THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY JOURNAL 2014
The Household Cavalry Journal
Incorporating The Acorn and The Blue and Royal No. 23 2014 Editor: Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) H S J Scott, The Life Guards
Colonel in Chief Her Majesty The Queen
Colonel of The Life Guards and Gold Stick: Field Marshal the Lord Guthrie of Craigiebank GCB LVO OBE DL Colonel of The Blues and Royals and Gold Stick: HRH The Princess Royal KG KT GCVO QSO Lieutenant Colonel Commanding and Silver Stick: Major General E A Smyth-Osbourne, The Life Guards Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel D James, The Life Guards Commanding Officer Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment: Lieutenant Colonel P A Bedford, 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 published by Brian Smith Associates, 145 St Pancras, Chichester, West Sussex PO19 7SH. Tel: 01243 576279 Email: email@example.com
Contents Preface by Lieutenant Colonel Commanding .......................... 3
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer ......................................... 4 Diary of Events .................................................................................. 5 A Squadron ........................................................................................ 8 B Squadron ....................................................................................... 10 C Squadron ....................................................................................... 12 D Squadron ...................................................................................... 14 Headquarters Squadron ................................................................. 15 Light Aid Detachment .................................................................... 17 Regimental Administrative Office ................................................ 17 Command Troop ............................................................................. 18 Quartermaster’s Department ......................................................... 19 Quartermaster (Equipment) Department .................................... 21
Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess ........ 22 Chaplaincy ....................................................................................... 22 BATUS 2014 ...................................................................................... 23 Life as a Short Term Training Team Recce Instructor for the Jordanian Army - November 2014 ..................................... 25 The Light Reconnaissance Commanders’ Course (LRCC) ........ 26 Exercise COCKNEY ZANDVOORDE .......................................... 27 Battlefield Study: The Little Big Horn ........................................... 29 Exercise IRON SPAHIS ................................................................... 32 Stalking, with Cornet A C Soames, Lance Corporal Bell and Trooper Bell ........................................................................... 33
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword by the Commanding Officer ........................................ 35 Diary of Events ................................................................................ 36 The Life Guards Squadron ............................................................. 38 The Blues and Royals Squadron .................................................... 40 Headquarters Squadron ................................................................. 42 Regimental Administrative Office ................................................ 43 The Band of the Household Cavalry ............................................. 44 Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess ........ 47 Winter Training Troop 2014-15 ...................................................... 48
Pages 62 - 77
Nordic Skiing 2013-14 .............................................................. 71 C Squadron Adventure Training, Aviemore, Scotland ....... 72 Exercise BAJAN BASH - HCR Cricket Tour to Barbados .... 73 HCR Rugby ................................................................................ 75 Triathlon .................................................................................... 76 The South American Open: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu ...................... 77
News from the Associations The Life Guards Association Annual Report 2014 ...................... 80 Minutes of the 80th AGM of The Life Guards Association ........ 80 The Life Guards Association Accounts ....................................... 82 The Life Guards Association and Charitable Trusts .................. 82 The Life Guards Association Notices ............................................ 83 The Life Guards Association Regional Representatives ............ 83 The Blues and Royals Association Annual Report 2014 ............. 86 The Blues and Royals Accounts .................................................... 86 Minutes of the AGM of The Blues and Royals Association ........ 88 The Blues and Royals Association Regional Representatives ... 89 Household Cavalry Foundation .................................................... 90 HCF Management Accounts .......................................................... 92
Pages 35 - 61
The Mongol Derby .......................................................................... 49 The Musical Ride ............................................................................. 51 The Forge .......................................................................................... 52 Household Cavalry Training Wing .............................................. 53 The Presentation of Standards to the Household Cavalry by the Colonel-in-Chief - 28th May 2014 ................................... 54 Cambrian Patrol 2014 ...................................................................... 59 Trip to the Garde Republicaine - August 2014 ............................. 59 Sweden - Orienteering and Cavalry Skills ................................... 60
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up Touch Everest .................................................................................. 62 Household Cavalry Cresta Run 2015 ............................................ 63 A Veteran Turkish Delight Golf Tour - May 2014 ....................... 65 Household Cavalry Golf .......................................................... 66 Exercise COCKNEY YARDARM ............................................ 67 Swimming the Channel ............................................................ 69 HCR Alpine Skiing 2013-14 ..................................................... 69
Pages 4 - 34
Pages 80 - 144
The Household Cavalry Museum Archive .................................. 93 The Household Cavalry Museum ................................................. 93 Obituaries The Life Guards ............................................................ 94 Obituaries The Blues and Royals ................................................... 95 Nominal Rolls ................................................................................ 105 Notices ............................................................................................ 110 Household Cavalry Associations Dorset ........................................................... 113 North East .................................................... 115 North Staffs .................................................. 116 North West & West Yorkshire ................... 117 Features .......................................................................................... 119
Cover Photographs: Front: Her Majesty The Queen passes Her Sovereign’s Standard to Lt Col Denis James, with Lt Col Mark Kingston and the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding in attendance Back: The lithograph of ‘The decisive charge of The Life Guards at the battle of Waterloo’ by Luke Clennell, engraved by William I Bramley
By Major General E A Smyth-Osbourne, The Life Guards Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Household Cavalry
am thrilled to have taken over the new role of Lieutenant Colonel Commanding after the Presentation of Standards in May. It is a change for the Household Cavalry and the loss of the dedicated post needs careful handling, but a lighter touch in the spirit of mission command may be a welcome move for the commanding officers! That said, we shall, no doubt, rue the loss of focus and industry that Colonel Stuart Cowen and his predecessors as Commander Household Cavalry brought to the table. Despite that, and thanks to the work of Household Cavalrymen wherever they serve, we are in good order. The Service Regiment, fresh from the sun kissed foothills of the Hindu Kush and its last tour of Afghanistan, under Lieutenant Colonel Denis James, enjoyed a well-earned Christmas break before re-focusing on coalface tactics, crew skills and a run out as enemy in Western Canada. For the first time in a decade they can take stock after campaigning in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our employment, as armoured cavalry, in an increasingly uncertain security environment, with SCOUT now clearly defined on the near horizon, is hugely exciting. Meanwhile, the Mounted Regiment under Lieutenant Colonel Paul Bedford, whether on parade or engaging overseas, for which there is a tantalizing and increasing demand stretching from Bahrain to Copenhagen, has enjoyed a varied, challenging and lauded year. In many ways the Presentation of Standards brought it all together. It was, put simply, a triumph with its unique display of ceremonial and armoured capability on Horse Guards and a chance for our families to bask in the discreet glory of the gardens of Buckingham Palace akin to their Victorian ancestors. Our Band, integral to what we do, was brought together in a Union first under the command of Major Paul Wilman (now Major Craig Hallatt) as the largest symphonic wind band in the Army. We must invest in its regimental heritage, utility and basing given its ill-conceived inception. Ceremonial duty, crucial as it is to the fabric of the Nation, continues to attract interest and praise worldwide to the broader benefit of the United Kingdom and the Army. Turning to the Household Cavalry Foundation we have seen a year of growth, both in terms of support and delivery of welfare. Crucially, the Foundation has been able to bring a
sense of coherence and integration to its work, supporting more welfare cases than ever before and delivering over £300,000 to those in need across our five charitable areas of Casualties, Soldiers, Veterans, Horses and Heritage. This focus has been brought about now that the Museum debt that lived with us for much of the last decade has been paid off. We are also investing much greater effort into support for transition to civil life, catalysed by those who have been wounded and discharged from service. And, on a lighter note, we are able to provide support for adventurous and training outlets ranging from endurance riding to rugby; an interesting example of the latter being the 28 soldiers, who all returned from Afghanistan last year, on an expedition to climb to Everest base camp, where they played the highest game of rugby in the world, that being a new world record! It is also worth saying a little about the centenary of the Great War, now more often described as the First World War, incited by a pistol shot in Sarajevo and the demands of a fragile and competing balance of power in Europe. It has focused minds this summer in a most helpful way, catalysing real thought amongst historians about the War, so often seen through restricted optics generated by the Poets and propagated by Clarke’s ‘The Donkeys’, satires like Black Adder and plays such as ‘Oh, What a Lovely War’. I think that this is important because it has opened up the debate and allowed people to make a rather more informed decision than hitherto about a war that cost the lives of over a million British and Commonwealth souls. For us the professionalism, courage and stoicism of our military ancestors at Ypres, Zandvoorde and Klein Zillibeke in autumn 1914 was brilliantly brought to life by Major Tiny Rogers alongside Captain Ade Gardner’s faultless administration and shepherding. Illustrating, as it did, the decimation of the Old Contemptibles, it brought greater understanding to our part in what Winston Churchill so aptly coined ‘The World Crisis’. For, despite the passage of a century, so much is relevant today, whether it be the mobilization of reserves or the ability to innovate in contact. This year we shall focus our memories on the bicentenary of Waterloo, again to understand that great watershed of European history and our part in it, but also to cement relations with our key allies: Germany, Belgium and Holland.
Throughout all of this, it is worth thinking, for a moment, about how we conduct ourselves in all that we do; the true judge being doing the right thing when no one is looking, that being more relevant in the field than on Horse Guards. Today, of course, that premise is changing given the advent of pervasive surveillance, much of it self induced, such that our actions are likely to be constantly scrutinized in a way that puts huge pressure on decision making at all levels. Standards, on and off duty, are key. We represent the Army in much that we do, whether by virtue of Division or role. We must live up to the values that we espouse (recently tweaked to being professional, ethical and lawful) and take pride in so doing whether on or off duty. Similarly professionalism, at Home and Away, is fundamental to what we are. It matters not whether we are riding down The Mall, building flood defences or fighting overseas. It underpins the very capability that we maintain and is key to the fabric and long term well being of the Household Cavalry. Separately we need to work at our recruiting and its bedfellow retention alongside our mental and physical robustness. Tauter establishments, more stringent employment criteria and corporate responsibility demand it and we shall be unable to meet our outputs without it. Above all, a full establishment with everyone fit and able reduces pressure and improves the quality of life for one and all. The old joke has it here there are only two certainties in life - death and taxes.
However, in our game there are at least two others. There is always a new Defence and Security Review around the corner, and the future of Hyde Park Barracks is still under review. We shall need to show to all comers that the Household Cavalry is capable and ready to meet all the challenges that will
confront us. The story of the last decade is an impressive one, but we would be wise to maintain that prowess rather than rest on our laurels. Darwinism speaks to the survival of the fittest, but it is the species who can adapt that will survive; the trick will be to adapt with our traditions intact. And, on that note,
it is worth remembering Her Majesty’s words at the Presentation of Standards: ‘A generation of soldiers has now served within the single Regiment while successfully maintaining the traditions and separate identities of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals’.
Household Cavalry Regiment Foreword
By Lieutenant Colonel D James, The Life Guards Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Regiment You will read the various stories of the Squadrons in their articles, which I commend to you. The Regiment has fed off the success of the Squadrons, and has done well this year, with some notable and high profile achievements. What is extraordinary about this is that the year has been very fragmented and hard to control, and the Regiment could easily have been twisted out of shape by the unexpected requirements placed upon us to support all the other tasks the Army has been conducting. Indeed it is representative of the year that the winners of the Zandvoorde Cup (the revitalised Troop Tests competition) were commanded by an A Squadron man, 2Lt Kay McAllister, whilst the majority of the soldiers, including CoH Dimbylow, CoH Willman and LCpl Wilcox, the other armoured commanders, were from C Squadron. It is also representative of the year that HCR had to force Troop Tests into the calendar and it was made difficult to execute them; the system would have had it otherwise. But we did it, and HCR is better for it. The other way of looking at this year is to see it as being a year in which HCR seized every opportunity available. Op PITCHPOLE (the floods) provided us with an opportunity to demonstrate how swiftly we could move into action. We were also quick to volunteer to be OPFOR (enemy forces) in BATUS for two of the major exercises this year. In a more deliberate fashion, we rehearsed for and executed our part in the Standards Parade well, I thought, and HCR and our families had a tremendous day. It is my assessment that in the manner in which the Regiment has completed its tasks this year, HCR has shown that it is resilient, flexible, and has enduring quality and style. In this introduction, I aim to give a sense of the issues that I am dealing with. We, the Regiment at Windsor, need the support of all elements of the Regimental
4 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
family in achieving our aims and outputs and I hope that the reader will take these notes as an invitation to participate and help. Defining what an Armoured Cavalry Regiment (ACR) is. Along with the RDG and QRL, the Regiment has a new role, and a new name for its new role. The critical piece is that the new role (ACR) is here, now, and we remain in CVR(T); the arrival of the Scout vehicle with different capabilities will change the situation again. HCR has the exciting opportunity of being the intellectual lead on doctrinal development. The role of the ACR is to FIND, UNDERSTAND and EXPLOIT. We are the Brigade Commander’s eyes and ears and we operate in front of the rest of his troops. For those of you who are familiar with Brigade level tactics, think of us as a Covering Force. The enduring element of all of this is, of course, the people. It is important that we define what it is that our men, who fulfil the role of scouts, offer. The characteristics that I demand of all our officers and soldiers are: independence of thought and judgement, robustness, cunning, accuracy of reporting, good observation skills, and determination. Combermere and Scout Vehicles. The Scout vehicle is three times bigger than CVR(T). It weighs 38 tonnes and is the same size as a Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle. It needs to be moved on transporters and some have sought to argue that it cannot be housed in Combermere. But Combermere has enough space for the basic unit holding
of 32 vehicles which we will be given, and is in by far the best location of all of the ACR Regiments. Recruitment and Retention. Recruitment is steady, but still we need more soldiers to join us. I really do have every faith that the Army’s new Capita based recruitment system will eventually work, but in the interim we must help ourselves. HCav have re-established the Recruiting Team and they want to hear about events and activities that they should support. Please let them know (SCpl Smith on Tel - 01753 755271 Mob - 07775 504886 Email - HCRHQSqn-Recruiting SNCO@mod.uk) if you know of an event; HCR will then prioritise. Retention is holding up well when compared to other Regiments but we are undermanned and remain tireless in our efforts to reduce the
number that leave.
trained to get out of the camp and fight.
2015. Next year sees B, C, D and HQ Sqn train as 1st Armoured Infantry Brigade’s ACR, including attending BATUS in October 2015. This is in order to prepare for the Brigade being the Army’s high readiness Brigade in 2016. A Squadron is my independent Squadron, and I have set their Squadron Leader, Major Tom Archer-Burton, the task of defining the role of the independent Squadron within an Armoured Infantry Brigade.
Major Achievements. My most sincere congratulations go to those who individually, or as part of a team, achieved Operational Honours. In other fields:
HCR will continue to pay heavy attention to sports and battlefield studies, and we are hugely looking forward to Waterloo commemorations and to The Life Guards (who have recently received the Freedom of The City of London) and The Blues and Royals marching through the City to the Guildhall. Foreign visits for sports clubs, language training, an increased effort to help families, and plenty of leave will hopefully provide the balance I think the Regiment needs to be healthy, happy and fit to fight. Main Effort. HCR needs to continue to improve its deployability; that is to say the number of officers and soldiers who are fit and correctly qualified and
Our REME Light Aid Detachment (LAD) has had a successful year and achieved the ‘Chartered Quality Institute 1st Line LAD of the Year’ award, which in my eyes makes them the best LAD in the Division. The newly formed Sniper troop has proved their worth over the last year. Under the captaincy of CoH Bateman they did very well at the 1 Brigade Inter Unit shooting competitions, with CoH Smith and LCpl Shephard, winning the High Value Target Match shoot. This result meant that the successful section advanced to the Divisional and triService shooting competition. Overall, the Regiment achieved the best RAC gunnery scores of the year; A Squadron fired best overall within the Regiment. The Regiment took 1st place in the
tri-service Captain’s and Subaltern’s Polo competition. Ably captained by Ct Cameron Bacon, the all-ranks team went on to win a very closely fought final. Ct Soames earned the accolade of ‘most valuable player’ in what was his debut. HCR performed extremely well in the GOC’s annual 3 Div Physical Development (PD) competition. The Regiment finished top in the 1 Brigade Inter Unit competition, where we were assessed on all aspects of PD, including for example, sports, health and adventurous training. Our footballers made it to the quarter finals of the Cavalry Cup and two members of our basketball team have been selected for the Army side. The regimental swimming team won the 1 Bde Festival of Sport swimming competition and have representatives in the Army team, too. 2015 will be a busy, challenging year, in which much of our intellectual investment and ideas will be tested. It is possible to do that and achieve balance. Everybody within the wider Regimental family can help us achieve our aims.
Diary of Events
by Captain B F Woolf, The Life Guards, Adjutant
he Household Cavalry Regiment have had an unforeseeably busy year. After finishing 10 solid years of campaigning in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Regiment began 2014 with the view of returning to the basics of Contingency warfare. The process of taking the excellent lessons learnt since 2003 and re-finding the nuances of mounted combat proved, and is still proving, to be a challenging task. The events of 2014 have seen the Regiment progress and become the lead in forging the basis for Armoured Cavalry doctrine.
deployment amongst the local populace and one that was greatly received. Op PITCHPOLE fell in the middle of the Regiment’s low level training, with D Squadron being at Warcop. They were subsequently called back in order to assist the Royal Tank Regiment as part of the 145 Bde efforts. Combermere Barracks quickly became the focal point for
the Operation with CGS, GOC 3 Division and 1 Mech Bde Comd visiting. Once the waters had receded, the training restarted and the Squadrons were able to begin the refresher process with low level training. March saw the opportunity to catch up on some time at home with families and friends. RHQ
2014 has also seen the introduction of the Army 2020 force structures. This has meant a return to slightly more familiar names of Command and Support Squadron but has also led to the loss of the constant 16 Air Assault Brigade ties with D Squadron. The Regiment has, however, made every effort to remain at the forefront of deployability and routinely interacts with the 16 Brigade study days and events. The beginning of the year was marred by awful weather which resulted in the flooding of large parts of the south east. The Regiment was first on hand to provide assistance to the local borough of Windsor and Maidenhead for Op PITCHPOLE. This was a Regimental
Maj Giffard leads the Regiment to the Garrison Church
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 5
it was reserved solely for the Regiment and was attended by over 6000 people.
Maj Rogers briefing a group at Zandvoorde Ridge
and all the Warrant Officers attended Ladies Day at the Cheltenham Festival. Throughout the first quarter of the year, the last parts of the BRF were required to support the training of those on Op HERRICK 20. This was a fantastic chance to give timely and accurate ‘ground truth’ to those who needed it. It required many a trip to Germany to support 4 Bde but was incredibly worthwhile and appreciated at all levels by the deploying troops. Post Easter leave, the Regiment set it sights firmly on the Standards Parade and the seemingly impossible task of moving an ageing fleet to London via some rehearsal time in Aldershot. The Parade grew and grew as it came closer with more and more families and friends wanting a chance to experience such a momentous occasion. The Parade and the following Garden Party were a huge success in spite of the dreary weather in the morning. The Regiment were able to show the true style of Household Cavalrymen in every possible guise. The Garden party was a great honour as
The end of Parade was not the end for the vehicles as they were quickly sent to Salisbury Plain in preparation for the next round of Squadron level training. For the first time in seven years the Regiment underwent Troop test, with the winners being presented with the Zandvoorde Cup. The competitive nature of the troops was obvious and an excellent standard was on show for all to see.
The pace continued to gain momentum with an almost immediate deployment to Castlemartin to conduct ranges. The range package was conducted to an excellent standard, with the troops being able to partake in both mounted and dismounted ranges. The Regiment have since been credited by the Range staff as having had the best shoot within the RAC. This accolade is one of great pride to the Regiment and something we hope to extend in 2015. August saw the front runners of the OPFOR BG deploy to BATUS to begin the process of taking over all the vehicles and stores. These were quickly followed by the main body of HQ, A, and B Squadrons who, amongst the continuous equipment care, managed to find time to conduct a battlefield tour of Montana, and enjoy the many delights the USA and Canada have to offer. The Battlegroup deployed in support of the soon-to-be Lead Armoured Battlegroup (LABG) in September and were able to bring together the lessons of campaigning and the re-found
contingency tactics to get in behind the YORKS and make things as difficult as possible for them. Whilst OPFOR inevitably always lose in BATUS, the Regiment have walked away having been able to try news things and given a well drilled Battlegroup a bloody nose. The return for the majority to the UK began in October, leaving A Squadron to fight off 4 RIFLES during their exercise. Whilst A Squadron were trying their best to stay warm during river crossings and below freezing temperatures, the rest of the Regiment went to Belgium to commemorate the battle on Zandvoorde Ridge which, alongside the Royal Welsh, was attended by well over 1000 spectators and 400 serving soldiers. November saw the Regiment, complete, back in Combermere Barracks for the first time since the Standards Parade and provided an excellent opportunity to get cracking on the start states for BATUS 2015 and also get much needed career courses under the belt. Colonel Stuart Cowen was also officially dined out of both the Officers’ and Warrant Officers’ Messes. These dinners started the ‘silly season’ and watched as the drinking tempo picked up towards Brickhanging. There is a lot about 2014 that was not expected but, ultimately, the Regiment has once again proven its flexibility and agility to deal with any task that befalls upon us. It has been a year of change in which long lasting ties have been lost in 16 Bde and the role of the dedicated Commander post. 2015 will see us enter our training year and a return to BATUS. However, not everything goes to plan, even in RHQ. But Maj Giffard was able to bring his old recovery training into play on CT1 on Salisbury Plain, grinning through the embarrassment felt by him and the Ops Offr.
A lesson in recovery on Salisbury Plain - calling for help and getting it out
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014 has been a remarkable year for the men of A Squadron; we have transitioned from mission specific training for bespoke operations to a contingent stance and grown both in terms of manning numbers and, critically, experience and training for new uncertainties. In our first truly post-Afghanistan year, A Squadron have focused on developing a team that is ready to fight - what this means in practice is that we are able to train using mission command, develop the leadership qualities throughout every rank, and take the time to improve upon our basic soldiering capabilities. This year A Squadron has been committed to Individual, Troop and Squadron training as well as a deployment to BATUS on Ex PRAIRIE STORM 3 and 4 as COEFOR, taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible along the way. The early days of January swept quickly by in a maelstrom of career and professional courses, even as augmentees arrived to bring us up to full strength. Drawing on soldiers not only from our sister Squadrons and HCMR but also some individuals recently returned from Op HERRICK 18 in 2013, the Squadron was lucky enough to retain enough experience at JNCO and SNCO level in order to help form the backbone of the new A Squadron. The SQMC, SCpl Sampson, juggled his Board of Officers Inspection with stepping up as temporary SCM until WO2 Daley was able to move across from HQ Squadron, but somehow managed to keep his usual sunny disposition throughout. The Squadron Leader was also determined that the Squadron should not miss out on some of the adventurous training opportunities, and some of us were able to take part in Ex SNOW WARRIOR in Germany as well as the annual Ex CRESTA POOL (Cresta Run) where LCpl Tonkin in particular excelled. The blustery weather of February brought flooding to the Thames Valley and the Squadron was pulled back from dismounted ranges in Otterburn to take over C Squadron’s good work in Datchet as part of Op PITCHPOLE. Supplemented by a Troop of D Squadron, our two week deployment saw the full range of the Squadron’s talent deployed, from Sgt Van der Waal’s Engineering expertise in building sandbag defences to Lt Thomas’ unorthodox negotiating skills with the local residents. A sometimes bizarre but ultimately rewarding experience, Op PITCHPOLE proved the Squadron was very much back in the game and versatile enough for any challenge. This type of operation tests the character of the Squadron made all the more demanding by being
8 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
in the constant eye of the public; the superb manner in which we set about assisting the local community was notably recognized by a visit by both the HRH The Duke of Cambridge and the Prime Minister. March saw some lucky members of the Squadron deploy on Ex TOUCH EVEREST, including the Squadron Leader and the new Squadron Corporal Major, leaving the remainder to focus on individual skills and dismounted training under the close supervision of the Troop Leaders and Corporals of Horse. Professional courses continued apace as well, and no less than 45% of the Squadron were sent on their CVR(T) Driver’s and Gunner’s course over this period, leaving those behind working harder than ever under the careful supervision of SHQ. The A Squadron Brigade Operational Shooting Team was also working hard, led by CoH Lewis and LCoH Kelly and outperformed most of our infantry colleagues, even if they were just pipped at the post in qualification for the Divisional Competition. Fortunately Easter Leave in April provided a well deserved break and chance to refocus on the careful rehearsals for Standards Parade on our return. A Squadron was privileged to form the core of the 1st Armoured Division on the actual Parade in May, driving a half Squadron of CVR(T) down The Mall before showing off our rifle drill in front of a packed Horse Guards Parade and Her Majesty The Queen as she presented new Standards to the Regiments. Between besmirching the hallowed parade ground of the
Foot Guards in Wellington Barracks with our vehicles and getting to bring our families to the Buckingham Palace Garden Party afterwards, it certainly was an experience that even the most hardened Ceremonial soldiers are unlikely to forget. June saw a rapid change from Ceremonial to Operational as the Squadron deployed on to Salisbury Plain for Troop Level Mounted and Dismounted Training. Aided by SHQ and CoHs Lewis and Rosendale, the three Gun Troops were put through their paces, culminating in the Commanding Officer’s Troop Tests at the end of each week. SHQ was kept busy providing real life support as well as the Command and Control for the Exercise, and LCoH Martin’s vicious policing of the Squadron net made sure the more verbose Troop Leaders were kept in check. There was no peace for the wicked however, and rollback after exercise was compounded by the imminent Equipment Care Inspection, leading to many early starts and late finishes under the watchful eye of the SCM and SQMC. Later in July, the Squadron deployed to Castlemartin for our annual CVR(T) ranges where many newly qualified Gunners and Commanders were on their first Gun camp. Under the all seeing gaze of RHQ, who added many voices of experience, the Squadron shot remarkably well, achieving a 94% Annual Crew Test first time pass rate and 100% Troop Test pass rate. The middle week-end also provided a much needed opportunity for the Squadron to relax, taking advantage of some rare Welsh sunshine to enjoy some Squadron
The Sqn Ldr salutes The Queen as A Squadron drive past
Soldiers of A Squadron deploying on a helicopter assault on the prairie
Clay Pigeon shooting and LCpl Pugh’s take on Space Invaders using a two man catapult and water balloons. Summer Leave, as always, was all too brief and before we knew it the Squadron had deployed to BATUS to act as Contemporary Operating Environment Force (COEFOR) for Ex PRAIRIE STORM 3 & 4. Mounted in LandRovers instead of CVR(T), where possible the Squadron took advantage of the reduced
Lt Faire displaying the forest of names in a RIFLES Battlegroup
maintenance burden by scattering to the four winds on various expeditions. After an educational visit to Montana to learn about the Battle of Little Big Horn, the Troop Leaders decided to counter their cultural experiences with a trip to Las Vegas, returning somewhat poorer and wiser a few days later. Ex PRAIRIE STORM 3 was the culmination of the Squadron’s mounted training this year and allowed us to practice operations at unit level with all of the attached support. As RHQ and B Squadron left for the UK in October, we were readjusting to a new dismounted role and Arctic weather gear for Ex PRAIRIE STORM 4 as COEFOR for the 4 RIFLES BG. In the face of increasingly emotional weather and very angry infanteers, once again the Squadron proved their versatility and dismounted skills. Recently returned to the UK, where CoH Rosendale has been keeping the flag flying and the Guardforce manned. The Squadron is once more split between professional courses and individual leave in the build up for 2015. Looking back on an exceedingly busy year, the Squadron has excelled in the face of numerous challenges and changes, mainly thanks to the individual commitment and positive attitude of each and every member of the Squadron. We bid farewell to Capt Gore Langton RHG/D, Capt Holliday LG and Capt De Ritter LG and wish them all of the best for their new endeavours.
Remembering a former A Squadron soldier - the cross on the prairie placed in memory of CoH Parkinson LG
A few of the old and bold paying their respects to the memorial in Base Camp
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 9
Squadron has undergone a significant transformation this year, moving from the fully formed 1 Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) on Op HERRICK 18 into a new Army 2020 (A2020) formation as Surveillance Troop. As such, there has been a significant overhaul in manpower and the Squadron is still waiting for an uplift in personnel in order to meet the required Army 2020 start date deadline of 31st March 2015.
LCoH Sabatini trekking his way through the Khumbu on the way to Everest Base Camp
as the Regiment found itself locked into a full scale deployment as part of Op PITCHPOLE, the Army’s response to the severe flooding which parts of the UK experienced. Surveillance Troop worked alongside C Squadron in the Datchet locality and surrounding areas building large ‘infrastructure projects’ (sandbag walls), rescuing stranded elderly personnel from flooded houses and generally offering specialised (specious) flood advice to whoever asked for it. It was at this point that it began to become ominously clear exactly what a ‘return to contingency’ was going to mean for the UK Army.
Former B Squadron 2IC, Capt Du Plessis, looking rather feminine on the slopes
Some concentrated static live-firing, for which the new Small Arms Range Targetry System (SARTS) allowed for some fantastic training, led Surveillance Troop into a period of CT1 culminating in troop tests held on Salisbury Plain. After a significant period of confusion, the Squadron was finally informed that it was destined to be the Contemporary Operating Environment Force (COEFOR) Tank Company in BATUS towards the end of the year and, as such, this training period was aimed at re-familiarising the Squadron with CVR(T). Now only one large troop in size, B Squadron therefore received
Another former Sqn 2IC, Capt Charlie Talbot, being ‘put through his paces’ on the walk into Everest next to the latest Surveillance Trp Ldr, Lt Christopher Murphy
two additional troop leaders, Lts Maples and Bacon (also known as ‘Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men’) who would be acting as Tank Company troop leaders out on the Canadian Prairie. Both fitted in well, dealing confidently with some rather aggressive banter from some of the Squadron’s more seasoned Afghan veterans. Strong performances were posted in the mounted troop tests across the board, demonstrating the versatility of the Squadron as it almost seamlessly transitioned back onto CVR(T). Castlemartin Gun Camp saw us responsible for running a support weapons range and also allowed time to revisit Transition To Live Fire Tactical Training (TLFTT). It was also a good opportunity to do some consolidated PT and afford a chance to relax on the beach over a couple of days, for which we experienced some unusually good weather and was a welcome break from all the last minute taskings that were flying around in Windsor. Wednesday 28th May saw the presentation of new Standards to both Household Cavalry Regiments by The Queen, followed by a Garden Party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace; a particular privilege that is granted to very
Former B Squadron Leader, Maj Tom Armitage conducting his usual G3/5 style conference
The year started with the majority of the Squadron taking much overdue annual and post operational tour leave. This saw many departing on the annual downhill ski trip to Verbier and the Touch Everest trip to Nepal seeking to break the world record for the highest game of rugby. A Squadron ski trip was also organised in the early part of the year to St Anton. The trip was a great success, allowing proficient skiers and newcomers alike the opportunity for some expert tuition at the hands of the Regiment’s own qualified ski instructor, Captain Henry ‘Dolmio Man’ Jordan. March took a rather more serious turn
10 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
The beginnings of a giant sandbag wall constructed by B Squadron in Old Windsor during Op PITCHPOLE
St James’ Park and the surrounding area replicated in model form as part of the Standards’ Parade rehearsals An uncharacteristically excellent period of weather was taken full advantage of during Castlemartin Gun Camp in Wales
few other Regiments and only occurs once a decade. On parade were several members of the Squadron as vehicle commanders, operators and drivers as well as the SCM in the capacity of the Armoured Parade Warrant Officer. The Squadron had been particularly active in the rehearsals for this event, even including the building of an enormous model which was setup at Hyde Park Barracks in order to run through the scheme of manoeuvre for the parade. And so Barry BATUS once more reared his ugly head, the Squadron expecting to have seen the last of him after two full exercises out there the previous year as part of its Hybrid Foundation Training (HFT) in preparation for HERRICK. This time the Squadron’s role was to facilitate the training of the 1 YORKS Battlegroup (BG) by playing enemy. The disappointment of a particularly early deployment in mid August was to some extent alleviated by opportunities to take some good ‘local’ leave which saw trips to Calgary, Las Vegas and beyond, with stories of proportions equal to the geographic distances covered but, sadly, not appropriate for this forum. The Squadron performed well in the unfamiliar tank role and, despite being significantly outmatched on a platform capability basis in comparison with
the Challenger 2 Main Battle Tanks, still managed to cause a good deal of disruption to the YORKS. Indeed, WO2 McWhirter, Mr ‘TES tamper kill’ himself, was particularly disappointed not to receive the coveted Top Gun award. Since returning from BATUS, focus has fully switched to the desperate attempt to catch up on career, education and other professional courses that have more or less been on hold since Afghan MST began over two years ago. Pleasingly, some of this ground is finally starting to be made up, with the majority of the Squadron loaded on courses up until Christmas leave and beyond. At the time of writing, most have just returned from an excellent weekend commemorative battlefield tour to Zandvoorde and now several boys are preparing to depart for a cricket tour to the Caribbean and winter ski trips. The very recent creation of a newly formed sniper troop is a welcome addition to the Squadron and will greatly enhance our find, fix, strike and exploit capability. We look forward to welcoming our new leader, Major Tom Whiting; this will be the third leader, second 2IC and second surveillance troopie the Squadron has received in under a year, perhaps neatly summarising some of the
One of the tank crews makes its final preparations in BATUS before deploying out on the area, complete with Russian styled warm hats
CoH Bateman preparing to take a shot, in charge of the newly formed sniper troop within the Squadron
Horse riding was one of the AT opportunities the Squadron took advantage of whilst in Canada
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 11
B Squadron getting stuck into some wrestling, one of several bespoke activities that were arranged for BATUS maintenance days
organisational turmoil that has been experienced! Looking ahead to next year, the focus remains set on career courses balanced alongside properly constituting the Surveillance Troop orbat which will see its first proper run out in February conducting some rural/urban surveillance training in conjunction with the Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing (SRW) down in Warminster. If B Squadron can be brought up to appropriately manned strength, then there is no doubt that the excellent manner in which the Squadron conducted itself as the BRF, along with the skills and experience gained, will be apportioned into this new construct producing results of the highest order when the HCR lead a BG in Canada at the end of next year.
t has been a furiously busy 2014; and yet this was supposed to be a quieter year due to the wind down from almost a decade of Afghanistan and Iraq, and everything that this entailed. Moving into the current year, the first thing C Squadron deployed on was Ex IRON REIGN on Dartmoor, a low level navigation and endurance exercise. The weather was some of the worst Dartmoor has seen, and even the Royal Marines cancelled their training; but not C Squadron, who persevered, and just about managed to get through a rather horrendous week, and all the better for it, according to their Squadron Leader. Op PITCHPOLE, assistance to the local authorities with the Thames floods, kicked in shortly after the return from the icy hills of Dartmoor; the local community desperately needed help, and quickly, to try and shore up against the terrible flooding which had laid waste their homes. C Squadron sprang into action, and did a truly terrific job. All those involved told of the huge satisfaction they got from this job; the feeling of coming to the aid of the local community in a time of need, and doing so with such professionalism, is a testa-
12 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
C Squadron on parade, top right
ment to the soldiers of C Squadron. In recognition of this aid, the Squadron was awarded the Freedom of Datchet, of which they are justifiably proud. However, there was no respite as life returned back to the main task which had been looming ever closer and required very precise planning and coordination, and I refer of course to the magnificent Standards Parade, which was a very proud moment for all of us, past and present. Special recognition should go to Capt Harry Boyt, the Sqn 2IC, who was the main point of coordination from the HCR perspective, and did a truly excellent job in getting the HCR contribution to the parade up to the required standard, and beyond. It is not often one gets to see a Parade with a Squadron of CVR(T) trundling around in the wake of two mounted divisions. This was a meeting of our past and present histories in the very best way possible. It was a close call to make on who had the better ‘dressing’; the reader must make the ultimate decision, as being a previous LG Sqn Ldr, the author’s loyalties are torn. After the Standards Parade, C Squadron
bade farewell to Maj J de St John Pryce RHG/D, who had been with the Squadron for two years, and warmly welcomed in Maj NPG van Cutsem LG, who had just completed a Defence Media job, although sadly for him it was not a lengthy appointment as he retired from the Regiment at the end of 2014 after many happy years in uniform. The next crocodile nearest to the canoe
Lt Penrose and Tpr Davey being sneaky
week running ranges of A and B Squadrons, the range safety staff developed a package that left no time to waste, ensuring that ranges were in use throughout the day, building up from individual fire and manoeuvre right up to a sectionin-defence night shoot. The dismounted range package was much loved, especially the night firing, with multiple hands going up to either fire the GPMG flank gun or to be on Control centre for CT1 force on force exercise Schumuhle firing duty, was the CT1 level Exercise on Salisbury lighting up the ranges like a firework Plain during June, which many readers display. Background activity trained will recall was a glorious month of old and new skills. This was only made blissful summer weather, which made possible by the SQMC and his team runthe occasion much more enjoyable for ning a tight ship below deck. A Herall. culean effort from his department ensured that standards did not drop, and The soldiers performed exceptionally, in the case of the food, even exceeded as one would only expect from this Windsor standards. Indeed, the SQMC’s Squadron, and there was even the reburger tent quickly became the focus of quirement to take some people off the all ‘background activities’ for those not Exercise for two days to go and take firing. “Enter the Dragon” and “The part in the 1 Armd Inf Bde sports comOne-Inch Punch” were swiftly absorbed petition, which was rather bizarre for some - one minute they were conducting a Troop level training serial, the next minute they were getting in to sports kit and preparing to go and play a variety of sports. Despite this added complexity, those who took part brought home some silverware. The second half of this Exercise was then on the vehicles, and the Sqn Ldr decided to do some ‘force on force’ training, with SHQ coordinating it all and ultimately playing umpire. The radio chat became extremely heated, with many calls of foul play and great cheers as LCpl Hodges LG, who was commanding the Samaritan ambulance, was sent into battle and single-handedly destroyed two Scimitars with some highly accurate fire missions, whilst he was lurking in the undergrowth; one can imagine the red faces of those who got whacked by ‘14 Billy’! The summer continued apace, with a frenetic Equipment Care Inspection week, which the Squadron did very well on, and then another magical two weeks (of weather!) at Castlemartin Ranges. C Squadron arrived on the second of three weeks of Regimental Gun Camp, sharing Castlemartin with the rest of the Regiment for the dismounted Live Fire Tactical Training (LFTT) week, and then running the final week of mounted Live Fire Gunnery Training (LFGT) alone, with the exception of a lost Troop from D Squadron. The LFTT phase was a slick operation. Having spent the previous
C Squadron formed up ready for the range safety brief
Night firing exercises - schumuhles and tracer
Background activities - First Aid
into the lexicon of C Squadron as being synonymous with delicious, calorific, by-pass inducing burgers, proudly constructed by a grinning Tpr Luckman. The first week finished with the whole Squadron having successfully completed the LFTT phase, and having taken over the vehicles that had been used by A & B Squadron on their mounted phase. C Squadron was then left to it, with the rest of the Regiment returning to Windsor and going on leave, except for Lt Pile’s errant D Squadron Troop. Lt Pile can’t have felt as lost as Lt Poppins, an Australian reservist, who woke up on Friday morning to find that his A Squadron chaperone had left. Needless to say, both were swept up with the Seniors and Officers for dinner in a local pub on Friday night. The weekend was an opportunity for a great Squadron get-together, with Troop and Squadron level games on Saturday, followed by a trip to the beach on Sunday. Indeed, as Gun Camp wore on, Freshwater West beach became the focus of most PT sessions, with team games, circuits and surfing keeping the lads fit and busy.
‘PT’ on the beach
The Squadron was mounted for the second week, and with a gradual training progression ensuring that all crews got the basics right before they moved on to more complicated manoeuvres. Competition was fierce for the C Squadron ‘Top Gun’ trophy. Three crews got into the final shoot, but a draw for first place meant that a further shoot-off had to be hastily arranged, challenging the gunners to record first-round hits on targets up to 1800m away. The intensity in the packed Range tower was palpable, with all eyes glued to binoculars, straining to see the ‘flash’ of a round hitting its target. After a Mahut-Isner style shoot-out, Tpr Coventry saw off LCpl Carling to take the trophy and be named Top Gun in the Squadron. By the end of the week, the whole Squadron had worked up to Troop level advances and withdrawals, a test for all crews, commanders and DS alike. Indeed, the Squadron is grateful to the Gunnery Instructors who worked so hard throughout the week to ensure that all crews were shooting straight and safe.
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 13
And on a lighter note the Squadron made excellent use of Pembroke beach, with some great surfing to be had on many evenings. It was a terrific high on which to depart for summer leave.
Tp being de-briefed by CoH Eade after a successful Tp advance
As we move towards the year end, activity has continued at pace, with plenty of soldiers supporting the Regimental deployment to BATUS, many soldiers on career courses, and one final Squadron Exercise on Thetford Training Area still to come before we get to the year End. C Squadron has performed outstandingly throughout the year, always delivering on every task. Maj van Cutsem will leave with a heavy heart when he moves on, but with the knowledge that the Squadron is in the extremely capable hands of the newly posted in 2IC, Capt Henry Jordan LG, until Maj Rupert Gorman arrives from ICSC(L) to take over in May 2015.
014 has been a fairly fragmented year for D Squadron, yet we have managed to undertake plenty of individual and collective Squadron training, with a couple of weeks of Adventure Training (AT) and a fair amount of sport thrown in. A sad moment was the formal ending of our long standing attachment to 16 Bde. Our links have been constant since 1982 and the Falklands conflict. Maj Ongaro deployed to Afghanistan in June and handed over command to Maj Ed Mackie, returning to RD after a year at LAND Forces in Andover and WO2 Quickfall took over as SCM from WO2 Eulert. Well over half the Squadron have deployed to BATUS throughout the year - either as permanent or temporary staff - and many have also deployed under various guises and roles with the Regiment for Prairie Storm 3 and 4. The feedback from BATUS has been excellent and it is clear that all who have deployed have worked hard. Time spent in recce is seldom wasted and their stint this year will set them up for BATUS 2015; yet, from duty rumour, it is debatable whether they focussed their recce skills more on the prairie or indeed on the human terrain in Earls in Medicine Hat â€Ś only time will tell!
The Sqn Ldrs vehicle driven by Tpr Mclaughlin
Tpr Router watching the sun rise over the prairie
In the UK, the Squadron has deployed on CT2 exercise to Dartmoor, where the squadron focused on basic rural recce skills, and we deployed to Caerwent twice to focus on urban surveillance and targeting techniques. We have also deployed to Castlemartin for Regimental Gun Camp and sent troops to compete in Regimental Troop Tests for CT1 on
LCpl Esmond happy in his work
The Squadron with the Brigade Commander on the last day in 16 Bde
14 â– Household Cavalry Regiment
SPTA. Exercises and ranges have gone well for D Squadron, with a composite D Squadron Troop under Lt Pile and CoH Salmon receiving an award for best patrol report on Troop Tests and crews across the board achieving very high scores at Castlemartin. Exercises at Caerwent went extremely well, with civil-military interoperability and co-operation proven at squadron level with the local police force and urban recce skills were refined. D Squadron have taken a lead on marksmanship and have led the regimental shooting teams this year. One of our teams progressed through to the Divisional Operational Shooting Competition where they acquitted themselves to a high standard. In addition, a sniper pair, CoH Smith and Tpr Sheppard, under the management of CoH Bateman, reached the final of the Inter-Services Sniper Competition - having previously received an award for most lethal snap shoot in the Divisional Competition and demonstrated HCR’s sniping prowess in an extremely high profile and multi-national competition.
huge amount of spanner bashing and vehicle preparation in order to hand back our fleet of CVR(T), which entailed numerous late nights and a lot of hard graft from the guys down the tank park. They have had a busy year! The Squadron has also assisted the civil authorities on Op PITCHPOLE, providing support to communities in and around Windsor during the extensive flooding in February 2014. Much as the flooding throughout the UK was exceptionally unfortunate for all involved, the silver lining (within many dark rain clouds) was that Op PITCHPOLE served to strengthen ties between HCR and the communities of Windsor and Maidenhead within which it lives. Community spirit and civil-military co-operation has placed the Army and HCR firmly in the public’s goodwill and it is of course always beneficial to have the police on side!
D Squadron has too found itself as first port of call for any Brigade trawls and soldiers from the Squadron have found themselves all over Europe and the UK supporting Bde and Div exercises. And concurrent to all this, there has been a
The Squadron has enjoyed a week of AT in Cornwall, incorporating hill walking, mountain biking, coasteering and developing surfing skills learned at Castlemartin. SCpl Hogg led the majority of the AT activities with his usual jovial spirit and led an excellent expedition to sample the Newquay nightlife with lots of fun had by all. Looking to the future, the Squadron has CT1 & 2, CMR Live Firing and deployment to BATUS in mid-2015 programmed and will come back from Christmas Leave into a busy schedule. They have worked hard this year and have had to be exceptionally flexible with short notice taskings and minimal manpower. But they have risen to the challenge, and with the ORBAT for 2015 now almost finalised, the Squadron has set themselves up to have an extremely successful 2015.
D Squadron on AT in Newquay
Headquarters Squadron The Squadron, as ever, has had a busy year in support of the remainder of the Regiment. The Squadron is on its third Sqn Ldr since the last Journal, with Major Pass standing in between April and July to cover the departure of Maj Core on his exit to civilian life. We wish him all the best in his new role in civilian life as the Regiment’s Apprenticeship Co-ordinator. There has been a certain amount of changeover along the M4 corridor, with Captain Galvin taking over as QM from the double-hatted Maj Pass who is now Headquarters Sqn Ldr at HCMR. Capt Taylor has moved to be QM(T) whilst Capt Gardner headed in the other direction to takeover QM at HCMR.The SC’sM have also changed over in February with WO2 (SCM) Daley moving on to be A Squadron SCM and being ably replaced by WO2 (SCM) Anderson from the Training Wing. The Squadron was heavily employed during Op PITCHPOLE, providing support to the civil authorities during the flooding emergency, and a more indepth (excuse the pun) article is elsewhere within the Journal (see page XX). During the floods, the Squadron
were mainly in the Datchet area providing watch-keepers and liaison personnel. The QM Department were responsible for the purchase of all the kit and equipment required, waders, shovels etc. They also had the added burden of looking after the attached personnel from the RAF Regiment who needed TVs, shower gel and even asked for clean pants! MT were also flat out
and had to take on an extra 20+ vehicles.
The MTO and RQMC(T) taking part in the ‘Lew
2IC Maj Giffard leading the armoured squadrons on the drive past
No sooner had the floods subsided, than the Squadron was dedicated to clearing outstanding MATTS and preparing and taking part in the Standards Parade. Other than the HQ Squadron personnel taking part in the parade, the remainder were responsible for the Drum Party, Stand Ushers, Transport and Medical Cover for the parade. The day of the parade passed without incident and the Squadron were able to enjoy the Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 15
The Squadron then embarked on CT1 Training providing both Real Life Support requirements to the remainder of the Regiment, as well as conducting their own CT1 training. The Squadron deployed to Bordon Training area along with Command Troop to practice the intricacies of setting up RHQ as well as the machinations deployed A1 and A2. It was the first time in a year that the Squadron had deployed on the ground with the echelons in role. The first two days were spent in camp where powerpoint lessons, covering road moves, convoy drills, A1 A2 echelons roles and responsibilities were conducted. The RAP also carried out medical training in a deployed setting under the watchful eye of the Surgeon Major. Command Troop set up in Oxney Farm in order to shake out prior to the various visits and in preparation for their deployment to BATUS. They also delivered signals and watchkeeper duties lesson on the ground to the remainder of the Squadron. The Squadron practiced all the lessons that had been taught at the start of the week. The Squadron conducted a road move from Windsor to Bordon under the wary eye of the MTO. Packets were sent at 20-minute intervals with packet commanders practicing command and control of a vehicle move. The REME were also involved throughout the training providing a real life recovery element to the training. They also conducted a vehicle recovery stand. The Squadron spent two days conducting walk through, talk through selection, occupation and routine of A1 A2 echelons’ and Replens. On the Thursday, the final day the Comd Offr came to visit, his main point of focus being Command Troop prior to RHQ deployment to Canada. Maj Pass, SCM, RQMC and RCM then moved to Salisbury Plain to D/S the Troop Tests that were being conducted by the remainder of the Regiment. Whilst doing so, the RQMC managed
to provide entertainment by shorting the electrics on his pick-up and lighting the night sky as the electrics arced to his metal bumper and sent blue flashes flashing into the night sky. On completion of CT1, the Squadron moved straight into dismounted ranges at Sandhurst to conduct ACMT’s prior to deploying to Castlemartin (CMR) to carry out LFTT. The Squadron achieved a healthy percentage of first time passes on the ACMT with two marksmen results. The QM’s Department advanced to CMR early under the watchful eye of the RQ to take over the camp and prepare for the regiments arrival. The remainder of the Squadron deployed the following week, with all departments being represented. The Monday morning saw the Squadron thrust straight into dismounted firing with a nervous safety staff kindly provided by WO2 Parker and his merry band of D/S. The week began on the IBSR which, to some, was rather alien! However, as continued throughout the week, the fire teams of chefs, clerks and storemen threw themselves into the shoots with gusto and bellies full of the SQMCs burgers!
Everybody was back in Camp Crowfoot by the first week of October and we hit the area on the 8th. The weather on D Day was horrific and our move from SSW to the NNE of the BATUS training area was somewhat akin to the retreat from Moscow. Young drivers quickly learned their trade and the LAD and QM(T) Dept were sorely tested by the first couple of days with vehicle casualties. Things then quietened down and we had a couple of weeks of worthwhile training before providing OPFOR to 1YORKS for the final eight days. A quick turn round was then undertaken to hand back vehicles with personnel flying back early October, leaving behind the MTO and WO2 Lewis and a small party to oversee the range sweep on behalf of 12 Brigade.
By the end of the day every one had successfully completed up to and including pairs fire and manoeuvre. This continued until Wednesday, when the Squadron managed to progress to fire team fire and manoeuvre, which culminated with a fire team night shoot including flanking fire! Unusually the weather at CMR was warm and dry, so when Thursday was set to be one of the warmest days of the year, there was nothing left to do but deploy to the beach! Surf boards BBQs and beers were all broken out and a relaxing day was spent swimming and surfing. We even managed a SNCO beach fishing night on the beach under the watchful eye of WO2 Lewis.
The majority of the Squadron then returned to Windsor to start Summer Leave prior to OPFOR in BATUS leaving a small contingent of RLS in CMR to support the remainder of the Regiment. August found the majority of the Squadron flying to Canada in preparation to provide enemy forces (COEFOR) for PRAIRIE The RQ leading the HQ Squadron football team STORM 3. HO/ on the Garrison sports field TO of the vehicles
16 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
completed and no availability on the prairie until early September meant we managed to get a good portion of the Squadron away on Adventure Training and local leave whilst WO’s and Offrs went on a road trip to Montana to carry out a battlefield study of the Little Big Horn.
RCM and RSWO at ease on the prairie
The Zandvoorde commemorations have taken place with a good turn out from HQ Squadron and Remembrance Day commemorations were undertaken. The Squadron marched to church behind RHQ in quick time leaving the bands and the remainder of the Regiment panting a good 500 metres to our rear. The Squadron is now looking forward to the Christmas period with a steady build up next year culminating in the Household Cavalry Battle Group taking the reins for Prairie Storm 4 in BATUS.
Light Aid Detachment by Captain H Morse, REME
he Light Aid Detachment (LAD) has enjoyed a challenging yet successful 2014. The most notable success was in May when the LAD won the Chartered Quality Institute LAD of the year award. It’s also fair to say the most notable challenge was in BATUS, Canada on Ex PRAIRIE STORM 3, where 30 members of the LAD were supporting 140 vehicles. The LAD supported CT1, the HCR Standards Parade, the Regimental Gun Camp, Ex PS3 and a number of driving and gunnery courses this year. On the soldiering front, the LAD conducted a morning of section attacks on Bramley training area, honing their leadership at Section level and being rewarded with an afternoon of clay target shooting. Further shooting was at the REME operational shooting competition, where the LAD won top armourer, with LCpl Graham winner of
Not only compo rations pizzas on the prairie
AQMS Brumpton-Taylor giving instruction on the duties of a craftsman
Match 43 with the ASM, WO1 Wright, and runner-up in the Minor units competition.
cross country race in Bordon headed up by SSgt Oates, finishing 9th out of 30 minor units, and 20th overall, with LSgt Payne 44th. SSgt Oates continued to shine at cross country, finishing second in the HCR competition, while the EME could only manage fifth. LSgt Shuttleworth continued to represent the REME and Army at football, racking up an astonishing 61 days away for football; at least he made the Army inter-services tournament team. The LAD entered the REME winter sports competition Ex SNOW SPANNER with a team of four snowboarders headed up by Sgt Davies. The competition was tough but it was good to see one or two entries in the top 10 over the fortnight. SSgt BrumptonTaylor completed an Ironman competition and made sure everyone in the LAD new about it for the following months. LCpl Foulds completed the Devizes to Westminster kayak race in just over 25hrs. Just to take their share of pain, Capt H Morse and SSgt Brumpton-Taylor even squeezed in a REME hockey tour to Australia!
On the technical front, the LAD worked very hard for the Technical Evaluation inspection from Brigade. To its credit, the LAD was awarded a green overall with quite a few areas of best practice identified. The final test of the year technically was the 48hr ‘scrapheap challenge’ style quest, building go-karts and racing fellow fitter sections and the Coldstream Guards LAD. The LAD hosted many visits in 2014, ranging from potential officers and soldiers in June, to a rehabilitation of offenders course in September. We also hosted a visit from Comd ES Col P Armstrong, who presented a LS&GC medal to SSgt Oates and enjoyed hearing feedback from the shop floor. There was also the visit of 103Bn REME, the reserve Bn based in Crawley. Vehicle mechanics of 103Bn were attached to the LAD learning about CVR(T) and conducting some maintenance for a fortnight period.
LSgt Obuobi about to fit a CVRT Final Drive during Ex PRAIRIE STORM 3
On the sporting front, January saw six members of the LAD enter the REME
The training year of 2015 will test the LAD still further but the fundamentals are now in place from a busy 2014.
Regimental Administrative Office
s usual, it’s been a busy year with many colleagues departing and arriving. Thankfully, it hasn’t been all hard work and no play! Lt Lackenby managed to do some adventure training (skiing) with the RTR in Februar 2014, totally down to the great working relationship we had with them during HERRICK 18. We also managed to get Capt Duce, LCpl Johnson and Pte Laird away for the AGC Skiing Championships, although Pte Laird returned sporting a black eye more attune to boxing camp (no fighting was involved, just a ski pole). Taking into consideration the only person who had skied before was Capt Duce, the girls came in second place! A big pat on the back to them and hopefully in 2015 it’ll be first place.
LCpl Johnson also tried out for the AGC Polo Team and, although not successful in making the team this year, she certainly made an impact as she was asked to go back next time. LCpl Shorter and Pte Laird also had the pleasure of Op COMET prior to deploying to BATUS. The girls were so excited to be helping out with the Commonwealth Games that they happily sacrificed summer leave prior to deploying to BATUS, total commitment! Sgt Hill really enjoyed the Standards Parade, although her personal highlight was exploring the gardens of Buckingham Palace and being in the presence of Royalty. The detachment also took part in the London District Sports, where Sgt
Sgt Hill in a sneaky camera shot with a strong presence in the background
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 17
Edwards and Sgt Hill, the only females on the team, were able to secure silver medals in the Volleyball competition The highlight of the year was BATUS, where Lt Lackenby stood in as RAO. She did an admiral job acting as Unit Emplanement Officer ensuring everyone managed to get a seat out and back. Her team in BATUS comprised LSgt Parsons, LCpl Johnson, LCpl Shorter and Pte Laird. Both LCpl Johnson and
Shorter spent the majority of their time out on the prairie with their squadrons getting a real taste of life in the field on their first real exercise. They all managed to get some adventure training done out in BATUS, with the highlight horse riding in the Rockies. Capt Denton, the new RAO, popped out for a couple of weeks with an eye on BATUS 15. Unfortunately, for him, he did not manage to get a game of golf; maybe next time. The detachment held its Christ-
mas function at Browns in Windsor followed by some ice skating in the Winter Garden; don’t let the RAO near the ice, five minutes from the end he fell over trying to rip off his finger. He missed the meal and the farewell to Lt Lackenby to spend several hours in A&E. Serving with the Household Cavalry Regiment is a huge privilege, the opportunities found here are seldom found elsewhere in the Army.
by Trooper A Rudd, The Life Guards
his past year has seen Command Troop as busy as ever. With old faces coming and going and new personalities joining the Troop, including LCpl Maddison from the QRL. Early in the year, CoH Preston was promoted to SCpl and became the new Bowman Systems Manager, a post that had been vacant for several months. We also saw the arrival of LCpl (now LCoH) Semple, the Regiment’s amateur comedian, as the new Commanding Officer’s driver. After the inevitable lull of Christmas leave, the New Year really kicked off in February, with the entire Troop sleeping in the Welfare Flat on a wet Tuesday evening. Rather than a ‘social’ evening, this occurred because the Regiment was on standby for what was to become known as ‘Operation PITCHPOLE’, in which military personnel were called upon to help local residents who had become stranded by the floods. During the two weeks of Op PITCHPOLE, Command Troop had a constant presence in the Ops Room at Combermere Barracks. At any point, the Ops room consisted of a minimum of an Advanced Signaller to man the network, and a runner. During the day this room was a hive of activity, with several high-ranking dignitaries visiting over the period. The beginning of the year also brought some challenges away from normal Regimental duty, because of the Household Cavalry Standards Parade. It was decided that the RSWO, WO2 Carrington, would ride on the parade as one of the Life Guard Standard Bearers. Unfortunately, WO2 Carrington had never been posted to HCMR (he reined back in 1991), had never been through Khaki and Kit Ride, and had no experience of riding a horse. He was quickly loaded onto a Khaki Ride, and with the help of Tpr (now LCpl) Baker, and with not too many bruises, passed out of Khaki ride, and proceeded to Knightsbridge to complete Kit Ride. When the Standards Parade came
18 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
around in May of this year, it wasn’t only the RSWO and Tpr Baker who were involved. For most of May, the Troop’s presence in Windsor was somewhat smaller than usual. With the Comd Offr also riding on the Standards Parade, LCoH Semple and Tpr Brennan had to dust off their kit cleaning skills, while the RCM, who would also ride as one of The Life Guard Standard Bearers, was lucky enough to receive the ‘dream team’ of LCpl Smith 10 and Tpr Rudd as his orderly/groom. LCpl Foran became the Orderly for the HQ SCM, who commanded the party of Standard Orderlies, which was made up of Lance Corporals, including the troops very own LCpl Gasan and LCpl Creigh. But Command Troop did more than just kit cleaning, and horse grooming for the Standards Parade. Within the offices of the Horse Guards building an Ops Room had to be built and manned, somewhere with a good view of the parade, and with the space to run the parade.
body that Command Troop had more freight than the rest of the Regiment combined. A BGHQ does not travel light. As the Troop arrived in Canada and took over its vehicles, it became quickly apparent just how much work had to be done before we could deploy onto the Prairie, mainly to the Troops three Sultans and one Scimitar. LCoH Hawley and LCpl Baker, with their Sultan nicknamed “Heather Mills” for various reasons, knew they were in for a tough time when they were informed that their vehicle had never travelled more than 10 miles without breaking down. And true to form, she did break down. However, after engine lifts, gearbox changes, track changes, emptied fuel tanks and a host of other large maintenance tasks, the hard work of the crew paid off, and the vehicle managed to survive to the end of the exercise. The Troop deployed onto the Training
A view from the Ops Room of a Standards Parade Rehearsal
With the Standards Parade complete, the Troop turned its attention to the up-coming deployment to BATUS as the OPFOR for the 1 YORKS Battlegroup (BG). During this period, the Troop grew further, with CoH Privett joining as the D&M CoH, while LCoH Galuvakadua, LCoH Hattingh and Tpr Molano joining the Troop from their respective Squadrons. The Troop was also joined by LCpl Maddison, who had joined the HCR from the QRL. Several weeks before we deployed to Canada, the Troop packed its freight for the exercise. However, it was not lost on any-
LCpl Creigh cleaning his tracks, an endless task …
sleeping bag was his own! It was certainly true that no matter how dark, wet and cold the prairie got, someone in Command Troop would come up with an idea for some morale. Another member of the Troop worth mentioning has to be LCoH Galuvakadua, the Comd Offr’s Operator. GV covered himself and the Troop in glory, when he entered the ‘Household Cavalry v Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Wrestling tournament’. GV managed to win the lightweight category after a close bout in the final. The Household Cavalry also claimed a win in the heavyweight category. A busy BGHQ commanding the OPFOR against the 1 YORKS
area with the rest of the OPFOR BG, consisting of two Squadrons from the Household Cavalry and a Company from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. The aim of the BG was to provide a challenging and testing enemy for the 1 YORKS. This was achieved through several 12 hour serials, with both sides using ‘laser quest’ style equipment called TES, to simulate casualties. For many of the Troop, this would be their first exercise as part of a BGHQ, and was a learning curve. However, after a few days of ‘tents up, tents down’, the Troop became slick and experienced in the tasks it was required to perform.
LCpl Baker’s parking leaves a lot to be desired …
The RCM tries his hand at Master Chef
Tpr Baker became the meal of choice for the mosquitos on the Prairie
During the exercise the troop gained a name for itself. Several Troop members, mainly LCoH Archer, LCoH HarrisonShaw and LCpl Smith 10, became well known as the ringleaders within the Troop for a craze of banter or ‘bants’. Whether it was hoisting a certain Troop member’s mosquito net, with sleeping bag inside, high into the night sky, or cable tying all manner of things together, while claiming that they were helping the owner to not lose his kit!! It was certainly true that nobody was safe from such bants, including the Colonel’s Land Rover driver, Tpr Holland, a temporary attachment to the Troop during the exercise. Tpr Holland helped the troop in hoisting a sleeping bag from a water tower, only to discover that the
Now that the Troop has returned from Canada, we are set to see a lot of change, with many people leaving the troop to pastures new. By the New Year, we expect to have a new RSO to replace Captain Wilmot, who is moving on to become the Aide de Camp to Major General Smyth-Osbourne. Also, WO2 Carrington is leaving his post as the RSWO with a fitting replacement still to be found. CoH Warren is expected to take over from CoH Minto, who will be going straight onto Khaki Ride, before heading to Knightsbridge to become a Troop CoH in The Blues and Royals Squadron. We also expect to see a lot of the LCsoH and LCpls leaving the Troop in the New Year, meaning that by the Regiment’s Deployment to Canada in 2015, BGHQ could look very different, again, with lots of Household Cavalrymen experiencing Command Troop for the first time. Let’s hope they enjoy the bants…
Quartermaster’s Department by Captain A J Galvin, The Life Guards
his year has been a typical one of change. The QM handover took place in April. Maj Jonny Pass had been in post for over three years. As you can imagine, the handover was excellent and aided a seamless transition which is important to a position of this kind. It was lucky to still have the core players from the Department remain in post for
the time being. It helps tremendously to have an established RQ in the form of WO2 (RQMC) Ireland and a strong team in place when anyone takes over a new job. The whole of the G4 chain for the Armed Forces have slowly been transitioning from older accounting systems
to the new Tri-service Multi Joint Deployed Inventory (MJDI). The beginning of 2014 was our turn. All existing storemen and account holders had to be converted, which did not take too long. The hard part was the stock transfer from the old UNICOM accounts to the new system which took a while to iron out all the kinks and anomalies. With all
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that done and the dust settled, we could carry on the normal day to day life of supporting an extremely busy operational regiment such as ours. Normality hit with a bang in the form of a Combined Arms Inspection Week (CAW). This consisted of a number of brigade staff, all subject matter experts in their own field, coming to Windsor to have a look at most departments to ensure standardisation and efficiency of accounts. For the QM’s Dept, that meant a load of RLC punters crawling around the QM’s and the RQ’s office with their ‘hangers-on’ inspecting the stores and stocks. LCoH Broxholme in the Accommodation store and LCpl Elder in Clothing batted them off and proved to be water tight as expected. With all questions answered and everything scrutinised, we came away with a welldeserved ‘Green’ pass. Having only just converted to MJDI, I must congratulate all concerned and thank them for their efforts in the build up to the inspection.
Crowfoot which is still as basic and welcoming as ever. A mixed bag of QM and QM(T) personnel came together to support the HCR OPFOR BG. After a good ‘Blue Red Blue’ handover from the Scots Guards we cracked on, with all in the mixed department working tirelessly to keep the various sub-units rolling. It was a productive couple of months with LCoH Rose sending what
The summer saw the regiment deploy to BATUS for Ex PRAIRIE STORM 3. Some might remember these large Battlegroup exercises as Medicine Man, but believe me when I tell you nothing much changes, especially Camp
must have been half of Walmart back to the UK in the post! We forward to 2015. We should start to see the first plans for the camp rebuild to accommodate SCOUT SV (the CVR(T) replacement) and begin to visualise what Combermere Barracks will look like in the future. A good time to be QM at HCR.
The Quartermaster’s Dept 2014
Quartermaster (Equipment) Department by Captain A C Gardner, The Blues and Royals
eturning from Op HERRICK 18 at the end of 2013, the Department was in need of some well earned rest. This was certainly welcome by all and we knew that as we headed towards 2014 new challenges would be afoot. Of new challenges, the first and most welcome of these would be the arrival of the 1st Line Optimisation team. A team of four headed up by SSgt Lutunatabua, better known as ‘LT of the RLC’. For those old and bold from the G4 World,
LCoH Rose and LCpl Abdulahi conducting First Aid training on a dummy
this is the old Logistic Support Team (LST) that was requested in the past to support the Regiment on larger Exercises, now permanently integrated within the Regiment. The RLC Soldiers couldn’t have arrived at a better time for the Regiment as we marched onward to the major business change of MJDI. Conversion to the new Stores accounting system took place in March and we said our farewells to the UNICOM System. Alongside this major change, which had a considerable impact on our working days and nights, we had to implement the 2D Barcoding of all our serialised equipment so they can be read by a scanner. (Not that we have the said scanner as yet!) If this was not busy enough, the Standards Parade kept the Department going, ordering vehicles, spray-painting and preparing for the Parade in May. SCpl Davies had a grip on this situation before leaving us for the Falkland Islands. In June, the Department deployed with the Squadron on CT1 Training in Bordon, before deploying forward to Westdown Camp to support the Squadrons as they conducted training and troop tests on SPTA.
controlled humidity environment hangers at Ashchurch. This alongside the Equipment Care and Logistic Support Inspections. (Who said G4 is not Sexy!) Again the team, led by SSgt LT and CoH Bond, had to step up to the mark to ensure the Regiment’s good name was maintained. We weren’t disappointed achieving Green grades throughout. No mean feat with the amount of activity that was happening on every front. At the end of the month, the Regiment were in Castlemartin once more for Gun Camp. Over this three week period the Department provided the Real Life Support, with Tpr Green deploying forward and Pte Evans controlling the forward movement of spares.
The month of July saw the return of D Squadrons 235 Fleet of CVR’T into the
August hasn’t stood still either with the majority of the Regiment deploying
A2 Echelon set up on CT1 Training
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 21
to BATUS as OPFOR for Ex PRAIRIE STORM 3. The New RQ(T) WO2 Eulert and a small team from the Department deployed to support, leaving Windsor undermanned once again, preparing for future tasks as well as keeping the lines
of communication open. The Department said goodbye to WO2 Ireland this year to HCMR to take up his post as RCM and will get a new QM(E). LCpl Bremner moved form Main to
Tech, with LCpl Watson moving the other way. (No rest for the wicked.) The team will be in good hands and now have a firm foundation to build upon as they move towards the next training year.
Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess by Warrant Officer Class 1 (RCM) B K Gibson, The Life Guards
ith Op PITCHPOLE, BATUS and a plethora of courses and RAAT tasks, Mess life has been somewhat stifled over the past few months. That has, however, not stopped the Mess staging some memorable events. The opener being the ‘State of the Nation’ dinner night, where the new Commanding Officer, Lt Col James, addressed members of the Mess on his future vision for the Regiment. This was the Colonel’s first time hosted in the Mess. Hearty banter, good company and exceptional dining are always a recipe for a first-rate evening. I’m sure the Commanding Officer won’t forget the experience, an experience he certainly enjoyed. Easter saw most of the Mess members knee deep in water in a valiant effort to curtail flooding around the Windsor area as Op PITCHPOLE took hold. The Mess members, as with the Regiment, through backbreaking work strengthened their ties with the local community, forged new links and along the way sampled plenty of homemade cakes and cups of tea.
Horseracing featured in many of the events held this year. Mess members went to Sandown Park for the Grand Military, swiftly followed the next week by enduring an epic seven hour round trip from Windsor to Cheltenham for the Gold Cup, and to top it off, as ever, the spectacular event that is the Epsom Derby. The latter was very successfully run again by WO2 Parker. The weather on all three occasions held off, discounting the torrential rain experienced in the first few hours at Epsom, giving the Mess members an excellent opportunity to show off the sparkling array of sunglasses and the ability to drink Pimms whilst holding down a relatively coherent conversation. A break in the workload and the football World Cup gave an excellent opportunity for a family BBQ. Organised by WO2 Anderson, the Mess was decorated fashionably with bunting, flags and plenty of footballs and (annoyingly) vuvuzela’s for the kids. The ice-cream van was a great hit, filling bellies of all ages with free goodies - even members of the
barrack guard joined in on a free ‘99’. Unfortunately, the day was let down slightly by the poor weather and the fact that England had already been eliminated from the tournament. Phot Dining out Col SH Cowen, Comd H Cav. As we move towards the Christmas period we look forward to catching up on lost time with many planned events to share stories and experiences from the past year. These events include the dining out of Col Cowen, the eagerly anticipated Winter Ball (organised by WO2 Quickfall) and of course the icing on the cake, Brickhanging. The Mess Seniors: WO1 (RCM) B K Gibson, WO1 (ASM) N Wright, WO1 (BM) I Collin, WO2 (RQMC) M Ireland, WO2 (RQMC(T)) C Eulert, WO2 (SCM) D Daley, WO2 (SCM) A Anderson, WO2 (SCM) S McWhirter, WO2 (SCM) S Parker, WO2 (SCM) M Quickfall, WO2 (RSWO) P Carrington, WO2 (MTWO) T Aston, WO2 (BCM) S Marsh, and WO2 (RAWO) A Andrew.
Dining out Col S H Cowen, Comd H Cav
by Padre Nigel Kinsella
ell, at long last, it happened; the banner headline being ‘Padre swaps quad bike for a horse’. Adventure training in Canada brought man and beast together. Horse riding in the Rockies was a fantastic lifetime
22 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
experience. Or, as the Riding Master has since commented, “learning to ride like a cowboy.” Following my return to England, I have been guided and cajoled into riding
properly by the training staff. Taking lessons alongside those doing khaki ride really makes you understand the qualities of the soldiers serving in the Regiments and the high standards which are passed on to them by the staff.
12 soldiers and give opportunity for discussion on the topics covered. It is amazing how much soldiers think about ethics and their own values and standards. Most have a clear sense of what is right and what is wrong, very heartening in this individualistic postmodern society that has shaped so many of us. An interesting aside is the number of soldiers from the Regiment seeking selection for ordained ministry. Trooper Gower is currently undertaking theological training in Oxford, with a view to being ordained in the Church of England, a path one can hope that many more will follow.
The Padre trying his hand as a cowboy
In both Canada and Windsor, it is fascinating to see how so much character development can occur from learning to ride a horse. Seeing young soldiers who were terrified, gain confidence and complete tasks which previously they would have run away from. Surely, this is what the Army and the Regiments are so good at - character development. This year the chaplaincy team have taken part in the three UK Division value and standards character development sessions. The task is to make MATT 6 more interesting and relevant. The sessions are much smaller, involving up to
The Zandvoorde field service at the Household Cavalry Memorial
In November, Padres Beaver and Kinsella crossed the Channel with the Regiment for commemoration services at Zandvoorde in Belgium. It was a striking experience to understand regimental history and the sacrifices made by so many in the Great War. I often think visiting First World War battlefields is like treading on holy ground. It leaves me speechless, unable to articulate or fathom the enormous reality of what has occurred; drawn into the bewildering reflections on this difficult part of history, one needs time and space to register the scale, something to which we could give more value. Holy Trinity Church in Windsor (often referred to as the Garrison Church) is going through its own period of reflection and looking towards the way ahead. Over the years we have established close links and many baptism and marriages have taken place there. It is the established venue for Remembrance services and Christmas carol services for the Regiment. The attached
Padre Beaver assisting at the planting of the Zandvoorde osier sapling
photograph by Gill Aspel catches the church in full glory during the recent ‘In Flanders Field’ concert. The Church has also opened its doors to members of the public during the week, but due to security issues needs people to volunteer to keep watch. Many from the Regimental associations have stepped forward to offer help. It is planned to bring more of the Regiments’ history and connections with the church to life through displays. This is a very exciting project and it is hoped will reach out to many people in future years.
The ‘In Flanders Fields Concert’ at the Garrison Church
by Captain J Rawdon-Mogg, The Blues and Royals (Operations Officer)
he Household Cavalry has been a regular visitor to Alberta, Canada over the last few decades and this year has seen the Regiment deployed in strength. The British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS) has welcomed Household Cavalrymen both in the guise of safety staff, and making up the opposing ‘enemy’ or OPFOR battlegroup (BG). The total force at our disposal was 325 men and 140 vehicles making us a mere quarter of the exercising BG, from 1st Battalion The Yorkshire
Regiment. For this task we welcomed various other units to the OPFOR battlegroup. X Company, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, formed the armoured infantry company, mounted in Bulldog armoured vehicles. They were a formidable force and combined their offensive spirit and stubborn ability to hold ground, despite all odds, on more than a few occasions. Armoured Engineers from 22 Engineer Regiment drove two vehicles adorned with fake wooden bridges to represent our ob-
stacle-crossing capability. B Squadron, having reformed after Op HERRICK 18, changed role once again to form the Tank Company, driving Scimitars disguised as Basilisk T-80s. A Squadron performed their trained role as the Reconnaissance Company. Before the BG deployed onto the training area a collection of Warrant Officers and Officers conducted a team-building battlefield study of Little Big Horn, near Montana, USA. The leadership styles
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 23
and battle tactics of Colonel Custer and Sitting Bull generated much debate and identified several lessons that we took forward to our time on the prairie. A spare week in the programme allowed the BG to stand down for some well earned rest. While some officers jetted straight for the delights of Las Vegas, others took the opportunity to go adventurous training at Trails End Camp in the Rocky Mountains. Climbing, white water rafting, skydiving and horse-trekking were an experience for all and enjoyment for most!
A Fusilier soldier on the lookout
Unlike previous years as OPFOR, the BG deployed on exercise for two weeks preceding the test exercise in order to train. The extra training undoubtedly gained the BG an advantage during our encounters with the YORKS. It was also a good opportunity for the BG to ‘shake out’ and for soldiers working with each other for the first time it was invaluable. We started conducting driving training at night, and under testing weather conditions, and ended up fighting forceon-force as a BG perfecting drills such as deliberate obstacle crossings. Predictably, the weather changed as the BG drove onto the area. Cloudless blue skies were swapped for driving rain and snow with minus temperatures. The vehicles, having had three months
firepower is impossible. The YORKS had air superiority throughout which hampered our movement. On several occasions our forces found themselves in potentially battle-winning positions but were destroyed by fast air without warning. It showed just how demoralising it would be to come up against such weapon superiority in a real war. Keeping the vehicles on the road was challenging at times
of sunshine, behaved as only CVR(T) can and gave the LAD a run for their money. In the first 24 hours of the exercise, the LAD took on 16 broken vehicles and recovered eight vehicles from the boggy ground, working through the night with the vehicle crews to get them moving again. Maintenance days came every five days and were essential to both the continued running of the vehicles and to the morale of the soldiers. The major perk was a shower supplied by the field shower unit, followed by fresh rations from the Camp Crowfoot kitchens. Another lift to morale on the last maint day was a highly competitive wrestling match between the various elements on the prairie. Young officers battled Fusilier monsters and the spectators’ imaginations ran amok with WWF style costumes. The undisputed highlight was a very closely fought exhibition girl-ongirl match between the AGC and the RAMC. As the first day of the test exercise drew closer, all members of the BG started getting into the spirit of OPFOR and several dummy weapon systems made their way into the arsenal. The best weapon was an inter-continental ballistic missile attached to the crane arm of a REME vehicle complete with Arabic message to the exercising troops!
BGHQ set up and looking invisible
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For anyone who has not been part of or seen a ‘TESEX’, it is essentially Laser Quest on steroids. Every vehicle and soldier fires laser beams simulating the real effect of a weapon system and wears a vest which can be ‘shot’, creating exercise casualties. As OPFOR, we quickly discovered that trying to take on a force such as the British Army without the same
Poser in a Land Rover - 1
Tired poser in a Land Rover - 2
On many occasions our troops came into close contact with the enemy. Snipers discovered that the best way to outmanoeuvre a Challenger 2 tank was to get in close and drive laps around them on their quad bikes avoiding the turret. They had a high kill count by the end of the exercise, on one occasion employing Commander BATUS to remind a tank commander from the KRH that he had indeed been shot in the head from 1500 metres! Tpr Hardy (A Squadron) snatched victory from the jaws of disaster when he was taken as a Prisoner of War. His rifle was left made ready and unguarded as he was removed from the back of a Warrior and he was confronted by several YORKS officers. As any cunning soldier might, he snatched his rifle and fired several rounds at point blank, killing both the Commanding Officer and Regimental
The Quad Bike formation dance team
Sergeant Major. The Household Cavalry had a very good trip to Canada. We gave the YORKS a
The HCR Battlegroup in leaguer
challenging opposing force and gave them realistic training to enable them to become the UK high readiness force next year. It also served as excellent
practice for all Household Cavalry soldiers who will be back in Canada on exercise next autumn, training as the Lead Cavalry BG.
Life as a Short Term Training Team Recce Instructor for the Jordanian Army - November 2014 by Captain J F M Clive, The Blues and Royals
am currently employed as a recce instructor within a Short Term Training Team (STTT) for the British Military Advisory and Training Team (Jordan), (BMATT (J)). I am working in partnership with Sjt S Archer from 4 RIFLES and we are in the process of delivering a Reconnaissance Commanders’ Course (CC) to soldiers from the Jordanian Army. The aim is to provide commanders capable of planning and implementing reconnaissance within a Combined Arms Grouping up to Brigade level. We are accommodated in an extremely agreeable flat in the south of Amman and commute to the Royal Armoured School at Zarka, north-east of the capital. The BMATT (J) team consists of 29 British Armed Forces personnel, yet there are other foreign nationals here in Amman from all over the world. The expat community is small, close knit and have been particularly welcoming towards us. There have always been things to get involved in - whether that be touch rugby tournaments, social events at the Embassy, a Remembrance Service at the Ambassador’s Residence or attempting to navigate around town chasing happy hours to get hold of some less ridiculously over-priced beers! And so, in general, the pace of life has been fairly considered, even if the Jordanians have managed to keep us on our toes with the odd unforeseeable complication here and there! Having only recently identified a gap in capability regarding reconnaissance, the Jordanian Armed Forces have taken it upon themselves to initiate and promote Formation Reconnaissance (FR) and Close Reconnaissance (CR) throughout the Jordanian Army. One FR battalion
was established in 2009 and all Armoured and Infantry battalions are now to have CR platoons integral to them. The Recce Wing within the Royal Armoured School is further product of this directive and the Basic and Commanders Courses are the vehicles by which this recce capability is to be attained. BMATT (J) supports a variety of training packages throughout Jordan - recce courses are British led with Jordanian top cover. The majority of the CC are Sgts with a 2Lt, a SSgt and two Cpls thrown in as well. Yet matters have been complicated by the fact that although two thirds of the course come from recce battalions, the other third come from armoured battalions who have only very recently initiated having any form of recce capability in their units. The hapless ten who have found themselves on this commanders’ course have minimal
recce experience and so it is imperative for us to teach them the basics as well as to ensure they grasp the operational context within which they would likely operate. Yet the armoured solders have risen to the challenge and are working hard to ensure they meet the requisite standard to pass the course and compete with their FR peers. Having just run a successful Basic Reconnaissance Course at the Recce Wing, some of the frictions of the administrative framework for the course have been ironed out by the permanent SO3, Capt Rue Grinling (SCOTS DG) and his Jordanian counterpart, yet there still remain difficulties with kit, equipment availability, transport and sustainment in the field - the difficulty with just resourcing transport to get soldiers to exercise areas makes even TFL look dangerously efficient. But there is often a
Troop Drills on Fox Recce Vehicles
Household Cavalry Regiment ■ 25
solution to be found, whether it be Jordanian or British, and we have achieved at least 80% of what we had planned. There is a proverb that when the wind is blowing the wrong way a pessimist will lower his sails, an optimist hopes the wind will change and a realist will adjust his sails - as an STTT here we have to be realists. The course has so far entailed a combination of classroom based lessons, model exercises, demonstrations and practices in camp encompassing the spectrum of Offensive, Defensive, Enabling and Stabilising Ops. These have been augmented by TEWTs and mounted and dismounted exercises on a combination of rural and urban training areas. We have run an intensive navigation concentration and we have also implemented a fairly robust physical training programme with section stretcher races being the incentive of choice for lack of effort - something which has ensured a marked improvement on overall fitness levels! The Jordanians have operated to a good standard on both dismounted
and mounted exercises, demonstrating decent low level skills and drills and working hard for each other. Whether working on YPRs, a Dutch upgrade of the M113 with a gyro-stabilised 30mm cannon, or Fox, a cross between a WMIK and a Jackal with .50 cal and 7.62mm, their crew competencies have been clear to see and they seem to have found the exercises challenging and rewarding. There has too been the added bonus for us that at weekends there have been opportunities to visit some incredible places within Jordan such as Petra, Aqaba, Jerash, Madaba and the Dead Sea to name but a few. Petra is an awesome Nabatean city carved from rock, Jerash has the best preserved Roman ruins outside of Rome and Aqaba has beaches, cocktails and shisha. We have enjoyed all of them for different reasons. There have of course been challenges - not least in operating to a slightly different tempo than on British courses - yet it has been extremely encouraging to see how attentive and eager to learn the Jordanians have been. They have consistently demonstrated
their understanding during practical exercises when in the field and have shown genuine potential to become effective recce soldiers. This job has been a fascinating insight into operating with another country’s army and it has been encouraging to see the esteem with which they hold the British Army. BMATT (J) and the Jordanian Army have an excellent relationship and the strategic effect of British soldiers training Jordanians should not be underestimated. Jordan is likely to remain a key NATO ally at the heart of the Middle East and so the importance of retaining strong links with the country through Peacetime Military Engagement and upstream capacity building is clear to see, especially considering the fractured state of the Middle East region as it stands now. The hope is that this course will progress to being Jordanian led by the end of 2015 and so will endure to leave the Jordanian Army with an enhanced recce capability and will serve to strengthen the already strong ties between the UK and Jordan.
The Light Reconnaissance Commanders’ Course (LRCC) by Lieutenant C J P Murphy, The Blues and Royals The aim of the Light Reconnaissance Commanders’ Course is to qualify all students to command and train a light reconnaissance platoon in all operations of war. It is run by the Infantry Reconnaissance Wing as part of the Reconnaissance and Armoured Tactics Division (RATD) in Warminster. Traditionally the preserve of Infantry Reconnaissance Platoons, it is also attended by soldiers and officers from recce units within the Royal Marines, Royal Engineers, Royal Artillery and Household Cavalry and Royal Armoured Corps. As a Lieutenant from the HCR, not only was I the most junior officer on the course but also one of only two students not from the Infantry. This was initially daunting but made little difference in the end. The course teaches Close Target Reconnaissance Patrols (CTRs), Observation Posts (OPs) in both the rural and urban environment, mobile reconnaissance using wheeled vehicle platforms, patrolling skills, contact drills and delivers a comprehensive photography package. A lot of the course content is very similar to what we (HCR and other RAC Recce Regiments) cover on our Troop Leaders’ Course. This meant that whilst I was the most junior officer on the course, I had more recce experience than most of the other students. However, the standard required on LRCC is significantly high-
26 ■ Household Cavalry Regiment
er than on what was the Brigade Reconnaissance Commanders’ Course (now split into Armoured and Light Cavalry Commanders’ Courses). The emphasis placed on individual soldiering skills and the detail required in planning, orders and execution make this an excellent, though demanding, further training opportunity. The first two weeks of the course are spent either in the classroom or on the back training area. Initial assessments include an eight-mile best effort carrying 25kg, a map-reading test, vehicle and weapon recognition test, military knowledge test and three tactical night navigation exercises which are conducted carrying 20kg based on an average speed of 3 km/h. Following these, time is devoted to introductory lessons and practical instruction. All of the lessons are extremely well-taught by a team of experienced Colour/Staff Sergeants who work under the supervision of the SO3 and WO2 running the course. The third week of the course takes place in RAF Cosford at the Defence School of Photography. It is a week of intensive tuition in using camera equipment to capture high quality images of moving and static objects in both day and night conditions. This is one of the highlights of the course and enables stu-
There’s no easy option when it comes to spreading the essential loads
dents to use the camera equipment on subsequent exercises to produce images which greatly enhance patrol reports and back-briefs. The next four weeks of the course are devoted to high quality training exercises. The first of these is an introductory exercise all Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA) in which CTRs and OPs in the rural environment are the primary focus. The second exercise
is also conducted on SPTA but the focus is on mobile reconnaissance and what capabilities and constraints come from working with vehicles. Conducting OPs in the urban area was something in which I had no prior experience and was the focus of the third exercise. Conducted in the village in Longmoor Training Area, this was one of the most valuable exercises and was enhanced by a realistic enemy. The following week is spent doing LFTT and is by far the best LFTT package I have ever experienced. Focussing on extracting from contact, drills are carried out in the normal progression; working from individual up to section. The final range was an awesome, though exhausting, experience including BatSims and claymores on top of the GPMG, LMG, Underslung Grenade Lancher and SA80 A2s that we were carrying in the sixman patrol. The summative exercise, Ex ARES WONDER, is the climax of the course. Approximately ten days long and in Sennybridge, it consists of an insertion, two OP/CTR phases, a final back-brief and strike followed by an extraction. It is physically and mentally demanding, requiring students to carry heavy loads over significant distances and sustain observation for prolonged periods whilst continuing to report accurately
and make logical, original assessments. The culmination is a final back-brief to visiting senior officers in which every detail of what has been seen must be explained to justify the attack options being presented. LRCC has a reputation for being a tough The students, with Lt Murphy bottom left course. It is, and rightly so. There are several reato achieve it in the eyes of the instructors sons which explain this. First and foreis hard, exhausting and at times very most is that the training environment is trying. However, this is why the LRCC treated as reality. The staff demand the is such a good course. Reconnaissance is highest standards at all times and if you a dangerous job which requires highly wouldn’t do it for real, you don’t do it on skilled, robust, thinking soldiers to the course. This has other implications: carry it out. This course recognises that the amount of sleep is minimal and the and rightly sets a very high quality line, effect of this can be extremely degradnot accepting anything which falls short ing; the weight carried can be crippling of it. It tested and benefitted me hugely and this also takes its toll. The relentless and I am grateful for the opportunity to pursuit of excellence is indeed relenthave been a part of it. less: that excellence is elusive and trying
Exercise COCKNEY ZANDVOORDE Regimental Battlefield Tour and Visit to Ypres by Lieutenant Rupert Hunt-Grubbe, The Blues and Royals
efore first light on Saturday 25th October, a procession of white coaches were spotted heading for the south coast. On further inspection, 240 officers and men of both the service and mounted Regiments of the Household Cavalry
were embarking on a weekend of study and commemoration, to mark the centenary of the battle of Zandvoorde. After an uneventful coach trip, punctuated by a rather generous full English on the ferry, the coaches arrived in the vicinity of Ypres by 1100. At this point an informative rotation of stands begun, with each coach group, under the coach ICs, going on a different ordered route.
Maj Brian Rogers retelling the Zandvoorde battle to a group
Each stand (apart from Tyne Cot) had its own expert, who gave a short talk and then fielded any questions that the crowd may have. This information was fascinating and not only fo-
cused on the battle of Zandvoorde itself and those early desperate actions, but also placed the war in a wider context by examining the unimaginable scale of human sacrifice that so defines the Great War. At the HCR memorial stand, Major Brian Rogers gave a vivid description of the battle of Zandvoorde. The memorial itself is an imposing stone structure nestled, surprisingly, at the base of a suburban garden. However, it was still possible to imagine the shallow trenches where so many met their end. The battle was where the 7th Cavalry Brigade (Household Cavalry), which consisted of the 1st and 2nd Life Guards and Royal Horse Guards, held the village from the 27th until 30th October 2014. The brigade was driven from its positions by an onslaught of shocking proportions on 30th October 2014. For 90 minutes over 260 artillery pieces rained shells down, acting to pin the defenders down, before the German 39th Division supported by three Jaeger Battalions launched a devastating attack. The memorial commemorates the 120 members of 1st Life Guards, 159 members of 2nd
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The heads of the crowd with helmets and forage caps at the Menin Gate
Life Guards and 16 members of the Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) killed there in October 1914. Many of them died in defence of the ridge upon which the memorial stands. We were also treated to a fascinating talk by Col (Retd) Simon Doughty LG at the Hooge Crater Cemetery, which, although didn’t seem to have a crater, contains some 5922 burials. The surrounding area changed hands many times during the war, due to its strategic position on the road to Ypres. Plantation Wood, some 500 meters from the bottom of the cemetery, marks the area where the Household Cavalry were held in reserve to plug gaps between the French and the Irish Guards. They did this by acting as mobile infantry, tying up their horses behind the line and advancing on foot. By all accounts, at Zillibeke on 6th November they performed admirably in preventing the German advance to Ypres, with a spirited dismounted cavalry charge with bayonets that cost the regiments dearly as the officers of Life Guards and Blues commanding their charges, respectively Dawnay and Gordon Wilson, were both killed. But this action restored the line and arguably saved Ypres and the BEF position, the line remaining in those positions for the next three years. Nine kilometers north-east of Ypres we came to Tyne Cot Military Cemetery. This needed no subject matter expert, as little explanation was needed for this hugely impressive and moving place. Tyne Cot is the largest western front commonwealth cemetery in terms of burials with the Western Front and is dominated on the high ground by the Memorial Wall, on which is inscribed the names of 33,787 British soldiers that couldn’t fit onto the Menin Gate. After seeing so many commonwealth cemeteries is it is easy to forget about the enormous loss of life suffered by
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our opponents. This was remedied by a visit to the Langemark German Military Cemetery. Mr Peter Story took groups through the grim details. As it is one of only four German cemeteries in the Flanders region, there are up to six bodies in each grave, including one mass grave with 24,917 servicemen, helping push the total buried at Langemark to 44,000 men. This oak shadowed cemetery had a very sombre mood, quite contrasting with the surrounding cornfields and Commonwealth cemeteries that we had previously visited. When all the stands were complete, the coach parties convened in Ypres for the daily 8pm ceremony at the Menin Gate. This imposing moment contains the names of 54,896 missing Commonwealth soldiers who died in the Salient. During the moving service, C Squadron acted as the marching party and, supported by the Band of the Household Cavalry, showed the large crowd that all the extra drill had not been in vain. Wreaths for each of the Household Cavalry Regiments that were at Zandvoorde were laid. After a fine performance the band and marching party retired to their well deserved hotel, while the rest of us made do with the ten man rooms and cold showers of Lonvardsijde Barracks! The next morning everyone donned their service dress and convened in Zandvoorde for a remembrance service at the Household Cavalry Memorial. The open air proceedings were led by Padres Kinsella and Beaver, with the large congregation squeezed into the small open grass area nearby. The British Ambassador, the Lieutenant Colonel Commanding, representatives from the Belgium Army and the local community were present and laid wreaths in remembrance. Both the services at the Menin Gate and at the Zandvoorde Memorial, acted to remind us never to
TLCpl Sandford played splendidly on many occasions
The Comd Offr and Lt Col Comd lay wreaths at the memorial
forget that each grave or name we saw, relates to a man who selflessly died for his country, and is not just a mere statistic as time inevitably marches on. Once the service had ended, everyone filed back through the narrow access path from the Memorial, and split into two groups. The main group attended the Royal Welsh Fusiliers memorial service. This consisted of a march through the town centre to a memorial in the main square. The Household Cavalry were squeezed onto the end of the column and it still is possible to hear excuses from some for the dubious marching that took place. The other group consisted of a small party, which were whisked away in a minibus, with a blue light motorcycle police escort to help make up time, to the Zonnebeke memorial garden in Passchendaele. Here Lady Jane Dawnay representing the Grosvenor family and Lord Yarborough representing the Worsley family planted a
willow sapling in commemoration of Lord Hugh Grosvenor and Lord Worsley. This sapling has special significance because the cutting is related to the only tree that was left standing on the Zandvoorde ridge at the end of the war. At this point the trip to Zandvoorde drew to a close, and with a brief change of clothing in a nearby barracks the coaches managed successfully to run the gauntlet of Calais and return their parties to Windsor and Knightsbridge.
Lady Jane Dawnay and Lord Yarborough with members of the Regiments dedicating the planting the osier sapling
This trip to Zandvoorde was both a very informative and also highly moving trip, especially considering that it was taking place in the midst of the 100 years remembrance celebrations of the start of the First World War. Everyone learnt of the great sacrifice of our Household Cavalry forebears and, most importantly, were able to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for King and Country.
Battlefield Study: The Little Big Horn by Captain E D Holliday, The Life Guards
5th June 1876 was a turning point in the American Indian Wars. It was the start of the end. The Battle of Little Bighorn saw the loss of 218 men of the 7th Cavalry and the death of an American Civil War Hero, Lt Col George Custer. Much controversy followed the battle; “who was to blame?”; “how could the US Army be beaten so badly by a primitive force?” These arguments and more still occur amongst modern historians and both the Canadian and US Army continue to study the battle as part of their Counter Insurgency Studies. With expansion and exploration of Central and Western American, Native American Indians were forced off their ancestral land and into reservations. These reservations were too small
Bull, the Native Indian Spiritual leader. With thanks to Wikipedia
to support a traditional way of life and many Native American tribes found themselves starving. Agreements and conditions between Native Americans and the US Government were constantly broken and remade only to be broken again. This led to tribes leaving reservations, conducting their traditional lives elsewhere on the plains. With the discovery of gold and natural resources on Spiritual Land, miners and settlers started moving in. The percolation both ways through the reservation borders led to an increase of violence. The US Government deployed a force to police the area and contain the communities within the borders. Three columns were sent to conduct a summer campaign. Col John Gibbon’s column marched east from Fort Ellis to patrol the Yellow Stone River. Brig Gen Crook’s Column marched north towards Powder River from Central Wyoming. The third column contained Lt Col Custer’s command and was lead by Brig Terry. All were to converge in the area of what is now Central Montana. George Armstrong Custer was a cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars. After graduating last in his class at West Point he was called to serve with the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War, during which he developed a strong reputation for being a courageous leader, but also rogue and cavalier, seeking glory. His association with several senior officers boosted his career, and he had been promoted to the temporary
Lt Col George Custer, CO 7th Cavalry US Army. With thanks to Wikipedia
rank of Major General. Sitting Bull was the spiritual head of the Indian Tribes and had led them off reservations. Before the Battle of Little Bighorn, Sitting Bull had a vision in which he saw US Army Soldiers falling out of the sky onto his camp. Sitting Bull’s leadership inspired his people to a major victory. At the time of the battle, the Indian village was about 10,000 Native Americans with a combined force of about 3,500 warriors from the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. Custer and the Seventh Cavalry were ordered out from the main Dakota Column to scout the Rosebud and Big Horn river valleys. They encountered
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concluded at the place where it all began for Sitting Bull and the Indian tribes. At the site of Sitting Bull’s Dream Quest, the Deer Medicine Rocks, the Chaplain gave an insightful talk into leadership, using examples of the gaps in Custer’s ability as a values based leader and Sitting Bull’s spiritual based leadership.
Entering the Crow Reservation
the large village on the west bank of the Little Bighorn. Custer split his forces just prior to the battle and his immediate command of five cavalry companies was annihilated without any survivors. Two days later, Colonel Gibbon’s column reached the area and rescued the US survivors of the Reno and Benteen Companies. Day one saw the convoy leave BATUS for the eight hour drive down to Billings MT. The vast open spaces that were crossed gave evidence to the sort of hardships that forces would have in surviving in this country as well as the trouble in tracking down an elusive and fluid enemy. Billing, MT, was an interesting place to stay and after a meal in a local sports bar the group split to explore the area. Many of the sights seen that night included a gymnastic show and also some of the more up to date home protection devices. The next day was the trip to the battlefield. We were hosted by one of the National Park Rangers. With the group already having a base knowledge of the campaign and battle, the morning was spent talking about the characters; the command relationships they had with subordinates. Custer was not well liked by those officers under his command. In
The study of the Battle of Little Bighorn is valuable not only because it plays much into the psyche of our coalition partners in the US Army, but also from the lessons that can be learned from it. As an Armoured Reconnaissance Regiment there were lessons to learn that are applicable to us, these include the appropriate use of firepower, trust from the highest to the lowest levels, delivery of intelligence, the importance of logistics and mutual support in expeditionary warfare.
The group at the Deer Medicine Rocks
contrast, Sitting Bull had the ability to bring together several different tribes to muster and fight against the US Army. The afternoon focused on the physical component and the tactical battle from both perspectives. Lessons were drawn out about the use of the logistics, intelligence, support, firepower and defence. In the evening, several members of the group found themselves integrating further with the local inhabitants of Billings. Karaoke and dancing were the background activity as several members sought to find Native American names. Noisy Crow and Red Trigger stuck due to the closeness of the personalities involved. The next day we found ourselves at the hands of a local expert who talked to us more of the build up to the battle. Based mainly around the decisions made by several of the officers under Custer’s command, we found ourselves questioning the how and why decisions which were made in the build up and how they later had an effect during the battle itself. The moral component of any fighting force is what can give it an edge. The battlefield study was
Memorial at the location of Custer’s last stand
Surveying the Battlefield with the US Park Ranger
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Exercise IRON SPAHIS by Lance Corporal of Horse McClure
xercise IRON SPAHIS was a weekend visit to Le 1er Regiment de Spahis, a French Cavalry unit with whom the HCR used to have very strong links, forged initially through joint overseas exercises in the 1990s. B Squadron were tasked with assembling a Regimental team to honour the invitation of attending all functions involved in the Spahis’ 100 year anniversary weekend, which included a 10km ‘Urban Assault Course’ and for which we were provided with no further details. In true ‘H Cav’ fashion, the planning for this trip wasn’t as straightforward as it should have been. The original intention was to travel with a team of six by Eurostar and TGV making the journey in a comfortable five hours. Instead, Captain Thomas returned from a course to be told the plan had changed and he was now to make do with a four man team, undertaking the trip by road (a casual 2000km round journey) in MT’s rickety Hilux, which only himself and LCoH McClure were qualified to drive! The team set off late on Thursday intending to drive through the night to make the Friday midday start time for the weekend’s events. Arriving in France without a hitch, it wasn’t long until some classic officer navigation (a lack of any satellite systems meant the entire journey was by torchlight using a 1996 Road Atlas) led the team off course outside of Calais. However, after this short ‘scenic diversion’, the rest of the caffeine fuelled journey went to plan and we were greeted at the barracks in Valence by a guard in full ceremonial attire. The team were immediately launched into lunch followed by post lunch drinks, which meant that by the Veterans’ Parade in the evening followed by yet more drinks at a cocktail party, the team were feeling the pace a little (albeit in the hands of some impeccable French hospitality). Saturday saw the team vis-
it a Regimental exhibition in the town and lunch at one of the host’s houses. That evening, the team were afforded a personal audience with the French CGS, a former Commanding Officer of the Regiment, who made it clear to us that we would not beat his Regimental teams the following day in the assault course! It was at this point that the team became somewhat aware of being ‘lubricated for the kill’, as we were plied with yet more drinks before taking part in a late night ceremonial parade in one of the town’s parks.
Part of a cutting from a local newspaper which covered the event, showing LCoH McClure tackling one of the many water obstacles
The Veterans’ Parade on the Friday
The day of the race came and, in true British fashion, the team had been the last to leave the bar the previous evening but still performed admirably. There were over a hundred teams and many more individual competitors, military and civilian. We were amazed at the fantastic rapport between the locals and the Regiment, and also the lack of any Health and Safety policy for some of the obstacles. Overall, the HCR finished third, behind two military teams that had been manufactured to ensure French ‘honeur’ was upheld and who had been notably absent from the rest of the weekend’s activities as they completed an immaculate carbohydrate and protein synthesised pre-game. Also
The team with two of their French hosts in the Officers’ Mess garden
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worthy of note is the arguably misconstrued direction which ensured we turned up in combat boots and trousers whilst everyone else arrived in cross country trainers and shorts! The whole team felt incredibly privileged to have been party to the Regiment’s celebrations and were very well hosted.
Capt Thomas exchanging gifts following the race and HCR’s departure on Sunday
A return trip to seize the gold in next year’s race is in the offing (ideally travelling by train this time) as are plans to host the French Regiment in Windsor and Knightsbridge. The relationship the Spahis have with the people of Valence is something we
Tpr Millea (C Sqn), Tpr Router (D Sqn), LCoH McClure (B Sqn) and Capt Thomas (B Sqn) admiring the expansive French tank park, hangars and vehicle fleet
must look to emulate, if only in part, as is the chance to engage in some dynamic joint training in their expansive southern troop areas, an invitation which has
also been extended to us. This would come as a welcome relief from BATUS and is surely far more relevant in terms of Defence Engagement and testing
interoperability with a likely future coalition partner. So, until next year: qui vivre verra.
Stalking, with Cornet A C Soames, Lance Corporal Bell and Trooper Bell by Trooper Davey
n Thursday 18th September, I was given the opportunity to go out stalking on one of Scotland’s finest estates along with Ct Soames, LCpl Bell and Tpr Bell. With such high demand to go out on the day and the limited spaces available there would naturally be a grueling selection process to make it. This consisted of a classic game of ‘name in the hat.’ It was here that the above names were selected to accompany Ct Soames on this exclusive day out. We departed Norwegian Lodge early that morning for our short journey to the estate, very eager and keen to get on with the day. Ct Soames did his nanny proud that day; dressed in traditional attire he certainly looked the part. LCpl Bell and I sported more of a casual country look, leaving Tpr Bell turning up like a Chechen rebel! On arrival at the estate, we were greeted by a very long driveway; I think it was around six miles. After tackling the driveway, we immediately stumbled upon our guide for the day ‘Donald.’ Donald Rowantree, the young and enigmatic stalker at Corrour was head stalker at the estate, very young for the position he held but very experienced. We actually found him ‘spying’ on some of the ground on the estate. ‘Spying’ is where you would take up a position and observe the ground for any sign of animal activity; a stalker would always do this before taking his party out to check the location of the stags and save disappointment. After quick introductions at the hunting lodge and a tour round the larder, we set upon our next challenge: who would shoot the stag? Donald explained to us where we would have to shoot the stag and the effects it would have if we
Tpr Davey zeros-in onto the target
The view of the stags below us
didn’t fire a fatal shot straight away. We then moved up to a range with a mock stag set-up at the end of it. We would each fire two shots, one to get our point of aim and the second being the deciding shot. A close competition. Ct Soames declined to fire, I assume to save face in the midst of such fine marksmen. LCpl Bell was first up and first to mess up, he was instantly out of the running with such a poor display of marksmanship. Tpr Bell and I instantly knew it would be between us; my first shot was spot on, you couldn’t fault it. Tpr Bell followed suit. I think it may have been the midges that day, but somehow I flunked my second shot! Tpr Bell had it; he would shoot the stag. At around 1100 hrs we mounted up in the vehicles and headed out to a spot Donald thought would be best to start the day. The cloud cover was low and visibility wasn’t great. It didn’t look promising. After a couple of attempts at trying to spot any activity on the hills we decided to dismount; this included dismounting the ‘Argo’, an ingenious piece of kit which has eight wheels and can climb practically any incline and can even drive through rivers. The ‘Argo’ took us most of the way up the hill, the cloud cover was even lower now we were in the high ground, we would have most certainly lost faith if it was not for Donald’s skills and taking us around the area so confidently. We smelled the stags before we saw them, visibility was still poor as Mr Soames
called everyone to get down and called Donald over to his position. He had spotted a group of around 15 stags. Everyone was noticeably excited, particularly LCpl Bell, who I even had to restrain at one point to keep him from scaring off the stags. It was at this point that Donald decided this would be where the shot would be taken from. Donald took Tpr Bell to one side and to a more suitable firing position. As I watched Tpr Bell load the rifle I could see the excitement in his face, we were literally all buzzing. Mr Soames, LCpl Bell and myself kept low and observed through spyglasses eagerly awaiting the fall of shot. Then crack! We paused, then a mighty stag went spinning to its side and fell to the ground. We all waited in our positions for a few moments for the rest of the stags to leave, Donald explained you shouldn’t let them associate us with death so not to scare them off prematurely in the future. The shot was assessed as 180 yards, and a thoroughly
Donald and Tpr Bell selecting their stag
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Tpr Bell, Tpr Davey, LCpl Bell, Ct Soames with their beast Donald teaching LCpl Bell how to bleed and gralloch the stag
good heart shot. On arrival at the stag, we quickly went about gralloching the animal there. It was at this point that Tpr Bell was
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‘blooded.’ The ‘Argo’ arrived and we loaded up in the back of it. The next time we saw it was back at the larder, it was here where we watched Donald and his assistant prep the animal for distribution, a fairly gruesome experience in all. Nothing on the animal is wasted; the tongue for instance is strangely
considered a delicacy in Japan. At this point we presented Donald with a bottle of whisky and thanked him for the day out. All in all, a great day was had by all. An experience that I know we would all like to repeat.
