4Bn REME homecoming parade 15 Oct 2009

As the title suggests 4Bn have finished their stint on Herrick and will be parading through Alton on thursday afternoon.

Alton has the honour of welcoming 350 REME soldiers home from their operations in Afghanistan.

The men and women of 4 Close Support Battalion have faced hardships and danger in the line of duty providing technical engineering support to all the kit and equipment used across the Army out on operations.

The soldiers will march through the streets of Alton and receive medals for serving in Afghanistan as part of an event to welcome them back to Britain.

The homecoming parade, on Thursday 15 October, will feature a ceremony and marching band. Cllr John Smith, chairman of the EHDC, is expecting a crowd to offer them a warm welcome and enjoy a grand spectacle.

Cllr John Smith said: "What these men and women do for our benefit, in theatres of war across the world, cannot be overstated.

"I am thrilled that 4 Battalion REME has accepted my invitation to hold their homecoming parade in Alton. The event is particularly poignant because 4 Close Support Battalion will be leaving Bordon and relocating to Tidworth in the New Year. This will be one of the few remaining opportunities we will have to see the regiment that has lived in East Hampshire since its formation."

Although based in Bordon REME has travelled to other parts of the district to celebrate significant events. This year the regiment marched through Rowlands Castle to mark Armed Forces Day and provided a large presence in Petersfield for last November's Remembrance Sunday.

Andrew Joy, Lead Councillor for Alton, said: "It is a great honour that 4 Battalion should stage their homecoming parade in Alton and I know the people of Alton will turn out in force to show them their appreciation."

Commanding Officer Lt Col A. J. W. Stuart said: "My soldiers and I are very grateful to the people of Alton for inviting the Battalion to parade in their town. We are very much looking forward to the event. It has been a long, hard summer in Kuwait and Afghanistan and the support of local people means a great deal to us. We always receive a warm welcome whenever we visit any of the towns and villages in East Hampshire."

REME's march will begin at Mount Pleasant Car Park at 12.20, follow the High Street, and arrive at the Assembly Rooms where a ceremony will be held.

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