Lance Sergeant John Storey Lance Sergeant John Storey is the principal Euphonium player in the Band of the Coldstream Guards 1 , Corps of Army Music. Here he talks about the excitement and privilege and some of the hurdles he had to overcome to perform with the world famous Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. From Sappora to Sloane Square Over the last 15 years as Principal Euphonium in the Band of the Coldstream Guards, I have been privileged to travel the world and play at great venues with amazing musicians.
October 2013 was the time for the Red Machine to make its regular concert tour of Japan. But Three weeks before we were due to leave, I received an email from the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), one of the most famous orchestras in the world, asking if I would be interested in playing with them at the famous Cadogon Hall in Chelsea. I was flattered and excited about the offer to swap the bearskin for Black Tie and jumped at the chance.
After accepting the gig I started to panic. The concert was two days after we were due to get back from Japan. Would I be able to practice?
Would I be able to get my instruments back in time? What was I thinking? I arrived in Japan with a large silent brass mute hidden in my suitcase.
This enables brass instrumentalists to play normally while controlling the sound output to headphones. The trouble was the size and weight of the equipment left me a little short on other luggage. Who needs more than two pairs of trousers and one going out shirt?
The tour was pretty hectic and I had to be inventive. I practised in hotel rooms, swapped sushi for scales and ditched chicken Katsu for Cadenzas. One night, I even lay awake playing the music over and over in my head.
Lance Sergeant John Storey sits poised with his Euphonium on the left of the stage The concert Lance Sergeant John Storey performing on the trombone with other brass players of the RPO The two weeks in Japan flew by. In what seemed like a whirlwind, I was no longer on stage with my trusty band colleagues and old friends. I was rehearsing in a church in Blackheath with a group of other people, mostly strangers.
There was no time to think about the things that had worried me up until now. Before I knew it, the gig was over! I loved every minute of it and was touched by how many people from the band came out to show their support.
After a few drinks with old friends, the adrenaline levels fell and I finally got to catch up on the jet lag my body had been so desperately fighting. It had been little over 48 hours since I landed at Heathrow. I was asked to use this article to reflect on how preparing for and playing on stage with the RPO made me feel.
Was I nervous? Did I get a real buzz? Did I feel proud?
The answer to all is undoubtedly, yes! However, this is not the time to rest on one s laurels. I am back with my band to prepare for the most important gig of all.
It is the one that after 15 years leaves a lump in my throat, sends shivers down my spine and makes me so proud to be a member of the Corps of Army Music the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph, London. This entry was posted in CAMus 2 , Uncategorized 3 and tagged Army 4 , Band 5 , British Army 6 , camus 7 , Coldstream Guards 8 , Corps of Army Music 9 , euphonium 10 , music 11 , musician 12 , royal philharmonic orchestra 13 . Bookmark the permalink 14 .
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Playing with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Hong Kong British Army veterans visiting London in their fight to win right of abode found their role in the former colonial ruler’s history forgotten as they bought poppies for Remembrance Day, which falls today. “We saw a captain selling poppies at Holborn tube station. We approached him and made our donations. When we told him that we were from Hong Kong and have also served in the UK army, he didn’t believe us,” said Roger Ching Yuen-ki, chairman of the British-Chinese Soldiers’ Benevolent Association, who was leading the delegation of 13.
His colleague Alain Lau Sing-wah then showed his military pin yet the captain still looked unsure. “Nowadays, few in the young generation know about the existence of Hong Kong in the UK’s history. We feel a bit sad because we are being abandoned,” Ching said. To help raise awareness of Hong Kong veterans’ past contribution to the United Kingdom, the delegation gave interviews to historians at the National Army Museum and held a fund-raising dinner at the Houses of Parliament.
The group was also on a push to get British right of abode for all Chinese Hong Kong veterans who served in the British Army. Under the British Nationality Selection Scheme launched in 1990, 50,000 Hong Kong families were given British right of abode. Among the places allocated to members of the disciplined services, 500 were given to military personnel under a points system based on criteria including rank.
An estimated 1,600 members of the former Hong Kong Military Service Corps and the Hong Kong Royal Naval Service missed out. Last year, a group of former soldiers set up the Campaign for Abandoned British-Chinese Soldiers Left in Hong Kong to fight for full British citizenship for these veterans and their families. More than 400 veterans have expressed their interest in applying for British passports and the soldiers’ benevolent association is supporting the battle.
