August 2021 Newsletter

August 2021 Newsletter

Introduction

Your committee recognise that for many Veterans and their families, aspects of life after leaving the Services can be challenging.  With over 50 Veterans’ organisations in the UK, we understand that it can be frustrating to find just the right person to help with a problem.  

For those who work in Veteran’s support organisations, please check out the Resources tab; there may be something useful for you there and because we are not perfect, there may be some resources and organisations that we have missed. 

Because when Veterans work together, they make life better for Veterans.

IJLB 2021 REUNION

As this Newsletter is published on our website and on the IJLB Facebook Page I respectfully remind members that there are only 4 weeks until our Reunion Dinner. If you have been waiting until the easing of all restrictions on 21st June, you are now free to book. However, I urge you to do so now to avoid disappointment.

The Committee once more publish the details of the 2021 IJLB Reunion below:

Friday 3rd September Golf at Oswestry Golf Club

First Tee 1330 Hours Bacon Rolls and Coffee on arrival. Cost £35.00.

Friday 3rd September 1930 Hours Informal Indian

Tickets for Indian meal are on the Website under PRI shop and should be paid for in advance,

Friday 3rd September 1930 Hours Informal Prezzo Italian Meal.

Italian meals Menu is also listed on our website. These will be paid for on the night based upon the menu choice. Please email the Secretary with your choice of Italian meal as PREZZO require to be informed before arrival. Currently there are only 4 attending this. PREZZO ARE ONCE MORE APPLYIN THE VETRANS DISCOUNT.

If you do wish to attend PREZZO please do email the Secretary with your Menu selection at

secretary@ijlb.com

Trip to Shrewsbury

There has been no interest in this therefore it is, CANCELLED

Saturday 4th September 10.30 Hours IJLB Association AGM

This will be held in The Wynnstay Hotel

Saturday 4th September 1930 Hours Reunion Dinner.

This is a formal dinner evening held in The Wynnstay Hotel Function Suite.

Tickets are available from the PRI shop and should be paid in advance. Members will be prioritised on a first come-first-served basis. All bookings must be done and paid for by Wednesday 25th August 2021.

IJLB Reunion Dinner Details:

Saturday 4th September 2021

£37.50 per person

TO START

Creamy leek and potato soup

or

Pressed ham hock terrine with sauce gribiche, warm focaccia roll, mixed leaves

FOR MAIN

Roast breast of chicken, garlic roasted parsnips, sage and apricot stuffing, red wine jus.

or

Pan-fried sea bass fillet, wilted greens, white wine cream sauce.

or

Caramelised red onion and goats cheese tart, butternut squash, rocket, balsamic dressing.

All main courses are served with buttered new potatoes and

a panache of seasonal vegetables

FOR DESSERT

Chocolate and raspberry torte

or

Blueberry cheesecake

or

Traditional bread and butter pudding

TO FINISH

Coffee and mints

When booking can attendees, please email secretary@ijlb.com with their choice of meals plus the names of guests and their Regiment and IJLB company so we can organise Regimentally or IJLB Company Tables

Sunday 5th September we are organising an IJLB Memorial Service, details of which will be posted separately.

Details of those who have booked and paid so far are detailed On The Reunion Post https://ijlb.com/ijlb-2021-reunion/

