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Association Newsletters.

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 telephone extension numbers for RHQ MERCIAN Nottingham (0115 9465415) are as follows;

Asst Regt Sec;                        Ext 5220
E1 Admin;                               Ext 5215
Assistant Curator/Archivist;     Ext 5219


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)

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30 July 2021     WFRA NEWSLETTER        Volume 12 Issue 34


The obituary notice for Major Tony Bartholomew in last week’s Newsletter contained some errors. A corrected version is published this week  with sincere apologies for any distress caused.              


403384 Major Anthony John Bartholomew                   

Major Anthony (Tony) John Bartholomew died in Crete on 15 July 2021 aged 92.

Tony Bartholomew was commissioned from RMA Sandhurst into the 1st Battalion The Sherwood Foresters in September 1949 in Goslar as a Platoon Commander.

After 9 months with the battalion he volunteered for and was posted to the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers and disembarked in Korea in the summer of 1950 for 18 months as part of 29 Brigade. He served with that battalion in the defence of Happy Valley, north of Seoul. As a result he was the only regular officer in the Regiment to wear both the UK and UN Korean War medals.

After service in Korea he rejoined the recently reformed 2nd Battalion in October 1952 in Wuppertal and then moved to Celle in October 1953, commanding a Scout Platoon and then becoming 2 i/c C Company.

When the 2nd Battalion disbanded in May 1955, Tony joined the 1st Battalion in Sennelager, as 2i/c C Coy before commanding the company for the autumn exercises.

In 1956 he joined the 1st Battalion Sierra Leone Regiment as a company 2i/c before becoming Adjutant of the regiment and then moving to HQ Sierra Leone Military Forces as SO 3 G2/G3. It was a tour Tony described as "very stimulating".

On return to the UK Tony became Adjutant of the Depot in Derby before rejoining the 1st Battalion in mid 1961 as 2i/c A Company. In December 1961 he transferred to RARO and entered the recently formed Formula Junior Racing as he had an keen interest and significant skill in motor racing and rallying.

In his own words "the money went faster than the cars" and after attending a regimental wedding in Holywood, Belfast in 1963 he applied to rejoin the regiment and did so in

Colchester in 1963, very soon commanding C Company in its UN role in Cyprus and then on its return to Colchester. After Ex Pond Jump in Canada Tony moved to the Depot at Lichfield as OC Junior Soldiers Company.

When the 1st Battalion moved to be part of 7 Armd Bde in Minden he rejoined as OC HQ Company. On amalgamation in 1970 he undertook several training appointments then became Garrison Commander in HQ Northern Ireland before ending his career as a Company Commander at REME HQ Arborfield.

After leaving the Army, Tony was Head of a Leonard Cheshire Foundation Home for several years.

In retirement Tony moved first to Cornwall and then to Crete where in early 2021 he was diagnosed with inoperable cancer.

He is survived by his widow, Valerie and two daughters, Catherine and Patricia.

Anyone wishing to contact Valerie is advised to email Lt Col Roger Stockton.



Major Anthony (Tony) Thres OBE DL died peacefully on 13 July aged 92 at Lucerne House in Exeter.

Tony joined the Army in 1946 and served in the ranks with 28th Training Battalion in Northern Ireland before graduating from RMA Sandhurst in 1948.

He joined the 1st Battalion The Sherwood Foresters in Germany as a Platoon Commander then became a Brigade Intelligence Officer with 31 Inf Bde in 1951. He rejoined the 1st Battalion in Egypt and Cyrenaica in 1952 and was then posted as Staff Captain (A) in HQ 16 Para Bde in Egypt. He joined 1st Battalion The Parachute Regiment in Cyprus where he took part in the Suez Landings in May 1956. After the short Suez campaign he returned to be Adjutant at the Depot at Normanton Barracks in January 1957.

Tony returned to the 1st Battalion towards the end of the Malaya Emergency in 1959 before attending the Staff College at Camberley in 1961.

On completion of the Staff Course he moved to 38 Group RAF as the GSO2(Para) until 1965 when he returned to the 1st Battalion in Colchester as a Company Commander in 19 Inf Bde, then, on conversion to a mechanised battalion, with 6th Armd Bde in Munster.

