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End of an era at Northumberland army base

The handover of the historic battle axe Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

An historic ceremony has taken place for the final time at Albermarle Barracks in Northumberland.

Soldiers from 74 Battery, which is part of 39 Regiment Royal Artillery, have marked Battle Axe Day.

The tradition dates back more than two hundred years, when the Battery helped to capture the Caribbean island of Martinique from the French. A battle axe, which was taken as a trophy at the time, still forms the centrepiece of the ceremony.

74 Battery has been known as the Battle Axe Company since the capture of Martinique on the 24th February 1809.

Battle axe carried by Lance Bombardier Martin Priestman from Middlesbrough Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

This year's 'Axe Man' was Lance Bombardier Martin Priestman from Middlesbrough. He carried the artefact through the ceremony, handing it over to Sergeant Gareth Cahill who now takes on the role.

This is the last time the annual parade has been held at Albemarle.

74 Battery is moving to Wiltshire and taking on a new role, though it will retain the honorary title of Battle Axe Company.

The parade in progress Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees