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E-zine Volume 5 Issue 3

15 December 2013

RGJ Museum awarded Heritage Lottery Fund support Page 11

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The Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association

E-zine NEWSLETTER Volume 5 Issue 3

15 December2013

FOREWORD by Brigadier Hugh Willing CBE Chairman of the RGJ Regimental Association

Brigadier Hugh Willing CBE

This edition of the E-Zine will be the last in our thrice-yearly series. From 2014 we are reducing the number of publications to one E-Zine to be issued each summer – probably in September, and the annual flagship magazine ‘Swift and Bold’ which is published each year in March. Please help the editorial team by continuing to send in your interesting articles and updates by the respective deadlines. Next year will also see the launch of the RGJ Museum Appeal seeking support for the Battle of Waterloo Bicentenary Exhibition and Learning Space project. The Heritage Lottery Fund has contributed £100,000 towards the cost of the exhibition, which includes a refurbishment of the Waterloo model and the first floor of the Museum to incorporate a Learning Space, ready for the Waterloo Bicentenary in 2015. The Appeal is to raise £100,000 to match the HLF grant. The Association committee has fully endorsed General Christopher Wallace’s proposal and encourages all Riflemen to support this most worthy and fitting fund-raising Regimental project. Once again thanks and congratulations are in order for the excellent arrangements made by the Winchester Branch for this year’s Veterans Day Gathering in July. Whilst the weather might have been too hot for comfort, all those who attended much enjoyed the good fellowship and tall stories that such a reunion will always bring. Make a note in your diaries for next year’s Gathering – Saturday 12th July. And finally a warm welcome to Lieutenant Simon Booth-Mason as the Deputy Chairman and to Major Michael Leeming as the President of the Central England Branch. The Branch goes from strength to strength and is organising the ‘Greenstock’ Music Festival for Riflemen at Bramcote Barracks near Nuneaton during the August Bank Holiday 2014. My best wishes for Christmas and 2014 to all fellow Riflemen. Hugh Willing E-Zine 2013

Contents Page Title 3. Foreword 4. RGJ Museum Shop Christmas 2013 6. Forecast of Events Regimental ringtones 7. RGJRA Contact List 8. From the Editor 9. The History of The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum 11. The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum Ba le of Waterloo Bicentenary Exhibi on 13. She’ll miss me 14. News from the Branches 26. The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum 28. KRRC Tapestry 29. 3,000 mile Campervan Tour of Germany 31. Wiltshire Branch Revisit The Rock of Gibraltar 32. The platoon in C Coy 1st Green Jackets that went chasing pirates in 1963 37. The Scent of History – Frankincense 38. Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust (SOFO) 40. Riflesdirect 41. In Memoriam “Why the Poppies?”

Editor: Kevin Stevens Copyright 2013 © RGJRA This publica on contains official and personal contact informa on. It should therefore be treated with discre on by the recipient. The views expressed in the ar cles in this journal are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy and views, official or otherwise of the Royal Green Jackets Regimental Associa on or the Ministry of Defence.

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RGJ MUSEUM SHOP CHRISTMAS 2013 Special Offers available - on-line or telephone only - 11 November - 20 December All prices exclude p&p. Total p&p charges are shown at check out -

For the Green Jackets enthusiast

The Regimental gift package

Shop price £31.24p – NOW £26.00p or buy individual items

Shop price (Silk Tie) £34.49p – NOW £30.00p Shop price (Polyester Tie) £25.59p – NOW £20.00p or buy individual items

Rifles book £3.99p, Rifles CD £9.99p Rifles DVD £12.99p

Mug £4.50p, Socks £6.00p, Polyester Tie £10.50p, Silk Tie £19.00p

AND ... have you ordered your Christmas Cards?

Pkt of 5 with envelopes £3.75p 4 | Volume 5 Issue 3

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WWII memories for Grandad

Winter Warmth

Shop price £21.49p – NOW £16.50p or buy individual items

Shop price £46.97p – NOW £40.00p or buy individual items

Tea £4.00p, Notelets £2.00p, Mug £5.00p, Magnetic memo £4.00p, Humbugs £2.00p

Ski hat £5.50p, Scarf £8.00p, Waterproof £28.00p

Make a note of Veterans Day at Winchester in the Museum 2014 Calendar. £10.00p.

The calendar focuses on regimental Victoria Cross winners. It is a page a month depicting different recipients whose award was made for gallantry in that month, with a photograph, thumbnail sketch of his life and summary of the action leading to the individual award of the Victoria Cross included. With plenty of space to record daily appointments and with additional pages for birthdays, anniversaries and notes, this is an historically fascinating and very practical calendar.


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Forecast Of Events 15 December 2013 - 31 March 2014 Date 2013 December 17 25

2014 January 16

29 tbc

February 1 15



Turning of the Pages Ceremony (1055 hrs) King’s Royal Rifle Corps Regimental Birthday

Winchester Cathedral


Anniversary of the death of Sir John Moore – Wreath laying at Evensong Service RIFLES Trustees Mee ng

St Paul’s Cathedral, London

London Office


Shrewsbury Office

7th Anniversary of The Rifles Forma on Deadline for input to The Editor for The Chronicle

March 15

Herefordshire Officers’ Dinner

Regimental Ring tones

Our small selection of ring tones are becoming increasingly popular. The website team are able to provide the following regimental ring tones. Reveille – High on a hill – Last post – Mechanised Infantry – Ox and Bucks March – RGJ March – Rogues March – Battle sounds. We are planning to add to this list in the new year together with a small selection of more humorous ringtones, we can offer at the moment “Smurfs in prison”. You cannot download these directly but they can be sent via email for you to transfer to your mobile phone by data cable. If you would like any or all of the above please contact me using the following email address: Kevin Stevens Website Manager 6 | Volume 5 Issue 3

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Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association Contact list as at 15 December 2013 President

Maj Gen Jamie Balfour CBE

01962 828524



Brig HGC Willing CBE

01962 828524


Vice Chairman

Lt Simon Booth-Mason

01962 828524



Lt Col J-D von Merveldt

0207 491 4936

Members Secretary

Mr Mike Marr

01235 548018


Mr Kevin Stevens

01865 452813


Dep Webmaster

Mr Mark Adams

01442 380713

Database Manager

Mr Roy Baillie

01488 658681


Webmaster RGJ Photographic Site

Mr Seamus P Lyons

01992 550605


Branches Australian

Maj Gen Andrew Pringle CB CBE

Mr Chris McDonald

+61 (0)408 937 165


Mr Alan Grant

01296 426765

Band and Bugles

David Timms

Mr David Timms

01304 820910

Central England

Major Michael Leeming

Mr Peter Page

01922 694733

East Midlands

Mr Mar n Coates

01623 747817 mar nswi

Gosport & District

Mr Ian Ski lethorpe

02392 423336 ianski


Col GF Smythe OBE

Mr Gary Driscoll

01708 442662

Milton Keynes

Brig MR Koe OBE

Mr Gary Brewer

01908 218715 g_brewer@b

North East

Brig NM Prideaux

Mr John Cheetham

01915 480189 rgj.north.east@b

N. Ireland

Mr Len Cook

North West

Mr Ray Gerrard

01744 732501


Brig Nigel Mogg DL

Mr Mike Marr

01235 548018


Mr Tom Fairclough

01691 777172


Maj RD Cassidy MBE

Mr Gordon Pilcher

01394 215925

South East Kent

Brig James Plastow MBE

Mr Glenn Ternent

01843 297069 geordie_t@b


Brig G dv W Hayes CBE

Mr Gary Byrne

01985 211279


Capt John Fritz-Domeney

Mr John Harper

01962 882481


Brig PJ Lyddon MBE

Mr Stuart Anderson

01757 617056 li


Notes: Any amendments to the above contact informa on should be sent to Roy Baillie. • Indicates that a Branch President has not been appointed. E-Zine 2013

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From the Editor

Welcome to the December issue of the E-Zine. It does not seem that long ago I was writing my previous editorial and bemoaning the fact we, as a website team, had had such a poor 6 months. Since that time I am pleased to say that our database manager, Roy Baillie, is back on his foot, Mark Adams who looks after all guest books and bulletin boards and had severely cut his hand is now able to type with two lollipop sticks which is a definite improvement and I am recoveringwell from my back operation although with a few unexpected complications. I was also delighted to receive an email recently from Arne Bergsand saying he was once again well enough to re-join the team. Arne has been responsible for the building of this edition while Seamus Lyons, who has remained disgustingly well all year, has been concentrating on a complete rebuild of the main website. The branch websites which we control have been given a completely new look and we have welcomed the Gosport and District branch into the fold. Seamus has now taken over responsibility for the maintenance of all the websites. There are plans to add another formerly independent website to the list of centrally run websites in the new year if things go according to plan. Once again the e-zine contains a wide variety of articles in addition to branch reports. We always welcome the interest stories as they have a tendency to generate further stories as people think “I could write one of those�. Please keep them coming. You should be aware by now that we have taken the decision to reduce the e-zine from 3 issues to 1 issue per year. In making this decision I have taken into account the fact that those who contribute are volunteers as are the website team and it can be very difficult to find something to write about every 12 weeks. I have, however, decided we will produce 2 editions in 2014, the first at the end of June and the second at the end of October meaning we can give full coverage and support to the museum in this very important year for them and also cover the reunions. So as 2013 draws to a close and we begin to welcome in 2014 may I, on behalf of the website team, take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and safe Christmas and New Year. Best wishes Kevin Stevens Website Manager RGJRA Editor E-Zine and Swift and Bold(To be con nued on next page) 8 | Volume 5 Issue 3

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THE HISTORY OF THE ROYAL GREEN JACKETS (RIFLES) MUSEUM The origins of The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum date back to the aftermath of the First World War. In 1917, before even the First World War had ended, the British Government decided that a National War Museum should be set up to collect and display material relating to the Great War. The interest taken by the Dominion governments led to the museum being given the title of the Imperial War Museum. Established by Act of Parliament, the museum was opened in the Crystal Palace by King George V on 9 June 1920. The creation of the Imperial War Museum was the catalyst for many regiments in the British Army to start accumulating their own collections of war artefacts and archival material. The antecedent regiments of The Royal Green Jackets – The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, The King’s Royal Rifle Corps and The Rifle Brigade - all did so during the 1920s. The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Museum was created in 1925 in a room in the Officers’ Mess of the Regimental Depot at Cowley Barracks, Oxford. By 1938 more space was required and it moved into a barrack room. In 1968 the museum moved from Cowley Barracks to Slade Park Barracks, Oxford, where it remained until the barracks was closed in 2008. Thereafter the collection was placed in storage at Bicester for three years before being moved to Woodstock. For many years The King’s Royal Rifle Corps and Rifle Brigade collections were housed wherever space could be found for them in the buildings at The Rifle Depot, Winchester. It was not, though, until after the rebuild of Peninsula Barracks in 1964 that a semi-permanent home for the collections was established on the first floor of the Depot headquarters building, the building now occupied by The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum.

