25th County of London Cyclist Battalion
The London Regiment


1/25th Reunion - 1961



The following is a speech given by Percy Chisnell at the final reunion he attended in 1961 (as per above photo) 
[Percy is Amanda Stacey's grandfather]

In proposing our final toast of this evening , I find it somewhat difficult to discover anything fresh to add to the many expressions of esteem which this Association has extended to Paul Nicol duing the last 30-40years.We all know that this Regiment has been , for most of his long life time, one of his main interests & joys: in war & peace he has served it faithfully , & now in the evening of his days he is able to look back and say " This was well done " . He is one of the last men to desire pats on the back , but we do take this oppertunity , Sir , of offering once again our grateful thanks for all you have done in keeping us old comrads together , & we wish you many more years of health & strength in which to honour your position of our President.
We tender our thanks also to our Vice Presidents , Mr Mitchell , Mr. Prockter & Mr. Wood the band of stalwarts who devote their time , thought & labour on our behalf may they long continue to see the success of their efforts , as witnessed by this gathering tonight.

Most of us , C Coy in particular, remember his energetic figure as their Coy Segt.Major . Now when I joined the army , I had the hazy notion that all Segt.Majors were as depicted in baratone ballards sung by Peter Dawson - The " Coy Segt Major" , " The Bully Bully Segt ", " When the Segt Majors on Parade "& the like, - & visualised a
terriable fellow with a voice like a fog horn , who tore the pants off a chap whenever he put a foot wrong . I was not long in C Coy before the Drums ( ? ) were formed ,in which sanctury I was removed from Coy matters & Segt Majors in general, consequently I was unable to make a minute study of the species at close quaters.However.I do remember that Nick had a human side.We were firing our course one morning on the range at Hebbel & you will recall how , whenever a miss was signalled , it was by means of a large red flag -"lancers" we used to call them.There was some pretty wild shooting on this particular day & there was such a display of waving scarlet that it looked like a Soviet Parade in Red Square. Each time they were greeted by a sarcastic but humourous cheer from the boys , but Nick ,evidently wishing to spare the feelings of the unlucky lads said " I don't care if a whole regiment of Lancers goes up , I won't have you ridiculing your comrads". I somehow believe that he obtained results not by cracking a big whip , but by waving a fairy wand.

[N.B. Note by Amanda - I am assuming that Drums ( which is what I believe it says ) is an "in house" name for the Band.]

Photo & speech kindly provided by Amanda Stacey.

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