The 260th anniversary of The Battle of Minden has been marked by 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment in London, as it was welcomed home from operations abroad.
'The Vikings' marched through Royal Artillery Barracks, recognising their heritage, before the Duke of Gloucester rewarded them for recent service in South Sudan and Afghanistan.
Minden Day recognises the events of 1 August 1759, when 41,000 allied troops, including 10,000 British, defeated 51,000 French and Saxon soldiers in north-west Germany, while wearing roses plucked from hedgerows.
The Vikings' predecessors, the 12th Foot, were one of the six victorious regiments. Now, wearing roses in headdresses as part of an annual tradition, the battalion was welcomed home by families.
Commanding Officer of the Royal Anglian Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Phill Moxey, said: "What’s important about Minden Day is that it’s a fantastic demonstration of the values and the courage and the loyalty of the British infantrymen – the very basic soldiering skills that were celebrated then and are still celebrated today."
More recent battalion activity, including Advisor Force Protection in Kabul and United Nations peacekeeping in South Sudan, was recognised by campaign medals presented by the Duke of Gloucester.
Lance Corporal Luke Petchui was part of the protecting force for the engineers providing aid for refugees in South Sudan. Upon his return home, he told Forces News:
“It was very good - knowing you’re helping and seeing the development of another country."
Standing by in their numbers were the military families, many seeing their loved ones for the first time in half a year.
Platoon Commander, Captain Toby Reed, emphasised the role they play: "We’re very much a family regiment and a family battalion.
"It’s a chance to thank the soldiers for the hard work that they’ve done…but also to thank the families and the loved ones here, who support us – especially when we’re away, that’s when you feel it the most."
The regiment will be reunited with loved ones for six weeks before it prepares for its next challenge.