Category Archives: RAF Regiment History
The Ministry of Defence, and the Air Force Board will hold the 77th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain Service of Thanksgiving and Re-dedication in Westminster Abbey at 11am on Sunday 17th September 2017.
RAF Regiment Association members wishing to attend this popular high-profile event should apply by return email to the undersigned with the following details. The deadline for the returns is Thursday 08 July 17.
(a) Full Name
(c) Full postal address
(d) Place and date of birth
(e) Passport or UK driving licence number
(f) Disability requirements
* Demand for tickets are expected to be high. If oversubscribed, the Chairman’s decision will be final.
RAF Regt Assoc
Thanksgiving and Commemoration Service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral
The RAF Regiment started its 75th anniversary celebrations of its formation with a Thanksgiving and Commemoration Service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral at 11am on 1st of February 17. The service was led by the Dean, the Reverend Canon Dr Frances Ward, who blessed the RAF Regiment 75th Anniversary Prayer Candle which was processed to the alter by Leading Aircraftman Gell, prize-winner of the recent trainee gunner course.
Readings at the service were given by Air Commodore Frank Clifford, Commandant General of the RAF Regiment and retired Squadron Leader Peter Lawrence, national chairman of the RAF Regiment Association. The Homily was given by The Reverend (Group Captain) Tim Wright, RAF Deputy Chaplain-in-Chief, (Operations).
The event was attended by more than 600 RAF personnel, former Commandant Generals and Regiments veterans and dignitaries including the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk Clare Lady Euston and the Air Commodore-in-Chief of the RAF Regiment Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton.
Sir Stephen in his address said: “The Royal Air Force is extremely proud of what the RAF Regiment has done over the past 75 years. They have succeeded in the job they have been given and continue to set standards.” St Edmundsbury Cathedral is the custodian of the RAF Regiment Memorial and standards as a mark of the Regiment’s close association with Suffolk.
Olive Hathaway, 84, whose late husband Harry was a Warrant Officer in the regiment, said “My husband started in the RAF Regiment as a ground gunner in Burma and spent the next 34 years serving with the corps. It is a powerfully moving day, with some sadness too”.
Regt75 Formation Reception
Following the Service of Thanksgiving at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, invited guests joined serving members and senior Corps commanders for the Regiment75 Formation reception at the RAF Regiment Heritage Centre, RAF Honington.
Air Commodore Frank Clifford OBE, Commandant General of the RAF Regiment, hosted the informal event with Air Officer No 2 Group, Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Parker OBE, as the chief guest of honour. Two Founder Members of the Corps, Mr Len Hale and Mr Kelvin Glendenning OBE, were recognised and honoured by the gathering.
The Heritage Centre afforded guest and serving members the opportunity to travel down memory lane of the history of the RAF Regiment and to look at close quarters many of the iconic weapons, and equipment. A particularly interest was the newly installed Roll of Honour Room recording the ultimate sacrifice made by the former members of the Corps in varied theatres of operations. In his concluding speech at the reception, Air Commodore Clifford, addressing the Corps members assembled said, “we are standing on the shoulders of giants” and the Regiment’s enviable reputation will surely be assured by our next generation present today.
REGT75 STATUETTE REPLICAS
The commissioning of a Limited Edition of 75 cold-cast bronze and Hallmarked Sterling Silver ‘filled’ replica Regt75 statuettes for sale on an individual or unit basis is being considered. Each would be mounted on a mahogany base with an engraved Silver Plated plaque; a Hallmarked Sterling Silver plaque would also be available at additional cost. Final costs have yet to be determined but are provisionally (incl VAT but excluding P&P) listed at:
- Cold-Cast Bronze Replica with silver plated engraved plaque: £199.00
- Hallmarked Sterling Silver ‘filled’ Replica with Silver Plated engraved plaque: £405.00
- Hallmarked Sterling Silver ‘filled’ Replica with Hallmarked Sterling Silver engraved plaque: £455.00
Reservations for these Limited Edition Statuettes would be invited on a first-come, first-served basis. Once the list has been developed and the financial viability of the project validated, a 20% deposit would be requested of bidders. The first tranche of the Limited Edition and available in early 2017, would be for 10. Those interested in reserving a replica statuette are asked to register with the Regtl Sec as soon as possible. [CPeN 411].
