The Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment

(Berkshire & Wiltshire)

The sun had set beyond yon hill, Across the dreary moor, When weary and lame, a boy there came, Up to the farmer's door, "Can you tell me whe'ere I be, And one that will me employ," To plough and sow, to reap and mow, And be a farmer's boy, And be a farmer's boy?

Maiwand Day (27 July)

Although it would be natural to assume a battle celebrated would have been a victorious one, it is not in the case of "Maiwand Day", taken from the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

This was a defeat for the British forces but as you read the story of the battle you will appreciate just why it was decided to honour this day. Maiwand does not appear on the Colours or as a Battle Honour of the Regiment, but the award of "Kandahar 1880", in which the remains of the 66th played a small part, does.

On the anniversary of this battle a Families' Sports Day was normally held, followed by an All Ranks Dance.

Ferozeshah (21 December)

Ferozeshah, taken from battle fought by the 62nd Regiment over 21st and 22nd December 1845, was a victory for the Army, but the loss to the Regiment was great.

A Ceremonial Parade was held annually on which, in appreciation of the services rendered by the sergeants, the Colours were handed over by the Commanding Officer to the custody of the Warrant Officers and Sergeants of the battalion for the remainder of the day. A Sergeants Ball is held in the evening and the Colours handed back to the Officers at midnight.

The composition of the Colour Parties on this day differed from the normal one which is two Subalterns, a Warrant Officer Class II and two Sergeants. The Officers Colour party consists of two Subalterns and three Corporals. The Sergeants' Colour party consists of two Colour Sergeants, a Warrant Officer Class II and two sergeants.

Before the handover of the Colours from the Officers to the Sergeants, the Commanding Officer read out the charge:

"Warrant Officers and Sergeants of the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment. I am about to hand over to your custody for a period, the Colours of the 1st Battalion. This high honour is bestowed on you in commemoration of the gallant services rendered by your predecessors at the battle of Ferozeshah, the anniversary of which we celebrate today. Safeguard and honour these Colours as your Officers have ever done and let the fact that our Colours are entrusted to your keeping be not only a reminder of past services but also a visible expression of the confidence and trust which to-day your Officers just place in you.

Hand over the Colours".

Another unique custom on this parade was that the Regimental Sergeant Major alone commanded the Escort to the Colours, which was usually the Champion Drill Company.

 

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