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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

 

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

29 March 2019      WFRA NEWSLETTER          Volume 10 Issue 13

 

001   100th ANNUAL REGIMENTAL ASSOSCIATION DINNER

The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association
100th Annual Regimental Association Dinner (The Crich Supper)

Saturday 6 July 2019 at
Welbeck Hall
Welbeck Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7QW
7.30 for 8.00 pm

Dress: Jacket, Tie and Medals

Tickets are now available for £20.00 per person for 3 course meal with wine and
tea or coffee and entertainment.

To purchase tickets please complete a menu choice for each person attending and
return to WFRA, 18 Peatfield Road, Stapleford, Nottinghamshire NG9 8GN with
cheque for £20 per person made payable to WFRA and mark your envelope CRICH
DINNER by no later than 21 June 2019.
For those wishing to pay by BACS, the details are; Lloyds Bank Ltd, Account title:
The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association (WFRA).
Sort Code: 30-99-90. Account Number: 00732899

Tickets will be issued on the door.

A printable version of the menu choice is available at  http://www.stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk/pdf/upload/Crich_Supper_Calling_Notice_2019-1.pdf

MENU CHOICE
Name:
Fellow guests with whom you wish to be seated, if possible:
Contact details:
WFRA Branch (if applicable):

STARTER:   
Chicken Caesar salad with bacon and parmesan crisps or
Celery and apple soup (vegetarian) or
Welsh rarebit

MAIN COURSE:
Chicken Chasseur, creamy mash and greens or
Sea Bass with cherry tomatoes and chorizo or
Goat’s cheese and butternut squash tart tatin (vegetarian)

DESSERT:  
Madeira trifle or
Braised pineapple with star anise and coconut ice cream

Please tick one choice from each course above.
All choices come with tea or coffee and a glass of red or white wine.
A reasonably priced licensed bar will be available both before and after the dinner.
There will be entertainment both before and afterdinner.
Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements.
Unlimited free parking is available for cars, minibuses and coaches on site.
For those wanting to combine the Association Dinner with the Crich Pilgrimage and make a weekend of it, accommodation is available at several hotels and B&B establishments within 5 minutes walk of Welbeck Hall. They include: Beeches Hotel. 01159 818753 & Grantham Hotel. 01159 811373.

002   BURIAL OF AN UNKNOWN FORESTER

On behalf of the Ministry of Defence and the Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre
We have the honour to invite association members to attend the Funeral Service of
 
An Unknown Soldier of The Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
 
Wednesday 17 April 2019 at 11.00 Hrs at Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, France.
 
Refreshments will be served afterwards at The Old Blighty Tearoom,
1 Rue Georges Cuvillier, 80300 Ovillers-la-Boisselle
 
If you would like to attend please use the contact detail below.

Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre (Commemorations)
Imjin Barracks, Gloucester GL3 1HW
Tel: 01452 712612 ext 6256
Email; Jeanette.page110@mod.uk
 
 RSVP by 12 April 2019
                                                                                

003   BADAJOZ DAY PARADE TIMINGS

Nottingham City Branch
Saturday 6th April 2019.
Parade Marshall WO1 RSM S Denham.10.00hrs Meet on Nottingham Market Square.
10.45hrs Parade to form up by the left lion.
10.50hrs The Lord Mayor and special guest to be in place & citation to be read by
Major J H Cotterill (retired) followed by The Last Post.
11.00hrs The jacket to be raised on the flag pole above the Council House.
11.20hrs Parade to disband after a speech by the Lord Mayor.

All have been invited to the Council House after the parade.

Dress for the Ceremony:-  Beret, Blazer, Medals. 

Standard Bearers report to Parade Marshall.

004   WFR MEMORIAL BENCH UNVEILING CEREMONY

All Branches and Association members are invited to attend on Saturday April 27th 2019 at 11.15 for 11.30 in Gheluvelt Park near the double Memorial Gates at the junction of Barbourne Road, the A449 (Ombersley Road to Kidderminster ) and the A38 (Droitwich Rd) WR3 7AA. There will be a unveiling ceremony of a new Memorial Bench  in remembrance of all Battalions of The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment 

The plaque on the bench reads:-

"This seat is dedicated to the memory of all who served in the Regiment and to honour those that were killed on operational Active Service and those that died whilst serving". 

This is the first memorial of this kind to W.F.R. in the City of Worcester.

Lt Col (Ret`d) Mark Jackson OBE former Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. He is Chair of the Trustees of the Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire), as well as being a Trustee of the Mercian Regiment. He is also the new President of Worcester Branch who have put in the hard work to get this memorial situated opposite the Worcestershire Regimental Stone, that Worcester Branch installed in 2014 on the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Gheluvelt, after which the park is named.

The Honour of unveiling the Memorial Bench goes to another former Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion W.F.R.  Colonel John Lowles CBE. 

The Padre for the occasion will be Worcester Branch Honorary Padre, Canon Paul Tongue of Worcester.

Afterwards there will be a gathering at Claines RBL Club, Cornmeadow Lane, Worcester. WR3 7PL.

For Ex Service people attending the Ceremony and wanting to attend Claines RBL please contact Chairman Worcester Branch W.F.R.A. by 18th April 2019 onnigelfish@ymail.com stating the numbers attending.

Dress for the Ceremony:-  Beret, Blazer, Medals. 

Standard Bearers report to Parade Marshall at 11:00hrs prompt.

Parking is available opposite the Pump House Environment Centre, Waterworks Road Worcester. WR31EZ or in side streets but please be considerate to residents.
 

005   LOST FRIENDS

Scott Pomeroy is looking for people who knew his grandfather Thomas John Pomeroy (known as John or 'Tech'??).  He lived in Evesham, but was based at Norton Barracks for his National Service.  He was the baton holder for Major Robert Britten. 
If anyone is able to help Scott please contact him using the email address below.

scottypom89@gmail.com

006   NORMANTON BARRACKS

There will be the unveiling of a new plaque at the site of the Normanton Barracks in Derby on Thursday 11th April at 3pm.
Oast House
Foresters Park Centre
Sinfin Lane
Derby
DE23 8AG
All are welcome to attend

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

22 March 2019     WFRA NEWSLETTER        Volume 10 Issue 12

001  MEMORIAL SERVICE

The Memorial Service for Mrs June Ireland, wife of Major EA Ireland, will be held at St Michaels Church, Mere, Wiltshire BA12 6DS at 13.30 hours on Monday 1st April.

002   BURIAL OF AN UNKNOWN FORESTER

On behalf of the Ministry of Defence and the Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre
We have the honour to invite association members to attend the Funeral Service of
 
An Unknown Soldier of The Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
 
Wednesday 17 April 2019 at 11.00 Hrs at Guillemont Road Cemetery, Guillemont, France.
 
Refreshments will be served afterwards at The Old Blighty Tearoom,
1 Rue Georges Cuvillier, 80300 Ovillers-la-Boisselle
 
If you would like to attend please use the contact detail below.

Joint Casualty & Compassionate Centre (Commemorations)
Imjin Barracks, Gloucester GL3 1HW
Tel: 01452 712612 ext 6256
Email; Jeanette.page110@mod.uk
 
 RSVP by 12 April 2019
                                                                                

003   CHESTERFIELD BRANCH MEETING

Branch meeting & AGM
Wednesday 27th March 19.30Hrs

Haig House 42, Glumangate, Chesterfield S40 1TX

Please wear Regimental Jackets & Ties for the branch photograph.

004   ARMED FORCES COMMUNITY RESEARCH

It is estimated there are over 20,000 former military personnel who have left the Armed Forces living in Worcestershire. If you served as a Regular or as a Reservist, either very recently or sometime ago, we are keen to find out your experiences living and working in the county. We are also interested in any challenges you may have faced or are currently facing. We will be asking you about your time in the military and your return to civilian life.

Your involvement will help shape the way Worcestershire supports the Armed Forces Community. The results of this research will influence a list of needs and priorities for the Worcestershire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership, in order to improve services and networks for our Armed Forces community now, and in the future.

The survey should take no more than 20 minutes to complete.  We need to hear from as many people as possible to ensure our results are valid, so please do spread the word - your participation counts.

The information you provide us will be collated by Worcestershire County Council, as part of a wider research project being undertaken to improve support for our armed forces communities.  We may share results with our stakeholders; however, the survey results will be statistical and will never contain personal details that could identify you. We may publish anonymous results but will never link to your details or opinions in any way.

The information you provide us will be collated by Worcestershire County Council, as part of a wider research project being undertaken to improve support for our armed forces communities.  We may share results with our stakeholders; however, the survey results will be statistical and will never contain personal details that could identify you. We may publish anonymous results but will never link to your details or opinions in any way.

The closing date for this survey is Thursday 18th April 2019

Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey – your contribution really matters to us. If you have any concerns or would like to contact us please email us at WAFCC@worcestershire.gov.uk

005   NOTTINGHAM FOREST BREAKFAST & COFFEE MORNINGS

Nottingham Forest will be hosting regular coffee/breakfast mornings at The City Ground for Veterans to get together and discuss ways in which they can support. To keep updated on any upcoming breakfast and coffee mornings please send your details to community@nottinghamforest.co.uk

The next Coffee and Quiz morning will be held on Friday 29th March at 9:30am-11am, at The City Ground. If you are interested and would like to attend please send your; Name, Age and Military Rank to community@nottinghamforest.co.uk or alternatively call 0115 982 4318.

The winner of the quiz comprising of both football and local knowledge will win hospitality including a 2 course meal and a place in a corporate box for the Bolton match on Sunday 5th May.

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

 15th March 2019   WFRA NEWSLETTER  Volume 10 Issue 11

001   BADAJOZ DAY 2019.
SCARLET JACKET TO BE RAISED, FOR THE FIRST TIME, ON THE ROOF OF NOTTINGHAM’S COUNCIL HOUSE ABOVE THE OLD MARKET SQUARE.

On Saturday 6 April this year Sherwood Forester Old Comrades will be remembering, as they do every year, the part the Regiment played in the storming of the French held fortress city of Badajoz in Spain in 1812. On 6 April 1812 Lieutenant McPherson of the 45th (Nottinghamshire Regiment), which became the 1st Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters , was one of the first men to scramble from a long ladder into the castle , that crowned the summit of Badajoz. Lacking a Union flag with which to signal the fort’s capture, he ripped down the tricolour and hoisted, in its place, his own scarlet jacket. To commemorate this, on Badajoz Day for the last 207 years the Sherwood Foresters and their successors have hoisted a scarlet jacket on a flagpole wherever they are serving in the world and read out the story of the battle to inspire soldiers of the present day. This ceremony has taken place in recent years in, amongst other places, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Afghanistan. In addition the Regiment’s local Old Comrades always raise scarlet jackets in Nottingham and Derby.

If you want to see the jacket raised this year and hear the dramatic tale of Badajoz, come along at 10.30 am to the Old Market Square in Nottingham. If you want to march with the Old Comrades be there by 10.00 am. In Nottingham, the jacket has been raised traditionally at the Castle. Due to renovations there, this year it will be raised on the flagpole on the roof of the Council House. The Lord Mayor will be represented by Catherine Arnold ; the Sheriff of Nottingham and all Old Comrades have been kindly invited in for a hot drink in the Council House after this unique ceremony.

002   AGE UK FORCES FRIENDS

Forces Friends

Forces friends is a visiting service providing support to lonely isolated military veterans and their dependants aged 60 and over.

What is Forces Friends?

We offer a trained volunteer visiting service providing support for isolated and lonely military veterans and their dependants aged 60 and over.  We aim to provide short term support to enable older veterans and their dependants to reconnect with social networks and help overcome the problems of loneliness.

What do we offer?

* Designated trained volunteer, mainly from a forces background.

* One to one home visits to provide companionship and social support.

