The CWGC have changed the date of the funerals to 3rd September Kevin Heselwood is going on a coach trip see below Kevin is hoping enough of us will go on the tour and get them to change it so they can attend the funerals or by missing the tour for that day, the funeral will take place about 8 km from the New Astoria hotel.
The temporary Editorial team apologises
for the lateness of this edition of your newsletter but since the
last edition (60) of the Fusiliers' Association Lancashire Newsletter
a lot of things have happened.
new Chairman is Colonel (Retd) Ian A Brazier. He was commissioned
into the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, in June 1975
as they prepared to move to Paderborn. He remained with 2RRF in Germany
and in various tours of Ireland, including the residential tour at
Palace Barracks. He served as a Platoon Commander and Company Second
in Command in A Company for 4 years and was appointed Adjutant in
Hemer, remaining in post until Berlin, where he commanded B Company.
Mick Moran enlisted into the Lancashire Fusiliers
as a boy drummer in Manchester on 4 May 1965. Following completion
of his boy service he was posted to 1LF at Weeton Camp in July 1967,
just prior to the Bn departing on posting to Hong Kong. Following
the amalgamations in 1968, and culminating with the disbandment of
4 RRF in 1969, he was posted to 2RRF in Watchet and remained with
them until his discharge in 1976.
2RRF Commanding Officer Lt Col M R Butterwick
Full Report and photos
To Fusiliers around the world
I would like to thank all Fusiliers for the continuing
support in trying to save 2RRF from disbandment. Be of no doubt that
your actions and commitment have been crucial in ensuring that from
the Prime Minister downward you have kept this issue in the mind of
our politicians and the general public.
Full details on save 2RRF
THE XX LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS' WEBSITE
Just a quick note to all fellow Fusiliers and best
wishes to you all for 2013.
Greetings to all members. We have had another very
busy year, which always seems to start and end with the Branch Christmas
Dinner at the Britannia Hotel in Stockport. This is a well organised
function which brings back together ex Fusiliers and families for
a good social evening and reunion. It is always advisable to book
early with Ron Owen, as the first 200 is more manageable, and we often
have to turn people away as we have too many interested people. To
avoid disappointment, do book early as you can be assured of a right
ONCE A FUSILIER ALWAYS A FUSILIER Oldham Committee
NORTHERN IRELAND BRANCH
We are still a small Branch, but continue to hold
monthly meetings on the first Friday of every month.
Peter Flannery JP Chairman
Our membership has improved this year by adding
5 new members to the fold, but we also have 3 others who are regrettably
in poor health, so it is soldier on and strive for the best.
SHINY D COMPANY
The Branch is doing all right, with members still
numbering about 20. We did get around a bit more than usual this half
year and Stan and myself went to the AGM of HMS Euryalus Association.
The idea was to try to persuade them not to close the Association
down, but wait until the Gallipoli Centenary in 2015 - unfortunately
we failed. The Chairman had finished and Janet who was the Secretary
could no longer carry on due to family commitments. The welcome we
got from the Euryalus was overwhelming. We had not met any of them
before but we were treated as long lost pals. At the end of the meeting
they thanked Stan and I for out attendance and asked if we would take
their Standard and keep it safe until they needed it to be handed
over to the museum at a later date. This was indeed an honour and
privilege, and it was with great pride that we carried it to the car.
We still have it safe and unfurled. Thank you Euryalus for the trust.
One of our members asked for help from the Fusiliers'
Aid Society. When this Society was just the LF one, the applicant
would go to RHQ on Bolton Rd., and see one of the retired ex LF officers,
who would know him or of him, listen to the problem, and may even
visit him. The answer would be given within a week. Now it is the
Fusiliers' Aid Society, the format is: apply to RHQ Lancashire, who
will refer you to the Tower, and then they will refer you to SSAFA
or RBL. They will send out 'trained assessors' to see if you qualify,
and your application is then sent back to the Tower. You then get
your answer, and we have estimated that the total time taken would
be well over a month, and what do you need 'trained assessors' for
when the couple in question are over 75, have handicap badges and
can hardly get up the stairs? The problem was solved without the Aid
Society within a week. Shiny D members were incandescent with anger
and said the only Fusilier collection they would donate to in future
is one for their own Branch. As one very senior person said to me
some months ago, the Tower are very approachable and accommodating
unless it's for money - I believe him. We have now started up our
own fund and have about £500 in it at present.
9273 L/Sgt. Joseph Marsden 1/6th Battn. Lancashire
THE BELGIUM BASH
SALFORD AND THE FUSILIERS
FUSILIER ASSOCIATION FAMILIES - FAST RESPONSE TO
Sayings in the press during our stay.
OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH THEIR FAMILIES
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
FUSILIERS' NEWSLETTER EDITION 60
Fusiliers' Association (Lancashire)
Since the last edition (59) of the Fusiliers' Association
Lancashire Newsletter much has been achieved by Association members.
Great credit is extended to all the Association team in their magnificent
efforts over the Gallipoli commemoration and St George's Celebration
Dinner and Ball as well as the Parade on Sunday. I note that the Dinner
in Radcliffe was excellent and equally so Dinners in Bury Museum and
the Castle Armoury. The Gallipoli Parade on Sunday was superb and
comments by all who attended considered it one of the best for many
years. The presence of the Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton)
Regiment from Brampton, Ontario further enhanced the considerable
local turnout. An excellent weekend all round with warm comments received
from all corners of the local community, Mayors, dignitaries and local
L Ingham BEM Major (Retd) Chairman
Steven Fitt Association Secretary
FUTURE OF THE REGIMENT
CHANGE OF COLONEL OF THE REGIMENT
Commander 7 Armoured Brigade Visit
All Ranks Briefing and Tactical Commander's Course
Regimental Recruiting Area
The 'Shouting Fusilier'
Re-dedication June 2012
The Great War
The Second World War
Freedom of Salford
The Booth Charity
Sacred Trinity Church
Revival of Thiepval Day?
Salford Pals' Temporary Exhibition
Mike Glover Curator Fusilier Collections
Meetings - 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs
Christmas Celebrations 10 December 2011
M62 Memorial Service, 5 February 2012
Ladies' Night, 11 February 2012
March is a quiet month down here in Rochdale, and, like the rest of the Association, our minds turn to the Gallipoli/St George's Weekend in April and the Vets Night in June.
John Rodgers Snr - 16 April 1925-6 April 2012
Gallipoli/St George's Weekend 21/22 April 2012
The next event on our agenda here in Rochdale was our Vets Night which was held at the Royal Toby Hotel in Rochdale on Friday 22 June 2012 - another good night out.
Elwin Pickup Chairman
DROYLSDEN BRANCH NOTES
Omnia Audax Peter Flannery Chairman
SHINY D COMPANY
The membership of the Branch is static at just
under 20 and we get about 10 at meetings. Even though we are in touch
with ex members of the company, we are unable to get them involved
- why we do not know.
OMNIA AUDAX Colin Fletcher Secretary
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Sun 5 Minden Day Drum Head Service, in Gallipoli
Gardens, Bury 1200 hrs
Sun 11 Remembrance Sunday. Meet Bury Town Hall
THE FUSILIERS' ASSOCIATION
Since the last issue to you in July, the Association
has continued to be very busy. The Osnabruck Reunion in February 2011
went well, although a little down on numbers, but taking into account
that the weather was appalling it was still a great effort for you
all to get there - well done to Shiny D and the Liverpool Branch,
full houses all around. The service at Hartshead Services in February
was well attended by the Rochdale Branch and thanks to Mr Alan Noble
for his entire organisation, it is so important that we do not forget
these Regimental Family members.
May I also congratulate the four worthy members
of the Association Lancashire on the respective awards of the Regimental
Certificates and Medals for their continued hard work within the Association
and keeping Lancashire on top of the pile. You will find their names
on the website for you to view.
John O'Grady Chairman
Honorary Secretary's Report
The last 6 months have been very busy on the admin
side, sending out letters to members who have not kept their membership
up-to-date. I wish to pass on my thanks to Ron Owen for the work he
does as Data Co-ordinator and Tony Harrop for his work on the fundraising
side. I was disappointed with the response from local branches with
the bucket collections that were organised last year as it was left
to the select few to do, so thanks to Shiny D, Tony Alderton and Kevin
Hesslewood for their help.
Steven Fitt Association Secretary
GREEN FINGERED FUSILIERS
Wellington Barracks Memorial Garden
M J GLOVER Lt Col (Retd) Regimental Secretary Lancashire
Memorial at the National Arboretum
Road Safety Campaign
Ex STRIKE HACKLE
Meetings - 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs
We started the year off with a St George's Day
Event, which turned into a very late night!! Our next outing was the
Veterans' Day Parade, a good turnout but a very wet day. Following
that in August the lads went out for a meal and back to the Club for
Meetings - 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs
First of all I would like to inform all readers
of our Newsletter that, due to circumstances beyond our control, we
had to find another venue to hold our meetings, the address for which
is shown above.
The 11.11.11. was of double significance for the Members of the Liverpool Branch. As well as turning out for Armistice Day we also attended the blessing of our memorial stone which was paid for by our own donations.
The Mayor of Liverpool, who was accompanied by
the Padre, gave a short speech after the blessing. The monument was
only made possible by the outstanding work of Frank Dunphy and Nick
One sad part of the day was the news that Dave Coulter will be standing down as our Chairman. On behalf of all our members I would like to thank Dave for all the hard work he has put in over the last 15 to 20 years, maybe more.
Finally I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new chairman Frank Dunphy.
Stand by your beds
K Stones Liverpool Branch
Meetings - 1st Mon in the month 2000 hrs
The Branch has just completed their Christmas Dinner
at Stockport on the 3 December which was a great Fusilier event. We
would like to thank all who attended, and if you wish to go next year,
do get your names in early.
Meetings - 1st Mon in the month 2000 hrs
First on the agenda this year was a Sunday afternoon
fundraiser which included a quiz, live entertainment, raffle and the
lively auction of a signed Manchester United shirt - the auction taking
place at half time during a United match.
MEMORIES OF 5LF/5RRF
About 40 years ago D Coy was going to Libya for
a two week exercise in the desert. Colonel Gadfly the leader of Libya
said that the Premier Infantry Company in the World was not welcome.
He offended D Coy and a lot of nasty things were said about him. Due
to his bad manners we had to go as guests of the 3rd Btn on the Rock,
so instead of sand flies, sandstorms, scorpions, snakes etc. we had
to endure sunbathing, swimming, drinks in Irishtown and meals at the
Cabin - it's difficult to have an exercise on the Rock due to its
Meetings - 1st Tues in the month at 2000 hrs,
Membership is staying at a steady 20. We have had
one new member recently, Lt Col Mike Glover. Welcome Mike and just
to let you know that at your first meeting in the Joiners, it's drinks
all round - on you, of course. Since being a member of Shiny D, Mike
has been promoted to Colonel - congratulations and well done. It just
goes to show that when you join Shiny D the only way is UP.
OMNIA AUDAX COLIN FLETCHER
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
ITEMS OF INTEREST
Another member of 1LF remembers the voyage to Cyprus
Joined the Lancashire Fusilier Regiment in 1938
and served for a total of 12 years. He was in India for 6½
years and then went in to Burma as a Chindit until 1943. Douglas was
evacuated from a village on a light plane called L5. Its pilot was
the film star Jackie Coogan, famous for being Uncle Fester in the
Thanks to Joan Wild who sent this to us
John (Sean) Brennan
OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH THEIR
FAMILIES - WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
THE FUSILIERS' ASSOCIATION
Shooting Competition Warwickshire
John O'Grady Chairman
HONORARY SECRETARY'S REPORT
Once again another 6 months have gone by, and many
thanks to those who turned up for Gallipoli Sunday. Although I think
numbers were down a little this year, it is good to see ex RRF personnel
on parade. The dinner on Saturday was another success but it would
be nice to see a few more branch members attending. Spud Taylor (Bury
Branch) managed to get over 70 people there - thanks Spud. It was
nice to see, for the first time, members from the Fusilier Machine
Gun Platoon in Bury.
Steven Fitt Association Secretary
FUSILIER MUSEUM LANCASHIRE
Assistant Regimental Secretary
Commissioning of HMS DIAMOND
FUSILIER GATHERING 2011
Commemoration of D Day
Ex PASHTUN DAGGER (3 Cdo & 7 Armd Bde FTX for
Visit of Duke of Kent, the Colonel in Chief
Change of Commanding Officer and St George's Day
Exercise ACTIVE RHINO
I R Liles OBE Brigadier (Retd) Regimental Secretary
Meetings - 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs
After a good Christmas and New Year we started with a 'Talk on the Fusiliers' in Ireland' by Steve Humphries. It proved to be a most interesting night and was well supported.
We then had our AGM in March, followed by our St George's/Gallipoli celebrations, which were well attended and proved yet again to be a most successful evening and which turned into a late night.
In June will be the Veteran's Day Parade in Bangor,
and we hope to have a night out for Minden. We look forward to the
rest of the year, although membership may still be small, we have
a good time and support one another. This concludes our notes for
the first half of the year 2011.
In the late 60s some bright spark had the idea
of D Coy wearing with combat kit a blue cravat. The combat kit of
that time was not DP, it was the old grey green stuff. The CSgt has
a sample of the cravat which he duly shows to the men. The company
would be expected to buy them next week at the cost of ten shillings
each. This amount was more than we got for a drill night, so the lads
thought it was not a very good idea.
(This article should have been included in January's Newletter but has only just made it!)
Four members of Shiny D decided to have a look
at Altcar Ranges to see if they had changed and have a beer and sandwich
at the Club. We could not get in, security
OPERATION OVERLORD + 67 YEARS
The original idea was to go to the Gathering in
Germany but it was deemed too far to travel in a coach. I was tasked
to find 'somewhere nice' for Shiny D to go. The Association Website
came to my rescue. A small article headed Normandy Vacations was opened,
and low and behold the answer to all my problems - a rentable property
with sleeping accommodation for up to ten at Carentan on the Cherbourg
peninsular, about 25 miles from the port.
MEMORIES OF A NATIONAL SERVICE SECOND LIEUTENANT
It was June 1957; I had just passed out from Eaton
Hall Officer Cadet School and was honoured to be offered a Commission
with the Lancashire Fusiliers. I reported to the depot at Bury, along
with fellow Second Lieutenants Andrew Brown and Konrad Schieman.
Second Lieutenant Mills
THE MONDEMENT PILGRIMAGE
Richard Adams email@example.com
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Fri 11 Remembrance weekend
A Soldier isn't a title any man can be hired to
If you are a civilian - I am saying this to you
This poem was read out at the funeral of Eric Jordan as an Epitaph. It was an excellent tribute to the men who served then, and who are still carrying out duties on behalf of us all.
A TRIBUTE TO FRED LEONARD
Our Pal Fred
By Steve McNally -
ITEMS OF INTEREST
It is that time of year once again where we all
sit and think and ask where has that year gone? Time seems to go more
quickly as we advance in years. However it has been a very busy 2010
for the Association Lancashire with many events taking place. The
closing of the Regimental Club, Gallipoli Weekend in our new location
at Bury Football Club, the Gallipoli Dinner evening at the Radcliffe
Civic Centre, the Association Visit to the National Arboretum in Staffordshire
resulting in a plan being put forward and being accepted by the Council
of Colonels to replace the existing one that has been there for many
years, the very pleasant Minden Dinner organised by Joe Eastwood at
the Museum and Minden Day at the Museum Memorial in Bury, the Fusiliers
reunion in Manchester, and the two very successful Dinner evenings
one at the Drill Hall in Bury, the Oldhams Branch Christmas
Dinner at the Britannia Hotel Stockport, and the Associations
Childrens Christmas Party at the Museum and Christmas Dinner
also at the Museum.
The Bury Lions Carnival took place in Aug. This is an annual event and includes the biggest non military parade to take place in Bury. It is very much a fund raising affair and the Regiment in Lancashire assists where it can. The Fusilier Band and Corps of Drums took a prominent part in the parade, while the Careers Office through the 1st Battalion provided a Panther Command and Liaison Vehicle. The Museum was not left out and ran childrens workshops. The Carnival raised a considerable amount of money which the Lions traditionally recycle into local worthy causes. This year at a special event in the Town Hall, the Mayor Councillor John Byrne presented cheques to the Fusilier Band and to service charities.
The Area Sec was recently invited to attend a ceremony at the Willow Grove Cemetery in Reddish near Stockport south of Manchester. The cemetery had benefited from a Community Spaces Grant which had enabled the Friends of the Cemetery to complete some much need renovation work. The cemetery is also the last resting place of Sgt Lister VC one of the 18 awarded to the Lancashire Fusiliers in the First World War. To assist the Friends the Museum provided information and images that were used in an interpretation board installed by his grave. We often take the Regimental VCs for granted so just as a reminder Sgt Listers citation is as follows:
No 8133, Sergeant Joseph Lister 1st Battalion The
The Gallipoli Room at the Lancashire Headquarters is now being used on a regular basis for attestations. The room provides a suitable environment for this important occasion and although it is probably lost on the recruits attempting to recite the oath of allegiance it certainly impresses the parents.
The Minden Club Annual General Meeting and Dinner
took place in the Army and Navy Club on Thursday 2 September. The
Dinner was well attended with some 21 former Lancashire Fusilier officers
and guests sitting down to dinner. The guest of honour was Lieutenant
Colonel Jim Landon MBE, commanding officer of 1RRF. For those members
of the Minden Dinner Club who were unable to attend, it was agreed
at the AGM to hold the dinner in BURY next year. The 2011 Minden Dinner
will therefore take place on Thursday 1 September in the Gallipoli
Room at the Fusilier Museum.
M J GLOVER
Lt Col (Retd) Regimental Secretary Lancashire
News from RHQ HM Tower of London
The Corps of Drums and several members of Z Company
travelled to Fromelles in France, for the opening of a Commonwealth
War Graves Cemetery. It was a great honour for the members of the
Battalion who took part in the ceremony, where the last of the unnamed
soldiers from the Great War were laid to rest.
The Second Battalion have produced a written and
pictorial history of their tour in Afghanistan last year called Hackles
Over Helmand. A limited number of copies are available through
RHQ at a cost of £5. RHQ will keep a hard back copy as part
of the Regimental history at The Tower.
I R Liles OBE
BURY BRANCH NOTES
DROYLSDEN BRANCH NOTES
NORTHERN IRELAND BRANCH
P Flannery Chairman Salford Branch
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Friday 11th February
Friday 22nd - Monday 25th July - Berlin Reunion (in Berlin)
Sunday 31st July Minden Day Drum Head Service and
afterwards at Bury FC Social Club (to be confirmed) 1100 hrs
EDITORIAL COMMENT - CAPT DAVID
G HOYLE (RET'D)
A CHALLENGE -
The Director of Nursing responsible for David's care, Karen Ratcliffe, contacted the Association. Karen is part of the team that provides 24 hour specialist care for David and have done for over three years. After the accident he ended up in a nursing home having little quality of life for a man of his age (around 45 at the time of the accident). His Case Manager from Northern Case Management - who train and provide the support workers - helped him to get back into the community with the level of support he now requires.
David is a very sociable man and enjoys company and chatting about his army days, any additional links and old or new friends would help him very much. Please, if you live near and care about another old soldier and could give time to chat or even help in other ways, contact:-
That is all the editorial comment I have for this edition, and I challenge my fellow Fusiliers to re-read the paragraphs above.
David Hoyle Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
THE FUSILIERS' ASSOCIATION
The Regimental Club has now closed and it was good to see a full house to say final farewells at Gallipoli Weekend. It was also, from the Chairman's point of view, very warming to see such an excellent turnout for the Dinner which this year was a joint effort between the Association and the Town Council of Bury. The numbers for the Sunday parade were excellent - a sincere thank you to you all for your support.
The Museum facilities were used for the Gallipoli weekend and were found to be too small for the large numbers we provide. However I would like to extend on your behalf, a very big thank you to the Museum staff for all the effort that went into making us so welcome. I am positive that once the top floor to the Museum is completed we will get back to our normal support for the Museum.
Bury Football Club have therefore very kindly allowed us to use their facilities for Minden Day 2010. You will find all timings for the Drum Head service at the Museum on the website and through your respective branch secretaries. A very good day is in the making so get out the blazers, Regt ties, roses and I hope to see you all there in good numbers, read the website.
The passing of Mr Roy Wood and Mary Sprason came as very sad news to us all and as Chairman I can only pass to both families your sincere condolences and prayers. The Rochdale Branch did an excellent job by ensuring a very good turnout at the M62 Memorial Gardens on the M62; my sincere thanks go to them all - Bury Branch will carry out that duty in November 2010.
The Project for the stand-alone Memorial at the National Arboretum is at a good stage and a great deal of homework has gone into the planning. However the project has to be first passed by the Regimental Council at the Tower of London, who govern all aspects of Regimental matters, before a full costing programme and plan can be completed. I will keep you all posted on the update. The Gathering in September is fast approaching and again all details are posted on our excellent website thanks to Dennis Laverick. I hope once again that I can rely on your support and get a good number to Warwickshire this year. If we want to be heard, then turn up in NUMBERS, and in closing may I once again say a very large thank you to my committee members who give up a lot of their time to keep the Association running and lastly to you the members who keep turning up and supporting me. Thank you all.
Please enjoy the newsletter and let me know of any changes that could be made to improve its quality.
John O'Grady Chairman
HONORARY SECRETARY'S REPORT
AREA HEADQUARTERS LANCASHIRE
M62 Memorial. The first annual commemoration of the M62 bombing took place at the new Hartshead Memorial on the M62 at the beginning of February. Regimental attendance was lead by the Rochdale Branch of the Association who turned out in numbers, on what was a cold and chilly morning. The event led by Alan Noble was short and dignified. Many who took part were of the opinion that as the campaign in Northern Ireland drifts into obscurity this memorial service will become the focus for those who served in the Province and want to reflect on what they achieved and lost.
The Fusilier Museum
Lancashire Council Meeting
The Lancashire Fusiliers' Memorial
Hails and Farewells
TRANSGLOBE Crew Returns
Posting to Germany
Op HERRICK 13. (to deploy around Oct 10)
Fusilier Gathering 2010 (FG 10)
DROYLSDEN BRANCH NOTES
NORTHERN IRELAND BRANCH
Meetings - 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs,
Who was it who said 'TIME waits for NO MAN'? Well I know how he felt. It doesn't seem like five minutes since I was sitting here bringing you up-to-date with the goings-on down here in Rochdale. When I signed off in 2009 I wished you all a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year, and I hope you all had a good one
Christmas Celebrations 2009
Elwin Pickup Secretary Rochdale Branch
The following was sent in by Geoff Yates who lives just on the outskirts of Southampton with his good lady wife Lillian. Geoff keeps in touch and always sends us some cheerful verse or joke. This is the latest, and to all those of you who remember the Maggie Thatcher years, I hope it will bring a tear of amusement, out of work and on the dole.
Then I'm down to the Old Saloon
My Giro is now two days late
So I ate my nuts and drank my beer
I really fancied something tasty,
I had my pie and which took some chewing
Think I ought to get to bed
Well done Geoff - keep them coming
When I first went into the club building in Jan 1955 it was
a drill shed. The floor of the drill shed was cobbles but some had
been removed, so it could be very difficult drilling. One pace forward
could leave you 6" lower than when you set off. Raising your
leg 12" and driving it in 18" is difficult at most times
but when the floor is an extra 6" lower than when you set off
- impossible. This tripping up and falling over infuriated our Sgt
- Spud Murphy. His silver topped cane used to be thrown at us at
high velocity. It never seemed to hit the soldier it was aimed at.
