The International Knightly Order of St George has become a Platinum Patron of the Royal Hospital at Chelsea and in order to raise a further significant sum of funds for the Pensioners at the Royal Hospital we have organised an opportunity to go on a private guided tour of this historic military hospital, to be followed by luxury luncheon buffet at a private reception in the Royal Hospital. The purpose is to contin-ue to develop the links between The Order of St George and The Royal Hospital, to support those that have served our nation, often in time of war, and who now require the in-house support provided by the Royal Hospital. This cements our commitment not only to honour those who have served, but it extends our support to the elderly and retired, our most senior citizens. Please note that all £60 of the charge is going to the Royal Hospital.
We are strictly limited to 50 places for this tour and almost half the places have already been taken up, so you are advised to book at your earliest convenience to avoid disappointment. To book your place on this special event, please remit £60 per person with cheques made out to The UK Grand Priory of St George. Please complete the enclosed booking form and send to: The Chev. Mark D Haley GCStG, 37 Wilbury Road, Letchworth, Herts SG6 4JW or email
or call (07429) 320694. Dress code Lounge Suits. Limited on-site parking is available by prior booking with Mark Haley.
The UK Grand Priory has much delight in announcing that we have become a Platinum Friend of the Royal Hospital Chelsea (home of the Chelsea Pensioners).
There are few institutions in the United Kingdom with an unbroken three centuries of service and none of them is so close to the heart of the nation as "The Men in Scarlet", the Chelsea Pensioners, and their home, the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Founded in 1682 by King Charles II and intended for the 'succour and relief of veterans broken by age and war', the Royal Hospital, with its Grade 1 listed buildings, still serves its original purpose and intends to continue to further its role well into the 21st Century.
The Order has been a long time supporter of the Royal Hospital Chelsea and is extremely proud to take this important step of becoming a Platinum Friend.
The Grand Priory particularly thanks Chev. Roger Delia for his vision and commitment to seeing this achieved.
The UK Grand Priory of the Knightly Order Valiant of St. George held a very successful charity evening at the Houses of Parliament on Saturday October 29th.
Treated to private tours of both the House of Commons and House of Lords, members also toured The Royal Gallery, which is used for important occasions including state receptions, dinners and parliamentary ceremonies, often with Members of both Houses present and the Queen’s Robing Room.
The Robing room is principally used by the Sovereign for the State Opening of Parliament. Today, it is in this room where the Queen puts on the Imperial State Crown and her ceremonial robes before making her way to the House of Lords.
Members and guests then attended a private drinks reception on the House of Commons terrace. We dined 31, hosted by the Andrew Rosindell MP (Member of Parliament for Romford).
Toasts were proposed by Grand Prior of The United Kingdom H.E. the Chevalier Simon McIlwaine MKN GCStG KL CLJ MMLJ, Deputy Grand Prior and Grand Chancellor of the Grand Priory of the United Kingdom H.E. The Chevalier Mark D. Haley MKN GCStG CLJ MMLJ and by Grand Herald of the Grand Priory of the United Kingdom H.E. Eur Ing Steve Nimmons GCStG OLJ. A toast to the President of Hungary followed the Loyal Toast. The Grand Prior gave the toast to our esteemed host Andrew Rosindell MP and Chev. Steve Nimmons GCStG OLJ proposed the toast to the Grand Priory of the United Kingdom.
Andrew Rosindell MP provided a most entertaining, thought provoking and erudite reply including a précis of his work as chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee.
Chev. Steve Nimmons reminded attendees of the exemplary work of our Spiritual Protector Canon Andrew White GCStG and his mission in Baghdad, the work we do with the Mongolian Red Cross Society and of course the work we do with Armed Forces charities, the Army Benevolent Fund in Particular as well as our affiliated regiment (Third Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment).
Grand Prior Chevalier Simon McIlwaine also reminded the attendees of the excellent work the Order does with the Children of Watamu and Fairbridge and greeted fellow members of the Order of the Eagle of Georgia, the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem and Commissioned Kentucky Colonels. We were in very august company and delighted to welcome several dignitaries including Col. Stuart Notholt KStG who commands the United Kingdom Brigade of Kentucky Colonels.
A raffle at the end of the evening raised £240, added to the profit for the dinner representing a significant success and contribution to our charitable work.
Andrew Rosindell MP very kindly presented the Order with a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which was received with thanks by Grand Prior Simon McIlwaine GCStG and senior officers of the UK Grand Priory.
Andrew Rosindell MP (Romford) presenting a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth to representatives of the Knightly Order of St. George (Steve Nimmons GCStG, left), Mark Haley GCStG and Simon McIlwaine GCStG (right) at the House of Commons.
Members of the Order took part in a shooting competition with 3PWRR and other Livery Companies yesterday. It was also Armed Forces Day and we were delighted to spend time with our affiliated regiment.
Our secret weapon was undoubtedly ‘crack shot’, Yeoman Warder Chev. Dave Phillips. After orientation and set-up we fired a number of rounds to zero the weapons on a relatively simple 100-metre range. We then tried our hand at slightly longer range shooting in preparation for the afternoon’s competition.
Grand Prior Simon McIlwaine GCStG, Chevalier Steve Nimmons GCStG and Chevalier Dave Phillips GCStG
I’m sure there is an old saying ‘no-one told me there would be running!’ but each team selected 4 competitors to participate in the falling plate competition. This consists of shooting targets at 100, 200 and 300 metres. Not too difficult, except the event is timed, first team to drop all targets wins. The challenge is somewhat extended (particularly for the not terribly fit), as the team needs to run to an outer marker, then back to the firing point. First team on the point therefore has an advantage.
Knightly Order Valiant of St. George shooting team
We are delighted to report that the team from the Order won the civilian competition. We accept this was more for marksmanship than athleticism, although we were certainly not disgraced on that front either. The winners of the civilian teams then ‘accepted the challenge’ from the winning military team, we were noble in defeat, sadly out of ammunition with two targets still standing (in the final shoot it was 3 targets per team member, but a limit of four rounds each).
A number of other (slightly less) competitive shoots took place throughout the afternoon, and it was an immensely enjoyable day. The Order is extremely grateful to all at PWRR for making us so welcome.
We returned to the TA Centre for a fine curry and light refreshment. The Drum Corps then treated us to a display, before presentation of competition winner medals and a cup, by the C.O.
The civilian teams from the Order of St. George and various Livery Companies.
Grand Prior Simon McIlwaine GCStG thanked the C.O. for the invitation to the competition and the excellent efforts of the men and women of PWRR.
Three members of the United Kingdom Grand Priory of St. George attended a reception for the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust on Wednesday at the State Rooms of the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP. Colonels Stuart Notholt KStG, and Steve Nimmons GCStG were attending as representatives of the United Kingdom Brigade of Kentucky Colonels. Chevalier Col. Stuart Notholt (a member of the Knightly Order Valiant of St George since May 2011) is incidentally the UK Brigade Commander (Kentucky Colonels) and (interim) Chief Executive Officer of HART.
The reception was hosted by Baroness Cox of Queensbury in the magnificent State Rooms of the Speaker of the House of Commons. Baroness Cox outlined the work of the Trust in particular its role as a ‘voice for the voiceless’ in repressive regions of the world such as Burma, Nigeria, Sudan, Armenia (Nagorno Karabagh) and Uganda.
Colonel Stuart Notholt KStG, Baroness Cox and Colonel Steve Nimmons GCStG
Dr. Sasa a HART Partner working in Burma delivered an emotional speech about his work, an incredible record of achievement ‘against the odds’. Dr. Sasa runs inspirational programmes training 317 Community Health Workers who are saving lives and promoting health in over 150 villages deep inside northwest Burma. Without this important basic level of health awareness and care, many were suffering, indeed dying needlessly.
HART is currently raising urgent concerns about the developing situation in Sudan, where a renewed humanitarian catastrophe is unfolding. They have also dispatched £10,000 in funding to partners in the Nuba Mountains in Southern Kordofan and £10,000 for victims of conflict in Abyei. HART is an important organisation and it works on the frontline providing ‘aid and advocacy’ for local partners.
Speaker of the House of Commons Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP addressed the meeting, generously giving of his time and praise for the work of Baroness Cox, the Trust and all of the Trust’s local partners and supporters.
I urge all members to please acquaint yourselves with the Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust, and please provide all of the support you can to this wonderful charity.
“The Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) supports the forgotten people of Europe, Africa and Asia: the oppressed and the persecuted, and often those who are neglected by other organisations, largely out of sight of the world’s media. Its aid is designed to relieve suffering and sow the seeds of longer-term solutions; its advocacy is designed to raise awareness of problems – and solutions – at home and abroad.” The Baroness Cox of Queensbury, HART founder.
Baroness (Caroline) Cox was created a Life Peer in 1982 for her contributions to education and has served as a Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords from 1985 to 2005. Lady Cox now sits in the Lords as a crossbencher and is a frequent contributor to Lords debates on Sudan, India, Nigeria, Uganda, and Burma.
