THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY JOURNAL 2010/11
The Household Cavalry Journal
Incorporating The Acorn and The Blue and Royal No. 19 2010/11 Editor: Lt Col (Retd) HSJ Scott, The Life Guards
Colonel in Chief Her Majesty The Queen
Colonel of The Life Guards and Gold Stick: General the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB, LVO, OBE Colonel of The Blues and Royals and Gold Stick: HRH The Princess Royal KG, KT, GCVO, QSO Commander Household Cavalry and Silver Stick: Colonel SH Cowen, 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 ........................................................................................ 6 B Squadron ......................................................................................... 9 C Squadron ....................................................................................... 11 D Squadron ...................................................................................... 13 Headquarters Squadron ................................................................. 15 Battlegroup Recce Troop ................................................................ 16 Evolution of the Training Wing ..................................................... 18 Regimental Administration Office ................................................ 19
Quartermaster’s Department ......................................................... 20 Quartermaster (Equipment) .......................................................... 20 Light Aid Detachment .................................................................... 21 Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess ........ 24 The Band of The Blues and Royals ................................................ 25 Catering Department ...................................................................... 27 Regimental Aid Post ....................................................................... 28 HCR Features ................................................................................... 29 Images from Afghanistan ............................................................... 36
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer ........................................ 38 Diary of Events ................................................................................ 39 The Life Guards Squadron ............................................................. 43 The Blues and Royals Squadron .................................................... 44 Headquarters Squadron ................................................................. 47 Quartermaster’s Department ......................................................... 48 The Forge .......................................................................................... 49 Household Cavalry Training Wing .............................................. 50 Regimental Administration Office ................................................ 50 Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess ........ 51 Musical Ride ..................................................................................... 52 On parade with the Garde Republicaine ...................................... 53
Pages 80 - 144
Obituaries Op HERRICK 11 ........................................................... 92 Obituaries The Life Guards ............................................................ 92 Obituaries The Blues and Royals ................................................... 94 Nominal Rolls ................................................................................ 101 Notices ............................................................................................ 107 Household Cavalry Charities ...................................................... 109 Household Cavalry Associations Dorset ........................................................... 110 North Staffs .................................................. 112 North East .................................................... 113 Features .......................................................................................... 115
Cover Photographs: Front: HCR in Helmand - Op HERRICK 11 Back: Mounting the Queen’s Life Guard in a wintry winter
Pages 68 - 79
Army Taekwon-Do Team ............................................................... 71 Household Cavalry Cresta Run Team 2011 ................................. 72 Nordic Skiing 2010/11 .................................................................... 73 Alpine Skiing Report ....................................................................... 75 Eagles Veterans RUFC Annual Report ......................................... 76 Madness in Miami ........................................................................... 77
News from the Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report 2010 ...................... 80 Minutes of the 76th AGM and EGM of The Life Guards Association ....................................................... 80 The Life Guards Association and Charitable Trusts .................. 82 The Life Guards Association Notices ............................................ 83 The Life Guards Association Regional Representatives ............ 84 The Blues and Royals Association Annual Report 2010 ............. 86 Minutes of the AGM of The Blues and Royals Association ........ 87 The Blues and Royals Association Regional Representatives ... 89 Household Cavalry Museum ........................................................ 90 Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund .............................. 91
Pages 38 - 67
The Band of The Life Guards ......................................................... 54 Household Cavalry Training Wing .............................................. 56 Jordan ................................................................................................ 57 Coach Troop ..................................................................................... 57 Equitation ......................................................................................... 58 Regimental Training 2010 ............................................................... 59 Regimental Support Team ............................................................. 61 HCMR Chaplaincy .......................................................................... 63 Spruce Meadows ............................................................................. 64 HCMR Officers Mess Adventure Training .................................. 64 Images of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment .............. 66
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up Household Cavalry Golf 2010 ........................................................ 68 Regimental Angling ........................................................................ 69 HCR Regimental Football .............................................................. 70 HCR Kickboxing Squad .................................................................. 70 Army Indoor Rowing Championships ......................................... 70 HCR Regimental Rugby ................................................................. 71
Pages 4 - 37
By Colonel S H Cowen, The Blues and Royals Commander Household Cavalry
hilst uncertainty remains on the outcome of the Strategic Defence and Security Review, and the impact of the age of austerity on the Defence Budget, the direction has been to continue delivering the required military capability. Anyone reading this journal and the operational honours and awards for HERRICK 11 would note that the Household Cavalry continue to deliver to a standard that reflects and enhances the rich heritage of our 350 years of service. The Commanding Officers will illustrate the challenges and achievements of the regiments over the year but I would like to highlight two instances that reflect the professionalism and standing of the Household Cavalry across the wider army. HCR, with D Squadron deploying to Afghanistan, was tasked with delivering A Squadron at high readiness to support the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group, found from a Germany based Brigade. The squadron, having returned from operations three months earlier, trained and met the readiness state with quiet understated efficiency, earning the respect and recognition of a Brigade and Division that it had not previously worked with. Second, the Musical Ride was requested to perform at the Sultan of Oman’s 40th Accession celebrations at his Horse and Camel Fair. This was the second year in succession that the Musical Ride has toured at the request of, and underwritten by, another nation; highlighting it as a benchmark for ceremonial troops, also neatly illustrating its relevance to Defence Diplomacy. The liaison and training that HCMR conducts with other ceremonial regiments provides useful contact at a time of wider regional instability. Having had the good fortune to serve in Helmand whilst HCR were there, I was struck by the care and support that those serving receive from the wider Household Cavalry family. The Operational Casualty Fund has been re-energised in the last twelve months and has built up a significant fund that will provide real comfort and support to casualties and their families into the future. I would like to record our thanks to those who have set-up initiatives and given so freely of their time and energy to make events happen and raise significant funds, especially Al Galloway as the Chief Executive of the fund who has worked tirelessly to energise and co-ordinate the fund’s great work. The requirement will sadly
remain into the future and we will be very grateful for the foresight and industry of those who are making it happen now. The Household C a v a l r y should also be grateful for the hard work that has been undertaken to develop the Museums. People tend to focus on the London Museum, which is now a well visited London venue. It will provide valuable income for all our funds when the loans are settled. However the Museum at Windsor is equally important as it holds the majority of our collection and archives. John Lloyd and his team of Friends and Volunteers work tirelessly to maintain and improve the collection, and provide a wonderful educational experience for school groups. The collection and archive will be in great demand during the bi-centenary of Waterloo and centenaries of many 1st World War battles as they are some of the most comprehensive in the country. If future generations of the Household Cavalry are to be blessed with such a rich legacy, action needs to be taken in two fields. First, preservation of the current collection is urgently required and anyone who can assist in restoration and maintenance should contact the Windsor Museum. Also the collection is only as good as the exhibits that are donated. As we have been deployed on every major campaign since the 2nd World War less Korea, there should be a wealth of operational records and maps, diaries and memorabilia. Sadly ours are not as comprehensive as we could hope for and I would ask all who read this to consider what you can offer to the collection. Whilst the Household Cavalry has survived the initial outcomes of SDSR relatively unscathed, there is no room for complacency. Sadly the post of Commander Household Cavalry has been lost but is lifed for my tenure, and there are other potential cuts. The continued squeeze on budgets affects every facet of regimental life from accommodation to equipment and
training. I would illustrate two wider impacts that go to the very heart of our regiments. Recruiting has been cut considerably as the army draws down. We have benefitted from robust manning over the last four years so the cuts will create a challenge. However the Recruiting Team and those at ERE in the Training Organisation, who look after our trainees, are outstanding so the quality of recruits remain high. Second, a stringent review of pay and conditions and potential redundancy alongside high operational tempo undermines retention. A career in the Household Cavalry is still very special, offering challenge and adventure. And, whilst the spiritual reward remains high, we need to ensure that individuals feel valued and can provide for the future and their families. I would like to pay tribute to Col Toby Browne who, as Commander, has twice guided and ensured our future and now retires to become the Crown Equerry. Also to Lt Col Shamus Olivier who has stood down after 15 dedicated years as Regimental Adjutant, having never ridden on a Birthday Parade whilst serving, he set the officers’ record in retirement! Looking forward, the forecast is diverse, busy and fun. The Commanding Officers will explain the plans for the regiments for the coming year, preparing for BATUS and another HERRICK tour, a Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics; these will be both demanding and rewarding. In the next Journal, plans for the Standards Parade will be announced. This will allow reflection on a decade of intense operations and commitment but one that resonates with many of the preceding 34 that are being celebrated in our 350th Anniversaries.
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword
By Lieutenant Colonel H R D Fullerton, The Life Guards Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Regiment
ince the Union of the Household Cavalry in 1992, there are no such things as quiet years and this year has been no exception. We have continued to be committed to operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan for a great part of the year. In the first part the Regiment was still deployed in Helmand as part of 11 Light Brigade (Bde), with Battle Group Headquarters (HQ), C Squadron (Sqn), HQ Sqn and 4 Troop (Tp) A Sqn (and for a time the rest of A Sqn) working in partnership with Afghan National Security Forces in Musa Qaleh. We were lucky to work with an outstanding collection of infantry companies from 1 R ANGLIAN, 2 RWELSH, 2 YORKS and 2 LANCS. The large Task Force operation of the tour, Op MOSHTARAK was to involve B Sqn, continuing in their elite role as the Brigade Recce Force and A Sqn who were used to clear and hold the area out to the west of Helmand’s centre called the Bolan. In addition, two highly trained teams of Forward Air Controllers (FAC) were deployed, one to the RIFLES Battle Group in Sangin and one to the Combat Logistic Patrols. There are just too many stories of courage, initiative and success to mention in this foreword and much will be explained inside the magazine. Some of these great deeds were recognised in the honours and awards that the Regiment were to receive, something that we all feel a collective pride for. Sadly, our success across Helmand did not come without its price. A total of eight officers and soldiers who worked in the Battle Group or who were with A and B Squadrons, lost their lives, including LCoH Jo Woodgate RHG/D. A further 36 soldiers from the Battle Group were seriously or very seriously injured, mostly involving IEDs. In the months since returning, those injured have been recovering through Selly Oak Hospital and Headley Court and the progress that our eight most seriously injured Household Cavalrymen are making is awe-inspiring. They are all heroes in what they have achieved for their country and in how they are coping with their injuries and they are being well supported back here by the Welfare Team and so many other organisations, including the wonderful work done by Help for Heroes, the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund and ABF The Soldiers’
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Charity, to name but a few. Since returning, we have had an excellent summer period, going through our recuperation period, with post tour leave, four medal parades, adventure training and probably the highlight which was the Homecoming Parade in Windsor in July, which incorporated marching troops, Scimitars, the Band of The Blues and Royals and a detachment of Mounted Dutymen from the Mounted Regiment. It was a fantastic day, with the salute taken at the Guildhall by the Colonels of both Regiments. Support from the people of Windsor and further afield was amazing. After summer leave, it would have been lovely to continue a more gradual transition back to normality, however, A Sqn and elements of C Sqn have spent much of the autumn period on exercise, preparing for their role as the Recce Sqn in the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group. The role now lasts for a year and they stand by for whatever operational task comes their way. Whilst we basked in the glory of a wonderful homecoming
in the summer, D Sqn were in their final stages of their mission specific training, preparing for their third tour of Helmand with 16 Air Assault Brigade. D Sqn are currently deployed under command of the Danish Battle Group and are working closely with the Irish Guards and partnering with the Afghan Forces. For much of the Regiment in Windsor there is a clear gap before the next deployment to Afghanistan. The Regiment needs the time to recover fully and get back into a position of readiness to start the long road of preparations to future operations. As we look back at 2010 we can all hold our heads high and say that we gave it our all and proved yet again how the Regiment plays a vital part in current military operations, consistently delivering the effects that our country so demands. Our thoughts this Christmas are with the family of LCoH Jo Woodgate RHG/D and all those families who have lost loved ones this year as a result of operations in Afghanistan and also to those who continue so bravely to battle back from their injuries.
Diary of Events
010 began with much of the Regiment deployed on operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. As was covered in last year’s Journal, the Regiment was dispersed geographically, and in diverse roles. Regimental Headquarters (RHQ), HQ Squadron and C Squadron were in Musa Qaleh, in the northwest of the province, and A and B Squadrons were moving throughout the Province, principally in support of Op MOSHTARAK. The respective experiences are covered in detail elsewhere, but a few points can be highlighted here. Those in Musa Qaleh began the year largely under water, as the seasonal floods came pouring off the northern mountains. As the bitter Afghan winter gave way to spring, the combined forces of the Afghan Army Police and the Household Cavalry led Battle Group were involved in a series of kinetic (frequent and heavy firefights with a variety of weapons) operations, backed up throughout by continual efforts to understand the local dynamics and to enhance local support for the government. This was all in preparation for a handover to the United States Marine Corps, an immensely complex operational and logistical feat. The transfer to the Americans took place against a rapidly changing background, but British forces could hand over a Musa Qaleh unrecognisable to that experienced by the HQ and C Squadrons in 2007/8. A Squadron had spent much of the early part of the tour on their feet, working in the close country of the ‘Green Zone’. They were reunited with their vehicles for a period of time spent in Musa Qaleh, before returning to the Brigade Main Effort on Operation MOSHTARAK. Following the successful clearance of strategically vital ground, they found themselves in the unusual position of ground-holding, in this case on the edge of the Bolan Desert. They were still able to use their CVR(T)s to good effect, denying the insurgents the opportunity to re-infiltrate the areas from which they had been driven. B Squadron was the core of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, a highly flexible unit that did much to shape operations through their ability to manoeuvre, find and ‘feel’. They were able to build up detailed pictures of complex areas, allowing a much more coherent understanding of the situation to drive higher-level planning. The demand for their skills saw them employed across Helmand, whether supporting
the American clearance of Now Zad in the deserts of north-west, moving on foot through the difficult terrain of the ‘Green Zone’ or the notorious urban environment of Sangin. Although very much based around B Squadron, the unit included personnel who brought the full complement of skills from across the Army, from Policemen to Gunners, Signals to Infantry. Tragically, LCoH Jo Woodgate RHG/D was killed during the last patrol in Sangin, a dreadful end to the tour. C Squadron was largely based in the new, unfamiliar Mastiff, an enormous armoured truck that made up for in protection what it lacked in subtlety. A variety of differently sized and configured wheeled vehicles were in use including: Jackal; Ridgeback and Husky. The Squadron juggled different roles of providing protective mobility and armoured striking power with their later commitment to holding ground to the south-west of Musa Qaleh, pushing insurgents away from the town. They frequently found themselves on their feet as well, and later brought up a Troop of Scimitar to enhance their surveillance capabilities and firepower greatly. The night vision suites, used by intelligent soldiers and backed up by good 30mm gunnery, were to prove a vital weapon in the battle against IEDs. In the meantime, D Squadron was entering the increasingly packed predeployment training programme for their deployment to Helmand on Op HERRICK 13. This required particular flexibility, as they were operating a mixture of CVR(T), Jackal and, later, Ridgeback and Husky. Those based in Jackal joined the 16 Air Assault Brigade Pathfinders for the Surveillance course, and enjoyed a great deal of dismounted training as a result. They were also dealing with much of the administration required to keep the camp functioning in the Regiment’s absence. On the Regiment’s return, spread out across April and May, each Squadron held its own Medals Parade in Combermere Barracks, attended by friends and family, before heading off on post-tour leave. Now the whole Regiment’s focus switched to supporting D Squadron’s training, capturing the lessons of the previous tour and passing them on to those who would need them most. During the summer, D Squadron took part in an intensive firing package in Castlemartin, Pembrokeshire, and a demanding time in the ‘Afghan villages’ of Thetford. These tested the Squadron in the most realistic environment
possible, and left them well placed for the more complex Brigade-level exercises that were to follow. On 3rd July the remainder of the Regiment marched through the streets of Windsor on a Homecoming Parade, which is described elsewhere. This was an enormously successful day, with substantial crowds lining the route as the Gold Sticks of both Regiments looked on. This was followed by a Drum Head Service in the Great Park, at which Elizabeth Crosses and Scrolls were presented by Colonel RHG/D to the families of the bereaved. A Sqn had little time to enjoy any respite on their return, as they took over the role of the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group, immediately embarking on a hectic training programme that bore a strong resemblance to predeployment training. B and C Sqns had a slightly easier time, with adventurous training and sports reappearing in the programme. Military skills were kept sharp by a series of dismounted exercises and firing packages, including a large group exercising in the jungles of Belize. D Sqn deployed to Helmand in October, coming under Danish command around the Helmandi economic hub of Gereshk. There they are responsible for security of the major routes through the area. Crucially this includes Highway One, a ring road that links Kabul with the Provinces, as well as the road to the heavily contested areas of Sangin. Control of these routes is vital to the economic well-being of the area, preventing insurgent attacks on contractors, robbery, and narcotic smuggling. They will remain in theatre until April next year. The remainder of the Regiment is preparing for the New Year, when a new Commanding Officer will arrive. The time immediately after a tour sees a great deal of change as people come and go, in this case against a background of considerable change across the Armed Forces. As ever, every article in the Journal will reflect on how busy each department has been.
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A Sqn Ldr getting on with the locals
or the first time since the beginning of 2010, A Squadron now appears to be back in Camp and in routine, and before long Christmas leave will be upon us. This relative period of calm stands in stark contrast to the high tempo of the rest of the year. Op HERRICK 11, POTL (Post Op Leave), parades and then full Pre Deployment Training all over again as the Formation Reconnaissance element of the Small Scale Contingency Battle Group (SSCBG), aka SPEARHEAD. It has been a varied, enjoyable, frustrating, challenging, exciting and ultimately rewarding year of soldiering, predominantly in the field. There have been some real highpoints and of course some low points. Most admirable has been the fight for recovery by our long term casualties, including Capt Jelinek, Sgt Brown, LCoH Lewis, LCpl Jones, Tpr Ward, Tpr O’ Farrell, Tpr Dunn and Tpr Cooke. At the outset of 2010, A Squadron found itself in Musa Qaleh with the lion’s share of HERRICK 11 left to push and with Op MOSHTARAK waiting round the corner. Having operated on a mixture of platforms including CVR(T) and Jackal, as well as on foot in Nahr’E Sarage and Babaji, the Squadron left all of its vehicles behind and were flown North to spend most of January joining the Royal Welsh with the fight at Patrol Base (PB) Minden on the Southern edge A Sqn Crossing the Helmand River
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Tpr Galavakadua ﬁnds a way forward
of Battle Group North’s Area of Ops. There the Squadron was reunited with elements of C Squadron. 4 Troop, who from the outset of the tour had been detached to HCR Battle Group, already knew the ground well and had come up against some staunch resistance there in previous months.
noodles allowed a degree of culinary variation. After approximately 3 weeks of holding the fort, the odd skirmish with the Taliban and a handful of IEDs found, all in close cooperation with the ANSF, A Squadron handed over to The Lancashire Regiment (LANCS) and switched focus to Centre South.
PB Minden was a peculiar mixture of rambling, crumbling compounds and Hesco Bastion baskets (quickly fabricated external walls). Initially, it was cramped indeed as Afghan National SF (ANSF), Royal Welsh and various HCR elements cohabited in an area roughly the size of a tennis court. Routine was, however, quickly established, doors “Blue Red Blue’d”, patrol matrices formed and stag rosters finalised. Having spent the first part of the tour bouncing from checkpoint to checkpoint, most of the Squadron enjoyed the relative stability of having a fixed “home” to return to between patrols. Pastimes included Scrabble and general winding up of Troop Leaders in the smoking area. CoH Slowey was lucky enough to be one of the first to try out the long awaited Future Reconnaissance Series (FRES) of vehicles; this prototype needs some development. Rotating through a number of checkpoints, CP Kahbir and OP Hill also allowed a regular change of scenery. 10 man ration packs and a mysteriously inexhaustible supply of instant
4 Troop had by now been re-tasked to Forward operating Base (FOB) Edinburgh whilst the remainder of A Squadron after a quick turnaround in Camp Bastion set off for the Bolan Desert in preparation for OP MOSHTARAK, the great pacification operation and the pending securing of Marjah. Truth be told, Bolan was anything but a desert. As far as our western eyes could make out it was semi-urban with very few land plots most of which had been put to agricultural use, predominantly poppy. At this point A Squadron was reinforced by Chindit Company of the LANCS, operating out of Ridgebacks.
Locals recovering a car with the help of a scarf
The weeks immediately before and during the first phase of OP MOSHTARAK were busy. 1 Troop got heavily ambushed resulting in a close call for Tpr Cooke, who, despite being shot through the shoulder and neck, is making a full recovery thanks to the swift action of his troop. 2 Troop’s probing operations resulted in countless contacts with the enemy and a number of IED strikes, the LCoH Snoxell and CoH Smith making use of down-time
most serious of which thankfully did not result in anything more severe than a shattered ankle and some serious bruising. We now know that it is possible to get seven people into to the back of a Spartan when the motivating factors are high enough! 3 Troop had adventures of their own in the form of small arms and the exploding of a massive IED and a digger next to their night time location, waking up to find themselves covered in dirt and burning rubber. 5 Troop had the most serious casualty when one of its Scimitars suffered an IED strike. Tpr Dunn, showing astonishing grit, helped to extract himself despite suffering severe lower limb injuries. LSgt Kingston found an IED no more than five metres outside the front gate of CP Yellow 4 and the Squadron as a whole at times where finding about half a dozen IEDs a day towards the end of February so no one needed to be reminded of how real the threat was. After the initial flurry of activity and numerous close calls and near misses, the tempo of operations appeared to slow down. A Squadron found itself working in a textbook counter-insurgency scenario. Patience and restraint was tested again and again in an endless stream of shuras, reassurance patrols and reports. Capt Leigh-Wood moved on to act as Liaison Officer in Lashkar Gah whilst Capt Walker-Okeover took up the post as Squadron 2IC, running SHQ from the Bolan Super Sanger which, as it turned out, was arguably the worst insulated police station in the province. At least he had Brian the dog to comfort him. That is, until he died. Staff Sergeant Rowatt was especially upset. Whilst still managing to cause plenty of man-hours and headaches for the LAD, vehicle maintenance was relatively manageable as the focus of the Squadron switched increasingly to the dismounted role. This shift was driven partly by the need for closer interaction Getting to know the locals
with the local population as well as the nature of the IED threat and weather which at times turned the landscape into an unworkable mud bath. Even the most inexperienced members of the Squadron became, due to necessity, recovery experts more or less overnight. Slow periods were broken up by periods of intense activity including wheat distribution and a major road construction/security operation linking Lashkar Gah to Marjah to the South West and to Nadi Ali to the North West. Building the road through Bolan and ensuring freedom of movement for the local nationals swiftly became the Squadron’s main effort. Daily tasks included everything from running vehicle checkpoints to well-building patrols and link-up tasks with our closest ISAF neighbours, the US Marine Corps. There was also a great deal of potholing as Sgt Snell can testify. As well as being operationally useful, the Squadron’s frequent interaction with the USMC did much to alleviate some of the daily monotony. Downtime was spent bathing in irrigation ditches, playing Risk or generally observing 1 Troop’s disintegrating CP, 3 Walls or 2 Walls as it later became known. 3 Troop were lucky enough to be living in Helmand’s most heavily defended volleyball court! As the weeks and months progressed complaints of the cold subsided as the merciless heat of the Afghan spring made its appearance. Temperatures regularly climbed into the high 30s and occasionally the low 40s. In time came also the first fruits of our labour; the stream of traffic through Bolan became ever more steady and what had initially been a stagnant community started once again to spring to life. The main road to Marjah, once heavily IED’d and unserviceable, had now been transformed into one of the most heavily trafficked roads in the region. When the locals for the first time dared to use the road again at the end of February it had been used by little more than half a dozen motorbikes throughout the course of an entire day. By the end of April however, “jingly trucks” and laden white Toyotas were passing in their hundreds. The fact that A Sqn in Bolan, April 2010
Cpl Smith orders pizza
the Squadron and Afghan forces and officials had finally brought about a measurable improved standard of living to the local population was a great morale boost for all. This was a very good tour for A Squadron. Locations could hardly have been more widely spread, nor the situations and challenges in which the Squadron found itself more diverse. Every member of the Squadron can safely say that they have seen a wide spectrum of the challenges and achievements currently being dealt with in theatre. As is so often the case, the end of the tour was abrupt. The ash cloud incident, which was at its peak at the time, meant that return dates appeared to change almost daily. Consequently, A Squadron had a rather longer decompression period in Cyprus than most units. It was some three days before the appropriate lift was finally available and everyone could at last be reunited with friends and family. After a week in camp and medals parade the Squadron was stood down for some well-earned leave. The finer details of POTL are probably best left unmentioned in this fine chronicle. Suffice to say, however, allegedly a merry time was had by all. Upon return to work Lt Hulme acts as an extra for re-make of The Living Daylights
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3 Tp complete Tpr Parsons
LCpl Dunne and Tpr Smith enjoy the moment
the adjustment back to normality began exemplified by the preparations for the Freedom of Windsor parade. Under SCM Newtonâ€™s watchful eye it was not long before one and all were brought into line. Having been expecting a fair amount of recovery time, the Squadron found itself back on the Pre Deployment Training (PDT) cycle. As part of the SSSCBG A Squadron spent September, October and half of November bouncing from one exercise to the next in Wiltshire, Wales and beyond. From mounted ranges in Castlemartin to Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) in Warminster, to three weeks of Exercise Druids Dance and Wessex Warrior culminating in the Squadron dismounted range package in Sennybridge where they progressed up to live section attack. The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, our parent Battle Group, proved to be good to work with utilising A Squadron to the full. Be it mounted or dismounted, there was rarely a dull moment and it gave the Squadron a good opportunity to get in some good quality exercise time on vehicles, that in these times of cutbacks may be hard to come by in the forthcoming year . The Squadron Ldr was pleased to see that, as expected, the pressures of what turned out to be a very long year had not given opportunity for any slack. Far from it; A Squadron are back on it and ready for whatever the SSCBG and 2011 may throw at us. CoH Slowey puts FRES to the test
8 â– Household Cavalry Regiment
he last twelve months has seen B Squadron complete Operation HERRICK 11 as the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF), recover from Afghanistan, watch its attachments return to their original units and slowly begin the inexorable preparations for deployment in 2013. The Squadron returned to Windsor in April having had a tough and challenging deployment, saddened at the very end of the tour by the deaths Sgt Paul Fox, Royal Engineers and of LCoH Jonathon Woodgate. In fitting testament to the nature of the tour and the extraordinary work of the BRF, Capt Robin Bourne-Taylor LG, was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross, Maj (now Lt Col) Gus Macgillivray, Black Watch, and LCpl Daniel Fletcher, Royal Army Medical Corps were awarded the Military Cross. Following a well deserved stretch of post-tour leave, the Squadron returned to Regimental life and before long found themselves a week of adventurous training in Newquay. Amongst a variety of activities to choose from were surfing, kite-boarding, climbing and mountain biking. All of this was provided by some relaxed yet professional civilians with surf tans and unruly hair, all a very long way from the Adventurous Training of the past which usually included a nearing retirement, disenchanted and quite vocal Sgt Maj from the Royal Army Physical Training Corps. As a means of gently returning to work and catching up after a period of leave Newquay was perfect and, I’m led to understand, quite a good night out too. July saw the departure of Lt Col
Leading the charge.Tpr Sheppard at Brigade Sports Day
Macgillivray heading into London to pastures new and the return of Maj PJ Williams MC RHG/D from Staff College in the United States just in time for the B Squadron day out to Thorpe Park. In between gravity defying rides and some green looking troopers, the Squadron managed to acquire a new mascot in the form of a giant stuffed meerkat called Boris. After a generous summer leave period the Squadron was back to work in earnest completing our annual mandatory training before heading down to Castlemartin Ranges for a dismounted live-firing package. The ranges gave us a chance to get down to part of our core business and talent-spot some of those who had recently joined the Squadron. A second week of dry-training was organized as a chance to build upon basic soldiering skills and prepare the Squadron’s team for the Cambrian Patrol Competition. The sun shone on us for most of our time in Pembrokeshire but
All eyes on LCoH Wilkinson at the BRF Medals Parade
seemingly not long enough to warm the sea sufficiently before the Squadron’s military swim test which could, at best, be described as sporting. Following on from Castlemartin the Squadron was split three ways. The Cambrian Patrol team continued their build up to the competition. Another team under the joint leadership of Capt M Gris, LG and Lt G Mackay-Lewis LG prepared themselves for a few weeks in the Belizean jungle whilst playing the Opposing Force for the Infantry’s Platoon Commanders’ Course. The final group combined with a number of C Squadron and headed to the Midlands and RAF Cosford to attend a Static Covert Surveillance photography course utilizing telephoto lenses and practising low-light image capture.
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 9
2 Troop about to deploy to Southern Nad-e ‘Ali
Sadly, our Cambrian Patrol team were beset by a series of injuries and had to withdraw from the competition. Hard as this failure was, we have learned some valuable lessons for next year. With our Belizean party already in the trees, the remnants of B and C Squadron headed once more for Wales, this time to Sennybridge for a ten day exercise designed to teach, practice and test basics skills such as navigation, patrolling and fieldcraft. This time we were less lucky with the weather and the final escape and evasion exercise was made considerably harder by the arrival of torrential rain and thick fog. Despite the high spirits induced by a chicken killing lesson and subsequent fresh food feeding frenzy, the rain came and turned a challenging exercise into a really very tough one. And so where to in 2011? The Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) has taken on the role of providing the BRF for deployable brigades and as of 2011/12 will provide the majority of the manpower required to staff the organization, with the exception of a few specialists, such as 81mm Mortars. Having a rare opportunity to sit just outside the immediate deployment cycle will give the Squadron a chance to hone their basic skills and develop specialized ones such as photog-
10 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
LCpl Rincon watching over his sights
raphy, sniping and dismounted close combat. In essence, the next twelve months will develop the core of HERRICK 18’s BRF and provide a baseline of experience upon which to build a permanent light role reconnaissance force for the Regiment in years to come. Driving this change is a huge effort from the Directorate RAC (DRAC) that will see our career structures, course availabilities and equipment and manning levels revised to accomplish the establishment of BRFs and bring renewed life to Formation Reconnaissance. As the year draws to a close we say farewell to a number of B Squadron stal-
warts, including Capt R Bourne-Taylor, who is off to become a management consultant to spend his time chasing errant employees at factories rather than exhausted members of the Taliban around the Green Zone. Also leaving is Capt C Meredith Hardy LG, who is heading down to Kent to work at the Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing and Capt R Smith LG who is off to a hitherto undecided part of Civvy Street. Off, too, are CsoH Allwood and Quickfall to the Infantry’s Light Role Reconnaissance Wing in Warminster and C Squadron, respectively. Their loss to the Squadron will be hard felt and we wish them all the best in the future.
CoH Pearce with B Sqn tps on a heli training exercise
Lt Mackay-Lewis returning with 4 Troop from patrol
C Squadron 1 Troop on Panda Ridge
he logical place to start is to take up the story from Musa Qaleh, in Helmand Province Afghanistan, where readers were left after the last instalment. Having performed admirably as a Mobility Group and demonstrated ably that Mastiff was more than a match for the IED threat, the Commanding Officer decreed that he wanted the other two companies within the Battle Group to have some protected mobility to add to their capability. Although from a squadron perspective, this was less than ideal, it did actually mean that the other companies were able to generate some more significant manoeuvre. 3 Troop under Lt BWE Campbell RHG/D became part of A Company, 1st Bn Royal Anglians (Vikings) and 4 Troop SHQ OP during Op MAR COBRA
under Lt BF Woolf LG worked with A Company, 2nd Bn Royal Welsh, leaving C Squadron with 1, 2 and 5 Troops. The pace of life in the run up to Christmas and immediately afterwards was relentless. Op MAR COBRA, the investment of Now Zad by B (BRF) Squadron and C Squadron in order that the town could be cleared and held by the US Marine Corps, was the major operation prior to Christmas and just after Christmas, Op MAR BARCHA was conducted by C Squadron and A Company, Vikings and involved the expansion of the secured area to the North of Musa Qaleh DC. The operation involved pushing a C Squadron block to the North and then allowing the infantry to consolidate a hold on ground behind the block. This newly held ground became Patrol Base HABIB which allowed the company and Battle Group more reach to the North as well as an expanded secure area. The operation was not without casualties; mercifully, however, C Squadron personnel remained unharmed. Late in January, 3 Troop operating in support the Vikings were manoeuvring forward with Mastiff and Scimitar. The Scimitar commanded by LCoH (now CoH) Francis was struck by an IED. In the blast, the turret was blown off the vehicle. At the time, LCoH Francis was changing crew positions to command the vehicle from the Gunner’s station as the Gunner, Tpr Porter, was dismounted. Thankfully this move meant that LCoH Francis was blown clear of the turret rather than being in it. Tpr Mapp, who was the driver was unfortunately caught square by the blast and as a result of this, suffered bilateral
amputations of his lower limbs, and other injuries. Tpr Porter was caught with some fragmentation. All three were evacuated to Camp BASTION and onwards to the UK. At this point, it is only right that Tpr (now LCpl) Mapp’s story is taken a little further. After having been injured at the end of January 2010, it was remarkable to discover that by March, he had been taking tentative steps on prostheses. Tpr Mapp’s progress has been characterised by this furious speed of recovery and his fortitude and outlook in doing so has brought nothing but sheer admiration from all his colleagues within the Squadron. He played volleyball for the Combined Services wheelchair volleyball team in the USA and they won the competition. I know it is his intention to try to make the British Para Olympic volleyball team and we wish him the best in his endeavours. Returning to Musa Qaleh, the Squadron departed from the District Centre to Patrol Base TALIBJAN; partnered with the Afghan National Army (ANA). This task was unique from a regimental perspective as, regardless of role, C Squadron was the only squadron to conduct a permanent Ground Holding task, a role more familiar to the infantry. With some excellent assistance from a small team of 2nd Bn The Yorkshire Regiment and 3rd Company, 3rd Kandhak, 205 Corps ANA, C Squadron got stuck into the dismounted role. SCpl Ireland and 5 Troop spearheaded the Squadron’s foray into this type of operation. The role provided a real opportunity to get to know the lie of the land and the people through engaging with them and identifying their issues.
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 11
SCM, 2IC, Sqn Ldr
Ensuring the enemy were on the backfoot and not encroaching into the secure area, as well as gently increasing the secure area bit-by-bit, was also part of the task. Invariably this latter piece was very ‘kinetic’ (firefights, prophylactic fire, ‘brassing up’ for the older generation). 5 Troop were later joined by 1 Troop commanded by Lt A S Lin RHG/D, again they slipped into the role quickly and efficiently and were soon in the fight to keep the Taliban at bay whilst reassuring the local nationals. Key to enabling manoeuvre in the area around Patrol Base TALIBJAN was the use of Mastiff as overwatch. The reach of their weapon systems and their imposing size meant that the dismounts were able to patrol with a new freedom that had been unavailable to the small YORKS team and the ANA. The largest operation conducted by the Squadron was Op MAR BARCHA 8, planned to be a Battle Group-led operation to clear enemy who had made gains after the moratorium on patrolling imposed by the Brigade, in order to set the conditions for Op MOSHTARAK. The Taliban had taken advantage of this period to come forward audaciously and, at the height of this period, an ANA soldier was shot dead and had his weapon stolen from a position that theoretically should have been secure. Chindit Company, 2nd Bn, The Lancashire Regiment with 2 Troop were to cross the Musa Qaleh Wadi in the early hours of the morning in late February and conduct an Advance to Contact with C Squadron (1, 4, 5Tps, OMLT and ANA). Heavy rains fell that night and the Wadi was un-fordable and so Chindit Company took no further part in the operation. Quick Battle Orders which effected some minor
12 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
changes to the plan and the operation was run by C Squadron. The operation was conducted against a determined enemy who were eventually silenced with a barrage of artillery. The success of the operation, like so many others could be judged in terms of significantly reduced enemy activity and an increase in our ability to manoeuvre freely, the fact that this was the last kinetic event we took part in at the Patrol Base is testament to this success. It wasn’t quite all over yet; C Squadron thought it would return home in March at the six month point. However, due to what can only be described at best as incompetent planning, the Squadron was extended in theatre by another 25 days. This gave time for another couple of actions. Panda Ridge was a piece of key terrain that overlooked an enemy stronghold named Karimanda. 1 Troop was tasked with a Scimitar from 3 Troop and a 105mm Light Gun, intended for use in the direct role, to occupy Panda Ridge, the purpose of which would be to fix the enemy. The move up was relatively smooth until the final moments when the enemy opened up on the troop with an AGS-17 system (light artillery) as well as small arms fire. The ferocity of the initial volley was intense and a Signaller received a shrapnel wound to his neck, the Combat Camera Team Leader was shot through the hand and Lt A S Lin RHG/D was shot through the arm. Thankfully, Surg Lt Col J Lewin RHG/D was tasked with the troop and was on hand to administer first aid. The first two casualties were evacuated with Lt A S Lin RHG/D insisting that he stay on to command the operation. Eventually, the troop established a foot hold from where they were able to integrate accurate
sniper, 30mm and 105mm shoots onto conventionally manoeuvring enemy. This action placed the enemy on a backfoot and was indeed the most significant shaping action for the actual clearance of KARIMANDA, conducted by 1/2 Battalion USMC. As the Squadron withdrew from Musa Qaleh, 4 Troop remained behind. Their task was to provide limited protective mobility and protection for the last Convoy Logistic Patrol, outloading HCR Battle Group’s equipment. So it was with some concern that we learned of the news of the fall of SHAR KARIZ, a town in the East of the AO, only accessible to C Squadron. 4 Troop were tasked to respond to this with a small amount of extra support. The troop confirmed that the town had indeed fallen to the Taliban and that a significant amount SCpl Ireland and Sgt Hunt in Shar Kariz
of Afghan militia casualties, many fatal, had been sustained in the action. On the 1st of April the last men of C Squadron, HCR returned to the UK and Op HERRICK 11 ended for us. A week in-work provided a chance to practice for Medals Parade and to enjoy Troop nights out. The Squadron Medals Parade was the only time that the deployed Squadron personnel had been all together in the same place, and would be the last. After Medals Parade on the 9th of April, the Squadron disbanded for a month of post-Tour leave and by the time it reformed in mid-May, the usual sequence of postings had begun to change the faces of the Squadron. After returning from summer leave the squadron deployed to Castlemartin to conduct a dismounted range package under the guidance of SCpl Ireland. This was with the exception of 1 Troop who were now providing nearly 25% of the A Squadron strength for their new Short Scale Contingency Battle Group
role. 1 Troop, led by Ct Hills and LCoH Blake, embarked on another series of Pre Deployment Training in preparation for this deployment. They began this two and a half month period with a CVRT firing package at Castlemartin. This was the first opportunity the newly formed troop had to come together. They then conducted CT 1 and 2 level training on Salisbury Plain Training Area before taking part in Ex Wessex Warrior and Druids Dance. This training cycle culminated in a Live Firing and Tactical Training package in Sennybridge in early November. After coming together as a squadron at the ranges, the focus was on individual training and qualification for promotion. In order to maintain a BRF capability within the squadron, ten soldiers led by LCpl McGeachy conducted the Surveillance Camera Operators course in mid October. This was followed by a month spent in the Belizean jungle in support of the Infantry Training Centre Brecon PCD. This team was led by LCpl Greene who also won the 1 Bde ‘Soldier
of the Month’ competition. The Squadron deployed to Sennybridge conducting Close Target Recces and Observation Posts at team level. This was an opportunity for some Troopers to experience command as well as practicing core skills. The culmination of the principle part of the Ex was a 2 troop level raid on a farm complex led by Tpr Arnold. The final phase of the exercise was escape and evasion, followed by a short period ‘on the run’. The squadron performed very well with Tpr Wallis performing especially well considering he has only recently joined the Squadron from HCMR. The diversity of the tasks that the Squadron has undertaken in this period has demonstrated the strength and depth the Squadron has developed with its JNCOs throughout their latest HERRICK deployment and its ability to remain both skilled and focused. The C Squadron identity remains very strong and has been embraced by all of its newcomers.
s we approach our sixth week in Afghanistan it gives us a perfect opportunity to reflect on what the Squadron has achieved this year. It goes without saying that it has been a busy, varied and challenging year. In the last 12 months we have come together, trained as individuals and as one, and prepared for Afghanistan better than ever before. For many of the Squadron Op HERRICK 13 will be their first operational tour and the period of preparation and deployment has been a steep learning curve. Some have had to make that sharp transition from looking after horses at Knightsbridge to knowing how to change a track or apply a tourniquet. Instead of parading on Horse Guards in divisions they have had to learn to operate as troops, both in vehicles and on foot. For those who have deployed before, they too have had much to learn. The environment in Afghanistan has changed dramatically and as the insurgents have adapted their tactics so we have had to change ours and the way we operate. As 2009 drew to a close and 2010 arrived, the Squadron found itself in Windsor beginning its preparation for Op HERRICK 13 while the remainder of the Regiment was deployed on Op HERRICK 11. Although the Squadron was fulfilling many rear party duties, it was able to focus most of its attention on the numerous courses and exercises that it must undertake during Pre Deploy-
Lt Talbot briefs members of 2 Tp on the CALFEX
ment Training. First, a number of individuals including CsoH Todd, Woollaston, Sgt Gillan, LCsoH Fetigan and Bateman to name but a few, completed an array of courses to enable a period of cascade, or in-house training to the remainder of the Squadron at Windsor. WO2 (SCM) Flynn CGC MC also ensured that as many drivers as possible completed their HGV licences. This was to prove a very shrewd move, as later in the year the Squadron was to train a number of drivers on Husky and Ridgeback vehicles at very short notice. Having drivers already with these licences greatly eased the training burden.
been completed the Squadron was ready to start putting this all together and embarked on a short, low level exercise on Bramley Training Area. The exercise focused on individual and troop level dismounted skills, incorporating all the lessons taught during the cascade training. The Squadron benefited greatly from having the Regimental Operations Officer lend an experienced hand. Having recently returned from Afghanistan, where he had been working with the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, Capt CC Church RHG/D was the ideal person help advise on the latest operating tactics, techniques and procedures.
Once much of the cascade training had
After Easter leave, 1 and 2 Troops, along
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 13
LCpl Were working on the SCM’s Jackal
with the Pathfinder Platoon who were to form the HERRICK 13 Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF), embarked on an eight week course run by the Surveillance Reconnaissance Wing (SRW) based at Lydd Camp in Kent. As 1 and 2 Troops headed off to Kent, the rest of us travelled to more familiar territory - Thetford, though this time with bergans instead of horses. Thetford training area has in recent years been transformed into a little piece of Afghanistan. Compounds replicating those found across Helmand, bazaars selling Afghan goods, pots of rice steaming in the cold Thetford air and genuine Afghan people playing the part of interpreters, Afghan soldiers, police and local nationals, all add the realism that troops now face on the Confirmatory Training Exercise. Even the terrain closely resembles the Green Zone, the areas found astride the many canals, irrigation ditches and the River Helmand in which British troops routinely operate. Although it is impossible to fully replicate the conditions found in Helmand, the area provides an excellent environment in which to train and confirm all the low level patrolling, counter-IED, compound clearance and life saving skills needed to operate in Helmand. Though 1 and 2 Troops were on a separate training schedule, they were not to miss out on the excellent facilities at Thetford. They conducted their confirmatory exercise at the end of the SRW course, where they had learned many new skills, both mounted and dismounted. Throughout the course, both Troops performed extremely well and were a credit to the Regiment, proving themselves to be equal to the BRF. Next came the annual visit to Castlemartin in Wales where the Squadron, joined by 1 and 2 Troops and the BRF, went through a period of crew firing in preparation for the CALFEX, a mandated live firing exercise required for deployment. The annual crew firing test produced some excellent firing, although LCoH Grice would do well to remember his glasses in the future, as without them he scored a miserable
14 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Tpr Rock and LCoH Grice discussing the ﬁner points of gunnery
level two, but with them an impressive level six! The CALFEX proved to be an excellent training package and tested the Troops in mounted live-fire battle runs, which incorporated target acquisition, identification of civilians and casualty evacuation. One of the highlights of the exercise was a night shoot from a mock Forward Operating Base. With CVR(T) 30mm, HMG, GMG, GPMG, snipers and illum all firing at the same time, it was an imposing sight for anyone and the sheer weight of fire power certainly impressed those members of the BRF who witnessed it. After a short period back in Windsor, spent mainly bringing the vehicle fleet up to a fully fit state, the Squadron was back out on exercise, this time to Salisbury Plain. The Field Training Exercise (FTX) was the final part of Brigade level training and the Squadron deployed to the Plain with 2 SCOTS Battle Group, with whom we were due to work once in theatre. It was a high tempo exercise, designed to test our ability to build quickly an understanding of the local situation with Enemy Forces reacting to our actions much as they would for real. We worked alongside a number of retired Gurkha soldiers acting as the Afghan National Police and a platoon of Polish soldiers to replicate working with the Afghan National Army. Consequently, we faced all the difficulties of working with foreign forces and it gave us an excellent taste of what was to come once we had deployed and were working with the Afghan Security Forces. Summer leave followed the FTX. Four weeks was a welcome break after a busy few months training and the Squadron returned with fully recharged batteries itching for the final six weeks to pass before flying out to Afghanistan to start our tour. Although much of our training had already been completed there was still time to fit in an excellent dismounted field firing package at Castlemartin and the Team Medic’s course. In the first week back from leave
we heard that our role in Afghanistan had changed and that we were no longer deploying as part of the 2 SCOTS, but rather we would be providing security along a stretch of highway in the Danish area of responsibility. A last minute recce by the Squadron Leader and SCpl Eulert confirmed that this would be a much more interesting role than we had previously been expecting. Hence, we now find ourselves working to the Danish Battle Group in what is known as Combined Force Nehr-e Saraj North, partnering 6/2/215 Kandak along Highway 1. Our area of responsibility stretches roughly 25km either side of the Central Helmand city of Gereshk. There are 17 checkpoints manned by soldiers from 6 Kandak along this stretch and we partner them and the Kandak HQ, based in Gereshk, on a daily basis. The Squadron is performing well and we have built up a clear understanding of the environment in which we operate. At the time of writing, there have been significantly fewer incidents than in the previous few months. This hopefully is a measure of the success we are having and the way we are operating. The weather has turned and the notoriously harsh Helmand winter is in sight. Whilst the days are still clear, the sun’s rays no longer warm us as they did only a few weeks ago and the temperature drops below zero each night. Still at least the country has not been brought to a standstill like the UK, as we are hearing on the news! Over the last 12 months the Squadron has said goodbye to a number of people and welcomed many others. They are too many to mention all by name. However it would be remiss of us, as a Squadron, not to say goodbye to Maj W H L Davies MBE SCOTS DG. Maj Davies handed over in April to return to his Regiment to take over as Second in Command. He left the Squadron in excellent shape and we all wish him well for the future.
The 2IC on his throne during vehicle ranges at Camp Bastion
LCpl Greenwood spots for LCpl Bond on the ﬁeld-ﬁring exercise
by Major R J Carney RHG/D
ow the tour was finally over, with everyone now fully rested and back from leave, we thought it would be a very quiet period. The only activity on the horizon was catch-up trade courses mixed with some low level training, but as everyone knows HQ Squadron never rests and is always supporting the Sabre Squadrons, at the same time having to ensure it maintains itself in all areas of military activity. Which means supporting D Squadron deploying to Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 13, A Squadron as the Short Scale Contingence Battle Group (SSCBG) role, conducting CVR(T) firing in Castlemartin and dismounted training at Sennybridge (SENTA) . Concurrently all departments were preparing for the Equipment Care and Logistic Support Inspections, which I am glad to say went extremely well, given the time between returning from Post-Operational Tour Leave (POTL), MAV and then the Combined Inspection Week itself, so congratulations to all. In May the changeover of SCM took place, with WO2 Robson moving to C Squadron and WO2 Hockings taking
post. WO2 Adams has taken over the post of MTWO and his massive shoes have been filled by SCpl Pettipher. Hopefully for squadron stability he will stay for a full tour, something that HQ hasn’t experienced for an extremely long time, due in part, perhaps, to the different array of promotion and selection board results being released causing a headache for the Careers Management Officer, with manning plots forever evolving, multiple post moves, each time having to find the right post in which to place each individual. The Squadron has had a few chances to relax outside of camp: hill walking and canoeing in Capel Curig for three groups of four, and sailing on Gladeye. Adventurous training is encouraged as much as possible, and everyone had a fantastic time, rough seas or calm waters. Our final event was arranged by CoH Goodwin or should I say his cat, as it was the cat that jumped into the arms of famous actress Kelly Brook, whilst filming at Chertsey. When CoH Goodwin went to collect his cat he was not slow off the mark to arrange a visit to two block-buster film sets. This was
Tom Onslow-Cole showing the Squadron Ldr and LCoH Jury how it is done
a rare opportunity to see some behind the scenes filming and props for the upcoming Stephen Spielberg and Martin Scorsese films. Finishing off the day, we were taken round the test track by one of the British Touring Car Championship contenders, ending with the chance to drive top of range cars round the test track ourselves. Although this should be the Regiment’s steady time, as I have already mentioned, things seem to be still moving at pace. Many of the Squadron personnel are away on courses catching-up on trades of their own, or running them for other members of the Regiment. Many new soldiers have arrived from HCMR temporarily into the Squadron whilst they complete their arrival programmes before moving on to the Sabre Squadrons, which the SCM keeps a close eye on. This is good news for the Squadron as it allowed moves to take place and some of the gaps we had to be filled. There is a good rotation of soldiers from the Sabre Squadrons who now are able to gain D and C (Truck) licences in MT under the direction of the MTWO and CoH Lindsay. Once qualified they moved on
SCpl Santi as James Bond and his wingman!
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 15
to other departments within the Squadron, including Command Troop where a total restructure is underway: things are starting to look bright. Capt Simon Deverell has taken-over as RSO from Capt Brian Rogers, and SCpl Santi will keep up the outstanding work of the RSWO WO2 Stainsby, who has moved to RQMC(T). It is absolutely right and proper that the RSWO can talk the hind legs off a donkey, as he has proved to many department heads whilst on his daily travels. So far Command Troop has not had much manpower to speak of, but thankfully slowly and surely it is approaching maximum capacity. Next year brings the first exercise where the Troop will be tested since returning from operations, and most of the Squadron, but not all, are looking
forward to Ex IRON HEEL on Bramley Training Area near Reading, of which more in next year’s Journal. There have been three outstanding and memorable occasions this year. First, the Squadron Medal parade. This was a wonderful day where we were able to bring altogether our families and friends, and bring the curtain down on the Tour. It was especially good to have the Minster for Sport, ex Maj Hugh Robertson MP to present our medals, especially as he had once been a member of the Regiment. The second was without question the Freedom of Windsor parade, an extremely proud day for the Regiment, and it is always amazing to see so many people lining the streets. The rapturous
The Sqn Ldr receives his medal from Mr Hugh Robertson MP (ex LG) watched by the Commanding Ofﬁcer and a rare appearance by the Adjutant
applause from the moment we left the barrack gates until we returned was something no-one in the Squadron had ever experienced before, making us all feel truly appreciated. Finally, the march to and from church on Remembrance Sunday felt different and somewhat more special this year having returned from operations. We were all dressed for the first time in our new No 2 (Service) Dress (Future Army Dress (FAD)); medals proudly worn on our chests. This parade stood out more because of the memories we all have of comrades fallen and injured, thoughts of D Squadron currently on tour, or possibly it was all of these added together with a feeling of how proud we are of being Household Cavalrymen.
