1809 – 43rd and 52nd - Passage of the Douro. (Peninsula)
1919 –1st Bn, OXF & BUCKS LI – CROWBOROUGH - SOUTHAMPTON
0930 - Regiment proceeded to SOUTHAMPTON in two trains and embarked in H.T. CLEAR.
Capt. T.W. MEADE joined.
Embarkation of Regt. completed by 1430.
Strength of Regt. on Embarkation. Offrs 34, Other Ranks 779.
11 Offrs. Embark on H.T. CZARITZA at Newcastle
Lt. NAYLOR (Rear Party) embarks in H.T. STEPHEN 13/5.
1988 – 5th Bn Royal Green Jackets- ROYAL OPENING TA CENTRE—MILTON KEYNES
When 5 RGJ was first raised, it was decided that the old Bletchley Drill Hall which had housed a detached platoon of "D" Company would no longer serve as a Territorial Army Centre for the new Company to be raised in Milton Keynes and North Buckinghamshire. So Bletchley was given to the Royal Signals and the foundations laid for a brand new centre in the heart of Milton Keynes. In fact, geographically speaking, Milton Keynes has a heart that is hard to identify. The new Drill Hall, for that is how TA Centres are still anachronistically known, was to be sited at co-ordinates V10 H3. This, as only citizens of Milton Keynes know, denotes a block between the "horizontal roads" H3 and H4 and the "vertical roads" V10 and V11. Blakelands is the name given to this block and from a patch of mud illustrated in the last Chronicle has risen a building which is visually striking, well designed, beautifully finished and a home that Letter "E" Company and the Green Jacket Army Cadets in North Bucks can take pride in.
Such events and the spending of nearly £1 1/4 million of the TA Association's money cannot pass without some ceremony. But Bucks is a powerful county, and Milton Keynes is becoming a powerful City. One might assume, perhaps immodestly, that these bodies allied with The Regiment might draw a Royal Visitor for the Opening Ceremony.
But it was still quite a surprise and to our great delight that HRH The Princess Royal, not known for many links with the Regiment, would do us the distinct honour of formally opening the Blakelands Drill Hall on 12th May, 1988.
Preparations were quickly set in hand under the control of Captain Nick Haddock on loan from the Depot and occasionally from the Welsh National Hockey side. Major Bill Conroy placed himself and his Company at the mercy of WO2 Cheetham to work up a Royal Guard; numbers, in keeping with sound TA policy, to be decided on the day. A display entitled "Twice a Citizen" would reveal Territorials and Cadets in their double life and distinguished guests from the County, from the Borough, from the Regiment, the District and the families of Volunteers were invited. The day was to be the TA Association's and its chairman, Colonel Tim May, would preside.
As the day drew near, contractors unrolled turf, potted plants were placed to give the naked earthworks some semblance of horticultural order, routes were driven so that timings could be worked out to the minute. The cast of "Twice a Citizen" rehearsed twice... thrice they lost count; and quiet bets were laid on whether the Royal Guard would outnumber the Normandy Band. In the end a glittering crowd of VIPs, sparkling buildings, yards and pavements whereon stood a sizeable guard in well-pressed combat jackets and the Band were all assembled. The Lord Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, Commander The Hon. John Fremantle, with curved scimitar stood at the head of the red carpet. Mayoral chains, orders and medals, and the band's gleaming instruments glittered in the sun, the ladies feathered hats rivalled Bugle Major Robinson's plumes. The appointed hour arrived - and passed. The band played their reserve selection en reprise, still no Royal Personage. Suddenly police radios crackled: our wait would soon be rewarded. One can tell when a large and powerful car has been driven fast, something about the way the mud splatters high up the side of the door. The driver leapt out, adjusting her striking cream wool coat and matching hat. The Lord Lieutenants white-gloved hand rose in salute, the Princess Royal's ensign broke from the flagpole. The guard presented arms.
Thereafter everything went perfectly. The guard marched off in reasonable order, a plaque was unveiled and Sergeant Major Ternent received his British Empire Medal for outstanding service with the volunteers of North Bucks.
The double citizens were immaculate; short, sharp, witty and effective. The lost time was made up, even though the Princess Royal spoke to nearly everybody from General to Bucks Battalion old comrade as she walked through the Drill Hall. She was radiant, smiling and just as a Princess ought to be. She received a posy from Lisa, Sergeant Barry's daughter and left exactly on time for further engagements in the Borough where during the afternoon the Normandy Band under Mr. McElligot gave a further stunning performance on the town plaza for the outgoing Mayor. Back in the Drill Hall the guests and Volunteer Riflemen and Cadets had a delicious lunch, beautifully organised by Captain Ginger Cockroft and the "E" Company administrators.
The day was an unqualified success and the reward for a lot of planning and hard work by the TA Association by the cadets, by the Battalion, by Nick Haddock and above all by Letter "E" Company. Only one slight criticism holds true; "E" Company still thinks it can be half an hour late for everything.