Light Dragoons to march through Dereham

'Show your support and give our soldiers a hero's welcome' is the plea as a community prepares itself for the Light Dragoons to go on parade.

'Show your support and give our soldiers a hero's welcome' is the plea as a community prepares itself for the Light Dragoons to go on parade.

On Monday the Swanton Morley based soldiers will be marching through Dereham as part of their welcome home parade.

And people from across Norfolk are invited to cheer, clap and celebrate their safe return as the troops, who returned from serving in Afghanistan last month, exercise their freedom to hold the parade given by Breckland Council.

Lt Col Angus Watson said: “It will mean a great deal to the soldiers to realise that people at home appreciate the sacrifices they have made.

“It has been a testing year for both the soldiers and their families. We are extremely grateful for all the support the local community has shown us over this period.

“We very much appreciate the council marking our return with this event.”

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The homecoming parade will start from the Cherry Tree car park at 11am with 140 soldiers from the regiment marching along the High Street and down Church Street.

At 11.07am there will be flypast of two tornadoes after which soldiers, families, wives, girlfriends and children will gather for a private thanksgiving service at St Nicholas Church.

This will be followed by a civic reception where Lt Col Watson will be presented with a glass plaque to mark the occasion.

Soldiers will also be presented with a bottle of Breckland Hero beer produced in honour of the troops' safe return home.

Mary Palmer, spokesperson for Breckland Council, said: “The men and women who serve in the Light Dragoons are part of our community, as are their family.

“They have done a great job out there. We're all very proud of them and this is our chance to show them how we feel.

“People should show their support and give our soldiers a hero's welcome.”

tAnyone wishing to show their support should be assembled in the High Street by 10.40am. The Cherry Tree Car Park in Dereham will be closed on Monday and both Market Place and Church Street will be closed for the duration of the parade.

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