Monday, 18 January 2021
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memorial2 nWe mark the passing of those who have served their country. Contributions from comrades and families welcome. Email the editor This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Renfrew Leslie ChristieRenfrew Leslie Christie was born in Johannesburg on 11 September 1949. His mother did not remarry after the death of his father just after his second birthday: she brought him up alone on a telephonist's salary. She later worked full time for about ten years for the liberal women's organisation, the Black Sash, advising South Africans endorsed out of their cities under the Pass Laws and Influx Control.
Her Black Sash offices were located in Cosatu House when it was bombed at night by Apartheid operatives.
His mother's brother, his uncle Lieutenant David Taylor, of Cheetah Squadron, South African Air Force, was killed in action flying over North Korea on 20 March 1952.
He graduated from high school in December 1966 and subsequently worked during a vacation as a Metrication Officer for African Explosives and Chemical Industries (AECI) Limited in 1971, which among other things made munitions for the South Africa (SA) Defence Force at Lenz, near Johannesburg.
He was conscripted into the SA Infantry in April 1967, undergoing basic training at 1 Special Service Battalion in Bloemfontein and thereafter was based at 3 SA Infantry in Lenz, until December 1967. He guarded the Sasolburg oil-from-coal plant for some months.
While guarding the AECI Lenz explosive factory and the Lenz ammunition dump in 1967, he saw something entirely fortuitously which told him that the SA Defence Force was involved with nuclear weapons. He spent the rest of his life hunting the details of the Apartheid nuclear weapons.

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Ruth CameronIMG 20210113 2209330 2THE WAR-TIME MEMORIES OF RUTH CAMERON
I was at home on the Sunday morning when war was declared 3rd September 1939 and I remember my mother weeping.
At the time I was a 16 year old who lived with her parents in a three bed-roomed detached house at 21 Francis Way, Silver End, Essex named after Francis Crittall whose factory made metal windows.
Early on, we had two evacuees billeted on us. They were two London boys (Johnnie Thatcher and Ken Marriott) coincidently from Edmonton where my father had been to the same grammar school as Ken. They arrived in the clothes they stood up in and stayed for about 6 months. My parents received an allowance from the Government to cover their costs. Ken attended my old school (Braintree County High School) while they were with us.
I was all booked to go to Chelsea Polythechnic to do a course in domestic science when war broke out but my parents would not allow me to leave home for fear of invasion and bombing so I left school on 1st January 1940 and took a job at Courtaulds Research Laboratories at Bocking near Braintree.

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Jock Stewart MCAfter which Squadron Leader Archibald Alexander 'Jock' Stewart won the Military Cross, and 2 more were awarded posthumously as Britain dismantled its Empire

by Robert Stewart

My father 'Jock' Stewart enlisted in the RAF on 6th August 1942, and trained as an airman pilot/observer. He ended wartime service as an acting sergeant. Commissioned into the RAF Regiment in 1946 he served on 2757 Armoured Car Squadron, and later serving in the Middle East from March 1953. He went on to command No 27 LAA Squadron, also commanding Ground Defence Training Squadron at RAF Catterick.

When I was a young boy I lived with my parents in Aden where he was a Squadron Commander with 1st Battalion the Aden Protectorate Levies (APL) on detachment from the RAF Regiment. We had arrived there in, I think, 1954 and our house (in what is known as the Crater district, the original port city) was a married officers' quarter near RAF Khormaksar where he was stationed.

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MoDIMG 20181218 1521345 2The Military Division of the New Year Honours 2021, published 31 December 2020 - see next page

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By AC2 (later Flt Lt) S.L. Ashby (pictured as a Sergeant on VE Day 1945, Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia)

SLAshbyIMG-20210103-WA0001Our training routine was disrupted by the 1938 Munich Crisis. As a result of this our course was curtailed by three months and we were rescheduled to finish training in April 1940 instead of July. The outbreak of war in 1939 resulted in a second curtailment of our course and we took our final Board in December 1939 and were posted to operational units in January 1940.
I was posted to No 500 (County of Kent) Sqdn , Auxiliary Air Force stationed at Detling about 5 miles from my mother's home in Maidstone. However, with the requirements of wartime operations, the benefits of being close to home were very largely lost.
My squadron were equipped with Avro Anson aircraft and were engaged in maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine and anti-E boat patrols. I was allocated to Maintenance Flight where I was employed on major and minor servicing and rectification of aircraft instrumentation.

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heilbron pricedownloadDefence 'against external threats' is not only about classical defence but preserving western civilisation in the long term- over a span of a century or more. Europeans have failed to see the big picture - which is prerequisite to understanding what the plot is, writes David Heilbron Price. The potential rupture of UK and Continental European defence efforts is just one tear in the larger canvas. Who gains if UK and EU do not patch things up? Europe is presently war-wounded and in the sick bed. It is overspending trillions of Euros that will affect its future for a generation or more.

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Lieven passport photoThe attitudes and beliefs of the Russian establishment are not hard to understand, at least for anyone with a minimal grasp of Russian history and culture. Moreover, the realism of Russian policymakers fits the mindset of many American security officials, writes Anatol Lieven.
The vital interests of Russia are adhered to by the Russian establishment as a whole. They consist chiefly of a belief that Russia must be one pole of a multipolar world — not a superpower, but a great power with real international influence. Also: that Russia must retain predominant influence on the territory of the former Soviet Union, that any rival alliance must be excluded, and that international order depends on the preservation of existing states. In addition, as with any political system, there is a commitment to the existing Russian political order and a determination that any change in it must not be directed from outside.
There are obvious tensions between some of these Russian interests and secondary U.S. interests, but on one issue — the danger from Sunni Islamist extremism and terrorism — a vital interest of Russia is completely identical with our own. Because of this danger, U.S. administrations, like the Russians, have often supported existing authoritarian Muslim states for fear that their overthrow would lead to chaos and the triumph of Islamist extremism.

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Robert Walter president European security and Defence Assembly. Session 2009As we all know, by a relatively small margin and with a simple majority of those voting, the United Kingdom decided in 2016 to leave the European Union, writes Robert Walter. Two parliamentary elections and three prime ministers later, the UK finally withdrew from the EU on 31st January this year.

But Brexit is not done yet, because we are in the "transition period" and still trying to determine the nature of the future relationship. Most of the discussions have centred around the concept of a "level playing field" with the very real complications of Northern Ireland and the desire of what is now a third country seeking to minimise the disruption to existing trade patterns. The UK has appeared to want to "have its cake", freeing itself from the EU, "and eating it", retaining access to the single market.

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