April 24th 2014


A teacher from Rutland is set to meet His Royal Highness (HRH) Prince Michael of Kent GCVO at a rededication event in Nottingham later this month.

A rededication parade to mark the official opening of a £1 million renovation project to re-house the RNR and Royal Marines Reserve units (RMR) is taking place on Saturday 26 April.

The move means that HMS Sherwood (RNR), and their RMR colleagues, of the Nottingham Detachment RMR Merseyside, are co-located with the Army Reserve for the first time in the East Midlands.

The £1 million project to renovate Foresters House has taken nine months to complete and includes a new two-storey building being developed to the rear of the site as well as internal renovation works to the current building to bring the facility up-to-date.

The Ministry of Defence has committed to growing the Reserve forces and the £1 million is part of a wider investment which will see £1.8 billion put into our Reserves over ten years, to give them better equipment and fully integrated training with our Regular forces.

In recent years, Reservists from Nottingham and the East Midlands have played an essential part in operations, serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Gulf, and at home during the London Olympics. Now the investment in the newly refurbished training facilities will help in HMS Sherwood’s efforts to sign-up nearly 70 new local recruits over the next three years.

Foresters House, the RNR and RMR’s new home, has been home to 350 Field Squadron Royal Engineers since 1999.

The unit’s rededication parade is set to take place in the presence of HRH Prince Michael of Kent GCVO, in his role as Honorary Rear Admiral and Commodore-in-Chief Maritime Reserves.

The parade will take approximately two hours to complete and include music from The Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines Portsmouth and marching platoons from the RNR, RMR and local Sea Cadet units.

HRH will inspect the parade joined by Rear Admiral Hockley, Flag Officer Reserves and Commodore Jameson, Commander Maritime Reserves.  The Royal Navy’s Chaplain of the Fleet, The Reverend Brown, will also lead a service of re-dedication to mark the formal arrival of the RNR and RMR in the new unit.

An official plaque will be unveiled during the event by HRH to commemorate the opening the new training centre that will provide first-class facilities for the RNR, RMR and Army Reserves.

As a Reservist, Simon, aged 27, is looking forward to being a part of the rededication event. He said: “We are all looking forward to taking part in the rededication event and it will be an honour to meet HRH. The new training facilities are great and will hopefully help us as a unit to expand the number of Reserves we currently have serving with the unit.”

Simon explained that both his teaching role and his military career have benefited accordingly, thanks to HMS Sherwood. He said: “My Royal Naval Reserve career has enhanced my organisational skills and encouraged me to take the initiative more within my civilian career, as well as improving my ability to work well within a team. My teaching role has also helped to improve my confidence, especially in leadership situations which has been useful in the Reserve environment.

“I joined the Reserves as I was looking for ‘something different’ to do, so far I have completed my Phase One initial Naval training at HMS Raleigh and am now working towards completing my Phase Two branch training to become an AB1, having completed my basic weapons training and embarked forces sea survival course.

“My grandfather did national service with the RAF, so I have always taken an interest in the military, although I am the first person in my family to be a Royal Naval Reservist.”

As well as being a Teacher and a Reservist, Simon also enjoys walking, skiing and hopes to take up playing badminton at some point too.