Friday, 23 November 2007

Royal Anglians: Heroes' welcome in Norwich & Bury St Edmunds

The 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment were given the Freedom of the City of Norwich yesterday. The troops, recently returned from a tough six month tour in Afghanistan, paraded in front of City Hall and then through the streets of Norwich. Thousands of citizens joined with the troops' families to applaud the four companies (Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire) for their work in Afghanistan and to welcome them home. The Vikings will now have a period of R&R followed by training on the new Bulldogs with which they have recently been equipped. It is unlikely that they will have to return to Afghanistan until 2009.

It was a privilege to be in Norwich to welcome the guys home. Brilliant parade! Well done, The Vikings!

Watch the videos below

And today thousands also lined the streets of Bury St Edmunds to pay tribute to The Vikings when they were given the freedom of the borough of St Edmundsbury in their home town of Bury St Edmunds
EADT24: Thousands honour the Royal Anglians
BBC: Poignant return home for troops
MoD: Thousands line streets for Vikings' homecoming

Speaking on behalf of the Royal Anglian Regiment a spokesman said:
“We would like to thank the people of East Anglia for the vital support that they have given to our battalion, The Vikings, throughout their six month tour in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. This generosity, given by all sections of the community in so many differing ways, has mattered greatly to the regiment and has been quite humbling. The outpouring of support has maintained the morale of our soldiers and made them feel that they, and the difficult job they have to do, are both valued and appreciated by the nation they strive to serve. We recruit our soldiers from you. They are your sons, your brothers, your husbands, your fathers, your cousins, your nephews and your uncles. Your generosity of thought, deed and prayers, given at their time of danger, has strengthened the bond which ties together the people of East Anglia and their regiment.”