The Rifles & RGBW Regimental Association

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The County Office, Gloucester

Rifles County Office:

31 Commercial Road


GL1 2HE.



Sep 25



Notice is given of the 6th AGM
To be held at 1100 hours on Saturday 27th January 2018
at The Wyvern Club, 51 Church Walk, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 3AA Coffee/Tea will be available from 1030 hours in the Skittle Alley Annex




ITEM - 3


ITEM - 4




Col (Retd) S J Oxlade Chairman

Dated 30th August 2016

From Address:


Brigadier (Retd) P E O’R-B Davidson-Houston CBE President of the Association Colonel (Retd) S J Oxlade MBE Chairman of the Association
Lieutenant Colonel M J R Motum DL Acting Secretary Members of the Executive Committee
A total of 35 members of the Association and two Associate Members.

Twenty seven ‘apologies’ were received in advance of the meeting. Names of ‘attendees’ and ‘apologies’ appear in the Minute Book.


1. The Chairman welcomed all to the meeting before summarising Association activity since the last meeting. He mentioned the difficulties facing branches but highlighted county reunion activity that continues to gain encouraging levels of support. In addition he covered:

• The Gloucestershire reunion in March at The Gables following on from the Back Badge Church Service; the Wiltshire Reunion at Devizes in May in which numbers are inevitably dropping; and, the Maiwand weekend at Reading which continues to gain good levels of support.
• The Salisbury reunion in July enjoyed another good year. Meanwhile Ferozeshah, at Devizes in December, under the leadership of Norman Minty continues to go well.
• The National Service of Commemoration marking the centenary of the Somme was held at Manchester Cathedral. Lt Col Motum represented the Association.
• The President of the Association has recently returned from three days at Arnhem/Oosterbeek for the burial of two 4th Battalion, The Wiltshire Regiment. The soldiers were killed 72 years ago while advancing with the 4 WILTS and 43 Wx Div as a part of 30 Corps attempted link up with 1st Airborne Division (Op Market Garden). Support from 5 RIFLES and the Dutch Army Band was much in evidence.
• The Garden of Remembrance ceremony at Westminster Abbey and marching at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday.
• The need for change not least as a consequence of reductions to RHQ Rifles staff in outstations and the requirement to support the serving regiment.
• The further improvements to health of Capt Len Keeling.

He concluded by thanking both Salisbury and Gloucester offices for their support.


2. Copies of the previous Minutes, held at 1 RIFLES, Beachley Barracks, Chepstow were handed out. All were asked for feedback on points of accuracy and content. A


question was raised as to whom ‘chaired’ the meeting on Sat 20 Feb 16? Col Oxlade responded that he had been in the chair. There being no other points or matters arising that were not due to be covered within the agenda the meeting moved on.


3. Copies of the Accounts, summarising the position of the Association as at 31 Mar 16, were passed to the members. Thereafter Lt Col Motum highlighted:

• The high expenditure in respect of reunions is mainly down to Windsor but also due to increasing expenses with other events. In sum the £2K grants to County re- unions are not always covering the gap between costs and income from personal contributions. The matter will be raised with Trustees.
• The significant drop in wreath expenditure is welcomed.
• The overall costs of the Loos Battlefield tour were about £700 below budget and not over budget as reported to members in Feb 16.
• The Miscellaneous Expenses entry includes the Association’s portion of audit fees. It was explained to members that some 18 months ago Trustees agreed to spend an additional £2,400 per annum, with the Accountants Pitt Godden & Taylor, to mitigate the loss of the ‘regimental accountant’.
• The background to the inter-charity adjustment was explained.
• A sum of £14,920 reflects income from dividends, a return of about 3%.
• In concluding he summarised the overall worth of the Association as at 31 March 2016 as being £496,092. This reflects: investments of £493,618; Creditors (due within one year) of £1,832; and cash at bank of £4,306.

