The Royal Logistic Corps

Conductors Parchment Ceremony


RLC Association Conductors Branch AGM & Re-Union Dinner Celebrations 2012

11 - 12 May 2012.


David Southall.
(Conductors Branch, Vice Chairman)

The Royal Logistic Corps, “Conductors Parchment Ceremony” 2012 was held this year at Buckley Barracks, Hullavington the home of 9 Supply Regiment RLC, on the 11th May 2012, by kind permission of The Commanding Officer, Lt Col S Kitching RLC and Regimental Sergeant Major, WO1 (RSM) A Francis RLC. This was the first ceremony since 2010, this was due to there being no Conductor’s appointed in 2011.

So then how did this year’s “Conductors” celebrations go-:

DAY 1 (11 May 2012) – “The Conductors Parchment Ceremony”

The day started with Serving Conductors, Former Conductors and their Wives/Partners arriving that morning, (Some had arrived the night before), going to their respective accommodation. Once again saw everyone in various accommodation venues; these were Officers & Sergeants’ Messes at Buckley Barracks and “Travel Lodge”, “Premier Inn” and Hotels in the Chippenham Area.

We were all asked to gather in the “Chippenham Room” of the Joint Officers/Sergeants’ Mess by 1030Hrs, for a briefing. (There had been a rehearsal & briefing by the Senior Conductor, WO1 (Cdr) Darren Garwood for the New Conductor’s, who were about to receive their Parchments early). After the briefing by WO1 (Cdr) David Patterson RLC we adjourned for a hot drink and biscuits, before reassembling for the Parchment Ceremony. At this point it was nice for those attending to see

Mrs Lou McMenamin (Nee Conibear) had arrived (late as normal), who had, until earlier this year, been the Senior Conductor prior to retiring from the Army. At 1130hrs the VIP and Official Guests arrived and entered the Chippenham Room and the 2012 Parchment Ceremony began:-

The VIP presenting this year’s Parchments was His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester KG GVCO, The Deputy Colonel in Chief of The Royal Logistic Corps. His Royal Highness was accompanied by General Sir K O’Donoghue KCB CBE, Master General of Logistics.

In attendance were The President of Conductors Branch, The Royal Logistic Corps Association, Major General (Retd) MD Wood CBE, Colonel, The Royal Logistic Corps, Colonel JS Grinstead, MBE, ADC and The Royal Logistic Corps, Corps Regimental Sergeant Major, WO1 (CRSM) SJ Johnson RLC. With General’s O’Donoghue & Wood were their wives, Lady J O’Donoghue & Mrs C Wood.

The Royal Logistic Corps, Corps Adjutant, Capt A Swales RLC, read out extracts  about the history of the “Conductors Appointment”. General O’Donoghue then invited HRH, The Duke of Gloucester to present “The Conductors Parchments to the following Warrant Officers Class One:-

WO1 (Cdr) S Goldby RLC. – Mariner. – 17 Port & Maritime Regiment RLC.
WO1 (Cdr) S Gamble RLC. – Postal & Courier Operator. – Army Headquarters.
WO1 (Cdr) G Mackay RLC. – Petroleum Operator. – Army Headquarters.
WO1 (Cdr) N Handy RLC. – Ammunition Technician. – 11 EOD Regiment RLC.

 Cdr’s, S Goldby, S Gamble, G Mackay, N Handy.

While HRH, The Duke of Gloucester was presenting the Parchments to the new Conductors, General Sir K O’Donoghue presented a bouquet of flowers to their wives, who had attended to see their husbands receive their Parchments. General Sir K O’Donoghue then invited HRH, The Duke of Gloucester to say a few words. He congratulated the new Conductors on their Appointment, and wished them well in their role as head of their respective trades. General Sir K O’Donoghue asked HRH The Duke of Gloucester if he would have photograph’s taken, firstly with the new Conductors

(Cdr S Goldby, Cdr S Gamble, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Cdr G Mackay, Cdr N Handy.)

