Regimental Call To Arms - The Royal Anglian Regiment

As promised, official details of the Freedom Marches for 1 R Anglian. The following Call to Arms has been put out by RHQ. I hope all in East Anglia who can, will respond:

The 1st Battalion will exercise their right to the Freedoms of Norwich on 22 Nov (1400-1515 hrs) and Bury St Edmunds on 23 Nov (1130-1245 hrs). Regimental Secretary Norfolk is responsible for the organization of both events, the details of which are as follows:

• Norwich.
o Date: Thursday 22nd November
o Timings: 1400-1515 hours
o Route: Parade City Hall. March Gaol Hill, London St, Queens St, Tombland, Cathedral West Porch.

• Bury St Edmunds.
o Date: Friday 23rd November
o Timings: 1130-1245 hours
o Route: Parade Angel Hill. March Churchgate St, Guildhall St, Abbeygate St, Angel Hill, Abbey Gate.

Ensuring that the Vikings are welcomed home in a manner befitting their valiant deeds and considerable sacrifice will require your personal support and, where possible, your attendance. It will also require the support and attendance of the general public.

A Regimental Call to Arms has therefore been sounded; it contains a simple message: “The 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the Vikings, have just returned from a 6 month operational tour in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. This magnificent fighting Battalion, representing the very best of East Anglia, has been taking the battle to the Taliban in arguably the most intensive war fighting campaign for over 50 years. Tragically, 9 of these brave young men have been killed in action in the service of their Country; many more have been wounded, some grievously.

The Head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, is increasingly concerned about the growing gulf between the Army and the Nation. He has contrasted the outstanding appreciation that America gives to its armed forces with that of the UK, where we still have people objecting to a home for our wounded soldiers’ families. He has wondered how many local Battalions will be given homecoming parades when they return from operations.

Lt Col Stuart Carver, the Commanding Officer of the Vikings, has asked for a public show of support to demonstrate to our young soldiers that people at home understand and appreciate the sacrifices they have made. He would like to think that General Dannatt has nothing to fear – in East Anglia anyway.

I intend to stand in the street to welcome home our soldiers. Who will stand with me?”

This message has been distributed to newspapers throughout East Anglia who may or may not choose to publish it; it is also being distributed as an email on the Regimental Email Address List; feel free to personalize it and pass it on. You are also requested to take action along the following lines:

• Please do not assume that this letter has reached all of our Regimental Family. Pass it on to your Regimental contacts in our 10 counties - Regular, TA, Cadets, RFCA, Associations, RBL, families, friends and supporters. Ask them to pass it on in turn.

• Please also pass the message on to your personal civilian contacts, particularly those who are opinion formers or persons of influence - central and local government, civil dignitaries, employers, schools, local press and local celebrities. Ask them to support the Vikings’ homecoming and encourage others to do likewise.

• Please ensure that your actions compliment the outstanding reputation of The Regiment. Be professional, polite, good humoured and, most importantly, above politics.

The Vikings have done their duty – now it is our turn.

See also:

I'll be there myself too. Its a long way (60 miles) but its a worthy cause.
Thanks for all the timings - I shall be at both to welcome my brave son and his mates home. Well done to all of you and RIP to those who didnt come home.
I will be there. I live in Bury St. Edmunds just down the road from Angel Hill.

Then pop in to Queens Head for a pint, churchgate street if anyone is interested. :D
Just found this on the Royal Anglian website.

27Oct07 Ipswich Ipswich Town FC 150 soldiers to attend football match (Ipswich v Wolverhampton).
20Nov07 Guildford Welcome Home Parade Parade at Guildford
22Nov07 Norwich Freedom of Norwich Freedom Parade at Norwich
22Nov07 Norwich Memorial Service Memorial service at Norwich Cathedral
23Nov07 Bury St Edmonds Freedom of Bury St Edmunds Freedom Parade at Bury St Edmunds
19Jan08 Norwich Norwich City FC 25 soldiers to attend Norwich v Leicester football match in aid of Memorial Fund.
27Jan08 Gt Yarmouth St Nicolas Church A Company to attend service in St Nicholas’ church starting at 1400hrs followed by reception hosted by town council.
There will be at least one Welshman present to show respect for the great British infantryman - unsurpassed, peerless - allowing only equality with his noble Gurkha equivalent - and the primary reason why we have not been invaded successfully for nearly a thousand years.

