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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
.

....................................... 
12 April 2024    WFRA NEWSLETTER             Volume 15 Issue 15

001  PRAYER & PICNIC WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AT THE                CRICH MEMORIAL.  SATURDAY 13 APRIL 2024 Update: at the time of going to press, there are a few tickets left however these are mostly family tickets.  The church have kindly agreed to facilitate parking for our veteran community so if you do not have a parking ticket and wish to attend, please contact Bev Bunting at pabishopofrepton@derby.anglican.org by Wednesday 10th April.  Please note that without a ticket, you will not be eligible to park at the Tramway or on site  (there is simply no space).  Pedestrian access is available for all. 
We are honoured that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby will be visiting the Crich Memorial a part of his trip to the Diocese of Derbyshire.  The Prayer and picnic event is a free event, open for people of all ages, as households, in groups or coming alone to bring your rug and picnic and join the Archbishop of Canterbury in a time of picnic and prayer.  The picnic will start at 1230 hours and prayers will be at 1310 hours. 
Please note that the site will be closed to cars until after the event and that access by car, for the event, is only available by booking a ticket and having a blue badge.  Other parking is available at the Tramway. For full details and how to obtain a, free, ticket, please follow the link on Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/844631675077?aff=oddtdtcreator

002  MARTIN ROBINSON MEMORIAL SERVICE
This years Martin Robinson (Robbo) Memorial Service will be held at St Clements Church on Church Lane Sutton on Sea LN12 2JB on the 14 April 2024 at 11:30hrs. If you wish you can also attend the Normal Sunday Service with the congregation in church at 10:30hrs.

003  1 FORESTERS IN CYPRUS FEBRUARY 1963-64 (Continued) 

4. THE GREEN LINE IN CYPRUS The Green Line The Green Line was the name given to the dividing line between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities in Cyprus. Though initially it was used in Larnaca it quickly became the dividing line in many other places, particularly Nicosia. The background to this line is described in the history of the conflict as follows: Major Perrett-Young (General Young's Intelligence Officer) recalled events of 29-30 December 1963………..

"I believe it was during the Conference break that, at his (General Young's) request, I produced chinagraphs for him from the variety of colours I had brought up from Episkopi in my map case. The 'green' was no random selection. Bearing in mind factional sensitivities, my choice was quite deliberate. Blue and red, apart from the latter's association with the 'enemy', and with their Greek and Turkish connotations respectively, were hardly suitable. 'Green' usually used for marking emplacements/fortifications and minefields, seemed the least controversial". "The meeting continued throughout the night with only one pause to allow the representatives to consult with their colleagues. Time and time again his (General Young's) green chinagraph pencil retraced the line across the talc of his field map, only to be rubbed out and changed in direction to suit the requirements of one side or the other. At last, the pencil wavered no more - and the Green Line was finally and irrevocably drawn". The meeting finished at 05:00hrs (Monday 30th December 1963) having had a 90 minute break at 01:00hrs - Duncan Sandys had made it clear there would be no rest until an agreement was signed.

This is the final signed agreement. Note: The 'talc' referred to was a flimsy type of Perspex which could be used as an overlay sheet. However, talc was the least accurate of the overlays as the map could move around under it if you weren’t very careful and its use cannot be confirmed.
Major Perrett-Young and Captain Christopher Meynell state that General Young did the drawing  and amendments himself at the High Commission meeting with (they imagine) the interested parties 'leaning over his shoulder'.

A section of the map above shows the agreed path of the Green Line which stretched beyond the limits of the walled city of Nicosia to both to the west and to the east. Note: The area where 1 FORESTERS was to be located later is in the top right quadrant outside of the Kyrenia Gate and around Ormophita.
Major-General Young then handed the 'Green Line' map and a copy of the typed agreement to Major Perrett-Young who was waiting next door in the Tac HQ.  The General's instructions were..........."get on with it"!!

Intelligence Corp NCOs then produced sufficient copies of the map and agreement to go out to the High Commission and Truce Force units. Once the map reached unit level it was then further copied for use by patrol commanders - and others. It is important to repeat that, contrary to other published descriptions, the original Green Line map was drawn by General Young only. A photo of one of the original maps produced at the time which is in the Intelligence Corps Museum is here.

It was along part of the Green Line that 1 FORESTERS moved onto in Nicosia at the beginning of March 1964, primarily along a split area near to Kymakli Street and Ormaphita. Platoons and sections took over and occupied recently abandoned houses or bungalows and were positioned between the divided communities. These were obviously the source of friction and of occasional exchanges of gun-fire between either the two parts of the Cypriot community or the British Army in the middle. A Company, initially commanded by Maj J Need, then Maj C Hince, comprised three platoons, Lt Steadman then 2 Lt R Stockton, 2 Lt Hackett and 2 Lt Dickerson. In the case of my platoon (1 Platoon) we had two outlying sections (Cpl Lowe and Cpl Broadbent) both in small bungalows, suitably fortified. Cpl Lowe's bungalow was known as Bunnies Hutch and I forget the nickname for Cpl Broadbent's bungalow. A third section and Pl HQ were in a small four storey flat complex opposite a Greek Police station. While there were frequent sporadic incidents in the first weeks with fire being exchanged across the Green Line, rapid and accurate response ensured matters gradually quietened down though there was still much going on in other parts of the island. Next week: Events in Nicosia.

004  WESTERN FRONT ASSOCIATION - EAST MIDLANDS

The 24th Infantry Brigade at Passchendaele. A talk by Martyn Watkinson on Friday 12 April 19.30hrs until 21.30hrs Admission £3.50.
St Peter's Rooms, Church Street, Ruddington, Nottingham NG11 6HD Martyn made his first visit to the branch in 2023 to give his talk on the painting 'Gassed' and has kindly agreed to return to give another talk on a subject of particular interest to him.
This time, his talk will look at the 24th Infantry Brigade and it's involvement in the initial stages of the Third Battle of Ypres, and will in particular focus on the 1st Battalion, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment 

005  FRIENDS OF THE MERCIAN REGIMENT MUSEUM WORCESTERSHIRE

Programme of Talks 2024 All talks take place at Lyppard Grange Community Centre, Ankerage Green, Worcester WR4 0DZ. Parking is free and unrestricted outside the venue. Saturday 13th April 2024
Georgia and the Rose Revolution of 2003 – eye-witness reflections of a fascinating country in transition by Jo Seaman Jo Seaman will talk about her time working as Director of the British Council in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia 2001-2005. These were exciting and dangerous times, as Georgia teetered towards becoming a failing and lawless state and where every second man carried a gun. Jo’s time spanned the heady period of the Rose Revolution of 2003, and her experiences made such a lasting impression on her that she was compelled to write an autobiographical account in her book, ‘Roses Down the Barrel of a Gun, Georgia: Love and Revolution.’ She met her husband, Mike, there as he was the senior political officer at the British Embassy. Jo and Mike will draw on their varied experiences using her book as a focus. While much has changed for the better, some of the issues which affected Georgia twenty years ago still resonate today, particularly relationships with neighbouring Russia; there are some parallels with the tragic current events in Ukraine.

Saturday 11th May 2024 Napoleon’s Last Posting by Mike Atkinson Having surrendered to the British after his defeat at Waterloo, Napoleon was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena. Guarded by several thousand troops, it was one British officer that had the responsibility of keeping a close eye on him from his home at Longwood. This Captain would fall under the spell of the Emperor who, when the officer left the island, was given an extraordinary and unique present by Napoleon, which Mike now owns and will bring to the talk.

006  WFRA WORCESTERSHIRE AREA MEETING

There will be a WFRA Worcestershire Area Meeting on Saturday 11 May 11:15 for 11:30 Start at Barbourne Ex Services Club, The Moors, Worcester. WR1 3ED.
This is a chance to get your views on Association matters to the Executive Committee meeting that takes place before the Association AGM in October.
Refreshments will be provided.

