By Major J Mayhead
It was very apt that amongst the 1,200 people who packed into Salisbury Cathedral on Saturday 29th February were cadets, families, serving soldiers and even World War Two veterans. In the presence of the Colonel-In-Chief, HRH The Princess Royal and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, they were there to commemorate the sacrifices made by all members of the Royal Signals family over the past 100 years since the Corps’ formation in June 1920.
Although a service of remembrance, the day was also a celebration that the Corps, despite being very different in many ways to when it was formed, is still thriving and at the forefront of 21st-century operations.
Accompanied throughout by the Royal Signals (Northern) Band, a march-past and Royal salute was given to the delight of both families and other onlookers. Despite the less than perfect weather, the atmosphere was one of pride.
The day, established and organised by 3 (UK) Div Signal Regiment, was intended to be the launch of a season of Royal Signals 100 events, but due to the coronavirus restrictions it may be the first and the last. We also had the opportunity to involve the Army Cadet Force, Horndean Detachment were awarded their prize for winning the Royal Signals Cadet Competition Presenting the prize was our Corps Colonel Reserve, Col Douglas, she said “The Corps and I are extremely proud of the commitment and effort made by our cadets and their Cadet Adult Volunteers, who achieve such a remarkable amount every year and we felt this should be recognised with an annual “Best Royal Signals Detachment Competition. I am absolutely delighted to award the prize (for 2018 – 2019) to the Horndean detachment who fought off tough competition to win the fabulous “Jimmy” trophy and see their name in lights! It is very special to be able to welcome them to the Corps Service of Celebration Centenary event in Salisbury in order to present their prize.”
Colonel Jason Gunning, Corps Colonel, said: “Today was a truly significant occasion for the Royal Signals, celebrating the past 100 years and the successes [the Corps] has achieved in that time-frame. I am delighted to have been part of such an impressive event.”
“In addition, to have our Colonel-in-Chief here alongside her Corps family made the event even more special. A huge thank you goes out to those who made the service possible and to all those who supported the day”.