Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 15°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

The St Elizabeth Hospice 'Bubble Rush' in Christchurch Park in Ipsiwch.

Hundreds of foamy fundraisers took on a sudsy obstacle course in Ipswich’s Christchurch Park yesterday.

Not-so-thin Lizzy who has been reunited with his owner

An overweight monitor lizard who escaped from his home in Kelsale has been reunited with his owner last week.

Stock police image

One person ended up trapped in their car after a crash on the A12 at around 3pm today (August 28).

Carnival time: The Sudbury Carnival parade ready for the procession from the Station Car Park on Sunday.
The Sudbury Ephemera Archive

Three years since the Sudbury Carnival was brought back from the dead, the town today (August 28) celebrated its biggest event after moving the festivities to Belle Vue Park.

The vintage tractor run arrives at the Vintage and Modern Tractor Fair held at Suffolk Food Hall.

Landy lovers and tractor nuts descended on one of Suffolk’s 
top farm shop venues for a celebration of agricultural vehicles this weekend.

Carnival time: The Lavenham Carnival parade leaves the Market Place on Sunday.
A wave from the Slimming World float

Hundreds of people turned out for the annual Lavenham Carnival procession today (August 28).

Dr Dan Poulter, Suffolk MP

A Suffolk MP has called for the introduction of a new tax to fund the NHS and social care system.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24