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LANCASHIRE FUSILIER NEWS NOTES FOR SUMMER
Diamond Jubilee. The Fusiliers
in Lancashire played their part in commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of
Her Majesty the Queen, the Duke of Lancaster. Throughout Greater Manchester
church services were held in all the boroughs and the Regiment was represented
at the Services in Bury, Rochdale and Salford. The Lancashire Headquarters,
the Regimental Association and Fusilier Cadets all played their part.
In addition, Fusilier Cadets, as part of the East Lancashire Railway Wartime
Weekend and to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee, marched en mass through
Ramsbottom and despite the appalling weather attracted large crowds. The
cadets followed this up with the lighting of a beacon on the top of the
Tower that commemorates Sir Robert Peel (a local boy, done good) that
overlooks Bury. The event was well attended and attracted hundreds from
the surrounding area, who made a sterling effort to trek up the steep
path to the Peel Monument. Guests included the Lord Lieutenant, the High
Sheriff and the Mayor of Bury who made their entrance in a convoy of Jeeps
and Austin Champs which took them up the hill.
Bury Grammar School Founders
Day. Highlight of the year for Bury Grammar School CCF is the Founders
Day Parade through Bury. Founders' Day is held at the beginning of May
and includes a church service in St Mary's followed by a lunch at the
school. The event allows Bury Grammar School CCF (BGSCCF) to march from
Bury Grammar School to St Marys and return through the streets of Bury
led by their own CCF band. Together with Gallipoli and Remembrance this
is an important parade day for Bury and provides another opportunity to
parade the hackle.
Bury Grammar School CCF on parade in Bury on Founders' Day
Mayor Making. Regiment is part of the fabric of Bury and always receives an invitation to the Mayor Making Ceremony held annually in Bury Town Hall. It was a pleasure to see Councillor Joan Grimshaw installed as Mayor and her husband Paul as Consort. It was a privilege to attend such an occasion and the Regiment was much in evidence throughout. The event also provided an opportunity for the Regimental Fanfare Trumpets to be on parade in the Council Chamber, where they brought much gravitas to the occasion.
Olympic Torch. The Regiment was
invited by Bury Council to play a part in the reception of Olympic Torch
when it came through Bury. The opportunity to execute a recruiting surge
was seized 1RRF and as a consequence the Drums Platoon was despatched
to Bury to support the local team. After eight weeks in Canada and no
leave, the home team really did appreciate what the 1RRF Drums contributed
to the event. Stationed at the Town Hall, they did a superb job entertaining
the crowd and providing a reception party for the Torch. It goes without
saying that they attracted considerable media attention and were first
class ambassadors for the Regiment. It so happened that a couple were
getting married in the Town Hall as the torch arrived and as the married
couple emerged they were confronted by the Olympic Torch and the Drums,
a frightening prospect at the best of times. The Drum Major ever the opportunist
volunteered the Drums to play at the wedding reception with a repeat performance
for the Mayor of Bury and her guests. In addition to the 1st Battalion
Corps of Drums, the regimental family in Bury played a part with Fusilier
Cadets lining the route through Bury and volunteers from the Fusilier
Band entertaining the crowds outside the Parish Church.
1RRF Drums Platoon with the Olympic
Torch at Bury Town Hall
RRF Drums Platoon performing
for at the wedding reception
Drum Major and Mayor of Bury
High Sheriff's Luncheon. The
High Sheriff of Greater Manchester Mr George Almond DL recently held his
annual mayors luncheon in the Gallipoli Room of the Lancashire Headquarters.
He gave the Luncheon for all the mayors of Greater Manchester and it proved
to be an excellent opportunity to show off the Lancashire Headquarters
and Fusilier Museum. It was particularly pleasing to see the pride of
the Mayors of Bury and Rochdale as they showing off their regiment and
museum to the other Mayors of Greater Manchester.
