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PLEASE VIEW FLYERS AT BOTTOM OF `ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTERS 1. PAGE.  THANKYOU

Association Newsletters.  2.

If you are not in receipt of the WFRA ENewsletter and have internet connection,please contact

RHQ Mercian Nottingham (rhqmercian.notts@btconnect.com) and we will send you the ENews update.

THE WORCESTERSHIRE AND SHERWOOD FORESTERS REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION

Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: Brig P Dennis

............................................................

  25 November 2022     WFRA NEWSLETTER    Volume 13 Issue 56

FUNERAL DETAILS Colonel (CF1) James Stuart Cross

The funeral of Col Cross will be on Friday 9th December at 1300hrs at St Mary's Church, Monk Street , Monmouth , NP25 3NX

FUNERAL DETAILS Peter James Oakley Peter's funeral will be held on Thursday 1st December at 12:00hrs at St Giles Church Sandiacre NG10 5EE, and 13:00hrs at Longmoor Lane Cemetery, Breaston DE72 3RF.
Followed by wake at The White Lion pub Derby Rd, Sandiacre, Nottingham NG10 5HW at 13:30hrs.

OBITUARY "Bud" Collier Bud's funeral will take place on Wednesday 7th December at 16:00hrs at Amber Valley Crematorium, Derby Road, Swanwick, DE55 1BH. Standards would be appreciated.
There will be a wake afterwards at Alfreton Hall, Church Street, Alfreton. DE55 7AH. Bud's daughter Joanne has requested numbers for this so if you will be attending please let Alan Derbyshire know alan.brenda@ntlworld.com and he will inform Joanne.

LETTERS OF CONDOLENCE Condolences in respect of the late 411931 Captain Peter Graham Dunn 3 November 1930 – 19 October 2022. Can be sent to Peter`s Sister:- Maureen McIntosh 4 Huntingdon Green,
Ashford Carbonel, Ludlow, Shropshire. SY8 4DN.

001 NEWS REGARDING THE MERCIAN GALLERY IN NOTTINGHAM CASTLE You have no doubt heard the news that the Trust that runs Nottingham Castle has gone into administration and I wanted to reassure you about the future of our gallery. The Castle is now closed to all visitors and will remain so until the Council have developed their plan to reopen. It is the Councils stated intent that Nottingham Castle as an attraction will reopen. As can be expected this is breaking news so there are no further details on reopening dates and we should not expect anything this side of Christmas. I have undertaken to keep trustees and other interested parties updated and news will be passed on to the wider regimental family, when appropriate. Security of Artefacts. All artefacts we display in the Castle belong to the museum and Council not the Nottingham Castle Trust (NCT) therefore would they are not assets that the Insolvency Administrators could seize. Our artefacts are secured in modern cases that have been assessed for their suitability as part of our full accreditation. In addition Castle security was not handed over to the NCT and remain funded by the City Council. In other words the security profile has not changed indeed the absence of visitors reduces the risk of theft or damage. All artefacts are insured under the City Council insurance policy. The Council have now established a forward office in the castle that will be occupied during the working week. Security of Tenure. There is no threat to our security of tenure in the castle. The Museum was and remains part of the Castle visitor experience and the fact that the City Council intent is to reopen as soon as practicable is of further reassurance.Security of Museum Employees. The Curator, Museum Enquiries and Bookkeeper posts are not under threat all are funded by the Museum and Grant in Aid and are nothing to do with the NCT.   We will lose visitor footprint and exposure and depending on the duration of the closure we are already considering options of how to keep our geographic footprint akin to what we did during the castle refurbishment 2018-2020. In summary this is extremely disappointing news for us but devastating for those employees of the NCT who have now been made redundant. The immediate challenges of security of our artefacts are in hand and in due course I will be able to let you know what our plans are for reopening or getting our pop up display programme underway. In the interim should you have any questions,  please send them to the Assistant Regimental Secretary cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk Lt Col M Holden
Chair of the Museum of the Mercian Regiment (WFR Collection)

002 PAUL & JACKY RICE, SURPRISE LEAVING BASH. MONDAY 28 NOVEMBER 1100-1300 HOURS UPDATE REGARDING DONATIONS FOR A LEAVING GIFT
THIS IS A SURPRISE.  PLEASE DO NOT TELL PAUL OR JACKY 
I am sure that you are all aware that Paul has decided to retire and along with Jacky will be leaving the Crich War Memorial site at the end of the month. I am sure that you will all agree that they have both done a superb job during their time on site. I will be holding a 'drop in' surprise leaving do for them on Monday 28th November (their last working day) in the tea-room to give everyone the opportunity to say thank you and goodbye. The tea-room will be open between 1100 and 1300 hours so you can pop in for as long or a short a time as you wish. Although not going far from the site, I have no doubt that the move will be emotional for them and that they would love to see as many as you as possible. Please don’t forget to wrap up warm as there may be too many of us to fit in! If you wish to come along, please let Mark Dack know at newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk so that we have an idea of how many to cater for (light refreshments). If you wish to make a donation towards a leaving gift for them, please you can send a bank transfer or cheque to RHQ Mercian who will then give Paul and Jacky a collective cheque.Bank Transfer: Bank:                                 Royal Bank of Scotland Account:                            The Mercian Regimental Charity Crich Memorial Fund Sort Code:                        16 19 26 Account Number:              19996670 Reference:                        WARDEN GIFT
Cheque:  made payable to The Mercian Regimental Charity Crich Memorial Fund with ‘warden gift’ written on the back and send to:  RHQ Mercian (Warden Gift), Heath Avenue, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS14 9TJ Cash donations can be made on the day (there will be a collection tin available) Any questions should be directed to cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk THIS IS A SURPRISE.  PLEASE DO NOT TELL PAUL OR JACKY

003 LOST CONTACT Tony Taylor. 1 W.F.R C Coy is trying to contact Harry Ward who served with him at Bulford 1969/70 and Warminster 1971/72.  Believe he was from Gibralta. Please contact him via email.  taylortony869@g.mail.com or by mob.07921 489 779.

 004 FOREST FORCES EVENT PROGRAMME Trip to IWM Duxford – 26th November There are some places available for the upcoming trip to Duxford leaving from the City Ground and from Newark. If you would like to attend, please use the link below to book.
https://bookwhen.com/forestforces The itinerary will be as follows:
Leave City Ground (Brian Clough Stand) - 8.30am - Parking will be available. Arrive at IWM Duxford - 10.30am Depart IWM Duxford - 4pm
Arrive at City Ground - 6pm 
Instructions If you have any accessibility requirements, please contact Claire Henson via email (claire.henson@nottinghamforest.co.uk) or via phone (07538 888790). Although the majority of the museum is indoors, there will be outdoor exhibitions, so you may need a coat and umbrella. Although there will be cafes and restaurants on site, you are welcome to bring a packed lunch with you.
Mental Health Hubs at the City Ground
Our mental health hub programme continues at the City Ground, with veteran only hubs on the first Tuesday of the month and our general public hubs operating both online and face to face throughout the month. For more information, email claire.henson@nottinghamforest.co.uk. Breakfast at the Poppy and Pint – Last Saturday of the month The Forest Forces Programme has partnered with the Rushcliffe Breakfast Club on their breakfast clubs held at the Poppy and Pint pub in Lady Bay on the last Saturday of each month, 9.30am. For more information, email claire.henson@nottinghamforest.co.uk.
 Events at the City Ground
We are currently finalising dates for a Christmas event and quarterly veteran meet ups in 2023 at the City Ground. Dates will be sent out of the coming weeks so stay tuned!

 

005 THE WARRIOR PROGRAMME A programme enabling individuals to manage their emotions and to develop the resilience, focus and motivation to succeed in today's world.

The Offer: Pre course online support – available very quickly, takes the form of regular live online workshops, and access to pre-recorded material, all aimed at getting individuals ready to attend the programme and/or to allow people to make an informed choice as to whether TWP is for them. The course -  Either a 5-day online foundation course or a 3–day residential foundation course. The aim of the foundation course is to give delegates thinking tools and techniques which help them take positive action, and to let go of negative emotions and limiting beliefs, which may be holding them back in their lives. The approach of the course is solution rather than problem focused.

Post course support – regular online workshops & refresher days, plus an online library covering all modules from the course and monthly follow-on calls for 12 months after attendance on a course; all designed to provide support, monitor progress, maintain motivation, signposting and to gain feedback. Who is it for: Anyone from the UK Armed Forces community, past and present, including adult family members who have been affected by a close family members service, can apply for a place. See our attached readiness and suitability grid we will use to assess those you refer. When: Upcoming courses. Residential 15-17 Nov in Wiltshire. Online 23-27 Jan 23, 20-24 Feb 23, Residential 21-23 Mar 23 in Wiltshire. Further details can be found on our webpage under the calendar tab.  Referral process: VPPP West Mids organisations and individuals can refer directly to, Colin Davidson, 07522 386 555 or email colin.davidson@warriorprogramme.og.uk   - minimum info needed is a name and phone number, email address, and the individual’s permission to share this info with TWP. Any other info which may be of use, including personal details of relevance, service details, other agencies involved in support, clinical treatments ongoing - anything that may help prevent the client having to repeat their stuff too many times, is welcome. Further information: Can be found at https://www.warriorprogramme.org.uk/
 

 006 C COY 3WFR OLD BOYS REUNION
The date is set Saturday 26th November.
Location - The Standing Order Pub, in Derby Centre (just off the Market Place) Meeting up between 1900 - 2000hrs and then going on to another pub. Please let us know if you are attending via the 3WFR (V) Group Facebook page.

007 COMPANY OF MAKERS
Company of Makers exists to support Veterans and their families who are struggling on civvy street no matter how long ago they left the armed forces.
We host a podcast featuring members of the armed forces community with fascinating stories to tell, a programme of online talks featuring authors, journalists, poets and musicians with a strong connection to the armed forces and a range of online workshops including drawing, photography and writing. If you're interested in attending our workshops please complete the questions below - We'll be in touch to arrange dates and times. Feel free to contact us if you have any question or want to find out more about our podcasts, talks and workshops.
Failing that, you can always sign up to our newsletter and get all the latest news direct to your inbox.
We're funded by the RNRMC and Armed Forces Covenant amongst others. Follow the link below to register your interest. 
https://share.hsforms.com/1RIMljAq-Qjec4aDGcwKyZg5cwux?mc_cid=2938ffea40&mc_eid=c6dc6ae603

........................................................................

  18 November 2022    WFRA NEWSLETTER   Volume 13 Issue 55

OBITUARY

Peter James Oakley It is with great sadness that we report the death of 23746664 Cpl Peter James Oakley on 5th November 2022. 
Peter enlisted in 1960 served 14 year from being a junior soldier at the Sinfin Barracks, he served in Northern Ireland, Berlin, Minden and Munster being  the MT NCO for several years before leaving in 1974.
Upon leaving he worked for Derby City Council and Rolls Royce, Raynesway until his retirement.
Peter's funeral will be held on 1st December at St Giles Church Sandiacre NG10 5EE, and Longmoor Lane Cemetery, Breaston DE72 3RF - Time to be confirmed.
The wake is at the White Lion pub Derby Rd, Sandiacre, Nottingham NG10 5HW.
December 1st at 11.45hrs. 

OBITUARY "Bud" Collier It is with great sadness that we report the death of "Bud" Collier who died on Saturday 12th November 2022.  Bud served with 2Para, then as CSM with C Coy and D Coy 3WFR.
Funeral details will be promulgated, once known.
Letters of condolence can be sent to his daughter;
Mrs J Woolley 6 Birkinstyle Lane, Shirland, Derbyshire. DE55 6BS
A full obituary will appear at a later date.

LETTERS OF CONDOLENCE Condolences in respect of the late 411931 Captain Peter Graham Dunn 3 November 1930 – 19 October 2022. Can be sent to Peter`s Sister:-
Maureen McIntosh 4 Huntingdon Green, Ashford Carbonel, Ludlow,
Shropshire. SY8 4DN.

001 ARMISTICE DAY AND REMEBRANCE SUNDAY PARADES
A small montage of photos from around the Association.
Worcester Cathedral 
London The Cenotaph Crich
 Mr Ian Robson the Head Master of Crich Carr Church of England School receives a handmade model of the Tower Memorial from Mr Robert Shaw.
Nottingham Forest Football Club
Mr Sam Mitchell & Mr Gary Crosby lead the teams onto the pitch for the Remembrance Ceremony before the match against Crystal Palace.

002 PAUL & JACKY RICE, SURPRISE LEAVING BASH. MONDAY 28 NOVEMBER 1100-1300 HOURS UPDATE REGARDING DONATIONS FOR A LEAVING GIFT
THIS IS A SURPRISE.  PLEASE DO NOT TELL PAUL OR JACKY 
I am sure that you are all aware that Paul has decided to retire and along with Jacky will be leaving the Crich War Memorial site at the end of the month. I am sure that you will all agree that they have both done a superb job during their time on site. I will be holding a 'drop in' surprise leaving do for them on Monday 28th November (their last working day) in the tea-room to give everyone the opportunity to say thank you and goodbye. The tea-room will be open between 1100 and 1300 hours so you can pop in for as long or a short a time as you wish. Although not going far from the site, I have no doubt that the move will be emotional for them and that they would love to see as many as you as possible. Please don’t forget to wrap up warm as there may be too many of us to fit in! If you wish to come along, please let Mark Dack know at newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk so that we have an idea of how many to cater for (light refreshments). If you wish to make a donation towards a leaving gift for them, please you can send a bank transfer or cheque to RHQ Mercian who will then give Paul and Jacky a collective cheque.

Bank Transfer:

Bank:                                 Royal Bank of Scotland

Account:                            The Mercian Regimental Charity Crich Memorial Fund

Sort Code:                        16 19 26

Account Number:              19996670

Reference:                        WARDEN GIFT
Cheque:  made payable to The Mercian Regimental Charity Crich Memorial Fund with ‘warden gift’ written on the back and send to:  RHQ Mercian (Warden Gift), Heath Avenue, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS14 9TJ 
Cash donations can be made on the day (there will be a collection tin available) Any questions should be directed to cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk THIS IS A SURPRISE.  PLEASE DO NOT TELL PAUL OR JACKY

003 SHERWOOD FORESTERS BEER A very special bottle of beer has been launched by Lincoln Green Brewing Company. The Sherwood Foresters now have their own bottle of beer. Priced at £3.50 per bottle it can be purchased from the Nottingham Castle shop, where the Museum of the Mercian Regiment (WFR Collection) gallery is held (you don’t need to purchase a ticket to go into the shop). Even better, 10p of every bottle sold will be donated towards the Museum.
 

 004 THE WARRIOR PROGRAMME A programme enabling individuals to manage their emotions and to develop the resilience, focus and motivation to succeed in today's world.

The Offer: Pre course online support – available very quickly, takes the form of regular live online workshops, and access to pre-recorded material, all aimed at getting individuals ready to attend the programme and/or to allow people to make an informed choice as to whether TWP is for them. The course -  Either a 5-day online foundation course or a 3–day residential foundation course. The aim of the foundation course is to give delegates thinking tools and techniques which help them take positive action, and to let go of negative emotions and limiting beliefs, which may be holding them back in their lives. The approach of the course is solution rather than problem focused. Post course support – regular online workshops & refresher days, plus an online library covering all modules from the course and monthly follow-on calls for 12 months after attendance on a course; all designed to provide support, monitor progress, maintain motivation, signposting and to gain feedback. Who is it for:

Anyone from the UK Armed Forces community, past and present, including adult family members who have been affected by a close family members service, can apply for a place. See our attached readiness and suitability grid we will use to assess those you refer.

When: Upcoming courses. Residential 15-17 Nov in Wiltshire. Online 23-27 Jan 23, 20-24 Feb 23, Residential 21-23 Mar 23 in Wiltshire. Further details can be found on our webpage under the calendar tab. 

Referral process: VPPP West Mids organisations and individuals can refer directly to, Colin Davidson, 07522 386 555 or email colin.davidson@warriorprogramme.og.uk   - minimum info needed is a name and phone number, email address, and the individual’s permission to share this info with TWP. Any other info which may be of use, including personal details of relevance, service details, other agencies involved in support, clinical treatments ongoing - anything that may help prevent the client having to repeat their stuff too many times, is welcome. Further information: Can be found at https://www.warriorprogramme.org.uk/
 

 005 C COY 3WFR OLD BOYS REUNION The date is set Saturday 26th November. Location - The Standing Order Pub, in Derby Centre (just off the Market Place)
Meeting up between 1900 - 2000hrs and then going on to another pub.
Please let us know if you are attending via the 3WFR (V) Group Facebook page.

 

006 AUTHORS TALKS About Chris Having wanted to be a pilot for as long as he can remember, Chris Taylor gained his private pilot's licence at the age of 17. He joined the Royal Navy whilst studying for a degree in Electrical Engineering and, after serving as a Navigation Officer on numerous ships, went onto to operate Wasp and Lynx helicopters. After five years instructing, he became a Test Pilot and flew all manner of experimental aircraft for research and development purposes before returning to the Empire Test Pilot's School as a Tutor. Having served at Boscombe Down for ten years he joined the UK Civil Aviation Authority as an aeroplane and rotorcraft test pilot. With the closure of the CAA's Flight Test Department, he formed Dovetail Aviation Ltd and has continued to test fly a wide variety of aircraft ever since. Chris has flown 400 different kinds of aircraft, is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and is a licensed Category 1 Test Pilot and Flight Test Instructor for both aeroplanes and helicopters, which arguably makes him one of the best qualified and most widely experienced test pilots working today. Live Talk

Chris will talk about his book. Hosted by Company of Makers' co-founder Steve Bomford. Q&A Chris' talk will be followed by an interactive Q&A session, so you'll have the opportunity to get involved and he'll answer as many of your questions as we can squeeze in.
Get your tickets to this free online event here.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/test-pilot-an-extraordinary-career-testing-civil-aircraft-by-chris-taylor-tickets-394221395807?aff=odeimcmailchimp&mc_eid=c6dc6ae603&mc_cid=c11e85e29b

 

007 ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION

Polar Preet sets off on her next Antarctic expedition.
Captain Preet Chandi has returned to Antarctica less than a year after she made history when she became the first woman of ethnic origin to reach the South Pole solo and unsupported. She finished the route in 40 days, just short of the female world record of 38 days held by Joanna Davidson of Sweden, she is now aiming to become the first woman to cross the frozen continent solo and unsupported.
 The Prince and Princess of Wales have wished her luck as she set off on her daring Antarctic expedition, they said "wishing you the best of luck" in reply to a tweet from the Captain Chandi’s Twitter account saying she had begun her mission. The Princess of Wales is the Patron of Captain Chandi’s expedition.
 Capt Chandi, who started her expedition on 14th November has 75 days to complete the journey, said: "My aim for this expedition has always been to inspire people to push their boundaries.
"I want to bring people on this journey with me, to help them believe that nothing is impossible.
"It is an absolute privilege to have the Princess of Wales as the patron."
The Princess of Wales has long been an advocate of the impact the outdoors can have on the wellbeing of others and the life skills, such as confidence and resilience, it nurtures.
 The physiotherapist from 3 Medical Regiment will travel more than 1,100 miles across Antarctica, pulling a sledge with all her kit she will face temperatures as low as -50°C and wind speeds of up to 60 mph.
During the expedition, she is posting daily blogs and audio updates.
In her first post, Capt Chandi said she spent a day at Union Glacier before being dropped off at her start point. "It's very windy outside but I'm glad I've started," she said. Capt Chandi also dedicated her first blog to her grandad. "He passed away a few years ago now but lived until he was almost 100 years old," she said. "A lot of the time in our community, girls and women are seen as less than boys or men but he never made me feel that way.  "To my Baba Ji, just like you did last time, I hope you are watching down on me again."
On day two, Capt Chandi wrote it is "a lot colder and windier than when I started last year".
"I started later in the season last year and I know the weather can be more temperamental early on," Capt Chandi said. "I can really feel my 120kg pulk. Going quite slow at the moment but I’ll gradually build up my mileage as my pulk gets lighter too and I just need to remember that I am doing this day after day so I don't want to do too many hours too soon."

..............................................

 11 November 2022       WFRA NEWSLETTER   Volume 13 Issue 54

OBITUARY 448940 Colonel (CF1) James Stuart Cross 08/09/36 – 04/11/22 Jim Cross was a Cornishman keen on rugby and wrestling who was educated at the Cathedral School, Truro. After a short spell as a Private in the Queens Own Royal West Kents he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in March 1955 and gained a Commission into the Worcestershire Regiment in July 1956. He served with the 1st Battalion in Iserlohn, Jamaica, Belize and Bahamas. In November 1960 he was loaned to 1 Staffords for an emergency tour in Kenya and then moved to Ghana on secondment in August 1961. In December 1961 he, with all British Officers, was expelled from Ghana. He resigned as a Captain in October 1962 in order to study at Magdalen College and Ripon Hall Anglican Theological College, Oxford. He was ordained at Gloucester in 1965 and was granted a Short Service Commission in the Royal Army Chaplain’s Department on 26th September 1966.
Postings to the Royal Armoured Corps Centre at Bovington, UNFICYP and Famagusta in Cyprus and Queens Division Depot at Bassingbourne followed. In 1972 he was posted to 1 Staffords and had his first tour in Northern Ireland before being posted to HQ 39 Brigade in Belfast as SCF in October 1973. Subsequent postings included Eastern District, Aldershot, West Midlands District as CF1 before going to Berlin Infantry Brigade, which was followed by HQ 3rd Armoured Division in Soest. Finally he became Senior Chaplain at HQ BAOR in Rheindahlen before retiring in 1991. On retirement he became the Rector of St Peters Church, Stretford, Manchester which included Old Trafford Cricket and Football grounds. After eight years he retired to Monmouth. Jim treasured his memories serving in the Worcestershire Regiment and maintained many connections and friendships. He was a loyal attendee at the annual Gheluvelt Lunch up to just before his death.
Details of his funeral will be promulgated in due course. Letters of Condolences can be sent to his son: Tim Cross, St David’s, Redbrook Road Monmouth, NP25 3LY

OBITUARY
 It is with great sadness that we inform, you of the death of Mrs Maureen Hargrave wife of Major Andy Hargrave on 5th November at Milton House Nursing Home, Gargrave, North Yorkshire. 
Details of her funeral will be promulgated in due course. Letters of condolence can be sent to Andy Hargrave at Greystones, Stackhouse,Giggleswick. North Yorkshire BD24 0DW

 001 REGIMENTAL MEMORIAL CRICH - WARDEN VACANCY Are you looking for a new challenge? Do you like people, the great outdoors, and being handy? Are you interested in Regimental history? Then this could be the perfect position for you. A rare opportunity has arisen for someone to take on the position of Crich Warden at our War Memorial site in Crich, Derbyshire. Full details and an application form may be found at: https://mercianregiment.co.uk/crich-warden
The closing date is midnight on 11 November 2022.

