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Officers' Mess, St James's Palace 31 July

During June and July 2017, C (Kohima) Company of the 1st Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, had the honour of being on Public Duties in London, including guard duties at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and the Tower of London. During their final duty at the Palace, Major Andy Ryan, the Officer Commanding C Company, kindly invited the Master, Wardens and half a dozen other Bowyers to a black-tie dinner in the Officers' Mess at St James's Palace, revered as perhaps the most iconic Mess in the entire British Army. A very splendid evening was enjoyed by all; it was an honour for the Regiment to be there, and a great honour for the Bowyers to be there.

At the end of the dinner, Major Ryan presented the Master with a foot-high mounted silver double-headed eagle, a striking three-dimensional representation of the Mercian Regiment's cap-badge emblem, as a gift from the Mercian Regiment to the Bowyers' Company, very kindly facilitated by Mark Elliott. As Duncan Samuel observed, the Master was for once completely lost for words at the generosity of the gift, but did manage to express the Company's enormous appreciation, and promised that the Silver Eagle will be on proud display at the Bowyers' Company dinner tables, starting with the Agincourt Banquet on 18 October.

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