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Visit to the Mercians 26th - 27th April

The Lordswood Boys' School CCF Corps of Drums who played at the Mercian Dinner.

The Annual Mercian Regiment Officers' Dinner Night

Every year, on the eve of the Army and Navy rugby match in May, the officers of the Mercian Regiment gather for their annual dinner night. For the last two years the venue has been Old College, Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, a place etched into the soul of all Army officers and a homecoming of sorts.

For unfortunate operational reasons this year's dinner was moved to The Defence College at Shrivenham, near Swindon, but the Regiment was still very glad to be able to welcome the Master of the Worshipful Company of Bowyers, Michael Wren, to the top table. Numbers were down this year as operational commitments kept most members of the 3rd Battalion away but, despite this, over 130 officers gathered to catch up with old friends and make new ones.

The dinner was preceded at the Regimental Chapel by a Service of Remembrance for soldiers recently killed on active service after which dinner was served with background music and marches provided by military musicians.

For the last three years the dinner has also been entertained by the Corps of Drums from Lordswood School Combined Cadet Force. Each year the performance improves with 13 cadets on parade at Shrivenham. Drawn from some of the most deprived postcodes in Birmingham, having the opportunity to be part of such events makes a huge contribution to raising the self esteem and the aspirations of these young people.

Following the Loyal Toasts the Colonel of the Regiment, Major General Andrew Sharpe OBE, a Liveryman of the Bowyers Company, spoke outlining the state of the Regiment and a look forward to the future, as well as thanking the Company for their continued support and very generous financial commitment to the Regimental Charities.

Lt. Colonel Neil Macintosh

Bowyers at the National Arboretum.

Live Fire with the Mercian's

On Saturday 27th April four members of the Bowyers' Company took part in a hands on live fire exercise with the 4th (TA) Battalion, Mercian Regiment at Tamworth near Birmingham.

The half-day event began by donning Army kit kindly provided by the Regiment and receiving a full briefing prior to joining the reservist who were to be our guides and instructors.

Proceeding to the woods we were introduced to all the modern infantry weapons prior to taking part in the 'live fire' exercise that entailed following four soldiers down the range. At 100 meters from the targets we were handed the weapons and duly with expert guidance took aim and proceeded to fire. A most exciting experience!

This was followed by an introduction to the battle casualty drills including a hand's on demonstration of how the medics operate in the battlefield.

To round off the morning it was back to the woods again and we all took part in cooking our own lunch from the typical field rations supplied to those on active service in Afghanistan.

On bidding farewell to our hosts we proceeded a little further north and visited the National Memorial Arboretum before wending our way home having thoroughly enjoyed our experience with our affiliated regiment.

Michael Wren

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