The King’s Royal Rifle Corps and Rifle Brigade museums in the 1980s In 1986 the opportunity arose, with the closure of Peninsula Barracks as a training depot, for The Royal Green Jackets to establish a permanent regimental museum in the former Depot headquarters E-Zine 2013

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building. The Ministry of Defence approved and in 1989 The King’s Royal Rifle Corps and Rifle Brigade collections were united in a single Royal Green Jackets Museum occupying one half of the ground floor and the whole of the first floor of the building. The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry also contributed by lending a significant part of its Oxfordshire collection for display in the museum. On 1 December 1989 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Colonel-in-Chief of The Royal Green Jackets, opened the new museum. Since 1989 there have been a number of changes within the museum, including the introduction of new displays and exhibits. However, the basic layout and space available have not changed.

The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry became part of the museum in 2004 In 2004 the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry transferred ownership of its collection in Winchester to The Royal Green Jackets Museum. In 2007 it transferred ownership of the remainder of its collection in Oxfordshire to the museum. The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum, therefore, owns the museum collections, including the archives, of all the former regiments of The Royal Green Jackets. The Oxfordshire collection, however, remains in Oxfordshire available to the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum Trust for use and display in the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Heritage Centre, Woodstock, which is due to open in 2014.

Change to The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum in 2009 In 2009 the Museum’s trustees decided that the title of the museum should change to The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum. The change reflected the desire in Government and within the Ministry of Defence that museums should ‘connect our past with our present and our future’. The inclusion of the word ‘Rifles’ does this by identifying The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum with the history of the British Army’s first Rifle regiment, The Rifle Brigade, through the present to the future as a part of today’s regiment, ‘The Rifles’, into which The Royal Green Jackets was merged on 1 February 2007.

The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum Peninsula Barracks Romsey Road Winchester, Hants, SO23 8TS 10 | Volume 5 Issue 3

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THE ROYAL GREEN JACKETS (RIFLES) MUSEUM BATTLE OF WATERLOO BICENTENARY EXHIBITION It was a great day when, after two years of preparation and planning, we heard that the Trustees’ application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for a grant of £100,000 to part-fund a Battle of Waterloo Bicentenary exhibition in 2015 had been successful. The news was released to the public on 17 November. A huge amount of work is now in hand to ensure that the exhibition is ready to open on 25 March 2015, three months in advance of the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo on 18 June.

The items in the display case shown in the a achment belonged to or related to the Duke of Wellington: Court Dress coatee worn when Col-in-Chief of The Rifle Brigade Garter Sash Embroidered waistcoat Tie pin and two studs Le er from the Duke Ink stand made from one of his chargers hooves Statue e of the Duke of Wellington 3 x medallions rela ng to the death and burial of the Duke of Wellington Lithograph of the funeral procession 2 x illustra ons of the funeral from the Illustrated London News (copies) B/W copy of the pain ng ‘The First of May’ B/W copy of a portrait of the Duke of Wellington by Phillips

There are lots of reasons why the Trustees have chosen to invest a large amount of time, effort and money in this exhibition. For a start, the bicentenary is expected to attract considerable national and international attention and we want some to be focused on our Museum. Currently no other regimental museum in the country has such ambitious plans as ours. Secondly, Waterloo was a defining moment in European and British history. The causes, course and consequences of the battle, some of which still resonate today, deserve to be better understood E-Zine 2013

and remembered. Thirdly, two of the antecedent regiments of The Royal Green Jackets, the 52nd Light Infantry and the 95th Rifles, played a pivotal role in the battle. The 52nd LI initiated the rout of the French Imperial Guard that led to the defeat of the French, while the 1st/95th contributed significantly to the defence of the vital ground forward of the Mont St Jean crossroads. Waterloo was undeniably a major event in the Regiment’s history with the battle honour ‘Waterloo’ proudly emblazoned on The (To be con nued on next page) Volume 5 Issue 3 | 11

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(Con nued from previous page)

in 1797 and the Experimental Corps of Riflemen in 1800; the introduction of the Baker Rifle; Sir John Moore’s camp at Shorncliffe and the designation of the 43rd and 52nd as light infantry regiments (1803-6); and, of course, the part played by all the antecedent regiments of The Royal Green Jackets and The Light Division during the Peninsular War (1808-14). There is, too, a very important, third element to our plans. In addition to the new displays covering the ‘Road to Waterloo’ and ‘Waterloo’, we intend to create a multi-functional learning space to seat 60 people with walls on which to display to much better effect than at present the Museum’s important collection of paintings and portraits relating to the period 1800-15. Teachers are already excited at the prospect of using this space as an ‘alternative classroom’, one where they can bring their pupils for a full or half day and, with the facilities on offer, conduct classroom work on the spot with objects and subject matter experts to hand. For those familiar with the Museum, the Bicentenary Exhibition will result in two-thirds of the first floor display space being stripped back to bare walls and new displays being created in their place. The Waterloo diorama will remain a central feature. The area affected is shown in approximate form on the diagram accompanying this article. This may change once the exhibition designer is appointed in mid-January.

Royal Green Jackets’ cap badge. Lastly, the Trustees have long wanted to improve the conservation and presentation of our very popular, but somewhat tired 24.5 m2 Waterloo diorama, with its 30,000 model soldiers and horses. Marking the bicentenary of Waterloo with in major exhibition provides admirable reason to introduce state-of-the art technology and methods of interpretation to the diorama, and to bring to life the battle and the stories of those who were there. But this is not only an exhibition about Waterloo. It will also be an exhibition about the ‘Road to Waterloo’ covering the period from the French Revolution (1789) to Napoleon’s exile to Elba in 1814. This is a key period in the Regiment’s history giving rise to the formation of the 5th/60th Rifles 12 | Volume 5 Issue 3

Ultimately the Museum’s Trustees are looking to create a new experience within an existing experience, an exhibition that stands to be more modern and, quite probably in content and presentation, different to the displays in the rest of the Museum. In particular, we want the exhibition to excite and inspire members of the public of all ages and backgrounds and to appeal to children whether visiting as a school or family group. But all this comes at a price. The £100,000 HLF grant will cover just under a half of the estimated £210,000 project cost, but we know this figure does not cover some elements which we consider important and would dearly likely to see included. The Trustees, therefore, will be launching a £100,000 Waterloo 2015 Appeal on 16 January in the hope that not only will the target sum be reached, but that it will be exceeded. Indeed, it is critically important that it is reached if the Museum is not to default on its commitments to the HLF. (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2013

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potential sponsors. Once launched, the Appeal will run for nine months to 31 October 2014.

(Con nued from previous page)

The logo designed to publicise the Museum’s Waterloo 2015 Exhibition and Appeal is featured at the end of this article together with the HLF logo which the museum is obliged to display alongside all publicity material about the exhibition. The strap line ‘History Matters’ is not only highly pertinent but the title of Hampshire’s Secondary History Teachers’ biannual magazine. Details of the Appeal and how to contribute to it will be publicised on the RGJ Regimental Association website on 16 January and subsequently as widely as possible using every method available. Branches already have a good idea of what is planned. Approaches will also be made to individuals, supporters of the Museum, grant-giving trusts and

The Museum’s Trustees are particularly grateful that the RGJ Regimental Association Committee has endorsed the importance of the Museum’s Waterloo 2015 Appeal by designating it the Association’s main fund-raising effort in 2014. There has not been an appeal like it since the Museum was created in the 1980s and there is no intention of initiating another in the foreseeable future. It is very much hoped, therefore, that, when the call comes, members of the Regiment will contribute as generously as they are able. In anticipation, thank you. Lt-Gen Sir Christopher Wallace Chairman, RGJ Museum Trustees

Waterloo 2015 HISTORY MATTERS The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum Trust (Charity No. 1009691)

She’ll miss me I miss her, my mum. These wet, and cold streets are no place for me. I'm out later than she likes me to be. Standing on street corners, with my mates nearby, if she saw me now, I know she would cry ... I miss her, my mum. We're walking off now, together we go. Shoulders all swinging. Putting on a good show. They watch us coming, signalling our route, waiting to see which one they will shoot ... I miss her, my mum. Cars flash past in the rain, coming and going. Again, and again. I tense at each one, watching them leave, wiping mist from my sight with my glove or my sleeve ... I miss her, my mum. I'm here, eighteen! I'm a man! I struggle to be as brave as I can. My mates - they are better - good soldiers all, they'll make sure that none of us fall ... I miss her, my mum. What was that flash? What was that bang? Why are they shouting? Why am I numb? Please someone, PLEASE! Go get my mum! I miss her, my mum. I see my mate Tommy, he's stroking my head. But I'm looking down? Does this mean I am dead? I'm shouting! Listen lads! I'm ok! I'm alright! Why can't you hear me? It's quite silent tonight ... She'll miss me. My mum. Ken Pettengale

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GOSPORT AND DISTRICT BRANCH Just a little update from the newly formed branch here is Gosport Hampshire. The Branch is going from strength to strength with regular meetings being held at the Gosport Royal British Legion on the first Thursday of each month at 1930hrs. Our first major event was the attendance at the Winchester Reunion in July this year which was supported by a large contingent and as we all disappeared off to our homes plans where already being put in place to attend next year. A small section headed off to the remembrance parade in Gosport at the invitation of the Lord Mayor of Gosport and our Chairman Roger Forder placed a wreath at the War Memorial in remembrance of those who had given the ultimate sacrifice. Our entertainments team are planning a Battle field tour to the SOMME in March next year there are a few places left so if any one wants to attend please contact the secretary James at or via the Royal Green Jackets web site.

