News & Reports

This is where we'll update you on upcoming events and reports of meetings etc

The 2015 Annual Dinner was held in the Officers Mess of the HQ Royal Regiment of Fusiliers at HM Tower of London on Thursday 26th November 2015. The dinner was hosted by Major Giles Clapp and organised with great skill and success by David Sontag. The dinner was chaired by Jim Corbett with the usual sarcastic grandstanding.

The Guest of honour was Sqn Ldr Richard Cocks, RAFVR, SBStJ, MSc, FRSPH, FICPEM The Benemy Toast was given by Capt Richard Worts RA and Grace was said by Mr TE Walton OStJ BEM.

The dinner was preceded by a brief tour of the Tower and a champagne reception in the RRF museum; followed by a stentorian account of the ceremony of the keys by a Yeoman Warder who then led the dinner party to view the ceremony itself at 2200hrs.

This year's attendance was our best ever at 42 despite the unavoidable absence of a number of 'regulars'. A special welcome is due to three ex WESCCF members attending for the first time, Eric Thelan (65-71) Andy Wishart (66-74) and Mark Chapple (68-72).

The Secretary also announced that the club has now raised over £1,000 for service charities. This years beneficiaries were the RRF and PWRR Benevolent funds and Help for Heroes.

Your committee is now scratching its collective head to come up with an equally awe inspiring venue for 2016!



Peter Rowbrey Evans is taking a well earned rest from dinner organising this year and has passed the ceremonial duties (along with the current email address list) over to myself. So please take this mail as advance notice for your diary.

In a break with recent tradition the next Annual Dinner of the Benemy Dining Club will take place on

Thursday 31st October 2013
Royal Air Force Club
128 Piccadilly

More details with regard to Guest of Honour, Menu’s etc. will follow in due course but I know the lead in to the festive season can get fairly hectic so wanted to get you the date as soon as it had been confirmed with the venue.
Will be in touch
Best regards

David Sontag
From Vince Hagon:
Hi - trawling Google for something and this site came up...
Amazing to see faces and words from years ago.
I was at WES and in CCF mid 1970's - early recollections of Corbett, Puddefoot Evans etc (excuse spelling). I left the CCF in my Upper 6th year and joined the H.A.C. for a few years and had a bunch of fun there carrying bricks in Bergens up and down Pen y Fan... Left the U.K. in 1985 and arrived in New Zealand in 1986 with a 7 day Tourist Visa and still here...
Must still have a hankering for this sort of stuff as I own an ex NZ Army Land Rover and spend time on weekends getting oil up my arms and grease in my hair...
I always theought the Power Of The Blank demonstration was a life changing event for me - perhaps other Cadets had similar experiences?
From Brian Pearce 56-72:
Does anyone remember going on arduous training with the SAS in Brecon, Wales in I think 1961.

Still recovering!
From Ian Clark:

Im in the photo last parade, very fond memories......


The F. W. G. Benemy Dining Club
incorporating the
William Ellis School Combined Cadet Force Association

First Formal Dinner
Thursday 13th March 2008
The Rifles London Club

Mr J. W. Corbett
Chairman of the Dinner
Mr P. H. Rowbrey-Evans
Vice Chairman of the Dinner
Lieutenant Colonel W. G. Pettifar, M.B.E., J.P.
Guest of Honour

7.00 pm Drinks Reception
7.45 pm Diners are asked to take their places for Dinner (approximate time)
Greetings from the Chairman, who will ask Mr T E Walton OStJ to say grace
9.00 pm Seated toast to Absent Friends at exactly 9.00 pm.
The Loyal Toast (standing)
The Benemy Toast (standing)
Introduction of the Guest of Honour
10.30 pm Cash bar opens (approximate time)
11.15 pm Cash bar closes
11.45 pm Building closes

First Formal Dinner
Subject to attendance
(Years at William Ellis School) * School staff


P P Brambley (59-66)
T Bryant CMG (49-57)
Lt Col C Burt
S F Caunt (63-70)
R Cocks *
C A Commander (62-70)
J W Corbett (65-72)
Dr R L Flack (64-71)
R G Franks (72-77)
J D Freeborn MBE (46-54)
J P S Fynes (65-72)
L B Hillman (62-69)
Dr W G Hunt *
R E Kirby (52-57)
Lt Col E F Kohn TD (56-63)
Capt P D Lemkes RN
P D McSparron-Edwards (65-72)
P Matthews (49-56)
D W Mayes (67-75)
Col A Morris
R W Morris (-79)
Lt Col W G Morris
M J S J L Moszynski (-81)
K Onslow (61-69)
Lt Col W G Pettifar MBE JP
P Puddefoot (68-76)
G W Purchase
A Richendoller (42-47)
V C Ross (65-72)
P H Rowbrey-Evans (67-75)
I G Shirbon (61-68)
D Sontag (65-72)
Brig J A Terrington
R W Trent (59-65)
N Underhill (66-73)
T E Walton OStJ *
Lt Col D V Watson MBE PWRR (66-73)


