Soldiers and officers from The Royal Wessex Yeomanry took part in a parade on the Bathurst Estate in Cirencester on Saturday.
Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex, presented Platinum Jubilee medals to the officers and soldiers of what is the country’s only armoured reserve regiment.
The special commemorative medal is being awarded to armed forces personnel – as well as members of the police, fire, emergency and prison services – as a token of the nation’s thanks.
This is the fourth jubilee medal created for the Monarch and bears the Latin inscription ‘Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina Fid Def’ which means ‘for Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith’.
The parade also officially marked the Regiment’s 50th anniversary, a milestone reached in 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Charles (Jules) Speers said: “It is an honour and privilege to welcome His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry and to present our soldiers with their Jubilee medals.
“Their commitment as Reserve soldiers is impressive and this parade celebrates the achievements and dedication of our serving soldiers and veterans. We are proud to have our Royal Colonel here supporting us, as he continually does.”
The Regiment gave a royal salute to His Royal Highness before concluding the parade with their regimental quick march God Bless The Prince of Wales played by the band of The Honourable Artillery Company.
Corporal Michael Farley of C Squadron based in Cirencester, has just returned from a six-month deployment with the Royal Tank Regiment and received his Volunteer Reserves Service Medal.
“As part of our commitment to the Reserves we look to deploy every five to six years and the opportunity to live the life of a regular soldier was presented to me.
“We did a lot of pre-deployment training so were well prepared when we got there.”
Michael, a heavy goods vehicle driver by day and a tank commander in the Reserves, is no stranger to parading in front of his Royal Colonel.
“I have paraded for His Royal Highness four times now, he is so down to earth and remembers faces, where they are from and what they do.”