Remembrance, Anniversary And Other Events, 2017


FRIENDS OF POPSKI'S PRIVATE ARMY
FOURTEEN YEARS OF SPECIAL FORCES REMEMBRANCE
2003 - 2017


75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDING OF POPSKI'S PRIVATE ARMY
1942 - 2017

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HM The Queen and Major John Campbell CVO CBE MC* at the inaugural PPA Remembrance Event in November 2004
HM The Queen and Major John Campbell CVO CBE MC* (1921-2015)
at the inaugural PPA Remembrance Event in November 2004

FoPPA was founded in 2003 and has organised PPA Remembrance Events every year since 2004, at which at least one PPA Poppy Wreath is laid and the PPA Roll of Honour is read out. For five years before 2015 we also had a PPA Cenotaph Remembrance Event, but this has stopped because no PPA veterans are now still alive...

  • May: PPA Wixoe Remembrance Event
  • November: PPA Westminster Remembrance Event
  • November: PPA Memorial Remembrance Event

In addition foPPA has organised five Special PPA Remembrance Events...

  • 2005: "Operation Diamond", foPPA's remembrance trip to Ravenna and Venice.
  • 2008: "Operation Roots", the unveiling of the PPA Memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum.
  • 2014: "Operation Wixoe", the unveiling of the Wixoe Memorial to Popski and Pamela.
  • 2015: "Operation Poppy", foPPA's wreath-laying trip for PPA fallen to Italy and Austria.
  • 2015: "Operation Bulldozer", the funeral of Major John Campbell CVO, CBE, MC and Bar.

FoPPA has also tried to make sure that PPA is represented at veterans' funerals. It is an enduring pleasure to us that the families of PPA veterans, now running to three generations, so steadily support our events although, sadly, the veterans themselves are now all gone, with the last of them, Trooper Derrick Storey, standing down in February 2016. From time to time foPPA is also invited to attend other Special Forces events, to represent PPA, such as the SOE 75th Anniversary commemorations in 2015.


5 Nov 2012: The PPA plot in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey 11 Nov 2012: The PPA Memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum
5 Nov 2012: The PPA plot in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey
(See Image Credits)
11 Nov 2012: The PPA Memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum
(See Image Credits)

PPA and other Remembrance Events and Anniversaries, 2017

Date Details
Sat 13 May 2017 2017 PPA Wixoe Remembrance Event (our 6th) at the church where Popski and Pamela are buried.
Sat 24 Jun 2017 Armed Forces Day. There will be many events to commemorate this all over the country.
Thu 9 Nov 2017 2017 PPA Westminster Remembrance Event (our 14th), by the PPA plot in the Special Forces section of the Royal British Legion's Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey. The Field will be opened by a senior member of the Royal Family. Please note that there is always a very limited number of tickets available for this event.
Sun 12 Nov 2017 2017 PPA Memorial Remembrance Event (our 11th), at the PPA Memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum. This foPPA's main Remembrance Event every year.

This is Remembrance Sunday. Although this is primarily about PPA it should be noted that the PPA Memorial also commemorates other units that have no UK memorial of their own, such as the 27th Lancers, the various constituents of "Porter Force", and the Italian Partisans of 28th Garibaldi Brigade. Their veterans and relatives are most welcome to join us, and especially those of the Long Range Desert Group, the inspiration for Popski's Private Army, as well as those of the Libyan Arab Force and Libyan Arab Force Commando, PPA's nursery.

Last but not least, veterans of 9 Commando, who took part in PPA's "Operation Astrolabe" in the summer of 1944, are also very welcome. They were unfortunately not included in the PPA Memorial unveiling event in 2008 due to exceptionally difficult financial and logistical constraints, but are definitely not forgotten.
Sun 10 Dec 2017 This will be the 75th Anniversary of the operational start of No 1 Demolition Squadron, PPA.

Please note that, although PPA Remembrance Event Invitation Cards are sent out specifically to PPA veterans, families and friends, their possession is not a requirement for attendance. All with an interest in the Popski story are most welcome to join us. Also listed above are various other relevant events. At the bottom are all the previous events organised by or attended by foPPA.

We strongly recommend that you keep an eye on this general event page, and on the relevant individual event page, in the days leading up to these events, for late-breaking information.

IMPORTANT NOTICE
We send out the PPA Remembrance Event Invitation Cards about four to six weeks in advance of each event, and sometimes also by email. However, each year we find that people have moved home or changed ISP without telling us, so the Cards get returned or emails are bounced. We then have no way to make contact, so please make sure that we always have your latest contact details.


