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SHORT STEP PARADE - 2 AUGUST 2015

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Millbank Branch were again honoured to be part of the Step Short Parade in Folkestone. Six of us paraded - Linda Kibbey, Jane Carey Harris, Brigid Kelly, Guinivere Foley, Liz Gregory and standard bearer, Di Robertson Bell. Liz was an excellent standard bearer but luckily the standard bearers were given respite from carrying their standards for the whole march. I am sure they were most grateful. 

We paraded with the Royal British Legion, other veteran groups and cadets from all three forces. A pipe band and a naval band accompanied us. We were behind the pipe band so could not hear the naval band otherwise we may have skipped trying to keep in time with two bass drums! Once down into the harbour area we formed a hollow square where the lady mayoress addressed those assembled. The Last Post was played and at the end, a lone piper played which was very moving. We were then "stood down" and retired to the hotel at the harbour for beverages and a buffet lunch. The fluids were much need as it was a hot day. The march was nearly two miles long. We QAs coped well and looked smart. The buffet lunch was enjoyed by one and all.

The parade is in memory of all the troops that went off to WW1 from Folkestone. At that time Folkestone was the largest military camp in England. The men that went to war had to march down a fairly steep incline hence "step short". It is reported that when they were marching to the harbour gunfire could be heard from across the channel. How terrifying that must have been for those troops - no escaping to where they were going. It was a memorable day, one that we all felt proud and honoured to have been participants.

Linda Kibbey- Chairman Millbank Branch

 

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