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Second to None
(The Coldstream Guards Newsletter)
June - July 06
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No.7 Company at work and at play in the USA
The men of No.7 Company had the luck recently to find themselves
taking part in an exchange exercise with the US National Guard
from Illinois. A full company of US National Guardsmen (the US
equivalent of the TA) visited units in London District whilst
lucky old No.7 Coy jetted off to the USA for a fortnight of
joint training and sightseeing.
The exercise itself took place in Wisconsin at Fort McCoy. Among
the opportunities on the military front was a chance to take
part in house clearing drills in the US Urban Combat Training
Facility. There were also opportunities to brush up on their
abseiling (rappelling) skills along with plenty of opportunity
to test out the range of US infantry small arms weapon systems,
including the M4 Rifle, M249 Machine Gun, M60 Medium Machine Gun
and the M203 Grenade Launcher. The Company also had an
introduction to US radios and MILES vests (laser sensor vests
for force on force).
A series of minor exercises were conducted including a day and
night navigation exercise, followed by a 4km initiative test
using nothing but a sketch map. In order to spice this up, the
Sergeants acted as a hunter force.Only one Guardsman, Gdsm
Murray managed to escape their clutches! After this came the
entertaining bit in the form of a two day range package where
the Coldstreamers got the chance to fire all of the American
weaponry that they had recently trained on.
A small final exercise took place which consisted of a joint
British/US blank firing attack on a terrorist training camp in
the mock-up village of ‘Rendalsville’. The village was taken in
quick time, the baddies defeated and the hostages saved- Hoorah
and God Bless America! After this, each of the platoons
conducted a live-firing platoon attack.
At last, the important bit of the trip arrived – R and R! The
Coldstreamers moved back to Illinois to visit the ‘Windy City’
of Chicago. Some of the Company managed to go and watch the
Chicago White Socks play baseball, but most of them just spent
three days exploring Chicago’s many bars and enhancing
Anglo-American relations with the extremely friendly female
population of the city!
Sometimes, war is hell !!! Eventually though, the bubble burst
and No.7 Company made the long flight back to London. After a
long weekend free of duty to give people time to develop their
happy snaps and tell a few war stories, the Chelsea warriors
were back on Queen’s Guard.
“The Buckingham Palace Guardroom Sir, and all’s well.”
Going down…the 60 foot abseiling tower.
Dry drills training in the Urban Training Complex.
NEWS IN BRIEF
As this edition of SECOND TO NONE goes to press, the Guards
Parachute Platoon are currently involved in close quarter
dismounted combat operations against the Taliban in the Helmand
District of Afghanistan. When the platoon returns to UK, a
future edition of this newsletter will carry a detailed story
and photographs of their exploits in the ‘dragons den’.
The photograph is a library picture of the Guards Parachute
Platoon conducting a blank firing heli-borne raid during a
training exercise on Hankley Common.
The boys of the Guards Parachute Platoon, attached to 3 Para,
are currently engaged in close combat operations against the
Taliban in Afghanistan. Everybody in the Battalion sends their
best regards and wishes them a swift victory and safe return.
Unfortunately, due to financial constraints, the MOD have
cancelled the Battalion Exercise in Kenya. The Battalion will
therefore take an extra weeks leave before conducting dispersed
military and adventurous training.
Operation MONCK’S RETURN in Yorkshire, Nov 06. Determined Boxers
required. Contact CSM Roffey (HQ Coy) or Sgt Sawyer (Gym). This
is a week long recruiting surge and sports tour with high media
THE GRASS ISN’T ALWAYS GREENER...
The story of Lance Sergeant Ady Mulgrew – No.2 Company
LSgt Ady Mulgrew from Stockton-on-Tees knows more than most
about how army life compares to civilian life. He has after all,
been a soldier twice and a civilian twice. Ady first joined the
British Army and the Coldstream Guards in 1996 at the tender age
of 17. On passing out from basic training he joined the 1st
Battalion which was then serving in Germany in the Armoured
Infantry role. During that time he visited Poland and Denmark as
a part of large scale tactical exercises. In 1998 he returned to
UK with the Battalion, serving in Windsor, then No.7 Coy in
London, then back with the Battalion during their tour of South
Armagh, Northern Ireland in 2000. After taking part in another
large scale exercise in Canada, Ady then deployed on a two year
tour of Northern Ireland, based in Londonderry in March 2001. By
this time, young Ady Mulgrew decided that he had achieved all of
his military ambitions; a few years of steady employment on a
reasonable wage, along with a fair bit of travel and adventure.