* Trips to the wider community if desired.

What extra support do we offer?

* Help to access other services through Age UK Notts and other military welfare charities such as SSAFA and the Royal British Legion.

Who is this service for?

* Veterans aged 60 and over.

* Dependants of veterans aged 60 and over.

What area does this service cover?

Nottingham & Nottinghamshire.

How is the service delivered?

* Designated matched volunteer.

* One to one home visits.

* Trips out if desired.

Where is this service delivered?

* In the comfort of your home.

* In the wider community if desired.

How much does this service cost?

Nothing, this service is completely free of charge.

Our contact details.

For more information or to access this service, please contact us on:

Tel: 01158 440 011. Email: forcesfriends@ageuknotts.org.uk

Address: Bradbury House, 12 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham, NG1 4FQ.

003   WORCESTER MUSEUM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

The Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire) is seeking to recruit  a group of approximately 20 volunteers to help in the Museum Display in the Museum and Art Gallery in Foregate Street. The idea is to have ex-soldiers manning the desk at the entrance where they can welcome all visitors whether individuals or groups, explain what is in the display and chat about life in the Regiment. If you could spare half a day, or even a full day, once  a week you would be very welcome indeed. There is no doubt at all that the impact upon the public, and particularly the young, will be greatly enhanced by chatting to former soldiers.

If you are interested, please contact the Curator at the museum, John Paddock, on 01905 721982, or musuemmercian@btconnect.com

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

08 March 2019      WFRA NEWSLETTER          Volume 10 Issue 10

OBITUARIES

It is with regret that we inform you that 14491287 Pte Frank LEONARDI of Nottingham died on 1 March 2019 aged 92.  Frank enlisted into the 2/5th Battalion Sherwood Foresters on 31 March 1944 and after training joined the Battalion in Austria.  He was later transferred to the South Wales Borderers in March 1946.  Frank was a long time member and staunch supporter of Nottingham City Branch.  His funeral is to take place at Bramcote Crematorium, Coventry Lane, Bramcote, Nottingham on Thursday 14 March 2019 at 1315 hours.  Family flowers only. A collection will be made at the Crematorium for the benefit of a forces charity.  Standard Bearer and members welcome.

001   THE 19th SHERWOOD FORESTERS OFFICERS' LUNCHEON CLUB

The 19th Sherwood Foresters Officers' Club Annual Lunch is to be held in London on Saturday 6th April 2019 in The Army and Navy Club, 36 Pall Mall, London. Full details on booking can be found at http://www.stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk/pdf/upload/2019_CALLING_NOTICE.pdf

002   WORCESTER MUSEUM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

The Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire) is seeking to recruit  a group of approximately 20 volunteers to help in the Museum Display in the Museum and Art Gallery in Foregate Street. The idea is to have ex-soldiers manning the desk at the entrance where they can welcome all visitors whether individuals or groups, explain what is in the display and chat about life in the Regiment. If you could spare half a day, or even a full day, once  a week you would be very welcome indeed. There is no doubt at all that the impact upon the public, and particularly the young, will be greatly enhanced by chatting to former soldiers.

If you are interested, please contact the Curator at the museum, John Paddock, on 01905 721982, or musuemmercian@btconnect.com

003   WW1 DAILY DIARY

Dr Adrian Gregson RMARA is looking for anyone who may have cut out and kept Daily Dairy that was in the Worcester news from 2014 as he is collating all of the article for 2014 & 2015.

If anyone can help please contact Dr Gregson using the details below.

Dr. Adrian Gregson RMARA
Archival Policy and Collections Manager and Diocesan Archivist
Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service
Worcestershire County Council 
The Hive, Sawmill Walk, The Butts, Worcester, WR1 3PD
Tel: 01905 844929

Email: agregson3@worcestershire.gov.uk

Website: www.explorethepast.co.uk

004   EAGLE NEWSLETTER.

The Eagle Newsletter will now be published quarterly and it is requested that the WFRA branches submit the following, for inclusion.

Any short articles regarding events, etc that have occurred in January, February and March 2019.  This can include a photograph

Brief details about any forthcoming events in April, May and June

Articles should be sent to cindy.baines247@mod.gov.uk no later than Wednesday 27 March.

005 UK GOVERNMENT & PARLIAMENT PETITION FOR ANDERW NEAL

The parents of ex Cpl Andrew (Andy) Neal have asked for the help of the Regimental Family in signing a petition to help towards the government and parliament assisting with the release of their son who is currently in jail in Dubai.  Andy served with the WFR and Mercian Regiment before transferring to the RAVC.

Andy has been held in the UAE for more than four months, accused of selling drugs, a charge he denies. The person who accused Andy of selling drugs has since retracted his statement. The police had Andy sign a confession written in arabic using his thumb print, which he did not understand.

Andy served in the British Army for 24 years, in conflict zones including Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia and has 14 medals and a commendation. He moved to UAE in 2015 and started a dog training business. His wife and children need Andy home. Despite Andy’s accuser retracting his statement he still remains behind bars, with neither the UAE or UK governments taking any action, neither has Andy had any hearing. It’s time for the UK government to take some action.

At 10,000 signatures, government will respond to this petition

At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament

To sign the petition, please visit https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/241659 . Further details about the case can be found at https://www.detainedindubai.org/

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

01 March 2019    WFRA NEWSLETTER       Volume 10 Issue 09

OBITUARIES


It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of 311456 Capt Peter Rex LANGHAM MC who died on 9 February 2019 in a care home in Cheltenham, aged 94.  Peter joined the Sherwood Foresters on an Emergency Commission, as a 2Lt on 4 Mar 1944.  He was promoted to Lt on 4 September 1944 and then to a Temp Capt on 26 Jul 1946.  He was awarded the MC in 1945 for actions when serving in North West Europe.  He also held the 39-45 Star, France and Germany Star and the War Medal.