3.1 A question was raised on the loss of £6,320 as a consequence of the sale of investments. It was explained the start of the year 2016 had been particularly bad for trading and this was partly behind the disappointing figure. Members were then informed that at the last Trustees meeting (held at the end of July) the overall position had improved significantly. Meanwhile he highlighted that the return on dividends, mentioned earlier, represented a modest increase on the previous year.

3.2 An observation on the increased cost of producing the Annual Newsletter was also raised. The Chairman explained that the quality of the newsletter had been enhanced largely because of the requirement to do justice to photographs of Windsor and other activities. The consensus was that the latest edition is a very good publication but maximum use of E-mail is desirable and leads to reduction in cost.


4. The Chairman informed members of dates and activities for the coming year:

• Sat 18 Mar 17 – Gloucester Reunion
• Sun 28 May or Sun 4 Jun 17 - Devizes Reunion (TBC on 19 Oct 16)


• Sat 1 Jul – Officers Club Lunch, Salisbury and Reunion Dinner at Salisbury & South Wilts Golf Club
• Sun 2 Jul 17 - Drumhead Service Salisbury
• Sat 22 Jul – Maiwand Reunion & Memorial Service (Forbury Gardens) Reading
• Sun 23 Jul 17 – Cenotaph Service and Lunch at Brock Barracks, Reading
• Oct 17 – AGM in centre of regimental area
• Thu 9 Nov 17 – Garden of Remembrance, Westminster Abbey and local churches
• Sat 11 Nov 17 – Armistice Day
• Sun 12 Nov 17 – Remembrance Sunday
• Sat 2 Dec 17 - Ferozeshah Reunion

4.1 On concluding this agenda item, the Chairman left the room to call in Maj Gen N Welch. The consultation period that followed did not form a part of the AGM. A summary of the consultation and the 4 RIFLES brief appears at Enclosure 1.


5. The Chairman drew the attention of members to the proposed Constitution, copies of which had been circulated in advance of the meeting. Further copies were distributed to the membership attending the AGM. Thereafter he invited Col Lee-Browne, a Trustee of the Association, to introduce the paper. Col Lee-Browne explained:

• The Constitution originated on formation of the RGBW.
• The Charity Commission has been involved in its evolution and are content.
• The Constitution explains what can be done and not how things should be done.
• The task of Benevolence is the responsibility of The Rifles.
• Trustees are empowered on matters such as The Golden Thread1.
• The role of the executive committee will cease and county committees will be established.
• He emphasised that the document has been simplified.

5.1 The President of the Association, Brig Davidson-Houston, explained:

• The new Constitution is an important step on the journey towards becoming a part of The Rifles Association.
• He emphasised the increasing difficulties associated with running an Association, the ongoing need for volunteers and the differences of approach between generations.
• The new Constitution brings evolutionary change. Change is manifest at the middle tier of the Association with the establishment of county committees.
• The appointment of Association Chairman is being retained. Meanwhile someone is needed to replace Col Oxlade who is due to stand down.
• Routine administration will be overseen by a volunteer secretary who co-ordinates issues with county committees.
• County committees are expected to be volunteer organisations.

1 This had been discussed at length, earlier, by members and Gen Welch.


5.2 The Chairman informed members that in order to adopt the Constitution a two thirds majority was required. Before voting he invited comment:

• Several of those making initial comment chose to refer to the accompanying note rather than the Constitution itself.
• Ray Povey noted the change of emphasis to the Golden Thread.
• Col Daly stated there was a “need for answers” in response to letters written.
• Maj Walker spoke of the need for “accountability”.
• Simon Cook and Maj Marsh spoke of a need for budgets, the requirement for a new document and what was perceived as a divisive nature underpinning the approach of the Trust.
• Capt Sherman urged for caution in comment and considered implications for the Association should the voluntary organisation be undermined.

