July date set for Minden Day parade

Minden Day Parade in Berwick.
Minden Day Parade in Berwick.

VETERANS of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers will celebrate the anniversary of their former regiment’s most famous battle honour, when they commemorate the Battle of Minden, at the Barracks in Berwick-upon-Tweed on Saturday, July 30, writes Mark Entwistle.

This year the veterans will be joined by regular soldiers from The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1SCOTS), who, following this parade, will commence a period of intensive training for yet another operational tour in Afghanistan.

The organisers hope around 500 soldiers and veterans will be on parade and joined by friends and families from around the world.

There will be four pipe bands taking part – the pipes and drums from 1SCOTS, the Inter Scaldis Dutch Pipe Band and the Berwick and Eyemouth Royal British Legion pipe bands.

The day will start at 10.30am with a display of bands, military vehicles and local highland dancers on the Barracks Square.

At 11.50am the parade will form up and there will be a ceremonial presentation of Minden Roses – pictured right from last year’s event. The battle of Minden was fought on August 1, 1759 and soldiers on their way to fight the French stopped to pick roses from gardens as they passed.

This will be followed by the presentation of the Elizabeth Cross and scroll to the widow of a KOSB soldier, killed in Northern Ireland in 1972.

At 12.30pm the parade will step off from the Barracks Square when soldiers and veterans will march through Berwick Town Centre.

They will passing the Guildhall where a salute will be taken. The Berwick Town Civic Party will be led by the Mayor, Alan Bowlas. The parade reviewing officer will be Brigadier Andrew Jackson, President of the KOSB Association, accompanied by Lieutenant Colonel Ben Wrench, commanding officer 1SCOTS and Warrant Officer Class 1 Paul Wood, regimental sergeant major 1SCOTS. The event will be a unique occasion, as on parade will be the colours of 1SCOTS, having only been presented to the battalion by the Queen at Holyrood on July 2.

For the very last time, the regimental colours of the KOSB will be carried through the town by members of the regimental association before they are laid up.

The KOSB Regimental Museum, in the Barracks, will be open from 9.30am on the day and admission is free for all visitors.

KOSB Regimental Association secretary William Foster, said he expects a record turnout of soldiers, veterans and their families for the parade, and hopes that members of the public will support the event.

He is also hopeful that KOSB “In Pensioners” from the Royal Hospital Chelsea will join the occasion, wearing their distinctive red tunics.