NOTTINGHAM BRANCH SECRETARIES

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Branch Secretary: Michael O'Connor


2015-2016 - Since November 2013

 

Branch Secretary: Michael O'Connor


Mick is a former member of 2 PARA, and is now a retired Postman.
He is still very active physically, and has over the past few years taken part in several PARA 10 events; consequently raising a fair amount of money for charity.  For a pensioner, he still achieves some remarkable finishing times, which would make anyone proud of. This I am sure, is as a result of his time in service with the Second Battalion of the Parachute Regiment.

 

Military Service


By Michael O'Connor
 

I joined the Junior Parachute Company of The Parachute Regiment in October 1963. All junior entrants were bandsmen, or junior drummers. I was down as a drummer, however a junior soldiers platoon was formed, and I along with others who didn't know one end of a drum stick from the other, moved to the soldiers platoon. I made some good friends during my time with Junior Para; George Jock Wynd, Dave Lawton a Nottingham lad, Shoulders Smith another Nottingham lad, Chris Stevo Stevenson, and Brian Freeman, plus others, but names don't spring to mind. We all went on to join 2 PARA, apart from Stevo, who went on to 3 PARA. Unfortunately Stevo was killed serving in Northern Ireland. Our time with Junior Para, although enjoyable, was a very hard two years of 0600 starts, training all day, sometimes until 20:00 hrs. A Saturday morning room inspection every week, followed by a Sunday morning church parade in number two dress, none believers report to the cook house for extra duties. During my time with Junior Para, I was a member of a successful football team, and also the winning boxing team, although I was knocked out by one of my own team members.

 

I joined 2 PARA in 1965, and was placed in the signals platoon, along with Jock Wynd, there I met another Nottingham lad, Chop Hampson. I also became good friends with George Hobson, John Kettle, Alan Morris and others. My service was then as follows;

1966-67 Bahrain, Aden, served in Radfan with B Company, O.C. Major Gray, who went on to command the Regiment.

 

On return from the Middle East there followed a year of training in the UK and Germany. In 1968 I served with the Battalion at the jungle warfare school in Malaysia, then onto Hong Kong. I left 2 PARA in 1969.

 

In 1978 I joined the Territorial Army. My unit was The Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry, an armoured unit, a bit of a change from tabbing everywhere. After four years with the S.R.Y. I transferred to the Royal Engineers Postal Courier, where after initial trade training, I became part of the training team at Mill Hill. I spent a few years training recruits, plus I served with my Squadron in Cyprus, Gibralter, and Hong Kong. The Posties really do get to go places.

 

When the Royal Logistics Corps was formed, all Postal units moved from the Royal Engineers to become part of the new corps, by this time I held the rank of WO2. I was posted to 863 Sqn. 86 PC Regt. RLC. I had some very happy times with the RLC, and learned a lot about the work that others do in The British Army.

 

Above: Mick O'Connor Branch Secretary / Chairman

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Pat Riley - 2015-2016

Reserve Secretary in Mick O'Connors Absence

Pat Riley has become a stand in Branch Secretary, should Mick O'Connor not be available to attend a Branch meeting. Pat served as Branch Treasurer up until 2009, and has been at the Branch for many years. Pat served with 3 PARA in the early 1950s.

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Bill Cumming

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Branch Secretary: William Cumming 2005-2013


Meet Bill Cumming, honoray Secretary of the Nottingham Branch. Bill has been a member of the branch since he retired in 2005.

 

Sadly Bill had to give up his position as Secretary during the October of 2012, due to a heart attack and stroke. He officially retired from the position after the 2013 AGM due to ill health. Bill was a hard act to follow.

 

He has had a very active, varied, and exciting life. He served for slightly more than 3 years with the Merchant Navy as a Marine Engineering Officer, travelling three or four times around the world, before taking up a military career, serving for 22 years, and reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant. This has ranged from service with The Royal Marines (Reserves), The Parachute Regiment, and as an ATO in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

 

Following his Military Service, Bill worked in the Middle East as an Instructor in EOD/IEDD to the Royal Saudi Naval Special Forces, as an Instructor in Ammunition matters to the Kuwaiti Military and Police on an individual contract, and then as an EOD Team Manager in the Safe Haven of Iraq, between the two Gulf Wars; managing 90 idigenous Iraqi Kurds, on behalf of the Mines Advisory Group (MAG) in the UK, by selection, training, organising and controlling four clearance teams, during the EOD Operations.

 

His personal and administrative skills, which as an ATO were sometimes under very stressful circumstances, have made him ideal for his current position as Branch Secretary. Cool under pressure, and with a great sense of humour, Bill is an asset to the branch. He is very active within the branch and he has a keen interest in the Military History of the Airborne Forces (World wide) and in supporting the Royal British Legion. Bill is also a proud member of the Para 2 Club; an association of ex-members of the 2nd Bn The Parachute Regiment, and those who were attached to the battalion (see the Para 2 website).



 

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