007  LOST CONTACT
Mario Carbonaro is trying to contact Ben Hoyle who served with the Mercian Regiment 2008-2015 as they have lost contact.
Mario can be contacted at mariocarbonaro@hotmail.com

008   WORCESTER BRANCH EVENTS Worcester Branch will be at The Berkeley at Egdon, Evesham Road, Spetchley, Worcester WR7 4QL on Friday 26 April 2024 at 12:00 for 12:30hrs for fish and chips informal social lunch. £10.pp 
Please reply by email by 20 April, so we have an idea of numbers (in case they got to go fishing) ALL  WELCOME.

Social Evening Saturday 18 May at The Maple Leaf, Canada Way, Lower Wick, Worcester. WR2 4XA. 18:00 for 18:30hrs.
There will be a chance for a game of skittles or just meet up for a friendly informal social meeting. The landlord wants to provide some food but must have an idea of numbers. please reply by email  by 14 May. ALL  WELCOME
If you would like to attend these events please email nigelfish@ymail.com

009  ALBERT BALL MEMORIAL PARADE
On Tuesday 7 May the Albert Ball Parade will take place at Nottingham Castle. Those who wish to attend are asked to be at the side gate next to the main entrance by 1930 hrs and the service starts at 2000 hrs. Branch standards are welcome.If you would like to attend please contact Marion Wells at rafanottingham0243@gmail.com or 07960 460148 to have your name added to the attendance list.

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

05 April 2024     WFRA NEWSLETTER        Volume 15 Issue 14

001  PRESENTATION TO ROY CRUMP On Saturday 31 March Roy Crump was presented with a certificate of recognition for over 17 years of volunteer work at the Regimental Memorial at Crich. Roy's family and friends were in attendance as he was presented with his certificate by Chesterfield Branch Chairman John Johnson. The was also a plaque in recognition of Roy's volunteer work which was unveiled. 
Many thanks to Chesterfield Branch for organising the presentation and the plaque.

002  BADAJOZ COMMEMORATIONS AT NOTTINGHAM CASTLE ON 6 APRIL 2024

This year’s Badajoz ‘Raising of the Red Jacket’ will be held at Nottingham Castle on Saturday 6 April.  Complimentary entry is provided to Association Members.  Should a member wish to bring a guest, they are to contact Mr Crosby garycrosby1375@live.com so that they can be added to the list.  Please wait at the Iron Gates on Lenton Road NG1 6EL.  Mr Crosby is responsible for facilitating entry at 1015 hours and 1030 hours.  If you do not know Mr Crosby, it is advisable that you bring confirmation of your membership. Please note that there is no parking at the Castle.  There is plenty of parking nearby (charges do apply) and good transport links to the Castle. Members will be asked if they wish to march from the Visitors Centre to the Bandstand and will be joined there by members who wish to parade but not march. The Ceremony will commence at 1055 hours.  It is expected to conclude by 1110 hours.  There will then be an opportunity for photographs with the Red Jacket, the Lord Mayor and the Regimental Mascot.  It is hoped that the Lord Mayor will be able to join us for light refreshments afterwards and all are welcomed to join us. This will be followed by a ‘Tour and Talk’ at the Mercian Gallery by the Curator at 1215 hours.  There is complimentary transport from the Visitor Centre up to the Castle, for those for whom the walk proves difficult. Please speak to the Assistant Regimental Secretary, on the day.

Any questions regarding the event should be directed to the Assistant Regimental Secretary cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk

003  1 FORESTERS IN CYPRUS FEBRUARY 1963-64 (Continued) 

3. ENGAGEMENT IN KALYVAKIA  Capt D G Hood, Recce Pl Comd, 1 FORESTERS  

The village of Kalyvakia lies just at the foot of the Kyrenia Hills. it was here in late March 1964 that a patrol of the Recce Platoon came under fire.  This was a rather one-sided fire fight the local Greek Cypriots shot at a small patrol I was leading in Kalyvakia, in the foothills of the Kyrenia Hills, North East of Nicosia. This fracas lasted for about 3 hours during which time we were subjected to MG fire and rifle fire and the occasional grenade, which fell short. 

The Recce Pl shot well and there was no further incursion, though the Greek Cypriots seemed willing to expend large amounts of ammunition.  Recce Pl Cpl Wooley, Pritchard and Cpl Thompson

004   READING OF DUBLIN DAYS - Pte ARTHUR WINFIELD'S MEMOIR OF THE            FIGHTING IN DUBLIN DURING THE EASTER RISING

Reading of Dublin Days-Private Arthur Winfield’s Memoir of the Fighting in Dublin during the Easter Rising Event details:  Tuesday 9th April at 1300Hrs

On April 9th Guest speaker John McGuiggan,BL, will be provide a reading of the Memoir of Private Arthur Winfield of the Sherwood Foresters. The memoir covers the experiences of Private Winfield whilst he was in Ireland with the Foresters.

The reading will take place in Learning Lab 3. WFRA Members get in for free on production of their green WFRA Card. Serving Mercian Soldiers can contact RHQ Nottingham for entry Location is Learning Lab 3 at Nottingham Castle

005  ALBERT BALL MEMORIAL PARADE
On Tuesday 7 May the Albert Ball Parade will take place at Nottingham Castle.

Those who wish to attend are asked to be at the side gate next to the main entrance by 1930 hrs and the service starts at 2000 hrs. Branch standards are welcome. If you would like to attend please contact Marion Wells at rafanottingham0243@gmail.com or 07960 460148 to have your name added to the attendance list.

006  WFR BAND REUNION 2024

This years band reunion is on Saturday 19th October 2024 at the Coopers Brook, Mansfield Road, Daybrook, Nottingham.  It is open to all ex-Band Members and their Partners of the Worcestershire & Sherwood Foresters Band & Drums. The Worcester Band & Drums and The Sherwood Foresters Band & Drums are also welcome.
On the day of the reunion we will meet up in the bar of the Coopers Brook at 1400 hrs for Drinks and a catch up.
 The Reunion Dinner will take place at 1930hrs up stairs for a Three Course sit down meal. Those attending will be required to pay for their Meal in Advance as Confirmation of their attendance.
A Menu Selection Form will be Posted on the Woofers Band Reunion Facebook Page. However, if you are not a user of Facebook please contact me by email, so we know who will be attending.
We Look forward to seeing more Old Friends from our Glory Days.
It is Important that Confirmation of Attendance be given by no later than the 25th September 2024. Payment for the meal can be made by Cheque or Bank Transfer. Details of how to do this will be on the Meals Selection Form.
Please contact Ken Bradshaw by email to; ken.bradshaw18@ntlworld.com.

007  REMEMBRANCE SUNDAY 2024
This year the annual Service of Remembrance will be held at the Cenotaph on Whitehall on Sunday 10 November 2024.

ELIGIBILITY
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.
Please note, this is a veterans’ parade, therefore serving personnel are not permitted to take part. Civilians cannot take part unless they meet the eligibility criteria above.
A carer of a veteran requiring wheelchair assistance.
1 May All association ticket requests to be submitted. Any applications received after this date will not be accepted.
15 May RBL to confirm 2024 ticket allocation to each association. Registration opens.
22 August Deadline for associations to complete individual participant information. Registration closes.
30-31 October E-tickets and joining instructions sent to participants.
Further details on how many places to be allocated to our association will be published at a later date. Neil Howard has requested 35 this year.
 

008  HEADSTONE APPEAL FOR ARTHUR THOMAS FOWLER
18677 Arthur Thomas FOWLER 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment

Died aged 20, as a result of wounds received in action at Neuve Chapelle, France, 24 November 1916 Buried in an unmarked grave Charfield Parish Churchyard. (A few of us are working to get recognition by the CWGC and change this fact!)

Arthur Thomas Fowler was born in early 1896. He was the son of Thomas and Emily Fowler, who lived in Station Road, Charfield. One of six children as noted in the 1911 census. An Army Pension record has survived for Arthur, which does give some details of his service. He attested for military service on 3 September 1914 at Wotton under Edge, stating his age to be 19 years and 1 month (he was in fact 18) and his occupation to be a mill hand in a textile company. He was sent for training with the 10th Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment at Tidworth, Salisbury Plain and was part of the battalion when it first landed in France. on 19 July 1915. For the remainder of 1915 the battalion was located in relatively quiet sectors of the Western Front and on 4 January 1916 it went into the front line trenches at Neuve Chapelle. Here, on 6 January 1916, Pte. Fowler sustained a stomach wound the War Office communication, as reported in the Dursley Gazette of 29 January 1916 stated ‘wounded in action 6th instant with bullet wound left side’.

