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Silver Anniversary Dinner for Operation GRAPPLE 3

On 30th April 2019 The Cavalry and Guards Club hosted a dinner to mark 25 years since the safe return home of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards armoured infantry battlegroup from Operation GRAPPLE 3, the UNPROFOR humanitarian support mission in central Bosnia and Sarajevo during the winter of 1993-94.  Miraculously, despite having been involved in more than 200 contacts, no one in the battlegroup was killed and barely a handful were injured and so there was much for which to give thanks and celebrate.

Expertly whipped-in by Harry Bucknall, 41 of us came together to represent all the components that had worked so hard to deliver success in support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  We were joined by several of our non-uniformed comrades: the indomitable Larry Hollingworth and Steve Wolfson of UNHCR, Jay Carter of UN Civil Affairs, and Mirella Meehan, who represented our many loyal and fearless Bosnian local interpreters.

Also present were Roo Hayward-Smith (née Pennell), our Assistant Adjutant, and Ben Farrell of the Micks and a former Green Jacket, David Cornell, who had been two of the many liaison officers and other attached personnel whom we had welcomed into the Coldstream operational team on that tour.
We were also delighted to be joined by three of our long-suffering wives (Catherine Johnston, Luly Yorke, and my wife, Anne), who, along with the other 360 or so wives back in Münster, had been the real unsung heroes of Operation GRAPPLE 3.

Everyone agreed that it had been a most memorable evening and that few, if any of us, had laughed so hard or so long since we had left central Bosnia back in May 1994.

Harry Bucknall and Larry Hollingworth before the dinner

Luly Yorke, Dominic Guinness and Mirella Meehan

Roo Hayward-Smith, Ben Farrell and Simon Gill


Peter Williams



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