THE CROWN AND THE GUARDS.
Daily Southern Cross, Volume XVII, Issue 1332, 14 September 1860, Page 5
THE CROWN AND THE GUARDS.
The 200 th anniversary of the formation of the first or grenadier regiment of foot guards was celebrated by a sumptuous festival held in the banquet-hall of St. James's palace. At a quarter past eight o'clock the prince consort, the colonel of the regiment, who wai to preside, arrived, accompanied by the cominander-inchief, and was ushered into the dining-hall, followed by the rest of the guests, to the number of nearly 200, the band of the grenadiers playing the national anthem. After dinner the prince consort rose and said : — Gentlemen — I am very much gratified at the kindness you have evinced by the manner in which you h&ve received the last toast (cheers.) I feel justly proud of the distinction conferred upon me eight years ago, when I wai appointed to succeed the immortal Duke of Wellington in the command of this regiment (loud cheers), since which I have held that honourable post which not only connects me with you officially, but brings me into inti mate and, I trust, cordial personal relations with you (cheers). It is on an occasion like the present that the consideration must be suggested to my mind in its fullest force, of how much honour and distinction are involved in the title of colonel of the grenadier guards, (cheers.) Gentlemen, we are assembled here to day to celebrate the 200 th anniversary of- the formation of this regiment as at present constituted. During the last 200 years, which embrace the most glorious period of the history of our country, this regiment has taken an important and distinguished part in the most brilliant events of that history (cheers). It has fought at sea and on k land, in most parts of Europe, in Africa, in America ; and whether fighting the French, the Dutch, the Spaniards, the Moors, the Turks, or the Russians, it has always stood to its colours, upheld the honour of the British name, and powerfully contributed to those successes which, under God's blessing, make this country stand proudly forth among the nations' of the earth (cheers). ' Gentlemen, I need not recall to you' its deeds, for 1 they, are all present, lam sure, to your minds ; but I cannot refrain, on an occasion like this, from pointing to some, at least, of the long and uninterrupted list of victories with which the name of the grenadier guards is associated (cheers). I must point to the celebrated siege and capture of Namur, to the first defence of Gibraltar, to }Jie capture of Barcelona and Valenciennes, to the battles of Blenheim, Ramilies, Oudenarde, and Malplaquet; to .the battle of Dettingen, aye, and of Fdhtenoy ; for, although 'in the last named field the victory did not finally lemain with the allies, it had been fairly won by the prowess 'of the grenadier guards. 1 must point to the^ capture of Cherbourg, which just 100 years ago' looked defiance upon our shores ; nor must I omit the battles of Lincellei, Corunna, -Barossa, ; the Pyrennes, St. Sebastian, Nivelleg, Nive, and Waterloo, where in the last and terrible struggle with Napoleon, this regiment acquired its title of Grenadier Guards, by having vanquished in fair fight those noble and devoted Imperial 'guards, who until they were met by the British bayonet were held to be invincible, (cheers.) The battles of the Alma and of Inkermann, and the long protracted siege of Sebastopol, bring down to our days the glorious annals of which this corps may well be proud, (cheers.) But, gentlemenj the duty of the British soldier is, unfortunately, not confined to opposing the external enemies of his country. It has been his fate ; sometimes to stand in arm« even -against his own countrymen — a mournful t task, which I trust we shall never see again, imposed' upon him. In such circumstances, the soldier is upheld by the consideration that while implicitly obeying" the commands ,of his' sovereign to whom he has sworn fidelity, he is purchasing] for , his country by his blood that internal peace and supremaoy of the law which' form the only pauis o f the liberties, as well as the prosperity of ,the nation. , This regiment, originally sprung from the Royalists yrhe clung, to Charles 11. during his exile, have always true to their sovereign,-whether they contended on the i field of Sedgemoor in defence pi James 11. against the Duke of Monmouth, or struggled heroically for. five long years in the cause of George 111. against his revolted American provinces. Gentlemen, that same discipline which has made this regiment ever ready, and terrible in war, has enabled it; >to ,pasi through long periods of peace, amid the temptations of * luxurious metropolis, without impair* ing its vigour ,or its energy— to live in harmony and < good brotherhood with ita fellow-citizen«, and to point the remarkable fa^t that the household troops have now
* for two centuries past fprmod the permanent garrison of London. While always »t the command of the ciVjil » power to support order and lawythey havenever'them-' Belvds.disturbedthatoraery or given' caxfce of disd.nie-'i 'tudej either by insolence or licentiousness.' let tJs ttubtf 'that these same noble qualities maynstiU dhine forth 1 for - centurien to come, and' that the Alttughty tll continvie to favour this little band of devoted loldiers. Gentle" men, let vw on our part manfully do our duty, mindful of the deeds of our predecesiors, loyal 1 to our sovereign, 1 and jealous of our country's honour. ' I give you the^,, > " Prosperity to the Grenadier guards, and the health of Colonel Lewis, long an honoured member of the corpii, i and now its able and zealoua- commanding officer." ' ' Colonel Lewis responded in the name of the regiment. Among the other toasta were the "Prince of Wales, and the re"st 'of the' Royal Family," "Th» Navy," and " The Army," proposed by the chairman. The' Duke of Cambridge responded to the latter toast. The Prince Coiuort ftl*o proposed a toast to Viscount Combermere.