Soldiers will march through Northampton town centre this weekend

Soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment will march through the town this weekend to lay their regimental colour to rest.

Friday, 29th July 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Friday, 29th July 2016, 11:19 am
Soldiers of the Poachers (more formally known as C Company, 2nd Battalion the Royal Anglians) in Afghanisatan in May 2014. Photo by Corporal Daniel Wiepen.

Some 100 soldiers from the Battalion’s C (Northamptonshire and Rutland) Company will parade from Angel Street to All Saints Church at 12.45pm on Saturday before attending a thanksgiving service at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Sheep Street.

The service will centre on the laying up - or laying to rest- of the regimental Colour, a ceremony steeped in symbolism for every British Army regiment.

Major Ben Hawes, officer commanding, said: “The Colours are the outward sign of the inward strength of the regiment.

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“Although it is no longer carried on the battlefield it goes wherever the battalion is deployed.

“It embodies our history and represents our hardships, our efforts and everything we stand for.

“Laying the Colour to rest will be a proud moment for all involved.”

Accompanied by the Band of the Irish Guards, the soldiers will march along Angel Street and Guildhall Street into St Giles Square and continue along George Row.

They will halt at All Saints’ Church, where they will be inspected by the Mayor of Northampton Christopher Malpas.

Following the inspection, the parade will continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the service and the laying to rest of the colour.

The Colour is hugely important to any Army unit as it represents the spirit of the regiment.

Colours were originally carried into battle so that soldiers of a particular regiment could see where the rest of their unit was located at all times.

They are no longer carried on the battlefield, but are held in the greatest of esteem by soldiers and officers. They are brought out on important parades and regimental occasions, and are escorted by a ‘Colour Party’.

When new Colours are presented, the old ones are not destroyed but ‘laid up’ in a regimental museum, church, or other military building with significance to the particular unit.

The Holy Sepulchre is the Armed Forces Church for Northamptonshire.