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Association Newsletters.  2.

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

RHQ Mercian Nottingham (newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk ) and we will send you the ENews update.

THE WORCESTERSHIRE AND SHERWOOD FORESTERS REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION

Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: Brig P Dennis
.

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

 07 June 2024         WFRA NEWSLETTER       Volume 15 Issue 24

Thanksgiving Service

Brigadier R G Silk CBE

You are reminded that a Thanksgiving Service to celebrate the life of the late Brigadier Ronnie Silk is to be held at 10.15 am on Sunday 23rd June 2024 in Repton School Chapel, Willington Road (B5008), Repton. This will be followed by refreshments in the 400 Hall Theatre Foyer: the family extends a warm welcome to all. For catering purposes, those who wish to attend are asked to notify Ian Silk (i.silk@icloud.com) before Friday 14th June. Parking is available in the nearby Repton School Sports Centre car park; Blue Badge holders should notify Ian who will arrange parking next to the Chapel.

001  DRUMHEAD SERVICE AND SUNSET CEREMONY FOR D-DAY 80TH ON 11th JUNE 2024 AT VICTORIA EMBANKMENT, NOTTINGHAM

As part of the events commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D Day on 6th June 1944, the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, the Lord Mayor of Nottingham City Council and the Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council invite you to a service of remembrance for those from the County of Nottinghamshire who fell on the beaches of Normandy. This will be an open-air Drumhead Service officiated by the Padres of Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force and include a parade of County Veterans and Standards, the Act of Remembrance and close with the sunset ceremony, with the band of the South Nottinghamshire Hussars Association providing the music. The service will be informal and open to all. Apart from the march on of the Veterans and Standards, there will be no formal parade and no laying of wreaths.
All Veterans are invited to take part in the Veterans’ Parade together with their Standards. No RSVP is required, just turn up on the day, but please note the earlier report time below.  Further details:

Date: Tuesday 11th June 2024.

Location: Memorial Gardens, Victoria Embankment, Nottingham NG2 2LA Time: The service starts at 7.00pm. Veterans and Standards should report to the Parade Marshall at 6.30pm.

Car Parking: County Hall Car Park (NG2 7QP) is open to all attending with pedestrian access to the Memorial Gardens across the footbridge.

Seating: The service is open air with participants and spectators standing throughout. There is limited seating available for those who require it.

Dress: Regimental tie and decorations for Veterans on parade. Serving members of the Armed Forces and Cadets may wear uniform.

This is the first time that the City and County have organised a service like this combining the formal with the informal and incorporating an act of remembrance, a traditional drumhead service and the sunset ceremony. Please give it your support. This note has a deliberately wide distribution, but it will have missed some so please pass it on to other interested parties who may wish to attend. We look forward to seeing you on the day.

002 WORCESTER REUNION 2024

The annual reunion took place on Saturday 1st June at Worcester Rugby Club. The weather was warm and sunny and there was a good attendance with figures being higher than last year.




 

 

003 D DAY 80 EVENTS IN WORCESTER

 

On Saturday the 22nd June 2024  Worcester Branch of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association (W.F.R.A.) will be holding a Commemoration Service at The Worcestershire Regimental Stone in Gheluvelt Park opposite the Memorial Archway gates barbourne Road WR3 7AA. We are holding this event on this day as we will be joining the City Council and other organisations commemorating 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings 6th June 1944. The Worcestershire Regiment had a delayed landing in Normandy due to storms and other logistical problems arriving there on the 22nd June 1944 so it will be 80 years to the day.

In attendance will be Vice Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff, other VIP`s

The ceremony will be 10:30 start. and will last 45mins to 1 hour.

The Ceremony will start with the Standards being dipped in salute to the Lord Lieutenant.

 A welcome and address by Lt Col (Retd.) Mark Jackson OBE, (Chair of Trustees of the Mercian Regiment Worcestershire and President of Worcester Branch W.F.R.A.) on the run up to the Regiment landing and the fight through Normandy as part of the 43rd Wessex Division and on through Northern Europe.

Reverend Lindsey Coulthard of St Stephens will conduct the religious part of the ceremony with a reading by a member of Worcester Branch W.F.R.A.

Blazers, berets, medals.

Members of the public are welcome to attend.

004 CARERS HUB SERVICE
 

005 ARMED FORCES WEEK DERBY

Although the Armed Forces Flag will be flown from the flagpole adjacent to the Sir Peter Hilton Memorial Garden throughout Armed Forces Week, please be aware that unfortunately there will be no flag raising ceremony or parade on the Monday 24 June.

006 FREEDOM OF ENTRY PARADE - STAPLEFORD TOWN CENTRE SATURDAY 29 JUNE 2024 

The Mayor of Broxtowe has sent the following invitation to RHQ

I am delighted to invite you to join me to show your support for our Armed Forces as soldiers from Royal Engineers Works Groups exercise their Freedom of the Borough at a military parade through Stapleford Town Centre on Saturday 29 June 2024 at 11.00am. Please line the streets of Stapleford from 10.30am ready for an 11.00am parade.

Please note there will be no formal reception or reserved seating during the parade

007 FRIENDS OF THE MERCIAN REGIMENT MUSEUM (WORCESTER)



Saturday 8 June 2024 "Dad's Army" - the characters real wartime stories by Chris Green

13.30 for 14.00 start.

“Dad’s Army” is one of the classics of British Television comedy which, at its height, was watched by 18 million viewers. A series that followed the antics of the Walmington-On-Sea Home Guard platoon during WW2. But behind the comedy, many of the men who have given us those laughs actually served their country.

Of the core seven members of the series, five served during WW2, two were officers, one was a Sergeant Major, one was a prisoner of war. Two of them had served in WW1. Of the wider cast of the show, one made parts for Spitfires, one was in the army of occupation in Japan and one flew in Lancaster bombers. This is the story of their real wartime service…and its writers too.

