The Corps of Royal Engineers celebrated their freedom of Gibraltar at the weekend.
On Saturday they assembled in Casemates Square, with the Band of the Corps of Royal Engineers and the former serving members of the Royal Engineers who are now in the Royal British Legion, Gibraltar branch.
The band had performed a concert the previous night in St Michael’s Caves. After listening to them in Casemates I regretted not having made the effort to go to the concert.
I used to like military bands, but as I grew up and associated the music with war, I distanced myself from it.
But they were very good and played a great range of music in Casemates – for free – while the Chief Engineer inspected current serving REs and RBL members.
The Royal Engineers were granted the Freedom of Gibraltar in 1972. They have a long history of involvement with Gibraltar, from raising the first corps in 1772 to digging out many of the 30 miles of tunnels within the Rock.
They celebrate their freedom every two years. This year they were inspected by Chief Royal Engineer, General Sir Kevin O’Donoghue.
After the inspection finished, the band marched up Main Street, followed by the Corps of Royal Engineers, and then the Royal British Legion, who were applauded as they marched around the corner to the final destination in Cathedral Square.
Partner spoke to one of the RBL members in the pub on Sunday. We were surprised he had been in the parade as he is in his late 70s. He admitted he was finding the marching a bit hard as he got older. So very well done to him and all his colleagues who turned out for the parade. You all deserve our respect.
And here are two vids. In the first one the police officer half way through is saying “Avoid them”. To me. I was so busy trying to get the rest of the band going round the corner I didn’t realise the Royal Engineers complete with bayonets were rapidly bearing down on me.
Finally, the Royal British Legion finishing the parade in Cathedral Square to well-deserved applause from all the bystanders.