HQ Sqn marching down the Long Walk after the Service
Battlegroup Recce Troop, Musa Qaleh by Captain ACJ Jelinek LG
rom October 2009, 4 Troop was detached from A Squadron to provide the Battlegroup Recce Troop to Battlegroup Northwest around the town of Musa Qaleh in northern Helmand. After a quite kinetic runup to Christmas with a high tempo of patrolling and operations, Recce Troop entered the New Year licking its wounds but nevertheless determined to still act as a force multiplier for
Battlegroup North-West; providing it with quality reconnaissance and an effect far disproportionate to its small size. With two recent IED strikes having significantly degraded its capability, seriously injuring CoH Harrison, LCpl Jones, Tprs Ward and O’Farrell, it was clear that we needed to reconstitute. Furthermore, with a resolute enemy feeling pressured on both the northern and southern Forward Line of Enemy
Battlegroup Recce Troop
16 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Troops (FLET), laying an ever denser defensive IED belt to enhance already strong natural features, the risk to our lightly armoured Jackals needed to be mitigated. It was in this context that I found myself taking Recce Troop into 2010. We were reinforced with Battlefield Casualty Replacements (BCRs) from D Squadron, LCoH Howland and LCpl Smith, and
Lt ACJ Jelinek and LCoH Hogg with some ANA Comrades
Tpr Alam from A Squadron. There was some grumbling from the Troop about being sent to Forward Operating Base (FOB) Edinburgh out in the desert to the west of Musa Qaleh, since it was perceived as being away from the main effort and away from the action. Returning from rest and recuperation (R&R) to a Troop that had been on almost continuous operations and had suffered the loss of four men, not to mention a revered CoH, threw up all manner of challenges in my mind, but although I found them grimmer than when I left, somewhat sobered by their experiences, they had lost none of their steel and spirit. I was very proud to hear them complain about being ‘out of the fight’! Despite this, it rapidly became clear that there was an important role to be performed around FOB Edinburgh, and, using imaginative and manoeuvrist tactics, exploiting the speed, range, and cross country ability of our Jackals in the desert, we could still exert an influence on operations in Musa Qaleh. Our most immediate role was to provide security for FOB Edinburgh and preventing the enemy from laying IEDs on the main resupply route into Musa Qaleh town. After only a few days of dominating the ground around the FOB through far reaching patrols, it also became apparent that this seemingly barren
Tprs Ridge, Goff, Moloney, Groom
and empty desert had a pattern of life of its own. Chatting to nomads and stopping vehicles moving from north to south on the route from Baghran down to Gereshk yielded surprising information. Banditry was rife, with armed robbers stealing from everyone: vehicles, livestock, food, money, and even clothes. After passing this up to the Intelligence Officer, Capt RJ Spiller RHG/D, it was assessed that these bandits were likely to be insurgents recently cleared out of Now Zad (over the mountains to the west of FOB Edinburgh) by the Americans. This interesting bit of intelligence added a new dimension to our role in FOB Edinburgh. We were all excited to end the scourge of banditry and bring security and stability to this bit of Helmand. A plan was drawn up to dominate the area, with particular emphasis on night-time Observation Posts (OPs), and swooping Vehicle Check Points (VCPs). Unfortunately, I was not to see this plan come to fruition, as during a chase of a suspected insurgent vehicle, my Jackal crashed and both Tpr Alam and I were to join the swelling number of Recce Troop regrouping in Selly Oak Hospital. LCoH Hogg, who had been ably supporting me as an acting CoH, now found himself as acting Troop Leader, proving Napoleon’s maxim, through his rapid battlefield
Lt ACJ Jelinek, LCoH Hogg, LCoH Rawasa
promotions, that every soldier carries a Field Marshal’s baton in his knapsack. On a more serious note, it emphasised the importance of knowing the job of the man both one and two up from you. As expected of a recce NCO, LCoH Hogg was not found wanting. However, I did not know that as I was aeromeded back to the UK, and the indomitable CoH Harrison was flying out to return to the Troop, having impressed his doctors with a remarkable recovery. For the remainder of the tour Recce Troop continued to provide security to FOB Edinburgh. Meanwhile, after an operation in Queen Elizabeth hospital, I was reunited with Tpr Ward and Tpr O’Farrell (and later Tpr Mapp from C Squadron) in Selly Oak. We were subject to a number of high profile visits, including the then Defence Secretary, Bob Ainsworth, who accused me of singlehandedly trying to use up the British Army’s entire Jackal fleet. He was then subject to a verbal broadside from Tpr Ward. The then leader of the opposition, David Cameron, also made an appearance, and was well received. Three months in Selly Oak was unpleasant, although it was made more bearable by the good humour and stoicism of the other casualties, the numbing effect of plenty of painkillers, and being fussed over by pretty nurses, who I insisted continue to shave me in
LCpl Takacs, Lt ACJ Jelinek, Tpr O’Farrell, CoH Harrison
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 17
the morning long after I was capable of doing this myself. As soon as I transferred from bed to wheelchair I busied myself wheeling around the other casualties, learning about their tours, injuries, and treatments. Aside from providing what I hope was welcome company, it also helped pass the days. Slowly, one by one, we were forwarded to Headley Court. These months were as much a fight as the one going on in Afghanistan, and in the same way the casualties were required to show both courage and leadership. Hungry for news of the Troop, and deprived of the detailed reports that until so recently we had received, we eagerly awaited visits from soldiers on R&R to hear what was going on. Despite an overall 30% casualty rate, the legacy of Recce Troopâ€™s tour is a strong one. CoH Harrison has been awarded a well deserved Mention in Despatches for his courage and leadership, and every member of the Troop performed
BG Recce Tp and remounts
to a very high standard. Valuable lessons have been learnt. They now have the opportunity to pass this experience on. The casualties also continue to make remarkable progress. There is no doubt that the Household Cavalry Battlegroup
left Musa Qaleh better than it found it, and I think it is not too boastful to suggest that Recce Troop played a significant part in this achievement.
CoH Harrison providing sniper overwatch
Evolution of the Training Wing by Captain AJ Galvin LG
he Training Wing has seen an enormous transformation this year. When I arrived as the Training Officer in April, Op HERRICK 11 was drawing to a close and the Training Wing Warrant Officer, WO2 Jukes, was still involved with the rear party. It was clear that there was a lot of work to be done. As the Regiment trickled back and went on their well deserved leave, WO2 Jukes eventually found his way back to the Training Wing office and the rebuild began.
18 â– Household Cavalry Regiment
First, there was the important issue of a permanent clerk which soon came in the form of LSgt Clerice, fresh from B Squadron. SCpl Chinn followed shortly after from AFC Harrogate and the important work of ensuring that all members of the Regiment could start catching up on vital career courses and other skills could commence. This was, by no means, an easy task. With the tempo of Operations for the Regiment over the last few years being the key focus, almost all members of
the Squadron needed a qualification of some form to keep them on track. The telephone conversations and emails to the various courses clerks throughout the country did not seem to end in the following few weeks and how SCpl Chinn and his ever impressive filing system of yellow post-it stickers kept up with the pace, I will never know. The summer months flew past in a blur. It was at about this time that the Regimental Gunnery Warrant Officer,
SCpl Gibson, moved on - promotion to The Life Guards Mounted Squadron at HCMR. This paved the way for SCpl Lewis to appear back from the Gunnery School at Lulworth straight into the firing line of a Regimental deployment to Castlemartin Ranges for Annual Firing. As usual, Gun Camp was a great success with a mixed bag of small arms, 30mm and Panther firing all taking place. It is no secret that the Training Wing should be the hub of any Regiment and with the much needed support of the Regt 2IC HQ Squadron Leader, the aspiration for the Training Wing to encompass all aspects of Regimental training would soon bear fruit. For the last statement to be achieved, extra manpower was needed. SSgt Gibson, the newly arrived RAPTCI in the Gym, was first to be implanted firmly and a new fitness programme that included a comprehensive and progressive rehabilitation/ remedial training regime was swiftly put in place. Next to join the fold was SCpl Hoggarth for the All Arms aspects and CoH Phelan for all things geeky and
Training Wing Staff
Signals-like. The team was in place. As the year progresses, WO2 Jukes and SCpl Chinn will move on. WO2 Jukes to civilian life after completing 22 years service and SCpl Chinn to HCMR.
Although they will be replaced, they will be sorely missed and remembered for their hard work and dedication. As for the rest of us, the train rolls-on ready for another hectic training year.
Regimental Administration Office by Captain R G Bailey AGC(SPS)
arly January 2010 saw the Detachment split between Windsor, Bastion and Musa Qaleh, supporting the regiment on Op HERRICK 11. In Windsor, tasked with continuing to support a large Rear Party, as well as D Squadron preparing for Op HERRICK 13, the team was constantly busy, coordinating not only the Regiment’s routine administration, but also liaising with theatre to manage the intricacies of the additional G1 challenges that deployment inevitably brings and ultimately recover the regiment to UK in good order. Meanwhile, most of those fortunate enough to find a place in the ORBAT saw the New Year in at the Bastion Joint Operations Cell, from where they sought to bring together, and create, a focal point for not only the Battle Group, but also the BRF and FR Squadron. ActRAO Dept Day-out to Thorpe Park
ing as a link between Rear Party and each of the deployed elements, every soldier passed through the JOC’s doors at some point; usually en-route for a flight home or after some cash. The G1 Cell saw a protracted wind-down from March to May, giving ample opportunity for four different hand overs during the RIP. Over the summer, whilst much of the regiment enjoyed the post-tour lull, it was business as usual within the RAO; whilst there was plenty of opportunity to get most of the Detachment away on some form of sport or adventurous training, the post-tour G1 sweep up and transition from 11 Light Brigade to 1 Mechanized Brigade gave us plenty to chew on; and no sooner than these tasks had passed than the inspection season kicked in.
was the 1 Mechanized Brigade SPS Assault Course Day in November. Originally the tentative pipe dream of Sgt Cornforth (Regt Acct), the event rapidly evolved into a full blown Military Skills Day, covering Weapon Handling, Command Tasks, Camouflage and Concealment, a Tug of War and the original Assault Course. The task was handed in full to our Detachment to organise, and provided an excellent opportunity to focus and develop our own training programme. A post-competition social in the bar was naturally included. On the day, the team had their sights set on gold. Competition was high, and despite a lightening performance over the assault course that literally left the other teams trailing, we were robbed of the overall win we coveted; but we now have 12 months to prepare all over again.
Despite this, the highlight of our year WO2(SQMS) Draper, SSgt Brittain, Maj Bythell and Sgt Cornforth
Capt Bythell relaxes whilst LCpl Poku cooks supper
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 19
he start of the year saw over 50% of the department in Afghanistan completing a very busy but rewarding operational tour, which had started for some back in September. Our role in theatre was to support the forward troops with all the normal stores and a wide variety of other items that you wouldn’t normally expect. To achieve this, most days began early and finished late and always offered fresh challenges; many found themselves working way outside their comfort box and gained valuable experience. The end of the tour saw us handing over the HCR Battle Group Area of Responsibility to the American Marines, no mean task. This took months to organise and culminated in hundreds of airlifts of stores and three of the largest Combat Logistic Patrols ever seen in theatre being sent out. The in-load of American stores and the out-load of thousands of tons of our stores were not complete until after the majority of the Regiment had left theatre and only one day before this department left. The members of the department that deployed on Op HERRICK 11 were WO2 (RQMC) Brown, LCoH Holliday, LCpl’s Kemp and White, Tpr Puckett and the Quartermaster.
Those left to hold the fort in Combermere did so wonderfully; they are always the forgotten ones that never receive the true praise they deserve. CoH Young and LCoH Haith kept a watchful gaze over the long awaited refurbishment of one of the old accommodation blocks, which allowed those soldiers returning from Operations and new arrivals to the Regiment to live in similar modernised accommodation to those living in SLAM. The sheer amount of new clothing and equipment issued to those that deployed meant that LCoH Stables was busy with paperwork for months. I mentioned last year that we continue to plan for the demolition of two of the old living accommodation blocks, reestablishment of the parade ground and relaying of the main car park. I am sad to say we still await this work, but we live in hope.
successfully completing riding school and moved to HCMR. A fond farewell goes to LCoH Stables who moved to a post that will allow him more time to prepare for his transition to civilian life. The department welcomed SCpl Swinburne, CoH Johnson, LCoH Haith, LCpl’s Backhouse, Bremner and Tpr’s Gooding and Raj. Tpr Mapp joined us for a tailoring assessment between visits to Headley Court; his continued rapid rehabilitation continues to be nothing short of miraculous. I leave the post of Quartermaster at the end of the year having been truly tested but with a real sense of achievement. I thank all in the Department for their support and wish them all the best for the future under the new Quartermaster, Capt Pass.
The department said farewell and good luck in Civilian Street to SCpl Ian “Feisty” Fearnley. Congratulations went to CoH Bond on his promotion; he can now be found imparting his knowledge to potential recruits in Burton-onTrent. LCpl White was promoted after
The RAO and QM team in Helmand
LCpl Kemp dreaming of being The Greatest in the home-made gym LCoH Holliday catching up with his claims
Quartermaster (Equipment) by Major AR Tate LG
anuary started with the Department still split and working from two locations. In Camp Bastion we had the routine of providing daily life support by air (water, food and ammunition) to the Battle Group (BG) in Musa Qaleh (MSQ); at the same time helping Warrior Company handover to their replacements. While the Mentoring and
20 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Liaison (OMLT) team also exited from our area, leaving us to fly their vehicles out of MSQ by under-slingling them to helicopters. As news was released of the BG’s potential hand over to the US Marine Corps, we started to plan how we would withdraw the equipment to which we had
been adding since HCR first took over MSQ in 2007. After some serious staff work, it was estimated that we would require about 180 ISO containers and half as many vehicles to be moved over 70 kilometres! In Windsor, the home team received and issued equipment including vehicles D
Squadron would require for their build up training. The away team, having dealt with the drawdown of MSQ, were some of the last personnel of the BG to leave theatre. Returning home from operations is always bedlam; trying to recover equipment we were issued or loaned out, all of which was needed by other units to use “now”, or just trying to sharpen up our drill for the Squadron’s medal and homecoming parades. LCoH Lickfold receiving his OSM from Mr Hugh Robertson MP (ex LG)
SCpl “Grandad” Walker “caught napping”
SCpl Walker shone making sure everything was accounted for on our return. While we had been away LCoH Evans, in his usual enthusiasm, had made over the DFI store and added a BOWMAN radio cage. LCoH Lickfold, LCpl Nardini and Tpr Forrest provided support to the recruit firing camp at Castlemartin. LCpl Stones was left with the unenviable task of closing down the paint store. On the sporting front, most of the department tried to beat the QM(T) and RQ(T) W02 Anderton round the Brigade cross country circuit. They only tried, except Grandad Walker! LCpl
Wharton continued to improve his golf handicap but was unable to maintain it after hurting his finger playing football, which he is still being teased about. Cpl Maj Walker’s golf team came 2nd in the LONDIST golfing tournament. Tpr Forrest has continued to represent the Army in downhill mountain biking, which is not for the faint-hearted. The QM(T) Maj Tate was second in the InterServices Tae Kwon Do championships, his final opponent being 27 years his junior! Finally we have had some promotions, new faces posted in and some old ones posted out, CoH Pettipher springs to mind having moved on promotion to SQMC HQ Squadron as SCpl. He was quickly followed by LCpl Nardini on promotion to LCoH, leaving LCoH Ramsden as the new Tech CoH. Tpr O’Dell successfully completed riding school and is now a LCpl with HCMR. The RQ(T) moves on in Jan to BATUS as their RQ(T) and has not stopped smiling since he found out. We welcome LCpl Stones from MT, Tprs Forrest, Thoman and Dacey to the fold.
RQ(T) still smiling after ﬁnding out he is posted to BATUS!
Light Aid Detachment
s A Squadron left STANTA training area (Thetford, Norfolk) in the middle of last year, most of the Fitter Section could not have appreciated how important and relevant the Military Skills Training would become. Deploying initially south of Babaji, the Section found themselves under regular enemy fire with direct and indirect systems used on them. This often hindered recovery and repair tasks but the section held up well under the pressure and performed with professionalism and courage. After a short R & R respite over Christmas, the Squadron deployed to Musa Qaleh
on foot to fill the void created by the withdrawal of the Warrior Coy to another area of operations, with the Section deploying on patrols embedded within the Squadron. The next challenge for the Squadron was the Nad-E-Ali District as part of Op MOSHTARAK. This once again saw the section dealing with IED’d vehicles, repairs under fire and also having their Team Medic skills put to test in the most real of situations. The Section performed very well on tour in a less than forgiving environment and have utilised every military and trade skill they possess under the most austere conditions.
Joint QM’s Dept in Afghanistan
B Squadron Fitter Section’s pre-deployment training was a blur and it wasn’t long after deploying that the Squadron enjoyed its first taste of enemy action, and since the Section were part of the BRF there were many situations where they had to work under constant enemy fire for periods up to four hours. One particular incident, involved a Jackal rolling into a muddy ditch which broke both the right front and rear wheel stations. To make matters worse, it rained constantly to add to the irritation of 7.62mm rounds pinging around their ears. First, our Recovery mechanic L/ Sgt Hunt had to recover the vehicle back
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 21
onto level ground while coming under RPG fire. Next our two VMs got to work on moving the front left wheel station to the rear right so that they could front lift tow the vehicle. It took 16 hours altogether from when the Jackal rolled to when it was recovered back to Lashkar Gar. There were moments where the Section thought of ‘denying’ the vehicle (ie destroying it), but instead they persevered and managed to get it out in the end. At the tail end of the tour Cfn Stanbury managed to secure a seat on one of the last ops just to get a feel of what it was really like out on the ground. He experienced firsthand what it feels like to get winded by an AK47 round and after this encounter Stan “The Man” was not so forthcoming in volunteering his services! The Section worked very well together on tour and provided some excellent Equipment Support in difficult circumstances. The C Squadron Mastiff Fitter Section had to maintain high standards of work at a fast pace and with a high rate of repairs due to the demanding role placed on the Mastiffs as one of the main assets in theatre. This hardworking and well respected Section was in good hands, with a very experienced and confident SSgt Steward from 1RHA. His Section worked tirelessly to keep the vehicles on the road, often working in austere conditions. The Section was able to provide an excellent level of vehicle availability, despite the recovery mechanics, constantly feeding them with vehicles that were subjected to the harsh Afghan terrain or which had been IED’d. As the delivery of parts arrived, the Mastiffs were, in most cases, in roadworthy condition hours later. Most of the time it was IED damage, but the terrain played havoc with the vehicles’ leaf-springs and the Section always had a great time replacing them. They also helped identify some key faults with the equipment, offering technical suggestions up the
Members of the LAD enjoying Austria
chain-of-command to rectify them. At the time of going to press, D Squadron has just deployed on Op HERRICK 13 with 16 Air Assault Bde, based mainly in and around Main Operating Base Price. We wish them a successful and productive time. Upon completion of training, HQ Squadron Fitters split in two and deployed to Forward operating Base Edinburgh and Musa Qaleh District Centre (MSQ DC) on Op HERRICK 11. The HQ element was commanded by Capt James Biffen, the OC LAD, supported by WO2(AQMS) Carrahar who acted as BG ASM for the tour. Working out of MSQ DC, the fitter section enjoyed a variety of work from Light Gun to Panther. As with most current operations, the pace of life was rapid, and tradesmen were constantly deployed onto the ground carrying out repairs at all of the Patrol Bases in our area. FOB Edinburgh fitters had a more static time, but played an important part in keeping the A2 Echelon running to support the BG HQ and deployed Squadrons in MSQ. LAD Skiing As morning broke on a glorious and peaceful day in the Stubai Valley, a small convoy of hire vehicles trundled
into view. Life in this winter paradise would never be the same again. HCR LAD had arrived to take the slopes by storm. Soon after arrival the LAD settled into their accommodation with the group split between two self-catering apartments. After settling in it was time to sort out the kit, register and get on the slopes. With a varying range of abilities in the group the LAD found itself split into several smaller groups for tuition ranging from beginners to the more advanced both on skis and snowboards. As the week progressed, the various members of the LAD all started to improve their abilities and the culmination of this was at the end of the week when Sgt Danny Moseley came up with the fastest race time for the snowboarders. LSgt Williams and SSgt Rowatt also came top of their individual groups. All that remained prior to departure was a team meal and social evening in the compulsory “No Dad!” jumpers and associated accessories. On the whole, the week went extremely well and a short 800 mile minibus journey later and the group were back in work ready for the daily grind. B Sqn Fitter Section in their element
24B recovers the ﬁrst of 12 MASTIFF IED strikes in the lengthening shadows
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 23
Warrant Ofﬁcers’ and Non Commissioned Ofﬁcers’ Mess
The Gold Sticks
he Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess has been used extensively since the Regiment’s return from Op HERRICK 11. Each of the deployed Squadrons returned from Afghanistan at different times, so therefore had independent medal parades. The Mess proved as always to be a highly suitable setting for families and friends to celebrate the homecoming of their loved ones. One of the most significant events that has occurred since the Regiment’s return from operations has been the Household Cavalry’s Homecoming Parade. This really has marked the end of the Regiment’s latest tour and this significant for the fact is marked over the past year or so by the Mess commissioning a new item of silver to mark the operational service that the Household Cavalry has undertaken since the Union of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals in late 1992. This centrepiece will also serve as a time capsule as it contains a loose-leaf leather bound book that lists all Mess members that have served on the various operational tours in chronological order. The unveiling of the new centrepiece, commissioned through Mappin & Webb, was made in the presence of HRH The Princess Royal KG, KT, GCVO, QSO and General the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB, LVO, OBE. This really did make the occasion New Mess Centrepiece
Unveiling of the Mess Centrepiece with the Gold Sticks
special and it was an absolute pleasure to host both Gold Sticks at the same time. In July, prior to the deployment of D Squadron to Op HERRICK for the third time with 16 AA Bde, WO2 (SCM) Flynn CGC MC held a farewell banquet for all the Officers and NCOs within the Squadron. The guests of honour were Gen Sir Mike Jackson GCB CBE DSO and the author Andy McNab DCM MM. This was an amazing send off for the Squadron and all ranks await their safe and speedy return. As the Regiment returned from summer leave a surprise party was held in the Mess to celebrate the 80th birthday of In-Pensioner Robert Hoggarth, late of the Royal Horse Guards. The party was organised by Bob’s youngest son, SCpl Hoggarth LG. In attendance were a great many members of family and friends and the biggest surprise for Bob was the fact that his eldest son, Andrew, late Coldstream Guards, had flown back from South Africa especially, a closely guarded secret throughout the planning phase. Also present were ex and serving members from The Life Guards, The Blues and Royals, and the Coldstream, Scots and Irish Guards. A fabulous night was had by all, and Bob left the mess at 0530 hours, despite his protests and much to the relief of the Mess Caterer. As with the return from any operational tour key personalities can change very quickly and again the Mess has been utilised to good effect to dine out the following: Maj AD Macgillivray, who was B Squadron Ldr throughout Op HERRICK 11. WO2 (SCM) S K Fry MC from C Squadron SCM to HCMR as the new RQMC.
24 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Robert Hoggarth (formerly RHG) celebrates his 80th Birthday
WO2 (SCM) D Robson has moved internally from HQ Squadron SCM to C Squadron SCM. Other dining out luncheons have followed this year as other key personalities moved on to new posts. In addition to the dinings-out that have been previously mentioned, there is quite a backlog of 22-year ‘dine-out’ dinner nights. This has been due to the sheer tempo of Mission Specific Training (MST) and operational commitments. The Mess will make every effort to clear this backlog and ensure all Mess Members that have completed 22 years service have an outstanding function which befits the steadfastness they have shown to the Household Cavalry. The next 22 year dining out was held in July and said farewell to the following: Capt A D Gardner, the previous RCM and currently the UWO. Capt S McMullen, formerly the RQMC and currently the Squadron Log Officer for D Squadron’s deployment to Op HERRICK 13.
CoH and Mrs Woollaston cut some shapes at the Autumn Ball
WO1 K Fortune whose last serving post was RCM at the AFV Gunnery School Lulworth and now sits on the Long Service List as the 2IC of the Overseas Selection Team (OST). WO2 Foster who left the Regiment at the start of the year as the RQMC(T). The Mess diary has remained full for the remainder of 2010 and we took great pleasure catching up with old comrades on Remembrance Sunday when serving Mess members and Associations enjoyed a carvery lunch. On 27th November the Reading Lions Club held a Help for Heroes dinner night. This was an ideal opportunity to show the Mess in all its glory to those who would not normally
have the privilege of being entertained by the Household Cavalry. In addition, the evening raised money not only for HfH and Combat Stress but also the HCCCF. A total of £28,000 was raised by the end of the evening. As we count down to the Christmas period one of the final functions will be Brickhanging. It has been too many years since all five Squadrons have been in barracks and this year D Squadron will still be deployed. They will be sorely missed on the day and a message will be passed to the Squadron giving them our best wishes. We look forward to 2011 when it is hoped (but not guaranteed) that all Squadrons will be back in the UK and we can celebrate Brickhanging with the whole Regiment.
Mess Autumn Ball
The senior Mess Members are: WO1 (RCM) DJ Hitchings WO1 (ASM) Leader WO2 (RQMC) W Brown WO2 (RQMC(T)) A Anderton WO2 (AQMS) M Carrahar WO2 (RCWO) K Timney WO2 (SCM) M Newton WO2 (SCM) B Taylor WO2 (SCM) D Robson WO2 (SCM) M Flynn CGC MC WO2 (SCM) C Hockings WO2 (RSWO) P Stainsby WO2 (TWWO) S Jukes WO2 (RAWO) A Draper
The Band of The Blues and Royals
he Band of the Blues and Royals had little time to digest Christmas dinner before returning to Windsor, instruments at the ready, in preparation for an even busier year than the last. In January everyone was kitted-up and on their way to the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defence Centre in Winterbourne Gunner to take part in the Casualty Decontamination Course. With hours of Powerpoint lectures and plenty of practical exercises out in the snow, the Band learned how to assist medical staff in cutting casualties out of contaminated protective suits ready for treatment, how to detect chemical agents, as well as policing the ‘clean/dirty line’ which, during an exercise, proved rather difficult with SCpl Thomas knocking over many scared looking Musicians before finally being subdued! The exercise was a success and a reminder of our grim combat role, hopefully something we will never have to perform. The Band managed to fit-in a week of Adventure Training, skiing in Austria, before travelling to support British Forces in Germany. The tour included
WO2 (BCM) R Gough leading the band at Buckingham Palace
mess nights, visiting schools, holding workshops and concerts for children. One particular highlight was the Mayor of Paderborn’s charity ball; such was the feeling of support to our troops on operations and the recognition of the British Forces who have become such a major part of the local community, the performance raised 5000 Euros for Help for Heroes.
March took the Orchestra to St. James’s Palace where we played at the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award ceremony. This was followed by two weeks as duty band at the Royal Military School of Music at Kneller Hall, where we had the chance to help the senior Bandmasters’ class by performing their newly composed marches, as well as getting the chance to nurture trainee musicians.
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 25
The State Trumpeters with The Lord Mayor and Lord Mayor designate of The City of London
April featured a concert at Blenheim Palace for the 43rd Sir Winston Churchill Memorial Concert to raise money for several charities including Help for Heroes. This was a chance for the Band to stretch their musical muscles and perform in front of an audience which included the Duke of Marlborough, as well as the Principal Director of Music Lt Col Meldrum MBE. The Band gave a superb concert, including solo performances from LCpl May on the euphonium and SCpl Marsh playing the ‘hoofenspiel’. The hoofenspiel is an instrument unique to the Household Cavalry, comprising specially tuned horseshoes struck with small hammers. This was the first performance on its new stand and the premiere of the bespoke arrangement of Handel’s Harmonious Blacksmith. The Band was also joined by Lindsey Docherty who amazed the audience with her beautiful soprano voice. Musn Wilson joined Lindsey with her cello to perform Caccini’s ‘Ave Maria’. The Band of the Blues and Royals thrived on the pomp and circumstance of the Queen’s Birthday Parade. With Gold Coats and instruments glistening in London’s summer sunshine, the Band proudly led the procession to Horse Guards Parade. The musical standard of the Household Cavalry Massed Band gets higher with every passing year,
and this year was no exception, with both The Blues and Royals and The Life Guards giving flawless performances. In July the Band was invited to play at one of Garden parties at Buckingham Palace. The Blues and Royals Gold Stick, HRH The Princess Royal, hosted the event, inviting representatives from the many organisations and charities of which she is patron. One such group was the Scottish Fiddle Orchestra who teamed-up with the Band and performed some traditional Scottish reels and dances, much to Her Royal Highness’s pleasure. All Members of the Band take a great deal of pride in the Regiment and felt privileged to be part of the Freedom of Windsor Parade. The locals came out in force to cheer-on the boys and girls who returned from a successful tour in Afghanistan. August brought the Band a busy diary filled with Changing of Guard ceremonies, and even managing to fit in the opening ceremony of the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley stadium and an appearance at the Guards’ Polo Club. In September and October concert performances in Cheltenham and St Neots included stunning solos from
LCpl Louise Crofts dealing with a disgruntled and disorientated individual during one of the role play scenarios at Winterbourne Gunner
26 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
Major Tim Cooper, riding Watton, leading the massed bands of The Household Cavalry on his ﬁnal Queen’s Birthday Parade with SCpl Marsh riding Spartacus
LCpl Crofts on violin and CoH Bishop on trumpet. One of the newest members to the Band, Musn Laurie gave a fine rendition of Walt Disney’s ‘I wanna be like you’ on Bass Trombone. On top of the Band’s normal duties for the Remembrance services in November, the String Group flew to Saudi Arabia to play for a Poppy Appeal Dinner held by the British Embassy; only to fly straight back and mount their horses for the Lord Mayor’s Show a day later! 2010 has been full of high musical achievements and personal successes, with congratulations to Maj T Cooper, CsoH Groves, Forsyth, LCpls Wright, May, Crofts and Wootten on completing the Master of Arts (Performance) Degree in conjunction with Salford University. Also Musn Wilson and Musn Bramley on passing their TEQ2 trade exams. Special congratulations go to LCoH Roberts and his wife on the birth of their baby girl Eva and to CoH Kent and his wife on the birth of their son Charlie. Several members of the band picked up promotions this year: LCsoH Rowe and Bishop moved up to CoH, LCpl Roberts to LCoH and Musns Lockwood and Summerfield to LCpl.
The drum horse Celt ridden by Musn Ballantine on the occasion of The State Visit of the Emir of Qatar
here has this year gone? Yet another year has passed in the blink of an eye. This year once again has been both extremely busy and a huge success for HCR’s Catering Department. We began the year with HCR chefs in Afghanistan and we end the year once again with HCR chefs in Afghanistan; a large number of the Troop supported the Regiment on Op HERRICK 11 and we have two chefs currently supporting D Squadron on Op HERRICK 13. Whilst all of this was going on we still had the everyday running of Regimental life to maintain. The Department catered for some 1500 race-goers over two days at this years Oaks and Derby Days at Epsom, not to mention pulling off two large mess summer functions, each for around 350 party-goers. Once again members of the Department represented LONDIST at this year’s Combined Services Culinary Challenge at Sandown Park with good results. The Regiment began to return from Afghanistan in late March, with the chefs being the first arrivals. Off they went on their well earned POTL ensuring all were back in work raring to go for the forthcoming welcome home/ medal parades. The chefs worked tirelessly through the months of April and May, with Squadron medal parades coming almost every other week. The chefs who had been on operations were split to parade between the Squadrons to ensure they all received their medals, and stood side by side with the soldiers they had served so well. A proud moment for many who brought along family members to see all the pomp and ceremony that went with the event on the day. With the Squadrons away on POTL, this gave the Catering Department the ideal opportunity to get back into the swing of Regimental life and integrate all who had been away back into the fold.
The Regiment were back and boy, did we know it! Oaks and Derby Day at Epsom, once again was organised by Sgt Garraway. He’s a professional at this now having run the show for the past three years. However, it was to be his last as he is due to move on in September to pastures new. Once again, for both the Regiment and the Chefs, the event was a massive success; plus the weather wasn’t too bad either. From this we moved straight on to The Life Guards Association Dinner Night for some 350 serving and ex-serving soldiers. Sgt Rutledge ran this like clockwork; another success for the Catering Department! The only down side to this event is that it clashed with the first of England’s games in the World Cup to the disappointment of many of the event attendees. Life moved on and the day to day work routine continued with the Freedom of Windsor Parade on the horizon. As the Regiment stepped-off on that fine summer morning in early July, the chefs were hard at work behind the scenes providing buffet lunches for the soldiers and their families in the respective messes. Yet again another long hard day, but well worth it for the recognition the team got for producing high quality fayre. Life slowed down for a few weeks but, once again, the summer party scene was with us. Sgt Rutledge was tasked with organising the Officers’ Mess party. The theme had an around the world feel with Mexican, Asian, Caribbean, traditional British and a cold sea food and salad bar. Much planning and preparation goes into such an event and it was testament to Sgt Rutledge and the team that the event was deemed a great success. It was now time for some well earned rest as the Regiment and the team disappeared for leave. The team returned
The RCWO cannot wait for the Main Course
LCpl Lamtari checking canapes
refreshed and raring to go. The Combined Services Culinary Challenge was upon us and LONDIST were looking for high calibre competitors to represent the Army at this year’s event. The CSCC is a Tri-Service cooking competition held annually over four days at Sandown Park. It involves both teams and individuals competing in various cooking disciplines. The event is very high profile and is attended by high ranking military officers and civilian judges alike. The HCR entered three soldiers in the competition. LSgt Bethune entered Senior Chef of the Year, Pte Horn was entered in the Open Vegetarian Class and Pte Boast entered both Junior Work in Chocolate and Junior Pasta. The team enjoyed great success and walked away with a number of awards; a mark of their dedication to their trade. October was now with us and the nights were drawing in. The Warrant Officers’ & NCO’s Mess party was upon us. With the unique nature of the Mess, as all of LCpl rank and above are members and entitled to attend the function, I had to trawl the other London Units for Catering Support to provide the service requirement. Owing to the status of the
LCpl Peprah supervises the Main Course
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 27
event, there was no shortage of volunteers from across London. The event was a rip-roaring success for 350 happy party goers, many even commenting that it was the best food that they had seen and eaten in years. Whilst all of this was going on, we should not forget the chefs deployed with D Squadron. Three of the team were embedded into the Squadron for the entire Pre-Deployment Training (PDT), LSgt Skelton, LCpl Lamtari and Pte Bagudu. LCpl Lamtari always a favourite of D Squadron SCM due to his
infantry (RGR) background. Once more the chefs proved that they are ‘soldiers first’ and were more than capable of being part of a section on patrol. The chefs deployed early in September, less LCpl Lamtari who remains a replacement should the necessity arise, and we wish them well for the remainder of their tour. I write this at a time of change for the Royal Logistic Corps chef. We are continually proving our worth on operations continuing to provide the service expected by those that we serve. Com-
manders are seeing the real value of their military chefs and are even embedding them into their infantry sections on operations. l will be the last Regimental Catering Warrant Officer to serve with the Household Cavalry due to the post reverting to a SSgt. I can honestly say that hand on heart I have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Regiment. For me I will miss their family ethos and traditions that go back over hundreds of years - it has been an honour and a pleasure to have held a position in such a Regiment.
Regimental Aid Post
ast year’s hope that the remainder of the tour for the RAP would be quiet, unsurprisingly went unfulfilled for the remainder of Op HERRICK 11. The garages and tents that made up the facility in Musa Qaleh received a fairly steady stream of casualties, including a couple of mass casualty situations that even saw the cookhouse tent utilised, with the Regiment’s team medics using their skills on locals injured in suicide bombings. The most heartening event of the tour came when two young girls, who suffered devastating injuries in an explosion right at the beginning of the tour and were resuscitated in the RAP, returned from Kandahar after successful treatment, full of shy smiles, and accompanied by their very happy and appreciative father. One of the busiest times occurred up on Panda Ridge. The Estimate regarding potential casualties, requiring the presence of the Regimental Surgeon, proved correct. Accurate enemy fire onto the ridge line produced six casualties, including the Combat Camera Team commander (who had the luck to have his subsequent treatment caught on film), and Lieutenant A Lin, whose mere flesh wound was cobbled together by the Surg Col and subsequently returned to the fight. Tpr Land, nominally there to assist the Regimental Surgeon, played his part by helping out with the stag list, being a trained gunner and crewman. The Force was clearly strong in him, as he successfully engaged an enemy The RMO curled up on the sofa with a good book
28 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
target, during what was meant to be an uneventful night stag. Another episode of note was the extraction of casualties from Shah Kariz as the insurgents entered the town. Again, the Estimate proved correct: all hands were required to deal with the dead and injured, with eight casualties being loaded onto a single Medevac mission, minor injuries being patched up at the scene, and others evacuated by road back to the DC by Mastiff. Since return, the Medical Centre has seen the usual flux in personalities coming and going. LSgt Donovan has departed to don her nurse’s outfit, after successfully getting through the stiff selection for her Nursing Degree. LSgt Brown (nee Durham) was married off and has departed to Germany. LSgt Clayton, LSgt Hopkins and LCpl Githaiga have all joined the Regt to take their places. The A Squadron Medics, LCoH Robinson and Tpr Dominey returned from tour and have been expanding their minds with career enhancing courses. Additionally, LCpls White-Doyle and Pedro Medevac from Musa Qaleh
BG(NW) Med posse
McCann both completed their RCMT 2 courses without falling prey to the demons that inhabit the Defence Medical Services Training Centre. They both deployed, as soon as they had completed their courses, with D Squadron. Tpr Land has been dreaming of long side burns and open-toed sandals, preparing for his new life as a student. Capt N Chatham-Zvelebil has taken over as the Assistant Surgeon, although spent a good part of the year deployed on not one, but two Ex ASKARI THUNDERs in Kenya. Perhaps we are on safer ground if we hoped for a quieter and more settled year to come. Surg Lt Col Lewin and Tpr Land treat casualties
HCR Features ADC to Commander Field Army
by Captain BWE Campbell RHG/D
he fact that 3 Troop, C Squadron’s reaction when they heard that I was going to be ADC to General WhiteSpunner was largely ‘well that’s not going to work Sir; you can’t even organise your own admin let alone a General’s as well’ did not bode well. However, I have now amazingly survived six months in the job, despite my daily fusion of Capt Darling, Private Pike and Frank Spencer and will take this opportunity to explain what an extraordinary opportunity it has been for a junior Captain to be given a front row ticket to the SDSR boxing match over a tumultuous summer in HQ Land Forces.
chains fly around with such speed that if you are out the office for more than 30 minutes you will have missed vast amounts. At times the tempo feels like the trading floor of a bank in the City.
It has been a learning curve and a half, at times almost beyond the vertical. I arrived in the job in June just off HERRICK, and I don’t think I blinked for about two months. Hitherto, the Army for me had consisted of the 12 members of 3 Troop who I was privileged to command in Musa Qaleh; at a push it extended to the 80 strong Squadron. Either way, to suddenly telescope outwards to an organisation 100,000 strong was a real eye opener. Added to this, the tempo required of one in such an HQ is an ask. A typical day will begin at 0645, with lunch very much ‘al desko’, and on the job until 1930. With HQ LF having moved from a rather dilapidated but quite charming Le Corbusier construct in Wilton into an all-singing, all-dancing open plan furnace of industry and energy in Andover, the pace of work is frenetic. Phone calls and email
What has been the best thing in many ways about the role is the General’s role itself which is, I think, the most exciting remit of all 3-star Generals. As CFA he is responsible for every soldier in the Army that can go on operations, is on operations, or has come back from operations. This means that every aspect of the job is relevant to the ongoing fight in Helmand, and that every unit or exercise we visit is focussed very sharply on operations. It does also mean that you pick up a great deal from the visits, and have a great chance to see how the Army as a whole does its business. It has been surprising to see just how homogenous an organisation the Army is, despite what we, at a regimental level think are insurmountable differences. No matter what name we have for Cornets/ Second Lieutenants, what name we
Allied to the day to day office life comes a great aspect of the job. As ADC to Comd Field Army (CFA) you are essentially his ‘gatekeeper’, and no one can see him without coming through you. Allied to this is that you are his email filter as well, with the result that you are exposed to a dizzying array of sensitive high level issues on an hourly basis that make for a fascinating education.
call the Regimental Corporal/Sergeant Major, what mottoes, badges or letters are on our buttons or berets, the British Army at this moment is astoundingly unified, with the single and ruthless aim of success on operations. I don’t know exactly, but I think this must have an awful lot to do with the truly mixed nature of Company Groups on Herrick, with a varied blend of Infanteers, FR soldiers, Loggies, Sappers, Medics, Signals wallahs, and Int Corps types living, eating and patrolling together day in day out. Obviously my performance has not been without its fair share of cock ups, howlers and panic. Crashing my car on the first day was a particular lowlight, but overall I have been kept afloat by the triple pillars of support that are Lt Col Jason Hones RE, the General’s MA, Kathy, his PA, and LCoH Elliott LG, the General’s driver. Without their patience and skill I truly would have been foundering. Luckily they all seem to buy into the charitable theory that ‘there is no such thing as a stupid question’, of which I have asked a great many. ADC-ing is a tremendous opportunity and education for a recent troop leader, and I would encourage all my fellow Captains to think about doing it. I have learnt an immeasurable amount, in direct proportion to the amount of hair that I have lost while doing it. No, really; I am now almost like Pierluigi Collina.
by Lieutenant B F Woolf LG
assingbourn Barracks has been home to a number of elements of the Armed Forces both British and American. During the Second World War the Barracks were used as a base for the US Eighth Air Force, from which the Memphis Belle bomber was a part of. It continued as an Air Force base until the early 1970s when it became a Phase 1 Training establishment for the Queen’s Division. It has continued in this guise ever since, however, now instead of training infantry soldiers it trains REME, Royal Engineers and Household Cavalry/Royal Armoured Corps soldiers. Officers of the Household Cavalry have been passing on their extensive knowledge to Phase 1 Recruits for a number of years; however the posting to the Army Training Regiment Bassingbourn is a relatively new post with the author be-
The author explaining to Andrew Robathan MP how Phase 1 works during Kitchener Company’s Pass Off Parade
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 29
ing its third incumbent. Returning from Op HERRICK 11 and being informed of the posting to Bassingbourn was not the author’s first choice and as such was met with some resistance, however, the experience of Phase 1 Training has been particularly enlightening. The course is based on a 14 week programme which aims to train civilians to become trained soldiers. It has proven to be more than challenging with a number of individuals than first thought. That being said the system most definitely works and, having completed one complete intake, can say that the 32 Soldiers under Training (SuTs) who passed out are more than ready for the rigours of Phase 2 Training and beyond. The 12th of November 2010 was a day of great pride for the recently trained soldiers as they were able to show off their newly found smartness as well as some surprisingly good drill. There was a fantastic feel good factor felt by the entire training team seeing the members of
Ypres Platoon pass out and this was heighten still by the thanks and praise of their friends and family. Owing to the Army being almost fully manned and the pending reduction in the overall size of the Army, numbers joining the Household Cavalry have been relatively few and far between in the past year. This is steadily changing and on November 12th 2010 seven new Troopers left Bassingbourn to begin Phase 2 Training firstly at Bovington and then at the Riding School in Windsor. This is encouraging and whilst there was no favouritism shown to these individuals they were all definitely in the top third of the course and will, no doubt, add a lot of value to the Regiment in the future. My time spent at Bassingbourn has been frustrating at times due to changing direction from the Initial Training Group. The main area of frustration surrounds the standard expected of SuTs physi-
cal robustness when they leave Phase 1 Training. Whilst the reasoning behind these expectations have been explained in great depth, it would seem in the current operational tempo all soldiers need to be at the peak of their physical condition. This being said, the course serves the SuTs well in allowing them to progress whilst also giving them the time to adapt to Army life. Being posted to Bassingbourn has been a surprising stimulating experience and one that has only served to better my knowledge of the Army. The trained soldiers being produced from Phase 1 Training may not have been treated like the old and bold as my training team like to remind me, however they have been prepped sufficiently to continue onto Phase 2 Training in the best possible condition. This is ultimately our aim as the 14 week programme is not long enough to teach them everything and as such careful co-ordination between the different training establishments is vital.
Ex Grim Warrior
by Captain MF Gris LG
n October 2010 the Household Cavalry were offered the opportunity to provide additional troops to the Platoon Commander’s division of the Infantry Battle School for their final exercise, Grim Warrior in Belize. In today’s climate of tightened belts and making-do the training opportunity was too good to be passed up. So on a misty October morning a bemused Infantry Battle School found itself confronted with 18 ORs and two officers made up of men from B and C Squadron, despite only asking for eight soldiers in total. Following a pleasant flight on Air France (operating between London and Belize?) we touched down into Belize City. Following a few days acclimatization and kit issue, as well as a number of briefs on how poisonous and aggressive just about everything in the jungle is, we deployed to Guacamelo Bridge. Guacamelo Bridge is one of the prime areas for jungle training, used primarily by the International Jungle Warfare Advisors Course to hone basic survival skills in the ‘J’, as they call it. Over the course of a week this is what we would be doing, under the watchful eyes of Arun and ‘M & M’, our indigenous teachers. First on the agenda was the erection of hammocks, mosquito nets and ponchos, a deceptively easy sounding task for those used to creating hides for armoured vehicles. Some (including the author) would pay dearly for this overconfidence. Location is still key; on UK training areas one worries of find-
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ing an area with enough trees to set up a poncho but few enough roots that the shell scrap is easy to dig. In the jungle trees are not the problem, but finding some that have not already been claimed by some of the local fauna, no matter how small is a different question. To my cost I thought I could share a tree with some innocuous looking back ants. As it goes they were not keen on sharing and I was not keen on spending the rest of the week with what felt like violent prickly heat. Another aspect over looked by LCpl Green was poncho coverage. The smallest piece of hammock exposed to the one of the jungle’s downpours would negate the poncho completely. Murphy’s Jungle law dictates that the victim will only discover this in the dead of night and only after his sleeping bag is completely sodden. LCpl Green did however provide valuable morale to the troops in what was a bleak night. These lessons were yet to be learned, when we finished that task on the first day and turned to the question of feeding ourselves. Arun produced a sizable and blissfully ignorant bush pig, which began snuffling around in the undergrowth in front of the hungry troops. The next 15 minutes were an eye opening introduction to field butchery, complete with blood curdling screams and scarlet blood stains on the jungle floor. Some slightly white faced troops then tried their hand on some chickens. Tpr Mcwhirter displaying with disturbing ease how a chicken might be parted
from its head. Tpr Rowlands having more difficulty, leaving his chicken more choked and with a slight migraine than anything else. However, once the cooking had been completed we were treated to some of the best pork and chicken that several had ever tasted. With full bellies and the mosquitoes in hot pursuit, the troops retired from the ‘admin’ clearing back into the jungle. What followed was 20 minutes of a valuable lesson: that by nightfall you should be in your hammock, not returning to it. There was nothing tactical about the noise of 23 men attempting to simultaneously change out of wet kit into their dry kit, get into their hammocks under their mosquito nets, whilst fending off any unwanted visitors attracted by the light from their head torches. The last issue providing the most mirth as Tpr Brookes’ bellow, that signalled a headon collision with a ‘Chinook’ sized moth. Sleep in the jungle is plentiful but broken, as there is no movement or sentries at night, but one has to contend with the noise and the difficultly of adjustment within the hammock. The morning brought the joys of wet/ dry drills. This involved the exchange of the warm and relatively clean clothes which one has been sleeping in, for the cold fetid clothes which one spends the day in. So began the pattern that would continue for the rest of the course. During the week we where taught a range of techniques to turn the jungle from hostile environment into supermarket,
providing all one could need to survive day to day. By the end one thing was evident, the jungle is the best place to hone ones personal administration skills; skills which some argue are being lost in the current operational climate of FOB life. It forces troops to concentrate on the basics such as foot care because the penalty is not a few days of discomfort but potentially casualty evacuation. Survival course completed, we recovered back into camp to reset for three days adventurous training - snorkelling on St.George’s Quay, a small island gem rented by the Army for sixty years. At Shark Ray Alley we were confronted with nurse sharks, manta rays, turtles and a massive variety of sea life making the journey well worth it. Our presence now required on exercise we returned back to camp to reset for two weeks exercise in the dense brush land to the south of Belize, just north of the jungle which we had been in. The initial request was that we provide some specialist recce elements such as snipers and javelin operators to bolster the platoons, however our numbers enabled us to split into two ten man recce sections providing a stand alone unit available for tasking from the young platoon commanders. The first two tasks were to establish routes into enemy camps, one in the jungle and another larger one in the brush land and then lead the initial assaulting sections into position for the company attacks. These initial tasking were testing from a command and con-
trol perspective as radio communication was often limited and casualty evacuation was difficult at the best of times. Following the successful prosecution of these targets, the two sections then slotted into a two phase rotation. The first phase was a less kinetic counter insurgency operation based out of a ‘FOB’ in the semi-abandoned village of Augustine. The second was a very kinetic operation working out of a remote patrol base. For a purely recce point of view, the exercise worked well, a semi-‘free play’ enemy meant that reports provided by the sections were poured over by the platoon commanders, trying to gain some insight into enemy intentions. This ensured that attention to detail and absorption of information on patrol were at the forefront of troopers’ minds throughout the exercise. This is something which can be lacking if scripted ‘information’ is provided to initiate the serials of the exercise. Moreover the semi autonomous enemy provided a realistic ‘fog of war’ to the exercise with leadership and personal drills and skills being well tested by surprise serials such as meeting engagements or, in one chaotic moment, a night time ambush of friendly forces moving into an ambush themselves. The environment continued to play a part in testing all, with a couple of near misses with the seasonal hurricanes. These provided rain in the quantity and intensity that even the worst of Salisbury plain could not equal. Tpr Garcia in particular was sorely tested when before his eyes his lovingly crafted shell scrap was transformed around him into a paddling pool (suitable for ages 6-8). The exercise took its course
culminating in a large village clearance. Once this was completed the exercise moved into the live fire phase on ‘Baldy Brecon’, Belize’s dedicated live fire training area, described as Sennybridge on steroids, a fairly accurate description with steep hillside and thick gorse. For this phase the Household Calvary provided a half section to act as the lead-in for the platoon attacks, with the rest recovering to camp to de-kit. With all phases completed, the Infantry Battle School, 2 YORKS, who had provided the bulk of the additional troops and the Household Cavalry were give 24 hours of R & R. This was spent by the HCR and 2 YORKS on the blissful Caribbean island of Quay Caulker. With a number of troops succumbing to the local tipple - Lizard juice, a green concoction served in a fish bowl. The exercise was a rewarding experience for all involved. At the most basic military level it was a good opportunity to test soldiering skills in a harsh environment. It helped provide a good platform to test the junior NCO’s leadership as well as the basic reconnaissance skills of all. From a wider perspective the exposure to infantry training can only be a good thing and the junior platoon commanders benefited from the introduction to Formation Reconnaissance and how it does the job and the assets we bring to bear. One can only hope that this is the beginning of a productive relationship between the Infantry Battle School and the Household Cavalry.
November in Patagonia
by Captain MJV Nicoll LG
arlier this year the Ministry of Defence was asked to provide a reconnaissance officer to instruct on the Chilean Army’s 2010 Exploration Leaders’ course in Punta Arenas, Chile, from the 2-26 November 2010. Thankfully my Commanding Officer decided that he could spare his Adjutant for this arduous task.
Boat drill rehearsals, Marine training base Punta Arenas
The concept of ‘exploration’ (reconnaissance) has always existed in the Chilean Army. Its application has not always reflected more conventional doctrine and tactics as used by either the German (undoubtedly their strongest influence to date), British or United States Armies. With Bolivia, Peru and Argentina still posing a credible threat to their national security, the Chilean Army has realised the advantages that conventional reconnaissance could bring to protect their 2,700 mile long border.
