Armed Forces and Cadets Committee
The committee has been in existence since 1997, when Past Master Roger Hood, who attained the rank of Brigadier in the TA (now called the Army Reserve), facilitated a connection with 151 (London) Transport Regiment, as it was then called, now usually affectionately abbreviated to ‘151’ by most Marketors, in what was a first for both the Regiment and our Company.
Overseeing the relationship was the first Chairman, late Past Master Ian Blythe, and his committee was known as the Regimental Liaison Committee (RLC), aptly enough. This later became the RCLC (Regimental and Cadet Liaison Committee), when we adopted the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at St Dunstan’s College, and is now known as the AFCC, or Armed Forces and Cadets Committee, to reflect the fact that we have subsequently adopted a ship – HMS St Albans in May 2011.
The current Chairman for 2017 is Court Assistant Hugh West. Others on the committee are Freeman Simon Carter, Freeman Michael West, Liveryman Andrew Robinson, Freeman Ruth Powell, Freeman Mark Westaby, Freeman David Cowell, Liveryman Bryan Foss, Liveryman Steven Rowe, Liveryman Marc Scott, Freeman Michael Smeeth, Liveryman Keith Rowland, Freeman Graham Storey and Court Assistant Edward Fulbrook. Overseen in 2017 by Middle Warden Phil Andrew.
We are part of the Company’s Aim Three – ‘Giving back both financially and in-kind, and making a contribution to the development of marketing.’
History of Affiliations
Affiliations came about because In Tudor times it was Livery Companies that supplied the Trained Bands of soldiers from the ranks of their apprentices. These Trained Bands protected the City from dastardly Spanish marauders during the Armada threat and fought during the Civil War.
Indeed Liveries have supplied volunteer soldiers during most conflicts since the first Elizabeth was on the throne. However, these days, the links between them and us are more peaceful and our exchanges are more likely to be across the dinner table than on the field of battle! However, 151 does trust us with weapons at times and we have even been known to drive terrifyingly militaristic vehicles on occasion too!
HMS St Albans has extended hospitality to over 150 Marketors and their guests including a few extended trips at sea, in very modest accommodation, where those that went on board realise what an important and sophisticated role HMS St Albans plays in the defence of the Country and our role as responsible affiliates.
151 Regiment The Royal Logistics Corps
151 Regiment RLC is the only London-based logistic regiment and can trace its origins back to the formation of the Royal Waggon Train in Croydon in 1801. Today it operates as part of 101 Logistic Brigade, providing squadron and troop level capability into two regular units: 10 The Queen’s Own Gurkha Logistic Regiment and 3 Logistic Support Regiment RLC.
Previously a Territorial Army unit, its direct forebears include a number of Essex, Home Counties and London-based Divisional Columns of the Royal Army Service Corps, which provided essential logistic support during both the Boer War and the First World War; the names of some of the latter units can be found on the Guards division memorial on Horse Guards Parade.
The Regimental Headquarters and HQ Squadron are based in Croydon, with three transport squadrons located inside the M25 at Sutton, Barnet and Southall. A fourth transport squadron sits just outside the M25 at Warley in Essex. Previously in a petroleum role, this squadron remains the only 151 squadron with a detached Troop, based in Maidstone, Kent.
By virtue of its location and forebears, the heritage of this Troop can be traced back to the Royal West Kent Regiment and it has the proud honour to be the custodian of a West Kent’s battle colour (flag) dating back to the Regiments’ service in the Indian sub-continent in the mid 1800s.
HMS St Albans near Bergen, Norway, February 2017
As can be seen, history and heritage are very important to the Regiment; hence the high store that it places on its formal linkage with the Marketors as a City Livery Company.
151 Regiment RLC continually recruits men and women aged 18-43 into its ranks of up to 500 soldiers and officers. It is these soldiers who stand ready to serve the nation, whether supporting national events such as the Olympics, major civil incident assisting the emergency services or on operational deployments overseas. The last deployment of soldiers to Afghanistan was at the end of 2013, a fitting final deployment commanded by one of the Regiment’s own Army Reserve officers.
There are some remarkable people in 151, the vast majority being ‘citizen soldiers’ who, with the support of their families and employers, successfully balance competing demands in the form of evening and weekend military training and the occasional six-month operational deployment. No wonder, therefore, that some consider them to be ‘twice a citizen’, even though when you might meet them day-to-day they would appear to be every-day builders, truck drivers, police officers or office workers.
