Dear Old Comrades,
I write to you as your new Chairman of The Royal Lancers' Old Comrades Association (RL OCA) and Trustee of The Royal Lancer’s Charitable Trust.
I would like to open by offering an enormous vote of thanks to Lt Col ‘Mally' Davies (Retd) from whom I took over on 08 December 2016. As Chair his outstanding leadership enabled the RL OCA, with its membership of approximately 10,000 persons, to make its first steps. This work done, he has passed the baton of responsibility to me and I am honoured to carry it forward and represent you and your needs throughout my tenure - thank you.
For those of you who do not know me, I have over 36 years' service and am due to retire in April 2017. I was commissioned into the 17th/21th Lancers, served as a Queen’s Royal Lancer and served on attachment in the 9th/12th Royal Lancers (Prince of Wales’s). I live in the South East of England and have been President of the South East Branch for 6 years, a role that I hope to continue in.
Over the coming period I will be fact finding and reviewing our OCA posture as is and how we might develop in the future. I will be making recommendations to The Colonel of The Regiment, Brigadier Andrew Hughes, and be seeking the support of the RL Charitable Trust against its ‘Objects’: a) To promote the efficiency of the Regiment, maintain its history, traditions and esprit de corps and b) to relieve, either generally or individually, members of The Association who are in a condition of need, hardship or distress, and their dependents who are so qualified.
I hope to communicate to each of you through the annual ‘paper mail send’ in January 2017 providing you with some early thoughts on OCA direction of travel. At the heart of what I plan to do after gathering information of where we are now, will be to support Brigadier Hughes' directed key functions of: ‘Benevolence’, ‘Remembrance’ and ’Making Connections’ set against the charitable objects for support.
As Chairman, I wish you to know that I hold great store in the responsibility that the appointment brings. I believe wholly in making sure that when you leave the Regiment to the very end of your life, the RL OCA will be there for you and your dependents who are so qualified; be you a member of a Branch, an informal grouping or none; whether you served for one day or 40 years, it matters not to me, I will be here for you.
During this coming period should yourself, or should you come to know of another who is in need, please contact Home Headquarters who are open for business 24/7, rain or shine. You can contact them either directly or through your local affiliated grouping to seek assistance.
In this my first message to you I send you and your families, Season’s Greetings; I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and I wish you all well in 2017. I look forward to connecting with you in the near future - please keep an eye out for my update in January 2017 when I know that The Colonel of the Regiment will be writing to you; my letter will likely be in the same Home Headquarters envelope.
Colonel William English
Chairman of The Royal Lancers' Old Comrades Association