NORTH EAST BRANCH Hello Brother Riflemen, Welcome to the North East Branch and we hope you will all enjoy reading what we have been doing since our last e-zine entry. We held our last meeting on Friday 27th September with 31 Riflemen on parade and 18 apologies due to other duties. The details for the Remembrance Weekend were finalised, others matters were discussed and we then moved upstairs to enjoy a social evening. Our first pleasurable event of the Autumn was the marriage of Serjeant Dave Sproat and Suzanne Stephenson on the 26th October 2013 (the same weekend SAFC beat NUFC 2-1). We hope it didn’t spoil their celebrations too much! David and Suzanne were childhood sweethearts as well as lifelong Newcastle fans (doesn’t make them bad people) and have been together since1981. Dave Joined the RGJ family in November 1981, going into 10 Platoon at the Rifle Depot. He was one of the recruits that were trained by a certain Sjt J Cheetham with Lt Col Nicholas Prideaux as Commanding Officer. Dave’s training was the best as we all know with lots of show parades and boots being slung out of windows, before passing out as a trained, thinking Rifleman in March 1982, when Dave was posted to the 1st Battalion in Northern Ireland. Dave went onto the JNCOs’ cadre in 1986 and was promoted, becoming the Company Commander’s driver. 1988 Dave attended the Section Commander’s course in beautiful, sunny Brecon. During 1990, Dave saw the amalgamation of the Battalions and he was posted to 2 RGJ. In 1992 he 14 | Volume 5 Issue 3

was posted to Cyprus and while there, he was part of the Support Company Rugby team that won the Cyprus Rugby cup. Dave then decided to change his career somewhat and joined the Mortar Platoon where he went to Jordan (another holiday) before returning to ATR Winchester. When this posting was over he became a Corporal in the Regimental Police at Bulford. Dave’s Army life did not end here, he joined a civilian firm who participated in a new concept for the Army as a sponsored reservist driving the newest tank transporter which meant he had to re-badge to the Royal Logistic Corps. This Dave describes as an eye- opener when he was in Iraq and Afghanistan but he still made lots of new friends, never forgetting his roots as a thinking Rifleman. Our main event of the Branch’s year was the Remembrance Weekend for which we had been working and planning since May. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank Jake and Liz Cheetham for all their hard work along with the other Committee members who assisted in the preparations. Also, I wish to thank our sponsor for his continued sponsorship of the Branch; without his generosity we wouldn’t be able to host such a prestigious event. The weekend celebrations started on the Friday afternoon when numerous Riflemen and WAGS, from all over the country and Europe, began to arrive at the various hotels and guest houses within the local area of Roker and Seaburn. (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2013

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(Con nued from previous page)

The lamps started to swing and the sandbags were re-filled and Keith ‘Dog’ Hudson started to sell The North East Branch calendar for 2014 and a very good job he has made of them as well as other RGJ regalia. Friday evening passed all too quickly but that just meant that Saturday had arrived and our long awaited function could commence and what better way to start the night off than with the Bugle section from The Durham Army Cadet Force (Rifles really) playing a selection of Bugle calls which brought back so many memories and making the hairs stand up on the back of our necks. Once the Buglers, under the skilful and amusing direction of WO2 Derek Corbett, had concluded their spot Jake thanked them on our behalf and released them to return to their other duties at the nearby Seaburn Centre. Jake then invited our Branch President Brigadier Nicholas Prideaux to speak. He welcomed everyone, reflected on the Branch’s activities and achievements during the past year and thanked everyone who had organised the evening which was always greatly appreciated

by so many people especially our Branch members, their guests and those from other Branches. After the formal introductions and presentations had been concluded, we were entertained by a very good local group called Triple Vision and they started the evening’s merriment with many a good E-Zine 2013

tune of our era. The auction raised a total of £740 which was donated to our own Rifles “Care4Casualties” charity. George Barrs and John Toolin are seen below onducting the auction. Also shown below are two tables full of Raffle prizes, these were kindly donated by our members throughout the year and thereby ensuring that an enormous number of tickets were sold. The evening was a huge success and all our guests enjoyed themselves and spoke highly of the food and entertainment. As the night drew to a close, we went our various ways to prepare for the most important part of the weekend, the Sunday morning Parade in Sunderland to honour our fallen comrades. On a beautiful sunny but cold Sunday morning, we started to meet up in our usual place, William Jameson’s bar and after having had a hearty breakfast, we made our way up to the Civic Centre, where the parade forms up. We fell in in three ranks to the command of our resident CSM from the Coldstream Guards; he received the usual light-hearted banter of bleating

sheep and other jokes which he took all in the spirit of fun. The hardest part of the march was trying to keep step to the heavy brigade drum beat but we arrived without incident directly opposite the War (To be con nued on next page) Volume 5 Issue 3 | 15

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Memorial where we awaited the chimes of Big Ben and the start of the Two Minutes Silence. This is a very emotional moment across the nation when we all remember our fallen commrades throughout the years of numerous conflicts in the last century and into the present:the Two World Wars, the Korean War, operations in Borneo, Malaya, Cyprus, Northern Ireland, the Falklands and Gulf wars and currently Afgahnistan. The crowds surrounding the Parade observed the silence impecably across the city’s boundaries showing their total respect and support for our Armed Forces, past and present. We marched past and to the sound of the Bugle, gave our salute to the Lord Lieutenant and His Worship The Mayor. As we went by and received the eyes front, we changed our step to our Regimental pace which was a great relief to the 100 Riflemen on parade. It was a fantastic march past and the cheers and support from the crowds were superb. We returned to the Roker Hotel for our Lunch; we were joined and the honoured guests, the Mayor and Lady Mayoress and a very special guest, in the guise of our own Regimental “Mary Poppins“ Miss Claire Neal.Brigadier Nicholas explained to everyone who Claire was and how she had become involved with the Regiment. For those of you that do not know, Claire was a Nanny looking after children in London in 1982. On 20th July she was approaching the Bandstand in Regent’s Park with two of her children just as the IRA bomb exploded with such devastating result. Without any thought for her own safety, she left her children with a Policemen and went to the aid of those Bandsmen who were dying and badly wounded. Claire immediately gave first aid and help by tearing off her petticoat and even some of her dress to make bandages. When she had done as much as she could, Claire retraced her steps to find her children and melted into the crowd. It took the Metropolitan Police three days to discover who she was and the extent of her actions. She subsequently was given two bravery awards for her courageous and selfless action. As a further tribute to Claire, the President formally confirmed that he had made Claire an Honorary Member of the North East Branch. A bouquet of flowers was t presented to her on behalf of the Branch and she received a standing ovation 16 | Volume 5 Issue 3

from a room of grateful Riflemen who were moved to tears by her actions and presence of mind on that fateful day. On 2nd December, Claire’s Birthday, Liz Cheetham and Kathy Bradford took her out to Lunch and presented her with a mounted RGJ blazer badge as proof of her Honorary Membership of the Branch. Our new Branch room in the Royal British Legion Club in Sunderland was opened on 14th December progress thus providing us with a place to call home for the North East Branch complete with a full array of RGJ memorabilia.

True friendship: A Sentiment from George Barrs Many years ago I met a group of special people, at the time, they were young boys, who with training grew to be “chosen men”. As the years passed by we all went our own way, but never forgetting their faces or the memories we shared together in times of fun, laughter and extreme hardship. You spend some time away from them and then meet up again and the years roll back, even though physically they have changed the special bond still remains. True special friendship is always present wherever life may send you and I know I have met “some special people” and they become part of your extended family and that family is “THE ROYAL GREEN JACKETS”. These people travel the length and width of the country to meet up with old comrades which shows the spirit of true friends. I would like a special mention to Jake, Liz, John and Malcolm and the remainder of the North East Branch Committee for all their hard work, dedication and hospitality when organising functions on our behalf. We all enjoy these times and they will only get better as the years pass by but one thing is for certain the RGJ will never die. Once again I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for sending me the pictures and articles to be included in our e-zine and wish all RGJ and serving Rifles personnel regardless of rank a very Happy Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year. SWIFT and BOLD Malcolm Donnison Editor, North East branch newsletter E-Zine 2013

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NORTH WEST BRANCH It has again been a quiet year this year. Our membership has reduced slightly but this has happened before and we have recovered. Our membership for 2013 stands at 31 paid up members, 12 Country Members and 8 people remain on our mailing list. We expect that next year our membership will improve as we have one or two things in the pipeline. The annual dinner this year attracted 26 members and guests. It was held on Saturday 9th November 2013 at the Royal Hotel, Marine Terrace, Waterloo, Liverpool. It was held in the Waterloo Suite and as the name suggests the room is themed around the Battle of Waterloo. A good omen for the 200th anniversary in 2015. Again the reputation of our annual dinner must be spreading afar as this year we had people from the Isle of Mann, Dorset and London attending. We even had Vince Wellington attend the dinner who we passed off as the great great great grandson of the Duke of Wellington but I don’t think many were fooled. A very good night was enjoyed by all especially as a free bar was laid on. This year we changed the date from the last weekend in November to the weekend of the remembrance parade. This was at the request of some members and people from afar who would like to attend the remembrance parade the following day. This seemed to work well and we are considering the same date next year. Is was also, by coincidence, Gareths birthday which he thought we had all forgotten about until we presented him with a cake near the end of the night. As we may hold the dinner on this night each year don’t expect it to be renamed Gareth Dixons Birthday Bash. The annual remembrance parade was held at the cenotaph at the front of St Georges Hall in

Liverpool and a detachment of 40 ex Royal Green Jackets marched onto the cenotaph where a poppy wreath was placed by Bill Evans. We even noticed that this year we had ex-soldiers of the Rifles with us who joined our ranks when we marched on. We then attended a short memorial service at the Northern Ireland memorial which is in St John Gardens at the rear of St Georges Hall. It is with sadness that we have to say our farewell to Geoff Morrish who passed away in September this year. Geoff was a member of the branch for many years. At his funeral there was a good turnout of many ex Royal Green Jackets. I am sure you are all well aware that the North West Branch is making a coordinated effort to raise funds to provide a headstone for Peter Uden. You may ask why the North West Branch is making this effort when he is buried in Winchester but Peter had many friends here in the North West and visited friends here on occasions. For those of you who knew Peter I am sure you will agree that he was a man with a large character and heart. He was well known throughout the RGJ family and extended his welcome every Veterans day in Winchester by opening up his home to anybody who wanted to attend his popular barbeques. If every member of every branch donated just £1 to this appeal we would have enough money to provide a headstone for Peter that his wife could be proud of. To date we have raised £165 and that is in just a couple of months. The North West Branch Dinner raised £125 and another £10 was handed to me on the remembrance parade. We have no timescale to this appeal but we would like to raise the money as soon as possible for his wife Joyce. At out dinner it was announced by C/Sgt Dave Crossley that the Sergeants mess of the 4th Battalion the Rifles are now considering making a donation thanks to his efforts. The North West Branch are coordinating this effort so any cheques can be made out to the RGJ Association NW Branch and sent to 18 Rolling Mill Lane, Sutton, St Helens WA9 3GB. Here is hoping we all have a better 2014.