 002 PAUL & JACKY RICE, SURPRISE LEAVING BASH. MONDAY 28 NOVEMBER 1100-1300 HOURS UPDATE REGARDING DONATIONS FOR A LEAVING GIFT
THIS IS A SURPRISE.  PLEASE DO NOT TELL PAUL OR JACKY 
I am sure that you are all aware that Paul has decided to retire and along with Jacky will be leaving the Crich War Memorial site at the end of the month. I am sure that you will all agree that they have both done a superb job during their time on site. I will be holding a 'drop in' surprise leaving do for them on Monday 28th November (their last working day) in the tea-room to give everyone the opportunity to say thank you and goodbye. The tea-room will be open between 1100 and 1300 hours so you can pop in for as long or a short a time as you wish. Although not going far from the site, I have no doubt that the move will be emotional for them and that they would love to see as many as you as possible.

Please don’t forget to wrap up warm as there may be too many of us to fit in! If you wish to come along, please let Mark Dack know at newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk so that we have an idea of how many to cater for (light refreshments).

If you wish to make a donation towards a leaving gift for them, please you can send a bank transfer or cheque to RHQ Mercian who will then give Paul and Jacky a collective cheque.

Bank Transfer: Bank:                                 Royal Bank of Scotland

Account:                            The Mercian Regimental Charity Crich Memorial Fund

Sort Code:                        16 19 26

Account Number:              19996670

Reference:                        WARDEN GIFT
 Cheque:  made payable to The Mercian Regimental Charity Crich Memorial Fund with ‘warden gift’ written on the back and send to:  RHQ Mercian (Warden Gift), Heath Avenue, Lichfield, Staffordshire, WS14 9TJ 
Cash donations can be made on the day (there will be a collection tin available) Any questions should be directed to cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk THIS IS A SURPRISE.  PLEASE DO NOT TELL PAUL OR JACKY

 003 GEOFFREY ANKETELL STUDDERT KENNEDY MC
 Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy MC – ‘Woodbine Willie’
Act of Remembrance – 1500 hrs Friday 11 November 2022

 Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy MC (27 June 1883 – 8 March 1929) was an English Anglican priest and poet. He was nicknamed "Woodbine Willie" during World War I for giving Woodbine cigarettes to the soldiers he met, as well as spiritual aid to injured and dying soldiers.

 1440 to 1455 hrs – RV at Woodbine Willie Memorial, St John’s Cemetery, Mcintyre Road.
 1455 hrs – Welcomes & Reading (Russell Tudge, Chairman St John’s & Hallow Branch)
 1459 hrs - The Exhortation is recited (Russell Tudge):
 They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
 All affirm:
We will remember them.
 1500 hrs - The Last Post is sounded.
The Two Minute Silence is observed.
 1503 hrs - Reveille is sounded.
  1504 hrs - Wreath Laying
  1506 hrs - The Kohima Epitaph is recited (Russell Tudge):
 When you go home, tell them of us and say, For your tomorrow,
we gave our today.
 Reading of Trench Poetry (by Woodbine Willie)
 The Spirit
 When there ain't no gal to kiss you,
And the postman seems to miss you,
And the fags have skipped an issue,
Carry on.
 When ye've got an empty belly,
And the bulley's rotten smelly,
And you're shivering like a jelly,
Carry on.
 When the Boche has done your chum in,
And the sergeant's done the rum in,
And there ain't no rations comin',
Carry on.
 When the world is red and reeking,
And the shrapnel shells are shrieking,
And your blood is slowly leaking,
Carry on.
 When the broken battered trenches,
Are like the bloody butchers' benches,
And the air is thick with stenches,
Carry on.
 Carry on,
Though your pals are pale and wan,
And the hope of life is gone,
Carry on.
For to do more than you can,
Is to be a British man,
Not a rotten 'also ran,'
Carry on………
  Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy was awarded the Military Cross (MC) during World War I. His citation read:
 For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He showed the greatest courage and disregard for his own safety in attending to the wounded under heavy fire. He searched shell holes for our own and enemy wounded, assisting them to the dressing station, and his cheerfulness and endurance had a splendid effect upon all ranks in the front line trenches, which he constantly visited.

 Rob Turner has laid on some light refreshments for after the Act of Remembrance at the
The Crown Inn, Bransford Road, St John’s.  All are Welcome.
 
 004 ARMISTICE AND REMEMBRANCE DAY PARADES
Worcester

Act of Remembrance Friday 11th November 2022

1030 -1045            Assembly for all taking part
1045 -1050            Marshall standards and VIPs to take post
1050 – 1056          Opening verse from Padre or words from VIP
1059                      The Exhortation is recited:
1100                       2mins silence followed by Reveille
1102                       The Kohima and laying of wreaths
O/C                         Final words by Padre or VIP

Worcester Remembrance Sunday
For those wishing and able to march on the Remembrance Sunday parade 13th November 2022..
Car parking is in nearest available car parks.
Form up in Cornmarket car park for no later than 09:00 FOR  move off at 09:15
Route to and from cathedral:-
Mealcheapen Street
St Swithuns Street
High Street to Cathedral.
Those not marching gather near SA memorial near 'Bygones'
Cathedral Service Begins at 10:00
There will be a collection during the service.
Congregation will leave promptly via the North Door for forming up outside for the wreath laying ceremony.
After the wreath laying ceremony units will be marched to the Guildhall with 'Eyes Left' then 'Eyes front' at the saluting dais  and on past the Guildhall for falling out at the Cornmarket car park.
Refreshments at Guildhall or  TBC Barbourne Ex Services Club.

Nottingham
The annual Service of Remembrance and Parade at the County War Memorial on the Embankment where the County President of The Royal British Legion will lay a wreath on behalf of the RBL of the County.  It will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, Lord Mayor, Chairman of the County Council, the Bishops of Southwell & Nottingham and of Nottingham as well as representatives of the Armed Forces, Veterans, Cadets, the Police and Fire & Rescue Service.
Dignitaries will then attend a Reception in the Council House hosted by the City Council. 
Derby
The city's annual Remembrance Sunday service and parade will take place with troops from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 148 Divisional Support Company, as well as members of local veteran and youth organisations, parading through the city centre.
A short service, led by the Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby, will take place after the first part of the parade, during which a two-minute silence will be observed at 11am. Following this, wreaths will be laid at the War Memorial in the Market Place before the parade finishes.
Members of the public will be able to view the proceedings, which will begin at 10.50am, from designated areas and on screens positioned in the Market Place and outside the Council House.
The beginning of the two minute silence will be signalled by a maroon - maroons are explosive devices, similar to fireworks, which create a loud bang.
On Armistice Day (Friday, November 11) there will also be an opportunity for members of the public to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in service. This will take place at 10.50am at the War Memorial.
National Memorial Arboretum
A Remembrance Sunday service will take place in the grounds of the National Memorial Arboretum Alrewas, near Burton, on November 13.
The service is free to attend, and will take place at the base of the Armed Forces Memorial, however people are strongly recommended to book their visit in advance if they wish to visit the Arboretum on Remembrance Sunday due to an anticipated large number of visitors.
It is suggested booking the 8am or 9am arrival slot if people want to be in time for the Remembrance Sunday service. The Armed Forces Memorial will be close after the service concludes. This year the service will not be streamed online.
On Friday, November 11, a service will also be held at the Armed Forces Memorial but demand has led to tickets already being sold out.
Visitors without tickets will be able to view the service on screens in Heroes' Square at the Arboretum. The service will also be broadcast via the Arboretum's YouTube channel and Facebook page for those unable to attend on the day.
Chesterfield
The annual service of Remembrance on Sunday, Sunday 13 November, at 2.30pm at St Mary and All Saints’ Church, the ‘Crooked Spire’. Everyone is welcome to attend and are politely asked to be seated by 2pm as the Church can become very full.
The service will be followed by a parade from St Mary and All Saints’ Church, through Burlington Street, High Street, Glumangate onto Rose Hill.
The parade will be led by Chesterfield’s Mayor and Mayoress and other local dignitaries. They will be joined by members of the Armed Forces, ex-services organisations and uniformed organisations from Chesterfield.
Members of the public are also welcome to attend the wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial from approximately 3.30pm with the Poppy cascade featuring 16,000 Poppies donated by people from across the world as a backdrop.
On Friday 11 November children from schools across Chesterfield will join the Mayor and Mayoress in holding a minute silence at 11am outside the Town Hall and laying a wreath of remembrance.
Crich
Chesterfield Branch will be hosting a remembrance service  at Crich Memorial Tower on Friday 11th November at 10:45hrs.  The service will be led by Rev Wendy Murphy.  We will be joined by the children and teachers from Crich Carr Primary School.
 Please follow the instructions for car parking and allow sufficient time to walk up the hill.

 005 C COY 3WFR OLD BOYS REUNION
 The date is set Saturday 26th November.
Location - The Standing Order Pub, in Derby Centre (just off the Market Place)
Meeting up between 1900 - 2000hrs and then going on to another pub.
Please let us know if you are attending via the 3WFR (V) Group Facebook page.

 006 UK WIDE VETERANS SURVEY  UK-wide Veterans’ Survey – launching today

10 November 2022 Hearing from our veteran community is vital and that is why the government has launched a UK-wide Veterans’ Survey. 

This is the first-ever exercise to collect feedback from the veterans’ community across the UK coordinated by the Office for Veterans’ Affairs and the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

The online survey launches today and will be live for 12 weeks. The survey gives ex-UK Armed Forces personnel and their families the opportunity to provide direct feedback to the government on their experiences, access to and use of services for veterans. 

