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Guildford commemorates the 80th Anniversary of D-Day

4th Battalion of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment at Freedom Parade June 2024

It was with great pride that we hosted the County Commemoration of the 80th Anniversary of D-Day.

The Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Sallie Barker MBE and His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant, Michael More-Molyneux were the hosts on the day.

The town of Guildford welcomed the 4th Battalion of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. 

The regiment exercised the right and honour of marching along the High Street with:

  • Colours flying
  • bayonets fixed
  • drums beating

Fitting Welcome

The Regiment's predecessor, The Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment, received the Freedom of Guildford back in 1945. 

  • They also fought in Western Europe, including Normandy in 1944.
  • Moving service in front of Holy Trinity church

The Mayor of Guildford presented a print of the recently restored painting, 'The Queen's Regiment Parade before the Mayor of Guildford'. It was a touching gift to give to the Deputy Colonel of The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, Col (Rtd) Patrick Crowley MA MBE DL.

The Mayor of Guildford, Cllr Sallie Barker MBE said that:

The painting reflects our pride in our connection to:

  • The Queen's Royal (West Surrey) Regiment
  • its successor, The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment
  • the 4th Battalion here on parade

She continued: 

"We re-affirm our support, encouragement and friendship with the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment and send our good wishes to the 4th Battalion and all those heading off on exercise next week.

"It's fitting on the 80th Anniversary of D-Day that we recognise and say thank you for the sacrifice and service of all members of our Armed Forces."

Reflecting on Saturday's event, Lt Col S J Garmory said: 

"The 4th Battalion The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment is immensely proud to exercise our Regimental Freedom of Guildford; a County town which is very close to our hearts.  

"As such, it is fantastic to see the level of support we have been afforded from:

  • the Borough Council
  • the Surrey Lieutenancy
  • the Holy Trinity Church
  • local Cadet Forces
  • local businesses 
  • and, of course, the people of Guildford!

"Today is particularly poignant as it occurs amongst the national recognition of the 80th Anniversary of D-Day. It is, therefore, only right and proper that we reflect on the achievements and sacrifices of our forebears. So, I shall conclude by circling back to the Parade itself. 

"For any Regiment it is a great honour to exercise its Freedoms but for us, in the 4th Battalion, it is a fantastic privilege to do so with the proud people of Guildford!"

After Inspecting the troops

His Majesty's Lord-Lieutenant of Surrey, Michael More-Molyneux said: 

"It has been an excellent parade. Congratulations to Lieutenant Colonel Steve Garmory and the 4th Battalion. I wish them all the best on their forthcoming exercise in Germany.

"I can assure you that the County of Surrey and Guildford appreciate the enormous contribution made by the Armed Forces in the Defence of this country.  On behalf of His Majesty thank you to both the Regiment and Guildford for this memorable event."

The Freedom parade was a wonderful spectacle full of tradition and military ceremony. Cadets and well-wishers waving Union flags lined the streets.

​Photos from County Commemoration of D-Day 80 (opens new window)