Langeleben Reunion Association


Minutes of The 14th AGM and Reunion
Königshof Hotel, Königslutter Saturday 2nd June 2007

The Meeting started at 1115 hrs with the Chairman introducing the committee and platform guests Martin Knof (Deputy Bürgermeister) and Arnulf Baumann (Councillor).

The Chairman then read out the names on the roll of honour and the President Major General Peter Baldwin gave the dedication while standard bearer Tom Neal lowered the memorial standard.

The Secretary Ernie Callaghan gave apologies for those members who for various reasons were unable to attend and then read out the minutes of the 2006 AGM, the minute’s acception was proposed by Mike Stubbings and seconded by Dennis Weir then passed by the members.

Matters arising: No comments.

The Chairman then introduced our President.

Address by Major General Peter Baldwin:

Having been divested of his briefcase containing most of his worldly goods (including his AGM notes) by a bag snatcher on Brussels railway station the previous day the Major General then amused us with an Off- the- cuff version of his intended speech which could not have been bettered by the original. Some facts and figures may have been missing but we were updated on the services that the Royal Signals were providing both at home and in Iraq, Afghanistan and other fields of conflict.

The Chairman introduced ex Bürgermeister and Königslutter town councillor Arnulf Baumann.

Address by Arnulf Baumann:

Arnulf welcomed us to Königslutter and spoke of the special bond that existed between us and the area and gave us his ideas on the proposed memorial; he informed us that he had attended a meeting (along with Chairman Jim Husband, John Richardson and Deputy Bürgermeister Martin Knof) with Herr Gunter Dittman, a tutor at the Stadt School of masonry, the outcome was that the masonry school would be interested in assisting us by utilising its students in creating a memorial to agreed specifications and that Herr Dittman, who was present at the meeting, had produced some sketches and models which he would show us at the end of the meeting.

The Chairman Introduced Deputy Bürgermeister Martin Knof.

Address by Martin Knof:

The Deputy explained that he was standing in for the Bürgermeister Ottomar Lippelt, who at this time was sunning himself on a Greek island, and gave his apologies for not being able to attend.
Martin asked the floor to bear with him because this was the first time that he had addressed an English audience using prepared notes; he need not have worried as his English was impeccable.
He went on to say that he was excited to be involved with the Langeleben reunion association and how important we at the camp were for the region during our 41 years tenure and how the continued association with the town was warmly felt.
Martin then told us that our hopes of erecting a memorial on the old Langeleben campsite was not possible because the ownership of the land was still in dispute, also the idea of having the memorial in the Marktplatz in Königslutter could not be realised because the plans for the re-development of the Town centre were finalised. He mentioned that it may be possible to place a plaque inside the Rathaus (Town hall) but then the memorial would be limited in concept and seen by only a few people.
The town council had agreed that a site opposite the Kinderheim (now an old people’s home) and the Falkenheim (Youth Hostel) only three hundred metres from the old Langeleben camp would have their backing and would also be acceptable to the Landkreis Helmstedt. This site is in a lay-by that has access to walking paths in the forest and is widely used, it is also close to an area of a “natural cemetery” where family and friends can legally scatter the ashes of their loved ones. We may also have a chance later on to move the memorial to an area on the old campsite once the ownership dispute was settled.
Martin closed by wishing us a successful and happy reunion and pledged the support of the Bürgermeister and Town council in our endeavours.

Treasurers Report:

Gerry Kane gave a breakdown of our finances showing that we made a net loss of £135.29p over the past year mainly because of the £267 cost of purchasing the coffin drape for the association. The drape was then shown to the assembly, being held up by the Chairman and Secretary.
Our closing balance now being £2,194.22p is still quite healthy but this includes approx. £1000 held in the Phil Osborne repatriation fund. The acceptance of the report proposed by Paul Fildes and seconded by Dave Street was passed by the members. Gerry then asked that members who had not paid for the evening function should pay him at the end of the meeting.

Secretary’s Report:

Our Secretary began by welcoming the members and thanking them for a great turnout, this reunion being the best attended in Germany so far and that 105 members and guests would be sitting down to the evenings Dinner/Dance. He mentioned the members that had travelled from afar, Jim Hammond from Australia, Rod Goddard and his own guest Peter Bednar from America and not forgetting Robin Seaward from Prague and Bill Hogg from Spain.
Membership remains steady, five new members joined this year and we now have over 400 members. In reference to the proposed memorial we had contacted Bürgermeister Ottomar Lippelt here in Königslutter (correspondence was read out) and today we must get some agreement on the form of the memorial, the inscription and what budget should be set, we have already agreed on the site and as we only meet once a year we the committee need guidance from you so as to make decisions on your behalf to facilitate completion. Member Pete Ellis told the floor that his son Paul who is a stonemason of some repute and is currently working on a long term contract at Lincoln Cathedral has offered his services on expenses only terms. Paul who’s late Mother came from Königslutter could work either from home or go to Germany and liaise with Gunter Dittman at the school of masonry.
A lively discussion ensued with the conclusion that the Secretary would send out a letter to all members asking for ideas on the form and wording of the memorial and for voluntary contributions towards the cost so we hopefully would be able to inaugurate the memorial on our next visit to Königslutter in 2009.
The Secretary then reminded the members about the brunch on Sunday morning and the Domfest arrangements on Sunday afternoon and asking all members to sign the attendance book at the end of the meeting.

Election of Officers:

All the committee agreed to stand for the coming year and as no members volunteered for election the committee were unanimously re-elected.

Any other business:

Member Paul Croxson advised the floor that he was looking to enhance the written history of the Langeleben camp and was looking for members to contact him with anecdotes and facts relating to our interaction with the local people and our recollections on life during our tenure.

2008 reunion:

It was agreed that we would try to book with Burleigh Court Loughborough for 2008 but we would endeavour to keep away from the weekend of 30th May so as not to clash with the H Troop Dannenberg reunion.

The meeting closed at 1300 hrs.

Last updated 14 January 2017