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PLEASE VIEW FLYERS AT BOTTOM OF `ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTERS 1. PAGE.  THANKYOU

Association Newsletters.  2.

If you are not in receipt of the WFRA ENewsletter and have internet connection,please contact

RHQ Mercian Nottingham (rhqmercian.notts@btconnect.com) and we will send you the ENews update.

THE WORCESTERSHIRE AND SHERWOOD FORESTERS REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATION

Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: Brig P Dennis

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20 January 2023      WFRA NEWSLETTER    Volume 14 Issue 03

Lieutenant Colonel Gordon Amphlett MVO MBE
SWB / RRW
8th August1934 – 10th January 2023 
There will be many in our Regiment who will remember with affection Gordon Amphlett as our Technical Quartermaster in Ballykelly and West Berlin between1972 - 75. He was a supreme professional soldier, one of life’s true military characters, and also particularly successful in using his own skills and experience in turning 1WFR into a very capable rugby regiment.
Born in Blaenau in Wales he was orphaned at 5 and came to the Royal Albert Orphanage in Worcester until he was 16 prior to enlisting in the South Wales Borderers. His talent and character resulted in an astronomical career climb becoming the Regiment’s youngest Sergeant during service in Brecon, Malaya, Minden and Crickhowell. Following a posting to Hong Kong he gained a Mention in Dispatches in Aden. In 1969 as Regimental Sergeant Major he ran the amalgamation parade of the South Wales Borderers and the Welch Regiment to become the Royal Regiment of Wales. He was also responsible for the personal tuition in drill and matters military of their new Colonel in Chief, HRH The Prince of Wales, now King Charles III, for which he became a Member of the Victorian Order.  Commissioned in 1971 to be MTO of 1RRW he joined 1WFR in West Berlin in 1972 and came with them to Ballykelly. He returned to West Berlin with 1RRW and also served there as a staff officer in the Headquarters. Further service included Northern Ireland and Belize. He was awarded the MBE when Quartermaster at the Prince of Wales’ Division Depot, Crickhowell, prior to becoming the Camp Commandant at the Regular Commissions Board, Westbury as a Lieutenant Colonel. He retired in 1988 and was the Chief Recruiting Officer in the Army Carers Office until 1994. Life after the Army included some farming and running a B&B as well as being a very keen gardener.
His funeral service will be at 1300hrs, Friday 3rd February in Brecon Cathedral.
Letters of condolence can be sent to his widow: Mrs Maureen Amphlett, at 12 School Gardens, Brecon, LD3 7PG.

 

001 REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS VISIT TO 1 MERCIAN ON 7 FEB 2023

There are still a few spaces available if any Association Member would like to attend. The programme for the visit is listed below. If you would like to attend or have registered an interest in attending but have not received an email regarding security details, please contact the Assistant Regimental Secretary, soonest cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk Please note that there is no funding for transport or overnight accommodation however you are asked to approach your relevant branch/the WFRA, who may be able to assist. Time Event Various Depart county locations

Arrival at 1 MERCIAN 1130 – 1200 hrs

Tea and Coffee 1200 hrs

CO 1 MERCIAN Welcome Address and Brief 1230 hrs

Lunch 1315 – 1400 hrs

1400 – 1445 hrs Two stands: Weapons and personal equipment

Warrior Demo (and other vehicles) 1445hrs – 1515 hrs

Closing Address Tea and Coffee. depart 1515 – 1530 hrs

002 SAVE THE DATE  - MERCIAN REGIMENT WARRANT OFFICERS & SGTS MESS, PAST AND PRESENT DINNER The 2023 Mercian Regiment Warrant Officers and Sergeants Mess, Past and Present Dinner Night will be held in Chester on 15 April.  More details will follow in due course

003 INVITATION FROM THE MAYOR OF WORCESTERThe Right Worshipful the Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Adrian Gregson,   is pleased to invite you to attend   an unveiling and service of re-dedication   at the First World War Memorial to the Worcestershire Regiment  at Geluveld (Gheluvelt) 8980 Zonnebeke Belgium  on Friday 24th March 2023.  proceedings commence at 14.00hrs.  Please be in place by 13.45hrs. Parking is available locally.  Supported by Worcestershire Ambassadors, The Mercian Regiment Trust, The Royal British Legion, Worcester Branch WFRA, Commonwealth War Graves Commission and local Belgian dignitaries.  Rsvp to civicoffice@worcester.gov.uk by 10th March 2023. Travel, accommodation and any expenses are the responsibility of the individuals attending. For further information please contact the civic office.  Please note, a wreath will also be laid by the Mayor of Worcester at the Menin Gate Ceremony in Ypres at 20.00hrs on Friday 24th March. 

