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Sun shines on parade
12:00pm Monday 4th November 2013 in News
DESPITE early rehearsals in heavy rain, the leaden skies cleared and the sun came out when more than 300 soldiers of 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (1RRF), marched on to the parade square in Tidworth for their operational medals last Friday.
In front of cheering family and friends and led by the Corps of Drums of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and the Band of the Royal Engineers, the soldiers were presented with the medals by the Colonel of the Regiment, Brigadier David Paterson, who also gave the address, and Brigadier Rupert Jones, Commander 1 Mechanized Brigade, Garrison Commander, Colonel James Denny and the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Swift.
Lt Col Swift said: “Firstly, we were lucky to get Y Company, who only returned last night, on parade this morning and we could not have been luckier with the weather. The sun happened to break out just as we went on.
“Today is all about the Fusiliers and their families and that is what is special and I am really pleased to see so many turn out.”
The First Fusiliers battlegroup has completed a sixmonth deployment to Nahr-e Saraj District in central Helmand on Op Herrick 18.
Its role, stationed in Main Operating Base Price, was to support the transition of security responsibility from ISAF to Afghan National Security Forces.
The battalion also deployed a strong company group equipped with the specially modified Warrior Infantry Fighting Vehicle. They were based separately in Lashkar Gah Durai Patrol Base and conducted a series of operations aimed at disrupting the insurgents.
Brigadier Paterson added: “We have followed the exploits of the 1st Fusiliers from the regular updates with considerable pride.
“What you have achieved over the past six months has been outstanding – many, many congratulations.”
The main parade was followed by a children’s parade at which children of those deployed also received medals in miniature as recognition of their fortitude while their parents were away.
The soldiers will now enjoy some well-earned leave.
The fusiliers wear a ‘Hackle’ on their berets. It is a battle honour awarded after the defeat of a vastly superior French force on St Lucia in 1778. The Fusiliers took the feathers worn by the French Grenadiers and wore them in their own caps. This tradition continued.
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