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His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester has asked me to convey his best wishes to all your members, staff and volunteers while we enter this unprecedented period of uncertainty and worry. He is very much aware of the concerns that your people will have at the moment as this pandemic develops and would want you to know that you are all very much in his mind.

Alistair McMillan
Chairman RAMC Association

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Dear Colleague,

A bit like the frequency of London busses, you wait a long time then no sooner have you received a letter from me than another turns up. RHQ RAMC has concluded that both the Annual Service at the National Arboretum at Alrewas and Corps Sunday have to be cancelled due to a number of factors, not least the corona virus pandemic. The consequence of this for us is that the Association’s AGM on 6 May is now postponed and the church service, parade, including our standard bearers, and the lunch on 21 June will not now occur this year.

As far as the AGM is concerned, we would need to find a way of completing this for constitutional reasons at a later date and I am exploring to what extent we can conduct it ‘virtually’ with proposals and papers circulated around Branches with decisions and approvals made by postal or email vote. We may be able to reconvene formally when the epidemic in UK has waned but, of course, the timing of that is currently mere guesswork.

I would be grateful if you would share the contents of this letter with the Branches you represent on the Executive Committee.

Alistair McMillan
Chairman RAMC Association

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Dear Colleague,

We currently live in the proverbial ‘interesting times’, an old Confucian curse but apposite today none the less. The full impact of Covid-19 remains unclear yet threatening. So it has struck me that it might be timely to consider the potential impact the current global epidemic may have on the Association in the next wee while. I say this in the light of the situation being fluid and circumstances are unfolding day by day. We are rightly being led by expert epidemiological advice and I therefore emphasise that the facts, as they materialise, and the advice given, should be gleaned from official Government and devolved administration sites and help lines. I would not pay attention to whatever else is running riot across social media currently.

It would seem that this strain of corona virus is causing respiratory disease that is spread via human contact directly or indirectly via hard surfaces shared by humans. In 80% of cases the effects are mild, in 15% of cases the effect is more serious and in 5% of cases the impact is quite critical. The older members of the population are more at risk of fitting into the latter two groups through either existing ill-health and/or age-related reduction in the effectiveness of body immune systems. It would be fair to assume that, considering the age distribution of the Membership, there might be more of a tendency towards the more serious end of the ill-health spectrum, if gripped by the virus, than for the general population. This is relative, of course, and not an absolute judgement merely indicating a propensity to be more at risk.

We can see that the Government is currently employing a policy of containment but that, as cases develop within the country, we may be moving towards a policy of delay and thus the impact of restrictions in public gatherings. It is in this light that I turn to my observations on the disease’s potential impact.

We are closely monitoring, alongside RHQ RAMC, whether we should suspend or postpone national Association events and participation. We are coming up to significant Association events such as Alrewas and the AGM followed by Corps Sunday in the calendar. Before that we have our scheduled Executive Committee Meeting at Camberley that I hope will still be possible. I will keep you informed about how we perceive risk and will make decisions, I hope, in a timely manner in order to reduce personal aggravation regarding such matters as travel and accommodation.

However, more closer to home will be the judgements of local Branches regarding their activities over the near future. I must say that this will have to be a matter of local judgement based on the prevailing advice from Government and local circumstances. I know of similar organisations to us where safety first has already been employed. I suspect that individual Members will be making their own personal risk assessments and there will be a tendency towards reduced attendance at events during the current situation.

So I would finish by reminding Branches that despite all this, our commitment to welfare and support of the frail and infirmed locally needs to be maintained and that self-isolators shouldn’t disappear into anonymity and neglect. Keep washing your hands and find non-contact ways of greeting those you meet and with whom you converse. The instructions for when to self-isolate look as if they may be changing within the next fortnight so be vigilant.

I would be grateful if you would share the contents of this letter with the Branches you represent on the Executive Committee.


Alistair McMillan
Chairman RAMC Association

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Following discussion with Col RAMC, Rep Col Comdt, National Chairman RAMC Assoc and Rep Sgt Maj we announce the following

  • March : Assoc Exec Committee meeting at Camberley postponed
  • April & May :Turning of the Pages Westminster Abbey both cancelled (age group at risk, travel to London and concerns raised by Westminster Abbey)
  • May: Annual Service at National Memorial Arboretum and Assoc AGM cancelled (age group, concerns raised by NMA)
  • June: Corps Sunday Service and Lunch Cancelled (other factors affecting this cancellation)

Other planned meetings in Robertson House for April will go ahead subject to day to day advice from RMAS, please note that they may be subject to late cancellation.

Please be assured that we will continue to update all our people regularly and that monies already expended on events above will be reimbursed.

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Serving and retired RAMC, RAVC, RADC, QARANC, all types of Association members and Friends of the Museum are invited to attend the Museum of Military Medicine's Annual General Meeting on Thursday 26th March 2020 at 2 p.m.

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The RAMC Association

William Boog LeishmanIn 1925, the RAMC Association was formed to further the camaraderie of WW1 Corps veterans with Sir William Leishman being the first President. There are now some 28 branches around UK with a predominantly veteran membership although most serving Corps members also are members centrally. The Association has traditionally been supported by Corps Funds and especially for the expenses of the branch standards and standard bearers.