Rochdale homecoming parade for soldiers

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers will parade through Rochdale. It marks their safe return following a 6 month tour of Afghanistan.

Homecoming parades for Fusiliers

Soldiers from the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have been honoured with homecoming parades in Rochdale and Bury.

Hundreds of people lined the streets in both towns to welcome home the troops who have just completed a six month tour in Afghanistan.

Ralph Blunsom reports.

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Fusiliers to parade in Rochdale

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment Fusiliers in Afghanistan.
Soldiers from the 1st Battalion Royal Regiment Fusiliers in Afghanistan. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Rochdale will say thank you to hundreds of soldiers for their overseas service during a parade through the town centre today.

Following a six month tour in Afghanistan, the First Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is now home - the event will give people a chance to welcome the soldiers back to the UK and thank them for their service in Afghanistan.

Rochdale Borough Council Leader Colin Lambert said: "I encourage as many people as possible to come and show the soldiers and their families how much we appreciate the way they carry out their duties.''

The parade will start from Maclure Road by the Old Fire Station at 11am. The 1st Battalion will then be led down Drake Street into the town centre, towards the Esplanade. A reception will then be held at Rochdale Town Hall.

Homecoming parade for Rochdale soldiers

Soldiers from the 1st Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers will parade through Rochdale. It marks their safe return following a 6 month tour of Afghanistan.

The parade will start from Maclure Road by the Old Fire Station at 11am. The 1st Battalion will then be led down Drake Street into the town centre, towards the Esplanade. A reception will then be held at Rochdale Town Hall. Everyone is welcome to show their support by lining the route.

"We are delighted that Rochdale is hosting this homecoming parade for the Fusiliers. It will give people chance to see the soldiers and welcome them home, but also enable the soldiers to express their appreciation for the kind well-wishes and messages of support that have been sent to them while fighting in difficult conditions. The parades promise to be a great occasion."

– Col Mike Glover, Regimental Secretary for the Fusiliers in Lancashire

"I encourage as many people as possible to come and show the soldiers and their families how much we appreciate the way they carry out their duties. The council is proud to support this homecoming. Events like this provide an opportunity for the whole community to get involved and show the sense of pride we have in the work of the Armed Forces. Soldiers don't really get a sense of just how valued their service is when they are overseas so these events are fantastic for morale.

– Rochdale Borough Council Leader Colin Lambert

The Esplanade will be closed to vehicles from 6am until approximately 2pm due to the parade, and the town hall car park will also be closed. Other town centre car parks will be open however, including the nearby Bus Station and Baillie Street car parks.

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