May 21 2013 Latest news:
Group Captain Andrew Hall from RAF Honington signs the Community Covenant at the Suffolk County Council, which is an agreement pledging support for armed forces community, their families and veterans in Suffolk.
By Paul Geater
Friday, October 12, 2012
NEXT month’s homecoming parade through Ipswich will mean so much to the troops who have spent the last six months in Afghanistan.
MEMBERS of the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment (The Vikings) are on their way back to this country from the battlefield, and are set to parade through the heart of Ipswich on November 5.
We are proud of their work on the battlefield, and urge as many people as possible to share and show that pride by lining the route as they march through the town centre.
The Vikings recruit throughout East Anglia, and their members come from towns and cities across the region.
The week starting November 5 will see a number of parades, starting in Ipswich and finishing at Peterborough.
Organisers are hoping that people from throughout Suffolk will come into Ipswich to welcome home the troops, show their support – and give a boost to businesses in the town centre.
Previous homecoming parades in Norwich and Bury St Edmunds have seen the crowds turn out to give the troops a rousing welcome – and there are hopes that the same will happen in Suffolk’s county town.
The march through Ipswich will start at 12.30pm from the junction of Westgate Street and High Street and will be: Cornhill (Inspection) – Tavern Street – Northgate Street – Upper Brook Street – Butter Market – Queen Street/King Street – Corn Exchange.
Ipswich mayor Mary Blake said: “We are very proud of our armed services in general and the Royal Anglians in particular.
“They had a very difficult job and we admire the professionalism they have shown in carrying out their duties in Afghanistan.
“I am sure that many thousands of people in Ipswich will join me and borough council in welcoming them on their homecoming parade.”
That was the verdict of one of the most senior servicemen currently serving in Suffolk as the county’s local authorities came together to sign a new military covenant.
Group Captain Andrew Hall is commanding officer of RAF Honington, and was speaking during the signing ceremony of the Suffolk Community Covenant with the armed forces at Endeavour House in Ipswich yesterday.
The covenant commits the authorities to support serving personnel, their families, and veterans and to work with them to make life as easy as possible for those in the military.
Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk Lord Tollemache said there were 120,000 people in the county with links to the military – currently serving, with family members serving, or service veterans.
Gp Capt Hall said service personnel and their families would welcome the signing of the covenant: “It is hugely important.
“With our role in life it is important that we feel that the country and our own communities are behind us and supporting our work.”
The homecoming parade for 1st Battalion the Royal Anglians next month would be very important for the troops involved.
Gp Capt Hall said: “Homecoming parades are very important – it is the opportunity for the communities to show the troops how much they appreciate what they have done.”
He added: “The memory of the parades is also very important to them – they will carry the memory of these parades with them when they are next sent to serve abroad in difficult conditions.
“It is a great help to the troops in those situations – they don’t forget them.”