The ARMY APPRENTICE ... remember with pride

Earlier news - Oct 2009 to Apr 2010

20th October 2009 - AANM Inaugural meeting at the NMA

During 2008, the Beachley Old Boys' Association started their own Memorial project, with David Chapman (60A) at the helm.

During the summer of 2009 at the Arborfield Association AGM, Maurice 'Mo' Hope (59B) proposed that the Association should consider a memorial to the Army Apprentice and they subsequently formed a Memorial Committee too. Gordon Bonner (49B) was tasked to investigate the possibility of all the known Ex-Apprentice Associations collaborating on a project to have a single national memorial located at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire.

Subsequently, at the inaugural meeting of representatives from three of the four interested associations of Chepstow, Arborfield, Harrogate and Carlisle, a Memorial Steering Committee (MSC) was formed, an administration structure was proposed and members were appointed to be responsible for the various activities required. Its task was to first look at the possibility of the project and should there be agreement, to plan and implement the activity to make it happen. Mike Davis (Arb 60B) and Ted Cooper (Car 61C) were unable to attend but were still given jobs!

20th Jan. 2010 - Website launched was launched with the majority of pages populated and ready for viewing.

17th Feb 2010 - Committee inspects site at the NMA

The Army Apprentice National Memorial Steering Committee met at the National Memorial Arboretum. They were able to inspect the site allocated by the NMA Trustees for the AANM. Everyone was pleased with the position for the memorial, set in a small circular glade and about 50 metres from the river which skirts the Arboretum. Its a few minutes walk from the Visitor Centre.

Committee at work in wet weather dress.

New Site Feb 2010-2-1427ww
New Site Feb 2010-3-1433w

Above - Keith Rackham & Dave Chapman discuss site.

New Site Feb 2010-1-1418w

Mr Keith Rackham of Perfitts, our stonemason, was on hand to discuss design and to measure out the base area. This is likely to be a little more than 8 metres in diameter once the commemorative tablets are laid around the perimeter. It was agreed at a meeting in the Far East POW building that the face of the monolith and the circular centre slab will be polished black granite. The base will be bush-hammered light grey granite while the commemorative tablets will be embossed granite. The four benches will be light grey granite.

1st Mar 2010 - Maj Gen Gerry Berragan appointed Patron of Project

Recently the AANM Steering Committee formally approached Major General Gerry Berragan CB to ask him if he would consider becoming the overall patron of the project. He graciously accepted the offer and is very enthusiastic about helping to get the project moving forward. Gerry started his long career at Arborfield with Intake 48B in September 1948. He passed out of Arborfield in July 1951 as a trained vehicle mechanic and entered the REME as a Craftsman.

In 1954 Gerry attended an officer selection course at Eaton Hall, Cheshire and was then posted as a 2nd Lt in the REME. However, in 1956 he applied for a regular commission and was successful, being transferred to the Royal Army Ordnance Corps in which he ended up as it's Director General (DGOS). He served for a total of 40 years, retiring from the Regular Army in 1988.

Major General Berragan was awarded the Companion of the Bath (CB) in 1988 and was Colonel Commandant of the RAOC and later the RLC. He was chairman of the RAOC Charitable Trust retiring from the post in 2002 – marking 54 years of service to the Crown. From 1988 to 1998 he was Chief Executive of the Institute of Packaging.

1st Mar 2010 - Royal Artillery Charitable Fund donates £500

A very positive response by the Royal Artillery Charitable Fund. It has very generously donated the sum of £500 to the project.

In the earlier days of the Army Apprentice Scheme a number of apprentices were posted to the Royal Artillery following their boys’ service. These were destined to become artificers in the RA. With this in mind, our fundraiser, Major Gordon Bonner wrote to the RA Regimental Secretary outlining the AANM project resulting in positive response and support.