A major parade and march was held in Alnwick today to mark a momentous occasion for a North-East-based battalion.
The 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was presented with new Colours for the first time in its history.
The Duke of Kent, who is Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, did the honours at Alnwick Castle, on behalf of the Queen.
During the parade, which was staged in the Outer Bailey, the new Colours were consecrated by the Deputy Chaplain-General the Venerable PA Eagles QHC.
After the presentation at the castle, a march, which included the Band of The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, took place through Alnwick town centre. Large crowds gathered on the streets to watch the spectacle and cheer the troops as they passed.
The march went to the town’s St Michael’s Church where the old standards, known as Colours, of the 5th and now-defunct 6th Battalion, were laid to rest, which means that they will no longer be used for ceremonial events.
Lord James Percy, who is the Honorary Colonel of the 5th Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, attended today’s historic occasion. He described the parade as magnificent and felt that it was fitting that the presentation was staged at Alnwick Castle, which he said is the spiritual home of the 5th Battalion.
The 5th Battalion is based in the North-East of England and has a reconnaissance platoon in Alnwick.
Colours are large brocade and embroidery flags which were originally carried into battle so that soldiers of a particular unit could see where the rest of their unit was located at all times and used as a rallying point during the course of the battle.
Although the Colours are no longer carried in battle, they constitute the symbol of a Battalions’ and Regiments’ honour.
As such, they are held in the greatest esteem by the soldiers and officers and are brought out on important parades and regimental occasions and are escorted by a Colour Party.
FOR FULL STORY, SEE THURSDAY’S NORTHUMBERLAND GAZETTE