Therefore, he decided that it was time for him to return to
civilian life and start a fresh career.
He left the Army in December 2001 and spent a year in America on
a student visa doing casual work. America lost its sparkle
however and Ady returned to his home town in the UK where he
took a succession of jobs. He took a job as a night manager for
a hotel chain and became frustrated with the drudgery of the
job, minimum wage and complete unreliability of his civilian
colleagues. He moved onto security and bar work, but again found
himself faced with long hours of drudgery for basic wages.
Finally, he tried a job at an electrical goods factory where he
lasted a week before walking out.
It was at this point that Ady began to reconsider his decision
about leaving the Army. As fate would have it, just at this
point he received a letter from his old Company Sergeant Major,
asking him how he was doing and giving him news of his old mates
who were still serving. This was the wake up call for Ady and he
immediately set about re-enlisting. Within a matter of weeks he
was back in the Coldstream Guards, amongst his comrades in his
old rifle company. It was now April 2003. Ady wasted no time in
making up for his year and a half career break. Within 2 months
he was on a potential Lance Corporals course which he passed.
Now a LCpl he continued to work hard and was rewarded with a
place on the Section Commanders Battle Course, which took place
between Feb – May 2005. On successful completion of the course,
he was promoted to LSgt just in time to deploy to Belize with
No.7 Company for a four week exercise. Now married and living in
Army Married Quarters in St John’s Wood, London, Ady is quick to
point out to his comrades the pitfalls of civilian life and the
perks of an army career. Ask him about this at any time and you
will always get the same answer – “The grass isn’t always
After being heavily committed for the last five years, the 1st
Bn Coldstream Guards were able to host the Coldstream
Association Day for the first time since 2000 in Victoria
Barracks, Windsor. A fine summers day saw over 400 members of
the Association mingle with 300 serving members of the Regiment
and their families during a busy day of activities and displays.
The traditional Coldstream Shoot took place throughout the day
on the new electronic Dismounted Close Combat Trainer; something
of a novelty for the older and bolder Coldstreamers who’s last
time on a range was holding a Lee-Enfield bolt action rifle!
In addition there were various stands laid on by the visiting
branches, along with two PRI stalls which did roaring trade
throughout the event. Displays were provided by the Essex Dog
Display Team, the 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards (1815) living history
society and the Regimental Band and Corps of Drums. The
Regimental Recruiting Team also laid on an information stand
which included a chance to see the recently released Coldstream
Guards Recruiting DVD entitled ONE TEAM – ONE FIGHT.
The Corporals Mess and PRI bars did steady trade throughout the
day as one might expect and all tastes were catered for by a
selection of excellent hot food outlets provided by WO2 Paul
Mattocks and his crew from the Catering Platoon.
The well attended event brought together many old comrades in a
family atmosphere and was aided by the glorious weather. At the
conclusion of the day, the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel (Col
JJS Bourne-May) addressed the crowds and presented the
Coldstream Shoot prizes to the top shots of the day. Everyone
who attended the day would like to publicly thank Captain Billy
Matthews (RHQ), Maj Rick Howick (Coy Comd HQ Coy) and RQMS Paul
Downes for putting together such a memorable event.
Additionally, all Coldstreamers, past and present, send their
warmest congratulations to Col Bourne-May on his recent
promotion to Brigadier.
Operation MONCK’S RETURN
In Nov 06, the Regimental Recruiting Platoon will form up and
conduct Op MONCK’S RETURN, a concentrated recruiting surge in
Yorkshire. Based at Totley Training Camp near Sheffield, the
Platoon will consist of 35 members of the Battalion and will be
supported for 48 hours by the Corps of Drums. A number of
shaping operations will be conducted, including a charity boxing
and dinner night in Hull with the St Paul’s Boxing Club, a
musical workshop and Beating Retreat with youth bands at York
Racecourse and a series of open nights and demonstrations for
Army Cadets and recruits at Harrogate and Catterick. In
addition, there will be a memorial service at the grave of LCpl
Harry Wyatt VC at Cadeby Cemetery near Doncaster.
