max temp: 15°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery: Wickham Market’s junior cavalry sounds last post after proud pageant

14:00 24 April 2014

Members of the Suffolk Junior Cavalry get ready for their final parade

Members of the Suffolk Junior Cavalry get ready for their final parade

A troop of young riders are offering a solemn salute to a tradition that has lasted almost a quarter of a century.

Members of the Suffolk Junior Cavalry get ready for their final parade Members of the Suffolk Junior Cavalry get ready for their final parade

The Suffolk Junior Cavalry will parade for the final time next month, when it stands down as a result of depleting membership.

The cavalry first paraded at Valley Farm Riding Centre, in Wickham Market, in June 1990. Known then as the Valley Farm Mounted Troop, the unit was made up of four young riders, including current equitation instructor Amanda Melton.

Following success at charity fetes and garden parties, and with an increasing membership, the troop adopted a scarlet uniform and other military accoutrements. Former Household Cavalry member Colin Trench spent six years instructing the unit from 1996, leading to displays at the Eye Show, Heveningham Hall and Newmarket Carnival, before his death just two months before the unit’s second Eye Show.

By July 2008, the unit was known as the Suffolk Junior Cavalry, and became affiliated with the Royal British Legion (RBL) through its Wickham Market branch, for which junior officer Bettina Goode became standard bearer.

In recent years, membership has depleted, with four of the last six remaining members moving on this summer to further education or jobs.

Founder, David Foster, said: “Despite continued recruitment campaigns, we have failed to obtain the sufficient new members required to continue the operation of the unit. Therefore the decision was taken to ‘stand down’ the unit. The unit may recommence at a later date if sufficient new members wish to join.”

Over the years, the cavalry has carried out dismounted duties at various events, included parading at the Suffolk Show and marching on Anzac Day celebrations. Each year it marks Remembrance Sunday with sidesman duties during church services and the laying of wreaths at the cenotaph in Wickham Market.

Juniors have learned ceremonial sword drill and worked through different levels of ‘trade awards’ in riding and horse care. Senior riders, Jessica Green and Anya Tobin, have both completed the British Horse Society Stage 1 riding qualification.

On Sunday, May 11, the cavalry will parade for the final time at Valley Farm. Former members, parents, friends and RBL members of are invited to attend. 
Call 01473 718419 or visit suffolk-junior-cavalry.org

The area in Clarkson Street where two gangs fought on September 23

An Ipswich mother-of-two has told of how she was left terrified after getting caught up in the middle of fighting between groups of young men wielding bricks, lumps of wood and an axe.

David Acton, Hannah Hutch and Patti Love in Jane Wenham-The Witch of Walkern, which is touring Suffolk and Essex

A leading Suffolk private school has cancelled a play by an Oscar-winning and National Theatre-sponsored playwright because of fears about bad language and its subject matter which covers child abuse.

Sharon Halls and Daniel Compton's baby, Evie

The mother of a premature baby born 12 weeks early in the Dominican Republic has said they are not expecting to travel home before December.

Talented golfer William Turner, 18,  from Shoeburyness

A teenager who has been sentenced for causing the death of his best-friend will live with his actions “forever”.

Burst water main at Southway, Colchester, October 5. Picture: Jeremy Warren

A burst water main is causing gridlock in central Colchester.

Volunteers and members of the Synergy Cafe in Hadleigh. Holding the cheque are, from left, Suffolk County councillor Sarah Stamp, Andrea Pittock from Suffolk Community Foundation and Richard Whiting, mayor of Hadleigh

Cafes in Suffolk which support people with dementia and their families have won a £10,000 grant to improve the service.

The crash happened on the A14 westbound between Stowmarket and Woolpit.

Motorists have escaped injury during two crashes on the A14 today.

Police are investigating the robbery.

A man was assaulted and threatened during a robbery in Ipswich on Saturday night.

The scene of a fire at Exning Primary School. Headteacher, James Clark.

Two teenage girls have been charged with arson following a fire at Exning Primary School in September.

Staff at Sainsbury's in Bury take part in a flashmob charity Zumbathon

A Zumba flashmob caught customers at Sainsbury’s in Bury St Edmunds by surprise yesterday.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages