Click to listen highlighted text! Powered By GSpeech
Association Events


JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 1197
Monday, 01 May 2017 18:22

Newcastle Update

Greetings from Newcastle Branch. We have had a mixed year with a variety of events and meetings, which were enjoyed by all who attended. Our secretary, Ron Bell, changed jobs mid-year and sadly had to give up his post; it has taken until November to persuade Jacqui Hall and Fiona Mitford to share the position. We are working on updating our membership information and our page on the QA Association website. If we are missing anyone who believes they are on our books, please get in touch.

"Chairman Shirley Laverick-Stovin, OCN of 201 Field Hospital (201FH), along with Cath Waller and Bill Toy, enjoyed the poignant Turning of the Pages lead by DMG (N) at Castle Howard. Private Elwood, a Student Nurse with 201FH, also attended."

2016 ended with our ever-popular Christmas event at Newcastle Airport’s Britannia Hotel. We had our best attendance for a few years, and everyone had a great time.

We started 2017 with an outstanding first meeting on 7 January at Fenham Barracks – home of 201FH, which included a raffle and a brilliant Bring and Buy sale. There was a lively discussion about ideas for trips and events for the coming year. We took the opportunity of the excellent QA turnout to have a photo. One of our members, former Matron at 201, Brenda Houlison, who unfortunately was unable to attend the meeting, hit the magical age of eighty and was wished well by the Branch with some lovely flowers.

Monday, 01 May 2017 18:21

Christmas 2016

Busy December diaries forced the members of the NI Branch to look to the end of November for a Christmas meal date. On Friday 25 November the Association Members enjoyed Christmas lunch at The Ulster Reform Club. In the heart of Belfast, The Ulster Reform Club is set in wonderful surroundings and holds a host of interesting artefacts inside. It is essentially a gentleman’s club with Victorian origins being located in a purpose-built, red sandstone building which opened in January 1885.

Monday, 01 May 2017 18:14

Florence Court

It was a rather damp August morning for the N I Branch’s summer outing, but the small party of 7 was in good cheer as they set off to Enniskillen. On arrival at the Royal Inniskillings Museum we were met with a very welcome cup of coffee and homemade scones. Following this, the group had a talk from the curators about the museum and the role the Inniskillings Fusiliers had in the First World War. There was then some time to look at the exhibits which included a very fine collection of silverware which posed the obvious question of who cleans it all?

We then moved to the new County Museum, in the same location, which wasn’t officially open for another week so it was a privilege to have a personal tour to see the exhibits which represented the long and varied history of Fermanagh.

By now it was lunchtime and the group travelled to the Killyhevlin Hotel in Enniskillen for a lovely lunch and catch up with friends.

Afterwards the group moved to the final destination, Florence Court. This 18th Century mansion was the former home of the Cole family and is now owned and maintained by the National Trust. We were treated to a tour by our very own ‘butler’ who told us about the history of the building and he pointed out the fine rococo plasterwork on display. At the end of the tour there was enough time to purchase a wee souvenir of the trip from the NT shop and then have a cup of coffee before setting off home to Belfast, after a very enjoyable day out.

This year members of Defence Medical Group North had the amazing opportunity to accompany the D-Day Revisited charity and take D-Day veterans to Normandy. This was organised by Cpl Blakemore; Capt Krause, Cpl Dyson, Cpl Gibson, Pte Saru and I set off early morning of 2 June for a long trip down to Portsmouth picking up veterans on the way.

We arrived at Southwick Park, Portsmouth in the early evening to be told that we had 10 minutes to change into our No2s in order to receive HRH Prince Harry who was conducting a surprise visit to meet everyone before we embarked on our tour. Cpl Blakemore had to change in the Combi Van he was driving as the turnaround was that quick. Following a quick Royal reception, we were invited to dine in the D-Day Memorial Hall where there was the original map and plan of D-Day on the wall; this was also our first opportunity to meet and chat to the veterans. This is also the first time we knew what we were in for as a veteran (after a lot to drink) fell off his chair.

Monday, 01 May 2017 17:50

2016 in General

This has been a busy period for the Millbank Branch with many successful individual and group activities.

However, casting a shadow came the very sad news that Allison Johnson, our previous past secretary, had become unwell during the year and tragically died on 20 December. Much has already been said and written about Allison. I believe I can add nothing other than to say that in her pragmatic way, she undoubtedly would have wished the Branch to celebrate our achievements in The Gazette and continue to flourish.

