July 3rd 2014


The rich history of 73 Engineer Regiment was celebrated today at the Regiment’s final formal parade held at Chetwynd Barracks, Chilwell, on Saturday 28 June 2014.

Lieutenant General Sir Mark Mans inspects the parade

Although the Regiment is disbanding the legacy of combat engineer ‘Sappers’ serving in the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire areas will live on when the Regiment’s 350 Field Squadron takes on its new Royal Engineer Search role and new title: 350 (Robin Hood) Field Squadron (EOD) on the 1st July.

The Squadron will remain at Foresters House, Chilwell and will come under the command of 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD).  The Army Reserves have been conducting a series of weekend training organised by 73 Engineer Regiment ahead of the re-rolling.  As part of Royal Engineer Search Teams their new role will see them conduct confirmation and clearance of buildings, routes and other areas as part of the wider Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) capability. 

A Royal Engineer presence will also remain in Chesterfield where two Troops will also be based. 

Sapper John Ashworth, who lives in Nottingham says, “The heart of being a sapper is being flexible in approach to problem solving. The opportunities of the future mean a better skill set and wider experience as a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, moreover as a valuable, usable asset for the Army under Army 2020”. 

73 Engineer Regiment personnel not going forward under 350 (Robin Hood) Field Squadron (EOD) also have the option to join other Army Reserve Units across the East Midlands, including 162 Postal Courier and Movement Control Regiment RLC when its Headquarters move to Bilborough Army Reserve Centre later this year.

73 RE celebration paradeDuring the parade three soldiers who have recently returned from Afghanistan were presented with their Op Herrick Campaign Medals by the Army’s Chief Royal Engineer, Lieutenant General Sir Mark Mans, who also inspected the parade. Music was provided by the Nottinghamshire Band of the Royal Engineers.

Joining family members to watch the parade were invited guest including the Major of Broxtowe, Councillor Stan Heptinstall, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Colonel Roger Merryweather and Broxtowe MP and Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, the Right Honourable Anna Soubry MP.

Lance Corporal Chris Pratt (29) who received his Op Herrick campaign medal said: “It was a proud moment to receive my medal and whilst it is a shame 73 Engineer Regiment is disbanding the future is promising. We are all looking forward to our new role and excited about the challenges that lay ahead.”

The Commanding Officer of 73 Engineer Regiment, Lt Col Phil Houlston MBE, said: “The disbandment of any Regimental Headquarters is always a sad occasion. All the soldiers who have served under 73 Engineer Regiment have done so with loyalty, dedication and professionalism.  And although it is an end of an era for the Regiment, our footprint at Chilwell and Chesterfield will endure and become part of 33 (EOD) Engineer Regiment.

“It has been a pleasure to call Nottingham our home since 1969, its people have always supported us and we hope they continue to show that same support to the new Regiment (162 Postal Courier and Movement Control Regiment RLC) when it locates to the city.” 

350 (Robin Hood) Field Squadron (EOD) will continue to recruit from the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.  For more information about Reserve opportunities within 350 (Robin Hood) Field Squadron (EOD) phone 01159 464909 or visit Foresters House during normal working hours.