Three weeks ago soldiers from The Queen's Royal Hussars (The Queen's Own and Royal Irish) were on parade to say goodbye to their hosts and friends after 21 years of being based in Sennelager, Germany and tonight many of those same soldiers from the Regiment were again on parade.
However, this was a parade with a difference as the soldiers formed up to welcome colleagues who were completing Exercise Iron Hussar, a 10-day triathlon that began from their old home in Athlone Barracks and was finishing in their new barracks in Tidworth Garrison.
The idea for the exercise was to mark the Regiment’s rebasing to the UK and saw the soldiers, some of whom had taken part in every leg, cycle 600 miles.
They followed in reverse the route that their forebears in the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars took following the Normandy landings in World War II, a sailing across the channel from Caen to Gosport.
The challenge concluded with them running a distance of almost 60 miles over two days, from the coast to their new Regimental Headquarters; in some of the hottest conditions seen across Europe and the UK in recent years.
having the opportunity to sail across the channel while really challenging was probably the stand out highlight and a personal achievement for me LCpl Harry Cracknell
Speaking at the end of the fantastic feat of endurance and endeavour Lance Corporal Harry Cracknell, who completed every element of the exercise, remarked: “The whole trip has been full of highlights from cycling through Europe, stopping at the historic sites at Pegasus Bridge and at Sword Beach but having the opportunity to sail across the channel while really challenging was probably the stand out highlight and a personal achievement for me.”
Talking of the Regiment's time in Germany Harry added: “We all loved being Germany but we’re happy to be here in Tidworth and looking forward to settling into Wiltshire and working with our colleagues from The Royal Tank Regiment and The King’s Royal Hussars.”
The evening concluded with the raising of the Regimental flag against the backdrop of their recently constructed Regimental Headquarters and the iconic Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank their main armoured equipment platform.