In July 2016, one of our members, Annette Bowden Whisker, joined the 256 Field Hospital team to participate in this year’s gruelling four days Nijmegen March. The team was one of the few not to “lose” anyone along the way. In August, another member, Mary Hirst, celebrated her 80th birthday with a ‘skydive’. Mary is a veteran of twelve jumps whilst a regular QA but it was fifty years since her last. Well done Mary for raising over £500 for the veterans’ charity Walking With The Wounded.

The Branch enjoyed visits to The Hunterian Museum and Apothecaries Hall. Members attended Turning of the Pages and joined the QARANC groups at the Field of Remembrance and Remembrance Sunday parades at Whitehall and St Paul’s Cathedral.

Finally, a wonderful Christmas lunch and celebration was enjoyed by over 70 members and guests at Guy’s Tower. A splendid way to conclude the year. Very importantly, Allison and husband Robert could be with us for this occasion.

Judy Cook

Branch Secretary

Monday, 01 May 2017 17:48


This year we decided to try a different church venue for our Remembrance Day Service.

St John the Baptist Church, where we held our National Corps Day Service in April, is a beautiful little church with a really friendly atmosphere in Cardiff city centre.

Marilyn & I were the only two from the Branch able to attend this year. We were greeted like old friends by those we had met previously in April, and the rest of the congregation were equally as welcoming. 

We were included in the Act of Remembrance and proudly laid the QA wreath alongside others. We were surprised, during the reading of the names of local war veterans, to hear the name, “Edith Cavell”. Nobody, however, appeared to know how she was connected to the church, a topic for research! 

Monday, 01 May 2017 17:22


Twelve members & friends enjoyed this memorable Welsh event which takes place on the Saturday before the London Celebrations.

Welsh Branch Members joined together with QAs from 203 Field Hospital to mark this event, and the Welsh Branch Standard was proudly carried by Capt Lyndon Davies.

Monday, 01 May 2017 17:21


This was attended by two Branch members, Marilyn & Beryl. A very interesting talk was given by guest speaker, Col Jim Ryan, about the History of Military Surgery.

It was a good reunion & informative day on the progress of the proposed new Museum of Military Medicine.

Monday, 01 May 2017 17:20

Pen Y Fan Walk 2016

On a misty day in August a few stalwart Branch members and Bertie, the dog, gathered together to climb Pen Y Fan, the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons. There were varying ages and standards of fitness, with our very fit intrepid walker (and Treasurer), Marian, leading the way.

It was an approximate 1¾ hour climb and despite the miserable weather, the views during the ascent were amazing. All had a great sense of achievement and exhilaration on reaching the summit, and the QA Association badge and scarf were proudly displayed in the group photograph. During the descent the long expected rain set in and the lunch, provided at the Brecon Mountain Centre, was much appreciated.


Monday, 01 May 2017 17:18

Not Forgotten Garden Party 2016

I was extremely fortunate this year to be invited to the “Not Forgotten” Association Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, which was held in May. This is an annual occasion and is the last party of the season and much smaller than the other parties, only 2,500 guests in comparison with 4,000 for the others.

It is always attended by one member of the Royal Family; this year it was Prince Andrew and his two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. 

I met two QARANC Association members, Maj (Retd) Dottie Calderwood, and WO1 (Retd) Anne P Frazer ARRC in the beautiful gardens of the Palace on a lovely sunny day. 

It was a joyful, colourful occasion, with the military bands playing and everyone dressed in summer outfits or smart uniform. The RSM was presented to Princess Beatrice, who was charming, friendly and very interested in the RSM’s hat. 

We mingled amongst the crowd and met up with other QARANC personnel. There were also a number of well-known celebrities chatting and having their photographs taken. Tea was served at 2.15pm and consisted of delicate sandwiches, cakes and strawberries and cream. 

A perfect day, “Not to be Forgotten”.

Marilyn Williams


Back to the Map

A Career in Army Nursing


The QARANC employs Officers and Soldiers in both the Regular and Reserve Army, as Registered Nurses, Student Nurses, and Health Care Assistants, and we are always looking for people. If you are interested in a career as a Nurse or Health Care Assistant which also offers other great opportunities then you are just the person we are looking for. A career in the QARANC is more than a job, you will have access to extensive training and development opportunities, not just related to your job, but personal development too. You will have the opportunity to use your skills in diverse settings – wherever the Army is employed health care professionals from the QARANC are there. Right now there are QARANC personnel working around the world, including Sierra Leone, Canada, Mali, Afghanistan, Germany, and Cyprus. Being in the QARANC you will have access to, and be expected to undertake adventurous training, and you will have access to free medical and dental care, as well as robust annual leave and pension package. For information contact a member of the QARANC recruiting team on: 01276 412741, 01276 412742 or 01276 412740 or visit

Click to listen highlighted text! Powered By GSpeech