High Sheriff's luncheon
Church Service. There is a short
regimental service in Bury Parish Church, every Wednesday at 1300hrs,
all are welcome
8 May 12
FUSILIER NEWS NOTES FOR APRIL 2012
The Gallipoli Weekend was high point of the 2012 Regimental
Calendar in Lancashire and brought together hundreds of Fusiliers past
and present for what was a busy but enjoyable weekend. This year it was
particularly special as it included a guest appearance of the Lorne Scots
who came, mob handed all the way from Canada. It was also
Colonel Lancashires (Brigadier Paul Nanson) first Gallipoli. He
made the best of the opportunity and used the preceding week to engage
in a meet and greet tour of his new fiefdom. The considerable amount of
planning and preparation required for the Gallipoli Weekend, which started
in December 2011, paid off, with the result that Gallipoli Sunday was
bigger and better than ever not least because the Lorne Scots.
The Lorne Scots.
The Lorne Scots (Peel, Dufferin and Halton Regiment)
can trace their link to the Fusiliers back to an alliance with the Lancashire
Fusiliers authorised in 1929. At that time they adopted the Primrose Hackle
of the Lancashire which they continue to wear the to this day. Precisely
how the alliance came about is probably lost in the mists of time
but it is significant that the Peel in the regimental title relates to
Peel County named after Sir Robert Peel, founder of the modern police
force who was born in Bury, which was the location of the Depot of the
Lancashire Fusiliers for nearly 90 years.
The Lorne Scots arrived in Bury with a rifle platoon
and the Regimental Pipes, altogether were some 50 strong. Accommodation
was provided by the Cadet Training Centre on Holcombe Moor were most of
the field training took place. In true regimental family tradition the
Lorne Scots were hosted by the Machine Gun Platoon from the Castle Armoury
who put together an extensive programme including field training as well
as a full social calendar.
As ever the Lorne Scots threw themselves into the Gallipoli
commemoration, they paraded on Gallipoli Sunday in the Castle Armoury
alongside the Machine Gun Platoon, attended the Regimental Church Service
and marched through Bury to much applause from the local population. The
Pipes provided entertainment at the Association Dinner on the Saturday
night as well as leading the Parade on Sunday. The link between the Royal
Regiment of Fusiliers and the Lorne Scots has never been stronger. In
2016 the Lorne Scots will celebrate their 150th Anniversary, it would
be appropriate for the Fusiliers to celebrate with them.
Regimental Council Meeting.
Having already spent the week touring the regimental
TAOR Colonel Lancashire held his biannual Lancashire Council Meeting.
Colonel Lancashire expressed his gratitude to the Commanding Officers
of the regular battalions for allowing Major Gareth Boyd and Captain Tom
Philips from 1RRF and Captain Chris Shaw from 2RRF to attend. Colonel
Lancashire also thanked the local members of the regimental family for
attending, especially the volunteers who gave up so much of their spare
time in support of the Regiment. He also expressed his appreciation of
the close relationship between 4LANCS and the MG Pl.
The key product of the meeting was the Lancashire Programme
which listed all events taking place in the North West which involved
members of the regimental family. This would allow the Area Headquarters
to promote mutual assistance and get the best use out of limited resources.
Colonel Lancashire also took the opportunity to issue Regimental Certificates
of Merit to Sergeant Terrance Monaghan for his work in support of recruiting
and the Regiment in Lancashire and Sergeant Keith Watkinson for all his
hard work in organising and supporting the Lorne Scots visit.
In recent year the number of serving and former members of the Regiment coming up to Bury to commemorate Gallipoli has increased. So much so that on the Saturday night of the Gallipoli Weekend, several events took place with Gallipoli as their theme. The most important was the Association Dinner Gallipoli Dinner which was held in association with Bury Councils St Georges Day Dinner at the Radcliffe Civic Centre. This was a most pleasant evening attended by Colonel Lancashire and the Mayor of Bury, Councillor Yvonne Creswell. Entertainment was provided by the Fusilier Volunteer Band and Corps of Drums (Lancashire) with a guest appearance by the Pipes of the Lorne Scots. The Dinner also provide the opportunity to say a fond farewell the Captain John OGrady, on his well earned retirement as Chairman of the Association in Lancashire.
