With just two days to go to the military’s principal Diamond Jubilee event, sailors and Royal Marines have been fine tuning their drill skills in Hampshire.
Personnel from across the Senior Service converged on Longmoor Camp, near Petersfield, to practise in five marching platoons ahead of the muster and parade before the Queen at Windsor.
Report: Samantha Chapman. Pictures: PO(Phot) Paul Punter, FRPU East
THE Royal Navy and Royal Marines have been putting their best feet forward during drill training for the Windsor muster and parade as part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations on Saturday.
Hundreds of Royal Naval personnel from across the service converged at Longmoor training camp in Borden, Hampshire this week to practice their marching for the prestigious event.
The route on Saturday starts at Windsor Great Walk with nearly 2,500 Armed Forces marching through the town centre before arriving at the castle to muster in front of Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip, as well as 3,000 military personnel, their families and veterans.
The Senior Service will be represented by five platoons consisting of general surface ships personnel in the first, submarines and Fleet Air Arm in the second, the Royal Marines Band Collingwood and Plymouth third, 42 Commando Royal Marines in the fourth and finally Royal Naval Reservists and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
Lt Doug Wylie RNR, a former Regular Royal Navy Physical Trainer for 30 years said he was extremely proud to represent the Royal Navy for the muster.
“It is a real honour and pleasure to march on Saturday in front of the Queen,” he said. “This is the only time we will be able to celebrate this event in our lifetime and I am proud to be a part of it.
“We have been training at Longmoor for two-and-a-half days and it has been intense but for most of us it is a brushing up of skills we learnt at HMS Raleigh or BRNC Dartmouth during training.”
Many of the personnel taking part have recently returned from operations in Afghanistan and also off the coast of Libya last year during Operation Ellamy.
Lt Richard Farrow deployed to Libya as the logistics officer of Trafalgar-class submarine HMS Turbulent.
He said: “It was an amazing experience and one that people join the Royal Navy to take part in. Watching the explosions in Tripoli through the periscope of the submarine was particularly memorable as was being part of a campaign to liberate the people of Libya.
“This is clearly very different to what I was doing last year but I am very proud to be at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, it is an honour.”
Lt Adam Tasker, based at Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose returned from Operation Herrick in Afghanistan in 2009 where he worked as an observer for the Sea King Mk 7 aircraft – known throughout the Service as ‘baggers’ – on airborne surveillance and control missions.
“It was a very interesting job,” he said. “As mission systems operators we were looking at the movements of vehicles on the ground as part of the ongoing data gathering out there.
"Now I’m here at Longmoor training as part of the Jubilee parade which proves how flexible the Royal Navy can be.”
On Saturday the parade will be broadcast live by the BBC and is the first time all three Services have visited the Queen for a dedicated event.
The parade is due to leave Windsor Great Park around 10.30am, march to the castle along the Long Walk, then re-emerge at the top of Castle Hill at around 11am, passing through the heart of the town before re-entering the castle grounds at Town Gate.