Ten thousand spectators were at Victoria Barracks, Belfast, on Saturday [August 6] to see the men of the Irish Guards, in one of the most colourful and spectacular exhibitions of Army life to be held in Belfast for many years.
The Irish Guards is Ireland’s only infantry regiment and the only unit of the British Army consisting wholly of Regular soldiers. Ninety-eight per cent of the men are Irish and the vast majority of the soldiers taking part in the “At Home” at Victoria Barracks were recruited in Belfast.
Most were recruited in Belfast by Company Sergeant-Major John Kenny, himself an Irishman, who has been with the Irish Guards for 20 years, serving in France and Germany during the 1939-45 war.
Many of the spectators were Old Comrades and several renewed acquaintances on Saturday with comrades whom they had not seen since the 1939-45 war and even the 1914-18 war.
The highlight of the open day was undoubtedly the precision marching of the guardsmen accompanied by the regimental pipes and drums.
The regimental mascot Shaun, a huge Irish wolfhound, was the centre of attraction for the young folk.