The 22 Engineers Regiment left Bridge Street this morning at 10.30am for the parade through town to the car park near Vigo Road Recreation Park – and Andover turned out in force.
The route, which took them from alongside the river by the Town Mills, through Bridge Street, Winchester Street, Eastern Avenue and on to the Vigo Road roundabout car park, was lined with people of all ages clapping and paying their respects.
There were a tears from several people watching as the emotion overcame them and several that appeared close to it. many of the people watching along Bridge Street then made the journey to see the parade pass along Eastern Avenue.
As the Regiment turned off the Eastern Avenue, two helicopters – including a Lynx from Middle Wallop – performed a slow fly past.
The 400 soldiers from 22 Engineer Regiment of the Corps of Royal Engineers were celebrating their safe return from a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan.
After the parade the Regiment left for a medal award ceremony at Swinton Barracks in Perham Down.
The homecoming march is the first of two such parades through Andover for the Regiment. In 2014 they will join forces with the Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment and the Army Air Corps for a joint Freedom March through the town.