Concurrent with this, three eight man surge teams will deploy
into major towns and cities in South and East Yorkshire on a
daily basis in order to conduct on the street recruiting.
Satisfied soldiers will deploy to Leeds, Sheffield and Doncaster
for the week and a temporary Coldstream recruiter will be in
situ in AFCO Hull for three weeks in order to assist with
processing the large amount of applicants that should result
from the surge. Approximately six determined boxers (of any
standard) are required to take part in the major event on 16 Nov
06. Any willing volunteers should give their names to CSM Roffey
in HQ Coy or Sgt Sawyer in the Gym.
TEN DAYS IN DEVON
Headquarter Company Adventurous Training
The men and women of Headquarter Company tend to lead a
relatively sedate life in barracks, but as any of them will tell
you, hours spent staring at a computer screen or standing over
an oven can become a bit tedious after a while. Therefore, every
once in a while, the Company Commander likes to give everybody a
good shake out. Once such occasion took place during the warm
spell in July when a group of thirty soldiers from all
departments within the Company trundled off down to the Guards
Adventurous Training Wing in Fremington, which is near
Barnstaple in North Devon.
Over the course of ten days, the oldest and boldest members of
Battalion tried their hands at a number of activities, including
surfing, surf canoeing, climbing and abseiling and of course,
taking their turn on the infamous Fremington Death Slide! All of
this was conducted with the stunning scenery of the North Devon
Coastline as the backdrop. During one of the evenings, a
barbecue was held which coincided with the visit of the
Commanding Officer and Regimental Sergeant Major. The Commanding
Officer, by nature an adventurous person himself, kindly
volunteered the Regimental Sergeant Major to have a go on the
Expert instruction was provided by CSgt Thompson from the
Battalion Training Wing and Sgt Sawyer, the Battalion’s resident
Army Physical Training Corps instructor, along with instructors
from the GATW itself. The weather stayed blissfully warm and
clear and the combination of sea air and a daily adrenalin rush
was enough to have the whole contingent zonked out on their beds
by early evening each night. For some, it was a trip down memory
lane having visited GATW before during their basic training at
the old Guards Depot Pirbright, whilst for others the Fremington
experience was a real first. After an exhilarating break, there
was no choice but for the slightly more suntanned and very
refreshed group to head back up the M4 to Windsor…just in time
to proceed on four weeks summer leave. Sometimes, a soldiers
life can be hell…
“I want my computer back…”
“I’m gonna catch me a wave!”
“This Adventure Training lark can be hard work you know…”
“Yes, I think the RSM would love to have a go on the climbing
‘Sometimes I really hate being the RSM…’
“Make sure that’s tied up properly Sgt Sawyer…”
The climbers enjoy the stunning views of the North Devon Coast.
HOW DOES YOUR PAY COMPARE?
SAMPLE CIVILIAN JOB
INFANTRY PAY BY RANK/GRADE
HGV 3 Driver – 11,232 per year
Call Centre Operator – 12,000 per year
New entrant – recruit training
999.60 per month
11,995.20 per year
Administrator / Secretary
40 hrs per week (1 year college training)
12,480 per year
Level 1 Guardsman
1,177.20 per month
14,126.40 per year
40 hrs per week (not including rest periods)
13,520 per year
Level 2 Guardsman
1,246.50 per month
14,958 per year
Head Gardener for National Trust
40 hrs per week (NVQ level 3 in horticulture)
21,000 per year
Level 5 Lance Corporal
1,763.70 per month
21,164.40 per year
The civilian jobs listed were advertised in the Stoke on Trent
Sentinel during the month of July 2006 and the military salaries
quoted are calculated using current rates of pay. All sums are
before tax. Add to the military salaries the advantages of free
and instant medical and dental care, leisure facilities, cheap
meals and accommodation, minimal council tax, no utility bills
for single men, free legal and financial advice and six weeks
fully paid leave a year, plus public holidays and you will see
that financially, soldiers at all levels are relatively well
HAVE YOU GOT AN ISA?
