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Association Newsletters.

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

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

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

Asst Regt Sec;                        Ext 5220
E1 Admin;                               Ext 5215
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Patron: HRH The Princess Royal
President: Brig P Dennis

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 19 February 2021      WFRA NEWSLETTER      Volume 12 Issue 08


As previously notified Captain WJH Swainson of Chagford, Devon died on 10 February 2021 aged 86. Bill was commissioned in The Worcestershire Regiment in 1955 and served in 1 Worc R in Iserlohn, throughout  the WI tour 1957-60 in Jamaica where he served for a time as ADC to the Governor , and in Worcester until posted in 1962 as an instructor to the IJLB at Oswestry. He rejoined 1 Worc R in Minden in1963 and moved with the bn to Lydd in 1964 and was then seconded to The Parachute Regt and served in 2 Para until retiring from the army  in December 1965.  While in 1 Worc R he represented the bn at athletics and rugby and in Jamaica at polo. In 1961, while riding out at Rimell’s stables at Kinnersley he persuaded the officers to back Nicolaus Silver to win the Grand National and when it won there was an impromptu party in the mess. In retirement he took out a horse training license and enjoyed notable success in national hunt and on the flat from stables in the Cotswolds.


We regret to report the death in London of Captain JA Mathias RAMC on 11 January 2021 aged 85. He was a national serviceman who served as RMO 1 Worc R in Worcester 1960-62 including on the emergency deployment to British Honduras for Hurricane Hattie in 1961 where he did valuable work with the local population in Stann Creek (now Dangriga). He attended several regimental events in the 1990s.



It is with sadness that we inform you that 22798229 Pte David Plant of Malvern died aged 87yrs on the 8th February 2021.  Dave enlisted into the Worcestershire Regiment on the 27 March 1952 serving in Section 'A'  RAR 5th Plt in Malaya during the 'Emergency'. Discharging on 26 March 1955. After National Service Dave served as a Pte in the Army Reserve from 1955-59. Dave was awarded the GSM Malaya Medal.

In civilian life Dave worked as a road haulier travelling all over the UK. He also worked as a general builder, Dave was very passionate about working on his allotment, when a lot of other people would have stopped Dave carried on and was working and gardening up until recently.

Dave was a very valued member of Worcester Branch W.F.R.A. Working tirelessly to the benefit of the branch and Association. On 26th August 2015 Dave was awarded the Association Merit Award for Outstanding Service . It reads:-

David Plant joined the Worcestershire Regimental Association in 1952 when he was enlisted for his National Service. He joined whilst stationed at Norton barracks for the sum of one shilling of which he paid to Sgt Bell.  David is a Malaya Veteran and also a member of the Malayan Veterans Association. Through that Association he keeps in touch with other Malaya Veterans.  When David left the Regiment he became a driver in the road haulage trade. After that he progressed into the building trade.  For many years David has carried a standard for the Worcester branch of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regimental Association, carrying the Worcestershire Regiments Standard.  Throughout David`s time in the Association he has always been willing to help in any project whether they be large or small.

In the year 2000, with the help of some Vernon Veterans (1944) David arranged to take a large piece of Malvern Hills granite to the 'Worcesters Layby' on the Tilly road near Vernonet, France. David transported the stone to France at his own expense because he recognised the importance of keeping alive the memory of those men who fought and fell in that battle. The crossing of the River Seine at Vernon is an important part of the Worcestershire Regiment`s glorious history. He also arranged for work to be done on the bronze inscription plaque by a craftsman near his home. At the dedication ceremony David proudly carried a standard.

Last year 2014 David again offered his skills. He has done the groundwork for the new memorial stone in Gheluvelt Park Worcester. It is in memory to 'All Ranks of the Worcestershire Regiment Who Served Their Country at Home and Overseas' He put in the foundation base, laid the blue brick edging, bedded in the stone and erected the surrounding posts and bars. David organised the work along with the park staff and sourced the materials from all the suppliers, all as donations! He himself donated some of the materials and gave his time freely.

Currently David still works full time and also maintains an allotment. He regularly brings a box of fruit and veg for the raffle at the Worcester Branch bi-monthly meetings.

Over the years David has dedicated much of his time to the Regimental Associations, being involved with the erection of two memorial stones to the men of the Worcestershire Regiment and is thoroughly deserving of a merit award from the Association.

In May 2019 Dave travelled to Chandlers Ford in Hampshire to attend the funeral of Bill Edwardes WW2 Veteran of Vernon Europe 1944 who was also involved in the siting of the Worcesters Layby Memorial Stone, proudly carrying the Worcestershire Regiments standard.

Dave`s funeral will be held at 14:30hrs on Monday 22 February 2021 at All Saints Church, Hollybush, Castlemorton, HR8 1EX.

Bugle and Standards only.

Letters of condolence can be sent to;-

Mrs Margaret Plant.
81 Tanhouse Lane,
WR14 1LQ

The family have requested this does not go on facebook. Thank you.


Founded in 1920 The Officers Association is an independent charity that is committed to ensuring that former officers of the Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force and there dependants live with dignity and independence.  

The Officers Association can offer advice on:

Statutory benefits and adult social care.

Debt management information.

Annual Allowance.

One off payments for specific household or disability items.

Grants towards domiciliary care.

Care home top up fees.

There may be times when it is necessary to direct you to an organisation that can offer more specific advice that is based on your circumstances.

Money matters including pensions.

Health and wellbeing.

Housing advice including care homes and support in your own home.

Social life and staying active.

Employment services.    

For further information 



The Officers Association
Third Floor
40 Caversham Road

Tel: 02078 084 175 between 9am & 5pm Monday to Friday.


More words from the trenches of WW1. 

The word buckshee is Arabic in origin and means a small gratuity or free, It came into use with the British soldier as early as 1915 to describe anything that was gained for nothing such as extra kit or rations.

Copping a packet
The horrendous nature of death in industrialised conflict was reflected, possibly in an attempt to cope with it, by numerous creative ways of avoiding saying "killed": for example, becoming a landowner, going home, being buzzed or huffed, drawing your full issue, being topped off, or clicking it.

Camouflage has two possible origins from the French word camoufler meaning to disguise or the more likely camouflet which means a bomb in a hidden space.  Bombs of this type were often used in mine warfare.

The term birdcage was used to describe an area of a trench network that was surrounded by barbed wire, particularly in areas where there was a strongpoint or a defensive structure.

Fanny Durack
Sarah Frances "Fanny" Durack (27 October 1889 – 20 March 1956), also known by her married name Fanny Gately, was an Australian competition swimmer and diver. From 1910 until 1918 she was the world's greatest female swimmer across all distances from freestyle sprints to the mile marathon.  However her name was used as a nick name for a local landmark, when shelling caused the statue of the Virgin on top of the church at Albert to lean below the horizontal it was renamed after the Australian champion diver by the Australian soldiers that were fighting in the area.


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

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

Mark Dack
for Executive Committee


Social media :-
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Mercian Museum (WFR Collection)

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Worcestershire Soldier

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