As newly appointed Chairman it is with pleasure that I
welcome you to our Branch website, which, I hope, will give a flavour of
our range of activities.
Squadron Leader Jerry Wilmot
stood down as Chairman of the Branch on January 1st 2013 and I would
like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Branch to thank Jerry for
his leadership during his time as Chairman, culminating, on 29th
November 2012 in a very successful Church Service and Lunch to
commemorate the 45th Anniversary of the UK's withdrawal from
Aden. Additionally I would like to thank Jerry and his wife Kate for
their hospitality in opening up their home for Committee Meetings and
even entertaining some Branch members to afternoon tea after a local pub
lunch. I am sure we all wish them the very best for the future.
The inaugural meeting of the
Gloucestershire Branch was held in April, 2008, when some 25 people
attended. The venue for this meet was the Stroud Conservative Club, a
very welcoming place which has continued to host our quarterly meeting,
very kindly provided at no expense to the Branch. The location has good
rail and road links with ample local car parking. Branch meetings are
held on the first Wednesday of the each quarter, with the remaining
meetings for 2013 beings Wed 3rd April, Wed 3rd
July and Wed 2nd October.
If you or your parents served in
Aden, anytime between 1839 and the British Withdrawal on 29 November
1967, either in HM Forces or in a civilian capacity (such as BP Oil, The
Port of Aden Authority, Medical Facility, Public Works Department or
other Government Office) or if you went to school in Aden or indeed were
born within the Protectorate, we would warmly welcome you to join us at
one of our meetings where I can assure you of a genuinely warm welcome,
which hopefully might lead you to consider joining the AVA which
nationally has around 1700 members. Clearly, if you are an AVA member
visiting the Cotswolds you are cordially invited to join us for any of
our various I events; all I would ask
is that you make contact in advance with our Branch Secretary.
On 18th October,
2009, the AVA Gloucestershire Branch Standard was dedicated at a very
well attended service held at Gloucester Cathedral. We have a very
committed Standard party which endeavours to attend each and every
repatriation ceremony as the corteges pass. This was formally at Royal
Wotton Bassett but is now at RAF Brize Norton. On these occasions our
Standard represents not only the Branch but also the National
On those months where there
is no formal meeting, members are invited to join our “pub
lunches”. These are proving increasingly popular and provide a more
social, rather than formal, meeting place. Members are invited to
nominate hostelries they have visited and enjoyed.
We do publish a quarterly newsletter in
which we list forthcoming events and activities, but for the very
latest updates, we invite you to visit this website which is kept up to
date on a an almost daily basis.
John Wathern (11 Jan 2013)
Gloucestershire Branch AVA 10th Anniversary Group Photo
Taken at the Albion Club Cheltenham March 26th 2010
(Want to know who's who? Point to a face
with your mouse)
Note 12"x 8" enlargements available at cost (£2.95) from
for collection at one of our forthcoming events/meetings.
Routine Adventure in Aden (1965) (courtesy of the Imperial War Museum)
News & Notifications
Presented to the Branch Chairman
at the 2012 AGM by Clive Candlin, the National
The 45th Anniversary Commemoration of
Britain's withdrawal from Aden 1967
November 29th 2012
click on image for a selection of photographs
Gloucestershire Echo Dec 31st 2012
Branch will try to have representation at Brize Norton at
the Repatriation of
Servicemen killed in action in Afghanistan.
Members of the public are welcome to
pay their respects along the route, and to that end a
Memorial Garden has been built along the route at Norton
Way on the edge of Carterton to create a suitable, safe
and respectful place for people to congregate. It was
a small group of local people including the RBL,
community representatives from Brize Norton & Carterton
together with serving and retired military personnel.
The design is intended to be a
focus for the public to pay their respects. Poignantly
at the centre of the garden is a flag pole from which
the Union Flag from Royal Wootton Bassett will be flown
on repatriation days. The flag itself was transported to
Norton Way from Wootton Bassett on September 1st and was
dedicated by he Bishop of Oxford at a special ceremony.
The flag and Garden were blessed by the Chaplain to the
Planting of trees around the
memorial will take place in the Autumn. There will be
poppies planted in the lawn surrounding the memorial in
remembrance of past sacrifices in the cause of freedom.
Our Branch would welcome any support in the
future months for these repatriation events.
Should any member wish to
attend and requires further information then please contact
Chris Blick at the usual place.
UK Defence Medal
Follow the score on this campaign
to recognise and honour military service wherever
undertaken from 1945 onwards.
