Message from: Farren Drury MBE The Chairman of the Organising Committee.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment
(Berkshire and Wiltshire)
The Diamond Reunion - A celebration weekend marking the 60th Anniversary of the formation of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment 7 - 10 June 2019
The 60th Anniversary of the formation of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire), which was one of the finest Infantry Regiments in the British Army, is a significant event and it deserves to be recognised.
The Regimental family remains strong and networks are healthy and still more can be done to connect those who have served in or with 1DERR. As we all get older, that becomes increasingly important.
Our Diamond Reunion, known for short as DERR@60, is almost certainly the last of its kind. It is an all ranks event and presents a brilliant opportunity to bring us all together to celebrate all that was great in 1 DERR, to reminisce, to party and to rekindle old friendships. Why wouldn’t we?
When and Where?
The attached Flyer gives you what you need to know about where and when the DERR@60 celebration is. Please take time to have a look at the venue website. It is on Hayling Island, near Portsmouth in Hampshire. https://www.warnerleisurehotels.co.uk/hotels/lakeside-holiday-village
It is connected to the mainland and is very easy to get to. Warner Holidays looked after the Regiment superbly on the Isle of Wight for the 50th Anniversary and Hayling Island is an even better venue in a more accessible location. We have negotiated; they understand us and our needs and they know this weekend will be a highlight for them too. The superb package on offer recognises that and is tremendous value for money:
The outline of what the weekend will include is in the attached Flyer. It will be a weekend to savour and long remember. You will be transported back in time to feel ‘home’ again in 1DERR. The venue provides a range of activities and its location offers opportunities for trips to local sites if you want to explore:
• Going West - Old Portsmouth and the Historic Dockyard with its numerous attractions, like Action Stations; Southsea; Gun Wharf Quay – superb outlet shops, restaurants and the Spinnaker Tower.
• Going East – Chichester, Emsworth and historic Bosham as well as the beautiful beaches on The Witterings and the rugged terrain of the South Downs.
• Hayling Island itself is worth exploring, with a golf course, a fairground and great beaches and bars. It’s a short ferry across from Hayling Island to Southsea makes Portsmouth accessible. Maybe bring a bike?
• A special trip to Southwick Park (about 30 minutes away), which was the home of our affiliated RN ship, HMS Dryad is planned. It is now the Defence School of Policing and Guarding, so we will have to behave! It is also the home of the Map Room, where General Eisenhower and his staff launched the D Day landings and where he made the momentous decision to ‘go’. Our weekend is also of course the 75th Anniversary of D Day so we have been privileged to secure slots to visit the Map Room (with the Map as it was in 1944) and hear the stories of that time from resident historians. This will only take a couple of hours out of your day and it will be important to get your name down early to book a place. We will send more details on timings and give you the chance to book your place in later communications. http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/d-dayonyourdoorstep/details/allied-naval-headquarters-southwick-house
If you want to stay on site, there are numerous activities, from Bowling to Archery, from Snooker to Table Football, from Pitch and Putt to a gym, swimming pool and dance studio. These are all opportunities to have some fun with old mates. When you want to sit and chat, there are café’s and coffee and cake areas as well as bars, indoors and outdoors. The main restaurant and Cabaret area will seat 440 so imagine what that will be like when we fill it for our meals and to enjoy the entertainment Warner provides each evening and the Regimental entertainment we lay on. Tempted well here’s how you secure your place:
How? Booking your place ….
You can book online, by email or by post. The different ways of booking are explained in the supporting letter and Application Form accessible from the Flyer or Regimental Association Website. Book early:
• Pay your deposit or the whole price for your chalet upfront.
• Pay your deposit and set up a payment plan to stage your payments through the year.
• If you just pay your deposit, you have a place, but know that you must pay the outstanding cost by 31 March 2019.
You will get confirmation that your booking has been received and you can relax – you have your place. You can then monitor the Regimental Association Website to see the chalet bookings going up and who is coming. You can request to sit with mates at mealtimes and ask for your chalet to be near others and we will do our best to make that happen – though no guarantees.
A Call to Action
Now is the time to take action. The DERR@60 Diamond Reunion Weekend will be very special and you being a part of it will help make it so. It will unite and reunite. It will be a weekend of laughs and tears. It will long live in our memories and be a source of infinite stories for years to come.