Welsh Guards mark St David's Day in Windsor with Falklands memorial

Welsh Guards mark first St David’s Day in Windsor with parade in honour of comrades killed in the Falklands

  •  The 1st Battalion Welsh Guards marked their first St David’s Day since moving into Combermere Barracks
  •  They commemorated the patron saint of Wales with a paraded through the town and a special church service
  •  A Regimental Memorial Cross erected for fallen comrades during the Falklands War was rededicated

Members of the Welsh Guards marked their first St David’s Day in Windsor by rededicating a memorial made for fallen comrades during the Falklands War.

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards commemorated the patron saint of Wales with a parade through the town, the first of its kind since moving into Combermere Barracks in St Leonard’s Road last summer.

This was followed by a special service in Holy Trinity Garrison Church led by the Reverend Matthew Dietz CF, chaplain to the First Battalion Welsh Guards, where a ‘temporary’ Regimental Memorial Cross was given its new permanent home inside the church.

Soldiers from the 1st Batallion Welsh Guards celebrate their first St David’s Day in Windsor with a parade on Sunday 

The cross was originally erected in June 1982 by members of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards at Fitzroy Cove, Falkland Islands, in memory of the 38 Welsh guardsmen and attached soldiers, who died as a result of the Sir Galahad incident.

In total, 56 men lost their lives during the biggest single loss suffered by British troops during the Falklands War. 

After the service, which was attended by Lord Guthrie, the soldiers were presented with commemorative leeks.

Lord Guthrie (centre) joins soldiers from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards to celebrate St David’s Day at a church service held on Sunday at the Holy Trinity Garrison Church in Windsor

Lord Guthrie was among guests at a special church service rededicating a memorial made for fallen Falklands War comrades

A ‘temporary’ Regimental Memorial Cross erected in 1983 for Falklands War comrades was installed inside the church

St David’s Day is an annual feast day that commemorates the patron saint of Wales, Saint David, on the day he died in 589 AD.

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi has been celebrated since David was canonised by Pope Callistus II in the 12th century and today, the Welsh continue to feast on food like cawl, a Welsh soup or broth.

Cities like Cardiff, Swansea and Aberystwyth mark the day by holding St David’s Day parades and people dress up in traditional Welsh dress.

Army Chaplin, the Reverend Matthew Dietz,  lead the rededication service at the Holy Trinity Garrison Church in Windsor

The service remembered the 38 Welsh guardsmen and attached soldiers, who died during the Sir Galahad incident of 1982

As well as being the patron saint of Wales, St David is also the patron saint of doves and is known as Dewi Sant in Welsh.

Born in Caerfai in Pembrokeshire around 500 AD, he was recognised as the Welsh patron saint during the country’s resistance to the Normans.

The commemorative cross is brought to the front of the battalion church, where it will now be placed permanently 

Hundreds turned out for the rededication service held at the Holy Trinity Garrison Church in Windsor on Sunday

After his studies, St David travelled and made pilgrimages to Jerusalem where he was made an archbishop.

He then went on to teach Christianity and minimise belief in Pelegrian heresy, the idea that sin did not taint human nature and divine aid is not needed to differentiate between good and evil.

St David founded 12 monasteries where monks abstained from pleasure and lived on a diet of bread, vegetables, water and milk.

Fifty-six men died during the Sir Galahad sinking – the biggest single loss suffered by British troops during the Falklands War

He is well-known for performing miracles with the most famous being how he was able to raise the ground under him to form a hill so that the Synod of Brefi crowd could hear his sermon.

Legend also reveals that St David could be the nephew of King Arthur but in other tales, his mother was the niece of the King. The patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick is also said to have foreseen the birth of St David.

Following the service, the troops lined up and were presented with commemorative leaks in celebration of St David’s Day

A soldier wears his leak in honour of St David, who advised his warriors to wear one during battle against the Saxons

Welsh regiments in the British Army eat leeks on St David’s Day and in 2017, the Queen was seen giving leeks to the soldiers

Brian Owen, a former soldier from the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was in attendance at Combermere Barracks in Windsor

St David is thought to have died on March 1, 589 AD and is buried in St David’s Cathedral in Pembrokeshire, which has since become a place of pilgrimage after being canonised in 1120 AD.

Two pilgrimages to the patron saint’s shrine are supposedly equal to a pilgrimage to the Vatican and three, to a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

The parade was the first of its kind for the 1st Batallion Welsh Guards since moving to Combermere Barracks last summer 

All present and correct: The soldiers line up during a parade at Combermere Barracks in Windsor on St David’s Day

Soldiers gather ahead of the parade at Combermere Barracks in Windsor to commemorate the Welsh patron saint

On March 1, the flag of St David, a yellow cross on a black background, and the Welsh national flag, the Y Ddraig Goch, are flown more than usual. 

Leeks are also worn to remember St David advising warriors to wear the vegetable during the battle against the Saxons and after the war was won, leeks became a Welsh symbol.

St David’s Day is an annual feast day that commemorates the patron saint of Wales, Saint David, on the day he died in 589 AD

Welsh regiments in the British Army also eat leeks on St David’s Day and in 2017, the Queen gave leeks to the soldiers and the Regimental goats of the Royal Welsh.

Goats have been recruited by the Royal Welsh regiment since Queen Victoria presented the Fusiliers with the first official Royal goat in 1844.

Daffodils are also associated with the holiday as the flower is the national symbol of Wales.

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