02 January 2007
Gentlemen. I trust you and your families had a successful and healthy Xmas and are now enjoying the fruit the new year brings. Good health, wealth and happiness to you all.
Welcome to the “third” Black Eagle Reunion Newsletter, As usual I have enclosed a reminder of the reunion location, dates & approximate timings. Especially for those of you whom have only recently made contact and have expressed an interest in attending the function. I have also added various links etc to help you plan for the event. I am still looking for any additional sponsorship. So, if anyone out there can assist in this department please don’t be shy, and get in touch.
The Internet along with our regimental networks continues to attract Past Squadron members and our attendance list continues to grow. You will be pleased to know that all reunion preparations are going to plan. We have interested personnel planning to attend from all over the world, some having served on the Sqn when formed, others still serving.
There are still a lot of names out there whom I’ve yet to make contact with. Should any of you know the whereabouts of the following please either forward there respective addresses or tell them yourselves, Big John Cox, Ginge Howell, Jerry Graham, Clive Redman, Nick Cheeseman, Dougie Scott, Chris Taylor, Hector Bate, Trev Vennard, Colin Pearson, Killer Townsend, Chris Wilkinson, Taff Bruton, Steve Potter, Mark Kelly, Bash Bashford,
But to name a few.
These are but a few characters I m sure would be interested if told. I therefore still kindly request you continue to pass the word and promote the event. Those of you whom intend to participate who have yet to pass me their full details should do so at their earliest convenience. This will guarantee an invitation.
Gents, I need your postal addresses so as to send the invitation. Official invitations will be posted in the next month or two. This will give you all ample time to reply with payment. I will confirm receipt of your payment and attendance by post soon thereafter.
As a reminder, I can confirm that our Reunion is to take place on Saturday 26 May 2007 at the Union Jack Club in London. Further details about the club are available at www.ujclub.co.uk for those of you not on the Internet. You can contact the club reservations secretary by telephone on 020 79284814. If you intend to drive and park at the club don’t forget to book a parking reservation. I have also located and used an additional car park close to the club off Cornwall Road. Further location details can be gained via multimap .com or by telephone on 020 7620 0397.
As previously mentioned, the reunion will start as an afternoon gathering, (meet and greet). This should allow us all time to get together and ideally show off some photo’s, whilst swinging the Tilley and pulling up the odd Sandbag or two. This particular period of the reunion is open to everybody. You are all strongly encouraged to bring some of your old photo’s etc or indeed scan a few old pictures for the displays at the event. One or two of those attending are keen to publish individuals pictures in forthcoming books, you never know, you may become famous after all. After a natural admin break those individuals attending the formal evening dinner in the banquet room will then wine and dine in a more formal atmosphere. Know doubt, once complete we will be able to continue the meet and greet all over again. The formal diner menu will be published in the next newsletter, As the RAF’s Representative to the Royal British Legion (St James Branch) I frequently use the UJ Club and therefore I am currently in negotiation whilst constantly trying to better our overall deal. Individuals requiring any special dietary needs for the formal Dinner should inform me ASAP, I will endeavour to arrange an alternate menu.
I have been asked if I had any problems with WAGs (Wives & girlfriends) attending. I personally have no problems whatsoever, I know as gentlemen we will all be on our best behaviour throughout. I do however have only one rule and that is “Individuals are not to bring both” It may cause a problem….
Your current personal contribution should not exceed £33.50p this payment will entitle you the banquet room, bar and staff from 1900 -2300 and will include a formal 4 Course meal including Coffee. What is doesn’t include is your accommodation and drinks. For accommodation, you can either bata with the UJ Club or find something perhaps cheaper and close to the venue. I recommend to those Ex Servicemen who want a room in the Club to liase with a serving member “get a twin room” and share the cost. For drinks, you will need to line your pockets gents, UJ Club prices are pretty good for London.
As a polite reminder during your planning, should you decide to accommodate yourself away from the club please consider your personal security.
Gents, I need your postal addresses so as to send the invitation.
Title/Rank Name Email Phone
FS Alan Wanbon Wanbons@aol.com 01842 820298
Postal Address (Please include your postcode)
9 Bittern Close Thetford Norfolk IP24 3HP
SNCO i/c Stn Regt Flt, RAF Honington, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP31 3EE
Please fill out the blank table and return to me ASAP
Title/Rank Name Email Phone
Postal Address (Please include your postcode)
Plans are well advanced for the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the Falkland Islands Conflict to be known as ‘Falklands 25’. A Steering Group, comprising representatives from the MOD, the main Veterans’ groups, the Falklands Families Association, the Falkland Islands Government (FIG) and the FCO, is over-seeing the planning arrangements for events in the UK and the Falkland Islands thus ensuring that the views of all interested parties are taken into account. Events will run from Thu 14 Jun, the anniversary of the liberation of the Falklands, to Sun 17 Jun. The two key events are:
Thu 14 Jun – Pangbourne The annual Service of Thanksgiving and Rededication for veterans and their families at the Falkland Islands Memorial Chapel, Pangbourne Nautical College, Berkshire. HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh hope to attend the service and a buffet lunch afterwards, along with Ministers and senior Service representatives; 600 guests will attend. The BBC is expected to provide live TV coverage. Please note that attendance by other than those injured or relatives of those lost during the Conflict are unlikely to be able to attend this event.
Sun 17 Jun – Horse Guards Parade The main event will begin at 1500 and will consist of a Parade, Drumhead Service and a March-Past. The focus will be on the veterans of the Falklands campaign, and they will be supported by a tri-Service band and serving members of the Armed Forces, the RFA, Merchant Navy and Falkland Islands Defence Force representing the Ships, Units and Squadrons that took part in the campaign. Holders of the South Atlantic Medal 1982 will be given first priority in the allocation of tickets, followed by widows of veterans, close families of veterans and other personnel who were involved in the conflict. It is estimated that 7,500 guests will attend and about 1500 veterans will march.
It is proposed that The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will be the principal Royal guests along with other members of the Royal Family of that generation. The Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, leading members of the Opposition and senior Service representatives will all be invited to attend. In addition, invitations will be extended to Baroness Thatcher and other key members of the Government at the time of the conflict. A representative selection of current MPs and other dignitaries will also be invited.
It is hoped that The Duke of York will participate in the veterans’ march-on and that The Prince of Wales will take the veterans’ salute at the top of the Mall. After the march-past of massed bands, uniformed troops, military equipment and Falklands 25 veterans all will muster inside Buckingham Palace gates to view a flypast of aircraft from both the Falklands era and the present day representing squadrons and units the served.
After the parade the South Atlantic Medal Association 1982 (SAMA 82) will host a reception for Falklands veterans in a marquee erected in St James’ Park. Royal Family, Prime Minister, Cabinet Minister and senior Service attendance will be an important part of this.
In-Theatre Commemorations A committee set up by the FIG is planning commemorations in the Falklands throughout 2007. The June events will be centred around Liberation Day on Thu 14 Jun, and will include a service at Port Stanley Cathedral, an act of commemoration at the Falkland War Memorial, a parade (at which the British Forces will exercise their Freedom of the Falkland Islands) and a Reception. A band of the Royal Marines will provide the music and there will be a number of HM Ships deployed to the area to provide a backdrop at sea reminiscent of the time. The FIG is keen to showcase the modern Falkland Islands and to demonstrate how the Islands have flourished since 1982.
It is hoped that The Earl of Wessex will represent the Royal Family in the Falkland Islands and that he will be accompanied by the USofS, VCDS, other senior Service representatives and a small party of veterans (including some known personalities who will be able to provide their perspective to the media. In addition to the events listed above there will be a full programme of events throughout, hosted by the FIG, the Governor and the Commander British Forces South Atlantic Islands.
Attendance Applications Veterans of the Falklands Conflict may apply for tickets to participate in the events through the Veterans’ Agency (VA), and a suitable form is available from them. The ticketing service will be provided by the VA, whose own website will be linked to the official Falklands 25 website and that of SAMA 82. Veterans will also be able to apply online, download the application form or use the VA Helpline. Invitations will be sent to VIPs and distinguished veterans. Successful applicants will be informed by 30 Apr 07
Pilgrimage As June is deepest winter in the Falkland Islands it is not viewed as the best time for a major veterans’ visit and, instead, SAMA 82 and Combat Stress are organising a Pilgrimage for around 200 veterans in Nov 07 when the weather is likely to be more amenable. As outlined above, the pilgrimage is expected to be subsidised to a significant extent through sponsorship.
Other News Continued: RUGBY
I received an email from one of our friends based at Hereford. He has kindly asked me to publicise the following sporting events.
I have added part of his email to give you all an idea of what he is up to:
I was with Boat Tp, D Sqn during the Falklands campaign, and I have been the Honorary Rugby Coach at Hereford for more years than I care to remember.
Prior to arriving at Hereford, I served with HQ 3 Cdo Bde in Singapore (1968-71), and HQ 16 Para Bde in Aldershot (1972-76). So, for a pongo, I got around a bit.
Having played rugby for all three units, I thought it would be a good idea to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Falklands War with a game. This idea has been well received; a committee has been formed; and I now find myself the Chairman of Falklands Task Force Rugby - which will teach me to keep my big mouth shut!
