Notification of the creation and forthcoming installation of the
Tank Corps Garden of Remembrance-Belgium.
At 5pm on November 11th 2018 (Armistice Day) the Tank Corps Garden of Remembrance Belgium, will be created and dedicated in the village of Poelkapelle, Belgium.
Soil recovered from six cemeteries located in Belgium applicable to Tank Corps sacrifice has been officially donated by the CWGC as has soil from the Armour Centre at Bovington, the spiritual home of the Tank Corps & of course Royal Tank Regiment today.
Stone dust has also been recovered from an Isle & Royal Manor of Portland stone quarry adjoining the very site from where the UK National Cenotaph was recovered.
Many other CWGC memorials and Tank Corps headstones were also recovered from this particular quarry and others nearby.
In due course the soils and dust will be thoroughly mixed and placed into a large original WW1 sand bag, kindly donated by the superb Hooge Crater war museum located on the former site of one of the famous "Tank Cemeteries" which had existed alongside the Menin Road near Ypres.
From this point on-wards the bagged soil will be known as "SACRED SOIL"
On Armistice Day 2018 the Sacred Soil will be transported in a serving Belgian Defence Force Artillery Battery Lynx LMV escorted by Belgian soldiers, members of the Royal Tank Regiment Association, TMYS & their applicable Standards.
The Sacred Soil will firstly attend the 11am Menin Gate Memorial Last Post Ceremony before taking part in a Tank Corps pilgrimage, visiting memorials, cemeteries and battlefields applicable to Tank Corps sacrifice before arriving in time for the 5pm Sacred Soil illuminated scatter ceremony, thus creating and inaugurating the new Tank Corps Garden of Remembrance - Belgium.
*Opera Alt Mezzo singer Ms Emma Brown and the band of the West Yorkshire Police will offer the musical input during the illuminated ceremony.
Also attending are Standards from the Royal Tank Regiment Association, TMYS, Belgian Royal Entente, British Torch of Remembrance & Royal British Legion.
All are welcome!
The below images are applicable from concept to the forthcoming Sacred Soil Scatter Ceremony.
The Armour Centre tank training area Bovington & Challenger II MBT gate guardian.
The soil recovery involving a Royal Engineers Armoured Earth Working Vehicle.
The recovered soil is bagged & placed upon a table decorated with the Regimental flag.
ROYAL TANK REGIMENT ASSOCIATION & TMYS Standards on parade. Poppy crosses were also placed to commemorate those members of the RTR & RE who lost their lives whilst training here during two world wars.
On conclusion of the soil recovery.
The Isle & Royal Manor of Portland where the Portland stone dust was recovered to be mixed with the cemeteries & tank training soils before becoming "Sacred soil"
The Portland quarry where the dust was recovered and the UK National Cenotaph which was recovered nearby.
CWGC headstones recovered from the same quarry and more.
*Grave of Capt Clement Robertson VC in Oxford Road CWGC cemetery near Ypres.
** Ian Robertson & John Allen placing their Great Uncle's VC & DCM on Capt Robertson's headstone.
Belgian Defence Force Artillery Battery Lynx LMV to be used to transport the Sacred Soil.
Ms Emma Brown Alt Mezzo Opera singer & the band of West Yorkshire police.
The illuminated TMYS and surrounding shrubbery soon to become the unique
Tank Corps Garden of Remembrance-Belgium.
TANK CORPS GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE - BELGIUM
CREATION & DEDICATION CEREMONY
The above link will reveal a short video created by the Belgian Defence Force revealing the accompanying Tank Corps Pilgrimage, the creation and dedication of the Tank Corps Garden of Remembrance-Belgium which took place on Armistice Day 2018. The spoken text is mostly in Dutch with English highlights. The accompanying music is sublime and poignant. The images are superb and most revealing. Enjoy!
Today the great gallantry and self sacrifice with limited achievements when pitted against an almost impossible task offered by the men of the Tank Corps has now been raised in Belgium, no less as it has always been in France. They feared naught!
The Tank Corps Garden of Remembrance-Belgium was only achieved due to the magnificent input offered by Langemark-Poelkapelle town hall, the Belgian Defence Force & the Friends of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient.
Also recognised for their superb and most worthy input during the accompanying Tank Corps pilgrimage & "Soil Scatter" ceremony are the many other individuals and organisations who participated.
Not forgotten. Thank you all!
PRESENTATIONS TO KEY MEMBERS OF THE BELGIAN DEFENCE FORCE FOR THEIR OUTSTANDING ASSISTANCE & INPUT ON BEHALF OF THE CREATION & DEDICATION OF THE NEW & UNIQUE TANK CORPS GARDEN of REMEMBRANCE-BELGIUM.
On November 29th 2018 the Friends of the TMYS Assistant Chairman & TMYS Standard Bearer Wayne Evans with Friends of the TMYS/Belgium Defence Force representative Colonel Leon Symoens, visited the Lombardsijde Barracks to thank those of the Artillery Battalion involved in the Sacred Soil Ceremony for their outstanding contribution.
Royal Tank Regiment wall plaques were presented to Senior-Captain Rudy Dhaeyer (Commander of the Lombardsijde Barracks) and Warrant-Officer Dirk Vandenbussche. They feared naught!
Absolutely delighted to reveal that /Mezzo - soprano/Alto/Composer/Leiden;
Singer Emma Brown has accepted her honorary life membership recognition & further confirmed that she will take up her post of;
TANK MEMORIAL YPRES SALIENT 'HONORARY AMBASSADOR' forthwith.
Emma's CV may be seen here; https://ejebrown.com/
Emma doing what comes naturally for this incredibly talented, beautiful & respectful young lady.
It is also worth noting that the above was only made possible due to the intervention and great vision of loyal supporter of the TMYS and it's Friends organisation, author and battlefield historian/guide Mr Paul Foster.
Thank you Paul. Never forgotten!
Eton Memorial Hall - St George's Memorial Church Ypres.
2018 Centenary commemorative events.
HEADS UP & FOR YOUR DESK TOP AGENDAS.
ANNOUNCEMENT. The 2018 Centenary commemoration applicable to the 4th Battle of Ypres (Battle of the Lys or Operation Georgette) has been proposed to take place on Sunday April 15th 2018. *Note; at least 1/4 of the men commemorated by the TMYS were not killed fighting in tanks. These men fell in the roll of dismounted Lewis MG teams & drew huge respect and great salutation from the Infantry Commanders who had these men attached to their Battalions as confirmed within the Tank Corps Book of Honour.
The Tank Corps Battle Flag & Tank Corps "Book of Honour" will be installed & displayed within the church over the duration of the official dates of the above battle. This applicable to April 7th – 29th 1918.
5pm TMYS Poelkapelle - TMYS & RTR Wreaths placement with blessing of wreaths by Friends Chaplain Revd Gillian during the ceremony. To include TMYS Standard & Tank Corps Battle Flag salutations.
6pm Tank Corps “Centenary” Service of Remembrance in St George's Memorial Church. RTR/TMYS wreaths due to be placed during the following
8pm last post ceremony to be firstly blessed as will the newly installed Tank Corps Battle Flag by Revd Gillian.8pm last post with official RTR & TMYS inclusion. RTR & TMYS Wreaths & TMYS Standard & Tank Corps Battle Flag inclusions.
8.30pm Toast of Remembrance & reception in the Eton Memorial Hall. (Drinks at cost ( less toast ) with last orders at 10pm.All are welcome!
Please note the below image revealing a Tank Corps Lewis MG team during the battle. (See upper right arms for Tank Corps flash still worn by RTR soldiers today)
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.
Cambrai 100 commemorations.
Delighted to reveal TMYS & Friends of the TMYS members after being invited by HHQ travelled to Cambrai for the official C100 commemorations which took place over the weekend of 24th - 26th November 2017. Successful & unique input may be seen below. Images concern all Cambrai commemorations including those simultaneously arranged at the Menin Gate Memorial last post ceremony at Ypres, the TMYS itself & St George's Memorial Church by TMYS & Friends of the TMYS officials.