While only a minority of Hong Kong veterans have settled in Britain, those denied the right believe they should be entitled to it regardless of whether they choose to move. Since the start of the campaign last year, 26 out of 650 members of the House of Commons have signed a motion backing their claim to right of abode. The campaigners hope to get 100 signatures in all.
Even then, chances of securing a debate in the Commons are slim. In a second line of attack, three of the campaigners have volunteered to apply for British passports as test cases. However, association vice-chairman Ho Sui-tong said they were unlikely to take the cases to court as the chance of winning a lawsuit was also considered slim.
Despite a new wave of discussion of emigration among Hongkongers amid growing discontent over socio-political developments, the former colonial soldiers said their fight was unrelated to these complaints. Harry Wong Hi-kwong, who served from 1986 to 1992 in the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Royal Military Police, applied unsuccessfully for the nationality selection scheme prior to the 1997 handover. Wong said he had no plans to emigrate but thought the British government owed its former servicemen some answers. “What I am asking for now is just a proper explanation.” He also said the right to British citizenship would be a safety net for his daughter, now four.
William Santos, a third-generation British Hongkonger who has worked in three units in the army, said he had British citizenship but wanted to fight for right of abode for his 17-year-old daughter. “It is not that we see Hong Kong as chaotic now, but we believe we deserve the right.”
Musn Rachel Pounder (left) & Musn Abbie Kasparis (right) In this the second article about the tour of Japan by the Band of the Coldstream Guards, Musicians Rachel Pounder and Abbie Kasparis talk us through the remainder of this exciting trip, and shows us some of the exciting trips you could be on if you were in the Corps of Army Music Sushi and Spa Following the concert on Sunday night we headed south from Sapporo airport for the next leg of the tour, the fantastic city of Tokyo. We were all excited to reach the capital, and with an afternoon free we quickly departed our hotel to explore some of the sights. First off was the stunning temple Senso-Ji.
This is situated in the area of Asakusa, which according to legend was miraculously fished out of the nearby Sumida-gawa river by two fishermen in 628 AD. Leading up to the temple is Nakamise-dori, a bustling shopping street boasting a diverse range of Japanese souvenirs including beautiful silk kimonos, chopsticks, teas and rice crackers. Being in Japan you have to experience Sushi, so 3 of us ladies in the band filled up on a traditional sushi dinner, then jumped at the chance of using the hotel s relaxing spa facility.
A well deserved rest after a busy few days! Fish before your eyes Early the next morning a few of us ventured to the famous Tsukiji Fish Market. We navigated our way through countless wholesale fish stalls and food markets.
Eventually we stopped at a sushi bar for breakfast where the food was prepared by the chef right before our eyes. An amazing sight and a real treat Corporal Chris Dymott After lunch we set up for an afternoon rehearsal at Sumida Trifony Hall. This is close to Tokyo s Eiffel Tower lookalike, Tokyo Tower.
The large audience of close to a 1000 were again very warm and welcoming. The soloists featured in the concert were Lance Corporal Chris Dymott on the vibraphone performing Tribute to Lionel by Andre Wagnein, Colour Sergeant Dave Wright on his Flugelhorn and Musician Chad Barrigan on his classical guitar, yes we use guitars in military bands, performing together in The Children of Sanchez by Chuck Mangione. CSgt Dave Wight Time for speed The following morning the Band boarded a shinkansen, more commonly known as the Bullet Train to the city of Nagoya.
This high-speed train reaches speeds of up to 300km per hour and ate up the 300+ km journey in no time and arrived bang on time, unlike our daily commutes in London! Our venue tonight was Aichi Prefectural Arts Theatre Concert Hall, previously visited by the band on the 2011 tour. Bullet train Whilst engaging with some of those attending prior to the concert, one audience member produced photographs with band members from the concert in 2011 after buying a record-breaking twelve CDs clearly our number one fan that I expect also follows us online.
Tonight s soloists were our lead violinist Lance Corporal Helen Betteridge performing an arrangement for violin and wind band of Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens and Sergeant John Storey (euphonium) with Carnival Cocktail by Steve Sykes. Lance Corporal Sam Smith surprised the audience by sneakily including a well-known Japanese tune, Furasato, in his cadenza as part of Cossack Fire Dance by Peter Graham. We want to come back!
