Page 96 - The Rifles Bugle Autumn 2019
P. 96

 Officers’ Mess
As with nearly all other aspects of the running of the battalion, the move to the Specialised Infantry role has precipitated a shift in the life of the Officer’s Mess. Over the last 12 months there has been a high turnover of Mess members, with an ever-changing parade of Volkswagen Golfs and Audi A3s parked illegally next to the Mess, and the operational and training tempo of the companies leading to some lonely dinners for the living-in Battalion Headquarters staff captains.
Nonetheless, there have been a number of notable social events in the calendar with a cracking Summer Ball celebrating ‘British Sporting Summers’ well run by Capts Harry Saunders and Tom Lane. The Christmas Ball, whilst slightly more sober in dress, proved to be another roaring success, with the Late Entry Officers particularly commendable for their starring turns on the dance floor, putting younger Mess members to shame. The departure of the Operations Officer, Capt Guy Hewetson, saw a German themed night in the Mess, with a modest amount of Pilsner inspiring Capts Toby Blackmore and George Gilliard to feats of athleticism when they broke the record for tossing a kettle over the Mess. Capt Harry Sawers
   The winners of the “Best Dressed” competition at the Officers’ Mess ‘British Sporting Summers Ball’
  Serjeants’ Mess
Over the last year the Serjeants’ Mess has held several events on top of the usual bi-annual functions. WO2 Steve Cox organised a fantastic Winter Ball in December that saw the mess trans- formed into a winter wonderland; particularly impressive considering the tight turnaround for set up due to much of the battalion returning from Belize two days before the event.
February saw the mess dine out WO1 (RSM) Si
Metcalf. This was, on the request of the outgoing RSM, held as a ‘generations weekend’ where the mess welcomed parents and grandparents to join in the fun. The weekend involved a brief outline of what the battalion has been doing over the past year, before moving out on to the range with the guests to introduce them to SA80(A3) and Glock 17. The day culminated with the formal dining out dinner of WO1 Metcalf. Thanks must go out to CSjt Gez Davies and team for organising a superb event.
With WO1 Metcalf off to start his new life, the mess then welcomed WO1 (RSM) Al Scott. The incoming RSM chose to have an informal ‘dine in’ in the form of a BBQ and race night. The event was held following the R Coy Medals parade as part of their return from both Op TORAL and SHADER. Here he had the chance to get to know the mess members in a relaxed environment and, more importantly, at a time when the majority of the mess was actually in Aldershot.
With the Summer function just around the corner and the battalion busier than ever, we are looking forward to letting our hair down in style with friends, wives and partners ahead of the much-needed summer break. With A Company set to deploy in September, this will also serve as a knees-up ahead of their departure and ahead of us setting our sights on the Christmas Ball!
WO2 Tim Tyler
       Family Matters!
The last 12 months has seen the Riflemen and their families continue to adapt to the role of being part of a Specialised Infantry Battalion. This comes with many challenges for both our Rifleman, who are deployed all over the world, and their loved ones back in the UK awaiting their safe return. Despite these challenges, the welfare team has organised some great events; from the annual Halloween and Christmas parties, to a wives visit to the Bombay Sapphire Distillery, and a wine and cheese night.
The Welfare Office has also seen some key appointment changes; farewell and thank you to both Capt Rob Parsons (UWO) and CSjt Waqavonovono (Welfare SNCO), and welcome Capt Leon Upton (UWO) and Sjt Richie Mathers (Welfare SNCO). But to keep us all in check, of course, we still have Mrs Christine (Chrissy) Ingram on the team!
Looking forward to the next 12 months the team will be supporting the companies’ events as they arrive back to the UK from their various deployments, with several local events already which are in the planning stages.
Capt Leon Upton

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