His funeral will take place on Tuesday 19 March 2019 at 1330 hours at Willow Chapel, Cheltenham Crematorium, Bouncers Lane, Cheltenham GL52 5LT.  Peter’s wife is now in a care home and there are no children, relatives or friends to attend the funeral.  The RBL Cheltenham will be attending and would welcome the regimental family to attend to honour this World War II veteran.

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


It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the death of Mrs Judith Frisby the wife of Thomas Frisby.  Judith died on Sunday 17 February Tom & Judith have supported The Sherwood Foresters Malayan Veterans for over 20 years.
Her funeral is being held on Wednesday 6th March at 1230 hrs St Peters Church Higham on the Hill CV13 6AF. 

001   WORCESTER MUSEUM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

The Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire) is seeking to recruit  a group of approximately 20 volunteers to help in the Museum Display in the Museum and Art Gallery in Foregate Street. The idea is to have ex-soldiers manning the desk at the entrance where they can welcome all visitors whether individuals or groups, explain what is in the display and chat about life in the Regiment. If you could spare half a day, or even a full day, once  a week you would be very welcome indeed. There is no doubt at all that the impact upon the public, and particularly the young, will be greatly enhanced by chatting to former soldiers.

If you are interested, please contact the Curator at the museum, John Paddock, on 01905 721982, or musuemmercian@btconnect.com

002   ARMED FORCES AND VETERANS BREAKFAST CLUB

Kirkby In Ashfield Armed Forces and Veteran's Breakfast Club

Meet the third weekend of every month, located at The Duke of Wellington, Church Street, Kirkby in Ashfield NG17 8LA.
The next breakfast club is at 0900 hrs on Saturday 23 March.

There is a Facebook page called:

Kirkby In Ashfield Armed Forces and Veteran's breakfast club

There are three simple question to answer to be accepted onto the Facebook page. 

The Facebook page is for Serving members of the armed forces and veterans only. So a safe space where they can chat or open up without judgement. 

Carers, support and family members are allowed to join a member of the AFVBC on a AFVBC breakfast morning, but just need to be aware this is a military environment. 

Tea and coffee are all free so they just need to pay for their breakfast.

Contact details are:

Facebook closed group

Email mark-kiabc@outlook.com 

The Duke of Wellington 01623391289

003   REMEMBERING WW1 EXHIBITION
 

004 FORCES PENSION SOCIETY

Are you a member, or do you get these Newsletters?  If not it might be worth joining.
The Society is open to all Ranks of all three Services. You can see that there is good practical advice.

Forces Pension Society Newsletter Issue 1
 

' How ridiculous and how strange to be surprised at anything which happens in life'
Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor 161-180 AD
Dear Members

Once upon a time, my Battalion hosted a visit from a General.  He was a very big cheese indeed and we were all to be on our best behaviour.  The Commanding Officer said vaguely to his company commanders that he wanted the General to see the Battalion 'in all its variety' and they in turn passed this message on to their platoons.  Meanwhile the RSM interpreted the instruction for himself; fixing the company sergeant majors with steely eyes, he told them that everything was to be immaculate; that any dodgy soldiers (the naturally chaotic and those who couldn't be relied upon to keep quiet) were to be hidden away or sent on courses and that if anyone stepped an inch out of line they would be marking time on the square for all eternity.
 
In due course the great day arrived. After discussing strategicky things the General was taken on a tour of the barracks. He was an old-fashioned type who liked to run his finger along the tops of door frames looking for dust and check bayonet blades for sharpness, both of which he duly did, but without finding fault. The RSM smirked internally at the fact that he had the measure of him. All went well and the entourage started to make its way towards the Officers' Mess for lunch, when the General suddenly went off piste and darted into the changing rooms, with a cry of 'what's in here?'
 
The RSM was relaxed; he had foreseen this. The room was gleaming, the freshly scrubbed red floor shimmered in the sun beating in through the spotless windows, the taps shone like those in a Domestos advert and the foetid T-shirts, gym shoes, socks and towels, together with their distinctive smells had been collected in a large sack and locked away in the MT sheds.
 
The RSM allowed himself a glow of satisfaction. But the General was now advancing on the row of steel lockers in front of him.  He pulled open the door of the first one he came to.
 
'Good Morning' he said to Pte Trelawney, whom he found standing to attention inside it. "What are you doing here"?
 
'Hiding from you sir', replied the soldier, unabashed.
 
'You have failed' replied the General, shutting the door and turning smugly on the red-faced assembly.
 
Having won, the General was in high spirits. 'Ha ha, soldiers kept in light preservation in the lockers'; he guffawed to the Commanding Officer. The latter smiled wanly.
 
Meanwhile, the Provost Sergeant commiserated with the RSM. 'How the hell did he know someone was in there?
 
'I don't know' said the RSM gloomily. 'That's why he's a General'. This was to credit the General with special powers that he did not actually possess; he had only visited the locker room to cause trouble and on registering that it was immaculate had simply headed for the nearest locker - the same logic that had taken Trelawney there.
 
Nevertheless, thereafter the General acquired a reputation for being an old fox who could see further through a stone than others.  Trelawney explained to the RSM that he had only been trying to keep out of the way in accordance with his own instructions. Trelawney achieved a sort of cult status within the Battalion and the RSM, after struggling unsuccessfully to find something to charge him with, took no further action, thereby acquiring an undeserved reputation for clemency.  And the Colonel, who had been so upset by the whole episode that he had not spoken at all, rose in the General's estimation; he mistook the silence for stoicism and an ability to take surprises in his stride. No one could ever remember the General being so cheerful, the visit was deemed a great success and he later told his staff that he thought the unit had 'real style'. So out of this somewhat unpromising incident, all involved eventually benefitted.
 
This story is true. I tell it now to cheer you up and because in today's febrile atmosphere there are too many Pte Fraser's about, crying 'we're all doomed'. I therefore wanted to demonstrate that things usually turn out alright in the end. I don't know how, but they do. Meanwhile, quite a lot to update you on... 

