The latest
Fusiliers Association
( Lancashire)




sorry its late been a busy last few months


Gallipoli 100 Special

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.

To book ring 0844 477 8000 or go online code for tour is 7500

Feb 2013
Fusiliers' Association (Lancashire)

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.
David Hoyle, who has been the Newsletter Editor for 20 years or so, has had a heart attack and has had to give up editing the newsletter. A sincere thank you to David for his valued contribution over many years as Editor and our very best wishes for a speedy recovery. If anyone would like to take on the role as Newsletter Editor please let us know.
Major Les Ingham has had to resign his position as Chairman due to ill health, so we wish him well and thank him for his time as chairman. Lt Col Mick Moran has recently taken over the position, but as he still holds his position as CEO of the Army Cadet Force in Cleveland, he will be wearing two hats for the time being before his expected move down to Warrington
Steven Fitt has had to give up his position as Association Secretary (Lancashire) through ill health. Although he is still able to carry out Standard Bearer duties for us, he would like an assistant, so if you can help let us know. Steven again has held the Secretary's job for many years and we thank him for that.
Colonel (Lancashire) Brigadier Paul Nanson has temporarily passed over his duties to Col Travers whilst he completes his 12 month tour of Afghanistan. We look forward to him continuing with his duties when he returns.


The Association's 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.
After the 2RRF Falklands deployment, having completed nearly 10 years with the battalion, he was posted to the appointment of Chief Instructor (Urban) at the Northern Ireland Training Advisory Team (NITAT) UK, before attending The Army Staff College. He then served as Chief of Staff, Berlin Infantry Brigade. Thereafter he assumed command of C Company 3 RRF in Cyprus and Catterick after which he returned, for a period, to 2RRF as Bn 2IC. .
He was promoted to Lt Col and appointed Chief of Intelligence in the Ace Rapid Reaction Corps (HQ ARRC) in Germany and Bosnia. He commanded the Joint Support Unit at SHAPE Headquarters and returned to HQ ARRC as Chief G1 in Kosovo. After 2 years in what was St George's Barracks, Sutton Coldfield on force support restructuring and contracting, he was promoted to Colonel and assumed command of The Joint Support Unit, Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood. He retired in Jul 2009. He was appointed to be Executive Director (CEO) of The Foster Care Co-operative, a not-for-profit UK-wide foster care organisation, in September 2009. He has been married to Julie for 34 years and has a son, Luke, working in London in PR, and a daughter, Victoria, who has just graduated from Exeter University.


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.
Re-enlisting in 1977, he was posted to 1RRF where he remained, with the exception of a posting to D Coy 5RRF as their PSI in 1983-1984 and a posting to Depot Queens Division as RSM 1985-87, until he was commissioned from the post of RSM 1 RRF in 1988. Following two years commissioned service with 2RRF he was posted to 5 UDR/5 Royal Irish as their Quartermaster until August 1992 when he attended the Junior Division of the Staff College.
Following JDSC he completed postings as an SO3 at HQ Doctrine and Training, followed immediately by a post as an SO2 at Land Command. He then completed a tour in the Balkans before returning to 1RRF as their QM in April 1996. In 1998 he was selected for promotion to Lt Col and was posted to HQ BFC as a SO1. His last appointment in the regular Army was as Commanding Officer of Sennelager Training Centre 2001 to 2003. On leaving the Army he took up a Retired Officers post in 20 Armoured Bde for some 20 months before taking up his current appointment as the Executive Officer for Cleveland ACF where he has been since Nov 2004.
He has been married to Sheila for 42 years and they have two sons and five grandchildren all living in the Lancashire/Cheshire area.

1 RRF Commanding Officer Lt Col J Swift
It has been another frenetic and demanding year split between foundation training for BATUS and mission specific training for our forthcoming tour to Afghanistan. The first few months witnessed the First Fusiliers' Battle Group conduct a series of conceptual and physical exercises to build the team in preparation for Ex PRARIE THUNDER 1 in BATUS. This period included some fast work by Y Company who successfully converted to Bulldog in time for the deployment in May. The 28 day exercise was professionally rewarding and I am pleased to report that the enemy were solidly beaten. Meanwhile, X Company continued their development, re-roling back into Warrior in support of the 2 RTR Battle Group for Ex PRARIE THUNDER 2. Their performance also attracted many plaudits…rumours that their good report resulted from the arrival of the new commander in BATUS (my predecessor, Col Jim Landon) are completely unfounded! Last year I wrote that I was excited with W Company's development of the armoured infantry's Fire Support Group concept. BATUS proved a useful testing ground of the concept and has placed the Battalion in a great position to exploit this new capability in BATUS in 2014.
On return from Canada the Battalion, less X Company, who had deployed to BATUS with 2 RTR, was expecting some deserved down time to exploit a rare opportunity to conduct adventure training, sport and spend time with families. Unfortunately, G4S decided to change that plan; the Army was mobilised on a scale and at a speed that I don't think has been witnessed for decades. The Battalion was brought to a high readiness state and conducted venue security training for Op OLYMICS. Despite the short notice and the impact on leave, the Battalion did well, when compared against others, out of the commitment.
You may have seen the plethora of Hackles that lined the start/finish and route of the cycling time trial in and around Hampton Court Palace? The Fusiliers deployed for 4 days and were overwhelmed by the messages of goodwill and obvious gratitude of the public who recognised the sacrifice that the Army had made to bail out a contractor. Indeed, during a recce of the site, I was approached by an elderly lady who walked up with a big smile and said 'thank you for all that you do'. She then turned to my civilian colleague, poked him in the chest and scolded 'do you work for G4S?'….I moved away and let him field the question! Suffice to say that the Fusiliers enjoyed the task; a combination of hot weather, admiring young ladies, conversations with 'Wiggo' and signed shirts ensured that it was an experience that we will not forget.
Post summer leave, our attention turned to mission specific training. A new theatre specific Warrior fleet arrived for Z Company who will be detached to the Brigade's Manoeuvre Group. This exciting new platform will deliver a strike capability to the Brigade Commander and I expect they will have a dynamic and rewarding tour. We also received the full panoply of new weapons including the SIG pistol and combat shotgun. The Colonel-in-Chief was able to experience these weapons during his visit to the Battalion in September at Bulford Ranges. The Colonel's destruction of the shotgun target was a salutary lesson to all those first-time firers on the point. In the afternoon the Colonel kindly awarded a number of LS & GC medals in the WOs' and Sgts' Mess, joined by the recipients families. Latterly, the Battalion has been extremely busy completing Afghanistan-focussed staff training, range packages and field training. All will enjoy a welcome respite over Christmas.
There is a palpable buzz around the Battalion at present. This is in part due to the excitement over our forthcoming deployment. However, I also recognise that uncertainty over the shape, duration and details of the tour continue to generate understandable anxiety amongst the soldiers and our families, such is the nature of the current theatre of operations at this time. What I can say is that I will communicate what I can, as soon as I can, once it is confirmed. I wish to conclude by thanking all members of the Battalion family for your endurance, professionalism, courage and forbearance over the past 12 months; the same will be required in 2013 and I know that together, as a team, whether deployed forward or based in Tidworth, we will all contribute to the success of the mission and support our soldiers and families back home. Full report and photos -

2RRF Commanding Officer Lt Col M R Butterwick
I predicted last year that 2012 would be a challenging year for us all and this prediction has proved to be true. Over the last 12 months we have exercised as a BG in the arduous terrain of Kenya, conducted Mission Specific Training in preparation for TRB, moved location to Cyprus and closed Trenchard Barracks, Celle as we left Germany. Any one of these activities would have tested any organisation but to have done all 4 in such a short period of time is truly remarkable. Perhaps what has been most extraordinary of all is that all these activities have been conducted so well.
I have been humbled, as ever, by the dedication, grit and professionalism of the Fusiliers who have simply got on with what has been asked of them and delivered such fine results. The news of disbandment has hit us hard and has provided us with the biggest challenge of all this year. It is impossible to really understand why it is us who have to leave the Army's ORBAT. Fully manned, producing the goods and efficient across the board, I for one struggle to see our 'un-sustainability'. However, as a Battalion we must focus quite simply on the next mission and that is precisely what we are doing right now.
We are now resident in Cyprus once more, have completed our training and stand ready as the TRB. Recent TRBs have not deployed but I believe it is a foolish man who, looking forward to the next 12 months, assumes the same will be true for us. Be in no doubt we are very well trained - Kenya was a test for us all. Infantry soldiering at altitude in dense vegetation, heat and torrential rain was matched by the sheer logistic challenges of resupply over vast lines of communications. You know when you have been exercised when the FUP for the final BG attack stood at over 2000m high. This was infantry soldiering at its best! Kenya provided the platform for our subsequent MST - a long, disruptive but highly effective process. However, being an effective TRB goes beyond good training and rests in the mindset we must all have. We must be ready to deploy any time, anywhere, to do any task.
Amidst this intense training we have also delivered some outstanding sporting success and tried to have some fun. BFG and Infantry football champions as well as runners up in the Army Cup final is no mean achievement given our programme. We also managed to leave Celle in style. Closing the gates on Trenchard Barracks represented the end of the Fusiliers' long association with Germany. It was important to mark this occasion properly, and we did.
Tragically we have lost 2 young Fusiliers these last 12 months. Losing any soldier at any time is a bitter blow but to lose Fusilier James Wilkinson on training in Kenya and then Fusilier David Collins to a despicable act of violence in Cyprus were devastating losses. Our thoughts remain with their families. It is so reassuring to know though that when tragedy strikes the Regiment is at its finest. Seeing Fusiliers, young and old, pack churches in Manchester twice reminds us of the importance of our strap line, 'Once a Fusilier, Always a Fusilier'.
Amidst this sadness there have been true highlights this year. Dining at an Officers' Mess on the battlefield of Minden, marching through the streets of Celle for the last time on a spectacular summer's day and watching the Battalion overcome the arduous terrain of Kenya are 3 that will stick with me for a long time. However, the most satisfying highlight of all has simply been the professionalism of the Fusiliers. Despite the tragedy of losing 2 of our fellow men, the bitter news of disbandment and the continual time away from home, the Fusiliers have consistently and unerringly picked themselves up, dusted themselves down and delivered outstanding results. A Gold on Cambrian Patrol, a clutch of Instructor recommends and top student awards on career courses, reports of being the best BG in years from Kenya and similar accolades throughout MST suggest that this Battalion is not about to give up and accept our fate.
If you walk into the Alexander Barracks now you do not find soldiers with their heads down, arguing about the future. Rather there is a tangible desire to get involved in the fight be it in Afghanistan or elsewhere, a desire to prove that the Second Fusiliers are still a fully manned, highly professional and focussed infantry battalion. When CGS visited Celle the day after the announcement it would have been understandable if the Battalion had limped through the streets of Celle, shoulders hunched and heads low. What he actually saw was a show of sheer pride and professionalism that should make Fusiliers everywhere stand tall.
And so to 2013; we must make the most of our time in Cyprus. Crucially we must start to prepare for an amalgamation (not a disbandment) that will ensure our fine Regiment continues long into the future. But our focus must be on operations first. With the pace of transition in Afghanistan quickening and uncertainty across the Middle East aplenty, it remains possible that another chapter in the glorious history of the Second Fusiliers is about to be written - this book is not finished yet.

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.
It is only through the power of your voice and pen that we will stand a chance of reversing this decision. We still have 18 months to go before we lose 2RRF from the Regular Army ORBAT. We must continue to maintain the pressure, intensely but over a prolonged period. To this end we currently have the following activities that have recently occurred or will occur in the New Year:

Inside Parliament
John Baron continues to fight our cause from within Parliament. We, as a Regiment, are in debt for his continuing support and help in this matter. He is scheduling the following meetings in January:
Ed Miliband - following his expression of support for our campaign in the Manchester Evening News on 2 November.
Prime Minister - early in the New Year.
The strategy overall is to raise this issue again by way of a debate and vote, but perhaps focus the motion more on our reservations about the ability of the TA to plug the gap left by the loss of regular battalions - and less on the Scottish referendum issue. There is little point in having another vote, however, if we cannot add to our numbers. I will be calling on you in the New Year to repeat our successful march on Parliament but this time with great numbers and perhaps with the support of other Regiments.
The Defence Select Committee did quiz the CGS about the general issue of cuts to the Regular Army.
The Fusiliers hosted a drinks' evening to thank all of the MPs involved for their continued support in this campaign on Tuesday 18 December. Thanks were also given to the Regimental Association in all areas for their efforts and support. Brigadier Trevor Minter, on behalf of ex-Fusiliers, very kindly was fulsome in his praise of MPs who had helped with the campaign. John has submitted a further FOI challenge regarding the MOD's refusal to provide the CGS's first draft regarding which battalions should be axed.

Outside Parliament
The letter campaign is going well - this has been confirmed to John Baron through his Parliamentary colleagues.
Visits to MPs are not as plentiful as I would like. Please make an effort to call on your MPs at their constituency offices in the New Year. We must maintain the focus no matter which part of the country you all reside.
From the beginning of the New Year, we will be able to station an ex-Fusilier (wearing the hackle) outside Number 10 on a daily basis, and for PMQs. Should we feel that a second debate and vote is worthwhile, and provided sufficient notice is given, ex-Fusiliers are gearing up for an even larger march on Parliament when required - hoped-for figure being nearer 1,000 ex-Fusiliers this time, compared to the 420 last. Then you may also be interested in the article by the Bishop of York who has voiced his direct opposition to the decision to cut the Armed Forces.
We must continue to keep the pressure up in both Parliament and the Media. Please continue to write your letters. If you have not already done so please write to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Defence, The Chairman of the Defence Select Committee and your local MPs as well as your local and national newspapers.
I would like once again to thank all Fusiliers for their continued support and send you my good wishes for 2013.
Col Brian Gorski

Full details on save 2RRF

The site continues from strength to strength and we are rapidly approaching our first 1 million hits. It is hard to believe that, in what seems such a short time since Colin and I first set it up, the site has been looked at almost a million times! We have readers in every Continent who regularly contribute via the message page. There are now over 10,000 photographs on site, most of them unique to the site and which form a powerful visual record of the battles fought, places seen and the men who served with the Regiment.
In the past year I have been requested to research 125 individual LFs, by family members keen to know what Dad or Grandad got up to. We have also reunited many old pals, and even as recently as last week we enabled two old 1st Bn friends to reach each other who had not had any contact since 1954!
We have ensured that every LF we hear of who is ill or hospitalised is sent a get well card, and where possible a hospital visit, and that every LF death we hear of has the use of our Regimental Regalia and where possible a LF presence at the funeral. All LF bereaved families have been offered the opportunity to have their loved one remembered forever on our 'LFs At Rest' page, along with a picture and often an obituary.
We have continued to advertise and support all things Regimental, both LF and RRF, in particular, but not exclusively, those events which take place in Lancashire.
My personal thanks go to the outstanding work done by our LF website team - we are very lucky indeed to have such hard working, dedicated team members. The Team consists of:
Joe Eastwood - Editor, Colin Boutty - Webmaster, Dennis Laverick - Photo Editor, Geoff Pycroft - Archivist and Database, Dave Platt - Welfare and Liaison, Brian Oldham - Finance Moderator.

Meetings 1st Wed in the month at 2015 hrs
Wellfield Club, Prince Street, Rochdale, OL16 5LL

Just a quick note to all fellow Fusiliers and best wishes to you all for 2013.
Elwin has stepped down as Branch Secretary, so I'm filling the gap until a rush of volunteers come forward to help out. I'm sure you all join me in wishing Elwin a well earned rest and thank him for his efforts.
It's hard not to focus on recent events concerning the future of the Regiment. I and other members of the Rochdale Branch attended the March in London and the Lobby of Parliament. I've been a Fusilier for 41 years but I have never felt more proud of my Regiment than I did on that day!
I contacted all Councillors in the Greater Manchester Authority regarding their support and each Council stepped forward to help. I would like to give special thanks though to Councillor Colin Lambert (Rochdale Council Leader) who along with Councillor Alan McCarthy prepared a motion in support of the 2nd Battalion and the whole Regiment. They invited the Rochdale Branch to attend the Full Council meeting at which the motion was presented. We were cheered into the Council chamber by all Councillors and the motion was unanimously carried. Many Councillors made a special effort to speak in support of the Regiment and I again felt very proud to be a Fusilier. Well Done Rochdale Council. I also want to again thank Councillor McCarthy for joining us for the March and Lobby of Parliament.
I'm sure everyone will agree that we need to recruit more members especially those Fusiliers leaving the Regiment. A few years ago myself and Tom Bailey offered to visit the Battalions and give a presentation regarding the Association and what we get up to in our various branches, but nothing came from this offer. We are both willing to do this and again ask Bury HQ to help us get this off the ground.
John Rodgers Branch Secretary

Meetings 1st Tuesday in the month 2000 hrs
Chadderton Reform Club

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 good night.
In addition we maintain solid links with the Oldham Liaison of Ex Services, a registered charity, which helps all ex service people on the welfare front. Although assistance is restricted to ex Fusiliers and 13 other regiments within the Oldham boundaries, it provides finance to the RBL and SSAFA locally, which is run by Alan Noble and Trevor Warren (ex para) who are both Trustees of the organisation. Therefore welfare assistance is provided in the town, and working alongside RBL and SSAFA.
We also maintain a presence at all town events, from the Mayor Making ceremony, Mayoral Sunday, fundraising events, Saddleworth War Weekend at Uppermill, Mayoral Ball and functions throughout the year, Remembrance Festival held at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Oldham on the Friday night prior to Remembrance Sunday, where there will be 40 or so standards on parade during the evening and entertainment, and a tribute to the fallen.
A big thank you goes to our Standard Bearers, John Ulrich, Paul Heywood and Ron Oates ex 3RRF, who has joined the branch this year, and carries The Far Eastern Prisioners of War Standard. This is something we must keep going by way of a FE POW Service every year on 16 August, as it was a promise made to the FE POW going back years, and we shall continue to do so whilst FE POW families are still alive.
Oldham Cenotaph will undergo a complete refurbishment as well as the surrounding area to include the World War One bronze plaques situated on the church walls, which will include anti-theft treatment. The overall cost of the renovation will be £120,000, £30,000 of which will be granted by the War Memorials' Trust following an application submitted by Nobby 2 years ago, and council assistance will be given for the outstanding balance. Although the work will commence in March 2013, it will not interrupt Remembrance and we are assured that any events at the Cenotaph, other than Remembrance Weekend will take place at Chadderton
A few thank yous are well earned - Ron and committee for the Christmas Dinner function, and to our Queens, Andrea Duncan and Kim Capewell (Andrea is becoming a honorary member due to relocation to Scotland, and the branch presented her with a bronze statuette at the Christmas function, as a way of a thank you).
Sincere thanks also go to our poppy stand volunteers, Wally, Ron Oates and his good lady, Bill and Dougie, Joe Farquer. Our Standard Bearers for the funerals this year - Tony Harrop, and John Cochrane, for the effort on the memorial front with John O'Grady, and to all our members who attend the functions (£1,000 has been donated to the memorial appeal from the branch), and to our raffle ladies Kath Noble, Anne Whittles and Maggie McGarr, and Ron and Ricky Atkins for our Middleton contacts, and last but not least the Band and Drums nor the Festival would not be the success they are today.


Meetings 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs

We are still a small Branch, but continue to hold monthly meetings on the first Friday of every month.
Our next event is St George's Day which will be held on Saturday 20 April 2013, at a cost of £10 per person, and it really would be great to see some of you there. We hold other fundraising events throughout the year so if you are unable to make this one there will be other opportunities for you to join us.
We do hope to see you all in Warwick, wishing you all well.
Ian Scholes Hon Secretary

Meetings 1st Monday of the month at 2000 hrs
Pendleton British Legion
Best wishes to all branches for 2013. Our branch is still going strong with monthly meetings being well attended by all of our paid up members, although we would like more and are always on the lookout for new members. Pendleton RBL where we meet can only offer us a Thursday night for our fundraising events, so we are looking elsewhere to stage our events.
Things are hopefully looking up. Our new standard has had three high profile outings to date, which were the re-dedication of the Shouting Fusilier monument, Remembrance Day, and our trip to London on the protest march. Here our standard was pride of place, on national news television. If the next protest takes place we will be there again with our standard, that's if our bearer Ian Rutter can get day release. If not Dave Sharp, our other bearer, should be out by then and he can do it.
Hopefully we will be inviting all branches to support us at our fundraising events here in Salford, in the coming months. Why not give it some thought, come along visit your hubcaps and have a good night. Best regards from all at Salford

Peter Flannery JP Chairman

Meetings 1st Thursday of the month at 1230 hrs
Buxton Inn

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.
Our Minden Day celebration 2012 was attended by the Civic Mayor, Councillor Brenda Warrington, together with Broughton House personnel and their carers. The Mayor was a charming person who spent a long time with us and chatted most amiably to all present. Her reply to the Loyal Toast was full of respect for the invitation to attend, and her pride in the veterans and carers was most evident. Since this occasion our Branch has been invited by Her Ladyship to the Mayoral Parlour for tea and cake repast, where we were shown the council chamber as well as being given an insight into the Council's workings.
In December 2012 Broughton House will again join us in our early Christmas celebrations.
George Peak Secretary

Meetings 1st Thursday of every month 2000 hrs
Old Swan Conservative Club, Derby Lane, Liverpool, L13 6QE
The Liverpool Branch has still got its hard core of members, but we have welcomed a new member, John Brophy, who has now settled in Liverpool ending his nomadic life.
We are looking forward to Gallipoli weekend and hope to meet old friends and new one's if they turn up. Our best wishes are to go to one of our younger members, John Tierney, for his attempt on Mount Kilimanjaro. Kevin McDowell says he only has to follow the trial he left previously.
To finish I would like to warn all in the computer world that our beloved leader Frank Dunphy has bought a new laptop - you have been WARNED
Ken Stones (Stoney) Treasurer

Meetings 1st Tuesday of the month at 2000 hrs
Joiners Arms, Cross Street, Middleton

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.
Our next event was the re-dedication of the Shouting Fusilier in Salford. Salford Branch Standard was dedicated at the service and after marched off with the LF Crest on one side and RRF on the other, waving in the breeze to The Men of Harlech, and I am saying no more about that.
In August we attended the Minden Day Celebrations Service and protest for the proposed disbandment of 2RRF, then in September we had a 5 day trip to Belgium.
October saw five members of Shiny D parade for the 2RRF Protest March in London, not bad five from a membership of under twenty, and in November we again did our Remembrance Service in Tesco Car Park, Bury. Unfortunately we could not get a bugler so had to make do with a tape recording.
Our Annual Dinner is in the planning stage, but no date has yet been decided.

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.
The following article is by Ken Marsh who is a friend of mine and an avid collector of LF medals. Thank you Ken.

9273 L/Sgt. Joseph Marsden 1/6th Battn. Lancashire Fusiliers
On 6 November 1915 the Oldham Chronicle published a portrait of Joseph Marsden, together with the news that he had died on active service. His address was given as 236 Rochdale Road, Middleton.
Joseph was born in 1876. In 1891 he was an apprentice Draper's assistant and by 1911 he had his own business. He described his occupation in the Census as - House Furnisher. This suggests he had a shop providing all manner of household necessities - beds, furniture and the like. He had been married for eight years and had a four year old daughter. The business must have been successful since the Marsden's employed a Domestic servant. He was a long serving member of the 6th [Territorial] Battalion of the Fusiliers. The 6th Battalion sailed for Gallipoli in early May 1915. By the time they landed any hope of progress from the original landings back in March was fading fast. The rest of May was spent in the deadly routine of trench warfare, together with the disease-ridden misery of life associated with Gallipoli. Lieutenant George Horridge of the 1/5th Battalion graphically described the appalling conditions.
"After the battles of June 4th - 6th the land in between the trenches was covered with dead. The flies bred there until their number was tremendous. At night they lived on the dead and in the daytime they buzzed, just around our trenches. All the trenches were covered in flies like a swarm of gnats that one sees in the garden in summertime. They attacked our food remorselessly. In order to eat one had to wave one's hand about just over ones food and then bite suddenly, or a fly was in with it. Any bit of food uncovered was blotted out of sight by flies in a couple of seconds. This was frightfully trying and the contamination made everyone ill. It wasn't only the flies. Soon most men were suffering from body lice. The itching was awful. Body lice were transferred from one to another in blankets. They were very hardy and no amount of washing clothes in the sea would get rid of them. When things were quiet of a morning the men would get their shirts off and have a delousing session."
On 7 August 1915 the 1/6th and 1/7th Battalions took part in an offensive to divert the Turks' attention from fresh landings in Suvla bay to the north. Their objective was taken, but they were immediately hard pressed by overwhelming enemy counter-attacks. The official Despatch gives a flavour of the no quarter, hand-to-hand fighting which took place.
"Two especially furious counter-attacks were delivered by the Turks on the 8th August, one at 4-40a.m. and another at 8-30p.m., where again our bayonets were too much for them. Throughout the night they made continuous bomb attacks, but the 6th Lancashire Fusiliers stuck gamely to their task."
The Lancashire Fusiliers Annual for 1914/15 reported:-"Officers" [of the 6th Battalion] "wrote of their pride in the steadiness, nerve and indifference to danger, which the men never failed to display."
Lance-Sergeant Joseph Marsden somehow survived these brutal battles, but it is not surprising that in the hell that was Gallipoli, he fell seriously ill with dysentery. He was evacuated to Alexandria where his condition worsened and he died on 10 September 1915. He is buried in the Alexandria [Chatby] Military and War Memorial Cemetery.
OMNIA AUDAX Colin Fletcher Secretary

We are very democratic in Shiny D. The President said 'We should have a trip to Belgium, do you agree Mr Chairman?' The Chairman nodded. The President said to me 'Get it organised, September will do fine', so I organised it.
Eight Fusiliers, plus one RASC attached, signed up for the trip. The RV was Keele Service Station on Monday 17 September 0645 hrs where three cars met, all with newly required breathalysers as you now need these if you drive a car in France. Ferry tickets and route maps were given out to each car. Whether it was Jim Worrall's early morning attire (very thin, baggy shorts and tropical Tshirt) that made him mislay his documents, I do not know, or perhaps he thought the Dover Ferry was a type of cruise. The last time we went to France, luggage had to be removed from Tony Tootill's car into mine as Martin Mason had brought a massive case and this took up all of Tony's boot. No problems though this time as Martin had changed his car. It either came from Eddie Stobart or Shearings as it's nearly as big as a 4-tonner. Two rows of seats had been taken out and it could now only seat seven but everyone's baggage could easily have fitted into the boot. We left Keele to make our way to Dover to arrive at about noon for the 2 pm ferry. On arrival Colin Needham, who was in my car, said 'Look who's there' and sure enough Martin, Tony, Trevor Noon and our RBL Standard Bearer and RASC attached Kevin Haselwood. The first thing they said was that Jim, Stan Howes and Ronnie Wilkinson had caught the noon ferry.
Goodwood Week had just finished and many old sports cars were waiting for the ferry. In the next lane to us was an E-type Jag and Kevin had the German driver lift the bonnet. He was discussing SU carbs with him when Trevor rolled up with 'Eh cock, dust tha no ow many miles tu gallon tha can get art o yon?' I looked at the German's face and had to walk away. The next thing was a text from Him asking for the postcode location and name of the hotel. The lads said to ignore him as he was winding me up. On the boat I had a phone call about the text, and I told Jim he had all the info. He said he had left it at home, which I thought was a bit odd as he had only been given it at Keele. All my info was in the car in the hold, but as I knew the name of the hotel I gave that to him.
We disembarked, and with Colin map reading we arrived at the hotel in about 30 minutes. The other car had arrived just 20 minutes before us. I believe they had a wonderful tour of the area and a bit of bad language was spoken, so I am told. Serves them right for jumping the gun. The hotel was ideally placed for trips to Ypres and area, the rooms were excellent, food was ok, but only just. Breakfast was continental, of course, and at £10 per head, we thought a bit pricey. Dinner was restricted - they had about 6 choices on the menu, but usually only 2 available. The bar was good, so was the beer and the price, but the only snag being that it closed at 11 pm and you had to be out of the bar area. You could take a couple of drinks to your room or on the veranda. Of course our room had a large bottle of Scotch, good old Colin Needham.

After breakfast, it was off to Poperinge with Martin in the lead as he had satnav. We do not know if he took any notice of it or was just guessing when to turn - I know that if I had tied some wool to his bumper, he would have knitted me a pair of socks. We eventually arrived in the main square. The idea was to see the post where they shot deserters etc, and also to visit Talbot House of Toc H as it is know. We saw the post, but Talbot House was closed, just like the last two times we have visited. Perhaps they are trying to tell us something.
We had our afternoon meal at a pavement cafe in glorious sunshine where we heard about the two police ladies who had been killed in Manchester. That news altered the conversation somewhat. We then decided to visit a local cemetery inside the town. This was easier said than done, even though we kidnapped a local as a guide. We eventually found it and paid our respects to the lads. We all signed the Visitors' Book as we had been told the previous government had looked at closing some of the cemeteries to save money, but when they saw how many people visited them, decided against it. Whilst there an Asian 'gentleman' came through the gates, walked over the graves and jumped over a wall as he was taking a short cut. We shouted after him and told him about his parentage, but we could not catch him - it would have been a different story 40 years ago. He would still have gone over the wall, but the hard way. After our visit to the cemetery, we made our way to the hotel. Some of us did a little shopping at a mini market for cigs as they were so cheap that they did not sell them over the border in France. It was then to dinner and into the bar for the usual stories - 'Do you remember when .... etc?'.
After breakfast, arrangements were made for an early dinner. This was to allow us to witness the Ceremony at the Menin Gate in the early evening. We arrived in Ypres just before lunchtime and spent some time having a look around and a drink at a pavement cafe. We did some more exploring of Ypres and then away for our early meal. We arrived back in time for the Ceremony and although we had seen it before, it is always very moving. The only problem was that the inside of the archway was full of scaffolding as work was being done on the ceiling, but we saw most of the Ceremony. After we had placed our crosses amongst the many wreaths, it was in to town for some shopping - Belgian chocolates seemed to be the favourite. It was then back to the hotel, to the bar and then a few in the bedrooms.

After breakfast we went into Ypres again. Most went around the museum, and what a fantastic place it. There are plenty of little exhibitions of WW1 on two levels, plus many artefacts and weapons - well worth a visit. Another place worth visiting is St George's Memorial Church. This church is dedicated to the British Forces, with many brass plaques to various Regiments, Corps and organisations - one that impressed us was for Bury Grammar School. There are also kneelers in the pews and the patterns for them have come from a shop in Hebden Bridge. They have been embroidered by various people and incorporate badges and crests of British Regiments and Corps and it was good to see that the LFs were well represented.
After a snack we went back to the cars as we wanted to visit Canada Farm Cemetery where Kevin has a relation buried there. On arriving at the car park I noticed two old Bentley cars, a Blue Label - a type which I had never seen before - and a Black Label, both very rare and worth a fortune. I could see that Kevin had been there before me and had been right round them both as his drooling marks were all around the cars. Off then to the cemetery, which proved a bit difficult to find as it was only small. When we did find it, it was like them all, beautifully kept, in the middle of a field with no litter or graffiti around. We paid our respects and had a small ceremony around Kevin's relation's grave. It's funny how even though we did not know Kevin's relation, how it affected us emotionally. An unknown military badge was found and this was given to Martin for his collection. We left the cemetery and called in at the Old Timer Complex of cafe, shop and motor museum. Some of the party went into the museum which was full of various types of vehicles, motorbikes, fire engines, all types of cars, some of which were very old, and modern F1 racing cars. One person estimated the value to be in excess of £20 million.
So after spending a couple of hours at the complex, we left for the hotel. We had planned to eat at a nearby restaurant and as it was the birthday of one of our members, we decided to push the boat out a bit. The waitress was taking the order, and about five had ordered Steak America, so Kevin decided that he would order it too. When he asked for it to be well done, the waitress replied they did not do it well done as it was corned beef. This immediately prompted a change of order. Martin ordered curried prawns but in Belgium they do not shell the prawns, and he's not a favourite of crunchy prawns. Jim bought coffee and cognac all round (he can do that again, but I think he will have to sell his house), and then we returned to the hotel for sherberts and into my room for a few more. Ronnie had given me a hip flask of Wood's Rum - but this did not get shared out, except for sippers for Colin. At about 2am the ever-tactful Colin Needham got into bed and everyone took the hint and retired to their rooms.

Early breakfast and then over in to France to a supermarket for wines, spirits, cheeses and a delicacy from the charcuterie - French-style pigs' trotters - better than any steak. We set off to the ferry, but some numpty left his coat and passport in the cafe and had to go to the Purser to collect them - I shall not name any names. Whilst in Belgium and France we had not been in any traffic jams or roadworks, so when we arrived at Dover at 1.30 pm, we hoped for a good journey home. The M25 was ok but the M1 and M6 was nothing but block after block, so much so that it was 9.30 pm when I got home.
All told the trip was very good - hotel meals could have been better, but the company was excellent, and a great time was had by all. I wait with baited breath for the instructions for next year.

Meetings 1st Tuesday of the month at 2000 hrs
Bury Drill Hall

Meetings 1st Tuesday of the month at 1945 hrs
Buxton Inn

On 1 December 2009, thousands cheered the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF) as it marched through Swinton on its way to a civic reception at Salford Town Hall. The march celebrated the end of a successful tour for 2RRF in Afghanistan and commemorated the 7 Fusiliers who had died during the operation - sadly this included Fusilier Simon Annis from Irlam. The march reinforced the Fusiliers as Salford's infantry regiment and confirmed a link that went back to 1873.
Regimental Recruiting Area
Salford first came into the Fusilier family at the beginning of the 1870s when, as part of the reorganisation of infantry regimental recruiting areas, the 20th Foot, the East Devonshire Regiment, found itself relocated from Exeter to a new depot at Bury in the heart of industrial Lancashire. On arrival the Regiment was allocated a recruiting area which included the towns of Bury, Rochdale and the City of Salford. This was a densely populated area which was to prove fertile ground for recruiting, particularly during the early part of the 20th century. In 1881 the East Devonshire Regiment had the honour to be renamed, thus becoming arguably Lancashire's most famous regiment, the Lancashire Fusiliers.
The 'Shouting Fusilier'
The first physical evidence of the relationship between the Fusiliers and Salford came in 1905 with the unveiling of the statue of the 'Shouting Fusilier' on the junction of Oldfield Road, (A5056) and Chapel Street (A6). The statue was designed by George Frampton RA, who was also responsible for Peter Pan in Hyde Park, and commemorated the many townsmen of Salford and particularly the Volunteer Active Service Companies who had served in South Africa during the Boer War. The memorial specifically commemorated the battle of Spion Kop fought on 24 Jan 1900 during the campaign to relieve Ladysmith.

Jim and Joyce Hope at the time had part time jobs in Alabama USA, Jim as handy man and Joyce in telesales. She had been working for an ex member of Berlin Brigade American intelligence section attached to 3RRF during the 2 year tour. Owing to ill health of a family member she decided to sell up and move residence from Alabama to Arizona - her birthplace. Jim then gave Nobby and Kath the invite to conduct this logistics move. Nobby and Kath then moved from Manchester to Chicago (8hr flight) plus 6 hr stopover then onto Huntsville Alabama (2hr flight) to a place called Gurley. On reaching this magnificent residence they then started a 3-day pack-up, under the direction of TQMS Jim Hope and, more senior, Joyce.
Armed with a pickup truck, 4 x 4 and car, the journey started, with fusilier number plates fitted to the 4 x 4. The drive was from Huntsville, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, finally Arizona, Huachuca City (American Army Int Base). .The total mileage was 1666, which averaged out at 476 miles per day and took 3.5 days, staying in 4 different hotels.

Memorable moments
Visits to Tobacco and gun shop Alabama, deer by the house with their young.
Dallas - expecting to see J R Ewing with hat in tow when all we saw was torrential rain (heaviest known to man). The shower outside the hotel room from the sprinklers set in the lawn with Jim and Nobby with beer in hand.
Once entering Arizona we were politely informed to be on our guard for rattle snakes - Jim having had experience of these in Alabama was our expert in this field.
Tombstone was a very funny part of the visit with re-enactment of gunfights on the street. We soon established that the shooting did not take place at the OK Coral, it took place one block away. Thoroughly enjoyed by all, with Nobby having his picture taken in a coffin which was rounded off by ice cream and trip to Boot Hill.

Sayings in the press during our stay.
Policeman in response to an OAP being burgled at 03.30am was fatally wounded during the attempt (true)
During a joint operation between Mexican/American border guards while responding to a call out just after midnight close to the Mexican border did fatally wound each other while searching for illegal immigrants or drug runners from Mexico to Arizona responding to an electronic search device. (true).
Mishaps along the way
Jim, Joyce, Nobby and Kath spending an evening on the patio. The beer and soft drinks were cooling in the workshop. Jim went for the beer and Diet coke followed by Nobby. Jim, not realising he was behind, only opened the shutter 4ft off the ground and Nobby immediately ran into the shutter, can in hand, which exploded and Nobby was on the floor with crickets and other insects. The snake drills were to open the shutter and stand back
On visiting Apache Springs for breakfast Nobby did bite into well acclaimed American bacon and as a result lost his arrowhead filling from his front tooth (fixed at a cost of £209).
Passports - whilst travelling in convoy from New Mexico to Arizona, VCP stopped our 3 vehicles requiring ID (passports). Nobby and Kath had placed documents in the first vehicle which the border guard passed through, hence no ID for Nobby or Kath. We immediately quoted Her Majesty's Tower of London RRF and after certain checks we were released.
Not understanding the American pedestrian crossings or traffic laws our party of four waited for the green light to cross the road. On appearance of the green light we crossed, although halfway across we then realised the traffic was coming at us. A red light for traffic does not mean they cannot go - this was the fastest 100 metres outside the Olympics.
These were just a few, but thanks Jim & Joyce (Alabama was the best)

2013 DATES

The naming ceremony will take place at the Metrolink Queen's Road Depot and will be carried out by Bury-born Jennie McAlpine, perhaps better known as Fiz Stape in Coronation Street.
A 'Troop Tram' will depart the Metrolink Station in Bury to take those participating in the event from Bury to the Depot and return the party to Bury after the ceremony.
This is a Regimental family event including the Association, Cadets, Machine Gun Platoon and the Band and Corps of Drums. The intention for those taking part, less the Band, who would have to go straight to the Depot, is to RV at the Metrolink Station in Bury and board a tram which would go directly to the Queen's Road Depot (the tram can take up to 200).
The Band will entertain the guests prior to the ceremony which will take place at the Depot on the arrival of the Troop Tram.
Light refreshments will be served at the end of the ceremony and an opportunity, within safety limits, to tour the Depot, after which the Troop Tram will return to Bury.

Timings - Saturday 16 March
1030 hrs RV Bury Metro Station
1100 hrs Troop Tram departs for Depot
1120 hrs Troop Tram arrives Depot
1130-1200hrs Naming Ceremony
1200-1300hrs Refreshments and Tour of Depot
1300hrs Troop Tram departs for Bury
1320hrs Troop Tram arrives Bury
1400hrs Dismiss
We need a good showing from the Association for this event so please do not let us down - both Metrolink and TfGM are backing our campaign to save 2RRF.


Sat 27/Sun 28
Gallipoli Weekend
Castle Armoury*
* Please see below for booking details

Sunday 28th
1030 hrs Parade and Church Service
1045 hrs Parade/Inspection Drill Hall
1100 hrs Church Service
1300 hrs March Past
1330 hrs RHQ Lancs & Association Luncheon (Normandy Room)


Sun 4
Minden Day
1145 hrs for 1200 hrs Drum Head Service Gallipoli Garden
Gathering in the Normandy Room

Last Post

Issue 61

February 2013

Mel Bonney
Dec 2012

Alf Brewster
9 Oct 2012
LF died in New Zealand 3 months before his 100th birthday

Robert Hayes
18 August 2012
5LF 1965-1968

Edwin Holmes
23 July 2012
1LF died in Glossop Derbyshire - no other information

Kevin Moore
26 Dec 2012

Lance Myers

Don Nuttall
4 Jan 2013

Eric Payne
late June 2012
1LF 1951-1953. Served in Kenya and Suez

Alex Wallace
19 Nov 2012
LF Trieste Branch



July 2012
Fusiliers' Association (Lancashire)

As the media organisations speculate about the future of the Armed Services, it is most important that you read and take note of the first item in Regimental Jottings.
This year has seen a change of personalities. Having said farewell to Colonel Brian Gorski MBE from the post of area Colonel of the Regimental Association in Lancashire we welcomed Brigadier Paul Nanson MBE into the post at the Gallipoli weekend, when the Lorne Scots were able to send the largest contingent we have been privileged to welcome to the Gallipoli Commemoration.
Les Ingham has relieved John O'Grady as Lancashire Area Association Chairman. We warmly welcome Les and thank John for his many years of service to the Regiment and five years as Chairman.
The work of establishing the Regimental Memorial at the National Arboretum will be completed when His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent will unveil the memorial at a Drumhead Service on Sunday 20th October 2013. Put this date in your diaries now. Both Regular Battalions should be in the United Kingdom then so please help to make this the biggest Fusilier event ever.
Please remember that your Newsletter can be improved by you. Your story may be a valuable contribution to our Regiment's historical record, or just a good story, so please do not let your stories fade away when you do!
Remember the work done by Dennis Laverick on the website and possibly contribute your information electronically to
Capt. (Ret'd) David G. Hoyle -


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 townspeople alike.
Fundraising continues apace with excellent efforts being made by Association members, with the beneficiaries being both internal and external. We have a distant objective in mind to that of a significant event planned for Gallipoli 2015 that is very much in the early stages of planning. More details will be released when the Steering Committee is formed. It is Colonel Lancashire's view that Gallipoli 2013 should be a more Bury-focused effort drawing together the Fusilier family with well planned events. The move to a more co-ordinated approach has my full backing. Such an approach will reduce costs, make more effective use of limited resources and will generally be fun!!!
It would be remiss of me not to mention Helen Field and her staff and congratulate them on winning the coveted Small Visitors' Attraction Award from Manchester Marketing.
The Association Committee Members will add their thoughts to mine of recent events for the first half of the year; each contribution helps to generate a thriving Lancashire Association of which I am proud to be part of. Your continued support is greatly appreciated and I look forward to the many challenges ahead as the Army prepares to restructure.

L Ingham BEM Major (Retd) Chairman

First of all, congratulations to Elwin Pickup and Colin Wilkinson on their Regimental Medal and Certificate. Over the last 12 months, there have been 5 awarded to the Lancashire area. Gallipoli Sunday was a good turn out as usual, and to have 50 troops from the Lorne Scots made it that bit extra special - all told, with cadets, there were just over 360 people on parade. As for the Association Dinner on the Saturday night, numbers attending the dinner were down on last year, but it is hoped that next year's Dinner will be at a different venue in the centre of Bury. I have heard comments about the programme of entertainment at the Dinner, so if you have any ideas, please let the Chairman or myself know.
While on the subject of events we have had to cancel 3 over the last 12 months due to lack of support, not just events organised by the Committee, but also by Branches. In February last the informal Osnabruck/Hong Kong etc Reunion held in the Normandy Room at the Museum attracted only 11 people, so next year it has been proposed that we move it to a summer month. Gentlemen we do not want to lose these get-togethers, so please support them all you can - Branches need to tell other Branches of their functions so they can support each other. I can supply a list of contact details for Branch Secretaries if they wish to have them, but also do not forget the Association website. The next date for your diary is Minden Sunday on 5 August. The shoot at Holcombe Moor has been cancelled for various reasons - insurance and TA not available. When we do hold it we want to make it something for all the family.
Membership has fallen by nearly 50 since the last issue. The main reason I am given when I enquire from people who have not renewed their subscriptions, is what do they get for their membership. Gents please put forward any ideas you have - don't leave it up to the few. A recent opportunity for a Branch to increase its membership was lost because they couldn't be bothered. In July we were due to go to Celle in Germany for 7 days to visit 2RRF, which would have cost £90 per person (plus spending money). I struggled to get 20 names from the Association, and this trip has now been cancelled. Over the Bank Holiday 2/3/4 June the Association held a tombola stall at the East Lancs Steam Railway. Many thanks to Tony Harrop, who travelled from Macclesfield, Kevin Hesslewood, and Phil Horner for help in obtaining some of the prizes.

Steven Fitt Association Secretary

News from HM Tower of London

You will all have seen articles in the media with regards to the future size and shape of the British Army. You will also have seen that the Second Battalion has been identified in the press as being one of the Infantry Battalions that might be cut from the British Army orbat. The MOD has issued a statement that no final decisions have been taken on which units will disband or amalgamate. An announcement in Parliament is expected some time in July 2012. The Regiment is carrying out prudent and detailed contingency planning in preparation for any announcement which might affect us. The Colonel of the Regiment will inform the Fusilier family of any decisions taken by the MOD, once Parliament has been briefed by the Secretary of State for Defence. He will also detail how the Regiment proposes to respond, which must be in a coordinated and dignified manner. Until then, the Colonel has directed that individuals are to refrain from initiating any well-meaning campaigns and comment on social networking sites. At this moment in time, until the full facts are known and the implications understood, such comment is likely to do more harm than good.

On 16 May 2012, Brigadier T J Minter OBE DL handed over as Colonel of the Regiment, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, to Brigadier D J Paterson OBE. All ranks are eternally grateful to Brigadier Minter for five outstanding years as Colonel, and best wishes are extended to Brigadier Paterson.

Z Company

In the last week of February and the first week of March the Battalion deployed to Sennelager in Germany to conduct the Combined Arms Tactical Trainer (CATT) and Combined Arms Strategic Trainer (CAST) training. Supported by Egypt Company from 2 RTR and Chestnut Troop from 1RHA the Battalion was able to carry out Battle-Group level planning and operations on the excellent simulator equipment.
The coach trip to Germany was a long one and had already taken its toll on some people. The fast pace, real-time planning and orders process of the exercises ensured that everyone felt the effects quickly. The sub-zero German climate quickly added to the difficulties faced by those from the Headquarters element as the tents in which they were housed did not have the luxury of heating. A continuous chain of hot brews and a number of items of thermal clothing became the norm for the two weeks.
The simulators allowed individuals at all levels to experience the demands of a modern Combined Arms Operation utilising all of the assets that will be available to the Battalion on its deployment to BATUS and, then ultimately, to Afghanistan in 2013. Starting at small scale Platoon and Company operations, the package culminated in a Battle-Group level operation in a complex modern environment with the threat coming from both insurgent and conventional enemies.
Everyone involved benefited from the opportunity to put into practice what had been learned in the past few months during internal cadres. For many of the new Warrior Gunners and Drivers it was their first opportunity to be involved in operations (albeit simulated) of this scale. It has given the newer members of the Battalion a taste of what is to come once they reach the Canadian Prairie - now all they will have to do is learn how best to deal with the unpredictable weather and clouds of midges.

