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Home   Canterbury   News   Article

The Queen to visit Howe Barracks in Canterbury for final farewell of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders

14 June 2013
by KentOnline reporter

The Queen visits Margate's Turner Contemporary in November 2011

The Queen visits Margate's Turner Contemporary in November 2011

The Queen is to visit Howe Barracks in Canterbury for a final parade of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, it has been announced today.

Her Majesty will witness the ceremony by the 5th Battalion the Royal regiment of Scotland (5SCOTS) on Friday, June 28.

Under Army restructuring, 5 SCOTS has been reduced to a single company and the battalion is leaving the city, which has been its home for the past 10 years.

The battalion is expected to get a rousing send-off when the soldiers march through Canterbury - exercising its Freedom of Canterbury for one last time - on Tuesday, June 25.

It will conduct a final parade in front of the Colonel-in-Chief - Her Majesty The Queen - along with members of the wider Argyll/SCOTS family.

Civic guests, members of the Regimental Association and families of serving soldiers will also attend.

Argylls as they return to Howe Barracks, Canterbury after serving in Afghanistan

Argylls as they return to Howe Barracks, Canterbury after serving in Afghanistan

5 SCOTS is an air assault infantry battalion and has a distinguished history dating back to 1794. 

The battalion's forbears were dubbed the Thin Red Line at Balaklava during the Crimean War and won six Victoria Crosses in one day at Lucknow during the Indian Mutiny.

In the last decade, they have been deployed to Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The battalion is to be reduced to a single Public Duties Incremental Company to be known as Balaklava Company - a nod to its Crimean War record.

Soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on parade at Howe Barracks before receiving their Afghanistan service medals in 2011

Soldiers from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders on parade at Howe Barracks before receiving their Afghanistan service medals in 2011

The parade through Canterbury on Tuesday, June 25 will start at Canterbury West station at 10.40am with bayonets fixed, swords drawn and colours flying to the sound of the Battalion pipes and drums and accompanied by the Regimental Mascot Cruachan IV, which is a Shetland pony.

It will proceed to Canterbury Cathedral, where a farewell service will take place.

The parade route includes Station Road West, St Dunstan's Street, Westgate Towers, High Street, The Parade, Longmarket, Burgate and enters the Cathedral through the main entrance.

Lieutenant Colonel Neil Den-Mckay, commanding officer 5SCOTS, said: "Although it will be a day of mixed emotions, we will march with our heads held high to show our pride at being awarded the honour of the Freedom of the City of Canterbury and our immense gratitude to its people."

The Queen presents medals at Howe Barracks in 2004

The Queen visited Howe Barracks in 2004 to formally express her thanks to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders for services abroad.

In her role as Colonel-in-Chief of the Argylls, the Queen awarded medals to 15 soldiers of the 1st Battalion and the Wilkinson Sword of Peace to the regiment.

The medals were for outstanding operational service in Iraq.

It came after 450 soldiers returned from there after a six-month tour of duty in July that year.

The sword of peace was for peacekeeping work in Belfast in 2002.

Howe Barracks in Canterbury

Howe Barracks in Canterbury

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