Hundreds Of Soldiers Parade Through Lichfield

More than 250 soldiers from the 3rd battalion the Mercian Regiment will parade through Lichfield today.

Today's march is the final leg of their homecoming tour to celebrate their return after 9 months in Afghanistan, before the regiment is disbanded.

A special service will also be held for the Mercian Regiment at Lichfield Cathedral later for Armed Forces Day.

Captain Matt Odell, Adjutant 3rd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, said: "We are looking forward to welcoming the soldiers home, who have all worked extremely hard during the past nine months.

"However, this immense success on operations has come with a price, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of WO2 Ian Fisher who was tragically killed in action whilst serving with A Company."

After the service, the troops will then march to The Kings Head, the very pub in which the 3rd Battalion, which was formerly The Staffordshire Regiment, and before this the 38th (Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot, was originally formed in 1705.

Soldiers will begin the march at 12pm, with a salute taken by Lord Lieutenant, Ian Dudson outside Lichfield Guildhall.

 The Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier Andrew Williams, former Colonel's of the Regiment, Major General IL Freer and Brigadier JK Tanner, and the Mayor of Lichfield, Councillor Norma Bacon will also be in attendance.

Jim Massey, from the Regimental Headquarters, The Mercian Regiment said: "We are very proud that the Battalion will be marching through Lichfield, and it should make for a great spectacle. I'd urge local residents to come and support the great job the troops have been doing."

A short reception will then take place, where local soldiers will be presented with their operational service medals for Afghanistan.  Since its formation in 2007, the Regiment has spent more than two-and-a-half years in on operations in the country.

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