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E-zine Volume 6 Issue 2

November 2014

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The Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association

E-zine NEWSLETTER Volume 6 Issue 2

November 2014

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

Brigadier Hugh Willing CBE

We have been truly lucky to enjoy such perfect summer weather this year which has helped to make our many Association events all the more enjoyable and well attended. I especially enjoyed seeing the surviving members of my old 2 RGJ Anti-Tank Platoon at a reunion organised by WO2 Pat Veasey and his wife Brenda in July, and why not organise your own gatherings to reunite lost friends from the past? You can then encourage each other to come along to the Veterans’ Day Gatherings at Winchester, which this summer was held on 12th July. It was supported by the Rifles Band and Bugles who performed an excellent Sounding Retreat, and saw a large turnout all clearly enjoying themselves, but next year we will insist on quiet during the Drumhead Service before the March Past. Once again Major Roy Stanger and his Winchester Branch team did a superb job in making all the arrangements, for which we are most grateful. Planning is already underway for next year’s Veterans’ Day on Saturday 11th July 2015, which will be in the bi-centennial year of the Battle of Waterloo and hence our main theme for the weekend. It was good to see that the Central England Branch’s excellent initiative to hold a ‘Greenstock’ weekend in August proved to be a triumph. It saw many of you make your way to the Middle of England to enjoy a variety of live bands and singers, including our very own crooner, Gary Driscoll, performing on the main stage. The Buglers of 4th Bn The Rifles under Bugle Major Davies added much to the event, and a special vote of thanks goes to Pete Page (Central England Branch Secretary) who spent nearly twelve months planning and organising ‘Greenstock’ ably supported by Mark Picken, Guy Mynett, and Major Michael Leeming.We have relied heavily over the past few months on the Central England Branch to oversee the repairs to our memorial stone at the National Memorial Arboretum and to represent us at the Northern Ireland Veterans’ Association memorial unveiling in September, amongst other things. They have ‘done us proud’, so well done and thanks to all of you. I don’t really need to remind you that this year marks the 100th Anniversary of the start of the First World War, so I would encourage every one of you to join in the many and especially poignant Remembrance Day events leading up to Sunday 9th November. All the Association Branches will be organising our Regiment’s participation in the commemorations across the country, not least in London at the Cenotaph. Even if you are not a member of our Association, get in touch with your local Branch to find out what is being organised near you - and join in. So, polish up your medals, put on your berets, show that we still care by taking part, and be proud to remember the sacrifices made by our forbears and colleagues. My very best wishes to all fellow Riflemen and I look forward to seeing you at Winchester on 11th July 2015. Hugh Willing E-Zine 2014

Contents Page Title 3. Foreword 4. Remembrance Sunday Parade Honours and Awards 5. RGJRA Contact list 6. External Addresses 7. From the Editor Royal Green Jackets and antecedent Regiments – A Photographic History 8. Database report 9. Charter for Royal Green Jackets buglers 10. The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum 12. Regimental Number Plates 13. News from the Branches 20. 2RB le Hursley Park on 4 November 1914 to go off to fight in WW1 22. Commemora on of local Victoria Cross recipients of the First World War 23. Victoria Cross commemora ve paving stones Lt JHS Dimmer VC 24. A London bus returns to the Western Front 25. The Turning of the Pages ceremony 26. Calling all ex IBB/IJLB Green Jackets 27. The Poppy Factory 29. A Royal Green Jacket ‘Get together’ in Germany The QBBC (Green Jacket Band and Bugles) 30. The Limbang Rebellion Sabah, December 1962 31. The Defence Academy 32. New books 34. Rifleman Vic Gregg 35. Tiny Adams meets Sir S rling Moss 36. Old Camp Road 38. The Lost Soul of Pegasus Bridge 43. In Memoriam Editor: Kevin Stevens ProducƟon: Major Ron Cassidy MBE Arne Bergsand Photos: Séamus Lyons Copyright 2014 © RGJRA

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REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY PARADE 9th November 2014 Calling all Green Jackets WE NEED YOU! To join us at the Remembrance Service at Whitehall, followed by the famous Cenotaph Marchpast. Please come and join us, as we remember all fellow Riflemen who lost their lives, whilst serving our regiment. For details on obtaining a security pass, please contact Gary Driscoll

HONOURS AND AWARDS 2014 NEW YEARS HONOURS LIST JANUARY 2014 Lieutenant General Nicholas Patrick Carter CBE, DSO Lieutenant Colonel Victor Joseph Garth Ma hews (Army Reserve) Major Paul Richard Smyth (Army Reserve) Rifleman Michael James Swain

KCB (Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath) OBE (Officer of the Order of the Bri sh Empire) MBE (Member of the Order of the Bri sh Empire) MBE (Member of the Order of the Bri sh Empire)

ARMED FORCES OPERATIONAL AWARDS LIST NO 42 SEPTEMBER 2014 AFGHANISTAN Brigadier Rupert Timothy Herbert Jones MBE Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Howard Bewick MBE Major James Andrew Hadfield Warrant Officer 1st Class Patrick Hyde Corporal William Joseph Mills Rifleman Rajeev Bhoyraz Major Andrew John Child Captain Kempley McKnight Alexander Buchan-Smith Warrant Officer 2nd Class Kevin Stuart Anthony Gahgan Warrant Officer 1st Class (now WO2) Colin Lee Nufer Warrant Officer 2nd Class Vince Bowerman Corporal Richard David Holder Captain Christopher Michael Blake Lower Colour Serjeant Stephen John Metcalf Serjeant Gavin Kelly Wilmo

CBE (Commander of the Order of the Bri sh Empire) OBE (Officer of the Order of the Bri sh Empire) MBE (Member of the Order of the Bri sh Empire) MC (Military Cross) MC (Military Cross) MID (Men oned in Despatches) MID (Men oned in Despatches) QCVS (Queen’s Commenda on for Valuable Service) QCVS (Queen’s Commenda on for Valuable Service) QCVS (Queen’s Commenda on for Valuable Service) JCC (Joint Commanders Cer ficate) JCC (Joint Commanders Cer ficate) JCC (Joint Commanders Cer ficate) JCC (Joint Commanders Cer ficate) JCC (Joint Commanders cer ficate)

REST OF WORLD Major (now Ac ng Lieutenant Colonel) Phillip John Fox MBE

QCVS (Queen’s Commenda on for Valuable Service)

QUEENS BIRTHDAY HONOURS LIST JUNE 2014 Brigadier Mark Redman Goldsack OBE Major Barry Roy Melia Major Gary Trevor Sawyer Major Michael Sean Sco -Hyde 4 | Volume 6 Issue 2

CBE (Commander of the Order of the Bri sh Empire) MBE (Member of the Order of the Bri sh Empire) MBE (Member of the Order of the Bri sh Empire) QVRM (Queen’s Volunteer Reserves Medal) E-Zine 2014

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Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association Contacts Contact list as at 15 November 2014 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 492 4936

Treasurer & Members Secretary

Mr Mike Marr

01235 548018


Mr Kevin Stevens

01865 452813


Webmaster, AssociaƟon

Capt William Shipton

01256 895719


In Memoriam Board

Mr Mark Adams

01442 380713

Webmaster RGJ Photographic Site

Mr Seamus P Lyons

01279 723908


Database Manager

Mr Roy Baillie

01488 658681


Mr Tony Williamson

07891 367429

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 James Stoke

07590 040945 sailingagain@b


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

North West

Brig David Innes

Mr Ray Gerrard

01744 732501


Brig Nigel Mogg DL

Mr Mike Marr

01235 548018


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 Seamus Lyons. • Indicates that a Branch President has not been appointed. E-Zine 2014

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External Addresses ARMY BENEVOLENT FUND Mount Barrow House,16 - 20 Elizabeth Street, London, SWIW 9RB. Tel: 0845 241 4820 Fax: 0845 241 4821 E-mail: ASSOCIATION BLAZERS Barrington Ayre Tailor Tel: 0845 300 9014 E-mail: Web: MEDALS (first application) Veterans Agency (SPVA), Joint Personnel Administration Centre, MOD Medal Office, Building 250, Innsworth Station, Gloucester, GL3 1HW. Tel: 0141 224 360 SECRETARY KRRC ASSOCIATION Mr Richard Frost MBE, 52 - 56 Davies Street, London, W1K 5HR. Tel: 020 7491 4935 E-mail: SECRETARY RB ASSOCIATION Mr Geoff Pain, 75 St Catherines Road, Winchester, SO23 0PS. Tel: 01962 856249 E-mail: SERVICE RECORDS Army Personnel Centre Secretariat, Disclosures 2, Mail Point 515, Kentigern House, 65 Brown Street, Glasgow, G3 8EX. (Or complete the form at SSAFA FORCES HELP 19 Queen Elizabeth Street, London, SE1 2LP. Tel: 0845 1300 975 E-mail: THE RIFLES BENEVOLENT TRUST The Secretary, RHQ The Rifles, Peninsula Barracks, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hants, SO23 8TS. Tel: 01962 828526 E-mail: THE UNION JACK CLUB 225 Union Street, London, SE1 0LR. Tel: 020 7633 9206 E-mail: THE VETERANS AGENCY Norcross, Thornton Cleveleys, Lancashire, FY5 3WP. Tel: 0800 169 2277 E-mail: REPLACEMENT MEDALS Paul Symes, Medals Plus, 29 Craven Way, Didcot, Oxon, OX11 8NS. Tel: 01235 201 198 E-mail: THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION UK Headquarters, 199 Borough Hill Street, London, SE1 1AA. Tel: 020 3207 2100 Contact Legionline 08457 725 725

Members Database It is important that information held on the Database is accurate and up to date. Therefore, would all members go to the Database and check / amend their details. Those requiring assistance, please contact Roy Baillie at:

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From the Editor Welcome to the winter edition of the e-zine, once again we have received some very interesting articles covering a wide range of topics in addition to reports from our branches. In April this year the new RGJRA website was launched. As a result there has been a shift of responsibilities and there are now two website teams which has led to some confusion judging by the emails and telephone calls the old website team members have received. I therefore think it appropriate that I explain the new responsibilities so that queries can be directed at the right person. All email addresses are in the contacts list in this publication. Main Website - Bill Shipton Bill, built both the database and the new website, has sole responsibility for maintaining this and all enquiries regarding the website should be directed to him. RGJRA Database - Roy Baillie and Tony Williamson The database is maintained by Roy assisted byTony, although a separate entity it is incorporated into the main website with links from all branch websites. In the first instance database queries should be directed to Roy and Tony. In Memoriam Board /Branch guestbooks - Mark Adams The “In Memoriam” board can now be found under heading “Forums” on the main website, it is overseen by Mark. This board is the only board people can post to without registering their details with the main website. The branch guest books are also administered by Mark. If you are having difficulty with posting to either the “In Memoriam” board or a branch guestbook please contact Mark who will assist you. Branch Websites/ RGJ Photographic Archive - Seamus Lyons All branch websites are maintained by Seamus who built them, can I please point out to all Secretaries that their Branch website is a communication tool to all their members and it is imperative that it is kept up to date. If they no longer wish to have a site please contact Seamus and he will delete it. Seamus also maintains the RGJ Photographic Archive although there is now some photographs also on the main website. Swift and Bold and the E-Zine – Kevin Stevens Swift and Bold and the E-Zine are not part of either website team but do draw on various team members for input. The editorial team comprise of the following: Kevin Stevens, Arne Bergsand, Seamus Lyons and Ron Cassidy who also has responsibility for checking the historical accuracy of regimental articles submitted. Miscellaneous At the moment all miscellaneous queries are being dealt with by either Seamus (webmaster account) or myself (admin account) however in the near future both the webmaster and admin email accounts will be transferred to Bill Shipton. I hope this clears up the confusion. Kevin Stevens Editor E-Zine & Swift and Bold

Royal Green Jackets and antecedent Regiments – A Photographic History Our redesigned site went live on 16th June 2012. At that time, the site statistics were: Photo’s: 34164 Pages: 1319 Hit Counter: 96665

at For those of you who are happier sending me your photographs on a disc please contact me for my postal details, or for those with Database access my home address is available from there.

