· The Gunners ·
Newsletter – June 2021Welcome to the The Royal Artillery Charities Newsletter. This is where you can keep right up to date with all the Regimental Family’s news and information.
If you have any news for the Gunner website or the Newsletter from your regiments, branches, districts and regions we would like to receive them. Please ensure that you have permission to share information and images.Message from the Regimental Colonel
Colonel Sam Shepherd MBE ADC
I am delighted to be invited to write the introduction to June’s Edition of the Royal Artillery Association Newsletter. I hope that you are all bearing up as well as can be expected under the current circumstances and whilst I fear that it will be some time before we return to life as ‘normal’, with the easing of restrictions the light is now visible at the end of the Coronavirus tunnel and it is fantastic to see that some Branches have already resumed their in-person meetings.
With the continued roll out of the vaccine, I am very much looking forward to reuniting with members of the Association at the National Military Arboretum on 3 July 2021, at Gunner Sunday on 24 October 2021 and whilst some way ahead, to finally celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the RAA and amalgamation of the RHAA at the RAA Assembly in Blackpool in May 2022.
Recently, the Gunner family celebrated the 100th Birthday of Major Eric Goldrein whose birthday celebrations were attended by members of 103rd (Lancashire Artillery Volunteers) Regiment RA. In 1944, Eric, a veteran of the Second World War appeared on the front cover of Gunner magazine which featured his extraordinary story about his experiences in the Second World War. After being captured in Normandy, Lt Eric Goldrein persuaded a German colonel to surrender both himself and the remnants of his battalion; Eric himself accepted the surrender. This story is particularly poignant in a month when we remember the 77th Anniversary of D Day, which laid the foundations of the Allied victory on the Western Front. The next edition of Gunner magazine will re-run Eric’s story, complete with pictures of his 100th Birthday celebrations.
Despite the lockdown, life continues apace; the Gunners celebrated Artillery Day on the 26 May 2021 which was marked by a message from the Master Gunner St James’s Park to the Royal Regiment and our Commonwealth Gunners. Artillery Day also witnessed the dedication of the Campbell VC Officers’ Mess and Henry VC Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess in Larkhill.
More widely, due to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, the Royal Artillery Sergeant Major and I have conducted visits to the King’s Troop as well as RA personnel serving outside regimental duty. Earlier today, we had the privilege of attending a Pass Off Parade at the Army Training Regiment, Winchester, where I welcomed the next generation of Gunners into the Royal Regiment. I am sure that you will join me in congratulating them and wishing them the very best of luck for their future careers.
On the people front, the Gunners continue to enjoy exceptionally high workforce levels and are currently one of the best recruited cap-badges in the Army. During a virtual sitting of the National Executive Committee, the recipients of the 2020 RAA Honours and Awards were selected; I would like to congratulate both nominees and prize winners and eagerly await an occasion when these awards can be presented in an appropriate manner.
This month has also witnessed the welcome recommencement of sport with numerous Gunner successes; the RA cricket team were crowned the Corps T20 Champions of 2021, the Gunner football team enjoyed a convincing win over the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, 12 Regt RA are now the Army Rugby League 9s Champions and our very own Gunner Artingstall qualified for the Tokyo Olympic Boxing Finals.
As we look forward to better times ahead, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the RAA and RACF charity staff as well as my own team in RHQRA who have continued to provide unstinting welfare and charitable support to members of the Gunner family in need throughout a hugely challenging year. In addition, I would like to convey my personal thanks for the support provided by our regional, district and branch members throughout the pandemic – your dedication, commitment and kindness are both humbling and greatly appreciated.
My final point is to thank all of those who have continued to put the needs of others before their own to raise funds for the RACF. These contributions are fundamental to our ability to continue to help both serving and retired Gunners. Each year the Cornwall Cup is awarded to the Regiment, Battery or organisation that raises the most money for the RACF. This year the Royal Regiment has partaken in numerous charity events such as attempting to climb Mount Everest via box jumps, running to Gibraltar (and back again), cycling to Le Cateau (and back again) not to mention Capt Harry Grantham who completed the cross channel swim to raise awareness for mental health and in doing so raised over £6,800 for the RACF. Despite fierce competition which saw in excess of £35,200 raised by the serving regiment, the Cornwall Cup was awarded to 12 Regt RA for raising £9,032.73 through a charity boxing event.
If you or someone you know needs help, please speak to someone today.
Contact SSAFA on 0800 731 4880 or the RBL on 0808 802 8080. Email the RACF at RARHQ-RACF-Welfare-Mailbox@mod.gov.uk or telephone Welfare Assistant 0300 167 3998 or Welfare Secretary 0300 158 7035.
