Heroes honoured at homecoming military march in Ipswich

Soldiers from the 1st Battalian the Royal Anglians (The Vikings) are parading through the streets of Suffolk’s county town with their banners held high.

The march began at 12.30pm today.

Crowds, families and friends have lined the streets to honour and pay tribute to the servicemen and women who have just completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Beginning at Westgate Street, the parade is making its progress through the town centre along Tavern Street, Upper Brook Street, and along Butter Market.

The main salute is being taken by Ipswich mayor Mary Blake on the Cornhill. Members of the Suffolk & Royal Anglian Regiments Association together with branches of the British Korean Veterans Association, Suez Veterans Association, the Royal Navy Association and the Royal British Legion are also taking part.

Today’s parade is the first of a number of homecoming events starting in Ipswich and finishing at Peterborough.

Close to the hearts of many in the town, the event has been described as a chance to welcome the troops home as well as thank them for their service.

Last month we launched our Honour our Heroes campaign to ensure the town supports these men and women who have served our nation with such distinction.

Ipswich mayor Mrs Blake said: “We haven’t had a homecoming parade here for quite some time so I think people are looking forward to welcoming the troops home and thanking them for what they do,”

“We just really want it to be a special and enjoyable day for the people of Ipswich and especially for the returning troops.”

Among those watching today were members of Private Aaron McClure family. Pte MCClure was sadly killed in action in Afghanistan on a previous tour.

His grandmother Vi Currie said: “I will be at the homecoming of the Vikings, bursting with pride, but also very sad and emotional as my grandson, Aaron McClure would have, and should have been marching with them.

“Aaron was killed in 2007, in Afghanistan, and to this very day, this very minute, I miss him so much. I am very, very proud of the Vikings, they are Aaron’s ‘’Brothers in arms, and Aaron will be with them, and us, in spirit. Bless your heart, my darling boy-boy.”
 

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