Scots Guards in Wantage

On Saturday 21st May 2011, the Scots Guards were given the Freedom of Wantage. They marched into town and were cheered by thousands of us. It was an absolutely spectacular day!

This webpage was created to gather together all the various bits of information relating to this historic event.

The first item below is the Press Release written by Chris Fletcher of Media Operations Headquarters 145 (South) Brigade. It provides an excellent summary of what the day was all about.

Press Release by Chris Fletcher 23rd May 2011

Scots Guards Freedom of Wantage Parade and Ceremony

Officers and Guardsmen of the 1st Battalion, Scots Guards marched into the town Market Place of Wantage in front of thousands of cheering and flag waving spectators on a brilliantly sunny Saturday lunchtime.

Wearing full ceremonial uniform of scarlet tunics and bearskins, with Colours flying, weapons drawn and bayonets fixed they brought a fantastic sense of pomp and ceremony to the ancient Oxfordshire market town of Wantage, famed for being the birthplace of King Alfred the Great.

The regiment was on parade to receive the Freedom of the Town, and its Colonel in Chief, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Kent, received the scroll from the current Town Mayor, Councillor Mrs Charlotte Dickson.

The connection of Wantage and the Scots Guards goes back to the Victorian era and the Crimean War. A young officer, Robert Lloyd-Lindsay, who was the Queen’s Colour Ensign serving with the then Scots Fusilier Guards, whose duty was to protect the Regimental Colours in battle, was the first recipient of the VC (Victoria Cross). He was awarded the then newly introduced highest award for gallantry by HM Queen Victoria in 1857 for heroically guarding the Regiment’s Colours and advancing towards the enemy. Later in life he was ennobled taking the title of Baron Wantage of Lockinge and so the link was made. Not only did he became the Town’s Member of Parliament, but also proved a great benefactor. He commissioned the building of the town’s statue to King Alfred, the face of which is said to have been modelled on him; he also founded the British Red Cross.

During the Freedom Ceremony and Parade the medals belonging to Baron Wantage, not seen in public since his death in 1901, were also paraded for the town to see; including the priceless VC escorted by the military and watched over private security guards

The medals belonging to Ensign Robert Lloyd-Lindsay, 1st and Last Baron of Wantage of Locking. They include the first ever VC (Victoria Cross) presented. Surrounded by military personnel and security guards the medals were shown to the public for the first time in over 107 years.101 Officers and Guardsmen of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards marched into the Market Place in the centre of Wantage. The Regiment were there to receive the Freedom of Wantage.

The connections between the regiment and the town go back to the timne of Queen Victoria who presented Queen’s Colour Ensign Robert Lloyd Lindsay with the first ever Victoria Cross which he won during the Battle of Alma in the Crimean War. He was late enobled as Baron Wantage of Lockinge an d became the town’s Member of Parliament, he also founded the British Red Cross. HRH The Duke of Kent, the Colonel in Chief of the Scots Guards accepted the Freedom on behalf of the regiment.


Commenting on the day’s events, the Commanding Officer of the Scots Guards, Lieutenant Colonel Lincoln Jopp MC said, “To see Scotland’s finest on parade in Wantage was a magnificent sight. I’m extremely proud of my men and enjoy opportunities such as this for the public to get up close and personal and to hear of their experiences”. He added, “We enjoy wonderful support from the Great British public and I would like to thank, on behalf of the Scots Guards, the people of Oxfordshire and Wantage in particular, for cheering us on today.”

On Tuesday the Scots Guards will form the Guard of Honour for the State Visit of President Barrack Obama before the trooping of their colour on the Queen’s Official Birthday.

23rd March 2011 Loyal Greetings

16th May 2011 Covering Letter

21st May 2011 The Queen’s Response

23rd May 2011 The Daily Telegraph Court Circular


18th May 2011 1st Press Release from Chris Fletcher of Media Operations Headquarters 145 (South) Brigade


23rd May 2011 2nd Press Release from Chris Fletcher of Media Operations Headquarters 145 (South) Brigade


21st May 2011 Wantage Speech

and last, but not least, the beer…!

Jim Sibbald commissioned 4 beers named after the battles that Lord Wantage fought in the Crimea.

The beers are named after the Battles that Robert James Lindsay (Later Baron Wantage of Lockinge) fought as a Scots Fusilier Guard. VC Citation “When the formation of the line of the Regiment was disordered at Alma, Captain Lindsay stood firm with the Colours, and by his example and energy, greatly tended to restore order”.

At Inkerman, at a most trying moment, he, with a few men, charged a party of Russians, driving them back, and running one through the body himself.


ABV 3.9% brewed by Darren Weal of Best Mates Brewery in Ardington


ABV 4.0% brewed by Shaun Cunningham of Adkin Brewery


ABV 4.3% brewed by Dave and Helen Maggs of West Berkshire Brewery


ABV 7.0% an Imperial Russian Stout brewed by Peter Fowler of Betjeman Brewery and publican of the Shoulder of Mutton in Wantage.