“At this crucial time in the history of the Middle East it seemed very timely to spend some time with representatives of one of the oldest of Middle Eastern churches,” said Colonel Stuart Notholt, Commanding Officer of the UK Brigade of Kentucky Colonels. “After Israel, Egypt is probably the country most mentioned in the Bible and Egypt’s Coptic church has been a vibrant and vital part of Egyptian life since the third century.”
Today, Egypt’s Copts, along with other religious minorities, face an uncertain future as Egypt’s new political structure takes shape after political upheavals of recent months.
The centre at Stevenage provides a focus for the UK Coptic community, both for worship and at play. The centre is used for sport, conferences and educational purposes. “It was particularly encouraging to see young children being taught in the ancient Coptic language – helping keep the community very much alive,” said Colonel Notholt. “We’d like to thank the Coptic community for welcoming us so warmly and letting us share the day with them.”
Members of the Order will no doubt recognise that Colonels Simon McIlwaine, Mark Haley, and Steve Nimmons were additionally representing the Order of St. George and that Col Stuart Notholt KStG joined the Order at our Investiture in May 2011. The Order wishes to develop closer relationships with the Coptic Orthodox Centre and the aptly named Cathedral of St. George. Director of Inter Faith Relations Steve Nimmons: "the Order additionally thanks His Grace Bishop Angaelos and all at the Coptic Orthodox Centre for an amazing welcome and uplifting day". "We look forward to working together and furthering the bonds of Christian fellowships between the organisations we represent."
The Order plans further visits to the Coptic Centre this year, and will be working with other inter faith, religious and civic organisations on similar projects.
I was very honoured to represent the Order at an event and dinner hosted by The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment last evening. On May 16th 1811, forebears of the regiment served in the bloody battle of Albuhera, Spain during the Peninsular War.
The allied army at Albuhera was approximately 33,000 strong, mainly consisting of about 9,000 British troops, 9,000 Portuguese and 15,000 Spanish. They faced 25,000 Frenchmen. The main allied formations supported by 7 cavalry regiments and 6 gun batteries.
The Buffs suffered staggering 85% casualties on 16th May 1811 and lost the Regimental Colour to the enemy. 16 year-old Ensign Thomas was carrying it and shouted ‘Rally on me, men, I will be your pivot’ when he was struck down, crying, ‘only with my life’.
Albuhera is a key PWRR Regimental Day. It is said that after Albuhera the 57th’s survivors inaugurated the Silent Toast to the ‘Immortal Memory’. Since that time, officers and SNCOs have stood intermingled and silent within a circle and individually drunk out of a ‘cup’ to the ‘Immortal Memory’. This is to remember those who fell at the battle and those who have fallen since. The original silver cup is reputedly made from the 57th’s officers’ silver accoutrements, such as their gorgets, and has the medal of the longest-living survivor, Colour Sergeant Henry Holloway mounted within it. He was a drummer aged only 11 at Albuhera.
I cannot fully express what an honour it was to participate in the Regimental Day and Silent Toast with the officers and SNCOs of Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. To drink to the ‘Immortal Memory’, a 200-year unbroken tradition was very poignant, moving and a profound honour.
I extend my most sincere personal gratitude to the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment for the invitation to this special event. The bond of friendship between the Order and the regiment is one of which we are immensely proud and we will strive to further.
I would also like to thank all of the officers who provided a most warm welcome and excellent hospitality in the mess, in particular to Capt. Clive Phillimore MBE a truly excellent host.
The Order thanks the regiment for its selfless and important work and once again we reiterate how proud we are of our affiliation.
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On the 23rd February, 2011, we were able to donate the sum of £1,000 to ‘The Happy House Project’, in Kenya, which provides a home and childcare to a standard of excellence not seen before, for orphaned children – aged from a few weeks to 13 years.
We were extremely pleased to learn from the Trustees that the money arrived at exactly the right time, as the Watamu family had increased by 5 children that week.
The Commandery will continue in its support for this fine project which not only feeds, clothes and shelters orphaned children, but provides them with an education. We are very grateful to have received this letter of thanks, and thank Dame Muriel Taylor GCStG for all of the work she has done coordinating fundraising for this very important project.
Presentations were also made at the annual Investiture luncheon as follows:
£600 for our Spritual Protector Canon Andrew White's (GCStG) Church in Baghdad
£1000 to our affiliated regiment, 3PWRR (first instalment, £500 to follow). Grand Prior Simon McIlwaine GCStG presented the cheque to his personal guest at the luncheon Capt. Clive Phillimore MBE (3PWRR).
£1000 Army Benevolent Fund
The Grand Priory thanks all members for their active contribution and support of our charitable projects. We are also supported by many generous guests and friends, and we thank them equally.
In addition, our members donate many thousands of pounds to various charities through other channels.