Scottish soldiers leading the way at Pride

June 30, 2022

Pride in London is 50! And celebrating this historic milestone, Scottish soldiers will lead troops from across the British Army and comrades from the Royal Navy, the Royal Air Force and Defence Civilians to march through London on Saturday. They will be following the original route of the first ever Pride in London parade half a century ago. 

Organising the day will be the Royal Regiment of Scotland’s Major Frazer Stark from Peebles.

He said: “I think it’s great that personnel from across Defence can openly march with Pride in London, in their uniforms. This is thanks to all those who fought for our rights 50 years ago and since.”

Frazer joined the Regular Army in 2010 after serving as a Reservist in 6 SCOTS whilst at University. 

Frazer said: “The exciting roles, rewarding work, travel and, most importantly, the soldiers, have kept me in. Even in my relatively short career, the Army and Defence have made significant progress in making this an inclusive organisation.”

Major Frazer Stark.
Major Frazer Stark.

During the parade on Saturday Frazer will be thinking about all those who fought, and in some cases died, for our freedoms, whether LGBTQ+ or not, their sacrifice is the same. He added: “The parade ends for the military at the Cenotaph, which really brings everything home.”

Brigadier Clare Phillips is second in command at the Army’s career management centre in Glasgow. She has led Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) soldiers on operations, and was the first woman to become a Corps Colonel. She will be leading the Army contingent during the march.

She explained what it meant to her to be marching.

She said: “I want to show others that they can be their whole authentic selves in the Army. It is a statement of progress for the Army to be marching at Pride, and an opportunity to thank those who went before us to fight for progress, and to remind myself and others that our freedoms are hard fought for and so easily lost.”

Pride in London is the UK’s biggest, most diverse pride, and provides a platform to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and campaign for the freedoms that will allow everyone to live their lives on a genuinely equal footing.

Setting the pace and boosting morale at the front of the Defence contingent will be the world-renowned Musicians of the Band of the Grenadier Guards, performing a wide range of military and popular music.

Members of the Armed Forces first marched in uniform in Pride in London in 2008 and have proudly taken part in Pride marches every year since, with the exception of the Covid-19 pandemic when the marches had to be cancelled.

Since the lifting of the ban on LGBT personnel serving in the military in January 2000, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) has welcomed and supported all staff, irrespective of sexual orientation, actively celebrating and supporting the diversity of all personnel. 

If you’re in Piccadilly, Haymarket or Trafalgar Square from noon on Saturday, please show your support for our heroes as they march with Pride in London.

HRFCA mascot Sgt Maj George shows his support for Pride.
HRFCA mascot Sgt Maj George Seathwood demonstrates his support for Pride.