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.
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.
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
2RRF Commanding Officer Lt Col M R Butterwick
Full Report and photos
To Fusiliers around the world
I would like to thank all Fusiliers for the continuing
support in trying to save 2RRF from disbandment. Be of no doubt that your
actions and commitment have been crucial in ensuring that from the Prime
Minister downward you have kept this issue in the mind of our politicians
and the general public.
Full details on save 2RRF
THE XX LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS' WEBSITE
Just a quick note to all fellow Fusiliers and best
wishes to you all for 2013.
Greetings to all members. We have had another very
busy year, which always seems to start and end with the Branch Christmas
Dinner at the Britannia Hotel in Stockport. This is a well organised function
which brings back together ex Fusiliers and families for a good social
evening and reunion. It is always advisable to book early with Ron Owen,
as the first 200 is more manageable, and we often have to turn people
away as we have too many interested people. To avoid disappointment, do
book early as you can be assured of a right good night.
ONCE A FUSILIER ALWAYS A FUSILIER Oldham Committee
NORTHERN IRELAND BRANCH
We are still a small Branch, but continue to hold monthly
meetings on the first Friday of every month.
Peter Flannery JP Chairman
Our membership has improved this year by adding 5 new
members to the fold, but we also have 3 others who are regrettably in
poor health, so it is soldier on and strive for the best.
SHINY D COMPANY
The Branch is doing all right, with members still numbering
about 20. We did get around a bit more than usual this half year and Stan
and myself went to the AGM of HMS Euryalus Association. The idea was to
try to persuade them not to close the Association down, but wait until
the Gallipoli Centenary in 2015 - unfortunately we failed. The Chairman
had finished and Janet who was the Secretary could no longer carry on
due to family commitments. The welcome we got from the Euryalus was overwhelming.
We had not met any of them before but we were treated as long lost pals.
At the end of the meeting they thanked Stan and I for out attendance and
asked if we would take their Standard and keep it safe until they needed
it to be handed over to the museum at a later date. This was indeed an
honour and privilege, and it was with great pride that we carried it to
the car. We still have it safe and unfurled. Thank you Euryalus for the
One of our members asked for help from the Fusiliers'
Aid Society. When this Society was just the LF one, the applicant would
go to RHQ on Bolton Rd., and see one of the retired ex LF officers, who
would know him or of him, listen to the problem, and may even visit him.
The answer would be given within a week. Now it is the Fusiliers' Aid
Society, the format is: apply to RHQ Lancashire, who will refer you to
the Tower, and then they will refer you to SSAFA or RBL. They will send
out 'trained assessors' to see if you qualify, and your application is
then sent back to the Tower. You then get your answer, and we have estimated
that the total time taken would be well over a month, and what do you
need 'trained assessors' for when the couple in question are over 75,
have handicap badges and can hardly get up the stairs? The problem was
solved without the Aid Society within a week. Shiny D members were incandescent
with anger and said the only Fusilier collection they would donate to
in future is one for their own Branch. As one very senior person said
to me some months ago, the Tower are very approachable and accommodating
unless it's for money - I believe him. We have now started up our own
fund and have about £500 in it at present.
9273 L/Sgt. Joseph Marsden 1/6th Battn. Lancashire
THE BELGIUM BASH
SALFORD AND THE FUSILIERS
FUSILIER ASSOCIATION FAMILIES - FAST RESPONSE TO AMERICA
Sayings in the press during our stay.
OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH THEIR FAMILIES
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
THE FUSILIERS' ASSOCIATION
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.
L Ingham BEM Major (Retd) Chairman
HONORARY SECRETARY'S REPORT
Steven Fitt Association Secretary
FUTURE OF THE REGIMENT
Commander 7 Armoured Brigade Visit
All Ranks Briefing and Tactical Commander's Course
SALFORD AND THE FUSILIERS
Regimental Recruiting Area
The 'Shouting Fusilier'
Re-dedication June 2012
The Great War
The Second World War
Freedom of Salford
The Booth Charity
Sacred Trinity Church
Revival of Thiepval Day?
Salford Pals' Temporary Exhibition
Mike Glover Curator Fusilier Collections
Meetings - 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs
Christmas Celebrations 10 December 2011
M62 Memorial Service, 5 February 2012
Ladies' Night, 11 February 2012
March is a quiet month down here in Rochdale, and, like the rest of the Association, our minds turn to the Gallipoli/St George's Weekend in April and the Vets Night in June.
John Rodgers Snr - 16 April 1925-6 April 2012
Gallipoli/St George's Weekend 21/22 April 2012
The next event on our agenda here in Rochdale was our Vets Night which was held at the Royal Toby Hotel in Rochdale on Friday 22 June 2012 - another good night out.
Elwin Pickup Chairman
Omnia Audax Peter Flannery Chairman
The membership of the Branch is static at just under
20 and we get about 10 at meetings. Even though we are in touch with
ex members of the company, we are unable to get them involved - why
we do not know.
OMNIA AUDAX Colin Fletcher Secretary
Sun 5 Minden Day Drum Head Service, in Gallipoli
Gardens, Bury 1200 hrs
Sun 11 Remembrance Sunday. Meet Bury Town Hall 1020
THE FUSILIERS' ASSOCIATION LANCASHIRE
Since the last issue to you in July, the Association
has continued to be very busy. The Osnabruck Reunion in February 2011
went well, although a little down on numbers, but taking into account
that the weather was appalling it was still a great effort for you all
to get there - well done to Shiny D and the Liverpool Branch, full houses
all around. The service at Hartshead Services in February was well attended
by the Rochdale Branch and thanks to Mr Alan Noble for his entire organisation,
it is so important that we do not forget these Regimental Family members.
May I also congratulate the four worthy members of
the Association Lancashire on the respective awards of the Regimental
Certificates and Medals for their continued hard work within the Association
and keeping Lancashire on top of the pile. You will find their names on
the website for you to view.
John O'Grady Chairman
Honorary Secretary's Report
The last 6 months have been very busy on the admin
side, sending out letters to members who have not kept their membership
up-to-date. I wish to pass on my thanks to Ron Owen for the work he does
as Data Co-ordinator and Tony Harrop for his work on the fundraising side.
I was disappointed with the response from local branches with the bucket
collections that were organised last year as it was left to the select
few to do, so thanks to Shiny D, Tony Alderton and Kevin Hesslewood for
Steven Fitt Association Secretary
GREEN FINGERED FUSILIERS
Wellington Barracks Memorial Garden
M J GLOVER Lt Col (Retd) Regimental Secretary Lancashire
Memorial at the National Arboretum
Road Safety Campaign
Ex STRIKE HACKLE
Meetings - 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs
We started the year off with a St George's Day Event,
which turned into a very late night!! Our next outing was the Veterans'
Day Parade, a good turnout but a very wet day. Following that in August
the lads went out for a meal and back to the Club for Minden Day.
Meetings - 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs
First of all I would like to inform all readers of
our Newsletter that, due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to
find another venue to hold our meetings, the address for which is shown
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.
One sad part of the day was the news that Dave Coulter will be standing down as our Chairman. On behalf of all our members I would like to thank Dave for all the hard work he has put in over the last 15 to 20 years, maybe more.
Finally I would like to extend a warm welcome to our new chairman Frank Dunphy.
Stand by your beds
K Stones Liverpool Branch
Meetings - 1st Mon in the month 2000 hrs
The Branch has just completed their Christmas Dinner
at Stockport on the 3 December which was a great Fusilier event. We would
like to thank all who attended, and if you wish to go next year, do get
your names in early.
Meetings - 1st Mon in the month 2000 hrs
First on the agenda this year was a Sunday afternoon
fundraiser which included a quiz, live entertainment, raffle and the lively
auction of a signed Manchester United shirt - the auction taking place
at half time during a United match.
MEMORIES OF 5LF/5RRF
About 40 years ago D Coy was going to Libya for a two
week exercise in the desert. Colonel Gadfly the leader of Libya said that
the Premier Infantry Company in the World was not welcome. He offended
D Coy and a lot of nasty things were said about him. Due to his bad manners
we had to go as guests of the 3rd Btn on the Rock, so instead of sand
flies, sandstorms, scorpions, snakes etc. we had to endure sunbathing,
swimming, drinks in Irishtown and meals at the Cabin - it's difficult
to have an exercise on the Rock due to its small size.
Meetings - 1st Tues in the month at 2000 hrs,
Membership is staying at a steady 20. We have had one
new member recently, Lt Col Mike Glover. Welcome Mike and just to let
you know that at your first meeting in the Joiners, it's drinks all round
- on you, of course. Since being a member of Shiny D, Mike has been promoted
to Colonel - congratulations and well done. It just goes to show that
when you join Shiny D the only way is UP.
OMNIA AUDAX COLIN FLETCHER
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
ITEMS OF INTEREST
Another member of 1LF remembers the voyage to Cyprus
Joined the Lancashire Fusilier Regiment in 1938 and
served for a total of 12 years. He was in India for 6½ years and
then went in to Burma as a Chindit until 1943. Douglas was evacuated from
a village on a light plane called L5. Its pilot was the film star Jackie
Coogan, famous for being Uncle Fester in the Addams' Family.
Thanks to Joan Wild who sent this to us
John (Sean) Brennan
OUR THOUGHTS ARE WITH THEIR FAMILIES
- WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
THE FUSILIERS' ASSOCIATION LANCASHIRE
Shooting Competition Warwickshire
John O'Grady Chairman
HONORARY SECRETARY'S REPORT
Once again another 6 months have gone by, and many
thanks to those who turned up for Gallipoli Sunday. Although I think numbers
were down a little this year, it is good to see ex RRF personnel on parade.
The dinner on Saturday was another success but it would be nice to see
a few more branch members attending. Spud Taylor (Bury Branch) managed
to get over 70 people there - thanks Spud. It was nice to see, for the
first time, members from the Fusilier Machine Gun Platoon in Bury.
Steven Fitt Association Secretary
FUSILIER MUSEUM LANCASHIRE
Assistant Regimental Secretary
Commissioning of HMS DIAMOND
FUSILIER GATHERING 2011
Commemoration of D Day
Ex PASHTUN DAGGER (3 Cdo & 7 Armd Bde FTX for HERRICK
Visit of Duke of Kent, the Colonel in Chief
Change of Commanding Officer and St George's Day
Exercise ACTIVE RHINO
I R Liles OBE Brigadier (Retd) Regimental Secretary
Meetings - 1st Friday of month 2000 hrs
After a good Christmas and New Year we started with a 'Talk on the Fusiliers' in Ireland' by Steve Humphries. It proved to be a most interesting night and was well supported.
We then had our AGM in March, followed by our St George's/Gallipoli celebrations, which were well attended and proved yet again to be a most successful evening and which turned into a late night.
In June will be the Veteran's Day Parade in Bangor,
and we hope to have a night out for Minden. We look forward to the rest
of the year, although membership may still be small, we have a good time
and support one another. This concludes our notes for the first half of
the year 2011.
In the late 60s some bright spark had the idea of D
Coy wearing with combat kit a blue cravat. The combat kit of that time
was not DP, it was the old grey green stuff. The CSgt has a sample of
the cravat which he duly shows to the men. The company would be expected
to buy them next week at the cost of ten shillings each. This amount was
more than we got for a drill night, so the lads thought it was not a very
(This article should have been included in January's Newletter but has only just made it!)
Four members of Shiny D decided to have a look at Altcar
Ranges to see if they had changed and have a beer and sandwich at the
Club. We could not get in, security
OPERATION OVERLORD + 67 YEARS
The original idea was to go to the Gathering in Germany
but it was deemed too far to travel in a coach. I was tasked to find 'somewhere
nice' for Shiny D to go. The Association Website came to my rescue. A
small article headed Normandy Vacations was opened, and low and behold
the answer to all my problems - a rentable property with sleeping accommodation
for up to ten at Carentan on the Cherbourg peninsular, about 25 miles
from the port.
MEMORIES OF A NATIONAL SERVICE SECOND LIEUTENANT
It was June 1957; I had just passed out from Eaton
Hall Officer Cadet School and was honoured to be offered a Commission
with the Lancashire Fusiliers. I reported to the depot at Bury, along
with fellow Second Lieutenants Andrew Brown and Konrad Schieman.
Second Lieutenant Mills
THE MONDEMENT PILGRIMAGE NEEDS
Richard Adams email@example.com
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Fri 11 Remembrance weekend
A Soldier isn't a title any man can be hired to do
If you are a civilian - I am saying this to you ....
This poem was read out at the funeral of Eric Jordan as an Epitaph. It was an excellent tribute to the men who served then, and who are still carrying out duties on behalf of us all.
A TRIBUTE TO FRED LEONARD
Our Pal Fred
By Steve McNally -
ITEMS OF INTEREST
For those who did not make it into Church Gallipoli Sunday here is the Programme
Click on the image to enlarge it
It is that time of year once again where we all sit
and think and ask where has that year gone? Time seems to go more quickly
as we advance in years. However it has been a very busy 2010 for the Association
Lancashire with many events taking place. The closing of the Regimental
Club, Gallipoli Weekend in our new location at Bury Football Club, the
Gallipoli Dinner evening at the Radcliffe Civic Centre, the Association
Visit to the National Arboretum in Staffordshire resulting in a plan being
put forward and being accepted by the Council of Colonels to replace the
existing one that has been there for many years, the very pleasant Minden
Dinner organised by Joe Eastwood at the Museum and Minden Day at the Museum
Memorial in Bury, the Fusiliers reunion in Manchester, and the two
very successful Dinner evenings one at the Drill Hall in Bury, the Oldhams
Branch Christmas Dinner at the Britannia Hotel Stockport, and the Associations
Childrens Christmas Party at the Museum and Christmas Dinner also
at the Museum.
Honorary Secretarys Report
The Bury Lions Carnival took place in Aug. This is an annual event and includes the biggest non military parade to take place in Bury. It is very much a fund raising affair and the Regiment in Lancashire assists where it can. The Fusilier Band and Corps of Drums took a prominent part in the parade, while the Careers Office through the 1st Battalion provided a Panther Command and Liaison Vehicle. The Museum was not left out and ran childrens workshops. The Carnival raised a considerable amount of money which the Lions traditionally recycle into local worthy causes. This year at a special event in the Town Hall, the Mayor Councillor John Byrne presented cheques to the Fusilier Band and to service charities.
The Area Sec was recently invited to attend a ceremony at the Willow Grove Cemetery in Reddish near Stockport south of Manchester. The cemetery had benefited from a Community Spaces Grant which had enabled the Friends of the Cemetery to complete some much need renovation work. The cemetery is also the last resting place of Sgt Lister VC one of the 18 awarded to the Lancashire Fusiliers in the First World War. To assist the Friends the Museum provided information and images that were used in an interpretation board installed by his grave. We often take the Regimental VCs for granted so just as a reminder Sgt Listers citation is as follows:
No 8133, Sergeant Joseph Lister 1st Battalion The Lancashire
The Gallipoli Room at the Lancashire Headquarters is now being used on a regular basis for attestations. The room provides a suitable environment for this important occasion and although it is probably lost on the recruits attempting to recite the oath of allegiance it certainly impresses the parents.
The Minden Club Annual General Meeting and Dinner took
place in the Army and Navy Club on Thursday 2 September. The Dinner was
well attended with some 21 former Lancashire Fusilier officers and guests
sitting down to dinner. The guest of honour was Lieutenant Colonel Jim
Landon MBE, commanding officer of 1RRF. For those members of the Minden
Dinner Club who were unable to attend, it was agreed at the AGM to hold
the dinner in BURY next year. The 2011 Minden Dinner will therefore take
place on Thursday 1 September in the Gallipoli Room at the Fusilier Museum.
M J GLOVER
Lt Col (Retd) Regimental Secretary Lancashire
News from RHQ HM Tower of London
The Corps of Drums and several members of Z Company
travelled to Fromelles in France, for the opening of a Commonwealth War
Graves Cemetery. It was a great honour for the members of the Battalion
who took part in the ceremony, where the last of the unnamed soldiers
from the Great War were laid to rest.
The Second Battalion have produced a written and pictorial
history of their tour in Afghanistan last year called Hackles Over
Helmand. A limited number of copies are available through RHQ at
a cost of £5. RHQ will keep a hard back copy as part of the Regimental
history at The Tower.
I R Liles OBE
BURY BRANCH NOTES
DROYLSDEN BRANCH NOTES
NORTHERN IRELAND BRANCH
P Flannery Chairman Salford Branch
DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Friday 11th February
Friday 22nd - Monday 25th July - Berlin Reunion (in Berlin)
Sunday 31st July Minden Day Drum Head Service and afterwards
at Bury FC Social Club (to be confirmed) 1100 hrs
EDITORIAL COMMENT - CAPT DAVID G HOYLE (RET'D)
The Director of Nursing responsible for David's care, Karen Ratcliffe, contacted the Association. Karen is part of the team that provides 24 hour specialist care for David and have done for over three years. After the accident he ended up in a nursing home having little quality of life for a man of his age (around 45 at the time of the accident). His Case Manager from Northern Case Management - who train and provide the support workers - helped him to get back into the community with the level of support he now requires.
David is a very sociable man and enjoys company and chatting about his army days, any additional links and old or new friends would help him very much. Please, if you live near and care about another old soldier and could give time to chat or even help in other ways, contact:-
That is all the editorial comment I have for this edition, and I challenge my fellow Fusiliers to re-read the paragraphs above.
David Hoyle Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The 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
AREA HEADQUARTERS LANCASHIRE
M62 Memorial. The first annual commemoration of the M62 bombing took place at the new Hartshead Memorial on the M62 at the beginning of February. Regimental attendance was lead by the Rochdale Branch of the Association who turned out in numbers, on what was a cold and chilly morning. The event led by Alan Noble was short and dignified. Many who took part were of the opinion that as the campaign in Northern Ireland drifts into obscurity this memorial service will become the focus for those who served in the Province and want to reflect on what they achieved and lost.
The Fusilier Museum
Lancashire Council Meeting
The Lancashire Fusiliers' Memorial
Hails and Farewells
TRANSGLOBE Crew Returns
Posting to Germany
Op HERRICK 13. (to deploy around Oct 10)
Fusilier Gathering 2010 (FG 10)
BURY BRANCH NOTES
DROYLSDEN BRANCH NOTES
Meetings - 1st Wed in the month at 2000 hrs,
Who was it who said 'TIME waits for NO MAN'? Well I know how he felt. It doesn't seem like five minutes since I was sitting here bringing you up-to-date with the goings-on down here in Rochdale. When I signed off in 2009 I wished you all a very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year, and I hope you all had a good one
Christmas Celebrations 2009
Elwin Pickup Secretary Rochdale Branch
The following was sent in by Geoff Yates who lives just on the outskirts of Southampton with his good lady wife Lillian. Geoff keeps in touch and always sends us some cheerful verse or joke. This is the latest, and to all those of you who remember the Maggie Thatcher years, I hope it will bring a tear of amusement, out of work and on the dole.
Then I'm down to the Old Saloon
My Giro is now two days late
So I ate my nuts and drank my beer
I really fancied something tasty,
I had my pie and which took some chewing
Think I ought to get to bed
Well done Geoff - keep them coming
When I first went into the club building in Jan 1955
it was a drill shed. The floor of the drill shed was cobbles but some
had been removed, so it could be very difficult drilling. One pace forward
could leave you 6" lower than when you set off. Raising your leg
12" and driving it in 18" is difficult at most times but when
the floor is an extra 6" lower than when you set off - impossible.
This tripping up and falling over infuriated our Sgt - Spud Murphy. His
silver topped cane used to be thrown at us at high velocity. It never
seemed to hit the soldier it was aimed at. On one occasion it hit the
rear wall, silver end first and badly damaged the crest. This damage was
put down by Spud to be the platoon's fault. The cane was repaired by Lepps
in the Rock, but as the person it was aimed at had moved, so said Spud
the cost of the repair was down to us, so a whip round was organised.
It was in the drill shed I learned a new language:- NOONHA NONOHN NAAH
- NYA NESS - AHAWHA. which translated from the Drill Manual to Open Order
March Right Dress As you were.
OMNIA AUDAX COLIN FLETCHER
LAST POST Issue 56 July 2010
Charles Michael Burnell
Served with 2LF B coy 1953-55. Member of Trieste branch
XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX XX
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To offset some of the costs of printing the Newsletter, we are looking for sponsors for each edition. Their name and business would be acknowledged in the sponsored edition. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please contact
John O'Grady begin_of_the_skype_highlighting end_of_the_skype_highlighting
If would like to receive the Newsletter
LIST OF OFFICIALS-FUSILIERS ASSOCIATION (LANCASHIRE)
President: Col B M Gorski Chairman: Capt J OGrady
Editorial Comment Capt.David G.Hoyle (Ret'd)
Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)
On 24 July there was a very full Regimental Clubhouse
for the Annual Osnabruck reunion, leading us very nicely into August
for our Minden Weekend. This began on the Saturday evening, 1 August
with an excellent Minden Dinner at the new Museum and thanks to Captain
Joe Eastwood and his organisation for what turned out to be a lovely
evening. It was good to see Lt-Col Tony Coutts-Britton Ex LF RRF present
as a guest.
Between 7-9 August there was a big presence to celebrate
the Saddleworth War Weekend, and on 12 August the standards were on
parade for the Far East Prisoners of War Service.
Extracts from MUSA
Extract from Issue 5 - August edition
Extracts from Issue 6 - September edition
A Company Group (FOB Nolay, Sangin)
B Company Group (Woqab)
C Company Group (Influence Group)
Ramadan brought its own challenges, with the ANSF unable to contribute meaningfully to any activity between 1000hrs and 2000hrs. This proved rather limiting in terms of joint patrolling but, thanks to some careful planning, didn?t reduce the frequency or intensity of patrols. We have deployed as a Company several times this month, including a major Cordon and Search operation in a large village on the edge of a route that is regularly sown with IEDs. The operation got off to a shaky start, when the attached ANP went slightly rogue. However, once they had been netted and tranquilised, the search went like clockwork. Sadly, the anticipated IED store was not found, but the population of DZO (Deh Zohr Olya - the village in question) win the Afghan Collective Liars award for claiming vociferously that they know nothing about the enemy, or IEDs. This was proved conclusively to be rubbish when, a couple of hours after we left the village, one of the innocent? population accidentally set off the IED he was laying on the track that we had just used.
Op MAR CHICHEL 3 saw the majority of the Company forward mount to Camp BASTION, then launch a dawn air assault operation to insert a number of vehicle checkpoints around Musa Qal?eh. This proved universally popular. Firstly, the Chinook crews were delighted to be doing something other than providing their usual taxi service. Secondly, from a Company perspective, not only was it something operationally different, but it meant a chance to carbo-load in the BASTION Cookhouse! In the event, the Op was far more successful than had been anticipated. The use of helicopters greatly added to the element of surprise, and by pushing rapidly into areas far outside the Musa Qal?eh Patrol Base ?ring? we significantly unhinged the enemy, and left them in no doubt about our ability to project force at will. We also came back with a suspected insurgent detainee who, as I write, is being processed by the ANP.
There will be no let up in tempo at the tail end of the tour; if anything life is likely to become even busier. There are still some operations on the cards, and plenty of ground to cover, but C Company is more than rising to the challenge. Things are changing in Musa Qal?eh. C Squadron, The Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) have already taken over from 206 Pioneer Squadron as the MASTIFF Group, and D Coy 3 SCOTS (The Black Watch) have handed over the Operational Mentoring and Liaison (OMLT) role to 2 YORKS. Thankfully, the HCR seem to be holding off until we have left before they paint every inanimate object blue-red-blue.
BG (NW) FSG (PB Roshan Tower)
ROSHAN was extremely well equipped in terms of firepower, the manning taken from by soldiers from Fire Support Company, and bolstered by some extremely talented attachments from both 19 and 40 Regt Royal Artillery. The tower boasted the full spectrum of infantry fire support weapons; Javelin, 50 CAL HMG, GMG, 81mm mortars, GPMG (SF) and snipers. Perhaps its most unusual weapon system was the DRAGON?, a 105mm Light Gun, used in the direct role. Its ability to place a 105mm shell on target is remarkable, and surprised insurgents on a number of occasions, cementing its position as the army?s most violent sniping weapon. Each and every support system proved its worth, by matching a particular requirement or situation. It was a remarkable experience for the Fire Support Company gunners, mortar men and operators. For example, a conservative estimate at the time of writing would value the Javelin missiles fired by the anti-tank section at ?1.75m.
The enemy forces in the northern AO proved unpredictable throughout the tour. The first six weeks did not yield a single contact, a result of the de facto ceasefire set up by local farmers and observed by the Taliban in order to allow the opium harvest to be conducted without interference. The harvest benefited both parties, and once the funds that derive from the narcotics sales arrived in late May the insurgents began to step up their activity against ROSHAN, PB WOQAB and surrounding outstations. The fates of those two key northern AO locations proved inextricably tied, with ROSHAN being able to influence enemy attacks on WOQAB therefore both were often attacked concurrently, and B Coy?s dominance of the ground determining both how close the insurgents were able to get, and shaping the level of enemy activity.
Throughout the tour the Fusiliers at ROSHAN experienced
a range of enemy attacks, most frequently IEDs targeting our resupply
routes and small arms fire and RPG attacks on the command post and sangars.
In the peak of the summer fighting, ROSHAN also received sustained attacks,
with the enemy using multiple prestige weapons.
The tour held several challenges. The first being
the austere conditions, with food produced exclusively from ration packs,
and no organic water source meaning infrequent showering and laundering
of clothes. This aspect of the tour was in some ways quite enjoyable,
by some more than others! ROSHAN was also not a little claustrophobic,
The tour was an astonishing and unique experience. Immensely rewarding for the vast majority of the deployment, engagements usually ended with tangible results which are often so scarce on operations. That the majority of the work was in support of friends and fellow Fusiliers in a neighbouring patrol base added an element of passion to proceedings too. There were lucky escapes, with several men now able to swing the lantern and regale tales of every kind, and numerous Hollywood moments? where Fusiliers and Gunners dived for the cover of the hardened accommodation followed closely by fragmentation.
Equally it has contained periods of enormous frustration, boredom and hard work that are to be expected in any military situation. The disappointment of being unable to positively identify insurgents with weapon systems due to obscuration, enemy guile or surveillance systems at their limit, or indeed being unable to safely engage due to local national presence always grated, and is well known to most fighting troops in Helmand. Mostly though, it was notable for the incredible performances of experienced NCOs and young Fusiliers alike, showing determination, bravery and an ability to prevail at every turn.
An enormous number of lessons were learned whilst soldiering at ROSHAN. From the vast tracts of experience that were gained in the employment of fire support weapon systems, to ways around the difficulties of identifying enemy firing points. The importance of ensuring that all that can be done to protect against enemy attack of every possible kind was re-enforced again and again. It was made clear that no enemy activity will permanently damage or limit the Fusilier?s capacity for humour; several commanders at ROSHAN will not forget running to the command post, passing the dust billowing from accommodation as a result of mortar and AGS-17 strikes, and hearing the hysterical laughter from within.
In Helmand's Fields:- In Helmand's fields the poppies
email addresses: email@example.com
New email address for Lt Col M J Glover TD Area Secretary Lancs.: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tony Sprason, Research Officer: email@example.com
In September the formal opening of the Fusilier Museum after a period of excessive work load was intensely satisfying. The Museum was officially opened by The Colonel in Chief who was accompanied by the Colonel of The Regiment. Some 250 invited guests were present at this splendid occasion which was admirably orchestrated by Edmund Gartside. AHQ is now looking forward to the work of the Headquarters and Museum settling down to something a little less like crisis management and more like a normal job.
The Fusilier Museum Bury
of XX The Lancashire Fusiliers
The party of John McCormick,Geoff Pycroft and Joe Eastwood had spent the night at the White Hart in Sturminster Newton, where they had been joined the night before by Mrs Esmee Walsh (widow of Brian Walsh LF ) and by Alan and Pauline Gunn (Warwicks and 2 RRF). Also attending the Saturday night's convivialities were Mr Trevor Legg, Secretary of the local RBL and his ex service colleague David.
On the Sunday morning, they were pleased to meet at the churchyard Barbara Parker (daughter of John Mucky Mason DCM of 2LF and Cassino fame. Barbara has kindly agreed to place Minden Roses on the grave on 1st August each year. Also arriving unannounced having travelled from Devon was John Griffiths (LF) who we had last seen at the Veterans weekend in Blackpool.
