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1st Bn Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment

(Berkshire and Wiltshire)


In February 1984 the Battalion was selected, for the first time since its formation, to send a Company to London in October  for three weeks. This prestigious ceremonial commitment involved providing the Queens guard at Buckingham Palace, St James Palace, and the Tower of London guard.



(Click to enlarge)

Corporal of the guard reads his orders to the sentries The 'relieved' detachment march back to barracks from Buckingham Palace

Cpl Goddard 1 DERR

Sentry duty

Cpl Goddard at St James Palace A lonely sentry

The drums head the 'Farmersboys' back up the Mall The Escort to the Colour

C/Sgts Dobie & North

Cpl McIntyre leads the guard

Sgt Graham Giddy and C/Sgt North on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace Cpl Alan McIntyre (Right) heads a guards detachment (Which I am sure they were well impressed with !!)

Escort to the Colour

Lt Smith & Cpl McIntyre

The Colour Party prepare to go on parade L to R) Cpl A McIntyre, Lt Smith. Lt Smith with the Regimental Colour guarded it seems by Cpl A McIntyre who appears to be attracted to the lens

1 DERR Leave Buckingham Palace

Lt Peter Dennis on the forecourt

1 DERR march from the Palace, front left Cpl Alan McIntyre, who after this vowed never to drill again 2nd Lt Peter Dennis shoulders the Battalions Queens Colour, alongside the Colour of the 1st Bn Scots Guards.


Several members of the Battalion were interviewed by a reporter from the Soldier Magazine with the following quotes


Lieutenant Colonel Bill Mackereth (Commanding Officer)
"This was the first time that the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment had been granted this enormous privilege, the Battalion came into being in 1959 as a result of the merger of the Royal Berkshire Regiment and the Wiltshire Regiment, Research had shown that neither of those Regiments had ever done this duty before. Our Colonel in Chief Prince Phillip, came up and presented us with new colours in June, for which we had a three week intensive period of drill, so we weren't totally out of training, however we have been extremely busy during these past months. We've spent six weeks in Canada, we spent a week on a KAPE tour of Berkshire and Wiltshire, some of us went to Germany umpiring Exercise Lionheart, and we've been preparing to go to Cyprus. When I was asked back in February whether the Battalion was prepared to take on the job, I relied "Yes absolutely delighted"

"I was slightly nervous on the one occasion I acted as Captain of the Guard, but immensely relieved when we marched off, a great feeling of pride too, marching behind ones own regimental bands superb music"


Major Anthony Lake (OC A Company 1 DERR)
"I was extremely nervous, it is probably the most nerve racking thng I have done in my Military career. And it wasn't the first time we did it, it was the second time as well"

"Under normal circumstances the battalion did very little drill. Even in recruit training, drill had been cut right down in favour of more tactical work. In fact to prepare for their current assignment a fair amount of new drill had to be learned, particularly the slow march."

In the last Week

"We have all enjoyed it, I think it is wearing a bit thin now and we are quite pleased we are not guardsmen, but, by Jove, there aren't too many people who haven't been pleased to be up here"


Captain John Rylands (2i/c A Company 1 DERR)
"I could never be an actor, if that's what its like" Captain RYLANDS frankly admitting some mistakes "But I am not going to tell you what they were, its to embarrassing" Though he did say one one occasion he had given the wrong order "But the Soldiers were in fact so well trained that they did the right thing almost regardless of what they were told, as long as someone was making the right sort of noise at the right time"


Colour Sergeant Toby North
"I think its brilliant, having people watching you, its a bit like being a celebrity. Its been a good, a very good experience, but I'll be glad to get back to prepare for Cyprus."


Corporal Alan McIntyre
"Its alright, but it gets a bit repetitive, If you like drill, fine join the guards, but I don't like drill, I'm more of your field soldier type, I prefer field work rather than barrack work, but I think the sentries at St James seemed to have enjoyed themselves, there were stories of  phone numbers slipped into their pockets in the dead of night, whether they had been able to do anything about them was another matter, there hadn't been too much free time during their stay in London"


Private Lawson Smith
"People come right up next to you, sometimes they speak to you, generally just say hello how are you and all that. The Policemen are quite nice, they come along and tell you how long you've got to do, it was always a one way conversation because sentries of course are not allowed to reply


Private John Gilbert
"A nice change from the usual soldiering, its a novelty at first, quite good fun. Something you'd like to do once, but not again.
                             Copyright 2000 All rights reserved.
                            Revised: 19 July 2006.