Bournemouth, Poole & District branch RTR Association

elovabloke

ADC
Moderator
Tiny, my understanding is that if you are an RBL member you have access to any of its sites. What restrictions are North Road putting on RBL members?
 

aghart

War Hero
Tiny, my understanding is that if you are an RBL member you have access to any of its sites. What restrictions are North Road putting on RBL members?
There is an entry security system which requires a key fob, members of the club have a fob. The Club is now the North Road Social Club. You have to be a member of the RBL to be a club member but my understanding is that the club is not an RBL club as such anymore.
 

aghart

War Hero
FEBRUARY 2022

16 members present for the first branch meeting of 2022. February traditionally has the lowest attendance figure of the year. However, this year our numbers were boosted by 5 guests who had attended Jamie McKie's (1 RTR) funeral earlier in the day, and stayed another night in Dorset in order to attend our branch meeting. We also had half a dozen people link up on Zoom to take part, this number included D O who linked in from his Hospital bed in Salisbury even though he had been under the surgeon's knife earlier in the day.

Universal praise was heaped on D R and M E for organising the Ladies Lunch in January. This our "Flagship" function has just got better and better since they started running the show. It was agreed to look at increasing the funding for entertainment at next years function. Members were informed that the guest speaker for March 2022 would be the GSM at Bovington. Details of the RTR sponsored Church service and curry lunch were given. Members were asked to put their names forward if they wanted to go to Slapton Sands for the Exercise Tiger memorial in April 2022. The dates of ANZAC Day (25th April) and US Memorial Day (30th May ) at Weymouth were announced. It was confirmed that the evening visit to the Tower of London would take place on 2nd August 2022. It was confirmed that despite Cambrai 105, a scaled down RTR march to the Cenotaph in London this would take place. Further updates on Cambrai 105 were given. Business cards with the branch details were made available for people to keep in their wallets and give to anyone who might be interested in joining the branch.

Members were informed that over £21k was raised by the RBL in the Dolphin Centre in Poole during the remembrance period in 2021. Bournemouth & Poole branch participation in this was substantial. Members were reminded that 2022 subscriptions were now due.
 

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aghart

War Hero
MARCH 2022
13 members present and two visitors, it was great to welcome Rick Baylis (ex 1 RTR) and his wife Thelma who travelled from near Bristol to attend a branch meeting. So 15 in the venue with another 15 people linked in by Zoom.

Minutes of the February meeting were passed. Members were informed that a group of us would be visiting Pete Dore in Weymouth for lunch on 9th March. Pete at 95 is our oldest member and is now getting very frail. Final call was made for the RTRA church service and curry lunch. The committee has requested authority to be able to spend up to £200 for the benefit of the branch without having to get a vote at branch meetings. A good discussion was had and the reason for the request was that if we had to get a vote every time we wanted to spend any money? Nothing would ever get done. It was emphasised that normally the amounts would be quite small, but items such as camera's and microphones for Zoom meeting's can be obtained at a discount but the deals can be missed if we had to wait for a vote. The motion was passed.

Final call for names for the trip to Slapton Sands in April. This year we are going a day early to be able to lay a wreath at the grave of Tpr Brett Hall 2 RTR, in Dartmouth. Brett died in 2009 of injuries received in action in Afghanistan. A request was made for branch funds to cover the cost of the Mini Bus with individuals paying for their own overnight accommodation. This motion was passed.

Details of the Founders Day parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea were given Members were informed that an e-mail regarding the visit to the Tower of London on 2nd August would be sent in due course. An update on planning for Cambrai 105 was given. The main points for the branch is that we have identified a suitable hotel in Cambrai and the aim is to get it booked asp, so members were asked to make a choice about attending the event, and confirm their willingness or not to share a twin room. Those who insist on a room to themselves need to understand that this could mean paying the full price for a twin room for single person use (limited single rooms).

A reminder was made for those who have not yet paid their 2022 subscriptions to "open their wallets".

The guest speakers were then introduced, WO1 XXXX GSM Bovington Garrison & WO1 XXX, the senior WO covering trade training at the Armour Centre. The RSMI's of the various training teams report to him. There are over 20 WO1's at the Armour Centre so the GSM is the senior WO1.