He was passed down the medical evacuation line from Field Ambulance, to Casualty Clearing Station and on to a Base Hospital in Calais, from where he was repatriated to Colchester Military Hospital. His condition was further complicated by appendicitis. He reportedly had treatment at hospital at Romford, Essex, Birmingham and Plymouth, before being discharged from the Army as ‘no longer fit for military service’ on 18 October 1916. Having returned home his condition continued to cause concern and he was admitted to Bristol General Hospital, where he underwent another operation and subsequently died on 24 November 1916, aged 20.

He was in receipt of the silver war badge, given to those discharged early through injury but with exemplary conduct. This discharge may be the reason for his grave not having the recognisable Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone.
If you would like to make a contribution towards a headstone for Arthur please follwo the link below. Arthur Fowler headstone appeal

009  PRAYER & PICNIC WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AT THE                CRICH MEMORIAL.  SATURDAY 13 APRIL 2024

Update: at the time of going to press, there are a few tickets left however these are mostly family tickets.  The church have kindly agreed to facilitate parking for our veteran community so if you do not have a parking ticket and wish to attend, please contact Bev Bunting at pabishopofrepton@derby.anglican.org by Wednesday 10th April.  Please note that without a ticket, you will not be eligible to park at the Tramway or on site  (there is simply no space).  Pedestrian access is available for all. 
We are honoured that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby will be visiting the Crich Memorial a part of his trip to the Diocese of Derbyshire.  The Prayer and picnic event is a free event, open for people of all ages, as households, in groups or coming alone to bring your rug and picnic and join the Archbishop of Canterbury in a time of picnic and prayer.  The picnic will start at 1230 hours and prayers will be at 1310 hours. 
Please note that the site will be closed to cars until after the event and that access by car, for the event, is only available by booking a ticket and having a blue badge.  Other parking is available at the Tramway. For full details and how to obtain a, free, ticket, please follow the link on Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/844631675077?aff=oddtdtcreator

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

29 March 2024        WFRA NEWSLETTER        Volume 15 Issue 13

OBITUARY It is with great sadness that we inform you that 19003736 Pte Wilfred Henry Bradley died on 4 Feb 2024 aged 99.  Wilfred originally joined the General Service Corps before transferring to the Sherwood Foresters on 12 June 1945 .  He later transferred to the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment on 23 February 1947.  His funeral has taken place.          

OBITUARY It is with sadness that we report that Sgt William James Reginald Morris passed away aged 85 years, on the 12th March 2024. William served in the Worcestershire Regiment and Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment serving 22yrs, discharged at the rank of Sgt. Whilst serving William  represented the Battalion as a cross country marathon runner. In civilian life William was a lorry driver. William`s funeral will be held at 15:00hrs  on Friday 5th April 2024, The Gedling Crematorium, Catfoot Lane, Lambley, Nottingham, NG4 4HQ.
Bugle, Standards and Association members welcome and invited afterwards to The Arrow, in Arnold, Gedling Road, Nottingham NG5 6NY. Letters of condolence can be sent to William`s daughter :-Linda Kelly and family. 76 Carmel Gardens,
Nottingham. NG5 6LZ.

MEMORIAL SERVICE Lt Col JD Hetherington OstJ - Memorial Service 2 April 2024 - 
Letters of condolence should be sent to: Mr and Mrs H Roome (Harry and Prue)
The Duchies Mill Lane Pirbright Surrey GU24 0BT
The family would also be grateful of notification of intention to attend the Memorial Service on 2 April at 2.00pm at St Wynstans Church, Repton DE65 6FH and afterwards in the Undercroft at Repton School.
To meet this request please inform Mark Dack at the Newsletter newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
The bridge over the River Trent at Willington is closed on 2nd & 3rd April.
If you are approaching Repton from the South you should travel via Burton on Trent and Newton Solney, from the North via Derby and Aston on Trent and Milton and from the East via Ashby de la Zouch or Melbourne and Milton.

001  BADAJOZ COMMEMORATIONS AT NOTTINGHAM CASTLE ON 6 APRIL 2024

This year’s Badajoz ‘Raising of the Red Jacket’ will be held at Nottingham Castle on Saturday 6 April.  Complimentary entry is provided to Association Members.  Should a member wish to bring a guest, they are to contact Mr Crosby garycrosby1375@live.com so that they can be added to the list.  Please wait at the Iron Gates on Lenton Road NG1 6EL.  Mr Crosby is responsible for facilitating entry at 1015 hours and 1030 hours.  If you do not know Mr Crosby, it is advisable that you bring confirmation of your membership. Please note that there is no parking at the Castle.  There is plenty of parking nearby (charges do apply) and good transport links to the Castle. Members will be asked if they wish to march from the Visitors Centre to the Bandstand and will be joined there by members who wish to parade but not march. The Ceremony will commence at 1055 hours.  It is expected to conclude by 1110 hours.  There will then be an opportunity for photographs with the Red Jacket, the Lord Mayor and the Regimental Mascot.  It is hoped that the Lord Mayor will be able to join us for light refreshments afterwards and all are welcomed to join us. This will be followed by a ‘Tour and Talk’ at the Mercian Gallery by the Curator at 1215 hours.  There is complimentary transport from the Visitor Centre up to the Castle, for those for whom the walk proves difficult. Please speak to the Assistant Regimental Secretary, on the day. Any questions regarding the event should be directed to the Assistant Regimental Secretary cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk

002  RE-DEDICATION OF ROLL OF HONOUR – 27 APRIL 2024 A re-dedication service will be held by St Augustine Church, Chesterfield, for the Roll of Honour for the 72 men, from the parish of Birdholme, Chesterfield who died in WWI; 42 were Sherwood Foresters and 2 were Royal Engineers,  with the remainder including RN and other cap badges. All are invited to attend. The service commences at 1100 hours on Saturday 27 April 2024 at St Augustine Church, 220 Derby Road Chesterfield Derbyshire S40 2EP .  Parking at the church is limited but there is plenty of parking at Tesco, next door

003  READING OF DUBLIN DAYS - Pte ARTHUR WINFIELD'S MEMOIR OF THE            FIGHTING IN DUBLIN DURING THE EASTER RISING Reading of Dublin Days-Private Arthur Winfield’s Memoir of the Fighting in Dublin during the Easter Rising

Event details:  Tuesday 9th April at 1300Hrs On April 9th Guest speaker John McGuiggan,BL, will be provide a reading of the Memoir of Private Arthur Winfield of the Sherwood Foresters. The memoir covers the experiences of Private Winfield whilst he was in Ireland with the Foresters. The reading will take place in Learning Lab 3. WFRA Members get in for free on production of their green WFRA Card. Serving Mercian Soldiers can contact RHQ Nottingham for entry Location is Learning Lab 3 at Nottingham Castle

004  PRAYER & PICNIC WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AT THE                CRICH MEMORIAL.  SATURDAY 13 APRIL 2024

We are honoured that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby will be visiting the Crich Memorial a part of his trip to the Diocese of Derbyshire.  The Prayer and picnic event is a free event, open for people of all ages, as households, in groups or coming alone to bring your rug and picnic and join the Archbishop of Canterbury in a time of picnic and prayer.  The picnic will start at 1230 hours and prayers will be at 1310 hours.  Please note that the site will be closed to cars until after the event and that access by car, for the event, is only available by booking a ticket and having a blue badge.  Other parking is available at the Tramway. For full details and how to obtain a, free, ticket, please follow the link on Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/844631675077?aff=oddtdtcreator

005  1 FORESTERS IN CYPRUS FEBRUARY 1963-64 (Continued)

2. INITIAL DEPLOYMENTS The first days into Cyprus saw 1 FORESTERS deployed into Anzio Camp in Dhekelia described then as a dirty, dusty, desolate and not in very good condition. Deployment of companies followed. Initial deployment of two rifle companies was to Larnaca and (at that stage) the only defined Green Line, the line that supposedly separated Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. The term was then used in other locations, especially in areas in Nicosia, that 1 FORESTERS would take-over later. An additional role was to assume the peace-keeping role in Larnaca District, a rural area around Larnaca. This was to last until the end of February/ early March when the whole Battalion moved into part of Nicosia. Our narrative jumps forward several weeks from arrival in Cyprus and follows the deploy-ment of 1 FORESTERS Recce Platoon to Kophinou Police Station in mid February. This was a typical deployment and it soon transpired that there was a need to prevent local factions of the two sides of the community from killing one another or more accurately shooting at one another. The task was accurate but the Cypriot shooting was not! (Capt D G Hood MC Recce Pl Comd) 13 Feb 64 - "We were tasked to escort Turkish shepherds to a nearby Greek village to collect some 80 sheep that had been "rustled" after their shepherds had been murdered. The anImals were released."

