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Yorkshire Wartime Experience 7th - 8th July 2018



Yorkshire Wartime Experience 7th – 8th July 2018
This is a local event, for some of us, in Hunsworth, Bradford on the CleckHudersFax ridge. This is its 7th year of running and we’ve supported it since day 1.
Pte. Heaton and I arrived on Friday evening, to find Col Sgt. Hebden and Pte. Klejnow already there with the dining shelter up, CPL Lycett had earlier, dropped the 14 man tent off, to return later on. After a couple of beers and catching up at camp, we headed to the beer tent, Pte. Clewlow had joined us by then.
Saturday morning Privates Etherington, Wilson, Sprague, Hallet, Shellcock & Dennington all arrived in good time and we were all on site and ready with an hour to spare. We set up our display in our usual trenches. The display looked quite impressive. Cpl. Lycett used the Jeep to position the 6 pounder under the tree between the two trenches. The two 3" Mortars were sighted in the left-hand trench. The right-hand trench was used as a communications trench. Pte. Etherington had bought a couple of rounds for the 6 pounder. The trenches were then liberally dressed with ammo boxes, personal kit and small arms. Additionally this year Pte. Klejnow and I had rented a live Bren gun. PTE Hancock joined us and helped making for a very strong turn-out.
It was already warm and the heat proved to be a problem for us in full woolen uniform, even in shirt sleeve order. Tin hats had to be worn at all times and proved to be very hot. We always try to be as accurate as possible in our actions as well as our dress, so for the battle, we kitted up in skirmish order, full battledress with skeleton webbing. We had 10 men in the field and 3 LOB firming the mortars, this worked very well, the battle plan, however, as it most times does, went a little odd.
We had been asked to form up behind the Valentine DD tank and follow it out until it stopped. We were then expected to deploy left and right, go firm and put down covering fire so another unit could storm the German defenses. The problem was that the tank never stopped and we ended up almost on top of the German positions completely exposed to their fire. While we were trying to sort out this mess one of the other unit stormed the German positions and it was all over.
After the battle, we watched a superb flypast by a Lancaster bomber from our trench, sadly the fun ended there. The "Tank rides" had been going most of the day, and gotten quite giddy, by the afternoon they had started taking long corners fast and were kicking up dust everywhere. Every time they went past we were treated to a smothering dust cloud. Not only does this ruin hundreds of pounds worth of kit, it is seriously bad for our health. We suffer this as long as we could but were forced to retire to camp.
Sunday was much if the same, but we swapped Pte. Hallet for Pte. Pozniak, he brought his radio gear and sent up in the small communications trench.
Today’s battle went better but not without some excitement. The tank set off early before all the pyro’s had been fired. So we walked out into a barrage of explosions. Every time the tank moved forward we were exposed to another set of explosions, getting slightly singed and showered in debris every time. However this time we were better positioned and managed to subdue an armored car that was causing a certain amount of difficulty. The Bren performed well, with me as no.2 and Pte. Klejnoiw as no.1.The close proximity of the pyros was somewhat unsettling but made for a very authentic experience.
Again the Lancaster gave us another excellent fly past. It’s been two years since we’ve seen it, and then we get to see it twice in one weekend, a nice treat. The tank rides had taken advice from the organizer about slowing down and keeping dust to a minimum, so life was much more bearable in the trenches.  At around 4.30 it was time to pack up, the many pairs of hands soon made short work of the de-camp. At 5.15pm we were all packed up and ready for home.
A very very enjoyable weekend for us all.
CPL Heaton











Harrogate Valley Gardens 17th of June 2018

Harrogate Valley Gardens 17th June 2018

The Valley Gardens event is another one-day event, set up to help raise funds for the restoration of the Old Magnesia Well Pump Room by Friends of Valley Gardens.
Our attendance was hindered this year as Cpl Heaton decided to get married on the same day. Having said that we managed a reasonable turnout.
I arrived first closely followed by Colour Sargent Hebden, we were soon joined by Pte Dixon, Pte Pyle and Pte Sprauge. The day started cloudy and threatened to rain. C/S Hebden had brought the dining shelter which we decided to put up just in case it did. We quickly got sorted out and the public started to arrive. Pte Dixon laid out his One Man’s Kit, display which as you might infer is everything that one man would carry. This is a very effective way of getting across to the public just how much the WWII British Soldier was expected to carry.
Harrogate is always a very busy show and this was no exception. Soon we were going through the various bits of the kit to a seemingly never-ending audience.
The threatening rain never materialized and we were treated to a flypast by a Spitfire at 2.30.
In no time at all, it was time to pack up. We were all keen to get off as some of us were due at Adams wedding do later that evening.