Poppy wreath tribute to Sergeant Bill O'Leary MM and Sapper Charlie Pain. Poppy wreath tribute to Corporal Ron Jewell Poppy wreath tribute to Popski and Pamela Poppy wreath tribute to Major Jan Caneri MC
Poppy wreath tribute to
Sergeant Bill O'Leary MM
and Sapper Charlie Pain.
Poppy wreath tribute to
Corporal Ron Jewell
Poppy wreath tribute to
Popski and Pamela
Poppy wreath tribute to
Major Jan Caneri MC

All Events

Please dress smartly, with medals, but warmly and comfortably as you may be outside for a couple of hours. Bring your foPPA Invitation Card if you like, to collect autographs, and don’t forget your camera. Maybe also bring along any PPA documents and photos to show everyone.

Although only one Invitation Card is sent per family for foPPA Events, you can still bring along as many people as you want, and extra souvenir cards are available on request. Don't forget to wear your black and white Popski's Private Army lanyards or your Popski's Private Army badges so that other veterans and families can spot you.

PPA poppy wreath from the foPPA Shop

At the PPA Memorial we are not restricted in the number of wreaths that we can lay. You can purchase a PPA-badged wreath for your own PPA relative from the foPPA Shop.

You do not need to have an Invitation Card to attend: all are welcome (but see special ticket requirements for Westminster, above). We shall, of course, be having a collection for the PPA Memorial Fund, and don't forget to sign the foPPA Visitor's Book at the Wixoe, Westminster and PPA Memorial Remembrance Events, so we know who came! We are also always looking for volunteers to help maintain the PPA Memorial.

IMPORTANT NOTICE
Please note that attendees to all PPA Remembrance Events do so under their own insurance arrangements.
FoPPA does not provide insurance cover for these events and all persons attend at their own risk.



Previous Remembrance Events and Funerals

Date Details

Sat 13 May 2017 "PPA 75th". 6th PPA Remembrance Event at Wixoe Church. This year's Wixoe Talk was about the 75th Anniversary of the formation of Popski's Private Army. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Popski and Pamela. Afterwards at The Bell many new and old members of foPPA met Suzi Paterson for the first time.
Sun 13 Nov 2016 "End of an Era". 10th PPA Remembrance Event at the PPA Memorial, commemorating the last of the PPA veterans.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath. Another wreath was laid by Sam North, great-grandson of PPA Corporal Dick North, in memory of Trooper Derrick Storey. The third PPA Poppy Wreath was laid by Brooke Trotter in memory of his grandad PPA Trooper Fred Trotter.
Thu 10 Nov 2016 "End of an Era". 13th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH Prince Henry of Wales opened the Field of Remembrance. PPA was represented by foPPA Honorary Head of Memorials Anne French whose father served as a Patrol Skipper in PPA in Italy and in 8th Royal Tank Regiment at El Alamein. Anne was accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Sat 14 May 2016 "End of an Era". 5th PPA Remembrance Event at Wixoe Church. Roy Paterson gave a talk on "The End of an Era", regarding the passing of the last known PPA veterans. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Popski and Pamela.
Mon 15 Feb 2016 Funeral of Trooper Derrick Storey, who died on Fri 5 Feb 2016. Derrick was the last known survivor of Popski's Private Army. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson and Anne French who lowered the PPA Flag and laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Tue 26 Jan 2016 Funeral of Trooper Fred Trotter, who died on Fri 5 Jan 2016.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Sun 8 Nov 2015 Royal British Legion's Cenotaph ex-Service March Past.
No PPA veterans were available to represent PPA.

9th PPA Remembrance Event at the PPA Memorial.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson and Anne French who laid PPA Poppy Wreaths.
Fri 6 Nov 2015 Commemorative Service at Westminster Abbey for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Special Operations Executive (SOE). This was followed by a reception at SOE's original wartime HQ, St Ermin's Hotel. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson and Angela Mayne.
Thu 5 Nov 2015 12th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH Prince Henry of Wales opened the Field of Remembrance. PPA was represented by Angela Mayne whose father served in the LRDG, SAS and PPA, as well as IWOS (Irregular Wireless Operators Service) in Cairo. Angela was accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Sat 31 Oct 2015 Commemorative Lunch for the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) just off Baker Street. SOE was sometimes known as the Inter-Services Research Bureau (ISRB). PPA was represented by Roy Paterson.
Fri 9 Oct 2015 Conference in Ravenna to celebrate the 100th birthday of Commander Arrigo 'Bulow' Boldrini who died on 22 Jan 2008. Arrigo was Commander of the 28th Garibaldi Brigade of Italian Partisans who fought so successfully alongside PPA in the battles to liberate Ravenna. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson.
Sat 3 Oct 2015 Service of Thanksgiving for Major John Campbell, chairman of foPPA, who died on Thu 30 Jul 2015.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory, and by members of the PPA Preservation Society of Belgium, along with two of their PPA Patrol Jeeps. A representative of the Special Forces Club also attended, as well as the Mayor of Leominster.
Sat 16 May 2015 4th PPA Remembrance Event at Wixoe Church. Roy Paterson gave a talk on "The man, the men and the myths". PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Popski and Pamela.
9-20 Apr 2015 "Operation Poppy" - from Cassino to Klagenfurt. This was a continuation of foPPA's 2005 "Operation Diamond - The Last Operation of Popski's Private Army" in Ravenna and Venice. FoPPA Secretary Roy Paterson laid PPA Poppy Wreaths at all 15 graves or memorials of PPA fallen, in Italy and Austria.

