin’ competitions that day were awarded to Bjorn and Dick (H-W). (Dick was bit naughty on the ‘nearest the pin’ challenges all week scooping a vast array of prizes). Gary very graciously elected to be driver for most of the week and on one occasion
Just one of the many hazards!
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It was great to be able to go and have a swim in the outdoor pool first thing each morning before breakfast. For those that wanted this could be followed by a sauna. Day 2 (Fathers Day) saw lots of cards on display and nice to see that everyone had been remembered by those shivering at home. Golf today was at the World Woods course. It was an OK course without having the wow factor. It was very, very hot that day, the greens were huge with very large slopes and even if you managed to find them in regulation there was no guarantee that you might not take three or even four putts. Boringly, Bjorn won again! On one of the days (not sure which) a squirrel/possum/wombat/racoon like critter stole Paul Maxwell’s only banana from his golf buggy. It seems these beasties stalk the fairways of Florida (and maybe other States, who knows) looking to unleash their particular brand of theft whenever the occupants of buggies are out on the fairway. Very unfair really but nice to see we have been able to relate yet another animal story in this annual tour review. Later that day some went swimming in one of the pools within the resort and rather childishly played on the water slides. Children fled in fright at the sight of Russ (Taylor) hurtling himself from the top, impacting at around 30mph, and displacing colossal amounts of water around the surrounding areas. In the evening we treated ourselves to a Kobe Restaurant. It is a fantastic Japanese experience and well worth the fairly steep bill. Very fortuitously
Russ Taylor (left) and Dick H-W (right) presenting the new Wrigley Trophy to Messrs Dunkley and Ford
Gary conspired to get dinner bought for him on two occasions - at the Kobe by Andy and on another occasion by Dick. These all relate to the stupid challenges and penalties imposed each day! The Highland South Course finally saw everyone scoring a little better than the previous two days. Russ - fresh from his water torture - won today with 41; an excellent score. Dinner in the evening was followed with a presentation of ideas for the 2010 tour. Russ won again the next day when we went to the Saddlebrook Course in Arnold Palmer’s back garden. This is another wonderful resort with a huge variety of wildlife with herons, otters and much else on display. On return to Innisbrook, five of the boys took off again to play a few extra holes on the South Course. The ugly clouds around never amounted to much and in the evening we went ten-pin bowling where Andy provided a demonstration of his ill-spent youth, winning comfortably. We experienced a huge storm later that evening with some incredible electric effects. The next day saw us on the Copperhead Course which is a stern (but fair test) of golf. It was the host today for the annual Wrigley Challenge between the only two Life Guards (H-W and Taylor) vs. RHG/D Dunkley and Ford. With Russ’s wins on the two previous days, LG hopes were running high and there was every reason to feel very confident. His first drive deep into the jungle on the right shattered that dream and nothing much improved on the remaining 17 holes as he romped home with 21 points! The end of another dream. In the evening we found a very good fish restaurant in a marina but we were not so sure who was doing the eating – us or the mosquito’s – so moved back inside for safety.
Some of the tour looking more stupid than normal!
Harry Ford – this year’s planner
Another good tour and over so quickly but the abiding memory is of the intense heat all day - not complaining though and suspect that the 2010 tour in Miami could also be another hot experience. The whole group on one of their rare social gatherings
Our final round on the Island Course was another wonderful experience and won that day by Harry with 31 points. So another tour ended with the trophies being spread around; Bjorn won overall with Harry coming 2nd. The Johnny Wilson Trophy was won by Dick and Bjorn. Russ won the mid-week trophy. The pairs was won by Andy and Harry and the par 3 tournament (Max’s trophy) by Harry also. Gary with Harry picked up the brand new Wrigley Challenge trophy presented for the first time by their loving Life Guard friends. Our final dinner was held on the beach at Clearwater where there was a fantastic atmosphere. Max met a school friend not seen for 30 years and it was very sadly the day the world heard of Michael Jackson’s death.
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Eagles Veterans RUFC Annual Report by WO 2 JA Evans, The Blues and Royals 15(UK) Psychological Operations Group, Chicksands
he Eagles Rugby Veterans Tour this year was held in mid April, the promise of some fine spring weather was appealing to the members of the club who have had or are due to have a milestone half century birthday in the next couple of years. It’s not the playing that’s the problem these days, it’s the length of recovery required after the weekend. Once again we were guests of Yarnbury Rugby Club in Horsfirth near Leeds for their annual Vets tournament, which aims to raise money for many local charities. On the premise that if it is not broke do not fix it, the majority of the party met up in Leeds City Centre on the Friday night for a few pretournament drinks and to catch up with old friends. The Squad, as in previous years, was reinforced by some guest players. We were honoured to have once again WO1 (ASM) Neil Duncan (REME) assistant manager of the very successful Army XXXV side in our ranks. On the Saturday morning we held our AGM at which John Dickens was presented with his “Man of the Season Award” for all the outstanding work he does for the club both on and off the field. Following the AGM we departed to the Yarnbury ground in Horsfirth in a large colourful double decker bus. I don’t know where transport manager Neil Gaskell gets his transport from, but it is quite a step up from the Red Rhino Coach days of the past. We approached this year’s tournament
with some optimism after last year’s good performance which saw the team only beaten once. This year, however, due to the success of the competition, most of the teams competing had large squads of players all keen to play. Our first game was against last years winners Harrogate RFC. Due to normal team skipper John Kilvington being absent this year on holiday, I was pushed forward to be captain, which I was honoured to do. Before kick off and with the agreement of Harrogate we had a minutes silence for our old friend and Eagles comrade Rick Buckle who we had so sadly lost last year, but who will always be remembered as fine member of the club.
territory for large sections of the game. However, like any good team who plays week in, week out, Harrogate managed to score when they had the opportunity. Defeat followed in our next two matches to Yarnbury Vets and a Yorkshire All stars team. In the final match we played a team called Rowntrees, big performances where required. Up stepped Neil Gaskell, Dave Evans and the rest of the pack including Phil Hastings son of Andy Hastings, who all put in hard work to earn a draw, 5 points each. The high standard of play last year might not have been reached, but it was excellent to see some of the sons starting to shine as their fathers start to fade.
We kicked off and despite some great phases of rugby, we were unable to turn pressure into points and lost the game 10 pts to 0. The score was unkind to us as we dominated possession and
What we lack on the pitch cannot be said about our abilities as a touring side during the “Third Half” in the club bar and as is the tradition of the Eagles we swept all competition aside during the after match “pint drinking boat race.” Big grown up Yorkshire Rugby players were seen to groan as they found out they had to face us during the post-match festivities. The members at Yarnbury RFC have over the years become very fond of us and we are pledged to return next year to play in their competition.
Mark Dyche who runs the Summer Camp weekend
The Club followed up this year’s rugby tour with a weekend camp at Mark and Liz Dyche house in August. The event, which may in a few years rival Glastonbury as the weekend to be seen at, attracted many members of the club and their families. Many of the club also went to the Army vs Navy Game at Twickenham to enjoy the day out and see a fine Army victory over the Senior Service. We are as ever on the lookout for players or supporters still out there who have yet to experience a vet’s weekend with the Eagles. If interested contact either myself at Chicksands 01462 817706 or Mark Dyche on 07870 157361.
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Household Cavalry Museum
he current financial year is proving a good one for the Museum. Visitor numbers and revenue have increased substantially on last year and, barring unforeseen circumstances, the Museum will be in profit for the first time at year end. The first couple of years after launching a new attraction are always difficult, particularly in London where there is fierce competition for the tourist pound and a mass of competing venues. There is no doubt that the strength of the Euro has been a significant factor in this year’s success, but increasingly word of mouth recommendations by former visitors to this very fine museum will play a key part in future success. Please encourage friends and relations to visit us. Martin Westwood joined in October as Director with a brief to concentrate on the commercial development of the Museum. He has a long career background in running major visitor attractions and is aiming to boost patronage and revenues significantly by enhancing visibility to the tourist consumer, attracting more support from tour operators and other trade partners and achieving much greater media coverage. Corporate hospitality represents potentially a good opportunity for significant revenue generation, but due to the recession things have been somewhat flat this year. There are signs that things are set to improve and not least the lead-up to the Olympic Games offers good potential for a variety of hospitality events. Visitors can now purchase tickets to the Museum on the website and a souvenir guide book will be introduced in June. Online sales are increasing but at a slower than desired rate. The gift shop continues to outperform industry benchmarks, operates at a healthy margin and is soundly profitable. The range it stocks is being expanded. Recently a multimedia presentation
Museum Archive Volunteers HCM
about the horses in the Household Cavalry has been installed. It gives a comprehensive picture and answers most of the questions which our visitors regularly ask. Its realisation was due to the generosity of the Worshipful Company of Loriners, who sponsored the project. The Museum is soon to receive Accreditation and this fact will enable us to apply for grant funding from numerous bodies to bring about new exhibitions and additions. It is important to keep the Museum alive and, with this in mind, it is being brought up to date with a contemporary soldier’s combat clothing in the front showcase and an exhibit due later in the year dealing with the Regiment’s role since the Second World War and in recent and current deployments. As we are in the 200 year anniversary years of the Napoleonic era (particularly currently the Peninsular War) this fact may offer further possibilities and scope for additional exhibits and promotions over the next couple of years leading up to the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo in 2015. The Museum has a small and dedicated staff, who deserve our thanks for the way that high standards of presentation and customer service are maintained.
Windsor Museum The Museum Archive in Windsor is progressing well, with the help of the volunteers we have been able to create the education and archive facilities that are being well received by the many visitors we have seen over the last few months. Because of our volunteers and the help of others we are able to offer a friendly and informative information package to all who visit us. The feedback we have received so far has been very good. The team at Windsor are a mix of ex Life Guards, Royal Horse Guards, 1st Royal Dragoons and Blues and Royals, we number 22 to date, all coming to the Museum Archive at different times during the week and spending 4 to 6 hours a day carrying out many different duties. Some of these include maintaining and cataloguing the 350 years of history for all four Regiments that make today’s Household Cavalry. Another role we are heavily involved in is teaching and informing the serving regiment and general public of our historical past and today’s operational duties. The long-term aim is to continue to improve the facility, increase training in the skills such as preserving
News from the Associations ■ 91
garments and books and rotating the items in the display area. We also want to progress with the audio archive collection, improving the information talks we do by involving our guests with increased “hands on” activities. We are of course open to all serving personnel and ex-serving members of the Household Cavalry, and we welcome your suggestions and comments, after all it is your museum. If you live close by or want to help and get involved we would love to see you, so come on in.
Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund (HCCCF)
1. The HCCCF was created in 1992 on the Union of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals for the benefit of all ranks of the Regiments of the Household Cavalry past and present. 2. Objectives.
Its objectives are to:
a. Relieve, either generally or individually, past and present members of the Household Cavalry and their dependants who are in need, hardship or distress in such ways as the trustees from time to time think fit. This, in the first instance is done through the two Associations. b. Promote the efficiency of the Household Cavalry and its component Regiments and the members thereof in such ways as the Trustees from time to time think fit.
3. Trustees. The Trustees are: a. Ex Officio Trustees.
(1) Commander Household Cavalry. (2) Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Regiment. (3) Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. (4) Secretary, The Life Guards Association. (5) Secretary, The Blues and Royals Association. b. Co-Opted Trustees. (1) A former member of The Life Guards. (2) A former member of The Blues and Royals.
Accounts BALANCE SHEET AS AT 31ST MARCH 2009 31 March 2009 31 March 2008 Fixed Assets £ £ £ £ Investments at Market Value 740893 588712 588712 740893 Current Assets Bank 225892 164563 Debtors 23000 2177 228069 187563 Current Liabilities Creditors 0000 1600 Standards Parade 29853 24853 Life Guards Remnant Fund 189335 234716 Rose Fund 20544 16243 Casulaties Fund 105125 43617 Total Assets Minus Liabilties
INCOME AND EXPENDITURE SUMMARY FOR THE PERIOD 1ST APRIL 2008 - 31ST MARCH 2009 INCOME Subscriptions Dividends Interest Tax Rebate (Gift Aid) Donations
Left: Rememberance Sunday MSQ DC Group Right: MSQ Church
92 ■ News from the Associations
£ 75144 12873 3312 289 25100
EXPENDITURE Association Grants Director Royal Armoured Corps Subscriptions Adventure Training and Sports Household Division Subscriptions Fund Honorarium Standards Parade Provision Journal Welfare Unrealised Loss on Investments
£ 26900 600 33940 8190 3500 5000 3016 2332 105500
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. 296730 CoH RH Bate Served 2 December 1946 to 13 December 1970 Died 10 December 2008, aged 77 years 406476 CoH JH Digby Served 12 October 1932 to 27 November 1945 Died 1 January 2009, aged 94 years 21057974 Tpr LR Mander Served 20 November 1947 to 11 November 1949 Died 1 January 2009, aged 79 years 295686 Tpr HG Rich Served 17 April 1941 to 23 August 1946 Died 8 January 2009, aged 87 years 23370578 Tpr LF Foley Served 7 February 1957 to 1 March 1959 Died 14 January 2009, aged 70 years 22380730 Tpr J Groucott Served 1 July 1950 to 1 July 1952 Died 15 January 2009, aged 76 years 295550 Tpr NC Luke Served 5 February 1941 to 16 January 1946 Died 16 January 2009, aged 87 years 23969326 Tpr JE Bridger Served 3 December 1964 to 9 December 1973 Died 17 January 2009, aged 68 years 23768236 Tpr ME Stoten Served 3 March 1960 to 3 July 1962 Died 21 January 2009, aged 69 years 281936 Major AG Barton-Hall Served 21 November 1942 to 3 February 1950 Died 27 January 2009, 85 years 23865834 Tpr L Jenkins Served 1 November 1961 to 30 November 1967 Died 1 February 2009, aged 65 years 295468 Tpr DA Turner Served 11 March 1940 to 17 September 1946 Died 5 February 2009, aged 92 years 296629 Cpl A Green Served 14 February 1945 to 17 August 1957 Died 6 February 2009, aged 81 years 23322548 CoH AP Davis Served 5 July 1956 to 26 February 1980 Died 26 February 2009, aged 71 years
5332704 Musn RB Garbutt Served 22 July 1927 to 17 October 1945 Died 8 March 2009, aged 97 years
23865732 WO2 (BCM) RJ Fletcher Served 16 April 1961 to 16 April 1983 Died 31 August 2009, aged 68 years
295110 SQMC AR Swain Served 13 February 1936 to 12 February 1963 Died 9 March 2009, aged 91 years
295131 Cpl W Grady Served 20 July 1936 to 12 May 1946 Died 21 September 2009, aged 91 years
295036 WO1 (RCM) HJ Brown Served 15 January 1935 to 14 January 1960 Died 15 March 2009, 93 years 329681 Tpr EJ Gardner Served 15 August 1940 to 2 May 1946 Died 17 March 2009, aged 95 years 207490 Lieutenant CH Petherick Served 13 September 1941 to 21 August 1946 Died 18 March 2009, aged 86 years 295776 Tpr JH Massey Served 11 September 1941 to 24 September 1946 Died 31 March 2009, aged 87 years 6408745 Tpr LT Holder Served 11 November 1940 to 8 June 1945 Died 19 April 2009, aged 87 years
23215149 Tpr B Driver Served 21 November 1955 to 24 November 1958 Died 21 September 2009, aged 72 years 24021572 CoH DS Pearson Served 5 November 1965 to 1 July 1978 Died 28 September 2009, aged 65 years 22556429 Tpr RE Hannell Served 27 July 1953 to 26 July 1956 Died 5 October 2009, aged 74 years 21072334 Tpr RH Brinson Served 15 January 1948 to 15 December 1949 Died 11 October 2009, aged 80 years 24394791 Tpr JHW Leafe Served 4 January 1978 to 3 September 1991 Died 14 October 2009, aged 48 years
22205092 Cpl D Peacock Served 29 April 1948 to 12 June 1953 Died 10 May 2009, aged 78 years
22556168 WO2 WB Lerwell Served 21 November 1952 to 20 November 1974 Died 3 November 2009, aged 75 years
295462 Cpl T Robinson Served 22 February 1940 to 24 January 1946 Died 20 May 2009, aged 93 years
295692 Tpr KR Allen Served 29 April 1941 to 18 November 1946 Died 18 November 2009, aged 88 years
22205338 CoH H Harding Served 6 April 1949 to 31 March 1969 Died 24 May 2009, aged 78 years
30068593 Tpr J Roughley Served 24 November 2008 to 24 November 2009 Died In Service as a result of a RTA, aged 24 years
22025495 Tpr A Swinfield Served 15 April 1948 to 15 February 1950 Died 2 June 2009, aged 78 years 296219 CoH SB Davis Served 20 January 1944 to 28 September 1947 Died 9 June 2009, aged 82 years 23215132 Tpr JC Riches Served 30 September 1955 to 29 August 1958 Died 1 August 2009, aged 73 years 296223 Tpr R Tebbutt Served 19 October 1944 to 30 September 1947 Died 16 August 2009, aged 83 years
22556183 Tpr GF Vipond Served 4 December 1952 to 4 December 1956 Died 28 November 2009, aged 75 years 296235 Cpl PE Smart Served 1 January 1944 to 1 January 1952 Died 1 December 2009, aged 83 years 419991 Major CW Wordsworth Served 24 November 1951 to 3 February 1969 Died 10 December 2009 aged 79 years
Obituaries â– 93
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.