Kophinou Police Station 15/16 Feb 64 "Ayios Theodorus, is a village a few miles from Kophinou in Larnaca District. A free-for-all fire fight between Greek and Turkish Cypriot community was going on. Managed to stop the shooting and joined by platoon (Lt P Lockwood) of C Coy (Maj Tony Bartholomew).  Nevertheless this restarted the next day and only resolved when Greek and Turkish Cypriot "officials" plus the Brigade Deputy Commander talked sense into the warring factions, though I think both sides were short of ammunition. I made an attempt to get the Greek and Turkish Muhktars (village headmen) to agree a ceasefire. They signed an agreement but sporadic shooting continued until last light - I later realised that the Muhktars did not have much influence over local hot heads" The Ayios Theodoras Militia

These events were well reported in The Guardian by Michael Wall, one of the few report-ers to leave the safety of the Ledra Palace Hotel in Nicosia under the by-line Village learns to hate.

Recce Pl in Kophinou L-R: Pte Sole, Cpl Dennis and Pte Bayley plus locals

006  FRIENDS OF THE MERCIAN REGIMENT MUSEUM (WORCESTERSHIRE)
Programme of Talks 2024  All talks take place at Lyppard Grange Community Centre, Ankerage Green,Worcester WR4 0DZ. Parking is free and unrestricted outside the venue.  Saturday 13th April 2024 Georgia and the Rose Revolution of 2003 – eye-witness reflections of a fascinating country in transition by Jo Seaman  Jo Seaman will talk about her time working as Director of the British Council in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia 2001-2005. These were exciting and dangerous times, as Georgia teetered towards becoming a failing and lawless state and where every second man carried a gun.  Jo’s time spanned the heady period of the Rose Revolution of 2003, and her experiences made such a lasting impression on her that she was compelled to write an autobiographical account in her book, ‘Roses Down the Barrel of a Gun, Georgia: Love and Revolution.’ She met her husband, Mike, there as he was the senior political officer at the British Embassy. 

Jo and Mike will draw on their varied experiences using her book as a focus.  While much has changed for the better, some of the issues which affected Georgia twenty years ago still resonate today, particularly relationships with neighbouring Russia; there are some parallels with the tragic current events in Ukraine. 

007  WORCESTERSHIRE SOLDIER AT THE COMMANDERY

All Members The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association

Please could I ask for your support for a very exciting initiative taking place in Worcester, which is the creation of the “Worcestershire Soldier at the Commandery”. Museums Worcestershire will work in partnership with The Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire) and the Worcestershire Yeomanry Museum Trusts to join their collections and stories from 1694 to the present day with the existing Civil War display. It will offer the opportunity to understand the contribution soldiers from the county have made to international, national and local military and social history in more than 300 years. Over 130,000 men served in the Regiments of Worcestershire in World War 1 with over 10,000 paying the ultimate sacrifice. Many thousands more served in World War 2 and in subsequent wars, operations and deployments from Malaya, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq as well as on United Nations operations in Cyprus and Bosnia. Their service represents a very proud and important part of Worcestershire’s heritage. Perhaps you and your friends had relatives who are part of this rich history? This display will pay homage to their service, courage and sense of duty. It is important that we and future generations never forget these soldiers and this museum will help us to remember them all. This will greatly enhance the iconic building’s tourist appeal in the historic part of the City. By using its educational capabilities it will be a place to which young and old alike can come to learn and study. It is expected that the overall costs of this project will be in the region of £1,200,000. Worcester City Council have designated £175,000 from central government’s post-Covid Towns Fund and the two charities have committed £105,000. The National Heritage Lottery Fund have agreed to a £243,200 development grant. So we have already identified £523,200 funds towards the cost. The remainder of the costs will need to be raised from grant making trusts, individual and corporate donations. We shall also be seeking a follow-on delivery grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Please could you to consider supporting this excellent project in a number of ways:

First, as a private individual with a Gift Aided donation.

Secondly, be an advocate to support of the project. Thirdly, you may be aware of any corporate bodies that might consider sponsoring one of the new exhibition cases? Display cases will have a QR code to enable visitors to self-guide using their mobile phones. Descriptions of the case selected will start with “Welcome to Display case Number … sponsored by …” We would particularly welcome a case funded by the Regimental Association. To benefit from this publicity sponsorship of a case will cost £10,000. Please could you consider contributing to this excellent project? Donations can be made to:

Account Name:           Worcestershire Soldier at the Commandery

Sort code:                         30-99-50

Account number:           33306868

Thank you very much for your support.

008  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.

009  WORCESTER BRANCH - FISH & CHIPS Worcester Branch will be re starting their Fish & Chips @ £10. per person once a month on a Friday the 26th April 2024.
12:00 for 12:30hrs at the Berkeley Pub, Evesham Road, Spetchley, Worcester. WR7 4QL Please contact by email:-  nigelfish@ymail.com  so we can have an idea of numbers attending.

010  DERBY BRANCH MEETING
The next meeting of the Derby Branch WFRA is on Friday 5th April.
Venue is the Allestree Social Club, 39 Cornhill, Allestree, Derby. DE22 2FS.
Dress is casual and the meeting commences at 1945hrs.
All welcome.

 ..........................................
22 March 2024       WFRA NEWSLETTER    Volume 15 Issue 12

OBITUARY        It is with sadness that we inform you that James ‘Jimmy’ Francis S BRENNAN of Frankley, Birmingham, died on 21 February 2024 aged 75.  Jimmy was born in Eire and came to England aged 16.  He joined the Worcestershire Regiment, aged 18, in 1966 and served in Mainland UK, NI, Germany and Gibraltar.  He served for 9 years and it is believe that he reached the rank of either LCpl or Cpl.
Jimmy' funeral will take place on Tuesday 26 March at 1400 hours at Waseley Hills Crematorium, New Inns Lane, Rubery, Birmingham, B45 9TS.  It has been requested that there are no flowers and donations can be made to Cancer Relief. The funeral will be followed by a Wake at the Greenlands Inn, 105 Longbridge Lane B31 4LF.  All association members are welcome and the family have asked if any Standard Bearers can attend

OBITUARY It is with great sadness that we inform you that Paul ‘Chevy’ CHASE died on 13 March 2024 aged 42. Paul served with the Cheshire Regiment and amalgamated into The Mercian Regiment.

