Saturday, 1 December 2012

Moved to tears

As anyone who has been reading my blog for more than six months will know, we moved to Warminster in April of this year. We knew beforehand that it was a barrack town, but the barracks are situated away from the town centre and are not visible to a casual passer through. The only real indication of the presence of so many soldiers is the odd appearance of one or two at a cash machine or the checkout queue at the supermarket. I've been googling to see if I can find out how many people are involved with the regiment (the 3rd Battalion of the Yorkshire regiment - formerly Duke of Wellingtons) without success, but my guess is that there are about 600-700 foot soldiers, plus officers, wives and families and civilian support staff making the number up to (my best guess) about 2000 bodies. The population of Warminster is listed as 19,000, so that makes them slightly more than 10% of the population . . . .

 . . . and as most of the foot soldiers appear to be fairly young men, again my guess, a lot of them will have young families that attend the local schools, which is probably why yesterday all the local schools were closed so that the children could watch as their fathers and their friends' fathers paraded through town to be welcomed back from their third tour of duty in Afghanistan and to be awarded the freedom of the town.

The parade was due to start at 10am, so at 9.50 Rog and I walked down to Station Road where the parade was to assemble and start, proceeding along Station Road, into the Market Square, along the High Street and from there to The Minster Church of St. Denys for a service of thanksgiving.

All roads through town were closed off as the townspeople gathered in readiness

These two young ladies were there to wave at their Daddy

Various military and civilian personnel checked out the route, and then the parade began

At this point I just had to put my camera away and clap, along with everyone else, to show appreciation to these brave boys (for they all look so young to me), it was a very emotional few minutes, and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. It was a moment to be proud just to be there. Thank you all so much for your bravery, and to your families for standing by you and putting up with the trauma of seeing you sent away to foreign lands to fight battles not of your making. If only the world were a more friendly and loving place so that your services were not required.


Chrissys4Cards said...

Beautiful blog today Joy. Thank you so much for sharing.

Tracy said...

A wonderful post Joy, it bought a tear to my eye too and that was from just reading your post xx

karen said...

Have to echo Tracy's words, a wonderful post, in tears here now. Thank you for sharing. xx

Ellie Foster said...

Dear Joy
I totally agree - if only the world didn't need the bravery of the people in the forces. We have so much to be grateful for.
Best wishes

Bron said...

What a special day for your town...great unity I bet. x

dancingonabladeofgrass said...

Wonderful post - so emotional - I saw them on the local news.