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment Foreword
By Lieutenant Colonel P A Bedford, The Blues and Royals Commanding Officer, Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
he Regiment has had an enduring high tempo of commitments throughout 2014, principally as a result of the Standards Parade and an increased contribution to Defence Engagement. The planning, enabling and delivery of the Standards Parade placed a considerable strain on the lean command structure within the unit, but the combined team effort which encompassed HQ HCav, the HCR, Association Secretaries and the HCF amongst others, ensured that it was delivered successfully, with the least amount of hiccoughs along the way. Aside from the essential background “enabling” activities, the additional rehearsals over and above our normal standing commitments in a normal busy state ceremonial season at the end of May, placed a considerable strain on the troops. The move of the State Opening of Parliament to the first week of June amidst the preparation for the Queen’s Birthday Parade further enhanced the burden - during the four week period in the lead up to the Birthday Parade, the Regiment were on Parade in MRO an average of 2-3 times a week. But in the end, aside from a few last-minute minor administrative challenges it was all worth it and everybody seemed to enjoy the occasion. Defence Engagement has always been one of the Mounted Regiment’s major outputs; however, more emphasis has been placed on it recently. In addition to our primary role of providing the Sovereign’s Escort for State Visits (with the Spring State Visit of Ireland in Windsor and the Autumn State Visit of Singapore), the Regiment has been more heavily committed than the norm, with a few small contingents deploying around the world in support of our allies and linked mounted ceremonial units. Details of these can be found in the Diary of Events, as well as a number of specific articles, but the key one was the deployment of the Musical Ride to Denmark in September. They took part in the 400th anniversary celebrations of the creation of the modern Danish Army and the Guard Hussar Regiment, playing a pivotal role in a very high profile tattoo organised by the Guard Hussar Regiment. As one of Britain’s key allies in Afghanistan, this was particularly poignant since the Household Cavalry has worked alongside the Danish Life Guards in Helmand and it also
coincided with the country’s withdrawal from that theatre. The 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War has seen members of the Regiment support a number of different bespoke activities throughout the year, with a number of small-scale commitments and battlefield tours. A large proportion of the Regiment in concert with the HCR deployed to Zandvoorde in Belgium for a battlefield tour, to visit the Household Cavalry memorial and see the site of one of the Household Cavalry’s famous battle honours from the First World War. This was a particularly poignant visit for our officers and soldiers, and we were also pleased to take part in the moving Menin Gate ceremony at Ypres. The following week one of the Standards returned to the Menin Gate with a small detachment to take part in a very well attended international commemoration attended by a number of foreign heads of State or their delegates. The Musical Ride, a key recruiting and retention capability led by Capt Ashby, with subject matter expertise provided by the Riding Master, Capt Chambers, performed at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, and the Horse of the Year Show as well as a number of smaller shows throughout the year. Looking ahead, there have been a few expressions of interest for the ride to deploy overseas again next year. With a greater emphasis across the Army for maintaining ‘Individuals at readiness’, every opportunity to maintain an ‘active edge’ across the Regiment has been taken. Of note, Major Douglas as the training officer ensured that the regimental training period at Bodney Camp included a healthy balance of activities to ensure individual readiness in ‘green’ terms, as well as maintaining
our core military mounted equitation skills. Furthermore, immediately following the Escort, several members of the Regiment led by Capt Turnor shed their state clothing for combat clothing and deployed to South Wales to take part in the Cambrian Patrol. Unlike other teams who had spent months in the Brecon Beacons training for the event, the Regiment’s commitments in London meant that the team had to train slightly closer to home and mostly at the end of a normal working day. In spite of this, the team returned to London with a coveted Silver Medal, building on last year’s successful Bronze - a superb result. Individuals and small teams have also taken part in a number of sporting competitions as well as adventure training activities, both at home and abroad, with varying degrees of success, but nevertheless challenging and highly rewarding. This has ranged from LCpl Duffy swimming the Channel, LCoH Stock taking part in an international Martial Arts competition in Brazil and a successful cross country team to Maj Lukas deploying with a small team to compete in the Mongol Derby. This, all on top of a successful sailing season when the Regiment won the Household Division Seaview regatta and culminated with an expedition to the Caribbean. More recently, various different levels of skiers departed to the Alps, as well as the Adjutant, Capt Chishick,
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 35
leading the Cresta team - again! Winter Training Troop continues to develop up at Melton as more members of the Regiment are introduced to the fantastic facilities available. This year has seen a good deal of investment in the barracks ensuring that every opportunity within reason is taken to further improve the quality of life for the troops. The Peninsula Tower is now fully occupied as single living accommodation, with single soldiers from the Regiment now occupying the majority of the floors. In addition, the squash courts are now finally up and
running again. The future of the barracks remains an extant topic of debate, but until any decision is made with regards to the future housing solution for the HCMR, every effort will be made to make the most of the facilities available.
new Cambrian Patrol Team lining up to build on this year’s success, promises to offer some challenging opportunity for everybody to further develop themselves over and above the routine challenges of surviving at Knightsbridge.
Looking ahead, it being both the 200th anniversary of Waterloo and the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, as well as marking a number of Regimental battle honours in the First World War, 2015 will keep everybody in the Regiment busy. This, with a strong possibility that the Musical Ride will deploy to Canada in the autumn and a
The Regiment bade farewell to Major Darren Carter, Capt Rupert Hills and Capt Rufus Gordon-Dean, possibly the longest serving and most senior troop leader in the Army, who have all left the Army for the civilian world. Major Douglas takes over as LG Sqn Ldr and Major Stewart assumes command of the HCTW at the beginning of 2015.
Diary of Events
by Captain P J R Chishick, The Life Guards, Adjutant
his year was always going to be a busy one, with the Standards Parade thrown in on top of the Mounted Regiment’s regular standing ceremonial commitments. In addition, the Regiment has been kept busy with Defence Engagement tasks varying from entertaining the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army to sending out training teams to mounted ceremonial counterparts in the Middle East. In spite of all this though, the Regiment has managed to send soldiers away on Adventurous Training and for their much prized leave. As always, the season began with the Major General’s Inspection, the first for some time in front of a Household Cavalry Major General. After a soaking winter we were forced to plan for having to move it to Horse Guards as we had the previous year. However, in the end, an unexpected spring heat wave dried out the ground, which meant the public was treated to the Regiment out in force around Hyde Park, demonstrating to
the Major General that we were ready for the challenges in the weeks ahead. Never still for long though, the Regiment split down and in turns moved to Penally, Pembrokeshire, for a week of MATTs training. The opportunity to get back to some ‘green training’ was appreciated by the Troopers who, exchanging their swords for rifles; all passed the ACMT with good scores after just a few days on the range. On return, though, it was back into the thick of it in preparation for the Windsor Escort, and within a few days of getting back from Wales, the epic logistical challenge of moving over 200 horses (and all their kit) to the Household Cavalry Training Wing stables in Combermere Barracks was complete. On the day of the Escort, four full divisions were provided to escort Her Majesty The Queen and The President of Ireland in glorious sunshine past the Castle and down the Long Walk, before a rank past in the Quadrangle, alongside the Irish Guards Guard of Honour and The Kings Troop,
Royal Horse Artillery. Back from Windsor and the subsequent Easter Leave, there were just a few weeks to prepare for Her Majesty presenting Standards to the Regiment, a parade that only occurs every ten years, although on this occasion, delayed for a further year while HCR completed their final tour of Afghanistan. A few brave volunteers also had to squeeze in the Richmond Cup, this year won by Tpr Chapple RHG/D. The top eight had the honour of being presented to Her Majesty The Queen at the Royal Windsor Horse Show, following several excellent performances by the Musical Ride. Straight after Windsor Horse Show, the Regiment was into the thick of preparations for the Standards Parade with a series of rehearsals on Horse Guards. The parade itself was a great success, with the rain holding off just enough.
The Household Cavalry arriving at the Riverside station for the State Visit of the President of Ireland in Windsor
The Major General rides past for his review of the Mounted Regiment in Hyde Park
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The arrival of the President of Ireland
Regimental Training 2014 - SCpl Harris tries surfing rather than jumping
The Blues and Royals led by Maj S S Lukas riding though the rain during the Colonel’s Review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade 2014
The days of familiarisation training between our armoured and equine steeds paid off, with a calm march and trot past despite the significant metallic tonnage bearing down on the rear of the divisions. There was no time to relax, however, as the season reached it's climax; within the next few weeks the Regiment would complete seven Major Parades, and the band a further two performances for Beating Retreat. First came the Major General’s Review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade, followed within a few days by the early morning rehearsal for the State Opening of Parliament, and the State Opening itself the very next Day. Both went well, with the Household Cavalry providing a Sovereign’s Escort of four divisions, a Travelling Escort for HRH The Prince of Wales, a Regalia Escort and a Staircase Party. It wasn't long before the Divisions were out again in slightly more sodden splendour in the particularly drenched Colonel’s Review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade. A combination of driving rain and humid heat provided challenging conditions, which were handled determinedly by both horses and men. After assisting with the two excellent performances of Beating Retreat where the combined bands of the Household Cavalry performed very well, and an early morning rehearsal for the Garter Service in Windsor, the Regiment was prepared for one of the seasons' great highlights, the Queen’s Birthday Parade itself. It was a memorable experience for all, with an unusually high numbers of officers and men riding on it for the first time. The ceremonial season was rounded off with the Garter Service, the only parade where the Regiment is dismounted.
After a high tempo summer ceremonial season, July saw the Regiment deploy to Bodney Camp in Norfolk for our annual regimental training program. Regimental training is a great opportunity for the soldiers and horses to enjoy some well earned time away from the parade ground and streets of London. Moreover, it is an important opportunity for the soldiers to carry out low level military training and compete in the Buckingham Tofts inter-troop competition. The prize this year went to 2 Troop, The Life Guards, for the second year in a row.
Regimental Training 2014 - CoH Snoxell and his levitating horse
Guards. Our largest commitment, in terms of Defence Engagement, was the deployment of the Musical Ride to Denmark in September. The ride took part in the 400th anniversary celebrations of the creation of the modern Danish Army and the Guard Hussar Regiment playing a pivotal role in the tattoo. On the 21st October the Regiment turned out in full for the escort for The President of the Republic of Singapore on his State Visit to London. It was an extremely windy morning, with the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo bringing down trees throughout London, which made things rather challenging.
In August we were able to send horses off to grass in Melton Mowbray and the soldiers away on leave, though this was not without other commitments August and September were particularly busy with detachments of Household In spite of the pressures of a busy Cavalrymen being sent all over Europe. autumn ceremonial season, the Capt Gordon-Dean LG led a team of four Regiment entered a team for the to take part in the opening ceremony Cambrian Patrol in October under Capt of the World Equestrian Games at Caen in August. Lt Lewis LG also took a team of four to take part in a Dutch parade in early September, and the Riding Master, Commanding Officer and A d j u t a n t visited the State Opening of the Swedish Parliament, hosted by the The Mounted Regiment formed up on Horse Guards for the rather Swedish Life blustery State Visit of Singapore
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The officers after the Queenâ€™s Birthday Parade
Will Turnor (RHG/D). Managing to fit training around preparations for the State Visit, the day after the escort the team departed for Wales. They performed extremely well and as a first for HCMR, achieved a silver medal, a highly impressive achievement for a team made up of Troopers who have come straight from basic training to riding school.
Straight after the State Visit, the rest of the Regiment deployed en masse to Zandvoorde in Belgium for the 100th anniversary of the Household Cavalry action there, for a battlefield tour and service of commemoration. As well as our normal commitments of Remembrance Weekend at the Festival
of Remembrance and the Cenotaph, 50 members of the Regiment assisted The Royal British Legion on Poppy Day this year. A busy year, but a memorable one for the Mounted Regiment, and we look forward to the Waterloo commemorations next summer.
The Life Guards Squadron
he Life Guards Squadron has again had a busy year. There have been some fairly major changes with the hierarchy, with the Squadron loosing SCM Newell from the SHQ and gaining SCM Fitzgerald who has taken to the role as ably as his predecessor left it. Early in the year, 1 Troop gained CoH Liburd who transferred in from the 9/12 Lancers to become one of its CsoH,
along with Tp Ldr Capt Jack Campbell, both of whom finished the riding course without incident. Capt Rufus GordonDean has recently left 2 Troop finally to enjoy civilian life and was replaced by Capt James Harbord, who finished the Khaki ride having sustained a nasty sprained ankle; despite this he soldiered on and passed out during Regimental Training to start the less fun but just
The Life Squadron Regimental Training 2014
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as important Kit Ride in Knightsbridge on his return from Norfolk. 3 Troop also received a new Troop leader, Lt Kit Lewis, who has come straight from Bovington from the Tp Ldrs course and has thrown himself enthusiastically into the equine regiment. There have been a number of Kit Rides that have started and finished throughout the year bringing with them new influxes of
soldiers to the Squadron. Last year finished with some interesting activities taking place. Many soldiers were able to get filtered through the Winter Training Troop in Melton Mowbray, giving them a chance to increase their equine skills with the hunts of Leicestershire on ‘fighting fit’ horses, not something that many have the opportunity to do but is loved by all who try. The Skiing team has some success in France and Tpr Lugg represented the Regiment and Squadron in the alpine downhill race over Christmas. The New Year started, much as they all do in Knightsbridge, with the prospect of getting horses back from grass and trying to get them to parade standard for the test that is the Major General’s Inspection. This year has been no different, except we had the prospect of the Standards Parade to look forward to. Luckily, the Squadron had a slight advantage; our Squadron leader has ridden on two previous ones and therefore had an idea of what was going on! On 11th March, the Major General’s Inspection came and went and it was deemed that we were of the right standard for the remainder of the year. By the end of March, the Squadron was revving up for what is becoming its annual trip to Penally to battle through MATTs. Always a welcome break away from the normal grind of the HCMR, the Squadron sent half of its manpower at a time to give everyone a chance. The ‘break’ was short lived, however, and soon we were back in London getting ready for the Winter Escort, this year held in Windsor for the President of Ireland. On returning to London, the junior soldiers were able to move into the long anticipated and much coveted Tower block and away from their shared accommodation in the old lines. This boasts some of the best views in London and is an astronomic improvement from the out-dated rooms in the Block. The most difficult leave period in the calendar is always Easter; the Squadron retains all of its horse meaning that half of the manpower has to look after the whole herd for nearly a month. At the same time, the Musical Ride, which both squadrons have contributed to, was forming and learning the routine, thus removing further hands away from the yard. The Squadron welcomed the arrival and visit of the Princess of Thailand who graced us with Her presence. The Princess rode the Squadron Leader’s horse, which was deemed the most suitable but, unlike the Princess, is also very tall.
WO2 SCM (now seems a good time for an O Group) Fitzgerald, after a crashing fall
She was obviously an exceptional jockey and handled Jutland magnificently (not something he is used to!). The Squadron was proud to have Tpr Clark representing it at the Royal Windsor Horse Show during the inspection of the Richmond Cup competitors by HM The Queen. Sadly we were outclassed this year on the Richmond Cup by The Blues and Royals; not something we are used to or plan to suffer regularly. Capt George Ashby, the 2IC, was the Musical Ride officer this year and managed to get the ride away to more shows that it is used to including an oversees trip to The Guard Hussars Regiment in Denmark. During 2015 will be taken on by another Life Guard, Capt James Harbord. The Standards Parade was upon us at the end of May, which put significant pressure on the ceremonial calendar. The Squadron did significantly well to turn out twelve chargers for all of the Life Guard late entry Officers who came out of the woodwork. A Life Guard Standard during the State Opening of Parliament meant that the Maj Nick Stewart and Capt George Ashby were the first ever to ride beside the new Jubilee Coach from Australia, followed by SCM Fitzgerald and SQMC Slowey. This was also the first time that the newly presented Sovereign Standard was found on parade.
CoH Liburd Quickest and best Dismount
where many fun antics were had by all on the water skis and banana boats. Capt Campbell showed off and fell off, as did many others. All were confident that the subsequent stomach cramps were down to the lake water and not the Sqn Ldrs barbequing! The Squadron was set to win the overall prize for the Comd Offr’s Sports Trophy but was pipped at the post by a spectacular effort during the ‘four tonner pull’ by a well deserving HQ Squadron. The Life Guards managed to dominate the equine skills doing very well at the Handy Hunter, Junior Ranks Show Jumping and Tent Pegging which was lead by the SQMC and Adjutant. The SCM had a crashing fall during the Senior Ranks show jumping but managed to get the highest placed Life Guard during the Senior’s Open Day Competition. Troop Tests went well and 2 Troop managed to win the Competition for the second year in a row. The Squadron was well deserving of a final barbeque put on by the SQMC. The fancy dress theme quickly morphed into that great Army tradition of cross dressing. Among other events in the
2014 was an exceptional year for the Life Guards at Regimental Training. The kick off for a hard month in Norfolk was the PNCO Cadre, lead by Lt Lewis, CoH Snoxell and LCoH Greenwood. The top Life Guard PNCO throughout was Tpr McVicar who was promoted to Lance Corporal on completion of the course by the GOC, Major General Edward Smyth-Osbourne. It was not all hard work, the Squadron managed to find time in the tight schedule to have a ‘team bonding’ day out, this was held at a water sports lake
CoH (Both Barrels) Snoxell
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a little too good. All made a great effort, which is also true about the Squadron throughout Regimental Training. Since returning from summer leave the squadron has sent away and retrieved horses from summer grass and built them up for a London visit from the President of Singapore. We are now looking to give the horses another wellearned break for winter. In that time, Tprs Griffiths and Pearce have joined the RHG/D leader in Mongolia for the Mongol Derby. CoH Mowatt and LCoH Neil have been hosted on HMS Westminster for a fun day on the River Thames and Capt Gordon-Dean and Tpr Connell have attended the seventieth anniversary of the Normandy beach landings.
Two Troop winning Troop Tests for the second time
evening there was a catwalk for the Sqn Ldr to judge the best turned out, memorable performances were put on by Tprs Greeves Smith and McMellon as two
The SQMC and LCpl Elliott Putting the Squadron Leaders wardrobe to good use, Starsky and Hutch to a tee
of the spice girls, LCoH Davison as a Ghostbuster and Trooper Thomas as ‘A Knight to Remember!’ The SQMC and LCoH Elliot as ‘Starsky and Hutch’ were
All in all it has been a great year and it is with sadness that the Squadron sees Maj Nick Stewart leave, but looks forward to Maj Warren Douglas taking up the reins for the foreseeable future and we look forward to 2015.
The Blues and Royals Squadron
t the start of the year the Squadron sat with intrepid resolve for the ceremonial season ahead, yet again billed to be one of the more exceptional seasons with The Regiments Presentation of New Standards as the ‘Everest’ of events, only occurring every ten years. 2014 has seen a number of changes in the ranks, as the Squadron said goodbye to Capt Hills, replaced by Capt Mountain, and we welcomed Ct Huda fresh from Sandhurst. SCpl Harris replaced WO2 Quickfall, who moved on to D Sqn SCM, in which we wish him luck. We also said goodbye to CoH Grice (1 Tp), CoH Martin (2 Tp) and CoH North (3 Tp) and welcomed in their places CoH Logan (1 Tp), CoH Doran (2 Tp), CoH Wilkinson (3 Tp) as well as CoH Dallimer (2 Tp). CoH Martin has moved to the Officers Mess on promotion to SCpl and seems to be thriving in his new post. Also on promotion to SCpl, CoH Cox has moved on to SQMC HCTW. In the latter half of the year we welcomed CoH Murphy back to Knightsbridge after a few years away. The season started with a bang, with the return of horses slightly earlier than usual to facilitate the Major General’s Inspection and the State Visit of the President of Ireland in early April. This saw a quick turn around in order to get the horses in spotless condition and ready for the Commanding Officer’s horse inspection. Luckily the Squadron
has been in good hands under the Squadron SEI, CoH Evans and with his crack team of spurmen, he steered us through the build up program leading to The Major Generals Parade and subsequently the State Visit. This year The Major Generals had extra poignancy with the appointment of Major General Smyth-Osbourne to the position of GOC London District. It also saw the last Silver Sticks Inspection by Colonel Cowen, who moves on to concentrate on his role as Colonel RAC. Horses, men and kit alike were duly given a layer of spit and polish and the Squadron was given the seal of approval.
The Squadron is given the seal of approval by The Major General
Towards the end of March the Squadron set about getting its annual MATTs training completed and the Sqn deployed in two halves to Penally to enjoy
40 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
all that South Wales has to offer! This was a busy period and had to be accomplished in time for the State Visit in early April. The Squadron moved to Windsor and delivered a spotless parade under a Blues and Royals Standard. While in Windsor the Squadron also surpassed itself in the Regimental Dragon Boating competition held at Bray Lake; beating The Life Guards and Headquarters Squadron hands down. Of note was the opening of the long awaited Peninsular Tower, which has undergone a lengthy restoration. This saw the junior members of the Squadron move into more spacious two man flats and free up space in the old block. Not only does this greatly improve quality of life, but Squadron members now have a view of London that many would and do pay millions for! On return to London it was straight into the Easter leave block, which is always fraught with the full complement of horses and half the Squadron on leave. No sooner had the Squadron recovered from Easter leave the preparation for the Presentation of new Standards started in earnest. The drills came and went as did the early morning rehearsal and many others. The Squadron Leader even dismounted without permission during the Colonel’s Review, much to the nervous excitement of the 2IC Capt Rawdon-Mogg. The Presentation of Standards went very well, seeing all sorts of people come out of the wood-
work and despite the weather was huge success. The Garden Party held at Buckingham Palace by kind invitation of Her Majesty The Queen was enjoyed by all the Regimental family, past and present. Having breathed a small sigh of relief; two days later the Regiment was on Horse Guards again for the Major Generals Review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade.
in sporting activities in the first half of this year. Taking part in inter Regimental, Corps and Army wide competitions. Of particular note was LCpl Stock who travelled to Brazil to compete in the South American Open - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for the Army. He came away with a fantastic result finishing in the quarter finals. Latterly in winter sports we have members of the Squadron in the Alpine and Nordic teams, who are hoping for good results. Also LCpl Duffy casually swam the channel in 12hrs 30mins - a gargantuan effort!
well on the annual PNCO cadre in the run-up to Regimental Training, including Tprs Ward and Moye. Tpr Ward had the honour of being promoted by the Major General on his visit to Regimental Training. The Blues and Royals trip to Holkham Beach was blessed with good weather this year and more horses were encouraged into the sea with mixed results.
Annual Regimental Training was based back at Bodney Camp, Thetford which was a welcome return from West Tofts. Ex TRY OUT was a great success seeing the Major General amongst others come and participate. Members of the Squadron performed The unknown horseman?!
The Squadron as a whole performed extremely well throughout the Buckingham Tofts Exercise and Regimental Sports Competition, unfortunately narrowly losing out to The Life Guards. During a well-organised sports afternoon the Squadron certainly showed the most cohesive teamwork and morale, when managing to acquire the 2 Tp Life Guards ‘stick’! The Regimental Open Day was a huge success - minus the Squadron Leader getting lost in the jump off - more Nav work! The day was enjoyed by all the Regimental family and finished with an excellent display from the Musical Ride.
RHG/D Sqn Officers and Senior NCOs
Owing to a lack of foresight by the Prime Minister, the State Opening of Parliament was moved from May to early June, following the Standards Parade and the Major General’s Review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade. The Regiment found itself on a parade or drills on eight days out of thirteen, which was a challenge in sleep deprivation to say the least. The Squadron performed admirably throughout and thanks must go to all. The Queen’s Birthday Parade saw The Blue and Royal Sovereign’s Standard carried with panache and a fine show by all involved.
A sea of blue - the Squadron returns from Ex TRY OUT
This year has seen a number of fantastic Adventure Training trips with members
The Squadron was well represented at the Royal Windsor Horse Show where the Squadron 2IC, Capt John RawdonMogg, competed. Most importantly The Blues and Royals again performed particularly well in The Richmond Cup for the second year running, seeing all six competitors placed in the top 8. Her Majesty The Queen presented the prize for the Best Turned out Trooper, which was awarded to Tpr Chapple. Also placed were Tprs Moye, Gail, Bramel, Godfrey and Jagger. The top three of the competitors including Tprs Chapple and Moye went to the Spruce Meadows International Horse Festival in Canada. The Musical Ride had a strong Blue and Royal presence and had a busy year performing in Denmark, as well as shows all around the country. The Squadron has been fully involved
Holkham Beach Ride
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 41
Lt Huda: “What’s troughing?”
of the Squadron going to The British Virgin Islands to sail with the Adjutant, which by all accounts was fantastic with some testing sailing and sampling of local hospitality. They also managed to blag a visit to Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island and Tpr Penman even managed to share a pint with the man himself - no one knows who paid! The Squadron Leader took a team of 5 to Mongolia to take part in the Mongol Derby, including Tprs Berry and Moby. The Derby is the longest horse race in the world, taking place over 1000km of Mongolia’s toughest terrain on semi wild horses. Tpr Berry was unfortunately airlifted at the 250km mark due to a fall and a suspected fractured neck, but was luckily fine. Tpr Moby and the Squadron Leader completed the full race. In addition we have Tpr Foster on the Nordic skiing team and LCpl Murphy, Tprs Bramel
LCpl Garrick and Ireland in action
and Yates on the Alpine skiing team. Captain Will Turnor and CoH Doran took a team on the Cambrian Patrol in October, which took place in Wales - as mentioned last year not known for its balmy temperatures! This year proved to be no different from any other and the weather poured out its wrath on the team! They had completed a particularly good training package this year, which paid off in dividends with a fantastic result of a silver medal. To add to this it saw them finishing ahead of teams from the infantry, which is huge accolade and the target of a silver medal has laid down the gauntlet for next year’s team. The Squadron returned from summer leave rested and ready to hit the autumn ceremonial season and began to prepare for the Sovereign’s Escort for
the State Visit of The President of Singapore, Cenotaph Parade and eventually Christmas leave. The Escort went well and the Squadron then began to prepare for the Regimental trip to Zandvoorde to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and to conduct a battlefield tour. The trip was both extremely enjoyable and informative with the two Regiments attending the Menin Gate Last Post Ceremony, parading through Zandvoorde and visiting Allied and German war graves. It was a very poignant trip and all came away with a sense of the scale of loss and better informed on the Household Cavalry’s involvement. Overall, it has been a busy, but rewarding season and the Squadron has put in a fantastic performance. We now look forward to 2015 and what is billed to be a more normal ceremonial year.
s I handover the role of Sqn Ldr and step off to pastures new, I reflect on what I truly believe to be some of the best 28 months of my career. The Squadron is in very good shape with a strong command team and dedicated staff in every Department. The manning levels are better than they have been for sometime and most Departments can
Maj Carter and Maj Douglas enjoying another arduous exercise
boast new faces that have been a welcome addition. The level of continuous support the Squadron is required to provide and commitment to each ceremonial parade, means that we must select the best to join our elite ranks, with only the best surviving the test. The Squadron started the New Year, having returned from a split Christmas break, with preparation for the numerous inspections that take place prior to the start of the Ceremonial Season. The usual start to the season saw us back on the pasture of Hyde Park for the Major General’s Inspection. The previous year saw us break with tradition when the Inspection had taken place on Horse Guards Parade due to poor ground conditions. We were, however, going to spend numerous days on Horse Guards over the summer in preparation for the Queen’s Birthday Parade and Presenta-
42 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
tion of Standards, so this was probably a relief. It goes without saying that all parades went very well and the Squadron, as always played a central role. Based around this virtually customary State Ceremonial season, continuation training has been very much the buzz phrase and secondary main effort this year. From March, but with increasing tempo as we approached deployment on Regimental Training, lectures and practical lessons were delivered in order to raise the understanding and knowledge of every mounted soldier in their core role. This training, however, did not stop there with MATTs subjects also seeing additional coverage. New subjects were also added, with Large Animal Rescue proving to be a real success and raised questions why we had not looked before at this subject. We all now have a strong core knowledge
through November, encompassing every department within the Squadron. The Colonel of The Blues and Royals visited the Regiment in late November and was shown the equipment used in large animal rescue by the Forge team and the QM Dept gave an insight to the work that has been conducted in Peninsular Tower. The visit was a great chance for HRH to meet many members of Headquarters Squadron and for those members to display just some of the areas which personnel have worked hard and trained in.
The Comd Offr and RCM ‘keeping their hand in’ on QLG
in the subject. This training programme stretched the men during the busiest times, but the benefits were there for all to see during Regimental Training with vastly better results during Troop Tests than were witnessed the previous year. I have attended three Regimental Training periods during my tenure and have watched it evolve into a top quality continuation training and testing tool. I have seen that without the “old” core of Household Cavalrymen that spent their career in the mounted troops, we must invest much more time in training our soldiers if they are to meet the standards we and our country expect. The old philosophy behind “Summer Camp” was wonderful but does not fit the needs of
today’s mounted soldier. Post summer leave the Squadron remained committed and had individuals deployed overseas to support the Musical Ride in Denmark, to Spruce Meadows in Canada and around 30 individuals attended the battlefield tour to Zandvoorde in Belgium. The autumn months saw the traditional build up for the State Visit, Lord Mayors Show, Festival of Remembrance and Cenotaph parade, all of which were interspersed with the usual spate of governance inspections such as the PDI, ECI and Board of Officers. These events ensured that the tempo continued
SCpl Hayden teaching at Regimental Training
SCpl Martin teaching at Regimental Training
he Detachment has had a busy period with two major G1 inspections in the year, but balanced with two periods of Adventure Training. In late 2013, we canoed the River Wye in bad weather, which culminated in an emergency Wild Camp on the banks as the river swelled beyond safe levels.
16 hour journey in a governed minibus, the assent of the Brocken Mountain and a walk down one of Germany’s deepest gorges, which had been described, rather incorrectly, as Germany’s Grand Canyon.
Regimental Administrative Office
In November this year, we departed to Germany on a week’s hill-walking in the Harz Mountains on the old Inner German Border. Highlights included the
The RAO, Major Seargent, used his self taught skills as a survival instructor during Summer Training running a package of survival basics whilst Sgt Luciano, the Systems Coordinator, formed the Army’s and Regt’s Outrigger Canoe
CoH Short trying hard to tan his legs!
Finally, as the winter set in and the horses went to grass, it was an opportunity to get people away on some adventure training. LCpl Giesen and LCpl Cooney set off to Barbados as part of a Cricket tour; Capt Chishick, LCoH Jones, Tpr Scheepers and Tpr Crimmins departed on Ex COCKNEY YARDARM, a sailing trip to the British Virgin Islands; and there are plans to send personnel away skiing in Europe on Ex SNOW WARRIOR; multi activity training in Castlemartin; and even some mountain biking in the Black Mountains in Germany. It has been another busy, challenging and at times testing year, but Headquarters Squadron has achieved a tremendous amount.
The camp by the River Wye
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The RAO’s Dept at the Brocken
Team which included two detachment members LCpl Haigh and Pte Prest. The detachment finally received an RAWO after a gap of one year in the
Down in the gorge
form of WO2 Harper, and SSgt Teasdale volunteered for an Op Tour with the SF in Kandahar. The detachment consists of Maj Sgt,
WO2 Harper, SSgt Teasdale, Sgt Luciano, Sgt Shackleton, LSgt Deveta, LSgt Drake, LSgt Heath, LSgt Jarvis, LCpl Cowans and Pte Prest.
The Band of the Household Cavalry by Lance Corporal of Horse Wootten and Lance Corporal Skelton
ome of you may be unaware that as of 1st September 2014, The Band of The Life Guards and The Band of The Blues and Royals became the newlymerged Band of the Household Cavalry. For that reason, this report is divided into three sections: the first two sections report the first half-year for the individual Bands, and the final section reports from September for the unified Band. The Band of The Life Guards For The Band of the Life Guards, 2014 began with the addition of a new member, Musn Miller, who joined the Band straight out of her Phase 2 training at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall, and was plunged immediately into the deep-end as we began our preparations for the beginning of the ceremonial season. Despite passing out of kit ride playing the cavalry trumpet, a mounted musician must then learn the intricacies of playing their primary instrument on horseback, but Musn Miller instantly took to the role and integrated into the Band perfectly. At the beginning of March, amongst the day-to-day duties at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, the Band had the pleasure of performing at Wembley Sta-
Maj Wilman leads the way in a white water raft
dium for the friendly between England and Denmark. The Band entertained the crowds with a number of patriotic and sports-related pieces as they entered the stadium and then played both National Anthems. Thankfully, our performance was more convincing than the 1-0 result. The Band was involved in activities that were much more fun. Returning to our ceremonial preparations the Band took part in the Major General’s Inspection of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in Hyde Park. Not only did we have a number of new Band members taking part in their first season, but also a number of new horses. Most notably, the clarinet section became acquainted with a number of new greys who, despite still being classed as remounts, were equal to the task and would continue to work within the Band throughout the year. Further afield, our former Bandmaster, WO1 Freeborn, began her new role in Afghanistan mentoring members of the Afghan National Army. To show our continued support, the Band sent out a number of parcels full of essentials (Haribo and chocolate featured heavily) which we hoped help maintain her morale in this new and demanding job. We congratulate Musn Patterson on his Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, which was presented by GOC London District in the NCOs’ Mess. This presentation gave our current Bandmaster, WO1 Hales the opportunity to read Musn Patterson’s citation to those assembled in the NCO’s Mess. Musn Patterson has been with the Band since 2000 and his vast experience has been invaluable, particularly to our more junior Band members.
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Sandford, the Band’s international Iron Man triathlete
The President of Ireland’s visit in April to Windsor brought with it the usual logistical challenges involved with any State Visit, particularly for the Band’s SQMC. SCpl Ballard and his team worked tirelessly throughout the week to ensure everybody was in the right place at the correct time with everything they needed. Whilst running our own yard is an occurrence which only happens once or twice a year, the Band always manages admirably and with morale running high. As May progressed, the Band returned to the more familiar routine of rehearsing for the Queen’s Birthday Parade as well as the annual Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Association Parade in Hyde Park. As always, the parade was well attended and provided a wonderful
The Band of The Blues and Royals You could be forgiven for thinking that The Band of The Blues and Royals returned from Christmas leave in January 2014 with more than a twinge of sadness - this was, after all, the last year of the Band’s existence given our impending union with The Band of The Life Guards - however, you’d be completely wrong! As our intrepid new Director of Music, Capt Hammond, was completing his equitation course at Knightsbridge, we were enjoying our traditional January Adventure Training excursions with half of the Band hill-walking in the Lake District and the remainder refining their skiing skills in the French Alps.
Musn Codd (front) with SCpl Kent (behind) giving the salute on horseback
opportunity for comrades old and new to catch up and regale each other with tales of past glories. This season also included the Standards Parade, of which both Household Cavalry Bands were an integral part, but we had the honour of being mounted for this decennial event. Usually by now in the season both the horses and riders are aware of each other’s particular idiosyncrasies but, as the parade involved a large number of armoured vehicles, we were required to introduce the horses slowly to the sounds and smells of these machines. As always, both the riders and horses adapted quickly and the parade itself was a huge success. Afterwards, we also had the pleasure of being invited to a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace which Band members and their families enjoyed greatly. Having performed so often at these garden parties, it was a unique experience finally to be a guest.
in the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Birmingham. Despite the weather’s best efforts, the day was a huge success and the people of Birmingham made us feel incredibly welcome. This year has seen more than the usual number of arrivals and departures from the Band as a result of the Annual Assignment Board. The Band sadly said goodbye to the following members: SCpl Wheeler, SCpl Ballard, CoH D’Arcy, CoH Carter, LCoH Welsh, LCpl Sanders, LCpl Sinclair, LCpl Burne and LCpl Skelton. As The Corps of Army Music works towards its restructuring of the Household Cavalry Bands, these farewells have unfortunately become a common occurrence; however, tempered with this we now have the pleasure of welcoming the following to the Band: WO2 Thomas, LCoH Danckert, LCoH Irvine, Musn Lamerton-Reece, Musn Swindles, Musn Kasparis and Musn Jones.
Our year began, as always, with the usual schedule of musical support for the Queen’s Guard ceremonies at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace, but we still managed to fit in some valuable concert rehearsal time with Capt Hammond. A very successful Major General’s Inspection in March provided both musicians and horses with excellent preparation for the State Visit of the Irish President in April, where our performance was as professional and polished as ever. Late April saw the Band playing in a rather unusual venue - the library of the Royal United Services Institute - where we provided “live” accompaniment for a lecture given by Col B Jenkins (DCAMUS) on the impact of military music as a “soft effect”. In stark contrast, the next day, the Band was on parade at The Cenotaph as part of the Anzac Day commemorations. The Standards Parade in May presented the Band with what was probably the year’s greatest technical challenge
Throughout the build up to the Queen’s Birthday Parade, the Band were followed by a BBC film crew, led by TV presenter Suzi Perry. As always the Band’s magnificent drum horses were the stars of the show, and this year saw Musn Codd taking the helm as the Band’s mounted drummer, after spending the year perfecting his skills in this unique role whilst performing with the Household Cavalry’s Musical Ride. Suzi Perry also interviewed one of our newer members, Musn Belham, who talked about her own experiences becoming a mounted musician and the joys of kit cleaning. With the Queen’s Birthday Parade marking the end of the Band’s summer mounted season, we were nonetheless kept busy with public duties and our chance to show our support for all the serving forces personnel by taking part
Capt Hammond leads the mounted Band down The Mall
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The Band performs in the Buckingham Palace forecourt
- marching and playing in jack-boots, whilst our colleagues in the Band of The Life Guards performed alongside us on horseback. A significant number from each band had performed at the previous Standards Parade in 2003, so with such a breadth of experience available, a successful parade was had by all. As with our colleagues in The Band of The Life Guards, the end of our summer season was tinged with sadness as we bade farewell to CoH Rowe, LCoH Roberts, LCoH King, LCpl May, LCpl Miller, LCpl Summerfield and LCpl Gray and we wish them all well in their new ventures. However, we were pleased to give a warm welcome to LCoH Matthews, LCpl Egan, Musn Travis and Musn Scully, and wish them well in their equitation training. Perhaps fittingly, it was a Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle in August that saw the last public performance of The Band of The Blues and Royals. The Band of The Household Cavalry On 1st September 2014, The Band of The Life Guards and The Band of The Blues and Royals were united to form
The Band of the Household Cavalry - the largest symphonic wind band in the British Army, and of course, a Band which is renowned for its mounted capability. The Band is under the joint directorship of Maj P Wilman and Capt D Hammond. The first official duty of this newlyunified band was in support of the 2014 NATO Summit at Celtic Manor in September - a highly prestigious event, playing in front of NATO Heads of State and defence chiefs. Although the majority of the Band’s duties are State Ceremonial in London and Windsor, since September the Band has performed in Belgium for the commemoration of the Household Cavalry’s involvement in the line at Zandvoorde one hundred years ago, played at the Menin Gate for the Last Post ceremony, participated in the Lord Mayor’s Show, given the final concert at The Windsor Festival (broadcast on Classic FM), produced a concert in support of the British Legion in Grantham and opened the final Alan Titchmarsh Show as guests of honour. With no shortage of qualified leaders,
WO1 Hales thanks the audience at The Windsor Festival
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(from front to rear) WO2 Thomas, Musn Sherriff, LCpl Kitchen, LCpl Sills and LCoH Haywood looking relaxed at sea
we have wasted no time in offering a variety of Adventure Training opportunities to Band members, who have now experienced activities as varied as sailing in Croatia and Cyprus, gliding with the Wyvern (Army) Gliding Club near Salisbury Plain, as well as hill walking, mountaineering and canoeing in the Highlands of Scotland. We are also pleased to congratulate LCpl Sandford and SCpl Sparks on their recent Ironman and Triathlon successes, respectively. The logistical and organisational challenges of operating a single band out of two locations have been considerable, particularly with ever-increasing demands for musical support across the Army, with fewer bands to meet those needs. However, strong leadership has met those challenges with good-humour and professionalism and a smooth transition has been achieved. We are glad that a final decision has now been made regarding the future location of the Band and are now preparing the move to Windsor and look forward to the undoubted challenges that will be presented in 2015. As always, morale remains high.
The Band marches out of Buckingham Palace
Warrant Officers’ and Non Commissioned Officers’ Mess by Warrant Officer Class 1 (RCM) P G Ireland
the Officers; they collectively took 7 of our wickets, and made 55 runs!
eing an avid rugby fan, the new RCM was only too pleased that he and his members had been invited to the Six Nations Dinner at The Grange St Pauls Hotel, in aid of the Matt Hampson Foundation. What a fantastic evening it was, with Stuart Lancaster, Chris Robshaw, Owen Farrell to name but a few who were in attendance. SCpl (SQMC) P Harris was everywhere getting a ball signed by as many players as he could. The ceremonial season began as normal with the Major Generals Inspection. But, with this being a Standards Parade year, it was never going to be normal. The complexity of the Standards Parade began to rise from the ashes, very little from 2003 had been recorded and the video had been a disaster. The video from 1993 was still available, so this played on repeat daily in the mess to enable those on the parade to get it in their heads. All Standard bearers and escorts to the Standards spent a morning watching it. Thanks must go to Maj (Retd) Paul Stretton and SCpl Holliday for there help and teaching skills on the dismounted part of the parade.
LCpl Cooney swinging for all he’s worth
The Mess challenged the Officers to a cricket match, organised by CoH Belasco; unfortunately they beat us, but it was a close run thing. The highlight of the game was that the RCM (who thinks he’s good at cricket) was bowled out for a golden duck by the Commanding Officer (who knows he’s not good at cricket). Well done to Tprs Matthews, Griffiths, Bird, and Brammer who played for
After returning from summer leave, it was off to Royal Windsor Racecourse for our annual function. Not only a perfect location for all Mess members, as the majority live in Windsor, but also for the picturesque setting next to the Thames and in a new marquee, with great entertainment, brilliant food, and copious amounts of alcohol a splendid time was had by all. Thanks to WO2 (SCM) Walker for organising the event. The Mess has continued to improve over the past year; we now have air conditioning, new lavatories, a new bar fascia, and a freshly decorated lobby. A big thank you to the Mess Manager CoH Dan Short, SCpl Holliday, CoH Belasco and the ‘Pride’ team for their hard work and dealing with an RCM on
The Blues and Royals Warrant Officers dining club dined in the Mess towards the end of March, a great evening was had by all those past and present. The ‘fat’ was well and truly chewed. A Household Cavalry Warrant Officers club dinner is planned for next year. The honour of bearing the Standard on the Queens Birthday Parade went to WO2 (SCM) S Salina RHG/D; a very successful parade was followed by a fantastic lunch in the Mess by all those who attended. The Mess Ball assembled guests at Windsor racecourse
The bush tucker trial of SCpl Harris
Regimental training was back at Bodney Camp, by general opinion it was great to be back and have a big enough Mess to get all Mess members in. The highlight of the functions was the ‘Games night’. The forge organised what was truly a legendary night, with the ‘bush tucker eating trials’, the chilli challenge, and catapult duel. It was immense.
SCpl Holliday and CoH Belasco fitting the bar, and tacking competition
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 47
permanent send. The hard work paid off and the Mess was gleaming when HRH The Princess Royal visited the Regiment on 20th November, paying us the compliment of joining us for a photograph. The Mess says a fond farewell to WO2 (SCM) Craig Crighton RHG/D and wishes him every success in civilian life. The senior mess members are : WO1 (RCM) P G Ireland RHG/D, WO2 (RQMC) M Santi RHG/D, WO2 (EWO) S Nicholls RHG/D, WO2 (SCM) K Newell LG, WO2 (SCM) S Salina RHG/D, WO2 (SCM) C Walker RHG/D, WO2 (SCM) J Fitzgerald LG, WO2 (Farrier Major) N Sherlock RHG/D, and WO2 (RAOWO) P Harper AGC SPS.
The Colonel of The Blues and Royals with the Mess members
Winter Training Troop 2014-15 by Captain J G Sudlow
here has been a military contingent hunting in Leicestershire for decades and this season is no different, with Winter Training Troop (WTT) having once again established itself at the Defence Animal Centre (DAC) in Melton Mowbray. WTT has evolved over the years and has reduced considerably in size, but it exists for the same purpose, which is to provide progressive equine training to all serving members of the Household Division (HDiv) in the hunting field. Through the generosity of the masters, the Household Division Saddle Club (HDSC) subscribes to three packs of hounds (Quorn, Belvoir, and Cottesmore) widely considered to be the premier packs within the United Kingdom and this, in turn, provides both sustainable and extremely enjoyable training throughout the season.
to London for the week of the Singapore State Visit. Following the visit, we hit the ground running and have so far managed to have groups of horses and men hunting at least three times per week. Between hunting days, a routine of flat work, cross-country schooling and show jumping has been put in place by the ever diligent SCpl Scholes, which not only gives the horses the necessary diversity in training required to cope in the hunting field, but is also slowly moulding all members of WTT into budding A P McCoys.
ing. So far we have had mixed results, with CoH Bradbury coming off a little worse for wear over a rather formidable hedge. However, despite this mishap, it is almost a certainty that all guests leave with smiles on their faces.
Capt Mountain and Campbell looking remarkably un-muddy for their first day’s hunting!
Happy horses in D Lines, Defence Animal Centre
A halt in some breakneck activity
WTT established itself in early October, taking ten horses selected at Regimental Training and eight men as a permanent staff, including SCpl Scholes (2iC); LCpl Daily (farrier); LCpl Hansford (spurman) and Tprs Winston, Berry, Hinchcliffe and Smith-Longman as grooms. A thorough build up programme was adopted and we managed to get all horses out for some pre season ‘Autumn Hunting’ before having to return
Anyone who has had the pleasure of following hounds will recognize that a certain level of horsemanship is required to negotiate the various obstacles that the Leicestershire countryside can present to both horse and rider and, with this in mind, WTT offers all ranks of HDiv the opportunity to come and stay in Melton for a week, which sees them participate in advanced riding lessons under SCpl Scholes and culminates in a day’s hunt-
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Tpr Smith-Longman with the Cottesmore at The Wisp
As well as hunting in Leicestershire, WTT will be competing in the Royal Wessex Yeomanry Race again this year, which will see three of our best horses and most competent horsemen travel
down to Worcester Lodge, Gloucestershire, to compete in what is quite a demanding race. The race consists of a 2.5 mile course over mixed terrain and obstacles commonly found in the hunting field. As WTT has reduced in size, so to has our level of participation in the event. We still strive to put in a strong performance and prove that it is very
much quality rather than quantity. The future of WTT is looking bright. With an increased number of both soldiers and officers from the HDiv looking to participate in the joys of following hounds this year and the diverse and comprehensive progressive equine training being offered, it is clear that
WTT still has an extremely important role to play. For all those of you who have not made the drive up the M1 to Melton yet and wish to experience one of the fastest and most thrilling sports on offer, then I cannot recommend it more!
The Mongol Derby by Major S S Lukas
n 1st August 2014 a five man team from the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment set off for Mongolia with the Everest of horse races ahead of them. The Mongol Derby is the longest, toughest horse race in the world. The goal, beyond not getting seriously injured, was to complete the 1,000 km course across the Mongolian steppe, as a team in less than 10 days. The Mongol Derby is modelled on the postal system created under Genghis Khan in 1224 AD. Guided by a local escort, specially appointed postal riders would gallop more than 160 km to an urtuu, or horse relay station, where another escort would be waiting with a fresh horse. At the height of the Mongol Empire, a letter could cross from east to the far western edge of the Empire, a distance of some 6,800 km, in two weeks. Riders in the Mongol Derby traditionally ride a total of 25 semi wild horses over the 1000 km. The course consists of 25 Urtuus, or horse-stations where you swap horses and refuel. As a rider you must change horses at every station and deliver your mounts to their destination in mint condition, but how you navigate between them is your choice. The horses are small, so you need to travel light with just 5 kgs of essential survival kit and the organisers will not
accept anyone who weighs more than 85 kgs dressed to ride. On entering the Mongol Derby, you are asked to raise a minimum of £1000 for charity, at least £500 of which goes to the events official charity Cool Earth. The rest goes to a charity of the rider’s choice, in this case the Household Cavalry Foundation. After a marathon journey, the team eventually landed in high spirits in Ulaanbaatar, also minus one bag to the disappointment of Tpr Griffiths (LG). The taxi ride into the centre of Ulaanbaatar was hair-raising to say the least; having found our splendid hostel we began to prepare for three days of prerace training and briefs. Day 1 saw us receive briefs on the course, rules, navigation, emergency support, GPS trackers, veterinary support and the weighin. The team certainly finished the day with an understanding and respect for the magnitude of the challenge ahead of us. The fact that the training rides back in the UK had not even touched the tip of the iceberg was also in the forefront of everyone’s minds. Day 2 started early with a 5 hour drive to the start camp near Erdensant, 200km to the west of Ulaanbaatar. Having arrived and settled in to our ger (traditional Mongolian tent) we are introduced to the Mongolian horses that would carry us over the
The team on their first training ride: Tpr Griffiths (LG), Tpr Pearce (LG), Maj Lukas (RHG/D), Tpr Berry (RHG/D), Tpr Moby (RHG/D)
1000km course. The Mongolian horse is a far cry from those that are ridden on a daily basis at Knightsbridge; small, hardy, wild and in all colours. Luckily, the first ride went without a hitch, but the difference in horses became apparent and the likelihood of being able to ride as a team seemed farfetched. Our final day of preparation involved a longer ride over approximately 14km, so we could test our navigation while riding. The difficulty in just getting near and tacking up your horse showed their wild nature and the alien nature of our kit. Tpr Berry (RHG/D) found out firsthand when his horse bolted halfway through mounting. That evening the 47 strong field were treated to a night of traditional Mongolian music, dancing and toasts to the horses, the course and the weather with Airag. Airag is a traditional Mongolian drink made from fermented mare’s milk, which tastes like off yoghourt or your strongest blue cheese - not for the fainthearted. Race day began with the quandary of what to take or not to take in your 5kg of kit. It really is very little and, having packed, repacked and packed again, we were ready for the weigh-in and start. The 1000km course ahead of us consisted of 27 horse stations where we would get new horses and be fed by the local families and then race on. This year’s Mongol Derby has the largest field to date, with 47 riders entering. Having been blessed by a local Buda we set off to the start, which was somewhat chaotic, with horses going in all directions as the flag was raised. The 47 riders from around the globe eventually got through the start and we set out on what the Guinness Book of World Records has called the longest equestrian race on Earth. The team set off in all directions, with Tpr Berry finding the start challenging, becoming the first faller in the 2014 race! This was by no means down to bad riding, all participants fell off at some stage of the race. The team finished the first day mostly in one piece at the same horse station. Race Day 2 was a rude awakening to stiff limbs and a line of particularly wild horses. We had only got a kilometre from checkpoint 2 and we met two riders on their feet chasing their mounts back towards
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very fast and virtually impossible-to-stop horse. By the end of Race Day 2 the team began to settle into the rhythm of riding, stopping, changing horses, eating and carrying on again. Sadly, on the morning of Day 3 the team lost Tpr Berry (RHG/D), when he fell from his horse One of the wetter stages of the race just outside horse station 6. Luckily, the horse station. the paramedic team was at the horse station we had just left and were on hand The Mongolian steppe is peppered with very quickly. Tpr Berry was airlifted marmot holes, something all riders out with a suspected fractured neck, but learned to dread early in the race. They luckily after receiving treatment at the can send you and your horse head over SOS Clinic in Ulaanbaatar, was given a heels, as the ground gives way beneath clean bill of health. Unfortunately, he you. With any other horse, the marmot was unable to continue and he caught holes would spell serious danger, but up with us at horse station 11, with a the Mongolian horses are exquisitely bottle of coke for each of the team which surefooted. Each horse station/urtuu tasted like nectar. Over the next couple you arrive at, a vet will check the horse's of stages the days began to morph into metabolic conditions, checking hydraone and the team was exposed to all the tion, physical soundness, and heart rate. elements Mongolia had to throw at us. The Mongol Derby uses the endurance Experiencing extremes of temperature, heart rate standard of the Fédération storms, high winds, and blistering sun; Equestre Internationale, the governat midday the temperature was hitting ing body of equestrian sports, which the 30°s. Further complicating the chalmandates that a horse's heart rate must lenge ahead of us was the widely varied return to no more than 64 beats per Mongolian landscape. It is difficult to minute within 30 minutes of stopping. prepare for; high passes, wooded hills, If your horse's heart rate does not return river crossings, wetlands and floodto 64 bpm by this time, you receive a plains, sandy semi-arid dunes, rolling time penalty. This can also come back hills, and dry riverbeds, as well as the to haunt you as the Mongolian herders famous wide-open grasslands. Navigahear about who looks after the horses tion is done using GPS and a series of the best and herders will give the better waypoints, but with no map to relate to horses to those who do. Race Day 2 had the ground it is fairly challenging. An proved to be a test, with the Team Leaderror in navigation could add hours to er Major Lukas (RHG/D) being kicked a stage and as energetic as the Mongoin the face by his mount and then runlian horses are, they do run out of steam. ning after it for approximately 4 miles, Tpr Moby found himself upside down before being reunited with it by a herdsin a marsh at one point with his horse on man. It became very apparent that you top of him; luckily both rider and horse should only get off your horse if you absolutely have to, as there is no guarantee that you would be able to get back on. Tpr Pearce started the day ahead on a
Tpr Berry on route to extraction point
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were able to scramble to safety. Unfortunately, to this day Tpr Moby’s GoPro camera is still in the bottom of the bog. The local families looked after us extremely well, feeding us with hot mutton and fresh noodle soups and stews, also hot rice for breakfast. The Mongolians are incredibly kind people and will welcome all strangers into their home and feed them. Each night we would stay with a different family in one of their own gers. They would provide you with horses for your next stage of the race. One of the biggest quandaries that faced the team at every horse station was choosing your next mount, something that has a certain black art to it. Translators are available at every horse station and they assist you in horse selection, but it soon became apparent that every horse you asked about was a racehorse, very fast, calm and good to ride. More often than not, this was the polar opposite to what you received, as you set off on a devilish leaping gazelle, cursing the horse below you. By the time it got to Day 7 the team were well weathered, Mongolian horse hardened and fairly tired. Everyone had fallen off once or twice and were carrying the odd injury. Tpr Griffiths had fallen off and been kicked in the face by his horse and then to add insult to injury was head butted by his horse the next morning (Day 7) causing him to retire from the race. This was a huge blow as he had covered approximately 700km of the race. Maj Lukas had twisted his foot on Day 3 and had ridden on to be told by the medics on Day 4 that he should retire as it may be fractured, but with the help of some vet wrap (stretchy bandage) and some decent painkillers he continued. On his return, the foot was X-rayed and was indeed found fractured. Tpr Pearce had sustained some major grazing to his arm and shoulder and resembled a patchwork doll. Only Tpr Moby had managed to remain relatively unscathed, minus one or two bruises having been
The Team set off from Horses Station 11 - only 700km to go…
kicked in the leg. The team had given a good account of themselves, assisting other riders and keeping morale up at all times and gaining a reputation for never getting lost. Throughout we had ridden with all sorts of people from all walks of life, who were astounded by the fact that the four troopers on the team had only ridden for two years. What was left of the team finished on the morning of Day 10, which was an amazing feeling. Yet again we were immediately handed bowls of Airag,
which is not your first choice of drink having just ridden 1000km! The Mongol Derby certainly lived up to its catch phrase ‘The world’s toughest horse race’. Mongolia as a country, the horses and the mental determination needed were most testing adversaries. To ride 1000km in any country is a huge distance, but in the Mongolian wilderness it is doubly as hard and unbelievably rewarding at the same time. Living and eating with locals was fascinating
and they are hugely generous. Wherever you were when you got in trouble a local herder would appear from nowhere and help you back onto your horse - something that the west lost a long time ago. As a team we managed to raise a fantastic amount of money for our two chosen charities, the Household Cavalry Foundation and Cool Earth, and thanks must go to all who contributed. Most of all, the team owe huge thanks to our generous sponsors who made the trip possible.