W Company
During the deployment to CATT and CAST, the Battalion had the opportunity to carry out a Battlefield tour of Bastogne. For many of the younger members of the Battalion this was the first opportunity to visit a foreign Battlefield and get a feel for some of the difficulties that the infantry faced in previous conflicts.
Taking place over the weekend, between two extremely busy phases of training, it offered many the opportunity to reflect upon what it was they were training for as well as being an insight into a battle for which most people's knowledge comes from the TV series "Band of Brothers". With the weather providing a suitably sombre backdrop, Officers and SNCOs from the Battalion took it in turn to bring the conflict to life with a mixture of ground briefs, narratives and the reading of eyewitness reports from key points around the Battlefield.
Capt Kye Renyard provided an overview of the battle from the American held ridgeline above the town before moving down to the Museum for a guided tour. With a mixture of extremely enthusiastic re-enactors and reconditioned weapons and equipment to get to grips, the Fusiliers had a great time looking at the exhibits and chatting to the Museum's historians. The Coy also visited the joint American and German cemetery and saw the impressive memorial that has been erected in memory of those who lost their lives.

Y Company
Y Company was tasked to conduct a concentration week to refresh the rest of the Battalion in Operations in a Built Up Area (OBUA). Each Company would spend a day in Longmoor Camp in Hampshire being taken through a number of stands which focussed upon the specific skills required to work in this complex environment, culminating in a company assault onto a difficult building complex.
The day started with the extremely demanding Urban assault course. Utilising a mixture of sewer, rooftop and internal routes in and around the urban training complex, every Fusilier was pushed to his limits, climbing onto roofs, through windows, down drainpipes and into tunnel systems. Many of the more heavily built members of the Companies found themselves having a greater amount of difficulty when it came to climbing out of a bathroom window onto a garage roof. A number of techniques were employed with the most spectacular being the "Superman" head-first dive.
Sgt David Rourke and Cpl Andrew Chappell then split the groups down and took them through the basics of building entry routes and room clearances. With many people finding out just how difficult it is to attempt to climb up to a first floor window in full kit via a grappling hook. Sgt Marc Newton was then on hand to show some of the ingenious and extremely vicious methods that can be utilised to defend a house whilst members of the RMP showed the proper methods of searching and detaining prisoners of war.
The culmination of the day came in the form of a Company strike operation onto a series of building complexes which forced everyone to put into practice everything that they had been taught. The urban environment is an extremely complex one but it is through training like this that the Battalion is ensuring that everyone will be prepared to operate within it.

X Company
In April the Battalion hosted a visit by 6 members of the Mercer's Company. The Master, Mr Tom Sheldon, and 5 other members of the Company, came for 2 days in order to gain a greater understanding about how the Battalion operates and what it is like to be a member of the British Armed forces.
The visit was off to a rapid start with a visit to the Battalion OBUA concentration. The Mercers quickly realised that they would have a lot of opportunity to get to grips with what was happening and take a very active role in the training. Their first training practical came under the guidance of the room clearance demonstration troops, who ensured that they could see at first-hand what was required to clear a room and engage a hostile force in a confined space. Then, under the supervision of the Fusiliers who were playing the role of the enemy for the exercise's final attack, they experienced first-hand what it is like to be on the receiving end of a Company assault. Shell-shocked but smiling they were transported back to the Battalion for a slightly more relaxing Regimental Dinner in the Officers' Mess.
The next day it was the turn of the other companies to show off some of the most recent operational equipment now held within the Battalion. Particular interest was shown in the Automatic Grenade Launcher, with many of the Mercers muttering they would pay a great deal to be allowed to play with it on the range. It was quickly pointed out that the same was felt by most of the Officers' Mess. They were then given the opportunity to test out their gunnery skills in the simulated Turret trainer with varying degrees of success.
The visit was concluded with an excellent curry lunch at the Warrant Officers' and Sergeants' Mess. All of the visitors said how much clearer their knowledge of the Infantry was and how surprised they were at just how close the Battalion was as a whole.

The last month has seen Mission Specific Training (MST) continue apace for the Second Battalion, including the All Ranks Briefing (ARB), the Tactical Commanders Course (TCC) and Command and Staff Tactical Training Exercise (CSTTX). It has also been a busy sporting month, particularly for the footballers who have continued to have great success.

Commander 7 Armoured Brigade Visit
On Wednesday 7 March Commander 7 Armd Bde Brigadier P A E Nanson MBE visited the Battalion. Following an office call with the CO, the Brigade Commander had lunch with the Captains in the Officers' Mess before moving to the WO and Sergeants' Mess in order to present two Long Service and Good Conduct medals (LS and GC) and two Warrants. The LS and GC were presented to WO2 (RQMS) Witkowski and Sgt Throssell, whilst WO2 (CSM) Irwin of A Coy and WO2 (CSM) McLoughlin of Fsp Coy were presented their Warrants.

All Ranks Briefing and Tactical Commander's Course
It was a rare treat for the whole battalion to be able to conduct the ARB and TCC element of pre-deployment training in the familiar surrounds of Trenchard Barracks rather than endure yet another 18 hour coach journey back to the UK. OPTAG were incredibly flexible in making the package work and a very useful and interesting week ensued. Every member of the Battalion conducted the 2-day long ARB which gave direction on all of the most current issues in theatre as well as showing the obligatory picture of a Camel Spider, the size of a dinner plate, during the environmental brief. After this, the battalion split with all LCpls and above moving on to the TCC which provided a more in-depth look at the issues and scenarios likely to be faced by a commander in the current theatre environs. There were some very interesting external speakers, none more so than a Major from the Pakistani Army who gave a fascinating insight into Counter Insurgency Operations on the Afghan/Pakistan border. Whilst there were some notable differences, many of the tactical lessons learnt were very similar.

The last two weeks of the month saw a large chunk of the Battalion moving to Warminster and the CATT (UK) complex to complete CSTTX. The facilities at CATT (UK) are second to none and whilst the majority of Battalion Headquarters were stuck in the Ops or Plans areas, many of the Junior Commanders and Fusiliers were able to test themselves against a virtual enemy in the realistic and demanding simulation area. The synthetic wrap was outstanding and provided a good testing scenario for the Headquarters and meant that the After Action Reviews (AARs) were able to bring all learning points to life in a vivid manner. Getting the chance to work for a sustained period with all of the new communications equipment being used in theatre was invaluable.
Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier
I R Liles OBE Brigadier (Retd) Regimental Secretary


On 1 December 2009, thousands cheered the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF) as it marched through Swinton on its way to a civic reception at Salford Town Hall. The march celebrated the end of a successful tour for 2RRF in Afghanistan and commemorated the 7 fusiliers who had died during the operation - sadly this included Fusilier Simon Annis from Irlam. The march reinforced the Fusiliers as Salford's infantry regiment and confirmed a link that went back to 1873.

Regimental Recruiting Area
Salford first came into the Fusilier family at the beginning of the 1870s when, as part of the reorganisation of infantry regimental recruiting areas, the 20th Foot, the East Devonshire Regiment, found itself relocated from Exeter to a new depot at Bury in the heart of industrial Lancashire. On arrival the Regiment was allocated a recruiting area which included the towns of Bury and Rochdale and the City of Salford. This was a densely populated area which was to prove fertile ground for recruiting, particularly during the early part of the 20th century. In 1881 the East Devonshire Regiment had the honour to be renamed, thus becoming arguably Lancashire's most famous regiment, the Lancashire Fusiliers.

The 'Shouting Fusilier'
The first physical evidence of the relationship between the Fusiliers and Salford came in 1905 with the unveiling of the statue of the 'Shouting Fusilier' on the junction of Oldfield Road, (A5056) and Chapel Street (A6). The statue was designed by George Frampton RA, who was also responsible for Peter Pan in Hyde Park, and commemorated the many townsmen of Salford and particularly the Volunteer Active Service Companies who had served in South Africa during the Boer War. The memorial specifically commemorated the battle of Spion Kop fought on 24 January 1900 during the campaign to relieve Ladysmith.

South Africa
Spion Kop was one of the hardest fought battles during the Boer War, 1900 to 1902. As part of a Lancashire Brigade, the Lancashire Fusiliers captured the feature known as Spion Kop at night, only to find that it lay open to the enemy's guns by day. The exposed plateau was a death trap and through that long day 300 British casualties were inflicted by accurate Boer rifle fire and field artillery.
The Lancashire Fusiliers suffered 30 per cent casualties including two thirds of their officers. Unable to dig trenches in the rocky ground, almost all the dead were killed by single rifle shots to the head; such was the skill of Boer marksmanship. Although the cost was high, Spion Kop and the Lancashire Fusiliers' later successful attack on Pieter's Hill, led to the subsequent relief of their beleaguered comrades besieged in the town of Ladysmith. Such gallantry was recognised by the award of the primrose hackle to be worn on the left side of the headdress as a battle honour, the Regimental motto of 'Omnia Audax' - 'Audacious in everything' and the Red Rose of Lancaster to be borne on the Regimental Colour.

Re-dedication June 2012
On 24 June 2012 the 'Shouting Fusilier' in Salford will be re-dedicated to symbolise the completion of the Chapel Street regeneration scheme. It will be a joint effort between the local community and the Regiment.

The Great War
Clearly the biggest impact on Salford was the First World War, and today there is a fine, stone cenotaph twenty feet high surmounted by a Sphinx situated on the Crescent opposite Salford University. This is dedicated to the eleven battalions of Lancashire Fusiliers raised in Salford in World War 1. These include six Territorial battalions from the 7th and 8th Battalions and five New Army battalions including the 15th, 16th, 19th , 20th and 21st Battalions locally known as the 'Salford Pals'. It was the Salford Pals that fought bravely as part of the 32nd (Salford) Division in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 suffering heavy casualties. There is a memorial to the Salford Pals erected in the village of Authille in France on the battlefield where many of them fell.

The Second World War
At the outbreak of World War 2, there were two Volunteer Battalions remaining in the city. The 7th Battalion was converted into an Anti-Aircraft Battalion, but retained 'Lancashire Fusiliers' in its title, and the 8th Battalion went to France with the British Expeditionary Force in 1940 and fought bravely in the retreat to Dunkirk. After regrouping, the Battalion was posted to India where it distinguished itself in the battle of Kohima and at Mandalay. Salford provided a third Battalion, the 2/8th, which remained in the UK throughout the war and acted as a reserve for overseas units.

Freedom of Salford
On 18 October 1947, XX the Lancashire Fusiliers received the highest form of recognition from the City of Salford, when the Freedom of the City was conferred upon it. After accepting the freedom scroll and casket from the Mayor, the Regiment marked the occasion by marching through the city 'with drums beating, bands playing, colours flying and bayonets fixed'.

The Booth Charity
The Fusilier Museum and the Regiment have established a strong relationship with the Salford-based Booth Charity. In the past, the charity generously donated £30,000 towards the Fusilier Museum Project and has now granted a further £30,000 to the Fusilier Museum to fund an education programme. The education programme will be directed at Salford schools and will tell the story of Salford's Lancashire Fusilier Battalions and Salford's continuing legacy in the Regiment today.

Sacred Trinity Church
To commemorate the founding father of the Booth Charity, Henry Booth, a service is held annually at the church of the Sacred Trinity. The church, built by Henry Booth, is a fine example of 17th century architecture and is a regimental chapel of the Lancashire Fusiliers. The Colours of the 7th and 8th Territorial Battalions still hang in the church. Sadly the Colours of the Salford Pals' Battalions, presented in 1919, no longer hang in the church as they have long since disintegrated.
The church also has two fine Lancashire Fusilier memorials. There is a wooden triptych placed in the church in 1918 to the memory of those from Salford's Lancashire Fusiliers' battalions who fell in the Great War, and in addition there is a parchment tablet presented in 1935 giving particulars of the members of Salford Pals' Battalions who lost their lives including the 15th, 16th, 19th, 20th Battalions. Sacred Trinity can be viewed on Tuesdays between 1200 hrs and 1400 hrs.

Revival of Thiepval Day?
The Church was the focus of an annual Thiepval Day Service on the Sunday nearest to 1 July. The Regiment and the local community are working to resurrect the service for 2016 to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Somme

Salford Pals' Temporary Exhibition
The staff at the Fusilier Museum is currently working hard to put together a temporary exhibition based on the experience of the Salford Pals during the First World War. The exhibition will open in the Fusilier Museum on 29 June for 12 months and will then move to Salford.
Several venues are being considered including the Museum on the Crescent, Salford Lads' Club and Sacred Trinity Church. Certainly it is an aspiration to have the exhibition in Sacred Trinity Church for the 100th Anniversary of the First World War. The exhibition will be based on the lives of a small group of Salford men who lived along Regent Road and were caught up in the Great War.
A number of individuals are currently being researched. The work completed to date on Harry Gerrard gives a flavour of some of the issues to be addressed in the exhibition.

Mike Glover Curator Fusilier Collections


Meetings - 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs
Wellfield Club, Prince Street, Rochdale, OL16 5LL

Christmas Celebrations 10 December 2011
Christmas 2011 was a kind of a rush job due to us having to find a new meeting place, but, in true Fusilier fashion, we pulled it off. We decided to hold the celebrations in our new home - the Wellfield Working Men's Club - where they have a good-sized concert hall upstairs, so it seemed like madness not to use it. We approached Elaine, the Stewardess, and her team and they agreed to it. In fact, Elaine did most of the work as she was also able to get us an artist to entertain us. The buffet was substantial, and everyone enjoyed themselves, especially our Fusilier Queen Lorna, who seemed to win all the cuddly toys in the raffle.

M62 Memorial Service, 5 February 2012
A detachment from Rochdale Branch supported this very solemn occasion at Hartshead Services. The service was well attended by other branches as well as the M62 Families' Support Group, and there were at least 15 standards on parade. The weather stayed fine, although it was freezing, and, in places, there was evidence of heavy snow falls. Tommy Bailey (Chairman) and Peter Clegg (Vice President) laid the wreaths on behalf of the Association and Rochdale Branch.

Ladies' Night, 11 February 2012
The night was booked at one of our favourite watering holes, The Crimble Hotel, Bamford. Although the booking was placed well in advance of the date, I do not think the staff had anticipated just how busy the restaurant would be on the Friday night before St Valentine's Day. As we were kept waiting well beyond the booking time, members were getting rather fed up and were ready to leave. The Manager was flapping and offered us complimentary drinks, and at 2050 hrs he managed to get the party to a table - all 36 of us - and although a bit squashed, we could at least start the night off. Once the meal got under way, members began to relax and enjoy themselves, and it seems the night was recovered in true Fusilier fashion. I think next year we will have to give them 12 months' notice, but I'll leave that up to the members and the ladies.

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
It is with deep regret that on 6 April 2012 we lost one of our long-standing members, John Rodgers Snr (Dad). John never missed a meeting, and I think sometimes he came with the fixture and fittings - he was always ready for a game of doms. John was the secretary for the local Burma Star Association and he was also the Standard Bearer for the Rochdale Branch of the Burma Star Association. In fact as time rolled by, John became the sole surviving member of the Branch and could be seen on Remembrance Day marching in front of Rochdale Branch, proudly carrying the Burma Star Standard. John was well thought of by all members and was given a proper Fusilier send-off, so wherever you are John, stand easy buddy, your job is done.

Gallipoli/St George's Weekend 21/22 April 2012
As we all know, this is a very busy time within the Association, and no more so than here in Lancashire, as this year we had our sister regiment - The Lorne Scots' Pipes and Drums - visiting from Canada, and the Colonel Lancashire Brigadier Nanson MBE was to take the salute on the March Past on the Sunday. This, along with the AGM of the Museum, and all the celebrations taking place - yes a busy weekend. These days there are three dinners taking place in the area and a Fusilier Gathering in a Manchester hotel all on the same night - you cannot attend all.
Myself and the OC attended the Gallipoli/St George's Ball at the Radcliffe Civic Suite, along with our President, Major Gartside and his wife Valerie, Chairman Tom Bailey and member Craig Grice. One of the reasons for us attending the Ball was that I was to be presented with the Fusilier Association Medal and Certificate of Commendation for Services to the Association and Rochdale Branch by Brigadier Nanson.
It was nice to meet up with two officers I had not seen since the seventies - Captain David Hoyle (Editor) joined our table and I had not seen him since South Barracks, Gibraltar 1972, and Major Steeds OC Support Company, Londonderry 1973-1975. As you can imagine there was a lot chin-wagging (swing that light). Well it was a most memorable night and no more so than for the OC who came away with one raffle prize, namely the cuddly toy - RRF Teddy Bear - (she has always wanted one). I haven't a clue what she has christened it, but help, I think I've been replaced by this RRF Teddy Bear.
Celebrations over, it was the Church service and the March Past on Sunday morning. The good people of Bury showed their support by lining the route in their thousands and the sun shone as the Association and the Lorne Scotts marched down the Rock and Silver Street where the Colonel Lancashire took the salute. Once the troops fell out, it was back to the Normandy Room and a few sherbets - another good day out with the lads and the Association. I hope the Lorne Scots enjoyed themselves as much as the lads did.

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

Meetings - 1st Thursday of the month at 12.30 pm
Buxton Inn
Within the past twelve months our meagre numbers have improved by 3, which in itself is miniscule, but to us it is great. Eric Bond has proved an excellent addition, as has Harry McGrady.
Then we were introduced to Ron Andrew who discovered a World War One veteran's grave in Hyde Cemetery and took it upon himself to renovate it to the best of his ability - highly commendable to say the least. He served in the Royal Artillery and was a Drum Major - we have made him a member. This means that L/Corporal Joseph Simpson Collier, who died in 1919, has been remembered, and deservedly so. Photos are available on the Droylsden website.
George Peak Secretary

Meetings - 1st Monday in the month 2000 hrs
Pendleton Royal British Legion
We are still the 'twelve just men' here at Salford, in good spirits, and camaraderie is strong at the Branch It could be a lot better if all the floaters who wander in and out of our monthly meetings would commit, pay their subs and support the Branch regularly.
However we are now in possession of our new Branch Standard. It has been hard work to raise the funds to pay for it and we thank all of our friends and comrades who have supported us with donations.
By the time you read this we will have had our Standard blessed at the Re-dedication Ceremony of the 'Shouting Fusilier' Monument, where there is to be a Drum Head Service. Hopefully the people of Salford will turn up to support the day and to watch the pageantry. It goes without saying that the Salford Pals will make everyone welcome. Let's hope the sun will shine and it will be a splendid occasion. That's all for now from Salford Branch, except to say that we will endeavour to support the Association as best we can.

Omnia Audax Peter Flannery Chairman

Meetings - 1st Tuesday of the month at 2000 hrs
Joiners Arms, Cross Street, Middleton

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.
In January we attended the Dedication of the Garden of Remembrance at Wellington Barracks. In February we had two collections at Tesco Middleton for our Branch Emergency Fund, and we thank Tesco for granting us the opportunity. Also in February 5 members took a trip to Caernarvon to visit the Royal Welsh Fusiliers' Museum situated in the Castle. The Museum is well worth a visit, and the Medal Room is second to none - we spent hours in it. If any branch wants to visit I suggest they write to the museum a couple of weeks before, stating who they are, and you will be allowed in free of charge.
In May we entered the shoot at Swinnerton with two teams. Our two best shots paired up with Oldham Branch's best shots and they won their part of the competition but our second team did not do as well. If there had been a competition for the total age of the teams, they would have won it hands down, our youngest 67 the total 285 years. Also in May we had a visit from Doug and Lynda Spencer. Doug was a Sergeant in the Company for many years and it was good to see them again, and both looking well. Our Dinner was held on Friday 8 June and again it was a great success and good to see so many friends. The room looked well with some Regimental Silver on display, food and company were excellent. I think it will be the same venue next year as they look after us so well.
A trip to Belgium has been organised for 17 to 21 of September. The cost is £200 and this will cover ferry, petrol and hotel - I think we have room for one more only.
Last but not least Cliff Dodgson was very seriously ill earlier in the year, in fact they thought it was the end. Well I am quite happy to inform you he is back in reasonable health, he has lost some weight and he is coming to the meeting and also attended our Dinner. Well done Doddy, it was good to hear you whistling again.

OMNIA AUDAX Colin Fletcher Secretary

Standing engagements
Salford 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Oldham 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Trieste 1st Tuesday of month, Bury Drill Hall 1945 hrs
Bury 1st Tuesday of month, Bury Drill Hall 2000 hrs
Shiny D 1st Tuesday of month, Joiners Arms Middleton 2000 hrs
Rochdale 1st Wed of month, Wellfield Club Rochdale 2000 hrs
Droylsden 1st Thursday of month 1230 hrs
Northern Ireland 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs


Sun 5 Minden Day Drum Head Service, in Gallipoli Gardens, Bury 1200 hrs
Sun 25 Charity Fishing Match at Woodlands View Fisheries, Droitwich, Worcestershire. For further details contact Tony Harrop 01260 252880
24/25 War Time Weekend at Burrs Country Park - for charity, including the Fusiliers


Sun 11 Remembrance Sunday. Meet Bury Town Hall 1020 hrs
Sat/Sun 24/25 Birmingham International Military Tattoo at the National Indoor Arena

Sat 1 Association Christmas Dinner, Britannia Hotel, Dialstone Lane, Stockport. For further details contact Ron Owen, 01457 238932. Accommodation is available at a reduced rate 1930 hrs


LAST POST Issue 60 July 2012

Alan Briggs
2 April 2012 Served in 2RF, 1RNF, 1LF, 4RRF and 5RRF from boy soldier to Bandmaster 1946-1988

Gary Jones
Early May 2012 1LF Band 1956-1958 served in Cyprus. Informed by notice on website

James Stephens Army Catering Corps. Although James was ACC he was attached to the Fusiliers for all his service 1955- 1970. Ex 1LF and RRF

John H Williams
19 April 2012 2nd Battalion LF. Captured at Dunkirk May 1940 and remained a POW for rest of the war.


59 January 2012
Fusiliers' Association (Lancashire)

A Happy New Year to all Fusiliers
Once again the perennial Editor's appeal for more stories to swing the lamp is repeated. I am grateful for a nice addition to the story of the Voyage to Cyprus in 1957 from Malcolm McDonald, and Joan Wild's contribution. Please remember that your tales are an important part of Regimental history. If you do not pass them on, they will cease to exist.
Communication is always changing, the online availability of information makes it possible to have huge amounts of information available at low cost. Access through public libraries is free so even if you have never used a computer why not take the step of finding out how to surf the web.
You will then be able to see the good work done by Dennis Laverick at the following address -
Capt (Ret'd) David G. Hoyle -


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.
On the welfare front we continue to help the not-so-fortunate members of the Regiment with housing and small financial help where possible and again I have to say thank you to Alan Noble, SAFFA and The Royal British Legion for all their help in these matters.
Gallipoli Weekend was excellent as was the turnout by all. It was the perfect platform to say farewell to our outgoing Colonel of Lancashire Colonel Brian Gorski MBE and on your behalf he was presented with his fishing rod, a sport he really enjoys doing in his spare time. The Sunday morning parade gave him the chance to take the salute for his last time in Office, and he was given a truly, well-deserved Lancashire send-off. I thank you all for your support which is needed on these occasions. On your behalf I would also like to say a very warm welcome to our incoming Colonel of Lancashire Brigadier Paul Nanson MBE, Brigade Commander of 7 Armoured Brigade in Honne, Germany and we will be delighted to see him in April at his first Gallipoli Weekend.
The Memorial Fund is progressing well and as you will see from the website, donations are beginning to come in. As I said in my opening letter on this subject, no-one is being forced into making a donation, it is purely your decision as to whether you want to contribute or not. The plans are now published on our website and have been passed by the Council of Colonels in early October 2011. The unveiling ceremony will be in the autumn of 2013, and the location is at The National Arboretum, North Staffordshire.
Dennis Laverick has now produced a website for the whole of the Regiment. It is a great credit to his abilities and he continues to do a fine job of it - before you ask, Dennis will be rewarded for his work by means of a sum of cash agreed by the Council. Should Dennis agree to do it free of charge then that will be his decision alone, without interference from any outside agencies.
In closing, gentlemen, can I ask you all to be on the lookout for ex members who are down on their uppers and not feeling too good. If we keep the Branch Secretaries informed of their whereabouts this allows the Association and the Regiment to do all that we can to help.

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.
I am to hand over the reins of the Chairmanship of the Association to a very good and personal friend Major (Rtd) Les Ingham BEM at the end of April 2012. Les is a first class Regimental Officer, has served the Regiment since 1963, and was RSM of the 2nd Battalion. I can only ask you to give Les the same support that you have all given to me over the past years and it has been both a pleasure and honour to have been your Chairman.

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.
This year of 2012 is going to be busy again with bucket collections and in March there is a reunion in Colchester for those who served there from the Royal Fusiliers and 3 RRF. For further details see the Association website under 'Events'. There are also trips to Italy, France and Germany. It would be nice to see some branches at the Gallipoli Dinner. There will be no official Fusilier Gathering this year, but later in the year it is hoped to hold an Association shoot at Holcombe Moor - keep your eye on the Association website. Click here for Events Page
The 2nd Battalion, who are at present in Germany, will be saying farewell to Celle with a freedom parade and various other functions in July 2012 and it is hoped to run a coach from the Lancashire area. Once again details will be on the website when confirmed.
Remembrance Weekend was once again very well attended and Bury FC asked the Association to sound the Last Post etc. We had 6 standards, 7 serving Fusiliers, 9 veterans, including 2 Chelsea Pensioners, who marched out with a young lad from Bury who had just returned from Afghanistan 10 days prior, and presented the match ball to the referee. The reception given to everyone was fantastic. Well done to all concerned - it will be hard to better it next year.
Click here for the Bury FC parade

The parade through Bury on the Sunday was the biggest for many years, and as usual the people of Bury showed their appreciation.
Click here for the Remembrance Day Parade
Click here for the Remembrance Sunday Parade

I have been the area standard bearer since I took over from my father in 1986 and at the moment I am looking for help with the duties as I am starting to have problems with my legs.
It will be the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli in 2015 and there is a trip to Gallipoli being planned, so anyone who might be interested, please contact me as soon as possible as names are being taken.
Our Chairman has said that he is handing over in April so our thanks to John for what he has done for the Association over the last 4 years.
Best wishes to all

Steven Fitt Association Secretary


The relationship between town and regiment has always been strong in Bury and this has been illustrated, in a very tangible way, in the form of two gardens which will have been opened to the public by the time this article is published. These garden spaces will not only provide a permanent memorial to the Lancashire Fusiliers and Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, but will also provide much needed green spaces for the public to enjoy in Bury. To find the funding for both green spaces has not been easy. Considerable hard work and perseverance eventually produced £100,000 grant funding to cover both projects. Both gardens were formally unveiled on Friday 11 November 2011, which is significant as the 11th of the 11th of 2011.

Wellington Barracks Memorial Garden
In May 2009 the MoD and the Regiment finally withdrew from what remained of Wellington Barracks. The original barracks was built between 1842 and 1845 and was part of the Napier Scheme to garrison the industrial North West in order to prevent civil unrest. In 1873 the depot companies of the 20th Foot, the East Devonshire Regiment, arrived in Bury. In 1881 they were re-titled the Lancashire Fusiliers thus beginning their link with the county. From then on Wellington Barracks was the centre of Regimental activity throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, despatching troops to the Boer War, the Great War and the Second World War. However following the Second World War, Wellington Barracks proved to be too small to be a viable training establishment and closed in 1961. As funding was not available to move the Regimental Headquarters, Museum, Memorial and Association Club into Bury as originally planned, they remained in a small MoD enclave which itself came under scrutiny at the beginning of the 21st century.
The Regiment decided to jump before it was pushed and following the £4.2 million Fusilier Museum Project, moved lock, stock and barrel into new accommodation in the centre of Bury. The move included the Fusilier Memorial which is officially part of the Headquarters. However, the removal of the Memorial left a significant physical and mental gap on Bolton Road. It was therefore agreed with all interested parties that it would be appropriate to fill the gap by developing a memorial garden on the site of the original entrance to Wellington Barracks and also the original location of the Fusilier Memorial.
Through the Regimental Association a grant for £50,000 was obtained from a company called Viridor. This company allocates funds from land fill tax for community projects and was very supportive. The memorial garden project includes several interesting features including the restoration of the old cobbled surface at the entrance to the barracks, the installation of a three metre obelisk, based on the original Fusilier Memorial, and considerable replanting. The garden will also incorporate a limited facility to bury ashes. The end result will not only be a fitting memorial to Wellington Barracks and all the Fusiliers that passed through, but it will also considerably enhance the environment on Bolton Road - an important gateway into Bury.
Click here to see the photos of the dedication of the Memorial Garden

Gallipoli Garden
The second green space is Gallipoli Garden and is situated next to the Fusilier Museum on Silver Street in the centre of Bury. The garden was originally called Sparrow Park and was purchased by the council as the site for an extension to the Technical School which was built at the end of the 19th century. The additional building work never took place and the area remained an open green space eventually being named Sparrow Park. In 2009, in honour of the Fusiliers, Bury Council renamed Sparrow Park to Gallipoli Garden on the opening of the Fusilier Museum. During construction, part of Sparrow Park had been used as the location for a new entrance to the Fusilier Museum. To compensate for the loss of this community space the Fusilier Museum and Bury Council agreed to extend the formal garden into an area of scrub that occupied the north end of Sparrow Park.
The Friends of the Fusilier Museum made a bid to the Community Spaces scheme for financial assistance. This organisation is largely funded from Lottery money and its aim is to fund community based projects that improve the environment. The Friends were successful and a £50,000 grant was allocated to the project. The plan drawn up by BCA Project Services would see the removal of the scrub area which will be replaced by the planting of new trees and shrubs, many of which have been chosen to reflect the eastern Mediterranean. A new path would be laid and a granite garden feature engraved with detail reflecting the Regiment's history would be installed. Three interpretation boards would also be erected that would explain the Gallipoli Campaign, the Fusilier Monument and lastly Sir Gilbert Mackereth MC. The Gallipoli Garden Project would not only enhance the overall garden environment but would also provide an external location for delivery of the museum education package.
Of particular significance for many members of the Regiment is that the garden will be the final resting place for Sir Gilbert Mackereth MC. Sir Gilbert's story has already been told elsewhere. But in summary, following service in the First World War, including command of the 17th Battalion the Lancashire Fusiliers, Sir Gilbert had a long and successful career in the Diplomatic Service. He retired to Spain where he died in 1961. The story would have ended there if not for the good offices of Terry Dean who, while on a holiday in Spain, discovered to his horror that Sir Gilbert was about to be evicted from his grave. Following a considerable amount of hard work and expense on behalf of Terry, Sir Gilbert finally came home to his regiment and will finally rest alongside the Fusilier Memorial.

Both gardens prove that the link between community and regiment is as strong as ever, at least in Bury. These green spaces not only provide suitable recreational spaces for the local community but also provide lasting memorials to the Fusiliers. These projects have been the product of the best efforts of the regimental family, with the Regimental Association leading on the Bolton Road bid and the Friends of the Museum on the Gallipoli Garden project.

M J GLOVER Lt Col (Retd) Regimental Secretary Lancashire

Regimental Jottings
News from HM Tower of London

Memorial at the National Arboretum
As most of you are now aware the Regiment will be replacing the Fusilier Memorial at the National Arboretum in 2013. Our Fusiliers who have lost their lives deserve a lasting and fitting memorial at the Arboretum and the small stone that is there currently does need replacing. An experienced war memorial stonemason has been appointed; who has previously produced work at the National Arboretum and at the Somme, and is highly respected for the quality of his work.
The dimensions will be approx 8 ft wide and 6 ft high. It will sit on a plinth of solid granite approx 11 ft by 5 ft, engraved with a suitable inscription on the front such as; 'We Will Remember Them', and be surrounded by 4 granite benches. The design on the memorial is the Regimental Colours and the badges of the antecedent Regiments.
The cost of the monument is £25k, and it is estimated that a further £10k will be needed for the unveiling ceremony in 2013, to which all Fusiliers and the families of our Fusiliers killed in action will be invited. The Colonel in Chief will be invited to lead the ceremony.
Donations should be sent to the Assistant Regimental Secretary at RHQ with cheques made out to the RRF Memorial Fund.

Change of Role
The First Battalion took over the Land Warfare Centre Battle Group role in August 2009. Since then it has definitely been two years of hard work, as men have deployed on numerous exercises in support of courses, Brigades about to deploy on operations, and equipment trials. A recurring theme throughout this time has been support to the PASHTUN series of exercises for brigades about to deploy to Afghanistan. During these exercises, the Battalion played the parts of insurgents and local nationals, wearing Afghan clothing while conducting pre-planned serials to test the exercising troops. By providing a pattern of life and serials for the exercising troops, the Fusiliers, be they farmers, builders, mullahs or washing machine salesmen, gave the troops about to deploy to Afghanistan the best possible environment in which to train. It also gave the Fusiliers an opportunity to think and act as an insurgent. All of these opportunities will be very helpful when the Battalion starts its own Pre-Deployment Training for Afghanistan.
When not on these large exercises the Battalion took part in a huge number of smaller exercises, both as enemy and friendly forces. The Battalion regularly deployed whole companies of Warrior AFVs onto Salisbury Plain. By the end of the 2 years, however, the Fusiliers knew the Plain inside out, and it was always brilliant to see new Company Commanders stressed on their course asking junior Fusiliers how to attack a position. The handover to 2 Royal Welsh on 29 July marked the end of this time. Everyone is looking forward to a change as the Battalion joins 1 Brigade and starts to prepare for deploying on Operations in the near future.

Minden Day
Despite the persistently soggy weather (made all the more miserable by the swelteringly hot previous few days) Thursday 4 August was a memorable day for 38 soldiers from X Company for several reasons. Not only was it Battalion Minden Day, which is always a good day, but more importantly as part of the Minden Day celebrations, the 38 soldiers who served in Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 13 as part of the Battle Casualty Replacement Cohort were awarded their Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan.
The Commanding Officer, Lt Col Jon Swift, presented each of the men with their medal. The many hours of practice supervised by the Regimental Sergeant Major and the men clearly showed in the precision of the drill, despite the wet conditions. The Minden Band and 1RRF Corps of Drums provided a fine selection of music, and many of the Fusiliers' families and friends were present to watch the parade. For many of the cohort they were receiving their first operational medal. The CO also promoted several NCOs and had the pleasure of awarding 2 Long Service and Good Conduct Medals to Cpl Martin Pike and Sgt 'Sandy' Sanderson.

Adventure Training
During the summer over a hundred Fusiliers, NCOs and officers took part in 1RRF's annual Adventurous Training Camp. After the success of last year's camp, a similar week of activities was again held in the mountainous town of Betws-y-Coed in Snowdonia, North Wales.
The Fusiliers took part in a range of activities, including hill walking, mountain biking and rock climbing. Some of the mountains conquered included Snowdon (by many and varied routes and approaches), the knife-edge of Crib Goch, and the famous peak Tryffan with the Adam and Eve monoliths, and the Cantilever Rock. When on the mountain bikes, the Marin Trail was the route favoured for its mix of technical challenge and testing hills. The men seemed to enjoy the biking most when it was raining and muddy. Rock climbing offered a different challenge, putting all Fusiliers out of their comfort zones, whether that was only a metre off the ground (in some cases) or whether the instructors had to take the odd Fusilier out onto a far more difficult and exposed route in the evening to get the required adrenaline rush. The end of the week came all too soon, and the men of 1RRF went away having learned that hill-walking can be a lot more scary than they originally thought, rock climbing is just as gripping two feet up as 300 feet up and that mountain bikes can be quite dangerous bits of kit!

Road Safety Campaign
The 1RRF Road Safety campaign has continued with WO2 (MTWO) Jim Kenworthy organising another 'Safe Skilled Driving Event'. The 2-day event took part within Mooltan Barracks and the off-road driver training on Salisbury Plain. Each Company had to submit a Land Rover with a three man team consisting of Driver, Commander and Signals operator, with a view to making the competition reflective of how a Company group would deploy into the field with a Land Rover TUM FFR (fitted with BOWMAN) and a ¾ ton trailer. The competition consisted of eight stands, allowing each team to accumulate points per stand that were to be added up for a final score in order to determine the winning team. All the drivers who took part in this competition showed that they have improved their driving over the last two years. Overall the competition was a huge success and was thoroughly enjoyed by all who took part in it. The winning team was from Z Company consisting of Sgt Poolton, Fus Wood and Cpl White (BOWMAN Operator), who won a day out driving Porsche Caymans around Thruxton race circuit.


The Battalion has had a busy summer maintaining its high readiness capability as the Small Scale Contingency Battlegroup and continued its preparation training for Ex ASKARI THUNDER in Kenya later this year. Internal courses, adventurous training and high profile inter-company sporting events provided the highlights of the summer before a welcome summer block leave.

About 40 members of B Company departed for a company level exercise on Hohne Training Area. The focus of this training was to revise and practise Counter Insurgency (COIN) Operations in a contemporary environment. The first two days were designated training days for the platoons and were spent revising all the skills required at the lower level before entering the company phase.
The third day started with the Company deploying to Patrol Base (PB) St George, an excellent construction in close proximity to the 'AfghanDorf' village on the training area. From here, members of B Company would put their training from the first phase into practice. Each platoon was assigned a role for 24 hours covering guard duties, Quick Reaction Force and patrolling. Working with the rifle platoons (or opposing them; depending on whose opinion you asked) were the personnel from B Company HQ, led by WO2 (CSM) Halloran. They would be playing the role of local nationals as well as disappearing off into the woods every now and again to fire a few shots at the patrols and the PB, making sure the exercising troops were kept constantly on their toes.
I R Liles OBE Brigadier (Retd) Regimental Secretary


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 Minden Day.
A great night was enjoyed by all at our annual Quiz Night, followed by Remembrance parades for which there was a superb turnout with plenty of Hackles on Parade.
Some of us will be attending the Oldham Christmas 'Do' which we are looking forward to and catching up with old mates. We are still a small branch but wish you all the best from the Northern Ireland Branch and look forward to the coming year.
Ian Scholes Secretary Northern Ireland Branch


Meetings - 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs
Wellfield Club, Prince Street, Rochdale, OL16 5LL

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.
Secondly may I offer a sincere apology to two of our members - the Clegg Brothers, Peter and Dave. In the last issue I reported that they had scattered their Uncle Bill's ashes on the beach at Caen, when in fact it was their nephew Paul's ashes. Sorry lads I think they call it writer's block (when you know something's not right, but can't place it - OWD AGE).
Well a lot has happened down here in Rochdale, both with the Fusiliers and my private life, thus I missed the last deadline and so I will endeavour to try to bring you up-to-date with the Branch.
Christmas 2010
Christmas celebrations in Rochdale were cancelled due to several circumstances - weather, lack of support, other celebrations taking place at the same time, costing (you name it someone had an excuse). Anyhow, one of the hardest things to do was to cancel Christmas 2010, but however, all was not lost, as the crowd who meet up in the bottom office (Café-Cali), decided they would still celebrate Christmas and arranged to meet at the local carvery - The Sandbrook Park - where they had a very good meal with all the Christmas fare and trimmings at half the cost. Christmas and New Year came and went and I hope you all had good ones.
M62 Memorial
On 6 February 2011 the Rochdale, Branch along with members from other branches of the Association, assembled up on the Hartshead Services on the M62 westbound carriageway for a service of remembrance to those who were killed in such tragic circumstances by the bombing of a civilian coach carrying service personnel, their wives and children by the Provisional IRA.
Despite the weather, the service was well attended by Association members travelling from the north east and Warwickshire areas. In the absence of our head shed it was down to someone to lay the wreath on behalf of the Association. So up jumped Cleggie, one pace forward and all that, and problem solved. The wreath was laid by Mr Peter Clegg, Vice President, Rochdale Branch on behalf of the Association North West.
So come on sirs, don't let the side down, and turn out with the rest of us who keep alive the memory of those people who died on that fatal day - 4 February 1974. WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
Ladies' Night, Friday 18 February 2011
The Ladies' Night was held at The Crimble Hotel, Crimble Lane, Bamford. This is one of Rochdale Branch's favourite places to eat and enjoy themselves. The place is steeped in Fusilier history, and from the moment you walk into the dining area and the magnificent stone fireplace greets you with a log fire crackling away, and the two Lancashire Fusilier badges that adorn the fireplace, the two lions that stand guard over it, you know you are at home.
Major Gartside, our President, told us many a story about the place as The Crimble was once his ancestral home and as a boy, one of his duties was to clean the grate in that magnificent fireplace. Could anyone today imagine our (Gaffer) Major Gartside running around in his short breeches, covered in soot and ask, doing his morning chores. Happy Days Sir, can't take the memories away.
After several photo shoots with our new Fusilier Queen, Miss Laura Reid, granddaughter of Paul and Linda Deeks, 36 members were seated for the meal. Chairman, Mr Tom (Chippie) Bailey recited the Branch prayer, and what more could you ask for than pleasant company, good food, good ale and everyone enjoying themselves. Another great night out with the Rochdale Branch.
Gallipoli and St George's Weekend, 23/24 April 2011
Rochdale Branch, along with the rest of the Association, was on parade in Bury centre. There is a lot of activity over this weekend from council meetings in the museum to regimental dinners and parades - a full-on weekend. I know everyone who took part really enjoyed themselves. It was the first time on parade for the Rochdale Branch Fusilier Queen and she can't wait for 2012.
I myself cannot comment much, as I was on holiday (Rhodes) as it's just that time of year when me and the CO disappear for a couple of weeks.
Vets' Day 24 June 2011
Yes we know they changed it to Armed Forces Day, but here in Rochdale we decided to keep with the original title Veterans' Day. We think it is more appropriate and fitting and we have celebrated this day by having a meal together with our good ladies and friends since the Government decreed this day the 24 June be known as Veterans' Day.
On Friday 24 June 2011 the Branch sat down for a meal at The Royal Toby Hotel. Everyone enjoyed themselves, none other than young Les Holt (78), who at one time during the night found himself seated, surrounded by a bevy of beauties, mainly our ladies. Not knowing which way to turn, and keeping quiet, he held his nerve until the meal was called - well done Les, you deserve a medal.
All who attended enjoyed themselves. It's a good social evening and the staff at The Royal Toby really looks after us.
The Minden Celebrations, 29 July 2011
Minden Celebrations were held at our normal venue, Rochdale Masonic Hall. The arrangements were all in place and for the first time we had advertised the celebrations on Facebook and had gained a reasonable response. Tickets were selling well and the Drummers Black Light Show was booked. We then got the message that the new Colonel Lancashire Brigadier Paul Nanson would be in the area and had accepted our invitation to join Rochdale Branch in their celebrations. All the usual dignitaries were in attendance - the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale, Cllr Alan Godson and Mrs Gillian Brown, the local MP Simon Danczuk and his partner and our President, Major E T Gartside and his guest.
Brigadier Nanson met so many people that night, I bet his head is still spinning. After a sumptuous buffet put on by Martin and his staff at the Masonic, the night's proceedings began. Drum Major Chez Hodgson marched on the Pipe and Drums to do their excellent Black Light Show, which I must say went down a treat - all you could see in the darkness of the Masonic Hall was the twirling of the fluorescent drumsticks as the drummers kept time with their beats. Truly a marvelous show - audiences never tire of this show and still clamour for more.
After the floor show had finished and the Drum Major had marched off the Pipe and Drums, it was time for the ceremony of Eating the Minden Rose. This year's participants were our own member, Sgt Craig Grice ACF and one of the guests, Staff Jed Garrett, on leave from Sandhurst, (volunteered by me). Both Craig and Jed took to the eating of the roses like ducks to water - Jed even ate the stalk, what an appetite. Well lads, you can now call yourselves true Fusiliers, and Jed's welcome at any time at the Rochdale Branch. Brigadier Nanson gave his speech to the members followed by our President Major Gartside, the raffle was drawn and everyone settled down to dancing to the disco music provided by The Wolfman.
All in all, the night was quite busy, but went like clockwork in true army fashion. Well done to the Committee and it looks like everyone enjoyed themselves, with tickets already booked for next year.
Minden Parade 31 July 2011
After a heavy Friday night and with the silver drums returned to Bury HQ, it was time for the Minden Parade down at Bury. This takes place at the new Gallipoli Gardens with a drum head service and a bit of a shin dig in the Normandy Room. I know it's not like the old days when we all used to retire to the club, but it's still a place where you can catch up with old friends and still meet new ones. So all in all Rochdale Branch had a good Minden Weekend.
Pilgrimage to Ypres, 1 October, and the scattering of Brian's Ashes
On 1 October 2011 at 2130 hrs Clegg and Thorpe Battlefield Tours set off for Ypres. There were 12 of us, armed with 2 sat navs and three cars - what could go wrong as we were only going for 5 days and to scatter Brian (Birtie) Birtwistle's ashes?
In true Fusilier fashion we set off in convoy, the 2 sat navs being deployed one in front and one to bring up the rear. Everything went well on English soil, straight down the M6, M1, M25 and on to Dover - it was easy as we'd done it several times. It was when we got over the water and on French soil that the fun began. We planned on visiting a British cemetery on the way down to Ypres, but in true British fashion we got split up and cars were going to all points of the compass. Cleggie, with no sat nav, decided that we would just head for Ypres using the old landmarks and road signs and, you've guessed it, we arrived at the Ariane Hotel well in advance of the other 2 cars with sat navs. As we could not book in at the hotel until later, it was time to find something to eat and quench our thirst, so off into Ypres we strolled, and a good night was had by all.
The next day we set off in convoy again to find Prowse Point - this is the location where the Christmas Truce took place between the German and British troops and where the famous football match took place. It is now marked by a single solitary cross on the roadside, surrounded by wreath-type footballs from all over the world, just up the road from Plug Street Wood. This is where we were to scatter part of Brian's ashes. We all gathered round as Tommy mounted the embankment to stand at the side of the cross - a perfect position to scatter part of the ashes. The Branch prayer was recited and few words spoken as it was a solemn occasion after all. Tommy scattered the ashes with dignity and as he was about to bend down and step down off the embankment, the sun caught his shirt and shone through to reveal his well-paid-for paunch. Craig, quick off the mark, quipped "You can put that football back now Tommy". Tommy came back with "What do you mean?" "The one up your shirt", Craig replied. Therefore ended the solemn occasion. We went away laughing, something Brian would have wanted.
In the afternoon we headed for Popperinge, home to the 'shot at dawn' cells at the back of the town hall, and TOC HQ. Most of us had visited these sites in the past but it's always good to visit and check them out. Although it was from the bottom of a coffee cup - the bars were not open fully (after all it was a Pilgrimage). After a leisurely dinner hour in Popperinge, we set off in convoy to visit several other sites - but yes you guessed it again, we got separated and off we went in different directions. We even had a tour of a council estate, courtesy of our sat navs. Cleggie with his own built-in sat nav (knowledge of the area) soon got fed up and off we went, to make our own way back to Ypres. We arrived back well in advance of the others who were relying on new technology.
We visited several cemeteries over the next few days collecting information and taking photos of graves for people back home. As part of the pilgrimage, we even found time to visit Langamaur, the German cemetery which is quite stark compared to our cemeteries. It is interesting in many ways in that they do not have headstones as we have to mark a grave, but instead they have a simple tablet of stone laid flat to the ground, and scattered around are several gothic-type crosses similar to the Iron Cross.
On Wednesday night we were on Parade, with standards and all done up to the nines, at the Menin Gate. At 2000 hrs we formed up facing the Last Post buglers, surrounded by about a thousand people from all over the world. We were to lay wreaths on behalf of the Branch and the Association, as well as on behalf of the British Legion, who help with sponsoring our trip. The first wreath was laid by Mr Elwin Pickup (Secretary) and Mr Norman Holt on behalf of the Branch, and the second wreath was laid by Mr Alan Thorpe (Assistant Secretary) and Mr Paul Deeks (Deeksie) on behalf of the British Legion, Rochdale Branch.
After the ceremony there was a chance for the general public to take photographs of the merry pilgrims and God knows where these photographs will end up, as there were people from all over the world. Cleggie was talking to a guy from Middleton, Lancs (small world). Well, photo-call over, we retired to the Menin Gate public house and joined up with the Royal British Legion, Ypres where a few introductions were made and few bevies consumed.
The next day we had to visit Tyne-Cot Cemetery and scatter the remains of Brian's ashes, which again turned out to be an experience. On arrival, we de-bussed and went our own separate ways, but made our way to the memorial plaques dedicated to the Lancashire Fusiliers. This was where we planned to lay Brian's ashes. We scraped some of the pebbles away to make a hole deep enough, or so we thought, as Brian was a big bloke. Tommy poured in the ashes whilst reciting the Branch prayer. But the ashes kept coming and coming and we ended up with more ashes than the hole would accommodate. So with a quick scrape of the pebbles on the top of the ashes and few Fusiliers doing a quick Pebble (sand) Dance, we managed to lay Brian's ashes to rest topped with a poppy cross and a posy of poppies. Rest in Peace Brian (Birtie) Birtwistle, Tyne-Cot Cemetery October 2011.
Confusion reigned whilst on this trip. On one stage we were on our way to Frommelles and the lead car started to circumnavigate this roundabout several times. It got that bad that several civilian drivers were following us, as round and round we went, like something out of a sitcom. Then the lead car broke off and we followed, leaving several confused drivers behind. The reason was that the sat nav was recalculating and Truly was missing his roundabouts, but I must point out, it does not help when the sat nav is being relayed by no other than Ozzie Osborne, and every other word was fffffffing this and ffffffffff that.
Thursday night we held our regimental dinner in the Ariane Hotel. The hotel staff looked after us very well and did us proud with a superb meal, and the young wine waiter kept out glasses full. One of our customs when having one of our regimental dinners is to have a penalty box on the table, and anyone caught swearing, no matter how trivial, is charged a couple of Euros. This mounts up during the night and in the past we have donated this to charity, but this year we gave it to the staff for a job well done.
Well, as you guess, we all made it home safely after a great six days away, roaming the countryside of Belgium and France on our Annual Pilgrimage. Some times are serious and some are a laugh, but now it's back to Rochdale and Remembrance Day looms and back to manning the poppy stalls of Rochdale, but we man these with the same Fusilier pride and humour. Who says Rochdale Branch does not know how to enjoy themselves.