 

Society News

Seeking Advice
If you are a Society member seeking advice concerning your pension, the best way to get it is to email our pension advisory service his will go direct to the Pension Team collective mailbox; they will pick up requests in chronological order. If instead you send them to me in response to the newsletter, you will still get a reply, but it will usually take longer as I receive a very large mailbag after each newsletter and it may therefore take me time to get to it and forward it on.

Membership
Society membership now stands at 54,648, a rise of 4600 on this time last year.

Pennant
Next Pennant magazine will publish on 1 May 19. Please remember to tell us if you will have changed address by then.

 
Membership Deals 

General. The Society continues to source special deals for our membership, with the aim of enhancing its value to you. We try and offer something for everyone, young and old, serving and retired. As such we review all offers regularly and test and adjust accordingly. We offer them because we believe in them. These are negotiated in good faith with organisations that we trust. We think they are all good deals and some of them are genuinely unmatchable, but there is no one size fits all. Whether a particular deal works for you will depend on your circumstances. All I can say is that we take some care to establish the bona fides of each organisation that we deal with and to ensure that what they are offering is both competitive and worthwhile. Cost is a major factor, but so too is reliability and service. The complete list of available deals is at the link below, but a few points up front:
 
Forces MoneyPlan - A New Initiative
I have mentioned our new partnership with Forces Moneyplan in the last two newsletters. Forces Moneyplan offers a pro bono generic financial consultation to our members. What has particularly pleased me about this initiative is that many of you have used it (76 to date) and that it is producing useful answers which are actively helping you manage your finances and in some cases keeping you off the rocks.
As a reminder, if you want to know about your Armed Forces pension, come to our own FPS pension advisory team in the normal way but if you want free generic financial advice to understand the advantages/ disadvantages of different types of savings and investments, or how to build a financial plan for the future or simply have greater control of your routine finances (including debt) go to Forces Moneyplan and use the new offer. If however you want regulated financial advice - i.e. someone to advise on a particular course of action or to recommend or manage specific investments then you must go to a regulated Financial Adviser. You can read some recent feedback here 
 
Fred.Olsen
I mentioned the forthcoming FPS Fred Olsen Group cruise (8 nights to Spain and Bordeaux from 22 October 2019) in the last newsletter, which elicited a very positive response with over 30 members now signed up for it . But a good few have also asked whether it is OK to come on your own. I put this to Fred Olsen and you can read their comments HERE
 


 
To see a full list of Member offers please click HERE

Pension Matters


Fire Brigades, Judges, Widows and Social Media
The Society has received a slight kicking on social media, over recent challenges to the 2015 public sector pension changes and about the War Widow's campaign for reinstatement of pensions surrendered on marriage before the 1 April 2015 rule change, (a practice that ceased from that date following our successful 2014 Justice for Widows Campaign). The charge is that we have in both cases turned a Nelsonian blind eye to the issues, we refute this, as explained HERE

National Insurance Credits for Service Wives (Again)
This remains a standing item and will continue to do so as long as I receive a mailbag from those who have successfully claimed NI credits for service abroad, having read about it in the newsletter. If you are a spouse eligible for the new state pension (but sadly not those eligible for and drawing the old pre-April 2015 state pension), and you have gaps in your National Insurance record caused by accompanied service abroad - you can claim back the missing years. And if you were smart enough to pay for the missing years when you were abroad and before the credits came in - you can claim those costs back as well. For more information CLICK HERE and tell your mates!
 

Commissioned Army Other Ranks - Underpayment of Pensions
Another recurring newsletter item, which I will also only stop repeating when we stop receiving further cases. If you retired as an Army officer on an LE commission, and served for more than two but less than five years commission, you are entitled to an LE supplement. Over the last two years we have discovered many examples where this has not been paid. Typically this has led to uplift of around £ 800 pa plus pack payments plus adjusted lump sums. For many this has involved more than £10K. Worth having. So if you are not sure, ask.

Flexible Service Starts in April
With flexible service being introduced on 1 April members are starting to ask - how will it affect me. Answer is it depends on your circumstances, but we will be happy to advise on its implications, given your individual circumstances. But general points to note are...READ MORE


Two Widows' Tales - one happy the other not

AFPS75 Spouses Pensions: I have written about this before, but it bears repeating, over and over again. If you have AFPS75 pension entitlements your partner will not be eligible to receive them in the event of your death unless you are married or in a formal civil partnership. 


Knowing your Entitlement: At a drinks party the other day an old friend, the widow of an Army Officer asked 'do you think I might be eligible for any Army pension?'. The question astounded me for I knew that she was and was surprised that she was not already claiming it. I said as much to her. Her response was that her husband had only served for 12 years, they had not married until several years after he had left the Army and when he had dropped dead unexpectedly, it had been the last thing on her mind. You don't know what you don't know. Although a post -retirement widow, her husband's service had been post 1978 so she is entitled and has now applied accordingly; something that will make a significant difference to her. The lesson is - if in doubt ask - and if you know someone who might be entitled, encourage them to ask. 

Click here to keep up to date with all the latest in Armed Forces Pension News


General


Veterans ID Card

In late 2017 the government promised to introduce a veterans' ID car d. We have trailed this before in the newsletter, but details of its launch were promulgated earlier this week by MOD. The delivery is to be rolled out in two phases:

Phase 1: The Veterans ID Card will be provided to all Service Leavers only, as part of the discharge process with effect from today, and retrospectively to those who left on or after 17 December 2018.

Phase 2: Applications from the wider Veteran Community will be encouraged once the process has been agreed. Information on how to apply will be made available closer to the time, before the end of 2019.
 
