Nearly a thousand ex-servicemen and friends of the King’s Own Scottish Borderers gathered in Berwick to celebrate Minden Day and bid farewell to the KOSB’s colours.
Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, Patron of the KOSB Association, took the final salute under the colours before they were ‘laid up’.
Arriving early on Thursday morning, a 300-strong crowd in specially constructed stands on the barracks parade ground were entertained by the traditional dancing of Nancy Steele’s dancers. Nancy, who works in the barracks museum and has connections to the KOSB through her father, put her young charges through three choreographed pieces. They ended their performance with the Borderers’ adopted anthem, ‘Blue Bonnets Over the Border’.
Princess Anne arrived by helicopter, landing on Berwick golf course, before driving the short distance to the barracks entrance.
Her Royal Highness took her seat in front of a specially erected stand, while Captain Edward Swales, secretary of the KOSB Association, gave the Minden Address, retelling the story of the battle in 1759 where the tradition began.
In her speech, Princess Anne paid tribute to the men of the KOSB who had given so much in the name of duty over more than 300 years.
She also made a special point of recognising the rivalry between “the Fusiliers and the Borderers, who for so many years had been coming here, to the Tweed, mainly to shout at each other.”
Her Royal Highness then took part in the giving out of red roses to the veterans gathered on the parade ground.
The crowd and the veterans then stood for the Regimental Collect: “O Lord, without whom our labour is but lost and all our watching is in vain, grant that the King’s Own Scottish Borderers may ever trust in Thy true religion and endure hardness as good soldiers of Him who bore the cross, our Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.”
Those gathered then marched from the barracks to the town hall, where Princess Anne took their salute.
The parade was led by two jeeps as well as the motorcycles of the Scottish branch of the Royal British Legion Riders.
The colours were then piped into their final laying-up place in the barracks museum to the tune of ‘Auld Lang Syne’.