I have been to … Armed Forces Day, WoolwichPosted: June 27, 2015
The event was held on the playing fields that are to the south of the main barrack block in Woolwich. Sue and I parked in the car park off Ha Ha Road*, and entered the site via the southern entrance.
We walked anti-clockwise around the site, and were very impressed by the wide variety of stands and organisations that were represented. My particular attention was drawn to the vehicle and military displays, some of which are featured below.
The A.J.S & Matchless Owners Club
Matchless motorcycles were manufactured in Plumstead, London, between 1899 and 1966, and in 1938 Matchless and A.J.S. became part of Associated Motorcycles (AMC). It was therefore very appropriate that this club had staged both a static and an arena display at this event.
The Royal Anglian Regiment
Although currently stationed in Bulford, Wiltshire, the 1st Battalion of The Royal Anglian Regiment (The Vikings), mounted a static display at the event. This battalion recruits from Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire, and is currently a Light Role Infantry Battalion.
I managed to have quite a chat with a member of the unit about his recent tour of duty in Afghanistan, and it was interesting to hear that the good old M2 Browning 0.5-inch calibre Heavy Machine Gun (known in the British Army as the L1A1) is still performing sterling duty despite its age.
The Royal Horse Artillery
We missed the arena display by the RHA that took place during the early afternoon, but they did mount a small but very informative static display as well. This included a full-sized model horse used to demonstrate the harness and saddlery used by the RHA and one of the unit’s 13-pounder Field Guns.
Amongst the other things that were on display were a Pinzgauer 716M truck, …
… a Ferret Scout Car, …
… and the Greenwich Concert Band. (The latter included several middle-aged men who I taught many years ago when they were pupils at Woolwich Polytechnic Boys School!)
Visiting this event was a great way to spend a Saturday morning, and if another is staged next year, we hope to go again.
* Ha Ha Road is so called because it has a ha-ha (i.e. a ditch – with a wall on its inner side below ground level – that forms a boundary to a park or garden without interrupting the view) running along one side of it.