KOSB set for royal day

Rehursals in Berwick Barracks for the Kings Own Scottish Borderers Minden Day Parade'Major Andrew Watson carrying Queens Colours
Rehursals in Berwick Barracks for the Kings Own Scottish Borderers Minden Day Parade'Major Andrew Watson carrying Queens Colours

It will be an emotional day for

local KOSB veterans today, when the Princess Royal joins them to witness the end of 324 years of tradition.

The royal guest will be making her visit as patron of the King’s Own Borderers Association, when she attends the annual Minden Day parade at the barracks in Berwick.

In a tradition dating back 254 years, she will present roses to some 750 veterans in a ceremony at what has been the home of the KOSB for 132 years.

It was on August 1, 1759, that soldiers plucked roses from the hedgerows as they marched to the field of battle at Minden, and every year, the KOSB Association celebrates the victory in the Seven Years War with red roses for veterans.

However, in addition to the roses, the Princess Royal will also be present as the final set of colours of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers are laid up in the barracks.

The KOSB was merged with the Royal Scots as part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland in 2006 and today’s ceremony will mark the passing of the regiment into history as the colours are marched off parade for the last time.

In her address, the princess is expected to tell veterans she shares their sentiments of pride, emotion and sadness as the colours are laid up for the last time.

Association chairman, Brigadier Andrew Jackson, told The Southern the princess would see that the association was thriving.

“It will be a proud, but sad day for us. The colours encapsulate the 324-year history of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, and on Thursday they will be marched off parade for the last time and, along with the regiment, into history.

“But we look forward to welcoming future generations to share that history at our museum here in Berwick.”

The colours of both the KOSB and Royal Scots were continued to be paraded by their successor battalion, the Royal Scots Borderers, as part of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, until the Queen presented new colours around two years ago.

“Since then we have just been waiting for the right opportunity for them to be laid up and a time when the Princess Royal could join us as patron of the association,” added Brigadier Jackson.

The parade will form up between 9am and 10.30am and marches on at 10.50am. At midday it sets off with a salute at the Town Hall at around 12.10pm.

The laying-up takes place on the return to the barracks at around 12.20pm.