Well done Colchester (ref Fallen Paras)

(Mods please delete if duplicate posting)

From BBC - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7452563.stm

Town tribute to dead paratroops

More than 100 UK personnel have died in Afghanistan since 2001
A garrison town has paid tribute to five paratroops killed earlier in the week in Afghanistan.

Locals gathered outside the town hall in Colchester to hold a two-minute silence to honour the soldiers.

A union jack in the Essex town was at half-mast to remember the members of 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.

The victims left their Colchester base earlier in the year to travel to Afghanistan. The deaths took UK fatalities in Afghanistan to 102.

On Sunday, three of the paratroops were killed by a suicide bomber.

The other two were killed in action on Thursday.

Crowd applause

Shoppers, office workers and children stood silently in Colchester town centre to pay their respects.

Service personnel were applauded by onlookers as they marched down the High Street to take part in the ceremony.

And crowds burst into spontaneous applause again when the silence ended.

Colonel Tony Phillips, deputy commander of the Colchester garrison, and Major Aidan Coogan, the Parachute Regiment's adjutant, attended the event.

Earlier, offering his condolences, Maj Coogan, said: "At this time, our fullest thoughts and prayers are with the families and the colleagues of those killed."

We in Colchester have tremendous pride in our soldiers

Bob Russell MP

He said his paratroops were "a professional, highly-motivated, well-trained battalion, who continue to show dedication and commitment".

Maj Coogan added that it was with "immense pride" that he was able to "pay tribute to all members of the regiment whose courage, selflessness and steadfastness is a credit to the Army and this country".

The five deaths in a single week is believed to be the regiment's biggest loss of life since the Falklands War in the 1980s.

Colchester's MP described the latest losses as "absolutely devastating".

Liberal Democrat Bob Russell said: "This is absolutely desperate news.

"We in Colchester have tremendous pride in our soldiers, we regard them as our own soldiers despite them coming from different areas of the country."

He offered his condolences to the loved ones of those killed.
Well done that town. I just hope that the tide is now turning with the attitudes of the public. It's a shame about the circumstances though.
Good on Colly, I think maybe 'joe-civpop' learnt a lesson after the last time someone said the wrong thing after a couple of our lads past away in Afghan... I do recall stories of a good thrashing being dished out.

For 2 seconds I'll stick my neck out... When we fought for the Ghurka, Mr Pun VC last year I wrote to Bob Russell, must say I was impressed when I received a personel letter from him, assuring me that he was going to do his best to raise the issue etc etc... was a small nod that someone was at least paying attention....
This should be replicated throughout the country, the Americans put our nation to shame when it comes to this stuff. Their sevice personnel gat a pat on the back wearing uniform in public, we're lucky not to get a knife in the back.
Ever since repatriation was switched from Brize Norton to Lyneham, the local RBL has encouraged citizens of Wooton Bassett, near Swindon and a large contingent of ex service personell to line the main street each time a hearse/s pass through.
They will be there again on Monday when the first 3 young Paras pass through.
They are a credit to Wiltshire and England.
Nice to see civic pride isn't being politically correct.

It's just a pity this had to happen for the public to engage with the forces at a personal level.
I'm not suggesting' hug a squaddie' jeez, heaven forbid
But nice to see some solid civic support.

Now lets see the same countrywide
be good to see if the media picks this up fully, ie follow the hurse, and mention it a few days before they are flown back to the country


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