16 Royal Artillery say farewell to barracks

16 Royal Artillery's last march EMN-140207-175726001
16 Royal Artillery's last march EMN-140207-175726001
Share this article
Have your say

For seven years St George’s Barracks has been home to 16 Royal Artillery soldiers.

Last week its troops bade farewell to Rutland and their North Luffenham base.

The 300 soldiers and officers marked their move to Thorney Island, in West Sussex, with a special parade.

For 20 Battery, one of the units of the regiment, who lowered their flag for the final time, it was a particularly poignant parade. It’s troops have moved to other units within the regiment as it becomes the Headquarter Battery, taking on an administrative role.

Major Tim Osman, 20 Battery commander, said: “It was fairly poignant and it did not hit home until the day of the parade. That’s when it properly sank in.

“I’ve had a very enjoyable three years commanding 20 Battery. It has been the highlight of my military career.

“But these things happen. The Army moves on and has to evolve and all we can do is to embrace it.”

The Major, who is moving to the 1st Artillery Brigade HQ in Tidworth, has been at the Rutland base for three years.

He said: “The Regiment has had a fantastic time in Rutland which fostered a great spirit within the community.

“It has been very supportive of having us here, living and working among them.

“It’s a lovely part of the country so it’s a shame we have to leave, but these things happen.”

The Regiment’s Commanding Officer Lt Col Mark Pullman, also said he was sad to leave the county because the “community in Rutland has been brilliant.”

The 16 Royal Artillery has been continually deployed on operations during its seven years in Rutland. It has a permanent presence in the Falklands and has been deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

It is the only Rapier Regiment in the British forces - armed with ground-based air defence system - responsible for defending airfields and military bases.

The parade, last Thursday, was inspected by Air Commodore Jane Millington.