Story of Lieut.-Colonel Frederick Victory Henry Lynch, M.B.E.
Frederick Victory Henry Lynch was born on the 22nd September 1927 and brought up in Eye in Suffolk. His parents were Christopher James Lynch and Alice Elizabeth (nee Woolnough). His father lied about his age and joined the army at only 15, at the start of the First World War, joining the Northamptonshire Regiment as a streacher-bearer, and was wounded by shrapnel at the Somme.
At an early age Fred Lynch was known by the nickname 'Joe' which was handed down from his father Christopher, although know one knows why.
Just after his eighteenth birthday on 4th October 1945, he was conscripted into the Army (his army number was 14075696) at Bury St. Edmunds, which was then the assembly point for the General Service Corps. In November of the same year he was posted to the Depot the Worcestershire Regiment at Norton Barracks. No one could have realised at that time that he was destined to serve with the Army for thirty-four years and rise from the rank of a Private Soldier to a Lieutenant-Colonel.
During and just after the Second World War the Depot the Worcestershire Regiment at Norton Barracks function was to train new army recruits. The training was divided into "Primary" training, covering the first six weeks of service, and "Corps" training, which concentrated on the more advanced training for infantry soldiers. To meet this requirement the Infantry Training Centre (I.T.C.) was set up at Norton Barracks and was known as the 23rd I.T.C.
In July 1946 the I.T.C. moved to Ostwestry to establish a new Infantry Training Centre where four companies were formed to represent the four regiments of the I.T.C. and these were respectively; No1 (Cheshire), No. 2 (Worcestershire), No. 3 (South Staffordshire) and No. 4 (North Staffordshire). The new I.T.C. was now known as the West-Midland I.T.C., and was shortly afterwards redesign Ted "The Mercian Brigade Training Centre".
Fred Lynch known as "Joe" Lynch served with the No. 2 (Worcestershire) where he soon showed that the army was the life for him and reached the rank of Sergeant in just two years.
Sgt. F. V. H. Lynch (1947)
In the spring of 1948 the "The Mercian Brigade Training Centre" was disbanded and "Joe" Lynch now a sergeant was posted from Oswestry to the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment who were at that time in Berlin. "Joe" was on the last train into Berlin before the Russians closed down all rail and roads links prior to the Berlin Airlift in May 1948. After arriving he joined 'B' Company.
Sgt. "Joe" Lynch immediately became a member of the Battalion Shooting Team and took part in the British Troops Weapons Meeting in Berlin, 25th to 27th July 1948, where the battalion won six shields. Sgt. "Joe" Lynch was 2nd in the Warrant Officers & Sergeants Individual match. Earlier the same year he was a member of the 1st Battalion Shooting Team at Bisley Common and on returning to Berlin took part in the Battalion Rifle Meeting held at the Ruhleben Range in Berlin, where he was 1st in the Individual L.M.G. (Light Machine Gun) Championship.
1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - Shooting Team (1948)
(with trophies collected at the British Troops Berlin Meeting, July 1948)
Back row: L/Cpl. Shrimpton, Pte. Meadows, Pte. Steventon, Pte. Fowkes, Cpl. Snow, Cpl. Douglas
2nd row: Capt. J. D. Reynolds, Maj. A. H. Nott, Lt.-Col. R. E. L. Tuckey, 2Lt. A. H. Provost, Capt. J. J. Horton.
3rd row: C/Sgt. N. Gerry, Sgt. B. Holben, B/M F. E. Hays, Sgt. J. Stone, Sgt. T. Chambers, C/Sgt. H. Balchin, Sgt. Ashford, Sgt. F. Lynch.
Front row: Pte. Waldron, Pte. Elliott, Pte. Brown, Pte. Hill, Pte. Scoffam, Pte. Draper, Pte. Kettle, Pte. Tildesley.
1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - Shooting Team (1949)
Brigade Rifle Meeting (July 1949) and B.A.O.R. Rifle Meeting (August 1949)
Sgt. Lynch can be seen 1st on the left on second row from front
(see an enlargement of the scoreboard below)
In early in 1949 the 1st Battalion left Berlin for Gottingen and on the 9th July 1949 they went to Sennelager for 3 weeks training, where the Battalion Rifle meeting took place during the first 2 days.