004 LOST COMRADES
Top Row Jakeman, Sam Mansell, (With the hat) Geoff York, Tom Davies
Middle Row Roy Detheridge, Walter Raybold . Henry Barns, Roy Fradgely
Front Row Me John Noakes , John Howard

We are trying to find out if any of the people in photo are still about or news on them.  They all served in the Worcestershire Regiment B Company.
If any one has any information please contact nigelfish@ymail.com

 

005 WORESTER BRANCH MEETING

The next meeting of Worcester Branch will be on Tuesday 24th January 2023. 19:30hrs for 20:00hrs start.
At the Lounge,  Barbourne Ex Services Club, The moors, Worcester WR1 3ED. All welcome. We will be running a raffle as usual.

 

006 CHESTERFIELD MESS GROUP
Mutual Ex Services Support - Come along to our mess group and have a chat and a brew.
Wednesday 1st February 2023.
Wednesday 1st March 2023.
Wednesday 5th April 2023.
Wednesday 3rd May 2023.
13:00hrs to 15:00hrs at Chesterfield Fire Station, Spire Walk Business Park, Braidwood Way S40 2WH
Further information can be found at www.standto.co.uk or by calling 01246 959 333.

 

007 BBC TO BROADCAST DOCUMENTARY COVERING THE 2021 CARRIER STRIKE GROUP The first of a long-awaited 6 part documentary series “The Warship: Tour of Duty” covering the Royal Navy’s Carrier Strike Group deployment May-December 2021 will be broadcast on BBC Two and iPlayer on Sunday 22nd January 2023 at 9pm Film maker Chris Terril was on board HMS Queen Elizabeth for the whole deployment given great freedom of access. The series is the third made by Terrill following “Britain’s Biggest Warship” which covered QE’s journey from shipyard to commissioning and her first overseas trip to the US for flying trials in 2018. A book “How to build an aircraft carrier” published in 2022 accompanies the first two series.

The new series follows the carrier and crew, including 350 US marines on the 20,000 mile round trip from Portsmouth to the South China Sea supported by destroyers, frigates and auxiliaries. Terrill told Televisual: “I have made many films on board Royal Navy warships but this series was the most exciting, surprising, challenging, and rewarding of my career. None of us on board returned home the same person who left. It has been my privilege to capture this life changing deployment to share with viewers.” The diverse ship’s company has an average age of just 24 and many of the sailors had never been to sea before. With 1,600 on board, the series focuses on a few representative individuals, from the most junior to the most senior. Events take place before the Ukraine war but were heavily impacted by COVID which curtailed many of the expected chances for runs ashore. The deployment was an opportunity to demonstrate the RN’s latest capabilities to allies and adversaries and was conducted against a backdrop of complex international tensions.One thing of note is that the MoD has allowed the inclusion of official footage from the take off accident that led to the loss of an F-35 jet on 17th November 2021. The footage was originally leaked online and those responsible were subsequently disciplined.

In the first of the episodes, each an hour in length, QE is shadowed by Russian ships in the Mediterranean and weapons are tested in preparation for what lies ahead.

008 VETERANS SUPPORT A team of Royal Navy submariners have battled hunger and sleep deprivation to complete the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.  HMS Oardacious were among a record number of entrants who set off from the Canary Islands on 12 December to take on the 3,000 mile rowing challenge. The submariners arrived at Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour, Antigua and Barbuda, after completing the challenge in 35 days, 17 hours and 19 minutes.
HMS Oardacious, who now become the fastest serving military team of all time, to complete the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, have raised  over £50,000 with their efforts this year, via their JustGiving page.
First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Ben Key congratulated the team's "outstanding physical and mental achievement" in a post on Twitter. Team Atlantic Guardsmen, a team made up of officers and soldiers serving with the Scots Guards, are currently on their final push to make the finish line, battling with numerous issues after capsizing earlier in the race.

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13 January 2023     WFRA NEWSLETTER      Volume 14 Issue 02

OBITUARY

It is with great sadness we inform you of the death of 4987713 Sgt Donald Keith Wakefield who died on 2 January 2023 aged  91.
Donald was born on 11 Aug 1932 and enlisted with the Sherwood Foresters on 21 October 1946 on a 9/3 Engagement. Donald was awarded the LSGCM 20 October 1964 as Cpl.
From 1970 he served with 1WFR until 1974 before completing service as one of the first Estate Wardens in BAOR from 1974 until his discharge in 1987.

OBITUARY

It is with great sadness that we inform you that 25004933 Pte Edward ‘Ted’ Gersham WARREN of Chesterfield, died on 1 January 2023 aged 49.  Ted enlisted into the regular Army in June 1991 and served in NI and held the GSM NI.  He was discharged on 22 June 1996.  It is believed that Ted was a Junior Leader and when he joined 1 WFR was in Drums Pln B Coy.  Funeral details will follow when known.