Running concurrently that evening was a dinner hosted
by the Machine Gun Platoon in honour of the Lorne Scots. Some 120 attended
and judging by the appearance of one or two on parade the following day,
a good time was had by all. Finally the All Ranks Lancashire Fusilier
Dinner Club, held its own Gallipoli Dinner in the Gallipoli Room of the
Lancashire Headquarters. Mr Keith Benner (ex 2RRF) presided. The guest
of honour was Mr Peter Maher MM (ex 2LF). Peter fought in North Africa
and Italy and has been able to throw some light on the action where Francis
Jefferson won his Victoria Cross. Following the dinner they all trooped
across to the Castle Armoury to join the TA lads and the Lorne Scots,
which accounted for even more sore heads on Sunday.
Mr Peter Maher MM (ex 2LF) at the Fusilier Museum 2012 and at Wellington Barracks (on right) in 1939
The Machine Gun Platoon on the steps of the Regimental
ACF Cadets with Colonel Lancashires wreath
Warning Order - Lancashire Casualty Visiting Officers
With the pending tour in Afghanistan in 2013, it is prudent to establish a CVO network in the Lancashire Area. Unfortunately pending changes to the recruiting organisation in the area will remove all eligible Fusilier officers or SNCOs. For an area that generates a considerable number of recruits for the Regiment this is a problem. I will therefore be writing to all officers at Catterick, Harrogate and Brecon with a view to identifying potential CVOs for 2013.
LANCASHIRE HEADQUARTERS MARCH NOTES
Gallipoli Weekend. March is a month for preparation and setting the scene for events later in the year. Coming rapidly over the horizon is the Gallipoli Weekend Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd April. This is the highlight of the regimental calendar in Lancashire and we are looking forward to another bumper turnout on Gallipoli Sunday. Of particular significance this year will be a contingent of Lorne Scots from our affiliated Militia regiment in Canada. This is the regimental family at its best, involving the Machine Gun Platoon from the Castle Armoury and in particular Sergeant Watkinson who has worked tirelessly to administer this international exercise and put together a suitable training package to test the Canadians over the Gallipoli Weekend. Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force (GMACF) are helping out with accommodation and feeding and we hope that there will be an opportunity for the Lorne Scots Pipe band to play alongside the GMACF Pipe Band. The Lorne Scots will play a full part in Gallipoli Sunday and certainly add much colour to the event.
Handover of Association Chairman. Captain John OGrady handed the Association in Lancashire over to Major Leslie Ingham. John has served the Regiment well over the last few years as Chairman and has done much to develop the role of the Association with regard to welfare and benevolence. Lancashire is unique, leading the way once again, in that the Association in Lancashire is run by the Association Chairman and his committee with assistance provided by the Area Headquarters. This puts considerable pressure on the Chairman and his hard working team but it works to the benefit of the members. John OGrady rose to the challenge of this demanding appointment and has left an Association much stronger and able to support the Regiment no matter what the future throws at it. Les is currently moving back from Northern Ireland to live in Blackpool and is looking forward to the challenge of directing the Association in Lancashire in the second decade of the 21st Century.
Forthcoming Events in Lancashire:
Gallipoli Battlefield Tour 2015
WINTER 2011-12 LANCASHIRE HEADQUARTERS NOTES FOR FUSILIER NEWSLETTER
Fusilier James Wilkinson
Sadly the Christmas period was dominated by the untimely death of Fusilier James Wilkinson. James was a local lad, recruited through the Bury office, who was proud to follow in the tradition of Lancashire's Fusiliers. He gave his life for his country while training for operations in Kenya. Therefore on behalf of Colonel Lancashire, Brigadier Paul Nanson MBE and all members of the Fusilier Family in Lancashire I would like to convey the heartfelt condolences of the Fusilier Family in Lancashire to the family of Fusilier James Wilkinson. We cannot imagine what his wife, Sarah and his parents Rob and Jan are going through but they should know that all Fusiliers in Lancashire are behind them now and in the future.
