Units celebrate St Patrick’s Day

The arrival of fresh shamrock marked the start of St Patrick’s Day celebrations for units with Irish heritage serving across the British Army. The traditional young sprigs honouring the patron saint, St Patrick, were distributed to units marking the special day.

Soldiers of C Squadron, Royal Dragoon Guards took a break from their training in Catterick this morning as they tucked a bunch of shamrock into their uniforms. The soldiers are currently deployed on Exercise Painted Dragoon carrying out training to operate in built-up areas.

There was no traditional parade for the Irish Guards in London today as the unit is currently deployed overseas in Iraq and South Sudan.

When the Irish Guards are serving overseas, a combined St. Patrick's Day and Memorial service takes place for the Irish Guards rear party and Irish Guards Association members at Wellington Barracks. This took place on Sunday (15) and this year for the first time they were joined by their reserve battalion The London Regiment.

Soldiers young and old United for a service in the gym which included prayers for servicemen and women currently deployed on operations overseas and for the family and friends of Army medic Brodie Gillon who was killed in a missile attack on the US and Irish Guards Battlegroup in Iraq last week.

The Shamrock was distributed to all soldiers and veterans by the wife of the Chief of the General Staff, Lady Carlton-Smith. Then the Band of the Irish Guards led the troops with Irish Airs and marches as they paraded through Westminster to the Guards Memorial at Horse Guards Parade.

The traditional parade of the Royal Irish was cancelled due to a scaling back of events across the country.