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Sunday 13 November
The Weald Branch of the Queen’s Regimental Association are holding a service of dedication to their New QRA Branch standard on the 3rd November 2022 11.45hrs. To be held at the Church of St Peter and St Paul, Church Street, Tonbridge, Kent, TN9 1DA, followed by a Buffet lunch at the Rose and Crown. This service is open to all members of TheQueen’s Regiment, forebear Regiment’s, PWRR and their family and friends. If you would like to attend could you please let John Grinham know at firstname.lastname@example.org
During WW2, three battalions of the Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment served in 131 (Queen's) Brigade within the famous 7th Armoured Division (the Desert Rats): 1st/5th, 1st/6th and 1st/7th. After D Day these battalions fought through the extremely tough battles in Normandy and then the breakout towards Belgium. 1st/6th (6th Bermondsey Battalion) was in the van of the forward detachment sent to take Gent and after the liberation on 6 September 1944 maintained a close bond with the City. There are two stone Queen's Royal Regiment monuments at Oostakker, north of the city, (one attached) and in the south of the city near one of the axes where the British forces entered there is large brass plaque attached to a wall on the corner of Zwijnaardesteenweg and Ottergemsesteenweg street (photo of plaque attached). The plaque has been in some need of renovation and on Saturday 3 September there is to be a short ceremony to mark its restoration hosted by the Deanery (like an English parish) in which it is located. This coincides with a festival taking place within Gent that day with various streets closed off and open markets taking place.
The wording on the plaque roughly translates as: “The population honours that on these roads on the 6th of September 1944 the advance guard of British tanks entered Gent to join the other forces and by working together with them ensured the Liberation of Gent before the German troops could reorganise themselves.” As this location was on the 1st/6th axis into the City the 'tanks' referred to were probably the bren gun carriers of the Battalion's carrier platoon (recce platoon in today's parlance). Note that the plaque bears the symbol of both 7th Armoured Division and the paschal lamb of the Queen's Royal Regiment.
15.20 arrival at plaque;
15.30 : start of ceremony;
Speeches a) Welcome by the Head of the Deanery b) For 6th (Bermondsey) Battalion the Queen's : Lt Col Peter Swanson, and Nadine Lenssens (6th Bermondsey Battalion liaison in Belgium) talking about the relationship to her family who billeted many of the Battalion after the liberation;
c) Mayor of Gent or another Representative. Then a Police Band will play, guests walk to a local hostelry for a reception, then to a second for another reception (this is Belgium!). Guests will be from Gent City Council and the Deanery. Present at the ceremony will be the son of one of the company commanders who liberated Gent (Sir Nicholas Young, who recently talked about his father's experiences for FOSIM). It is also hoped that the daughter of one of the NCOs (Joan Briggs) will be in attendance and a representative from 7th Infantry Brigade has been invited. Four QRA members led by Ian Chatfield have already said they will attend but if anyone else from the Association would like to be present they would be most welcome. Accommodation is likely to be busy over that weekend but Nadine Lenssens has reserved some B&B accommodation for the Friday and Saturday night if anyone is thinking of staying.
As it is a ceremony marking a Regimental event jacket, regimental tie and medals would be appropriate.
3 PWRR are holdingRe-Org/Reunion for former members of 5 Queens and 3/5PWRR. Open to all serving and former members of the battalion and their Family/ guests. BBQ at 1700hrs. A number of bars open and all prices are mess prices – card payment is accepted. There will be parking available in Leros Barracks for disabled parking only however there is plenty parking in the local area and the council offices to the rear of camp have over 400 spaces and is free at weekends as well as park and ride at Wincheap and New Dover Rd. The event will start at 1430hrs with last orders at 2230 and all bars will close at 2300hrs.
A special 'Lunch with Heroes' is being held on 15 July at Folkington Manor in East Sussex, a stunning venue, in aid of the Benevolent Fund (being split between the PWRR and Queen's Funds). We have a Q&A with Johnson Berharry VC, Brian Wood MC and Jay Baldwin Veteran. David Dimbleby has kindly agreed to do the Q&A, subject to filming dates. I have attached a brochure outlining more detail, but it will include a Parachute Display by the Tigers (Subject to weather), a 4-course meal, six bottles of wine and a bottle of Aquavit for each table.
Members of the Association will get a 10% discount on tickets.
1st to 3rd July
This year's rally is being held at Kennels Field, near Faversham, where they are also building the Regiment's Veterans Horticultuaral Rehabilitation Social and Community Centre, which is also the home of the QRRA clubhouse.
Irrespective as to whether you are a biker it would be great if you can come and support the Association's major fundraiser of the year.
PWRR - All Officers Club Members. This year, after the service you are all invited to attend the Union Jack Club for lunch and drinks
The 2022 Army v Navy match will take place on the Saturday 30 th April 2022 at Twickenham.
SSAFA - Lifelong support for our forces
& their Families
Tel: 0207 403 8783
Enabling limbless veterans to lead
independent and fulfilling lives
Tel: 0208 590 1124
For someone to be entitled to Blind Veterans UK's free support and services, they need to have done National Service or served in the Armed Forces, and have significant sight loss.
Tel: 020 7723 5021