Disbandment and merger of battalion with headquarters in Northampton marked with flag-raising ceremony

A flag-raising ceremony was held to mark the union of the 103 and 104 Battalion REME.
A flag-raising ceremony was held to mark the union of the 103 and 104 Battalion REME.

A flag raising ceremony has been held in Northampton to mark the merger of two Army battalions.

A marchpast at the Simpson DACF barracks in Mounts marked the fusion of the 104 Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and 103 Battalion into a single unit.

A ceremony saw a bugle player on the roof of the Simpson barracks in the Mounts.

A ceremony saw a bugle player on the roof of the Simpson barracks in the Mounts.

The ceremony saw the lowering of the 104 flag for the final time before raising the 103 Battalion REME flag. It marks the end of 104 using Simpson as their headquarters over the past 24 years.

REME is the Army's professional engineers and exist to "keep the punch in the army's fist" by maintaining helicopters, recovering tanks and repairing the forces' weapons.The Commanding Officer of 103 Battalion REME,

Lieutenant Colonel John Hanson, said: “The parade is an opportunity to celebrate 24 years of 104 Battalion REME. The disbandment of any Regimental Headquarters is always a sad occasion. All the soldiers who have served under 104 Battalion REME have done so with loyalty, dedication and professionalism.

“And although it is an end of an era for the battalion their footprint will endure and become part of 103 Battalion REME. It is an immense privilege to command 103 Battalion and I feel honoured to have the responsibility of being the custodian of the combined histories of the two battalions."

The 104 Battalion REME has had its headquarters at Simpson barracks for 24 years.

The 104 Battalion REME has had its headquarters at Simpson barracks for 24 years.

The merger is part of Army 2020 Refine reorganisation.

Although there will be a change of regimental title REME will continue to live on in Northampton. The 103 Battalion REME HQ has re-located from Crawley, West Sussex to Northampton and the city’s 118 Recovery Company will remain at the Clare Street Army Reserve Centre.

The Force Support Battalion that forms part of 104 Logistic Support Brigade will be in command of around 500 men spread across four companys and five platoons based in the East Midlands and South East.