Responses to the survey will help us better understand the experiences, needs and well-being of our veteran community, and guide future action. 

It is important we hear a wide range of views and we would like to encourage as many ex-UK Armed Forces veterans and their families to share feedback as possible. Your views matter, so please take part today. Complete the survey on the ONS website.

For more information see the survey information page.

007 OPERATION TORCH 80th ANNIVERSARY
This week sees the 80th anniversary of Operation Torch, which has a special interest for me as my Grandfather William L Cramp served with 187 Coy Pioneer Corps who formed part of the First Army.
Operation Torch (8 November 1942 – 16 November 1942) was the Allied invasion of French North Africa during the Second World War.  It was also the first mass involvement of US troops in the European–North African Theatre, and saw the first major airborne assault carried out by the United States.
The Allies planned a three prong attack on Casablanca (Western), Oran (Center) and Algiers (Eastern), followed by a rapid move on Tunis to catch Axis forces in North Africa and with British forces advancing from Egypt, this would eventually allow the Allies to carry out a pincer operation against Axis forces in North Africa.
 Allied Plans
Planners identified Oran, Algiers and Casablanca as key targets. Ideally there would also be a landing at Tunis to secure Tunisia and facilitate the rapid interuption of supplies traveling via Tripoli to Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps forces in Libya.
However, Tunis was much too close to the Axis airfields in Sicily and Sardinia for any hope of success. A compromise would be to land at Bône in eastern Algeria, some 300 miles (480 km) closer to Tunis than Algiers. Limited resources dictated that the Allies could only make three landings and Eisenhower who believed that any plan must include landings at Oran and Algiers had two main options: either the western option, to land at Casablanca, Oran and Algiers and then make as rapid a move as possible to Tunis some 500 miles (800 km) east of Algiers once the Vichy opposition was suppressed; or the eastern option, to land at Oran, Algiers and Bône and then advance overland to Casablanca some 500 miles (800 km) west of Oran. He favored the eastern option because of the advantages it gave to an early capture of Tunis and also because the Atlantic swells off Casablanca presented considerably greater risks to an amphibious landing there than would be encountered in the Mediterranean.
The Combined Chiefs of Staff, however, were concerned that Operation Torch could cause Spain to abandon neutrality and join the Axis, the Straits of Gibraltar could be closed cutting the entire Allied force's lines of communication. They therefore chose the Casablanca option as the less risky since the forces in Algeria and Tunisia could be supplied overland from Casablanca albeit with considerable difficulty in the event of closure of the straits of Gibraltar.
Torch was, for propaganda purposes, a landing by U.S. forces, supported by British warships and aircraft, under the belief that this would be more palatable to French public opinion, than an Anglo-American invasion. For the same reason, Winston Churchill suggested that British soldiers might wear U.S. Army uniforms, and No.6 Commando did so.  The Fleet Air Arm aircraft did carry US "star" roundels during the operation, and two British destroyers flew the Stars and Stripes. 
Allied aerial operations were split into two commands, with Royal Air Force aircraft under Air Marshal Sir William Welsh operating east of Cape Tenez in Algeria, and all United States Army Air Forces aircraft under Major General Jimmy Doolittle, who was under the direct command of Major General Patton, operating west of Cape Tenez. P-40s of the 33rd Fighter Group were launched from U.S. Navy escort carriers and landed at Port Lyautey on 10 November. Additional air support was provided by the carrier USS Ranger, whose squadrons intercepted Vichy aircraft and bombed hostile ships.
 Amphibious Landings
 A Western Task Force aimed at Casablanca was composed of American units, with Major General George S. Patton in command and Rear Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt heading the naval operations. This Western Task Force consisted of the U.S. 3rd and 9th Infantry Divisions, and two battalions from the U.S. 2nd Armored Division 35,000 troops in a convoy of over 100 ships. They were transported directly from the United States in the first of a new series of UG convoys providing logistic support for the North African campaign. 
The Western Task Force landed before daybreak on 8 November 1942, at three points in Morocco Safi Operation Blackstone, Fedala Operation Brushwood, the largest landing with 19,000 men, and Mehdiya-Port Lyautey Operation Goalpost. As it was hoped that the French would not resist, there were no preliminary bombardments. This proved to be a costly error as French defenses took a toll on American landing forces. On the night of 7 November, pro-Allied General Antoine Béthouart attempted a coup d'etat against the French command in Morocco, so that he could surrender to the Allies the next day. His forces surrounded the villa of General Charles Noguès, the Vichy loyal high commissioner. However, Noguès telephoned loyal forces, who stopped the coup. In addition, the coup attempt alerted Noguès to the impending Allied invasion, and he immediately bolstered French coastal defenses.
At Fedala, a small port with a large beach close to Casablanca, weather disrupted the landings. The landing beaches again came under French fire after daybreak. Patton landed at 08:00, and the beachheads were secured later in the day. The Americans surrounded the port of Casablanca by 10 November, and the city surrendered an hour before the final assault was due to take place. Casablanca was the principal French Atlantic naval base after German occupation of the European coast. The Naval Battle of Casablanca resulted from a sortie of French cruisers, destroyers, and submarines opposing the landings. A cruiser, six destroyers, and six submarines were destroyed by American gunfire and aircraft. The incomplete French battleship Jean Bart which was docked and immobile fired on the landing force with her one working gun turret until disabled by the 16-inch calibre American naval gunfire of USS Massachusetts, the first such heavy calibre shells fired by the U.S. Navy anywhere in World War II. Many of her one ton shells didn't explode, due to poor detonators, and aircraft bombers sank the Jean Bart. Two U.S. destroyers were damaged.
At Safi, the objective being capturing the port facilities to land the Western Task Force's medium tanks, the landings were mostly successful. The landings were begun without covering fire, in the hope that the French would not resist at all. However, once French coastal batteries opened fire, Allied warships returned fire. By the time the 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment arrived, French snipers had pinned the assault troops most of whom were in combat for the first time on Safi's beaches. Most of the landings occurred behind schedule. Carrier aircraft destroyed a French truck convoy bringing reinforcements to the beach defenses. Safi surrendered on the afternoon of 8 November. By 10 November, the remaining defenders were pinned down.
At Port-Lyautey, the landing troops were uncertain of their position, and the second wave was delayed. This gave the French defenders time to organize resistance, and the remaining landings were conducted under artillery bombardment. A former French pilot of the port onboard a US destroyer led her up the shallow river to take over the artillery battery, clearing the way to the air-base. With the assistance of carrier air support, the troops pushed ahead, and the objectives were captured.
 The Center Task Force, aimed at Oran, included the U.S. 2nd Battalion 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, the U.S. 1st Infantry Division, and the U.S. 1st Armored Division a total of 18,500 troops. They sailed from the United Kingdom and were commanded by Major General Lloyd Fredendall, the naval forces being commanded by Commodore Thomas Troubridge. 
The Center Task Force was split between three beaches, two west of Oran and one east. Landings at the westernmost beach were delayed because of a French convoy which appeared while the minesweepers were clearing a path. Some delay and confusion, and damage to landing ships, was caused by the unexpected shallowness of water and sandbars; although periscope observations had been carried out, no reconnaissance parties had landed on the beaches to determine the local maritime conditions. This helped inform subsequent amphibious assaults such as Operation Overlord in which considerable weight was given to pre-invasion reconnaissance.
 The U.S. 1st Ranger Battalion landed east of Oran and quickly captured the shore battery at Arzew. An attempt was made to land U.S. infantry at the harbour directly, in order to quickly prevent destruction of the port facilities and scuttling of ships. Operation Reservist failed, as the two Banff-class sloops were destroyed by crossfire from the French vessels there. The Vichy French naval fleet broke from the harbor and attacked the Allied invasion fleet but its ships were all sunk or driven ashore. The commander of Operation Reservist, Captain Frederick Thornton Peters, was awarded the Victoria Cross for valour in pushing the attack through Oran harbour in the face of point blank fire.
Captain Peters was 53 years old, when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC. Operation Reservist part of Operation Torch, was an attempt to capture Oran Harbour, Algeria and prevent it from being sabotaged by its French garrison. The two sloops HMS Walney and HMS Hartland were packed with British Commandos, soldiers of the 6th United States Armoured Infantry Regiment and a small detachment of United States Marines.
 On 8 November 1942 Captain Peters, commanding in Walney, led his force through the boom towards the jetty in the face of point-blank fire from shore batteries, the sloop La Surprise, and the destroyer Epervier. Blinded in one eye, he was the only survivor of 11 officers and men on the bridge. Besides him, 13 ratings survived HMS Walney sinking. The destroyer reached the jetty disabled and ablaze and went down with her colours flying. Captain Peters and a handful of men managed to reach the shore, where they were taken prisoner. HMS Hartland came under fire from the French destroyer Typhon and blew up with the loss of half her crew. The survivors, like those of Walney, were taken prisoner as they reached shore.
 Captain Peters was also awarded the United States Army's Distinguished Service Cross for the same actions. The citation, issued in Allied Force Headquarters General Orders No. 19 23 November 1942, stated that:
 Captain Peters distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism against an armed enemy during the attack on that post. He remained on the bridge in command of his ship in spite of the fact that the protective armour thereon had been blown away by enemy shell fire and was thereby exposed personally to the withering cross fire from shore defences. He accomplished the berthing of his ship, then went to the forward deck and assisted by one officer secured the forward mooring lines. He then with utter disregard of his own personal safety went to the quarter deck and assisted in securing the aft mooring lines so that the troops on board could disembark. At that time the engine room was in flames and very shortly thereafter exploded and the ship turned on its side and sank.
French batteries and the invasion fleet exchanged fire throughout 8 - 9 November, with French troops defending Oran and the surrounding area stubbornly; bombardment by the British battleships brought about Oran's surrender on 10 November.  The survivors from HMS Walney and HMS Hartland were released on the same day.
 The Eastern Task Force aimed at Algiers was commanded by Lieutenant-General Kenneth Anderson and consisted of a brigade from the British 78th and the U.S. 34th Infantry Divisions, along with two British commando units No. 1 and No. 6 Commandos, together with the RAF Regiment providing 5 squadrons of infantry and 5 Light anti-aircraft flights, totalling 20,000 troops. During the landing phase, ground forces were to be commanded by U.S. Major General Charles W. Ryder, Commanding General (CG) of the 34th Division and naval forces were commanded by Royal Navy Vice-Admiral Sir Harold Burrough. 
The invasion commenced with landings on three beaches two west of Algiers and one east. The 11th Brigade Group from the British 78th Infantry Division landed on the right hand beach; the US 168th Regimental Combat Team, from the 34th Infantry Division, supported by 6 Commando and most of 1 Commando, landed on the middle beach; and the US 39th Regimental Combat Team, from the US 9th Infantry Division, supported by the remaining 5 troops from 1 Commando, landed on the left hand beach. The 36th Brigade Group from the British 78th Infantry Division stood by in floating reserve. Though some landings went to the wrong beaches, this was immaterial because of the lack of French opposition. All the coastal batteries had been neutralized by the French Resistance and one French commander defected to the Allies. The only fighting took place in the port of Algiers, where in Operation Terminal, two British destroyers attempted to land a party of US Army Rangers directly onto the dock, to prevent the French destroying the port facilities and scuttling their ships. Heavy artillery fire prevented one destroyer from landing but the other was able to disembark 250 Rangers before it too was driven back to sea. The US troops pushed quickly inland and General Juin surrendered the city to the Allies at 18:00.
 Airborne landings
Operation Torch was the first major airborne assault carried out by the United States. The 2nd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, aboard 39 C-47 Dakotas, flew all the way from Cornwall in England, over Spain, to drop near Oran and capture airfields at Tafraoui and La Sénia, respectively 15 miles (24 km) and 5 miles (8 km) south of Oran. The operation was marked by communicational and navigational problems owing to the anti-aircraft and beacon ship HMS Alynbank broadcasting on the wrong frequency. Poor weather over Spain and the extreme range caused the formation to scatter and forced 30 of the 37 air transports to land in the dry salt lake to the west of the objective, of the other aircraft, one pilot became disoriented and landed his plane in Gibraltar. Two others landed in French Morocco and three in Spanish Morocco, where another Dakota dropped its paratroopers by mistake. A total of 67 American troops were interned by Franco's forces until February 1943. Tafraoui and La Sénia were eventually captured but the role played by the airborne forces in Operation Torch was minimal.
 The success of Torch caused Admiral François Darlan, commander of the Vichy French forces, who was in Algiers, to order co-operation with the Allies, in return for being installed as High Commissioner, with many other Vichy officials keeping their jobs. Darlan was assassinated soon afterwards, and the Free French gradually came to dominate the government.
 Despite Operation Torch's role in the war and logistical success, it has been largely overlooked in many popular histories of the war and in general cultural influence. It has been speculated that this was because the French forces were the initial enemy which made it difficult to fit into the war's overall narrative.
The operation was America's first armed deployment in the Arab world since the Barbary Wars 1801 – 1815 and, according to some sources laid the foundations for America's postwar Middle East policy.
 Tunisia
On 9 November, Axis forces started to build up in French Tunisia, unopposed by the local French forces under General Barré. Wracked with indecision, Barré moved his troops into the hills and formed a defensive line from Teboursouk through Medjez el Bab and ordered that anyone trying to pass through the line would be shot. On 19 November, the German commander, Walter Nehring, demanded passage for his troops across the bridge at Medjez and was refused. The Germans attacked the poorly equipped French units twice and were driven back. The French had suffered many casualties and lacking artillery and armour, Barré was forced to withdraw.
After consolidating in Algeria, the Allies began the Tunisia Campaign. Elements of the First Army under the command of Lieutenant General Kenneth Anderson, came to within 40 mi (64 km) of Tunis before a counterattack at Djedeida thrust them back. In January 1943, German and Italian troops under Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel, retreating westward from Libya, reached Tunisia.
 The Eighth Army under the command of Lieutenant General Bernard Montgomery advanced from the east and stopped near Tripoli while the port was repaired to disembark reinforcements and build up the Allied advantage. In the west, the forces of the First Army came under attack at the end of January, were forced back from the Faïd Pass and suffered a reversal at the Battle of Sidi Bou Zid on 14 - 15 February. Axis forces pushed on to Sbeitla and then fought the Battle of Kasserine Pass on 19 February, where the US II Corps retreated in disarray until Allied reinforcements halted the Axis advance on 22 February.
General Sir Harold Alexander arrived in Tunisia in late February to take charge of the new 18th Army Group headquarters, which had been created to command the Eighth Army and the Allied forces already fighting in Tunisia. The Axis forces attacked eastward at the Battle of Medenine on 6 March but were easily repulsed by the Eighth Army. Rommel advised Hitler to allow a full retreat to a defensible line but was denied and on 9 March, Rommel left Tunisia to be replaced by Jürgen von Arnim, who had to spread his forces over 100 mi (160 km) of northern Tunisia.
The setbacks at Kasserine forced the Allies to consolidate their forces, and develop their lines of communication and administration before another offensive. The First and Eighth Armies attacked again in April. Hard fighting followed but the Allies cut off the Germans and Italians from support by naval and air forces between Tunisia and Sicily. On 6 May, as the culmination of Operation Vulcan, the British took Tunis and American forces reached Bizerte. By 13 May, the Axis forces in Tunisia had surrendered, opening the way for the Allied invasion of Sicily in July.
Footnote. 
Whilst researching and writing this article it took me back to being a young boy. On Sunday afternoons in the mid 70’s I would jump on my bike and ride to my grandparents house.  Where I would be met with hugs and sweets from grandma and sharing (when in season) a Pomegranate with my grandad whilst sitting on the sofa watching the old black and white war films which were on every Sunday in those days. 