Have you got an ISA (Individual Savings Account) ? If not then
you are missing a trick. There are two types of ISA – Cash ISA
or Maxi ISA. A Cash ISA is a straight forward no risk savings
account. Maxi ISAs are linked to stocks and shares and have
varying degrees of risk attached to them. Every major high
street bank has ISAs available. For beginners, the Cash ISA is
the simplest and safest way to save. Why? Because the Government
will allow you to save three thousand pounds in your Cash ISA
each year without taxing you on any of the interest that you
gain on your savings. Additionally, ISAs pay higher rates of
interest than your average current bank account. Start saving
now for the future with our three top tips:
Try and save at least thirty pounds a month in your Cash ISA.
Don’t buy what you can’t afford. Save for it first- then buy.
Stop smoking – you will live longer and have plenty more money
for cars, houses, clothes, etc.
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN RECENTLY?
Here’s just a quick summary of where Coldstreamers have been
in recent weeks…
LSgt Browell (Medical Centre) for a month as a medical
instructor to Rwandan forces.
CSM Melford completed his two year posting to Oman as an advisor
to an Omani Infantry Brigade.
Six men from the 1st Bn took part in Exercise MEDICINE MAN with
the Staffordshire Regiment as an armoured infantry section.
Three Coldstreamers currently posted there as part of the
British advisory and training team.
No.7 Coy complete, conducted a two week exercise in Illinois,
Lts Sugden and Radcliffe attached to the Grenadier Guards. Four
other ranks currently serving in Iraq.
Coldstreamers serving with the Scots Guards in Germany as
Warrior commanders, gunners and drivers on a permanent basis.
Coldstreamers serving with the Guards Parachute Platoon.
Sgt McHugh (ACIO Barnstaple) took part in the World Wave Skiing
Championships for ten days.
The Mortar Platoon recently deployed to Africa for two weeks in
support of a special forces exercise.
A number of Coldstreamers have already taken part in the ongoing
Household Division sailing expedition and more will follow
As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities to get
away. Keep your eye on the Forecast of Events and your Company
Details. In addition, you can obtain military course dates and
adventurous training course dates through your Company Clerk and
sports course dates from the Gym notice board. Company
Commanders will authorise course bids subject to manpower
availability and commitments.
Stories and photos from the list above will be featured in this
and subsequent editions of SECOND TO NONE
SHAKING HANDS WITH THE DEVIL
By LSgt A Browell - Medical Centre
Rwanda! I was a lucky man the day the Medical Officer asked me
if I fancied a trip to Africa. I thought that there might be
some kind of catch, but nevertheless, accepted the opportunity
gratefully. I only had 72 hours to prepare so it was a crash
course of vaccinations and anti-malarial tablets along with some
panic-packing. First things in the bag were sunglasses and sun
cream! My comrades put my mind at ease with comments like “Watch
out for the Tutsis, they’ll chop your hands off as soon as look
at you!” I already knew a little bit about Rwanda’s troubled
history, but didn’t realise how much my eyes would be opened
during my visit.
The day of travel was upon me and when I met with the rest of
the training team at Heathrow, I learned that we were to assist
in training the fledgling Rwandan army as they prepared to
deploy to Sudan as part of the African Union Humanitarian Force.
We flew out to Nairobi in Kenya (business class!) where we
received a brief at the International Mine Awareness Centre, and
from there flew onwards to our final destination of Kigali
International Airport in Rwanda.
Here we met up with the remainder of the British Army Training
and Advisory Team and settled into the Rwandan Military Academy
at Gako where we were accommodated in tents. Then came the
briefing about our task. Our small team was required to train
two battalions of Rwandan troops (approx 1700 men) over the next
two weeks in every conceivable military skill. Funnily enough, I
got given the task of running the medical training, but to my
relief, the language barrier was not a problem as most of the
Rwandan troops spoke passable English.
