Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 0°C

ESTD 1874 Search

RAF Honington: Hundreds of soldiers dispatched to fight Berkshire floods

17:37 11 February 2014

Members of II Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment from RAF Honington on their homecoming parade from Afghanistan

Members of II Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment from RAF Honington on their homecoming parade from Afghanistan

West Suffolk soldiers have been deployed to fight the severe flooding affecting hundreds of homes in the Thames Valley.

A total of 233 soldiers from RAF Honington made the trip to Berkshire yesterday as part of a joint effort to address the floods that have plunged towns and villages near Windsor underwater.

Squadron leader Paula Willmot MBE said the troops would begin work straight away and were likely to start by getting sandbags to affected areas and generally trying to lend a hand wherever possible.

She added: “Everybody is keen to help. We’ve been on standby - on point, as we call it - and we’re keen to get on our way and to be seen doing something.”

Sqdn Ldr Wilmott also said more troops from the base could be sent to the area over the coming days should the orders come from above.

The soldiers will be based in Windsor as a joint military and Environment Agency operation targets those areas worst affected, such as Staines, Datchet and Wraysbury.

More than 1,650 military men and women across the south are on high alert and ready to be dispatched to Berkshire as rising levels on the River Thames continues to cause chaos.

Former Thurston Community College student Andrew Marriott now lives in Datchet and has been helping vulnerable neighbours flood-proof their homes and move furniture out of harm’s way.

The 24-year-old’s home had escaped flooding when he spoke to this newspaper last night, but water levels were continuing to rise and he said he was by no means out of the woods.

He added: “Some of it does need to be seen to be believed. You don’t really realise how much is effected until it happens - everything grinds to a halt.

“Datchet is a lot like a small Suffolk village - small community, everybody knows everybody - and people are having to band together. The community spirit is amazing and everyone is doing the best they can.”

2 comments

  • Funny how the government's leaping into action now the Tory heartlands of the Thames Valley are getting flooded.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, February 11, 2014

  • They are not soldiers....they are airmen (and women)....bit of a clue....Squadron Leader...since when has that been an army rank?

    Report this comment

    Occold335

    Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Stock image of Tesco at the Copdock Interchange, Ipswich.

An Ipswich woman who was reported missing to police today has been found safe by officers in Felixstowe.

Felixstowe - 1,700 new homes will be built in the next 15 years.

Community leaders in east Suffolk will be better equipped to fend off unwanted developments – after their proposed sites for new homes were approved by a planning inspector.

The Cricketer pub in Ipswich

Today we are testing your knowledge of Ipswich pubs. Some are still open for business and others have called last orders for the final time.

The newly proposed site for the Aldi supermarket in Martlesham Heath.

Discount supermarket giant Aldi has confirmed its intention to build a new store in Martlesham Heath, and has submitted a formal planning application.

The electric train on its way to Crewe - by road. Photo: John Day

Flat tyres are troublesome at the best of times and are even more of a problem when it happens to a large electric locomotive and the only place to get it fixed is 200 miles away.

A shot of Adrian Vitoria taken by his brother, Richard Bastick, a professional photographer.

The sister of a renowned Suffolk filmmaker who fought brain cancer with “determination and incredible strength” is calling for more research into the disease following his death.

Ed Sheeran Castle on the Hill

The director of Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill video has praised the Suffolk community for helping during the filming.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24