Bomb experts on parade

16 April 2010, 07:16 | Updated: 18 April 2010, 11:50

Two hundred members of a Didcot regiment who've lost seven colleagues in Afghanistan have gone on parade through the town.

A homecoming parade for the 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment, who are based at Didcot's Vauxhall Barracks, was held at 12noon on Friday 16 April 2010.

It started at the Orchard Centre to the Didcot Civic Centre, where members of 11 EOD were presented with medals by the Lord Lieutennant of Oxfordshire, Tim Stevenson OBE.

Among the members of 11 EOD who have died in Afghanistan during the regiment's six month tour is Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid (pictured), 30, who was killed trying to defuse a bomb in October 2009, a day before he was due to return home to the UK on leave.

Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid

SSgt Schmid was awarded the George Cross, one of the UK's highest bravery awards, in March 2010, six months after his death.  The posthoumous award was received by his widow, Christina.

Ahead of the parade, 11 EOD's second-in-command, Lieutennant Colonel Kier Head, told Heart he was keen for the public to turn out for it: "Didcot really supports us well, we know that, but we can sort of hide away from them a little bit by being behind the gates. It really is a heartfelt thanks from us to the town of Didcot for their support, but it's also nice to see the support they give us too."

Watch a video of the parade