Welcome to the first Regimental Headquarters Information Bulletin of 2016 which is being produced to keep members of The Coldstream Guards Association up to date with what is happening in the Regiment. We hope to keep you informed of Regimental events that have happened or will be happening. This Information Bulletin is also available to read on the RHQ web-site (www.coldstreamguards.org.uk) where I hope it will attract the attention of those former Coldstreamers who do not live close to one of the 32 Branches of the Association or those working overseas but who nevertheless retain an interest in what the Coldstream Guards are up to. REGIMENTAL HEADQUARTERS COLDSTREAM GUARDS Colonel of the Regiment: Lieutenant General Sir James Bucknall KCB CBE
Regimental Lieutenant Colonel: Brigadier R C N Sergeant
Regimental Adjutant: Colonel (Retd) D D S A Vandeleur
Assistant Regimental Adjutant: Captain (Retd) R W C Matthews
Equerry to HM The Queen: Captain H C Codrington
Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant: WO2 L Hutt
Regimental Clerk: LSgt M Strudwick
Station: Wellington Barracks, London
REGIMENTAL BAND Director of Music: Major S Haw
Commanding Officer: Lieutenant Colonel J H F Thurstan
Adjutant: Captain O J H Morley
Regimental Sergeant Major: WO1 E Pickersgill
Station: Victoria Barracks, Windsor
The start of 2016 compared to the close of 2015 for 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards
could not have been more contrasting, with our webbing and jungle boots still drying
from Exercise MAYAN WARRIOR in Belize it was time to switch focus onto drill boots, buff belts and bearskins.
The Battalion had just shy of four weeks before its first Queen’s Guard and this alluded to one thing: Winter Drills. The drill square at Army Training Regiment (ATR) Pirbright was the scene of mass arms drill working with and without the drum, toes downwards and outwards and junior officers being ‘warmed up’ by Drill Sergeants, much to the amusement of the Guardsmen. The muscle memory from time served at Number 7 Company ensured all rehearsals and check parades were up to standard very quickly.
The first Strong Trophy (intercompany skills competition) event of 2016 was the cross-country race. This was held on the training area at ATR Pirbright after a morning of drill, a perfect warm up according to a select few members of The Sergeants Mess. The undulating 5 mile race saw all the companies across the Battalion fight it out for maximum points and start the 2016 leg of the competition off with a bang. It was eventually won by Support Company, with their Company Commander, Major Wills, crossing the line first.
During January, five members of the Battalion were selected to represent the Guards Cricket Club on tour in South Africa. The two week tour saw Capt Olley, Lt Cazalet, Lt Brown, Lt McLean and Gdsm Blackburn play five matches in Cape Town, Stellenbosch and Hermanus.
Wicketkeeper/Batsman Gdsm Blackburn (Support Company) captained the side for a match and was awarded the most influential player on tour. This healthy showing from the Battalion sets us in good stead for the approaching season where the Battalion is entered into the Major Units Cup.
The final week of January saw the second event of the Strong Trophy up for grabs with the Drill Competition. All five Companies battled it out for first place and after detailed inspections from The Commanding Officer, The Adjutant, The Technical Quartermaster, The Regimental Sergeant Major and two Drill Sergeants, it was again Support Company who came out on top, much to the frustration of a couple of Company Sergeant Majors who thought the prize was theirs!
The 1st of February saw the Battalion mount its first Queen’s Guard. The Commanding Officer Captained the Guard along with the Adjutant and Second Lieutenant Bird as subaltern and ensign respectively. The Battalion took over from1st Battalion Irish Guards who themselves recently returned to ceremonial duty. After many mornings on the square it was finally time to do the check parades and mount for real.
On 3rd February “10 Years in Afghanistan – Guardsmen’s stories” book launch was held in the Guards Museum. This book, which has forty-two stories from serving Coldstream Guardsmen offering an insight into what life was on the front line, was the brainchild of Warrant Officer Class 2 Baines MC and Brigadier Bibby CBE, the former Regimental Lieutenant Colonel. The evening saw one hundred and twenty people have the opportunity to read extracts from the book and have it signed by a number of the serving and retired authors who were in attendance.
