Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Saint David's Day, The Royal Welch Fusiliers and Me...
1st March 1775; This being St. David's Day the officers of the 23rd Regiment, or Royal Welch Fusiliers, dinned together according to the custom. All the General & Staff Officers, the Admiral, and several other person's were invited to dine with the Regiment...."
From the diary of Lieutenant Frederick MacKenzie.
The "custom" was on each Saint Daivid's Day following dinner the regimental goat with the drummers and fifers are led around the mess table. The drum major has a silver plate with raw leeks and the mess sergeant carries a loving cup filled with champagne. They halt by the newest joined officer who then stands on his chair with his left foot and places his right foot on the table and eats a leek while the drummers play a continuous roll. Once he has consumed the leek he is handed the loving cup and before drinking toasts "And Saint David!" All present who have not eaten a leek, including guests are expected to do so. Similar ceremonies occurs in the sergeants and the other ranks mess. This custom, described as "ancient" in 1775 is still observed in peace and during war time up to the present time.
So to all on this day I hope a Happy Saint David's Day to the Welch, and to all Royal Welch Fusiliers both past and present!
And it is also a special day for your humble blogger who celebrates his 60th birthday today. Which I will spend having a day off of work and a lovely dinner with my dear wife Janine. And no Leeks for this dinner!