A SOLDIER from the region has played a part in a unique and historic event commemorating the outbreak of the First World War.

Trooper James Casey, 22, from Richmond, travelled to the picturesque town of Bad Ischl in Austria with his regiment, the Queen’s Dragoon Guards.

The regiment was invited to lead the parade by Bad Ischl to recognize the historical links the two share.

At the outset of the First World War the Emperor Franz Josef of the Hapsburg dynasty was the Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment’s forbears, the Kings Dragoon Guards.

He had his summer residence – Kaiservilla - in Bad Ischl and it was there, in July 1914, he signed the proclamation of war on Serbia which quickly escalated into the conflict that changed the world forever.

Tpr Casey, whose father is a former soldier, said: “I only joined the Army last year and am new to the regiment having only recently completed my training - so to be selected to take in this parade was a real privilege.

“It was a fantastic experience and certainly something to remember.”

The Regimental Colonel, Lieutenant General Sir Simon Mayall, said: ”The welcome we have received from the residents of Bad Ischl has been outstanding and I was really pleased to see that they have taken the QDG to their hearts and attended the parade in such numbers.

“The significance and location cannot be under-estimated as we mark the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War later this year.”