This short article was written by Major L E Stringer, of B Company 16 DLI, for the Battalion Magazine ‘Geordie’ in late 1945. The heading above and the small photographs below are reproduced at original size from the magazine. These are only of newsprint quality and thus haven’t reproduced very well. For more ‘Geordie’ photographs of Austria, click here

On October 15th, Brigadier T E Lewis, the American officer who has been in command of Vienna Area, relinquished his post as the Chairman of the Inter-Allied Command. The ceremony took place outside the Palace of Justice and the Chairmanship was taken over by Brigadier G V Palmer OBE, TD, of the British Military Government. This is in accordance with the policy by which this position rotates on the 15th of each month among the four power leaders in the Austrian capital.

At this parade the Union Jack was raised over the palace and the changing of the guard from American to British was completed. To the playing of 'The General's March' by a combined British-American sixty piece band, the ceremony commenced. United States troops of the 222nd Regiment, 42nd Division marched on parade, proceeded by their colour party. They were followed by a guard of one officer (Capt A Pearson MC) and 72 other ranks from B Coy, 16th Bn The Durham Light Infantry (1). The turnout, drill and bearing of the Durhams was of a very high standard throughout.

At the completion of the ruffles and flourishes, the national anthems of the United States and Great Britain were played, while the Stars and Stripes were lowered and the Union Jack raised on top of the palace. The troops then marched past saluting base and the ceremony ended. Before and after the parade, military and civilian spectators were entertained by the British-American band which played marches of both countries. The playing of 'The Light Bark', the Durham's Regimental March, was most impressive.

Our first important 'ceremonial' in Vienna was, without doubt, a big success. LES.

Notes: (1) Captain Arthur Pearson MC, was commissioned after serving as the Company Sergeant Major of C Company 16 DLI in 1942-1943. He was the only one of the four four Rifle Company CSMs to survive the Battle of Sedjenane in February-March 1943 He is leading the parade in the photograph below right.

To see him on the 1942 Sergeants photo, click here.

To see him on the 1944 officers photo click here. To read his MC citation click here.

For more photographs of B Company on Parade in Vienna, click here.
Marchpast Vienna