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Last summer will live long in the memory after England’s heroics in an amazing World Cup and a heatwave that brightened British skies for what seemed like forever. Our favourite memory however, has to be the dinner at the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers Officers’ Mess to celebrate their 50th anniversary at the Tower of London.

The picturesque backdrop set the tone for an inspirational speech from retired Colonel James Denny MBE MA, who talked about the Regiment’s history and the plans for the anniversary year.

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers formed on 23 April 1968, as one of the new ‘large infantry regiments’. They are renowned for being tough partners in combat and are recognised by the distinctive red-over-white hackle, which is worn by everybody associated with the Regiment.

With more injured servicemen and women taking up disability sport to help with their rehabilitation, there was a timely and powerful speech from our ambassador Andy Barlow, who lost his leg after a minefield injury in Kajaki. He talked about the many positives of going from fighting for this country to representing them at para skiing.

Our final speaker was Dr Emily Mayhew, a military medical historian, specialising in the study of severe casualty; its infliction, treatment and long term outcomes in 20th and 21st century warfare. Emily, who is a great friend of the team, spoke passionately about the lifelong support required for amputees who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and the need for specialist medicine and the right level of funding.

We were delighted to be joined by distinguished military guests, including Lieutenant General Jonathon Riley CB DSO, a former Master of the Royal Armouries and visiting Professor in War Studies at King’s College, London, Colonel Tim Collins OBE, former Commanding Officer of the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment renowned for his inspirational eve of battle speech in Iraq and Major-General Ranald Munro CBE TD VR, Assistant Chief of Defence staff and General Counsel for Lombard International Insurance.

Here’s to the next 50 years.

Published: April 2019

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Spring 2019

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Geraldine McCool

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