The group were welcomed by Mr Nigel Pope, an ex Warrant Officer from the Dorset Regiment who in civilian life is the local Undertaker. It was Nigel who had officiated at the funeral for Kitna in 1982, the cremation having taken place in Yeovil and the urn of ashes interred at Sturminster Newton.
For the past 27 years Nigel has retained and kept safe the cap badge worn by Kitna which had been placed upon the coffin before cremation. He has promised to send it to Joe Eastwood for presenting to the Gallipoli Garden Museum.
Following a brief service which included a eulogy
followed by a short silence and the lowering of the LF standard, Minden
Roses and a Poppy were carefully placed at the head of the gravestone.
Nigel gave the group information which led to Geoff, John McCormick
and Joe being able to locate and to visit the very house where Kitna
Mrs Linda Lemmon, Kitna's daughter has sent her thanks
and appreciation for the restoration work on the grave stone. Linda
said that her mother Billy (Kitna'swidow) is now 95 years old and living
with Linda and her husband John in Southampton.
Frank Jefferson VC
Alastair Greenway, one of the masters, has expressed
an interest in continuing the link between the LF web site and the school,
which can only be good for the Regiment.
Voluntary donations towards the cost of running the site are welcome. Please make payable to "The LF Web Site Fund" and post to:- Captain J Eastwood BEM CQSW, Cherry Tree Cottage, 7 Duxford Road, Whittlesford, Cambs. CB22 4NQ
MEMORIES OF D COY 5LF/5RRF
Last issue I wrote about a fusilier who had an adverse
effect on explosives - they did not perform as they should do. I dont
know why. My mother couldnt wear a wristwatch - it would always
stop after a few minutes and she said it was the electricity in her
On the other hand we had a Major who had the opposite effect. He was not originally a fusilier but had been seconded to us from a corps, REs I think. By looking at explosives he seemed to be able to double their effect. One year he was instructed to load and fire the model silver cannon to signal the port to be passed around at a Mess dinner. This he did to great effect - the cannon was fired, the barrel split, the Colonel nearly had a fit, officers near the cannon were peppered with black soot and wine glasses were broken by the blast. I do not think the end result met with the full approval of the CO.
At the Officers Mess dinner next year the CO said the cannon must not be used as it had just been repaired at great expense, so therefore another method would have to be used. Again our OC was given the task (do people never learn?) At the appointed time for the port a CSgt approached the CO with a bell push on a silver tray. The CO looked at our OC through narrowed eyes, the OC smiled and nodded to him, the Colonel then pressed the button. Nothing happened. Thinking he had been the victim of a practical joke, the Colonel turned, smiling, to our Major. The next second outside was a large flash and bang. Some of the Officers Mess windows were broken by flying debris from the lawn, sods, stones and soil had all been sent through the window by the blast.
Meanwhile in the Sgts Mess the explosion was thought to be the work of terrorists, some senior ranks went to the Arms Cote to draw weapons and ammunition whilst others went to investigate. What they saw was a large hole in the beautifully kept lawn, someone said it was a beehive charge. It must have been a very big bee!! Our OC was never tasked with the job of signaling the port again. Some people cannot take a joke.
At the same camp Carnoustie, a Sgt was approached
by the Major and told Be a good chap and get a couple of chappies
and fill in the small hole Ive made in the track in the woods.
This small hole was about 6ft in diameter and about 4ft deep. The spoil
from the hole had been deposited over a large area. It was filled in
with twigs and leaves etc. I hope a Pl Commander leading his men down
the track did not fall into it. I wish!
D COY 5LF/5RRF BRANCH
Whilst I am on about Lancashire, do you know the county boundary has not changed? Its still Lancashire from the Mersey in Stockport to the Yorkshire border to the east and Lancashire all the way up the coast to Barrow, except for a small break near Grange. The fact that we have had a couple of admin areas dropped upon us, ie Greater Manchester and Merseyside, Manchester and Liverpool are still in Lancashire, in fact the post office tell me its incorrect to put Greater Manchester on an address. In Lancashire and only in Lancashire the Loyal Toast is:- THE QUEEN, DUKE OF LANCASTER. Perhaps at the next Fusilier Gathering to be held in Lancashire, somebody will inform the person proposing the toast of this fact. It did not happen at the Fusilier Gathering Dinner this year.
Since the last issue we have been involved in almost everything from the 2 RRF funerals of Cpl Etchells and Fus Annis as well as RMP Cpl Oakland who came from our patch in New Moston. We wish the families our best wishes and hope to see them in the future. The correct respect and dignity was evident throughout and we thank our standard bearers Les Berry, John Ulrich, Spud Heywood, Mick Fowles and Steve Fitt. When we have such a good relationship with olexa we can more often than not expect up to 30 standards. Well done to all standard bearers who have supported whatever project we have been involved with, namely all civic parades within the town and the local funerals of all regiments.
Saddleworth War Weekend at Uppermill saw a good turnout. We sighted Carol and Clacky Rees (3RRF) in one of the bars who were immediately signed up for the Oldham party. This should see another 200 this year at our 14th Annual Dinner at Stockport. Over the last 6 months we have had representation at all area activities. The Gathering proved to be popular and thanks to the committee for the weekend. We also paid tribute to Life for a Life Project, which is now ten years old, with events at Manchester Grammar School and Strinesdale Warriors Rest. Life for a Life is paying tribute to the Regiment.
A date should be available soon for the opening of a new Fusilier Meadow at Whitfield in March/April 2010 work has been going on at the site.
Oldham branch congratulate Nobby and Ronnie on receipt
of the Regimental Medals in respect of Association work over the past
15 years (mind you, the wives should have got them!).
Secretary Mr E Pickup, 44 Mountain Ashes, Rooley Moor, Rochdale, OL12 7JE
Firstly I should like to apologize to all our regular readers of the Newsletter, Rochdale Branch has not invented another Regimental Celebration, one that has been kept on the secrets list by chance, one you missed out on. No, I refer to the last bulletin when it was reported that we were holding a Bets Night. No this should have read our annual Vets Night. (Never mind Ed the v and b keys are next door to each other.) Sorry all.
Well just to bring you up-to-date our Vets
Night went down very well on 26 June. Thirty members sat down to an
evening meal at the Royal Toby Hotel in Rochdale, and this time there
was no mix up with the menus and the evening went very smoothly.
The Fusilier Gathering came and went, and by all the reports it was an event not to be missed. Rochdale Branch was well represented, but I was unable to attend due to ill health, but through the magic of the internet and our website, I was able to catch up. Well done, Dennis.
The Road to Arras and Cleggies costly mistake
As I said everything was going like clockwork although I dont know whose clock - Cleggies or Truelys! We hit the motorway and it was plain cruising (not much traffic). We sailed along to the smell of cheese and onion butties, just like being back in the army, wherever you went for packed lunches to be ordered, the famous cheese and onion, come spam butties, would be on the menu (ALWAYS). We even picked up Dave Clegg (little brother) at Crewe, not far off the main motorway and up went the cry have you got your passport? Yes Ive got my passport. On we went.
Watford Gap was our 2nd port of call where we all de-bussed to stretch the old legs, calls of nature, food (most had sandwiches) smoke breaks and whatever a bunch of ex-squaddies needs may be. As we were all huddled in a bunch at the side of the bus, some enjoying the last of their sarnies, some enjoying a quick puff on a cigarette, it was decided we should collect passports in order to save time at the dockside.
Everyone scrambled through their pockets and bags, as once again the cry went up have you got your passports? B!!!!! B!!!!!!! went the cry as Cleggie fell to one side Ive picked up the B!!!!y wifes. (Hillary is the Secretary). Now, this is four in the morning what do we do? Hillary is at home tucked up in bed and Cleggies on the Watford Gap Services with her passport. Decision-time do we leave Cleggie at Watford and carry on no thats out of the question as he is one of the drivers on the insurance do we phone home and ask her if she can meet us halfway? Well you can imagine Hillarys reply to that Y!! C!! S!! O!!. Yes we returned to Rochdale with Cleggie getting stick all the way he will not live it down in a while.
Rochdale to Crewe 54 miles
A costly mistake, remember this Cleggie. Its
pink for girls and blue/black for us boys (thats passport covers)
or in this day and age whatever you fancy, as long as you pick up the
The next day we were up for breakfast, which was a typical French continental breakfast, plenty of lukewarm, black coffee, French sticks, honey, jam and fruit - the take-it or leave-it variety type of breakfast if you know what I mean (bring on the full English). After we had all eaten breakfast, we decided to visit the tunnels in Arras. We set off in an orderly manner, but after some time we were strung out, as no-one had said that it was about ? mile away, and it was all uphill to the site. Once there we were ushered through as there were several school trips planned for that day and they did not want us getting mixed up!
We entered the tunnels by lift and were transported 150 metres down below the earths surface. We traveled along the tunnels, making sure that we stayed in the middle of walkways to various chambers where our guide explained what had gone on all those years ago. You just could not imagine the numbers of men involved in the digging of these tunnels. Men were stationed in these tunnels awaiting their time to go into battle by attacking the enemy from the rear. Tunnels to the surface were excavated along with steps and this was the last thing some of the poor souls saw before breaking out of the dark of the tunnels into the light on the surface and being shot dead. These men and officers needed living quarters and massive chambers were dug to accommodate them, even a chapel was dug out of the rock. It was amazing and well worth the visit. That afternoon we visited several more sights but the tunnels at Arras were the most impressive.
Vimy Ridge was a most impressive sight too with those two gigantic columns stretching skywards, and the figures clinging to the heights with arms outstretched to the heavens. This glorious monument to the Canadian Troops and attached units who took this ridge all those years ago was a feat in itself. We also visited the tunnels on this site. They were not as impressive as the ones in Arras, but when you imagine the fighting that went on, everyone has its own story. These tunnels were as near to the front line as you could get and the craters just outside were huge some 20-30 feet across. These days they are covered in grass but as you can imagine in those days they were full of stinking mud and water one slip and you were in for eternity what a way to go weighted down with all your kit and ammo and anything else you may be carrying. If you ever visit Vimy Ridge and the famous tunnels, look out for the new residents that live there they come out at night and fly around the open spaces near to the monument and tunnels, but during the day take up residence in the tunnels. Yes there is a colony of bats. LADIES BEWARE.
Yes we visited several sites Thiepval, Beaumont-Hamel,
the Ulster Tower, Albert, the Famous TOMMIES, and Ypres (for the chocolate!).
These are just some of the larger sites but we also visited lots of
the smaller ones like the Christmas Truce and the site of the famous
Football Match marked by a simple wooden cross hard to believe
today as you watch the French farmer gathering his crops of maize there
now. On Wednesday
On Friday we set off at a reasonable time to catch the midday ferry. Its as well we did, as no sooner had we boarded and set sail the French stevedores called a strike and blocked the port of Calais. Well once again it was an experience traveling with Clegg and Thorpes Battlefield Tours, but one thing that baffles me and the others is Truelys obsession with roundabouts. Even with a sat-nav he would still go round a couple of times and end up having an argument with a machine. All said and done Clutchie and Truely did the driving and well done lads for a safe and enjoyable trip.
Remembrance Sunday 8 November 2009 went off very well. The weather stayed off and we got away with it again. The only thing that let me down was a bout of angina the old puffer bottle was out and I missed yet another parade. I think someone is trying to tell me something. But marching with the cadets I have 3 grandsons so if I am not there in person, Im there in name and spirit 2 Marine Cadets and 1 Fusilier Cadet is not bad, and theres more in the making.
After the parade we all retired to our HQ, the Transport
Club. There we delved in a few sherbets and a good helping of potato
pie. We were visited by the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale, Councillor
Keith Swift and Sue Etchells, our MP, Paul Rowen, Wing Commander David
Forbes, President of the Royal British Legion, our President, Major
E T Garside (the Gaffer), and a Naval Commander. All members of the
Mayors party made a speech and at several points they were very
rousing. It made you feel like signing up again and following the pipes
and drums, Queens Shilling included (do they still do that these
days? A good day was had by all apart from the angina looks like
Another event we are all looking forward to is our Christmas Celebrations at the Masonic Buildings in Rochdale. Its a good night to catch up with friends, old and new. I will report on that in 2010.
When you read these notes it will be 2010 so I hope you all had a very good Christmas, and I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
Elwin Pickup, Secretary, Rochdale Branch
During 2009 our membership numbers have maintained and the outlook is positive. Although a small branch we continue to enjoy our monthly meetings and have had another successful year with a full and varied calendar of events. We have held a couple of Quiz Nights which were well supported and a Clay Pigeon Shoot outing which proved to be very popular and enjoyed by all who attended.
We celebrated Gallipoli and St Georges Day at our local club, and were pleased to have put in place a headstone for a former member, Paddy Lennon. Minden Day was celebrated and followed by a memorable weekend in Bury for the Gathering great to catch up with old faces. The Association was proud to be on Parade at both the Veterans Day Parade and Remembrance Day Parade.
Finally we shall end the year with our Association Christmas Dinner and a few drinks at the club afterwards. Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year. All the best from the Northern Ireland Branch and hope to see you all at the Gathering 2010.
Ian Scholes, Secretary, Northern Ireland Branch
A Soldier:- A soldier stood before his God,as must
always come to pass,
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,No
Lord I guess I aint,
There was silence all around the throne,where the
saints had often trod,
Submitted by Alan Noble
LIST OF OFFICIALS-FUSILIERS ASSOCIATION (LANCASHIRE)
President: Col B M Gorski
Editorial Comment - Capt.David G.Hoyle (Ret'd)
So that we could include the latest news from 2RRF in Afghanistan this issue is published later than usual. Not only our Regular battalions are facing the enemy. Our Fusilier reservists are seeing as much as, or more active service than many Regular soldiers of earlier times.
The Tower of London sends a Fusilier News email every month with
up to date information about the Regiment. If you would like to be
on the circulation list for this monthly email please send an email
to Capt. (Ret'd) John Davis at:
Subject for your email "Fusilier News" . Say that you want to receive the monthly news and give your name, number, regimental service or details of other regimental connection. PLEASE ONLY MAKE THIS REQUEST BY EMAIL SO THAT YOU ARE EASILY ENTERED AND RECORDED ON THE EMAIL CIRCULATION LIST
Janet Willcock now prepares articles for editing, and deserves a big thank you.
