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Father of soldier collapses at parade

The father of a homecoming soldier has collapsed at a parade in Newcastle this lunchtime. Army medics went to his aid, and the man is now in hospital in Newcastle.

The streets were lined to welcome The Light Dragoons, on their return from Afghanistan.

The Dragoons - nicknamed England's Northern Cavalry - paraded through the city after being received by the Lord Mayor.

320 soldiers from the regiment were deployed in March.

One member of the regiment was killed in action in September- the Lord Mayor said she wanted to thank all of them for their hard work and dedication.

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"The parade really means a lot to us"

Soldiers from the returning Light Dragoons regiment have spoken about how important events like today's homecoming parade are to them and of the privilege at taking part.

During their six-month tour the Light Dragoons carried out nearly two hundred and fifty operations, searched 1700 Afghan compounds and discovered over three tonnes of homemade explosives.

The regiment's six-month tour of Afghanistan - the fourth that it has done since 2006 - was not without sacrifice though, with Sgt Lee Davidson from Doncaster being killed in early September.

"As the Commanding Officer of the Regiment I am extremely proud of what we have achieved. Our soldiers work tirelessly through sweltering heat to set the highest standards in every respect.

It is a great privilege to take part in this homecoming parade and I know that everyone of us will be deeply grateful for the support that the public give and at the same time immensely proud that we are finally home, having done a job to the best of our ability.

The parade really means a lot to us and we look forward to seeing our families, friends and well-wishers as we march through the streets."

– Lieutenant Colonel Sam Plant MBE, Commanding Officer of Regiment

Lord Mayor encourages crowds to turn out for homecoming parade

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle is encouraging people to turn out for today's homecoming parade for soldiers returning home from Afghanistan.

The Light Dragoons have returned home from Afghanistan after six months of active duty
The Light Dragoons have returned home from Afghanistan after six months of active duty Credit: ITV

Over three hundred and twenty soldiers from The Light Dragoons were sent to Afghanistan in March earlier this year, with many coming from Newcastle and the surrounding areas.

The parade, organised by Newcastle City Council, will start at 12 o'clock at Newcastle's Civic Centre and march through the streets of the city.

"On Friday I would like to encourage the people of our city to take a moment to give everyone in the company a warm welcome as they parade through the city centre."

  • Councillor Jackie Slesenger, Lord Mayor of Newcastle

Soldiers' Homecoming Parade: The route

Soldiers from The Light Dragoons will be marching through the streets of Newcastle to celebrate their return from Afghanistan.

The soldiers will start marching from Civic Centre just after midday and then march along St Mary's Place and Percy Street onto Blackett Street.

They will they continue onto Northumberland Street and Northumberland Road before heading along John Dobson Street back towards Civi Centre.

People are being warned that it is expected that Grey's Monument and Northumberland Street will be busiest for crowds.

The soldiers will be attending a private reception after the parade hosted by the Lord Mayor.

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'England's Northern Cavalry' return to North East

A regiment nicknamed 'England's Northern Cavalry' will be marching through the streets of Newcastle today to mark their return to the region after serving out in Afghanistan.

The Light Dragoons deployed over three hundred and twenty soldiers to Afghanistan in March of this year, many of whom are from Newcastle and the surrounding areas in the North East.

Newcastle City Council have organised a homecoming parade to welcome the soldiers back to the region and to thank them for their efforts.

"As Lord Mayor it is my honour to welcome home the Light Dragoons to their Newcastle home after their service in Afghanistan.

We are all proud of our service men and women and I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank them for their hard work and dedication while representing the North East while on active service in this challenging part of the world."

– Councillor Jackie Slesenger, Lord Mayor of Newcastle

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