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OXFORD BRANCH Reunion 2013 Although the attendance at both Turning the Pages in Oxford and the Oxford branch Reunion at Abingdon on Saturday 10th November was not quite as impressive as last year, it was still good. Extra chairs were needed at the ceremony in the Regimental Chapel at Christ Church Cathedral, and the names were read by Major Paul Allington of The Rifles ACF for the Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry, and for the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars by Jo Rider, widow of the late Major Bob Sheldon, who had been scheduled to do the reading.

Brigadier Robin Draper thanked the Band and Bugles, and was happy to announce that in the past year the Rifles had suffered no fatal casualties in Afghanistan. He also mentioned that Major Charlie Helmn, the PSAO of ‘A’ Company 7 RIFLES and chairman of the RGJA Oxford branch , would be retiring next year. Brigadier David Innes, who is a Trustee of SOFO, briefly repeated his request for volunteers to join SOFO’s Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry research group at the Museum. As well as the ‘Old and Bold’, there were a number of members of ‘A’ Company present, and an interesting innovation was a presentation by L/Cpl Alex Oates. Alex, who is a student at Oxford University, spent 9 months from April to September attached to ‘B’ Company, 4 RIFLES, operating out of a patrol base in Afghanistan, and the old comrades present were interested in the details of his experiences in this particular combat zone.

Rider and Paul Allington reading the names in Christ Church Cathedral.

We were pleased to see centenarian Lawrence Belcher in attendance, and those who gathered in the Priory Room for sherry were treated a song rather than a recitation from him. Col Tim May, Vice-Chairman of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust, announced that the new Museum at Woodstock is finished and that from the end of November the Research Centre will re-open for business by appointment. First contact should be by phone at 01993 813832 or via the website at It will be opened to the public next spring with a formal opening in the autumn by an eminent person. Presumably that will not be Peter Jay! There were about 45 old comrades at the Reunion at Edward Brooks barracks that evening, and they enjoyed the usual impeccable performance by the Waterloo Band and Bugles of The Rifles. Perhaps the high spot of the performance was a display of Irish dancing by the well-built Bugler Gary Boardman – an obvious candidate for Strictly Come Dancing! 18 | Volume 5 Issue 3

Following the presentation, Alex spent some time in conversation with 91-year-old veteran Sam Langford, who was telling the young reservist about his exploits in WWII. Sam served in the 52nd in France, having landed with the Royal Berkshire Regiment on Juno Beach on D-Day and volunteering for the Airborne a little later. He took part in Operation Varsity – the Rhine Crossing – and was wounded. Our photographs show Sam (Northern Europe 1944) talking to Alex Oates (Afghanistan 2013) and with Geoff Day (Cyprus 1956/7) listening.

L/Cpl Alex Oates, Sam Langford and Geoff Day.

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of Michael Massy-Beresford.

We were pleased to see Brian Hill, who had come all the way from Exeter for the Reunion, and to welcome Les Smith as a new member of the Oxford branch. Les had served in the Regiment in Germany in 1954/5 and had been a member of the Nijmegen Marches team under the command

As usual the conversation never flagged and there was plenty of reminiscencing of times past. The evening was rounded as usual off by the traditional curry.

SOUTH EAST KENT BRANCH Memorial Parade in Dover For the first time in many a year chosen men again marched at the head of the remembrance parade in Dover. On Sunday the 13th November 2013 just one year on from the South East Kent Branch’s formation members where at the head of the parade.

We set out our plan to march with the parade Marshall in September with our request to march in the Dover parade, we explained to him our unique drill order (as he was Royal navy) and produced a cunning plan, the area the parade covers outside the cenotaph is very small 30m x 15m and we were only allocated a frontage of three men, our drill plan was to take up the extreme right flank of the parade. On the morning of the parade (true to RGJ traditionleave it to the last moment) we met up in our HQ (Dover Sea Angling Club) at 0930 hrs for meet and greet drinksthen at 1000 hrs all those who wished to march were asked upstairs for a briefing on the parade, once we had formed our marching men we then set off “nontac” to the Start point by Marks and Sparks, Mr George Nash was despatched as our Left Marker ready for our men to march onto. At the start point we stood around basking in the attention of the Press and camera’s concentrated on our fine body of men resplendent in their blazers, medals and berets, at the given time we lined up behind our front rank consisting of Mr Andy Redman, our wreath layer Mr Tommy Love and Mr Tony Killelay, the plan was to step off at a moderate pace then at a point on the march (McDonalds) we would increase our pace for the last 50 metres. From the command “by the centre – Quick March” we were in full pace and looked and sounded fantastic with the heels of our highly polished shoes digging in to the pavement as one, as we moved to the parade area we right wheeled and halted facing front onto our marker Mr Nash, it was quite remarkable as the halt seemed perfect and once we had our breath back we “close ordered dress”, Mr Redman moved off to join the line for those laying wreaths, after a couple of minutes the remainder of the parade turned up and we came under the command (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2013

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of the parade marshall who had us coming to attention and standing at ease at the appropriate times, The Padre and dignitaries gave their speeches but alas to our dismay the padre mentioned every conflict apart from Northern Ireland, Then the wreath laying began but with no real organisation it was very long and at times arduous for some the elderly veterans, ( we have since spoken with the parade marshal to address this issue for the next remembrance parade), When the Royal Green Jackets name was called to lay our wreath we as a unit came to attention and watched with pride as Mr Redman laid the wreath, saluted and rejoined the ranks.

At the end of the parade we fell out to our HQ for warm up drinks, ( Once we had finished the contents of the many and varied selection of hip flasks that had miraculously appeared during and after the parade) we then meandered along to the India Memorial, this is the memorial erected in Camden Square after the Indian Mutiny,� IN MEMORY OF COMRADES WHO FELL DURING THE INDIAN CAMPAIGNS OF 1857, 1858 and 1859. ERECTED BY THE 1st BATTALION 60th ROYAL RIFLES AUGUST 1861� , Whilst this should have (To be con nued on next page) 20 | Volume 5 Issue 3

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been a short walk through the underpass it wasn’t, the underpass was flooded and not passable, this meant t hat men women and children having to cross 4 lanes of trafic and over railings and road barriers, once at the memorial we formed up in a semi circleand carried out a wreath laying ceramony with Mr Don Whitehead laying the wreath, once he had finished his salute Mr Tresadern, our bugler sounded last post, after falling out we gathered for a group photograph then back via the obstacles to the HQ for Hot food and a raffle (still using Mr Gordon Vachers racing team donations).

To end I would just like to say how proud I was at the Remembrance Parade, my heart was filled with so much pride I was close to popping the black buttons on my blazer, The chosen men of the South East Kent Branch did themselves and the RGJ Association a great service that day, we all immersed ourselves in the comradeship and emotional remembrance that such parades evoke and afterwards thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Glenn Tenent

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WILTSHIRE BRANCH Remembrance weekend saw many of the Branch Poppy collecting in Warminster Waitrose on both Friday 8th, and Saturday 9th, we set up on both days at 09:00 and went through till 16:00, as we go to print

we still wait to find out our total but early indications lead us to belive it will be well over £600, all of course going to a good cause. Our Branch Chairman is also Vice Chairman of The Royal British Legion, Warminster Branch, so we had a warm venue with plenty of tea and coffee laid on. On Remembrance Sunday 11 of us went for Sunday lunch at Ruby’s in Warminster High Street, just a short walk from the war memorial, where many members of the Branch and families met up at what is now known as Green Jacket corner, for the 15:00 hours service, Branch Chaiman Brian Darvill marched with the Royal British Legion, and Bill Tyson laid a Regimental wreath as part of the service, then later we made our way to the Conservative Club for a warm drink and beef curry, as in other years this went on into early evening. As the year draws to an end we have the following event coming up:

Poppy collec on photo, le to right: Ted Peckham, Lee Massey, Brian Darvill, Phil Ashby, Gary Byrne. Collectors not in the photo: Bill Tyson, Bob Holcombe, Blanche Darvill.

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Thursday 9th January 2014 Branch AGM, Warminster, Conservative Club at 20:00 hours.

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The bronze statue of a First World War Rifleman of The King’s Royal Rifle Corps that stands on top of the War Memorial opposite the west door of Winchester Cathedral

Each year members of the Winchester Branches of The Royal Green Jackets and The King’s Royal Rifle Corps Associations gather in front of the KRRC War Memorial opposite the west door of the Cathedral to remember the fallen of both regiments and of The Rifles. Lest it be forgotten, within the Cathedral, too, are housed the First and Second World War Rolls of Honour of The King’s Royal Rifle Corps and The Rifle Brigade.