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 Mellow.
Click here to see the Plaque

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.
We have at present got 189 paid up members, and 9 honoured members. Subs need to be in by January in readiness for handover of Association Chairman in April. As we do every year we would like to thank our standard bearers and members who have turned out for all the local events - funerals, mayoral Sunday, Festival of Remembrance Weekend, poppy stands, all civic events within the town and our own regimental days.
M62 Memorial Day is 5 February, 1030-1100 and on completion of the service, the buffet afterwards will again be provided by The Oldham Liaison of Ex Service. Future events include a shooting day at Holcombe Moor, Clarke VC Day at Winsford, Gallipoli Weekend at Bury, and the Northern Ireland Reunion at Stockport.
We wish Joe Farquer our President a speedy recovery, and also Dave Booley, who did manage the Dinner, but has not been in the best of health of late. We congratulate our 2x latest Regimental medal winners, Tony Harrop and John Cochrane, for the fundraising efforts for the Regiment. The Branch Christmas tree has gone on display in Oldham Church and will be visited by local schools on the build up to Christmas. The tree bears gold stars which contain the names of all the regiment's deceased since the Second World War.
We also thank those who turned up for the Far Eastern Prisoner of War Service in August - it's something the town still appreciates to this day.
Our warmest regards and all the best for Christmas and the New Year.
Alan, Ron and Committee Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier


Meetings - 1st Mon in the month 2000 hrs
Pendleton Royal British Legion

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.
Several members supplied a guard of honour during a memorial service commemorating the Battle of the Somme at a local cemetery. A Fusiliers' wreath was laid by our Chairman, Peter Flannery, on the family grave of a fusilier who lost his life on 1 July 1916. A guided tour of the cemetery's war graves followed and it was then off to a local hostelry for some well-earned refreshment. It is hoped this memorial service will become an annual event.
We joined in with another fundraiser for the Billy Unsworth Project. The Salford-based venture is in the process of raising £10,000 for a piece of specialist equipment for the military wing of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. A full evening of excellent entertainment was had by all, and over £4,000 was raised. Needless to say Salford Branch will be supporting the Billy Unsworth Project for the foreseeable future.
Fusilier Anthistle, along with his wife Jean, whilst on a cruise to the Dardanelles attended a memorial service on board ship. The couple laid a Fusiliers' wreath at sea as the ship passed the coast of Gallipoli. The service was attended by over 400 people.
In November we provided a guard of honour at the Salford Cenotaph on the Crescent for the dedication and blessing of the memorial garden. On Armistice Day several members made the trip to Bury, and on Remembrance Sunday we returned to Salford Crescent. To complete a busy month two branch members were amongst 6 others to be presented with their Veteran's Badge during a ceremony held at Pendleton Legion. There was an excellent turnout for this event which was hosted by local MP Hazel Blears. We managed to speak to a couple of Fusiliers who were unaware of the Branch's existence and both have promised to come and swell the ranks in the near future.
All that is left is to thank each of our benefactors throughout the year, the committee and staff at the Legion for their ongoing hospitality and support and wish all Fusiliers both past and present a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year.


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 small size.
We had dry training and range work etc, although three exercises were organised, the first of which was a radio exercise which meant climbing a very steep cliff. After we had been going for a short while one of the radio operators said he could not go any further. The friendly sergeant kicked him on the leg and told him to get up and move himself - he did not move. The friendly sergeant then produced a bayonet and pushed it under a finger of the radio operator, up he jumped and finished the exercise. The radio operator reported sick the following day, his legs hurt. He was discharged a few weeks later from Bury never to be seen or heard of again.
The second exercise was an escape and evasion with 8 running and about 50 catching. The runners eventually all got caught. They had tried to evade the catchers by going through the dense bushes which are all over the Rock but, as newcomers to Gibraltar, they did not know some of the things had long poisonous thorns. When they scratched you your skin immediately came up in a large blister the full length of the scratch which itched to start with and then was very painful. All the catchers had to do was to wait as they knew your whereabouts due to the sound of tearing clothes and swearing. All the runners were nabbed. After a brief interrogation, bags were placed over their heads and they were informed they would be marched back blindfold. There were two files of 4, each guided by a sighted catcher, whilst the 'blind' prisoners with a hand on the person in front followed.
After about 10 minutes' marching a halt was called and the prisoners told to sit down - the tarmac was very hot and it was very hot in the bags as well. The CSM who was in charge administered a few whacks with a rifle butt to each and every one and said more would come should they move or speak. After a few minutes a corporal removed his bag - none of the catchers were in sight. What he did see was seven soldiers with bags over their heads sitting bolt upright on the tarmac, whilst about 50 yards away tourists with cameras were taking photos of them. The corporal left them a few minutes before telling the others that the catchers had gone. The corporal swore he would get even with the CSM. Incidentally the bagging of prisoners is an offence against human rights, RSPCA, UN, and OXFAM and the perpetrators could finish up in prison, whilst the offended ones could get massive amounts of compensation. This needs further thought and investigation methinks.
The third exercise was going to be an amphibious landing on Governor's Beach. I only wish it could have been filmed by a well-known producer as all the Company would now be rich. About four aluminium small landing craft were loaded with about 10 Fusiliers and these budding sailors were told to row about the bay and get used to the craft. This we did whilst waiting for the safety boat to be launched. The safety boat consisted of a 10ft wooden rowing boat with a very small Seagull outboard motor on it. This would be crewed by the friendly sergeant and a LCpl from the REs who was the helmsman and in charge of the engine room. The boat was to be launched off a shingle beach, which shelved quite steeply up to about 5 or 6 feet deep.
The friendly sergeant pushed the boat off and just managed to jump in, but the LCpl could not start the engine, and a wave landed the boat back on to the beach. This launching was tried about five or six times and each effort had the same result. The Sgt then waded out up to his chest pushing the boat, and the LCpl started the engine. The Sgt got in the boat, the engine stalled and the boat finished up on the shore again - this happened about three times. At the last stalling of the engine the Sgt started beating the RE over the head with his beret and hackle, but the boat still finished up on the shore. At the final attempt the engine started - the fault diagnosed, too much choke and the petrol only just on. Needless to say the occupants of the landing craft were wetting themselves. Nearby was a RN ship about 70ft long with a Royal Marine Major leaning against the rail and he had been laughing.
When the safety boat passed down the side of the ship it stopped at the request of the Sgt. It appeared he wanted to sort himself out as he was soaking wet. Very small Seagull outboards do not have a neutral gear, and to stop them you have to stop the engine. Whilst the boat was stationary and against the side of the ship, out of a hole about 6" in diameter came gallons of dirty, oily water right on top of the Sgt. He tried to fend the boat off but with the water pouring into the sea, it forced the dinghy back under the outlet, and as the LCpl could not start the engine, the Sgt was screaming abuse at him and hitting him with his beret again. At last the engine was started and they could get away from the side of the ship. (We never found out if the emptying of the bilges was done deliberately by the RN or if it was an accident). At the rear of the ship was an officer leaning over the stern, who was dressed in whites with a flat hat with a lot of gold braid on it. The Sgt told the LCpl to head for the rear of the ship and as one captain of a boat to another shouted in true nautical terms "Hey you", the captain looked around to see who the Sgt was shouting at. "You, yes you, you with the hat, are you the driver of this thing?" The Royal Marine who was standing behind the naval chap was laughing fit to burst. The Captain and the Sgt then had a conversation which I could not hear, but after a few minutes the Sgt shook his fist at the officer and sailed away. The Sgt came towards the landing craft and shouted at the Cpl in each boat for laughing and splashing one another with our oars. We thought it was good fun.
The landing craft then got towed to Governor's Beach, but I cannot remember what boat towed us or if the safety boat was with us. I think the Sgt went back to camp for a change of clothes and a shower. The men in my craft were all briefed. 'Just get the CSM any way you can, and if you catch him it's free beer.' When captured he was going to lie on the bottom of the boat with me sitting on him. We had about 4" of water in the bottom, and I thought that would be far worse than hot tarmac. As we hit the beach my section just made a beeline for the CSM who knew we were after him. I have never seen anyone run as fast up a long flight of stairs in my life. Needless to say we did not catch him.
Shiny D have long memories and can bear a grudge. Colonel Gadfly had deeply offended us by banning us from his country, we would repay him one day we said. Earlier this year remembering their amphibious training from years ago, some members from the Gibraltar Landing Party all cammed up with woolly hats and gloves on (I am not at liberty to say how many or who they were) landed on a beach near Tripoli to infiltrate Gadfly's regime and start the protest movement. So Gadflly you are not so clever now are you with your 9mm head stud? This is a warning to ALL you dictators DO NOT UPSET SHINY D or you are history.



Meetings - 1st Tues in the month at 2000 hrs,
Joiners Arms, Cross Street, Middleton

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.
We held our inaugural Minden Dinner at the Castleton Hotel, and it was a great success - fully booked. The meal was by far the best I have had at a Regimental Dinner and a lot cheaper than the Museum. We had the loan of some Regimental silver plus the Standards, just like the old days. Everyone I have spoken to has said what a wonderful night it was (no wonder we overspent by a large amount on the drinks). Members came from America, Liverpool, Formby, Skelmersdale, as well as the Regimental Secretary from Glossop.
In our corner of the Joiners in Middleton, we have a few pieces of Regimental memorabilia as well as a small library. Anyone may borrow or buy a book for a small donation. We keep getting donations of books and money from the locals. Well done the Joiners.
In October, 10 members visited Hartshead Moor Services to place a wreath at the Memorial. We had been asked to do this RHQ Bury. Besides the wreath, we placed 3 crosses - 2 for the Fusiliers and families who died and 1 general one. The 2 lads who lost their lives were members of Joe Eastwood's platoon in NI.
On 11 November we attended the Memorial Service at Tesco's Bury as we always do. Last year the resident idiots stole the small bronze plaque and this was kindly replaced by Tesco, but in stainless steel as this metal has no scrap value - the idiots have stolen this one also.
In December we are going to the Royal Tournament in London. All the best to everyone and best wishes for the New Year from SHINY D.


Standing engagements
Salford 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Oldham 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Trieste 1st Tuesday of month, Bury Drill Hall 1945 hrs
Bury 1st Tuesday of month, Bury Drill Hall 2000 hrs
Shiny D 1st Tuesday of month, Joiners Arms Middleton 2000 hrs
Rochdale 1st Wed of month, Wellfield Club Rochdale 2000 hrs
Droylsden 1st Thursday of month 1230 hrs
Northern Ireland 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs

Tues 24 Spion Kop wreath-laying Whitehead Gardens, Bury 1100 hrs
Click here to see photos
Fri 3 Osnabruck/Hong Kong Reunion at Normandy Room, Fusiliers Museum 1900 hrs
Sun 5 M62 Commemoration wreath-laying Hartshead Moor
Service Area 1030 hrs
Sat 3 James Clarke VC Memorial Band Concert, Winsford. Tickets £10 1930 hrs
Sat 31 Colchester Reunion Dinner to mark the 50th and 40th anniversaries of 1st Royal Fusiliers and 3 RRF serving in Colchester. Contact Paddy Martin 01206 842115
Sat 21/
Sun 22 Gallipoli Weekend.
Sat - Dinner at Radcliffe Civic Centre
Sun - Parade and Church Service
12/19 Fusiliers' Association Italy Pilgrimage, based at Sperlonga which is on the coast between Rome and Naples. Contact Bob Keeting 01932 882948
Sat 30 Armed Forces Day
Northern Ireland Dinner at Britannia Hotel, Stockport
Visit to 2nd Btn in Celle, Germany (dates to be confirmed
Sun 29 Association Shoot Holcombe Moor Training Camp, nr Bury. See website for more details
Mon 27
Fishing competition at Droitwich


Another member of 1LF remembers the voyage to Cyprus in 1957
In July 1957 a detachment of LF's was sent to Cyprus on the M/S Dilwara from Southampton. We were all regular soldiers, as the national servicemen in that draft had been weeded out and sent to another regiment. As far as I remember there we were all looking forward to the journey and enjoyed a good sing-song on the lorry taking us from Wellington Barracks to Manchester, London Road Station. In my case I had transferred from another regiment just to be able to go to Cyprus.
The journey went without a hitch and quite frankly I do not remember any officer being in charge of us. We had a temporary lance corporal to do the honours. There were absolutely no incidents all the way to the docks. Even a few hours' break at Waterloo station went without any discussion of desertion. The only happening there was when a very popular calypso singer arrived and we joined in the welcoming committee of several hundred West Indians.
In our midst was a Fusilier called Frank who had spent a few years in the Merchant Navy. As we steamed towards the first port of call, Algiers, he said that he missed the sea but didn't express any thoughts just then about jumping ship.
We docked at Algiers and Frank said that he was now determined to return to his old profession and would therefore leave the ship if he could. He couldn't leave in his uniform as he would soon be spotted, so, and as far as I heard, he used his tropical issue pyjamas. They were made of a blue silk material and could pass as civvies in an Arab country. We couldn't give him any money which was of use in Algeria so he was given a large amount of cigarettes.
When Frank left, the troops on board were having fun showering the Arab dockers with Woodbines. It was quite a treat for them, as well as us, and it drew a large crowd - that maybe distracted the watch on the gangplank, I don't know.
Anyway, Frank got ashore but didn't get far. Found outside a brothel! I don't think so. As Frank later told it he fell off a roof while being chased and broke his leg. He was sent to Malta for treatment and then on to 1LF at Limni. He was discharged from the army shortly afterwards.
It is quite funny to think how scared S/Lt Mills and his fellow officers were of us - that is maybe why they kept their distance! Being described as "hard cases" is a bit thick and saying that we didn't want to go on active service in Cyprus is an insult. One or two of us had spent time doing jankers but so what.
Of the 24 hard cases, one was shortly to lose his brother in Cyprus - also an LF. I spent six months in BMH Nicosia and Tidworth and was awarded a so-called War Pension. Not bad for unwilling fusiliers! As I remember it, when it came to a scrap of any sorts the LFs were always on hand. A little excursion to EOKA Country didn't put any of us off.
OMNIA AUDAX Malcolm C McDonald, Ex 1LF, Cyprus Sundsvall, Sweden

Douglas McGovern
Died 1 October 2011 aged 90 years

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 Addams' Family.
He had appeared with Charlie Chaplin in 1921 and had the title role of Oliver Twist the following year. Jackie Coogan enlisted in the Army in 1941 and after graduating from glider school, was made Flight Officer. In 1943 his unit was sent to India where he flew British troops, the Chindits, landing them at night in a small jungle clearing. After the war he returned to acting and appeared as character roles on TV shows such as Perry Mason, Here's Lucy, The Partridge Family and Hawaii Five-O.

Thanks to Joan Wild who sent this to us

Copied from the original letter to Mrs Pegg of Ramsbottom

3452487 L/Cpl A V Brown
Depot Party
The Lancashire Fusiliers
Wellington Barracks

7th November 1944

The Lancashire Fusiliers' Band and Depot Personnel Cigarette Fund
(For Prisoners of War and Those Serving Overseas)

3458187 Fusilier Pegg J E

Dear Mrs Pegg

On behalf of the above Cigarette Fund I am compiling a mailing list of addresses of Members of the Regiment.

Would you be kind enough to let me have your husband's address in full so that we may in due course forward to him a Parcel of Cigarettes. Please mention the particular kind of cigs he smokes and any news you may have of him would be good reading by all who knew him at the Depot.

The next time you write to him tell him the Band and Depot Personnel all wish to be remembered to him and all want to know if he is still doing a Cook's job, the exact way in which he did it at the Depot and is still to be is often admired.

Ask him does he still go round the Dining Hall with an extra jug of custard, or has he used to do for us, come along with an extra Dinner.

Kind regards to you and yours

Yours faithfully

A V Brown L/Cpl

LAST POST Issue 59 January 2012

L G Almand
1/8th Btn LF. Informed by Burma Star Assn

John (Sean) Brennan
25 July 2011
EX 3RRF. Died in hospital in New York USA
Maj (rtd) Peter Cambridge
22 August 2011
Ex 1LF and RRF
John Dey
5 February 2011
D M Farrie
1/8th Btn LF. Informed by Burma Star Assn

Vernon Haig
26 August 2011
Ex 2LF. Droylsden Branch
Leonard Johnson
18 December 2011 aged 88 Ex 2nd Btn LF. Served at Medjez el Bab, Monte Cristo and later deployed to Kifissia, near Athens

Ron Johnson
September 2011
Eddie Kershaw
7 September 2011 aged 93
Ex 1LF

Stephen Kidger
September 2011
Ex 1LF and 2RRF
Ken Lunn
17 August 2011
Ex 2/8th Btn LF
Douglas John McGovern
1 October 2011 aged 90
1st Btn LF. Served in Burma
Peter McManamon
October 2011
Ex 1RF and 3RRF
Gary Matterson
16 August 2011
Bill Sutch
6 September 2011
Ex 2nd Btn LF
John Tyldsley
1 July 2011 aged 77
2nd Btn LF
Fusilier James Wilkinson
26 November 2011
2RRF in a training incident during field firing in Kenya



EDITION 58 July 2011
Fusiliers' Association (Lancashire)

A big thank you to all the contributors who have added their reports, stories and poetry to this edition. Remember that you may be the only person who can write a particular story so please put it on paper and share it.
Are you doing your bit to help fellow ex-fusiliers who may have problems? The stress of military service may affect some people badly, either while they are serving or a long time afterwards. Most people have no idea of how some aspects of an infantryman's job can affect them. Most soldiers can cope, but those who have problems may be asking for help by getting on the front page of the paper for killing a rabbit. Keep your eyes and ears open in case you can help someone in need.
Capt. (Ret'd) D.G.Hoyle -


It is good to write to you all once again and be able to report that the first part of 2011 has been a very successful one for the Association Lancashire. Our numbers are very stable - we are almost six hundred strong and this is down to the hard work of the Branch Secretaries. I am pleased to also report that all aspects of the Regimental Club at Wellington Barracks are now closed and all remaining monies transferred to the Association Accounts. The total amount transferred was £4,000, and my sincere thanks go to Mr Alan Noble and his committee for getting this project to closure. Once the books have been returned from HMRC they will be stored in the archives at the Museum.

Gallipoli Weekend
Gallipoli weekend was a great success. The Dinner was a sell out once again, and thanks to Jack Horner, Steve Fitt and Nobby Noble. It was a very fitting occasion to say goodbye to Colonel Brian Gorski and his wife Jenny, and on that note say a very warm welcome to our new Colonel Lancashire Brigadier Paul Nanson MBE. It was also a great pleasure to have the Regimental Secretary and his wife, Brigadier and Mrs Liles, as our main guests. It should also be noted that the Council of Bury not only donated £2500 to the Memorial Fund but its members who were present also donated a further £2000 to make the total donation £4500. I have written to all concerned on your behalf expressing our thanks. Mrs Cath Noble and her team raised a staggering £1040 from the raffle - where would we be without these people? To them all my sincere thanks.
Bury Football Club did not live up to every member's expectations for the Gallipoli Sunday and the committee are now in the process of seeking a new location for 2012. You will also note from the website that Minden Day this year will be held in the Normandy Room at the Museum after the Drum Head Service where I hope to see a good turn out from you all.
Click here for Photos of the Gallipoli Dinner
Click here for photos of Gallipoli Parade

Association Website
You will all by now be aware of the new Association Website created by Dennis Laverick. It is a credit to him and the Regimental Association, I am certain, throughout the country will benefit greatly from his outstanding efforts - another first for Lancashire.
Click here to go to the web site

Shooting Competition Warwickshire
Shiny D's performance at the shooting competition in Warwick is to be congratulated and their team captain Mr Stanley Howe's winning of the silver medal. We hope to send more teams to this event next year, as from all accounts a very enjoyable day was had by all.

At this time of reporting, I am very happy with the state of affairs within the Association - the accounts are in good order, the membership is on the increase and I am very privileged to have on board a first class group of helpers who make the Association what it is today.

John O'Grady Chairman


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.
Once again Ron Owen (our data co-ordinator) has worked hard in trying to keep records correct, ie people who have moved and not informed us. So please let us know if you move in between newsletters as we do not get to know people have moved until a newsletter is returned.
A few people think that there is life membership - this was discontinued in 2002 by HM Tower of London. I have also received requests saying that people have forgotten to pay their membership and could I send them a newsletter and they will pay when they receive it. The answer is simple - if your membership is out of date at the time of the newsletter, you will not receive a copy - I do not send freebies.
In September there is a trip to France to commemorate the Battle of Marne 1914 (on the Regimental Colours). If anyone is interested they should contact Richard Adams, telephone 01608 662328; the dates are 1-5 September.
June and July are looking to be busy months and we need people to help collecting in supermarkets. I already have 2 dates in late July for the Asda in Bury and I know Salford & Shiny D are also planning to go into supermarkets in their area. Please don't leave it to the same people to do all the work, so please give a couple of hours to help your branches - all money raised will go to the Fusiliers' do.
Best wishes to all

Steven Fitt Association Secretary

The centenary of the First World War will soon be upon us and the staff at the Lancashire Headquarters Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (LHQ RRF) and the Fusilier Museum, are already considering plans for commemoration including temporary exhibitions, a publication programme and more specifically how to commemorate the Gallipoli Landing. I would actually like to go out to Gallipoli in 2015 but fear that it will be covered with Australians looking for Mel Gibson. Although it is at the forefront of our minds, it would be fair to comment that for the vast majority of the public the First World War is little more than an obscure period in history involving something to do with Germans, trenches and railway timetables. For the staff here in Bury the reality is somewhat different and that the consequences of the First World War are very much part of our daily business.
One of the key roles of a regimental secretary is to provide support to local families of serving Fusiliers who have been killed or injured. Sadly, you will recall that the Second Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF) during their 2009 operational tour of Afghanistan suffered seven dead. Two came from the North West and this Headquarters was fully involved in assisting the families and remains engaged to this day.
This role is not just confined to contemporary casualties in areas of operations such as Afghanistan. It covers a wider context including casualties from the First World War. In 2007 I was involved in the organisation of a full regimental funeral for Private Richard Lancaster of the Second Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers (2LF) who was killed on operations on 11th November 1914. The fact that Richard Lancaster had died some 90 years ago did not detract from the seriousness that the MoD and the Regiment treated the funeral and the impact that it had on his family.
It was therefore with some interest that in November last year an email was received from a French archaeologist, Emmanuel Brill, stating that during a recent excavation in Belgium his team had discovered the remains of six British soldiers of the First World War. Emmanuel Brill had previously worked on the excavation of Richard Lancaster and Harry Wilkinson also from 2LF and was therefore well known to the Regiment. He had therefore developed considerable knowledge on the activity of 2LF in the period 1914-15 and had focussed his excavations in an area to the south of Ypres including Ploegsteert and Le Touquet.
In August 1914 2LF found itself stationed in Dover as part of 4th Division. They were able to celebrate Minden Day (1 August) in the usual style little realising that in a few days time they would be preparing for war. On the outbreak of war 2LF deployed to Norfolk to counter a possible German invasion and cover the move of the BEF to the continent. The battalion moved a few weeks later and on 22 August disembarked in Boulogne. By October the Battalion found itself committed to the First Battle of Ypres operating around Le Touquet to the South of Ploegsteert. The Battalion remained there till April 1915.
Using his knowledge of the Lancashire Fusiliers and their operations in the Le Touquet area Emmanuel carried out a targeted excavation in 2009/2010. He chose a specific location on the old railway line which used to run south west/to the north east of Le Touquet. Six bodies were located and based on cap badges and other insignia found on the bodies, two were identified as being Lancashire Fusiliers, two King's Own Royal Lancaster and two unknown. A search through the Lancashire Fusilier Annual for that period held in the Fusilier Museum Archive in Bury revealed that on 17 October the German Army had advanced as far as Frelinghien on the border with Belgium and was likely to affect a river crossing and take Le Touquet. 2LF formed part of a brigade operation, 2LF on the left and King's Own on the right, to take and hold Le Touquet.
The action lasted till the evening of 22 October when the battalion was relieved. During four days of incessant fighting the battalion lost 30 killed, 69 wounded and seven missing. Of the 30 killed, three are recorded as:
"Believed lying under the culvert on Railway N E of Le Touquet Station."
The three were named as:
1412, Sergeant Edgar Matthew Parkinson, of Rusholme Manchester
1596, Private Henry Pulford, of Bradford Manchester
9054, Private James Rowan, of Wigan Lancashire
All three were recorded as having been killed on 20 October 1914. Unusually the regimental diary also has a specific entry relating to Sgt Parkinson and Pte Pulford:
"Our machine gun, worked by Sergeant Parkinson, Pte Pulford, Private Lynn and Private Yates , did wonders. The two first named were unfortunately sniped by two consecutive shots during the action. Both had done splendid work from 25 August till the moment they fell."
It is worth noting that Private John Lynn would be awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and later in May 1915 the Victoria Cross (VC) for using his machine gun to stop a German advance during a gas attack. Lynn would die the following day from the effects of the gas.
At present the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) are working with the MoD's Joint Compassionate and Casualty Centre (JCCC) to try to identify the bodies using existing records. If this fails it may be possible to identify the bodies using DNA from living descendents and to this effect an appeal was made in the local media to identify relatives of Parkinson, Pulford and Rowan. So far the response has been very encouraging and to date relatives of both Sergeant Parkinson and Private Pulford have been identified. Research has shown that Private Rowan was an Irish immigrant who never married. It would also appear that Private Rowan's family later returned to Ireland consequently the trail has gone cold.
It will be several months before CWGC and JCCC complete their enquiries and DNA tests possibly called for. It is my hope that at least one of the bodies can be identified and buried with a name rather than as an unknown. There is considerably more work to do with the ultimate goal of a full regimental funeral to honour the dead of our antecedent regiment.

Mike Glover Fusilier Museum

News from HM Tower of London

New Memorial at the National Arboretum
At the Council Meeting in March, the Council agreed on the basic design for the new Fusilier Memorial at the National Arboretum. Donations for the Memorial should be sent to RHQ and made payable to the Fusilier Fund.

Change of Appointments

The Commanding Officers of 1 and 2 RRF changed in April 2011. Lt Col Jim Landon has moved on to a staff appointment in Afghanistan and Lt Col Charlie Calder will be a DS at JSCSC (The Joint Staff College). Lt Col Jon Swift now commands 1 RRF and Lt Col Mike Butterwick 2 RRF. Colonel Brian Gorski has handed over his duties as Area Col Lancashire to Brig Paul Nanson. Col Gorski has assumed a new Regimental position as Col Heritage and Museums.

Assistant Regimental Secretary

After several attempts Capt John Davis has finally retired as Assistant Regimental Secretary and has been replaced by Capt Andy Harris. The Colonel of the Regiment sends the thanks and best wishes of all Fusiliers to John for the huge contribution he has made to the Regiment and wishes Andy good luck in his new appointment.

Commissioning of HMS DIAMOND
A new RN ship, HMS DIAMOND, affiliated to the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, was commissioned at a ceremony at Portsmouth in May. The Regimental Secretary and Maj Craig Taylor (Bn 2ic, 1 RRF) represented the Regiment.

Due to a very poor take up for attendance at the Fusilier Gathering 2011 a decision has been reluctantly taken to cancel the event at Tidworth as guests of 1 RRF. From across the Association no more than 70 Fusiliers, including wives had indicated an interest in attending. This number was not cost effective and would have resulted in the price per person being prohibitively high. If there is a desire for a centralised Gathering to continue, then Areas and Branches must support by attending. Presidents of Associations are to seek an opinion from their Branches and inform RHQ of the outcome. In the meantime the intention will be for RHQ to support Area and Branch events and encourage interaction Regimentally across the 4 Areas. A message concerning this is on the new Association Web site.

The Battalion had a good Christmas leave and went almost straight onto Ex PASHTUN DAGGER on Salisbury Plain 26 January-11 February. Elements of 7 Armd Bde were also involved in the Ex with their new commander Brig Nanson, RRF deployed forward.

Albuhera Day

On 16 May, 1 RRF remembered Albuhera. 200 years after the event, weary from Exercise LION's STRIKE, with battle planning and procedure fresh in their minds, the Battalion gathered at Imber Village for a Drumhead service. In amongst prayers, remembrance and some traditional hymns, which the Fusiliers sang loudly, the RSM and Padre spoke of the events of that day. The Padre (Revd Tracey Bateson) drew parallels from the story of David and Goliath, where the Israelites had been outnumbered by the Philistines, just as the British were in Spain. And yet, just as David did the unlikely and defeated Goliath, so the Fusiliers defeated Napolean's forces at Albuhera. Even though involved for less than an hour, the intervention by the Fusiliers was decisive. Keeping the parallels with King David, the Fusiliers were encouraged to use skills they had acquired before joining the Army, to train hard to be the best soldiers they can be and to be patient for the operational tour in 2013!

Commemoration of D Day
At 0830 hours on Monday 6 June members of the 1st Battalion came together to celebrate and remember the actions of the servicemen and women involved in the D-Day landings, 67 years ago. The Battalion gathered to listen to a presentation from Lt Alex Gay which focused on the involvement of the 2nd Battalion the Royal Warwickshire Regiment on D-Day, and the ensuing battle for Normandy. In 1946 the Colonel of the Regiment, Field Marshal Montgomery, Viscount of Alamein ordered the observance of the 6 June by the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as Normandy Day to celebrate the Regiment's involvement in liberating Nazi occupied Europe.
In 1963 the Royal Warwickshire Regiment re-titled to become the Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers, and in 1968 amalgamated with the 3 other Fusilier Regiments of England to become the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Following the presentation Padre Bateson gave a short service of remembrance, followed by the National Anthem. The morning gave a stark reminder to the Officers and Fusiliers alike, of the bravery and courage shown by our predecessors, and what it means to be a Fusilier.
The final LION STRIKE exercise of the Battalion's time as the Land Warfare Centre Battlegroup took place in May, and X Company enjoyed their role as enemy once again. As ever, they managed to successfully fend off the Light role Companies as they fought their way into Imber Village.
The return of those men deployed on HERRICK 13 as Battle Casualty Replacements with 16 Brigade meant that May was a month for reorganisation. Having enjoyed anything up to 4 weeks off on Post Operational Tour Leave, the men had a good break and have now rejoined their respective platoons, and begun to share their experience of being in Afghanistan with the remainder of the Company as they start to prepare for deployment as a Battalion in 2013.

The Wilhelmstahl Colour
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers has the unique honour of possessing three Colours. In addition to the Regimental and Queens' Colour, the Regiment also possesses the Wilhelmstahl Colour. The Wilhelmstahl Colour had been in a bad state of repair for some time, but a new Colour was commissioned and will be paraded by both 1 and 2 RRF in April 11. It is a striking 'gosling green', and depicts St George killing the Dragon, and the regimental motto of the 5th Foot. This Colour commemorates the valour of the 5th Foot (later to become the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers) at the Battle of Wilhelmstahl on 24th June 1762 during the Seven Years War. The Regiment played a central role in the defeat of a French Army that day, and also succeeded in forcing the surrender of twice their number in French Grenadiers and captured a French standard.
The Wilhelmstahl Colour has been carried by the youngest drummer of the Regiment since that battle, leading to its alternative name; The Drummer's Colour. The Colour was not officially sanctioned by the King, and when the original Colour was destroyed in a fire in 1834 William IV refused to authorise its replacement. However, the 5th had a replacement made anyway, and 70 years later Edward VII accepted the Colour's existence on condition that it was flown just once a year, when the Regiment celebrates St George's Day - a tradition that has continued to this day.


Lance Corporals' Visit to Bergen Belsen
It was Winston Churchill who, slightly misquoting somebody else, said,"those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it". This was part of the thought behind a tour of Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp, which took place during the 2RRF L/Cpl Cadre on 21 January.
The visit began with a brief look at how Bergen Belsen came into existence. Originally a camp for the workers who built the new Army camp just down the road at Hohne, it then became a Concentration Camp. Some prisoners arrived in 1940, though the first major group to arrive were Russian prisoners in July 1941, and Bergen Belsen was officially designated as Stalag 311. Of the 20,000 who arrived in July, 18,000 were dead by the following February. They were not victims of gas chambers but died of starvation and the freezing winter cold.
After the opening brief, the visit moved to the area of Belsen itself. The scale model made the distinction of the different camps within a camp even clearer. By the time Belsen was liberated by the 11th Armoured Division on 15 April 1945 the camp system had broken down and the remaining inmates had been ravaged by hunger and disease. All paused at the replica of the first memorial to the dead, a huge cross blessed during Mass by a priest who had been an inmate of the camp, before moving to the main wall with its messages of remembrance. In all, a sobering and thoughtful visit with a brutal reminder from history of what happens when humanity is devalued and ultimately denied.

Ex PASHTUN DAGGER (3 Cdo & 7 Armd Bde FTX for HERRICK 14)

In January and February 14 Officers and SNCOs from 2 RRF were tasked to act as Observer Controllers for 3 Cdo and 7 Armd Bde Final Training Exercise (FTX), a mere five weeks before they deployed on OP HERRICK 14. 2RRF personnel were in a unique position to provide assistance and advice as well as drawing on their own experiences in Afghanistan on Op HERRICK 10. The 2RRF staff who deployed on Ex Pashtun Dagger also observed how other units approached their own training; a useful learning process.

Visit of Duke of Kent, the Colonel in Chief

During March, the Second Battalion focused on three main events. First, was the visit of the Colonel in Chief, HRH The Duke of Kent who visited the battalion on 9 March. Following soon after, the Battalion had a number of inspections in the form of a Combined Inspection Week (CIW). At the same time the Battalion was preparing for, and conducting, a major live firing exercise. Exercise ACTIVE RHINO was a Small Scale Contingency Battlegroup (SSCBG) readiness exercise, which at relatively short notice saw a sizeable proportion of the BG deploy to Bergen-Hohne ranges for a comprehensive live firing range package; culminating in two Company Group attacks over a 6 km range.

Change of Commanding Officer and St George's Day

April was a month of change for the Second Battalion. Lt Col Charlie Calder OBE was pulled out of Trenchard Barracks on 7 April and was succeeded by Lt Col Mike Butterwick. This year also offered the Battalion its first opportunity in a long time to really celebrate St George's Day and Gallipoli Day. For various reasons, over the last few years the Second Battalion has not been able to celebrate St George's Day nor Gallipoli Day in the traditional manner. This year, however, the opportunity to change this was taken fully. With planning commencing several months out, the intent was to have a day whereby the whole Battalion and its extended family could truly celebrate our Regiment's anniversary (albeit not on the 23 April as the date fell during well-earned leave).
The traditions of the day were merged with a family friendly fun-day and an all ranks evening function. St George's Day 2011 was planned to foster a feeling of family, not just for the serving soldiers but for all dependents, particularly the children, as well. Under the direction of Maj Ged Murphy, Officer in Charge St George's Day, 2 RRF held the largest party the Battalion has delivered in recent history.
The day started traditionally with "gun fire" and a breakfast bap. The Battalion then formed up for a formal parade including members of the Fusilier Associations and the Wilhelmstahl Colour, carried as tradition requires, by the youngest drummer on parade. Maj Pete Harty led the parade as Lt Col Mike Butterwick took the salute on the dais with the Burgermeister (Mayor of Celle). Immediately following the parade, there was a children's fancy dress competition.
Entertainment for the day included numerous bouncy castles and inflatable games, pony rides, a carousel, several food stalls, a children's area and of course the Company tents. The First Battalion's football team were flown in to make sure it was not solely a Second Fusiliers event. The match was well contested, though the result did not adhere to the Battalion's (or QMs) plan; 3-0 to 1RRF. There was also an intercompany chariot race comprising two laps of a course which included a water obstacle. While the horses changed over between laps, St George had to complete an obstacle course. Each company had designated ambush points where dragon slayers were poised with water, flour and shaving foam bombs to try to improve the chances of their own team.
The Battalion, whilst maintaining its high readiness capability as the Small Scale Contingency Battlegroup, is now firmly looking forward to Ex ASKARI THUNDER in Kenya later this year. As part of the build up there has been a large amount of work going in to improving the vehicle driving standard of the Battalion. The CIS Platoon has also been working hard to improve the Battalion's communications during the Regimental Signaller Part 1 course in Trenchard Barracks.

The SSC BG requires the Battalion to be at 30 days' notice to move (NTM). In order to confirm the continued readiness for this task the BG was informed, within its NTM that elements would deploy on a rehearsal deployment to Bergen-Hohne ranges and conduct a Combined Arms Live Firing Exercise (CALFEX). The BG deployed with two rifle company groups consisting of three platoons, a troop of Scimitars provided by the excellent A Squadron, Household Cavalry, a Fire Support Group (FSG) mounted in RWIMIK(+) support vehicles, a recce section and snipers. In addition to this, BG Headquarters deployed to provide a control function whilst the Regimental Aid Post was tested fully in its ability to provide both exercise and real-time medical support, as part of its operational evaluation. These elements together created a sizeable and potent force.

In June a large contingent of the Battalion took part in Ex FLANDERS. The exercise was a high level joint command exercise with the French military and included the command element of the Battalion attending as LOCONs. The exercise was visited by several high ranking British and French officers as well as President Sarkozi.

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.

Sending you all good wishes from the Northern Ireland Branch Fusiliers' Association.

Ian Scholes Secretary Northern Ireland Branch

The branch extends best regards to all. As the branch comes from all over the country, we thank our committee, Popeye and Tony for the effort on the membership side. The musical extravaganza planned for July was recently postponed owing to the fact that there were only 60 takers for the event -and it was deemed none viable. However the disappointment behind us, we bash on.
Dennis and Alf - The Chelsea Pensioners As Alf has arrived at 90 years young, he has decided to curtail his public activities, and a new Pensioner will accompany Dennis Shields. His name is Richard Knowles - a younger version? We have trouble keeping pace with them as it is. Alf sends best regards to all and intends 1 more trip to Lancashire in the near future. We have recently had members from the branch in London for Founders' Day which was a three day event.
Day 1 included a visit to Portcullis House which allowed Nobby to talk to an MP of particular standing with regard to obtaining funds from councils to improve the security of Oldham's bronze First World War plaques. As we are aware the First World War memorial items were never insured at that time. Anyway the visit had positive results for Oldham.
Day 2 was a complete day at the Founders' Day parade, with a good time had by all. In the afternoon the wives enjoyed the Prince Harry and Alan Titchmarsh introductions, and Prince Harry gave an excellent speech at the completion of the parade. Mr Harrop certainly enjoyed himself as the belly dancers would not leave him alone, him being the only single man in the party (photos can be seen on the website). Kath Noble's first photo of Mr Titchmarch did not turn out particularly well owing to her excitement, so Mr Titchmarch's photograph will be replaced on the website very shortly.
Day 3 was a trip round the Tower, a gun salute for the Duke of Edinburgh, and a return to Chelsea for lunch with the pensioners in the Great Hall. Mind you the pensioners were serving the wine, and we were surprised that we got out in good order when we did or we would have had to write the rest of the day off. Owing to the refurbishment of the Pensioners' Club we visited their temporary premises where the beer was just as good. Once we had completed a guided tour of the House of Commons, we finished the day in the bar at the Union Jack Club.
Click here for photos of the Founders day event
Day 4 was our return day but we managed to squeeze in Trooping the Colour. A great three days and we managed to raise £270 for CLIC Sargent along the way.

On the Oldham front we continue to flash the hackle, despite being low on numbers, at funerals, and all town events have been attended, even most charity events. The Festival of Remembrance is looming which this year will fall on Friday 11 November at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and also the Saddleworth War Weekend which will be held on the weekend 16 August. All the funds raised will go to the RBL 90th Anniversary.

Welfare continues at a steady pace for all regts and corps. However it is noticeable that ex-Fusiliers with problems have not spoken to a Fusilier since leaving the Regiment. They believe they are members, as they are when they leave, but have never managed to get involved in a branch since - what we call, none active, none paid-up members. It is on the cards to do something for the Diamond Jubilee next year which will require all local Fusiliers and ex-Fusiliers to turn out, but details are not yet known. Alan Wood ex LF has reached 80 years, and still parades regularly on town events and is delivered for Gallipoli and Minden.
We must thank our standard bearers, and Fusilier queen Andrea Wray, for the efforts over the past year, and look forward to seeing the likes of Titch Carberry, Tony Ludden and Jud Laker at the Christmas Dinner. Please book early as this event has proved to be a cracker - we look forward to anyone trying it for the first time, but you must be quick on booking, or Ronnie will draw a line as it can get too big. Anyone who would like details should get on to Ronnie Owen. We also thank John O'Grady for efforts in Bury - it's very frustrating for us all these days, trying to plan functions in this economic climate. The Gathering is a good example. Oldham has also had to cancel its local St George's Parade this year owing to the April reshuffle.
Well that's enough from us apart from the M62 memorial service will be held on 5 February 2012 starting at 1100 hrs. A buffet will follow the Service down off the hill - location will be confirmed. From the whole committee we wish you all well and hope to see you soon
Nobby and Ron Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier


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.
In the Yellow Hackle Bar after parade all kinds of ideas were mooted, but none was for buying a cravat. One of the lads on parade noticed that the cravat was the same colour as the cotton £5 penny bags used by banks, and as he worked for a bank knew of a nice supply of new bags. A number of these bags were obtained. When the seams were unpicked the bags measured 2ft by 10 inches the same size as the CSgt's example. Next week on parade all the lads wore a blue cravat much to the disgust of the CSgt, who had about 75 to sell. For most of the troops it was impossible to tell that the cravats were not the official ones, except for the odd Fusilier who had folded it the wrong way and had Lloyds Bank in bold white lettering showing. I wonder if they still have the unsold cravats on a shelf in the store. The blue cravat craze died a death after about four weeks.
As the Company was returning to Bury after a weekend in Leek, the convoy of about 8 vehicles was nearing Stockport when the leading vehicle, a Lanny, was cut up badly by a coloured gentleman. The sergeant said to the driver, "Shout abuse at that civvy". The Lanny window was slid back and the driver shouted "Abuse, abuse, abuse" and then turned to the sergeant and said "What does it mean sergeant?" I am unable to print his reply in this newsletter.


