1st Battalion News

Waterloo

1. The Bn marked the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo through a series of events across the UK and Belgium. Several members of the Battalion went to Waterloo for anniversary that included the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball and commemorations at Hougoumont Farm, the scene of the 2nd Battalion’s valiant efforts. Back in the UK the a Colour Party was at the service at St. Paul’s Cathedral while the Officers hosted the Warrant Officers for a Waterloo dinner night in Catterick.

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Figure 1. The Colour Party at Hougoumont Farm under the watchful eye of WO2 (CSM) Little

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Figure 2. The Pipes and Drums at the Duchess of Richmond’s Ball

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Figure 3. Scots Guards at Hougoumont Farm

Mounted Gunnery

2. Left Flank and B Coy deployed to Warcop in June to trial the new mounted gunnery shoots for Mechanized Infantry from their respective vehicle platforms. Left Flank fired from their MASTIFF vehicles while B Coy trialled shoots from HUSKY for the Mortar Platoon and JACKAL for the Recce, Snipers, Anti-tanks and Machine Guns. In the glorious Cumbrian sunshine both companies produces some excellent shooting and results. All crews passed their Annual Crew Test (ACT), qualifying them for the remainder of our year on readiness.

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Figure 4. A LF MASTIFF moves down range

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Figure 5. A Machine Gun Platoon JACKAL in contact

Unit Move to Aldershot

3. The Battalion is now firmly established in our new home at Mons Barracks, Aldershot. While further from home for many of the Battalion, the excellent facilities both in camp in the Aldershot Garrison make up for it. The Officers and Sergeants are now neighbours, with both enjoying far better accommodation than in Catterick. The junior ranks now have their own cookhouse instead of having to share one with three other regiments, while their accommodation remains similar to that in Catterick. Just outside the front gate of camp is the new the Garrison super-gym as well as the Army Sports Centre so there is no shortage of things to keep us occupied.

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Figure 6. Parade Square and Company Offices

 

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Figure 7. Junior Ranks Accommodation

Upcoming

4. Looking to the future the Bn will continue to develop our understanding of Mechanized Infantry with C Coy deploying to America in September to conduct exercises alongside the 1st Armoured Division in their Stryker armoured infantry vehicle. BGHQ elements will support them as LOCONs but not before completing CAST on return from Summer Leave. Teams from the Machine Gun Platoon will compete in the 3(UK)Div Mounted Gunnery Competition against other JACKAL crews from across the Army in October while LF and the remainder of B Coy will complete CT1 and 2 training on Salisbury Plain later that month. LF will also deploy to Denmark in November to conduct a joint dismounted exercise with our Danish counterparts.

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F Company News

The Spring was a busy time for F Company, we took part in a full spectrum of events, as is often the norm in London District.  February started with 38 members of the Company deploying to Les Contamines in France for the annual PDIC ski strip, where all participants passed the Ski Foundation Level 1 course.  Not all members of the Company were fortunate enough to go skiing however, and 2 sections were sent to Brecon to support Infantry Battle School courses, supplying a section to both the Platoon Commanders’ and Platoon Se’geants’ Divisions.

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Another few weeks of state ceremonial and public duties commitments back in London saw rehearsals and preparation for the State Visit of the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto. F Company provided two half companies for street lining.  This prepared the Company well for the Major General’s Inspection, where the Company was congratulated for their immaculate turn out, and considered ready for ceremonial duties throughout the busy Summer Period.

ceremonial_duties_2015F Company returned from Easter leave in mid-April, and was straight back into the London District routine; with a jam packed ceremonial season ahead, the company had to hit the ground running.  A full timetable of Windsor and Queen’s Guards lay ahead until early May, including F Company leading the Army contingent for the Victory in Europe 70th anniversary parade in Whitehall.

This turned out to be over half the Company in the marching contingent, in front of the Royal Family, politicians and senior officers from all 3 services.

Troop training started soon afterwards, with the whole Company heading down to Pirbright on a daily basis to train with the Welsh Guards and the other incremental companies.  Training this year was significantly cut down however, because of the timing of the General Election in May, the State Opening of Parliament awkwardly fell 3 days before the Major Generals Review, meaning there was limited time to practice for both.  F Company provided 3 half-companies for the State Opening of Parliament, and the guardsmen showed they are able to take any amount of State Ceremonial duties in their stride.

With the State Opening of Parliament and all of the guard mounts from Horse Guards out of the way, the Company had two weeks of intensive training left before the Queen’s Birthday Parade, with a few Queen’s Guards and Windsor Castle Guards thrown in for good measure.  Every man in the Company will agree that the hard work that is put in during the build up isn’t really appreciated until the actual day, with Her Majesty on Horse Guards and friends and family watching in the stands and on TV.  The Company congregated for the post-Troop ball in one of the Army Reserve Centres in Mayfair to celebrate their achievements, followed by a week’s leave for the majority.

Some of the senior members of the Company and the colours travelled out to Hougoumont Farm in Belgium instead of heading home, to provide a colour party to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, and the opening of the refurbished Hougoumont Farm.  For the few that travelled out there, this was a memorable experience celebrating one of our most famous battle honours.

coasteeringMost recently, the Company as a whole has been to Newquay in Cornwall for a week of adventure training, including hill-walking, coasteering and surfing.  The surfing was enjoyed by all, but the cliff jumps during the coasteering tested the mettle of those who struggle with heights. This period has also seen the Company say goodbye to Capt. Jones and Sgt. Wood, both of whom leave the army to forge new careers for themselves.

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Gallery – Recent Photos

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Olympic Torch Carry

Gdsm David Watson in Lancaster Friday 22nd June 12

Gdsm David Watson in Lancaster Friday 22nd June 2012

Despite the pouring rain, Guardsman Dave Watson from Bamber Bridge, who lost both legs and his right arm whilst serving in Afghanistan, carried the Olympic Torch through Lancaster. He was joined by fellow Scots Guardsmen, members of the public and his proud father Kevin.

Well done on this tremendous accomplishment.

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Gallery 2 – Operations in Afghanistan

This gallery contains 15 photos.

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Gallery 1 – Operations in Afghanistan

This gallery contains 21 photos.

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