Crowds lined the streets in Diss this afternoon as they welcomed troops recently returned from Afghanistan.

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Up to 150 members of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment received the freedom of the town as part of one of five parades for the regiment, which returned from its latest, and probably last tour of duty in Afghanistan last month.

Led by a regimental band the men paraded through the bunting-lined streets to the Market Place where Diss mayor Graham Minshull gave a speech and Canon Tony Billett, rector of Diss, read a blessing.

The troops then continued to the top of St Nicholas Street for a reception at the Corn Hall.

Lance Corporal Peter Howell, of the 1st Batallion, said it was nice to see so many people show their support for the men.

“It makes a lot of difference to moral to see the people and to see all the bunting like this,” he said. “It makes it all worthwhile.”

Lance Corporal Terry Findley said that the parade had been the best he’d seen in his time with the 1st Battalion.

“I’ve done five tours and it’s never been like this,” he said. “It’s nice that people come to see us.”

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