Thursday, July 5, 2012

Welcome Home 2 MERCIAN

From the MoD:

Soldiers of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment parade through Nottingham
[Picture: Sergeant Brian Gamble, Crown Copyright/MOD 2012]

Nottingham cheers home 2 MERCIAN from Afghanistan

4 Jul 12

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Nottingham and Derby last week to welcome home the soldiers of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (2 MERCIAN).

People hung out of office windows and shoppers stopped to greet the soldiers with applause and cheers of 'well done' and 'thank you' as they marched through the cities' streets to mark their return home from Afghanistan.

Prior to the first homecoming parade, in Nottingham, the battalion held a thanksgiving service at St Mary's Church to remember their fallen, including Captain Rupert Bowers and Private Matthew Haseldin who were killed in action during this latest, the battalion's fourth, tour of Afghanistan.

Following each parade the soldiers attended a civic reception that saw six soldiers from each city awarded their Op HERRICK campaign medals. Amongst those soldiers receiving their medals in Nottingham was Private Frazier Stretton.

Private Stretton took part in vehicle patrols securing Route 611 in Helmand province and he also patrolled with teams on the ground securing areas in the local villages.

He said:

"It's been a great day. I enjoyed taking part in the parade and it was great to receive my medal in my home city."

The Commanding Officer of 2 MERCIAN, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Marks, said:

"I am extremely proud of what we have achieved. Our soldiers worked tirelessly through sweltering heat to set the highest standards in every respect. It was a great privilege to take part in the homecoming parades.

"It was a long hard-fought winter where every soldier stood firm with courage in the face of adversity, and I know that everyone of us was deeply grateful for the support that the public gave and at the same time intensely proud that we are finally home, having done a job to the best of our ability."...

More - and some great pictures - here.


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