As part of the RAF Regt’s activities to mark the 75th anniversary of its formation, the Corps Historian – Dr Nigel Warwick – will write a book on the Regiment’s history. Unlike his previous highly detailed books on the Regiment, Constant Vigilance and In Every Place, the next book will cover the whole period of the Regiment’s existence. It will be heavy on images and relatively light in narrative text. Inevitably, this means that the text will have to be concise and concentrated with historical detail, probably with vignettes. While Dr Warwick is superb at research using the RAF and National Archives, as evidenced in his previous works, these do not always provide the level of detail, or the human dimension, to bring the history to life. He would, therefore, be grateful for (unclassified) recollections of significant events or developments involving the RAF Regiment in the campaigns, theatres or themes set out below. These should be sent, in the first instance, to: email@example.com
Although full accounts of significant events would still be gratefully received, initial responses should ideally give a brief outline of the significant situation or event. This will allow Dr Warwick to determine quickly whether he wishes to explore it further (in which case direct contact would follow), or whether he already has enough information on the subject. In any case, all information gathered will be added to the RAF Regt Archives for future historical reference.
Theatres or major campaigns:
Aden 1947-1957, 1963-1967; Malaya (RAF Regt(Malaya)) 1948-1960; Suez Op MUSKETEER 1956 48 Sqn; Cyprus 1958, 1963-1964, 1974; Northern Ireland 1971-2007; Oman 1967-1973; Singapore/Malaysia – Brunei 1964 -; Indonesian Confrontation 1963-1967; Falklands 1982; Gulf War I; Iraq – Op TELIC Basra, 2003-2011; Afghanistan – OP VERITAS 2001; Op HERRICK –Kandahar, Bastion and Task Force Helmand 2004-2013
Georgia; Sierra Leone; UNTAC Cambodia; Kuwait; Yugoslavia/Former Yugoslavia; UNPROFOR 1992-1995; IFOR 1955-1996; SFOR 1996-2005; KFOR (Kosovo)
RAF Germany 1945-1957, 1971-1989; Norway (eg Allied Mobile Force)
Egypt 1945-1954; Jordan 1948-1956, 1956; Iraq 1945-1954; Zambia 1965; Kenya 1953-1955; RAF Kai Tak 1960s; Falklands 1982-2007; Cyprus – RAF Akrotiri (34 Sqn and Op CHEVALIER deployments)
Other Aspects and Roles:
Ceremonial and QCS; GDT / STO / FP Training; NBC / CBRN; Special Weapons Security; Armour – armoured cars; CVR(T), Mastiff, Jackal, Panther etc; LAA / LLAD / GBAD / SHORAD (Bofors, Tigercat, Rapier); Tactical Air Control Parties (Forward Air Control) / Air-Land Interface; Desert Rescue / Para Rescue / Combat Search and Rescue / Joint Personnel Recovery.
The lists are not exhaustive and any other relevant subjects may be considered. Initial responses would be appreciated as soon as possible to enable suitable planning and interaction to take place. [CPeN382]
The definitive history of the RAF Armoured car Companies – IN EVERY PLACE – is being offered at a discounted price of £25 (cover price £29.95) for the months of Oct-Nov 15 (the offer ends on 30 Nov); postage will be charged at cost. For further details and the Order Form, please contact the Regtl Sec at HON_HQRAFRegtSec@mod.uk (for Dii/MOSS users go to: http://cui5-uk.diif.r.mil.uk/r/474/RegtlSec/RegtlIssuesLTD/20151008-IEP%20Order%20Fm%20-%20GP%20v3-0.pdf . The Order Code required to secure the discount is OCTNOV15. Orders received after 30 Nov will be charged at the cover price. Orders required for delivery before Christmas 2015 must be received no later than 5 Dec; overseas orders must be received by 25 Nov to ensure delivery. [CPeN 374]
The book, ‘IN EVERY PLACE – The RAF Armoured cars in the Middle East 1921-53’ is available at a discounted price of £25 + P&P for the rest of Apr 15. Orders received before 30 Apr 15 will be processed at the discounted price – using the Discount Code: IEPAPR15. The flyer and order form is downloadable from the RAF Regt Assoc website at www.rafregt.org.uk or obtainable from the Regtl Sec at HON-HQRAFRegtSec@mod.uk . Payment may be made using Debit or Credit Cards (excl AMEX) and telephone orders – on 01359 237824 – will be accepted using the electronic payment method. Please do not leave orders or Credit/Debit Card details on any voicemail messages; just leave call-back details. [CPeN 355][
The forthcoming launch of the book, IN EVERY PLACE – The RAF Armoured Cars in the Middle East 1921-53, by Dr Nigel Warwick. It will be launched on 1st April 2014 and copies will be dispatched soon after that date. Orders received before 1 April 2014 will qualify for a discounted price of £25.00 + P&P. Thereafter, the price will revert to the cover price of £29.95 + P&P. Download Flyer and Order Form
A fascinating and compelling account of over 30 years of distinguished service by the Royal Air Force Armoured Cars operating in Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Aden, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. Written by the RAF Regiment’s Official Historian, Dr Nigel Warwick.