On one occasion it hit the rear wall, silver end first and badly
damaged the crest. This damage was put down by Spud to be the platoon's
fault. The cane was repaired by Lepps in the Rock, but as the person
it was aimed at had moved, so said Spud the cost of the repair was
down to us, so a whip round was organised. It was in the drill shed
I learned a new language:- NOONHA NONOHN NAAH - NYA NESS - AHAWHA.
which translated from the Drill Manual to Open Order March Right
Dress As you were.
OMNIA AUDAX COLIN FLETCHER
FUSILIERS' ASSOCIATION (LANCASHIRE)
Charles Michael Burnell
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To offset some of the costs of printing the Newsletter, we are looking for sponsors for each edition. Their name and business would be acknowledged in the sponsored edition. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please contact
DISTRIBUTION OF NEWSLETTER
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LIST OF OFFICIALS-FUSILIERS ASSOCIATION (LANCASHIRE)
President: Col B M Gorski Chairman: Capt J OGrady
Editorial Comment Capt.David G.Hoyle (Ret'd)
Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)
On 24 July there was a very full Regimental Clubhouse
for the Annual Osnabruck reunion, leading us very nicely into August
for our Minden Weekend. This began on the Saturday evening, 1 August
with an excellent Minden Dinner at the new Museum and thanks to Captain
Joe Eastwood and his organisation for what turned out to be a lovely
evening. It was good to see Lt-Col Tony Coutts-Britton Ex LF RRF present
as a guest.
Between 7-9 August there was a big presence to
celebrate the Saddleworth War Weekend, and on 12 August the standards
were on parade for the Far East Prisoners of War Service.
Extracts from MUSA
Extract from Issue 5 - August edition
Extracts from Issue 6 - September edition
A Company Group (FOB Nolay, Sangin)
B Company Group (Woqab)
C Company Group (Influence Group)
Ramadan brought its own challenges, with the ANSF unable to contribute meaningfully to any activity between 1000hrs and 2000hrs. This proved rather limiting in terms of joint patrolling but, thanks to some careful planning, didn?t reduce the frequency or intensity of patrols. We have deployed as a Company several times this month, including a major Cordon and Search operation in a large village on the edge of a route that is regularly sown with IEDs. The operation got off to a shaky start, when the attached ANP went slightly rogue. However, once they had been netted and tranquilised, the search went like clockwork. Sadly, the anticipated IED store was not found, but the population of DZO (Deh Zohr Olya - the village in question) win the Afghan Collective Liars award for claiming vociferously that they know nothing about the enemy, or IEDs. This was proved conclusively to be rubbish when, a couple of hours after we left the village, one of the innocent? population accidentally set off the IED he was laying on the track that we had just used.
Op MAR CHICHEL 3 saw the majority of the Company forward mount to Camp BASTION, then launch a dawn air assault operation to insert a number of vehicle checkpoints around Musa Qal?eh. This proved universally popular. Firstly, the Chinook crews were delighted to be doing something other than providing their usual taxi service. Secondly, from a Company perspective, not only was it something operationally different, but it meant a chance to carbo-load in the BASTION Cookhouse! In the event, the Op was far more successful than had been anticipated. The use of helicopters greatly added to the element of surprise, and by pushing rapidly into areas far outside the Musa Qal?eh Patrol Base ?ring? we significantly unhinged the enemy, and left them in no doubt about our ability to project force at will. We also came back with a suspected insurgent detainee who, as I write, is being processed by the ANP.
There will be no let up in tempo at the tail end of the tour; if anything life is likely to become even busier. There are still some operations on the cards, and plenty of ground to cover, but C Company is more than rising to the challenge. Things are changing in Musa Qal?eh. C Squadron, The Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) have already taken over from 206 Pioneer Squadron as the MASTIFF Group, and D Coy 3 SCOTS (The Black Watch) have handed over the Operational Mentoring and Liaison (OMLT) role to 2 YORKS. Thankfully, the HCR seem to be holding off until we have left before they paint every inanimate object blue-red-blue.
BG (NW) FSG (PB Roshan Tower)
ROSHAN was extremely well equipped in terms of firepower, the manning taken from by soldiers from Fire Support Company, and bolstered by some extremely talented attachments from both 19 and 40 Regt Royal Artillery. The tower boasted the full spectrum of infantry fire support weapons; Javelin, 50 CAL HMG, GMG, 81mm mortars, GPMG (SF) and snipers. Perhaps its most unusual weapon system was the DRAGON?, a 105mm Light Gun, used in the direct role. Its ability to place a 105mm shell on target is remarkable, and surprised insurgents on a number of occasions, cementing its position as the army?s most violent sniping weapon. Each and every support system proved its worth, by matching a particular requirement or situation. It was a remarkable experience for the Fire Support Company gunners, mortar men and operators. For example, a conservative estimate at the time of writing would value the Javelin missiles fired by the anti-tank section at ?1.75m.
The enemy forces in the northern AO proved unpredictable throughout the tour. The first six weeks did not yield a single contact, a result of the de facto ceasefire set up by local farmers and observed by the Taliban in order to allow the opium harvest to be conducted without interference. The harvest benefited both parties, and once the funds that derive from the narcotics sales arrived in late May the insurgents began to step up their activity against ROSHAN, PB WOQAB and surrounding outstations. The fates of those two key northern AO locations proved inextricably tied, with ROSHAN being able to influence enemy attacks on WOQAB therefore both were often attacked concurrently, and B Coy?s dominance of the ground determining both how close the insurgents were able to get, and shaping the level of enemy activity.
Throughout the tour the Fusiliers at ROSHAN experienced
a range of enemy attacks, most frequently IEDs targeting our resupply
routes and small arms fire and RPG attacks on the command post and
sangars. In the peak of the summer fighting, ROSHAN also received
sustained attacks, with the enemy using multiple prestige weapons.
The tour held several challenges. The first being
the austere conditions, with food produced exclusively from ration
packs, and no organic water source meaning infrequent showering and
laundering of clothes. This aspect of the tour was in some ways quite
enjoyable, by some more than others! ROSHAN was also not a little
The tour was an astonishing and unique experience. Immensely rewarding for the vast majority of the deployment, engagements usually ended with tangible results which are often so scarce on operations. That the majority of the work was in support of friends and fellow Fusiliers in a neighbouring patrol base added an element of passion to proceedings too. There were lucky escapes, with several men now able to swing the lantern and regale tales of every kind, and numerous Hollywood moments? where Fusiliers and Gunners dived for the cover of the hardened accommodation followed closely by fragmentation.
Equally it has contained periods of enormous frustration, boredom and hard work that are to be expected in any military situation. The disappointment of being unable to positively identify insurgents with weapon systems due to obscuration, enemy guile or surveillance systems at their limit, or indeed being unable to safely engage due to local national presence always grated, and is well known to most fighting troops in Helmand. Mostly though, it was notable for the incredible performances of experienced NCOs and young Fusiliers alike, showing determination, bravery and an ability to prevail at every turn.
An enormous number of lessons were learned whilst soldiering at ROSHAN. From the vast tracts of experience that were gained in the employment of fire support weapon systems, to ways around the difficulties of identifying enemy firing points. The importance of ensuring that all that can be done to protect against enemy attack of every possible kind was re-enforced again and again. It was made clear that no enemy activity will permanently damage or limit the Fusilier?s capacity for humour; several commanders at ROSHAN will not forget running to the command post, passing the dust billowing from accommodation as a result of mortar and AGS-17 strikes, and hearing the hysterical laughter from within.
In Helmand's Fields:- In Helmand's fields the poppies
email addresses: email@example.com
New email address for Lt Col M J Glover TD Area Secretary Lancs.: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Sprason, Research Officer: email@example.com
In September the formal opening of the Fusilier Museum after a period of excessive work load was intensely satisfying. The Museum was officially opened by The Colonel in Chief who was accompanied by the Colonel of The Regiment. Some 250 invited guests were present at this splendid occasion which was admirably orchestrated by Edmund Gartside. AHQ is now looking forward to the work of the Headquarters and Museum settling down to something a little less like crisis management and more like a normal job.
The Fusilier Museum Bury
of XX The Lancashire Fusiliers
The party of John McCormick,Geoff Pycroft and Joe Eastwood had spent the night at the White Hart in Sturminster Newton, where they had been joined the night before by Mrs Esmee Walsh (widow of Brian Walsh LF ) and by Alan and Pauline Gunn (Warwicks and 2 RRF). Also attending the Saturday night's convivialities were Mr Trevor Legg, Secretary of the local RBL and his ex service colleague David.
On the Sunday morning, they were pleased to meet at the churchyard Barbara Parker (daughter of John Mucky Mason DCM of 2LF and Cassino fame. Barbara has kindly agreed to place Minden Roses on the grave on 1st August each year. Also arriving unannounced having travelled from Devon was John Griffiths (LF) who we had last seen at the Veterans weekend in Blackpool.
The group were welcomed by Mr Nigel Pope, an ex Warrant Officer from the Dorset Regiment who in civilian life is the local Undertaker. It was Nigel who had officiated at the funeral for Kitna in 1982, the cremation having taken place in Yeovil and the urn of ashes interred at Sturminster Newton.
For the past 27 years Nigel has retained and kept safe the cap badge worn by Kitna which had been placed upon the coffin before cremation. He has promised to send it to Joe Eastwood for presenting to the Gallipoli Garden Museum.
Following a brief service which included a eulogy
followed by a short silence and the lowering of the LF standard, Minden
Roses and a Poppy were carefully placed at the head of the gravestone.
Nigel gave the group information which led to Geoff, John McCormick
and Joe being able to locate and to visit the very house where Kitna
Mrs Linda Lemmon, Kitna's daughter has sent her
thanks and appreciation for the restoration work on the grave stone.
Linda said that her mother Billy (Kitna'swidow) is now 95 years old
and living with Linda and her husband John in Southampton.
Frank Jefferson VC
Alastair Greenway, one of the masters, has expressed
an interest in continuing the link between the LF web site and the
school, which can only be good for the Regiment.
Voluntary donations towards the cost of running the site are welcome. Please make payable to "The LF Web Site Fund" and post to:- Captain J Eastwood BEM CQSW, Cherry Tree Cottage, 7 Duxford Road, Whittlesford, Cambs. CB22 4NQ
MEMORIES OF D COY 5LF/5RRF
Last issue I wrote about a fusilier who had an
adverse effect on explosives - they did not perform as they should
do. I dont know why. My mother couldnt wear a wristwatch
- it would always stop after a few minutes and she said it was the
electricity in her body.
On the other hand we had a Major who had the opposite effect. He was not originally a fusilier but had been seconded to us from a corps, REs I think. By looking at explosives he seemed to be able to double their effect. One year he was instructed to load and fire the model silver cannon to signal the port to be passed around at a Mess dinner. This he did to great effect - the cannon was fired, the barrel split, the Colonel nearly had a fit, officers near the cannon were peppered with black soot and wine glasses were broken by the blast. I do not think the end result met with the full approval of the CO.
At the Officers Mess dinner next year the CO said the cannon must not be used as it had just been repaired at great expense, so therefore another method would have to be used. Again our OC was given the task (do people never learn?) At the appointed time for the port a CSgt approached the CO with a bell push on a silver tray. The CO looked at our OC through narrowed eyes, the OC smiled and nodded to him, the Colonel then pressed the button. Nothing happened. Thinking he had been the victim of a practical joke, the Colonel turned, smiling, to our Major. The next second outside was a large flash and bang. Some of the Officers Mess windows were broken by flying debris from the lawn, sods, stones and soil had all been sent through the window by the blast.
Meanwhile in the Sgts Mess the explosion was thought to be the work of terrorists, some senior ranks went to the Arms Cote to draw weapons and ammunition whilst others went to investigate. What they saw was a large hole in the beautifully kept lawn, someone said it was a beehive charge. It must have been a very big bee!! Our OC was never tasked with the job of signaling the port again. Some people cannot take a joke.
At the same camp Carnoustie, a Sgt was approached
by the Major and told Be a good chap and get a couple of chappies
and fill in the small hole Ive made in the track in the woods.
This small hole was about 6ft in diameter and about 4ft deep. The
spoil from the hole had been deposited over a large area. It was filled
in with twigs and leaves etc. I hope a Pl Commander leading his men
down the track did not fall into it. I wish!
D COY 5LF/5RRF BRANCH
Whilst I am on about Lancashire, do you know the county boundary has not changed? Its still Lancashire from the Mersey in Stockport to the Yorkshire border to the east and Lancashire all the way up the coast to Barrow, except for a small break near Grange. The fact that we have had a couple of admin areas dropped upon us, ie Greater Manchester and Merseyside, Manchester and Liverpool are still in Lancashire, in fact the post office tell me its incorrect to put Greater Manchester on an address. In Lancashire and only in Lancashire the Loyal Toast is:- THE QUEEN, DUKE OF LANCASTER. Perhaps at the next Fusilier Gathering to be held in Lancashire, somebody will inform the person proposing the toast of this fact. It did not happen at the Fusilier Gathering Dinner this year.
Since the last issue we have been involved in almost everything from the 2 RRF funerals of Cpl Etchells and Fus Annis as well as RMP Cpl Oakland who came from our patch in New Moston. We wish the families our best wishes and hope to see them in the future. The correct respect and dignity was evident throughout and we thank our standard bearers Les Berry, John Ulrich, Spud Heywood, Mick Fowles and Steve Fitt. When we have such a good relationship with olexa we can more often than not expect up to 30 standards. Well done to all standard bearers who have supported whatever project we have been involved with, namely all civic parades within the town and the local funerals of all regiments.
Saddleworth War Weekend at Uppermill saw a good turnout. We sighted Carol and Clacky Rees (3RRF) in one of the bars who were immediately signed up for the Oldham party. This should see another 200 this year at our 14th Annual Dinner at Stockport. Over the last 6 months we have had representation at all area activities. The Gathering proved to be popular and thanks to the committee for the weekend. We also paid tribute to Life for a Life Project, which is now ten years old, with events at Manchester Grammar School and Strinesdale Warriors Rest. Life for a Life is paying tribute to the Regiment.
A date should be available soon for the opening of a new Fusilier Meadow at Whitfield in March/April 2010 work has been going on at the site.
Oldham branch congratulate Nobby and Ronnie on
receipt of the Regimental Medals in respect of Association work over
the past 15 years (mind you, the wives should have got them!).
Secretary Mr E Pickup, 44 Mountain Ashes, Rooley Moor, Rochdale, OL12 7JE
Firstly I should like to apologize to all our regular readers of the Newsletter, Rochdale Branch has not invented another Regimental Celebration, one that has been kept on the secrets list by chance, one you missed out on. No, I refer to the last bulletin when it was reported that we were holding a Bets Night. No this should have read our annual Vets Night. (Never mind Ed the v and b keys are next door to each other.) Sorry all.
Well just to bring you up-to-date our Vets
Night went down very well on 26 June. Thirty members sat down to an
evening meal at the Royal Toby Hotel in Rochdale, and this time there
was no mix up with the menus and the evening went very smoothly.
The Fusilier Gathering came and went, and by all the reports it was an event not to be missed. Rochdale Branch was well represented, but I was unable to attend due to ill health, but through the magic of the internet and our website, I was able to catch up. Well done, Dennis.
The Road to Arras and Cleggies costly mistake
As I said everything was going like clockwork although I dont know whose clock - Cleggies or Truelys! We hit the motorway and it was plain cruising (not much traffic). We sailed along to the smell of cheese and onion butties, just like being back in the army, wherever you went for packed lunches to be ordered, the famous cheese and onion, come spam butties, would be on the menu (ALWAYS). We even picked up Dave Clegg (little brother) at Crewe, not far off the main motorway and up went the cry have you got your passport? Yes Ive got my passport. On we went.
Watford Gap was our 2nd port of call where we all de-bussed to stretch the old legs, calls of nature, food (most had sandwiches) smoke breaks and whatever a bunch of ex-squaddies needs may be. As we were all huddled in a bunch at the side of the bus, some enjoying the last of their sarnies, some enjoying a quick puff on a cigarette, it was decided we should collect passports in order to save time at the dockside.
Everyone scrambled through their pockets and bags, as once again the cry went up have you got your passports? B!!!!! B!!!!!!! went the cry as Cleggie fell to one side Ive picked up the B!!!!y wifes. (Hillary is the Secretary). Now, this is four in the morning what do we do? Hillary is at home tucked up in bed and Cleggies on the Watford Gap Services with her passport. Decision-time do we leave Cleggie at Watford and carry on no thats out of the question as he is one of the drivers on the insurance do we phone home and ask her if she can meet us halfway? Well you can imagine Hillarys reply to that Y!! C!! S!! O!!. Yes we returned to Rochdale with Cleggie getting stick all the way he will not live it down in a while.
Rochdale to Crewe 54 miles
A costly mistake, remember this Cleggie. Its
pink for girls and blue/black for us boys (thats passport covers)
or in this day and age whatever you fancy, as long as you pick up
the RIGHT passport.
The next day we were up for breakfast, which was a typical French continental breakfast, plenty of lukewarm, black coffee, French sticks, honey, jam and fruit - the take-it or leave-it variety type of breakfast if you know what I mean (bring on the full English). After we had all eaten breakfast, we decided to visit the tunnels in Arras. We set off in an orderly manner, but after some time we were strung out, as no-one had said that it was about ? mile away, and it was all uphill to the site. Once there we were ushered through as there were several school trips planned for that day and they did not want us getting mixed up!
We entered the tunnels by lift and were transported 150 metres down below the earths surface. We traveled along the tunnels, making sure that we stayed in the middle of walkways to various chambers where our guide explained what had gone on all those years ago. You just could not imagine the numbers of men involved in the digging of these tunnels. Men were stationed in these tunnels awaiting their time to go into battle by attacking the enemy from the rear. Tunnels to the surface were excavated along with steps and this was the last thing some of the poor souls saw before breaking out of the dark of the tunnels into the light on the surface and being shot dead. These men and officers needed living quarters and massive chambers were dug to accommodate them, even a chapel was dug out of the rock. It was amazing and well worth the visit. That afternoon we visited several more sights but the tunnels at Arras were the most impressive.
Vimy Ridge was a most impressive sight too with those two gigantic columns stretching skywards, and the figures clinging to the heights with arms outstretched to the heavens. This glorious monument to the Canadian Troops and attached units who took this ridge all those years ago was a feat in itself. We also visited the tunnels on this site. They were not as impressive as the ones in Arras, but when you imagine the fighting that went on, everyone has its own story. These tunnels were as near to the front line as you could get and the craters just outside were huge some 20-30 feet across. These days they are covered in grass but as you can imagine in those days they were full of stinking mud and water one slip and you were in for eternity what a way to go weighted down with all your kit and ammo and anything else you may be carrying. If you ever visit Vimy Ridge and the famous tunnels, look out for the new residents that live there they come out at night and fly around the open spaces near to the monument and tunnels, but during the day take up residence in the tunnels. Yes there is a colony of bats. LADIES BEWARE.
Yes we visited several sites Thiepval, Beaumont-Hamel,
the Ulster Tower, Albert, the Famous TOMMIES, and Ypres (for the chocolate!).
These are just some of the larger sites but we also visited lots of
the smaller ones like the Christmas Truce and the site of the famous
Football Match marked by a simple wooden cross hard to believe
today as you watch the French farmer gathering his crops of maize
there now. On Wednesday
On Friday we set off at a reasonable time to catch the midday ferry. Its as well we did, as no sooner had we boarded and set sail the French stevedores called a strike and blocked the port of Calais. Well once again it was an experience traveling with Clegg and Thorpes Battlefield Tours, but one thing that baffles me and the others is Truelys obsession with roundabouts. Even with a sat-nav he would still go round a couple of times and end up having an argument with a machine. All said and done Clutchie and Truely did the driving and well done lads for a safe and enjoyable trip.
Remembrance Sunday 8 November 2009 went off very well. The weather stayed off and we got away with it again. The only thing that let me down was a bout of angina the old puffer bottle was out and I missed yet another parade. I think someone is trying to tell me something. But marching with the cadets I have 3 grandsons so if I am not there in person, Im there in name and spirit 2 Marine Cadets and 1 Fusilier Cadet is not bad, and theres more in the making.
After the parade we all retired to our HQ, the
Transport Club. There we delved in a few sherbets and a good helping
of potato pie. We were visited by the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale,
Councillor Keith Swift and Sue Etchells, our MP, Paul Rowen, Wing
Commander David Forbes, President of the Royal British Legion, our
President, Major E T Garside (the Gaffer), and a Naval Commander.
All members of the Mayors party made a speech and at several
points they were very rousing. It made you feel like signing up again
and following the pipes and drums, Queens Shilling included
(do they still do that these days? A good day was had by all apart
from the angina looks like Im sidelined.
Another event we are all looking forward to is our Christmas Celebrations at the Masonic Buildings in Rochdale. Its a good night to catch up with friends, old and new. I will report on that in 2010.
When you read these notes it will be 2010 so I hope you all had a very good Christmas, and I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Elwin Pickup, Secretary, Rochdale Branch
During 2009 our membership numbers have maintained and the outlook is positive. Although a small branch we continue to enjoy our monthly meetings and have had another successful year with a full and varied calendar of events. We have held a couple of Quiz Nights which were well supported and a Clay Pigeon Shoot outing which proved to be very popular and enjoyed by all who attended.
We celebrated Gallipoli and St Georges Day at our local club, and were pleased to have put in place a headstone for a former member, Paddy Lennon. Minden Day was celebrated and followed by a memorable weekend in Bury for the Gathering great to catch up with old faces. The Association was proud to be on Parade at both the Veterans Day Parade and Remembrance Day Parade.
Finally we shall end the year with our Association Christmas Dinner and a few drinks at the club afterwards. Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. All the best from the Northern Ireland Branch and hope to see you all at the Gathering 2010.
Ian Scholes, Secretary, Northern Ireland Branch
A Soldier:- A soldier stood before his God,as must
always come to pass,
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,No
Lord I guess I aint,
There was silence all around the throne,where the
saints had often trod,
Submitted by Alan Noble
LIST OF OFFICIALS-FUSILIERS ASSOCIATION (LANCASHIRE)
President: Col B M Gorski
Editorial Comment - Capt.David G.Hoyle (Ret'd)
So that we could include the latest news from 2RRF in Afghanistan this issue is published later than usual. Not only our Regular battalions are facing the enemy. Our Fusilier reservists are seeing as much as, or more active service than many Regular soldiers of earlier times.
The Tower of London sends a Fusilier News email every month
with up to date information about the Regiment. If you would like
to be on the circulation list for this monthly email please send
an email to Capt. (Ret'd) John Davis at:
Subject for your email "Fusilier News" . Say that you want to receive the monthly news and give your name, number, regimental service or details of other regimental connection. PLEASE ONLY MAKE THIS REQUEST BY EMAIL SO THAT YOU ARE EASILY ENTERED AND RECORDED ON THE EMAIL CIRCULATION LIST
Janet Willcock now prepares articles for editing, and deserves a big thank you.