Become A Part Of
History Did you know that it is now possible to record your
wartime memories for posterity as part of a unique film
project? Legasee is a new personalised film service,
which enables your own military history to be recorded
on hi definition cameras for the benefit of future
Legasee is one of the first consolidated attempts to
document the views of individuals who have served their
country. While remembrance ceremonies and battle
anniversaries are regularly reported on TV, this
coverage rarely focuses on veterans’ personal
experiences for more than a few seconds and is of
restricted value as an educational tool or a record of
The Legasee service aims to cover military life in much
more depth by focusing on personal stories and
viewpoints. A word of mouth record of your service for
your immediate family and future generations of your
bloodline. The finished film, should you wish, can also
provide a permanent educational resource for school and
college students, giving them access to the individual
views and knowledge of war veterans as part of political
and social history studies. Click on the
Legesee logo for more information.
Catherine & Maxwell Steele whom are
responsible for taking the photographs at the Hallmark
Hotel on Nov 29th 2012, have requested that we draw your
attention to their charity
The Basil D'Oliveira Foundationcreated to
promote both the Charity Trust and the life of one of
England's sporting heroes.
Branch Meetings Minutes
To view/print a copy
of the Minutes for the 2012 AGM click on this link.
and for the Branch Meeting of Jan 9th 2013 click
Peter Williams of Yate near Bristol is the co-ordinator and
will take the form of a parade through the town followed by
a church service. This date also takes into account
the National Service (RAF)
Association annual parade at RAF Cosford the following
day. Arrangements are underway for accommodation in
opened in 1939 and closed in 1963. It was one of the
sites for the RAF.
Cheltenham Racecourse to Toddington return.
Wed June 5th 2013
Jean Stubley is organising this event - see Timetable and Lunch menu.
Train cost £14. Lunch is 12:30pm at The Pheasant Inn, Toddington at £10/£13 for 2/3 courses.
To be paid for in advance to Jean -
cheques payable to "Aden Veterans Association Gloucester
Branch" - please endorse on the reverse with "Rail
Trip - 5/6/13". If you plan to post your cheque,
Jean for her address, otherwise at the Apr 3rd Quarterly
This price of this trip includes coach fare and a hot lunch.
Tea or coffee with biscuits are available on arrival.
There will be a conducted tour and a talk about being an
Cainscross at 08:30hrs where there is ample free parking (satnav
GL5 4JQ). ETA Bletchley Park 11:00hrs. Return
departs 17:00hrs (ETA Cainscross 20:00hrs). There will
be one 15 min comfort break each way.
Inclusive cost is a very reasonable £33
per head. Please contact Norma Rodman (01453 766612)
for an application form. Closing Date 4th April.
Armed Forces Day
Sat June 29th 2013
Details awaited from Clive Candlin.
For a local event there will be a Parade and Drum Head
Service in the open air at Gloucester Cathedral at midday to
be followed with a Parade through the City Streets to the
Docks. More details can be obtained from Mike Smith of
Hardwicke Royal British Legion Branch who is organising this
even on 01452 424606. Also Branch Member Christopher Morton
is organising an AVA display in Malvern to mark Armed Forces
Day on Saturday 29th June. If you have any photographs etc
that you feel would be useful to display please contact
Chris Blick ASAP.
Stroud Conservative Club
July 3rd 2013
@ 11:00 (for 11:15 start)
In attendance from the National
Committee will be the Treasurer Tony Holland. Please advise
the Branch Secretary of your attendance in order to provide
sufficient accommodation and food.
(For Satnav users the postcode is GL5
Thu July 4th 2013
The home of our President, Major Tom Wills LVO
DL - more details to follow.
Ross On Wye
Wed Aug 7th 2013
12:00 for 12:30
of our "First Wednesday" lunches for 2013.
If you haven't already done so, please contact Jean Stubley
with your menu choices.
Assemble in Constitution Walk
Sat Sept 7th 2013
Timing - see Itinerary
We have received an invitation to join this event. The
The event will take place in
the historic city of Gloucester. The parade will
commence at 2 pm and pass through the four main gated
streets, led by the Mayor and Sheriff of Gloucester.
Young and old will come together, taking the opportunity to
socialise and make new friends. It is hoped to arrange
free car-parking for all participants. If you wish to
join us, please respond ASAP with numbers, names and contact
information. The day has been designed to instil and
promote pride in our city by stimulating interest in its
rich heritage and colourful past. The major catalyst
is to reinstate the original Gloucester Day celebration of
the lifting of the Siege of Gloucester in 1643.
More details available in the March edition of the Dhow.
Battle of Britain Service
Sun Sept 15th 2013
Further details when known.
Stroud Conservative Club
Oct 2nd 2013
@ 11:00 (for 11:15 start)
All members and their guests
Prospective new members are invited to attend and see what
we do! (For Satnav users the postcode is GL5
It would be helpful to have advanced knowledge of your
attendance to assist with catering.
National Malaya & Borneo Veterans
Fri-Mon Oct 4th-7th 2013
More details from Chris Blick.
Gloucester Remembrance Event
Gloucester Leisure Centre
Sun Nov 3rd
2013 @ 19:30
We are cordially invited to attend this event
- admission only through the purchase of a programme.
Those interested should contact Chris Blick directly - note that
the cost is £6 and the cut-off date is Wed Oct 3rd.
Seating will be on a first come first
served basis - it is not possible to reserve a seat in advance.
Having said that - the first & second rows will be for VIPs and
the elderly/disabled. Wheelchairs can be accommodated with
House in the Tree
Wed Nov 6th 2013
Our final Wednesday
Lunch for this year.
If you haven't already done so, please contact
with your menu choices.
Usual service & parade in the Cheltenham Promenade in front
of the Long Garden & Cenotaph. Similar services all
over the county.
Please consider joining
the "Old Soldiers" march past and salute. Numbers have
been dwindling - we must not let this tradition die!
We form up immediately in front of the town hall in the
Promenade, facing the memorial from behind. We are
then marched around into the Promenade and are positioned
in front of the memorial. After the service, we will
be marched on to the town hall where the Senior Officer will
take the salute.
RAF Veterans Reunion
The Coventry Hill Hotel
Sat Nov 16th 2013
This is a compete change of venue to that used in the past
(Stratford upon Avon). The new venue has free onsite parking
and is close to the centre of the city.
Special rates for dinner and B&B have been agreed with
prices starting at £89 per person for one night, £110 for
two nights and £130 for three nights – all prices include
a trip to Alrewas on the Saturday morning and
the “Gala Dinner” on the Saturday evening.
The event is being organised by AVA William (Bill) Barker
who can be contacted on 01924 516366, from whom further
details can be obtained.
Tortworth Court Hotel
Wed Dec 4th 2013
More details from Jean Stubley - please let her know of your
intention to attend so that she can let the hotel know the
headcount. Cost - good value at £20 each.
Association Memorial Plaque - The Long Garden, Cheltenham
Installed December 2012 - Click on (leftmost) Plaque to expand
Christmas Lunch 19th Dec 2012 at The Aviator - Staverton
Visit to Sharpness SARA Aug 16th 2012
Hanging on every word...
Smiles all around
Gloucestershire Airport (Staverton) Visit
Wednesday May 23rd 2012)
Larkhill Royal School
L to R
Master Gunner Christopher Towning, Denis Sparrow, Josie
Scott, Roy Scott, John Longhurst, Rosemarie Longhurst,
Norman Holford*, Jerry Wilmot, Jean Stubley, Keith Spiret,
Joe Roberts, Norma Rodman, Grahame Harper, Carol Parrant,
Janet Harper, Chris Blick, Curley Knowlton, Keith Brown*,
Angie Smith, Dorothy Blick, David Gearingh, Susan
Councillor Philip Bevan*, Peter Bullers, Ian
Johnstone & Colonel RA Winchester Commandant (HQ) RSA
Wednesday April 18th 2012)
L to R: Mick Kippin, Dorothy Blick,
Josie Scott, Vernon Shelbourn, Norma Rodman, Roy Scott,
Jane Wathern, Chris Blick, Mr.Braithwaite (Tour Guide at the
Palace of Westminster), John Wathern and Sally McLean. (taken on
October 17th 2011)
Armed Forces Day -
Our Standard Bearer
Roy Scott with Richard Waddell (on the right) of the
both being indulged by HRH Prince Charles. (taken on June
Lunch at The Carpenter's Arms, Miserden Nr Stroud
Group snapshot following an excellent lunch provided
by Keven Allin "Mein Host" whose late Father served
in Aden with
the RAF Police during the 1960's. Keven also
served for 17 years with the RAF before retiring to
his delightful Pub. (taken on June 1st 2011)
Best wishes to Keith & Pam Spiret
on the occasion of their 62nd Wedding Anniversary
Keith & Pam Spiret with our ex Chairman Jerry Wilmot (taken on June 1st 2011 in Misarden Park
Armed Forces Day,
Cardiff Monday June 21st 2010
Flag raising ceremony.
to right - Valerie & Michael Peacod (Tredegar),
Norma Rodman and Roy Scott.
& Roy Scott and Chris Blick
NFA Garden Party
July 8th 2010
Roy & Josie Scott
Britain Service at Ruscombe Chapel
(Situated High on the Cotswold Hills above Stroud)
September 12th 2010
Arranged by the RAF Regiment
Association Glos Branch
the first time that the two Associations had come
together to share thoughts and memories of 70 years
right: Chris Blick, Dorothy Blick, Norma Rodman,
Jane Wathern, Rev Brian Woolaston (Vicar of nearby
Whiteshill Parish Church and form Army Padre), John
Wathern & Sally Welzel.
Service for the late Terry Fowler
Walsoken Parish Church Nr Wisbech
1st February 2013
John Longhurst (L) &
Stephen Weall (R)
Any ex RAF members of our Association that served in
Transport Command may be interested to know that they there
is an RAF Transport Command Veterans Association to which
they might also wish to belong. For further details
If anyone has stories and/or photographs they would
see on this website, then please forward to Chris or Ian.
