The cavalry is moving out with a big bang

February 6, 2012

By Stefan Wermuth

When I got this assignment I was not sure what I could expect.

It was an early 6am start at the Barracks in St John’s Wood, home to The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. I was looking forward to the breakfast as mentioned in the press release. First thing we were told was not to expect any breakfast because the kitchen was moved already.

It could become only better … and it did…

The unit has been stationed at St John’s Wood since their formation by King George VI in 1947 and they will take up residence in a new purpose built equestrian training facility and accommodation centre in Woolwich Garrison outside central London.

The picture access was fantastic. In fact I could shoot whatever I wanted. No press pen, gates, grumpy security guards or any other restrictions which usually make the daily life of a London photographer pretty hard.

The soldiers were preparing their 109 horses since dawn for the big day, including grooming, trimming of tails, shaving of coats, tacking up and final mucking out before they formally marched out their Barracks for the very last time.

After they left the barracks the cavalry marched down the High Street where hundreds of residents including schoolchildren paid their respects.
A very friendly women give us access to her office on the first floor and the most important thing, she made coffee – finally.

The day ended with a big bang. Last stop was in Hyde Park where the King’s Troop fired a 41 Royal Gun Salute at noon to mark the Queen’s accession to the throne in 1952 and the official start to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

See more of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery move here.

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