On pa­rade

Reg­i­ment marches in town:

Stockport Times West - - FRONT PAGE - ALEX SCAPENS alex.scapens@men­media.co.uk @AlexS­capen­sMEN

SOL­DIERS from the Mer­cian Reg­i­ment marched with pride through Stock­port.

More than 60 sol­diers from the reg­i­ment’s A Com­pany, in­clud­ing many from the bor­ough, were wel­comed as they pa­raded to the bar­racks on Greek Street.

They set off from Mersey­way and passed the town hall, on Welling­ton Road South, where they re­ceived a salute from Mayor Kevin Hogg.

It was the first in a se­ries of marches by the Mer­cians ahead of a de­ploy­ment in Kenya.

Lance Cor­po­ral Lee Hand­forth, 23, from Stock­port, said: “Pa­rades are very en­joy­able and I get a huge sense of pride ev­ery time I march through a town or city.

“This is par­tic­u­larly poignant as this is my home­town and per­haps even more so know­ing my fam­ily are in the crowd.

“The re­cep­tion we get is al­ways great and it is good to know we are ap­pre­ci­ated.”

Crowds lined the streets to give the reg­i­ment a hearty round of ap­plause de­spite the cold con­di­tions.

The Mer­cian band played at the front of the pa­rade while uni­formed sol­diers fol­lowed be­hind as the busy A6 was tem­po­rar­ily shut to traf­fic.

Mas­cot Pri­vate Derby, a Swaledale ram, was led by two han­dlers in the mid­dle of the pro­ces­sion.

The Mer­cian reg­i­ment, which also has marches in Ch­ester and Not­ting­ham planned, will have a pe­riod of train­ing be­fore go­ing to Kenya later this year for tasks in­clud­ing live fir­ing ex­er­cises.

In the past 12 months its sol­diers have also served in Cyprus, Afghanistan, Uganda and Lithua­nia.

Coun Hogg said: “It was a priv­i­lege to be in­volved with the pa­rade, Stock­port has a strong con­nec­tion with the Mer­cian Reg­i­ment and its sol­diers are al­ways wel­come in the bor­ough.”

Do­minic Sal­ter

Mer­cian Reg­i­ment sol­diers pa­rade through Stock­port

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