MEMORIAL SERVICE Lt Col JD Hetherington OstJ - Memorial Service 2 April 2024 - 
Letters of condolence should be sent to: Mr and Mrs H Roome (Harry and Prue)
The Duchies, Mill Lane, Pirbright, Surrey GU24 0BT.
The family would also be grateful of notification of intention to attend the Memorial Service on 2 April at 2.00pm at St Wynstans Church, Repton DE65 6FH and afterwards in the Undercroft at Repton School.
To meet this request please inform Mark Dack at the Newsletter newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

001  BADAJOZ COMMEMORATIONS AT NOTTINGHAM CASTLE ON 6 APRIL 2024

This year’s Badajoz ‘Raising of the Red Jacket’ will be held at Nottingham Castle on Saturday 6 April.  Complimentary entry is provided to Association Members.  Should a member wish to bring a guest, they are to contact Mr Crosby garycrosby1375@live.com so that they can be added to the list.  Please wait at the Iron Gates on Lenton Road NG1 6EL.  Mr Crosby is responsible for facilitating entry at 1015 hours and 1030 hours.  If you do not know Mr Crosby, it is advisable that you bring confirmation of your membership. Please note that there is no parking at the Castle.  There is plenty of parking nearby (charges do apply) and good transport links to the Castle. Members will be asked if they wish to march from the Visitors Centre to the Bandstand and will be joined there by members who wish to parade but not march. The Ceremony will commence at 1055 hours.  It is expected to conclude by 1110 hours.  There will then be an opportunity for photographs with the Red Jacket, the Lord Mayor and the Regimental Mascot.  It is hoped that the Lord Mayor will be able to join us for light refreshments afterwards and all are welcomed to join us. This will be followed by a ‘Tour and Talk’ at the Mercian Gallery by the Curator at 1215 hours.  There is complimentary transport from the Visitor Centre up to the Castle, for those for whom the walk proves difficult. Please speak to the Assistant Regimental Secretary, on the day. Any questions regarding the event should be directed to the Assistant Regimental Secretary cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk

002  PRAYER & PICNIC WITH THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AT THE                CRICH MEMORIAL.  SATURDAY 13 APRIL 2024 We are honoured that the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby will be visiting the Crich Memorial a part of his trip to the Diocese of Derbyshire.  The Prayer and picnic event is a free event, open for people of all ages, as households, in groups or coming alone to bring your rug and picnic and join the Archbishop of Canterbury in a time of picnic and prayer.  The picnic will start at 1230 hours and prayers will be at 1310 hours.  Please note that the site will be closed to cars until after the event and that access by car, for the event, is only available by booking a ticket and having a blue badge.  Other parking is available at the Tramway. For full details and how to obtain a, free, ticket, please follow the link on Eventbrite - https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/844631675077?aff=oddtdtcreator

003  SOME MEMORIES OF BEING SPEARHEAD BATTALION - DECEMBER 1963

As has been published in recent newsletters the Cypriot High Commission in London is hosting a reception for those the UNFICYP group of 1964. It is a suitable time to therefore reminisce on some of the events of December 1963-June 1964. There are only 5 or 6 officers who survive from that time and over the next few weeks we will try and run some stories of the operational deployment to Cyprus and the Battalion's role. We are keen to have additional input from anyone who deployed with the battalion at the time, including photos, which should be initially sent to Mark Dack at the Newsletter newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk.

1. SOME MEMORIES OF BEING SPEARHEAD BATTALION AND THE CALL OUT DECEMBER 1963

Background. 1 FORESTERS, based in Hyderabad Barracks in Colchester were commanded by Lt Col PG Litton. They were nominated as Spearhead Battalion in 19 Air-Portable Brigade in Colchester for the period before and after Christmas 1963. The role of the battalion was such that when on stand by all equipment had to be packed appropriately. Kit bags were filled, (some may remember stencilling names and sub unit on their bags), weapons would be wrapped in protective hessian in bundles, other items were packed in wooden boxes and special precautions were taken over hazardous freight - like No 1 Burners! This had been completed prior to the Christmas break but there was no warning that anything untoward was going to happen. While some of the Battalion had been allowed home on leave part of the Battalion were restricted to Hyderabad Barracks or the immediate area in and around Colchester on 2 hours notice to move. As said there was really no indication that anything was about to happen………………………………………………………… but!

In those distant days there was a tenuous system to recall soldiers should there be a requirement to do so. Telegrams were sent to all those on leave telling them to return immediately. As a back up police in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and locally in Colchester were sent lists and tasked to tell men to return to barracks. As explained below - it worked!

Capt John Cook ( Asst Adjutant - 1 FORESTERS) "I recall having dinner with my mother on Christmas night 1963 and when later watching the BBC News in the evening we saw Greek & Turkish Cypriots shooting each other in Nicosia. I remarked that as Spearhead Battalion we may well be there tomorrow. "Oh dear no", she cried, shortly before the telephone rang…..The rest is History as they say. I recall that the Bn strength was 774 all ranks and that by the end of the day after Boxing Day we had 773 in or en-route to Nicosia via Brize Norton. One guy, I forget his name, didn’t get his telegram. I doubt we could achieve it today even with Whats Ap Groups!"

2Lt Mike Tulloch (Pl Comd - B Company,1 FORESTERS) "B Company were on the quickest level of standby (2 hours notice) - so we led the way. The first flight out from UK was interesting: it was very foggy, we were loaded up, doors shut, the pilot started up and taxied, seemingly endlessly, around the airfield. He announced the visibility was too bad to go anywhere and we would return to the terminal to try again in the morning. The next thing we knew was he rev’d up and we were airborne. Duncan Sandys, (Foreign Sec or Minister of Defence at the time) was with us sitting at the back with the CO. After about an hour the pilot came back to apologise to the senior men and said he had been unable to see anything at all and was about to take us back to the terminal when the station commander had appeared in a Land Rover alongside the plane pointing his arm and shouting “Cyprus is that way - so get b****y going” hence our slightly unexpected departure! Giles published a cartoon of it in the Daily Express."

004  D-DAY 80: A GIANT TRIBUTE FOR YOUR LOVED ONE Remember a loved one or commemorate the fallen with a Tribute Plaque at the British Normandy Memorial.
To mark the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings and in collaboration with Standing with Giants – we are offering an opportunity for the public to remember a loved one with a Tribute Plaque that will be displayed at the British Normandy Memorial. Plaques ordered by 6 May 2024 will be displayed alongside the Standing with Giants installation for the summer of 2024, allowing ‘your giant’ to stand amongst peers. Thereafter, the plaques will remain in a designated and visible area in the grounds of the British Normandy Memorial, for a minimum of 5 years. For £150 sponsorship, you will be able to dedicate a black plaque with a printed white inscription, attached to a 1.2m stake that will stand in the wildflower meadow of the British Normandy Memorial in the summer of the 80th Anniversary of the D-Day landings. You will also be offered the opportunity for your plaque to have a silhouette of a soldier, sailor or pilot – if appropriate/required.
You can provide the wording for a personal dedication on the plaque with up to 10 lines of text. Each line of text can have a maximum of 45 characters including spaces.

To order your tribute, please make your sponsorship donation here. And email with the subject: GIANT along with your inscription to: julie.verne@normandymemorialtrust.org.

005  WORCESTERSHIRE SOLDIER AT THE COMMANDERY All Members

The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association Please could I ask for your support for a very exciting initiative taking place in Worcester, which is the creation of the “Worcestershire Soldier at the Commandery”. Museums Worcestershire will work in partnership with The Mercian Regiment Museum (Worcestershire) and the Worcestershire Yeomanry Museum Trusts to join their collections and stories from 1694 to the present day with the existing Civil War display. It will offer the opportunity to understand the contribution soldiers from the county have made to international, national and local military and social history in more than 300 years. Over 130,000 men served in the Regiments of Worcestershire in World War 1 with over 10,000 paying the ultimate sacrifice. Many thousands more served in World War 2 and in subsequent wars, operations and deployments from Malaya, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan and Iraq as well as on United Nations operations in Cyprus and Bosnia. Their service represents a very proud and important part of Worcestershire’s heritage. Perhaps you and your friends had relatives who are part of this rich history? This display will pay homage to their service, courage and sense of duty. It is important that we and future generations never forget these soldiers and this museum will help us to remember them all. This will greatly enhance the iconic building’s tourist appeal in the historic part of the City. By using its educational capabilities it will be a place to which young and old alike can come to learn and study. It is expected that the overall costs of this project will be in the region of £1,200,000. Worcester City Council have designated £175,000 from central government’s post-Covid Towns Fund and the two charities have committed £105,000. The National Heritage Lottery Fund have agreed to a £243,200 development grant. So we have already identified £523,200 funds towards the cost. The remainder of the costs will need to be raised from grant making trusts, individual and corporate donations. We shall also be seeking a follow-on delivery grant from the National Heritage Lottery Fund. Please could you to consider supporting this excellent project in a number of ways: First, as a private individual with a Gift Aided donation. Secondly, be an advocate to support of the project. Thirdly, you may be aware of any corporate bodies that might consider sponsoring one of the new exhibition cases? Display cases will have a QR code to enable visitors to self-guide using their mobile phones. Descriptions of the case selected will start with “Welcome to Display case Number … sponsored by …” We would particularly welcome a case funded by the Regimental Association. To benefit from this publicity sponsorship of a case will cost £10,000.

