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Page last updated at 15:03 GMT, Thursday, 10 June 2010 16:03 UK
Royal Anglians march in Huntingdon, Cambridge and Ely
1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment in Cambridge
Crowds lined the streets to welcome The Royal Anglians home

Homecoming parades took place in Huntingdon, Cambridge and Ely to welcome 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment back to Cambridgeshire.

Troops marched through Huntingdon and Cambridge on Monday 14 June and in Ely on Wednesday 16 June, 2010.

The Battalion, nicknamed the Vikings, had 400 soldiers deployed across Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

Commanding Officer James Woodham said he had hoped that people would "take to the streets to show their support".

Huntingdon parade, Monday 14 June, 2010

The freedom of Huntingdon was presented to Cambridgeshire's own soldiers, 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, at a ceremony in Market Square.

Accompanied by the Minden Band, 100 soldiers from D (Cambridgeshire) Company marched from Princes Street to the square.

The Mayor of Huntingdon carried out an inspection, presented the Freedom Scroll and took the salute. Prayers were also said.

Cambridge parade, Monday 14 June, 2010

The 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment was welcomed back to the county as they marched through the city of Cambridge, to mark their return home from Afghanistan.

Accompanied by the Minden Band, 200 soldiers, including troops from D (Cambridgeshire) Company marched from Shire Hall to King's College.

The Colonel in Chief of the Regiment, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester and the incoming Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Sheila Stuart, took the salute outside the college.

The Lord Lieutenant of Cambridge, the Vice Chancellor of Cambridge University and the Colonel of the Regiment, General Sir John McColl Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR), were also present.

Ely parade, Wednesday 16 June, 2010

The City of Ely organised a parade and cathedral service to welcome the troops home and to remember those who were lost or injured.

Accompanied by the Minden Band, 200 soldiers, including troops from D (Cambridgeshire) Company marched from Broad Street to Market Square where the Mayor of Ely took the salute.

A public service of thanksgiving was then held in Ely Cathedral.

1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment

Lieutenant Colonel James Woodham MC, is the Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.

During their six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan, the Regiment lost five soldiers.

Lt Col Woodham said: "The Battalion parades in Cambridgeshire have been planned to provide an opportunity for the public to welcome home their County Infantry Battalion and for the Vikings to thank the people from their local communities for their unwavering support."

Photographs of the parades are featured on the BBC Cambridgeshire website

Messages of support

You can use the form below to comment on the parades and to send your messages of support to soldiers of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.




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Messages received

Kirsty Whiteside, Kings Lynn

My boyfriend recently came home from Afghanistan i am so proud of him, my thoughts are with those who didnt make it but still served their time. My cousin also has just returned he was injured in an explosion but lived it's unreal how lucky these men are who made it home and knowing my boyfriend was involved in fighting for his country and made it back safely has made me realise what we have in life. x x x x x

Mike Walters, Saffron Walden

Well done lads we are all proud of you and what you have done for us all in Afghanistan and elsewhere you have served your country in keeping us safe. Good luck to every one of you. Mike Walters (old squaddy).

Sara Elliott, Brighton

My boyfriend is an officer in the 1st Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment and I am exceptionally proud of him and his fellow soldiers. I would just like to say that my thoughts are with those who have lost someone during this recent tour. Hearing about these loses makes you truely value so highly what you have in life xxx

Carole Keane, Warrington

Well done lads, the country is so proud of you all.

Lisa, Southend-on-Sea, Essex

We are all really looking forward to welcoming the Vikings to Southend this Thursday. It will be a very proud day for Southend and a real honour to have you in our town. I have the utmost respect for all you do in supporting and protecting. You are not just heroes, you are Guardian Angels!! :) x

Sue Cameron, Reach, Cambridge

My brother has recently returned safely from Afghanistan, serving as a gunner. Our thoughts are with those Vikings who didn't return. We are proud of each and every one of you.

Pte Oliver Wilkinson, Media Operations Group, Royal Anglian Regt

As a member of the Royal Anglian Regiment, I am exceedingly proud of the professionalism and bravery of my fellow soldiers in (1st Bn) The Vikings. Essential training dictates I will be unable to attend the specific homecomings, but wish them blue skies and the support of the public in celebrating their successes and commemorating their losses.

Liz Greenhalgh, Huntingdon

It was a pleasure to see you all in the streets of Huntingdon today. There were a few tears shed in the crowd. You made us all very proud and humble. We all thank you deeply.

The Cook Family, Willingham

Well Done and Thank You for a job well done. We will be welcoming you home tonight in Cambridge it's the least we can do after all you have been through in the last few months. Our thoughts are with those who did not come home to march with heads held high. Congratulations and Welcome Home.

Rebecca Barnes, Derbyshire

My Boyfriend is currently training at Bassingbourn yet will be marching with the Heroes later on today. A over-whelming sense of pride is what is given to not only fellow service men and women whom have not yet served out there, yet to everyone who will be there to support at the parade and also whose who cannot make it, like me. Its people like these who make this Country a Country to be proud of!

Dale Price, Huntingdon

Well done, good on you. You rose to the challenges, faced up to your fears and returned all the better for it. Many thanks for doing what you do, and having the courage to see it through.

Melanie Playford, Norwich

I'd just like to say my son is a 1st royal anglian...And i couldnt be more pround of what hes doin. Will be in Norwich to city on friday to give my support to all the lads.

Lorri, Cambridge

Just want to send you all my love and support. You are all doing a fantastic job and there isn't a day goes by that I don't think of you all and appreciate what you are doing for us. Stand proud, you are our heroes. xxxx

Kerry Hunt, Cambridge

Am sure the parades will be great, they deserve the support for all they do; the R B L Cambridgeshire Standard Bearers be there - great praise for them as well.

Joanna and Jean Harvey, Huntingdon

Sorry we can't be on the High Street today, but our hearts, good wishes and most of all our admiration and thanks for a job very well done.

Commiserations and heart felt sympathy to the familys who have lost love ones over there. Once more well done. Regards from the Harveys.




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