Barnstaple gearing up for Royal visitor at troop parade

Joseph Bulmer

HRH Prince Philip will take the salute from returning members of Commando Logistic Regiment as they march through the town in their Homecoming Parade.

THOUSANDS are expected to line the streets of Barnstaple tomorrow (Thursday) for the homecoming parade of Chivenor troops in the presence of The Duke of Edinburgh.

His Royal Highness Prince Philip will be taking the salute of soldiers from the Commando Logistic Regiment from atop a dais by the Heritage Centre as they march along the Strand to mark their safe return from Afghanistan.

Led by the Band of the Royal Marines, the parade will set off at 10.30am from Taw Vale, make its way around the Square into Boutport Street, left along the High Street to Mermaid Cross and into North Walk and along Castle Street.

HRH will be waiting for them as they enter the Strand, joined by The Mayor of Barnstaple Councillor Ian Roome plus the Lord Lieutenant of Devon Eric Dancer plus the Commander General of the Royal Marines.

Finally the Marines will return to the Square and Taw Vale before heading back to camp at RMB Chivenor, where there will be a medal ceremony followed by a family afternoon for the troops and their families.

Thousands of people are anticipated to turn up to welcome home the Regiment, including the families of the Marines, expected to number more than a thousand.

The Mayor urged as many people as possible to turn out to welcome the troops and the Royal visitor:

“This is going to be a wonderful event, and we are greatly honoured to have HRH the Duke of Edinburgh present for the Parade,” he said.

“There is a very close bond between the town and Chivenor and this is our opportunity to say welcome back.”

No parade would be complete without the Union Flag and hand held flags are on sale at Marks and Spencer, Wilkinsons, the Heritage Centre and Barum House at the Square. They cost �1 each and all proceeds will go to the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund.

Road closures will be in place for the event, with the Strand, Castle and Cross streets closed from 9am until 12 noon, while the Longbridge and The Square will be closed from 10.15am until noon. The Town Council has apologised for any inconvenience this may cause.