Lost ring of Power 

 
Good Friday Agreement and Brexit
I understand from a member that the Good Friday agreement grants automatic Irish Citizenship to any individual born on the island of Ireland before 1 Jan 2005.  This provision allows the children of service personnel born in Northern Ireland during operational tours prior to that date to claim Irish citizenship. Both Britain and Ireland allow dual citizenship, so this is certainly worth considering for those who are entitled, since it will continue to allow complete freedom of movement and work in Europe. This information was provided by a member whose son was born in the Ulster Hospital Dundonald during a tour in 1971-2 and has since acquired Irish citizenship 


Brexit and Brexit
If however you have a British passport only, you may wish to be aware of the HMG guidance, for travel to Europe post-Brexit, should the UK leave the EU without a deal. Key point seems to be that if your passport expires sometime in 2019 it would be smart to renew it before 29 March because some EU states will demand at least 6 months remaining validity and after March there is likely to be a queue to renew when people wise up to this. READ MORE

Patron Saints

I have just found out that the patron Saint of
paratroopers is St. Michael the Archangel.  Given his wings, this makes perfect sense. Slightly less obvious and perhaps less reassuring is St Seraphim of Sarov who I gather is the patron saint of Russia's nuclear arsenal, much of which apparently resides in his home town.
Image: Statue of St Michael atop Castel St Angelo Rome (wiki)

Ex-Pat Treatment on the NHS
Pre 2015 the NHS used not to charge ex-pats for treatment when in the UK, but now it does - unless they have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or live in the European Economic Area or a country with a reciprocal arrangement with UK, or are serving diplomats of Armed Forces - OR they are in receipt of a war pension or Armed Forces compensation scheme payments. A South Africa based member tells me that having suffered a detached retina during his last visit to UK, he was duly billed for treatment, but received a refund when it was realised that he received a war pension. Those in the same position take note.
 
"According to the DH Guidance on charging regulations for overseas visitors, "war pensioners and armed forces compensation scheme payment recipients are exempt from charges while visiting or living in the UK (Regulation 22).

Lady Grover's Fund 
I have included this under the 'General' rather than the 'Members' Offers' section because we have no links with Lady Grover's nor are they offering a special discount to FPS members. However, it seems to me to be something that all officers should be aware of.  SEE MORE

Health and Safety Courses
Several of you who run small companies have asked if I know of any First Aid / Health and Safety courses that they or their staff could attend. Try Forbes Training, which does online courses of just this type and is offering 25% discounts on all on-line courses to Society members. I did not include this in 'members offers' because it is more corporate than individual. Forbes is run by the spouse of one of the Society's permanent staff. SEE MORE

 
Pennant Quiz
Answers to the November 2018 Pennant Christmas Quiz are below. Congratulations to the winner, Philip Judd, who receives a £30 Marks and Spencer voucher, which he tells me his wife has already run off with. CLICK HERE FOR THE ANSWERS

Hugo Fletcher

Chief of Staff

Tel: 020 7840 6612

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

22 February 2019       WFRA NEWSLETTER     Volume 10 Issue 08

001   WORCESTER MUSEUM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

The Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire) is seeking to recruit  a group of approximately 20 volunteers to help in the Museum Display in the Museum and Art Gallery in Foregate Street. The idea is to have ex-soldiers manning the desk at the entrance where they can welcome all visitors whether individuals or groups, explain what is in the display and chat about life in the Regiment. If you could spare half a day, or even a full day, once  a week you would be very welcome indeed. There is no doubt at all that the impact upon the public, and particularly the young, will be greatly enhanced by chatting to former soldiers.

If you are interested, please contact the Curator at the museum, John Paddock, on 01905 721982, or musuemmercian@btconnect.com

002 NEW VETERANS ID CARD

A new ID card for armed forces veterans, which will help them access specialist support and services, has started to be issued to service leavers.

From today, any personnel who have left the military since December 2018 will automatically be given one of the new ID cards, which will allow them to maintain a tangible link to their career in the forces.

The cards allow veterans to easily verify their service to the NHS, their local authority, and charities, helping them to access support and services where needed.

All other veterans will be able to apply for a new ID card by the end of this year, to mark their time in the armed forces.

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said:

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the ex-forces community, and we are working hard to ensure they receive the support they deserve.

These new cards celebrate the great commitment and dedication of those who have served this country, and I hope they can provide a further link to ex-personnel and the incredible community around them.

Veterans UK - which manages pensions and compensation payments for the armed forces  local authorities, service charities, NHS and GPs will also benefit from the change, as they will not have to conduct time-consuming checks to identify individual veterans.

The new ID card is one of three that are available to service leavers. Personnel leaving the armed forces are also able to keep their military IDs, known as the MOD Form 90, allowing them to maintain their emotional connection with their service. Additionally, veterans can access a range of discounts through the Defence Discount Service, the official MOD-endorsed service for the armed forces.

Last year saw the launch of the Strategy for our Veterans, published jointly by the UK, Welsh and Scottish Governments, which sets out the key areas of support for those who have left the armed forces. The consultation closes this Thursday (21st February).

All relevant Government departments have a responsibility to ensure that the military community is treated fairly, and not disadvantaged by their service, as part of the Armed Forces Covenant. The new ID cards will ensure the process of validating service is as straightforward as possible, so that ex-forces personnel can access support for issues related to their service quickly, where needed.

The cards will complement the NHS’ commitment to providing specialist health support for veterans in every part of the health service, enabling ex-service personnel in England, Scotland and Wales to access treatment where they have been affected by their service. Last year, NHS England announced that dedicated mental healthcare services are up and running in every part of the country, backed by £10 million of investment, with increasing numbers of GPs and hospitals becoming ‘Veteran Aware’, in order to fully address the needs of those who have served.

Any veteran in need of support can contact the Veterans’ Gateway – the 24 hour service which signposts ex-forces personnel to the wide range of support available to them, including housing and financial advice, career guidance, and medical care from the NHS. Since being set up in 2017, the Veterans’ Gateway has already received over 20,000 contacts, advising ex-forces personnel and their families.

