The 105 Club Austria, and how it all came about
Around 1990, at an R.M.P. Association dinner being held at Edgebaston Cricket ground, a group of some twenty former members of The 105 Pro. Coy. enjoyed a nostalgic evening. They had been gathered together by Bill Taylor and, whether old friends or new, they all agreed, over breakfast, that it would be a wasted opportunity not to repeat the event. Bill said: “ If we are talking about starting a 105 Club I’ll volunteer to be the Secretary” He was to become so very, much more than “Secretary”.
Arming parade at Schonbrunn Kaserne for a 13:00 Hrs International Patrol.1955. L to R- Sgt ? -L/Cpls Eddy Bebee-Rick Chammings-?-Varley Gunn-?-Geoff?
And so it was that the core members of the new venture set about contacting any past 105’ers with whom they were in contact. Bill spread the word using the media and whatever method he could devise, (his position within The R.M.P. Association was a key factor). The result was that the following year some 60 members convened for the very first Annual Dinner of The 105 Club Austria at Farnborough.
For the next few years the annual dinner was held at The Masonic Hall, Farnborough and, while most delegates arrived for the dinner and then went home, some stayed at a local chain hotel, about ten minutes walk away from the Dinner venue, and extended the experience to a cracking night out with old friends. At this stage about half the members attended alone and, whilst wives were most welcome, some were less than enthusiastic . And so it came to pass that, following discussions with some of the senior original members, attendance of couples was to be positively promoted and more convenient and attractive venues be sought.
Don Bastow organized the first of the New Look Reunions in the Lake District and there followed several re-unions in Bournmouth alternating with The Lake District and then Portsmouth, organized by George Warren. In Portsmouth we were privileged to be welcomed into the Combined Forces Police Training Establishment.
These halcyon years also saw two massively successful trips to Austria. Bill, with the dedicated help of his wife, Dot, had presided over the miracle of growing the seed of an idea into a flourishing brotherhood that, quite literally, spans The Globe.
Bill retired from the chairmanship but The 105 marched on with reunions in Vienna, Stratford Upon Avon, Bristol, York, three years running in Torquay, once more to Vienna for the 60th anniversary of **************,finally, to Portsmouth for the final Reunion in *****. Now we have a policy of “last man standing” and so we look forward to many more years of The 105 Club Austria.
Sadly Bill is no longer with us but the legacy that he gave to us lives on and is a living tribute to all that served in The105 Provost Company. Royal Military Police. British Troops Austria.