Chris Green has a passion for telling stories that bring Britain’s past to life. With a degree in history from the University of Birmingham, he spent most of his career in industry before setting up ‘The History Chap’ in 2020. His YouTube and Podcast channels have over 1m visitors a month.

All talks take place at Lyppard Grange Community Centre, Ankerage Green, Worcester WR4 0DZ.

Parking is free and unrestricted outside the venue.

Start time for all talks: 13.30 for 14.00 start.

Admission: Friends of the Museum: £3.00 Non-Friends: £5.00

Light refreshments included

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

31 May 2024     WFRA NEWSLETTER     Volume 15 Issue 22

Thanksgiving Service

Brigadier R G Silk CBE

A Thanksgiving Service to celebrate the life of the late Brigadier R G Silk CBE is to be held at Repton School at 10.15 am on Sunday 23rd June 2024. This will be followed by refreshments in the 400 Hall Theatre Foyer: Brigadier Silk's family extend a warm welcome to all. For catering purposes, those who wish to attend are asked to notify Ian Silk (i.silk@icloud.com) before Friday 7th June.

001  WFRA 2024 REUNION

The WFRA 2024 Reunion will be held on Saturday 1 June at the WRFC, Offerton Lane, Worcester WR3 8TR (use WR3 8ZF for satnav).  The event opens at 1200 hours (please do not come earlier as we need to set up) and ends at 1700 hours although WRFC will keep the bar open if guests wish to stay.  The Drumhead Service followed by an Address and March Past will commence at 1500 hours. There will be stalls for interest and purchasing.  The WRFC has a well-stocked bar at reasonable prices, and offers food.  This can be paid by cash or card. Please do not bring your own food and drink. The Reunion is for all WFRA personnel and their families as well as Mercian personnel and veterans and all those who served in the Mercian antecedent regiments.

Transport.  Complimentary transport is available from Silver Street, Worcester WR1 2DA to WFRC and there is a return service:

Silver Street pick-up at 1200 hours, 1245 hours and 1315 hours.

Return transport at 1630 hours and 1700 hours.

This transport is for anyone attending; please give priority to our elder/less able veterans

Raffle.  A raffle will be held following the Drumhead Service.  This is CASH ONLY and all monies will go towards off-setting the cost of the Reunion. If anyone/a branch wishes to donate a bottle, please either bring on the day or contact Nigel Fish  nigelfish@ymail.com so that you can send the money and he can purchase on your behalf.

Cost.  The event costs £2 per adult.  This is a CASH ONLY payment and all monies will go towards off-setting the cost of the Reunion

002  DRUMHEAD SERVICE AND SUNSET CEREMONY FOR D-DAY 80TH ON 11th JUNE 2024 AT VICTORIA EMBANKMENT, NOTTINGHAM

As part of the events commemorating the 80th Anniversary of D Day on 6th June 1944, the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, the Lord Mayor of Nottingham City Council and the Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council invite you to a service of remembrance for those from the County of Nottinghamshire who fell on the beaches of Normandy. This will be an open-air Drumhead Service officiated by the Padres of Nottinghamshire Army Cadet Force and include a parade of County Veterans and Standards, the Act of Remembrance and close with the sunset ceremony, with the band of the South Nottinghamshire Hussars Association providing the music. The service will be informal and open to all. Apart from the march on of the Veterans and Standards, there will be no formal parade and no laying of wreaths.
All Veterans are invited to take part in the Veterans’ Parade together with their Standards. No RSVP is required, just turn up on the day, but please note the earlier report time below.  Further details:

Date: Tuesday 11th June 2024.

Location: Memorial Gardens, Victoria Embankment, Nottingham NG2 2LA Time: The service starts at 7.00pm. Veterans and Standards should report to the Parade Marshall at 6.30pm.

Car Parking: County Hall Car Park (NG2 7QP) is open to all attending with pedestrian access to the Memorial Gardens across the footbridge.

Seating: The service is open air with participants and spectators standing throughout. There is limited seating available for those who require it.

Dress: Regimental tie and decorations for Veterans on parade. Serving members of the Armed Forces and Cadets may wear uniform.

This is the first time that the City and County have organised a service like this combining the formal with the informal and incorporating an act of remembrance, a traditional drumhead service and the sunset ceremony. Please give it your support. This note has a deliberately wide distribution, but it will have missed some so please pass it on to other interested parties who may wish to attend. We look forward to seeing you on the day.

003 CYPRUS 10 - ANECDOTES AND CHRISTMAS DAY 1963

We start this week's episode with an anecdote from Ray Wilson.

"At 0800 the morning after we became UN troops in Cyprus I took 4 x 3 ton wagons loaded with various ammunition from Nicosia to Famagusta, and was stopped at a Greek check point.

I warned the Greek officer not to touch the vehicles. He pushed me to one side and pulled himself up the tailgate and was met by two SLR muzzles. He walked away, I think to change his underpants! We passed through a village and had to stop. The locals came out and gave us cakes and water. It it was the first time they had seen UN wagons. I was a Lance Corporal at the time."

Eventually the battalion was replaced in the miscellany of positions around the island that they were holding and withdrew to SBA Dhekalia in preparation for a return to the UK. It was an opportunity to relax.

It had been an interesting emergency tour and certainly proved that the battalion was accomplished in its role as a Spearhead unit, though the opportunity to deploy at Christmas had not been what was expected.

In recent weeks we have received quite a few memories of the tour which we hope has jogged the memories of those who were there.

This week the main input is from a submission received a couple of weeks ago which takes our potted history right back to the beginning. Lt Bill Prince was Orderly Officer on Christmas Day. This is his story of the start of it all………………..