Scoreboard from Rifle Meetings (1949)
Sgt. "Joe" Lynch was 3rd place in Brigade
Note the Divisional Badge just above his sergeants strips on the photo above. This is the badge of the 7th Armoured Divsion. At the time the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment were part of the 31st Lorried Infantry Brigade which in turn was part of the 7th Armoured Division (During World War 2, they were known as the Desert Rats).
In May 1950, he was part of an advance party of the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment which left Germany for Singapore to prepare for the arrival of the main body of the 1st Battalion which arrived 4 weeks later on the 18th June 1950. The next 5 weeks was spent at Nee Soon Barracks doing Jungle Warfare training. He then served in Malaya for the next two year.
Sgt. F. V. H. Lynch (1949)
He was now well know in the Regiment as an excellent shoot and on occasions was referred to as Sgt. "Hawkeye" Lynch. In 1950 he was selected to be a member of the 1st Battalion's Shooting Team which took part in the Malaya Weapons Meeting.
In 1951 he moved from 'D' Company back to 'C' Company where shortly afterwards was made acting Colour-Sergeant (C/Sgt.) Still with 'C' Company in 1952 he was the C.Q.M.S. (Company Quartermaster Sergeant).
In the spring of 1952 he retuned back to the U.K. and after attending a drill course with the Guards Drill Wing he joined the Depot the Worcestershire Regiment. In May 1952 he was again selected to be a member of the shooting team for the annual Bisley meeting and trained at Bordon before going to Bisley on the 22nd June 1952 and took part in the meeting which started on the 27th June. In the Methuen Cup "Joe" Lynch fired for the English Regiment VIII and obtained the second highest score of the eight with 160. He also shot extremely well in coming 10th in the Army Championship and set a record with a possible on a snap practice, 50 out of 50. The achievement was considered unique enough for a special announcement on the loudspeaker.
In 1953 the Depot shooting team continued to do well. However, the standard at Bisley rose considerably with a score of 264 or more required to qualify for the Army Hundred. Sgt. Lynch, alone, qualified and attained 29th place in the Army Championship.
At the Western Command Weapons Meeting held at Altcar in September 1953 (10th to 13th) the team won the All Arms Team Match, Rifle and L.M.G. with a record score of 953, beating all previous scores.
The Depot, Worcestershire Regiment Shooting Team (1952)
(The trophies shown are those won at The Western Command Rifle Meeting)
Back row, L to R: Pte. Chamberlin, Pte. Beaver, Cpl. Pountney, Cpl. Pepper, Cpl. C. Shrimpton, Pte. Colley, Bsdm. Martin, L/Cpl. Beasley.
Front row, L to R: Sgt. Bell, CQMS Astbury, Lieut. R. G. A. Leman, Major J. B. Brierley, Lieut. D. C. Tyson, S/Sgt. Boyce (REME), Sgt. F. Lynch
The Depot, Worcestershire Regiment Shooting Team - Bisley - Lichfield - Altcar (1953)
Back row, L to R: Pte. Willis, Pte. Cox, Pte. Wilson, Pte. Shaw, Pte. Spittle.
Middle row, L to R: Cpl. Grice, Pte. Ludlow, Cpl. Pepper, Cpl. Gould, Pte. Shepherd, Cpl. Pountney, L/Cpl. Shields.
Front row, L to R: Sgt. Shrimpton, Sgt. Bell, C/Sgt. Astbury, Major A. H. Nott, Lieut. R. G. A. Leman, S/Sgt. Boyce (REME), Sgt. F. Lynch
1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - 'D' Company Sergeants' Mess (1959)
Back row L to R: Sgt. Allen, Sgt. Porter, Sgt. Sayers
Front row L to R: C/Sgt. Shrimpton, CSM Lynch, Sgt. Parkin
In 1954, Sgt. "Joe" Lynch married Miss Betty B. Rudge at St. Mary's Church, Worcester. The same year he gained his 1st Class Certificate.
In the summer of 1954 he was posted back to the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment joining 'D' Company.
