Homecoming troops on parade in Barnstaple

CROWDS will line the streets of Barnstaple on Friday to welcome home around 600 personnel from the North Devon-based Commando Logistic Regiment. The homecoming parade is being organised by Barnstaple Town Council and RMB Chivenor to mark the troops retu

CROWDS will line the streets of Barnstaple on Friday to welcome home around 600 personnel from the North Devon-based Commando Logistic Regiment.The homecoming parade is being organised by Barnstaple Town Council and RMB Chivenor to mark the troops' return from Afghanistan, and to give local people the chance to pay their respects.The parade will form up in Taw Vale and be led from the Square by a Royal Marines regimental band at 10am.Three-a-breast, they will cross into Boutport Street and turn left onto the High Street and down into Mermaids Cross. Troops - in uniform but without weapons - will then parade to North Walk and the Strand, where the Mayor and military dignitaries will take salute at a saluting dais by the Heritage Centre.The parade - expected to take an hour to complete - will continue back to the Square and Taw Vale for embarkation to Chivenor.The Mayor of Barnstaple, Cllr Jeremy Phillips, said: "This is going to be a wonderful event, and I hope that as many people as possible will turn out to welcome the troops home. "It is our opportunity to say welcome back and also to remember those who, sadly, did not return." Roads in the centre of town will be closed from 9.30 to 11.30am to allow the parade to pass through. After the event, the troops will return to Chivenor for their medal ceremony, before embarking on leave. The Town Council is selling hand-held flags at various points in the town this week, including at the pannier market, Heritage Centre and Barum House. On the day of the march, they will be available from the Heritage Centre and the Guildhall. The flags cost 50p each with all profits going to the Help for Heroes charity. On Saturday evening, deputy mayor, Cllr Ian Roome, together with Cllrs Sue Haywood and Val Monk raised �252 selling flags in pubs around the town.

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