Major Ben Ingham leads 9 (Plassey) Battery, 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, on their parade through Blackpool [Picture: Kevin Hegarty, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]
Blackpool celebrates return of Gunners from Afghanistan
A History and Honour news article
17 Nov 09
Around 100 soldiers from 9 (Plassey) Battery, 12 Regiment Royal Artillery, heralded their return from Afghanistan and Iraq by parading through Blackpool on Saturday 14 November 2009.
Most of the soldiers, also known as the Lancashire and Cumbrian Gunners, returned from Afghanistan just two weeks ago, having completed a six-month operational tour in Helmand province.
The parade also served as the official homecoming parade for about a dozen soldiers from the regiment who finished a two-month tour of duty in Basra, Iraq, in June this year.
Despite the wet, wintry weather, crowds lined the streets to cheer and applaud the soldiers through the town.
Afghanistan and Iraq Operational Service Medals were presented to the soldiers by Councillor Norman Hardy, Mayor of Blackpool, and Brigadier Mark Pountain, Honorary Colonel of 12 Regiment Royal Artillery.
Lance Bombardier Matthew Wallace said:
"It has been great to parade here in Blackpool. We are based in Portsmouth, so coming back up north to where we are from and to parade in front of my friends and family has been great."
This Royal Artillery battery deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq as the controllers of Desert Hawk 3, one of the British Army's 'spy planes'....(you know there's more... Go here.)
WELCOME HOME and THANK YOU ALL!