I do hope that restrictions will lift shortly and very much look forward to meeting up again in person in due course. Until then, please take care and stay safe.
I wish you all the very best,
Colonel Sam·Joe Cattini, D Day Veteran·
Normandy veterans landed ashore at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on Sunday 6th June 2021 to commemorate the 77th Anniversary of D-Day. Amongst them was Gold Beach Veteran, Joe Cattini, aged 98 who served with 86th Field Regiment Royal Artillery. Joe sprung into action when he landed using his walking stick to mimic a rifle.
Service of Remembrance – National Memorial Arboretum
3rd July 2021
The Royal Artillery Association will conduct a Service of Remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum. Following the Service there will be a short wreath laying service at the Royal Artillery Memorial Garden. Branches and Regiments are welcome to lay their own wreaths during the Service.
Following the service in the Aspects Centre there will be a wreath laying service at the Royal Artillery Memorial Garden. Those Branches and units attending are encouraged to lay a wreath.
Branches are reminded that if they wish to claim transport subsidies for their coach/minibus for the NMA, then please send your invoices to the Membership Office no later than the 2nd August 2021. Download your attendance forms here.
(Photo below taken in October 2020 with COVID restrictions in place).
24th October 2021
Gunner Sunday at the Royal Hospital Chelsea will take place on Sunday 24th October 2021. Branches and Regiments are strongly encouraged to send representatives and bring along their friends and relatives.
In order to gain an idea of numbers attending please inform the RAA Assistant Secretary. email@example.com
1000hrs: Assemble and meet in the Octagon Colonnade by the chapel.
1015hrs: Pensioners and RAA Standard Bearers form up.
1130hrs: Parade finishes and chapel service begins.
After the service the club will be open to meet and chat to the pensioners over a drink.
Dress: Suits or blazer with Gunner/Regimental tie.
Lunch: Details to follow.· RAA Branch News ·
We’re back! On Wed 19th May, Poole Branch hosted a garden tea party with sandwiches, cake, cream scones and held a raffle for Branch Members. Chairman and Treasurer, Mike Marks said ‘It was great once again to see everyone’.Lewes Branch
Warmest congratulations to Mr Mark Harding, Secretary of Lewes Branch being presented with a RAA Certificate of Appreciation by Mr Michael Hobden, Chairman of Lewes Branch.
Since Mark joined the Branch and took over the role of Secretary, membership of the Branch has gone from strength to strength. Mark is also a member of the National Executive Committee, a representative for South Region.Canterbury Branch
John Bishop, Chairman of Canterbury Branch RAA had the honour of presenting Doug Kay, Welfare Officer with a Certificate of Appreciation for his dedication and hard work during the pandemic and for many years of taking care of the Branch members in time of need. Congratulations Doug.Swansea Branch
On Tuesday 27th April, an Evening Prayer and Laying-up of the Standard of the Swansea Branch was held at Christchurch (Garrison Church), Swansea. Paul Rowles, Chairman of the Branch said ‘I must admit, I had a tear in my eye but with the lack of membership and no new members joining, it was inevitable.’RAA Standard Bearers and Buglers
Many of us only ever get to see our Standard Bearers at national events such as the Assembly, NMA or Hyde Park Corner but at the RAA Headquarters we are in touch with our Standard Bearers on a weekly basis. During the pandemic Standard Bearers and Buglers from Army Bands have attended funerals to support families and represent the Royal Artillery, turning out in all weather conditions, often at short notice and covering long distances. We truly appreciate your dedication and professionalism; you are so much appreciated by the families who you are supporting. The Headquarters have received a couple of letters of appreciation and we would like to share them with you.
‘Words do not seem enough but I cannot begin to tell you how much having the Royal Artillery drape meant to us today. Sending off our wonderful Father, Major J E Williams in this way was superb and very much appreciated and noted by all.
It made a sad day in this crazy world a happier one, celebrating a truly great man, who had an amazing life and a very happy military career, yes it is true, ‘Once a Gunner, Always a Gunner’.
Thank you for all you have done. Take care and keep safe.’
Chrissie Jelly (daughter of Major James Edward Williams)
‘I wish express my most heartfelt thanks to you.
Thank you for arranging the presence of the Royal Artillery Association Standard Bearers and the Royal Artillery Bugler for my husband Henry’s funeral service at Holy Trinity Church Holme, Cumbria.
Their presence in every way was most befitting. They brought a special dignity to the whole ceremony. We were very honoured that they were present and that they would gift their time to do such a special gesture.
