Thousands of people flocked to the centre of Bury St Edmunds today (Saturday) to pay tribute to gunners based at RAF Honington.

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Angel Hill was packed and hundreds lined the route as the troops, led by the RAF band, paraded through the Abbey Gate, across Angel Hill, along Abbeygate Street to the Apex Shopping Centre and back to mark Armed Forces Day.

It was a chance for the town, the region and families and friends of the men and women stationed at Honington, to show their support.

There was cheering and clapping as they proudly marked the day with the homecoming parade for 11 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment who have returned from a six-month tour of Afghanistan.

The Mayor of St Edmundsbury, Timothy Marks, and the station commander at RAF Honington, Grp Capt Andy Hall, took the salute, and then went on to present medals to 53 gunners to mark their tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The Abbey Gardens opened for an afternoon of live music and entertainment, including a concert from the Wattisham Military Wives Choir.

The afternoon’s programme also includes big band music from the County Upper School Swing Band, songs from the 1940s by Stagecoach Theatre Arts School and demonstrations including a field gun challenge from the Air Training Corps.

At 4.30pm the Armed Forces Day flag is due to be lowered on Angel Hill and presented to the Royal Anglian Regiment by the Mayor.

Tonight there is an Armed Forces Day Concert in support of Help for Heroes in the Abbey Gardens featuring The Red Mock Chili Peppers.

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