The RIFLES have a long history with The Duke of Edinburgh. He was their Colonel in Chief from their formation in 2007 until his retirement in 2020. As part of his Funeral, taking place in Windsor on Saturday, 14 personnel from 3 RIFLES will form an element of the Guard of Honour, led by Lieutenant O’Brien.
Unsurprisingly, there is a significant amount of preparation and practice going into ensuring that everything goes off well on the day. The Officers and Soldiers from 3 RIFLES have been working flat out to make sure that The Duke is honoured properly.
Serjeant Carter, a Rifleman who has been preparing for the Funeral, said, “the Funeral is really important to all Riflemen as The Duke of Edinburgh gave a lot to us, routinely visiting Battalions before and after operational deployments, he genuinely cared and we could see that he enjoyed time with the Riflemen. We are honoured to have been chosen to represent the Rifles at the funeral and hope to do him proud.”
“Drill is not something we as Riflemen do often or are known for, but the guys are professional and of course do everything 100%, they have been doing a great job during the preparations and improving with each rehearsal, putting maximum effort in.”
He genuinely cared and we could see that he enjoyed time with the Riflemen. We are honoured to have been chosen to represent the Rifles at the funeral and hope to do him proud. Sjt Carter
The RIFLES recruits from across the United Kingdom but many of the soldiers come from the North East of England. However, with 3 RIFLES being based in Edinburgh, there are a significant number of soldiers from Scotland. Lance Corporal Mann, one of these Scottish members of 3 RIFLES said, “the Duke of Edinburgh was a Rifleman and he is part of our history and we take great pride in forming the Guard of Honour for The Duke of Edinburgh, who is not only a member of The Royal Family, but who was also our Colonel in Chief for many years”.
For many of the soldiers, The Duke of Edinburgh has been influential on their lives. Rifleman Yare says, “when I joined the army as a 16-year-old attending Harrogate (Army Foundation College), I was given the opportunity to take part in, and attempt to gain, The Duke of Edinburgh award. It completely pushed me out of my comfort zone. Where I come from you don’t really get many opportunities which allow you to take part in sports and activities and by doing the award while I was at Harrogate it really gave me the independence and in a way some freedom away from the army which could benefit me in the long term”.
“The Duke of Edinburgh's Award is made up of four different sections and one of them is to learn a physical skill, which in my case was football. I’ve always enjoyed it and it just gave me something to look forward to on a Wednesday evening, with all of the skills I had acquired it’s helped me with my career and confidence within The Rifles.”
“It's a great honour to be part of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Funeral and in a small way he has had an impact on me through the award I took part in and I feel that this is my opportunity to show him my gratitude and respect”.