Young soldiers are serving us well

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A trip to London leaves you more than a little weary from trying to visit as many tourist destinations as possible and with almost a sense of disbelief at how foreign visitors absolutely love everything about our heritage.

Whether it be the Royal Family and all the pomp associated with them or it be the centuries-old buildings and traditions to be found in the capital, they can’t seem to get enough.

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However, I must admit that I was as keen as most to see as much as possible, but perhaps without the frenzy that some of them seemed to be adopting. I certainly wasn’t to be found running up the Mall to see the Changing of the Guard! However, I did stand up to watch some very impressive soldiers at Horseguards Parade, resplendent in gleaming uniforms ... but resisted any urge to be photographed alongside them as many were doing.

Later at St James Palace I couldn’t help but smile as one young guardsman was obviously struggling to deal with standing still for so long, particularly as he seemed to have a very itchy nose given the amount of twitching he was doing.

They say you are getting older when the policemen start looking young, but I felt ancient as these soldiers – despite the tall bearskins – looked like wee boys!

Which probably made it all the more profound when, just a few days later, came news of the horrific events in Woolwich.

I don’t think anyone could fail to be shocked by what occurred. Yes, servicemen and women sign up knowing they risk injury and, at worst, death in the defence of their country – but I’m sure they never imagined it would happen as they walk down a UK street.