The Musical Ride
by Captain G R J Ashby, The Life Guards
aving written the Musical Ride article last year, I am happy to report a more fruitful and busy schedule this time around. The Musical Ride helps to develop the Household Cavalry’s ceremonial skills and shows the public that cavalry soldiers can really ride. The Ride’s routine has been adapted over the years to fit specific events; nevertheless, the core manoeuvres and ethos of the show is based on the old fashioned cavalry skills learned for fighting in the field on horseback, something which has been prevalent in our minds 200 years on from Waterloo. In the spring the lads were selected and pulled together to learn the routine in rapid time, most of them having ridden for less than a year. For the first weeks training, Hyde Park was often the scene of ‘organised chaos,’ welded together with classical music and ripped apart again by the barking Riding Master! The consequence was reminiscent of those first weeks of basic training on the drill square, give or take a few horses. As the men got better (and the horses learned the routine), everything looked
very promising for Lambourn, our first event. The one-day show meant a 0300hrs start followed by a long day travelling; the horses were slightly uneasy about their new surroundings but, after a rehearsal and plenty of encouragement, all went well. Royal Windsor Horse Show is one of the Ride’s annual and largest events, every year it is a real highlight and an enormous honour to perform in front of members of the Royal Family who are often in the Royal box. It seemed as though nothing could go wrong for the Household Cavalry throughout the week and, indeed, little did bar some comment on the author’s informal style. The Household Cavalry Open Day at Regimental Training came and went and suddenly the much awaited highlight of the season was upon us. Following a very splendid invitation and much campaigning from many key people at the Mounted Regiment and London District, the Musical Ride was off to Denmark. Having worked with the Danes as a Regiment throughout Afghanistan, the Cavalry was keen to support their
Captain Ashby being told what to do by Musician Codd
Curious blacks and drumhorse en route to Denmark
The Dannebrog (CoH Powell) and the Union Flag (LCoH Baker) being galloped out to huge applause
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Army’s 400th Centenary celebrations. It appears that the Danish have cemented their future military forecast and foreign policy fairly solidly to our own, giving this trip diplomatic significance as well as maintaining links with other significant Military Equine units within Europe. The Swedish, French, Belgians, Polish and, of course, the Danes themselves contributed to the show, offering a wide variety of performances, all of which went down extremely well; the Household Cavalry had fantastic comments from everyone who watched and nothing more could have been asked of the men. HRH Princess Benedikte, who took the salute (the author got it right this time), seemed very pleased with the result.
Horse of the Year Show. This exciting venue was in front of the largest crowd to which this year’s Ride had performed; conveniently, it was also their best set of performances yet. The whole week went off without a hitch, not to mention how much fun was had by the whole Ride, especially with all the extra curricular activities put on by the girls who organise the show. The Horse of the Year Show has asked to have us back for 2015. This year has been a triumph for all those soldiers on the Ride and in the support team. The Musical Ride would like to thank the many people who put in considerable hours to make the above events possible. The mechanic (SCpl Woods) repairing a flat - his last show
The final event of the season was the
fter the New Year’s leave period, work in the Forge began very steadily, with the qualified members of the Forge preparing and practicing for the upcoming cavalry pairs shoeing competition. January saw the Class two hopefuls LCoH Bliss and LCpl Monuz Hermosa, depart for the ASF, DAC until May. February was a busy time, with the recent months festivities all a distant memory. Cavalry Pairs ran extremely successfully thanks to LCpl Dailly and SCpl Woods. The Farrier Major was tasked to fly to Bahrain and assist in a training and infrastructure assessment of the Bahrain Defence Force’s equine structure. This was a working trip that provided a great insight into other units working practices. We all knew 2014 was going to be a very busy year for the Regiment, so to start it all off the grass horses returned in February. A few days solid graft saw the returning herd shod and ready to start their build-up programme for the year, in which we would
all be in the media spotlight again. The Forge ran a Farrier assessment in the same month, with eight potential candidates competing for two available places in the Forge; the assessment was run over a one week period and ended with a theory and practical test. The successful candidates then departed to the ASF DAC for the Basic Military Farriers course in April, not to return until July. In March, the Forge and selected members of the Riding Staff attended the Large Animal Rescue Training Course provided by the ever-helpful Hampshire Fire Brigade. The course enables us to be safe and proficient when dealing with both human and equine incidents, and virtually self sufficient when dealing with incidents of this nature. Hampshire Fire Brigade provided an extremely professional course. The multitude of experiences between us and the Fire Brigade and Police candidates all help to enhance our learning.
LCpl Cooney, LCpl Daily, LCoH Jones at the Regimental Training forge
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The Regiment was given the chance to show its readiness before the busy ceremonial season in March with the Regiment rehearsing for the Major General’s Inspection, which included the RVO mounted on parade and showing her equitation skills, the parade passed without any mishaps and the GOC was suitably impressed, and with a healthy Forge contingent, mounted in the saddle and on
LCpl Harris taking a break at Bodney
the Veterinary Aid Post. The Regiment were then straight into rehearsals in May for the State Opening of Parliament at Westminster, combined with the upcoming Windsor Escort in April. A testing time for both men and horses, but as usual the Regiment made it happen and to the high standard expected. The Standards Parade followed in May and everything was well shod and saw a total of six Farriers riding. This was a tough tasking, especially with it intertwining with rehearsals for the Queen’s Birthday Parade. Rehearsals and tired horses all add up to a greater amount of shoe wear and, therefore, more work for the Forge. All in all, this was a testing but rewarding period. The month of July saw the successful
The RVO and her team
and welcome return of Tpr Gillham and Tpr Crimmins, after completing their BMFC at the ASF, DAC. They added manpower and this was greatly appreciated. We set off for Bodney for a four week period for Regimental Training. As a department we were able to deliver a lecture to the Regiment about Large Animal Rescue. Incident control and management are incredibly important to get right when dealing with horses. Fortunately, we as a Regiment have some of the finest soldiers we could hope to work with and lectures and
scenarios conducted on Ex BUCKINGHAM TOFTS were undertaken with great enthusiasm and went well. . October saw the Regiment prepare itself for the State Visit, the Lord Major’s Show and the Festival of Remembrance followed in November. We sadly lost a great member of the team in LCpl Knight, our Vet Tech, to civilian life after the Lord Mayor’s Show and wished him well in all he does. After this period, the horses and men looked forward to a well deserved rest and the removal
of the grass horses’ shoes marked a timely reminder of the quieter period approaching. Time to put more handmade shoes on and practice the more in-depth aspects of Farriery. Another busy year for the Regiment and the Forge/Veterinary Department has nearly passed. It has been successful and fruitful. As a former Farrier Major said to me once, ‘You can’t teach experience’.
Household Cavalry Training Wing by Major W Douglas, The Life Guards
ime and tide wait for no man and this last year has moved so quickly that we have not had time to draw breath. The Training Wing has moved forward at pace and is now more involved in everything that the Regiment does with regard to setting standards in the training environment. Not only in the ceremonial way but pre-course training, PNCO Cadres, MATT packages, Class 2 and 3 Equine Courses, both in the individual and collective capacity. The Regiment has seen 88 soldiers pass through the Class 3 course, from Phase 2 recruits to officers from Windsor. It is the intention of the Commander Household Cavalry that as many officers as possible are trained to ride as soon as possible to allow for subsequent postings to be at short notice. The first officers assessment ride was held in London early in 2014 that allowed a six week assessment (mini Khaki course) with a Pass Off Parade, so that when each officer was stood up for HCMR, he could fit into a ride at a later point in time. This reduces their time on the 12 week turmoil of kit fitting, kit cleaning. In late April, funding from HQ LOND-
IST was released to complete a ‘train the trainer’ course in Large Animal Rescue. This was introduced by Hampshire Fire and Rescue and proceeded to be a two week course in taking command of a situation that involved incidents with our horses, the Police and the public. It was a great success and the RVO and Farriers are now well versed in horse recovery in high profile situations.
it is anticipated that it will become the new way in which we train our riding instructors for the future. Our Coach Troop was involved in the Western Front Association ‘Poppy Wreath Movement’ from Hyde Park Barracks through to Wellington Barracks in recognition of the 85,000 soldiers first deployed in the ‘Great War’; a very poignant parade that was done with tact, although the weather tried to
There have now been several equine working groups between us and the King’s Troop RHA; this is for improved equine standards in compliance and governance. The AMEC Course has been revamped to make two separate courses, known as the Regimental Riding Instructors and the Advanced Instructors courses. Although the first course will have CoH Thomas driving the poppy wagon finished by the time around the Wedding Cake in the rain this report is seen,
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fishermen set off on a two hour trip across London to be mentored on a most beautiful lake in Kent. The reception by the Tunbridge Wells Fly Fishing Club was overwhelming with Breakfast, Dinner and Tea all in the mix with Rainbow Trout, Brownies and the odd beverage. A great day was had by all and although not officially training per se, it was a worthwhile trip and allowed a bit of community engagement to take place too.
interrupt proceedings. The Troop has also procured another carriage and is visiting Knightsbridge almost weekly to train with the young officers. CoH Thomas and his small team have also been involved in the Royal Windsor Horse Show, Suffolk and Newbury show’s, Royal Ascot and the Major Generals Inspection. This year has been particularly busy with the Standards Parade. All men and horses at several key points in training had to be moved to Knightsbridge which had an impact in the training programme. Although there is little that anyone can do, it is the professional and mature attitude of the SCM and his team of NCOs’ that made it work with little affect on moral. WO2 Newell, CoH Burton, CoH Snoxell, CoH Duran and LCsoH Cooper and Greenwood deployed 10 days early on regimental training for the PNCO Cadre. This was a great success story and one that can only be achieved outside of barracks. The training was tough but informative and the students spent three nights under a poncho prior to a dawn attack on the last day. The Comd Offr arrived to witness the final attack, although WO2 Newell immediately went to see the eye specialist after the course as he swore blind that he could see the lads advance in a tree line on the attack only to find out later that it was a muntjak deer and that the initial contact was commencing 600m to the north, so had the Comd Offr and Staff all running up the road before the contact was over! The Regimental Training in Norfolk gave the opportunity to train and test every soldier in equine related objectives with the RM and his staff that provide the assurance for the Chain of Command. Several ‘Buckingham
Maj Darren Carter toasting his retirement with Spike Darley
Tofts’ serials were added to the training programme that allowed everyone to learn or refresh themselves about stable management, flat work, cross country schooling, SLR and the normal Troop Tests, as well as catching up on MATTs training. Regimental Training is now seen as the only time in the year when we as a regiment can get away and practice procedures and equine continuity. It was also time to say goodbye to Major Darren Carter. Daz has been a true friend and companion throughout my career and by having CoH ‘Spike’ Darley who was not only Darren’s Instructor at Pirbright in 1981 but his Troop CoH, to lead his ‘toast’ on the Open Day was very special indeed. In late March, the Regiment deployed on a MATTs concentration to Penally in South Wales. Although the deployment of a third of the Regiment adds pressure to the soldiers remaining, it is generally worth the effort to get soldiers away out of Knightsbridge for a short break. A highlight in late October was an invite to a day with Fly Fishing for Forces in Tunbridge Wells. Ten willing novice
The fisherman LCoH Neil, in white hat, fiddling!!
This has been an amazing year with much achieved. All that needs to be said is thank you to all who work in the training environment and that includes all of the riding staff too. We bid a very fond farewell to Craig Crighton who has moved on into Civilian Street although still working in an MoD capacity; SCpl Gerrard and Jaworski who commanded admirably the SQMC appointment have since moved onto bigger and better things, CoH Thomas who is moving back to the Forge has done a sterling job in Coach Troop. We welcome SCpl Cox as the SQMC, LCoH Baker in Coaching Troop and WO2 Newell.
The Presentation of Standards to the Household Cavalry by the Colonel-in-Chief - 28th May 2014
er Majesty The Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip The Duke of Edinburgh, came to Horse Guards on Wednesday, 28th May 2014 to present new Standards to the Household Cav-
The troops on parade await the arrival of their Colonel-in-Chief
alry. The stands on Horse Guards were filled with serving and retired officers and soldiers, families and friends. The parade, under command of Col Stuart Cowen RHG/D, Commander Household Cavalry, was comprised of the two mounted squadrons, two armoured squadrons with PANTHERs and SCIMITARs, and the two bands, with that of The Life Guards mounted, and that of The Blues and Royals dismounted. All came onto parade in changeable weather, with the crowds well swathed in suitable clothing. Once all were in position, the Colonels of the Regiments, FM the Lord Guthrie and Her Royal
54 ■ Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
Highness The Princess Royal came on parade and witnessed the final Troop of the old Standards as they passed the lines of mounted and dismounted soldiers and bands, and processed under Horse Guards Arch to the sound of Auld Lang Syne. Shortly after, Her Majesty came on parade and mounted the dais receiving a Royal Salute before driving round to inspect the troops, accompanied by the Major General, the senior serving Household Cavalryman, and followed by Col Cowen trotting behind on Integrity. Thereafter, the Chaplain General led a short service of
Cavalry has continued unbroken for more than 350 years. It therefore gives me great pleasure, in the presence of the wider Regimental family and friends, to present you with new Standards. The Band of the Household Cavalry led by Maj P C Wilman LG
consecration of the Standards that were arranged on two sets of our priceless silver kettledrums, before The Queen presented the Standards to the two commanding officers, who handed them to the eight mounted Standard Bearers of the Regiments. Following the Presentation, Her Majesty gave a short address that was broadcast to the stands and parade, to which Col Cowen replied. The text of the two addresses are reproduced below: The Colonel-in-Chief’s address: Colonel Cowen and All Ranks of the Household Cavalry The special association between the Sovereign and the Household
Since I last presented Standards in 2003, the Household Cavalry Regiment, in its Armoured Reconnaissance role, has been at the very forefront of operations, and especially so in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been a demanding and difficult period for All Ranks, a time of sacrifice and separation. These burdens have fallen especially heavily upon the Household Cavalry's families, who have given so much support; on this occasion, Prince Philip and I wish to express our praise and admiration for your achievements. Similarly, the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment has been heavily-engaged in Ceremonial Activity
in London and Windsor. I have received so many complementary remarks from visiting Heads of State, who have witnessed the excellence of your turnout and horsemanship at close quarters. A generation of soldiers has now served within the single Regiment while successfully maintaining the traditions and separate identities of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals. The values and ethos of the Household Cavalry as a whole are embedded within the fabric of these Standards which are emblazoned with the hard-won honours of the past. I therefore entrust these Standards to your safe-keeping, to be with you and to inspire you, wherever you may be, in the service of our country. Col Cowen’s reply: Your Majesty, on behalf of all ranks of your Household Cavalry, I thank you for presenting these new Standards to our charge this day, The Household Cavalry are deeply conscious and appreciative of the trust that you have placed in us and which we shall always honour. We draw inspiration from your address to meet the challenges of the future
The Colonel-in-Chief, Colonels, Silver Sticks, Commanding Officers and Regimental Adjutants of the last 11 years
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 55
Laying out the Standards
and maintain the legacy of service of our forebears, recorded on these Standards. All members of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals are proud to offer to Your Majesty, our Sovereign and our Colonel in Chief, our humble duty and the firm assurance of our continued and loyal service. On the conclusion of the two addresses, the troops on parade took post to walk past, trot past and drive past. Crews
Her Majesty arrives to be met by Maj Gen E A Smyth-Osbourne
mounted, and the mounted troops made their way around the parade ground with the Standards being dipped to The Queen, The Duke of Edinburgh, The Duke of Kent, and the two Colonels. As the Squadrons walked past, all the armoured vehicles started, as we were always certain they would, The manoeuvres complete, including an extra turn performed gracefully by Tpt Maj Bishop, Col Cowen rode forward to report the parade complete and ask permission to return to barracks.
The Mall dividing at The Queen Victoria Memorial, dispersed and prepared for the Garden Party that Her Majesty had kindly granted for that afternoon. A wonderful and memorable day that was capped by a dry afternoon, allowing all to appreciate the Buckingham Palace gardens in perfect conditions. Her Majesty was good enough to join the Commanding Officers and Regimental Adjutants of the last 11 years in a photograph in the Household Dining Room before the Garden Party.
Thereafter, the troops travelled down
Colonel S H Cowen states the Parade
The Chaplain General, Reverend Jonathan Woodhouse, blesses the Standards
The Queen, accompanied by The Major General with Colonel The Blues and Royals and Colonel The Life Guards, presents Standards
The Standard Bearers of The Blues and Royals
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment â– 57
The Standard Bearers of The Life Guards dip their Standards to The Queen
The Trumpet Major blows the trot
The armoured Squadrons drive past
The mounted Squadrons at the trot
A Spartan commander pays his compliment
The Parade formed up for departure
The armoured Squadrons en route for Wellington Barracks pass the Victoria Memorial
58 â– Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment
The armoured Squadrons en route for Wellington Barracks pass the Victoria Memorial
Cambrian Patrol 2014
by Captain W T Turnor
here has been a strong emphasis for some time on the dual role of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment. What better opportunity to test that capability than through conducting both a State Visit, and entering a team onto the Cambrian Patrol, all within the same week? The hallowed hallways of Horse Guards had issued direction and expectation; the gauntlet was laid. Could the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment conduct its core business in preparation for the Singapore State visit and concurrently train a medal winning Cambrian Patrol team? Last yearâ€™s Cambrian effort from Knightsbridge had achieved great success and won a bronze medal. The difference this year was a double standard State Visit 18 hours before our start time in Wales. Volunteers were found and a cadre was formed as early as Regimental Training. There was then a pause in momentum over the leave period before the programme could really kick into action. The trouble was the programme started simultaneously with the considerable preparation for the State Visit. Immediately it was directed that there was to be no training for Cambrian Patrol before 1400 hrs each day. Not the best news for the team. Nevertheless, under the instruction of the squad training staff, CoH Doran and LCoH Greenwood, we persevered and made the most of our precious afternoons in camp. Where the true training value was added was in time in the field. An initial three-day exercise on Hankley Common was intended to reintroduce the cadre to operating in the field. Two weeks later, the cadre deployed to Dartmoor for five days to finalise team selection and polish more complex drills. It had been assessed that the greatest risk to success was in having a team member not robust enough to stay the course. To that end, the main objective in Dartmoor was to test robustness and a 25km night navigation exercise over the Tors of north west Dartmoor with 45kg of
weight each did exactly this. All training objectives were met and it was very satisfying, if a little unconventional, to enable not only HCMR, but also HCR Cambrian training, through these useful exercises put together by the HCMR team. Having both HCMR and HCR working together in the field provided opportunities for vastly improved SOPs through a dialectical forum in comparing and practicing particular drills and techniques. No one could fault the quality of our combined training team. We had given ourselves the best chance we could despite the parameters and limits set by Knightsbridge. And so we arrived in the climactic week. This is an international competition, and we were allocated the Brazilian Cambrian Patrol team whom we hosted, providing transport, and host nation support. We then set about providing their weapons training and familiarisation, and finalising our own administration for both the Cambrian Patrol and the Singapore state visit. Tuesday was a long day; we dismounted our Cavalry Blacks at lunchtime and had until
0100 hrs that night to ensure that both our team and the Brazilians deployed in good order. Dawn arrived in Wales and with it our orders for the next 48-56 hrs. The next two days saw the team cover over 50km of Brecon terrain, including two Combat Target Recces, a river crossing, a section attack, minestrikes, and casualties to name but a few of the serials encountered. The HCMR Cambrian Patrol Team performed extraordinarily well; 28 out of 70 regular teams failed to finish including infantry recce platoon teams and commando units. We had performed to a standard met only by a handful of units. Every member of the patrol committed to the challenge at hand, with all the effort and enthusiasm that a commander could ask for. We were proud to earn our silver medals despite our own unique, Knightsbridge specific, array of challenges. It was fantastic for the Troopers to receive them from a very pleased fellow Household Cavalryman; the GOC LONDIST. Good luck to the HCMR team for Cambrian Patrol 2015.
The HCMR Team. Back row: Tpr Gumble, Tpr White, Tpr Penman, Tpr Bailey-Bligh, Tpr Foster. Front row: LCpl Wallace, Capt W Turnor, LCoH Greenwood, CoH Doran
Trip to the Garde Republicaine - August 2014
by Captain R Gordon-Dean, The Life Guards
hat a trip! On 22nd of August, LCpls Duffy, Hagley, Tpr Connoll and myself headed off early in the morning to get the ferry across to Paris to meet up with the Garde Republicaine to take part in the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Paris. We first went to their barracks and it became quite clear that the French mounted fraternity was
a good thing to be in. Their barracks were beautiful and their stables where all the horses were kept were well maintained and always a hive of activity, with soldiers mucking out and looking after the horses. The Garde Republicaine is a cross between the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment and the Royal Military Police. They are Gendarmes
(MP) but the Garde are responsible for ceremonial parades and state occasions on horseback and dismounted. The following day we had a rehearsal and got to know our horses, with the kind assistance of a fantastic corporal who was simply known as Matthieu to us! Tpr Connoll from the saddlers shop managed to make our black kit and sheep-
Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment â– 59
The team in full kit
skins fit the horses, which trust me, was no mean feat. It was here that we met up with the other detachments from all over the world who would be joining us on the parade through Caen and Paris. Other countries represented were Holland, Tunisia, Poland, Senegal, Belgium, Canada and Denmark. On Sunday itself, we all had an early start and then a three hour bus journey to Caen. Included in the programme, and therefore the early start, was a trip to Pegasus Bridge. We had a brilliant guide who really put us in the picture of how daring and brave the whole operation was. The original bridge is still there (although now moved off from its original position) and to walk along the bridge and stand at the very spot where Lt Brotheridge died (believed to be the first allied serviceman to die on D-Day) leading his men was very moving. After this it was onto Caen itself for lavish lunch, with enough wine to make us not that keen to go to ‘work’ in the afternoon. We needn’t have worried. We met
Leading the international team in rehearsals
up with the GR who had already got the horses dismounted from the trailers and had laid out all our tack ready to go. Just a quick change and we, and the other cavalry regiments, were ready to follow on behind the GR on a commemorative ride through Caen. The turnout was humbling. It was told to us later in the evening that 50,000 people had turned out to cheer us on. A surprisingly large British contingent was there shouting and cheering away as we went past. We all then dismounted, sorted out our kit and then went back to the same restaurant (trust me, this was a great thing) and had a very spoiling supper. The following day, we had a late morning and then met up with the GR’s GOC and their Commanding Officer. We then all boarded a boat which we stayed on for about three hours cruising up and down the Seine, being given a five course lunch. Afterwards, again after a generous helping of wine, we got on the bus to meet up with Matthieu, who had again been a star and got things half
ready for us so we could just jump on for the parade through Paris. Sadly, the weather was awful so the turnout wasn’t anything like Caen, but it was still a real treat to ride through the streets of Paris, which is a perk usually only afforded to the GR themselves. After the parade, and a chance to dry ourselves off, we were hosted by the General for a drink and a chance to say thank you for what had been such an amazing trip in more ways than one. The chance to take part in the parades in Caen and Paris was humbling and privileged. The opportunities to see so many other cavalry regiments and meet them was brilliant and it was also refreshing to know that it’s not just the HCMR that love cleaning kit for hours! I would like to say a huge thank you to the GR for organising the whole trip and for hosting us and I just hope that when they come to visit us, we can but try to emulate their enormous generosity.
Sweden - Orienteering and Cavalry Skills by Lieutenant N Z B Huda, The Blues and Royals
apt Tom Mountain, CoH Evans and I flew out to Stockholm on an early Wednesday morning to take part in the annual Swedish Life Guards Cavalry Skills competition. The Swedish Life Guards, similar to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment are a Squadron of Dragoon Guards who have nearly five hundred years of public duty.
was pitch black in Stockholm by 1600hrs so we were in for a treat, especially as the first part of the competition was to
tack up your horse. In addition, whilst we were having our pre-competition brief, the marshals had seen to it that all
We met our Swedish thoroughbreds on Wednesday afternoon and exercised them in their colossal brand new indoor ménage. While similar in temperament to our Cavalry Blacks, they were all chestnuts and stood on average at 16 hands. After riding each of our steeds, the following day we had a mounted guided tour around Stockholm. The competition on Thursday evening was intense and started at 1700hrs. It
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Team GB and Team Danske, with our Swedish Life Guards mounted tour guide leader Lt Anna Linfeldt
our tack had been disassembled; hence, the actual preliminary stage of the competition was to assemble one’s tack and then fit it to the horse correctly.
the British team were successful at this task; however, none of us dismounted either which was better going than some of the competition.
Upon having had your horse and tack inspected at the exit from the yard, maps were issued; this year they had decided to use a terrain map so we had to use features and prominent land marks to find our way around the Kingsgaarten Forrest. Our first checkpoint was a sabre lane with a balloon at one end which you had to pierce at the canter, the real part of this stand was managing to keep your horse going in a straight line against a balloon that caught the wind all too easily. Unfortunately, none of
There were nine checkpoints in total, a few were navigation focussed and others had traditional cavalry skills as their focus. One of the favourites was a 20 metre rope climb which had to be completed at the trot, on coming level with the rope which was hanging from a tree you had to leap from your saddle and catch the rope whilst your horse continued. Ordinarily we’d be quite happy with such a task. Nevertheless, climbing a wet rope with leather soled riding boots and riding gloves proved to be trickier than anticipated and we had to rely on arms alone.
The Swedes were obviously making up for something with the size of their lamps
One of the final tasks made me thankful for guard exercise blanket rides. We had to strip the saddles and blankets off the horse and ride completely bareback. We were roughly 3km from the final point and had to make best speed which meant that we stayed at the canter. To put this into perspective, we had been in the saddle for roughly 2.5hrs and not only was it still pitch black, but there was little ambient light to aid navigation and we still had to go through thick forest. Overall, one of the most exhilarating parts of the competition.
Captain Mountain working his charm on a Nordic mare
That evening we were dined by the Swedish, each being given a lady to host. There was strong emphasis on Schnapps and the singing of traditional folk songs which we were encouraged to sing along to by their Colonel. The Swedish Life Guards cavalry skills competition was easily one of the most invigorating things that I’ve done on a horse and the hospitality that was afforded to us by the Swedish Officers and Soldiers was second to none. The relationship we have with the Swedish Life Guards is special and important, mainly due to the fact they are one of a few remaining cavalry regiments left in Europe, with their role being both ceremonial and operational.
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Household Cavalry Sports Round-up Touch Everest The Household Cavalry Expedition to Break the Record for the Highest Game of Rugby in the World by Captain M D de B Wilmot, The Blues and Royals the remainder of the team had a tour of the cultural sights of the city. Our time in Kathmandu was intentionally short, and we made the 45 minute internal flight to Lukla in the early hours of day two. Lukla airport is steadfastly voted the most dangerous airport in the world and we were exceedingly lucky to get all 28 team members and our entire luggage over in one day, albeit across six different aircraft.
n 28th February 2014, 28 soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment, an even mix of The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals, set out for the Himalayas, in a bid to trek to Everest Base Camp and break a rugby world record. The aim of the expedition, as written in 2012, was to allow soldiers from the Household Cavalry Regiment to conduct an arduous adventurous training exercise, testing their physical robustness, determination, and ability to work as a team in a non-military but competitive environment. Having recently returned from Op HERRICK 18, where the Household Cavalry Regiment provided the Brigade Reconnaissance Force, the Brigade Troops Echelon, and the ISTAR Group Headquarters, Touch Everest offered an excellent opportunity to provide our soldiers with a well earned break, maintaining a spirit of adventure but within a more relaxed, and much safer, environment to Afghanistan. The expedition began with a 36 hour acclimatisation period in Kathmandu, which at 1,350 metres already sits higher than anywhere in the UK. This bought time for the expedition leaders to meet the Military Attaché and conduct routine in-country admin, whilst
One of our aircraft
We made good pace in our first two days and arrived in Namche Bazaar on D+3. Namche is located within the Khumbu area at 3,440 metres (11,286 ft) at its low point, populating the sides of a hill. It is the main trading centre and tourist hub for the Khumbu and has a population of 1,647 people. This was a chance for the team to pick up any additional items of kit, as well as enjoy their last showers and flushing loos! The next day we were presented with our first view of Mount Everest and the following four days offered near unbroken views of the highest point on earth. As the altitude increased so breathing got harder, our pace got slower and the evenings got much colder. Our accommodation each night was in Tea Houses, ply wood buildings with basic gas cookers in the kitchens and thin mattresses for beds. Our sleeping bags had been sufficient in keeping us warm until around the 4,000m mark, after which any extra blankets were snapped up. Each morning we would wake up to frozen water bottles and the challenge of hastily getting dressed to minimize the time in the cold. At Tengboche (3,867m) the team was unexpectedly hit with contagious D&V and our number was nearly halved to
The ‘rope’ bridge, not to everyone’s taste
62 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up
Tpr Petit, LCoH Carrier and Capt Pickthall MC enjoy a rest in the trek
just 15. We split into two groups, the fitties and the sickies, but by midmorning the next day it was clear that it would be too dangerous to carry on. Those fit to continue made haste to our next stop, whilst those that were suffering from the virus remained behind with the Doctor. Overnight we lost a further four and all looked lost as a group of just 11 of us climbed to Nagarjun Hill at 5,000m. The resolve and determination of the Household Cavalryman showed its true colours, as all 28 were reunited in time to enjoy dinner together in Periche that night. Two days later every last man was involved in the rugby match, an extraordinary achievement considering our reduced numbers in the days running up to it. The rugby was to be played at Gorak Shep, a dry flat lake bed at 5,165m, on the edge of the last permanent hamlet before Everest Base Camp. Capt Dean Owens, the Training Officer, is an IRB referee and officiated the match. After marking out the pitch and having pre-match photos we kicked off for the first seven minute half of the tag rugby game. The match got off to a slow start as the players got used to playing at such high altitude, before LCpl Veramu RHG/D took an early interception and ran over half the length of the pitch to score the opening try. Bent double after his great sprint, the already exhausted teams enjoyed the thirty second break to catch their breaths. The Life Guards took the kick off and Capt Johnny Clive RHG/D made an impres-
The players look toward Mt Everest, just right of centre with a plume of cloud streaming right
sive run, breaking past two Life Guard players before Tpr Pringle tackled him just metres from the try line. The author, playing as scrum half, took a lucky break and managed to get the ball down to make it a 10-0 lead for The Blues and Royals. At half time, team captains Capt Johnny Clive (RHG/D) and Capt Alex Pickthall MC (LG) took a moment to inspire their teams and make changes from the bench. The second half was a much more fluid affair, and whist the score board remained unchanged, impressive runs from Capt Jack Barnes, LCoH Sabatini and Tpr Coventry made it a nail biting competition. There was unanimous relief, shortly followed by celebration, when the final whistle blew and the highest game of rugby ever played was complete.
The teams before play began
Touch Everest proved to be both a challenging but hugely enjoyable expedition. In hindsight, we underestimated the task of getting such a large group of people to such a high altitude, and it was down to individual discipline and determination that we were able to achieve our aim of playing rugby above the 5,000m mark. It was a huge privilege to be part of something that will not be forgotten easily. Touch Everest demonstrated that ‘impossible is nothing’. Soldiers who had been tested to the limit on operations found themselves challenged, exercised and above all were given the opportunity to achieve
great things that, were they not serving soldiers in the British Army, they would not have been a part. I hope that this expedition sets a precedent for the scope of what can be achieved through Adventurous Training, particularly as we look ahead to an Army with changing commitments overseas. AFTERNOTE. The Guinness World Records Committee has accepted the evidence for the Household Cavalry’s claim for playing the highest game of touch rugby last year. The certificate is shown below.
The certificate from the Guinness authority
The match in play
Household Cavalry Cresta Run 2015 by Captain P J R Chishick, The Life Guards
he Household Cavalry returned to St Moritz in January of this year, to compete in the Army Inter-Regimental Championships on the Cresta Run. We had a good showing from our returning riders, with five members of the Army Squad; the author, Capt Harbord, Capt Barnes, LCpl Tonkin RHG/D and Tpr Grossman LG, the latter two of whom
were converting to Flat Top toboggans this year and rode from Top. In addition to the old hands, this year we brought out five beginners: two soldiers, two young officers and the Commanding Officer of the Mounted Regiment. There are two main types of toboggan used on the run; all riders begin on a
‘traditional’, a cumbersome 40kg lump of steel with a big seat that slides up and down, to aid you in moving your weight. Once a rider is able to get down the run in consistent 48 seconds, he is able to convert to a ‘flat-top’ toboggan. These are just as heavy, but more akin to a bob-skeleton toboggan, enabling you to hold more speed. The run it-
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 63
self has two starting points: ‘Junction’, about two-thirds of the way up the run for less-experienced riders, and ‘Top’. To qualify for Top, you must be riding 48s on a traditional or 46s on a flat-top. To ride from Top on a Flat Top was this season’s main effort for LCpl Tonkin and Tpr Grossman, and both of them achieved it, putting them in a very good position for the coming years.
The Household Cavalry had a rather large team this year, so we split down into The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals. The Army Junction Championships were held on the 22nd January and consisted of the Novice Open race, Handicap race and the 17th/21st Lancers Trophy, an open race for the fastest Regimental pair. The races were all conducted over three rides, with the lowest aggregate time winning (whether as an individual or a pair for the team race). The Life Guards ‘A Team’, Capts Chishick and Harbord, took first place, closely followed by the Blues and Royals ‘A Team’, with Capt Barnes and LCpl Tonkin. The LG and RHG/D B teams coming third and fourth respectively, ahead of the QRL, Scots DG, Wessex Yeomanry and the Engineers. Lt Nicole RHG/D stormed the Novice Open championship, winning by fifteen seconds over three courses and qualified for Top in his second week in St Moritz. Tpr Brammer LG and Capt Maples RHG/D came second and third respectively. In the Junction Handicap, the Regiment came second, third and fourth, completing our clean sweep of the prizegiving.
The author sets LCpl Tonkin RHG/D off from Top for the first time
The beginners all started at Junction at the beginning of the week. The trick in these first few runs is to be able to ‘rake’ effectively. Your rakes are attached to the front of the converted rugby boots and, as you slide down the ice, you must dig your toes in to slow yourself down. The Commanding Officer adapted admirably to his new metal steed, and rode some respectable times. Our two soldier beginners also rode well and obeyed instructions from their ‘guru’.
This all served as an excellent practice run for the Inter-Services Championship the following week. The Scots Guards’ Cup, the Army Top Championships, took place on the 27th January and Capts Chishick and Harbord came in first and fourth place respectively. Capt Horne LG, one of our better riders, was
The author in the run
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sadly unable to make it out to St Moritz to bolster the Army Team, but Capt Barnes RHG/D was awarded his Army Half Colours and rode for the Army Team. Sadly the Army came second to the Navy, but we look to be in a strong position next year.
Lt Nicole RHG/D tries to cut the corner on shuttlecock
Regimental Cresta is looking highly promising for the years to come, with interest and success amongst all ranks. The Army team continues to be highly reliant on serving riders from the Regiments. The author has just been appointed as Captain of the Army Team and thus Capt Harbord will take on the Regimental team for the coming season. There are now six Household Cavalry Top Riders (over half the Army Squad), with two of those being junior ranks. The Regiments still lead the way in terms of Other Ranks involvement amongst the Regimental teams and the Household Cavalry look to have some of the fastest Army riders for some years to come.
The Household Cavalry Team at the Inter-Regimentals: Rear: Lt E T G Nicole RHG/D, Capt T L Maples RHG/D, Capt J H S C Harbord LG, Tpr J J Sayer LG, Tpr J R Grossman LG Front: LCpl R J Tonkin RHG/D, Capt J B Barnes RHG/D, Lt Col P A Bedford RHG/D, Capt P J R Chishick LG, Tpr J W A Brammer LG
A Veteran Turkish Delight Golf Tour - May 2014 by Captain P J R Chishick, The Life Guards
his had been a long awaited golf tour because, for a variety of reasons, we had not been able to get away in 2013; our last trip being to Orlando in June 2012. This trip saw us with; Dick, Gary, Harry, Pete, Russ, Max and two new guys Keith Gurden and Andrew Gomarsall (a former England Rugby Union No. 9). Sadly, Andrew had to pull out with only 48 hours to go and his place was filled by a friend of Harry from Ferndown GC, Colin Randall. Fortunately, Colin had quite a lot of experience golfing in Turkey, which was invaluable over the week. This was our very first try at Turkey which, by all reports, was the hot place to go for golf in Europe. The flight - on Turkish airlines - was uneventful and we met up with Gary at Istanbul before an internal flight down to Antalya. We were greeted by our driver for the week - a mountain of a man - and the 25 minute trip to the hotel was without any excitement. The driver did seem keen to lift as many golf bags as possible at one time - often above his head! The accommodation - supposedly five star - was more than adequate, with the rooms being spread across a very large area of the property. The Mediterranean was just a few yards away. The first evening was spent understanding the dining room arrangements; a vast room covered in food and tables. This was followed by a couple of drinks and a reasonably early night. It all bodes well. The first game was our one and only
experience of a Turkish links course (Lykia) and very good it was too. Several balls went absent and at the end of the day there were three with equal scores (only 27!) and on count back Pete was declared winner. This may be the only occasion in all these years when Pete had been a daily winner - but well done him for persevering over all this time. A usual sort of evening with lots of Mojitos; this long, refreshing, summery blend of rum, mint, lime and soda, the Mojito sits alongside the Daiquiri and the Cuba Libre in the holy trinity of Cuban cocktails! Sadly, for one of our members, they became his staple diet for the week, and Keith was never the same man again. A fairly heavy night meant that some were not as fit as they ought to have been for our trip to the National Golf Club just down the road from the hotel. We had heard that it was a very difficult course and was the location of the Ladies’ Turkish Open to be played later in the week. It was extremely busy there, with buggies in short supply and the range ball machine out of balls! Rumours were correct about its difficulty, but Max played sufficiently well enough (31 points) to roll out as the winner for the day. The Sultan course was by far the best course of the week, with very quick greens which undulated as though elephants had been placed on them. It was pretty with lots of water to admire - which many did! The par 3’s were long and difficult but, undaunted by his win the day before, Max stepped up
again and won. Carefree by their need to get the playing field a bit more level, the very experienced handicap review sub committee cut him by two shots. On our return to the hotel, we sat at the poolside bar for too long, consumed too many sherbets (mojitos), fell asleep and missed dinner. Gary amused the local population when reciting one of Gurden’s silly evening songs. He managed - but with some difficulty; “A couple of ducks, three brown bears, four running hares, five copulating corpuscles, and six pairs of Donald eezers tweezers”, but the 7000 Macedonian warriors charging in full battle array was just beyond him but delighted those sitting on the surrounding tables. History is unable to relate what he managed to do with the verses for eight, nine and ten! Many people availed themselves of the hotel sauna (which was very good) and some did consider a Turkish bath but never got around to it. Tuesday saw us playing at Sueno Pines which again was a very good design, even if some of the tees needed a little attention. Max yet again proved dangerous off his new handicap but was just pipped by Colin on count back. Sadly nobody has passed one of Dick’s challenges, but the penalties have required some thought since the all-inclusive nature of the holiday has taken away some of the more interesting financial penalties. Wednesday saw LG and RHG/D facing up for the annual Wrigley Challenge at the Pasha Course (the sister course
Some of the silverware built up over the 14 years of our tour
The whole tour just before teeing off at the National Golf Club Back Row L to R: Keith Gurden, Dick H-W, Gary Dunkley and Harry Ford Front Row Peter Long, Russell Taylor, Colin Randall and Paul Maxwell
The Regimental rivals in happy times
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LG - winners again of the Wrigley Challenge
Gary Dunkley the night before the Wrigley Challenge. Bad move!
of Sultan). The starter clearly had got out of bed (or maybe never got to bed) that day. He became increasingly annoyed with the golfers going off the back (Championship) tee when it was obvious to him that they should be playing on the more ‘forward’ tees. We considered this dilemma briefly before deciding which set of tees to start on. Feeling well grooved after a few rounds already, we thought we would go off the back tees. Wrong decision - only one of the eight made the fairway, with one unnamed individual only managing to get his ball to the end of the tee box! One can only imagine what the starter must have been thinking. We kept our
heads down, thanked him and got away quickly. As always, it was a close match which LG (H-W and Taylor) managing to secure victory for the fourth consecutive year. RHG/D (Dunkley and Ford) were consoled in the bar later and probably ought to have stayed away from the bar the night before! The final round was played at TAT golf club - aptly named because tatty it was! A great shame, really, because the design is very good but its condition was not. Sadly, towards the end of the round, it started to rain and never really stopped again whilst we were still in the country.
Overall champion Colin receiving the Cup from a bemused Tour Captain. A fine effort from Colin on his first time out with us
Chez Dunkley and H-W hosted the prize giving and cocktails. Colin, on his first outing with us, was the overall champion and was a very steady player all week. The fact that only water passed his lips all week must tell the others something! Pete is to be congratulated on showing such great improvement and was in the winners circle with the par 3 challenge winning it by a mile. Keith fitted in very well and might be asked back again. We look forward to the desert of California in 2015 when we go and play La Quinta in Gary Dunkley’s hands.
Household Cavalry Golf by Major W Douglas
his year, Household Cavalry Golf has welcomed many new players, for it is now known as Sgt’s Mess Polo and we have seen numbers grow significantly in the Warrant Officers and Non Commissioned Officers Mess. HCMR have entered all London District competitions, with individuals winning in their respective divisions (under 12 HCap Div 1, over 18 Div 3) and, indeed, all Army events, where LCoH Hansen proved to be the best player in a strong field of 51 competitors to win the Winter SE Shield with a Stapleford score of 35 points off a 9 Handicap in a sodden Merrist Hills golf course. The lads from HCMR also had a two day Golf Tour, paid for kindly by the HCF, to Ufford Park in Suffolk. This proved to be a great two days of golf in terrific conditions in a Hotel and Golf complex that can only be described as picturesque, welcoming and testing. It proved that; LCoH Wharton and SCpl Cox won respectively and also a version of a one day Ryder Cup was played out on the first day ‘Match Play’ that saw the Life
Guards win 5 and 3. In the Colonel-in-Chief’s Cup, once again and on the fifth time in succession, it is with great delight that we can record that the Household Cavalry have again won a repetition only ever done by the Welsh Guards but with a year gap due to the outbreak of War. The photographs below show Capt (Retd) R Hennessy-Walsh receiving the Trophy from the Major General, and the Household Cavalry A Team with the Major General. This was a tremendous feat and one of which that we should all be immensely proud. Once again individual prizes were generously provided by Smith & Williamson. The trophies and prizes were presented by Robin Mal-
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colm, Captain of the Guards Golfing Society. Regimental Training in Norfolk allowed the HCMR once again to play at Richmond Park GC in Watton at very reasonable rates (£15.00). The HCMR competition was won by LCoH Hansen
The Dream Team looking good at Ufford Park
we have now made many friends at the Club.
The scene from the accommodation looking over the course at Ufford Park
Household Cavalry’s A Team with the Major General, less Mr Harman (out of shot!)
with (37 points) and top three were SCpl Cox with (35) and Tpr Howell with (34) points respectively. He only signed out a set of clubs from the PTI the night before, so well done to him.
Dick Hennessy-Walsh collecting the trophy from the Major General
In late September, the HCav were invited to play Sunningdale and their Staff. It was a fantastic opportunity to play such an historic and most famous course, that we hope it can now sit in the Diary each year. Although we lost 4 and 2, it was a wonderful day with perfect weather and course, and a tasty three course meal afterwards. The link is now tied and we will be inviting the Staff of Sunningdale GC to HCMR in the New Year for a visit. The same can be said for our friends in Wimbledon Common. Again, we played late October when once again the weather held out. A great day followed by a boozy dinner;
In August, Lt Col Harry Scott, SCpl Slowey, LCoH Hansen and LCoH Wharton were invited to play the RAC Club in Epsom for the HCF Charity Golf Day. The weather was set fair and the standard of golf amongst all was of a very high standard. Although our team did not finish in the top three, they hosted the tables at dinner and help raise a considerable amount of money for the HCF to assist the future of our soldiers. The HCR regimental golf has grown too but, with recent operations and a trip to BATUS, most had seen the end of summer before it began. The idea for 2015 is to get both Regiments together and hold a Spring Meeting. This way, we can capture all HCav golf and start to tie down player’s availability in all Army and District Competitions. I know that there are many keen golfers out there. As for 2015, there is a Golf Tour to Norway on 3rd to 6th September. If anyone has interest in this trip or the usual events and competitions, please contact me. The last word is a big thank you. To players, Clubs and the Comd Offrs and the HCF for providing funding to enable the young soldiers of both Regiments to be able to participate in such a great sport.
Exercise COCKNEY YARDARM 20th November – 5th December 2014
by Lieutenant Simon Penrose, The Life Guards
n 20th November, a group of fourteen Soldiers and Officers flew out to British Virgin Islands (BVI) in the Caribbean for a two week sailing expedition. The expedition was organised by Capt Chishick as a repeat of the exercise he ran in 2011. This time the trip comprised of a mixture of operational casualties and soldiers from Knightsbridge at the end of a busy ceremonial year. The first day consisted of us taking over the two 36ft yachts, Farr Out and Swift, provisioning them and familiarising ourselves with the new equipment and the charts of the local area. We then made a short hop over to the Bight, Norman Island, which gave us the chance to shake down the boats and go through some of the basics with the novices amongst the crews. We had a decent 25kts of wind blowing in from the north east that remained pretty constant throughout the first week. The following morning the winds had picked up even more, and we made the prudent decision that rather than bat-
tling upwind all day, with novice crews, we would go for more civilised broad reach across to Soper’s Hole, a marina on the South end of Tortola. The following day, however, we were determined to make it up to Virgin Gorda. We rose early and set off on lengthy and tough beat upwind. This gave the crews a good chance to get to grips with the boats and although a couple of the crew aboard Swift succumbed to a spot of seasickness, we made it into Spanish town for mid afternoon. From here we could
LCpl Scheepers, Tpr Barrett, Tpr Crimmins and LCoH Brown beating upwind
All at sea
properly provision the boats for the following week. The next day we set off in good time and the two boats enjoyed a short race over to the Dog Islands where we dropped the anchor for lunch. There was some fantastic snorkelling here over the rocks in the gin clear water. There was also some great bouldering and cliff diving for the more adventurous in the group. We then set sail over to the Bitter End in the North Sound of Virgin Gorda. We remained in Bitter End for the next day to get some minor maintenance done
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on Swift so in the afternoon we decided to rent a couple of Hobie Cat dinghies to take the soldiers out and try to bring to life the principles of sailing and improve wind awareness. The staff reluctantly released the two dinghies into our care, with a warning of the dangers of pitch-poling them in the strong winds (flipping them forwards). So it was with great amusement that the author subsequently pitchpoled his Cat, propelling his crewman, LCoH Jones, forward thought the rigging and sending himself through the main sail, resulting in a huge tear in the main sail and an expensive afternoon. On Day 6 we headed down to Road Town on a good broad reach. Making good time we decided to stop off at Manchioneel Bay on Cooper Island for some snorkelling and lunch. This was perhaps the most beautiful place we had been to so far; the water was teeming with sea-life, most notably turtles and stingrays. After lunch we sailed over to Road Town for a reception at the Governor’s Residence with key figures in the BVI and ex-servicemen. This was a very enjoyable evening and Governor was an extremely generous host. The following day the wind died down to a more manageable 15kts. This allowed us to get all our canvas up and we enjoyed a sedate sail downwind. Once we rounded the southern tip of Tortola we then had a good beat upwind to Sandy Cay, a picturesque desert island. In the afternoon we made the short hop over to Diamond Key, where we went ashore in order to explore the ‘bubbly pool’, a natural jacuzzi created by the rock formations and the swell, on the north shore of Jost Van Dyke.
island. We even tried towing the board into the surf breaking over the shallow reef, with mixed results! Once the boats were all complete we then carried on to the NE of the island to Marina Cay with dolphins accompanying us for a part of the journey. We started early the next day in order to get to the Baths, a coastal national park on Virgin Gorda, before the crowds descended. It was a memorable sail watching the sunrise over the Caribbean. The coastline at the Baths is protected, which meant we couldn’t land our tender, so we waterproofed our kit and swam ashore. Once ashore, we then explored the natural caves, created by the giant boulders - the early start had paid off and we had the whole place to ourselves. That afternoon we made our way North back to Spanish Town. The Virgin Island Search and Rescue Crews were having a fundraiser at a beach club that evening and invited us to attend. While we were out in the BVI Sir Richard Branson had learned about our expedition and had kindly invited us to his home on Necker Island. On Day 10 we left Spanish Town and headed to Necker Island, where, having piloted past some very shallow reefs, we dropped anchor in the bay and went ashore where we were greeted by some of Sir Richard’s staff. They took us on a tour of Necker, showing us the wildlife programme they are running there and the Great House which has only just been rebuilt after a fire. In the afternoon, Sir Richard then invited our group down to the pool for a drink. Sir Richard was very keen to learn about the Household Cavalry Foundation and all the work it does for injured soldiers. After a lovely day we reluctantly left and set sail for Leverick Bay for a BBQ
that evening, prepared by our South African contingent. Photo – The crews with Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island The following day we set sail for Anegada, a low lying reef island 16 nm North of Leverick Bay. In the evening we all went ashore for a crew dinner to enjoy some of the famous Anegada lobster. From here we turned around and started making our way back south. We had a long sail down wind in a fresh 25kts of wind heading for Jost Van Dyke. It was just off the Northern tip of Tortola that LCoH Brown, having been trying valiantly all week was finally triumphant and landed an impressive 3ft Dorado (or Mahi Mahi as it is locally known). On reaching Jost Van Dyke the quarry was filleted and grilled over the BBQ and made a delicious supper.
LCoH Brown with his catch!
On our final day we left Jost Van Dyke and made our way back to Nanny Cay. We had plenty of sunshine and plenty of wind, as we had consistently over the past fortnight, and had a fantastic sail back in with dolphins accompanying Farr Out on part of the final leg. Once we were back in and tied up in the marina.
The Crews on Sandy Cay
In the morning, we slipped our mooring and headed over to Sandy Spit, an idyllic desert island sat on a shallow reef. We dropped our anchors in the lee of the island and went ashore to explore. Unfortunately, due to one of our crew members having picked up a minor injury, Farr Out had to make its way down to Great Harbour to seek extra medical supplies. Swift remained in place and spent the morning paddle boarding and kayaking around the
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The crews with Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island
The owners and staff of Horizon Yachts, who had generously lent us the boats, had put on a party in the boats yard. From there we moved on Mulligans Bar where the BVI Rugby Club generously entertained us for the evening prior to sadly flying back the next morning to the UK.
It was an amazing trip, and for most of our soldiers, the trip of a lifetime. We had some outstanding experiences and were looked after extremely well by the Governor and the residents of the BVI. The islands are a fantastic place to sail, with regular winds and lovely weather, an ideal location both for novice sailors
and those wishing to increase their sailing experience. We are extremely grateful to the Foundation, and the Charter Company who very kindly provided the boats for us free of charge and we hope to be able to repeat the exercise on an annual basis.
Swimming the Channel by Lance Corporal Duffy
aving been a swimmer by profession prior to joining the Army, I thought why not combine the waterbased skills with the physical/mental military training I have become accustomed to by swimming the English Channel. A three day window was set aside to choose the best swim conditions, which seemed plausible until having set off from Central London on Friday, arriving in Folkestone at 0100hrs, then taken by fishing boat to the start point at 0300hrs only to be told a weather system had just moved in! So, same time tomorrow I would try and set off again. This meant back to London to repeat the
process for a Sunday morning launch. All past experiences of open water swimming had been carried out during daylight hours. The first hurdle was realised when I jumped overboard to start the swim in the pitch black with only a cyalume tucked into my goggle strap, so that my team could track me. At this stage I was given two options; either swim to the shore in front of the Dover cliffs, stand and wave to start the time or swim up to the cliff face whilst the waves were breaking on them, turn and start swimming. The typical ‘squaddie’ in me took the harder but shorter option, saving 200m! The first four hours of the swim was a breeze, covering just over 12 miles, stopping for only 10-20sec breaks every hour. During this time I monitored my progress on a white board that was continually updated by the crew. The second major hurdle came when I realised that I had only covered one mile during the fifth and sixth hour! Shattering my hopes of a sub-nine hour swim. The reason for this change of pace was due to tidal movements, for every 500m I swam the tide would push me back that same distance during a 30sec stop. This meant I had to keep pushing through with minimal breaks for a further three hours. The third and final hurdle was the realisation, after nine hours of swimming and 22 miles covered, I was nowhere near the French shore. At this point,
“Now here’s some advice…”
Somewhere in the Channel
swimming with France on my right rather than head on, plus the added bonus of being told that The Channel was not 24 miles but as long as it chooses to be, as it is dependent on tidal patterns and coastal landing points. This means that if shipping lanes and currents were to be taken out of the equation, there would always be a guaranteed straight line swim. In my case, an ‘S’ shape due to the conditions pushing my swim up to 36 miles eventually taking me 12hrs 30mins. I would go on to say there were other hurdles: the jelly fish; floating pieces of debris; random fishing buoys etc; but all of these just made for mental stimulation Having initially underestimated the challenge, I would have to say it was a lot harder than I expected and my urge to pop back in for a swim is currently shelved!
HCR Alpine Skiing 2013-14 by Lieutenant T L Seccombe, The Life Guards
x WHITE KNIGHT is now in its 31st consecutive year. The aim of the exercise is to select a four man Alpine racing team to take part in Ex SPARTAN HIKE at the Army Divisional Championships at Serre Chevalier, France. The Royal Armoured Corps, Army Air Corps and the Royal Tank Regiment chose Verbier in 1971 as it was an inexpensive location to Race train for six weeks. In those days the Swiss Franc was 14:1 and it currently stands at 1.4:1.
In the current economic climate with strict austerity measures, not to mention the SDSR nearly cutting Ex WHITE KNIGHT completely, the Army looked at moving the Exercise to a new location. When the town of Verbier heard about this there was a local campaign to keep the RAC, AAC and even the RTR in their traditional home. The local bars, restaurants and ski shops all clubbed together and made a huge financial donation to the Exercise, thus ensuring WHITE KNIGHT stayed in Verbier.
On the 1st December 2013 a white van driven by two senior NCO’s, LCoH Ibbetson and LCoH Sabatini led two brand new blue and red Discovery’s south towards Dover. The white vans navigational device had slight Germanic tendencies and tried to lead the convoy east towards Belgium but luckily a quick overtaking manoeuvre by a couple of Officers got the convoy back on the straight and South. Eight hours later we were climbing the hill to Chalet Larzey.
