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Millbank Branch Corps Day

Mothering Sunday was a glorious day. As in the past, Padre Steven Brookes welcomed our members to morning service at the The Royal Hospital Chapel.  On leaving the chapel, to the organist playing The Corps March, all the ladies were presented with a small bunch of daffodils - such a lovely gesture.  After being greeted by the padre & photographs taken of our standard bearer & escorts we made our way to lunch. The RSM was a guest & was resplendent in his uniform as can be seen in one of the photos. Sadly, due to his duties he was unable to join us for lunch.

As in previous years we had an excellent curry lunch in The In-Pensioner's Club. Again, the staff & pensioners made us very welcome. The dining room staff were most attentive. All dietary & fluid requirements were met!

There was no better way or place to celebrate Corps Day than this, on the 70th Anniversary of our Corps.

Lindi Kibbey - Chairman

Members of the branch attended the symposium held at DMS Whittington.
Lectures were most interesting & prizes were presented by our Colonel in Chief, The Countess of Wessex. 
In the evening, there was a sunset ceremony held at the main memorial of The National Arboretum. Although cold, it remained dry. The service was conducted by The Venerable Clinton Langston QHC CF, The Chaplain General.  
Following a moving service, we all had a good heartwarming meal at The Arboretum. Music was provided by he Royal Signals.  
The following day we all made our way back to DMS Whittington Garrison Church for our Commemoration Thanksgiving Service.  
The excellent service was lead by Padre Jason Clarke MBE CF.
Major Alison Cripps sang two beautiful solos.  
The service was followed by a very good curry lunch.  
Both events was attended by the Chief Nurse of the US Army Nursing Service. Col Alison McCourt & our two Colonel Commandants were also in attendance.  
As always, it was an honour to be with friends, old comrades & young soldiers.
We were made very welcome & it was special.  
A wonderful way to celebrate 70 years of our Corps.
 
Lindi Kibbey.
Chairman

It is not often military personnel travel to the Mongolian Steppe which is why I was incredibly delighted when I found out that I had been selected to form part of the British Army Team that would travel to Mongolia as part of a wider MOD defence engagement with the Mongolian Armed Forces. 

We flew into Beijing where we were met by Embassy staff who drove us to the Kerry Hotel; upon arrival, it was clear the no expense was spared. That afternoon we visited Tian’anmen Square and Jingshan Park and had a local Chinese hot pot at a Hutong. That evening we played tourists and wondered the streets of Beijing sampling some rather interesting and somewhat peculiar cuisine.  The next morning, we flew to Ulaanbaatar where we were met by the Assistant Defence Attaché and staff from the Mongolian MoD. We checked into the Shangri-la Hotel, had a quick lunch and then went out to explore the city. We visited the Lama Temple, the Main Square and a number of museums. That evening we had dinner with embassy staff and received a brief on the next day’s activities. 

The following day, after a wonderful breakfast at the Shangri-l having attracted much attention from the rest of the diners because we were in military uniform, we were driven to the Mongolian MOD where we were met by the commander of Foreign Relations. We delivered a number of presentations and received reciprocal presentations by various Mongolian MOD personnel.  The focus of the Mongolian Armed forces is the usual homeland security but also to provide troops for UN missions. They have been all over the place, in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and many more. Their strength is mainly made up of their reserve force and therefore have a much higher ratio of Reservists to Active Service personnel.

Presentations and photos over, we were joined by other embassy staff to lunch hosted by the Mongolian MOD at a Mongolian Restaurant. The speed was amazing with lots of different meats and dumplings, including sheep heads complete with eyes.  After lunch we left Ulaanbaatar and headed from the city to its fringes, it was fascinating to see the different styles of architecture, apart from the gers, there seemed to be no theme to the building styles. Once out of the city fringes we headed into the mountains and scenery was truly spectacular. The MOD had arranged for the engineers to be around in case we got stuck during one of the 3 river crossings necessary on the route.

The Mongolian army met us by the side of the road in a rather remarkable 4 wheel drive where a herdsman happened to have a bunch of camels so of course we stopped to have a look. They were beautiful animals with two very tall humps and gloriously thick coats; incredibly healthy-looking animals. Upon arrival at the polo club, we were shown to our accommodation. The ger (very similar to a yurt) which is the tradition Mongolian residential dwelling is really quite remarkable given the environmental challenges. However, the wood burner required hourly manning when the temperature dropped.

We enjoyed a couple of days of polo in the sunshine but the weather soon changed and we were hit with snow and high winds. Notwithstanding, the training went on as did the tournament.  We played a 3-chukka match and the British Army team won 4-2. Maj Janet Johnson AGC scored the first goal and a ridiculously close spot penalty and Lt Paul Erhahiemen QARANC scored 2 very handy goals.

Having finished the game there was a big presentation ceremony where the owner of the club who is also a Government Minister, presented us with a book about the Mongolian Armed Forces and a “passport to the Mongolian Empire”.   We said our goodbyes and headed back to Ulaanbaatar for dinner and drinks reception.    The reception was incredibly pleasant and after many speeches and presentations we mingled with the guests and did our bit for the GREAT campaign which showcases the best of Britain overseas. Seemingly having celebrity status, everyone wanted to have a picture or a selfie and chat about the polo. 

The next morning, we said our goodbyes and departed Ulaanbaatar for Beijing and the subsequent flight back to London. It was truly a remarkable experience.

Every year in early June the Jean Boucton Heritage Cup is polished and prepared, ready to be battled for at the Margot Turner Challenge where the AMS Polo Team duel against the RMAS Polo Team on the prestigious grounds of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

The Margot Turner Challenge is a day to honour an extraordinary woman, Brigadier Dame Evelyn Marguerite Turner DBE, RRC (1910 – 1993) known as Margot Turner. She showed unstoppable tenacity in the face of many hardships during her time as a British military nurse during World War II and was the first woman in British nursing history to be taken a prisoner of war. Befittingly she is remembered by a display of teamwork and spirit, which so characterised her life.

As part of this year’s event, a raffle will be held with proceeds going to Equine Therapy for Veterans with PTSD; a truly powerful initiative held at the RAC Saddle Club in Bovington.

Will the AMS team retain the cup after a half goal victory in the summer of 2018 or will they succumb to the determination and tenacity of the cadets of RMAS polo? Bring a picnic and come along to what promises to be a fantastic family day out.

Point of Contact:  Lt Paul Erhahiemen QARANC 

Contact the team CLICK HERE

Photos by: Steve Wall Equestrian Photography

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A Career in Army Nursing

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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

www.armyjobs.mod.uk

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