Spring Update 2017
17 March 2017
At the end of this letter is an updated list of dates for your 2017 diary and one for 2018.
From 1 April we will be changing our email addresses with the demise of the Prince of Wales’ Division. The Regiment will be in the Scottish, Welsh and Irish Division from 1 April 2017. Our telephone numbers are unchanged but our new email addresses will be:
Regimental Secretary INFHQ-SWI-RWELSH-RegtSec@mod.uk
Maj Derek Adams INFHQ-SWI-RWELSH-RegtSecAsst2@mod.uk
Capt Des Williams INFHQ-SWI-RWELSH-WRE-RegtSecA@mod.uk
Richard Tuffney INFHQ-SWI-RWELSH-RegtSecAsst3@mod.uk
Debbie Martin INFHQ-SWI-RWELSH-RegtSecAsst1@mod.uk
Rachel Hill INFHQ-SWI-RWELSH-AdminOffr@mod.uk
Judy Gater INFHQ-SWI-RWELSH-WRE-AdminOffr@mod.uk
At the tail end of 2016 the Regiment along with the Welsh Guards and the Queen’s Dragoon Guards hosted a very successful reception at the Houses of Parliament for all our Welsh MPs and some of our Welsh Lords. The event was sponsored by Stephen Doughty the MP for Cardiff West and Penarth. The gathering attracted more than 40 MPs and was an excellent Community engagement event.
The MP for Cardiff West and Penarth Stephen Doughty speaks at the MPs Reception at the Houses of Parliament before handing over the Colonel of the Regiment.
Unfortunately despite a valiant effort, the Battalion’s rugby team were beaten in the Semi-Finals of the Army Rugby cup by their old rivals 12 Regiment RA. We had the platform to work from with a strong pack, unfortunately a couple of mistakes led to 2 break-away converted tries, leaving us on the back foot and chasing the game. 12 RA had the Army fly half and he was worth his weight in gold. He ran the game and kicked his penalties when given the opportunity. There is always next year…..
Spring 2017 has proven to be an equally busy period for the Regiment. Her Majesty The Queen’s visit to Tidworth on 3rd March was the highlight but as the 1st and 3rd Battalion activities outlined below show that this was only one of the major events that have taken place.
Since the last update Activity since last meeting. All Sub Units have completed Collective Training level one exercises, as have the headquarters elements. Bn HQ has also completed a Staff Advisory Visit prior to Christmas, and Gun Camp 2 was conducted in Castlemartin with excellent first time pass rates. In spite of this busy programme the Battalion also hosted Her Majesty The Queen on 3rd March for a formal parade and lunch as part of the St David’s Day celebrations.
Her Majesty The Queen meets Llywelyn for the first time before presenting leeks for St David’s Day to a selected group of the Regimental Family – Cadets, Reserves, Regulars and Comrades.
This was followed by a chance for Her Majesty to meet a large number of 1st Battalion personnel and then groups from all parts of the Regimental Family.
Over the next Six Months the Battalion will be extremely busy. After a final week of conceptual training and Easter leave, the Battalion will deploy to Canada on Exercise PRAIRIE STORM 1. On our return in June we will conduct a Battlefield Study on Op DRAGOON in France and begin Mission Support Training for Op CABRIT, Estonia.
The culmination of 15 months preparation saw the Bn generate a Company Group to join the 1 WELSH GUARDS Battlegroup on Ex WESSEX STORM. February on the Plain produced some demanding conditions but the entire Coy acquitted themselves incredibly well achieving parity with their Regular peers.
There is no doubt that the 3rd Bn has now set the benchmark for the remainder of the Reserve Infantry to achieve. While the Reserves were having everything thrown at them, Battalion HQ delivered a successful Visitors Day on behalf of 160 Brigade that saw a number of employers come to visit the exercise. Unfortunately the seven MPs that were due to attend had to remain in Westminster for the BREXIT Vote.
Recruiting remains positive in demanding conditions and the recruit pipeline remains healthy. The Battalion produced a downhill ski team for the first time and joined the 1st Bn on Exercise FROSTED BLADE achieving a credible 2nd place among the Reserve units taking part. There is plenty of potential for the future. 35 members of the Bn deploy on Adventure Training to France to conduct ski foundation training in March.
In December 2016 Army 2020 Refine announcement confirmed that the Bn will no longer be paired with the WELSH GUARDS and from 1 Apr 17; 3 R WELSH will move into 12 Armoured Infantry Brigade and be paired with the 1st Battalion. The Battalion is looking forward to deepening the fantastic relationship that we already have: the combined St David’s Day Dinner on 3 Mar 17 was a great way to start. We are building up to a Live Field Firing Camp in Sennelager in September 17 and this will be the training focus for the remainder of the year. Firm Base activity is dominated by the Royal Gun Salute (RGS) to be held at the Pier Head on 21 Apr 17.