A final 48 hour exercise was conducted which involved the use of
two ex-Warsaw Pact MI-17 HIP helicopter gun-ships, a sight that
us British are still not used to after all these years! After
the training was complete, the Rwandans held a function in our
honour and we were treated like kings, although I’m not sure
what I thought about the local home brew, a potent beer named ‘Mutzig’!
During my time in the country, I had ample time to see for
myself the results of the terrible massacres committed in the
mid-90s when the Hutu tribe had attempted to commit genocide
against the Tutsis. It is estimated that in 90 days, over 1.5
million men, women and children were massacred. I decided on the
title for my small report after reading the book written by Lt
Col Romeo Dallaire, the UN Commander who had been made to stand
by helplessly whilst those atrocities had been committed. In the
book, he says “I know there is a God, because in Rwanda I shook
hands with the devil; I smelled him, and I have touched him. I
know the devil exists and therefore I know there is a God.”
To the officers and men of the 14th and 15th Infantry Battalions
of the Rwandan Defence Force, currently on operations in Sudan,
I send my salutations.
No.3 Coy feeling the strain.
No.1 Coy pull their way to victory with the CSM and CQMS lending
a helping hand.
INTER – COMPANY TUG OF WAR
In order to round off a busy summer, the Battalion marked its
last working day before block leave with a Battalion 5 mile
forced march, followed by the Inter – Company Tug of War
Competition. The contest took place on the barrack green, amidst
an atmosphere of fierce tribal rivalry. Many old hands came out
of retirement to take part in this trial of strength. With
Company honour at stake the teams threw themselves into the
contest, driven on by the roar of the Battalion who were formed
up alongside the runway, and the manic rantings of their team
After an hour of sweat, pain and blistered hands, the final
pull-off came with No.1 Coy facing up to Support Coy. Despite
determined resistance and a slight weight advantage, Support Coy
finally succumbed to the well drilled and experienced No.1 Coy
crew. After three gruelling months of public duties, it was a
fitting way to let off steam prior to departing on four weeks
well earned and fully paid leave.
Maj Howick drives on HQ Coy.
The winners and their spoils!
INTER – COMPANY VOLLEYBALL COMPETITION
The Inter-Company Volleyball Competition in full swing on a
glorious June afternoon.
On another hot afternoon, in late June, the camp green saw yet
another event in the Commanding Officers Shield Tournament. This
time, the sport was volleyball and the Battalion’s resident
beach-bums and skater-boys donned their sunglasses to do battle
over the nets. The HQ Coy Team was largely formed from members
of the Regimental Administration Office staff. They claimed that
they were hand-picked, but most people claimed it was because
they were the only members of the Company not on guard! Whatever
the truth of the matter, there is no doubting they were the best
turned out team of the day.
A long afternoon saw sporting triumph and tragedy in equal
measure with Sgt Sawyer and Gdsm McHugh from the Gym Staff
keeping a watchful eye over the proceedings and making their
rulings over contentious shots before blood was spilled! The
sun, as ever, shone in all its glory on Victoria Barracks
ensuring that the 1st Bn Coldstream Guards retains its title of
‘best tanned battalion in London District’. Finally though, the
competition drew to a close and the laurels were awarded to the
new force in Coldstream Sport – No.1 Coy, the ‘Fighting First’.
HENLEY REGATTA VICTORY
Congratulations go this month to Captain Charley Foinette, the
Sniper Platoon Commander, who recently achieved the ambition of
a lifetime when he and his fellow crew mates pulled their way to
victory in the Britannia Challenge Cup at the Henley Royal
Regatta. The four oarsmen and their coxswain, all soldiers, beat
their head to head rivals, York City Rowing Club by a length and
three quarters. The victory was well deserved and made even more
significant by the fact that the York City crew are in full time
training, whereas the Army crew, all from different regiments,
have only been able to train together at the weekends.