151 is one of the few Army Reserve regiments selected to operate as part of the Army’s ‘Reaction Force’ from 2016 onwards, a true reflection on the quality of its people. Nevertheless, whilst continually adapting to meet the challenges of the future, it remains proud of its heritage, its affiliation to the City of London and the Worshipful Company of Marketors.
Many Marketors have experienced their training including field activities in Salisbury Plane and on the ranges. One of the highlights each year is their splendid curry evening which is on Tuesday 17th October 2017.
The Commanding Officer is Lt Col Mike Taylor MBE RLC and our Liaison Officer is the Adjutant, Captain Gavin Randell RLC.
St Dunstan’s College Combined Cadet Force (CCF)
Carpet Guard St Dunstan’s College 2016
The College, of which Past Master and Aldermanic Sheriff Sir Paul Judge is an old boy and Chair of Governor, is, rightly, very proud of its CCF, many of whom have been seen by our members either as part of a carpet guard at Mansion House when we are invited there, or marching with our float at the Lord Mayor’s Show, which they have done for the past three years.
The aim of the CCF, which is very popular with College students, is to give cadets the chance to learn more about themselves and the world around them through activities that are challenging, worthwhile and fun. The activities are designed to develop qualities of leadership, endurance, resourcefulness, self-reliance, responsibility, and a sense of public service.
There are currently over 200 cadets on the roll, most choosing to stay with the CCF until they leave College for university. They are ably led by Contingent Commander Major Richard Davies.
HMS St Albans
We were amazed, honoured and delighted to be asked to consider an affiliation with HMS St Albans, as they are also affiliated with the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers, a ‘slightly older’ and larger Company. However, we have taken to our duties with gusto and have made several trips to see her in action and in dock and have invited several of her officers to Great Events along with leaders of our other affiliations.
The ship is a Type 23 frigate of the Royal Navy and the sixth ship to bear the name. She is also the sixteenth and final ship in the ‘Duke’ class of frigates and is based in Portsmouth.
On the Range 2016
In late 2013, a new Ship’s Company began to join and when St Albans proceeded to sea in the spring of 2014 after a £25M refit she was at full strength.The build-up of the Ship’s Company is an extremely important part of any refit and signals the start of the ‘regeneration’ of the warship before deployment.
HMS St Albans re-dedication service was held in Portsmouth in 2014 and the Master, all the Wardens and a number of Marketors were in attendance. Later, the Ship visited London where Marketors were invited to a capability demonstration and the Master and three other Marketors joined the Ship as she sailed from the Pool of London to Rotterdam and a similar visit was held in 2015 with Marketors on board Marketors for her return to Portsmouth and later they were invited on board to watch the ‘America’s Cup’ races at close quarters.
HMS St Albans left Home Waters on 30th November 2015 for a nine month operational deployment in the Mediterranean and on Operation Kipion in the Gulf two Marketors joiner her in Cyprus on her return in August 2016.
Marketors were invited to their affiliate’s dinner in the hanger on-board in October 2016.
Whilst each and every member of the team is hugely valued, the joining of the Commanding Officer is a significant event. Commander Chris Ansell RN, took command in December 2016 from Commander Rich Hutchings RN.
Curry Evening 2016
HMS St Albans is currently the Fleet Ready Escort is at short notice to react to any maritime threat to the UK including terrorism and smuggling of arms or narcotics and the like. The Fleet Ready Escort will spend the majority of the year in and around UK waters conducting training and exercises with various UK and military agencies and organisations.
In January 2017 she escorted Escorting the Russian Aircraft Carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and the guided missile cruiser Petr Velikiy through the English Channel and continued northwards to the west coast of Norway.
The Ship is commanded by Commander Chris Ansell RN. Our Liaison Officer is the Principle Weapons Officer (Above Water), Lt Nick Southall RN.
A 330 page book with 350 photographs is available to download – Guide to HMS St Albans (January 2017)
We encourage our affiliates to reciprocate invitations to their events.
Awards are presented, annually, to a member of each of our affiliates, selected by their commanding officers. This usually consists of a miniature sword, a certificate and a cheque.
If you’d like to know more please contact the AFCC Chairman Court Assistant Hugh West at email@example.com