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 of 1995  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.

"Big Owl"

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.