(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
barrier and three civvy staff on duty. "Sorry Sirs total security now, no admittance". It made no difference when I handed them a live round I had found outside their office - so much for total security. It was up to Southport, fish and chips on the pier and a ride to the end on the train. Here we met an elderly lady and convinced her that when the tide is out at Southport you can walk to the Isle of Man. She said that it was too far for her to walk anyway.
Our second trip some weeks later was to Fulwood Barracks' Museum. Here you have to book in and wear an ID badge. The Museum is most excellent and well worth a visit and the medal display is second to none. We spoke to one of the helpers, an ex Loyals chap, who told us that they do not have a NAAFI anymore, but they have The Hub and it does not sell any alcohol. It would appear the soldiers are not to be trusted with drink, but may be sent to Afghanistan to fight for their country. Does the Sgts' and Officers' Mess sell drink, I wonder? The Museum by the way is free.
Quite a few of D Coy went to Salford Branch for their 60s night which was brilliant. Doddy won the raffle again. Salford Branch came over to Middleton for our Race Night which was very well attended by Fusiliers and the locals. We collected quite a few donations from the regulars in the Joiners for which we thank them.
A trip to Jersey was organised by our resident Thomas Cook, otherwise known as Jim Worrall. We set off from Manchester at 0100 hrs for Weymouth, caught the 1000 hrs Condor fast craft to be in our Jersey hotel by 1400 hrs. The boat is fast - it goes about 50 mph in open water. After a snack and some drinks we paid a visit to a local park which has a small cemetery of about 50 crosses all bearing the names of British and American servicemen killed in the last war. After paying our respects it was back to the hotel for dinner and drinks. Our deal included a free bar - that is for most of us, but Tony Tootill drinks cider and you have to pay for that - as much beer and spirits you can drink but cider had to be paid for! Tough Tony!! A trip out on Saturday was to the underground caves which the Germans made POWs dig out. They are very impressive and well worth a visit.
Everything closes on Sunday except the tourist attractions and there are not very many of those. We stopped at a small complex of gardens, theatre, bar, shop and restaurant. It was in the restaurant that we met a group of islanders plus four Chelsea Pensioners - one of them we knew from a visit to the hospital last year. We were duly invited to take part in a small ceremony they have at special occasions - a toast with calvados 'la reine et le duc'. This is of course to the Queen, a similar one to the old one of long ago when it was just 'The Duke of Lancaster'. The Queen was added later because of complaints from London but not by the Monarchy of the time. Jersey ice cream was tasted and found to be very good. Jersey black butter was also tasted but found not to be as good as the ice cream.
Jersey is very much like England 50 years ago, not a lot of traffic, very polite people, no litter, winding roads, weights and measures in pounds and feet and inches and they are sensible - not in the EU. They have a dual carriageway in St. Hellier which is about 500 yards long and the maximum speed limit is 40 mph. Astons, Mercs and Jags by the dozens. I fully expected to see a car advert "For Sale - Aston Martin, 4 years old, 25000 miles on the clock, perfect except for noisy 1st gear, other 5 not used".
On our return the Condor was unable to sail due to bad weather so we had to wait until night to get the regular ferry. This suited us because it meant we could have a look around town and do some shopping and of course sample the local brew, Mary Ann, quite strong and very good. A walk around the inside market laid out more like a French one, bags of cheeses, fruits and fish. Just outside the main entrance is a very small cenotaph with two small lawns about the size of a small billiard table. On the lawn was a cross with a LF Badge on, next to it a RNF cross with a badge on. All the other crosses had names etc written on them, but these two had printed badges on them. I have no idea who could have done it or how to get hold of one.
We left for Portsmouth at 2200 hrs, the sea was very, very rough, and a trip to the duty free shop was like going over an assault course. We arrived at Portsmouth 0900 hrs and Manchester 1630 hrs. Thanks Jim it was a good do, but no big waves next time.
We have borrowed some plaques from Steve Fitt at HQ to brighten up our corner in the Joiners Arms. Thanks Steve.
About 9 of D Coy took up the invitation from the Drill Hall to their Dinner and what a well organised event this was. The meal was tops, bags of wine. It was at this dinner we asked their CSM to present a glass goat (RWF Mascot) to Stan Howes in appreciation of his work in organising the design and manufacture of our two plates. The sale of these has enabled us to have a credit balance on our account.
Our next trip will probably be with 2 cars to Normandy in the spring, but nothing has been finalised yet.
All the best to everyone, best wishes for the New Year from SHINY D.



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.
I sent an email to the address, and a reply was received almost immediately from Sarah Somers who owns the property together with her husband Peter. More emails back and forth and it got better and better. Peter was an officer in RRF and because we also were RRF we qualified for a reduction in the cost, also Sarah has a magic number and when quoted to Brittany Ferries reduces the cost of the crossing by 20%. The next step was to have a look at Google Earth and see what the property looked like. Across the road from La Grange was a patisserie/boulangerie (that to non mortar personnel is a cake and bread shop). Just down the street was a tabac, which served beer until 8 pm and a 5 minute walk took you to the supermarket, in a word 'ideal'. Costings were done and the total cost for the 7 of us would be £200 per head, and this included everything. I was then told to book, which I did. Sarah sent maps, directions and all kind of info re what extra equipment and documents were needed regarding driving the cars in France - very useful.
At midnight Sunday 13 March our cars set off for France. One with 4 in from Middleton, and the other, with one person in, would pick up Colin Needham from Stockport then go on to Keele Services to pick up Joe Dean and meet up with Middleton car. Everyone had been asked to bring small cases as boot space was limited. All complied except Martin Mason - his was the size of a tea chest. What does anyone want with 3 extra pairs of trousers and shoes plus enough T shirts to fill a market stall for a 5 day visit? Only Martin knows the answer. We arrived at Poole at about 7 am and boarded the ferry shortly after - a 4-berth cabin had been reserved for the tired ones to get their heads down.
After a calm crossing we were off into France, where our first stop was St Mere Eglise. This is the place where the American Paras landed and one got his chute caught on the church tower - they still have a dummy para and chute hanging off the church. A visit to the nearby museum which, unlike the others we visited, did not give a discount to ex servicemen and it was expensive compared to the others. In the museum Tony Tootill bought a clicker as used by the troops on the invasion as an identification noise in the dark, like the ones in the film The Longest Day. He clicked it for 4 days as did Martin the last time we went in 2008. They are still very effective and just like last time we did not get shot at.
After the museum it was into the cars and away to find our property - La Grange. Colin Needham, who was map reading and had Sarah's detailed map, brought us right to the property. You have to enter from the rear up a narrow alley. We stopped at the electric gates. Sarah came out and greeted us warmly followed shortly after by Peter wearing a heavy wool jersey (I think he had been issued it as a recruit many years ago). We were shown around the property, which was much better than we anticipated as everything had been provided - towels, bedding, fridge, freezer, washing machine etc - in a word 'brilliant'. The supermarket was checked out for vital supplies as was the tabac. Four of us went to an American style eating place just across the supermarket car park. The beer was good, food ok - 2 steak and chips, one kangaroo and chips, and a burger. After half the burger had been eaten the diner asked what does 'cheval' mean. When he was told it was horse meat he said "Well it tastes very nice" and of course finished the rest. It was then back to La Grange for drinks, tall stories, then to bed.
DAY 2 After a French breakfast - croissants, baguettes, Normandy butter and apricot jam (the French do not do bacon, much to Stan Howes disgust), it was into the cars and away to Juno Beach. Martin Mason had brought along 4 plastic containers all different colours, the ones you put ketchup, mustard in etc. These colour coded containers would be filled with sand from the various beaches (how sad). He was filling one up when one wag said "Look at that rare bird". Everyone looked on the beach "Where?" was the group reply. Mason was pointed out "a sand Martin".
We had obtained through the good auspices of Eric Davidson a few of the RBL crosses. One of these was suitably inscribed and placed on a small monument to Canadian sailors. A group of Canadians who had seen us place the cross came over to thank us, shake our hands and take our photographs. We then went into the nearby Canadian Museum - ex soldiers half price and the attendants, all girls, could not do enough for us. One of them gave me a handful of small Canadian poppy badges to give to the lads. On leaving the museum we met again our new friends from the Canadian Memorial. They were very impressed when they saw us wearing the poppy badges with the maple leaf on, and wanted to know where we had got them from. We told them and as I had one over I passed it to one of the ladies and we left.
On then to Arromanches to revisit the Port Winston Centre with its film shows, artefacts, models and shop. We had all been before but it's always worth revisiting. We crossed over the road for a good meal and a final look round at the Mulberry Harbour. One of the lads spotted two ladies accosting Joe Dean. It appeared he had worked with them years earlier. Anyway they insisted on kissing him and we have photographic evidence of this.
It was then back to La Grange. Anyone who knows Jim Worrall knows one of his hobbies is counting Danger Deer signs - hard lines Jim they do not have them in this part of France. Tony Tootill on the other hand takes photos of fire hydrants and is quite an authority on them. He had noticed near to La Grange a pair of newly painted Lagrass-Tournisson WWII cast iron ones numbered 2 and 3, so he tried every day to find No 1 but failed. We broke out the beer and spirits to have a few drinks but Jim had disappeared. A good while later he came in. He had, it transpired, been behind the supermarket to look at the French signalling system. Jim is an expert on our signals and will explain in detail the 3 and 4 aspect colour light system on BR. He said that he could not understand the French as a train had stopped at a green light whilst another went through when the signal was at red - all very confusing he said.
DAY 3 Breakfast as usual. Stan yesterday had tried a croissant and loved it and remarked that they were much better than you got in our supermarkets, absolutely brilliant was his assessment of them, extra ones had to be bought for him. The poor lad's teeth are still not right, so a baguette, unless it is pre-chewed by one of us, is out of the question. The day was very cold so on arriving at Ouistreham it was a case of just driving around and a quick visit to Tourist Info for directions to Pegasus Bridge. This we found but as everything was shut and still freezing cold, after a few photographs we departed up the coast road towards Arromanches. We stopped at Courseulles-sur-Mer for food. The first place we looked at, the cheapest meal was over £40, so that place was a no-no. A bit farther up the prom was a car park where we stopped. Colin Needham was despatched to recce a couple of restaurants. On his return he said the prices looked OK but could not understand the meals on the board as 'they were in French and joined up writing'. This is not the attitude one expects from the Chief Navigator.

Meanwhile the main body had gone into a snack bar overlooking the beach. If they thought they would see girls in swimsuits, they were sadly mistaken - it was too cold for polar bears. I have not found out who took us into this bar, but it has to be the worst in France. The food was, as Dave Williams would put it 'bobbins'. They must have found some of the acorn coffee as used in France during the war, I know I drank some. At the exit to the car park was a big display of flags and a large notice to the effect that De Gaulle had liberated the town on 26 June. This, of course, was weeks after the invasion, and there are similar ones up and down the coast. I dread to think what the lads who landed on day one would think of these things.
Back to La Grange to get dolled up. We would be having a formal dinner at a restaurant just about 600yds away. Sarah kindly volunteered to run the lot of us in her car. Everyone had Fusilier badges on their blazers except Stan who had bought a new blazer and was wearing a Malayan Veteran's badge on it as he is entitled to do. He was quite chuffed until someone asked him if it was an Alfa Romeo badge - his reply is unprintable. The menu was a typical French one, steaks, fish, oysters - in fact you were spoiled for choice. The wine was first class and the owner spoke perfect English as she had lived in Warrington, Lancashire for years and the waitress came from Scotland - it could not have been better. Joe did a remarkable job as Mr. Vice. After the meal Sarah picked the crippled ones up whilst the fit ones walked back. Jim kept looking out of the upstairs windows to see if he could see the signals. The rest of the party had a few drinks and into bed.
DAY 4 After breakfast we set off for Port-en-Bessin, a small port liberated by the Royal Marines at great cost. At the start of the week Colin and myself had said that if the driver and navigator had to stay awake so should the passenger. Colin would give me the nod and I would run over the rumble strip at the side of the road. I wonder if Jim's wife knows he can swear for ages without repeating himself.
The Port is very small yet tons of supplies were landed here from small boats about as big as trawlers. We went into a small restaurant, where Jim and myself had tripes au Caen and the others had grilled sea bass or steaks, beer or coffee for under £10 a head. We left the port after a quick look around the shops for our next stop which was Pointe du Hoc - the gun emplacement at top of very high and steep cliffs. The area had been heavily bombed prior to the invasion as the big guns could hit the beaches easily. The massive bomb craters can still be seen, dozens of them, but the guns had not been silenced. It was up to an American Ranger Battalion to attack up the cliffs and silence the guns. This they did at a terrible cost. What a brave and professional bunch of lads they were.
We left to go to the US Cemetery near Utah beach, where there are thousands upon thousands of white crosses. On a few we placed some of our RBL crosses, one on an American unknown soldier grave and two more on graves with surnames similar to ones in our party, all suitably inscribed. From the cemetery you can overlook part of Utah beach, and here we met some Americans who did not have a clue as to what had happened here. Stan explained about attacking up the heavily defended very steep hills, and how the terrain had helped to cause such a great loss of life. They accompanied us back through the cemetery and one of them said "Christian crosses, where are the Muslim graves?" It was explained to him that very few of the attackers would have been Muslim in 1944.
We left this very sad place to go back to La Grange where we had been invited for drinks by Peter and Sarah. On arriving at their house, which is just across the courtyard from ours, the door was opened by the dog, paw on the latch, nose on the window and the door swung open - magic. We bought two bunches of flowers for Sarah to say thank you for all her help - roses in the Regimental Colours, rose and primrose. These were graciously accepted. We had a pleasant couple of hours and on leaving Joe arrived back. He had not been with us but went hiking around the area -was it to meet the Arrowmanches birds we asked ourselves? Jim went off to see his signal, Tony to see if he could find No 1 hydrant and Martin was despatched to the supermarket bins - three trips to get rid of three bin bags of beer bottles.
DAY 5 We set off for home at about 11 am and had a look around Carentan for some shopping, then the rains came. A slow trip then to the port stopping at a massive supermarket for presents and food, then on to the fast ferry to Portsmouth and an uneventful trip home.
Thank you Colin Needham - you may not be very good with French menus with joined up writing, but you can navigate for me anytime, (course he was mortars). We have had about ten trips to various places over the years but this everyone agreed was by far the best. You had the facility of using your own car as opposed to being in a coach, and you could please yourself where you went and at what time and it was half the price of the coach trip.
La Grange is situated in St. Hillair-Petitville about ½ a mile outside Carentan. It is ideally situated for all the beaches, and you also have everything nearby bread, bar, supermarket and restaurants. You also have Sarah who is a fount of local information. I would like on behalf of the D Coy lads to thank Peter and Sarah for their hospitality and friendship. Should any Branch want to go to the Invasion areas La Grange is the ideal place. Phone me if you want any more information.



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.
The regiment had gone out to Cyprus several months before; (this was the time of the EOKA terrorists trying to get union with Greece, and their activities necessitated quite a large British military presence on the island). When the regiment departed to Cyprus, a number of Fusiliers had sworn they would never leave England and thus had spent some time in detention. As the eldest of the three new subalterns, I was given the task of ensuring that these two dozen hard cases should join the regiment in Cyprus. A daunting task for a young, 19 year old, newly commissioned officer.
From Bury by 3 tonner to Manchester station. By train to London, then across London by 3 tonner to Victoria Station for the troop train to Southampton. Here more responsibility was heaped on my young shoulders. I was appointed officer in charge of the troop train to Southampton carrying a Royal Artillery regiment and innumerable wives and children joining their fathers in Cyprus. I was given a book detailing my duties. By the time we reached Southampton, I had still not read every page, but discovered that amongst other duties I should have provided hot milk for mothers with babies!!!
We arrived at Southampton and the SS Dilwara was awaiting us and all 24 Fusiliers were on board. I breathed a sigh of relief - I had made it. Nothing could go wrong now .... or could it!
The ship made one stop on the voyage - it called in at Algiers to take on fresh supplies. Nobody was allowed to leave the ship. The ship left Algiers and some 45 minutes later an announcement came over the ship's loudspeakers, "Would Second Lieutenant Mills please report to the Captain's cabin?" "How many Fusiliers do you have on board?" the Captain asked. "24" I proudly replied. "No you don't, there are only 23. I have just been notified by the authorities in Algiers that a Fusilier has been found drunk, with a broken leg outside a first floor brothel."
How he managed to get off the ship when it was moored in Algiers with MPs on the gangway, nobody knows. However, some weeks later he did arrive in Cyprus.

Second Lieutenant Mills


For some ten years a party of retired Fusiliers, plus some wives and friends, have been attending events commemorating the decisive victory gained by the allies in WW1 at the 1st Battle of the Marne in 1914.
The Regiment is invited by the French to join the celebration as they truly value the role played by the British Expeditionary Force fighting with them in this battle which effectively saved France and turned the tide of the war. Nobody seems to remember the Marne these days, although we bear the battle honour on our colours, preferring to recall only later more costly and indecisive battles and trench warfare.
Make no mistake, all the former Regiments of the RRF were part of the BEF and played a significant role. We should never forget the achievement and sacrifice of our former comrades.
To date those attending have come mainly from the London area but to boost numbers, which is needed, it is hoped that ex RNF, R Warwick's and LF might also wish to come together with younger ex Fusiliers of RRF vintage. Serving Fusiliers are also most welcome.
This is a cracking and inexpensive trip to the lovely Champagne region of France in early September, involving a four night stay in beautiful Epernay. Apart from the events there is plenty of free time in which to enjoy the countryside and excellent food and wine.
To sum up, this Pilgrimage "ticks all the boxes". It is enjoyable, meaningful both personally and Regimentally and we act as ambassadors for the Regiment, the Army and our country. You will be proud to visit the ground where our former comrades, after the long and morale sapping retreat from Mons, were at last able to turn, stand and fight. Standing shoulder to shoulder with our French allies the enemy were driven back to the Aisne. A great military achievement.
Please contact the Mondement co-ordinator, details below, soonest if you would like to join the trip this year from 1 to 5 September 2011, or would like more information.

Richard Adams
01608 662328

Standing engagements
Salford 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Trieste 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Oldham 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Shiny D 1st Tuesday of month 2000 hrs
Rochdale 1st Tuesday of month 2015 hrs
Droylsden 1st Thursday of month 1230 hrs
Bury Last Tuesday of month 2000 hrs
Northern Ireland 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs



Fri 11 Remembrance weekend
Memorial in Gallipoli Gardens 1100 hrs
Sun 13 Assemble at Town Hall 1020 hrs



There is discipline in a Soldier you can see it when he walks
There is honour in a Soldier, you can hear it when he talks
There is courage in a Soldier, you can see it in his eyes
There is loyalty in a Soldier that he will not compromise
There is something in a Soldier which makes him stand apart
There is strength in a Soldier that beats from his heart.

A Soldier isn't a title any man can be hired to do
A Soldier is the soul of the man buried deep inside of you.
A Soldier's job isn't finished after an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week
A Soldier is always a Soldier even while he sleeps.
A Soldier serves his country first, his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice what comes first in a civilian's mind.

If you are a civilian - I am saying this to you ....
Next time you see a Soldier remember what they do.
A Soldier is the reason our land is 'Home of the Free'
If you are a Soldier - I am saying this to you ....
Thank God for EVERY SOLDIER. Thank God for what you do.

Author unknown

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.


Ode to Fred
When e're I go to RAMMY Town, it ain't the same no more
There is no grinning, beaming FRED to meet me at the door.
He took us in and sat us down and made us feel all right,
Sometimes it got to such a state we'd wanna stay all night.
There ain't no drills or orders now, we're standing all at ease,
Just suppin ale and talking daft and eatin pie and peas.
The Army days have long since passed, at times you feel so sad
But think about the times you had with FRED THE RAMMY LAD.

Our Old Pal
We thought our Fred was here to stay
But the Happy Wanderer's gone away.
The Army pals that knew him well
So close to Fred - no words can tell.
But with his banter and his smile
We'll let him rest a little while.
And in the Legion way up there
Our Fred will save us all a chair.

Our Pal Fred
We met this man some years ago
When in the Army we did go.
He made Sergeant did our Fred
It never did go to his head.
He treated everyone the same
And never seemed to pass the blame.
He made us welcome at his club
With pie and peas, our favourite grub.
Now our mate has left the Clan
We'll really miss this gradely man.
So if we meet him one and all
We'll join him there and have a ball.

By Steve McNally -


The Fusilier Museum in Bury is to stage a temporary exhibition, beginning in September 2011, on the history of the bands, drums and regimental music of the Lancashire Fusiliers. If anyone has any items (bandsmen's/drummers' uniform items and kit, photos, band programmes, musical instruments, music copies etc) they would like to donate or loan to the museum for display in the exhibition, would they contact Museum Officer, Philip Mather at: or by phone on 0161 763 8950.

LAST POST Issue 58 - July 2011

Kenneth ( Ken) Beetson
28 April 2011 aged 85

Ex 1st Btn Lancashire Fusiliers. One of the founder members of the old Ramsbottom branch

George William Booth 27 April 2011 aged 62
EX 1 LF and 2RRF

William Bush
March 2011
Ex 1st Btn XX Lancashire Fusiliers - served in Suez and Kenya

Eric Freeman
17/18 May 2011
Ex 1LF - served in Suez

Brig Harry Illing CBE MC&Bar
11 May 2011
Ex Royal Warwickshire Fusilier

Clifford Jackson
18 March 2011 aged 91
Ex 2/5th Btn LF 1939-45

Eric Hayley Johnson
5 May 2011 aged 92
Ex LF and REME - served mainland Europe and Burma

Eric Jordan
6 Jan 2011 Ex 2nd Btn LF. Served as treasurer of Droylsden Branch

Reg Schofield
10 Dec 2010 aged 71
Ex 1LF 1960-1962

Mick Trainor
late May 2011 aged 63
Ex 1st Btn Royal Fusiliers & 3rd Btn RRF

Fred Hunter
15 March 2011
Ex 1RNF and 1RRF



For those who did not make it into Church Gallipoli Sunday here is the Programme
Click on the image to enlarge it

News Sheet
Edition 57
January 2011

Editorial Comment – Capt.David G.Hoyle (Ret'd)
A very Happy New Year to all Fusiliers. The lamp swinging stories are sadly only trickling in. Your memories are the history of our Regiment, please pick up your pens or hit your keyboards and give me the problem of trying to fit all the stories into the next edition.
Capt (Ret'd) D G Hoyle --
The Fusiliers' Association Lancashire Chairman's Report.
Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)

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 Oldham’s Branch Christmas Dinner at the Britannia Hotel Stockport, and the Association’s Children’s Christmas Party at the Museum and Christmas Dinner also at the Museum.
Remembrance Sunday was very well attended in each of our local areas plus the excellent display of Standards at the Bury Football Club home match against Stockport Country. Colonel Brian Gorski was in attendance and the event was organised by Mr Steve Fitt Association Secretary. In all I think you will agree a very busy time and I am very much aware that these things just don’t happen on their own. We have a very hard working and dedicated group of members who give up a lot of their time to ensure that The Association Lancashire is up there with the best of them and to all of them I send my heartfelt sincere thanks.
Membership of the Association
Membership is the next area that I would like to focus on and am delighted to report that the numbers have increased greatly over the past year. Bury branch has risen from 17 to 75, Oldham now stands at 189 and that all members old and new are paying the one fee of £10 membership. Ron Owen and Steve Fitt have done sterling work in this area and we all owe them a gratitude of thanks for this achievement.
2011 is going to be an even busier year then 2010 and most plans are now in place for the Osnabruck/Fusilier reunion in February, the Gallipoli Weekend 16/17 April, Minden Dinner Club and Minden Day Service 30/31 July, Remembrance Weekend in November so please look at the Website and get these dates in your diaries.
Visit to Celle in Germany 2011
The 2nd Battalion have invited the Association Lancashire to Celle, Germany to celebrate St George’s Day weekend over the period 30 April 2011. The response from Branch Secretaries seems to be good and you will all be contacted by them shortly. I will await your response before confirming our commitment - should the response be good then a committee will be set up to organise this trip.
The Fusilier Gathering 2011
The Gathering next year will be in Tidworth and laid on by the 1st Battalion. It will be a weekend in September, and once we get notice, the details will appear on the website and in the Newsletters, as I said another busy year.
Regimental Memorial in the National Arboretum Staffordshire
There is to be a new Regimental Memorial placed in the National Arboretum in Staffordshire to replace the old one and to take the Regiment on into the next one hundred years. I have being tasked with raising the money for this project and in the New Year I shall be writing to you all to ask you to subscribe whatever you can afford. The money will be raised by all of our Regimental Areas and our two Regular Battalions and the Machine Platoon in Bury. The cost will be in excess of £100K and as it was Lancashire’s idea in the first place I feel it is a little price to pay to remember our very brave members of the Regiment who have given their lives for the cause, so I hope, with all of your help, to unveil the memorial in June of 2013 and do it in the form of a Fusilier Gathering at the Arboretum.
In concluding, may I take this opportunity to thank you all for the continued backing you give me each year and to wish you all and your families and loved ones a very happy, holy and peaceful Christmas and New Year and to ask you to say a prayer and spare a thought for the members of the Regiment who will be away this Christmas and for the less fortunate of those amongst us.
John O’Grady Chairman.

Honorary Secretary’s Report
The last 6 months have been very busy. First of all many thanks to everyone who turned up on Minden Day at Bury Football Club for the get together, one of the bar staff made a comment “these blokes can drink”. The Regiment and Association has made a good rapport with Bury FC and on Saturday 13 November, prior to the match Bury versus Stockport, there was a minute’s silence with the last post, reveille, played by 2 buglers from the band and five standards did the dip. This is believed to be the first time that this has been done at a football ground and Bury FC have requested this to be done every year when they are at home on Remembrance weekend.
This year it would be great to have some association members on parade. Membership is rising - Bury branch have more than doubled its membership this year - so there are ex-fusiliers out there, both Lancashire Fusiliers and Royal Regiment so Branch Secretary’s please take note. Planning is well on the way for the Gallipoli weekend, but PLEASE NOTE the change of date 16/17 April - this is due to Easter Sunday falling on the 25 April.
Most of you will know by now that in December an appeal was launched for a Royal Regiment of Fusiliers’ monument to be built at the National Arboretum in Staffordshire. As the idea for this monument originated in Lancashire we would ask you to please help all you can. Thanks to Ron Owen in helping out with membership, also to the Rochdale Branch in helping to get some information on an ex-fusilier who had asked SSAFA for help. For those that don’t know Ron Owen organises a Christmas dinner every year - if you have not attended yet put your name down for this year. Can I thank the people who have attended funerals all over the country, at times it has not been possible for the standard to attend but at least the Regiment has had some representation there.
Steven Fitt Association Secretary

In August the Lancashire Headquarters hosted an important meeting of museum curators from all over the North of England. The curators represented infantry, cavalry and artillery collections from Cumbria, Lancashire, Cheshire, Northumberland, Yorkshire and County Durham. Most of those attending were employed by the MoD but a considerable number represented collections in the care of local authorities. The aim of the meeting was to discuss key museum issues at the tactical level leaving issues at the operational/strategic level to the Annual Regimental Museum Conference in Whitehall run by the Army Museum Ogilby Trust. Brigadier Colin Siburn from the Army Museum Ogilby Trust gave a presentation on current issues affecting the museum world. There were also presentations on recent developments at the Border Regiment museum at Carlisle, the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment Museum at Fulwood, Preston and the Museum Of Lancashire also in Preston.

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 children’s 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 Lancashire Fusiliers
For most conspicuous bravery in attack during a violent thunderstorm at Passchendale Ridge, Belgium, on 9 October 1917, during the 3rd Battle of Ypres, when advancing to the first objective, his company came under machine-gun fire from the direction of two “pill-boxes.” Seeing that the galling fire would hold up our advance and prevent our troops keeping up with the barrage, 8133 Sergeant Lister dashed ahead of his men and found a machine-gun firing from a shell –hole in front of the pill-box. He shot two of the enemy gunners and the remainder surrendered to him. He then went to the pill-box and shouted to the occupants to surrender. They did so with the exception of one man. Whom Sergeant Lister shot dead, whereupon about a hundred of the enemy emerged from a shell-hole further to the rear and surrendered. This non-commissioned officer’s prompt act of courage enabled our line to advance with hardly a check and to keep up with the barrage, the loss of which might have jeopardised the whole course of the local battle.

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.
TA Fusiliers with 1 LANCS in Afghanistan. It should be remembered that although our Regular Battalions are not currently serving in Afghanistan it is a rare occasion when we do not have Fusiliers serving in Theatre. Fusiliers from the Castle Armoury in Bury have been on active service with 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. We wish them all the best and they no doubt wear the hackle with pride and professionalism.


Lt Col (Retd) Regimental Secretary Lancashire


News from RHQ HM Tower of London

The Battalion has fairly heavy exercise commitments and companies are conducting low level training as a build up to future formation training.
In the summer time the majority of the Battalion were on the Salisbury Plain providing enemy for 16 Air Assault Brigade who were on their last exercise prior to deploying to Afghanistan in September. Role playing as a civilian population and insurgents is slightly different to a normal exercise, however the Companies all performed exceptionally well to produce a very challenging exercise for the Brigade. Congratulations must go to Captain Matt Clarke who completed his first exercise on the plain, after a full year in the Land Warfare Centre Battlegroup. He even managed to lead an airborne assault with a platoon of Polish soldiers on to the Y Company settlement!

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 moving ceremony was attend by HRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwell, HRH the Duke of Kent and General Sir David Richards were amongst other VIPs. The opening of the cemetery was widely reported on and shown live on Sky News and BBC 1 as well as making most of the national newspapers. The hackle was to the fore with the Commanding Officer appearing in the Daily Telegraph and other lesser publications.

Since the last edition of Fusilier News the Second Fusiliers have successfully completed the unit move from Cavalry Barracks, Hounslow to Trenchard Barracks, Celle. The Battalion will spend 2 years in Celle as a Light Role Battalion under Command of 7 Armd Bde.
The majority of Fusiliers finished their last working day in London on 23 Jul 10 after a rewarding, busy and varied two years. Following a Flag Day of 20 August, the first working day in Celle was 23 August. Although a month between leaving London and starting work in Celle may seem like a long time, this was quickly eaten up by mandatory administration, such as opening bank accounts (not quite as simple as in the UK by any stretch) and re-registering vehicles (a particularly convoluted process). Over the Summer nearly 150 families were moved as well as all the single serving soldiers. This was a huge task which was completed with minimum disruption.
From the minute the Battalion arrived in Celle, the Second Fusiliers have hit the ground running. During the first week the Battalion completed a work place induction package (WIP), covering the information that the Battalion needed to know about living and working in Germany.
Brig N Welch OBE, Commander 7 Armoured Brigade visited the Battalion on 25 August as they settled in to the new environment in Celle. Following lunch in the Officers’ Mess, the Brigadier spoke to the Battalion on parade. It was a massive improvement from any parade held in Hounslow as at no point was it interrupted by the customary low flying 747! The Commander presented a number of awards to individuals in the battalion.

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.


Operational Casualties
On 20 Aug 10 Rifleman Garth Restall, 5 RRF was shot in the arm by an enemy sniper in Nadi Ali Afghanistan. He was CASEVAC’d to the UK where he is making a good recovery after several operations. The Colonel of the Regiment on behalf of all Fusiliers wishes Rifleman Restall a speedy recovery.
5RRF has been tasked to provide 50 soldiers for Op HERRICK. Fifteen will deploy in October 2011 with 20 Bde. This is a commitment the Battalion has only recently been made aware of so is in the early stages of planning the training and trawling for volunteers. This deployment will differ slightly compared to previous large cohort deployments in that all of the soldiers and officers will backfill various Infantry Battalions within the Bde.

I R Liles OBE
Brigadier (Retd) Regimental Secretary

Meetings – last Tues of the month 2000 hrs
Old White Lion Hotel, 6 Bolton Street Bury BL9 OLQ
The Bury Branch has supported most functions in and around Lancashire and I don’t think there has been a function where a Bury Branch member has not attended. We would like to thank the organisers of these events (mostly advertised on Facebook) and the photos which have drawn so many ex and serving Fusiliers back together and out of the closet.
With losing the Club we are holding our monthly meetings at the Old White Lion Hotel, 6 Bolton Street, Bury, Lancashire, BL9 0LQ every last Tuesday of each month.
It is with great sadness to report the loss of Capt Paul George who passed over on 14 September 2010 in Cumbria another sad loss to the Bury Branch.
Numbers in the Bury Branch is steadily rising, we currently have 70 members.
We would like to thank all 4 Fusilier Battalions and the Machine Gun Platoon (Bury) for all their support over the last year.
Michael Rae Branch Chairman 15 Battersby Street, Bury BL9 7SG
Email Tel 07932 372213

Meetings – 1st Thurs of the month at 1230 hrs
With the rate of public houses closing down, we at the Droylsden Branch have fallen foul of this trend, and for the second year running have had to move our headquarters’ venue. Manchester Road has been having a major revamp to accommodate the Metrolink and the upheaval has been, to say the least, chaotic.
The Royal Oak has fallen within the realms of change having been closed and not included in the new scheme of things. Maybe we are fortunate as Mr Rigby had the offer of revamped premises called the Buxton and we had our inaugural meeting there on 16 December 2010. We entertained members of Broughton House to a buffet lunch and a few optics of the merry-making liquids imbibed on the premises together with a few to take back for their Christmas lunch (should it survive until then is no longer of our concern!!).
We are delighted to welcome Eric Bond as a new member, and hope that a prospective member, who also visited on the day and showed an interest, might join us for the January meeting.
G Peak Secretary

Meetings – 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs
After a great "Gathering" at Warwick our next event was Remembrance, when we had a good turnout with plenty of photos in the local newspaper of Fusiliers on parade.
In December we will have had our annual Christmas Dinner which we hope to follow in the New Year with a quiz night. In April we shall be holding our St George/Gallipoli event which proved to be very successful last year and we hope that some of you will be able to attend. It will be held in Bangor on Saturday 23 April 2011 [details can be obtained from Steve Fitt] and tickets priced £10.00 per head. Other events will be ongoing throughout the year.
We hope you all have a great Christmas and a peaceful New Year
Ian Scholes Secretary Northern Ireland Branch

Meetings – 1st Mon in the month 2000 hrs
Well since the last issue, which we as a branch missed, (the first in 14 years!) we must remind all that 95% of the branch is still of working age, and therefore on occasions, our work commitments must take priority. So here are our one and only annual newsletter notes. Our year has been very busy - we always start the year with the Branch Christmas Party on the first Saturday in December which was held at Stockport. Last year’s was very successful and as in years gone past, it will always be a hit not only with members, but also our branch members from all over the country. 2010, saw a turn up for books with the audience managing to travel in bad weather, however our band and drums were unable to turn up owing to the weather in Bury. The show had to go on, and it did with Ronnie even taking bookings for next year. It is a great function, and we thank our raffle prize sponsors and our committee for making it a great night out, and our logistic support provided by Arthur Marshall.
This then leads us up to Christmas with the Branch donating a Christmas tree along with the OLEXA, RBL and RAF, local businesses, Police, emergency services, schools, and funnily enough all our local undertakers, into Oldham Church. All the trees are dressed and lights placed on them. Our fusilier theme this year was a fully dressed tree with gold stars containing the names and families of Fusiliers who have fallen in the line of duty in every conflict since WW2. The whole thing, along with seventy other trees, looked magnificent in particular the Ex Services. The display runs for a fortnight and raises money for local charity. Next year our collection box will be aimed for the National Arboretum Fusilier Memorial Fund. We now have two reps involved with this on a full-time basis - Tony Harrop and Popeye, with the intention of full support from the committee and branch when we can. A date for your diary is the 9 June 2011, which is a musical night with buffet to raise funds for the project.
February has now been dedicated to the M62 memorial at Hartshead which always has a Fusilier presence. 2011,will be no exception - it will take place at 1100 hrs on 6 February, and also the Osnabruck reunion at Gigg Lane in Bury. Last February saw the branch involved, with a joint effort with the OLEXA, to produce a new M62 plaque on the poppy walk at Oldham Cenotaph, also a new memorial to cover every conflict and campaign since WW2, as well as refurbished colours framed and placed on the inside wall of the church. This was attended by Rochdale Branch on the day, along with the Bishop of Manchester and Lord Lieutenant of Gtr Manchester. The
Colours belonged to the church and were originally owned by the 24th Btn The Manchester Regiment 1914-18 but were on the verge of turning to dust.
We continue as a branch attending everything in the town, including the Mayor’s Ball, Mayor-making, Saddleworth War Weekend, FEPOW, and Remembrance Sunday. We also thank our recruiting officer C/Sgt-Andy for the Fusilier wreath-laying on behalf of the Regiment. We continue providing assistance on the welfare front in liaison with all our agencies - SSAFA/RBL/ABF. We also thank our standard bearers, fusilier queen, committee and our members, for all they do in making the branch the success it is today. We wish all Fusiliers, past and present, a very happy New Year.
At the time of writing we are 179 strong - is this the new Fusilier Association -yes and it’s a good time to start educating our younger serving members that we are here. As the Colonel of the Regiment said in one of his inspiring Welfare speeches, ‘It’s not the ex-Fusilier you see from time to time it’s the ones we don’t see or hear from.’ We also thank our Regimental club committee that we have had right up to close down - they did a magnificent job under the circumstances of closure. All the best to all.
The whole team Oldham Branch

Meetings – 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs,
Rochdale Transport Club, Baron Street, Rochdale
Minden Celebrations, 31 August 2010
Here in Rochdale we celebrated Minden Day with the usual gusto, by holding the Minden Ball at the Masonic Buildings, Rochdale. Martin and his staff looked after us very well, and all who attended commented on the excellent buffet, which took an Asian theme this year to accommodate our Mayor Cllr Zulfiqar Ali.
The disco was Russel The Wolf Man who catered for all tastes of music ranging from a waltz to break dancing, you name it he had it. As for the ceremony of eating the roses the Branch had to rely on two of our associate members to take up the honour. Well done to John Rogers Snr (Dad), Royal Artillery and Gordon (Goffer), Wharton Royal Air Force, you took up this honour without faltering, and are now well and truly members of Rochdale Branch of the Fusilier Association.
If you fancy taking up this honour then come along and enjoy yourself with Rochdale Branch at the next Minden Celebrations, you are guaranteed a great reception.
Fusilier Gathering 18/19 September 2010
Although as a Branch we did not attend the gathering in force (so close to our annual pilgrimage), one or two of our members did attend under their own steam, and by all reports it was a very good gathering and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Hopefully one day the dates won’t clash and we will be on parade in force representing the Association and Rochdale Branch - something we do well.
The Pilgrimage 2-8 October 2010
After a lot of planning and logistics the time had arrived for our annual pilgrimage to begin. At about 2000hrs on 2 October 2010 Truly set off in the mini-bus we had hired for the week, to pick up the lads. Cleggie was one of the first on the list and when Truly arrived outside Cleggie’s home, up went the cry ‘Have you got the right passport?’ Cleggie was not going to be allowed to make the same mistake he made in 2009. After double-checking that he had the right passport the pilgrimage was on the roll for 2010 - Clegg & Thorpe Battlefield Tours was on the road, not to say Cleggie was reminded by everyone we picked up even Little Dave (Cleggie’s brother) who we pick up in Crewe on our way down the country repeated the cry ‘Have you got the right passport our kid?’
We stopped off at Watford Gap for refreshments, the site of the fatal mistake and Cleggie was still getting reminded, check and double-check is the motto. On we went through the night, MI, M25 even the Dartford Toll Bridge was not a problem. Apparently it is free on a Sunday (4 am). We arrived in Dover in plenty of time for the 6 am ferry. After a smooth crossing and a good breakfast we were across the channel in Calais - only another three hundred kilometres to go, (the bus was governed to 60 mph). Most of the time the lads slept, tossing and turning to get as comfortable as possible, getting out to stretch their legs when Cleggie and Truly changed drivers.
We arrived in Caen at about dinner, after some skillful driving by Truly who at one of the toll booths drove through one of the booths meant for cars. We were in a bus so as we proceeded the curtain of spikes hanging down to stop larger vehicles going through clattered all along the top of the bus, what a rude awakening for those still asleep. It was some time before we could check it, to see if it had left any lasting damage, and when we did check, everything was intact. Truly laughs at it now but at the time all manner of excuses was going through his head.
After settling into our hotel, De Hotel Mercure, some of us set off to discover the surrounding area. One thing we found out was that the hotel was set its own grounds amongst some industrial sites, universities, and shopping malls along with a good tram service into Caen. A group of us explored an establishment called the Hungry Bison, which we had clocked on the way in, we found it cheap, served a good steak, and washed down with plenty of red!! It soon became our favourite watering hole, only it became nick named The Hungry Heifer.
Monday morning we set off to explore Caen, and what an experience the tram system was. If you can imagine, twelve of us on a tram stop trying to make head or tails of the instructions on how to pay the fare. At every tram stop there is a machine where you feed the right change in euros to gain access to a ticket 1x12. This was a bit baffling at first until a couple of French students gave us a demonstration on how to work the machines. Our first try and we got on the wrong side of the track, going two stops in the wrong direction we ended up in one of the universities, end of the line in university 4. Well we pleaded ignorance ‘non comprender’ and stayed on the tram till it turned round and was heading in the direction we wanted, Caen. The tram system is a good system once you have worked it out and got your bearings.
Well we finally arrived in Caen and decided to check out the sights. The Castle of Normandie was first on our list. This is an interesting sight but we found part of it under construction and alterations taking place here and there. We took a walk along the city walls and took in the views of the city and its many spires. The battlements were a bit of a climb but like all good squaddies we stuck together and helped the tailend charlies.
In the afternoon we made our way down to the port side taking in the sights, Caen Old Cathedral, the gold statue of Joan of Arc, the old city battlements. Along our way we noticed through the catholic areas that most of the pubs and bars were Irish. After a quick tactical manoeuvre around the city centre we found ourselves over by the old Cathedral, where we quickly settled into a French Bistro with food on the mind. Gordon went Greek and had an argument with a couple of plates. After his food he showed his appreciation by having a smashing time, but the proprietor was very understanding
Tuesday we set off to conquer the beaches, Sword, Juno and Gold. It is here that whilst the rest of us plodded on along the beach road taking in the vast expanse of the beach and dunes, that the brothers Clegg, Peter and Little Dave peeled off to take time to be together and reflect on times gone by whilst they scattered their Uncle Bill’s ashes, which they had brought over from England, this being one of his
last requests. This done we again boarded the mini-bus to find a café for brew time - the wind was a bit biting and everyone needed a warm up.
After spending the day on the beaches it was back to the hotel and time to find an eating establishment for the evening meal. We decided to try Caen and found a nice French restaurant called the Boeuf & Cow that served a four course meal for about 25 euro. After a very satisfying meal we asked the owner if he would accommodate us the next night for our Regimental Dinner (we always fly our colours). So it was left down to one of the logistics team, Craig (Wheeler Dealer) Grice, to strike up a deal. Yes we would be eating at his establishment the next night, best bib and tucker, medals if you had brought them. The deal struck we took in the city centre and ended up in an Irish bar, (Warm Kilkenny) and Guinness. Must say the bars were busy with students, and like the world over, Caen as its fair share of the ones that can’t hold their liquor, as we found out when we took the tram back to the hotel. Always thought the students were overpaid.
By Wednesday, we now had our bearings and decided that we would visit the site of the world famous Pegasus Bridge made famous by the British 6th Airborne Division on the 5/6 June 1944. The tour of the museum was very informative, and the tour of the grounds outside the museum also caught one’s imagination. This is where the original bridge still stands and alongside there is a glider reconstructed for the museum. This is to give the visitor some insight as to the actual size of the gliders used in the raid on the bridge. Also in air conditioned units was part of one of the original gliders, used in the raid on the bridge which had been well shot up. This was one well deserved visit.
After taking in all the museum has to offer, you find yourself being drawn across the bridge that stretches the canal today to the small café that nestles on the far bank alongside the bridge. This is the world famous Café Gondree, home of the Gondree family since 1865. This was the first house and family to be liberated by the British 6th Airborne Division back on that fatal day. The café was renamed by the Gondree family in 1944, to ‘The Pegasus Bridge Café Gondree’ after the insignia of the Airborne Forces. The house, not a café in those days, became a field hospital with the front room being set up as an operation’s theatre. The café today is run by Arlette Gondree who was only four when the house/aid station/café was liberated and she can still recall the happenings of that day, when the house was liberated. This was well worth a visit.
After grabbing a quick lunch in the café we headed for Omaha Beach stopping off on the way to take in the sights at Arromanches of the remains of the old Mullberry Harbours, a poignant reminder of what went on nearly seventy years ago when the D-Day landings took place. On this site the French have built a Cinema Circulaire, a
360 degrees cinema screen showing you films of the action that went on on those fatal days of the landings - this is some experience.
Further along the cliff tops there is a site called the Batterie Allemande de Longues sur Mer. This is a fierce some looking place where you can wander around the old German gun emplacements. These are part of the Atlantic Wall defences built by the Germans to defend their side of the Channel in 1944. Each one concealed a 150mm piece of artillery. These lie around in disarray today but back then on that day the 6 June 1944 they covered the Channel and the beaches that had to be taken and the guns silenced, some job if you can let your imagination run wild. This site is definitely worth a visit.
After taking in all the sites we could it was time to return to the hotel and get changed for dinner. Best Bib and tucker and off down into Caen to the Boeuf & Cow restaurant for the Regimental Dinner. The manager did us proud, giving us the best seats in the house with a view of the old cathedral, which stood there in all its splendour, bathed in the orange glow of the city lights and the strategically placed spotlights around the grounds. The meal was splendid and after four courses washed down with a bottle of red, it was time for a stroll round the city centre and a few bevvies - this time we chose an English bar called the London Bar.
Thursday we stayed local and visited The Normandie Museum. This is a very impressive sight and has everything under one roof for the WWII enthusiasts. From the time you enter where you are greeted with the sight of the old spitfire bearing down on you to the time you leave with the sculpture of the Peace Gun pointing you in the direction of the car parks, you are entertained from WWII to the present day, a great day out.
Friday and the trip home, with a good sized early breakfast inside us, we set off at about 0800hrs to catch the 1300hrs ferry at Calais, and much to our surprise we made good time even though we did stop for refreshment breaks. Truly managed to hit the right toll booths and made sure that Cleggie was driving when we hit the ‘stairway to heaven’ bridge. This bridge is on the A13 and crosses the river Rouen. It’s similar to most suspension bridges only this one goes up one side and down the other (Blackpool springs to mind), no sign of the other side. Truly did not like this one. Anyhow after a smooth crossing it was back to Blighty and the usual mess around customs. It’s harder for an English man to get back into his own country than it is any of these asylum seekers.
Well we got back into the Manchester area about eight after dropping Little (Dave) Brother off in Crewe. The long drag of dropping everyone off started, and the lads
finished going up to eleven so Truly had to take the bus back the following morning, (still worrying about the roof).
All I can say from the lads is, it was a great six days and thanks to the two drivers Cleggie and Truly for their safe driving. Well done Lads.
Remembrance Week 8 November to Sunday 14 November.
All week we manned the Fusilier Poppy Stall in the Wheatsheaf Centre, Rochdale selling poppies to the good people of Rochdale on behalf of the Royal British Legion.
It never ceases to amaze me, how much people are willing to pay for their poppy, some sidle up and put notes in and some rattle about in the bottom of the purse, but it all goes to a very worthy cause and you meet people from all walks of life. I’d like to thank all those members who helped man the Fusilier stall and look forward to seeing you next year.
As I sit here it’s blowing a right old snow storm outside and it looks very much like we might get a white Christmas after all, and I think it’s time to wish you all the best from Rochdale Branch Members for Christmas and the New Year 2011.
Have a safe one.
OMINIA AUDAX Elwin Pickup Secretary Rochdale Branch

Meetings – 1st Mon in the month 2000 hrs
Pendleton Royal British Legion
Raising funds for the branch has been our main focus in 2010 and has kept The Salford Pals busy all year. Thanks to all who have given donations and for their support.
Thanks must go to the following individuals, Tony Barker, Shelly Hardy and her workmates as well as to Shiny D who have attended all of our functions and also to Rochdale Branch. Thanks to all these people we are now in a position to pay for our standard which will be on parade sometime next year. Happy New Year to all.