They are now: Photo’s: 38177 Pages: 1566 Hit Counter: 139006

Note: All scanned photo's should have a minimum resolution of 300 dpi. It is also very important that each photo is indexed with Year/Location for them to be inserted in chronological order.

If you have photographs of your time in the Regiment (or of Fathers/Grandfathers) please send them to me E-Zine 2014

Seamus Lyons Webmaster Volume 6 Issue 2 | 7

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DATABASE REPORT I am pleased to report that the Database has a new deputy manager in the name of: Mr Tony Williams: Email or The combination of Roy & Tony running the database should eliminate any problems in the continuity of the database. You can email and you will get a response from either Roy or Tony. The database is operating smoothly, the branches included in the database have been brought up to date. This was quite an immense task and took 3 months approximately to complete with the help of Tony our new deputy database manager. The Current statistics are: -

DATABASE STATISTICS Total No of Records: Total No of Officer Members: Total No of Serving Officers: Total No of Officer Members of Associa on (Full or Life): Total No of Overseas Officer Members (Non Paying): Total No of Officer Hon Members: Total No of Officer Hon Lady Members: Total No of Other Officers (GJ Club/KRRC etc): Total No of Officer Lapsed Members: Total No of Officer Non-Members: Total No of Deceased Officers: Total No of Officers: Total No of OR Full Members: Total No of OR Life Members: Total No of Serving ORs: Total No of OR Associate Members: Total No of OR Overseas Members: Total No of OR Lapsed Members: Total No of OR Non-Members: Total No of Deceased ORs: Total No of ORs: Total No of Others (Widows etc): Total No of Records with an E-mail Address:

6,871 496 59 29 34 7 23 3 55 613 130 1,449 959 160 16 7 135 950 2,237 289 4,593 114 3,364

34.2% 4.1% 2.0% 2.3% 0.5% 1.6% 0.2% 3.8% 42.3% 9.0% 20.1% 3.3% 1.1% 0.1% 2.8% 19.9% 46.8% 6.0% 43.0%

Any member can use the Groupmail system (mass email) for any legitimate article of association interest. Commercial advertising will not be accepted. Email either Roy or Tony to use this service. Roy Baillie Database Manager RGJRA

The Oxford Branch Reunion The Oxford Branch Reunion will take place on Saturday 8th November 2014 at Edward Brooks Barracks, Cholwell Road, Shippon, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, OX13 6HW. 1900hrs - Bar opens 1945hrs - Waterloo Band & Bugles of The Rifles commence playing 2030hrs - Public Address 2100hrs - Curry supper on payment 0030hrs - Bar closes 0100hrs - EBB closes All Association members and their guests welcome. Non-members are charged £5 admission. 8 | Volume 6 Issue 2

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CHARTER FOR ROYAL GREEN JACKET BUGLERS General. The Royal Green Jackets Regimental Association (Management Committee) have approved the formation of a nucleus of former RGJ Buglers who have volunteered to play at events and occasions which might warrant the services of a former RGJ Bugler or Buglers. This Charter lays out the conditions of their employment and the management of them. Duties. These Buglers may carry out the following duties: • Funeral Services • Remembrance Parades • Weddings • Birthdays • Branch or Regimental Dinners • Freedom Parades • Armed Forces Day • Other Regimental occasions at which a Bugler might be appropriate Should a RGJ flag be required, this must be stated at the time of booking and the RGJ Association Bugler Coordinator will endeavour to provide one for the event. Remuneration. As retired military volunteers the Buglers must expect to be paid for their attendance. Most will need to take a day off work and drive themselves in their own cars to the events at which they are asked to attend. So the following charges will apply per Bugler (as at May 2014): • Appearance Fee @ £50.00 • Travel costs reimbursement (residence to place of duty) to and from the venue @25p per mile • Suitable refreshments at the event Dress. All Buglers required for duty will be dressed as follows: • Regimental Blazer • Regimental Tie • White Shirt • Black or Grey Trousers • Black Shoes • Beret and Cap Badge • Bugle Cords • Bugle The purchase of most of these items has been provided from Regimental Funds. The RGJ Association Bugler Coordinator is responsible to the RGJRA Committee for the purchase, distribution and accountability of all purchased and loaned items to the Buglers. RGJ Association Bugler Coordinator. Retired Bugle Major Gledhill has volunteered to oversee and coordinate all the requirements, bookings and management of the nucleus of former RGJ Buglers who have volunteered their services to the Association. It will be his decision to approve a request and to allocate a Bugler or Buglers to an event. All requests for the services of a Duty Bugler are to be directed to the following: Mr Billy Gledhill, Tel No: 07443 936826, Email: Currently Mr Gledhill can call on sixteen former Buglers who have volunteered their services and are spread widely throughout the country. Whenever possible he will allocate a Bugler who lives closest to the event, but this will not always be possible due to individual commitments. Recruiting of Buglers. If any Rifleman knows of any Bugler that is looking to join this ‘Band of Buglers’ please inform Mr Gledhill as soon as possible. Information. This Charter will be sent out to all RGJRA Members on the RGJRA Website, and repeated in the E-zine and Swift and Bold. Winchester May 2014 E-Zine 2014

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Exhibition to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.

Adventures in the Rifle Brigade and Random Shots from a Rifleman.

You will know that the Museum is planning a major exhibition to commemorate the 200th anniversary of Waterloo next year. The Exhibition is due to open on 25 March 2015 and work is now well under way to achieve that target date. Two thirds of the top floor of the Museum has had to be closed off to enable the artefacts to be removed and the display cases stripped out. The Diorama of the battle is being dismantled and work started to repair and restore it; how it would come apart was a mystery to us as no records existed but our Conservator, Kelvin Thatcher, has been able to dismantle it and it is now partly with him and partly in a storage site locally as his workshop does not have the space to house al the sections; they will move between the store and his workshop as necessary.

Waterloo 2015 Appeal – Progress Report.

There were 16 straight edged sections that appear with the diorama laid over them and overlapping them in places making hiding where they join on reassembly a daunting task likely to take 14 days as opposed to the original forecast of two. Exhibition and learning space named. The Museum’s Battle of Waterloo Bicentenary Exhibition will be titled ‘With the Rifles to Waterloo’. The former Regimental Gallery on the first floor of the Museum, which is being redesigned and fitted-out as a multi-functional learning space, will be named the Kincaid Gallery. Captain Johnny Kincaid of the 95th Rifles served in both the Peninsular War 91811-14) and at Waterloo (1815). He subsequently wrote two well-known memoirs of his service in the 95th, titled 10 | Volume 6 Issue 2

As at 27 September 2014 the Museum had received a total of £101,275 towards the raised Appeal target of £150,000. Pledges and other sources of income not yet received increase the sum raised to £144,529.25. Due to rising and unforeseen costs, together with the Trustees’ desire to improve on the original intention and provide an even better exhibition than previously planned, the Appeal will remain open until the Exhibition opening date of 25 March 2015. It is hoped by the closure date that the Appeal will have raised at least £175,000 and ideally more. September was a particularly good month for contributions to the Appeal with a donation of £15,000 from the Bernard and Judy Cornwell Foundation and a grant of £12,784. There were also four individual donations of £1,000 and three of £500. All donations, however large or small, are very welcome and much appreciated. If you have not yet given, please consider doing so. Details of how to donate are at: Christmas 2014. Remember to visit the Museum Shop on line at the Museum website for gifts and cards. The Christmas Card for 2014 is a colourful and timely one that depicts the 1914 Christmas truce; it is selling well so do not miss out! E-Zine 2014

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Museum Evening Talk on 10 November Monday 10 November 2014 “From Aldershot to Ypres: the 52nd Light Infantry in 1914” Speaker: Dr Simon Harris, author of ‘The History of the 43rd and 52nd Light Infantry in the Great War 1914-18, the 52nd Light Infantry in France and Belgium: Volume II’. The fourth in a series of talks coinciding with the centenary of events during the First World War.


The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum Trust (Charity No. 1009691)

The Royal Green Jackets (Rifles) Museum Peninsula Barracks Romsey Road Winchester, Hants, SO23 8TS

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Regimental Number Plates In the last year there appears to have been a lot of RGJ number plates appearing on cars around the country driven by former members of our regiment. I realise that having a private plate is not to everybody’s taste but having seen so many recently and commenting on it to another former Green Jacket it was suggested that we might see how many we have. We are therefore asking our members to submit a photograph of their car and plate so that we may produce a montage of them for a future edition of the E-Zine. Kevin Stevens Editor 12 | Volume 6 Issue 2

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On Sunday 20th July the 32nd anniversary Memorial took place. The weather was good to us - warm and slightly overcast. The congregation was made up of ex-members of 1RGJ Band, representatives from the Regimental Associations and the general public, numbering in total

of approximately 50 people - and one dog. We were honored with the presence the Rev’d Philip (Pip) Smith C.D. from 7 Rifles, who led the short, yet swift service along with Corporal Terry McCann from the Waterloo Bugle’s, 7 Rifles. The opening prayers were followed by the laying of the wreaths and floral tributes. The Last Post, sounded by Corporal Terry McCann, was followed by The Act of Remembrance - orated by Richard Frost, a short silence then Reveille. Closing prayers included a reading of ‘The Rededication’ – and the Regimental Collect and a Blessing. After the service Gary Driscoll organized a group photograph without a camera, but thanks to technology many photos were taken using smart phones.

Corporal Terry McCann and Rev’d Philip (Pip) Smith C.D. from 7 Rifles.

