Welcome to the October edition of the IJLB newsletter, as we say farewell to summer and welcome the autumn! And what an autumn it’s shaping up to be, with incredible stories from our last two months. Then we’ve got amazing items in our PRI Shop to help you prepare for the festive season, which is only two months away (eek!). The weather may be starting to cool down, but we’re continually warmed by the incredible generosity of our members, indeed one individual donated £1000 so thank you for everything you do to help our Association. If you feel that way inclined, then our Treasurer will accept your donation and put it to good use.
We hope you enjoy this newsletter finds you all well and coping with the autumnal change in the UK Weather. Brrrr.
NEW PRI ITEM
There is a New PRI Item available which was requested by members at our Annual Dinner, An IJLB Cumberband’s to wear when dressed for dinner in, Black Tie.
If you are interested in purchasing one, please email The Secretary.
IBB & IJLB Articles – Newsletters
Please do consider emailing any suggested article for inclusion in our bi-monthly newsletter to our secretary.
We’re also excited to announce an incredible line-up of events for 2022 including several proposed visits. These will be mentioned below.
IJLB 2021 REUNION REPORT
On Friday evening there were two friendly Supper Meals. One was held at the PREZZO Restaurant and the other at The Simla Tandoori. Both had excellent attendance and convivial conversation abounded in both locations.
Saturday morning the Annual General Meeting took place in our new venue for the AGM of the Wynnstay Hotel, tea, coffee was available for all attendees. There was a total of 48 members present with apologies either by email or verbally from 29 members unable to attend. Following the sad passing of our long time, Life President, Ray Ironmonger, Graham Fowler was proposed, seconded, and appointed Life President of our Association. Congratulations go to him. Ian Cartwright, MBE was appointed as Life-Vice President.
Brian Kilty has stood down as Chairman due to his increased duties and responsibilities at the Military Wing of The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. Brian gave an excellent brief at our AGM on Saturday. Please see later in the Newsletter a separate article appertaining to how veterans can access this medical service.
Graham Lacey has taken on the mantle of Chairman, and he is to be congratulated on taking on this responsible position.
On Saturday evening we held our Reunion Dinner at the Wynnstay Hotel, Oswestry, considering the ravages of COVID the attendance was excellent 74 members accompanied by the wives sat down to a delicious three-course dinner with wine.
The Guest of Honour was Colonel Jon Fleming, Parachute Regiment, the Commanding Officer, IJLB Shorncliffe, 1979-1981. Our member Fred Hardie (RSM IJLB Shorncliffe,) looked after him and his wife during the evening. His address was whimsical and enlightening. The Committee is working on yet another former IJLB, Shorncliffe CO for next year’s Reunion.
Sunday morning, we held an Act of Commemoration at our IJLB Memorial Stone in Cae Glass Park, opposite the Wynnstay Hotel. The Chaplin from, Oswestry School, Felicity Parker conducted the well-attended service in brilliant sunshine. Our new Life President laid our Poppy Wreath as you will observe above photograph.
This was followed by much hugging and kissing as we all bid farewell to our friends for yet another year.
This Service was so enjoyed by all present that it has been decided to repeat it in 2022.
Loads more photographs have appeared on our IJLB Facebook Page as well as on our IBB & IJLB website.
Please note that the 2022 Reunion will be held in Oswestry from 3-5 September. The details of this will be published in due course.
The Veterans Orthopaedic Service (VOS), located within The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (RJAH) in Oswestry, Shropshire, is a world-renowned Centre of Excellence for Orthopaedic clinical care and research that treats patients from every part of The United Kingdom. RJAH was established in the immediate aftermath of The First World War and thus, has a legacy as a military hospital that pioneered orthopaedic treatments for injured military patients. For many years, RJAH has been treating both serving personnel and veterans from all the Armed Services. In 2014, The Veterans Orthopaedic Service was established as a bespoke service by Lieutenant Colonel Carl Meyer, a serving officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps; a highly experienced Consultant Trauma and Lower Limb Arthroplasty Surgeon, with operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan where he treated both serving military and civilian trauma casualties. It was Colonel Meyer’s initiative, leadership and inspiration that not only established VOS but has led it to become the go-to choice of Veterans from every corner of the United Kingdom Since the establishment of VOS, there has been significant expansion and demand for treating veteran patients. In 2019, the service had 2463 patients, including over 300 surgical procedures.
Therefore, to meet the increasing demand and need, in 2018 a fund-raising appeal was initiated for a new bespoke Veterans Ward within RJAH. With the support of a significant donation of £6 million from Headley Court Trust, the initial target of £1.5 million was greatly exceeded. As a result, in February 2020, VOS was delighted to announce that a new two-storey Veterans Centre, specifically designed for providing the highest standards of care to our veteran patients, was to be built. Facilities will include a state-of-the-art Outpatients Department that will provide a range of orthopaedic treatments, rehabilitation, and welfare services. There will also be several training and research facilities; together with administrative space for key personnel, which are vital to the efficient running of the overall Veterans Orthopaedic Service. 2 This will provide a veteran’s footprint within an NHS Centre of Excellence. Whilst the Centre primarily provides Veterans Outpatient Services necessary to cope with the expanding demand, importantly it will also house a Veterans Hub that will allow a wide range of support and advice on welfare issues, including mental health, PTSD, homelessness, debt, and benefits. VOS will work with Shropshire County Council and United Kingdom Military Charities within the Centre to provide this support. Whilst VOS is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom, our strategic ambition is to enable other centres of outstanding NHS practice to develop similar Veterans Services; thus, establishing a network of Veterans Secondary Healthcare Services throughout the United Kingdom. The Veterans Orthopaedic Centre will open in the summer of 2022. As with the whole of the NHS, there have been significant restrictions and limitations imposed by the Covid-19 Pandemic, but the Veterans Orthopaedic Service has now returned to full operation in its support of The United Kingdoms Armed Forces Veterans. Referral Procedure and Process. The Service is available to any former Member of HM Forces (both Regular and Reserve) regardless of when they left service or how long they served. Under the Armed Forces Covenant and NHS Patient Choice Framework, referral to VOS is via your GP. · England. Under Patient Choice, you can be referred to a provider of your choice. Your GP will advise you of the process · Wales. Your GP will follow the Welsh Veteran Policy so that you can be referred out of the area for treatment · Scotland. Funding will be agreed upon by the relevant Health Board to facilitate referral. For More Information · Contact: Brian Kilty, Head of Veterans Support & External Liaison · Phone: 01691 404527 · Email: email@example.com
HEALTH SUPPORT FOR HOMELESS WAR VETERANS
It has been reported that mental health support for homeless war veterans at the UK’s largest barracks is to face the axe. Homeless British Army veterans have demanded the government fund mental health services at the UK’s biggest military base as they are set to be axed.
Former squaddies warned stopping services at The Beacon in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, would be ‘devastating’ for those battling PTSD and substance abuse. They said the centre gives them a chance to turn their lives around after leaving the Armed Forces and struggling to cope with civilian life.
MPs from across the House of Commons backed their calls, saying they were ‘concerned’ mental health services face being cut. They lashed out at the government for decreasing funds for veteran supported housing in recent years.
The Beacon is a specialist supported housing service for veterans, but it is set to run out of funding for those with complex needs. It has helped more than 340 British soldiers since it opened in September 2011 yet faces closing its services on September 30th. Government funding has ended, and local government funding has dried up in recent years – with experts predicting it would cost £2.75million a year to save.
Veterans living at the Beacon Centre told MailOnline they were ‘devastated’ it could shut and were fearing for their futures. Private Dave Karan, 33, who spent 12 in the military and did two tours of Afghanistan, has lived at the site since 2018 after he was medically discharged. He said: ‘I joined the military in 2007 and since then I’ve been in Afghan twice. ‘I went straight out of training to go on tour, and you had to grow up quickly. It takes a lot of adjusting when you come back because when you’re on tour you’re always alert. I still sleep with my light on, because I need a sense of comfort if I’m alone. I moved into the Beacon after a period of sofa surfing’ The staff have helped me with lots of things such as setting up with local doctors and dentists.
‘I also got to volunteer with Veterans’ Woodcraft and I now teach woodwork to others. It’s been really good for me and I’ve found a hidden talent which I wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for here. It’s devastating that other veterans might not be able to take advantage of these opportunities. This place is a safety net that will disappear if funds are cut. I want to let the Government know that this is an important place. It caters for a lot of veterans with various issues. No one is perfect and everyone makes mistakes in life, but this service allows veterans to sort their lives out. In the army, you’re spoon-fed but once you’re discharged, you fend for yourself. Places like this are vital and teach your life skills. I don’t know what will happen if these services are lost. It’s a worrying time for everyone.’
ARMY AIR CORPS MUSEUM 2021
The Journey of British Soldiers in the Air
On the 1st of September, they celebrated the Army Air Corps’ 64th birthday. The Army Air Corps was formed when Air OP and Light Liaison Flights were amalgamated. They became responsible for the operation of the Army’s light aircraft for reconnaissance, the direction of artillery fire and general liaison flying.
After a busy summer, we are now gearing up for exciting autumn with a packed programme of lectures and events, details of which you’ll find below. We thank you for your continued support of the Museum, which helps make it such a lively and vibrant place. Do please get involved in our events, keep in touch via our social media channels, and come and visit us soon!
The Museum of Army Flying is a British military aviation museum about the history of flying in the British Army. It is located beside the Army Air Corps Centre in Middle Wallop, close to Andover in Hampshire, England. Please log onto the website for precise details.
The Committee has provisionally booked a guided visit from 4-6 March 2022 we are awaiting final costings which will be published in due course.
BRITISH ARMY DEPLOYMENTS
The British army is deployed on Operations and Peace Keeping duties throughout the world.
Outside the UK, the largest number of UK Armed Forces deployments are currently training or on operations in Africa. There are many short-term military training teams to help build the capacity of African national military forces to meet the defence of their peoples. So that they can respond appropriately and proportionally to the security threats they face.], including terrorism and the illegal wildlife trade.
Operation Cabrit is the name of the UK operational deployment to Estonia where British troops are leading a multinational battlegroup as part of the enhanced Forward Presence (EFP). UK Armed Forces have a leading role in NATO’s EFP in the Baltic States, to enhance Euro-Atlantic security, reassure our Allies and deter our adversaries. The EFP in the Baltic States is a deployment of robust, multinational, combat-ready forces to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland, on a persistent, rotational basis. About 900 British personnel rotate continuously alongside Danish, French, and host nation forces. They consist of, A Light Cavalry Squadron, of approximately 150 personnel, deployed to Poland and is under the command of 2 US Cavalry Regiments. Additional units include elements from Royal Military Police, Intelligence Corps, Royal Signals and Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. Enhanced Forward Presence is just one aspect of a wide range of UK support to NATO
FALKLANDS 39 YEARS ON
History – Argentinean Landing
In March 1982, Argentinean scrap metal merchants landed on the Falkland Islands’ dependency of South Georgia and raised the Argentinean flag. This was followed by an invasion of the Falkland Islands on 2 April 1982. The United Nations Security Council condemned the invasion.
Surrender – Argentine Forces
On 21 May 1982, British troops landed at Port San Carlos and began to move towards Stanley. Our troops won a significant battle at Goose Green, which laid the foundation for victory. After an intense air and artillery barrage and the capture of dominant mountain ridges around Stanley, the Argentinean Commander on the Falkland Islands surrendered all his forces on 14 June 1982 following the final battle and capture of Tumbledown Mountain, overlooking Port Stanley by 2nd Battalion Scots Guards.
Following the 1982 conflict, the UK established a garrison on the Falkland Islands, consisting of naval, land and air elements. The situation on the South Atlantic has altered substantially since the War. Argentina is now a democracy, committed to ongoing issues over the Islands.
BRITISH FOREIGN SECRETARY – LIZ TRUSS STATES:
Afghanistan – A Haven for Global Terror, The Foreign Secretary,
Truss said in a statement ahead of a meeting of the foreign ministers of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (P5) and UN chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday.
“If we want to avoid Afghanistan becoming a haven for global terror then the international community – including Russia and China – needs to act as one in its engagement with the Taliban,”
The foreign secretary’s comments come amid an out-of-the-blue escalation of tensions between Russia and the UK on Tuesday after a pair of back-to-back announcements by British police and the European Court of Human Rights on the poisoning scandals from 2018 and 2006 involving former spy Sergei Skripal and former FSB officer Alexander Litvinenko, which once again accused Moscow of responsibility for the crimes. Russia vocally rejected the allegations and pointed to their odd timing ahead of the expected face-to-face meeting between Lavrov and Truss.
CHRISTMAS AROUND THE CORNER
There has been a request to produce an IBB & IJLB Christmas Card.
If you have any photographs of Snow Clad, Oswestry or Shorncliffe. The secretary would be pleased to accept them for use. These can be emailed to his email address below.
IBB & IJLB AssociationTel: 07919 334444 or 01702 876571