To celebrate Armed Forces Day 2023, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity’s latest General Talk podcast, hosted by Harry Bucknall, features soldiers from the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery (RHA).
Harry talks to King’s Troop Commanding Officer, Major Francesca Sykes, who shares her proudest moments so far as CO during many recent historic occasions. These include the 2022 Platinum Jubilee, when the Troop’s horses displayed such “immaculate behaviour” in a crowd of three hundred thousand cheering spectators around Hyde Park.
Major Sykes also explains the technical aspects of ceremonial gunnery and the history and heritage of the King’s Troop’s guns, some of which were used at the Battle of the Somme.
She highlights the King’s Troop’s breadth of gender and religious diversity, including many female soldiers in senior ranks. She says:
“As much as we are here to protect some of the Army’s heritage, we are also here to provide an accessible engagement function with wider society.”
Lt Rebecca Bee and Gunner Harry Hoult also tell Harry about caring for the King’s Troop’s wonderful highly trained horses.
ABF The Soldiers’ Charity is grateful to Major Sykes and her team for giving us their time and contributing to our Armed Forces Day podcast.