All involved are very much a great credit to the TMYS and no less to those commemorated by the TMYS itself. Thank you!
Captain Robertson VC
October 4th 1917
Bridge renaming ceremony at Reutel near Ypres.
October 4th 2017.
On October 4th 2017 an official centenary bridge renaming ceremony took place on the very location where Capt Clement Robertson was awarded a posthumous VC, the first of four being awarded to the Tank Corps during WW1. The newly installed local authority issue bridge name board was formally dedicated and blessed by the Friends of the TMYS Honorary Chaplain. Also included was a superb information board revealing the action itself, both VC & DCM citations applicable to Capt Robertson & Gnr Cyril Allen who was awarded a DCM alongside Captain Robertson for his involvement.
Attendants included Honorary President of the TMYS & its Friends organisation Lt General David Leakey CMG CBE, supported by the TMYS Standard, Board members and friends, The Mayor & Aldermen of Zonnebeke authority, Military Commanders Col Leon Symoen & Lt Col Chris Onraet, Captain Pascal Mathieu & other Belgian military representatives, Honorary Chaplain of the Friends of the TMYS Revd Gillian Trinder, the Standards of the Royal Entente, family members from both the Robertson and Allen families, representatives from regimental and remembrance organisations and of course the always welcome members of the public. Also attending and offering salutations was a former Belgian Army Leopard 1 Main Battle Tank!!
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.
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 BEM, founders of the TMYS and Chairman & the then Assistant Chairman of the Friends of the TMYS ( @Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing famous last post ceremony )
THE TMYS & Friends of the Tank Memorial Ypres Salient is managed & supported by:
Home Headquarters Royal Tank Regiment
Langemark-Poelkapelle Town Hall
Royal Tank Regiment Association Nottingham Branch
Groen Gifkikkers Motorcycle Club
Please see below - Friend's Board of Administrators
Lt Gen (Retd) David Leakey CMG CVO 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 Junior Leaders Regiment Royal Armoured Corps & 3rd Royal Tank Regiment
Vice Chairman & Friends / Belgian military liaison representative;
Col Leon Symoens serving Belgian military Commander
Lt Col (Hon) Rene Declercq - formerly Belgian military
Secretary & Membership Secretary
Milena Kolarikova BEM
Media Representative & photograher;
Paul Foster - author/battlefield guide
TMYS - Honorary Ambassador
Emma Brown /Mezzo - soprano/Alto/Composer/Leiden
Honorary Life Members;
H E Alison Rose - former UK Ambassador to Belgium
Alain Wyffels - former Mayor Langemark - Poelkapelle
Jef Verschoore - former Deputy Mayor Ypres
Paul Breyne - WW1 Commissionaire General Belgium
Brian Rogers & Janet Rogers
Frans & Mel Hoijtinck
Revd Gillian Trinder
David Williams TD
Marie Pierre Williams
Emma Brown /Mezzo - soprano/Alto/Composer/Leiden
TMYS Standard Bearer - WO2 (Retd) Wayne Evans
Tank Corp Standard Bearer - Capt (Retd) David Williams TD
The Royal Tank Regiment Association Nottingham Branch & the Groen Gifkikkers MC Club both enjoy affiliated membership of the Friends of the Friends of the TMYS.
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 including honorary members receive dedicated invitations to the TMYS annual ceremony, annual Friends newsletter & bronze membership pin badges.
For further information & concerning membership of the Friends of the TMYS please contact;
Milena Kolarikova - firstname.lastname@example.org
The late Friends of the TMYS Vice President
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 whilst serving with the 1st Royal Tank Regiment.
Lt Eric wearing his tank crew suit (Pixie suit)
Both Lt Eric Smallwood of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment & his Comet tank offer the time honoured & dedicated salutations on VE Day 1945.
The late Lt (Retd) Eric Smallwood, veteran of the 1st Royal Tank Regiment & in later life former 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.