Capt (Ret'd) D G Hoyle --- firstname.lastname@example.org
Letter from the Chairman - Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)
Regimental Association Lancashire Awards:
Mr Alan Noble (Oldham Branch) Mr Ron Owen (Oldham Branch)
These awards will be presented at the Fusilier Gathering in September 2009
I have had the chance to visit most of our Branches this year
and was very pleased to hear that 75% more members are now communicating
via the email system which was the aim for this year. Most of the
Branches are now warming to the direct debit approach to pay their
subs and all subs are being paid on time. This has allowed our Accounts
to be in a healthy state (copy attached) as at the end of March 2009.
On Minden Sunday 2 August a presentation will be given by Lt Col (Ret'd) Tony Coutts-Britton LF/RRF on the Battle of Minden at 1130 hrs, followed by the wreath-laying at 1300 hrs at the Memorial. Tony is now a fully-qualified Battle tour guide and we are looking forward to seeing him and his wife for the day.
I have been looking to see how to help less-fortunate members of the Association. Among those who came to light were an ex member of 3RRF who lost two limbs from Astley, Leigh. Four members have been to his house and cleaned up garden etc. We managed to stop the eviction of an ex 1RRF Fusilier from his council house and managed to get him a grant of £741 from various sources. We hope to see them at the Gathering.
The Gathering in September: We are fast approaching the cut-off date for this event and it is looking very good. The hotel is now virtually booked-out and numbers could be as high as 300. I hope to get at least four of our disabled members there (paid for the Tower), two Chelsea Pensioners (paid for by the Association), members of the Lorne Scots Pipe Band (looked after by the Bank President - Jack and Rosemary Harrison).
Summary: I have many people to thank for their help in keeping the Association ticking over: Lindsey Walsh, Major Jennifer Hindshaw for her excellent work on the accounts, our website manager Dennis Laverick, all of the Branch Secretaries, Steve Fitt, Assn Secretary, the Regimental Clubs Chairman and his very loyal staff. They do what they do, simply because they believe, like I do, that the ASSOCIATION is a very worthwhile cause, be it LF or RRF
Gallipoli / St Georges Day Dinner 2010 will be held at the Civic Centre Radcliffe on Saturday 24th April followed by Gallipoli Sunday on the 25th April, details to follow.
Fusilier Gathering 2010 will be held in Warwickshire at the Royal Court Hotel - Coventry on the 18th September 2010
Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)
By the end of this year it will have been a busy year for Lancashire,
with having to move location from Wellington Barracks, Gallipoli,
Minden, and the Fusilier Gathering. Many thanks to the those who attended
Gallipoli Sunday it was a bit different this year but the Dinner will
be back next year. A special thank you to the Bar staff in the Regimental
Club. I have found out that remarks were made to the Royal British
Legion Standard Bearers at Gallipoli asking them why they were on
this parade as it was a Fusiliers Parade, As a result of this remark
a Branch of the Fusiliers Association has lost a Vice Chairman and
a Standard Bearer that has attended every Fusiliers Funeral in the
Bury area . Membership of the Association is steady and slowly improving,can
A Soldiers poem - In memory of Fus Petero Suesue
Edited from the monthly Fusilier News emails.
150 members of 1 RRF travelled to Staffordshire for a week of Freedom Parades and "Welcome Home" Parades. The parades were all exceptionally well supported with Police estimating that 10,000 people lined the streets. The Battalion was very well hosted by the Local Councils, all of whom were grateful for the Regiment's Operational service and equally supportive of 2 RRF's current deployment to Afghanistan.
From 6th July edition of RRF News
Before a period of two weeks leave the Battalion took part in a Farewell parade through Hounslow in recognition of the links established between the Battalion and the Council. The parade proved a success with the Battalion receiving a warm welcome as they marched through the streets of Hounslow with over a thousand people lining the streets. The parade finished with an inspection from the Mayor of Hounslow and a reception in the Council Chamber for all the soldiers and families.
After a well earned rest the Battalion's final official event
was the visit of the Colonel-in-Chief HRH The Duke of Kent who met
Fusiliers conducting drills and training on weapons to be used in
Afghanistan. The visit proved a great success with the Colonel-in-Chief
enjoying his afternoon and the Fusiliers and families appreciating
greatly a visit from the Colonel-in-Chief prior to deployment on Op
The tragic loss of Fusilier Suesue and the wounding of Capt Anthony Harris in Afghanistan have been foremost in our thoughts in the latter half of May.
From 6th July edition of RRF News
As I write we are sitting at about the midpoint of the tour. Much
has been achieved already and everyone can be justifiably proud of
their contribution. Difficult decisions have been made and we have
sustained our fair share of injuries. However, much is yet to be done
and I am confident that collectively we have the resolve to ensure
that we work right up to the last day to improve the lives of the
ordinary Afghan citizen. In Musa Qala the month has revolved around
Operation Mar Lewe and its aftermath. The operation itself was a huge
success, as we caught the enemy off guard and were able to seize the
important village of Yatimchay with minimal casualties either to us
or to local nationals. You may have read the slightly sensational
reporting of the operation from Chris Hughes our embedded journalist
from the Daily Mirror. Since the operation the main focus has
The Rear Party
From 6th July edition of RRF News
Normandy Company is performing well in Afghanistan, operating at half company level out on the ground. They have been boosted to full strength with RAF Regiment personnel and vehicles. The poppy harvesting increased their activity considerably. Seven Fusiliers recently returned from Op HERRICK, where they were part of the 4 LANCS Force Protection Platoon in Kabul involved in securing the ISAF HQ, along with 35 other TA soldiers from the Battalion. As soon as the Fusiliers got back from Kabul, another wave of Fusiliers deployed to Nicosia as part of 2 Div.
TA soldiers from Bury have been taking part in a wide range of operations, in support of Regular Army counterparts and as formed units. Nine Fusiliers are going through the process of engagement under an FTRS (Full Time Reserve Service) arrangement and are deploying with the 2nd Battalion.
Fusilier Aid Society
110 Aid Society Grants: £41,834
We can all be justifiably proud of the scope and depth of benevolence of the Fusilier Aid Society. It will continue to provide support for all Fusiliers, including those from the antecedent Regiments that are in need. Any member of the Regiment, serving or retired, who is taking part in charitable fund raising, might want to think about including a percentage of their donations to the Fusiliers Aid Society. In the same vein bequests to the Aid Society will be put to good use.
Regimental PRI. As a reminder, the Regimental PRI outlet is now
run by 5 RRF. They hold a varied stock of all Regimental items. Orders
can be made by email: 5RRF-RAO@mod.com
or by phone: civ: 01913755190 and mil: 947213627.
Blog by Jonny Gwynne, 5RRF,: www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/features/blogs/reader/afghanistan/
I R Liles OBE
New contact details are: Lancashire HQ RRF, Moss Street, Bury
email addresses: email@example.com
Gallipoli Weekend. The Regiment celebrated the 94th anniversary
of the Gallipoli Landing in fine style over the weekend of the 25/26
April. The weekend went very well and saw the largest parade in Bury
on Gallipoli Sunday for many years. It coincided with the move of
the Lancashire Headquarters and the Museum.
Lancashire Fusilier Monument. The Regiment has been granted the right to move the Fusilier Monument from its current site at Wellington Barracks to a new site in the centre of Bury. The Monument has always been associated with the Headquarters so the move is appropriate. The bid to rename Sparrow Park in Bury to Gallipoli Garden has had Council approval and has now gone to public consultation.
The Fusilier Museum Bury. After five years hard work and a spend of £4.2 million the Fusilier Museum opened its doors to the public on Saturday 27 June 09, Armed Forces Day. There was considerable media interest and just under 1,000 people turned up on the day to explore the new museum.
Technically this was a "soft opening" as the formal opening will take place on Friday 25 Sept 09, preceding the Fusilier gathering. Friday the 25 Sep will also witness the unveiling of the refurbished Fusilier Monument by Lord Ridley the grandson of the famous architect Sir Edwin Lutyens.
Saturday was a full and fun day. It was given grand support by
the Regimental family with several events taking place in and around
the museum. The first event was a presentation by Stagecoach Metrolink
of a replica nameplate off the Lancashire Fusilier tram. The official
opening of the Tourist Information Centre by Councillor Sheila Magnall
the Mayor of Bury followed this. Not to be missed out the staff of
the new Bury ACIO completed their first three attestations.
In the newly christened Normandy Room there were displays by the Regimental Recruiting Team, the Fusilier Platoon from the Castle Armoury, the Fusilier Band Lancashire, Friends of the Museum, the ABF, SSAFA and the LF web site team set up a display of the web site in the internet cafe.
Both the new shop and café were operating. The best selling
items from the shop were chocolate hand grenades, bullet key rings
and cuddly meerkats! The Friends also produced a WWII Willys Jeep,
a six-pounder anti-tank gun and a 2 ½ ton GMC Truck which were
parked on the pavement outside the museum much to the confusion of
the local traffic wardens who decided not to get involved as they
were out gunned.
There is still a great deal to do. The next few months will see displays completed, staff trained and the museum moving to operate on a fully commercial basis. Finally, sincere thanks must go to all those in RHQ, the other AHQs/Museums and the Battalions for giving this project their full support and cooperation. Without you it would not have been possible.
The outline programme of opening has been rolling since the Gallipoli
weekend and continues:-
Fusilier Gathering 2009. The Regimental Gathering this year is to be held in Bury, Lancashire over the weekend 26/27 September and has been timed to coincide with the opening of the new Regimental Museum in Bury Town Centre.
The weekend will consist of a Dinner/Dance to be held at the Village Hotel just off Junction 2 of the M66, which is the motorway exit for Bury. This will begin at 1830 hours (6.30pm) on Saturday 26 September. On Sunday 27 September from 1030 hours (10.30am); form up in the Castle Armoury Drill Hall, then march to Holy Trinity Church for Divine Service followed by a march through Bury Town Centre to the Town Hall. Lunch will be provided at the Town Hall. After lunch there will be an opportunity to view the new Regimental Museum.
The organising committee are Captain John O'Grady, Major Brian
Bath and former WO2 Ian Hilton BEM. Contact details and more detailed
information about the weekend, including hotel accommodation, can
be found on the Regimental web-site.
On Minden Sunday there will be an official farewell to Wellington Barracks and lowering of the Fusilier Flag, although the Association Club will probably be open for a few more months.
The grand finale of the year will be the Home Coming Parades of
the 2nd Battalion probably over the period 8/9 December and a temporary
museum display on the 2nd Battalion's experience in Afghanistan.
Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the 5th HMS Euryalus
On 6th June, the HMS Euryalus Association arranged a special day at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham for the 70th Anniversary of the launching of the 5th Euryalus on 6th June 1939, at Chatham. It is an interesting co-incidence that 6th June is also the anniversary of the launch of the 1st HMS Euryalus in 1803, and the launch of the 6th HMS Euryalus in 1963. And of course it is the Anniversary of D Day, so it was a very special day.
This was attended by a good crowd of about 50 shipmates from the HMS Euryalus Association and their wives, plus Major and Mrs St Maur Sheil to represent the Lancashire Fusiliers. A small contingent from the T.S. Euryalus in Oxford travelled down with their standard to attend the ceremony, and act as a Guard of Honour for the Duke of Gloucester, who attended and made a very gracious speech after the service, which was held in front of the Destroyer Memorial in the Historic Dockyard. After marching on the standards of the HMS Euryalus Association and the TS Euryalus, the service was led by the Rev. Ron Oram, Eric Gowland's son in law. Afterwards the Duke spent a considerable time going round and speaking in turn to all the shipmates and the sea cadets. The Duke is the Patron of the Association because HMS Euryalus escorted the ship on which he and his parents were travelling to Australia in 1944, when the then Duke was sent out to take over as the Governor General. Having fought in the Mediterranean and with the Russian convoys, and off Normandy in June 1944, the 5th HMS Euryalus joined the Fleet of Admiral Harcourt, after safely escorting the Duke and his family, to fight the last stages of the war against Japan.
The proceedings were somewhat muted by the news of the death, only two weeks before the occasion, of Eric Gowland, who had been Chairman of the Association for many years. This very special occasion had been Eric's brainchild, and he had worked particularly hard, even as his life slipped away, to ensure the occasion was a success. That he could not attend was particularly sad for all of us. Thanks to the very hard work of the Association Secretary, Barbara Cotton, all his effort came to fruition.
After a buffet lunch in the Royal Charles Hotel in Gillingham (once upon a time the old NAAFI Hotel, just round the corner), where we all stayed, the Association Members hald their Annual General Meeting, and I am very glad to report that a new Chairman has been elected, Roger Mitchell, to replace Eric Gowland. Commander Michael Ellis LVO RN, who was a Vice Chairman, has agreed and been elected as the new President.
This year is also the 25th Anniversary of the Chatham Historic
Dockyard, and was to be the scene for the main celebrations of the
Armed Forces Day 3 weeks later, again attended by the Duke of Gloucester.
Those of us who were not involved in the AGM, or who managed to slip
away before the Dockyard closed, took advantage of the dockyard authority's
very kind free pass to explore some of the fascinating exhibits which
have been created in the various sheds and buildings to interest the
general public. If anyone is in the area, they should try to visit
the Dockyard. Some of the exhibits, especially "Wooden walls"
which is a re-creation and explanation of how the old wooden ships
The day's proceedings ended with an excellent and very jolly dinner in the hotel. Yarning went on inevitably into the wee hours, and then started all over again during breakfast, and on into the morning until we had all set off home.
Major (Ret'd) W.St Maur Shiel.
At our next D Coy meeting I mentioned how much the camp had changed only to be met with "Rubbish I remember that place well, it was depressing and rundown etc." So after a discussion it was decided that some of us would have a run out - the idea of course was to prove me wrong.
We set off from Middleton at 09.30 en route for Leek. On arrival at the camp my information was proved correct. After a quick chat with the warden, a rather good looking young lady, we received permission to look around the site and the transformation from old to new was remarkable. After thanking the warden it was decided to go to the local pub to see if it had changed. It had changed - it was closed! The next thing to do was to have a look at the ranges. After looking at the track I decidedwe would have to walk there, as I did not think my wife would be happy if I brought her Merc back without a sump!
