On 6th July, I took five boys to Whale Island, Portsmouth to prepare for the Royal Marines Cadets 350 Parade to commemorate the 350th anniversary of the founding of the Royal Marines. We arrived at the Royal Navy Headquarters and the boys settled in aboard HMS Bristol. There were 30 lads to a room in bunks of three - a great experience for them to see what life is like on board a ship.
On Monday we practised the drill for approximately nine hours. The next day we drove to Wellington Barracks, changed into our blues and then were bussed to the start point of the parade, Horseguards. There were throngs of tourists, all taking photos of the 350 Marine cadets and 100 adult volunteers forming up and marching down the Mall to the sound of the Royal Marines Band. It was enough to make your hair stand on end as your feet touched the ground in time with every drum beat.
We marched into Buckingham Palace Gardens and were inspected by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. All the cadets were allowed to invite two guests, so it was a fantastic occasion with all the parents and VIPs looking on. The Commandant General Royal Marines gave a short speech and presented the cadets with a new combined banner. We then marched out and on to Wellington Barracks for tea. It was reported later that Her Majesty The Queen had been watching from an upstairs window!
The cadets who attended from the School were: Henry Young, James Plaut, George Lechmere, Ben Remnant and Bertie Gilliat-Smith.
To see a video of the parade via YouTube, please click on the image below: