Suffolk Regiment – Cyprus
“Old Boys” Reunion
26th April 2015
By Margaret Sheard….
Having written about some of the lads from the Suffolk Regiment who did most of their National Service here in Cyprus in the late 1950’s, I have had the pleasure of meeting some of them when they have attended the Remembrance Day event in Kyrenia so I now like to follow what they are up to. I am noting some of the previous articles written about these lads at the end of this review.
Sunday 26th April was the 2nd reunion of some of the Suffolk Regiment lads and the numbers attending are growing each year, which is great to hear. In 2013, Derek Chilvers and I wrote a very long article about his time in North Cyprus, which has been very successful and is still being read on our website. So, I rely on Derek to keep me up to date on what is happening with the ex-servicemen of the Suffolk Regiment, and he has given me the following review of their 2015 reunion at the Rushbrooke Arms in the village of Sicklesmere, which is near Bury St Edmunds. Both Derek and another ex-army friend, Chris Black Veness, work hard to create these reunions and Chris is another ex-serviceman I have had contact with and have been able to help in locating an old army friend who shared his passion for music while they were in Cyprus.
By Derek Chilvers….
As usual those with photos were asked to bring them along but as I knew some of them would be on disc I asked Spike if he was bringing his laptop to which the answer was yes so I told him I would bring my 32inch TV. I checked with the pub the day before to see if was alright, which has a CD/DVD attached, which would be easier to watch instead of all trying to squeeze round his laptop and when he arrived he brought a lead that would transfer his pictures from laptop to TV so we had a good show of pictures.
Bob Vine and Les Andrews picked me up at 10.20 and when we arrived at the pub Chris and Rosie were in their car waiting for us so we went through the main door where we were met by a very pretty waitress who welcomed us and showed us to the room allocated for us and pointed out where the sockets were for the electricity, so I set the TV up and by then Spike had turned up with Jean and they had brought their son and daughter-in-law with them and after that we had an endless stream of people turning up,
Mick Burland brought four of his pals with him and in all I counted 31 so it was a successful turnout. One of the lads phoned me on Friday after seeing a piece in his local paper and asked if he could attend because he served in Cyprus and was demobbed as our time started and did it matter and I told him everyone was welcome so he turned up with his wife and two more lads who had served the same time as him so we heard stories about how it was in their time. Unfortunately they had other commitments and had to leave after an hour but they are turning up for Minden Day and also Dec 6th for another reunion and for this we are being given a larger room.
Noel King turned up with his wife and received a very warm welcome from those who knew him which soon put paid to his feelings about being out of place, we are not only soldiers we are family.
I was contacted by a lad from D Company after I went onto Forces Reunited who sent me some videos containing film of different things he had attended, Minden Day 2006, The Amalgamation ceremony when the Norfolk and Suffolk Regiments joined to become the 1st East Anglians and lots of photos of his service so I put them on the TV and they went down well, followed by Spike’s photos and then My Memories discs and all this was going on while we all enjoyed a lovely meal and a glass or two.
Tommy Lane, Brian Stock and Noel King were accompanied by their wives and Terry Covell who you met last year when he was on holiday with Mick and me joined us. Brian, Noel, Les and me all attended Priory Heath Secondary Modern School in our years before the army so we already had memories of being together, then the army brought us back together and after fifty something years we are together again.
Many memories were talked about among the lads and I think the ladies all enjoyed themselves so I think everyone enjoyed the very successful second “old boys reunion” and now it’s roll on Minden Day.
Although I have met a few of the lads when they have come to Cyprus, I am also familiar with some of the names such as “Spike” and Noel King (of Fingers the Goat fame) so I feel I almost know them as well.
It is so nice to think that after all these years there is still the camaraderie of those early army days and to have these reunions, as many other ex-forces people do, is something maybe to be envied by those who have not had the same experiences in their lives.
Below is a slideshow of the photos sent to me by Derek and Chris of the wonderful reunion event.
I am listing some of the articles written about these lads in their army days:
British army Memories in Cyprus – click here
Fingers the Goat – click here
Cyprus – Army Friends Reunited – click here
Suffolk Regiment Christmas Reunion 2014 – click here