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This year the Remembrance Service followed the pattern of previous years with Association members joined by a large number of cubs and scouts from the 12th Winchester (Green Jackets) Scout Group and by residents from Green Jacket Close. Brigadier David Innes, The Rifles’ Winchester City Colonel, was in attendance. The Act of Remembrance took place at 9.30 a.m. in advance of the Cathedral’s main Remembrance Day Service and parade. Major Roy Stanger, Chairman of the RGJ Association Winchester Branch, organised the participation of the padre from Worthy Down and the presence of two buglers from The Rifles to sound last Post and Reveille. He also acted as usual and in his own inimitable way as Parade Marshal. As always, Association members were smartly turned out in berets and blazers and, although early in the morning, their presence in front of the War Memorial soon attracted the attention of a large number of bystanders. While the main purpose of the Act of Remembrance is to remember our own fallen, this annual service also helps to remind the citizens of Winchester of the Regiment’s close links with the City and the Cathedral reaching back to the creation of The Rifle Depot in 1858.

At the NI Memorial on Remembrance Sunday 2013

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THE ROYAL GREEN JACKETS (RIFLES) MUSEUM Thanks to better than expected visitor numbers in October, the Museum is on course (just) to achieve its target of 13,000 visitors by the end of the year. Shop sales are also up 4% during the year. The number of website visits, however, has disappointed with the monthly average of 3,233 falling well short of the target of 3,400. The period since the last Ezine has been as busy as ever with a great deal of staff time devoted to planning refurbishment of the Museum’s First World War displays in early 2014 and delivery of the Battle of Waterloo Bicentenary Exhibition in 2015 – see separate article. To allow the staff to focus on the curatorial aspects of their role without distraction, the Museum will be closed on Mondays between January and March 2014. A busy programme of events is planned in 2014 with the Centenary of events associated with the First World War being the central theme. These events are being coordinated with others planned in Winchester and across Hampshire.

On 29 October the Museum was delighted to host a visit by Pegasus Bridge veteran, Frank Bourlet. A full account of the event is on the Museum website at news/news_044.asp The Museum has been pleased to add a number of items to its collection in recent months. Among these has been a pearl earring which once belonged to the queen of Delhi and which was acquired by Captain Sir Edward Campbell, Bt., of the 1st/60th Rifles during the ‘legalised looting of the captured city’ in 1857. The full story is at object/obj_0035.asp Bar the unexpected during the final weeks of 2013, it looks as if this year, thanks to the herculean efforts of the museum staff, will finish up being a very satisfactory year for the Museum. A whole raft of challenges, however, lies over the horizon. 2014 promises to be a particularly active and challenging year.

Pegasus Bridge veteran, Frank Bourlet. 26 | Volume 5 Issue 3

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To contact the Museum, telephone or e-mail the Curator, Christine Pullen. Tel: 01962 828549 or e-mail: To purchase items from the Museum Shop, for information about forthcoming events, and to read interesting articles about the Museum, visit


Christmas/New Year Closure - The Museum will be closed for Christmas and the New Year from Friday 20 December 2013 to Monday 6 January 2014 inclusive From January 2014 the Museum will be open: January to March: Tuesday to Saturday 10a.m. to 5p.m. (Last entry 4.15p.m.) April to December: Monday to Saturday 10a.m. to 5p.m. (Last entry 4.15p.m.) Sundays: The Museum will be open on Sundays from 29 June to 14 September 2014 inclusive. It is closed on other Sundays and over Christmas and New Year. Visits to the Museum’s archives are by appointment only.


(From January 2014) Adults: £3.75 Senior Citizens: £3.00 Children (16 and under): Free Students: £2.00 Serving personnel and Friends of the Museum are admitted free. Members of The Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association are admitted half price.

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KRRC Tapestry

Edward Stoten

This tapestry was made by Mr Edward Stoten whilst serving as a Prisoner Of War in Pozna (Posnan), Poland, during the Second World War, from materials he could find/scavenge. Mr Stoten (Army No: 6844388), whilst serving with the 2nd Bn KRRC as part of 30th Motor Brigade, was sent to Calais in 1940 where he was injured and taken prisoner of war by the German forces, prior to being sent to Pozna , Poland. In Pozna , probably at Stalag XXI-D, he together with fellow prisoners suffered during the particularly harsh winter of 19040/41 with no extra clothing, blankets, or fires to keep them warm and with only a daily ration of cabbage soup to eat. Forced labour activities included digging trenches, unloading coal and filling bomb craters. During his time as a prisoner, he was bombed by the RAF whilst convalescing in hospital and strafed by the US Army Air Corp whilst awaiting repatriation following the arrival of the Red Army in 1945. Mr Stoten, who now lives in Bournemouth, Dorset, was born on 3 Aug 1912 and joined the KRRC in 1930 aged 17 years, after being turned down by the RN for being under age. Prior to the outbreak of war, Mr Stoten served in India and Burma with the 2nd Bn KRRC.

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3,000 MILE CAMPERVAN TOUR OF GERMANY - in June 2013, following Germany’s worst floods in 100 years. Acres of fields were flooded by the River Aller, and the campsite at Winsen was closed i.e. flooded. The next site was open and we just got in before the gate closed at 10pm. German campsites are marvellous clean and orderly, and the toilet blocks have all mod cons. It was 29degrees C on 7th and 8th June when we explored CELLE where Roger was stationed about 43 years’ ago towards the end of the sixties. First stop was the old Trenchard Barracks - very nostalgic for Roger. The place has been locked up for a year but is still in tact. We took lots of photos and Roger excitedly pointed out A Company block on the left-hand side where his room was. On the top floor, A Company built a bar in the loft area from bamboo and wood to give it a Caribbean theme. To set it off and give it authenticity, above the bar was a large wicker basket bird cage containing several brightly coloured budgies. The opening night was a great success. Roger’s rock band “The Flunky” played with Roger Lead Guitar,

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Trenchard Barracks band block.

Gordon Belcher Rhythm Guitar, Howard ? Drums and Paul Matthews Vocals, as cheap booze flowed and fags and smoke created that familiar atmosphere of the time. Unfortunately on inspection the next morning, the budgies were found at the bottom of the cage expired - due to passive smoking. God knows what it did to everybody else! Opposite A Company was the block that contained the band accommodation where Roger was during his time with the band. He recalled that, prior to a gig, whilst they were waiting on the square to board a coach that was still manoeuvring, somebody slid his trombone case behind the back wheel and someone shouted, “Is that your trombone?” as the coached backed over it, to the amusement of all present. At the end of the road was the Sissi Grill. Roger said originally there was a quick snack (snell imbiss) wagon there. A couple with a son about 9 years’ old used to run it, and it was popular with the troops. Anyway, Roger curiously went into the new place and I followed. I thought the

restaurant looked like an adult playpen in an array of coloured small wooden chairs with lots of model chickens. Whilst ordering his Bratwurst, Roger struck up a conversation, in pigeon German, with the man behind the counter Yes, it was the very same 9 year old boy, now well grown-up and running the café in place of his parents who had subsequently died. Then it was on to the War Cemetery near the River Aller. It backed on to the M.T. part of the barracks where Roger could see the A.P.C. garages where an unmentionable incident happened i.e. some private cars were stored which unfortunately got squashed under the tracks of an out of control 432. Oops - I wonder how that happened! Celle, like many old towns in Germany, is very well maintained, with 16thC tall terraced pretty houses with shops and outdoor cafes on the ground floor. We walked around the streets and into the 14thC St Mary’s with its artworks. It was Friday and entry to the Museum and Castle was (To be con nued on next page) Volume 5 Issue 3 | 29

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free. The Museum had loads of old artefacts and utensils, plus a big old kitchen, and we visited s ome of the state rooms in the large austere 13thC Castle. Then it was back to the pedestrianised streets with rows of outdoor cafes. We settled for an ice cream sundae, chosen from the menu which had pages of exotic, mouth-

Festival. Wow, the Germans certainly have fun. The event started promptly at 6pm. Two bands played on bandstands and about four other bands marched around the streets, intermittently stopping to play outside various bars. The Rue d’Anvers ‘Foreign Legion’ band were hilarious - their conductor strutted about in a kilt, white spats and pith helmet, whilst the May Day band flirted with girls

Leaving Celle, the rest of our tour included Hannover’s Herrenhausen Garten, Potsdam’s Sanssoucci and Cecilienhof Palace, Berlin’s many sites, including Hitler’s Bunker, then Dresden’s Frauchenkirche, Gorlitz on the Polish border, Colditz Castle, Bayreuth, Nuremb and Munich, plus lots of apple strudel. In Nuremberg, we just happened to stumble across the Zeppelin Field, found an open gate and amazingly, with pomp, spectacle and ceremony, we simply walked along across the massive Rally Ground where 200,000 Nazi soldiers marched in the 1930’s! Then on to the Grand Stand where we stood on the very spot where Hitler delivered his speeches! In Munich I happily drank a whole stein of delicious dunkle beer in the Hofbrauhaus, whilst the Bavarian band played and people revelled - a fantastic end to our trip. Sandra Downtown

Celle streets.

watering ice cream concoctions. At 5pm, close to the Rathaus high on the front of an old building, the glockenspiel played, the box opened, and little statues paraded round in a circle. And finally, the hunt for Alten Cellar Feld where Roger had a new house as married quarters. It’s now very built up and he didn’t recognize his old home. The next day we visited Belsen Cemetery and Documentation Centre, plus the Railway Ramp and Wagon. Next Roger managed to locate Silbersee - a lake he used to drive to from the camp. (Liaisons with fraulines, I daresay!) It’s now a commercial campsite - and the trees are taller! The evening was spent back in Celle at the Trad Jazz Street 30 | Volume 5 Issue 3

and encouraged them to limbodance under two playing trombones!

PS Roger was inspired to buy a trombone, and he’s practising as I write.

