A military parade is an organised formation of soldiers who restricted by close-order manoeuvring marching or ‘drilling’. Up until the late 19th century soldiers fought in formation, but in modern times the military parade is now entirely ceremonial. Sometimes a parade is performed to exhibit the military strength of a nation. The oldest and largest military parade in Europe is the Bastille Day Military Parade on the 14th of July in Paris during France’s national day celebrations. The terminology comes from close order formation combat where soldiers were held in strict formations to maximise their combat effectiveness. Military drills are performed to memorise certain actions, formations and movements. Recruits in modern armies are taught drills to show them how to work as a team while formations are also still used in riot control. There are four directions used in a parade: the Advance, the Retire, the Left and the Right. The Advance is the primary direction of movement and on a parade square is determined by the position of the flags. The Retire is the opposite of the Advance. As the names would suggest, The Left is to the left of the advance and the Right is to the right of the advance. Only one person is in charge of the parade at a time. Soldiers have restricted movement during parades and in most stances any movement at all is disallowed. It has been known for soldiers to faint while on parade. In British Armies there is a specific order of precedence. • Royal Horse Artillery • Royal Armoured Corps • Royal Regiment of Artillery • Corps of Royal Engineers • Royal Corps of Signals • Infantry • Foot Guards • Line Infantry • Rifles • Special Air Service • Army Air Corps • Special Reconnaissance Regiment • Royal Army Chaplains Department • Royal Logistic Corps • Royal Army Medical Corps • Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers • Adjutant General's Corps • Royal Army Veterinary Corps • Small Arms School Corps • Royal Army Dental Corps • Intelligence Corps • Royal Army Physical Training Corps • General Service Corps • Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps • Corps of Army Music • Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers (Militia) (Army Reserve) • Honourable Artillery Company (Although Army Reserve Regiments, they are included in the order of arms Regular Army) • Remainder of the Army Reserve • Royal Gibraltar Regiment • The Royal Bermuda Regiment Some of the military parades or ceremonial events in the British Military Forces are: Trooping the Colour, Changing of the Guard, Remembrance Sunday, Beating Retreat, State Visits and the Opening of Parliament. Ceremonial duties and parades are an important part of Army history and tradition. All soldiers who undertake such roles are highly trained and play an important part in military operations worldwide. Ceremonial events take place all over the world but few are as high profile as those that draw tourists to London. Wyedean stock a variety of Ceremonial items on the website and many of our [...]
The Parachute Regiment, also known as “The Paras”, is an airborne regiment of the British Army that acts as support to the United Kingdom Special Forces. The Parachute Regiment was formed to surprise enemy troops by being dropped behind enemy lines to capture key positions. They were then able to hold them until the rest of the invasion force could link up with them. In modern day warfare the Parachute Regiment provides infantry to Britain’s 16 Air Assault Brigade. The Parachute Regiment was formed during the Second World War on the 22nd of June. This is the only infantry regiment of the British Army that has not been amalgamated with another since the end of the Second World War. They are able to deploy an infantry force at short notice. The Parachute Regiment consists of three regular army battalions; the 1st, 2nd and 3rd battalion. The 1st is based in St Athan, Wales and is attached to the Special Forces Support group. This battalion also receives further training on additional weapons, communications and specialist assault skills. The 2nd and 3rd Battalion form part of the 16 Air Assault Brigade and are known for being highly trained for their versatility. The Paras receive intensive training making them fierce. Their motto is “Utrinque Paratus” which means ‘Ready for Anything.’ Their training and experience means that they are ideal for joining the SAS. Reportedly the Special Air Service is now made up of 60% ex-Paras. The Paratroopers are trained in an array of missions from pre-emption tasks to complex or high intensity war fighting.
WRNS Checking Cockpit Equipment During the First World War, members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service (WRNS) and the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) worked on air stations. The decision was then taken to merge the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) to form the Royal Air Force (RAF). It was thought that a separate women’s air service was needed which led to the formation of the WRAF in 1918. Civilian enrolment into the WRAF was huge in 1918 and personnel who were already in the WRNS and the WAAC were given the choice of changing roles to the WRAF. This meant that the number of members soared to 32,000 people. The minimum age for joining was 18 and there were a number of health checks which meant that candidates from polluted cities were excluded. Those that enrolled from upper class families were made officers. The original idea was for the female mechanics to free up men for service in the First World War. The women in the WRAF had many roles including clerks, household and welders. By 1920 there were over 50 trades open to women including, tailoring, photography and catering. This meant that the men were free to enter into combat. There were very strict rules in the WRAF and they were listed in the published Standing Orders booklet. Uniform requirements were listed and bans on actions such as smoking while on duty were listed. They became known as the most professional and disciplined of all the women’s services. The WRAF’s were split into two groups. The first was the Immobiles who lived at home and worked at their local station. The second group was the Mobiles who lived on, or near to their workplace and were open to transfer. On the 24th of March 1919 the first group from the WRAF arrived to serve in France. A year later the second group was sent to Cologne in Germany. They were employed as clerks, nurses and drivers which meant men were free for the forces. The WRAF was disbanded in 1920 after the First World War. In 1948 the Army and Air Force (Women’s Service) Act was passed which created opportunities for women in the Armed forces. All new members were enlisted into the Royal Air Force and took the same oath as men and endured the same conditions. Women were still unable to undertake combat duties. Despite their non-combat status the WRAF were posted in post-war-conflict places such as Kenya and Cyprus where they helped with vital support. In 1970 the first females were admitted into the RAF College Cranwell. The WRAF merged with the RAF during 1994 and the number of trades open to women grew rapidly. In 1989 women became eligible to pilot Royal Air Force combat aircrafts. The last surviving war veteran from the WRAF, Florence Green, died in February 2012.
