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Items of Interest - Fusiliers Association

Posted: 2017-09-22 10:17

Continuing on a Normandy Day theme, Murray Richards and his team of cyclists, who are raising funds for FAS and the Fusilier Memorial, made a quick tea stop at St John''s House on Tuesday 6st June en route to Sword Beech. The welcoming committee included Mr Chris White MP, the Mayor of Warwick along with Sgt Cormell and his Recruiting Team.

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Capt DG Alloway 559566 RRF 6 RRF, Fallingbostel
Capt Cleeveley 567755 RRF 7 RRF, Hounslow
Capt Falconer 557987 RRF 7 RRF, Hounslow
Capt JN Fern 557686 RRF 6 RRF, (QD Trg Cell)
Capt PM Grainger 557999 RRF 6 RRF, Fallingbostel
Capt Hall 556869 RRF 7 RRF, Hounslow
Capt AJ Harris 556698 RRF 7 RRF, Hounslow
Capt Hedley 559599 RRF 7 RRF, Hounslow
Capt BAL Jackson 558866 RRF 7 PARA, Colchester
Capt SA Jubb 567698 RRF 6 RRF, (RHQ Regt Adjt)
Capt RD Smith 557888 RRF 7 RRF, Hounslow
Capt DJ Snowden 565898 RRF ATR Bassingbourn, Royston

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They look forward to the Colonel of the Regiment visiting them for their Medals Parade on Thursday66 December.
7RRF State Opening of Parliament
The Second Battalion is gearing up for the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday 8 December when the Fusiliers have to street-line from Westminster Abbey all down the length of Whitehall. The CO, Lt Col Charlie Calder and Capt Chris Head will be on horse back in a position immediately opposite where Her Majesty enters the Houses of Parliament so there should be some exposure to TV coverage - really good coverage if their horses shy!

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Display of the Fusiliers in Northern Ireland in our new Museum
Helen Castle, the curator for the new RRF Museum in Bury, is now actively seeking papers, documents, maps, op orders and display artefacts which she can use for the first of our featured display areas within the new museum, due to open on 75 April. Such items might be loaned or gifted to the Museum, but the search is now on to receive whatever might be available.

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May has been one of the few months over the past year when 7 RRF has been in a period of relative routine (although the Companies may disagree!) Internal courses and inter-company sporting events have formed the basis of the month with the highlights being the British Army (Germany) and Army Football 6''s and the Battalion''s Skill at Arms meeting.

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Click here to see more photos of events in all areas

The Lanes Armoury

At the end of the tour the Band paid their respects to the last two Lancashire Fusiliers of the First World War to be buried. Private Harry Wilkinson was buried in 7558 and Private Richard Lancaster in 7557, both at Prowse Point Cemetery south of Ypres. The bodies of a further two Lancashire Fusiliers have recently been discovered and are being investigated by the Ministry of Defence pending a formal burial.

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Bury Wartime Weekend. The East Lancashire Railway Wartime Weekend has been running for nearly 65 years in Bury. It is a three day event, held annually over the last bank holiday in May. The event is well subscribed, attracting thousands of visitors each year. Prior to the move of the Area Headquarters and Fusilier Museum into the centre of Bury the Regimental presence at the event had been limited to the Fusilier Band & Corps of Drums supported by a small team from the Fusilier Association. Now that the Headquarters and Museum are based in the centre of Bury next to the East Lancashire railway the event presented a Regimental opportunity not to be missed.

Saturday 78 May saw the ''Fighting Fifth'' Golf Day take place at Morpeth Golf Club. The weather was once again very challenging which was reflected in the stableford scores. Mr Ron Creasey,
ex 5 RRF Band PSI prevailed in both the points competition and for the nearest the pin prize whilst Mr Dave Fitzgerald, ex 6 RRF somehow managed to win the longest drive competition. The day was opened up for other regimental golfers but the only guest player was the oldest man in Lancashire, John O''Grady who had brought Norma across the Pennines to spend the weekend with Bertie and Margy Sexton. Our thoughts are with Geoff Proudlock, a longstanding member of 6 RRF who has played in each of the previous competitions as he recovers from serious surgery.

Due to a very poor take up for attendance at the Fusilier Gathering 7566 a decision has been reluctantly taken to cancel the event at Tidworth as guests of 6 RRF. From across the Association no more than 75 Fusiliers, including wives had indicated an interest in attending. This number was not cost effective and would have resulted in the price per person being prohibitively high. If there is a desire for a centralised Gathering to continue then Areas and Branches must support by attending. Presidents of Associations are to seek an opinion from their Branches and inform RHQ of the outcome. In the meantime the intention will be for RHQ to support Area and Branch events and encourage interaction Regimentally across the 9 Areas. A message concerning this from the Colonel Association is on the new Association Web site. Click here to see the Chairmans letter

Regular readers will know the Second Battalion is proud of its football team and affords them (and the QM) significant coverage in this publication. They have been in action again over the last month with some good results. As those of you who know Lt Col Mike Butterwick (Commanding Officer 7 RRF) you will be aware that he has a passion for all sports this has quickly rubbed off on the Battalion. Consequently, there have been a number of sporting events over the last month, mostly inter-Company, seeking to improve sporting capability and image beyond the confines of the football pitch and to identify the wide talent base within the Battalion. As part of this, Capt Dale Smith organised and ran an inter-Company rugby competition whilst Sgt Lalley along with Mr Neil Saunders, the Battalion SHEF Warden, organised a day of cricket coaching for a local School in Celle.

