Peterborough: Royal Anglians Parade

8 November 2012, 11:13 | Updated: 8 November 2012, 11:24

Soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment, who have recently returned from Afghanistan, will march through Peterborough on Friday.

The parade is to welcome home the regiment, which recruits from across the Eastern counties.

The regiment helped disarm more than 150 home-made bombs and detained almost 70 insurgents on their six month tour of duty in Helmand Province.

The Battalion’s task to be a 'Transition Support Unit' in Nad 'Ali. 

The deployment ran from April to October, and saw the Battalion provide the basis and majority of the Battlegroup responsible for the Nad e-Ali District in Helmand Province.

The regiment will march with bayonets fixed and colours flying when they begin the parade from the junction of Cross Street and Church Street at 12:30pm.

Soldiers will then march to Cathedral Square, where they will meet Peterborough Mayor Councillor George Simos, then continue along Bridge Street to the Town Hall.

The parade will also be an opportunity to remember a soldier lost on the tour; Corporal Alex Guy.

Corporal Guy was killed in action on the 15th June.

He was described as "...a popular, committed, loyal and long-serving Viking and also a devoted family man and husband.”

21 year old Private Tom Ashby will be one of the soldiers on parade. 

A former pupil at Prince William School, Oundle he joined the Army one and a half years ago. 

Private Ashby said: "The first month or so was hard, but you learn to cope. 

The hardest part was coping with the heat, but you did get use to it.

I’m looking forward to the parade. 

I hope lots of people turn out to support us; it will reinforce the support that we know does exist. 

We’ve been spending the last week practising our marching to make sure we get it right. 

My family are coming along to watch what I am sure will be a great day."

Councillor Simons said it will be an honour to mark the return of the regiment, nicknamed The Vikings: "It's important  we show our thanks to the service personnel who have supported this country so magnificently. 

It will be very fitting to see the parade pass the city's new war memorial on Bridge Street, especially just a few days before Remembrance Sunday."

The battalion's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Mick Aston, said: "The complexity of handing over a difficult but progressing security situation to the Afghan National Security Forces is something we had not done before.

We prepared well for it but it was not until we were on the ground we saw just how complex it was, and there were still elements of fighting that had to be done.

This was our fourth tour in Afghanistan and it draws to an end a 10-year involvement for the battalion in the country. Some of my soldiers have done four tours, some two or three, and they have all seen progress on a daily basis."