Colonel Lancashire would also like to thank all those members of the Fusilier Family in Lancashire who assisted with arrangements for the Funeral. He would particularly like to thank John O'Grady, Steve Fitt and other members of the Association for all their efforts before and on the day, Major Tom Cornmell and the Staff of Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force for arranging accommodation meals, transport and drivers, Sgt Monaghan, Sgt Knowles and Sgt Watkinson for coordinating arrangements on the ground in advance of the 2nd Battalion. Last but certainly not least Colonel Lancashire would like to express his gratitude for the hard work and dedication of CSgt Crawley who has done a first class job in assisting the Wilkinson family through this difficult time.
Councillor John Byrne former Mayor of Bury
Winter Events October 2011-January 2012
Army Careers Exhibition. October commenced with the Army Careers Exhibition at Altcar near Southport. This important recruiting event brought together some 12,000 young people from schools, colleges and the Army Cadet Force from all over the North West. This flag ship event was run by Major David Cook and heavily supported by the Regiment including considerable manpower and equipment from 1RRF and the Regimental Recruiting Team. This concentration of regimental assets gave a very positive impression of the Fusiliers and reinforced its position as one of the North West's leading infantry regiments. The one minor cause for amusement was the large banner on the RRF recruiting stand which proclaimed the Fusiliers as Northumberland's Regiment. This may well be true, but it certainly caused much confusion amongst the youth of Lancashire. In addition to the "green team," the staff of Fusilier Museum made the best of the opportunity to promote Army Heritage and the Fusilier Museum by briefing the assembled teachers on the educational potential of regimental collections.
Colonel Lancashire Planning for the Future. There have been several important meetings over the period. Brigadier Paul Nanson held the first of his planning meetings as Colonel Lancashire's. Attending the meeting were not only local members of the Regimental Council in Lancashire but also representatives from the Regular Battalions and RHQ. The intent was to establish a Lancashire Area Programme that would harmonise regimental activity in the North West and make the best use of resources in what are after all, difficult times.
Collection Trust Scanning Project. This was followed by the Collection Trust Meeting. The the main thrust of the discussion was centred on a proposed project to scan all the Lancashire Fusilier Annuals and Gallipoli Gazettes. The Annuals and Gazettes contain the collective memory of the Lancashire Fusiliers and a digitised and accessible archive would have a very positive impact on the service that the Fusilier Museum could provide. It would be an expensive process and to reduce costs it was agreed to enter into a joint project with the Duke of Lancaster's Regimental Museum at Fulwood Barracks.
Museum Company Board Meeting. This was closely followed
by the Museum Board meeting where Mark Sanders, the former Chief Executive
of Bury Council was welcomed on board.
The Lancashire Volunteer Band Concert. The highlight
of this period was the Band Concert in the Castle Armoury. It was a joint
concert between the Lancashire Volunteer Band of the Royal Regiment of
Fusiliers and the Heavy Cavalry Band from Catterick. The aim was to raise
funds for the Fusilier Museum. By the end of the evening the concert had
raised over £3,000. The event was organised by Eric Davidson and
brought together all elements of the regimental family in Lancashire.
The event took place in the Castle Armoury and much of the hard work was
done by the Fusilier Machine Gun Platoon, the chairs were provided by
Bury Grammar School and delivered by Bob Rylance and Bury Grammar School
CCF. Cadets from Minden Company Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force gave
a hand on the night. Also the Association, Friends of the Museum and Fusilier
Museum Staff were well represented. In the end some 450 members of the
public attended the concert which was enjoyed by all.
Inkerman Dinner. The annual Inkerman Dinner took place
on Thursday 3 November. It was well attended this year. Guests included
the Mayor of Bury, Councillor Yvonne Creswell, the Chief Executive Mike
Kelly and the Leader of the Council Mike Connolly. The new Commanding
Officer of the 4th Battalion the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment John Lighten
also attended. A former Fusilier in the 5th Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel
Lighten is now responsible for our Machine Gun Platoon at the Castle Armoury,
so we need to look after him! Also enjoying the evening were Sir David
Trippier and Sir John Timmins. The dinner went well, judging by the number
of empty bottles at the end of the evening, and was the first opportunity
for the new catering team under the direction of Wendy Wray to demonstrate
their skill. Wendy already runs an successful catering company in Bury
called Delicious and has brought her talent and experience to Moss Street.
