Ipswich: Final countdown to homecoming parade for Royal Anglians

FAMILIES will flock to the heart of the town today to thank our troops for their sacrifice, bravery and dedication.

Hundreds will line the streets of Ipswich to welcome home the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment (The Vikings).

The parade will give the people of Ipswich and Suffolk the chance to thank the heroes and heroines and pay homage to their hard work.

The Battalion are marching to mark their return from a six month tour of Afghanistan.

The event will start at 12.30pm today from the junction of Westgate Street and High Street and will see troops march through the Cornhill (Inspection) – Tavern Street – Northgate Street – Upper Brook Street – Butter Market – Queen Street/King Street – Corn Exchange.

To ensure crowds came out in force to show their pride, since we launched the Honour Our Heroes campaign, backed by civic leaders.

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

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Previous parades in Norwich and Bury St Edmunds have seen thousands turn out to welcome the troops home, and today councillor Mary Blake, mayor of Ipswich, urged residents to flock to the streets and show their support.

“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,” she said.

“There has been a great deal of organising and we just really want it to be a special and enjoyable day for the people of Ipswich and especially for the returning troops.”

Ipswich MP Ben Gummer previously told The Star: “I am really looking forward to being part of what should be a massive display of appreciation for the extraordinary courage and commitment of our troops.

“The Royal Anglian Regiment is very special to us because it recruits locally and retains strong links with the area.”

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