A jubilant Captain Foinette said “When I joined the Army I
thought my rowing career was over. I thought that there was no
way the Army could compete with teams in full time training –
but now we’ve proved we can do it.” It just goes to show how the
‘can do’ attitude bred into soldiers and in particular, bred
into all Guardsmen, can help individuals to reach the very top
in anything they set their minds to. The whole Regiment send
their congratulations to Captain Foinette and the crew for an
SURF’S UP IN SOUTH AFRICA
By Sgt Paul McHugh – Army Careers Information Office
When your recruiting Sergeant tells you “that if you like
playing sport, the Coldstream Guards is the Regiment for you” he
wouldn’t be to far from the truth! Although when you think about
sport in the Army you automatically think of rugby, football or
athletics, But if the truth was known you would be hard pushed
to find a sport that the Coldstream Guards doesn’t do!
For the last two years I have been fortunate enough to be posted
to the Army Careers Information Office, Barnstaple as a
Recruiting Sergeant. As a person who has always loved the sea,
when I heard that I had been posted to North Devon I thought I
had died and gone to heaven. Barnstaple is located a couple of
miles from the coast and some of the most famous surf breaks in
the country (Saunton, Croyde, Woolacombe, Puttsborough,Lynton,
Lynmouth) As a youth prior to joining the Army I became involved
in a water sport called Waveski Surfing and not long after
arriving in Devon I decided to dust of my board and see if I had
any of that old magic left, after hours of practice and
embarrassing wipe-outs I began to regain some of my youthful
form, I suppose its like riding a bike!!!
What is Waveski Surfing?
Waveski surfing is the sport of riding waves whilst seated on
top of a board. The surfer is strapped on with a seatbelt, their
feet held in by foot straps and a paddle is used to propel the
surfer onto waves where they can do similar manoeuvres to stand
up surfing. The power generated by the paddle allows surfers to
catch waves more easily, making Waveski surfing accessible to
just about everyone. Standard boards are stable, easy to use and
offer the perfect vehicle for easy access to the waves and the
adventure of surfing waves. While the high-tech boards are more
difficult to handle and allow you to do more critical and
radical manoeuvres in the fastest section of the wave and
compete at the highest level.
Sgt Mc Hugh looking very pleased with his Coldstream Guards
As with most sports there is a professional governing body or
association that controls the sport. The aim of the British
Waveski Association is to promote the sport of Wave Ski riding;
this is done by holding about five national competitions a year,
from these events the National Team gets selected to represent
Great Britain at the yearly World Waveski Championships. There
is also an opportunity to compete against other soldiers at the
Army Surf Kayak Championships, which is held at Newgale in Wales
every September, From these championships the Army selects its
team to compete in the Combined Service Championships, this is
also held annually at Watergate Bay in Cornwall and is an
opportunity for the Army’s best to take on the other two
Services. This year I have been selected to represent the Army
and hopefully we can have a repeat performance of last year and
completely dominate the event!
After two years of competitive surfing I was overwhelmed when
our chairman called me up and informed me that I had been
selected as part of the British Team. He asked if I was able to
compete in the next World Championships which was due to be held
in South Africa. After l managed to wipe the huge grin from my
face I informed the Battalion and the Army Canoe Union. They
were also very pleased and informed me that as a member of the
Army who had been selected for a National Team that I would be
entitled to an International Competitors Grant! This enabled me
to claim up to £800 back on my travel and accommodation costs
whilst in South Africa, But it did not end there, they also
agreed to purchase me a new Waveski to compete on, at a cost of
£750 a board I was not about to say ‘no thanks the one I have is
fine’! The only stipulation was that I displayed a large “Army
be the Best” sticker and my Regimental Capstar. “It would be an
honour” I said.
The 2006 World Waveski series held in South Africa turned out to
be a huge success, with 87 entries in total for the official
world titles that were held in Durban. Three pre world-champ’
open events were held in Cape Town, Jeffrey’s Bay and East
London. This provided the perfect opportunity to experience some
of the most beautiful parts of the South African coastal region
from Cape Town all the way up the east coast to Durban.
Our team flew from London Gatwick to Johannesburg then caught a
1 hour connecting flight to Port Elizabeth. On our arrival at
Port Elizabeth we were met by fellow South African competitors
who assisted us with the logistics and hire cars. We then drove
for about five hours to Cape town for the first leg of the
competition. After six days of solid waves it was time to leave
the very beautiful but very cold Cape Town behind for the more
humid and warmer waters of Jeffries Bay. Of all the locations
this was to be my favourite. It’s a small coastal town and due
to it being the winter it was quiet and sleepy, a little bit
like Devon except it had monster waves. It was also a fantastic
opportunity to surf some of the best reef breaks in the world!