Remembrance Weekend. This was a memorable weekend as
it witnessed the opening of the refurbished Gallipoli Garden as well as
the inauguration of the Wellington Barracks Memorial Garden. On Remembrance
Sunday the Association was out in force around Lancashire. There was a
particularly strong turnout in Salford at the Lancashire Fusilier Memorial
on the Crescent. Salford was once at the heart of the Regiment but for
many reasons the connection lapsed. There is now a concerted effort to
get back into Salford which is already achieving some success
Sergeant Martyn Gibbons MBE. The Headquarters was pleased
to be able to present Sergeant Martyn Gibbons with his George and Dragon
on behalf of the Second Battalion.
Bury Grammar School Field Day. Bury Grammar School
remains an important part of the Regimental Family and the Area Secretary
was pleased to be able to visit the CCF on their Field Day at Holcombe
Moor just north of Bury. The cadets were in good order and it was good
to see Bob Rylance and Pat Newton, both old friends, and to have the opportunity
to meet the new contingent commander David Newbury
Forth Coming Events 2012
Saturday 21st April. Lancashire Council Meeting. Assemble Gallipoli Room Fusilier Museum for 1030hrs.
Saturday 21st April. Lancashire Association Dinner. Assemble Radcliffe Civic Centre for 1900hrs
Sunday 22nd April. Gallipoli Sunday. Parade, Church Service, March Past and Lunch. Assemble in the Castle Armoury for 1045hrs
HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE LANCASHIRE HEADQUARTERS
LANCASHIRE HEADQUARTERS NOTES FOR FUSILIER NEWSLETTERS
Introduction. It appears to be the month for superlatives
in Lancashire. The Fusilier Museum was awarded the title of Best Small
Museum in Greater Manchester and has now been put forward for the national
final. Bury has been awarded the " Best Floral Design" in the
Britain in Bloom completion, with specific reference to Gallipoli Garden
and the Landrover flowerbed. Finally, the recently published regional
statistics illustrate that Bury ACIO has become the best office in the
North West for Territorial Army recruiting. All in all, we must be getting
something right in Lancashire. The month also witnessed the death defying
bungee jump by Helen Field and Drummer Frankie Canham from the recruiting
team. Between them they raised over £1,000.
Sir Gilbert Mackereth MC
Sir Gilbert's story is fascinating and combines two of the regiments that were to become the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. He was born in Salford in 1892 and was educated at Keswick Grammar School and then Manchester University. It was from the University that in 1914 he joined the 21st Battalion Royal Fusiliers, which was part of the University and Public Schools' Brigade. He travelled to France in November 1915, spending three months in the trenches east of Bethune. It is of significance that the Colour of the 21st Battalion still survives and is currently part of the Royal Fusilier Collection in the Tower of London.
In 1916 Sir Gilberth was selected to become an officer
and on completion of his training in Oxford, he joined the 17th Battalion
the Lancashire Fusiliers in France, east of Arras. It was during the action
by the 17th Battalion to capture Gricourt in April 1917, that Sir Gilbert
saved a patrol that had been cut off by a German machine gun post. He
was awarded the Military Cross for his bravery. In August he was seriously
wounded near Cambria and was hospitalised in Manchester for several of
months. He returned to France in July 1918 and took command of the 17th
Battalion in October remaining in post throughout the final British offensive
of the Great War.
Following his released from the army in April 1919,
Sir Gilbert joined the Diplomatic Service, during which time he was knighted.
Following his distinguished service he retired to Spain and died in San
Sebastian, in 1962. His final resting place will be the refurbished Gallipoli
garden that will contain a permanent memorial to a gallant Lancashire
For more information ring Linsay Walsh on 0161 763 8969
The Newest Member of the Association
Lew Price Update
Oldham Branch are selling a
Roll of Honour
in memory of all Fusiliers and children killed by Northern Ireland terrorist. We have included the M62 coach bomb which as you know concerned 2 RRF fusiliers.
This is the Roll of Honour in its Frame
This is what is inside the frame
If you would like one Click Here to e mail Ronnie Owen