Germany

Goodbye Gütersloh: Germany's Last Royal Artillery Unit Returns To UK

26 Regiment Royal Artillery has spent 41 years in the country, and the last 30 of them in Gütersloh.

The last Royal Artillery unit in Germany has said goodbye to its host town of Gütersloh.

Its departure means that, for the first time in a century, the army has no gunner regiments based overseas.

People in the area have become used to 26 Regiment's presence.

26 Regiment Royal Artillery has spent 41 years in Germany, and the last 30 of them in Gütersloh.

It is longest the gunners have been stationed anywhere.

The regiment has spent the last 30 years in Gütersloh.

Three decades featured 16 military operations, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

That service has earned 26 Regiment a top German military award - the Fahnenband or ceremonial ribbon is one of the country’s most prestigious honours.

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Kieran Sheldon, said: "This day’s incredibly special for me personally and particularly 26 Regiment.

“For us, it genuinely is the end of an era.

"There’s a positive to this in that we look forward to going back to a brand new barracks and a new role as a divisional fires regiment but it’s a sad ending to an era in Germany."

26 Regiment moves to Larkhill in Wiltshire this summer, where it will switch from big artillery guns to firing rockets.

The unit could still return to Germany, but only for short visits to exercise on training areas.