July 30th 2018

Centenary parade in Melton Mowbray

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Reserves from 1 MWD Regiment joined the parade.

Soldiers from the Royal Army Veterinary Corps (RAVC) have celebrated 100 years since the Army Veterinary Corps received the Royal prefix (officially conferred on 27th November 1918) with a parade through Melton Mowbray supported by well-wishers.

Hundreds of people lined the streets to show their support as the soldiers exercised their Freedom of the town to celebrate the milestone and cement the RAVC’s strong bond with the town and borough.

Over 200 officers and soldiers including a mounted contingent and working dogs from  the 1st Military Working Dog Regiment based at St George’s Barracks, North Luffenham took part, led by the Chief Veterinary Officer, Lt Col Neil Smith.

The salute was taken by the Colonel Commandant of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Major General Roly Walker and music was provided by the Bands of the Royal Signals and the Army Medical Services.

Members of the RAVC Association and the Melton Branch of The Royal British Legion also joined the marching troops.

Mayor Pru Chandler from Melton Borough Council said: “The RAVC has played a huge part in local life in Melton Mowbray for many years and we are extremely honoured to celebrate their centenary.  Many of our families in the borough have friends and relatives who have seen active service, so it is our privilege to recognise the work of our local military personnel who risk their lives to serve our country.”

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On parade

Lieutenant Colonel Martyn Thompson, the Commanding Officer of the Defence Animal Training Regiment based in Melton Mowbray said: “On behalf of the RAVC I would like to thank the people of Melton Mowbray and the wider community for their ongoing support.

“The Corps sees Melton Mowbray as its home. Whilst the RAVC has been based here formally since 1946, the British Army and its animals have been associated with the town since 1905 when the Army Remount Services purchased a stud farm and 400 acres of grazing land. The link between the town and the military remains as strong as ever.’’

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: “I am extremely honoured to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps. When you hear of the work that these animals do in the fields of combat, you can’t help but feel the upmost admiration – not just for them but for their handlers and all those that care for them during their service.

“This parade cements the strong ties between the Corps and Melton Mowbray.”

The celebration was organised in conjunction with a number of agencies and organisations including Melton Borough Council and Leicestershire Police.

“This parade cements the strong ties between the Corps and Melton Mowbray.”