My grandad served with the Pioneer Corps in Algeria and Tunisia and is where he got his love of Pomegranates from and even now I always buy them when I see them in the shops because I love them too and because it reminds me of those days with my grandad who would always tell me stories of his time in the army in North Africa, Sicily and Italy.  After the film had finished he would get the atlas off the book shelf and point out all of the places he had been and he would tell me a story about each place remembering every detail as if it was yesterday. 

Shortly after my grandad passed away my grandma gave me a box of old postcards that my grandad had sent back during his time in the army.  It was very interesting looking through and reading them as the were from all the places he had told me about when I was a boy.
One day my plan is to take the cards and visit the same places that he did some 80 years ago, obviously they will have changed since then but it would be interesting to compare the old with the new and maybe sit under a palm tree and eat a Pomegranate just as my grandad would have done all those years ago.  
  

.........................................................

 04 November 2022     WFRA NEWSLETTER  Volume 13 Issue 52

OBITUARY

479163 COLONEL STEPHEN ASHWORTH OBE 
Colonel Stephen Charles Holbrook Ashworth died on 24th October 2022  in Burton Hospital. He had suffered from Motor Neurone Disease for several years. Stephen was born in Andover in January 1945, the son of an Army officer. As a result the family travelled extensively in the early years of his life to Germany, Egypt, Libya and Nigeria. Educated at St Edwards College in Malta he entered the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst  and was commissioned into the Sherwood Foresters in July 1965.

He served as a Pl Comd in Colchester when the Battalion  was in an air-portable role then moved with them to Munster and Minden when it converted to mechanised infantry. In September 1969 he  was posted to JIB Shorncliffe before returning to the amalgamated regiment in Warminster where he was the APC Platoon Commander.

He served with 1WFR in their tour in Londonderry before moving with the battalion on their posting to Berlin. He always spoke of escorting Rudolf Hess from Spandau Prison to  BMH Berlin. In April 1973 he married Susan Thomas, daughter of Major Basil Thomas, the Unit Families Officer.

Having achieved a high grade on his Pl Comd's Course Stephen returned to Warminster as an instructor to the NCO and Sniper Courses. In September 1975 Stephen was posted to HQ 1 (BR) Corps in Bielefeld as GSO3(Ops).

On promotion to Major in Oct 1978 Stephen attended the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham before moving to the Australian Army Staff Course in Queenscliffe in Victoria. He then completed a Long Intelligence and Security Course at Ashford before becoming SO2 G2 with HQ 2 Armoured Division in BAOR.

He returned to 1WFR as a Coy Comd in Hemer which included another Op Banner tour in Belfast and, after 2 years, stayed in Germany as SO2 Infantry at HQ 1 (BR) Corps. Here he was heavily involved in the introduction of the Warrior IFV.

On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in January 1987 he became SO1 in the Directorate of Army Plans before returning again to HQ 1(BR) Corps as SO1 Training and Exercise Planning. This role latterly included training coordination for the first Gulf War. He was awarded an OBE in 1992.

On his promotion to Colonel in 1992 Stephen moved to HQ BAOR in Rheindalen as ACS (Operations) and, additionally, the C-in-C's Liaison Officer to the Group of Soviet Forces Germany during their withdrawal.

In October 1994 Stephen became the Deputy Chief Military Observer to HQ UNPROFOR in Zagreb in Croatia. This was a team of some 700 Military Observers from 30 different countries deployed across Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Macedonia and Montenegro monitoring the Balkans and reporting to UN HQ in New York.

His final military posting from 1995 to 1999 was as the Executive Officer of the Intelligence Division of NATO HQ in Brussels. During this time he was also the Liaison Officer to UN HQ during the Former Yugoslavia crisis.

In retirement and as a result of his considerable experience in this area of operations Stephen served with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as an observer for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, a role that took him to Kosovo, Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan.

By now the family were living in Lichfield and Stephen was persuaded to undertake duties  as the first Regimental Secretary of the Mercian Regiment, acting as the guiding staff officer in the amalgamation of three regiments into one: a difficult role he undertook with great skill, diligence and credibility.

Stephen's wife, Sue, predeceased him in 2021 and in recent years he was in care due to the onset of Motor Neurone Disease.

Stephen’s funeral will be held at Lichfield and District Crematorium, Fradley Lane, Fradley, Lichfield, WS13 8GA on Wednesday 16th November at 11:30am. 

Letters of condolence should be sent to Stephen's son, Charles Ashworth, at the following email address: ashworthcharles@hotmail.com

001 REGIMENTAL MEMORIAL CRICH - WARDEN VACANCY

Are you looking for a new challenge? Do you like people, the great outdoors, and being handy? Are you interested in Regimental history? Then this could be the perfect position for you. A rare opportunity has arisen for someone to take on the position of Crich Warden at our War Memorial site in Crich, Derbyshire. Full details and an application form may be found at: https://mercianregiment.co.uk/crich-warden
The closing date is midnight on 11 November 2022.

