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Hundreds of returning soldiers to parade through Wolverhampton

More than 250 soldiers from The Mercian Regiment will march through the centre of Wolverhampton to mark their return from operations in Afghanistan.

Local residents are being urged to turn out in huge numbers as troops from the 3rd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment take part in the parade on Monday (23 June, 2014).

This is as part of a homecoming tour to celebrate their return from a gruelling and challenging 9 month tour in Afghanistan.

Captain Matt Odell, Adjutant 3rd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment, said: "We are looking forward to welcoming the soldiers home, who have all worked extremely hard during the past 9 months.

"However, this immense success on operations has come with a price, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of WO2 Ian Fisher who was tragically killed in action whilst serving with A Company."

The march will begin at 2pm with a salute taken by Lord Lieutenant Paul Sabapathy in the gardens along Lichfield Street. The Colonel of the Regiment's representative, Colonel Adrian Walton, and the Mayor of Wolverhampton Councillor Michael Heap will also be in attendance.

Councillor Heap said: "I am delighted and extremely proud to play a part in welcoming home 3 Mercian from their final tour in Afghanistan.

"We all owe a huge debt to these very brave men and women who represent this Country fearlessly."

The parade will be led by Commanding Officer of 3 Mercian, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Davies. A military band will also accompany the soldiers. They will also be joined by the Regiment's mascot, Private Derby XXX, a Swaledale Ram, and the Staffordshire Regimental Association Mascot, Lance Corporal Watchman.

A short reception will then take place where local soldiers will be presented with their operational service medals for Afghanistan. Since its formation in 2007, the Regiment has spent more than 2 and a half years on operations in the country.

  • released: Tuesday 17 June, 2014