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Gunners get together

PUBLISHED: 12:13 05 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:37 03 March 2010

OLD soldiers will gather in Felixstowe tomorrow - and hope to make the occasion go with a bang!

Retired gunners from all over East Anglia will be getting together to renew old friendships, keep in touch with former colleagues and remember old times.

OLD soldiers will gather in Felixstowe tomorrow – and hope to make the occasion go with a bang!

Retired gunners from all over East Anglia will be getting together to renew old friendships, keep in touch with former colleagues and remember old times.

They will have on display some world war two guns and hope to get permission to fire one on the seafront during the evening.

Co-ordinator of the reunion, Harry Mann said talks were taking place with the Mayor of Felixstowe, Harry Dangerfield, to see if one of the 25lb guns could be fired as a salute to mark the occasion.

The Royal Artillery Association is holding the reunion at the Marlborough Hotel, Sea Road, from 7.30pm, and expects around 50 former gunners from all over East Anglia to be present.

There will also be some serving officers from the Royal Artillery 19th Regiment from Colchester attending.

"We have people coming from as far as Peterborough and Southend, and also Norfolk and Suffolk, and we are all looking forward to a really enjoyable evening," said Mr Mann.

"It is the first time we have organised a reunion like this and we are hoping it will become an annual event and that next year there will be even more of us."

Gunners have a proud tradition in the Army stretching back to the late 15th century when the first ones were officially appointed.

The Royal Artillery Association is the Regimental Association of the Royal Regiment of Artillery. It was set up in 1920 to provide a countrywide network of branches to look after the needs of gunners and their families, especially those who fall on hard times, and to provide opportunities for gunners to meet.

Full membership of the association is open to gunners of any rank who are serving, or who have served, in any headquarters or unit of the Royal Artillery or in the Artillery of a Commonwealth country.

Honorary membership may be granted to other ex-servicemen or women, wives, widows and relations or any person who have gunner interests at heart.

The association helps serving gunners during the difficult transition period into civilian life and provides friendship and people who understand their problems and will do their best to help solve them.

For retired gunners, branches provide a focus for social activities and practical assistance if it is needed.

WEBLINKS: www.raa.uk.com

www.army.mod.uk/army/organise/royartil

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