26th March 1994 saw the celebration of 300 years of service to Monarch, Country and County by The Gloucestershire Regiment. A service of Thanksgiving was held at the Cathedral in Gloucester, followed by a parade in the Docks at which the Colours of the Regiment were marched off parade for the last time. They are now proudly displayed in the Museum.
After this emotional parade, which was witnessed by large crowds, there was a celebratory lunch held at Innsworth. A week earlier, the Regiment held a lunch for over two thousand past and present members of the Glosters at RAF Quedgeley at which the Duke of Gloucester was present. There followed a pageant telling the story of the Regiment from 1694 until 1994.
However, sadness tinged these exuberant celebrations as one month later the Regiment was to be amalgamated with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Royal Regiment to form the Royal Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment.
The Colonel of the Regiment, Major-General Robin Grist said:-
“I am not now going to dwell on what made this Regiment without equal in the British Army over the last three hundred years, since His Royal Highness will talk about this in the Cathedral in a few minutes. However, I do wish to say something about the future. As you will know we are due to amalgamate on the 27th April and today marks the last public appearance of the Glosters. Some may feel angry that this is happening, some may think it unnecessary and some irresponsible, given current events in the world. I would agree with all these sentiments but they are all negative and the Glosters did not win their Battle Honours by approaching adversity in a negative way. We have to be positive about the future, we have to face it with confidence and we are doing just that.”
As a result, the amalgamation was a happy one and the new Battalion went on to serve with distinction around the world.
Picture: Here’s to the Glosters!