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

15 February 2019      WFRA NEWSLETTER       Volume 10 Issue 07

OBITUARY
 

RIDLEY Vivian Howard MBE QGM: 426990 Lt Col

It is with regret that we inform you that 426990 Lt Colonel Vivian Howard RIDLEY MBE QGM of Salisbury died on 3 February 2019 aged 87.  He was called up as a National Serviceman in 1950 with the F.R.R.C. before attending Eaton Hall and RMAS.  Vivian was commissioned 2nd Lt on 6 February 1953 into the Wiltshire Regiment where he served as a Pl Comd in Warminster, Chester and Cyprus 1953 to 1957. He was then appointed Adjutant of Depot the Wiltshire Regt and Depot Duke of Edinburghs Royal Regt (DERR) at Devizes, 1957 to 1960 before being Seconded to the Ghana Army 1960 to 1961. He was then posted to 1 DERR and served with it in UK, Malta and Cyprus 1961 to 1963 before attending Staff College at Quetta and Camberley in 1964. He then served as a Major Exchange DAQMG HQ Canadian Armed Forces 1965 to 1966, 1DERR Coy Comd BAOR and British Honduras 1968 to 1969, DAAG MOD(A) M6 London 1970 to 1971, 2IC 1st Battalion DERR Berlin and N/Ireland 1973 to 1975, DAAG HQ Prince of Wales Div 1975 to 1976 before being posted to 3rd Battalion The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters as Commanding Officer 1977 to 1979.  Vivian was then appointed Monitoring Officer CLAMOR in Rhodesia 17 December 1979 to 31 March 1980 before taking up the post of AAG/CRLS HQ Eastern Dist 1980 to 1982.  He finished his regular service as SO2 AG2b (DAAG B AG2) MOD Stanmore 1982 to 1986.
The funeral is being held on Tuesday 26th February at Salisbury Crematorium, Barrington Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire. SP1 3JB Tel: 01722 333 632.  

No flowers, but donations to The Rifles or  RGBW.

001   BADAJOZ DAY 2019.
SCARLET JACKET TO BE RAISED, FOR THE FIRST TIME, ON THE ROOF OF NOTTINGHAM’S COUNCIL HOUSE ABOVE THE OLD MARKET SQUARE.

On Saturday 6 April this year Sherwood Forester Old Comrades will be remembering, as they do every year, the part the Regiment played in the storming of the French held fortress city of Badajoz in Spain in 1812. On 6 April 1812 Lieutenant McPherson of the 45th (Nottinghamshire Regiment), which became the 1st Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters , was one of the first men to scramble from a long ladder into the castle , that crowned the summit of Badajoz. Lacking a Union flag with which to signal the fort’s capture, he ripped down the tricolour and hoisted, in its place, his own scarlet jacket. To commemorate this, on Badajoz Day for the last 207 years the Sherwood Foresters and their successors have hoisted a scarlet jacket on a flagpole wherever they are serving in the world and read out the story of the battle to inspire soldiers of the present day. This ceremony has taken place in recent years in, amongst other places, Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Afghanistan. In addition the Regiment’s local Old Comrades always raise scarlet jackets in Nottingham and Derby.

If you want to see the jacket raised this year and hear the dramatic tale of Badajoz, come along at 1030 am to the Old Market Square in Nottingham. If you want to march with the Old Comrades be there by 1000 am. In Nottingham, the jacket has been raised traditionally at the Castle. Due to renovations there, this year it will be raised on the flagpole on the roof of the Council House. The Lord Mayor will be represented by Catherine Arnold ; the Sheriff of Nottingham and all Old Comrades have been kindly invited in for a hot drink in the Council House after this unique ceremony.

002   NOTTS & DERBYS AREA MEETING

The next meeting of the Notts and Derbys Area is to be held on Saturday 9 March 2019.

Time: 11.00 hours.

Location:
The Royal British Legion Social Club,
16 Hall Croft,
Beeston
NG9 1EL 

Refreshments will be available on arrival from 10.30 hours.

003   WORCESTER MUSEUM SEEKS VOLUNTEERS

The Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire) is seeking to recruit  a group of approximately 20 volunteers to help in the Museum Display in the Museum and Art Gallery in Foregate Street. The idea is to have ex-soldiers manning the desk at the entrance where they can welcome all visitors whether individuals or groups, explain what is in the display and chat about life in the Regiment. If you could spare half a day, or even a full day, once  a week you would be very welcome indeed. There is no doubt at all that the impact upon the public, and particularly the young, will be greatly enhanced by chatting to former soldiers.

If you are interested, please contact the Curator at the museum, John Paddock, on 01905 721982, or musuemmercian@btconnect.com

004   D DAY 75th ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIONS

The Royal British Legion is calling on people to help spread the message to D-Day veterans who are eligible for a fully funded trip to this year’s 75th anniversary commemorations in the UK and Normandy.

In January, the Legion announced its plans to take up to 300 Normandy veterans to France on a specially chartered ship to mark 75 years since the original D-Day landings. 175 veterans, who helped liberate France during the Second World War have already signed up to  travel on the MV Boudicca, but there is still the opportunity for more to join them, with the deadline for applications now extended until Monday March 4.  The Legion’s assistant director for commemorative events, Bob Gamble OBE said: “We believe it’s important that all veterans who contributed to the liberation of France who want to attend the commemorations for the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Portsmouth and Normandy are able to do so.  We are delighted at the response we have received so far but we still have space for more veterans to join their comrades who shared in those challenging wartime experiences in 1944.   Most importantly at this stage, we don’t want anyone who wants to take part to be left behind. If you have a friend or family member who is a D-Day veteran, or indeed if you are one yourself, please get in touch with the Legion and find out how to be a part of this historic trip."
See britishlegion.org.uk

 

https://www.worcesternews.co.uk/news/17417223.dont-let-d-day-veterans-miss-out-on-75th-anniversary-trip-to-normandy/?

 

005  TALK ON GEOFFREY STUDDERT KENNEDY, WW1 PADRE

This event being organised by the Revd Dr Colin Butler MBE, Vicar at St Martin’s in the Cornmarket.
Friday 8 March at 14:00hr St Martins, The Cornmarket, Worcester, WR1 2DF.