 

CALL OUT ON CHRISTMAS DAY

The battalion had exercised in Libya in September/October 1963 on Exercise Triplex West. When we returned to Colchester we discovered that our neighbouring battalion, The Buffs, had been sent, in great haste, to Aden. Another battalion in Tidworth was on stand-by and 1 FORESTERS was to become the SPEARPOINT battalion very soon and block leave (we had not had any since the previous Christmas in Northern Ireland) was due to start on 28 December 1963. The stand by requirement was for a leading rifle company and the Battalion Command Group being capable of setting off for RAF Lyneham at two hours notice, to fly anywhere in the world, closely followed by the rest of the battalion.

The role of SPEARPOINT battalion imposed several restrictions. Nobody could leave barracks without permission and had to say where, why, what for and no straying from Colchester Garrison. Three officers were due to get married during the coming leave period.

On Christmas Day we, the Officers, led by the CO, Lt Col Peter Litton and the Warrant Officers and Sergeants under the RSM, WO1 Webb attended the Christmas Lunch as waiters for the troops. There were several competitions - table decor, the counterfeit Colonel and counterfeit RSM amongst others.

As Duty Officer I was not able to attend Dinner at the CO's house so had lunch with a local farmer.

By 1800 hours I was in the TV room in the Officers' Mess with the Hot Line telephone, the relevant folder, sandwiches and champagne and Morecambe and Wise on the TV. My brother officers were readying themselves for the CO's party. Off-duty soldiers were free to go out, subject to SPEARPOINT restraints.

At about 2100 hours the hot line rang. I half expected it would be some merry subaltern trying to panic me as a joke, so I was jolted when the voice was not what I expected. "Good Evening, Happy

Christmas, Duty Officer, War Office, Main Building here. Codeword XYMOP (or something like that). Ring me back."

I had the folder beside me and rang back to the designated number. The same man spoke, we swapped codewords and he confirmed that the battalion were to go abroad. Transport was on its way and our first company was to be at RAF Lyneham, ready to fly by 1200 hours on Boxing Day. He rang off and I rang the Sergeants Mess but got no reply so I went over there and was greeted by Mr Webb. It took him about thirty seconds to see I was perfectly serious. Their party stopped: they got cracking, rounding up any soldiers still in barracks.

Meanwhile I drove round to the CO's house knowing the phone would be ignored. In about ten minutes we were preparing for whatever was to come. Several corporals were paired off with a policemen each and rounded up soldiers from the Colchester pubs.

By 0600 Boxing Day morning civilian coaches were arriving and everyone on immediate standby was back and in uniform and ready to go. It worked!!

004 D DAY 80 EVENTS IN WORCESTER

 

 

005 FORT ROYAL PARK FLAG RAISING - WORCESTER

All Branch members are invited to be in Fort Royal Park on the evening of Thursday 6th June 2024 19:30hrs onwards for  The D-Day flag Raising. A bagpiper will welcome the Lord Lieutenant into the park then a  Drumhead Service, Guest community speakers, community singalong and lighting of the beacon.  After the beacon is lit the National Anthem will be sung. there will be toilets and a fish n chip van in park.

The lower entrances to the park are a bit of a climb. there is limited parking in Wylds Lane.  WR5 2DJ

At the top of the park. Royal Albert Close (off Fort Royal Hill Road) WR5 1BZ  there is limited parking but drop off would be easier as the area is flatter.

Link to google maps HERE.

 

006 FREEDOM OF ENTRY PARADE - STAPLEFORD TOWN CENTRE SATURDAY 29 JUNE 2024 

The Mayor of Broxtowe has sent the following invitation to RHQ

I am delighted to invite you to join me to show your support for our Armed Forces as soldiers from Royal Engineers Works Groups exercise their Freedom of the Borough at a military parade through Stapleford Town Centre on Saturday 29 June 2024 at 11.00am. Please line the streets of Stapleford from 10.30am ready for an 11.00am parade.

Please note there will be no formal reception or reserved seating during the parade

007 VETERANS PARADE FOR WFR & MERCIAN VETERANS AT THE CENOTAPH. SUNDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2024

Neil Howard (ex 1WFR) is organising the WFRA contingent for the veterans parade at the Cenotaph in London on Sunday 10 November. Mercian veterans can also apply .

If you wish to attend , please contact Neil direct, n.howard5@virginmedia.com , with the following information: 

Full Name 
Regimental number 
Address 
D.O.B
Place of birth 
Email
Dates served 
Regiment served 

Next of Kin
Full name
Relationship 
Email
Phone number

The eligibility criteria, from the organisers, are:

Ex-service personnel from the UK and the Commonwealth who have served the Crown.

Retired emergency services personnel from the UK and Commonwealth who have served the Crown.

Partners or first-generation family members of those who served in His Majesty’s Armed Forces and have died. This only includes the following:

Wives, husbands, partners or civil partners, Siblings, Parents & Children

Those marching on behalf of their organisations that have historically played a significant role in times of conflict, supporting the Armed Forces community or who are key organisations in Remembrance.

A carer of a veteran requiring wheelchair assistance.

Please note that the closing date is 22 August or when Neil has a full contingent.

008 FRIENDS OF THE MERCIAN REGIMENT MUSEUM (WORCESTER)



Saturday 8 June 2024 "Dad's Army" - the characters real wartime stories by Chris Green

13.30 for 14.00 start.

“Dad’s Army” is one of the classics of British Television comedy which, at its height, was watched by 18 million viewers. A series that followed the antics of the Walmington-On-Sea Home Guard platoon during WW2. But behind the comedy, many of the men who have given us those laughs actually served their country.

Of the core seven members of the series, five served during WW2, two were officers, one was a Sergeant Major, one was a prisoner of war. Two of them had served in WW1. Of the wider cast of the show, one made parts for Spitfires, one was in the army of occupation in Japan and one flew in Lancaster bombers. This is the story of their real wartime service…and its writers too.

Chris Green has a passion for telling stories that bring Britain’s past to life. With a degree in history from the University of Birmingham, he spent most of his career in industry before setting up ‘The History Chap’ in 2020. His YouTube and Podcast channels have over 1m visitors a month.

All talks take place at Lyppard Grange Community Centre, Ankerage Green, Worcester WR4 0DZ.

