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THE WORCESTERSHIRE AND SHERWOOD FORESTERS REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION
Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: Brig P Dennis
You can also view the Newsletter in pdf format here (http://www.stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk/index.php/newsletter)
Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: Brig P Dennis CBE
29 September 2023 WFRA NEWSLETTER Volume 14 Issue 44
001 CRICH WARDEN
A warm welcome to Martin and Sophie at the Regimental Memorial Tower. We wish them every success in their new role as they look forward to meeting old and new visitors to the site.
The site including the tower (weather permitting and tea room is open Thursday - Monday 1000hrs - 1700hrs (Summer hours) and until 1600hrs from 1st October (Winter hours).
002 LONG EATON & WEST NOTTS BRANCH MEETING
The next branch social meeting will be held at 1930hrs on Wednesday 4 October at The Last Post, 6A Chilwell Road, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1AA.
All are welcome.
003 WFRA AGM 7 OCTOBER 2023
The WFRA AGM will be held at 1130hrs on Saturday 7 October 2023 at Lichfield Social Club, Purcell Avenue, Netherstowe, Lichfield WS13 6TS. All WFRA members are encouraged to attend. It is your meeting, some come have your say. If you have a point that you wish to raise, please let the Assistant Regimental Secretary know. If you cannot attend, and have a point to raise, please speak to your branch or contact the Assistant Regimental Secretary. There is a free lunch and for catering purposes, anyone wishing to attend is asked to let the Assistant Regimental Secretary know firstname.lastname@example.org
004 WFR COMMEMORATION SERVICE
The Service on 23 September was conducted by the Interim Dean of Worcester Cathedral the Reverend Dr Stephen Edwards.
Guest at the service today was Councillor Pat Agar, Armed Forces Champion for Worcester City. Members of Worcester Branch and Association Members.
Parade Marshall John Walters.
WFR Citation read out by Rob Atkinson:-
Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot) 1970 – 2007
The Worcestershire Regiment and the The Sherwood Foresters Regiment amalgamated in 1970 to become the The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment. The formation parade was in Bulford with its new the Colonel in Chief HRH Princess Anne taking the salute. 'WFR' served with distinction in Northern Ireland, West Berlin, BAOR, Belize, Cyprus, Bosnia, Falkland Islands and Afghanistan. Over thirty seven years its regular, territorial and reserve battalions were involved in many other deployments, exercises and engagements at home and overseas.
Much of its time was dominated by Northern Ireland and the Cold War. A total of more than seven years were spent on short “emergency” tours and longer residential tours in Northern Ireland spanning the 70s, 80s and 90s as part of the over 300,000 soldiers who served on “Operation Banner”. At its peak in the 1970`s over 21,000 British troops were deployed in the Province. The Regiment lost seven of its ranks to terrorist activity, a number of others had life changing injuries. There were also soldiers from other Corps / Regiments that were killed on active service whilst serving with WFR. In 1994 while in South Armagh the Regimental Band was cut due to Army restructuring of the Band Service.
Cold War postings included two years in West Berlin and five years in Hemer, West Germany, plus many shorter term exercises and commitments as part of the British Army of the Rhine, our nation’s front line commitment to NATO deterring the USSR. This entailed patrolling and surveillance on the Inner German border between the Soviet East and the Allied West and many larger scale exercises. Other duties included guarding, Rudolph Hess, in Spandau prison, many visits to Sennelager training centre including training at 'Tin City' for duties in Northern Ireland and various exercises. Time was also found for other activities such as adventure training.
Military Aid to the Civil Authorities included manning Green Goddess fire engines during the Firemen’s strike. In 1978 the Regiment deployed to Belize to deter Guatemalan incursions and undertake Jungle and survival training. It also involved helping the people of Belize recover from widespread damage caused by Hurricane Greta.
United Nations tours of duty wearing the “blue beret” happened in Cyprus in 1987 and Bosnia in 1996. A two year garrison tour in Cyprus during Gulf War 1 (1990/01) saw the island within Scud missile range and a company group was deployed to garrison the Falkland Islands.