The game will be held at Harlequins on Sat, 16 Jun 07 (the day before the Falklands Veterans Parade in London) kick-off 1600 hrs, and will involve a Falklands Task Force XV - a team consisting of current capped Army, Navy, Royal Marines and RAF players, all sourced from the various units who fought in the war- Versus (appropriately) Penguins RFC - a team of top class players. We would also wish to include in the Task Force Team a couple of top class players with a connection to anyone who served in the Merchant Navy during the campaign. The game will be of a high standard.
Flt Lt Matt Cornish (RAF, Combined Services & Barbarians) will captain the side. Lt Col Alistair Nicol, RAMC and Scotland Medical Team, is the Match Doctor. Rev David Cooper, 2 Para and Eton, is the Match Padre. And Dot Perkins, Gwent Dragons, is the Match Physio. Three Falklands veterans, who all represented their respective services, will make short cameo appearances during the game to add to the spirit of the occasion. They will all be nominated as Vice Captains.
This is very much a private initiative. It is self-financing through a modest entrance fee and whatever sponsorship we can accrue. There will also be an informal dinner that evening at Harlequins with an auction of Falklands memorabilia.
It is often overlooked that there were many cap badges supporting the SAS during the campaign. Flt Lt Garth Hawkins RAF died whilst serving with D Sqn, and we would wish for this to be known. All the names of the War Dead will appear in the match programme.
Our quest is to create a relaxed, informal atmosphere, with a theme of remembrance and commemoration to honour the 255 men and 3 Falkland Islanders killed during the conflict. The overall aim is to raise funds for The South Atlantic Medal Association (1982).
Our preparations for the game are progressing well, and so far we have the support of General (Lord) Charles Guthrie, Maj Gen Julian Thompson, Lt Gen Sir Hew Pike, Maj Gen Dair Farrar-Hockley, and Josh Lewsey and Steve Thompson of England. There are also many others helping in the margins, including Wg Cmdr Mike Bird, RAF Regt. We are waiting to hear from Margaret Thatcher.
We launched our publicity campaign at the Combined Services V Barbarians Remembrance Match at Newbury on Tue,14 Nov 06, and ourwebsite www.falklandstaskforcerugby.co.uk will be coming online soon.
We are seeking to make as many Falklands veterans as possible aware of the game. It will be an ideal vehicle for reunions, and there will be sufficient food outlets and refreshments to keep everyone happy. I have heard that 63 Sqn veterans are planning a reunion in London -perhaps this match could serve as an early RV?
We have been heartened by the enthusiasm shown for this venture and there are 258 very good reasons why we are going for it. This will be my fourth charity game. In May this year, a similar committee raised £5,000 for the Royal British Legion from the Adi Powell Memorial Game which was held at Harlequins on the morning of the Army V Navy game. Our website for that game www.lestweforget.org.uk is still online. We will repeat this fixture at Harlequins on the morning of Sat, 5 May 07; again as a precursor to the Army V Navy match.
I look forward to hearing from you Andy,
All the best,
As you can see the above fixtures are planned. Your support will be gratefully appreciated, I wholly intend to go and hope to see you there.
Few and far between this is a copy of the Sqn Sticker as issued in the early eighties.
The next newsletter will be the last, due out mid March 07, It will contain a comprehensive agenda for the event. (Orders watch out). Months April - June 07 will be busy, any burning issues regarding the event can easily be resolved by email or phone,
Until then, Take care,
Listed below are some of the many individuals who have expressed an interest in the reunion:
Alan Wanbon Andy Barnett James G. Neish John Isley
Richard (Larry)Potter Steve (Dutch) Holland Carl Francis Al (Sanchez)Gardiner
Steve Scott Trevor (Norman)Watson Aussie Hinkley Danny Crilly
Kieth O’sullivan Chris (The Frog)Lallement Jock Berwick David Connett
David Jeremiah Alan Thorburn John Dowding Cappy Sinclair
Bill Morris Wg Cdr (Rtd) Martin Hooker Rob Marlow Alex King
Simon (Spike) Horton Marti Parks Allan (Hagar)Denton Spike Cook
Richard (Dick) Barton Brummie Harris Merv Howard Jonathan (Jon) Barlow
Jim ”Wes” McGowen Mark Nash Stu Handy Jerry Andrew
David C Page MBE Rick Mayer Dave Lyden Tam Lundy
Alastair McInnes OBE Ginge Howell Keith Burns
Ron Barnes Ian Loughborough Pete Akers
Simon Sharpe Stuart (Jock) Currie Andy Culame
Lee Smith Tom McClintock Duncan Smith
Andy Munkley Major T A M Fowler (Tam) Brian Forrester
Marvin Hewitt Steve Coupe Chris West
Stu Evans Alan Lomax Charlie Gillan
Pete Bate Dennis Vince Kevin Roberts
If you know someone not already on this list then pass on the event details and tell then to contact me soonest.