Alnwick set to welcome Fusiliers for St George's Day parade

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers will celebrate St George’s Day with a special parade through Alnwick.

Tuesday, 19th April 2022, 2:28 pm
Updated Wednesday, 20th April 2022, 11:29 am

The parade on Saturday, April 23 will also mark the 54th anniversary of the regiment which was formed on St George’s Day in 1968.

The regiment has strong ties to the North East with its reserve battalion, Fifth Fusiliers based at Anzio House in Newcastle, and its museum at Alnwick Castle.

It is anticipated that over 120 people will take part in the first St George’s Day parade since the Covid-19 pandemic with serving fusiliers from Fifth Fusiliers taking part as well as cadets and veterans.

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The Fusiliers Band at Alnwick's Remembrance parade in 2021. Picture: Jane Coltman

The programme for the day starts with the parade forming up at Alnwick Castle before marching to church for a special service. The parade will then form up again before parading through the streets of the town and finishing at Alnwick Castle.

Lt Col Paul Smyth, Commanding Officer for 5 Fusiliers, said: “The parade will be spectacular and a great opportunity for everyone in Alnwick and Northumberland to pay tribute to those who serve our country so well.”

The Duke of Northumberland added: “It is a great honour for all of us at Alnwick Castle to host members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers as they form up to march to St Michael’s Church and then through the streets of Alnwick on this special St George’s Day.

"This famous regiment has strong links with our region and this parade reminds us of the importance of the military within our communities.”

The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, known as ‘The Fusiliers’, is an English infantry regiment in the British Army, formed from four historic fusilier regiments in 1968.

Since then, the fusiliers have seen service across the world in Northern Ireland, Cyprus, the Balkans, the first and second Gulf Wars and Afghanistan.

The regiment has two battalions – First Fusiliers in Tidworth and Fifth Fusiliers in Newcastle.

The regiment is well known for its distinctive red and white hackle which is worn by all ranks and was passed down by the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers.

The hackle was awarded in recognition for the defeat of the French at the Battle of St Lucia in 1778.

The white hackles were removed from the French dead by the Fusiliers – it is regimental folklore that they were dipped in their blood.

In 1829 King William IV ordered the white plume to be worn by all line infantry regiments, but in order not to take away from the Fifth (Northumberland) Regiment of Foot’s battle honour, their plume was distinguished with a red tip, making the plume red over white.

The parade will form up at Alnwick Castle at 9.30am, marching to the church at 10am and then through Alnwick at 11am following the church service.