Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The funeral of The Late Lt Col (Retd) Brian Blackwell CBE will take place at 1430 hrs on Monday 5 March in the Royal Memorial Chapel of The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS). The service will be followed by a reception in the Wellington room in Old College.

The names (first and surname) of all attending will be required for entry to Sandhurst. Therefore the names of those wishing to attend should be emailed to Philip Rouse on: no later than 26 February please. If you have any queries, or are travelling by train and require details of taxi companies with security cleared drivers, please include these in your email. All attending require photo ID (Passport/Driving licence) in case the security state rises. Vehicle registrations are not required.

RMAS advises attendees should arrive at about 1400 hrs.

Entry is via the main Gate on the A30 in Camberley – Postcode GU15 4NP. Tell the security guard you are attending the funeral of Lt Col Blackwell and you will be given car and personal passes once checked from the list. Follow the directions on the rear of the Car Pass to the LeMarchant Square car park (Left side of Old College – Big yellow building). Enter Old College via the open door and follow signs for the Chapel. Following the service there will be an afternoon tea with refreshments. Follow signs for the reception via the rear door of Old College.


Here is a message from Tam Macdonald received by Jim Clinker regarding Operation Crown and personnel who served at Leong Nok Tha in Thailand:

Please find attached proposals for a Medal for all who served on Operation Crown and Post Crown.

There will be a request that the Award be presented by a Thai Government Military representative to those who intend to come to Thailand for the 50 year road celebrations. Alternatively by the Thai DA in the UK for those not going to Thailand.

Requests for Posthumous Awards by relatives will also be accepted.
Please let me have your requirements ASAP.

Operation Crown Commemorative Medal Proposal

At the OCA AGM, in Winchester on 2nd April, members were informed that the UK Govt/MoD would not consider issuing any further retrospective awards for military operations, as a consequence of the review undertaken by Sir John Holmes in July 2012. See Furthermore, all attempts to persuade the Thai Government to issue an Op Crown medal ultimately collapsed, even with the support of the DA British Embassy, Bangkok, the Thai DA in the Royal Thai Embassy, London and the AD Foreign Liaison Division, in the Thai Directorate of Joint Intelligence. As a consequence of the above, it was proposed that we investigate the cost of having our own commemorative medal produced with the casting and tooling costs being paid by OCA and full members paying individually for the medals they require, at cost price plus P&P. Non-members would be able to purchase medals from OCA at a small additional cost so the Association could recover part of its casting and tooling costs.

This investigation has now been undertaken by Roger Andrews and, in outline; the costs of a full size 36mm diameter medal are estimated as follows: • Tooling, casting & ribbon £1,560 incl VAT. To be paid by OCA • Commemorative Medal with Ribbon on bar, ready to wear & in presentation box. £43.80 incl VAT. This is the maximum price dependant on the production run. To be paid by individuals but price could be as low as £34.80 if production run is 100 or more. • Engraving with No. Rank & Name at date of service during 1963-68 £15.00 incl VAT. To be paid for individually

Miniatures can also be provided with a tooling cost of £900 incl VAT and a maximum individual cost of £17.58 incl VAT, again subject to production run required.

Before the Association progresses the matter and arranges production, members are requested to let us know of their requirements asap, in simple terms such as 1 x Full Size Medal with or without engraving and/or 1 Miniature Medal. We will then place a firm order once we have some idea of the quantity required. Whilst delivery time is forecast to be 6 weeks, individual costs will be requested in advance to avoid any financial risk being taken by the Association. The design of the medal will be on the lines of that attached to this proposal. Both the UK MoD and the Thai Govt have been approached about the design and there have been no objections.


Due to some enquiries made on the squadron's Facebook page a lad called Richard Bellamy is producing a plaque for 249 Signal Squadron (FARELF), a picture of which is shown on the left.

They will cost £20.00 each plus £2.00 post and package in the UK.

For details on how to place an order and make payment, if you would like one of course, please email me at and I will furnish said details by return. (This is to protect Richard's personal details.)


If anyone has access to obits, which are missing, for personnel on the Last Post page I would be grateful if they could forward them to me. Or if you have any ideas as to where I could obtain same, again please get in contact.


A very worthy cause, especially in light of the numbers of seriously wounded that came back from Afghanistan

I know some folk don't like H4H but I saw for myself, whilst working as a contractor out there, the medevac helicopters arriving at Camp Bastion with casualties on board and these are the lads and lasses, if they survive their injuries, that are being helped.

Criteria for joining the Royal Signals Association.

What it boils down to is this - If you served during the time of 249 FARELF (which you did) you must have participated in the "One Days Pay" ruling which entitles you to join the RSA as a Life Member for free. If you go to the RSA website details are available there. If you do not wish to join a Branch local to you (and possibly participate) you can join the RHQ Branch. - Hope this makes sense.

In case it makes it clearer here is a copy off the email that Neville received.

Dear Neville. Thank you for taking an interest in this matter. All those who contributed to Corps Funds through the Days Pay Scheme (DPS) are automatically eligible for free membership of the RSA. However, they must still apply to join by completing an enrollment card, which is sent to Assn HQ. Yes, it would be best if I was asked to check to see if any potential member was already a LIFE MEMBER before asking for the remittance. The bottom line is that all money received as remittance for LM goes into the Benevolent Fund for welfare use.


There are still a lot of gaps on the contact lists, where we are missing troops or dates served. This is acceptable when the people concerned are not in contact but in some cases it applies to people who are in touch. If you are one of those please let Jim Clinker or myself know so we can update. (Don't be afraid inform us if you know we have got dates or troops wrong. Also any names that are missing of people you know who served) - Thanks

If you have anything of interest you would like included on the news page please submit by email