“The Last Post” was both rousing and very emotional. I know that myself, my family and the whole congregation were very moved by this. All three Royal Artillery men representatives are a credit to their service, they were all very dignified and professional. The gentlemen were so very much appreciated on this day.’
Linda Bond (wife of Major Henry Bond)
Centenary Celebrations for Major Eric GoldreinWarmest Congratulations to Major Eric Goldrein RA who celebrated his 100th Birthday on Saturday 29th May 2021.
Eric volunteered immediately on declaration of war at age 18, but was sent instead to take his place at Cambridge University. Determined to get in the fight and in short order, Eric was serving as a Troop Commander in the 11th Armoured Division Anti-Tank Regiment preparing for the invasion of Europe. He landed on Gold Beach on D-Day + 4 and went straight into the fight with the retreating Germans. During the seven weeks he took part in the Normandy campaign he was badly wounded, but at the same time took the surrender of a German Colonel and his men. After recovering from his wounds back in the UK, Eric volunteered for further service overseas, and fought in the Italy campaign at Salerno and celebrated VE Day in Florence before ending up in Germany as part of the Army of occupation. He demobilised as a Major, returned to Cambridge to read law and has since married his wife Inge, who escaped the Nazi’s as part of the Kinder Transport, and raised a family. Eric was later called to the bar and served as a barrister in Liverpool. On retirement Eric was elected as the Lord Mayor of Hale where he still lives with his wife Inge.
A little known fact is that Eric was on the front cover of the GUNNER magazine in September 1944, Vol XXVI, No 6 with a short piece ‘The Tables Turned!’ The story of his war is a cracking read at: https://bit.ly/MajorGoldrein
Members of 103 Regt RA, Pipes and Drums Lancashire Band, RAA and RBL Branch Members, family and friends took part in the celebrations. (Photograph below is Eric with his wife, Inge)
· The Royal Artillery Charitable Fund ·
RACF Welfare Team Quarterly Report
We get the majority of our veteran cases through a military charity casework management system. It means that charities who give support to veterans can request funding through one single database. This enables military charities such as the RACF to share the support with other military charities and work collaboratively. A new database called Mosaic was rolled out in March and unfortunately it took a few weeks to get the system up and running efficiently. This situation had an impact on the number of cases referred to us in the first quarter of 2021. From January to March we assisted 174 members of the Royal Artillery family with £117,415 in funding. This was 35% down on the help we awarded in the same months in 2020. The biggest share of the funding went to helping our veterans over pensionable age with annual grants. We awarded £31,300 in helping many of our veterans who struggle with daily living costs. £16, 862 was awarded to those who needed help just buying household goods such as cookers, beds and other essential things just to make life bearable. We awarded £12, 551 in funeral grants and £10, 679 went to help those that needed funding for mobility support. We also helped with critical household arrears, general needs, well-being, house moves, training, essential travel costs, educational needs, care home fees and house maintenance costs. If something is needed by any of our regimental family and they don’t have the funds to pay for it then we are here to assist.
If anyone knows of any of our Gunner family who needs our help please do not hesitate to contact us, SSAFA or the RBL. Please contact SSAFA on 0800 731 4880 or the RBL on 0808 802 8080. We are here for advice either by calling us or sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel number 07784 952 882.
· The Gunner Lottery ·
Gunner Lottery is for the benefit of the Gunner charities and replaced the RAA Annual Draw. The hope is that the Lottery can raise much needed funds and raise awareness of the good work done by the Royal Artillery charities. Thank you to everyone who supports the Lottery and congratulations to the winners each week. Good luck in future Draws.
3 Digits: You’ll win 5 Entries into the next Draw
4 Digits: £25 Cash Prizie
5 Digits: £1,000 Cash Prize
6 Digits: £25,000 Cash Prise
You can take part as an individual or syndicate; Battery, Regiment or RAA Branch. You could be in with a chance of winning the top prize of £25,000 each week.
The Draw takes place every Friday.
JOIN TODAY Gunner Lottery
· Regimental News ·
Thank you very much for your continued support and fundraising for the Gunner Charities.Fundraising for your Charity
The Charities revised their fundraising platform last year and we now use Enthuse. If you are fundraising for the RACF/RAA or giving the Charity individual donations, please click here to donate.
We would like to congratulate all those who took part and say a big thank you to everyone for their donations.
The Cornwall Cup
Winners – 12 Regiment Royal Artillery
Many congratulations to 12 Regiment Royal Artillery – the winners of the Cornwall Cup 2020.
The Cup is awarded to the Regiment or establishment that raises the most funds for the Royal Artillery Charitable Fund (RACF). The total amount of money raised in 2020 for the RACF was £35,258.82 and to raise these funds during a year where activity has been significantly reduced is most commendable. Thank you very much for supporting your Charity.