The Battalion rugby team has had a very successful start to the season and currently sit unbeaten after the first four games. A string of impressive away victories against sides including 1st Battalion Irish Guards and 4th Battalion The Rifles has made promotion a real possibility. After postponing our first few games due to the Battalion’s deployment to Belize the season began with an emphatic win against 1 Royal Horse Artillery in Tidworth. It has been the detailed coaching and training sessions from Captain Olley and Company Sergeant Majors Hutchens and Sutherland which has been the key to the side’s success this season. The forwards are digging in and gaining all the hard yards and the backs are playing with flair and panache which is usually seen on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace. Standout performances by LCpl Burnell and Captain Ritchie with huge tackles and devastating ball carries has been as entertaining to watch as the midfield attacks from Captain Mills, Gdsm Yatevatu and Tagirara. The Battalion football team has performed well reaching the Quarter Finals of the Army southern League cup and the 5th round of the Army Cup. The team is looking forward to the football tour planned to Barcelona in April.
Exercise CROWN ENCOUNTER saw thirteen members of the Battalion, along with a diverse group from HQ LONDIST ranging from gunners to logisticians; conduct a study of the battlefields of World War One in Northern France. The study was especially relevant as the focus was on the actions of the Guards Division at the Battles of the Somme, Loos and Ypres. Each day saw the group travelling between a number of stands, at each of which a syndicate would lead the discussion on a specific consideration or area of the battle. Discussions varied from the development of snipers, to logistic drag, and the use of artillery to the constraints of coalitions. This broad spectrum of presentations and debates ensured that as many lessons were learnt from these battles as possible; furthermore, they were placed into more modern contexts to reinforce the fact that these lessons are still applicable today. For members of the Coldstream Guards there was a particular poignancy with numerous vignettes of the exploits of soldiers, non-commissioned officers, and officers from the Regiment at the time. The Regimental Sergeant Major took the lead on reading the citations of three Victoria Cross winners and relating them to the specific areas of ground that were covered. One particularly moving moment came when the Commanding Officer played a silver hunting horn once owned by Lt Col J V Campbell VC CMG DSO, one of the many commanding officers during that period, at the site where he won his Victoria Cross rallying the 3rd Battalion with it. This was the first time the horn had returned to the area since the war, having been displayed at Regimental Headquarters in the interim.
The Battalion Ski trip was located this year in Val Thorens under the watchful eyes of 2Lt Bird and Sgt Heath. The aim is to enable forty soldiers per week to gain skiing instructor qualifications and the chance to experience a new sport.
The Battalion has had a very busy period since returning from Christmas Leave and this is only the warm up with the Queen’s Birthday Parade in the near distance. With this in mind, the opportunity to get away on Adventure Training is very much at the forefront of the Battalion’s mind, it offers guardsmen the chance to learn or enhance various skills and increase confidence when instructing – a skill set which can only improve and benefit the battalion and the individual.
NUMBER 7 COMPANY COLDSTREAM GUARDS
Company Commander: Major R P Hanking-Evans
Company Second in Command: Captain F N G Russell
Company Sergeant Major: WO2 L Fairbrother
Station: Wellington Barracks, London
Number 7 Company started the year working hard over Christmas and New Year, taking on the responsibility of Christmas Duties well in its stride, knowing that two weeks leave was waiting around the corner. The last few weeks in January saw all ranks return home to their families for a (somewhat overdue) well deserved, and hard earned, holiday. After returning from a delayed period of Christmas leave, Number 7 Company hit the New Year running, taking part in the Public Duties Incremental Companies (PDIC) Ski Trip to Val d-Isere, organised and run by Capt Tollemache. Twenty guardsmen, over the two week period, went out to the Alps to test their ‘kahones’ on the slopes, many skiing for the very first time. After a week of early starts, many lessons, many more falls, and even more laughs, plus a drink or two (hot chocolates of course!!), the majority of guardsman retuned to the UK with a new qualification under their belts – Ski Foundation One.
