1st Bn Royal Fusiliers and Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (London) Branch of the Fusiliers Association

Lt Col. Mike Kelly OBE

Served 1952 – 1988, 1RF, 1 Para, 1RRF, 6RRF


Mike enlisted at the Tower of London in 1952 and was commissioned from RMA Sandhurst into the Royal Fusiliers in 1954. He commanded 6 platoon, B Coy in 1954-55 in Sudan, 1956-57 Egypt. In 1957 he joined 1 Para in Cyrus and Jordan before rejoining 1 RF to command D Coy in Malta.


His career took him to Germany, Sharjah and North Africa before becoming Assistant Defence Adviser to High Commissioner to Canada in 1968, before special company command in Northern Ireland with 1RRF.


After he retired from the army in 1988 he took a role as Technical Manager Mortar Systems with Royal Ordnance and British Aerospace until 1990. He then became Marketing Manager for Armtec covering Europe, Middle East and South Africa before retiring in 2012.


Mike was awarded the OBE for securing the sale of mortars and ammunition to the USA which secured hundreds of jobs and realised hundreds of millions of pounds.


Mike married Veronica in 1960 and they had 3 children. Veronica died in 2012. In the 1980s Mike was our branch chairman, it was during this time that our membership started to grow in the hundreds and laid the foundation for a successful branch that brought so many old friends into contact again.


Lt Col Michael Kelly OBE 30th September 1930 – 2nd January 2023


Bill Gardener

Passed away on 10th September 2023.


Bill will be known to many of you through his lengthy association with the Fusiliers both in an active role, (as a younger man), and more latterly through his roles in the Fusilier Association (several Branches) and the Federation of London Old Comrades Associations for which Bill used to assist in arranging the annual parade and lunch at Armoury House (HAC). Though this event no longer takes place, if you ever attended it would probably have been after receiving the invitation and information diligently prepared and sent out by Bill on an annual basis.  It was at one of those parades that he was presented with his Fusilier Regimental Medal of Merit.


Bill was active with several organising committees and regularly attended gatherings of the National Malaya & Borneo Veterans Association, The British Korean Veterans Association, plus attendance at the Lord Mayor’s Parade and remembrance service events at Holborn.


Bill was in the the Regular Army (Royal Signals) in the 1950s seeing active service both in Korea and Malaya. He left the Regular Army in the late 1950s and joined the Territorials soon after. Bill joined C (City of London) Company at Balham, just a stone’s throw from where he grew up in Tooting. It was there that he attained the rank of WO2 as Company Sergeant Major.


Bill died peacefully on the 10th September at St Clare Hospice, Harlow, close to where he’d lived for over 60 years.  He had been unwell for some time with kidney failure.

A memorial service was held on the 5th October at the Royal Fusilier Chapel, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Holborn Viaduct, where there was a good turnout of friends and comrades who came to pay their respects and to say goodbye.  There were family eulogies from his two sons and one from Father Nick Mottershead.


Bill is survived by his wife Chris who regularly attended Regimental and social gatherings with Bill and his two sons Phil and Steve. If you would like to make any donation in his memory Bill asked for these to go to either the British Legion or St Clare Hospice.

Bill will be very much missed by us all.

Alec Ferguson


Kenny Hammersley

Ken passed away on 14th June 2023.


A Korean veteran, he also served in Egypt and Sudan, 1952-55.

From a Regiment which was full of East London characters Ken stood out.  He always knew who was doing what in the Battalion. Some said he knew the regimental plans before the CO. I first met Ken when we were called up to the Tower for National service.  Our paths went together on to Hong Kong then to Korea, Egypt and the Sudan. I was lucky enough to be selected to box for the Dorset Regiment whose guests we were in HK, and Ken was our most ardent follower and this continued until the Regiment won the First Infantry Division boxing championships in Egypt of which he was as proud as we who boxed were. I got to know Ken’s biggest asset when he occupied the next firing step to me on the Hook.


He was a very positive thinker with a great sense of humour and just the type to keep spirits up in times of adversity.  An example of this was his adjustment to civilian life. He got a job as a labourer to a flat roof layer for whom he worked for enough time to learn the business. He then set up his own business ending up with two or three teams working for him.


We picked up contact again after the Army when he phoned me and asked why I did not come to the Regimental Association meetings.  I did, but that is another story.  Ken became very poorly for the last years of his life but when I asked how he was he replied “I’ve got a dangerously inflated aorta, my kidneys  are failing and I have water on the lungs but apart from that I’m fighting fit”.  We used to visit Ken and his lovely wife Pam at Wickford on the way back from the Cockle sheds at Leigh.  Cockles for Ken and shrimps for Pam.  We will not see his like again.

Mike Mogridge

1st Bn Royal Fusiliers and Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (London) Branch of the Fusiliers Association


Ray O'Brien

5 Ashurst Drive, Worth, Crawley,

West Sussex RH10 7FS

Tel: 07988 833944

Email: rayobn1@gmail.com



Colonel M J Dudding OBE TD DL



Lieutenant Colonel K W Kiddie


George Rose

36 Maryfield Close, Bexley,
Kent DA5 2HY

Tel: 01322 550285


The White Hackle editor

Rob Crowley

2 Keswick Road,
West Wickham, Kent BR4 9AT

Tel: 07702 008446





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