The new Patron of the HSF Association is Colonel Mike Taylor.
In recent time, under great pressure to deal with corporate issues with his “daytime” job, Colonel Mike has been faced with no alternative but to step down as President.
He has accepted the appointment of Patron, and we hope he will continue to speak for us when asked, offer advice and support, but from a greater distance, perhaps.
Colonel MJE Taylor CBE TD DL MA LL.B FCIPD FCMI
With service with the Royal Artillery, Colonel Mike, a Cambridge Graduate went to work for Shell in 1969 where he worked on strategic issues all over the world. For two years he seconded as Chief Executive of a national body working on UK management standards, education and development and was the first national assessor for Investors in People UK, with a number of other senior appointments.
He is now a senior figure with The NHS in Cumbria and has played very senior roles in regeneration, further education, homelessness and the St.John’s Ambulance Brigade. He is Appeal Director for a Nursing Home in Chester.
At Cambridge he commanded the Gunner Wing of the OTC later joining 252 Field Regiment (The Manchester Regiment) RA TA. Promoted to Captain in the new 103 Light Air Defence Regiment RA he then became a Battery Commander until 1975, then Regimental Second-in-Command (2I/C )then CO (80-82). Promoted to Colonel as Deputy Commander 23 Artillery Brigade he moved to become Colonel TA until 1986, when he became Colonel (HSF) at UKLF until 1989 and finally TA Colonel (Wales & Western District) and ADC to HM The Queen until retiring from the TA in 1993. He was awarded the CBE in the 1992 Birthday Honours.
As a Retired Officer
- Chairman of the North West TAVRA (now RFCA) (1995 – 2000)
- Chairman of the Council of RFCAs (formerly TAVRAs) (2000 – 2004)
- Chairman of the National Artillery Association (NAA) (1983 – 2003)
- Honorary Colonel of 103 Regiment RA (V) (1992 – 2002)
- Honorary Colonel Commandant of the Royal Regiment of Artillery.
- Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Cheshire since 1998.
- Awarded the Royal Artillery Medal in 1998.
The HSF Association is extremely blessed to have his support.
A “modern manager” Colonel Mike is approachable and an extremely good listener.
If you are an HSF Veteran, a former Regular or Territorial Senior Officer, or work at a Regimental Headquarters and need to know if we are genuine, ask Colonel Mike.
You might even be a senior civilian manager or Human Resources Professional and need to understand somebody’s CV. Colonel Mike talks your language.
We are not going to be here for ever because there were no HSF personnel recruited after 1992, and we were “old” then! Our (“Unit”) Branch Members are getting older, although more of them are now on-line. Most of them are also actively supporting their local, or previous Regiments or Corps, because by definition, they will have served elsewhere in the military before they joined the HSF. Many of them can be seen selling poppies.
At a national level, our gatherings are becoming much less traditional, and increasingly regional as long distance travel becomes more difficult and more expensive. It is hoped that this website will provide a central “billboard” and “communications centre” for those who have become separated from their former HSF comrades.
One last point:
- We don’t associate ourselves with The “Dad’s Army” TV Show. That was a farcical TV drama, with doddering old gents and little Hitlers. It poked fun at a society, long gone. The Home Service Force was nothing like that, but we did recognise the Training Areas often used for scenery.
- We do associate ourselves with the WW1 Royal Defence Corps and the WW2 Local Defence Volunteers (later called The Home Guard“) and also the more clandestine WW2 Auxiliary Units, which, like us, never got really tested in active service.
- If you do forget yourself and accidentally suggest that The HSF was like “Dad’s Army”, the HSF Veteran to whom you are chatting will nod politely, and then totally ignore you, unless you ply him and his mates with free beer. It would be a good investment, because the stories they will tell will keep you going all night.
- Our Batteries, Squadrons and Companies were well organised, and if they weren’t “heads rolled”. We trained hard, had fun and knew our job.