Two veterans from the Falklands conflict in 1982 have carried a rugged wooden cross to its new home in Windsor, as part of the Welsh Guards’ commemorations of St David’s Day.
Brigadier Johnny Rickett and Captain Jim Everett took the cross, which had been made by survivors of HMS Sir Galahad, into the the newly named Household Division Chapel, in Holy Trinity Church.
The cross had been originally placed on a cairn above Bluff Cove until the end of the conflict and then brought back by the Welsh Guards to their chapel in Pirbight, Surrey. Last year, the Welsh Guards relocated to Combermere Barracks in Windsor, to play their part in the Army’s role of protecting the nation.
Elements of the Welsh Guards are currently in training in Belize. The regiment has returned from operational duties in Afghanistan and - more recently - D-Day commemorations and the Falkland Islands.
St David’s Day ... represents the central attribute of our ethos and fighting spirit: our Welshness. Lt Col Henry Llewellyn-Usher
As part of the marking of St David’s Day, which is also the anniversary of the date the Welsh Guards were formed in 1915, every officer and soldier was presented with a leek.
The tradition of wearing a leek dates back to the seventh century when King Cadwaladr is said to have ordered his soldiers to identify themselves on the battlefield with leeks in their helmets. The symbol of the leek now appears on the Welsh Guards’ buttons, tunic collars and cap badges - and their bearskins carry a leek-like plume.
Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Henry Llewellyn-Usher said, “St David’s Day is of the greatest importance to the Welsh Guards and represents the central attribute of our ethos and fighting spirit: our Welshness.
“This year is of particular significance as we re-dedicate our commemorative cross from the 1982 Falkland Islands conflict in Holy Trinity garrison church.
“We are grateful for all the support we receive from the local community.
“Cymru am Byth!” [Wales for ever!]