Capt (Ret'd) D G Hoyle --- firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from the Chairman - Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)
Regimental Association Lancashire Awards:
Mr Alan Noble (Oldham Branch) Mr Ron Owen (Oldham Branch)
These awards will be presented at the Fusilier Gathering in September 2009
I have had the chance to visit most of our Branches this year
and was very pleased to hear that 75% more members are now communicating
via the email system which was the aim for this year. Most of the
Branches are now warming to the direct debit approach to pay their
subs and all subs are being paid on time. This has allowed our Accounts
to be in a healthy state (copy attached) as at the end of March
On Minden Sunday 2 August a presentation will be given by Lt Col (Ret'd) Tony Coutts-Britton LF/RRF on the Battle of Minden at 1130 hrs, followed by the wreath-laying at 1300 hrs at the Memorial. Tony is now a fully-qualified Battle tour guide and we are looking forward to seeing him and his wife for the day.
I have been looking to see how to help less-fortunate members of the Association. Among those who came to light were an ex member of 3RRF who lost two limbs from Astley, Leigh. Four members have been to his house and cleaned up garden etc. We managed to stop the eviction of an ex 1RRF Fusilier from his council house and managed to get him a grant of £741 from various sources. We hope to see them at the Gathering.
The Gathering in September: We are fast approaching the cut-off date for this event and it is looking very good. The hotel is now virtually booked-out and numbers could be as high as 300. I hope to get at least four of our disabled members there (paid for the Tower), two Chelsea Pensioners (paid for by the Association), members of the Lorne Scots Pipe Band (looked after by the Bank President - Jack and Rosemary Harrison).
Summary: I have many people to thank for their help in keeping the Association ticking over: Lindsey Walsh, Major Jennifer Hindshaw for her excellent work on the accounts, our website manager Dennis Laverick, all of the Branch Secretaries, Steve Fitt, Assn Secretary, the Regimental Clubs Chairman and his very loyal staff. They do what they do, simply because they believe, like I do, that the ASSOCIATION is a very worthwhile cause, be it LF or RRF
Gallipoli / St Georges Day Dinner 2010 will be held at the Civic Centre Radcliffe on Saturday 24th April followed by Gallipoli Sunday on the 25th April, details to follow.
Fusilier Gathering 2010 will be held in Warwickshire at the Royal Court Hotel - Coventry on the 18th September 2010
Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)
By the end of this year it will have been a busy year for Lancashire,
with having to move location from Wellington Barracks, Gallipoli,
Minden, and the Fusilier Gathering. Many thanks to the those who
attended Gallipoli Sunday it was a bit different this year but the
Dinner will be back next year. A special thank you to the Bar staff
in the Regimental Club. I have found out that remarks were made
to the Royal British Legion Standard Bearers at Gallipoli asking
them why they were on this parade as it was a Fusiliers Parade,
As a result of this remark a Branch of the Fusiliers Association
has lost a Vice Chairman and a Standard Bearer that has attended
every Fusiliers Funeral in the Bury area . Membership of the Association
is steady and slowly improving,can I remind
A Soldiers poem - In memory of Fus Petero Suesue
Edited from the monthly Fusilier News emails.
150 members of 1 RRF travelled to Staffordshire for a week of Freedom Parades and "Welcome Home" Parades. The parades were all exceptionally well supported with Police estimating that 10,000 people lined the streets. The Battalion was very well hosted by the Local Councils, all of whom were grateful for the Regiment's Operational service and equally supportive of 2 RRF's current deployment to Afghanistan.
From 6th July edition of RRF News
Before a period of two weeks leave the Battalion took part in a Farewell parade through Hounslow in recognition of the links established between the Battalion and the Council. The parade proved a success with the Battalion receiving a warm welcome as they marched through the streets of Hounslow with over a thousand people lining the streets. The parade finished with an inspection from the Mayor of Hounslow and a reception in the Council Chamber for all the soldiers and families.
After a well earned rest the Battalion's final official event
was the visit of the Colonel-in-Chief HRH The Duke of Kent who met
Fusiliers conducting drills and training on weapons to be used in
Afghanistan. The visit proved a great success with the Colonel-in-Chief
enjoying his afternoon and the Fusiliers and families appreciating
greatly a visit from the Colonel-in-Chief prior to deployment on
Op HERRICK 10
The tragic loss of Fusilier Suesue and the wounding of Capt Anthony Harris in Afghanistan have been foremost in our thoughts in the latter half of May.
From 6th July edition of RRF News
As I write we are sitting at about the midpoint of the tour.
Much has been achieved already and everyone can be justifiably proud
of their contribution. Difficult decisions have been made and we
have sustained our fair share of injuries. However, much is yet
to be done and I am confident that collectively we have the resolve
to ensure that we work right up to the last day to improve the lives
of the ordinary Afghan citizen. In Musa Qala the month has revolved
around Operation Mar Lewe and its aftermath. The operation itself
was a huge success, as we caught the enemy off guard and were able
to seize the important village of Yatimchay with minimal casualties
either to us or to local nationals. You may have read the slightly
sensational reporting of the operation from Chris Hughes our embedded
journalist from the Daily Mirror. Since the operation the main focus
The Rear Party
From 6th July edition of RRF News
Normandy Company is performing well in Afghanistan, operating at half company level out on the ground. They have been boosted to full strength with RAF Regiment personnel and vehicles. The poppy harvesting increased their activity considerably. Seven Fusiliers recently returned from Op HERRICK, where they were part of the 4 LANCS Force Protection Platoon in Kabul involved in securing the ISAF HQ, along with 35 other TA soldiers from the Battalion. As soon as the Fusiliers got back from Kabul, another wave of Fusiliers deployed to Nicosia as part of 2 Div.
TA soldiers from Bury have been taking part in a wide range of operations, in support of Regular Army counterparts and as formed units. Nine Fusiliers are going through the process of engagement under an FTRS (Full Time Reserve Service) arrangement and are deploying with the 2nd Battalion.
Fusilier Aid Society
110 Aid Society Grants: £41,834
We can all be justifiably proud of the scope and depth of benevolence of the Fusilier Aid Society. It will continue to provide support for all Fusiliers, including those from the antecedent Regiments that are in need. Any member of the Regiment, serving or retired, who is taking part in charitable fund raising, might want to think about including a percentage of their donations to the Fusiliers Aid Society. In the same vein bequests to the Aid Society will be put to good use.
Regimental PRI. As a reminder, the Regimental PRI outlet is
now run by 5 RRF. They hold a varied stock of all Regimental items.
Orders can be made by email: 5RRF-RAO@mod.com
or by phone: civ: 01913755190 and mil: 947213627.
Blog by Jonny Gwynne, 5RRF,: www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/features/blogs/reader/afghanistan/
I R Liles OBE
New contact details are: Lancashire HQ RRF, Moss Street, Bury
email addresses: email@example.com
Gallipoli Weekend. The Regiment celebrated the 94th anniversary
of the Gallipoli Landing in fine style over the weekend of the 25/26
April. The weekend went very well and saw the largest parade in
Bury on Gallipoli Sunday for many years. It coincided with the move
of the Lancashire Headquarters and the Museum.
Lancashire Fusilier Monument. The Regiment has been granted the right to move the Fusilier Monument from its current site at Wellington Barracks to a new site in the centre of Bury. The Monument has always been associated with the Headquarters so the move is appropriate. The bid to rename Sparrow Park in Bury to Gallipoli Garden has had Council approval and has now gone to public consultation.
The Fusilier Museum Bury. After five years hard work and a spend of £4.2 million the Fusilier Museum opened its doors to the public on Saturday 27 June 09, Armed Forces Day. There was considerable media interest and just under 1,000 people turned up on the day to explore the new museum.
Technically this was a "soft opening" as the formal opening will take place on Friday 25 Sept 09, preceding the Fusilier gathering. Friday the 25 Sep will also witness the unveiling of the refurbished Fusilier Monument by Lord Ridley the grandson of the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Saturday was a full and fun day. It was given grand support
by the Regimental family with several events taking place in and
around the museum. The first event was a presentation by Stagecoach
Metrolink of a replica nameplate off the Lancashire Fusilier tram.
The official opening of the Tourist Information Centre by Councillor
Sheila Magnall the Mayor of Bury followed this. Not to be missed
out the staff of the new Bury ACIO completed their first three attestations.
In the newly christened Normandy Room there were displays by the Regimental Recruiting Team, the Fusilier Platoon from the Castle Armoury, the Fusilier Band Lancashire, Friends of the Museum, the ABF, SSAFA and the LF web site team set up a display of the web site in the internet cafe.
Both the new shop and café were operating. The best selling
items from the shop were chocolate hand grenades, bullet key rings
and cuddly meerkats! The Friends also produced a WWII Willys Jeep,
a six-pounder anti-tank gun and a 2 ½ ton GMC Truck which
were parked on the pavement outside the museum much to the confusion
of the local traffic wardens who decided not to get involved as
they were out gunned.
There is still a great deal to do. The next few months will see displays completed, staff trained and the museum moving to operate on a fully commercial basis. Finally, sincere thanks must go to all those in RHQ, the other AHQs/Museums and the Battalions for giving this project their full support and cooperation. Without you it would not have been possible.
The outline programme of opening has been rolling since the
Gallipoli weekend and continues:-
Fusilier Gathering 2009. The Regimental Gathering this year is to be held in Bury, Lancashire over the weekend 26/27 September and has been timed to coincide with the opening of the new Regimental Museum in Bury Town Centre.
The weekend will consist of a Dinner/Dance to be held at the Village Hotel just off Junction 2 of the M66, which is the motorway exit for Bury. This will begin at 1830 hours (6.30pm) on Saturday 26 September. On Sunday 27 September from 1030 hours (10.30am); form up in the Castle Armoury Drill Hall, then march to Holy Trinity Church for Divine Service followed by a march through Bury Town Centre to the Town Hall. Lunch will be provided at the Town Hall. After lunch there will be an opportunity to view the new Regimental Museum.
The organising committee are Captain John O'Grady, Major Brian
Bath and former WO2 Ian Hilton BEM. Contact details and more detailed
information about the weekend, including hotel accommodation, can
be found on the Regimental web-site.
On Minden Sunday there will be an official farewell to Wellington Barracks and lowering of the Fusilier Flag, although the Association Club will probably be open for a few more months.
The grand finale of the year will be the Home Coming Parades
of the 2nd Battalion probably over the period 8/9 December and a
temporary museum display on the 2nd Battalion's experience in Afghanistan.
Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the 5th HMS Euryalus
On 6th June, the HMS Euryalus Association arranged a special day at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham for the 70th Anniversary of the launching of the 5th Euryalus on 6th June 1939, at Chatham. It is an interesting co-incidence that 6th June is also the anniversary of the launch of the 1st HMS Euryalus in 1803, and the launch of the 6th HMS Euryalus in 1963. And of course it is the Anniversary of D Day, so it was a very special day.
This was attended by a good crowd of about 50 shipmates from the HMS Euryalus Association and their wives, plus Major and Mrs St Maur Sheil to represent the Lancashire Fusiliers. A small contingent from the T.S. Euryalus in Oxford travelled down with their standard to attend the ceremony, and act as a Guard of Honour for the Duke of Gloucester, who attended and made a very gracious speech after the service, which was held in front of the Destroyer Memorial in the Historic Dockyard. After marching on the standards of the HMS Euryalus Association and the TS Euryalus, the service was led by the Rev. Ron Oram, Eric Gowland's son in law. Afterwards the Duke spent a considerable time going round and speaking in turn to all the shipmates and the sea cadets. The Duke is the Patron of the Association because HMS Euryalus escorted the ship on which he and his parents were travelling to Australia in 1944, when the then Duke was sent out to take over as the Governor General. Having fought in the Mediterranean and with the Russian convoys, and off Normandy in June 1944, the 5th HMS Euryalus joined the Fleet of Admiral Harcourt, after safely escorting the Duke and his family, to fight the last stages of the war against Japan.
The proceedings were somewhat muted by the news of the death, only two weeks before the occasion, of Eric Gowland, who had been Chairman of the Association for many years. This very special occasion had been Eric's brainchild, and he had worked particularly hard, even as his life slipped away, to ensure the occasion was a success. That he could not attend was particularly sad for all of us. Thanks to the very hard work of the Association Secretary, Barbara Cotton, all his effort came to fruition.
After a buffet lunch in the Royal Charles Hotel in Gillingham (once upon a time the old NAAFI Hotel, just round the corner), where we all stayed, the Association Members hald their Annual General Meeting, and I am very glad to report that a new Chairman has been elected, Roger Mitchell, to replace Eric Gowland. Commander Michael Ellis LVO RN, who was a Vice Chairman, has agreed and been elected as the new President.
This year is also the 25th Anniversary of the Chatham Historic
Dockyard, and was to be the scene for the main celebrations of the
Armed Forces Day 3 weeks later, again attended by the Duke of Gloucester.
Those of us who were not involved in the AGM, or who managed to
slip away before the Dockyard closed, took advantage of the dockyard
authority's very kind free pass to explore some of the fascinating
exhibits which have been created in the various sheds and buildings
to interest the general public. If anyone is in the area, they should
try to visit the Dockyard. Some of the exhibits, especially "Wooden
walls" which is a re-creation and explanation of how the old
wooden ships of
The day's proceedings ended with an excellent and very jolly dinner in the hotel. Yarning went on inevitably into the wee hours, and then started all over again during breakfast, and on into the morning until we had all set off home.
Major (Ret'd) W.St Maur Shiel.
At our next D Coy meeting I mentioned how much the camp had changed only to be met with "Rubbish I remember that place well, it was depressing and rundown etc." So after a discussion it was decided that some of us would have a run out - the idea of course was to prove me wrong.
We set off from Middleton at 09.30 en route for Leek. On arrival at the camp my information was proved correct. After a quick chat with the warden, a rather good looking young lady, we received permission to look around the site and the transformation from old to new was remarkable. After thanking the warden it was decided to go to the local pub to see if it had changed. It had changed - it was closed! The next thing to do was to have a look at the ranges. After looking at the track I decidedwe would have to walk there, as I did not think my wife would be happy if I brought her Merc back without a sump!
A lot of landscaping must have gone on as the track was twice
as long as it used to be, and also much steeper, this also applied
to the nearby crags. They must have had a visit from the tv Groundforce
team, as none of us felt we could climb them with a GPMG, or a radio
on our backs as we did years ago. The grenade range had been modified
but everything else seemed to be the same. `Boulton`s tank` is still
there less its barrel. This has obviously been taken by the local
drug sniffers. It was christened `Boulton`s tank` after an Inerga
grenade firing. Fus Boulton had a disturbing effect on High Explosives,
on this occasion he fired his grenade a perfect hit on the tank,
the grenade did not explode, after hitting the turret ring it spun
up into the air and laid on the tank at the side of the turret.
He turned to the OIC and said "wait until the German gets out
and stands on that grenade, it will blow his bloody leg off."
This remark did not seem to go down well with Freddy as he would
have to blow it, and it was just at eye level (not a pleasant task).
We called him Freddy because his surname was the same as the England
It snows very heavily in that area - in fact Lancashire once had its cricket match against Derbyshire delayed because of heavy snow in May. It was Clive Lloyd`s first match for Lancashire. D Coy arrived at the ranges one day with about 12 inches of snow covering the ground. We would be firing the 3.5 inch rocket launcher. When you fire this rocket launcher in very cold conditions you have to wear a face mask as bits of the propellant solidifies in the cold, and hits you in the face. If you do not wear the mask you finish up looking like a person with a bad dose of acne. The first group of fusiliers lined up - the target was a pile of rocks about 300 yards away. No.1 has the weapon in the shoulder, No. 2 loads rocket into tube connects electric wires and taps No.1 on head - loaded. No. 3 checks back of blast area. No.1 fires at the target, the rocket drops short by about 75 yards. The group change round. The new firer says he will aim 6ft over the rocks, again the rocket drops short. The third member of the group says he will fire 15ft over the rocks and squeezes the trigger. The launcher breaks into two pieces, the rocket hits the ground about 25 yards in front of the firers and scuttles forward at a great rate of knots under the snow like a super-charged worm belching sparks, steam and smoke.
(Thank goodness it was not H.E.) The firer of course was Fus Boulton. It would appear that the weapon had been given to the first firer by the P.S.I. who had assembled it incorrectly, (obviously never been to Warminster), and when the rocket disappeared under the snow was seen running at a great speed 75 yards away in the opposite direction. He never inspired anyone with any confidence - quite the opposite really. It taught the three firers a very valuable lesson, if you are handed a weapon always check it yourself.
One weekend we would be throwing the 36 grenade. The Sgt said
to a fusilier "go into that billet and help Cpl M to clean
the grenades. As the fusilier walks through the door he does a sharp
about turn and remarks to the Sgt that he is not under any circumstances
going in that billet, because the Cpl has about 10 grenades on a
red hot pot-bellied stove, and is melting the grease on them. The
Sgt does not believe him and enters the billet. It appears the Cpl
has in fact cleaned the grease from quite a few by this method,
another case of not going to Warminster. The Cpl is quickly relieved
of his duties and sent packing to the cookhouse. After lunch the
grenades still needed cleaning and the three soldiers and a recruit
were given the task. It was explained to the recruit that you must
remove the base plug before taking the pin out. We had already found
one igniter set left in, and we had cleaned about 60 when the recruit
pulled the pin, the lever went flying over the bed, the Cpl dived
through the window, thankfully already open, the other two got jammed
in the doorway in their haste to get away. When the recruit got
back on his feet after being hit by the largest of the group, it
was again explained to him about removing the base plug. He did
not repeat his mistake. The grenades had been cleaned
When admin duties had to be performed at the Drill Hall over a weekend it was usual for a few to visit the Club on the Friday and Saturday nights. In those days the vast majority of people in the Club would be ex Fusiliers or their relations. You could meet some right characters. A particular one called Jack had a liking for what he called electric soup - whiskey and lemonade. One evening whilst I was having a drink with him he staggered slightly and I remarked that he had drunk too much electric soup. He remarked that it was his wooden leg which had caused it. I did not know he had a wooden leg and thought he was kidding me, whereupon he took a pint pot from the bar and tapped his leg. Sure enough it was a false one. He would not tell me how he got it other than saying it was "The Japs". I found out from another member that Jack had fallen foul of one of the Japanese guards. This guard had thrown large rocks at Jack and broke his leg. In the camp it was a case of no work, no food, so Jack had his broken leg bound up so as to enable him to work on the railway. A few days later gangrene set in and the camp doctor a New Zealand POW. said his leg would have to come off or he would die. The only problem the doc said was he did not have any anaesthetic, and he had only performed such an operation about 8 times and all the patients had died of shock. Jack told him to get on with it, and the leg came off. Unfortunately the doc had not cut high enough and gangrene set in again. The second amputation was a success. A small, pleasant, unassuming chap with the heart of a lion. His reward was the Burma Star.
Another small chap was a Londoner who was the bingo-caller - Tim Brain. Tim was his nickname from the time he boxed for the LFs in the first war. The story was he did not do anything until his opponent had hurt him and awakened him. His name I am told came from the old cartoon characters Weary Willie and Tired Tim. He was also unassuming, and never spoke about the war. If my memory serves me correctly he won the DCM and Bar and MM and Bar. If you every get the chance to read 1st WW History of the Lancashire Fusiliers, see what Cpl Brain did with his bayonet and grenades. It makes very interesting reading.
Congratulations to the Association website on its 1st birthday
and also to D Coy website on its 4th birthday.
Well it's that time of the year again, and us secretaries have
to sit down and write the notes that will bring the membership up
to date (speed) on what's gone on since we last wrote our notes
for the branches. I'm not moaning but the sun is cracking the flags
outside and I think it's time to invest in a laptop. I'll have to
run it pas the OC (the Mrs)
Rochdale Branch celebrated Christmas On Friday 12 December 2008 at the Masonic Hall, Richard Street, and everyone had a very good time - this is down to a very well organized committee. Myself and the OC were enjoying a holiday in Tunisia (60th birthday treat for me), but I did my bit before they would let me go. After a refresher course in bartering, camel riding and a trip on the Red Lizard Express (recommended) it was time to return to dear old Rochdale and 2009 (a fortnight is not long enough). So I hope you all had a good Christmas and a better New Year.
And so to 2009 and whatever the year holds and the first thing we organise here in Rochdale is our Ladies' Night
Friday 20 February 2009 - Ladies' Night This is held on a Friday night closest to 14 February - which we all know is Valentine's Day. This is no coincidence as it all started way back as a members' night out (men only) and now it has kind of snowballed and we now have the Ladies' Night as we know it here in Rochdale. On this night we all treat the lady in our lives, by inviting them along to the Masonic Hall at Richard Street for a meal and entertainment. The meal is provided by Martin and his dedicated staff and is superb. There is always plenty of food and we have never had any complaints yet (fingers crossed). Entertainment is normally a dance band, quartet or disco - nothing too heavy, just a great night out. So come on lads if you are in the mood next Valentine's Day, why not treat the lady in your life and come along to Rochdale and enjoy our Ladies' Night - you won't be disappointed and neither will your little lady.
Sunday 29 March - Grand National Draw Having sold all our tickets that Charlie Davies sent the Away team set off on this day for the Grand National Draw at the British Legion Club, Ramsbottom. Apart from the tickets already purchased we always buy extra on the day and we always get a result. This year we drew three numbers with jammy Gordon dragging the second number of the day (can't remember when he has not drawn one), Andy the MP was next up, with Craig the chef coming third. This is a good day out, a few beers and a pie and peas lunch provided by Charlie and Trieste Branch. By the way if you want to know who ate all the pies you only have to look at Rochdale Branch and Cleggie (doggie bad and all).
Gallipoli Weekend 25/26 April 2009 What a good weekend for Rochdale - among all the pomp and circumstance there was a small ceremony on the 25th, that being the car raffle. Well all the hard work of pushing the tickets at every meeting paid off for one of Rochdale's members. Yes, you guessed it the winning ticket for the car was none other than Craig (the chef) Grice. Well done Craig - rumour has it that Craig's wife Margaret has had the car updated for herself and cannot make up her mind where to put the ejector seat button. Well never mind - happy motoring Craig or should that be Margaret.
On the 26 in the Drill Hall there was a presentation made by
Colonel Brian Gorski, or a Regimental Certificate of Merit to our
Chairman, Tommy (the Chippie) Bailey. Tom well deserves this award
after serving twenty years in this post. Tom wears many caps of
All in all a good weekend for Rochdale.
No sooner than the dust settles from the Gallipoli Weekend here in Rochdale and our minds turn to our Bets' Night. This is being held this year at the Royal Toby Hotel, Rochdale on 26 June 2009 - nothing grand, just another good night out with friends, comrades old and new, and who could forget our ladies.
Well I think that's about it for Rochdale Branch.
But hang fire a minute - our President Major Gartside has just brought us up to speed on our Honours' Board. This board is about ten by ten and you won't miss it. It is hanging in all its glory on the wall in the new museum. Well worth a look
Elwin Pickup Secretary Rochdale Branch
I have to say thank you to the Branch members who attend the meetings month in and month out regardless of weather conditions, and the last 4 have been pretty horrid. I would also like to thank Capt O'Grady and Dennis Laverick for coming to the February meeting to deliver a 'speak and slide show' on the future of the club and museum.