G C A Morphitis (60-68)
C P A Willey (62-69)


John Andrews remembers John Sheppard, Dave Shirley, Bruce Jandron and Robin Kirby
Keith Banks
Barry Bennett
Peter Benstead WES 42-49
Dave Berkman in Cornwall
Frank Bonner WES 52-57: served in the Army
David Butcher WES until 1963: in New Zealand
Paul Calcott

Philip Commander in Western Australia: CCF 62-67; Bristol UOTC; T&AVR RE officer
Robert Cooper in France
Ralph Dexter WES 66-73: CCF RAF Section
Brian Dibben in South Africa
Malcolm Dix WES 54-61: in Scotland
Richard Drew
Peter Fairbank WES until 1962
Graham Fleet in Norway: CCF Army Section 56-67; served in the Army for 17 years
John Ford
Terry Fox
Chris Hayton
Kevin Heymer
Clem Hobbs WES until 1943: served in the Army 1944-50; in Canada
Ray Holder
Norman Hunt WES 44-52, now 74 and living in France
Ray Kinzler
Ivan Kraven “I was at WES 1947-53 and was one of the first recipients of a gliding scholarship through the RAF Section of the CCF. The other original recipient was Dennis Arthur William King. I wonder what became of him. I was in the RAF during my National Service as a radar operator.”
Michael McCaferty in Motherwell: joined RAF Supply & Air Movements Branch in 1957;12 years' regular service
Alan McGlen CCF 53-57: remembers Brian Nichols, Peter Ramsey, Peter Beal, Bob Carter, B H Smith, Howard Hancock and Mick Pease (all R.A.F. Section) and Dave Shirley (Army Section)
Grant Meekings WES 54-61: in France
Tony Miller WES 50-54, living in the Wirral
Peter Morgan WES until 1949: National Service in army signals 49-51
Len Parker WES until 1948: served in the RAF
Jim Pullen at WES until 1954, now 70: CCF SSgt with Alec Spittle, Capt Sharp in charge of Army Section)
Eric Phipps in China
Harold Pomerance WES 41-45
Mike Rainford
Norman Randall WES 61-69: CCF RAF Section 63-69
David Rankin-Hunt Hon Member: WESCCF attached staff
Malcolm Rose Acting Headteacher
David J Smith
John Stewart-Murray
Richard Tressider in the Cayman Islands
Steve Walton in Cyprus: CCF Army Section 68-70
Tim Watchous WES 64-71
Ben Weschke in Cornwall
John Woodgate Served in the Royal Artillery during WW2; Old Elysians' Club Vice President)
Richard Worts

Jim Corbett writes:

Just finished George McDonald Fraser's war memoirs of his time in 14th Army in 1944/5 called 'Quartered Safe Out Here' it's a brilliantly evocative memoir of the poor bloody infantry in Burma. A must read book by the author of the Flashman series who unfortunately shuffled off parade a couple of weeks back.

Wing Commander Steve Caunt writes:

No doubt the official report will appear in due course but I could not let our recent gathering at Simpsons ( go without a mention. With about thirty years to catch up on, and the combined wit of messrs Corbett, Watson, Sontag and yours truly for company, all liberally lubricated by fine wine and satisfied by the finest roast beef in the land - it was a truly memorable evening! Looking forward to the the planned dinner in the New Year - see you there!!


Squadron Leader John Watson writes:

Amazing site. A lot of memories flood back. Met Steve Caunt many times as our RAF careers "passed in the night". Chris Adams went on to Victor tankers from my year also. I was a year or 2 ahead of Steve and Cdt Randall! Unfortunately no photographic records from that time. If any contemporaries of mine are in touch with any of you please let me know. Regards from sunny Queensland Australia.

If you want to contact John email your message to and we'll pass it on.

Informal Gathering:

An informal gathering of old friends was held at Simpons on the Strand on October 26th. Present were David Watson, Steven Caunt, Dave Sontag and Jim Corbett. A significant period of reminiscing was followed by an interesting discussion of pension plans followed by a vital discourse on the possible locations for a major BDC dinner early next this space !


First Meeting of the Benemy Dining Club

When: Friday 2nd February 2007
Where: The Cobden Arms Camden High Street.
Officers Present:
Terry Walton, Steve Caunt, Jim Corbett,Dave Mayes - apologies from Peter Edwards, Viv Ross, Dave Sontag, John Fynes, Peter Evans, Graham Shirbon

The club was formally launched with news of the contact made with Douglas Pond's daughter and copies of his MC citation were made available.

The location of Eric Phipps has finally been established and suffice it to say he is about as far away as it if possible to get without a space ship.

Next Meeting will be after the Old Elysians Dinner which is to be held on 24 March - so probably in May 2007.