Celebrations are open to all

the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bermuda Militia Artillery (BMA).

Past and present members of Bermuda's militia are encouraged to help mark the historic milestone through events planned by the Royal Artillery Association (RAA).


the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Bermuda Militia Artillery (BMA).

Past and present members of Bermuda's militia are encouraged to help mark the historic milestone through events planned by the Royal Artillery Association (RAA). "The theme is `Dare to Remember...Once a gunner, always a gunner','' said the Association's president, Carlyle Crockwell. "The BMA was founded in 1896. It, along with the former Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps, served as the foundation for the Regiment 31 years ago, and from it came the RAA, so there is a great deal of heritage involved here.'' The RAA was founded in 1920 by Maj. Phillip Lightbourne with the majority of members being Bermudian and visiting officers. The group initially held meetings at the St. David's Battery campsite because the BMA, from which its members were drawn, was stationed there. It later moved to its present headquarters, adjacent to the northern end of Garrison Field. "The RAA recognises both the achievements of the BMA and the Bermuda Regiment,'' he said. "It is recognised as a charitable organisation as it strives to take care of its gunners in the face of any difficulties and, where possible, provide graves for their burial.'' With membership once limited solely to past members of the BMA, the RAA has expanded and now offers membership to those who have, or currently serve in the Bermuda Regiment, said Mr. Crockwell. "It was almost three years ago, that the historic change was made in Woolrich, England, where the headquarters are located. The local association applied for a change in membership because of the dwindling members of gunners who died due to sickness and natural causes and they amended the rules to recognise members and ex-members of the Bermuda Regiment as gunners eligible to apply for membership of the RAA.

"It's good because it allows the RAA to have some continuity whereby that side of our military history can continue.'' As part of the observances planned, Mr. Crockwell said General Martin Farndale, the Association's master gunner, other dignitaries and the Royal Artillery Gun Squad, would be arriving from the UK headquarters. "We have invited friends and clubs we fraternise with, to participate in a golf tournament at St. George's Golf Club tomorrow, and on Tuesday, we've planned an Historical Night during which members such as Lt. Col. Brendan Hollis, Maj. Ashton Rayner, Sgt. Maj. James E. Wade and Sgt.

Donald Rhoda will bring the history of the BMA out. "We will also be having a reception at Number One Shed next Friday. At that time, we're hoping that the General Farndale will make a presentation to longserving members of the RAA local branch.'' A field day, planned for Saturday, October 12, will run from noon until 6 p.m., he added. Organised as a community-type event at Military Field in St. George's, those in attendance will be treated to a majorette display, a demonstration of model airplanes, a martial arts presentation, and a military display by the Royal Artillery Display Troop. The Bermuda Regiment Silent Drill Team will also be on exhibit and the Bermuda Regiment Band will perform the Beating of the Retreat. A Drumhead Service concludes the centenary festivities the following day, he said. Rev. Goodwin Smith, a former Bermuda Militia man, will conduct the church serve at St. David's Battery at 4 p.m.

Prior to that, a wreathlaying service in St. George's will take place. All events are held under the distinguished patronage of Lord and Lady Waddington.

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