View more pictures plus video of Barnstaple’s special day as thousands fill the streets for the homecoming parade of troops from RMB Chivenor and visit by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.

THE centre of Barnstaple came to a standstill this morning (Thursday) as thousands packed the streets to watch the Chivenor troops homecoming parade and greet the Duke of Edinburgh.

His Royal Highness Prince Philip took the salute of the men and women from the Commando Logistic Regiment as they marched past a dais on the Strand in a triumphant procession to celebrate their safe return from Afghanistan.

Cheered and clapped by literally thousands of people, plus children from local schools, the troops made their way from Taw Vale, along the high Street and around to the Strand, where a sea of jubilant spectators greeted them.

In full combat battledress, Prince Philip took their salute, standing beside him the Mayor of Barnstaple, Councillor Ian Roome, plus the Lord Lieutenant of Devon Eric Dancer, Armed Forces Minister and North Devon MP Nick Harvey plus the Commander General of the Royal Marines.

Led by the Band of the Royal Marines, the parade made its way along the length of the Strand and then back to Taw Vale, where the troops boarded coaches and returned to RMB Chivenor.

There, many of them will be presented with their Afghanistan service medals, followed by a family afternoon for the troops and their families.

* CLICK on the link to the right of this story for a picture gallery of the morning’s events. Video filmed by North Devon Council.