Let's welcome the Vikings

A rallying cry has gone out to members of the public to welcome home Royal Anglian troops from their gruelling tour of Afghanistan.

A rallying cry has gone out to members of the public to welcome home Royal Anglian troops from their gruelling tour of Afghanistan.

Troops from the regiment's 1st battalion will exercise the Freedom of the City by marching through Norwich on November 22 in what will be a poignant homecoming parade.

The battalion - nicknamed The Vikings - had nine soldiers killed and scores injured during the fighting.

The Duke of Gloucester, who is Colonel in Chief of the regiment, will be among those in attendance for the march, which will welcome soldiers back from their tour of Helmand Province and recognise the regiment's links with Norwich and the region.

The Royal Anglians will march with the regiment band, colours flying and bayonets fixed from City Hall, watched by The Duke, the Lord-Lieutenant of Norfolk Richard Jewson, Lieutenant General John McColl, and the Lord Mayor of Norwich Cllr Roy Blower.

Members of the public are being urged to turnout in force for the event and gather outside City Hall for the parade which begins at 2.20pm. It will follow a route along Gaol Hill, London Street, Queen Street, Tombland and The Close.

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A service of thanksgiving and remembrance will follow at Norwich Cathedral at 3.30pm and the Lord Mayor will host a private reception at Blackfriars Hall.

Colonel Tony Taylor, based at the TA Centre in Aylsham Road, said: “We want to make sure we reinforce our links with our region because Norfolk and Suffolk is where we recruit from. It will be great for the soldiers' morale if people turn out to show their support and it will be a finale for the tour.”

The Freedom of the City was bestowed on the regiment in 1984.

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