Service over, a few said their farewells and headed home whilst others ambled along to the pub for refreshments. A good turn out - and a good day. A big thank you to all those in attendance, especially to Richard Frost, Gary Drisoll, Terry McCann and the Reverend ‘Pip’ Smith.

The 2015 Memorial Service will be held on Monday 20th July and also on Sunday 19th July both meet at the café 1030 for 1130 start . Please contact Gary Driscoll, London Branch, for further details. E-Zine 2014

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Hi everyone. Well the Central England Branch have continued to remain active as we head toward the second part of 2014. The main talking point for us has been of course GREENSTOCK 2014. However, I will not dwell too long on that as I believe it is best saved for ‘Swift & Bold Magazine next year’. Suffice it to say, the weekend was a complete success and everyone involved including the bands and supporting staff had a thoroughly fantastic weekend. The feedback has been nothing short of amazing from those patrons that attended. I have included one or two pics from the weekend to highlight the significance of the event in relation to the Association has a whole. One point that does require inserting here is the fact that London Branch Secretary and CEBRGJRA friend ‘Gary Driscoll’ performed for us gratis at Greenstock and despite the plethora of quality bands that played, the best reception had been reserved and rightly so for Gary. He was phenomenal that night and the marquee erupted with pride and pleasure at his performance. Thank you Gary, you are a true star. As were the Buglers from 4 RIFLES that assisted our Service of Remembrance, a few tears of pride were shed aswell as tears of laughter – Wait out!! In addition to enjoying great music and great craic, we managed to raise some much needed funds for the Waterloo Appeal 2015. The total will be announced in due course once we have finished collecting from the DVD sales later on. Prior to August’s event, we have had a social gathering every month since May with the Nautical Club fundraiser that was highlighted in the last e-zine. This was swiftly followed by Armed Forces Day in Birmingham City Centre which is becoming something of a stomping ground for us. Yet again it proved to be an enjoyable day for all, this despite poor weather. Various members of the branch visited the stand throughout the day and we wereable to engage with our fellow Riflemen of 5 RIFLES who were also present with their Mobile Army 14 | Volume 6 Issue 2

Recruiting Stand (MARS). The finale to the day was the display from the Scots Dragoon Guards which whilst entertaining, doesn’t quite match up the Band & Bugles!! Within a fortnight, we were then heading south to our

(To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2014

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(Con nued from previous page)

ancestral home Winchester for the RGJRA Annual Reunion. There were plenty of members from the branch present for the gathering though not so many as last year. Nonetheless, it was an ideal time to have one final push to gather support for GREENSTOCK 2014. Donned with the ‘prototype’ Polo Shirt, Craig Jenkins, Scott Newstead and I paraded around Winchester Friday and the Reunion Saturday wearing our white GS shirts. The polo shirt alone gathered as much interest as the event itself. Served its’ purpose well and we even had a steady flow of pre-launch orders!! “Word was getting around swiftish”! I personally would like to take the opportunity for what was arguably the best Reunion in a while, to thank the Winchester Branch for their hard work and dedication in ensuring that the weekend was enjoyed by all, it takes a severe amount of planning and prepping to make it work, and after our event I for one can assure people that it doesn’t work by accident, they are time consuming and stress inducing!! Well done Roy and the gang. Our next event (at the time of writing) is the gathering of Northern Ireland Veterans for their parade at NMA at Alrewas on Saturday 20th September 2014. The Light Division have been identified as the most deserved

E-Zine 2014

Division to lead the parade an honour we very much look forward too. Afterall, unless I am mistaken, only the Royal Marines have completed as many tours of NI as ourselves? In any case, they RM are Navy and not Army – obviously!! Again, more to follow in the next edition of the E-Zine and summarised in Swift & Bold. Then in October, we are having a gala night of Boxing at Great Barr. Ex Rfn John Loveday (1 RGJ) is fighting for a title. There will be a gathering of Branch members to support John and all being well, it should be a thoroughly entertaining affair. I can assure readers that John will know that there are Green Jackets in the audience as we hope to cheer him on to victory. Finally, a decision on GREENSTOCK 2015 will be announced next week once we have had a full debrief and feasibility review. The decision will of course be announced on our webpage and Facebook page soon after. Once again, if you are interested in becoming a member of The Central England Branch and want more details please get in touch. Best wishes and regards to our fellow Riflemen across the globe. Celer et Audax Regards Pete Page, Secretary CEBRGJRA

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NORTH EAST BRANCH Hello once again to all you RGJ members,

to mark the 100th Anniversary of the hostilities breaking out on the 4th August 1914.

The North East branch has again been very active throughout our area, as well as attending various historic commemorations in this country and in Europe, they have also been supporting Branches all over the United Kingdom. North West – Ladies Dinner Night Central - Greenstock East Midlands – Meeting Oxford – Dinner Night London – Regents Park Memorial Winchester - Veterans Day South East Kent – BBQ & Function 7th September Great North Run (GNR) 14th September Dedication of Statue at Durham Cathedral 20th September National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire In June 2014, we celebrated and commemorated the 70th Anniversary of D Day, Derek and Val invited members of the North East Branch to their home whilst they were visiting Normandy and the various historic events being held there. The photograph below was taken in Val’s garden in France.

In July, many of us made our annual pilgrimage to attend our special Veterans Day at Winchester and again this year we were blessed with a very hot day and a really good turnout for the parade and march past. Many thanks go out to the Winchester branch for all their hard work in making this day a special one. There were some new faces as well as the old ones, it was great to see them and renew old friendships. August arrived and the City of Sunderland paid tribute to those that gave their lives in the First World War. A Commemoration Service was held at our Minster 16 | Volume 6 Issue 2

North East Branch members joined civic guests including the Lord Lieutenant, The Bishop of Durham, Chief Officers and Council Members of Sunderland City Council at the Service which included an address from The Mayor. He said “From the outbreak of war, the people and men of Sunderland responded to the call to duty and volunteered to join every branch of the Armed Forces in their thousands”. This, as we all now know, was repeated all over the country swelling the ranks of the Armed Forces to a size never to be equalled again. On a further local note, a statue was unveiled at Seaham Harbour entitled “Tommy”. This fantastic sculpture was created by artist Ray Lonsdale. It captured the hearts of local people and those of tourists who flocked to see it. Within a very short time, money was flowing in to buy the statue and make it a permanent feature on the sea front. We also had an impromptu photographic opportunity to attend the the statue one Saturday afternoon and to help raise funds for the charity. A number of Riflemen had their photographs taken at the statue. The photographs were used by the charity on their website to aide in the raising of the funds. (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2014

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an emotional one for many who lost close friends and comrades. In November, our Branch main event will be our annual Remembrance Weekend, with many people arriving on Friday 7th and staying over until Monday 10th November. The venue for the Remembrance Reunion event on Saturday 8th November has now been confirmed as The Stadium of Light (SOL), the home of Sunderland Associated Football Club (SAFC). The Commercial Director of SAFC, Mr Gary Hutchinson has also very kindly donated a number of tickets for the match on the Sunday following the Parade. Our President has already written thanking him for his generosity.

At our meeting in July, members held a raffle raising a marvellous £165 to go towards the Statue’s charity fund. By August the sum of just over £100,000 pounds had been raised securing the permanent residence of Tommy’s statue. A number of our members attended a Candle Light vigil at the statue on the 4th August 2014 to commemorate the outbreak of The First World war. Also in August, some of our North East members travelled to the Midlands to attend “The Greenstock” event organised by the Central RGJ Branch. It was a huge success, so well done Central branch. The Great North Run took place on September 7th. Three of our Riflemen, Trevor Barrs, Russell Holman and Eamonn Loftus, took part each running for their respective charities. All three finished in very espectable times and eventually recovered from their aches and pains.

The advance party usually Queen Vic Hotel on the Friday night and the post Parade lunch on the Sunday will be held at The Best Western Roker Hotel, after the football match. If you have bought a ticket for the Saturday night event and need accommodations, please visit our web page/facebook page but please book early to avoid disappointment. Entry to the function is by ticket only purchased in advance, no tickets can be bought on the night or at the door. The event has been sold out so if you haven’t booked or ordered your tickets you will be disappointed. Looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible in November at our main event of the year, which because of the 100 years commemorations will be an emotional time for many. Malcolm Donnison

On 20th September, the Northern Ireland (N.I.) Veterans Association held an anniversary parade for all N.I. Veterans at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. We attended, as an Association by combining our attendance with those Riflemen from the Central branch, forming a contingent of approximately fifty strong to march to the N.I memorial at 140 paces to the minute - all in step and halted facing left. The Parade was E-Zine 2014

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NORTH WEST BRANCH Dear Fellow Riflemen! On Sunday 15th June Tom Fairclough laid a wreath on the Northern Ireland Memorial which sits at the back of St Georges Hall in St Johns Gardens. If you remember back to 1996, this was a memorial that was dedicated to soldiers of Liverpool who were killed during the Northern Ireland troubles and was unveiled by the Duke of Westminster. Tom was accompanied by Eddie Byrne and Mick Cronin.

this person started to pee through the door. With the wind from the movement of the bus the pee was being blown back into the van and people were getting wet to say the least. When the bus finally came to a standstill in the lay-by this person still needed the toilet, he got down and carried on for about 5 minutes more. He was then joined by another of our members.. Eventually they both got back in and Tommy drove up the hill and said this is where we were going to stop anyway.

On Saturday 28th June, members of the branch were invited by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool to march on, following the Veterans Day service that was held at the Anglican Cathedral. The ceremony was attended by a number of our members.

We all disembark for a toilet stop and came back to the van but there was one person missing, and you guessed it, it was our peeing person. Tommy, being impatient, went looking for him and found him ordering a sandwich from the pub. This made Tommy even more annoyed.

On the Veterans Day Reunion on Saturday 12th July 2014, WO2 Dave Crossley invited NW Branch members to the Sergeants Mess at the 4th Battalion The Rifles in Bulford the night before. Tom Fairclough arranged a 17 seat coach for this weekend which all seats were filled within a few days. Accommodation was arranged a short distance away in Bulford for the Friday night and then they travelled to Winchester early the next morning. After the Veterans Day in Winchester the coach then returned to Bulford and the following morning after a hearty breakfast in the sergeant’s mess, and some activities arranged by the battalion, the coach then returned to Liverpool.

Tommy being the driver started to direct people on what to do when we arrive at Bulford camp. He then started shouting at other drivers for being in his way, the 3 front seat people then got us lost but we finally found the Travel Lodge in Bulford.

Mark Lydiat wrote an account of, what turned out to be a fun filled weekend. His account is as follows.