The five years in Tidworth (1993-1998) saw the South Armagh tour when peace finally came to Northern Ireland, role conversion to become the first ever UK based ‘Warrior’ Armoured Infantry Battalion, more than half of the battalion deploy to the British Army Training Unit in Suffield, Canada, as well as receiving new Colours from the Colonel In Chief, HRH The Princess Anne. NATO Operations deployment followed on Operation Grapple and Palantine in Bosnia.
In 2004 the Regiment had its first deployment on active service on Op Herrick 1 in Afghanistan. Special training as part of a multinational force in a very different theatre and terrain was needed to counter the a large number of attacks, ranging from missile attacks, ambushes, IED`s and suicide bombers. A sharp contrast on return to UK to doing Public Duties in London and various other overseas training opportunities.
2007 saw a return to Afghanistan on Op Herrick 6 involving fierce fighting against the Taliban during which both regular and reserve soldiers were exemplary. It was during this tour that WFR merged with the Cheshire and Staffordshire Regiments to become the Mercian Regiment re badging to become the 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment. During this tour the Regiment lost 9 members to enemy action and had many other physical and non-physical casualties.
The formation parade of The Mercian Regiment took place on 1 September 2007 at Tamworth Castle in front of 8,000 spectators. In the words of the Colonel of the Regiment: “would allow the Regiment to evolve and maintain its traditions and extremely high reputation”.
005 CALLING KOREAN VETERANS
The Secretary of the North of England Branch of The British Korean Veterans Association is looking for veterans who served in Korea between 1950 & 1956. If you or someone you know are interested in joining please contact,
Ken Keld - email@example.com
006 WORCESTER BRANCH LUNCH
The Worcester Branch Lunch that was held on the 16 September at the Berkeley at Spetchley. The new format of lunchtime was a great success.
Branch President Lt Col (Retd.) Mark Jackson OBE made a presentation to guest WO2 Rich Joynes 1 Mercian.
Simon Gresty and staff at Berkeley with some members of branch.
Branch Committee with WO2 Rich Joynes.
007 VETERANS ID CARDS
Veteran ID cards: First veterans receive cards as phase two rollout begins.
The second phase of the long-awaited Veteran ID card rollout has arrived, to cover all long-standing former members of the British Armed Forces.
Minister for Veterans' Affairs Johnny Mercer visited HMS Sultan in Gosport where the cards are being manufactured and issued the first of the phase two cards to four military veterans.
Since 2018, all service leavers have been entitled to a Veteran ID Card, but this new phase will provide cards to longer-standing veterans.
Mr Mercer said: "I'm pleased for the veterans. You can see what it means to them. You can see how long they've waited for it.
"That's what it's all about. This is not an issue that's been burning away at me for a long time, but I know the veteran community is huge and it's been delayed for a long time.
"I was determined to come in and make a commitment and get them into people's hands this year."
The Veteran ID cards allow former personnel to easily verify their service to the NHS, their local authority, and charities, helping them to access support and services.
The cards which the Government aims to issue to every veteran in Great Britain are also a memento of service and help maintain a tangible link to the Armed Forces.
Army veteran David Cussell said: "It gives us an identity. We should be able to use it to get on camps when we go for reunions and save money.
"It shows we are part of a big family.
"No matter what service you were in, we're all veterans together," he added.
008 VETERANS RAILCARD
The Veterans Railcard is a Go. Get yours today!
To be eligible, you need to have served for at least one day in HM Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve) or have been a Merchant Mariner and seen duty on legally defined military operations. We will ask for proof of eligibility as part of the application process.
Veterans Railcard benefits:
Minimum fare applies before 10am Monday to Friday.
For full terms and conditions visit veterans-railcard.co.uk.
For you - 1/3 off most rail fares.
An additional companion - 1/3 off most rail fares when travelling together.
Up to 4 children - 60% off most rail fares when travelling with you.
Just £30 - for a whole year of savings.
To apply follow the link below.
009 VETERANS & ARMED FORCES MINI CONFERENCE
Worcester Guild Hall High St Worcester 10:30 - 13:00
010 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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Mercian Museum (WFR Collection)
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