24220222 LCpl J Anderson RHG/D Served 1 April 1971 to 31 December 1981 Died November 2008, date and age unknown 22556923 I/P WO2 (SCM) CG Kelsall RHG/D Served 3 January 1955 to 3 May 1978 Died 1 January 2009, aged 72 years
455883 Captain WNH Legge-Bourke DL RHG Served 1 September 1957 to 11 September 1968 Died 4 March 2009, aged 69 years 23146198 Cpl RJW Scowen RHG Served 13 August 1955 to 2 June 1957 Died 11 April 2009, aged 72 years
319833 Tpr RC Willgoss 1RD Served 1 February 1938 to 14 April 1943 Died 7 January 2009, aged approx 86 years
24220241 LCoH DS Andrews RHG/D Served ? to 2 April 1985 Died 17 May 2009, aged 54 years
69082 Colonel De C Smiley RHG Served 27 August 1936 to 24 July 1971 Died 8 January 2009, aged 92 years
Mr RB Douglas RHG Served circa 1960 Died 22 May 2009, aged unknown
24312755 LCoH G Jackson RHG/D Served 31 October 1972 to 19 February 1988 Died 12 January 2009, aged 56 years
2351461 Sgt N Stone RHG/D Served 1 May 1957 to 1 November 1979 Died 26 May 2009, aged 69 years
23215238 Cpl BH Murray RHG Served 1 March 1956 to 31 March 1959 Died 24 January 2009, aged 71 years 14566764 Tpr WJ Allen 1RD Served 18 March 1945 to 13 September 1947 Died 29 January 2009, aged 84 years 410612 WO1 (RSM) JD Bradley 1RD Served 21 September 1937 to 20 September 1964 Died 2 February 2009, aged 94 years 23215103 Tpr ME Camden RHG Served 1 September 1955 to 8 September 1958 Died 5 February 2009, aged 72 years 23929085 Tpr PSV Aylen RHG Served 1 November 1963 to 25 November 1966 Died 15 February 2009, aged 64 years 24263388 LCpl FC Polkey RHG/D Served 1 April 1974 to 30 September 1984 Died 17 February 2009, aged 51 years 410127 Lieutenant CJ Squires 1RD Served 1 October 1949 to 31 October 1954 Died 18 February 2009, aged 77 years 305564 Tpr S Bettam RHG Served 1 April 1940 to 1 June 1946 Died 19 February 2009, aged 89 years 4134216 CoH PG Blavins RHG Served 1956 to 1 August 1963 Died 3 March 2009, aged 80 years
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305193 Tpr FR Perrin RHG Served October 1936 to October 1948 Died 31 May 1992, aged approx 73 years 319890 Tpr J Peek 1RD Served 7 February 1938 to 22 June 1946 Died May 2009, date unknown, aged 89 years 306839 Tpr H McPherson RHG Served January 1947 to January 1952 Died June 2009, aged 82 years 24096989 Tpr P MacGregor RHG/D Served 20 December 1968 to 10 August 1973 Died 9 June 2009, aged 60 years 6028517 CoH AP Salley RHG Served 3 August 1940 to 25 October 1947 Died 27 June 2009, aged 86 years 320641 Cpl JA Kerr 1RD Served 30 May 1938 to 08 January 1953 Died 27 June 2009, aged 87 years 23426133 CoH B Whitworth RHG/D Served 10 October 1957 to 9 October 1979 Died 28 June 2009, aged 72 years 420546 The Earl of Clarendon RHG Served 10 January 1952 to 31 December 1953 Died 4 July 2009, aged 76 years 306884 CoH BE O’Dell RHG Served 28 May 1946 to 22 March 1969 Died 5 July 2009, aged 80 years
23545243 CoH W Hennessey RHG/D Served 1 February 1958 to 28 February 1979 Died 7 July 2007, aged 68 years 24021437 Tpr J Harding RHG/D Served 12 April 1965 to 10 December 1974 Died 17 August 2009, aged 61 years 494543 Major JG Handley RHG/D Served 25 February 1951 to 6 April 1985 Died 31 August 2009, aged 76 years 305947 Cpl CB Clarke RHG Served 29 September 1941 to 31 May 1947 Date of death and age unknown 19093718 Tpr AJ Butler RHG Served 24 October 1946 to 15 August 1948 Date of death and age unknown 376806 Major SN Kent-Payne 1RD Served 29 December 1936 to 16 December 1966 Died 7 September 2009, aged 90 years 22205030 CoH ST Woods RHG Served 1 March 1948 to 8 October 1965 Died 8 September 2009, aged 79 years 393081 Major CVC Booth-Jones RHG/D Served 6 April 1946 to 20 December 1969 Died 16 September 2009, aged 81 years Captain DF Bradstock 1RD Served 1 January 1944 to 1 January 1950 Died 28 September 2009, aged 85 years 24099798 I/P LCpl P Robinson RHG/D Served 30 October 1973 to 19 January 1978 Died 29 October 2009, aged 58 years 496966 Major BW Lane RHG/D Served 3 December 1949 to 17 October 1986 Died 10 November 2009, aged 76 years 24076452 LCpl JF (Alfie) Hall RHG/D Served 9 November 1966 to 27 September 1981 Died 27 December 2009 aged 60 years 23122680 Tpr DN Hill 1RD Served 10 March 1955 to 7 March 1957 Died 02 November 2008, age unknown
Colonel D de C Smiley, LVO, OBE, MC and Bar Late The Royal Horse Guards
by Major G H Tweedie, formerly The Blues and Royals David Smiley joined the Blues in 1936 as second choice. While at school at Pangbourne Nautical College, he had intended to join the Navy. This idea was only changed when he was taken ill before taking the Dartmouth entry examination. Instead, he joined RMC Sandhurst in 1934, being commissioned into the Blues in 1936, the only officer to join the Regiment during the brief reign of Edward VIII. The years before the outbreak of war as a young officer were to be enjoyed to the maximum. He owned a Bentley, an aeroplane and two steeplechasers, and lived the energetic life of a sporting man about town. It is remarkable that he survived several life threatening incidents, such as crashing through the top of a large tree in his motherâ€™s garden while doing too ambitious a pass over the house, and many point to point and national hunt falls. The 1st Household Cavalry Regiment embarked for Palestine in February 1940. David travelled with the horses by rail across France to Marseilles. A further five day voyage to Palestine followed when much time was spent blowing oxygen from cylinders into the nostrils of horses sickened by the cramped and airless conditions. The Regiment formed in a camp at Tulkarm, the first opportunity for the Blues and The Life Guards to get to know each other. It seemed obvious that horses would not be part of the main war action and he looked around for an alternative. After a short secondment to the Somaliland Camel Corps, he succeeded in being posted to 52 (Middle East) Commando, a depository for some of the more adventurous but less well disciplined soldiers from many other units. This was to be used as a test bed for all sorts of unorthodox soldiering. After some tough training, 52 Commando was moved to Abyssinia, David being appointed as a Company Commander. He was soon patrolling against Abyssinian troops under Italian command. Within too short a time, 52 Commando was withdrawn to Alexandria. The pleasures of the decadent Alexandrian life palled after a few weeks and on hearing that 1 HCR was about to go into action, to advance into Iraq, he was able to rejoin the regiment in spring 1941. 1 HCR had by then been mechanised with the sad consequence that all horses over the age of ten were shot. Others were passed on to remaining horsed units. However, with some difficulty he caught up with the Regiment, which had already left Tulkarm and joined in the relief of Habbaniya, an RAF base which had been surrounded by Iraqi followers of the anti British Rashid Ali. Fighting with the Arab Legion of Glubb Pasha, success was achieved. The further advance to Baghdad met some determined resistance on the way until the revolt was ended. There then followed a brief but unsuccessful expedition to Mosul in an effort to capture Dr Grobba, the German minister who had fomented the Iraqi revolt. Nevertheless, there was more action against the Vichy French forces in Syria and the advance to Teheran before being ordered back to Palestine. In all, during these few months of 1941, the 15cwt trucks, which the HCR drivers took over in Palestine, covered over 6000 miles before returning. He was then selected to go with Smithforce, commanded by
Major Tony Murray Smith and equipped with dummy tanks, to the Western Desert. The highlight of this deployment was when, having been sent in error six miles west of the intended position, they were spotted by some Italian tanks. These were advancing on the dummies when they were mistakenly dive bombed by German Stukas. The Italians fled. After retraining in armoured cars with the regiment in Cyprus, David returned to the desert for the Battle of el Alamein. This was his last conventional fighting of the war as on withdrawal to Tel el Kebir, he met Billy McLean, a young Scots Greys officer, in Cairo. Billy McLean was to become a great friend and companion in many cloak and dagger operations and now he arranged for Smiley to be interviewed for employment with MO4. He was accepted, and so began seven years of action with the Special Operations Executive (SOE). After training in such useful skills as the use of demolition explosives, sabotage, secret communications, lock picking and safe blowing, he was parachuted into Greece with instructions to walk into Albania and to build up contacts with the local resistance. They were successful in this though the complicated Albanian politics made action against the occupying Italians and Germans extraordinarily difficult. One highlight was the successful blowing of a bridge, the first of several. However, politics, both in Albania and in Cairo caused McLean and Smiley to be evacuated back to Cairo. While enduring the extensive debriefing they lived in a big house called Tara, run by the glamorous Countess Sophie Tarnowska and occupied by several of the more lively SOE characters, such as Billy Moss, Paddy Leigh Fermor and Xan Fielding. It was a time of lavish parties and great enjoyment! But within a few months, they were parachuted back into Albania with a new mission. For each mission to Albania he was awarded the MC. While winding up affairs in Cairo, a chance meeting with Prince Subha Svasti (Chin), a pre-war acquaintance and member of the Thai Royal family, set him off in a new direction. He asked David to join the Thai section of SOE, known as Force 136. In due course he reached the training camp near Colombo in Ceylon with both Billy McLean and Alan Hare of The Life Guards, shortly to be followed by several other old friends from Tara who were gathering for action against the Japanese. He was soon parachuted into North East Thailand with two Thais and a British radio operator with instructions to prepare the way for an uprising against the Japanese occupiers whenever the far Eastern D-Day should take place. Unfortunately, this plan was disrupted by a prematurely exploding brief case intended to be used either as a booby trap or to destroy documents. David was severely burnt. His life was saved by maggots which, having entered the wounds, ate the dead flesh preventing gangrene. The intended evacuation by Dakota did not materialise. Instead a captured Japanese two-seater fighter flown by a Thai pilot picked him up and flew him to a place still in Thailand where a doctor could treat him while waiting for a Dakota flight back to India, which arrived thirteen days after the accident. Recovery was greatly helped by being invited to Viceregal Lodge in Simla by Lord Wavell, the Viceroy. After four weeks, he was passed fit to return. By then, the nuclear bombs had been exploded over Japan and it was not long before he was able to organise the release of the large POW Camp at Ubon with the heroic Colonel Philip Toosey, the senior British officer in the camp, and the disarming and arrest of the camp guards. A particularly distressing task was to shoot 700 out of 1200 Japanese troop horses, because they were in such an appalling condition. The unravelling of the complicated situation caused by the communist supporting Viet Minh and lack of help from the anti colonial Americans needed the support provided by a company of Japanese soldiers rearmed on the instructions of Lord Mountbatten. With their help he rescued a large number of French women and children who had been captured by the Viet Minh. For
Obituaries â– 95
his actions in Thailand, Smiley was appointed OBE, an honour he always disliked as being insufficiently military. This was the end of his wartime activities, marked by attending Staff College at Camberley, and at the same time courting my mother, Moyra Tweedie, the daughter of Lord Francis Scott. They were married in April 1947. His appointment after Staff College was Assistant Military Attache in Warsaw. This did not last long as he was arrested for observing troop movements, interrogated for three days and deported. After secondment to MI6 for one year in London, he returned to the Blues as second in command in Menden. However, not relishing this job, he was glad to take up an invitation from MI6 to go to Malta to train agents to return to Albania in order to oppose the communists under Enver Hoxha. One pleasant aspect of the necessary cover as Deputy Chief of Staff at the Garrison Headquarters was that he was able to play polo regularly at the Marsa Club. However, the insertions of agents were unaccountably unsuccessful. All the agents returning to Albania reported that they were expected. Some were quickly picked up or killed on arrival and others had to make a swift withdrawal to Greece. It was only many years later that he learned that Kim Philby had betrayed them all. He returned at last to regimental duty, first as second in command to Sir Peter Grant-Lawson in Wesendorf and Wolfenbuttel, then taking over as Commanding Officer in 1952 and bringing the regiment back to Windsor. During his time in command, he commanded the Sovereign’s Escort at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. He also represented the regiment at fencing as well as competing at Sword, Lance and Revolver events. On relinquishing command, he was appointed Military Attaché in Stockholm. One of his tasks was to travel round much of Sweden and Norway, often with his family as cover, photographing bridges and assessing their capacity. During the summers, he enjoyed sailing in a 20 square metre yacht named Pinafore, the only boat from which he was ever able to demonstrate his membership of the Royal Yacht Squadron by flying the Squadron ensign. Towards the end of this tour he was approached by Julian Amery, Under Secretary of State for War, who had also served with SOE in Albania, to take over command of the Sultan of Oman’s Forces. The main task facing him was a rebellion supported by Saudi Arabia. The dispute was over control of the Buraimi Oasis, where oil had been discovered. The rebels were based on the Jebel Akhdar, the Green Mountain and this had to be assaulted to dislodge the rebels. However, appreciating that the Sultan’s Armed Forces were not strong enough to accomplish this without more troops, an arrangement was made with the help of Christopher Soames, the Secretary of State for Defence, for 22 SAS to make a short detour to Muscat on their way back from Malaya. A squadron of The Life Guards commanded by Kenneth Diacre was also supporting the SAF. The assault by two SAS squadrons and dismounted Life Guards was made in January 1959 and was completely successful. He left Muscat in 1961 and was offered command of the SAS in the rank of Colonel. Feeling that this was tantamount to demotion, he decided to retire to the Scottish Borders. He was then appointed to be a Gentleman at Arms, Member of the Queen’s Bodyguard. Retirement was interrupted within two years, though, when Billy McLean, by now an MP with strong contacts with the Saudi Royal Family, contacted him with another tempting proposal. This time it was to advise the Royalist forces in the Yemen, who were supported by Saudi Arabia, in their fight against the Egyptian backed republicans. There followed thirteen trips to Yemen between 1963 and
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1968, in various capacities, both advising and commanding the Imam’s troops, who were led by European mercenaries, about half of whom were ex SAS. During these trips, his cover was to be accredited as a reporter for The Household Brigade Magazine! Unfortunately, the cause failed when the power of Egyptian troops and aircraft, backed by Soviet Russia, prevailed. There followed a more genuine retirement to Spain, living in a house he named Tara in Alicante province. Even there, there was some discussion with the exiled King Leka of Albania about restoration of the Albanian monarchy. He returned to England in 1988 living first near Castle Cary, then in London. As the political situation in Albania improved with the death of Enver Hoxha and the subsequent democratisation, he was able to make several visits back to Albania. David Smiley died on 9th January 2009. His wife Moy, two sons, a stepson and stepdaughter and ten grandchildren survive him. His step grandson Alexander Tweedie died while serving with D Squadron, Household Cavalry Regiment in Iraq in April 2003.
Major Charles Booth-Jones Late Royal Horse Guards by Major Sir David Black, formerly Royal Horse Guards Charles Booth-Jones died on 16th September 2009 aged 81. He was born at Hale Park on the edge of the New Forest in 1928, where he developed his love of horses and everything to do with the countryside. He also had a keen interest in the world of art, which lasted him throughout his life. He went to Hordle House Preparatory School and then on to Eton, where he had a most distinguished career as Captain of his house, Captain of Fencing and Captain of Boats. From Eton he went to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues). He joined the Regiment at Menden near the Ruhr in 1948 and was attached to C Squadron. Soon after arriving in Germany he was sent on a three month equitation course under a White Russian, Colonel Paul Rodzianko, where he learnt the forward seat and the methods of Caprilli at the Italian Cavalry School. He passed out top of the course. He also enjoyed playing and teaching polo in Germany. From Germany he was stationed for a short time at Carlisle and then to Windsor at the time of the Coronation. From Windsor he was posted to the Royal Horse Guards Mounted Squadron at Knightsbridge where he was very badly kicked in the stables, adjusting a rug on a difficult horse and was in hospital for some time. In 1957 he was posted to Cyprus during the EOKA troubles and commanded a squadron with great distinction. Martin Dunne, who was a National Service Subaltern in C Squadron at that time, writes: “Charles Booth-Jones took over C Squadron whilst the Regiment was in Cyprus. Upon its return from Famagusta to Nicosia and humdrum regimental life, it was a bit demoralized, uncertain about its new role and its new Squadron Leader. These were the circumstances in which Charles took command. He was determined that the Squadron should be a credit to the Regiment and it adapted very quickly to his style of command, with support from Tom Coombes, his second in command. At that time there was the odd regular officer, but the majority
of the subalterns were doing their National Service. The same was true of the other ranks. Few were there from choice, it was a pretty mixed bag and no doubt a trial to those regular officers such as Charles upon whom the regiment really depended. Once established at Nicosia the routine continued much as it had at Famagusta. Road blocks were set up and patrols were made through the local villages. These latter were described as “showing the flag”. There were exciting days of riot control and dull ones of “search and destroy”. Charles was painstakingly meticulous in his planning of everything, be it operational or some routine duty to be done in camp. Nothing was too slight to escape his notice. Following preliminary reconnaissance’s carried out by Charles himself in his very English looking car, he sent parties of three men into the Troodos and Kyrenia hills to set up OPs from which to observe and report any movements seen over a 48 hour period. They were tedious and uncomfortable nor was it certain whether they ever provided anything of value. Charles kept everyone busy and life was not dull. Charles Booth-Jones was respected as our squadron leader. He was always goodhumoured and approachable and keen to get the best out of us”. He was mentioned in Dispatches for his service in Cyprus. He went back to Windsor and in 1961 he was posted as a Staff Officer to HQ Caribbean Area in Jamaica when that country was preparing for independence. After Jamaica he had a job with HQ 53rd Welsh Division at Brecon and then was sent back to Germany where the Regiment was posted to Herford and he became 2nd in Command to the Regiment. After various staff jobs he left the Regiment in 1969 and retired from the army. He started a picture gallery at his old home, Hale Park, and eventually bought a house in Wiltshire with a vast barn and studio attached. Here the conservation of large paintings could be carried out at last. He took in pupils and was invested as a Fellow of the International Institute of Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. He attended and spoke at seminars in Antwerp, Brussels and Trinity, Dublin and work undertaken included fine ceilings in country houses, three Van Dycks and an altarpiece from Canterbury Cathedral. This became a second career of 24 years duration and at his death a work in progress stood at his easel and the result of many years research by Charles, a paper: ‘The Transition of Early Christian Art from Byzantium Westward (360 A.D.-1350)’ had arrived from the printers. At the same time Charles had become involved in carriage driving and was persuaded by Sir Brian McGrath to use his equestrian experience and become a judge at National Driving Trials. He also retained his great interest in countryside pursuits and continued shooting, beagling, and conducting tree walks well into his later life. He had an unerring ear for the truth of things and was very much an independent thinker. He passionately defended the traditions and sovereignty of Great Britain. At the age of 73 he stood as Warminster candidate for UKIP winning 2,000 votes and was very proud of the fact that a good proportion were from the under 25’s. He was a person of great integrity and very much stood up for everything he believed in. He had a total disregard for his own physical discomfort or personal danger. Whilst hunting he had a bad fall but still led his horse back over fields to the lorry, drove to the Melton stables and then home to London by car. At 2am he still had discomfort in his neck and when Louise, his wife, drove him to A& E he was told it was broken. He was first married to Louise Edwards in 1951 and they were
together for the whole of his army career. They had a daughter and son, Thalia and Roderick. In 1974 Pauline Fitzgeorge Parker became his wife; she shared his interest in paintings and carriage driving and died some years before Charles.
Captain W N H Legge–Bourke DL Late Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) by Major N V S Paravicini DL, formerly The Life Guards Bill Legge Bourke was born in London in 1939. His father was a serving officer in the Blues; the family’s connections to the regiment stretch back to William Legge who commanded the King’s Troop of Horse Guards in 1676. Bill was educated at Eton, where he was unlucky not to get his XI, losing out as wicket keeper to the redoubtable Henry Blofeld. On applying to join the Blues, Bill’s house master wrote a report to the Regimental Adjutant Household Cavalry in which he said “This is by far the best report I have written on a boy since I took over a house and I do not think that I am exaggerating his virtues”. Bill proceeded to join the Blues as a National Service officer in 1958 after Mons OCS where he won the Stick of Honour. He served as a troop leader in Cyprus during the emergency and after his National Service, went up to Magdelene College, Cambridge. After graduation he rejoined the Regiment as a regular commissioned officer. He served with the Regiment in Germany and at Windsor, becoming Adjutant in 1965. His final posting was as 2 I/C of the Household Cavalry Training Squadron at the Guards Depot, Pirbright. After the Army, Bill started a new career in the City of London. He was a partner of the stockbrokers Grievson Grant, and when they were taken over by the German banking giant Dresdner Bank, he became a compliance director of the new group. This was not an easy time to assume such a role, as the City had recently been deregulated by the Government. Bill however rose to the occasion. He became a member of the Stock Exchange Council, and was a member of several of the key committees that ensured compliance with the rules by city firms and PLCs. On his retirement to his home in Wales, Bill threw himself into voluntary work. He was a director of the Welsh Development Agency, Deputy Chairman of the Representative Body of The Church in Wales, President of the Brecknockshire Agricultural Society in their 250th year, Chairman of the Diocesan Board of Finance, President of the Welsh Scout Council and County Commissioner together with numerous other posts. He was High Sherriff of Powys and a Deputy Lieutenant. Bill had many duties which kept him very busy but he also, together with his wife Shan, managed her ancestral estate, Glanusk. They had to work together to make the estate pay its way. Bill ran one of the best pheasant shoots in Wales and there was good fishing on the Usk which ran through the middle of the park. He was a fine shot and a skilled fisherman. He was also a member of the International Oak Society, and he planted many different species of oak at Glanusk. Bill and Shan, who had been married for 47 years, were the most hospitable of hosts to their many friends, both in the
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county and from all over the country. It was perhaps not surprising that some 900 people made the journey to Powys for the service of thanksgiving for Bill’s life held in the park at Glanusk overlooking the river. He was buried in the grounds of the family chapel, where a few years before he was so proud to lay up a Squadron Standard of his regiment.
Major John Geoffrey (Tom) Handley Late The Blues and Royals by Major AW (Paddy) Kersting, formerly The Blues and Royals Tom Handley was born on 24th May 1933 and died peacefully in his sleep at his house in Windsor on the 31st August 2009, at the age of 76. He joined The Blues during 1953 and shortly after completion of his basic and mounted training; he was posted to the Mounted Squadron at Knightsbridge. The main events for him during his tour of duty included: Kings and Queens Life Guard, funeral of HM King George VI, Coronation of HM Queen Elizabeth and the Presentation of Standards Parade. He was posted back to the Service Regiment during 1955 and on 19th March of that year he married Angela who loyally supported him throughout his long military career and to the end of his life. Now promoted to Corporal of Horse, he continued to move through the ranks to WO2 and the appointment of RQMC(T), which he held prior to and after the Amalgamation with the 1st Royal Dragoons, March 1969. During this period Tom enjoyed his tours in BAOR and Cyprus. He was a most valued and respected member of the Regiment and many numbers, senior and junior have benefited from his advice and guidance over the years, always given in that quiet and charming manner of his. In September 1972 Tom was Commissioned and held the following appointments during his Officers Service: MTO, Squadron 2IC Cyprus during the period of the Turkish invasion, Squadron 2IC Northern Ireland, Assistant Adjutant and Families Officer BAOR, QM The Royal Yeomanry, QM(T) RHG/D, Staff QM MOD. His final appointment was PSAO 94 (Berkshire Yeomanry) Signal Squadron until his retirement in November 1993. Tom was an excellent pistol shot and was a member of the Army Pistol Shooting Team 1983 to 1985. He was for many years Secretary of the Army Pistol Target Shooting Club and was still very much involved until quite recently. For over 15 years he was also Secretary and Treasurer of The Blues and Royals Association until 2008. He made a huge contribution towards the excellent service provided by the Association for the welfare of all its members. At the age of 71 he decided to try his hand at playing golf. He joined Birds Hill Golf Centre and became a member of the ‘Nifty Fifties Club’. He had great fun playing and was very popular with all the members who enjoyed his company. The words most used when they spoke of Tom were. “He was a real gentleman”. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and comrades, but none more than his wife Angela, his children and grandchildren to whom we extend our very deepest sympathy.