Parking is free and unrestricted outside the venue.

Start time for all talks: 13.30 for 14.00 start.

Admission: Friends of the Museum: £3.00 Non-Friends: £5.00

Light refreshments included

009 D-DAY 80.  BEACON LIGHTING AT CRICH

To commemorate D-Day 80, beacons will be lit across the country on Thursday 6 June at 2115 hours.  This includes the one at the Crich War Memorial.  This event is open for all and we hope that, as veterans, you are able to attend. Please see the attached poster for full details

010 D DAY 80 - COTGRAVE

 

 

011 SAFE HARBOUR

Safe Harbour Sophie is a Caravan for Serving personnel and Veterans it is sited in the
Forest Of Dean in Coleford it's a wonderful park very Tranquil Peaceful atmosphere very Calming if you suffer with PTSD then Broadstone Park is ideal to gather your thoughts take time out.

You have turkeys ducks geese pigs all roaming free. BBQ and Fire pits.
There are three fishing lakes if your a keen fisherman shower block washing up facilities camp shop takeaway restaurant pub up the road.
Dogs welcome. Children's play area.

Please contact me 07799 671 979  janeager06@yahoo.co.uk for details.

012 OFFICE OF NATIONAL STATISTICS

Veteran deaths by suicide

The ONS have published statistics on deaths from suicide in UK armed forces veterans. The key findings include:

in 2021 in England and Wales, out of 5,175 suicides in those aged 16 or over, 253 suicides occurred in UK armed forces veterans

of the 253 UK armed forces veteran suicides occurring in 2021, 93.7% were male and 6.3% were female

overall, after accounting for age, there was no evidence of a difference in the rate of suicide between male UK armed forces veterans and the male general population

male UK armed forces veterans aged 25 to 44 had a higher rate of suicide compared with males aged 25 to 44 in the general population

in the male UK armed forces veteran population, deaths from firearm discharge accounted for 5.9% of suicides in 2021, compared with the male general population where this method accounted for 1.6% of suicides in the same year

Suicides in UK armed forces veterans, England and Wales - Office for National Statistics (ons.gov.uk)
 

Suicide Bereavement Guides

Suicide Bereavement UK has developed a series of ‘At Your Side guides’ for those sadly bereaved by suicide in the Armed Forces community.  They were commissioned by NHS England and co-produced with individuals bereaved by suicide as well as experts in military mental health, suicide prevention and bereavement.

Three guides have been produced:

At Your Side guide for veterans

At Your Side guide for families

At Your Side guide for serving personnel

The guides can be downloaded at https://suicidebereavementuk.com/armedforces

013 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)

Forces in the Community  Tel 0115 922 0320 https://www.forces.org.uk/

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

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

24 May 2024       WFRA NEWSLETTER                  Volume 15 Issue 21

001  WFRA 2024 REUNON

The WFRA 2024 Reunion will be held on Saturday 1 June at the WRFC, Offerton Lane, Worcester WR3 8TR (use WR3 8ZF for satnav).  The event opens at 1200 hours (please do not come earlier as we need to set up) and ends at 1700 hours although WRFC will keep the bar open if guests wish to stay.  The Drumhead Service followed by an Address and March Past will commence at 1500 hours. There will be stalls for interest and purchasing.  The WRFC has a well-stocked bar at reasonable prices, and offers food.  This can be paid by cash or card. Please do not bring your own food and drink. The Reunion is for all WFRA personnel and their families as well as Mercian personnel and veterans and all those who served in the Mercian antecedent regiments.

Transport.  Complimentary transport is available from Silver Street, Worcester WR1 2DA to WFRC and there is a return service:

Silver Street pick-up at 1200 hours, 1245 hours and 1315 hours.

Return transport at 1630 hours and 1700 hours.

This transport is for anyone attending; please give priority to our elder/less able veterans

Raffle.  A raffle will be held following the Drumhead Service.  This is CASH ONLY and all monies will go towards off-setting the cost of the Reunion. If anyone/a branch wishes to donate a bottle, please either bring on the day or contact Nigel Fish  nigelfish@ymail.com so that you can send the money and he can purchase on your behalf.

Cost.  The event costs £2 per adult.  This is a CASH ONLY payment and all monies will go towards off-setting the cost of the Reunion

002 1 FORESTERS IN CYPRUS FEBRUARY 1963 -64

CYPRUS 9 - A MEMORY MISCELLANY

In the past few weeks a series of recollections have been sent in by those who were in Cyprus in 1963-64. This week we catch up with a few.

THE FLYING BEDSTEAD
 

Despite a concern that recollections might have been wrong Tim Hoult sent a photo from South Africa showing that ………………………… It Did Exist!!

As previously described there was a severe lack of doors and windows on the property at the time it was occupied by 3 Platoon, A Company - Pl Comd 2/Lt Oliver Hackett.

It was at the end of the Green Line on Kymakli Street, close to the Walled City sector. I think this photo was early in the Battalion's time in Nicosia as there were further additions to the building. The name can just be made out on the board at the top of the building.

At one stage the barrier in the road could be raised by a rope from the top of the building and the noose was not prominent in later days. A builders lift did feature at some stage but there is (so far) no photographic evidence of that.

The author has received a package of notes describing B Company actions during the deployment but they have yet to be collated and formed into further chapters.

Finally a photo of the details of the flight to Akrotiri is below. Once upon a time you did not have a map display on the back of the seat in front of you - and planes had propellers! The alert will notice the RAF were behind schedule———-albeit only 10 minutes but it did take 6 hours and 25 minutes to fly from UK to Cyprus!