CASSINO WAR CEMETERY
Driver WILLIAM SYLVESTER GASKELL
Private JOHN HUNTER
Lieutenant DUNCAN BAXTER MacGILLIVRAY

ANCONA WAR CEMETERY
Corporal JOHN EWEN CAMERON

MONTECCHIO WAR CEMETERY
Sergeant CHARLES HERBERT CURTIS

CESENA WAR CEMETERY
Private WILLIAM HOLLIS MACKMAN

RAVENNA WAR CEMETERY
Trooper THOMAS JOHN CROGHAN
Sergeant DAVID PORTER DCM

ARGENTA WAR CEMETERY
Sapper RICHARD MacDOWALL
Lieutenant IAN WALLACE McCALLUM

PADUA WAR CEMETERY
Trooper ARTHUR ROGERS
Private ERIC CHARLES WATKINS

UDINE WAR CEMETERY
Private ALBERT WHITE

KLAGENFURT WAR CEMETERY
Signalman DOUGLAS ALEXANDER MCCULLOCH
Corporal JAMES SNAPE

Fri 27 Mar 2015 Funeral of Trooper Jack Crosby, who died on Wed 4 Mar 2015.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Fri 23 Jan 2015 Funeral of Corporal Frank Dobinson, who died on Sun 28 Dec 2015.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Sun 9 Nov 2014 5th PPA attendance in the Royal British Legion's Cenotaph ex-Service March Past.
PPA was represented by Corporal Frank Dobinson of "Popski's Private Navy" who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath to commemorate the unit.

8th PPA Remembrance Event at the PPA Memorial.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath to commemorate the unit.

After the event Roy Paterson also laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in Whittington, near Lichfield, South of the National Memorial Arboretum. In the churchyard family plot lies the grave of Major Bill Kennedy Shaw OBE, Intelligence Officer of the Long Range Desert Group. It was Bill who gave Popski his nickname.
Thu 06 Nov 2014 11th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH Prince Henry of Wales opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Corporal Frank Dobinson of "Popski's Private Navy", accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Thu 19 Jun 2014 Funeral of Captain Brian Thomas, who died on Tue 3 Jun 2014.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Sat 17 May 2014 3rd PPA Remembrance Event at Wixoe Church. Unveiling of the Wixoe Memorial to Popski and Pamela. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Popski and Pamela.
Mon 12 May 2014 Funeral of Signalman Fred Yeoman, who died on Sat 6 Apr 2014.
A PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory was laid by his family.
Sun 10 Nov 2013 4th PPA attendance in the Royal British Legion's Cenotaph ex-Service March Past.
PPA was represented by Corporal Frank Dobinson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the formation of foPPA.

7th PPA Remembrance Event at the PPA Memorial.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the formation of foPPA.
Thu 07 Nov 2013 10th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied for the first time by HRH Prince Henry of Wales, opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Corporal Frank Dobinson, accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Thu 04 Jul 2013 Dedication of the Combined Operations Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson.
Sat 18 May 2013 2nd PPA Remembrance Event at Wixoe Church. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Popski and Pamela.
Sun 11 Nov 2012 3rd PPA attendance in the Royal British Legion's Cenotaph ex-Service March Past.
PPA was represented by Corporal Frank Dobinson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Lance Corporal Ron Jewell and Driver Ken Williamson, and by Trooper Fred Trotter who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the formation of PPA.

6th PPA Remembrance Event at the PPA Memorial.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the formation of PPA. Steve North, son of Corporal Dick North, laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Lance Corporal Ron Jewell and Driver Ken Williamson, and Adam Anderson laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of his father, Driver Adam Anderson.
Thu 8 Nov 2012 9th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Corporal Frank Dobinson, accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Sun 22 Jul 2012 A small family remembrance ceremony at the grave of Major Jan Caneri MC who died on Wed 24 Feb 1988. Jan's daughter Anne-France and Roy Paterson, representing PPA, jointly laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Sat 23 Jun 2012 A small family remembrance ceremony at the grave of Lance Corporal Ron Jewell who died on Sat 7 April 2012. Ron's widow Kitty was accompanied by daughter Katherine. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Tue 15 May 2012 Inaugural PPA Remembrance Event at Wixoe Church. PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Popski and Pamela. The Royal British Legion was represented by Sapper Al Richards RE, Chairman of RBL Haverhill Branch, who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Popski and all who served alongside him.
Sun 13 Nov 2011 2nd PPA attendance in the Royal British Legion's Cenotaph ex-Service March Past.
PPA was represented by Corporal Frank Dobinson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Sergeant Bill O'Leary and Sapper Charlie Pain.