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The Chilean army is keen to upgrade its reconnaissance facilities, but have yet to establish a reconnaissance regiment. Their current thirst for all things ‘recce’ is impressive and filters down from their Doctrine Division in Santiago to their Military Academy. It is also important to note that apart from the recent peace support operations in Bosnia and Haiti, the Chilean Army has not been engaged in operational conflict since 1879. To help with this task the Chilean Army requested that a British Army Officer attend this year’s course in order to view their training from a different perspective and give them some advice on current operations, tactics and doctrine. Interestingly, the task of implementing reconnaissance into the Chilean Army was given to their Intelligence Corps based in Santiago. This unit was initially formed by General Pinochet in the early seventies to monitor and to resolve internal political friction. Understandably they still command a fairly “chilly” reputation today! Sitting just above the Antarctic, at 53 degrees south, Punta Arenas marks the “end of the world” in Latin America. Unlike the pleasant summer climate of Santiago, the climate here in Patagonia is extremely variable at this time of the year. At the end of October, following three flights, I finally arrived in Punta Arenas where I was met by Capitan Augusto Espina (head instructor for the course). From the airport I was put in the back of an ancient Toyota Land Cruiser and driven 80 km north, deep into their training area in Chorillos. A few years ago he had been given the task of establishing from scratch a suitable reconnaissance leader’s course. He had previously completed the United States Army’s Scout Leaders course before developing the Chilean Armies own version. Now, he had the additional responsibility of looking after a Household Cavalry Officer with rather limited ‘Spanglish’ for a month. The camp consisted of four Nissan huts
on the wind swept prairies of Patagonia and would be our base for the next three weeks. The vast training area in Chorillos was similar in many ways to BATUS in Canada and pushes right up to the border with Argentina. There are still some extensive mine fields and several fortified positions acting as an everyday reminder of the ‘relationship’ the two countries still have with each other. During the first three weeks, the 21 officers on the course were trained in surface, sub-surface, day/ Torres del Paine National Park in southern Chilean Patagonia night standing observation posts, various patrol skills, recce organisations, doctrine, tactics and and SERE (survival escape resistance resources. They very much see the Britand evasion). This part of the course ish Army as the example to follow and was based around a substantial core were genuinely grateful that we supprogramme of physical training. This ported them in this training. I hugely coupled with the extreme and often enjoyed my time with the Chilean Army peculiar weather conditions (Antarcand I cannot speak more highly of their tic winds frequently gusting up to 50 professionalism, dedication and huknots) in the summer certainly made mour. life on exercise in Patagonia no picnic! In the fourth week a week long final Finally, as I’m sure that all of the subconfirmation exercise was held. The alterns in the Regiment will be glad students were inserted by the Chilean to hear; my time in Patagonia was not Navy along the coast of the Straits of entirely spent on exercise. Having Magellan from Punta Arenas to Santa completed the course I was fortunate Maria, 120 km away. From Santa Maria enough to spend a few days trekking in they moved north deep into the training Torres del Paine, one of Latin Americas area where they conducted various remost beautiful national parks and also, connaissance missions before returning following advice from the Defence Atto Punta Arenas for their course gradutaché in Santiago, able to “visit Sotito’s ation ceremony. Restaurant (Punta Arenas) to enjoy Centolla Crab with fresh mayonnaise and Throughout my time in Chile, I was regood chilled Sauvignon Blanc - more peatedly asked about the British Army’s than once!
by Captain MJV Nicoll LG
amilies, friends and the public turned out in enormous numbers to welcome the Household Cavalry Regiment back to Windsor on our return from Afghanistan. Each Squadron had marked its own return with a Medals Parade, but these were in-house events and deliberately more intimate. Once the last stragglers had returned, and some post-operational tour leave
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enjoyed, it was time to announce the Regiment’s return in style. This, of course, meant a great deal of drill practice, and the Squadron Corporals Major were soon hoarse - drill had long since disappeared to the backs of minds during the long cycles of predeployment training and the tour itself. However, through the hard work of the
instructors, ably (and noisily) lead by the RCM and RQMC, soon re-awakened long-suppressed memories and movements became sharp. Hard-worn desert combats were pressed flat, and dusty boots were spotlessly cleaned. The event involved a great deal of planning, as the majority of Windsor town centre had to be closed both for
the day and for a rehearsal, but the Thames Valley Police, the Guildhall and numerous other agencies worked enormously hard to support the event. Indeed, the Regiment was rapidly inundated with offers of support from local and charitable groups, and was threatening to become enormous. Royalty, politicians and senior officers all became involved, and there was such goodwill that the bass-drummer attracted no complaints for a fullthroated early morning rehearsal through the streets! The day itself was blessed with perfect weather, enjoyed as much by those on parade as by the crowd. The Mounted Regiment provided eight mounted dutymen to make an impressive vanguard, and to highlight the closeness between the ceremonial and operational side of the Regiment. With The Band of the Blues and Royals in the centre,
Headquarters, A, B and C Squadrons marched out of Combermere Barracks with Scimitar vehicles bringing up the rear. B Squadron paraded as the Brigade Reconnaissance force, and so had a multiplicity of capbadges around an HCR core. From the moment of departure the Regiment was greeted with enthusiastic applause, and by the time the High Street was reached, it was difficult to hear words of command. As can be seen in the photographs, there was a sea of Union Flags as the Regiment approached the Guildhall. There the salute was taken by Colonel RHG/D, the Princess Royal, accompanied by Colonel LG, Lord Guthrie. Numerous other dignitaries attended, including the Home Secretary, Teresa May MP. Having processed through the streets, the Regiment was then followed by
much of the crowd into the Great Park. Watched over by Windsor Castle, the Regiment formed a square on the Long Walk for a Drum Head Service. During this service, Colonel RHG/D presented Elizabeth Cross medals and scrolls to the families of those who have lost their lives. The Nicoll, Tweedie, Woodgate and Babakobau families were all present during an immensely dignified service. The day was an enormous success, and shows the widespread public support for both the Regiment and the wider Armed Forces. At a time when security concerns mean that the Army finds it increasingly difficult to connect with the public, which becomes used to seeing Household Cavalrymen only in their ceremonial guise, it was important to demonstrate the Regiment’s highly active operational role.
by Captain AS Lin, RHG/D
ne of the final acts of the Household Cavalry Battle Group on Op HERRICK 11 was to strike into enemy held territory and take ground from them, a stark change from the focus of the Tour which had been to stabilise and pacify ground already held. A ring of bases shared with the Afghan National Army and Police had been created over the preceding six months with the effect of surrounding the Musa Qaleh area and restricting enemy movement. But there was one problematic village still holding out against ISAF to the north of Musa Qaleh, whose proximity to the northern bases had caused numerous ISAF casualties and fatalities in previous months. It was decided that Karimanda would have to be seized for the area to be truly declared stable. Intelligence reports suggested a large enemy presence in the village, of both fighters and ammunition reserves. Set against a backdrop of a large civilian community hundreds of soldiers would be needed for a secure investment of the village, and the Brigade did not have sufficient resources to bolster the Battlegroup at a point when Op HERRICK 11 was beginning to close and assets were needed to bring men home. So it was that a two-step plan was initiated; the Battlegroup would seize a piece of high-ground overlooking Karmanda from which it could harass and observe the enemy, and then the United States Marine Corps would follow up by seizing the village itself upon their assimilation of Musa Qaleh into their area of operations.
The first phase, seizing the high ground, was named Op MA BRUS 8 and its aim was to establish a permanent presence on some ground called Panda Ridge. The name of the ridge resulted from a lack of formal naming being possible due to the constant changing in plans as brigade’s ability to help changed, and so it being referred to colloquially after the Troop Leader who would take charge of its seizure. On the morning of the 7th March seventy-six men in sixteen vehicles, including the Commanding Officer and Battlegroup tac, set out from Musa Qaleh DC for the operation. 1 Troop, C Squadron assumed command of the diverse packet of capabilities which included an electronic warfare team, a military camera team, Brimstone (the IED-detection group), engineers with diggers and tractors, a 105mm light gun artillery piece, an armoured ambulance containing the SurgeonColonel and numerous armoured vehicles. A useful number of ANA were also in tow in their own vehicles. The grouping snaked up a series of Wadis such that it remained out of sight to the village of Karimanda. Upon reaching the general area whence ground might be found to suitably dominate Karimanda the Troop Leader and Commanding Officer, with a minimal escort set off up onto the high ground on foot to recce the best location for the build. This was achieved within a few hours, and by 1000 that morning the operation was truly under way. First of all a sniper and GPMG pairs were sent up to flanking positions from where they could forewarn friendly
Panda Ridge SCpl Gibson LCoH Nicol and CoH Harrison
forces of any developments in the village itself, and return fire in the event of a contact. Once they were in place and communications established Apache helicopters which had been waiting in the wings, hovering a few miles away to maintain surprise, were put up to deter an attack. The linking of the sniper’s eye to the destructive power of an Apache would prove lifesaving later in the day. Next a huge working area was established down in the wadi. This was large enough to include an emergency helicopter landing zone in case any casualties were sustained, room to set up the ambulance and medical facilities, clear ground for a protective cordon provided by the armoured vehicles, and crucially space for the engineers to start building a living and working space for those who would be staying around for the next few days. This was all done under the watch and direction of the Troop Corporal of Horse, who was doing the job of a Corporal of Horse but scaled up to a Battlegroup level. Credit must be given to his flawless administration of a huge logistical exercise with numerous working parts,
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 33
which continued without interruption despite being shot at, bombarded and becoming the scene for a casualty evacuation. Meanwhile Brimstone were clearing a path up to the ridge, and the ridge itself. Both were covered in IEDs, making for slow progress as each one had to be destroyed in place for lack of space. At 1400 we crested the ridge proper - an unexciting 30m length of ground. As soon as there was space a Scimitar was put there to provide extra fire support in the event of any attack. As soon as it had applied the parking brake, the attack began. A number of PKM positions from Karimanda opened fire on the sniper and GPMG gunners protecting the flanks. They were able to return fire for long enough to guide the Scimitar onto the targets, before crawling back out of harm’s way as the intensity of incoming fire increased. As soon as the Scimitar engaged the PKMs, an AGS-17 opened fire on the ridge. The dismounts were immediately withdrawn as the bombardment became quite intense, and we suffered casualties to the electronic warfare team, the camera team, some of the Brimstone team and the Troop Leader. Efficient and cool-headed teamwork by the Surgeon-Colonel and Troop Corporal of Horse meant that casualties were processed, treated and where
appropriate evacuated by helicopter without disruption to the build of the living area. Meanwhile up on the ridge the Troop Leader, Commanding Officer, Scimitar and sniper were organising a response to the enemy. Small arms targets were dealt with one-by-one by the ground callsigns, while an Apache was guided in to destroy the AGS-17. A hundred metres to the south the ANA had occupied their own fire-support position along the ridgeline, from where they were firing RPG’s and suppressing the south of the village. As last light began to fall around 1900 the ANA withdrew, with a number of prisoners whom they had picked up during the day. The enemy had fallen silent after our robust response and building continued apace, now up on the ridge itself. The main effort of the operation was now to establish a protected area on the ridge which would allow a Mastiff, Scimitar and the 105mm light gun to remain indefinitely, observing and weakening the enemy. This involved a chain of diggers, tractors and dismounted engineers working in the dark and on a very steep hillside to put up defences, all the while under a serious threat of attack. Late at night the 105mm light gun was connected to a vehicle and towed up the
perilous track to the ridge, where it was embedded on a purpose-built gravel pile to allow for its use in the direct-fire role. The Troop Leader conducted a walk-around and inspection of the ridge and living area down below, and at 2359 declared on the radio that Panda Ridge had been established. The majority of the soldiers returned to Musa Qaleh, leaving only 1 Troop and the crew from the 105mm light gun, along with the armoured ambulance behind. With the withdrawing troops safely away the sniper and GPMG groups finally came down from their positions, fifteen hours after deploying. We were lucky to have no serious casualties after concentrating so many men in such a small area, so close to an enemy stronghold. But that was also partly thanks to the hard work of numerous individuals that day, and their tenacious attitude to their tasks after more than six months in Theatre. The next few days would see more fighting and activity at Panda Ridge, but now always with ISAF controlling the tempo of the battle. After the 105mm light gun destroyed an enemy position firing RPGs at the ridge, enemy combatants started to leave the area in droves. A few weeks later Panda Ridge was handed over to the USMC, and a few days later they assaulted and seized Karimanda, which is now a peaceful and developing part of Afghanistan. 1 Tp C Sqn on Panda Ridge
Hooah!* and Hunting: Life in Kansas at the US Army’s Staff College by Major P J Williams MC RHD/G “How does the idea of US Army Staff College grab you?” “It grabs me!” “Great, I’ll put your name forward.” So went the conversation between the Adjutant in Windsor and me at the far
34 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
end of a crackling telephone line in Lashkar Gah in the early months of 2008. The smallest glimpse of escape from a Brigade Headquarters was great for morale and a few weeks later the good news had arrived; I had been selected to attend the US Army’s Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Each year two
British Students attend the Staff College. The first year is known as Intermediate Level Education or ILE and is broadly equivalent to the British Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land), ICSC(L). It is compulsory for all US Army Majors to attend Staff College at Leavenworth or choose a satellite campus or complete an online studies
programme. My year consisted of just over a thousand students, including 76 international students from 72 different countries. I had known for some time that Kansas was approximately in the middle of the United States, in reality there is no approximately about it, Kansas is right in the middle of the continental landmass. On one side, runs the mighty Missouri River and the remainder of the State is made up of a vast and seemingly endless series of cornfields and farm houses that stretch into Colorado and to the foothills of the Rockies. Fort Leavenworth was founded as a defensive location to protect trade along the Missouri and the starting point for the expansion westwards and the Oregon Trail from local warring Native Indians in 1827. Today, Fort Leavenworth is also home the Combined Arms Center, a three star command that encompasses much of the US Army’s training and education functions. Leavenworth itself is more famous for its Federal Penitentiary which, until comparatively recently, was a maximum security prison housing many of Alcatraz’s convicts after its closure. Amazingly, there are another six prisons in the local area, including the Military’s only maximum security prison, a woman’s jail, a county jail and so the list continues. My first year offered a fascinating insight to US Army planning and perhaps more importantly into the American Army Officer. I soon realised that, despite an almost shared language, our intrinsically linked histories and the Special Relationship we were very different in our view of the world and how we approach problems. As Brits, and dare I say Europeans, we are comfortable looking outside of our own nation’s borders for trade, travel and foreign influence in the arts or culture. Americans, on the other hand, tend to look inwards and it’s quite understandable for such a large, powerful, wealthy and relatively
young nation to do so. In terms of problem solving, where we tend to be hamstrung by resources, many of my contemporaries were constrained by often their unwieldy planning processes. The end result of my first year of study was that I had developed a good understanding of US Army Doctrine, taken on a little of their history and perhaps most importantly had begun to understand the differences between us. My second year was called the Advance Military Studies Program and was based at the US Army School for Advanced Military Studies, more popularly known as SAMS and its graduates are inevitably referred to as Samsters! The course is selective in that you have to choose to take it and you have to sit a series of exams and interviews before being accepted. The course is aimed at the upper percentile of US Army Majors and their equivalents in the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard and governmental department’s employees who are likely to progress onward to key planning positions and senior command. Through a series of punishing academic modules and concentrating on a geographic region, we would aim to understand, describe and solve complex problems. Of course, living in the States for two years was not all hard work. We were living 30 minutes away from Kansas City which was great fun, the rest of America was on your doorstep and all you had to do was drive. Locally, my wife and I got involved in the Fort Leavenworth Hunt, the only military hunt remaining in the United States. Having spent most of my short military career actively avoiding all things equestrian I signed up for riding lessons and within weeks was galloping around in the hunt field and, for the most part, remaining in the saddle. It was a strange sight to see riders gathering on a frosty morning in pink and black coats, to the sound of hounds and horns amongst a sea of huge pickup trucks and Midwestern
Majors Williams and Lewis enjoy a Brokeback Mountain moment
Refusal at the water jump
accented chatter. For all my enthusiasm I never did see a single fox or coyote, but had a lot of fun charging about with only the bravado that can be induced from the generous and enthusiastic handing around of hip flasks of Jim Beam, Wild Turkey and Southern Comfort. I have been hugely privileged to have spent two years in the States, both learning and socialising and, while I now understand our differences, there are many more similarities that will continually draw our two countries together. I have two lasting impressions of the country, firstly, the genuine kindness of the people, and secondly, the extraordinary tightness of my Mess Kit immediately prior to my return home. * Hooah! Was one of the greatest mysteries of my time in the States. Amazingly versatile in nature it can be used as, and is certainly not limited to: Heard, Understood and Acknowledged (the original acronym from which the word is derived); Roger; Outstanding, as in, “that’s Hooah!”; I have neither heard nor understood what you said but will pretend that I have and will act with a great deal of enthusiasm. Bi Crazy Hunt
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Down town MSQ
LAD scrap heap challenge MSQ
BGQMs visit to the Dog Section Bastion Tpr Puckett playing the dummy
Images From Afghanistan
LCoH Cowen and LCpl Clark
A Sqn CoH Moffat
36 â– Household Cavalry Regiment
Tpr Mapp Command Group
Lt B Campbell over watching MSQ
Capt Jelinek and LCpl Takacs
LCpl McGeachy Tpr Wincott Tpr Wilcox and Tpr Murphy
LSgt Wallace RLC
Maj Butah on the main effort
X marks the spot
C Sqn Tpr Booth
Household Cavalry Regiment â– 37
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword
By Lieutenant Colonel C A Lockhart, MBE, The Blues and Royals Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
he focus, quite rightly, for the latter part of 2009 was to ensure that HCR deployed on Op HERRICK with the correct manpower. This inevitably required some sacrifices and gaps to be held at Knightsbridge until HCR’s return from operations. The focus since then has been on the necessary rebalancing. In doing so, a number of purely NCO khaki rides have been and continue to be undertaken by a raft of soldiers who have taken the plunge (or in some cases were pushed!) to come to HCMR. This continues to reinforce the line that (less for noticeable exceptions such as the Permanent Cadre at HCMR) a Household Cavalryman needs to be able and willing to undertake both roles. That said, I never cease to be amazed at the positive approach, sheer determination and, in some cases, the ability to bounce of all those who undertake riding school: most of whom have never sat on a horse before. This, along with the fact that the vast majority join to be FR soldiers first and foremost, is one of the main lines that I continue to take on any occasion where it is worth mentioning, and I urge all to take the same opportunity when presented. In terms of the diary, from the very outset of the year, with the early indications being for a State Opening of Parliament in May, it was clear that the Summer ceremonial season was going to be a challenge. It was this assumption that really drove the programme from then on. Having returned from the leave period, the remainder of January and early February gave us time to run the necessary internal career courses such as Potential NCO and B2 Mounted Duty and load as many other courses as possible which are required under RAC Employment Structure (RACES). Given that the first State Visit of the year for the President of South Africa was also fairly early, it allowed more training time in late March and April. The major change to this year was the absence of a Major General’s formal inspection in Hyde Park. This was due to the heated programme in May and June which saw both the State Opening of Parliament and the Queen’s Birthday Parade (QBP). Given the rehearsals for both and the plethora of other tasks, there were insufficient days to undertake everything. Following the completion of duties at the Garter Service, the programme turned to mandatory
individual training (MATTs) and preparation for Regimental Training. The increasing use of Bodney Camp for operational training by the Operational Training and Advisory Group (OPTAG) has meant that securing confirmed dates for annual Camp has become more of a challenge. Flexibility remains key and with two changes to the date it meant that there were going to be some losers. This year it was the Regimental Open Day which had to be cancelled due to a clash with the Wayland Show. Even after some fairly lengthy negotiations with the organisers, it was felt that this was the only option to secure future support in the wider area. This was a huge shame for all concerned but hopefully it will be business as usual in 2011. After summer leave the regiment turned its attention to more courses and preparing for the Autumn State Visit, held in Windsor, for The Emir of Qatar. With two bands on parade, a ‘double Standard’, two teams undertaking QLG in London and other additional tasks, this parade is one of the largest we do. As such, it was a real challenge to furnish a Staircase Party (SCP) at the House of Lords some three hours after the Escort. A majority of the SCP therefore found themselves dismounting from the Escort to board a coach and be taken straight to Westminster. During the year the Musical Ride has been kept busy, no less so with the British Military Tournament and performing at Olympia in December. This was swiftly followed by a performance in Oman on New Years Day and at the end of January performing in Zurich. So as I wrote these notes, during what can be thought of as being a quiet period, I was not surprised to hear from the Adjutant that we had run out of available manpower to fill our commitment to the Festival of Remembrance. This was as a result of the constant call for manpower on a daily basis for tasks and events that have not usually been the remit of HCMR. As hinted at in the last journal, the move of Household Cavalry Phase 2 training from the Household Cavalry Training Wing (Windsor) to the RAC Training Regiment in Bovington has
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now taken place. This was a huge step forward and, whilst the driver was to resolve compliance issues, it will hugely benefit those joining as they will now arrive with a driving license and have completed their basic signals training, whereas in the past we have always found it very awkward to carry out this training for all. Looking to the future, there will no doubt be many challenges ahead including any follow on work from the Strategic Review, manning restrictions and falling recruiting targets. 2012 will inevitably be a particular hot spot with the increased demand on HCMR whilst trying to support HCR at the same time in their preparations for their next tour to Afghanistan: and of course supporting those events which have not yet been thought about! But from what I have seen during my two and a half years in command, I have every confidence that the Regiment will rise to these challenges with the professionalism and dedication that epitomises everything we do. In conclusion, it has been a real pleasure and privilege to be given the opportunity to command the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and I could not have asked for more from those with whom I have had the pleasure to serve.
Diary of Events
he year opened for the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment with ‘streetscape’; not some new age dance act but a newfangled pedestrian planning works outside Horse Guards. The spending of public money was a feature of 2010 that will obviously not be so evident in 2011 and so the troopers and cavalry blacks of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment will be able to continue their traditional and uninterrupted vigil on Whitehall this year. In January, the Regimental Careers Management Officer, Capt J Pass RHG/D led a very successful visit of the ‘Investors In People’ (IIP) institution. It was a privilege for all present to show-off the unique management responsibilities required at the Mounted Regiment and it was clear that their time at Hyde Park Barracks had left an indelible mark on their outlook and perhaps challenged some of their pre-conceptions about the capacity of such young men to deliver such high standards so consistently. The daily commitment of Queen’s Life Guard was complimented by a number of visits in January, including those of the Civil Service Riding Club, National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS), The Abu Dhabi Police Band, Colonel Tanner from the US Marine Corps for an increasingly less than ‘unique’ behind the scenes tour of the Regiment! The Household Cavalry remains an iconic and attractive identity that draws many varied fans and supporters all of whom are managed with extraordinary verve and élan by every member of the Mounted Regiment often operating at an unbelievable frequency. The Regiment did not just look within in early 2010 thanks to the indomitable sprit of LCpl GJ ‘Pinky’ Brown who volunteered to take leave and, as part of a civilian emergency response team, found himself delivering support to the rescue effort in Haiti. This formidable personal commitment was commendable when viewed in isolation: but, extraordinarily, also in 2010 he made himself available to help with the flood relief in Pakistan and deployed there too. The volunteer medic on holiday
The inspection season continued in February with the Annual Assessment of the Unit (AAU) by London District, The Commanding Officer inspected ceremonial uniform for the coming season and Sevastopol Kit Ride passed out. There were also some keen inspections of a wonderful collection of classic cars on the 3rd February with the launch of The St Moritz Tobogganing Club Classic Car Rally from Hyde Park Barracks to The Cresta Run. Inspections are followed by action and the Regiment prepared for the State Visit of the President of South Africa. It was a successful escort on a beautifully crisp March day and the soldiers were disappointed to see he was accompanied by only one wife. After a successful visit, WO2 (SCM) BW Davidson LG and WO2 (SCM) K McNamara RHG/D donned MRO and were invited to The Goring Hotel centenary party where they ‘swung the lantern’ and charmed Baroness Thatcher and other VIP guests March can, in a busy year and did, herald the start of preparation for the summer ceremonial season. The Richmond Cup was, as ever, wonderfully competitive and full of intrigue. There was no hiding from an inspection party that included WO1 (GSM) WDG Mott OBE, WO1 (RCM) SB Taylor LG and WO1 W Mahoney RHA. The standard was superb and the scoring system put the decisions beyond discussion. March also saw the establishment of a charger training programme to allow more elasticity for the Summer requirements with a likely State Opening of Parliament in May. The Riding Master ruled that Geronimo had too brown a snout to be considered much to the chagrin of Capt CEB Dale LG who had been grooming that horse for great things. The Riding Master also liaised with The Kings Royal Hussars in anticipation of a form of mounted duty at their standards parade in early summer. The Mounted Regiment continued to support the Royal Marines at their annual Mountbatten Concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and there was also time for some good reeling parties. HQ Sqn Ldr Maj M Kitching MBE LG was less concerned with Scottish dancing and more focussed on the creation of a very detailed business continuity plan - the security plan has never been so refined. The casualty notification and visiting officer plot remained an ever present sombre responsibility to a number of the Regiment during 2010 and was carried out to the highest standard expected and, of course, necessary at such traumatic times. Our soldiers are frequently asked to work
The St Moritz Tobogganing Club Classic Car Rally
at events for the benefit of military fundraising and the speed at which the hands of volunteers shoot up when asked is a very sound reminder about the sense of family and identity which prevails in our Armed Forces. The Regiment is often lucky to share the stage with high profile people and hence the Officers Mess car park might also be known as ‘The General’s Respite’. Beware the Orderly Officer who pops down to his car and meets more than he expects. These high profile visits are not exclusively military. The Riding Staff enjoyed a visit from the event rider Oliver Townend, a famous equestrian who once again congratulated the soldiers for their unique ability riding in such a cumbersome uniform. Capt WE Goodhew LG was deployed from Melton with powerpoint to Kingston High School for a brief to the sixth form on what it means to have ridden on parade and served in Helmand within the same calendar year. The Hunt race was also a tremendous success this year with a good amount of local riders and a spirited performance by Lt F Hopkinson from HCR on a less than favoured mount. Whilst The Officers engaged the 6ft hedges at Twyford, the senior members of the WOs and NCOs Mess attended The Mayor of Windsor’s Ball at Ascot race course with HRH The Duke of Edinburgh presiding. The Capt Olver walking the course
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 39
RCM and his members were looked after extremely well and solicited a donation for the Operational Casualties Fund. The Regiment was also delighted to support the Battle-back initiative at Sandhurst which involved injured soldiers engaging with horses and learning to ride. Churchill’s adage that ‘the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man’ is a mantra recognised by the organisers. April was very much the calm before the storm but it was characterised by a volcano. 1st April was the first day of Summer Guard Order and the Regiment went on Easter leave warm with anticipation for an unusual summer season A possible spring General Election meant a May State Opening of Parliament was a likely reality that required a certain degree of contingency planning around an already busy period. Everyone looked forward to a good rest but the need for a short break was ruined by a most unusual act of God. The eruption of ‘E15’ in Iceland meant the Adjutant was marooned in the US, Capts Hanbury Bateman and Dale nearly joined the Royal Navy Flotilla in Spain and CoH Royston achieved the record of six weeks away from the Regiment in Bangkok. A surprisingly well watered Captain EP Olver LG returned from ‘The Big Easy’ galvanised by this unusual interruption and extra focussed on the varied affairs of an adjutant. The Show Jumping season started with the Aldershot Show and various Regimental Drills in full kit in Hyde Park were planned in preparation for the State Opening. Cavalry Sunday was particularly poignant this May as the Regiment delighted in seeing the return of A, B and C Squadrons from Afghanistan and we remembered our most recently fallen comrades. Captain R Gordon Dean LG organised a particularly open lunch and drinks affair: and the Regimental Medi-
A most decorated Musician
cal Officer, Major Will Wall LG had his Household Division tie confiscated by his previous employers at The Light Dragoons. The Royal Windsor Horse Show was once again a great success and the Musical Ride hosted some interested parties from Oman in anticipation of another international invitation in 2010. May witnessed the election of the first coalition government in a generation and it is suspected that many enjoyed the reassuring stability of ceremony that our Divisions delivered on a very well executed State Opening parade. June is when Hyde Park Barracks comes into full flower. The successions of reviews that culminate in HM The Queen’s Birthday Parade were tackled with predictable unity and high standards. Maj P Core LG performed as a last minute substitute, and doubtless was the most decorated Musician in the history of The Life Guards Band. The annual Officers’ Birthday Parade photograph was this year complimented by the unveiling of the new ensemble Officers’ Mess portrait by The Princess Royal and General The Lord Guthrie, commissioned in 2008 and painted by Louise Pragnell. President Sarkozy also gifted The Commanding Officer a rare opportunity to don his kit. Lt Col Crispin Lockhart MBE RHG/D commanded a Division that counter balanced a complement of Garde Republic-
The artist, Louise Pragnell, with Colonel RHGD and the Commanding Ofﬁcer
aine as President Sarkozy and our new Prime Minister celebrated the anniversary of the speech Gen de Gaulle gave to launch the Free French, delivered in London in1940. The spirit of the blitz was in evidence at the Motcomb Street party where some committed fundraising in uniform and the nomination of the Household Cavalry Operational Casualty Fund as the benefitting charity enabled a substantial sum to be raised for our injured. The Garter Service closed a successful and unusual summer season with customary excitement surrounding the ‘blue-light’ trip from Knightsbridge to Combermere Barracks courtesy of the Metropolitan Special Escort Group (SEG). A decompression period in London followed the season, begun with a frustrating loss to HCR on the cricket pitch. In barracks there was some very interactive and engaging Equality and Diversity training which was extremely well received, and a visit from our sister ship HMS Westminster. The Band of The Life Guards wrapped up their final mounted commitment with an escort to the London 10 kilometre run and all could look forward to the relief of Norfolk. The constant competition for space in Norfolk with the Brigades undertaking predeployment operational training was once again negotiated to guarantee a glorious three weeks of competition and sport for horses and men. It is possible to see the tangible change in our horses when they arrive in Norfolk. Knightsbridge does gift one an extraordinary panoply of colour and imagery but there is arguably no greater sight than the cavalry blacks when they first taste fresh air and feel warm sun after the rigours of the incarcerated life they lead at Hyde Park Barracks. ‘Summer Camp’ was successful and much fun was had by all. Capt JW Mann RHG/D won virtually everything, pocketed a small fortune in prizes, and still didn’t really smile. (For the record he grinned for an entire week when hosting the officers at Glenkingless in September. He is doubtless happiest when on the hill.) In July, Captain C Sayer our unit Welfare Officer also initiated a most wonderful echo of Household Cavalry heritage when he proposed a salute to celebrate 250 years since the Battle of Warburg. The Marquis of Granby was invited to salute without headdress, recognising the tradition of The Blues forged by his forbear so long ago. What made this occasion especially magical was the fact that the current Marquis is the 11 year old Charles Manners. The Kings Troop RHA once again manned Horse Guards for a period to allow the Regiment to take regimental block leave. During late Summer a
40 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The Marquis of Granby salutes the Guard
The doctor in Rome, and heaven
small and elite group made a once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Rome. The RMO described the visit to The Lancieri di Montebello in Rome and the subsequent Show-jumping competition as like dying and going to heaven. Sunny weather, spectacular facilities, spell binding beauty of the eternal city, scintillating company of female military riders and sensitive horses all conspired to make this week-end truly unmatchable.
of Rio Tinto. September has certainly been a period of flux with Capt S Lukas RHG/D and Capt J Hulme RHG/D replacing Capt T E Burne RHG/D and Capt M E Fry RHG/D in The Blues and Royals Sqn who have been lost to Cazenove and the bar respectively. Capt J W Mann has stepped up after Capt J Core returned to Windsor, and the changeover was also seen at Regimental level with Capt J Pass passing over to Career Management to the unmissable Capt B ‘Tiny’ Rogers LG and the QM Capt Douglas LG to the currently calm and collected Captain NM Stewart LG. In this context, the Regiment was under considerable pressure to produce a Windsor Escort to match the impeccable standards of 2009. It was difficult, but
An early return in September saw a great number of new personalities in key positions. Maj N van Cutsem LG inherited a well oiled machine from the interim facilitator Maj T Mundawarrarra LG who now is providing the same service to the African mining concerns
the reassuringly strong commands of an equally inexperienced Field Officer led to The Emir of Qatar being none the wiser to the considerable challenges of mounting a parade with a virtually universally new team. The pressure was further compounded by the need to deliver a Staircase Party at the House of Lords on the same day as the Escort. We were once again reliant on our SEG friends, and the soldiers handled the move from mount to minibus with great humour. ‘Fashion for The Brave’- The charity fundraiser at The Dorchester Hotel for ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Help for Heroes and the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund was a fitting way to celebrate the delivery of a good parade and staircase party. Although the real joy and arguably the most exciting event of 2010 for the lads came the next day when Major N Twumasi Ankrah RHG/D, renowned for his morale boosting skills was able, quite extraordinarily, to deliver the squad of The San Francisco 49’ers for the boys amusement! 2010 has been recognised as the 350th anniversary of The Life Guards, and The Blues and Royals are to celebrate their 350th in 2011. It has proved to be another wonderfully rewarding and varied year at Hyde Park Barracks. Lt Col CA Lockhart MBE relinquishes command at the end of this year, the same command his father held some 30 years ago and the Regiment looks forward to the arrival of Lt Col D E Hughes and his stewardship at the start of the next 350 years.
Receiving The Emir of Qatar
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 41
The Life Guards Squadron
s 2009, The Life Guards have remained strong in numbers, with a good number of new Troopers coming in from the numerous Kit Rides throughout the year. As a result, Squadron Headquarters has worked hard to try and get as many soldiers as possible away on courses as often as possible. This in itself has been a challenge, as there are always so many factors pulling on the manpower resources of the Squadron, and it has required a juggling act to keep everyone happy. However, we are now beginning to see light in the pre HCR training and posting bill, with recruits now coming to us from Bovington with a driving licence, which has been the key thing to get them before they can even begin to start pre HCR training. Ceremonially, it has, as always, been a busy year; the early part of the year was dominated by the early General Election and State Opening of Parliament (SoP). This was also the final act for the Squadron Leader, Maj Tari Mundawarara, before his hand over to Maj Nick van Cutsem, who is now in the chair. Conveniently this was just after the SoP and just in time for the Queen’s Birthday Parade and Summer Regimental Training at Bodney … so not the most stressful of periods to launch himself into … however, what comes around, goes around. The SoP, needless to say, went immaculately, so it was a truly fitting note for Maj Mundawarara to end on. Outside of the Ceremonial Season, Return swords
The LG Squadron Beach Ride
the Squadron was also busy getting involved in several other events, notably The Shackerstone Ride, which raised a substantial amount for Help For Heroes. This ride is organised annually by the Munday family, whose son James was tragically killed on HERRICK 8, whilst serving with D Squadron HCR as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade. We also had several soldiers competing in various events, such as the Military Tournament at Melton Mobray, where Tpr Thacker won the Futures Cup and CoH Radford CGC was delighted to win a studding kit as runner up (something he has always wanted!). The other key competition (some would argue the one that matters most above and beyond all else) was the Richmond Cup, which was, for the third year running swiped from the scrabbling hands of our brothers in the RHG/D Squadron….Well done Tpr Pritchard. By dint of this incredible feat, Tpr Pritchard earned his place at Spruce Meadows, where he also had the almost impossible, and some might even suggest dangerous, task of looking after his Tp Ldr, Capt Gordon Dean, who definitely needed someone to keep him on the straight and narrow whilst out there performing his duties. After the rigours of the Ceremonial Season, the three weeks at Bodney were a fantastic relief, especially in light of the extra Parade being thrown into the equation, namely the SoP. The first week at Bodney focused on ceremonial carriage drills, which seem to get better and better every year in terms of what we get out of it, and what we contribute to it. Well done the younger soldiers who were new to the show who performed excellently. Then the Squadron really began to get into the swing of Regimental Training. There were some solid equine performances by several
members of the Squadron, but alas the RHG/D Squadron unleashed their secret weapon, Daisy, which seemed to foil several LG efforts at getting a trophy … many an attempt was made to ‘nobble’ Daisy. Indeed, there was even talk that LG Squadron Ldr had offered a reward to anyone who could do so, but alas it was not to be. However, praise should go to LCoH Rose for winning the Squadron show jumping and Tpr Alison who really matured as a rider during regimental training. The highlight though was almost definitely the Squadron Beach Ride, where we had a good number of horses to enjoy the day. There was also a sizeable number of comely ‘civvy’ beach goers admiring the show too, and therefore also quite a show of swaggering and posing going on, including the grand finale photo shoot, as shown, which was quite a spectacle. We were also visited that day by the Gold Stick, who thoroughly enjoyed the whole performance, but would not be persuaded to stand on Corinthian’s back. One item of note, Capt ‘Chip’ Dale, the Squadron’s much loved Second-in Command, had to go to A&E again; this time he and Connery, his adored Steed, did not even make it out of the practise ring before the Grand Prix, with a serious tumble taking place in the warmup. Both rider and horse went head over heels. When the next day Capt Dale casually mentioned (whilst holding his traditional whisky and Marlboro in each paw) to the Doctor that he still had pins and needles all the way up his arm and was this normal, alarm bells rang … however Capt Dale gallantly insisted on first eating his lunch before allowing himself to be transported to A&E. His
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Capt EC Howland Jackson and 2 Troop after skydiving in Norfolk
previous knowledge of this potentially ghastly experience allowed him to ensure he went properly prepared with a full lunch inside him. If not for his posting to Afghanistan and then Windsor, there would be a book running to see if he could make it three years on the trot. The ceremonial Season for the Squadron culminated with a huge Escort in Windsor for the Emir of Qatar’s State Visit. This was a Double Band, Double Standard, State Escort, so every man and his horse was to be on it, and was
L-R: Capt RJ Gordon-Dean, Maj NPG van Cutsem, Gold Stick, Capt EC Howland-Jackson at Summer Camp
the Squadron Ldr’s first Parade at the helm. Once over, then the focus shifted to more Grass time for the horses where possible, Winter Training Troop, and the Musical Ride, who were to tour abroad again, this time to Oman. Sadly we have said goodbye to Maj Tari Mundawarara, Capt ‘Chip’ Dale, Capt Will Goodhew, and WO2 Davidson. The former has now left us for ‘Civvy Street’, where we wish him the best of success, and the latter two officers have deployed to Afghanistan, where we all wish them a very safe and successful
tour. WO2 Davidson has hung up his spurs after 22 glorious years, culminating with this posting here. Again, our best wishes to him for his new life. The Squadron has warmly welcomed several new faces, Maj N van Cutsem and WO2 B Gibson, the new Squadron Corporal Major, both fresh in from HCR and Op HERRICK 11, as is Capt A Wallis; and last but not least 2Lt Archie Horne, which brings the Squadron back up to a full complement.
Capt WAG Goodhew ... nice tan
The Blues and Royals Squadron
t was early December 2009 when I officially took command of The Blues and Royals Squadron after a comprehensive month-long handover from Maj Tom Archer-Burton, before he departed for the challenges of American Staff College. I had conveniently arrived from my previous posting at BATUS just in time for the early morning rehearsals for the State Opening of Parliament. My flights landed at Brize Norton at 2200hrs and I was at the Stables for 0200hrs. I was greeted with the words “Welcome back Sir, treat yourself!” With the direction from the outgoing Squadron Ldr, coupled with the enigmatic drive and determination of the one-man-army that is SCM McNamara the standard had been set and I knew I would have to work tirelessly to equal this success. I inherited a Squadron in its prime, riding
high from the success of a demanding ceremonial season. After a well earned Christmas leave period after which all 117 members returned to the safety of Forward Operating Base (FOB) Knightsbridge, unblemished by the temptations and pitfalls of the festive season we set to work in preparation for receiving the horses from grass. Under the watchful eye of LCoH Heyes a crack team was sent to recover the Squadron’s horses. This task was once described to me as “trying to herd cats” but undeterred by this, armed only with head collars and feed tins with ‘Cavalry Mix’ the Squadron 1st XV took on this unenviable task. As they clambered into the fields of Melton the Cavalry Blacks soon realised their impending fate, kicking and side-step-
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ping their captors through the muddy rain swept fields of Leicester in their last bids for freedom. The workload of those initial weeks following the return of the horses was particularly demanding as all 123 horses were nurtured and pampered to the standard required; this enabled the Tps and Sn to sail through the respective inspections culminating with the Comd Offr’s horse inspection. This brief period would be portentous of the oncoming season, it started in a blind rush, sped up and then continued flat out. The South African State Visit was the first major event of the Squadron year; we were honoured to take the lead as primary standard and welcomed the arrival of Jacob Zuma and his entourage.
“The heart and lungs of the Sqn” L-R: C’soH McWhirter, Harris, Crighton and Game. SCM McNamara, SCpl Ireland, C’soH Park and Hartshorn
The key positions were in the following order: Blue Leader as Field Officer, the SCM as Standard Bearer and SCpl Ireland as Standard Cover with LCpl Green as Trumpeter, Capt T Burne as Carriage Officer, Capt M Fry as 3 Div Comd with CoH Hartshorn and Capt P Hanbury-Bateman as 4 Div Commander with CoH Game. The Escort went without hiccough reflecting all the hard work everyone had put in from start to finish and not forgetting the stoic efforts of those on Escort Guards. Riding on the success of the State Visit a chosen few found themselves preparing to compete for the coveted Richmond Cup title; Box-Men, young pretenders and those who thought they were “Clean” threw their hats in the ring. Fuelled with ruthless determination, cans of ‘Relentless’ beverage refreshment said to have magical properties, twice the strength of Red Bull and able to turn night into day! Unsurprisingly, all six Squadron entries made it to the finals at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, supported by dedicated Pit-Teams, who applied final touches with just the slightest aroma of apples. (Confusingly, the Best Turned Out Trooper prize is known in barracks as the Richmond Cup, because in years gone by the horse transport company Richmond gave a prize. But the cup awarded at the Wind-
sor Horse Show is The Princess Elizabeth Cup). This brought us to a well earned Easter Leave period which was a welcome respite before the impending silly season kicked-in, this time with the added complication of the General Election and a pending State Opening of Parliament. The Life Guards took centre stage with the Red Standard and the Squadron was tasked with providing two divisions commanded by Capt M Fry with CoH Harris and Capt P Hanbury-Bateman with CoH Crighton and the Queens Life Guard turned out to lower their Standard for Her Majesty as she passed through Horse Guards. The addition of the State Opening meant there was no Major General’s Review in its traditional format, although an inspection took place that proved the Regiment was ready to deploy on ceremonial operations. The next minor hurdle was providing a Marching Party for the Cavalry Memorial Parade, this fell at the feet of Capt J Mann fresh from Kit Ride, assisted by CoH Game who is the self-appointed Squadron Drill Ninja, the parade was conducted in a manor that would have made any Foot Guard Drill Sgt green with envy. Despite being fully engaged with the trials and tribulations of silly
“Life before FAD” Capt’s Hanbury-Bateman, Mann. Blue Leader, Capt’s Hulme and Lucas
season it was still business as usual and the Tprs continued to attend CVRT, CAT B and VHF Operators courses qualifying them to make the transition from state ceremonial to armed soldiering and quenching the manning demands of the HCR. These courses also coincided with the Royal Windsor Horse Show in which the six Blue and Royal Tprs were presented before Her Majesty in the finals of The Princess Elizabeth Cup. Sadly, even with overwhelming numbers of Blue and Royals in the final the Squadron narrowly missed out on first place, but all who took part should be congratulated for the months of hard work invested to achieve this success. In a similar vein, my thanks also go out to all those who tirelessly turned out the Bands as part of their practice rides and Beating Retreat. The Birthday Parade is the pinnacle of the ceremonial calendar and the Squadron’s main focus outside the QLG commitments. As usual the Squadron overcame the various hurdles produced by Tp and Squadron Drills before being placed under the gaze of the Comd Offr and then the scrutiny of the Major General’s Review, Colonel’s Review and finally the expert eye of Her Majesty. The Squadron’s Standard was on Parade this year so there was the added pressure to produce a faultless performance
“Blue Army!” The Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron during the Windsor Escort
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“Community Engagement” The lovely ladies of San Francisco 49ers cheerleading squad showing their appreciation for the Blues and Royals Mounted Squadron
by all concerned. Being the Field Officer I sought advice from previous runners and the Garrison Sergeant Major London District who gave advice in aplomb, he recommended that I obtained a DVD of the previous year’s parade which I watched religiously for four weeks twice a day with words of command at the ready. To make sure there would be no glitches on the day I took Empress, my Charger, on a day trip to Pirbright in order to rehearse with the Foot Guards. This trip proved invaluable for all other rehearsals and the parades themselves. The Major General’s Review went well and the Colonel’s Review which was taken by His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh was practically faultless. The day of reckoning arrived and after the Key Appointments Ride, the men of the Squadron went about putting the final touches to horses and equipment. After a brief address to the Regiment in a final attempt to rally my dogs of war on the parade square, the Colonel conducted his inspection and we set off. The Squadron performed incredibly well, the Standard Party consisted of SCM McNamara, SCpl Ireland and Trumpet Major, Capt Fry was Serrefile Capt, No 1 Division was commanded by Capt P Hanbury-Bateman with CoH Game and Capt J Mann with CoH Mc Whirter in No 2 Division. The transition from the successful QBP to the Garter Service was seamless, aided by a day at Queen’s Cup for the Squadron’s Officers at Guards Polo Club. After a constructive EMR the Squadron found itself back at Windsor Castle minus horses lining the approach to St George’s Chapel. Thankfully the rains held back for a few hours as the Squadron basked in the limited light of a typical English summer, before returning to the warmth of the coaches that took us back to HCMR. By this stage we could have been easily forgiven for thinking that the silly season
“Equine” The Comd Offr awarding prizes for the Junior Ranks Handy Hunter to LCpls Faulkner and Rafﬂe during Regimental Training
had ended, but we still managed to fit in a Division’s worth of mounted troops for the French President at the Royal Hospital which was commanded by the Comd Offr and the SCM in his habitual role of Standard Bearer, this was completed in conjunction with mandatory individual training (MATTs) and the preparation for Regimental Training. In early July the Squadron was the second packet to deploy to Regimental Training at Bodney; it was the perfect tonic for a demanding ceremonial season as the Squadron displayed its competitive nature both on and off horses; Capt J Mann (Cross Country and Grand Prix), Capt P Hanbury-Bateman (Cross Country and Show Jumping), SCM McNamara (Cross Country), CoH Crighton (Cross Country) and Tprs Joyce, Bishop, Robins (inter Squadron) were just a few names within the Squadron who walked away with prizes. Whilst the Squadron enjoyed the sights and sounds of East Anglia the dedicated team on Escort Guards led by CoH Horton endured the hardship of QLG whilst maintaining the highest standards day-on day-off. Before we knew it we were back at work after a refreshing summer leave. An advance party led by CoH Hartshorn had returned a week beforehand to prepare for the return of QLG horses from Grass. Those selected for Winter Trainers also deployed to Melton to prepare for the season, the Squadron’s contingent being headed by LCpl Whitehead. It was not long before we were preparing for the Qatari State Visit to Windsor; the Squadron was quickly deployed to Combermere Barracks where it set up home in the gymnasium which was lovingly renamed Camp X-Ray for obvious reasons. After a few eventful watering orders the Squadron executed another textbook Escort, this was also Capts Hulme and Lukas first Escort in which they commanded No 1 and 2 Divs. The Escort was incredibly challenging due
46 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
to its location and dynamics but the men were up to it. The day of the Escort was to be our longest as two staircase parties were also detailed in addition to the two mounted divisions, one for the morning’s activities and another for the afternoon. The Squadron then raced back to London to fulfil our commitment to Fashion for the Brave; a charity event raising money for the Casualties Fund that evening in the Dorchester Hotel. Mounted Dutymen and a dismounted contingent were also tasked that evening in what was a monumental effort by the Squadron. Our efforts were rewarded by a brief visit by “Gold Rush” who were the Cheerleaders for the San Francisco 49ers American football team; unsurprisingly these talented ‘modelesque’ ladies aged between 18 and 30 armed with Pom-Poms were very easy on the eye. The ceremonial year came to a close with the Squadron picking up the Cenotaph Remembrance parade which was commanded by Capt J Hulme with CoH McGuire and two smaller contingents at QLG and also at Sloane Square. The highlight of the Squadron social Calendar was the now famous lunch which was on epic scale, hosted by SCM McNamara and organised by CoH Game. The event was attended by nearly a hundred people, all the Squadron Offrs, NCOs, Civilian Grooms, Support Riders, elements of the Civil Service Riding Club, and past members of the Squadron from as far a field as Lulworth; much fun was had, this year’s centrepiece was an ice sculpture of a 105 Eagle which looked incredibly smart. Many characters were pivotal to the success of the Squadron over the last year and the Squadron sadly said goodbye to Maj P Core (who had acted as 2IC), Capts T Burne and M Fry, SCpl McWhirter, Park and Crighton and CoH Douglass, we also saw some
exceptional JNCOs and Troopers make the transition to HCR. The Squadron has also had the pleasure of welcoming Capts J Mann, J Hulme and S Lukas, CoH Hartshorn, Queen, Horton and McGuire, not forgetting a talented bunch of JNCOs fresh from HERRICK and those promoted at HCMR. I am proud to say the Squadron has gone from strength to strength; highly motivated, dedicated professionals who can be pleased with their performance over the last twelve months and should be rightly congratulated for their efforts.
“The Tribe” Beatings will continue until morale improves!
n 2010, HQ Squadron has been, as always, in the thick of the Ceremonial output of the Regiment. 2010 has been so busy it is difficult to know where to begin: however, I will begin by welcoming and saying farewell to a few personalities into and out of the Squadron, first Capt Nick Stewart who takes over the helm from Capt Warren Douglas as the Quartermaster. The QM is immensely important in any regiment but the job undertaken at HCMR is particularly challenging in that State Ceremonial, conducted by HCMR, including equipment support and the various tradesmen that work in his Department, provide the support to allow this to happen amongst all the other responsibilities taken on. Capt Warren Douglas has provided this high degree of management and he has to be congratulated for his efforts and we are all sad to see him depart. The next departure is Capt Johnny Pass, our Career Management Officer, who has been invaluable in the great advice he has delivered concerning all our future careers. On behalf of the Squadron I would like to welcome Capt Brian Rogers who takes over the post. Finally, I would like to wish ‘2 brothers-in-arms’ and stalwarts of the Squadron, HQ SQMC CoH Saunders and the Welfare SNCO CoH Edisbury farewell and good luck in their future careers after both joining up together and completing 22 years service together. I have mentioned a couple people and
some of the great work they have done for the Squadron and Regiment. However, this great group of people who make up HQ Squadron contribute not just to our Regimental efficiency; there are many who contribute to society often utilising their own precious time, money and efforts for various charities. I conduct regular interviews and on this one occasion Tpr Edwards, MT Troop, mentioned nonchalantly , ‘Sir, do you mind if I book leave so I can climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, so I can collect money for the disabled charity SCOPE’? Impressive, I say! We also have LCpl Brown, Medical Centre, who is a member of the Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue and dedicates his time and leave to help in various international disasters. In January he flew to Haiti during the earthquake disaster and in August he flew to Pakistan to assist in the humanitarian aid rescue after the flood disaster. Capt Warren Douglas also organised various charity days to raise money for something close to all our hearts, the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. Once again I have only scraped the surface of those involved from the Squadron and the only comment I can say is that it makes me immensely proud and humble at all of their efforts to help others. Outside the office we in the Squadron have placed on a noticeboard a world map, and various strategically placed pins indicate the locations around the world that members of the Squadron
have visited during their course of duty during 2010 and later part of 2009. At my last count we had accumulated 14 locations around the world, a case in point being the Doctor, Surgeon Maj Will Wall, along with a number of the members of the Riding Staff competing in an international military showjumping competition in Italy; another case being Afghanistan where LCpl Crompton AGC has just completed a tour to mention a few. The diary of events took on momentum in early January as MT, under ACoH Frampton began to plan for the early return of the horses from grass at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray. SCpl Hadden MBE and Tpr Akorli prepared the onerous task of building up the forage and bedding to accommodate the increase. The Forge worked their usual miracles to shoe these shaggy beasts who have just returned from a field in the middle of nowhere. The early arrival of the horses allowed the men in the Squadrons to begin the preparation for an early State Opening of Parliament due to the LCpl Brown from the Medical Centre who is a member of the Emergency Response Team Search and Rescue assisting with medical emergencies during the Earthquake disaster in Haiti
HQ Squadron show off their many roles at Regimental Training in Bodney Camp, Norfolk, 2010
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National Election. This in turn meant that all the usual preparation and parades had to be massaged around this early event. In true Cavalry fashion, every department pulled together to achieve the aim and in May the Major General’s Inspection was converged into rehearsals for the State Opening: suffice it to say that the two parades went well. Shortly afterwards the preparation for the Queen’s Birthday Parade began with little down time allowed as rehearsal and parade followed one another, and in the Birthday Parade and Garter Service went well, all members of the Squadron either supporting or performing on the parades, achieving whatever was asked of them. On completion of the first half of the Ceremonial Season, the Regiment got to grips with the Annual MATTs training (individual military skills). One of the tests involved was an early morning Combat Fitness test in Hyde Park to the surprise of many of the commuters in and around the area who were not expecting to see a formed body of muscular soldiers in their peek physical prime. There may be a few raised eyebrows at my last comment but everyone who took part passed and I would expect no less.
mental Training for three weeks and, as always, we all took the opportunity to get to know each other again away from our routine duties and distractions found in London. Many members of the Squadron reacquainted themselves with showjumping, and hacking out to name but a few of the activities on offer. The camp was superbly presented by the Permanent Staff at Bodney and our own QM’s Staff. The Regimental Admin Staff once again used all their ingenuity to utilise what little IT facilities that were available to us at Bodney; this allowed the Regiment to perform its daily administration and also to provide the link back to the real world at Hyde Park Barracks. The Riding Staff worked incredibly hard to achieve some superb equine facilities to allow the Regiment to compete either in the jumping arenas or on the Cross Country course. On our return the majority of the Squadron departed on three weeks Summer block leave. September saw the return of the horses from grass and the cycle as previously mentioned began again only this time there was a short lull which allowed some in the Squadron to go away adventure training as far as Dorset, Cumbria, Scotland, and Germany.
Windsor for the Qatari Royal Family and the remainder of the second half of the Ceremonial Season. So the cycle ends for another year, and I and the Squadron wish you all well as we look forward to the new challenges 2011 brings.
In July, the Squadron moved to Bodney in Norfolk for our Annual Regi-
The Squadron is now geared up to prepare for the October State visit in
Tpr Edwards MT climbs to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa to collect charity money for SCOPE the disable charity
SCM Anderson is electronically thrown some clays by CoH Saunders and given some advice by LCpl Kelly
The Commanding Ofﬁcer during Summer Camp awarding Tpr Dumbrell with his prize for coming ﬁrst in the over 17 to 30 year olds, during the Regimental Cross Country Competition
The Commanding Ofﬁcer during Summer Camp awarding LCoH Benson with his prize for coming ﬁrst in the over 31 to 38 year olds, during the Regimental Cross Country Competition
ince the return of horses from Abu Dhabi, the pace has increased and we are certainly running on full throttle. In addition to supporting the Ceremonial season, we have had to deal with a welter of letters: PNCO course (an NCO Cadre Cse), ECI, LSI, H & S Audit, Environmental Audit to name but a few, the technical management and inspections that go hand in hand with a barracks. Also, we are all working with the local building Site known as Peninsular Tower and at times have been frustrated by its mere location.