This tour has been a fantastic experience for all members of the band and When we joined up we never expected to travel to such an exotic and exciting place, we hope we can get to revisit Japan again very soon, raising the profile of the Corps of Army Music and indeed the UK. Read British Army Music travels to Japan Pt1 1 Find out more about careers in the Corps of Army Music 2 This entry was posted in 1 SCOTS GUARDS 3 , CAMus 4 , Coldstream Guards 5 and tagged Band of The Coldstream Guards 6 , camus 7 , Coldstream Guards 8 , Corps of Army Music 9 , Japan 10 , music 11 , musician 12 , SCOTS GUARDS 13 . Bookmark the permalink 14 .
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I have to say that I am rather sad to hear today that ‘The Church’ is violently opposed to the British Army recruiting 16yr olds into it on the grounds that we oppose ‘Child Soldiers’. The reality is that an organisation ‘Child Soldiers International’ (CSI) has sent a letter to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) protesting about sixteen year olds joining the Army. There are many reports and interviews flying around and people wittering on about the Army ‘no longer routinely deploying children into conflict,’ and some are even claiming that we are, ‘No better than those in Central Africa,’ when it comes to child soldiers.
But I have to say the signatories of the CSI document don’t speak for me and here’s why: 1. I have seen more lives changed for the better than the worse by recruiting younger men. I’ve seen kids escape lifestyles and environments that would have potentially seen them criminalised, impirsoned, abused and even dead.
Their time in the army changed who they were and made them different men, and better citizens.
2. The youngest death in conflict I know of was that of a soldier depyoed days after his 18th birthday and the reality is that any death, conflict or otherwise, is a tragedy and the clich d ‘doing what they loved’ doesn’t make it any difference. Raising the entry age to 20 or 21 as some suggest is an interesting suggestion – does this mean that there is a lesser wrong or sadness in a KIA situation fir those who are older?
Of course not – all emotive tosh I’m afraid for ALL deaths in conflict are awful and tragic. (And there are so many who already misunderstand Remembrance and foolishly talk about glorifying war and the like – this is part of the same ignorance and spin).
3. I would rather see the less than a thousand youngster who join up each year being taught a trade and receiving education in a military setting than sitting around as NEETs and getting into trouble with the law and the community in which they live. Raise the age to 20/21 and we’d be able to restrict our I take because of their criminal records perhaps?
4. The ability to join the army rather than be conscripted or coerced is something that seems to be being overlooked (or perhaps ignored) here. Those who join tend to do so because they want to join – I’ve met some where the family ‘encouraged’ them and whilst some left after a brief stay – as many found they liked their new family and stayed to see out a significant career.
So here we are – using the te minute rule – my internal dialogue and my external views if asked today.
I would rather see youngsters come, find the Values and Standards of the British Army (which are life changing) and get some education and opportunities to get fit and test themselves (in our family that’s what Air Cadets and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award provide) in a variety of settings.
And if you really care about Child Soldiers – February 12 is ‘Red Hand Day’
Child Soldiers and the British Army
Nov 5th, 2013 by Michelle Wright 1 For the first time in many years the British army will be taking a key role in the fight against illegal wildlife poaching in Africa. A team of 25 paratroopers in Kenya 2 will provide training to Kenyan rangers. The soldiers will not take part directly in operations against poachers but, instead, will provide training on how to patrol better, work more effectively as a team and what to do if an encounter with a poacher arises.
Members of the Kenyan Wildlife Service, Kenyan Forestry Service and the conservation organisation, Mount Kenya Trust, will receive the training in the coming weeks. Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, said: Illegal poaching is having a devastating effect on some of the world s most iconic species and we must work together to tackle it. By joining forces with those on the front line in Kenya, our armed services will be able to provide training and support to the courageous people who put their lives on the line every day to protect these animals.