Returning from the PDIC ski trip highlighted the end of the well deserved break and the start of getting the Company in order for the busy year ahead. All ranks took to the classroom to update Mandatory Annual Training Tests (MATT) training across the company, as well as getting on the ranges for some grouping and zeroing to prepare the Company for it’s roles and responsibilities. Making the most of the up to date MATTs, Number 7 Company has detached a number of Guardsmen and Non Commissioned Officers on Regular Army Assistance Tasking (RAAT) to help out at training establishments, such as the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS).
On top of maintaining its ceremonial responsibilities, MATT training, RAAT and Ranges, the Company Commander took two Gdsm away on Ex Crown Encounter – a battlefield tour to the Somme. Although some harsh weather was experienced out on the ground, a lot of fun was had and importantly a lot learnt by all. Relevant topics were covered in presentations on the use of armour in modern defensive warfare and mass prisoner handling, lead by the members of 7 Company attending the Battlefield Study.
There was no rest in the lead up to Easter leave, platoon lead ACMTs and with further MATT training, including a trip to the Respirator Training Facility at RMAS - an acitivity eagerly awaited by all ranks – particularly the officer in charge of company photos.
Memorial Weekend, commonly known as Black Weekend, will be held 6-8 May 2016. On Saturday 7 May, Coldstream Day (see below) will be held in Victoria Barracks, Windsor and on Sunday 8 the Memorial Service will be held in the Guards Chapel at 1100 followed by the march to the Guards Memorial at Horse Guards where the Colonel of the Regiment will lay a wreath.
The Order of March to the Guards Memorial will be 1st Bn, 2nd Bn, 3rd/4th/5th Bns and the wreath bearers will be found by the Essex Branch of The Coldstream Guards Association.
A free lunch will be available in the Wellington Barracks restaurant. Members of The Coldstream Guards Association (TCGA) wishing to take advantage of this should give their names to their Branch Secretary who will forward consolidated numbers to Regimental Headquarters by 2 May 2016. Those who are not members of TCGA who would like to have lunch should e-mail me by no later than 2 May 2016. Meal vouchers will be available from the refreshment point on the Wellington Barracks square after the March to Horse Guards.
Coldstream Day will be held in Victoria Barracks, Windsor on Saturday 7 May 2016 and will run from 1200 to 1700 hours. There will be a variety of military activities/demonstrations, side shows and the Regimental Band will play at intervals throughout the afternoon and close proceedings with a mini Beating Retreat. 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards (1815) Re-enactment Group will set up Camp and give a demonstration of a Guard Mount with members of 1st Battalion, there will be opportunities to shoot on the indoor range and a bar and food will be available at very reasonable prices. A number of children’s activities will be held including face painting, magic, Punch & Judy and a climbing wall. It promises to be an exciting and interesting day for all the family. I would encourage you to attend and catch up with some of your friends whom you haven’t seen for years!!
10 YEARS IN AFGHANISTAN The Regiment has published an Afghan Memorial Album. The album, a series of stories and photographs by more than 40 members of the Regiment, is a tribute to those who served in the theatre and to their families who supported them, and especially to those who did not return or who suffered life changing wounds. It is also an important volume in the Regiment’s distinguished history. It is available for purchase from Regimental Headquarters at £25 + p&p.
THE COLDSTREAM GUARDS ASSOCIATION - ONLINE MEMBERSHIP It has become obvious that there are many former Coldstreamers who for one reason or another are not members of the Association. Regimental Headquarters has now set up its own Branch of the Association for those who would like to keep up to date with what is happening within the Regiment and the wider Regimental family but do not want or are unable to take on the formal commitment of joining one of the 32 Branches of the Association.
Anyone who would like to take advantage of this scheme and become an online (e-mail) member should complete the attached form and send it to me at Regimental Headquarters.
This facility is not available to members of TCGA Branches who will continue to receive news and information through their Branch Secretary.
