Armed Forces Day, Trowbridge 2013

Armed Forces Day, Trowbridge 29-30 June 2013

Armed Forces Day 2013 started off well enough for The Garrison with all those expected at Larkhill arriving on time. That’s when things started to go a little downhill when Rodney discovered that his left-hand wheel bearing needed some attention. After striping it down he thought that it need changing but after may attempts to get the spare off an old axle and other ideas it was 0100hrs. It was 0220hrs by the time Rodney and Simon had the old bearing repacked with grease and back on truck. Despite that, Rodney was the first up at 0600hrs with everyone else being up by 0630hrs and the convoy ready to roll by 07.30hrs. Kevin Foster and his motorbike arrived on time and the convoy of 2 gun sets, the Bedford MWR, and White Scout Car, Cliff’s Landover and Mike’s Discovery as tail end charley and the little Austin leading off from the front. The route out was great, across the plain and then cross country to Trowbridge. The thrill of the convoy was extremely enjoyable and everything was going really well until we were just outside Trowbridge when the Bedford MWR broke down. Luckily Tracey was on hand with her tow rope to get Bedford to the event on time. Simon soon had it sorted as it appears I had managed to get some grit into the tank and it had silted up the fuel pump. The first days display was OK, a few issues over safety distances but Rodney and Mike soon had it sorted. It was a very hot day but we had a great turn out with our three new gunners and many of the old team. After the public had left we threw up the 12 x 24 and settled down to a fish and chip supper. Phil and Cathy popped over to say hi and offered to take the gang out to see some WW2 diggings. Three of our newer ATS joined us for the event, and although there was not much for them to do without the searchlight, they had a good chat with Cathy and we have some plans in the pipeline for forthcoming events.

Sunday was a fantastic day and for me the most enjoyable; all the vehicles ran well and Paul Gannaway joined us with his Dingo. The arena was set up better and the display was fantastic. All the vehicles took part, all the rounds fired on time and a good sized audience was there to watch. The pack-up was fast and we were ready to leave on time at 1600hrs. The group was joined by some members of the KVA MVT for some of the drive home. The weather stayed great and the drive back on some of the range roads was fun and all had a great trip and we were back in Larkhill for 1730hrs in time for tea and medals.

Keith Brigstock