If any of you follow surfing or watch extreme sports channel you
will now what I mean!
After the buzz and exhilaration of surfing Super Tubes and Magna
Tubes it was time to hit the road again, this time it was
another five hour drive through breath taking scenery to the
notorious Nahoon Reef (East London). Why notorious? Well if any
of you have ever watched any programmes on sharks and shark
attacks you will see that Nahoon Reef features more than any
other place in the World. Just in case you forget that, the
local surfers have very kindly erected a memorial on the rocks
at the point where you enter the water to commemorate the lives
of ten of their friends who have been taken by Great Whites in
the last ten years! Never have I been so pleased to get knocked
out of a competition at such an early stage!! The next leg and
final stage of the competition was New Pier Durban. This would
require another five hour drive back to Port Elizabeth and a
short internal flight. This would be the main event of the World
Series Championships. Eighty seven Waveskiers from Australia,
France (including Guadeloupe and -Reunion Island), Israel,
United Kingdom (England, Ireland, Scotland) Ireland, New Zealand
and South Africa would be competing against each other for the
title of World Champion. The event would be surfed in eight
different age/gender categories. A ladies and men’s tag team
event was also held. Waves ranged from 4 – 6 feet over the 10
day contest with conditions changing constantly from heat to
heat, and the erratic surf conditions tested each rider’s
surfing and wave reading ability to the full.
I did not travel to South Africa and expect to win, so achieving
a world ranking of 29 in my division came as a bit of a bonus!
It has now been four weeks since my return from my 3 ½ week trip
and I’m still sporting a permanent grin. Not in my wildest
dreams did I expect such an opportunity to come my way!! But it
did and although my perseverance, hard work and dedication got
me into the British team, it was the support of the Coldstream
Guards and the Army that got me to South Africa!! Thank you!
New Zealand will host the 2007 World Championships, “Any chance
Not your average day at the beach! Sgt McHugh in action.
BATTALION ORIENTEERING DAY
By Sgt Eddie Pickersgill- No.2 Company
On the 4th July 2006, one of the hottest recorded days in Surrey
since 1650, the Battalion gathered on the RMAS training area for
the Battalion Orienteering Competition in order to qualify for
the newly implemented MATT navigation test. It was an excellent
opportunity as infantry soldiers to practice two core skills,
that of navigation and fitness.
There were several courses of increasing difficulty, aimed at
rank structure and expected navigational standards. A relay
course was also available, with a number of civilian teams
competing. The length and technical difficulty of each course
was aimed to present a challenge but not beat the competitor.
The courses were planned within the British Orienteering
Federation guidelines. Congratulations are due to the winners of
the various courses, the Adjutant winning the ‘B’ course in 43
minutes, LCpl Browne of the LAD winning the ‘C’ course and Gdsm
Mead winning the D course. The overall winning team was
Headquarter Company .
Thanks to the many people who helped make the day such a
success, including the Quartermaster who kindly supplied the
prizes, Captain Dale for the transport, the Master Chef and his
team for the field kitchen, CSgt’s Morrell and Bicknell who
assisted in setting up and manning the starting points. Thanks
also to the No.2 Company G4 chain. Major Mayhead acted as
Controller and Mapper, which wasn’t as easy as it sounds!!
Many thanks are also extended to Mr Jerry Newcombe for technical
and IT support for the day. Thanks also to Major Allan
Farrington and Major (Retd) Colin Dickson from the Army
Orienteering Association for equipment loan and planning
guidance. Last but not least I would like to thank all members
of the Battalion for taking part in an extremely successful day.
If anyone is interested in competing in further events there is
the opportunity on most Wednesday afternoons in the 4/5 Div
league. For more information contact Sgt Pickersgill, at No.2
Second to None
The Regimental Newsletter
1st Battalion Coldstream Guards
Produced by the Coldstream Guards Regimental Recruiting Team
copyright, designed and maintained by A.J Brady