002 AUTHORS TALKS 

Flowers for the fallen: From Meadow Sweet to Poppies - The Use of Plants in Ritual and Remembrance by Gill Campbell, Historic England Plants and flowers have been used in funeral and commemoration rituals for thousands of years. Some were placed in the grave as both symbols of life and death, while others served as food for the dead. This talk will explore the part plants have played in tribute and remembrance from an archaeobotanist’s point of view focussing on the history of the field poppy and the central part it plays in our culture.
Thursday 10 November 2022 19:00hrs - 20:00hrs. 
About Gill Gill Campbell works for Historic England as a laboratory manager. As an archaeobotanist she studies the remains of plants recovered from archaeological sites and preserved in historic buildings in order to understand our relationship with plants, the basis of life on earth, over time. Gill is particularly interested in how individual species interact with people over time, from humble weeds to monumental trees. Live Talk Gill will talk for 40 mins Hosted by Company of Makers' co-founder Steve Bomford. Q&A Gill's talk will be followed by a 20 minute interactive Q&A session, so you'll have the opportunity to get involved and she'll answer as many of your questions as we can squeeze in.
This is a free online event follow the link below to book your place. 
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/flowers-for-the-fallen-tickets-419540596217 aff=odeimcmailchimp&mc_eid=c6dc6ae603&mc_cid=db4f1d65f6
003 ARMISTICE AND REMEMBRANCE DAY PARADES

Nottingham
The annual Service of Remembrance and Parade at the County War Memorial on the Embankment where the County President of The Royal British Legion will lay a wreath on behalf of the RBL of the County.  It will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant, the High Sheriff, Lord Mayor, Chairman of the County Council, the Bishops of Southwell & Nottingham and of Nottingham as well as representatives of the Armed Forces, Veterans, Cadets, the Police and Fire & Rescue Service.
Dignitaries will then attend a Reception in the Council House hosted by the City Council during which there is a march past by the South Notts Hussars who will have had their Service in St Mary's in the Lace Market.  The event starts at 10.45am
Newark
Remembrance Sunday Service will take place on Sunday 13th November Guests will gather in the Ballroom at the Town Hall and will be welcomed by the Civic Party at 10.15am. A procession will be formed, which will then make its way to the Parish Church. At this point, the Mayor’s Officer will accompany the Deputy Town Mayor to the cemetery where they will lay a wreath on the War Memorial. There is a parade of standards through the town, starting at the London Road Car Park. All guests will gather for a small service by the War Memorial at St Mary Magdalene Parish Church where wreaths will be laid. The congregation will then move into the Church for the formal service. During the service the Town Mayor lays a poppy on the Book of Remembrance. After the service the guests will return to the Town Hall.
Derby
The city's annual Remembrance Sunday service and parade will take place with troops from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers 148 Divisional Support Company, as well as members of local veteran and youth organisations, parading through the city centre.
A short service, led by the Very Revd Dr Peter Robinson, Dean of Derby, will take place after the first part of the parade, during which a two-minute silence will be observed at 11am. Following this, wreaths will be laid at the War Memorial in the Market Place before the parade finishes.
Members of the public will be able to view the proceedings, which will begin at 10.50am, from designated areas and on screens positioned in the Market Place and outside the Council House.
The beginning of the two minute silence will be signalled by a maroon - maroons are explosive devices, similar to fireworks, which create a loud bang.
On Armistice Day (Friday, November 11) there will also be an opportunity for members of the public to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in service. This will take place at 10.50am at the War Memorial.
Ilkeston
The Remembrance Sunday service will mark the 100th anniversary and rededication of the town's cenotaph and the parade to it will form up at South Street car park from 10.20am.
 Long Eaton
The Remembrance Sunday parade will form up in Westgate at 10am and the service at the Long Eaton War Memorial in the Market Place starts at 10.45am.
Nuthall
The Remembrance Sunday parade will form up at Nuthall Methodist Church at 10;30hrs and parade to the Basil Russell Playing Field for a Remembrance Service around the war memorial.
Matlock
This year the following services will take place on Remembrance Sunday:
11am at Pic Tor War Memorial
11.30am at Starkholmes War Memorial
3pm at Park Head, Hall Leys Park. This is the main service for the town and is proceeded by a parade through Matlock, beginning at 2.45pm.
On Friday, November 11, a short service is held at 11am at Park Head each year and members of the public are welcome to attend.
National Memorial Arboretum
A Remembrance Sunday service will take place in the grounds of the National Memorial Arboretum Alrewas, near Burton, on November 13.
The service is free to attend, and will take place at the base of the Armed Forces Memorial, however people are strongly recommended to book their visit in advance if they wish to visit the Arboretum on Remembrance Sunday due to an anticipated large number of visitors.
It is suggested booking the 8am or 9am arrival slot if people want to be in time for the Remembrance Sunday service. The Armed Forces Memorial will be close after the service concludes. This year the service will not be streamed online.
On Friday, November 11, a service will also be held at the Armed Forces Memorial but demand has led to tickets already being sold out.
Visitors without tickets will be able to view the service on screens in Heroes' Square at the Arboretum. The service will also be broadcast via the Arboretum's YouTube channel and Facebook page for those unable to attend on the day.
Ripley
The Remembrance Parade will start in the Co-op car park on Derby Road at 10.35am and make its way to All Saints' Church on Church Street in Ripley for a service in the churchyard, led by Rev John Wigram. This service will incorporate the two minute silence and wreath laying at the memorial.
After the service, the parade will leave the churchyard and congregate on Moseley Street to make its way back through town - down Church Street, up Grosvenor Road, along Market Place around the back of the town hall and onto Ripley Market Place for the official dismissal.
Mansfield
On Sunday 13 November 2022, the Remembrance Sunday commemoration will begin at the Civic Centre War Memorial at 10am with a wreath-laying ceremony involving civic dignitaries.
The parade, which will be made up of councillors, Royal British Legion representatives, Army Reservists, cadet units, ex-service associations and voluntary organisations, will set off at about 10.15am from the Civic Centre, heading to St Peter and St Paul’s Church along Rosemary Street, Westfield Lane, West Gate and Market Place and Church Street.
There will be a service at approximately 10.40am and will include a two minute silence at 11am. There will also be a two minute silence in the Market Place in front of the poppy netting on the Old Town Hall at 11am which members of the public can join in with.
After the service, the parade will regroup and make its way back along Church Street to the Market Place for a salute in front of the Old Town Hall at noon as a final mark of respect. It will then be dismissed on West Gate at about 12.15pm.
If members of the public would like to spectate, they are welcome to line the route.
 Kidderminster
On 13th November we will be holding a Remembrance Sunday Service at the War Memorial at St Mary & All Saints, Kidderminster commencing at approx 10:55am.
The Parade will muster in New Road Car Park at 10:15am and will be leaving at 10:30 prompt. Local organisations and groups are more than welcome to parade.
Copies of the service sheet for use at the War Memorial will be available to all those attending.
Please contact 01562 732681 for further details or email office@kidderminstertowncouncil.gov.uk
 Bewdley
The annual Remembrance Parade will be held on Sunday 13th November.
Local veterans groups and uniformed organisations will assemble at Bridge House, Riverside North at 10:30hrs and march to the War Memorial at St Anne’s Church for a wreath laying and two minute silence followed by a church service.
 Bromsgrove
The event, taking place on Remembrance Sunday, November 13, will see one of the largest parades in Worcestershire take place in the town.
Those wishing to take part are asked to congregate at the top end of the High Street, by Argos, at 10:20 am, for the parade to begin at 10:40 am. 
The parade will process along the High Street giving an eyes left at the Odd Fellows Memorial, where the salute will be taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Worcestershire, or Deputy, on behalf of the King.
The parade then turns into Church Street, crossing Market Street to Crown Close to the War Memorial Monument. 
The service will then be conducted outside, starting at 10:50 am with the Act of Remembrance taking place at 11:00 am.
 Chesterfield
The annual service of Remembrance on Sunday, Sunday 13 November, at 2.30pm at St Mary and All Saints’ Church, the ‘Crooked Spire’. Everyone is welcome to attend and are politely asked to be seated by 2pm as the Church can become very full.
The service will be followed by a parade from St Mary and All Saints’ Church, through Burlington Street, High Street, Glumangate onto Rose Hill.
The parade will be led by Chesterfield’s Mayor and Mayoress and other local dignitaries. They will be joined by members of the Armed Forces, ex-services organisations and uniformed organisations from Chesterfield.
Members of the public are also welcome to attend the wreath laying ceremony at the war memorial from approximately 3.30pm with the Poppy cascade featuring 16,000 Poppies donated by people from across the world as a backdrop.
On Friday 11 November children from schools across Chesterfield will join the Mayor and Mayoress in holding a minute silence at 11am outside the Town Hall and laying a wreath of remembrance.
Staveley
The annual Remembrance parade and service in Staveley on Sunday 13 November. The parade will leave Staveley Market Place at 10.45am and head for the Garden of Remembrance, where the service will take place at 11.00am.
Crich
Chesterfield Branch will be hosting a remembrance service  at Crich Memorial Tower on Friday 11th November at 10:45hrs.  The service will be led by Rev Wendy Murphy.  We will be joined by the children and teachers from Crich Carr Primary School.
 Please follow the instructions for car parking and allow sufficient time to walk up the hill.

004 GHELUVELT DAY COMMEMORATION SERVICE
The Annual Gheluvelt Commemoration Service took place at the Gheluvelt Memorial, Gheluvelt Park on Sunday 30th October.  The service was attended by veterans, members of the armed forces and local dignitaries. 
Nigel Fish would like to thank all of those who helped to organise the service and those who attended.
Thank you to Alan Bray for taking the photographs.

 

005 POPPY LAUNCH - WORCESTER
The Royal British Legion Poppy Launch took place at the Guildhall, High St, Worcester on Saturday 29th October.  Members of Worcester Branch joined other veterans, cadets and dignitaries to launch this years Poppy Appeal. Thank you to Alan Bray for taking the photographs

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28 October 2022         WFRA NEWSLETTER    Volume 13 Issue 49

OBITUARY COLONEL STEPHEN ASHWORTH OBE

We have been informed of the recent death of Colonel Stephen Ashworth OBE. Further detail including a summary of his career will be published in next week’s Newsletter.
OBITUARY
411931 Captain Peter Graham Dunn
3 November 1930 – 19 October 2022

Peter Dunns’ father served in 2/7th Worcesters as a medical orderly and stretcher between 1914-18. Peter was born 3rd November 1930 at Wolverley and educated at Sebright School. After a short spell as a trooper in XII Lancers he entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1949 and gained a Regular Commission into the Worcestershire Regiment on 22nd July 1950. He served with the 1st Battalion in Malaya until 1953, during which time he gained a Mention in Dispatches. During this tour he spent some of 1952 in Sarawak recruiting Dayak trackers to work with infantry battalions in Malaya. Following the return of the battalion to Bulford he moved to the Depot at Norton Barracks as a Training Subaltern, 1954-56, before returning to 1st Battalion in Iserlohn, West Germany, 1956-57. When the Battalion moved to the West Indies he became a Grade III Staff Officer in HQ Caribbean Area in Jamaica. He returned to 1st Battalion as 2 i/c A and then D Companies and as the Weapon Training Officer. He retired on in 1960. A fine shot he was part of the Bisley teams for 1st Battalion and the Depot, and was tasked to run the HQ Caribbean Area Weapons Meeting.

On leaving the Army he tried his hand at farming before joining the GPO, later BT, from 1962-1990. He settled in Bewdley and was a very loyal member of the Regimental Association being a member of the WFRA Executive for some years and spent many years as the Kidderminster Branch Secretary.
The funeral will be held on Tuesday 15th November at 15:30 hrs at Kidderminster Crematorium, Minster Road, Stourport on Severn, DY13 8 DE Donations to Royal British Legion.

