A beaming Princess Anne was in Bicester this week, as Colonel in Chief of the Royal Logistics Corps. She was visiting St David’s Barracks in London Road, home of 1 Support Regiment and she was welcomed by personnel and their families. The Princess was met by the Master General of Logistics, Lieutenant General Mark Poffley and the Corps Colonel, Colin Francis who escorted her to the Officer’s Mess and her first official task presentation of an Imperial Service Medal to long-standing Quartermaster Clerk Elizabeth Williams.
Ms Williams, who lives in Bicester, has worked at St David’s Barracks for several years serving not only 1 Support Regiment, after their relocation from Germany in 2015, but also their predecessors 23 Pioneer Corps. The Princess then looked at a few stalls representing both how the regiment assists the British Army to fulfil its role and the ethnic diversity of the soldiers within the regiment. As well as hearing about the countries, the Princess also sampled some food as she met soldiers of Afro-Caribbean, Nepalese, Indian and Fijian heritage.
The statement from the regiment said: “Princess Anne was also given an insight into the regiment’s capabilities when she was introduced to a number of stands demonstrating the regiment’s operational role. Among the many pieces of kit and equipment, she got the opportunity to have a look over several vehicles including the impressive Mastiff armoured troop carrier.”
The £265,000 six-wheel-drive Mastiff is one of the safest armoured vehicle used by the Army.
The Royal Logistics Corps was formed in 1993 as an amalgamation of a number of units including the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and Royal Corps of Transport. However, the origins go back to the Peninsular War and the Royal Wagon Train which was formed to bring troop and equipment transportation under military control rather than try and find local transport wherever they were. Two of the Royal Logistic Corps battle honours; Peninsula and Battle of Waterloo date back to the Royal Wagon Train.
Before leaving the barracks, the Princess was presented with a silver rhino, a reference to the corps insignia by Finlay Evans, the six-year-old son of Major Nathan Evans – the Regimental Second in Command, and also a posy of flowers by Kiera Ward.