March 5 2015 Latest news:

Dragoon homecoming: So proud to be part of the parade

Lt Col Sam Plant, commanding officer of the Light Dragoons. Pic by Chris Hill Lt Col Sam Plant, commanding officer of the Light Dragoons. Pic by Chris Hill

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
11:11 AM

Lt Col Sam Plant, the commanding officer of the Light Dragoons, has spoken of the “absolutely amazing” support he and his regiment receive from the town of Dereham and the surrounding area, ahead of their Welcome Home parade through the town today.

To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in.

“The parade means the world to us,” he said as the regiment prepared to form up on Norwich Street. “When we go away on operations we are strengthened by knowing that we live in such a special place. For me today and for us as a regiment it is an opportunity to offer our thanks to the brilliant people of Dereham and we acknowledge all that they do for us.”

He said he was also “immensely grateful” that people wanted to come out in their thousands to show their support for the troops.

“It makes it such a special occasion and we must never take for granted the support we have from the local community.”

While the Light Dragoons was a northern regiment and mainly recruited from the north, he said, Norfolk felt very much like home, where their children went to school and where their families were supported during the long months while they were on deployment.

“The support sustains us because it helps make the harder things we do make sense.”

He also spoke of the difference he felt they were making in Afghanistan and the progress that had been made over the past six months, with the long term goal of removing all British forces from the country a real possibility.

“The Afghan national security forces have come on in leaps and bounds, they are taking the lead more and moving the pace of operations and taking responsibility for security with us taking more of a supporting role.”

He added that Sgt Lee Davidson, who was killed on September 9 by a roadside bomb, was in all their thoughts as were all those Light Dragoons who had lost their lives on previous deployments.

“They are at the forefront of our thoughts and at our thanksgiving service at the church today we will reflect on the human cost of the war in Afghanistan.”

Sgt Davidson’s family are not attending the parade today but Lt Col Plant said they were pleased to announce that his widow Samantha had given birth to their daughter, who has been named Amelia, and they were doing “really well” in what was a very emotional time.

“The regiment is here to support her and the family in every way we can for as long as is required,” he added.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Eastern Daily Press visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Eastern Daily Press staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Forgotten your password?

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Eastern Daily Press account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now



Norfolk Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 4°C

min temp: 7°C

Five-day forecast