003 D-DAY 80.  BEACON LIGHTING AT CRICH

To commemorate D-Day 80, beacons will be lit across the country on Thursday 6 June at 2115 hours.  This includes the one at the Crich War Memorial.  This event is open for all and we hope that, as veterans, you are able to attend. Please see the attached poster for full details

004 WORCESTERSHIRE ARMED FORCES COVENANT NEWS & EVENTS

Two veteran full-time trainee carpenter programmes in Droitwich

Two full-time trainee carpenter posts are available as part of the Willow Court Farmhouse restoration project. The roles are being offered specifically to ex-service personnel as part of Wychavon District Council’s ongoing commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.  Any working age veteran living in the local area and within travelling distance of Droitwich Spa with an interest in carpentry or construction, is being urged to apply for the role. The two successful trainees will work with specialist heritage and conservation contractor Messenger on the project, which is set to last about 80 weeks. They will carry out a full-time carpentry training programme, working alongside experienced carpenters, as well as gain knowledge of traditional and heritage building practices.

The project is about to enter its next phase which will secure the preservation of the Grade II Willow Court Farmhouse and its transformation into six affordable flats. It has been made possible with support from Wychavon District Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund, with thanks to National Lottery players.  Anyone interested in finding out more about the role should email Patrick.Connelly@wychavon.gov.uk for a trainee job description and details about how to apply. The closing date for applications is 14 June 2024.

 

D-Day 80 events across Worcestershire

Do look out across social media/publicity for events happening across the county.  Many towns and parishes will be taking part to mark the 80th anniversary of Normandy Landings on 5th and 6th June.  Many of us will want to honour the  brave men and women who left their families and their futures behind to liberate Western Europe that in turn changed the course of the War.  Confirmed events planned in Worcester city,  Droitwich , Stourport upon Severn, Malvern, Bewdley, Redditch, Tenbury Wells and Kempsey, and I’m sure many other places.

 

Military to Business Showcase 2024, 20 June 2024, from 10am to 3pm, at NMITE’s Skylon Campus, Hereford

This bespoke event aims to:

Signpost the support available to the veteran community, military leavers, spouses and children

Showcase successful veteran owned businesses

Provide information on pathways available within local businesses to the military and veteran community

Highlight employment opportunities available

Offer pathways to education and skills

Provide opportunities for networking

Sponsored by West Midland Reserve Forces and Cadet Association, this event is FREE, though booking is essential.  NMITE Military to Business Showcase 2024 Tickets, Thu, Jun 20, 2024 at 10:00 AM | Eventbrite

Midsummer Malvern, 23rd June, Priory Park

A great family day out, hosted by YSS and Malvern Civic Society.  Great food, drinks, games, helpful advice, live music .. and so much more!  See poster attached.

 
OP PROSPER

A new wraparound employment service to support veterans into work after they leave the Armed Forces. The service will be backed by £2.1 million in new funding. The scheme will support veterans in securing high paid jobs, where they can hone the skills that they developed in the military in key sectors that are helping to boost the economy. This includes areas like cyber and digital, manufacturing, energy and financial and professional services.

Prime Minister and Veterans’ Minister announce ‘OP PROSPER’ to boost veterans’ employment - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Say you Served Campaign

A great campaign from the NHS to encourage veterans to let their GP practice know they have served in the UK Armed Forces; it's important to ‘say you served’. It does not matter how long someone served for or when they left the Armed Forces, veterans should let their GP surgery know this information, as it may be relevant to their health and care, now or in the future.  The campaign kit includes lots of resources to download including posters, social media posts and slides for digital screens.  Say you served | Help Us Help You - Primary Care Services | Campaign Resource Centre (dhsc.gov.uk)

005 ARMED FORCES WEEK

3rd Annual Nottinghamshire Police Armed Forces Network ‘Big Brew’

Friday 28th of June 2024

12:00 - 13:30 (proceedings commence at 12:15)

Nottinghamshire Police HQ - Arnold - NG5 8PP

Invitation:

As part of celebrating the annual Armed Forces Week, the official Armed Forces Day does fall on Saturday the 29th of June. However, we will be celebrating our 3rd ‘Armed Forces Day Big Brew’ a day earlier on Friday the 28th of June (12:00 - 13:30). Like many other organisations, we are doing this so that everyone can attend (Mon - Fri staff) and pay respects to the wider Armed Forces & Defence Communities of Nottinghamshire which aligns with our firm commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant.

If you wish to celebrate Armed Forces Day with us, we would be thrilled by your attendance. A light buffet and refreshments will be provided for guests and for our Veterans, Spouses of Veterans, Reservists and Cadet Leaders etc. Also, this will be a great opportunity to meet some of our serving officers and staff who are proud Veterans and enjoy some good old military chat. On the day we have musicians from the Force brass band providing the entertainment and we are planning a few surprises too!

006 REMEMBRANCE DAY 2024

The Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association has been  allocated 30 places at this year’s Cenotaph parade.

The details I require are as follows.

Name
Regimental number
Address 
Date of birth 
Place of birth
Email address
Dates served
Regiment served

If you are wishing to march as.

Retired emergency services personnel 
Civilian (partner or first generation family of those who served in His Majesty’s Armed forces and have died)
Wife’s/husbands/ partners or civil partners 
Siblings 
Parents
Children 
Carer

Could you please express which one you fall under and any details that will help with understanding your reasons for marching with the contingent. 

ALSO THIS YEAR NEXT OF KIN DETAILS ARE ALSO REQUIRED.

Name 
Relationship 
Email
Phone number

The eligibility criteria is as follows:
Ex-service personnel from the UK and the Commonwealth who have served the Crown.
Retired emergency services personnel from the UK and Commonwealth who have served the Crown.
Partners or first-generation family members of those who served in His Majesty’s Armed Forces and have died. This only includes the following:
Wives, husbands, partners or civil partners
Siblings
Parents
Children
Those marching on behalf of their organisations that have historically played a significant role in times of conflict, supporting the Armed Forces community or who are key organisations in Remembrance.
A carer of a veteran requiring wheelchair 

IMPORTANT DATES

The key dates for 2024 are as follows:

22 August    Deadline for associations to complete individual participant information. Registration closes.
30-31 October    E-tickets and joining instructions sent to participants.

