OLD friends and new recruits were brought together on Sunday for a show of Suffolk military pride.
Former comrades from the Suffolk and Royal Anglian Regiments were reunited on a sweltering afternoon for Minden Day celebrations at the Gibraltar Barracks in Bury St Edmunds.
Timed to mark the August 1 anniversary of the Battle of Minden, which took place in 1759, the day saw veterans led in parade by The Minden Band.
Colonel Tony Slater, a veteran of the Royal Anglian Regiment and organiser, said the day brought together a wide span of generations who had served the local regiments.
“This is the moment when everybody gets together, meets up with old friends and it’s a true reunion.
“Anyone who joins these regiments becomes part of a family for life and it’s a family which is part of Suffolk,” he said.
Major Stan Bullock, 75, a former Royal Anglian and chairman of the Minden Committee, led the men on parade for the last time after 25 years in the position.
He said: “I’m feeling very sad to know it’s the last time I’ll be here but it’s time to hand over the reins. It’s hard to describe how proud I am to see them all here.”
Following the main parade, several hundred onlookers were treated to a series of performances from bands including the City of Ely Military Band, the Southwold and Reydon Corps of Drums and the 1st Battalion Corps of Drums.
Tim Davies, 71, served in the Suffolk Regiment for 26 years, finishing up at the rank of sergeant major.
He said: “The whole point of the day is so that everyone gets a chance to come together at least once a year
“Everyone regiment has an event like this and Minden Day is important to us.”
Prior to the musical entertainment, a drumhead church service was held to dedicate the Royal Anglian Roll of Honour, a book containing the names of all those lost in service.
A number of stalls and a recruitment information centre were also on hand to tempt anyone inspired on the day.
Martin Bell, the ex-journalist who completed his National Service with the Suffolk Regiment was present to join in the celebrations.