09:00AM, Friday 23 December 2016
A reform of the British Army will see the Windsor-based Household Cavalry relocated.
The regiment has been based at Combermere Barracks, in St Leonards Road, since the early 1800s.
Soldiers will be moved to Bulford Camp in Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, making up part of a new strike brigade.
The regiment will be replaced by the Welsh Guards.
The changes were announced in a written statement from defence secretary Michael Fallon on Thursday, December 15 and will come into force in 2019.
Strike brigades were first announced in the Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 and will be based around new AJAX armoured vehicles.
Since the announcement, a petition has been started, calling for the Household Cavalry to be kept in Windsor.
Started anonymously it states: “My husband joined the Household Cavalry regiment because it didn’t move around, and because it is based in Windsor.
“Local men and women have joined this regiment because they are based near family and friends.”
The petition, which is addressed to Prince William, Prince Harry, the Queen and the defence secretary, has already gathered more than 600 signatures and states the upheaval for hundreds of families is ‘unfair’.
“As far as the army are concerned my husband is a number and his family is a bolt on, an inconvenience,” the petition adds.
“No one in government cares how this will affect any of us, why would they?”
Ward councillor for Combermere Barracks, Cllr Eileen Quick (Con, Clewer East), who is Windsor ‘born and bred’ said she is ‘absolutely shocked’ at the decision.
“They are a part of Windsor and I think local residents are so used to them being here, it is something that would be very sad to lose,” she told the Express. We have the House of Windsor here who consider Windsor Castle their main home and the Household Cavalry are strongly linked to the royals.”
Regarding the petition she added: “I don’t know whether it will make a difference but I think it is very good to put a mark in the sand to show how much people value the Household Cavalry here.”
Her thoughts were echoed by Cllr Jack Rankin (Con, Castle Without) who said he is hoping to bring the matter up at the next full council meeting and encouraged ‘Windsorians’ to sign the petition.
Many army families from the Household Cavalry live on the Broom Farm Estate in Dedworth.
Ward councillor for the area Cllr Ed Wilson (Con, Clewer South) said: “From our point of view it is going to be a great shame to lose the Household Cavalry.
“A lot of people in Windsor have a great attachment to the regiment.
“We will be sorry to see them go but we will welcome the Welsh Guards to West Windsor.”
The Ministry of Defence did not wish to comment further on the plans or petition.
The petition can be found at: www.change.org/p/prince-william-keep-the-household-cavalry-in-windsor
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