Page 20 - Chiron Autumn 2018
P. 20

My father, was a member of RAVC and served overseas during WW2. He carried a small leather Christian pouch on which were the places he was based or visited. The writing has deteriorated but I can make out Alexandria as one of the places. I know also that he had connections with a re-mount depot in Doncaster latterly. He also attended some reunions at Doncaster which, I believe, no longer take place.
I am writing because upon looking through my mother’s possessions after she died last December, there was a very old photograph of a large group of military personnel (120) all dressed in ‘working attire’ except for three who are wearing dark plain wooden tops, and all faces are clearly visible. I have a feeling this may relate to Melton Mowbray as the photo is taken in front of a large building with arched window either side of what may be an entrance with arched doorway and a circular window above. My father cherished these photos until his death in 1972.
I have another photo of him in uniform, jodhpurs, shirt and peaked hat astride a horse with palm trees and a tent in the background. He continued to work with horses all his life, his name was (from birth certificate) Albert Victor Onslow Alan Higgins, known as Alan. I wonder if any our your readers would know of him.
With kind regards
Carol Barrass
(sadly the photos were not printable)
 101 MWD Sqn Reservists at the
Seat of Power – Armed Forces
National Flagship Event
Cpl Dave Carter 101 MWD Sqn
On 26 June 2018, a number of Reservists from all three Services attended a reception at the Houses of Parliament, marking Armed Forces Reserves Day. In uniform – no medals – we mixed with the great and the good, snaffling the bijou sarnies that were on offer, and slurping tea and coffee by the gallon.
Security was, unsurprisingly, akin to Fort Knox, but once through the layers of checks, we were ushered into an oak-panelled, high-ceilinged reception room, one wall lined with windows overlooking the Thames. Despite the fact that he didn’t bring his tarantula (shame!), I recognised the Secretary of State, Gavin Williamson, as he approached me and my boss.
I told him about my role as a Reservist with101 Military Working Dog Squadron, and explained the challenges of participating in the Reserves whilst balancing full-time shift-working employment and a family life.
I said that 101 Sqn was fairly new, but was up to full manning and always well attended, I went on to explain to the Secretary of State how we integrate with the Regulars of 1st Military Dog Regiment and “loan” their dogs so we can maintain our standards of training
and efficiency. He seemed interested and impressed by our work.
After the obligatory speeches from the Secretary of State and others, we all dispersed, making our way over the road for a well-earned pint! This was paid for by my civilian employer Collin Singer the MD Of Wagtail UK Ltd who was also invited to the National Flagship Event.
RAVC Reserve Recruiting with Military Mascots in Melton Mowbray
On the Saturday of 08 September 2018, a Charity collection was organised, by the Defence Animal Training Regiment, (DATR) in aid of the Army Benevolent Fund, for Melton Mowbray Town Centre, to include several Army Mascots and Handlers.
As I live in Melton Mowbray, I was asked to take part in a small Reserve Recruiting Event, working alongside DATR. The Training Regiment had been running a Regimental Mascot Training Camp, the first of its kind, where they had invited many of the Military’s Mascots, plus handlers, to show them the necessary skills required in dealing with the welfare and well being of animals as Regimental mascots.
And so it was, at 1000Hrs that Saturday morning, Pte Naomi Hughes of 101 Sqn Reserves and I, were sat in a van in the main carpark in Melton, ready and awaiting the arrival of Captain Dan McRink and his merry band of handlers along with their mascots.
Suddenly, several vehicles towing horse boxes arrived and the animals were
Sgt Dave Dingsdale
unloaded, ready for the short walk into the Town Centre. We had Brian Boru X, an Irish Wolfhound, famed mascot of the Royal Irish Regiment, and two Ponies, Cruachan, from the Royal Regiment of Scotland and Emrys from the Queens Dragoon Guards, and to my surprise, I was amazed to see a face from the past, in the form of Sgt Mark Jackson, now Goat Major for the Royal Welsh Regiment, who I had last seen as a Regimental Dog Handler in Kosovo back in March 2004.
After setting up our gazebo in the very busy town centre, Pte Naomi Hughes and I set about luring any unsuspecting civilians who might have shown an interest in joining us as a Reservist in the RAVC, but as expected, it was the mascots that attracted all the attention, the only visitor we had was from an ex-regular from my own particular past, expressing their surprise that I was still alive, or indeed asking what I was doing still in uniform.
For the few hours that we were there, interest in the Mascots was grew well, and we did speak to a lot interested of people
wishing to know more about the RAVC, but no new recruits were netted this time. Nevertheless, it was a good day and still worth doing, we met a lot of people and the rain kept off!
Pte Naomi Hughes 101 Sqn with Brian Boru, Cruachan and Handlers.

   18   19   20   21   22