Nijmegen Company, commanded by Major James Fox, is an independent company which was created when the 2nd Battalion was placed into suspended animation as a result of the 1993 round of defence cuts. Nijmegen Company carries the Colours of the 2nd Battalion and maintains its customs and traditions. The Company is based in Wellington Barracks, London, and it is largely focused on public duties and state ceremonial events. A soldier passing out of basic training will be posted to Nijmegen Company for six to nine months. In this time, the Guardsman's training is built upon so that he is well prepared to take up his life in the 1st Battalion.
NIJMEGEN COMPANY - RECENT NEWS
Company Commander: Maj J O D Fox
Second in Command: Capt C J D Stevenson
Company Sergeant Major: WO2 T Bearder
Station: Wellington Barracks, London
This summer proved to be an immensely busy period consisting of the Queen’s Birthday Parade, Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, Armed Forces Day and Freedom Parades, State Visits and the Olympics and Paralympics thrown in for good measure. So as the London 2012 bunting was taken down and August drew to a close the Company was looking forward to a quieter autumn with a steadier pace of life in London; talk of adventure training and long weekends was rife amongst the Guardsmen!
The highlight in July was the Company London Challenge Day which coincided with the official ‘opening’ of the new platoon social rooms. On the morning of Wednesday 18 July the platoons hosted guests from across London Central Garrison providing them with coffee and biscuits and proudly showing off their new social space; a total of £8000 was spent between the 3 platoons with new 55” 3D TVs, washing machines, vacuum cleaners and furniture gracing the rooms. As the guests dispersed the platoons were broken down into teams of four or five, searched thoroughly for any ‘contraband’ including mobile phones and money. They were then provided with a list of 20 challenges, some emergency money, a camera and an Underground Travelcard and sent on their way. The challenges included getting lunch for free, receiving one of a range of beauty treatments and having their photo taken with and obtaining the business card of a recently retired former Grenadier Officer (who was unaware of the amounts of points his photograph and business card carried). There were prizes presented at the end of the day for some of the best photos as well as the team who managed to complete the most challenges, although I think that some of the Guardsmen are still waiting to claim for their day-off prize!
The main focus for the Company in September was the build up to our annual ‘green training’ exercise, Exercise Grenadier Stag 12. Given the time constraints imposed on an Incremental Company by Public Duties, green soldiering sadly takes something of a backseat at times. With that in mind, the exercise aimed to take the platoons back to basic operating level and build up to a Company attack at the end. The Company deployed to Sennybridge early on the morning of Saturday 13 October and were greeted by blue skies and sunshine in Brecon, a rare occurrence! The first two days were used for the platoons to conduct their own training focusing on section attacks and patrolling skills. Early on Monday morning the platoons received their orders for a platoon advance to contact before establishing their harbours. The next few days consisted of recce patrols, raids and ambushes as the intensity steadily built and levels of sleep dramatically decreased. The culmination and highlight was the dawn Company attack onto one of the farms and although thick fog made navigation and orientation extremely challenging, it helped add something a bit extra to the ambiance. The exercise was an excellent chance to get away from London and the so called ‘red soldiering’ and remind the Guardsmen why as Grenadiers they are ‘twice the man’!
November saw 40 members of the Company turn out in Home Service Clothing at the tube and railway stations in London in aid of the Royal British Legion’s London Poppy Day; they, and other members of the Armed Forces helped raise just under £800,000 in the day. The Company also took part in two state visits in London and Windsor, providing four and two half-companies of street liners respectively as well as the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall. 10 members of the Company also deployed to Salisbury Plain to help the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards conduct their pre-deployment training for Afghanistan next year.
Despite the frequency of Public Duties which the Company has endured, most of the Company has managed to get away on some form of Adventure Training. August saw a sailing trip in the Solent and a surfing trip to Cornwall take place and later in November and early December two of the platoons are heading to Capel Curig in Wales to conduct a multi-activity week including climbing and white-water rafting.
As an extremely busy 2012 draws to a close, the Company can look back on a successful, rewarding and high tempo year; aside from leave the Company has had only 3 free weekends since the beginning of April free of all duties! The Company is now looking forward to some well earned Christmas leave before mounting Queen’s Guard and Windsor Guard over the New Year and the annual Incremental Company ski trip to France in late January and early February.