On Sunday 23rd May we had a small gathering of members at the Graspan Memorial at Pall Mall to remember our fallen comrades. We needed to ensure that we remained within government guidelines and kept the numbers present to under 30. It was great to see others there including Richie Puttock from RMA Central, Roger Payne a member of both City of London Branch as well as the Rider’s Branch, plus two serving members of the Corps from MOD Whitehall, all of who laid wreaths to acknowledge the 75th Anniversary of the RMA. I would personally like to express my thanks to Richie for coming up with the idea and including our branch, David Mott for photographically recording the event and David (Paddy) Wilkes our new social co-ordinator for arranging the after drinks and buffet at the Army and Navy Club.
The RMA was formed in 1946 at 5 Talbot Square, London under the direction of Lord Mountbatten of Burma. At this point I would like to recognise who I think may be our longest serving branch member, Ray Clausen, who joined the RMA back in 1948 - the attached photo is the earliest picture Ray has proudly wearing his RMA badge. National Service - Hutment Camp, Eastney. Amphibious School, Landing Craft Wing, Fort Cumberland. Commanding Officer, Lt Colonel Ralph Garret DSO OBE. Apparently he was quite famous, (Ray!)
During this month, myself, and Chas Timms had the honour of representng our branch at the funeral of Gordon Choules. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his wife and two daughters as they grieve his passing. RiP Royal.
Forthcoming events: We all look with hope towards an easing of lockdown. Your branch committee has been talking about the prospect of meeting face to face again in the future. With this in mind and dependent upon any forthcoming announcements we hope to be in a position to hold our first such meeting of 2021 in the Gascoigne Suite at the UJC on Thursday 8th July. We have booked the larger room in order to allow sufficient space if social distancing remains a requirement or concern. We will keep you updated via normal communication channels including a page on the branch website. Further down the line we are planning to hold a social Branch BBQ at RMR London in September on a date to be agreed.
Welfare: Our thoughts go out to all those currently suffering ill health and those recovering from injury or surgery. In particular we send our good wishes to Colin Ash currently recovering from a heart attack, Marion Ross who is recovering from a fall and Jim Ellard who is recovering from a long awaited knee operaton. Please continue to stay alert and safe.
With very best wishes,