And then with the Conductor’s and their wives.

 (Mrs J & Cdr S Goldby, Cdr S & Mrs S Gamble, HRH The Duke of Gloucester, Cdr G & Mrs J Mackay, Cdr N & Mrs D Handy.)

After the photographs had been taken, HRH, The Duke of Gloucester & General Sir K O’Donoghue left for a short break prior to having official photographs taken with Serving Conductors (New & Old).

Those of us who were left retired to the Sergeants’ Mess Dining Room/Bar where we split up into small groups to await the VIP’s coming and taking a short time to speak to each group.


(L-R) Chrissie Southall, Lou McMenamin, Cliff Burnett,           (L-R) George Vickers, John Morrisroe, Gordon Webster
John McBride, Lisa & Charlie McClure                                  with HRH, The Duke of Gloucester.

After an hour, HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the Official Guests left to carry-out presentations of Long Service and Good Conduct Medals to members of 9 Supply Regiment RLC. So the formal part of the 2012 Conductor’s Parchment Ceremony over for another year. However it was not the end of the Celebrations.

DAY 1 – Part 2. – Visit to “The Supply Virtual Training Environment.

After the VIPs had left, some members took the opportunity to change prior to this visit, and so at 1345Hrs we climbed aboard a Mini Bus and private cars and took a trip to the other side of this large airfield until we reached a large old aircraft hanger, which housed the 9 Supply Regiment RLC, Supply Training Facility.

Our guide at the facility was Sgt Lee Kidd, he give an excellent brief into what the facility was used for, explaining that all personnel in the Supply Trade, going on operation, irrespective of rank came to this training facility to carry out pre-deployment for up to 2 weeks. The set up and environment mirrored that of the Supply set up in “Camp Bastian” in Afghanistan, but on a smaller scale. He explained that there was no longer “Supply Controller’s”, “Supply Specialist’s or “Staff Clerk’” they were all now RLC Logistic Support Specialists (Supply)”.

Sgt Lee Kidd


             Former Conductors listening to Sgt Kidd.                           Former Conductor’s wives listening also.    

At the end of his briefing asked if there were any questions, (Big Mistake); the questions came fast & furious from all angles, from former Conductors who had been in different trade within the Old RAOC. Sgt Kidd explained that now a days in the supply trade you had to be “Jack of all Trades” and Master of none, however he was helped out by Cliff Burnett, who although no longer serving, was still involved by working for the MOD, explained how the Supply function was now being operated within the MOD.  While Cliff was speaking, Sgt Kidd stepped back a bit, and I asked him “Why”, he said with all this knowledge here asking question, “I don’t want to be embarrassed if I give the wrong answer”.

After an hour of this visit it was all over, David Pattison thanked Sgt Kidd for the information on this first class visit. Then it was back on to the transport back to the Sgts’ Mess for afternoon “Tea & Cakes”. On behalf of the “Conductors Branch” members, we would like to congratulate Sgt Kidd on his promotion to Ssgt & wish him well on his posting back to Germany.

DAY 1 – Part 3. – “Conductors” Branch Annual General Meeting 2012.

The Branch Annual General Meeting 2012 started at 1545hrs, and was opened by the Branch Chairman (Dave Patterson), with a total of 25 Members attending. The Chairman welcomed the new members and then asked the Acting Secretary, Gordon Webster to read the minutes of the 2011 AGM, which were then read and passed.

The Chairman then asked the Acting Treasurer, Bob White to read out the Financial Statement of the branch funds, at the end of the Financial Statement, Bob read out a message from “Dennis Bradley”, who had been very ill and not well enough to attend this year’s celebrations.

Mike Coyle then gave an update on the Website. Finally the committee for the next year were voted in, with Gordon Webster & Bob White taking up the appointments of Secretary and Treasurer.

At this point I feel that a vote of thanks should go to firstly “Bob Graham” who has served on the Branch committee since 2005 first as Secretary and then for the last 5 years as Treasurer, & to “Charlie McClure”, who has been the Branch Secretary for the last 2½ years.