Letters of condolence can be sent to Ted’s sister:  Sharron Warren, 64 High Street, New Whittington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S43 2AJ

001 UPDATE: REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS VISIT TO 1 MERCIAN ON 7 FEB 2023

The programme for the visit is listed below.

If you would like to attend or have registered an interest in attending but have not received an email regarding security details, please contact the Assistant Regimental Secretary, soonest cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk

Please note that there is no funding for transport or overnight accommodation however you are asked to approach your relevant branch/the WFRA, who may be able to assist.

TimeEvent

VariousDepart county locations

1100 – 1130 hrsArrival at 1 MERCIAN

1130 – 1200 hrsTea and Coffee

1200 hrsCO 1 MERCIAN Welcome Address and Brief

1230 hrsLunch

1315 – 1400 hrs
1400 – 1445 hrsTwo stands:
Weapons and personal equipment
Warrior Demo (and other vehicles)

1445hrs – 1515 hrsClosing Address
Tea and Coffee

1515 – 1530 hrsDepart

002 1 MERCIAN VISIT FREE BUS

Free coach from Croft Rd (Grandstand Rd) Car Park Worcester depart 09:00hrs PROMPT ! please allow time to be there before departure.
There is a Premier Inn next to Worcestershire County Cricket Club a short walk from car park.
Some seats on coach available to Association members.
It is first come first served basis, Cut off is Sunday 15th January 2023 please contact Nigel Fish on 078829 78754 with name and contact number.

003 REQUEST FOR INFORMATION 

Joyce Griffiths is looking for friends of her brother Clifford Pickering (22343788) who served in 1 Worcestershire Regiment in 1951.  She is also interested in finding out if any of the fatalities in the 1st Bn in Malaya came from Stourport 
If you can help Joyce please contact the Editor newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk

004 COMPANY OF MAKERS - AUTHORS TALKS

During the final days of the Second World War, for 900 Allied officers, held by the Germans in Oflag IX A/H and Oflag IX A/Z, freedom was still a world away. Marched east by their captors, away from the liberating American forces, March and April 1945 was a time of great trials, at the mercy of vengeful Nazis and Allied air raids.

Amongst their number were many men whose names would become well known - Desmond Llewellyn, 'Q' in the Bond films, Frederick Corfield, a cabinet minister under Margaret Thatcher and Major Bruce Shand, father of Camilla Parker Bowles.

The March East 1945 draws on official and eyewitness accounts from British, Commonwealth, American and German records, as well as over 30 diaries and memoirs. It reveals the human story that unfolded over two weeks in Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony, and explains how the prisoners lived until their final liberation. Complemented by 100 photographs and illustrations taken and drawn by PoWs, as well as the German instructions for camp evacuation published for the first time in English, this book provides a fascinating insight into the last days of the Second World War.
About Peter
Peter Green trained as a Graphic Designer and has worked in commercial and Government communications for 30 years. He established the Internet-based AlphaGalileo research news service for the media in 1998 and has seen it develop from a European government project into an independent company with global clients.

He has acted as a publicity consultant to the European Space Agency, produced a film in Romania and chaired a European publishing working group of development agencies. His interest in military history was sparked by his father's experiences whilst serving in The Border Regiment in 1st Airborne Division at Sicily, Taranto and Arnhem.

Now retired, Peter, remains a consultant to AlphaGalileo, but most of his time is devoted to editing the quarterly magazine of his father's old Regimental Museum, Cumbria's Museum of Military Life, in Carlisle.

He also published an account of the evacuation march of his father's German prison camp in the Spring of 1945, 'The March East 1945'. Peter's interests extend to the Roman Army and natural history. He is a keen walker.
Live Talk
Peter will talk about his book.
Hosted by Company of Makers' co-founder Steve Bomford.
Q&A
Peter's talk will be followed by an interactive Q&A session, so you'll have the opportunity to get involved and he'll answer as many of your questions as we can squeeze in. 
Date and time - Tue, 24 January 2023, 19:00 – 20:00 GMT Location - Online

Follow the link below to book your place.
  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-march-east-1945-by-peter-green-tickets-435581153957?aff=ebdsoporgprofile

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  06 January 2023       WFRA NEWSLETTER    Volume 14 Issue 01

EDITORIAL

001 REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS VISIT TO 1 MERCIAN

1 MERCIAN will hold an open day for all members of the Regimental Associations on Tuesday 7 Feb 23.
The rough programme will be 
Arrive 1130 hours.

Visit 1 MERCIAN to include visits to Messes and view modern equipment as well on briefs on the future.

Lunch will be provided. Depart approx. 1730 hours.