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LCpl Romankiw bent low
The HCR Alpine Ski team at the 3 Division Championships - LCoH Ibbetson, LCpl Romankiw, Tpr Lugg and Lt Seccombe race ready
Before race training began each individual had to complete a red run whilst being watched by one of the twelve expert ski instructors from the Swiss ski school. It was one of the highlights of the trip to watch so many novice skiers who had never put on a pair of skis before attempt to perform a series of neat parallel turns before being graded into groups. The next three weeks for the novices was designed so that they could learn to ski. The two pistes set aside for the Army had not been bashed yet as understandably the priority was to get the main runs of the resort open before the busy Christmas season. Groups 1-4 who could ski proficiently enjoyed the best skiing of their lives. With 1.5 metres of fresh glorious powder and their own private ski guide they strapped on avalanche locating beepers and explored the four valleys. The three weeks of off-piste skiing came to an end all too soon and the exercise had a short four day break for Christmas. Naturally, Christmas day
occurred halfway up the mountain with an improvised kicker jump laid on by the Light Dragoons, followed by a huge lunch in the Fer a Cheval. This also gave the team time to rest aching muscles and sore feet. The author then got to work setting up the New Years Eve drinks party, which is always a Household Cavalry affair. Having been told about previous parties, the status quo is to have an interactive fireworks display with ground burst rockets. Having been spoken to by the Mayor of Verbier and the local Police, this tradition sadly had to come to an end. However, an anonymous RTR Capt remarked, “What a shame, it’s the closest I’ve come to being in contact since HERRICK 10.” With New Years Eve out of the way and Chalet Larzey still standing, Race week could start in earnest. The four disciplines: Slalom, Giant Slalom, Super Giant Slalom and Downhill. The first week was spent on the former two disciplines with very narrow gates on a moderately steep piste. Although Slalom is not particularly frightening, it makes up for this deficit in pain. Taking a slalom pole to the face at considerable speed is not something I would recommend to anyone.
Tpr Lugg approaching a gate
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The second race week moved to a much steeper piste, the top part nicknamed ‘The Wall’. Here individuals would compete to get the fastest times
through fewer gates, requiring less skiing experience but more courage. The author watched with great pride as seven complete novices, who had only put on skis for the first time five weeks before, set themselves off down an Olympic downhill course. The Super Giant Slalom was the first event and the prelude for the ‘hairs down the back of your neck’ Downhill. The HCR team beat a large number of those from a far more experienced field. The raison d’être of the entire exercise became quite apparent the next day as the Downhill course had had a large jump built into it over night. Downhill could take up an entire paragraph of prose but the statistics speak for themselves: In a field of 84 skiers 1/7 would fall either on ‘The Wall’ or at the jump. 1/84 would break a leg or be injured enough that they would not be able to ski for the rest of the exercise. Needless to say, the HCR team borrowed the motto from the 17th Lancers, thought of by some as a slightly dysfunctional cousin Regiment, and ‘Death or Glory’ became the order of the day. On return to Chalet Larzey, the drawing room resembled that of A&E. Five of the team were now unable to compete further, but all managed to finish the Downhill with excellent times. The HCR ‘A’ team finished fifth out of 13 Regiments and the novice ‘B’ team won their overall B category. An excellent achievement considering most Regiments select the same individuals each year for their teams, only one of the HCR had been to WHITE KNIGHT before. After prize giving the four man ‘A’ team went onto Serre Chevalier which was quite a culture shock from Verbier. The Divisional Championship’s are a week long, taking place in extremely cold conditions as the racing piste is continuously in the shade. Needless to say Tpr Lugg, LCpl Romankiw and LCoH Ibbetson performed very well and the HCR finished in the top third of competitors.
Nordic Skiing 2013-14
by Lieutenant C J P Murphy, The Blues and Royals
ordic skiing and biathlon are sports that epitomise the warrior ethos. They require individuals to be extremely fit, determined, to work as a team and to apply the marksmanship principles under pressure. Last year I was fortunate enough to lead the Regimental Nordic Skiing and Biathlon Team through a training camp in Norway and the competition season in Austria and France. The team consisted of ten Household Cavalrymen, from both Windsor and Knightsbridge. We conducted our training in Sjusjoen, a town near Lillehammer in central Norway between 19th November and 21st December 2013. The facilities in Sjusjoen are excellent: there is an Olympicstandard biathlon range and stadium as well as hundreds of kilometres of skiing tracks. The vast majority of our team were novices and were eagerly anticipating that first day on snow. Learning to Nordic ski is quite different from learning to downhill ski as the skis are much thinner, just an inch or two wide, and one is only attached to them by a relatively flimsy binding at the toe. The boots you wear are much more like trainers than conventional ski boots and the poles are shoulder high. All in all, this makes for a very different set up for anyone with downhill skiing experience. The snow was very icy when we arrived which made learning to ski a little more difficult than it may have normally been; most of us found ourselves teetering around for a few days looking much like people on an ice rink clinging to the edge! However, after a few days we had grown in confidence and were able to ski around quite independently.
Our daily routine was to get up early and go for a short run before breakfast and then do a one, two or three hour training session in the morning and another similar session in the afternoon after a long break for lunch. A lot of time was devoted to learning to accurately shoot the .22” biathlon rifle, beginning with static sessions on the range and building up to high intensity sessions, practicing from both the prone and standing positions. Towards the end of our training camp, we had grown into a reasonably competent team and participated in a few training races, posting some respectable results. Aside from the training, we were only 20 minutes away from Lillehammer, which we visited on a regular basis for a social drink or afternoon coffee. We also had a particularly fantastic weekend in Oslo, exploring the Scandinavian night life and some of the sights the city had to offer. The first competition of the season is Ex WHITE FIST which is the Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Artillery and Army Air Corps Competition based in Hochfielzen, Austria. The conditions were different to what we were used to and this caused us some trouble trying to work out which wax was best to use for our skis to get the best mix of grip (for the flats and ascents) and glide (for the descents). However, despite this we regularly finished as the third RAC team, behind the RTR, who regularly go on to win medals at a national level and the Light Dragoons who had a particularly good team this year. This was a position we were pleased with and meant
The team after Ex SPARTAN HIKE
that we qualified to the Divisional Competition. The Divisionals, Ex SPARTAN HIKE, took place in Serre Chevalier, France. Here the competition was much greater and we knew that we would have to do extremely well against some strong teams to qualify for the Army competition. The highlight of this tournament was the Military Patrol Race during which teams cover a distance of approximately 20km, carrying a small rucksack and using converted SA80s to shoot. The race is conducted in all-white race suits with a rank structure in place and according to a given tactical scenario. Whilst arguably the toughest race of the competition, it is also the most fun. Notably good performances throughout both competitions came from Tpr Massey, Tpr Ashurst, LCpl Robins and CoH Pearce. However, unfortunately these performances were not good enough to qualify us for the Army and National Competition. This will be the goal for next year’s team. Nordic skiing and biathlon is a great military sport and taking part in it is an excellent opportunity for Household Cavalry soldiers and officers alike.
The patrol race team at Ex SPARTAN HIKE
Putting the spare ski pole to good use
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C Squadron Adventure Training, Aviemore, Scotland, 7th-26th September 2014 by Cornet A C Soames
or three weeks in September, C Squadron conducted adventurous training in Aviemore, Scotland. In total, thirty-six soldiers each spent a week at Norwegian Lodge, a self-catering MOD facility, taking part in mountainbiking, hill-walking, rock-climbing and gorge-walking. There was even time for a battlefield tour of Culloden, as well as a dram or two in a Highland Distillery. Each of the three weeks followed a similar format. As we polished off the last of our Monday morning full Scotch brekka, a shaggy-haired hippy, would arrive at the Lodge. Having left the RLC as a WO2, Jono had rebelled against all the strictures of the military way; he grew his hair long, he cleared his wardrobe of anything but t-shirts and three-quarterlength shorts and became a professional mountain-biker. Despite his somewhat shabby demeanour, it was clear that he knew exactly what he was doing.
At the Culloden memorial
Tpr Reuter and LCpl Hodges enjoy a dram
Nursing our wounds and stretching off our tired legs after a long day on the bikes, Tuesday was spent at Culloden. We looked around the new National Trust for Scotland’s impressive visitor centre, and were then taken on a ‘tactical tour’ of the battlefield, where we were led through each moment of that crucial, bloody and brief encounter between the Bonnie prince’s highlanders and the Duke of Cumberland’s government forces. On the third and final week, we also managed to squeeze in a visit to Fort George, near Inverness.
LCpl Flawn trying to keep his cool Jono going through a ‘first parade’ with the bikes
week everyone was able to secure their harnesses, check each other over and belay one another up and down a face.
Having taken the lads through a thorough ‘first parade’ of the bikes and an introductory lesson on how to deal with the challenging terrain they were about to face, Jono then set off into the woods of Rothiemurchus that surround Aviemore, chased along dirt-tracks by the guys. Needless to say, he out-rode us all.
The final day of each week was reserved for canyoning.
A view from the fortifications
Its impenetrable walls were built as a response to Culloden and cost the equivalent of £1bn. A trip to the Tomatin distillery on the way back to Aviemore that afternoon was particularly enjoyed by CoH Dimbylow, who was more than happy to clear up any tasters left over from those who couldn’t stomach a highland dram. At the top of the aptly named run, ‘cake or death’
LCpl Bell led the climbing training on each Wednesday. By the end of the
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For those unfamiliar with the concept, it essentially involves getting into a wet suit, donning a helmet and life-jacket, and then hurling oneself off of cliffs,
CoH Dimbylow gasping for breath after a good dunking
jumping down waterfalls and being swept through rapids. We were taken down a canyon near Loch Laggan by local guides who were
more than keen to test the resolve of the soldiers in their care. The lads threw themselves into it, sometimes plunging more than five metres into the cool, dark pools below them.
Each week ended with a long trip back down south on Friday morning, but everyone took with them the memories, scars and scrapes of a fun, challenging and varied week of AT.
Exercise BAJAN BASH - HCR Cricket Tour to Barbados by Lieutenant J E Pile, The Life Guards
he Household Cavalry Cricket Club had not toured for almost ten years, so after a successful season last summer, the opportunity to escape the day jobs in Windsor and Knightsbridge to play some Caribbean cricket was jumped at. With only a couple of indoor nets sessions under our belts, a mixed ability squad, ranging from RAC regulars to a couple of eager sportsmen with very little experience, headed off to play some challenging cricket, with the overall aim
to raise the standard of regimental cricket into the future. On arrival on the west coast of Barbados, the first 24 hours was allocated to local area orientation and acclimatisation on the beach. The following evening we had our first match of the tour against Boscobelle CC, a floodlit T20 fixture. We finally got started an hour late on a pitch that would have made Salisbury Plain look well kept. It was a ropey start to
The tour squad ready for action
our bowling innings, with a big hitting opening partnership coupled with a few dropped catches allowing Boscobelle to reach 116. Tpr Reuter opened the batting only to be taken off guard with the first ball of the tour, and before we knew it, his centre stump was tumbling towards the wicket keeper. The batting was steadied in the middle order, however we were bowled out 42 runs short of the target. A promising performance with plenty to work on for the coming fixtures. Early the next day we headed off for our second fixture against the Isolation Cavaliers CC. All were slightly apprehensive of the standard of cricket that we were to face, given the West Indies international honours board in the clubhouse. However, the opening bowling partnership of Tpr Van Der Walt and LCpl Cooney made a confident start, holding the hosts to an impressive 78-1 at the half way point. As the team tired in the 29-degree heat, and the less accurate lower order bowlers came on, the locals ran away to a final total of 263-3. LCpl Cooney, opening the batting, held out very well against the club’s top pace bowler, who had troubled even England’s T20 XI a few months earlier, and there was a commendable final wicket stand by Lt Faire and Tpr Millea. However, we only managed a total of 55 runs all out.
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 73
There was a marked improvement in the team’s performance, not really done justice by the scorebook. Nevertheless, this was a memorable game for many reasons: the beautiful ground in the Parish of St Andrews, the loud reggae music between overs and, most of all, the comedic ball-by-ball commentary throughout the game.
LCpl Gieson, Lt Pile, CoH Eade, and Lt McAllister with some of the catch
LCpl Cooney bowling against Isolation
We were straight into our third fixture the following morning, this time against Empire Cricket Club in Bridgetown, on their pitch with boundaries so short they were reminiscent of prep school. The first five overs proved rather fruitful for the home team at bat, mainly owing to the proximity of the boundary; however, Tpr Knight did take a rocket of a catch in the covers. We were just starting to get into the match, when an almighty rainstorm stopped play at 48 for 1. The rain didn’t lift off for 45 minutes, at which point the outfield was so waterlogged, play had to be abandoned for the day. After a busy three days of cricket, the squad was looking forward to a quiet weekend to relax and explore the island. We had arranged a tour of the Foursquare Rum Distillery for Friday afternoon, where Gayle Marshall-Seale, the wife of the current Managing Director, who coincidently was our regimental photographer in the late 80’s, showed us around. It was a fascinating tour and like all good tours ended in a substantial tasting session! That evening we headed to the famous Oistins Fishfry, where street vendors cook numerous types of fish on the spot, while locals and tourists relax on the beach or dance on stage. The more adventurous members of the squad were up at the crack on dawn the following morning to head out deep-sea fishing. With a little help from Tpr Howell and LCpl Cooney chumming the water, we managed to land five wahoo and one barracuda, and were left with more fillets than we could ever dream of eating. Fortunately, we found a restaurant that would cook them up into a delicious and fulfilling fish feast for all twenty of us and then buy up the excess! The squad was up early on Monday
morning, having had the weekend to recharge their batteries, and headed into Bridgetown for the annual Independence Day Parade. This is the Bajan equivalent of our QBP and Lord Mayor’s Parade rolled into one, with the square filled with everyone from the St Johns Ambulance, to the Girl Guides, to the Royal Barbadian Mounted Police! Not quite a division of Cavalry Blacks, but nice to feel at home with horses on parade nevertheless. That afternoon we held Maxwell CC, our fourth opposition, to 56-3 at the 15 over point; however, the run rate was able to pick up again in the lower order, with the host team reaching 187-7 at the end of the innings. LCpl Sheppard picked up two wickets for 23 runs towards the close of play, a triumph given his minimal cricketing experience prior to the tour. We had really started to come together as a fielding side, only let down by five dropped catches in the outfield. After lunch, we came out to bat with a strong and steady start, slowly chipping away at the locals lead. With a couple of wickets down, there was a commendable 3rd wicket stand of 82 runs by Tpr Van Der Walt and LCpl Gieson, with the latter reaching 53 runs by the time his wicket fell. Maintaining a solid run-rate, we managed to score 156 runs in our allotted overs. Although 31 runs short of the target, this was a vast improvement, with some accurate bowling and patient batting.
to do is combine the day’s impressive fielding performance with the batting displayed during the previous fixture, and we would be in a strong position going into our final fixture.
The following day we were back in the company of the Barbados Defence Force for our fifth fixture. The hosts made a strong start reaching 135 runs all out, with the damage limited by a notable five wickets for only 23 runs by LCpl Cooney. After a shaky start to the batting we found ourselves at 9-3, their opening bowling partnership of one fast and one spin doing considerable damage. The middle order managed to steady the ship, however we only managed to reach 75 runs all out; 60 runs short of the target. Now all we needed
The tense innings went all the way to the last over, when we managed to bowl the home side out for 111, winning the match by 17 runs and finally getting a victory over a Barbadian side. The win was a real triumph and a credit to the effort put in and the improvement achieved over the fortnight on tour. The following much deserved awards were given out at the tour dinner that evening: Best batsman - LCpl Gieson; Best bowler - LCpl Cooney; Best allrounder - Tpr Van Der Walt; Most improved player - LCpl Sheppard.
74 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up
We took the Wednesday off to rest our stiff shoulders and sore hands, and soak up some more of the Bajan sunshine on the beach, so we all woke on Thursday morning eager to end the tour on a high. Arriving at Banks Cricket Club with an air of confidence hanging over the team, we made the unorthodox choice to bat first. The team took this change of tactic in their stride, and managed to reach a total of 128 all out. This was not a particularly high target for the home side to chase, so we were under pressure to maintain accurate bowling and tight fielding. The team more than delivered in the field, with diving stops to save boundaries from LCpl Tonkin and LCpl Sheppard, and two stumpings.
Tpr Van Der Walt runs out a Banks cricketer
by Captain H Thomas, The Blues and Royals
which had finished third in the GB 7s tournament the previous weekend
ugby at the Household Cavalry this year was always going to be somewhat sporadic, given the Regiment’s commitment to BATUS between August and November of this year. Capt Thomas took over from Capt Woolf in the early part of the year as the officer in charge, and sought to focus on 7s and 10s style tournaments in the hope that the lure of more free flowing styles of the game would see a greater involvement from the Regiment’s players, new and old alike. As such, the team has met with some reasonable success and a couple of particular highlights are listed below: Tournament One: Maidenhead 7s: … I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed … This was a tough tournament which saw a number of national and divisional level players competing in specialist 7s teams. The HCR managed to post a very strong opening win over the Iceland Exiles, breaking the 50 point barrier, thereby scoring more points against them than any other side would do in the tournament. The team then played the rest of its fixtures on the club’s new 3G pitch which, although a fantastic surface, left most with little skin on their lower legs. A very tight game against Reading saw us narrowly beaten 12-7 which was our next best performance. The team always looked dangerous in attack but some poor defensive organisation and a lack of anaerobic endurance meant we suffered more than we should have done. Tournament Two: Slough 7s: … The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood … We started strongly in this tournament winning our group and thereby qualifying for
The Adjutant getting stuck in during an early pool game with LCoH Gavalakadua in the background
The reception we got from locals and the club was exceptional and has certainly helped the Regiment to re-establish links and raise its profile with the local communities after the business of campaigning in Iraq and Afghanistan has finally closed.
LCoH Qio making a tauntingly flair break ending in a try
the Cup Competition (there also being Plate, Bowl, Vase and Shield categories). A very tough semi final saw us at 7 -7 against the Olaf Axes at full time, which included the HCR denying two tries by holding the ball up over the line. A solid line break in extra time with a good finish granted us the try we needed to progress to the final, the Navy’s full first team failing to win their game in the other half of the draw. Sadly, the fairytale ending proved too much in the final as the HCR were soundly beaten by the Apache Raiders 0- 22, a team
Tournament Three: The Brigade Festival of Sport: Good things come to those who wait… This was a knockout 10s tournament which saw the HCR lose very narrowly in their opening game against 2 SCOTS, who went on to win the Cup Competition. As such, the team competed in the Plate which saw some strong performances, particularly against 6 Battalion REME. The Plate final saw HCR very satisfyingly triumph over the ‘tracksuit soldiers’ of 3 Log Sp Regt adding the second piece of silverware to the season’s collection. Aside from these tournaments, the HCR has also sought to honour its commitment to Royal Armoured Corps (RAC) rugby sending nominations to all of the Corps’ games that have fallen outside of the Regiment’s BATUS commitment. In the most recent game, Capt Thomas, Lt Penrose and LCoH Waisele all played a full eighty against a rather physical Army Medical Services (AMS) team, which saw the RAC lose rather heavily and with Penrose returning to barracks with a fractured cheekbone, which unfortunately put a dampener on what was otherwise an excellent debut from him. At the time of writing, the Regiment
Tpr Nawari finishes off a great move in extra time during the semi-final to give HCR the win
Cup Runners Up at the Slough 7s: some of the team celebrate with some well earned ‘hydration’
LCpl Veramu, the ‘gas man’ is all smiles as he makes another pitch length break resulting in a try
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 75
in conjunction with the Household Cavalry Foundation (HCF) have just sorted a new kit deal with Canterbury on quite promising terms. The team are now gearing up for what will be its last yet arguably most important
tournament this year, Hodgson Horse, which sees the HCR play all the other Royal Armoured Corps teams. Hopes remain high that the team will protect the coveted trophy following on from winning this tournament last year.
The challenge for Rugby and sport writ large at the Regiment will continue to be to secure consistently enough of the same players and sufficient time in the schedule to participate in meaningful training and competition.
by Lieutenant Hannah A Lackenby
here are numerous formats and distances for Triathlon, which allows the season never to quite finish. Off-season is during the cooler months and would be based more on a duathlon consisting of run-bike-run; with these predominantly being off-road. As the warmer months arrive and the lakes defrost, it returns back to the original format of swim-bike-run. The distances can vary greatly, with a sprint triathlon being a 400m swim - 20km bike - 5km run, to an Ironman distance which consists of 3800m swim - 180km bike 42km run. With this in mind, the sport caters for all levels of fitness, ranging from those starting out to those that are seeking more of physical and mental challenge. HCR had members competing at all distances throughout the season. The Olympic distance, known more as the standard distance comprises of 1.5km swim - 40km bike - 10km run, is more favourable as it delicately balances between speed and endurance. Having had access to Brays Lake and a swimming coach, the HCR triathlon team were put in a good position with some solid technique training, the swim part normally being most people’s weakest area. With the regular running
fitness being covered in Sqn PT and bike training Wednesday afternoon, the team were ready for the start of the season. Training for the three disciplines is important, but the only way you can improve is by competing. Practice swimming 1.5km in the lake all day does not prepare you for the ‘washing machine effect’ that occurs at the start, as each person bursts into life. Or, the moment when you come out of the lake with your legs like lead and the mind-blank on how to take off the wet suit, with the addition of the sudden inability to coordinate your own limbs. After a few kilometres into the cycle you remember how to work a bike in time to then dismount and start a run, which can only be described as using somebody else’s legs. Do not be put off, for this is a truly great sport; however, it demands respect! The first appearance for the HCR triathlon team competing was at the RLC and REME championships in Abingdon, followed by Army and Inter service championships the following week; a successful turn out and results. Owing to work commitments and injuries, the HCR triathlon team varied in its members but were always present
At the start of the race, preparing for the ‘washing machine effect’
76 ■ Household Cavalry Sports Round-up
LCoH Perry beating the Coldstream Guards
SCpl Spink and the infamous yellow old time Raleigh
with at least four competitors each time. Come May, the team was in full swing and training hard which showed at the LONDIST triathlon hosted by 1 Coldstream Guards, where the team prize was whipped away due to a last minute ‘change’ on how they were going to score the teams; not bitter at all. With the Army tri squad attending all the big meets the kit and equipment can be quite daunting but, fortunately for us, we had SCpl Spink and his trusty yellow Raleigh, do not let the 1980’s vintage bike fool you, for he certainly put a few people back in their box! The HCR triathlon team is getting bigger and better and, with the purchase of new equipment and bikes, will open its door to more members of the Regiment, allowing the team to continue heading upwards.
Tpr Greenlees, LCoH Perry, LSgt Davis, SCpl Spink, and the author
The South American Open: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by Lance Corporal of Horse M Stock, The Blues and Royals
n September 2014, with help from the Army sports lottery and the Regiment, I was given the opportunity to travel to Brazil and represent the Army in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at the South American Open. I flew out early as I was lucky enough to attend a ten day training camp, at Grappling Fight Team HQ in Rio de Janeiro. The ten days were some of the toughest but most rewarding training sessions I have had on the mats, as the level of technical ability and conditioning was unlike anything I had experienced in the UK. Not to mention that the classes were run by a sixth degree black belt and it wasn’t uncommon to have 20 or
LCoH Stock and his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructors during his build up training
so black belts on the mats each day. After being put through my paces for ten days, I felt ready, if a little sore, to test my hand in one of the three biggest tournaments Brazil has to offer. The South American Open has 400 competitors across different weight classes and attracts lots of sponsorship interest. I weighed in and took my place in what is appropriately named the bull pen to start warming up. After a short while my name was called and, with some pre-fight butterflies, I took to the mats for my first fight. All the hard work at the ten day camp had paid LCoH Stock in action at the off, as I managed to beat South American Open in the Second Round my first opponent with an arm lock submission after four minutes, but with little time to that went in my favour for being the celebrate or catch my breath, I was being more aggressive. ushered to another mat for my second fight against a local guy that had plenty And so it was into the quarter final. of support in the crowd. Unfortunately, on this occasion it was the end of the road as after a few This fight was a lot tougher than the mistakes I found myself in deep water. first and going down 3 points in the My opponent tried his hardest to first minute, I had lots of catching submit me and after what seemed like up to do but, with some courage and an age he managed to claim the win by determination, I managed to pull it back submission. and won 5/3 on points at the end of the fight. The third fight was by far the This was an opportunity of a lifetime and closest with the score level at the end of I am happy with a quarter final finish in the fight. It went to a referee’s decision one of Brazil’s biggest tournaments.
Household Cavalry Sports Round-up ■ 77
The Household Cavalry Museum Archive by John Lloyd
he last 12 months have been very interesting for the Museum here at Windsor. After many years of making do and mending, we have finally been given the opportunity to move forward and improve the Archive and Education facilities. This started with new software and we hope in the not too distant future to also replace the hardware that we use. With the promise of new hardware, we hope that we will be able to speed up the enquiry process, as well as speeding up the digital storage of our books and documents, and also the conservation of the hard copies we hold within the Archive. The Archive continues to be used by members of the Regiment and the general public on a daily basis. The digitization process is under way and it is hoped that this year we will be able to look at getting some, if not all, of the photograph collection, along with more of the documents we hold, digitized.
We have a small group of volunteers who are the lifeblood of the Museum without which we could not operate. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new volunteers Pete Storer (LG) and Kevin Ormerod (LG), and also to welcome Jodie Rosendale (ex 1st Regt RHA) who has become the new office assistant within the Museum. Over the past year we have had many group visits from every walk of life from the ‘Third Age’ groups, to Women’s Institute branches and most of the local schools, along with many old comrades who have brought their families back, in some cases for the first time since they left. The diary for this year is building up daily. The Museum also helped the Regiment with the planning of the trip to Zandvoorde on a battlefield tour which marked the 100th anniversary of the
engagement that took place over the following weekend in October 2014. 2015 is a year of many commemorations these include; the Magna Carta, Agincourt, and Waterloo when all four of the regiments of today’s Household Cavalry were involved. We are looking forward to the next few months as it is going to be a busy time for us. We are also looking forward to being able to display the medal collection in the new cabinets that we are looking forward to receiving. This will then allow us to display the very many Waterloo medals we have within the collection. Finally, as always, we would very much like to see you all and if you would like to volunteer and live locally, please feel free to call John Lloyd and Jodie Rosendale at the Museum on 01753 755112.
The Household Cavalry Museum
he Museum is now debt free and therefore in future a significant share of its profits, barring that held back for refurbishment and innovation, will be passed to the Household Cavalry Foundation as was originally intended. The new features installed early in 2014 - namely the touchscreen MP3 guide and the dramatic set piece of Corporal Stiles with the Eagle and Standard of the French 105th Regiment - have proved popular with visitors. From 1st April 2015 the museum’s audio guide’s will be increased to eight languages, including Portuguese, Russian and Chinese in response to market demand. The year to date has seen a downturn in visitors against the previous year. This is largely due to major touristic
distractions elsewhere in the capital throughout the year diverting footfall from Horse Guards and increased parade ground activity during the fair months reducing Museum opening hours and access. This is not expected to be a factor not in 2015. With the Waterloo 200 anniversary in prospect and our involvement in much of the publicity surrounding the event, we have a very good opportunity to get back on track. Work increasing the visibility of the Museum both to consumers and the tourism trade is on-going with the Museum’s profile and good reputation in the London attractions market growing steadily. Remember - the Museum is free to soldiers, veterans and their families. I do
The Bugle on which the charge of the Household Brigade at Waterloo was sounded by the 16 year old John Edwards. Visitors can hear the bugle sound on their touchscreen guides
hope you will come and see for yourselves when you are next near Horse Guards.
News from the Associations ■ 93
The Life Guards
It is with much regret that the Honorary Secretary announces the death of the following Old Comrades announced in the last 12 months. The Life Guards Association offers their sincere condolences to all members of their families. May they Rest in Peace. 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.
22556382 Tpr T E G Gage Served 1 June 1953 to 31 May 1956 Died 18 June 2012, aged 77 years
474697 Surg Lt Col J M Stewart Served from 15 November 1968 to 15 January 1980 Died 6 May 2014, aged 83 years
295323 LCpl E Askew Served 22 November 1938 to 22 November 1946 Died 2 October 2014, aged 93 years
22556032 Tpr T W Archer Served 28 July 1952 to 27 July 1955 Died in June, date of death unknown, aged 79 years (approx)
The Duke of Marlborough Served 1 January 1945 to 31 December 1953 Died 16 October 2014, aged 88 years
377151 Lt G C Rittson-Thomas Served 5 June 1944 to 25 November 1947 Died 21 January 2014, aged 87 years
22205794 Tpr R V Barlow Served 12 November 1951 to 11 November 1963 Died 2 June 2014, aged 81 years
295341 Tpr R W Cragg Served 1 January 1938 to 31 December 1946 Died 27 October 2014, aged 93 years
295166 F E J Chant Served 16 November 1936 to 09 September 1945 Died February 2014, aged 96 approx
14498682 Cpl C L J Howard Served 20 October 1943 to 28 August 1947 Died 28 June 2014, aged 88 years
24021519 CoH D R Bourne Served to 18 August 1978 Died 26 November 2014, aged 71 years
329255 Tpr J M Butterworth (2HCR) Served 15 March 1940 to 1 February 1946 Died 15 February 2014, aged 97 years
22556209 CoH F G Walker Served 1 January 1953 to 31 January 1956 Died July 2014, aged 80 years
315290 Capt RA Ingham Clark Served 30 April 1944 to 27 August 1954 Died 24 February 2014, aged 89 years
22556677 Tpr B Miles Served 1954 to 1957 Died 14 July 2014, age unknown
24656081 Tpr S Dixon Served 11 August 1985 to 11 September 1991 Died 6 December 2014, aged 46 years
22593462 Tpr R G Lumbard Served 1 January 1951 to 1 January 1953 Died 25 March 2014, aged 83 years
22556450 Tpr B L Davis Served 22 August 1953 to 4 January 1957 Died 15 July 2014, aged 79 years
296183 Cpl D A S Williams Served 11 November 1943 to 30 November 1947 Died 18 December 2014, aged 90 years
24239278 Tpr T Carr Served 17 April 1972 to 3 March 1978 Died 28 August 2014, aged 57 years
24021528 CoH G Brown Served 1 January 1965 to 31 December 1974 Died 19 December 2014, aged 68 years
23865820 Tpr P Dougall Served 6 November 1960 to 05 November 1970 Date of death unknown, approx 71 years
408722 Lt M J Halford Served 21 July 1949 to 15 August 1951 Died 27 March 2014, aged 82 years 14151432 Tpr R K Jermyn Service dates unknown Died 27 March 2014, aged 86 23215717 Cpl C A Harrington Served 21 April 1958 to 21 March 1967 Died 9 April 2014, aged 73 years 22205545 SCpl J H Fincken Served 1 January 1950 to 31 December 1974 Died 12 April 2014, aged 71 years 22195371 LCoH D Scamadine Served 3 November 1949 to 30 March 1969 Re-enlisted August 1956 to 30 March 1969 Died 6 May 2014, aged 82 years
94 â– Obituaries
296660 Tpr A Stagg Served 9 March 1944 to 10 March 1948 Died 29 August 2014, aged 86 years 23215965 WO2 D E J Woodland Served 20 May 1959 to 24 October 1981 Died 2 September 2014, aged 72 years 295299 CoH R McDonald Served 7 August 1938 to 20 October 1968 Died 14 September 2014, aged 92 years 444637 Lt G B Balding OBE Served 17 September 1955 to 21 August 1960 Died 25 September 2014, aged 78 years
296568 Tpr A F C Walker Served 14 December 1944 to 1 February 1948 Died 1 December 2014, aged 88 years
22205182 D R J Miller Served 1 October 1948 to 30 September 1960 Died 20 December 2014, aged 86 years
The Blues and Royals It is with much regret that the Honorary Secretary announces the death of the following Old Comrades. The Blues and Royals Association offer their sincere condolences to all members of their families. May they Rest in Peace. O Lord Jesus Christ who by the Holy Apostle has called us to put on the armour of God and to take the sword of the spirit, give thy grace we pray thee, to The Blues and Royals that we may fight manfully under thy banner against all evil, and waiting on thee to renew our strength, may mount up with wings as eagles, in thy name, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen. 23592001 Tpr G F Gorrod RHG Served 1 November 1958 to 1 November 1960 Died 2 January 1999, aged 59 years
22917691 Tpr J D Earnshaw RHG Served 17 September 1953 to 17 September 1955 Died 18 July 2014, aged 81 years
330987 J D Cowie RHG Served 17 September 1944 to 6 September 1947 Died 2011 approx, date and age unknown.
22386272 Cpl D M Roach RHG Served 6 July 1950 to 28 July 1952 Died 13 August 2012, aged 80 years
305535 Cpl K Oliver RHG Served 16 February 1940 to 7 August 1945 Date of death unknown, aged 97 (approx) 22205713 Cpl P H Stone RHG Served 29 May 1951 to 28 May 1956 Date of death unknown, aged 82 (approx) 22505279 H H St J Wild RHG Served 26 July 1951 to 16 August 1953 Died 29 January 2006, aged 72 years Tpr John Brian Ashmore RHG Served 16 July 1955 to 16 July 1959 Date of death unknown, aged 80 (approx) 2387017 LCpl I G Harding 1RD Served 30 December 1961 to 26 August 1968 Date of death unknown, aged 70 years (approx) 305631 Tpr D J Harris RHG Served 10 October 1940 to 1 April 1946 Date of death unknown, aged 93 (approx)
21000163 LCpl D P Butcher RHG Served 28 January 1948 to 16 May 1953 Died December 2012, date unknown, aged 84 approx. 22651497 Tpr J Lewis RHG Served 3 April 1952 to 2 April 1954 Died 2 July 2013, aged 79 years 23240938 WO2 C K Lloyd RHG/D Served 7 December 1944 to 1 December 1970 Died 16 September 2013, aged 86 years 380707 Surg Capt Sir John Charles Batten KCVO Served 1 January 1947 to 31 December 1949 Died 7 October 2013, aged 89 years 7893384 Cpl J W Barton 1RD Served 1 January 1939 to 31 December 1948 Died December 2013, date unknown, aged 89 years 22113884 Tpr S T Davies RHG Served 1 January 1948 to 31 December 1950 Died 2014, date unknown, aged 73 years
23147482 Tpr R H Stephenson RHG Served 23 June 1955 to 21 June 1957 Died 2011, date and age unknown.
2334716 Sgt R A McBride 1RD Served 1 January 1940 to 1 May 1946 Died February/March 2014, aged 94 approx.
22205388 F/SCpl P F Smith RHG/D Served 27 June 1949 to 27 June 1971 Died 4 February 2012, aged 85 years
23215157 Tpr J Westwood RHG Served 1 January 1955 to 1 January 1958 Died 5 February 2014, aged 76 years
23679077 Tpr E J Morgan RHG Served 24 February 1960 to 24 February 1963 Died 1 February 2014, aged 77 years
322659 Cpl W Bell 1RD Served 27 February 1939 to 5 August 1946 Died 22 February 2014, aged 93 years
383849 2Lt J E B Bowman RHG Served 26 October 1947 to 30 April 1948 Died April 2012, date unknown, aged 83 approx
Capt Canon R W Miles 1RD Served 1 January 1946 to 31 December 1948 Died 23 February 2014, aged 87 years
22690353 Cpl G Bobbett RHG Served 3 July 1952 to 3 July 1954 Died 7 March 2014, aged 79 years Tpr R C Smith 1RD 1 January 1953 to 31 December 1955 Died 15 March 2014, aged 78 years 22955153 Tpr C A Cox RHG Served 2 February 1960 to 1 June 1966 Died 16 April 2014, aged 77 years 459235 Maj T W P Connell RHG/D Served 19 December 1958 to 19 December 1969 Died 11 April 2014, aged 75 years 22556234 Tpr K D Ward RHG Served 27 January 1953 to 26 January 1956 Died 21 April 2014, aged 78 years 24499737 Tpr G J Prunty RHG/D Served 1 September 1980 to 1 September 1986 Died 1 May 2014, aged 49 years 306297 Tpr A W Howell RHG (2HCR) Served 1 August 1943 to 1 October 1947 Died 4 May 2014, aged 89 years 23215588 CoH D Fell RHG Served 1 January 1957 to 1 January 1966 Died 23 May 2014, aged 77 years 23215500 Tpr C J Dendy RHG Served 20 May 1957 to 19 May 1966 Died 29 May 2014, aged 75 years 387450 Lt D M Holman RHG Served 8 September 1946 to 31 December 1949 Died 29 May 2014, aged 85 years D G Cooper RHG Served in the late 1950â€™s Died 6 June 2014, age unknown 23662371 WO1 R E Smart RHG Served 3 September 1958 to 31 March 1984 Died 11 July 2014, aged 71 years 458367 Maj N W H Young 1RD Served 01/01/1951 to 31/12/1952 TBC Died April 2014, age and date unknown 23836003 Tpr C Carpenter 1RD Served 1 January 1960 to 28 April 1969 Died 25 July 2014, aged 73 years
Obituaries â– 95
14916563 J J Ruskin RHG Served 1 February 1945 to 5 April 1948 Died 31 July 2014, aged 87 years 19155726 Tpr C E Elliott RHG Served 10 April 1947 to 17 April 1949 Died 28 August 2014, aged 85 years 24540497 LCpl F E Nicholls RHG/D Served 5 May 1981 to 4 May 1990 Died 3 September 2014, aged 49 years 306614 WO2 J Woodman MBE RVM RHG/D Served 26 September 1944 to 28 February 1975 Died 7 August 2014, aged 88 years 346992 Col Sir Ralph Carr-Ellison KCVO TD 1RD Served 1 January 1945 to 1 January 1949 Died 26 August 2014 aged 88 years 19155726 Tpr C E Elliott RHG Served 10 April 1947 to 17 April 1949 Died 28 August 2014, aged 85 years 306838 Cpl M Sutherland RHG Served 30 October 1946 to 29 October 1958 Died 9 October 2014, aged 86 years 24076428 LCpl R Dillon RHG Served 1 October 1966 to 1 October 1969 Died 9 October 2014, aged 65 years
24192441 Maj (WO2) S R Elsey RHG/D Served 7 January 1973 to 21 August 2010 Died 16 October 2014, aged 59 years
22556623 CoH C E Mogg RHG Served 10 February 1954 to 9 February 1962 Died 20 December 2014, aged 78 years
23028936 LCpl T J Selwood RHG Served 20 May 1954 to 20 May 1956 Died 17 October 2014, aged 78 years
1157694 CoH R W Horton RHG Served 4 January 1946 to 31 July 1962 Died 22 December 2014, aged 84 years
424818 R S Lane Fox RHG Served 6 September 1952 to 13 January 1954 Died 25 October 2014, aged 81 years
4978905 Tpr N H Slater 1RD Served 15 December 1939 to 27 April 1946 Died 26 December 2014, aged 95 years
23215117 LCpl D A W Fisher RHG Served 1 September 1955 to 31 May 1966 Died 25 October 2014, aged 76 years
357329 F W Brogden RHG Served 1 January 1945 to 31 December 1957 Died 26 December 2014, aged 88 years
23572687 Tpr P J Strachan 1RD Served 1 June 1958 to 30 June 1960 Died 7 November 2014, aged 76 years
1022059 W Shand-Kydd RHG/D Served from 1 January 1956 to 31 December 1957 Died 27 December 2014, aged 77
22205613 Cpl P H Durrant RHG Served 1 November 1950 to 30 November 1955 Died 7 November 2014, aged 81 years 22556673 CoH T N Commins RHG Served 1 January 1954 to 31 December 1973 Died 11 November 2014, aged 94 years 23152459 Tpr B Lindley RHG Served 1 August 1955 to 1 August 1957 Died 19 December 2014, aged 80 years
The Duke of Marlborough Late The Life Guards
23449413 Tpr B J Cowlishaw RHG Served 23 January 1958 to 15 February 1960 Died 28 December 2014, aged 76 years 68268 Brig The Duke of Wellington KG LVO OBE MC DL RHG Served 1 January 1943 to 1 January 1968 Died 30 December 2014, aged 99 years
with the assistance of The Daily Telegraph
international horse trials, which have become a popular annual event. He may have been discreetly assisted by the good move in 1976 of employing the former Academy Sgt Maj Huggins on his retirement from the Army.
The 11th Duke of Marlborough, born on 13th April 1926, who served in The Life Guards as The Marquess of Blandford, died aged 88 died on 16th October 2014. He devoted his life to preserving his family seat of Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire, for the benefit of future generations. After inheriting the dukedom on the death of his father in 1972, the Duke applied his shrewd commercial flair to the business of pulling in the crowds, introducing regular opening hours, tea rooms, boat trips, as well as a gift shop, maze and butterfly house. In what he described as ‘the ongoing battle of Blenheim’, he let out the house for corporate entertaining and the grounds for pop concerts, and even went so far as to open the family’s private apartments to the public. He introduced proper accounts, insisting that every part of the business should be self-financing, and founded the Blenheim
Blenheim Palace owes its name to Blindheim, in Austria, where on 13th August 1704 John Churchill, who had been created Duke of Marlborough in 1702, held back King Louis XIV’s troops and saved Vienna from a French attack. To show her gratitude, Queen Anne presented the Duke with the royal manor of Woodstock in Oxfordshire and promised that a palace would be built for him in the grounds to be paid for by the Crown. The baroque masterpiece that was created by Sir John Vanbrugh is a vast, triumphalist celebration of military victory. The Grinling Gibbons pinnacles show Marlborough’s coronet crushing the fleur-de-lis; the rooftop lions are biting into French cockerels; and there is a captured bust of Louis XIV in the centre of the south front. The original layout of the trees in the park even mimicked Marlborough’s battle lines, though the grounds were redesigned under the 4th Duke by Capability Brown. Yet even Queen Anne did not anticipate the grandeur and huge expense of Blenheim, and the house went on to become a financial burden to the Dukes of Marlborough for more than 300 years. The huge expense of maintaining the house often tempted them to desperate stratagems that did little for their reputation - or happiness. Gladstone famously remarked: ‘There never was a Churchill from John of Marlborough that had either morals or principles’. In recent generations, the ‘wicked’ 8th Duke had sold off many of Blenheim’s treasures to pay for the Palace’s upkeep; the 9th Duke sold himself to the American heiress Consuelo Vanderbilt, in one of the most unhappy and blatantly arranged marriages in history. Their son, the
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10th Duke, was once described by Auberon Waugh as ‘one of the most richly absurd characters the English aristocracy ever produced, famous for his appalling rudeness, amazing tactlessness and quite extraordinary greed’. Yet despite their efforts, when the 11th Duke inherited the titles and estates, the Palace and park were in a poor state and he was forced to surrender the Blenheim archives to meet death duties. ‘It would be wrong to say,’ he observed, ‘that I was longing to inherit because that would suggest I wanted my father to die, but there were certain things that couldn’t be done while he was alive.’ The 11th Duke’s achievement was in succeeding where so many of his ancestors had failed: in maintaining and improving his estate without compromising his principles or reputation. It was, the Duke said, his dearest wish ‘to ensure that my heir finds the place in the best possible state of repair and the estate in good order.’ It was a gruelling, uphill battle. Repainting the interiors took seven years, and rewiring took another seven. In 2009 the Duke had to spend £1 million to rebuild the Blenheim Dam and its adjoining cascade, created by ‘Capability’ Brown, to comply with a law requiring that such structures be able to withstand a one-in-10,000-years flood. The Duke’s first two marriages had ended in divorce, and his heir, James, Marquess of Blandford, his eldest surviving son by his first marriage, was deemed for many years to be unsuitable to assume responsibility for the estate. Publicly, the debonair 6ft 5in Duke was sometimes described by profile writers as being remote, formal and stuffy, but the American author Bill Bryson found him ‘a charming man’, and other interviewers were often surprised to find themselves won over by his sense of humour and warm chuckle. His workforce at Blenheim regarded him as a benign if exacting employer; in 1989 he announced that he would be paying the poll taxes of workers and tenants on his estate. John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill was born on 13th April 1926, the elder son of the 10th Duke of Marlborough by his first marriage to Mary Cadogan, daughter of Viscount Chelsea. His father’s cousin, Winston Churchill, himself born at Blenheim, was one of his godparents. After Eton, the young Lord Blandford, as he then was, joined The Life Guards. In October 1945, Lt Col RII Gooch reported that he ‘was extremely keen and very capable’ and was ‘perfectly fitted to take over a Troop straight away’, and was commissioned in July 1945. In May 1947, he was granted a regular commission. Amongst the documents in his record is a telegram from the Adjutant of the Mounted Regiment to Lord Blandford at Balmoral, Scotland, asking for confirmation by return that he ‘had paid the Musical Ride’. In September 1952 he sought clearance to leave the Army to go to the Royal Agricultural College, Cirencester, but was retained until 3rd June 1953 as officer numbers were low, and retired in the rank of captain in June 1953 from the contingent taking part in the Standards Parade and the Coronation. He had served in Windsor, Germany, the Middle East, and Knightsbridge. Thereafter he involved himself in the management of Blenheim, particularly in the public opening of the Palace. While his father was still alive, he lived five miles away at Lee Place, a country house which he kept on after becoming duke as a retreat for the family during the busy summer opening season. During the 1950s he served as a councillor on Oxfordshire County Council and became a magistrate. Having inherited the Marlborough peerages in 1972, the Duke took his seat in the House of Lords and in his maiden speech the next year drew attention to the damage caused to sheep flocks by badgers. After that, he contributed only occasionally to debates, though he was for many years a member of the House of Lords bridge team. He lost his seat in the Lords when
Labour banished all but 92 of the hereditary peers in 1999. The Duke was chairman of Martini Rossi from 1979 to 1996 and president of the Thames and Chilterns Tourist Board from 1974. He also served as president of the Oxfordshire Association for Young People and of the Oxfordshire branch of the Country Landowners’ Association. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Oxfordshire in 1974. He was a first-class shot and a good horseman, riding hard to hounds with the Heythrop. He was president of the Sports Aid Foundation (South Eastern Area) and of Oxford United Football Club in 1955. In 1959 he was honorary vice-president of the Football Association. The Duke’s first wife, whom he married in 1951, was Susan Hornby, daughter of the deputy chairman of WH Smith. They had a daughter and two sons, the eldest of whom died aged two. When, shortly afterwards, his wife left him for another man, the Duke gained custody of their children; they divorced in 1961. Tina Livanos, the former wife of the Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis, became the Duke’s second wife in 1961. She left him to marry Stavros Niarchos, who had previously been married to her sister. She and the Duke divorced in 1971. The Duke married thirdly, in 1972, Rosita Douglas, the daughter of a Swedish count and ambassador to the United States. With her, he had another daughter and two sons, the eldest of whom died in infancy. The marriage was dissolved in 2008, and in the same year he married Lily Mahtani, whose father, Narinder Sahni, has been a top executive with the Hinduja Group.
Brigadier Valerian Wellesley KG LVO OBE MC DL, The Duke of Wellington Late Royal Horse Guards with the assistance of The Daily Telegraph
The 8th Duke of Wellington, born on 2nd July 1915, died aged 99 on 31st December 2014. He served his Sovereign, his country, his family and honoured his great ancestor the victor of Waterloo throughout his life. Well aware of the social changes that followed the Second World War, Wellington once remarked, tongue in cheek, at a meeting of the Zoological Society, that perhaps dukes should be made a protected species. He remained determined to protect his property, and took steps to secure his family’s interests in Britain, Spain and Belgium against threats posed by politicians and high taxation; he was not afraid to be seen backing causes in which he had personal stake. Above all, he kept a judicious eye on both the 1st Duke’s reputation and the battlefield of Waterloo, becoming exercised by the commercialisation of the site, where the predominant number of imperial eagles and other items bearing the initial “N” in the gift shop implied that Napoleon had really won.
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In 1995, after seeing the “inglorious flag” of the European Union flying over the site, he wrote to The Daily Telegraph to protest against the “unnatural” celebrations of the battle’s 180th anniversary. “We British have a feeling and respect for the past, something that not all nations understand or share,” he explained; in addition he noted that Napoleon’s headquarters, which had once housed a small museum, was now a discotheque. Shortly before the letters column’s deadline, he rang back to add another line below “Duke of Wellington” at the bottom of the text: “Prince of Waterloo”. Arthur Valerian Wellesley was born in Rome on 2nd July 1915, the centenary year of his great-great-grandfather’s victory over the French. His father was Lord Gerald Wellesley, the third son of the 4th Duke, an author and diplomat who later qualified as an architect and succeeded as the 7th Duke in 1943. At Eton he was a member of the shooting VIII. While serving in the corps, he fainted during a parade at Windsor, and when Queen Mary asked afterwards what had been wrong he said he thought he had measles - drawing the comment from George V (who believed such diseases should be experienced in childhood): “And high time, too.” Although he wanted to go straight into the Army, Val’s father sent him to read History and Languages at New College, Oxford, where he was a member of the Bullingdon Club; at the same time he enjoyed London society, dancing with suitable girls at grand balls and less suitable ones in subterranean nightclubs. He was remembered by The Duchess of Devonshire as one of the best looking and charming of her prewar escorts and certainly the best dancer, and by Lady Soames as the best mannered man she knew. As a result he failed his finals and was sent to a London crammer, run by an attractive widow, and then to France to learn French. He was commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards, which taught him sword, lance and revolver drill, tent pegging and other cavalry exercises. Before embarking for Palestine in 1940, he paid an Indian at Liverpool docks to tattoo his regiment’s emblem on his left arm. After being posted to Tulkarm with the 1st Household Cavalry Regiment, he made patrols through Arab villages, but was upset after a few months on the mechanization of 1HCR to be ordered to shoot 14 black horses, which had taken part in George VI’s coronation. He was then part of a column which advanced 500 miles into Iraq, where he found himself hunting, and being hunted by, the canny nationalist leader Fawzi al-Kawukji who, in league with the Vichy French in Syria, was harrying British supply lines. On one patrol he found himself crawling at night through the ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra, outside which he found a French officer’s scarlet cloak; it would remain on the ducal bed for many years until the Duchess threw it out as motheaten. On another he was turned back by enemy armoured cars outside El Beida. “Apart from the above incidents,” the citation for his MC declared, “this officer’s conduct throughout the operations in Syria was exceptionally gallant and he was a magnificent example to all ranks of his squadron.” While in Cairo he enjoyed the friendship of a Druze princess, who once hid him in her bedroom while she remonstrated with an enraged friend. He took part in the battle of Alamein before being wounded when a “brew-up” of tea exploded. It was in late 1943 that he learned that his cousin, the 6th Duke, his elder by three years, had been killed with the Commandos at Salerno. His father succeeded as the 7th Duke, and he began to use the courtesy title, Marquess of Douro. On being posted to the staff in Jerusalem he met Diana McConnel, who worked in the office of her father, Major General Douglas McConnel, the GOC. Shortly before their marriage in January 1943 a bomb was discovered outside the Anglican cathedral; it had
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been due to go off on their wedding day. Nine weeks later he was sent to Italy where, in the course of the difficult advance, he was given a duck which, instead of eating, he kept with a pointer in his armoured car which his men dubbed “The Dog and the Duck”. Posted to Germany after the war, he considered leaving the Army until King George VI asked him to stay on, saying: “I like to have people I know in the Household Cavalry.” The following year at King George’s funeral he took part in the vigil at the lying-in-state and commanded the Mounted Escort to the coffin, and was given the LVO. He was Commanding Officer of the The Blues in Cyprus during the bloody EOKA Terrorist Campaign where he always slept with a pistol under his pillow, and as a result of his very successful command he was awarded the OBE (Military). After a spell as Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Household Cavalry and Silver Stick, he was promoted to Brigadier and had charge of all Tank and Armoured Car Regiments in BAOR. His final appointment as military attaché in Madrid, where he was in the unusual position of being a diplomat in a country where he was heir to a title (Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo), and to 2,500 acres with a wonderful house which he enjoyed, which had been conferred on the 1st Duke. On retiring from the Army in 1968 in the rank of brigadier, he turned his attention to the family estates. In order to meet estate duties he sold 1,135 acres at Silchester and 230 at Wellington, Somerset (from where the family had originated). Over the following years he sold paintings, drawings and a 120-piece Sèvres dessert service made for the Empress Josephine. When it was learned that the buyer of the Sèvres was the French government there was a storm of protest in Britain, and an export licence was delayed before it eventually went to the Victoria and Albert Museum for £450,000. The Iron Duke’s papers were dispatched to Southampton University as part of an agreement with the Treasury. A plan to modernise the Wellington estates included opening to the public Stratfield Saye, the 17th-century house with 7,500 acres between Reading and Basingstoke which had been given by the nation to the 1st Duke, and the creation of a 700-acre country park. He was a really knowledgeable countryman who loved Stratfield Saye and in the course of 40 years, it was estimated that he planted more than one million trees which helped to make the estate so beautiful. As a sportsman he was an excellent shot, and fisherman and accomplished rider and polo player. A fitting image to describe him would see him striding across the park with his thumb stick, Blues tweed cap, dogs at heel and that wonderful half smile and sparkling blue eyes. The democratic age sometimes posed a threat to the Wellington properties abroad in Spain and Belgium. In Belgium in the 1970s and 1980s, two retired senators (one a descendant of a Napoleonic general) called the Duke’s right to an income of £20,000 a year from the 2,600 acres next to the battlefield of Waterloo a “feudal and medieval annuity”. And he could be sure that, wherever he was in the world, nobody would miss the opportunity to serve him Beef Wellington. In the House of Lords, the Duke was particularly critical of the cutting of the Army’s numbers after the fall of communism, and he was highly critical of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He also made a pilgrimage to the 6th Duke’s grave near Salerno. He served as a Hampshire deputy lieutenant, county councillor and as president, trustee, governor and member of a wide variety of 25 plus bodies and charities. His many appointments included being the last Colonel-in-Chief of
the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment; president of Game Conservancy; a director of Massey Ferguson; a trustee of the Royal Armouries; and a governor of Wellington College. He was appointed LVO in 1952, OBE in 1957. What gave Brigadier Valerian perhaps his greatest pleasure was his installation in 1990 by HM The Queen as a Knight of the Garter, the greatest honour that Her Majesty has to offer, an award for merit not for an accident of birth. He was also an officer of the French Legion of Honour, and a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael of the Wing in Portugal, and of the Order of Isabel the Catholic in Spain. He had a very happy marriage for 66 years before Diana died in 2010, and was immensely proud of his large family, their exploits giving him great pleasure. Not least he was proud of his grandson Gerald, who had joined The Blues and Royals, and served in Afghanistan with the Household Cavalry Regiment. The heir to the peerages is the eldest of his four sons, Charles, Marquess of Douro He was, as proclaimed by Brig Andrew Parker Bowles using Chaucer’s phrase in conclusion of his eulogy “a true, a perfect, gentle knight.”
