The Mercian Regiment Formation Ceremony 1st September 2007
On the 1st September 2007, a dull day, the Master accompanied by Ann Willis and the Clerk represented the Company at the Mercian Regiment Formation Parade in the grounds of Tamworth Castle.
We arrived in time for coffee at 10am which allowed us to gather ourselves before taking our places before the commencement of the parade. We were welcomed and looked after throughout by Liveryman Lieutenant Colonel Richard Martin and his wife Sue. Freeman Major Bob Prophet also bade us welcome.
The parade started off with the arrival of the Divisional Band in full scarlet. Once they were in position, markers took post. Three guards marched on parade found from 1st Bn The Cheshire Regiment, 1st Bn The Staffordshire Regiment (to become 1st and 3rd Battalions The Mercian Regiment respectively) and from The West Midlands Regiment (V) (to become 4th Battalion The Mercian Regiment (V); a large screen at one end of the parade ground showed a guard from 1st Bn The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment on parade in desert combat dress in Afghanistan; they were to become the 2nd Battalion. Once the Guards were in position, the Regimental Colours with their escorts took post.
With the parade formed up, the Colonel in Chief of the Regiment, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, arrived and inspected the Guards. On completion of the inspection, HRH presented medals and awards for acts of courage on operations. Following this, the soldiers on parade ceremonially changed their cap badges after which the parade gave three cheers for His Royal Highness.
Once completed, the parade marched off parade in column of route paying marks of respect to the Colonel in Chief and marched through the town of Tamworth accompanied by members of the Associations of the three former regiments.
The Master's view
At the setting of ancient Tamworth Castle, on a bright September morning, three great Regimental traditions drew to a close and phoenix like a one new one arose, with all the pomp and pageantry, as only the British can achieve.
The Master, Consort, Lt. Col Martin, Major Prophet, the Gallant & Learned Clerk of the Bowyers Company all proudly attended the Formation Ceremony of The Mercian Regiment.. The Regimental Colours were marched onto parade. A fanfare from the battlements of the castle announced the arrival of HRH The Prince of Wales who, as Colonel in Chief of the new regiment received the Royal Salute. The Parade Commander Lt. Col. I J Cave then invited the Colonel In Chief to inspect the troops. The Cheshire Regiment, The Staffordshire Regiment, Our own Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters made a fine sight on the parade green in front of the castle. After several speeches, the Last Post was played and two minutes silence for fallen comrades was observed, followed by prayers. Then came Reveille and the impressive Re-Badging ceremony. The band of The West Midland Regiment played for The March Off, one combined regiment, to the applause of the assembled crowds of well-wishers.
It was a very grand and moving display by a fine body of men. Let us hope and pray for their safety and that they can soon be on peacetime duties.