NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR
This newsletter marks the end of the Spring Term at RMAS a busy one for the cadets and staff at the Academy and also for The Sandhurst Trust. During the first four months of the year we disbursed £23,254 - on course for our 2017 target of £70,000. In addition to the usual support for officer cadet Adventure Training, we supported two UOTC expeditions and gave welfare grants to 10 overseas officer cadets. Our support to the Officers Association brought us letters of appreciation from retired Army officers helped by our donations and below are a couple of extracts:
‘I wish to express my sincere gratitude to The Sandhurst Trust for the grant towards car repairs. Since this award was made I have secured two job interviews.’ 45-year-old former Captain – R Signals.
‘Thank you for the kind donation to replace my washing machine. It is very much appreciated.’ 65-year-old former Lieutenant - QARANC.
We continue to pay for the day-to-day running of the charity by holding events at RMAS. In 2015 we ran 118 and last year we held 133 events. So far this year we have either ran or are scheduled to run 136 events, with more coming in every week. Our pledge remains that we guarantee to disburse at least 100% of all membership donations to the Officer Cadet and retired service community. As one younger member recently, and very succinctly, put it: ‘Even if you don’t take advantage of all that The Sandhurst Trust has to offer….you should view your £15 membership donation as going into a collection tin marked Officer Cadet and Retired Officer Welfare’.
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, was The Sovereign’s representative at the parade on 13 April. Held on a Thursday, due to Good Friday the following day the stands were packed on a sunny April morning. 190 cadets were commissioned and SUO G L Wyn-Jones, who is commissioned into The Rifles, was awarded the Sword of Honour. JUO D W Rawdon, who is commissioned into The Royal Anglian Regiment was awarded the Queen’s Medal, JUO C A Runyan from the USA the Overseas Sword and OCdt Xhevahir Hasanaj from Kosovo the Overseas Medal. Finally, one of the cadets commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment will be the first female officer to serve with an armoured regiment.
The Prime Minister presents the Sword of Honour
The Prime Minister emphasised Sandhurst’s reputation as ‘The Best of The Best’ during her address and praised the Armed Forces for their role in keeping the nation safe. Music was provided by the joint bands of the Royal Signals and Prince of Wales’s Division. These are two of the Army’s three brass bands and a result of the recent reorganisation of Army Music. Such was the standard of playing that it’s doubtful anyone noticed that there was not a piccolo or clarinet on parade! The volunteer tour guides and Trust staff, as usual sold guide books before the parade and also acted as unofficial ushers, showing guests to their seats.
The Sandhurst Trust volunteer guides at work
The Commandant’s Parade was a busy day for the Sandhurst Trust with over 200 guests keeping the volunteer tour guides busy. Tours included the Friends of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, Seale and Sands WI and Milford U3A. The Academy also hosts a number of parties at the parade including local cadet units and potential officers on a ‘Look at Sandhurst’ programme.
RESERVE COMMISSIONING COURSE 171
30 cadets commissioned from ResCC171 on Sat 08 April. The inspecting officer was Brig Tim Seal, Assistant Commander Home Command, assisted by the RMAS Deputy Commandant (Reserves) Colonel Nick Tougher. The Reserve Course consists of four two-week modules the last two of which must be completed at RMAS. Some participants take all four together while others can spread the commissioning process over several years. As one of our photographs show – the course is every bit as demanding as the regular counterpart. The parade is almost identical to the Sovereign’s Parade with officer cadets in Blues and the parade commanded by a mounted officer. Over 350 family and friends attended and OCdt F Islam was awarded the MacRobert Sword.
A dip in the Wishstream
ResCC 171 on parade
During the last week of the Spring Term, the Commandant presented Sandhurst Medals to 28 overseas Officer Cadets. Sponsored by The Trust the medal is presented to all overseas cadets who successfully complete the commissioning course. Several countries have already given permission for the medal to be worn in uniform. For those overseas cadets who commissioned prior to December 2016, medals and miniatures are available from the Trust shop or online.
