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Welsh Guards Defy The Snow To Celebrate Very Special St David's Day

The regiment celebrated St David’s Day in a traditional fashion, with ceremonial leeks distributed to all personnel.

The 1st Battalion Welsh Guards have celebrated St David’s Day in traditional fashion, with ceremonial leeks distributed to all personnel.

The 400 strong battalion, based at Pirbright Army Training Centre, defied the elements to hold their outdoor service deep in snowy woodland near Elizabeth Barracks.

An important day for any Welshman, this year held particular significance for the regiment who combined their St David's Day parade with a pre-deployment service.

In the coming months, they are off to Afghanistan as part of Operation Toral 6, assuming security and protection duties for NATOs multinational coalition programme in and around the capital of Kabul.

The celebrations took place in the form of a Drumhead Service with military vehicles providing a backdrop.

Royal Welsh St David's Day

For Guardsman Sion Williams, the snow added an extra element to an already special day;

"St David's Day is really close to my heart but it's even more special because this is the last time now that the whole battalion will be together before we deploy next month to Afghanistan.

"It's even more special because of the snow, to be honest."

Welsh Guards St David's Day

The leek is an important symbol for the Welsh Guards and it is worn with pride on their head-dress and buttons.

Legend has it that the tradition of wearing leeks originated when King Cadwaladr ordered his soldiers to identify themselves by wearing the vegetable on their helmets during a fierce battle with the Saxons in a leek field. 

Welsh Guards St David's Day

Next stop for many of these guardsmen will be Kabul but they will make the journey safe in the knowledge they have upheld the regiments traditional association with St David’s Day. 

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