Welcome to the Chatham branch


Branch News

Chatham - December 2017
Baz Bassett - Chairman

The summer season as expected was busy but fun. This summer involved a number of events with an element of support from the branch at them all. Of course the Falklands 35th Anniversary had a number of engagements and I and Tim VDK with wives attended the small ceremony conducted by Col Chris Davies at the Aldershot cemetery on the 18th June. Other members with wives joined us and afterwards retired for a pub lunch.

Tim VdK, Edwina Ball, Trevor Simpson, ? Lin & Baz Bassett, Tony Manley, John & Sandra Ferry, Jenny Davies,
Mal Malham, Chris Davies & Dave Rutter

The main ceremony was on the 17th of June and was described as a "ticker tape parade" with Aldershot town coming out to give fantastic support to the event. June continued with the Armed Forces day (Medway) celebration, strangely enough I found I had been volunteered to march on the contingent and then being requested to read out the Kohima Prayer.

Time for a quick brew (Armed Forces Day - Medway) Peter Kershaw, Mick Fisher & Mike Tindle

The summer celebrations finished off with the John Rock dinner and we were delighted again to host both the President, Chairman and their wives that evening, which as always is an enjoyable event.

This year's presentation was twofold, our Chairman John Ferry gave a resume of two troop's deployment on OP Corporate and Mount Longdon. While Tam Drain, who was a member of 4 Troop during the campaign (4 Troop being the attached troop from 20 Sqn) gave a piercing and honest presentation of the conflict through the eyes of a soldier who, 35 years ago, with little warning were stood up to be attached to 9 Parachute Squadron. Having then deployed, found themselves on that fateful day to be on the "RFA Sir Galahad" which we can all remember from the horrific scenes after the bombing, explosion and fires.

John Rock Dinner - Tam Drain, John Ferry, Tim VdK & Baz Bassett

Summer was bought to a close by an invitation to Frank and Mary Ryan's house for a BBQ, Mary managing to cope with Frank's generosity to the Branch. Another excellent afternoon.

Autumn brought the normal support to the other events around UK and Tim VdK supported by Edwina, attended on behalf of the Branch and the association at a number these. Finally in October the annual Gurkha Curry organised by Bob and Helen Matthews at 36 Engr Regt's Officer's mess, was again a sell-out, over 60 people attended. I was absent as the date had been changed after I had booked my Holidays. However our President attended, I am told he has branched out into selling AEA Car Badges and hoped to make a killing there.

The year is almost complete with our final event the Christmas Lunch, which again is shaping up to be another block buster. Hopefully, allowing a day out of the Kitchen for our partners to get together with friends and families to be waited on at the King Charles Hotel.

Gurkha Curry - Outside the Officers Mess 36 Engr Regt

As I write this I am recovering from a fantastic Reunion Gala Dinner organised and run by 299 Airborne Squadron in Hull. Well done to the OC and his team and in particular to Craig Gadd for organising and running a successful event in the 2017 European City of Culture.

This leads me to remind you all that it is Chatham Branch's turn to organise and run the Annual Reunion, AGM and Gala dinner in 2018.
The dates for your diary are the 9th 10th and 11th of October. It will follow the normal weekend and run of events, but we hope that as it is the home of the Corps, it will allow individuals to visit the Corps Museum, Brompton Barracks to see how it has changed and of course perhaps a run ashore for those of you who may wish to visit old haunts. I must remind you that there has been a huge change over the years to both the barracks and the Medway towns.

The various booking forms will be in the June journal. For your information the event is being run at the King Charles Hotel, Gillingham over the weekend. The King Charles Hotel will deal with the full booking procedure and there will be no need to send forms or payments to any individuals of the Branch. Book early as rooms are limited but there are also a number of other Hotels available in the area.
The contact e-mail address for the King Charles is Please note that bookings will only be taken through the King Charles system.

The Branch wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Best wishes for 2018 and for those who can make it, we look forward to seeing you at the next year's AGM and Reunion Gala Dinner.



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