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Last Updated: Friday, 26 May 2006, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Capital send-off for Royal Scots
The Royal Scots during a parade in Edinburgh on Friday
Well-wishers turned out to cheer the Royal Scots during their parade
Hundreds of well-wishers have turned out for the Royal Scots on their last parade in Edinburgh.

Friday's event, which marked the end of the Edinburgh regiment's 373-year history, included more than 500 serving soldiers and veterans.

Destroyer HMS Edinburgh arrived in Leith as part of the event marking the regiment's transfer into the new Royal Regiment of Scotland.

Most soldiers taking part only returned from duty in Iraq a fortnight ago.

Later this year, the Royal Scots will merge with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers Battalion to form The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

The Jock is second to none and admired throughout the world
Sir Robert Richardson
Former Royal Scots Colonel

The move follows a decision by the UK Government to create a Scottish super-regiment under a major defence shake-up.

Lieutenant General Sir Robert Richardson, former Royal Scots Colonel of the regiment, said: "The golden thread linking the past and over three-and-a-half centuries of unrivalled tradition of service, comradeship, courage and loyalty to the Crown and country will be fostered and maintained in the present and through to the future."

'Embrace the future'

Sir Robert said he had the "greatest admiration" for those serving today and that he was confident those who follow would not rest on their laurels.

"The Jock is second to none and admired throughout the world," he added.

"One request to my old comrades and those serving today - 'treasure the past, draw strength from it but do not live in it. The old days are gone, never to return. Embrace the future'."

HMS Edinburgh's crew are paying respects to the vessel's affiliated Army battalion.

See pictures from the Royal Scots' final parade to mark its 373-year history.

Rear Admiral Philip Wilcocks said: "The main purpose of the visit of HMS Edinburgh to Edinburgh is to pay tribute to the bravery of the men of the Royal Scots, who have served with distinction and dedication under difficult circumstances in Iraq."

The Royal Scots, formed in 1633, is the oldest infantry regiment in the British Army and won its first battle honour in Tangiers in 1680.

The regiment's first Victoria Cross was won during the Siege of Sevastopol, while in the First World War the number of battalions increased to 35, of which 15 served as active front line units.

After the parade, the battalion was due to return to duties at Dreghorn and will be working with the King's Own Scottish Borderers towards forming the new battalion, which will come into existence on 1 August.

Princess Anne, the colonel in chief of the regiment, watched the spectacle from the steps of the Royal Scottish Academy.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
See the Royal Scots on their final parade



SEE ALSO:
Army regiments merger goes ahead
28 Mar 06 |  Scotland
New regiment to get city freedom
24 Feb 06 |  Scotland
Iraq mission for The Royal Scots
19 Dec 05 |  Scotland


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