Category: Events

Come along to show your support this weekend as the 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery, based in the Royal Citadel on Plymouth Hoe, celebrate their 60th anniversary with a spectacular parade through the city centre on Saturday 14 May.

Here’s everything you need to know…

About the parade

More than 1,000 veterans are expected to join the 300 current serving troops from 29 Commando to march along Royal Parade, exercising their Freedom of the City which was awarded to the regiment in 1996.

Led by the Regiments’ colours and their towed guns, the parade will also include a marching band, British Army Band Sandhurst.

Senior Military leaders, the Lord Lieutenant of Devon David Fursdon and the Lord Mayor of Plymouth as well as the Master Gunner of St James’ Park Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Gregory will be watching on to honour the Commando Gunners’ history.

Vehicles and equipment

Some of the regiment’s equipment will be included in the parade, including four Pinzgauer gun-towing vehicles, four L118 light guns and one gun towing vehicle with a pack howitzer.

Timings

We recommend arriving at Royal Parade for 11am to get the best viewing spots. The parade is due to arrive at St Andrew’s Cross roundabout at approximately 11.30am, and will then march down one side of Royal Parade, around Derry’s Cross Roundabout and then back up the other side, finishing by around 12.30pm at the latest.

This means there’s plenty of space to see the parade, and you’ll have a great view along the entirety of the road. Please spread out to help make sure that they receive a warm welcome the entire way round the route.

How to watch

There’s plenty of space to see the parade, and you’ll have a great view wherever you stand – from the top of Royal Parade all the way to Derry’s Cross. The best view point is set to be the same side of Royal Parade as the shops and the Piazza, but please spread out to help make sure that the parading military and veterans receive a warm welcome the entire way round the route.

Once the parade has started there will be no way of crossing Royal Parade, so our top tip is to arrive early and choose your spot in advance!  

Travel and parking

A number of road closures will be in place around the city centre and waterfront on Saturday morning to allow the parade to move safely from the Citadel to Royal Parade, so please allow extra time for your journey.

All car parks will be open as usual apart from St Andrew’s Street Car Park. We’d suggest using Western Approach, Theatre Royal, Drake Circus or The Barcode car parks and then making the short walk to the parade route from there.

Royal Parade will be closed from 11.15am to 12.30pm. Pedestrians will also not be able to cross the road during this time, and the only way to do so would be to walk to the very end of the road (Western Approach or St Andrew’s Cross) to get around the road closure.

A number of bus routes will be affected with alternate city centre departure points on Saturday morning. Please check the Citybus service updates for more information.

Photography and drones

Please do not fly drones anywhere near the Parade route. The police will have their own drone flying for security purposes.

The One Plymouth team will also be taking photographs on the day, so if you’re unable to come along look out for lots of photos and videos on the What’s On Plymouth Facebook.

About 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery

29 Commando Regiment RA in action

The unit can trace their history back to the Cold War when tensions between Moscow and Washington were at their height.

The Commando role, shared by the Army and Navy during the war, passed to the Royal Marines post-war, but the Corps found themselves lacking firepower by the late 1950s without their own gunnery formation, so they turned to the Army to help out.

In 1962, 29 Field Regiment RA was deployed in Aden and Kuwait, deterring Iraq from invading the oil fields. Off the back of these operations, the regiment was chosen to re-role as Commando Artillery. The men of the newly formed 29 Commando Regiment RA trained for and passed the All-Arms Commando Course at Lympstone, where it is still held to this day.

Since then, 29 Commando Regiment RA has deployed around the world with 3 Commando Brigade.

Over the past 60 years the Regiment has fought in every major conflict the Brigade has been involved in from Brunei in its formative year to the most recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The Regiment remains prepared and willing to support 3 Commando Brigade on deployments and exercises around the world.   

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