P Flannery Chairman Salford Branch
9 Pl 1LF Guard Nicosia Central Prison 1959
During the EOKA Trouble in Cyprus, prisoners were housed in Central Prison and the Army provided a perimeter guard force of one platoon.
I cannot remember when exactly 9Pl took on the role but, as the troubles ended in March 1959, I know it was before then.
The guard force was self-contained and we had a cook attached. The accommodation including the kitchen and toilets were, to say the least, pretty basic. The attached cook was Stan Abbott, at that time still a Regimental cook. We had a Turkish Cypriot trustee prisoner called Osman, who was dumb, though able to make loud grunting noises. He was a general dogsbody and would do all the dirty work including clearing the drains which blocked regularly. It was a fairly common sight to see Osman clearing the drains with his bare arm deep in the mire! As he also helped in the kitchen, I’m glad to say that Stan Abbott kept an eye on cleanliness!
On one memorable day Stan told Osman to fetch something from the fridge. The fridge was full height with double doors and was across the yard from the kitchen. When Osman did not return immediately, Stan noticed that he was at the fridge doors grunting loudly. Stan bellowed at him to hurry up. Osman continued grunting. Stan bellowed again. Now before joining up Stan had sold The Manchester Evening News at a stand out side Manchester Piccadilly station and had developed a very deep voice. The noise can therefore be imagined!
Eventually Stan marched over and grabbed Osman by the arm only to join Osman in grunting and shaking. The fridge had short-circuited and both were being electrocuted. It was quite a sight and caused much amusement. Luckily neither suffered any injury but Osman was always reluctant to use the fridge again
Major Phillip Manvell (Ret’d)

Standing engagements
Salford 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Trieste 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Oldham 1st Monday of month 2000 hrs
Rochdale 1st Tuesday of month 2015 hrs
Droylsden 1st Thursday of month 1230 hrs
Bury Last Tuesday of month 2000 hrs
Northern Ireland 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs

Sunday 6th February
M62 Commemoration wreath-laying Hartshead Moor Service Area 1100 hrs

Friday 11th February
Osnabruck/Hong Kong reunion at Bury FC Social Club 1900 hrs

Saturday 16th April. Gallipoli Day,
17th Castle Armoury Bury
followed by church service, march past, buffet lunch, followed by social gathering at Bury FC Social Club Please note change of date due to Easter period 1030 hrs onwards

Saturday 25th June - Armed Forces Day

Saturday 9th July - Military Band Extravaganza, Britannia Hotel, Stockport 1930 hrs

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

Shall it be?
1 5
How will my time on earth reach its end Shall it be the gripping clutching pain
when work and play are all done? Of myocardial infarction?
When body's pains Or a bad dose of flu
and material gains With food poisoning too
have fled away with the setting sun. To give me eternal redemption?
2 6
Shall it be a fall on a steep rocky climb, Shall it be the kiss of a bright steel blade?
Or an avalanche thundering down? Or the water’s sweet caress?
Or a fall from a horse? Or the jerk of a rope
My own fault of course, to complete that hope ,
To give me my heavenly crown. Of a time without quarrels and stress.
3 7
Shall it be a crashing motor car Shall it be a ship to a foreign land?
when some fool jumps the lights? Across the rolling sea.
Or a head on collision With a pack on my back,
To force His decision And the open track
To take me to heavenly heights. To really set me free.
4 8
Shall it be a blast and a shower of nails Shall it be in a dream on a peaceful night,
Or a flaming petrol bomb? With the duvet under my chin
Or a shot to the head With a bunch of good mates
from behind a shed We’ll knock on the gates
To send my soul back home. And Peter will welcome us in.
© David G. Hoyle 2009

Dave Batey. Died 12 July 2010 served 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

Major Neville Blythe Brook. Died 25th November 2010. Served Ist Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers and The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Capt Nigel Ivor Brooks. Died 19 October 2010 He served with The Royal Anglian Regiment and then with 2nd and 3rd Battalions The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

Craig Byrom. Died 11 December 2010 served 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Tony Fitzgerald. Died 21 November 2010 Served Ist Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers.
Capt Paul George. Died September 2010 Aged 84 Served XX The Lancashire Fusiliers
Lt Col (Rtd) Rodrick (Paddy) Ewain Haines Died 10 October 2010 Aged 73 Served Ist Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers and Royal Army Pay Corps
John Robert Harrison. Died 25 August 2010 Served 1939-1947 XX The Lancashire Fusiliers
Trevor Howard. Died 15 August 2010 served 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Fred Leonard. Died 20 October 2010 Served 2nd Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers. Member of Trieste Branch
Steve Lowe. Died early December 2010. Served A Company 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Tony Kimberley. Died 7th December. Served in 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Major Stan Potts. Died November 2010. Served in The Royal Marines, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
John Sherrin. Died 4 September 2010 Aged 92 Served in The Royal Fusiliers
Dean Wilkinson. Died September 2010. Served 1984-87 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

Our thoughts are with their families. -- We will remember them.

Major Neville Blythe-Brook
The Memorial Service for Major Neville Blythe-Brook will take place at 12 noon on Thursday 31st March 2011 at: St Mary’s Church, Church Street, West Chiltington,
West Sussex. RH20 2PD
All Regimental Friends are invited.
For further information contact Major Nick Leadsom on 01444 892571

News Sheet
Edition 56
July 2010

Perhaps some sharp eyed readers have noticed that for the third time in 28 years the presentation of this publication has changed.
Please remember that your Newsletter can be improved by you. Your story may be a valuable contribution to our Regiment's historical record, or just a good story, so please scratch your head, pick up a pen or hit a keyboard and give the editor the problem of trying to fit in lots of interesting tales.

Can you think on what being an old soldier and more specially an old Fusilier really means? Did you serve with David Rowe, or do you live in or near Didsbury?
David's rank was Fusilier; his serial number was 24283794, he signed on aged 17 in 1972 (his dob is 5/09/54) and did his basic training at Basingbourne. Sometime ago he was in a car accident and suffered a brain injury. He is immobile - although with assistance from staff and a specially adapted wheelchair he is able to stand for a short while now. He would much like to have contact with old army pals.

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:-

Karen Ratcliffe, Director of Nursing Apex Nursing + Social Care,
Emery House,195 Fog Lane, Didsbury M20 6FJ
Tel: 0161 447 6447 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0161 447 6447 end_of_the_skype_highlighting Fax: 0161 445 8719 Mob: 07789722995

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

Since the newsletter in January of this year the Association has maintained a steady growth in new members particularly from the RRF side of the coin, which is to be expected, and I am very pleased with that momentum. We now also have a vice Chairman in Mr Alan Noble who will look after matters should I be out of station.

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 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting Chairman

As you know the Regimental Club has now closed and I wish to thank the former club Committee, Dave Smith (steward) and the bar staff for their work and support they gave us. In my last notes I informed you all that it looked like we could lose a branch due to people unwilling to take up a committee post of that Branch. Sadly St Helens branch have not responded so they have ceased to be a branch of the Association. This does not stop any of them joining the Association as an individual.
During April an ex-Fusilier Nigel Potter walked from John O Groats to Lands End. When he was in Lancashire on 14 April I met him at Forton, north of Garstang, along with Kevin Hesslewood, secretary of the Bury branch of the RBL, and Martin Gibbons 2RRF wounded in Afghanistan. At the last count Nigel had raised over £15,000 for the Fusiliers' Aid Society & The Forces Children's Trust. Martin managed 7 miles, complete with walking stick, (proud of you mate), and Kevin also managed a few miles despite having to keep moving the car. At the end of the day I was told I had done 18.7 miles. Dennis Laverick also met up with Nigel in the Warrington area the day after.
Sadly I missed the Gallipoli parade - the first I have missed as standard bearer for 25 years .Many thanks go to Ron Owen, Phil (Jack) Horner and Alan Noble (now vice chairman of the Association). The Association standard has been to 17 funerals since the last issue, both Regimental and for other Regiments that have lost lads in Afghanistan.
Congratulations to Terry Rodgers on becoming Mayor of Fleetwood
Steven Fitt Association Secretary

In February eighteen future Fusiliers were attested by the Commanding Officer of 1RRF, Lt Col Jim Landon at the Lancashire Headquarters. The recruits and their proud parents filled the Gallipoli Room for the event and afterwards had a group photograph taken in the Normandy Room. Both the recruits and parents were impressed with the event and all left with a positive impression of their future Regiment.
On the same day as the "mass attestation" a boxing match took place in the evening in Bolton. The event had been organised through Recruiting Group North West and involved a team from 1RRF competing with a team from the Bolton Boys and Girls Club. The aim of the evening was to raise funds to support the expansion of similar clubs in the region and, with the assistance of the Regiment, a considerable amount of money was raised.
The Regimental profile was further enhanced when the Bury ACIO arranged for the Drums Platoon and members of 2 RRF from Bury and Rochdale to attend the Bury v Rochdale football match at Gigg Lane. Some 8,000 attend the match (a big crowd for Bury) and the support for the regiment was tremendous. The Regiment now has a positive relationship with Bury FC which will be built on this year.

Wellington Barracks
In April 1873 the Depot Companies of the East Devonshire Regiment (later the Lancashire Fusiliers) marched into Wellington Barracks, Bury. On Wednesday 26 May 2010 that 137 year link ended when the Barracks was handed over to Defence Estates to be sold. AHQ would like to thank all those who helped to prepare the barracks for handover. Of note is the work of the Committee and Staff from the Fusilier Club who, in the knowledge that they were to lose their club, did everything they could in true Fusilier fashion to facilitate a fast and efficient handover. All Regimental and association events will now be hosted at the new Fusilier Museum and it is hoped that a permanent memorial to Wellington Barracks and the Regiment will remain on Bolton Road.
The Club first opened in a former Drill Shed at the then Depot of the Lancashire Fusiliers at Wellington Barracks in September 1960. In March 1961 the Depot closed, the barracks was sold off to be developed for housing, leaving only the QMs Block housing the Lancashire Headquarters and the Museum and the Club. For 50 years it has served members of the regiment and the local community well and there are few who at sometime or other have not enjoyed the hospitality that the Club provided. Colonel Brian Gorski, Colonel Lancashire said, "I would personally like to thank the current committee and staff for all their hard work in maintaining the Club. I can understand just how difficult it has been to serve both Regiment and membership, despite the knowledge that closure was inevitable."

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
The Fusilier Museum has recently been awarded a "Highly Commended" grading by the 'Visit England Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS)'. This is the benchmark for all visitor attractions in England and the award of this status so early in the life of the museum is a credit to all those that have made, and continue to make, the museum such a success.
The Afghanistan exhibition opened on 26 March and was well received by the public. The family of Joseph Etchells toured the exhibition on Gallipoli Sunday and were very impressed with what they saw. The stars of the exhibition are undoubtedly the Officers and Fusiliers of 2 RRF who deserve thanks and congratulation for their time and input.
The unsung heroes are the museum staff and volunteers who have worked long hours to put the exhibition together. Locally it has been a joint effort with assistance and materiel provided by the Fusilier Platoon from the Castle Armoury. Museum staff are now developing an exhibition programme out to 2015 (100th Anniversary of Gallipoli). If anyone has any ideas with regard to a theme for a six month temporary display please let the museum staff know.

Lancashire Council Meeting
The first Lancashire Council Meeting of the year took place over the Gallipoli weekend. This meeting provides an opportunity in the first instance for representatives of the Regimental family in Lancashire to update Colonel Lancashire on what they are doing.
It also provides an opportunity for cooperation and assistance. Maj David Cook, from recruiting branch in 42 (NW) Bde brought everyone up to speed on recruiting in the North West and in particular the performance of the Regiment.
WO2 Gilks representing the Fusilier Machine Gun Platoon, at the Castle Armoury covered their recent activities. The Fusilier Platoon continues to recruit and retain above establishment and provides a considerable number of Fusiliers for operations. Those who served in the TA not too long ago may have reflected on Gallipoli Sunday that a TA soldier with a medal was unusual. WO2 Gilks has eight!

Fusilier Wood
The Association in collaboration with the "Life for a Life" organisation dedicated the "Fusilier Wood" in Bury. The wood is intended to commemorate members of the Regiment killed on active service since 1968. It is situated in the Whitefield area of Bury on restored derelict land and does much to enhance the local environment. Following a short service conducted by the Revd John Findon, the Regimental Chaplain from Bury, the Lord Lieutenant and members of the Regiment were invited to plant trees. The event was well attended and received much publicity on local TV news and in the papers.

Association Dinner
The first joint St Georges/Gallipoli Dinner was held in collaboration with Bury Metropolitan Borough Council. It was well attended with just under 300 sitting down for dinner. A "well done" should go to John O'Grady begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Steve Fitt and "Jack" Horner for pulling the event together. A special mention should also be made of Alan Noble who as Master of Ceremonies did well to cope with three conflicting programmes. As the evening progressed it became clear that despite this being a joint event, the Fusiliers dominated and following Colonel Brian's "state of the nation" speech many Council guests went away better educated and fully behind the Regiment.

Gallipoli Sunday
The high point of April was Gallipoli Sunday. By coincidence Gallipoli Sunday also fell on Gallipoli Day this year and it was appropriate to commemorate the 95th Anniversary by holding the Gallipoli Luncheon in the new Headquarters and Museum. The day commenced with a parade and inspection in the Castle Armoury.
There were some 250 on parade including the Band and Drums, the Association, the Fusilier Platoon, Sea Cadets including Cadets from the Training Ship Euryalus, the ACF and CCF and last, but not least, the RSM and Drum Major from the Lorne Scots. Following the inspection Roy Woods was presented with the Regimental Medal and, Freddy Bearn (Colonel Lancashire's Piper) was presented with a pipe banner.
The parade following the Church Service took a new route with the salute being taken by the Mayor of Bury, Councillor Sheila Magnall, Commander 42(North West) Brigade, Brigadier Bill Aldridge and Colonel Brian Gorski. The Gallipoli Luncheon was attended by 90 guests including civic dignitaries and former officers of the Regiment.

The Lancashire Fusiliers' Memorial
The Area Secretary on discovering that the Lancashire Fusiliers' memorial stone at the National Arboretum had been incorrectly inscribed as the 'Royal Lancashire Fusiliers' has taken measures to order a new stone, This will be correctly inscribed and will replace the new stone in due course. It is planned to hold a short, local service when the stone is replaced. The mistake was evidently made by the stone mason who was doing the Fusilier Plot, he automatically added the Royal as it fitted in with the other Fusilier Regiments represented. All's well that ends well!

Hails and Farewells
Mike Booth the first General Manager of the Fusilier Museum recently left to take up an appointment as general manager of the Shire Hall in Monmouth. AHQ are most grateful for the energy and enthusiasm that he put into commissioning the building and putting the Fusilier Museum on its feet.
To say farewell the museum staff organised a party in the museum café and the Directors of the Museum Company dined him out. His replacement is Helen Smith who comes to the Fusilier Museum from the Magna Science Centre Rotherham. For your interest the Museum office is now manned by Helen Smith as General Manager, Helen Castle as Museum Access and Collection Officer and Helen Davenport as the Administrative Officer. If you ring up and ask for Helen you cannot go wrong.

The Headquarters and Museum continue to attract high profile visitors. Councillor Bob Bibby Leader of Bury Council held a meeting in the Gallipoli Room for Leaders of all the Conservative Groups in Greater Manchester. He was followed a few days later by the Regimental Secretary of The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, Colonel Martin Amlot, who was particularly interested in the proactive way the Regiment is using regimental heritage in support of today's regiment and in particular the sound working relationship between Careers Office, Museum and Headquarters.
M J GLOVER Lt Col (Retd) Regimental Secretary Lancashire

News from RHQ HM Tower of London

Early this year members of 1RRF were involved with the re-burial of First World War soldiers in Fromelles, Northern France. The 250 Australian and British bodies were discovered 2 years ago and, after a lengthy excavation, have been laid to rest in the only new Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery to be opened since the Second World War. 1RRF worked alongside the Australian Army for two weeks ensuring that each of the soldiers received a fitting military burial - including a military padre, firing party and buglers. They also conducted two battlefield tours, visiting locations on The Somme and the Ypres Salient, to gain a better understanding of the context and events of the battle. The final burial will take place on 19 Jul 10 the 94th anniversary -at the official opening of the cemetery, thirty two members of the Battalion will return to Fromelles, Northern France, with Royal and other international VIPs in attendance.
Before Easter 32 members of the Battalion spent a week learning to ski in the French Alps. There was plenty of great snow and fantastic sunny weather throughout the trip and the skiers soon got to know the slopes and lifts (and nightlife of Chamonix!) in great detail. The instructors were fantastic, and soon had everyone racing down the slopes, skilfully carving and doing jumps in the skills park. All accommodation, transport, food, skiing kit and lift passes were included - an absolute bargain for only £130.
At the end of April members of Z Company were selected as participants for a two-week burden carrying trial at ITDU Warminster, aiming to test and assess the vulnerability of soldiers carrying varying weights. The trial involved an initial shoot, a timed agility course and a 5k march before then repeating the shoot and agility course, all whilst carrying varying configurations of weight, from 6 to 60kg. Needless to say, a few dark looks were thrown towards the civilian scientist who was complaining about being hot and uncomfortable, whilst walking alongside the men on the march, in cropped trousers and sunglasses!
May was a varied and challenging month for the First Battalion. Over 200 men spent a fantastic week climbing, mountain biking and hill walking in Capel Curig, North Wales, during the Battalion's Adventurous Training camp. Regardless of the usual spectrum of Welsh weather - from a few inches of snow to red-hot sunshine - it was a welcome and well-earned break for all. Climbing proved to be a challenge for those without a head for heights and, working on the principle of "what goes up must come down," the abseiling certainly put a few people out of their comfort zone!
The Battalion have also deployed twice on Ex WESSEX WARRIOR - a pre-deployment/training exercise - for 4 SCOTS and 1 RIFLES. Fusiliers spent 2 weeks acting as; civilian population, insurgents, displaced persons or British Nationals caught up in the conflict. Each man is given a new name and occupation to live by. Seeing 50 Fusiliers kneeling in prayer, led by an Islamic civilian to the accompaniment of the call to prayer is a rather startling sight!
The Battalion were also pleased and honoured to receive a visit from the Colonel-in-Chief, HRH the Duke of Kent. The Duke presented Sgt Maj Ian O'Dea his Long Service and Good Conduct medal before enjoying lunch with the Officers, WOs and SNCOs. He was then introduced to various support weapons systems by an immaculately-camouflaged Sgt Justin "the walking bush" O'Hare, and had the opportunity to chat to members of Y Company after a compound assault demonstration.
During June and July 1RRF will be on exercise for 5 consecutive weeks as 16 Brigade conduct their pre-deployment training.

Hounslow Barracks en route for Celle
On return from OP HERRICK 10, the Battalion conducted a number of Homecoming Parades, received the freedom of a new borough, celebrated Christmas, trained a crew to take part in some very arduous adventure training sailing and started preparing for a return to Public Duties.

On the Battalion's return from Afghanistan all of the Regimental Areas wanted to welcome them home, with homecoming parades in Warwick, Ashington, Morpeth, Newcastle, Bury, Salford, Rochdale and Hounslow. Everywhere the Battalion went people turned out in their thousands waving union flags, cheering and shouting appreciation.

Public Duties
In the Spring the Second Battalion returned to Public Duties, guarding Her Majesty's Palaces and Castles across London.
The climax was the State Opening of Parliament. Each year members of the three services provide honour guards and street lining guards from Buckingham Palace to the Houses of Parliament to provide protection for Her Majesty the Queen. For the second and final time during the Second Battalion's time as Public Duties Battalion it made up the bulk of Sector Two from Horse Guards to Parliament Square.
The Sector was commanded by the Commanding Officer, who along with the Ceremonial Adjutant, Capt Matt O'Hare, would be on horseback. It is not often that Fusilier officers are required to be mounted but with some serious training at Hyde Park Barracks you would never have known.
After a number of rehearsals the Battalion formed up in blazing sunshine and were ready to move off. Once in position with bayonets fixed, swords drawn and Colours Flying the Battalion waited…..and…… waited. Then with a flourish the Queen's escort appeared from Horse Guards arch. The Household Cavalry thundered by. The Queen passed the Fusiliers who were gripped with an immense sense of pride, everyone had their chests pushed out and weapons held out straight in the Royal Salute. Once Her Majesty had passed it was time to play the waiting game again. The temperature began to soar but the Fusiliers stood firm as some of the Navy began to falter and flake.
It will be a sad sight next year when the Fusiliers will no longer be present on Buckingham Palace forecourt, at Windsor castle or on the State Opening of Parliament. The public have become accustomed to seeing the Hackle alongside the Bear Skins of the Guards. The State events will of course be less impressive without Fusiliers, but all Fusiliers will enjoy the thought of the PWRR rehearsing at 0400hrs whilst they are tucked up in bed in Celle

7 members of the Battalion embarked on a Sailing Expedition, Ex TRANSGLOBE. This was a Tri-Service expedition where each Service sails its own yacht around the world, one leg at a time. The Fusiliers on the Army yacht 'Challenger' were given the infamous Southern Ocean leg; Cape Horn and all. They had an incredibly eventful time. The full description of this truly amazing journey can be found at

Posting to Germany
The battalion is preparing for the unit move in July/August. On arrival in Germany the Battalion using the latest version of the BOWMAN radio system, and B and C Company will deploy to BATUS to be the light role companies in 5 RIFLES and QRH Battle Groups respectively.
The Battalion successfully completed a Proving and Confirmation Exercise (PACEX) for the Battalion's communication systems prior to the start of the Command and Information Systems (CIS) Platoons cadre period, and is currently preparing for BOWMAN conversion. All the rifle companies have been conducting low level training to be ready for the battalion level exercises that will be run on arrival in Germany to ensure we are fit for role as SSC BG.

The Battalion is still waiting for the Annual Financial Control Total which will drive the amount of training that can be afforded over the remainder of the year. They were granted permission to press on with the Annual Training Camp in Sennelager, Germany from the 12-26 Jun 10. The training weekends continue to focus on the individual, and in particular shooting and marksmanship skills.
The last drill night before Summer Camp saw the visit of the Battalion's new Honorary Colonel, Lord James Percy, who replaced his brother the Duke of Northumberland in this role on St George's Day. He was briefed by the CO, Adjutant, and RSM on all aspects of the Battalion and they look forward to him visiting regularly in the future.
The Bn currently has eight personnel deployed on Operations:Herrick 12 and Tosca

Op HERRICK 13. (to deploy around Oct 10)
5RRF has eight soldiers due to attend mobilisation training at RTMC on Sat 05 Jun 10 as part of a 4 PARA cohort due to backfill 16X on Op HERRICK 13:
Assuming they all pass the mandatory tests at RTMC they will conduct an intense period of pre-deployment training before joining their Unit still to be confirmed.

Fusilier Gathering 2010 (FG 10)
This year the Fusilier Gathering will be organised by Warwickshire Area Headquarters and is being held over the weekend 18/19 September 2010. The event will commence with a Beating Retreat by the Minden Band at 1830hrs on Saturday 18 September at the Royal Court Hotel Coventry which will be followed by the dinner in the Britannia Suite at approximately 7.30pm. A private bar has been made available to the Regimental Association. The Minden Band will play during the dinner.
The Regimental Service will be held in St Mary's Church Warwick on the morning of 19 September commencing at 1045hrs. Following the service the inspection of the Regimental Association and the First Fusiliers' Guard and Colour Party will take place in Warwick Market Square by the Colonel of the Regiment and Area Colonels. A March Past through Warwick will follow headed by the First Fusiliers' Corps of Drums and the Warwickshire Band. Following the March Past there will be a luncheon in the Guy Nelson Hall at Warwick School from 1245hrs onwards.
A special rate of £70.00 for a double/twin room including bed & breakfast has been negotiated with the Royal Court Hotel. The Regimental Association has been guaranteed 140 rooms on a first-come first-served basis. To date 80 rooms have been pre-booked.
An accommodation booking form is attached at the end of the Fusilier News along with booking forms for the dinner and lunch. Postcode of the Royal Court Hotel is CV7 8JG, for telephone bookings 02476 334171 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 02476 334171 end_of_the_skype_highlighting quote Reference - RRRC1809.
Those seeking further information should phone Warwickshire Headquarters on 01926-491653 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01926-491653 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
I R Liles OBE Brigadier (Retd) Regimental Secretary

Meetings - 3rd Tues of the month
Old White Lion Hotel, 6 Bolton Street Bury BL9 OLQ
Since our last notes a few things have taken place. The Osnabruck Reunion held at the Regimental Club was well attended as always. The Gallipoli Dinner at Radcliffe Civic Hall, in partnership with Bury Council, was a great success, which goes to show how well respected the Fusiliers' Association is in Bury and the surrounding areas. Well done to all those who attended the Dinner and the Gallipoli Parade on the Sunday.
The Regimental Club is now closed but in true Fusilier fashion, it was a night to remember with the last man to leave the club at 0630 hours on Sunday morning due to all the alcohol being consumed. A great many thanks to our Steward of the club, Dave, and his wife Chris, for keeping the club open for the Amir Khan fight with a supply of bacon butties throughout the fight.
Many photos were taken and I'm currently trying to collate them to pass them up to Dennis Laverick to go onto the website. I can say without fear of contradiction it will be an everlasting memory never to be forgotten, and it has been a great privilege to have served with Alan Noble (Vice Chairman) on the Club Committee.
It is with great sadness to report the loss of Wallace Jackson who passed over on 5 November 2009 in Cumbria, another sad loss to the Bury Branch.
Numbers in the Bury Branch are on the rise with new members: Paul Bostock, Peter MacFarlane, Peter Wilcox, Anthony McLoughlin, Richard Burns begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting, Gary Hamer, Peter Brady, William Taylor and more members which were transferred from the Lancashire Central Branch.
We would like to thank all 4 Fusilier Battalions and the Machine Gun Platoon (Bury) for all their support over the last year.
Michael Rae Branch Chairman 15 Battersby Street, Bury BL9 7SG
Email Tel 07932 372213 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 07932 372213 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

Meetings - 1st Thurs of the month at 1 pm
Royal Oak, Manchester Road, Droylsden
At the end of 2009 we moved our meeting place a mere few yards along from the old venue on Manchester Road to the Royal Oak.
We are always looking to improve the number of members and were lucky to add Mr A Gallagher to the ranks a few months ago. We are still keen to have any other interested persons of the regiment to call and see us with a view to a regular participation.
Mr Haigh has relinquished the Secretary's job and I was asked to fill the post as from the March meeting. I will try to do the job as well as he has done.
A book about the Lancashire Fusiliers was donated to the Branch during 2009 and as its relevance to all, we deemed it necessary to advance it to the keeping of the Museum at Bury. Mr Walton, the donor, has passed away and his wife and daughter are pleased to know that it may be of use at the Museum for the benefit of visitors.
A few pleasant hours were spent in the company of members of Broughton House for ex-Servicemen who were our guests for a buffet lunch and a few drinks prior to Christmas.
Mr Alan Stott has temporarily taken over the role of Treasurer owing to Eric Jordon having a few problems. At this moment and fingers crossed, he may resume the position, but his return and wellbeing is urged by all.
The Branch will have a buffet lunch in honour of Gallipoli Valour of past Lancashire personnel. Our minor tribute would have greater enhancement should you or a member from the Headquarters deem it a worthwhile representation
G Peak Secretary

Having got over the Christmas Holidays and New Year celebrations we started to plan for St George/Gallipoli events. The evening proved to be very successful (even the Icelandic Volcano could not stop this event) as plenty came over from the Mainland. Great night had by all.
We will have a quiet Minden event, as members will be on holiday, but those who are here will have a few pints down the Ex-services Club. There will be ongoing events throughout the year.
We are a small group but have a good time and are looking forward to seeing you all at Warwick in September.
Ian Scholes Secretary Northern Ireland Branch


Meetings - 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs,
Rochdale Transport Club, Baron Street, Rochdale

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
These went down very well and all who attended had a very good night although I have noticed the numbers attending are falling off. Will have words with the Committee to see if we can liven things up. Any good ideas, don't be afraid to send them in. We cater for all tastes of music and Martin, Club Steward, and his staff do an excellent buffet with a fine selection of carved meats, Asian dishes and the all-important English dish - chips. So if you wish to have a good Christmas celebration, come and join Rochdale Branch in December 2010 - you're sure to be given a warm welcome.

January 2010
The year started off with snow, hail and rain - one of the coldest and wettest on record - and for the first time on record, we had to cancel the 6 January meeting and postpone it till the following week. The weather wasn't much better then, but at least we were able to have our meeting and get 2010 bump-started. The first job was to get our Ladies' Night, 19 February, up and running, tickets needed selling to make it a success.

February 2010
The month was marred for the Branch when we were informed of the passing of one of our committee members, Brian Birtwistle, (Big Bri), on 2 February. Brian served with 1LF and 1RRF in the 60s and early 70s, and was a well respected member of our Branch who will be sadly missed by all. RIP Brian
On Sunday 7 February we attended the M62 Memorial Service, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the bombing of a Services' coach on the M62 back in the early 70s. This took place on the Hartshead Services (westbound) and was very well attended, despite the bad weather, by some 200 ex-Service men and women on parade.
Our Ladies' Night 2010 was a very pleasant evening and all who attended with their good ladies had a good time. A splendid buffet was laid on by Martin and the girls from the Masonic Hall and we were entertained by a young man called Alex Christy who has a wide repertoire, but specialises in a Michael Buble tribute - definitely one for the Ladies. Recommended.

March/April 2010
Passed very quickly, with the opening of our new museum and the St George's and Gallipoli weekend. Our TA members again deployed for Afghanistan and we wish them all a safe tour and hope to see them all on their return to the UK.

May 2010
This month our thoughts return to planning our Vets' Night at the Royal Toby where our members meet, have an excellent 3 course meal, washed down with a few bottles of wine, and in general have a good old social evening. We have done this since the Government introduced Veterans' Day on 27 June and have voted not to change it, even though the Government changed the title to Armed Forces' Day. I mean what the heck we are all veterans in one form or the other. Minden celebrations in Rochdale are well on the way, and we hope everything goes to plan. I will be bringing you up-to-date in the next newsletter.
Our next pilgrimage is well in the planning stages and this year we are to have a change. We plan to visit some of the WWII battle sites, stopping in Caen and intend to visit the various Normandy Beaches' sites. As usual we are using Clegg and Thorpe Battlefield Tours. I hope Cleggie remembers his passport this time, and picks up the right one - pink for girls and blue or black for us boys Cleggie. I can just see him now double-checking everyone, until we got to Watford Gap Services - the point of return!
Well folks, what is the saying 'Watch this Gap (Space)' - I'll let you know how we get on.

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.

I must confess I can't stop laughing
Since I blooming packed up grafting.
I lay in bed till half past nine,
Don't give a monkeys if the sun don't shine.
Egg and bacon in the pan,
Cholesterol's high - don't give a damn.
Now I've sorted out my belly,
Sit back and watch Fern Britton on the telly.

Then I'm down to the Old Saloon
By which time it's nearly noon.
The Landlord says 'What you after son?'
I say 'A packet of nuts and a pint of lager,
And would you put it on the slate?'
'Which one?' he says 'there's 1,000 and odd
On the Old Saloon roof.'

My Giro is now two days late
He said 'I'm fed up with you, you're a lazy bloody sod.
Why don't you go out and get yourself a job.'
'There's no need to be like that' I quote
'Otherwise I'll take my custom elsewhere.'

So I ate my nuts and drank my beer
He didn't like me, he made that clear.
I'll see him same time tomorrow
By which time I should have received my giro.
Then I made my way to the supermarket,
Wandered around with my wire basket,
Helped myself to a grape or two,
Some monkey nuts from Kathmandu.

I really fancied something tasty,
Like caviar wrapped up in pastry.
But I must get something for my tea,
Like buy one, get one free.
Nothing seemed to catch my eye,
So I finished up with an old pork pie.
When I got home it was half past three
My plates of meat were killing me.
Have a fag and forty winks
Wake up for the Weakest Link and gruesome Annie.

I had my pie and which took some chewing
Then all my thoughts turned to wooing.
So I got myself on the internet
Haven't had any luck as yet.
Some of the birds are best forgotten
They're like Hattie Jaques or poor old Dot Cotton
One sent me a photo, she looked greattttt
But that was taken in 68

Think I ought to get to bed
I've got a busy day ahead
I must confess I can't stop laughing
Since I blooming stopped grafting

Well done Geoff - keep them coming

Meetings - 1st Mon in the month
Pendleton Royal British Legion
The Salford Branch is now up and running with new faces showing up at every meeting.
Our prime objective at this time is to raise enough funds to purchase our own Standard. We are getting there, and so far have had 2 fundraising events, both being Race Nights. We are not there yet, and all the lads are working hard to hopefully make this happen for November. With this in mind could I ask the other Branches to consider giving us a donation towards our fund. We will also be glad of any information as to where we can purchase the Standard.
Our next fundraiser will be a 60s Night at Pendleton RBL on 2 September 2010 at 7.30 pm. It should be a good do with the promise of a curry supper. All welcome.
Hope to see you all at Minden.
Omnia Audax - P Flannery Chairman Salford Branch

Our inaugural meeting was held in the Joiners Arms on Tue 2 March 2010 and 14 D Coy members attended. John Kershaw came from Formby, Colin Pearson from Skelmersdale, both made the effort and we thank them for it. Doug Spencer did not come as he said it was too far to come from Cleveland, Ohio. He was always good at excuses.
We are slowly building up membership, 16 at the present time. The meetings are held on the 1st. Tuesday of the month at the Joiners Arms, Cross St, Middleton, all are welcome. At our last meeting we had a visit from Joe Dean who came all the way from Stone in Staffordshire. Thanks Joe.
Stan Howes still has a few VC Plates, No. 20 Plate will be auctioned on Minden Sunday at Gigg Lane - the proceeds will go into D Coy funds which at the present time are reasonably healthy. A Race Night is being organised at the Joiners in October, proceeds again into Coy funds.

We are sorry to see the end of the Club. I myself feel it should have closed about 20 years ago when it was a proper Regimental Club making a decent profit, instead of a social club only opening about four days a week and a Regimental Club six days a year. It's an absolute travesty that on the final night no tickets were made available to the various branches. Many people have complained bitterly to me about this, Salford, Shiny D and others.
In the 1970s Scottish and Newcastle refused to deliver beer unless the draymen received cash on delivery for it, this was due to the debt the club had with them, it also had a debt with Thwaites but they delivered. Jim Brackley tried to get the books from RHQ so he could do an audit, but RHQ would not give them to him. After weeks of asking they told him the books were "lost", and he should form a committee to run the club. This was done and within two years the debts (which by the way were well over ten thousand pounds, the extent of this was not known on taking over) had been paid off, the club completely refurbished throughout, and we had money in the bank. The only two one armed bandits in the world to lose money started making a profit. (We changed the locks).
When I left the committee the bank account had about fifty thousand pounds in it, yes 50,000. The question I am being asked by some old members is where has it gone? Well where has it gone? There are only four surviving members of that committee left, three of them were in the club on Gallipoli Sunday the other lives abroad. Even they did not qualify for the last night!!!

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.
I do not know if other branches have been as fortunate as Shiny D in finding an alternative place to the club to meet, ours is very good. Everything 100%, landlord, beer, prices, and on Tuesdays very quiet, that is until we get in.
Do not forget Shiny D LANCASHIRE DAY IS 27TH November. Red Roses to be worn, best boots and gaiters, rifle slings to be carried.


The Band and Corps of Drums have both been very active since the last report for the 2009 July Edition of the Newsletter. The highlight of 2009 was clearly the opening of our New Fusilier Museum by our Colonel in Chief Field Marshal HRH the Duke of Kent KG on Friday 25 September. The Band and Drums had the pleasure of once again joining up with our allied Canadian Regiment, The Lorne Scots, by the way of representatives of their Pipes and Drums who had made the journey to support us on this auspicious occasion.
The joint band and drums entertained the public in Kay Gardens and Gallipoli Gardens to a fine display of military music in keeping with the occasion and the traditions of the regiment. It was during the feature in Gallipoli Gardens that HRH took the opportunity to both listen to the music provided and talk to the musicians individually. We feel sure he was impressed and did actually congratulate all as volunteers for their efforts on behalf of the regiment. It should be noted how fortunate we were to have played for HRH, who was accompanied by the Colonel of the Regiment Brigadier T J Minter OBE DL, together with the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester Warren Smith and our Colonel Lancashire B M Gorski MBE.
Both Band and Drums, together with the Lorne Scots Pipes and Drums, played an equally important part in the 'Fusilier Gathering' which was held over the same weekend. Music was provided during the Saturday evening Association Dinner, culminating in both band and pipes playing together in a splendid finale and ending with that great selection 'Highland Cathedral' so much loved by the Lancashire Chairman Captain John O'Grady begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting and Colonel Iain Cartwright and we are sure many others.
Sunday saw the Lorne Scots providing incidental music for the Inspection of the Association in the TA Centre and the Corps of Drums leading the parade to the Bury Parish Church, whilst the band provided the music in the church during the service conducted by our Regimental Chaplain (Lancashire) The Rev J Findon. Following the service both band corps of drums and the pipes and drums lead the parade to the Town Hall Elizabethan Suite, the salute being taken outside the Fusilier Museum and adjacent to the Memorial.
In September the band played in Priory Park, Malvern, Worcs, where in excess of 500 turned out to witness this spectacular event. Malvern is the home of our Musical Director Mike Thomas and from where he left to become a junior bandsman. This was the 4th visit to Priory Park and it will most definitely not be the last by the reputation we have for providing good music. Fusiliers once served in the town's barracks so it is not unusual that we should return to maintain the link. Both Band and Corps of Drums were in attendance at the usual Festivals of Remembrance in Rochdale and Oldham and completed the year with the Annual Christmas Fayre at Broughton House, Home for Military Ex-Service Personnel in Salford.
In February 2010 the band recorded their second CD entitled 'On Show' featuring 16 tracks of well loved music - now on sale at £10.00 or £11.00 inc p/p.
For Gallipoli 2010 there was a change of venue for the Association Dinner which took place in Radcliffe Civic Suite and was run in conjunction with a Civic St George's Dinner. The band provided music for the dinner culminating in a wonderful display by the Corps of Drums demonstrating their talents under UV lighting.
The Corps of Drums have independently entertained both regimental members and organizations at many venues throughout the North West over the last twelve months - Corporate Events in the Imperial Hotel Blackpool, weddings, High Sheriffs Ball, 1940s War Weekends and many more during evenings and weekends. They perform with precision their now famous 'Black Light' Show resplendent in their uniforms and only visible by the emission of a UV light against the total darkness.
As this report is compiled, both Band and Corps of Drums have just completed the privilege of leading the now famous Bury Lions' Carnival enjoyed by well over 20.000 people and a truly wonderful occasion for the town and the regiment.
So, until the next time.
Yours Aye
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Eric Davidson MBE DL President

LAST POST Issue 56 July 2010

Brian Birtwistle
2 Feb 2010
Aged 62
(Big Brian) Ex 1LF A Coy & Assault Pioneers, then served with 1RRF, served in Hong Kong, Malaysia, N Ireland, BAOR and Gibraltar. Member of Rochdale Branch

Antony Bunn
8 Apr 2010
Aged 65
Served with 3RRF 1939-72 in MT, and A Company

Kenneth Burcher
22 Nov 2008
Aged 69
Ex 1LF served in Cyprus and Germany.
Letter received from his wife informing us of his death

Charles Michael Burnell
29 May 2010
Ex 2LF

Thomas Chapman
10 Jan 2010
No other details

Frank Cotham
1 July 2010
1LF. Frank was one of founder members of St Helens Branch and Treasurer for many years. RIP Frank
George Crosswaite
Jan 2010
Ex LF Dunkirk Veteran, ex member of Bury branch

Bernie Diver
29 Mar 2010
Served with 1 & 3RRF

John Dolan
7 May 2010
Ex B Company 3RRF

John Guy
30 Jan 2010
Aged 55
Ex 2RRF SNCO with the mortar platoon

Wallace Jackson
5 Nov 2009
Former LF. Died in Cumbria
George Leeman
late Feb 2010
Served with 2LF 1952-55 as pay clerk in HQ Coy, he lived in Australia. Member of Trieste Branch

Dave Penny
1 Mar 2010
Served with 1LF & 3RRF

Ron Proctor
May 2010
Ex 1RRF, served for 37 years

Maurice Riley
29 Nov 2009
Aged 62 Served in 1LF, 3RRF, and 1 Royal Anglians. Sorry for late entry but no records of service for the January Newsletter

Tom Stewart
30 Apr 2010

Served with 2LF B coy 1953-55. Member of Trieste branch
Cpl Brian White
late Nov 2009

Frank Williams
Nov 2008
Ex LF served in Burma (lived in Australia). His wife informed us of his death

Tug Wilson
24 Apr 2010
Ex 2RRF MT Sgt

Roy Woods
6 June 2010
Member of Trieste Branch



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John O'Grady begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
Tel 01457 868759 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01457 868759 end_of_the_skype_highlighting


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please contact
Steven Fitt
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News Sheet
Edition 55
Jan 2010


President: Col B M Gorski Chairman: Capt J O’Grady
Secretary: Mr S Fitt Treasurer: Major J Hindshaw TD DL

Editorial Comment – Capt.David G.Hoyle (Ret'd)
The Second Fusiliers in Afghanistan must have been in all Fusiliers' thoughts since the last edition. The battalion's monthly email news has been sent to people on the RHQ email list but so that those not on the list may read about some real soldiering, extracts from “MUSA QAL'EH MAIL” replace “Regimental Jottings” in this edition. The extracts give a flavour of the campaign in Afghanistan fought by our Fusiliers. Homecoming parades welcomed 2RRF back from Afghanistan in Rochdale, Bury, Salford and Swinton on 30th November and 1st December.

The Regimental Association offers our sympathy to the families and friends, and honours the service of:-

Fus. P. Suesue Killed in action on 22nd May 2009

Cpl J. Etchells Killed in action on 19 July 2009

Sgt S.A.Valentine Killed in Action on 15th August 2009

L Cpl J Fullarton Killed in Action on 16th August 2009

Fus S. Annis Killed in Action on 16th August 2009

Fus L.M.Carter Killed in Action on 16th August 2009

Fus S.M.Bush Died 25th August in Selly Oak following injuries on 15th August

‘We Will Remember Them’

Capt (Ret'd) D G Hoyle ---

Chairman's Report – Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)
The Association in Lancashire has had a very busy year. I am pleased to report that the targets I set out for my committee have now almost been reached - we now have a complete updated list of members, most of whom are now paying their subscriptions by direct debit which allows far better financial forecasts to be produced and records maintained far more efficiently. We have, as a team, a little way to go yet but by March of 2010 we should be there.
The Memorial Service of the M62 families took place in February at the Hartshead Service Station, and it was a wonderful occasion for the families and the fantastic turnout by all Fusiliers rounded off a very memorable day. Brigade Commander 42 Bde Brigadier Bill Aldridge CBE was in attendance and many thanks must go to Mr Alan Noble for his organization and to the Sheldon Branch for taking the trouble to travel to Lancashire. Thirty-nine Standards were present, and how smart they looked in the snow,and the families of all those connected with that dreadful day appreciated the support given by the Regiment during their time of grief.

Gallipoli Weekend was to follow, and what a cracker it turned out to be, beginning with an excellent Sunday morning Church service followed by the best turn out of Association members that has been seen in Bury for many a year, where the salute was taken by the Colonel Lancashire Colonel B.M Gorski MBE.

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.
Sunday 2 August began with an excellent presentation of the Battle of Minden by Lt-Col Tony Coutts-Britton and judging from the appreciation given to him by all members, they enjoyed it very much. We hope to see him back next year speaking on the Battle of Spion Kop. In the afternoon the Association Members formed up in the courtyard to formally march out of the Old Regimental Headquarters for the last time. Colonel Lancashire laid a wreath and took the salute but due to illness Colonel Lloyd-Jones OBE (last CO of the Depot Lancashire Fusiliers) could not be with us to share in this very sad moment in time. We then boarded a double-decker bus to Bury Town Centre for the Drum Head Service to celebrate the landing of the Regimental Headquarters in its new location within the Museum. The service was taken by The Rev Hugh Bearn, and his 10 year old son Freddie played the bagpipes, a perfect end to a marvelous weekend.

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.
September was going to be Lancashire’s busiest time of the year and it got off to a flying start with a good turnout for the 10th year celebration of the “Life for a Life”, which was held at Manchester Grammar School. In attendance were the Band and Drums of the Association Lancashire.
The tragedies that were to be bestowed upon our 2nd Battalion followed next and the saddest moment, we have, as a family, suffered for many a year. However, regardless of the bad news, every member of the Association and Regiment who made the effort to attend the respective services should feel very proud of themselves - you are all a credit to your cap badge. Well done.
The biggest event to be held in Lancashire was the Gathering of the Fusilier Family. It would appear that all of the members who attended had a very good weekend. There was an excellent atmosphere at the Dinner and the parade on the Sunday saw a good number of Fusiliers on Parade from all of our Regimental Areas. The Colonel of the Regiment took the salute accompanied by all of the Area Colonels and, as always, good to see Brigadier Bill Aldridge Commander 42 Brigade North West District.
It was a great pleasure to be able to welcome to Lancashire our affiliated Regiment The Lorne Scots and its Regimental band of the Pipes and Drums. I cannot remember, at any time, whereby we have had under one roof so many of the Regiment (32 in all) and in conjunction with our excellent Association Band, they brought a lot to the party with their rendering of that famous piece of music - The Highland Cathedral - which will be remembered by all those present at the Dinner.
To be surrounded by a first eleven as I have in Lancashire, it is a privilege to serve alongside such people and as Chairman I cannot speak too highly of them all. My sincere congratulations go to Mr Alan Noble and Mr Ron Owen on their awards of the Regimental Certificates and Medals for outstanding work within the Association;
to Major Brian Bath for his outstanding help in putting the Fusilier Gathering together; Mr Dennis Laverick for his continued excellent work on the Association Lancashire Website; Mr Phil Horner our new Welfare Officer for Lancashire ex WO2 from 2RRF; Mr Steve Fitt our Association Secretary for all of his commitment of three days a week at the Association Office; last but not least to all of the Branch Secretaries who do a great deal of hard work for me and the Association. We are in good order, long may it last, and to all of them and their families may I wish them all a very happy, holy and a peaceful Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
John O’Grady, Chairman, RRF Regimental Association, Lancashire.