THE BBC SPILLED THE BEANS ON A SURPRISE BRITISH ATTACK TO THE ARGENTINES. PRIOR TO THE BATTLE OF GOOSE GREEN,

During the Falklands War, will be remembered primarily for two things: as the first and most bloody land battle between the UK and Argentina and as the incident where the BBC opened its mouth too soon. Secretly landing near the settlement, British soldiers had prepared for a surprise night attack on the Argentine forces when the BBC announced their plans to the world, the Argentines included. This angered the British commanding officers on the ground so much that one of them, Lt. Col. H. Jones, vowed to sue the BBC and the Ministry of Defence for treason. However, he pushed through with the operation in the hope that the Argentines would believe it was all a ruse to catch them off guard. Jones’s hope proved to be well placed. 2 Para at 02.30 am mounted a Battalion Attack supported by other elements of the Task Force. HMS Arrow pommelled the enemy area and Support Company 2 Para set up and established a Fire Base. At 06.35 am the attacked the Left Flank of the Argentine defensive positions. Having successfully secured that area B Company crossed their Start Line ay 07.10 a.m. clearing two positions on high ground to the west. Colonel Jones plan was for D Company would pass through B Support Company to the south. The immediately came under heavy small arms fire but succeeded in taking out two platoon positions. While the fighting was going on A Company passed by them. Two platoons hooked round the small bay of Darwin Hill.

Colonel Jones with his Tac HQ followed the track that led to Darwin Hill coming up behind A Company as they were about to assault Darwin and came under sustained machine gunfire. A Company were kept under this fire for over two hours from well defended enemy positions. The Argentine forces had set up their machine guns in defilade and were concentrated for one to fire while the other reloaded and vice versa. The Paras were now very exposed in almost flat unprotected ground. The impetus had to be maintained or they would have lost even more men. The OC A Coy and his 2 IC, with a small party including the Adjutant made an assault up Darwin Hill but had to pull back as the suffers losses including two officers. Colonel Jones at the same time with part of his Tac HQ had moved around the base of the hill in a gully to take out another position. At this time, he was felled by another machine gun duh in on the hill. He was sadly killed in this action.

There had been much said and written about his death since the end of the Falklands War. Was it foolish to risk his life and therefore the entire operation to take Darwin? Or was it the fact that he died in the finest traditions to be at the front and share the risk.

Colonel ‘H’ Jones grew up with the philosophy of soldering,

He was intolerant in some ways.

He would not suffer fools.

He was a a real leader.

He was an in effect an, ‘Outstanding, Leader of Men.’

The leader of the Argentine forces, Lt. Col. Italo Piaggi, believed the British wouldn’t be so stupid as to reveal their plans over public radio, so he did nothing to augment his defences.

Major Chris Keeble who had taken command on the death of his Commanding Officer and successfully forced the Argentines to surrender. This was only done following a conversation from one of the houses when he informed the Argentine command in Port Stanley. Either they surrender to 2 Para or the fight on and die.

Though numerically inferior in number 2 Para were anything but. ended up taking 250 Argentines as prisoners during the battle.  The number of enemies killed where the stood was estimated at over 300 hundred. There burial was hampered by dreadful rain flooded the mass Argentine grave.

The 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment lost 18 killed in the battle and 35 wounded. They set the seal for the remainder of the Falklands War.

As someone who was their and took part in the Final Battle on Tumbledown before the entire Argentine Command raised the White Flag over Port Stanley. My humble opinion is that they carried on the traditions of the Parachute Regiment members who won the Battle Honour, Pegasus Bridge.

However, in completing this article I need to mention that the Parachute Regiment now have the following Battle Honours from 1982 almost 40 years ago.

PARACHUTE BATTLE HONOURS

Falkland Islands

Goose Green

Mount Longden

Wireless Ridge

Army Lead Aviation Task Force (ATF-1

Army Lead Aviation Task Force (ATF-1) is generated by 1st Aviation Brigade based on the requirement for the mission or operation.  

The Brigade was formed in 2020 and unites the Reconnaissance capabilities of the Wildcat Helicopter of 1 Regiment Army Air Corps (AAC) with the Attack element of the Apache Helicopter used by 3 and 4 Regiment AAC. 

Other units within the 1st Aviation Brigade include 5 Regiment and 6 Regiment Army Air Corps who are the Reserve component of the Brigade and the specialist aviation engineers of 7 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.

The success of the exercise is centred on both individual and collective skills that the ATF has trained throughout the last 12 months MAJ LAMBERT,
CHIEF-OF-STAFF 1ST AVIATION BRIGADE

ATF-1 will, in future, form part of the Army’s contribution to the Global Response Force. The Force was created as part of the Army’s transformation plan called Future Soldier that will see Combat Aviation at the centre of any Global Response Force.  

