The Association Chairman's Page
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Brig MacMillan

It is a great privilege to have been appointed as Chairman of the RAMC Association for the next 5 years and I look forward very much to rising to the challenge of leading the Association effectively during my tenure. It is a mighty organization first setup by the then DGAMS, Sir William Leishman, in 1925 and still encompasses some 28 Branches including one in Cyprus.

I fully realize that the Association is essentially an ageing one and that younger soldiers today find other ways and means to communicate and socialize with each other. Even though all serving members of the Corps are Association members, we have seen fewer of them joining us on their retirement. Many don’t know what the Association does and how it can help them after their service. So my initial main effort will be to explore better mechanisms of communication with the serving Regular and Territorial personnel. We need to make those isolated instances of interaction between units and Association Branches the norm across our network. I also believe we need to get together better with other organisations that serve the ex-RAMC community like RAMC Re-United and explore how we can cooperate better to mutual advantage.

Now the life-blood of the Association is its Branches. The Branches are where our membership resides and functions. So I am also looking at how the Association’s Executive Committee can assist Branches more, physically and financially, to aid the lot of the membership.

I look forward to getting around the Branches during my stint and to meeting as many members as possible. I hope many of you can continue to support such gatherings as Corps Sunday, the Annual Service and AGM at the National Arboretum and Remembrance Sunday. We had 16 Standard Bearers on parade at the Arboretum recently so let’s aim at increasing this for the remaining central functions this year.

In Arduis Fidelis,

Alistair Macmillan

May 2019

BRIGADIER (RETIRED) ALISTAIR H McG MACMILLAN DL MB ChB MPH FFPH

Brigadier Macmillan was born in Glasgow in 1948 and after school in England studied medicine at Glasgow University, graduating in 1974. After house appointments in Glasgow he mustered for duty as a medical officer in the RAMC in 1975 having been a medical cadet. He retired in 2004 having been a Consultant in Public Health and having undertaken a variety of both command and staff functions in the Defence and Army Medical Services. His service included studying at the Army Staff College and latterly being a Queen’s Honorary Physician. He was an airborne soldier in both the Regular and Territorial Army. He is possibly best known as the architect of NATO’s first Multi-national Integrated Medical Unit and as the deviser of the Medical Regiment.

In his retirement he has been heavily involved in veterans’ mental health charities and served as a Colonel Commandant RAMC as well as being Honorary Colonel to 144 Parachute Medical Squadron and 225 (Scottish) Medical Regiment. During his time as a Colonel Commandant he was President of the RAMC Association and Chairman of the RAMC Charity finishing as Chairman of the RAMC Benevolence Committee.

He lives in the West of Scotland with his wife, Lesley, of 43 years. Lesley until recently ran her own business and also showed and bred Labrador Retrievers. They have a daughter who works in Conservation. In his spare time he is involved in researching and writing on Military Medical History and is an avid supporter of Scottish and Glasgow Rugby


In his retirement he has been heavily involved in veterans’ mental health charities  well as being Honorary Colonel to 144 Parachute Medical Squadron and 225 (Scottish) Medical Regiment. During his time as a Colonel Commandant he was President of the RAMC Association and Chairman of the RAMC Charity finishing as Chairman of the RAMC Benevolence Committee.

He lives in the West of Scotland with his wife, Lesley, of 43 years. Lesley until recently ran her own business and also showed and bred Labrador Retrievers. They have a daughter who works in Conservation. In his spare time he is involved in researching and writing on Military Medical History and is an avid supporter of Scottish and Glasgow Rugby

If this is your first visit to our Association web-site, I hope that you have found it informative and useful. For those who have been here before, you will have noticed (I hope) that we have made some changes to it. These have been mostly in in response to the request we made for comments about it during last year. This includes the facility now to join the Association on-line. A lot of thought has gone into this and the system seems to be working well.

I addition, you will find that we now have a link to the “Blue Book” events and bookings can be made through this. Details are given for each event and I hope that you put them into your diaries and Branches will include them into your local programmes. Although in the Branches you all have your local ideas and functions, the national events are key times when we have the opportunity to come together as the Association and celebrate the pride that we have in our Corps.

2 May – The AGM of the RAMC Charity. The Association is a sub-committee of the Charity, which is a Company Limited by Guarantee and holds an AGM at the RHQ in Camberley at 1400hrs.  This meeting is open to all serving, retired and reserve members of the RAMC and RAMC Association. It gives us the opportunity to hear what about the various groups in the Charity and understand how the Association fits into its overall work. Having Association members there emphasises our part in the scheme of things.

9 May – The Annual Corps Service held at the National Arboretum at Alrewas, followed by the Association AGM and buffet lunch. The cost if the lunch is very reasonable, for what is on offer, but you can attend the service and AGM without having to have it.   

17 June – Corps Day. Another time to celebrate our Corps, not only with an inspiring act of worship but also the march past. This is followed by a very good lunch that is paid for by central funds, during which the Corps band plays and they are always worth hearing. Our participation in the march past is specially geared to cater for those of us who can’t step out as well or as far as we used to be able.      

It is very important that we have as good an attendance as possible at these events and Branches may think about organising car sharing or even a mini bus. The Board of Trustees of the RAMC Charity authorises the subsidy of costs from the use of some of the funds they allocate to the Association. Bids for this must be made through the Association Secretary and to make sure we can deal with them, please get them in as soon as possible.

I wish you all a very enjoyable time with the Association during 2018. I look forward to seeing you at the national events.

Dear All,

I am writing to let you all know that, for personal reasons, I am resigning as Chairman of the Association, with effect from the end of this month. I am very conscious that this will cause difficulties as, according to the rules, a new chairman will probably not be able to be voted in before the next AGM. Our President, Mark Pemberton, is looking at the way in which/if an inter regnum arrangement can be put in place until that time, but as this is a unprecedented situation it is not easy. I particularly regret that this will, amongst other things, leave the Association without a representative on the Trust Board, although Mark is also chairman of that body and may be able to speak on our behalf.

The RAMC Association

William Boog LeishmanIn 1925, the RAMC Association was formed to further the camaraderie of WW1 Corps veterans with Sir William Leishman being the first President. There are now some 28 branches around UK with a predominantly veteran membership although most serving Corps members also are members centrally. The Association has traditionally been supported by Corps Funds and especially for the expenses of the branch standards and standard bearers.