By Cpl Shem, 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron
The Kiwi Trophy is a 14-mile march and shoot competition held annually by 3rd (United Kingdom) Division Signal Regiment. It is designed to test soldiers’ physical robustness and marksmanship skills, both of which are vital for operational effectiveness. The competition is named after a large depiction of a Kiwi, carved in the chalk on Beacon Hill, Bulford. It was created in 1919 by soldiers of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force who were awaiting repatriation following the end of First World War.
249 (Allied Command Europe Mobile Forces Land (AMF(L)) Signal Squadron voluntarily renovated the Kiwi monument in 1980. The Squadron known as the “Arctic Warriors” due to their arduous training and role in Norway had a reputation as a physically robust and unified Squadron. To mark the anniversary of the renovation, the Officer Commanding 249 (AMF(L)) Signal Squadron, Major Danny Fisher organised the Kiwi Trophy in 1981. The Squadron became the custodians of the Kiwi monument and continued the Kiwi Trophy competition until its disbandment in April 2003. Since then, maintenance of the monument and the organisation of Kiwi Trophy has been continued by 3rd (United Kingdom) Signal Regiment.
Kiwi Trophy 2019 took place on 30th May, one day after the reformation of 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron in Bulford. Although many of the Regiment had only recently returned from Exercise WARFIGHTER conducted in Texas, USA, more than 150 personnel competed in the Kiwi Trophy competition. We were delighted to also have enthusiastic participants from our reservist counterparts, 71st (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment.
The route was challenging and was made even more difficult by the heat of sun. The conditions proved to be no match for the robust competitors, with more than 130 participants completing the event. A young signaller from 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron, Signalman Krishna was the fastest to complete the race. Ultimately, he was beaten by the experience of OC 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron, Major Corns with his equally impressive run timing and his marksmanship skills scoring 10 out of 10 and avoided any time penalties. Sergeant Jameson and Corporal Oguaju from 202 Signal Squadron were the fastest female and veteran respectively. The top 11 scores from each Squadron were used to decide the overall winning Squadron. 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron came first, regaining the Trophy in honour of the 249 (AMF(L)) Veterans.
The winner Squadron (249 Gurkha Signal Squadron) of 3rd (United Kingdom) Division Signal Regiment Kiwi Trophy 2019.