Source: The Guardian Tags: conservation , News from Africa , Poaching , Wildlife News 3 4 5 6 Posted in Conservation , News from Africa , Wildlife News 7 8 9 References ^ Posts by Michelle Wright (safari.co.uk) ^ Kenya (safari.co.uk) ^ conservation (safari.co.uk) ^ News from Africa (safari.co.uk) ^ Poaching (safari.co.uk) ^ Wildlife News (safari.co.uk) ^ View all posts in Conservation (safari.co.uk) ^ View all posts in News from Africa (safari.co.uk) ^ View all posts in Wildlife News (safari.co.uk)
Monty s Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe In Monty s Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe 1 , John Buckley offers a radical reappraisal of Great Britain s fighting forces during World War Two, challenging the common belief that the British Army was no match for the forces of Hitler s Germany. Following Britain s military commanders and troops across the battlefields of Europe, from D-Day to VE-Day, from the Normandy beaches to Arnhem and the Rhine, and, ultimately, to the Baltic, Buckley s provocative history demonstrates that the British Army was more than a match for the vaunted Nazi war machine. In this extract from the introduction to Monty s Men 2 , Buckley sets the scene for the conclusion of the war in Western Europe.
The imperious Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery receives the German surrender from Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg and the negotiations designed to reconstruct a shattered continent begin. Bernard Montgomery At 8 A.M. on Saturday 5 May 1945 the British Army won its greatest victory of the Second World War, for on that day all the forces of the Third Reich confronting it in Northern Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark surrendered.
In the space of a little less than a year, since 6 June 1944, the British and their Allies had driven the much feared and lauded German Army back from the beaches of Normandy, across France, through the Low Countries and into Germany itself. By May 1945 the British had reached the Baltic and captured Hamburg, the largest port in the disintegrating Third Reich, while American armies had struck deep into Central Germany and Austria and linked up with Soviet troops advancing from the East. Hitler was dead, the German government was in hapless disarray and the destruction of the Third Reich was all but complete.
For Field Marshal Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, commander-in-chief of 21st Army Group to which British troops in Northwest Europe had been allotted, this was the finest moment of his career, the validation of his philosophy and approach to command and leadership. Over the previous few days he had driven the one-sided negotiations with the Germans completely in the direction he desired, and was now intent on maximising the impact of the signing of the document of surrender in front of the press and camera at 6 p.m. on 4 May.
Monty was never a man to miss an opportunity to self-publicise, and certainly not the moment when the German Army was going to surrender, particularly as that capitulation would be to him and not to his rival American colleagues, Eisenhower, Bradley or Patton. Now firmly established in Northern Germany, Montgomery had set up his HQ on L neburg Heath, within sight of the town s two church spires and nestled against the nearby forest. When the German delegation first arrived on 3 May, led by Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg and General Hans Kinzel, they received a frosty reception from Montgomery.
After initially keeping them waiting, when he did emerge from his caravan he had changed from his usual sweater and cords into a battledress and beret. One officer on the 21st Army Group staff recorded that Monty spoke to them as if they were vacuum-cleaner salesmen and snapped, What do you want? He became terser still when it emerged that the delegation was merely attempting to buy more time for German civilians and troops to flee westwards from the advancing Red Army.
Montgomery made a big show of their desperate state and demanded that unconditional surrender of all German forces facing 21st Army Group was the only realistic option: No alternative . . . Finish! he barked at them.
For Montgomery there was nothing to negotiate about and therefore he made little use of his intelligence officer and translator, Colonel Joe Ewart. Such a demonstration reduced Friedeburg, head of the German Navy, to tears and he left L neburg Heath later that day to consult with his seniors. He returned the following afternoon on 4 May to sign the document prepared by the British, the terms and conditions of which had been broadly cleared by General Eisenhower, Monty s superior at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF).
Montgomery relished every moment of this denouement and few had seen the Field Marshal so upbeat and jocular. Bristling with confidence that the deal would be done, he held an unusually lively press conference at 5 p.m. to update the media representatives, during which he was informed that the Germans had returned as expected.
Montgomery finished his briefing and then, standing outside his tent with the Union flad fluttering above, met the German delegation. First he received Friedeburg in his caravan to ensure that the Germans were willing to comply with the conditions demanded, after which, and with RAF fighters roaring overhead to emphasise Allied supremacy to the subdued Germans, he and the signatories moved to a prepared tent for the coup de gr ce. Montgomery peremptorily instructed the Germans what to do and where to sit, glowering at one who took out a cigarette; the man in question quickly put the offending article away.
