On Saturday 29 October, our affiliated Regiment, the Third Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, invited the Master and five Liverymen to join the Reserve Infantry Battalion for a Livery Day.
A total of seven livery companies attended, and the Paviors were up against the formidable forces of the Worshipful Companies of Needlemakers, Builders Merchants, Cutlers, Haberdashers, Coopers and the Order of St George. In addition to the Master, Ian Lumsden, participating Paviors were Matthew Cripps, John Friend, Greg Lumsden and John May.
The purpose of the day was for each team to undertake certain allotted tasks designed to experience the diversity of duties that an infantryman has to perform within the theatre of war. It became quite plain to us as the day progressed how skilled and accomplished our affiliates in the Battalion need to be to carry out their duties.
The first task, once changed into camouflaged fatigues, was to master the assembly and range-finding of an 81mm mortar, an exercise that proved this involves more than just ‘dropping a shell down a vertical tube’. Other tasks included memory tests within observation posts, using infra-red and thermal optics, taking the part of a sniper by being concealed behind unusual objects in the field, erecting radio transmitters, assembling general-purpose machine guns, and firing computer-guided anti-tank missiles. Finally, an assault course was arranged in a wooded area for us to ‘run’ through, firing at targets as we went, under automatic (blank!) fire and smoke bombs – all very exciting.
Despite the Paviors’ team containing only five members compared with six in the teams of other competing companies, the Paviors managed to win the overall competition.
Our sincere thanks go to the Lt Colonel Andy Betts and all his personnel at PWRR, who made us extremely welcome throughout the day and evening. The Paviors appreciated very much the Battalion’s professionalism, kindness and, last but not least, patience!