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The Guidon Parade of The Royal Wessex Yeomanry

A new Regimental Guidon for The Royal Wessex Yeomanry presented by HRH The Earl of Wessex

Lulworth Castle ~ July 2018

In the British Army, each regiment has a regimental standard around which the regiment spiritually builds itself.  Historically, it was literally carried into battle and became the rallying point for the soldiers of that regiment, as well as acting as a recognisable indicator for the top brass watching from a nearby hillside. It is normally known by the word ‘colours’ in the infantry and most of the rest of the army, but in cavalry units, the standard is known as a ‘guidon’.

It is given directly to the officers and soldiers by the Sovereign and Commander-in-Chief, HM The Queen, in a colours or guidon parade.  Of course, the Sovereign is to whom all members of the military swear a direct oath of allegiance and is obviously held in very high regard by her military.  Sometimes she presents colours and guidons in person, but more usually by a royal representative, who carries the designation of Honorary Colonel of that particular regiment.

The standard, usually a flag of elaborate embroidered silk represents the physical embodiment of the Sovereign and is thus held as an immediate substitution of her by the regiment to whom it belongs.  With that comes an unexpectedly high degree of ceremony – such as saluting the guidon at various moments and ensuring their safety at all times.  The upshot of all of this is that they are very precious things to the men and women of that regiment.

As an aside and to create further confusion, the Royal Artillery don’t have colours in the form of a flag, but instead use their actual artillery pieces as their colours, and accord them a similar degree of respect…  The rest of the army finds this pretty peculiar, but then, they are gunners!

With the amalgamation of antecedent regiments, colours and guidons occasionally need to be merged as well.  The Royal Wessex Yeomanry historically comes from 5 different yeomanry regiments and so there were once 5 different guidons.  That clearly had to change, and when the RWxY came into existence a couple of years ago, work began on the creation of a new guidon.  Eventually, the old 5 were laid to rest in regiment museums or churches (see inside the Guards Chapel in London as an example on how to store old regimental colours!), and the time came for the new Guidon to be presented by our Honorary Colonel, HRH Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex.

Mounted Markers

 The mounted markers acting as an escort for HRH in traditional Yeomanry uniforms.

CO & 2IC

The Commanding Officer and Regimental Second-in-Command also mounted for the duration of the parade.

The Regimental Mascot

 LCpl Ramrod D’Arcy the Fourth, a prime Dorset Ram, is the official regimental mascot.  No promotion for steadiness on parade this time though!

HRH The Earl Of Wessex presents the new Guidon

The Royal Wessex Yeomanry on parade at Lulworth Castle, Dorset.

HRH presented the Guidon and then met with the families and soldiers of his regiment in the grounds of Lulworth Castle.

To view the full set of images from the whole weekend, please click the button below:

The only UK Reserve Challenger 2 Regiment

The various controversies and politics surrounding the size of the British Army is a matter for those that live in the Westminster Bubble, but curious effect of those deliberations and decisions is that The Royal Wessex Yeomanry has now become the only regiment in the Army where the core job of our reservists is to man the main battle tank Challenger 2.  For those of you that don’t know much about tanks, this is an 85 ton fire-belching, war machine God!  Up there with the best tanks in the world, it’s quite a sight to behold to see a troop of Challengers at full charge, and our lucky men and women are the people making it happen.

As I mentioned, opinions about how reserves should be employed and in what proportions are far removed from the coal face.  However, whatever you think of the reserves, one of the greatest strengths we have is the diversity of civilians who voluntarily give up their precious time to come and become Challenger crewmen.  The depth of experience from barristers & bankers, through to nuclear physicists, jockeys, architects, airline pilots and wine merchants is sometimes quite amazing to consider; but it is that very depth of diversity that gives such strength to our Regiment.

If that is something that might interest you, we are of course always open to new recruits, so if you want to know more about the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, look us up online and get in touch.


Inspecting the troops

Major Graeme Hood receives HRH before the inspection of his Squadron.

HRH Prince Edward

HRH wearing the new No.1 Dress (Dress Blues), with the new capbadge and other insignia of the RWxY.

Taking the salute

HRH receiving the Royal Salute from the Regiment on his arrival at the parade ground.

To view the full set of images from across the weekend, please click on the button below:

A few thank you's ...

After a long, hot weekend marching up and down the football pitch in Lulworth Camp and then in front of the assembled guests, and giving up some precious beach time, the biggest thanks must go to the men and women of the RWxY, who made the trip to Lulworth from all across the south west of the UK.  An excellent show all round!

Thank you must also go to the Welds, the owners of Lulworth Castle – no better location than the home of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry to hold their Guidon Parade.

Another big thank you to Mrs Sue Elworthy for providing our Regimental Mascot in such fine order – a very handsome creature!

The Adjutant ensured that the myriad of minor details that are crucial to an event like this were attended to and organised.  The parade literally would not have happened without that attention to the minutiae.

The Quartermaster, his team and also Major Jonny Lea were instrumental in the logistical bit and pieces, particularly in relation to the uniforms and ensuring that an entire regiment is fully kitted and wearing the correct order of dress.  No mean feat given the bureaucracy of Army Dress Regulations!

Finally, of course, thank you to our Honorary Colonel, HRH The Earl of Wessex, for making the journey to come and present us with the spiritual heart of our Regiment.

Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.


The Guidon Parade of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry.

Check out the full set of images from the weekend or the website of the RWxY: