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3 MERCIAN Wives’


Recce to Germany We were some of the lucky wives from 3 MERCIAN chosen to go on the Recce to Fallingbostel in November 2008. We landed in Hanover on a gloriously clear day and it took us roughly 40 minutes to get to “Fally” using the autobahn. Once we had dropped off our luggage and found our rooms in the Garrison Officers’ Mess, we took a drive into Walsrode, (the nearest large town) and had an afternoon shopping with lunch at a lovely little Italian restaurant. In the evening, we met up with the Fusiliers wives and they gave us a warm welcome and told us some of the things to expect when we move over there - some good (schools, family time, a sense of community and better pay to name just a few) and some bad (away from home, expensive to purchase UK food, worries about the language barrier).


On the second day, we were taken around the flats and houses we will/could be living in when we get over there. I will admit that it was a bit of a shock to the system as we are used to living in houses with gardens and we were told that it is mainly flats over there. That said, the flats are big and they all have a large communal area suitable for trampolines and barbecues etc. In the evening, we went for a meal with a number of the Fusiliers couples at a lovely little restaurant beside the river in Fallingbostel town. The atmosphere was really chilled and, after a “few glasses of red”, we were all laughing like old friends. The food, service and price were very good and the staff were really friendly, speaking better English than I could speak German!


On the third day (and, let me tell you, by this time we had fitted in so much it felt like we had been there for a week already), we went to visit the schools and we were amazed by the facilities that the two Primary schools had to offer. The staff were very informative and answered most of our questions. We also spent time viewing some of the crèches that are there. In the afternoon, we went on a shopping trip to Celle. Celle is a very old town with beautiful old buildings mixed in amongst very modern German architecture (the shopping was good, too!). That evening, we were invited for a meal with the lovely wife of the Fusiliers’ Commanding Officer and some of the other wives we had met through the week.


On our last day, we visited Gloucester secondary school on our way to the airport and, once again, we were bowled over by the facilities there for the children right up until they are 18. The staff made all the time in the world to answer our questions and show us around. I’m positive that few of our children will have a problem settling in and achieving good results in that fantastic


The Mercian Eagle


school. I believe sincerely that, even though we will have to get used to a few things over there (the different German laws, language etc), the quality of life we are going to enjoy outweighs any minor adjustments we will have to make. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank once again the 1st Bn The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and their wives for their hospitality and the way they looked after us so well while we were there and to our own Battalion for inviting us to take part in the Recce and giving us the opportunity to make our own minds up about our new home… we’ve done that and can’t wait!


Battalion Football


Season 2008 – 2009 The Battalion Football Team has had a bit of a mixed season in many ways. It started well when the squad sent seven players to 1 MERCIAN who were hosting trials for the Mercian Regiment team. Of the sixty players who participated, all of ours were selected to play a charity match against the cast from Coronation St and Holyoaks. The game went very well with the side winning 4:1 after a great performance from all of our players. This resulted in Cpl Werritt, LCpls Cupid, Tagg, and Ptes Bailey and Nevin being selected for a three week tour in New Zealand.


It has been extremely difficult to get fixtures in the League because of our LWC commitments but we have managed a couple of good cup runs. The best result by far was a 6:1 win over 1 MERCIAN, the first win over them in more than 20 years. Pte Birks, who scored a hat trick in the game, has kept the match ball which, I’m sure, will be a prized possession for years to come. At the latter


end of the season, some new talent started to come through with Monday night training having a good following. Hopefully, with a bit of coaching from our newly qualified and extremely enthusiastic coach, LCpl Cupid, these younger players will allow the likes of Travis, Price, Bennett and Chappelle to finally hang up their boots. We are still in the 4th Division Cup and we hope to progress and get something out of a very frustrating season.


I thank everybody for their support: sometimes it’s been difficult and very frustrating. We are in good shape and ready for next season in Germany and hope to build on the positives from this season. Football is a great Army sport, promoting teamwork, fitness and confidence. Like all sport, football is good for retention and we must continue to encourage and support our soldiers who represent our Battalion. On behalf of the whole Squad, I would like to say Farewell to Sgt Keith Bennett and thank him for his support over many years. He has been a Player, Coach, Physio and Secretary who has always given his best.


Ex Ice Breaker 4 – 10 January 2009 by Lt Koniarski


OC 7 Platoon Sliding down an ice track on your head at 85 mph, dressed in Lycra... To some, this would seem a little foolhardy but eleven members of the 3rd Battalion were immediately sold on the idea. Ex Ice Breaker was a week-long exercise run by the Army Winter Sports Association to promote the 3 disciplines of Bobsleigh, Skeleton Bob and Luge, all to


Pte ‘HESH’ Edwards goes head first on his ‘tea tray’.


Pte ‘Tomo’ Thompson holds the BOB on Turn 10 October 2009 81


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