5.3 Concerns raised within the discussion on the Constitution are summarised as:

• Sustainability – with reduced capital will the Association be able to sustain activity over the years ahead?
• Ceilings – a limit on expenditure, before referral to the members, is desirable.
• Business Case – with regard to significant grants it remains important to incentivise those, such as SOGM, while protecting the position of the Trust. There appeared to be no objection to an initial grant or subsequent grants to SOGM. However, it was highlighted that evolving plans should be supported by a business case, available for scrutiny by the Trust, before approval of any ongoing annual grant.

5.4 Support for the Constitution was evidenced from:

• There being no disagreement on the need to: minimise administration; modernise the Association; establish county committees; and, the placing of funds at Winchester under creditor arrangements2.
• There was no disagreement on the importance of the ‘golden thread’ and the need for significant funding to support it.
• A will to get on with things.

5.5 The Chairman sensed that any vote on the Constitution was unlikely to lead to a two thirds majority. Following discussion with the President, he accepted a proposal by Maj Marsh to vote on deferring any acceptance of the Constitution until Trustees have considered it further in the light of recent written and verbal comment. The proposal was seconded by Mr Ray Povey. A vote was taken. Members voted to defer any acceptance of the Constitution until it had received further consideration by Trustees.



2 This is akin to a Restricted Fund.



6. Before closing the meeting the Chairman asked members for points under ‘Any other Business’. Mr Toby North raised his disappointment about the forthcoming closure of the Rifles office at the Wardrobe. He asked whether the Association had been given an opportunity to rent a room or rooms in advance of other arrangements being made. Col Daly stepped forward volunteering to answer the question:

• The Rifles Wardrobe and Museum Trust did not offer a room or rooms to the Association for rent.
• Since 1980 no rent had been received from the MOD.
• MOD funding for the whole site has reduced over the years “as one would expect”.
• The Rifles office is likely to close within three years.
• The requirement for museums to raise money is always there. Future arrangements at the Wardrobe will assure a commercial rent.

6.1 Afternote. Col Daly has since sent an e-mail on Mon 10 Oct to the President and Chairman of the Association explaining the background to the decision by RWMT Trustees and an extract from the Wardrobe Standing Instructions in respect of the use of the site by the Association (and similar ‘regimental’ users). He has asked that “you ensure the Association Membership is informed of it using the annual newsletter”.

6.2 There being no other points, the Chairman closed the meeting and invited all to make their way to the Battalion dining room for lunch.




Chairman Secretary



1. Notes on 4 RIFLES and Consultation by Chairman of RGBW Regimental Charities.

Sep 24

Centenary of Armistice Day

Centenary of Armistice Day Sunday 18 November 2018

The Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire is planning an event on Cheltenham Race Course to mark the anniversary of Armistice Day 2018.

Nearer the time we will be asking for Glosters, RGBW and Rifles veterans to join in in a march past dressed in WW1 uniforms.

6 Rifles have indicated that they will be representing the Army today and the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars aim to provide a mounted troop.

As the Glosters contribution to WW1 was 24 Battalions and ‘8000 Gloster Poppies left in Flanders fields’ we bore the major brunt of the County’s war sacrifice. It would be great if we could muster at least a Company’s worth of veterans to march. (I still have my boots but not WW1 pattern).

The immediate logistic problem is how to get hold of a significant number of WW1 uniforms, the cap badges will not be a problem! If anyone knows or has links with a film company or store where these could be lurking than please let me know., and I will get in contact. No harm in letting me know you are interested in supporting this event and helping with the organisation.

It should be a great occasion with plenty of publicity and a great opportunity to have those wonderful cap badges on display again. – Lest they forget!

Contact details below.

Semper Glevum

Rob Dixon

Lt Col (Retd) Robert Dixon OBE
Chairman of the Trustees & County Colonel The Rifles Gloucestershire
Soldiers of Gloucestershire Museum
Custom House, Gloucester Docks,Gloucester GL1 2HE

DL 0044(0)1242 870076
Mobile 0044 (0)7974769695
Museum 0044 (0)1452 522682
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sep 23

The Cavalry & Guards Club

The Cavalry & Guards Club

Dear Fellow Member

Many people have asked me for the Cavalry & Guards Club subscription rates so, for those who are tempted to join whilst they are waiving the £1500 joining fee to new members from The Rifles and its forming and antecedent regiments, please see these attached. Please note that serving Regular & Reserve officers are offered a 40% reduction on the applicable age rate and I believe it is possible for all members to pay in quarterly installments. Once again, for those interested, the C&GC Membership Secretary is Miss Frances Watt who can be reached on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone on 020 7659 0906. Lt-Col von Merveldt and myself are happy to propose and second any RIFLES applicants.

