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Duke of York's Military School Grand Day 2018 in Dover despite heatwave

By Sam Lennon

More than 500 students in full ceremonial uniform coped with blistering heat to parade for their school's Grand Day.

The youngsters from the Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover were inspected by guest of honour Reviewing Officer, Air Marshall Christopher Nickols CBE at the annual event on Friday July 6.

This was followed by Trooping the Colour led by the Dover school’s military band.

Beat defies the heat. The drummers kept going in the hot weather.
Beat defies the heat. The drummers kept going in the hot weather.

All this was all done despite the current stifling heatwave, the longest in five years with temperatures consistently reaching the low 30s in celsius.

About 3,000 parents and guests attended Grand Day which included prize giving followed by the parade.

Many of the pupils aged 11 to 18 have family in the armed forces and, as a personal touch, wear the cap badge of their parents’ or family member’s Service, Corps or Regiment over their hearts.

During the event, the blue sky above the school’s 150-acre countryside site was the background for a Spitfire fly-past and jumps by the Royal Logistic Corps Parachute Display Team.

The yellowing grass illustrated the hot, dry weather, but the students kept their composure. Picture courtesy of Duke of York's Royal Military School.
The yellowing grass illustrated the hot, dry weather, but the students kept their composure. Picture courtesy of Duke of York's Royal Military School.

There was also a range of vintage military transport on display such as jeeps, tanks, and aircraft.

Alex Foreman, the school’s Principal, said: “Grand Day is the most celebrated event in our school calendar as it combines the high achievements of our prize winners as well as the Trooping of Colours – a ceremonial parade by the whole school which is practiced all year and symbolises our military heritage and ethos.”

The school, founded in 1803, is the only one in England and Wales to enjoy the Royal privilege of holding colours (granted in 1824 by King George IV) and marching the colours through the ranks; this only happens in infantry regiments.

Many of the pupils, aged 11 to 18, have family in the armed forces and, as a personal touch, wear the cap badge of their parents’ or family member’s Service, Corps or Regiment over their hearts.

For more pictures see this week's Dover Mercury, out on Wednesday.

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