If only they could knock it down and start again. When refurbished it will be accommodation for young single soldiers, SNCOs and Officers as well as accommodation for London District employed Officers and Soldiers; so it is understood by all that it is for the good and benefit of our regiment. Currently, the work has been focused on sorting out the exterior of the building, preventing small amounts of cladding falling into South Carriage Drive and Knightsbridge. Once complete, work will start on refurbishment of the interior
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and elevators. Best guess on completion, summer of 2013. Another successful project was the instalment of the CCTV in all vulnerable points throughout the regiment; thieving has not been eradicated completely but has deterred the peasants within the wire. It has also enhanced our security, so much so that the Metropolitan Police have used our facility several times to glean vital information on crime. The Stable areas and tack rooms have
had another good soaking within the year, all down to a poorly designed roof and internal drainage system. Funding has now been released for a complete refurbishment to the tune of over £600,000 that will ensure soldiers working conditions are improved and morale is kept high. The Department have managed their fair share of fund raising for the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund (HCOCF), with superb administration at the annual regimental golf day in Kingswood, Surrey: where men, horses, mannequins, Silver Drums, Scimitar, Trumpeters from The Life Guards and two playing teams from Windsor and HCMR managed to raise just shy of £30,000 for the good and benefit of our young lads returning from operations. Thank you all for your efforts on such a memorable day. Next year’s event for the HCOCF will be held in September and
it is hoped that both Regiments can send the resources that are required to raise as much money, if not more than this year. The Regiment now have a full complement of RAMBO rugs for the horses that cost over £38,000; so gone are the rugs that hung like oily rags in a mechanic’s garage for the last 20 years. We have also procured new riding helmets, back protectors and riding gloves (non fluffy) so, although the funding is drying up within MoD, we are doing very well supported by our London District Logistic Support Branch. The most important procurement programme within the last two years has to be the ‘Ping Pong’ tables. It has taken one failed attempt and three ‘Summer Camps’ to get hold of one for the Officers’ and Warrant Officers’ Mess but they arrived last summer. Needless to say, that the standard within the Officers’
was high but the Commanding Officer, acting on behalf of all competitive fathers, played his way into unbeaten champion as well as winning in the equine arena. Let’s hope there are many more competitions to come. The department has said farewell to WO2 Bell, SCpl Twyman, CoH Auld, LCoH Jones, Tpr Gray all to civilian life and we all wish them well for the future. We also wish Sgt Raven the Armourer every success on his operational tour. We welcome Sgt Kenyon as the new Armourer, WO2 Fry as the new RQMC who has informed me that he once was an equine beast master. And, of course, the arrival of Capt Nick Stewart who I wish every success as the Quartermaster. To finish, I would like to thank my entire department for supporting me through my tenure: it was a fantastic tour.
by FMaj Freeman RHG/D
ork in the Forge began at a gradual pace after the New Year’s leave period. The grass horses returned late January, and after an industrious few days they were all shod and ready to start their build-up programme for the forthcoming ceremonial season. FLCsoH Howell and Stanford went off to the Defence Animal Centre (DAC) to gain their Military Farrier qualifications at the Army School of Farriery and LCpl Hansen joined the Forge prior to the start of his basic farriery, having his first taste of Forge life by being introduced to the WO’s & NCO’s Mess bar for the month. The Regiment had its usual full dress inspections, with the Forge turning themselves out to the usual high standard. February saw the Forge 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. FLCsoH McCabe and Scott
The competition was highly competitive with 40 qualified farriers testing their skill and determination. Congratulations went to the winning civilian pair Mr J Brian and Mr J Tovye, also to SSgt Copper and WO1 Watson for winning the ‘Best Military Pair’. There was also a prize in the form of a bronze medal presented by the Master of the Worshipful Company of Farriers to FLCoH Partridge 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 turnout were 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 LCpl Hansen depart to the DAC for his Basic Military Farriers course.
The Forge completed all individual training with their usual vigour prior to Regimental Training. ‘Summer Camp’ passed at its usual pace, with the forge working at its normal high standard, with the apprentices continuing their training and the qualified Farriers ensuring the grass was well and truly flattened around the forge. The Forge organised this year’s games night for the WO’s & NCO’s Mess; this seemed to go down a treat, and up in some cases, a night not easily forgotten and talked about for days after. The equitation skills were kept to their usual standard, with FCoH Sherlock coming 3rd in the Regt Cross Country and qualifying for the Open Day’s showjumping. FLCoH Stanford won the Junior Ranks’ Show Jumping, and came 5th in the Regimental Show Jumping and 6th in the Grand Prix. The Forge was kept busy throughout the year with a few extra-curricular activities. Competing in the Lords’
The Farriers at the Summer Ball 2010
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 49
and Commons’ Tug of War event, unfortunately the forge was beaten 2-0, the only consolation being that the winning team were the Army and Divisional Champions. The summer and winter ceremonial seasons were pretty full-on this year with an early State Opening of Parliament rolling straight into the Queen’s Birthday Parade. The Forge also assisted with the provision of veterinary cover for the Beating Retreat, and the latter half of the year found the Regiment back down at the HCTW for a Windsor escort. The Forge and the Squadrons were happy to wave goodbye to the horses, as they departed
to grass at the end of November, for the Christmas leave period. In June we said farewell to the RVO Capt Holmes on her posting to Germany and FCoH Black-Wood on his postings to the ASF DAC In July we welcomed the new RVO Maj O’Flynn from her sun-drenched posting in Cyprus and we congratulated FLCoH Stanford and FLCoH Howell on passing their Intermediate Military Farriers Course and FLCpl Hansen on passing his Basic Military Farriers Course, we also congratulated the following on their promotions: FSCpl Freeman to W02, FCoH Sherlock to FSCpl, FLCoH Thomas to FCoH and Tpr Dailly to FLCpl.
The Forge Tug of War Team by FSCpl Sherlock RHG/D
champions at the outdoor competition in the 680 kg category. We thought we had a chance as this was indoor format and we were confident of our abilities. We did well but went down two pulls to nil, due to them being a far superior team technique-wise. We realised we have a lot to learn to really compete.
t was the 3rd of June 2010 and the time had come for us to provide a team for the House of Commons Tug of War competition in aid of the MacMillan Nurses Cancer Trust. The previous year we had managed to achieve a rampant victory over the RAF and, to be fair, had gained confidence in our abilities to do well in future events. This year we had found ourselves up against much greater opposition. We were placed against 11 Signals Regiment who were current Army
Next was the Army Outdoor Championships held at Gamecock Barracks in Nuneaton on 3rd and 4th July 2010. We were accommodated in the gym with the other teams. We ate well and had a few beers the night before, only to wake to find teams in bin-bags running round who obviously were a lot more in tune to the severity of the day’s pulling than we were! This was our first competition in which we faced more than one team and in truth, it hurt. We did not come last, but not far off. The Ski boots adjusted for the competition used by other teams were far superior to our drill boots and we left not discouraged, but determined to learn and improve our standards for the next time round.
Although I still think we might need a curry the night before. We must thank 11 Signal Regiment for all their help and hospitality. We recently competed in the GOC sports day coming second to the Grenadier Guards. While we were superior in technique, it was a catch weight competition and they were just too big to pull. Still, we know for next year and will build a team big enough to compete. The 27th of November 2010 brings us the Army Indoor Championships in which we are determined to do well. We have put in the training, learned a few points from last year, and are starting to gel as a team. It’s a great sport and I would encourage anyone interested to get involved. Hopefully we will be successful but, whatever, we will continue to compete in this sport in the coming years. Please contact the Forge in Knightsbridge if you are interested in competing with us in the future.
Regimental Administration Office by WO2 (SQMS) L M Draper AGC (SPS)
he AGC (SPS) Detachment had a somewhat turbulent year regarding manning; we have said goodbye to Lt Col Ian Pendlebury, SSgt Paul Sumner and LSgt Urson Codling. Replacing them we have welcomed in the new RAO, Capt Martin Dansey, SSgt Matt Bolton and into the Sqns Pte’s Dylan Marshall and Daniel Higgins. However, we must not forget Capt Helen McChleary who stood in as the RAO before Capt Dansey arrived. Throughout the year members of the detachment have undertaken a number of activities; of particular note
were: the AGC Triple Crown, AGC Basketball Tour, Nijmegen Marches and Regimental Summer Training. In April LSgt Sessing was fortunate enough to take part in the AGC Basketball tour to Chicago. The trip itself was a huge success but not on the court; they played four but lost four! In May LSgt’s Sessing, Thapa Magar, Thompson and Pte Marshall competed in the AGC Triple Crown March and Shoot Competition. The team completed the 12 Mile route and finished with a respectable time of 2 hrs and 43 minutes, good effort!
50 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Pte Marshall also competed in the Nijmegen Marches. He completed the four-day march with a combined services team from London District. Also, Sgt Walker the SSA led the Regiment to a League and League Cup double in the London District Football league. Finally, the detachment recently passed its Annual Orderly Room Inspection. The Detachment worked extremely hard to achieve its pass and look forward to their ten-day Adventure Training package in Bavaria in October.
Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess
he Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess started the Christmas season with a bit of a low after being defeated in the annual Officers vs WO’s & SCpl’s football match 7-6; a match with which could have easily been a draw if the RAO hadn’t manhandled the ball which was clearly going into the top left hand corner from a splendid strike from the RCM. Unfortunately, the penalty awarded wasn’t converted so the better team won, sweet revenge for their defeat in the cricket last summer. The Warrant Officers and Senior Non Commissioned Officers were kindly invited by the Comd Offr to the Officers’ Mess for some fine German cuisine and drinks, which continued through to the early hours of the morning with very little chest-poking taking place. Soon to follow was the Mess’s annual function organised by WO2 (SCM) McNamara and his committee who worked hard to produce a fantastic and very enjoyable Christmas draw. £6000 worth of prizes from two £1500 holiday vouches to £250 high street vouchers. Excellent spread of various foods from seafood to curries, and the drink flowed through the night in the surroundings of a very relaxed environment. With the roulette wheels and blackjack tables playing into the early hours in the Mess bar and the disco in the marquee playing to a full dance floor, I believe all the Mess members had an enjoyable night. Before the first leave period started the WO’s and NCOs’ Mess held the 120th Brick Hanging Ceremony with Maj (Retd) Holbrook LG doing the honours for the year with hanging the brick. Another long afternoon soon turned into a busy evening with both lunch and supper being served to a full house and finally the brick being taken down at 0300hrs by CoH Saunders. With the bar all but dry and heavy heads in the morning, a good Brick Hanging was had by all.
a four course meal with wine followed by port and the Comd Offr’s address, the only real annual opportunity for him to address the Mess as a whole. A Guard of Honour was provided by the Senior members of the Mess for HRH The Duke of Edinburgh for the Windsor Mayors Charity ball at Ascot Race Course in February with all of our Regimental Charities being represented. Otherwise, the Mess had a quiet quarter before the busy season with a few functions taking place like the Riding Staff Lunch and The Blues and Royals Squadron lunch. The WOs enjoyed their annual lunch at the Royal Gardens Hotel in Kensington. We held a ‘bring a boss’ lunch which gave everyone the opportunity to relax a little before what lay ahead, with money behind the bar and ‘range’ stew at the plenty, a good afternoon was had by all. Cavalry Sunday was again a busy day for the Mess with the majority of Cavalry Regiments past and present being represented. Even during the busy period the Mess hosted 60 personnel from the AFV CIS (‘Signals’) school from Bovington after the Colonel’s Review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade. The Trooping lunch again this year was successful with family and friends invited into the Mess after the parade for a buffet lunch where the Master Chef SSgt Crooke excelled in producing a fine spread. The Mess said farewell to five of its members after 22 years service WO2 (RQMC) Bell MC, WO2 (EWO) Payne, CoH Saunders and CoH Edisbury as well as CoH Venables. In accordance with custom, Beef Wellington was the main course, served as selected by those being dined out, and it became a late night for the majority with the bar finally closing at 5am. After all, there is only so much 80s music one can take.
The New Year started with the New Year’s Dinner (State of the Nation) a formal affair with the Mess sitting down to
Once the ceremonial summer season was over, the Regiment deployed to Bodney Camp for Regimental Training allowing both men and horses to relax slightly after what had been a busy season. The annual cricket match against the Officers Mess took place with the
The Warrant Ofﬁcers - another day at the ofﬁce
The Comd Offr addressing the Mess at the State of the Nation Dinner
trophy being awarded to the Comd Offr and his team, a tough match resulting in the LG SQMC SCpl Marsh having a trip to A&E for suspected fractured fingers after attempting to catch the Comd Offr: but he was more concerned about his SJAR (annual report) so he kindly dropped the ball. The Officers where hosted by the Mess for the annual games night organised by the Master Farrier (WO2 Freeman) with the assistance from the Saddlers Shop and the remainder of the Forge: a messy affair which involved lots of baked beans, copious amounts of custard, and alcohol. The Mess annual function was held after summer leave. WO2 (SCM) Hughes and his team did a splendid job organising a fantastic evening for which everyone was grateful. The ball continued into the early hours and the last couples left once the ice sculpture had finally melted. WO2 (RQMC) Bell MC, WO2 (SCM) Davidson bid farewell to the Mess and their replacements were welcomed. WO2 (RQMC) Fry MC did not take long to find his feet in the QM’s Department and WO2 (SCM) Gibson took the reins of The Life Guards Squadron. Looking ahead the Mess will bid farewell to the Comd Offr but not until after the annual football match vs the Officers Mess, and then we move into December when I am sure the Mess will be as busy as ever at this time of year. Senior mess members are: WO1 (RCM) S B Taylor LG WO1 (BM) P Collis-Smith LG WO2 (RQMC) Fry MC LG WO2 (SCM) B Gibson LG WO2 (SCM) K McNamara RHG/D WO2 (SCM) L Anderson RHG/D WO2 (SCM) A Hughes RHG/D WO2 Freedman RHG/D WO2 (BCM) M Redman LG WO2 (EWO) R Hackman RHG/D WO2 M Peet LG WO2 (RAWO) L M Draper AGC (SPS) Only Maj (Retd) Holbrook could mark time, drink and hang the brick at the same time
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 51
by Captain E C Howland Jackson, The Life Guards
010 saw an early start for the Musical Ride as a new date was secured in the calendar. The racing village of Lambourn in West Berkshire booked the ride for their Open Day, held annually on Good Friday. Capt (Retd) Bob German acted as the liaison between the Ride and the show and after many months of persistent negotiation the date was secured. The fixture was a one off single performance that would allow the ride some good experience at deploying for a day whilst being home for tea and kit cleaning the same evening. The Ride Officer, Capt Ed Howland Jackson was absent on honeymoon for the show, making way for Capt Charles Dale LG as he made his second cameo commanding the ride in recent years. So, under command of Capt Dale and management of CoH Parks RHG/D the Ride travelled to a very wet Lambourn for their Open Day. Sadly for the organisers the show was a complete wash-out and nearly all the attractions cancelled due to conditions. However, as the hour approached for the ride to perform an anxious Capt Mark Avison LG (Riding Master) weighed up the options and under huge pressure agreed that the performance proceed. As the Ride moved down the gallops that bordered the arena the clouds parted and for a few brief moments the sun shone down on Lambourn. Seeing this as a sign from above, the Ride quickly moved into performance mode and embarked on what was sure to be some of the toughest conditions yet. The performance was a huge hit and many passers-by were heard expressing their delight that they had stayed to watch the performance. In the words of the show organisers, “the Musical Ride saved the day”! From here the Ride focussed their attention towards the ‘blue-riband’ event of the year, The Windsor Castle Royal Tattoo. Training continued through April
The Musical Ride at Windsor
and May with a training performance at Ludgrove School to ensure the ride was still progressing. By early May rehearsals were going well under the tutelage of LCpl Evans RHG/D and the Riding Master had a quietly confident air about him. The Tattoo took its usual format of one dress rehearsal followed by four performances, each one in front of a member of Royal Family with the final one in front of HM The Queen. With a new live soundtrack provided by the band of the Royal Artillery, the performance was a great success and received some excellent feedback from both the organisers and HM too. With the glory of Windsor behind them, the Ride had a few smaller but equally important shows to which to look forward. First, the Beating Retreat in June. Squeezing rehearsals in between those of the Queen’s Birthday Parade, the Ride produced two short performances over the two nights to entertain the crowd of music lovers. A few weeks later the Ride performed at the first ‘Lemon Drop’ event. Lemon Drop is a company that hosts events with an
The Finale on a wet Windsor night
52 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
aim of raising money for Household Cavalry charities and sometimes ask for a short performance by the Ride. This particular one was expertly managed by the new ride three-bar, CoH Mowatt LG supported by LCpl Evans RHG/D. From here the Ride deployed to Bodney to join the rest of the Regiment and as always performed to the hardest audience of all, their friends and family! As the Regiment went on leave post training the Ride stayed at work for a further week to perform at the Shrewsbury Flower Show in midaugust. Despite the time of year the weather was not kind and although the four performances went very well and drew the crowds, the wet conditions made one particular exit from the arenas quite memorable for LCpl Evans. The Musical Ride now had a busy winter period consisting of four shows. The British Military Tattoo was at Earls Court in early December under the guidance of Christopher Joll, a former LG officer. From there the ride would perform at the Olympia Horse Show before deploying straight out to A couple of Charlies, or LCpls Baksh and Raffel
Muscat, Oman to perform at the Royal Equestrian and Camel Festival on New Years Day as guests of HM the Sultan of Oman. After three weeks back in London the ride travelled out to Zurich to perform at the CSI Mercedes event before finally returning and putting a quite memorable season to bed for a few months. From a management point of view it has been a hugely enjoyable and fascinating year. The Musical Ride is invited to perform at more shows than will ever be possible and the popularity and support we receive whenever we do perform is quite staggering. I remember watching the Ride perform at the Royal Tournament when I was young and to be a part of it now has been a wonderful experience. I wish them all the best for next year and many more to come.
A pea on a drum at Bodney. LCpl Tate
On parade with the Garde Republicaine at the Royal Hospital Chelsea by SCM K McNamara
Lining up in readiness for the visit ... not Waterloo Act 2
fter being told at short notice that the Mounted Regiment was required to put together a counter-balancing force to the Garde Republicaine for the forthcoming visit by President Sarkozy, the Regimental Corporal Major and I attended a Household Division brief at Horse Guards, followed by a reconnaissance. After many ‘on the bus, and off the bus’ discussions, both at Horse Guards and the Royal Hospital, it was decided we would position ourselves at the entrance, with the Household Cavalry being one side of the road and the Garde Republicaine on the opposite side, It was decided that the occasion needed a composite Division of 12 LG and 12 RHG/D and an RHG/D Standard Party, for which the Commanding Officer would be the Field Officer; so, sadly, it was relegation to the subs bench for Maj Twumasi-Ankrah on this occasion.
It was now time for our one and only rehearsal, for which Maj T-A now came off the subs bench and stood in for the Commanding Officer. (The unconfirmed rumour was that he was at Ladies’ Day at Ascot, but …). The rehearsal was a success and all was in place for the big day. The day arrived with the Commanding Officer in place as Field Officer of the Escort. It was a fine summer morning, and the route to the start point took us down Sloane Street; as you can imagine, this turned many a head! Finally we arrived at the Royal Hospital before the French, and we had a bit of time before the VIPs were expected so we decided it was time for a quick photo opportunity. Photo taken, it was time to move back into position and set ourselves up for the arrival of the VIPs. We had only
two minutes before the first VIP arrived almost five minutes early, none other than the recently elected Prime Minster minus his protection team, as is his style. Next to arrive, bang on time I may add, was the French President. The Trumpeters sounded and the Standard was lowered as he passed by at a slow speed to look both at the French and the British Troops, he was then met by the Prime Minster and Major General and carried on with the rest of his visit. Our job was done, so on the Commanding Officer’s word of command with a quick eyes right to the French colour, it was back to Barracks, but not before a slow ride back down Sloane Street with all the public clapping and waving at us, with many taking photos. Back at barracks, the Standard was lodged, followed by the Regimental dismount, and that was another parade done. Bring on the next!
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 53
The Garde Republicaine quadrille in action
The Band of The Life Guards by Captain K Davies
he Band started off the year at Royal Military School of Music providing musical support for the students on the foundation course and the student bandmasters conducting classes, before spending the following week golfing in Portugal or skiing in Andorra as part of the annual adventure training.
Exercise Cockney Donkey Andorra, January 2010
Normal duties resumed on return, which included Windsor and St James’s Palace guard changes, Investitures, a Police Pass Off Parade in Hendon and Kit Ride Pass Off parades. We also travelled to Market Drayton in Shropshire for a concert, and Bracknell to provide a school workshop for recruiting. After the Medal Parade in Windsor, we travelled to Edinburgh for the Gun Salute in Stirling for Her Majesty’s Birthday. Other jobs to fit in before the mounted season was upon us were concert band at the Dorchester Hotel for St Georges Day, marching band for the Anzac Parade in Central London and a Passing Out parade in Pirbright. The whole band was also fitted with personal hearing protection which is currently being highlighted (as part of a Health and Safety directive) Corps and service wide as a necessity. Crammed
season duties, Cavalry Sunday and Investitures at Windsor Castle as well as Buckingham Palace, we formed a small band for the Order of Bath Service at Westminster Abbey and we performed twice inside Buckingham Palace; firstly a small marching band in the presence of the Duke of Edinburgh then secondly a stage band for the Not Forgotten Association alongside other singers, comedians, narrators and dancers including Dame Judi Dench and Anton Du Beke. After the Garter Service in Windsor, we travelled to Manchester to contribute to the Armed Forces Day events there. Two other activities that have become regular events at this time of year is a performance at a cricket match at Lord’s and the London 10K Road Race. We also played for the opening of the Royal Parks Marathon in Hyde Park. This year’s Army Benevolent Fund performance for us was a Beating Retreat in Leicester, but all focus was on the Staff Advisory Visit from the Director of The Corps of Army Music for which we rehearsed hard. At the same time some of the Band went to join forces with other Household Division musicians for the annual ‘Scarlet and Gold’ concert. At the start of October we joined some talented young musicians in Northamptonshire for their evening rehearsal and hope that some of them become recruits of the future. We then travelled to Birmingham, marching through the International Conference Centre for a social event for Iceland supermarkets. The band moved to Windsor for the week later in the month to join the rest of the Regiment for the State Visit of the Emir of Qatar. On the day of the move back to Knightsbridge, the trumpet team went for an early rehearsal for a state banquet that evening. They also played for the Pope’s visit earlier in the
54 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
year at St. Stephen’s and will play at the Cenotaph for this year’s Festival of Remembrance. One trumpeter is also required in Uganda in November and a team of four will also be travelling to Nigeria. Those playing for the musical ride will be racking up the air miles to Oman over Christmas and Zurich at the end of January 2011. The Band of The Life Guards in South Korea There was a great deal of excitement when it became apparent that there was a realistic chance that we would be going to South Korea to take part in the 60th Anniversary celebrations of the end of the Korean War. So, on Thursday 23rd September, we found ourselves sitting on a plane waiting to take off for the eleven hour flight. Only the previous day we had undertaken our annual inspection by the staff of the Royal Military School of Music. The band spent several weeks preparing carefully for this with detailed rehearsals and it was something of a relief for this to be over. After a comfortable flight we landed at Seoul Inchon Airport, followed by a bus journey of three hours before arriving at our accommodation along with several other bands at the Hong Ik University campus. The first couple of days were fairly slack as we waited for our freight to arrive. A small number of the band was involved in a massed bands concert which was to be held in Seoul city centre a few days later to commemorate the recapture of Seoul. Bands representing eight countries had a contingent involved in this and it proved to be a very successful opener to the celebrations. The remainder of the band had time to explore Seoul during the rehearsal days and most people seemed to enjoy seeing
The Life Guards Band at the British Embassy in Seoul
Capt K L Davies conducting the massed bands in Seoul
a city that they may never have had the chance to experience. The following day all the bands participated in an official opening ceremony which involved a short marching band display and then a parade through Seoul. It was interesting for us to watch and listen to the other bands as they went past. We found the Americans, Canadians and French to be quite similar in style but the Korean bands were very different to anything that we had encountered before, including bass drums being pushed along on pram-like trolleys within the marching band! Having said that, I’m sure they would find the sight of a drum horse and mounted band quite odd. Our day to day routine between engagements was quite relaxed and we were quite lucky with the recreational facilities on campus with a gym, walking trails in the local hills and the local town, Dejeon, which was only a short taxi ride away. For the football lovers in the band the highlight of our time off was undoubtedly the fixtures against the other bands. This started out as an impromptu kickabout but soon became ‘Band World Cup’ with a fully qualified Football Association referee,
CoH Groves. We finished unbeaten and our finest moment was surely beating the Swedes 19-1, although I’m not convinced they knew what football was! Our other main full band engagement was a tattoo at which we were required to perform two marching displays. They were traditionally British and it was good to see all the bands putting their national twist on things. Our display included some typically Western marches and static music finished off by Post Horn Gallop, superbly played by LCpl Ruffer and Musn Sandford, which brought the house down. The strangest act by far was the Italian band who played trumpets whilst running. Surprisingly they didn’t sound nearly as bad as they should have … and we thought playing on the back of a horse was hard. As our trip began to draw to a close we had the privilege of playing a concert at the British Embassy in Seoul. This was situated in beautiful mature gardens and the Embassy itself was a British style house which looked thoroughly out of place amongst the skyscrapers and traditional Korean architecture. We were superbly looked after with afternoon tea at the bottom of the garden during the interval. The prospect of tea and scones caused an inordinate level of excitement within the band as for the past two weeks we had been craving some food that we recognised.
The Band football team (in red) having beat the Swede's 19-1
Although it is good to experience the national food whilst abroad I think most of the band would be happy not to see spiced cabbage and rice for a very long time. Army Hockey - Musician Lamb Musician Lamb has again represented the Army at Hockey. She wore the Army Colours for the first time in 2006 at the annual Inter-Services Competition against the RAF and Royal Navy. She also received a scholarship sponsored by BAE Systems, aimed at offsetting the cost of playing hockey at a high level in the National League which in turn helps to improve the skills of the Army players. Having previously played for Southampton Hockey Club, she was selected to play in the Combined Services Mixed team in a tournament against England and Wales. Musician Lamb now competes in every Inter-Service competition, and is currently playing for Hampstead and Westminster Hockey Club based in Paddington, and also plays for the Royal Engineers/Small Corps Hockey Club. She has travelled to Singapore with this club and was top goal scorer for the tour. In May she represented the Combined Services in Aldershot with matches against The England and Wales Masters, British Police and Civil Service teams. Musn A Lamb in action at the InterServices for the Army against the RAF
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 55
Household Cavalry Training Wing equine terminology, and almost an honorary member to the riding staff. The Subject matter experts from the riding staff spent 3 days with the TDT to produce the documentation that is required to for the Class 3 riding course having the first pilot course running in the New Year. The current cleaning facilities are not fit for purpose and make it difficult and time consuming for the students to prepare their riding kit to the high standards required for ceremonial tasks.
(Loos Khaki Pass-out) Trooper Day LG, clear round on Hardy
he Household Cavalry Training Wing (HCTW) has seen an inordinate amount of change last year, it has not been any different this year either, not only with personnel but the main change from April 10, we no longer train as a phase 2 establishment but as a Training Wing that runs the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiments Class 3 course. All phase 1 Household Cavalry cap badge personnel will complete their phase 2 training alongside their RAC contemporaries at Bovington before arriving at Windsor to start their equine course. The amount of trainees that have passed through HCTW in Windsor has had a turn around from the previous year when we were bursting at the seems to a pleasant two rides being administrated at any one time and with the recruiting
figures being reduced this quieter period is set to continue for the next year. The increase of Non Commissioned Officers (NCO) from HCR has been noticeable; Relief of Kimberley Ride was composed with a unique situation of 1 Officer, Captain A Wallace showing off his equitation skills plus 11 NCO’s and a musician from the Life Guard band, they all passed out of Khaki in September, apart from LCpl O’Carrol having a free trip in an air ambulance during the first day at training camp (thankfully only bruised but with a damaged pride). 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. The Training Development Team (TDT) in particular WO1 Stewart is now converse with all
(Relief of Kimberley Ride) LCpl Onwubiko RHG/D having a close relationship with Egypt over the last fence
56 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Real estate has recognised the need to improve the working environment in the HCTW tack cleaning rooms and the work will hopefully be completed by March 2011. Lighting levels will be improved, new cleaning tables, washing facilities replaced to name but a few. During this year the majority of the training staff has changed with Captain A Kellet LG moving on to ATR Bassingbourn, SCpl Galbraith is posted to UOTC Oxford on promotion WO2. LCsoH Stafford and Murphy posted back to HCR, LCsoH Street and Radford promoted to CoH and returned back into the troops and LCoH De-Bruin to HCMR. Capt D J Payne LG takes on the role of OC having been commissioned in July 10. SCpl Gerrard will take over as the HCTW SQMC in New Year and finally LCoH Goodsman became a ride NCO from HCMR. With such a large turn around of staff in such a small period of time it is imperative we work as a team striving forward with fresh ideas to develop one’s self, the course and most importantly, give our experiences back to the students.
(Relief of Kimberley Ride) Rogues gallery with Capt A Wallace leading the way
by SCpl J Broom, The Blues and Royals
his year I was lucky enough to be attached to a Short Term Training Team (STTT) to visit the capital of Jordan, Amman. The team, including myself, was made up of WO I (RSM) Gibson, Army School of Music, WO I (BM) Machin, Coldstream Guards and Sgt Healey RAF Regt. The aim of the visit was to give guidance, advice and training to the Jordanian Royal Guard, including their Mounted Police detachment, their Military band and their Marching Drill display, somewhat similar to our Queens Colour Squadron (QCS) rifle display team. All provide a ceremonial role to His Majesty King Abdullah ll.
The first morning there, we were taken to one of the Royal Palaces to meet with the Commanding Officers of each department. With the help of a translator we discussed their expectations from the STTT, and what we could achieve in the short time we were there. It was quite clear from the meeting that they had the utmost respect for the British Army, and that they wanted to emulate us, as much as possible, in the way we conduct ourselves in our ceremonial role, from professionalism to discipline and pride, all of which we sometimes take for granted in the Household Cavalry. On arrival at the Mounted Department
it was meet and greet time. I wanted to get cracking with the training to see what the horses and men were capable of, but they only ride between 0700 and 0900 as the temperature after this time is quite unbearable, not that I was moaning about the 35-40 degree heat. Whilst talking to the officers, who are the instructors, about the training programme for the visit, I must have been offered at least five glasses of tea and I thought England was the home of tea! After the meeting I was treated to a tour of the grounds, to see the facilities and meet the men and horses I would be working with. It was very clear that money, not just for this department but in the country as a whole, was quite tight and made me realise how lucky we are. Where they lack financial backing they make up for it with hard work, team spirit and morale.
The facilities consisted of a sand manage and an open field, all of which was very hard going. The men were as welcoming to me as they would be to a long lost friend, even though we couldn’t understand each other without the translator, I got the feeling that I was accepted as one of the guys. The Jordanian Police have their own breeding programme, started 5/6 years ago, and during the three weeks I was there they started to back some of the horses that where born on site - an exciting time for the men who had watched them grow from
foals, and a welcome experience for me to see other horsemen being thrown to the ground instead of the Riding Staff back in Windsor. The horses, thoroughbred Arab cross, the last breed of horse we would use for our job, actually suited the requirements of the Jordanians, especially considering the heat. The focus of the visit was to prepare the troops in readiness to perform at the Royal Military Tattoo in Edinburgh. Each morning, before the main rehearsals on the parade square in the evening, we went through drills, their version of Troop/Squadron drills in Hyde Park, which are no different to the drills we do for our own state occasions. This was where the combination of the band and the silent drill were put together to produce a spectacle to rival Beating Retreat. The training was intense as, much like us, they only wanted perfection. When they finally performed in Edinburgh, in front of His Majesty King Abdullah II, all their hard work paid dividends and was a huge success.
During the visit it was arranged for the team to visit two iconic film locations, Petra (Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade) and Wadi Rum (Lawrence of Arabia) both particularly poignant for me as horses featured in both films. It is hoped that this will prove to be an ongoing relationship between two similar organisations with very similar roles.
Coach Troop by CoH D Kendle
his year has gone so fast, it only seems like yesterday I was writing this roundup for the 2009 magazine. 2010 for Coach Troop has meant the usual club meets, drives and regimental drills plus a charity drive raising money for ‘Help for Heroes’ and ‘The Household Cavalry Charitable Trust’. Royal Windsor Horse Show is always the first big show of the year for us and despite an almost completely new team of lads (again), we still managed to do very well with a 1st in class and a respectable Reserve Champion over all
(again). Then we were off to the Suffolk show where we took the 3rd prize, with which I was very pleased as I had our two new young leaders in front. I have been training the two young horses Zorro and Zander over the last year and this was their first outing. They are making a lovely pair of flashy leaders which has made a big change to the team. This same team also took 3rd at the Newbury show, so a real achievement in their first season. They just need time to mature now and are currently out at grass.
As in the past, I seem to be doing more prize drives taking guests around Windsor in the carriage. We had a good Royal Ascot in June. 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
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 57
the Regiment received for this from the Coaching Club and their guests. One of the main highlights this year for me has been the charity drive named the “Trafalgar tour” driving over 120 miles from London to Portsmouth using part of the route used by the original stage coaches of yesteryear. I was invited to participate by Mr. John Brown, using his Road coach ‘The Nimrod’ with the regimental team of horses used for most of the way and driven by myself. John brought his own team over to do two mornings. We were accompanied by another Road coach ‘The Monarch’ and
completed the drive in five days starting at Knightsbridge, through London, across the South Downs to finish at HMS Victory in Portsmouth. Over £5000 was raised for ‘Help for Heroes’ and ‘The Household Cavalry Central Charitable Trust’ and it was an enjoyable challenge for me, the horses and Tpr Smith. Gavin Worsey from the saddlers shop also drove a support vehicle for which we were most grateful. I would like to extended a big thank you to John and his wife Pebs Brown for asking us to join them and sponsoring the team, and to all the over members of the Trafalgar team that helped organise the tour for
such a good cause which is close to our hearts. To end this year, we will be entertaining the crowds at the Royal Military Tattoo at Earls Court and will be taking the team and Regimental Coach. We may even have Joanna Lumley on board which would be, as they say, ‘Absolutely Fabulous’! 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 Smith on the back of the Nimrod holding on for dear life at a very steady trot (ﬁrst time he’s managed to stay awake on a coach!)
Royal Windsor Horse Show
by SCpl Grifﬁths NL, The Blues and Royals
fter qualifying for the Services Show Jumping Championships at Olympia in December 2009, the four Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment representatives boxed up on a cold December morning to travel to London. A thrilling competition saw the Riding Master, Capt Mark Avison lifting the trophy, enabling it to return for a consecutive year to Hyde Park Barracks. WO2 Hackman along with CoH Scholes and LCoH Lacey also had very respectable results. It was that time of year again, and before we knew it the AMEC one day event at Melton Mowbray had caught up with us. With horses prepared and dressage tests rehearsed, WO2 Hackman, SCpl Griffiths, and LCpl Whitehead left Windsor for what was hoped to be an exciting day. WO2 Hackman rode an outstanding test on Mandrake whilst SCpl Griffiths, greeted by the dressage judge, Capt (Retd) Bobby Boyd, with ‘Oh, you’re still alive then ‘, nevertheless rode an accurate test. The show jumping followed; WO2 Hackman rode a faultless round whilst SCpl Griffiths and LCpl Whitehead took down a few fences along the way. In the cross
country WO2 Hackman went clear or more accurately, Mandrake, who done enough to win his section and his rider proudly accepted his first place rosette on his behalf.
Mandrake, Banff and Dreadnought enjoying spring sunshine at Aldershot
The Aldershot Show was next on the equitation calendar, an opportunity for the Riding Master to select the hopefuls for Royal Windsor.The novice class proved to be a huge success for the Mounted Regiment, with Tpr Marias finishing 2nd, Tpr Robins 3rd, Tpr Wallace 4th and Tpr Walton 5th. The intermediate class saw Tpr Walton build on his success in the previous class with a respectable 4th place. CoH Hartshorn
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and Tpr Yarrow finished 5th and 6th respectively. The Team jumping saw the Regiments ‘A’ team consisting of Capt Avison, WO2 Hackman, SCpl Griffiths & SCpl (now WO2) Nicholls scoop an outright win. The Regiments ‘D’ team finished a respectable 6th in a strong field. The top score also had prize winners for the Regiment; LCpl Glass came away in 2nd, LCpl Whitehead ended up with a 4th. The Regiment took six teams to the Royal Windsor Horse Show Services Team Jumping Competition. The team made up of Hackman, Griffiths and Lacey were in joint first going to the jump off, but WO2 Hackman, his ears ringing with team orders ‘ride it like you stole it!’ reduced the course to matchsticks. The RM’s team (CoH Golder and SCpl Nicholls) crept up the leader board to collect 3rd prize. At the Royal Tournament Show Jumping and Skill at Arms Championships at Melton Mowbray in late June, on a sunny Tuesday in the Individual class the RM came 1st and Tpr Pickup 3rd. The HCMR played their joker in the team competition, and, with the help of PC
(Germany) and wished LCpl SS (Josh) Tate well in his stead. As the year draws to a close and this article goes to print, we wish the Riding Master, SCpl Griffiths and WO2 Nicholls the very best of luck at the Services Show Jumping final, as they fly the Household Cavalry Flag at Olympia this Christmas. The Staff at ‘The Last’ The blind leading the blind around the jump off course at Royal Windsor
Paul Brown, the RM and Tyrone (LCoH, now CoH, Powell) secured a win. With a win for the RM in the Sword, Lance and Revolver (SLR), he was awarded the Master at Arms Trophy. Strong results in the junior classes came for Tpr Thacker (1st) and CoH Radford CGC (4th) in the Futures Cup and LCpl Kelly (5th) in the Princess Anne. The Junior Derby saw placing’s for Capt Will Goodhew (3rd) and Tpr Wallis (6th) which added to his success in the Futures Cup. SCpl Griffiths 1st, LCoH Lacey 3rd and WO2 Nicholls 6th meant that 50% of the prizes in the Kings Cup came back to London. The Queens Cup also stayed with the Regiment, with the RM bringing home the trophy. Summer Training (Camp to the old boys) had the two chapters of the riding staff family, Windsor and Knightsbridge, working together at Bodney for the
22nd consecutive year. After 21 years of travelling clockwise around the Handy Hunter course, LCoH Lacey and LCpl Veness decided to undertake the mammoth task of reversing the route. This proved to be a great success, with no fewer pairs completing the course than in previous years. CoH Powell built a testing track for the Grand Prix, the RM asked Messrs Hackman and Griffiths to prove the course. With the Officers casting an expert gaze and the RM a critical one, the Dynamic Duo went clear. The competition itself had Capt Jack Mann winning on Daisy. The Commanding Officer retained the Allied cup for a second year in the show jumping. Two new boys began their apprenticeship on the staff at training camp; LCpl Tony Glass (LG) and LCpl Dan Evans (RHG/D) are the latest additions to the Blue Mafia.
Proving the course! Mandrake (top), Dreadnought (bottom)
The Riding Staff welcomed LCpl Dayle Abbott back to Regimental Duty from Paderborn Equestrian Centre
Regimental Training 2010 by Captain Peter Hanbury-Bateman, RHG/D
The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment on the move
ith the Ceremonial Season having come to a close, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment upped sticks and made camp in the summery surroundings of Bodney, Norfolk, for 2010 Regimental Training. Three fantastic weeks of equine skill development and competition, along with a few opportunities for light relief in the locality, away from the Knightsbridge routine lay ahead. On our arrival, Bodney Camp quickly turned into a hive of activity that would not have looked out of place during The Crimea, bar the hills. Horses being groomed, kit being cleaned and stored,
the smoke billowing from the forge, the Riding Staff strutting and tutting. A good natured busyness settled over the camp with only the hint of anticipation for the challenges ahead, particularly amongst those there for the first time. After a couple of days of gentle exercise to acclimatise man and horse, the focus began to narrow on the day of manoeuvres and exercises planned for us to prepare ourselves for any emergency that might occur whilst carrying out our ceremonial duties. The added excitement of untested divisional commanders ensured that the day was going to be demanding for all. Capts
Simon Lukas RHG/D and James Hulme RHG/D and 2nd Lt Archie Horne LG rose excellently to the challenges and performed their duties in protecting ‘Her Majesty’ and ‘dignitaries’ with professionalism and élan. The men of all four divisions had the opportunity to trample, bash and knobble the regimentally grown CIVPOP, who gamely tried to break the line with comments such as, “Smash the *~#%! He’s not the Corporal Major! He’s the enemy!” ringing in their ears. The competitions came in thick and fast thereafter, with excellent sportsmanship shown all round. The RAO’s de-
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Capt Peter 'Centaur' Hanbury-Bateman RHG/D at one with his horse!
partment where ever primed with their armoury of cameras, snapping away as the competitors blurred over, under, around and through the jumps, always there to capture the inglorious moment another sod of Norfolk turf disappeared into another unfortunate’s gullet. Surgeon-Maj Will Wall LG, and his henchmen where itching on the side line, ever ready to rush into action and practice their black arts, only to pack up at the end of the three weeks with splints, boards, neck braces and other Guantanamoesque paraphernalia thankfully largely unsullied. The Grand Prix offered great entertainment as the challenging course tested the competitors to new levels … at least until the fatal fourth jump! The perennial star Daisy and Capt Jack Mann RHG/D won the cup in a very impressive time. FLCoH Stanford LG had an extremely successful year, coming first in the Junior Show Jumping and achieving Highest Placed Junior on Open Day with the other Life Guard win of Regimental Training 2010 going to RCM Taylor LG, jubilantly winning Highest Placed SNCO. The glut of silver won by RHG/D is almost embarrassing to account but, for those readers that follow the results: Lt Col Crispin Lockhart MBE RHG/D had a cracking clear round on the Senior Show Jumping and accepted the mantle of Highest Placed Officer on the Open Day, for a number of reasons but, mostly for his riding; Juniors Cross Country had Tprs Burnett and Pickup RHG/D bathing in glory; CoH Crighton RHG/D and Capt Peter Hanbury-Bateman RHG/D were thrilled to have the Senior Cross Country Cup pressed upon them to the astonishment of the latter at still being alive and to the surprise of the former that the latter did not muck it up! The Cross-Country Run had us all puffing around the Handy Hunter Course and was convincingly won, in the respective age groups, by Capt Jack Mann RHG/D (after a modicum of geographic embarrassment from Capt Rufus Gordon-Dean LG…brains over
Riding Master Capt Mark Avison LG drilling the ofﬁcers in the ‘I’m a little teapot...’ drill
brawn?), LCoH Benson RHG/D and SCM MacNamara RHG/D. The Officers versus Seniors Cricket Match was especially hotly contested with the Officers enjoying a convincing win. SQMC Marsh LG unfortunately experienced the rougher side of the sport and suffered a broken finger in a catch gone wrong; hopefully this isn’t the finger that he uses to kill at a hundred yards. The Holkham Beach ride was as popular as ever, and offered a truly special experience for all. A good sized crowd of onlookers and media came to watch the spectacle as the men and horses swam together in the sea on the truly spectacular coast line. The 2010 Regimental Training succeeded in all the aims of testing both the men and horses in a wide variety of disciplines whilst giving all the chance to enjoy time away from Knightsbridge and the strains of the Ceremonial Season whilst encouraging greater bonds between all who attended. The culmination of an excellent three weeks was the Regimental Training Families Day as described below by Capt Rufus Gordon-Dean LG: Regimental Training climaxed with what has usually been known as Open Day but sadly due to it clashing with the Wayland Show was simply a family The thrilled Seniors Handy Hunter winners Capt Peter Hanbury-Bateman RHG/D and CoH Crighton RHG/D
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affair where the regiment invited up friends and family to a day out in Norfolk. As a result there may not have been the usual crowds of people watching but that did not diminish the competitive spirit of those competing in the Regimental show jumping and the Grand Prix. Lt Col Lockhart MBE RHG/D won the show jumping on Lochnagar whilst Capt Jack Mann won the latter on Daisy whilst the speakers in the arena blurted out Iggy Pop’s ‘I am the passenger!’ There were the usual side shows such as the falconry display and the tent pegging which was won by the Household Cavalry Regiment pair of the Riding Master Capt Mark Avison and CoH Powell. Huge congratulations to them who battled it out against an international field of ‘pegging enthusiasts.’ In the evening the Officers’ and WOs and NCOs’ Messes hosted their respective friends to barbecues and drinks and we were fortunate to have the weather on our side which allowed a great evening all round. Thanks as always must be extended to all involved but in particular the ‘Blue Mafia’ of the Riding Staff who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure everything went without a hiccough. Finally how could I not mention Capt (Retd) Damien Lipman whose commentary was brilliant once again?
The Commanding Ofﬁcer awards Tpr Joyce 2nd prize for the Grand Prix with Capt Mann, the winner, in the background
Regimental Support Team by Major JP Core, The Life Guards
he last time I served with the Regimental Support Team it was called the Regimental Recruiting Team and the late Maj Brian (Bronco) Lane was the OC, with SCpl Maskell, LCoH MacAlpine (and Eric), and Tprs Foster and Cook. The majority of our days were spent in shopping centres, military tattoos or at summer fetes and county shows. At the time it seemed we were being used more like a children’s crèche than a recruiting team for the Household Cavalry. Now the role of the team seems has changed, though we still attend all the county shows and military tattoos throughout the year. It may not get many future troopers through the Careers Office door but it does keep the Regiment in the public eye and wherever we have been the public support for all the Services has been amazing. We also have a lot more contact with the Army Careers Information Offices to see what support we can offer them. Before my arrival the team visited Catterick for the Army Careers Exhibition North East, Army Careers Exhibition Midlands Soldier in Stafford, The Devon County Show, The Great Yorkshire Show, Bramham International Horse Trials and the Royal Newbury Show. All shows were extremely successful and we look forward to supporting them again next year. Since my very short time with the team we have supported CoH Bond in Staffordshire by bringing a bit of panache and style to an Army Foundation Presentation night at Burton Albion Football Club. The event went very well with a lot of interest at the end of the evening directed towards the two mounted dutymen we took with us. The team recently spent a week in the Portsmouth and Southampton area, where we assisted Careers Offices in briefing the Further Education and Military Preparation Colleges. The Further Education Colleges provide an insight to all public services and enable the student to join the armed forces, police, fire and ambulance services. On completion of the course, the students receive a Level 1 Public Service BTEC Diploma. The Military Preparation Colleges aim is to provide high quality training specifically designed to prepare young people for a military career. The briefs consisted of a 30 minute presentation at which the students were invited to wear operational and ceremonial clothing and equipment. I
Tpr Mansﬁeld, with jockeys Ryan Moore, Richard Hughes and Tpr John at the Newbury Racecourse for The British Legion Poppy Appeal
believe that most of the photographs that were taken were more for their social network sites than to show their parents what they would look like in military uniform. By the end of the week the Careers Offices had received several inquiries and the team are looking forward to returning to the area next year. The team are still supporting the Household Cavalry & Royal Armoured Corps Insight Courses. The majority of these courses are run at Bovington, with potential recruits visiting the Mounted Regiment on a Thursday morning and the Service Regiment in the afternoon. I would like to say a special thanks to Mr John Lloyd (late LG) and all the volunteers from the Household Cavalry Museum Windsor who are always willing to brief all potential recruits on the Regiment’s history and deployments. This year the team have again been keeping busy supporting the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund, Welfare Fund and Help for Heroes. We returned to Maidenhead town centre and were overwhelmed by the generosity of the residents who donated over £2000 to the Welfare Fund. We also supported Mr John Stanworth (late LG) when he organised a charity bonfire night raising over £3000 for the Operational Casualties Fund. The Mounted Commons Keepers of Wimbledon Common, the majority of whom are ex Household Cavalrymen organised an open day which was supported by the team and HCR, raising just under £3000 which was donated to the Operational Casualties Fund and Help for Heroes. Another
well attended fund raising event was a Race Day at Newbury Races for the British Legion Poppy Appeal. The team is fully committed to try and support any organisations that are raising funds for the Operational Casualties Fund, Welfare Fund and Help for Heroes. This year the team has said farewell to Capt Chris Trinick who now is enjoying his new position as Career Management Officer (CMO), SCpl Hoggarth to the HCR training wing, LCoH Lewis to the HCMR, Tpr Semple to HQ Squadron and Tpr Jackson to Comd Tp. We welcome CoH James from D Squadron, Tpr John from the HCMR and Tpr Mansfield from C Squadron. Finally, I would like to thank all the Regiment’s recruiters for their hard work, not only recruiting the potential candidates but for their efforts in retaining their interest, particularly when start dates for initial training are some months away. Without them the Regiment would lose a lot of high quality recruits. The Regimental Support Team is always willing to carry out a display or presentation for recruiting purposes. We will also speak and send out information packs to any individual who is interested in joining the Household Cavalry. We can be contacted at: Telephone: 01753 755213 or 07748 288 611 E-Mail: HCR-RHQ-RecruitingOC@mod.uk Web: www.army.mod.uk/householdcavalry
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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 ACA West London 594 High Road Wembley Middlesex HA0 2AF Tel: 0208 902 1376 WO1 A P Farmer 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 SCpl L Brown 4 ACP Dalston Tel: 07852452808
SCpl Pickard 3 Saville Place Borough Road Sunderland SR1 1PA Tel: 0191 565 0542
WO1 E D Kershaw Rec Ops WO, HQ RG Trenchard Lines Upavon Wiltshire SN9 6BE Tel: 01980 615780
CoH D Bond ACIO Burton-on-Trent 181 Station Road Burton-on-Trent Tel: 01283 568172
CoH D Cox AFCO London 2-12 Bloomsbury Way London Tel: 020 7305 4301
WO2 J Lochrane (LSL) Senior Recruiter Wigan 2 Baileys Court Hallgate Wigan Lancs, WN1 1LR Tel:01942 243 904
CoH Walsh ACIO Oldham 3 Lord Street Oldham OL1 3HB Tel: 0161 627 3233
CoH T Aston ACIO Croydon Sharpshooter’s House 1 Mitcham Road Croydon, CR0 3RU Tel: 020 8688 7226
CoH L Walker ACIO Slough Queensmere Slough Tel: 01753 553843 CoH Hall ACIO Norwich 2 Magdalen Street Norwich NR3 1HX
WO2 A Lowe Senior Recruiter Stoke 36-38 Old Hall Street Hanley Stoke ST1 3AP Tel: 01782 212 070
Tel: 01603 624 616
HCMR Chaplaincy by Padre Bill Beaver
haplaincy within the mounted Regiment took a major step forward this year with the inclusion of the Chaplain’s Office in the new Welfare set up, just above the Hub. It is very visible and is much more convenient for everyone. It also has all the interviewing and meeting facilities necessary for the Padre to perform his duty. Chaplaincy in the HCMR takes on a slightly unusual cast as there is no chapel at Knightsbridge and families are scattered all the way from Putney to Windsor, so it is difficult to get the regimental family together except for the annual carol service. The only other occasion for the Chaplain to give out a message is during the field service at Bodney Camp. The Chaplain thinks the singing is getting better but he was always a glass-half-full man.
So the Chaplain’s main focus is to be available for the single soldiers living in barracks. Issues arise from time to time and the Padre is very much a part of the Welfare and Medical support matrix. This is not to say the regimental family is neglected. The Padre is also gainfully employed with producing what he likes to think are happy baptisms and exceptionally smart marriages both in the Guards’ Chapel and at Windsor where he preaches fairly frequently. Endorsed by the Command at all levels as well as the senior chaplains at London District and the Household Cavalry at Windsor, HCMR’s Chaplain is now well placed to provide the Regiment and the Regimental family with the tangible spiritual and practical support which they deserve.
The Padre in action, post ceremony, with a contented look on his face!
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Spruce Meadows 2010 by Captain RJ Gordon-Dean LG
n the 5th September Capt Gordon-Dean and Tprs Pritchard, Tennyson and Barber met up at Calgary airport with SCpl Walker and LCpl Veness, who had already been at Spruce Meadows for five days. With the six of us altogether for the first time, we settled in before having two days of admin which included getting used to the horses being lent to us, them getting used to us and our state kit, and meeting all the key people to make sure that the week ran smoothly. Spruce Meadows is an international riding centre which in September every year for the last 35 years hosts the Masters Tournament at Spruce Meadows near Calgary, Canada which attracts the world’s best showjumpers … and us for our 26th year! The Regiment is very kindly invited out by the Southern family who own Spruce Meadows to perform certain roles such as riding on the victory laps with the winning riders and attending dinners and meetings dismounted. The tempo of parades and duties was frenetic and the turnaround from one parade to
the other meant it was all hands to the pump, on cleaning kit and grooming before the next class, in our stables which we shared with the Celle Stallions from Germany. The week went without any glitches except for Tpr Tennyson being bucked off in the international ring in front of quite a few people and having to lead his unruly horse out of the arena. Cavalry blacks never seemed so good. The hard work put in by all was quickly forgotten as we said goodbye to Spruce Meadows and hello to Banff in the Rockies. Banff is a charming mountain town which afforded plenty of time to relax in the day and enjoy the nightlife it had to offer. We had two great days of particular note. We went to visit Lake Louise which is a glacial lake set in stunning surroundings and took a canoe out for an hour or so. A few brave people took a quick dip and it really was a very quick dip as you could feel yourself seizing up in near freezing water. With hindsight, you could call it refreshing! The highlight of the Adventure Training
Tpr Tennyson RHG/D on the shoulders of Tpr Pritchard LG with the men from the Celle Stallions in Germany
phase was without a doubt the quad biking. We and the Kings Troop team all hired quad bikes for the day and were ably guided up to around 9000 feet in the Rocky Mountains. The views were simply spectacular and we had a memorable lunch in a high hut, the weather allowing us a brilliant day. A fantastic trip like this does not just happen. Barb Tuyttens from Spruce Meadows has been incredibly patient and diligent in making sure that everything went to plan and without hiccoughs. SCpl Walker was a huge help in not only the build up to the trip but also when we were out there with his knowledge and experience, this being his fifth ‘Spruce Meadows’. Finally, the generosity shown by the Mr Ron Southern’s family cannot be underestimated. As already mentioned, this was the 26th year that we have been invited out and thanks to them, the Regiment not only shows itself off on a world stage but also, at the grass roots level, affords six soldiers a once in a lifetime trip.
