Gallery: Veterans out in force to mark Minden Day in Bury St Edmunds
VETERANS from the Suffolk Regiment came together yesterday to mark their annual Minden Day reunion event.
Held on the grounds of West Suffolk College, many were resplendent in military uniform as they mingled with old colleagues, and family and friends.
The programme for the day included a church service, a series of parade ground demonstrations by brass bands and drum corps, and a display of military vehicles.
The highlight of the event was the march past ‘Old Comrades’ involving all of the veterans present who were able to participate.
According to regimental historian Taff Gillingham, Minden Day, which is held on the Sunday nearest August 1, commemorates the Battle of Minden – an encounter that saw the Anglo-German alliance defeat the French army near the Rhine in 1759.
He said: “Every regiment takes a battle name to mark their regimental day. In the case of the Battle of Minden, the old 12th Regiment took part. They are direct descendants of the Suffolk Regiment, which later became part of the Royal Anglian Regiment.”
Mr Gillingham said a legend connected to the battle is that soldiers making their way to fight picked wild roses from the hedgerows and stuck them in their caps. Yesterday, red and yellow roses were being worn as regimental head dress by most of the veterans.
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President of the Suffolk Regiment, Brigadier Tony Calder, added: “Today is a chance for old colleagues to come together and enjoy themselves, and have a glass of beer within the family of the regiment.”