Locally-based duo, Brigadier Simon Humphrey OBE and Major Tom Foss-Smith, both officers in the Royal Regiment of Artillery, borrowed a brand new Range Rover Vogue from Westover Land Rover at Old Sarum. They used the liveried vehicle for a month whilst their Regiment completed its globe-trotting 300th anniversary celebrations.
For the 12 months leading up to the actual date of the Regiment’s tercentenary, a Regimental baton circumnavigated the world. The baton’s tour, coined ‘Ubique 300’ (a Latin word meaning everywhere), was the brainchild of Brigadier Humphrey.
The baton, visited a series of locations significant to the Regiment across every continent and incorporated 30 different countries, left from Woolwich - where the Regiment was founded on 26 May 1716 – and reached its final destination, Larkhill (the Regiment’s home since 2008) on 26 May 2016, where it was welcomed by the Queen.
More than 1,000 men and women, all regular or reserve soldiers from the Royal Artillery, were involved in the baton’s journey.
Spending the final four weeks of its tour in the UK, the baton participated in a range of activities significant to the Regiment and its members.
Amongst other adventures, it visited:
- Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, a former Ryder Cup course (championship golfer, Abe Mitchell who is immortalised on the trophy, served with the Artillery during World War One);
- took to the Thames with rower Heather Stanning, London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner and Royal Artillery Captain; and
- enjoyed a dawn salute at the top of Snowdon in celebration of the Regiment’s link to mountaineering via Artilleryman, Colonel Sir George Everest, after whom Mount Everest was named.
The baton was transported between events in Westover’s Range Rover Vogue – a Loire Blue three litre TDV6 model, which comes with an eight speed automatic transmission and a whole host of innovative technologies to assist the driver on and off road.
“Our anniversary was a massive milestone for the Regiment,” says Brigadier Simon Humphrey. “Our soldiers have worked all over the world and this trip was carefully planned to celebrate their successes, as well as the history of the Regiment.
"In honour of our global activities, the baton travelled by bike, foot, plane and water and completed its journey in true luxury, aboard the most befitting and iconic of British vehicles.
“Land Rover has a long-established link with the British Army and it shares the same spirit of adventure. The vast majority of soldiers will have come into contact with Land Rover’s vehicles at some point during their military career, so it’s very appropriate that we had a Range Rover – especially one bearing our ‘Ubique 300’ logo - to guide the baton through the final leg of its worldwide journey. We know all about the robustness and capability of Land Rover’s 4x4s but I had underestimated quite how luxurious the civilian models are. We were reluctant to part with it!”
“By the end of its journey, we think the baton had travelled a remarkable 50,000 miles around the globe (including 3,500 miles in the UK) and about 2,000 of those were in the Range Rover.
“Our thanks go out to Westover Land Rover for their generous support. There’s no doubt that without contributions from commercial organisations like Westover we would not have been able to complete this epic adventure.”
Westover Land Rover in Salisbury is one of just two Land Rover showrooms across the UK approved to sell discounted Land Rover vehicles to serving military personnel and reservists. Forces reductions of up to 12.5 per cent are available on the Land Rover Discovery Sport, Discovery and Range Rover Evoque. There’s 10 per cent off the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, and up to 30 per cent on Jaguar vehicles (available at Westover Jaguar in Poole).
For more information about military discounts at Westover Land Rover, please contact Aaron Long on 01722 414400.