L-R: Tpr Prtichard LG, Tpr Tennyson RHG/D, Captain Gordon-Dean, LCpl Veness LG, Tpr Barber RHG/D
HMCR Officers Mess Adventure Training by Captain J Mann
unique opportunity presented itself in late September for a few officers to head up to the rugged hills of Argyll to hone their Recce skills by pursuing the hardened stags of the West Highlands. The area was Glen Kinglass which forms part of the Black Mount forest by kind invitation of Richard Schuster. The first party that came up were predominantly from the RHG/D Squadron HCMR and consisted of Maj Twumasi-Ankrah, Capts P HanburyBateman and J Hulme and also joined by Maj M Kitching MBE for a short period,
who it is worth mentioning had an exceptionally long journey from London. The first two days we were incredibly fortunate. Good wind and a lot of rain meant that parties went off to the hill as well as to the river and by the end of the second day we had achieved two firsts. Maj M Kitching MBE managed to shoot a stag on day one and catch his first salmon the next day. Maj Twumasi-Ankrah managed to do this the opposite way round. Having never fished before, he caught a sea trout and
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L-R: Capts J Mann, A Lin, C Church, R Gordon Dean, E Howland Jackson and Surg Maj Wall
having two stalks, the first being too good to shoot and the second being too young.
Capt A Lin having a light snack!
Major Twumasi-Ankrah poses proudly with his Royal
a salmon within the first hour, much to the anger of anybody that has ever been fishing before! His luck continued the following day for his first stag. An old stag was spotted in one of the least accessible areas of the Estate and was subsequently despatched. What followed was an extremely hard drag off the hill and some very tactful weight guestimation by the Head Stalker who said, as it was moved, that he thought it would weigh in at 12 stone. Much to the surprise of all present, it turned out be a very large Royal (12 points) and weighed in at 17½ stone. Turning to the Head stalker, Mr Alasdair Ross, slightly shocked that he had managed to guess the weight so inaccurately, he gave a grin and mused ‘if I had told you how much it had weighed you would still be up there!’ I then knew how Tpr Marsden felt driving across Maysan a few years ago asking how much further we had to drive! The remainder of the first week continued to be a success with two more stags shot on the Friday to Capt J Hulme and Capt P Hanbury-Bateman. On Friday night we had two more arrivals with Surg Maj W Wall arriving with the HCMR Adjt Capt E Olver, who were supposed to arrive on Thursday night View from the tops
but to the unreliability of the RMO’s car had spent a night in Glasgow. As well as their arrival, the weather changed to a north wind which created some incredibly dramatic weather, clear blue skies and frost, not great for stalking. Saturday was spent with a party on the hill that walked a long way with no luck. Sunday was changeover day with all bar the Dr and Adjt departing and the arrival of Capts C Church, E Howland Jackson, R Gordon Dean and A Lin. Monday saw the weather change again back to wind and rain and a very wet day spent on the hill on Monday with the Dr returning victorious after a very tricky day stumbling around in the fog. An extremely wet day resulted in two more stags in the larder being shot by Capts Howland-Jackson and Lin, a first stag for Capt Lin. The memorable experience for me that day was a comment made by Capt C Church to Alasdair when a small deer drive was being concocted, it went something like this:
We were up there for ten days, shooting nine Stags and catching five Salmon, seven Sea Trout and two cod. The party dined on all of species caught and managed to surprise themselves at their cooking ability. Particular mention has to go Capt P Hanbury Bateman who surprised all when he produced hollandaise sauce for the salmon and made some exceptional fish cakes. One does wonder. A fantastic time was had by all and many officers where introduced to the pleasure of spending days in the hills stalking. Messrs Alasdair Ross and George Eveleigh looked after us extremely well and made the trip run seamlessly. Many commented on how much our soldiers and officers can learn from professional stalkers who use the principles of reconnaissance on a daily bases. Thanks must go to Richard Schuster for his generosity and all the team at Glen Kinglass for making it such an enjoyable trip. Surg Maj Wall and Capt J Hulme
Capt Church: “How about we pop up over that knoll and push those stags we saw earlier round to the other party?” Alasdair: “How about you do what you are told!” Wednesday was spent on the river to give everybody’s legs a day off with two more Salmon being caught, a first for Capt Howland Jackson. The final day Capt Church went up the hill but returned empty handed after Surg Maj Wall taking his shot in the fog
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Her Majesty escorted by Silver Stick and the Fd Offr in Bde Waiting
HCMR Ofﬁcers Jun 10
A Long Goodbye
Images of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Taking post for the move to Horse Guards
The BCM Leading down Lower Ward in Windsor Castle
RHGD Ldr bringing the Sovereign’s escort round
State Visit South Africa 2010
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State Opening of Parliament 2010
In the ranks on QBP
Queen’s Birthday Parade
The Duchess of Cornwall in the Full Dress wardrobe
The State Opening Escort passing through Horse Guards Capt Hulme of the AA LG Sqn Garter rehearsal
Capt Gordon-Dean taking the Spruce Meadows salute
Winter Guard Order
Lt Col Hughes takes over from Lt Col Lockhart
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Household Cavalry Sports Round-up Household Cavalry Golf 2010 by Captain AP Kellet
ousehold Cavalry golf in 2010 was a very memorable year: it saw our dominance in the Colonel’s in Chief Cup at Worplesdon Golf Club, the subsequent regaining of the trophy and the re-instigation of the Sunningdale match that had lapsed over the last year. The Household Division Championship was the first event on the calendar in March. It saw us field nearly 20 competitors for the day, almost half the field made up of Household Cavalrymen (past and present): it was no surprise that we carried off a few trophies. In the morning’s play Steve Wood won the Scratch, and Nick Wood was runner up in the Handicap. In the afternoon SCpl Wheeler and Dick Hennessy-Walsh were scratch winners and Captain Kibble and Chris Bye came runners up in the Handicap competition. To cap it off, Captain Douglas won nearest the pin but missed his 2ft birdie putt. During this competition we fielded some young and upcoming golfers most notably LCoH and LCpl Wharton, but due to incorrect scoring on their cards they were disqualified from the morning’s competition with scores that were rather BIG. The preliminary rounds for the Colonel’s in Chief Cup were fought the following week over the same course, giving us an advantage having been successful there. The Household Cavalry fielded two teams, the stalwarts that were hugely successful in the late 90’s comprising Dick Hennessy-Walsh, Stu Sibley, Neil Harman, Neil Flynn, SCpl Wheeler and Gary Dunkley. The B team comprised of Nick and Steve Wood, Captain Kellet, Captain Douglas, Captain Kibble and Russ Taylor. The A team cruised through the single match they played but the B team, after narrowly beating the Welsh Guards B, faced the formidable Irish Guards that have held the trophy for the last five years. After a hard afternoon’s play we came out victorious by one hole and therefore had both teams into the finals in September. The re-institution of the match at Sunningdale Golf Club in late April was greatly appreciated by all golfers both past and present that have been selected to play on one of the finest courses in the world. It is always an honour to be hosted by the Club and play the same fairways as the great Sam Torrance, who was indeed playing with Tim Henman
HCav golfers with the Maj Gen
that day probably for a sportsman’s wager. The result predictably went the way of the hosts. June saw two big events, first the Household Cavalry Charity Golf Day at Kingswood Country Club, Surrey, and the latter being a fixture against Eton College Golf Club. The Charity Golf Day has been around for four years now and it is the second time it has been held at Kingswood. Capt Warren Douglas spent many an hour fine tuning what was a spectacular event. At the end of May it was suggested that we may have to postpone it due to a lack of teams. He persevered and the outcome, after a lot of work, was indeed worthy of our Charity earning well over £20,000 for the Operational Casualties Fund. Eton College is another annual fixture that is in the Regimental Calendar and WO2 Hughes took up the challenge of organising this match with some supper and a few drinks afterwards. We were delighted and surprised to defeat their regular members on what is a notoriously difficult but short course. Victory here has been a long time in coming but again highlights the strength in HCav and our serving soldiers golfing skills. The finale to the season was the Colonel’s in Chief Cup with two teams out of the four finalists coming from the Household Cavalry. The morning matches were supremely close, with the A team beating the Welsh Guards on the final hole of the final match, but the B team narrowly
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succumbed to the Coldstream Guards. That left the HCav A team playing for the trophy and the B team in a 3rd place play off versus the Welsh Guards. The B team were beaten, again only narrowly, in the closing holes of the matches but the A team went on to record an outstanding and very convincing victory against the Coldsream Guards. Although only touching on the major events of the year, as with most sports, it is preparation that tells. Success requires patience, practice play at club and individual levels, and a winning ethos which is something that the Household Cavalry golfers have shown in abundance this year. Capt Hennessy-Walsh accepts the Colonel’s in Chief Trophy
by WO2 (RAOWO) AP Draper AGC(SPS)
Brown Trout (holding a ﬁsh)
rdinarily, you would find me sitting behind a desk … unless it’s between March-September when invariably, you will find me sitting in a boat. This has led to the inevitable renaming of my Regimental Appointment from Admin to ‘Angling’ Warrant Officer. I have been fortunate this season to have been able to dedicate much if not all of my spare time, and, where required, some work days to the sport to which I was introduced some eight years ago. For many, the mention of fishing conjures the thought of a river, some maggots and a box of sandwiches. On occasion, others will picture men wearing oilskins in boats or on a beach with a 12” BeachCaster and a bucket of flat fish or eels. This is not, however, the kind of fishing to which I refer. No; this is game fishing, more commonly known as fly fishing. If you are unfamiliar with the principle of this sport (short of trying to catch fish) the idea is simple. The bait in this instance is called a ‘fly’. The fly consists of a hook camouflaged to replicate the fish’s natural food although, in some cases, tying a mess of materials to the hook and hauling it through the water also works. The fish in this instance is not Bass, Plaice, Bream or Carp it is the Oncorhynchus mykiss and Salmo trutta or to give them their common names, The Trout (Rainbow and Brown in that order). If you have angled before but not for trout, you could do worse than to consider giving this a go. Whilst the sport can become somewhat expensive (like many others), the Army Team - The Soldier Palmers (which is actually a fly variant) - are always looking for new members and often run trial and training days for both experienced anglers and newcomers alike. The cost of these
Breaming from ear-to-ear
days out is kept to a minimum but you could expect to pay up to £30 for your first visit but if you are lucky enough to have a generous fund manager in the PRI (like me) you may find that if you fish competitively some of your costs may be funded for you. The sensation of hooking into your first big fish (or small for that matter) always comes as a surprise to the novice. Even in many instances when other anglers from different disciplines take part, the sheer sensation of feeling that tug … tug ... TAKE can catch you off guard. Fish ranging between 1lb 8oz (about 700gm) to 8lb 4oz (4kg) have come to the bags of our anglers this season, and promotion from National Group 2 to Group 1 was only a single match (and point) away from us. Regrettably, there can also be a bit of luck involved and our season ended with us in second place. In order to catch fish you require a few things. First, a rod - formerly made of cane, now made from carbon fibre. Rods can cost anywhere from £40 to £800 and beyond. You need a reel - not a coarse reel but a fly reel. There are many variants with an incredible price range but you can obtain these for as little as £15 including spare spools. You also need some line. Fly lines come in yet another vast spectrum but these can be split into two categories: Floating Lines and Sinking Lines. The floating line when cast, floats atop the water with some co-polymer leader (or cat gut in old money) dangling into the depths. The sinking lines come in weighted measures. This are called Di Lines or ‘Depth Indicators’. If you were using a Di 3 it would (after casting to the water) sink at a rate of 3 inches per second. A Di7 would sink 7 inches per second. The reason for this is that fish depth varies and in order to put food on their plate so to speak, you sometimes need to get flies down to the fish, hence sinking
lines. Lines cost around £35 each and if, like me, you are an avid fisherman, your box/bag would contain at the very least five lines, or more commonly ten lines. Once you have tackled up, you are ready to go. The venues for game fishing are UK mainland based reservoirs, although the Soldier Palmer Team has fished for migratory trout and salmon (river fishing) and internationally at varying lochs and lakes across the globe as far afield as Canada. At the reservoirs we fish ‘International Loch Style Rules’ which will be known to all competition anglers and taught to newcomers. This means that within certain restrictions, the aim is to catch your bag limit - eight fish, in the fastest possible time. The restrictions apply to fly variants and competition duration (normally no more than eight hours). You fish from a boat - approx 18 feet in length - from a seated position. Instead of motoring around the water until you find where you believe the fish are (the average reservoir size we fish is around 5 sq miles) and chucking in the anchor, we deploy a ‘drogue’. This is effectively an underwater parachute that slows the forward motion of the boat after the engine is switched off as you are propelled by wind by creating underwater drag. Once the drogue is deployed, you are off! This season has been one of my most successful so far starting with me winning the Army Spring Pairs Match and continuing throughout the season with success in the national league. The Soldier Palmers have had four of our members qualify for the National Team and will compete next year for England. If you are interested in this sport, feel free to contact me initially by e-mail (the only current constant means of getting me) at email@example.com.
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HCR Regimental Football 2010
he Regimental Football Team has formed up for the first time in two years following a hectic period of predeployment training and then operations on Op HERRICK 11. Immediately upon return from Post Operation Tour Leave trials were conducted over a two week period. Throughout these trials a number of potential stars were identified. As well as a new squad, the team had a new management structure with WO2 RQMC Brown (LG) as Manager and SQMC Parker (RHG/D) as Assistant Manager and admin officer. Following on from a successful trial period, the team moved into pre-season with gusto and desire. A number of friendly matches were played against both military and civilian teams and, encouragingly, the team remained unbeaten in this period, with WO2 Hockings scoring a header for the Old and Bold
notable performances from Tprs Arnold (RHG/D) and Bonsa (LG). As the team closed on the new season a lack of decent opposition was identified and, in order to fill this void, an old rivalry was resumed with the Officers, Warrant Officers and SNCOs clashing with the junior ranks. The match was highly competitive with SCpl Paddy Ireland (RHG/D) putting in a number of what can only be described as dubious challenges. The result of the match being a convincing 5-2 victory for the Junior Ranks. Of note in the game was the performance of Capt Meredith Hardy (LG) having what Andy Gray of Sky Sports would describe as a shocker putting through his own net on two occasions before being substituted to
reduce the chance of any more damage. The season is now in full swing with the Regiment sitting at the top of the London District League with some excellent performances. In particular, some of the new young players are showing the strength of character that will undoubtedly see them successful in all competitions entered throughout the year. Looking into the future, a charity game is planned against a Royal British Legion team in Lavenham in memory of LCoH Jo Woodgate (RHG/D) with proceeds from the game going to the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. Planning is at an early stage but all are looking forward to what will hopefully be a weekend of football and fund raising in early April 2011.
The man of the match Tpr Bonsa (RHG/D) Capt Robin Bourne-Taylor LG showing his prowess with SCpls Ireland and Parker looking on makes another burst forward
HCR Kickboxing Squad by Cpl Lingard AGC (MPGS)
n the night of 4th December 2010, the HCR Kickboxing squad consisting of Sgt Lingard, LCpl Kershall, Tpr Denton, Pte Parker and Pte Boast, fought with courage and in a commendable sporting manner, which had been noticed by other teams and has lead to VIP invitations to more events in the New Year. Results:
Sgt Lingard: 2nd Place BDB Light Continuous Title Fight; a very close fight by all accounts! LCpl Kershall: 2nd Place Light Continuous Fight; a very good fight against a black belt Ex Wuma GB squad fighter.
Tpr Denton: 1st and 2nd Place; his first fight a points contest in which he came second. In his second fight (which he volunteered for on the night) he came first after his opponent was unable to continue.
nervous; it isn’t a easy thing to do! Those who would disagree are welcome to come and train with the HCR Squad under Sgt lingard and in-turn test your own metal!
Pte Parker: 2nd Place Light Continuous Fight; Pte Parker fought a black belt 2nd Dan and did very well, and even though he came second he should hold his result as a personal achievement. Well Done! Pte Boast: 2nd Place Points contest; Pte Boast is the only female fighter in the squad, she fought a intermediate fighter and although coming second should be proud of herself; it wasn’t easy for her to step onto the mat to fight in front of a crowd and she was rightly extremely
Army Indoor Rowing Championships
Squadron, with minimal preparation, sent a team to Tidworth on 29th September to compete in the Army Indoor Rowing Championships. The event saw 19 teams from across the Army competing on the Concept II rowing machines over a distance of 2000 metres for the individual event and a 4000 metre
relay for the team event. The B Squadron team of four contained one with previous experience (10 years or so!) and three of the fittest members of the Squadron. The team was comprised of Capt Bourne-Taylor, LSgt Boniface, LCoH Loftus and Tpr Hopper.
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The individual event was won overall by a somewhat rusty Capt Bourne-Taylor. The team event saw a tight finish and a lung busting performance over 12 minutes in which the HCR were placed 2nd. Not a bad effort for a Squadron team in an Army event!
Capt Bourne-Taylor looking positively stunned by the raw power
Capt Bourne-Taylor well on the way towards winning the individual competition
HCR Regimental Rugby
aving not fielded a team for some years in any serious way, the Regiment was sorely in need of some impetus on the rugby field. WO2 (AQMS) Carrahar took on the job and set out to build a squad from the obvious talent that was in the Squadrons. A quick glance in the kit cupboard showed that the team was in dire need of some modernisation. A healthy sports grant later from the Regimental 2IC and the HCR squad was born. Whilst WO2 Carrahar took on the role of Head Coach, he was willingly supported by Ct Rupert Hills taking on the role of Team Manager and by Sgt Barkway, LSgt Kemp and LCpl Skingley, who all volunteered to assist with the coaching. The team played a friendly against Windsor RFC in the summer, winning 3325, but the opposition fielded a mixture of abilities and the match was more of a social occasion. The Team’s first real test was in November, when they played the
The Regimental Rugby Team
School of Electronic and Aeronautical Engineering from Arborfield; a welldrilled side, SEAE arrived in Windsor unbeaten but their winning run was about to come to an abrupt end. After a 14-0 lead at half time, SEAE foolishly rested on their laurels and paid the price, with the Regiment producing a fantastic
second half to win the match 26-14. The plan for rest of the 2010/11 season is one of consolidation and improvement, playing as many teams a possible and with the long-term plan to enter the Army Rugby Union Community Cup competition next year.
Army Taekwon-Do (TKD) Team Visit to South Korea, May 2010 by Major A R Tate
he team met at Heathrow Airport to start the Army’s first Martial Arts trip to Korea, the birth place of Taekwon-Do. The eleven hour flight was reasonably comfortable with time passing relatively quickly; we arrive at our hotel in Seoul mid-afternoon the next day, just in time to see the light festival which represents and celebrates the birth of Buddha. The first four days were spent acclimatising to local conditions and soaking up the sights, then training for the remaining eight days with some of the best Taekwon-Do(TKD) instructors in the Country, coupled with training in other aspects of Martial Arts to increase our experience. While acclimatising to Korea we visited
the De-Militarised Zone (DMZ), which has separated North and South Korea since the end of the war in 1956. At Imjingak, where the British 29 Bde was first to be engaged by the North Koreans and Chinese, a furious fight took place, over a four day period in which two out of four VCs and both the GCs awarded in the campaign were won. On seeing the barbed wire fences, signs warning of mines and heavily guarded outposts it brought back memories of visiting East Berlin via Check Point Charlie during the cold war. Even after signing a joint communiqué in 1971 the North Koreans continued to develop an invasion plan and secretly dug underground tunnels under the DMZ; three were found with the last being in 1978. In the tunnel we
went down it was estimated that 30,000 troops an hour could pass through it! Throughout the visit the South Korean Air Force were flying show of force sorties between the capital and border 24 miles away as a result of the recent sinking of the warship Cheonan. We visited most of the Royal Palaces that had been lovingly rebuilt having been destroyed during the Japanese forced annexation of Korea (1910-1945). The capital was no different to any other European city, however it was interesting to witness the commuters fixated to their far more technologically advanced mobile phones and micro TV’s on the underground. The food was the biggest challenge we encountered, we
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managed to order and then received what we expected but all at once. Having forced myself to eat some hard gristle, it was difficult to continue when the waiter explained we were eating chicken feet, including claws! Never again, but at least it wasn’t dog, which is no longer served in the South. We trained at the World Taekwon-Do Centre, Chung Cheong University in Cheongju in the centre of the country, a two-hour trip out of the capital. Our programme covered all aspects of the martial arts being taught in the University. The first couple of days we were put through our paces by the Polish National and World Champion, Rafal Olenski, in a small Dojan (training hall) with no air conditioning, in temperatures in the high 20’s. Once he had the measure of the group, having “melted” us with
Major Tate and Ms Eva Plessing, Patterns World Champion
the usual warm up session of shadow punching and kicking drills, he then switched to sparring skills, which really turned out to be a bit of build-up training for him as he was competing in the World Championships, which he won. Having demonstrated simple combinations we then with sparred him, where he demonstrated on us how easy the drills were to execute. Everyone upped their performance when fighting against him and thoroughly enjoyed the bragging rights that came with the bruises and experience. It was amusing to watch him practice the same combination on everyone with punishing results for the slow. We experienced training with students studying the Olympic style TaekwonDo. It amused us that all they wanted to practice was 540o spinning kicks and Middle section jumping turning kick with Dr Zibby Kruk
running up a wall and somersaulting off it. Easy when you are 8 stone. We covered Mixed Martial Arts taught by Professor Choi Mu Bae the biggest Korean I have ever come across; check out youtube. Philippino Stick Fighting was another painful experience adding small bumps to our developing bruises, but it was enjoyed by all. Then sadly at the end of two weeks we had to return home with the InterServices Martial Arts tournament just a month away, which was something to look forward to. At the tournament the Army Black belts won the team sparring and patterns. One of the team players won the Individual Inter-Service Champion, beating me in the final; I was old enough to be his father!
Rafal Olenski, Polish National & World Champion – on the back foot!!
Household Cavalry Cresta Run Team 2011 by Lieutenant PJR Chishick LG
his year the Regiment sent out a team to compete in the Inter-Regimental Cresta Run championships for the 17th/21st Lancers’ Cup. The race is carried out in teams of a minimum of two riders, with teams from the Queens Royal Lancers, 5th Battalion The Rifles, Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery, and the Territorial Army competing this year.
Regimental competition were Lt PJR Chishick LG and Ct JFM Clive RHG/D. Lt Chishick rode last year for the Regiment, while Ct Clive had spent a couple of days riding a few years ago in the Universities Week. Two riders from
For those not familiar with the sport, the Cresta is an ice run similar to a bob run except that it is carved by hand new every year. Unlike a bob run, therefore, it changes slightly from year to year and also does not have artificially banked up corners, which means that riders can fall out if they are not steering correctly or in control. It is just under a mile long with a 514ft drop. Riders ride head first on toboggans with sharpened metal runners and boots with spikes on the toes, which are an aid for steering and braking. Representing the Regiment in the Inter-
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each regiment had to complete all three courses, so having only two from the Regiment we were under more pressure from the start. Racing on the Cresta causes riders to have to weigh up the requirement to ride as fast as possible
Lt Chishick in the Lower Banks
Army Team 2011
Back row: Lt Chishick LG, Maj Barrington-Barnes QRL, Maj Morgan RWxY Front row: Maj Kettler QRL (Capt), 2Lt Horne LG, Col Wieloch (formerly QRL)
against the likelihood of falling out. Other teams who had looked in a strong position tried to push themselves too far and ended up falling at the most infamous corner of the run, “Shuttlecock”. Fortunately, both Household Cavalry riders managed to stay in for all three courses with Lt Chishick getting the second fastest times of the day and Ct Clive getting some very respectable times for his second season. The Regiment came second in the 17th/21st Lancers’ Cup to the QRL ‘A’ team, comprising the Army Team Captain and Secretary. There are two starting points on the run - about two-thirds of the way up the run is the point where all beginners and intermediate riders start, known as “Junction”; “Top” is only ridden by experienced riders as the speeds reached could (and often do) lead to serious accidents. Lt Chishick went up to Top for the first time this week and was then able to compete in the Army Top Championships, the Scots Guards Cup. Despite only having been at Top for a couple of days, he was placed second in
Cornet Clive taking Shuttlecock to the limit
the competition, due to an unexpected number of fallers. 2Lt AGF Horne LG came out to St Moritz from Knightsbridge to bolster the Army team for two days, as he had done a season working at the Run and is a very experienced rider. This quickly made itself evident, in that with only one day’s practice (and three rides from Top), in the Inter-Services Race the next day he went on to win the Auty Speed Cup for the fastest ride of the day (55.67 seconds) and the Lord Trenchard Trophy for the fastest cumulative times of the race as an individual. Lt Chishick also won the prize for the best improved Cresta Rider, getting his times down to 58 seconds from Top in six days. Unfortunately, the Army team as a whole came third to two very experienced teams from the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, but should hopefully be in a stronger position next year with further practice for the Regimental team and the return of some of the regular team members from operations.
next year in the Inter-Regimentals, and the hope is that with some funding (not least to patch the knees of our suits) we should be able to bring out some more members of the Regiment.
2Lt Horne LG and Lt Chishick LG with the Regimental Toboggan
With two Household Cavalry subalterns in the Army team, prospects are high for
Nordic Skiing 2010/11 by Ct JA Mawson
n the last week of November 2010, eight members of the Household Cavalry Regiment and Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment set off to begin the 2010/11 Nordic Skiing Season with a three-week training camp in Sjusjoen, Norway. After two ferry crossings and a mad dash across Denmark we arrived to our log cabin in -24 degrees temperatures and then hit the snow the next day under the guidance of our instructor SCpl Ian Marsh LG. The snow conditions in Norway were unfortunately quite poor due to the plummeting temperatures but the arrival of the Biathlon World Cup meant that
the officials in Lillehammer and Sjusjoen threw everything into producing a world-class course that we were able to train on following the departure of the professionals. A number of regiments, including the REME and the QRL had chosen Sjusjoen for their training also and along with the Household Cavalry, were able to cut their teeth that season on one of the hardest courses in the world, which included a neverending vertical climb that the team nicknamed “the vominator”. Training in Norway consisted of morning and afternoon technique and fitness skiing in both skating and classic techniques, gradually increasing distances covered. In the early evening the team would
Team accommodation, Sjusjoen, Norway -24 degrees centigrade.
use the floodlit ranges for zeroing and combination training of skiing and shooting. On returning to the cabin the instructor would lead us in a series of
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circuit exercises to increase strength in our legs, chest and arms. Following a Christmas break the team departed for Hochfilzen in Austria for the RA/RAC/AAC Championship, Exercise White Fist. The move from Windsor took the form of an epic drive that saw us arrive just minutes before the first team captain’s meeting. For the majority of the team, Exercise White Fist was their first experience of actual racing and whilst the Seniors settled into the routine, the Novices learnt the art of mass starts, relay handovers, swift and smooth movements in shouldering rifles, inevitable penalty loops for misses on the range, and double poling when their kick wax had inexorably lost it’s grip. Hochfilzen was home to a world championship course and there were several cheeky hills and a couple of downhill runs that claimed more than a few competitors in a flurry of snow as they were thrown out of the tracks or hit patches of ice. The Household Cavalry emerged from Exercise White Fist just one place short of the top ten, a strong performance considering the number of novices and the fact that SCpl Marsh was required in Knightsbridge and could not join us for any of the competitions. The next leg of the European tour saw the Nordic skiers reunited with the Alpine team in Serre Chevalier, France, after a drive across the north of Italy and a meander through the Alps, for Exercise Spartan Hike, the Divisional Championships. In France the competition was fiercer and the races longer. The four-man biathlon relay stepped up from 7.5km to 10km followed immediately by the 15km classic cross-country the next day whilst the final individual biathlon had lengthened to 12km. Going into the final event, the 25km patrol race, the Household Cavalry were close to one of the final coveted qualifying places for the Army Championship and managed to finish ahead of 25 Engineer Regt to secure a place at Exercise Rucksack in Ruhpolding, Germany.
Team photo, Norway.
Back row L-R: Tpr RNF Carling RHG/D; Tpr BP Lynch LG; Ct JA Mawson RHG/D; SCpl ID Marsh LG; Tpr DO Richardson LG. Front row L-R: Tpr TJ Wallis LG; Tpr SF Hastings LG. Not pictured: Tpr CW Murden-Wade LG.
The team left Serre Chevalier the next day and made the move back through Austria to Germany. We arrived in Ruhpolding just after the German leg of the Biathlon World Cup had been through and the huge stadium and extensive facilities made for an impressive venue. For much of the first week the valley was blanketed white with cloud and nearly two feet of snow made for some demanding driving conditions. Unfortunately, during the initial recce of the Ruhpolding Course at the Chiemgau Arena, Tpr Ryan Carling RHG/D piled into the deep snow after successfully locating a particularly hostile patch of ice. A trip to the hospital confirmed that he had broken his thumb in a compression fracture and he headed back to the UK to see the RMO. The Ruhpolding course itself was hugely challenging and some races totalled more than 350 metres of climb over a number of loops. The officials at Exercise Rucksack were able to make the most of the heavy snow and lengthy course to produce an impressive variety of loops for the races. The arrival of the GB team halfway through the exercise (taking a break from the World Cup Tour) meant that some teams suddenly surged ahead in the rankings, but their presence, along with the German Team
Tpr TJ Wallis LG powers through a biathlon mass start at Exercise Spartan Hike in Serre Chevalier
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who had scheduled some training in Ruhpolding, meant that the novices were able to witness some world-class Biathlon skiing and shooting first hand. The Household Cavalry team had an impressive season overall and performed well at the Army Championships despite some incredibly tough competition, often including international-level skiers. The course at Ruhpolding was also exceptionally hard, and the team had to step up their determination to tackle the final obstacle, the 30km patrol race! Tpr Tom Wallis LG was able to shine in many of the skating races, including finishing just short of the top ten in the Army in the 15km Individual Biathlon. As the team’s only Senior Competitor Tpr David Richardson LG was often faced with the longer and more daunting races but skied and shot to a high standard, consistently finishing in the top 20. The novices also performed well and took on all the races with enthusiasm and determination. Tpr Ben Lynch LG developed over the course of the season into a good shot with the .22 Anschutz rifles, keeping him off of the penalty loop! Nordic skiing and Biathlon are arguably the sports most suited to
Evening zeroing sessions on the ranges in Sjusjoen
any armed forces. The level of fitness, determination, mental resolve and marksmanship required to get out on the course in freezing conditions and race, sometimes up to 20km, much of it
uphill, should not be underestimated. It’s not surprising that often skiers collapse over the finishing line or after the handover before having a hot protein drink forced into their hand
and their racing bibs whisked away. The regiment will hope to build on this successful season and not only qualify for the Army Championships in 2012 but start to climb the rankings as well!
Alpine Skiing Report by 2Lt A Horne LG
n the 26th November 2010 nine intrepid soldiers set-off on an epic road trip to Switzerland with the final destination of Verbier. With a combivan, driven by LCpl Green, while Captain Mackie and 2Lt Horne were chosen to drive the brand new Land Rover Discoveries with heated seats , touch screen radio and comfortable leather seats! Co-pilots included Troopers Marsden, Kruger, Pugh, Cooney, Comley and Green. The last name on the list attempted to play Christmas tunes all the way to Verbier on the ludicrously early 26th November if it had not been for LCpl Green putting his foot down! After 13 long hours of driving, the ascent up the mountain to Verbier and a couple of queasy troopers, we finally made it to Chalet Larzey, our home for the next six weeks. As the first morning dawned, which involved an admin day, everybody was chomping at the bit to get on the slopes, to the extent that all the team were walking up to the top of the nursery slope with skis and poles in order to get a 10 second run down. It also involved some of the more experienced skiers giving a quick lesson to the beginners, which was probably about as useful as a nail through the hand! However this did not dampen anyone’s sprits, how could it as the sun was in the ski and there was ample snow on the ground. The first three weeks were dedicated to getting the experienced skiers back up to speed and also going back to the basics of having a solid technique (ironing-out the bad habits, of which this author had many!) so that they were fit to tackle the racing, where it is essential to have a sound technique otherwise there is not a hope of making it down to the bottom of the slope. As for the bottom groups, they had the harder task of learning how to ski, which is no easy thing. I believe that the prize for the most falls should go to Tpr Kruger, who as a beginner showed tremendous resolve and never let it get him down. The other key point of the first three weeks was the arrival of Captain CC Church RHG/D, who was invaluable to the HCR ski team constantly finishing in the top fifteen. The races came thick and fast, and it was an absolute joy to see the beginners go
down particularly challenging courses set out by the Swiss ski school, who had been our mentors at the beginning of the trip, Trooper Comley and LCpl Green both showing a lot of promise and this was reflected in LCpl Green picking up a number of best novice prizes especially when in came to the Divisional and Army Championships. It takes a lot of courage to stand at the top of a downhill course for an experienced skier let alone a novice, so on that note this author would like to commend Troopers Kruger, Cooney, Comley and Pugh and also LCpl Green. There is something about heading down a downhill course at ‘mach ten and your hair on fire’, dealing with jumps at 60kmh and an icy slope to receive you should the landing go wrong. At this stage I feel that it is important to quote Capt E Mackie RHG/D, “I don’t have a problem with the jumping, it’s the landing that you have to worry about!” 2Lt Horne couldn’t agree more after deciding to roll around in the snow after one of the downhill competitions and parting with his shoulder socket for a brief moment. It would be wrong of me to leave out the extra curricular activities of Verbier as there were some memorable incidents, such as Trooper Marsden telling a girl that he loved her after just three weeks. However, the team bonded well in a number of team nights out, therefore I can only conclude that the slick operation of the Household Cavalry Ski team was definitely partly due to this team building off the slope! New Year’s Eve was again particularly memorable as the RAC descended onto Chalet Larzey for a Firework display and tropical punch. Under the directorship of Captain Church five men went forward to discharge the better part of two thousand pounds of explosives with some electric results. There were many ‘oohhs’ and ‘aahhhs’ and some near misses for the firework team and the night was seen as a tremendous success. The six weeks in Verbier went by in a rate of knots and soon it was time to say goodbye to six of the team, leaving just Capt Mackie, 2Lt Horne, LCpl Green and Trooper Marsden to go onto the Divisionals in Serre Chevallier in France. The first thought by all concerned on
arriving was that it was definitely not Verbier, however it was nice to bump into the Nordic team for a quick catch up before starting to service all the skis for the next day’s racing. Again, the Divisional Championships went past very quickly with the Household Cavalry ski team qualifying for the Army Championship. LCpl Green surprised us all and himself when he was called up twice at prize giving to pick up best novice awards. The team then moved over to another side of the mountain for the Army Championship. The notorious Luc Alphand Piste; a black run that was also used as an Olympic downhill and named after said person who was France’s last great downhill Olympic Gold medallist. Every course was the most challenging that any of us had faced, long and icy. I would like to brush over Slalom, Giant Slalom and Super G and concentrate on the super heavy weight of all winter sports, the downhill. Not only is it a black run, an Olympic piste but also they decided to build up two jumps, Pylons and Brigadiers. The former being a monster! As you came into this jump going flatout, all you could see was the mountains on the other side of the valley with a 45 degree drop. This compelled the racers to go into the jump at speeds of around 70kmh and as a result flying up to 40ft in the air; if your weight was at any stage not fully-forward it ended with serious consequences. However, I am delighted to report that the Household Cavalry did not sustain any injuries; unlike many of the other teams who had to visit team-mates in the Serre Chavalier Hospital. Unfortunately, we did not manage to acquire a final position as not all the team finished all the races and as a result we were unplaced, which is not only disappointing but also did not show the true character of the team which put in a sterling performance throughout considering that we went out there with six novices. All in all, in was a fantastic experience and I can say that all who were involved had an experience they will not forget. Special mention should go to LCpl Green who skied phenomenally well considering it was his first time on skis.
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Eagles Veterans RUFC Annual Report by WO2 JA Evans RHG/D
he Eagles Rugby Veterans Tour this year was held during the last weekend in March. Yarnbury Rugby Club in Horsfirth near Leeds once again had invited us to their annual Vets tournament, which aims to raise money for many local charities. As with previous tours the majority of the party met up in Leeds City Centre on the Friday night for a few pre-tournament drinks and to catch up with old friends; the turnout this year was impressive with over 60 players and supporters filling the hotel and boosting bar profits. The Squad was also reinforced by WO2 (SCM) Mick Flynn and some eager young players from D Squadron and the rear party in Windsor. We were honoured to have once again to have in our ranks WO2 Andy Price WG head coach of the Army XV and also WO1 (ASM) Neil Duncan (REME) and WO1 (ASM) Keith Mitchell (REME) coach and manager of the very successful Army Vets side in our team. On the Saturday morning under the stewardship of John Kilvington the AGM was held in the hotel lobby before we departed for the Horsfirth ground hoping to improve on last years results. Owing to the success of the competition, which has grown over the years, there were now seven local teams keen to play. The competition was run on a league system with the top two teams playing in the final to decide the winners. Mark Dyche, the team manager, had unlike in past years lots of players keen to pull a shirt on and play, and this meant that some of the older players could take a more back seat approach and choose their moment to enter the field of play. No chance of me doing that as I was pushed forward as captain for the day, an honour which I was happy to accept. Before our first game and with the agreement of the opposition, we had a minutes silence for all those members of the Regiment old and young that had passed away since we last played. We kicked off and as normal our strong pack led by Neal Gaskell and Dave Evans dominated possession and when we did get into the oppositions half we made the most of our chances and took the points that were offered. Because of the pressure the pack was creating both in attack and defence we were getting a lot of penalties and we used this to our advantage. We won three games on the bounce and only fell short in one game due to a captaincy error on my part, not taking a penalty kick when we had the chance and instead going for a lineout
Eagles Vets Leeds 2010
five metres out from the opposing team’s line. We lost the possession and the opposition, Rowntrees, were able to score a few phases of play later and inflict our first defeat of the day. Victory followed in our next match against our old foe and friends Yarnbury Vets. So we were through to the final against Rowntrees and I felt confident despite the defeat to them earlier that we could put up a good performance. The high standard of play from the earlier matches continued and we ran out winners 10-3; it was an excellent way to finish the day.
many of the Eagles Club gathered in Windsor to present a Rugby shirt to the Regimental Museum in Combermere Barracks. The Eagles Shirt was encased in a glass case showing a photograph of WO2 (RQMC) Rick Buckle with his Eagles shirt and with a brief career history. Rick organised Regimental Rugby Club for many years and was respected by all. WO2 (Retd) John Kilvington and Rick’s widow, Heather, presented the shirt which was accepted on behalf of the Silver Stick by Maj (Retd) Paul Stretton. The shirt will become the first sporting exhibit in the revamped Museum.
During the “Third Half” in the club bar after receiving the trophy for winning the competition we as is the tradition of the Eagles swept all competition aside during the after match “pint drinking boat race.” Other post-match festivities included me trying to drink a pint of beer in one and failing miserably after being presented with the “Rick Buckle Man of the Season Award” which now sits proudly on my desk at work. We retired to the Scarbough Arms in Leeds City Centre our traditional watering hole to revel in our victory which became more magnificent as the night wore on. We will return to Yarnbury RFC next year to defend our title and I hope that once again the Regiment will send a sizeable group to boost our numbers in the competition. During July
The Club followed up this event with a weekend camp at Mark and Liz Dyche’s house at the end of August. The “Big D” festival attracted many members of the club and their families all pitching tents for the weekend in the field behind the house. Both parents and children enjoyed the fun and frolics of a smashing weekend. Once again many thanks to Mark and Liz for laying on the weekend and making it such an astounding success and also for the hard work they do spreading the word of the events that the club holds during the year. We are as ever on the lookout for players or supporters still out there who have yet to experience a vets’ weekend with the Eagles. If interested contact either myself at Chicksands 01462 817706 or Mark Dyche on 07870157361.
76 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up
WO2 Jim Evans & WO2 (SCM) Mick Flynn “still serving and still playing”
Marty Elliott & John Dickens “The front row union” enjoy the club’s success
Madness in Miami – the 2010 Golf Tour Diary by Captain (Retd) R Hennessy-Walsh
ong before this trip got underway there were signs that it was going to be ‘one of those trips’. The first indication of this revealed itself when the holiday company we had booked with - 3D Golf - went into administration during our annual trip to Spain in October. On that occasion it resulted in us nearly being stranded in La Cala - but that is another story. Fortunately, only two of the richer members of the squad had paid for the Miami trip in full. The remainder of the time, between October 09 and March 10 was spent dealing with ABTA and ATOL on two different claims! Anyhow, everyone got their money (for both trips) apart from one nameless article who was unable to remember how he paid his USA deposit and could not find the evidence! The uncertainties about the Icelandic volcano fortunately came to nothing! Two of the team flying from Manchester to connect at Heathrow - Andy Consterdine and Gary Dunkley - were late taking off, bizarrely due to fog; bizarrely because the rest of the country was bathed in bright sunshine. Their late departure was compounded when one of their suitcases was lost somewhere between Manchester and Heathrow and the ensuing debacle with ‘lost luggage’ only added to the likelihood of them missing their Virgin connection. (The offending suitcase did turn up a couple of days later at the hotel). The image of them sprinting (well, moving fairly quickly) through Terminal 3 - knocking over anyone who interfered with their progress - can only be imagined and they made it with literally seconds to spare. Gasping, they collapsed into their seats and ordered whisky. The group was made up with the normal
The whole group from L to R: Gary Dunkley, Russ Taylor, Bjorn Dunkley, Dick H-W, Harry Ford, Andy Consterdine, Paul Maxwell and Peter Long
USA rogues with one exception - Pete Long - who fitted in very well with his newly found friends. His golf was full of interest - about which more later. There were some giants seen during the week, the first at Virgin check-in in the shape of Frank Bruno who was kind enough to allow the more starstruck individuals in the party to be photographed with him. Later in the week there was another brush with a giant again, more later. The entertainment on the flight was very good and the time passed quickly and smoothly. The collection of the two vehicles, despite problems trying to find the bus to get us to them, went fine and after a short drive we found ourselves
View of part of the 18th hole on the Soffer Course taken from the hotel
at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle - a beautiful hotel in a beautiful setting despite the fact that we were on the outskirts of Miami. It is a member of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’ group and the $250 credit per room certainly enhanced our stay. Quickly changed, and a large bill for a quick drink in the hotel bar, saw us on our way to Outback’s - a traditional haunt on our first night in the USA. The younger members of the party went off to South Beach where they played around until around 3am; needless to say there were some breakfast issues the following morning. Saturday saw the resident insomniacs - the author and Dunkley snr - having a swim at 4am and the normal wander around looking for a cup of coffee. Sadly that happened on most mornings. Our first game was at Miami Beach GC which proved to be an average and fair test for our initial outing. There were some concerns on the drive up to the Club when we spotted a dog munching the grass on one of the greens and rubber mats as the tees. Fortunately - for The 1st hole on the very pretty Soffer Course
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 77
Before the Wrigley Challenge, L to R: Dick, Russ, Gary and Harry
the organiser - it was just another golf facility close by. In our usual Stableford format (points won per hole) Dick H-W and Bjorn Dunkley shared the same points that day with the latter winning on count back. Only 8 points separated 1st from last. Yet again we are able to recount a sort of animal story with a packet of crisps - belonging to Russ Taylor - being stolen by a giant pterodactyl type thing who promptly tipped them all over the course. Only four for dinner this evening at Tony Roma’s an excellent Italian restaurant. Unfortunately, the delay in service was so long we fell asleep and had to be disturbed by the maitre d’ when the food finally arrived. For losing the first challenge of the week Harry Ford had to pay for starters that night - not an insignificant sum! We knew Sunday was going to be a long day because it entailed two rounds of golf; and the organiser got the stick for that too. It was a very hot day, 30 degrees +, and even with buggies it was a real challenge. We played on the two resident courses - the Millar and Soffer - both very fine examples of how good golf courses should look. Very sadly Harry went into the rough and whilst preparing to play his shot had his foot moved by a beast - what he thought was a ‘gator. Fortunately for H it was only a duck he had stood on and his screams can still be heard across Miami. Dick on a run, won that morning and in the after-
The alternative Challenge, L to R: Paul, Bjorn, Andy and Peter
noon we played a matchplay fun game. We went to one of the worst restaurants in the USA that evening where we witnessed what can only be described as a lasagne on stilts. Very nasty it was too. Tired and emotional we all slept long and well - waking at 7am no less! Monday saw us at Hillcrest G&CC which, although not a wow course, did set us on our way for what followed in the week. Bjorn won today just pipping Dick by a single point. Dunkin Donuts followed for Harry and Dick and then Dunkin Donuts again for Harry and Dick. I don’t understand why Harry never puts on weight. More swimming followed with more Italian food at the Olive Garden - a very splendid affair. Emerald Hills GC was the venue for the next day, which a few of us had played some years before. Fiercely hot, like last time, with probably the fastest and hilliest greens all week creating much havoc amongst us all. Bjorn won today. Later that day we identified a credit card fraud when one of the members got a call from Barclaycard telling him that his spending was out of control and he should stop it. Having used a credit card to check into the room it became obvious that someone within the Fairmont Group was having fun at our
One of the holes on the beautiful Diplomat Course
78 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up
Gary and Dick’s early morning wash room
expense and fortunately the debt was written off. To celebrate we had dinner at a Cuban restaurant which was cheap and cheerful with some of the food looking decidedly unusual. Later when we were all asleep Harry and Gary gave presentations on the possible locations of where we would go in 2011 - and it looks like Arizona. Played at the Diplomat Golf and CC on Wednesday - a very impressive course and club house. Dick won today and LG (Dick and Russ) were finally winners of the Wrigley Challenge after years of effort. There were some questions raised by the opposition that rules had been broken but no officials were called and the defeated pair accepted their loss with grace. There was also an alternative non-Wrigley Challenge played. As
A slighly prettier group photograph
The Wrigley Challenge Shield
though that were not enough golf we decided to play again in the afternoon and we all went to Doral to play the infamous Blue Monster - scene of many PGA tournaments. We knew it might be tight to finish in the daylight and so it proved with our 2nd shots into the last hole (a real picture in the daylight) being completely unsighted. Fortunately all balls were found. A huge challenge with bunkers and water everywhere and this was compounded by an enormous Florida style storm half way round. The final round of golf was on the Soffer course played earlier in the week. Another blisteringly hot day which made a difficult course even harder. Michael Jordan put in an appearance half way around with a host of his flunkie, and we had previously been advised to let eight of them all through at the same time. Some of his fans took more pictures with him. On the last day Call Sign Zero ran out of petrol; bad enough you might think but when it happens on the motorway it becomes a different kind of problem. Fortunately Messrs Maxwell and Taylor were able to carry on, find petrol, and find us, all within about 30 minutes - a very impressive navigational feat! The The 18th hole at Soffer
Dick presenting Bjorn with the overall winners trophy
final insult was being dropped off about a mile from the correct departure terminal and the endless walk with loads of luggage was a real trial. Shopping at Bloomingdales is something we all experienced during the week with the highlight, for us non shoppers, being an ice-cream extravagance at Ben & Jerry’s. Prize giving was followed by dinner at Outbacks. Not sure whether anyone passed any of the challenges set during the week and this of course always adds to the excitement after each game. And to our new friend Pete Long we offer our sincere sympathies. He managed to break a record which was set by Steve Vickers way back when these tours first started. Steve amassed in one round the grand total of 9 points. (For those non golfers reading; a decent round played to your handicap should provide you with about 36 points). On his very first trip Pete managed to score 8 points which may remain unchallenged for some years!! Notwithstanding all that, we love him dearly and he has vowed to come along in 2011. Overall a great trip - one of the better ones and although there were heavy
showers each day we only got caught once - at Doral. We are once again indebted to everyone, but particularly Gary, for providing such wonderful prizes. Overall Champion: Bjorn Dunkley 2nd: Dick Hennessy-Walsh 3rd: Paul Maxwell - a most improved golfer The Johnny Wilson Pairs trophy was won by Dick and Gary with Max and Russ coming 2nd. LG (Russ and Dick) beat RHG/D (Gary and Harry) for the new and very impressive Wrigley Challenge Shield kindly provided by Russ. Harry won the Par 3 competition for the 3rd successive year and gets to keep the Trophy provided by Max. The remaining Pairs Competition was won by Bjorn and Paul. As already stated, the 2011 tour will take place in Scottsdale, Arizona where we have never been before on one of these tours. I’m sure there will be much to reveal this time next year.
The spectacle which is the 18th green at Soffer with someone else you might recognise.
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 79
Obituaries Op HERRICK 11 Battle Group Casualties Below is a montage of photographs of those killed from other regiments working with the Household Cavalry. We will remember them.
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.