Best Wishes,

Simon Hill
RIFLES Officers' Club - London

Click below to download the information card

Cavalry Guards Club.pdf
Popular 328.49 KB 35
23/09/2017 00:00:00

Sep 16

Reminder on RGBW Matters



Many have already seen the catalogue titled ‘Disposal of RGBW Regimental Charities’ Artefacts’. Bids from across the Regiment have already been placed bids in accordance with the aim, objectives and rules of the disposal. Bids may be submitted by post or e-mail to The Rifles office, 14 Mount Street, Taunton, TA1 3QB || This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by no later than 4.00 pm Monday 25th September 2017. If you wish to see the catalogue access it via and scroll down until a picture of Sgt Jarvis (India 1908) is seen then: read the context; note the rules and bidding proformas; and, consider the objects for disposal. While the majority of objects are those that have been held at the Gloucester office and largely relate to the Gloucestershire Regiment, there are some DERR and RGBW items as well as those from antecedent regiments including The Wiltshire Regiment. Last if reading this in hard copy and you do not have access to the internet telephone the Taunton office (01823 333434) and a hard copy can be posted at a charge of £5.00.


Lesley Bradshaw left the civil service and Gloucester office in May after many years of valued service. Subsequently the Rifles County Colonel Gloucestershire wrote inviting members of the Regiment to contribute to a farewell gift. To date there has been a very positive response; thank you. Should anyone wish to see the letter from Colonel Dixon please contact Mrs Debbie Hards (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. || 01823 333434) and a copy can be sent by e-mail or post. Should you wish to make a contribution please send a cheque made payable to ‘The Rifles office’ and endorsed ‘Lesley Bradshaw’ on the back to: The Rifles office, 14 Mount Street, Taunton, TA1 3QB. If you prefer to make a donation via electronic transfer please e-mail or telephone Mrs Debbie Hards. The fund will close at the end of September.


A reminder for those who have not yet had an opportunity to respond. The annual Officers’ Back Badge lunch takes place at Chavenage House, Tetbury on Sunday 22ndOctober 2017 by kind permission of Colonel David Lowsley-Williams. The pre-lunch reception begins at 12.00 Noon and lunch follows at 1.00 pm. The cost is £30.00 per head made payable to ‘RGBW Regimental Charities Fund’. This is a Rifles and RGBW function, held in Gloucestershire, organised by Brigadier Martin Vine. Officers together with their wives or partners, from across the regimental family are most welcome at what will prove to be a super lunch, held at an historic family home. Please send your application and cheque to Mrs Debbie Hards, The Rifles office, 14 Mount Street, Taunton, TA1 3QB || This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. || 01823 333434 by no later than Thursday 12th October.

Mike Godwin
Association Secretary

Sep 16

Association Secretary Update

Association Secretary Update

Dear All
For those who do not know me, I served with 1DERR & the RGBW for nearly 30 years. I left the army in 1997 and move to Poole where I still reside today.

My apologies for the confusion regarding my initial email. The reason for sending this out was to ensure your contact details are up to date and you continue to receive information from the Association. For some reason there was a glitch with the attached sign up form, whereas some members could open the form while others could not.

Looking to the future I aim to provide the same service as Sue and should you need to contact me I will get back to you as soon as possible. I would also ask that you check the Association web site as another way of informing you of what is going on.

Finally, it will take me a few months to get my feet under the table, so please bear with me during this transitional period.

