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A Big Day for the Mercians

An important ceremony took place on Thursday June 6th, 2013, at which The Mercian Regiment was presented with new Colours by its Colonel-in-Chief HRH The Prince of Wales, something which only happens to a regiment about every 25 years. The event took place in bright sunshine at Worcester Warriors' rugby stadium, and also marked the formal retirement of Major General Andrew RD Sharpe OBE as Colonel of the Regiment, to be succeeded by Brigadier Andrew P Williams OBE.

The Mercians (incorporating the former Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters) are the Bowyers' affiliated regiment, held in great esteem, and a good party of Bowyers were delighted to accept the Regiment's invitation to be present for the occasion. Our charitable funds provide support to The Mercians' Benevolent Fund, and we were honoured that our affiliation was noted in the programme for the day.

HRH Prince Charles presided over the ceremonies, formally presenting the new Colours, a Queen's Colour and a Regimental Colour, described in the Prince's words as encapsulating the Regiment's heritage, ethos, fighting spirit and soul. Contingents from all four Battalions were on parade, watched and warmly applauded by a large crowd of other serving Mercians, families, friends, veterans and cadets.

A most convivial VIP lunch followed, to which the dozen Bowyers present were kindly invited, including the Master and Wardens. The incoming Colonel warmly thanked Andrew Sharpe for his strong and steadfast leadership in difficult and dangerous times over the past 5 years, and particularly for his recent work on plans for the future reshaping of the regiment. In replying, Andrew expressed everyone's thanks to the Regimental Secretary, Lt Col Richard Spiby, for his excellent organisation of the day, and wished the regiment well for the future.

With that ceremony Andrew Sharpe, who became a Bowyer Liveryman in 2011, has now officially left the army and we look forward to seeing more of him at Bowyer events in the future. We also hope to welcome the Regiment's new Colonel, Brigadier Andrew Williams, as our guest at the Agincourt Dinner in 2013.

Tony Kench

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