23548458 SCpl KA Maxwell Served 15 April 1958 to 1 April 1982 Died 12 February 2008, aged 68 years
14409839 Tpr SJL Spicer Served 1 February 1944 to 1 May 1947 Died 18 December 2009, aged 85 years
24002218 LCpl RM Gilks Served 11 July 1973 to 23 April 1975 Died 2009, date unknown aged approx 63
22205351 FCpl BE Page Served 20 April 1949 to 26 March 1954 Died 2 January 2010, aged 78 years
295960 Tpr FC Hartgrove Served 4 May 1942 to 2 May 1947 Died 24 August 2009, aged 85 years
296574 Tpr G Hardy Served 28 December 1944 to 4 April 1948 Died 5 January 2010, aged 83 years
295962 CoH WD Taylor Served 1 January 1942 to 12 July 1954 Died 11 December 2009, aged 87 years
295719 CoH WT Ray Served 17 July 1941 to 28 May 1946 Died 6 January 2010, aged 89 years
92 â– Obituaries
23215239 Tpr TH Taylor Served 26 March 1956 to 25 February 1965 Died 6 January 2010, aged 71 years. 24048248 Tpr JV Mitchell Served 18 January 1965 to 17 January 1975 Died 8 January 2010, aged 62 years 517623 Major JL Leighton Served 10 June 1963 to 14 January 1994 Died 11 January 2010, aged 68 years
22077214 Tpr JL Hastings Served 1 Nov 1948 to 13 Dec 1950 Died 14 January 2010, aged 79 years
22867272 Tpr TH Smith Served 7 April 1953 to 7 April 1955 Died 26 March 2010, aged 75 years
J Sewell Served 1955 to 1960 Died 17 January 2010, aged 72 years
22055062 Tpr DL Hudson Served 1 August 1948 to 15 April 1950 Died 3 April 2010, aged 79 years
257320 Lt REM Elborne Served 6 October 1945 to 12 December 1947 Died 22 January 2010, aged 84 years 24164677 WO2 M Byrne Served 2 February 1971 to 1 July 1993 Died 23 January 2010, aged 63 years 22556371 Tpr CG Lumley Served 15 January 1954 to 28 February 1964 Died 27 January 2010, aged 74 years 6023550 Tpr F Short Served 31 July 1945 to 10 February 1955 Died 1 February 2010, aged 87 years
22205704 Tpr W Anderton Served 7 May 1951 to 6 April 1956 Died 5 April 2010, aged 76 years 23215027 Cpl TJ Freer Served 9 May 1955 to 30 October 1958 Died 10 April 2010, aged 72 years 22407928 Tpr WMJ Jeffers Served 1 September 1950 to 30 September 1952 Died 16 May 2010, aged 78 years 22389808 Tpr A Playford Served 20 July 1950 to 10 August 1952 Died 24 May 2010, aged 78 years
760005 Captain A Morley Served 1 January 1938 to 1 January 1946 Died 2 February 2010, aged 90 years
22841892 WO2 FW Hatto Served 11 January 1955 to 20 February 1978 Died 25 May 2010, aged 72 years
296341 SQMC GO Gibbs Served 26 April 1944 to 25 April 1966 Died 8 February 2010, aged 84 years (His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
23323576 Tpr W Thomas Served 5 July 1956 to 27 July 1958 Died 30 May 2010, aged 74 years
23595519 Tpr T Pownall Served 6 November 1958 to 27 November 1960 Died 24 February 2010, aged 74 years
416319 Major WG Patterson Served 28 April 1951 to 2 February 1967 Died 11 June 2010, aged 78 years (His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
24031495 Tpr RA Hill Served 31 March 1965 to 5 December 1969 Died 26 February 2010, aged 65 years
14898428 LCpl JG Philpot Served 30 December 1944 to 11 March 1948 Died 20 June 2010, aged 83 years
6085508 In-Pensioner CoH R Smith Served 13 February 1934 to 27 February 1957 Died 5 March 2010, aged 94 years
529883 Captain BJ Dean Served 24 June 1963 to 23 June 1975 (Trans as CoH – 23929028 to AAC – 24/06/1975 to 24/04/1994) Died 24 June 2010, aged 64 years
295004 LCpl WCL Gladman Served 4 April 1934 to 4 April 1947 Died 9 March 2010, aged 89 years (His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal) 22556548 LCpl IR Harding Served 12 November 1953 to 4 January 1957 Died 14 March 2010, aged 74 years 22205478 LCpl MW St A Campbell Served 16 January 1950 to 15 January 1955 Died 17 March 2010, aged 78 years
22008635 Tpr EG Eldridge Served 1 March 1948 to 31 December 1949 Died 9 July 2010, aged 80 years 478113 Captain A Norris Served LG 20 October 1959 to 15 January 1965 (LCpl 23679023). Commissioned into RASC (later to become RCT) 16 January 1965 until retiring 1 August 1973 Died 17 July 2010, aged 70 years
22205623 SQMC MB Griffiths Served 1 November 1950 - 1955 Rejoined 1958 to 31 October 1982 Died 18 July 2010, aged 77 years 22205552 SQMC BP Thompson Served 10 July 1950 to 3 January 1969 Died 7 September 2010, aged 78 years (His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal) 296662 WO2 (SCM) M Stephenson Served 8 June 1945 to 1 April 1959 Died 14 September 2010, aged 82 years 22556507 Cpl JG Tither Served 12 October 1953 to 30 April 1965 Died 14 September 2010, aged 72 years 23014670 Cpl JPC Leary Served 1 March 1954 to 31 March 1956 Died 17 October 2010, aged 79 years 6352689 Tpr H Taylor Served 1 January 1940 to 1 October 1946 Died 5 November 2010, aged 88 years 22556712 WO2 JM Wardell Served 07 May 1954 to 1 7 January 1987 Died 12 November 2010, aged 74 years 556176 FSgt RJ Cox Served LG from 27 July 1936 to 16 April 1941. Transferred to RAVC until 25 November 1942. Transferred to RASC until his discharge 18 December 1948 Died 18 November 2010, aged 91 years 22205864 WO2 (TQMC) B Howells Served 5 February 1952 to 5 February 1974 Died 19 November 2010, aged 83 years 303283 Lieutenant DA Thacker Served 1 December 1942 to 1 January 1947 Died 20 November 2010, aged 85 years 22556592 Cpl DV Finch Served from 5 January 1954 until 5 January 1957 Died 21 December 2010 aged 75 years 296674 WO2 (SCM) RJ Hutton Served from 27 February 1946 until 26 February 1968 Died 24 December 2010 aged 82 years 14234285 Cpl R Towler Served 1 January 1942 to 31 December 1947 Died 25 December 2010, aged 87 years
Obituaries ■ 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. 24041031 Tpr DB Ayres 1RD Served 4 February 1965 to 4 March 1968 Died 25 December 2006, aged 62 years
22550858 LCpl MP Pugh 1RD Served 1 March 1951 to 31 March 1956 Died 2 May 2010, aged 77 years
Mr P Allison RHG Served in early 1960s Died 22 August 2010, age unknown
22044674 Tpr OGLP Burns RHG Served 1 November 1948 to 31 March 1950 Died 7 November 2007, aged 77 years
305067 CoH JB Pullee RHG Served 18 October 1933 to 26 November 1945 Died 2 May 2010, aged 93 years
Officer WMG Black 1RD Served 1956 – 1965 Died 23 August 2010, age unknown
7957508 Sgt MI Meakin 1RD Served 9 April 1942 to 28 February 1947 Died 22 December 2009, aged 86 years
513376 Major JSP Swayne RHG/D Served 15 January 1982 to 1 March 1994 Died 6 May 2010, aged 51 years
237577 Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine Bt MC JP DL RHG Served 4 September 1942 to 10 June 1949 Died 24 August 2010, aged 87 years
305996 Cpl HF Hull RHG Served 4 February 1942 to 27 May 1949 Died 13 May 2010, aged 87 years
Lt WHO Hutchison 1RD Served 1948 to 1950 Died 26 August 2010, aged 82 years
306264 Tpr FW Lincoln RHG Served 1 August 1942 to 1 November 1947 Died 13 May 2010, aged 84 years
23215235 Tpr PW Nash RHG Served 23 March 1956 to 29 March 1964 Died 5 September 2010, aged 72 years
Lt The Jonkheer Groeninx Van Zoelen Van Ridderkerk MC RHG Served 1 September 1943 to 30 April 1945 Died 1 January 2010, aged 85 years (His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
24125826 LCoH G Thomson RHG/D Served 18 October 1969 to 11 October 1991 Died 20 January 2010, aged 61 years 19123153 Tpr CD Day RHG Served 16 January 1947 to 9 April 1949 Died 23 January 2010, aged 81 years 24212642 LCpl DPP Thompson RHG/D Served 15 October 1970 to 12 April 1993 Died 28 January 2010, aged 56 years 305133 Cpl DW Look RHG Served 6 March 1935 to 31 December 1942 Died 3 February 2010, aged 93 years 22556747 Scpl CE Greenwood RHG/D Served 24 June 1954 to 10 August 1976 Died 5 February 2010, aged 73 years 305026 CoH SH Vaudin RVM RHG/D Served 30 August 1932 to 30 August 1972 Died 20 February 2010, aged 98 years 23222256 Cpl JA Meikle 1RD Served 15 September 1955 to 28 March 1969 Died 22 March 2010, aged 70 years
(His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
537393 Lt B Bulwer-Long RHG/D Served 14 December 1991 to 11 January 1995 Died 17 May 2010, aged 40 years
(His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
453078 Major DS Barrington-Browne 1RD Served 1 January 1956 to 1 January 1963 Died 4 June 2010, aged 72 years 22205779 CoH RT Williams RHG/D Served 2 October 1951 to 1 October 1974 Died 17 June 2010, aged 76 years 23538688 Tpr RJ Webber 1RD Served 1 January 1958 to 31 December 1966 Died 20 June 2009, aged 66 years Lt AE Welton 1RD Served 1 January 1956 to 31 December 1958 Died 30 June 2010, age unknown 23735778 SCpl BT Stratford RHG/D Served 5 October 1959 to 15 April 1979 Died 25 July 2010, aged 68 years
25127264 CoH JM Woodgate RHG/D Killed in action - Afghanistan 26 March 2010, aged 26 years
23969214 LCoH JA Leslie RHG/D Served 1 January 1963 to 31 December 1974 Died 15 August 2010, aged 62 years
14568821 SQMC JE Flannigan RHG Served 18 March 1943 to 3 January 1968 Died 13 April 2010, aged 85 years
303277 Major JA Dimond MC RHG/D Served 14 October 1944 to 3 February 1979 Died 19 August 2010, aged 86 years
(His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
(His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
94 ■ Obituaries
(His obituary appears elsewhere in this Journal)
328648 Tpr HD Moffat 1RD Served 1 January 1940 to 1 March 1946 Died 8 September 2010, aged 93 years 23929138 Tpr H Ratcliffe RHG/D Served 2 March 1964 to 1 March 1976 Died 9 September 2010, age unknown 466446 The Hon PG Penny RHG Served 1 January 1959 to 31 December 1961 Died 10 September 2010, aged 71 years 23134491 CoH J Sweeney RHG/D Served 28 April 1955 to 30 November 1972 Died 18 September 2010, aged 73 years 23403800 Tpr MEG Merrick RHG Served 1 June 1957 to 1 June 1959 Died 3 October 2010, aged 72 years 23215325 Cpl JD Marklew RHG Served 1 January 1956 to 1 January 1959 Died 07 October 2010, aged 70 years 22556217 Tpr GE Desborough RHG Served 1 January 1952 to 15 December 1955 Died 01 December 2010, aged 75 years 306720 Cpl R Whitburn MBE RHG Served 11 January 1945 to 20 February 1948 Died 14 December 2010, aged 87 years 14948563 Cpl DK Roberts RHG Served 01 March 1945 to 01 January 1948 Died 19 December 2010, aged 83 years
Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate Late The Blues and Royals
‘Thunderstruck’ by AC/DC. This along with such a patriotic service ideally sums up the type of person that Woody was. As one of his best friends LCoH Griffin aptly said, “Jo was a rock star in uniform”.
by Capt G Mackay-Lewis
Since his funeral Woody’s family and friends have been honouring his memory in many different ways; from charity parachute jumps and suppers, to more recently a cross being planted in the Wootton Bassett Field of Remembrance. He left his mark on so many people, and we will continue remembering him in the years to come.
Tragically an insurgent grenade killed LCoH Jonathan Woodgate on 26th March 2010, in the Sangin district, Helmand Province. At the time he was a vehicle and section commander in 4 Troop, 11 Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF). He had always wanted to become a soldier and, at the age of 16, joined the Army Foundation College. After completing his training he joined the Household Cavalry Regiment and soon found himself preparing to go on his first Operational Tour. ‘Woody’ had achieved an enormous amount in his military career. He had completed four tours, two in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. In Iraq he survived a strafing run from an American A10, a dreadful and fatal ‘blue on blue’ incident. He had also managed to escape unscathed from a minestrike during his first tour of Afghanistan. Having been in two Brigade Reconnaissance Forces, he was one of the most qualified Reconnaissance soldiers in the British Army. Between tours he had taken part in Op FRESCO during the Fire Brigades Union strike, two MEDICINE MAN exercises on the plains of Canada, two Close Observation Courses courses, and his Crew Commanders course. All of this by the age of 26. This wealth of experience, coupled with his natural leadership qualities had created a seasoned warrior, and one of the best NCO’s in The Household Cavalry Regiment. His professionalism, enthusiasm, and courage guaranteed the respect of all who knew him. During Op HERRICK 11, on different occasions, members of his section had been injured by small arms fire. On both occasions Woody displayed outstanding moral and physical courage in extracting and treating both casualties under sustained fire. This was just one of the many examples of how good he was at his job and how dedicated he was to his men. His high level of banter and popularity would ensure that you would always see a group of people sitting around him, normally roaring with laughter. He was the heart of the troop during the tour, and was always looking out for the blokes, and they in turn would look to him for advice. This was also reflected back in the UK. Whether in Windsor or in Suffolk; his home county, he was regarded by those who knew him, as a cool, calm and collected character: his style and swagger envied by all. Woody’s funeral was held on 23rd April 2010 in Lavenham, Suffolk, and holding a military service on St. George’s day was fitting for such a patriot. The hymns of old such as ‘I vow to thee my country’, and ‘Jerusalem’, were sung by the huge congregation, both military and civilian who had come to pay their respects. And after two excellent Eulogies and the Regimental Collects were read, came the retiring tune of
Major Sir Rupert Buchanan-Jardine MC Late The Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) 4th Bt. Extracts from The Daily Telegraph On September 11, 1944 Buchanan-Jardine, aged 21, serving with the 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment, was ordered to carry out a patrol, believed to be the first by Allied forces into Holland. Moving well ahead of the main force, he led his troop to reconnoitre a bridge near Valkenkenswaard, south of Eindhoven and more than six miles behind enemy lines. When he was held up by German infantry armed with panzerfausts, he decided to charge through with two scout cars. Five miles further on, just short of Valkenswaard, he was pinned down by a tank. He remained in observation for half an hour gaining valuable information but was then warned by a civilian that the enemy were moving up behind him. He made a high-speed dash down an enemy-held road, with just two scout cars, reporting back, by radio, that the strategically important bridge was still intact. He then returned along the same road, passing through the now fully alerted German forces. Buchanan-Jardine was awarded an immediate Military Cross. Queen Wilhelmina of The Netherlands also presented him with The Bronze Lion of The Netherlands. Andrew Rupert John Buchanan-Jardine was born in London on February 2 1923 and succeeded in the baronetcy on the death of his father in 1969. The baronetcy was created in 1885 for Robert Jardine, a Liberal politician and head of Jardine, Matheson & Co, the merchants in China. Rupert, an only child, spent the first four years of his life at Comlongon Castle, Dumfriesshire, which his parents had rented. It was here that his riding ability first became apparent. The nursery floor had a shiny linoleum surface and when Rupert and a contemporary, Anthony Lowther, who visited regularly, were placed on their potties at one end they would propel themselves forward with their legs to see who could reach the far wall first. On the death of his grandfather in 1927, young Rupert moved
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to Castlemilk, near Lockerbie, with his parents. It was around this time that a German governess was employed to commence his education and he became fluent in the language. Aged 13, he went to Harrow where he played in the 1st XI and was at school at the outbreak of the Second World War. A German bomber dropped some incendiary devices which landed on the roof and, as a member of the fire fighting squad, he was responsible for extinguishing them. Buchanan-Jardine enlisted in The Household Cavalry and was commissioned in 1942. He loved horses and his dislike of the noisy and uncomfortable vehicles that had replaced them was confirmed when, shortly after arriving on Salisbury Plain, he was ordered to get on a motorbike. He had travelled no more than a few yards when it burst into flames. Not long after D-Day, his Division was posted to Normandy. Soon after the exploit which gained him an MC, he was asked to go to investigate a village, once again behind enemy lines, to assess the strength of the German forces that were stationed there. Having worked out a simpler and safer way to gain this information, he went into a Post Office in Allied territory and persuaded the postmaster to connect him to the burghermaster in the German held town. Knowing that Germans always shout when giving orders, he bellowed down the telephone a demand to know how many troops were stationed there. He was duly supplied with all the required information and was able to report back that the town was heavily defended, thereby preventing severe Allied losses. On another occasion, after breakfast, he set off into the woods with some lavatory paper tucked under his arm. He had just crouched down, behind a bush when a German soldier (who had been hiding in the same woods) came running up with his hands in the air, saying that he wanted to surrender. Thanks to his governess’ expert tuition, he was able to tell the man, in impeccable German, to “Go and wait over there until I have completed my business.” In 1949, after leaving the Army, Buchanan-Jardine went to The Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester to study Estate Management and Forestry. Shortly after his marriage he started hunting his pack of black and tan foxhounds, which his father had bred. Hunting was the great passion in his life and he was a Master of the Dumfriesshire Foxhounds for 51 years. When hunting, as he knew it, was banned under government legislation, he decided that the hounds, which he had bred specifically for their physical strength, nose and voice, would be impossible to control sufficiently to comply with the new rules. He retired from hunting and gave his hounds away, mostly to overseas packs, where they could continue to hunt in the manner for which he had bred them. He was very philosophical about this decision saying only that he had been extremely privileged to have been able to pursue his chosen sport for so long and that he had derived enormous pleasure from this experience. Forestry was another great interest of his. His father had been knowledgeable about ornamental trees and also understood the commercial benefits of Sitka Spruce. Buchanan-Jardine took over responsibility for these young woodlands and nurtured
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them through to maturity. He also inherited a talent for cattle breeding and his herds of Ayrshires and Dun Galloways won many prizes and gave him years of enjoyment. He was an active member of his local community and encouraged and supported both Kettleholm and Corrie village halls as well as being an elder of Tundergarth Church for many years. Rupert Buchanan-Jardine died on August 24. He married, in 1950, Fiona Edmonstone. The marriage was later dissolved and he is survived by their son, John, born in 1952, who succeeds in the baronetcy, and their daughter.
Major John Alexander Dimond MC Late The Royal Dragoons 1944–1969 Late The Blues and Royals 1969- 1979 John Dimond was born in London in 1924 within the sound of Bow Bells and was brought up in Devon and London. He was commissioned from the RAC OCTU at Sandhurst and joined The Royals in Kent at the end of 1943 or early 1944, after the Regiment had returned to UK from the Italian Campaign, to prepare for the invasion of North West Europe. He was in B Squadron. He has described his early days in the Regiment in an article in the 2007/8 Household Cavalry Magazine, to which he was a regular contributor. In July 1944 John and his troop landed in Normandy on Juno Beach from an LST over the beaches. Following the crossing of the Orne, John was on almost continuous patrolling, apart from two 48 hour breaks in Brussels, until the end of the War. John’s Troop Sergeant was Edwards, who was awarded the Croix de Guerre at that time, and who subsequently became a very distinguished RSM of The Royals. John was a very modest man, particularly about his wartime experiences, but he was awarded an immediate MC for his aggressive spirit under heavy fire and with complete disregard for his personal safety in actions against German Panther and Mk IV tanks. In the last few weeks of the war, the Regiment advanced in a 150 mile burst across the Hanoverian plain to Celle and Uelzen. This was very familiar territory to the next generation of Royals when they were at Wesendorf from 1954 to 1957. On one occasion during that time, there was a Troop Leaders TEWT. The picture painted was of the leading scout car coming under fire during an advance to contact patrol. After we had all given our solutions and explained what we would have done, the Colonel turned to John and said, “Now John, tell us what you actually did when you were faced with this actual problem in 1945!” The cessation of hostilities was followed by the liberation of Denmark by the regiment. We were often regaled by John in the Mess with the happy times they had in Copenhagen and Aarhus and tales of the Tivoli Gardens and the restaurant in Copenhagen, which had a regimental cap badge let into the
table and was reserved for Royals Officers. I remember one of the girls John had known in Denmark coming down to Wesendorf in 1955/6 with her husband to see John and Jean, and the two families are still in touch. After the liberation of Denmark, the regiment moved to Eutin and thence to Dedelsdorf and Wolfenbuttel, with a detached squadron in Berlin during the Berlin Airlift in which John was 2i/c for two tours. It was during this period that his prowess as an athlete showed itself. He was a very fast sprinter - his nickname in the regiment was Wint, named after the 1948 Olympic sprinter Gold Medallist. He was also an excellent wing three quarter on the regimental rugby team, which he captained in 1952/3. In 1950, the regiment went to the Canal Zone. It became necessary to form a fourth sabre squadron and John took over command of HQ Squadron as a captain. John was very strong on Administration and Logistics, having been staff captain A in HQ 7th Armoured Division in 1949/50 - and man management - which he had to be, having nearly half the regiment in his squadron. It was in the Canal Zone that John met Jean, who was working in Security Intelligence GHQ MELF. They were married in Cyprus in 1953. John was very musical and had an excellent singing voice. His rendering of “The Road to Mandalay” was always in much demand after the port had gone round once or twice! It was through singing that he first met Jean – they both sang in the church choir in Fayid. John was choirmaster at various churches in Fayid, Germany, Aden and Tidworth, and when at Bovington, sang in a choir with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. After his retirement, John sang with the Chester Cathedral Nave Choir for 25 years. In 1957 the regiment was in Herford and John took over command of C Squadron, taking the squadron out to Aden in 1959, where it was responsible for the weekly Dhala convoys, (which he rather relished), IS in Aden and then finding detached troops under command APL battalions up country. John then returned to UK to be Senior Instructor at the RAC Signals School at Bovington. He returned to the Regiment at Tidworth in 1962 as regimental second–in-command at a critical time, when the regiment were converting to tanks and during which time Dick Worsley came in to take over command. He later served at the Junior Leader’s Regiment, the RAC Castlemartin Range, and the NBC School before becoming an RO at RAC Records until finally retiring in 1989. John was a much respected and popular officer – one of his wartime contemporaries says that John was particularly friendly and helpful to him when he first appeared in the Regiment. He was a soldier first and foremost, but classical music, the English language and writing, and biblical history were high on his list of interests. He will be much missed. He is survived by his wife, Jean, his daughters Susan and Amanda and four grandchildren.
Major WG Patterson Late The Life Guards by General Sir Simon Cooper, GCVO, formerly The Life Guards
for national service in 1951. In his early years he was described as a ‘Just William’ character, full of mischief and an appalling tease, but he managed to do just enough work to get in to Eton. He was a keen sportsman, playing rugby for Hove, and excelled on the ice rink when he joined Brighton Tigers. Unfortunately he attempted to ‘attract’ a spectator on to the ice rink and was banned for life, thus curtailing a promising future. After national service he joined his father’s stockbroking firm, Wedd Jefferson, as a blue button. City life and commuting was not for him so in 1956 he rejoined The Life Guards, serving as a troop leader in the armoured car regiment before going to the mounted regiment at Knightsbridge. Life in London in those days was full of fun and he enjoyed it to the maximum. He decided to follow the local fashion and have a crew cut but this was not popular with his Commanding Officer and earned him two weeks confined to barracks. He married Sandra Monson in June1958, nine months before returning to the regiment in Windsor. The regiment sailed for Aden in June 1959 in SS Dilwara and I was unlucky enough to share a two-berth cabin with Garry, by then an acting captain, and my future brother-in-law Timothy Gooch. As the junior officer I slept on the floor. On return from Aden at the end of 1959 Garry remained with the regiment in Windsor and then Herford before joining the Inns of Court for two years as their adjutant. He ended his military career in April 1967 after two years as an acting Major in command of C Squadron and 18 months as a GSO 3 in the MOD. Throughout his time in The Life Guards Garry maintained his great sense of humour and demonstrated sound professionalism for which he gained the respect of all those who served with him. In 1968 he joined a small City branch of a Wall Street Investment Bank and had a highly successful career in the City. During the three day week in the early 1970s, Wall Street opened at 3pm City time but relied totally on electronic screens and there was no power supply back-up. Garry was under-employed. He spotted a long, green carpeted unused room and, after a good lunch at the Bow Wine Vaults, would roll up a copy of the FT, draw stumps on the far wall and bring clients in for cricket practice. When the three day week was resolved he said it was the only time improved light stopped play. He and Sandra divorced in 1971 and in 1973 he married Fiona Cecil. In retirement Garry, when not emulating Tiger Woods on the golf course, spent much of his time mowing his lawn in all weathers on a very old red tractor with unbalanced blades, much to the detriment of the turf. He and Fiona were excellent and welcoming hosts in London, Ecchinswell and Sotogrande. He fought his illness with great determination and fortitude. During his last week in Basingstoke Hospice he tried to persuade the nurses that he was unable to swallow his pills without a glass of vodka. We all mourn his death on 11th June and extend our deepest sympathy to Fiona, his five children, his step-sons and his grandchildren.
Garry was born in November 1931 and joined The Life Guards
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Major Surrey Swayne Late The Blues and Royals Surrey Swayne, who proudly served as an officer in the Blues and Royals from 1981 to 1994, died on 6th May 2010 in Frankfurt after the speedy onset of Sporadic CreutzfeldtJakob disease. John Surrey Patrick Swayne was born in Melbourne, Australia on 9th April 1959, where he spent the first five years of his life before returning to England with his parents to his namesake county. After the Convent of Providence day school Haslemere, he attended Farnham College where he studied art and drama. His life-long appetite for nature, the arts, literature, film, and journalism was voracious, and obvious to all who knew him. After school, Surrey passed out as a Grenadier Guardsman and then transferred onto Brigade Squad. It should come as no surprise that during a gap year in Australia prior to RMAS, Surrey spent time as a stand-up cabaret artist and appeared as a guest comedian on local radio in Sydney. Surrey was commissioned from RMAS on 12th December 1981, from where he joined C Squadron The Blues and Royals, at Combermere. While serving as a troop leader on Scimitar and Scorpion light reconnaissance vehicles, Surrey represented the Regiment on trips to both the Finnish army in Finland and to HMS Broadsword, which was touring the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. In December 1983 he was promoted to Lieutenant, and shortly after moved with the Regiment to Detmold, where he took up the role of troop leader on Chieftain Tanks. As a Subaltern, Surrey was constantly entertaining his fellow officers with jokes, stories, impressions and accents. He was also a conscientious and imaginative contributor of the officers’ mess scrapbook. His witty captions have indelibly left their mark for all to read. In 1985 he was promoted to Acting Captain and took over as 2i/c of A Squadron, under Toby Brown. In December 1985 he met Barbara Henke, and they subsequently married in October 1986 forming a formidable partnership whose valuable contribution to mess life was felt by all. Surrey remained in Germany, where he later served as a Captain/G3 HQ 22 Armoured Brigade, before returning in 1991 to Combermere and was promoted to Major to command HQ Squadron, followed by D Squadron. As a Squadron Leader he was liked and respected by his subalterns and soldiers for his fair yet sometimes unconventional leadership. On one occasion, he summoned two of his subalterns to reprehend them for their continual lack of punctuality in attending first parade and offered them
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a choice of punishment: either they spend three minutes in the boxing ring, milling with a trooper who was training for P (Parachute) Company, or accept seven extras. They quickly elected to take seven extras, but as they were leaving the squadron office, they were challenged by a Squadron Corporal who remarked “I thought that you were better than that sahs!”, whereupon they hastily returned to Surrey’s office and told him that they had changed their minds. Surrey instructed them to parade in front of the P Company trainees in the Gym in five minutes, dressed in PE kit. They duly turned up to be confronted by two fit and willing troopers, eager to take them on. This shrewd approach earned Surrey plaudits and respect from all involved. During the Options for Change initiative in 1992/93, Surrey was selected for redundancy and retired from the Regiment in March 1994. For his resettlement course, Surrey pursued his passion for nature and qualified, following a one-year course, with a certificate in Countryside Management from Merrist Wood Agricultural College, Guildford. As a result of his infectious enthusiasm and success he was invited back as a visiting lecturer. Late in 1995 Surrey accepted a role in the health care sector, where he spent the next 15 years and moved from Parkside Cottage, Englefield Green to Frankfurt, which he adopted as his home. He was recognised and acknowledged as one of those rare people in life whom everyone liked and who touched everyone he met with his intellectual and spiritual charm, whether he was talking about his time in the regiment, music, history, family, friendships or nature. His clients trusted and respected him because he had such a depth of knowledge of the product he was selling and was so personable. As a friend, he would often catch you with a certain gleam in his eye, launch into a story with his wonderful array of accents and conclude with a punch line that would result in uncontrollable howls of laughter. Surrey is survived by his wife Barbara, their three children, Carla, Isabelle, William and two grandsons, Lewis and Ben.
Jonkheer Frederik ‘Pico’ Groeninx van Zoelen
Late The Royal Horse Guards Extracts from Daily Telegraph 29 March 2010
In July 1944 Groeninx van Zoelen, a young troop leader serving with the 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment (2 HCR), landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy. The regiment had the role of a reconnaissance unit for the Guards Armoured Division. On August 31 he was ordered to seize and hold a bridge over the river Somme, near Amiens. He and his men had to make a long approach, marching under the cover
of darkness, and ran into strong enemy opposition in thick woodland. With great dash and determination, Groeninx van Zoelen’s troop shot its way through, only to be told by locals that their objective was heavily guarded and that the Germans were set to blow it up. At the head of his troop, Groeninx van Zoelen charged the bridge through a hail of fire. He and his men took it, and then held it from midday until they were relieved the following morning. They beat off several counter-attacks and inflicted considerable losses on the enemy. Groeninx van Zoelen received an immediate MC and was decorated by FieldMarshal Montgomery. Frederik Groeninx van Zoelen was born in Mexico on April 21 1924 where his father was living. It was here that his nickname “Pico” was formed. In 1936 he was sent to England where he went first to Summer Fields Preparatory, near Oxford, and then to Stowe. In 1942 Groeninx van Zoelen joined the Princess Irene Brigade, a Dutch Army unit based in England and, after six months at Sandhurst, was posted to 2 HCR. He entered Brussels with his regiment in September 1944 and crossed the Dutch border near Valkenswaard. Six months later he was wounded in the face at the Battle of the Rhine Crossing and evacuated to England but, in May 1945, returned to his regiment in time to celebrate the end of the war at Cuxhaven. In 1973 he married Marie-Liliane Filz von Reiterdan in a register office in Ayrshire. In 1983 Groeninx van Zoelen and his wife returned to the Netherlands, to the house which had been in the family for 300 years and to which they were devoted. “Pico” Groeninx van Zoelen died on 1 January 2010. His wife survives him with their daughter and three stepsons of her first marriage.
Lieutenant Benjamin Bulwer-Long Late The Blues and Royals by Johnny Cooper, formerly The Life Guards Benjie Bulwer-Long died suddenly on May 17th 2010, aged 40. The thousands that gathered at his memorial service in Norwich Cathedral last June, bear testament to how hugely admired and widely respected he was. Benjie’s enthusiasm for life and generous spirit were second to none and when in his company, you would be guaranteed an interesting and, undoubtedly, amusing time. Benjie was commissioned into The Blues and Royals in December 1991. His three years with the Regiment included tours at the Guards Depot and BATUS, and his professionalism, charisma and penchant for a good story ensured he was very
popular with all who served with him. A keen follower of the regimental ski team, Benjie never missed an opportunity to beat more established racers down the slopes. Following his army commission, he and his wife Rhona moved to Russia where his infectious spirit helped him build up a successful paint business. Following his father’s death, Benjie went to study at the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester and he and Rhona then returned to take up the reins of Heydon, the family estate in Norfolk. Under his energetic direction, the estate, which has been owned by the family for more than 500 years, was given a new lease of life. In his typically quiet but determined fashion, he built up the 2,500 acre estate’s farming operation while maintaining the character of such a unique part of Norfolk. Benjie was passionate about the countryside and had just completed a two year term on the Norfolk Country Land and Business Association’s committee and was also a great supporter of the Historic Houses Association. He also ran a successful Norwich-based business, Collins Care. Above all, Benjie was a loving family man, and was devoted to Rhona and so proud of his four beautiful girls, Letitia, Rosie, Honoria and Lydia. His loss is deeply felt amongst his many friends from the Household Cavalry, for whom his warmth, energy, wonderful sense of humour and generosity will be hugely missed.
SCpl (SQMC) Gerald Gibbs Late The Life Guards by LCoH Carl Gibbs Born in August 1925, Gerald, as a young 18 year old followed in his brother’s footsteps and was badged as a Life Guard in March 1944. Rapidly making an impression on his seniors he was promoted to Cpl by 1950. This is around the time where his sports interests helped him to coach the Regimental football team, which during the fifties won the Cavalry Cup. A great feat for the Regiment, even today. After serving in Palestine, Egypt, Aden, Germany and Cyprus, he retired in 1966 with the rank of SQMC HQ SQN. A job at which was held in high esteem. How the soldiers would have a big smile on their faces when they saw Gerald bringing out the tea and coffee on a rainy day on the Ranges! Gerald loved the army, and more so, loved his Regiment. It was always his talking point for many years after leaving, showing how proud he was to have been a Life Guard. Gerald suffered his first heart attack in 1977. From then on, he had many health problems, which sadly caught up with him, and he passed away on 8 February 2010. He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Marjorie, two sons, two grandchildren, one of which is serving today and eight great grandchildren.
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SQMC Boris Thompson Late The Life Guards by the Riding Master Captain Mark Avison, The Life Guards Boris Thompson died on 7th September 2010 aged 78. He was born in the “Newmarket” of the north in the then East Riding of Yorkshire in Norton, Malton where they thought York was the capital of England. It was on 10th July 1950 at the age of seventeen he was an Army volunteer and it is where he joined his two elder brothers in the Household Cavalry, both his late brothers (Walter and Kenneth) were on active service in World War 2 and survived. Walter `Tommy` Thompson later became Riding Master. Most of his early service was in Combermere, from where he drove a tank over to the Suez. It was not long before he moved to London and one of his earliest parades, or should I say in the words of his wife Daphne, one of his many proudest moments in the Household Cavalry was when he was a member of the Sovereigns Escort on the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952. During the next few years he enjoyed training horses for competitions within the Combined Services and the Regiment, which included Show Jumping, Tent pegging and Skill at Arms at the Royal Tournament, White City International Show and Haringey Horse of the year show. It was at this period he forged a very successful partnership with a horse called “Brewster”, winning many competitions, especially when they won the Kings Cup twice at the Royal Tournament. In 1959 he was posted to Melton Mowbray as an Assistant Instructor at the Royal Army Veterinary Corps Depot where he trained the remounts, this then enabled him to get out hunting on gate shutting duties with the legendary Quorn, Belvoir and Cottesmore Hunts which he loved. It was also in Melton where his daughter Hayley was born. He returned to Knightsbridge in 1960 where he worked alongside Jock Ferrie and between them both was largely responsible for the equitation training for the soldiers and horses. It was in 1963 he was posted to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst where he was in charge of running the Saddle Club. On his return to London he spent time at Wellington Barracks while Knightsbridge Barracks were being rebuilt. He was discharged from the Army on reduction of establishment in January 1969, it was at this time he moved to Ireland to broaden his experience and knowledge for the next ten years. He based himself in Malahide just north of Dublin where he got involved in the buying, training, competing and selling horses. He also trained the Irish Junior Show Jumpers and Eventers to win many competitions over this period and he also regularly competed himself all over Ireland and the continent until a very bad fall in Dublin, where he shattered his ankle so badly he returned to the mainland in 1980. After recuperating on the farm he continued for a while with his show jumping at Hickstead and he also continued to train some of the top young show jumpers. In the mid-nineties he enjoyed buying and owning his own racehorses, where he was actively involved in their training
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and it was his view that if these horses received good basic training on the flat and over jumps it would give them time to get strong and grow into their frames and then they would be ready to start their racing career. I was very fortunate to meet Boris and his daughter Hayley at a Riding Staff dinner and there is no doubt he was a real character and gentleman and in the words of his good lady and wife for 51 years Daphne he was fortunate to have been fit all his life and in addition to riding, farming and a active skier, he had no intention of ever retiring. It is hoped that his legacy will be remembered within the Regiment and at the Royal Tournament as two of the Kings Cups Boris won on Brewster have been kindly donated back to the Regiment and will be presented to the Riding Instructor with the best Remount of the year and a class at the Royal Tournament. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and comrades but none more than his wife Daphne, daughter Hayley and family to whom we extend our very deepest sympathy.
William Cyril Leslie Gladman Late The Life Guards William (Bill), born 19th March 1920, joined The Life Guards at Combermere Barracks as a Boy Trumpeter on 3rd April 1934. In addition to the cavalry trumpet, he learned the clarinet, violin and cello. He took part in ceremonial duties during the funeral of King George V and the Coronation of King George VI. William’s time as a pupil at the RMSM, Kneller Hall was cut short when the Second World War was declared. The Life Guards were split between two Household Cavalry regiments, the first sent to the Middle East. William remained with the second, initially deployed on fire-fighting and rescue duties during the blitz, then used to train the influx of conscripts. During this period, as a result of hospitalisation, he met and married Ruth, a nurse from Edward VII hospital opposite Windsor barracks. 2nd HCAV landed in Normandy in July 1944 and spearheaded the Guards Armoured Division through France to the liberation of Brussels. The Life Guards Band performed the first post liberation National Anthems in both Belgium and Holland. William returned home in March 1945, but later attended liberation celebrations in Paris and Brussels with the Life Guards Band and Trumpeters. On the 8th of June in 1946 he was the State Trumpeter accompanying the King’s coach at the Victory Parade in London. After demob and an agricultural course in 1947, William worked with livestock at various farms in East Anglia. From 1965 he worked at an agricultural research establishment, retiring in 1985. He and Ruth had three daughters and two sons. Although Ruth died in 1999, William was still fit and active until he died unexpectedly on 9th March 2010, just ten days before his 90th birthday.
Information for members of both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations Communication Correspondence for both Associations should be addressed to: The Honorary Secretary (LG or RHG/D Assn) Home Headquarters Household Cavalry, Combermere Barracks Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3DN Gen office: 01753 755297 LG Assn Secretary: 01753 755229 RHG/D Assn Secretary: 01753 755132 Fax: 01753 755161 E-Mail for Home HQ is: 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
www.theoldoaktree.net A website for former members of The Life Guards. To register follow the link above. www.theseniorcavalryclub.proboards.com A Bulletin Board for former Household Cavalrymen. To register follow the link above. Household Cavalry Information site run by Peter Ashman: www.householdcavalry.info The Queen’s Birthday Parade & Reviews The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Saturday 11th June 2011 with the Colonels’ Review on 4th June and the Major General’s Review on 28th May. A limited number of tickets for the Inner Line of Sentries (standing only) will be available for members through your respective Honorary Secretary. Tickets cannot be purchased through Home Headquarters Household Cavalry. Applications to attend the Parade in the seated stands should be sent in January and February only to: The Brigade Major, Headquarters Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX Combined Cavalry Parade and Service The 87th Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Parade and Service will be held in Hyde Park on Sunday 8th May 2011. 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. Legacies to The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust (229144) If you decide, or have already advised a solicitor, of your intention to leave a legacy to The Life Guards Association you may wish to ensure that with the change in name of the Trust in October 2010 that the correct details are recorded so that there is no misunderstanding in the future and that your intentions are clearly understood. For further information about legacies please see
a summary of the various Charities within the Household Cavalry below in this Journal. The Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund www.operationalcasualtiesfund.co.uk Veterans-UK (0800 169 2277) www.veterans-uk.info firstname.lastname@example.org Royal Windsor Visitors Information Bureau Enquiries: 01753 743900 Accommodation: 01753 743907 email@example.com
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 exService 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. firstname.lastname@example.org www.eshra.com Officers’ Association (OA) and OA, Scotland Helps ex-officers in financial distress, provides homes for disabled officers and families, and operates a residential home in Devon. It also assists exOfficers 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
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The Royal British Legion (TRBL) TRBL is the UK’s largest ex-service organisation with some 570,000 members. One of its objects is to promote the relief of need and to promote the education of all those who are eligible, their spouses, children and dependants. If you need help, you can contact the local TRBL branch near you (number in the local phone book), or the national Legion help line on 08457 725 725 or visit their 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 out-of-pocket expenses are paid. Job satisfaction is guaranteed. If you can spare a little time for a ‘comrade’ please contact: Branch Recruitment Office 19 Queen Elizabeth Street London, SE1 2LP Telephone: 020 7463 9223 who will put you in touch with your nearest team or make contact through www.ssafa.org.uk/volunteering.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
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organization specialising in the care of men and women of all ranks discharged from the Armed Services who suffer from injury of the mind. The Society has 3 short stay treatment centres that specialise in providing treatment for those who need help in coping with their psychological problems. For more information and full contact details for regional offices telephone the Head Office on 01372 841600 or visit their 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 Previously 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: MoD Medal Office Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Building 250, Imjin Barracks 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.veterans-uk.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
Household Cavalry Charities
e are always extremely grateful if past and serving members of the Household Cavalry wish to make donations or leave legacies in their Wills to our principal charities. To help you decide which of our charities you may wish to benefit, and how, please read the following summaries of the objects and payment details of the main Household Cavalry charities. If you have any queries please ask the Secretary of your Regimental Association. The Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund Payments to: “The Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund (Charity No. 1013978)” Objects: (1) to help past and serving members of the Household Cavalry and their dependants who face financial hardship or distress, and (2) to promote the efficiency of the Household Cavalry. Comment: The HCCCF is the Household Cavalry’s main, all-embracing charity. This is the fund into which soldiers’ day’s pay is paid. Just over 50% of the day’s pay monies is passed across by the HCCCF to the Regimental Associations to help retired members who are in hardship. It has been agreed between the HCCCF and the two Regimental Associations that the HCCCF will focus on helping serving soldiers and the serving regiments, for example with grants for injured soldiers and for adventure training activities, while the Associations will focus on helping the retired community.
A donation to the HCCCF enables you to support the Household Cavalry in the broadest way possible. The Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund Payments to: “The Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund (Charity No. 1013978) for The Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund” Objects: to help provide financial support to injured soldiers and their families where soldiers including those who have lost their lives on active service. Comment: This is not a separate charity in its own right but is a sub-fund within the HCCCF, so any payments should be made to the HCCCF. The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust Payment to: “The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust (Charity No. 229144)” Objects: (1) to help past and serving members of The Life Guards and their dependants who face financial hardship or distress, and (2) to promote the efficiency of The Life Guards. Comment: The trust’s emphasis is to help retired Life Guards and their dependants who are in financial difficulty. All funds that accumulated up until November 2010, when the former trusts were replaced by the LGACT, are restricted to that purpose. Any new monies received after that date can be used to support serving soldiers and the serving regiment but as a matter of policy, even new monies will be targeted at retired members in the first
instance. In essence, the charity enables you to support past or serving Life Guards in the broadest way possible. The Blues And Royals Association Payment to: “The Blues And Royals Association (Charity No. 259191)” Objects: (1) to help past and serving members of The Blues And Royals and their dependants who face financial hardship or distress, and (2) to promote the efficiency of The Blues And Royals. Comment: The trust’s emphasis is to help retired Blues And Royals and their dependants who are in financial difficulty but the Association can support serving soldiers too. In essence, the charity enables you to support past or serving Blues and Royals in the broadest way possible. The Household Cavalry Museum Payment to: “The Household Cavalry Museum Trust (Charity No. 1108039)” Objects: to educate members of the general public and Household Cavalrymen about the regimental history of all regiments that now constitute the Household Cavalry, to preserve regimental memorabilia, and to operate the two museums, one at Horse Guards and the other at Windsor. Comment: The long term aim is that profits from the Museum will go towards helping past and serving Household Cavalrymen and their dependants who are in financial hardship.
Replacing the Kneelers in the Guards’ Chapel
he following article appears in the Winter edition of the GUARDS MAGAZINE published in January/ February 2011; it is reprinted here in case readers did not see it in the Magazine. Visitors to the Guards’ Chapel may have noticed that the Chapel’s seat cushions are gradually being replaced. The architect Bruce George designed the ‘new’ Chapel which was completed in 1963, and past and serving members of the Household Division, with other benefactors, notably veterans of 6th South African Division, with whom 24th Guards Brigade served in the Italian Campaign (1944-45) subscribed money for the pews, screens, kneelers and
other items. After nearly fifty years or so, however, the cushions and kneelers are in need of replacement.
to be replaced in the medium term. The new kneelers will follow the pattern of those made in the 1990s.
Over the past three years, the Household Division has paid for new kneelers and seat cushions for the choir, and begun an eleven year project to replace the 484 congregation seat cushions. To date 143 have been renewed and the Guards’ Chapel Committee now wishes to start replacing the kneelers. Some were renewed about fifteen years ago with attractive, machine-embroidered regimental ciphers, stars and badges, however, wear and tear and fire regulations relating to furnishings mean that the existing kneelers will all have
The Household Division is therefore inviting individuals to ‘sponsor’ kneelers. Following the practice in some other chapels (notably at Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, and the Falklands Memorial Chapel, Pangbourne) and parish churches, the name of the donor or a person or organisation from the Household Division they wish to commemorate may be woven in red (matching the Brigade Tie) on the front side of the kneeler. Examples can be seen in the photographs in the GUARDS
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MAGAZINE. It is hoped that individuals and battalions, independent companies, Household Division and regimental clubs, and Regimental association branches will be prepared to contribute kneelers with their various ciphers, stars and badges, which reflects the way that many items were donated to the Chapel when it was furnished in the early 1960s. Some individuals may wish to sponsor kneelers with the Household Division (‘Septem Juncta in Uno’) star. The broad intention is that each regiment should have 66 kneelers, with the balance bearing the Household Division star, however, the
Chapel Committee recognises that some regiments may have more sponsors than others. Space (and cost) limits the number of letters in the embroidered names. In keeping with the principle of ‘all of one company’ which guides other memorials in the Guards’ Chapel, the ‘style’ of name will be a title (if appropriate, but not a rank), initials and name. Regrettably, it will not be possible to add decorations or dates. Each kneeler will cost £140 (until late 2011); sponsors may ask for the old kneeler that they have replaced.
Those that wish to sponsor kneelers and carry on the tradition of generous support to the Guards’ Chapel, spiritual home of the Household Division, should write to The Treasurer, Household Division Funds (Horse Guards, LONDON, SW1A 2AX) who will send an application form: it would be helpful if envelopes on this subject could be marked ‘Kneelers’. Alternatively, potential sponsors can get in touch with the Treasurer by emailing LONDIST-SO3Accounts@mod.uk, and an application form will be returned.
Household Cavalry Association - Dorset www.householdcavalryassociationdorset.org
President The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Normanton Vice President George Dugdale - formerly The Life Guards Chairman Raymond D Peck - formerly The Life Guards Secretary and Treasurer John Triggs BEM - formerly The Blues and Royals Committee Lt Col Malcolm Torrent - formerly The Band of The Life Guards Lt Col (Retd) Mick Harding - Staff Quartermaster Trevor Collett Senior - formerly The Blues and Royals 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
orset Squadron huddled into 2010 with greatcoats buttoned and in a hull-down position due to the weather. The Committee had already established that more of the same was the order for the year and set about gluing it all together. The January newsletter reminded members of the Spring Dinner and Dance with the Mothering Sunday Lunch tacked on to it. And of course no Spring Dinner would be complete without the Winter Warmer Draw, (WW10)! Again thanks to the generosity of the hotels we use there was the opportunity to win holiday breaks in Bournemouth
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and support the running costs of the Annual Dinner at the same time. As with previous years, the profits from the Winter Warmer Draw, the annual Balloon Race and the Annual Draw go to offset the costs of the annual dinner and that allows members to enjoy the event at a reduced price to the actual costs.
Mothering Sunday Lunch - a chance for families to get together and not argue about the washing-up! 51 members and friends sat down to a three course lunch and of course - for a change - a raffle! £108 was raised for the HCOCF over the weekend and a good weekend enjoyed kicking off winter.
The WW10 draw took place as part of the Spring Dinner and Dance weekend in March with 86 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. We were very pleased to introduce a new Gentleman Trumpeter to members - Mr Steve Hyett - known to many and he not only looks the part but can really play the trumpet to a most excellent standard. The dinner was preceded by three of our Gentlemen Trumpeters, Messrs, Bruce Worthy, Steve Hyett and Sid Dodson, ‘calling’ us into dinner - superb as always in style, in music and of course turnout.
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 Mr Barry Woodley laid the wreath on behalf of the Association. Over the weekend, a cunning plan was nailed together with a view of generating some money for the HCOCF by was of a Summer Sizzler Draw. Mr Peter Hulland donated a superb original 4’ x3’ oil painting - Zebras - and the Quality Hotel donated two prizes of two night mini-breaks at the hotel. The draw was to take place at the Balloon Race Launch in September.
The evening’s entertainment was provided throughout by our regular disco, Tony Mack - who also serviced us at the Annual Dinner. ‘Our man in Portugal’ Phil Fisk took up the microphone and gave us a super session of song. The WW10 was drawn and won by Mrs Dawn Brooker, daughter of the late Mr Nobby Clark, Mr Pete Legge and the third prize was won by Mr Fred Singleton - well done all and all members of the Association too! And out thanks to the membership for the support and participation world-wide. Due to the previous success we held a
We were saddened in April with the death and injury of our soldiers in Afghanistan and the Association attended both Wotton Bassett and Lanham to respect LCoH Joe Woodgate. April and July saw the newsletters permeating around the world with the Balloon Race and Summer Sizzler Draw tickets for members to sell or buy. On the 4th September 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 400+ balloons on a clear breeze over Bournemouth. The wind took the balloons west to start with then east with the winning balloon
being found between Nice and Monaco! A record 51 tickets were returned and the winner of the £150 prize was member Mrs Paddy Pitt - who most generously donated through the Association £30 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 wine glasses! The Summer Sizzler Draw took place and the winner of the oil painting was Mrs Pat Gilbert, wife of member John Gilbert and the two mini breaks were won by Lt Col (Retd) Malcolm Torrent and Mr Raymond (Len) Hutton. Allowing for costs etc we raised £936 for the HCOCF and, again, enjoyed a bit of sport, with thanks to Barry Woodley and family for the finger-licking stamp sticking work! The highlight of the year is always our Annual Dinner, 2010 was our 29th. We were very honoured and proud to have one of our own again - Lt Gen Sir Bill Rollo KCB CBE, and Lady Annabel Rollo as our Guest of Honour. Come the weekend of 16th October the Quality Hotel was nearly full on the Friday night; just as well we had taken over the complete hotel! The weekend started on Friday evening when 95 sat down to an a la carte dinner, which was followed by a disco and of course - a raffle. Saturday was free for shopping in Bournemouth, walks along the beach or just relaxing in the friendly atmosphere of the hotel. Saturday evening commenced with the AGM, which was held at 1800 hours and presided over by the Vice-President, George Dugdale, who welcomed all to the meeting and handed over to the Chairman, Ray Peck. Following the AGM we were all coached over to the Carrington House Hotel for the Dinner. Some members had elected to stay at the Carrington instead of the Quality so prior to dinner we all met up in the Ambassador Suite for photographs with the Dutymen. Once the top table were welcomed and Grace, our very own Gentlemen Trumpeters, Messrs Sid Dodson, Steve Hyett and Bruce Worthy, roused the appetite with a fanfare ‘Call to Battle’ which was, as ever, note perfect and an absolutely splendid performance.
29th Annual Dinner and Dance - Top Table
Rear row (L-R): Lt Col Mick Harding, Mr Ray Peck, Lt Gen Sir Bill Rollo KCB CBE, Maj Gen Sir Simon Cooper GCVO, Lt Col David O’Halloran Seated (L-R): Mrs Paula Peck, Lady Juliet Cooper, Lady Annabel Rollo, Mrs Anne Harding, Mrs Frances O’Halloran
Due to the poor health of The Countess of Normanton, the President was unable to attend but they both sent their very best wishes for the evening. The ‘founding father’ of the Association, Maj Gen Sir Simon Cooper GCVO, announced the message of Loyal Greeting to Her Majesty and Her Majesties gracious reply and proposed the Loyal Toast. The Chairman then introduced the Guest of Honour who then spoke with clarity and context about the Regiments role in Afghanistan and the Helmand deployment. He concluded with a toast to the Household Cavalry which was roundly joined. Lt Col’s David O’Halloran and Mick Harding and their ladies rounded off the top table. The Secretary then took front and centre and rambled on about the HCOCF auction. Seven items went under the hammer and all sold as follows; 1. Book ‘The History of The Blues and Royals’, donated by Chris Rose. £110 2. Household Cavalryman sterling sliver bracelet charm, donated by the Committee. £170 3. Framed England shirt signed by Wayne Rooney, donated by Mr Len Knox. £120 4. Cat sculpture by June Winstanley, donated by Mr Tom Winstanley. £100 5. Framed print ‘Shire Horse and Foal’ by Terence Cuneo, donated by Mr John Finnie. £250 6. Brass handled tray with the regimental ciphers thereon, donated by Mr John Hawley. £250 7. Book ‘Led by the Gray’ Hardback book, copy number 1 of 250, donated
and signed by the author Mr Peter DeCosemo who was present at the dinner to personalise the copy. £210 To top the monies up we had donations from Mrs Anne O’Gorman, Mrs Paddy Pitt, and Harry Maplesden £250 and of course the wristbands - all making a grand total of £1566 which now rests with the HCOCF. Our thanks to all who took part by donating, bidding and winning. After all that excitement it was time to meet, greet, and dance and the like till 1am. Prior to and after the dinner the author Peter DeCosemo, ex-LG remount rider, was present signing and selling his new paperback book, Barmy Army Rag Mag which is a selection of very adult soldier humour as found in the barrack room, etc! Peter has most generously donated the total sales money of the book to the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. Fancy birthday present? Then go to www.barmyarmyragmag. co.uk and help support our own. To round the year off we held our Christmas Lunch at the Quality Hotel on Sunday 19th December. The snow and bad weather precluded the usual numbers attending, but we sat down thirty to a traditional fine dining affair The Annual Draw was postponed due to the postal delays generated by Christmas and the bad weather so on New Years Eve, the Chairman and Secretary decamped to Wareham (by the Forest) and were welcomed by the Vice President, Mr George Dugdale. George very kindly drew out the three winners and in reverse order they were,
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3rd Prize of £100 Member Mr Raymond (Len) Hutton, 2nd prize Mrs Julie Belam, step-daughter of Lt Col (Retd) Bill Marsh and 1st prize by Gail Jones of Bluith Wells. Gail was sold the winning ticket by Member Tony Prynne who on every occasion really works very had to promote and sell out tickets. Well done to all the winners and again – thank you Tony for your most sterling work
thought the year. There is much 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 prayers are with them and especially to the families of those taken from us be it operationally, by illness or just the
march of time. It seems the conveyer belt of life rumbles on and we in Dorset try to enjoy the ride - we now look forward to 2011 and our 30th year when we will maintain and we hope improve, with the support of the members and our dedicated and hard working Committee, the very best traditions of the Household Cavalry.
