UPDATE! Tank Corps - Belgium100 2017
Tank Corps - Belgium100 2017.
The below itinerary includes the following;
1. The TMYS Garden of Remembrance accompanied by the relic rail sleeper (please see brass plate) ash plant gifted to the TMYS by the late and former Vice President of the Friends of the TMYS - Lt (Retd) Eric Smallwood, flags of the UK, Belgium & the Tank Corps with included 'Book of Remembrance' & TMYS Standard will be set up in the Langemark-Poelkapelle Town Hall entrance foyer. This commemoration will run from June 7th 2017 until November 11th 2017.
2. Tank Corps flags will be raised above the TMYS & also above the commemoration plaque applicable to Captain Robertson VC & Gunner Allen DCM throughout this same period likewise.
3. The 2017 annual TMYS ceremony will take place at 5pm on Saturday June 10th 2017 at the memorial in the presence of TMYS Honorary President Lt General (Retd) David Leakey CMG CBE. He will be accompanied by TMYS Vice President Lt (Retd) Ian Robertson formerly of the Irish Guards & Great Nephew of Captain Robertson VC. A suitable reception will be held in the nearby "Postduif" cafe. All attending the ceremony are invited.
4. This will be followed with a dedicated inclusion within the Menin Gate 8pm last post ceremony. The evening will conclude with the "Toast of Remembrance" at cost in a nearby venue. To be confirmed on the day.
5. A dedicated Tank Corps special "centenary"service of remembrance will take place in St George's Memorial Church, Ypres on Sunday morning, June 11th 2017 @ 09.30hrs in the presence of H E Alison Rose Her Majesty's Britannic Ambassador to Belgium, General David & the family of Captain Clement Robertson VC, first of four to be awarded to the Tank Corps during WW1.
Reverend (Wing Commander) Ashley Mitchell, Chaplain, European Joint Support Unit, Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. BFPO 26.
Reverend Pete Wright, Chaplain, St George's Memorial Church, Ypres.
Capt Robertson VC 4 October 1917.
4 cars emulating the 4 tanks from Captain Robertson's section approaching the site of the former bridge which once crossed the Reutelbeek. Today a drain takes the brook underneath the road and it is this very location which is to be officially re-named ROBERTSON'S BRIDGE - Capt Robertson VC - 4 October 1917. A local authority standard street name sign will be installed in time for the centenary dedication ceremony. It is further proposed that an information bard with images will be installed alongside.
Today the Tank Corps flag proudly flies over the VC action site.
The commemorative bridge sign.
The same location private families commemorative plaque on behalf of Capt Robertson VC & Gnr Allen already in place.
6.The Reutelbeek bridge at Reutel near Ypres is to be elevated to status of Memorial Bridge & officially named "Robertson's Bridge" in honour of Captain Robertson VC.
A dedication ceremony will take place at the bridge at 09.30hrs on October 4th 2017 in the presence of the Zonnebeke Mayor, military & civil dignitaries, the TMYS President, Vice President, Friends of the TMYS, Robertson/Allen family members.
On conclusion of the ceremony a tank action battlefield walk following in the tank tracks of Capt Robertson's 4 tanks will take place. All are welcome.
7. The TMYS Garden of Remembrance and TMYS Standard has been invited by RTR RHQ to attend the 2017 Cambrai commemorations & will be paraded and displayed at selected Regimental events over the weekend.Fear Naught
New replacement Chaplain for the Friends!
Delighted and honoured to announce that the Friends now have a replacement Honorary Chaplain due to the retirement of Revd (Sqn Leader Retd) Brian Llewellyn.
Both myself and President General David have forwarded onto her our fraternal salutations and we look forward to working alongside & supporting the good Reverend whenever required.
Revd Gillian is the new Chaplain to St George's Memorial Church in Ypres.
TMYS inclusions within the Menin Gate Memorial daily last post ceremonies for 2017.
Please click on the below highlighted Last Post Association web site links for the following inclusions;
TMYS inclusion commemorating the 3 x 3 RTR light tanks which fought in the defence of Ypres on 28 May 1940 culminating in the awards of the DSO, MC & DCM.
TMYS annual ceremony day inclusion commemorating the first use of British armour within the Ypres Salient & the successful Battle of Messines.
To coincide with the 3rd Battle of Ypres commemorations, 5 tank crewmen's graves and memorial listings which had been omitted from Tank Corps records due to clerical error by the CWGC were discovered and brought to their awareness. TMYS records have also since been amended and the TMYS Garden of Remembrance will be updated in due course.
