PROUD TO SUPPORT OPERATION LONDON BRIDGE

26 September 2022

On the 8 September 2022, the nation was rocked by the news that Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, our longest reigning Monarch, had sadly passed away. The announcement immediately triggered a chain of events known as Operation (Op) London Bridge, which is the plan that sets out all the steps that must be followed on the death of The Queen, from national mourning to her place of rest.​

As the world began to mourn, our teams at Brunswick and Longmoor Training Camps in the Southeast were already mobilising at pace to prepare for the surge in troops that would arrive over the following days to rehearse for the Ceremonial Funeral; an event that was on a scale that our country, or in fact the world, has not seen in more than a generation. Area Delivery Manager, Sheena Skidmore, tells us more.


27 The Royal Logistic Corps Regiment with the Landmarc team at Brunswick Training Camp. 

READY TO RESPOND

“Our teams in the Southeast are more than used to supporting high-profile military events and with The Queen's position as Head of the Armed Forces, we knew the Army would be playing a leading role in the nation's tribute. When the news broke, we immediately sprang into action, each of us knowing exactly what we needed to do to prepare for the events ahead.

“In situations such as these, Landmarc's job is to work with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and the Army's Real Life Support teams to mobilise all training and accommodation facilities, ensuring they are available, and engaging with our supply chain to bring in extra facilities where required. We also deliver all the supporting infrastructure such as power, waste and other utilities, as well as continuing with our usual maintenance and support activities on site. 


Scottish Army Units were amongst the troops rehearsing at Brunswick Training Camp, as well as Commonwealth troops from Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

RISING TO THE CHALLENGE

“Almost 6,000 military personnel were deployed across Op London Bridge from the moment of Her Majesty's death at her Balmoral Estate in Scotland to the state funeral on 19 September. Around 1,100 of these passed through Brunswick Camp throughout the week, as well as a further 700 at Longmoor. This represents a 40 per cent increase on usual camp activity and included Commonwealth troops from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, who received a visit from the new Prince and Princess of Wales at the end of the week, creating quite a buzz at Brunswick, as you can imagine!

“Once on camp, troops spent their days perfecting their drill and musical performances, with the haunting and moving sounds of Beethoven's Funeral March No 1 repeatedly drifting through the air. At night, they headed off to multiple locations in either central London or Windsor to rehearse while the country slept. We made sure all facilities remained in good working order whilst they were in camp, as well as providing a full catering service through our catering partner, ESS."

Dave Brown, Head Chef for ESS at Brunswick, said, “This will be the fourth time we've experienced a vast amount of troops, with more than a thousand soldiers passing through the mess throughout the week. I'm an ex-military soldier of 22 years, so I knew what I had to do. I just got on and did it."

 

Thousands of troops passed through the mess at Brunswick during the week of rehearsals for The Queen's Ceremonial Funeral, where a full catering service was provided by our catering partner ESS.

PROUD TO PLAY OUR PART

Sheena continued, “The Ceremonial Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen was an event of immense historical importance. Many of the team, myself included, are veterans and have served Her Majesty as our Commander-in-Chief. We are extremely proud of the role we have played in ensuring a fitting and long-lasting tribute to our beloved Queen, which is exactly what she deserved for a life of dedicated service to our nation.

“I honestly can't thank our teams enough for everything they have done to make sure the camps and facilities operated at their best to support the week's preparations. Their hard work, dedication and work ethos have been fantastic, often working late at night and over the weekend to make sure our troops had everything they needed.

“This was also recognised by Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders during his visit to the Royal Logistics Corp at Brunswick Camp, when he took the time out of his schedule to come and chat to some of our team. A real honour indeed and a moment we won't forget."


Crown Copyright: Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders (second from the left) thanked members of the Brunswick team for their support during Op London Bridge.

Tom Greely, DIO's Senior Training Safety Officer at Brunswick Training Camp added, “We have a strong working relationship with Landmarc, where we maintain the camp and provide the best training experience we can for our troops here at Brunswick.

“The team is very experienced and was able to perform at the top of its game at a time when the eyes of the whole world were upon us. They pulled out all the stops to ensure preparations ran smoothly. Their work ethos is second to none."

Captain Tony Heathwaite, the Adjutant 27 Regiment said, “It has been an honour to be a part of Op London Bridge. Her Majesty has dedicate her entire Reign to serving the nation and the Commonwealth. Over those 12 days, I saw people from all three services, civilians and partners from across the world do their very best to honour that. The Queen often talked about hope and bringing people together in her public addresses. Even in death, that message lives on”

Regional Operations Manager, Joe Stone concluded, “My gratitude and admiration go out to the Longmoor and Brunswick teams for their hard work, dedication and energy during Op London Bridge.

“Many of them gave up their weekends and worked late to ensure success. The requests were numerous and often not straight forward, but each request was met with a positive, 'can do' attitude.

"Well done. This is a moment in history that no doubt we will all remember for years to come."​More than 700 troops arrived at Longmoor Camp, where our team worked with the Army's Real Life Support team to mobilise all training and accommodation facilities. 

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