The Combat Aviation Brigade and ATF-1 can deploy with the full range of find, strike, and lift capabilities provided by Apache Attack Helicopters, Wildcat Reconnaissance Helicopters and Chinook Support Helicopters.  

During the exercise an Apache and Wildcat Helicopter formed an Attack Reconnaissance Team (ART) to carry out an aviation assault. 

The Wildcat observed the enemy forces and confirmed the enemy target from a discrete location using its on board sights and sensors. This information was passed to the Apache crew via a digital link who then demonstrated the potent strike capability of the Apache Attack Helicopter by the simulated destruction of the target. 

The final phase of the aviation serial saw two Chinooks drop a Company from 2nd Battalion, The Parachute Regiment on the area to conduct a raid on the enemy location.

Chief of Staff 1st Aviation Brigade, Major Lambert, said “Exercise Pinion Dawn 21 simulated real-world conditions that tested ATF-1’s preparedness to conduct combat aviation operations at readiness.

He said: “It’s the culmination of a steady progression of training that has tested the skills of all within ATF-1 who have recently returned from Op Cabrit supporting Exercise Spring Storm. The success of the exercise is centred on both individual and collective skills that the ATF has trained throughout the last 12 months. I’m delighted with the performance of the ATF and all those who have trained on Exercise Pinion Dawn 21.”

Army Officer receives new Space Operators Badge

A Royal Logistic Corps officer has become the first Army recipient of a new “Space Operators” badge, marking the official opening of the UK Space Command.

02 August 2021 10:52

Lt. Col. “Mad Jack’ Churchill

John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar

Lt. Col. “Mad Jack’ Churchill JOHN MALCOLM THORPE FLEMING “JACK” CHURCHILL, DSO & Bar, MC & Bar (16 September 1906 – 8 March 1996), nicknamed Fighting Jack Churchill and Mad Jack, was a British Officer who fought throughout the Second World War armed with a longbow, and a Scottish broadsword. He is known for the motto “any officer who goes into action without his sword is improperly armed.” Born in Surrey and educated at King William’s College on the Isle of Man, Churchill graduated from Sandhurst in 1926 and served in Burma with the Manchester Regiment. He left the army in 1936 and worked as a newspaper editor. He used his archery and bagpipe talents to play a small role in the film The Thief of Bagdad. Churchill resumed his commission after Poland was invaded. In May 1940 Churchill and his unit, the Manchester Regiment, ambushed a German patrol near L’Epinette, France.

Churchill gave the signal to attack by cutting down the enemy Feldwebel (sergeant) with a barbed arrow, becoming the only British soldier known to have felled an enemy with a longbow in WWII. After fighting at Dunkirk, he volunteered for the Commandos. Churchill was second in command of No. 3 Commando in Operation Archery, a raid on the German garrison at Vågsøy, Norway on 27 December 1941. As the ramps fell on the first landing craft, Churchill leapt forward from his position and played a tune on his bagpipes, before throwing a grenade and running into battle in the bay. For his actions at Dunkirk and Vågsøy, Churchill received the Military Cross and Bar. In July 1943, as commanding officer, he led 2 Commando from their landing site at Catania in Sicily with his trademark Scottish broadsword slung around his waist, a longbow and arrows around his neck and his bagpipes under his arm, which he also did in the landings at Salerno. Leading 2 Commando, Churchill was ordered to capture a German observation post outside of the town of La Molina, controlling a pass leading down to the Salerno beachhead. He led the attack by 2 and 41 Commandos, infiltrated the town and captured the post, taking 42 prisoners including a mortar squad. Churchill led the men and prisoners back down the pass, with the wounded being carried on carts pushed by German prisoners. He commented that it was “an image from the Napoleonic Wars.” He received the Distinguished Service Order for leading this action at Salerno. In 1944 he led the Commandos in Yugoslavia, where they supported Josip Broz Tito’s Partisans from the Adriatic Island of Vis.

In May he was ordered to raid the German held island of Brač. He organized a “motley army” of 1,500 Partisans, 43 Commando and one troop from 40 Commando for the raid. The landing was unopposed but on seeing the eyries from which they later encountered German fire, the Partisans decided to defer the attack until the following day. Churchill’s bagpipes signalled the remaining Commandos to battle. After being strafed by an RAF Spitfire, Churchill decided to withdraw for the night and to re-launch the attack the following morning. The following morning, one flanking attack was launched by 43 Commando with Churchill leading the elements from 40 Commando. The Partisans remained at the landing area; only Churchill and six others managed to reach the objective. A mortar shell killed or wounded everyone but Churchill, who was playing “Will Ye No Come Back Again?” on his pipes as the Germans advanced. He was knocked unconscious by grenades and captured. He was later flown to Berlin for interrogation and then transferred to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. In September 1944 Churchill and a Royal Air Force officer crawled under the wire, through an abandoned drain and attempted to walk to the Baltic coast. They were captured near the coastal city of Rostock, a few kilometres from the sea. In late April 1945 Churchill and about 140 other prominent concentration camp inmates were transferred to Tyrol, guarded by SS troops.

A delegation of prisoners told senior German army officers they feared they would be executed. An army unit commanded by Captain Wichard von Alvensleben moved in to protect the prisoners. Outnumbered, the SS guards moved out, leaving the prisoners behind. The prisoners were released and after the departure of the Germans, Churchill walked 150 kilometres (93 mi) to Verona, Italy where he met an American armoured force. As the Pacific War was still on, Churchill was sent to Burma, where the largest land battles against Japan were being fought. By the time Churchill reached India, Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been bombed and the war ended. Churchill was said to be unhappy with the sudden end of the war, saying: “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks, we could have kept the war going another 10 years.

In 1946 Twentieth Century Fox was making Ivanhoe with Churchill’s old rowing companion Robert Taylor. The studio hired Churchill to appear as an archer, shooting from the walls of Warwick Castle. After World War II ended, Churchill qualified as a parachutist, transferred to the Seaforth Highlanders, and later ended up in Palestine as second-in-command of 1st Battalion, the Highland Light Infantry. In the spring of 1948, just before the end of the British mandate in the region, Churchill became involved in another conflict. Along with twelve of his soldiers, he attempted to assist the Hadassah medical convoy that came under attack by hundreds of Arabs. Following the massacre, he coordinated the evacuation of 700 Jewish doctors, students, and patients from the Hadassah hospital on the Hebrew University campus on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem. In later years, Churchill served as an instructor at the landair warfare school in Australia, where he became a passionate devotee of the surfboard.

Back in England, he was the first man to ride the River Severn’s five-foot tidal bore and designed his own board. In retirement, however, his eccentricity continued. He startled train conductors and passengers by throwing his briefcase out of the train window each day on the ride home. He later explained that he was tossing his case into his own back garden so he wouldn’t have to carry it from the station.

He finally retired from the army in 1959, with two awards of the Distinguished Service Order, and two Military Crosses. So, Jack Churchill wore with pride his DSO and Bar and MC, and Bar

He died aged 86 in Surrey in 1996

Summary

If you have an exciting story and photographs, you wish to share? Once again I urge you to please submit it by email to the Secretary whose details are below. Please do include your dates of service as a Junior Leader and the location, i.e. Infantry Boys Battalion at Tuxford-Harrogate-Plymouth, Junior Infantry Wing at Oswestry, Infantry Junior Leaders Battalion at Plymouth-Oswestry-Shorncliffe .

These will be assessed by the Committee and given sufficient space will appear in the next Newsletter to be published during April 2021.

Look after yourselves, stay safe. 

Yours aye


Ronnie Paterson
Secretary  
IBB & IJLB Association
Tel: 07919 334444 or 01702 876571                         Email: secretary@ijlb.com