Thousands of people lined the streets of St John’s Wood, north London on Monday (6 February) to bid farewell to the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

‘The Wood’ has been the unit’s home since its formation in 1947 by George VI and there has been a military presence on the site since the 1800s.

“It’s a sad day,” said Dave “Speedy” Rolfe, a gunner from 1960-67.

“This is our spiritual home.”

The lease has expired on the site, so the King’s Troop is moving to new, purpose-built barracks in Woolwich, south-east London.

Commanding Officer Major Mark Edward addressed the crowds in St John’s Wood high street.
We will miss you all tremendously,” he said.

“The fact that so many of you are here today is a truly humbling experience.”

The unit’s departure was timed to coincide with the accession of Her Majesty The Queen.

After the farewell speeches, songs and a blessing, the King’s Troop headed to Hyde Park to fire the 41-gun salute, marking the formal start of Diamond Jubilee year.

To read the full news story about the King’s Troop leaving St John’s Wood see the current issue of H&H (9 February 2012)