Above left and right;
See immediate post above. Images taken in Birr Xroads CWGC cemetery and at the Menin Gate Memorial.
TMYS inclusion commemorating the Maison du Hibou, Cockcroft & Gallipoli farm actions.
TMYS inclusion commemorating the 1st VC to the Tank Corps awarded to Capt Clement Robertson Tank Corps.
TMYS inclusion commemorating the Nov 20th 1917 Battle of Cambrai.
A massive THANK YOU from the Chairman.
To all friends who have paid their initial & annual subscription fees and or offered donations to be used where requested;
The TMYS receives no official finance whatsoever and can only function correctly due to wonderful assistance offered so kindly by the memorial's own Friends organisation.
Every single penny or euro-cent received is used for the purchase of poppy wreaths and replacement memorial flags when required.*See below images.
They also assist with the purchase of the TMYS Standard Bearer's uniform & Standard accoutrements.
The wreaths are normally placed by TMYS representatives in your absence whenever required however, it is customary for the friends themselves to have the honour of placing the official annual ceremony TMYS wreath if in attendance.
Without your amazing and dedicated act of financial assistance, the above would simply not be possible to achieve. Thank you. Thank you all!
Friends of the TMYS Standard Bearer Wayne Evans with loyal friends Frank Mahieu & Liz Millward & piper Pierre Dervaux. Also included are Chris Lock & Milena Kolarikova, founders of the TMYS and Chairman & Assistant Chairman of the Friends of the TMYS.
@Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing famous last post ceremony.
THE TMYS & it's Memorial Committee is supported wherever possible by:
Regimental Headquarters Royal Tank Regiment
St George's Memorial Church, Ypres (courtesy of Chaplain Revd Brian Llewellyn)
The Friends of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient & the Royal Tank Regiment Association Nottingham Branch
Please note the Friend's Board of Administrators with all posts being honorary;
Lt Gen (Retd) David Leakey CMG CBE
Lt (Retd) Ian Robertson - formerly Irish Guards. Great Nephew of Captain Clement Robertson VC. (1st VC to be awarded to the Tank Corps)
Chris Lock - formerly Royal Tank Regiment
Assistant Chairman & Friends Membership Secretary;
Milena Kolarikova-Lock BA
Lt Col (Hon) Rene Declercq - formerly Belgian Army
Lt Col (Retd) Geoffrey Vesey Holt MBE
John Allen: Great nephew of Gnr Cyril Allen DCM
Revd Gillian Trinder
TMYS Standard Bearer;
Wayne Evans - formerly 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards & Cheshire Yeomanry Squadron, The Queens Own Yeomanry.
Honorary Life Members;
Marie Pierre Williams
In perpetual memory;
The late Lt (Retd) Eric Smallwood former Vice President Friends of the TMYS.
The late WO2 (Retd) Andre Cloet former Ceremonial assistant Friends of the TMYS.
All friends receive dedicated invitations to the TMYS annual ceremony, annual Friends newsletter, Friends of the TMYS bronze membership pin badge.
For information concerning membership of the Friends of the TMYS & above ties & pins, please contact: Honorary Assistant Chairman & Membership Secretary:
A tribute to the former Friends of the TMYS Vice President;
the late Lt (Retd) Eric Smallwood RTR.
Lt Eric Smallwood was a Troop Leader who commanded a troop of Comet tanks from the 1st Royal Tank Regiment during the allied assault through Netherlands and into Germany during WW2.
He commanded the first British tank to enter Hamburg and was later present at the capitulation meetings also attended by Red Army Commander Georgi Zukov.
Every year since WW2 & right up to his recent death, Lt Eric visited the town of Echt in the Netherlands to apologise to the people for blowing up their church whilst successfully destroying a German Tiger tank but sadly losing comrades in the process.
Today representatives of the Friends continue to carry on these duties where Lt Eric left off to ensure his memory and that of his fallen comrades are not forgotten.
Lt Eric Smallwood during his WW2 Royal Armoured Corps training phase & alongside his Comet tank once serving with the 1st Royal Tank Regiment.
Lt Eric wearing his tank suit (Pixie suit) & as Vice President of the Friends of the TMYS.
TMYS Vice President Lt (Retd) Eric Smallwood & TMYS founder and Chairman of the Friends of the TMYS Chris Lock represent the TMYS at the burial service of a Known Unto God New Zealand soldier, recently recovered from the battlefields.
British armour from B Battalion Tank Corps supported the assault troops from II ANAZAC and hence a representation was required.