At the end of the AGM, those members not staying in the Mess at Buckley Barracks left to go to their respective Hotel’s.

DAY 1 – Part 4. – The Conductor’s Re-Union Dinner.

Within an hour of arriving at our respective accommodation, we all had to change and be ready to get on to the transport to take us to the Sergeants’ Mess for the 2012 Re-Union Dinner. We all gathered in the Sgts’ Mess to await the arrival of the VIP Guest’s, who this year were: - Major General (Retd) MD Wood CBE, The Conductors Branch President, and The Regimental Sergeant Major, 9 Supply Regiment RLC, WO1(RSM) A Francis RLC and Mrs Francis.

We received the 5min dinner call before we all went into the Officers Mess Dining Room for this year’s Re-Union Dinner. Prior to dinner being served, there was a photograph taken, as the Branch Chairman (Dave Patterson)had forgot the “Gavel” it was for the first time for many a year he had to go back to his “RSM’s” days and shout out instructions on how the photograph was going to be taken.

At the end of a First Class Meal, the Branch Chairman thanked the Mess Manager, Adrian Clarkson and his Staff for the meal and service, he then welcome the new Conductors and their wives to the branch Re-Union Dinner, he also congratulated them on their new appointment.

The Branch Chairman then called upon “Mike Coyle” to read out the history, events and citation on how “Conductor John Buckley VC” was awarded his “Victoria Cross”, in the Indian Mutiny of 1857, in the defence of the Ammunition Magazine in Delhi. Buckley Barracks are named after him. The Chairman thanked Mike for his speech.

The Chairman then thanked the Presiding Member of 9 Supply Regiment RLC, Sergeants’ Mess, WO1 (RSM) A Francis, for allowing his Mess to host this year’s Re-Union Dinner and presented him with the “Conductors” Plaque.

He then thanked Former Conductor “Charlie McClure” for his work as the previous Branch Secretary and wished him well on his retirement from HM Forces and then presented him with a framed copy of the “Conductors” Badge as a retiring gift from the Branch Members.

The Chairman then informed the members that there were 2 framed Parchments to be presented to former “Conductors”, however, he explained that both Parchments were being presented to the same person, and before he asked the Branch President to make the presentations, he called upon Former Conductor, Major (Retd) Lou Halsall, to explain “Why 2 Parchments?”. Lou explained, there was one for his Father and one for himself, he informed us all that his father had been a “Conductor” in the old RAOC in WW2, with the Airborne Forces and after the war had stayed in HM Forces and had been Commissioned and retired in the Rank of “Major”. Lou then said, that he had followed in fathers foot steps and that he had tread the same path as his father, firstly by being awarded the appointment of “Conductor” in the old RAOC then going on to be Commissioned, and finally retiring in the Rank of “Major”

General Wood presenting Parchment to “Conductor Louis John Halsall

General Wood presenting Parchment for “Conductor John Louis Halsall” to his son.

After the presentations, The Chairman, David Patterson then spoke for the last time to inform every one of the timings for the next Day’s visits, and then it was off to the “Sergeants’ Mess Bar” for a few more drinks and to reminisce of years gone by. Around midnight transport took the first members not staying in either Mess to their hotels, with the last transport leaving just before 1am. (I was told the next morning that the Chairman was the last to leave the Bar at 2:30am)

So there it was, Day 1 of the 2012 Conductors Celebrations over and done with for another year.

DAY 2 – 12 MAY 2012. – THE VISITS.

After Breakfast in the Officers Mess Dining Room, around 1030hrs after collecting our “Haversack Bags”, we all gathered outside Sergeants’ Mess to await the coach that was to take 21 of us to the City of Bath for our 1st visit.


