Soldiers to be honoured at homecoming parade

By Tim Clarke 20/06 Updated: 20/06 12:49

Buy photos » A map of the parade route. (S)

SEVEN brave Worcester soldiers will be honoured for their service in Afghanistan after they have joined nearly 800 troops on a homecoming parade through the city next Wednesday (June 27).

Soldiers from the Mercians, the Queen’s Royal Hussars and the Grenadier Guards will be accompanied by veterans from each of the three regiments and Royal British Legion.

After the march a special reception will be held in the Guildhall when six Worcester soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Mercians will be presented with Afghanistan Operational Service medals in recognition of their recent tour of duty.

These are Private Scott Littleton, Corporal Gareth James, Private Steven Bradley, Corporal Stuart Collins, Private Karl Lewis and Private Nephi Attree.

A long service medal will also be presented to Staff Sergeant James Smith of the Hussars, for his 16 years’ impeccable service.

The parade is a homecoming event for both the Mercians and The Hussars, who have recently returned from Afghanistan. It will also be a Freedom March for the Mercians and the Grenadier Guards, who were granted the Freedom of Worcester in 1993. The 1st Battalion of the Grenadier Guards is currently deployed in Afghanistan.

Worcester Mayor Roger Berry said: “This will be a spectacular parade that will give Worcester people the chance to show their appreciation for the work that our armed forces do and in particular welcome home our brave local soldiers."

The parade will begin on Quay Street at 11am, before crossing Deansway and continuing up Broad Street.

It will then move onto the High Street before passing the Guildhall, where the salute will be taken by senior military officers and other dignitaries.

Music will be provided by the world famous Band of the Grenadier Guards and the Pipes and Drums of the Queen’s Royal Hussars.

The parade then continues down Pump Street, along the Shambles, St Swithin’s Street and Broad Street before returning to Quay Street.

Afterwards people can meet the troops at a free event in the centre of Worcester Racecourse from 11.45am which has been organised as part of the lead up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 30.

This will include displays, music from the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band; war horses in military and historic regalia; military vehicles; singing from the Thursfield Solicitors’ Choir and collections for Help for Heroes.

Visitors can stay on to enjoy a full afternoon of National Hunt racing with one of the races in aid of Help For Heroes.

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