LDY (PAO), C Coy, 7 R.Ang & LDY (PAO), B Sqn, Royal Yeomanry.
Due to a condition called
Ankylosing Spondylitis, first diagnosed at the age of 20, my
Yeomanry career didn't go on for as long as I had hoped. I first
joined the TA when I was 23 already suffering the affects of
"AS" but able to hide the condition. After 5 Years of
soldiering, and after many "cortisone" injections into my right
hip, the physical stress of soldiering took its toll and by the end
it was not something I could hide anymore. After bluffing my way
through, deferring my RMAS opportunity for the new LDY Squadron
and then being given the chance again only to not be able to get
there was a bitter pill. I enjoyed my time very much and miss it with a passion. I am still able to enjoy
equine pursuits and was first taught to ride on Borneo Ponies at
"Lo Wu", New Territories, Hong Kong by Captain Bill Beldham
(RAVC) and then the Remount Depot (RAVC) in Melton Mowbray. In
my late teens I was taught "tent pegging" and "Jousting" by a former Life Guard.
Capt. Bill Beldham (RAVC) teaching
us to ride in Low Wu lines, New Territories, Hong Kong, 1978.
One of my best memories of service, as an O/Cdt in LDY
Coy, was a selection course for
the SAUMUR cup (held in Belgium 1991), Major Luke Smith TD put me
forward. A gruelling couple of days at the RAVC in Melton
ensued, testing each rider's ability to the limit and ending
with the RAVC cross country course (prior experience of the
course helped). I managed to get selected as part of the
Yeomanry team and represented LDY (PAO), but did not take part
in the main event due to circumstances..... sadly the 7 Royal
Anglian would not sponsor me........ "we're an infantry
regiment" was the terse reply, those days were a struggle
to keep the Yeomanry ethos alive.
I was born in St. Mary's Hospital, Melton
Mowbray, baptised at the RAVC Chapel, married in the Thorpe
Arnold Church a mile from my birthplace and I have lived in Leicestershire
for the majority of my adult life. A Welshman at heart but proud to have been one of
"Prince Albert's Own".
A fawn Lurcher bitch in the tradition of B Sqn LY and often
accompanied me on local exercise and the drill hall. She was a
member of the officers mess and had the honour of christening
the mess in front of the OC.
She was an exceptional Hare Hound and relentless in pursuit,
much loved and missed.