NW BRANCH VETERANS WEEKEND 2014 Friday 11th July 17 members left Liverpool at 1030hrs on board the bus were all in good spirits and looking forward to the weekend. Tommy Fairclough was driving. The others on board were Mark Lydiat, Dave Parry, Mick Cronin, Frank Toner, Keith Pardoe, Arthur Cosgrove, Stephen Donaghue, James Mathews, Kenneth Herd, Paul Bromilow, Tolly Toleman, Eddie Carberry, Kenny Gosden, Barry Conner, Eddie Hughes and Pete Towers. The banter quickly started and nobody was spared, 1200hrs we stopped at Frankly Services for a half hour break. 1230hrs back on bus and once again the banter started. Travelling along the M5, road works delayed us then, as you would guess, one member, who shall remain nameless, said he needed the toilet. Don’t worry says Tommy, we are coming off the motorway soon and I will stop then, I need the toilet now was the reply, I need the toilet. This went on for about another 10 junctions and now you could feel the desperation as the cries became more urgent.

Tommy told the group to be ready for 1700hrs but then he turned up at 1730hrs saying it was not him who was late as he had been to the pub to get them out so this made us late for our evening meal. We were met at the barracks gate by Dave Crossley and were taken to the Sgts mess. Dave explained what was going to happen for the evening. We had an excellent dinner and then moved onto seeing how the Rifles live. Dave has a double bed in his room, a big television and en-suite even the Riflemen have their own room with an en-suite. They bring cleaners in to clean the block, the riflemen can challenge the NCO if they are pulled for their appearance. Talk about a living different world from when we were in. We were then taken to have a look around the Officers Mess, we were met by an officer who gave us a conducted tour of the mess. From there we went to the NAFFI, met with a couple of riflemen and had a chat with them. We were then taken back to the Sgts mess for a few drinks. Dave Crossly was joined by a colleague and they showed us some of the modern day equipment in use, mine detector, S.A. 80, the light machine gun, and night vision. We then were shown 2 videos that 4 Rifles had made themselves in Afghanistan. We were then joined by other colleagues from the Rifles and a good evening was had by all with the evening finishing at about 0100hrs. Next morning outside the motel, Tommy was not in a

Tommy came off the motorway at the first opportunity. Before the bus even stopped the side door was opened 18 | Volume 6 Issue 2

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continues onto St Georges Plateau.

good mood as his Liverpool hat and sunglasses had gone missing. He was accusing everybody especially the Evertonians amongst us. He was told they would be in his room but he insisted that somebody had nicked them.

After the parade we then form up at the rear in St John’s Gardens where we will lay a wreath at our NI Memorial Stone. After the laying of the wreath we will line up for a photo shoot then we make our way to Cosy’s, just opposite the Rat and Parrot pub for a few light refreshments. This is only about two hundred yards from St Johns Gardens for those who may not be too good on their feet.

We had breakfast in the Sgts Mess, a full English for £2.60, that was very good value. We were then shown around more equipment, jackal, quad bikes etc. We then moved on to the ranges for some live firing of the SA80. All the one shot wonders then came out, we had a friendly competition (Ha Ha) and Arthur Cosgrove was declared the winner with 5 balloons in 10 shots. I have to say a big thank you to the 4 Rifles CO, the RSM, Dave Crossley and all the other members of staff for their hospitality. They really looked after the Northwest Branch of the Green Jackets Association in true Green Jacket style. We did not want for anything it was so well organised, all on time, this shows that unbreakable ties linking the Rifles and Royal Green Jackets. It was then back to the hotel, wash and change, it was at this point that Tommy, getting into the van with his Liverpool hat and sunglasses on saying that someone had broken into his room and put them on the table. We then set off to Winchester for the Veterans Day reunion. We had a tremendous afternoon and evening with old friends and colleagues. We eventually left the marquee at 0100hrs, with the last to leave slightly the worse for drink. This was where our designated driver for the evening came into his own. When he realised this was a manual gear box his reaction was ‘I only drive automatic’ so we had two other members in the front of the bus, one for directions and one for changing gear for the driver, what a laugh we had but we finally we arrived back at the motel safe and sound Next morning all up early and back to the Sergeants mess for breakfast, said are good byes to Dave Crossley and the rest of the mess. As you can guess it was a quieter bus journey home to Liverpool than it was driving down. A great weekend was had by all and we will certainly be putting this on our diary next year. We held our Rifleman’s Dinner on Saturday 4th October 2014 at the Thistle Hotel, Atlantic Tower, Liverpool. 50 members attended the evening from all over the country. The speaker for the evening was Major Ken Potter. This year the Remembrance Parade in Liverpool will be held on 9th November 2014. For those wishing to attend we will meet from 0900hrs to 1000hrs in the Lord Warden Pub on London Road (Opposite the old Odeon Cinema). Medals and berets are encouraged to be worn. The Parade will form up at 1000hrs on the pavement at the southern end of St Johns Garden’s. The parade will leave at 1025hrs prompt, led as always by the Duke of Lancaster’s Band. The parade will march off and turn left into St Johns Lane and left again onto Lime Street and E-Zine 2014

Following our appeal for donations to provided Peter Uden a permanent memorial, I can now announce that due to generous donations from members of the North West Branch, some members of other branches and even from abroad, we have now almost reached our target and we will be hoping to have the memorial placed before the end of this year. The balance will be made up by an anonymous benefactor who we all extend our most sincere gratitude. I have been in contact with Peter’s widow, Joyce, and she will arrange and provide details of the memorial. We are hoping that the memorial will be in place before the end of 2014. On behalf of the North West Branch and Joyce, I would like to thank all those people who donated. Again the generosity of the Royal Green Jackets has once again shone through. From the NW Branch we wish all our fellow Riflemen and very good Christmas and a prosperous new year. Until next time, yours in green from all the committee of the NW Branch.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS OF NORTH WEST BRANCH: President: Brigadier David Innes Secretary/Assistant Treasurer: Ray Gerrard 01744 732501, 07763 189760 Assistant Secretary: Mark Lydiat 0151 283 0391, 07415 092193 Assistant Chairman/Entertainments/Social Secretary: Tom Fairclough 0151 524 2566, 07583 468042 Rifles Liaison Officer: WO2 Dave Crossley PR/Photography: Dave Parry

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2RB as part of the 8th Division left Hursley Park on 4 November 1914 to go off to fight in WW1

Between the 4th and 5th November 1914 soldiers of the 8th Division the last division of the army comprised of regular soldiers which included those of the 2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade, marched out of the tented army camp in the grounds of the Hursley Park estate, bound for the port of Southampton and then on to the Western Front. On the 4th November 2014 one hundred years on from that departure members of The Rifle Brigade commemorated the departure of those men by taking part in a re-dedication of their departure also of the memorial seat erected by Sir George Cooper to the 8th Division's departure. Hursley Park estate was largely owned by Sir George Cooper. Those on parade from The Rifle Brigade for the commemoration were: Major C.R. Marriott L.V.O., M.I.D., Maj. Ken Gray, WO2 David Marsh, C/Sgt Sid Bunn, Victor Gregg who joined 2RB in 1937 and fought at the Battle of El Alamein where the Commanding Officer was awarded the Victoria Cross at the Snipe action. Victor transferred to the Parachute Regiment, captured at Arnhem and as a POW was bombed at Dresden by the British and saw the sufferings of the Dresden people from the resulting fires, Bugler Billy Gledhill who sounded Last Post, Rouse and No More Parades Today and Maj. Ron Cassidy M.B.E.

Hursley Park Camp in 1914.

Ron Cassidy reads out the names of those Regiments in the 8th Division at the same time children from a local school place named poppy crosses for each Regiment. • 2nd Battalion The Devonshire Regiment, • 2nd Battalion The Middlesex Regiment, • 2nd Battalion The West Yorkshire Regiment, • 2nd Scottish Rifles (The Cameronians), (To be conƟnued on next page) 20 | Volume 6 Issue 2

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The memorial seat at Hursley Park on the 3009 to Romsey

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

1st Battalion The Worcestershire Regiment, 1st Battalion The Notts & Derby Regiment The Sherwood Foresters, 2nd Battalion The East Lancashire Regiment, 2nd Battalion The Northamptonshire Regiment, 1st Battalion The Royal Irish Rifles, 2nd Battalion The Lincolnshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion The Rifle Brigade, 2nd Battalion The Royal Berkshire Regiment, The Northamptonshire Yeomanry, 8th Divisional Cyclist Company, 5th Brigade Royal Horse Artillery, 33rd Brigade Royal Field Artillery, 45th Brigade Royal Field Artillery, Heavy Brigade, Royal Garrison Artillery, 2nd Field Company, The Royal Engineers, 15th Field Company, The Royal Engineers, 1st (Wessex) Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps, 2nd (Wessex) Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps and 3rd (Wessex) Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps.

PlanƟng crosses. E-Zine 2014

Two smart Green Jackets on Parade. Volume 6 Issue 2 | 21

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Commemoration of local Victoria Cross recipients of the First World War AS PART OF the nation wide WW1 centenary commemoration local authorities will commemorate Victoria Cross recipients of the First World War from their authority area by laying down commemorative paving stones near where VC winners were born on or near the date of the 100th anniversary of their award. The WW1 Green Jackets antecedent, regular and territorial, regiments received a total of 23 VCs which are due to be commemorated at or near their place of birth in the next four years. Regiment Regular Service TA OBLI 2 KRRC 5 2 2 RB 5 5 2 Total 10 7 6 Source: Focus on Courage by CBQ Wallace & R Cassidy.

Total 2 9 12 23

The local authorities in the recipients’ place of birth are the “lead” organisers for these commemorative events. Normally the local authorities extend invitations to regimental associations to participate the commemorative events. The Rifles City/County offices will be supporting the local authorities and are the POC for enquiries from OBLI, KRRC, RB and RGJ Association members who are interested in supporting the commemorative events. The breakdown of our WW1 VC recipients, in date order, is as follows: NAME Dimmer, John Butler, John Daniels, Harry Noble, Cecil Woolley, Geoffrey

RANK Lt Lt CSM A/Cpl 2Lt


BORN Lambeth, London Berkeley, Gloucestershire Wymondham, Norfolk Bournemouth, Dorset Bethnal green, London

DATE WON 12 Nov 1914 17 Nov-27 Dec 1914 12 Mar 1915 12 Mar 1915 20-21 Apr 1915

Belcher, Douglas Mariner, William Woodroffe, Sidney Peachment, George Drake, Alfred

LSgt Rfn 2Lt Pte Cpl


Surbiton, Surrey Chorley, Lancashire Lewes, Sussex Bury, Lancashire Stepney/mile end, London

13 May 1915 22 May 1915 30 Jul 1915 25 Sep 1915 23 Nov 1915

Congreve, William Gill, Albert Cates, George Brooks, Edward Cooper, Edward Burman, William

B/Maj Sgt 2Lt CSM Sgt Sgt


Burton/wirrall, Cheshire Birmingham, Birmingham Wimbledon, London Oakley, Buckinghamshire Stockton-on-tees, Yorkshire Stepney, London