A very interesting update on training and the reasons for many changes were given. Cold War Gunnery Instructors in particular would think they were on a different planet if they were to sit in on a lesson today. Changes in Physical fitness training were explained, the large numbers of long term in juries sustained previously were a major concern. Both were at pains to emphasise that standards were not dropping, simply that things were being done differently. Lots of questions and answers followed meaning the presentation went on much longer than usual, "always a good sign" This was very successful branch meeting.
 

aghart

War Hero
April 2022
27 people in attendance plus another 16 linked in by Zoom. This is I believe our best ever attendance figure for a branch meeting in the last 15 years. Even without the Zoom participants, the physical attendance was impressive. The meeting started about 10-15 minutes late, this because the internet link was unstable and caused issues with the Zoom element. D L, our Chairman and Zoom technical guru master did manage to sort it in the end. I must add that one of the Zoom participants was taking part from Canada. The Bournemouth, Poole & International Branch?



We stood for a minutes silence for the D day Veteran Harry Billinge, who had died earlier in the day. Although not RTR, Harry was as famous as Sir Tom Moore. Members were informed of the new fee's set by our hosts for use of the function room. It equates to £200 per year. A reminder that there was still room on the mini bus for anyone changing their mind and wishing to attend Slapton Sands. The audience was told that it can be chilly at Slapton Sands at the end of April and to bring a coat. The branch was reminded that the day after Slapton Sands is ANZAC day and the branch would be represented at the ANZAC memorial in Weymouth.

We were informed of the opening of a new veterans drop in centre at Longfleet in Poole. It is open on the first Saturday of each month and there is a free bacon butty and free tea/coffee available. 3 members of the branch were at the grand opening, all wearing our distinctive polo shirts and managed to get their photo in the Bournemouth Echo. Members who wanted to go to the Tower of London for the evening visit on 2nd August were asked to submit their names. It was confirmed that the branch BBQ would be held on Saturday 13th August. A Cambrai 105 transport and accommodation update was given by D L. It was announced that the guest speaker for May 2022 would be from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The meeting was brought to an end and the guest speaker was introduced.



David Willey is the curator of the Tank Museum who gave us an update on the Museum, explained how the Museum assists the MOD, and then went on to link it to the situation in Ukraine. This is a condensed version of the presentation. Less than 5% of the Tank Museum's visitors are ex military people. Families, particularly in the Summer time are the main group of visitors. Over 200,000 people a year visit the museum. Summer is of course the time when the museum get's it's biggest stream of visitors, and when I asked him if wet weather boosted visitor numbers? he said "we pray for rain". The main assistance from the MOD for the museum is that heating and lighting is paid for from the MOD budget. They have received excellent funding from the National lottery, they are a "Gateway Museum" which ticks a lot of Lottery funding boxes. A Gateway Museum is one where many of the visitors are people who would not normally set foot in museums, but do so here because of its unique offering. Once in a museum they might now visit other museums as well. During the Pandemic the Museum has embraced Information Technology The website has a 45 million reach, It has the biggest Museum U Tube Channel in Europe with 16 million views in 2020. This has had a huge impact for the Museum shop, pre pandemic the shop had a turnover of £69,000, this is now £1.2 million. With restrictions now over David emphasised the new WW2 exhibition which many people present have probably not seen.



He explained that part of the Museums "Mission Statement" was to assist the MOD. This includes History training for MOD people, courses for Troop/Platoon leaders, WO & SNCO threat training, they do tours for foreign military personnel. Most US Army visitors to Bovington get their photo's taken by the oldest surviving Sherman Tank in the world. This tank was only the second Sherman to come off the production line in the USA and has a prominent position at the Museum. We all remember KAPE tours? Keep the Army in the Public Eye, well the Tank museum helps to do just that. In regards to history? David suggested that before we go to France in November for Cambrai 105, the Bournemouth & Poole branch visit the Tank Museum for a tour of the WWI section to immerse ourselves in the event? our response? yes please! The history training element was then linked into the situation in Ukraine. In the west we look forward to the new future kit we and the Russians will have, but many in the military today are woefully lacking in understanding the Russian/Soviet Cold War equipment that is still in widespread use today. The museum can supply a T72 for todays soldiers to get inside and see what it is all about. He said we veterans probably know more about this stuff than many of todays senior military people.