Please could you consider contributing to this excellent project? Donations can be made to: Account Name:           Worcestershire Soldier at the Commandery

Sort code:                         30-99-50   Account number:           33306868

Thank you very much for your support.

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.

007  FOREST FORCES The next Forest Forces Breakfast Club will take place at the City Ground on Friday 19th April, 10am-12pm. Spaces are limited, so please book your place asap using the link below:

https://bookwhen.com/forestforces

008  WELDER REQUIRED FOR A VETERANS PROJECT
Forces Vets Afloat are a charity that restores canal barges to provide homes for homeless veterans.
They are looking for someone with welding skills to help with their latest project.  There is a small amount of funding to cover expenses.
For more information https://www.forcesvetsafloat.co.uk/
Andy Flint andy@forcesvetsafloat.co.uk

 

009  OPERATION ASHBOURNE - 40's WEEKEND
 

010  YARNS OF VALOUR EXHIBITION

A stunning crocheted statue of a soldier that wowed TV viewers when it was put up in an Erewash churchyard has now got pride of place at the borough’s museum.  The 6ft tall soldier's first duty will be to form the poignant centrepiece of an exhibition called Yarns of Valour, which salutes the stories of service people and civilians involved in conflicts around the world includding many who lost their lives.
The Yarns of Valour exhibition includes unseen photographs from the Museum collection and it will run until 13 July.
The award-winning Erewash Museum is open Thursdays to Saturdays from 11am to 4pm near Ilkeston’s Market Place. Entry is free.

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15 March 2024      WFRA NEWSLETTER         Volume 15 Issue 11

OBITUARY 426234 Lt Col JOHN DAVID HETHERINGTON OStJ psc

We regret to announce that Lt Col John Hetherington died on 8 March 2024 aged 90. John was born on 28 February 1934 and was educated at Haileybury and ISC in Hertfordshire. He was conscripted into the Army in May 1952, serving initially at Normanton Barracks and then at Budbrook Barracks in Warwick. He attended Eaton Hall Officer Cadet School in October 1952 and was commissioned as a National Service 2nd Lieutenant, joining 2nd Bn The Sherwood Foresters in Wuppertal on 10 January 1953. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 5 September 1954 and granted a Regular Commission in February 1955. After roles as A-Tk Pl Comd, Scout Pl Comd and MTO he became Regimental Signals Officer with the move of the 2nd Bn to Celle and then he was posted to the Regimental Depot in Derby in 1956 as a Training Officer. Post the amalgamation of the 1st and 2nd Bns John joined the 1st Bn in 1957 becoming the Regimental Signals Officer again as the battalion moved first to Malaya and then Singapore towards the end of the Malayan Confrontation. He was promoted to Captain in February 1961, taking over as Adjutant of the battalion a few months later on the Bn's move to Hollywood, Northern Ireland and then during their early days in Colchester, a time which included the emergency tour in Cyprus. From 1964-66 he underwent staff training, initially at the Royal Military College of Science at Shrivenham and then at the Indian Defence Services Staff College Wellington in Nilgri Hills, India. This was followed by promotion to Acting Major in January 1967 and appointment as Brigade Major of 151 Infantry Brigade (TA) in Middlesborough. In April 1967 he was given an emergency appointment as GSO 2(SD) at HQ BRITCON, HQ UNFICYP, Nicosia with promotion to substantive Major in December 1967. In August 1968 he rejoined 1st Bn The Sherwood Foresters, then serving as a Mechanised Battalion in 7 Armoured Brigade in Minden, West Germany, as OC C Company. Post amalgamation in January 1970 he became OC A Company in Warminster as 1WFR took on the role of Demonstration Battalion at the School of Infantry. A move to HQ Army Strategic Command at Wilton followed from September 1970 to January 1972 when, on his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel, he assumed command of the 1st Bn The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment in January 1972. Though the battalion were still in the Demonstration Battalion role in Warminster they were about to deploy to 8 Infantry Brigade in Londonderry in March 1972 for the first of many Op BANNER tours. Those who were with the Regiment at that time will remember a period of escalating violence in the Province and the Battalion's first casualties (2 killed and 10 seriously wounded). John then moved with the battalion to Berlin in July 1972 remaining in command until July 1974. During this time the battalion excelled in all sports at Brigade, Division, BAOR and Army levels. Post command from September 1974 until September 1976 he was GSO1 Plans SD and Trg in HQ Northern Ireland in Lisburn before moving to become GSO1 EPS and Trg in 1 (BR) Corps in Bielefeld. He left the Army under one of the Army's early redundancy packages in February 1979. In civilian life he retained his role as a Regimental Trustee until 1999, also taking on the additional posts of a Museum Trustee, a Crich Memorial Trustee, Deputy President of the Sherwood Foresters Association and Vice President of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association. He took great pride in attending the Crich Memorial Service as a Trustee for 13 years wearing the same No1 Dress Jacket he was commissioned in. John was awarded the Order of St John of Jerusalem by HM The Queen in October 1987 for his work as Commander of St John's Ambulance for Derbyshire. In addition he was a Governor of Repton School from 1994 to 2003 and an Honorary Governor from 2003 to 2007. In retirement he indulged in his hobby of Carriage Driving and was involved with the Windsor Horse Show. A Memorial Service will take place on Tuesday 2nd April 2024 at 2pm at St Wynstans Church, Repton DE65 6FH and afterwards in the Undercroft at Repton School.  Details of a contact address for letters of condolence will follow. 

FUNERAL DETAILS
 The funeral of Stephen Mapletoft will be held at St Mark's Church, St Mark's Road, Brampton, Chesterfield. S40 1DH on Thursday 21 March 2024 at 14.15hrs.

001 BADAJOZ DAY – 6 APRIL 2024 This year’s Badajoz commemorations will be held at Nottingham Castle on Saturday 6 April 2024 commencing 1040 hours.  Following the ceremony, there will  be a tour of the Mercian Gallery.  
More details will follow in due course.

002 1ST BN THE SHERWOOD FORESTERS - EMERGENCY TOUR IN CYPRUS

As readers will have seen in recent issues of the Newsletter the Cyprus High Commission in London has extended an invitation to those who served with the UNFICYP Force in 1964 to attend a reception at the High Commission this month. "The Cyprus High Commission to the UK intends to host an event to mark the 60 years of UNFICYP’s presence in Cyprus and to honour the British veterans who were the first to serve in Cyprus. The High Commissioner is seeking to find members of Sherwood Foresters who were in Cyprus in 1964 but who only for those participated in UNFICYP Mission, not in any other tour or mission in Cyprus. The High Commissioner is keen to make contact with any of our veterans who fit this bill, or their descendants. It is proposed that the event will be held on the afternoon of Thursday 21 March 2024 at the Cyprus High Commission in London. Due to limited capacity, please note that invitations will be shared at a later stage. While many may be unable to attend this gives an opportunity to highlight the Regiment's role with some of the actions of that time. Lt Col Roger Stockton has kindly agreed to put forward a few of the incidents of that time (26 Dec 1963 to June 1964) to jog memories of days gone by. At this time there are only 6 officers still alive and contactable from those days, Cook, Ford, Hood, Prince, Stockton and Tulloch. Should any who served in Cyprus at that time have photos or reminisces we would be grateful if they could be sent to Mark Dack at WFRA Executive for inclusion in future articles.
newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk

003 FRIENDS OF THE MERCIAN REGIMENT MUSEUM

The next talk which will take place on Saturday, 16th March. Venue: Lyppard Grange Community Centre, Ankerage Green, Worcester WR4 0DZ. Time 13.30 for 14.00 start The Great Train Robbery 1963 by Ian Boskett An illustrated talk on the Great Train Robbery with a practical demonstration showing how the railway signal was altered to stop the train which was doing 90 mph at the time. Years of research has resulted in local links to the crime being discovered and a complete story has now been established. The talk is not a celebration of the crime or its robbers but focuses on the corruption that took place in the sixties. Friends £3 Non-Friends - £5 Light refreshments included.