A lot of landscaping must have gone on as the track was twice
as long as it used to be, and also much steeper, this also applied
to the nearby crags. They must have had a visit from the tv Groundforce
team, as none of us felt we could climb them with a GPMG, or a radio
on our backs as we did years ago. The grenade range had been modified
but everything else seemed to be the same. `Boulton`s tank` is still
there less its barrel. This has obviously been taken by the local
drug sniffers. It was christened `Boulton`s tank` after an Inerga
grenade firing. Fus Boulton had a disturbing effect on High Explosives,
on this occasion he fired his grenade a perfect hit on the tank, the
grenade did not explode, after hitting the turret ring it spun up
into the air and laid on the tank at the side of the turret. He turned
to the OIC and said "wait until the German gets out and stands
on that grenade, it will blow his bloody leg off." This remark
did not seem to go down well with Freddy as he would have to blow
it, and it was just at eye level (not a pleasant task). We called
him Freddy because his surname was the same as the England fast bowler.
It snows very heavily in that area - in fact Lancashire once had its cricket match against Derbyshire delayed because of heavy snow in May. It was Clive Lloyd`s first match for Lancashire. D Coy arrived at the ranges one day with about 12 inches of snow covering the ground. We would be firing the 3.5 inch rocket launcher. When you fire this rocket launcher in very cold conditions you have to wear a face mask as bits of the propellant solidifies in the cold, and hits you in the face. If you do not wear the mask you finish up looking like a person with a bad dose of acne. The first group of fusiliers lined up - the target was a pile of rocks about 300 yards away. No.1 has the weapon in the shoulder, No. 2 loads rocket into tube connects electric wires and taps No.1 on head - loaded. No. 3 checks back of blast area. No.1 fires at the target, the rocket drops short by about 75 yards. The group change round. The new firer says he will aim 6ft over the rocks, again the rocket drops short. The third member of the group says he will fire 15ft over the rocks and squeezes the trigger. The launcher breaks into two pieces, the rocket hits the ground about 25 yards in front of the firers and scuttles forward at a great rate of knots under the snow like a super-charged worm belching sparks, steam and smoke.
(Thank goodness it was not H.E.) The firer of course was Fus Boulton. It would appear that the weapon had been given to the first firer by the P.S.I. who had assembled it incorrectly, (obviously never been to Warminster), and when the rocket disappeared under the snow was seen running at a great speed 75 yards away in the opposite direction. He never inspired anyone with any confidence - quite the opposite really. It taught the three firers a very valuable lesson, if you are handed a weapon always check it yourself.
One weekend we would be throwing the 36 grenade. The Sgt said
to a fusilier "go into that billet and help Cpl M to clean the
grenades. As the fusilier walks through the door he does a sharp about
turn and remarks to the Sgt that he is not under any circumstances
going in that billet, because the Cpl has about 10 grenades on a red
hot pot-bellied stove, and is melting the grease on them. The Sgt
does not believe him and enters the billet. It appears the Cpl has
in fact cleaned the grease from quite a few by this method, another
case of not going to Warminster. The Cpl is quickly relieved of his
duties and sent packing to the cookhouse. After lunch the grenades
still needed cleaning and the three soldiers and a recruit were given
the task. It was explained to the recruit that you must remove the
base plug before taking the pin out. We had already found one igniter
set left in, and we had cleaned about 60 when the recruit pulled the
pin, the lever went flying over the bed, the Cpl dived through the
window, thankfully already open, the other two got jammed in the doorway
in their haste to get away. When the recruit got back on his feet
after being hit by the largest of the group, it was again explained
to him about removing the base plug. He did not repeat his mistake.
The grenades had been cleaned
When admin duties had to be performed at the Drill Hall over a weekend it was usual for a few to visit the Club on the Friday and Saturday nights. In those days the vast majority of people in the Club would be ex Fusiliers or their relations. You could meet some right characters. A particular one called Jack had a liking for what he called electric soup - whiskey and lemonade. One evening whilst I was having a drink with him he staggered slightly and I remarked that he had drunk too much electric soup. He remarked that it was his wooden leg which had caused it. I did not know he had a wooden leg and thought he was kidding me, whereupon he took a pint pot from the bar and tapped his leg. Sure enough it was a false one. He would not tell me how he got it other than saying it was "The Japs". I found out from another member that Jack had fallen foul of one of the Japanese guards. This guard had thrown large rocks at Jack and broke his leg. In the camp it was a case of no work, no food, so Jack had his broken leg bound up so as to enable him to work on the railway. A few days later gangrene set in and the camp doctor a New Zealand POW. said his leg would have to come off or he would die. The only problem the doc said was he did not have any anaesthetic, and he had only performed such an operation about 8 times and all the patients had died of shock. Jack told him to get on with it, and the leg came off. Unfortunately the doc had not cut high enough and gangrene set in again. The second amputation was a success. A small, pleasant, unassuming chap with the heart of a lion. His reward was the Burma Star.
Another small chap was a Londoner who was the bingo-caller - Tim Brain. Tim was his nickname from the time he boxed for the LFs in the first war. The story was he did not do anything until his opponent had hurt him and awakened him. His name I am told came from the old cartoon characters Weary Willie and Tired Tim. He was also unassuming, and never spoke about the war. If my memory serves me correctly he won the DCM and Bar and MM and Bar. If you every get the chance to read 1st WW History of the Lancashire Fusiliers, see what Cpl Brain did with his bayonet and grenades. It makes very interesting reading.
Congratulations to the Association website on its 1st birthday
and also to D Coy website on its 4th birthday.
Well it's that time of the year again, and us secretaries have
to sit down and write the notes that will bring the membership up
to date (speed) on what's gone on since we last wrote our notes for
the branches. I'm not moaning but the sun is cracking the flags outside
and I think it's time to invest in a laptop. I'll have to run it pas
the OC (the Mrs)
Rochdale Branch celebrated Christmas On Friday 12 December 2008 at the Masonic Hall, Richard Street, and everyone had a very good time - this is down to a very well organized committee. Myself and the OC were enjoying a holiday in Tunisia (60th birthday treat for me), but I did my bit before they would let me go. After a refresher course in bartering, camel riding and a trip on the Red Lizard Express (recommended) it was time to return to dear old Rochdale and 2009 (a fortnight is not long enough). So I hope you all had a good Christmas and a better New Year.
And so to 2009 and whatever the year holds and the first thing we organise here in Rochdale is our Ladies' Night
Friday 20 February 2009 - Ladies' Night This is held on a Friday night closest to 14 February - which we all know is Valentine's Day. This is no coincidence as it all started way back as a members' night out (men only) and now it has kind of snowballed and we now have the Ladies' Night as we know it here in Rochdale. On this night we all treat the lady in our lives, by inviting them along to the Masonic Hall at Richard Street for a meal and entertainment. The meal is provided by Martin and his dedicated staff and is superb. There is always plenty of food and we have never had any complaints yet (fingers crossed). Entertainment is normally a dance band, quartet or disco - nothing too heavy, just a great night out. So come on lads if you are in the mood next Valentine's Day, why not treat the lady in your life and come along to Rochdale and enjoy our Ladies' Night - you won't be disappointed and neither will your little lady.
Sunday 29 March - Grand National Draw Having sold all our tickets that Charlie Davies sent the Away team set off on this day for the Grand National Draw at the British Legion Club, Ramsbottom. Apart from the tickets already purchased we always buy extra on the day and we always get a result. This year we drew three numbers with jammy Gordon dragging the second number of the day (can't remember when he has not drawn one), Andy the MP was next up, with Craig the chef coming third. This is a good day out, a few beers and a pie and peas lunch provided by Charlie and Trieste Branch. By the way if you want to know who ate all the pies you only have to look at Rochdale Branch and Cleggie (doggie bad and all).
Gallipoli Weekend 25/26 April 2009 What a good weekend for Rochdale - among all the pomp and circumstance there was a small ceremony on the 25th, that being the car raffle. Well all the hard work of pushing the tickets at every meeting paid off for one of Rochdale's members. Yes, you guessed it the winning ticket for the car was none other than Craig (the chef) Grice. Well done Craig - rumour has it that Craig's wife Margaret has had the car updated for herself and cannot make up her mind where to put the ejector seat button. Well never mind - happy motoring Craig or should that be Margaret.
On the 26 in the Drill Hall there was a presentation made by Colonel
Brian Gorski, or a Regimental Certificate of Merit to our Chairman,
Tommy (the Chippie) Bailey. Tom well deserves this award after serving
twenty years in this post. Tom wears many caps of
All in all a good weekend for Rochdale.
No sooner than the dust settles from the Gallipoli Weekend here in Rochdale and our minds turn to our Bets' Night. This is being held this year at the Royal Toby Hotel, Rochdale on 26 June 2009 - nothing grand, just another good night out with friends, comrades old and new, and who could forget our ladies.
Well I think that's about it for Rochdale Branch.
But hang fire a minute - our President Major Gartside has just brought us up to speed on our Honours' Board. This board is about ten by ten and you won't miss it. It is hanging in all its glory on the wall in the new museum. Well worth a look
Elwin Pickup Secretary Rochdale Branch
I have to say thank you to the Branch members who attend the meetings month in and month out regardless of weather conditions, and the last 4 have been pretty horrid. I would also like to thank Capt O'Grady and Dennis Laverick for coming to the February meeting to deliver a 'speak and slide show' on the future of the club and museum.
Since I have been Chairman, and with the help of Steven Fitt, we have managed to increase the membership by 4 and a further 4 yet to return their pro-formas, so we are still a growing branch. I will, in due course, be sending out a standard letter to all members requesting them to try and attend our monthly meetings in the club. At the moment the average attendance is approximately 10 and it's always the same members. With the closure of the club looming ever closer, we need a larger turnout to have discussions as to where and when we can hold our meetings when the time comes. So come on gentlemen - it's your Branch and without your participation we have nothing. Minden Day will be upon us very soon and I look forward to seeing many of you on the Sunday.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org Tel 07932 372213
ST HELENS AND WIGAN BRANCH
A number of residents, descendants of the soldiers and history buffs missed the event and claim the WLCT chiefs were trying to deflect attention away because they propose that the memorial's position should be controversially moved to the Parson's Walk entrance, as mentioned in previous branch notes. Colonel Martin Steiger, representing the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry Squadron and Wigan TA, laid a wreath at the memorial service in Mesnes Park where individual crosses were laid for the Wigan soldiers who died. Colonel Steiger later apologised and donated £10 to museum funds for mistakenly naming the wrong regiment during the service.
Seventeen soldiers from the Local Imperial Yeomanry were among those fatally injured at the infamous raid on Faber's Put in what is now South Africa. On 30 May 1900 a column of the main British offensive was attacked by 600 Boers as it waited for supplies at a farmhouse. After a fierce battle, 27 colonial soldiers were killed and 41 wounded before the enemy were driven back. I believe the WLCT are trying to cover up their plans to move the memorial and I and my fellow members will continue to battle to keep the memorial in its original location.
On a lighter note, the annual Branch concert at Billinge Labour Club was a huge success, raising much needed funds for the branch. A big thank-you to our Chairman, Frank Taylor, for organising such a well attended and entertaining evening. Special thanks to Chapel End Labour Club for continually allowing us to hold the event free of charge.
If you'd like to become a member of our branch, why not come along to one of our meetings at St Helens Catholic Club, Crab Street on the last Friday of every month
Barry Storey Secretary
OLDHAM BRANCH NOTES
Thanks go to:- our M62 families who voted that the original plaque,
now mounted on 700 year old English oak, should go to the new Fusilier
Museum, the Asssociation Band and Drums, Dennis and Alf our adopted
Chelsea pensioners and our standard bearers Les Berry LF, John Ulrich
RRF,Mick Fowles RRF Brian Armstead,RRF and Paul Heywood (Spud) now
promoted to area RRF standard.
We hope to see you all soon at
any of the forthcoming events:-
Wishing everyone well. Once a fusilier always a fusilier. Oldham Branch
FUSILIERS' ASSOCIATION (LANCASHIRE)
BAND AND CORPS of DRUMS
As I compile these notes for the first edition of the 2009 Newsletter, I am reminded that twelve months ago this very day, the Band and Drums were playing at the Hamilton Military Tattoo in Canada on their second tour at the same venue, having been there in 2004. The 2008 tour was no exception and was enjoyed by all who attended, particularly our Musical Director, Mike Thomas, who once again had the opportunity of conduction the Massed Bands on Parade. Since their return, both the Band and The Corps of Drums have been in great demand throughout the country, and of course much more on their home ground. Rochdale and Oldham Branches excelled in Festivals of Remembrance in their respective towns, and the Band and Drums played a major role in both.
Each year at Christmas the Band provide a concert at Broughton House, Salford Home for Ex Service Personnel at a time when they are fund raising. This is always an enjoyable time which the residents look forward to. Each year we also entertain at their Summer Fair. The Royal British Legion call upon our services twice per year. In July we provide the music at Manchester Cathedral for their Annual Church Service and also at the Lord Lieutenant's Poppy Appeal Award Ceremony.
The Corps of Drums are very active in their own right, leading
parades and performing their very famous 'Black Light' Show. They
frequently entertain at Corporate Dinners throughout the north west
and more recently at a television star's wedding. Both the Band and
Drums are always in prominence at Regimental Commemorations for Gallipoli
and Minden. They are very much looking forward to entertaining at
the Fusilier Gathering in
A Soldier - His prayer
Stay with me, God. The night is dark,
I love a game. I love a fight.
Life with it's change of mood and shade.
You stilled the waters at Dunkirk
We were alone, and hope had fled;
Dear God, that nightmare road! And then
I knew that Death is but a door.
I'm but the son my mother bore
Help me, O God when Death is near
Archivist Roy Woods
Elizabeth Cross honours families of fallen troops
LIST OF OFFICIALS FUSILIERS ASSOCIATION
Chairman: Capt J OGrady
Secretary: Mr S Fitt
Treasurer: Major J Hindshaw TD DL
The fortieth year of the Royal regiment of Fusiliers (5th , 6th , 7th & XX) has passed during which we have seen the formal end of Operation Banner, and our Fusiliers have been seeing serious active service in Asia. It would be interesting to compare the the number of rounds fired on active service by the average Fusilier since the Third Fusiliers went to War in 1991 with the number of rounds fired on active service by the average member of our four antecedent Regiments in their combined 1,151 years of history. If 1914-18 and 1939-45 were excluded I'll bet a tenner that the Fusiliers of 1RRF, 2RRF & 3RRF would well ahead, will anyone take up the challenge with some research and report back?
