Who are we?
What is the Royal Engineers Association?
The Royal Engineers Association (REA) is the Regimental Association of the Royal Engineers. Charity numbers 258322 and SC 041832.
The original REA was founded in 1912 under the name of The Royal Engineers Old Comrades Association. Its name was changed to the Royal Engineers Association in 1952.
What we do
The Aims of the Association may be interpreted to be:
To promote and support the Corps among members of the Association in the following ways:
(1) By fostering esprit de corps and a spirit of comradeship and service.
(2) By maintaining an awareness of Corps traditions.
(3) By acting as a link between serving and retired members of the Corps.
To provide financial and other assistance to serving and former members of the Corps, their spouses, widows, widowers and dependants who are in need through poverty.
To make grants, within Association Guidelines, to ABF – The Soldiers Charity and to other charities that further the objectives of the Association.
The Association is organised into a Headquarters, Groups and Branches. The Association HQ is located at Chatham and operates the day to day running of the Association. There are eleven Group Headquarters, these are located geographically in major Royal Engineer military bases, and supervise and organise Branches within their regional area. Branches are established in towns, districts or units of the Corps and are administered by their elected Branch officials. There are over one hundred Branches at home and abroad. Each of the eleven Groups elect a member to both Council and Management committee who meet twice a year. Each Group has at least one meeting a year and the meeting is normally followed by a social event. There are also a growing number of National Branches which relate to various activities within the Corps. Currently these are Plant, Bomb Disposal, Commando Engineers, Military Survey, Armoured Engineers, Radio, Junior Leaders, Airborne Engineers, Postal & Courier and Amphibious Engineers. There is an aspiration to widen the scope of National Branches to include community interest groups.
Meet the HQ Team
Kenneth Kirk Controller - Controller - Royal Engineers Association
Ken served with the Corps from 1981 to 1989 serving mainly in BAOR with 28 Amph Engr Regt, 23 Engr Regt, 25 Engr Regt and Junior Leaders Regiment RE. On leaving the Corps he joined the Port of London Authority at Tilbury Docks. He held various senior management posts in Forth Ports Plc, including project managing major capital infrastructure projects building new Port Operating Facilities. Following this he became Managing Director of a major UK Port Operator for several years with operations across the UK. He then went on to own and run a marine manufacturing business based on the South Coast. Having enjoyed a varied and rewarding career, he was delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to return to serve the Corps as Controller of the Royal Engineers Association. Ken is married with two grown up sons and lives in Wouldham, where as well as still enjoying running and cycling, he is church warden of All Saints Parish Church and the local Poppy Appeal Organiser.
Iain George Asst Controller - Assistant Controller
Telephone: 01634 822407
Iain George joined the Corps in 1972 as a Junior Leader at Dover. He served 25 years in the ranks and finished as the Corps Regimental Sergeant Major. He was commissioned in 1997 and served until 2015. His final posting was SO2 Transition London District. After leaving, he worked for the Stoll Foundation, a Veterans charity in London looking after homeless and vulnerable veterans. As the Assistant Controller, Iain’s responsibilities include the assessment of benevolence cases and the staffing of benevolence cases to the REA Benevolence Committee. He also organises the REA Annual Dinner and Sapper Sunday, the production of the HQ Circular. Iain has been married to Melanie for over 40 years and they have two grown up children and three grandchildren.
Ann Richardson Membership Secretary - Membership Team
Telephone: 01634 822409
Ann Richardson is part of our membership team. She first joined the REA in 2009 as part of the benevolence team. Ann maintains all Membership records of which we have over 70,000. She is the contact for all membership enquiries and processes all new membership applications. Ann also assists with setting up new Branches, advising on the membership status of the founding members. Her skills extend to editing the REA website, keeping it up to date with Branch and Group officials contact details. Ann is married to John. Between them they have eight adult children and 18 grandchildren who keep them particularly busy. She also has four dogs. When not at work she loves gardening, reading, crafts and music, but mostly loves spending time with her grandchildren
Julie Ferguson Member Services Coordinator - Membership Team
Telephone: 01634 822409
Julia Ferguson joined the REA Benevolence Team in 2002 and moved to our membership team in 2009. She co-ordinates ticket requests for our external annual events and assists with administration for the Association Badge of Merit, notifications of RE In-Pensioner admittance to the Royal Hospital Chelsea, medical discharge, retirement and death notifications receipt of donations and legacies.
Julia also coordinates REA Branch submissions for The Sapper including publication of obituaries in the magazine and the Corps Memorial Book. She is also the point of contact for the arrangement of Standard Bearer representation at cremations and funerals.
Julia lives with her partner Tim, a former Royal Engineer who served 22 years with the Corps. Outside of work she enjoys walking, gardening and researching her family tree. Julia and Tim are both animal-lovers and are ‘parents’ to their adopted (and rather bossy) cat, Oreo.
Rodney Henderson Benevolence Secretary - Benevolence Clerk
Telephone: 01634 847005
Rodney came to the busy REA Benevolence Secretary job in March 2019, having already worked in REHQ in a different role. Rodney receives all benevolence cases and prepares them for consideration of assistance; he also works on preparing cases to be brought before the REA Benevolence Committee as well as liaising with caseworkers from other military charities regarding ongoing cases.
Rodney is married to Jo and enjoys holidays abroad, especially cruises. In his spare time, he plays golf, enjoys spending time with friends and eating out.
Fiona Louch Employment Coordinator - Employment Coordinator, Sappers Network
Fiona joined the Association team in October 2018, having previously been a secondary school teacher for 10 years. She is the Employment Coordinator for Sappers Network, an employment support service under the auspices of the REA, covering all Sappers, whether regular, reserve or veteran. Fiona also stands in for the Benevolence Secretary when required and enjoys the variety and complexity of the work in both of her roles.
Fiona is married to Steve and they have one son who is studying at university. She has been a Sea Cadet instructor and administrator at her local Unit on the Isle of Sheppey for 30 years. When time allows, she likes to socialise with friends, read and listen to a wide variety of music.