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Final preparations made for town soldier parade

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: June 18, 2014

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FINAL details have been revealed about an event that will see hundreds of soldiers march through the streets of Burton.

More than 250 soldiers from the Mercian Regiment will parade through the town to mark their return from operations in Afghanistan on Thursday, June 26.

This is as part of a homecoming tour to celebrate their return from a nine month gruelling and challenging tour in Afghanistan.

Captain Matt Odell, adjutant 3rd Battalion of the Mercian Regiment, said: “We are looking forward to welcoming the soldiers home, who have all worked extremely hard during the past nine months.”

The march will begin at 2pm, with a salute taken by deputy lieutenant and colonel of the regiment’s representative, Colonel Adrian Walton in High Street. The Mayor of East Staffordshire Ron Clarke and Burton MP Andrew Griffiths will also be in attendance.

Jim Massey, from the regimental headquarters of the Mercian Regiment, said: “Many of our soldiers have served for eight, or in some cases nine months in Afghanistan, so this has been a long tour.

“We are very proud that the battalion will be marching through Burton, and it should make for a great spectacle.

“I’d urge local residents to come and support the great job the troops have been doing.”

The parade will be led by commanding officer of 3 MERCIAN, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Davies.

A military band will also accompany the soldiers.

They will also be joined by the Regiment’s mascot, Private Derby XXX (30th), a Swaledale Ram, and the Staffordshire Regimental Association mascot, Lance Corporal Watchman.

A short reception will then take place, where soldiers will be presented with their operational service medals for Afghanistan. Since its formation in 2007, the Regiment has spent more than two-and-a-half years in on operations in the country. Troops last marched through the town in 2011 after returning home from a tour in Afghanistan.

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