During a brisk wind swept evening on Saturday 7th September, situated within the prestigious grounds of Dover Castle in Kent, serving personnel from 3rd Battalion the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, based in Canterbury in Kent, held a very unique military ceremony to mark the re-subordination of the Battalion from 7 Brigade to 11 Infantry Brigade.
Many will refer to the impressive ceremony as the ‘Beating Retreat’. It is a spectacular evening pageant of music and military precision drill. Military Beating Retreat concerts have a long tradition dating back to the 1690s. Originally the beating of the drum was used to order troops to break off fighting and withdraw to the safety of camp as darkness fell, later it signalled the closing of the camp gates at the end of the day and called troops back to base for the night.
Today a Beating Retreat is a military concert with a marching display and usually marks the lowering of the Regimental flag at sunset.
Performing on this special occasion could only naturally be assumed to the Regiments own band, The Band of The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. Accompanying them was a lone Violinist, who bought something very unique and a little different to the party.
Attending the event were members of the battalion, families and friends and senior guests including Brigadier Thomas H. Bewick OBE who is Commander 7th Infantry Brigade, Mr Richard Oldfield Esq DL who is Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent, The Very Revered Jo Kelly-Moore who is Archdeacon of Canterbury and Councillor Terry Westgate who is the Lord Mayor of Canterbury.
Taking the salute on the dais during the national anthem was the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent, 3rd Battalion the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Brennan Dwyer and Brigadier Thomas H. Bewick.
As well as the band performance, a dinner reception was held along with a few well-earned medals presentations, which were awarded to soldiers from the Battalion who had recently completed an Operational Tour to Kabul. The honour of presenting the soldiers with their medals was given to the Vice Lord Lieutenant of Kent.
The medals in question were delightfully presented to Sergeant Twynam and Lance Corporal Harris who were both deployed with 1 R ANGLIAN on Operation TORAL 7 to Afghanistan.