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Farewell 23 Pioneer Regiment

On Friday 26 September 2014, 23 Pioneer Regiment RLC formed up and marched onto the parade square in St David’s Barracks, Bicester for the final time. His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, Prince Richard was in attendance, and the standard of drill and turnout was excellent. The ranks were inspected by HRH, MGL and The RLC Corps Col; they had time to talk with Pioneers and attached arms about their future plans and thoughts on disbandment. The regiment is being disbanded under the Army 2020 reorganization plans and cuts to army jobs.

23 Pioneer Regiment, RLC,


After the inspection HRH spoke of his admiration of the Regiment for providing all that was asked “right to the very end”. He also spoke about the Regiment’s successes on the sports pitch which was all the more impressive due to the dwindling numbers available. The ceremonial axes were then blessed by the Padre and handed over to two Pioneer soldiers who are continuing in service. This is symbolically important: the axes will continue to be paraded on formal occasions in the future and, along with the axes on our cap badge, will remind others of our Pioneer identity, culture and ethos.

23 Pioneer Regiment, RLC, Army, Logistics

Following a brief recital of the history of the Regiment, the lowering and folding of the Regimental standard marked the end of the parade; the flag and ceremonial axes joined on at the rear, and the Regiment marched past the dais to cheers and a tumultuous applause from over 600 friends, families,well-wishers and old comrades. What added to the poignancy of the occasion was that following on behind the Regiment were 100 marching veterans of The Royal Pioneer Corps Association (RPC Assoc) ‘again, to an equally rapturous applause.

Royal Logistic Corps, 23 Pioneer Regt, Army Logistics

With the parade over, serving officers and soldiers made their way to the Officers’ Mess and gathered for a photo before commencing the annual ‘ and last ‘ ‘Pioneer Reunion Weekend’ held on St David’s Barracks. There were fairground rides, an assortment of different stalls, a live band, and of course a few bars open to allow the ‘old and bold’ to catch up with former comrades and swap stories with current Pioneers over a beer or two.


It has been a reasonably turbulent couple of years since the Army 2020 decision was made to disband the Regiment. In the intervening period, although soldiers have been made redundant, 130 have been transferred to other trades ‘ a success story which is often overlooked. That is not all though: a key part of any discussion of the ‘Pioneer Legacy’ would be incomplete without a mention of the eighty-seven Pioneers (Cpl-WO1) who will continue to serve and share their knowledge and experience to the benefit of the wider Corps. Crucially, many of these will spend substantial periods of their remaining service within the training environment and therefore play an invaluable role shaping the next generation of soldiers and helping to imbue them with that ‘Pioneer spirit’.

The Royal Logistic Corps

Congratulations to RLC soldier LCpl Stu Elvin of the Mission Training and Mobilisation Centre (MTMC), Bassingbourn Barracks, who has received two bronze medals at the World Rowing Indoor Championships 2021. LCpl Elvin has represented the Army in rowing for a number of years. Having individually qualified at the British Championships for the Men's (age 30-39) 500m to race at the World Championships, he was also selected to represent the Armed Forces in the Men's Team race. The races took place on 23 Feb 21, where LCpl achieved third place in his individual race and an hour later, he received another bronze medal as he played an integral part of the Armed Forces Men's Team. His commitment and success in rowing is nothing short of impressive with his ability to balance work, training and family life along with the ongoing restrictions of COVID-19. Competing in any sport at this level requires a unique strength and determination – something which the LCpl displays in abundance, putting in hours of solitary training, where he has had to use his mental resilience to push himself further than most would. ... See MoreSee Less
W O R L D _ R E C O R D _ A T T E M P TMajor Jacquie Barlow, OC at ITC Catterick is attempting a Guinness World Record by running 61 Half Marathons in 61 days, back to back______Challenging herself throughout, with the aim of raising money towards Macmillan Cancer Support after both herself and family received outstanding support from them when Major Barlow had a tumour back in 2011______ Please follow her story over the next few days and if you can kindly spare a donation then all shall be very much appreciated ... See MoreSee Less