In 1956 he was promoted to Warrant-Officer Grade 2 (C.S.M. of 'D' Company) in Iserlohn and remained with the 1st Battalion until joining 7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Worcester as R.S.M. (Regimental Sergeant Major) in June 1959 (official date of substantive rank was 29th October 1959 - warrant Officer Glass 1).
In the spring of 1962 he left the 7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment for a short spell as a training instructor to Birmingham University O.T.C. (Officer Training Cadets).
In June 1963 he returned to the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment as Regimental Sergeant Major (R.S.M.) at Minden, Germany.
Sergeants' Mess Reunion Dance - Sgt. "Joe" Lynch is on the far right
1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment - Sergeants' Mess Cricket Team (1963)
On the 24th July 1963 the Sergeants' Mess beat the Corporals' Mess by 6 runs.
Clifton Barracks, Minden, Germany
RSM F. V. H. Lynch can be seen 3rd from the right (at the back)
L to R: Lieut.-Col. E. L. Trotter, Brigadier D. H. Nott, RSM F. V. H. Lynch (1st June 1964)
(Photo taken in Minden, Germany during a visit by the Colonel of the Regiment)
CSM Parker and RSM F. V. H. Lynch having locally caught crayfish for breakfast
1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in Dominica, British West Indies (November 1964)
Just three years later in Gibraltar, on the 16th July 1966, he was granted a Short Service Commission with the rank of Lieutenant (his army number now change to 481973) with the post of Quartermaster (Q.M.).
On the 1st April 1968 he was promoted to rank of Captain (Quartermaster) and remained with the 1st Battalion and served with them in Cyprus in 1969 as part of the United Nations Forces. In Novemver of the same year he returned back to the U.K. with the 1st Battalion.
On the 8th February 1970 the Worcestershire Regiment was amalgamated with the The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) to form the 1st Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment (29th/45th Foot). He stayed at with the Battalion now at Bulford, serving as (Captain) M.T.O. (Mechanical Transport Officer).
In 1971 he was appointed Technical Quartermaster to 1st Battalion W.F.R. (Worcestershire and Sherwood Forester Regiment) in Warminster and became Quartermaster in Berlin in 1972. He continued to serve with the the 1st Battalion for a further seven years, seeing service in Northern Ireland, Colchester and Belize.
On the 12th August 1975 he was promoted to ran of Major (Quartermaster).
In the Queen's Jubilee year of 1977 he was awarded the Jubilee Medal and the M.B.E. (London Gazette 11th June 1977).
On the 6th April 1979 he was promoted to rank of Lieut.-Colonel (Quartermaster), and later the same year in November he was appointed Staff Quartermaster Berlin Brigade.
"Joe" Lynch eventually retired from the Army, after nearly 37 years service, on the 25th June 1982. He remained in Berlin as Secretary of The British Berlin Yacht Club before returning to Rutland and retirement.
RSM F. V. H. Lynch
Captain (Q.M.) F. V. H. Lynch
He was a much-feared but a fair R.S.M. and his personal standards of discipline and fitness were always of the highest. He was one of only three Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment Quartermasters to reach the rank of Lieut.-Colonel.
"Joe" was never shy on the sports field and represented the Battalion at Squash and Tennis. But it will be for his exploits with the 1st Worcestershire Regiment Sergeants' Mess Football, Hockey and Cricket teams that he will be long remembered.
He will always be remembered for his services to the Regimental Bisley Shooting Team. It was in 1948 that he was first selected to represent 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and this began a record that may never be equalled. "Joe" has missed Bisley only when he was serving in Malaya, British West Indies and at Birmingham University. He was a member of the victorious 1st Battalion teams of 1955 and 1964 but it was not until he took charge of the Bisley Team that success followed success. During his captaincy of the team, the Regiment won the Army Championship on five occasions including four in succession from 1968 to 1971 and were runners-up a further five times.
Captain "Joe" Lynch presented with the Prince of Wale's Cup by General Sir John Mogg (Adj. Gen.)
This cup was for the best infantry team in the Methuen Match which was won by the Prince of Wale's Division Team, the majority of whom were from the Worcestershire & Sherwood Forester Regiment.
Lieut.-Colonel Frederick Victor Henry "Joe" Lynch of North Luffenham, Rutland died on the 22nd January 2005 (aged 77).
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