Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Patrick's Day: The Irish Guards and an Old Tradition...

One unusual tradition in the British Army concerns the Irish Guards: originally formed in 1901 by Queen Victoria after the formidable efforts of native Irishmen in the Boer war in South Africa, the regiment has informally adopted St. Patrick's day as their official day of regimental celebration. The Royal Family has responded to this and offers each and every serving soldier and officer a small bunch of fresh shamrocks (or clover) which they attach to their caps. This Royal duty is an assignment of the Princess Royal, Princess Anne. Her Highness is also the Colonel in Chief of the 'Blues and Royals' which is Prince Harry's own regiment. HRH Princess Anne is shown above making the presentation last year.

Notice the blue plume in the bearskin, not green as may be expected, the blue represents the colour of the sash in the Order of St. Patrick and the regiment has also adopted the motto of the Order Quis Separabit or 'We Will Never be Separated.' Tomorrow (March 17th 2008) Maj. Gen. Sir Sebastian Roberts, KCVO, OBE. Will assume command of the Irish Guards, taking over the position from HG James Hamilton, 5th Duke of Abercorn, KG. who has held the post since November the 1st 2001.

To commemorate the Irish Guards, St. Patrick's Day and to wish Major General Sir Sebastian Roberts good luck I have composed this poem:

Blooming cap-full of fresh shamrocks,
Mascot Fergal, sleek silver hound,
The Princess Royal on St. Patrick's
Regimental day, green pride found.

Quis Separabit, never divided,
Fine recruits for the Queen's shilling,
Erin's best, honour ever defended
Ulster warriors, always willing.

Good Micks have never retreated,
Bravery awards six V.C's
Calm in battle, never defeated,
Belfast boys march in the breeze.

A cathedral's bell still rings aloud
In Dublin on a cold March morn,
Saints, heroes, dead and proud
Spirits that rise with the dawn.

So the Irish have laurels of clover,
From pastures blessed by the sun
They remember the land as a lover,
Their ancestors keep watch on the dun.

All Rights Reserved: David John Drew/DBWF 2008.

1 comment:

BaronVonServers said...

Thanks for the poetic remembrance!