There is no funding for transport or overnight accommodation however you are asked to approach your relevant branch / the WFRA, who may be able to assist. If you think you would like to attend, please let the Assistant Regimental Secretary know by 13 Jan 2023 cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk

002 1WFR IJLB 40th ANNIVERSARY REUNION  

Darren West  is organising a 40th Anniversary event in September 2023, for ex-1WFR junior leaders who enlisted at IJLB 40 years ago.  Darren is hoping to contact Paul Littleford, Robin Newton, Paul Baptiste and  Gary Parsons Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Darren can be contacted on the email address below.  
darrenwest3310@gmail.com 

003 WFRA NEWSLETTER BACK ISSUES

If you have missed any issues of the newsletter they are now available in PDF format.
Volumes 6 to 13 which covers the period from 2015 to 2022.
If any one is interested please email newsletter@stand-firm-strike-hard.org.uk and let me know which issues you would like.

004 COMPANY OF MAKERS
Land, Sea & Air - Stories from the Armed Forces - Podcasts
Our Armed Forces operate in challenging environments. Each episode, Service men and women share their stories. Hosted by Company of Makers' co-founder Steve Bomford and former submariner Mike Davis-Marks. Company of Makers exists to support Veterans and their partners who are struggling to transition from military to civilian life, no matter how long ago they left the Forces.
https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/land-sea-air-stories-from-the-armed-forces/id1513953407

Dits and Pics We’re collecting dits and photos from your time in the armed forces to create an online exhibition to share stories and memories more information is available on the link below.
https://www.companyofmakers.com/dits-and-pics/
Authors Talks
The Authors Talks series will be starting again toward the end of the month.  More details in next weeks issue.

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

  30 December 2022     WFRA NEWSLETTER    Volume 13 Issue 62

EDITORIAL

2022 has been a good year for our branches, there has been an increase in branch memberships, and a good number of branch and Association events that have all been very well attended.  Hopefully 2023 will an even better year with more events that we can all look forward to attending.
It has been a another sad year as we have lost many fine officers, men and women from our Regimental family and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families. 
As many of you will know I am also the WFRA Nott's and Derby's Area Secretary, and I would like to thank all of the branch officials for all of their hard work during the year in organising the events that we all enjoy attending. 
I would also like to thank all of the staff at RHQ and the Regimental Museums for their assistance with providing information for the newsletter it is all greatly appreciated.  
My wife Katie and I would like to thank you all for your continued support and the kind feedback we have received for our newsletter articles during the past year and in 2023 there are several 80th anniversaries coming up along with some other articles we have been working on that we hope will keep you all interested, informed and entertained. 
Wishing you all a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year.
Mark & Katie

001 TRAFALGAR SQUARE'S CHRISTMAS TREE A look at the daring WWII operation that is the reason behind Trafalgar Square's Christmas Tree.

In recognition of the support the UK provided for a "very special mission" and during the Second World War in general Norway sends a "very special" tree to London every year for Christmas, but what is the story behind the annual gift of a Christmas tree and how did it change history? Nine Norwegian commandos, trained by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) left their forest hiding place at 20:00hrs on 27 February 1943, skiing several kilometres to Norsk Hydro's Vemork hydroelectric power station. They were on a very special mission to blow up the heavy water plant in Nazi occupied Germany that they knew little about but one that turned the tides of history.

Their mission helped the Allies achieve one of their main objectives during World War II, stopping Nazi Germany from developing nuclear weapons.  Wearing British Army uniforms, the commandos carried a cyanide capsule in case they were arrested. If they were captured and appeared to be British, it was reasoned that the Germans were more likely to spare the local population from retaliation executions. The soldiers were only aware of their mission's purpose, which was to eliminate Vemork's capacity to produce "heavy water."  After nuclear fission was discovered on 17 December, 1938, the race to develop an atomic bomb quickly began as the military potential of nuclear power became apparent. Germany began to develop a nuclear weapon in April 1939. Germany’s brightest minds took to the task including Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Prize winner, and other scientists who developed nuclear fission. Deuterium oxide, referred to as "heavy water" because of its larger molecular weight than conventional water, was essential for the fission process to take place.  Heavy water could only be produced on a large scale in one location worldwide: Vemork hydroelectric power plant.  The Germans tried to buy all of Norsk Hydro's heavy water stock in January 1940. They also wanted to increase the plant's monthly output tenfold.  This raised alarm bells among the Allies, especially the French, who were conducting their own nuclear physics experiments.  In March, operatives from France's military-intelligence organisation, the Deuxième Bureau, bought all of Norsk Hydro's heavy water, but it did not matter because, a month later, the Germans conquered Norway and the plant fell into the hands of the Nazis.  The Allies were not sure how close the Nazis were to developing the world's first atomic bomb, but they did know that heavy water was crucial for its development so a decision was made to destroy Vemork.  The Special Operations Executive came up with a secret plan in collaboration with the Norwegian resistance. Two teams were to be dropped into the snowy Norwegian wilderness to conduct reconnaissance and establish a landing zone for a 34 man team of British commandos. The mission was a complete failure. The glider carrying the commandos crashed and the remaining survivors were discovered by the Germans and promptly executed.  Three months after the first attempt, the British trained Norwegian commandos were ready to try again. This time for the mission to be a success the tactics had to change.  Instead of using a glider, the commandos were parachuted in. They managed to remain undetected but were accidentally dropped miles away from the plant. It was midnight and snowing in the middle of winter when they landed and discovered that their previous failed mission meant that the security of the plant had increased tenfold.  The only way into the plant was through a bridge that was heavily guarded. They resorted to climbing a 328ft cliff, crossing a frozen river, and climbing 500ft to reach the plant. Once inside, the squad was divided into two groups. Four entered the factory, while five commandos took up cover positions outside the barracks, bridge, and main gate. They came upon a Norwegian employee inside who, instead of raising an alarm, assisted them by staying silent.  The team blew up the operations room inside the factory and, miraculously, was able to escape. Located in the basement, the room was filled with explosives. After the blast, the commandos were able to flee before the Germans discovered what had happened as the chamber was so far below and had such thick walls the noise from the explosion was minimal.  

The story of the daring mission was immortalised in a Hollywood action film starring Kirk Douglas, aptly named The Heroes of Telemark. As a yearly appreciation of the co operation between the UK and Norway during the Second World War, Oslo gifts London with a tree every Christmas.  The tradition, which has been in place since 1947, sees the Christmas tree put up in Trafalgar Square opposite the National Gallery in London. The UK was Norway's closest ally during the Second World War and the Vemork mission was one of many examples of collaboration.   The SOE even had a Norwegian section which, during the war, was located on Baker Street in London. A blue plaque put up by the Anglo Norse society marks the spot, saying: "In this building, SOE's Norwegian section planned the Telemark raid to disrupt the development of Nazi atomic weapons, 1942-1944."The Norwegian resistance to the Nazis while the country was occupied was planned and executed from London.  In 1940, the Norwegian parliament and the royal family fled Norway for the UK, their closest ally at the time.  King Haakon, Crown Prince Olav, Prime Minister Nygaardsvold and his cabinet resided officially at the Norwegian embassy at 10 Kensington Palace Gardens.  The Norwegian government and Royal Family remained in the UK until the end of the war, governing from afar. They were made to feel welcome by the British public and, since then, as a sign of their gratitude the British public, receives a tree from the depths of a Norwegian forest each Christmas. 

002 TALISKER WHISKY ATLANTIC CHALLENGE
An update on how the military teams are doing.
 It has been a different Christmas for the teams competing in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge the 'world's toughest row'.
Some of the rowers are representing the Armed Forces community - from serving personnel to veterans - taking on the journey from La Gomera in the Canary Islands to Nelson's Dockyard English Harbour, in Antigua and Barbuda.
HMS Oardacious, a team made up of Royal Navy submariners, tweeted to say they are passed the 1,000 nautical mile (nm) mark. They are currently rowing at 3.3 knots on a bearing of 247.28 degrees, with 1603nm still to go. 
A record number of entrants are battling sleep deprivation, hallucinations and hunger, all with the same objective to take on the unique experience of crossing an ocean in a rowing boat.
Team Atlantic Guardsmen, made up of officers and soldiers serving with the Scots Guards, are rowing at a speed of 2.8 knots on a bearing of 251.53 degrees, with 1687nm still to go as they battle the Atlantic conditions. 
Ahead of departure, they said they were "relishing the challenge of pushing themselves physically and mentally".   However, they say they also have a "much greater purpose" raising money for charity.
"Our passion to support serving and veteran soldiers is the primary motivator for entering the race, and at the very heart of our drive and determination to raise sponsorship and awareness for our service charity the Scots Guards Charity," they said.
This year, there are more teams than ever before: 43 crews, 127 rowers from 17 countries with a huge proportion of them from the military.  The importance of mental mindfulness has been stressed by a lot of the crews as a way of getting them through the challenge.
Team Emotive, a team including a Royal Navy and Royal Artillery veteran, is 1807nm from the finish line, travelling at a speed of 2.2 knots on a current bearing of 235.29 degrees.  They entered the rowing challenge to raise funds for the charity Veterans At Ease which all the rowers are beneficiaries of, or have had their lives changed because of their involvement with the charity. 
Royal Navy veteran Jason Watkin of Team Emotive said. "We've come through a dark place of very poor mental health. We are actually rowing across the ocean with our therapist, who actually saved our lives," 
"It's an epic challenge in regards to the race, but we've all faced this epic challenge of very poor mental health, so going from suicidal thoughts, myself addiction and various other bits and pieces, this is to prove that you can do something absolutely incredible with your mind and body coming out of it.
"It will be brutal, it will be hard, there will be some incredible highs and some very incredible lows, but it will be life changing," he added. 
US Veteran team 'Fight Oar Die' have 1903 nautical miles still to row before they touch the finish line, currently travelling at a speed of 0.9 knots on a bearing of 243.05 degrees.
They brought along a unique bit of kit, an underwater drone to examine underneath their boat, which they will take with them to hopefully assist in removing potentially race-hindering barnacles.
They are "proud" to be the first all US Air Force team and their aim is to bring awareness to veteran suicide and veteran PTSD while inspiring others to go out and "row their own ocean".
Not only are all the teams battling the elements at sea but, with the challenge continuing through until the middle of January, it means Christmas festivities have had to be celebrated away from families.
The rowers are, however, hoping to have some fun along the way.
Before the teams set off, HMS Oardacious member Lieutenant Commander Callum Fraser said, as he showed off his bracelet made by his daughter, that he has been given quite an extensive list of sights to spot before he gets to the finish line, including a shark and whales.
"She wants me to bring home a shark, she wants me to swim with dolphins, make sure I get some videos of whales," he said.
Is he confident about completing his daughter's to do list?
He said: "Not in the slightest. I will manage expectations as I go, I will tell them I've seen stuff but they were too quick."
You can check out all the teams' progress here.