Drawing on offcial records, personal diaries, letters and reminiscences, as well as the Author’s interviews with officers and airmen who served on the Royal Air Force Armoured Cars. The story covers not only the political, strategic and tactical context of operations, but also gives the view from the turret and driver’s seat of the car commanders, gunners, wireless operators and fitters…
A new partnership arrangement between the serving Corps, Regiment Association and veteran volunteers has been forged to enable the RAF Regiment to celebrate its short but eventful history by enabling a greater access to its own Museum based at RAF Honington. The Museum has always played an important part in Regiment life and is now housed in an extensive facility within RAF Honington.
Due to the increasing burdens on serving staff and the rationalisation of all but the most pertinent of roles, the Museum has not achieved its full potential. A recent survey on line, of past and present RAF Regiment gunners, indicated that a large proportion did not even know that the Regiment had its own Museum. The online community decided to help and set up their own web page on Face Book . Within 48 hours it had over a thousand supporters. As luck would have it some of the original and local veterans were members of the RAF Regiment Association and contacts were then made with RAF Honington and Training Wing in particular, who are responsible for the Museum.
The plan is that the volunteers will man and open the Museum one week end a month from April to October this year and evaluate the results. Access will be in the form of guided tours around the facility and booking will be through an online facility at the RAF Regiment Association web site www.rafregt.org.uk There will be two tours per day on the each day of the designated weekend, one at 09:30 and one at 13:30
The dates are as follows:
31 Aug/1 Sept,
Sqn Ldr Dave Vick, Chief of Staff Training Wing, who has been instrumental in spreading awareness of the Museum amongst the serving community said:
“We are looking forward to working with our retired colleagues on this worthwhile project. The Museum is a valuable Corps asset and although the existing volunteers and Trg Wg staff have done a tremendous job, the pressures of an operationally focussed modern Service have meant that the Museum has sometimes not always received the level of priority that it deserves.
That the Regiment Association is willing to assist us with the running of the Museum is a prime example of the strong bond that exists between serving and retired Corps members.”
Jeff Stevenson, Chairman of the RAF Regiment Association added:
“The Association is pleased and proud to support a greater awareness of our Corps and the increase in access to our Museum will ensure that. We have already undertaken to support the Museum just as we support other Corps assets like the Memorial at Alrewas and the Chapel at St Annes. The partnership involving the volunteers is especially worthy as the staff working there will be the ones who have lived this history especially since the end of the Second World War.”
Alan Pinnion spokesperson for the Volunteer group said:
“This new venture between the volunteers, the RAF Regiment Association and Training Wing, RAF Honington, is aimed at making the Museum more accessible to both veterans and those currently serving . Eventually in the long term it is hoped the general public will have access as well. All volunteers are ex serving members of the RAF Regiment and we aim to assist in the improvement of the museum and its facilities, helping both the Association and Training Wing. By giving time freely to guide people around the museum as well as servicing the equipment we feel we can contribute a great deal to benefit the museum. Our payback is that we are interested in our Museum and have first hand knowledge of many of the exhibits and their history through service in the RAF Regiment. We also add continuity to the operation of the Museum as we have all settled in the local area.”
The RAF Regt’s definitive history of its involvement in the Burma Campaign – ‘Constant Vigilance’, by the Corps Historian, Dr Nigel Warwick, is available for sale and an order form may be obtained from the Regtl Sec at HON-HQRAFRegtSec@mod.uk; the cost is £25 incl UK/BFPO P&P (£30 to EU addresses), a discount of £5 on the cover price/postage. Orders will require a cheque payable to the ‘RAF Regt Fund’