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Military horse history
DURRINGTON military historian and author Major Bill Clarke has brought out a book celebrating the history of St John’s Woods Barracks, and in particular, the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery.
Well written and full of amazing intimate and ceremonial photographs, Royal Salute captures the 200-year history of the barracks and its occupants.
Starting with the Corps of Gunner Drivers in 1804 until the King’s Troop left in 2012, the book tells the story of the Royal Horse Artillery ceremonial; batteries that occupied the barracks.
The historic occasions that have started from the barracks included the battery carrying the body of the Unknown Warrior to his final resting place, escorting Queen Elizabeth at her coronation in 1953 and the funeral of Princess Diana.
There is a wonderful photograph of Staff Sergeant Ben Jones with his Equestrian Olympic gold medal, and one of the troop at the 1971 Tidworth Military Tattoo.
The author is well qualified to write the book having joined as a boy soldier in 1960, served in the King’s Troop several times and having been Regimental Sergeant Major in 1981.
If you like horses, pageantry and military history, this is the book for you. For me it brought back childhood memories of the troop passing my house on its way to exercise on Hampstead Heath – happy days!
Royal Salute is available at the Cross Keys Bookshop in Salisbury, priced at £15.99, or direct from the author at email@example.com.