Presentation of Sandhurst Medal
ADVENTURE TRAINING (AT)
During the Easter recess, over 170 officer cadets from the Intermediate Term took part in 22 expeditions in 12 countries including Austria, Jordan, Poland, Slovenia and the USA as well as the islands of Fuerteventura and Gozo. The expeditions test leadership and planning as well as putting into practice skills learned by the cadets on their AT courses at the end of their first term. The qualifications and experience gained by cadets at RMAS are crucially important as they will all be expected to take their soldiers on expeditions when they join their units. The Trust gives every cadet a grant towards the cost and, this term, the total payments were over £11,500. In return, the expedition leader produces an article for the Wishstream Magazine and a post on the Trust Facebook site. Here are a few of them:
‘A huge thanks to the Sandhurst trust for their support of Ex RACLETTE CADET in Meribel this week!’
‘Great week diving and gaining qualifications thanks to the Sandhurst Trust.’
‘A big thank you from all on Ex AZURE CADET currently scuba diving in Gozo, to the Sandhurst trust for their continued support to all officer cadets’.
EXERCISE ICE MAIDEN
Exercise ICE MAIDEN is an army expedition of five who, in November 2017, are hoping to become the first all-female team to ski coast-to-coast across Antarctica. The expedition is supported by both The Trust and the Commandant’s Fund and further details can be found at: http://exicemaiden.com
Since reclaiming the ownership of Wish Stream from the Academic Department we have managed to put the magazine back on schedule so that it is produced a few weeks after the year it covers. The magazine contains numerous articles from the cadets on all aspects of life at RMAS as well as a historical section covering the Siege of Lucknow and the various cannon at the Academy. The 2016 edition is available online in the Member’s area of the website.
Thanks to the efforts of Sue, Hannah and Liz on the Trust staff our Facebook site is now well-and-truly functioning. During the Spring term, we lifted our weekly reach from around 200 to over 20,000. The site offers a mixture of news and historical articles and sits alongside the RMAS Facebook page. Members who are regular Facebook users are invited to check the site out and members who might not yet have taken the ‘Facebook plunge’ are urged to give it a go. In the words of our (very middle-aged) Director – ‘If I can do it – anyone can!’ https://www.facebook.com/sandhursttrust
The Sandhurst Trust facilitated over 20 Reunions in 2016 and is on target to organise 27 (and counting) in 2017. If you would like to organise a Reunion for your Platoon, Company or Intake email Sue on firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Friday 31 March 19 members of 3 Pl Somme Company SGC 913
enjoyed a Reunion dinner in Old College.
On Saturday 22 April 18 members of WSC 921 and 3 of their DS celebrated
SURREY IN THE GREAT WAR
the 25th anniversary of their commissioning with a dinner in Old College.
Surrey Heritage are running a 4 year Heritage Lottery Funded project 'Surrey in the Great War: A County Remembers' www.surreyinthegreatwar.org.uk. Their aim is to discover and share the stories of people and places connected with Surrey between 1914 and 1923 (covering the post-war period). A team of oral history volunteers would like to interview anyone connected with Surrey in the 1920s and 1930s, to capture that post-war impact on Surrey life. They are particularly keen to interview alumni of Sandhurst (or their families) who lived in Surrey during this period. For further details email email@example.com.
Sunday 18 June 2017
On one Sunday every year The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst opens its’ doors to the public for Heritage Day. An excellent day out for all the family, no pre-booking required and entrance is free, gates open 10:30.
SANDHURST TRUST COCKTAIL PARTY & BEATING RETREAT
Friday 04 August 2017
Tickets are on sale now for this great annual event. Come and join us to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Old College and Beating Retreat by The Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers.
SANDHURST TRUST SHOP
The Sandhurst Trust sells a range of regimental and RMAS themed merchandise from socks, ties, cufflinks and belts to mugs, stationary, books and so much more. Special offers this month include:
RMAS watch strap reduced to £5
RMAS Paperweight reduced to £20
Also just in - new Stock of our popular A5 Writing Paper set and Bone China Old College Mug. Priced at £6.50 and £8 respectively. The Sandhurst Trust shop is based in Old College and online at www.sandhursttrust.org. All orders to academy lines within RMAS are free. Why not check us out online or better still pop in and have a look around.
If you have any enquiries, please contact the relevant member of The Trust Staff.