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Bad Ischl 22-24 June 2014

The Band of the Royal Armoured Corps recently completed a tour of Austria, Germany and Holland. The first engagement of our month abroad was a parade in the Austrian town of Bad Ischl as part of their commemorations for the centenary of the First World War.

The parade through the town was led by soldiers from the Queen’s Dragoon Guards, reflecting the historical links between the town of Bad Ischl and the regiment. In 1896, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria was appointed Colonel-in-Chief of the 1st King’s Dragoon Guards, the forbears of the Queen’s Dragoon Guards and allowed the regiment to wear the Austrian imperial coat of arms, which is still used as the regiment's cap badge today. The regiment also adopted an Austrian military march, Radetzky March, as quick march, which the band performed various times during the visit.

The band’s first engagement was a platz concert for the local residents in the beautiful grounds of the town hall. In the midday sun, a large crowd gathered to enjoy to the music in the idyllic setting.  Following the performance, members of the band were interviewed by an Austrian television network that was providing coverage of the event.

A few hours later we took to the streets of Bad Ischl for the parade. As we marched the regiment around the town, we were ably assisted by the Military Band of Northern Austria. We arrived at Franz Josef’s summer residence. This was the place where the declaration of war was signed, a key catalyst that led to the conflict that would be known as the First World War. The Regimental Colonel, Lieutenant General Sir Simon Mayall was on hand to inspect the troops alongside a descendent of Franz Josef, Archduke Marcus Hapsburg. 

Following this, the Band entertained the crowd and soldiers with a Beating Retreat before the remembrance celebrations for the centenary of the First World War began in the town centre.

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