Page 57

Buck’s Fizz and bacon baps with the In-Pensioners

it took only one lick on a hairless head for the ice to break. Well done Fortress. By the end of the visit Lt A C Soames RHG/D had to drag two of the children away from grooming Oxford (much to the Troopers annoyance). Llamrei also had a tender moment with young Joshua on the balcony that has been immortalised in an image that tells the story of the day. After the success of the visit, three more of the children were invited to watch the Colonel’s Review of the Queen’s Birthday Parade, after which they wrote a letter to Her Majesty The Queen thanking her for having them. The Palace replied.

feel they are still living in the bosom of the field army. Therefore, after attending the Royal Hospital beacon lighting for Her Majesty’s 90th Birthday, a visit was arranged with Lt Col (Retd) Andrew Hickling, the Quartermaster, to bring men and horses to Chelsea. After a week of all night horse moves, two early morning rehearsals and the State Opening of Parliament it was with pleasure that both mounted squadrons arrived in front of the chapel at the Royal Hospital early on a Friday morning in time for bacon sandwiches and Buck’s Fizz with the pensioners. This is a link that must be maintained in the future.

Another worthwhile relationship fostered over the last year is that between the Regiment and the Kensington and Chelsea Foundation. This Foundation acts as a conduit for charities working within the RBKC and has a particular interest in helping underprivileged children in the north of the Borough where a large number of immigrant families suffer economic deprivation. Supported by the Foundation, a charity called ‘Summer Sparks’ runs a series of activity packages and cultural programmes for these children during their summer holidays. This summer a visit to the Queen’s Life Guard and Household Cavalry Museum featured on the rotation of programmes available for the children. For the sake of an hour of the Guard Commander’s time a group of children gained a unique experience that will remain with them forever.

Finally, the ceremonial season was brought to a close with the biggest community engagement event of all; the Household Cavalry Open Day. To think that this was once a Families Day would shock anyone that has not been in recent years. The Open Day has grown in

Veterans are another key pillar of the Community Covenant. As such, it has been the intent of the Community Engagement Officer to strengthen ties between the Regiment and the Royal Hospital Chelsea. As the Royal Hospital’s local Regiment it is fitting that we do all we can to ensure the In-Pensioners

such popularity that it sits on a delicate line between Open Day and County Fair. With between 5,000-7,000 patrons attending each year the logistical operation has become a QM department’s masterpiece; one they pulled off with aplomb. From vendors, to recruitment stands, to the smoothly run equitation displays and huge parking and queuing operations, it was a sight to behold. However, the question has been asked, ‘What does it achieve?’ It is fair to say that the crowd is no longer solely composed of families of soldiers or the local Norfolk community. Spectators travelled from all over the UK to be there, with one couple having flown in from the Republic of Ireland. With the Musical Ride acting as the main pull, it is important to remember that every grandparent, parent, girlfriend and brother/ sister in the crowd will have come away with a positive opinion of the Regiment; an opinion that may influence a future potential Household Cavalryman (or woman) into joining up. So, the community engagement diary has been a busy one overlaid on a highly frenetic ceremonial year. At times it is easy to say no to CE, but we must not forget that it is very much part of our mission here in London. We hold a privileged place in the weaves of the fabric of the nation and it is our duty to our regiment, our community and our country to lean in to engagement in order to allow those at combat readiness to concentrate on the important tasks they have been set. Equally, it is a credit to the Household Cavalryman that he can patiently give tour after tour, attend last minute taskings and present himself to outsiders with a charm and charisma that you would be hard pushed to find elsewhere.

Around 7000 people gathering at Bodney for the 2016 Open Day

Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment ■ 55

Household Cavalry Journal 2016  
Household Cavalry Journal 2016