Coronation cadets reunited 60 years on

Former cadets Robert Kerr and Alex Robertson travelled together to London to be part of the Queens coronation ceremony and are reunited after 60years
Former cadets Robert Kerr and Alex Robertson travelled together to London to be part of the Queens coronation ceremony and are reunited after 60years

In the week that the Queen celebrates her Coronation Diamond Jubilee two men have fond memories of representing Berwickshire at the royal occasion 60 years ago.

Alex Robertson and Robert Kerr were just 15 and 18 when they were asked to represent Chirnside and Ayton cadets in London in June 1953.

Robert Kerr in his Cadets uniform

Robert Kerr in his Cadets uniform

They were the only two selected to go down from Berwickshire and six decades on they are still as proud as ever to have flown the flag for the area.

Staggeringly, despite living just a short car journey away from each other, until this week the pair hadn’t seen each other since stepping off the train back in Berwick when they returned from the coronation.

“I can’t believe 60 years has passed,” Robert commented.

“I still remember it so well; it’s something that will stay with me forever.”

Alex Robertson in his cadet uniform

Alex Robertson in his cadet uniform

“You definitely felt you were part of something special,” Alex added.

“My family all thought it was great.”

Although the events of June 2 1953 were very much a joyous occasion, the weather on the day was anything but.

“It absolutely poured down,” Alex recalled.

“There was no let up all day; we were on parade for 12 hours so by the end we were absolutely soaked and all we had to eat was an apple and a soggy cheese sandwich.”

Fortunately for Alex and Robert and the other 100 or so cadets who joined them from across the UK, they were in a prime position to catch a glimpse of the action.

The weather might have been miserable but their spot, right in front of the gates of Buckingham Palace, meant that they were able to keep their spirits high.

“We didn’t actually get to speak to the Queen but we saw her and every other carriage that left the palace that day,” Robert continued.

“And we had a great position for when the Royals all came out onto the balcony.”

“Coming home after being in London for a few days felt very strange,” Alex explained.

“It took us eight hours to get down from Berwick by train and stepping off the train at King’s Cross it felt like a different world.”

Reminiscing about their coronation experience brought back the bond that Alex and Robert formed 60 years ago and they said they‘d definitely stay in touch this time round.

“I speak to Robert’s brother quite a bit but I haven’t laid eyes on Robert since we got back from London,” Alex added.

“We’ll stay in contact from now on though.”