Since I have been Chairman, and with the help of Steven Fitt, we have managed to increase the membership by 4 and a further 4 yet to return their pro-formas, so we are still a growing branch. I will, in due course, be sending out a standard letter to all members requesting them to try and attend our monthly meetings in the club. At the moment the average attendance is approximately 10 and it's always the same members. With the closure of the club looming ever closer, we need a larger turnout to have discussions as to where and when we can hold our meetings when the time comes. So come on gentlemen - it's your Branch and without your participation we have nothing. Minden Day will be upon us very soon and I look forward to seeing many of you on the Sunday.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 07932 372213
ST HELENS AND WIGAN BRANCH
A number of residents, descendants of the soldiers and history buffs missed the event and claim the WLCT chiefs were trying to deflect attention away because they propose that the memorial's position should be controversially moved to the Parson's Walk entrance, as mentioned in previous branch notes. Colonel Martin Steiger, representing the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry Squadron and Wigan TA, laid a wreath at the memorial service in Mesnes Park where individual crosses were laid for the Wigan soldiers who died. Colonel Steiger later apologised and donated £10 to museum funds for mistakenly naming the wrong regiment during the service.
Seventeen soldiers from the Local Imperial Yeomanry were among those fatally injured at the infamous raid on Faber's Put in what is now South Africa. On 30 May 1900 a column of the main British offensive was attacked by 600 Boers as it waited for supplies at a farmhouse. After a fierce battle, 27 colonial soldiers were killed and 41 wounded before the enemy were driven back. I believe the WLCT are trying to cover up their plans to move the memorial and I and my fellow members will continue to battle to keep the memorial in its original location.
On a lighter note, the annual Branch concert at Billinge Labour Club was a huge success, raising much needed funds for the branch. A big thank-you to our Chairman, Frank Taylor, for organising such a well attended and entertaining evening. Special thanks to Chapel End Labour Club for continually allowing us to hold the event free of charge.
If you'd like to become a member of our branch, why not come along to one of our meetings at St Helens Catholic Club, Crab Street on the last Friday of every month
Barry Storey Secretary
OLDHAM BRANCH NOTES
Thanks go to:- our M62 families who voted that the original
plaque, now mounted on 700 year old English oak, should go to the
new Fusilier Museum, the Asssociation Band and Drums, Dennis and
Alf our adopted Chelsea pensioners and our standard bearers Les
Berry LF, John Ulrich RRF,Mick Fowles RRF Brian Armstead,RRF and
Paul Heywood (Spud) now promoted to area RRF standard.
We hope to see you all soon at
any of the forthcoming events:-
Wishing everyone well. Once a fusilier always a fusilier. Oldham Branch
FUSILIERS' ASSOCIATION (LANCASHIRE)
BAND AND CORPS of DRUMS
As I compile these notes for the first edition of the 2009 Newsletter, I am reminded that twelve months ago this very day, the Band and Drums were playing at the Hamilton Military Tattoo in Canada on their second tour at the same venue, having been there in 2004. The 2008 tour was no exception and was enjoyed by all who attended, particularly our Musical Director, Mike Thomas, who once again had the opportunity of conduction the Massed Bands on Parade. Since their return, both the Band and The Corps of Drums have been in great demand throughout the country, and of course much more on their home ground. Rochdale and Oldham Branches excelled in Festivals of Remembrance in their respective towns, and the Band and Drums played a major role in both.
Each year at Christmas the Band provide a concert at Broughton House, Salford Home for Ex Service Personnel at a time when they are fund raising. This is always an enjoyable time which the residents look forward to. Each year we also entertain at their Summer Fair. The Royal British Legion call upon our services twice per year. In July we provide the music at Manchester Cathedral for their Annual Church Service and also at the Lord Lieutenant's Poppy Appeal Award Ceremony.
The Corps of Drums are very active in their own right, leading
parades and performing their very famous 'Black Light' Show. They
frequently entertain at Corporate Dinners throughout the north west
and more recently at a television star's wedding. Both the Band
and Drums are always in prominence at Regimental Commemorations
for Gallipoli and Minden. They are very much looking forward to
entertaining at the Fusilier Gathering in
A Soldier - His prayer
Stay with me, God. The night is dark,
I love a game. I love a fight.
Life with it's change of mood and shade.
You stilled the waters at Dunkirk
We were alone, and hope had fled;
Dear God, that nightmare road! And then
I knew that Death is but a door.
I'm but the son my mother bore
Help me, O God when Death is near
Archivist Roy Woods
Elizabeth Cross honours families of fallen troops
LIST OF OFFICIALS FUSILIERS ASSOCIATION
Chairman: Capt J OGrady
Secretary: Mr S Fitt
Treasurer: Major J Hindshaw TD DL
The fortieth year of the Royal regiment of Fusiliers (5th , 6th , 7th & XX) has passed during which we have seen the formal end of Operation Banner, and our Fusiliers have been seeing serious active service in Asia. It would be interesting to compare the the number of rounds fired on active service by the average Fusilier since the Third Fusiliers went to War in 1991 with the number of rounds fired on active service by the average member of our four antecedent Regiments in their combined 1,151 years of history. If 1914-18 and 1939-45 were excluded I'll bet a tenner that the Fusiliers of 1RRF, 2RRF & 3RRF would well ahead, will anyone take up the challenge with some research and report back?
I have also tasked all of the Branch Secretaries to try their best to increase branch numbers by 10-15% by Jan 2009. I am also very pleased to announce that major (Rtd) Brian Bath has decided to join our executive committee along with Warrant Officer (Rtd) Ian Hilton with whom their vast experience in Regimental matters will benefit the Association Lancashire greatly.
The long journey South for the Fusilier Gathering was much enjoyed by all who attended and a big thank you must go to Major Bowes-Crick and Captain John Davies for all of their hard work over that weekend. The choral singers during the church service on the Sunday morning were outstanding and after a hearty lunch all arrived back in Manchester on the Sunday evening. Lancashire is very pleased to be hosting the 2009 Gathering and will take great pleasure in welcoming you all, to what will be, we hope, a very enjoyable weekend. With a very busy year ahead for Lancashire in mind, may I take this opportunity to thank all of my very hard working committee and branch secretaries, for all that they do in keeping alive the Association in their areas, and wish them and their families and all members of the Regimental Association a very happy, holy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.
Association Secretarys Notes
Association Web Master: email@example.com
Display of the Fusiliers in Northern Ireland in
our new Museum
News from RHQ HM Tower of London
In October, the Colonel-in-Chief and the Colonel
of the Regiment, Brig Trevor Minter, together visited 1RRF in Basra.
Surviving in tiny coffin beds, surrounded by breeze blocks and Kevlar, British troops have little privacy as they cram into a network of tents.
Insurgent rocket attacks are still a constant threat and every member of personnel in the huge Contingency Operating Base is required to have full body armour and helmet to hand whenever they move from their living space.
But this isnt the Basra that was ravaged
by murders, kidnappings, suicide bombs and mortars just eight months
Dozens of insurgents were eliminated, killed by American and Iraqi battlegroups. Hundreds more fled to Iran with the remainder going to the north of the country, where military sources say they have now been wiped out as well.
Supporting this operation were hundreds of British troops working on logistics to help capture known insurgents in the city.
But there is still plenty of work to be done here and Midlands soldiers in the First Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, are at the heart of all that is going on.
Each fusilier works on a nine day cycle within
the 7th Armoured Brigade the Desert Rats.
But nearly a month ago the troops had to deal with
every soldiers worst nightmare.
The Fusiliers supported rescue units as they rushed to the scene, providing much needed back-up to deal with any possible attacks amid the destruction.
Unfortunately seven Americans were killed. But for the Midlands troops it is part of the reality of war that they have come to know all too well.
Stuart Thorne, 32 and from Sheldon, Birmingham, said: We see a lot of awful stuff while on tour but this time round its not quite so bad.
I was in Basra when we entered the country
and took over the city.
This tour has been much better much
Now, when soldiers go into the villages they are
greeted by smiling children.
But there is not much we can do as individual
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
This is an unbelievable story that happens to be true. During the campaign in Sicily, 2nd Batt D Coy LF had the job of clearing the town of Bronte. It was a night attack with no moon and not a lot of opposition as I think our noisy neighbours were more intent on pulling back to the coast to get to Italy. We got to the other side of the town and took the steep hill in the dark, suffering a few casualties.
But I am here to tell the tale.
Joe Warden - Omnia Audax
Jim has now given up train spotting, so we all embarked to the train as a group, seats had not been reserved so we would not all be sitting together. This arrangement does have distinct advantages as 4 of us were going to find out. The train left on time and was soon doing 100mph. (Jim said so as he had counted the mile posts!)
A lady sitting diagonally opposite to myself and 3 others got up and walked down the carriage. About 5 minutes later she returned and looked across at the 4 of us with a rather peculiar look on her face half grin half smirk. When I later visited Stan`s table at the other end of the coach I was told (not by Stan) that the lady had gone into the toilet and found it occupied by Stan, who was sitting on the throne. She promptly gave him a lecture on toilet etiquette. `One does not use the bog without closing and locking the door, this my good man switches the occupancy light from green to red`. The lady gave him the lecture with the door wide open. Exit Stan some minutes later red faced and to cheers of the fellow travelers. The door was firmly closed and locked on the return journey.
We arrived in London on time. I still cannot believe that you can get to London and return for £23, and without any trouble. It has got to be the bargain of the year.
From Euston a taxi into the Union Jack Club, a few beers, dinner and more beers. The topic of conversation was, of course, the correct way to use various facilities on a train! Stan refused to enter into any conversation. That was a first for old sun-burned tongue.
We saw a few of our old friends from last year and also a member of staff ex RRF from Newcastle who was a friend of Jack Spencer. Jack had been a P.S.I. at Bury and this chap was going to a reunion up north, so we asked him to give our best wishes to Jackie.
From the hospital we went to the Imperial War Museum. This is some museum and you really need a full day to see everything. The walking proved too much for some of our members so the visit was cut short. One of the exhibits in the basement on Aden shows a R.N.F. arresting a terrorist. The arresting fusilier was Tony Lofthouse, another of `D` Coy P.S.I.`s now unfortunately deceased.
We did again make representation to Buckingham Palace for his LS & GCM, but as it was a no show for a second time by him, the message came out no cucumber sandwiches and no medals that`s final, but as a gesture of good will they sent out a season ticket for Bury. Now they are rarer than LS & GCM`s
We returned to the Union Jack Club via a boat and taxi. On arrival a few of the crew decided to have a stroll around the back streets. We came across a very quaint pub, nice and quiet with good beer. A word of warning do not say to barmaids in London and yours. They do not take 20p as in Lancashire, it`s £3 minimum. Martin made this mistake, but to make matters worse he was paying with my money!
At about 5 pm this quiet pub was invaded by the local business people. Within 5 minutes from 10 people being in the pub, it was over 100, all Hurray Henries and Henriettas. We beat a hasty retreat. On the pavement outside were another 50, all drinking and blocking the road like bees around a honey pot.
After dinner 6 of us went into the bar, Martin was already in, his immediate words were I`ll have a pint as I`ve already bought a round. How can you buy a round of drinks for one person?
The next trip is Gallipoli I am told, Anyone wanting to go contact Jim Worrall. Stan is not going as he has an appointment at Chester Zoo, they are making him a new set of teeth.
Oh right said the grinning Fusilier the KISOX!
On entering Bellerby Camp one Fusilier said to another Did you know the roof repairs at this camp are done by the same person who does Sennybridge? How do you know? was the reply Look at the sign it tells you. The sign read Use Crawling Boards for all roof repairs. I wonder what rank he thought Crawling Boards was?
Two Fusiliers talking before a parade Smith won`t be on parade. Why? said his made He`s on sick parade was the reply. I`m not surprised said the second Fusilier he`s a bloody HYCOPONDRIAC.
Two soldiers, one Fusilier and one from Yorks & Lancs, leaving the NAFFI at Warminster. A soldier going into the NAFFI said What time is it Jack?
How did you know my name was Jack? said the Y & L. I guessed itsaid the squaddie. Well guess the bloody time then smarty! came the reply.
The battle was fought through some rose gardens near the town, the men plucked the blossoms and placed them in their hats, hence the custom, ever since observed, of wearing roses in the head-dress on the anniversary of this battle.
Twas St. Patrick himself, sure, that set it,
And the sun on his labour with pleasure did smile,
And the dew from his eyes often wet it,
It thrives through the bog, through the brake and the mire-land,
And he called it the dear little shamrock of Ireland.
The dear little, sweet little, shamrock of Ireland.
Fresh and fair as the daughters of Erin,
Whose smile can bewitch, and whose air can command,
In each climate they ever appear in;
For they shine through the bog, through the break and the mire-land,
Just like their own little shamrock of Ireland.
When its three little leaves are extended,
Denotes from one stalk we together should toil,
And ourselves by ourselves be befriended,
And still through the bog, through the brake and the mire-land,
From one root should branch, like the shamrock of Ireland.
Heres to the Lancashire lad,
Heres to the lass who shed a tear
Heres to his dear old Dad.
Heres to his dear old Mother
Heres to the glory hes won,
Heres to his King and Country
God Bless This Mothers Son.
Three young British Soldiers were murdered by a gang of outlawed men,
Dusk was just descending on that dull November day,
When this gang of murderers descended on their prey.
Far from home and parents, these young boys had to die,
With not a friend to comfort them, nor bid a last goodbye.
Brave heroic boys they were, not like their murderers who run and hide,
Noble was the cause, they fought for and the cause for which they died.
Long live the British Army, and to God on high we pray,
That soon theyll bring to justice those cowardly thugs for their dreadful deed that day.
1120hrs Veterans Challenge, a Parachute Regiment veteran abseiled down Blackpool Tower.
1125hrs Introduction to Veterans day at the Cenotaph.
1140hrs 12th Regiment Royal Artillery Freedom of the Borough march past.
1150hrs Spitfire fly past.
1155hrs National Veterans day service at the Cenotaph (with Standards) in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
1400hrs 100 Standards led the Veterans through a Royal Artillery guard of honour to receive their badges. The oldest veteran present was 112.
1900hrs BBC Radio 2 did a music night broadcast from the Tower Ballroom.
2200hrs Illuminated night time parachute drop by the Red Devils on to the beach.
2215hrs Grand fireworks finale on the Central Promenade.
Co Down, Northern Ireland, BT19 6LR Tel: 07718586853.
Well I can report Cleggie finally got his Association Medal of Merit and he wears it with his pride along side our own medal of merit, we could do to see more of these presented here in Lancashire as I am sure that one or two deserve them.
27th June 2008 Veterans day we held our veterans dinner at the Royal Toby Hotel and what a night, there was thirty two of us attending the dinner. On arrival we found out that the Toby Hotel and what a night, there was thirty two attending the dinner. On arrival we found out that the Toby management had changed the menu and instead of the fixed menu of three courses we had to choose between a special menu of steak, chicken or fish along with a bottle of wine for two, after running about explaining what was going on, seventeen bottles of wine appeared on the table, this kind of soften the blow a bit, it was not long before everyone was enjoying the evening. It was nice to see that when at the beginning of the meal, we as a branch always stand and the chairman Mr Tom Bailey recites the branch prayer, as Tom started I and several others happened to look up and glance around the room and woo and behold several other tables in the room containing civilians had stood up with us, I dont know if this was coincidence or just pure respect for us old vets, I like to think the latter. The change of menu proved a success and on paying the bill we found that the cost was not as much as expected.
We also had a tide sum left over, so at the branch meeting we made a quick decision to spend the left over on the ladies, for the Minden Ball all our ladies were presented with fresh Minden roses as a nice surprise for them.
On the 26th July 2008 we held our Minden Ball in the Masonic Hall Rochdale all who attended had a very good night, as usual we have had no bad reports. The entertainment was provided by Eddie Hilton Quartet and we found this better than some of the big bands we have had in the past, and it showed, the only time the dance floor was empty was when the members and guest were tucking into the buffet. This year the honour of eating the roses went to Mr Walter (Wally to his mates) Kirk and Mr David Barber. Now Dave has eaten the roses before and knew when to stop but not poor old Wally he carried on and down went the stalk and all. He was quoted as saying later that the petals are ok, a bit like cabbage but them stalks kept sticking between the teeth. Sorry Wally some one should have told you when to stop.
21st September 2008 and a dozen of us set off for the Royal Armouries Museum at Leeds, this was a good day out but you need more than a day to go round all the exhibitions on display, so you do need to set off early so you can browse the five floors and take in the jousting display over in the court yards. I think they have everything from the first club to Darth Vader's space gun in that collection.
Remembrance Day parade here in Rochdale went off well and the sun shone on the righteous once again, we got away with it and the heavens never opened and the parade went as planned from the forming up in Mere St (after a couple of warmers in the Polish Club) and marching down Drake St to forming up on the Cenotaph. There was a good turn out by the public, somewhere in the region of a thousand people had come to pay their respects. Congratulations must go to one of our members Mr Gordon Wharton who is a standard bearer for the British Legion. Gordan was on parade at Littleborough and judging from the write up in the local newspaper Gordon stole the show by appearing in all the photographs proudly leading the parade, who says Gordon is camera shy!
Well the A Team is away at the moment, they set off straight after the Remembrance Parade for Ypre and the Mennin Gate with full intention of being on parade on the 11th November 2008. So until they return things seem rather quiet here in Rochdale, a sense of silence fell over our bottom office (Café Cali). We will have to see what story they come back with. I asked them to keep notes or is it bloggs these days.
Just a reminder, some dates for 2009.
27th June 2009 Veterans dinner. Arrangements to be confirmed.
25th July 2009 Minden Ball, Masonic Hall, Richard St, Rochdale.
Festival of Remembrance (Oldham)
Visits to the Royal Hospital Chelsea
Oldham Xmas Party
Past & Present Dinner
Oldham branch is looking forward to another active year. Arthur Marshall is also working on some golf during the coming year with our own tee markers for the Museum Appeal. All the best to all, with single thanks to our Band & Drums who support us so well throughout the year.
Raffle prizes for functions. Please of you have something worthwhile to donate, give us a ring and we will attempt to pick it up if it is unmanageable. We thank Ray OBrian for his donation which consisted of an off road childrens motor bike, and various other items which will support one of our functions in the near future. Thank you Ray in Sussex.
We also thank HRH The Duke of Kent for the signed Assoc shirt, which is in the process of being framed, he had it done for us whilst visiting the troops in Iraq & Afghanistan earlier this year. The Branch The loss of CSgt Barry Robbo Robinson hit us all hard, as did Billy Deans before him. We shall attend the funeral on 4th December 2008 which we understand is in the Dagenham area (next issue more news).
Locally Alan Noble, Ron Owen, Arthur Marshall, Joe Farquer, Popeye Cochrane & Tony Harrop continue to make things happen, and hopefully with great support from our five standard bearers we shall attract more & more Fusiliers to the branch.
We wish everyone a happy Xmas and New Year.
GALLIPOLI SUNDAY 26th APRIL 2009
Tel 0161 764 2208
Don't forget the
web site is still holding a Gallipoli Dinner on the 25th Saturday
night at the
Click on the link
below for details
If you click on anything in White i.e. e mail address or web site there is a automatic link to it (try doing that on a piece of paper)
LIST OF OFFICIALS-FUSILIERS ASSOCIATION
President: Col B M Gorski
The Regimental Jottings give information
edited from the regular emails that I am sent from the Tower of
London . The information on the Op Banner Commemoration is important
to many of us. If you do not have computer access at home, remember
that most public libraries have free public internet access.
Letter from the Chairman - Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)
Dear Members of the Association,
E-mail addresses - Lancashire Headquarters,
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
SECRETARYS NOTES - Steven Fitt
Firstly I thank Lt Col Eric Davidson DL for all the hard work he has put in over the last 3 years as Chairman of the Association Lancashire, I am sure you all wish him well in his new post. Thank you everyone who attended the Gallipoli weekend, 'what is it on the march past, there are Primrose hackles standing out in the crowd watching?' Come on gents next year is the BIG one, if you feel that you can't march ¾ of a mile, let us know in plenty of time (and I don't mean the week before) and we will see what can be done. At the end of June I am going to France and Belgium and will be visiting the Somme Battlefields to lay a wreath at Sunken Lane. A reminder for your diary Sunday 3rd August is Minden day at the Club. This is also the last day that the Regimental Museum will be open, so make sure that we give the old place a send off and it will be your last chance to purchase tie pins, cuff links, etc until April next year.
Fusilier News 4th January 2008
New Year's Honours
Fusilier News 10th March 2008
For the publication the following as having been Mentioned in Dispatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Afghanistan during the period 1 April - 30 September 2007" Capt Robin David Smith, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
RECRUITING FOR THE REGIMENT
Fusilier News 23rd April 2008
St George's and Gallipoli Weekend Celebrations
Fusilier News 2nd June 2008
1ST FUSILIERS ON OPERATIONS
OPERATION BANNER COMMEMORATION SERVICE - 10 SEPTEMBER 2008
You can apply for tickets for the Service
in St Pauls Cathedral by following the link http://www.veterans-uk.info/
Fusilier News 17th June
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS
Another massive success for the Band &
LT COL E DAVIDSON DL
I first met Eric Davidson in 1967, as a young
Sgt PSI at the TAC in Bury. I was driving down the Bury/Bolton road
in a Land Rover when I noticed a Police motor cyclist following
me. I eventually got back to the TAC and he was still following
me, right into the TAC yard. My first thought was 'what have I done
now'. It transpired that this officer was Eric Davidson and he wanted
to get involved with the Army Cadet Force. We gave him all the details
he required and off he went.
John Scotson BEM
P.S. Congratulation to Lt Col Eric Davidson
Dedication of a New Standard
Lt Croxford, Cpl Brady, Lcpl Day, Fus Worsley,
A further eight will deploy on Op TOSCA to
Cyprus in September. For many this is their second or third operational
tour and at the risk of being controversial there are few post war
regular or National Service Lancashire Fusiliers who can boast this
sort of operational experience. The Platoon is now looking forward
to the arrival of Sgt Jones formerly of the Regimental Recruiting
Team in Lancashire who will shortly take up the appointment of PSI.
In the mean time CSM Gilks will continue as acting Platoon Commander
and PSI as well as holding down a full time job. The Platoon continues
to be held in very high regard by their parent Battalion 4LANCS
and this is best summed up in this extract from B (Somme) Company
notes taken from the 2007 Kingsman Magazine.
The Fusilier Association Club.
Gallipoli Weekend 2008
M J GLOVER
At the time of writing we are gearing up
for our social evening on the 6th June. Obviously the event will
have passed by the time this issue of the News Sheet is published.
However judging by the response to verbal advertising on Gallipoli
/ St George's day in Bury a favourable turnout "is/was"
expected (more in next issue). Anticipation, expectation 'excitation',
these adjectives just about exhaust the dictionary of superlatives
but cover adequately the feeling running through the Liverpool Branch
at present, the reason? LIVERPOOL THE CITY OF CULTURE 2008. What
has this got to do with non Liverpudlians or non Merseysiders you
may ask, everything say I! Liverpool was a City in Lancashire on
a par with Manchester and our County Palatine City of Lancaster.
So you see even though 'dee doan talk like wot sum do doodle' Liverpudlians
or Merseysiders, whatever people may pre fix them are Lancastrians.
Culture? Perhaps this is another question on the lips or in the
minds of many. I will endeavour to answer that unspoken thought
/ question. (quote) culture, an understanding of intellectual achievement,
of customs, of civilization, of a particular time or people (un
quote). Time? Of war people? Of Lancashire people throughout this
great County of ours who paved the way for our present day (admittedly
not so appreciative at times) society. So this years Remembrance
Parade is eagerly awaited and being tied in with the City's 2008
status hopefully will add impetus. The state of the Branch membership
is stable at present, with attendances at our monthly meetings fluctuating
between 12 & 18 subject to holidays and ailments. We extend
a welcome to two new members in the person of Frank Cotham ex Signal
Platoon 1LF and Ted O'Hare ex MT/MT D Coy 1LF.
For details of meeting please contact the Secretary
ST HELENS BRANCH NOTES
The St Helens Branch are still battling to keep the Boer War Memorial in its original location in Mesnes Park, Wigan. As is usual with this kind of campaign we are being faced with a number of obstacles, which hopefully we will overcome. Members will be informed of any progress we make here. Sadly one of our members has recently been admitted to hospital due to ill health and the group wish Ken Cordingly a full and speedy recovery and that our thoughts are with him and his family at this difficult time. Hopefully Ken and his family will make it to the Branch Concert on Friday 14th July at the Billinge Labour Club. The annual event is usually a huge success, raising much needed funds for the Branch. With tickets priced at £5 each, the artist Steve Brandon, a disco, buffet, bingo, a raffle and bar from 7-11.45pm we hope this year will be better than ever. If you're interested in attending this is a not to missed night, please contact either Barry Storey on 01744 892335 or the Branch Treasurer Frank Taylor for tickets on 01744 603525.
ROCHDALE BRANCH NOTES
Meetings held at the Rochdale Transport Club
first Wednesday in the month.
With current membership of 31 the Branch
remains fairly active. So far this year we have held the Grand National
Draw followed by the Gallipoli Dinner and the Church Service and
Parade on the Sunday. On the 18th may 5 of us, Jack and Peggy Barlow,
Fred Wall and Olga Glover and myself, along with a coach party from
Rochdale Branch visited the National Aboretum near Lichfield Staffs.
We were able to locate the Armed Forces Memorial, on which were
the names of Captain Pring, 2/Lt Finlow, L/Cpl Jackson and Fus Parker
all of who lost their lives in Trieste and were buried with full
military honours, in the Military Section of the San Sabba Cemetary
Trieste. All in all this was a very worthwhile outing and was enjoyed
by all of us. We wish to thank Elwyn Pickup of the Rochdale Branch
and their members for the invitation to attend. The date of our
Annual Dinner has now been finalised and will take place on Saturday
the 18th October 2008 at the Grants Arms Hotel in Ramsbottom. Finally,
may I on behalf of all our members convery our best wished to Lt
Col Eric Davidson in his new ventures on the Museum Project and
thank him for his stirling work and dedication as Chairman of the
Association. We also wish a warm welcome to Captain John O'Grady,
his successor who I am sure will carry on the good work.
Charles Davies. (meetings held Wellington Barracks on the first Tuesday of the month at 8.00pm)
Branch membership stands at 159, from most
part of the Country. Barry 'Robo' Robinson is on the mend and recovering
well after his illness, he apologises for missing Gallipoli. We
have had a few days out since the last issue.
'Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier'
`D` COY 5 LF/RRF
The mortar platoon was always a bit different,
or odd you might say. If you strayed into earshot of them you would
hear strange phrases such as "condition the rounds, trilux
sights, stabilo pencils, post two, stamp in, in two, plotterboards,
Wendy House" etc.
Minden 2008 The Minden celebration this year
will once again take place at the Regimental Club on Sunday 3rd
August. Start time as normal will be early. It is hoped that we
will have the usual Band Concert and Display by the Corps of Drums.
You should also be aware that this will be the last day that the
present Museum will be open to the public. The Museum will close
to visitors after this event to prepare for the move to the new
site in the centre of Bury. Please pass this onto any ex LFs who
you may know of who do not keep in contact with the Regiment.
2009 IS THE 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF MINDEN (OMNIA AUDAX)
John Scotson BEM
VERSES ON DISPLAY AT THE NATIONAL ARBORETUM
I am an only child I cannot say thank you
A life lived in freedom
Whilst we have children like this, all is not lost! Charles Davies, Trieste branch
President: Col B M Gorski
In July we welcomed our new Colonel of The Regiment Brigadier
Trevor J Minter
I would particularly like to thank all those who attended our
Minden Day on Sunday
I am aware of much hard work that is going on within our Association,
and our links
I thank you for your loyal support during 2007 and I offer New
Year Greetings to all
The e-mail addresses for the Lancashire Headquarters of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers are as follows:
Lt Col M J Glover TD Area Secretary Lancs
Another 6 months have passed and we have lost several ex Fusiliers but it has also been a proud one, with Fusilier Andrew Barlow being awarded the George Medal. The Regiment has two serving George medal holders from Lancashire, who says the spirit of the old Lancashire Fusiliers does not live on in the present day, they are both from Lancashire and Fusiliers. Minden Day was well attended many thanks to those who attended. A few comments were made about the wreath laying ceremony, gentlemen if you have anything to complain about see your branch Chairman or Secretary who can then pass it on through the correct channels. Recently I was approached at a branch meeting about a death of a former Lancashire Fusilier and asked the question 'why did no one attend , and where were the Standards?' All Branch Secretaries have my home telephone number and as I am still in full time employment I can arrange for someone to stand in for me. Many thanks to those people from Oldham Branch that made the trip out to Cyprus. Where do all the Lancashire Area officers disappear to on the gatherings, on the last two we have had one Officer attend and that was Lt Col Glover, many thanks Sir. Branch Secretaries now is the time to think of the 2008 Gathering, accommodation and travel. And thank you Ronnie Owen for getting the Oldham lads together and to Tom king who came from Berlin. Remembrance Sunday, it was great to see so many Primrose hackles on Parade in town again.
Over the past few weeks I have been reading some old copies
of the News Sheet and there are some excellent anecdotes printed
in them. Some of them are seventeen or eighteen years old but they
are very good, and I thought they deserved a reprint. A lot of you
will not have seen them and they may jog your memory to come up
with a few more. Read on Gentlemen..!
'Tough - you're not tough
Cyprus 1958. On their tour of Cyprus at one stage 1LF were based
in the huge mainly tented camp ar Kermia. HMS Blackpool the same
type of ship as HMS Euryalus was in the area and parties of LFs
went to the ship and sailors visited the Battlaion.
Get Your Thinking Caps On Gents
Museum Project. The ground breaking ceremony took place at the
beginning of October when a silver plated shovel provided by Eric
Davidson, who appears to have everything in his garage, signalled
the start of the building phase of the Museum Project. Work on the
building will take 12 months. Fit out of the museum displays will
start at the end of October 2008 with a view to a "soft opening"
at the end of February 2009. A "soft opening" predates
the official opening and provides an opportunity to make sure that
the lights work and the cabinets do not fall on small children.
M J GLOVER
Bury Grammar School Founders Day. The summer season began with
Bury Grammar School Founders Day at the beginning of May. The Regiment
has been associated with the School since 1891 when the School Cadet
Corps was attached to the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the XX The
Lancashire Fusiliers. The day began with a Church Service in the
Regimental Church of St Mary the Virgin and was followed by luncheon
at the School. Other than providing a fine lunch for the Area Secretary,
which is very important, it provides an opportunity to confirm the
link between school and Regiment.
M J GLOVER
BURY BRANCH NOTES
Having visited the Imperial War Museum in Trafford Park, Manchester,
where they was an exhibition covering War Graves, one of our intrepid
standard bearers, Kevin Heselwood was spurred into action and discovered
that in Bury Cemetery there are three war graves. These belong to:
Local Oldham Branch Members are still conducting a Tribute Parade
to our far Eastern prisoners of War after 62 years. The Town marks
the occasion on the 15th August every year. As a promise to Oldhams
Ex Far Eastern prisoners, which stated, that whilst and Ex prisoners
are alive, the Ex service would conduct a parade at the War Memorial
every year prior to 1969 the FEPOW Association would hold a small
Parade. But as of 1969 the Town made its pledge and the Parades
became an involvement, for all Ex servicemens Associations. There
are two remaining Far East prisoners alive today, within the Town,
both in homes. However families still attend every year. It is intended
that on the 40th year, since 1969-2009 the Oldham liaison will lay
up the Standard of the Far Eastern prisoners of War at Oldham Gallery.
Wreaths are laid by the Mayor of the Town, FEPOW families and the
Oldham liaison Sec / Chairman Alan Noble RRF, who does also remind
all of FEPOW Exaltation and Kohima statement, in 1969 the Chief
guest was Col Philip Toosey, Colonel of the River Kiwai. At the
time of the visit he was a Brigadier. He passed away 21/12/1975.
the FEPOW Association does not exist today of course, however, the
Standard is Paraded where ever possible, thanks to our Standard
Bearers of the Town, which also includes Les Berry Lancs Fus, Paul
Heywood RRF and Mick Fowles RRF.
ONCE A FUSILIER ALWAYS A FUSILIER
REGIMENTAL CLUB NOTES
The committee continues to keep the club going with live entertainment every Saturday evening normally 2X acts with a quiz night on Thursday evening which has become popular football on Sunday afternoons backed up with wakes private parties etc. the steward and his good lady run a good good club which always proves value for money the committee with pat now fully in control of the finances work hard to make end meets the latest information is as follows there will be no movement of the club before late 2009 this is confirmed by lease so we ask all fusiliers, ex fusiliers to use the club whenever you can to keep the club going or book your branch into the club for a Friday evening perhaps after 2009 our lease will increase so we need your revenue now you are one of the few regiments that still have a club if ever there was a time to use it its now happy Christmas and new year to all committee remains the same with additions Mick rea and Tommy we are open every night all day Saturday and Sunday for your own bookings advance warning is essential all the best to you all, to all our members regimental/social thank you for your custom without you we are nothing have a good 2008
ROCHDALE BRANCH NOTES
When I signed off in June this year our first Veterans Night
was fast approaching and I said I would report back and bring you
up to date. We held our Veterans Night on the 22nd June this was
a nearest as we could get to the 27th June which is the official
Veterans Day. It was decided by the committee that we should arrange
a sit down meal at a local restaurant (testing the waters) after
much deliberation the Crimble Restaurant at bamford Rochdale was
chosen. For those who do not know the Crimble the food is superb,
and the ambience, its surroundings are very hard to beat. From the
stone pillars that adorn either side of the open fireplace, which
carries the Lancashire Fusilier badge in the Conservatory Restaurant,
through to the Peacock Room and Restaurant and with the plaintive
calls of the peacocks echoing through the surrounding grounds, you
could not wish for a better venue. Twenty seven of us sat down to
the meal and to take it easy on the chefs and staff we kept to a
fixed menu as the rest of the restaurant was chocker as they say
in Geordie land. As I said the meal was superb, the waitresses great
and the evening was kept light in that the only Regimental ceremony
carried out was the loyal toast and absent friends. Due to the fact
that Veterans Day is all about them that served and came back, we
will remember our fallen on the appropriate date. Twenty seven members
enjoyed the first Veterans Night so much that members of the branch
have clamoured for a bigger venue in 2008, somewhere more central
they said. Well here goes a date for your diary, we have booked
our next Veterans Night for the 13th June 2008 (sorry this was the
nearest date available). It is to be held at the Masonic Buildings,
Richard Street, Rochdale. Tickets will be on sale in the New Year.
Our Minden Ball held on the 28th July 2007 was a great success in
that all that attended enjoyed themselves. This year the honor of
eating the roses went to one of our older members Mr Ellis Jones
and one of our younger members Mr David Day. The highlight of the
evening went to Cannon Alan Shackleton who is our acting Padre and
he keeps us on the path of all things righteous. Cannon Alan Shackleton
kindly agreed to bless our new St Georges Standard. The Standard
was presented to the Branch by our TA. Contingent on their return
from Iraq in 2006. Apologies to Lt Col P W Merriman MBE. His Officers
and all Ranks of 2RRF from all member of the Rochdale Branch of
the Fusilier Association in that we could not attend the Fusilier
Gathering in Cyprus, this was solely down to logistical reasons.
On October 14th Clegg & Thorpe Tours was brought into action
and the A team set off on their annual pilgrimage to France and
Belgium in one well packed car and minibus. This time we had chosen
to travel from Hull to Zebrugger on the ferry, this allowed for
a short trip up the motorway, a good nights sleep on the ferry (lucky
for some Sumo) and a short de-tour through Dunkirk and onto Ypre
and our base, which was the hotel Areianne. I am pretty sure one
round about was suffering from De-Ja-Vo syndrome but well done Truly
we got there. I know your used to reading maps from the sky (AAC
REME). Well we settled in to the hotel and went for a good walk
round Ypre calling at the Menin Gate Memorial, to check the events
board standing, there it felt like checking the part one notice
board (way back then). We were booked into parade at 2000hrs Wednesday
night for the wreath ceremony, so therefore off we went to plan
the next four day visits. Tuesday we visited Talbot House and the
site of the Shot at Dawn in Poperinge these are two sites well worth
a visit. Talbot house as a Museum is still going through some changes,
with a new entrance being constructed on the side street. But from
the chapel in the attic were the squaddies from yester year knelt
and prayed, down through the new cinema staged in the old concert
hall where you can stop and watch footage of the lads as they acted
out their burlesque performances, to the grounds below where you
can walk around the well manicured lawns and gardens, yes its worth
a visit. Ho bye the way if you bump into the Padre on your tour
please pay him no heed he will not harm you, he is still only tending
to his flock. (Ghost if you believe, but as you enter the chapel
there is a drop in temperature). The shot at dawn experience is
entirely different in that you can imagine what went through the
minds of some of the young men that were executed, thousands of
miles away from home and in a no win situation, thrown into the
cells, a court martial, sentenced, thrown back into the cells, only
to be led out at dawn and shot. What had theses lads gone through
not all were cowards as history has proved. Wednesday we visited
the war Museum at the Hooge crater, Hill 62 and Tyne Cot cemetery
here we visited the graves of the Known only to God Fusilier and
that of Private Richard Lancaster, poppy wreaths were laid as a
mark of our respects. It was also good to see so many youngsters
there in Tyne Cot. Weather they were visiting loved ones graves
or on school trips. One school that showed an interest in our party
was Bramhall Grammar School for girls from Stockport (of all places).
Questions were fired, fast and quick but in good old Fusilier fashion
what we could not answer, we winged it. We also visited the site
where the Fusiliers remains had been found, and again laid poppies.
This must have been a very solemn place to die all those years ago
but at last they are laid to rest, God Bless You Lads. Wednesday
night soon loomed and at 2000hrs we were at the Menin Gate Memorial,
Blazer, Slacks, Beret and hackle, Medals if you had them. A mixed
bunch on Parade but we represented, The Fusilier Association Rochdale
Branch. Fifteen of us against over a thousand tourist, site seers
and old comrades who had come to show their respects to the fallen
we looked rather a small bunch in comparison to the rest. The Last
Post was sounded, we were brought to attention and our standard
was lowered. The honour of laying the Poppy Wreath went to two of
our oldest members Mr Norman Holt and Mr Eric Townsend the epitaph
was given by Mr jack McCarrol (well done lads and I think it was
a better showing than the Kiwi Hacker the night before). After all
the wreaths were laid by all the organizations present, Sunrise
was sounded, our Standard was raised and we were fell out to do
our own thing. A Chinese meal was order of the night and we headed
for the New Shanghai City Restaurant. Must admit the Chinese meal
was good, washed down with half a dozen bottles of re, a good night
was had by all. Thursday morning, we rushed around the Belgium country
side visiting more sites of interest and at dinner time came to
a halt. Thursday afternoon was leisure time, time to do some shopping
and wind down and get ready for the Regimental Dinner that night.
The dinner was booked for 1900hrs for 1930hrs. Dressed in all our
glory we assembled in the lounge bar, chance for a couple of warmers
in the bank before being led into dinner by the organizers of Clegg
and Thorpe Battle Field Tours (Peter and Alan to us). The dinner
went smoothly along with a few lively debates, the two swear boxes
were in action as usual, and at the end of our meal fifty four euros
had been collected. It was decided to present this to St Georges
Memorial Church Ypre. Friday morning all were a bit hung over, but
one or two still went shopping for the famous Belgian Chocolate
and a bit of duty free. With a well packed car and minibus we set
off back calling in at the Chateau at Passchendaele, this is another
well planned Museum and played a vital roll in the First World War.
After a pleasant hour here we set off for Dunkirk and the beaches.
On arrival we parked up on a deserted car park and made for the
beach. After a stroll of about a quarter of a mile in braising condition
it was time for some food Pathfinder Dave Clegg (Peters brother)
spotted a burger van, we left behind one happy French man, burger
and chips fifteen times (at them prices) yes one happy French man.
Well onwards to the ferry and home. We boarded the ferry, everyone
dispersed to their cabins for a wash and brush up and dinner. After
a good night spending the last of our Euros in the bars and what
we can describe as a fitful nights sleep in our cabin (Sumo) we
docked in Hull. All had gone well we were one of the first to be
off the ferry, through passport control, only an hour down the motorway,
then came customs control. We think they were out for a laugh or
they were bored, but yes they pulled us over. Truly and the bunch
in the car just sailed through no problems, but us the dirty dozen
well it was passports checked again several times, who were they
looking for? Time wasting or what. Then appeared Lizzie, a cute
little English Springer Spaniel with her handler, up went a shout,
grab your kit they want us off the bus lads, there going to do a
full search of the bus. Line up over there with your kit in front
of you (it felt like being back in the ranks), waiting for Lizzie
to finish the bus, smelling in every corner with her ultra sensitive
nose, making a very through job of it. Lizzie then came over to
us, she was up and over the bags and the odd case, nose going ten
to the dozen, customs officers asking questions. Is that yours?
Do you have any duty free? What have you to declare? What were they
expecting to find on a bus full of old squaddies? After about an
hour Lizzie was reined in and we were allowed to re-pack the minibus,
passports returned, no contraband was found. Safely all back on
the bus we were allowed to carry on our journey home courtesy of
the Hull Customs and Excise Unit and Lizzie all laughing their socks
off no doubt. We wonder if the Taliban have such difficulties entering
our green and pleasant land as it seems we Dirty Dozen were well
suspected of something, and we served QUEEN AND COUNTRY. We arrived
back safe and sound in Rochdale at about 1100hrs courtesy of Clegg
and Thorpe Tours and dispersed to all points of a compass, to our
own little abodes. Thanks lads for a grand six days and if anyone
wants an experience, contact Cluthchie anf Truly of Clegg and Thorpe
ST HELENS BRANCH NOTES
D (INKERMAN) COY
People: I am now completing my first year in command and have
been privileged to work with fantastic soldiers from across the
area. It is particularly fitting and enjoyable to be back with the
Fusiliers again. From Bury Lt Stuart Croxford has recently deployed
to 1 LANCS in preparation for a deployment to Basra. Meanwhile his
opposite number from the Ardwick side of the Coy Lt Chris Gilbert
is due to return.
NO BATTLEFIELDS JUST BARS
OLDEST SURVIVING LANCASHIRE FUSILIER
We recently received a letter from Mr a Brewster (I think he
was called Arthur) who is now 95 years old and lives at the address
shown below. Mr Brewster and his wife have been married for 70 years
on 23rd April 2008 (a good day to get married on). He joined the
LF's on the 6th October 1930. He served overseas from 1931 until
1936 and 1938 until 1952, his discharge date. He married his wife
in Colchester in 1938. His wife served in the Womens Army Corps
and was also a Sgt and they both served together at the Indian Army
Academy at Quetta, at varying stages she was the Post NCO and later
the Sgts Mess Caterer. He left the Army in 1952 and from 1956 until
1967 he served in the Royal Engineers TA before immigrating to New
Zealand. They were also in married quarters at Wellington Barracks
Bury in the 1930s, (this must be a record). Mr Brewster says apart
from failing eyesight and being a bit frail both himself and his
wife have got all their faculties. The question is:- is Mr Brewster
the oldest surviving Lancashire Fusilier, ( I don't know of anyone
older than this).
MAJOR JOHN SMALE
We have recently made contact with Major John Smale who was
commissioned into the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1935 in Colchester.
Major Smale served in the 2nd Battalion in various places including
Dunkirk. He then went onto become a Commando and took part in a
number of famous Commando raids during the war. He never has forgotten
his time with the Regiment and has now become a member of the Association.
I am sure that he would relish a visit from any old Fusiliers and
anyone who would wish to contact him can do so at the address below.
I am sure he would be delighted to meet some old members of the
Regiment. Major John Smale
GREATER MANCHESTER ARMY CADET FORCE
The Company continues to go from strength to strength and our
Cadet numbers consistently hover around the 220 figure. Staffing
in some areas is causing concern. In particular Ramsbottom, Rochdale
and Hulme are in need of a few more staff. I hope this situation
can be turned around soon with the next round of staff recruiting
in the New Year. Progression is a vital part of our national aim
and with that in mind over the last six months we have sent Cadets
to the Cadet Training Centre at Frimley Park to complete their Cadet
Leadership Course and Master Cadet Course. During the summer we
were lucky to be invited to visit 3RHA in Germany, and some 30 Cadets
attended the visit. Senior Cadets also required their Advanced Signals
Qualification at Blamford in August.
REGIMENTAL EVENTS IN THE NEW MUSEUM
Remembrance Sunday: The parade and dedication of standard on
Remembrance Sunday at Wellington Barracks proved to be a great success
and my congratulations to the organizers. However it did pose the
question as to how future events are to be run at the new location.
I have no doubt that a similar parade will take place in Bury to
rededicate the memorial once it is re-erected in Sparrow park and
appropriate facilities need to be in place.
M J GLOVER
I FULLY SUPPORT Councillor Walker in his aspiration to see a lasting Memorial to Wellington Barracks and the Lancashire Fusiliers maintained on Bolton Road. Indeed only yesterday, Wednesday 21st he was due to attend a meeting at Wellington Barracks, the day before his letter was published, to discuss this very issue but sadly he was unable to attend. On behalf of those who clearly have an interest in the future of their Memorial i.e. the Fusiliers, I would like to add to Councillor Roy Walker's letter. This is indeed an emotive subject and deserves careful debate and it is important that all those who have a view are well informed. Councillor Walker clearly has an interest and had several invitations both verbal and written to come to Wellington Barracks to discuss the situation but as yet I have not had the pleasure. Interestingly this is not the original site of the Memorial. It was unveiled in 1922 outside the entrance to the original Barracks, on the spot now occupied by the bus stop. It was moves to its present location in the 1960's in order to enable the development of the original Wellington Barracks site. It is important to establish ownership of the Memorial. The Memorial is not public, but private property and belongs to the Trustee of the XX The Lancashire Fusiliers Memorial Collection. It does not belong to the Church Ward or does it belong to the Ministry or Defence. The Trustee's are responsible for its upkeep and it is their wish that it should be restored to its former glory and then moved to Sparrow Park. For this the Trustee's have collected some £25, 000. In Sparrow Park the Memorial will stand alongside and compliment the Lancashire Fusilier Museum Collection together they will provide a fitting Memorial to Fusiliers past and present and be enjoyed by the many rather than the few. Importantly the Memorial can be maintained on a daily basis. I would like to think of the condition that it would be in if it remained at its present location in splendid isolation. We have consulted widely and I have spoken to many Fusiliers on the matter. Although against the move initially all have agreed that the move linked as it is to the £3.75 million Fusiliers Museum Project is the only option when faced with the facts. To a man they would hate to see the Project put at risk because of a dispute over a Memorial. However they all would like some sort of Memorial to record the Barracks and its relationship with the Fusiliers. To this end a planning group has been formed to discuss options. This group includes representatives from the Regiment and from the Council. Discussion is currently centred on the existing gate. This is the last part of the original 1845 Barracks and maintains many original features, unfortunately the other remaining buildings were not part of the original Barracks. Like Councillor Walker we would all like to see a suitable Memorial remain on Bolton Road to commemorate the Barracks and the Lancashire Fusiliers, but the Lutyens Memorial is not it.