001 GHELUVELT DAY COMMEMORATION SERVICE

The Annual Gheluvelt Commemoration Service, will take place on Sunday 30th October 2022 at The Gheluvelt Memorial, Gheluvelt Park, Worcester.
Standard Bearers report 11:00 all others  11:15 for 11:30 Start.
Afterwards there will be a buffet lunch at Barbourne Ex Services Club, The Moors, Worcester WR1 3ED.
At the buffet there will be a raffle, if you have anything for a prize please bring along with you.

002 POPPY LAUNCH - WORCESTER
The Poppy Launch will be held on Saturday 29 October at the Guildhall, High St, Worcester.
Meet at Guildhall for 10:20hrs. Standards required.  Dress:- Beret, Blazers, Medals.

003 LONG EATON & WEST NOTTS BRANCH MEETING
The next monthly branch meeting will be on Wednesday 2nd November at the Nottingham Royal Naval Association Club, Church Street, Lenton, Nottingham, 19.30 Hrs for 20.00 Hrs start.
New Members always welcome.

004 SHERWOOD FORESTERS & WFR MONTHLY GET TOGETHERThe Sherwood Foresters and WFR end of month get together will be held on Friday 28th October at the Nottingham Royal Naval Association Club, Church Street, Lenton, Nottingham, 19:30 Hrs onwards.
All welcome.

005 THE BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN
This week is the 80th anniversary of the second Battle of El Alamein in which the 1st and 14th Battalions of the Sherwood Foresters and 1st Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment all took part and won battle honours.
First Battle of El Alamein
After the battle of Gazala and the capture of Tobruk which saw the remaining soldiers of the 1st Battalion Sherwood Foresters and the 1st Battalion Worcester Regiment captured and taken as prisoners of war. 
Generalfeldmarschall Erwin Rommel continued his pursuit of the Eighth Army, which had fallen back to heavily prepared defensive positions at El Alamein. This region is a natural choke point, where the Qattara Depression creates a relatively short line to defend that could not be outflanked to the south because of the steep escarpment. During this time Germans prepared numerous propaganda postcards and leaflets for Egyptian and Syrian population urging them to "chase English out of the cities", warning them about "Jewish peril" and with one leaflet printed in 296,000 copies and aimed at Syria stating among others because Marshal Rommel, at the head of the brave Axis troops, is already rattling the last gates of England's power! Arabs! Help your friends achieve their goal: abolishing the English-Jewish-American tyranny! On 1 July the First Battle of El Alamein began. Rommel had around 100 available tanks. The Allies were able to achieve local air superiority, with heavy bombers attacking the 15th and 21st Panzers, who had also been delayed by a sandstorm. The 90th Light Division veered off course and were pinned down by South African artillery fire. Rommel continued to attempt to advance for two more days, but repeated sorties by the Desert Air Force meant he could make no progress. On 3 July, he wrote in his diary that his strength had "faded away". Attacks by 21st Panzer on 13 and 14 July were repulsed, and an Australian attack on 16–17 July was held off with difficulty. Throughout the first half of July, General Sir Claude Auchinleck concentrated attacks on the Italian 60th Infantry Division Sabratha at Tel El Eisa. The ridge was captured by the 26th Australian Brigade on 16 July. Both sides suffered similar losses throughout the month, but the Axis supply situation remained less favourable. Rommel realised that the tide was turning. A break in the action took place at the end of July as both sides rested and regrouped. 

The Western Desert Battle Area Preparing for a renewed drive, the British replaced General Sir Claude Auchinleck with General Harold Alexander on 8 August. Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery was made the new commander of Eighth Army that same day. The Eighth Army had initially been assigned to General William Gott, but he was killed when his plane was shot down on 7 August. Rommel knew that a British convoy carrying over 100,000 tons of supplies was due to arrive in September. He decided to launch an attack at the end of August with the 15th and 21st Panzer Division, 90th Light Division, and the Italian XX Motorized Corps in a drive through the southern flank of the El Alamein lines. Expecting an attack sooner rather than later, Montgomery fortified the Alam el Halfa ridge with the 44th Division, and positioned the 7th Armoured Division about 25 kilometres (15 mi) to the south.
 
Battle of Alam El Halfa
The Battle of Alam El Halfa was launched on 30 August. The terrain left Rommel with no choice but to follow a similar tactic as he had at previous battles: the bulk of the forces attempted to sweep around from the south while secondary attacks were launched on the remainder of the front. It took much longer than anticipated to get through the minefields in the southern sector, and the tanks got bogged down in unexpected patches of quicksand Montgomery had arranged for Rommel to acquire a falsified map of the terrain. Under heavy fire from British artillery and aircraft, and in the face of well prepared positions that Rommel could not hope to outflank for lack of fuel, the attack stalled. By 2 September, Rommel realised the battle was unwinnable, and decided to withdraw.
 On the night of 3 September the 14th Battalion Sherwood Foresters under the command of the 2nd New Zealand Division and 7th Armoured Division were positioned to the north to engaged in an assault, but they were repelled in a fierce rear guard action by the 90th Light Division. Montgomery called off further action to preserve his strength and allow for further desert training for his forces. In the attack Rommel had suffered 2,940 casualties and lost 50 tanks, a similar number of guns, and 400 lorries, vital for supplies and movement. The British losses, except tank losses of 68, were much less, further adding to the numerical inferiority of Panzer Army Africa. The Desert Air Force inflicted the highest proportions of damage on Rommel's forces. He now realised the war in Africa could not be won. Physically exhausted and suffering from a liver infection and low blood pressure, Rommel flew home to Germany to recover his health. General Georg Stumme was left in command in Rommel's absence.
 Second Battle of El Alamein

Second Battle of El Alamein. Situation on 28 October 1942 mproved decoding by British intelligence meant that the Allies had advance knowledge of virtually every Mediterranean convoy, and only 30 per cent of shipments were getting through. In addition, Mussolini diverted supplies intended for the front to his garrison at Tripoli and refused to release any additional troops to Rommel. The increasing Allied air superiority and lack of fuel meant Rommel was forced to take a more defensive posture than he would have liked for the second Battle of El Alamein. The German defences to the west of the town included a minefield eight kilometres (five miles) deep with the main defensive line itself several thousand yards deep to its west. This, Rommel hoped, would allow his infantry to hold the line at any point until motorised and armoured units in reserve could move up and counterattack any Allied breaches. The British offensive began on 23 October. Stumme, in command in Rommel's absence, died of an apparent heart attack while examining the front on 24 October, and Rommel was ordered to return from his medical leave, arriving on the 25th. Montgomery's intention was to clear a narrow path through the minefield at the northern part of the defences, at the area called Kidney Ridge, with a feint to the south. By the end of 25 October, the 15th Panzer, the defenders in this sector, had only 31 serviceable tanks remaining of their initial force of 119. Rommel brought the 21st Panzer and Ariete Divisions north on 26 October, to bolster the sector. On 28 October, Montgomery shifted his focus to the coast, ordering his 1st and 10th Armoured Divisions to attempt to swing around and cut off Rommel's line of retreat. Meanwhile, Rommel concentrated his attack on the Allied salient at Kidney Ridge,inflicting heavy losses. However, Rommel had only 150 operational tanks remaining, and Montgomery had 800, many of them Shermans.
Montgomery, seeing his armoured brigades losing tanks at an alarming rate, stopped major attacks until the early hours of 2 November, when he opened Operation Supercharge, with a massive artillery barrage. Due to heavy losses in tanks, towards the end of the day, Rommel ordered his forces to disengage and begin to withdraw. At midnight, he informed the OKW of his decision, and received a reply directly from Hitler the following afternoon: he ordered Rommel and his troops to hold their position to the last man. Rommel, who believed that the lives of his soldiers should never be squandered needlessly, was stunned. Rommel initially complied with the order, but after discussions with Kesselring and others, he issued orders for a retreat on 4 November. The delay proved costly in terms of his ability to get his forces out of Egypt. He later said the decision to delay was what he most regretted from his time in Africa. Meanwhile, the British 1st and 7th Armoured Division had broken through the German defences and were preparing to swing north and surround the Axis forces. On the evening of the 4th, Rommel finally received word from Hitler authorising the withdrawal.
As Rommel attempted to withdraw his forces before the British could cut off his retreat, he fought a series of delaying actions. Heavy rains slowed movements and grounded the Desert Air Force, which aided the withdrawal, yet Rommel's troops were under pressure from the pursuing Eighth Army and had to abandon the trucks of the Italian forces, leaving them behind. Rommel continued to retreat west, aiming for 'Gabes Gap' in Tunisia. Kesselring strongly criticised Rommel's decision to retreat all the way to Tunisia, as each airfield the Germans abandoned extended the range of the Allied bombers and fighters. Rommel defended his decision, pointing out that if he tried to assume a defensive position the Allies would destroy his forces and take the airfields anyway; the retreat saved the lives of his remaining men and shortened his supply lines. By now, Rommel's remaining forces fought in reduced strength combat groups, whereas the Allied forces had great numerical superiority and control of the air. Upon his arrival in Tunisia, Rommel noted with some bitterness the reinforcements, including the 10th Panzer Division, arriving in Tunisia following the Allied invasion of Morocco.
Footnote
Some 10 years ago through my volunteer work as a Churchwarden I was fortunate to meet a lovely gentleman called Roy Herbert who served as a Sapper with 6th New Zealand Field Engineer Company.  Through his love of organ music and playing the organ in church I got to know him very well and we often spoke about the war in North Africa and Italy as my Grandfather had served in the same campaigns, Roy was only too happy to answer all of my questions and share his experiences which is something that I will always be grateful for.

006 IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM (IWM) ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS The IWM are starting a new oral history project with King’s College London and would like to interview individuals who deployed to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021. They are particularly interested in recording the experiences of individuals of The Mercian Regiment, who deployed on Operation Panchai Palang/Panthers Claw in 2009. They are hoping to begin interviewing from November for a period of 18 months and anyone interested in recording their story is asked to contact the IWM direct.

Megan Joyce Curator, Contemporary Conflict IWM LONDON Lambeth Road London SE1 6HZ T. 020 7091 3056 W www.iwm.org.uk 

007  AUTHORS TALKS

EYE WITNESS AT DIEPPE
Tuesday 15th November 19:00 - 20:00 Online event.