How has it gone so wrong for Russia? all the new kit, all the modernisation, all the sophisticated equipment, The most powerful army in Europe if not the world, why have they not walked all over Ukraine? As Mike Tyson the boxer once said, "Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the mouth" .David said history is repeating itself, in 1940 it was believed that France had the best, the most powerful and modern army in the world, even Churchill believed this, yet the French Army was brushed aside and defeated in short order in the spring of 1940. In 1940 we believed the hype and propaganda about the French Army and we are guilty of the same thing regarding the Russian Army today. We fell for all the hype and Propaganda, the T14 Armata Tank? he said you won't see any if Ukraine as they have only 30 of them and they dare not lose any. Russia has also failed in the information war as in the West, Ukraine is doing a superb media job, we see all the success but we don't see the Ukrainian losses in the same way. Is the Tank finished? David explained that this has been asked often in the last 40 years as new weapons and technology appeared. The tank however adapted to the new situation and has carried on. Russian losses in Ukraine have been heavy but poor operational use and tactics have been a major factor in this. So the obituary of the Tank is probably not going to be written any time soon. There was more but my fingers are hurting.

All our branch meetings are good, but occasionally we have a meeting where the bar is raised, and in April 2022 the bar was raised significantly. The large physical presence helped a lot, the more bums on seats you have the better the atmosphere. Throw in a top quality guest speaker giving a superb presentation and you have success coming out of your ears, and that is what happened in April 2022. The only downside? I spent £5 on the raffle and did not win a thing!
 

aghart

War Hero
MAY 2022

16 members present and 8 on Zoom for the May 2022 branch meeting.

We stood in silence for Pete Barker (1 RTR) a branch member and Zoom participant who died recently after a domestic accident. We also stood for William Parker a 101-year-old RTR veteran. Members of the branch will attend his funeral in Thursday 5th May 2022.

The branch was given a recap on the very busy and successful 3 event weekend two weeks ago. The remembrance of Tpr Brett Hall (Afghanistan 2009) was detailed and e-mails from General R and Brigadier D congratulating the branch on its efforts were read out. The Exercise Tiger commemoration at Slapton Sands was next and members were informed of the huge difference staying overnight and going by minibus made to the weekend. Finally ANZAC day at Weymouth, where the Royal Australian Navy Commander (equivalent to Lt Col) spent a lot of time with branch members especially R F and P D our two WWII veterans. We may even see this officer as a guest speaker in the next 12 months.

Diary events for May and June were confirmed, this included Falklands 40, & D Day events in Poole, and US Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day in Weymouth. members were given details of the Northern Ireland Veterans Association service at the National Memorial Arboretum on 10th September 2022. Those going to the capital for the Tower of London visit on 22nd August were reminded that this is not a branch "package holiday" and that transport and accommodation arrangements were an individual responsibility.

It was confirmed that we would be holding a service at the Sgt Essex memorial bench at Moreton on Wed 2nd November 2022, the 80th anniversary of his death at El Alamein. People were reminded that the new veteran's hub at Longfleet in Poole (free bacon sandwich) is open this Saturday at 10.00hrs.

Members were informed that subject to military changes, the guest speaker for June 2022 would be WOII B the RTRA link WO.

D R and M E confirmed that initial preparation for the January Ladies Lunch in 2023 had begun.



The meeting then closed, and the guest speaker was introduced.

R S from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) presented a most interesting Zoom presentation on the history and work of the CWGC . She did a first-rate job especially as she was an emergency stand in. We were supposed to have this as a live presentation by a local CWGC volunteer who unfortunately fell ill the day before. Disaster loomed until R donned on her superhero cape and came to the rescue.

There was too much to information to put on here but a question at the end and the answer may well be of interest. The CWGC is only responsible for military graves from the WW1 & WWII period. The 4th ofAugust 1914 is the day of declaration of war by Great Britain. The 31st ofAugust 1921 is the official end of war (as per the Order in Council that declared the war ended, as required by the Termination of the Present War (Definition) Act.

The 3rd ofSeptember 1939 is the day of declaration of war by Great Britain. The 31st ofDecember 1947 is the date agreed by the participating governments to produce a post-war period roughly equal to that of the First World War.
More recent graves with Military headstones are the responsibility of the Ministry of Defence (MOD). Therefore, you will not find more recent casualties on CWGC website. The MOD chose the CWGC style headstones but with slight modifications to avoid confusion. MOD Army headstones are clipped at the top to show that they are not CWGC (see photo). RAF headstones are slightly different too, no mention of the RN though, as I forgot to ask. Also, in recent years there has been an issue with Portland Stone and headstones have been made from an Italian stone. It appears the issues have been resolved and Portland Stone is back on the menu!
 