Household Cavalry Association North Staffs Branch President: Lt.Col. (Retd) J.S.Olivier, - The Blues and Royals Chairman and Treasurer: Mr B.A. Lewis - formerly The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) Secretary: Mr I.J. Taylor - formerly The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues)
fter a colder winter than we have previously been used to due, we are told, to ”Global warming”, we managed a decent turnout for our first meeting of the year. Receipts and thank you letters had been received from the various charities we had made donations to at the end of last year. As usual we began to make plans for the coming year, what can we do this year that we haven’t done before? Always bearing in mind that the membership is not getting any younger. In March it was a pleasure to travel north again to support our colleagues in the North East Branch at their Annual Dinner. The AGM at the March meeting, chaired by our Branch Vice President Peter Thellusson, prompted a good turnout and the election of officers came as no surprise to find the “old guard” reelected. We were given an update of our serving colleagues passed on from our President. Our first Social Evening of the year was held in April when members took their wives out for a pleasant meal at our adopted hotel, this helps to dispel any ill will caused by members having too many “Boy’s nights out”! In May, a number of us made our annual visit to Knightsbridge for The Blues and Royals Association Dinner followed, on the Sunday morning, by the Combined
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Cavalry Parade. An additional event was arranged for members in June when we hired a coach to transport members, wives and friends to Leeds to visit The Royal Armouries. As well as being an excellent museum covering all arms from biblical times to the present day, there were exhibitions of swordsmanship, falconry and tent pegging. We had previously visited The Royal Armouries several years ago, but it is being continually updated so another visit was certainly not boring. Although the maintenance to The Blues and Royals memorial plot at The National Memorial Arboretum is now contracted out, we keep an eye on the plot to be sure it is kept up to the standards we would expect. We are now pleased that a younger Branch member, Mr. Lea Peckover, has taken it upon himself to call in to the NMA every month to make sure the plot is in top condition. To assist him in making sure no patch of grass has been missed, supporters donated funds to purchase a new lawn mower. After another Social evening at the end of July, final arrangements were put into place on the run-up to the Annual dinner/dance in October. Guest speaker this year was Lt.Col.H.R.D.Fullerton OBE, Commanding Officer of The Household Cavalry Regiment, recently returned from Afghanistan, who arrived at the venue after an unscheduled visit to the home of the Secretary due to a mix up of post codes and a sat-nav!. However, he gave us an informative talk of operations in Afghanistan. We were able to get to the Blues and Royals memorial plot on November 11th for a Remembrance Service as for once the plot was not under water. However, the weather was not pleasant and it dissuaded many visitors who would normally attend. Our Branch Chaplain took the Remembrance Service and we took the opportunity to dedicate a name plaque to LCoH Jo Woodgate who lost
Mr Ian Taylor handing over a donated lawn mower to Mr Lea Peckover at the NMA
his life on operations in Afghanistan earlier this year. Our Christmas Dinner early in December will bring the end to another year, we will present our chosen charities with a well deserved donation. Winter has started early and again the weather is closing in early with the prospect of another cold winter. Our serving colleagues remain deployed in Afghanistan and we pray for an early resolution to this problem, and as Christmas approaches we send our prayers and best wishes for a safe and speedy return to their families.
The wife of Branch Chairman, Mrs Val Lewis, Branch Secretary Ian Taylor, Branch Chaplain the Rev’d Ann Taylor and former Royal Dragoon Mr James Hill.
Royal Dragoons veterans at the NMA by John Atkins
n the weekend of 19th and 20th June, former members that served in the 1st The Royal Dragoons held a reunion at Alrewas with colleagues from around the UK, Ireland, Guernsey, and
as far afield as Australia. Mr John Atkins, currently the Royal Dragoons webmaster, made a presentation to Combat Stress with donations raised from that reunion
Former members of The 1st Royal Dragoons at a reunion at the Blues and Royals plot at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire
Ted Wort and Ted Ayles at the 2010 reunion
On the Sunday a memorial service was held at the site of The Blues and Royals Memorial plot taken by Brian Allen who officiated. Mr John Atkins (right) presents a TV purchased from £220 raised at a Royal Dragoons reunion. Receiving the donation on behalf Combat Stress is the Clinical Manager Jim Banks and Alison Dhatt Clinical Services
Cyprus 1955 to 1959 Veterans
by Les Smith formerly the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) On Sunday 22nd of August 2010, 12 veterans who served with The Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) in Cyprus between 1955 and 1959 enjoyed a visit to The National Memorial Arboretum (NMA) in Staffordshire. The party included Sir Thomas Dunne, Barry Astill, Dave
Baxter, Dave Bradley, Eric Braithwaite, Graham Johnson, Maurice Lane, Peter Raybould, John Shayler, Les Smith, Peter Tilling and Mike Veal. A number of wives also attended. A very knowledgeable guide took the party around the NMA, taking time to stop off at the
section where the names of our fallen comrades are inscribed. Les Smith has over 70 contact details of ex-Royal Horse Guards who served in Cyprus and would be happy to try to put old comrades back in touch.
Former members The Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) who served in Cyprus between 1955 and 1959 during a visit to The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.
Household Cavalry Association North East President: Capt (Retd) Peter Townley Chairman/Secretary: Mr Ken Rowe Treasurer: Mr Barry Harman
he year started off with our annual Dinner which required celebration as it marked our 25th anniversary. We had the honour of having for our guest Chairman for the evening, Commander Household Cavalry and Silver Stickin-Waiting, Col WT Browne LVO. The
Chairman presented Col Browne with two gifts; the main gift was an old miner’s oil lamp. The second gift was much smaller - a tin of Brasso and a yellow duster to keep the lamp nice and clean.
night the President and Chairman sold Household Cavalry wristbands and raised £150. This money was given to Col Browne for the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund.
During the meal the guests and members enjoyed red and white wine, Household Cavalry, of course. The wine was donated by our President, Capt (Retd) Peter Townley, formerly of The Blues and Royals. The Chairman thanked Peter for his very kind gesture. After the meal the ladies were presented with a spray of orchids and the gentlemen with an engraved whisky tumbler. During the
In June, the Chairman travelled to the National Memorial Arboretum and laid a wreath at The Blues and Royals Memorial plot. He took the opportunity to look for a memorial to Cpl Bernard Foxton who had been a member of Sir John Harding’s escort when Sir John had been Governor General Cyprus 195557. Cpl Foxton had been involved in a road accident with his Ferret Scout Car
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and had died from his injuries. He and the Chairman had served in C Squadron The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) in 1956. In September, the Branch Standard was on parade at the Veteran’s Parade at Eden Camp in North Yorkshire. November brought Remembrance weekend. The Branch Standard was on parade at a concert organised by Sunderland City Council. On Remembrance Sunday, several of the members parad-
ed and had the honour to march off with the escort provided by the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.
Regiment, by kind permission of the current Commander Household Cavalry, Col Stuart Cowen.
On 23rd November the NE Association once again visited The Mayor’s Parlour where they presented The Right Worshipful The Mayor with a certificate and regimental tie. This made him the fifth Honorary Member of the NE Association. On this occasion the Chairman had the honour of presenting the Mayor with a sword kindly donated by the Household Cavalry Mounted
The North East Household Cavalry Association would like to thank everyone who has supported them during the year.
The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Thomas Martin receives the presentation of a Household Cavalry sword from Mr Ken Rowe Chairman Household Cavalry Association NE.
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Finally, they would like to wish everyone associated with the Household Cavalry and Associations a happy and healthy 2011.
Remembrance Parade Sunderland Household Cavalry Association NE Standard. From Left to Right: Mr Barry Harman, Mr Ken Wright, Mr Ray Timlin, Mr Ken Rowe (Chairman), Mr Bob Nichols
Features Showjumping in Rome
Capt Olver in action
ollowing a kind invitation to attend a show jumping competition in Rome by the Reggimento Lancieri Di Montebello, five members of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment were able to swap dreary, autumnal Knightsbridge for the Roman sunshine. The Reggimento Lancieri Di Montebello was celebrating the 150th Anniversary of its formation. During the 2nd Independence War on 20th May 1859, close to the town of Montebello, the cavalry brigade led by Brigadier Colonel De Sonnaz helped in the defeat of the Austrian Army which helped lead to the formation of the Italian Kingdom. To commemorate this occasion they invited the French, Swedish and British Cavalries to take part in a show jumping competition and Gala Dinner. Surg Maj Wall, Capt Olver, WO2 Hackman, SCpl Griffiths and CoH Golder were fortunate enough to take part in this international event. The Italians did an excellent job of hosting everyone over the weekend. After being greeted at the airport, we were taken to our accommodation which, unlike British Military accommodation, did not consist of a plastic mattress on a squeaky army bed in draughty shared quarters, instead it was a very comfortable hotel in the heart of Rome. After being allowed some time to settle in and see some of the beautiful sights Rome had to offer, we were taken to the barracks. The facilities on offer were superb with outdoor schools, polo pitches, racecourse and a cross country course all set in lush green surroundings close to the centre of Rome - an equestrian’s dream. We were introduced to the other competitors and given an overview of the regiment before meeting our horses. Although we were initially concerned that the calibre of the horses would not be up to the cav black
SCpl Grifﬁths and WO2 Hackman with the DA, Col Bob Barnes MBE
standard, this proved to be unfounded. We were provided with an excellent selection of horses and we were all happy with our mounts after our first round of jumping on the Friday afternoon before the competition got underway. A quiet night was had by all on Friday in preparation for the individual competition on Saturday morning. Capt Olver, WO2 Hackman, SCpl Griffiths and COH Golder all managed clear rounds but alas our horses did not have the speed and agility of the Italians’ resulting in SCpl Griffiths coming 5th and WO2 Hackman 7th, everyone else being unplaced. Saturday afternoon provided another opportunity to take in some of the historic sights before heading back to the hotel to get ready for the Gala Dinner on Saturday evening.
ing us throughout the evening but we were told under no circumstances were any males allowed up the stairs to their accommodation - an enquiry about a lift also proved to be fruitless! When we awoke on Sunday morning we were all too aware of the excellent Gala Dinner which had been laid on for us the night before and competing in thick Blues in blazing sunshine was less than appealing to most. The Team competition was the most important event of the weekend and the course had increased in both height and technical difficulty with most fences being around 1m 10. We were now also up against a range of Italian teams including a team from their Police. It soon became apparent that we were up against some serious show jumpers, however we were confident that we would match the standard laid down. Captain Olver helped form an International team containing French, Italian and British members, alas he did not manage a clear round but, fortunately for him, nor did his team-mates. The HCMR team was confident that we could do our country
The Gala Dinner was an informal affair with Italian officers and soldiers all enjoying the festivities. Following a champagne reception, there was a crowded buffet which provided an excellent opportunity to mingle and meet our hosts and members of the opposition. As the evening proSurg Maj Wall employing diplomacy gressed and some people started to head home, a few of us thought the evening may be drawing to a close, however, our fears were again unfounded as the disco started and the attraction of a mixed male/ female cavalry became apparent! The female Italian soldiers did an excellent job of host-
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proud as we had three members of the riding staff competing. I only hoped that my relative lack of time in the saddle compared to the rest of the team would not prove the difference between victory and defeat. It turns out I needn’t have worried - unfortunately I was the only one to jump a clear round. This led to much ridicule of the riding staff and the offer remains open for remedial show jumping lessons, should their pride allow it! The HCMR team were placed 6th overall, with the International team being placed 7th. After the presentation of rosettes, ties
and the exchange of books and plaques, we returned to Knightsbridge having had an extremely enjoyable weekend. We formed some good relationships with our NATO Allies and were given a valuable insight of the workings of other European cavalry regiments.
The multi-national team ﬂag raising ceremony
Middlesex and Northwest London Army Cadet Force: Douay Martyrs Army Cadets grab the Annual Camp Challenge by Captain Michael Nolan, Public Relations Ofﬁcer 07813 363076
rmy Cadets from 198 Douay Martyrs School Detachment (The Life Guards), were among over five hundred teenage Army Cadets from all over North and West London who have just returned from two weeks at their annual Training Camp - this year at Knook Camp near Warminster in Wiltshire. Rock climbing and mountain walking in Wales, clay target shooting, kayaking, and first aid are just a few of the varied activities for the cadets over the two weeks of camp. Being tested against the Cadet syllabus, military skills, sports, target shooting and many other challenging activities were also part of the programme. Pictured on the ever popular rifle firing ranges is the school’s fifteen year old Cadet LCpl Joe Reynolds (15) from Hayes. Col Ian Denison, Commandant of the London Sector said “Over five hundred teenage Army Cadets from North West London have enjoyed a real opportunity
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198 Cadet LCpl Joe Reynolds
to develop and hone their skills in the Wiltshire and Welsh countryside. It’s been a really excellent two weeks camp and one which fully engaged the interest of our cadets and staff. It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work throughout the year. Looking after all of these young people is a challenging task and I am really very grateful to the permanent staff and the adult volunteers who give up their time so generously for our future citizens” Cookhouse
The Detachment will now return to their normal Thursday parade nights at the school. For information about Army Cadets go to www.armycadets.com or call 0845 600 77 99
Household Cavalry at the Races 2010 by Captain (Retd)Tim Edwards
he Grand Military Day at Sandown Park did not start well for the Household Cavalry, with its sole representative in the Gold Cup, Kilbeggan Blade, going lame on the morning of the race. The day was to worsen as the appropriately named War Party pulled up entering the straight in the Barclays Bank Hurdle Race. Even the author’s £10 sponsorship of Alan King’s runner Rustarix, whose owner had managed to lease the horse by dint of raising £30,000 for Help For Heroes, managed to unseat the rider in the Gold Cup itself. The day was going from bad to worse... Fortunately, no one had told Van Ness. He had warmed up for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’s Memorial Hunter Steeple Chase with victories over shorter distances at Hereford and Sedgefield earlier in the season. This was followed by a pipe opener at the Artillery meeting where he was third. After an extremely unceremonial mount which saw the rider fly clean over the top in the paddock (and, yes, the crowd did go wild), the horse duly carted his pilot around and into the winners enclosure by a length and a half. The occasion was made all the more special by the fact that Van Ness was able to run in the Sea Green colours of Capt Timothy Boles (formerly RHG/D), who had leased the Van Ness at The Chair
horse in the big race only for him not to run, with Gold Stick RHG/D presenting the trophy to winning connections, and a Household Cavalry victory on the day that Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles retired as Chairman of the Grand Military Committee. All concerned thank him for his efforts over the years and wish him well for the future. It was then decided to aim Van Ness for an outing over the big ones at Aintree in the Foxhunters’ on the Thursday of the Grand National meeting. On the course walk, Caroline Edwards observed that the fences were really ‘not that large’, a point with which Brigadier Andrew will undoubtedly agree, as the fences were much bigger in the days when he rode The Fossa to finish the race and before the alterations were made for Animal Welfare reasons. All the same, the first looked massive and the author was going as green as the Aintree turf by the time that he arrived at the side of the Chair (the 3rd fence) to see a sign reading ‘5ft 2in take off, 6ft ditch’ - marvellous. Aintree presents a unique challenge at the best of times, and having ruptured a spleen and broken six ribs aged eighteen over the same fences, the wisdom of returning to sunny Merseyside was by now beginning to be questioned. However, as usual Van Ness took control of matters, and after seeing the
favourite depart at the fifth became somewhat excitable about his chances and launched himself at the first ditch in the straight at least one stride too early. Breeches are still being washed. This was then followed by another very hairy moment at the fence at Becher’s Brook, when fortunately for all concerned, the horse engaged autopilot. Needless to say, photos from Becher’s will not be gracing the wall at home due to the amount of dentistry involved. Jumping the fourth last in front, there was a brief moment when the Aintree dream really started to crystallise, however on re-crossing the Melling Road, it was obvious that the winning chance was no longer there. Van Ness stayed on into a very respectable fourth place, and consequently earned a visit into the Aintree enclosure (an incredible experience in itself). The author’s father summarised the days’ events best when commenting ‘You are not likely to have too many six minutes like that in your life.’ It took a trip to Kelso the following Sunday to finish last, to re-establish the normal order. LCoH Tate LG intends to carry the baton for serving Household Cavalryman next year at Sandown, and as always if anyone would like to become more involved, help will be forthcoming if needed.
Winning Connections at Sandown
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
1965 – 1975 BBQ Stratford Upon Avon 10th April 2010 by Mike (Buff) Goodyear formerly The Life Guards
Cavalryman lounging about in the Land of Oz after the riggers of London Duties in the early 1960’s was reminiscing on his computer wondering where the last three decades had gone.
He came across the ‘The Old Oak Tree’ website, signing up he trawled the pages full of wonderful memories and photographs sent in by other like minded men and women who were
either retired Cavalrymen or the wives of Comrades who had been summoned to the big stable in the sky. On this site was a recently retired
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Cavalryman, a man who had served with this POM living in Oz, firstly in the pre 1965 Hyde Park Barracks and then Wellington Barracks. Contact was soon re-established between these two old friends, some 35 years had passed since these men had met and they arranged to meet up when Lenny Fowles came with his wife (Joy) an Australian citizen, on a visit to the Mother Country. This old friend and contact in the UK was Capt. (Retd.) Reg Lawrence. Reg along with his wife Mary entertained his old friend taking him to visit Hyde Park Barracks amongst other things. Reg and Mary went to visit his old friend in Australia at a later date. Lenny and Joy gave them a holiday of a lifetime, so when Reg learnt of Lenny’s plans for a return trip to the UK in 2010 he came up with the idea of repaying Lenny and Joy’s kindness in Australia by gathering as many old comrades as possible and organised a BBQ in Stratford Upon Avon on Saturday 10th April 2010. A thread was started on the ‘TOOT’
site and by the said date a number of Lenny’s ex comrades, some with wives, met up for a BBQ in Stratford. I, like Reg had served firstly in 1964 in the old Hyde Park Barracks then, after brief stint at Wellington Barracks, I left Ceremonial duties behind for service with the Armoured Regiment in the Far East. Returning to Ceremonial Duties in 1972, I finally left the Regiment in 1976. So, as I had not seen Comrades for 40 years, decided this BBQ was for me, I set off for Stratford the day before, not that my map reading is that poor. (I actually have Satellite Navigation, wish I had it whilst in Sharja in 1970). My wife and I wanted to take in the National Memorial Arboretum and pay respects to some Cavalrymen I had the honour and privilege of serving with. We also went to view the names of Denis Daly, Roy Bright, Jeffrey Young and Simon Tipper (all RHG/D) that were cruelly, along with those fearless Cavalry Blacks struck down by a car bomb detonated by the IRA in 1982.
in 1973. If you have not been to visit the National Memorial it is well worth a visit, a nice vista and peaceful, a fitting place to remember our fallen Comrades. The day of the BBQ was perfect, wall to wall sunshine, easily the best day of the year so far. Personnel had travelled many a mile to get to Stratford. From places as far away as Penzance in Cornwall, Brighton, Durham, Ipswich, Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, The Peak District and not forgetting Yorkshire. (Sorry if I have missed anyone out) Being the day of the Grand National a sweepstake was organized with the winnings being split between the person that had drawn the winning horse at Aintree and the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. Further to this, Nigel Hadden-Patton who attended the BBQ addressed the attendees and invited interested parties
Roy Bright and I were Troop Corporal of the Horse in our respective Squadrons
Result – Job done for Reg
Terry Park, Rod Flory, May Park, Janet Ellis Standing Ray Ellis & Bob Branney
Joe & Jan Palmer
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to a meeting at Hyde Park Barracks on the 22nd April 2010 with regard to the ‘Help The Household Cavalry Casualties’
Many friendships were rekindled on the day, Personnel details exchanged and varying amounts of food and beverages consumed.
Peter De Cosemo who describes himself on the ‘Toot’ site as a LCpl member of the Blue Mafia and general skiver, from 1971 - 1975 (your words Peter not mine) kindly donated to the Operational Casualty Fund the proceeds sold at the BBQ his novel ‘Led by the Grey’ (www. ledbythegrey.com). Peter graciously signed a limited number of 200 books.
Unfortunately, Lord and Lady Astor of Hever broke down somewhere on the M25 and sent his apologies, (No REME call signs available) but we were pleased to welcome Sir John & Lady Greenaway bt. The appreciation of all those attending were passed on to Reg & Mary Lawrence
Lin Mountford, Terry Nicklin, Tony Ellerby
for organising this event. Reg has asked me to remind everyone that the first anniversary of the event will be held in Stratford on the 10th April 2050 for all those who can make it. Footnote: Does anybody know if Rod Flory has recovered from buying Terry Nicklin and I a night cap at the Hotel, One Large Red Wine, One Small Dry White and a Coffee – bill £15.50.
‘Birds of a Feather’ Hawkeye meets up again with Fowles
Lenny meets up with his old Troop Leader and Helicopter Pilot Henry Boyt
Tropical Heat Island Revisited
by Lieutenant “Jungle” Greenaway (The Life Guards 1965-1970)
read Richard Golding’s article entitled “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” Household Cavalry Journal 2009/10 pages 140-143 with some interest, not least because Richard was in my troop when I was a Troop Leader of 2 Troop. I never realised then what a talented writer he was to become. As with any account, different participants have a differing factual recollection and certainly so when the events took place 43 years ago. My memory is failing, (if indeed it was ever up to scratch!) and I have forgotten a lot of Christian names & precisely who was in the troop at what point, but other key figures that I think should have been mentioned in Richard’s excellent article were Cpls Knowles & Whyte and Tprs Banks, Broderick, Davies, Doyle, Harnett, Marshall & Warner. I apologise if I in turn have also overlooked troop members in 1967 not mentioned in Richard’s article. He mentioned Desmond Langley taking over from Major William Edgedale but Major Simon Cooper, later to become Major General Sir Simon Cooper, GCVO, was my first Squadron Leader when I was posted to 2 Troop C Squadron and I think he preceded Desmond who I remember joining us.
I can correct Richard regarding the simulated road block that I was instructed to organise to entertain Lord Louis Mountbatten, our Colonel, who was visiting us for the filming of “The Life & Times of Lord Louis Mountbatten”. This ended in grief not due to faulty radio communication. The John Greenaway being introduced to Lord Mountbatten at Paroi much rehearsed d e m o n s t r a t i o n Camp, Seremban, Malaysia. Captain Robin Petherick (Adjutant) in the background. (May 1967) worked perfectly first time round. It was after this that body positioned where the film crew Lord Mountbatten suggested to the Film needed us. Most of the film crew were Director that it would improve the film nearly suffering from heat stroke and if he was photographed with the cut off I was certainly wondering when we vehicle (a Ferret not a Saladin) rushing could get Mountbatten (and myself) out of the bushes to prevent the escape to the gin & tonic in the mess prior to of the bandit. Without any thought of lunch, which looked like being much racial sensitivity or political correctdelayed. I briefed the Commander & ness, I had asked Busty, our Seikh taxi Driver of the Ferret to reverse back into driver & a really nice guy, to enact this their concealed position in the bushes & role. We all trooped down the road for instructed the Driver to await my signal a couple of hundred yards for this unwhen he was to rush out again into the rehearsed addition to the programme. middle of the road, even more dramatiAs there was such an entourage it took cally than the first time, but taking care ages in the midday sun getting everynot to run over Lord Mountbatten who
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would be standing nearby. Eventually the Camera man gave me the nod, I put up my hand & would you believe … the armoured car leaped backwards as it was still in reverse gear. It got irretrievably bogged which completely put paid to Mountbatten’s plan. My army career was in tatters! My mistake was failing to remind the commander of the
L-R: Tpr Harnett, Tpr Broderick, Tpr Doyle, Tpr Golding, Sgt Steer, Tpr Banks, Cpl Knowles and Tpr Warner (June 1967) Tpr Warner and Cpl Whyte (May 1967)
vehicle & the driver to ensure that the gear lever was put back in the forward position. Far from laughing, as Richard claims, Mountbatten was most certainly not amused. I was not the only one to feel an idiot that day. It would be great to meet up again. If any reader was in 2 troop at Paroi
Camp (or indeed 4 Troop, ‘A’ Squadron at Selarang Barracks, where I was later transferred probably as a result of my black mark over the simulated road block) then please get in touch so that a reunion can be arranged when, hopefully, we can put Richard right on some of his recollections. My email is: email@example.com
2nd Lt Glen McAllister inspected by Charlie (Mar 1968) Tpr Golding (July 1967) Sgt Steer and CoH Hales (Jun 1967) Household Cavalry Band on rehearsal at Selerang Barracks, Changi, Singapore (Jan 1968)
Two former Ofﬁcers of The Life Guards in Canada. David Piper on the left and Ralph Bentley. David lives in Toronto and Ralph near Coburg only 70 miles apart. They have been friends dating from duty with the Inns of Court in 1952.
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Pantomime in Egypt
by David Cobb formerly The Life Guards ‘Twas at Christmastide in ‘46 When our regiment was based Where only the camels ever get kicks In Egypt’s silica waste.
Now comes the bit the audience like She’s setting off for the ball, On the pillion of a motor-bike She’s ridden from the hall.
It wasn’t quite the Moonlight Charge With the cavalry striking fear, But us troopers put on a pantomime At Tel-el-Kebir.
It was almost like the Moonlight Charge As the copper followed suit. If he lost her now they’d have him stripped To the rank of raw recruit!
Our eager Welfare Officer, Though all around was bare, Had determined, dressed in boot and spur, That he would run a fair.
Pity he couldn’t get back in time To see the curtain call, For Cinders was back in the pantomime In the near all-together and all.
His coconut shies were not much cop, No patch on Blackpool Pier, But the other ranks scored with their pantomime At Tel-el-Kebir.
It lacked the glory of the Moonlight Charge, In the annals it might look queer, But we had performed a pantomime At Tel-el-Kebir.
For Ugly Sisters, being Guards, Auditions could be waived, But finding a Cinders — that was hard. And then she misbehaved!
There were plaudits from the adjutant Who thought we had done a skit On the colonels’ speech impediment When his own was meant to be it.
It was a sort of ‘midnight charge’ That got her in the ‘glass house’ She’d made illicit liquor You’d not even give a louse.
‘The stutter of the B-baron Was a masterly piece of w-wit. His sh-shout when he tripped was a great take-off Of the Colonel sh-shouting ‘S---’!’
Few in the mob had feet less large, We shaved her face in milk. Her dress, though made of camouflage, We’d sewed as if ‘twere silk.
And the padre hurrahed when anyone hipped, He thought all the jokes were clean. He swore that trooper had written a script As pure as there ever had been.
And so she came on stage, a bride, Sweet as your favourite niece But with an escort at her side: From the Regiment’s Police!
It’s not my part in the Moonlight Charge That’s history, I fear, But I did write the pantomime At sandy Tel-el-Kebir.
The copper knew of our Moonlight Charge And reckoned we were barmy. He gripped his belt and feared to see Our Cinders skip the Army.
‘Led by the Grey’ Written by Peter DeCosemo Reviewed by Pip Wheatcroft
n a decade of incredible technological advances, and when we can hold the whole of our CD collection on a device smaller than a match box, the format of the paperback remains as yet unsurpassed. The batteries don’t run out, it’s easy to ‘bookmark’, it doesn’t break if dropped and it’s more than likely to be returned to you should it be mislaid or borrowed. So add in a cracking tale, interesting subject matter
and an author with inside knowledge and uncanny insight and you should be on to a winner. The novel ‘Led by the Grey’ by ex Life Guard Peter DeCosemo does not disappoint. Friday September 18th 2009 saw the launch of the book kindly hosted by Regimental Corporal Major Spencer Taylor and the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment at Knightsbridge Barracks. Invited guests were treated to a rare ‘behind the scenes’ opportunity with soldiers in full state dress at the staircase welcome and tour of the barracks to meet the horses and men. Visitors were immediately impressed by
the friendly hospitality the Household Cavalry, many of whom were shortly leaving to perform their Musical Ride in Abu Dhabi. Peter signed copies of the book and confirmed that the all of the proceeds from the sale of the hardback are to be donated to the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. Many of the guests have horses of their own and the tour of the stables to meet the real stars of the show was a great treat as was watching the build up and inspection of the guard. The lads explained the history of each item of kit and we were left in no doubt that a soldier who was able present himself and his horse to this level in peacetime
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Rumours abound that our author, Peter DeCosemo, joined the army by accident. He’d seen an advertisement for a job that would teach you to ride a horse whilst actually paying you money. Bingo, Peter joined Her Majesty’s Household Cavalry. The role of a Cavalryman is a warrior first and a ceremonial soldier only second, however Peter’s talents as a naturally gifted horseman were soon apparent and he served for three years training ‘remount’ horses and teaching new recruits.
things. Where the gift comes from is impossible to determine, maybe something to do with inherited genetics and being in the right place at the right time combined with an ability to understand what goes on in a horse’s head. I’ve overheard it said “Oh Peter just gets all the good horses” and known that the huge chestnut he was riding was actually a reject from another establishment who had given up with it. The horse in question had reared up so high in the yard it had got its front legs stuck in the gutter round the roof of the stable. In Peter’s hands in the dressage arena he lived up to his name of Floater.
Being trained to ride a horse and being a ‘horseman’ are two quite different
This horse ‘insight’ is very difficult to explain, but when I was given a sneak
would be able to look after himself, his rifle and maybe a comrade in battle.
preview of the first chapter of Peter’s book, it all became a lot became clearer. Think for a minute, are you really going to be able to ‘lead’ a 1500lb horse on a piece of rope or is it more likely that the horse is in charge and allowing you to? The book has universal appeal and is dedicated to the memory of the men and horses who died in Hyde Park and in Regent’s Park in 1982. Books can be bought at: www.ledthegrey.com
A Regular Soldier’s First Weeks in the Household Cavalry at Windsor and Knightsbridge - 1954 by Laurie Young formerly The Life Guards
reported to the Army Recruiting Office at Embassy Hall, Croydon, where I was sworn in by a Capt in the Royal Sussex Regiment. I was issued with a travel warrant and told to report to the guardroom at the Household Cavalry Barracks, Knightsbridge SW7. Incidentally I had volunteered for The Blues. I arrived on the pavement outside Knightsbridge Barracks dressed in a blazer and grey flannels, suede shoes, a raincoat over my arm and an attaché case in my hand. As I gazed up the stairs leading to the guardroom a gentleman dressed in pants, puttees and spurs with a SD jacket and cross belt, boots like black glass and a red and blue cap on his head enquired “if I was coming, come in or else bugger off”. The first words ever spoken to me by a NCO of the Household Cavalry. I was directed across the yard at The Life Guards and up the on staircase to a room at the top which was a holding room for recruits. You see in those far off days all regulars were sent to Knightsbridge and after a couple of days after an interview with the Colonel were then sent down to Windsor, generally in batches of four or five. That’s where I met up with Dick Smith from near Littlehampton and Bar-
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ry Carrington from Derbyshire. Two days later myself, Dick, Barry and Lionel Mosley were marched in one at a time to be interviewed by Col Jackie Ward, MVO, MC, The Life Guards, Lt Col Commanding and Silver Stick. Col Ward noted I wished to join The Blues. He asked me if I had any relations currently serving in The Blues or any that had in the past, “No Sir” I replied. He told me that he had accepted all the men in the previous batch of four for The Blues and that I was now a Life Guard. That turned out to be the quickest, the only and best transfer I ever made for the next fifteen years. Later that same day we intrepid four set off for Combermere Barracks, Windsor and the start of six bloody hard weeks on the square. On our arrival at the guardroom at Combermere we made the acquaintance of the late CoH Jock Lippe, RHG and his sidekick Cpl Nettleton, RHG. That was an eye opener I can tell you, and after a lecture from CoH Lippe on what he expected, we were taken to the office of the Household Cavalry Training Cadre (HCTC) which was situated in a very old house in the middle of the barracks.
The resident Service Regiment at Combermere at this time were The Blues under the command of the late Lt Col David Smiley, MVO, OBE, MC. HCTC was commanded by Maj N E Hearson LG, the 2IC was the late Capt J N P Watson, RHG and the Corporal Major was SCM Jackie Cosgrove RHG, who also didn’t take prisoners. We had arrived just before a Bank Holiday so we were issued with bedding and a set of denims and spent the next few days on cookhouse fatigues. Bank holiday done we were now forming into Allenby Squad under CoH ‘Acker’ Hill RHG. Next came a visit to the Mr Teezy Wheezy of Combermere Cpl ‘Nippy’ Daniels for The Haircut. One could see how he got his nickname for within the hour nineteen of us reformed on the road outside shorn well above the ears, sore necks from Niffy’s blunt razor and smelling sweetly of his talc sprinkled on the neck. Next to the stores for our kit. Our Squad officer was 2 Lt Gage, LG and the Squad Corporal was a potential officer L/Cpl McAlpine LG now Lord McAlpine. He was waiting to go to Mons for the officer commissioning course. Now for the next six weeks it was left
Surgeon Major Hayward, RHG at the Household Cavalry Hospital and his down to earth lecture on how not to catch a dose of clap. Maj Hayward was affectionately called ‘Jed’; he had great bushy eyebrows, a moustache and he wore a monocle. He drove an old London Taxi. Some of us were to see more of him in future weeks, we who were now on equitation and were to come into contact with certain horses’ teeth and hooves.
Left to Right Back row: Tprs Dyke, Lionel Mosley, Tony Dampier, David Magee, Ted Hutchins, Geoff Hutchings, Pete Dyer Middle row: Tprs Laurie Young, Johnny Rumbel, Charlie Rogers, Graham Doody, David Evans RHG, Trevor Brookshaw, Jim Hurst Front: row Tprs Barry Carrington, Colin McNab, David Evans LG, 2Lt The Hon RWH Gage, Coh Hill, Tprs Dick Smith, Chapman
right, left right, slow march, quick march, saluting left, right and to the front marching or stationary, present arms, ground arms, fix bayonets, unfix bayonets and every so often CoH Hill would add a little variation with “you dozy bloody man you. Get your rifle above your head move. Double march” or it was double around the square ten times. In between all this jollity, we did weapon training under CoH Brooks LG and PT with various Instructors, we also had the endearing word of command “Form a circle round my hooped jersey move”. On one memorable occasion we were doing weapon training in a top floor
y time with the regiment began in Palestine in 1948. I had been conscripted in August ’47 and completed my training as gunner wireless operator that year. We shipped out on the Scythia and, after a minimal sojourn in Suez, couple of dozen of us were posted to the regiment in Sarafand. We were greeted by the Colonel. He had a broken ankle and leaned on a stick. I don’t know what he thought of us. We were hungry, dirty and desperately tired. I have no memory of what he said to us! We were given a hearty welcome from our new comrades however. One chap made a cap strap stick and even started me off with a mix of black and brown polish. Our trained soldier, a Corporal
room in the HCTC house because it was pouring with rain. The job was stripping and reassembling the bren gun. Ping. Johnny Rumbel LG releases the spring from the breech block not into the palm of the hand as instructed but into the air whereupon it landed on the floorboards and disappeared through a crack in the boards. CoH Brooks, nearly had apoplexy; he wasn’t all that patient at the best of times anyway. Halfway through his tirade there is a discreet knock on the door and a clerk from the Office beneath hands CoH Brooks the bits from Johnny Rumbels bren gun. “These came through the ceiling and landed on my desk”. Johnny lived to frighten instructors another day.
Six weeks passed quickly and one Friday morning we paraded in our best pressed battledress and all shining like the proverbial tanner up a sweeps jacksy we performed faultlessly before Col Smiley and, not letting CoH Hill down, we all passed out. But it didn’t end for Allenby Squad right away. Some bright spark had picked us to take part in the Woolwich Tattoo. Not performing in battledress, boots and gaiters carrying 303 rifles but in PT Kit swinging a pair of illuminated clubs in a darkened arena. We were trained by WO2 Sames APTC at Windsor. The performances went well and on the final night of the tattoo Allenby Squad dispersed on leave. Two weeks later some of us remained behind at Combermere to start equitation training for Knightsbridge; the rest left for Carlisle to join 67 Training Regiment RAC to start armoured car training. Myself and one other remained in the Household Cavalry for a number of years and Dick Smith who joined with me on the same day rejoined after being in Civvy Street for a few years. Allenby Squad; looking back over the years were a happy bunch of lads from all over the UK. That six weeks turned us from a group of callous youths into something like grown men. Great days.
We all remember getting our jobs from
by 21025158 Trooper Alexander of Horse treated us very well and I have happy memories of the period. Once our training was over we were sent to our respective squadrons. In our case it was with C Squadron at El Beriege in Gaza. We were mainly involved in escorting convoys of vehicles. One would stand with a Bren resting on the roof of the cab. There were various road blocks to negotiate. They had boards painted in red, amber or green to inform you of the level of conflict in the area ahead. I suffered a throat infection and was sent to the Military Hospital in Raffah. Whilst there an ambulance driver told us that an Egyptian Brigadier had
crossed the border with a large force. “Blew a whistle he did. Anyone would think he was starting a bloody football match!” I was sent back to my duties complete with small kit, a rifle with a bandolier of 50 rounds. Oh! And I carried a large manila envelope tucked inside my shirt. I travelled with a driver who had obviously drawn the short straw and did not want the duty. Thus we travelled to the camp in almost complete silence. When we finally arrived I could see that there was no-one around and asked him to wait. I then entered the camp and found it deserted. I ran back to the gate just in time to see my friend
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disappearing in the distance. Back in El Beriege, the only sound was a rope beating a tattoo on the flagstaff. I walked through the guard room and stood looking out of the window. There was the slightest whisp of smoke. I went to investigate and came upon an officer from the Intelligence Corps burning papers in an oil drum. “Where the Hell did you come from!” he gasped. It must have been the happiest time of my life right then! He told me to wait for a car and head for Ramat David. “Only on a British vehicle,” he said. But
he took me to the gate later as a convoy drove past. He stopped a Ford with two male MO’s and two females. During our travels there were plenty of signs of the war going around us. A distant rattle of small arms fire and the occasional explosion. There were palls of smoke everywhere except on the road we travelled along. I was plied with sweets and cigarettes and a good time was had by all. But on reflection, perhaps not? I was sitting behind them with a loaded rifle and they knew nothing about me, least of all what I was in hospital for?
We arrived in Haifa where most of the roads were barricaded with barbed wire. I was told to wait and someone from the 4/7th Dragoon Guards would collect me. Meanwhile I was privy to various bits of gossip. Such as the Officer of the Dental Corps run ragged trying to find someone to sign for a 300 bed hospital. I believe that it finally fell to an old chap employed in brushing the corridors. Finally, I was collected and taken to Ramat David where we would be bombed and strafed by the Egyptian Air Force. But that is another story.
Musical Ride 1959 My wife talked me into mailing this photograph of the 1959 Musical Ride. I served in The Life Guards from 1958-61. The Ride is rehearsing just down the street from Knightsbridge at Kensington Palace. I currently live in the United States, and have spent all of my life here since 1962. Below I list my address and e-mail/phone number should any of my old friends care to contact me. As is normal in the military I was given a name other than my real one “Nick the Boge”. I would love to hear from any of my old pals. Sent in by Norman F. Boehm 489 Garcia Dr., Hemet, Ca. 92545. USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone # 951-599-4060
Caption: Front row – left to right Cpl N F Boehm – Cpl W M Wason – Cpl MS Jamieson – Tpr A R Leggett
‘Why The Acorn?’ An extract from The Acorn 1979 by the late C. W. Frearson Late LG
n 3rd September 1951, in the meadows around, and the streets within, the city of Worcester the final battle of the Great Civil War was fought out between 12,000 Royalists and about
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30,000 Roundheads. King Charles II, aged 21, watched the Roundheads approach across the Severn from the vantage point of the tower of Worcester Cathedral, later joining in the hopeless
battle. By evening there were 3,000 men of his tiny army dead and another six to seven thousand taken prisoner, many
of them Scots, who were deported to the American plantations as slaves. With a price of £1,000 on his head, Charles, in various guises, fled southwards taking 44 days to reach the safety of Fecamp in Normandy by a collier boat from Brighton. It was on the 6th September three days after Worcester, that he hid for 24 hours among the leaves of the so-called Royal Oak’ near Boscobel House Donington, Shropshire, while the Roundheads searched the woods below. His return to London, 29th May 1660, (incidentally his birthday) was ever after known as ‘Oak Apple’ day in England and up to the last war, boys wore sprigs of oak leaf in their school blazers to show loyalty to the crown. The penalty for not doing so was to have one’s legs nettle-stung by bigger boys (in long pants), as a punishment for being a Roundhead. 300 years later, on a hot summer afternoon in 1966, when The Life Guards had departed for Malaya, Captain ‘M’ came to see me with a problem. He had been detailed by the Colonel to edit and produce a Regimental magazine. The problem was not the innards but the cover and a suitable name. We had at the time been experimenting with a new two-colour process Romeo skin and had a recruiting handbill showing a Saladin Armoured Car
ploughing across Malaya into the South China Sea and heading for Sarawak with the left hand from wheel churning up Vietnam. Captain ‘M’ thought it was perfect. (As issue kit the production would be buckshee.) The name was a different matter. We couldn’t call it the ‘Life Guardian’ - which suggested (a) an insurance company or (b) a publication which is less than unsympathetic to ‘gay libbers’. ‘The Seremban Sun’? - but what about page three - Charlie Rodger in ‘drag’? ‘No’ said Captain ‘M’, ‘we couldn’t afford a double spread’. ‘Blues of the World’? It would hardly put the infant paper in the same circulation bracket as the popular Sunday paper which is so widely read for its ‘foreign policy’. We walked up and down the building in the heat, cogitating like those people in ‘Mastermind’ who are scared to say ‘Pass’. We repeatedly passed a dummy 2nd Life Guards Officer, smothered from head to foot in oak leaves and acorns. Suddenly it was possible to assess the thrill which Archie Meads got when he discovered the theorem of Pythagoras, or realise how like Newton felt in 1666 – when the apple hit him and he began to
suspect that apples fall downwards and not upwards. ‘Acorn’ I said, ‘it is the appointments code word for Regimental Intelligence, it is the badge of loyalty to the crown, it is worn on the aiguillette tips of The Life Guards, on the gold lace sword and horse furniture, collar and cuff braid, helmet plate, (left side), tips of cuirass scales, officers gold spurs, engraving on the state sword blade of an officer, bridle head piece of a 2nd Life Guard charger and it’s on the tips of cuirass scales. Plus Life Guard Officers mess kit gold braid. So, ‘Acorn’ it was to be. The first copy was printed with some Chinese typographical errors and consisted of 20 pages with nine of advertising and was produced by the Chang Litho Press of Seremban in the summer of 1966. In 1978, The Acorn had a very attractive four-colour cover and 54 pages of material with another 20 of advertising. In fact, to quote Dave Everett, (17691813), who many of you will remember used to be in the Gun Troop – ‘And if by change I fall below, Demosthenes or Cicero, Don’t view me with a critic’s eye, But pass my imperfections by. Large Streams from little fountains ﬂow, Tall Oaks from LITTLE ACORNS grow’
Culver Horsemanship and the Opening ceremony of the Kentucky World Games
by Jim Henderson (Ex Director of Cummins Diesel) and CoH Puddifoot
ore than 6,000 kilometres from London, the Household Cavalry is making a difference in the lives of young American equestrians and, at the same time, helping to preserve the finest traditions of the mounted cavalry. The small town of Culver, Indiana (population 1,540), is located on a picturesque lake 100 miles southeast of Chicago. It was here in 1894 that Culver Military Academy was founded as a private college preparatory school for boys ages 14 to 18. Today, Culver Military Academy and Culver Girls Academy, founded in 1971, have a combined annual enrollment of about 800 students from 40 states and 25 countries. The Culver Summer Schools & Camps attracts another 1,400 girls and boys ages 9 to 17, from throughout the United States and 35 countries to a six-week program. Culver is truly an international school. Culver has one of the foremost academic programs among U.S. preparatory
The 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games opening ceremony
schools, which enables its graduates to attend the finest colleges and universities, including the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. Culver emphasizes leadership for both boys and girls in addition to its academic
preparation. Culver is perhaps best known for its Black Horse Troop (established in 1902), which is believed to be the only mounted military cavalry unit remaining in the U.S. With the mounted cavalry tradition
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dying out in the United States, Culver began to search for expertise elsewhere in the world. In 2001, Culver’s Board Chair Jim Henderson and Culver’s Head of Schools John Buxton visited Hyde Park Barracks and observed firsthand the expertise of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. SCM Don Johnson, retired after 23 years with The Life Guards, served as their guide and mentor. Johnson also spent 19 years as Accommodations Service Accountant in Windsor Barracks. Henderson and Buxton realized that a wonderful possibility existed to establish a training relationship between HCMR instructors and Culver staff and students. Henderson met Maj Richard Waygood, then Riding Master of the HCMR, and the two developed a plan to bring one instructor to Culver per year for two weeks each autumn to instruct student riders and work with the staff. The Comd Offrs of HCMR, including the current Comd Offr, Lt Col CA Lockhart, have given their enthusiastic approval to the plan. The first instructor, SCpl Chris Bye, visited Culver in the fall of 2004. He was followed by SCpl Derren “Des” Paynes (2005), SCpl Rupert “Gene” Hackman (2006-2007), CoH Adam Betts (2008), LCpl Carl Lacey (2009), and LCoH Timothy Puddifoot (2010). Maj Waygood visited Culver in 2008 and made many helpful suggestions about the program and worked with the Culver students on leadership concepts and skills. The Culver stable consists of 100 horses, most of which are black. The program is centered in the majestic Vaughn Equestrian Center, comprised of a newly-renovated riding hall 110 yds in CoH Puddifoot LG looks on with satisfaction, as the plan comes together
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length (believed to be one of the largest in the world) and a new, state-of-the-art stable with 95 10 x 12 ft box stalls. Both were made possible by $11 million in gifts from Culver graduates. The Black Horse Troop comprises 86 boys, and the Lancer Platoon of approximately 30 troopers (much like the Musical Ride) is made up of the premiere riders. Culver’s female riders number about 45 girls with 22 in its ceremonial performing unit, the Equestriennes. Girls and boys also participate in rough riding and jumping, and both play interscholastic polo on a national level. “The cavalry tradition is very important at Culver, and we wanted not only to preserve that tradition but enhance the skills of both teaching staff and cadets,” Buxton said. “Having the HCMR working with our students allows us to benefit from their expertise in cavalry drills and the ceremonial aspects of mounted regiments; and, as important to us, to learn from their personal examples of leadership as officers in the world’s most respected cavalry unit. We also realized quickly that the expertise of the HCMR instructor extended to all aspects of our equestrian activities, not only the military ones. HCMR instructors have been excellent teachers for all our riders at Culver: girls and boys.” Henderson praised the relationship. “The commitment of the HCMR to excellence has rubbed off on our students and staff. We look forward to continuing and strengthening our ties, and we hope the arrangement lasts many years.” Culver graduates have proven to be exemplary citizen soldiers when
called on to defend democracy. As a result of their extraordinary service in World War II and other conflicts, five Culver graduates have been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. In addition, a Culver graduate served as an aide to Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and another was Winston Churchill’s personal pilot. Culver’s mounted units have participated in 15 U.S. Presidential Inaugural parades, beginning in 1913. In September of 2010 Culver riders performed in the opening ceremonies of the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky, reported on below by CoH Puddifoot. ‘The 100 horses make up two very different display teams; the Lancers and the Equestrians. The Lancers are an all boys military display team which takes part in a number of state ceremonial duties which included escorting the newly elected President. The Equestrians are a female display team that aren’t attached to the military but have the opportunity to take part in their own equine display team with the academy. This year was a little different; it was my turn to train and choreograph a routine for forty men and women, all mounted, to take part in the opening of the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky; an event which happens once every 4 years. Much was riding on my own experience working with our own musical ride and putting the finishing touches to the Academy’s own mounted unit. I arrived at Chicago international airport where I was picked up by one of the academy’s drivers and driven
The Display Team hard at work learning their new routine
two hours north to Indiana where I met my host for the duration of my stay, Mr Mark Waller, the director of equine instruction. My first five days were spent at the Academy getting to know the pupils and horses. I had never worked with so many teenagers before and the biggest test was keeping them interested and focused After 5 days it was time to pack up and move shop to the location for the Games. It was a six hour drive south to Lexington in Kentucky where the world games where being held. I had a further five days to put the finishing touches on the routine. A lot of time was spent in the main arena, where for a short period of time I felt like the
Riding Master! It was a Ride I had to train, a routine I designed, and in the arena I had full control of how I wanted it to run in order to get the best out of the students and horses. This show was going to be watched by millions of people worldwide, with a full stadium of thousands, and included, in short, the best of the best from the equine world plus Royalty. On Saturday the nerves started to show : three weeks of practice came down to 10 minutes in the main arena. The atmosphere was electrifying, and the Ride entered at the canter to kick off their 10 minute performance. In what felt like the blink of an eye, the Ride were soon stationed on the centre line ready for the National Anthem. It had
gone without a hitch, and the words everyone was waiting for rang out; ‘The Games Are Now Open!’. This was an experience I was never going to forget. I had been given the opportunity to be part of the World Equestrian Games and to work with some of the best horsemen in the world. I was priviledged to meet and speak with the world’s top eventers, dressage riders and showjumpers. This was all made possible by the close relationship we have with the Academy, and it is to be hoped that this will continue.’ For more information on Culver Academies’ Horsemanship program visit www.culver.org.
Re: Oman Continued
by Brian Lester formerly The Life Guards
y name is Brian Lester. I served in the A Squadron of The Life Guards from May 1959 to 1961. My number - which I will never forget - was 23559263. I was one of the last National Servicemen. I have been meaning to write to the Journal for over a year now concerning the article in the 2008/2009 edition titled “Aden Continued” by W.O.2. R. Hutton. It concerns the flag march to Oman. As he stated “I was a mile before Ibri when I hit a rather large mine blowing the suspension off our ferret and most of the storage units”. He went on to say to Tpr. Dixon, his driver, “what a driver, those in front missed it and you had to find it”.
I was the driver in front and the only reason I did not hit the mine was because I was going too fast and hit the bend half way up a slope! When we heard the explosion behind we stopped and jumped out to see Tpr Dixon covered in oil splats shouting “I am dead, I am dead”. I quickly assured him that he was not dead but he was as white as a ghost. I have only just found out that Maj Baillie dished out the whisky that night! Maj Baillie was a lovely man and I was his driver for many a sortie. Unfortunately, because I was his driver, I missed all the trips that all the other troopers had to Mombasa. On one patrol I remember a Land Rover appearing on the horizon and when it arrived it was a man from BP with an
“A” box full of cold Carlsberg beers - it was like a mirage. Another incident with Maj Baillie happened whilst training at Combermere Barracks; we were caught playing cards for money by CoH Humphreys and marched in front of the Major the next day. People that knew Maj Baillie knew he had a very bad stammer and whilst passing sentence on us he stated “I have no other choice other than to give you sev….sev… sev…. f**k it - 14 days C.B”. Because he could not say seven, our sentence was doubled! I always say with pride that I served in the senior regiment of the British Army and always tell everyone that they should bring back National Service especially when reading about the louts of today.
Storm in the South China Sea - A Passage to Hong Kong with C Squadron, The Life Guards in the Far East 1966 – 1968
by Richard Golding, formerly The Life Guards
his is the third part of a trilogy spanning two & a half years from 1966 to 1968 when The Life Guards left Windsor for the Far East. After Borneo in 1966, then Malaya and Singapore in 1967, C Squadron left for Hong Kong in January 1968. Asia was in turmoil, the Vietnam War
was at its height, Thailand faced a communist insurgence on its north east border, Singapore and Malaysia’s future couldn’t be assured. Indonesia had internal problems with mass killings and we had just finished the four year confrontation with Indonesia in Borneo. Now we faced the overflow of violence from the Cultural Revolution in China into British Hong Kong.
A Slow Boat to China The Squadron left its base at Paroi Camp, Seremban, near Kuala Lumpur and travelled the 200 miles to Selerang Barracks, Singapore, which was Regimental HQ. Travel to Hong Kong would be by ship with all our vehicles. Owing to accommodation constraints on the ship the remainder of the squadron
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would fly by RAF Hercules from RAF Changi, now Singapore Changi Airport. Thoughts of a relaxing tropical cruise were quickly dissolved. Our cruise was on the SS Empire Kittiwake (LST 3510), a 4,200 ton roll-on LST (landing ship tank) built in Canada in 1944, too late for the D Day landings and now run for the MOD by the British India Steam Navigation Company. The crew were Chinese with British officers. With our armoured vehicles in the hold and all the paraphernalia that goes with it we sailed out of Singapore bound for the South China Sea, with a projected 4 to 5 day crossing.
SS Empire Kittiwake in Singapore harbour
The facilities were somewhat basic with cramped cabin accommodation for 10 bunks, lack of ventilation and comfort was reminiscent of an earlier age. There wasn’t room for an inside galley so food was served by Chinese cooks at an open hatch on the rear deck, not very inviting in bad weather. Due to the heat below deck many of us slept in the open until the weather began to deteriorate a day out of Singapore. To describe the sea as rough would be a gross understatement as we had hit a gale force cyclone storm. As we heaved in all directions, the swingometer below deck was off the scale. Any thought of going on deck now was not an option we had cold food for a couple of days. One of the vehicles in the hold became loose resulting in worrying noises from the hold. A deck hatch at the bow end, located over the bulk head doors, was blown open with the pressure and a spout of seawater was blowing up over 60 feet. As we reached the Mekong Delta coast of Vietnam, the storm abated and once again we were able to go to the Chinese take-away on the rear open deck. (In another world some 40 years later I would be touring Vietnam and the Mekong Delta.) Even though the storm had dissipated it was still extremely rough. As the ship troughed, the sea at either side was way above the height of the ship. At the rear of the ship a trailing cable had a speed dial mechanism attached. As we lurched forward the
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dial was turning violently then as we descended into each trough the dial would almost stop as we came to a halt, only to wait for the next inescapable lurch. Added to the pleasure of our tropical cruise we were buzzed by two inquisitive USAF fighters looking for potentially unfriendly shipping close to the Vietnam coastal security zone. Whilst touring the engine room and bridge I asked the crew about the ship - I wish I hadn’t! They told us the ship was built for the D Day landings and had a design life of only several years, which would have taken it to 1950, comforting as this was 1968. Even more encouraging was that this was its last voyage; the only thing we were lacking was sight of an albatross. The Kittiwake was later scrapped in Singapore the following year in 1969. The high seas started again and continued until the night before we reached Hong Kong. The 4 to 5 days had taken over a week. As we entered Hong Kong waters early in the morning the sight of land took preference over the view of Hong Kong Island as the sun came up. We disembarked near Kowloon in Victoria Harbour bound for Sek Kong (now Shek Kong Chinese air force base), nearly one hour north west of Kowloon in the New Territories. Little known to visitors to Hong Kong was that Hong Kong not only consisted of one island but some 18 populated islands and a total of 236 in all (mostly outlying), in addition to the New Territories. A total of 423 sq. miles, with a population of 2.8 million (now 7 million) it would take 4 hours to drive around the circumference.