About this event Freelance journalist Ross Reyburn, who has revived his late father Wallace Reyburn’s dramatic eyewitness account of the ill-fated Dieppe Raid, is a former newspaper feature writer and non-fiction book reviewer. From 1967-1973, he worked as a journalist with the Hampstead & Highgate Express, the North London weekly hailed as “the only local newspaper in Britain with a foreign policy!” Later came a long career with The Birmingham Post, as a feature writer latterly also serving as the regional daily newspaper’s literary editor before going freelance in 2003. His books include Saving Rugby Union (Y Lolfa, 2020) and The Great Rivals - Oxford and Cambridge (2010), a Pitkin Guide comparing the achievements of the world’s two most famous universities.
Follow the link below for free tickets.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/eyewitness-at-dieppe-by-ross-reyburn-tickets-391144021297?aff=odeimcmailchimp&mc_eid=c6dc6ae603&mc_cid=f0313be42e

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  21 October 2022      WFRA NEWSLETTER    Volume 13 Issue 48

FUNERAL DETAILS The funeral / memorial service of Daniel Tuckley will be held on Friday 28th October at 16:00hrs in the Amber Suite at Horsley Lodge Golf Club followed by a wake at the same venue.
Dan always liked a dress code so dress smart in dark colours and if you are still serving or have served if you could wear your medals it would be greatly appreciated, Dan’s medals will also be there on display.
Children are welcome at the service & wake, and it is up to you if you would like to bring them.
In lieu of flowers, you can choose to make a donation in Dan’s name to one of his favourite charities / organisations – the details are listed below:
• Pegasos Swiss Association - https://pegasos-association.com/shop/shop/donate/
• My Death, My Decision - https://www.mydeath-mydecision.org.uk/one-off.../...
If you are attending please let me know so that we can gauge numbers for the venue and catering.
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me on any of the following: • Saraha.tuckley@gmail.com• 07792510582 • Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp

FUNERAL DETAILS
The funeral of Mark Anthony Garner  AKA Joe Mark will be held at 12:30hrs on Friday 21st October at Trent Valley Crematorium Derby Rd, Aston-on-Trent, Derby DE72 2AF.
Donations in lieu to Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity, Macmillan Unit may be left after the service of via Mark's Tribute Page. https://mark-garner.muchloved.com/

001 THE LAST DINNER NIGHT OF THE SHERWOOD FORESTERS OFFICERS CLUB - 8 Oct 22
  Maj M Tulloch and Lt Col R Stockton inspect L/Cpl Derby XXXII.

Dinner is served in the Indian Army Room.
L:R Col J Townsend, Mrs E Prophet, Maj D Hood MC, Mrs A Cook, Capt J Bennett OBE TD.

On the 8th October 2022 52 officers and ladies, widows and children of the Regiment and their guests, The Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and Lady Peace and the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire and Mr Richard Fothergill dined in the Indian Army Room at Old College, RMA Sandhurst.They were greeted as they arrived by L/Cpl Derby XXXII, the Ram Major and Ram Orderly in the Grand Entrance.
After a pre-dinner reception in the Waterloo Room, the Officers Mess Call of The Sherwood Foresters was sounded for the last time by Musician Hynes of the RMA Staff Band.
Dinner was fittingly Beef Wellington, in honour of the 45th's status as Wellington's Redcoats, and toasts were drunk to The King (for the first time by the Club for His Majesty), Absent Friends and, after a short address by Lt Col Roger Stockton, the Chairman of the Officers' Club, The Regiment.
The address fittingly ended with the Dedication -

THE DEDICATION To Those Upon whose knees there lies
The Future and what 'er it brings
All that the slumbering years yet hold of joy or sorrow, dross or gold
Honour - Reward - the Sacrifice
The Arrows and the Slings.
Or those
Who've trod the Parting Ways
And left the Larger Life behind,
To whom the years that are no more and names of friends long gone before
Bring Memories of the Golden Days When Fortune Aye was kind:
To young - or old - to hale - or spent
To all who love The Regiment.

It was a fitting end to 281 years service to The Crown, poignantly so as we passed the newly commissioned statue of the late HM Queen Elizabeth II on Burmese as we left Old College. The event was admirably remarked upon by one attendee to the Chairman and Secretary - "Thank you both for the blood, toil, tears and sweat that went into such a historic and monumental event! As you envisaged at the outset it was: “The Reunion to end all Reunions!” It proved to be both collegiate and convivial from the grandeur of a traditional regimental dinner in the awe-inspiring surroundings of the India Army Room in Old College to the homeliness and friendliness of the hotel where Gurkhas were in charge!
Not to mention all the ceremonial trappings of the appearance of L/Cpl Derby XXXII, the Ram Major and Orderly and the stirring bugle calls. It was Rudyard Kipling recreated! All made stress free and comfortable travel by the provision of a luxury coach.
What a great Valediction to The Sherwood Foresters!
Indeed it was…………………………………….and a fitting way to gently fade away. RJS

002 POPPY LAUNCH - WORCESTER
The Poppy Launch will be held on Saturday 29 October at the Guildhall, High St, Worcester. Meet at Guildhall for 10:20hrs. Standards required.  Dress:- Beret, Blazers, Medals.

 

003 CLEANING PARTY - WORCESTER
There will be a cleaning party at the Gheluvelt Memorial (formerly the Interpretative Feature) 10:30hrs Thursday 27 October 2022.
If you are able and can spare some time please come along.

 

004 IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM (IWM) ORAL HISTORY INTERVIEWS The IWM are starting a new oral history project with King’s College London and would like to interview individuals who deployed to Afghanistan between 2001 and 2021. They are particularly interested in recording the experiences of individuals of The Mercian Regiment, who deployed on Operation Panchai Palang/Panthers Claw in 2009. They are hoping to begin interviewing from November for a period of 18 months and anyone interested in recording their story is asked to contact the IWM direct. Megan Joyce Curator, Contemporary Conflict IWM LONDON
Lambeth Road London SE1 6HZ T. 020 7091 3056 W www.iwm.org.uk 

005 MERCIAN REGIMENTAL QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER
The next edition of the Mercian Regimental Quarterly Newsletter is now available for viewing.
 Our newsletter covers recent events over a three month period, with a look ahead on what is coming up within the regiment; including the battalions, the museums & associations.
 The newsletter is hosted online, which means that you can view it on your smartphone or tablet while on-the-go. A print-friendly version is also available. We would like to extend a thank you to all who are involved with the MERCIAN regiment for your continued support.
Stand Firm, Strike Hard. Kind regards,
RHQ Mercian The newsletter and print-friendly version can be accessed from the links below.
https://express.adobe.com/page/VwYu76J2adoZp/
https://mcusercontent.com/94b8626793ec65191ae10a6a4/files/15738d6c-15ab-d5c8-ebeb-d57bad8a311b/Q3_2022_Print_Edition.pdf

 

006 WORKSOP FREEDOM PARADE.  26 OCTOBER 2022

C Coy of the 1st Bn, The Mercian Regiment will be exercising their Freedom Rights in Bassetlaw and marching through the town of Worksop, Nottinghamshire on Wednesday 26th October. 
The parade steps off at 1130hrs at the Town Hall and is expected to end, at the same place, at 1150hrs . Everyone, including Standard Bearers are invited, to support the Bn.  There is a ticketed reception afterwards and if any WFRA member wishes to attend the reception afterwards, they are asked to submit their name to the Worksop Branch Secretary wfraworksop@sky.com if they are a branch member or to  cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk if not a Worksop branch member

 

007 DERBY BRANCH MEETING

The next meeting of Derby Branch will take place on Friday 21st October AT 19;45hrs. Allestree Social Club (RBL), 39 Cornhill Allestree, Derby DE22 2FS. Dress code is casual.

008 LOST CONTACT

Tony Taylor who served with C Coy 1WFR is trying to contact Harry Ward who served with him at Bulford 1969/70 and Warminster 1971/72.
Please contact him via email  tonytaylor869@g.mail.com or mobile 07921 489 779.

009 NOTTINGHAM FREEDOM PARADE
On Thursday 29th September the 1st Battalion Mercian Regiment took part in a parade to exercise their freedom of the city.   
Lieutenant Colonel Dean Canham OBE, Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, which organised the parade, said: "We are delighted to be visiting Nottingham once again and exercising our freedom of the city.
"Nottingham is a great supporter of the Armed Forces, and many of our soldiers come from Nottinghamshire and the surrounding areas. This parade is one of three parades being held across our home recruitment area since the successful merging of the 1st and 2nd Battalions; the Regiment remains committed to serving the people of Nottingham and will continue to do so in the years to come.
"The Battalion is now stronger than ever and goes forward carrying the spirit, pride and traditions of each of our historical Regiments and Battalions." 
The Lord Mayor of Nottingham, Cllr Wendy Smith, welcomed Lieutenant Colonel Canham and the officers and soldiers of the Regiment as they paraded in Old Market Square. She said: "We are delighted that the Regiment are exercising their Freedom Rights to parade through the City of Nottingham and I am proud to be part of this special occasion.
"Nottingham City has had strong links with the Regiment since 1741 when a regiment was raised at Nottingham Castle when the country was at war with France. We know that Nottingham still attracts many young men, and now women, to join their County Infantry Regiment. We are proud of all of them and our links to the Regiment."

Nottingham Branch members David Alton, Len Lindley and John Richards who attended the parade.
 

010  AUTHORS TALKS

 Meet Harold Liberty, Tuesday November 1st 19:00 hrs to 20:00 hrs About this event  In recent years, the work of the Bletchley Park codebreakers has caught the public's imagination with books and films. While men such as Alan Turing and Dilly Knox have been recognised, Brigadier John Tiltman has been hardly mentioned. This overdue biography reveals that 'The Brig', as he was known, played a key role. After distinguished Great War military service, he established himself as a skilled codebreaker between the Wars, monitoring Russian and other unfriendly powers' messages. During World War Two he was regarded as the most versatile of cryptographers, cracking a range of codes including Japanese ones. He made the first breakthrough against the German High Command Lorenz system and what he found led to the creation of machines including Colossus, the first recognisable computer. His lack of recognition may be down to his apparent lack of association with Enigma but, in truth, he was closely involved at the start. In addition to his cryptological brilliance, 'The Brig' was a gifted communicator and team-builder whose character combined charm, intelligence, determination and common sense. He was key to building the special relationship with our American partners both during and after the war. Harold Liberty's biography shines light on a man whose contribution was essential to Britain's survival and triumph in the Second World War.
About Harold 
Harold Liberty read Classics at Peterhouse, Cambridge before a career in teaching. As a chess player, musician and crossword addict, had he been born some decades earlier there is every chance he could have been a code-breaker. Certainly, he has been fascinated in the history of Bletchley Park since its work became public knowledge in the late 1970s and he took up stewarding and guiding there on retirement. His experience and knowledge led to the writing of this book.
Live Talk 
Harold will talk about his book. Hosted by Company of Makers' co-founder Steve Bomford.

Q&A Harold's talk will be followed by an interactive Q&A session, so you'll have the opportunity to get involved and he'll answer as many of your questions as we can squeeze in.
Free tickets for this online event can be found here.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-forgotten-giant-of-bletchley-park-by-harold-liberty-tickets-388071190377?aff=odeimcmailchimp&mc_eid=c6dc6ae603&mc_cid=f0313be42e

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 VETERANS SUPPORT
The following are available to support veterans and their families who may be experiencing mental health difficulties;

Forcesline Tel: 0800 731 4880 (between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday)
Combat Stress (24 hours)
Veterans and their families; Tel: 0800 138 1619
Serving personnel and their families; Tel: 0800 323 4444
Samaritans (24 hours); Tel: 116 123


M A DACK
for Executive Committee



 

 

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