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aghart

War Hero
JUNE 2022

12 members physically present and another 14 linked in via zoom for the June 2022 branch meeting. The physical numbers were a tad disappointing but England were playing Germany at football and we had just come off a 4 day Bank Holiday weekend so not totally unexpected.

A minutes silence was held for Col M Rose & Col J Dickson who both died recently. There was a recap of the branch activity in May and the D -Day commemorations in Poole the previous day. Members were reminded of the planned activity for June currently confirmed. This included 3 branch members attending the Founders Day parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on Thursday 9th June 2022, Falklands 40 service in Falkland Square, Poole, at 10.45hrs Tuesday 14th June 2022, and the Armed Forces Day parade at Weymouth on Sunday 19th June. Members were reminded that this was also Fathers Day. Members were reminded about the return of the Cambrai Lunch at Bovington this year. It is being held on Friday 25th November. It was confirmed that the guest speaker for July will be the Regimental Secretary.

An update on the branch finances was given.

An update on Cambrai 105 was given and it was confirmed that the branch would purchase an additional 3 x wreath's for use in France. Members were reminded that The Bournemouth & Poole Branch will be leaving for Cambrai on Thursday 17th November, returning on Monday 21st November (4 nights ). The Secretary reminded everyone to ensure that their passports were in date. Members were informed about the new stock of Regimental Blazer badges which are available to purchase from the branch. Both the Gold & Silver versions are available, but what is special about these is that you can wear one and be a bit "tribal". The banner below the Tank which displays the "Fear Naught" motto has a coloured background and is available in Red, Yellow/Saffron, Green or Blue. If you are ex 5 RTR you are a bit stuffed, but the rest of us are ok!

The date of the 2023 Ladies Lunch has been confirmed. Saturday 21st January, at the Poole Quay Hotel (formerly the Thistle Hotel), the same location as last year.

The meeting then closed and the guest speaker was introduced. WOII M B is the RTRA link WO, whose job is to be our point of contact with the Regiment. in Tidworth.

M who is shortly to take over as SSM of Ajax, gave us an update on who is who in the Regiment, he showed photo slides of Regimental activity in Estonia & Oman and explained what the troops were up to in Eastern Europe. Apparently they are allowed to use live cam out there, actually chopping down branches and stuff and decorating their vehicles with it! Due to the situation in Ukraine he was limited in what he could tell us, I did ask outright whether war stock service ammunition had deployed to Estonia with the tanks, but didn't expect an answer, and I wasn't disappointed. So what new stuff did we find out? Two things really, they are going back to 3 tanks per troop instead of 4, and Bergen-Hohne ranges are being used by British Forces again. He did tell us something new about CR3 but I'm not sure whether It can repeated here, so I won't. If you had been at the meeting though you would know! Oh and I won a prize on the raffle.
 

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JUNE 2022

12 members physically present and another 14 linked in via zoom for the June 2022 branch meeting. The physical numbers were a tad disappointing but England were playing Germany at football and we had just come off a 4 day Bank Holiday weekend so not totally unexpected.

A minutes silence was held for Col M Rose & Col J Dickson who both died recently. There was a recap of the branch activity in May and the D -Day commemorations in Poole the previous day. Members were reminded of the planned activity for June currently confirmed. This included 3 branch members attending the Founders Day parade at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on Thursday 9th June 2022, Falklands 40 service in Falkland Square, Poole, at 10.45hrs Tuesday 14th June 2022, and the Armed Forces Day parade at Weymouth on Sunday 19th June. Members were reminded that this was also Fathers Day. Members were reminded about the return of the Cambrai Lunch at Bovington this year. It is being held on Friday 25th November. It was confirmed that the guest speaker for July will be the Regimental Secretary.

An update on the branch finances was given.

An update on Cambrai 105 was given and it was confirmed that the branch would purchase an additional 3 x wreath's for use in France. Members were reminded that The Bournemouth & Poole Branch will be leaving for Cambrai on Thursday 17th November, returning on Monday 21st November (4 nights ). The Secretary reminded everyone to ensure that their passports were in date. Members were informed about the new stock of Regimental Blazer badges which are available to purchase from the branch. Both the Gold & Silver versions are available, but what is special about these is that you can wear one and be a bit "tribal". The banner below the Tank which displays the "Fear Naught" motto has a coloured background and is available in Red, Yellow/Saffron, Green or Blue. If you are ex 5 RTR you are a bit stuffed, but the rest of us are ok!