The Regimental Secretary, Colonel Matthew Carter said “Please pass on my thanks, and those of the trustees and beneficiaries, to all those who organised, participated in and contributed to this great effort. Every pound raised enables the RACF to continue to support serving and veteran Gunners, and their families, in times of need and to make significant grants to support Gunner sport and welfare within the Regiment”.14 Regiment Royal Artillery
Great team work from 34 (Seringaptam) Battery. Members of the Battery took part in a 24 hour cycle challenge to raise funds for the RACF in March. WO2 (BSM) Begley and SSgt McAndrew visited the Regimental Headquarters to handover a cheque to the Regimental Secretary, Colonel Carter. Thank you ever so much for thinking of the Gunner Charity and supporting those in need.47 Regiment Royal Artillery
A magnificent team effort from 47 Regiment Royal Artillery who have completed 100,000km by running, walking and cycling over 10 weeks to raise money for the RACF and NHS Charities. Family, friends, partners and a professional footballer got involved from across different locations; Larkhill, Ex WARFIGHTER in Texas and RAF Akrotiri, they raised an amazing £2,277. WO2 (BSM) Davies and Capt Meheran from 57 (Bhurtpore) Battery visited the Regimental Headquarters to handover the cheque to the Regimental Secretary, Colonel Carter. Many thanks to all those who took part and donated.29 Cdo Regt RA
Phew – 40 miles of hard graft… On the 26th May members of 29 Cdo Regt RA took part in a gruelling 40 mile run along the South West Coastal path over two days. Thank you to those who took part and raised money for the RACF and Children’s Hospice South West, your donations are greatly appreciated.Did you serve with 32 Regt RA or 47 Regt RA?
Sgt Steve Blurton is a Watchkeeper Unmanned Air System Pilot serving with 47 Regiment RA. He is keen to connect with ex members of the Regiment who served within an Aviation environment for the Gunners, in particular those who worked with Pheonix and Hermes 450. If you are interested, contact email@example.com
·RA Historical Society·
Military History WebinarsThe RA Historical Society arranges Zoom On-Line Webinars for its members on Gunner military history subjects. If you would like a copy of the Back Catalogue with links to the You Tube recordings of webinars held in the last 12 Months, please contact the RAHS Secretary.
If you wish to attend the webinar event below please contact the RAHS Secretary, Lt Col Richard Clayton: firstname.lastname@example.org:
Tue 29 Jun 1930 – 2030 The Final Judgement (Royal Artillery on the WEF/FWW)
Royal Artillery Association Awards 2020Royal Artillery Association Battery Grants
One of the charitable objects of the Association is to promote comradeship, fostering esprit de corps and preserving traditions. Each year the Association makes funds available to Batteries in the form of annual grants to help fund Battery events, improve conditions for members of the Battery and their dependants.
Find out more information from email@example.com or through your chain of command.
Joan Wanklyn Memorial Prize
The Joan Wanklyn Memorial prize is a bursary to be presented each year by the Royal Artillery Association in memory of Miss Joan Wanklyn who was, for many years, our Regimental Artist.
The Bursary comprises a cheque of £500 is to be presented at the RA Assembly. Applications are open to the sons, daughters and grandchildren of Serving or Retired members of the Regiment, regardless of rank or station, who have reached the tertiary stage of education and are in or about to begin their first year of a course at a recognised College or University to study art in its broader form.
Contact Emma Pagan-Skelley on 01980 845895 or Emma’s email for further details emm.Pagan-Skelley100@mod.gov.uk .
· Community and Companionship ·
The RA Charities can keep you in touch with the Regimental Family·RAA 100 Commemorative Coasters·
To celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Artillery Association you can purchase a special commemorative coaster gift set. To order, please complete the order form at the attached link or the order form below.·Royal Star & Garter – High Wycombe·
At Royal Star & Garter we work as a family to provide exceptional care for veterans and their partners living with disability or dementia.
With beautiful gardens, spacious bed-sitting rooms, a stunning foyer and informal lounges, our High Wycombe Home always offers a warm and friendly welcome. Care is individually tailored to make sure a person’s physical, emotional and social needs are met. It is provided by skilled staff with respect and kindness.
We help loved ones stay connected with regular video calls and visits in our purpose built, Covid-secure meeting room. We also welcome indoor visits in line with national government guidelines.
Regular testing, PPE and vaccinations ensure residents remain safe and well.
Please call 01494 927 555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Take our virtual tour or download an information pack at https://starandgarter.org/our-homes-and-care/high-wycombe/