December 6 2013 Latest news:
Dominic Bareham, senior reporter
Friday, October 26, 2012
When soldiers from the Royal Anglians parade through a Norfolk town at the start of November they will be guaranteed a warm welcome- thanks to a special wall created in their honour.
Schoolchildren in Diss have contributed to approximately 30 messages left in the front window of an empty shop at the junction of Mere Street and Victoria Road to greet the regiment’s troops when they arrive to receive the Freedom of the town on November 7.
The heartwarming tributes include numerous messages from school pupils thanking the soldiers, who returned from their tour of duty in Afghanistan on Wednesday evening, for keeping the UK safe and wishing them an enjoyable reunification with their families.
The wall has been located at the start of the parade route so the soldiers can read the messages while they are waiting for the procession to begin.
Diss mayor Graham Minshull said: “The response is amazing and there are more messages coming in every day. The scouts and cubs are doing them and it is just great, but it is not just for children. If businesses and individuals want to put messages on there, they can.”
Once the parade has finished, the wall will be left in place for a few more days before the messages are taken down and possibly sent to the Royal Anglian regiment’s museum to be displayed.
The procession will head up Mere Street to the Market Place where the mayor will give a welcoming speech and Canon Tony Billett, Rector of Diss, will read a blessing.
The troops will then file into the Corn Hall for a civic reception with a host of dignitaries including MP Richard Bacon and the High Sheriff and Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk.