RMA Latest News 03.03.10

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen


I regret to inform you that early last Friday morning a standing Trustee Norman Thomas passed away at home.  He was Chairman of the Portsmouth Branch and Club and a trustee for the South Region.  His energy for the RMA will be sorely missed and our thoughts go to Polly and the rest of the family.


Who remembers Strait Street (aka The Gut) in Valletta. John Schofield and Emily Morrissey are currently preparing a book about Strait Street and are after stories relating to particular bars or boarding houses, music halls etc, and in particular any photos or mementoes anyone might have that we could include in the book. If you have anything, material or memory, we would like to hear from you.  John’s email address is: john.schofield@english-heritage.org.uk


This book is about the Corps Family. Filled with many pictures and descriptions of Corps life throughout the years will make an excellent book to show those who know little about he Corps or for those of us who wish to know more.

The attached leaflet is an offer for £10 off the recommended price and to have your name in the book.  If you cannot open the leaflet the telephone number for the publishers is 0207 336 0144.

Or the Corps Sec’s department can send you a leaflet.  The offer closes on 31 May 2010.


The attached word document gives the main Corps events for this year.


The plan is for a granite memorial to be erected at the N edge of the small lake (outside the Main Galley) within Norton Manor Camp (NMC) to act as the centre-piece for the 40 Cdo RM Garden of Remembrance.  The granite memorial is unique to 40 Cdo RM and is being resourced from a local Taunton-based Coy.  The memorial will sit at the head of the lake and will represent a memorial to those that have passed away whilst serving with 40 Cdo RM - past, present and future.  A wicker fence marks the border of the Garden of Remembrance (currently a small area to the N of the lake) and a number of herbaceous border plants have/will be planted inside the fenced area.  The area within the garden already contains a number of slow-growing trees planted by a number of families of deceased ranks in their memory and the intent is to have a path leading from the garden entry points to the memorial and then down to the water's-edge, where there are two benches established to allow people to sit and reflect.  The intent for Ph1 is to have the memorial designed and erected at the N or the lake, have the pathway built leading up to the memorial and down to the water's-edge and have the wicker fencing spread around the whole lake to expand the garden for Ph2.  The cost of the memorial is approx £14k, of which 50% (£7k) has been raised by a mixture of welfare funding, private donations, Mess donations and PRI funding.  A Charity Ball is being run by Nigel and Sarah Hill at Somerset Cricket Club on 25 Sep 10 in order to try and raise the remainder of the cash for the Memorial (a nice local link to the memorial), which I will attend and brief the guests what their money will be going towards.  The plan is to unveil the Memorial in a Unit event, with local VIP attendance, in Nov 10, on the Units return from Op HERRICK 12. 

Ph2 sees the improvement to the Garden of Remembrance, with more herbaceous plants being established inside the wicker fence.  The intent is to cut a walk-way alongside the lake and provide a pathway that allows wheel-chair access to the garden and to establish further areas for visitors to rest and relax in peace and quite.

Any proceeds received for the 40 Cdo Memorial and Garden of Remembrance will go towards: 

1.    The cost of the design and erecting of the Memorial.

2.    The upkeep of the Memorial itself.

3.    Enhancement and upkeep of areas of the Garden of Remembrance, e.g. purchasing of further benches. 

We have set up an account in the Central Bank to receive and manage any funds that are allocated to the Memorial and Garden of Remembrance.  Cheques should be made payable to “Central Bank 40 Commando” with “40 Commando Memorial” written on the back of the cheque.


The Review was conducted under the independent chairmanship of former Chief of the Defence Staff, Admiral the Lord Boyce, and supported by an Independent Scrutiny Group whose members were  drawn from academia, the medical profession, the legal profession, Service and ex-Service organisations and interested stakeholders representing injured personnel, their families, and the bereaved. 

The Review Team received comments from over 200 individuals and groups, including serving members of the Armed Forces, their families, reservists, veterans, and the general public. Lord Boyce and his team visited serving Royal Navy, Army and RAF personnel in their bases and at Headley Court and the Admiral also spoke to Ministers, the Chief of the Defence Staff and the heads of the three services.

The key changes include:

• Increase the tax-free, index-linked Guaranteed Income Payment (which is paid for life) to reflect the lasting effect of more serious injuries; likely promotions; and extended retirement ages.
• The top level of award, already doubled in 2008, will remain at £570,000 but all other award levels will be increased.
• Those with the most serious multiple injuries will continue to receive full tariff value for each injury up to the maximum £570,000.  The rules below that will change so that all injuries in a single incident will receive some compensation (rather than the first 3 injuries as now).
• The maximum award for mental illness will be increased.
• A new fast interim payment will be introduced so those injured can receive some compensation before the entire claims process is complete.
• A new expert medical body will be created to advise on compensation for particular injuries and illnesses such as hearing loss, mental health and genital injury.
• The burden of proof will remain largely as it is, but improvements will be made in cases of illness and where records have not been properly maintained.
• The time limits by which claims must be made will be increased.
• Improvements to the way in which the scheme is communicated to service personnel and their families, focusing on how the scheme works, what payments they might be entitled to, and the calculations behind them.


The IWM have established a database of the memorials they have recorded so far on their website at www.ukniwm.org.uk.   They need volunteers to fill in the gaps that they have in the information for existing records and also for forwarding details of memorials which they do not yet know about.  They will supply recording forms in hard copy but all necessary information (including photographs) can also be forwarded to them by email.

The work involves visiting local memorials (which can range from a grand cenotaph to a small plaque on a church wall) carrying out research in libraries, county and local archives and local historical societies.  The most important aspect of the work is recording the location, description and the full inscription and name list.  

It is very interesting and worthwhile and is ideally suited to retired police officers. It takes up only a few hours of spare time, when available.  If anyone is interested, please contact Frances Casey, Project Officer by email at fcasey@iwm.org.uk or by telephone on 020 7207 9863. 


A soldier whose life was saved by his body armour in Afghanistan has thanked the team who made it – by buying them a pint.

Lance Sergeant Daniel Collins from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards was shot in the back after coming under sporadic fire from insurgents whilst out on patrol in Helmand in 2009. His Osprey body armour, which is made of ceramic ballistic plates designed to protect vital organs, stopped the bullet from piercing his body, saving his life.

Lance Sgt Collins said:

“When I was shot I thought the worst, especially because it from only about 200 metres away and I think it was a 7.62mm round - that's a high calibre bullet to be hit by. I was examined on the spot expecting to be told bad news but there was nothing there. The body armour had stopped the bullet and saved my life.”

After receiving medical care for bruising the 27-year-old from Cardigan, West Wales, was ready for work and back on the front line within seven days. 

Lance Sgt Collins expressed his gratitude to the manufacturers of his life-saving body armour:

“I said after I had been hit that I wanted to meet whoever designed Osprey and buy him a pint – I didn’t realise that quite so many people had been involved in getting it to theatre!.”

True to his word, the soldier met Kevin Butterly of Coventry manufacturers NP Aerospace in Cardiff pub The Old Arcade – and bought him a pint.

The body armour, which has been in service since early 2006, consists of hard armour protective plates and a fragmentation vest.

It was introduced to operational theatre after a request from troops on the ground for armour that met defined requirements.

The process, from its conception by experts at the Defence Science Technology Laboratory (DSTL) in Porton Down, Wiltshire, to being manufactured by NP Aerospace took as few as 12 weeks.

DE&S Defence Clothing Project Manager Mike Piggot, who worked on the Osprey Body Armour, said it had been a real boost to the team to meet Lance Sgt Collins.

He added:

“It was big job for the team to deliver this essential kit in such a short time but we were determined to do it. The team is always thinking about the boys and girls out on Operation and we are committed to delivering the best equipment to them. This body armour is one of the best in the world and we are proud that, collectively, our hard work has paid off. Daniel is living proof of this.”


Armed Forces medics in Afghanistan are now able to use an innovative piece of emergency kit to help save the lives of wounded personnel. The state of the art EnFlowTM 100 Rapid Blood and Fluid Warmer quickly heats up blood and vital fluids to ensure that they reach vital organs and injured areas fast, without affecting the patient’s core temperature. This reduces the risk of complications such as hypothermia and coagulopathy - the inability of the blood to clot after trauma. 

Six sets, which are able to be used on board emergency medical helicopters, have been sent to Afghanistan as part of a £35,000 contract supplied to the MoD by Prometheus Medical Ltd. A further two sets, for training purposes, are also included in the package.

Flight Lieutenant Fiona McGlynn is Officer Commanding of a Medical Emergency Response Team based at Camp Bastion:

“Due to the nature of their injuries, many of the patients we treat are in hypovolaemic shock and in need of a transfusion, when we reach them. Giving them cold blood straight from our supplies can have an adverse effect on their overall body temperature and impact on their recovery. The EnFlow will enable us to warm the blood before we carry out a transfusion and ensure the patient arrives in hospital in the best possible condition.”

Dr Malcolm Russell, Managing Director of Prometheus Medical, added:

“As a company with its roots in military emergency medicine, we are committed to providing the very best solutions for the Defence Medical Services for the benefit of wounded personnel on the battlefield.  Hypothermia in trauma is a real killer and the EnFlow fluid warmer goes some way to redress this problem.  We are delighted to be awarded this contract and look forward to fully supporting the Defence Medical Services in its outstanding efforts to provide the wounded with the best possible care.”

As ever