Friday, September 15, 1961

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TO the strains of the Tyneside anthem Blaydon Races more than 450 trained-band volunteers making up the 7th Battalion Royal Northumberland Fusiliers (TA) showed the flag in Alnwick on Friday on a march through the town following one of the biggest and most spectacular ceremonies seen in North Northumberland for the last quarter of a century.

Before starting their march Field Marshal Sir Francis Fest, General Staff and Colonel of the Regiment, presented them with new colours and they bade farewell to the old, representing a service of almost 300 years and which themselves saw the first 53 years of a battalion history which for action and incident can possibly be second to none.

The ceremony held under a leaden sky in the Outer Bailey of Alnwick Castle was watched by more than 1,000 specially invited guests including 250 bemedalled battalion veterans, all members of its Old Comrades Association.

Among them was the oldest soldier of all, 84-year-old James McAllistar, of 18 The Turn, Loansdean, Morpeth, who served as a company sergeant major and was a member of the escort which went to Windsor Castle in the June of 1909, when King Edward VII presented the battalion with its first colours to commemorate its founding.