HQ48 Ghurkha Infantry Brigade and 18 Light Regiment RA. The Ghurkhas are people of habit who start the day with mulligatawny soup for breakfast - not easy to take at that time of day, so we didn’t!
Sek Kong airﬁeld
Our first priority was to establish communications with Singapore. A strange ritual by erecting a dipole aerial with a cable attached midway between two 30 foot poles which had to be moved to achieve the maximum signal. The sight of unfortunates holding onto moving poles in a wind was a treat. The climate had its compensations, wonderfully cool in January, the air was so clear with almost continual sunshine, it came as a stark relief to the constant heat of Malaya. After the winter, of course, the climate reverts to hot and humid for the majority of the year. Hong Kong in 1968 was a mix of colonial and old China, growing but not fully developed, it wasn’t until the 1980s that it began to find itself. The Cultural Revolution and Mao’s Little Red Book Mao Tse-Tung’s Chinese Cultural Revolution began in 1966 lasting some ten years and resulting in horrendous casualties. The real number will never be known but estimates in excess of 500,000 are conservative. The proximity of the conflict came home when numerous bodies washed down the Pearl River from Canton into Hong Kong waters.
Junks and sampans at Yau Ma tei, Kowloon, with Hong Kong in the background
Sek Kong was a military base surrounding an airfield, started before the war and completed in 1950. Surrounded by hills, located near Pat Heung and Kam Tin, the Chinese border was half an hour away, albeit on rough roads. Our purpose was to replace B Squadron as armoured support to the Brigade and provide internal security assistance. We shared Sek Kong with
The defence of Hong Kong rested with 12,000 police and 10,000 troops. Realisation that defending with this number against the Chinese Red Guard was as realistic as Mao Tse-Tung joining the Women’s Institute! Support for a fully Chinese Hong Kong by Red Guard supporters started with large scale riots in early 1967, contained by the Chinese police led by British officers. The border crossing to China at Sha Tau Kok came under armed attack by Chinese Militia in July 1967 with several dead and a number wounded. Hong Kong police, the Ghurkhas and B
Squadron, The Life Guards, secured the crossing, however, the threat continued. As the proletariat Red Guard held political sway in Peking there was a school of thought that attacking Hong Kong would help concentrate support for the political elite. Government House came under attack and threat of invasion by the Chinese grew. Many Europeans and British Chinese left. Years later at the Ilkley Literature Festival, I spoke to Chris Patten, the last Governor of Hong Kong, about the troubles. He confided that when he started his tenure he researched past events and found out that the Governor of the day had a plane on constant ready to exit at short notice should events deteriorate. As the Portuguese mishandled an uprising in nearby Macau it spurred on events in Hong Kong and a state of emergency existed throughout 1967/1968. Many people were killed, particularly by hundreds of bombings and some 2,000 people were arrested and convicted. In contrast to Macau, the British restraint and determination to isolate the Maoist elements by not taking drastic measures, kept the lid on it. The border was constantly under observation and occasionally the Red Guard would appear in numbers just over the border in a campaign of intimidation. Quotations from Chairman Mao TseTung, otherwise known as Mao’s Little Red Book was first printed in Peking in English in 1966 - I still have a first edition. Rickshaws and the Americans Meanwhile life went on in Hong Kong
with constant US navy ships moored in the harbour with GIs on R&R leave from Vietnam being ferried on rickshaws between girlie bars with a wallet full of cash. Once they found out you were British in a bar then the drinks would be on them! There were definite no go areas, Mongkok the most densely populated centre of Kowloon and the Forbidden City which was a communist hotbed - demolished in the 80s. We visited nearby Macau and the Peninsular Hotel, which is still much the same today. The view from Victoria Peak on Hong Kong Island is completely different today as there were few highrise buildings then. Also favourites were eating places in Aberdeen Harbour, full with 4,000 sampans and junks, as was the harbour east of Kowloon with 6,000. The floating population then was approaching over 50,000. The contrast between ex-London trolley buses and rickshaws, that far from home, was surreal. Islands and Refugees Internal security was another of our roles. The influx of refugees from China in growing numbers was a deepening problem. Some would try to cross by sea onto one of the outlying islands as a bridge into Hong Kong. On one occasion I took a troop to join the Hong Kong police for a two-day island patrol to seek out illegal immigrants. We travelled by police launch for nearly an hour to Tap Mun Chau, otherwise called Grass Island, situated off the Sai Kung peninsular facing China. With a population of around 100 farmers and fishermen, it was an experience like stepping back in time to old China. Happily we didn’t locate any immigrants otherwise they may have been sent back to China – not a pleasant prospect for them.
The island subsequently became a favourite with Chris Patten for food at the Fisherman’s Village - just a few buildings then.
author with Hong Kong Police during a search on Tap Mun Chau
Return We left Hong Kong in May to return to Seremban, much to our relief in a brand new ship with a smooth crossing which only took a few days. In November we returned to Windsor, a long way from Hong Kong. Part of Sek Kong became a camp for Vietnamese boat people refugees in the 1980s, some of whom ended up in Britain. The SS Empire Kittiwake was broken up in 1969, but I have just discovered that one of its identical sister ships, (LST 3515) renamed HMS Stalker, built in the same Canadian yard at the same time in 1944, is rotting in a breakers yard in Portsmouth. The Maritime Steam Restoration Trust is currently trying the raise funds to have it restored as the world’s only remaining LST (III) of which many were built during the war. If only the Chinese had known we were sailing towards them in a cyclone in a Second World War rust bucket they would have turned around and raced back to Peking. Both my sons have visited Hong Kong perhaps its time I returned.
The Life Guards Warrant Officers’ Dining Club
he Life Guards Warrant Officers’ Dining Club has been up and running now for three years and is proving to be very well supported. There are, however, many who are eligible that have not joined and all former LG WOs’ are invited to apply for membership through the Secretary, Don McKenzie, by email at donald.mck47@ ntlworld.com or you can ring or write to him at 114 Eccleshall Road, STAFFORD, ST16 1HX. 07974315287 . The Dinner for 2011 will be held on Saturday 22nd October in Windsor.
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Musical Ride 1968 - Visit to North America
by Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) Ray Giles RHG/D
ast year’s issue of the Journal contained an article on the Musical Ride’s visit to Abu Dhabi, which I found very interesting. I found myself remembering some forty plus years ago and I thought it might interest some of the readers of the Journal to learn of the trip taken by the Ride to North America. It was 1968 and I was well into my second year as the SCM of the Blues’ Mounted Squadron when I, and the heads of all departments, received an invitation from Maj Ronnie Ferguson (LG Squadron Leader) to attend a meeting to discuss the logistics involved in moving not only the Musical Ride but also a composite Household Cavalry Band, a detachment of Junior Guardsmen, along with the Pipes and Drums of the Royal Highland Fusiliers, to America. The first question I raised was, is this to be a Ministry of Defence exercise or a commercially backed enterprise? Maj Ferguson explained it would be the latter, although it did have the MoD’s agreement to proceed. Maj Ferguson went on to say that it had taken five years of preparation for the foundation of this visit to America by The Queen’s Guards. It was in 1963 that William Judd, President of the Columbia Festivals, first asked the Household Cavalry (with permission of the MoD) to consider a visit to America. On both sides of the Atlantic, for practical reasons, no immediate action was possible but the Household Cavalry knew that the invitation was a firm one and one which they wished to accept as soon as possible. In 1966 things began to fall in place. The Regimental schedules of the Household Brigade gave the opportunity to play at
major new arenas in New York (Madison Square Gardens) and Philadelphia (The Spectrum) as well as the availability of Boston Garden. This, together with the ever increasing interest in the USA for all things British, conspired towards a visit in 1968. The deciding factor was the active interest of Maj Ferguson, who felt the time was right for the first ever visit outside of Great Britain by The Queen’s Guards. I had been the CoH on two Musical Rides (1956/57) and as a result of these experiences I raised further questions, one in particular was how were the soldiers to be paid each week? This, of course, was before soldiers were paid into their bank accounts. Pay day was a weekly ritual where all other ranks queued in alphabetical order to receive their weekly pay. Maj Ferguson, looking at the Paymaster, said, “Noted” and, of course, it was. Maj Dick Egar (Paymaster) had spent a number of years with The Blues and was finishing his service with the Mounted Regiment. He was at heart very much a Household Cavalry man. He made all the necessary arrangements with Command Pay Office and he also allowed his senior Corporal, Graham Palmer, to become the Tattoo’s one and only clerical and pay man and who became a great asset not only to me but also to all the members of the Tattoo. This was long before the days of the laptop and the mobile telephone. At this time all Palmer had was the cumbersome government issue typewriter and Roneo (copier) machine with which to produce the required daily orders and all other administrative details. On occasions this became an enormous task. Maj Ferguson went on to explain about the booking of the arenas; Philadelphia, The Spectrum, September 24th to 29th, New York City, Madison Square
The Senior Non Commissioned Ofﬁcers and Two Dancers of the Queen’s Guards Tattoo
Gardens, October 1st to 13th and Boston, The Boston Gardens, October 15th to 20th. He would be in command and Capt HD Boyt (LG) would be his Adjutant, Maj W (Jacko) Jackson (LG) would be Director of Music, Capt A Jackson(LG) the Riding Master, Major MM Bull (CG) OC Junior Guardsmen, Capt RNR Cross Royal Highland Fusiliers and Captain JA Tanner (RAVC) to become the Vet for the duration of the tour. The meeting ended with that information and with a flurry about who would be selected from within the Household Cavalry to take part. A short time after the meeting, I was called for by the Comd Offr, Lt Col Sir James Scott (LG). I was surprised to see on entering the office that the Silver Stick Colonel Hopkinson was also there. Seeing my look of surprise he said “Relax Corporal Major there is nothing for you to be concerned about, Maj Ferguson has asked for you to be the Senior Warrant Officer of the Tattoo and we support that request, what do you think of this idea?” This was a total surprise as Maj Ferguson had not mentioned this during the meeting. What could I say but “Accept.” Then the training started. The Director of Music put together his composite band and commenced rehearsals of a programme of music. The RM started his selection of both horses and men from each of the Squadrons with careful considerations when selecting the horses, as these had to have good confirmation and stamina to look the part for the Musical Ride. They also have to be good natured and somewhat on the docile side so that they could be ridden by musicians, to perform in the arenas as a Mounted Band. The Queen’s Guards were now up and running with the Ride and Band rehearsing in London, the Junior Guardsmen at Pirbright and The Highland Fusiliers in Scotland. In mid August the Juniors and Fusiliers arrived at Wellington Barracks where rehearsals of the whole of the Tattoo started to take shape. Once the rough edges were taken off, polished performances began to appear and full dress rehearsals began in earnest and these took place in Kensington Palace Field. A date was selected for a final Full Dress performance at which General Geoffrey Baker, Chief of General Staff and William Judd President of Columbia Festivals and American organiser of the Tattoo were in attendance. There followed the checking of each detachment’s kit
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the Pipes and Drums of the Highland hot and humid. We Fusiliers with dancers. This was greatly boarded the coaches, appreciated by the audience. The third after being processed act was a drill display by the Junior through immigration and Guardsmen. While this took place the customs, and were taken band hastily left the bandstand and to our accommodation quickly arrived at the assembly area in a US marine barracks, ready to mount their horses. which was slightly better than Wellington Barracks The fourth act was the mounted band and very much larger. I of the Household Cavalry, who again quickly became aware played traditional and modern music. that the base was on a There followed a short intermission, ‘pay as you dine’ contract. during which an overture was played (I understand that HCMR by the band, who were now back on the was selected to trail band stand. this type of ‘pay as you dine’. which I believe is The fifth act was an agility display by Major Ferguson, General Baker and William Judd now taking place under the Junior Guardsmen. I was always civilian contractors.) surprised to see how fit these young Some quick negotiation prior to it all being packed into hampers men were. They always gave a great with Columbia Festivals overcame this ready taken into storage. performance. The sixth act was once and with the issue of meal tickets the again the Pipes and Drums; in the lads received some very good meals, We organised the transport to take seventh act the Musical Ride presented a particularly the steaks. personnel and horses to Heathrow and brilliant Military Pageant with excellent Columbia Festivals organised the hire and appropriate music, which gave an The advance party and horses were of three Air France Boeing 747 aircraft. added attraction to the performance. already at The Spectrum arena and so Two aircraft were used as freight for They received tremendous applause. the full contingent of seven officers one forty-seven horses and baggage. The After the Ride had saluted the occupants hundred and sixty-three other ranks RM and a party from the Musical of the VIP box, they exited the arena and forty-six horses were now ready to Ride accompanied the horses, which and quickly re-entered with all the prepare for the first performance. The on arrival at Heathrow were put into performers of the Tattoo for a grand Spectrum arena was large, compared boxed crates and lifted into the aircraft. finale. After a march around the arena say, to Earl’s Court. The seating capacity Unfortunately on take-off one of the to stirring military music, they turned was twenty thousand and we were Blues’ horses panicked and put one and formed up facing the VIP box, the pleased to see that, at each performance, of its hooves through the floor of the Drum Horse and Trumpeters in front, most of the seats were taken and the crate, where it remained throughout with a Trumpet Fanfare and a flourish show was received enthusiastically. the flight. When unloading on arrival, of the riders’ lances. Then two National in Philadelphia, it was found that the Anthems, followed by the ‘Stars and It had been decided on a set piece of injury was so severe that she would not Stripes’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ theatrical presentation with Household recover for a considerable time. It was before marching out of the arena. Cavalry, being the house band, playing decided that she would be left behind a musical interlude, after which the in America as a gift to the US President! Just as the last person passed through performance started. The opening being the arena doors El Supremo mounted on the ‘March In’ of the Junior Guardsmen During the rehearsal stage there was his charger, dressed in frock coat order, in full dress tunic order, carrying out much talk of Major Ferguson being galloped into the arena (somewhat, I a version of the Guard Mounting, promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. Sadly believe, in the style of Buffalo Bill Cody accompanied by an excellent selection for him this did not happen and so he at the end of his Wild West Show long of march music. The second act was informed us that he had decided to appoint himself El Supremo. Whenever The Tattoo reference was made about him that title remained for the duration of the tour. The day of the departure of the main party arrived having checked that everyone had their passports and US visas, off we went to Heathrow. As this was a ‘private’ flight we were quickly processed through immigration and customs and were soon on board the 747. Once we were at cruising speed the very attractive Air France stewardesses came around offering drinks of all types. As soon as the lads realised they were free it was guzzle, guzzle.When I realised that the rapid flow of alcohol was taking its toll I ordered the stewardesses not to serve any more booze. Without any contention most of the party fell asleep, thank goodness. On arrival at Philadelphia it was very
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ago). He did a circuit of the arena and halted in front of the VIP box, saluted, and rode out with the riding Master and two NCOs acting as long stops, to aid both him and his charger leaving the building. After our last performance we packed our kit and with the horses loaded on huge articulated horse boxes we departed in convoy for our journey to New York City. This was a bit of a wagon train, a mixture of horse boxes, lorries and coaches. The ‘wagon master’ asked if I would like to travel with him in the lead horse box. I accepted and sat between him and his co-driver enjoying a chat until we were approaching New York and entering the underpass under the Hudson river when they decided to change over drivers. For few brief seconds while they clambered over me in the cab the steering was unattended, which for me, was a heart stopping moment. The convoy arrived at Madison Square Gardens around one o’clock in the morning, only to find that the arena was securely locked down with strike pickets around the unloading bays. There were a number of limousines parked nearby with some sinister looking individuals hanging around. It was later that I was told by Bill Judd that these were the local Mafia. Once he agreed to their demands the strike was called off and we were allowed to unload the horses and equipment. When completed, we went off to our accommodation in the Hotel Pennsylvania, which was close by. Fortunately using details I had previously received I had allocated two men to each room and we were soon in the comfortable rooms for a few hours’ sleep before Reveille and breakfast and parading at the arena for the first parade and rehearsals. Madison Square was a magnificent 20,000 seat stadium recently rebuilt and on first sight I thought, how on earth are we going to get enough ‘bums on seats’ to fill the auditorium? However, Columbia Festival’s publicity office went into action and advance bookings and sales were very promising. With our first day taken up with settling in and rehearsals, we opened the following day with a capacity crowd and judging from the thunderous applause they obviously enjoyed the show. During the two weeks we performed in New York we had many distinguished guests who came to take the Salute, such as the British Ambassador to the USA, the Deputy Ambassador, the Mayor of New York City and many more dignitaries who were only to pleased to stand and acknowledge the final salute.
John Lindsay the Mayor of New York came on a number of occasions bringing his son, who always insisted on visiting the horses and men. Following his second visit the Mayor awarded the Tattoo the Freedom of the City and Telegram received from William Judd, expressed his President of the Columbia Festivals wish for us to parade through local marshal deputies who were very parts of the City past the Empire visual. During the first performance we State Building, Times Square Macy’s became aware that a large party from Department store and on down the Irish population of the city were Broadway, which we did, passing in the audience collecting donations through many thousands of New for the IRA. Fortunately they did not Yorkers, who lined the pavements. The accost any of us and the performances bands played at the head of the parade, were received appreciatively by the the Musical Ride with their lances and audiences. the Junior Guardsmen in tunic order with fixed bayonets all greeted with To my surprise, I was invited to attend mighty cheers and applause. On our a drinks party given by the Marshal of return to the Garden we received many Boston during which I was appointed congratulatory calls and telegrams from a Deputy Marshal of Boston County the Mayor and Columbia Festivals and and a Deputy’s badge pinned on my many other organisations who watched jacket, much to the delight of the other the Parade. Deputies in attendance. In my thank you words I mentioned the saga of the Although the shows were demanding Boston Tea Party, the Liberty Bell and there was still time for sightseeing and that there was not any need to follow in entertainment. I, along with a couple of the steps of the American patriot, Paul NCOs, was invited to take tea at a large Revere, shouting that the Red Coats mansion on Long Island - a limousine were coming, which they all thought came to collect us. On other occasions I amusing. . was royally entertained at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel and spent a night at the ‘in At the conclusion of our last place’ - to be seen the El Morocco Night performance, it was considered that Club was something else. As there were the visits of the Tattoo to three major no shows in the middle weekend, on the cities had been a success on all accounts. Sunday and Monday those not required With the exception of Mindinette, who for duties, stable guard etc, were able to we had to leave behind, because of her see the sights of the city. injuries, all the other forty-six horses returned to the UK sound in wind and All too quickly the last day in New limb. York arrived. After a very successful end of performance party, held in the The tour had proved demanding in banquet suite at the top of Madison many ways but had also given us the Square Gardens, it was back to reality, opportunity to meet and make many packing up and getting on the road to friends and it was tremendous to have Boston. Fortunately there were not any received such truly generous hospitality hold ups at the Boston Garden Stadium throughout the tour. and we quickly unloaded the Ride and equipment and went off to our hotel On our arrival back at Wellington modern and very comfortable again Barracks we received a welcome home - close by the stadium. The stadium party headed by the Major General was older than the previous two with a Lord Michael Fitzalan Howard, the fifteen thousand seat capacity. Silver Stick Colonel Hopkinson and the Commanding Officer Sir James Scott As at the other previous arenas, at each and received many congratulations performance there were a few policemen from them all on completing such a in attendance. Here in Boston there was successful tour outside of the UK. a large contingent of both police and
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The Origins of the Cavalry Memorial by Major (Retd) PF Stretton (formerly The Blues and Royals) Chairman of the Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Association
(From original information provided by the Late Major B Lane, formerly The Blues and Royals)
On the bronze panel are inscribed the titles of every Cavalry Regiment of the Empire which took part in the Great War
The Cavalry Memorial
n 21 May 1924 there arrived FieldMarshals The Earl of Ypres, Earl Haig, and Sir William Robertson, being received with a General Salute. At 2.20 pm they were joined by HRH the Duke of Connaught and Prince Albert, and at 2.30 pm there stepped smiling from his car the Colonel of the 12th Royal Lancers, HRH the Prince of Wales. The Cavalry Memorial is veritably steeped in the history of the British Empire. It is unique in that it is the only example in London of a statue in complete armour, the main features being drawn from the effigy of the Earl of Warwick dated 1454. The statue was cast from metal obtained from enemy guns taken by the Cavalry in the Great War. In addition, the sculptor - Captain Adrian Jones - himself an ex-Life Guard, had the invaluable assistance of Maj Victor Farquharson, the Armour expert, and Sir H Farnham Burke, Garter King at Arms, both of whom were able to lend rare pieces of Armour and Arms . His statue portrays Saint George, from the picture painted by Albert Durer, the Patron Saint of Cavalry, who, at the moment when having broken his Lance in the dragon and given the coup-de-grace with his sword, reins in his charger and raises his sword high in token of victory. On a bronze panel are inscribed the titles of every Cavalry Regiment of the Empire which took part in the Great War. Between the columns
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into which these titles are divided appear four Field Marshals’ batons, thus recording the fact that the cavalry arm gained four such honours during the War. The statue is mounted on a plinth, on the front of which appears an inscription and which is surrounded in its upper part by bronze panels depicting in bas-relief the Cavalry of the Empire, in Service Dress, riding to the assembly. At the conclusion of the Second World War in 1945 it was agreed that the wording on the Memorial Stone should be added to, to include that War. In 1975 the words “And on Active Service thereafter” were added, in order to commemorate those Cavalrymen who have made the supreme sacrifice in the Service of their Country since the conclusion of the Second World War. In the year of its dedication a young Corporal of the Life Guards - RJT Hills - who later rose to the rank of Colonel - wrote in the Household Brigade Magazine: “The Cavalry of the Empire assembled prior to the unveiling of their own War Memorial, erected at the Stanhope Gate, Hyde Park. The stone Lifeguardsmen over the Parkside Gate must have opened their petriﬁed eyes at the hundreds of swords that swung by beneath them, must have pricked up their ears at the gathering of the mounted arm can never before have been achieved. And what a family gathering it all seemed. Perhaps one of the most notable features was
the elasticity of the term “Service Dress”, a reaching out, on all sides, for pre-war distinctions. Quite a hundred different Regiments must have been represented, all in Khaki, and yet hardly one man on parade was correctly dressed, according to the Pimlico Standard. The Marshalling of the double column on the old Cavalry Drill Ground was a masterpiece of patience. There is, perhaps, no point of military etiquette upon which the soldier is so keen as the seniority of his Regiment, and particular care had to be taken on this occasion, as the Parade was conducted as if we were still in the happy days when no carping spirit of false economy had reduced our army to its present comic opera size. Here were still the full thirtyone Regiments of regular Cavalry, Gunners of RFA batteries, armoured car mechanics, signallers, etc., borrowed swords and again marched proudly forth as Yeomen of the old Inscription at front of plinth
The Cavalry of the Empire, in Service Dress, riding to the assembly
County Regiments. The Parade, assembled to everyone’s satisfaction, moved off headed by the Band of the Royal Horse Guards to Stanhope Gate. Here a hollow square was formed. On one side was the Memorial; opposite was the enclosure for ticket holders, the two remaining sides being occupied by ofﬁcers and other ranks of the parade. The assembly in the enclosure was one which gave a feeling of awe to the mere man in the ranks, and one might be pardoned a feeling of great pride in the fact that from the thirty-one Regiments of Cavalry had been drawn so many general ofﬁcers. A note of variety was added by the presence of the Military Attaches of the Allied Nations. After singing the hymn “O God our help in
ages past” the Memorial was unveiled by the Earl of Ypres, who in a brief address touched on the work of the Cavalry during the Great War, especially on the saving of the Channel Ports at the commencement, and the rolling up of the Turkish Armies in Palestine in 1918. He threw score upon the idea that Cavalry has become obsolete and emphasised the fact that no general would dream of taking the ﬁeld with a force unprovided with cavalry. Then followed the dedication of the memorial by the Right Rev. Bishop J Taylor Smith (Chaplain-General to the Forces). The trumpets of “The Blues” rang out the Cavalry “Reveille” with its glorious message of hope and the ceremony was completed by the singing of the National Anthem and the laying of wreaths. The ﬁrst of these, a
tribute from the Cavalry of the empire to their fallen comrades, was placed in position by an exceedingly smart, though diminutive, trumpeter of “The Blues”, followed by HRH the Prince of Wales.” The first wreath was laid on 18th April 1925. Under the Hyde Park Boulevard Scheme of 1962 the Memorial was moved to its present position alongside the Serpentine Road, near the Bandstand in Hyde Park. To so many, each falling leaf or drop of rain represents a loved one who is remembered, counted, and blessed.
The Blues and Royals Division march past HRH The Prince of Wales 9th May 2010
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Govenor Escort Troop 1959 Mr AJG Young BEM who served with The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues) has submitted some photographs of Governor Escort Troop of 1959, at Government House, Nicosia, Cyprus. Unfortunately there are a number of names in the photographs that he can no longer remember. Can you help? Responses to the Blues and Royals Association Honorary Secretary please.
Posted to the Guards! Part II
by Derek Jones, formerly Royal Horse Guards (The Blues)
Part I of this story was printed in the Household Cavalry Journal 2009/2010 A Guardsman’s training The next day our first task was to reblanco all our webbing equipment. Whilst at Warley all of our equipment had been blancod green, but now all this had to be scrubbed off and we were issued with a light brown blanco with which to do our kit. I rather preferred this colour myself as it showed the brasses off to better advantage, but it was a long and dirty job to do. We then had to parade in the Squadron Yard and taken to the Quartermaster’s Stores, where all the necessary issues were made to supplement the kit which we already had. We were issued with
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peak caps, black berets, white lanyards, shoulder flashes for our tunics and Regimental badges and had our khaki berets taken form us. Our battledress was then matched so that our battledress trousers and blouses were both the same shade of khaki. There can be a lot of difference in shades of khaki as I had discovered when issued with my first suits at Warley. The only difference between The Life Guards and the Royal Horse Guards, apart form their tunic titles, is the fact that The Life Guards have a polished badge on their caps, whilst the Royal Horse Guards (known as “The Blues”)
have an unpolished and wear a white lanyard on the left shoulder. The two Regiments were combined at Windsor for training purposes, and also in London where they perform ceremonial duties on horses, but abroad the two Regiments were at different places, each coming under its own separate administration. Therefore, in spite of the fact that some of us had chosen The Life Guards and some of us The Blues, we should all be together for our training until the time we were posted to our respective Regiment abroad. As I discovered once I started training, that which we had learned and been ex-
pected to do whist at Warley was child’s play compared to what was expected from us now. As can be expected, first and foremost we had to be smart and clean – which in a Guards Regiment is easier said than done! Our boots had to be worked on until they shone like patent leather; our rifles spotlessly clean and polished; our uniforms neatly pressed; all webbing equipment blancoed smoothly; caps brushed and capstraps highly polished and all brasses had to shine brilliantly. Apart from our own personal equipment we also had to keep our Barrack Room clean and tidy and polish the floor every day. This does not take long to say but to any of you who doubt the hard work all I can say is take a pair of rough army boots and keep polishing them until you can see your face in the surface; and this is only one article of many. It is not a five minute job - indeed it was not until I had “spit and polished” my boots for over three weeks that they began to be anything up to the standard required. Indeed, the weeks I spent training at Windsor were ones of real hard physical work. The drill was very stiff and the drill movements were entirely different to those which we had been taught at Warley. Much of our training was a continuation of that we had already learned, but there were also additional things taught such as mortar-gun firing, instruction on various gasses, reconnaissance work and so on. Towards the end of the third week we had to go through the gas chamber, with and without gas masks, and I personally did not like sitting in the chamber for 70 seconds with my eyes streaming and difficulty in breathing. At the end of each day’s work we had to clean our boots, rifles and cap-straps, blanco every item of our webbing equipment with the exception of the large packs and clean all the brasses, so there was no time to go out in the evenings. Indeed, during the eight weeks of training we had I was only able to manage to get out two evenings, both times on a Saturday. During weekends we did not have normal daily training, but were “caught” for fatigues of all descriptions and church parades Sunday Mornings. So six weeks rolled by in cleaning, drilling and instruction until it was time for my squad to go on our final scheme before passing-out. This consisted in going away for a week to sleep in the field and going through all the training we had learned since being in the Army under field conditions. Unfortunately for us the time for our week out fell in February. On the day we started out, we paraded
in the Squadron Yard early in the morning carrying a rifle, a bren-gun or a sten, and with full equipment on. As I had been chosen as a section-leader I had a sten-gun, for which I was duly grateful as it was the lightest to carry! Our squad was split into six sections consisting of a section-leader and three men. Each section-leader was given a map and had pointed out to him where camp was to be made, and each section was then sent off separately with instructions to find their own way to the camp, a matter of 30 miles away, in the shortest possible time. The only stipulation was that we must find our own way by any means we liked providing we did not use public transport. With the aid of the map, my three compatriots and myself decided on the general direction we would tale and set forth from Barracks. As we had been told we could not use public transport we agreed to try the next best thing and to “thumb” a lift to help us on our way. We had a bit of luck when less than a mile from Barracks, when thumbing a private car it stopped and after discussion we found that the driver was going over half-way in the direction we were heading. I have never discovered to this day, although I suspected at the time, that when we stepped out into the middle of the road in full battle order and with and array of weapons to thumb the motorist, he was under the impression that it was a “military stick-up” as he seemed extremely nervous when he first stopped. However he thawed down and chatted with us during the ride and the lift he gave us was decidedly useful. When he dropped us at the town where he turned off in another direction to that which we wished to pursue, we stopped for a cup of tea and some cake at a Y.M.C.A before re-commencing our journey. We trudged along a road, which I sincerely hoped was in the right direction and after a mile we managed to get another lift of five miles on a lorry going our way. When the lorry driver dropped us, and after consulting the map, I could plainly see that it would be best to leave the road and cut across country, otherwise we should be going out of our way. As I have mentioned before, I had done some map reading whilst on training but I was certainly not an expert and after walking across fields for approximately two miles, it was with rather a shock that we came upon a river which I had not bargained for and which it was necessary to cross. We walked along the bonk of the river for some time and then by chance came across an old rowing boat, rather the worse for wear, laying on its side. It seemed rather a dubious question as to whether or not it would hold out long
enough to get us across the river which was a matter of two hundred yards wide, but as, according to the map, the nearest bridge was over four miles away, we decided to chance it. There were no oars but we pushed the boat into the water and as it did not sink, with the aid of a couple of branches from a tree we shoved off and hoped for the best. One of my pals was continuously bailing water out all the way, but after a hectic struggle we eventually managed to get across and were not sorry to reach the other side dry. After that it was merely a mater of walking and, with the aid of the map, we safely reached the spot chosen as our camp some two hours later. Our instructors were already there, having come by lorry, and so were two other patrols who had managed to get to the camp quicker than we had, but the rest of the squad there was, as yet, no sign. There was a hot meal for us, having been brought from Barracks in the lorry the instructors travelled in, and after a rest of 30 minutes or so we set to work to prepare the camp for our weeks stay. There were three large huts which were to be our sleeping quarters, but apart from these there were no other facilities whatsoever, so the first and most important job was to get a large fire going in the open for warmth and to enable us to cook our food. Later on in the afternoon the other sections began to arrive and by 5o’clock everyone had arrived at the camp safely. We had nothing in the way of training to do the same day, but our time was fully occupied in sorting our bed-rolls from the lorry which had brought them down, finding a space in one of the huts to lay it and preparing our evening meal. We were named “A”, “B” and “C” Huts and given a guard rota for, although only in a field, we still had to maintain a guard of two men at two-hourly intervals all night. I was in “B” Hut and as it was the turn of “A” Hut to furnish the guard to the first night, I should at least be able to have a good night’s sleep before starting next day. I turned in early and although it was bitterly cold I managed to keep warm during the night by the simple expedient of keeping most of my clothes on and rolling my four blankets round and round me - I expect I looked rather like a stuffed mummy, but it is the only way to keep reasonably warm under field conditions when it is very cold. As it was, I thought we were very lucky to have a hut to sleep in and not to have to sleep in the open as those squads which did their scheme during the summer months had to.
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My Six Years in “C” Squadron 1951-1957
by CoH RW (Ray) Wheeler, formerly The Royal Horse Guards (The Blues)
begin my story on a very cold night in Euston Station catching the night steam train to Carlisle. It was 21st November 1951, I was 17 years old and on my way to join the Army, The Royal Armoured Corps. I slept most of the way and arrived in Carlisle at 0600 hrs. I found my way to Hadrian’s Camp and at 0700 hrs reported to the Guardroom. I was sent immediately to a Nissen hut to sit an aptitude test to see what trade I was suitable for. The fact that I had little sleep, and had not eaten since leaving home the day before, seemed to make little difference! I managed to do what was required of me and obtained a good mark. The following six weeks were spent mainly on the “Square” doing basic training. Just before I was due to pass out I contracted Scarlet Fever, and was put into quarantine for three weeks, thus missing the passing out parade. On my discharge from hospital I had to retake my basic training from scratch, but I got there in the end and went on to do my wireless operator’s training. About this time I was allocated to a regiment, The Royal Dragoon Guards. Approximately a week before I was due to go on leave, prior to joining my regiment, I was walking round the Square with two friends when a loud voice rang out “Stand Still”, we froze on the spot. The voice belonged to SCM Laurie Evans. He looked at us and said, “What regiment are you going to?” Standing to attention we told him and his reply was “Have you ever thought of joining the Royal Horse Guards?” Our reply was “Er, no sir!” The SCM then said, “Think about it and report to me tomorrow morning”. This, or course, we did and the first thing he did was to measure us for height. We apparently came up to scratch and were given new shoulder flashes, a S/D cap and told to report to Windsor at the end of our leave. My two friends were John Parry and Basil Snell. After my leave I reported to Combermere Barracks, Windsor. I remember it was a Sunday night and the hottest night for the last ten years or so. I was in full marching order, plus kit bag, travelling across London to Waterloo Station where I got on the train to Windsor. On arrival I had no idea in which direction lay the barracks but, as luck would have it, a fellow Trooper got off the train, put me right and offered to carry my kit bag. I still owe him a drink for that! Next day I met the one and only “Snatch
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Dave Garrard, Bill Marsh and Ray Wheeler
Ring” SCM The Life Guards. He was in charge of HCTC and was convinced that as we had come from Carlisle we had not been trained correctly, so we had to do it all over again! After two weeks we were allocated our squadrons. I was sent to C Squadron, which was down the road only a short distance from the barracks. If you were in C Squadron you regarded yourself as being a little superior to the rest as we lived apart. This carried on when we went to Cyprus, C Squadron being in Famagusta, about sixty odd miles from the rest of the regiment, and this is the way we liked it. But I digress, on arrival at the Imperial Service College I was put into 2 Troop as a Gunner (Instructed by Cpl Bill Marsh now Colonel) and so became a Gunner/Operator in the Daimler. The regiment had just returned from Germany, our SCM was George Colly, Maj Medlin was Squadron Leader, Capt M Darley was 2IC and Donald Duck was SQMC. Later Maj Hopkinson took over as Squadron Leader and Laurie Evans as SCM. My Troop leader was Ct Sir Nicholas Nuthall. Also in the Troop we had a new Trooper called Taffy Mogg. Now both of these people had red hair. On a certain maintenance parade we were replacing “belly plates”, not the best of jobs on a cold morning. I wanted a spanner and I saw this red headed figure under the Daimler. I gave him a kick and said “Give me the f……. spanner!” A hand came up from under the car and gave me the spanner, and then a face appeared with a big grin on it. Yes it was Sir Nicholas. All of us just started
to laugh, but that was Sir Nick, a great officer. You must remember that this was 1952, I expect things would be different now. My next big event was to be the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Those of us in the Armoured Squadrons were to be on foot, and dressed in dismounted review order, boots, spurs and swords. The first thing we had to learn was Cavalry drill, followed by Sword drill, and how to march with spurs. I seem to remember a great deal of marching round Windsor - learning how to split into columns, ready for marching through Marble Arch and down the Mall. After many weeks we were as near perfect as possible ready for the big day. Cpl Lee & Cpl Wheeler
The above photograph is of the Squadron taken at Tidworth Camp. It is full of well-known characters from the Regiment at this time.
The day before Coronation Day we were driven up to London to the underground car park at Olympia, which had been taken over for us as sleeping quarters. In the same car park were the Life Guards, I will leave you to guess what the banter was like! But it was all good fun and we enjoyed the whole thing. On the dawning of the great day it rained and rained and it carried on for most of the day, but it made no difference to us, or the crowds that lined the route. The route was about nine miles. It was a great day never to be forgotten and in the evening we walked it all again. The next day we were driven back to Windsor, our day of glory over. After about a year I made L/Cpl and I took a driving course under CoH Charlie Lowe. This was on the Dingo and Daimler Mk 2. Now Charlie had his own way of teaching; if you had not been paying full attention, whilst he was in the turret on the intercom, when you returned to barracks he would say “Stay in your seat!” He would then dismount, walk to the front with a full fire bucket and throw it through the hatch saying, “Next time do what I tell you”, a great chap and a great instructor.
Having now got my B2 Wireless Operator badge and my Gunnery plus Driving Licence I was what they called, in my day, a Crew Man. After yet another year had passed I was sent, along with CoH Pete Stanton, on a driving instructor’s course to Bovington. There we covered all types of vehicles, soft and armoured, I even had a chance to drive a Centurian Tank and as far as I can remember it was all levers and pedals. Capt Daley, I remember, used to give us lifts in his Ford V8 Pilot to and from Windsor. After passing the course I made full Corporal. The following summer the Squadron was sent to Tidworth, on Salisbury Plain, to provide equipment and backup for the TA Regiment’s summer camps and training. My job was petrol store man, which meant I had my own compound surrounded by barbed wire, with a tent in the middle. As each Troop took over they came to me with a truck for jerry cans of petrol and returned the empties to me for refilling from my tanker. As you know a jerry can holds five gallons, I was told that petrol in cans in the sun dehydrates so I only put in four and a half gallons. This way my figures always looked good (think about
2 Troop Jones, CoH Stanton, Haig, Scarlett, Williams, Cpl Wheeler, Cummings
it), I had a very good teacher Cyril Biles, a great character. From what I remember we all had a great time that summer. Towards the end of 1955 we were warned that we would be going to the Middle East in the near future, and the name banded about was Tripoli. As we know, it turned out to be Cyprus. At this time the Life Guards were in Egypt at Ismalia. (I am not sure if this was the whole Regiment or just one Squadron). C Squadron (RHG) had to send an advance party to Egypt, called a Technical Advance Party, to pick up all the vehicles required by C Squadron and take them to Famagusta in Cyprus. As far as I can remember S/Sgt Ray Richards was in charge (REME). We left England about four weeks ahead of the Regiment, and sailed from Liverpool in an old coal burning troop ship called the Lancashire, manned by a crew of Laskars, who shovelled coal day and night. On arrival at Port Said our small party was the only one to disembark. I remember climbing down a small rope
Sunday in the NCOs Mess Famagusta Bob Darby, Bill Steel, ?, Ray Wheeler, Ray Brooks, ?
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Old Salamis City Cpl Hegarty and Cpl Wheeler
ladder, with kit, at night, to reach the motor launch to take us into port, then it was onto trucks to Ismalia. The next few weeks were spent getting the vehicles checked ready for the trip to Cyprus via Tank Landing Craft from Port Said. What stands out in my memory about Egypt was the heat, the sand, and riding the Officers’ Polo ponies in the desert. Finally we were ready for the drive to Port Said. Just before we started out we were told that we were some of the last British troops to be leaving Egypt and that the natives were not too friendly. We were not to stop under any circumstances. As we had no weapons, we could see the point being made. We set out in short convoys, I was leading one driving a Champ, to our surprise it started raining and, of course, all the holes in the road filled up with water. As we passed through the villages the population turned out and threw stones at us. The only retaliation we had was to drive flat out through the puddles and cover them in mud, great fun. We embarked on the LSTs for Cyprus. We arrived in Famagusta after about a twenty-four hour cruise: (It was only twelve months later that the Squadron was all lined up in Famagusta harbour, fully bombed up, ready to embark on the same LSTs to go back to Egypt. Of course after waiting all day in anticipation it was called off and we never got to participate it what became known as the Suez Crisis). By the time we arrived at our camp in Famagusta, the Squadron had arrived from the UK and we spent the next week or so settling in and getting used to our four-man tents. (Having spent two years living in a four-man tent I have never had any wish to go camping at any time since). My Troop was 2 Troop under Cornet J Eyre (later to become Maj Gen J Eyre). CoH P Stanton, myself as Cpl and Jock Wilkie as L/Cpl, plus Troopers Haigh,
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Williams, Jones, Scarlet and Cummings, a good half of these being National Service. We made a very good team and got on well together. We had many exciting times over the next twenty or so months, doing twenty-four hour patrols, roadblocks, ambushes, etc. One roadblock I remember well was on the Famagusta/Nicosia road. We had stopped two taxis and at this particular time we were emptying every vehicle looking for bombs, arms, etc, so I opened the doors and said “Everyone out!” Low and behold it was full of all the girls from Wilcox Street, Famagusta, that well known area of ill repute. We were having a good laugh trying to line them up, getting kissed and hugged when who should turn up but the Squadron Leader Maj Darley. For those of you who did not know Maj Darly (later Col of the Regt) you rarely saw him laughing, but this time he really seemed to enjoy our predicament. It seemed the “ladies” were on their way to Nicosia for their monthly check up! Another time I remember well was New Year’s Eve 1956. The senior NCOs had invited all the Officers over to the mess for New Year. A message must have come through that the Squadron had to send out an all night patrol to the Salamis area i.e. the old deserted city (now a CoH Wheeler
place of great historical interest). The Squadron leader sent for me. I thought I’m in trouble but he said “Right Corporal, you are to take two Troops plus half of six Troop out tonight for a ten hour patrol of the Salamis area, and report back to me in the morning”. It was a perfect clear moonlit night and walking around the old city, covered in golden sand, with the blue Mediterranean sea in the background, takes some beating. I expect you would have to pay to see that these days. We did another patrol in civilian vehicles. The idea was to get to the end of the “Pan Handle” without being noticed. It was thought that the Monks in the Monastery were taking in arms from small boats coming in at night. The Squadron leader phoned for two taxis and a bus, they duly arrived and he had the drivers of these vehicles put in the Guardroom. 2 Troop took over the vehicles, Pete Stanton driving the bus, I drove one of the Taxis and Haigh the other. We piled in the Troop, along with various weapons, and set off for the “Pan Handle”. (The drivers left protesting loudly in the Guardroom tent). It was quite a hairraising trip as Pete Stanton had never driven a bus before, and neither Haigh nor I had driven a saloon car with steering wheel mounted gear change, but we made it. Unfortunately, the Monastery Ct Jim Eyre looking at his Daimler Armoured Car after a lucky escape
was empty of weapons, but the Monks showed us around and seemed quite friendly. We returned the vehicles to their rightful owners and I believe the drivers were paid handsomely, they seemed quite happy. I could regale you with many more stories but I had better bring it to a halt. The Squadron worked very hard and in between the call outs, patrolling, training new people arriving, driving courses, etc we still managed to have a good time. About this time I was made CoH and was moved from my four-man tent, with four people in it, to another fourman tent with just me in it (a slight improvement). Later the Squadron rejoined the Regiment in Nicosia. I was there for about two months and my time was at an end. Here I made one of the biggest mistakes of my life, I decided to leave the Regiment and the Army. I flew home with Terry Hegarty and we arrived at
Old boys reunion at Pebbles 1998 Cpl Wilkie, Cpl Hegarty, Jim Cummings and Ray Wheeler with Wives
Southend Airport on a very cold autumn morning. We made our way to Windsor and that was it, no job, nothing, I must have been mad. I did find a job and worked in West Africa in the
oil business doing seismic work drilling and dynamiting. If anyone remembers me please get in contact on email@example.com.
The Royal Hospital Chelsea ‘In subsidiuim et levamen emeritorum senio belloque fractorum condidit Carolus Secundus auxit Jacobus Secundus perfecere Gulielmus et Maria Rex et Regina Anno Domini MDCXCII” “For the succour and relief of veterans broken by Age and War founded by Charles II enlarged by James II and completed by William and Mary in the Year of Our Lord 1692” Foundation The Royal Hospital Chelsea was founded by King Charles II in 1682 as a retreat for veterans of the regular army who had become unfit for duty, either after 20 year’s service or as a result of wounds. The re-establishment of a standing army 21 years earlier had made some measure urgently necessary, and indeed, two years before, the King had begun building a hospital at Kilmainham, near Dublin, for veterans of the Irish Army. The provision of a hostel, rather than some system of pensions, was undoubtedly inspired by the Hotel des Invalides in Paris which was founded by Louis XIV and about which Charles U had received glowing reports from his son, the Duke of Monmouth, who visited it on two occasions. There is no evidence whatever to show that, as popularly believed, the King was influenced by his Mistress, Nell Gwynne, or in fact by any other consideration than the welfare of his old soldiers. The building designed by Sir Christopher Wren for Charles U was intended
A 60 year stare
to house all Army pensioners and comprised a single quadrangle known as Figure Court. James II’s strengthening of the Forces while the Royal Hospital was still under construction, made its enlargement desirable with the result that Wren designed Light Horse and College Courts. He completed his task in William and Mary’s reign by adding some subsidiary buildings, most of which have since been pulled down. Owing to mismanagement by Lord Ranelagh, there was much delay in completing the Royal Hospital which was not taken into use until 1692. Some alterations mainly in the interiors of the Officers’ apartments were made by Robert Adam while he was serving
as Clerk of Works in 1765-92. Sir John Soane, who held the post from 18 07-37, was responsible for most of the buildings now standing on the outer sides of the East and West Roads and for an infirmary in the north-western corner of the, grounds, which was destroyed by bombing in 1941. A new infirmary of modern design situated at the northeastern end of the grounds was opened in 1961 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. The In-Pensioners As intended by Charles II, the In-Pensioners have always been organized on military lines, with a Governor and other Officers. Originally there were eight companies formed from the Foot
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and Dragoons and a ninth from the Horse, each with its proper complement of officers, NCOs and drummers. The Foot were equipped with fusils or light muskets and the Light Horse with partisans (a long handled spear resembling a halberd but with lateral cuffing projections on the blade) while the officers had half-pikes and the sergeants halberds. Guard duties were onerous, particularly between 1715 and 1805, when an armed patrol was maintained by night on the road from the Royal Hospital to St. James’s; but parades are virtually limited to those for Church and Pay. The military organization has been preserved and the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are assisted by an Adjutant, three Medical Officers, a Chaplain, a Quartermaster, and six retired officers, styled Captain of Invalids, in command of the six companies of In-Pensioners. The scarlet coats and ceremonial tricorn bats worn by the In-Pensioners are a modernized version of the service dress of Marlborough’s time. The In-Pensioners number about 400 and are drawn from Army pensioners of good character and normally not less than 65 years of age. On entering the Hospital an old soldier surrenders his Army pension in return for which he Bob Hoggarth ex RHG 1948-68
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Ex-Cavalry Regiment In-Pensioners prepare to “Fall-in” for the annual Cavalry Church Service - Oct 2010
receives board, lodging, clothing and medical care. Leave of absence is freely granted and a summer holiday arranged for those who desire it. In-Pensioners have the use of an amenity centre in the
Hospital (the Prince of Wales Hall), a comfortably appointed club, television, and billiard rooms, a library, a handicraft center, a bowling green and allotment gardens.
Cavalry In-Pensioners, Old Comrades and serving Cavalrymen following the Cavalry Church Service
A New York Marathon for the Cause by Rupert Fryer former RHG/D Tp Ldr was number 2034. The first 30 kilometres went by with little concern and thereafter I found that elusive ‘wall’! They told me that once one had met the ‘wall’, one went over it and continued with gusto to the finish. I beg to differ. The ‘wall’ was longer than I imagined and in fact lasted to the very end. It really was quite hard work and the legs get very tired indeed. One has to draw on very deep and strategic reserves to go that extra mile.
Running the New York Marathon
o now I am back in Geneva having completed, on Sunday 7th November, the New York Marathon. 42 kilometres or 26.2 miles! I prefer the kilometre figure as it sounds longer and harder. Well, it was indeed hard for an aging fifty year old. The time was 4 hours and 27 minutes. I came in 24,535 out of approximately 45,000 people and in my age group I
counting all the pennies, but you have all been incredibly generous and I have raised in excess of £30,000 for this superb cause, which is also dear to my heart. Thank you all so much indeed. The whole event has been an amazing experience and it is your generosity that has spurred me on to the finish line. Victorious after raising £30K
The atmosphere was indeed amazing and only in America! There were bands playing and the entire route was lined with people cheering you on. I sadly did not have room on my highly sponsored T- Shirt to have my name printed as well and hence I missed out on a lot of the female support, however, as my outfit had some Military Insignia printed on it , there was a modicum of enthusiasm from the Fire Brigade and other members of the National Guard. Ultimately, the purpose of this madness was to raise funds for the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund. I have not completed
Mixed Guard by Ron Smith
have several old photos taken during my service in the Royal Horse Guards 1946 to 1952. The photo below is of a mixed Life Guard and RHG Kings guard returning across Hyde Park Corner back to Knightsbridge in 1947, which may be of interest to both young and old members of the association.
demeanour and bellowed out his name causing the whole Guard to break into a
trot, the horses knowing the orders and not waiting for the dig of the spurs.
The only difference in the dress was the shoulder flashes and the lanyards. When the full dress came out of mothballs the following year in time for the wedding of Princess Elizabeth, these mixed guards changed and we took turns every other day. We were very short of trained mounted soldiers at that time so it was quite normal to be on Guard duty every other day for months on end. The Guard Commander in the photo is, I believe, CoH Tagg Rockall LG, and I see myself fifth from the back. I particularly remember one amusing incident. One of the Life Guards name was Trott and CoH Rockall spotted him committing some mis-
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eaders may be interested to know what life in the Regiment was like 170 years ago. The following extracts relate Courts martial that were held during the period 1839-1840 and were first carried in the Royal Horse Guards Magazine (The Blue) in 1969. On July 3rd 1839, No 576 Private Charles Cozens of the Royal Horse Guards was tried by General Court Martial held at Regents Park Barracks on the following charges: First, For having at Windsor on June 1st disobeyed the lawful command of his Superior Officer Corporal George Johnson of the same Regiment, by not cleaning his Troop Horse when ordered to do so by the said Corporal. Second, For having at about the same time and at the place mentioned in the 1st Charge made use of threatening language to the Troop Corporal Major John Steventon of the same Regiment by then declaring (amongst other things) that he would die for him (meaning the said Corporal Major) that he would have his life and swearing at the same time that he would have his heartâ€™s blood on the morrow night when released. Third, For having about the same
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From the Past time and at the place mentioned in the 1st and 2nd Charges, offered violence to Captain Vincent Corbet of the same Regiment, his Superior Officer in the execution of his Office, by then and there in the presence and hearing of Private Soldiers of the Regiment shaking his fist in the face of said Captain Corbet using at the same time disrespectful and threatening language. The Court found the prisoner guilty of the charges and sentenced Private Cozens to be transported as a felon for 10 years. Her Majesty was pleased to approve and confirm the finding and sentence of the Court. Considering however, that the prisoner was never before brought to a Court Martial, and his character was generally good Her Majesty was further pleased to command that the Sentence of Transportation awarded by the Court to be limited to seven years and that he be transported to New South Wales. On April 27th 1840, No 529 Private Robert Carlton of the Royal Horse Guards was tried by District Court Martial held at Regents Park Barracks for Absenting himself without leave from his Regiment at Regents Park Barracks on or about April 13th, 1840,
until on or about April 25th, 1840. The Court found Private Carlton guilty and sentenced him to six months Imprisonment with hard labour, in the Penitentiary at Millbank, the first and last months to be passed in Solitary confinement. On July 18th, 1840 No 443 Private John Waters was tried by District Court Martial held at Hyde Park Barracks on the following charges: First, For having at Hyde Park Barracks on or about July 2nd, 1840, sold and made away with a pair of Leather Pantaloons which were part of his Regimental necessaries. Second, For Disgraceful Conduct in having at Hyde Park Barracks on or about July 4th, 1840, stolen a pair of Regimental Leather Pantaloons from Private Henry Gregory of the Royal Horse Guards. The Courts found Private Waters guilty and sentenced him to receive One Hundred and Fifty lashes on his bare back and that he be Discharged with Ignominy from the Service.