2017 REGIMENTAL DIARIES
The 2017 diary will be a one week to view leather bound diary, with the Coldstream star and ‘2017’ embossed in gold on the cover and will cost £7.50p which includes p&p. An order form is attached which should be submitted to RHQ with the necessary payment. No orders will be accepted after 31 October 2016.
COLDSTREAM GAZETTE The next edition of the Coldstream Gazette covering the calendar year 2015 will be published shortly. If you would like to receive a copy please complete the attached order form and return to me with a cheque for £10 which covers purchase and postage costs.
BAND CONCERTS The Regimental Band will perform a St George’s Day Concert on Saturday 23 April 2016 with the Band of the Grenadier Guards and international trumpet soloist Philip Cobb in an evening of musical excellence hosted by television and stage performer Christopher Biggins in the Cadogan Hall, Chelsea. Tickets can be purchased through the Cadogan Hall website, with all proceeds donated to the ABF, the Soldiers’ Charity.
THE QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY PARADE 2016 The Queen’s Birthday Parade will be held on Saturday 11th June with Number 7 Company providing the Escort to the Colour and 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards proving Numbers 2, 3 and 4 Guards.
Anyone who would like to apply for a ticket should write to the Brigade Major, HQ Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London SW1A 2AX enclosing a stamped addressed envelope.
The dates of the Parade and Rehearsals, with ticket description and prices are as follows:
Major General’s Review – Saturday 28 May Stand Seats (Free)
Colonel’s Review – Saturday 4 June (1) Stand Seats (£10.00)
(2) Inner Line of Sentries (Free)
Queen’s Birthday Parade – Saturday 11 June (1) Stand Seats (£30.00)
(2) Inner Line of Sentries (Free)
HOUSEHOLD DIVISION BEATING RETREAT 2016 The Massed Bands, Pipes and Drums and Corps of Drums of the Household Division supported by The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and musicians from the Bands of the Honourable Artillery Company and The Royal Yeomanry will present a floodlit evening of military and contemporary music on Horse Guards at 8.00 pm Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th June 2016. The performance ends at 9.40pm
Tickets prices range from £15 to £40 and are now on sale. Further information can be obtained by visiting the Household Division website (www.householddivision.org.uk). THE GUARDS MUSEUM The Guards Museum based at Wellington Barracks is open daily from 10 am to 4 pm (last admission 3.30pm). It is open on Bank Holidays except Christmas Day. The opening times may be restricted on days of ceremonial occasions. (Tel: 020 7414 3271/3428 for details). The Museum is closed mid-December to beginning of February.
THE GUARDS CHAPEL The Chapel is open to the public for visits during the week between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm; 10.00 am and 2.00 pm on Fridays with services each Sunday. Entry is from Birdcage Walk. The Chapel can be contacted on 020 7414 3228/3229.
YORK RACES The Coldstream Guards Association (Handicap) Stakes will once again be run at the York Racecourse on Saturday 9 October 2016. More information will be published nearer the time but for now please add this date to your diary.
COLDSTREAM REUNION IN LIVERPOOL: 16 - 19 SEPTEMBER 2016
Trevor Lawley is organising another reunion in Liverpool which will take place over the weekend 16 - 19 September 2016. Details of the various packages can be obtained from Trevor by e-mailing: email@example.com or telephoning him on 0121 502 1458, or Mobile 07866905177
IN MEMORIAM The deaths of the undermentioned Coldstreamers have been reported to Regimental Headquarters
during the first quarter of 2016 and are published here for information.
R W C MATTHEWS
The Coldstream Guards Association
31 March 2016 Wellington Barracks
SW1E 6HQ 0207414 3263 firstname.lastname@example.org
2017 REGIMENTAL DIARY
LONDON SW1E 6HQ
: 020 7414 3249
The cost of the 2017 Regimental Diary is £7.50. This includes Postage & Packaging
Please send me ……….. diary/diaries.
I enclose my cheque/postal order for £ ……………….
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