THE people of North Devon have been urged to line the streets of Barnstaple this April to welcome home local troops from Afghanistan. A home coming parade of around 600 members of the Commando Logistics Regiment from RMB Chivenor will march through the to
THE people of North Devon have been urged to line the streets of Barnstaple this April to welcome home local troops from Afghanistan.A home coming parade of around 600 members of the Commando Logistics Regiment from RMB Chivenor will march through the town on Friday, April 24 at 10am.The event is being jointly organised by Barnstaple Town Council and the authorities at Chivenor, as an opportunity for people in the town to show their support and for the troops themselves to express their gratitude.Still in their desert fatigues, the parade troops will assemble at Taw Vale and set off at 10am, led by the regimental band, making their way up through the High Street to Mermaid Cross, along North Walk and down to the Strand.The Mayor, Councillor Jeremy Phillips plus military and civilian dignitaries, will be on a dais outside the Heritage Centre to take the salute as the troops march past.It will take about 35 minutes to complete and the troops will return to RMB Chivenor for a formal parade where their commanding officer will present service medals for their work in Afghanistan."We hope people will come out and show their support for what the guys have been through, no matter what their particular views might be," said Major Keith Stanton, Officer Commanding Headquarters Squadron at RMB Chivenor."They have put themselves in harms way to do an important job to keep people back in the UK safe."At the same time it is a way of showing the regiment's thanks to the people of North Devon for all the support they have given us, including parcels and cards over Christmas, knitted jumpers plus letters of support when we have unfortunately lost men."The Mayor said the parade was something the council had been keen to host:"We wanted to welcome them back and thank them for the service they have done on behalf of our country, to make it a safer place in which to live," he said."It's certainly is not political, from our point of view it's simply a job well done. I'm glad to be able to be there and that this town is taking part - it benefits a great deal from Chivenor and we hope to be able to give some of that back.Two motorcycle outriders will escort the parade as it passes through. No road closures will be in effect, but police will hold back traffic in some places while the procession passes through.