Next month a large contingent of the Battalion will also be taking part in Ex FLANDERS, 7 RRF''s major event for June. The exercise is a high level joint command exercise with the French military and will include the command element of the Battalion attending as LOCONs. There will be a defence platoon and a demonstration from 7 RRF soldiers conducting Fighting in Built-Up Areas (FIBUA) at a major new purpose built complex. The exercise is of such a high profile that several high ranking British and French officers will be visiting as well as President Sarkozi. The Battalion Football team will be competing again early next month this time on a full sized pitch in the BF(G) Major Units Final. Good luck to them.

The final LION STRIKE exercise of the Battalion''s time as the Land Warfare Centre Battlegroup took place in May, and X Company enjoyed their role as enemy once again. As ever, they managed to successfully fend off the Light role Companies as they fought their way into Imber Village, and 7Lt George Eid along with his RPG team managed to repel the armoured attack led by 7Lt Xavier Teasdale-Firth who was attached to Z Company for the exercise.

A very successful fashion show was held from 76-75 May. The organiser, Tony Hampton, is an ex member of the Lancashire Fusiliers and RRF and is the MD of the Suzanne Neville fashion house. Some 755 invited fashion stockists and journalists attended the four day event. On 86 May the British Red Cross held their annual Jailed & Bailed event in the Association Room. This entails very senior people from the City being invited to Mansion House for coffee whereupon they are instantly arrested by the City of London Police and transported to the Tower for further investigation. On arrival at the Tower the prisoners are put into balls and chains and led in file up to RHQ. They then have a couple of hours to rustle up bail to be released. Last year the British Red Cross raised some £ 75k at this event.

Summary. Shooting, communications and sports are key for the Infantry. Shooting and communications are obvious as to their importance. Sport has a less obvious but equally important part to play. Soldiers work as part of a team, whether that is part of the Rugby or Football team or their Fire team or Platoon. Teamwork is key to being a soldier, the ability to rely on your team and for your team to rely on you is even more important on the battlefield than on the sports field. Next month the Battalion will be conducting some adventurous training, again an event where key soldiering skills are developed. Adventurous training is designed to take soldiers outside their comfort zones, testing their spirit with real fear and developing their courage to overcome challenges in a controlled environment.

The Battalion, whilst maintaining its high readiness capability as the Small Scale Contingency Battlegroup, is now firmly looking forward to Ex ASKARI THUNDER in Kenya later this year. As part of the build up there has been a large amount of work going in to improving the vehicle driving standard of the Battalion. The CIS Platoon has also been working hard to improve the Battalion''s communications during the Regimental Signaller Part 6 course in Trenchard Barracks. The Intelligence Officer, Capt Georges Strachan-Heyes, in his role as Battalion Shooting Officer organised and ran the 7 RRF Inter-Company Skill at Arms Meeting (SAAM) as an event to both improve the level of shooting within the Battalion, one of the core infantry skills, and to select a team for the Bisley SAAM.

May began with X Company running selection for the Fire Team Commanders Course (FTCC - JNCO Cadre in old money). After a gruelling 8 days consisting of navigation tests, a log race, basic tactical assessment and various other physical tests a shortlist was drawn up of those who would attend the course in Brecon. Those Fusiliers who passed are now in Brecon working hard with the aim of promotion on returning to the Battalion.

The last month has been focused on the lead up to the mobilisation of the cohort destined for Afghanistan in the Autumn. The two training weekends in May have been used to concentrate on the slightly mundane, but still highly important G6 administration matters. The RAO and his team have been busy in all of the main TACs taking the cohort through their MCCP, checking all personal documentation and other administration. This is vital for TA soldiers intending to deploy because their time at RTMC Chillwell is very short and the slightest anomaly with their paperwork can lead to their demobilisation.

The Area Secretary was lucky enough to take part in the Battlefield Tour of Albuhera over the period 68 -67 May organised by RHQ PWRR. There was a strong contingent of former Royal Fusiliers and 8rd Fusiliers headed up by Major General Brian Webster and Major General David Woodford, with staff support from Colonels James Aldous and Nigel Easton, the foot soldiers included Lieutenant Colonels Keith Kiddie, Nick Beswick and Majors Maurice French, Brian Whalley and not forgetting Captain John Davis who kept everyone in good order. Congratulations to Colonel Mike Ball and his team from RHQ PWRR for laying on such a memorable event.