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Wiltshire Branch Revisit The Rock of Gibraltar Six couples from our branch and one guest couple (RoyalArtillery) who live in Warminster recently spent a long weekend in Gibraltar. For some it was their first visit, others had been stationed in Gibraltar. The Royal Green Jackets served twice in Gibraltar. The 2nd Battalion in 1975 – 1977, the 3rd Battalion in 1989 - 1991. On arrival the group were welcomed by brilliant sunshine which carried on throughout the weekend. The new all singing and dancing Gibraltar International Airport looked very impressive compared to the old which was waiting to be demolished.

late, however they were on holiday. We were met by Gail Francis who was Miss Gibraltar in 1985, won Miss World that year and is now the Manager of The Gibraltar Tourist Board who along with Andy our driver/guide took us on a four hour guided tour of The Rock of Gibraltar. We visited all the tourist attractions, St Michaels Caves, The Great Siege Tunnels and the Barbary (Rock) Apes which now roam quite freely around the whole of Gibraltar even down to the Main Street Area. Gail also took us into the new Cruise liner terminal and showed us a cruise liner which is currently being converted into a 5* floating hotel which when completed will be moored in the new Ocean Village Marina. A visit to South Barracks which is now a school brought memories flooding back as this was where The Rifle Companies were stationed. The drinking haunts of the Wembley Bar and Edinburgh Arms are still there as if time has stood still. Europa Point the most southerly point in Europe had recently had a facelift, however now that Gibraltar has been accepted into UEFA this will be the site for a 38,000 seater Football stadium.

The people in the group photo are: Back row. Phil Ashby, Gary Bryne, Andy (tour guide), Bob Holcombe, Dave Richards, Bob Maddocks, Dave Caws, Alan Robinson, Gail Francis (Gibraltar Tourist Board). Front row: Val Ashby, Elaine Holcombe, Dawn Richards, Jan Maddocks, Maggs Caws, Jane Robinson and Chris Byrne.

It was then all aboard a mini-bus with suitcases in a trailer for the short journey to The Bristol Hotel. Check In was swift and painless. A quick unpack and then down to Main Street for light refreshment in The Star Bar followed by a meal in The Horse Shoe pub. That evening two taxi’s took us to Devils Tower Camp the home of The Gibraltar Regiment where we were met byWO1 Gary Mitchell, Gibraltar Command Warrant Officer who hosted welcome drinks and a bite to eat in the WO’s & SR Mess. You cannot beat a good old Military style curry and lasagne. After a continental breakfast on Friday all were on parade for our Rock Tour. Bob and Jan Maddocks were nearly Show Paraded for being E-Zine 2013

That evening a reservation had been made at The Waterfront Restaurant on The Ragged Staff Marina to celebrate the 25th Wedding Anniversary of Dave and Maggs Caws and the 30th Wedding Anniversary of Phil and Val Ashby. The setting and location were excellent. Saturday was a day for couples to explore the Rock for themselves. Gary and Chris Bryne, Phil and Val Ashby and Dave Caws tackled The Mediterranean Steps via Lathbury Barracks. The Gurkha Regiment had refurbished The Steps in 2007 and what an excellent job they had done making it easier to climb. Bob and Jan Maddockswent to find their Private hire flats which they had lived in as Married Quarters in the Seventies. The remainder Bob and Elaine Holcombe, Alan and Jane Robinson, Dave and Dawn Richards and Maggs Caws stayed in the centre of Gibraltar and visited the new Ocean Village complex. On Sunday the group met back up with WO1 Gary Mitchell who is one of the Military Tunnel (To be con nued on next page) Volume 5 Issue 3 | 31

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Phil could end up with a monkey on his head!

Tour guidesand he took the group on a three hour tunnel tour of the Second War World Tunnels. For some it was their first excursion inside the rock. There is over 35 miles of roads insidethe tunnels 16,000 troops could have been accommodated within the Rock during World War 2. Most of the infrastructure,cookhouses, hospitals, accommodation and command centres can still be seen today, it is amazing. Unfortunately Monday came too soon and somehow Easy Jet had split the group on two flights. For some it was a leisurely Breakfast then off to the Airport. Others had time for a Cable Car Trip to The Top of The Rock to see the brilliant views across Spain and Morocco and then lunch before the short transfer to the Airport. An excellent time was had over the long weekend visiting old haunts and seeing the development of Gibraltar. A number couples are already planning a return visit in October 2014.

The platoon in C Coy 1st Green Jackets that went chasing pirates in 1963 The article explains how a platoon of riflemen ended up chasing pirates in the South China sea.

A year ago, in December 2012, around 60 old riflemen from the 1st Bn gathered to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the deployment from Penang to Borneo during the Brunei revolt, and the following two years we spent facing off the Indonesian ‘Confrontation’. We’d gathered together many old photos of our younger (and slimmer) selves, covering a wide range of locations in Borneo and the various operations we’d been involved in. But one period of those 32 | Volume 5 Issue 3

years was missing from the faded snapshots, probably because only a tiny group of us had taken part in it. But it was the most memorable few months in my service and when I’ve occasionally mentioned it to people, you can sense them thinking “oh yeah, another old war story, swing the lamp, somebody”. But it was true. (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2013

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In the aftermath of Sheik Azahari’s revolt in December 1962, it was clear to both British and Malayan Governments that Indonesian leader Sukarno was determined to prevent the bringing together of the remaining two British colonies and one protectorate in Borneo with Malaya, to form Malaysia. What was less clear was what form that opposition would take. As by that stage there were a considerable number of British and Gurkha infantry plus supporting arms in Borneo, rather than hauling them all back to Malaya again, it made sense to spread them out across Brunei, Sarawak and what had been British North Borneo but was becoming Sabah. That way they were on the spot if and when trouble broke out again, and it gave them a familiarity with the ground and the problems of fighting in mountainous rain forests and coastal mangrove swamps. 1st Greenjackets got the Sabah option, with rifle companies being deployed to the larger towns. At the time, there were almost no roads in the interior, and those that existed were land-rover tracks impassable for much of the year. In Borneo, people travelled by boat or they walked. So the towns were on the coast, usually at the mouth of the large rivers that were the route into the hinterland. C Coy found itself in Sandakan, on the north east coast, and although it was a small place, it had a long history as a trading port, with the faded set of buildings that the British Empire built to administer their far-flung possessions. There had recently been the most devastating floods with many lives lost and within days of our arrival a kampong on the outskirts of Sandakan was swept away by a mudslide. Together with local people we dug frantically, unearthing the tragedies of whole families that had died together, but not finding a single survivor. The aftermath of the floods were evident for the next couple of weeks of patrolling, as the debris of ruined villages, with drowned people and livestock, came swirling down the muddy currents.

or Moors, although they were many thousands of miles from Morocco. Neither the Spanish nor the Americans, after they seized the Philippines, were ever able to really control those islands and the Philippines Government still struggles today.. After WWII, the spread of powerful outboard engines gave a new lease of life to inter-island travel, whether for trading, smuggling or straightforward pirate raids. By the early 1960’s, the combination of the Brunei revolt and the move towards the setting up of Malaysia accompanied as it was by Philippine claims to parts of Sabah and the hostility of Indonesia towards the whole idea, created a degree of uncertainty that the Sulu pirates took advantage of. The model was simple: a streamlined boat typically 10 metres long, with twin outboards and a crew of up to twenty men armed with war surplus US army weapons (in a few cases including a .50 Browning machine gun) would approach a small coastal village at high speed. They’d loot the shop if there was one, rape any young women who hadn’t had time to escape into the hills, take anything they fancied from the village, shoot the headman or anyone else who was foolish enough to get in their way, and then take off at speed. Many of the shops were run by Chinese traders and they got a particularly hard time at the hands of the raiders. As the raids escalated, an effective response was difficult. Some smaller Royal Navy vessels were diverted into patrolling the islands but there were many shallow inlets that were impossible to navigate, and the small, fast pirate craft could hide amongst the hundreds of small islands. But the matelots tried – that Spring, the destroyer HMS Barrosa intercepted a suspected pirate vessel and launched her whale boats to pursue the raider amongst the atolls. The pirate crew opened fire and killed a sailor - it is not thought that any pirates survived the follow-up. The brains at GHQ came up with a new idea – stick a few squaddies in a local craft and send it trolling round the islands, as a visual deterrent and to show the flag. Enter C Coy, grumbling …

Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum … Early in 1963, a short while after C Coy arrived in Sandakan in Sabah, my platoon was told we were being moved to Kudat, an even smaller town on the northern tip of Borneo where there had been an increase in pirate raids on isolated villages. Sea raiding had been a way of life for the people of this part of the world for centuries and during the early part of the 19th century, flotillas of dozens of galleys, rowed by slaves and with hundreds of fighting men on board, regularly seized large merchant ships, usually killing the officers and enslaving the crew. British and American warships had broken the power of the largest pirate clans by the 1850s but old habits die hard and pirate boats continued to raid down the archipelago from the southern Philippines to north Borneo. Under Spanish rule most of the people of the Philippines had adopted Catholicism, but the people of the southern Sulu Islands, under the Sultan of Jolo, remained Muslim, and were known to the Spanish as Moros E-Zine 2013

Kudat was a nice little town. It had a few bars, street vendors that sold the best Satay I’ve ever eaten and our quarters were a row of wooden bungalows along the beach, surrounded by trees laden with papaya. We’d sailed from Sandakan on a Clyde-built (circa 1890 I think) steamer that although sadly weather-beaten, had once been part of the fabric of the Empire. Even at the time, we realised that we were on a ship that had probably carried British North Borneo Police Field Force contingents on similar missions 50 years before. Once we’d settled in our first mission was to confiscate firearms held by civilians. Out in he jungle were many logging companies, with much of the labour drawn from Kalimantan, the Indonesian half of Borneo, and it was suspected that amongst them were agent provocateurs waiting for a signal to start an uprising. (To be con nued on next page) Volume 5 Issue 3 | 33