M J GLOVER
TREATMENT OF SERVICE PERSONNEL
Over the past few months a lot has appeared in the press regarding the treatment of our service personnel and some of the despicable incidents which occurred with regard to our brave men and women. During September Anne and myself did a 'fly drive' to the USofA covering the Southwest deserts and Canyons (another photographic trip). We started and finished the first part in Salt Lake City. When we returned our car to SLC it was on a Thursday and the chap on the front desk at our hotel suggested we went to see the Thursday night rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We did this and there was about two thousand people present, amongst those present were the crew of the old USS Bruce, who were holding their reunion in the city over that period. Also present were five US Marines recovering from wounds received on active service, two of which were amputees. To honor these men that choir sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Marines Hymn, when the choir finished the whole of the auditorium stood and cheered, I can tell you there was not a dry eye in the place, including ours, it was magnificent. On the following morning whilst waiting for a flight to San Francisco at the Airport, we saw two soldiers in Combat Dress being served a meal at a 'Fast Food outlet'. At which point an obvious business man walked up to the lady at the cash desk and said 'whatever their cheque is put it on mine', he then turned to them and shook their hands and wished them well, brilliant!. Wherever we went we saw service personnel being treated with the utmost respect and we were very touched by all this, in fact we joined in it ourselves. Not all Americans agree with the politics of George Bush and his party, but they sure as hell back their service people to the hit. Most people I have spoken to over there also speak very highly of the British Army as they refer to us all. The one thing they cannot understand is the stories they see in the American press about how our service personnel are treated in some cases, particularly the fiascos over Selly Oak Hospital and Headley Court. Gentlemen what the hell is our country coming to!
Ray Smith: former W02 ACC attached to D Coy 5RRF for many years
passed away June 2007 aged 72 years, Rest in Peace.
President: Col B M Gorski
Editorial Comment-Capt. David G. Hoyle (Retd)
In 1966 as a wet behind the ears subaltern attending my first
Minden Dinner I sat at the table next to an old cove. Before I had
exchanged more than a couple of words with him another old cove
sat down on my right side. As he sat down he looked at the gentleman
on my left and said "By God, Harry I thought you were killed
at Gallipoli!" Harry then told his story of falling to a Turkish
bullet, turning the sea red, and being put in a boat returning from
landing troops, months in hospital and discharge. That Minden Dinner
was his first attendance at a Regimental occasion for over 45 years.
That dinner was a rare occasion when I just sat and listened. On
Gallipoli Sunday this year we listened to Cpl. Paul Brady in Bury
Parish Church saying "What Gallipoli means to me". Cpl.
Brady told us that the example of men like Harry inspire today's
British Infantryman to fight alongside comrades and to stand for
the spirit of freedom and for our country. The campaign medals of
the Territorial Fusiliers on Parade were a reminder that the Army
of the 21st century is different from how things used to be.
Eligibility for The Veterans Badge has now been extended to UK Armed Forces Veterans who served up to December 1984. For details, visit www.veteransagency.mod.uk or telephone the Veterans Agency on 0800 169 2277
Memoirs of CaptainR.R.Willis VC will be in Edition 51. The memoirs were found by Colin Snape amongst documents accompanying the Medals of Captain Willis which Colin purchased in 1996 which are currently on loan to the Imperial War Museum North until they can be safely on loan to the Museum in Bury.
Letter from the Chairman- Lt. Colonel (Retd) Eric W Davidson DL
My first duty is to welcome Stephen Fitt as our new Association Secretary, having completed his twelve month period as Assistant Secretary.
John Scotson who has decided that he still has some spare time in his busy schedule of holidays and photography, has agreed to act as Membership Secretary and look after our News sheet.
We are now on our third phase of supporting the Museum Fundraising with a target of £10, 000 to reach in 2007. a very tall order indeed which we shall give our best shot. By the time this News sheet is in print we shall have reached around £4, 000.
It would appear that in Lancashire we are not going to have large numbers attending the Fusilier Gathering in Cyprus. This in the main is due to the high cost factor and the age of most of our members having retired with very little income. Oldham Branch will be supporting the event and traveling under individual arrangements.
Gallipoli Commemorations were well attended at the Saturday St' Georges Dinner together with the Sunday Church Service Parade and Lunch. I do thank all our members for their support at this special Regiment event.
In support of the Museum Appeal. I was able to bring together our Fusilier Bands from Newcastle and Warwick, supported by our Corps of Drums and the Scots Guards Association Pipes and Drums in a Musical Extravaganza. This raised over £3, 000 on Saturday 19thMay 2007.
Once again I thank you all for your loyal support during the last six months. I offer you my best wishes wherever you may be for a rewarding holiday break.
Lt Col M J Glover TD Area Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Linsay Walsh Chief Clerk email@example.com
Tony Sprason Research Officer firstname.lastname@example.org
General Enquiries email@example.com
Capt D G Hoyle Editor Newsheet firstname.lastname@example.org
As I only took over from John Scotson in April there is nothing much to report, first of all I wish to thank John for all the great work he has done in the past and I know he will still be about should I need him. Many thanks to those branches that attended the Gallipoli weekend, it is a pity a few more local branches do not attend the dinner on the Saturday night. To those members who did not the attend the weekend , the two area Standard Bearers and now in possession of two new Standard Sashes presented to them on Saturday night and Paraded for the first time on Sunday. Many thanks to the Rochdale and Bury Branch members who attended the Band Concert in the T.A.C in Bury on the 19th May and I think Lt Col E Davidson DL and indeed all the musicians that took part, be congratulated on such a splendid evening. Don't forget Minden at the club Sunday 5th August. John has booked the Club for Friday 9thNovember for the Osnabruck, this is to co-inside with the Remembrance Day Parade through Bury, lets show Bury that this is still a Fusilier Town on this special day.
You will find enclosed with this edition of the News Sheet a new Association Membership Card. This has been brought about by the fact there are at least two versions of the card in circulation, one card type from the sixties and seventies, and a plastic version. A number of the Branch Secretary's have expressed a desire for a new card that can accommodate payment of subscriptions. We have therefore designed this version which is now the Official Membership Card. If for any reason you have not received a copy please let me know at Area Headquarters and I will put one in the post for you.
Nine years ago, when he heard that I was to move to Bury, a
friend sent me a newspaper cutting-heaven knows what had led him
to keep it for so long-of an article written in 1992. it was review
of Geoffrey's Moorhouse's wonderful book Hells Foundations which
many of you will know. The author of the review had been a young,
newly commissioned Officer, billeted in Ramsbottom in 1941, which
he obviously found a pretty bleak experience during the blackout,
but he went on to say this.
Fusilier News 9th January 2007
NEW YEAR HONOURS LIST
2RRF TO DEPLOY TO AFGHANISTAN AGAIN!
2RRF DEPLOYMENT CONFIRMED
C Company follow them but not until the end of February. Interestingly some 12 soldiers have withdrawn their notice to terminate, which is encouraging. This must be balanced against the fact that many in the Battalion will have done 7 months away from their families over the last 12 months which cannot be easy to handle, especially for those with young children.
Fusilier News 15th February 2007
B COMPANY 2 RRF
THE REGIMENTAL PRI SHOP
SEMI-FINAL OF THE ARMY NOVICES BOXING COMPETITION
"The Commanding Officer and all ranks First Fusiliers would like to thank the Regiment for the outstanding support shown to our Boxers at the Semi-Finals of the British Army Novice Boxing Championships. It was an epic night and a truly courageous performance, matched only by the humbling show of Regimental spirit and unity - from new recruits at ITC Catterick, to members of the Fusilier Association, to comrades from Second Fusiliers who had travelled amazing distances to add to the volume of the evening. Thank you."
As one of the spectators, the atmosphere in the MT Hangar (the only building large enough in which to hold such a spectacle) was akin to that of a football or rugby stadium for a major international - except that the supporters were separated only by the boxing ring and the enclosed walls and roof magnified the volume to deafening proportions.
Chants of "Where's your capbadge gone? Where's your capbadge gone?" from the Fusiliers, to "What's the score, England? What's the score, England?" reflected both the humour and intensity of the competition.As the CO of 5 SCOTS said to the assembled boxers and supporters: "We have witnessed tonight a magnificent example of tribal rivalry that is unique to the British Army." Boxers from both the teams joined the officers in the Officers' Mess for supper afterwards.
Of course it was disappointing that we failed to make it to the Final, but Fusiliers were able leave Howe Barracks with their heads held high. A great night indeed.
Fusilier News 13th March 2007
HERITAGE LOTTERY GRANT SUCCESS
Readers will recall that the Regiment was set the target of raising £1.3million and HLF accepted the pledge of over £300,000 from one individual, but of course it is now incumbent on us to continue fund raising in order to repay his generosity. The grant means that building work can now proceed in the new location to display the joint collections of XX The Lancashire Fusiliers and those of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Finally, for any readers who were holding back on making a contribution,
please now consider doing so, cheques can be made out to the "Museum
Appeal Fund" and sent direct to Wellington Barracks, Bury,
Lancashire, BL8 2PL. Tax Payers please Gift Aid your donation.
Fusilier News 20th March 2007
2RRF UPDATE 20 MARCH 2007
C Company, under command of Maj Jim Taylor, were deployed complete
on 12 March by Chinook and are astride the troublesome SANGIN valley.
Their contacts started immediately and in their first week their
ammunition expenditure and rate of contacts has been the equivalent
to that sustained over a 6 week period by A Company in NAW ZAD.
The Royal Engineers have
9 Platoon has been detached to GERESHK where it is conducting
patrols at what is the northern gateway to the Afghan Development
Zone. The northern end is particularly important as this guards
the route from the SANGIN valley into the development area which
is the UKTF Main Effort. So we have 9 PL sitting on our main effort
and the rest of the Company Group ( 10 Pl C
Comment: It is frustrating that little or no media coverage
has been given to the Fusiliers, but this is probably a consequence
of the main formation, currently 42 Commando, understandably allocating
the few media resources to their own subunits.
A Company, under command of Maj Jon Swift, while not deployed on operations, are very gainfully employed in Jordan helping to train the Jordanian Armed Forces. Their guidance, based on their recent operational experience, is much appreciated.
Fusilier News 12th April 2007
B Company Headquarters is back in Cyprus and engaged on routine Ops 1 Tasking again so there is no rest for the wicked! Maj Andrew Higgs is also putting a team from B Company into the Cyprus Skill at Arms week.
C Company with Maj Jim Taylor, and Capt Alex Mills remain in Sangin. It is understood that they have had 79 contacts in 17 days so the tempo of operations remains pretty constant for them. The Adjutant reports that they had a re-supply not only of ammunition but also mail and food, which was much appreciated. S/Sgt Matthews (REME Detachment) is indebted to his body armour, which effectively saved him from serious injury when he was hit by shrapnel at the beginning of the month. He was "a little shaken" but is otherwise fine. All members of the Battalion will be heartened to hear that Sgt Gibbons is making a steady recovery in Selly Oak Hospital where he has regular visitors and he is already in a wheelchair and talking in terms of returning to Cyprus to convalesce at the end of this month. That said, he is well aware that full recovery will take many weeks and he may yet require further operations on his legs.
Fire Support Company continue with patrols in Kabul and are doing some good CIMIC work there also. There have been a number of significant suicide attacks in the capital too, fortunately not directed at the Fusiliers but the threat to Maj Gareth Boyd's soldiers is still very real. The temperature has risen and is consistently above 25 degrees centigrade. The good news of this is that it is now almost impossible for the OC to bog in his vehicle!
The Battalion 2IC, Maj Duncan McSporran is currently in Kabul. He made the point that there has been such a comprehensive rotation of Fusiliers from Cyprus that although the Company Headquarters team might relate to C Company for example there may be some 60 members of Fire Support Company also deployed with Maj Taylor. He took the opportunity to bring to the attention of the Regimental Secretary the tragic loss of 6 soldiers of H Company 2RCR on Easter Day when their LAV was blown up by three land mines stacked one on top of each other. The condolences of all Fusiliers has been passed to the Regimental Secretary of The Royal Canadian Regiment whose alliance to the Fusiliers goes back to 1927 when the Canadian Fusiliers were first allied to The Royal Fusiliers. These soldiers from 2RCR were involved in an operation which also involved the Fusiliers.
Although nothing is certain, 2nd Fusiliers hope to be all back in Cyprus by mid May.
Fusilier News 2nd May 2007
2RRF COMPLETE BACK IN CYPRUS
Although 2RRF remain as the Theatre Reserve Battalion until 14th May, as CO 2RRF says "For us the War (well this bit of the battle at least) is over from tonight". He also makes the point in the Foreword he has written for the Fusilier Journal that over the last 58 weeks he has had Fusiliers deployed on operations in Iraq or Afghanistan for all but 11 of those weeks. The Commander of British Forces Cyprus is visiting the Battalion today.
Most regular Fusiliers will now be back from operations but let us not forget the TA Fusiliers and in particular those in Somme Company of the London Regiment who also have with them three Fusiliers from the Bury Platoon, who have just started their tour in Iraq. I understand there are at least 22 Fusiliers in that Company.
CHANGE OF COLONECY
Three boxers have been chosen for the Army Team; they are Fus Wisniewski, Fus Walker and Fus Miles. Our congratulations go to all 7 boxers who took part in the Championships.
UPDATE ON OPERATIONAL CASUALTIES
L/Cpl Dryden (1RRF), is still persevering with his artificial arm and is waiting for a date for re-admission to Headley Court.
Fus Fanthome is released from Headley Court this Friday and is off to Cyprus on Tuesday to attend a 7 week potential JNCO Cadre. After this he too will be back at Headley Court.
Dmr Barlow is picking up 3 new artificial legs this week and is also flying to Cyprus to attend the same potential JNCO Cadre, always assuming that his passport can be renewed in time!
Fus Spencer remains sick at home continuing with dental treatment in the UK.
Fusilier News 30th May 2007
We have sought to reassure RHQ Royal Anglian that they are much in our thoughts after suffering recent fatalities and other casualties in their Viking Battalion in Helmand Province. Better news from the London Regiment's Somme Company with its nucleus of Fusiliers who are also in Helmand. Their Helmand Herald circular to the family and friends of the London Regiment indicates a high tempo of operations but high morale. Most of them are based in Camp Bastion.
Fusilier News 12th June 2007
COLONEL-IN-CHIEF VISIT TO FUSILIERS IN CYPRUS
Met at the Airport by the Commander British Forces Air Vice Marshal R H Lacey and the Commanding Officer, he was flown in a helicopter around the Dhekelia Sovereign Base to see the many changes. He was entertained in the Sergeants Mess on Thursday night for drinks and again on Friday for lunch, and dined with his Officers on the Thursday night.
The highlight of the visit was the briefings and informal chats he had with Fusiliers at the various stands where they told him about their extraordinary exploits in Afghanistan and Iraq over the last year. He met some wives and Garrison Welfare Staff before awarding Long Service and Good Conduct Medals and Regimental Certificates, which he had personally signed, to several members of the Battalion who had earned special merit. It was particularly pleasing for him to be able to meet those who had been injured on operations and to see them making such excellent recoveries.
Accompanied throughout by the Regimental Secretary it was no surprise that on the flight back to Heathrow the Colonel-in-Chief declared how much he had appreciated the visit and that this was an "exceptional battalion".
Afternote: The Regimental Secretary was left in no doubt at all that those members of the Regimental Family who are able to go to Cyprus to attend the Fusilier Gathering on the 31st October/1st November will find it hugely rewarding if only to hear first hand what our young Fusiliers have achieved.
W J WILLANS
LANCASHIRE AREA HEADQUARTERS
Staff. I am pleased to say that for the first time since I took up the appointment as Regimental Secretary Lancashire in January 2005 I have a full complement of motivated staff. Linsay Walsh my very able Chief Clerk now a veteran of some 18 months and has been joined recently by Lucy Armstrong. Lucy has taken up the appointment of Administrative Assistant. She is enthusiastic, hard working and comes with a degree in Modern Languages speaking both French and German.
The Museum has also benefited from staff change. Paul Dalton is now firmly in control as the Museum Support Officer and Helen Castle has joined us as the Museum Documentation Officer. Meanwhile Tony Sprason has decided to "stag on" as the Museum Research Officer and last year handled over 200 written research enquiries.
Padre Robin Richardson accompanied by a party of fusiliers from the 1st Battalion will conduct the Funerals. Fusiliers will provide both Carrying and Firing Parties. Richard Lancaster's funeral will be at 10am at the Prowse Point Military cemetery to the South of Ypres and the unknown Lancashire Fusilier will be buried at the Tyne Cot Cemetery at 2pm. Following the funeral there will be a small ceremony at the site where his body was discovered some 200metres to the west of the cemetery.
In addition to the funerals at 8pm on the Wednesday evening the regimental party will conduct the ceremony at the Menin Gate.
PRIVATE RICHARD LANCASTER
Born in Lancashire in 1882, Richard Lancaster enlisted into the Regular Army on the 1st March 1901, and served for nearly 4years. He left regular service for the reserve in January 1905 and in September of that year he married Phoebe Porter in Burnley. On the marriage certificate they are both listed as weavers.
Following German threats to neutral Belgium, at 4pm on the 4th August 1914, the British Government gave the order for mobilisation. The order was received at the Depot of the Lancashire Fusiliers in Bury at 6pm on that day. Of the 1,752 reservists on the books, 1,454, including Richard Lancaster, reported to the Depot the next day. At the depot he underwent a medical inspection and was issued with his rifle, clothing and equipment and despatched to the 2nd Battalion stationed at the Citadel Barracks in Dover. Although he was issued with the new compressed fibre identity disks as a reservist he had a pre-war metal identity disk. Luckily he kept the metal identity disk that survived while the compressed fibre disks rotted away. The metal disk, stamped 8372 Lancaster R was found by archaeologists in 2006 and assisted in the identification of the body.
The 2nd Battalion formed part of the 12th Infantry Brigade itself part of the 4th Division. Initially the division was ordered to cover the deployment of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF)to France and so at 3am on the fourth day of mobilisation the 2nd Battalion and Richard Lancaster left Dover by train for Cromer. On the 21st the Battalion embarked for France landing at Boulogne on the 23rd August. The BEF earned the name of the "Old Contemptibles" following a remark attributed to the Kaiser.
The first taste of action for the 2nd Battalion and Richard was at Le Cateau. This was rapidly followed by a retreat in the face of overwhelming force. Over a period of 12 days Richard Lancaster marched 146 miles at an average of 12 miles a day concluding with actions at the Marne and on the Aisne. Eventually room for to manoeuvre ran out and both sides settled into trench warfare. By November 1914 following the Battle of Armentieres, Richard and the battalion found themselves occupying positions to the south of Ypres on the eastern edge of Ploegsteert Wood. It should be noted that the soldiers had difficulty with the local spelling and pronunciation and the name rapidly changed to Plugstreet Wood.
On the 7th November a large body of Germans broke into the wood and were reinforced by a further German attack on the night of the 9th/10th. Richard Lancaster and The Lancashire Fusiliers were ordered to support the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in a night counter -attack. In the darkness the situation became confused and men became separated. The War Diary reports that the Lancashire Fusiliers seized one trench and a farm occupied by the enemy and bayoneted the occupants. Unfortunately the trench and farm were covered by fire from other German positions and were abandoned. Nevertheless further German advances in to the wood were stopped for the rest of the war.
Richard Lancaster and four of his comrades were killed that night and hastily buried close to the front line and lay undiscovered for 90 years. In 2001 the body of Harry Wilkinson was discovered close to the site of the original action in 1914. In 2006 French archaeologists Emmanuel Bril and Partrick Roelens discovered the remains of Richard Lancaster's body only a few metres away. The remains of Privates Brown, Robinson and Sheridan killed in action on the same night still remain to be found.
FRIENDS OF THE FUSILIERS MUSEUM VISIT TO FULWOOD BARRACKS JUNE 2007
The Friends of The Fusiliers' Museum recently enjoyed a special visit to Fulwood Barracks near Preston. Fulwood is the location of the finest mid 19th Century Barracks still in use by the MoD today. Completed in 1848 it is largely unchanged and is now Grade II Listed.
Fulwood was constructed at the same time as Wellington Barracks in Bury and Ladysmith Barracks in Ashton-Under-Lyne. Sadly both Wellington and Ladysmith Barracks were demolished in the 1960s and only Fulwood Barracks survives. Fulwood was twice the size of Wellington Barracks however the same designs and plans were used in construction on all three sites and today Fulwood provides a very good impression of what Wellington Barracks would have looked like in its prime as the Depot of The Lancashire Fusiliers.
The visit began with a guided tour by Jane Davis the Curator of the Museum of the Queen's Lancashire Regiment. The Museum holds one of the largest collections of infantry regimental history in the country and includes the Collections of the East Lancashire, the South Lancashire and the Loyal Regiments. The Friends were then invited into the Regimental Council Chamber and the Regimental Chapel.
Lunch followed in the Sumners Public House, which is situated opposite the barracks and has been associated with the barracks since it was built. The original public house was demolished some 10 years ago. In its day it provided accommodation for officers from the barracks and two of its most famous guests were Major Chard VC and Padre Smith who both served together in the action at Rorkes Drift in South Africa. An action much celebrated in the film Zulu.
Following lunch the Friends toured the barracks itself. Mike Glover, who served in Fulwood Barracks for 12 years, conducted the tour. Mike is now the Curator of the Lancashire Fusilier Collection at Wellington barracks. There was much interest in the remains of the original defences, the collection of armoured vehicles and an instructional aid for sword drill from the 1850s painted on a wall.
The next Friends' event will take place on Thursday 20th September
in the main hall of the Girls Grammar School. It will include several
presentations including, the latest finds from the Archive, an update
on the Museum Project, the story of the regimental funerals of the
two First World War Lancashire Fusiliers both discovered in 2006
near Ypres in Belgium. Both will be reburied on the 4th July of
Over the past two years the Friends have achieved a great deal in support of Museum. It is still a relatively young organisation, starting from scratch at the beginning of 2006. Since then they have achieved a great deal and I would like to personally thank them for their efforts. Their success to date include:
" Heritage Lottery Fund. The formation of the Friends was critical to the award of the £2million grant to the Museum Project.
" Fundraising. The Friends Committee was instrumental in securing a £30,000 grant from a leading high street bank for the Project. In addition it has raised almost £1, 000 from events.
" Hands on Activity. The voluntary efforts of the Friends have made a significant improvement in collection management, including documentation, access, storage and display.
" Events. The Friends have organised several events and trips, which have raised funds, promoted the Museum Project and more importantly, been great fun.
" Membership. Membership is rising steadily and is currently a combination of those who give their time and skills to the Museum and those who support the Museum through their financial contribution.
" Committee. An enthusiastic committee with a wide degree of experience and interest has been established and is working hard in support of the Friends and the Museum.