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Major Brian (Bronco) Lane Late The Blues and Royals
by John Triggs BEM, formerly The Blues and Royals Brian died on Tuesday 10th November 2009, in hospital, his wife Thelma and daughters Sandra and Karen were with him. Family was a fundamental cornerstone of his life - his own and the family of the Regiment, where Brian went, so went his family and the mutual support was ever present. Born in Birmingham in 1933 he joined the 3rd Bn of The Grenadier Guards at the age of 16 in 1949 as a drummer boy the call of the drums being the magnetic factor. The Corps of Drums is an operational part of the battalion and he saw active service in the Suez Canal. Steady promotion recognised Brian’s qualities and he transferred to the 1st Battalion and his final appointment was Drum Major. During his service with the Foot Guards, Brian met and married Thelma in 1959 and they were blessed a year later with twin daughters. 1966 saw Brian transfer to The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) and move to C Squadron as the regiment returned from BAOR. COH Lane fitted well into Windsor, the regiment and a Ferret Scout Car. However, the wind of change was starting to breeze through the Army and with the announcement of The Blues and Royals amalgamation; Brian was appointed SCM of A Squadron. The Blues moved from Windsor to Perham Down to down-size and convert from the recce role to armour and the Chieftain tank. Come 1969 the Lane’s arrived in Detmold with the new regiment along with the mix of Blues and Royals. The challenges were set; to mould, weld, and empower. The new A Squadron had just the man to do that with Bronco. The mixture of constant fairness, Brummageham humour and firmness occasioning a fearsome presence if necessary, quickly established him as a man to respect admire and trust. A busy period followed with a barrack move across Detmold, then a role change and relocation to Windsor in the AMF (L) role was matched by Brian who also took on being the regimental Football Coach and Tug of War Captain. This latter extra - mural activity was to prove valuable as later he ran the Tug of War at the Royal Tournament for some 15 years. After two successful tours in Northern Ireland and with the squadron in Aldergrove, Brian was awarded a GOC’s Commendation. Brian was promoted to WO1 (RCM) and based in Windsor. A difficult time with one squadron on a two year Sovereign Base Area (SBA) duty in Cyprus and the other squadrons going here and there, Brian was pivotal in ensuring the cohesion of the regiment and holding the whole machine together. Retention was a problem and Brian spent hours talking to soldiers and their families resulting in many having him to thank for their continued and successful career. During this period Brian was instrumental in the re-introduction of the rank of Lance Corporal of Horse into the Household Cavalry and overcame many obstacles and prejudices to achieve this lasting change. Commissioned into the regiment in 1974, Brian moved to the Guards Depot initially as a Troop Commander in Caterham
Coy; promotion followed and appointment to Platoon Commander resulted in him then becoming Admin Officer for the company. Again, that roundness of personal and military experience helped many a new recruit into the Guards Division survive the Teapot by understanding themselves and the system. Returning to Germany in 1978 as MTO saw the A1 Echelon develop sharp dismounted drills and many a stand-to and slit trench where established, resulting in a certain GOC 4 Division remarking “I think I would rather attack one of your tanks squadron than that Echelon!” The regiment returned to Windsor and having established best practice with the A1 Echelon in UK, Brian was promoted to Major in 1980 and posted back to Caterham Coy as 2I/C. Again that tell-tale stamp was applied with a constant stream of good quality well trained young soldiers joining the Household Division – Bronco’s boys! Military retirement in 1986 and Brian took off the khaki and put on the suit, then fell-in for work as the Household Cavalry Recruiting Officer based in Windsor as a Retired Officer Grade 2/civil servant; again that interaction with young people saw quality recruits arrive into the system that he knew so well. Ten years on in 1996, after 47 years service to his
Queen and Country, Brian retired. During these later years he joined the Committee of the Regimental Association and became Chairman of the Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Association for a ten year period - not bad for a drummer boy! He was the driving force behind establishing a regimental plot at the National Memorial Arboretum and a champion of the Gurkhas long before it became fashionable. Brian’s love of the drums never died and he established and was the first Chairman of Guards Division Corps of Drums Association. Ill health plagued Brian in the latter years and curtailed his physical activities but never his spirit or determination to continue what he wanted to do - ‘Do it once, properly’ was a maximum that could be delivered at the point of a pace-stick, the thong of a whip or over a pint and many followed to success that ideology over the years. A great passion for all things military, a deep love of the Army and the Household Division in particular; a caring and compassionate man to whom many have the good fortune to say was their comrade, confidant, brother-in-arms and friend. Brian (Bronco) Lane was a great man not just in stature but spirit and example, an iconic figure who will be long remembered.
Memorial to British Servicemen Unveiled in Kyrenia, Cyprus
by Brian Worthy, David Bradley formerly The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) and Keith Lloyd, formerly of the Welsh Guards, a member of the local British Cyprus Memorial Trust (BCMT) in Cyprus
wo years of devoted planning by members of the BCMT came to fruition on Sunday 8th November 2009 when the impressive grey granite Memorial was unveiled in front of 450 invited guests; with perhaps just as many standing in the background. On a bright sunny Cyprus Sunday morning the unveiling was carried out jointly by Trust Treasurer the Earl of Illchester and ex-Corporal Brian Worthy, formerly of the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues); eight members of that regiment and one member of The Life Guards were killed during the Cyprus conflict. A prominent central location within the Old British Cemetery was selected as the appropriate place for the eight panelled Memorial, which was manufactured by Master Craftsmen at H E Perfitt Masons Limited at Diss in Norfolk, UK. The names of all 371 servicemen who lost their lives during the Cyprus conflict are inscribed on the Memorial together with the Badges and titles of their Service units, many now sadly disappeared after fifty years of re-structuring of British Forces. The Visit In May this year Brian Worthy and David Bradley discovered that a new Memorial was to be unveiled in Northern Cyprus in memory of those who fell during the troubles from 1955 to 1959. Bookings were duly made and on 6th November 2009 they flew by Turkish Airlines via Turkey, where there was a 45 minute stopover to off load
The Memorial (Photo Courtesy Mr J Padgett)
and collect passengers before onward journey to Ercan airport in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. On arrival they were met by members of the British Cyprus Memorial Committee, who ensured that we were put on the correct coach and dispatched to our hotel in Kyrenia. Brian and David stayed at the British Hotel near the old harbour and Kyrenia Castle. The weather throughout their stay was very good, with only a few light showers and temperature around the 70s. The committee were very well organised and had arranged for two trips to Wayne’s Keep Cemetery so that all vis-
iting Veterans could have the opportunity to pay their respects at the graves of their comrades who had been left behind. Everyone who came from the UK was given name badges to wear, which were colour coded. Veterans wore Blue, Relatives Red and friends Green. Visitors were spread between several hotels, but this did nothing to deter the spirit of comradeship that very quickly built up amongst the veterans. We briefly met a couple of former Life Guards and a couple of former Foot Guards who were resident on the Island, one a former Grenadier whom we immediately established a rapport with, to the total lack of understanding
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The names of LG and RHG killed engraved on the Memorial (Photo Courtesy Mr J Padgett)
The Memorial Service The proceedings began with a Memorial Service conducted by Anglican Bishop the Rt Rev Michael Lewis, who led the congregation in Hymns and Prayers, followed by a sounding of the Last Post by Bugle Corporal James Christopher of the Royal Marines. A moving two minutes silence was followed by the Royal Navy Reveille, known as ‘The Rouse’. Then came the Official Wreath Laying Ceremony led by H E Mr Peter Millett the British High Commissioner for Cyprus on behalf of HM Queen Elizabeth ll. The second wreath was then laid at the foot of the Memorial by Lt Gen Henry Beverley on behalf of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, then Gen Sir John Waters for the British Army, followed by Air Marshall Sir Michael Graydon, a former Commander of the Royal Air Force and now Chairman of the Trust. A further thirty official wreaths were then laid by Cyprus Veterans, families of the fallen, representatives of various Service Units and other organizations concerned with the welfare of former service personnel, plus members of the trust. Following closing Prayers offered by the Bishop, the congregation was invited to view the Memorial and lay their own wreaths and tributes, which resulted in the noble structure being adorned with a stunning blaze of colour. Indeed, a fitting tribute to those who died in the service of their country, most of whom are at rest In Wayne’s Keep Cemetery located in the UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus. Wayne’s Keep When Brian and David visited Wayne’s Keep, they visited the graves of all the Household Cavalrymen buried there. They laid a cross on each one and
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The Memorial and wreaths (Photo Courtesy Mr Lloyd)
saluted. The number of veterans filled three coaches and there were a lot of memories revived. They met several Veterans who served with 188 Bty RA who had been camped next door to Camp Elizabeth. The 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards had been just up the road. After 50 years the memories came flooding back. On one coach trip they went to Famagusta (Famagusta is the English name for Gazi Magusa - many Greeks still refer to this former wealthiest city in the Eastern Mediterranean by it’s Medieval name of Arsinoe. Girne is the Turkish name for Kyrenia) and stood at the gate through which they were driven on arrival by troop ship. How many of those veterans had similar memories to ours, one wonders? They both made a lot more friends as a result of this trip and have already exchanged e-mails and phone calls with some of them. Needless to say, the talk and drinking went on into small hours almost every night. Cyprus Remembered;
Brian and David report “… that this was a happy and emotional trip but it was worth every single minute”. • There is a lapel badge for Cyprus Veterans which can be obtained from: Windsor Medals, 3 Wells Court, Saxilby, Lincoln LN1 2GY. Telephone 00 44 (0) 1522 702254 or go to jeslingby@aol. com. The proprietor is a former Blues and Royals Master Tailor. • If any one is interested in visiting the Memorial, it is suggested that they should contact Legion Travel, which was the travel company that that Brian and David used. • An augmented DVD of the Unveiling Ceremony and Service of Remembrance can be obtained from the British Cyprus Memorial Trust at GB £15 each; to include all post and packaging and a copy of the Order of Service. All proceeds will go the Cyprus Memorial Maintenance Fund. Go to: www.britishcyprusmemorial.org
(L) Brian Worthy, Lord Patrick Beresford (C) and David Bradley (R) in Cyprus
The Household Division Memorial
he Household Division Memorial “Septem juncta in uno” (seven joined in one) at the National Memorial Arboretum commemorates members of the Household Division and provides a place of solace for bereaved families and friends. It was unveiled by and dedicated in the presence of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Colonel Grenadier Guards and Senior Colonel Household Division, on 3 December 2009. The service mirrored those which took place on 16 October 1926 to dedicate the Guards Memorial at Horse Guards and for the opening and dedication of the Household Brigade War Memorial Cloister in Guards Chapel on 28 May 1956. The project was initiated by The Major General Commanding The Household Division, Major General W G Cubitt CBE, who recognised the depth of feeling amongst both serving and association members that the sacrifices made by the Household Division should be suitably marked at the National Memorial Arboretum. The memorial sits in a grove at the end of a small of avenue of maple and London plane trees, appropriately named The Mall. It is simple in design, comprising black railings mounted on a plinth. The railings are modelled on those found at the old Chelsea Barracks in London and, like those railings, incorporate the stars and badges of the five Regiments of Foot Guards that adorned them. Meanwhile the plinth, made of Portland Stone on a concrete core, is intended to capture the same simple, stark nature of the Guards Memorial on the edge of Horse Guards Parade in St James’s Park, The Guards Memorial at Brompton Cemetery and the Crimean Guards Memorial at the Waterloo Place junction with Pall Mall in London. The plinth has been inscribed on its rear side with the mottos of the seven
The Household Division Memorial at the NMA unveiled by HRH Duke of Edinburgh on 3 December 2009. Household Division troops stand behind.
Regiments, each belonging to the badge or star behind which they are positioned. The Household Cavalry Regiments and The Grenadier Guards share the same motto. The Household Cavalry badges have been inscribed in the most senior positions on the flanks of the memorial. The Foot Guards stars and badges are placed in Brigade order of seniority; on the right flank (when facing the enemy), The Grenadiers, on the left flank, The Coldstream Guards. The Scots Guards are immediately to the left of The Grenadiers always having filled the centre of the Brigade line of battle between 1660 and 1900. The junior Regiments are positioned in seniority dictated by the dates of their respective formation, the Irish Guards to the right of The Coldstream Guards, and the Welsh Guards, the junior Regiment in the centre of the Division.
granite), Scotland (red granite), Ireland (green limestone) and Wales (black slate). The stones represent the strength of union that exists in The Household Division, underpinning the pride and rivalry within and between these seven Regiments in their Service to the Sovereign and the Nation in the past, in the present and in the future. The memorial cost £30,000 to construct. The stonemason was Young Johnson Ltd of Westbury. At the unveiling, Prince Philip presented Elizabeth Crosses to next of kin of those who had died recently on operations.
The Household Division Memorial at the NMA unveiled by HRH Duke of Edinburgh
The memorial is surrounded by a paved area of Portland Stone. This is divided on all four sides with the identical repetition of a band of coloured stone in four different colours, interlocking with each other in union. These stones have been mined in England (white
The Household Division Memorial dedication stone Tprs Bishop and Smith in the Guard of Honour
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Information for members of both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations Communication Correspondence for both Associations should be addressed to:
www.theoldoaktree.net A website for former members of The Life Guards. To register follow the link above.
The Honorary Secretary (LG or RHG/D Assn) Home Headquarters Household Cavalry, Combermere Barracks Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3DN
www.theseniorcavalryclub.proboards.com A Bulletin Board for former Household Cavalrymen. To register follow the link above.
Gen office: 01753 755297 LG Assn Secretary: 01753 755229 RHG/D Assn Secretary: 01753 755132 Fax: 01753 755161 E-Mail for Home HQ is: firstname.lastname@example.org E-Mail for Secretary LG Assn is: email@example.com E-Mail for Secretary RHG/D Assn is: firstname.lastname@example.org Change of Home Address Members are requested to inform us, through Home Headquarters Household Cavalry, of any change in your address. Every year both Associations lose touch with a number of members who have failed to notify us of those changes. Any correspondence returned will result in that member being placed in the non-effective part of the database. Your E-Mail Addresses! Notification of changes to your E-mail address is as important as changes to your postal address. Please keep us informed of these also. Regimental Items for Sale Various items with the Regimental Cipher are available from the PRI shop at Combermere Barracks. The shop manager can be contacted on 01753 755271. The Household Cavalry Museum Shop at Horse Guards can be contacted on 020 7930 3070 or you can visit their website at www.householdcavalrymuseum.org.uk Websites The ‘Official’ Household Cavalry Website can be found at: www.army.mod.uk/armoured/ regiments/1627.aspx ARMYNET ArmyNet is the serving Army’s private Website to which Association members have now been given access. To open an account with ArmyNet, non serving members must first register with Captain R Hennessy-Walsh on 01753 755229 or email that request to him at email@example.com.
The Queen’s Birthday Parade & Reviews The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Saturday 12th June 2010 with the Colonels’ Review on 5th June and the Major General’s Review on 29th May. A limited number of tickets for the Inner Line of Sentries (standing only) will be available for members through your respective Honorary Secretary. Tickets cannot be purchased through Home Headquarters Household Cavalry. Household Division Beating Retreat A Floodlit Military Music Spectacular The Massed Bands and Corps of Drums of the of the Household Division, supported by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and the Swedish Royal Band present an evening of military music on Horse Guards, Whitehall, Central London on Wednesday 9th and Thursday 10th June 2010 at 9.00 pm. Tickets are available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk and cost £15 each, tickets for OAPs/Students/Children under 16 will cost £10 each. A family ticket (2 adults and 2 children aged 16 and under) is available at £40. Wheelchair access is available at a cost of £15 allowing free entry for a carer. Basic portaloo toilet facilities are available. No refund can be given if the event is cancelled for reasons beyond our control. Combined Cavalry Parade and Service The 86th Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Parade and Service will be held in Hyde Park on Sunday 9th May 2010. 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 (0800 169 2277) www.veterans-uk.info firstname.lastname@example.org Royal Windsor Visitors Information Bureau Enquiries: 01753 743900 Accommodation: 01753 743907
Those visiting Windsor, either for Regimental functions, or any other reason, may wish to know that a Travelodge is now open offering rooms at very competitive rates. They can be contacted on 0871 984 6331 or their website at: http://www.travelodge.co.uk/ find_a_hotel/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. Tel: 0207 839 4466. email@example.com 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 020 7389 5219 and in Scotland on 0131 557 2782 or their website at: www.officersassociation.org.uk The Royal British Legion (TRBL) TRBL is the UK’s largest ex-service organisation with some 570,000 members. One of its objects is to promote the relief of need and to promote the education of all those who are eligible, their spouses, children and dependants. If you need help, you can contact the local TRBL
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branch near you (number in the local phone book), or the national Legion help line on 08457 725 725 or visit their website at: www.britishlegion.org.uk SSAFA Forces Help 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 SSAFA Forces Help can be found in the local phone book or from the Citizens’ Advice Bureau or contact the Central Office at: 020 7403 8783 or visit their website at: www.ssafa.org.uk. SSAFA Forces Help – Recruitment SSAFA Forces Help need more volunteers from each Association to be Casework Supporters who are visitors, treasurers, administrators and fund-raisers. SSAFA Forces Help volunteers are there to provide practical help, advice and friendship to all serving and ex-serving men, women and their families. More than 85,000 call on the charity every year. Training is given (2 days), and outof-pocket expenses are paid. Job satisfaction is guaranteed. If you can spare a little time for a ‘comrade’ please contact: Branch Recruitment Office 19 Queen Elizabeth Street London SE1 2LP Telephone: 020 7463 9223 who will put you in touch with your nearest team or make contact through www.ssafa.org.uk/housing.html
SSAFA Forces Help Housing Advice Service Provides housing information and advice to Ex-Service personnel and their dependants. For further information contact them at 01722 436400 or www.ssafa.org.uk/housing.html
Haig Homes Haig Homes have some 1100 homes throughout the country for letting exclusively to ex-regulars and their families on assured tenancies. For details of where properties are located and application forms contact them at 020 8648 0335 or through www.haighomes.org.uk The Ex-Services Mental Welfare Society (Combat Stress) For nearly 80 years it has been the only organization specialising in the care of men and women of all ranks discharged from the Armed Services who suffer from injury of the mind. The Society has 3 short stay treatment centres that specialise in providing treatment for those who need help in coping with
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their psychological problems. For more information and full contact details for regional offices telephone the Head Office on 01372 841600 or visit their website at: www.combatstress.com. The British Limbless Ex-Servicemen’s Association (BLESMA) The objects of the Association is to promote the welfare of all those who have lost a limb or limbs, or use of limbs, or one or both eyes as a result of their service in the Forces and to assist needy dependants of such Service limbless. It will also help those Ex-Servicemen who lose a leg after Service. For more details contact them on 020 8590 1124 or visit their website at: www.blesma.org. St Dunstan’s St Dunstan’s cares for Ex-Servicemen who have lost their sight for any reason (even after leaving the Service). For more information contact 020 7723 5021 or visit their website: www.st-dunstans.org.uk. Regular Forces Employment Association (RFEA) Contact no is: 020 7321 2011 or at www.rfea.org.uk Veterans Aid Previusly known as the Ex-Service Fellowship Centres (EFC) whose aims are is to relieve distress among ex-servicemen of all ranks and their widows or widowers who, at the time of application for assistance, are unemployed, homeless or for reasonable cause in need. They can be contacted at 020 7828 2468. Their website is at www.veterans-aid.net Ministry of Defence (MOD) Medal Office There is now one Medal Office, which covers all three Services and they be contacted as follows: Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Building 250, RAF Innsworth Gloucester GL3 1HW Email: JPAC@afpaa.mod.uk Fax: 0141 224 3586 Free Phone: 0800 085 3600 Overseas Civ: +44 (0) 141 224 3600 For additional information about medals visit: www.veterans-uk.info Veterans Badges Men and Women who enlisted in HM Armed Forces between 3 September 1945 and 31 December 1994 are entitled to a Veterans Badge. There is no qualifying length of Service. You can download a form from the Veterans Agency Website at www.veteransuk.info/vets_badge/vets_badge.htm
or can obtain one by telephoning the Veterans Agency Help line 0800 169 2277 Army Personnel Records and Family Interest Enquiries - Historical Disclosures The Ministry of Defence (MOD) keeps the records of former members of our Armed Forces for administrative use after their discharge. A Subject Access Requests (SAR) form needs to be completed in order to access records for all ranks in the Army that served after 1920. The following address should be used for ex-soldiers wishing to access their personal records Army Personnel Centre, Disclosure 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX Tel: 0845 600 9663 The following address should be used for family members wishing to access records of deceased soldiers Army Personnel Centre, Historical Disclosures, Mail Point 400, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G2 8EX The following personnel Service records have been transferred to the National Archive (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 the National Archive and are freely available for public access. However the National Archives is not resourced to carry out searches. Enquirers are instead welcome to visit, or hire an independent researcher - see the National Archive website for further details at: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ militaryhistory
1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiments
he 63rd Annual Reunion of the 1st and 2nd Household Cavalry Regiments was held on Thursday 15th October 2009 in the WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess at Hyde Park Barracks by kind permission of the RCM, WO1 S B Taylor.
of both Regiments and their guests enjoyed an excellent lunch, at which we were delighted to welcome Colonel W T Browne, Commander Household Cavalry and Lieutenant Colonel J S Olivier, the Regimental Adjutant.