This show is going from strength to strength and the new organisers are keen to keep improving it. 






York Army Museum 9th of June 2018

York Army Museum 9th June 2018


I had the Jeep pack and ready to go on Friday evening. I was looking forward to our annual display for the York Army Museum the next day. On Saturday morning I was on the road bright and early. I had arranged to pick Dale up en route and I was soon pulling in at the designated layby. Just as I got out of the Jeep Adam’s car pulled in behind me. We quickly got all Dale’s kit loaded on to the Jeep and we were back on the road. It was a lovely sunny morning and our spirits were high as the Jeep trundled along the road.
We got to York in good time and Colour Sergeant Hebden and ATS Mellor were already herding the geese of the display area. We had just finished erecting the dining shelter when Pte Dixon arrived closely followed by L/C Shellcock and Pte Dennington. We got the display sorted and the museum provided the first cup of tea of the day.
Very soon we were talking to many people from all sorts of backgrounds. At one point we were mobbed by a group of Chinese tourists who all decided to climb into the Jeep at the same time to have their photograph taken. One of them told me of his father who had fought in the Second World War and had been captured in Burma. He had survived that and after the war returned to China to be imprisoned by the Chinese state. I also met a Chinese Naval Captain retired. Cups of tea were regular but it was difficult to find the time to drink them. We took staggered lunch breaks just to keep the numbers on the stand up.
The event at York is a great event. You get to talk to people from all over the world. We had a good talk with a couple who had just come into York to buy some pillows. I also talked to a group on holiday from Lithuania, one of who was in the Lithuanian Army.

The display area, on the grass below Clifford’s Tower, is quirky but good with lots of exposure to the passing public. It is also a great opportunity to support the East Yorkshires Regimental Museum.





RAF Elvington

Colour Hebden and I arrived late Friday afternoon and between us managed to set up the dining shelter with a bit of a struggle. A little later CPL Lycett arrived with the 14 man tent and between the three of us we managed to put that up as well. A little later still PTE and ATS Clewlow arrived with their white bell tent. The NAAFI was not open which was a bit of a shame but we spent a pleasant evening nevertheless catching up on news. 

It rained quite heavily during the night but we stayed warm and dry with just three of us in the 14 man tent.

After a massive 'full English' in the NAAFI courtesy of the museum we were on duty by 10.00 performing our duties as gate guards and perimeter defence. By this time PTE Shellcock had arrived and we took in turns on duty with each of us being relieved every half hour. The weather gradually brightened up as the day wore on and the afternoon was particularly pleasant. Many photos were taken of us as we marched on and off our stints at the gate. Saturday evening turned damp pretty quickly and it rained very heavily all through the night. Fortunately the NAAFI was open and we took advantage of the bar, just to take shelter of course!

Sunday morning dawned cool and damp but again it gradually brightened up and the afternoon was very warm indeed. Our day was much the same as Saturday including another massive breakfast though CPL Lycett & PTE Shellcock had departed. They were replaced by PTE Sprague. Whilst we had not intended our little encampment to be a display and merely be our sleeping accommodation and rest area, our habit of not fencing ourselves off paid dividends in that it encouraged visitors to talk to us and ask questions. I spent most of Sunday afternoon giving lectures and demonstrations on the Lee Enfield No .4 MK I and the MKII STEN!

As things wound down towards the end of the afternoon some of us had the privilege of having a guided tour around the Halifax Bomber which had been taken out of its hanger and parked outside. Whilst it looks huge and imposing on the outside, there is very little space on the inside and I am now even more impressed with the achievements of the brave men of bomber command.

Whilst we were small in numbers there were just enough of us to manage and overall it was a very pleasant weekend. I think the museum were happy with our contribution to their event.

Private Dale Heaton.

St George's Day Parade, Morley

Report by CPL Heaton 

As PTE Heaton and I packed the car, the morning was a fresh crisp spring one, the sun was shining and it looked like it was going to be a nice day. 

We arrived in Morley to find C/SGT Hebden and CPL Lycett already waiting, with the dining shelter out. After 5 mins the shelter was up and PTE Dixon with PTE Hallett arrived. 10 mins later we were set up and waiting for the public. 

At 11.30 the Parade arrived, and brought with it, the rain! Former East York’s member Kevin Morley leading the parade as St. George on horseback. The public descended and with us being right next to the entrance we had lots of interest all day. 

Before long it was 
4.pm and time for the ending battle, we packed up and watched it from our shelter. 

A very nice a local first event for us. Just what you need to blow the dust off the webbing and BD. 

Pte Heaton on tea duties

Personal Kit Display

Infantry Weapons Display

Cpl Lycetts Jeep

Early Morning Sun

Pte Dixon explaining the Bren