Then, in front of the press and the BBC microphones, and with the rain pattering against the canvas roofing above, Monty, wearing his tortoiseshell-rimmed glasses, read out the Instrument of Surrender, prompted the Germans to sign it, and then did likewise on behalf of Eisenhower. Curiously, Montgomery initially dated the document incorrectly and had to scribble out the date and amend it; he nevertheless retained the version sent only Photostats to Eisenhower, despite being asked to send the original. Someone looking for a souvenir snaffled the pen used to sign the surrender.
After the ceremony Montgomery sighed, relaxed, took off his glasses and said: That concludes the surrender. This was met by an eruption of cheers from the British troops outside the tent, surreptitiously alerted by a confident inside. The war for the British Army and its Allies in 21st Army Group would come to an end at 0800 on 5 May . – From Monty s Men: The British Army and the Liberation of Europe 3 Buy Monty s Men | More Extracts 4 5 Like this: Like Loading…
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Last month, I wrote a blog titled: Dr. Munshi s Historic Letter to Pandit Nehru . In the Tailpiece to this blog I had recalled what I had read in a recent Pioneer report that Panditji wanted to refer the Hyderabad issue also to the U.N.
Security Council and he had strongly disapproved of Sardar Patel s decision to send the army into Hyderabad. The Pioneer report was based on a book written by an IAS officer, one MKK Nair. In my blog relating to Dr.
Munshi s letter, I had said that I have been desperately searching for the book on which the news report was based, but I have not been able to locate it at any bookstore or even in any library. Shri Chandan Mitra, Pioneer Editor also had been unable to get it for me. Through this blog, I appealed to all my readers that I would feel greatly indebted to whosoever can procure the book for me.
I also asked a senior leader of the Kerala BJP, and a former Parliamentary colleague of mine, Shri O. Rajagopal, to try to locate the book. I am very happy that these efforts have borne fruit, thanks particularly to Rajagopalji.
It appears that the book had been written in Malayalam. The news item in the Pioneer was based on that. The book was in the process of being translated into English.
The translator, Shri Gopakumar, has now addressed a letter to me, and along with the letter sent me a copy of the translated manuscript which he writes would be published by the publishers soon after appropriate editing. Going through the relevant portions of the book, I find that the cabinet meeting which occasioned a sharp exchange between Nehru and Patel on the Hyderabad issue took place shortly before the so called police action actually took place in 1948. This was also a phase when Lord Mountbatten had left for London, and Rajaji had become Governor General.
What follows in MKK Nair s book is an episode which casts a serious reflection on some British army officials hostile to India. Instead of paraphrasing this episode, or giving just its summary, let me put on record what Nair has exactly said in his book titled The Story of an Era Told without Ill Will . Nair writes: On April 30, 1948, Indian Army withdrew fully from Hyderabad.
After that, Rizvi and the Razakars began to behave licentiously all over the state. Mountbatten had left and Rajaji was the Governor General. Nehru, Rajaji and Patel were all aware of the dangerous situation prevailing in Hyderabad.
Patel believed that the army should be sent to put an end to the Nizam s wantonness. At about that time, the Nizam had sent an emissary to Pakistan and transferred a large sum of money from his Government account in London to Pakistan. At a cabinet meeting, Patel had described these things and demanded that army be sent to end the terror-regime in Hyderabad.
Nehru who usually spoke calmly, peacefully and with international etiquette, spoke losing his composure, You are a total communalist. I will never accept your recommendation. Patel remained unperturbed but left the room with his papers. * The situation in Hyderabad worsened day by day.
Rajaji wanted to find a solution to the basic issue and also conciliate between Nehru and Patel. He called V P Menon and talked to him. VP let Rajaji know that the army was being kept battle-ready and could be asked to attack at any time.
Rajaji invited Nehru and Patel to come to Rashtrapati Bhavan (then the Governor General s house) next day. V P Menon was also asked to be present. As V P Menon was on his way to Rashtrapati Bhavan for the meeting, an ICS officer named Butch (from the State Home Ministry who had conducted discussions for integration of Travancore and Kochi) stopped him and handed over a letter.
It was from the British High Commissioner and protested the rape of seventy year old nuns of a convent two days earlier by Razakars. V P Menon handed over the letter to Rajaji when he reached for the meeting. The meeting at Rashtrapati Bhavan began after Nehru and Patel arrived.
