1359 (BEESTON) Sqn opened its doors and welcomed an old friend to the unit on 1st September 2016 as Lance Corporal Ashley Rudd of Her Majesty’s Life Guards, Household Cavalry Regiment attended the unit while on leave to give a presentation on his Regiment and day to day work within the Household Division.
Corporal Rudd served within the Air Training Corps as a cadet, reaching the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer before becoming commissioned as an RAF VR(T) officer. In 2011 he joined the army, becoming a Trooper in the Household Cavalry Regiment charged with protecting Her Majesty The Queen.
Tracing its proud history back to 1660, The Life Guards is the senior regiment of the British Army and has seen combat in all major conflicts since and are famously credited with saving the British from being overrun by the French during the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. Serving throughout the campaigns of Victorian Britain, the regiment entered World War One very much as it had entered Waterloo nearly 100 years earlier, on horseback charging the enemy with swords.
By 1918 the regiment eventually relinquished its horses and became equipped with armoured cars. Today, the British Army still numbers more horses than main battle tanks and the Household Cavalry remains fully trained in both traditional mounted skills with horse and sword, but also in modern armoured combat, remaining first and foremost a fighting combat unit.
Lance Corporal Rudd explained the many varied roles within the regiment that enable troopers to take to the saddle and perform the world famous state ceremonial duties which so awe the crowds. Roles such as farrier, saddler and riding instructor which still maintain proud skills that men of the regiment would recognise 300 years ago. He also explained that it could take a new trooper at least 12 hours of work to polish and shine state ceremonial uniform. The modern skills of a soldier are also equally taught and are able to learn to drive, maintain and fight armoured vehicles while being offered the opportunity to earn educational qualifications.
The opportunity to speak to a member of Her Majesty’s mounted body guard was a rare occasion that 1359 (BEESTON) Squadron shall recall for some time to come.
WO (ATC) Rob Phillips