ST David's Day was celebrated in rather damp style in Tidworth on Tuesday when the 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Wales became the first soldiers to parade on the parade ground of the newly-built Lucknow Barracks in Tidworth.

The soldiers, who have been based in Germany for the past six years, have been moved to Tidworth for the foreseeable future and have moved into a whole complex of brand new accommodation.

Battalion second-in-command Mayor Jeremy Pughe-Morgan, said: "We are really pleased to be here as this is a wonderful location for us and the accommodation is absolutely first class - it has really brought us into the 21st century."

But the soldiers from the battalion will only be here for a few weeks as they are to be sent to Iraq next month for a second six month tour of the country.

Recruiters are hoping that the move to Tidworth will prove popular with young men in the regiment's South Wales recruiting grounds as the town is within easy reach of the M4 and the Severn crossing. Tidworth has already proved to be a popular location with serving soldiers and their families as the battalion now has more dependent families moved in than ever before.

Some children whose fathers are serving with the battalion and are now at Zouch Primary School took time off from their lessons to watch the St David's Day parade. On Tuesday soldiers were woken at 7am and served 'gunfire', a mixture of tea and rum, by the battalion's officers. This was followed by a parade and presentations of leeks by the colonel of the regiment, Brigadier Robert Aitken. After a church service lunch was served by officers and NCOs after a leek eating contest.

For the full story see Friday's Andover Advertiser.