06-20 Jul 1916 27 Jul 1916 08 Mar 1917 28 Apr 1917 16 Aug 1917 20 Sep 1917

Knight, Alfred


Shepherd, Albert


RB Ladywood, Birmingham (Post Office Rifles) KRRC Royston, Yorkshire

Christie, John


Woodall, Joseph Gregg, William Beesley, William Wilcox, Alfred

LSgt Sgt Pte LCpl

KRRC Edmonton, London (Finsbury Rifles) RB Salford, Manchester RB Heanor, Derbyshire RB Church gresley, Derbyshire OBLI Aston, Birmingham

20 Sep 1917 20 Nov 1917

MODERN LOCAL AUTHORITY Lambeth London Borough Council Berkeley Town Council South Norfolk District Council Bournemouth Borough Council Tower Hamlets London Borough Council Kingston London Borough Council Chorley Borough Council East Sussex County Council Bury Metropolitan Borough Council Tower Hamlets London Borough Council Cheshire West and Chester Birmingham City Council Merton London Borough Council Aylesbury Vale District Council Stockton-on-Tees Council Tower Hamlets London Borough Council Birmingham City Council

21-22 Dec 1917

Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council Enfield London Borough Council

22 Apr 1918 08 May 1918 08 May 1918 12 Sep 1918

Salford City Council Amber Valley Borough Council South Derbyshire District Council Birmingham City Council

Further information can be obtained by the local Rifles Office. J-D v M The Rifles (London Office) 22 | Volume 6 Issue 2

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Victoria Cross commemorative paving stones In August 2013, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles announced a campaign to honour Victoria Cross recipients from the First World War. As part of this, commemorative paving stones will be laid in the birth place of Victoria Cross recipients to: • honour their bravery • provide a lasting legacy of local heroes within communities • enable residents to gain a greater understanding of how their area fitted into the First World War story A total of 628 Victoria Crosses were awarded during the First World War: • 454 Victoria Crosses were awarded to UK-born recipients • 173 were awarded to servicemen who fought for Britain, but were born overseas • 1 person was awarded the Victoria Cross twice during the First World War

The paving stones will be awarded to the local council in which the Victoria Cross recipient was born. The local council working with relatives and the local community will decide where the stone should be laid. All Victoria Cross recipients that were born overseas will also be commemorated in the National Memorial Arboretum. The first stones were laid on Saturday 23 August 2014 in East Grinstead, Willesden Green, Fraserburgh in Scotland and Dublin Ireland. On Wednesday 12 November 2014 in Lambeth, London the first paving stone will be laid to commemorate the Victoria Cross being awarded in WW1 to a member of a Royal Green Jackets antecedent regiment, Lieutenant John Henry Stephen Dimmer of KRRC.

Lieutenant JHS Dimmer VC (Later Lieutenant Colonel JHS Dimmer VC, MC)

THE KING’S ROYAL RIFLE CORPS - 1914 BELGIUM Date of Act of Gallantry: 12 November 1914 Place: Klein Zillebeke Citation: “On November 12th, 1914, the 2nd Battalion was holding a section of trenches at Klein Zillebeke. Lieutenant Dimmer was in charge of the machine gun section. About noon there was a very heavy artillery bombardment followed by an attack in mass by the Prussian Guard supported by violent machine gun fire. Almost all of the machine gun section were hit, and Lieutenant Dimmer continued firing one gun single-handed. Twice he had to leave his emplacement to remedy stoppages, which he did successfully but each time he was wounded. He was wounded a third time by shrapnel, but continued firing his gun and inflicting enormous casualties on the serried German masses who continued to advance to within 50 yards of our trenches. Then they suddenly broke and ran, but Lieutenant Dimmer was wounded again by the German artillery covering the retreat. However, he insisted, in spite of his wounds, in reporting personally to brigade headquarters.” London GazeƩe, 19 November 1914 E-Zine 2014

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As 2014 marks 100 years since the start of the First World War a London bus returns to the Western Front.

A London bus converted into a pigeon loft 1914-18. 24 | Volume 6 Issue 2

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Winchester Cathedral on 19 August 2014

The Turning of the Pages ceremony

Sgt Pat Cody (ex KRRC) an In Pensioner of the Royal Hospital Chelsea visits Winchester Cathedral on the 19th August 2014 to once again take lead in the Turning of the Pages ceremony. A duty Pat always carries out with the utmost dignity and respect in memory of all Riflemen. “Where the ba le rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved.” MarƟn Luther 1483 - 1546

Pegasus Bridge veteran, Frank Bourlet. E-Zine 2014

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Calling all ex IBB/IJLB Green Jackets

John FD with Blackwatch pal 1964.

In quieter moments I guess we all look back on our lives and reflect on what we have or haven’t achieved in our lives particularly where a particular career path is concerned. Many undoubtedly will regret the choice they made but in the main most will have been happy with their chosen career and made the most of it. Having enlisted into the then Green Jackets as my regiment of choice via the Infantry Junior Leaders in 1964 I know the latter to be particularly true for me. Even though I have been extremely satisfied and proud of my adult service with the regiment I am also equally proud of having been a junior soldier in a multi badged organisation too where friends and contacts were made in every regiment of the British Army - an early version of networking I guess which stood us all in good stead throughout the remainder of our service wherever we served throughout the world. Having recently attended a reunion dinner in Oswestry for the ‘Intakes of 64’ I can vouch that unbroken bond of friendship still stands firm today. If you were either IBB or IJLBGreen Jackets and this interests you and you would like to walk once more down Memory Lane then I do encourage you have a look at the IBB/IJLB website at where you will find lots of young but now older familiar faces plus details of how you can go about joining the association. Alternatively you can always email me or call and I will point you in the right direction. I do know there were hundreds of Green Jackets that 26| Volume 6 Issue 2

passed through IBB/IJLB battalions so it would be really good if at the Bi-ennial reunion on the 5th June 2015 the Mafia were represented in some numbers. If for no other reason than to put the Guards and Scottish regiment’s noses out of joint! Historical Reminder The first boys walked through the gates at Tuxford in April 1952 with A Company being permanently detached from the Battalion and based in Harrogate. The unit was designated the Infantry Boys Battalion and the concept was simple. Selectively recruit boys of school leaving age with the required attitude and potential. Provide them with a comprehensive training package that included sports, education, leadership skills and infantry training which would prepare them for a role as future Senior NCO’s and Warrant Officers in the British Infantry. The Battalion moved to Plymouth in 1954 and A Company re-joined them from Harrogate. In 1957 the rank Boy was discontinued throughout the British Army and was replaced by Junior. At this time the Infantry Boys Battalion was renamed the Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion. In 1960 the Battalion moved to Park Hall Camp in Oswestry which became its home for the next 15 years. Under the command of Lt Col Frank Coutts KOSB and (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2014

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Lt Col Charles Barker Gordons the training programme was rationalised to create a programme based on the Sandhurst model. The first full year being dedicated to education (70% education and 30% military training) with the final year focussed entirely upon military training. This successful format continued until 1975. During 1970 the Junior Infantrymen’s Wing was formed and was based in what had formerly been the Royal Artillery lines. In 1971 to mark the enduring relationship which existed between the Battalion and the local community, the unit was granted the Freedom of Oswestry, a singular honour for a boys unit. The Battalions final move was to Shorncliffe in 1975 when the school leaving age was raised to 16 years. There had been a resident Junior Infantrymen’s Battalion based in Shorncliffe since 1967. The Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion disbanded in 1985 however many of those trained there continued to serve into the new millennium. The Junior Infantrymen’s Battalion continued until it finally closed in 1991. A sad day for the British Infantry and a lost opportunity for Britain’s youth.

John FD with same Blackwatch pal in 2014.

John Fritz-Domeney

The Poppy Factory The origins of the Poppy Factory go back to 1922 when Major George Howson MC, an engineer who served on the Western Front in the First World War, founded the Disabled Society to help disabled ex-Service men and women. Howson suggested to the British Legion that the Society should make poppies, and the artificial flowers were designed so that someone who had lost the use of a hand could assemble them. With a grant of £2,000, he set up a small factory off the Old Kent Road with five ex-Servicemen. It was here that the first British poppies were made. In it he says: 'I have been given a cheque for £2,000 to make poppies with. It is a large responsibility and will be very difficult. If the experiment is successful it will be the start of an industry to employ 150 men. I do not think it can be a great success, but it is worth trying. I consider the attempt ought to be made if only to give the disabled their chance.’ Within a few months the factory was providing work and an income for 50 disabled veterans. As demand grew, the premises became too small and in 1925, the Factory moved to the current site in Richmond, Surrey. In the same year the charity changed its name to the British Legion Poppy Factory For over 90 years, The Poppy Factory in Richmond, Surrey, has been making poppies, crosses and wreaths for The Royal Family and The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. In recent years, The Poppy Factory has transformed itself into a thoroughly modern charity. As well as providing work for disabled veterans at its HQ in Richmond, The Poppy Factory uses its unique expertise to help its clients find work with many commercial organisations all over the UK. The Poppy Factory has a vision that “no disabled veteran who wants to work should be out of work” and aims to become the recruitment provider of choice for its ex-Forces clients and for employers alike. (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2014

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Join us in our drive to get disabled veterans into meaningful, rewarding and sustainable employment. Having valiantly served their country, we think they deserve it. The Poppy Factory produces poppies, remembrance crosses, sprays and wreaths for The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal. The Poppy Factory is also responsible for planting and hosting The Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey. Photo of RGJ Poppy Wreath sent by Bill Sellick 1RGJ. The Wreath is on the C Wall of the Poppy Factory where he works.

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A Royal Green Jacket 'Get together' in Germany On Saturday 16th August I organised a Royal Green Jacket 'Get together' for all ex RGJ who have settled in Germany. I started organising this back in March as I found out from Facebook that there were quite a few of us over here. On contacting some of the lads they all said it was a good idea to get together in August. So I sent out a flyer just saying save this date and when and where this event would take place. It would be on the 16th August and was to be held at my house here in Celle. We started with a meet and greet and then took the obligatory photographs..