Extracts from MUSA QAL'EH MAIL –
Newspaper of 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
OP Herrick 10 (April to October 2009)
Editor: Colour Sergeant Mark Duckett, 2RRF

Extract from Issue 5 - August edition
Commanding Officer’s Introduction
Since the last edition of this Newsletter one 24 hour period on 15-16 August has overshadowed everything else. It was a bitter blow to lose so many fine soldiers in such a short period of time. The heartfelt condolences of all in the Battalion go to the families of Sgt Valentine, LCpl Fullarton, Fus Annis and Fus Carter. On the same day we also heard in Musa Qal?eh the tragic news that Pte Hunt of A Coy 2 R WELSH had also died of wounds. It was then another set back a few days later to learn that Fus Bush had not been able to survive the severe wounds that he had sustained. The only piece of good news is that Fus James has regained consciousness in Selly Oak and has retained his sight. Rest assured that everyone out here is working hard to the end of the tour to give some meaning to the heavy price that has been paid.
Life in Musa Qal?eh has been busy throughout August. The main achievement was the successful conclusion of Op MAR LEWE 2 which placed ISAF and ANSF on much better ground in the South of the AO. Whilst relatively little enemy activity took place on the day of the operation, we were nonetheless fortunate not to sustain any casualties to some very close indirect fire. In addition in the days following the operation the new patrol bases were put under significant pressure from insurgent attacks. This only came to a halt following a very successful ANSF led, and ISAF supported, operation which cut off the enemy's escape routes and led to a number of enemy fighters being either killed or arrested.
The election proved to be particularly busy in Musa Qal?eh with the insurgents making an all out attempt to disrupt the process. This involved significant intimidation of the population and the use of a large amount of indirect and direct fire on the Election Day. Most of the fire was directed at ISAF locations. Whilst this made for a particularly uncomfortable time for some, particularly those at Roshan Tower, the centre of Musa Qal?eh remained relatively secure. The proof in the pudding was that over 9000 votes were cast in Musa Qal?eh, albeit there is considerable evidence that this figure is higher than the actual number of votes cast. A Coy in Nolay have also achieved some notable successes in the last month. Particular highlights have been the clearance by them of 31 IEDs in one day which has to be a record in the history of the British Army. In addition the insurgents have had it far from their own way as A Coy have identified on a number of occasions enemy forces laying IEDs which has led to engagements with a variety of
weapon systems. Perhaps the biggest achievement for A Coy this month has been the establishment of a new joint ANA/ISAF patrol base on a critical choke point leading into the Green Zone.
As I write Helmand in general has quietened down, largely on account of the onset of Ramadan. Those who are fasting are finding the experience particularly difficult given that Ramadan has started this year before the end of Summer. Much planning activity is now focussing on the end of tour but everyone is more than aware of the difference that one 24 hour period can make between now and leaving theatre.

Extracts from Issue 6 - September edition
Commanding Officer’s Introduction
Generally Helmand has been fairly quiet over the last few weeks due to Ramadan. However, there has still been a fair amount of activity in Musa Qal?eh. B Company in the North have had a couple of fairly fierce contacts with the insurgents, either as a meeting engagement on patrol, or attacks on the base itself. In addition they were also able to conduct a cordon and search of a group of compounds to their front which provoked a rapid and ferocious response from the enemy. Luckily in all these engagements B Company have come off much the better and have inflicted serious casualties on the enemy with no friendly forces wounded, less an ANA soldier who managed to shoot himself in the thigh. In the South A Company 2 R WELSH have been busy conducting a number of search operations but have also been able to observe the enemy either moving into position or laying IEDs. This has enabled them to engage the insurgents to good effect with both direct and indirect fire.
A Company have again had a busy time of it. Of particular note they have been involved in 2 air assault operations. The first of which went spectacularly wrong from the start when the Chinook crashed on landing. A Company found themselves unexpectedly left in charge of a very expensive helicopter which subsequently had to be denied after becoming the focus of the enemy?s attention. The Company were also the recipient of a donkey borne IED which detonated just outside their new Patrol Base. This has obviously prompted a spate of black soldier humour, but actually the incident highlighted the ingenuity and brazen opportunism of the insurgents.
Across Helmand the festival of Eid passed off extremely quietly, unlike previous years. This was a great relief to the population as Eid is their equivalent of Christmas, which takes place at the end of the fasting of the month of Ramadan. It was a great sight to see the population all clearly enjoying themselves, dressed up in new clothes and relishing the festive mood. As a small token of goodwill we distributed food parcels to the needy people of Musa Qal?eh and also to the locals who work in the camp.
As I write the Relief in Place is in full swing with many of our successors now arriving ready for the handover. Whilst thoughts inevitably start to turn to home we are all determined to ensure that those arriving in our place are given the best possible start, so that they can continue the good work done during Herrick 10. Only once we are all back in Hounslow will we be able to reflect on the successes and also the darker moments of the tour.

A Company Group (FOB Nolay, Sangin)
This month has also seen our first donkey-borne IED (children look away now). In what can only be a measure of increasing desperation, the insurgents attempted to utilize a stolen donkey as a bomb carrier during an attack against PB Hanjar. Fortunately for us,
although less so for the animal itself, the deadly cargo fell off well short of the intended target and got tangled up in its legs, whereupon the poor creature sat down on the device. The resulting explosion rattled the doors at FOB Nolay, some 900 metres away, and reduced the status of the four-legged fiend from ?just add hay? to “home assembly required?. While outwardly amusing, the incident serves as a useful reminder that we face an inventive enemy, and we have taken a number of steps to prevent another attack on similar lines during the last weeks of the tour. Having seen off Eeyore, the troops are now watching out for exploding owls, kangaroos, piglets (unlikely, but you never know) and yellow bears dangling under balloons.

B Company Group (Woqab)
Election Day in Musa Qal'eh was a very important and very busy day for all. WOQAB saw enemy efforts to use mortars to attack the local nationals and ourselves. 7 Platoon established a VCP close to 1 of the Polling Stations throughout a very hot day and heard reports from locals of enemy intimidation to attempt to prevent voting. Despite this brave voters did make their way from the frontline area down to vote as well as those from the safer areas in the centre.
Ramadan has been an interesting cultural experience for all and a constraint to our operations. With the ANA, ANP, and our interpreters all unable to drink or eat during daylight hours we ran shorter patrols and sought to dominate our local area in the dense maize which is now generally over 6 feet high and much is 8ft. There are also large fields of marijuana plants which has led to many cries of 'show me your pockets' by NCOs. Once Ramadan ended we were treated to sharing Eid with the locals. Eid is essentially a 3 day holiday similar to Christmas with presents and sparkling hand made clothes for children and celebrations. Our ANA and ANP respectfully requested permission to fire their weapons in celebration from their compound roof. With some careful constraints they were allowed to but we had not necessarily expected them to fire quite as much ammo as they did! The local children have been very happy with gifts from their families, we offered Dates to Mosques during Ramadan but didn't quite fit in with our camouflage during Eid – the locals had sparkle everywhere including on ANP AK47s. I suspect that the CSM might have at least raised an eyebrow if that had been attempted by members of B Coy Gp!

C Company Group (Influence Group)
This has been another busy month for C Company. The Afghan Elections on 20th August were followed by Ramadan which, although a relatively quiet period for the locals and the Afghan National Security Forces, saw no let up in the pace of life for us. The patrol programme has been, if anything, more intense and has included some fairly large scale Company excursions. 10 Platoon also enjoyed a short „holiday? at HIMAL OP (see separate article by OC 10 Platoon, Lt Nick Beavitt). As I write, the festival of Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan is drawing to a close. Time will tell, but I suspect that once the Afghans have got over their Christmas and Boxing Day equivalent, we may see some acceleration in enemy activity.
Election Day in Musa Qal?eh was certainly livelier than many of us had anticipated. In what amounts to a childish and petulant temper tantrum, the enemy spent the day hurling as much direct and indirect fire as they could in the general direction of ISAF and ANSF Patrol Bases, especially ROSHAN Tower and WOQAB, and the DC itself. Thankfully, despite their best efforts and some close calls, there were no serious injuries; at least not
on our side! Voter turnout was reasonable, given the circumstances, and compared very favourably with the other districts in Helmand Province. C Company spent much of the day escorting the Battle Group?s two International Observers to and from Polling Stations, and liaising with the ANP over the developing security situation.

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)
2RRF inherited ROSHAN TOWER as a part of the Battle Group (North West) (BG(NW)) lay down from 2RGR in late March 09. The Tower had been a pivotal location during the Gurkha?s tenure, and it proved to be an extremely busy one during the Fusiliers?.
ROSHAN is a Fire Support Group (FSG) location in the northern sector of BG(NW), which itself centres around the sizable Helmand town of Musa Qal'eh. ROSHAN is positioned level with B Coy Gp?s Patrol Base (PB) WOQAB, and together they form the two most northern bases in the 2RRF Area of Operations (AO). Built to house a mobile
phone mast, ROSHAN was created by the Arab telecommunications network of the same name. Much of the original infrastructure remains in place as seized by the PWRR during HERRICK 8. It has held a dominant position over the Musa Qal'eh Wadi ever since, and is a natural and extremely effective fire support and surveillance location because of its elevation and superb fields of view.

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.
We were privileged enough to be on the receiving end of several unpleasant former Soviet block weapons, RPGs the most numerous, anti-aircraft heavy machine guns and automatic grenade launchers the most memorable. There have been many remarkable contacts, but a ROSHAN favourite unravelled when in the small hours, a large group of insurgents mounted an attack on the Tower from multiple firing points. Unfortunately for the insurgents, they had unwisely chosen to use tracer ammunition, a distinct advantage to the HMG and SF gunners. More importantly the attack coincided to the minute with the chance over flight of a fully armed and fuelled USMC Apache gunship, flown by a gifted pilot and crewed by an accurate and highly enthusiastic gunner. With ROSHAN?s anti-tank gunners giving a target indication (“watch my Javelin”!) it was a fairly one sided engagement, and the last night attack we saw for a considerable time.

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 claustrophobic, with
numerous soldiers having spent the vast majority of their six (seven?) months on the same 70m x 40m of terrain, with the same faces for company. Most importantly ROSHAN had a high profile with local Afghans as an ISAF location, and as a result the ramifications of an error during a contact would have been enormous. Delivering the accurate engagement of insurgents and fire support to friendly troops, whilst ensuring that there were no civilian casualties or collateral structural, was a demanding reality.

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 grow,
Beside the rivers which sluggish flow,
That quench the dust, and feed this land
For which brave Tommy gives a hand.
With stoutest heart, and seldom low
Though progress oft seems so dreadful slow
He will defeat all Afghans' foe.
So they may play, work or stand
- In Helmand's fields.
It is for you, who watch the soldiers go
That we recount the story that all must know,
Of the service of your faithful band,
Who take up the fight in Afghan sand.
Our daily duty, the seeds we sow
- In Helmand's fields.
After John McRea?s In Flanders Fields

Lancashire HQ RRF, Moss Street, Bury BL9 0DF Telephone number: 0161 763 8969

email addresses:

New email address for Lt Col M J Glover TD Area Secretary Lancs.:

Tony Sprason, Research Officer:

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.

Fusilier Monument.
On Sunday 27 September, the restored Fusilier Monument, which now sits outside the museum, was unveiled by Viscount Ridley, the grandson of Lutyens the architect. A considerable amount of time and effort has gone into the restoration including 300 hours of work with gold leaf. The Monument now looks magnificent and it is fair to say that it has not been seen in this state since1922 when it was first unveiled. All those who saw the Monument over the Fusilier Gathering Weekend agreed that the conservation work is outstanding and its place in the Gallipoli Garden is entirely appropriate.

Fusilier Gathering.
The Fusilier Gathering held in Lancashire was well attended with some 270 sitting down to the Association Dinner at the Village Hotel in Bury on the Saturday night. The inclusion of a party from the Lorne Scots including their Pipes added a great deal to the occasion and gave the weekend an international flavour. As is usual, the march through Bury after the Sunday Church Service received terrific support from the people of the town. This was a truly excellent weekend and thanks go to John O’Grady and Brian Bath for organizing such a memorable event.

The Fusilier Museum Bury

The Fusilier Museum is now operational and has attracted over 6,000 visitors since the soft opening at the end of June. This is equivalent to the combined visitor figures at Wellington Barracks from 2005 to 2007 inclusive. Even the Fusilier Monument is now in a position where it can be admired by the young and old of Bury on a daily basis. The future for the museum includes developing access to the Research Collection and providing a service to the Regiment by building up the RRF Collection.
New material continues to arrive. A particularly interesting recent donation has been a large decorated memorial board from Rochdale. The memorial was originally located in the Two Ships Hotel, Queen Street, Rochdale and commemorated all those who used to frequent the pub and went on to serve. It also records those who gave their lives. The memorial remained in the Two Ships from the end of the First World War till 2003 when the pub closed and was in danger of becoming derelict. The memorial was saved by Captain the Lord Havering who purchased the pub in order to secure the future of this
impressive memorial. In the short term there was nowhere to display it in Rochdale and it consequently went into storage in Yorkshire! The board will now be displayed in the Normandy Room adjacent to the Rochdale Honours Board
Exhibition on 2RRF in Afghanistan. It is the intention of the Museum curator to open a temporary exhibition based on 2RRF‘s tour in Afghanistan. The opening date is 22 March 2010 and will rely mainly on 2 RRF personnel providing most of the exhibits.
Friends of the Museum. A Friends group has reformed to reflect the new museum. This is an important non-Regimental group who have an interest in supporting the heritage of the Lancashire Fusiliers, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the building. Looking to the future all those members of the regiment, past and present, who are interested in preserving their heritage should seriously think about supporting the Friends.
Community Spaces. The effort to raise funds does not stop and the Friends in collaboration with the Council have received a Stage 1 Pass from Community Spaces for a grant to develop a small patch of ground that is to be incorporated into the Gallipoli Garden. The intention is to landscape the ground and incorporate an outdoor education area to enable school groups to benefit from the garden and the Fusilier Monument.

Past Personalities of XX The Lancashire Fusiliers

Lt Col Stanley (Kitna ) Price OBE. ED NOTE:Stanley Price was RSM of 1LF in India 1946/7. Legend says that amongst many other tales he charged an RAF pilot for low flying over a Battalion Parade. He ordered the Assault Pioneers to uproot the Flagpole on the Residency at Lucknow where the Union Flag had flown continuously since the 1857 Mutiny. I was there in 2000 and I saw the hole where the flag pole was! His last Official contact with the Battalion was as CO of the Transit Camp at Devizes when 1LF flew to Cyprus in 1966. I saw a living legend!
At 1000 hrs on the 7th September 2009, a group of Lancashire Fusiliers and the daughter of a decorated Lancashire Fusilier came together at a tiny cemetery in Sturminster Newton, Dorset. It had taken the web site team almost 2 years to track down the last resting place of Kitna Price and to organize the renovation of his gravestone,culminating in a visit to pay their personal respects and to convey the respectful sentiments of LFs from around the world.

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 had died.
The current owners were away, but a charming couple who lived next door agreed to give us what they knew about the events of 1982, including the latest address they had in the USA for Mrs Billy Price who had remarried. The team will now try and communicate with her. We feel that Kitna has had the proper send off he should have been accorded in 1982 and that our duty to him has been carried out.

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
In 1948 a group of Lancashire Fusilier Officers and Francis (Frank) Jefferson VC went to Jefferson's old school in Ulverston, Cumbria, and presented a silver cup suitably engraved with his details.
Joe Eastwood contacted the school, now known as the UVHS and discovered that although the cup was still presented annually, it was badly in need of refurbishment. A fund raising appeal was launched and due to the generosity of the LF web site supporters and members of the extended Jefferson family, the target was quickly reached.
The cup was refurbished and on the 11th of March 2009, Joe Eastwood, Dennis Laverick and Geoff Pycroft , together with a large number of the Jefferson family attended the presentation of The Jefferson VC trophy to this years winner, a fine young man named Simon Collins.
An Aunt of Frank Jefferson who used to baby sit him recalled how one day she tipped him out of his pram by accident into the local canal, so we almost did not have our only WW2 VC winner !
As a bonus to the special day,the school had been given a picture of the very first presentation in 1948, which clearly showed that the cup once had a lid. The school initiated a search in the archives and found it !

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.
Use this link:
where it is fully reported (speakers on,there is a personal account of how he won the VC in Frank's own words)

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

Omnia Audax
Joe Eastwood.


Last issue I wrote about a fusilier who had an adverse effect on explosives - they did not perform as they should do. I don’t know why. My mother couldn’t wear a wristwatch - it would always stop after a few minutes and she said it was the electricity in her body.
Perhaps this was why Inergas, 3.5” rocket launchers and 36 grenades failed to work properly when Fus Boulton handled them.

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, RE’s 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 I’ve 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!
At the same camp, we had an RSM who was a bit of a martinet - no that’s not strictly true, he was a lot of a martinet and pompous with it. It was the last day of the exercise and everyone was clearing up. At the top of a field was a canvas windbreak surrounding a thunderbox which needed to be taken down. The RSM had seen this and shouted out “Cpl Noon dismantle the toilet and take it away”. Cpl Noon replied “But Sir” only to be cut short with the words “Don’t ‘but Sir’ me, just get it done”. “Yes Sir right away” was the reply. After briefing his men in whispers they quietly approached the canvas screen, picked it up at one go and ran down the hill with it. A loud bellow made the RSM turn around, to his horror he saw the Colonel sitting on the box, pants around the ankles. As Cpl Noon passed the RSM he said “That’s what I was trying to tell you Sir, the CO was having a crap”.


Editor'sNote D Company 5LF Branch is welcomed as a fully paid up Branch of the Association to be known as Shiney D

Some of D Coy went over to Gallipoli this year to lay a wreath on the Memorial and also to visit ‘W Beach’. Jim Worrall was the organizer and Tony Tootill took many photographs, some of which may be seen on the D Coy Website.

Edinburgh Tattoo
Five of D Coy went to the Tattoo and again this was organized by Jim. The hotel was situated 65 miles away from the Tattoo in Kilmarnock - I think the person at Ledger Travel must have failed miserably in their geography exams. Well worth a visit and much better than the TV version. The RAF Regt’s little cameo of extracting a casualty under fire went very well, that is until they were doing the unload off the arena. Oh dear accidental discharge, thankfully only blanks. I wonder what the punishment is for that these days?

Leeds Armoury
Three of D Coy took a trip to Leeds Armoury. Very interesting and well worth a visit, it takes nearly all day to see in detail, and unlike our own museum in Bury it’s FREE.

I do not know if you are aware but should you buy a box of Lancashire Teabags, the manufacturers make a donation to SSAFA.

Whilst I am on about Lancashire, do you know the county boundary has not changed? It’s 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 it’s 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.

Race Night
D Coy travelled to the RBL Club, Pendleton to support Salford Branch in their effort to raise funds for the newly reformed branch. A good time was had by all and a few winners as well. It was noted that we were the only fusiliers outside the Salford lads to support the event. Well done Shiny D.

Cap Badges
When I was in the army in the 50s onward, all English and Welsh Regiments wore their cap badges 1” above the left eye, except of course the LFs who wore their patch and hackle over the left temple. Can anyone inform me why various regiments including our own have started to wear their badges over the left temple. At the Fusilier Gathering, the Association members on parade all wore theirs over the left eye. Why and when the changes?
Colin Fletcher


Meetings –
1st Tuesday in the month, Chadderton Reform Club, Middleton Road, Oldham

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!).
We wish a happy Christmas and new year to all our members.
Thank you – once a fusilier, always a fusilier.


Meetings –
1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs, Rochdale Transport Club, Baron Street, Rochdale

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.
Our Minden Ball held on 25 July 2009 at the Masonic Buildings, Rochdale, was also a great success, where everyone enjoyed themselves, listening and dancing to the Eddie Hilton Quartet. Major Garside (the Gaffer) commented that it was nice to see Eddie back
in Rochdale after so long - he had not seen him since the old Carlton days. Who’s showing their age then now? (Back to the late Fifties). Sorry Sir.

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 Cleggie’s costly mistake
In most circles of the Association, it is well know that Rochdale Branch has an annual pilgrimage (jolly) to France and Belgium visiting the WW1 cemeteries. Well this year we decided to stay in Arras and visit the famous tunnels. Everything was organised for 11 October using Clegg and Thorpe Battlefield Tours. We were to travel overnight down to Dover and catch an early morning ferry - everything went to plan although the pick-up times went a bit out of sync. As everyone was picked up, up went the cry ‘have you got your passport?’ I distinctly remember Cleggie shouting to the OC in the middle of the street, ‘has he got his passport and has he got his money?’

As I said everything was going like clockwork – although I don’t know whose clock - Cleggie’s or Truely’s! 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 – I’ve 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 ‘I’ve picked up the B!!!!y wife’s. (Hillary is the Secretary). Now, this is four in the morning – what do we do? Hillary is at home tucked up in bed and Cleggie’s on the Watford Gap Services with her passport. Decision-time – do we leave Cleggie at Watford and carry on – no that’s 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 Hillary’s 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
Crewe to Watford Gap 92 miles
Back to Rochdale 142 miles
Rochdale to Dover 301 miles

The new Peter Glegg.

A costly mistake, remember this Cleggie. It’s pink for girls and blue/black for us boys (that’s passport covers) or in this day and age whatever you fancy, as long as you pick up the RIGHT passport.
Well we arrived in Arras at about 1800 hrs on Sunday 12 October, having taken a later ferry. This was just in time to drop the suitcases off in the hotel rooms, get a quick wash and a scrape and do a quick recce of the town centre to find an eating and watering hole – remember this was a Sunday evening. I cannot remember the bar where we ate, but I do know that everything came with French fries. The bar we settle in that night was Paddy’s Bar ( tricolours and all) – trust the Fusiliers, if you get my drift, it was like being back in Armagh. I don’t know if it was the traveling or the warm Killkenny, but I think we all slept well that night.

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 earth’s 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
night, after a long day’s travel up and down the byways of France, it was decided by the powers that be that we should hold a regimental dinner after all. The venue was the Eurostar Bar-cum-caf?(a French McDonalds). Just across the way from the hotel, this had become the local watering hole. The bar made its money that week as night after night it was kept open by the troops wanting ‘after time’. It showed, as the bar ran out of several brands of ale. The dinner went down well and the bar staff did us proud. The chef really knew how to cook the steaks, no-one complained (I don’t think they dared as he was one BIG Frenchman), and all this washed down with a good French wine. A good night was had by all, even the resident bar flies, that Ralph became a dab-hand at swatting (‘Ten with One Blow’ came to mind by Hans Christian Anderson).

On Friday we set off at a reasonable time to catch the midday ferry. It’s 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 Thorpe’s Battlefield Tours, but one thing that baffles me and the others is Truely’s 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, I’m there in name and spirit – 2 Marine Cadets and 1 Fusilier Cadet is not bad, and there’s 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 Mayor’s 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, Queen’s Shilling included (do they still do that these days? A good day was had by all apart from the angina – looks like I’m sidelined.
At the present time, as a Branch, we are awaiting the 2nd Battalion’s homecoming march through Rochdale on 30 November. WELCOME HOME LADS from all the members of Rochdale Branch. God bless and God keep you all safe always.

Another event we are all looking forward to is our Christmas Celebrations at the Masonic Buildings in Rochdale. It’s 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.

Omnia Audax

Elwin Pickup, Secretary, Rochdale Branch

Secretary – Ian Scholes

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 George’s 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,
He hoped his boots were shining,just as brightly as his brass.
“Step forward now you soldier,how shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true? “

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,”No Lord I guess I aint,
cause those of us who carry guns, can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays, and at times my talk was tough,
and at times, I have been violent cause the world is awfully rough.
But I never took a penny Lord, that wasn't mine to keep,
though I worked a lot of overtime when the bills got too steep,
and I never passed a cry for help, though at times, I shook with fear,
and at times God forgive me, I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place among the people here.
They never wanted me around, except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here Lord, it needn't be so grand.
In life I didn't expect too much, so if you don't, I understand.”

There was silence all around the throne,where the saints had often trod,
as the soldier waited quietly for the judgement of his God.
“Step forward now brave soldier, you've borne your burden well
walk peacefully in heavens streets ,you've served your time in hell.”

Submitted by Alan Noble
They haven't a clue:- They haven't a clue
What it is to do
Your duty for Her Shilling,
They don't know why
A man will die
With a smile and still be willing,
To fight to the end
To help his friend,
While the Westminster pigs are swilling
Cash from the trough
With a diffident cough,
While the soldiers brave are dying.
? David G. Hoyle 2009

Owen McCarthy passed away on New Year’s Eve 2008 .He served with the South Lancashire Regiment before transfer to 2nd Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers. He served in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, Monte Casino and Austria. He was awarded MM and Bar. Owen was a founder member of the Droylesden Branch.

Harry Timms. Died 26th August 2009 Served B Company 2nd Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers 1952 - 1955

Bill Dalton. Died at home 4th Sept 2009 aged 93. 10th Bn Lancashire Fusiliers Burma. Read Bill Dalton's story at

George Langhorne. Died October 2009 Served Support Company 2nd Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers 1952 – 1955

Fus. P. Suesue Killed in action on 22nd May 2009

Cpl J. Etchells Killed in action on 19 July 2009

Sgt S.A.Valentine Killed in Action on 15th August 2009

L Cpl J Fullarton Killed in Action on 16th August 2009

Fus S. Annis Killed in Action on 16th August 2009

Fus L.M.Carter Killed in Action on 16th August 2009

Fus S.M.Bush Died 25th August in Selly Oak following injuries on 15th August

‘We Will Remember Them’


News Sheet
Edition 54
Jun 2009


President: Col B M Gorski
Chairman: Capt J O'Grady
Secretary: Mr S Fitt
Treasurer: Major J Hindshaw TD DL

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 ---

Letter from the Chairman - Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)

Regimental Association Lancashire Awards:
The Regimental Certificate and Medal have been awarded to:

Mr Alan Noble (Oldham Branch) Mr Ron Owen (Oldham Branch)

These awards will be presented at the Fusilier Gathering in September 2009

General Report:
I am very pleased to be able to report that the Association is in good order and its membership growing by the minute. Due to the excellent work done by Ron Owen and Dennis Laverick over the past 12 months, we can now justifiably state what our correct numbers are as at April 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 2009.
The M62 memorial service was the main event in February, masterminded by Mr Alan Noble. There was an excellent turnout by the Association which enabled 38 standards to be on parade and this was commented on by 42 Bde Comd Brig Bill Aldridge CBE as an outstanding effort by the Association Lancashire.

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)

Association Secretary's Notes

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
members if you move address please notify your Branch, or if you are Central Branch let the Association Office know. Many thanks to Ron Owen for his outstanding work on the Membership spread sheets
Steven Fitt
Association Secretary
Fusilier Petero Suesue 2RRF
An extract from the newsletter from the Second Fusiliers in Afghanistan
"The Commanding Officer on behalf of all 2RRF personnel serving in Afghanistan and back at home would like to extend his sincere condolences on the tragic death of Fus Petero Suesue A Coy FSG.
He was killed in action north of FOB Nolay near Sangin on 22 May 09 while campaigning to bring peace. He was every inch the professional infantry soldier, universally respected and liked throughout the Battalion. It is a small comfort to know that he died doing the job that he loved, amongst his friends, at the front, and in the face of the enemy.
Fus Suesue of A Coy FSG was killed whilst on patrol near Sangin on 22 May 09. Members of 2 RRF Battlegroup paid their respects to the late Fus Petero Suesue at Musa Qal?eh during the sunset vigil service.
The Commanding Officer said "2RRF have paid a heavy price with the death in combat of Fusilier Petero Suesue."
Fusilier Suesue was flown back to Britain on 29 May 09. His funeral took place in his native Fiji on 9 June 09. Major Gareth Boyd represented the Regiment (he was Fus Suesue's Company Commander for 2 years) and a bearer party from 2 RRF assisted with the burial. On Sunday 31 May, a Memorial Service was held at the Church of The Good Shepherd in Hounslow. Over 500 attended the Service including The Fijian Deputy High Commissioner, The Mayor of Hounslow and the Colonel of The Regiment. A large contingent of Fijians from all over the UK also attended, including a group of five ex-servicemen who were amongst the first batch of Fijians to join the British Army in 1961. Our thoughts and prayers remain with Fusilier Suesue, his wife Emma and his family.

A Soldiers poem - In memory of Fus Petero Suesue
by LCpl Wez Tokalau 2RRF
Dear Lord -I pray to thee -That my soul -You please keep.
Tell my folks - In this foreign land - I tried my hardest - I did my best!
Please tell them - Not to grieve - For this soldier - Now peacefully sleeps.
This harsh climate - The rugged terrain - I fought with friends - This dreadful campaign
Brothers in arms - By my side - We endured on - Day and night.
They play the post - And lower the flag - What was once alive -Now laid to rest.
A father's tears - A widow's grief - For this soldier - Now peacefully sleeps.
News from RHQ HM Tower of London

Edited from the monthly Fusilier News emails.

After post TELIC tour leave First Fusiliers began the year with preparation for the move to Tidworth and to start operating as the Land Warfare Centre Battlegroup. A week of gunnery at Sennelager was followed by two weeks of field training.
The move to Tidworth later in the year will be different from every other move in that, under Future Infantry Structures, this will be the Battalion's final move to a permanent home. The advent of Whole Fleet Management requires 3 Companies to share 1 Company's vehicle allocation for 4 days each.

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
The Battalion's focus during June has been the Board of Officers and final preparation for the Unit Move. This has all run smoothly thanks to the hard work and application of all sub-units. The Pre-Advanced Party are now beginning their takeover of equipment and accounts in Tidworth.
Simultaneously, the Rifle Companies have been finishing final maintenance work on the Warrior fleet and garages, which will be handed-over to 3 MERCIAN in July. As usual a variety of cadres have continued apace in the background, and everyone has been working away at their MATTs to remove another requirement from the already busy training programme at LWC.
W Company completed an enjoyable exercise in Haltern which encompassed both blank and live firing, complete with an integrated Coy attack. Their Bravo, Mullah "Rocky" Kahn, was successfully captured - and bore a striking resemblance to Sgt Wright, their boxing coach!
Tuesday 23 June saw the much-anticipated Commanding Officer's Challenge. This event was the only part of the Inter-Company Competition that was a complete secret to everyone, other than the CO and the APTCI, SSgt Foley. Having assembled his normal Command Group at 0800, it soon became clear that this event was to be a Warrior pulling competition.
The Companies were to field 20 men with four reserves each, with the combined team weight being capped at 1700kg - it was to be a game for the young and thin as well as the old and bold.
After a couple of false starts, the sheer difficulty of the task was evident. With all 20 men on the rope, however the 26 Tons of Warrior AFV were being swiftly hauled across the cobbles of the tank park as the remainder of the companies cheered enthusiastically.

2 RRF.

The Battalion returned to work in 2009 ready for three months of intensive training prior to deployment on Op Herrick 10. Training began with mission specific live firing at Lydd ranges, which allowed all of the weapon systems being used out in theatre to be fired.
After the training period the Battalion returned to Hounslow and took part in community initiatives in the local area. This involved the Battalion running a Junior Leadership Programme; three days of military led activities for thirty 14-16 year old children from the local schools. The three day package, a joint initiative with Hounslow Borough Council proved to be a great success for all those that took part and more are planned for when the Battalion returns from Afghanistan.

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
Second Fusiliers began St George's day in traditional fashion. They were woken by drums played by the Drum Major, WO2 John Pugh, from Salford, and then received a shot of 'gunfire' served by the officers.
Following that more than 100 Fusiliers took part in a church service. Within hours the same Fusiliers were out patrolling the area around Musa Qaleh.

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
Lt. Col Charlie Calder's
introduction to the June Edition of the 2RRF news paper MUSA QAL'EH MAIL

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 has
been to stabilise the village. This has required effort on a number of different lines of activity from engaging the Insurgents to sorting out compensation claims for damage to compounds that occurred as much as a year ago. Elsewhere in the North of Musa Qala B Coy and Roshan Tower have been subjected to frequent attacks from enemy direct and indirect fire. Thus far we have been able to deal with these attacks robustly, causing attrition to the enemy with little damage to us. A Coy in FOB Nolay have again been busy and are making real in roads into improving security, and understanding the needs of the local population. I am glad to report that all the casualties sustained by A Coy this month are recovering well with no indication as yet of any long term problems. Finally this month I would like to pay tribute to the great work being done by everyone back on Rear Party who are doing so much to ensure that we can concentrate on the job in hand out here. In particular I would like to single out the events committee who have worked so hard and given freely of their time to make the various families activities such a success.

The Rear Party
The Rear Party report that the past few months have been very busy, with the ladies going out on organised trips to the West End to see We Will Rock You and also a Night at The Dogs. The regular Sunday lunches have been a great success with upwards of 200 people attending. The Last lunch was attended by the Mayor of Hounslow and a few Local Councillors. Last weekend witnessed the annual TW4 carnival where the welfare team dressed up as super heroes with the UWO as Ali G
The families are looking forward to the halfway Sunday lunch this weekend and the occasion is being marked with a fete and fair. Hounslow Council will attend to present the children with a cheque for £500 for a day trip to Thorpe Park later this month. Emma Suesue is back from Fiji and will be joining presenting a cheque for £1315 for Help the Heroes, this was the money collected at and after the memorial service for her Husband, Fusilier Pat Suesue. The children will be presenting a Cheque to The Defence Medical Welfare Services, Selly Oak hospital for the money they raised for the Bouncy-athon.
5 RRF.
The 5th Battalion main effort has been focused on Pre-deployment Training for what is called the HQ ISAF DELTA Platoon, this is the infantry element of the HQ ISAF Force Protection Group. The Platoon is entirely 5RRF personnel and deployed on 9 Feb to Kabul with a total strength of 1 + 32. The Platoon has got over 60 patrols under their belt in the first 3 months and several difficult incidents to deal with. 18 other members of 5RRF have been on active service so far this year.
The Annual Camp will be in Kenya from 22 Oct to 5 Nov.

From 6th July edition of RRF News
The Commanding Officer and RSM are currently in Afghanistan visiting the platoon from 5 RRF who are the ISAF force protection platoon at HQ ISAF in Kabul. The platoon IS due to complete its tour in August 09.
The Battalion shooting team had their two week shooting camp culminating with a strong performance at Bisley with the team coming third overall; a commendable result.
A (Fusilier) Company 4 MERCIAN
In recognition of the fact that A (Fusilier) Company are the only company in 4 Mercian to reach or exceed its manning levels, the Coy has been given permission to form an additional Rifle Platoon.

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
In the first 6 months of 2009 the following amounts have were paid out in grants to both former and some serving members of the Regimental family and their dependents:

110 Aid Society Grants: £41,834
On behalf of the Lancashire Fusiliers: £6,274
On behalf of the Army Benevolent Fund: £8,658
A total of £56,766 with a predicted spend for 2009 of well in excess of £100,000.

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: or by phone: civ: 01913755190 and mil: 947213627.

Information on the web:-
MoD web-site that it gives operational coverage:

Blog by Jonny Gwynne, 5RRF,:

I R Liles OBE
Brigadier (Retd)
Regimental Secretary

New contact details are: Lancashire HQ RRF, Moss Street, Bury BL9 0DF
New Telephone number: 0161 763 8969

email addresses:
Lt Col M J Glover TD Area Secretary Lancs.:
Tony Sprason, Research Officer:

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.
The parade concluded with a presentation of the Regimental Certificate to Tom Bailey of the Rochdale Branch. Guided tours of the new museum and Headquarters ended the day.

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.

In addition to the RRF and LF Galleries the museum opened with two temporary displays. One is portraits from hand painted miniatures to "happy snaps," while the other was on the Regiment in Northern Ireland. This was particularly well received with the general comment that it is frightening to think that this is now history! An exhibition focusing on 2RRF in Afghanistan will replace this.
Click here to see all the photos taken on the day

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:-
Saturday 27 June, Armed Forces Day. Museum open to public five days a week
Saturday 26 September, Association Dinner Dance, Bury
Sunday 27 September, Association Parade, Church Service, March Past and Luncheon in Town Hall. Followed by guided tour of Museum and AHQ.
Following, the Official Opening on Friday 25 September the day before the Fusilier Gathering the museum will be open a full seven days.

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.
The Colonel of the Regiment and Area Colonels hope that all serving and former officers and soldiers will make every effort to attend.

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
Nelson's time were built, and the rope walk - the longest in the world - where you can participate in actually making a hemp rope, must be a priority. Shipmate Spider Kelly and a certain Fusilier officer had great fun turning the rope walk handles and were very impressed with the piece of rope produced!

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.
Last year I took my wife and camper van into the Peak District for a few days. The last site we visited was one near Leek. On arrival the site looked strangely familiar, until the penny dropped! It was the old Blackdown Moor Army Camp which had been taken over by the Caravan Club. Gone were the old spiders and nissen huts and in their place were ornamental trees and shrubs, a beautifully laid out site with a spotless shower and toilet block. According to the warden the only things left were some small ammo huts.

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 fast bowler.
Driving back from the ranges looking for a place for lunch, it was a case of "do you remember……….etc". ---- One Sunday early in the morning about 25 fusiliers in single
file breasted a small hillock. At the bottom on the other side was the rear of a parked car at the end of a track. As the first soldier passed the car he tapped on the roof and said "Good morning" to the occupants, after that everyone tapped the roof and made a remark such as "what a well-matched pair" "you are a big boy, I didn`t know freckles grew down there" etc etc. When the last soldier passed he noticed a completely naked young girl trying to hide behind a shirt, its arms across her chest and lap between the legs, and face as red as a beetroot, whilst a young man was trying with great difficulty to put his pants on. What was going on was obviously a Peak District religious ceremony. For some reason we never met them again on a Sunday morning.

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
inside and out, striker test done on them all, ready for throwing the following day. Everyone threw two grenades - every grenade went off except one which had to be blown. I will not tell you who threw that one!

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.
Question. How can you tell a Yorkshire man? Answer. He only breathes in! (Sorry Ed!)


1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs,Rochdale Transport Club, Baron Street, Rochdale

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)
or do you think I could claim it on my expenses (someone pick Cleggie up please). Well here goes - I'll bring you up to date with what has been happening at Rochdale Branch since I last wrote.

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
office in his busy life, but as always has put the Fusilier Association first. So well done Tom on your presentation.

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

When I heard that the Bury Branch was on the verge of closure because we didn't have a full-time Chairman in situ, I took on the position in October 2008 with the support of Capt John O'Grady (retd). I have not been disappointed by the challenge.

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.

Michael Rae
Branch Chairman
15 Battersby Street, Bury BL9 7SG

Email Tel 07932 372213

Members of the St Helens and Wigan Branch, myself included, attended a controversial wreath-laying ceremony on 30 May to remember Wigan soldiers killed during a key Boer War battle. The event however was overshadowed by the alleged 'veil of secrecy' thrown
over the service by Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust (WLCT) who controls the park where the memorial is situated and who ordered it not to be published.

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
34 Windermere Avenue, Moss Bank, St Helens WA11 7AF Tel 01744 892335

The Branch thanks all who supported at Steve (Carts) Carter's funeral in June, particularly the pall bearers and those who provided items for the funeral.
The branch continually aims to increase RRF membership and to provide a Fusilier Association presence in Oldham, especially as the town has 10 others. We hope the 5th December Christmas function at Stockport will be well attended.

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 cherish our committee, MR RAFFLE -Tony Harrop deserves a mention, on his determination to raffle a framed signed shirt , from HRH, we are dying to know the amount collected for the various ex service charities,and of course our fusilier Queen Andrea Wray, who always marches with us. As for Ronnie & Nobby everybody's still trying to work out which bit they are working for today!
We also thank 1RRF for the provision of Fusilier Alec Ross, Z Coy to raise the flag on Armed Forces Day in Oldham. Our Branch contributions to Armed Forces day 2009 are
1. The refurbishment and presentation of the 24th (Oldham Pals) Battalion to Oldham Church
2. A new M62 plaque fitted to the wall leading to the Oldham War Memorial.
3. The unveiling of a memorial to the campaigns from 1945 to the present day.

We hope to see you all soon at any of the forthcoming events:-
24th July Osnabruck Reunion Regimental Club
2nd Aug. Minden March out, Wellington Barracks, Bury. Battle of Minden presentation.
7th to 9th Aug.Saddleworth War Weekend (Uppermill) Parade and RAF flypast Sun. 9th .
12th Aug. 18.00 hrs. Far East POW Oldham War Memorial.
10th Sept. 10th Anniversary "Life for a life" Charity Concert Manchester Grammar School
12th Sept. Strinesdale Warriors Rest 11.00hrs
20th Sept. Battle of Britain Sunday
25th to 27th Sept. The Fusilier Gathering
6th Nov. 18.00hrs Queen Elizabeth Hall Festival of Remembrance
8th Nov. Remembrance Sunday
11th Nov. Armistice Day 11/11/09
5th Dec. Oldham Party

Wishing everyone well. Once a fusilier always a fusilier. Oldham Branch

Lieutenant Colonel (Ret'd) Eric Davidson MBE DL President

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
September here on home ground. Should anyone be interested in our events they can be found on the Association Band and Drum website.

As the new museum is now open in central Bury the chairman and committee wait in anticipation of Defence land estates decision on when we close? The committee bash on regardless. Like all pubs and clubs week nights are dead , so our financial controller Pat Fitzgerald, will review opening.
Thursdays to Saturdays are OK but Sunday to Wednesday may not be worthwhile, however private functions keep things ticking over. We look forward to Osnabruck evening, and Minden. Remember just ask the committee if you want a private function. Give Dave the club steward a phone call.
We intend to keep going as long as we can , as the club is still is an asset to the local community. If you live in the Bury area get in there for a drink or two. The committee Tony Alderton, Mick Rea , Colin and Ray,Pat Fitzgerald,Bert (Simon Cowell) Norman our MC ,Dave and Alan and our lady fund raisers, wives and partners, wish everyone well. Keep coming we are still here.

A Soldier - His prayer
A competition was announced in the Christmas 1942 edition of the 'Crusader', the Eighth Army's newspaper, for poems actually written in the Western Desert. Four hundred and three poems were submitted but the one below was anonymous. It was found on a scrap of paper in a slit trench during the battle of El Agheila during a heavy bombardment.

Stay with me, God. The night is dark,
The night is cold; my little spark
Of courage dies. The night is long;
Be with me, God, and make me strong.

I love a game. I love a fight.
I hate the dark; I love the light.
I love my child; I love my wife.
I am no coward. I love life.

Life with it's change of mood and shade.
I want to live. I'm not afraid,
But me and mine are hard to part;
Oh, unknown God, lift up my heart.

You stilled the waters at Dunkirk
And saved Your Servants. All your work
Is wonderful, dear God. You strode
Before us down that dreadful road.

We were alone, and hope had fled;
We loved our country and our dead,
And could not shame them; so we stayed
The course, and were not much afraid

Dear God, that nightmare road! And then
That sea! We got there - we were men.
My eyes were blind, my feet were torn,
My soul sang like a bird at dawn!

I knew that Death is but a door.
I knew what we were fighting for;
Peace for the kids, our brothers freed
A kinder world, a cleaner breed.

I'm but the son my mother bore
A simple man, and nothing more.
But God of strength and gentleness,
Be pleased to make me nothing less.

Help me, O God when Death is near
To mock the haggard face of fear,
That when I fall - if fall I must -
My soul may triumph in the dust.

Archivist Roy Woods

Robert (Bob) Ashford ex WO2 served with 2 RRF, passed away June 2009 in South Wales

Derek Taylor: Former member of 5RRF and Rochdale Branch passed away aged 53 years old in September 2008.

Steve Carter served 3 RRF staunch member of the battalion Boxing team died June 2009 buried in Leamington Spa 16th June 2009, aged 51

Edward (Teddy or Smudger) Smith, ex 1 LF & Para. Aged 81 he died peacefully in hospital with his family at his bedside on the 25th June 2009 He served as a boy soldier in 1943 in Wales and joined the Lancashire Fusiliers, then joined the Paras. He served in Palestine 1947-1948 and Korea with the Paras. He then went back to the Lancashire Fusiliers. He was a member of the Oldham Branch, from its formation in Dec 1994.

Jack Duggan. Mortar Platoon 1LF National Service 1959-61. Passed away aged 70 on 5th June 2009 at home in St Helens

Mike Riley 1st Battalion XX The Lancashire Fusiliers 1958 to 1968 died 5th March 2009 a leading light of the Liverpool branch.

Bernard Hall ex 1 LF died in 2005, informed by letter from Mrs Janet Hall 1st July 2009
William (Danny) Daniels joined 1LF 1966, 4RRF in Hong Kong. Passed away 21st December 2008

John Duncan Smith ex 1 LF

John Starr Passed away 23 May 2009 Served 15 years. 1RRF. MT section. Northern Ireland and UN service in Cyprus.

Frank Thornber Lancashire Fusiliers 1950 to 1962 Korean War veteran.

Sergeant Graham Thomas 24053180 Passed away 22nd June 2009. Served 27 years with 1RRF and 2RRF Mentioned in despatches Northern Ireland.

David Stuart Armstrong. 1LF and 5LF, passed away on 24th November 2008

Brian Hallawell (Tiny) 23205635 passed away on Saturday 16th May 2009. Brian served with 1LF and 4RRF from 1963 to 1970

Elizabeth Cross honours families of fallen troops
Her Majesty The Queen has given her name to a new form of recognition for the families of British Service personnel killed while serving their country. The Elizabeth Cross and memorial scroll signed by Her Majesty are to be awarded to the relatives of Her Majesty's Forces personnel killed on active service. It will be available to the families of those who died in all conflicts on operations or as a result of terrorism since 1948, including the Korean War, the Falklands conflict and operations in Northern Ireland.
Families of those Service personnel who have died since 1948 are invited to read the information on the MOD Medal Office website
which includes information on the eligibility criteria and how to apply. Information and an application form can also be obtained by calling 0800 085 3600.

News Sheet
Edition 53
Jan 2009



President: Col B M Gorski

Chairman: Capt J O’Grady

Secretary: Mr S Fitt

Treasurer: Major J Hindshaw TD DL

Events Secretary:

Editorial Comment – Capt.David G.Hoyle (Ret'd)

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?

Thanks to Joe Warden for writing his story, there must be a few more of us with something to add to our history please put pen to paper or rather finger to keyboard and send in your story.

I am sure that everyone will join with the Chairman in thanking John Scotson for the work that he has done for the Regimental Association in Lancashire during the past eight years and wish him well as he redirects his voluntary work for the Regiment by helping in the Museum.