Rajaji in his typical style described the situation in Hyderabad. He felt that, to safeguard India s reputation, a decision should not be delayed any longer. Nehru was concerned about international repercussions.
Rajaji then played his trump card the letter from the British High Commissioner. Nehru read it. His face turned red and veins bulged on his bald head.
Anger choked his words. He shot out of his chair, slammed his fist on the table and cried out, Let s not waste a moment. We ll teach them a lesson.
Rajaji immediately told V P Menon, VP, inform the Commander in-Chief to proceed according to the plan VP conveyed the order to General Busher. Nehru sat with his head in his hands. He drank tea and remained silent.
Rajaji smiled and said: If it is cancer, it has to be removed, even if it is painful. V P Menon returned to his office after the meeting and quickly planned the things to be done. The Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan was also an Englishman who nursed feelings of enmity with Indian leaders.
When Busher took over from General Lockhart as Commander in-Chief, he had sworn allegiance to India in God s name. Soon after Busher heard from V P Menon, he instructed Rajendra Singh who asked General Choudhary to begin military action at three next morning. At seven that evening, Busher contacted Karachi and spoke with his counterpart there.
The conversation was in French. Next morning at ten, V P Menon walked into Busher s room. Assuming that he had come for details of the Hyderabad action, Busher brought him up to date with its progress.
VP then said, I know all that. I have come for something else. Did you speak with Pakistan s Commander in-Chief yesterday evening.
Hearing this, Busher s face went pale. VP, are you saying that we friends cannot speak with each other? Was that a friendly conversation?
Do you doubt it? Why did you speak in French? Have you started tapping telephones?
Shouldn t we if circumstances warrant? Was it really a friendly chat? Of course!
V P Menon took out a document and gave it to Busher. It was the transcript of the previous evening s conversation and an English translation which read : Busher: Attack on Hyderabad begins tonight. Will not last many days.
If you must do anything, do so right away. Pakistan C-in-C: Thanks. Shall inform Liaquat Ali.
Jinnah is on his deathbed. Busher: After I do my duty, I shall be in your hands. Busher who had pretended to be offended by telephone-tapping was sweating now.
He looked sorrowfully at V P Menon and said, What should I do, VP? I have made a mistake. I am sorry.
V P Menon asked him, Did you not swear allegiance to India in the name of God, with your hand on the Bible? Busher: VP, please save me. I am willing to atone for what I have done.
Don t humiliate me. Help me for our old friendship. V P Menon obtained a letter from Busher that read, I resign on personal and health grounds.
Please accept it immediately and left. General Cariappa was then given charge of the Indian Army. L.K.
ADVANI New Delhi November 5, 2013 . Dear readers, Going by the translation of Shri MKK Nair s book on Sardar Patel, I regret to say that I have in this blogpost mis-spelt the name of the British General as Gen. Busher.
The correct spelling is Gen. Bucher . Sincerely, L.K.
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MEDICINE HAT, Alta. The British Army will continue to send thousands of soldiers to train in southern Alberta, but wants a better deal from Ottawa. Col.
Jim Landon, commanding officer of the British Army Training Unit Suffield (BATUS), said the United Kingdom and Canada have agreed to extend a training agreement first signed in 1971. The UK secretary of state, the Right Hon. Philip Hammond, has made it clear to the Canadian minister of national defence, the Honourable Rob Nicholson, that we intend to seek savings in the support costs of running BATUS, Landon said in a speech at Canadian Forces Base Suffield on Monday.
Minister Nicholson has recognized this concern and undertaken to work with us to identify ways to save money.
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KWS Spokesman Paul Mbugwa holding a piece of Ivory seized from poachers. Photo/FILE NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 The United Kingdom has announced that plans are underway for the British Army to join forces with Kenyan anti-poaching groups late this month in an effort to crack down on wildlife crime. The visiting British Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson says British Army Paratroopers will provide patrolling and field training to members of the Kenyan Wildlife Service, Kenyan Forestry Service and Mount Kenya Trust.
Illegal poaching is having a devastating effect on some of the world s most iconic species and we must work together to tackle it, he said. He said he intends to hold discussion with the government on the importance of a strong legal framework to punish and deter the perpetrators of poaching. The government has lately intensified its fight against illegal trade of ivory by deploying at least 1,000 new rangers to boost capacity by KWS to execute their mandate effectively.
