The Army celebrated the bicentenary of Lancer Barracks on November 21, the longest continuously occupied military barracks on mainland Australia.
It is 200 years since the barracks - in Parramatta, NSW - was completed, testimony to the foresight of the architect, Lieutenant John Watts, and the colonial administration of the day.
The barracks has been home to British Regiments, NSW Police and the Headquarters of the Army’s 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers.
This unit, formed in 1885, is one of the Australian Army’s leading Reserve Light Cavalry Regiments and has occupied the barracks since 1897.
The historic occasion was marked by a formal parade, including a display of the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers Guidons, showcasing its proud heritage and history.
Several Lancer Association and community leaders attended, including Member for Parramatta Geoff Lee, Lord Mayor of Parramatta Councillor Bob Dwyer, Parramatta Police Area Command Superintendent Julie Boon and President of the Lancer Association Ken Koles.
Commanding Officer 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers Lieutenant Colonel Andrew White said the barracks had a continuing importance.
“The barracks have recently been used as a mounting base and joint task unit headquarters for domestic operations,” Lieutenant Colonel White said.
“The barracks retains its heritage, but also its operational relevance and capability for Army today.”
Patrol Commander Light Cavalry Scout in the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers Corporal Andrew Dutfield has been a member of the regiment for 12 years.
“I have a proud family tradition with the Lancer Barracks and the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers,” he said.
“My father was a member in the 1970s. My uncle also served, and my brother-in-law was previously the unit’s regimental Sergeant Major.”