 

003 REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS VISIT TO 1 MERCIAN 1 MERCIAN will hold an open day for all members of the Regimental Associations on Tuesday 7 Feb 23.
The rough programme will be 
Arrive 1130 hours.

Visit 1 MERCIAN to include visits to Messes and view modern equipment as well on briefs on the future. Lunch will be provided. Depart approx. 1730 hours. There is no funding for transport or overnight accommodation however you are asked to approach your relevant branch / the WFRA, who may be able to assist.If you think you would like to attend, please let the Assistant Regimental Secretary know by 13 Jan 2023 cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk

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

23 December 2022     WFRA NEWSLETTER     Volume 13 Issue 61

From the Colonel of the Regiment, all ranks and civilian staff of The Mercian Regiment.
We wish you happiness during the festive season, and we hope that you have a prosperous New Year full of opportunities and excitement.
Stand Firm, Strike Hard

EDITORIAL

My wife and I would like to wish you all a very Happy Christmas.
Mark & Katie

001 POLAR PREET UPDATE Explorer and British Army medic Captain Preet Chandi is racing against the clock in Antarctica to set a new world record as bad weather conditions have slowed her progress.

The 33 year-old physio and polar explorer has covered 440 miles in the first 37 days of her quest to be the first woman to cross Antarctica on her own and unsupported.Known as 'Polar Preet', she is approaching the halfway point of her journey and is battling to make up for lost time.
The expedition was expected to take up to 75 days and if she doesn't finish by then she will run out of food and she will have to abandon the attempt.
Captain Chandi said: "Seventy-five days is the maximum time I have in which to complete the journey but it’s important to be smart. I can’t afford to rush it. Consistency is vital. I need to hit the South Pole by a certain point to give me enough time to go down and navigate Reedy Glacier. Antarctic Logistics and Expeditions which supervises all Antarctic expeditions leaves at the end of January, and I would run out of food and fuel if I’m not finished by then. If I haven’t made it by then, I'd have to abandon the attempt."
From the South Pole to the base of the Reedy Glacier is roughly 354 nautical miles (655km) of this, about 75 nautical miles (140km) are on the glacier, which climbs from about 763m to 2,931m. 
Descending Reedy Glacier will be a first for Captain Chandi who is eating 5,000 calories a day to keep her going during the expedition.
We wish her well on her adventure.

002 COMPANY OF MAKERS - AUTHORS TALKS
The Company of Makers Authors Talks series that have appeared in several back issues of the newsletter are now available on demand.
So if there any that you have missed or maybe you would like to hear them again, please follow the link below for more details.
https://mailchi.mp/546ca7c534f1/company-of-makers-news-17-05-8745477?e=c6dc6ae603

 

003 1WFR IJLB 40th ANNIVERSARY REUNION
Darren West  is organising a 40th Anniversary event in September 2023, for ex-1WFR junior leaders who enlisted at IJLB 40 years ago.  Darren is hoping to contact Paul Littleford, Robin Newton, Paul Baptiste and  Gary Parsons Any help would be greatly appreciated
Darren can be contacted on the email address below.
darrenwest3310@gmail.com

004 REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS VISIT TO 1 MERCIAN 1 MERCIAN will hold an open day for all members of the Regimental Associations on Tuesday 7 Feb 23.
The rough programme will be

Arrive 1130 hours. Visit 1 MERCIAN to include visits to Messes and view modern equipment as well on briefs on the future.

