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of the MBE for service in Afghanistan; to Lieutenant Colonel (now Colonel) I J Cave on the award of the QCVS for service in Iraq commanding 1 MERCIAN; to Pte New for being Mentioned in Dispatches, to Captain Brunskill and Warrant Officer Class 2 Morley on their Joint Commanders’ Commendations, to Lance Corporal Dunbar and Private Badley on their General Officer Commanding’s Commendations on Operation Telic 11; to Sergeant J Wiles on the award of the Commander in Chief’s Certificate for Meritorious Service for sterling work in Armed Forces Careers Office Birmingham.


Regimental Mascot


June 2007 until February 2008 and then was appointed Chief of Joint Operations Australian Defence Forces in the rank of Lt Gen. He visited Australian Forces in Afghanistan in late 2008 and the photo shows him talking to members of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team (OMLT) from the Mentoring Reconstruction Task Force in Tarin Kowt, Afghanistan.


Lt Gen Mark Evans


Lt Gen Mark Evans Chief of Joint Operations Australian Defence Forces, late WFR


Another (nearly) Local Derby XXIX


Pte Derby XXIX, having completed his basic training under the expert tuition of the Head Shepherd at Chatsworth, Ben Randles, was handed over to the Regimental Secretary on Thursday 15th January 2009; he moved to his newly-refurbished quarters at Chilwell the following week and, on Friday 23rd January 2009, he made his first public appearance at the Cup Tie at Pride Park, Derby, between Nottingham Forest and Derby. Cpl A Skinner is the Ram Major and Pte K Reid is the Ram Orderly. Derby XXIX has a placid temperament and is amenable (occasionally) to visitors.


Local Boy done good…


Many WFR officers and soldiers will remember Lt Mark Evans who retired from the regiment and the Army many years ago and emigrated to Australia. He joined the Australian Army and worked his way up to become a Maj Gen. He commanded the Australian forces in Afghanistan from


The Mercian Eagle


Boy done good… 1 WFR officers and soldiers will remember Lt Sverre Diesen who was attached from the Norwegian Army to 1 WFR as a Company 2ic in Hemer in 1980 – 81. Born in Oslo in 1949, he was a graduate of the Officer Candidate School, Cavalry in 1970 and gained a MSc in Civil Engineering from the Norwegian University of Technology and Science, Trondheim in 1976; he attended the Norwegian Military Academy in 1979 and the Norwegian Army Staff College I and II between 1986 and 1988. In 1990, he was a student at the Staff College, Camberley. He commanded HM The King’s Guards from 1994 to 1996 becoming Comd Land Forces North Norway in 2001. In 2002, he became Comd Land Forces Norway, Dep Sec Gen (Mil) Norwegian MOD in 2003 and Chief of Defence Norway as a General in 2005. He still takes a personal interest in The Mercian Regiment and visited the 2nd Battalion in Hounslow.


Lt Sverre Diesen


Gen Sverre Diesen Chief of the General Staff Norway


A Regimental Yeoman of


The Guard WO2 P Oliver, late STAFFORDS, was inducted into The Queen’s Bodyguard on 2nd December 2008 on retiring from MPGS at 1 RSME. Mr Oliver’s acceptance into The Yeomen of The Guard is particularly good news as the Guard is dominated by the Household Division and few line regiments are represented. It seems that Mr Oliver is the


first STAFFORD since 1895 when Bandmaster Frayling of 2nd Battalion The South Staffordshire Regiment served and Colonel H P Vance of the 38th was the Lieutenant of the Guard in 1897. Mr Oliver’s first duty was on 6th January 2009 at St James’ Palace for the Epiphany ceremony. Mr Oliver has offered to advise and guide any member of the Regiment who is coming up for retirement and who may be considering joining the Guard. It is a long process, taking Mr Oliver some two years from start to finish: he warns that the pay is not exactly excessive a mere £100 per annum!


[The Editor looks forward to an article for this Journal in due course!]


Technical Training and


Education at Shrivenham In November 2008, thirty four students (all Army Majors) from the first Battlespace Technology Course left Shrivenham to take up their appointments in technical and acquisition jobs across defence. Most are working in Equipment Capability branches in London, in Defence Equipment and Support in Bristol or in Headquarters Land Forces in Wilton. On submission of a project which they must complete in their own time, these students will qualify for an MSc. Forty students are already loaded onto the second course having completed an introductory training module before Christmas. Having completed the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land), they resumed technical training as Battlespace Technology Course Number 2 in May 2009. Plans are already being considered to expand the capacity of future courses reflecting the renewed importance that the Army places on technical training and education. The Defence Technology Club sponsors the Hackett Prize for the top student on the Battlespace Technology Course.


Brigadier Robbie Scott Bowden, Club Chairman, presents the Hackett Prize (a very attractive silver coracle) to Major Tony Spears


October 2009 9


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