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Minden Day as soldiers past and present remember courage of their comrades

Mark Westley Photography
Minden Day celebrations at Gibraltar Barracks in Bury St Edmunds. ANL-140308-202358009

Mark Westley Photography Minden Day celebrations at Gibraltar Barracks in Bury St Edmunds. ANL-140308-202358009

A celebration of the relationship between the Old Comrades of the Suffolk Regiment and the 21st century soldiers of the Royal Anglian Regiment took place to mark the Battle of Minden 255 years ago.

Minden Day sees young and old come together to mark the gallantry of the English foot soldiers who faced the onslaught of four horseback charges by the French at Minden in Germany in 1759.

Legend has it that as the soldiers advanced to the battlefield they plucked roses from the gardens they passed through and stuck them in their coats. In memory of this, each of the Minden regiments marks 1 August as Minden Day and wear roses in their caps.

On Sunday around 1,200 people were at the Minden Day celebrations in Bury St Edmunds and while marking the relationship between historic and present day bravery also reflected on the start of World War One 100 years ago almost to the day.

Gibraltar Barracks is home to the Suffolk Regiment Museum and the Royal Anglians and on Sunday nearly 300 people visited the museum.

The service was conducted by the Rev Kenneth Reeve, regimental padre, and the salute was taken by Brigadier Tony Calder accompanied by the Mayor of St Edmundsbury Cllr Robert Everitt.

Music was provided by bands from Ely and Reydon as well as band members of the Prince Of Wales Own. There were also a selection of military vehicles on show.

Tim Davies, a former warrant officer with the Suffolks who saw service in Northern Ireland, Cyprus and Aden, said: “We’re all part of the family persona of the Royal Anglians, there are the wives and families and also the old soldiers.”

*The British regiments which fought at Minden were the Royal Artillery, 12th of Foot (Suffolk Regiment), now part of The Royal Anglian Regiment, 20th Foot (Lancashire Fusiliers), now part of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, 23rd Foot (Royal Welch Fusiliers), now the 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh (Royal Welch Fusiliers), 25th Foot (King’s Own Scottish Borderers), now The Royal Scots Borderers (1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland), 37th Foot (Royal Hampshire Regiment), now part of the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, 51st Foot (King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry), now part of The Rifles. The descendents of these units are still known as the Minden Regiments.

 

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