Kevin Tough Mudder CharityYorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) has been selected. Past fundraising events at Wyedean have included cake sales, quizzes and the use of the car park for local events such as 1940’s Weekend and physical challenges. The YAA is a charity funded by donations. The NHS provide paramedics on secondment but to keep their 2 air ambulances operational requires £12,000 per day (£44 million a year). The rapid response air emergency service serves a population of circa 5 million people across 4 million acres. The fast medical response that the Air Ambulance service provides is vital to a patient who has received major trauma, especially those with head and spinal injuries, as the Air Ambulance can avoid traffic congestion and uneven road surfaces. On average, when a patient has been received by the YAA, they will always be only 10 minutes from the nearest hospital and 15 minutes from the most relevant treatment centre. In some cases, this can save people's lives. This year Kevin, our Distributions Manager, is tackling a number of physical challenges with a Yorkshire theme including the Harewood House half-marathon, the Keighley Big K 10k, the Yorkshireman half-marathon and the Yorkshire marathon. Other events are also in the planning phase and will be announced once details are confirmed but include the Yorkshire 3 peaks walk and cycling the length of the Leeds to Liverpool canal. Kevin is a former soldier who joined Wyedean in 2013 after a 22 year career in the British Army. He puts his love of physical challenges firmly down to his military background. His first challenge this year is the Harewood House half-marathon on the 28th February. If you would like to sponsor Kevin you can do it in one of the following ways: Online: www.justgiving.com/Kevin-Lester Via SMS: text YAAK71 plus the amount to 70070
Wyedean has worked on various projects with the UK Army Cadets since 2012, and 2015 saw the release of the first Cadet helmet to be worn during training weekends, as well as at Easter, summer and autumn camps. Although the helmet is non-ballistic, they are designed to look like the Mk7 helmet worn by soldiers in the British Army. And while the helmets themselves are black, each one is issued with a disruptive, pattern camouflage helmet cover, similar to those worn in the British Army which are also manufactured by Wyedean and feature the word CADET woven in red. The helmets are supplied with waterproof bags intended to hold up to 20 helmets, which makes them easily transportable. The helmets have a lifespan of up to three years and are certified to permit the cadet to wear the helmet during field craft, FIBUA and on obstacle courses. The helmet is designed to be lightweight and comfortable and its design allows it to be worn with Amplivox ear defenders and/or the PRR radio headset. Wyedean has worked with Cadets during the development of the helmet in particular looking at how it is designed to take one major impact and as a result deliberately has a weak link built into the chin strap. The chin strap will shear at the helmet joint if the cadet were to end up trapped by his or her neck or head. The helmet has gained a CE mark, and both the helmet and chin strap are registered designs. Before the cadet helmets went into bulk production, members of the Army Cadet Force were issued with helmets for trials which allowed any changes or amendments to be carefully considered. Once the final design was approved, bulk production commenced and the helmets were issued to each ACF unit. You can see pictures of the helmet trials above. The Senior Cadre is “Training In Built Up Areas” (TIBUA), which is part of the new APC Fieldcraft Syllabus. Wyedean is working with UK Cadets on the next generation helmet which will include improvements for both comfort and suitability. The Cadet helmet will still be non-ballistic. If you have similar needs for kits such as the Cadets, contact us with your requirements.
Later today, on the 9th of September 2015, Queen Elizabeth II will become the longest-reigning monarch in British history. The record for longest reigning monarch was previously held by Queen Elizabeth’s great-great-grandmother Queen Victoria. With an institution as old as the monarchy, this is another striking measure to add to the other memorable features of her reign. The Queen will have reigned for 63 years and 7 months; which equates to 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30mins at about 17:30 BST. Elizabeth has served the Commonwealth through the Cold War, the Space Age and the Internet Age. At her 21st birthday broadcast, Princess Elizabeth promised that “my whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service”. Business will be postponed by half an hour in the House of Commons to allow MPs to pay tribute to the Queen which will be led by Prime Minister David Cameron. There will also be a River Thames procession between Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, consisting of a flotilla of historic vessels, leisure cruisers and passenger boats. As a sign of respect the bridge will lift and HMS Belfast will sound a four-gun salute. The BT Tower in the centre of London is displaying the message “Long shall she reign”. The Queen has let it be known that she does not want a fuss to be made today. It is viewed as bad form for one long-lived queen to be seen to be celebrating the passing of a record set by another long-lived queen. She will turn 90 next year, whereby celebrations are expected to be a much more outstanding event. Today will be a normal working day for the Queen with no celebration. She will open the £293m Scottish Borders Railway today with the Duke of Edinburgh, then make a journey on a steam train with Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The Queen is taking her summer break at her private Scottish home, Balmoral which was bought by Victoria. Here are a few interesting facts about the Queen: - She has launched 23 ships during her reign - 12 Prime Ministers have served the Queen - 56 Televised Christmas messages have been broadcast from the Queen - In 1945 she learnt to drive - She has sat through 129 portraits through her reign - She has owned 30 corgis - 0 passports have been held by the Queen, as they are all issued in her name
Wyedean Weaving was formally founded on 7 April, 1964, by David Wright. Before starting his own business, David’s first job after leaving school was an apprentice textile designer at Bridgehouse mill. Little did he know that 34 years later he would go onto purchase the very same building. At the age of 18, and at the outbreak of the Second World War, David volunteered for the Royal Navy, specifically The Fleet Air Arm. After pilot training in Canada he became a commissioned Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve fighter pilot and served with the now legendary Catapult Aircraft Merchant ships. Wyedean was established in 1964 as a manufacturer of braid and uniform accoutrement. Previously the business was known as Dalton Barton. David joined the company in 1959 and he was chosen to introduce new blood to the company, to take a hard look at the firm and to move the business away from Coventry as it was proving increasingly difficult to compete for labour with the booming motor industry. New premises were found at Coleford between the River Wye and the Forest of Dean – which eventually inspired a new name: Wyedean Weaving. By the early 1960s the market for narrow fabrics had grown considerably, yet it only served a hugely competitive and mainly domestic market; one in which a comparatively small business would be unlikely to survive for very long. Products such as carpet binding, curtain tape and safety harness webbing were in reasonable demand; however, there was also a call for military uniform narrow fabrics such as medal ribbon, rank braid, sergeant’s stripes and sashes. David realised that these products had the potential to be developed into a specialist range which could provide a small family company with a long-term future. They were unlikely to go out of fashion so long as Britain maintained a monarchy with military ceremonial requirements. So in 1964, David, by then a director of the company, struck a deal with the owners to take on the military side of the business. David immediately set about negotiating a purchase of the appropriate machinery and he was able to find suitable premises at Bridgehouse Mill, Haworth. From the early days of the business, David’s father, Frank Wright M.B.E. served as company director until his death in 1975. Frank was a textile machine designer who worked at Keighley’s Prince, Smith and Stell for over 40 years. He was awarded the M.B.E. in recognition of his inventing an entirely new yarn spinning technique called centrifugal spinning. Norma, David’s wife, has also been involved in the business for the last 50 years, serving first as Company Secretary and currently as Chairman. In fact, since 1964 there have been four generations of the Wright family working in the mill with three still actively involved. The family has fulfilled many diverse roles, from receptionist to managing director, and from loom-tuner to inspector. Robin Wright (David’s son) joined the company in 1979 and in 1990 became Managing Director. Robin oversaw the diversification of the company’s [...]
On Saturday 27th June, Armed Forces Day was celebrated up and down the country for men and women who served, both past and present in the armed forces. Events during the day ranged from grand parades to community events in local areas, with attendance from both the Prime Minister, David Cameron, and his Royal Highness the Duke of York. The Prime Minister joined the celebration in Guildford where he said "Today we celebrate our brave servicemen and women who work so hard to keep our country safe". Alongside the Prime Minister’s appearance, a parade of more than 900 Service personnel, veterans and cadets marched through the historic heart of Guildford. During the afternoon celebrations, Stoke Park displayed the Royal Air Force GR4 Tornado flypast. Visitors also enjoyed seeing displays from a Sea King search and rescue team. A Spitfire and a Hurricane, from the RAF Battle of Britain memorial Flight, were also seen flying overhead, along with the Swordfish biplane from the Royal Navy Historic Flight. Meanwhile, the Duke of York took the salute on the parade route on behalf of The Queen and Royal Family, as the world famous Red Arrows roared overhead in tribute. Alongside these formal celebrations, more than 150 events were held in towns and cities across the UK. Celebrities and members of the public showed their support on social media using the hashtag #SaluteOurForces. British businesses have also shown their support, with the Royal Mail postmarking Saturday’s mail with "Armed Forces Day 27 June 2015" and BT Tower illuminating the London skyline with the messages "Show Your Support; Armed Forces Day 2015" and "#SaluteOurForces". After many people showed their support up and down the country, the day was ruled a success and the next Armed Forces Day will take place on the 25th June 2016. Some more events from the day have been captured on video which you can see for yourself below and show support to the British Armed Forces.