Regimental Family News and Sport


Bury St Edmunds Re-dedication Ceremony 

On Friday the 11th of May 2018 at 1100hrs the Bury St Edmunds Branch of the Royal Artillery Association (RAA) held a re-dedication ceremony for a new hornbeam memorial tree at its site near the War Memorial on Angel Hill.

The new hornbeam tree commemorates ” those Gunners from West Suffolk who gave their lives in the service of their country”. The original tree and plaque was donated by Brigadier Denis Blomfield Smith who was the Branch President at the time. The tree unfortunately died due to ground contamination. A replacement tree was investigated by Captain Jos Bird the Branch Chairman and with  help from “Bury in Bloom”, the Town and Borough Councils it was obtained and planted on the 30th November 2017 with a promise of a rededication ceremony in the Spring.

Following a few words of welcome to members and guests from Captain Jos Bird, Canon Cedric Catton performed the rededication ceremony and on completion Colonel Roger Bowden the Branch President thanked our guests for their involvement in providing and planting the tree and for the attendance of the Branch members and wives.

Following the ceremony guests and members retired to The Fox inn to further celebrate the rededication ceremony.

Please note the Bury St Edmunds branch of the Royal Artillery Association meets regularly on the 1st Friday of each month at 1100hrs at the Fox Inn on Eastgate Street.The Branch currently has 25 active members and 12 to 14 regularly attend the Friday get togethers. New members would be made most welcome !



RA Charitable Fund Visits Veteran's Aid

Sandra and I made our way to East London to see first-hand our Gunners being helped by Veteran’s Aid. Homelessness is something your Regimental charity comes across too often, a roof over your head, a place to call home, is the beginning to opening doors to a brighter future. The hostel is currently being refurbished; it's a warm safe environment with experts on hand to help to get people back on their feet. Having met our Gunners currently living in the hostel it was great to see their lifes being turned around.  One Gunner that we met has since moved out and found housing; we will be able to assist him further with furnishing his new permanent home. A truly humbling trip and very clear the money is spent on the need of the individuals. The RACF is always by your side to assist during times of need.


Leeds Branch lay up their old Standard

On the 21st April Leeds Branch of The Royal Artillery Association laid up their old Standard. The Standard will now be on permanent display at Yarnbury Rugby Club which has close ties with the Armed Forces. The branch would like to thank key organisations in enabling Leeds Branch to find this fitting home for the c1947 Standard. Thanks also go to Yarnbury RFC who will now have the standard in their main club room on permanent display.  

Marathon Des Sables


This will be my last post of the fantastic adventure that has been the Marathon Des Sables.

I simply want to say that I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the support that I have received from family, friends, and colleagues. The race was an unbelievable experience but the real achievement has been the £2700 that you have all raised towards Combat Stress and the Royal Artillery Charitable Fund. If you haven’t yet donated it isn’t too late.

Thank you again, you are all amazing and your support is what has made the race an unforgettable experience.


I will finish with a wise man’s words:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." - Roosevelt



Veterans Urged to Come Forward and Tell Their Stories Following the MOD’s announcement that the Royal Military School of Music is to vacate its historic home at Kneller Hall in South West London, veterans’ charity The Legasee Educational Trust has been commissioned to chronicle over 160 years of military music tradition at the celebrated Grade II listed institution.

Supported by a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund and teaming up with local schoolchildren from Chase Bridge School in Twickenham, the Legasee Educational Trust will explore the illustrious history of The RMSM at Kneller Hall and examine the importance of music to the military effort. Thanks to National Lottery players, the project will feature the filmed oral accounts of 40 veterans and military personnel who trained or worked at the school as well as the recording of the numerous bugle calls that have been used for vital military communication over hundreds of years.  School children from Chase Bridge School will contribute to the creation of educational lesson plans, which will sit alongside the filmed resources on the Legasee Educational Trust website for future generations to discover and learn from. 

The activity will culminate in a spectacular public concert to be held at Kneller Hall in Summer 2019.

Legasee Trustee Martin Bisiker said: “From communication to celebration, music has been an integral part of warfare from the very outset.  Focusing on the work of the Royal Military School of Music, our project will not only explore the history of the military bands who create such a stunning spectacle at state occasions but also focus on the often forgotten history and role of military musicians in wartime and the part they have played in post war conflict resolution.“

Esther Mann, Curator, Museum of Army Music said: “At a time when the Royal Military School of Music faces an uncertain future, we are delighted to be teaming up with the Legasee Educational Trust to record the institution’s extraordinary history for the students and historians of the future to enjoy.”

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “We’re delighted to support Legasee Educational Trust to explore and celebrate the 300 year old military music collection held by the Corps of Army Music at Kneller Hall. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the interpretation of this collection will be enhanced and a number of memories will be recorded, enabling the community to learn about an important part of the military history.”

Veterans who studied at the institution are being urged to get in touch and share their memories.  If you know someone who studied or worked at Kneller Hall and has a story to tell, please contact the Legasee Educational Trust at

Thank you #RACF

My Father and our Family’s thanks to you for the kind donation of funds from yourselves SAFFA, and the Royal British legion to enable the purchase of his Electric chair.  

It has made such a positive life change for him in his 89th year, as now he is not restricted to staff members being available to push him everywhere, making him feel more able and also less isolated in his room. 

He is now making plans to get out and about come the spring.   He will be 90yrs on Christmas eve this year so plans to be doing some wheelchair dancing!  

Once again and I can’t say it enough, Thank You!  

Angie Gatford

Remembering IRA bomb victims with memorial service at M62 Hartshead Moor Service Station

Member of the Regimental Family gathered to remember the victims of the IRA bombing in 1974.  Both the Royal Artillery Association and the serving Regiment were in attendance to pay their respects.



Captain Tony Ryder is a former regular army officer, who at the end of his service became a member of The Full Time Army Reserve.   Although retaining his original Royal Artillery capbadge (he can’t be convinced to do otherwise), Tony has been a member of 102 Battalion REME since 2013.   On Thursday 14th December during our Permanent Staff Christmas function, Tony was awarded The Voluntary Reserve Service Medal for 10 years service with the Reserve.   All in all Captain Ryder has completed 34 years military service!

100 Years old, truly 'Once a Gunner, Always a Gunner'

Thank you so very much for your great response to my father’s ‘100th’ birthday, I am very grateful and he was utterly thrilled to get a card from the Master Gunner an all ranks.  How special.  I send 2 of photos of him just so you can see how thrilled he was. The other one is of him during the war as a gunner.  I am immensely touched by your kind actions. Forever grateful, and forgive me if I have been truly boring!!!!!


A couple of weeks ago I contacted you regarding my father, Arthur Stearn, who would be 100 on 15th January. Having served throughout WW2 in the Royal Artillery he was absolutely delighted to receive the card sent to him to help him celebrate his special day. I would like to thank you on his behalf for this gesture and attach a photograph of him with his card. It was no surprise when I visited him on his birthday to see him dressed in his blazer with his regimental badge and proudly wearing his RA tie as this is his preferred attire when he needs to look smart and he was ready for his party! I have also attached a photo which I took on last Remembrance Sunday before we took him out.