Individual security checks will take place before entry to Horse Guards Parade. Ticket holders are to bring photographic ID and proof of address with them to gain access.

Attendee panel closed

007 THE OLD SHERWOOD FORESTER

Ranjit Seehra is one of the Volunteers at Gurdwara Sahib, The Old Sherwood Foresters PH on St Thomas Rd Derby, and they have recently inaugurated a warriors statue. 

They would like to invite old Sherwood Foresters to view the statue given its historic links.

If anyone is interested in visiting they can contact Ranjit via Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/RanjitSinghSeehra

008 SAFE HARBOUR

Safe Harbour Sophie is a Caravan for Serving personnel and Veterans it is sited in the
Forest Of Dean in Coleford it's a wonderful park very Tranquil Peaceful atmosphere very Calming if you suffer with PTSD then Broadstone Park is ideal to gather your thoughts take time out.

You have turkeys ducks geese pigs all roaming free. BBQ and Fire pits.
There are three fishing lakes if your a keen fisherman shower block washing up facilities camp shop takeaway restaurant pub up the road.
Dogs welcome. Children's play area.

Please contact me 07799 671 979  janeager06@yahoo.co.uk for details.

009 WORCESTER BRANCH MEETING

There will be a Worcester Branch meeting on Tuesday 28 May 19:30 for 20:00hrs start. At Barbourne Ex Services Club, The Moors, Worcester. WR1 3ED.

There will be a raffle at the meeting if you have anything to donate please bring along.

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

17 May 2024         WFRA NEWSLETTER        Volume 15 Issue 20

OBITUARY

23210811 Cpl John Brian Tomlinson
It is with sadness that we inform you that Worcester branch member 23210811 Cpl John Brian Tomlinson of Yate, Bristol, passed away aged 87 years in Southmead Hospital, Bristol on Friday 3rd May 2024. John enlisted into Sherwood Foresters Cadet Force at Beeston Notts on the 20th April 1951 winning Unit Efficiency Shield in 1952, also winning the Sword of Honour 1953 and reaching the rank of CSM.

On 29th June 1954 John enlisted into the Royal Engineers commencing induction training at Norton Barracks at Worcester. 1954 he served at Southwood Camp Farnborough. 1957 field Troop Maralinga, South Australia . On talking with the RE Association John Had given an interview on the Nuclears Tests at Maralinga, Australia. 1958 UK 22 Regt Chiseldon Camp Swindon. 1959 East Africa, Aden, Oman and Somalia. 1960 Aden / Ind Field group. 1961 UK Ripon North Yorks.

During his service he gained Army trades, Combat Engineer Class B. Craft operator Class B, Specialist Driver Class A. John was awarded the GSM clasp 9Arabian peninsular) John Discharged on medical grounds on 8th February 1963.

In Civilian life John was a welder on construction and engineering sites , field and workshops. Building erector on modular structures. Shop fitting and carpentry. In later years John was on contracts in Kuwait 1980, Berlin West Germany 1992, in building and carpentry.

Some years ago John was looking for a veterans community and got in touch with the W.F.R.A. Asst Regt Sec and got the details to join Worcester Branch of which John was a valued and dedicated member who attended functions, events and Branch Regimental dinners with his wife Meredith. Whilst healthy he was a regular attendee of the branch meetings making his journeys from Bristol come rain or shine.

John`s funeral will take place at 12:30 on Friday 14th June 2024 at Bristol Memorial Woodlands, Earthcott Green, Alveston. Bristol BS35 3TA.

Bugler, Standards and members welcome

Members are welcomed afterwards next to the chapel at the Memorial Woodlands (Reception) BS35 3TA

Letters of condolence can be sent to:-

Mrs Meredith Tomlinson
72 Kent Avenue,
Yate,
Bristol.
BS37 7RZ.

OBITUARY

24134258 Pte Peter Spenceley

It is with great sadness that we report the death of 24134258 Pte Peter Spenceley on the 25th April 2024 in South Wales, Peter joined the Junior Soldiers Battalion Shorncliffe Folkestone in 1967-1969 and joined the Worcestershire Regiment. On Amalgamation he was posted to Brecon platoon as part of the Demonstration Battalions duties to the Infantry Battle School. He served on the WFR first tour of NI and Berlin where he then transferred to the Army Air Corp on 20 January 1975 and completed his 22 years Regular Service. 

Peter's funeral is on Tuesday 21 May 12:00 hrs Llwydcoed Crematorium, Aberdare, CF44 0DJ.  Followed by a Wake at Brecon Working Mens Club, Watergate, Brecon LD3 9AN

All are welcome to attend the service and wake. 

FUNERAL OF MARGARET SIBCY

The funeral of Margaret, who died on 28 April (Issue 18) will take place on Thursday  30 May at 1045 hours at the Hope Community Methodist Church (AKA Barnbygate Chapel), Barnbygate, Newark NG24 1PX.  This is followed by a cremation at Sherwood Forest Crematorium, Newark Rd, Ollerton, Notts NG22 0DY at 1200 hours.   The Wake will be held at the Newark Services Club (formerly RAFA Club), 23a London Rd, Newark NG24 1TN.  The Club will open at 1220 hrs noon for those not travelling to the Crematorium, with those who will be, joining later.  Please note that the club is not visible from London Rd. It is accessible via the London Road car park, and then behind the Odeon Cinema. Parking charges apply and the machines take cash.

All regimental mourners and Standards are welcome to attend.  Family flowers only.  Donations are welcomed and will be jointly split between  the Mercian Benevolent Fund and the Crich Memorial Fund.

