Beating retreat at Colchester Castle

VIPs and guests from proudly assembled to observe an age old military ceremony.Dignitaries gathered to watch the Royal Logistic Corps' Silver Stars perform a freefall parachute display and listen to the Band of the Light Dragoons as dusk fell over Colchester Castle Park as part of "Beating retreat.

VIPs and guests from proudly assembled to observe an age old military ceremony.

Dignitaries gathered to watch the Royal Logistic Corps' Silver Stars perform a freefall parachute display and listen to the Band of the Light Dragoons as dusk fell over Colchester Castle Park as part of "Beating retreat."

The event followed a cocktail party in the castle itself which was hosted by 13 Air Assault Regiment Royal Logistic Corps.

The ceremony of Beating Retreat has its roots in early warfare when drums were used for all signals on the battlefield.


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Beating Retreat was a 16th century signal for troops to disengage from combat as light faded.

Later pipes and bugles were added to play tunes alongside the drums.

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Yesterday's musical event was preceded by the launch of the Colchester Military Festival which takes place on July 10.

Colchester Mayor Chris Hall bought the first ticket to the event from former MP and BBC journalist Martin Bell, who is patron of the festival.

The festival replaces Garrison Country day - the Garrison's traditional military and country pursuits celebration - which was held annually on Fingringhoe Ranges in Colchester over the past 18 years.

The festival, on Abbey Fields, is set to be the biggest military event in the East of England this year and all proceeds go to the Army Benevolent Fund, the mayor's Charitable fund and the Garrison Welfare Fund.

Tickets cost £5 for adults, £3 for children and £15 for a family of two adults and three children.

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