|29 Apr 2023
Extract from Wishstream August 1948
THE FIRST PASSING-OUT PARADE
HIS MAJESTY THE KING honoured us with his presence at the first passing-out parade, which was held on 14th July, 1948. The weather, which had been extremely unsettled for the previous week, was kind; after an overcast start the sun appeared 'Ind shone brightly throughout the ceremony.
Before His Majesty arrived the R.M.A. Sandhurst was formed up in line on the Old College square by half-colleges in sixes, with the senior division in front by colleges in threes. At 11.30 a.m. His Majesty arrived by car at the south end of King's Walk, where he was met by the Lord-Lieutenant of Berkshire, A. H. Benyon, Esq., the Secretary of State for War, the Rt. Hon. E. Shinwell, and the Commandant. A few minutes later, conducted by the King's Officer Cadet Orderlies, His Majesty moved up the King's Walk to the Royal Dais, where he was received with a Royal Salute.
After this came the inspection, followed by the marches past in quick and slow time. the senior division leading. At the end of the march past in slow time the flank half-colleges were formed inwards and the parade advanced in review order to receive His Majesty's address.
His Majesty said:
"Officer Cadets of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst,-It is just over a year ago that I gave you your new Colours and I am glad to be here again today to see a passing-out parade which includes for the first time the future officers of every branch of the British Army. "I congratulate you all on your turn-out and on the smartness of your drill. Both are excellent. Both are worthy of the best traditions of Woolwich and of Sandhurst and are visible proof that the project which was begun here two years ago was sound and that it has been successfully carried out.
"I want to say a word to those of you of the Senior Term who parade for the last time in these familiar surroundings, and who have won your first victory in the career which you have chosen. I shall watch your future progress with great interest because it is my commission which you will hold: you have and always will have my most sincere good wishes. "You will be dispersed among the different corps and regiments of the Army: old friends may become rivals, but I hope that the friendships formed here may make it easier than ever before for all officers to work together, in peace as in war, for the greater strength of the Army. "It is now for others to take on the responsibilities and opportunities of the Senior Term. A standard has been set, and it is for those of you who are remaining at Sandhurst to equal or to excel it, since on your combined efforts and on your individual conduct will depend the honour of this great Academy."
After this His Majesty made the following presentations:
The Sword of Honour.-Senior.Under-Officer N. Webb-Bowen.
The King's Medal.-Senior Under-Officer W. M. E. Hicks.
The Medal of the Royal Victorian Order (5th Class).-R.S.M. A. J. Brand, M.B.E.
The parade now gave its final Royal Salute, after which the senior division, led by the Colours, marched in slow time up the steps of the Grand Entrance, followed by the Adjutant mounted on his charger. The Assistant Adjutant took over the command of the parade, which ended by the Champion Company marching off past His Majesty, thereby exercising their privilege of marching off before all other companies. The parade was concluded when the remaining companies turned outwards and marched off.
His Majesty lunched in the New Building with members of the staff, distinguished guests and cadets of all colleges. The senior representatives of all departments of the R.M.A. Sandhurst were presented to His Majesty. His Majesty left at 2.15 p.m. by way of the King's Walk, which was lined by cheering cadets.
This parade was unique in two respects: it was the first passing out parade of the R.M.A. Sandhurst, and it was the last parade which R.S.M. Brand attended before handing over his appointment to R.S.M. Lord.
Later in the day the following message was received from Buckingham Palace:
"To The Commandant, THE R.M.A. SANDHURST.
"I was greatly impressed by all that I saw at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst today and I warmly congratulate you, all the staff of the Academy and the officer cadets on the admirable standard of the passing-out parade. Now that the officer cadets for all branches of the Army are united in one establishment, I wish that this parade should in future be known as 'The Sovereign's Parade' and that the Champion Company should become 'The Sovereign's Company.' "I send my best wishes to all under your command at Sandhurst. To this the Commandant replied:
"HIS MAJESTY THE KING, BUCKINGHAM PALACE. "GEORGE R."
"With humble duty, all ranks R.M.A. Sandhurst thank His Majesty for his most generous and kind message. They are deeply aware of the signal honour that has been bestowed on them today not only by His Majesty's presence but by his command that in future this parade shall be 'The Sovereign's Parade' and the Champion Company 'The Sovereign's Company.'
"COMMANDANT, R.M.A. SANDHURST."
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