Troops are welcomed home in Thetford

Troops from D Squadron of The Joint Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Regiment, which is made up of the First Royal Tank Regiment (1RTR) and 27 Squadron RAF Regiment, paraded through Thetford.

TROOPS who have recently returned from Afghanistan were well-received at their homecoming parade in Thetford.

At least 1,000 people turned out yesterday to show their support for D Squadron of The Joint Chemical Biological Radiological and Nuclear Regiment, which is made up of the First Royal Tank Regiment (1RTR) and 27 Squadron RAF Regiment.

The 120 troops returned earlier this month from a six-month tour of Helmand province, where they operated Viking tank vehicles.

The parade, with full marching band, began at Melford Common, made its way up Castle Street and King Street to the Market Place where the salute was taken and troops met with dignitaries.


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Captain Graeme Hutton, regimental signals officer and press officer for 1RTR, said the atmosphere had been very welcoming and happy, with lots of flag waving and cheering.

He said: “It was very good. It was very well-received in the town. There was a very big turnout and it was just fantastic really.”

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He added how the parade went very smoothly, in reference to how troops from another regiment were recently heckled on parade by protesters.

Capt Hutton said the troops were delighted to see such support for them from back home.

“For the majority of them they are not from this area so it’s people out with their family and friends supporting them that really gives the guys a boost.”

Mayor of Thetford Pauline Quadling said it was a “great honour and privilege” to welcome back D Squadron, based at RAF Honington.

She said: “We are so proud of these soldiers and their families and it gives the community much pleasure in being able to warmly welcome them to Thetford and safely home.”

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