In 1967 he moved to Lichfield as DAAG in Headquarters Mercian Brigade before retiring from the Army in May 1968.

Tony then went to the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester and qualified as a Char-tered Surveyor, initially taking up a post on an estate in Devon before moving to the Countryside Landowners Association (CLA). He became Devon's longest serving regional secretary for the CLA and on retirement after eighteen years with the association, he was awarded both an OBE for services to landowners, and a Prince of Wales's Award of Honour for services to agriculture, forestry and conservation.

He also represented landowners in negotiations of Afforestation Agreements with the For-estry Commission and Dartmoor National Park and was substantially involved in represent-ing landowner’s interests during drafting and passage of the Dartmoor Commons Bill through Parliament.

Tony served as both Vice-Chair and a Governor of the West Of England School for Children of Little or No Sight for many years, his first son Douglas having had eye problems when small.

Tony was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Devon by then Lord Lieutenant the Earl of Morley in 1991.

He is survived by his wife Ros, son Jeremy and grandson Ishka.

A service of thanksgiving for his life was held at St Michael’s Church, Chagford on Wednes-day 28th July.

An address for letters of condolence will be published later.


The next edition of the Mercian Regimental Quarterly Newsletter is now available for viewing.  



Our newsletter covers recent events over a three month period, with a look ahead on what is coming up within the regiment; including the battalions, the museums & associations.
The newsletter is hosted online, which means that you can view it on your smartphone or tablet while on-the-go. A print-friendly version is also available above.
We would like to extend a thank you to all who are involved with the MERCIAN regiment for your continued support.

Stand Firm, Strike Hard.

Kind regards,

RHQ Mercian


William Henry Pell

William was born in Pattishall, Northamptonshire in 1883, the day and month are not recorded.  Having finished his schooling it was realised that William had a skill as a footballer.  He played for Glossop F.C. as a right half on sixty-two occasions.  He then transferred to Northampton Town F.C. until the Great War was declared.
William signed up as a Private in the Northants 1st Battalion, along with his comrades William spent some time training in England before they travelled to the coast, then crossed the Channel to the continent. 
Having spent time on the frontline, William was killed during action on the 9th May 1915 aged just thirty-two years of age, at Pas-de-Calais, France.  William, along with many of his comrades, has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial in France.


Sergeant William Tommy Fiske

William was born on the 7th August 1885 at Beccles in Suffolk.  To family and friends he was always called Tommy.  After attending school, it was realised that he was a skilled goalkeeper.  He trained as a baker but spent time working as a labourer in the construction industry during the week.  Tommy started his footballing career, as a goalkeeper, playing for nearby Bungay F.C.
Tommy signed up with the 2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment as a private soldier and saw action overseas during the South Africa campaign.  In 1906 he signed with Norwich City F.C. who must have rated him as they bought him out of his Army contract.  He was only with them for one season as he moved to Blackpool F.C. from 1907 to 1914 during this time he made two hundred and seventeen appearances.  Tommy then moved to Nottingham Forest F.C. but at the outbreak of war he signed up on the 21st August 1914.  He left behind his wife, Bessie and their son. 
Tommy, spent time training in England before he and his comrades make the journey crossing the Channel to join their colleagues in the armed forces.  Tommy was promoted and became a Sergeant with the Border Regiment.  Always in the front of the action Tommy was wounded on two occasions during the war.  Firstly, during 1916, he was shot by a German sniper, [a Blighty injury] Tommy was lucky it was a glancing wound, he was sent to Southampton Hospital to recover.  Then during February 1918, he twisted his ankle badly whilst playing in goal for a ‘men versus officers’ football match!
Tommy was an incredibly brave man who always led from the front.  He was last seen going over the top in his shirt sleeves, leading his men even though he knew that his platoon was completely surrounded. 
He died on the 27th May 1915 he was just thirty-two years of age.  Tommy, along with so many of his comrades, has no known grave.  He is commemorated on the Soissons memorial.



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

Mark Dack
for Executive Committee


Social media :-
Mercian Museum (WFR Collection)

Mercian Museum (WFR Collection)

Stand Firm Strike Hard

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Worcestershire Soldier

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