The Battalion also led on a very successful combined 1st & 3rd Battalion St David’s Day Dinner in Caerphilly Castle.
Dinners / Lunches and Reunions.
Brecon Reunion. This will take place on Saturday 22nd July in Dering Lines Brecon. Captain Williams has put out the attendance profromas.
Wrexham Reunion. This will take place on Saturday 2nd September in the Memorial Hall. Captain Williams will put out the attendance profromas in due course.
Friday 21st April. Royal Gun Salute in Cardiff sponsored by the 3rd Battalion but with support from the entire Regimental Family.
Saturday 6th May. The granting of the Freedom of Monmouthshire in Abergavenny which was to take place on Saturday 6 May has had to be postponed until 15th July. See below
Saturday 15th July. The granting of the Freedom of Monmouthshire in Abergavenny will take place on Saturday 15th July. More details will be published in due course.
Saturday 2nd September. The Regiment will be exercising its freedom of Denbighshire in Ruthin. The Band of the Royal Welsh will perform for the march through the town and will then go straight on to perform at the Beating Retreat at the Wrexham Comrades Reunion
the Regimental Family and I would like to see cadets, comrades and personnel from the 1st and 3rd Battalions involved. Major General Morgan Llewellyn will officiate supported by the padres of the 1st & 3rd Battalions. I would like to see as many Branch Standards at this event to represent our comrades and our antecedent Regiments. Saturday 9th September. The dedication of the R WELSH Memorial will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum. This event will be open to all components of
Outline timings for the Dedication Service will be:
1200 – 1230 hrs Memorial Service
1230 – 1315 hrs Chance for Bereaved Familiers to go to the Bastion Wall or the Basra Wall
1320 – 1330 move to the Royal British Legion
1345 – 1500 hrs Lunch
1530 - 1830 hrs Return journey
The last part of the Memorial still to be completed is a Plinth which will outline parts of our Regimental history and lists our antecedent regiments. We hope this will be passed by the NMA Committee and be in place in time for our service in September. This is an artist impression of what it will look like. The plinth will be placed further to the left than in this mock up picture. I am most grateful for the many Comrades Branches that have raised money for the Memorial. It has been a real team effort.
Saturday 16th September. The 1st Battalion will be granted the Freedom of Pembroke Dock. More details to follow.
WW1 Commemorations 2017
13th July. RHQ and our Bereaved Families will be visiting and laying wreaths at the new Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial on the Victoria Embankment in London.
29th July-1st August. The Centenary of the Passchendaele Commemorations. A battlefield tour is planned to Passchendaele, Flanders in Belgium to coincide with the official Welsh Commemoration Service which will take place on the 31st July 2017. Coaches and accommodation in Lille, France will be booked to cover the dates 29th July-1st August 2017. This will give us a three nights and four day trip to the area, with the main event being the Service of Rededication and Remembrance at the Welsh Memorial in Passchendaele on the 31st July 2017. Details can be obtained from Captain Des Williams DCM in Wrexham.
New Comrades Branches
We have 2 new comrades’ branches starting up:
President - Maj Gen(Retd) Christopher Elliott
Chairman - Maj (Retd) Larry Bohana
Secretary - Ex WO2 Simon Williams - firstname.lastname@example.org
01985 217 777
Treasurer - Ex WO2 Trevor Woodyatt - email@example.com 01985 217 868
Branch Chairman - Dixie Dixon firstname.lastname@example.org telephone 02892 260 368 (Military Network) If not in work leave a message.
Branch Secretary - Daren Broadway email@example.com this mail gets checked weekly.
In the past 11 months the Regiment has helped out 172 cases spending about £40,000 of Regimental funds. Captain Des Williams DCM has also been very successful in securing money from the Army Benevolent Fund, Help for Heroes and other military charities to the value of a further £70,000. If you know of a member of the Royal Welsh or any of its antecedent Regiments that may need help, please contact Capt Des Williams on 01978 316 188.
Looking well into the future, 2019 will see some major Regimental anniversaries:
140th Anniversary of the Battle of Rorke’s Drift.
75th Anniversary of D Day.
300th Formation of the 41st Foot at the Royal Hospital Chelsea. On currently planning we are hoping to run an event at the Royal Hospital Chelsea on Tuesday 10th September 2019.
I look forward to seeing many of you over the next few months.
Lt Col Chris Kilmister