Receiving new colours…
Filming the Fifth Fusiliers
It is appropriate that on the day before the Queen’s Birthday Parade, also known as Trooping the Colour, we here print an article by Kiranjeet Sandhu, Upper VI, and a talented photographer and film-maker, on her recent experience filming the Fifth Fusiliers.
‘I was given the opportunity to film the Fifth Fusiliers receiving their new colours by Chris Hall who is the head of media for the Army in the north of England. I was given the brief of creating a three minute promotional video of the Marching of the Colours.
On Saturday 2nd May I travelled to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland and arrived at the army base in Alnwick where I was introduced to many of the key members of the Fifth Fusiliers. I was also introduced to Chloe who was going to be my ‘fixer’, a technical term for a second hand and supervisor. Chloe would help me carry my kit and tripod but, most importantly, keep me from getting into trouble if I strayed into the wrong place!
The first part I filmed was the VIP reception where I interviewed many key figures and veterans about the day and the preparations that had gone into the event. Before the event started I met with the official army press officer who ran me through the programme for the day and the key places and parts to film.
First was the ceremony with all the soldiers and castle archers marching through the gates to the grounds where the presentation was going to take place. Each army regiment was to perform three sets of drills. As the ceremony was going on I was running around trying to get the best shots of the marchers but, most importantly, not get into trouble for begin in the wrong place – I was climbing up hills and even up ladders to get the perfect views and shots.
The colours were presented by H.R.H. the Duke of Kent, who is the Queen’s first cousin, and the colours were then blessed by the priest. The old colours were then decommissioned; this is the first time in thirty-five years that the Fifth Fusiliers have received new colours. Once the colours were presented the Duke of Kent then went around to each regiment and inspected each row to make sure that the soldiers were dressed properly. When taking footage I had to ensure that I stayed at least 10 feet away from the Duke at all times; this was sometimes a little hard and Chloe and the press officer would keep on moving me and the official army photographer back.
Overall, I was one of three who were part of the press team; James was from the Northumberland Gazette and Michael was the official army photographer. This meant that I did not have to fight to get the perfect angle which made getting the footage a lot easier. After the main ceremony was over there was a break and I teamed up with James and filmed him interviewing corporals and officers.
After this we then went ahead of the parade to get to the start of it as the colours were paraded through the streets of Alnwick. This was difficult to film as there were lots of people lining the streets and meant that I had to keep moving while taking the footage. Chloe had to hold on to me as I moved backwards, guiding me so that I would not fall. The parade ended at St Michael’s Church where the old colours were laid to rest. Then everyone made their way back to the Army Reserve centre for a large celebration.
This experience was life-changing and a major event which not many people have the opportunity to be a part of. All the people I met were incredibly friendly and kind and opened my eyes to another world.’
Congratulations, Kiranjeet, on your achievement and we wish you every success in your chosen field.Priory Post