The new museum is due to open in the autumn of 2008 and once the dust has settled it will be the Friends of the Fusiliers' Museum who will take on the mantle of generating support for the Collections. This includes the existing XX The Lancashire Fusilier Memorial Collection and the new Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Collection, which is currently being pulled together in Bury.
Once the museum is open the Friends organization will provide the primary means for members of the regimental family and the general public to interact with museum management on a formal basis. There is no doubt in my mind that the Friends have a key roll to play in the future of the Fusiliers Museum and its Collections and I would urge all Fusiliers who have an interest in their heritage to join.
Collection Management. Under the leadership and guidance of Helen Castle considerable progress is now being made with collection management. For many years the Museum and Collection suffered from serious under investment. One critical consequence of this was that collection documentation left a lot to be desired.
Helen is now getting to grips with this fundamental problem ably assisted by volunteers. The Volunteers have taken on specific responsibilities within the overall programme. Roy Woods has focused on the medal collection. So far some 2,000 have been catalogued. This is about a third of the campaign medal collection. In addition he will have to catalogue the collection of commemorative, sporting Temperance and Masonic medals. Fred Wilson has focused on cataloguing the uniform and accoutrement collection. Brian Cooke assisted by Mike Williams are working with the Archive and Joyce Fowler is putting the Library in order. The process of identifying objects and documenting them has been made much easier by the collection audit carried out by Ron Agnew and Carlton Wrigley in 2004. This process has only just started and will take a further 12 months. A move to the new site will be impossible until the existing Collection is accurately documented.
This process takes up considerable time and more assistance would be appreciated. If you would like to give a hand to preserve your heritage please contact Helen on 0161 764 2208.
MUSEUM PROJECT UPDATE
A contractor will be chosen in June and building work will begin in July. The fine detail on how long the building phase will take cannot be confirmed until the contractor is chosen. Once the building is complete, construction of the displays can start probably in the spring of 2008.
The title of the Museum, after long deliberation and taking
the views of all those who were willing to make an effort to present
Another character of D coy was - I will call him Fus. Barry. This was not his real name but will do for now. Fus Barry was 6ft 4ins tall or perhaps a bit taller. His claim to fame was that he could throw a 36 grenade farther, higher, faster and a bit more accurately than anyone else in the world. This is true, I have seen him in action. He could drop one in a bucket from more than 50yds. In fact i believe that he had played cricket he could have knocked down the wicket at the Oval with a throw from Lords!
D coy was having its annual camp at Carnoustie in Scotland, Barry had just been promoted to L. Cpl, and everyone knows a newly promoted L. Cpl is the most powerful person in the world (well they think so anyway). This power is quite quickly taken away from them, either by a Sergeant's size 9s, or a Sgt. Major's pace stick. L. Cpl Barry still had the power.
The train had just arrived at Barry Budden station, this was the nearest station to the camp. The station platform was not very long so was not able to accommodate all the train at once. Our kindly platoon Sergeant came into the carriage to explain that the first five coaches would be disembarked , then the train would draw forward to allow the remainder of the passengers to alight from the train. He also said that under no circumstances must anyone jump down onto the trackside as it could be dangerous, all must get off onto the platform. Some civvy passengers and troops had disembarked and the troops were being supervised by their senior ranks. Suddenly L. Cpl Barry informed his carriage of Fusiliers that he would jump down on to the trackside to assist the senior Ranks. This was not thought to be a good idea by most of the Fusiliers, as they new the nature of the kindly Sergeant.
When someone jumps down 4ft and they are in FSMO (full service
marching order to the uninitiated) they must bend their knees, even
if they are newly appointed LCpl they too must bend their knees.
Of course, this does not apply to a rifle. A rifle does not wear
FSMO, nor does it have knees. Barry's feet hit the ground at the
same time as the butt plate of his rifle. He bent his knees and
the muzzle of the rifle and bayonet boss went into his mouth and
out through the side of his cheek. Barry was howling like a banshee.
The kindly Sergeant seeing what had happened came down the ramp
of the platform saying:
Some years later D Coy's annual camp was going to be in Libya
in the desert "oh what ecstasy!" Everyone cried "Think
of the sand flies, scorpions, lack of water, snakes. Sand everywhere,
in your food, teeth, up your nose, in your ears and in every nook
and cranny". Very abrasive stuff sand.
The training was varied but very limited time for sunbathing. As Gib, is very small, night exercise options were down to one. The bars in the town, and the NAFFI got a bashing. Two PSI's put it round the company one night in the NAFFI that D Coy had drunk so much beer that they qualified for a premium bond, just ask the bar staff after about 20 had asked only to be refused in not too polite terms. One or two heated arguments started. It was found out that we had been the victims of a practical joke. Two Corporals got together in the vicinity of the PSI's (one was an ex Warwick) and said they intended to paint the goat (Bobby was a black buck) in the Regimental Colours, and they would do it about 2 - 3am. The PSI's heard the plot, as they were intended to. They watched the Mascot all night, nobody went anywhere near Bobby - the biter bites back! You didn't mess with Cpl Williams (Willie).
One afternoon into our billet burst LCpl Barry, he had been down town swimming and sun godding. He was very tanned except for an L shaped scar on his cheek. This was white, as were the dots either side of the scar, the stitch marks. It looked like a white centipede begging for food. On our hero's way back from his exploits in town, he has bought a gold coloured watch from a barrowboy. He explained what the various dials and buttons did, and told us it was waterproof as well. Though at £5 he was not sure if it was solid gold. One of the occupants of the billet remarked "You dozy beggar, there have been two world wars since you could buy a gold watch for a fiver!" At this LCpl Barry turned and moved towards the bed of his tormentor, but stopped when he saw that the chap on the bed had two white marks on his sleeve to his one, so he settled for a belligerent stare and sneer.
Later the following night Barry came into the NAFFI - he was seething! His pride and joy - the watch had filled with water whilst he was swimming in the sea. "That barrowboy had better look out!" he said. If he did not refund his fiver in full, he would tip up his barrow and kick his contents all over the road. It was decided by all that this meeting must not be missed, so a few from the billet followed Barry at a discrete distance to observe. It goes without saying that we would go to his aid should he need us, this we thought would be very unlikely.
As the Corporal approached the barrowboy he said to him loudly
in broad Lancashire.
Cpl - "Nay it wernt!"
YOU MUST BE KIDDING
In 1899 before the war with the Boer Republics of the Transvaal
and the Orange Free States started, there was a period of indecision
and dissension in British politico/military circles. The size and
nature of the reinforcements needed, to bring up the garrisons of
the British part of South Africa, Natal and Cape Colony to a suitable
strength were the cause of this dissension.
FROM CHARLIE DAVIS - TRIESTE BRANCH
By Maj AMS Cotterill RRF
Kingo's on parade in Bury! What was going on?
I am sure that the more eagle-eyed among you will have noticed
Kingsmen parading alongside the Fusiliers during the Gallipoli Parade
in May. This was the parading manifestation of the newly formed
D (Inkerman) Coy, 4th Bn, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment. After the
amalgamation of the King's, QLR and KORBER in July last year, the
T.A in the North West reorganized intone Battalion, covering from
the River Mersey to the Scottish Border. D Coy covers Manchester,
and so had brought the Fusiliers into the fold with their urban
brothers in arms - the former King's.
GREATER MANCHESTER ARMY CADET FORCE
The Company consists of eight detachments, seven of which are
RRF. Our furthest northern detachment is Ramsbottom moving and moving
to the centre of Manchester with our most Southern unit located
Meetings held at the Rochdale Transport Club, Baron St, Rochdale
on the first Wednesday of the month.
The Final Inspection
Thanks Geoff. How's about it lads, do you think you can put pen to paper and still keep them coming for the next News letter.
The Branch strength currently stands at 133 paid up members,
which hold a collective amount of 3RRF. The Branch Xmas party was
a cracker, with lots of the young but bold, John O'Grady, John Buckley,
Ian Hall, Chinny O'Riorden, Les Buckley and the younger Major McDonald
still serving from Brecon, Jack Goodwin, Tommy Dyer, for those who
could recognize him without blonde hair, Mickey Taylor, and the
annual branch members. But what made the night was the different
age groups of Fusiliers. We welcomed Andy Barlow and his father,
prior to his return to Cyprus with the Second Battalion after his
recent casse vac, from the front line. Well done Andy, nice to have
seen you. We hope your trip to Oldham was something to talk about
on your return to Battalion. In the last issue we mentioned our
Fusilier Queen. The sister of Fusilier James Duncan killed 22 November
1975 in an attack on a border observation post at Drumuckaval Ormagh.
Well we must report she has not been to well and has had time in
hospital. We hope for her return shortly, where the plan is to meet
our RHQ staff. James was the first Oldham Fusilier to lose his life
in N. Ireland - Last Remembrance Day, all Associations paid tribute
from the town. We are sad to report the death of Chinny O'Riorden.
Chinny died Monday 30th April, Ronnie and other Branch members attended
the funeral in Thornton Cleveleys on Tuesday 8thMay. Chinny did
send a letter to the Branch two days before his death. "Dear
Ron, I was very impressed when I attended the Christmas Dinner at
the vitality of the event. I was particularly pleased and inspired
to see such large numbers of younger people in attendance. This
makes a welcome change, as too many comrades Branches are run by
'old fogies' like me. In many of the Branches when we die off so
will the Branches, where as the Oldham Branch seems to have a future.
Please accept this small contribution towards Branch funds. With
my best wishes to you all in the future - Dermot O'Riorden "Once
a Fusilier always a Fusilier".
ONCE A FUSILIER ALWAYS A FUSILIER
Our Fusilier Club still remains open and will be so until late
2009-2010, our biggest battle at the moment is assuring Branches
and social members that, WE ARE NOT CLOSING. Branches c'mon book
the Club for a Friday night for example. Our committee should be
thanked endlessly for keeping the club going under such difficult
circumstances. Such as press releases that informs the public of
what's going to remain at the site once the Museum moves. However
the press fails to mention its still got at least two years to run.
Earlier this year we received sad news from Liverpool that Jimmy
O'Connor had passed away. Jimmy served with the Second Battalion
in Trieste in Support Coy. Our members from the Merseyside area:
George Langhorne, Gerry Staunton, Peter Carney and Alec Wallace
were in attendance at his funeral which took place at Anfield Cemetery
on the 9thJune. In August we received further bad news when we were
informed that Peter Kelly had passed away on the 19th. Peter was
an associate member of the branch, well liked for his dry sense
of humor. His funeral took place at Boarshaw Cemetry, Middleton.
In attendance were Jack and Peggy Barlow, Fred Leonard, Alan Mills,
Vernon Haigh, Don Rostron, Ron Penney and Charlie Davies.
Earlier this year we were shocked to learn that our Chairman
George Powell has resigned. His feelings and observations were,
that both the Branch and also the Association were becoming apathetic,
under these circumstances he felt unable to carry on. In 1981, George
along with the late Spud Murphy and Jack Barlow were founder members
of our Branch. His enthusiasm and tireless work throughout the Branch
and that Association came through, George will certainly be missed.
On behalf of us all I wish him and Maureen, his lovely wife, every
happiness and good health for the future.
Extract From Miles Noonan Book
Whether the origins of the ritual lay on the terraces of football
stadium's, in Edwardian Music Halls or on the Pantomime Stage, is
open to discussion and research. The most likely of the three is
that it came from that part of a pantomime in which the principle
boy resorts to consultation with the audience about the baddies.
Bert Jones Ex LF formerly of the Flyde Branch passed away November 2006.
Neil Kay Ex 2LF, Trieste and Trieste Branch. Passed away November 2006. Neil served for many years as CSM for the Bury Det of GMACF and was one of the volunteers on the Bury Poppy Appeal. Stand Easy Neil.
Eric Magieson former LF passed away 28thNovember 06. Eric was a member and former Treasurer of the Bury Branch of the Association.
Mr JB Ashton Ex LF passed away mid November 2006. former member of the Bury Branch. (no details of service available).
James Wilson former LF Canal Zone, member of the old Bolton Branch passed away Sunday 2nd December 06.
John Beames former 1LF National Service in Osnabruck passed away late December 2006 aged 67years.
Mr Alan Brown Ex LF and former Secretary of the old Wigan Branch of the Association passed away 22nd January 2007.
Mr Frank Seddon former 1LF Weeton, Hong Kong and RRF passed away 22nd January 07 aged 58 years.
Mr Billy Locket of Oldham and a member of Rochdale Branch passed away March 07. Billy was a former member of 1 LF and RRF he served 1964 until 1972 in D Coy and the Assault Pioneer PI. Billy was 60 years of age.
Mr Walter Mellor former Sgt LFs during the last war passed away 19thMarch 07 aged 80years. Rest in peace.
Former Sgt John London Ex 2LF North Africa-Italy-Austria passed away 28th February 2008 aged 82 years.
Ex Sgt Les Jackson former 2nd Bn Band also Egypt, Germany and Cyprus passed away 16thMarch 07 aged 78 years.
Mrs Kath Maxwell, wife of the late Sgt Ray Maxwell passed away ion Bury Hospice on 20th April 2007. sadly missed.
Mr Fred Skeels former 1LF Burma Veteran passed away May 2007 aged 93 years.
Mr Derek Riley Ex Band Corporal 2LF Bulford and Trieste Branch passed away 9thMay 07 aged 72 years.
Charles McHardy former 1LF Drums Platoon in the Suez Canal Zone early fifties. Passed away April 07 aged 73 years.
Jamie Reed former LF of the 2nd Chindit Expedition passed away on 28th May 2007, peacefully in hospital aged 89years. A fine gentleman. Rest in peace Jamie.
Mr. Brian Callow former RF and 3RRF, Regimental Sergeant Major
of the 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (5th, 6th,
7th & XX th ) 1972 to 1974 died on Monday 14th May 2007 aged
Edition 49 Jan 2007
LIST OF OFFICIALS-FUSILIERS ASSOCIATION
President: Col B M Gorski
Editorial Comment - Capt. David G. Hoyle (Ret'd.)
The July 2006 editorial was short so as to fit in a full year of Regimental Jottings. This editorial is short because 6 months of active service news of our Fusiliers is more than the previous 12 months; and it is less than half the material I started with!
Ken Southwell's Monte Cassino memories of 2LF in the last edition sparked Joe Warden into writing a few memories that are as stirring as the current Regimental Jottings. Thank you Joe and all contributors. Please keep your memories coming.
Letter from Chairman Lt. Colonel Eric (Retd) W Davidson DL
At the commencement of this letter. I would wish all our Association Members to know how hugely proud I am of each and every one of you. In pulling together in support of 'The Fusilier Museum Appeal' project. With your magnificent efforts and contributions I have on your behalf presented a cheque for £27.000 to our Deputy Colonel who is Chairman of the Steering Group and on his behalf I am commanded to thank you all.
The Lancashire Area was well represented at the Annual Fusilier Gathering in Celle by members of the Rochdale, Oldham, Bury and Trieste Branches. This was an extremely good show of strength despite the long journey. We are now eagerly looking forward to the next 'Fusilier Gathering' which is scheduled for Cyprus in 2007.
The Gallipoli and Minden Commemorations during the year proved once again to be most successful with good numbers attending each event and weather being kind.
Our Association Band and Drums have played a vital role in keeping the name of the 'Fusiliers' alive not only in Lancashire but in many other parts of the country. The Corps of Drums in particular look most resplendent with their new military pattern drums emblazoned with full Battle Honours.
Pleasing to note that around 60 former Lancashire Fusiliers took part in the Liverpool Remembrance Parade this year it is their intention to be present as group in Bury for Remembrance 2007.
Our Regimental Chapel namely the Bury Parish Church is in need of funds towards the upkeep of the organ and furniture. To support this the Band and Drums of the Association together with the Pipes and Drums of the Scots Guards Association provided a Concert on the 18th October 2006. the sum of £2.700 was raised on the night.
In conclusion may I once again thank all our members for their loyal support during 2006 and together with my wife offer all Fusiliers' and their families throughout the world a very Happy and Merry Christmas and Prosperous New Year.. God Bless You All.
The e-mail addresses for the Lancashire Headquarters of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers are as follows:
Lt Col M J Glover TD Area Secretary Lancs email@example.com
Linsay Walsh Chief Clerk firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Sprason Research Officer email@example.com
General enquiries Same as Chief Clerk
Capt D G Hoyle Editor News Sheet firstname.lastname@example.org
Here I am again, beginning to sound like Frank Sinatra,
every time you open these notes you find there is something about me
retiring. I was supposed to retire from the job in April 2006, however
for one reason or another I continued in the job for another year. This
year I do mean it as 2007 is going to be a year of heavy traveling,
there are a number of places that Anne and myself want to visit in Europe
and the USA and I cannot do both, the job and the traveling. I am now
sixty five years old and there is a lot I want to do, so I am afraid
the Association post has to go.
News from RHQ HM Tower of London
Fusilier News 15 August 2006
NEWS FROM A Coy 2RRF, AFGHANISTAN
Tuesday, August 15, 2006 16.32hrs
AWARD OF THE GEORGE MEDAL
It is with great pride to hear that the award of The George Medal has been given to Fusilier Daniel Smith of the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Almost exactly a year ago he was the team medic who administered in the two consecutive roadside bomb attacks in Basra. The first saw the deaths of Fus Meade and Fus Manning, the second saw the death of Maj Bacon, Intelligence Corps and severe injuries inflicted on L/Cpl Short and Fus Tuila. It is sobering to appreciate that Fus Smith will be back in Basra when made aware of his award one which reflects such credit not only on him but on the Fusiliers as a whole. (The George Medal is second only to the George Cross in order of precedence.)
Congratulations also go to Capt Nader Anabtawi (1RRF). In the same Operational Honours List No. 27 he receives a Joint Commander's Commendation for his work while serving with HQ 7 Armd Bde in Basra.
FUSILIERS IN AFGHANISTAN
Maj Jon Swift phoned the Regimental Secretary on
Thursday 7 September. With his 2 Platoons and Fire Support Group they
remain in their outpost in Naw Zad as reported in the last Fusilier
News - a copy of which eventually reached him in his trenches attached
to a "bluey" from his wife!
Describing the ongoing operations involving Fusiliers and other members of 3 Para Battlegroup, Maj Swift was at pains to emphasise just how important the war fighting skills taught at the Infantry Schools were proving. Whether these were the Sniper courses, 81mm Mortar courses, GPMG SF Courses or Section and Platoon Sergeant Courses, if ever there had been any need to justify why it is necessary to send people on these courses he was witnessing it today. What is also impressive is how the interchange of skills is going on without any direction on his part. Furthermore, "Blokes are sandbagging in the heat of the day and at night with no encouragement from me!" His snipers had two more confirmed kills against an opposing RPG Team. His NCOs were taking notes and retaining video clips of their actions so that they can pass on their hugely beneficial experiences when they get the opportunity back in England to visit Sandhurst, Brecon and the other Infantry Schools.
He questioned whether the scale of casualties was being reported in the media as the overall numbers were very significant and showing no sign of reducing. He appreciated that the current strategy was following political rather than military imperatives and anticipated that, unless it changed, his Company would likely move and be redeployed in a couple of weeks, although nothing was certain. He freely admitted that his command had been very fortunate not to incur more casualties since incoming mortar fire had been landing close to buildings and trenches. (Little wonder the Fusiliers are keen to increase their sandbag protection!).
Mail was getting through; re-supply was working; clearly Jon Swift was hugely impressed with the professionalism being shown by everybody under his command. He ended the call by stressing that the teamwork and camaraderie he was witnessing was exceptional and very reassuring.
2RRF TO DEPLOY TO BASRA
For 15 days those members of 2RRF not on operations in Helmand Province were waiting in Jordan for the political decision to be taken to deploy them direct to Basra. Readers may recall that 2RRF went to Jordan for Exercise SAFFRON SANDS back in mid July. They fully expected to return to Cyprus in mid-September even though all ranks know that 2RRF is the Theatre Reserve Battalion until March 2007. On 22 August the CO was warned that they could expect to deploy to Basra between the 26 and 30 August for up to 4 months. Three days later, on the 25th, Lt Col Peter Merriman wrote an open letter to all his families back in Cyprus to explain the overall situation.
Not until 5 September did the Defence Minister take the decision that 2RRF (less A Company in Afghanistan) would fly from Jordan to Basra this Thursday and Friday. The CO and his Command Group had been there since the 29th August.
The fact that it is only 9 months since C Company's last 6 month tour in Basra has not gone unnoticed. In a recent Parliamentary Question, 2RRF's failure to meet the desired Harmony Guidelines (periods of separation) had also been highlighted. As it stands, the tour length is just too short to qualify for any R & R package or the all important grant of any free flights to/from the UK for families.
These frustrations however should be balanced by the recognition that the Fusiliers, Officers and NCOs are now members of a most competent, confident and professional team, in part the direct result of their recent training exercise in Jordan. Now the waiting and uncertainty is over, they can concentrate on the challenges ahead of them. This time each Company will have its own Area of Operational Responsibility and no longer be tied to static guard duties as they were when last in Iraq.
2RRF's role in Basra is that both C Company and Fire
Support Company (FSP) will initially work with the Basra Rural South
Battlegroup, currently the 1st Battalion, Devonshire & Dorset Light
Infantry. C Company will be based at Um Qasr and FSP Company at the
Basra Palace Hotel. One Platoon commanded by Capt Andrew Swann and Sgt
Halloran will be based in the North of Basra at the Shatt-al-Arab Hotel
working for 1 LI. Battalion HQ will be based in the centre of Basra
with the role of mentoring the Iraqi command and control centre for
Fusilier News 26th September 2006
AFGHANISTAN AND THE FUSILIERS
Towards the end of last week our Fusilier News got
rather more media coverage than expected. Specifically, transcripts
of conversations between the Regimental Secretary and Maj Jon Swift,
Commanding A Company Group in Afghanistan were widely quoted (and in
a couple of instances totally misquoted) in several newspapers. The
letter from the Commanding Officer of 2nd Fusiliers, Lt Col Peter Merriman
an abridged version of which is reproduced below and is posted in full
on the Regimental Website (www.thefusiliers.org)
Lt Col P.W.Merriman MBE, 2RRF, Op TELIC, BFPO 645
It is a sad fact of today's media that what starts as a, wrong, but not necessarily ill intentioned report by one organisation is, by turns, translated into a suggested case of 'whistle-blowing' by some and a 'cover up' by others ---- (It-ed.) is bemusing to the uninitiated, deeply unfair to the individual and irritating to his friends and colleagues.
What then did Jon Swift say? The media did not check their interpretations before making so free with their views, so I tread carefully, even though I have spoken to both. There is no doubt that the A Company Group are in an operational environment that is more demanding than most of us have experienced. The Korean War has been mentioned, I am not sure, but for those of you with memories which go back that far and beyond the picture of holding an isolated outpost against a cunning and determined enemy in close terrain for a protracted period, night after night, will know exactly what Jon and his boys are going through. The rest of us do not. This is where the armchair pundits get it wrong, expecting a precision and perfection in everything ----which would defeat the bureaucrats in Newcastle, let alone the fighting soldiers in Now Zad. The last occasion I spoke to Jon before today, the conversation was interrupted twice as he took cover from RPG attacks. Today the base he is defending has been attacked three times. They are doing fine, but this is no picnic.