Thanks to Dennis Laverick for his website work, do use the links below:-

Letter from the Chairman – Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)

Since taking the chair in May of this year our main emphasis has been to get as many members as possible linked to the website, which has been superbly set up by our website manager Mr Dennis Laverick, ably assisted by Mr Ron Owen secretary of the Oldham Branch, it has links to all of our Regimental areas. It is also hope that by the end of this year all of our members will be paying their subscriptions by direct debit, allowing the Treasurer to project more accurate financial forecasts.

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 Secretary’s Notes

In October 2008 I had to send out a letter to all members of a local branch to try and stop the branch from folding, (the branch needed a new Chairman & Secretary) normally this HQ does not interfere in the running of branches, but I felt something had to be done as this particular branch has over thirty members on the books. I had the feeling that nobody could be bothered and the attitude was it’s ok someone else will do it, and that was the feeling I had when I attended the meeting at the end of the month. Gentlemen this is not the attitude to take, as luck would have it someone came forward (thank you to that person) but the situation should not have been allowed to get so far. We have lost several members this year, but there are new members out there, when you meet someone and they say they were a Fusilier get them to join the Association. So far this year I have passed on details of 10 people to branches.

Steven Fitt

Association Secretary.

E-Mail Addresses

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:

Linsay Walsh Chief Clerk:

Tony Sprason Research Officer

General Enquiries same as Chief Clerk

Capt D G Hoyle Editor News Sheet:

Anything you wish to go on the association web site

Association Web Master:


Display of the Fusiliers in Northern Ireland in our new Museum
Helen Castle, the curator for the new RRF Museum in Bury, is now actively seeking papers, documents, maps, op orders and display artefacts which she can use for the first of our featured display areas within the new museum, due to open on 25 April. Such items might be loaned or gifted to the Museum, but the search is now on to receive whatever might be available.
Please either send documents to Lt Col Mike Glover, AHQ RRF Lancashire, Wellington Barracks, Bury, BL8 2PL,
or, Phone him on 0161764 2208 to arrange for someone to collect what you might have to offeor fax or email to 0161763 9512 or to indicate what you might have.


News from RHQ HM Tower of London

First Fusiliers

In October, the Colonel-in-Chief and the Colonel of the Regiment, Brig Trevor Minter, together visited 1RRF in Basra.
What follows is an extract from Birmingham's Sunday Mercury newspaper which gives a good insight into the situation in Basra and the job done by the Fusiliers of 1RRF Battlegroup.

Heartache and hope in Basra
Oct 18 2008 by Tony Larner, Sunday Mercury
HELL on earth is how some have come to know Basra but for hundreds of Midlands soldiers it has been home for the last four months.

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 isn’t the Basra that was ravaged by murders, kidnappings, suicide bombs and mortars just eight months ago.
Things have changed dramatically since the Iraqi-led ‘‘Charge of the Knights’’ campaign saw Moqtada-al-Sadr’s militia driven out of the city.

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.
For one cycle they are put on 15 minutes notice to be sent out into contact with the enemy.
And for up to six hours at a time the soldiers must be prepared for any eventuality from supporting a military unit who have come under fire in downtown Basra, to helping a vehicle that has broken down in the desert. Rarely are they needed, such is the improved security and stability in southern Iraq now.

But nearly a month ago the troops had to deal with every soldier’s worst nightmare.
An American Chinook helicopter crashed not far from their base after a mechanical failure. It was obvious this was a serious incident that would involve heavy casualties.

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 it’s not quite so bad.

“I was in Basra when we entered the country and took over the city.
“Back then we were living out of our Warrior vehicles, sleeping rough, and having to dodge bullets left right and centre.

“This tour has been much better – much quieter.
“We haven’t been in any firefights in four months and there are very few rockets fired at the base now.”
The change is testament to the work of the First Fusiliers. One of their main duties is patrolling the marshland around the base so that insurgents cannot fire rockets aimed at their living quarters.

Now, when soldiers go into the villages they are greeted by smiling children.
Snipers, who patrol the area frequently, become familiar faces to the locals who are often pleased to see the Fusiliers, as they have come to represent security and safety from the once strong militias.But it is not all smiles and happiness.
Fus Thorne, married with a seven-year-old daughter, added: “You still see children struggling to survive and desperate for water and food. It’s heartbreaking, especially as a father myself.

“But there is not much we can do as individual soldiers.
“We are not supposed to give them anything because we are supposed to be helping them stand on their own two feet.
“If we keep giving them hand-outs then they will just come to rely on us.
“We just have to try and remember the bigger picture and the way the Iraqi government is trying to support its people.”
Watch the Basra video diaries of Birmingham Mail reporter Paul Bradley by visiting

First Fusiliers handed over command of the Strike Battle Group in Basra to 5 RIFLES BG on Monday 1 December. The CO and Adjt should be back in their rather colder North Germany offices in Lumsden Barracks on Thursday. Thursday is also the day that the last Fusilier from 1RRF should be clear of Iraq.

1RRF Medals Parade
The Colonel of the Regiment and the Regimental Secretary were privileged to present the Iraq Campaign Medals to some 150 members of First Fusiliers Strike Battle Group in a parade in Lumsden Barracks, Fallingbostel on the return from Iraq. It was quite an emotional occasion as it coincided with Lt Col Paul Nanson’s handing over of command after 3 years. It was also the first time that a Brigade, in this case 7 Armoured Brigade, had completed a 6 month TELIC tour of duty in Iraq without a fatality. The Battalion is now on 6 weeks of well-deserved leave and will reform at the end of January under command of Lt Col Jim Landon.

Second Fusiliers

The Second Fusiliers have completed a highly credit worthy period of Public Duties carrying out some 50 Guard Mounts in addition to the State Opening of Parliament and Freedom Parades in London and Birmingham. Needless to say their operational fitness has in no way suffered as serious exercises on the Salisbury Plain and Stanford Training Area have honed their military skills.

2RRF Operational Tour
Second Fusiliers who were expecting a tour in Iraq next year have now been officially stood to for a 6 month tour in Afghanistan, deploying in March.

Regimental Secretary
I hand over as Regimental Secretary to Brig (Retd) Ian Liles at the end of the year so, after Christmas leave, when we (you!) reform on Monday 5 January he will be in the chair. This is therefore my last Fusilier News and I take the opportunity to record just what a pleasure it has been to serve in this post, seeking to help the Regiment over the last 12 years. The position allows one access to so many people connected to the Regiment, young and old, serving and retired, cadets and Long Service List. It is a privilege to be able to link in with so many.

Jolyon Willans
Regimental Secretary
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers


Dear Sir

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.

When daylight came, the Buffs took over from us and we returned down the hill to the side of Bronte not in the town centre. All the time Jerry was using their six barrelled mortars (the "Moaning Minis"). The road out of Bronte went through a tunnel under the hill we had taken. The tunnel was being used as a dressing station by the medics, as a shelter by the civilians. We were on a narrow path on the side of the hill. Then it happened – one of those things that hit you the most! A little lad was running to the tunnel when a mortar landed near him. I won't go into details, but there was nothing we could do for him.

Afterwards we went back up the hill and we were told to dig slit trenches as we were in reserve. I had just finished my slit and put some hay at the bottom from a nearby stack when a runner came from HQ Coy to tell me to report to HQ.

When I got there two other members of the company were already there. Bear in mind, we had been up all night! I thought it was a joke, but far from it. We were told nobody knew where the American front line was and we had to go and find the Yanks and get the griff. All we were told was "somewhere in that direction". So Corporal Archie Horton, Fusilier Bemrose and me, Lance Corporal Warden, went off to find the Yanks at 10.00 am. After quite some time, trying to look like hump back peasants, we came across a copse of trees and we were in a dried up culvert. We saw movement. As Coy HQ hadn't given us any field glasses, we had to get closer, but we were lucky – the culvert went towards the copse. It turned out to be a German supply dump which meant we were behind their front line! So back we went the way we came, not very happy by this time. We were in doubt whether we would find the Yanks.

Well into the afternoon we were wondering which way to go when by chance in the distance we saw a truck. Yanks' trucks had a big white star on the side but being so far away and with no field glasses, we couldn’t tell so we took a chance, got to the road and went the same way as the truck. We seemed to be on a wild goose chase and then Jerry did us a favour. They started shelling in front of us – a long way in front but coming towards us. With expectations high, we went toward the shelling and lucky us, we came to a dried up culvert which went under the road. We heard voices coming from down there. Bemrose and I got grenades out of our pouches, him on one side, me on the other. I looked over the side and a Yank shouted me to come down! I can honestly say I have never been treated better – they treated us like long lost brothers when we said we were 8th Army!

They were engineers and took us to their officer, a Major who carried on the welcome. Archie told him what we were here for. He said he'd take us to their HQ, but before that he asked if we'd like a drink. He asked for our water bottles and told a GI to fill them with wine. Finally, we got in a flat-back Jeep, me and Bemrose in the back, Archie in the front with the Major. On the floor of the Jeep there were two big green apples and a load of almond nuts. We finally got to their HQ and Archie went with the Major into a tent, Bemrose and I leant against an olive tree. As we had not eaten any food since the night before we decided to have one of the apples when the Major came out and said "Enjoyed the apples boys?", smiling thank God.

We went back to the engineers camp and still got the same treatment as before. Archie wanted to start on the way back with the Griff, but the Major talked him into having a meal which was far superior than what we were used to. After the meal, it was starting to get dark. The Major said why not wait till morning, to which Bemrose and I said "Yes!". So it was agreed. The lent us razors and towels so we could look something like. We had left our small packs in the slits we had dug that morning! They gave us sleeping bags – sheer luxury. As soon as I hit the sack I was asleep. Next morning, they fed us breakfast – 5 star treatment. When we were ready to set off back, the major said "Why not stay with us, we are three men short". It was very tempting, but we obviously said thanks but no. The Yanks were fantastic, they wished us good luck and a safe return to our unit.

They say a good soldier never looks back. Don’t believe it – looking back at different objects got us back to the same hill where we dug our slit trenches. We recovered our small packs, but there was no company. But there was a battery of 25 pounders who were there to support out battalion who were attacking the town of Randazo that night - Oh lucky us. We found the company after a while and reported to HQ. The first person we saw was CSM Danny O'Connell. He said "F'ing hell, I never expected to see you three again!". If he only knew how nearly right he was – but not for the reasons he thought!

By the time we got back we had missed our big packs with the clean clobber as they had been sent back as we were not there. Danny said he would see we got a mention, but it never happened. Incidentally, the Canadians cut across our front and took Randazo.

Corporal Archie Horton was later killed in Italy, I don't know about Bemrose.

But I am here to tell the tale.

Joe Warden - Omnia Audax



As we had such a good time in London last year, it was decided to repeat it.

`D` Coy old and wrinkled met up at Piccadilly station Manchester, 7 regular travellers plus 4 new ones. Colin Needham, Trevor Noone and John Deakin, who has now recovered enough from his illness to travel with us, and John`s batman Tim Kelly “Top Cat”. Tim is an ex L.F. plus ex R.M.P Redcap over 60 are considered house trained so he was very welcome.

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.


After breakfast we had arranged to go to the Chelsea Hospital to see our old friends again, but this time not for the tour of the hospital, just meet some of our old friends from last year in their mess.

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.

Back to the Union Jack Club for dinner. The dinner was delayed for some 4 of us, we had to wait for Jim. He had lost his false teeth. They were found later that day under his bed. Stan`s teeth are still not right, anything harder than rice pudding is a problem.

Observations so far

The Gurkha has not shown up, obviously this is because Ronnie Wilkinson was not with us. The Gurkha is obviously his bearer.

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


Nothing had been planned in advance so a few us said a trip on the river would be good. A boat trip to Greenwich was decided upon. Up the river passed many interesting sights. The oldest one way street in the world – Traitor`s Gate into the tower was one, passed the Prospect of Whitby pub, and Canary Wharf and on to Greenwich for a look around and a snack. On the boat we were adopted by a young lady, she obviously thought she had stumbled upon the cast of “Last of the Summer Wine”. Her knowledge about the river and area was extensive. She explained how the area had changed in the last 10 years, in all a very nice and knowledgeable person. We did not have time for a visit to the Maritime Museum, that was put on the back burner until a later date.

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?

Observations on the day

Always go to the bar yourself, do not entrust your money to others – it will cost you. Beware of people who buy rounds of drinks for themselves. Also Martin always takes home souvenirs, shovels, bits of tanks from France, and an Iron Cross from London last year. What had he got this time? Nothing was reported missing from the museum, and the boat still had its propeller. Maybe we will find out one day.


The last day. After breakfast pack up and meet in the foyer. When all present and correct taxi’s would be ordered. All assembled but taxis could not be ordered as Leslie Welch the Memory Man, had mislaid his camera and glasses. These he eventually found, probably under the bed next to his teeth. Old habits die hard with Jim. Taxi’s to Euston and onto the train. Stan did use the toilet and managed to lock it. No embarrassment his trip.

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.


Shortly after the London trip we had word from the potter that our plate was ready for collection. Stan, Jim and myself went down to Stoke to pick up the plates. These we took into the club on Gallipoli Sunday to distribute to the Fusiliers who had ordered them. 45 plates were sold that day. An elderly lady approached our table and asked if she could buy a plate. She was told she could and then to our astonishment said she was the niece of Capt Grimshaw V.C. It was very satisfying to know that one of our plates had gone to the Grimshaw family. Plate number XX was auctioned and realized £150. The profit from the plates goes into the website fund which at present is looking quite healthy. I do not think Stan has any of the Gallipoli plates left, but he has got two Minden plates at £25 each if anyone is interested.


On Exchange Station in Manchester some years ago, `D` Coy was being moved by train to Newcastle as part of an exercise. A Cpl shouted to a Fusilier “Hey Smith here`s ten bob go and get me ten Woodbines and a Mirror from the KISOX on the other platform.” The Fusilier with a slight grin on his face said “Where have I got to get them from Cpl?” “The KISOX, the KISOX on the other platform!”

“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 it”said the squaddie. “Well guess the bloody time then smarty!” came the reply.

The memory of those who fell at Minden

The Battle of MINDEN was fought on 1st August 1759, during the Seven Year’s War. In this battle the Lancashire Fusiliers, then the XX Regiment, lost 321 Officers and men, killed and wounded. In recognition of its gallant services at this battle a laurel wreath was ordered to be worn on the Colours and appointments of the Regiment.

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.

The Dear Little Shamrock

There’s a dear little plant that grows in our isle,

“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 sweet little Shamrock, the dear little Shamrock,

The dear little, sweet little, shamrock of Ireland.

The dear little plant still grows in our isle,

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.

The dear little plant that springs from our soil,

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.


Here’s to the Fusilier

Here’s to the Lancashire lad,

Here’s to the lass who shed a tear

Here’s to his dear old Dad.

Here’s to his dear old Mother

Here’s to the glory he’s won,

Here’s to his King and Country

God Bless This Mothers Son.

Found by archivist Roy Woods

Operation Banner

On 22nd November 1975 the 3rd Btn R.R.F lost 3 young Fusiliers on the afternoon, they were Fusiliers M J Simpson, Fus J D Duncan, Fus P L McDonald a few days after their death the following appeared in a Irish Newspaper.

It was on a lonely hillside, in a place near Crossmaglen

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 they’ll bring to justice those cowardly thugs for their dreadful deed that day.


But gentlemen lets not forget the other 29 deaths including the families of the 1974 M62 coach bombing, the Regiment did 37 tours in the province.

Submitted by Steve Fitt.

Report on Veterans Day Blackpool 27th June 2008

Events began at 0800hrs and continued through to end at 2215hrs, but I will only cover the main events.

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.

A discount book available for all veterans gave free parking in certain car parks, discount in some restaurants and bars, new suits from Burtons. Veterans wearing their badge had free taxi rides. In one place they even gave us tea and coffee free. The only thing that spoiled the day was the weather, from about lunch time it rained and everyone was very damp for the march past. As usual when the band struck up the Fusiliers' shoulders went back and heads were held high and the old young man's swagger returned.



Northern Ireland Branch

Secretary Mr Ian Scholes, 17 Coastguard Lane, Orlock, Groomsport, Bangor,

Co Down, Northern Ireland, BT19 6LR Tel: 07718586853.

Over the past year we have been running fund raising events to enable us to purchase a headstone for one of our past members Paddy Lennon, who sadly passed away in 2007. We have nearly reached our target and have been overwhelmed by the support from our members, etc to enable us to pay a fitting tribute to Paddy. Once again in August we celebrated Minden Day with an Association Dinner, which was enjoyed by all. A couple of members attended the Gathering in Balham and enjoyed the weekend. We will be closing the year with a Christmas Dinner for members and wives and no doubt shall enjoy the evening.. We may be a small band of members but we have a big heart and look to the future with enthusiasm to meet the challenges ahead.

Rochdale Branch

Secretary Mr E Pickup, 44 Mountain Ash, Rooley Moor, Rochdale, OL12 7JE.

Meetings the first Wednesday in the month at the Rochdale Transport Club, Baron St Rochdale.

Where on earth does the time go it does not seem like five minutes ago I was sat in the same spot bringing you up to date on what was happening down here in Rochdale.

Well I can report Cleggie finally got his Association Medal of Merit and he wear’s 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 course’s 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 don’t 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.

29th February 2009 Ladies night at Masonic Hall, Richard St, Rochdale. Dinner, disco, raffle. Tickets £20.00.

27th June 2009 Veterans dinner. Arrangements to be confirmed.

25th July 2009 Minden Ball, Masonic Hall, Richard St, Rochdale.

If you wish to enjoy yourself and would like any tickets for these venues don’t hesitate to contact me. 01706 712370.

Hope you all have a merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Keep Safe Now.


Oldham Branch

The Happenings

Mayoral Sunday

Festival of Remembrance (Oldham)

Remembrance Sunday

Visits to the Royal Hospital Chelsea

Oldham Xmas Party

Past & Present Dinner

Gathering Weekend

Most members are now looking forward to the Xmas function in Stockport, and in February to pay tribute to M63 families on Feb 4 at 1100hrs, Hartshead Services, Westbound, were a new Memorial will be opened to mark the 35th Anniversary of the tradgedy. It is pleasing to know that all families involved have been traced with some survivors and the coach driver.

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.

Oldham Branch Notes

The Branch remains prominently – Royal Regiment of Fusiliers however we do have 2x RWF, 1x Para & LF’s on the books membership is now approaching 200. We think that ex Fusiliers are now starting to get he message Oldham is somewhere central in the Country which can administer a branch of RRF Assoc consisting of serving and ex serving. We must thank Folkestone Branch for an excellent dinner and weekend out. During the last six months that’s Colchester & Folkestone visited and looks like Birmingham or Newcastle next.

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 O’Brian 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 Dean’s 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.


Edition 53

Russell Howard: Russell passed away on the 19th June 08 aged 85 years. He served with the 11th Bn in Malta, Italy and later in Palestine. Rest in Peace.

Alfred Williams passed away in July 2008. He served with 1LF 1947-1952.

John Huntington passed away July 2008. John served LF and Royal Marines.

Mrs Margaret (Peggy) Brackley wife of the late Jim Brackley passed away aged 78 years on the 26th June 2008. Rest in Peace.

Mr John Hughes, passed away on the 28th July 2008, he was 75 years of age. He served as a Cpl in 1LF in Egypt and Kenya in the early fifties. Rest in Peace.

Major C H Carmichael: Maj Carmichael served with 1LF and 1RRF as well as various staff posts passed away on Friday 15th August 2008, aged 67 years. Amongst his many jobs he served as signals officer in 1LF and Adjutant 1LF in Weeton and Hong Kong and OC Fire Support Company in 1RRF. A Gentleman.

Major John Smale: Maj Smale passed away on the 6th September 2008 aged 89 years. He served with 2LF in the BEF and at Dunkirk. John Smale volunteered for the Army Commandos when they were formed and served in No 3 Commando on many of the exploits during WW2. Rest in Peace.

Cpl Mike Maher passed away on 25th September 2008 aged 63 years. Mike served with 1LF as a member of the Anti-Tank PI in Weeton and Hong Kong. Stand Easy.

Dave Yarnall: Dave passed away on 15th September 2008 aged 61 years. He served with 1LF in Weeton and Hong Kong. He later served in 3RRF until the early seventies. Rest in Peace.

Brian Batey: Brian passed away on the 18th June 2008 aged 61 years. Brian served with 1LF in BG, Weeton and Hong Kong and later with RRF. Rest in Peace.

Captain Jim Shaw: Jim passed away in August 2008. Jim served with 1LF and two tours as a PSI with 5LF and 5RRF, also as a CSM Y Coy 1RRF and as RQMS and RSM 3RRF. A gentleman and a pleasure to have known him.

Sam Potts passes away on Saturday 25th October 2008 aged 89 years. He served with 2LF in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Austria. Rest in peace Old Soldier.



On Sunday 26th April 2009, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the people of Bury will commemorate the 94th Anniversary of the landing at W Beach of the 1st Battalion the Lancashire Fusiliers. The programme for the day begins at 10.45 with a parade and inspection in the Castle Armoury, a service in the Regimental Church of Saint Mary The Virgin at 11.30, a parade and march past through Bury at 12.55, followed by a buffet curry lunch in the Town Hall, by invitation or ticket only. Following lunch there will be a guided tour of the new Fusilier Museum and Area Headquarters.

Tel 0161 764 2208

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)

Edition 52
July 2008


President: Col B M Gorski
Chairman: Capt J O'Grady
Secretary: Mr Steven Fitt
Secretary Membership: Mr John Scotson
Treasurer: Major J M Hindshaw TD DL
Editorial Comment - Capt. David G. Hoyle (Ret'd)

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.
The information on recruiting is addressed to every former Fusilier. You know what it is to be a Fusilier, think of all the young people that you know who could be nearly as good a Fusilier as you were and put them in the right direction.
Please also remember that those who lose their history lose their soul. The museum appeal is important for our Regiment's future. Many people have already made a donation, whether simply "buying a brick" for £10 or giving extremely generously. If you have yet to help, please see

For up to date news from 1RRF in Iraq browse

Letter from the Chairman - Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)

Dear Members of the Association,
I write to you as your new Chairman and would like to say what a privilege it was to be appointed to the post by our present Colonel Lancashire, Colonel Brian Gorski M.B.E. I would like to record my sincere thanks to Eric Davidson for all of his hard work whilst in the chair over the past three years or so.
I will not mend a wheel that is not broken but take a careful look at our present situation and with the help of my committee, set out a strategy programme for the Association that will lay the foundation for the next fifteen years or so. My committee will be tasked to raise the membership by 25%, to continue to track down and enlist the 1960's generation, increase the number of the present RRF members leaving the Army, increase the I.T awareness to all members young or old which in turn could help to play a very large part in our recruiting programme in Lancashire. My committee will also be asked to look at and improve the payment of subscriptions with an aim of achieving an 85% payment by direct debit to allow forward planning in the further, such as Gallipoli, Battle Field Tours, days out etc.
I am very impressed with what is going on in out outlying branches and the hard work that is being put in by the secretaries. I look forward to meeting them all shortly to discuss my ideas and theirs, ensuring that we must never lose sight of why the Regimental Association was implemented in the first place. It is where past and present members of our antecedent Regiments and present Regiment can meet and discuss old times and be updated by our younger members, in a warm and friendly atmosphere. This will, I am sure be borne out in the forthcoming year in Lancashire with the opening of the new Regimental museum in April 2009 (the biggest shot in the arm the XX The Lancashire Fusiliers will have had in the past fifty years or so) plus the past forty years of our present Regiment. This Museum will be a sight for sore eyes and a magnificent credit to all of those people who have contributed to its creation.
In all a very busy year ahead with many challenges for the Association in Lancashire which I am confident will be met with the true spirit of its members.

E-mail addresses - Lancashire Headquarters, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Lt Col M J Glover TD Area Secretary:
Linsay Walsh Chief Clerk:
Tony Sprason Research Officer:
General Enquiries same as Chief Clerk
Capt D G Hoyle Editor News Sheet:


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.

News from RHQ HM Tower of London

Fusilier News 4th January 2008

New Year's Honours
Member of the Order of the British Empire Major Gareth Boyd MBE, for 3 years O.C. Fire Support Company, 2RRF and took them to Iraq on an independent command.
Member of the Order of the British Empire Warrant Officer Class 2 R Greaves MBE, who was CSM A Company 2RRF during the time spent in NowZad.

Fusilier News 10th March 2008

Quoting the London Gazette on Thursday 6 March 2008 "The Queen has been graciously pleased to approve the following:
To be an Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Afghanistan
Corporal (Acting Sgt) Martyn David Gibbons, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

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

We can all help. The Regiment now runs its own introductory course for anyone aged 16 or over who might be considering serving in the army and specifically within the Regiment. If therefore you know or hear of anyone then recommend that they use the link below which gives details of the 5-day course for which there is no charge and absolutely no obligation thereafter. Anyone interested should contact the Fusilier Recruiting Sergeants in our Recruiting Offices or go direct to the Regimental Recruiting Officer on 0203 166 6908. The link is:- (This one does not work)

Fusilier News 23rd April 2008

St George's Day Greetings from the Colonel of the Regiment and All Fusiliers
40th Anniversary
Forty years ago, on St George's Day, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was formed from our four former regiments The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers, The Royal Warwickshire Fusiliers, The Royal Fusiliers and XX The Lancashire Fusiliers. No-one now serving in the Regiment ever served in one of our antecedent regiments.
On that day, 23 April 1968, General Sir Kenneth Darling, Colonel of the Regiment sent a message to Her Majesty The Queen which read:
"On St George's Day, the birthday of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, I hope that your Majesty will accept from all Fusiliers, with their humble duty, their loyal greetings. "
A response dated 26th April 1968 sent from Windsor Castle read:
"Please convey to all Fusiliers my warm thanks for their kind message of loyal greetings which you have sent to me on the occasion of the birthday of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. I receive this with much pleasure and send my congratulations and best wishes for the future. Elizabeth R."
The Regimental Creed.
We can be justly proud of our achievements over these past 40 years, with distinguished service in Germany, Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and in Afghanistan - to recall only the most obvious theatres of our operations. The Colonel of the Regiment has directed that today we should adopt and publish abroad a Regimental Creed. It is encouraging that this creed has emanated not from the top down, but from serving Fusiliers and their officers, and was presented to the Regimental Council as the way Fusiliers do business. This itself says much about our Regiment.
I am a Fusilier, a professional infantryman and a proud member of an elite Regiment
I am disciplined, physically and mentally tough, trained and ready to deploy
I will defend my country's freedoms with respect and integrity
I will always maintain my arms, my equipment and myself
I will place the mission and the team first
I will never accept defeat, let down my mates or my Regiment
I will always be one of England's Finest, a Fusilier
All members of the Regiment - Regular, Territorial, Cadets and Association members - will shortly receive their own card with this creed. Today, we are justly proud to be members of a first rate, highly regarded, professional family of Fusiliers. We can look forward to meeting new challenges, confident in the knowledge that we have proven equal to and have matched the valour and spirit of our predecessors.

St George's and Gallipoli Weekend Celebrations
The weekend beginning on Friday 18 April saw impressive celebrations in Newcastle and on St George's Day itself 2RRF held a small Parade. That evening 190 Officers, serving and retired, with ages ranging from 88 to 22 years, attended the 40th Anniversary Regimental Dinner, in the presence of HRH The Duke of Kent KG, our Colonel-in-Chief. The following weekend 1RRF celebrated their St George's weekend in Fallingbostel. The Gallipoli weekend was commemorated in Bury with the Gallipoli Dinner on 26th April, and the Parade and Church Service in the Parish Church on the Sunday. Afterwards some old comrades met at the Regimental Club and others lunched at the Castle Armoury.

Fusilier News 2nd June 2008

1st Fusiliers departed Lumsden Barracks, Fallingbostel some 10 days ago have been acclimatising in Kuwait for their six month tour on Op TELIC 12 in Iraq. They have now completed their relief in place with 1 SCOTS GUARDS. The Adjutant reported that 1RRF are in good shape and are looking forward to getting on with some potentially exciting operations. Veterans who are back in Basra say that living conditions are much better than they were on the previous tour, there is air conditioning in many more locations not least in the majority of the sleeping areas.


You can apply for tickets for the Service in St Pauls Cathedral by following the link
RHQ is in the process of contacting the families of those members of the Regiment who lost their lives during the period of Op BANNER to ensure that they will have the opportunity of attending this commemoration at no cost to themselves. I would hope that priority will go to these people but I suspect it will be on a first come first served basis.

Fusilier News 17th June

Many congratulations go to the following who have received awards;
Col W N (Bill) Aldridge CBE who has been appointed as a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. This was in recognition of his leadership and example in Afghanistan.
Maj J W (Jim) Taylor MBE has been appointed a Member of the same Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in recognition of his specific and unique contribution to operations in both Afghanistan and Iraq over a 9 month period.
Lt Col (Retd) E W Davidson MBE DL was also appointed as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
Monday 16 June 2nd Fusiliers were on parade outside Buckingham Palace mounting Her Majesty's Guard for the first time. Go to the following website to see a summary:
Jolyon Willans

Regimental Secretary
The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
Tel: 020 3166 6909


Another massive success for the Band & Drums.
(Article by William St Maur Sheil. My wife and I went out to Canada to cheer on the Band and Drums - and enjoy a little bit of touring round the Rockies and Vancouver while over there.)
Once again our Association Band has been invited back to Canada, to take part in the Canadian International Military Tattoo. The Band and Drums travelled out to Canada on Wednesday 11th June and returned a week later. Judging by the ovation given to them by the huge audience on both nights at the Tattoo, their music and marching were enormously appreciated. Once again they have succeeded beyond any reasonable expectation, for a band which normally can only meet to practice in their spare time, in the evening and at weekends; this has to be a huge achievement. They were as professional as any regular army band, and probably better than some. We have every reason to be very proud of them.
Every year, the organisers of this Tattoo, which takes place at Hamilton, Ontario (just South of Toronto, the commercial capital of Canada) invite one carefully selected and well-known foreign band or display team to share the limelight with their Bands and Drums, and their own Canadian displays. Early in 2007, we heard that our part-time, amateur band had been invited again. What an honour! What recognition! Not just invited once, but so highly thought of that they had been invited back. To give some idea of the standard expected of visitors, other displays or bands, invited to take part in previous Tattoos, have been the world famous American Marines Silent Drill display team, the US Army Hellcats Drums and Bugles and the REME band of the British Army.
The Musical Director Mike Thomas, the Drum Major Charles Hodgson, and 32 members of the Band and Drums were able to travel, and had only three days, including the first day of the Tattoo, in which to recover from the journey and rehearse. It cannot be the easiest of tasks to co-ordinate the different musical styles and marching routines for those parts of the Tattoo when they combined with the other bands. The Saturday routine must have been particularly punishing with rehearsals all day, followed by the Tattoo, lasting 2½ hours. Everyone seemed to have plenty of energy left for the party to celebrate the success of the first night, which went with a real swing at the Pheasant Plucker, just round the corner, until the early hours. We all needed to wet our whistles, even those not playing instruments. Having fallen out at midnight ourselves, I did note that the band members maintained the best traditions of the Regiment by appearing next day showing no effects of the party at all, while no doubt the pub was having a frantic time trying to replenish their supplies for another session after the Sunday performance.
A massive thank you must be given to Colonel Orange, the Commanding Officer of the Lorne Scots, and Drum Major Ian McGibbon of the Lorne Scots, our allied Canadian Regiment. Through their support and recommendation the decision was made to invite the Association Band and Drums to Canada. In particular, our thanks to Drum Major Ian McGibbon, who came to Bury for this year's Gallipoli Commemoration with Pipe Major Kevin Cranley, and whose liaison then, and over many months since, has smoothed the wheels for this trip. It was he who made almost all the arrangements in Canada, and who looked after the Band and Drums while they were there. He was also very helpful to us, while we were in Hamilton, even when he was at his busiest.
He is hugely proud that he and his men wear the primrose hackle, so that the link with our two Regiments is reflected not just through our shared interests, but also in their uniform. He now has a LF badge to add to the RRF badge already on his mace. The Lorne Scots Band & Drums will be attending the Gallipoli Commemoration and official opening of the Museum next year, with many supporters.
The Tattoo took place in a vast indoor Coliseum, with mock castle walls and entrance at the far end, through which all the performers entered. I will try to describe a little of the Tattoo itself, partly to encourage others who might like to go out to Hamilton, should the Band be invited out again.
The guest of honour on the first night was General Gary Stafford, Deputy Commander Land Forces in Canada. Once he had been driven in and welcomed, the Tattoo itself started with a fanfare by the trumpeters of the LF Association Band and Drums, which was done very well. As they marched off, they were immediately followed by the appearance through the Castle doors and the stirring sound of the Massed Pipes and Drums of the two Canadian Highland Regiments taking part. These were our own allied Regiment, the Lorne Scots, with the Drum Major out in front, looking absolutely magnificent in all his full dress uniform, and the Pipes and Drums of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders of Canada. Also on parade were the Dundas Pipes & Drums, and the Pipes and Drums of the Hamilton Police. Their massive sound really filled the Coliseum.
Then on came the Massed Military Bands, with our Band and Drums, marching alongside those of the Hamilton Light Infantry and the Windsor Regiment. All the tunes played were well known tunes, which always adds to the pleasure of the audience. After playing and countermarching, they formed up for a finale conducted by Mike Thomas of a very good rendition and arrangement of Alouette. The performance was greeted with a huge ovation as they marched off.
There was further music from the Pipes and Drums, while we were entertained by the lovely Schiehallon Highland dancers. Then, because this year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec city, we enjoyed watching the charming dancers and singers of the French Canadian Mackinaw Folklorique Group, laughing and smiling as they performed, and full of fun.
Finally before the interval, our Band and Drums came on again, on their own, to thunderous applause, and were joined after a while by the Lorne Scots Pipes and Drums, which made a really enjoyable combination of the two Regiments working together. Great music and great marching.
After the interval, we had the massed military Bands and Drums and the massed Pipes and Drums. Then a very moving vignette, in which the local Afghan community had volunteered to take part, and in which appeared a section from the Royal 22e Regiment (known as the Van-Doo's, from the French title, as they come from the French part of Canada). These very smart and very competent, confident looking young men had only just returned from a successful tour in Afghanistan, and this little act was called "Afghanistan Thanks Canada". It was all explained by a good commentary, and started with some Afghani mullahs, spotlit in the Arena, shouting their demands for the restrictions imposed by the Taliban on the Afghan population, and then whipping and chasing out of the Arena some groups of young Afghanis who dared to relax and enjoy games, and some girls who dared to attend school. After some bombing noises, on came the young soldiers and off ran the mullahs, and Afghan life returned to comparative normality. It was interesting to hear the Corporal's words of command made in French.
It was done very well and the Afghan Consul-General from Toronto was the other principle guest. It was good to see this public thank-you to the Canadian Armed Forces, supported by the local Afghan community. It would be very nice to see the local Afghan and Iraqi communities in UK show some public appreciation of our servicemen and women. On the Sunday the chief guest was General Charles Belzile, who had commanded the Royal 22e Regiment, and then gone on to command the whole Canadian Army, now the Honorary Grand President of Royal Canadian Legion. It was clearly a very much appreciated and moving chance for him to speak to these fine young men of his own Regiment
After the Grand Finale, with lots more music and all the participants back in the arena, and after singing the Canadian and our National Anthems, it was all over. The Sunday performance was just as successful.
Well done the Band & Drums! We so nearly did not go, and we are both very glad indeed that we did. It was an honour to be involved with them. They deserve our very fulsome thanks for what they achieve for the Regiment, not just on this trip, but over the years. Originally a small quorum from the Band of the 5th Battalion, who refused to give up back in 1967 when the 5th Battalion was disbanded, and started up again in the Regimental Club. They grew over the years, and through all sorts of problems, into the brass band we knew, until they became a "military band" in 1997. Now over 50 strong, they perform at about 50 functions a year, with the Corps of Drums performing on average about twice every weekend. No wonder they are good. I think their stick drill is better than that of the Royal Marines, but I am biased. It was a great pity some of the younger members were unable to travel, many because they are still at school, and sadly, their exams clashed with the dates. What a wonderful experience it would have been for them, and we can only hope that another chance will come their way.
Particular thanks must also go to the Band CQMS, Jane Brooks. I understand that most of the organisation at the UK end for the trip was her responsibility. That is a huge undertaking when you think about it, with all the individuals to co-ordinate and get to the airports on time, and all the uniforms and instruments to pack up and despatch. Although he tried to pass all the credit to Jane for her organisation, I am confident that a great deal of work was also done by Col Eric Davidson behind the scenes, and everyone was very sorry that he was unable to travel and be with them. When I found Mike Thomas on Saturday after rehearsals, the pleasure with which I was asked immediately whether I had heard of Col Davidson's MBE, was testament to the affection and respect with which he is held by the Band and Drums. Hardly surprising, after the way he has nursed and supported them over the years, especially his help to raise the funds for buying uniform and instruments, until they have reached this latest achievement. Everyone was really delighted by this much deserved honour.


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.
Eric Davidson joined the Army Cadet organization and over the years he did sterling work for them in various roles, giving up a lot of his own time to help the young people of the North West and Merseyside. It should be noted that at this time Eric was a full time police officer and bringing up a family, but one thing that struck me when I used to meet up with him, was that nothing was ever too much trouble.
I again met up with him when he got mixed up with the chaps from the Regimental Club, when they started to organize the Krypton Factor Assault Course Competition at Holcombe Moor TC. This was a charity event which raised many thousand of pounds for various charities throughout the country. This was a brilliant event and a few people put in a vast amount of work.
Over the years I continued to meet up with Eric, he went up in rank continuing to take on more responsibility for various tasks, and also became a member of the Lancashire Area Association Secretariat. He became the Events Secretary on this and then restarted the Association Band and Corps of Drums, which has become a great success and is popular wherever they perform. Much of this success being down to the hard work and dedication put in by Eric.
A few years ago Eric took on the role of Association Chairman (Lancashire) from Lt Col Lee TD and for the first time we actually got to work together. Along with the work he put into being the Chairman he was also a very active member of the new Museum Appeal Steering Group to which he donated a vast amount of time and effort raising funds for the project and many other tasks. I thoroughly enjoyed my time serving as the Association Secretary with Eric as Chairman.
I write this as a way of saying thank you to Lt Col Eric Davidson DL on behalf of the membership of the Fusiliers Association (Lancashire) for the hard work he has put in on our behalf over many years and continues to do so. 'Well done Sir, You Are A Gentleman'.

John Scotson BEM

P.S. Congratulation to Lt Col Eric Davidson MBE DL


Inkerman Dinner.
The Inkerman Dinner is the "Lancashire Chapter" of the Officers Dinner Club and is open to all regimental officers serving or retired in the North West. It tradition takes place during the evening of the Friday preceding the Remembrance Weekend. and for a number of years has been held in the Regimental Council Chamber at Wellington Barracks. The Council Chamber is relatively small, certainly by Mercer standards, and the 28 who attended packed the room. This year the Fusilier Museum Project will begin to impact on the running of events in the Lancashire Headquarters. However despite the paintings being covered in bubble wrap and the silver packed for the move I hope to be able to hold the 2008 and last dinner at Wellington Barracks. It is planned for the 2009 Inkerman Dinner to take place in the Council Chamber of the new Lancashire Headquarters

Dedication of a New Standard
Remembrance Weekend 2007 saw one of the largest gatherings of former Lancashire Fusiliers at Wellington Barracks for many years. Anticipating the closure of the site Capt Joe Eastwood organised a reunion and parade. The event included the dedication of a new standard funded by the Lancashire Fusilier Website Team. There is no doubt in my mind that support for these events is increasing and they are attended by and large by veterans who are fiercely proud of their Lancashire Fusilier heritage but are also fiercely proud of the achievements of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers

Click here to see the photos of the parade

Fusilier Platoon
The Fusilier Platoon at the Castle Armoury continues to thrive despite all the obstacles thrown in its way. The Machine Gun Platoon establishment is one officer and 19 other ranks. On strength the platoon can boast 65 of which eight are deployed on operations in Afghanistan. They are:

Lt Croxford, Cpl Brady, Lcpl Day, Fus Worsley,
Fus Tse, Fus Axon, Fus Taylor, Fus Shambyati

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.
" Somme Company has finally finished restructuring with the departure of the Machine Gun Platoon to D Coy. The Machineguns, affectionately known, as the "Bury Bandits" will be much missed, as they could always be relied upon to turn up en masse, provide the bulk of company "characters", and improve morale in all situations, and as the last representatives of the Fusiliers in the area the disciplinary issues which flowed from Bury were always more creative and amusing than those generated from elsewhere!

The Fusilier Association Club.
Now that the move of the Headquarters and Museum is increasingly likely the harsh reality is that the Association Club that has served the Regiment and the local community so well will close in 2009. It is sad that an institution such as the Club should have to close however the cost to the MoD of maintaining the building has increased considerably and in 2007 the rent was more than doubled effectively signalling the end of the Club. However Defence Estates have recognised that Wellington Barracks will close in 2009 as a result of the Museum Project and following negotiation have deliberately held off increasing the rent. A small concellation for the members of the Club but it is the best that we can do.

Over the past few months the Lancashire Headquarters has hosted a visit by Eric Pickles MP a Shadow Minister, our local Member of Parliament David Chayter, both Commanding Officers Designate and the Pre Tour Briefing Team from the 1st Battalion. At Easter I attended the Stonyhurst College Easter Camp at Warcop and was please to meet RSM Dave Phillips a good friend and Fusilier.

The Oldham Branch held their extremely popular Christmas Dinner with some 300 attending. While the Lancashire Headquarters in collaboration with the Compassionate Fund and the Museum Friends held a lunch for all the Volunteers who contribute their time to the running of the Headquarters and Museum. Included on the guest list were several members of the Council Parks Department whose staff do such and excellent job in maintaining the grounds at Wellington Barracks. The year ended with a visit to Broughton House in Manchester to see the remaining Lancashire Fusilier inpatients and present them with a Christmas box from the Compassionate Fund. In January the Headquarters Staff paraded at the Boer War Memorial in Bury to commemorate the Battle of Spion Kop.

Gallipoli Weekend 2008
The last weekend in April saw many Fusiliers gather in Bury to commemorate the 93rd Anniversary of Lancashire Landing and the Gallipoli Campaign. It was an extremely long weekend for the Headquarters starting early on the Friday with the Annual General Meeting of the Directors of the Fusilier Museum Company. The Steering Group meeting came next followed by a workshop focussed on the opening of the new museum. The day ended with a visit to the site to inspect building work. The Regimental Council in Lancashire met on Saturday morning to be followed by the Association Annual Dinner in the evening. This was a most enjoyable event with some 130 attending.
Sunday followed the traditional programme of Church Service, Parade and Curry Lunch. The parade would appear to get bigger each year and this year featured a detachment from the Training Ship Euryalus who came all the way from Oxford to take part. To add even more colour to the parade the Lorne Scots our affiliated Canadian Regiment were represented by a small detachment. The detachment from the "Pipes" was over here on a "recce" in preparation for a series of events next year. Lunch followed with some 150 attending. This year the usual cold buffet was replaced with a curry. It went down extremely well although chips had to be included for those who thought a curry was too exotic.
The highlights of the Lunch were presentations to members of the Association for service to the Regiment. The presentations including the award of the Regimental Medal to John Scotson and Peter Clegg, and the Colonel Lancashire's Certificate to Alan Noble and Ron Owen. Finally to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the formation of the Regiment a special presentation was made to Bury Grammar School CCF. This took the form of an 1897 infantry pattern sword to be carried by the cadet who has made the greatest contribution to the corps during the year. Colonel Brian Gorski made the first award to Cadet Shantanu Kafle.

Click here to go to the photos of the parade

Looking Ahead
This time next year the Lancashire Headquarters and Museum will be operating from the new site and we are all now focused on preparations for the move. This will not be an easy task and will involve a terrific amount of work for all the Headquarters Staff but at least we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel

Lt Col (Retd)
Regimental Secretary Lancashire


Secretary Mr David Coulter 24 Lime Grove, Runcorn Cheshire WA7 5JZ 01928563071

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

Secretary: Mr Barrie Storey 14 Clairmont Road Wigan WN5 7LT 01744 892335
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.

Secretary Mr Elwyn Pickup
44 Mountain Ash
Rooley Moor, Rochdale
OL12 7JE
01706 712370
Meetings held at the Rochdale Transport Club first Wednesday in the month.
Down here in Rochdale we decided to hold our Christmas Celebrations on the 14th December 2007 (my Birthday coincidently). All was going well, members and their guest were arriving in their best party gear when we were informed the DJ Ozzie had not turned in, alarm bells rang, it was to late in the evening to find a replacement. Ideas needed fast, has the Masonic Hall got a sound system we could use? Answer, yes, but no CD's. Come on lads who's got some CD's? was the cry. Well after some panic stricken moments (LCpl Jones style), Dave Barber came to the rescue I'll nip home and get some and off he went. He returned some twenty minutes later with a collection of Military. 60's some 70's and of course you guessed it, the up to date every ones favourite Christmas Specials. Well we apologized to our guest's for the hic-up and did our best to make everyone happy music wise. In the end everyone had a very good night even though the Christmas Special got a hammering, who says Fusiliers don't know how to enjoy themselves?
On the 15th February 2008 we held our annual Ladies Night and this time we had booked well in advance with another DJ as Ozzie had still not surfaced since Christmas. Rumour has it the Middleton Mafia would like a word in his shell like. Our new DJ John entertained us quite well and comes very highly recommended, we will definitely book him again. The night went very well and all enjoyed themselves and even our older members were seen tapping their feet discretely under the table I might add. It was nice to see our Fusilier Queen Cheryl back with us after a spell of maternity leave and congratulations to the Grandparents Paul and Linda Deeks on the arrival of a grand daughter.
The Gallipoli weekend arrived with a vengeance and several members attended the Gallipoli and St Georges dinner and had a very good evening by all accounts. On Sunday members gathered for the Parade and Curry Luncheon and to support one of our members Peter Clegg. Everything was going to plan until the presentation, when they found out that the medals had not arrived from the Tower HQ. The three recipients who were to receive the medal were presented with the certificate that accompanies the medal and apologies were given. Clutchie (Peter) is still waiting for his, his own words not mine.
Sunday 18th May 2008 we had a coach trip to the National Memorial Arboretum at Alwrewas near Lichfield. This is a very good day out and all those who went on the trip had nothing but praises for the place and the staff who manage the Arboretum, there is nothing they won't do to make your visit go well. One word of warning though for the beer drinkers, it is £3.50 a pint as we found out to our cost (hope we haven't put you off).
At the moment we here in Rochdale are planning a Vets Dinner this is to be held on the 27th June 2008 at The Royal Toby Hotel, Manchester Road, Sudden, Rochdale. I know this may seem funny to some with everything that is going on in Blackpool at the Vets Week, but we planned this well before we knew about the Vets Week. We have also plans to hold our now much attended Minden Ball at the Masonic Hall, Richard Street, Rochdale, on Saturday 26th July 2008. Tickets are on sale at £12.00 each, phone or contact the secretary.
Well I think that's all for now except I have just received a cutting from Geoff Yates one of our members that resides on the South Coast (Southampton) Geoff sends them in now and again so here go's.
Just imagine you're in a grave yard at dusk, the wind is blowing, clouds are scuttling across a moon light sky, and it has just started to rain, would these be in your thoughts.
I often pause and wonder why,
Some people from Church yards shy,
As if within that hallowed ground,
Something frightening may be found.
Weathered headstones and moss grown mounds,
Mark the resting places of those who have found,
Their final abode and peace in here,
Take heart my friends, there is nought to fear,
No matter how much we would like to stay,
We are all ordained to pass the same way,
Lets try to be thoughtful, gentle and kind,
To leave a good memory for those left behind.

Secretary Mr Charles Davies 50 Bridge Bank Road
Littleborough, Rochdale
OL15 8QU
01706 378852
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.
Best regards to all Branches and members

Charles Davies. (meetings held Wellington Barracks on the first Tuesday of the month at 8.00pm)

Secretary Mr Vernon Haig
33 Windrush Drive
M34 6Ap
0161 2025972
Meetings held first Thursday of each month at RBL Club Droylsden Manchester 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.
1. 1861 Chadderton Memorial Day.
2. A visit and tour around the new Colchester Garrison Barracks which holds five Battalions with attachments we have all heard of Run Down Barrack Accommodation. This newly built by guess who? Yes McAlpines as a state of the art Barrack complex consisting of multi storey car parks, civvy shops on site, new single room bunks with showers en-suite accommodation for the troops. With restaurants for each Battalion, also five different Sgt Messes all in the same building. As you go round this complex, you get the feel of a Military town, within a civvy town, 'state of the art' was an understatement; very much top notch. This was immediately followed by the Colchester Branch Dinner, which was also attended by Brigadier Trevor Minter and his Lady. We thank the Colchester Branch for an excellent day out.
3. We visited H.M. Tower of London for the Albuhera Day Lunch, it was nice to see some of our Southern counterparts Alan Warren, John Wiseman, Bob Gribbon, John Seymour, Rod Kennet, Col Porter, Col Aldous, Col Church, Capt Davis, Barry Robbo, Maj. Bowes-Crick, Mick Wischussen and Ray Whitewood just to name a few, a good day was had by all.
4. Gallipoli was well attended on the Sunday, however the branch was at a reunion with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers scouse contingent the Saturday after St Georges Day.
at the Head Stream Public House, at Lime Street Station, Liverpool.
5. At the time of writing we have just been to the Royal Chelsea Hospital Founders Day, which is always a good day out. Our in pensioner John Griffiths who has been with the Oldham Branch for 14 years, is not too good, his age has got the better of him - however Dennis Sheils and Alf Hayes are on the scene and will be up for Remembrance weekend in Oldham and hopefully Gallipoli 2009 in Bury for the Museum opening.
We are currently looking forward to the following:
1. WO's & SNCO past & present dinner in Stockport in October.
2. The gathering in London we have 30 rooms booked, names to Ronnie if you intend going or even if you don't want accom we still need names for the weekend.
3. 25th October see's us off to Liverpool for a Fusilier Reunion at the Head Stream Pub at Lime Street Station, with our Corps of Drums in attendance.
4. 7, 8, 9, Nov Oldham Remembrance weekend will kick off with the festival at QEH on the Friday night.
5. And the Oldham Branch Xmas Party on the 6th December Britannia Hotel Stockport (but book early)
To all our standard bearers, Les Berry, Brian Armstead, Mick Fowles, Paul Heywood, John Urysz. Also to Colin Williamson for looking after our travel needs, we are very grateful. Popeye for the membership assistance. And we welcome Tony Harrop, who you may remember from 3RRF who had taken on the PRI for the Branch, we bet he does not sell Regimental socks! And of course our members that turn up for functions, all the best Alan Noble, Ronnie Owen, Arthur Marshall, Joe Farquer.

'Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier'


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.
One Sunday on top of the moors at the coldest place in the world, freezing even in summer, Leek Training Camp. The mortars had two 3" tubes on the gun line to be firing smoke only. All checks had been done, compass bearing through the barrel, elevation and bearing checked to the plotter board, and the 'bedding in' order was given, "fire". Time of flight of the bomb seemed to be quite long and no smoke appeared in the impact area, when somebody noticed a large amount of smoke in a pub car park some distance away. Oh dear! Who had not conditioned the rounds? A land rover was sent immediately to the pub. On arriving they found a bewildered landlord wondering why his pub was full of coloured smoke. Luckily no cars in the car park and no damage done, hardly a mark on the tarmac. The landlord accepted apologies and promise that the next time the camp was used by the mortars, they would frequent his pub.
Before anyone says any funny remarks about the T.A. may I draw their attention to the field on left of the A66 after the Warcop turning, in the direction of Appleby. Just over the stream, a careful examination of the ground will show four slight indentations 25m apart, the perfect "belt". The only trouble was that the regiment concerned, one which is normally based in the centre of London fired 180 degrees out, or to use metric 3200 mils. I might add it was not an English regiment and certainly not T.A. We had only used 3 inch smoke, they 81mm H.E. a much bigger bang!
The mortars were firing sand filled at Holcombe Training Camp. Anyone who has fired sand filled from an 81 will know that with a well scrubbed barrel and a tight round, the round will go 25m on a good day. But usually they go 3 to 4 meters, just hang out of the muzzle caught by the fins or stop in the tube. This means beside retracting the firing pin, a mortar man's best friend, has to be used,"Tools, Jammed, Rounds Removing". Who thinks these names up? Shades lamp electric, jersey heavy wool, chairs flat folding wooden. The QMs staff actually talk like that in the NAFFI, Rolls cheese, Doughnuts jam, cigs Woodbines, etc is the order of the day.
We had two mortars on the mortar line. The crews were going through a variety of drills, reparalleling, adjusting and recording targets etc. It was a bit tedious with frequent scrubbing of barrels and misfires. The senior PSI (who unfortunately is no longer with us, so I can call him "Banana Fingers" with impunity), was fitting the inert rounds with the special primary cartridges, which everyone knows has a left hand thread, is made of celluloid and has a charge of 40 grains of WM017. "Banana Fingers" had noticed that the troops needed livening up. Three rounds had just been fired so it was decided to scrub the barrel. The next round made a bang instead of a pop and to the amazement of the crew went about 400 m. This event woke them up. An argument started, one fusilier said that the primary cartridge had come from a H.E. round, but it was quickly pointed out that sand filled rounds have left hand threads, but live have right hand. A couple of rounds later a bigger bang. This time the round went about 800 m. The Sgt dispatched the two crews to find the rounds and bring them back. They could not be found as they had landed deep in a bog. The Sgt knew that the PSI had done the trick but did not know how. On asking questions later he found out that the PSI had incorporated two charges in the first errant round, and three charges in the second. I was sworn to secrecy but I don`t think that Dave Graham would mind me telling it now. Just for the record I never had anything to do with 3 inch.

At the rehearsal for the Change of Hackle Parade in Kirton in Lindsay RSM Lamb BEM was drilling 5RRF, a corporal was making one or two mistakes. The RSM marched up to him poked him in the chest with his pace stick and said "There`s a c**t at the end of this stick isn`t there corporal?" The corporal replied "Yes sir, but it is not at this end." Les just about turned and marched away laughing.
At Sennybridge the Signal Cpl was sorting out his store, on the footpath outside was quite a bit of signalling kit. An officer came around the corner and tripped over a large battery. "Cpl!" said the officer "That battery has just tripped me up!" "Right sir" said Cpl Bowland "leave it to me I will charge it!" Exit one deflated officer.
Facts?! The two most dangerous things in the world are a sailor with a rifle, and an officer with a map. CHARLIE FOXTROT


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.
Osnabruck Reunion/LF Reunion The general consensus after discussion is that we should move the reunion back to the late Autumn. As a large number of our people will be parading in Liverpool this year on Remembrance Sunday, Friday the 7th November seems to be a good date. I will therefore book the Club for the event. Once again please pass this around to anyone you may know, both Ex Regular and TA.
Remembrance weekend (Liverpool) This year Liverpool as you will be aware is the Capital of Culture and many former LFs are parading in Liverpool on the City's Remembrance Parade. These are mainly the guys who are involved in the Lancashire Fusiliers Web Site. Should anyone who lives within striking distance or would wish to travel to should contact Dennis Laverick on 0161 761 6881
e mail or you can get details from the site on The last time this was done in the City it was a great success and is a good time to meet up with some old mates.
Opening of the New Museum Saturday the 24th April 2009 is the date for the opening in Bury, please note for your diary. The official opening and the normal Gallipoli celebration will be on the Sunday. Various events are being planned, full details will be in the next edition of the News Sheet. The Gallipoli Dinner will take place in the Town Hall on Saturday the 25th and it is planned to hold an opening reception after the parade on the Sunday, also our New Museum will be open for viewing. Don't forget plan ahead.
All details are to be confirmed in the next News Sheet!.


John Scotson BEM

by Jodie Johnson aged 9 from Lancashire;

I am an only child I cannot say thank you A life lived in freedom
And its hard to explain To the men left in France Because of that day
The feeling I have Who laid down their lives I owe them much more
As I sit in the rain To give me a chance Than I can ever repay
And I think of the men I cannot say thank you I owe them their lives
Who went off to war To those who returned That they gave up that day
Knowing they would not For thank you is not They will live in my heart
Come home any more What these brave men earned For as long as I live
I owe them my life And my children will learn
As I live it today Of the gift that they gave

Whilst we have children like this, all is not lost! Charles Davies, Trieste branch


Mr George Nelson: George passed away on Tuesday 3rd December 2007 aged 81 years. George served on the Club Committee for over thirty years. He was an old Royal Engineer attached to the Warwickshire Regt who had lived in Bury for many years.

Mary Howarth: Our old friend Mary passed away aged 86 years on Dec 16th 2008. Mary was a staunch LF, her father had been a pre-war RSM and she was brought up in the Regiment. She served during WW2 and in the TA afterwards. Mary will be sadly missed by all that new her, she was always ready to help the Regiment in any way she could. It was a pleasure and an honour to know her. Rest in Peace Mary.

Fred Lamb: Former Sgt Fred Lamb passed away on Sunday 16th December 2007. Fred joined the Regiment in 1947 and served until 1969 in the 1st Battalion. Fred will be remembered by many as being in the Mortar PI, but will be remembered for his fantastic sense of humour. A very funny man. Rest n Peace Fred.

Frank Greenwood: Former LF North Africa And Cassino. Member of the Rochdale and Oldham Branches passed away 29th December 2007 aged 91 years. Rest in Peace.

Leo Beech: Former MG PI 5RRF at Bury, Rochdale and Ashton passed away January 2008. Leo was 43 years of age. Rest in Peace Leo
John Avery: John passed away on 21st January 2008. John served pre-war in India and China. On rejoining in 1939 and served in the 1st Battalion until 1946. Rest in Peace Old Soldier.

Mr W (Bill) Livesey: Bill served with the 2nd Battalion in North Africa, Sicily, Italy (Monte Cassino) and Austria in WW2. He was founder member of the Droylsden/Burnage Branch in Manchester, and for twenty years was the secretary. Bill passed away on the 5th February 2008 aged 89 years. Rest in Peace Old Soldier.

Mr Tom Mason: Tom passed away aged 95 years in early 2008. He served with the 8th Battalion at Dunkirk and was a POW in Poland until 1945.

Mr Eddie Morgan: Eddie was a member of the Band Branch and served in the 1st and 2nd Battalion LF and served during WW2. Aged in his late eighties he passes away in early April 2008.

Mr Frank Underwood: Frank former LF passed away 10th may 2008. Frank was 95 years old, he served at Dunkirk, China and India.

Mr John Snee: John Snee served with the 1F Band in Osnabruck from 1960 until 1963. John passed away on the 29th May 2008 aged 70 years. Rest in Peace.

Mr John Brooks: John passed away on 27 April 2008 aged 91 years. John served in Normandy, Belgium, Holland and Germany, he was attached to the RE(PS). Rest in Peace.

Colonel Patrick Robinson: passed away on 20th June having been seriously ill with cancer for several months. After regular service in The Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, Colonel P.J.C. Robinson commanded the 5th TAVR Battalion of the Regiment in 1981 - 83 and was Deputy Colonel Warwickshire 1986 - 91. He was Deputy Lord Lieutenant of the County of Warwickshire and was widely respected. His son Major Jeremy Robinson is a Company Commander with 1RRF.

Colonel John Guy: died on Saturday 21 June after an extraordinarily brave fight against
cancer. Colonel John commanded 1RRF June 1968 - January 1971, and was known to many former 1LF/4RRF soldiers who served under him as a most courteous and charming commanding officer. In recent times when speaking on the phone there would be no hint whatever that he was anything but fit and well, yet he was almost blind and dependant on his zimmer frame for the last few months

Edition 51
Dec 2007

President: Col B M Gorski
Chairman: Lt Col E Davidson DL
Secretary: Mr Steven Fitt
Treasurer: Major J M Hindshaw TD DL
Events Secretary: Lt Col E Davidson DL

Letter from the Chairman - Lt. Colonel ( Retd ) Eric W Davidson DL

The Association offer our congratulations to Fusilier Andy Barlow 2 RRF, who
has been awarded the George Medal for his bravery at Kajaki Dam in Helmand
Province Afghanistan, where he lost a leg after stepping on a mine whilst trying
to reach a critically injured NCO. Andy is a local young man from Bolton and
before enlisting in the regular army was a member of our Association Corps
of Drums together with his father Billy and his brother Matty.

In July we welcomed our new Colonel of The Regiment Brigadier Trevor J Minter
OBE. DL and his wife Liz to Wellington Barracks. He was extremely pleased with
the work undertaken by the Association in Lancashire and in particular the effort
made in supporting the Museum Appeal.

I would particularly like to thank all those who attended our Minden Day on Sunday
5th August. The staff of the Regimental Association Club worked extremely hard to
satisfy all the requirements placed upon them and for that we are most grateful. The
Band and Corps of Drums once again are to be congratulated on a superb performance.

I am aware of much hard work that is going on within our Association, and our links
with the Royal British Legion and other Ex Service Organizations, to demonstrate our
unity at the Annual Services of Remembrance . The Colonel ( Lancashire ) is most
appreciative of all your efforts as indeed I am.

I thank you for your loyal support during 2007 and I offer New Year Greetings to all
Fusiliers' and their families for 2008.


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
Linsay Walsh Chief Clerk
Capt D G Hoyle Editor News Sheet


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.

Steven Fitt.

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..!
RSM's Parade - Egypt (I wonder who the RSM could be).
RSM to Scruffy, Spotty Cook, - what's your name Soldier.
Scruffy Spotty Cook to RSM - Bacon Sir
RSM's Reply - I'll soon cure you lad.
Osnabruck 1960. 1LF had just been beaten in the BAOR Boxing Championships by the Royal Engineers. There was, as is normal much post match discussion. This invariably took place in a bar, and the sappers were giving the LFs present a 'Hard Time' regarding who were the toughest. After much deliberation, a rather 'happy' Fusilier stood up and delivered a convincing reply by stating:-

'Tough - you're not tough
When our cooks make shepherds pie they use live ******* Shepherds'

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.
On their arrival at the camp, and viewing it from the Guardroom a Cockney Petty Officer was heard to say in a loud voice-
'Cor Wigwams! No wonder they were ******* fevers in their hats'
Hong Kong 1LF. A Company Storeman with a rather humorous bent pinned up an envelope in the Stores labeled-
'To Be Opened in Case of Fire'
On a COs inspection the RSM who was also the Battalion Fire Officer, saw the envelope, took it down and opened it, only to find a piece of paper inside, on which was printed
'Not Now You B****y Fool In Case Of Fire'.

Get Your Thinking Caps On Gents

John Scotson

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.
The official opening is being planned for Saturday 25th April 2009, Gallipoli Day. Of course the discovery of a mediaeval plague pit or a major bat colony could put this all back. The summer period has not been without its drama. All the tenders submitted by potential contractors came in at approximately £1 million over budget. Considerable reworking of the plans combined with a grant of £250,000 from Bury Council have put the Project back on track. There is still a budget short fall of £300,000 that has to be raised by 2009.
Anniversary and Fundraising. Next year the Regiment will celebrate its 40th Anniversary. As the Colonel of the Regiment has pointed out this is the same period of time as from the end of the Boer War to the start of the Second World War. In comparison the Lancashire Fusiliers was in existence for 87 years. Putting aside the Battle Honours won in two world wars, the LFs in 87 years were awarded three battle honours. The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers has been awarded four. Over the last two years two George Medals have been awarded to Fusiliers from Lancashire. Even the most hard-bitten LF cannot fail to be impressed by and a little jealous of the achievements of today's Fusiliers.
The Regiment today has an impressive story to tell, a worthy addition to the stories of its antecedent regiments. However as yet there is no regimental collection or archive to record 40 years of achievement. The project in Bury will put this right. The Project needs to raise a further £400,000 so perhaps in the 40th Anniversary years all past and present members of the Royal Regiment of Fusilier's Family will do their level best to raise money for their museum.
Presentation of Richard Lancaster's Medals. In August descendents of Richard Lancaster came to the Museum at Wellington Barracks to present his Memorial Plaque commonly known as the "Dead Man's Penny." The Memorial Plaque was presented to the family of every serviceman or woman killed on active service. It was thought that the plaque had disappeared many years ago but a search by the family produced the Memorial Plaque and his Allied Victory Medal. His British War Medal and 1914/1915 Star are still missing probably split up among the family years ago. If anyone can offer information leading to the recovery of these two medals the Trustees of the Museum and Lancaster Family would be most grateful
Friends Evening. One of the off shoots of the Museum Project has been the formation of a Friends Group. The aim of the group is to promote the Project and bring the existing Lancashire Fusilier Collection to a wider audience. It has currently some 40 paying members with an additional ten volunteer members, these are people who give up their spare time to work in the museum, are automatically members and do not pay a subscription. One of the Friends' Committee, James Waters, has already been instrumental in securing £30,000 for the Project from HSBC Bank. James has never served in the regiment but I am sure that his example will encourage past and present members of the regiment to do even better. I would encourage all those who profess an interest in Lancashire Fusilier Heritage to join. Details are obtainable from Wellington Barracks. Perhaps this is a typical case of, "Putting your money where your mouth is." In addition once the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Collection and Archive are formed then the Friends will be opened up to those past and present members of the regiment who are concerned about preserving their own heritage. There is no doubt that the Friends will have an important role to play in the future of the Museum and its collections.
A Friends Evening was held at the end of September in the old hall of Bury Grammar School. Approximately 50 people attended including members of Bury Grammar School CCF who did a great deal to help with the administration. Mark Hone, Head of History and Politics hosted the evening at Bury grammar School. He is also an officer in the CCF and a member of the Friends Committee. The evening began with a "Conversation with Marjorie Fielding." Margaret was born in the 1930s in India while her father was serving with the Lancashire Fusiliers. She vividly recollected his stories of the First World War and tales of serving on the North West Frontier in India. This was followed by presentation on the Richard Lancaster Funeral and a lesson on combat photography during the early part of the 20th Century.

Lt Col (Retd)

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.
It also provides an opportunity to promote the Regiment in Bury as the CCF marches through the streets, with hackles resplendent, to and from the service. This is the third occasion in the year following Gallipoli and Remembrance when the hackle stops traffic and reminds the good people of Bury that their local regiment is very much in business.
Salford. During the First World War Salford produced the equivalent of two brigades of Fusiliers. Over the years for many reasons the link between regiment and city has weakened and recruiting is not what it was. However there is still great potential if the opportunities are seized. For example a local charity has donated a considerable amount of money to the Museum Project to be used solely to enable the new museum to develop the Salford element of the Regimental story. Recently several streets of what is best described as " Coronation Street houses," or for those in the south, "Victorian Cottages" have been discovered named after regimental battle honours. Unfortunately they are about to be demolished to make way for a new development nevertheless negotiations are at an early stage to see if the battle honours could be reused once the development is completed. It was also a delight to learn that Anthony Rich a former TA Fusilier Officer has now taken up an appointment with Salford City Council and I hope to see more of him in the years to come. Sadly in May the Mayor of Salford died in office. Councillor Bernard Murphy JP was a passionate local historian and greatly valued the connection between the Fusiliers and the City of Salford. I attended his funeral on behalf of the Regiment and passed on the condolences of the Colonel of the Regiment to Councillor Murphy's family.
Band Concert. May continued to be an active month and concluded with a regimental band concert in the Castle Armoury, Bury. A true regimental affair, this successful event raised some £3,000 for the Museum Project Appeal. Organised by Eric Davidson, Chairman of the Regimental Association in Lancashire, it brought together the Regimental Band from Northumberland, the Warwickshire Association Band and the Association Band and Corps of Drums in Lancashire.
The event was very well received and was the first time in many years that so many fusilier musicians were seen together. Funding and time permitting it would be nice to see the Fusilier Massed Bands perform together in another parts of the country, in the not too distant future.
Courses for Courses. In June I completed my Equality and Diversity Course. The day turned out to be a Retired Officer's reunion and I have to admit that I found the course content interesting. I can hear howls of derision from the other Area Secretaries. Having attended the course I was presented with a piece of paper that proved that I was now a deeply caring individual, unlikely to embarrass the MoD and qualified to give group hugs. My staff agreed that I was now more sympathetic to their needs and a much better line manager. Or at least they have promised to agree if only I unlock the chains and allow them out from underneath the stairs. I have also made it clear that the beatings will stop only when moral has improved! My interview course comes up shortly, I wonder if I should dust of the electrodes and thumbscrews?
Hopwood Hall. The college, 20minutes from Bury runs a thriving course for young people considering joining the uniformed services. This includes the Polices and Fire Service as well as the Armed Forces. There are some 200 students enrolled on the course at any one time. Colour Sergeant Rigby from the Rochdale Army Careers Information Office works with the staff with the result that one or two are considering the Fusiliers. However as I completed my inspection the vast majority were considering the Parachute Regiment as their first option.Whether we like it or not the Parachute Regiment market themselves well. The Fighting Fusiliers need to blow the trumpet a little bit more and reinforce the regimental image in these institutions. I am in no doubt that the new Regimental Museum and Archive will go some way to redressing this imbalance in recording the Regiments achievements over the last 40 years
Regimental Funeral of Richard Lancaster. The major event of the summer was the regimental funeral of Private Richard Lancaster of the 2nd Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers. The day saw four soldiers of the First World War given a suitable burial. It brought the Fusilier Family together including the Colonel of the Regiment, a party from the 1st Battalion, a contingent from Wellington Barracks and members of the Regimental Association. Of significance was the Lancaster Family who were made to feel very much part of the Regiment. In conversation following the funeral, they all expressed their gratitude to the Regiment particularly the young lads from the Drums Platoon who conducted themselves with dignity throughout the proceedings and added so much to the Funeral. That night the Drums performed at the Menin Gate and all who saw their performance were deeply impressed. The following day I conducted a battlefield tour of Ploegsteert Wood and Passchendaele for the Lancaster Family and the 1st Battalion contingent. I am in no doubt that the morning spent trekking over the Flemish country side was well spent as it was not only educational but proved useful in blowing away the cobwebs of the nights excesses on Belgian Beer.
Lucy Armstrong. At the end of August my trusty Administrative Assistant, Lucy Armstrong, left Wellington Barracks to study Law at Manchester University. During the seven months that she had worked with Linsay Walsh in the Headquarters Office she had made a very positive contribution to the Area Headquarters and to the Museum Project. Conscientious, hard working and thoroughly reliable she quickly became a key member of the HQ team and will be missed. All members of the Headquarters and Museum Staff wish her all the best in her chosen career.
TA Dinner. The Fusiliers Platoon in the Castle Armoury held their first dinner night. The evening was a great success with some 60 attending. The success of the evening promoted much discussion with a view to forming a branch of the Association to capture the many TA Fusiliers who live in the area. There is much to do but I am already looking forward to next years dinner that promises to be bigger and better.
The Bishop of Manchester. The Regimental Church in is St Mary the Virgin in Bury town centre however Wellington Barracks is actually in the Parish of St Stephens. In September the Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, whilst on a local tour of inspection was informed by one of the parishioners Joyce Fowler that the Fusiliers needed all the help that they could get. It has to be said that Joyce is also volunteer in the Museum currently working on the Regimental Library. The Bishop therefore decided to pay us a visit. A brief on the Regiment was followed by a tour of the Museum. He proved to be very interested in our links with the local community and the role that the Museum and Collection played in maintaining this link. The Bishop and his team left much better informed and will hopefully put in a word where it counts the most.
The XX Minden Club. The Annual Dinner of the Minden Club took place at the Army and Navy Club on Friday 21st September. The first dinner took place on the 1st June 1904 when some 49 attended. This year it was down to 16. The dinner provides an opportunity for former officers of the Lancashire Fusiliers to come together and enjoy each other's company. The guest of honour was Admiral Sir Edward Ashmore, who flew his flag from Euryalus and is descended from John Beckwith who commanded the 20th at Minden. There was much discussion on the future of the Club which I have no doubt will continue for many years.

Lt Col (Retd)
Regimental Secretary Lancashire


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:
Major B J Lingwood RA - 7th November 1945
Pte P J Murphy Pioneer Corps - 1st June 1945
Cpl Vera Johnson WAAF - 28th April 1945
As they appear to have been neglected, Kevin ably assisted by Steve Fitt our other standard bearer, intends to clean and tidy these plots, generally maintaining them in future. Since there in a Cenotaph in Bury Cemetery, Kevin has received the agreement from the local branch of the RBL, that every year a wreath will be laid in their honour and a cross placed on each grave.
Details can be obtained from Ray Wight, the Secretary of the Branch.


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.
The branch steadies itself at 134 members paid in, all civic/ex service parades have been attended by the branch, which includes, mayor making, and mayors Sunday the far eastern prisoners of war, battle of Britain Sunday, veterans day, and of course our own Gallipoli+ festival of remembrance, which is run by the branch, and the Oldham liaison of ex services, along with the fusilier assoc band, and fusilier assoc corp of drums we thank them all, quite a mixed year, with the design and manufacture of a new branch standard bearers sash, which has the approval of all members, which will constantly argued between the three bearers who's wearing it today? A good bit of kit that ensures everybody knows who we are, the branch is now fully kitted out for funerals, with coffin drape st George, st George flag, cd of funeral music, LF/RRF beret the medal cushion is under manufacture as we write, we must thank Dennis Laverick for his assistance in the production of the cd.(top class it is too)
Other projects we are working on, or involved in for the coming year is another st Georges dinner, on an alternative date to Gallipoli for local branch members and those who wish to travel a new memorial to be constructed and placed near to the Oldham cenotapth for all conflicts and campaigns since the WW2 which will of course cover 38 years, NI and the M62 coach bomb right up to the present day in 2009 we intend to lay up the fepow standard in the gallery Oldham we do apologise that none of the branch will be able to attend the NI branch anniversary as we have commitments elsewhere, followed by 20 or so off to the gathering in Cyprus to see Mick McCarthy now QM 2RRF our Christmas function gets bigger and bigger every year. This year see us off to Stockport, the Britannia hotel and our numbers stand in sept at 310- with brig Trevor minter at the function with his good lady this one is going to be a cracker as they always are, please book early as hotels nowadays are struggling to accom this sort of function with the promise of happy hour prices throughout day and night best described as a cracker.
Deaths, the branch would like to express full sympathy to the families of the late Jack hall and Bill Dean which was very tragic as his good lady passed away shortly afterwards.
Weddings, Perry smith, Paul Davies and our ex fusilier queen Becky, were all married this year and all were attended by branch members as we look forward to the gathering and other functions we wish you all a happy Christmas and a new year branch thanks, R Owen, A Noble, A Marshall, J Farquer and our 3 standard Bearers Mick Fowles, Les berry and Paul Heywood.



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


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 Tours.
Remembrance Day is approaching and then it will be Christmas, were do the years go? Hope you all have a nice Christmas and a very prosperous New Year from all at Rochdale Branch.

Ominia Audax
Our Branch membership remains roughly the same with a figure at 33. This year our annual dinner, back at the grants hotel in Ramsbotton was enjoyed by all, which balanced things out from last years, not so good in Blackpool. Thanks go to Malcolm an Peter for their help and assistance, particularly in finding the artist at the last minute. Earlier this year I received a call from Ex WO11 Dennis Robinson who served with us in Trieste. He now resides in Scotland and wishes to be remembered. Some of our lads do remember him and hope he stays in touch. It was wonderful to see such an excellent turn out on Armistice Day, to see so many on Parade, also watching, did the heart good. Lets hope for the same next year, including Gallipoli and Minden as well. Finally best wishes for 2008 and the future to all in the Association, good health and prosperity.

The St Helens Branch of the Lancashire Fusiliers held a successful trip to the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. An Enjoyable time was had by all as well as copious amounts of whisky! The six members who attended are Kenny Birch, Ray Hilton, Frank Taylor (Chairman), John Martlew, Barry Storey (Secretary) and Tom Porteous. A successful reunion of the Branch was also held at the Billinge Labour Club in June, raising substantial funds. The well attended event featured an artist, raffle, bingo and a buffet and members wish to thank the Chairman Frank Taylor and the Club Committee for all their hard work in organizing the annual event. The Branch is also looking forward to a visit to their old camp at Wheeton near Blackpool in September. Members wish to thank Colonel Davidson for his efforts in helping arrange the visit.

Maj AMS Cotterill
Officer Commanding

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.
Training: Training in the period has been a combination of range work and the low level FTXs, meaning that individuals can build up their skills in different scenarios. Harbours and patrolling escalate through VCPs and intelligence gathering, ensuring that core skills are kept live and made interesting. Annual camp this year took us to La Courtine in France, where prolonged exercise tested the same ideas-working with the police in a town, helping to restore rule of government.
Match 9: A notable success in the year was the MG Platoon winning the Match 9 annual machine gun competition. After several weekends of intense training provided by WO2 Gilks, the lads from Bury performed excellently, roving that hard work and commitment pays off.
Adventure Training & Sport: In July the Company went mountain biking in the Lake District and no-one fell off-much. Experienced BMX Bandits Fusiliers Tse and Taylor looked on in horror as other members of the Company showed that despite not having ridden since school, it was just like, well - riding a bike.
Court and Social: In May a group from the Bn-mostly Fusiliers from Inkerman Coy - visited the French Army and civic authorities in Nimes, which is twinned with Preston. Amid many presentations, speeches and dinners, we saw a demonstration by a Foreign Legion light armoured platoon, a shoot on their rifle trainer and a tempting visit to their PRI shop. More cerebral visits to the Light Armoured Brigade HQ and Civil Contingencies co-ordination cell showed clear parallels with our own and reassured us that NATO harmonization is taken seriously everywhere. We were honoured to be the first overseas delegated to take part in the city's Liberation Parade, laying a Duke of Lancaster's Regiment wreath at the memorial. This was followed by meeting some very enthusiastic veterans of the Free French Forces, mostly serving in North Africa in Monty's 8th Army. Non-military activities included wine tasting and organ recital at Uzes Cathedral (where the organist was also our coach driver and an Education Officer in the Foreign Legion!) and a viewing of the amazing Pont de Gard, the Roman aqueduct built to bring fresh water to the City.

Colin Fletcher
This year has all the battlefields within easy striking distance of the channel ports had been visited (Arnhem etc. deemed to be too far) it was decided that we should go to London instead. The organizing had as usual been done by Stan Howes and Jim Worrall - and what a good job they did. 10 ex Fusiliers had signed up for the trip and were to meet on Piccadilly Station at 1030 hrs for the 1115 train to Euston. As everyone had been in the Army all turned up in the morning (except John Kershaw who had been taken ill. We wish him a speedy recovery, a good lad is John) Last years departure at 0630hrs two of the group who had not been in the forces turned up at 6.30pm, they missed the bus by 12 hours, is this a record? Jim had not forgotten the tickets, was not carrying his passport or camera, so getting onto the train was a simple matter. Everyone was seated and luggage stowed when Jim said he had been told the train was a railway enthusiasts special and would be steam hauled, the engines he had been told were The City of Salford and XX The Lancashire Fusilier. So off he got with a beaming smile to have a look. One of the party said he thought both engines had been scrapped many years ago, they had. Jim returned to the carriage a bit crestfallen and said it was being pulled by a streamlined electric motor. The train left spot on time and arrived after two stops in London, 2hrs 12mins later, one anorak worked out the average speed to be 85.2mph. the cost of the tickets £23 return with reserved seats - the bargain of the year.
Our rooms had been reserved at the Union Jack Club, so after emptying the suitcase it was, 'Meet in the bar at 1600hrs'. a few beers then dinner in the Club. This was an excellent meal and very reasonably priced, after dinner it was into the bar again. Jim Aspinall and Tom Derby had gone out for dinner and to see some of the sights. They arrived late into the evening in the bar having had a ride on the London Eye, this they said was fantastic and recommended we all went on it. Doddy said he would not be going as he suffered from 'vertebrae' - this complaint will no doubt pose more problems for the NHS. Just as the bar was closing we all thought Stan had lapsed into Welsh (he is ex RWF) but on a closer look noticed he had removed his teeth, they are by the way still not right. He was offering to buy a round of drinks but by the time we had found out what he was saying the bar had shut. This was not vital as quite a few of us had a bottle or two in the rooms. Doddy thankfully had not got the Grappa, I was pleased he had not brought this highly dangerous and volatile liquid with him as he was rooming with me.
DAY2 Breakfast in the Club, this also was very good and reasonably priced, then by taxi to the Chelsea Hospital. At the Hospital we were met by Paddy Fox for our conducted tour. Paddy was a SSgt in the Hussars, he only had three medals but what an array. BEM, MSM and LS and GC with two bars for over 38 years service, the only Chelsea Pensioner with two bars. The tour had been arranged beforehand by Jimmy, our guide Paddy took us everywhere in the Hospital. He was very knowledgeable and humorous. The Padres name is Dick Whittington and he drives a rather large 4x4. Paddy asked him why he needed such a large vehicle when his boss only had a donkey. Paddy refused to tell us his reply. 300 years ago the word hospital meant a place of refuge and shelter. The Hospital was set up by King Charles II for soldiers who were unfit for duty as a result of injury or because of long service, it still serves that purpose. The ground of the Hospital are extensive and most of the buildings have been designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Over 300 years it has been opened more than 25, 000 old soldiers have lived at Chelsea and about 350 are currently being provided with accommodation. The first group of Pensioners were installed on 4 Feb 1692. In the Figure Court is a bronze 7ft 6in statue of Charles II and it depicts him as a Roam General holding a baton as a sign of his Imperial Authority. This bronze statue was gilded to commemorated Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee in 2002. Next to the Figure Court is the South Terrace with a latin inscription running the full length of the colonnade. This no doubt many of you will have seen on a recent TV programme, its translation reads: FOR THE SUCCOUR AND RELIEF OF VETERANS BROKEN BY AGE AND WAR, FOUNDED BY CHARLES II AND COMPLETED BY WILLIAM AND MARY IN THE YAR OF OUR LORD 1692. From the South Terrace we visited the Chapel, first consecrated in August 1691. the interior of it is absolutely magnificent, the 300 year old pews and choir stalls all carved by three master carvers Emmett, Gibbons and Morgan each piece a masterpiece in its own right. The ceiling of the dome painted in 1714 is of the Resurrection and was painted by Sabastiano and Marco Ricci and it looks new, as if it has just been finished. The gold altar plates, candlesticks, cross and patens etc. were said by Paddy to be worth in excess of £3 million. All the kneelers were embroidered with Regimental Crests or Cap Badges, ours of course was on display. All visitors are welcome at Sunday Service, Mrs Thatcher is a regular visitor I was told. From the Chapel our next port of call was to the Great Hall, it is in this hall that the pensioners eat their meals and they can all be accommodated in one sitting. As you enter, just by the door is a large table. It was on this table that The Duke of Wellington's body lay in state in 1852. As Sir Arthur Wellesley he had been arranged in the same place before a Court Enquiry in 1809. On the table now are two 5 gallon 'Blackjacks' leather beer jugs. Before the Hospital had drinkable water one of these jugs full of beer would be placed on each table. A few of our group looked longingly at them only to find them empty. As you walked down the Hall on either wall are oil paintings of various members of the Royal Family of the seventeen hundreds as well as the Duke of Marlborough, also ALL the Battle Honours of the British Army are carved into the oak panels, at the far end is a mural by Antionio Verra of Charles II on horseback painted about 1690. From the Great Hall it was into the souvenier shop this is a wonderful place, all kinds of bits and bats to be bought, gold wire blazer badges can be bought for a tenner - now that is a bargain.. From the shop into the Mess we went for a few sherberts. It was in here we met quite a few old and bold. One es RNF pensioner Charlie served with Jack Spencer and Tony Lofthouse both had been PSI's at Bury. It was in the bar that Paddy told us about Founders Day when the Queen is in attendance, four coys of pensioners are on Parade and when they march past the two coys that march left to right past her Majesty salute with their left hand so as not to obscure their faces to the Queen, this he said is the only time the British Army uses a left handed salute. One pensioner said he looked forward to Founders Day because after the parade a marquee is set up for food and drink, but best of all by far he said are the belly dancers, theses dancers he assured us are 'dead fit', but remarked he had not yet managed to get one back to his room, he was by the way nearly 90. Quite a few of the pensioners knew Les Lamb. Les had been the RSM of 5RRF and was after that the RSM at the Hospital. We said cheerio to Paddy and our new old friends and on Paddy's advice, instead of going to the Imperial War Museum as we had planned visited the Museum next door to the Hospital. This is a smallish Museum so we would be able to view all the exhibits and get back to the Club in time for dinner. The museum itself is excellent but should you venture into the café beware the prices are horrendous. We returned to the Club at about 1800hrs and after dinner it was into the bar to discuss the days events. It was everyone decided a very satisfying day. Observations on the day. Doddy's whistle has returned from France, as he stepped into the lift on the 20th floor you could hear him whistling in the bar. Tony Toothill cannot find any fire hydrants, the Gurkha has not appeared yet, Stan's teeth are not working again, no Danger Deer signs for Jim to count so he has taken up train spotting (how sad can you get?) and some one has drunk my rum again.
DAY 3 After Breakfast it was off to see the Woodentops changing guard at Buckingham Palace. As usual a large crowd had gathered at the gates. The Royal Standard was not flying so we knew we would not be having cucumber sandwiches with Her majesty as she was out. The old guard 1 Gren Gds formed up onto the square marched the ne guard The Army Corps, they had been granted the privilege of the guarding duty due to the fact it was 50 years since their formation. They must have been practicing drill for the past 50 years as they were far better than the Grenadiers. From the Palace it was by taxi to our RHQ The Tower of London and as Fusiliers the Beefeaters admitted us free, front of the queue and in for nowt, makes a change! A visit to The Crown Jewels and a look around The Royal Fusiliers Museum, this Museum we thought was a bit of a let down, certainly not as good as ours by a long chalk. Some of the group visited the Crown Jewel Souvenir Shop, all kinds of trinkets, pens, jewelry etc. on sale. One of the group saw a chain with a small piece of jewelry on it and wondered if his wife would like it, but at £49.95 it did not look worth it. A closer examination of the price showed it to be £4995.00 - exit stage at the double one Fusilier. From the grounds of The Tower you can see HMS Belfast with her main armament angled at about 45 degrees. These large guns I am informed should they fire the shells would hit the first service station on the M1 over 20 miles away - what a good idea. You can also see from the grounds the unusually shaped building 'The Gherkin' and across the river is the glass ball like structure called I was told 'The Onion'. I wonder if they are going to change Piccadilly into Piccalilli. Just a thought. It was now getting late, so we decided to return to the Club, most of the group went by taxi, three decided to go by tube. The tube was twice the taxi fare and took longer. It was when we got back to the Club Bill Baldock our REME lad informed the group the Tony Toothill's wife had been taken ill and Tony was on his way home. We hope Tony that by now she has made a full recovery. After dinner three of the group went for a walkabout, they did not go in the bar opposite, the beer was £9.95 a pint, that was not deterred them, they said it was the lighting!! The next place bar they visited was a pub called The Ring, this was more like it a proper London Pub, photographs all over the wall of boxers, decent beer and good company. We returned later to The Union Jack Club bar whence we had a visit from Tom Derby's son Andrew, he is a Major in the Army, what a polite, witty and good looking lad he is. He obviously takes after his mother. Observations on the day. At the Tower we thought we may get invited into the Royal Fusiliers mess but our representations fell on deaf ears - it was closed they said. The Gurkha did not appear again, some it was because at Piccadilly Station the senior member Stan did not shout out the traditional Gurkha greeting Ram Ram Tobi, others said he was about but had the wrong shoes on, it's a mystery. Ronny Wilkinson could not come with us, but even so we were going to make representations at the Palace about his LS & GCM, but the queen was out. Perhaps next year! Jim's taking a great interest in trains recently.
Day 4 Up early then breakfast and pack. We took taxis to Euston for our train. The journey back to Lancashire was just as good as the London one, clean and quick. Martin said he could not understand how the train could travel so fast yet be so safe. Jim explained the line had the latest four aspect colour light signaling system. This system he said allowed the driver extra time to brake. Jim was in his element at Stafford - the train slowed down to a crawl due to engineering work, Jim said single line working would be in operation for a couple of miles and we would probably be a few minutes late in. We were. Observations of the trip. The trip was a 100% success so much so we are going again next year, only that talk is it will be for a longer period. Some said this was so Jim could visit King's Cross to see where his favourite steam engines A4 Pacifics like Mallard used to leave for Scotland. Stan said he is getting rid of his teeth before they get rid of him, one wag suggested he try Chester Zoo. Martin Mason has a 1st World War Iron Cross but would not say how he came by it, one person suggested EBay another said it was Stan's and he won it with the Germans. Stan said he did not serve with the Germans, his only foreign service he said was with Vlad the Impaler. Doddy's whistle is back but not 100% yet. The last real sighting of the Gurkha was on the ferry last year eating sausage and mash with Wilkie - perhaps he is Ronnie's bearer and that's why he is missing. All in all an excellent do. Roll on next year. Thank you Stan and Jim.


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).
They now reside at:
Brylyn Rest Home
New Zealand
Any of our members in the area might like to give them a call: Once and LF always an LF


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
Gorse Bank
68 Middle Bourne Lane
Tel: 01252 715973
John Scotson

Half Yearly Report For Number 1 (Minden) Company

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.
Our training plans for 2008 have been agreed and will be implemented in the New Year. Regrettably as a result we have reduced our commitment from some of the larger charity events we participated in during the last couple of years. Our core aim must always be the Army Proficiency Certificate (APC) and Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. We are also concentrating on BTEC qualifications that Cadets can achieve through their ACF training.


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.
Association Club: Putting the Museum Project on one side. The lease on the Club was renewed in September. The rent charged by the MoD went up by 235%. It is clear to all that the Club cannot generate this sort of income and in effect the Club is now faced with closure. However I have negotiated with MoD to keep the Club open, at the old rent, until the RHQ moves to the new location in 2009.
Other Options: Options for keeping the Club open at another location have been considered. The best was to create a new Club on the top floor of the new Museum building. However this was rejected by the membership because of non-compliance with DDA and the nature of the centre of Bury in the evening, especially at weekends.
Catering Facilities: The new organization will include a new caterer.
Bar: Although there is not a permanent bar in the building, a temporary bar will be available for specific events.
Dining facilities: There will be a full spectrum of facilities for entertainment available including:
Regimental Council Chamber, 63sqm. Silver service catering for up to 30. Contrary to popular rumour there is no Officers Mess or Officers Mess bar. The one facility is available for all.
Café 112sqm: A permanent café facility to seat up to 60 with full DDA access.
Multi Purpose Space: Temporary bar area. Note: seating in the Club is 134sqm.
Future: It would be wrong to suggest that any new facilities in the centre of Bury would replace the Association Club and the spirit and camaraderie that we all enjoy. However it would also be wrong to suggest that the new location will offer anything less than the best service for members of the Regiment. It is a facility that is already the envy of the other Regimental Areas.



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.

Curator The XX The Lancashire Fusilier Memorial Collection


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!

John Scotson


Ray Smith: former W02 ACC attached to D Coy 5RRF for many years passed away June 2007 aged 72 years, Rest in Peace.
Mrs Vivian Eastwood: Wife of Captain Joe Eastwood passed away in July 2007 after a long illness which she faced with courage and fortitude. Viv was an LF through and through and had much input with the LF Web Site. Rest in Peace Viv.
Lt Col Wac Brown: Whacker former 1st and 2nd Battalion on the LFs in Trieste, Cyprus and Osnabruck. Col Brown left the LFs in the mid sixties and transferred to the RAPC and served until the early eighties. Whacker passed away in July 07. Rest in Peace Sir.
Ron Morgan MM: Ron was a former Sgt in 2LF and served in North Africa and Italy. Ron passed away in July 07 aged 92 years. Rest in Peace old Soldier.
Ex Sgt Kiwi Johnson: Former LF passed away August 2007. Kiwi served for 22 years including Egypt, Cyprus, Osnabrcuk, Weeton and Hong Kong and later with 2RRF. Rest in Peace Kiwi.
Len Dunk: Was a former LF and Commando during WW2 and then returned to the Fusiliers and served in the T.A. Len was Chairman of the bury Branch of the Association and a member of the Regimental Club committee. Len did much work for the Regiment and was much liked and respected by all that knew him. Len passed away on Thursday 9th August 07 aged 91 years. Rest in peace Old Soldier.
Billy Dean: Former W02 Billy Dean passed away on Saturday 11 August 2007. Billy served with 1LF and 3RRF from the early sixties until 1994. Billy served in Osnabruck, BG, Weeton, Hong Kong, and NI to name but a few places. He was amongst other things a very good swimmer and water polo player. Rest in peace Billy.
2 LT Martin Ball: The death occurred in September 07 of Martin Ball. Martin joined 1LF in Weeton in 1965, he also served with the Regiment in Hong Kong. Martin served a 3 year SSC and was 61 when he passed away.
Mr John (Jack) Bates: Former LF served in Egypt, Italy, Austria and Germany passed away aged 82 years old on 8th August 07.
Derek Taylor: Former member of 5RRF and Rochdale Brach passed away aged 53 years old in September 2008.
Major H T K Phillips: Former LF and RRF passed away on Monday 26th November 07. Major Phillips was 78 years of age. Rest in Peace.
Mr Robert (Bob) Leach: Ex 2LF, served at Dunkirk and 5LF passed away November 07.