Mercian Regiment Benevolent Charity.  Sort Code: 16 19 26. Account Number: 20000562.  Reference: Sibcy

Crich Memorial Fund. Sort Code 16-19-26.  Account Number: 19996670. Reference: Sibcy

001  WFRA 2024 REUNON

The WFRA 2024 Reunion will be held on Saturday 1 June at the WRFC, Offerton Lane, Worcester WR3 8TR (use WR3 8ZF for satnav).  The event opens at 1200 hours (please do not come earlier as we need to set up) and ends at 1700 hours although WRFC will keep the bar open if guests wish to stay.  The Drumhead Service followed by an Address and March Past will commence at 1500 hours. There will be stalls for interest and purchasing.  The WRFC has a well-stocked bar at reasonable prices, and offers food.  This can be paid by cash or card. Please do not bring your own food and drink. The Reunion is for all WFRA personnel and their families as well as Mercian personnel and veterans and all those who served in the Mercian antecedent regiments.

Transport. 
Complimentary transport is available from Silver Street, Worcester WR1 2DA to WFRC and there is a return service:

Silver Street pick-up at 1200 hours, 1245 hours and 1315 hours.

Return transport at 1630 hours and 1700 hours.

This transport is for anyone attending; please give priority to our elder/less able veterans

Raffle. 
A raffle will be held following the Drumhead Service.  If anyone/a branch wishes to donate a bottle, please either bring on the day or contact Nigel Fish  nigelfish@ymail.com so that you can send the money and he can purchase on your behalf.

Cost. 
The event costs £2 per adult.  This is a CASH payment only and all monies will go towards off-setting the cost of the Reunion

002 1 FORESTERS IN CYPRUS FEBRUARY 1963 -64

Part 8 So what happened to Louroujina and Lympia?

Though outside of 1 FORESTERS time in Cyprus it is worth recounting what happened to the villages occupied in 1964 by A Company.

The initial change to the villages had begun with the concentration of Greek Cypriots into Lympia and Turkish Cypriots into Louroujina or Akincilar (its other name) when tensions created by the EOKA campaign of 1955-59 led to the Greek Cypriot minority abandoning Louroujina and in doing so creating a source of tension for the future. 

Throughout late 1963/ early 1964, the village became a reception centre for displaced Turkish Cypriots from nine outlying villages. Consequently the population grew slowly to around 5000 inhabitants.

Many of the displaced Turkish Cypriots arrived from the village of Pyrogi (Pyroi)/Gaziler which sits astride the old Larnaca-Nicosia road a few miles north of Louroujina. 

This caused this to be an area of great tension as there were several Greek Cypriot villages close to Louroujina, Lympia to the south (as reported two weeks) ago and Dali to the west. Additionally, the access road into Louroujina from the north went through two other Greek Cypriot villages.....Tymbou & Pyrogi. This situation meant that after A Coy left in mid 1964 a larger UN force was permanently stationed in Louroujina with the troublesome high ground surrounding the village continually observed and patrolled.

It stayed this way until the events of 1971 changed everything:

Aug 1971 - Gen Grivas returned to Cyprus to try to win union with Greece. He formed EOKA-B and called for Makarios to resign as President. When this demand was ignored EOKA-B began a campaign of violence against police stations and Makarios-supporting organisations.

Early 1973 - Numerous explosions and attacks on police stations by EOKA-B occurred. This was not inter-communal violence but still caused great alarm amongst the Turkish Cypriot community.

Jan 1974 - Grivas died. Nikos Sampson, his successor, promised to keep the dream of "Enosis" alive.

Feb 1974 - Serious inter-communal disputes increased in Ayia Irini near Morphou (A platoon base for A Coy 1 FORESTERS for a short time in 1964).

Mar 1974 - Makarios became alarmed at behaviour of Greek Army officers within the Cyprus National Guard.

Jul 1974 - There was a coup against Makarios by elements of the National Guard and EOKA-B. Makarios escaped to Kykkos Monastery in the Troodos Mountains. He eventually gets to a UN base, then RAF Akrotiri from where he flies to London. In Cyprus Nikos Sampson became President.

20 July 1974 - A Turkish invasion fleet approached the north coast of Cyprus. A weak National Guard faced them having been told not to mobilise as this could provide a pretext for Turkey to invade!

A seaborne invasion begins at 0445 hours followed shortly after by an airborne landing just N of Nicosia and a helicopter borne force in the same area later.22 July 1974 - Turkish seaborne forces eventually link with the airborne forces and the UN negotiate a ceasefire.

23 July 1974 - Nikos Sampson resigns as President, an interim President takes over.

8-14 August 1974 Peace talks began but failed as Turkish forces continued to violate the ceasefire and Greece refused to accept a principle of an autonomous zone for Turkish Cypriots.

16 -17 August 1974 Turkish forces, being continually built up from the sea reached Morphou in the west and Famagusta in the east. Greek Cypriots fled from Famagusta to the Eastern Sovereign Base Area. Refugee camps are established in both the Western and Eastern Sovereign Base Areas.

"The events of 1974 gave the political division created by the 1963-64 crisis an unambiguous physical shape. Geographically and ethnically, Cyprus was split in two".

From....Alan James, Keeping the Peace in the Cyprus Crisis 1963-64.

Fig 1 - The Louroujina Pocket is circled in green

Returning to the villages of Louroujina and Lympia
In 1974 the UN Force was still in place, a photo below of a Canadian soldier of UNFICYP (Fig 3) shows the secondary school in the background. It is nor clear from our research whether it ever re-opened to pupils in the intervening years but it does look rundown in the photo.

The Turkish invasion changed the balance of power in the area. In August 1974 Turkish Forces pushed into a land promontory that eventually included both Louroujina and Lympia as, despite the ceasefire agreed on the 16th August 1974, Turkish troops continued their advance towards Louroujina and Lympia with the aim of including the villages in the occupied area.

Though defensive positions were evident in the area Turkish forces seem to have brushed them aside with ease. A fierce battle occurred at Pyrogi and the road between Nicosia and Larnaca was cut. Three Greek Cypriot National Guard tanks were captured and, to bolster the defences of Louroujina, two were placed on the ridge overlooking the village with a clear view of National Guard positions. They are still there today.