Lunch was provided by my wife, Birgit and my daughter Heidi for all 14 of us with 2 choices of Shepard's pie and a chicken curry which went down a treat. Most of the lads knew each other but hadn't seen their former colleagues for years. Both Tom Williams and Glen Harrison who were boxers settled down in Winsen, near Celle back in the 70's when they left the Army. I live just a 2 minute drive from the old Trenchard Barracks which has now been closed for 2 years. Will we do it again, I hope so, probably the first Saturday in August next year with hopefully more ex-Royal Green Jackets, as sadly, some 11 other lads who said they were coming informed me they couldn't make it. Bob Wright

The QBBC (Green Jacket Band and Bugles) Hello everyone - I wonder if you can help? My name is John Plumridge and I am the Bugle Major of the QBBC (Green Jacket Tribute Band and Bugles). I spent all of my army service in the Light Infantry and before I left in 1992 I was the Senior Bugle Major of the Light Division stationed in Winchester. The QBBC (Green Jacket Band and Bugles) is growing fast and we are desperately trying to get hold of some pieces of old green uniforms that we could tailor to fit s ome of our buglers. If you have any pieces of green uniform gathering moths in your attic and would be happy to let us have them, please give me a ring on E-Zine 2014

07977 904747or e-mail We would also be grateful for any pieces of old Green Jacket uniforms such as cheveronsetc because we are trying to make the band as authentic as possible. The bandmaster is Peter Hosking (ex 1 Royal Green Jackets and Light Infantry) and our next major engagement is at the Berlin Tattoo at the end of October ( If there are any old buglers out there who are looking for a trip out with our bugles at some stage during the next few months, please give me a ring. The majority of the buglers come from the UK and most of the bandsmen come from the Neuss area (Germany). Volume 6 Issue 2 | 29

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The Limbang Rebellion Sabah, December 1962 Approximately two years before the 2nd Bn The Greenjackets got into action in Borneo The Royal Marines were called out to a little known fight in Sabah. A book was published about the action called “The Limbang Rebellion”. The author is a lovely lady call Eileen Chanin. A good read, you can view or buy it on line at Limbang-Rebellion-Seven-Days-December/dp/1783461918. On the 30th June my old mate Kenny Dorsett and I went to my club in St. James’s, London to attend a speech by the author who introduced some of the Marines who were in the action. It was a very interesting evening. I took my copy of the book and she very kindly signed it for me and was interested to learn we were ex-Greenjackets who had served in Borneo. She said she would like to hear more from us. I suggested to her to get in touch and we would tell her of our past and where we had been and try and answer any question she asked etc. I will keep you posted if she does.

Kenny Dorsett was my lead scout in Borneo I think the best in the battalion he should have been an “Iban.” After, Ken and I had a lovely dinner in the club and lots of liquid refreshments. The evening came to an end and we made our way home. The photo show Kenny on the left and me at our table. Johnny Cox Ex-KRRC/2nd Greenjackets.

Glen Sturman 01908 210115 87 Burgess Gardens Green Park Newport Pagnell Bucks MK16 0NU

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The Defence Academy

Strange isn’t it how you can go through the whole of your service life easily using a multitude of acronyms of military words and phrases. You know the sort of thing – GPMG, PRI, RMAS, FRV etc. All of which are shortened to simple letters describe a particular thing, action, or function. Although many are easily understood there are many others which because they are not used so much often take on an air of mystery even though we are aware of them and have a vague idea what they are. One such example is the DA or Defence Academy at Shrivenham. Of course we all knew it existed and was a place of learning of some sort but unless you had been there as a student you didn’t really know what it was or what it did. With this in mind therefore and having a little bit of time on their hands John Harper of the Winchester Branch organised a visit for a number of members and their wives and what a great day it turned out to be. The Shrivenham

staff couldn’t have been more helpful and took them on a full guided tour of all departments including the equipment which they housed. As a consequence more fully operational armoured vehicles and weapons from all over the world were seen by the group than they had previously come across in their military lives. This was followed by a superb lunch in the WO’s & Sgts Mess and a full explanation of what the Defence Academy actually does. For the geeks among us it is: The Defence Academy delivers education and training to military and civilian staff in the Ministry of Defence, industry and other government departments. In other words: Post-graduate education in command, staff, leadership, defence management, acquisition and technology training for members of the UK Armed Forces and MOD Civil Servants. It’s a Technical College!


E-Zine 2014

Soldier Magazine on Line Click Here Volume 6 Issue 2 | 31

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New books On behalf of the authors of Rhodesia Regiment 1899-1981, it gives me great pleasure to present to the Royal Green Jackets Association the gift of a copy of this outstanding publication, one that only yesterday was described by a serving officer in the British Army as “A benchmark for regimental histories”. The Rhodesia Regiment (RR) has always enjoyed a very close bond with what became the Green Jackets, this affiliation originating in 1914 when so many men from the RR volunteered for active service with British Imperial forces, specifically the King’s Royal Rifle Corps which had in its ranks “Rhodesian Platoons”. They were light infantry brothers in arms.

Rhodesia Regiment 1899-1981 As the 19th century and Queen Victoria’s long reign drew to a close, volunteer squadrons of the Rhodesia regiment, recruited by Colonel Baden-Powell, were positioned along the border with Bechuanaland, to defend Rhodesia against Boer aggression. In 1914 Rhodesians again rallied to the Crown with the formation of two battalions of the Rhodesia Regiment to counter the German presence in South West and East Africa. Shortly after, many volunteered to join the Allied forces on the Western Front. During the Second World War the indomitable combat prowess and leadership talents of Rhodesia Regiment volunteers were strongly evident in many theatres, including North Africa, Somaliland, the Middle East, Italy, the Adriatic, Western Europe and South East Asia. In 1947 the Crown bestowed the ultimate accolade,with the title ‘Royal’prefixed to the regiment, in recognition of Rhodesia’s great contribution during two world wars.Through the 1950s and ’60s, the experiences of Rhodesians in successive areas of conflict - Malaya, Suez, Aden and Nyasaland - significantly enhanced aspects of Rhodesia’s territorial army, particularly with regard to counter-insurgency (COIN) warfare. Conscription ensured combat-readiness for the growing number of battalions and independent companies established throughout the country, providing a solid basis for the regiment to play a vital role in countering the ZANLA/ZIPRA guerrilla insurgencies of the 1960s and ’70s. Such is the 81-year-old story of a proud territorial unit,

the Rhodesia Regiment, now written and preserved for posterity, encapsulating the memory of all those who served in the regiment as well as those who laid down their lives for their country, many in foreign lands. Coordinated by Hugh Bomford, this definitive history has, over a period of seven years, been compiled by a core group of dedicated people, with over 400 other contributors. On 5 August 2014, after Her Majesty had confirmed that she would personally like a copy of the book, a delivery was made by co-author Gerry van Tonder in a visit to Buckingham Palace. Her majesty had been Colonel-inChief of the Regiment.

Book Specs: • Hardback, quality paper, embossed dust jacket • 300 x 220mm Portrait dimensions • 614 printed pages (618 total number of pages) • 596 pages x black and white photographs • 8 pages x colour photo sec on • 8 pages x colour map sec on • 56 pages full colour appendices for Honours and Awards; Uniforms, Embellishments and Equipment • Appendices covering Honours & Awards, most with Cita ons; comprehensive Rolls of Honour 1899-1981; Leadership Roll; Intake numbers and dates • 2 pages x p-in page of Her Majesty, Colonel-inChief, Royal Rhodesia Regiment • Over 8,000 individual names of those who served • Illustra ons - over 1,500 photos, maps and drawings • Weight 2.8 kg

To order the book please send the postal address and the name of an addressee to whom the gi may be sent. Gerry van Tonder, Co-author Rhodesia Regiment 1899-1981 47 Hollis Street Alvaston Derby DE24 8QW United Kingdom Tel: 01332 754896 Mobile: 07741456561 32 | Volume 6 Issue 2

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Difficult Days A Riflemans Wartime Memoir 1939 - 1946 In April 1939 my father Michael Hicks, then barely 18 years old, joined his father’s old territorial regiment the London Rifle Brigade. This set in train what was to dominate his life for the next seven years. Although he did not know it then, these seven years were also going to affect him for the rest of his life. By late 1945 with the war over in Europe there was the wait to be demobilised and the uncertainties about the return to civilian life. Physically he survived the war and was demobbed in March 1946 as a Colour Sergeant to resume his pre-war occupation. Yes he had survived the war, but unfortunately not totally unscathed. Nowadays we know this condition as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In the early 1980's, to help deal with the fellings of stress and anxiety he was still experiencing, he started to write about what he had witnessed and been through during the eleven months of fighting in North-West Europe June 1944 - May 1945. Even though he still at times struggled to come to terms with the psychological effect the war had on him, he found the process of writing things down very therapeutic. This is his story. Edited by Graham Hicks. Foreword by Lt Gen Sir Christopher Wallace.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder A message of support from Andrew Cameron Shell Shock or mental illness brought on by the profound mental trauma of war, is very real and extremely debilitating. Today we describe a family of conditions and disorders ranging from severe anxiety and depression to full blown Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is often experienced alongside other illnesses and phobias. As in Michael Hicks' case, those afflicted often do not consider themselves ill and so do not seek professional help. The result can often be a life and family that are blighted by the impact of mental ill-health. Combat Stress was founded in 1919 at the end of WW1, to help ex-Service personnel access the help they urgently require to recover and again live fulfilling lives, free from the worst effects of their traumatic experiences. Today post traumatic disorders are better understood, and Combat Stress is specially commissioned by the NHS to treat some of the most complex cases. E-Zine 2014

Sadly by the time most Veterans find their way to us, the fabric in their lives is seriously compromised. Therefore, we provide a holistic service that helps Veterans through cutting edge therapy and wellbeing support. In this way, not only are the nightmares, guilt and sadness being dealt with, but Veterans can regain their self-confidence and the chance to live a normal life. I am so glad that Graham has published his father's story. There are many more men and women who are living today with similar nightmares from the Falklands war, Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. They need our understanding, help and most of all the mental health services to help them recover their lives. I commend Michael Hicks story to you. Andrew Cameron CEO Combat Stress Volume 6 Issue 2 | 33

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Many of the E-zine readership, like me, will have read Vic Gregg’s book “Rifleman”. In writing a review of the book for the British Army Review in 2010, I went and interviewed Vic Gregg at his house near Winchester. Vic and Bett had just moved out of one of the Rifleman’s Cottages in St Cross and had moved into a small bungalow the other side of town. We had a very good afternoon together and I learned much more about what the man, the Rifleman, had done and what had made him write such an extraordinary book. I wrote up a number of the stories he told me that hadn’t been published and, as I was doing so, realised that, although I had never met him, he was the reason I had joined the Royal Green Jackets. I had joined them for the privilege of serving with, and commanding, the finest fighting men in the world from as much as anywhere else London, Birmingham, Liverpool and other English cities. In Vic’s own words, “Yes, it’s true, we have been known as Green Jackets ever since the Peninsular wars,"those bloody green jackets", but none of us lose any sleep over that.” It was something of which I would always be inordinately proud. I was invited to Vic Gregg’s 95th Birthday Party at the Holiday Inn, Winchester on Saturday 18th October. Vic was actually born 15th October1919, less than a year after the end of WW1. I felt very privileged to be there, the other two Royal Green Jackets there were Ron and Shirley Cassidy and Michael and Penny Carleton-Smith, and it was a first-class evening. There was Champagne, a delicious 34 |Volume 6 Issue 2

meal, an excellent and very professional four piece black-tie band, a lovely lady singer, and excellent company. Fit as a fiddle, Vic had organised everything, the way he always does, with extraordinary care. There were 70 guests, 35 family and 35 other guests whom Vic said had played a part in his life. I sat on a table with two riflemen living in Rifleman’s Cottages, Harry Rawlins and Boggy and Helen Marsh, who were great, two of Vic’s first wife’s younger sisters, Joyce and Kitty, who were absolutely charming, (the original Kings Cross Kids, they remembered Vic as terribly handsome and a real hero, for he married their sister!) and two gentlemen - Frederick Deane and David Jones. Fred Deane had lied his way at the age of 16 into the Army (The Cheshire Regiment) in 1944, but realised there was more to life and joined 10 Para in 1944. He saw the MG platoon of old sweats, and asked to join them and jumped with Vic into Arnhem. On Day 2, he was shot through the left temple; it took out his eye and exited through his right cheek. Thrown by the Germans onto the bonnet of a British jeep, he somehow survived. He lives in Porthmadog, and is now head of the British Society of Portrait Painters. David Jones served in 2PARA 78 –84 and is Fred Deane’s regimental mentor. He was in B Coy, 2 PARA, but in the Falklands was put in the Bn Int Sect: not (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2014