The date of the 2023 Ladies Lunch has been confirmed. Saturday 21st January, at the Poole Quay Hotel (formerly the Thistle Hotel), the same location as last year.

The meeting then closed and the guest speaker was introduced. WOII M B is the RTRA link WO, whose job is to be our point of contact with the Regiment. in Tidworth.

M who is shortly to take over as SSM of Ajax, gave us an update on who is who in the Regiment, he showed photo slides of Regimental activity in Estonia & Oman and explained what the troops were up to in Eastern Europe. Apparently they are allowed to use live cam out there, actually chopping down branches and stuff and decorating their vehicles with it! Due to the situation in Ukraine he was limited in what he could tell us, I did ask outright whether war stock service ammunition had deployed to Estonia with the tanks, but didn't expect an answer, and I wasn't disappointed. So what new stuff did we find out? Two things really, they are going back to 3 tanks per troop instead of 4, and Bergen-Hohne ranges are being used by British Forces again. He did tell us something new about CR3 but I'm not sure whether It can repeated here, so I won't. If you had been at the meeting though you would know! Oh and I won a prize on the raffle.
Nice one @aghart, you got a price for the badges?
 

aghart

War Hero
JULY 2022
16 members present and 16 linked in by Zoom for the July 2022 branch meeting. A recap of June activity was given which included founders day at the Royal Hospital Chelsea and Armed forces day in Weymouth. D R gave an update on the Ladies Lunch for January 2023, we have had to change venue because so many people want to attend our "Flagship Event" and the Poole Quay Hotel cannot manage the numbers. The event will now take place at the Royal National Lifeboat Institution College in Poole. The College actually incorporates a fantastic events room able to cater for 100+ people with views over the inner Poole Harbour, and a hotel both of which are open to the public. In the words of Michael Caine "not a lot of people know that" To think that just a few years ago we were worried that we might not be able to reach the minimum number of guests required by the hotel, and now D R & M E had to search high and low for somewhere big enough and good enough to accommodate the event. It shows how far we as a branch have come.

Members were reminded about the Wareham Veterans Breakfast club this Saturday and the Longfleet veterans drop in centre on the first Saturday of the month. Branch activity for July/August was highlighted, the main events being the branch BBQ on 13th August, the VJ Day service in Poole Park on 15th August and the visit to the Tower of London on 22nd August. Virtually all those going on the Tower trip are travelling by rail so we are of course slightly worried about possible industrial Action by the rail unions at the moment.

It was announced that we have acquired 3 new members this month and one of them A M was attending his first meeting. A M gave a brief introduction about himself and was later guided to the branch clothing table so he could view the items for sale and where we could empty his bank account! The secretary then gave details of certain individual donations to branch funds which have boosted our branch funds. The treasurer then gave an update on those branch finances and we seem to be in a quite healthy position at the moment. Our finances would take a bit of a hit in regard to the Ladies Lunch in January, but if you can't push the boat out for your Flagship event, then when can you?

An update was given on the 2022 Cambrai Lunch being held at the WO's & Sgt's Mess, Allenby Barrack, Bovington on Friday 25th November 2022. The update was the announcement that "Card carrying" RTRA members would have their £45 "cost of the function" paid for by RHQ RTR.

Members were reminded that the next meeting is in September 2022 and that it would be the AGM. Anyone wanting to nominate themselves for any of the branch officer positions were asked to let the Secretary know before the September meeting commenced.

We were then given a Cambrai 105 update by G F (via Zoom) which put everyone in the picture regarding the trip to France. This was followed by our Guest Speaker the Regimental Secretary. The Regimental Secretary explained how HHQ was made up, what it's main functions were, how it spent it's money and some of the plans for the future. He did say that the Commanding Officer of the 1st Regiment Royal Australian Armoured Corps who are linked to the RTR would be with us in France for Cambrai 105. He also announced a welcome home (Estonia) medal parade & families day for the Regiment in Tidworth on Saturday 24th September 2022. RTRA branches will be invited.
 

