Soldiers on parade in London to mark Iraq and Afghanistan tours of duty

12:55 10 March 2012

Well-wishers lined the streets of London this morning as Territorial Army soldiers paraded to receptions held in their honour.

Many of the soldiers taking part have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Some 150 troops from the Territorial Army regiment The Royal Yeomanry will march through the streets of Kensington & Chelsea today and Hammersmith & Fulham tomorrow, accompanied by their Guidons (Colours), the Regimental Band of the Royal Yeomanry, and four tracked vehicles

The parades will end at private receptions hosted by both Mayors held at the local town halls to honour the bravery and safe return from operations of members of the Regiment.

The Territorial Army, made up of professionals who provide support to the Regular Army in their spare time, has not been spared casualties during the two wars.

The most recent was Private Matthew Thornton, from 4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, who was killed by an improvised explosive device in Helmand province on November 9 2011.

The Royal Yeomanry has held the Freedom of the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea since 2002 and was recently awarded the Freedom of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

The Freedom of the Borough, which dates back hundreds of years, is the highest honour a council can bestow on any person or group.

The parade today set off from Holland Park, Kensington at 11am then proceeded along Kensington High Street to a civic reception.

Tomorrow (Sunday) the soldiers will set off from St Paul’s Church, Hammersmith at 3pm after a church service for soldiers and their families.

A salute will be taken outside Hammersmith Town Hall and there will then be a medal ceremony where several of the soldiers on parade will receive Volunteer Reserve Forces Service Medals (VRSMs) and Overseas Service Medals (OSMs), before the civic reception.

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