Lunch will be provided.Depart approx. 1730 hours. There is no funding for transport or overnight accommodation however you are asked to approach your relevant branch / the WFRA, who may be able to assist. If you think you would like to attend, please let the Assistant Regimental Secretary know by 13 Jan 2023 cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk

005 CRICH 100 COMMEMORATION DINNER

It is intended that the Regiment will hold The Crich memorial 100 Year Commemoration Dinner at the Nottingham County Council House on Saturday 1st July 2023 in the Ballroom. Invites are open to all ranks from both the serving and veteran community of the Mercian Regiment and its antecedent units. Due to capacity limitations, additional guests will be limited to one per serving member or veteran. 
Please complete this form by no later than the 15th of Dec 2022.
Mercian_Crich_Dinner_EOI_Form

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16 December 2022    WFRA NEWSLETTER     Volume 13 Issue 60

From the Colonel of the Regiment, all ranks and civilian staff of The Mercian Regiment.

We wish you happiness during the festive season, and we hope that you have a prosperous New Year full of opportunities and excitement.

Stand Firm, Strike Hard

001 REGIMENTAL ASSOCIATIONS VISIT TO 1 MERCIAN

1 MERCIAN will hold an open day for all members of the Regimental Associations on Tuesday 7 Feb 23.
The rough programme will be 
Arrive 1130 hours.

Visit 1 MERCIAN to include visits to Messes and view modern equipment as well on briefs on the future. Lunch will be provided.

Depart approx. 1730 hours. There is no funding for transport or overnight accommodation however you are asked to approach your relevant branch / the WFRA, who may be able to assist. If you think you would like to attend, please let the Assistant Regimental Secretary know by 13 Jan 2023 cindy.clark247@mod.gov.uk

002 CRICH 100 COMMEMORATION DINNER

It is intended that the Regiment will hold The Crich memorial 100 Year Commemoration Dinner at the Nottingham County Council House on Saturday 1st July 2023 in the Ballroom. Invites are open to all ranks from both the serving and veteran community of the Mercian Regiment and its antecedent units. Due to capacity limitations, additional guests will be limited to one per serving member or veteran. 
Please complete this form by no later than the 15th of Dec 2022.
Mercian_Crich_Dinner_EOI_Form

 

003 1WFR IJLB 40th ANNIVERSARY REUNION
Darren West  is organising a 40th Anniversary event in September 2023, for ex-1WFR junior leaders who enlisted at IJLB 40 years ago.  Darren is hoping to contact Paul Littleford, Robin Newton, Paul Baptiste and  Gary Parsons Any help would be greatly appreciated
Darren can be contacted on the email address below.
darrenwest3310@gmail.com

 

004 SHERWOOD FORESTERS BEER

STOCKING FILLER  - Sherwood Foresters Beer The perfect stocking filler with 10p of every bottle purchased going towards maintaining your Museum! Just a reminder that you can still purchase bottles of Sherwood Foresters Beer at the following locations: Lincoln Green Brewery shop and online at their website https://www.lincolngreenbrewing.co.uk/order-online

The Real Ale store – Newark

Adventure Beer Company – Online
https://adventurebeer.co.uk/collections/all-products

Home Farm Stores – Oxton

The Courtyard Café – Wollaton Hall

005 COMPANY OF MAKERS - COURSES
SERVED IN THE ARMED FORCES??

ART,  DRAWING,  PHOTOGRAPHY,  PODCASTING,  POETRY,  WOODWORKING,  WRITING,  WORKSHOPS!

To find out more and register your interest please follow the link below.
https://share.hsforms.com/1RIMljAq-Qjec4aDGcwKyZg5cwux?mc_cid=45341e1901&mc_eid=c6dc6ae603

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  09 December 2022    WFRA NEWSLETTER     Volume 13 Issue 59

OBITUARY It is with great sadness that we report the death of 4978237 Pte Ernest ‘Ernie’ Rathbone of Sandiacre, died on 26 November 2022 aged 104. Ernie served with the 2nd Bn, The Sherwood Foresters from 15 September 1939 until his discharge in 1946. He was awarded the Defence Medal, the Dunkirk Medal, the 1939-45 Star, the War Medal 1939-45, The African Star and the Italy Star. His funeral will take place on Monday 19 December at 1500 hours at the Main Chapel, Wilford Hill Crematorium, West Bridgford, Nottingham NG2 7FE. 
All WFRA members including Standard Bearers are invited to attend. 
There will be a Wake afterwards at Buonissima, Station Road, Sandiacre NG10 5BG.  All are welcome and for catering purposes are asked to let Shirley Lenney know on 07551 492 778.