By joining forces with those on the front line in Kenya, our armed services will be able to provide training and support to the courageous people who put their lives on the line every day to protect these animals, he pointed out. During his visit, Paterson will also discuss the importance of a strong legal framework to punish and deter the perpetrators of poaching and will highlight the work that the British High Commission, through its Criminal Justice Advisor, has been doing with the Office of Director of Prosecutions. It will be an honour to meet so many people who work so hard to conserve some of the world s most iconic species for ourselves and our children, he added.
The environmental Secretary will also use the visit to extend an invitation to the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Amina Mohamed, to attend the London conference on illegal wildlife trade in February next year. The conference will focus on illegal wildlife crime and aims to tackle three inter-related aspects of illegal wildlife trade; improving law enforcement and the role of the criminal justice system, reducing demand for wildlife products and supporting the development of sustainable livelihoods. The government has also formed an inter-agency anti-poaching unit comprising officers from specialised elements of the KWS, Administration Police and the General Service Unit to strengthen the fight against poaching.
The elite rapid response units provide support to KWS officers, already deployed in various areas across the country.
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UK army to aid Kenya in wildlife surveillance
Date: October 2013Army Reserve Recruit: Craftsman Garry FreireInitial Training (six weekends): Trained Soldier Course (Alpha) (TSC(AO)) 1 courseLocation: Army Training Unit( South), Brunswick Camp, Pirbright Weekend 1 Cfn Freire is back row on the right. Craftsman Garry Freire is an Army Reserve soldier from 103 Bn REME embarking on his Trained Soldier Course (Alpha) (TSC(AO)) at Army Training Unit (South), Pirbright. He has six weekends to complete this part of initial training.
Cfn Freire is a policeman in his civilian life. The long drive Experience has taught me that the anticipation usually far exceeds the reality when confronted with stressful circumstances, or experiences, in my life. However, even when armed with this knowledge the long drive from Portsmouth to Pirbright had my stomach churning.
Sharing the drive with me were two other recruits just about to embark on their two-week TSC (Bravo) course at Army Training Centre (ATC) Pirbright. I m not sure who on the minibus was more quiet! I was dropped off at Brunswick Camp and made my way to the registration area in the drill hall.
After a short wait I was escorted to my new home for the next couple of days. On entering the barrack block I was pleased to see several, equally startled, young men who had already claimed their respective bed spaces. It would be fair to say that the prefab buildings, making up Brunswick Camp, would not win a four-star rating in the Good Hotel guide.
Then again, I didn t think I would be sleeping or relaxing too much over the forthcoming weekend. Reveille We were introduced to our cadre staff, who all seemed remarkably pleasant and genuinely helpful. I hoped that this new-found friendship would last for the entire weekend that we were to be there!
Breakfast was calling and then we would begin our lessons in earnest. Our first introduction to drill on the parade square. We were told you do drill because It s good for the soul !
The whirlwind begins You quickly realise that that there is an awful lot of information for your grey matter to absorb and there is very little time in which to achieve this feat. I am 42 years old and pushing at the envelope of acceptability for the Army Reserve. The old adage of teaching old dogs new tricks was resonating through my mind as the pace quickened throughout the day.
The series of lessons undertaken covered a wide spectrum from learning about Military Law through to Health and Hygiene. We had to do our mile-and-a-half run and were introduced to the gymnasium and the Physical Training staff. I think all my fellow recruits would agree (Maybe with one 19-year-old, extremely fit exception) that PT strikes terror into the hearts and minds of most who tread the boards of those hallowed gyms.
I need to work on my fitness or I am sure that the following five weekends may prove to be a very painful and somewhat uncomfortable affair. Our weekend finished much as it had begun with a disparate set of lessons culminating in a final PT session before we wearily boarded our minibuses for that long return journey home. Read more about Cfn Freire s journey here 2 This entry was posted in 103 Bn REME 3 , ATC Pirbright 4 , Phase 1 5 , REME 6 , Training 7 and tagged army reserve 8 , ATC Pirbright 9 , British Army 10 , craftsman 11 , initial training 12 , Recruit 13 , recruits 14 , reserve 15 , reserve recruit 16 , reserve soldier 17 , reservist 18 , soldier 19 , Soldier under training 20 .
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