Old soldiers mark Chichester branch's 20th anniversary
The 20th anniversary of the Chichester branch of the Queen's Regimental Association was celebrated yesterday.
This year also marks 50 years since The Queen’s Regiment was formed, when the British Army amalgamated the four regiments of the Home Counties Brigade in 1966, including The Royal Sussex Regiment, which had many members from Chichester.
The branch has met had various venues over the last two decades but has been settled for some time at Chichester City Club, in North Pallant, where the anniversary dinner of roast beef and apple crumble was served to members, their partners and invited guests.
Colonel David Beveridge spoke about the branch’s history, explaining it was formed in 1996 by a small group from the Chichester branch of the Royal Sussex Regimental Association.
“They did a huge amount of work, aided and abetted by a small but willing band of helpers, and they gradually grew into the thriving branch that we have today,” he added.
One of the special guests was Lt Colonel Ron Tilston, who was in the Corps of Royal Military Police and was seconded to the 3rd Battalion the Queen’s Regiment, in which many of the branch members served.
Col Beveridge gave the toast to the guests and Lt Col Tilston gave the response, along with the toast to the Queen’s Regimental Association.
He told of some of the experiences he had with the 3rd battalion during the year he spent with them from 1966 to 1967, learning tactical skills.
He said it was important for RMP officers to go on detachment to improve their infantry skills and understand the life of an ordinary soldier.
Tim Grainger, chairman of Chichester City Club, was presented with a Queen’s Regiment bronze Boots and Beret statue as a token of thanks for providing a venue for the branch’s monthly meetings and other events.
“Throughout these years, we have received a great deal of support in Chichester,” Col Beveridge added.
Chichester City Council was thanked for its help over the years and Chichester mayor Peter Budge was presented with a Boots and Beret statue for the people of Chichester.
Col Beveridge also received a Boots and Beret statue, as he is retiring as president after 17 years’ service.
Chairman David Tilley said: “We are going to find it difficult to find somebody of his calibre to take over.”
The Chichester branch meets on the last Wednesday of each month and welcomes all former members of the Queen’s Regiment, its forebear regiments and successor, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment.
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