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speaking a word of Spanish, he went and spoke in Welsh to the Argentinian prisoners in the sheep sheds in Goose Green and found 2 from Patagonia with whom he could speak and from whom he gained much valuable information! A very good speech was given by a German lady who represented the Dresden Memorial Society who was full of praise for Vic and for what he had done. Vic, had, apparently, given a brilliant speech to the Dresdeners by which they were very moved. General Sir Mike Carleton-Smith raised the toast on all our behalf. I had an interesting conversation with Rick Stroud, “Rifleman”’s co-author for I was ghost writing a book at the time. He was another good man.Rick was given his instruction by Bloomsbury, "cut that 130,000 words down to 80,000 and correct all Vic Gregg’s awful grammar.” Vic allowed him to correct the grammar but jibbed at the extent of the cut and the work ended up with 90,000 words. Rick’s input proved invaluable, and the two men got along famously. Rick was ultimately rewarded by being made an honorary member of the Rifle Brigade Association.

Bloomsbury have indicated that they are going to make Vic an offer for the third book of the trilogy:it will cover his life after he was demobbed. These were the years when his mind had been twisted by war and, particularly, by what he had seen and experienced during the bombing of Dresden. Vic knew he was living like a time bomb waiting for its final explosion. Vic openly admits it took Bett’s careful nursing and understanding and forty years of convalescence to allow him to become what he is today. Rick Stroud and Vic are going to co-operate on a book devoted about 2RB’s battle at Snipe Ridge, the turning point during the battle of El Alamein. “After all,” Vic says “I was there; a fly on the wall.” The evening will remain a very important part of my best memories of the Green Jackets. I had been to General Richards’ book launch (“Taking Command”, Headline Press) the previous week in London where David Richards told us he had originally wanted to call the book “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants”. That’s how I felt the night I met and dined with Vic and his friends. Giants.

Tiny Adams (ex 2RGJ) meets Sir Stirling Moss

On Saturday the 13th September at Goodwood Race Day Tiny Adams (ex 2RGJ) gets a few tips from Sir Stirling Moss on how to get around the M25 faster! E-Zine 2014

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OLD CAMP ROAD, NETTLEBED, OXFORDSHIRE A TRIBUTE TO OUR LOCAL MEN WHO SERVED IN THE OXFORDSHIRE AND BUCKINGHAMSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY REGIMENT Walking through the beautiful woods on Nettlebed Commons today it is difficult to visualise how this countryside looked some seventy years ago. In 1943-44 the whole of southern England was involved in the military preparations for the Second Front and the invasion of continental Europe which took place in June 1944. For months the residents of Nettlebed had seen camps being rapidly constructed to accommodate the troops of many allied nations preparing for the assault on the beaches of Normandy. Some quarter of a million men and women arrived with tanks, trucks and ambulances which were kept hidden under the dense canopy of the beech woods. Camp sites were built between Nettlebed and Peppard which included dormitory blocks, officers’

Ox & Bucks included many local men who defeated the Prussians at Nonne Boschen in 1914 during the Ba le for Ypres.

messes, kitchens, mess halls, engineering workshops, a medical centre and cinemas to entertain the

troops. The United States Corps of Engineers built sewerage and water treatment plants, one of which remains and is used by Nettlebed village today. One of the encampments was close to the centre of the village and the service road built by army engineers is known locally as ‘Old Camp Road’. It has never been officially named as such but at the request of the Parish Council, South Oxfordshire District Council has agreed to formally name the road off the A4130, at a time when the nation is due next year to remember both the start of the First World War in 1914 and D-Day in 1944. The name plate incorporates the regimental badge of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry - the famous Ox & Bucks, in which many of the local Nettlebed men served and gave their lives. The Ox & Bucks has a long history having been formed as the 43rd & the 52nd (Oxfordshire) Regiments of Foot in 1741 and 1755. They fought at the battle of Waterloo in 1815, forming part of the final charge

Pegasus Bridge captured by The Ox & Bucks Light Infantry in June 1944. A Bri sh Horsa glidercan be seen in the field on the far bank of the canal. 36 |Volume 6 Issue 2

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against Napoleon’s Imperial Guard. In 1881 the two separate regiments combined and became the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the Cardwell Reforms. Although belonging to this one new regiment, the 43rd was the First Battalion and the 52nd was the Second Battalion. This arrangement lasted until the Regiment was reduced to one (regular) battalion in 1948. The regiment served in India and fought in the South African Boer War. In the Great War of 1914-18 it fought on the Western front and in Italy, Macedonia and Mesopotamia. Between the two World Wars the Ox & Bucks assisted the White Russians in their fight against the Bolsheviks and also the British Police in Ireland against the IRA/Sin Fein. During the Second World War the Regiment saw service in France, North Africa, Burma, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. They defended the withdrawal of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in 1940, when many Nettlebed men lost their lives or

The Ox and Bucks pictured in front of Henley Town Hall in 1939.

were captured. In June 1944 the Ox & Bucks l ended on the D-Day beaches and, as part of the 6th Airborne Division, captured the two vital bridges over the River Orme and Caen Canal in Normandy, under the command of Major John Howard DSO. The successful operation is commemorated today with the Caen Canal crossing named ‘Pegasus Bridge’ – the mythical winged horse Pegasus being the emblem of the World War Two British Airborne

Forces. This daring action was featured in the 1962 film “The Longest Day”. In 1958 the Regiment formed part of the new Green Jackets Brigade and then the Royal Green Jackets Regiment in 1966. In 2007, following further Army reorganisations, the combined Regiments became The Rifles. Malcolm D.Lewis Nettlebed

Off to war – the Ba alion marches through Henley before leaving for France in 1939. E-Zine 2014

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THE LOST SOUL OF PEGASUS BRIDGE by Roy Bailey IT WAS DESCRIBED by the Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force as ‘one of the most outstanding flying achievements of the war’. Just after midnight on 6th June 1944 three Horsa gliders, piloted by NCOs of the Glider Pilot Regiment and each containing 30 men of ‘D’ Company, 2nd Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and some Royal Engineers, crashlanded in a narrow field close to the bridge over the Caen Canal at Bénouville and captured it within a few minutes. Nearby a similar action was taking place to capture the Orne Bridge, which was also successful.

John Ainsworth, made a good landing at 0016 hours just a few yards from the bridge. Even so, the two pilots were flung through the windscreen by the impact and knocked unconscious, and several of the soldiers, including CO Major John Howard, were stunned for a few seconds. (Glider troops say that any landing you can walk away from is a good one!)

They were the first troops to go into action on D-Day, and the first to suffer any fatal casualties. Two of the party were killed in the first few minutes of the operation; Lieutenant Den Brotheridge was shot and mortally wounded leading his men across the bridge, and Lance Corporal Fred Greenhalgh was reportedly thrown from his glider as it landed and drowned in a nearby pond. Since then, every year, Den Brotheridge has been honoured by a ceremony; either at the churchyard in the nearby village of Ranville where he is buried or in the grounds of the Musée Mémorial Pegasus, where there is a monument in his memory. This is as it should be; Brotheridge was one of the most popu-lar and respected officers in ‘D’ Company and was a brave man who died at the head of his platoon. It would be shameful if his memory was not revered. But what of Fred Greenhalgh? His is probably one of the saddest stories of D-Day, and deserves to be better known. He was born on 12th July 1914, the son of Sam and Lily Greenhalgh of Bury, Lancashire, and was 29 at the time of his death - somewhat older than the rest of the Company. He originally enlisted into the Lancashire Fusiliers, then transferred into the Royal Welch Fusiliers before joining the Oxford and Bucks on 27th July 1942. He is therefore likely to have taken part in the famous march from Ilfracombe back to Bulford in August of that year. On the D-Day coup de main operation he was a Bren gunner of Lt Richard ‘Sandy’ Smith’s platoon in number 3 glider, which was piloted by S/Sgts Geoff Barkway and Peter Boyle. If you visit Pegasus Bridge, as the canal bridge has been known ever since, you will see three stelae or plinths on the Landing Zone beside the bridge, marking the points where each glider finished up. At first glance you might imagine that they indicate gliders 1, 2 and 3 in that order, and for many years this belief prevailed in some quarters. In his famous book Pegasus Bridge, American author Stephen E. Ambrose made this assumption, but it is not so. Glider no. 1, piloted by S/Sgts Jim Wallwork and 38 |Volume 6 Issue 2

The three gliders photographed later on D-Day

Less than a minute later glider no. 2, piloted by S/ Sgts Oliver Boland and Philip Hobbs, touched down equally successfully about 75 yards behind Wallwork’s. (Some of the accounts give a much shorter distance, but the evidence shows otherwise.) One must assume that the plinths indicate the final position of the cockpit of each machine, and the transparent overlay of the Google Earth image lines up fairly accurately with the famous aerial photograph taken later that day. A military tactician looking at these pictures might wonder why Boland didn’t land closer to Wallwork’s glider, but in a later edition of Pegasus Bridge, Ambrose supplies one explanation. He states that on the 40th anniversary the three glider (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2014

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pilots were reunited for the first time since D-Day, and John Howard described their discovery: ‘It soon became clear from the exchange of views between Boland (pilot of #2) and Barkway (pilot of #3), plus what Howard had gleaned over the years from surviving passengers in the two gliders, that just before landing, Boland had seen Barkway’s glider bearing down on him from behind, causing Boland to swerve right, while Barkway seeing Boland’s glider in front of him had to swerve left and then right, turning ninety degrees and finishing up with the glider broke in half and his cockpit in the pond.’ As a result of this testimony John Howard had the bronze plaques marking the positions of numbers 2 and 3 gliders switched around. Jim Wallwork’s account, published on the website, is somewhat different. “One minute after Glider No. 1 landed, Glider No. 2 was down. I dropped to the ground with an almighty crash," said pilot Oliver Boland, "and we crashed along and managed to stop.” ‘Directly behind No. 2 came No. 3, which initially touched down behind Glider No. 2 but then shot into the air and sailed over No. 2, crash-landing between it and Glider No. 1. Number 3 broke in half upon the second impact and hurled L/Cpl Fred Greenhalgh into a pond, pinning him there until he drowned. Had the glider not become airborne after its first impact, it would have crashed into the rear of glider No. 2, and two-thirds of Howard’s force might have been wiped out upon landing.’ All such accounts must vary because of the circumstances and the passage of time, but the aerial photograph suggests that John Howard’s account is the most likely. All the gliders appear to have bounced to a greater or lesser degree, and no. 3 more than the others, but it is unlikely that it actually bounced over no. 2. No.1 came down on hard ground, as there are reports of sparks caused by the metal skids striking flints. The ground towards the pond where no. 3 landed was marshy, and the sudden deceleration caused by it hitting the water may have contributed to it breaking up. The (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2014