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kingo3415

Clanker
The March meeting was held yesterday and we had around 20 members present. Two new recruits offically joined the branch last night. Nigel Lewis & Jeff Lyman joined the clan "darn sarf". Don't worry Scarboro branch, Jeff is still your President, dual membership is quite common. I'm also in the Scarboro branch so it all evens out.

We held a minute's silence for the Royal Marine killed in action in Afghanistan yesterday which did not go unoticed by our guest speaker.

Our guest speaker was Maj Hermer OC Armoured Support Sqn Royal Marines based at Stanley Barracks in Bovington. For you ex JLR types, they occupy both Mcreery & Lumsden Blocks & have the two vehicle hangers by RHQ. Maj Hermer introduced himself and then gave an outstanding presentation which had everyone glued, questions from every corner and lots of people going up to him at the end and talking to him. that's how good it was.

The subject was "Viking" the all terrain vehicle that has replaced the famous "Sno Cat" of Norway in winter fame. He explained that after the end of the cold war the marines were being left out of conflicts because of their lack of armoured mobility and their dependence on helicopters and "yomping".

The result is Viking which is similar in appearance to Sno cat but that is where it ends. Viking is a true "all terrain" vehicle, equally at home in the snow, desert, jungle, Bovington driver training area, Afghan/Pakistan mountain range, Chelsea High Street or swimming in the sea, in fact later this year it is going to do a Stalwart and swim the English Channel as a publicity stunt. An excellent video showed Viking in all it's glory and what a fantastic bit of kit it is. It has 4 track drive, the towed compartment at the rear is in fact not towed it is powered from the engine and so helps in X country movement. Like a London Bendi bus it bends in the middle and this is how it steers.

It has Stratigic Mobility, it will fit into a standard ISO container that most shipborne freight is carried in. It has Operational mobility in that it is airportable and can be slung under a Chinook.
Tactical mobility is that it is all terrain has lower ground pressure than a man on ski's and only weigh's 11.5 tonne.

D&M. It has a 5.9 Litre Cummings Turbo diesel engine that is Guaranteed for 200,000 kilometers ( they just dont do pack lifts). The rubber tracks last for 6,500 k's and in afghanistan the vehicle has a 96% availability rate.

Protection. It has steel & Composite armour which is proof aginst 7.62mm rounds and 155mm shell fragments. It will withstand a 1/2 kg mine explosion. It has the "metal fence" RPG protection and it is air conditioned. In Afghanistan in only 15 minutes one Viking took 430 hits by small arms and withstood 6 RPG attacks and all inside were unharmed. (how the packs of Herforder stood up to it is not recorded ) The infantry "pod" at the rear is being developed for different situations so that a new pod is attached if required. Just like Thunderbird 2 taking a different pod on each mission. ( come on we ALL used to watch Thunderbirds) It is made by Hegolund of Sweden (Sno cat) who were bought by Alvis of the UK (hurrah) who in turn were swallowed up by BAE systems (still British hurrah)

They are developing a remote .50 browning mount (fully stabilised) which is loaded aimed and fired from inside, it is used in conjunction with all round camera vision which displays on a TV screen inside. when a target is spotted the 50 cal aims, gets the range from a laser range finder and proceeds to ruin the average taliban day. The Army are likely to get it, The Dutch Marines already have it as do the UAE forces and the US Special Forces are interested.

A fabs bit of kit, almost as good as a Ferret Scout Car !!

A deserved round of applause followed the presentation. The night was a great success and I'm feeling good. By the way Kev Coughlin & I were the last last to leave, standards were maintained.

Fear NaughtViking
 

kingo3415

Clanker
I might be down in Dorset within a few weeks. Thought he might want to catch up on 40+ years of life over a pint or two @aghart
 
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aghart

War Hero
He is virtually housebound with severe MS and very reclusive. It is highly unlikely that he would want people from his past to see him in his present condition.
 

kingo3415

Clanker
He is virtually housebound with severe MS and very reclusive. It is highly unlikely that he would want people from his past to see him in his present condition.
I can only imagine the impact of his condition. But I would very much appreciate it if you could reach out to him for me and ask. We were very good friends back in the day but as you can imagine when army life and life in general gets in the way it’s very easy to loose touch. Due to several phone disintegrations I’ve even lost all contact details for his older brother. If it’s a total no chance I will understand and thank you for your time.
 
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