grenadier guards association Manchester

The Laying of the Old Standard

and the dedication of the new Standard

Sunday 17th October 1999.

Sunday 17th October 1999, proved to be a very

special day in the history of the Manchester Grenadier Guards Association.

It was a bright, warm and sunny October day. The weather forecaster had promised,

"a ridge of high pressure will move across the northwest of the country." and so it did.

The sun shone down on 200 members, including wives and friends who had attended

 at the Manchester Cathedral to witness the laying up of the old standard and


 the dedication

 of the new standard of the Grenadier Guards Association (Manchester Branch)

As we arrived at the Cathedral close to Manchester City centre

 (just a cricket ball's throw from where refurbishment work was still in progress to repair and replace damage caused by

the sneaky and cowardly IRA bomb blast of 1996)

St George's flag was fluttering proudly in a fresh breeze against a clear blue sky over the Cathedral tower.

 Major Joe Sandison our president, Jim Heywood, Ivor Williams, George Starkey

 and Hayden Hooper greeted members as they arrived to take their seats in the nave.


  Sergeant Steve Davies, Corporal Phillip Childs and Guardsman Ian Pagnall,

 each looking  very smart in their home  service uniforms,

 represented the Regiment and drew admiring glances from all the ladies present. 

Their presence at the service was, and is, very appreciated.

Sergeant Davies is based locally and regularly attends our monthly meetings,

but Corporal Childs and Guardsman Pagnall are each members of

 Nijmegen Company and had travelled up from Windsor to take part.

  Thank you gentlemen and thank you also to their commanding officer and to the Regiment.

Jack Byrne had been chosen as the Branch Standard Bearer.

 Jack has been a long time active member and supporter of the Branch.

 He served with the Third Battalion and then later with the First Battalion between 1954/7.

 The service was due to start at 3.30pm we took a peek at Jack,

standing at the back of the nave with Corporal Childs and Guardsman Pagnall his escort.

Thelma, Jack's wife said " i think he's nervous " those of us who spoke with him at 3.25pm

might have agreed but we knew that he just wished to do well.

we also knew that he need not have worried he carried out his role to perfection.

Well done Jack

Outside the cathedral after the service, everyone was saying " what a nice service" and it was.

Starting with the entrance hymn and great support from the cathedral choir,

plus a mighty organ accompaniment, we moved on to Joe Sandison committing the old standard for safe keeping

 and acceptance by the Dean, The Very Reverend Ken Riley.

The dedication of the new standard was followed by further rousing hymns,

 again to magnificent accompaniment, 'I vow to tee my Country",

" O god our help in ages past ", and then the remembrance

 and the Last Post and Reveille.


 We all departed to our homes throughout Greater Manchester, Salford,

 Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale and wherever feeling grateful for the experience

 we had just taken part in and to all those that had helped to make the event such a success.

The Dean of Manchester and the Cathedral authorities had made a substantial commitment

 to ensure all went well. Thank you to them and all our members that took part.