His Grace The Duke of Wellington, took the chair and a total of 54 members
After a general discussion, it was decided that for all sorts of good
reasons (including members advancing years) we would hold two further reunion lunches in 2010 and 2011 and that our 65th Anniversary, which falls in 2011, would be our final gathering. The will
date of our be notified in
2010 lunch due course.
Household Cavalry Association - Dorset www.householdcavalryassociationdorset.org
Email: Dorsetsquadron@aol.com 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 Trevor Collett Senior - formerly The Blues and Royals Dudley Feltham - formerly Royal Horse Guards (till 31122009) Fred Kemp - formerly Royal Horse Guards Brian Murray - formerly The Blues and Royals Bill Stephenson - formerly The Blues and Royals Barry Woodley - formerly The Life Guards Lt Col Malcolm Torrent - formerly The Band of The Life Guards (from 01012010)
he Committee’s aim was to continue with the proven operating plan developed over the years and honed in 2008; with the projection of the 28th year being more of the same! The January newsletter wished all well for the New Year and included the tickets for the Winter Warmer 2009 (WW09) Draw - an opportunity to win holiday breaks in Bournemouth and support the running costs of the annual dinner at the same time. We use the profits from the Winter Warmer Draw, the annual Balloon Race and the Annual Draw to offset the costs of the annual dinner and that allows members to enjoy the event at a reduced price to the actual costs. The WW09 draw took place as part of the Spring Dinner and Dance weekend in March. 85 members, their ladies and guests gathered at the Quality Hotel
in Bournemouth over Mothering Sunday weekend and the well established routine swung into place with excellent food and service members set about with gusto enjoying the opportunity to ‘meet and greet’ and take the sea air. The dinner was preceded by two of our Gentlemen Trumpeters, Messrs Sid Dodson and Bruce Worthy, ‘calling’ us into dinner – superb as always in style, in music and of course turnout. The Saturday night dinner proved a great success with many complements on the standard of food, portions and service. New faces this year were Vic and Pat Sturrock and Mrs Anne O’Gorman. The evening’s entertainment was provided throughout by our regular disco, Tony Mack – who also serviced us at the Annual Dinner. The raffle was drawn and Committee ‘forgot’ a prize, a very large Teddy Bear, ‘cos it was sat on a bar stool” and so it was instantly auctioned for the sponsored charity this year – the Operational Casualties Fund and Chris Rose won with a bid of £50 and he then donated it back to the Association for the Sunday lunch raffle. The WW09 was drawn and won by Mrs Denise Bonner, Trevor Collett and Brian Murray respectively. And out thanks to the membership for the support and participation world-wide. On the Sunday, and as a new venture, we held a Mothering/Sunday Lunch – a chance for families to get together and not argue about the washingup! 65 hungry people sat down to Lunch. Ringwood must have seemed quite empty as John and Pat Gilbert hosted a family table of 14 and Mike and Jo Brown a family table of 10 – indeed as did the Vice President George and Janet Dugdale. The Chairman gathered his family around him and had a table of 8. We had a raffle of course and Phil Fisk won that Teddy Bear – him who was flying back to Portugal with a suitcase – the bear was as big as the suitcase some said. A quick swap with Maritz and Sam Cloete = Teddy Bear for ornament raffle
prize, and both parties were very happy! Spring celebrated in style and May saw members march through Hyde Park as part of the Combined Cavalry Association Parade; this preceded the annual act of remembrance at the RHG/D Memorial in Rotten Row where Dudley Feltham joined other local Associations in laying a wreath. April and July saw the newsletters permeating around the world with 2010 diaries and of course the Balloon Race tickets for members to sell or buy. On the 15th August the Committee met at the Chairman’s house to launch the annual balloon race. This was also the annual excuse to test the quality of the proposed wine for the Annual Dinner. With helium gas and wind assorted after the wine testing, the Committee and their wives launched 439 balloons on a clear breeze over Bournemouth. The wind took the balloons east with the winning balloon being found near Kiel in Germany and the winner was member Bob MacAlister who received a cheque for £150.00 and immediately donated £50 to the HCOCF. Again our sincerest thanks to our President, Lord Normanton for under-writing the total costs of the event and providing a bit of sport and the Chairman for the cork screw! The highlight of the year is always our Annual Dinner, this now being our 28th, The original cunning plan was to have the Adjutant General – Lt Gen Bill Rollo CBE, as our Guest of honour but eventual movement plans precluded this … but we were most fortunate and honoured to have another senior Household Cavalryman - Lt Gen Barney White-Spunner CBE attend. The date was set as the 10th October, the fourth at the Carrington House Hotel in Bournemouth. 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 121 sat down to an a la carte dinner, which was followed by a disco and, of course, a raffle. Saturday was free for shopping
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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 shop. Good business for the PRI and members alike with and the Household Cavalry wristbands moving fast 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. The Chairman thanked Committee Member Dudley Feltham for all his work and tireless support to the Association as he retires after 15 years on the Committee. He is succeed by Lt Col Malcolm Torrent who is well known to members. 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 Ambassador Suite for photographs with the Dutymen. Lt Col (Retd) Mal colm Torrent, late DOM of The Band of the Life Guards, sounded Mess Call and that started off the evening proper. Once the top table were welcomed and after Grace from Fred Kemp, our very own Gentlemen Trumpeters, Messrs Sid Dodson, Lez Bullock and Bruce Worthy roused the appetite with a fanfare ‘Call to Battle’ which was, as ever, note perfect and an absolutely splendid performance. Throughout the dinner, diners were entertained by a strolling ‘fiddler’ in the form of Hugh Billington; ex-BCM RHG/D who put more than a smile of faces. Due to family illness the President was unable to attend so the Chairman announced the message of Loyal Greeting to Her Majesty and Her gracious reply and proposed the Loyal Toast. He then introduced the Guest of Honour who then spoke with feeling and honesty about the Household Cavalry, explaining the state of play and outline of the Helmand deployment. He concluded with a toast to the Household Cavalry which was roundly joined. Comdr H Cav, Col Toby and Mrs Browne also delighted in joining the event and we were further honoured with Maj Will and Katie Davies SCOTS DG representing the Windsor ‘chapter’ – he being the OC D Sqn HCR. Trevor
28th Annual Dinner and Dance - Top Table
Rear row: Lt Gen Barney White-Spunner CBE, Col Toby Browne LVO, Mr Ray Peck, Maj Will Davies SCOTS DG, Mr Thomas Messel Seated: Mrs Serena Browne, Mrs Paula Peck, Mrs Katie Davis, Mrs Pepe Messel Tpr Okiusu-Mehsah LG Tpr Carling RHG/D
Collett then presented on behalf of the Association a framed set of Household Cavalry blazer and cap badges to Mr Ken Robins, the proprietor of the Quality Hotel, in recognition and appreciation of the support the hotel has given us. The Secretary then took front and centre and rambled on about the HCOCF auction. Five items went under the hammer and all sold as follows: 1. A Coca Cola bottle opener and 10 litre Paderborner bier – Carl Murray £90 2. Two bottles of Waterloo Bier in a pine box – John Finnie £180 3. Cased set of 10, 20, 30 and 40 year old port – John Finnie again £300 4. Household Cavalry drum table – Len Knox £550 5. Household Cavalry girondole – Len Knox again £1900. And John Finnie agreed to buy the second girondole for the same price of £1900. To top the monies up we had donations from Miss Jo Smith £20, Vic Sturrock £50 and Harry Maplesden £122. Our thanks to all who took part and to Thomas and Pepe Messel who most generously designed, hand crafted and then presented at no cost the girondoles – a truly super gesture. Again thanks to John Hawley for the last drum table – in total over two years they have raised £1050 for the fund – cheers John. A total of £5050 was handed over to the Regimental Secretary for placing the charity funds. Prior to and after the dinner, the author Peter DeCosemo, ex-LG remount rider, was present signing and selling his new book, the novel Led by the Grey which is based on the Mounted Regiment. Peter has most generously donated the total sales money of the first 200 hard back copies of the book to the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. Both the hardback and paperback editions
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sold well and it all helps the charity too. To round the year off we held our Christmas Lunch at the Quality Hotel on Sunday 20th December. This was a traditional fine dining affair and included a most entertaining pianist Simon Page who introduced two guests, Jack and Ella Jordan, (grand-children of Member John and Marie Hawley), who entertained us with a Christmas song to the delight of all the 42 attending members and guests. The Annual Draw was a feature of the lunch and was drawn with the aid of Jack and Ella. Third prize of £100 was won by Lila Jones, wife of Nick Jones; second prize of £200 was won by Member Brian Hoare – he who won first prize last year! The first prize of £300 was won by Lt Col (Retd) Mick Harding who found the winnings most useful due to recent relocation into the Windsor area. Lila and Nick Jones donated the prize to the HCOCF as Lila felt this was great cause and she had won second prize once before – nice lady! All winners were members and it was good to see the prizes staying in the ‘family.’ Thanks to all who took part and help us pay for the annual dinner and we waddled off from 2009 into the winter sunset in a most content mood. While as an association we may seem to spend a deal of time ‘meeting and greeting’ and ‘drinking and dining’ – yes we do, for there is pleasure in reunion and memory – but we have not forgotten those Household Cavalrymen who have and are serving in operational theatres around the world – our thoughts and payers are with them and especially to the families of those taken from us be it operationally, by illness or the march of time. We now look forward to 2010 when we will maintain and improve, with the support of the members and our dedicated and hard working Committee, the very best traditions of The Household Cavalry.
Household Cavalry Girandole and the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund In October 2009 an auction was held in Dorset committed to generating funds for the Household Cavalry Operational Causalities Fund and after the previous years success suitable ‘donors’ were identified for the auction. Contact was made with Thomas Messel, the international furniture designer and he immediately accepted the idea and with some thought designed a unique and bespoke Household Cavalry girandole. A girandole has always been, comparatively speaking, a luxurious appliance for lighting, and in the great 18th century period of French house decoration, the famous ciseleurs designed some exceedingly beautiful examples. A
great variety of metals have been used for the purpose. The Household Cavalry girandole design was inspired by the insignia of the Household Cavalry and is finished in burnished water gilt 24ct gold leaf over a hand carved cast resin base. The glass is ‘brilliant cut’ with the E II R cipher and silvered with a unique antiqued sliver “mercury” process. The arm is 24ct bronze ormolu, cast from a 17th century Venetian master. Dimensions – height 50 cm, width 24 cm. Signed and dated by Thomas Messel. Thomas was a Troop Leader with The Blues and Royals in the early 1970’s before he went off to pursue his love of furniture design and manufacture to a world-class standard, attracting a distinguished following and a winner of several Guild Marks, a D&D award
and he is a member of the Awards Committee of The Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers. Have a look at www.thomasmessel.com to see the beauty and craft of his design. This girondole is a fine example of a modern heirloom and is exclusive and a very limited edition that gives the opportunity to obtain one or a pair of fine art items with a practical twist and that is totally unique! All the proceeds go to the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. All enquiries to Home Headquarters on 01753 755132 or the Secretary, Household Cavalry Association – Dorset by email to Dorsetsquadron@aol.com or phone/ text 07800 917560.
Household Cavalry Association North Staffs Branch President: Lt.Col. (Retd) J.S.Olivier, - The Blues and Royals Chairman: Mr Barry Lewis - formerly The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) Treasurer: Mr Roger Adams - formerly The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) Secretary: Mr Ian Taylor - formerly The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues)
e started the year thinking we had closed the book on last year with all the arrangements made for our social functions for the coming year, but before the first meeting, we found our venue for the last ten years or so had become the latest victim of the credit crunch and had closed its doors. At the January meeting the Chairman and the Secretary had come up with alternative venues for members to choose, and a decision was made to enable us to confirm the dates we wished for with only the annual dinner/dance having to be moved to an alternative weekend in October. Earlier in January, several members had been able to attend the funeral of Mr.George Kelsall at The Royal Hospital Chelsea. George had been a top table guest at our annual dinner for some years and as a son of Stoke on Trent he was always pleased to be back in the area of his childhood. Some members were again able to visit The Royal Hospital Chelsea
N Staffs Waterloo Reunion 21st June 2009
in mid-February for a memorial service for Lt.Col.Denis Daly, a long standing and valued member of our Branch. He will be sadly missed. At the AGM in March, Chaired by our Vice President Mr PRV Thellusson, serving officers were re-elected, although The Chairman is still acting Treasurer while we wait upon a volunteer! A couple of days later, several members travelled to Newcastle to support the North East Association at their dinner/dance, always a good evening of friendship with colleagues and wives. Our first Social Evening of the year was in April with a good turnout of members and wives with a chance to try our new venue for the first time. After a good evening ending with many smiling faces, it was plain to see that the new location was the correct decision.
At the beginning of May there were several members who made the journey to Windsor for the annual Blues and Royals Association dinner. It was generally agreed that it was not up to the usual standard. On the Sunday morning following, we joined in the Combined Cavalry Parade in Hyde Park and luckily the weather was kind to us. On the weekend of 20th and 21st June, former members that served in 1st The Royal Dragoons held a Reunion Weekend with colleagues not only from around the country, but from as far afield as USA and Germany. The Reunion was held at Alrewas in Staffordshire, next to The National Memorial Arboretum, so guests could spend as much time there as they wished there. This Reunion was to celebrate 40 years
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However, we have had a volunteer to take over the vacant post of Treasurer in the form of Mr Roger Adams.
since the amalgamation of the 1st The Royal Dragoons with The Royal Horse Guards, (The Blues), and the weekend coincided with the 194th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo on 8th June 1815.
The annual dinner/dance was all we hoped it would be, many smiling faces and every room in the hotel full, the only down side was that our guest speaker The Silver Stick could not be with us. However he did by way of our President, present all those that had been involved with the work on The Blues and Royals memorial plot over the last four years, with a certificate of appreciation which was well received.
On the Sunday, a memorial service was held at The Blues and Royals Memorial plot taken by our Branch Chaplain, the Rev’d Ann Taylor. Mention was made of the individual history of both regiments in past conflicts, and how we are serving as one regiment today in Afghanistan. The bookings for our annual dinner/ dance were coming in fast and furious as members, especially those from out of the area, were eager to try the new location, so many that we had booked most of the rooms in the hotel.
On 8th November, only the Chairman and Secretary were able to attend the Remembrance Service at St. Giles church in Newcastle, a moving service taken by the Rev’d Ann Taylor. With the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, there are more people attending remembrance services, obviously people are very aware that our young boys and girls are still putting their lives on the line.
Our second Social evening in July confirmed that the new venue was a good choice and an enjoyable evening was had by all. Since the sad loss of our Standard Bearer last year we have not been able to find a member young and fit enough to fill the post so if our Standard has been out, it has been as a static item.
At the service we hold at the grave of former Life Guard Leonard Durber after
N Staffs Waterloo Reunion
the main Remembrance service, only his sister and her husband were present. His father is now not in good health and is unable to get out. A few of us went down to the National Memorial Arboretum on 11th, but Rev’d Ann Taylor was not well enough to take a service, although it was not flooded like last year, it was wet and windy. At our November meeting, now all our functions for the year are over except for the Christmas dinner in December, we were able to assess our finances and decide how many charities we could help, and by how much. We decided we could donate £1,000 between four charities which we shall do in early December. Again, as yet another Christmas approaches with our serving colleagues still seeming no nearer a solution in Afghanistan, we think of them, and their families, we know they will uphold the traditions and values of The Household Cavalry, God bless you all.
North Staffs Association Dinner
Household Cavalry Association North East President: Capt (Retd) Peter Townley
Commanding Officers of the Regiments to speak at our annual Dinners.
Chairman/Secretary: Mr Ken Rowe
Our new President is Capt (Retd) Peter Townley (late RHG/D). He is also the Legacy and Fundraising Manager for the Royal Hospital Chelsea. During the year we paraded our standard on several occasions. I had the privilege of parading it at the Menin Gate, in Belgium. It was a very emotive and humbling experience.
e started our year with the sad occasion of the Memorial Service in February of our President, Lt Col Denis Daly at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Lt Col Daly was our President for over ten years. He was an inspirational man, a pleasure to meet, and a lovely man who always had a smile on his face. He will be much missed. Whilst he was President he organised several guest Chairmen, including
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Our Annual Dinner once again attracted our friends from across the country; including our good friend from Dundee, Stuart Smith. Once again I would like to thank Chelsea Pensioners CoH
Bill Cross and WO2 Bob Hogarth for making the long journey up North! I am pleased to note that our membership is slightly up compared to previous years. August saw several members visit the Mayor’s Parlour in Sunderland Civic Centre. This was for our annual presentation to the Mayor. This year Councillor Dennis Richardson became an Honorary Member of our Association. September saw members of our Association attend the Veterans Parade at Eden Camp, North Yorkshire. There was over 100 standards and 1,000 veterans in total. Eden Camp itself
Two Standards, Two Veterans: Norman Grievson Dunkirk (L) and Normandy Veteran Frank Whyman
Group of RBL Seaham Branch members with Mr Ken Rowe on left with Household Cavalry Association Branch Standard
is well worth a visit as it is unique Museum; it is an origi nal Prisoner of War Camp built in 1942 that has reconstructed scenes to transport you back in time, to make you feel that you are there taking part in history. On a sad note, we paraded at the funeral of Sergeant John Hamer of the Coldstream Guards who was killed in Afghanistan, on 30 November 2009. It just remains for me to wish all our colleagues a Happy and Healthy 2010. Ken Rowe (Chairman)
Chairman Mr Ken Rowe (R) with Household Cavalry Association Branch Standard on parade at Menin Gate with Standard of TRBL (Seaham Branch) May 2009
Household Cavalry Association North West & Yorkshire by Steve Mills, Formerly The Life Guards
n the 21st September the North West & Yorkshire branch of the Household Cavalry Association was officially launched, after a number of months trying to convince the Commander Household Cavalry we had a sound member base and would be able to make the Association work without ‘poaching’ members from other branches. We had planned to call the Association just North West Branch but after further discussion decided to open it to Yorkshire too. At the first meeting we voted in a committee and officers of the Association, although we are still in need of appointing a President. We are in the process of searching for an ex-officer from the region who would like to take up the post,
I would really like you to get in touch. We also decided to charge an annual subscription fee of £20, for which you will receive an Association polo shirt and membership card. The membership is now up to 20 and increasing, we are holding an informal Christmas party and have events planned for next year. Meetings are held bi-monthly and we plan to hold them throughout the region, which hopefully will cut down on the travelling time for our members, it also gets members involved allowing them to select a venue and make the necessary arrangements to hold our meeting. Our first official get together will be Remembrance Sunday, where we will lay a wreath on behalf of our Association at the Altrincham Garden of
Remembrance, it will also be the first outing for our newly made standard. Although we would like our Association to be somewhere for ex and serving members of the Household Cavalry to meet old friends and hopefully meet some new ones, we would also like to keep some of the traditions by having formal events such as Brickhanging, summer and winter Balls to allow the ladies and gentlemen a chance to get into their finery and also make some money for the selected charity. If anybody is interested in joining our Association, I can be contacted on 07810778365 or stevejames99@ btinternet.com
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Gregory Prize A large selection of photographs of The 1st and 2nd Life Guards and The Royal Horse Guards in 1893. These were sent in by Dr D E Dalton, formerly The Life Guards, who now lives in Australia. Those shown here are a very small part of the collection and it is hoped that they will be shown in the Museum. Adjutant and CorporalMajors 2 LG
HRH The Duke of Connaught
Riding Master 1LG
Rough Riders RHG
Corporal Major Standard Bearer RHG
CoH 1st LG
Cutting the apple
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Stables 2 LG
Rough Riders 1 LG
Trumpeters 1 LG
Vet Surgeon and Farriers 2 LG
Levee Escort RHG NCO’s Mess 1 LG
Rough Riders RHG
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AWOL in the Canal Zone
by Colonel DSA Boyd, Formerly The Blues and Royals
was commissioned into The Royal Dragoons on 8th February 1952. King George VI had died on 6th February and so our Passing Out Parade was cancelled. After the usual Young Officer Courses at Bovington and Lulworth, I flew out to Fayid in the Canal Zone in May in a York from Blackbush Airfield. The Egyptian abrogation of the Suez Canal Treaty had occurred six months earlier and the storming of the Caracol Egyptian Police HQ in Ismailia and associated unrest had taken place in early 1952. Lt Col Desmond FitzPatrick had recently taken over command from Lt Col Roddie Heathcote-Amery. At that time, the 2i/c and all squadron leaders, except one, had MCs. The exception had an MBE as did the QM, Spud Lewis. Colonel Desmond had DSO, MBE and MC, RSM Edwards had a Croix de Guerre and Sgt Cole-Evans a DCM. On arrival, I was posted to B Squadron, commanded by Major Geoffrey Armitage, whom I had met at Sandhurst, where he had been an instructor before transferring to The Royals. The Squadron was out on squadron training at Ain Sukhna on the Gulf of Suez, culminating in an advance to contact up the Wadi Hagul and the Suez/Cairo road. After a couple of weeks I was given command of 5th Troop, consisting of two Daimler Armoured Cars (DACs) and two Daimler Scout Cars (Dingoes or DSCs). Some time afterwards, the Colonel changed the troop organisation to one DAC, two DSCs and an AEC Armoured car, mounting a 75mm gun. At the same time, all DAC 2 pounder guns were modified with the Littlejohn squeeze bore attachment to enable them to fire the higher performance Armour Piercing Super Velocity (APSV) round. HE rounds could not be fired, as they tended to premature The Citadel at Aleppo Syria
which was no great disadvantage. The AEC 75 mm fired a good HE round as well as an APCBC armour piercing round. This change of organisation presumably resulted from an updated assessment of the Egyptian Army’s threat to British Forces in the Canal Zone, which at the time consisted of two divisions, 1st and 3rd, plus “Corps” troops. We were once deployed to form a screen to protect Ismailia when an Egyptian armoured brigade was moving from Gaza to Cairo. The move passed off without incident. Waterloo Day was celebrated by a Trooping the Guidon Parade, the first time this had been done on foot since the Regiment lost its horses. The Guidon Escort was commanded by Lieutenant SEM Bradish Ellames, who subsequently commanded The Life Guards. Dinner Nights, with the Band playing, occurred every Thursday. On one occasion, as the regimental march was being played, the Orderly Officer, who had been summoned to the telephone, came back with the news that King Farouk had been deposed and Op Rodeo Flail was to be implemented. This was an operation to send an infantry battalion group, with a troop of tanks and a troop of armoured cars, by Tank Landing Ship to Alexandria, to protect the European population in case of rioting by the Egyptians. Within a couple of hours, my troop was on its way to Port Said, fully bombed up and ready to go. We spent the next three weeks embarked, but never had to sail. We returned just in time for the visit of the CIGS, Field Marshal Sir John Harding.
Zone Noel Matterson and I went on leave to Cyprus. As everyone did, we went to Kyrenia, which was a lovely change from Fayid. After a few days, we decided to fly to Istanbul. We had a very good time there, sight seeing and partying. Having clocked into the Embassy, we met the Naval Attache, who was most kind to us and had us to stay for several days. We met a British engineer working for Petter Engines, who asked us if we would like to drive down with him, through Anatolia and Syria to Beirut. Of course, we jumped at the idea and off we went. We spent nights in Ankara, in the Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey, having visited the 4000 year old Hittite pyramid cave dwellings at Urgup, and in Aleppo. We arrived safely in Beirut and stayed at the St Georges Club where we said goodbye to our friend who had driven us down. Our plan was to get to Amman in Jordan and persuade the RAF there to fly us to Fayid. By this time, we were getting close to the end of our leave time, so we got the Military Attaché at the British Embassy to send a signal to the regiment saying where we were and what our plans were. Problem number one was that we were running out of money, which we were discussing over a coca cola. “No problem, said the Coca Cola Stall owner, “You are British Officers - you have English cheque book? No problem!”
The only place one could go for leave was Cyprus. After about a year in the Noel Matterson photographing ancient (4-5000 years old) Hittite “pyramid” cave dwellings at Urgup in Anatolia
The Guidon Party, SSM Vowles, RQMS Old, SSM Jones. This Guidon had been presented to The Royals at Aldershot on 10 June 1925 by HM King George V, Colonel in Chief. Waterloo Day 1952 was the first time that the Guidon had been trooped dismounted.
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And so it was! So, next day we took a dolmus to Amman changing at Damascus (a dolmus is a taxi doing a fixed route, but you pay for your seat only). All went well until we were going out of Damascus when we were stopped at a police check point and everyone had to get out. The taxi driver was suspected of smuggling gold, we were told! And lo and behold they found a bar of gold rapped in sacking in the engine oil filler filter! The driver was carted off and never seen again and in due course a new dolmus came and took us to Amman. Problem number two was that the RAF told us there were no flights to Fayid for three weeks! Consternation! So off we went to Jerusalem where we booked a flight on BEA to Nicosia for the next day, which gave us time to do a bit of sight seeing and visiting the Church of The Holy Sepulchre. We arrived in Nicosia on a Friday, to be informed by RAF Movement Control that there were no flights to Fayid until Monday. So it was off to Kyrenia for a pleasant weekend. We got back to the Regiment to be told that the Adjutant wished to see us. We were wheeled in to see the Colonel – who wanted to hear what we had been up to
Waterloo day 1952. Lt Gen Sir Francis Festing is welcomed by the Commanding Officer, Lt Col G R D Fitzpatrick accompanied by the Adjt, Capt A J A Cubitt
and where we had been. Despite the fact that we were a week overdue our leave, I think he was quite pleased that we had not just sat on the beach at Kyrenia
all the time! Anyway, he was very nice about it all – and we got off very lightly, each getting four extra orderly officers from Alick Cubitt the Adjutant!!
National Service Memories 50 Years On by Tony Finch, formerly Trooper in The Life Guards
suppose it really started in March 1960 with the arrival of the buff OHMS envelope, in which on opening I was instructed to report to the Household Cavalry Basic Training Unit (HCBTU) at Combermere Barracks Windsor. So on a wet morning on April 20th 1960 I boarded a train at Preston on my journey into the unknown. At Waterloo Station it was evident there were others on the same journey but, being Brits in the 60’s, we didn’t speak. We had been given a rendezvous at Windsor Station and in a bedraggled mob we all tumbled from the train. They say you only get one chance to make a first impression and did our welcoming individual make that. Up to that time I had never seen a more smarter nor immaculate person in my life. He was awesome to the country hick, his name was Neville Taylor and Taylor by name tailor by trade, he was the most profound person I had every encountered. In his own way, he got the 13 of us who had arrived into the back of a three tonner in which we arrived at Combermere Barracks, given a bed and told that we could go out into Windsor that evening but to be back at
the Guard House by 2130 Hrs. Nervous and unsure, we went into Windsor for a few jars of the amber nectar. The night could be described in today’s jargon as a bonding evening, with each promising to meet in the same pub in 25 years when it was all behind us. No one turned up at the 25th anniversary. We became Albermarle Squad under the tutelage of CoH Wakefield but prior to meeting CoH Wakefield we were given over to a Corporal Ray of the RHG whose task was to see us kitted out and to give us words of wisdom on survival in the army. As we stood in a ragged bunch, which we thought was presentable but later ourselves would be ashamed of, we were given the three rules of survival a la Jim Ray, they being: Now you’se listen hard. (He was a scouser) Therse Free Fings to remember. First: Keep Clean. Second: Tell The Truff. Fird: Don’t tell Lies Training went well and though initially one hated it, it could been seen that
it was for a purpose and the end result for me was that I have never felt as fit nor proud at the end of it, as we walked up to the station in June 1960 having passed out and on our way to our first leave, wearing our uniform with pride. Along the way we had a few laughs and I suppose heartaches but, almost 50 years later, they were all part of the tapestry of life. We had initiative tests where we were driven in the old three tonners into the Great Park with a series of cryptic clues to solve on our way back to the barracks. We found that initiative did not extend to catching the first bus back into Windsor and going to the reference section of the library to obtain the answers. Another memory in those first days was the medical or FFII I think it was called. The full squad paraded as usual starkers to the medical centre which was not far from the stables in those days, the MO I cannot recall his name was I believe a Brigadier and from hearsay quite a character. One went in starkers first to a nurse who gave you jabs and took blood and other readings, and then it was to see the MO. One went in full of apprehension
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Arriving back at our harbour area “a local hostelry car park”, I was instructed to park the champ at the rear of the car park as close to the wall as possible. This I did and shut down the engines. In the meantime, CoH Smith BEM cocked his leg over the side of the champ he thought onto the wall. Unfortunately, I was closer to the wall than he realised and his stride was wider than the wall. He went over both the Champ and the wall. Alas the next we heard was ‘SSSHITE ----- splash’ as he hit the river at the bottom. When he put his foot out there was nothing there and down he went. It was hard not to laugh, but we did control ourselves. Mind you, we didn’t get a NAAFI break that evening. Albemarle Squad Windsor June 1960. Author 6th from right front row.
after the tales that had been told in the NAAFI, to be confronted by this white haired gentleman whose examination consisted of grabbing your testicles saying: “Cough. Turn round, bend over, spread the buttocks. Next!!” But pass out we did, and after leave went to Barnard Castle. Some to do gunnery Some to do wireless and myself to Deerbolt to do a driving course. Deerbolt was the training camp for the Queen’s Dragoon Guards (QDG’s) and most of the personnel on the course were still on basic training and spent most of their evenings bulling their kit or trying too. Being by this time old sweats, we made a small fortune bulling their boots so had a bit more cash for the NAAFI. Deerbolt was a desolate camp with drafty Nissan huts with the old stove in the centre. Today it is a young offenders Institution and is like a five star hotel, it seems the spectrum is somehow imbalanced. Thankfully at Barnard Castle we had a representative in CoH King who ensured that the Household Cavalry contingent were not treated as raw recruits and he took us on our drill sessions. He was a great guy. So it was off to the Regiment based in Herford, Germany, arriving on the Friday of a national holiday. I was allocated to HQ squadron and within 48 hours of arriving found myself on gate guard. I will admit it was not the best of times as I hadn’t a clue as to who to salute and who to ignore but, like all things, we got through it. I was allocated APC 3 a Saracen Command vehicle and my troop leader
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was Bubbles Fuller and my commander was SCM Eric Burman. We had a good troop and many good laughs. One occasion when no one was laughing occurred in 1961. I Think, we were harboured up somewhere around Hanover when we were alerted over the radio net that there were happenings in Berlin as the cold war was at its height we had no idea what was afoot. But rumours abounded, it was the advent of the Berlin Wall. Another memorable time was when we were on an exercise (scheme as we called them) on the Baltic Coast over Christmas 1961, we lived in some very makeshift bivouacs and had a bar tent for the Christmas cheer. Why we in HQ Squadron were apart from the rest of the regiment and had a free rein as to our entertainment, I cannot remember. In the spirit of Christmas, we decorated the bar tent with inflated condoms duly painted with the seasons greetings, this was fine until mid way through the Christmas day festivities we were visited by the local Mayor and his ladies, I have never seen as many condoms deflated in such a short time. Being on a scheme and deputising for the cook, I had the misfortune to pierce a hot can of Steak and Kidney and for the gravy to spurt all over the Squadron Major, Major Cape fortunately took the error in good faith. Another memorable occasion was with CoH Smith BEM who I was driving in a champ (small 4x4). He was the wireless officer and we were monitoring trainees in the field and had just returned from a recce round the various trainees harbour areas prior to closing the net for the evening.
I did things I have never done before or since, I played Rugby which I enjoyed, I went on the winter skiing at Winterthur Marshalling for the Army championships and there was given a lesson in snow driving by a Captain Nielson of the Norwegian Army. At the end of our two years we were marched into the Colonels Office expecting to be given our discharge but were told instead that as of that day our National Service time had been extended by six months but that we would be paid regulars pay. Doom and gloom prevailed but a celebration in the beer bar with songs from Fred “Rose Marie” McCorkill and others lighten the mood and the extra six months passed reasonably quickly. Who would have believed that 30 months on from the 20th April 1960 in October 1962 we would say farewell to the regiment with heavy hearts, but we did and on the journey to Gutersloth there was not much banter. It took some months to settle into civilian life again as the comradeship of the regiment had been wonderful. After Demob I went back to my old trade and moved further into the Heavy Construction Industry, building Petro Chemical and LNG installations and other units around the World. I worked continuously for 40 years overseas and in all that time I only ever encountered three ex members of The Life Guards. I met Eddie Newton (in the last National Service Intake) in the Sudan in 1975, John Finken on Das Island in 1980 and finally Richard (Steve) Stephenson in Nigeria. Steve was our head of security and I enjoyed working with him, we could relive days in the regiment over a pint.
It Wasn’t A Dream
by A W Rowlinson, formerly The Life Guards
n February 1942, I was marched in front of Colonel Lane-Fox (RHG) commanding at Combermere Barracks. Passing the medical and with two letters of reference, I as a volunteer was accepted to join The Life Guards. Imagine the period of the time, when to boost the ranks of the Household Cavalry for war time service, hundreds of conscripted men were coming through the gates - given a medical, uniform, number and change of life - the H.C. was struggling to come to terms with the war, since The Life Guards’ peace time strength all in was 404. “Combermere” was built in 1880 and in many ways there was a feeling of Victoriana hanging over the barracks. Before the war the Regiment had me trained in the usual skills of the Army. At first the bed I slept on was from the turn of the century, metal slats on a frame, no springs and the bottom half slid into the back half. We had three large straw stuffed square pads, four blankets and a stuffed roll neck At the beginning, there were 22 men to a room; later beds were changed to bunks which made washing and toilet very hard. With the horses gone, the stables below were used as lecture rooms and with the influx of more men, coconut matting was put down and more bunks – three Foot Guard Sergeants were transferred to train men on the square. By the end of 1942, young NCOs had been sent on instructors courses, so we trained our own men in driving, tank gunnery and wireless. After a short time as a gunnery instructor I was put on a draft with 15 other men for 1HCR in the Middle East, leaving the khaki breeched trumpeter to still sound the daily calls in dear old Combermere – 1HCR in Egypt also had a KD trumpeter sounding the daily calls. Most of my squad mates were drafted to 2HCR which was also struggling to form an armoured car regiment since most of the regular HC men and reservists went out with 1HCR with their horses to the Middle East. 2HCR, stationed at Trowbridge and Bulford, were to become the Recce troops for the Guards Armoured Division, with the Foot Guards in tanks. The whole lot went over to France after D-Day in June 1944. Joining 1HCR at Fayid, Egypt 1943, I was in a different venue again; here were weathered stout hearted men nearly all with moustaches which had been the order of the day in the mid 1930s, looking down on us as we joined them with as much as to say, what right did we have to join them. They were the elite and chosen ones – they called us “pinkies”
until after a while we merged with them. Here they became mounted infantry, then losing their horses, they received some old first world war South African armoured cars called a ‘Marmon Harrington1’, this was the beginning of the Armoured Car Regiment. But what happened in Libya 1942 would change the two regiments forever. The HC was on the left flank of the Eighth Army about to face Rommel at El Alamein. After some minor skirmishes with the Germans and as most of the Army was about to advance and due to shortage of equipment, the Derbyshire Yeomanry in the more up to date Humber armoured cars were given the order to move forward. The HC in the old Marmon Harrington had to give way and so were not up for the push forward. This hurt the men and regiment badly and would not be forgotten in the future, also especially as they were withdrawn and sent back to Syria, where possible trouble was brewing. Then in early 1944 we shipped over to Italy and very soon we were doing a proper job on foot or by armoured car, pursuing the enemy northward, with many exploits between the months and reaching Rimini at the end of the year. Since the old soldiers now were due to return home after their four years overseas, a problem faced the regiment; once again the younger men would be transferred to other units. After we pulled out of the line, The King came out to Italy to see the troops and paid our regiment a visit. Colonel Gooch had talks with him – as a result the whole regiment was home for Christmas 1944 and leave. For the good work done while serving with the 2nd Polish Corps, they awarded each man with their corps sign badge, which was the red and white Warsaw mermaid; worn on the left lower arm of our battledress. After leave 1HCR went over to Holland and then to Germany. Very soon after the War finished, the two Composite Regiments, 1st and 2nd, now close to each other in Germany, disbanded to become their own regiments. The Life Guards moved into the Goslar area which is in the Harz Mountains of Germany. A number of us were billeted (placed) in private houses; all of these had been vacated by the occupants for fear of the advancing Russians which, with the end of the war, never reached there. However, the Germans had left posters around the town warning of ‘werewolves’ so since there was a lot of fir forests around the area, we never left the town at the beginning, but then after a while it was
considered to be a hoax to perhaps impede the British forces or the Russians. A leisure centre was set up in a hill area where we could go for a few hours to try skiing and ‘try’ was the word. Our Regiment had purloined, pinched, come by or found some horses and set up a small stable and anyone for a few days could go along and, under the care of our old soldiers, try a bit of riding which was fun as I know from experience. Some Germans filtered back after a while, a few had remained and among them were a few young ladies but we could only look and not touch or speak to them. Goslar was a lovely little town and had been just after the war a ‘cushy’ spot for us, since a little while earlier it was two man ‘bivvies’ in the snow. Until we moved on further into Germany, a souvenir of the town was a German army cap and a Stein tankard which I still have today. We moved on to a German barracks at Wolfenbüttel. The Life Guards Regiment was now altogether and complete, so regimental duties resumed. Now because a number of ordinary Germans were working in the barracks, forbidden ‘fratting’ was relaxed and our regimental Romeos were out hunting – was I surprised – the Germans were asking us why we didn’t join them and carry on the fight against the Russians. Well, we did have a strange friendship with our so called allies into 1946 this time heading for Berlin which was divided between Russian, French, American and British. The Russians surrounded the Berlin Ring; our journey through the autobahn corridor was like the US cavalry entering a valley of redskins watching with suspicion as from many turnings off the autobahn were tank crews watching us. We had orders with squadrons not to stop and if we broke down our squadron mechanic’s truck would be bringing up the rear. I’m afraid the terrible sight of bombed Berlin we took in our stride as we had seen so much before. I was born in Camden town and before I volunteered for The Life Guards in late 1941, I and my family in north London had lived through two years of air raids every night, to hear the bombers, the ‘ack-ack’ guns and although not as bad as the East End, some bombs exploded, so I know the kind of fear and to some degree we had a certain sympathy for innocent German families in Berlin. Often, scruffy Russian peasant soldiers in groups would come past the barracks looking for women and whatever they
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at the back, but there was nothing there – then I thought, the toilet chain in the lavatory, but someone had beaten me to it! After, we couldn’t get very close to Hitler’s bunker or to where he was burnt as two Russian soldiers waved us away with their automatic weapons. But at least we had been to the last vestige of Nazi Germany – after four months – we were on the road again to move by truck to Osnabrück, then to Calais. Were we going home? “Oh no” and nobody had told us, so it was a train to Toulon and back to Egypt. Now, peace-time soldiering and, after a while, my squadron was at the old Turkish barracks Kasr-el-nil in Cairo. Here we were on anti-riot control. Students were turning trams over, but we did not see some sights like the pyramids and the blue mosque – then with my three years overseas up at the end of 1946, now an NCO, I came home alone to Combermere, up to Knightsbridge and riding school. Our riding instructors then were pre-war men and determined to show what it was like in their day. I was an old soldier by now, so I had heard it all before but the younger lads must have wondered what had hit them. But there was fun and fear. On Saturday mornings wearing slacks, tunic, plimsolls and no hat, we chased each other around the riding school bare back; playing tag. With horses galloping around, to fall off gave us a feeling like the Charge of the Light Brigade.
could pinch. We, on the other hand, had our trucks which did run us into town where there were two first class British clubs/canteens on a par with the Americans, the ‘Winston’ and the ‘Montgomery’. One day, our regiment hired a coach with an old man tour guide, which was quickly filled, getting into the centre of town. We then went into the Russian sector through the
Brandenburg Gate and down the ‘Unter den Linden’ to view what was left of the most famous and grand old buildings. We finished up at Hitler’s Reich Chancellery where he declared his regime would last a thousand years – well, as we walked in this once grand hall, we could see the roof over it was in pieces. Looking for souvenirs, two of us went into Hitler’s private staff rooms
Well, many moons have passed since mountain patrols in Italy or watching Doodle Bugs going over devastated Holland on their way to Britain, the white flags hanging in German homes, the sad people in the concentration camps, and what must have been a grand city in ruins, Berlin, pharaohs tombs, to the Trooping the Colour in scarlets in 1949. The experience of an ordinary soldier, of fear and excitement, serving in war and peace on His Majesty’s service. 1 Although the Household Cavalry called these South African armoured cars “Marmon Harringtons”, their real name was “Marmon Herrington”.
Reflections of his Service
by Mr Neil Townsend JP, DL, formerly The Life Guards
ollowing the article by Malcolm Manning in the 2008/09 Journal, I thought a few reminiscences from the late 1940’s might add to the history. I was 17 in 1945 and my pal had just joined the RAF. I was living in Cheshire and thinking of the same when another ‘pal’ said ‘nonsense’. With a height of 6’ 5” there is only one Regiment to join: “The Life Guards”.