So, Jon has not 'whistle blown' some scandal about casualty figures; he did ask if the media (which of course he does not see) are informing the public just how much appreciation they owe the soldiers serving in Afghanistan. I do not blame him for wanting the great work that his Fusiliers are doing to be recognised. -----Jon also said to me, that whilst this (platoon houses static locations -ed) meant tactical frustrations for him at times, it is hardly surprising, let alone sensational: long before Clauswitz pointed this out human conflicts have taken place in a political context.
Jon is obviously embarrassed that a private conversation ---- to keep the Regiment informed ---- has been turned into a political issue; ----I encourage everyone to not be put off by this sorry episode and to keep on with the good work of spreading what news we have.
LATEST UPDATE FROM MAJ SWIFT
On Friday 22nd September the Regimental Adjutant received a phone call from Now Zad. Maj Jon Swift was able to confirm that his two platoons and outposts on the hillsides were continuing to be subject to random but determined attacks from an enemy using RPG, mortars and 105 millimetre rockets. The approach of Ramadan was seeing a slight reduction in these attacks.
He was of course completely unsighted on the media coverage that his reports had inadvertently initiated and the Regimental Adjutant was at pains to reassure him that he had our full support and that there was no cause for concern on this front. (At least those who read the media would be aware that The Fusiliers too, in addition to members of 3 PARA, were playing their part in Afghanistan).
It was good to be reassured by Jon that all his soldiers are in good order less a couple of cases of diarrhoea -hardly surprising after being in Now Zad for 8 weeks, (10 weeks to members of Fire Support Company). The Adjutant emphasised to him how proud we all were of them and that we were thinking of them all the time. Jon said how grateful he was for the support and he would pass it on to his Fusiliers.
Fusilier News 12th October 2006
The latest indications are that it will be disappointing
if 2nd Fusiliers are not complete back in Cyprus by mid December but
still no authoritative instruction has been released from PJHQ.
A quick update.
The RSM of the 1st Battalion has been selected for a commission, so many congratulations to WO1 (RSM) AJ Hall.
The bulk of 2RRF remain in Basra and in Southern
Iraq until the second week of December. We wish them well.
W J WILLANS
FUSILIER ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER NOTES NOVEMBER
FUSILIER'S MUSEUM LANCASHIRE
Bury in Bloom
Formation of the Board
LIFES UPS AND DOWNS
Watching the TV the announcer said thousands of troops
can be moved half way around the world overnight. In 1952 my journey
was not quite as simple as that. Let me explain.
Cpl Bill Bush
A day or two after the Battalion arrived in Kenya we were told that we were going 'To show the flag'. This meant that we must all dress smartly, follow the band and drums and march through the city of Nairobi. In the evening we were told that we could go out in groups of two's of three's to show we were there and ready for action. Looking smart and proud to be a Lancashire Fusilier I was walking through the town with two other Corporals, Len Oliver and Tommy Bayman. As we approached the Stanley Hotel, three figures were walking down the steps to get into a car. They were, Clark Gable and Ava Gardner who were making a film. Her husband Frank Sinatra was with them. When they saw us they stopped to watch us as we walked by. Corporal Bayman turned to us and said 'do you think they recognized us?'.
The above incident took place in 1952.
I, together with Lt Col Chris Berry and Maj Willie St Maur Sheil, have been able to do this. We took part in a Pilgrimage organised by the Regimental Association London Area, at the beginning of October.
Our tour of the Gallipoli area was well organised and covered the whole campaign from start to finish. It may not be appreciated that the campaign was envisaged as a naval operation with the Army in support. However, the Royal Navy did not perform well and were defeated by the Turkish use of their guns and mines. The 18th March is celebrated by the Turks as a major victory and the university in the nearest town, Cannakale, is called 18th March University.
We visited the gun positions and then visited all the Cape Helles landing beaches, X, W and V W beach, being the Lancashire Landing, was of particular interest to us. Fellow Fusiliers 2RF landed at X beach whilst 1 Royal Munster Fusiliers and 1 Royal Dublin Fusiliers together with 2 Hampshires went to V beach. It is awesome to see the ground and the dispositions of the Turks, that faced the attackers. The tasks were not helped by poor radio communications between ship and shore and landings being made at the wrong places due to poor navigation or stronger than expected tid. It was also at W beach where the whole of 125 (Lancashire Fusilier) Brigade, comprising 1/5LF,1/6LF,1/7LF and 1/8LF landed as reinforcements in May1916.
By following the entire campaign, we took in S beach, 2SWB, Fusilier Bluff, the ANZAC sector, the four battles for Krithia and Sulva Bay where 1/9LF landed in another dawn attack, and where later remnants of 1LF were involved. Many readers will have seen the Australian film Gallipoli. Whilst the depiction of the conditions, as I recall, was good in the film, standing on the ground and seeing the steepness and proximity of the opposing forces, really brings home the difficulties faced. Add to that the lack of water, extreme heat and then extreme cold plus the ever present flies and the stench of dead bodies. After enduring all this, there was a violent storm on 26 November, with rain so heavy that a flood swept down from the hills onto the Sulva plain where the British were dug in. Many soldiers drown in their trenches whilst the survivors huddled together waist deep in the water. Some of these were frozen to death when the rain changed to a blizzard. Very few survived these horrendous conditions.
We visited many cemeteries, including the Turkish ones. We were particularly interested in the Lancashire cemetery where we laid a wreath at a simple ceremony supported by the other, mainly RF, ex-service members of the party. Bert Mayle carried the 2RF Standard and Terry Young played the Last Post.. At the Helles memorial we supported the RF ceremony where a wreath was laid by the Pilgimage organiser, Maj Michael Gibson -Horrocks, MBE.
Martin Ratcliffe,a Bury man in the party, had a particular interest in the pilgrimage as his father, Pte Robert Ratcliffe 1/9LF was wounded at Hill 10 after landing at Sulva Bay. His uncle, Pte James Edward Johnson 1/7LF was killed in the vineyard at Krithia. He has no known grave but Martin found his name on the Helles memorial and placed a cross beneath it. Whilst Martin did his National Service in REME, his younger brother, Graham served in 1LF in Osnabruck 1961/62.
It was a moving and fascinating trip and I will have abiding memories of the difficulties caused by the ground but also thoughts of what might have been had there been better planning, better communications and navigation, more competent planning and leadership and some more luck. Of course a major factor against us was the brilliance of the Turkish commander Mustafa Kemal
Major P.P.Manvell TD (Retired)
BATTLEFIELDS AND BARS PART 3
THIS YEAR Jim Worrall and Stan Howes organized trip
was to Dunkirk to see what it was like in those dark days of Yesteryear
- the Withdrawal.
Part 1 Orders had obviously been read as all had
the usual hip flasks full except Ron Wilkinson who had a FULL BOTTLE.
No doubt a mate from a Liverpool bonded warehouse had had his arm twisted.
Cliff Dodson has still got his Grappa, this is now carried in wood shavings
and cotton wool as it is more volatile nitroglycerine, and still he
has had no takers. We arrived at Dover for and uneventful journey on
time. We would cross into France by the ferry and not by the dreaded
worm. A meal and a visit to the duty free then into France and on to
Loo in Belgium our base for four nights. As we arrived Jim received
a call from Bridget, the two missing passengers were waiting at Chorlton
St. Thankfully neither of them had been in the Army so I assume 0610hrs
means PM to a civvy.
Up bright and early for a continental breakfast and then on to our coach. First stop the British War Graves Cemetery at Dunkirk. This is quite a large one thankfully not as big as those 1st World War ones. It is kept immaculately as one would expect and as it is in Belgium it had Union Jacks flying above it. In France they do not fly the Union Jack over the cemeteries they could cause offence they say, however I notice they do fly them over the cheap wine and spirits outlets. It would appear that British Pounds are more important than British lives to the French.
After the cemetery we toured the area, we looked
at the Mole, dunes and beaches where thousands of Allied Troops were
disembarked. We also looked at the various defensive positions the defending
forces used to slow up the Germans, so as to enable the ships to rescue
both British and Allied troops. After tea we boarded the coach for the
evening in Ypres and the service at the Menin Gate. En-route to Ypres
our driver drove over a speed bump this caused discomfort to some especially
Tom Derby who caught his finger on the luggage rack but particularly
to Doddy who was at the rear of the coach. He hit his head on the roof
even though he was wearing a seat belt and experience not recommended.
It was on this day that we noticed a female in the party had taken a shine to Jim Aspinall. Tom Derby said she should visit Specsavers as a matter of urgency, but she ignored him. We tasked our unintelligence section who were sitting behind her to find out details. It transpired through accidents she had had various pieces of metal inserted into her body, she was later cruelly nicknamed Metal Minnie. Her partner who was quite small, had a slight impediment in his speech, dark brown hair and from the first day dressed in OGs and an army jersey heavy wool. He was immediately nicknamed Monty. A name which he answered to at once. On further interrogation we found out that they worked in a mental hospital. Who says it's not catching?
Our first stop was a t the Dover Patrol Memorial. This is dedicated to the British and French sailors of the two wars. The RN said they did not want a cenotaph type of memorial, but an aid to navigation. It is an obelisk about 100ft tall situated on a cliff between Calais and Boulogne - very impressive. Around it are gun emplacements zeroed on a beach which Hitler thought the invasion would take place. That was another one he got wrong. From the Memorial we called at the Todt Battery this had housed a large gun capable of shelling the South Coast but is now a very impressive museum with outside it the Railway Gun. This as the name suggests could be moved around the country and was capable by its 60ft barrels of firing well over 20 miles. Our next stop was at a V3 complex at Mimoyecques. The V3 would have been had it been finished a number of gun barrels of massive length targeted at London and Paris and capable of firing 200 shells a day at each city. The very thick concrete roof was impervious to the normal RAF bomb but good old Barnes Wallis came up with the 'Tall Boy' - end of V3. it was in the V3 tunnels that Martin Mason was seen lurking near a pile of murky metal!
We left Mimoyecques to visit a V2 rocket launching site. This concrete building is about as big as a football pitch and would be 60 to 70 ft high. The massive dome is 15ft thick and was made on the ground and somehow jacked up and then the high wall added. I have no idea how they did this. Fred Dibnah would have known though.
Back to the hotel and dinner. In the bar a very attractive young lady sat on Doddy's knee and pleaded with him to whistle her favorite song - he refused. That speed bump strikes again. Martin Mason then produced the rusty blade of an old shovel which he claimed was used by the German slaves digging in the V3 complex. He would not let anyone touch it. We think its stamped "Calais UDC Cleansing Dept" anyway it is now in Middleton.
Observations of the day:- Tony Tootill is very sad all the Fire Hydrants are new, Ron was seen talking to the Gurkha, Martins still phoning the Chinese Restaurant "Hel Olyn" , Stan keeps examining his teeth and somebody has drunk my Rum.
Awakened bright and early to the sound of pigeons
cooing and magpies squawking, one of the group swore the next time he
would pack an air rifle the noisy things they should stay in the country
side where they belong he said.
After breakfast we packed and loaded our cases onto the coach ready for the homeward run. On our way to Calais we called at La Coupole situated near St Omer. This is one of the locations the Germans had for the V2 rockets. The site is now a tourist complex housing a museum, cinema, shop and café. Full sized models of the V1 and V2 were on display and small working models showed what happened on the site. The V2 arriving by train, then being taken to the various areas to be filled with explosives and fuel then taken vertical by train to the firing area to be sent on its way to England. All this in a 6ft by 4ft glass case beautifully modeled to the finest detail. The rocket was about 2 inches high and the gauge of the railway about ¼ of an inch - very impressive. The only minus on the site was the head sets given to us at the reception. These unlike the ones on the Atlantic Wall would cut out should you not be in line with the transmitter. It was hilarious to see half a dozen blokes nodding their heads up and down and side to side whilst turning around tapping their ear pieces at the same time, a cross between the Floral and the St Vitas Dance. From here it was a call at another not so cheap wine outlet and on to the port for our boat trip to Dover and an uneventful journey.
It is impossible to get exact numbers, as the amounts
in question do not tally. According to the official figures 239555 troops
were evacuated from the port and 98671 from the beach. Of these 1867587
British and 124999 Allied Troops.
V WEAPON STATISTICS
V1 Doodlebug 26ft in length 18ft wingspan 18751b
warhead first launched 13 June 44
The trip as a whole was a great success and well worth the money, unfortunately there is not a lot to see regarding the withdrawal from Dunkirk, as mostly the troops defended natural obstacles ie. Bridges, canals, rivers etc. the other parts of the tour were well worth visiting. Ledger tours need to inform their clients before the embark on extra trips if shuttle buses are not running and also instruct their drivers to look out for speed bumps. Had it been anyone else other than Doddy they would have been paying compensation by now.
Jim's wife has got him the memory supplement Gingko Biloba the only trouble is he cannot remember to take it. Stan's taking his teeth to Hereford and Brecon to see if he can get some who dares wins spirit into them. Ronnie Wilkinson was seen in Lansons Brasserie on the boat eating with the gurkha. Tom Derby is still telling his mouse joke, Doddy is not whistling - this needs to be rectified as a matter of urgency, Jims forgotten if he saw any Danger Deer signs or not. On day one when on the sand dune, I saw three of the group waving their walking sticks in arcs, why I was reminded of Foggy, Clegg, Nora Batty and Holmfirth? Petitions are being organized to get Ronnie his LS & GCM and to get the French to fly our flag over the cemeteries, me thinks we will have more success with the French.
Thanks Jim & Stan, where next?
JOE WARDEN'S CASSINO MEMORIES
Having read the memoirs of Ken Southwell, about Cassino,
my memories are just as clear. I am also one of the lucky ones to survive
this terrible place. The first time I saw the Monastery my stomach turned
over. We took over from the Gurkhas and I along with 3 others, took
over a Sangar which 6 Ghurkas had occupied. We squeezed in, knees up
to our chins. How 6 Ghurkas managed, I don't know! No movement was allowed
in daylight. To retrieve water from a well 100 yards away, we had to
run parallel to German lines, turning right at the end. It seemed a
hell of a long way with enemy gunfire all around. I made the trip twice
- the first with no trouble at all except for stumbling over the rocky
surface of the track. However, on the second trip we had filled all
the jerry cans except one, when all hell broke loose. There was no place
to hide so we legged it back to the sangars. Jonesey dropped off first.
I threw myself in my sangar when Jonesey appeared saying that they had
blown the top off his sangar. Lucky us, we got away with it that time.
SECRETARY Mr J.Trafford, 5 Longford Cottages, Longford Park, Stretford, MANCHESTER, M32 8PR
Meetings held at RBL Club, Clowes Street, Lower Broughton
on the first Monday of the month at 8.00pm.
NOW THERE MUST BE SOME EX LF'S OUT THERE. DON'T LET SALFORD DOWN, HELP US TO SURVIVE.
SECRETARY Mr E Pickup, 44 Mountain Ash, Rooley Moor, Rochdale. OL12 7JE Tel: 01706 712370
The summer months have been reasonably quiet here in Rochdale with everyone's thoughts turning to the Fusilier Gathering in Celle, but we found some time to attend some functions. During the red hot climate that this summer produced and im pretty sure that we all don't need reminding of the soaring temperatures, the first thing that springs to mind are BBQ's.
On the 15th July twenty one of us attended the barbecue
held by the Friends of the Fusiliers at Ellenrod Farm, this is home
to Alan Marshall Chairman of the Friends of the Fusiliers. This was
a first for the Friends and could have done with more support. The setting
was ideal the weather was glorious, we had the booze the food and friends,
what more could one want,
The Minden Ball was held on the 29th July at the
Masonic Hall, Richard Street, Rochdale. This was a fantastic night,
all the usual dignitaries attended and it was good to see one of our
TA members attending, CSgt Steve Cooney and his lovely wife Lorna. Steve
is currently serving in Iraq and was enjoying some well deserved R&R.
First was Alan (Truly) Thorpe. Alan is ex REME attached to the AAC, he is also an ex-bobby, hence (Truly). Alan stands in as assistant secretary and also helps the committee and branch in many other ways.
Second was Gordon Wharton. Gordon is ex RAF and has been a good help to the committee he can be seen attending the door at all our functions and helps out on many other occasions.
Third was Andrew (Andy) Harrison. Andy is ex RMP and can be seen wearing his red beret and primrose hackle carrying our standard on most parades. Andy does us proud in doing this duty for us, as none of us are getting any younger and carrying the standard is no easy task. So don't look at the man who carry's the standard and judge. Look at the colours that the standard represents.
Keep up the good work lads and who knows if one gets more involved with the committee and the branch you to could be presented with one of those certificates.
On the 6th August the away team was invited to a BBQ at Vine Yard Place, this is home of CSgt Steve Cooney and his wife Miss Lorna Fitzsimons. Again the sun shone and the food and drink was plentiful. Steve was due to go back to Iraq and a lot of friends and relations were gathered to wish him all the best and to have a safe and good tour of duty. Not forgetting the rest of the detachment in Iraq, we furnished Steve with several copies of the News Sheet. It was another good day out and special thanks from the away team got to Steve and Lorna.
September arrived and the Fusilier Gathering was
on top of us and on the 21st September 2006 at 0600hrs we assembled
at the Rochdale Town Hall for our trip to Celle.
Operation Home rat was now up and running.
We got to bed at about 0415hrs on the 22nd only to
be up again at 0800hrs, to get washed shaved and showered to go down
to breakfast which was 20k away in Trenchard. There were some sites
at that time in the morning as our ladies will vouch.
Celle is a beautiful place after being cooped up for nineteen hours it gave our group of ladies that travelled with us a chance for some well earned retail therapy, and the lads well they did what came naturally, found a bar. Only after we walked around the town and its magnificent manicured gardens.
The night after returning to Hone Barracks to get
changed, we returned to Trenchard Barracks and was entertained in the
Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess. This again was a grand occasion
with everyone packed into the mess standing room only. The beer was
flowing and some of us met up with old mates and it was good to see
one or two I hadn't seen for thirty odd years, this being the Geordies.
Saturday came and this was the Battalion open day,
there was plenty of sport going on for those who felt energetic and
were not hung over. There was section attack demonstrations, have a
ride in our shiny new tanks, shooting competitions and the like. Cleggie
his brother Dave and myself climbed into the back of one of these Shiny
New Warrior Tanks and was instantly handed a flack jacket, helmet and
ear defenders. This is standard issue and has to be worn by the crews
of the Warriors. How do theses guys go on in Iraq in all that heat.
That's what went through our minds, as back in the sixties and seventies
when I was driving the proto-types to these, the good old AFV 432,s.
I don't remember having a flack jacket. After a good day at the various
events put on by the Battalion we once again en- bussed to go and get
Sunday 24th September was the day of the Parade and
the Drum Head Service and once again, the Primrose hackle was in abundance
representing Lancashire. Although the colours of the Regiment are now
the red and white hackle of The Royal regiment of Fusiliers. It made
one proud to see all those primrose coloured hackles on Parade as the
Lancashire detachment marched past.
We set off home after a good hearty dinner in the
OR's dining hall at about 1730hrs. The plan was to miss the heavy traffic
on the German autobahns. This we did and this gave us time to detour
to a duty free stop for retail therapy. With spirits high and flowing
we carried on to our ferry, Calais and Dover. We skirted around the
M25 and up the M1, M6 and landed back in Rochdale at about dinner time.
A very good weekend had by all, although I am glad that we are not doing
it every weekend.
As I sit here bringing you up to date on Rochdale Branch, Remembrance Sunday is fast approaching and our thoughts turn to remembering our loved ones who died in the Two World Wars and the many conflicts since. Our boys are still serving in war zones through out the world so spare a thought for them.
I was on the Gorden Highlanders web site the other
night, my dad being an ex Gorden Highlander and I came across these
verses that say it all.
I will tell you why I march young man
We buried them in a blanket shroud
It says it all remembering those far off days when we were that apple blossom youth.
Well this year seems to have flown by Remembrance day coming up, then Christmas approaching fast. I hope you all have a good one and look forward to bringing you up to date in 2007.
At the time of writing we are heavily involved in
the running of Oldham 36th Annual Festival of Remembrance, at the Queen
Elizabeth Hall, which turned out to be very well attended, 750+. The
main attraction being our Fusilier Association Band & Corp of Drums
alongside. And combined efforts of the Oldham Scottish Pipe Band culminating
in a grand finale and march off.
ONCE A FUSILIER ALWAYS A FUSILIER.
Please can we make it clear to all branches and Regimental
members that the Regimental Club is not closing. Its future is dependant
upon progress of the new Museum Appeal and therefore, had a confirmed
safe period till at least the end 2008 early 2009 who knows it could
be even longer!!!
April - Gallipoli Sunday open all day
August - Minden Day opportunity for all branches and Regimental members to gather Regimental Band & Corps of drums open all day
November - Osnabruck reunion
November - Remembrance Sunday open all day
Don't forget we are open seven nights a week, Sat
lunch and all day Sunday. Mondays ladies darts night, Thursday a great
quiz night with Jimbo, Sunday evening great live entertainment and Sunday
open all day with Sky football.
We thank Fus Andy Barlow for his visit to the Club in October having just been released from Selly Oak Hospital. He was warmly received and all our members wish him well.
Last but not least thank you to our Steward and bar staff not forgetting our committee for their tireless efforts in the running of our Club-thank you all.
Wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and Prosperous 2007
"SUPPORT YOUR REGIMENTAL CLUB"
TRIESTE BRANCH - SECRETARY - C Davies
Earlier this year we received sad news from Liverpool
that Jimmy O'Connor had passed away, Jimmy served with the 2Nd Battalion
in Trieste in Support Coy. Our members from the Merseyside area: George
Langthorne, Gerry Staunton, Peter Carney and Alec Wallace were in attendance
at his funeral which took place at Anfield Cemetery on the 9th June.
In August we received further bad news when we were informed that Peter
Kelly had passed away on the 19th. Peter was an associate member of
the branch, well liked for his dry sense of humor. His funeral took
place at Boarshaw Cemetery, Middleton, in attendance were Jack &
Peggy Barlow, Fred Leonard, Alan Mills, Vernon Haigh, Don Rostron, Ron
Penney and Charlie Davis.
EXTRACT FROM MILES NOONAN: - MORE TALES FROM THE MESS, THE LOCATION OF THE HEART
FUSILIER MUSEUM APPEAL CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC. The
Museum Appeal Charity Golf and Cabaret Dinner. The need is for Association
Branches to recruit Golf Teams to participate in the event, its also
open to non golfers as a celebrity cabaret is planned.
Former L/Cpl Thomas Hird ex 1LF passed away 26 July 2006 in Harrogate. Served in India, Middle East and Europe. Aged 81 years.
Bernard Flannery former Sgt in C Coy 1LF and 1RRF 1961 to mid 1970's Osnabruck, Worcester, BG, Weeton, Hong Kong, Kirton Lindsey and NI. Passed away Friday 11th August aged 66 years. Rest in Peace Bernard.
Ron Smethurst former Sgt in 1LF as Pioneer Sgt, PI Sgt in A Coy and Sgts Mess caterer in Weeton, passed away on 1st October 2006. ron was 71 years of age.
George Wilson MM, formerly 1/8th Bn LF served in Dunkirk, India and Burma and later SAS. Member of Salford Branch, passed away 19th September 2006. Rest in Peace.
Former WO1 Albert Green LF, passed away 2nd October 2006. Albert served 25 years. Stand Easy.
Ex Fusilier Douglas Weston former 2LF North Africa and Italy, passed away in October 2006. Rest in Peace.