Colonel Sir Ralph Carr-Ellison Late 1st Royal Dragoons with acknowledgement to The Daily Telegraph Sir Ralph Carr-Ellison, who died aged 88 on 26th August 2014, was one of northeast England’s most prominent citizens as the long-serving chairman of Tyne-Tees Television and Lord Lieutenant of Tyne and Wear, and as the inheritor of estates in rural Northumberland and urban Tyneside. A family historian described Sir Ralph as “a mixture of the traditionalist and the progressive, the aristocrat and the democrat; an Old Etonian with his feet firmly set in his native North East”. His remarkably full life encompassed a range of business ventures and projects as well as military service, public duties, local politics, land husbandry and fox-hunting. Ralph Harry Carr-Ellison was born on 8th December 1925 on the Hedgeley estate near Alnwick, where he lived all his life, and which had been acquired in 1786 by his ancestor Ralph Carr, a prosperous Newcastle merchant whose son married Hannah Ellison, of Hebburn Hall on Tyneside. The grounds of Hebburn Hall, which became an infirmary, are now CarrEllison Park. After Eton, Ralph joined the 1st Royal Dragoons in 1944. He was commissioned and seconded to the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, who were preparing for an invasion of Japan but were in fact dispatched to Austria, where they patrolled the eastern frontier to keep out Hungarian refugees. Returning to the Royal Dragoons, Carr-Ellison served in Germany as a captain and technical adjutant until 1949. Four decades of territorial service were to follow: among other roles he commanded the Northumberland Hussars; was honorary colonel of the Northumbrian Universities OTC; president of the North of England TA & VR Association; and ADC (TAVR)
to the Queen. In previous generations, the Carr-Ellisons’ urban properties south of the Tyne at Hebburn and Dunston had subsidised their rural holdings, but post-war rent controls and levies on development reversed that situation, and death duties made further inroads. Having assumed hands-on responsibility on his return from the Army, Ralph set out in the 1950s and 1960s to commercialise the estates and launch other ventures - in the motor trade, agricultural machinery and insurance broking in the spirit of his mercantile forebears. He was drawn into a more public role as a director of the Newcastle & Gateshead Water Co in 1964, and was the first chairman, from 1973, of the Northumbrian Water Authority, formed to coordinate supply across a rapidly urbanising region from the Tweed to the Tees. It fell to him to oversee the construction of Kielder Water - Britain’s largest man-made lake - that had received ministerial approval but was opposed by many neighbouring landowners. Just before Christmas in 1979, as he was visiting tunnelling works, Ralph suffered serious injuries and two months of hospitalisation when a boring machine broke through a wall in front of him; but he saw the project to successful completion of the reservoir in 1981, and the opening of its hydroelectric plant the following year. Meanwhile, he had also been asked in 1966 to be a director of Tyne Tees Television, the regional independent station that had begun broadcasting in 1959. Though he was at first seen as representing the rural interest, he made it clear that his purview extended across the industrial north east and established himself as a forceful boardroom presence. When Tyne Tees and Yorkshire Television merged in 1970 he became deputy chairman of the new parent, Trident, and fought to preserve Tyne Tees against attempts from Yorkshire to reduce its presence in Newcastle to save costs. From 1974 until 1997 (when the group was acquired by Granada) he was chairman of Tyne Tees. If the station was not much celebrated for original programme-making, highlights being dramatisations of Catherine Cookson novels, one exception was the live music show The Tube, first made for Channel 4 in 1982. At the inaugural broadcast, an unruly horde of youngsters descended on the studios accompanied by a large detachment of police. The station’s managing director, Peter Paine, feared for his career when Carr-Ellison arrived to see how things were going, and was relieved to be told: “This is the best thing you’ve ever done.” In the political sphere, he was treasurer of the Conservative Party’s northern area, vice-chairman of the National Union of Conservative Associations and chairman of Berwick-uponTweed constituency, where his name had been bruited as a parliamentary candidate in 1951. Among many other commitments, he was chairman of the Automobile Association from 1986 to 1995. He had a lifelong interest in the scouting movement as county commissioner for Northumberland and a member of the council of the Scout Association. He was chairman of the development trust of Newcastle University, and was closely involved in the creation in 1999 of the regional development agency One North East.
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Ralph enjoyed life to the full despite the demands of his diary. An enthusiastic horseman and amateur huntsman, he was joint master for 40 years of the West Percy Foxhounds (whose kennels are on the Hedgeley estate), though his riding career was ended by his injuries in the 1979 accident. His last outing from home, two weeks before his death, was to an event for hunt puppy walkers. Ralph Carr-Ellison was knighted in 1973 for his services to the Conservative Party, and was appointed KCVO in 1999. He was Lord Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear from 1984 to 2000, having also served as high sheriff and vice-Lord Lieutenant of Northumberland. In 1951 he married Mary Kavanagh, from an Anglo-Irish family, after a whirlwind courtship taking in the hunt balls of Dublin Horse Show week; they had three sons and a daughter. Mary died in 1996, and he married secondly, in 1998, Gay Dyer (née Walsh), the widow of his friend Simon Dyer, who was director-general of the AA during Carr-Ellison’s chairmanship.
Captain R A Ingham Clark Late The Life Guards Alastair Ingham Clark was born on 19th November 1924 at his grandmother’s house in Wimbledon. Following his education at St Cyprians School near Eastbourne and Harrow School, Alastair volunteered in 1943 and was due to join his father’s Scottish infantry regiment until a chance conversation in the Caledonian Club provided an opening to join The Life Guards. He therefore proceeded to attend Brigade Squad under Sgt Jack Patten, and was duly commissioned shortly after. The role of the Household Calvary no doubt significantly increased his chances of surviving the war, which he did having served in the 1st Household Cavalry as part of the 8th Army in its campaign in Italy and subsequently in North West Europe immediately following D-Day. He rarely spoke of his war time experiences but did recall the time his Daimler Armoured Car hit a road mine in France, not a pleasant experience for him and perhaps, more importantly, his crew. After the war, he remained as a regular officer serving in Palestine, Windsor and London, becoming Assistant Adjutant and then being posted to the Inns of Court and City Yeomanry as Adjutant in August 1949. Whilst serving at Knightsbridge in 1948, he was a mounted steward for the equestrian events at the London Olympic Games, of which he had very fond memories. Having a love of ceremony, he thoroughly enjoyed his time with the Mounted Regiment, especially a posting to the French Cavalry in Paris. Never a bad place for a young man to get up to no good! He always jested that his time at the old Knightsbridge Barracks only confirmed his long held view of that horses are dangerous at both ends and uncomfortable in the middle, whereas the motor bikes he loved to race were just downright dangerous! In 1954 he resigned his commission, in part because the family
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firm, who specialised in varnishes and paint, needed his services and also, I suspect that Staff College may have been an insurmountable challenge. He always liked to say he was self-educated and that Harrow just provided some facilities. In any case, his enthusiasm for soldiering was unabated, joining the HAC soon after leaving the regiment, a unit he had come in contact with during the Olympics, serving in the Corps of Drums for well over 30 years. Outside the military, he left the family firm in 1966 to run the Ancient and Accepted Rite in Freemasonry, which provided him with another outlet for his ceremonial passion. This was further exercised in the Ceremonial Staff of the Order of St John where he was the Sword Bearer for many years. Alastair Ingham Clark died on 24th February 2014, aged 89, a week after he had suffered a major stroke. He is survived by his wife Prue, who is now in a home suffering from dementia, and three sons Jamie, Alex and Tom, all of whom joined the services, with Alex following him into The Life Guards.
Surgeon Lieutenant Colonel John Stewart Late The Life Guards John Stewart is held in affectionate memory by all who knew him and especially by The Life Guards and the Household Cavalry. Not only was he our doctor and confidant from 1967 to 1980, he took a full part in active duty. He was an enthusiastic and gallant rider, who enjoyed his ceremonial duties and, especially, hunting with the Weser Vale in Germany and taking part in show jumping events. This is shown by the many tributes from his friends in all ranks, praising his professionalism, humour, kindness and understanding. Above all, the consistency of affection in these memories testifies to the universal high esteem in which John was held, as an officer and gentleman. John soon made his mark in the Regiment with his charm and style of dealing with all types of case, as shown by anecdotes from the time - half a century ago. A young officer fainted after making a blood donation and made his way to the medical centre. Informed that the RMO was in his office (after hours, of course) the officer found John with his feet up, on the telephone to William Hill, watching the racing on the televison, and reading the Sporting Life. He was a serious punter, having learned the habit, it is said, from
his grandmother. The officer recovered swiftly. He also had to gently explain to young officers new to the Mess that while he wore the rank of the Commanding Officer they did not need to salute him as such. Many speak of the skilled professional care he always gave to his patients and, on overseas tours particularly, to their wives. On more than one occasion he saved lives, earning the gratitude and respect of the whole Regiment. John was highly thought of in the wider sphere of the NHS and acted as a consultant to local hospitals. At Combermere a trooper, due for a posting to Pirbright, complained of bad feet. John told him that there seemed to be nothing wrong with his feet but asked if he would like to see a specialist consultant at King Edward V11 (NHS) hospital Windsor. On arrival at the specialist’s office the trooper was startled to see John himself sitting at the desk. The advice was the same. His advice was always straightforward - he once informed a would-be parachutist at his medical that he was physically A1 but that, mentally, he was not sure. Why would anyone jump out of a serviceable aircraft? After breaking his neck in Detmold, reputedly in games in the WOs’ and NCOs’ Mess, a soldier was mortified to learn that he had advised the Colonel, at the time, to “move elsewhere” and to leave him alone. Needless to say John, in his easy going way, ignored this advice thereby earning the patient’s eternal gratitude. Habitually, he would make light of difficult situations and carry on with his professional duty regardless of distractions. John Malcolm Stewart was born in Anlaby, near Hull in 1930 and was educated at Sedbergh School in Yorkshire. Here he developed his love of rugby and in 1949 he played for Yorkshire against Wales. Then came two years of National Service, after which he went up to St Andrews University where he studied Medicine and joined the RAMC as part of the Territorial Army. Here he met his future wife, Jean Robertson and they married in 1956 - a little too soon after his graduation for Jean’s mother, who thought a scandal would ensue. There was, of course, no scandal, it was just that they wanted to start their life together, which they both did in General Practice in Portsmouth. In 1964, John rejoined the RAMC and, as a Major, was stationed with 28 Brigade at Terendak Camp, Malacca on the west coast of Malaya, as it was then. This was the time when LG were deployed in the Far East at Seremban, with squadrons in Singapore and Hong Kong and so John’s association with the Regiment began to the future benefit of all. While he was at Terendak, Vientiane, the capital of Laos, became flooded, putting all public services out of order. John led a Field Ambulance team of six specialists to the area and between them, over three weeks they treated 8,000 injured Laotians and vaccinated 15,000 against cholera on a house to house and mobile clinic basis. They were all personally thanked by the Laotian Prime Minister. After returning to England, John joined the Regiment at Windsor as RMO and was welcomed by the friends he had already made in the Far East. He quickly slipped into his role, wholeheartedly embracing the tactical and ceremonial duties within the Household Cavalry. John, now promoted to Surg Lt Col, enjoyed himself hugely between Knightsbridge, Windsor, Detmold (BAOR), Norway, Jamaica (it is not clear exactly what role he played there!) and HMS Maidstone, moored at Belfast in Northern Ireland. On one of these trips to Ireland, Lord Mountbatten became unwell and John was asked to accompany him on his flight home, for which he received a very nice letter of thanks.
In 1977, John became an officer of St. John’s Ambulance as Divisional Surgeon, which meant he could cover events such as Windsor Horse Show and the 3 Day Event, which he enjoyed for several years and he also officiated at The Guards Polo Club. He was keen to be on a horse whenever he could and he became a familiar figure mounted on his favourite grey. He was never afraid to have a go at whatever was on offer even if he found himself being run away with on occasion, much to the amusement of all. Above all, he enjoyed himself and everyone enjoyed his company.
John left the Army in 1980 and obtained his certificate of Aviation Medicine before joining British Airways to start their first Travel Clinic, on Regent Street. He set up and ran five of these clinics as Senior Medical Officer. Amongst his many duties at BA was that of carrying out regular medicals on all BA pilots, wherever they might be, allowing him to take a choice of locations in favoured spots for himself and Jean. During this phase of his career, John found himself and his codoctor with a complete change of culture - a staff consisting entirely of females. John shared a desk with his co-doctor and she was a little surprised one day when she discovered a small electrical device in a drawer, which turned out to be the smallest TV known to man! It was, of course, to watch the racing whilst still being able to carry out his duties. It is recalled that John was not above asking the most junior nurse, with that twinkle in his eye, if she wouldn’t mind popping out to the local William Hill shop to place a bet for him during her lunch hour. Of course, she wouldn’t! They all, naturally, loved and respected him although not without the odd disagreement. He is recalled by his BA staff as being courteous, kind, humorous and thoroughly professional - the same qualities he had shown with the Regiment - and they felt privileged to have worked with him and to have benefitted from his wide knowledge and good sense. In retirement John and Jean enjoyed themselves at The Anchorage at Thorpe where they had lived for a long time and they were able to see more of their children and grandchildren. They also travelled widely to America and the Middle East. John loved his family, his garden and his cats. He suffered from Parkinson’s from the early 2000’s and Jean, sadly, died in 2007. He continued to live at The Anchorage until 2010 when he moved to a care home, The Priory, in Arundel. There, despite needing help, he remained his usual charming self as he regaled the staff with memories of his active and colourful life. He died on 6th May and is survived by his two sons, John and James and his daughter Susan. His Memorial Service at Thorpe coincided with the Presentation of Standards Parade.
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Bill Shand Kydd Late The Royal Horse Guards
Service in the Royal Horse Guards (The Blues), and in 1963 married Christina Duncan. After leaving the Army, Shand Kydd joined the family business but left after a few years and instead made a living developing property, farming his estate in Buckinghamshire and investing in start-up companies. Meanwhile, he enjoyed the high life to the full. At St Moritz he completed the Cresta Run. He also raced power boats and became an amateur jockey (“Haven’t you found enough ways to break your neck?” asked his father when he acquired his first hunter). Rich, handsome and famously amusing, Shand Kydd once livened up the Whaddon Chase Hunt ball by streaking through the dancers. On another occasion he won, then promptly lost, £70,000 playing chemin de fer at the Clermont Club . He subsequently eschewed the gambling tables.
Bill Shand Kydd was a businessman and daredevil sportsman who played a cameo role in the Lord Lucan murder mystery. Bill Shand Kydd, who died on 27th December 2014 aged 77, was a businessman, daredevil sportsman, racehorse breeder and trainer, a one-time gambler and, by his own admission, a serial womaniser; he was also related, by marriage, to two of the most fascinating figures of the second half of the 20th century - Diana, Princess of Wales, and the Earl of Lucan, the peer who vanished after his children’s nanny, Sandra Rivett, was found murdered in 1974. Bill Shand Kydd’s relationship to the princess was a distant one and he did not claim to know her well: his elder half-brother, Peter Shand Kydd, was married for 19 years to Diana’s mother Frances after she left her first husband, Earl Spencer. He was much closer to Lord Lucan (he was married to Christina, sister of Lucan’s wife Veronica) and played a cameo role in the events before and after the Earl’s sensational disappearance. The Earl, Shand Kydd explained to the inquest, was “not one of my greatest friends, but I like him”. He claimed that he had last seen Lucan two weeks before he disappeared, when the Earl had expressed concern that his children were not being properly cared for. In the aftermath of his disappearance, much was made of a lunch attended by Lucan’s friends, including Shand Kydd, on 8th November 1974, at the house of John Aspinall, owner of the Clermont Club in Mayfair, where Lucan had been a professional gambler. The tabloids suggested, without any evidence, that they were all privy to dark secrets about the Earl’s whereabouts, whereas it seems that the focus of discussion was what they should do if Lucan reappeared. On 12th November, Shand Kydd appeared on News at Ten to make a personal appeal for Lucan to come forward. Shand Kydd believed that Lucan probably took his own life shortly after his disappearance, but he never accepted that he was a murderer. In the immediate years after the murder, the Lucan children, George Bingham and his two sisters, were initially brought up by their mother. The three children, from whom she was subsequently estranged, were eventually sent to live with Bill and Christina Shand Kydd, as had been Lucan’s wish. It is thought that their time with the Shand Kydds, who had two children of their own, was a key factor in helping them overcome the traumas of their childhood. George Bingham once described Bill Shand Kydd as a “perfect role model”, while Shand Kydd told a friend that he was tremendously proud that he had helped to pull Lucan’s children through “unscathed”. “For them to have got on with their lives totally unfazed and unbothered by any of this business is a credit to them,” he said. William Shand Kydd was born on 12th May 1937, the son of the wallpaper magnate Norman Shand Kydd and his second wife, Freda. After education at Stowe, he did National
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During his time as an amateur jockey, Shand Kydd rode 45 winners under rules and more than 100 in point-to-points, mainly in the 1960s. He rode in the 1966 Grand National (unseated at the 25th fence), an event for which he claimed to have trained with “serious work¬outs in Annabel’s nightclub on a regular basis”. In 2004 he was elected an honorary member of the Jockey Club in recognition of his fundraising for racing charities. Shand Kydd’s marriage to Christina did not deter him from having discreet relationships with other women, and he once claimed that he had been put off writing an autobiography by the thought of all the husbands who would be after him. As it was, he inspired an extraordinary devotion among his lovers, while his wife seems to have tolerated his peccadilloes. Shand Kydd’s life changed for ever, however, in September 1995 when the hunter he was riding faltered at a fence during a team chase at Sulgrave, Northampton, pitching him on his head. He broke two vertebrae, and was paralysed from the neck down. This disaster brought out the best in Shand Kydd. He refused to succumb to self-pity and continued to pursue many of his interests with a touching vigour, inventing ingenious ways around his condition. He retained his engaging and flirtatious sense of humour and managed to maintain an atmosphere of jollity in the house which he and Christina shared with an army of helpers. “There’s no such thing as privacy, but I keep my nurses laughing,” Shand Kydd told an interviewer. “I’ve joked my way through my life and my memories are very sustaining.” After his accident Shand Kydd threw his formidable energies into raising hundreds of thousands of pounds for the charity Spinal Research, including taking part in a “tandem” 12,000ft skydive, complete with respirator, which raised almost £1 million. “I’ve always liked new challenges and doing things I’m told are impossible. That’s been my philosophy all my life,” he said. Bill Shand Kydd is survived by his wife and by their son and daughter.
Toby Balding Late The Life Guards with the assistance of The Daily Telegraph Toby Balding, born 23rd September 1936, died 25th September 2014 aged 78. He had a distinguished career as a racehorse trainer during which he had the rare distinction of winning National Hunt’s so-called “holy trinity”: the Grand National, Champion Hurdle and Cheltenham Gold Cup. Balding hailed from a powerful racing dynasty: his father was a trainer, while his younger brother Ian sent out the 1971 Derby winner Mill Reef and was later succeeded by his son Andrew, who won the Oaks in 2003 with Casual Look. Ian’s daughter (and Toby’s niece) Clare Balding is the celebrated racing pundit and television presenter. Having won the Grand National in 1969 with Highland Wedding, Toby Balding repeated the feat
publisher of the New York Herald Tribune and US Ambassador to London under President Eisenhower. When Gerald died, aged only 54, Whitney backed the idea that Toby should take over the stables; at only 20, he found himself the youngest trainer in Britain.
20 years later with Little Polveir. Balding was also notable for his ability to recognise potentially outstanding young jockeys. It was he who introduced a young AP McCoy to the British racing public when he brought him over from Ireland in the 1994-95 season; McCoy duly became champion conditional jockey, and has since been Champion Jockey 19 years in succession. Balding also fostered the careers of riders such as Bob Champion, Richard Linley and Adrian Maguire. Although it was over the jumps that he excelled, Balding’s 2,000-plus winners included successes on the Flat. And he liked to have a touch. Perhaps the best known was in the 1959 Portland Handicap, when the gamble was on New World, owned by the Hong Kong media mogul and philanthropist Sir Run Run Shaw. According to Balding, Shaw’s interest in racing was “entirely betting motivated”, and it was decided to target one of Britain’s big handicaps. This successful campaign was capped by victory, with Balding having got on at 33-1 and winning enough to buy Fyfield, his future training base, from his mother just before his wedding. On another occasion, in the early 1980s, the gambling intentions of one of Balding’s owners developed into a kind of farce. Gunnar Schjelderup, a Norwegian Davis Cup tennis player and keen punter, sent Balding two horses - one a Polish Champion Hurdler, the other a complete novice - and they were inadvertently put in the wrong stables. The horses looked nothing like their descriptions on their respective passports, and on the schooling ground the “Polish Champion” broke every hurdle, while the “complete novice” jumped like a stag. But no one appeared to notice. On the day when both were due to run - one at Exeter and one at Nottingham - Schjelderup arranged to have his usual massive punt. The authorities at Nottingham, noting that his runner looked nothing like the horse in the passport, withdrew him from the race. At Exeter, however, the Polish horse - despite resistance from a by now alarmed Balding - was allowed to run, and it duly hacked up at 5-1, thwarting a big gamble on the favourite. The horse was eventually disqualified, and the trainer fined £400 by the Jockey Club; but in the meantime Schjelderup had been paid out by the bookies, with all his doubles going on to the one horse. The Norwegian, innocent of the rules of racing, asked Balding: “Can we do it again?” Gerald Barnard Balding was born in the United States; his mother was American, and his father (also Gerald) was both a racehorse trainer and captain of the England polo team. To avoid family confusion, Gerald junior became known as Toby, after his father’s great friend Lord (Toby) Daresbury. Both he and his brother Ian, born two years later, spent their early years in New Jersey with their mother’s family before being sent to Marlborough. After National Service with The Life Guards, Toby became assistant trainer to his father. Gerald senior trained at Weyhill in Hampshire, where his principal patron was Jock Whitney, the racehorse owner, polo player,
He later moved from Weyhill to Fyfield, remaining - apart from a brief interlude in Dorset - in the Test Valley of Hampshire for the rest of his career, finally building a new yard at nearby Kimpton Down. Balding retired after 48 years as a trainer in 2004 owing to the failing health of his wife, Caro, who died later that year. The yard at Kimpton was taken over by his son-in-law, Jonathan Geake. A founder of the National Trainers’ Federation, Balding continued to serve the sport in his retirement. He was on the board of the British Horseracing Authority and was elected an honorary member of the Jockey Club. He was appointed OBE in 2011. Toby Balding is survived by his son and two daughters.
Farrier Quarter Master Corporal Ernest James Woodman MBE RVM Late Royal Horse Guards, The Life Guards and The Blue and Royals Known to all as Jim, he was a remarkably strong and gentle man who was a true master of his calling. A gentleman of the old school, his integrity, his devotion to duty, his sympathy for both man and animal and his experience and balanced judgement won him the respect of all ranks. Jim was born in Old Windsor, into an army family on 25th November 1926. His father was serving in the Royal Horse Guards and so he spent most of his childhood in Combermere Barracks and the old Knightsbridge Barracks, in those days a year was spent at either barracks. His dream was to join the RAF and be a pilot, but was rejected as he had a perforated eardrum. So in September 1944 he enlisted into The Blues and became a gunner operator on the Daimler armoured car. He was posted to Knightsbridge Barracks in September 1945, when the horses were brought back from the war. In 1945, his father Farrier Major Woodman retired having served twenty six years in the regiment, also holding the appointment of FQMC. Jim started training in the forge in 1946. At that time there were no mechanical aids and the forge fires were kept going by bellows, and horses were ridden to Pirbright and Windsor as there were no boxes. These men were strong and tough. He was promoted to Farrier Corporal of Horse in 1954 and for many years carried the axe on all escorts. On promotion to FQMC in 1958, he was transferred to The Life Guards, who at the time were short of Warrant Officers to carry the Standard. He stayed with The Life Guards for two years until The Blues themselves became short of Warrant Officers and he transferred back again. The Farrier Major, as he was known in the Regiment, was in
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charge of all shoeing and veterinary treatments under the Veterinary Officer. He had a staff of twelve farriers and two sick line grooms and looked after an average of 250 horses. As all new horses, remounts, are chosen by their Squadrons they were and are named by successive letters of the alphabet annually; and affectionately during his service a horse “Woodman” was named after him. Awarded the MBE in 1975 for outstanding Farrier Services, particularly during a long outbreak of ‘Strangles’, and indeed he was credited that no horse died during the outbreak in 200 horses. He held two Certificates from the Worshipful Company of Farriers. The AFCL (Associate Fellow of the Company of London) and the RSS (Registered Shoeing Smith). Jim retired from the Cavalry in 1975 after serving 31 years. He went to work in the City of London as an office manager for Bland Payne Sedgwicks, Insurance Brokers. He joined the Yeoman of the Guard in 1976 and actively served for 20 years up to his 70th birthday attending many state and royal occasions, Maundy services and weddings, including that of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 1980, permitting him to drive his sheep over London Bridge. And in 1996 he received the RVM Medal. Jim enjoyed his life in both the army and with the Yeomen and went on to give many talks to many different audiences about his life and times in both up until around his 80th birthday, which always were much appreciated. He fulfilled one of his dreams when he flew on Concorde, a present for his 65th Birthday from his family, one which he never forgot. Jim died on 7th August while on holiday in the Isle of Wight. He was 87 years old. He leaves his wife Mary to whom he was very happily married to for 66 years. He had two sons, Barrie and Simon, and two daughters, Jennifer and Jane, six grandchildren and six great grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by all.
Stuart Dixon Late The Life Guards Stuart Dixon was born in 1968, joining the British Army on 25th June 1984. On completion of his basic training, Stuart was posted to HCMR. He served three years colour service; while a short time in some people’s eyes, in that time he touched many lives, making lifelong friends along the way. During his time at Knightsbridge, Stuart performed in the Musical Ride and was selected to represent the Mounted Regiment in the recruiting team. He finished his time in Knightsbridge as the Squadron Leader’s groom; in the days before the rotation between the Mounted and Armoured regiments it was unheard of to have such a young Trooper in this position. Stuart was always willing to help other people and passed on his skills to new members of The Life Guards Squadron, when they arrived for kit ride. Always a keen sportsman he was selected to represent HCMR in football. Sadly for the Regiment, Stuart decided to leave the Army to
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start a new chapter in “Civvie Street”. Stuart had varying jobs from fitting windows to producing Challenger-2 and CVRT tracks. Whatever Stuart put his hands to he managed to excel. His most recent job was that of a home carer which turned out to be his dream job; as a people person it suited him down to the ground. With the help of his partner Emily, Stuart like so many of us, was dragged into the 21st century and found social media whereupon he linked up with many of his old friends from the Regiment, and to their shock this young keen footballer had turned into a chilled out fisherman who enjoyed nothing more than spending many hours on the banks of the River Wear. Sadly, in October 2014 Stuart was diagnosed with an aggressive untreatable cancer and was given only weeks to live. Stuart and Emily had plans to marry and when doctors informed Stuart there was no more that could be done and needed to remove the equipment keeping him alive, Stuart insisted, “not until I am married”. Stuart and Emily were married on 4th December 2014. Stuart sadly passed away two days later on 6th December 2014. During this time, only close family were aware of Stuart’s condition and right up until his last days he was talking to his online community as if nothing was wrong - a true hero to the last! Stuart is survived by his wife Emily, daughter Danielle and three stepsons.
Corporal William (Bill) Bell 322659 Late 1st Royal Dragoons by LCpl GM Brockbank, formerly Royal Horse Guards 1948-1949 Seventy five years ago Bill Bell enlisted with the Army. Initially, he joined the Scots Greys in Edinburgh and then by some quirk of fate he was transferred to the1st Royal Dragoons. His service extended from 22nd February 1939 to 5th August 1946. The outbreak of war found him with the Mounted Regiment in Lebanon, where he claims he was the only man to swim his horse across the Jordan in both directions. As a keen pugilist he spent quite some time in the Army Boxing Team. On leaving the service in 1946, Bill wound up for the next four years planting bananas in West Africa. It was during this next interim period that he met his wife to be, Val, whom he married in 1956. Apparently, late one evening, well into ‘his cups’, he proposed to Val, only to be met with the response “Ask me again in the morning, when you’re sober! So started a wonderful relationship, with Bill joining her later in the probationary service. Over the years their favourite holiday destination became the Yorkshire Dales, so much so, that when Val died, Bill and his dedicated nephews, John and Jack, made the pilgrimage to Yorkshire to scatter her ashes in her favourite place. Bill died, aged 93 on 22nd February 2014, after a difficult final two years, and was cremated on 5th March 2014. He went off to join his wife in Yorkshire in the same good company that escorted Val. I got to know Bill through our combined visits to the Annual Blues and Royals Dinner at Windsor and Knightsbridge and also the CCOCA gatherings on Cavalry Sunday in Hyde Park. His favourite and often repeated expletive when confronted with all the pageantry was “Don’t it make you proud!” A loyal friend, a great Household Cavalryman and unrepentant Dragoon to the end.
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: awaiting appointment E-Mail for Secretary RHG/D Assn is: email@example.com Recruiting and Admission procedures for In-Pensioners Royal Hospital Chelsea The Royal Hospital Chelsea are currently reviewing their recruiting and admission procedures as they now believe there may be some senior citizens with military experience who might be eligible to become InPensioners but who are not aware of the eligibility criteria or what being a Chelsea Pensioner means. To be eligible for admission as a Chelsea Pensioner, a candidate must be: • Over 65 years of age • Either a former non-commissioned officer or soldier of the British Army; or a former officer of the British Army who served for at least 12 years in the ranks before obtaining a commission; or have been awarded a disablement pension while serving in the ranks. • Able to live independently in the sheltered accommodation (known as Long Wards). The Royal Hospital does not usually accept direct entries in to the Infirmary. • Free of any financial obligation to support a spouse or family. If you are in receipt of an Army Service Pension or War Disability Pension you will be required to surrender it upon entry to the Royal Hospital. Please note that if your Army Service or War Disability Pension does not meet a minimum threshold you will be required to ‘top-up’ to that amount, providing it does not place you in financial difficulty. If you have access to the internet
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more information can be found here: http://www.chelsea-pensioners. co.uk/becoming-a-chelsea-pensionerbrochure or you may ring for more information on 020 7881 5204 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 Cyphers are available from the PRI shops at Combermere Barracks, and at Hyde Park Barracks. Opening hours may be determined by calling the Guardrooms on 01753 755244 and 020 7414 2550 respectively. The Household Cavalry Museum Shop at Horse Guards can be contacted on 020 7930 3070 or you can visit their web site at: www.householdcavalrymuseum.org.uk Websites The ‘Official’ Household Cavalry Web Site can be found at: http://www.army. mod.uk/armoured/regiments/1627. aspx ArmyNet ArmyNet is the serving Army’s private Web site to which Association members have now been given access. To open an account with ArmyNet non-serving members must first register with Home HQ on the numbers and addresses above. 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 and Reviews The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Saturday 13th June 2015 with the Colonels’ Review on Saturday 6th June and the Major General’s Review on 30th 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 91st Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Parade and Service will be held in Hyde Park on Sunday 10th May 2015. 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). Owing 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. The Household Cavalry Foundation http://www.hcavfoundation.org 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. uk www.windsor.gov.uk 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 We are in the process of identifying
‘Friends’ of the Household Cavalry who might be willing to offer up a bed or two during Association Dinners. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission They have an excellent website which can be searched using basic details, for information about the final resting place of war dead at home and overseas. Their site can be found at www.cwgc.org ESHRA (Ex-Service Homes Referral Agency) The role of ESHRA is to supply information and advice on both private and ex-Service Care Homes. This includes the location of the homes, general advice on funding and care assessments, and the services that the homes can provide i.e. respite and convalescent care. Contact Details: ESHRA, The Royal British Legion, 48 Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5ZR. Tel: 020 7839 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 The Royal British Legion (TRBL) TRBL is the UK’s largest ex-service organisation with some 570,000 members. One of its objects is to promote the relief of need and to promote the education of all those who are eligible, their spouses, children and dependants. If you need help, you can contact the local TRBL branch near you (number in the local phone book), or the national Legion help line on 08457 725 725 or visit their web site at: www. britishlegion.org.uk
Casework Supporters who are visitors, treasurers, administrators and fundraisers. 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 organisation 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 three 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
SSAFA Forces Help SSAFA-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 web site at: www.ssafa.org.uk
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
SSAFA Forces Help - Recruitment SSAFA Forces Help need more volunteers from each Association to be
Blind Veterans UK Blind veterans UK, formerly 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 web site at: www.blindveterans.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 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 can be contacted as follows: Service Personnel and Veterans Agency Building 250, RAF Innsworth Gloucester GL3 1HW Email: JPAC@afpaa.mod.uk Fax: 0141 224 3586 Free Phone: 0800 085 3600 Overseas Civ: +44 (0) 141 224 3600 For additional information about medals visit: www.veterans-uk.info Cyprus GSM Clasp - 1963-64 As a result of an Independent Medal review conducted by Lt Gen Sir John Holmes a General Service Medal is available for those qualifying between 21st December 1963 and 26th March 1664. This is relevant to some Household Cavalrymen. Veterans Badges Men and Women who enlisted in HM Armed Forces between 3rd September 1945 to date 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
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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
(this includes widows, widowers and dependants) Transport for London will not issue a Veterans Oyster photocard if you live in London and are eligible for the Freedom Pass. Visit http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ tickets/14424.aspx or Oyster photocard team on 0845 331 9872 for further details and application. Household Cavalry Charities We 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. Household Cavalry Foundation (HCF) (Charity No; 1151869) HCF is now the umbrella organisation for all Household Cavalry charities and funds. The origin of the Foundation lies in the Household Cavalry Central Charitable Fund (Charity No; 1013978), whose Declaration of Trust for this Fund was made on 10th February 1975. Its primary function then was to build up funds to deal with major regimental casualty incidents, and major events such as the Standards Parade. With the Union of the two Regiments in 1992 the Declaration was re-issued on 6th August 1992.
The Veterans Oyster Photocard You can travel free at any time using your Veterans Oyster photocard on:
Its primary source of income is from The Day’s Pay Scheme (formerly The One Day’s Pay Scheme) into which Household Cavalrymen voluntarily contribute (less musicians). A minimum of 51% of this income is passed to each Assn (LG and RHG/D) and that must be spent on the “welfare” of retired members and their dependants who are in need.
Bus - Travel free at any time on buses within London Tube, tram, DLR and London Overground showing the TFL symbol
The HCF is here to support all the Household Cavalry family in times of need or distress with five noted pastoral care objectives:
You can apply for a Veterans Oyster photocard if you are:
1. Support for serving soldiers. The HCF aims to help serving Household Cavalry soldiers by providing funding for additional training, sporting activities, life-skills or educational opportunities with the assistance of the Regimental Welfare Officers external to those already provided by the Armed Forces. This will help to ensure that our troops
• Receiving ongoing payments under the War Pensions Scheme in your name (this includes widows, widowers and dependants) • Or receiving Guaranteed Income Payment under the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme in your name
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remain motivated and dedicated to their careers within the Regiment or assist them in the transition to civilian life. 2. Caring for our casualties. Building on the excellent work of the Operational Casualties Fund, Household Cavalry personnel who suffer either physical or mental injury during their service can rely upon the HCF to provide them with the best possible support. This help extends to families and dependants too, and can take many forms. Our core aim is to ensure that our personnel and their families are aware of and have full access to all possible existing welfare provision. Where these welfare systems are found to be insufficient, the HCF will provide funds and physical support to ensure that our casualties can confidently either return to their regimental duties or move into civilian life with the reassurance that they will be supported for as long as they may require it. 3. Welfare support for our Veterans. The HCF works closely with both The Life Guards and The Blues and Royals Associations, which both continue to conduct business in the usual way. We are extremely fortunate to benefit from the excellent communication networks and goodwill provided by the two Associations and thanks to this the HCF is able to increase the levels of help for former members of the Regiment in time of financial need or hardship. We look forward to liaising with Paul Stretton and Dick and Di Hennessy-Walsh in ensuring that all of our veterans remain an integral and well supported part of our Regimental family. 4. Helping maintain our History and Heritage. The HCF is extremely proud of our Regimental history and ethos. The Household Cavalry Museum boasts locations at Horse Guards and Windsor, the latter acting as an educational source and additionally housing the unique archives, both of which will be of benefit to the HCF. The Charity will seek wherever possible to promote the Regiment’s unique heritage to a wider audience and help to maintain our physical artefacts and memorabilia for generations to come. 5. Horses remain at our heart. The Government does not provide funding for our horses in their retirement years. The HCF will help and work closely with external charities and individuals who ensure the welfare of our horses post service. In addition the Charity will provide,
when necessary, funding to provide training for soldiers to ensure the highest levels of equitation and horse welfare are maintained. The HCF has two members of staff; Rebecca Metcalfe is the Director and is responsible for the financial and strategic running of the Charity. Household Cavalry Museum Trust Limited (Charity Reg 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. In addition there is a trading fund the Household Cavalry Museum Enterprises Limited (HCMEL) which handles the Horse Guards Museum trading as well as incorporating the stock for internet sales and in due course regimental PRIs. Items for military personnel would not be sold to non H Cav personnel. Comment: The Museum is now debt free, and the HCMEL is trading at a profit. In 2015 there will be an allocation of profit to the HCF, and it is hoped that this will be annual from now on. Profits from the Museum will go towards helping past and serving Household Cavalrymen and their dependants who are in financial hardship. The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust (Charity No; 229144) from 25th October 2010 This charity, established by a Scheme dated 25th October 2010, was formed from the previous three LG Association charities, namely the Helping Hand Fund, The Life Guards Charitable Trust and the Sir Roger Palmer Fund. The
Association Charitable Trust are: 1. To relieve members or former members of The Life Guards (“the Regiment”) or their dependants who are in need by virtue of financial hardship, sickness, disability or the effects of old age by: a. making grants of money to them, or b. providing or paying for goods, services or facilities for them including education or training, or c. making grants of money to other persons or bodies who provide goods, services or facilities to those in need. 2. To promote the efficiency of the Regiment in any charitable way as the trustees from time to time may decide including, but not limited to: a. maintaining and promoting contact between serving and former members of the Regiment and providing for social gatherings for them; b. fostering esprit de corps, comradeship and the welfare of the Regiment and perpetuating its deeds and preserving its traditions; c. providing and maintaining a memorial or memorials to those members of the Regiment who have died in the service of their country; d. advancing the education of members of the Regiment; e. promoting the advancement in life of members of the Regiment by the provision of assistance to enable such persons to prepare for or to assist their re-entry into civilian life. The objects of the Association and the Charitable Trust are identical.
They have separate legal identities for the purposes of clearer lines of responsibility, especially important for management of the Trust’s funds. The new Trust’s objects were expanded to include all the reasons most regiments have a regimental association, including now also the overall object of promoting the “efficiency” of the Regiment which simply means that the Association can support the serving Regiment more closely if it ever wishes to. Hitherto, the Association’s charitable trusts had no legal power to support the Regiment. The priority for any cash grants by the new Trust remains to help members and former members who are in need because of hardship. Also, although the new Charity rules allowed the three old charities to be merged, the existing funds in the three charities were “ring-fenced” so that they can only ever be used for hardship cases. This means, for example, they can never be used to pay for a memorial or a social function: only new money received after the establishment of the new Trust can be used towards any of the new “efficiency” objects. The Blues and Royals Association (Charity No: 229144) The Blues and Royals Association is itself a registered charity reformed in 1968 after the amalgamation. Its aims are very much similar to those of LG Assn. The Blues and Royals have two charities, The Blues and Royals Association (Charity No. 259191) and the Oliver Montagu Fund (Charity No. 256297) which have similar, but not identical, objects to The Life Guards Association Charitable Trust. The Oliver Montagu Fund has less restriction on how its funds may be spent. Also subsumed in RHG/D funds is The Rose Fund.
Household Cavalry Association - Dorset www.householdcavalryassociationdorset.com Email: Dorsetsquadron@aol.com Facebook: Household Cavalry Association - Dorset
President The Rt. Hon The Earl of Normanton - formerly The Blues and Royals Vice President Mr George Dugdale - formerly The Life Guards Chairman Mr Raymond D Peck - formerly The Life Guards Secretary and Treasurer Mr John Triggs BEM - formerly The Blues and Royals
Committee Mr Fred Kemp - formerly Royal Horse Guards Mr Gary Matthew - formerly The Blues and Royals Mr Brian Murray - formerly The Blues and Royals Mr Bill Stephenson - formerly The Blues and Royals Mr Barry Woodley - formerly The Life Guards
e sneaked into 2014 with relish and enthusiasm for the Standards
Parade and Garden Party. Meanwhile, the Committee agreed to continue in the previous year’s style and much detail was covered to make sure they got it right for the membership. Contracts argued and agreed with the hotels and we were off for the first event of the year - the Spring Dinner and Dance which again incorporated the Winter Warmer Draw. We agreed to hosting two draws this year and the balloon race - the profit made from each is used to subsidise the annual dinner, thus making the event as affordable as possible to members.
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The Spring weekend centred on Saturday 8th March and saw members and friends assemble from the Thursday night onwards at the Hotel Celebrity in Bournemouth. Friday night was the usual ‘meet n greet’ night where the lamps were swung and family news updated and exchanged with 42 souls gathered and enjoyed dinner and a later disco. Come the next day and 59 members and friends gathered for the Spring Dinner and a much enjoyed informal dinner was enjoyed with good food and the most excellent of company. Our sincere thanks to our Gentlemen Trumpeter Steve Hyett for the most rousing note perfect Mess Call and for looking the part - immaculate as always! The Winter Warmer Draw drew some anticipation as the three prizes of short hotel breaks and were most attractive. Again very special thanks to Tony Prynne who, despite ill-health, produced £80 of ticket sales - many thanks Tony! With the arrival of a ‘page’ on Facebook, the social media site, of the Association, members were kind enough to post their pictures there for all to see. On Sunday 11th May 2014 Committee Member Barry Woodley again laid our
33rd Annual Dinner Top Table Rear row, left to right: Mr Ray Peck, The Earl of Normanton, Lt Col (Retd) Trevor Morris LVO, Lt Col (Retd) Harry Scott Front row, left to right: Mrs Diana de Uphaguh, Mrs Paula Peck and Mrs Joanna Scott In absentia from the photo Lt Col Paul and Helen Bedford
wreath at the Memorial to the 1982 Fallen in Hyde Park after the CCOCA Annual Parade, many members assembled on the day to join the muster and the service of remembrance followed by refreshments in HCMR and many thanks for the privilege. The Standards Parade and Garden Party have been well documented elsewhere so will not be covered here; sufficient to say we were proud and honoured to partake in this absolutely grand occasion and humbly thank Her Majesty for the privilege of celebrating in Her garden. The Secretaries of the North Staffs and North East Branch and ourselves were presented to HRH The Princess Royal.
Gentleman Trumpeter Mr Steve Hyett
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The Balloon Race tickets were sent out with the April newsletter and come the launch day on Saturday 2nd August the Helium Crew assembled at Schloss Peck to taste the wine for the annual dinner and launch the balloons. A blustery day had the balloons off in a north easterly direction again and that was without the help of the wine! The ticket that travelled the furthest distance and therefore the winner was found in a private garden in Odell, Bedfordshire. So congratulations to Member Brian Murray, he of Committee Member fame on winning the £150 prize. The return on this event has been steadily decreasing and does not meet by a long way the target figure of £500 now. But, due to the generosity of members and friends with the two draws, they make up the cash deficiency; therefore the Committee have decided that this was the last Balloon Race we will hold.
The Annual Dinner was later this year due to being ‘gazumped’ at the Queens Hotel, however on Saturday 15th November 2014 we followed the model of 2013, the dinner was held in the Queens Hotel while most diners were accommodated in the Hotel Celebrity some 150 yards away. The economics had this as the preferred option for Committee in that it kept the dinner costs to the minimum while maintaining the standard we expect and demand. Again the ‘Thursday night crowd’ took advantage of the special price offer and come the Friday they were joined by another 53 and a cracking good informal night was enjoyed with the items of the 2014 Auction, (in favour of the two Regimental Associations), laid out for members to examine. Marty Elliott - son of ‘ol Blue Eyes’ gave us all a real treat with his cabaret act, much appreciated and diners showed their appreciation in the bucket collection taken for the charities. A new disco took us into the witching hour and many stayed on past that to enjoy more than the night air! On the Saturday morning the weather looked to be kind to us - such a blessing as November can be a real wintry month. The self-service full English was well received but the between the piers swim didn’t attract any takers this year, so the status quo was maintained! The soup lunch set the taste buds off and was most appreciated; this set the anticipation for the evening event. Come the hour members assembled in the Hotel Celebrity for the AGM and fifteen minutes later all the business of the day was achieved. Pre-dinner drinks and
photography was conducted at the Hotel Celebrity too this year to avoid the crush at the dinner venue and worked well. Come 6:40 pm our Gentlemen Trumpeter of the night, Steve Hyett gave a resounding call to dinner and diners obliged by adjourning across the road into the Palace Suite at the Queens Hotel. There were many good comments about the layout and good table displays. The Rules of Engagement were explained and then the top table was paraded into dinner to tremendous applause and vigour. Grace was uttered and once seated a grand dinner was enjoyed complete with cheeseboard to round the meal off and with five bottles of wine per table, that helped the meal go down and the mood mellow. Come the moment and the President read the Salutation to Her Majesty and Her kind Reply, he then proposed the Loyal Toast which was well joined by all. The Chairman introduced Lt Col (Retd) Harry Scott - formerly of The Life Guards and Regimental Adjutant to the Household Cavalry - who gave a most amusing and illuminating talk about his career and the current and future situation of the Household Cavalry. Col Scott was kind enough to thank the two retiring Regimental Secretaries for their work, diligence, professionalism and the dedication they gave to the Household Cavalry, and this was roundly supported. He concluded with a toast to the Household Cavalry and this too was well received. The Chairman rounded off the ‘talk-talk’ element of the dinner with a toast to The Ladies. It was then time for a welfare break and diners were asked to take their seats again for the Charity Auction element thereafter.
formation of the Trumpeters in 1998, an inscribed tankard was presented and a stunned Bruce kindly accepted it! Well done Sir! Then a bottle of fizz was presented to ‘newly weds’ Lin and Terry Lyons on their marriage earlier in the year. And so to the auction. Members had again been extremely generous of their time, art, skill and donated some excellent items of specific WW1 and general interest for fund raising. A total of twelve items went under the hammer, and with donations from the Cabaret Marty Elliott and again Harry Maplesden, and diary receipts, we happily raised £1000.00 for each of the Regimental Associations. The disco moved the event into party mood and had the dance floor full. At 1am the event officially wound up but many members ‘took the dinner back with them’ to the Hotel Celebrity just across the road and continued the movement till the small small hours!
Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day saw members commemorate this special year’s occasion in their own way around the world. Finally, in December members and friends celebrated the annual Christmas Lunch with over 55 members, family and friends enjoying the tradition seasonal meal in excellent company; we were nobly entertained at the Hotel Celebrity again. After the raffle we held the 33rd Annual Draw for three cash prizes. Much anticipation joined the fine fare to set the scene and off we went. The winner of the First Prize of £300 was Mr Kemp-Morton, son in law to Committee Member Fred Kemp - who was stood by the Draw box assisting! Well done to all the winners. Again, Tony Prynne out sold himself this year with a massive £250 tickets sold - very many thanks again Tony and well done - and well done to all who took part - thank you too! Since 2009 this association has generated over £17,000.00 for the Household Cavalry charities. On the AGM it was proposed and unanimously carried that for 2015 we will again be supporting the two regimental associations equally, who provide direct and indirect assistance to all Household Cavalrymen and their families.
A contrast of revelling styles. Both having a wonderful time in their own way
The Secretary then warbled on before a presentation was then made to retiring Gentleman Trumpeter Bruce Worthy who has been blowing since the
As we move into 2015 as an association we are aware our numbers are reducing due to age and the general shrinkage of the Household Cavalry over the last years, and we are clouded with uncertain times still ahead for the Army and therefore the Household Cavalry. But with the professionalism, courage and dedication of all past and present Household Cavalrymen, we will continue with pride, relish and comrade into this the Waterloo Bicentennial Year and beyond.
Household Cavalry Association North East President Capt (Retd) P B A Townley - formerly The Blues and Royals Chairman/Secretary Mr Ken Rowe - formerly Royal Horse Guards
n March, the Chairman had the privilege of representing the Association at the Sunderland Coldstream Guards Association annual dinner. In April, our Association’s year started with our annual dinner. Our guest chairman was Captain (Retd) Edward Lane-Fox, The Blues and Royals. From this event we raised enough money to
send a cheque for £300 to the Household Cavalry Foundation. May saw ‘The Big One’ with the Standards Parade and tea at Buckingham Palace, with both Regiments taking part in the Standards Parade. It was a sell out. When you see this event it makes you very proud to have been part of this great regiment. If this great event was not enough, the afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace was something you will never forget. The Chairman also had the great honour of being presented to HRH The Princess Royal. In June, several members and their wives visited Newby Hall, North Yorkshire. Again we had a good day
with lovely weather. We would like to thank Gunner Marden and his wife Julie for their hospitality. In August it was arranged for members and their wives to meet on the seafront at Seaham to have a photo shoot with ‘Tommy’ officially called 11.01. ‘Tommy’ is a sculpture created by a local artist Ray Lonsdale. It measures 9’5 weighs 1.2 tonnes and is made of specially treated metal as it will be facing all weather and the salty air. ‘Tommy’ is representing a First World War soldier and can be viewed as contemplative, weary or sad. The sculpture has created a lot of interest in the area, regionally and nationally. After our visit to Seaham we did our annual visit to the Mayor’s Parlour at
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annual Veterans’ Parade. This popular occasion attracts up to 90 Standards and 400-500 veterans, it is well worth a visit.
Members and their Standard with ‘Tommy’ at Seaham
The City of Sunderland Council offices. It was another very enjoyable visit. In the Mayor’s Parlour we have a display cabinet with items of kit which has been donated over the years.
Project 11.01, better known as ‘Tommy’
In September our members and Standard were once again on parade at Eden Camp, North Yorkshire for the
November saw the Remembrance weekend. For the Parade in the City of Sunderland our Standard was carried by ex CoH Dave Ansell as our usual Standard bearer, Geoff Mclnerney was unfortunately ill. The regular duty men from Knightsbridge were missing this year but we managed to march off led by CoH Dave Ansell and two SQMC Andy Preston and SQMC Dougie Douglas both RHG/D, they were followed by Trooper Rick Carr LG and 12 Association members. Memory Lane; we still have 3 RHG members who rode in 1953 at the Coronation. Both John Hardy and Cecil Halliday in 1 Troop and Ken Wright in 3 Troop. We would be delighted to hear from anyone else who was there.
Household Cavalry Association North Staffs Branch President: Lt Col (Retd) H S J Scott - formerly The Life Guards Vice President: Capt P V R Thellusson - formerly 1st Royal Dragoons Chairman: Mr B A Lewis - formerly The Royal Horse Guards Secretary: Mr I J Taylor - formerly The Royal Horse Guards Treasurer: Mr R Adams - formerly Royal Horse Guards Annual Report 2014
inter is always cause for a slow start for the year, but we managed to get a good turnout of members to our first meeting in January to contemplate the events of last year and to get into the swing of things as we looked forward to what 2014 had to offer. Already we had been asked by the Mayor of Newcastle to attend the annual Holocaust service at St Giles Church, it now being our adopted church as our Chaplain Revd Ann Taylor officiates there. Thinking ahead, the Secretary had taken advantage of an online offer from a previous supplier to purchase a quantity of engraved gifts, for guests at our annual dinner, while the price was good. When the weather improved and it was possible to get down to The Blues and Royals memorial at the National Memo-
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rial Arboretum, work could continue on the update started last year. An ongoing problem had been having the individual name plaques damaged by maintenance staff, so it was decided to cut a dedicated bed into the turf to accommodate the plaques away from the maintenance machinery so resulting in less maintenance, and cost. With so many new and costly memorials being installed at the NMA it is too easy for the standards to fall so work has to be ongoing to keep our memorial as fresh as the new ones. At our AGM in March, the same Branch officers were returned, no reprieve, looks like a life sentence! Our first social dinner of the year was in April with the usual format of an informal three course dinner for members and wives. No function is ever complete without a raffle!
Cavalry badge and a poppy to commemorate those who served in the Regiments during one hundred years from the start of WW1. These items found favour with members from many parts of the country. We held our usual service to commemorate the battle of Waterloo at the NMA in June during the “Royals Weekend” which has been a regular event these last few years. Next year, 2015, will be especially significant as it will be the bi-centenary of the battle, and there will no doubt be other events within the Regiments to remember this part of our Regimental history. There have been many events during the year
From early in the year, after being informed at the end of last year of the coming Presentation of Standards Parade, members were looking forward to the event. When the time for this event was upon us, although the weather forecast could have been better, the slight drizzle put no one off during the parade in the morning, but by the afternoon thankfully the dark clouds lifted and it made for an excellent time at the garden party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace. Many of us met up with friends we had served with many years ago, some had travelled from many parts of the world. About this time, the Secretary had come across a garment supplier who was producing a range of embroidered Tee shirts and Polo shirts with a Household
Prince William visiting the National Memorial Arboretum and talking to our members
to commemorate the centenary of WW1, and on 4th August, which was the first day of the conflict, many services of Remembrance were held around the country. On that day we held a service in St Giles Church taken by our Chaplain and was directed at the young people to educate them as to the human cost and futility of war. It is pleasing to see so many young people taking an interest in the events of the past. Our annual anniversary dinner was held on 17th October and was well attended. Guests were pleased with the small gift we always manage to provide and we made a useful boost to Branch
funds from the raffle. The latest memorial at The National Memorial Arboretum is an area of engraved flagstones called Heroes Square, which is an area of flagstones each engraved with a regimental cypher, laid out in order of seniority. On 12th December, Prince William was there to view it and the Secretary and member Mark Beulah were there to represent the Regiments. Our last get together for the year was our Christmas dinner in early December that was well attended and a time to look back on the year. We were joined as usual by our friends from the Endon Riding School and we were able
to present our donation to their Riding for the Disabled. We were unfortunate to lose some colleagues and members during the year but were also glad to welcome a couple of new members. We wish our serving colleagues best wishes during the coming year in whatever situation they are serving. If any former or serving member of any regiment in the Household Cavalry wishes to join our Branch, contact the Secretary on: 01782 660174 or ianandann.taylor@btinternet .com
Household Cavalry Association North West and West Yorkshire live and work in our region.
