Somme parade in Coldstream

Coldstream Guards Association service in Henderson Park
Coldstream Guards Association service in Henderson Park

Coldstream Guards Association was formed in 1913, a year before the outbreak of World War 1, to organise memorial parades and social events.

They continue to do so and the association is holding a special memorial service and parade in Coldstream on Saturday, August 6, to commemorate the Battle of the Somme during World War 1.

The memorial service will be held in Coldstream’s Henderson Park, at 11.45am. After the service they will march along the High Street, Duke Street and back up onto the High Street, passing the war memorial where the Rt Hon Marquess of Donegal, president of Coldstream Guards Association Coldstream Branch, will take the salute.

“The remembrance of our fallen is paramount,” said a spokesperson for the Coldstream Guards Association.

“From the early years ex-members and serving members of the regiment come back to Coldstream in their civic week, to meet up with old and new comrades, and other people of Coldstream. We also remember those who gave their all for this country by holding our own memorial parade. This year we remember those who fell during the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Three Coldstream Guards battalions deployed to France, seeing action at Mons, The Marne and the Aisne before being committed to the defence of Ypres where the 1st Battalion almost ceased to exist at the Battle of Gheluvelt.

The regiment maintained four battalions on active service on the western front during the war, fighting in many battles including Loos in 1915.

At the Somme the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions attacked in line together, the only time in their history that the battlions were in battle side by side. The regiment suffered 14,137 casualties - 180 officers and 3,860 other ranks. Seven Victoria Crosses were won and 36 battle honours awarded.

The Coldstream Guards are proud of the connection with the people of Coldstream and members of the association meet up for the town’s Civic Week celebrations, holding a commemoration service on the Saturday morning. In 2010, on their return from a tour Afghanistan, the Coldstream Guards exercised their right to march through the town, then after a service in Henderson Park stones bearing the names of each of the soldiers who died on the tour were placed in the River Tweed at the point where General Monck crossed the river with his troops.