Feel free to invite family and friends along, all are welcome.

004 VETERANS MEETING
There is a veterans meeting taking place at County Hall, Loughborough Road, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 7QP on Friday 22nd March 10 30hrs.

005 THE BATTLE OF MONTE CASSINO - PART 4
Fourth and final battle Operation Diadem's plan of attack Alexander's strategy
Alexander's strategy in Italy was to "force the enemy to commit the maximum number of divisions in Italy at the time the cross channel invasion of Normandy is launched". Circumstances allowed him the time to prepare a major offensive to achieve this. His plan, originally inspired by Juin's idea to circle around Cassino and take the Aurunci with his mountain troops to break the Gustav Line, was to shift the bulk of the British Eighth Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Sir Oliver Leese, from the Adriatic front across the spine of Italy to join Clark's Fifth Army and attack along a 20 mile front between Cassino and the sea. Fifth Army would be on the left, and Eighth Army on the right. With the arrival of the spring weather, ground conditions improved, and it would be possible to deploy large formations and armour effectively.
Planning and preparation
The plan for Operation Diadem was that U.S. II Corps, on the left, would attack up the coast along the line of Route 7 towards Rome. The French Corps to their right would attack from the bridgehead across the Garigliano, originally created by British X Corps in the first battle in January, into the Aurunci Mountains, which formed a barrier between the coastal plain and the Liri Valley. British XIII Corps in the centre right of the front would attack along the Liri valley. On the right, Polish II Corps (3rd and 5th Divisions), commanded by Lieutenant General Władysław Anders, had relieved the British 78th Division in the mountains behind Cassino on 24 April and would attempt the task that had defeated the 4th Indian Division in February: isolate the monastery and push round behind it into the Liri valley to link with XIII Corps' thrust and pinch out the Cassino position. It was hoped that, being a much larger force than their 4th Indian Division predecessors, they would be able to saturate the German defences, which would, as a result, be unable to give supporting fire to each other's positions. Improved weather, ground conditions, and supply would also be important factors. Once again, the pinching manoeuvres by the Polish and British Corps were key to the overall success. The Canadian I Corps would be held in reserve, ready to exploit the expected breakthrough. Once the German 10th Army had been defeated, the U.S. VI Corps would break out of the Anzio beachhead to cut off the retreating Germans in the Alban Hills.
The large troop movements required for this took two months to execute. They had to be carried out in small units to maintain secrecy and surprise. The U.S. 36th Division was sent on amphibious assault training, and road signposts and dummy radio traffic were created to give the impression that a seaborne landing was being planned for north of Rome. This was planned to keep the German reserves held back from the Gustav Line. Movements of troops in forward areas were confined to the hours of darkness, and armoured units moving from the Adriatic front left behind dummy tanks and vehicles, so the vacated areas appeared unchanged to enemy aerial reconnaissance. The deception was successful. As late as the second day of the final Cassino battle, Kesselring estimated the Allies had six divisions facing his four on the Cassino front. In fact, there were thirteen.
Battle
The first assault (11–12 May) on Cassino opened at 23:00hrs with a massive artillery bombardment with 1,060 guns on the Eighth Army front and 600 guns on the Fifth Army front, manned by British, Americans, Poles, New Zealanders, South Africans, and French. Within an hour and a half, the attack was in motion in all four sectors. By daylight, the U.S. II Corps had made little progress, but their Fifth Army colleagues, the French Expeditionary Corps, had achieved their objectives and were fanning out in the Aurunci Mountains towards the Eighth Army to their right, rolling up the German positions between the two armies. On the Eighth Army front, the British XIII Corps had made two strongly opposed crossings of the Garigliano. Crucially, the engineers of Dudley Russell's 8th Indian Division had by the morning succeeded in bridging the river, enabling the armour of the 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade to cross and provide the vital element so missed by the Americans in the first battle and the New Zealanders in the second battle to beat off the inevitable counterattacks from German tanks that would come.
In the mountains above Cassino, the aptly named Mount Calvary, Monte Calvario, or Point 593 on Snakeshead Ridge was taken by the Polish 2nd Corps, under the command of General Władysław Anders, only to be recaptured by German paratroopers. For three days, Polish attacks and German counterattacks brought heavy losses to both sides. The Polish II Corps lost 281 officers and 3,503 other ranks in assaults on Oberst Ludwig Heilmann's 4th Parachute Regiment until the attacks were called off. In the early morning hours of 12 May, the Polish infantry divisions were met with such devastating mortar, artillery and small arms fire that the leading battalions were all but wiped out.
By the afternoon of 12 May, the Gari bridgeheads were increasing despite furious counterattacks, while attrition on the coast and in the mountains continued. By 13 May the pressure was starting to tell. The German right wing began to give way to the Fifth Army. The French Corps had captured Monte Maio and were now in a position to give material flank assistance to the Eighth Army in the Liri Valley, against whom Kesselring had thrown every available reserve in order to buy time to switch to his second prepared defensive position, the Hitler Line, some 8 miles to the rear. On 14 May Moroccan Goumiers, travelling through the mountains parallel to the Liri valley on ground that was undefended because it was not thought possible to traverse such terrain, outflanked the German defence while materially assisting the XIII Corps in the valley. In 1943, the Goumiers were colonial troops formed into four Groupements des Tabors Marocains ("Groups of Moroccan Tabors"; GTM), each consisting of three loosely organised Tabors roughly equivalent to a battalion) that specialised in mountain warfare. Juin's French Expeditionary Corps consisted of General Augustin Guillaume's Commandement des Goumiers Marocains, totaling around 7,800 fighting men, roughly the same infantry strength as a division, and four more conventional divisions: the 2nd Moroccan Infantry Division, the 3rd Algerian Infantry Division, the 4th Moroccan Mountain Division and the 1st Free French Division. Clark also paid tribute to the Goumiers and the Moroccan regulars of the Tirailleur units:
In spite of the stiffening enemy resistance, the 2nd Moroccan Division penetrated the Gustave Line in less than two day's fighting. The next 48 hours on the French front were decisive. The knife wielding Goumiers swarmed over the hills, particularly at night and General Juin's entire force showed an aggressiveness hour after hour that the Germans could not withstand. Cerasola, San Giorgio, Mt. D'Oro, Ausonia and Esperia were seized in one of the most brilliant and daring advances of the war in Italy.
On 15 May, the British 78th Division, with an attached armoured brigade under command, came into the British XIII Corps line from reserve, passing through the British 4th Infantry Division's bridgehead to execute the turning move to isolate Cassino from the Liri valley. 
On 17 May, General Anders led the Polish II Corps in launching their second attack on Monte Cassino. Under constant artillery and mortar fire from the strongly fortified German positions and with little natural cover for protection, the fighting was fierce and at times hand to hand. With their line of supply threatened by the Allied advance in the Liri valley, the Germans decided to withdraw from the Cassino Heights to the new defensive positions on the Hitler Line. In the early hours of 18 May, the British 78th Division and Polish II Corps linked up in the Liri valley, 2 miles west of Cassino town. On the Cassino high ground, the survivors of the second Polish offensive were so battered that "it took some time to find men with enough strength to climb the few hundred yards to the summit." A patrol of the Polish 12th Podolian Cavalry Regiment finally made it to the heights and raised a Polish flag over the ruins. The only remnants of the defenders were a group of thirty wounded Germans who had been unable to move.
Aftermath Hitler Line
Units of the Eighth Army advanced up the Liri valley and the Fifth Army up the coast to the Hitler defensive line which was renamed the Senger Line at Hitler's insistence to minimise the significance if it was penetrated. An immediate follow up assault failed, and the Eighth Army then decided to take some time to reorganise. Getting 20,000 vehicles and 2,000 tanks through the broken Gustav Line was a major job that took several days. The next assault on the line commenced on 23 May with the Polish II Corps attacking Piedimonte San Germano defended by the redoubtable German 1st Parachute Division on the right and the 1st Canadian Infantry Division in the centre. On 24 May, the Canadians had breached the line and 5th Canadian Division poured through the gap. On 25 May, the Poles took Piedimonte, and the line collapsed. The way was clear for the advance northward on Rome and beyond.
