Get Your Free Union Flag To Welcome The Troops Home
PUBLISHED: 12:36 10 June 2010
Free Union Flags For Parade To Welcome The Troops Home From Afghanistan.
COMMUNITY leaders are ¬hoping for a bumper turnout to ¬welcome home troops from the Royal Anglian Regiment after their latest tour of duty in Afghanistan. There will be a parade in the city next Wednesday, June 16, and community leaders and your local paper, the Ely Standard, are gearing up to give the regiment a warm home-coming. The Ely Standard will be giving out Union Flags on the morning of the parade. Members of staff wearing Ely Standard t-shirts will be out from 9.30am on the morning of the parade giving out flags to anyone who wants one.
Members of the regiment’s 1st ¬Battalion, who have recently returned from a six-month tour, are visiting major centres across the region.
They will take part in the parade next Wednesday and then attend a civic reception at Ely Cathedral.
Mayor Brian Ashton, who will play a key part in the reception, said: “The City of Ely granted the regiment the freedom of the city in 1977, and we are delighted they have accepted our invitation to exercise that freedom on this occasion.
“I think it is very important for us to express our thanks and show our appreciation for the efforts of the troops and the young people of this area.”
The parade route will see the troops, known by their regimental nickname as The Vikings, start out from Fore Hill at 11am before marching along the High Street past the Market Square and finally into The Gallery before heading into the cathedral.
Organisers are hoping that large crowds will line the entire route.
The parade will be led by the ¬regimental band with troops displaying fixed ¬bayonets and the regimental colours.
The parade will also remember the five soldiers who died during the ¬regiment’s tour, including Burwell teenager Private Robert Hayes, who died while on foot patrol in January.
Battalion commander Lieutenant Colonel James Woodham said: “The Vikings have taken part in hard fighting against well motivated insurgents, have trained and mentored the increasingly able Afghan National Army and ¬supported local governance and ¬development programmes.
“While Afghanistan remains a ¬country with significant problems, the Vikings have made real and sustainable progress in the past six months and have left ¬Helmand a safer and more secure place.
“A series of parades have been planned in East Anglia to provide an ¬opportunity for the public to welcome home their County Infantry Battalion and for the Vikings to thank the people of East Anglia for their unwavering support.
“Perhaps people might spare a few minutes of your time to give them a cheer as they march proudly past, I know that they would appreciate your support.”