President: Lt Col The Hon R C Assheton TD DL Chairman: Mr John McCarthy Vice Chairman: TBC Treasurer: Mr Kevin Thompson Secretary & Webmaster: Mr Rob Mather Events and Charity: Mr Kevin Thompson Four-man Sub-Committee: Mr Lenny Key Mr Peter Ditcham Mr Neil Hagan, Mr Kevin Lambert
We have had a bit of a re-organisation in the committee, with John McCarthy moving up to Chairman and Kev Thompson taking over as Treasurer. New to the Sub-Committee is Kevin Lambert ex Blues and Royals, and Falklands Veteran who served the Regiment from 1976 to 1993. We have also recruited in January members Pete Corser LG circa 1972 to 1986, Paul Derbyshire LG circa 74-92, Anthony Wenham ex RHG/D circa 2001/2014, James Wharton ex RHG/D and David Mills ex LG 1972 to 1996. We have other new member interest which will be confirmed in due course.
Branch Events 2015 • Branch Meetings - every 3rd Thursday of the month at Woolston Royal
The Household Cavalry Association North West & West Yorkshire were asked to raise £450 in funds for a memorial plaque for a Household Battalion Soldier who was killed in the Great War,
014 went by like a flash, and the branch enjoyed a number of events including the spring hog roast in Lancashire, the 1st Annual Summer Ball in Warrington, plus several events to commemorate Remembrance Sunday. As with all new entities, it takes some time and effort from a small few to develop and grow. We have all had some challenges in 2014 growing and developing our branch, but I am happy to say that the momentum is building, and we have recruited some new faces to both the committee and as branch members. I believe 2015 will build on our previous years with some fun events, getting together with some old friends and promoting our branch to the many Household Cavalry veterans who
as his name had been missing for nearly 100 years from Simonstone village Cenotaph. We kindly obliged a whip round and the plaque was celebrated on Saturday 8th November, attended by Lenny Key and John McCarthy, both former LG. The branch also attended Warrington Cenotaph on the Sunday 9th November
The detail of the new plaque below The Simonstone Parish War Memorial in NE Lancashire
A picture of Trooper Ernest Thistlethwaite of the Household Battalion, who was killed in the Great War
By the memorial, a representative from the Saskatewan Regiment, Canada, Messrs John McCarthy and Leonard Key and the Parish Clerk Mr I R Hurs
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• All ex Household Division are welcome, last year we had several Grenadiers and Scots Guardsmen. • Featured Comedian on the Night will be Martin Semple, soon to be ex L/CoH RHG/D, who is now an up and coming comedian www. martinsemplesays.com • Cost of Tickets is £35 per head, and the hotel also provides us with discounts on rooms. Parking available, and late bar for residents. • Closing date for bookings is 31st May. • Dinner Ticket Sales: http:// www.householdcavalry.net/buytickets/4587965542 1st Annual Dinner, with members of the NW & W Yorks Branch and several members of The Wigan Grenadier Guards Association. Top row, 2nd from the left, William Loftus (LG), 3rd Tom Gratton (LG), 5th, Adrian Middleton (LG), 6th Dave Simpson (LG), 8th John McCarthy (LG). Middle row, from left to right, 2nd Brian Morrall (RHG/D), 3rd Kevin Thompson (LG), 4th Leonard Key (LG). Front row, Rob Mather (LG)
British Legion from 6:30 pm. • Friday 15th May to Monday 18th May 2015 - Household Cavalry Association NW & W Yorks Spring Camping & Smoker at Filey Beach. A weekend of camping, glamping and fun and frolicks! Campsite has static caravans or place for tents. BBQ and activities planned, dogs and wives and families welcome … Book your own plot … or caravan. Book at http://www.crowsnestcaravanpark. com and/or http://www.haven.
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com/parks/yorkshire/blue-dolphin • Saturday 11th July 2015 - 2nd Annual Dinner and Summer Ball at The Thistle Hotel Haydock. • You are invited to attend our 2nd Annual Dinner in summer 2015 at Haydock Thistle. Dress is Black Tie or Lounge Suits and miniature medals for Men and Smart Evening Wear for Ladies. • As well as 3 course meal, there will be Singer, DJ, Raffle, Auction and a Comedian.
Household Cavalry Association North West & West Yorkshire t: 07818 828286 e: email@example.com w: www.householdcavalry.net tw: https://twitter.com/HCav_ NWandYorks f: https://www.facebook.com/ hcavnwyorks Dinner Ticket Sales: http://www.householdcavalry.net/ buy-tickets/4587965542 ‘Once a Household Cavalyman always a Household Cavalryman’ Thank you and GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.
Features The War Horse Ride - 2014
by Major P R L Hunter, formerly The Life Guards
usually write an article every 20 years and recently helped organise the War Horse Ride 2014, the brainchild of Captain Geoffrey Pitts, formerly 17th/21st Lancers. The plan was to commemorate the fighting withdrawal of the British 1st Cavalry Division at the beginning of the First World War by asking a serving or retired soldier from each cavalry regiment that took part to ride 100 miles south west from Maroilles to Nery, near Compiegne, just north of Paris. The whole campaign can be studied separately, but the ‘Retreat’ contained a number of significant actions and we helped commemorate three of them. Starting last year, and with the support of our Royal Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, and Field Marshal Lord Guthrie, we gathered men and women and promises of horses, equipment and transport. Crucial was the permission through the French Embassy to take 1914 rifles, blank ammunition and powder for the 13 pounder Quick Fire (QF) artillery piece, as well as the participation of two lieutenant colonels from the French Cavalry School at Saumur. Lt Col Bruno de Blois accompanied Maj Anthony Tate formerly The Life Guards, on the one week recce for the trip. He discovered he had visited the 4th/7th Dragoon Guards 30 years ago as a St Cyr cadet at the same time as one of the ride supporters, Lt Col Geoffrey Cardozo. An amusing lunch with supporter LaurentPerrier Champagne’s Danny Borchert and the authors ensued! The Honourable Artillery Company’s Armoury House played a key role in providing a base to collect the hired Great War uniforms and saddlery, etc,
ing along the whole front. The Batteries’ positions chosen, at short notice and in the dark of the night by the Commander Royal Artillery, were much criticised later; the idea of close support for the infantry consisted of placing the guns in the front line among the trenches and on the forward slope of a hill. This soon became the object of German artillery concentrations from three sides.
Maj Anthony Tate formerly LG in Service Dress, unchanged since WW1. His leadership was invaluable to the Ride, especially in the awful weather
and it was from here that the Ride set off on Monday 25th August 2014. The riders and horses then gathered together at Maroilles on the original route and spent 24 hours getting to know each other. Simultaneously, the artillery team was detached to fire a salute during the centenary ceremony of the Battle of Le Cateau. This was held at the memorial to XV Brigade Royal Field Artillery (RFA) and others who had died. This battle was the first great artillery engagement of the war and included the largest number of British troops involved in any battle since Waterloo. Le Cateau had never been planned as a 'set piece' battle, but only as a holding operation during the general withdrawal continu-
Lt Col Edwin Cook, MVO, Commanding Officer (centre of the picture) at Knightsbridge Barracks, 15th August 1914. He died of wounds on 4th November 1914 and is buried at East Peckham (St Michael) Churchyard, Kent
During the battle, starting before dawn and lasting until the order to withdraw was given after 2 pm, the Brigade suffered heavy losses to both men and materiel. The Colonel of artillery, Lt Colonel CF Stevens, was wounded, and taken prisoner. Out of 23 officers, the artillery group lost 16, or about 70% of its strength. Casualties amongst other ranks were less severe at about 20%. The four batteries lost 280 horses killed and XV Brigade RFA emerged from the battle with only four subalterns and eight of the 18 guns with which it had started the day. Three VCs were awarded to members of the group, along with six DSOs and two DCMs. Many others deserved awards for this day, but were never recognised due to the lack of senior officers remaining alive to make the necessary recommendations after the battle. Our interest in this battle was that it was where Brigadier AG Hewson, the father of David Hewson, formerly The Blues and Royals (and Adjutant, 1970-71), had fought his first battle as a subaltern. The salute during the centenary commemoration was fired from approximately the same position as had been occupied by Arthur Hewson in 1914. On Tuesday 27th August, the Ride set off in a south westerly direction using
Men and horses of The 1st Life Guards Squadron waiting to depart from Knightsbridge Barracks on 15th August 1914, for an ‘unknown destination’
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small roads and tracks. Riding in half section, the 26 riders, artillery piece, limber and 1914 Army Service Corps General Service horse-drawn wagon provided a magnificent sight. To begin with, the weather was not especially kind, although it was more comfortable riding in the mist than in blazing sunshine. Lt Col Frederic Florek, French Army, provided invaluable assistance on the ride, especially when talking to host farmers about staying in their fields and in assuaging the Gendarmerie when the ride was pulled over for riding fully armed and with artillery through a French township! By Thursday 28th August, the ride had arrived at Moÿ de l’Aisne to take part in a huge commemoration by 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) of the cavalry charge by 12th Lancers against the Prussian 1st and 2nd Garde Dragoner on 28th August 1914. A simulated charge over the same ground went relatively well, although two members were run away with, with one being deposited in a ditch - probably much like the original action! There were spectators; East Midlands BBC filmed from a good vantage point on high ground, and the French and British organisers provided a great series of festivities. It is sad to note that this was probably the last great event for the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s) before their impending amalgamation with the Queen's Royal Lancers to form a single regiment, The Royal Lancers, in 2015; so many fine Regiments being combined
into one. Sleeping in period tents and barns and cooking over open fires, the Ride and its dismounted support troop continued south west past Compiègne - famous as the scene of the Armistice surrender in 1918 and the French surrender to the Germans in 1940. (When the Germans withdrew in 1944, they razed the area to the ground and took the famous railway carriage to Berlin, where it was sadly destroyed by Allied bombing).
War Horse Ride Tented Camp at Nery 2014 showing detail of 1914 General Service Wagon with assorted equipment, etc (photo by Lynne Moore)
About a quarter of those taking part were retired volunteers from the Household Cavalry and Captain Chris Bunyan, formerly The Life Guards, who had flown from Turkey, re-discovered he was a good organiser and great chef for the ride. Captain Barry Fitzpatrick, who had seen service in The Life Guards and RMP, was initially the commissariat officer. The riding trio were Major Anthony Tate riding as a 1st Life Guard, ex WO1 Gary Pilchowski as a Royal Horse Guard, and Trumpeter Kate Miller as a 2nd Life Guard. Trumpeter Miller, who is serving with The Life Guards Band, carried a short bugle of the period for playing the Last Post and Reveille. (see the BBC interview with Trumpeter
Miller at: www.bbc.co.uk/news/worldeurope-29005740) Another key participant was CoH Eade, formerly The Life Guards who used his hunter judging and whipping-in skills to go to Worcestershire and try out the horses generously lent by Diana Johnson, Michael Markham, and others. Dean Cox, formerly The Blues and Royals, joined us from the mounted branch of The Metropolitan Police. Much historical research was done for us by HAC Historian James Drabble. Cpl Jeff McGoldrick, formerly The Life Guards, took this and prepared historical notes about the campaign to illuminate the route along the way. He also provided great help to the recce
The War Horse Ride passing through French Countryside near Nery where 3 Victoria Crosses were won on 1st September 1914 (photo by Lynne Moore)
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ments of the Brigade drove off the Germans, captured eight of their guns and held up the German Army’s advance for some time, causing great confusion as to the intentions of the British Expeditionary Force. The Battery was later renamed L Nery Battery in honour of its performance in this and other actions. The salute was taken by the Master Gunner. General Sir Timothy Granville-Chapman GBE, KCB and the local French Commander. In a spirit of reconciliation, the Commander Artillery from the German Army and several of his staff were present.
Lieutenant Colonel George Ansell was killed in the battle leading a mounted counter attack whilst commanding the 5th Dragoon Guards. Brigadier Georgie Powell represented the 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays). The only Household Cavalry casualty in the battle was Lt Percy Heath, Royal Horse Guards who died on 4th September from wounds received at Néry while leading his troop against the German 18th Dragoons near the sugar factory. He was aged 26 and is buried nearby.
Acknowledging the Ride, from left to right, the Author, Brig Georgie Powell (QDG), Capt Geoffrey Pitts (17/21 L), Lord Norrie, Maj Gen Nick Ansell (5 INNIS DG) and Michael Markham (17th/21st L) in background as Maj Tate gives an eyes left (photo by Lynne Moore)
These salutes were followed by an open field service and 13 pounder gun salute and BBC News filmed the various events, including a football match between British and German soldiers the British won this time!
some weeks before, travelling with his family Tracey and Elle. CoH Alan Gill, formerly The Life Guards, turned up from his home far away in France to watch and support the Ride as did hundreds of the general public. At Néry, just south of Compiègne, the Royal Horse Artillery led in the commemoration of those actions by the British 1st Cavalry Brigade, which included 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen's Bays), 5th Dragoon Guards, 11th Hussars, and L Battery, Royal Horse Artillery (later supported by elements of the 4th Cavalry Brigade: the Household Cavalry Composite Regiment, I Battery, Royal Horse Artillery and the 1st Middlesex Regiment from 19th Brigade). The action began at 0540 hours on 1st September 1914 with an artillery engagement between L Battery, Royal Horse Artillery and elements of the German 4th Cavalry Division. By the end of the morning, the Battery was left with one gun firing and the ad hoc crew of Battery Second in Command, Captain Bradbury, Battery Sergeant Major Dorrell and Sergeant Nelson, were all subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross. Flanking attacks by the cavalry regi-
The sun shone, burning off the early morning mist exactly as it had a hundred years before and all took some moments for reflection and remembrance of those brave men and events so long ago.
A separate rank past of the Ride took place at Néry, where the salute was taken by Lord Norrie, son of Lt General Lord (Charles) Norrie GCMG GCVO CB DSO MC*, who fought in the battle as 3 Troop Leader in C Squadron of the 11th Hussars (he later became Governor General of New Zealand). Other prominent cavalrymen present were Major General Nick Ansell, whose grandfather
A sum of over £12,000 was raised for The Not Forgotten Association. See website for more information about The Ride: warhorseride2014.com
Major Anthony, Tate formerly The Life Guards and Trumpeter Kate Miller, The Life Guards Band, representing The 1st and 2nd Life Guards of 1914 (photo by Lynne Moore)
by Major B Rogers, The Life Guards
he detail below seeks to add some contemporaneous comment and diary record to both the article on this topic in the last Journal, and to the battlefield tour article by Ct R B Hunt-Grubbe.
were with the Composite Regiment and the Household Cavalry did not have a reserve. Dragoons backfilled the 1st Life Guards, Lancers to the 2nd Life Guards and Hussars to the Royal Horse Guards.
After the declaration of war on 4th August 1914, the active service squadrons of the three Household Cavalry regiments formed a composite regiment that headed off to France with the BEF. The Service regiments were backfilled by line regiments as they were all missing a squadron who
By the end of October the Household Cavalry Brigade found itself in the trenches to the south east of Ypres. On 20th October 1914 the Cavalry Corps were responsible for a 35 mile of front, with each Cavalry Brigade responsible for approximately 600 yards of a semi circle east of Ypres. Horses were left
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behind the lines with the No 3s (usually a saddler/farrier or member of the regimental staff) who was responsible for 5-6 horses. Each squadron mustered roughly 80 rifles apiece. Diary of Lord Tweedmouth RHG: “Went into trenches at Zandvoorde and relieved The Royals and had a good shelling as we relieved them in broad daylight.” The Bde HQ Offrs with Comd Offrs and Sqn Ldrs got onto the ridge to recce
Got out presently and shot my horse with my revolver and saved all my kit. Found the led horses of D Sqn and went back with them to Zillebeke.” The Regiment withdrew in the fading light with the loss of 8 men and 25 horses. Trooper Levin was awarded a DCM for special gallantry. The Germans thought the entire Cavalry Corps was behind The Blues and turned their guns and their axis onto them therefore relieving pressure on 20th Brigade. The withdrawal of 20 Brigade made Zandvoorde even more vulnerable.
Officers of 2 Life Guards From left to right: Back row: Maj Pemberton, Capt Vandeleur, Capt Lord Belper, Maj Barry, Lt Menzies. Front row: Lt Farquhar, Maj Montgomerie, Lt Lord Carleton
the positions. They were immediately targetted by German artillery and all wounded but not seriously. Autumn rapidly gave way to an early winter with driving rain and sleet. Diary of Tpr Eric Lloyd 1LG: “Nobody could have named the day of the week and nobody cared. The only factors which reminded us of passing of time were daylight and darkness. Our horses ceased to be employed as cavalry horses. Their role was the rapid conveyance of rifle and bayonet soldiers to the line. The exciting scampering along country roads and through villages gave place to an existence comparable only to that of a water rat in a swamp”. The horses suffered with no hay being available for over a month, eating wood posts and trees for nourishment. The trenches were not well regulated but pits dug in the sandy soil each holding around a dozen men. They were short sections far apart with no communications laterally or from behind. Relief was during the hours of darkness with no time, opportunity or tools to make them better. Dispositions followed the contours of the ridge with trenches susceptible to artillery fire with incoming artillery averaging 120 shells per day and casualties were continuous. Lloyd describes going up with reinforcements: “The night was as black as a pit, there was no continuous line, the trenches were a series of holes, for all the world like large graves, not connected and running zig zag across the hillside. At the point where we struck, each trench was chock full of men who absolutely refused to admit us. Once in a trench it was very hard to move without being shelled or sniped at, and rations could only be delivered at night, though the men would creep
out to make tea at quiet intervals”. 24th October. Trench Duty. Sir Richard Levigne 1LG was shot and immediately buried, the following day it emerged that he still had the Squadron’s pay in the inside pocket of his jacket. He was duly disinterred and the money recovered. The diary of Lt The Hon Reginald Wyndham 1LG records: “The village of Zanvoorden behind us is practically destroyed by the German shells. The church is riddled” He also talks about probing night attacks by the Germans. 25th October/26th October: Heavy Rain. 7 (Household Cavalry) Brigade relieved by 6 Brigade (including The Royals) other than C Squadron, 1 LG. The Blues staged a daring mounted operation riding across the front of two German cavalry regiments to cover the retreat of 20 Infantry Brigade. The Blues were told to relieve the pressure on the 7th Division to the east. They moved eastwards to Zandvoorde between the trenches held by 1LG. There Alistair Kerr dismounted a squadron on the ridge and opened fire whilst two squadrons galloped on further east flanking the German advance as they turned to engage The Blues. Lord Tweedmouth’s horse was shot in the shoulder and he leapt into a trench with Hugh Grosvenor. An extract from his diary reads: “Went off at the gallop, to make a demonstration, ‘C’ Squadron in advance. My sword carried away just as we got to the crest between Hugh Grosvenor’s trench and Gerry Ward’s. We got the shrapnel pretty hot then, and my horse was shot in the leg and I had to stop and get into Hugh’s trench.
27th October: 7 (Household Cavalry) Brigade move back into the Zandvoorde trenches. The line of trenches had been altered since the 23rd and were now on the forward slope. Tweedmouth’s diary recorded: “There are some remarkably good shots in front of our trenches and snipers in concealed positions who pick you off for a certainty if you show your head above your trench. The siting of these trenches are a perfect example of what trenches should not be, being on a forward slope and in full view of the enemy’s trenches and observation posts. Once occupied it is impossible to reinforce them in daylight or to take ammunition up or to communicate between the trenches. I believe General Kavanagh wanted to evacuate them and occupy the reverse slope but was not allowed to.” 28th October: Intelligence received and recounted in all three war diaries that a major German assault was expected. Heavy shelling was reported in all areas including Bde HQ. Tweedmouth’s diary recorded: “A quiet night but shelling in the morning and Jack Johnsons gave their attentions to the village. We watched them bursting about 150 yds from our farm. I went round the trenches in the evening and saw where they had burst. They make a hole 6 ft deep and big enough to put a cart in.” 29th October: Squadron relief in place took place. Heavy bombardment by artillery all day. C Squadron 1LG relieved squadron of RHG but due to faulty MG the RHG left behind Lord Worsley and his MG section. Tweedmouth’s diary reports: “We had a tremendous bombardment of Jack Johnsons especially around Harold Brasseys’ trenches. The 1LG are relieving D and half of C Sqn who with Colonel Wilson and myself occupied the reserve trenches. Worsley in the trenches for the sixth night. The smell from the dead cows becomes awful” 30th October: 0645 Bombardment by
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260 guns began. (Germans reported accuracy was difficult because of poor visibility caused by a particularly dull and misty morning/ also telephone lines being cut by counter battery fire). 07300800 The German 39th Division attacks with 3 Jaeger Battalions. Tweedmouth’s diary reported: “After an ominously quiet night the shelling begins all round our house and Brigade HQ. Jack Johnsons and heavy shrapnel, and hit several men. Corporal Turner came in wounded to say that C Squadron had been literally blown out of their trenches and were retiring. The whole brigade withdrew under heavy shell fire and occupied the trenches in the valley. Germans began to appear on the ridge, but not in large numbers. We retired slowly up the hill to Klein Zillebeke while our guns plastered the ridge. Worsley and MG Section missing also Hugh Grosvenor’s squadron and Alex Vandeleur’s. D & B Sqn went down to the Chateau of Hollybeke to reinforce The Royals. Our casualties 60 killed, wounded or missing”
Menzies, Adjt 2LG wrote in a letter: “Practically nothing is known of what occurred as the two squadrons and the machine guns of The Blues completely disappeared, and only very few survivors were taken prisoner, and on their return at the end of the war they were unable, I understand, to throw much light on the attack. I can only conclude that the squadrons were cut off owing to their somewhat forward position and were ultimately all killed, though it is remarkable that there should have been so few taken prisoner. Some of the trenches were very primitive, and I remember one that was much too deep to allow the occupants to see over the top, and they would hardly be in a position to offer any effective resistance. But on the other hand other trenches were quite well sighted and the whole incident has always struck me as one of the most remarkable occurrences of the war. I fear that one must assume that the Germans behaved in an ultra Hunlike manner and gave no quarter.”
Field Marshal Haig recounted at the end of the war:
The line to the right of B Squadron 2LG fell back and the squadron were forced to retire with losses. C Squadron (-) 2LG (Capt Vandeleur’s) was surrounded and according to the account of a sole survivor it is doubtful if anybody else escaped. C Squadron 1 LG (Capt Lord Hugh Grosvenor’s) did not get the order to withdraw and were lost, including Lord Worsley’s MG Section, apart from 10 men. Runners had been dispatched from D Squadron 1LG to pass on the order to retire to C Squadron. The first two runners were killed before they got halfway. An extract from the diary of Tpr Eric Lloyd records the detail of a conversation between his Tp Ldr and Tpr Tapper as they attempted to send a 3rd runner. “Look here Tapper, I wondered if you would try to get through with a message to C Squadron” “Wot me, Look at them two poor blighters out there! No fear, It’s too bloomin late anyway” “I say Tapper your nerves are all in pieces, have a jujube. (morphine tablet)” “Ave a wot, my nerves is alright, ave a bloomin jujube yourself, I may be a bloody fool but I ain’t as big a fool as you think”. The conversation was cut short by another German infantry assault. The creeping barrage moved towards Bde HQ at 0800 where C Squadron RHG were blown out of their trenches. Brigadier Kavanagh ordered withdrawal to reserve positions in the valley to the west and then move back to Klein Zillebeke. Some time later Capt Stewart
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We ran back to the farm, the Maxim killed Sgt Arthurs. Then after finding Clowes had left the farm, I went on, and found Dawes and Brooks, Dawes was slightly hit. We found Bussey badly wounded, but could not move him. We picked up a man of Arthurs’ troop and helped him along until he dropped dead. Then when we reached the X roads where Levigne was buried, Dawes had his leg broken by the shell-fire. The shells had been bursting over us all the way. Had to leave Dawes lying where he was. Then met Humphrey, who told me the order to retire had been signalled to me. Then met General Kavanagh who told me he wished me to retire. Then set to work to find the men. Found most of them when we got back to the horses. As we retired down the road, the Germans shelled us and Charlie Fitzmaurice was killed. Then found that my troop of twenty had 9 killed and wounded, and there were only 7 left of Arthurs troop of 26 men. Pickles Lambton was killed last night and they say that Hugh Grosvenor and all his squadron bar Jerry Ward and a few men are missing.”
“They were in narrow trenches on the forward slopes before us in full sight of the enemy. Their trenches were soon blown in and at 8am after one and a quarter hours bombardment the whole of the 39th German Infantry Division and three battalions of Jaegers attacked their shattered position. The time had come to slip away and orders were issued for the retirement to the second line; but the greater part of two squadrons of Life Guards on the left and the Royal Horse Guards machine guns could not get away and were cut off and died to a man, except for a few wounded prisoners”
Capt Stewart Menzies LG, later Head of MI6 in the Second World War
Extract from the diary of Capt The Hon Reginald Wyndham 1LG. “In the morning they attacked us. They shelled us hard, and one of the first shells buried Dawes all except his head, and also buried my belt, pillow, glasses and haversack. Then their infantry attacked, we knocked a good few over, but the Maxim on our right ran out of ammunition, and one trench on our right was driven in. We kept on firmly until our ammunition was finished. The spare box was buried by the shell which buried Dawes. In the end we had no more ammunition and they began to enfilade us from our right. Had to order Sgt Arthurs to retire from the right hand trench, and then ordered my troop to retire. Previous to this had dug Dawes out with my hands. Before we started to retire Cpl Brooks had been slightly hit in two places.
31st October: Household Cavalry Composite Regiment. A second German offensive fell against the composite regiment manning the trenches between Wytschaete and Messines. Lt Col Cook had been wounded by an artillery shell on 20th October and Cavendish killed so command had passed to Major Viscount Crichton. (The only Household Cavalry man with a marked grave in the Zandvoorde CWGC.) An anonymous source tells that: “Under the rays of the moon the Germans open mouthed and heavy handed came as it seemed straight for the composite regiment, line after line and shoulder to shoulder. At 200 yards the regiment opened fire and poured in round after round. and at any rate saw live men climbing over their dead colleagues to then fall themselves. The Germans swung left handed short of The Blues trenches to engage in hand to hand fighting. Twice B&C Squadrons were driven out and twice they came back to regain what they had lost against overwhelming odds”
Eventually they could hold on no longer and the Germans worked their way round The Blues and Major Viscount Crichton ordered them to fall back as the Lincoln Regiment came to reinforce. The line held but at a terrible cost. Maj Viscount Crichton was killed during the action. The Regiment mustered the following day: 30 men of the 1st Life Guards 3 men from the 2nd Life Guards 30 men from the Royal Horse Guards This was the last action of the composite regiment and the regiment was subsumed back within their parent regiments on 11th November. On the 31st a German officer and
nobleman came across the trench of Lord Worsley who had commanded the machine guns of the RHG. He found the body trapped by one of the guns and decided to have a grave dug and a simple wooden cross erected. After the war the grave was located; only the vertical post was still in place. A new simple cross was placed on the grave by Sackville Pelham, Lord Worsleys’ brother, who also took a cutting from a battered osier fence which was the only thing left living on the ridge line. Lady Yarborough along with other families of the deceased bought the land where the original grave was, and here now stands the 21 foot high Household Cavalry memorial. It commemorates the 120 members of 1LG, 159 members of 2LG and 62 men of the RHG who died in the
surrounding area. It was unveiled by Field Marshal Haig on 4th May 1924. The Zandvoorde Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery holds the remains of 1583 servicemen, 1135 of them unidentified but numerous no doubt being Household Cavalrymen. The only marked Household Cavalry grave there is of Maj Viscount Crichton RHG. A cutting from the osier tree was planted in the grounds of the family estate in Lincolnshire. Subsequent cuttings were taken from the Worsley tree and given to the Grosvenor family and subsequently again presented to the regiment, which is the tree on the inside left of the gates at Combermere Barracks, and cuttings from this tree have been variously taken to Passchendale and London.
How I Finally Met My Waterloo! A Brief Overview of the Waterloo Campaign
by Pete Storer BA (Hons), formerly The Royal Horse Guards
t has become obvious to me, over the course of many years studying wars and campaigns as an enthusiastic amateur, that it is simply not possible to produce a definitive and accurate account of any battle. There will always be as many individual viewpoints as there are individuals involved in an engagement and it should come as no surprise to readers of this article that old soldiers of any rank tend to, shall we say, embroider their accounts for all sorts of reasons. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the battles then become the property of historians who all have their own axes to grind even if they know little or nothing about the practicalities and problems of the military. With this in mind, and allowing for the fact that putting “Battle of Waterloo” into Google produces a ridiculous number of hits, it should be obvious that I make no claims for this piece being either completely accurate or the final word on anything! The Waterloo campaign actually comprised three separate battles fought between the 16th and 18th June 1815 at Ligny (between the Prussians and the French), Quatre Bras (between the Dutch-Belgians, British, assorted German contingents and the French) and Waterloo itself, or Mont St Jean to the French and Belle Alliance to the Prussians (between the British, Dutch-Belgians, Germans and Prussians … and the French). Confused? I will try to keep it simple, but if the above paragraph proves nothing else, it proves that Waterloo was, above all, a coalition battle. Oceans of ink have been spilled trying to suggest that the British, Prussians or others actually won the battle on their own (even the French if you are
a French historian!), but the allied commanders were well aware from the start that they needed each other if the Corsican ogre was finally to be tamed and put firmly back in his cage. Wellington, in charge of some 68,000 men (of whom only 24,000 were British), hereafter to be called the Anglo-Allied army, and Blucher with 70,000 Prussians, were preparing to invade France sometime in early July 1815 when the other components of the anti-Napoleon coalition, the Russians and Austrians, were in place to enable the French to be attacked on at least two fronts. It may be as well here to take a very brief look at the three armies involved at Waterloo. All three were comprised of the usual components of an early 19th century army. Infantry, the mainstay, came in two varieties, light infantry sometimes armed with a rifle and trained to skirmish between the lines, and line infantry, as the name suggests, armed with a musket and trained to stand in the line of battle. Cavalry theoretically also came in light and heavy varieties. Light cavalry - Lancers, Hussars and Light Dragoons - trained to reconnoitre and provide picquets but also to be able to pursue broken or retreating infantry. Heavy cavalry, big men on big horses like our predecessors in the Household and Union brigades, were the shock arm, to be thrown at enemy infantry to break and disorder their formations and thwart their attacks and also to deal with enemy heavy or light cavalry. Something like 20% of an army’s strength could consist of cavalry; Wellington had 12,000 of them and Na-
poleon about 15,000. Finally, the artillery, the real battlefield killer providing it could be got into an optimum position and protected from enemy cavalry. All of our three armies deployed similar equipment, various sizes of gun and howitzer firing solid shot, canister or some variant of explosive shell. There is little doubt that Napoleon, himself an artilleryman, had more and better guns than his opponents and also used them better tactically. The quality of the troops in all three armies was somewhat variable. After the defeat of France in 2014 the French army had been reduced in size and had sworn allegiance to the new King Louis 18th. When re-raised or taken over by Napoleon it was a hodge podge of ex-Royalist units, ex-prisoners of war returned from Russia and England, newly raised units of young troops and re-enlisted veterans. Generally, the troops were of good quality, some were superb, but the senior leadership suffered from divided or confused loyalties and unit cohesion was undoubtedly not what it had been in the great days of the Grande Armee. It was a brittle tool. Wellington’s army had some similar problems. Although he had some veteran British units from his Peninsular Army, many had been disbanded or sent to fight in the ridiculous and pointless American War of 1812. His best British units were the mainstay of his army and many were dispersed among (supposedly) less steady Dutch, Belgian and German units as stiffeners. It should not be forgotten that only a third of Wellington’s troops were British and only a third of those were veterans. When he first saw his forces, Wellington famously called it “an infamous army”. In fact, many of his Dutch and Belgian
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troops had been fighting for Napoleon until his first fall; the French were not alone in having divided loyalties! The Prussians under Blucher were a similar mixture. Some veterans, some novices, some newly enlisted regulars many militia and Landwehr units. Prussia was relatively poor and had been on the losing side against Napoleon on several occasions but Blucher was one of the few allied leaders who had fought and beaten Napoleon before. There was no doubt that the Prussians would fight hard and well even if their tactical naivety occasionally let them down and led to unnecessary casualties. The leaders of the three armies were a similarly mixed bag. Wellington was the game changer. This was a general who had never lost a battle and had defeated or avoided all the French could send against him in his Peninsular adventures. Well used to running a coalition army, he was well respected if not loved by his troops and his presence inspired confidence. His subordinate commanders were generally good and experienced Generals but a question mark must remain over William Prince of Orange who was, it is fair to say, too young for his rank and a political appointee. What more is to be said of Napoleon? One of the all-time great generals, loved by his men despite his propensity for abandoning them (Egypt, Russia) a brilliant tactician and a forceful and charismatic leader. Unfortunately for his Army, he wasn’t at his best at Waterloo, a sick man who had probably seen and done too much too young. Napoleon’s marshals at Waterloo ranged from the bravest of the brave (if not the cleverest of the clever). Ney, through Soult (who was in the wrong job) to the enigmatic Grouchy (who tended to be in the wrong place at the wrong time). As for the Prussians, “Blucher’s brain” was Gniesenau. A military thinker and a great tactician, one of his few failings was that he didn’t trust Wellington to stick to his word and not make a bolt for the Channel if things started to go wrong for the British. Blucher himself, known as “Old Vorwarts”, although 72 years old, was ridiculously brave and completely dedicated to Napoleon’s defeat. Loved by his men, who he called his “Kinder”, he was above all an honourable and reliable ally who kept his word and arrived in the right place at the right time. As stated, Wellington and Blucher had planned to concentrate their armies for an invasion of France in July 1815 but would appear to have underestimated Napoleon. His options were fairly limited, with the whole of Europe baying for his blood and unable to match the size
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of the coalition armies, his choice was either to split his own forces and try to defend his borders or to strike first before his opponents were ready. Being the man he was and attack being the best form of defence, Napoleon decided to stake everything on a strong attack into Belgium with the aim of splitting Wellington and Blucher’s forces apart and defeating them separately. As Wellington’s forces were covering Brussels, this also opened up the possibility of taking the city and swinging the Dutch and Belgians back into his camp, immeasurably improving his bargaining position at any subsequent peace conference. Napoleon was always a gambler and his gamble here was that he could move fast enough to drive a wedge between his enemies by hitting them at their weakest point, where their armies joined, and hard and fast enough to prevent them from concentrating. Once the allies succeeded in joining their forces, Napoleon must have known that he would lose as their combined total of some 140,000 men would outnumber him by two to one. It almost worked. The French succeeded in forming up their Army near the Belgian border without alerting the Allied forces to the fact that they were about to attack rather than defend. The Allies intelligence system let them down badly and when the French attacked at 0330hrs on the 15th June, with 32 squadrons of cavalry leading the way, they had no great difficulty in brushing aside the Prussian piquets and covering forces between the border and Charleroi. Within hours, and certainly by 2100hrs that same evening and despite a bottleneck on the bridges at Charleroi, the French were well on their way to achieving their aim as the Prussians, fighting hard, were pushed away to the north east and the leading French troops were heading for Brussels via what is now the N5, approaching a hamlet and cross roads called Quatre Bras. Slightly to the south east of Quatre Bras was another small town called Ligny. The Prussians had initially fallen back to this area, their reinforcements were now starting to arrive and they were still fighting hard. Napoleon decided that he must now deal with the Prussians once and for all if his plan was to succeed and the bulk of his army headed for Ligny while Marshal Ney took an army corps towards Quatre Bras which was held by Dutch-Belgian forces with British troops, frantically assembled, moving into that area as reinforcements. Wellington had seriously miscalculated the speed and aggression of the French movements as well as their intentions. On the evening of 15th June while the French were attacking, he and many of his commanders were at the famous
“Duchess of Richmond’s Ball” in Brussels and his comment when news of the French attack reached him “Napoleon has humbugged me by God, he has stolen a march on me” tends to suggest that he was surprised and shocked by the news. Whether he then reacted quickly enough is one of the many hotly disputed aspects of the battle. Suffice it to say, that he was quick to issue orders to concentrate his forces and to start British units on the March to Quatre Bras where they arrived just in time to bolster the Dutch-Belgian troops who, despite doubts in some quarters as to their commitment and staying power, were fighting well and holding on against superior French numbers led by Marshal Ney. The French succeeded, temporarily, in winning their battle against the Prussians at Ligny and forcing them into retreat. A tactical victory certainly, Napoleon’s last in fact, but the Prussians although they had suffered heavy casualties, some 19,000, and been forced into retreat were battered but unbroken and were retiring in good order. More to the point, Blucher, whose troops had inflicted some 13,000 casualties on the French and who had already been unhorsed and nearly captured himself, made the decision that was ultimately to win the battle for the Allies. Instead of heading east for the Rhine and safety, he turned his forces west to keep his word to join up with Wellington, leaving units to keep the French occupied. Meanwhile, Wellington had accepted that Quatre Bras was not the best place to hold the French. Under pressure from Ney, the Anglo-Allied forces pulled back to the north, protected by their cavalry and horse artillery rearguards, towards Wellington’s pre-selected favoured battlefield which was two ridges running roughly east-west across the Brussels road either side of a cross roads at another small hamlet called Mont St Jean, about three miles south of a small, scruffy village called Waterloo. Each side had suffered over 4,000 casualties at Quatre Bras. Overnight on 17th/18th June it rained, heavily. No surprise here to anyone who knows this part of Belgium but a miserable night was had by all as Wellington’s Army took its positions on the northern of the two ridges and the French, now joined by Napoleon himself and the bulk of his Army from Ligny, took theirs to the south. Fighting continued to the north of Ligny between the Prussian holding force and a French army corps under Grouchy pursuing them and hoping to get between Blucher and Wellington. But the Prussians had moved faster and on the morning of the battle were already heading to link up with Wellington’s left flank. The crucial few hours of the battle would be from late morning to mid-afternoon while Napoleon tried to
The lithograph of ‘The decisive charge of the Life Guards at the battle of Waterloo’ by Luke Clennell engraved by William I Bramley
batter Wellington’s forces into submission before Blucher could arrive to turn the tide. The opposing armies at Waterloo were drawn up in fairly conventional formations about 800m apart in lines about 3000m long. The cavalry was formed up in its brigades to the rear and on the flanks and artillery interspersed along the line between the formed units although the French, as was Napoleons wont, were in the process of forming their Grand Battery of 80 guns opposite the centre-right of the Anglo-Allied line behind which were stationed the Household and Union Cavalry brigades. The majority of the Anglo-Allied troops were placed on the reverse slope of their ridge reducing their exposure to French artillery fire but ready to move forward to the crest to deal with the inevitable French infantry assaults or form squares in case of cavalry attacks. Slightly in front of Wellington’s line were three strongpoints designed to break up French attacks and expose them to flanking fire. Hougoumont farm and chateau on the left, La Haie Sainte farm in the centre and Papelotte farm on the right, all fortified and loop holed and held by garrisons of elite troops including Guards, Rifle regiments and the excellent Kings German Legion troops. It was at this point that the battle became a pounding match. Any idea of tactics or wider movement had effectively been jettisoned. Wellington knew that he had only one objective; to remain on the defensive, stop the French in their tracks and hold his ground until
Blucher arrived to help him finish the battle relying on the grit and determination of his infantry and using his cavalry and artillery to deal with French attacks as they occurred. Napoleon, for his part, was determined to attack and, as he had failed to destroy the Prussians, to shatter the Anglo/Allied army before they could join up, while Blucher was single-mindedly battering his way through any attempts to stop him doing precisely that. After a pause in the morning to allow the saturated ground to dry out, the first French infantry attacks went in on the left of their line at Hougoumont at about 1130hrs on the morning of 18th June. The attacks were held, as they would be throughout the day, by a heroic defence by the Coldstream and Scots Guards and some excellent German units. This private battle went on throughout the day and drew in more and more French units as it did so. At one point the French succeeded in gaining access to the courtyard led by a huge Lieutenant of pioneers named Legros. The defenders managed to close the gate and Legros and his men were killed in the courtyard but heroism deserves to be remembered even if it was displayed by the enemy. In the meantime, the French artillery had been battering away at the Allied line with, due to Wellington’s clever deployment behind the ridge, limited effect until, between 1300 and 1330hrs Napoleon’s main infantry attack went in. D’Erlon’s corps, about 17,000 infantry supported by the 80 guns of the Grand Battery and 800 cavalry, headed out from behind their own gun line to cross about 1100 metres of ground aiming to
hit Wellington’s left between La Haie Sainte and Papelotte, coincidentally or by design the weakest part of his line. This was a huge attack, Napoleon’s masterstroke, and it almost succeeded and won him the battle. The Prussians were still two hours away, La Haie Sainte and Papelotte were being enveloped, French cuirassiers had badly cut up a battalion of Kings German Legion troops trying to reinforce La Haie Sainte and the French infantry, driven forward by their drums and the moral security of their huge columns, with their Eagles to the fore were approaching the crest of the ridge. Allied skirmishers were falling back before them and some battalions of Dutch infantry, already damaged at Quatre Bras, were wavering in front of them. But the fortunes of war can change in an instant and this was one of those vital turning points. The French infantry were taking heavy casualties from the Allied artillery, their own having now ceased fire to avoid hitting their own troops. Several battalions of mainly British infantry were standing firm and heavy musket fire was ripping into the French as their formations were disordered by hedges and a sunken road at the top of the ridge. And then, superbly timed, the British heavy cavalry hit them and the French infantry, who had done all that they could, were swept back from the ridge. There were two brigades of heavy cavalry, about 2500 men in all. The Household Brigade comprising The First and Second Life Guards (two Squadrons of each), The Royal Horse
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Guards (two Squadrons) and the Kings Dragoon Guards (three Squadrons) and the Union Brigade comprising three Squadrons each from the 1st (Royal) Dragoons, 2nd Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys) and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. All were under the command of Lt General the Earl of Uxbridge. The Household Brigade attacked on the French left flank, engaging and routing the opposing French cuirassiers around La Haie Sainte and then swinging left into the flank of the French infantry while the Union brigade attacked the French infantry columns frontally. This counter attack was pivotal in dispersing the main French infantry attack. Brilliantly timed and executed, it was in these few minutes that The Royals and The Scots Greys took the Eagles of the French 105th and 45th Regiments, the huge bare knuckle fighter Corporal Shaw of 2LG killed at least 10 Cuirassiers, beating the last one to death with his helmet when his sword broke, before being mortally wounded himself, and Captain Kelly 2LG after killing his Cuirassier opponent, dismounted to cut off his epaulettes as a souvenir! It was a fine madness and it achieved its aim … except that the Heavies then got carried away and instead of rallying ready for the next engagement, they continued their charge across the valley and into the French gun line where they started to kill off the gunners and drivers. A laudable aim and successful to a degree. Some historians state that at least half of the French Grand Battery, 40 guns, was thrown into such confusion that it never got back into action, however by this stage the charge had lost it’s momentum, horses were blown and units split and disorganised by the combats with the French units and the muddy, broken ground in the valley. When the French Cavalry counterattack came in, as it inevitably must, 18 Squadrons of French cavalry, about 2,400 men, hit the Heavies from the flanks and front. A few units including the RHG which had been kept in hand and some Allied Light Cavalry support helped the survivors back to their own lines but Heavy Cavalry casualties were grievous, about 50% in many units, and although they stayed on the field and performed some valuable service later Wellington’s strike force was effectively finished. It had taken about half an hour. Between 1345 and 1415hrs the main French infantry attack had been blunted and thrown into confusion, the British Heavy Cavalry had charged to glory, triumph and disaster in quick succession. Confusion reigned on both sides amid clouds of powder smoke and heaps of dead and injured men and horses while battered units tried to reorganise. Prisoners
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were being led to the rear, stragglers and rear echelon troops who had seen enough action for one day were melting away on both sides and, although the mincing machine ground on at Hougoumont, and the remaining artillery opened up, there was almost a pause in the proceedings while the commanders on Captain Clarke and Corporal Styles of The both sides considRoyals capture the 105 Eagle ered their options. And all the time the Prussians were getaction against French holding forces on ting closer. the Eastern end of the battlefield. They were heading towards Plancenoit in the The next phase of the battle, between French right rear while feeling towards about 1600 and 1800hrs was one of vira junction with the left flank of Wellingtual stalemate with Ney throwing the ton’s army near Papelotte. The fighting French cavalry into repeated charges here was becoming heavier and was against the shrinking squares of Allied already drawing in additional French infantry while also fighting off counter units, including Imperial Guard troops, attacks from Allied cavalry. It demonweakening the French centre while the strates all the conundrums of Napoleongambler Napoleon put together one ic era warfare. Against a cavalry attack last effort to crush Wellington before he infantry forms square; these squares could again turn on the Prussians. are invulnerable to cavalry but lethally It was not to be. In a final flurry of vulnerable to artillery which, however, vicious fighting between 1900 and cannot engage the squares while they 2030hrs that evening, the French deare surrounded by friendly cavalry. In fences at Plancenoit started to buckle total, and no one can say exactly how and at round about the same time the many charges they made, the French final assault on Wellington’s lines by committed about 9,500 cavalry which the remainder of the Imperial Guard ultimately did not succeed in breaking went in between Hougoumont and La a single square of Allied infantry. CasuHaie Sainte. It was stopped by volley alties among the infantry were heavy, fire from the last formed Allied infantry however, largely due to artillery fire in battalions, including the British Guards, between the charges. After the battle and artillery fire. The Imperial Guard many of the dead still lay in their square for the first time ever, broke and flooded formations. back and, within a short space of time There has been speculation ever since morale collapsed and at last the French why Ney, who led from the front and Army, which had fought so hard and so had five horses shot from under him, well, disintegrated and fled. persisted with this tactic, and even as to It was all almost over. With the excepwhether it was him or Napoleon himself tion of a few formed units which rewho instigated it. It has been said that treated into France in good order taking Ney had seen large numbers of troops Napoleon with them, the French army leaving the field and heading for Bruswas in pieces. Some units, who hadn’t sels. He may have thought that the Alyet heard about Waterloo, continued to lied line was about to break and needed campaign sometimes successfully, for one last push. The truth was, however, a couple of days but effectively it was that most of those leaving precipitately done. Napoleon abdicated for the secwere stragglers, injured men or prisonond time on 23rd June, was finally exers and that the core of Wellington’s iled to St Helena and died there in 1821. army was rooted to its ridge and preThe Allied armies headed for Paris. pared to die where it stood. Whatever the impetus behind the attacks, they The casualties were horrific. On such failed. By this time, however, both ara relatively compact battlefield, somemies were on the point of exhaustion. thing like 54,000 men from both sides Meanwhile, the garrison at La Haie and 10,000 horses were dead, dying Sainte had run out of ammunition and or injured within an area of six square the strongpoint had fallen to continukilometres. And what did it achieve? ous French attacks at about 1815hrs After Trafalgar and Waterloo there was imperilling the centre of Wellington’s no doubt in at least most minds that line. But the Prussians were already in the British were now the “top dogs” in
Europe, which managed to maintain some sort of general peace for the next 99 years. The great days of the British Empire were ahead and much of it was built on the reputation which the country had made for itself during 20 years of wars with the French and their allies. Our next fight for national survival would be against our allies at Waterloo. While I was researching this article I came across a quote from a French author. Writing in 1975 he said “For 160 years statesmen have been endeavouring to rebuild that which Napoleon constructed in 15 years and which was destroyed in 10 hours at Waterloo” … !
4. Corporal John Shaw of the 2nd Life Guards was killed at Waterloo after killing at least 10 French Cuirassiers, but what was his claim to fame back in England?
Suggested regimental history questions relating to the Waterloo campaign, specifically to the Household and Union Brigade actions on 18th June 1815.
7. The Household Brigade initially charged on either side of one of Wellington’s forward strongpoints. Which one?
1. The 1st British (Household) Cavalry Brigade consisted of the 1st and 2nd Life Guards and the Royal Horse Guards, but they were made up to strength by three squadrons of another Regiment, who were they?
8. The 2nd British (Union) Cavalry Brigade consisted of the 1st (Royal) Dragoons and two other Regiments. Who were they?
2. Who was the Commander of the Household Cavalry Brigade at Waterloo? 3. Captain Edward Kelly of the 2nd Life Guards became celebrated in the Regiment for his actions during the charge at Waterloo, but what did he actually do?
5. During the charge on the French gun line only one Regiment in the Brigade were kept well enough “in hand” to cover their colleagues in the eventual retreat from the French counter-attacks, who were they? 6. What was the name of the trumpeter who sounded the charge for the Household Brigade?
9. Two French Eagles were captured by the Union Brigade at Waterloo. What were the numbers of the French infantry regiments who were their previous owners? 10. What were the names of the two Royal Dragoon soldiers who took their Eagle?
Brigade was killed in the aftermath of the charge, who was he? 12. Approximately what percentage of total casualties (killed wounded and missing) did both the Household and Union Brigades suffer at Waterloo? Answers 1. The 1st (Kings) Dragoon Guards. 2. Maj Gen Lord Edward Somerset. 3. Having engaged and killed an officer of the French 1st Cuirassiers he dismounted in the heat of the battle and cut off his victims epaulettes as a souvenir! 4. He was a renowned bare knuckle prize fighter. 5. The Royal Horse Guards. 6. John Edwards. 7. La Haie Sainte. 8. The 2nd Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys) and The 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons. English, Scottish and Irish regiments hence “Union” 9. The 45th and 105th infantry of the line 10. Captain Kennedy Clark and Corporal Stiles. Depending on whose account you believe! 11. Maj Gen The Hon Sir William Ponsonby. 12. 45 or 46%.
11. The Commander of the Union
The Royal Dragoons and the French Imperial Eagle
by Jim Lees, Household Cavalry Museum volunteer
he French Imperial Eagles very much mirrored the Roman Eagle and were originally introduced by Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in May 1804. Upon Bonaparte’s fall in 1814, the restored monarch Louis XVIII ordered all Eagles to be destroyed and only a very small number escaped the vengeful act. However, with the escape of Napoleon from Elba in 1815 new Eagles were rapidly ordered although they were less finely moulded mainly due to their hurried manufacture. They were cast in bronze and then gilded and were 8 inches in height and fastened to a plinth 2 inches deep. In the case of most infantry regiments the plinth had the regimental numerals attached and the whole weighed just over 4 pounds. After 1808 the Eagle was carried by a porteaigle (eagle bearer) and at Waterloo the French line infantry carried thirty-five Eagles, two of these being lost during the battle. By 1811 it was also decreed that only the 1st Battalion would carry the Eagle and Standard with the other battalions having a fanion or flag. Interestingly in 1934 a fanion of the 105me Regiment d’Infanterie de Ligne was
displayed at Abbotsford the home of Sir Walter Scott. How it got there no one is sure although it is known not to have been captured by the Royal Dragoons at Waterloo. Sir Ernest Makins who studied the fanion had doubts of its authenticity but it would be interesting to find out what happened to it.
Fanion of the French 105th Regiment, Abbotsford, 1934 The Eagle of the French 45th Regiment of Line was captured by Sergeant Charles Ewart of the Royal North British Dragoons (Scots Greys) and the 105th Infantry of the Line was secured by Captain Alexander Kennedy Clark of
the 1st or Royal Dragoons. Both Eagles were captured during the initial charge of the 2nd Cavalry or ‘Union’ Brigade, which took place around 2.20 p.m. on Sunday 18 June 1815. Having been taken off the battlefield the two Eagles were taken to Brussels and were later escorted to England by Major Henry Percy who presented them to the Prince Regent at 16 St James’s Square, London on 21 June 1815, where they remained until being moved to St Paul Cathedral. In 1835 they were deposited at Chelsea Hospital. On 18 June 1956 the 45th Eagle was ceremoniously handed over to the Royal Scots Greys and taken to Edinburgh but there is no reference to the 105th Eagle being removed by the Royal Dragoons. Certainly at this time many standards, flags and other items, captured during many campaigns by the British Army and held by Chelsea Hospital, were removed and most were given to their respective Regiments. In 1971 the 105th Eagle was deposited at the National Army Museum in Chelsea, London. Its whereabouts from 1956 to 1971 is not
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known, although extensive enquiries have concluded that it was never in possession of the Royal Dragoons.
Eagle. The medals are described as: A cross pattée, the top arm extended in a semicircle, struck in silver, 55mm x 44mm. On the obverse a French Imperial Eagle in the centre, on the top arm the word MERIT, on the lower arm 1 above D in a wreath and on the side arms WATERLOO and PENINSULA. Most of the medals have a silver ring in which a ribbon could be threaded in order for the medal to be worn. On the reverse is engraved the name and year the award was made.
Imperial Eagle of the 105th Infantry of the Line A War Office Memorandum dated 2 May 1838 was published in the London Gazette of Friday 11 May 1838 which announced: Her Majesty has been graciously pleased to permit the 1st or Royal Regiment of Dragoons to assume upon its standards, in addition to any other distinctions heretofore granted to the Regiment, the badge of an Eagle, in commemoration of its having taken a French Eagle, at the battle of Waterloo, on the 18th June 1815. So it was not until 1838 that the regiment was given official permission to add to its standard or other devices an Eagle in commemoration of that taken at Waterloo. However, in the Regimental Museum at Windsor are displayed several little-known regimental medals which have on their obverse a French Imperial
1st or Royal Dragoons Medal of Merit 1816 The two earliest known examples of this medal are dated 1816. One was awarded to Private Bryan Crumsty and the other to Private John Mutter. Both served at Waterloo with Crumsty serving in Captain Alexander Kennedy Clarke’s Troop and Mutter serving in Lieutenant Henry Carden’s Troop. Three of the medals held by the Household Cavalry Museum were awarded to officers. The example
to George Gunning is dated 1817. Lieutenant George Gunning served at Waterloo in Captain Methuen’s Troop and was severely wounded. The example to Samuel Windowe is also dated 1817 and is interesting to note that Lieutenant Windowe was also a member of Captain Methuen’s Troop and was wounded at Waterloo. The other officer who received his medal in 1817 was Veterinary Surgeon William Ryding. No doubt the veterinary surgeon had worked very hard at Waterloo trying to save the many horses that had been wounded during the day and the likely reason for the award of his medal. The total number of the Regimental ‘Medals of Merit’ awarded is not known but of the thirteen extant examples nine are held by the Household Cavalry Museum and most of the recipients are known to have served at Waterloo. Interestingly the Museum also has the metal die from which these medals were originally made. No documentary evidence regarding these medals has survived but it seem reasonable to believe they would have been awarded for good and meritorious service particularly as there was no official recognition to reward such service; but for whatever the reason they would be hard-earned. Certainly it was the first instance of the Royal Dragoons adopting the French Imperial Eagle as a mark of distinction and still proudly worn by all ranks of The Blues and Royals 200 hundred years later.