As we set off, Gordon Webster, our new Secretary, said that “David Patterson had arranged Day 1 of the celebrations, and that he had done all the arrangements for Day2, so if there were any “C**K ups” we all knew who to blame. After travelling for about an hour we arrived in the City of Bath, leave the coach and made our way to our first venue,


On arriving at the Baths, we were asked to wait for guide to come and collect us. Our guide arrived and introduced himself and that his name was “David”. The tour took about an hour, with David stopping at various points within the Baths to give an in depth explanation.


       (Our guide “David” explaining about the Baths)                         (A layout of how the Roman Baths looked years ago)

At the end of the tour we all gathered outside the Baths, there was much discussion about the visit, and it was a general agreed that you needed a lot longer to see everything in the Baths, and that it did not help that there were lots of visitors there at the same time as our tour. John Morrisroe said that he and Elaine had been before and that they took over 4 hours to go round.

Once we had discussed the visit we were told that we had ½hr to eat our lunch before we all met again outside the Roman Baths to set off to our next event.


After a short walk we all arrived at the “City Tours” bus stop, we all boarded the open top bus, which was for our party only, and then we were off. (There was no need to ring the bell, as all the “Conductors” were on board)

The tour took around ¾hr, taking in all points of interest inside the City of Bath.


There is another Bus tour that travels around the outside of Bath.

At the end of the tour we were told that there was ½hr for last minute shopping, before we all met up again outside the Roman Baths, then we made our way back to our coach to set off for the final event of the day.


After travelling on our coach for 30 minutes we arrived at our Presidents House, (mind you we did drive past it the first time round).

We were welcomed by General Malcolm and his Wife Catalina. Once in their garden, we were taken to where the Afternoon Tea & Cakes (Both Large & Small) were being served. (I must point out that I was the first to spot that there was also “Beer” waiting for those wanted it).


After every one had been served, and in some cases twice, some of the party relaxed in the afternoon sunshine,


“Older” former Conductors listened to General Malcolm explain on how his renovations were going,

(mind you, if the General had employed all the “Older” former Conductors who were giving him advice from all sides, the renovations would have been completed in no time).While the General was taking it all in, (he did say that DIY was not his strong point).

His wife Catalina was showing others around their house and the gardens. However in no time at all, 1½ Hours had past and it was time to leave and return to “Buckley Barracks. (We were asked to take a final piece of cake before we left)


                         (A final photo before we left)                                                              (Catalina & General Malcolm seeing us off)

We left Tedbury and in no time at all we were back in Buckley Barracks, where we sat down to our evening meal, before some of the members left to make their way home.


(The last Supper)

At the end of the day, there were only 10 of us left, so it was into the “Bar” for a final drink, before meeting up for “Breakfast” on Sunday Morning and setting of home, and the 2012 “Conductors Parchment Celebration” was all over for another year.

The Conductor’s Branch, The Royal Logistic Corps Association, would like to say farewell to General Sir K O’Donoghue KCB CBE, The Master General of Logistics, on his retirement and congratulate Major General MW Poffley OBE, on his appointment as The Master General of Logistics.

Finally, May I, on behalf of both Serving & Former “Conductors”, congratulate our President, Major General (Retd) MD Wood CBE, on his appointment of “Honorary Ordnance Officer” to the “Tower of London”.

May I at this point, on your behalf, thank the Branch Committee for a First Class Re-Union Dinner and a cracking day of visits, and to the New Senior Conductor, WO1 (Cdr) Darren Garwood for his involvement in the organising of the Parchment Ceremony.

To you all: - “THANK YOU”

Well! I hope you all enjoyed reading about the 2012 “Conductors Parchment Ceremony and Re-Union Celebration”. If you were unable to attend this year’s Celebrations, or have never been this special event please try to make the 2013 “Conductors Parchment Ceremony and Re-Union Celebration”.  

PRESS OFFICERS NOTICE. (Yes that’s me as well).

If anyone has any photograph’s of this year’s Ceremony, Dinner Night or Visit’s, and would like them on the Conductors Web Site, may I ask you to forward them directly to our Web Master:- “Mike Coyle”.