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Next day I went to the recruiting office in Manchester and enlisted for ‘the duration of emergency’. 31st December I received instructions to report to The Royal Fusiliers at Warley Barracks, Braintree for Infantry training before going to Windsor. After six weeks of good training and fun, including a recruiting drive for the Parachute Regiment, for which
I was rejected as being too tall, I arrived at Combermere Barracks. Obviously nothing changed between 1946 and 1950 in terms of Malcolm’s description of Barrack life. My most vivid memories are of the RCM’s voice volume and the privilege of a Corporal giving a final polish to one’s toe-caps before marching onto the square. Of our Corporal of Horse
Taken when our group of trainees stopped at the Church Army refreshment van which was near Bracknell on our way back to Combermere Barracks. (Author top left)
Army post) to hold the position of Divisional Ammunition Officer of the 1st Commonwealth Division until returning home on the day the Armistice was signed (27th July 1953). With the Lutterworth Branch of the Royal British Legion and laying a wreath on behalf of the Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire at the Menin Gate, Ypres at the daily 8pm ceremony in 2002
indicating his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal as being awarded for years of ‘undetected crime!
Marker’ and the residents of Aldershot no doubt soon got used to his words at top volume “That Life Guards Cadet”.
I was a radio operator in the Daimler 2pdr Armoured Car and spent much time in Windsor Great Park making sure my head was down when the Commander suddenly decides to sweep under the nearest tree. Refreshments were provided by the Church Army canteen near Bracknell, which was on our route home.
Then three years in Germany, 7th Armoured Division, 31 Lorried Infantry Brigade on the East German border, being part of a British Supervisory Element of a Polish Tank Transporter Unit, (great people, all of whom had served in General Anders Polish Army during the war) before returning to UK for a years Technical course.
Then came promotion (unpaid) to Acting Cpl as a wireless instructor before attending a War Office Selection Board. Then in September 1946 to Mons Barracks for Officer training, under the watchful eye of RSM Britain of the Coldstream Guards. On his previous course there had been seven cadets from The Life Guards. I was naturally selected by him as ‘Right
This was followed by a year as a member of the War Office Technical Inspectorate of Mechanical Vehicles (when to the frustration of some, we were not allowed to live in Mess but stayed in hotels!) before joining a Regular officers course, prior to a posting to Korea. 1952-53. Promoted to Captain and served as the only British Officer (normally a Canadian
Then a year as Transport officer of the UK Tank Transporter Company based in Nottinghamshire (which included rescuing a loaded transporter which strayed in to Hyde Park and where it took three weeks to extract in order to avoid damage to the drains!) Then resigning to move into the textile industry, plus being appointed a Magistrate, for the next 27 years before establishing my own consultancy business. An exciting move into all types of industry and public involvement which included membership of VAT Tribunals, Appeals Panel of the Financial Services Industry, The NHS, including Chairmanship of Trent Supplies and the then largest Health Authority in the country in Leicestershire. All enhanced by involvement in many community and charitable affairs and by the honour of being appointed a Deputy-Lieutenant of my adopted county of Leicestershire. Now finding it not easy to retire quietly but very proud of my membership of The Life Guards Association.
Thoughts about Brian Lerwell, Late The Life Guards
by Ashley Mack, formerly The Life Guards
rian Lerwell died on 3 November 2009.
Approximately forty-two years ago I walked into the Guards Depot at Pirbright to be trained in the (extraordinary) skills necessary for service in the Household Cavalry. Six eventful years later I no longer went to work holding a rifle, a sword or a lance and became a civilian again (though I still do spend time holding horse muck forks and yard brooms). Those years in The Life Guards were life changing (not all for the worse either!) and memorable (only last week I had a
nightmare in which I was trying to clean some very tarnished kit moments before an imaginary big parade). To become a Mounted Dutyman it is necessary to be well acquainted with creatures that are large, rough, strong, fast reacting, demanding, potentially dangerous and yet capable of being very gentle and knowing. These words when used to describe a noble and beautiful horse will be recognised by most Cavalrymen. However, they can also describe an even more exotic and rare species: a senior Household Cavalry Non Commissioned Officer: a dignified breed once encountered never forgotten!
Brian and I both left the Life Guards in 1973, in his case after a long and illustrious career of more than twenty years, we did not actually meet to talk until many years later at the Bury St Edmunds “Monday Club”. An unofficial but much valued club created for those who have served in the Guards. One of our late members, who had left the Royal Horse Guards in 1953, expressed an opinion that with some of Brian’s wilder stories he might be pulling our legs, even if there is an element of truth in this it does not matter, because they were so entertaining! When the call of duty came he fought in the
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Brian Lerwell, Late The Life Guards
jungles of the Far East, the deserts of the Middle East and other temperate and intemperate zones (one off duty impromptu encounter with Military Police in an Egyptian bar sounded particularly exciting). The world-wide reputation for excellence The Life Guards achieved was not acquired easily or by accident. Work hard, play hard is a good dictum, it was apparent in his approach to life in general and with sport in particular, Rugby, Boxing and (reluctantly apparently) Horse Riding were all approached with great zest. In recent years his quiet courageous coping with the problems of Parkinson’s Disease was awesome and inspirational. When his troop were issued with blue United Nations berets for peace keeping duties in Cyprus, his troops also gave him a matching blue handbag, which apparently adorned the side of his Ferret armoured car until it was shot up (friendly fire suspected). When a party of us visited the Imperial War Museum, it was lovely to hear Brian’s wife Janet chuckle with him, when discovering a picture of his troop featured in an exhibit. Standing by a Stalwart in another museum Brian related, with characteristic twinkle in his eye, how the Dutch Navy had rung to report they had picked up a trooper trying to cross the channel, in a Stalwart, while attempting an unauthorised trip home from Germany. Stories about losing comrades, hitting mines in a Ferret (and a buffalo with a Land Rover), improvised field dentistry, carrying a misfired round away from a Saladin armoured car or demonstrating an elderly Churchill Tank flame thrower, didn’t sound so much fun but were fascinating anyway. Brian’s first paid employment (with horses too) was at the age of six in Swansea, apparently a bookies runner
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would operate in his street and if the police came, the runner would dash through their front door and out of the back. Brian would then slam the door and tell the pursuers that they could not come in because “me mum is not at home”. I think he said for this service he was paid sixpence. He experienced war from an early age “Hitler bombed our hen house, we ate burnt chicken for a week”. He also saw badly damaged American bombers struggling to return to their base. He and his friends used to amuse themselves by having contests throwing bricks from bombed buildings at each other. At the age of fourteen he went to work in a coal mine which of course provided a source of more amusing stories. Recently when telling a young man about going down the pits at the age of fourteen the response was “oh was that your gap year”. Despite loss and tragedies in his own personal life, or perhaps because of them, he was good to talk to when aspects of ones own life were in a state of crisis. This year after my son had accepted his TA unit’s invitation for an adventure “holiday” in Hellmand Province, it was nice to have an intelligent chat with Brian, about their kit and other developments. His own Father’s nine-year overseas tour, with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, including time on The Northwest Frontier changed ones perspective. It is rewarding to speculate that the pleasure obtained by talking to Brian was mutual. Some politicians might try to exploit the differences between a boy brought up among Swansea bomb craters and the coal mines of Wales and one reared among the barley fields and hay barns of East Anglia. However, we had
more in common than might be at first apparent. Both our fathers’ saw worldwide service with the British Military. We were both blessed with formidable mothers (tough love is nothing new). We both had Celtic ancestors (Brian said he loved visiting Ireland despite service there during the “troubles”) and of course we had both ridden big black horses, down the middle of the Mall, on the way to guard duties at Whitehall. There may also be evidence for the prosecution, that at times we could annoy some of those in authority, with too much independent thinking. It is strange to reflect, that one can observe vegetarian pacifists who give the impression of being rather vicious inside and former fighting men who seem very kind, gentle and considerate. The words of a hymn sung on Remembrance Sunday suddenly seemed very appropriate when considering the Life of our Brian. When a prison officer after Army service he was confronted with a serious riot and ordered his men to beat their shields in unison, a technique used in battle with great effect by Roman Legions, needless to say he was reprimanded for frightening the poor prisoners. When we old soldiers meet weekly at the Regency hotel, we sit around round tables something legend claims was favoured, in more romantic times, by the Knights of Old. The words of the hymn, that struck with such force were, Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved. If considering ethics of the Knights of the Round Table, is a bit too fanciful, then another of Brian’s stories can be offered. Apparently, he asked his by then elderly father, if he knew the person whose funeral he had just attended. “No” his father replied “but it was a lovely drop of tea”.
Touring The East
by Mr Colin Johnson, formerly The Life Guards 1961 until 1975
This photograph is of my wife Vera & I at a fancy dress function at the Brixmis Club. The club was situated within the sports complex of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games (West Berlin)
The article is written from memory of my early months when serving in Berlin & East Germany with Brixmis (The British Commander In Chief’s Mission To The Soviet Forces In Germany).
t is 1972 and my first day at the office. I am in the southern part of East Germany, my workplace is the rear off side seat of a left hand drive Opel Admiral 2.8 Litre Saloon Car. I am attempting to read a section of my inherited maps with the aid of a fitted light. Under the centre arm rest is my tape recorder with a lead and switch for ready use, as well as a pair of binoculars. My tour bag contains an assortment of office equipment, including spare batteries, a hand held tape recorder, torch, and other sundries that I may require quickly. The other rear seat is occupied by the tour officer, a Royal Air Force Squadron Leader. He chose me for this journey, not for my ability, but because I was spare. My positive vetting had just been approved after three weeks of kicking my heels in the Headquarters Building situated in the sports complex of the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. The officer has noticeably more room than I. He has the front seat on which to spread out his equipment. Additional to me he carries an extensive range of cameras and lenses as well as the heavy responsibility for the success of the mission and the safety of the crew. The driver is also RAF, very experienced, able to act on his own, and in this case mercifully of normal height. I was to discover later that taller drivers would extend their arms, lean their seats back, leaving me without room or complaint. Curtains fitted to the rear car window provide some protection from the many prying eyes as well as enhancing a feeling of comfort.
This photograph is of an army tour - not the same one described in the article (which was an RAF Tour). Corporal Ray Morris, Royal Corps of Transport (the Tour Driver) and I Corporal Of Horse Colin Johnson, The Life Guards (the Tour NCO) use a winch to free a tour car from the mud of a tank track (East Germany)
The car is maintained in pristine condition, in spite of the many bumps and bruises apparent on the bodywork; automatic with rear wheel drive, heavier than the standard model due to frequent modifications, including a large capacity extra fuel tank in the boot compartment. What remained of the boot is crammed with stores, a winch, ropes, wires, shovels, tarpaulins and any extra item thought necessary and unavailable in this, the communist controlled zone.
undergrowth seems to come alive, a number of heavily armed, helmeted troops break cover and charge towards us. I shout an alarm and in tandem with the tour officer sprint back to the comparative safety of the car. Doors slamming and engine revving we speed away from the angry mob. I will never forget my first tour and the lessons learned, respect for other arms of the services, as well as to be constantly alert during the following three years, when on tour.
The officer leans forward and quietly directs the driver. The vehicle slows then turns off the road onto a track and stops. The officer leaves the vehicle. I follow, mimicking his actions. Without further command the driver moves the car forward at walking pace, while the officer and I select bush branches and walk behind brushing out the tyre marks. I smile inwardly at what I think is the absurdity of it all.
Further Information : www.brixmis.co.uk
We walk a long distance, at one point nearing a security fence very close to an eerily sounding Barlock early warning radar. Dawn is breaking as we complete our task, the finale being a well concealed vehicle, the driver at his controls, engine running, in eye contact with me. Similarly I watch the officer and constantly survey the area, now more alert and apprehensive. I hear the roar of nearby engines, my mind wanders back to my childhood when I lived near to an airport. A crescendo of noise fills the air as a jet flies over at treetop height, I don’t see it until it has gained altitude, the officer is taking close up photographs. I am enjoying the drama as more aircraft take off, though never forgetting my principle task. I watch as almost in slow motion, the
Restriction Signs - These signs were put up to prevent the Mission’s (British, American & French) from going into Temporary Restricted Areas, usually when there was a major exercise about to take place. The crews would sense that a build up of troops was taking place so would endeavour to get into the area before the signs were put up. Failing this there would on occasions be an “adjustment” of the signs locations. On one occasion whilst carrying out removal duties a sign ended up in a river, instead of a splash a clunk was heard and on looking down the crew saw a number of signs piled on top of each other in the water.
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by Mary Thorpe, wife of Norman Thorpe, formerly The Royals
oes anyone remember the Hobart Discotheque from Detmold days? It was the swinging 60s - lots of really good music - dances at the Mess, great times.
and the Red Baron’ was very popular and we had numerous requests to play it again - I think the band was amazed that such a song could be danced to!
one Mess where we were asked for some Old Time dance music and to their amazement we obliged. After that, we were invited back several times.
Norm and I decided that the disco was the way to go after he had seen it in action in The Royals Officers’ Mess one evening – that one was operated by a professional disc jockey brought over from London for the occasion. He was very impressed by the way the ‘jockey’ could manipulate people to dance or to sit and chat by the type of music he used. An idea formed and, with the help of two troopers, the Hobart Discotheque was born.
Another time, (I think it was one of the Waterloo Balls), we were again in the Mess, the regimental band was playing downstairs and we were in the attic with our disco music. A number of German guests were there from the 7th Panzers - they were great fans of ‘Puppet on a String’ and insisted I play it over and over again while they stamped and sang along. A very worried RSM came upstairs to ask me not to play that record anymore as he was afraid the floor might cave in. We had to restrict the numbers in the attic from that time and quieten the music.
Judging the mood of the people was something that came with experience – for instance, at a certain time of the night (or morning), I could put on the Post Horn Gallop and have the entire Mess tearing around either being hounds or huntsmen, chasing someone who was brave enough to be the fox! Yet another time, when there were not many people in the place and the mood was quieter, I would play background music, which would be appreciated just as much.
We had a three-record deck made and a variety of speakers containing ‘woofers’ and ‘tweeters’. Of course, we had no idea what they were at the time. Records were begged and borrowed from friends, and I taped the latest music from the 1800 Club each evening. So began the big adventure which took us around various Messes and German clubs - Norm was the manager and I was the disc jockey, a role which suited me perfectly as I have always loved music and dancing. We sometimes played in conjunction with a band. One evening in the Royals Sergeants’ Mess we had a three-piece German band playing. Very good musicians, but strictly ballroom stuff. At that particular time, the song ‘Snoopy
New Year’s Eve was always popular and we were booked well in advance. One year we were due to play in a German Gasthaus and we struggled through the snow as the venue was well out of town. We set up the disco and speakers and played until 4 am; when we came to load the car up again we found it snowed in and had to shovel the snow away before going home. Sometimes, we had calls from people who still thought a disco was just putting on a record and standing there while it played - we had a booking in
Mary Thorpe, Disc Jockey Hobart Discotheque Royals Sgts’ Mess, April, 1968
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I usually played in Sergeants’ Messes or German venues but one night I had to play for the Troopers’ Mess until the lad who normally played there was off duty – I have to say that I came out of there completely deaf for a while as they insisted on having more volume, more volume and yet more volume. I know it is nothing compared to the volume used in nightclubs and discos today, but it was just a bit too much for me. So, to my original question - does anyone remember the Hobart Discotheque? I certainly will never forget the fun, the music, the dancing and all the good times we had in Detmold – it certainly was the ‘swinging 60s.’ Hobart Barracks Detmold
A Daughter of the Regiment by John Mason, formerly The Life Guards
in Aggett, aged 91, is the daughter of the Squadron Corporal Major Andrew John Keiley of The Life Guards, who served for 25 years, leaving after the First World War. He was the son of a soldier of the Black Watch and a big man being 6’4” tall and of imposing physique. He rode his horse (C13) in Queen Victoria’s funeral cortège in 1901, flanking the coffin, and was delighted to spot himself in the film of the event when he saw it at the cinema. He had served in the Boer War and his daughter still holds his medals to prove this, one being the Kimberley medal. He had been captured and escaped in the company of Winston Churchill who had been acting as the correspondent for a London newspaper at the time of his capture. In World War 1, Andrew served in
Squadron Corporal Major Andrew Keiley
France. His Squadron went ahead and most were killed with only six surviving. He had been reported as being killed and it was a great shock to his family when he walked in, fit and well! Win has in her possession a tin which had been sent to the WW1 troops. But it now only contains “a hard bean thing”. She also has a silver ink well with the inscription: Corporal Major A Keiley from Lieutenant Colonel Sir Mark Sykes, MP, RN and MT 1914 Win was born on 7th October 1918 in Chelsea but lived with her parents at Knightsbridge Barracks. She remembers a large window overlooking Hyde Park with a band playing. She remembers also her mother having to carry the
coal up to their flat to heat the water. She also remembers her father as a boxman at Whitehall and on one occasion something upset his horse, her father was unseated and damaged his nose while the horse fled, galloping up Whitehall. Her father also attended the Military Balls held in the Round Tower at Windsor Castle, where he was MC of the proceedings. She also remembers being paid 6d to clean her Dad’s medals before he wore them to a function, including the Old Soldiers’ Dinner held at the Connaught Rooms. On leaving The Life Guards, he was employed as Superintendent by the Samuel Lewis Trust who built flats for the poor. On retirement, he and his wife came to live at Dawlish, where he died aged 78. SCM Keiley’s Troop circa 1918
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Records of the Regiments: 1939-1945 (Extracts from a previous magazine) FIRST HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY REGIMENT by Capt. C.G.M.Gordon
The story of El Alamein is well known. The Regiment was in the south throughout, in the 44th Division, and was under the command of 7th Armoured in their first attack before they were switched to the north. The Qattara Depression, Himeimat, the January, February and Avon minefields: these were the scenes of the Regiment’s numerous actions, as the battle continued day after day. The Marmon Harrington’s appeared still stranger sights with various captured weapons – Solothum’s, Breda’s, Spandau’s-mounted on the turrets. Then one glorious morning they broke through the Avon minefield to find the enemy in full flight. After four hectic days they found themselves driving across virgin sand with the defeated Italian army behind them and only a few gazelle in front. The ebb-tide of the war had passed.
The Household Cavalry
ew people would have guessed, in I F those first confusing days of the war that The 1st Household Cavalry Regiment was destined to see action on three continents, travel through thirteen countries, or spend over five years abroad. Its first task was to complete the A.R.P. arrangements at Windsor Castle, and fatigue parties were busy in the Castle forecourt when the historic hour struck and the long war began. Shortly afterwards, His Majesty The King inspected the newly formed regiments; and a few weeks later they had moved up to Newark to join the 1st Cavalry Division. The cold midwinter of 1939 soon passed in the Midlands, and in February 1940 the journey to Palestine began. The rigours of that journey with the horses has still not faded from memory; nor has the arrival at Tulkarm, the muddy weeks of the Palestine spring, or the hot dusty months of the summer. Nathanya, Azzib, Tiberias, Beisan, these towns and many others saw the tall men and their black horses from Whitehall. A Few Brave Men in Morris Trucks The part played by The 1st Household Cavalry Regiment in the Iraq and Syrian campaigns in 1941 is now part of history. The forced march across the Syrian Desert of the 9th Armoured Brigade, under Brigadier Kingston, the actions of that tiny force at Ramadi, Falujah, and Kadermain, were one of Wavell’s most brilliant and successful gambles. Then came the Syrian campaign, Abu Kamal, and the march on Palmyra, which threatened Horns and the French left flank. These desert days were great ones in the history of the Regiment; the running fights with the mechanized outlaw Fawzi Bey, the mad charges with ‘Glubb’s Girls’, the investing of the pipe-line forts and the grim days outside Palmyra. The men who fought those battles had only three weeks’ mechanized training. They were equipped with obsolete Hotchkiss machine-guns, one taken from the museum at Hythe, and Mr Churctiill’s allusion in Parliament to the ‘ring of steel around Palmyra’ referred not to tanks or armoured cars but to a few brave men in Morris trucks. The Household Cavalry were now fighting the French Foreign Legion for the first time in history. The enemy were under no delusion about our strength or our air cover. Their aerodrome was one mile away and our lines of communication stretched for 700 miles. For ten days the ruins of Zenobia’s palaces looked down on this tragic struggle between French and English. Then the enemy cracked and the column was once more on the move up the road to Homs, Hama and Aleppo.
n September 1939 The Life Guards and The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) were horsed cavalry regiments stationed in London and Windsor respectively, and amalgamated to form The 1st Household Cavalry Regiment and The Household Cavalry Training Regiment. With the threat of invasion after the Battle of France the War Office decided there was no room in this country for horsed soldiers, and with the need for new units The 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment was formed.
they advanced to occupy the capital and entered Teheran simultaneously with the Russians. Three weeks’ rest and celebration followed with our new Allies, and parades and exchange of hospitalities became the order of the day. Then, with winter approaching, came the long march back to Jerusalem and, later, one memorable October afternoon, the battle-scarred trucks climbed their last hill, the Mount of Olives, and coasted down into the Holy City. The spring of 1942 found the Regiment in Cyprus for six months’ garrison duty. These were the dark days before Alamein, and invasion was expected daily. Famagusta, Nicosia, Athalassa, waving seas of bearded barley, white villages and blue vine clad hills: in twos and threes our magnificent new ‘steeds’, the Marmon Harrington Armoured Cars, began to arrive, and were driven gaily over the dusty stubbles in the heat of July afternoons. It takes two years to train a unit from nothing in this complicated role, but in August the Regiment was re-equipping at Kassassin, and a few weeks later drove through Cairo to take its place in the 8th Army. Not everyone was strange to the desert, for all that summer there had been a squadron of Household Cavalrymen in dummy tanks; and on one occasion, at the Rotunda Signals, they had bluffed the Italians into a hasty retreat.