Kind regards
Mike Godwin
Association Secretary


Sep 1

The Death of Ronald Connolly (John)


Mr Ronald Connolly, John as he was known, died on Friday 18th August, aged 88. John was a Korean Veteran serving with the 1st Battalion The Gloucestershire Regiment.

The funeral of John Connolly will take place on Thursday 7th September 2017 at St James Church, School Lane, Quedgeley, Gloucester, GL2 4PN. The Service will begin at 2pm. Family flowers only, donations if desired, to Prostrate Cancer UK, via John Hall Funeral Directors, Yew Tree Cottage, Bulley, Churcham, Gloucester, Gloucestershire, GL2 8AS. .
Should you wish to write to John’s widow Ann, please contact this office for the address. Last, please pass this information on to those that may wish to know.

Aug 14

Interment of Wiltshire Soldier Ashes

Mr Mr Paul Hayes, the son of Former WIltshire Soldier 23039193, came into the Museum asking that the following Information be passed on to the WIltshire Regiment and DERR Regimental Association.

23039193 Pte Raymond Patrick Hayes who served with the 1st Battalion Wiltshire Regiment from 17 June 1954 to 14 June 1956 passed away on 9th December 2016. His ashes will be interred shortly at St Boniface Church Nurseling ,Southampton.

Should anyone wish to attend the interment of ashes further details may be obtained from Mr Paul Hayes on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mobile telephone number 07984 990188.

He isn't asking for any Standards or Regimental Representation merely the word passing around the Wiltshire Regiment Old and Bold.

Aug 1

The Death of Geoffrey Hobbs DERR

I bring the sad news of the death on the 17th July, of Sgt Geoffrey Hobbs DERR.
His cremation will be at Wessex Vale Crematorium Hedge End Southampton SO30 2HL at 1345 hrs on the 8th August 2017.

Aug 1

The Death of Barry Carter, DERR

It is with great sadness that I bring to you the news of the death of our great friend and comrade Carter MVB (Barry) ex DERR, some of you I know will already know this information but I now can bring you the details of Barry’s funeral.

Barry’s funeral will take place on Monday 7th August 1400hrs at Shepton Mallet Crematorium where all who wish to attend will be welcome, afterwards his wake will be held at the Bell Inn Evercreech.

Jul 21

A message from the President of the Association

Message from the President of the Association

The President of the Regimental Association, Brigadier P E O'R-B Davidson-Houston CBE, asks that the following is drawn to the attention of Members:

The Charity Commission has authorised the new Constitution (2017) of The Rifles and The Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regimental Association - (Registered Charity Number 1038526), which was previously approved by the membership at the Extraordinary General Meeting held at the Wyvern Club, Devizes on 18th February 2017.

Under paragraph 13 of the new Constitution (2017), the first County Chairmen are appointed by the Trustees, and thereafter by the Trustees in consultation with the County Committees. The President of the Regimental Association is delighted to announce that the following have been appointed by the Trustees as the first County Chairmen with effect from 1st July 2017:
• The County of Gloucestershire and the County and City of Bristol - Lieutenant Colonel D R Dixon OBE.
• The Royal County of Berkshire - Lieutenant Colonel B R Paddison MBE DL.
• The County of Wiltshire - Lieutenant Colonel S J Venus MBE.
The following appointments were endorsed at the Extraordinary General Meeting:
• The Chairman of the Regimental Association - Colonel M J Cornwell OBE
• The Secretary of the Association - Captain M K Godwin
Nominations are being sought for the Treasurer's postion, which is currently vacant.

Colonel Michael Cornwell is now arranging a first meeting with Captain Mike Godwin and the County Chairmen. There are a variety of issues that will be initially addressed by this forum. In addition a date and arrangements for the AGM, 2017, will be publicised in due course.

Yours sincerely,

Our Annual Newsletter

Click on the image to view the newsletter

The County Office, Berkshire & Wiltshire

RHQ The Rifles (Salisbury)

Peninsula Barracks

Romsey Road
SO23 8TS

Tel:01962 828532



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