IT was 70 years ago when the Duke of Gloucester unveiled two books of remembrance and memorial panels at Winchester Cathedral.

Prince Henry visited the city in his capacity as Colonel-in-Chief of the Rifle Brigade, where he was accompanied by then-Mayor of Winchester Cyril Taylor.

On that day of October 19, 1949, riflemen of all ranks and ages paid honour to the dead of the South African War.

The Duke, who wore field service uniform, arrived by special train from London together with more than 1,000 ex-officers of the Regiment and relatives of the fallen. He was greeted by Lord Wilson and they drove together to the Rifle Depot at the barracks.

At the cathedral the Duke inspected a guard of honour, comprising of men of the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade who had travelled from Germany where the battalion was stationed.

The Duke, who occupied a carved oak chair on the dais at the east end of the nave, had only a few steps to take to the table on which the books of remembrance lay, covered by the green and black flag of the Rifle Brigade. He slowly rolled back the flag from the books, which were blessed by the Bishop.

After the service Prince Henry and the Bishop walked with the books to the north aisle for the unveiling of the plaques.

Rifle Brigade buglers sounded the Last Post and Reveille.

The Duke was then entertained to luncheon at the Barracks.