The Association came into being in 1918, after the 1st World War, and the objects were written down as:
- To maintain connection between past and serving members of the Welsh Guards and promote their mutual interest and the welfare of the Regiment generally.
- To circulate information concerning the Regiment and to encourage
candidates to join.
- To assist members in obtaining employment
- To bring to the notice of Regimental Headquarters any cases deserving
assistance from Regimental Charitable Funds, which are under the disposal
of the Regimental Lieutenant Colonel.
- To arrange social gatherings in suitable places in Wales and elsewhere where sufficient numbers are available.
These objects remain the same today
About the AssociationWe are able to maintain connections with past and serving members through Branch meetings. There are 16 Branches in total, and each one run by a Secretary and Committee. They usually meet once a month, mainly for a pint and a chat, and to find out any Association news and gossip. I send any important information directly to the Secretaries, who can then pass it on to their members.
There are approximately 4,500 names on our database, from North America, South Africa, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. A newsletter is sent out from the office twice a year (summer and winter) to every member of the Association, giving a brief account of what’s going on with the Regiment, and any forthcoming events with the Association. It also includes names and telephone numbers of the Branch Secretaries, should anyone wish to contact them.
A Regimental magazine is published annually –which is usually available from January each year from the office at Maindy Barracks, or through Branch Secretaries at a cost of £2.50. It includes reports from all the Companies in the Battalion, including the Band, items from every Branch in the Association, photographs, and many interesting articles.
At the end of service, some Guardsmen have trouble in gaining new employment, and again this is where the Association may be able to help. For example, there are many Ex-Welsh Guardsmen in high places in industry, and because we are all one family we try to look after each other.
If any Guardsman hit on hard times - maybe they have lost their job, or are sick, or in deep financial trouble - then there is the charitable fund. Obviously each case is looked at separately, and it’s up to the discretion of the Regimental Colonel as to how much help that person will get.
As for the social gatherings: -
We try to get our members together as much as possible, and every year we have a ‘Race Day’, which is now held at Ludlow Race Course, where The Welsh Guards sponsor one race, and present a Cup to the winner.
There is a ‘Battlefield Tour Group’, which is always well supported, and every September attend a Remembrance Parade in Hechtel, Belgium - a place where the Regiment lost a lot of men in September 1944
We also have a Biennial Dinner, a ‘Darts and Shooting Competition’, and the Golf Society – (and you don’t have to play golf to become a member)
Individual Branches also hold various functions, so you can see, there’s lots going on.
Even though some of us look old and wrinkled, we are still young Guardsmen at heart, and we don’t just sit and talk about old times, but get up and do things. This is why it’s important for you to see for yourselves, in order that the Association stays alive. We need your input and new ideas to be able to continue.
If you are not a member of the Association, then please send me your details (including Regimental Number) so that you can be kept informed by Newsletters of what is going on. It is not compulsory to become a member of a Branch and there is also no restriction as to the number of Branches you may wish to become a member of. Some Branches ask for an annual subscription, others rely on donations or monies they are able to collect themselves, like holding raffles or social evenings. Any money they have usually finances things like minibuses to attend functions. – the choice is yours.
“Once a Guardsman always a Guardsman”, and this apply even in death. Whether or not a person becomes a member of the Association, we will still do our best to send representatives to their funeral, and on request, also dress the coffin with the flag, cap, belt and poppy wreath - a Bugler is also usually available.
This is all free of charge because we belong to the same family.
Don’t let the Association die – become part of it, enjoy the camaraderie, and share your ideas, because the future is YOU!