"Yemen: Heartbreak and Hope"
By The Reverend Peter Crooks
Armed Forces of Aden 1839-1967"
By Cliff Lord & David Birtles
Published in 2000 by
Helion & Co - ISBN 1 874622 40 X
A compact book full of
historical facts, and though a ‘limited
edition’ is still available by searching ‘on
line’. It contains detailed records of the
armed forces that were raised in, or
seconded to, Aden and the Protectorates
during the 128 years of British rule. It
also gives an insight into the political and
military involvement of Britain, India,
Yemen, Turkey, plus internally that of the
Protectorates, during those years of
political change in ‘South Arabia’.
It is also a well illustrated book opening
with the usual introductory chapters
followed by the factual military history of
Aden itself. Maps and a plentiful cross
section of old photographs help to highlight
those years of almost continual military and
Of the 112 pages, over 50 are devoted to a
comprehensive Directory of the Units who
served there – including some fascinating
old organisations – to name a few the 1st
Yemen Infantry, 23 Fortress Company Royal
Bombay Sappers and Miners, Aden Defence
Light Section Indian Submarine Corps, Desert
Guards, Lahej Trained Forces (I hate to
think what the untrained forces were like?)
& Mukalla Prison (warders or inmates?) – all
playing their part amongst the array of
multinational forces who kept some form of
law and order. Exactly how this was achieved
– especially with submarine and miners units
- can only be gleaned from the book!
A selection of factually historical
appendices finish off the book, each one
listing such things as the comparative
tables of Arabic / British ranks, specific
operations of early times, lists of British
military formations who served over all the
years, badges and insignia, honours and
awards and a comprehensive glossary of terms
The Armed Forces of Aden is a reference book
and besides making a refreshing read, it
also presents a detailed insight into the
complex political and military history of
Aden during its 150 years of strategic
emergence as both a deep water and well
protected port on the newly opened sea route
from Europe to the Middle and Far East, just
as the world was opening up to the advent of
oil, trade and empire building by European
Chris Morton (Major Ret’d, British Army -
Chris Morton has brought this publication to our
attention and as we all have a connection with this
neck of the woods it is likely to contain something
"Without Glory in Arabia: The British Retreat from
"I bought this book
as a present. The person who received it had
once served in Aden. He said it was one of the
best books on the subject he had ever read."
"The book brought
back many memories (good and not so good) of
Southern Arabia 1965-67 and helped to explain what
was going on seemingly behind the scenes. The
first half concerns events "up country" and the
second in Aden itself. For me it put a useful
new perspective on an eventful period"
Stories and Poems by
Combat Stress Veterans Kings University Press
A profoundly moving collection of stories and poems, this book is written by men and women of the armed forces affected by combat
and by the exacting demands of military service.
There are stories from many arena and eras:
Afghanistan, Iraq, the Gulf, Falkland
Islands, Northern Island, the Cold War and World War
II. Many of the works recount moments of reflection
in the field, while others deal with the mental torment that can last a
lifetime. There are rich themes of love, of
appreciation and of a deeply shared humanity.
The authors seek to share their experience through
many voices that embrace both poignant detail along
with irreverent wit and sometimes biting humour! This anthology provides the
reader with an opportunity to reflect upon their own
lifetime experience and
their own need of courage in the face of adversity.
The truths provided by these writers will form a
treasure trove of strength for
any reader to return to again and again.
***All Proceeds Going to
Support Combat Stress***
Introduction by Sandi Toksvig. Foreword by General
the Lord Richard Dannatt, GCB CBE MC DL
To be featured in The Times newspaper.
Excerpt from Introduction:
"This volume is full
of astonishing work. It is painfully and often
brilliantly written and in the midst I found
something wonderful about the human spirit. In Lee
Harrison’s poem From a Veteran to a Veteran, I found
a life sustaining Post Script when he wrote “There
is always HOPE.” This book has hope in it. Thank you
for supporting Combat Stress.”
Kingston University Press publishes high quality
commercial and academic titles. Our books reflect
the diverse nature of the student and academic bodies at Kingston University in ways which
are designed to impact on debate, to generate mutual understanding and to complement the values to which
the University is committed.
Denis Sparrow has managed to get a second print run
of his popular book. If you would like a copy then
please contact Denis directly via email
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 01453
763552. Be aware that supply is limited so
unless you specifically reserve a copy, they will be
sold on a first come first served basis.
The new price,
including postage is £39.50 - a small increase
reflecting the new mail rates.
Quarter 2 Newsletter 2013
If these notes have whet your appetite, then please
look further at the National Web Site for details of membership, or
contact one of the following officers of the Gloucestershire Branch.