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The above photograph of B Company on ceremonial parade in outside the Palace of Justice in Vienna in 1945 was copied from a small postcard made up by Major A E C Vizard and sent out to members of the Old Comrades’ Association in the early 1990s. Note the very smart turnout and bearing of the men featured--and the fact that they are carrying their rifles in the distinctive light infantry manner, ’at the trail’

The 16th DLI took part in two major ceremonial parades in Vienna, on October 15th 1945, when control of the city was handed over from the US to the British and on November 15th, when control was handed from the British to the French. An account from the Battalion magazine Geordie of the October 15th hand over can be read here.

The extract below is from Major L E` Stringer’s 1946 Battalion History, pages 66-67:

On October 9th, the Battalion moved to Vienna for a tour of duty as Garrison troops. This was an important phrase in the life of the Battalion as Vienna was, and still is, divided into four zones which are controlled respectively by the British, American, Russian and French forces. Each month one of the four powers takes a turn at providing the Supreme Commander of the City. Troops of the controlling power are responsible for the policing and guarding of an additional area in the centre of the city known as the International Area.

The Durhams were very proud to be the first unit of the 46th Division to be selected to go to Vienna, especially as the period of the Battalion's visit conincided with the time when General McCreery was the Supreme Commander. On arrival, the Durhams occupied billets in a disused hospital in Boerhave Gasse, Bezirk III.

The first big ceremonial parade took place on October 15th, when the British became the Presiding Power, taking over from the Americans. The Ceremony took place outside the the Palace of Justice. During the Parade the Union Jack was raised over the Palace and the changing of the guard from American to British was completed. A report on this parade in the Battalion magazine says......[See this item in full reproduced here]

For the next month the Battalion provided guards on all the key buildings in the International Area and also participated in the ceremonial opening of the Allied Control HQ. This parade was commanded by Major A Hay, and one hundred men, mostly from Able Company, presented arms to General McCreery, General Koniev and the American and French commanders as they arrived to take part in the official opening and the first meeting of the Allied Council.

Although some reinforcements arrived to the Battalion at this stage, it was no easy task to provide all the necessary guards and the Battalion worked very hard to maintain its high standards of turnout, discipline and bearing. Nevertheless, although

B Company on Ceremonial Parade in Vienna, late 1945
B Company March Past Vienna 1945