We are delighted to announce that our HAC1537 Partnership with the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) has now raised more than £150,000 for our charity since its inception in 2015. Drawing inspiration from the HAC’s founding year in 1537, the Partnership was created with the intent to raise important funds for our charity while increasing the awareness of our work among HAC members.
The Partnership has seen a range of events and initiatives take place over the years, including an exclusive ‘Fireside Chat’ with celebrated historian and author David Starkey CBE; the launch of the City Invitational Cup Cricket Match & Gala Dinner (read this year’s match report here); and the 2017 ‘Cycle to Gavrelle’ challenge – a cycle ride from London to Arras, France, to commemorate the Regiment’s contribution in World War One. It was during the Battle of Arras, in a skirmish just north of the village of Gavrelle, that Lt Haine and Lt Pollard won two of the three Victoria Crosses awarded to members of the Regiment during the Great War.
We also produced a special, one-off Christmas edition of the Wipers Times in 2015, based on the infamous trench magazine that was published by British soldiers fighting in the Ypres Salient during the First World War. ‘The Wipers Times’ was the brainchild of Captain Fred Roberts and Lieutenant Jack Pearson of 12th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters. They found a damaged but serviceable printing press among the ruins of the heavily shelled city of Ypres (pronounced ‘Wipers’ by the soldiers) in Belgium. One of the sergeants in their regiment, a printer in civilian life, was able to get it working and, from it, they produced a witty and sophisticated newspaper – a cross between a parish magazine, a school magazine and the illustrated magazines of the day. You can download and read the full version here >>
The amount raised has gone on to help soldiers, veterans and their immediate families at times when they need it most: from providing funds for vital housing adaptations for an elderly veteran that allows them to stay in their home and retain their independence, to covering the cost of course fees for a recently medically discharged soldier, enabling them to make a successful transition from the Army in to civilian employment.