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So off we went to the kampongs around Kudat, picking up an assortment of rusty single barrel shotguns and Japanese rifles ‘acquired’ as the war came to an end. The most memorable trip was to the house of an elderly Englishman who’d been a District Officer in the 1930’s. When the Japanese invaded he took to the ulu and raised a force of tribal guerrillas who harassed the Japanese throughout the occupation. He was by this time a little the worse for wear and clearly liked a drink. He had an extremely beautiful young companion who seemed to have invited her friends and family to share the house so there were a large bunch of rather surly young men who were playing billiards on a full size table that had suffered from damp and termites. But he had a very fine hunting rifle, a pair of what had been high quality shotguns, a .38 revolver and a Colt .45 automatic. He wasn’t really clear why we were taking them, but we dutifully followed orders. I have wondered what happened to him, with his curious ménage. But within a week my Section was despatched on our main mission, to discourage piracy. A patrol base had been established on Banggi, a large island at the very tip of British/Malaysian waters, and separated by a few miles of sea from the most southern Philippine island of Balabac. The plan was that each rifle section would do a stint on Banggi then rotate back to Kudat, and our transport and the method by which we would patrol was a kumpit, a local boat developed to handle inter-island trading. It was around 7 metres long, with a small hold below the deck and a cabin superstructure. Broad in the beam and with a relatively shallow draft it was ideal for inter-island trips but not so good for deep sea work. Ours had an elderly diesel engine with a top speed of maybe 7 knots. It had a crew of three and with a rifle section of seven or eight, he cabin was ‘cosy’ on the nights we spent aboard. But of course the idea was that we didn’t spend night aboard, but rather patrolled slowly round the islands, stopping at coastal kampongs to show the flag and win hearts and minds. This wasn’t too hard actually as it seems that British colonial administration had been popular and everyone was scared stiff of the Sulu pirates. Our crew were good guys and between us we had enough Malay to communicate and on most trips we had a local policeman along as well. Our base was a tiny hamlet with a general store run by a pleasant young Chinese couple, who had themselves been victims of a raid a few months before. A long bamboo jetty rang out across a sandy bay and completely clear blue sea. In every direction there were small islands fringed with coconut palms – it was a tropical paradise, although as the village WC was a shack halfway along the jetty, it was advisable to swim up current. And so we chugged around the islands, offered hospitality everywhere, with gamelan (gong) orchestras serenading us. 34 | Volume 5 Issue 3

We towed lines with large hooks behind the boat and large fish queued up to impale themselves. Flying fish rose from under the bow, and dugongs and turtles were commonplace. In the days before carcinoma had been heard of, most of us had amazing tans, to the annoyance of our Section lancejack, Eddie Bright, who being very fair-skinned with nearly white blond hair, had to keep his shirt on.. Initially excitement was pretty low key. The island was home to a range of monitor lizards, ranging from the length of your forearm to nearly two metres. The smaller ones lived in the attap roofs of our huts which didn’t bother anyone – except our cook. One evening sitting in the shop in the glow of a tilley lamp, drinking pints bottles of Anchor beer, our tranquillity was abruptly broken by several long bursts of automatic fire. After the confusion died down, it turned out that Noddy the cook had gone to bed after a few beers and decided he’d had enough of the resident lizards and opened up on them with his SMG. He missed of course. A few days later, while we were sat by the sea cleaning our weapons, we saw what seemed to be a very large warship emerge from behind one island and a few minutes later disappear behind another. No flags or identification were visible and in high excitement we radioed the mainland and reported this. In reply to our queries about what navy this might belong to, some joker told us to consult Janes Fighting Ships and further instructed us not to engage it. As our best piece of ordnance was a 2” mortar, this seemed like good advice. It was probably on our next spell out on Banggi that we were told that it was thought that there might be raiders moving down the islands in our direction and therefore to be on high alert. Sure enough, the day after, while we were crossing a wider stretch of water between islands, our crew became excited and pointed out a boat a couple of miles away that was moving towards us at considerable speed. We weren’t about to out-run it so we chugged along towards our next landfall, with most of us in the cabin or lying down behind the low bulwarks. As we were wearing either shorts or sarongs, it was our numbers rather than our appearance that would have alerted the approaching vessel to the fact that there was something unusual about us. It looked as if the visitor was steering to cut close across our bows and at around 100 metres we could see that there were a number of men on her deck, some carrying firearms. At this point our Bren-gunner (Barney Green I think) popped up from behind the bulwark near the bow, plonked his bi-pod on the rail and fired a longish burst into the sea immediately in front of what we were now sure was a pirate. I think their boat sailed into the last round or two but in any case the effect was amazing as they performed the maritime equivalent of a handbrake turn (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2013

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and set off in the opposite direction at an even faster speed than their approach. Our crew were clearly elated though they indicated that we should have fired everything we had into the pirate. On our onward voyage we debated this over and over but the reality was that they hadn’t been flying a skull and crossbones or whatever Moro pirates flew, and they hadn’t fired on us. It might, someone said, have been a Philippine Government fisheries protection vessel and that would have been embarrassing. We were destined to have one more and even closer encounter before we had to leave our little bit of south seas paradise. We were at the end of an island patrol lasting several days and had stayed in a particularly friendly village, where the meal that was cooked for us had gone on late. Some of us had stayed in the village and others were sleeping back on the boat but in the morning we were up, dipping in the sea and making tea when one of the village leaders came up at a trot and spoke urgently to our policeman in a mixture of Malay and a local language. It was a kind of action replay of our pirate incident of a week or two previously and presumably something that was all too familiar to fishing villages along those coasts. Far out to sea but with a wake you could see even at that distance, a black painted boat was heading for the village at a rate of knots. We’d rehearsed how we would handle such an event based on our last experience, so we piled onto our boat and tucked ourselves into the best cover we could find. I noticed the villagers getting off the beach and into the trees as fast as they could so it was clear that they had no illusions about fisheries protection vessels. There was a realisation that on this occasion we couldn’t make them sheer off by a short burst as they were going to be arriving on the other side of a fairly narrow jetty. I couldn’t see the approaching boat but I could hear its engines throttling down and then going into neutral and the excited voices of the crew, seeming very close indeed. Then Eddie said ‘now’ and we all stood up with our weapons in the firing position. It took maybe a second to see the man nearest to me on the other boat and I focused my aim on him, at the back of my mind hoping that everyone else had found someone different to aim at. He was maybe three or four metres away, across the width of the jetty, standing on

what look like the hatch to the boat’s hold. It’s still very clear in my mind now – he stood sideways on but his face had turned towards me. He wore jeans and a yellow T shirt with some sort of advert on it, a red baseball cap and a very straggly moustache. He wore a side arm in an open holster. We stood in this sort of frozen tableau for what seemed like 10 minutes but probably was 10 seconds, looking at each other. There were faint background noises but I could only clearly hear my own breathing and it seemed like I could hear his as well. Then the background noise came into focus and I realised our copper was shouting nearly hysterically at the pirates, and real time resumed – my man put his hands up and I saw another man standing close to him that I’d not really noticed let go of a US M1 carbine that he had been holding in the ‘order arms’ positions and it fell to the deck. I remember thinking that it couldn’t have been cocked or it would have gone off. And that was it really. We radioed Kudat and within a day police reinforcements arrived and took the pirates into custody. While we waited, guarding the fourteen or fifteen prisoners, we searched the boat and discovered that aside from piracy, they seem to make their living smuggling. The holds were stacked with tens of thousands of cigarettes and from their cartons, originally from an American PX. There was a fair amount of liquor and much more mundane things like soap and shampoo. Our policeman was sure there would be gold aboard but we couldn’t find it. We gave the villagers anything they wanted and I think that a few handguns may have gone awol as well. I’ve spent 50 years wondering if he’d put his hand on his pistol would I have opened fire? The answer is probably but actually at that moment, the real risk he faced was if another of his party had decided to make a fight of it. I was convinced that someone else would open fire and when that happened I knew I was going to start firing at once. But they didn’t so neither did I.

Footnote: Banggi Island is now on the international tourist map as a diving centre, with boutique lodges to stay in. But I’m sure its not the same anymore so I think I’ll hang on to my memories. Dick Muskett 1 GJ/1 RGJ 1962-68

Malaysia is a federa on of 13 states and three federal territories. These are divided between two regions, with 11 states and two federal territories on Peninsular Malaysia and the other two states and one federal territory in East Malaysia. Governance of the states is divided between the federal and the state governments, and the Federal government has direct administra on of the federal territories. The 13 states are based on historical Malay kingdoms, and 9 of the 11 Peninsular states, known as the Malay states, retain their royal families. The King is elected by and from the nine rulers to serve a five-year term. Each state has a unicameral legislature known as the State Legisla ve Assembly. Each state is further divided into districts, which are then divided into mukim. In Sabah and Sarawak districts are grouped into divisions. Sabah and Sarawak have considerably more autonomy than the other states, most notably having separate immigra on policies and controls, and a unique residency status.

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The Scent of History – Frankincense By Brigadier Hugh Willing When I was posted to Oman in 2002 as the Defence Attaché in the British Embassy in Muscat, one of the first tasks I was given was to procure a sizeable quantity of frankincense for St George’s Chapel at Windsor. I was unfamiliar with the ‘Bells and Smells’ rituals of the Church in England, thinking that this was a legacy left only for the Catholics or Monastic orders. But procuring frankincense in Oman was one of my simpler tasks as the souks of Oman are still awash with the stuff. Not only is it easily procured in Oman but it is also a surviving symbol of one of the very first traded commodities in the developed world. Its recorded origins go back to the Pharaohs of Egypt, at least two thousand years BC, and certainly to the time of the Queen of Sheba, who ruled over one of the most important and ancient civilizations in the known world a thousand years later in the Hadramout (modern-day Yemen) which included the Dhofar region of Southern Oman. Frankincense, or Luban in Arabic, is a gum that is tapped from a strange-looking tree (Boswellia Sacra) that grows in a small and specific coastal area of South-eastern Arabia and on the island of Socotra, which is touched by the Hareef or the southeast monsoon. It can only grow in a very dry climate taking its moisture from the warm mists that blow in off the Indian Ocean. It can’t be grown artificially from seed nor can it be transplanted; only nature knows how to propagate the Luban tree, and the best frankincense comes from the Dhofar.There is nothing about this non-descript tree to suggest that it is the source of a substance which, for at least five millennia, was one of the most prized substances in the civilized world,

valued as highly as gold and even the gift of kings. Frankincense, which gets its modern name from the Frankish crusading knights who discovered its use in the Byzantine churches of the Holy Land, was used in staggering quantities. According to ancient documents, the annual consumption of incense in the temple of Baal at Babylon was two tons. Some 3,000 years ago, Dhofar was reported to export hundreds of tons of the raw incense every year, mostly taken by camel caravan across the ‘Empty Quarter’ to the markets of the Mediterranean.Whilst frankincense has a wonderful fragrance, surely the quintessential aroma of Arabia, it is hard to understand rationally why the great cultures of the Near East and Mediterranean valued it so highly. The answer is both philosophical and functional. The ancient world believed that the smoke of incense carried their prayers to heaven. And frankincense had a practical function as well. It was a kind of antiseptic used to embalm corpses. When the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun was opened in 1922, one of the sealed flasks released a perceptible whiff of incense even after 3,300 years. During the time of the Black Death from 1603 to 1666, it was noted that the embalmers did not fall prey to the diseases from which their clients had died. Whilst not understood at the time, the perfumers of the period were immune to plague since they were constantly surrounded by incense and oils. Today in the palm-lined souks of Salalah, the stallholders selling frankincense are doing a brisk trade. And it is good to know that its royal and religious connections – and not just in St. George’s Chapel, are obviously still alive and well to this day.

