Portsmouth reunion of Royal Army Ordnance Corps/Royal Logistic Corps will welcome old comrades to renew friendships and reminisce

OLD friends are invited to reminisce about their time spent in service at a special reunion to be held at two Portsmouth locations next month.

Thursday, 28th April 2022, 12:13 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2022, 12:14 pm

A reunion of the Portsmouth and Southampton Royal Army Ordnance Corps/Royal Logistic Corps Territorial Army Petroleum Units is set to be held on May 6 and 7 at the Premier Inn at Port Solent and also at Fort Nelson.

Activities will include a tour of Fort Nelson and a dinner.

Along with event organiser Chris May, Geoffrey Salvetti is keen to reach out to former soldiers with whom they have lost contact over the years.

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Geoffrey Salvetti is one of a number of soldiers organising a reunion of the Portsmouth and Southampton RAOC/RLC Territorial Army Petroleum Units on May 6 and 7. He is pictured at the former Royal Marine Barracks, Eastney. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 270422-21)

Geoffrey said: ‘Those of us who are still in contact would be delighted to renew our old friendships and to meet up and to exchange reminiscences and to speak to people who they hadn’t spoken to in some cases 60 years.

‘We’re all looking forward to meeting as many people as we can.’

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To attend the reunion, or to find out more, contact Chris May on telephone at 07804 375139 or by emailing [email protected]

Firefighting drills at the Army School of Petroleum in Westmoors, Dorset in the 1990s. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 270422-16)

Having served in all operational conflicts throughout the world, the RAOC - which amalgamated with other corps to form the RLC in 1993 - has a long standing link with Portsmouth and many important connections with the area.

In 1923, the RAOC Headquarters moved from Woolwich Barracks to Hilsea Barracks and established a major HQ, a training depot and large Ordnance Stores Depot and workshops.

Fort Nelson was a Regional Ammunition Depot from 1938 until the early 1950s, holding stocks of about 42,000 rounds of ammunition for the anti-aircraft batteries in Portsmouth and Southampton together with its sister depot at Fort Wallington.

Firefighting drills at the Army School of Petroleum in Westmoors, Dorset in the 1990s. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 270422-15)

Following the Second World War, four local specialist RAOC Territorial Army Petroleum Units were formed: 383 and 183 Petroleum Platoons in Portsmouth and 383 and 783 at Southampton.

The Petroleum Platoons were originally required for BAOR operational tasks during the Cold War in West Germany.

The role of the petroleum units was to hold and issue bulk fuels in camouflaged field installations which they constructed and to provide aviation fuel for helicopters and bulk diesel and petrol for tanks and other vehicles.

Members of the units have served operationally in Op Granby and other military operations overseas.

Geoffrey Salvetti, third right, leading an abseiling course in Alderney, Channel Islands, in 1977. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 270422-14)
Geoffrey Salvetti. Picture: Chris Moorhouse (jpns 270422-19)