I have also tasked all of the Branch Secretaries to try their best to increase branch numbers by 10-15% by Jan 2009. I am also very pleased to announce that major (Rtd) Brian Bath has decided to join our executive committee along with Warrant Officer (Rtd) Ian Hilton with whom their vast experience in Regimental matters will benefit the Association Lancashire greatly.
The long journey South for the Fusilier Gathering was much enjoyed by all who attended and a big thank you must go to Major Bowes-Crick and Captain John Davies for all of their hard work over that weekend. The choral singers during the church service on the Sunday morning were outstanding and after a hearty lunch all arrived back in Manchester on the Sunday evening. Lancashire is very pleased to be hosting the 2009 Gathering and will take great pleasure in welcoming you all, to what will be, we hope, a very enjoyable weekend. With a very busy year ahead for Lancashire in mind, may I take this opportunity to thank all of my very hard working committee and branch secretaries, for all that they do in keeping alive the Association in their areas, and wish them and their families and all members of the Regimental Association a very happy, holy and peaceful Christmas and New Year.
Association Secretarys Notes
Association Web Master: email@example.com
Display of the Fusiliers in Northern Ireland in our
News from RHQ HM Tower of London
In October, the Colonel-in-Chief and the Colonel of
the Regiment, Brig Trevor Minter, together visited 1RRF in Basra.
Surviving in tiny coffin beds, surrounded by breeze blocks and Kevlar, British troops have little privacy as they cram into a network of tents.
Insurgent rocket attacks are still a constant threat and every member of personnel in the huge Contingency Operating Base is required to have full body armour and helmet to hand whenever they move from their living space.
But this isnt the Basra that was ravaged by murders,
kidnappings, suicide bombs and mortars just eight months ago.
Dozens of insurgents were eliminated, killed by American and Iraqi battlegroups. Hundreds more fled to Iran with the remainder going to the north of the country, where military sources say they have now been wiped out as well.
Supporting this operation were hundreds of British troops working on logistics to help capture known insurgents in the city.
But there is still plenty of work to be done here and Midlands soldiers in the First Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, are at the heart of all that is going on.
Each fusilier works on a nine day cycle within the
7th Armoured Brigade the Desert Rats.
But nearly a month ago the troops had to deal with
every soldiers worst nightmare.
The Fusiliers supported rescue units as they rushed to the scene, providing much needed back-up to deal with any possible attacks amid the destruction.
Unfortunately seven Americans were killed. But for the Midlands troops it is part of the reality of war that they have come to know all too well.
Stuart Thorne, 32 and from Sheldon, Birmingham, said: We see a lot of awful stuff while on tour but this time round its not quite so bad.
I was in Basra when we entered the country and
took over the city.
This tour has been much better much quieter.
Now, when soldiers go into the villages they are greeted
by smiling children.
But there is not much we can do as individual
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
This is an unbelievable story that happens to be true. During the campaign in Sicily, 2nd Batt D Coy LF had the job of clearing the town of Bronte. It was a night attack with no moon and not a lot of opposition as I think our noisy neighbours were more intent on pulling back to the coast to get to Italy. We got to the other side of the town and took the steep hill in the dark, suffering a few casualties.
But I am here to tell the tale.
Joe Warden - Omnia Audax
Jim has now given up train spotting, so we all embarked to the train as a group, seats had not been reserved so we would not all be sitting together. This arrangement does have distinct advantages as 4 of us were going to find out. The train left on time and was soon doing 100mph. (Jim said so as he had counted the mile posts!)
A lady sitting diagonally opposite to myself and 3 others got up and walked down the carriage. About 5 minutes later she returned and looked across at the 4 of us with a rather peculiar look on her face half grin half smirk. When I later visited Stan`s table at the other end of the coach I was told (not by Stan) that the lady had gone into the toilet and found it occupied by Stan, who was sitting on the throne. She promptly gave him a lecture on toilet etiquette. `One does not use the bog without closing and locking the door, this my good man switches the occupancy light from green to red`. The lady gave him the lecture with the door wide open. Exit Stan some minutes later red faced and to cheers of the fellow travelers. The door was firmly closed and locked on the return journey.
We arrived in London on time. I still cannot believe that you can get to London and return for £23, and without any trouble. It has got to be the bargain of the year.
From Euston a taxi into the Union Jack Club, a few beers, dinner and more beers. The topic of conversation was, of course, the correct way to use various facilities on a train! Stan refused to enter into any conversation. That was a first for old sun-burned tongue.
We saw a few of our old friends from last year and also a member of staff ex RRF from Newcastle who was a friend of Jack Spencer. Jack had been a P.S.I. at Bury and this chap was going to a reunion up north, so we asked him to give our best wishes to Jackie.
From the hospital we went to the Imperial War Museum. This is some museum and you really need a full day to see everything. The walking proved too much for some of our members so the visit was cut short. One of the exhibits in the basement on Aden shows a R.N.F. arresting a terrorist. The arresting fusilier was Tony Lofthouse, another of `D` Coy P.S.I.`s now unfortunately deceased.
We did again make representation to Buckingham Palace for his LS & GCM, but as it was a no show for a second time by him, the message came out no cucumber sandwiches and no medals that`s final, but as a gesture of good will they sent out a season ticket for Bury. Now they are rarer than LS & GCM`s
We returned to the Union Jack Club via a boat and taxi. On arrival a few of the crew decided to have a stroll around the back streets. We came across a very quaint pub, nice and quiet with good beer. A word of warning do not say to barmaids in London and yours. They do not take 20p as in Lancashire, it`s £3 minimum. Martin made this mistake, but to make matters worse he was paying with my money!
At about 5 pm this quiet pub was invaded by the local business people. Within 5 minutes from 10 people being in the pub, it was over 100, all Hurray Henries and Henriettas. We beat a hasty retreat. On the pavement outside were another 50, all drinking and blocking the road like bees around a honey pot.
After dinner 6 of us went into the bar, Martin was already in, his immediate words were I`ll have a pint as I`ve already bought a round. How can you buy a round of drinks for one person?
The next trip is Gallipoli I am told, Anyone wanting to go contact Jim Worrall. Stan is not going as he has an appointment at Chester Zoo, they are making him a new set of teeth.
Oh right said the grinning Fusilier the KISOX!
On entering Bellerby Camp one Fusilier said to another Did you know the roof repairs at this camp are done by the same person who does Sennybridge? How do you know? was the reply Look at the sign it tells you. The sign read Use Crawling Boards for all roof repairs. I wonder what rank he thought Crawling Boards was?
Two Fusiliers talking before a parade Smith won`t be on parade. Why? said his made He`s on sick parade was the reply. I`m not surprised said the second Fusilier he`s a bloody HYCOPONDRIAC.
Two soldiers, one Fusilier and one from Yorks & Lancs, leaving the NAFFI at Warminster. A soldier going into the NAFFI said What time is it Jack?
How did you know my name was Jack? said the Y & L. I guessed itsaid the squaddie. Well guess the bloody time then smarty! came the reply.
The battle was fought through some rose gardens near the town, the men plucked the blossoms and placed them in their hats, hence the custom, ever since observed, of wearing roses in the head-dress on the anniversary of this battle.
Twas St. Patrick himself, sure, that set it,
And the sun on his labour with pleasure did smile,
And the dew from his eyes often wet it,
It thrives through the bog, through the brake and the mire-land,
And he called it the dear little shamrock of Ireland.
The dear little, sweet little, shamrock of Ireland.
Fresh and fair as the daughters of Erin,
Whose smile can bewitch, and whose air can command,
In each climate they ever appear in;
For they shine through the bog, through the break and the mire-land,
Just like their own little shamrock of Ireland.
When its three little leaves are extended,
Denotes from one stalk we together should toil,
And ourselves by ourselves be befriended,
And still through the bog, through the brake and the mire-land,
From one root should branch, like the shamrock of Ireland.
Heres to the Lancashire lad,
Heres to the lass who shed a tear
Heres to his dear old Dad.
Heres to his dear old Mother
Heres to the glory hes won,
Heres to his King and Country
God Bless This Mothers Son.
Three young British Soldiers were murdered by a gang of outlawed men,
Dusk was just descending on that dull November day,
When this gang of murderers descended on their prey.
Far from home and parents, these young boys had to die,
With not a friend to comfort them, nor bid a last goodbye.
Brave heroic boys they were, not like their murderers who run and hide,
Noble was the cause, they fought for and the cause for which they died.
Long live the British Army, and to God on high we pray,
That soon theyll bring to justice those cowardly thugs for their dreadful deed that day.
1120hrs Veterans Challenge, a Parachute Regiment veteran abseiled down Blackpool Tower.
1125hrs Introduction to Veterans day at the Cenotaph.
1140hrs 12th Regiment Royal Artillery Freedom of the Borough march past.
1150hrs Spitfire fly past.
1155hrs National Veterans day service at the Cenotaph (with Standards) in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
1400hrs 100 Standards led the Veterans through a Royal Artillery guard of honour to receive their badges. The oldest veteran present was 112.
1900hrs BBC Radio 2 did a music night broadcast from the Tower Ballroom.
2200hrs Illuminated night time parachute drop by the Red Devils on to the beach.
2215hrs Grand fireworks finale on the Central Promenade.
Co Down, Northern Ireland, BT19 6LR Tel: 07718586853.
Well I can report Cleggie finally got his Association Medal of Merit and he wears it with his pride along side our own medal of merit, we could do to see more of these presented here in Lancashire as I am sure that one or two deserve them.
27th June 2008 Veterans day we held our veterans dinner at the Royal Toby Hotel and what a night, there was thirty two of us attending the dinner. On arrival we found out that the Toby Hotel and what a night, there was thirty two attending the dinner. On arrival we found out that the Toby management had changed the menu and instead of the fixed menu of three courses we had to choose between a special menu of steak, chicken or fish along with a bottle of wine for two, after running about explaining what was going on, seventeen bottles of wine appeared on the table, this kind of soften the blow a bit, it was not long before everyone was enjoying the evening. It was nice to see that when at the beginning of the meal, we as a branch always stand and the chairman Mr Tom Bailey recites the branch prayer, as Tom started I and several others happened to look up and glance around the room and woo and behold several other tables in the room containing civilians had stood up with us, I dont know if this was coincidence or just pure respect for us old vets, I like to think the latter. The change of menu proved a success and on paying the bill we found that the cost was not as much as expected.
We also had a tide sum left over, so at the branch meeting we made a quick decision to spend the left over on the ladies, for the Minden Ball all our ladies were presented with fresh Minden roses as a nice surprise for them.
On the 26th July 2008 we held our Minden Ball in the Masonic Hall Rochdale all who attended had a very good night, as usual we have had no bad reports. The entertainment was provided by Eddie Hilton Quartet and we found this better than some of the big bands we have had in the past, and it showed, the only time the dance floor was empty was when the members and guest were tucking into the buffet. This year the honour of eating the roses went to Mr Walter (Wally to his mates) Kirk and Mr David Barber. Now Dave has eaten the roses before and knew when to stop but not poor old Wally he carried on and down went the stalk and all. He was quoted as saying later that the petals are ok, a bit like cabbage but them stalks kept sticking between the teeth. Sorry Wally some one should have told you when to stop.
21st September 2008 and a dozen of us set off for the Royal Armouries Museum at Leeds, this was a good day out but you need more than a day to go round all the exhibitions on display, so you do need to set off early so you can browse the five floors and take in the jousting display over in the court yards. I think they have everything from the first club to Darth Vader's space gun in that collection.
Remembrance Day parade here in Rochdale went off well and the sun shone on the righteous once again, we got away with it and the heavens never opened and the parade went as planned from the forming up in Mere St (after a couple of warmers in the Polish Club) and marching down Drake St to forming up on the Cenotaph. There was a good turn out by the public, somewhere in the region of a thousand people had come to pay their respects. Congratulations must go to one of our members Mr Gordon Wharton who is a standard bearer for the British Legion. Gordan was on parade at Littleborough and judging from the write up in the local newspaper Gordon stole the show by appearing in all the photographs proudly leading the parade, who says Gordon is camera shy!
Well the A Team is away at the moment, they set off straight after the Remembrance Parade for Ypre and the Mennin Gate with full intention of being on parade on the 11th November 2008. So until they return things seem rather quiet here in Rochdale, a sense of silence fell over our bottom office (Café Cali). We will have to see what story they come back with. I asked them to keep notes or is it bloggs these days.
Just a reminder, some dates for 2009.
27th June 2009 Veterans dinner. Arrangements to be confirmed.
25th July 2009 Minden Ball, Masonic Hall, Richard St, Rochdale.
Festival of Remembrance (Oldham)
Visits to the Royal Hospital Chelsea
Oldham Xmas Party
Past & Present Dinner
Oldham branch is looking forward to another active year. Arthur Marshall is also working on some golf during the coming year with our own tee markers for the Museum Appeal. All the best to all, with single thanks to our Band & Drums who support us so well throughout the year.
Raffle prizes for functions. Please of you have something worthwhile to donate, give us a ring and we will attempt to pick it up if it is unmanageable. We thank Ray OBrian for his donation which consisted of an off road childrens motor bike, and various other items which will support one of our functions in the near future. Thank you Ray in Sussex.
We also thank HRH The Duke of Kent for the signed Assoc shirt, which is in the process of being framed, he had it done for us whilst visiting the troops in Iraq & Afghanistan earlier this year. The Branch The loss of CSgt Barry Robbo Robinson hit us all hard, as did Billy Deans before him. We shall attend the funeral on 4th December 2008 which we understand is in the Dagenham area (next issue more news).
Locally Alan Noble, Ron Owen, Arthur Marshall, Joe Farquer, Popeye Cochrane & Tony Harrop continue to make things happen, and hopefully with great support from our five standard bearers we shall attract more & more Fusiliers to the branch.
We wish everyone a happy Xmas and New Year.