Raqqa, a little Syrian town on the Euphrates near the Syrian border, was the next home of the 1st Household Cavalry Regiment. For 15 months they were destined to garrison the Middle East, train and wait for their next period of active service. The Marmon’s gave place to Humber’s, Humber’s to Daimler’s. Staghound’s appeared. Equipment improved, establishments changed as the 8th Army left the desert behind. The Regiment summered in the heights of Slennfe in Syria, and wintered in the tent town of Tahag. They trained in the little-known deserts south of Suez, made more than one visit to the Lebanon to quell Greek or French troubles, and spent six weeks in Alexandria waiting to sail for Italy. Red Shield on Their Battle-dress For the six months they were in Italy during the summer of 1944 the Regiment was almost constantly employed. Soon after landing at Naples they were re-equipped and sent round to join V Corps on the Adriatic Sector. The battle of Cassino had yet to be fought and the snow-clad Majella massif lay in the hands of the Germans. Leaving their cars behind them the squadrons’
roops were now being massed for T the conquest of Persia, and the Household Cavalry re-crossed the desert, paused in peaceful Baghdad and moved north to the oil-fields of Khanaquin. Entering Iran south of the Piatak Pass, they entered Kerminshah and the short campaign ended. For the third time in six months they received the order to cease fire. After a short time garrisoning Senna and Shahabad,
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PALESTINE HEADQUARTERS of the 1st Household Cavalry Regiment during the spring and summer of 1940 was in this ancient town of Tulkarm. Taken in the October, the photograph shows a sentry on guard at the entrance to the fort, while others parade in front of one of the old stone buildings.
Records of the Regiments: 1939-1945 reporting back the vital information to higher Headquarters, filling the sudden gap, watching the open flank, acting as the Commander’s highly mobile reserve, such were the tasks of the old Divisional Cavalry, and such indeed were the tasks given to the armoured cars in the highly mobile battle.
CONFERRING IN THE WESTERN DESERT in November 1942, during the rout of the Axis forces, Colonel (then Major) R.E.S. Gooch is seen in the centre. With him are the Adjutant, Captain I.A. Henderson (left) and Major W.H. Gerard Leigh
moved forward on foot, and, based on the little monastery towns of Lama and Palena, patrolled against the enemy. It was a strenuous affair of mules, carrier pigeons and special Alpine equipment. With the fall of Rome the whole front, crumbled, and after a spell of rest the next role was a mounted one in the Fabriano Scheggia sector, where at one time the Regiment held over 25 miles of front. Sasso¬ferato and the ancient town of Gubbio fell after numerous small actions. The next move was to the Arno Valley, when the Regiment was in 6th Armoured Division and fought in l the foothills of the Prato Magna. Then followed a long spell in the Line with the Polcorps during the advance to and the battle of the Gothic Line which culminated in the capture of Fano and Pesaro. To commemorate these actions the Regiment was decorated with the Sirenya Warsawa, and all ranks now wear the red shield of the Siren of Warsaw on their battledress. To fight alongside the Poles is to know the real meaning of the word bravery and to wear their badge is an enviable distinction. Two more periods in the line followed: one at Anghiara and the other at Monte St Angelo. Advances were made as far as Carpegua and St. Leo before the Regiment was withdrawn. A month later they reached Liverpool and. ‘were soon installed at Aldershot. Rattled Over the Rhine Pontoons However, this was not quite the end of the story. After four months’ resting and re-equipping, the Regiment
crossed from Tilbury to Ostend and was soon in the Line again, on the Maas front under 1st Corps. Italian partisans had been exchanged for Dutch, the winding hill roads of Italy for cobbled highways of Holland. Then, one afternoon in April 1945 the cars rattled over the pontoons that spanned the Rhine and a week later were in action in the Munster Forest. Finally, they came under command of the Guards Armoured Division which was directed on Cuxhaven. Fighting alongside the sister regiment, the 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment, they captured Stade and after an exhilarating week crossed the Oste at Hechthausen. The historic signal was received in May and the heavy guns sounded the cease fire. It is tempting to wax sentimental over this long odyssey. Let us simply be thankful that nearly three hundred men lived through it all and that the Guard is mounted in Whitehall once again as it used to be to give pleasure to the people and do honour to their King. SECOND HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY REGIMENT By Major A. J. R. Collins might be thought that the fast Inotmoving pattern of modern war holds place for the cavalry soldier; yet the
role of the Armoured Car Regiment is very much that of the horsed soldier of old. Scouting ahead of the Armoured Division, seeing without being seen,
As already stated, with the need for new units The Second Household Cavalry Regi¬ment was formed. This Regiment was initially trained as a Motor Battalion, but in 1941, when the Guards Armoured Division was formed, the 2nd H.C.R. assumed its traditional role of cavalry or what now corresponds to cavalry, of armoured cars. There followed long months of training in this country, of gunnery, of driving and maintenance and of wireless, for everything had to be learned from scratch. Innumerable exercises on small and large scale made it seem at times that the Regiment would never fire a shot in anger against the Hun. Nevertheless, when after D-Day and the opportunities came there was not one officer or man who was not thankful for the most thorough training he had received. All ranks in the armoured car regiments were supremely confident in the vehicles and weapons with which they were to fight. Owing to the confined nature of the Normandy bridge-head and consequent lack of space for wideranging armoured cars, it was not till 38 days after D-Day, on July 14, 1944, that the 2nd H.C.R. landed in France. However, almost immediately on arrival part of the Regiment was held in readiness to take part in the hoped-for break-through at the Caen battle. No break-through came, and it was almost reminiscent of the 19141918 war that the Cavalry should be held up waiting for such an event. The 2nd H.C.R. had not long to wait, for it was immediately switched to the extreme right of 2nd Army front; under command of the famous 11th Armoured Division it took part in the thrust which carried a spearhead into the enemy lines towards Vire and Tinchebray and was simultaneous with the start of the big American offensive which carried them to the Loire and to Brittany. The 2nd H.C.R. was truly blooded in this battle and the capture of a vital bridge at Le Beny Bocage, and many other exploits augured well for the future. This first experience was of vital importance to the Regiment,
SYRIA-BOUND AFTER ALAMEIN, in 1942, to take up Middle east garrison duties, squadrons of armoured cars created an impressive sight as they left the Egyptian Desert for the small town of Raqqa, on the Syrian border. When stationed in Syria for fifteen months, the Regiment took advantage of the little known deserts and the improved equipment coming to hand to train for its next period of active service, in Italy, where it campaigned for six months in 1944.
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Records of the Regiments: 1939-1945 STAGHOUND ARMOURED cars, replacing other types “mounted” by the regiment when in North Africa, were taken to Italy, where one is seen on patrol, July 1944.
because after a week spent as infantry it made a quick move to XXX Corps who were by then blocking the south of the Falaise pocket and preparing for an assault across the Seine. The whole German line was crumbling; the hunt would start at any moment, and the cavalry were required to lead the way.
n the event, the break came very suddenly and the result was that for the 2nd H.C.R. the pace was fast and distances long. The Regiment, after the Seine was crossed, was under the command of the Guards Armoured Division which was on the right of XXX Corps. The route followed was across the’ Seine at Vemon to the Somme at Villers Bretonneux via Beauvais, thence to Arras and Douai, and then on that most memorable Sunday (September 3) to Brussels. On one day 78 miles were covered, but on the day of the liberation of Brussels the distance was 95 miles. Each day there took place innumerable brushes with the enemy, fights to hold vital bridges and all the other varied incidents which unexpectedly fall to the lot of reconnaissance troops.
armoured cars who slipped through the German screen one morning in the mist and made first physical contact between the ground forces of the 2nd Army and the beleaguered airborne troops. Throughout the action and the early winter of 1944-45 less spectacular jobs were the lot of the 2nd H.CR. A long period watching the line of the Meuse in the mud and damp of Holland, a sudden dash to another part of the Meuse, this time in Belgium between Liegc and Namur, at the time of the Ardennes scare, and later very little action for the Regiment in the battle to dear the country in the Reichswald, and between the rivers. Then came the crossing of the Rhine, and the vivid hope that the Regiment would take part in another gallop, this time on German soil. In fact, XXX Corps was on the left of the British forces ranged against what remained of the German paratroops who were fighting in a country as if of their own choosing; an enclosed country
The entry to Brussels was unforgettable and more like a dream than a battle, but the respite given to the 2nd H.C.R. was short. The next day the advance continued to the Dyle bridges at Louvain, and together with the Grenadier Guards a stiff fight with S.S. troops took place before these bridges were secured intact. Within the next fortnight the Albert Canal was crossed, and the Dutch frontier reached, and on September 17 came the start of the famous operation ‘Market Garden’, ending with the glorious exploits of the 1st British Airborne Division at Arnhem. The 2nd H.C.R. was in the van of the 2nd Army, pushing forward to reach the successive parties of airborne troops, and as the reports came through that each successive bridge and waterway was crossed optimism reigned. However, despite the gallant capture of Nijmegen Bridge, progress could not be made over the last 12 miles to Arnhem. It was, indeed, two troops of Household Cavalry
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of dykes and soft ground which made armoured warfare against a determined enemy almost impossible and progress very slow. Every wood and village was defended, and in consequence the work of the armoured cars was harder and less spectacular. Nevertheless, with the rapid progress of the right flank of the 2nd Army, advances were made despite heavy fighting, and by the time of the German collapse the 2nd H.C.R. who during the last fortnight of the war had fought side by side with the 1st Household Cavalry Regiment recently arrived from Italy - had reached the North Sea at Cuxhaven. “Splice the Mainbrace” Ordered Such are the bare bones of the story; the descriptions which follow are those of some of the more spectacular incidents among the everyday happenings to armoured car troops. One lucky troop officer, at the beginning of the campaign, having kept a vital bridge in enemy territory under observation for 48 hours, went out on patrol the following day; his car was blown up by a mine. Changing cars, he met a Tiger tank which was immobile through track trouble. The officer tried to stalk the crew, and was himself wounded and taken prisoner. The German tank commander ordered him to remove his boots and sent him off, whereupon he regained his own lines and was evacuated wounded to England after 72 hours of war. A troop of armoured cars watching the Rhine engaged and beached a tug flying the swastika flag and towing two barges. On the result of the action being wirelessed to higher headquarters the command to ‘splice the main brace’ was immediately given. A single car with an officer and driver making a reconnaissance down six miles of straight Continental road ran into enemy country. He met a Panther tank, turned about, and by driving at racing speed regained his own lines carrying vital information, even though enemy infantry with an anti-tank gun were by then on the road between him and our territory.
CHANGING OF THE GUARD in Whitehall, on October 5 1945 by the Household cavalry revived one of London’s most popular spectacles.
All true cavalry work carried out in the spirit and tradition of the Household Cavalry. Though the glamour and the sparkle of the Household Cavalryman of old has departed, his successors in The Life Guards and “Blues” have proved as brave and as resourceful in modern war as their forbears - whose duty it was to protect the person of the King in battle.
First Household Cavalry in Cyprus and Persia
2 NEW EQUIPMENT INSTRUCTION was an important part of the training of the first Household Cavalry Regiment when stationed on the island of Cyprus in 1942. Troops learning to drive a Bren gun carrier (picture 1) on the sun baked plains. Occasional rest from these exertions was enjoyed on the beaches (picture 2).
3 LINK UP OF 1ST HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY Regiment and Russian forces in August 1941, at Teheran, capital of Persia, brought to close the Allied campaign directed against a threatened Nazi coup d’état in that country. An officer of C squadron of the Cavalry is seen (picture 3, right) with a Russian officer and an interpreter, extreme left, after the occupation of the city. Following three weeks rest and exchange of hospitalities with their Russian Allies, the Household cavalry commenced their long march back to Jerusalem, after having been engaged in Iraq and Syria on missions similar to that which took the regiment into Persia.
After arriving at the camp at Jerusalem, in October, troops displayed their trophy, the German flag (picture 4). Remaining in Jerusalem for the 1941-42 winter the regiment was transferred to Cyprus in the spring of 1942, for garrison duties; it was here that the obsolete Hotchkiss machine guns and old light trucks with which the regiment had fought its recent campaigns began to give way to modern armoured vehicles and armament and training for the Alamein Battle was begun.
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Gift-Horses from Holland for Our King and Army
OMMEMORATING THE LIBERATION OF THE NETHERLANDS and the part played therein by Britain’s Household Cavalry, thirty two Dutch horses, gift of the Netherlands Government, were presented by Queen Wilhelmina to King George, in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace on 31 July 1946. His Majesty, with Queen Wilhelmina is seen (1) inspecting them. Two will form a valuable addition to the famous “Windsor Greys” which draw the Royal carriage; Holland has always specialised in this particular breed. Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Princess Margaret, makes friends with one of the Greys (2). The other 30 horses are blacks from the provinces of Friesland, Groningen and Gelderland, individually chosen by the Remount Officer of the Royal Netherlands Household and destined for our Household Cavalry for whom Friesland horses were purchased before the war. Leaving after the presentation ceremony (3) the magnificent blacks are already accustomed to traffic but need parade training. Four more Greys, when these are out of quarantine, will complete the gift.
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by John Green, formerly Royal Horse Guards (The Blues)
Cyprus 1957: The author and Lewis Cox - friends since 1957 - at Camp Elizabeth. Lew was Batman for a short time to Lt Col Denis Daly, then Captain
t was the winter of 1957 or perhaps 1958, the place, Camp Elizabeth, Nicosia, Cyprus during the E.O.K.A. problems. The rain this particular morning had been torrential, coming down in ‘stair rods’ and a troop from, I believe, A Squadron, had just returned from patrol; they parked up and all hurried off to check in their weapons at the Armoury. The Armoury was one of only probably half dozen buildings on the camp that were ‘Nissan’ huts, everything else being under canvas. The whole troop arrived at the already busy Armoury at the same time and all shouldered their way into the dry. The
Alan Barrett, the author and Barry Millard (Barry and I made contact again in 2008 for the first time since 1959) taken at Duxford
Lieutenant, recently arrived from the UK with his new commission, stood in the midst of this heaving dripping bunch, his Browning MG delicately balanced on the toe cap of his boot. Someone at this stage either tried to enter or exit the Armoury and being more used to tent flaps than doors jostled the Lieutenant; the MG slipped the inch from toe cap to floor with a clunk and was followed by a loud BANG. Then there was silence with nothing heard but the rain falling on the tin roof. The Armourer looked pitifully at the very red faced Lieutenant and very slowly his eyes looked up to the roof, or perhaps to heaven; and in a voice full of feeling said,
“another hole for the rain to come in”. The luckless Lieutenant spent so much time after this as Orderly Officer that he was almost a permanent fixture wandering around the camp at night and no-one for quite some time had to ask when going on Guard, “Who’s the Orderly Officer?” It would be most unkind to give this gentleman’s name even now over 50 years later, as leaving one ‘up the spout’ could still be an embarrassment, but if anyone recalls this incident, who was the Armourer?
Posted to the Guards!
by Derek Jones, formerly Royal Horse Guards Part 1 y first weeks in the Army rolled by, spent on intensive training and kit cleaning. During those few weeks I did more physical work than I had ever done before, and although I did not appreciate at the time the medical treatment, extraction of teeth, inoculations and vaccination that each one of us received, there is no doubt that it did a lot to help our bodily health.
the British Army. It was an impressive display with a full band in attendance, but I found it rather wearisome standing to attention for nearly an hour, waiting for our platoon’s turn for inspection. However, at last the ordeal was over, and after receiving a good word for our appearance, much to my surprise, we were dismissed and told to report back to our hut and wait there for our posting instructions for the following day.
After six weeks training our big day came – passing-out parade! All the morning was spent cleaning, pressing blancoing and polishing for the Commanding Officers’ inspection at 2 o’clock. Altogether there were over four hundred men on parade for the passing-out ……
Every one of us had been interviewed by the Personnel Selection Officer at some time during the past week, and although he asked us what branch of the Army we should prefer to go in, I had formed the impression he had already made up his mind as to our disposal beforehand. I, being interested in driving and engines, had asked to be posted to
Derek Jones, aged 18 New recruit to Household Cavalry 1946
Dutch soldiers who had enlisted into
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the Royal Army Service Corps, and on return to our hut after our passing-out parade we were naturally all discussing the same subject – namely where we should be going the following day. At last Sergeant Dexter came in with the posting list in his hand and we all gathered round him as he began reading the list. I nearly fell over with surprise, and it was with a certain amount of dismay, that I heard my posting read out. I was going to the Household Cavalry Regiment at Windsor – the Guards! Of all the other Regiments I had least expected this, although owing to the fact that I was physically fit and 6 foot tall it was not really surprising. From what I had heard of Guards training, however, I felt rather apprehensive and made up my mind that I was in for a pretty thin time in the future. We did not have to leave Warley until eleven o’clock the next day so Laurie and myself with half a dozen friends went out to have a last look round before starting our packing. It was only natural that we should … a drink to celebrate and, not being used to alcohol in any form myself, I am afraid that one or two of us turned rather merry after having one or two drinks. At least I remember having a strange hallucination that I was a butterfly and arrived back at Barracks flapping my arms for all they were worth, eventually ending up sitting on my bunk with a tin hat and gas-mask on, tying my bootlaces into knots!!! Next morning, luckily having no after effects from the night before, I was up bright and early, as was everyone else, packing my kit preparatory to leaving. At one time I didn’t think I would manage to squeeze all my clothing and equipment into one kit-bag, but I managed it eventually after a struggle. Then came the leave taking of all our pals. Orderly Room RHG, Knightsbridge 1947. Seated Cpl Derek Jones, Standing: LCpl’s Bob Green, Andrew Green (Not related)
ing instructions. On entering the gates I recollect that my heart dropped right down into my boots. We had a view of a large Barrack square, surrounded on three sides by buildings and on the forth side were standing rows of armoured cars with men carrying out maintenance work on them. Other men, in brilliant brasses and perfectly creased uniforms were drilling on the square and all the men wore peak caps, which was as yet rather an unusual sight to us.
Combermere Barracks, Windsor 1946
Laurie was going to a R.E.M.E. Unit and some of my other friends were going as far afield as Scotland and Northern Ireland. At least I should not be a great distance from my home of Windsor, a matter of 70 miles, and I was also fortunate that four other chaps had been posted to the Household Cavalry so I should not have to travel alone, and had the consolation of knowing that whatever the Guards training turned out to be like I had others with me to share in my misfortune or otherwise. We all marched down to the station in one batch, but on arrival there we were dismissed and told to make our own way to our units. I had been given the railway warrant for myself and four pals so we obtained a compartment to ourselves and on the way to London chatted about what lay before us. We treated ourselves to a good dinner in London before proceeding to Waterloo Station but by the time we arrived at Windsor we were all heartily fed-up with lugging our kit about – we had, of course, had to travel with all our equipment on which comprised of a large pack, small pack, webbing equipment, water bottle, rifle, steel helmet, bayonet and kit-bag. Imagine our annoyance to discover, on arrival at Windsor, that we had nearly a mile to walk to the Cavalry Barracks. However, we did not like to board a bus with all our kit on, even if we had known which one to take, so we made best of a bad job and slowly started the journey to the Barracks, looking at the shops as we went along. It was a long and winding road to the barracks and became rather desolate as we got out of the town. We eventually came to the gates of the Barracks, very much like the ones I had seen when I reported at Warley six weeks ago, with a sentry on duty, to whom I showed our post-
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We were directed across the square to one of the blocks of building around the square, which I later learned was known as “A” Squadron, and were there shown to the Barrack room allotted to us. Here we found several other fellows who had arrived earlier in the day from other Barracks and soon made ourselves known to each other. We found ourselves a bed each and waited for further instructions, which were not in long coming! A person came into the room with three stripes and a crown on each arm and introduced himself as our Room Corporal-of-Horse. I did not, of course, know what the rank was, but as he soon explained there were no Sergeants or Sergeant-Majors in the Household Cavalry but were known as Corporalsof-Horse and Corporal-Majors respectively. He first gave us a talk on what would be expected of us during our first eight weeks training and then conducted us around Barracks showing us places of interest – the NAFFI, Troopers Mess, Games-rooms, stables and so on. There is a lot that has to be learnt when going to any new Barracks or Camp, and I found that this especially applied to a Cavalry Barracks. To start with, all the ranks were different to other branches of the Army. The ranks were Trooper, Lance-Corporal, Corporal, Corporal-of-Horse, Squadron-QuarterMaster-Corporal, Squadron-Corporal;Major and Regimental-CorporalMajor. I would in future be known as “Trooper” and not “Private”. Then, unlike the “Companies” and “Company Commanders” of the rest of the Army, in the Cavalry it was “Squadrons” and “Squadron Leaders”. In our Barracks there were three squadrons – “A” Squadron, which trained new arrivals, “B” Squadron to which men were transferred to await drafting overseas and “H.Q.” Squadron which were all staff personnel Another point of interest was the different badges of rank worn by NCOs. and Warrant Officers as compared with that worn by other Regiments. A Lance-Corporal and Corporal both wore two stripes and a crown, a Corporal-of-Horse three stripes and a crown, a Squadron-Corporal-Major a crown
with laurel leaves on the forearm as in other Regiments and a SquadronCorporal-Master-Corporals four stripes reversed on each forearm with a crown above them. At the time I remember asking our room Corporal-of-Horse, whose name was Corporal Phipps, the origin of the crown which all NCOs and Warrant Officers wore, and found out that it was an honour awarded to the
Household Cavalry by Queen Victoria. The first day at these Barracks we were given a talk by the Corporal Major in charge of training in “A” Squadron on our return from being shown round the Barracks. He told us that the Household Cavalry consisted of two Regiments, The Life Guards and The Royal Horse Guards and each one of us was
asked which Regiment we would prefer. Although I was told that there was no actual difference between the two I chose the Royal Horse Guards, partly because my best pal chose the same and partly because I rather liked the sound of the “Royal” in our title which The Life Guards did not have. The rest of the day we spent drawing blankets from the store and straightening our kit out.