Anzio breakout
As the Canadians and Poles launched their attack on Anzio on 23 May, Major General Lucian Truscott, who had replaced General Lucas as commander of the U.S. VI Corps in February, launched a two-pronged attack using five three U.S. and two British of the seven divisions in the beachhead at Anzio. The German 14th Army, facing this thrust, was without any armoured divisions because Kesselring had sent his armour south to assist the German 10th Army in the Cassino action. A single armoured division, the 26th Panzer, was in transit from north of the Italian capital of Rome, where it had been held anticipating the nonexistent seaborne landing the Allies had faked and so was unavailable to fight.
Clark captures Rome but fails to trap the German Tenth Army
By 25 May, with the German 10th Army in full retreat, Truscott's VI Corps was, as planned, driving eastwards to cut them off. By the next day, they would have been astride the line of retreat, and the 10th Army, with all of Kesselring's reserves committed to them, would have been trapped. At this point, astonishingly, Clark ordered Truscott to change his line of attack from a northeasterly one to Valmontone on Route 6 to a northwesterly one directly towards Rome. The reasons for Clark's decision are unclear, and controversy surrounds the issue. Most historians point to Clark's ambition to be the first to arrive in Rome, although some suggest he was concerned to give a necessary respite to his tired troops notwithstanding the new direction of attack that required his troops to make a frontal attack on the Germans' prepared defences on the Caesar C line. Truscott later wrote in his memoirs that Clark "was fearful that the British were laying devious plans to be first into Rome", a sentiment somewhat reinforced in Clark's own writings. However, General Alexander, the Commander in Chief of the AAI, had clearly laid down the army boundaries before the battle, and Rome was allocated to the Fifth Army. Leese's British Eighth Army was constantly reminded that their job was to engage the 10th Army, destroy as much of it as possible, and then bypass Rome to continue the pursuit northwards which in fact they did, harassing the retreating 10th Army for some 225 miles towards Perugia in 6 weeks. 
At the time, Truscott was shocked, writing later:
I was dumbfounded. This was no time to drive to the northwest where the enemy was still strong, we should pour our maximum power into the Valmontone Gap to insure the destruction of the retreating German Army. I would not comply with the order without first talking to General Clark in person. However, he was not on the beachhead and could not be reached even by radio. Such was the order that turned the main effort of the beachhead forces from the Valmontone Gap and prevented destruction of Tenth Army. On the 26th the order was put into effect.
 He went on to write:
There has never been any doubt in my mind that had General Clark held loyally to General Alexander's instructions, had he not changed the direction of my attack to the northwest on 26 May, the strategic objectives of Anzio would have been accomplished in full. To be first in Rome was a poor compensation for this lost opportunity. 
An opportunity was indeed missed, and seven divisions of the 10th Army were able to make their way to the next line of defence, the Trasimene Line, where they were able to link up with the 14th Army and then make a fighting withdrawal to the formidable Gothic Line north of Florence.
Rome was captured on 4 June 1944, just two days before the Normandy invasion.
Battle Honours
Some units were awarded battle honours by the British and Commonwealth Armies for their roles at Cassino. Specifically, units that participated in the first part of the campaign were awarded the battle honour 'Cassino I'. Subsidiary battle honours were also given to units that participated in specific engagements during this part, including Monastery Hill, Castle Hill, and Hangman's Hill. 
Units that participated in the later part of the battle were awarded the honour 'Cassino II'. 
All members of the Polish units were awarded the Monte Cassino Commemorative Cross.
Casualties
The capture of Monte Cassino came at a high price. The Allies suffered around 55,000 casualties in the Monte Cassino campaign. German casualty figures are estimated at around 20,000 killed and wounded. Total Allied casualties spanning the period of the four Cassino battles and the Anzio campaign, with the subsequent capture of Rome on 5 June 1944, were over 105,000. 
The town of Cassino was completely razed by the air and artillery bombardments especially by the air raid of 15 March 1944, when 1,250 tonnes of bombs were dropped on the town, and 2,026 of its prewar population of 20,000 were killed during the raids and the battle. 
Legacy
Evacuation and treasures
In the course of the battles, the ancient abbey of Monte Cassino, where St. Benedict in AD 516 first established the Rule that ordered monasticism in the west, was entirely destroyed by Allied bombing and artillery barrages in February 1944. 
Some months earlier, in the Italian autumn of 1943, two officers in the Hermann Göring Panzer Division, Captain Maximilian Becker and Lieutenant Colonel Julius Schlegel, proposed the removal of Monte Cassino's treasures to the Vatican and Vatican owned Castel Sant'Angelo ahead of the approaching front. The officers convinced church authorities and their own senior commanders to use the division's trucks and fuel for the undertaking. They had to find the materials necessary for crates and boxes, find carpenters among their troops, recruit local labourers to be paid with rations of food plus twenty cigarettes a day, and then manage the "massive job of evacuation centered on the library and archive, a treasure "literally without price". The richness of the abbey's archives, library, and gallery included 800 papal documents, 20,500 volumes in the Old Library, 60,000 in the New Library, 500 incunabula, 200 manuscripts on parchment, 100,000 prints and separate collections. The first trucks, carrying paintings by Italian old masters, were ready to go less than a week from the day Becker and Schlegel independently first came to Monte Cassino. Each vehicle carried monks to Rome as escorts, in more than 100 truckloads, the convoys saved the abbey's monastic community. The task was completed in the first days of November 1943. In three weeks, in the middle of a losing war, in another country, it was quite a feat. After a mass in the basilica, Abbot Gregorio Diamare formally presented signed parchment scrolls in Latin to General Paul Conrath, to tribuno militum Julio Schlegel and to Maximiliano Becker medecinae doctori for rescuing the monks and treasures of the Abbey of Monte Cassino.
Among the treasures removed were Titians, an El Greco, and two Goyas. 
United States military history reviews
The U.S. government's official position on the German occupation of Monte Cassino changed over a quarter-century. The assertion that the German use of the abbey was irrefutable was removed from the record in 1961 by the Office of the Chief of Military History. A congressional inquiry to the same office in the 20th anniversary year of the bombing stated: "It appears that no German troops, except a small military police detachment, were actually inside the abbey" before the bombing. The final change to the U.S. Army's official record was made in 1969 and concluded that "the abbey was actually unoccupied by German troops." 
War graves and memorials
 The Polish War Cemetery
The Commonwealth War Cemetery
The German War CemeteryImmediately after the cessation of fighting at Monte Cassino, the Polish government in exile in London created the Monte Cassino campaign cross to commemorate the Polish part in the capture of the strategic point. Also during this time, the Polish song writer Feliks Konarski, who had taken part in the fighting there, wrote his anthem "Czerwone maki na Monte Cassino". Later, an imposing Polish cemetery was laid out, this is prominently visible to anybody surveying the area from the restored monastery. The Polish cemetery is the closest of all allied cemeteries in the area, an honour given to the Poles as their units are the ones credited with the liberation of the abbey.
The Commonwealth War Graves cemetery on the western outskirts of Cassino is a burial place for British, New Zealand, Canadian, Indian, Gurkha, Australian, and South African casualties. The French and Italians are on Route 6 in the Liri Valley; the Americans are at the Sicily, Rome American Cemetery and Memorial in Nettuno.
The German cemetery Deutsche Kriegsgräberstätte Cassino is approximately 2 miles north of Cassino in the Rapido Valley.
In the 1950s, a subsidiary of the Pontificia Commissione di Assistenza distributed Lamps of Brotherhood, cast from the bronze doors of the destroyed Abbey, to representatives of nations that had served on both sides of the war to promote reconciliation. 
In 1999, a monument commemorating the Battle of Monte Cassino was unveiled in Warsaw and is located next to the street that is named after Władysław Anders.
In 2006, a memorial was unveiled in Rome honouring the Allied forces that fought and died to capture the city. 
On 8 July 2021, the Chief of Army Staff, General M.M. Naravane, inaugurated the Indian Army Memorial at Cassino to commemorate the Indian soldiers killed in action during the Battle of Cassino. 
 

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