Jane Willing and a Frankincense tree. E-Zine 2013

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Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust (SOFO) The new SOFO Museum building in Woodstock is now almost finished on budget and more or less on time. It stands in the grounds of the the Oxfordshire Museum in Park Street and opposite the Bear hotel so it is easy to find! The gate of Blenheim Palace is only about 400m away. There are still a few things for the builders to complete but the research centre and the archives of the two County Regiments, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and the Oxfordshire Yeomanry (Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars) have moved from their temporary quarters in the Old Tannery into the new building and other artifacts now in store in Upper Heyford and elsewhere in the county will soon be coming to Woodstock too.. Fitting out the new building and setting up of the initial displays will start soon and it is hoped that the museum will be open to the public in the late Spring 2014. The aim is to be fully up and running by the time that we get to the anniversary of the start of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D Day, Pegasus Bridge and of course the Normandy beaches where the 1st Bucks Bn was much involved and Lt Col Sale won his George Medal. The new museum, an ambitious and privately funded venture, is going to be important to the Rifles. Certainly it will tell the wonderful stories from the History of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry – the opening displays will include Bunker hill, Waterloo, Nonneboschen and Pegasus Bridge – and draw a direct line to the Rifles to-day. In addition the museum will also reflect the impact of conflict upon the people of Oxfordshire over time and this county in the heart of England has seen plenty of that. So what needs to be done now? In addition to needing more volunteers, the main requirement is, of course, more funding. In order to complete the fit out as fully as this superb new building warrants we need a further £180k. We have been lucky to securestrong support from the Armed Forces Community Covenant and some grant making trusts and the Heritage Lottery Fund have given some support for specific exhibitions. But we get no support from either the Government /Ministry of Defence or the authorities. You can help by becoming a ‘Friend’, £5.00 per month, or a ‘Praetorian’, £30.00 per month. To discover more please contact at the address below or use the attached leaflet.

SOFO Museum. 38 | Volume 5 Issue 3

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support the aims and purposes of soldiers of oxfordshire and become a prætorian

the sofo prætorians are a vital factor in the achievement of these

z understand how Conflict and Service have affected Oxfordshire and its people over recorded history z interpret and make accessible that understanding to

aims, particularly that of financial

the widest possible relevant audience z do so by

competence. while all other means

Permanent and Temporary Exhibitions in its Museum

of income generation are being

and elsewhere in the County, by Research and the publication of its results and by becoming accepted

pursued, an income stream from as a centre of learning and information about conflict the regular committed donations

by all concerned with education in Oxfordshire z

of prætorians as well as a growing

maintain a regular programme of relevant Public

panel of friends will energise

Lectures, Battlefield Tours and Social Events z recruit and further develop an enthusiastic team of volunteers

the confident planning of an

covering all relevant subjects z understand and

appropriate programme of future

develop particularly the histories of Oxfordshire own

exhibitions and events.

Regiments, the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, the Queens Own Oxfordshire Hussars and Oxford Univesity Officers Training Corps as well as the

many of sofos' purposes are well

history of Regular Formations of all Armed Services, including those of our Allies, while operating in, or

on the way to being successfully stationed in, the County z support and be a link achieved, and their growing team of keen volunteers are ready to move

between todays regular and reserve Armed Service formations and the County that is their home z be financially competent to achieve all these purposes.

into the museum currently under construction in woodstock.

conflict & county

Become a Friend, and grow the new Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum The support of those who agree to become Prætorians will be recognised by:

● Invitations to “Openings” of future exhibitions. ● Invitations to public lectures organised by and relevant to SOFO. ● Invitation to annual AGM style meeting and accompanying social event in an interesting County location. ● Complimentary copy of all new publications under the Bugle and Sabre label (SOFOs` regular publication). ● Invitations to join Battlefield and other Tours. Prætorians are asked for a minimum contribution equivalent to just under £1 a day. That is to say a payment by Direct Debit of £30 per calendar month, or £90 per quarter, or £360 per year. Obviously the larger your regular contribution, the better.

Join us: bring Oxfordshire’s Military Heritage alive!

Visit us at Soldiers Of Oxfordshire Museum. Park Street, Woodstock, OX20 1SN T: 01993 813 832 The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales (No. 7842383) and a registered charity (No. 1145408) E-Zine 2013

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Welcome to Riflesdirect the Regimental Shop of The Rifles Riflesdirect is owned by the regiment - managed and run by the regiment - for the benefit of the regiment - with all proceeds returned to the regiment to support benevolence and welfare. Inside our shop you will find a comprehensive catalogue of Rifles uniform accoutrements and a good selection of Rifles branded general merchandise including a small selection of regimentally branded products from its forming regiments. All of our products have been extensively sourced, sampled and authorised by the regiment to comply with the Regimental Dress Code and Rifles brand with regard to quality, durability and design. You may find similar products cheaper elsewhere - but not many. More importantly by purchasing from your own regimental shop you are assured that not only is your purchase everything it should be regimentally, but is also helping to support our Riflemen for which we sincerely thank you. We can provide RGJRA Members with OBLI/KRRC/RB/RGJ - Cap Badges, Cufflinks, Tie Slides, Lapel Pins, Ties, Umbrellas, Rifle Green Berets, RGJ Hat Ribbon, RGJ Plaques, Blazers, Book ‘Swift & Bold’. Telephone order:0845 6434584 or view online at Would you like speak to and see someone face to face? Well now you can as Riflesdirect is available on Skype Mon - Fri 0900 -1600 GMT.

0844 873 0000

You can talk to us via Skype for free from anywhere in the world.

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In Memoriam Stg FGJ Bailey MM John Beerman Dave Crook Mrs Andrea Fox Col Peter E Gerahty CBE John Gillman MM Major P C Greenwood Tony Hands Nicholas Robert Hennessy L/Cpl Paul Holland A M Jarrey Geoff Morrish Lt Col Anthony (Bob) Pickford Lord Robin Plunket C/Sgt Patrick Swi


1RGJ LI & The Rifles RB 3 & 2RGJ, Royal Irish

Rest in Peace

12 30 1 15

Oct Sep Oct Nov

15 6 2 1 2 17 24 16 31

Oct Nov Sep Dec Nov Sep Sep Nov Oct

Please be aware that our publications, Swift and Bold and the E-Zine carry brief details of all those members of the regiment who have died regardless of circumstances.Deceased members of the former regiments and The Rifles are included within the published Obituary lists. The degree of detail shown in both Swift and Bold and the E-Zine s limited by the space available and only brief details are posted but with direct links, as is the case with the E-zine or, as in the case of The Swift and Bold Journal, the Internet address showing where the full details can be seen on the website Bulletin Board at http://63196.activeboard. com/forum.spark?forumID=63196. All such occurrences, even those with the briefest of details, are recorded on the Association database.

LEST WE FORGET “They shall grow not old, As we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn; At the going down of the sun and in the morning; We will remember them.”

"WHY THE POPPIES?" Not long ago, a friend of mine, who also served in the Royal Green Jackets, was buying poppies for his young grandchildren prior to Remembrance Sunday. Being their first experience of such an event, they asked “Grandpa, why the poppies?” He answered the question by writing a booklet with an account of what led to the outbreak of World War I. He describes the major events during those four years of attrition followed by the build up to World War II and the key elements of that war as well. He has called this booklet “Why the Poppies?” (40 pp). I have played a small part in its production. The booklet is written for all readers, and is particularly relevant as the centenary of the outbreak of World War I approaches. Field Marshal The Lord Bramall KG GCB OBE MC has written a Commendation. On next page is an order form from which you see that all profits will go to he Rifles “Care for Casualties” Appeal. The Appeal Organisers have decided to offer Why the Poppies at a minimum price of £10.00 per copy; out of this comes the cost of printing, packing and postage of £3.75 leaving £6.25 to go to The Rifles Appeal Fund. If you would like to make an extra donation in the space provided on the attached flier/ order form, it will be gratefully received. John Bendit

E-Zine 2013

Volume 5 Issue 3 | 41

The Royal Green Jackets Regimental Associa on

"WHY THE POPPIES?" By Peter Spira The Author served as a National Service Rifleman in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps (KRRC – 60th Rifles) in 1949. He was commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (43rd & 52nd) which became 1st Bn. Royal Green Jackets in 1966.

In aid of THE RIFLES “CARE FOR CASUALTIES” ORDER FORM “WHY THE POPPIES?” To purchase this booklet for minimum £10.00 per copy (incl. £3.75 p&p) please complete the form below and send it with your payment to: Why the Poppies RHQ The Rifles Peninsula Barracks Romsey Road, Winchester SO23 8TS Cheque payable to “The Rifles (Poppies)”. Or, if you prefer you can pay on line by logging onto and click on the “Why the Poppies?” icon on the right hand side of the page Number of copies required: ……………… @ £10.00 per copy plus a Donation: ………, if desired. Total Sum enclosed: £ ……………………… Name: ……………………………………………………………………………………............................................…. Address: …………………………………………………………………………………............................................…. …………………........................…………………………………………………………………………….….. …………………………………………….........................…………………………………………………….. Post Code: ……………………… Email: ………………………………………………....................... Tel No: ……………………………………..............

42 | Volume 5 Issue 3

E-Zine 2013