It will take the form of a conversation between a historian, Dr Stuart Bell of Durham University, and a theologian, Dr Michael Brierley of the Cathedral. They are going to consider GSK as a ‘priest at war’.

https://www.dur.ac.uk/st-johns.college/research/fellows/currentfellows/stuartbell/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/canon-precentor-of-worcester-cathedral-reverend-michael-william-brierley

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08 February 2019     WFRA NEWSLETTER    Volume 10 Issue 06

001   W.F.R.A WORCESTER BRANCH

A.G.M TUESDAY 19TH MARCH 1930hrs

NOMINATIONS AND RESOLUTIONS

To be received in writing to:- N Fish 19 Langland Ave, Malvern WR14 2EG by no later than 1st March 2019.

Dates for 2019 Branch Meetings at Barbourne Ex Services Club, The Moors, Worcester WR1 3ED

Third  Tuesday 19th March  19:30hrs  AGM

Last Tuesday 28th May 20:00hrs

Last Tuesday 30th July 20:00hrs

Last Tuesday 24th September 20:00hrs

Second Tuesday 10th December 20:00hrs

2019 DATES

Saturday 23rd March Worcester Branch Annual Dinner. The Berkeley Spetchley.

Saturday 27th April 10:30hrs WFR Bench Unveiling. Opp Worc Regt Stone, Gheluvelt Park.

Saturday 11th May W.F.R.A. Worcestershire Area Meeting Claines RBL. 10:45hrs.

Saturday 1st June Reunion Sixways Worcester. 12:00hrs.

Sunday 7th July Crich

Thursday 15th August VJ Day, Burma Star TBC Evesham 10:30hrs.

Saturday 24th August Wreath laying Service (Vernon,Burma,Malaya) Regt Stone Gheluvelt Park 10:45hrs.

Saturday 12th October W.F.R.A. Agm Lichfield.

Sunday 27th October 105th Anniversary Battle of Gheluvelt Service. 11:15 for 11:30 start.

Sunday 10th November Remembrance Services times to follow

.Branch Annual Dinner Saturday 23rd March 2019 at the Berkley Spetchley, Worcester £25 pp this must be paid by 1st March 2019 menus available at meeting. you can send a cheque to Branch Treasurer, Mrs Libby Massam 24 Portland St Worcester WR1 2NL made payable to W.F.R.A. WORCESTER BRANCH

002   WARNING ORDER - BADAJOZ DAY 2019

These are the provisional timings subject to ratification from Nottingham City Council.
Saturday 6th April 2019
Meeting at Nottingham Market Square 10.00hrs
Comrades who are marching form up by the left lion at 10.45hrs.
Parade 11.00hrs.
All have been invited to the Council House after the parade

 

003   WORCESTER MEMORIAL BENCH

Worcester Branch W.F.R.A. are raising £1,500  for installing a Memorial Bench to The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment

In the City of Worcester there is no such memorial to the men and women that served in all the Battalions of Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. The bench will be situated in Gheluvelt Park Worcester. As you enter the park through the Memorial Archway from Barbourne Road at the junction of the Kidderminster A449 and Droitwich A38 roads the bench will be sited on the right as you enter, opposite The Worcestershire Regimental Stone. We are looking at having the bench installed in April 2019, for unveiling on Saturday the 27th April 2019.

On each end of the bench there will be a 6" badge of WFR on a round disc

The plaque on the backrest will read......" This seat is dedicated to the memory of all who served in the Regiment and to Honour those who were killed on Operational Active Service and those who died whilst serving"

The fund raising will hopefully cover the costs of having Regimental plaques fabricated and fixed to the bench that has been refurbished especially for us. The rest of the fund raising will hopefully cover holding an unveiling ceremony and costs incurred. Worcester Branch W.F.R.A. are also looking ahead to having badged plaques applied to a bench in Worcester City.

To donate please go to https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/wfrmemorialbenchworcs

Or alternatively you can send a cheque to Branch Treasurer, Mrs Libby Massam 24 Portland St Worcester WR1 2NL made payable to W.F.R.A. WORCESTER BRANCH (please write on back of cheque :- WFR Memorial Bench )

If you are attending the Branch Meeting and would like to donate cash please put cash in envelope with WFR BENCH and your name on envelope. Thank you

004   NOTTINGHAM FOREST VETERANS COFFEE MORNING
 

CALLING ALL VETERANS!!

YOU`RE INVITED TO ATTEND A COFFEE MORNNING AT THE WORLD FAMOUS CITY GROUND WITH NOTTINGHAMFOREST COMMUNITY TRUST WITH THREE FOREST LEGENDS!

09:30 - 11:00 AGE 50YRS + DATE 22/02/2019 EXCECUTIVE SUITE THE CITY GROUND

COFFEE MORNING ATTENDED BY JOHN McGOVERN / GARRY BIRTLES / FRANK CLARK

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN JOINING US PLEASE EMAIL, YOURNAME, AGE AND PREVIOUS RANK TO: COMMUNITY@NOTTINGHAMFOREST.CO.UK  TEL:0115 982 4318

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01 February 2019     WFRA NEWSLETTER      Volume 10 Issue 05

001   TOMMY GUNN BOOK SERIES

A TOMMY GUNN ADVENTURE
The full series of the Tommy Gunn books by author Colonel (Retd) John Hughes-Wilson, who served for many years as a Sherwood Forester prior to moving to the Intelligence Corps is now available from Amazon.co.uk. The series is all about a young infantry officer T. O. M. Gunn; a Sherwood Forester in the Great War and the series follows his exploits year by year. The setting for the books fit extremely well with the movements of the Foresters and although the books are fiction they have a definite ring of truth as to places, movements, actions etc. The series is considered to be excellent and well worth a read.
                                         

002  LONG EATON AND WEST NOTTS BRANCH AGM

The Annual General Meeting of the Long Eaton and West Notts Branch with be held on Monday 4th February 2019.

Venue: Royal British Legion Social Club Hallcroft Beeston NG9 1EL

Time: 19:45 Hrs for 20:00 Hrs.

003   VETERAN 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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