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white mark leading up to it on the aerial photograph suggests that it skidded along the ground for some distance. As Howard’s account states, it certainly swerved sharply to starboard and broke up, with the wing and front part of the fuselage pointing more that 90 degrees to the right of the original approach path and the rear part of the fuselage lying parallel to the wing. (If the orientation of the sloping front of each plinth is meant to indicate the direction in which each glider finished up, then no. 3 is 180 degrees out.) The photographs show the other two aircraft looking relatively undamaged by comparison – emphasis on ‘relatively’! The occupants of no. 3 were lucky to survive – Smith and Dr John Vaughan shot straight out through the cockpit; Smith was stunned but the Doc was unconscious for the best part of an hour. Smith later told Howard, ‘that they had quite a few casualties in landing, but his boys were all right.’ He didn’t know about Fred Greenhalgh. Although some accounts state that he was thrown into the pond, it is possible that Greenhalgh was trapped in the wreckage. Boyle, co-pilot of glider no. 3, later stated, “I moved round the wreckage, and I can remember seeing a body across the undercart. There was a chap there and I put my hand on him and he was just hanging there.” Dr Vaughan also said, “I remember next finding myself back at the glider trying to get a man out. He was, however, hopelessly tangled up in the wreckage and after giving him a shot of morphia from a syrette, I attempted to reassure him by promising to go and find a stretcher-bearer.” If this was some occupant other than Greenhalgh, he obviously survived.

View of the badly-damaged glider no. 3

Either way, it was the most tragic of accidents. Horsas are made almost entirely of wood, but there are 40 |Volume 6 Issue 2

parts that are harder than others, and Greenhalgh must have struck some substantial part as he was thrown out. Had he been rendered unconscious and landed on dry ground, like Dr Vaughan, he would likely have recovered and played his part in the operation. Had he landed in the water while conscious, as the two pilots of his glider did, he would also have been able to carry on. If he was trapped in the wreckage in water, as Denis Edwards of no. 1 glider heard the next morning, then that would have been fatal. It is unlikely that the exact circumstances of his death will ever be known. With D-Day over the men of ‘D’ Company moved eastwards, to fight and die in battles in Ranville, Hérouvillette, Escoville and beyond, until by September there were only 40 of the original 180 left. The wrecked gliders were eventually cleared away, and the local people began to rebuild their homes and their lives. But the amazing exploit of capturing the two bridges was remembered and visits to the site, especially by former and current members of the Oxford and Bucks, must have begun soon after the end of the war. One such visitor was Derek Hawker. Derek joined the Regiment from Sandhurst in 1951 and served in Cyprus, Egypt and Germany; finally becoming Adjutant at the Depot. Because of an accident with a PIAT in Egypt he suffered blast deafness and was downgraded, so in 1958 he transferred to the Intelligence Corps, eventually rising to the rank of Colonel. Sitting on a bench in the grounds of the Musée Mémorial Pegasus on the morning of 6th June this year, he told me a fascinating story. “In those days it was possible for members of the Intelligence Corps to go to Staff College, but you had to get a competitive vacancy, which I did, and went there in 1961. In my syndicate was James Simmons, who had passed out of Sandhurst into the Regiment with me. In summer of that year we went on a Staff College Battlefield Tour of Normandy together. One of our guest speakers was John Howard, who took us to the glider landing zone, which at that time was not marked out in any way, and he had to point out where the gliders had landed. The position of the one that broke up was fairly vague. “The ground was very marshy, although it is much developed now. In a pause in the proceedings I thought I would go and search out where the broken glider had landed, because I thought there might be debris about. I was interested because my father (To be con nued on next page) E-Zine 2014

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had made Horsa gliders and I thought I would have a souvenir, so I went over to where I reckoned the site was. Mind you, it was underwater and full of reeds, a pretty mucky job; but to my amazement I saw, poking about an inch out of the water amongst some reeds, a bit of metal. I looked a little closer and I thought ‘I know what that is’ and it was the tip of the inverted bipod of a Bren gun. Luckily I had my shooting stick with me and I used is as a scoop to dig this thing out. This proved to be an LMG with a fully loaded magazine in place but no barrel, though the barrel locking lever was down. I found that slightly odd, but at that time I wasn’t aware of the story of the Lance Corporal, the first to die, who was drowned, but the location was consistent with that. So it was lucky we had two Regimental officers on hand. James Simmons was right nearby, so I called him over. We thought this would be just right for the Museum and washed it. First we took it to John Howard and said, We think you lost this.” He said, “Ah, yes, thanks very much. That’s still on my G1098 charge and the buggers might charge me for it so I’m glad to have it back.” I left it with James to take to the Regimental Museum in Oxford - how it arrived at Pegasus Bridge Memorial Museum I do not know. It is nice to see it here, reconnected, particularly when we remember L/Cpl Greenhalgh whose personal weapon it was. I discussed it later with David Wood and with John Howard and James Simmons and we all thought that it almost certainly was his personal weapon.’

As Derek says, the Landing Zone is now landscaped and much drier, and the boundary of the pond has receded, but there must be many artefacts there which would repay excavation. As well as the barrel of Greenhalgh’s Bren, there is probably Sandy Smith’s Sten, which he reported losing when he was thrown from the glider. The rusty Bren with its magazine is in the Musée Mémorial Pegasus, where I photographed Derek Hawker with it, but what of the unfortunate owner? Greenhalgh was not buried with the rest of his comrades in any of the villages near the Bridge. Initially he was interred just across the road from the crashed gliders, together with three Commandos of Lord Lovat’s Special Service Brigade who had been killed relieving Howard’s men. His death was erroneously recorded on the official roll as having occurred on 7th June.

We discussed how Fred Greenhalgh might have been rendered so unconscious that landing in the water did not revive him. “Well, I don’t know how he exited, but I imagine the shock of the impact threw him out of the glider, concussed, as was John Howard, though he landed fairly well. And something really serious happened to the Bren gun, because you don’t get a barrel off a Bren gun easily. You wouldn’t go into action without the barrel, and as the locking clip was down the barrel must have smashed and smashed again to re-engage the locking lever, so I’m a bit puzzled by that. So that barrel must still be down there, with other stuff.”

The temporary graves of Fred Greenhalgh and the three Commandos opposite the Landing Zone - s lls from a newsreel film shot on 27 July 1944.

After the war all four were re-buried side by side in La Delivrande War Cemetery at Douvres, a town a few miles north-west of Bénouville, where the date of Greenhalgh’s death is correctly recorded. In April this year, conscious that those of us who were intending to travel to Normandy in June were getting nowhere in the matter of passes, I wrote a letter to The Daily Telegraph, pointing out that the lack of such documents would stop Margaret Brotheridge and the rest of us from visiting her father’s grave in Ranville churchyard on the anniversary of his death. A response came from another old comrade, pointing out that Fred Greenhalgh had also died that day but that his sacrifice had been largely ignored. I discussed this with fellow Lightbob Geoff Day, who was also intending to attend the 70th Anniversary commemorations, and he agreed that we should do something. So on 8th June, after we had checked out of our accommodation at Bénouville, we drove with our

Derek Hawker inspec ng the Bren gun in the Museum. E-Zine 2014

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(Con nued from previous page)

partners to La Delivrande cemetery to pay our respects. The cemetery is not a large one; it contains the graves of 942 Commonwealth servicemen mostly from the landings on Sword beach, but also some brought in later from the battlefields between the coast and Caen, which explains Greenhalgh’s presence. His grave is number V.C.4, just inside the entrance on the left. Geoff and I each laid a small wooden cross bearing a red poppy on the grave and had some photographs taken. By chance, some veterans from the Royal Ulster Rifles were holding a small ceremony at the Cross of Sacrifice, which included the lament for the dead of another battle - The Flowers of The Forest. We were invited to join them, and as we listened to the mournful sound of the pipes we were glad that we had rectified an omission that had gone on for far too long.

Geoff Day and Roy Bailey at Fred Greenhalgh’s grave at La Delivrande.

We hope that future visitors to commemorations at Pegasus Bridge will make the short journey to Douvres and honour the Regiment’s neglected D-Day casualty – Lance Corporal Fred Greenhalgh. He deserves it. Copyright 2014 © Roy Bailey

On Thursday 5 June 2014 the following events took place to mark the landings of the gliders at Pegasus Bridge in the Normandy region, France. • • •

Pegasus Bridge and the Pegasus Bridge Museum commemorated the landings by 6th Airborne Division troops on the night of 5/6 June 1944.. Laying of wreaths at the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry Memorial and at a statue of Brigadier James Hill, commander of 3rd Parachute Brigade. A midnight vigil was held to mark the moment gliders landed to capture Pegasus Bridge. 42 |Volume 6 Issue 2

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In Memoriam 2013 Capt AD Hurst-Brown 2014 Maj-Gen David Alexander-Sinclair Capt Anthony Crassweller RB 1 March 2014 Rfn John Lotts David L Archer Dave Carter Cpl Michael (Paddy) Joseph Landers C/Sgt M Roe MM Sgt Frank Murphy Bandsman Robert Charles Nicholas Williams Maj GN Bell MC Capt RJ Gould Cpl Bruce Kimberlin Dominic ‘Digger’ Dunne Robert High JF Bond Cpl Tony Wakeford Eric Squibb Col GE Sparrow MC,TD, DL Sgt Harry Baker Cpl Michael Kelly Brian Cooper Stephen ‘Deano’ Dean Johnny Johnson Maj Henry Robert Mansel PORTER MBE Frederick G Smith Maj JJ Clarke (Tim) Cpl John D Stanton Bugler BJ (Barry) Moxham Capt Sir Jocelyn Stevens Capt Sir John Hoskyns



Sept 7 1 17 14

Feb March March Apr

22 6 8 3 17 17 18

April May May June June June June

1 2 2 16 20 24

July July July July July July

16 16 20 29 2

Aug Aug Aug Aug Sept

10 Sept 8 Oct 20 Oct

Rest in Peace 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.” E-Zine 2014

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44 | Volume 6 Issue 2

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