Fig 2 - Report from the Chicago Tribune

Over the subsequent years this area was developed into a Turkish strategic defensive position and heavily defended. UN Forces withdrew from the villages into a Buffer Zone to the south and the UNFICYP base in Louroujina was sealed off and abandoned.




Fig 3 and 4 - In both photos the gate entrance to the school is to the left.

In the early 2000's on a visit to Cyprus we were unable to get access to the area which contains a significant Turkish Army presence. Today it is possible to approach the area as a motorway bypasses the Turkish garrison position.

By 2016 the population of Louroujina had shrunk very significantly with only a few people continuing to live there. A video showing how life in Louroujina has contracted into just a few families eking out an isolated existence exists on youtube.

Just copy and paste this into a search engine to view. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDRcBHchHLw

003 TENBURY TOWN BAND SPRING CONCERT

The Tenbury Town Band, who play at the WFR Reunion will be holding a spring concert on 18 May.  Full details are on the poster.

004 THE MERCIAN REGIMENT CHARITY GOLF DAY 2024
                                                                                  
THE MERCIAN REGIMENT 
CHARITY GOLF DAY 2024
                                                                 
Friday August 16th 2024. 

RUFFORD PARK GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB 

ENTRY FORM 

General Information. Many Thanks for your continuous support to this annual Event. All money which is raised goes to supporting the Benevolent Fund of the Mercian Regiment. The intent is to run this year's event as I did in 2023 with slight amendments. The golf competition will take place during the day followed by an evening event which includes any guest you may wish to invite.  

Entry Cost:  I enclose a cheque for £160.00. Cheques made payable to ‘RHQ MERCIAN’ The entry fee for a team of members from Rufford Park golf Club will be £110:00. Please send all entries and Cheques to the address at the bottom of this entry form. 

Format:  The format of the day will be: 18 Hole stableford individual and team prizes, plus 4 nearest the pin prizes and 2s sweep. Maximum Handicap is 28 for Gentlemen and 36 for Ladies 

Entry price also includes bacon roll and coffee on arrival, plus an evening hot and cold buffet meal during the evening function. Players can purchase extra tickets to the evening celebration party for family and friends  £15:00 per Ticket. Evening Entertainment is to be confirmed. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Team Name:     

Team Captain Contact Details:  Name  

Phone Number:                                                  Email                                   

Player 1                                   HCP                    Player 2                                   HCP  

Player 3                                   HCP                    Player 4                                   HCP    

Extra Tickets for the evening event are £15 Per Ticket  

Indicate Preferred Tee Time. Tee Timings will be notified the week before the event 

 

0800-0900 

0900-1000 

1000-1100 

1100-1200 

1200-1300 


Signed:                                                            Date        

 

Entries Submitted to: 

Lt Col (Retd) K Seddon 
8 Forest Road  
Warsop 
Mansfield
Notts  
NG20 0ER 

Tel 07739 210 584. 

005 OSWESTRY HOSPITAL VETERANS CLINIC

Trouble with knees and things.........

Did you know........

As a veteran, you can ask for a referral to a specialist Orthopaedic clinic at The Robert Jones & Edith Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY107AG. There is a specific Veterans Clinic run by Lt Col Carl Meyer, an Army Reserve consultant surgeon who also works with 202 Field Ambulance and Reserve Hospital. A friend applied for a referral on 16 March, this year, and on 3rd May, a week ago, had a hip replacement, a total of just over 6 weeks. Lt Col Meyers specialises in hips and knees. If you don't mind a few days away from family, He can assure you it's more like an hotel than a hospital, and the foods really good. Having a long wait ahead of you at your local GP and hospital, this might be the way to go to achieve a much quicker result.

What is it?
A service for military veterans to have their hip or knee arthritis assessed and, if appropriate, have joint replacement surgery and is led by Lt Col Carl Meyer, Military Consultant Hip and Knee Arthroplasty Surgeon at Oswestry’s specialist orthopaedic hospital. Lt Col Meyer is an Army Reserve officer who has been on three tours to Afghanistan and one to Iraq. He is an Orthopaedic Trauma Surgeon with 16 Medical Regiment, 202 (Midlands) Field Hospital.

Who is it for?
Anyone who has been in regular military service, including national service.

Where is it?
The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH), Oswestry, Shropshire SY107AG ,and is a centre of orthopaedic excellence specialising in lower limb replacement surgery.

When is it?
Outpatient clinics are held fortnightly at RJAH. (Normally on a Wednesday)

How do I obtain an NHS referral?
Through your GP - Ask to be referred to the VETERANS’ HIP & KNEE SURGERY SERVICE at Oswestry - And ask your GP to make a named referral to Lt Col Meyer�

Contact information Email:

rebecca.ann.jones@rjah.nhs.uk Fax: 01691 404067 Tel: 01691 404344

Your records at your GP needs to be annotated with the NHS issued codes for military/veterans, take photocopies of your red discharge book, because he will ask for proof that you're a veteran.

 Military medical codes

 13J1. Military veteran

 13JY. History relating to Military Service

 13qo. History relating to Army Service

 13q1. History relating to RN Service

 13q2. History relating to RAF Service

 

 13q3. Served in the Armed Forces
 
                                                                               

006 ARMED FORCES HUB 28 JUNE 2024 AT CHESTERFIELD TOWN HALL

This event has been running for 11 years by the District Armed Forces Champion for Derbyshire and Staffordshire, Department for Work and Pensions based at Chesterfield.  It is known as the One Stop Shop, under 1 Roof where so that the Armed Forces Community can meet the Forces Support/Charities face to face.  It will be combined with a careers fair for the public.  In attendance will be the Armed Forces Regular/Reservists Recruiters.  It is hoped that the Armed Forces Councillor, the Lord Lieutenant, The High Sheriff and Mayor/Mayoress will be in attendance as well as an RAF Flypast.

Please RSVP as per the invitation.
 

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