Fletchers Arrow awarded to injured Fusilier

The Company is pleased to make a number of awards each year to our Military Affiliates, based on recommendations from their respective commanding officers and usually going to an outstanding junior rank.   For the Army, we have links with both Battalions of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 1 RRF regular and 5 RRF Reserve, Oxford University Officers Training Corps and 135 RRF Cadet Detachment at Balham.  Undeterred by Covid lockdown, the Company conducted a video ceremony to award  Corporal Tom Green of First Fusiliers a yet to be completed prize of mounted arrows; Cpl Tom being the CO’s nominee.

By way of introduction, the Master made reference to the long and proud traditions of the Fusiliers and Fletchers, noting our mutual connections with the Tower, whilst gently reminding them that we were a couple of centuries ahead here.  He went on to say how very much we appreciated this affiliation, noting both joint events and joint members, and to explain the significance and prestige of the Arrow award for outstanding achievement and merit.  

The Commanding Officer of First Fusiliers, Lt Col Chris Head MC, reciprocated his appreciation of the link and gave a brief summary of his Battalion’s activities over the past year.  Their deployment to Estonia had gone ahead, despite Covid, as it had to in order to maintain a demonstrable forward  deterrent , and because, put simply, that is what the Army does, regardless.  There, he  had been in command of an armoured  battle group of about a thousand soldiers,  with his core Fusilier Battalion supported by a Danish armoured Infantry company and the various elements of artillery, engineers, signals, intelligence, medical et al to make up a powerful independent force. 

The tour had been highly successful in its operational purpose, but severely constrained in off duty and recreational terms because the country was under very tight Covid restrictions.  Estonia was a small country of barely 1 1/3 million with only 150 intensive care beds.  Troops were confined to barracks and normal mid tour leave had been cancelled, placing additional stress on troops and families, well supported by the Rear Party back in the UK, so post operational leave on return was particularly welcome.  The Battalion was now on 12 hour notice for any contingency, with medics already deployed on Covid related tasks.

Lt Col Head then turned to the recipient of the Fletchers Arrow, Corporal Tom Green, who was pleasantly surprised to find his proud Parents joining the video call.  Cpl Green was a section commander and PT Instructor, already an outstanding NCO when he was very seriously injured in a road accident last August whilst undertaking a 100 mile cycle challenge to raise funds for Combat Stress.  He was now being treated for serious spinal injury at the Defence Rehabilitation Centre (Stanford Hall in Leicestershire which replaced Headley Court near Epsom) where his cheerful determination, fortitude in adversity and fighting spirit was an inspiration to all.

The Master endorsed Cpl Green as a truly worthy recipient and shot the arrow on its virtual trajectory via Lt Col Head to Cpl Green, whose response and subsequent conversation with the Master confirmed all that had been said.  He was a fine example of all that is best in our Army. The Ceremony concluded with the Master thanking the Fusiliers for all that they were doing and looking forward to welcoming Lt Col Head at a future Fletchers event, whenever that might be.