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Pace sticking is a sport unique to the British Army and one that has become synonymous with tradition, ceremony, expert precision, and timing.
Originating in the Roman era, a pace stick is akin to a large compass and measures the length of a marching step. First used by the Army as a means of measuring the distance of artillery guns, it now predominantly finds its home on the parade square.
The Chelsea Pensioner Pace Sticking Team includes the ‘stickers’ and the ‘driver’, who is responsible for manoeuvring the group as they undertake intricate drills. Marked to the centimetre, the sport has been described as ‘drill square dressage’.
Pace sticking has enjoyed a renaissance in popularity in recent years and a number of international teams competed against the Chelsea Pensioners at the recent World Championship at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.
Come along to the History Street and see the team in action. Dressed in their iconic scarlet tunics and tricorne hats, they will be put through their paces as they expertly execute several drills for spectators.