The Blues and Royals Association Members Where Are They Now? Norman Edge LCpl Norman Edge served with RHG/D between 1971 - 1974. Since leaving he joined Merseyside Police and includes his notable events as being Liverpool 2008 Capital of Culture, planning and organization of equine event for Police Horse of Year & World Fire Fighters Games at Aintree Equestrian Arena (Choreographed 16 horse Musical Ride, Pairs jumping event and Best Trained Police Horse competition).
birdwatching for pleasure and lives in the Limousin region of France.
He is still a serving officer with Merseyside Police. The past 31 yrs of service have been with the Mounted Section as an operational officer and trainer of remount horses and teaching rider development. He lives in Merseyside.
John (Johnny) Dickens
Bill Clayton John William Clayton, otherwise known as Bill (or Claude to very close friends), he served with RHG - RHG/D from Jan 1963 - Dec 1993 completing his service in the rank of Major. After leaving he became a TA Permanent Staff QM with Scots Yeomanry until they were axed then Permanent D Staff Admin Officer with The Royal Scots Coy 52 Lowland until he was retired at aged 60. His notable achievements since leaving RHG/D were helping to raise a new TA Recce regiment from scratch and moving to live in France. He is now enjoying woodworking, walking, fishing and
Nigel (Lewis) Baker Tpr Nigel (Lewis) Baker served RHG 1963-67, transferred RAOC 1967-68 (Cpl) and then TA Queens Regt (nearly 10 years – Lt). He has worked for a number of airlines including BOAC/ British Airways (Customer Service), then BWIA (Station Officer), then Malaysia Airlines (Cargo Manger UK/Europe) and retired from South African Airways (Customer Service/ Cargo) and run own business for 25 years offering management consultancy to airlines/ airfreight companies and other enterprises. He has also worked with disabled people to negotiate work opportunities and was appointed to government’s Regional Disability
John (Johnny) Dickens SCpl John (Johnny) Dickens served with RHG/D 1976 - 1994. Since leaving he has worked in advertising with Aegis Group and Carlton, ran his own business and joined Army Rugby Union in 2004. He is currently Secretary Army Rugby Union and lives in South London/Surrey.
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Consulting Group for SW London. He took early retirement due advanced prostate cancer but acts as a volunteer official at Brooklands Museum and the National Trust; he also appeared on TV in the recent Cancer Awareness Campaign. He is living near Leatherhead in Surrey.
David (Nairobi) Bradley Cpl David (Nairobi) Bradley served with RHG between March 1958 - March 1964 when he transferred to the RMP. After leaving the Army he emigrated to South Africa; he returned to UK 1988. He considers his notable event to be surviving in the UK. He is an enthusiastic volunteer in the Household Cavalry Museum Archive and he currently lives in Maidenhead Berks.
amalgamation in 1969. On leaving he joined an engineering company however, returned to his pre-1 RD sea training and on to ships. He went back to an engineering company and agreed to stay on after retirement age but decided that October last year at 70 was enough. He is now a full time Lifeboat committee member for fund raising. Trevor Selwood LCpl Trevor Selwood served with B Sqn, RHG between 1954 - 1956. He was with Wiltshire Police for 30 years as a Superintendent and Legal Assistant. His notable events include his Golden Wedding Anniversary in 2007. He is now retired living in Chippenham, Wilts.
Nigel (Lewis) Baker
William H. (Jock) Brady Tpr William H. (Jock) Brady who served with RHG between 19611964. On leaving he became a vehicle artificer and moved to California, USA. He had a number of business ventures including classic cars, beauty spa, traffic flow consultant and actor. Heâ€™s had an interesting life and now runs a Classic Car Rental agency and lives in Southern California/Mexico.
David (Nairobi) Bradley
James Derrick Adams Tpr James Derrick Adams served with 1st Royal Dragoons 1957 - till just after Trevor Selwood
William H. (Jock) Brady
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James Derrick Adams
Gareth Bowen Tpr Gareth Bowen served with RHG/D between 1983 - 1990. On leaving he joined the Fire Service. His notable events include gaining a Masters degree in Education. He is currently a Watch Commander for West Midlands Fire Service in charge of a Central Birmingham Fire Station and teaches Trauma Care. He is living in Halesowen, West Midlands.
1948 RHG Parade BAOR - RWV Stokes 1947 Passing Out Combermere Baracks - RWV Stokes
1965 Saladin AC - Brian Oakley
1966Thetford Training Area - Colin Bell
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What Happens to the Army Horses When They Are Retired? by SCpl Stephen Welsh, formerly The Blues and Royals
ow many times have we all been asked “What happens to the army horses when they are retired?” In my recent career as an Equine Dental Technician (EDT), it is a regular occurrence! Well some of them go on to have a long and enjoyable retirement and some a very long retirement. I refer to a Life Guard horse called Gypsy, who retired from the regiment many years ago. Her squadron number was 108 and she was a favourite for many serving with The Life Guards in Knightsbridge. Even as a Blue and Royal I knew of her, both from troopers in The Life Guards who were friends of mine and CoH Alan Scott, who I was in riding school with. They all had such fond feelings for her. A few months ago I received a call from Chris Keate, who is another ex-Blue and Royal and also an EDT. He wanted to tell me about an old horse that he had come across that was 34 years of age and had served with the Cavalry and wanted to know if I knew her. I was amazed and pleased that it was Gypsy, as 34 is a fantastic age for any horse, but especially one that has been pounding the streets of London for years. Chris also contacted Mark Slingsby, an ex-Life Guard and funnily enough yet another EDT (there are four of us that are qualified EDTs and one in training that are all ex-Household Cavalry). Mark had ridden Gypsy on Queen’s Life Guard and to prove that he had got in the boxes (at least once), produced a photograph of himself sat on Gypsy in Whitehall. He has sent a copy of this to the present and final owner of Gypsy, Carol Barton, who owns a rescue home for horses near Crawley. Carol received a call back in August 2003, asking her if she could take in another horse. Initially Gypsy had been in Lincolnshire, where her owner had died and all of the old horses were to be put down if homes could not be found for them. She was then sent to a hunting yard in Sussex for re-homing along with the others. However, due to Gypsy’s age a home could not be found for her and things weren’t looking good. At this point Carol went to visit her, she could not believe how fantastic she looked. As well as finding out about Gypsy’s military connection, Carol also found out that Gypsy had been used as an aunty for many youngsters as well as being put in foal herself, unfortunately this died. Carol had to take her home! After a full veterinary examination, it was decided that Gypsy, who hadn’t been ridden for many years, was fit enough for
Gypsy, taken in 2008 Gypsy 1st Place in Veterans Event 2006
some gentle riding. During this time she even competed in many veteran classes with much success. Following this she was fully retired in 2007 and now looks after all the young horses and is head of the yard. All of the visitors love her and she has had many an article written about her. She is quite obviously in the best place for her twilight years, how different things would have been without Carol and her rescue home! I have also been told of another retired horse who is in East Anglia, Polka, an ex-Blue’s and Royal’s horse. If anyone has any photos or information about him, it would be nice to be able to pass this on to the new owner.
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Photograph sent in by Brigadier A H Parker Bowles is of The Blues and Royals Rugby Team, winners of The Prince of Wales Cup in 1960/61. He notes that The Life Guards Team ten years earlier only managed to be runners up. (see Page 127 of 2007/08 Mag)
Tropical Heat, Islands and the Sea A long stay on the Malay Peninsular with ‘C’ Squadron, The Life Guards in the Far East 1966 – 1968 by Richard Golding, formerly The Life Guards
or nearly two and a half years the Life Guards’ Armoured Regiment was based in the Far East. During the tour C Squadron were largely located independent of the Regiment in Sarawak, Seremban and Hong Kong with sojourns to Selarang, near Changi in Singapore which became the RHQ in early 1967. My account is of some memorable personal and collective events more than forty years ago, some very vivid, which hopefully will be shared by some others who read this memoire. The Road from Kuching – Sarawak to Malaya The war for the defence of Malaysian Borneo against the Indonesians ended in late August 1966. I recounted C Squadron’s six months active service part in this event in the last issue of the Journal, titled Confrontation and Federation.
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Leaving Wong Pa Dong, Sarawak – October 1966 Packing up a squadron at Wong Pa Dong camp was a testing experience in the wet season, however, compensated by the anticipation of relative luxury in Seremban. The vehicles and equipment were loaded onto ships in Kuching harbour then we flew to RAF Changi (now Singapore Airport) followed by a 200 mile train journey to Seremban, the modern route of the Orient Express – however, any connection ended there. Ironically, the same railway the Japanese transported Allied prisoners of war from Singapore to western Thailand to build the Burmese railway and Bridge on the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi. RHQ Selarang, near Changi was, some twenty-five years before, actually a prison for some 17,000 troops before being transported north. On a lighter note, the film The Virgin Soldiers was
CoH Cliff Hales and the Author in the turret of a Saladin, Malaya 1967
filmed there in 1968 during our tenure. Paroi Camp, Seremban Paroi, located a few miles east of Seremban, some 40 miles south of Kuala Lumpur, was to be our home for nearly two years. Seremban had limited attractions, however, it did have the excitement of
Paroi Camp, Seremban, Malaya with airstrip
a cinema, few bars, ice cream parlour and a variety of shops that almost exclusively sold dried fish, a particular favourite with young men looking for cultural stimulation. By the time we left, Seremban had developed beyond recognition – it had additional dried fish shops! It was an hour to Kuala Lumpur and 200 miles to Singapore which was ideal for the occasional weekend. Closer was Port Dickson on the west coast some 20 miles away where we had a motor boat for water skiing and would sleep on the beach, cook fish on a fire (now called a BBQ), eat Nasi Goreng Istimewa (fried rice with seafood, chicken & egg) cheap but quite excellent and drink Tiger Beer. On our arrival Paroi proved somewhat overpopulated for a few months until RHQ & HQ Squadron moved to Selarang. I still have the Christmas Dinner menu for 1966 which reads as if we were in the UK – Turkey, Brussels Sprouts, etc, presumably must have been shipped from the UK as both not high on the list of local cuisine. By March, C Squadron were on their own with the roll call reducing to 120 by the summer, including support services and, most important, Abdul Ghani and his open all hours Cha Wallas. Abdul was essential and followed us everywhere. Entertainment included the obligatory weekly tab dispute which all ended in good humoured barter rarely escalating beyond ‘don’t come back’. Facilities included a tailors and dhobi wallas with a fixation for starch which had the effect of making every ironed part of the OG shirts and shorts protrude, giving the effect of a comedy music hall turn straight out of ‘It aint ‘alf hot mum’. Standard request was no starch please, which was frequently and irritatingly overlooked. Paroi had a village atmosphere with wooden single story chalets reminiscent of a pre-war holiday camp – without the
Selarang Camp Singapore 1967
holiday, located on a slope above our own airfield, which serviced our Air Squadron, Sioux helicopters and a single Auster which flew back and forward to Singapore. Quite a community. Life in the WO and NCOs mess was quite sedate. Those of us who lived in sat down to dinner with more waiters than diners. No air conditioning, just ceiling fans straight out of The Far Pavilions, along with mosquito nets and a daily Paludrine anti-malaria pill. Major William Edgedale was CO in Borneo and returned to the UK in May, when he was replaced by Major Desmond Langley, later Major General Sir Desmond (obituary in the 2008/09 Journal). I left 6 Troop, formed especially for Borneo for border and river activity and returned to an armoured Troop 2 under COH Cliff Hales, later awarded the BEM, the second time I had worked for him, the first being under different circumstance in training at Combermere. I was in good company. Cliff’s monkey, Charlie, who he brought back from Borneo, was a local favourite, particularly with locally employed gardeners who he considered a fair mating game. Cliff’s article on his motorcycle trek from Malaya to Windsor in the last issue of the Journal is fascinating. Also in 2 Troop was Patrick Lundie, still a close friend today, whose map reading prowess and mastery was legendary. Today’s satellite navigation has its compensations. For those frequently bizarre occasions when irony and humour is essential for sanity Patrick was the perfect foil. Some of us would share a car for trips to KL and Singapore. As air conditioning in cars was somewhat primitive I bought a Matchless 500 motorcycle, ideal for trips to the beach at Port Dickson. I understand Paroi is no more,
all demolished and a sports complex on the site of the old vehicle park. Lord Louis and the Road Block – February 1967 In 1967 we were visited at Paroi by our Colonel, Admiral of the Fleet, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, then Chief of the Defence Staff. He had been connected to the Life Guards since 1921. He was touring the Far East with a film crew making a 12 part ATV television series about his life “Mountbatten a man for the Century”. Lieutenant Colonel Sir James Scott, Bart, then at Headquarters Squadron, had served as his ADC in India. We all met him as he toured the camp and vehicle park. As a demonstration of our many roles 2 Troop laid on a mock road block for the cameras. We recruited the camp taxi driver to act as the villain speeding through the road block. A pair of Saladins and Ferrets were positioned at opposite ends of the road, unseen around bends, a few hundred yards apart. The object being to trap the taxi in the middle as he drove through at one end. Lord Louis and film crew were positioned and the director gave the signal to roll. I was in a Saladin turret, the plan being that on the radio signal that the taxi driver had broken through, we were to move the Saladin to block the road. One crucial error was that no-one had sent or received the radio signal and the taxi driver sailed through the other end. Lord Louis laughed - the film crew didn’t. Take two! The series was shown on television in 1968 and now resides on celluloid in the film archive at the Imperial War Museum. Swimming with Turtles – June 1967 Ever thoughtful for ideas to occupy the troops, it was decided to stretch the patience of a group of about twelve of us by sending us to an isolated island
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hook. In the event coconuts became our staple diet, which can become tedious after several days, however, I can vouch for their superb laxative qualities. What is overlooked is that the coconut is covered in a fibre ball that is almost impenetrable, which needs much chopping with a machete. The art of cracking open the coconut is simple – just throw it forcefully against a beach rock and serve. Eventually bowels cried out for a rest and an alternative diet was considered but not for long as no alternatives existed except fish. As we couldn’t catch them we needed a creative alternative supply. A split of water of nearly Palau Perheatiam Islands. The Author splitting a coconut for breakfast, lunch and supper half a mile wide separated our island with its sister Palau Perhentian Kecil where we could make out a on a survival two weeks. The theory fishing village, now called Perhentian being on return our affection for ParVillage. Along with another member oi would take a giant leap forward. of the Castaways we planned to swim over, buy fish and return to much apMalay is a large country with a plause. We set out with cash in a plastic superb coastline and a relatively small bag and other bags to use as floats on population. One of the gems was the the return. Half way across I sensed a then isolated North East coast from large shape closing in on us. Thankfully Kuala Terengganu north to the Thai passed quietly by, it was an enormous border at Kota Bharu. In those days green turtle followed by a youngster virtually no tourists existed there – quite a relief and a lovely experibut now the islands of Redang and ence. Now sadly the turtle population Perhentian are a diving paradise. is greatly depleted and laying their eggs on the mainland beaches is now We drove some 300 miles in landa rarer sight. I can confirm with some rovers then crossed by boat from confidence that swimming on an empty Kuala Besut on the mainland to Pulau stomach is preferable; but swimming Perhentian; two islands little short of on an empty stomach after an oversuperb with aquamarine clear water dose of coconut is not recommended. in the South China Sea and soft, white sand. Pulau Perhentian comprises Our arrival greeting at the village was two islands, the primary one Pulau only comparable with the moment in Perhentian Besar which then only had the film Brief Encounter when Trevor a few fishermen. We were located in Howard asked for a cup of tea in the railan isolated bay on the west side of the way tea rooms just after they had closed. island, possibly Teluk Peuh, now the Another obstacle emerged – they didn’t location for the island’s most luxurious speak English and we didn’t speak hotel The Perhentian Island Resort. Malay but internationally the sight of money is a language all its own and the We slept just off the beach under fish were swiftly exchanged along with ground sheets slung between palm a fishing boat ride back to our idyll. trees and a backdrop of tropical underStrangely today, fish and coconut cream growth. Water was from a trickling hill make an ideal cooking combination! stream running down smooth rocks into the sea. Food was 24 hour dehydrated Bali Hai – Summer 1968 ration packs insufficient for the period In 1967 a new class of drive on/off landwe were there and to be used only in ing ship was commissioned which inemergencies. The theory was that we cluded the 4,500 ton LTE Sir Tristram survived on fish caught with a line &
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which was later so badly damaged by air attack during the Falklands War that it was partly sunk then later refloated and returned to the UK. Its first commission was to evaluate its flexibility for landing nearly every variety of vehicle on a typical south east Asian beach. The island of Pulau Tiomen was chosen off the south east coast of Malaya as largely isolated. The exercise would take about a week and include a cross section of vehicles from regiments located in Malaya and Singapore, ranging from armoured vehicles to REME heavy Scammels. While based at Paroi, part of 2 Troop were chosen to participate with a Ferret and Saladin armoured vehicle. Our party of five included myself, Patrick Lundie and Sgt Reg Steer, seconded to us from the Australian army. We travelled to Singapore where we boarded the Sir Tristram for what we thought may be an enjoyable cruise. An overnight sail brought us within sight of Tiomen at dawn. Piped music over the tannoy played Bali-Hai from the film South Pacific, partly filmed on the island ten years before, then completed on Hawaii. Clearly seen in the film are the 1,000 metre twin peaks at the south of the island, so evocative of the film and music. We chose the deserted Juara beach on the east of the island with no access to the rest of the island and even today I understand only connected by boat. A new feature of this class of landing ship was called MEXE, a connected multi pontoon bridge winched and clamped to each side of the ship. Up to 40 individual pontoons were connected to form one giant pontoon to be dropped into the sea then manoeuvred to the front of the ship to form a bridge up to 100 metres to the beach, dependent on the draft of the ship and the depth of the water. We were first to try to reach the beach with a Ferret armoured car. We slowly edged down the ramp of the pontoon and into the sea only to become bogged down in the soft sand in over a metre of Patrick Lumdie at Singapore Docks cooling off before boarding the St Tristram for Tiomen 1968
water. As well as the soft sand, a slight miscalculation was that the engine drain plate on the vehicle wasn’t secured so the engine compartment became flooded. On balance, not a promising scenario for the perfect landing which had to be completed by winches around palm trees to secure the vehicle onto the beach, not ideal and definitely not in the spirit of the exercise. As the vehicle couldn’t be returned to the ship it was decided that Patrick Lundie and I remained with it for two days alone on the deserted beach while the ship moored off about a mile out considering the next move. Naturally, we were devastated at having to swim and sunbathe for two days.
Before departing Tiomen several of us trekked across the mountain tracks to the other side of the island. Again wanting refreshments at a Kampong, Patrick and I used the old international language of money resulting in a chorus of the whole village “moneeee” with appropriate back slapping and soon drinks were provided.
Magazine as one of the ten most beautiful islands in the world. Now somewhat faded, in the 1980s an airfield was built and became popular with Singapore weekenders. However, the DVD of South Pacific retains its fascination.
An interesting interlude. Later in the 1970s Tiomen was voted by Time
Thanks to Patrick Lundie and Cliff Hales for their recollections.
Juara Beach, Tiomem Island 1968, with Sir Tristram and pontoon bridges
Amazingly, we were on the very beach where possibly some of South Pacific was filmed. Further round the coast the film company had built a track on a hill where a concrete pool was built to resemble a natural rock pool possibly for the Happy Talking scene, then very overgrown. The ship returned – we winched the ferret back into the hold and the exercise ended there, no doubt some modifications followed. While all were perspiring on the Sir Tristram, Patrick and I were swimming and relaxing with the whole mile long beach to ourselves on one of the most beautiful locations in south east Asia.
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Royal Tournament 1957 Seated front in blues WO2 Jock Ferry, CoH Giles, Capt Thomas Dunne, Tim Gooch, CoH Nuff Nuff Langton.
Lt Col Ray Giles and Sir Thomas Dunne KG - 52 years on at the Garter
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