5th PPA Remembrance Event at the PPA Memorial.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of Sergeant Bill O'Leary and Sapper Charlie Pain.
Thu 10 Nov 2011 8th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Corporal Frank Dobinson, accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Sat 24 Sep 2011 Dedication of the Vera Atkins SOE Memorial Seat in the National Memorial Arboretum.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson.
Mon 27 Dec 2010 Funeral of Sergeant Bill O'Leary MM, who died on Thu 16 Dec 2010.
PPA was represented by Guy Harris and Roy Paterson.
Sun 14 Nov 2010 1st PPA attendance in the Royal British Legion's Cenotaph ex-Service March Past.
PPA was represented by Corporal Frank Dobinson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of PPA.

4th PPA Remembrance Event at the PPA Memorial.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of PPA.
Thu 11 Nov 2010 7th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Roy Paterson.
Tue 13 Apr 2010 Funeral of Trooper Sam Cowperthwaite, who died on Tue 23 Mar 2010.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Thu 18 Mar 2010 Funeral of Driver William Wilson, who died on Tue 09 Mar 2010.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Sun 08 Nov 2009 3rd PPA Remembrance Event at the PPA Memorial.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of PPA.
Thu 05 Nov 2009 6th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Roy Paterson.
Sun 19 Jul 2009 Dedication of the SAS Battle of Mirbat Memorial Plaque in the National Memorial Arboretum.
PPA was represented by Major John Campbell, accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Sun 09 Nov 2008 2nd PPA Remembrance Event at the PPA Memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in memory of PPA.
Thu 06 Nov 2008 5th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Major John Campbell, accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Sun 30 Mar 2008 Unveiling of the PPA Memorial in the National Memorial Arboretum.
The memorial was unveiled by Sir Robert Crawford and Major John Campbell, accompanied by Guy Harris and Roy Paterson.
Thu 20 Mar 2008 Funeral of Corporal Ben Owen, who died on Tue 11 Mar 2008.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Thu 06 Dec 2007 Funeral of Driver Bert Mee, who died on Tue 20 Nov 2007.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Thu 08 Nov 2007 4th PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Major John Campbell, accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Fri 21 Sep 2007 Funeral of Trooper Drac Hellier, who died on Sun 09 Sep 2007.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson who laid a PPA Poppy Wreath in his memory.
Thu 09 Nov 2006 3rd PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Captain Brian Thomas, accompanied by Roy Paterson.
Mon 19 Dec 2005 Funeral of Pamela Matthews, Popski's widow, who died on Mon 05 Dec 2005.
PPA was represented by Roy Paterson, accompanied by Olga Peniakoff, one of Popski's daughters.
Thu 10 Nov 2005 2nd PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey.
HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, opened the Field of Remembrance and PPA was represented by Major John Campbell, accompanied by Roy Paterson. Afterwards PPA veterans, relatives and friends enjoyed a buffet at the Special Forces Club.
12-16 Sep 2005 "Operation Diamond - The Last Operation of Popski's Private Army" in Ravenna and Venice.
PPA was represented by Major John Campbell and Trooper Drac Hellier, accompanied by Guy Harris, Roy Paterson and Popski's daughters Olga and Anne.
PPA Poppy Wreaths were laid by Olga and Anne Peniakoff at the graves of Lieutenant Ian McCallum, 27th Lancers, and Sapper Richard MacDowall, Royal Engineers, in the Argenta Gap War Cemetery. PPA Poppy Wreaths were then laid by Major John Campbell and Trooper Drac Hellier at the graves of Sergeant Dave Porter DCM SAS, Royal Engineers, and Trooper Tommy Croghan, 3rd Hussars, in the Ravenna War Cemetery.
Thu 11 Nov 2004 Inaugural PPA Remembrance Event at Westminster Abbey. First PPA plot in the Special Forces section of the Royal British Legion's Field of Remembrance.
HM The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, opened the Field. PPA was represented by Major John Campbell, accompanied by Guy Harris and Roy Paterson, Popski's widow Pamela and Popski's daughters Olga and Anne. Afterwards PPA veterans, relatives and friends enjoyed a buffet at the Special Forces Club.

Copyright © 2017 foPPA
14 October 2017