Selfless soldiers give up holidays to help flood victims

Light Dragoons airlift in supplies by Chinook to flood affected areas around York

Light Dragoons airlift in supplies by Chinook to flood affected areas around York - Credit: supplied

Two years ago they were helping flood-hit communities in Norfolk recover from the record-breaking tidal surge and now the Light Dragoons, who were based in Swanton Morley for 15 years before relocating to Catterick in Yorkshire this year, have gone straight to work to support their new community by helping the victims of flooding across the north of England.

Light Dragoons are thanked by Prime Minister David Cameron for their help in flood affected areas in

Light Dragoons are thanked by Prime Minister David Cameron for their help in flood affected areas in the north of England - Credit: supplied

The Light Dragoons, who were replaced by the 1st The Queens Dragoon Guards at the Robertson Barracks, were told their Christmas leave had been cancelled and put all hands to the pump to help victims of the flooding, even flying in aid via Chinook helicopter to parts of York.

Their commanding officer Colonel James Senior said they were concentrating their help on restoring vital services, reinforcing flood defences, providing reassurance for the local population and checking on infrastructure.

He said: 'We have been pretty busy the last 24/48 hours and a further weather front is expected so we are planning to do as much work as we can checking key infrastructure, the power grid, roads and assisting police.

'We are quite fortunate in that we recruit heavily from this part of the world so our lads feel those affected are local communities where many of their families are living. I sense they are happy to contribute. Christmas means everything, being selfless and thinking of others.

Flood water in the city of York as York Minster is seen in the distance, following the weekend's flo

Flood water in the city of York as York Minster is seen in the distance, following the weekend's flooding. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday December 28, Photo credit: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire - Credit: PA

'We have about 100 soldiers involved so will see whether that stays the same or builds.

'It has been devastating for families involved in these floods and we are keen to do everything we can to assist their return to normality.'

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He said many still classed Norfolk as their 'lingering spiritual home' and had cut their teeth on flood assistance while based in Swanton Morley during the devastating floods around the Norfolk coast in 2013.

'In December 2013 we were on the east coast of Norfolk, in February and March 2014 we were in Canterbury and in December 2015 we find ourselves helping flood victims in Yorkshire.' he said. 'So we have had three flood deployments in three years.'