GALLIPOLI SUNDAY 26th APRIL 2009
Tel 0161 764 2208
If you click on anything in White i.e. e mail address or web site there is a automatic link to it (try doing that on a piece of paper)
LIST OF OFFICIALS-FUSILIERS ASSOCIATION
President: Col B M Gorski
The Regimental Jottings give information edited from the regular emails
that I am sent from the Tower of London . The information on the Op
Banner Commemoration is important to many of us. If you do not have
computer access at home, remember that most public libraries have free
public internet access.
For up to date news from 1RRF in Iraq browse http://www.thefusiliers.org
Letter from the Chairman - Capt. John O'Grady (Ret'd)
Dear Members of the Association,
E-mail addresses - Lancashire Headquarters, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
SECRETARYS NOTES - Steven Fitt
Firstly I thank Lt Col Eric Davidson DL for all the hard work he has put in over the last 3 years as Chairman of the Association Lancashire, I am sure you all wish him well in his new post. Thank you everyone who attended the Gallipoli weekend, 'what is it on the march past, there are Primrose hackles standing out in the crowd watching?' Come on gents next year is the BIG one, if you feel that you can't march ¾ of a mile, let us know in plenty of time (and I don't mean the week before) and we will see what can be done. At the end of June I am going to France and Belgium and will be visiting the Somme Battlefields to lay a wreath at Sunken Lane. A reminder for your diary Sunday 3rd August is Minden day at the Club. This is also the last day that the Regimental Museum will be open, so make sure that we give the old place a send off and it will be your last chance to purchase tie pins, cuff links, etc until April next year.
Fusilier News 4th January 2008
New Year's Honours
Fusilier News 10th March 2008
For the publication the following as having been Mentioned in Dispatches in recognition of gallant and distinguished service in Afghanistan during the period 1 April - 30 September 2007" Capt Robin David Smith, The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers
RECRUITING FOR THE REGIMENT
Fusilier News 23rd April 2008
St George's Day Greetings from the Colonel of the Regiment and All
St George's and Gallipoli Weekend Celebrations
1ST FUSILIERS ON OPERATIONS
OPERATION BANNER COMMEMORATION SERVICE - 10 SEPTEMBER 2008
You can apply for tickets for the Service in St Pauls Cathedral by
following the link http://www.veterans-uk.info/
Fusilier News 17th June
HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY HONOURS LIST
Another massive success for the Band & Drums.
LT COL E DAVIDSON DL
I first met Eric Davidson in 1967, as a young Sgt PSI at the TAC in
Bury. I was driving down the Bury/Bolton road in a Land Rover when I
noticed a Police motor cyclist following me. I eventually got back to
the TAC and he was still following me, right into the TAC yard. My first
thought was 'what have I done now'. It transpired that this officer
was Eric Davidson and he wanted to get involved with the Army Cadet
Force. We gave him all the details he required and off he went.
John Scotson BEM
P.S. Congratulation to Lt Col Eric Davidson MBE DL
LANCASHIRE AREA HEADQUARTERS
Dedication of a New Standard
Lt Croxford, Cpl Brady, Lcpl Day, Fus Worsley,
A further eight will deploy on Op TOSCA to Cyprus in September. For
many this is their second or third operational tour and at the risk
of being controversial there are few post war regular or National Service
Lancashire Fusiliers who can boast this sort of operational experience.
The Platoon is now looking forward to the arrival of Sgt Jones formerly
of the Regimental Recruiting Team in Lancashire who will shortly take
up the appointment of PSI. In the mean time CSM Gilks will continue
as acting Platoon Commander and PSI as well as holding down a full time
job. The Platoon continues to be held in very high regard by their parent
Battalion 4LANCS and this is best summed up in this extract from B (Somme)
Company notes taken from the 2007 Kingsman Magazine.
The Fusilier Association Club.
Gallipoli Weekend 2008
M J GLOVER
At the time of writing we are gearing up for our social evening on
the 6th June. Obviously the event will have passed by the time this
issue of the News Sheet is published. However judging by the response
to verbal advertising on Gallipoli / St George's day in Bury a favourable
turnout "is/was" expected (more in next issue). Anticipation,
expectation 'excitation', these adjectives just about exhaust the dictionary
of superlatives but cover adequately the feeling running through the
Liverpool Branch at present, the reason? LIVERPOOL THE CITY OF CULTURE
2008. What has this got to do with non Liverpudlians or non Merseysiders
you may ask, everything say I! Liverpool was a City in Lancashire on
a par with Manchester and our County Palatine City of Lancaster. So
you see even though 'dee doan talk like wot sum do doodle' Liverpudlians
or Merseysiders, whatever people may pre fix them are Lancastrians.
Culture? Perhaps this is another question on the lips or in the minds
of many. I will endeavour to answer that unspoken thought / question.
(quote) culture, an understanding of intellectual achievement, of customs,
of civilization, of a particular time or people (un quote). Time? Of
war people? Of Lancashire people throughout this great County of ours
who paved the way for our present day (admittedly not so appreciative
at times) society. So this years Remembrance Parade is eagerly awaited
and being tied in with the City's 2008 status hopefully will add impetus.
The state of the Branch membership is stable at present, with attendances
at our monthly meetings fluctuating between 12 & 18 subject to holidays
and ailments. We extend a welcome to two new members in the person of
Frank Cotham ex Signal Platoon 1LF and Ted O'Hare ex MT/MT D Coy 1LF.
For details of meeting please contact the Secretary
ST HELENS BRANCH NOTES
ROCHDALE BRANCH NOTES
TRIESTE BRANCH NOTES
Charles Davies. (meetings held Wellington Barracks on the first Tuesday of the month at 8.00pm)
Branch membership stands at 159, from most part of the Country. Barry
'Robo' Robinson is on the mend and recovering well after his illness,
he apologises for missing Gallipoli. We have had a few days out since
the last issue.
'Once a Fusilier always a Fusilier'
`D` COY 5 LF/RRF
The mortar platoon was always a bit different, or odd you might say.
If you strayed into earshot of them you would hear strange phrases such
as "condition the rounds, trilux sights, stabilo pencils, post
two, stamp in, in two, plotterboards, Wendy House" etc.
Minden 2008 The Minden celebration this year will once again take place
at the Regimental Club on Sunday 3rd August. Start time as normal will
be early. It is hoped that we will have the usual Band Concert and Display
by the Corps of Drums. You should also be aware that this will be the
last day that the present Museum will be open to the public. The Museum
will close to visitors after this event to prepare for the move to the
new site in the centre of Bury. Please pass this onto any ex LFs who
you may know of who do not keep in contact with the Regiment.
2009 IS THE 250TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF MINDEN (OMNIA AUDAX)
John Scotson BEM
VERSES ON DISPLAY AT THE NATIONAL ARBORETUM LICHFIELD
I am an only child I cannot say thank you A life lived in freedom
Whilst we have children like this, all is not lost! Charles Davies, Trieste branch
LIST OF OFFICIALS-FUSILIER ASSOCIATION
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
In July we welcomed our new Colonel of The Regiment Brigadier
Trevor J Minter
I would particularly like to thank all those who attended
our Minden Day on Sunday
I am aware of much hard work that is going on within our
Association, and our links
I thank you for your loyal support during 2007 and I offer
New Year Greetings to all
The e-mail addresses for the Lancashire Headquarters of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers are as follows:
Lt Col M J Glover TD Area Secretary Lancs
Another 6 months have passed and we have lost several ex Fusiliers but it has also been a proud one, with Fusilier Andrew Barlow being awarded the George Medal. The Regiment has two serving George medal holders from Lancashire, who says the spirit of the old Lancashire Fusiliers does not live on in the present day, they are both from Lancashire and Fusiliers. Minden Day was well attended many thanks to those who attended. A few comments were made about the wreath laying ceremony, gentlemen if you have anything to complain about see your branch Chairman or Secretary who can then pass it on through the correct channels. Recently I was approached at a branch meeting about a death of a former Lancashire Fusilier and asked the question 'why did no one attend , and where were the Standards?' All Branch Secretaries have my home telephone number and as I am still in full time employment I can arrange for someone to stand in for me. Many thanks to those people from Oldham Branch that made the trip out to Cyprus. Where do all the Lancashire Area officers disappear to on the gatherings, on the last two we have had one Officer attend and that was Lt Col Glover, many thanks Sir. Branch Secretaries now is the time to think of the 2008 Gathering, accommodation and travel. And thank you Ronnie Owen for getting the Oldham lads together and to Tom king who came from Berlin. Remembrance Sunday, it was great to see so many Primrose hackles on Parade in town again.
Over the past few weeks I have been reading some old copies
of the News Sheet and there are some excellent anecdotes printed in them.
Some of them are seventeen or eighteen years old but they are very good,
and I thought they deserved a reprint. A lot of you will not have seen
them and they may jog your memory to come up with a few more. Read on
'Tough - you're not tough
Cyprus 1958. On their tour of Cyprus at one stage 1LF
were based in the huge mainly tented camp ar Kermia. HMS Blackpool the
same type of ship as HMS Euryalus was in the area and parties of LFs went
to the ship and sailors visited the Battlaion.
Get Your Thinking Caps On Gents
Museum Project. The ground breaking ceremony took place
at the beginning of October when a silver plated shovel provided by Eric
Davidson, who appears to have everything in his garage, signalled the
start of the building phase of the Museum Project. Work on the building
will take 12 months. Fit out of the museum displays will start at the
end of October 2008 with a view to a "soft opening" at the end
of February 2009. A "soft opening" predates the official opening
and provides an opportunity to make sure that the lights work and the
cabinets do not fall on small children.
M J GLOVER
Bury Grammar School Founders Day. The summer season began
with Bury Grammar School Founders Day at the beginning of May. The Regiment
has been associated with the School since 1891 when the School Cadet Corps
was attached to the 1st Volunteer Battalion of the XX The Lancashire Fusiliers.
The day began with a Church Service in the Regimental Church of St Mary
the Virgin and was followed by luncheon at the School. Other than providing
a fine lunch for the Area Secretary, which is very important, it provides
an opportunity to confirm the link between school and Regiment.
M J GLOVER
BURY BRANCH NOTES
Having visited the Imperial War Museum in Trafford Park,
Manchester, where they was an exhibition covering War Graves, one of our
intrepid standard bearers, Kevin Heselwood was spurred into action and
discovered that in Bury Cemetery there are three war graves. These belong
OLDHAM BRANCH NOTES
Local Oldham Branch Members are still conducting a Tribute
Parade to our far Eastern prisoners of War after 62 years. The Town marks
the occasion on the 15th August every year. As a promise to Oldhams Ex
Far Eastern prisoners, which stated, that whilst and Ex prisoners are
alive, the Ex service would conduct a parade at the War Memorial every
year prior to 1969 the FEPOW Association would hold a small Parade. But
as of 1969 the Town made its pledge and the Parades became an involvement,
for all Ex servicemens Associations. There are two remaining Far East
prisoners alive today, within the Town, both in homes. However families
still attend every year. It is intended that on the 40th year, since 1969-2009
the Oldham liaison will lay up the Standard of the Far Eastern prisoners
of War at Oldham Gallery. Wreaths are laid by the Mayor of the Town, FEPOW
families and the Oldham liaison Sec / Chairman Alan Noble RRF, who does
also remind all of FEPOW Exaltation and Kohima statement, in 1969 the
Chief guest was Col Philip Toosey, Colonel of the River Kiwai. At the
time of the visit he was a Brigadier. He passed away 21/12/1975. the FEPOW
Association does not exist today of course, however, the Standard is Paraded
where ever possible, thanks to our Standard Bearers of the Town, which
also includes Les Berry Lancs Fus, Paul Heywood RRF and Mick Fowles RRF.
ONCE A FUSILIER ALWAYS A FUSILIER
REGIMENTAL CLUB NOTES
The committee continues to keep the club going with live entertainment every Saturday evening normally 2X acts with a quiz night on Thursday evening which has become popular football on Sunday afternoons backed up with wakes private parties etc. the steward and his good lady run a good good club which always proves value for money the committee with pat now fully in control of the finances work hard to make end meets the latest information is as follows there will be no movement of the club before late 2009 this is confirmed by lease so we ask all fusiliers, ex fusiliers to use the club whenever you can to keep the club going or book your branch into the club for a Friday evening perhaps after 2009 our lease will increase so we need your revenue now you are one of the few regiments that still have a club if ever there was a time to use it its now happy Christmas and new year to all committee remains the same with additions Mick rea and Tommy we are open every night all day Saturday and Sunday for your own bookings advance warning is essential all the best to you all, to all our members regimental/social thank you for your custom without you we are nothing have a good 2008
ROCHDALE BRANCH NOTES
When I signed off in June this year our first Veterans
Night was fast approaching and I said I would report back and bring you
up to date. We held our Veterans Night on the 22nd June this was a nearest
as we could get to the 27th June which is the official Veterans Day. It
was decided by the committee that we should arrange a sit down meal at
a local restaurant (testing the waters) after much deliberation the Crimble
Restaurant at bamford Rochdale was chosen. For those who do not know the
Crimble the food is superb, and the ambience, its surroundings are very
hard to beat. From the stone pillars that adorn either side of the open
fireplace, which carries the Lancashire Fusilier badge in the Conservatory
Restaurant, through to the Peacock Room and Restaurant and with the plaintive
calls of the peacocks echoing through the surrounding grounds, you could
not wish for a better venue. Twenty seven of us sat down to the meal and
to take it easy on the chefs and staff we kept to a fixed menu as the
rest of the restaurant was chocker as they say in Geordie land. As I said
the meal was superb, the waitresses great and the evening was kept light
in that the only Regimental ceremony carried out was the loyal toast and
absent friends. Due to the fact that Veterans Day is all about them that
served and came back, we will remember our fallen on the appropriate date.
Twenty seven members enjoyed the first Veterans Night so much that members
of the branch have clamoured for a bigger venue in 2008, somewhere more
central they said. Well here goes a date for your diary, we have booked
our next Veterans Night for the 13th June 2008 (sorry this was the nearest
date available). It is to be held at the Masonic Buildings, Richard Street,
Rochdale. Tickets will be on sale in the New Year. Our Minden Ball held
on the 28th July 2007 was a great success in that all that attended enjoyed
themselves. This year the honor of eating the roses went to one of our
older members Mr Ellis Jones and one of our younger members Mr David Day.
The highlight of the evening went to Cannon Alan Shackleton who is our
acting Padre and he keeps us on the path of all things righteous. Cannon
Alan Shackleton kindly agreed to bless our new St Georges Standard. The
Standard was presented to the Branch by our TA. Contingent on their return
from Iraq in 2006. Apologies to Lt Col P W Merriman MBE. His Officers
and all Ranks of 2RRF from all member of the Rochdale Branch of the Fusilier
Association in that we could not attend the Fusilier Gathering in Cyprus,
this was solely down to logistical reasons. On October 14th Clegg &
Thorpe Tours was brought into action and the A team set off on their annual
pilgrimage to France and Belgium in one well packed car and minibus. This
time we had chosen to travel from Hull to Zebrugger on the ferry, this
allowed for a short trip up the motorway, a good nights sleep on the ferry
(lucky for some Sumo) and a short de-tour through Dunkirk and onto Ypre
and our base, which was the hotel Areianne. I am pretty sure one round
about was suffering from De-Ja-Vo syndrome but well done Truly we got
there. I know your used to reading maps from the sky (AAC REME). Well
we settled in to the hotel and went for a good walk round Ypre calling
at the Menin Gate Memorial, to check the events board standing, there
it felt like checking the part one notice board (way back then). We were
booked into parade at 2000hrs Wednesday night for the wreath ceremony,
so therefore off we went to plan the next four day visits. Tuesday we
visited Talbot House and the site of the Shot at Dawn in Poperinge these
are two sites well worth a visit. Talbot house as a Museum is still going
through some changes, with a new entrance being constructed on the side
street. But from the chapel in the attic were the squaddies from yester
year knelt and prayed, down through the new cinema staged in the old concert
hall where you can stop and watch footage of the lads as they acted out
their burlesque performances, to the grounds below where you can walk
around the well manicured lawns and gardens, yes its worth a visit. Ho
bye the way if you bump into the Padre on your tour please pay him no
heed he will not harm you, he is still only tending to his flock. (Ghost
if you believe, but as you enter the chapel there is a drop in temperature).
The shot at dawn experience is entirely different in that you can imagine
what went through the minds of some of the young men that were executed,
thousands of miles away from home and in a no win situation, thrown into
the cells, a court martial, sentenced, thrown back into the cells, only
to be led out at dawn and shot. What had theses lads gone through not
all were cowards as history has proved. Wednesday we visited the war Museum
at the Hooge crater, Hill 62 and Tyne Cot cemetery here we visited the
graves of the Known only to God Fusilier and that of Private Richard Lancaster,
poppy wreaths were laid as a mark of our respects. It was also good to
see so many youngsters there in Tyne Cot. Weather they were visiting loved
ones graves or on school trips. One school that showed an interest in
our party was Bramhall Grammar School for girls from Stockport (of all
places). Questions were fired, fast and quick but in good old Fusilier
fashion what we could not answer, we winged it. We also visited the site
where the Fusiliers remains had been found, and again laid poppies. This
must have been a very solemn place to die all those years ago but at last
they are laid to rest, God Bless You Lads. Wednesday night soon loomed
and at 2000hrs we were at the Menin Gate Memorial, Blazer, Slacks, Beret
and hackle, Medals if you had them. A mixed bunch on Parade but we represented,
The Fusilier Association Rochdale Branch. Fifteen of us against over a
thousand tourist, site seers and old comrades who had come to show their
respects to the fallen we looked rather a small bunch in comparison to
the rest. The Last Post was sounded, we were brought to attention and
our standard was lowered. The honour of laying the Poppy Wreath went to
two of our oldest members Mr Norman Holt and Mr Eric Townsend the epitaph
was given by Mr jack McCarrol (well done lads and I think it was a better
showing than the Kiwi Hacker the night before). After all the wreaths
were laid by all the organizations present, Sunrise was sounded, our Standard
was raised and we were fell out to do our own thing. A Chinese meal was
order of the night and we headed for the New Shanghai City Restaurant.
Must admit the Chinese meal was good, washed down with half a dozen bottles
of re, a good night was had by all. Thursday morning, we rushed around
the Belgium country side visiting more sites of interest and at dinner
time came to a halt. Thursday afternoon was leisure time, time to do some
shopping and wind down and get ready for the Regimental Dinner that night.
The dinner was booked for 1900hrs for 1930hrs. Dressed in all our glory
we assembled in the lounge bar, chance for a couple of warmers in the
bank before being led into dinner by the organizers of Clegg and Thorpe
Battle Field Tours (Peter and Alan to us). The dinner went smoothly along
with a few lively debates, the two swear boxes were in action as usual,
and at the end of our meal fifty four euros had been collected. It was
decided to present this to St Georges Memorial Church Ypre. Friday morning
all were a bit hung over, but one or two still went shopping for the famous
Belgian Chocolate and a bit of duty free. With a well packed car and minibus
we set off back calling in at the Chateau at Passchendaele, this is another
well planned Museum and played a vital roll in the First World War. After
a pleasant hour here we set off for Dunkirk and the beaches. On arrival
we parked up on a deserted car park and made for the beach. After a stroll
of about a quarter of a mile in braising condition it was time for some
food Pathfinder Dave Clegg (Peters brother) spotted a burger van, we left
behind one happy French man, burger and chips fifteen times (at them prices)
yes one happy French man. Well onwards to the ferry and home. We boarded
the ferry, everyone dispersed to their cabins for a wash and brush up
and dinner. After a good night spending the last of our Euros in the bars
and what we can describe as a fitful nights sleep in our cabin (Sumo)
we docked in Hull. All had gone well we were one of the first to be off
the ferry, through passport control, only an hour down the motorway, then
came customs control. We think they were out for a laugh or they were
bored, but yes they pulled us over. Truly and the bunch in the car just
sailed through no problems, but us the dirty dozen well it was passports
checked again several times, who were they looking for? Time wasting or
what. Then appeared Lizzie, a cute little English Springer Spaniel with
her handler, up went a shout, grab your kit they want us off the bus lads,
there going to do a full search of the bus. Line up over there with your
kit in front of you (it felt like being back in the ranks), waiting for
Lizzie to finish the bus, smelling in every corner with her ultra sensitive
nose, making a very through job of it. Lizzie then came over to us, she
was up and over the bags and the odd case, nose going ten to the dozen,
customs officers asking questions. Is that yours? Do you have any duty
free? What have you to declare? What were they expecting to find on a
bus full of old squaddies? After about an hour Lizzie was reined in and
we were allowed to re-pack the minibus, passports returned, no contraband
was found. Safely all back on the bus we were allowed to carry on our
journey home courtesy of the Hull Customs and Excise Unit and Lizzie all
laughing their socks off no doubt. We wonder if the Taliban have such
difficulties entering our green and pleasant land as it seems we Dirty
Dozen were well suspected of something, and we served QUEEN AND COUNTRY.
We arrived back safe and sound in Rochdale at about 1100hrs courtesy of
Clegg and Thorpe Tours and dispersed to all points of a compass, to our
own little abodes. Thanks lads for a grand six days and if anyone wants
an experience, contact Cluthchie anf Truly of Clegg and Thorpe Tours.
ST HELENS BRANCH NOTES
D (INKERMAN) COY
People: I am now completing my first year in command and
have been privileged to work with fantastic soldiers from across the area.
It is particularly fitting and enjoyable to be back with the Fusiliers
again. From Bury Lt Stuart Croxford has recently deployed to 1 LANCS in
preparation for a deployment to Basra. Meanwhile his opposite number from
the Ardwick side of the Coy Lt Chris Gilbert is due to return.
NO BATTLEFIELDS JUST BARS
OLDEST SURVIVING LANCASHIRE FUSILIER
We recently received a letter from Mr a Brewster (I think
he was called Arthur) who is now 95 years old and lives at the address
shown below. Mr Brewster and his wife have been married for 70 years on
23rd April 2008 (a good day to get married on). He joined the LF's on
the 6th October 1930. He served overseas from 1931 until 1936 and 1938
until 1952, his discharge date. He married his wife in Colchester in 1938.
His wife served in the Womens Army Corps and was also a Sgt and they both
served together at the Indian Army Academy at Quetta, at varying stages
she was the Post NCO and later the Sgts Mess Caterer. He left the Army
in 1952 and from 1956 until 1967 he served in the Royal Engineers TA before
immigrating to New Zealand. They were also in married quarters at Wellington
Barracks Bury in the 1930s, (this must be a record). Mr Brewster says
apart from failing eyesight and being a bit frail both himself and his
wife have got all their faculties. The question is:- is Mr Brewster the
oldest surviving Lancashire Fusilier, ( I don't know of anyone older than
MAJOR JOHN SMALE
We have recently made contact with Major John Smale who
was commissioned into the Lancashire Fusiliers in 1935 in Colchester.
Major Smale served in the 2nd Battalion in various places including Dunkirk.
He then went onto become a Commando and took part in a number of famous
Commando raids during the war. He never has forgotten his time with the
Regiment and has now become a member of the Association. I am sure that
he would relish a visit from any old Fusiliers and anyone who would wish
to contact him can do so at the address below. I am sure he would be delighted
to meet some old members of the Regiment. Major John Smale
GREATER MANCHESTER ARMY CADET FORCE
The Company continues to go from strength to strength
and our Cadet numbers consistently hover around the 220 figure. Staffing
in some areas is causing concern. In particular Ramsbottom, Rochdale and
Hulme are in need of a few more staff. I hope this situation can be turned
around soon with the next round of staff recruiting in the New Year. Progression
is a vital part of our national aim and with that in mind over the last
six months we have sent Cadets to the Cadet Training Centre at Frimley
Park to complete their Cadet Leadership Course and Master Cadet Course.
During the summer we were lucky to be invited to visit 3RHA in Germany,
and some 30 Cadets attended the visit. Senior Cadets also required their
Advanced Signals Qualification at Blamford in August.
Remembrance Sunday: The parade and dedication of standard
on Remembrance Sunday at Wellington Barracks proved to be a great success
and my congratulations to the organizers. However it did pose the question
as to how future events are to be run at the new location. I have no doubt
that a similar parade will take place in Bury to rededicate the memorial
once it is re-erected in Sparrow park and appropriate facilities need
to be in place.
M J GLOVER
I FULLY SUPPORT Councillor Walker in his aspiration to see a lasting Memorial to Wellington Barracks and the Lancashire Fusiliers maintained on Bolton Road. Indeed only yesterday, Wednesday 21st he was due to attend a meeting at Wellington Barracks, the day before his letter was published, to discuss this very issue but sadly he was unable to attend. On behalf of those who clearly have an interest in the future of their Memorial i.e. the Fusiliers, I would like to add to Councillor Roy Walker's letter. This is indeed an emotive subject and deserves careful debate and it is important that all those who have a view are well informed. Councillor Walker clearly has an interest and had several invitations both verbal and written to come to Wellington Barracks to discuss the situation but as yet I have not had the pleasure. Interestingly this is not the original site of the Memorial. It was unveiled in 1922 outside the entrance to the original Barracks, on the spot now occupied by the bus stop. It was moves to its present location in the 1960's in order to enable the development of the original Wellington Barracks site. It is important to establish ownership of the Memorial. The Memorial is not public, but private property and belongs to the Trustee of the XX The Lancashire Fusiliers Memorial Collection. It does not belong to the Church Ward or does it belong to the Ministry or Defence. The Trustee's are responsible for its upkeep and it is their wish that it should be restored to its former glory and then moved to Sparrow Park. For this the Trustee's have collected some £25, 000. In Sparrow Park the Memorial will stand alongside and compliment the Lancashire Fusilier Museum Collection together they will provide a fitting Memorial to Fusiliers past and present and be enjoyed by the many rather than the few. Importantly the Memorial can be maintained on a daily basis. I would like to think of the condition that it would be in if it remained at its present location in splendid isolation. We have consulted widely and I have spoken to many Fusiliers on the matter. Although against the move initially all have agreed that the move linked as it is to the £3.75 million Fusiliers Museum Project is the only option when faced with the facts. To a man they would hate to see the Project put at risk because of a dispute over a Memorial. However they all would like some sort of Memorial to record the Barracks and its relationship with the Fusiliers. To this end a planning group has been formed to discuss options. This group includes representatives from the Regiment and from the Council. Discussion is currently centred on the existing gate. This is the last part of the original 1845 Barracks and maintains many original features, unfortunately the other remaining buildings were not part of the original Barracks. Like Councillor Walker we would all like to see a suitable Memorial remain on Bolton Road to commemorate the Barracks and the Lancashire Fusiliers, but the Lutyens Memorial is not it.
M J GLOVER
TREATMENT OF SERVICE PERSONNEL
Over the past few months a lot has appeared in the press regarding the treatment of our service personnel and some of the despicable incidents which occurred with regard to our brave men and women. During September Anne and myself did a 'fly drive' to the USofA covering the Southwest deserts and Canyons (another photographic trip). We started and finished the first part in Salt Lake City. When we returned our car to SLC it was on a Thursday and the chap on the front desk at our hotel suggested we went to see the Thursday night rehearsal of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. We did this and there was about two thousand people present, amongst those present were the crew of the old USS Bruce, who were holding their reunion in the city over that period. Also present were five US Marines recovering from wounds received on active service, two of which were amputees. To honor these men that choir sang the Battle Hymn of the Republic and the Marines Hymn, when the choir finished the whole of the auditorium stood and cheered, I can tell you there was not a dry eye in the place, including ours, it was magnificent. On the following morning whilst waiting for a flight to San Francisco at the Airport, we saw two soldiers in Combat Dress being served a meal at a 'Fast Food outlet'. At which point an obvious business man walked up to the lady at the cash desk and said 'whatever their cheque is put it on mine', he then turned to them and shook their hands and wished them well, brilliant!. Wherever we went we saw service personnel being treated with the utmost respect and we were very touched by all this, in fact we joined in it ourselves. Not all Americans agree with the politics of George Bush and his party, but they sure as hell back their service people to the hit. Most people I have spoken to over there also speak very highly of the British Army as they refer to us all. The one thing they cannot understand is the stories they see in the American press about how our service personnel are treated in some cases, particularly the fiascos over Selly Oak Hospital and Headley Court. Gentlemen what the hell is our country coming to!
Ray Smith: former W02 ACC attached to D Coy 5RRF for many
years passed away June 2007 aged 72 years, Rest in Peace.