World famous military band helps make special Banbury parade

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, The Band of the Irish Guards lead the parade along Banbury High Street. NNL-150628-190447009
Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, The Band of the Irish Guards lead the parade along Banbury High Street. NNL-150628-190447009

Banbury was the place to be in Oxfordshire on Saturday as the town hosted the biggest Armed Forces Day event in the county.

The event was also one of the best in the country and was made even more special with the appearance of the Band of the Irish Guards, who led a parade from High Street to Horse Fair at 3.30pm.

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, Miles Dyer watching the parade NNL-150628-190751009

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, Miles Dyer watching the parade NNL-150628-190751009

Several thousand people lined the pavements and applauded one of the world’s most famous military bands as their music accompanied two moving military ceremonies.

The Freedom of Banbury was conferred on the town’s Army Reserve 142 Vehicle Squadron, and was followed by the Trooping of the Colour of the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars.

Councillor Kieron Mallon, leader of Banbury Town Council and a former Irish Guardsman, said: “This was a superb tribute to this country’s armed forces. Banbury can be proud of what took place today and it was good to see so many people line the streets and show their support by applauding as the parade passed by.

“The Band of the Irish Guards tours the world and is much in demand. For them to come here on such an important day in the military

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, 142 Vehicle Squadron Royal Logistical Corps on parade. NNL-150628-190803009

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, 142 Vehicle Squadron Royal Logistical Corps on parade. NNL-150628-190803009

calendar is something this town can be proud of.”

The parade included about 300 serving soldiers, volunteers, cadets and war veterans, with stalls and military displays outside the town hall until 3pm.

The Band of the Irish Guards is one of the five army bands who are part of the Household Division whose main role is to guard the Queen while also serving on operational tours and in wars abroad.

Based at Wellington Barracks in London, they made a quick turnaround on the day after perfoming in the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle before heading to Banbury.

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, 4060 Banbury Squadron Air Cadets Cpl Tim Bonner and Cpl Matthew Heaton NNL-150628-190627009

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, 4060 Banbury Squadron Air Cadets Cpl Tim Bonner and Cpl Matthew Heaton NNL-150628-190627009

For more pictures see this week’s Banbury Guardian, out on Thursday.

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, Brigadier Sheen inspects 142 Vehicle Squadron Royal Logistical Corps on parade. NNL-150628-190558009

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, Brigadier Sheen inspects 142 Vehicle Squadron Royal Logistical Corps on parade. NNL-150628-190558009

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, 142 Vehicle Squadron Royal Logistical Corps on parade. NNL-150628-190547009

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, 142 Vehicle Squadron Royal Logistical Corps on parade. NNL-150628-190547009

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, Lt Jon Cox and Ordinary Cadet Addison Staite-Loveridge of TS Harvester NNL-150628-190349009

Armed Forces Day in Banbury. Pictured, Lt Jon Cox and Ordinary Cadet Addison Staite-Loveridge of TS Harvester NNL-150628-190349009