Household Cavalry Cadets by Captain Michael Nolan, Army Cadet Force
arly morning on 28th February 2014 a contingent of 50 cadets and their leaders from Middlesex and North West London Army Cadet Force
Cdt LCpl Poynter
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departed for France and Belgium for a commemorative and educational First World War weekend battlefield tour. One highlight was the wreath laying ceremony at the Menin Gate memorial in Ypres. The group had been given the
honour of parading in uniform at the Menin Gate. Cadet Lance Corporal Ciaran Poynter, 15, of 236 Kensington Detachment (The Life Guards) was chosen to be part of
The wreath party in action
the wreath laying party - pictured second from left and also standing at ease. Every evening since 1928 the Last Post has been played under the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres at 8 o’clock sharp. Around 500 people watched the ceremony. The Officers saluted throughout a most memorable and emotional Last Post - no one was without a damp eye. After Reveille the 500 silent spectators clapped in appreciation. On the second day of the tour, the group were put in the position of an Australian Platoon in 1917. Cadets and adults were fully dressed and equipped - rifle, luggage and uniform. Each member of the platoon embodied an Australian who was actually there then, walking across the very terrain all those years ago. Bit by bit, the party learned more about each of the platoon as a person and at the end of the day, at Tyne Cot Cemetery, they were informed about that soldier’s fate. At the end cadets and adults were served a ‘Tommy Tucker’ - meal (with corned beef), a genuine soldier’s meal of 1917. Everyone returned home on Sunday evening, tired but richer and very moved. Cadet service is also about the staff. Staff Corporal Gough stepped forward proudly on 13th March to receive the prestigious Lord Lieutenant’s Meritorious Service Award at a special ceremony in central London. Gary is an adult leader at the 198 Douay Martyrs School Detachment (The Life Guards). The award presented by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for Greater London Sir David Brewer CMG JP recognised “outstanding service and devotion to duty in the service of the Her Majesty the Queen” over a considerable period. The citation read:
Cdt Cpl Klymenko with her award, and Mayor Kaufman and Mr Houlder Instr SCpl Gough with the Lord Lieutenant
of a full Army Cadet experience. Our Hillingdon cadets have not been left out. In the presence of the Mayor of Hillingdon, Cllr Allan Kaufman, family and friends gathered at Uxbridge Civic Centre on the 10th April for a ceremony where Cadet LCpl Ludmila Klymenko (17) of 198 Douay Martyrs School Detachment (The Life Guards) was presented with the prestigious Deputy Lieutenant Awards. The award is made to cadets recognising exceptional service, dedication and an extraordinary level of achievement in the cadet movement. Representative Deputy Lieutenant Bruce Houlder CB QC DL (HM Queen’s representative in the Hillingdon Borough) read the citations and presented much deserved awards. The Mayor heartily congratulated the recipients. Cadet Corporal Ludmila Klymenko’s citation reads: Cadet Corporal Klymenko has been in cadets for four years. She has passed her two star level and is training for three star. She regularly attends parade nights as well as taking part in weekend camps and annual camp.
She has attended camp every year and all of the unit weekends and special parades such as Remembrance parades. She has completed a Junior Cadet Instructor’s Cadre course and also attended the Ski trip in Switzerland in February 2013. She is very enthusiastic and takes on challenges with a go-getting attitude. She is very keen to progress and is always first to volunteer. She is also a keen student at school (where the unit is based, often volunteering for extra school duties). When unsure she listens to staff and approaches new tasks with a positive attitude. She has grown in confidence over the years that she has been with us and she actively encourages the younger cadets and new recruits. She is a great role model for the younger cadets. She is kind, happy and reliable and a real asset to the unit. Gary Gough, adult leader at her cadet unit says: “Cadet Corporal Klymenko is a fine example of a committed young person, always prepared to go that extra mile to help others. I am very pleased and proud that she had been rewarded with this recognition.” A dozen army cadets and three adult
Staff Corporal Gough has been in the Army Cadet Force (ACF) for nearly eight years. He is a keen member of staff and an inspiration to adult instructors and cadets alike. He is one of the most reliable and respected members of staff, has a can-do attitude and is willing to help where ever possible. He has also contributed to cadets attending events and has also established good links with the affiliated regiment, The Life Guards. This year with cadets he attended the remembrance parade in Ruislip and on the same day he attended the tomb of the unknown warrior at Victoria station. He volunteers to drive for other units so that they can have field training. He has also taken cadets to Blandford Camp so they can attend the Signals course. Gary also contributes regularly to junior leadership training courses. Staff Corporal Gough is indeed a stalwart and he demonstrates the values and standards required of an adult instructor and tries his utmost to support the delivery
The cadets, staff and LSgt Beharry VC
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staff from 198 Douay Martyrs School ACF Detachment (The Life Guards) formed part of a Guard of Honour at Harefield Village Green on 4th November 2014, where the memory of two local First World War Victoria Cross recipients Robert Edward Ryder VC and
The Mayor and the Leader of the Council unveil the plaques
Cecil John Kinross VC was honoured. The cadets were supporting The Mayor of Hillingdon (Cllr Catherine Dann) and Leader of the Council (Cllr Ray Puddifoot MBE) in a ceremony to mark the brave action of two local heroes. In bright autumnal sunshine two stone plaques were unveiled by the Mayor of Hillingdon and Leader of the Council. The Village Green was also dedicated permanently to the memory of those who died in the First World War. Douay Martyrs School Army Cadets have chosen as their community service, the task of tending the graves at St Mary the Virgin Churchyard where Robert Ryder VC is buried. The family thanked the cadets for their work. The
ceremony took place in the presence of the recipients’ families, dignitaries and senior military, local people and schoolchildren and the Royal British Legion. Present also was Lance Sergeant Johnson Beharry VC who, on 18th March 2005, was awarded the Victoria Cross himself for twice saving members of his unit in Iraq. Canadian Armed Forces representatives were also in attendance. Among those laying wreaths were Mr Paul Ryder and Mr Tom Lane (representing the Kinross Family). The Mayor read the VC citations and after Padre Graham Fieldhouse’s prayer and blessing of the plaques, the Last Post was sounded following the Act of Remembrance.
Nimrod - A Cavalry Black
he everyday life of the Household Cavalry horses is something of a mystery to the outside world. They just seem to magically appear, as if from nowhere, whenever the occasion requires. The story of Nimrod, a Cavalry Black, from foal to retirement, is told in this illustrated book, which goes behind the scenes to show how these horses are chosen and trained, how they adapt from frolicking in a faraway field to clip-clopping down The Mall in full state finery, and what happens to them
as they age. The story is told by Juliet Blaxman, an architect, cartoonist, writer and illustrator, with associated rural and conservation interests. She is married to a Household Cavalryman and lives on an eroding clifftop in Suffolk. The book is published by J A Allen, an imprint of Hale Books, and is also available on sale on Amazon. The Foreword is by Lt Gen Sir Barney White-Spunner. A percentage of the profits will be donated to the Household Cavalry Foundation.
Blind Veterans UK
Free, lifelong support for blind and vision impaired ex-Service personnel
aving to adjust to life with sight loss at any age can be devastating. Without specialist support, many people are left feeling isolated and without confidence. Blind Veterans UK is the national organisation for blind and vision impaired ex-Service men and women, providing free services and support to help them overcome the challenges of blindness and live full, independent lives. Regardless of how a veteran lost their
sight or when they served, Blind Veterans UK will provide vital support to help them discover a life beyond sight loss. The charity helps with whatever someone needs - that could be anything from specialist equipment to help them make a cup of tea at home, to training at one of Blind Veterans UK’s service centres, to help with mobility to get out to the shops.
and equipment to help him live more independently at home, as well as beginning to learn new skills.
One veteran who has benefitted from Blind Veterans UK’s support is former Guardsman Mick Scanlan. Mick began to lose his sight in 2000 after his optician noticed signs of diabetic retinopathy. His sight deteriorated rapidly and he was registered blind just one year later.
“I have also been able to make great friends at the charity. The thing is when you lose your sight you feel as though you are in no man’s land, and what I have found most helpful is learning from other veterans about how they have coped with their sight loss day to day.”
Mick says: “Initially losing my sight was frightening but now I am used to the fact that I am blind. Through Blind Veterans UK I have become a lot more confident about my ability to do things despite my vision impairment.” Blind veteran Mick Scanlan, right, receives his certificate for passing his IT qualification
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Because of his service history, Mick was eligible for support from Blind Veterans UK, and after getting in touch with the charity, he began to receive training
Mick says: “It’s been a massive surprise to me just how much support Blind Veterans UK has been able to give me. They trained me to use a computer without being able to see the screen and I’ve now got an NVQ IT qualification.
Blind Veterans UK’s No One Alone campaign is reaching out to the estimated 68,000 plus blind and vision impaired ex-Service personnel who could be benefiting from the charity’s services but they either do not know about the charity or that they are eligible for its services. If you are, or know of, a veteran with
vision impairment, call freephone 0800 389 7979 or visit www.noonealone.org. uk. We’re Blind Veterans UK, formerly St Dunstan’s, and we believe that no one who’s served our country should battle blindness alone. That’s why we’re here to help with a lifetime’s practical and emotional support, regardless of when
he Queen’s security is a family affair for a father and son. Taking particular pride at the State Opening of Parliament was Sgt David Giesen, 48, from Woodbridge in Suffolk. The Palace of Westminster Police officer was
they served and how they lost their sight. We help blind veterans to recover their independence and discover a life beyond sight loss. The work of Blind Veterans UK - St Dunstan’s since 1915 - transforms people’s lives. To help more people understand what we do and support us we’ve changed our name to Blind Veterans UK. For more information, please visit our website
at: http://www. blindveterans.org.uk or call us on 0300 111 2233. Patron: Her Majesty the Queen. Registered Charity No. 216227 (England & Wales).
A Family Affair
providing security at the Sovereign’s Entrance. Coincidentally, his son Tpr Adam Giesen, 24, of The Life Guards, was just yards away providing the Staircase Party as She arrived to deliver The Queen’s Speech. Sgt Giesen has been a Metropolitan Police officer for 29 years and is now a member of the Palace of Westminster Police where his duties include providing security in the Houses of Parliament, counter-terrorism and vetting visitors. This is the first time he’s been so closely involved in a State Opening of Parliament, so it was a very pleasant surprise to find out that Adam was going to be one of the nearly 1,300 service personnel on duty and that his duty post would be in exactly the same place. David said: “I’m immensely proud of Adam being in the Household Cavalry and it’s fantastic to be working alongside him today as we’re part of the same team looking after the safety and security of Her Majesty”. Tpr Giesen is a tradesman at HCMR in the Saddler’s Shop carrying out his lengthy apprenticeship, where among his duties he is a saddler maintaining the
saddles, bridles and other leatherwork for the Regiment’s 220 horses. He said: “It’s great to be working near my dad today - we don’t see enough of each other so it’s very lucky to be in the same place for such a big occasion. It will be really warm in the uniform and can be a bit uncomfortable with all the kit on but it’s worth it when we see The Queen so close-up”.
Short Term Training Team, Malawi
two hour flight north east from Johannesburg takes you to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. Lilongwe itself is quite small, so as we descended through the swirling clouds, a scene of verdant green was revealed. The countryside
The author with Lt Wilned Chawinga, the Influence Officer from the Malawian battalion
by Major M C Goodman, RHG/D (V) was rolling with small groups of huts surrounded by smallholdings of maize, tobacco and bananas. The atmosphere was hot and humid, with regular torrential downpours, the latter having contributed to the major flooding from which Malawi has been suffering in recent months. I was in Malawi for my ‘Annual Camp’ as part of the Short Term Training Team (STTT) that was to train the Malawian battalion which was deploying to Goma in the DRC as part of the UN’s Force Intervention Brigade (FIB), part of MONUSCO. However, uniquely for UN mandates, the FIB is authorised to use force, a necessary precaution given what has happened in that turbulent part of the Africa. The FIB is made up of three battalions, one each from Malawi,
South Africa and Tanzania. The Malawian infantry consists of two battalions of the Malawi Rifles and one Parachute battalion, so the DRC battalion was a composite. The Malawi Rifles still wear the dark green (I am never quite sure if it is bottle green or rifle green) and bugle-horn inherited from their predecessors, the Kings African Rifles. They are disciplined and professional, considering its size and the impoverished state of the country. Two of the Officers in the Battle Group had been trained in the UK, including the Chief of Staff who had recently attended the Intermediate Command and Staff Course at JSCSC, Shrivenham. Their Foot Drill is more Household Division than Light Division, with a clear
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emphasis on ‘bend and drive’. Company Sergeant Majors were very much in evidence, complete with pace-sticks tucked under their arms, and senior officers carried swagger sticks, all in combats. The training was based at the Malawian Armed Forces College at Salima, close to the banks of Lake Malawi. The training team was from the British Peace Support Team (South Africa), and 38 Brigade, mostly 1 SCOTS and 2 RIFLES, since 38 Brigade is the Adaptable Brigade allocated to Southern Africa. There were also 13 members of the US 1 Armoured Division, from Texas. Such STTTs look
likely to be the nearest that most of the British Armed Forces will get to a full deployment for the next few years. The reason for my participation is that having been a Reservist since I left the Regiment in 1995 and having lived in South Africa since 2006, I have developed a role as the Military Stabilisation Support Group’s LO to BPST(SA), the first overseas-based Reserve role. Having seen the benefits of such a role, including the significant value for money that it represents, I suggested to the former CDS that my role should be
formalised so that it can be replicated elsewhere in the world, where there are suitable individuals to undertake the role. The Reserve hierarchy is also keen as it gives the Reserve a role in Defence Engagement and Overseas Capacity Building. The principle has been accepted, and it is now being worked on in various places, including by CGS’s staff. The six week training package started with low level training; a Command Cadre, Medical Cadre, Recce Cadre, Counter-IED Cadre, then moved on to platoon and company drills. I was part of the team that trained the BG HQ, my role being to mentor the BG Influence Officer and to coordinate the Force Conduct package, which included lectures from members of the ICRC and UN on Human Rights, the Law of Armed Conflict, conflict related sexual exploitation and abuse, the protection of minors, detainee handling and corruption and criminality. The final phase was a live firing packing in the forests of the Machinga Hills, in the south of Malawi near Zomba. I am in touch with the BG Influence Officer, so it will be interesting to hear how they fare in North Kivu Province and in what Influence activities they get involved in the future.
Training on the bank of Lake Malawi
ISS UHQ South Atlantic Islands (Falklands and Ascension Islands) by Warrant Officer Class 2 S Davies, The Blues and Royals
volunteered and started my five month tour of duty in The Falkland Islands on the 24th April 2014. On the face of it, this seems quite strange considering that I was close to finishing off my 28 years of military service. The reason I took this posting was curiosity of the unexpected, trepidation and excitement knowing that this was a rare opportunity and privilege. It, therefore, seemed like the obvious way to round off my colour service.
friends of mine; they used to talk a lot about the time they were in the Falklands. So that was the only knowledge I had of this place before my arrival. Unfortunately, nobody told me about the 19 hour flight that I had to endure to
get here, but a well needed two hour leg stretch in Ascension helped to alleviate the boredom. When I arrived at Mount Pleasant, the first thing that struck me was the lack of
I reflected on the Conflict in 1982 when 3 Troop B Squadron of The Blues and Royals supported 2 PARA at Wireless Ridge with two Scorpions and two Scimitars, eventually leading to the liberation of Port Stanley itself. The two troops had originally landed at San Carlos and played an important role throughout the entire conflict, including a successful diversionary attack at Tumbledown before the advance of the Scots Guards. When I joined The Blues and Royals in 1986 I knew a lot of the lads who were part of the conflict, including Mick Flynn and ‘Lamb Chop’ who were good
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The Unit Corporal Major and some of his staff
any trees; just a barren rocky landscape on the high ground and wet boggy ground on the plains. It reminded me of the Scottish Highlands, but colder and a lot windier. It was the same time of year as the Conflict in 1982 and I was able to appreciate at some level the terrible conditions that the troops experienced. I soon got settled into the role of Unit Corporal Major which involved the normal unit discipline, duties, transport allocation and coordinating various parades. Primarily however, was ensuring that I maintained unit cohesion and morale between all three services. I soon integrated with the R SIGNALS, RAF and RN signallers who were employed within Information Systems and Services (ISS) part of Joint Force Command. The primary role of the unit was the delivery of all communication systems on and around the main airfield and also dealing with the Remote Radar Heads on the mountain sites. This was all new to me and it was a steep
learning curve working in a tri-service environment. It also took some time for them to get used to Unit Corporal Major instead of Sergeant Major knowing I was the first Household Cavalryman to take on this role. I settled in well, taking on the role as a ‘part time farmer’ on one occasion as we assisted with moving peat into some storage pens. The local farmer often recalled his memories of the conflict and how he and his wife risked their lives to shelter Marines before they moved off towards Two Sisters and the liberation of Port Stanley. That was a day of manual labour I wasn’t used to. My tour went well, opening my eyes to how the other side works and making good friends through the process. I also had the honour to organise and take part in one of the Remembrance parades held on the Island. As well as the usual ‘wildlife spotting’, the Falklands gives a unique insight into
The UWO paying his respects at a Remembrance service
the Campaign fought 32 years ago and our role in the liberation of the Falkland Islanders. I would recommend the opportunity to do a tour there to anyone. The previous five months have given me plenty of time to reflect on the last 28 years and to look forward. A study of the campaign has shown me that anything is possible with a strong will and determination to succeed. I am also pleased that I stepped out of my comfort zone to try something different.
The State Funeral of Sir Winston Churchill KG 30th January 1965 by Laurie Young, formerly The Life Guards 22556776 served 1954 to 1969
t is now 50 years since the death of Sir Winston Churchill and the day of the State Funeral, and indeed of the Early Morning Rehearsal the day before, Friday 29th January, remains as fresh today 50 years on as if it were yesterday. Reveille on the Friday morning was at either 3.30 am or 4 am. It was a khaki rehearsal. We wore mounted greatcoats, woollen gloves and forage caps and was it cold. No snow or rain, just a vicious biting wind. The Life Guards division was in position facing north up Whitehall at the junction with Bridge Street. We were immediately behind The Band of The Life Guards and in front of the cortege. The Royal Horse Guards, The Blues, division were positioned behind the cortege. The wind drove straight down Whitehall into our faces and I know my face and hands were completely numb from the cold. I rode a lovely troop horse called Leprechaun, large white star and one white sock on his off hind, a great troop horse. The old chap shivered as we waited to move off. So I made him zig zag about a bit to keep him warm. The walk march to St Paul’s seemed to last forever and that bloody wind wouldn’t let up. Come Saturday, the day of the Funeral, having experienced the cold of the previous day I decided to come prepared. That morning seemed even colder. It was dry but with that vicious
north wind again. This time we were in Red cloak order which afforded a little protection for the horses. The route to St Paul’s was packed by thousands of people, many who had travelled from the four corners of the world. Along the route all was silent. As we passed along Whitehall opposite The Cenotaph, on the west (left) side were hundreds of members of the wartime resistance movements from Denmark, France, Belgium, and Holland with their national flags, with black crepe tied to the flags. All were dipped forward as we passed. The only sound was the sound of horses moving at the walk, the crunch of boots on the sanded road surface and the music of the massed bands playing the Dead March, and other sombre tunes. When we arrived at St Paul’s our division and the Band moved past the front of the Cathedral. I could see our Staircase Party on the steps. The Life Guards on the left side and The Blues on the right. I could also make out the Lord Mayor at the top of the steps with the Great Morning Sword sheathed in Black velvet held in front of him. Our division turned left into New Change Street at the side of St Paul’s and halted. The Blues, because of their position in the Cortege, must have been back almost outside St Paul’s.
So, here we were for the duration of the service in this side street and out of that bloody wind. We were ordered by Division Commander Lt G R Petherick to sit at ease, sit easy. I slipped my sword through the connecting strap on my saddle. If you recall, I mentioned earlier that I came prepared. From very deep inside the pocket of my cloak I drew out a bottle of VAT 69 scotch, dreadful whisky, but extremely welcome on the freezing day. I took a swig and passed it around my section and told them to pass it on. From the front came a bottle of Dewar’s. I never found out who owned that bottle but I had a pretty good idea. The near empty bottle arrived back to me and I finished off the last thimble-full and back into my cloak pocket went the empty. I still have that empty VAT 69 bottle in my study on the shelf. Sir Winston, I am sure would have approved. With the service now over we moved off to Tower Pier and our part in events came to an end. The Blues joined up with us and off we went. The order ‘TROT’ rang out. As we trotted along the Embankment the order ‘Walk March’ was shouted as we were catching up with the funeral Barge, the Havengore, moving down the Thames. The Escort walked to Parliament Square and from there we trotted back to
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Knightsbridge. The Corporal of Horse on the Life Guards Division was late CoH Jock MacLean. I don’t remember who The Blues CoH was but the officer
commanding The Blues division was either Lt S C M L Crawford or Lt A H Parker Bowles. I remember we were all glad to get back to the Barracks for
a hot drink and to get a hot feed into the Horses. But I also think we can say with some pride ‘I was on Churchill’s Funeral’.
Speech delivered to 2 HCR Dinner 6th November 1993 by Major General Sir Robert Corbett, Irish Guards
elow is the retained text of an after dinner speech made by General Sir Robert Corbett to the 2 HCR Dinner in 1993. 2 HCR were the second composite regiment to be formed for WW2, and were a formation reconnaissance regiment of LG and RHG soldiers with a largely RHG command team. Sir Arthur (Collins), gentlemen, it is a great privilege for a Mick to be invited to dine with the Household Cavalry. Magnificent dinner and I am grateful to your PMC SCM Lewis, Mr Sackett, and the string quartet of The Life Guards Band. It is a very special occasion, to be here with the Household Cavalry Regiment at Windsor, the home of the Household Cavalry, soon after the first anniversary of your Union. I can think of no finer inspiration to the troopers and young officers of today’s HCR than a gathering such as this in celebration of 2 HCR, its professionalism, courage and loyalty. Talking of professions: A solicitor had defended a flashy young blonde against a charge of soliciting and had secured her acquittal. A few days later the solicitor was out walking accompanied by his wife, when the blonde chanced to see him and waved affectionately, much to his embarrassment. ‘And how do you come to be on such friendly terms with a woman like that’ demanded his wife? ‘I’ve only met her professionally’ he explained. ‘Oh yes’, she replied ‘whose profession? Yours or hers?’ The story of 2 HCR begins over 50 years ago and as I look around it is hard to believe that it is in fact that long; indeed you all look remarkably fit to me; though you are probably at that stage when you would agree with George Bernard Shaw when he said that ‘youth was largely wasted on the young!’ You are certainly in better shape than one retired Colonel who, recently was prompted to complain to the editor of the local paper when he was described as ‘battle-scarred’; the editor promptly apologised and explained that the term
should have been ‘bottle-scarred’. More seriously - that spell of hard training when Colonel Henry Abel Smith laid the foundations for the future was singled out by General Brian Horrocks in his tribute to 2 HCR as absolutely fundamental to your subsequent success. I mention this because I want you to know that today I am battling hard to preserve the opportunity to instil that special ethos and the high standards of the Household Division during those crucial early stages of training. The confident words of both Wellington and Montgomery ring in my ears … ‘the Guards will do it properly’ … and you and I know that stems from the initial training under our own Officers and Warrant Officers and NCOs. I do believe that today the Household Cavalry face a particular challenge manning both the armoured recce and mounted role from such a reduced overall strength; there is no doubt that the establishment of the training wing here at Combermere is the key to achieving this, and in an army where economies of scale force ever greater pooling of manpower and facilities, this special Household Cavalry arrangement underlines the unique situation. The system of two year stints at Knightsbridge and Windsor is, I am sure, the way ahead. Though I was aware of the leading role of the HCR in the liberation of Europe, from Normandy to the Elbe and beyond - Bremervorde, where the Grenadiers took over - it wasn’t until I read some of that marvellous account by Roden Orde that I learned of some of the individual actions that earned 2 HCR the special admiration and affection of General Brian Horrocks. I was particularly struck by the account of Dickie Powle’s bridge - an outstanding example of that special recce quality of initiative by junior commanders, which when applied with an understanding of the commander’s intentions, pays such dividends or the dash to secure Faith, Hope and Charity over the Somme on 31st August 1944, the drive and determination by Groenix van Zoelen, Buchanan-Jardine and Hanbury on the right and Peake on the left, and
often improvisation, such as enlisting and arming the French resistance to hold the bridges, or Corporal of Horse Thompson (later your much respected Riding Master) bridging the road, under enemy fire, with broken down doors when finding the alternative crossing over the River Dyle - all so vital to sustaining the momentum of 30 Corps. The account of your sweep across Europe constantly reminds me of those lines from Julius Caesar - ‘there is a tide in the affairs of men, which when taken at the flood leads on to fortune’. I have here the citation for Dickie Powle which, in classic H Cav understatement, conveys something of the action … ‘Lt Powle has ordered to discover if the bridge at Grid 637436 was held by the enemy or not on the morning of 31st July 1944. To carry out this task he had to penetrate a line of anti-tank defences on the line of the Des Besaces ridge and go through very enclosed enemy country to the bridge. In spite of losing his second armoured car he succeeded in reaching his objective and of keeping it under observation until relieved by the Northamptonshire Yeomanry in the evening. His report was instrumental. In a very valuable bridge being captured intact, I recommend an immediate award’. He was, of course, awarded the Military Cross, but the full account of the incident is more vivid - and I am sure bears repeating on an occasion such as this. With just two cars, after bouncing a detachment of 88s, he penetrated the German position undetected. They silently dealt with a bridge sentry. His operator working at the absolute limits of the radios’ capabilities, reported the state of the bridge. They covertly secured the bridge until relieved, despite the local presence of strong enemy forces, and thereby provided a vital crossing for the division. I imagine that Colonel Henry must have felt like a master, casting his hounds,
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and being rewarded with the instinctive and sure voice of his pack speaking as they remorselessly and unerringly pursued their quarry. Digressing for a moment - I am sure you will allow me a short hunting story - the best pack of hounds I have ever heard of were a pack in Northumberland, the West Percy if I remember correctly, who late one afternoon, as darkness fell, disappeared in full cry into the mists on the moor - the huntsman and field were unable to follow and could only catch the faint hubbub as the pack disappeared into the gloom - what finer tribute to the master and huntsman than to discover the next morning the entire pack still together - and still in full cry! Returning to 2 HCR - the advance to liberate Brussels still stands as the most rapid advance in armoured warfare 94 miles in 14 hours - again the policy of looping round or bypassing was so important to exploit the chaos of the retreating Germans - Stormin’ Norman, even with the help of A Squadron The Life Guards, could not beat that in The Gulf War in 1991 (173 kms in 100 hrs). The idea of troop leaders drawing lots to lead the advance says so much about the whole ethos of 2 HCR; and that it should be a race between an MFH and a steeple-chaser even more ! Incidentally, you may not have heard that The Life Guards have been awarded, in my view belatedly, the Theatre Honour Gulf War 1991 and the Battle Honour Wadi-al-Batin, but not in time for the presentation of new Standards on Horse Guards in May - a very special occasion which I was privileged to attend. Of course, the liberation of Brussels must have been a magnificent moment for 2 HCR and the jubilant people of the city - I know it was for 2nd Battalion Irish Guards. I am sure you would want to know that the Household Division have every intention of playing the part in the 50th anniversary commemorations next September, despite not a bean of MoD support, because whatever the Maastricht treaty might represent, the Belgians do not forget - and nor do we. Let me tell you a little of what is currently happening in the Army and the Household Division in particular: First let me tell you, though, what the Army is trying to achieve: a. As a first priority - to maintain and sustain capable forces to meet current commitments - and there is problem (discussed 10 days ago with the Adjutant General who recog-
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nised that now the ‘Army is doing too much’). Northern Ireland (12 x battalions), UN (over 3,000 troops in 6 different countries). ARRC - which we have signed up to lead and must ‘support fully, with all that entails, in terms of resource allocation, especially manpower, overseas garrisons (ie Falkland Islands, Cyprus, Belize, Hong Kong - where incidentally I am told Hong Kong Chinese definition of a pouftah is someone who prefers women to money!) - all in all, this is massive remit for a considerably weakened army. b. Second priority - to achieve orderly transition to smaller but better army. This entails changing of the centre of gravity from BAOR to UK, fundamental reshaping of whole training organisation, formation of AG corps and RLC. At times it will be hard for the Army, let alone our Guardsmen, to see how this is shaping up - but very complex procedure, not just a matter of merging regiments or disbanding units, selling off barracks and depots. An absolute sea-change (it is no less) of this kind has enormous implications for local economies, for protectorates and not least parliamentary constituencies! All different enough in normal times, but very difficult with increasing operational commitments in a reduced still reducing - Army, needing much good leadership - not easy. c. And the third priority for the Army - to maintain a high profile, motivating and maintaining the morale of those serving. This obviously is of crucial importance because of all the forces of influence in war and on operations, the spirit of the soldier is the most decisive one - which goes back to the first point - the need for strong, unselfish leadership. I personally have nothing but praise for the conduct of British soldiers on UN ops in Bosnia, NI, Cambodia, but this all must be done with the background of the twin challenges of: 1. looking after those the Army has lost - and is still to lose - through redundancy. 2. continuing to retain and attract the correct calibre of people. It is misleading not to say the situation is worrying. It is because, though we all know military power has its limitations, - I tell you, you cannot do much without it - I am certain that a rational policy on Defence is the foundation of national independence. Have we got such a policy? That is a matter of personal opinion.
But it is absolutely essential to get these things right otherwise, sooner or later, we will be in trouble. Turning now to the Household Division: Three of our battalions are on operational tours: (14 months ago half strength of the Foot Guards was deployed to NI) 1. 1 Battalion Grenadier Guards - South Armagh - a rough TAOR. 2. 1 Battalion Welsh Guards (Lt Col Tim Purdon) - reserve battalion Ballykelly. 3. 1 Battalion Coldstream Guards - Bosnia with Warriors. 4. 1 Battalion Scots Guards - West Belfast. 5. 1 Battalion Irish Guard - Fermanagh. Returning to the HCR of today … is this still the honeymoon? Or is the Union new tried and tested? The evidence is here at Windsor - I am sure that the Silver Stick, and both the Commanding Officer, Simon Falkner (who was one of my troop commanders when I was commanding the Gds Para Coy), and the RCM Mr Sackett, and of course Col Hamon Massey at Knightsbridge with Mr Whatley, will tell you that the Union is flourishing - this is borne out in a whole host of different ways: - no doubt you heard of the Commanding Officer, Adjt (Lane Fox) and RCM of HCR completing the London marathon in April - not one of them built like greyhounds, but just bags of grit and determination. - the rugger team have gone from strength to strength, winning the London District cup and the Cavalry cup. Not only that, but also going on to win the Household Division championship. - great success at polo with HCR winning the inter-Regimental cup and the Captains and Subalterns cup. - there have been a host of adventure training exercises, paragliding in the Alps, and a party just returned from climbing the ‘maiden’, a rock stack on the coast near Loch Eribol. All these were team efforts of course with both LG and RHG/D participation. Let me give you one more example - an incident in Hyde Park when Lt Tom Pitman RHG/D, learning the ropes on his first regimental drills, was travelling in a Royal Mews carriage when the traces for the two lead horses broke and they charged off scattering the two Divisions in front. Only the determined and skilful riding of Corporal Major
Waygood LG averted disaster by catching them before they reached park lane. Meanwhile Tom Pitman, the coachman having bailed out, swiftly and at great personal risk, made his way along the drawbar to the horses’ heads and eventually steadied and then halted them, again averting their headlong stampede into the London rush hour traffic at Hyde Park Corner. For their actions they received commendations from the CinC and myself - Col Hugh Pitman, Tom’s father, commented somewhat laconically - ‘this rates fairly high in the family bravery stakes’! On a different level, the recent deployment to Germany of A Squadron (LG) and D Squadron (RHG/D) on Exercise GRAND CANYON, working under
Commander Recce of the ACE Rapid Reaction Corps in Southern Germany was a special milestone in proving the operational readiness of HCR in their armoured recce role. One or two developments might interest you - they will soon have secure speech radios in every car (a really important advance), and they now have Guided Weapons as overwatch - the newly formed GW troops prove their skills at Otterburn ranges this month. So, in spite of all conventional military wisdom on unity of command, cohesion of regiments and so on - it works - and that is because The Life Guards and The Blues, as 1 and 2 HCR, have already proven in battle their loyalty not only to Queen and country but also to each
other - surely the most secure basis for any union. I end, though, with the words of General Sir Richard O’Connor in praise of 2 HCR: ‘I can honestly say that I have never met a unit which so wholeheartedly carries out the spirit of instructions that are given to them. Whether you are chasing the enemy through France and Belgium, watching the line of the Meuse, digging trenches, or acting as infantrymen in defence, you always do it 100 per cent’. What a marvellous tribute. And how very worthy, in the wider sense, of all the traditions and the ethos of the Household Division.
Remembering Cyprus Veterans by Les Smith
ince March 2010 I have been working on a project re-uniting ex-Royal Horse Guards who served in Cyprus 1955 to 1959. I now have contact with over 160 ex-comrades and have been able to re-unite people who lost touch over 60 years ago. I have also been collecting photographs taken in Cyprus and have received over 700 from excomrades. If anyone is interested, I am happy to share them. I have also arranged three reunions at The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire and, with enough support, I would be prepared to arrange another next year. About August 2013 I decided to see if I could trace the family of John Roy Proctor who was killed in Famagusta, Cyprus, 8th July 1958 aged 19, by EOKA terrorists. I knew that John came from the Birmingham area and that his body was repatriated to Birmingham by his family with help from donations started by the Birmingham Mail. I and some of the other Royal Horse Guards thought that we would like to get in touch with John's relatives.
David Line with his wreath tribute
Royal Horse Guards Cyprus Veterans who attended are in the photograph left to right: John Shayler, Graham Johnson, Ken Molyneux, David Line, Peter Raybould in front with Colin Reeves behind, Les Smith, Maurice Lane, David Baxter and Derek Hindmarsh
I phoned every Proctor in Birmingham to no avail. I thought that the repatriation must have been reported in the paper at the time, so contacted the Birmingham Mail Newspaper and this led to getting in touch with the Handsworth Cemetery, who were good enough to get the details and send them, complete with a map of where John is buried. David Line, who served in A Squadron Famagusta and was one of the last people to see John alive, decided to visit the grave. The significance of the table tennis bat and message on the photo is that David and John played a lot of table tennis and on the day John died he asked David to save the table so that they could have
a game when he returned from escort duty and, of course, he never returned. David visited the grave and left a table tennis bat inside a laurel wreath, along with a message encapsulated in plastic in the hope that someone from John's family may visit the grave and find it. He was pleased to see a poppy cross still there from the previous year. A few weeks later David received a phone call from John's sister after she made her visit to the grave to lay another poppy. When we asked John's sister Pearl if she had John's General Service Medal, she said that as she was only 13 when John was killed, she knew nothing about a medal. So we started a fund to buy a medal and present it to her. On Sunday the 7th of September 2014, a number of Royal Horse Guards Cyprus Veterans made a visit to The National Memorial
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Arboretum in Staffordshire. On the way to The Blues and Royals plot, we made a visit to other memorials of interest. At The Blues and Royals memorial Maurice Lane read out the names and details of our eight fallen Royal Horse Guards comrades who died in action killed by EOKA terrorists; a minute’s silence was then held whilst we remembered our ex-comrades.
After the silence a General Service Medal was presented to Pearl and her brother Fred by David Line. The framed medal had been bought with donations by RHG Cyprus Veterans, the £185 left over was donated to The North Staffs Household Cavalry Association who look after our memorial, towards the maintenance and upkeep of the plot.
the Arboretum, including the memorials to those of the REME and Household Division, before retiring to a local pub for a late lunch. If there are any RHG 1955 to 1959 Cyprus Veterans who are not in touch with me (Les Smith), please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Time is not on our side.
The party then moved on to see more of
A Barber’s Golden Retirement
by 23449902 Trooper R A Chappell, formerly Royal Horse Guards
he recent retirement of the town barber was reported in the local newspaper. On Friday 11th April 2014 The Warminster Journal marked the retirement of Roy Chappell with an article telling the story of his service. Roy subsequently sent the article to the Journal. Roy Chappell completed a Gentlemen’s Hairdressing apprenticeship before
being called up for National Service in February 1958 with the Royal Horse Guards. He completed basic training at Combermere Barracks in the hands of CoH James. Roy Chappell is seated second from the left in the troop photograph over the page. After his time at Windsor he trained as a wireless operator and was then a camp barber at Pirbright for four months.
He then joined his regiment in Cyprus in October 1958, becoming a driver gunner at Camp Elizabeth, Nicosia, also becoming unofficial camp hairdresser, and an orderly in B Squadron led by Maj Roy Redgrave. He returned in May 1959 on SS Devonshire docking at Southampton, train to Windsor, then marching through Windsor back to barracks. He was demobbed in January 1960. He set up in George St,
The beginning and end of 50 years splendid service
Extract of The Warminster Journal
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Warminster, in 1970 having previously been in Westbury. The photographs on the previous page show the tyro hairdresser and his current self on retirement. He had enjoyed his stint in the army, and had many experiences to relate to his customers.
Household Cavalry Basic Training Troop
Memories of the Late John King
by former Corporal of Horse Gerry George, The Life Guards
was a young trooper serving in Seremban, Malaysia in the 1960s when I first met SCM the late John King. He was a well respected senior rank who everyone knew. I suppose we junior soldiers were a little dazzled by his exploits with the SAS but, excepting that, it must also be said that he was a popular and very likeable man. During one regimental exercise, as units were operating in adjacent valleys, John was tasked to set up an auto rebroadcast station on the top of a mountain to facilitate line-of-sight communications during the dark hours. Cpl Craig from the Royal Signals and I were part of John’s team and the three of us were taken by chopper, with all our equipment, to the intended site. I forget the actual name of the mountain now but, prior to the drop, a small landing area had been prepared by a Ghurkha unit some days before and interestingly, on their way there, they came across a Second World War aircraft crash site hitherto unknown. As soon as we made land, John was the first out the helicopter and trod on a very unlucky snake, it was about five foot long and coloured day-glo green; I say unlucky, as John immediately severed its head with his parang, an action which for me, added even more lustre to his already enviable street cred. As soon as the chopper returned to base, we manhandled all the equipment to a small clearing about 300m away and set up camp. Within no time the re-broadcast station was up and running and we spent what little remained of daylight organising ourselves for a long night. There we were sitting around, it was fascinating listening to John talking, within
SAS circles he was quite well known and he related to us the story how, as a young SAS trooper, he and two others had been parachuted into very remote jungle, a military aircraft had crashed and their task was to retrieve some highly sensitive government papers which had been aboard and, if possible, to get the flight recorder. Apparently, the black box recorder was trapped in wreckage, although John was the junior of the three he asked the other two if he could try separating the black box by using explosives as he’d only recently passed his explosives course, the other two, lying in the sun with their berets over their faces had little enthusiasm and consented. When all was prepared, John excitedly returned to his colleagues who paid little attention, John shouted the equivalent of “Fire in the hole” and pressed the button. What ensued was a massive explosion which had all three hugging the soil but miraculously the black box, after reaching a good few hundred feet in the air, landed amongst them. I’m told that the story is still very much alive in SAS circles to this day. Yes, it made good listening. I was due to be on watch at 4am and thus about 10am I tried to catch a little sleep but, just as I was settling on to my basher and trying to kick the mosquito net over my feet, a large tiger walked into our camp, stood for what seemed an eternity but was probably no more than ten seconds, then gave an almighty roar, he would have been about 20 feet away from us. You’ve never seen three men move so fast and within seconds we stood back to back in a defensive triangular formation with our parangs at the ready, ready to do what, I’m still
not sure of to this day. With intent to create a loud din, John immediately told Craig to grab his mess tins and it was then I nudged John with my left elbow and said “How can you be hungry at a time like this?” John was quite tickled with my remark and thereafter for many years, every time we met, either he or I would greet each other with the same catchphrase. Thankfully, for us the Tiger very slowly beat a retreat, turning his head away from us first and walked back from where he came. Quite wisely, there has always been a reluctance to issue any live ammunition during an exercise and this one was no different, John was on the radio within seconds, beginning his speech with the required “No Duff, I say again No Duff” and after explaining our situation, requested suitable weapons to be flown in ASAP. I can still hear the operator at the other end asking John what type of weapons. John, never one to miss a little humour replied … “Bazooka Over!” We all sat about laughing at his retort but the story doesn’t end there. As it happened, there were no helicopters capable of night flying available but at first light a Remington 5 shot pump action was duly flown in with some bird shot cartridges, not exactly what John wanted but if our next visitor turned out to be a parrot we should be ok. I then started manhandling all the equipment, up and down, back along the track to the pick-up point, but before I started John casually said to me “Oh, by the way, remind me to tell you something before we leave”. I didn’t pay too much attention to his remark, but when all the equipment had been moved and neither
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of us had any reason to return to our little camp, I reminded John of his earlier comment. “Oh that,” he said “Come with me and I’ll show you something.” John led me back down the track to about half-way and whilst aiming the
shotgun should there be a need to use it, showed me the remains of a wild boar tucked away in what clearly was the tiger’s lair. I then asked John why he hadn’t told me before … “Oh that” he said “Well, had you known the lair was alongside the track you wouldn’t have
been quite so keen to use it” Yes, John was a professional soldier, a good and likeable man, but most of all it cannot be said that he didn’t have a sense of humour!
‘ERE’- Its short title or being ‘Extra Regimentally Employed’
Or, ERE (when the Regiment feels that you might be gainfully employed elsewhere!) by Mr K W Iveson, formerly The Life Guards 1952-1978
efore the advent of computers, and all things associated, there was a little well known breed called Squadron Clerks. My first taste of ERE was a posting to RHQ Household Cavalry, Horse Guards, Whitehall. Eight o’clock train from an Army hiring in Beaconsfield to Whitehall, and usually the six o’clock back in the evening. Back then, I suppose RHQ was the military equivalent of the Registry of Births, Deaths, and Marriages. I compiled the statistics on the Household Cavalry, using a card system, which was submitted monthly to the MoD. I was also Assistant Honorary Secretary of The Life Guards Association co-ordinating the Annual Dinner, Christmas cards etc. The Honorary Secretary was Maj Norman Hearson. Personalities I recall at that time were Col The Hon Julian Berry, WO1 Ken Harrison (RHG), Superintending Clerk, with his well-lit pipe! SQMC Gordon Ingham (RHG), (Uncle Staff Ingham, well known horse trainer had some useful tips). Finally, Bob Hogarth (RHG), now a Chelsea Pensioner. You occasionally caught a glimpse of Bob as he always appeared to be shrouded in a cloud of cigarette smoke. Next came a posting around the corner to 1 Elverton Street as Chief Clerk of the newly formed TAVR Armoured Regiment, ‘The Royal Yeomanry.’ The Regiment being formed from the following TA units. A SQN - Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry staunch men of the West B SQN - Sherwood Foresters Yeomanry from Nottingham, less bows and arrows of course. C SQN - Kent County of London Yeomanry - The Bowler hat brigade from Croydon. D SQN - North Irish Horse from wherever, with a bit of blarney and a twinkle in their eyes. HQ SQN - Berkshire Westminster Dragoons, with a few ‘Del’ boys
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scattered here and there. Commanding Officer: Lt Col Desmond Rice, later Major General. 2IC - Maj WB Anderson (Scots Greys), whom I believe wanted independence then. Adjutant - Capt Freddie Spicer RTR. ‘We happy few, we Band of Brothers’. We met up once a year for two weeks annual camp. First year was at Bellerby in the wilds of North Yorkshire. Even Henry VIII on his grand tour said that Yorkshire was the last place God made on earth, or words to that effect. Second year we went to Northampton Barracks, Wolfenbüttel, little appeared to have changed since I was last there in 1953. Returning from Germany and disembarking, (I cannot now recall where), it may have been Felixstowe. An eagle eyed Customs and Excise Officer spotted the packets of pipe tobacco I had put in the gun barrel of a Saladin armoured car, which I had bought back for the caretaker’s husband at 1 Elverton Street, (the tobacco not the armoured car!!) Tongue in cheek, I said it was Freddie Spicer’s or Mike Yarwood’s. Duly admonished and fined they allowed me to keep the tobacco. The next six months between postings was spent trudging behind Dennis Meakin, at the handover of the new Hyde Park Barracks, making out inventories of all things movable and unmovable. Off again down the A303 to become Chief Clerk of BRAC, STRATCO at Wilton. BRAC - Brigadier J P Wheeler GSO1 - Major Oliver Not a particularly memorable posting - indifferent AF B 2066 - ‘could try harder’! One particular incident which occurred through non-military, and involved ‘her indoors’, which some of the ladies of
the Regiment may have experienced. I had gone to the Mess one evening for a drink. About 0500hrs, dawn just breaking over Salisbury Plain, and the Druids in their heaven, she who must be obeyed realised I was not in bed and decided to walk up to the Mess. She saw the welllit Mess, she heard the clink of glasses, raised voices in conversation merriment all round. She opened the door to the Mess, room in darkness, no noise, no one around - spooky or what! Eventually she found me asleep in my car. Off on my travels again to be Chief Clerk HQ RAC AT 1 (BR) Corps, Bielefeld. CRAC Brigadier Nigel Bagnall, later Major General, posted shortly after I arrived to be replaced by Brigadier Martin Sinnatt, who I believe on retirement, became Chief Executive at Crufts. BM - Major Nick Ansell of Brewery fame. DAAQMG - Major RB Bentley RTR. An amusing incident of note. We had been on a sailing exercise from Kiel to Denmark. On returning and docking at Kiel the conversation went something like this: Brigadier Martin “Tie the yacht up Mr Iveson.” Mr Iveson “Yes Brigadier.” I now know how Neil Armstrong must have felt when he took that momentous step. I took one leap and the next minute found me inspecting the seabed. Of course I missed! Brigadier Martin “Please stop messing about Mr Iveson.” (shades of Kenneth Williams) Being dressed in combat kit and boots it was rather difficult to extract myself from the water. On coming up for the third time two German Dockers, who probably resented losing the war, de-
cided to pull me out. By the time we got back to Bielefeld, I had managed to dry out. All in all I spent two happy years at HQ 1 (BR) Corps. After Bielefeld I spent the next two years lying low, keeping my head down, etc. etc. of course you know where. Finally back to Germany to be Chief Clerk HQ Sennelager Training Centre. Had a slight difference of opinion with the Commanding Officer, Lt Col P J Viner, RA and decided it was time to up sticks and leave the Army. Gen Simon Cooper generously gave me a few months furlough and I eventually left the Army on 1st December 1978.
It had been a memorable journey. As Spock said, and I repeat for all serving and non-serving members of the Household Cavalry, “Live long and prosper” or as my friends in Rome say “Tandem ad amicos atque socios dico ut longo vivas tempore et bene sit.” Footnote: I nearly achieved one ambition. As I am 80 in November, if I can stagger down to Combermere next year, I will be entitled to a free meal at The Life Guard’s Dinner!!
thank you and best wishes to all involved in the production and distribution of the magazine. It is the highlight of the year, to receive it and read the contents. Although many years have now passed, in one mind’s eye one can still remember the many friends and comrades one once knew and for one shining transient moment one is back at Combermere and once again a member of the Regiment. Shades of Mandalay!!! I could go on but tomorrow is another day.
Further Footnote: And finally, a big
First World War - Photographs of my Father
he following photographs are submitted to illustrate the dress and demeanour of my father, Frank M Lunn. A few facts of his service. My father, Frank M Lunn, volunteered to join the 2nd Life Guards at the Combermere Barracks, Windsor on his 21st birthday, 29th November 1915. At first they were trained to do cavalry charges, but before going to France they were formed into the 2nd Life Guards Machine Gun Guards. My father's Army number was initially 4032, but was changed to 4651 when they became Machine Gunners. In 1916, having been dismounted from their horses, they put their swords away, well greased etc. Shortly afterwards the Crown Prince of SchleswigHolstein, who was in England, died and the 2nd Life Guards had to act as the funeral cortège for him. He was buried in St George's Chapel Windsor. Having just put their swords away they had to take them out again and degrease them. The Crown Prince was not popular! When deploying to France they went from Windsor to Waterloo by train and there took the boat train to Southampton. He had no means of letting his mother know that he was going to war. She lived at Hook where there is a station on the line to Southampton. My father scribbled a note and threw it out of the window as the train went through Hook station, asking the finder to give it to his mother. Amazingly, someone did.
by John Lunn
reason were held there for a very long time instead of being taken back to the UK. They became very frustrated and angry and my father's regiment, the 2nd
Life Guards, was stood by to put down a threatened mutiny. Thank goodness it never happened.
Tpr Lunn, mounted as for fighting before going to France
In France he suffered mustard gas injuries and was admitted to hospital. When returning to his machine gun team a while later, the guardsman who had relieved him rushed up to him and hugged him, saying "you saved my life". My father was mystified. The reason for this welcome was that the hut holding reserve troops had been hit by a shell seconds after he had left it to replace my father, killing all inside. After the Armistice troops were put in tents in northern France and for some
A Guards unit after the Armistice in 1918 in France or possibly Belgium, with Lunn at the extreme right end of the front row, not counting the two on the ground
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“Through Fire, out of Darkness and into Light” by Shaun Corkerry
In May 1915 at a hospital near Boulogne, a young British officer lay dying. Brought in from the Battlefield near Ypres a few days earlier with a gunshot wound to the arm and a broken leg, initially his condition had caused little concern. The arm soon turned septic, however, and was amputated at the shoulder. The officer’s condition became worse and eventually the doctors could do nothing but make him comfortable. On 19th May he passed away. This particular young officer had, however, been very far from ordinary in his brief life, and in death his burial was almost unique, as very few were repatriated to England for burial, probably only single figures. Albert Edward Charles Robert WynnCarrington, Viscount Wendover, was born in London on 24th April 1895 and he was the only son of the Marquis and Marchioness of Lincolnshire. Albert was christened in June 1895 with the Prince of Wales as his sponsor. Like his father, Albert attended Eton College. He became Viscount Wendover in 1912 at the age of 17 after his father became Lord Lincolnshire. Albert also joined his father’s regiment, The Royal Horse Guards, and after Eton went to Sandhurst. Albert had two medals to wear already as he had the Coronation medals for 1902 and 1911. Whilst at Sandhurst Albert’s progress was steady, his report for December 1913 stating: “Inclined to take his work too
Albert Edward Charles Robert WynnCarrington, Viscount Wendover
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easily. Is selfreliant, smart and promises to make a fine officer” Albert made Corporal at Sandhurst and left the RMC on 15th July 1914. On the 14th August 1914 he was gazetted as a 2Lt on probation. After joining his Regiment, Albert was promoted to temporary Lt on 15th November 1914. Albert’s arrival with the The grave of Lieutenant Viscount Wendover at St Mary’s, Moulsoe Regiment in Belgium was duly From The Times, 24th May 1915. recorded in the war diary on 13th March 1915. The funeral of Lieutenant Viscount Wendover…. took place at Moulsoe, Bucks, on SatIn 1915, The Blues were part of the 8th urday, with full military honours. The plain Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division. oak coffin, covered with flowers and wrapped Whilst the Regiment had begun the war in the Union Jack, had been brought to Engon horseback (and would return to it peland from Boulogne on Thursday. At the riodically), at this stage The Blues served grave, a firing party fired three volleys and as Infantry. In early 1915 it was critical the Last Post was sounded. A heart-shaped to the Allies that the town of Ypres and wreath from Lord and Lady Lincolnshire the salient around it were held. During was lowered into the grave with the coffin. May 1915 the Germans made increasingly desperate efforts to take Ypres, The title of this article is from the coffin and at 0400hrs on 13th May began a plate inscription. Fellow officers attendtremendous attack on the trenches held ed the funeral and the coffin was acby the 3rd Cavalry Division. A large gap companied by the Regimental Standard had been punched in the centre of the of the time of Waterloo. Albert was one line and The Blues were given the task, of a small number of officers (believed along with the Essex Yeomanry and the to be 27) who died overseas during the 10th Hussars, of filling the gap and reGreat War and were repatriated after taking the lost ground at the point of the death. Albert was gazetted as a Lt on bayonet. 17th July 1915, backdated to 13th May. He was awarded the 1915 star and the At 1430hrs the Cavalry charged forBritish War medal and Victory medal. wards and the Germans retired, having had enough of the British resistAlbert is buried in St Mary’s Churchance and artillery barrages. Most of the yard, Moulsoe. He is also on the House lost trenches were recaptured - Albert, of Lords war memorial and his sword however, was shot in the left arm and and spurs are at High Wycombe All eventually was evacuated to 7 StationSaints Church as well as the Flackwell ary Hospital near Boulogne. The Blues Heath war memorial, the High Wyhad 119 casualties out of a Regimental combe Hospital memorial, the Eton war strength of 270 at the start of the Battle. memorial and on a plaque and the Roll of Honour at Moulsoe church. At first all seemed well but on 17th May Albert’s father was notified by telegram “And all the trumpets sounded that his son was “seriously ill”. Albert’s for him on the other side” parents immediately crossed to France and were soon by his bedside. Albert My thanks to Mr Jim Lees,and the staff died on 19th May and his heartbroken of the Household Cavalry Museum for parents took Albert back to England the compilation of this story. with them the next day.