001 NEW FLATS NAMED AFTER 2 MERCIAN SOLDIER

The mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan said she felt ‘honoured’ her son’s memory will be kept alive by a new block of flats which have been named after him. The new Kieron Hill Court was officially opened in Clifton on Wednesday November 30. The development of 36 flats has been named after the 20 year old Clifton soldier who died in an explosion in Afghanistan in May 2009. The one bedroom apartments have been built on the site of the former Southchurch garages, off Hamilton Court. Kieron's parents Daryl Mitchell and Vicki Holmes outside the new flats. Kieron’s mother said: “For any bereaved parents, it is important to keep their children’s memory alive. “What better way than to see his name here. That’s important to me, I don’t ever want him to be forgotten. “On Remembrance Sunday I drove up to see the building and it was the first time I had seen his name there. It was amazing, I had tears running down by face but a massive smile as well. I am so proud. “To me, Kieron’s memory will always be alive because he is the first person I think about in the morning and the last thing at night. At home, his bedroom is still his bedroom. “Now his memory will be alive to other people too. Clifton have done him proud.” John Holmes, Kieron’s stepdad, added: “Now, Kieron’s legacy will go on even after we’ve gone.”

L/Cpl Kieron Hill Kieron, a Lance Corporal with 2nd Battalion the Mercian Regiment, Worcesters and Foresters, started as a cadet at age 13 and went on his first tour of Afghanistan three days after his 18th birthday. He died on May 28 2009, following an explosion on an operation near Garmsir in Helmand province. Kieron’s dad Daryl Mitchell was there for the opening of the building as well as local councillors and builders. Portfolio Holder for housing and human resources Toby Neal from Nottingham City Council said: “It’s always nice to name something after someone local, and Kieron was a local lad and serviceman who gave his life carrying out his duties.” A dedication plaque to Kieron was also unveiled and a ribbon was cut to open the flats.

002 CRICH 100 COMMEMORATION DINNER

It is intended that the Regiment will hold The Crich memorial 100 Year Commemoration Dinner at the Nottingham County Council House on Saturday 1st July 2023 in the Ballroom. Invites are open to all ranks from both the serving and veteran community of the Mercian Regiment and its antecedent units. Due to capacity limitations, additional guests will be limited to one per serving member or veteran. 
Please complete this form by no later than the 15th of Dec 2022.
Mercian_Crich_Dinner_EOI_Form

 

003 RHQ MERCIAN VISIT TO ROYAL HOSPITAL CHELSEA
Earlier this month, Lt Col (Retd) Bill Temminck and Sqn Ldr (Retd) Andy Manktelow visited the Royal Hospital Chelsea to see WFRA veteran, John Byrne.

004 REGIMENTAL MEMORIAL CRICH

Today we give a warm welcome to Mr Phil Leverton, our new Crich Warden.
The site will be open from Thursday - Monday 1000 to 1600 hours.
We hope to bring you news about the Tea Room shortly.

005 MERCIAN REGIMENT PROMOTIONS
Congratulations to Mercian Regiment Captain's Burridge, Griffiths, Long and Sones who have been selected for promotion to Major, and congratulations to Mercian Regiment WO2's Fowles, Miller and Umney who have been selected for promotion to WO1.

 

006 WORCESTER BRANCH MEETING

Worcester Branch will be holding a branch meeting on Tuesday 13 December in the Lounge at Barbourne Ex Services Club, The Moors, Worcester. WR1 3ED at 19:30 for 20:00hrs start.
The Presidents Raffle will be held, where proceeds go to the charity of the Branch Presidents choice.  If you have anything for the raffle and have time to wrap them in Xmas paper please do so.

007 DERBY BRANCH MEETING

The next meeting of the Derby Branch WFRA will take place on Friday 16 December. Venue is Allestree Social Club, 39 Cornhill, Allestree, Derby. DE22 2FS.
Meeting starts at 1945hrs and dress is casual. This meeting is the Presidents Draw, a long standing tradition, when all attending are requested to bring a raffle prize.

008 SHERWOOD FORESTERS BEER

STOCKING FILLER  - Sherwood Foresters Beer The perfect stocking filler with 10p of every bottle purchased going towards maintaining your Museum! Just a reminder that you can still purchase bottles of Sherwood Foresters Beer at the following locations:

Lincoln Green Brewery shop and online at their website https://www.lincolngreenbrewing.co.uk/order-online The Real Ale store – Newark

Adventure Beer Company – Online
https://adventurebeer.co.uk/collections/all-products

Home Farm Stores – Oxton The Courtyard Café – Wollaton Hall

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 VETERANS SUPPORT
The following are available to support veterans and their families who may be experiencing mental health difficulties;

Forcesline Tel: 0800 731 4880 (between 9am and 5pm Monday-Friday)
Combat Stress (24 hours)
Veterans and their families; Tel: 0800 138 1619
Serving personnel and their families; Tel: 0800 323 4444
Samaritans (24 hours); Tel: 116 123


M A DACK
for Executive Committee



 

 

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