AS a city with a rich, military history, there are plenty of stories to tell about Colchester’s involvement with the army.

Colchester is proud of its association with the military with the Garrison being an important military base since the Romans ruled Colchester.

This week, the Gazette looks back at some memories of Army Day over the years.

The Garrison was first established by Legio XX Valeria Victrix, in AD 43, following the Roman conquest of Britain.

Moreover, Colchester played an important role as a Garrison town during the Napoleonic Wars, as well as throughout the Victorian era.

During the First World War, several battalions of Lord Kitchener’s army were trained in the city, and now the 2nd Battalion and 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment are based at Merville Barracks in Colchester as part of 16 Air Assault Brigade.

In the 1950s, due to increasing difficulties caused by the frequent movements caused by troops, military vehicles and helicopters so close to the town, plans were made to create a new barracks.

It was then decided to concentrate the barracks further away from the then town centre. It was decided to move the new barracks to the Abbey Field area.

The  barracks were built in 1962, adjoining the Roman Way camp on the south.

Goojerat barracks were rebuilt between 1970 and 1975, becoming headquarters of the 19 Airportable Brigade.

Earlier this year, a pair of military plaques were unveiled honouring the Le Cateau Barracks in Colchester.

The building is now known as the Garrison Warrant Officers’ and Sergeants’ Mess.

The architecture of the Officers’ Quarters makes it one of the best persevered barracks of the Victorian Colchester Garrison.

This year, more than 10,000 people flocked to Abbey Field to celebrate Armed Forces Day as the 16 Air Assault Brigade and other members of Colchester Garrison took over the military celebration.

Thousands swarmed the field over the course of the day to marvel at the military equipment and demonstrations on display.

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