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Coldstreamers at Lourdes - May 2018

The Order of Malta is one of the world’s largest and oldest charitable organisations.  The Sovereign Military Order of Malta of St John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta (its full title) is the direct descendant of the Knights Hospitaller, a fighting order drawn from across Europe to defend Christendom and care for the sick and poor of all backgrounds.  Its work began in 1048, and today over 40,000 volunteers deliver global projects from disaster relief to care for the sick and poor; at a cost of over £1.5 billion annually.  Each year around 150 volunteers from Britain take fifty disabled, elderly and sick Guests (or Malades) from Stansted to Lourdes for a week-long trip where they can enjoy the extraordinary scenery of the Pyrenees and the remarkable atmosphere of a very special place.  The trip in May 2018 had a noteworthy Coldstream connection with three former members of the Regiment and two with close family connections.

Tony Hunter is an In-Pensioner at the Royal Hospital Chelsea.  He served in the Corps of Drums, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards from 1959 to 1966.  A prominent cricketer and fast bowler during his time in the Battalion, his final posting was with the Intelligence Section in Aden under Sir Brian Bartelott Bt.  He then joined the West Midlands Constabulary where he served for the next 30 years as a Detective, well prepared after his time in Aden.  He moved to the Royal Hospital Chelsea in 2016.

Stanley Tooze (94) served in 8th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment as part of 6th Airborne Division and dropped into France just before the main D-Day landings.  After convalescing from wounds received in Normandy he rejoined just in time for the Rhine Crossing and subsequent push to the Baltic to link-up with the Russians.  Stan’s identical twin brother, Edwin Tooze, was a Coldstreamer who served with the Guards Armoured Division.  He sadly passed away in 1996.  Awaiting demobilisation in 1946, Edwin served as an orderly in the Officers’ Mess. While waiting to deploy to Palestine with his battalion, Stan memorably donned his twin brother’s Coldstream uniform and did a thoroughly disruptive job until the arrival of the actual Gdsm Edwin Tooze, to the general amusement of all.

Left-to-right: Anthony Bird, Tony Hunter, Wayne Hennessy-Barrett

Left-to-right: Wayne Hennessy-Barrett, Emily Hunter, Tony Hunter, Stan Tooze, Anthony Bird

Emily Hunter is an Accident and Emergency Nurse at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, and a regular volunteer with the Order of Malta.  Her grandfather, Kenneth Hunter, joined the Army aged 16 in 1946, later serving with the 2nd Battalion.  He was in Burma during his early service and following the loss of his wife at a young age, he sought a posting to Kenya where his mother-in-law lived.  He and his two young children went to Mombasa and he helped to run the Silver Sands leave camp and was also the garrison postman!  The family returned to England in 1963, to Pirbright, Windsor and London.  In 1965 Kenneth became the Chapel Keeper at the Guards Chapel, and it was here that he was awarded the British Empire Medal.  He left the Army in 1982, becoming the verger at the Church of St Mary Magdalen at Sandringham, where he was presented to HM The Queen as Sergeant of Guard.

Anthony Bird served in the Coldstream Guards from 1977-1982 and is a Regimental Trustee.  William, his son, is currently serving in the 1st Battalion.  Wayne Hennessy-Barrett left the Army in 2011 and now lives and works in Kenya.  Both Anthony and Wayne are Companions of the Order of Malta and support its work in their spare time. 

The Order of Malta is open to people of all denominations who wish to support its charitable works.  Details of the Order of Malta and its work may be found at www.orderofmalta.org.uk.  


Wayne Hennessy-Barrett



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