I pray that no reptilian from the government will besmirch the parade.

God Save The Queen.
I havn't heard about it from my cadets so im E-mailing it to Det commander who should forward to county HQ
I fully intend to be at the Bury St Edmund parade. I've lived in Suffolk for 14 years so class this Bn as my local one. Having served 24 years myself (ex-serviceman now though) I know how important this day is to those who have returned and to their families. I wasn't a Viking myself but was wondering if it would be a nice gesture to stand along the route wearing my best civies and medals to show the support of an old(ish) soldier or would it appear wrong on their day?
Pub Regular

You would be most welcome.

It may be a Viking day and we shall be cheering them on, however they also represent all that is good about soldiering in infantry line regiments, as well as representing the Army. We should be cheering them on for all our serving comrades and remember all those who have fallen or been wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hope to see you there!


I wish i could make them. I hope it goes well for everyone
well done vikings a nation is proud.
I believe there is also due to be a Battalion memorial service in the Royal Garrison Church in Aldershot next week - not sure about dates / times. Don't know if anyone in the Viking CoC can shed light on this. The Grenadier Guards also have one next week too, same location, again, iffy on dates and times. As a non Viking that has stood shoulder to shoulder with them in contacts in Helmand, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you all home.


MILITARY bosses have urged the public to give a parade of East Anglian-based soldiers a “thunderous reception” to dispel any fears that people are more interested in reality television than the war on terror.

The Royal Anglian Regiment's 1st Battalion will be parading through the streets of Bury St Edmunds on Friday as part of a homecoming parade and Freedom of the Borough recognition.

Community leaders and officials have made pleas for the public to turn out and cheer the servicemen and women.

Lt Col Kevin Hodgson, secretary of the Royal Anglian Regiment - which has its ceremonial headquarters in Bury - said: “There is a perception, rightly or wrongly, among soldiers that the public neither knows nor cares about the realities of war and the sacrifices soldiers have to make.

“Ordinary members of the public seem far more interested in reality television or other such nonsense. The homecoming is a litmus test and will prove whether the soldiers are right or wrong.

“I hope the good people of East Anglia with put aside just 30 minutes of their time and get out on to the streets and give our boys a thunderous reception.”

The Royal Anglians have recently returned from a testing six-month operation in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, during which nine of its members were killed.

The battalion, known as the Vikings, will exercise their coveted Freedom of the Borough of St Edmundsbury during Friday's parade. A thanksgiving service in their honour will be held on Angel Hill between 11.30am and 12.45pm.

Lt Col Hodgson said: “Nine of the Vikings paid the ultimate price and died while many more were wounded. We are not asking for sympathy but when they are putting their lives on the line for the country and there is this short opportunity to say 'welcome home and well done', it really matters to the soldiers.”

Margaret Charlesworth, mayor of St Edmundsbury, said: “I do hope the people of the borough will join me in this short service on the Angel Hill on Friday to give thanks for the safe return of the regiment.”

Bury MP David Ruffley will be among the crowd, which also will include local school pupils wearing red and white Viking helmets. Mr Ruffley has urged shopkeepers to close their stores for five minutes as a mark of respect.

The Freedom of the Borough is the highest honour which can be bestowed by the council and was originally granted to the Suffolk Regiment in 1944 and the 1st East Anglian Regiment, which later became the Royal Anglian Regiment, in 1963.

Following the service, troops will parade along Churchgate Street, Guildhall Street and Abbeygate Street with the Minden Band of the Queen's Division.

A spokesman for St Edmundsbury said Angel Hill, Crown Street, Chequer Square, Churchgate Street, Guildhall Street and Abbeygate Street would be closed to traffic from 8.30am to 2pm on Friday. Nov 2007 20:44:46:827
Great shame Sky News spent most of the PM rehashing the crap on last night's game rather than getting amongst the crowd and boys down their.

Shows where the medias and therefore the nations priorities are I guess.
This was a brilliant day in many ways. Have just got back and the emotion remains. The boys did a grand job and the people of Norwich did them proud by turning out in impressive numbers.

The service in the Cathedral was special too. The best bit was belting out the hymn "I vow to thee my country"!

Now for Bury St Edmunds tomorrow.


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