Soldiers welcomed to town by thousands, then refused drink by pub

11:31 09 November 2012

1st Battallion Royal Anglian Regiment parade through Romford town centre. Picture: Paul Bennett

1st Battallion Royal Anglian Regiment parade through Romford town centre. Picture: Paul Bennett

Archant

A parade to welcome home from Afghanistan an Army regiment turned sour for some of the men and their proud families when a pub refused to serve them.

Staff at The Bull pub in Romford Marketplace told groups of the soldiers, thirsty after the march through Romford town centre on Tuesday in front of thousands of cheering well-wishers and VIPs, that they were “not allowed to serve squaddies”.

The parade, during Remembrance week, was part of celebrations for the batallion being given the Freedom of the Borough.

Denise Coe, whose son is part of the regiment said: “I think it was absolutely disgusting and they should all be ashamed. What is the point of them having the Freedom of the Borough when the soldiers can’t even go to get a drink in a pub in the town?”

A spokesman for The Bull has since apologised, saying the soldiers should have been served.

The battalion, which has had 16 of its men killed in Afghanistan, was taking part in the parade in Romford to mark the end of its final tour of the country.

The parade had started in South Street, passing the pub.

Christine Clark, 70 from Collier Row, was with her grandson, who is in the regiment, and five of his friends who had also taken part in the parade.

She said: “There were about 15 soldiers just standing outside the bar and they told us that they wouldn’t serve them. When we went in they told my grandson and his friends that they ‘are not allowed to serve squaddies’.

“When my daughter asked if she could buy the drink for them they told her that “they are not allowed in’”.”

She added: “I felt so embarrased.

“Romford is my grandson’s hometown and he wanted to take his friends to the pub to get a drink and they wouldn’t even serve them.”

A spokesman for The Bull pub confirmed that the soldiers were denied entry into the pub.

He said: “This was a mistake. We absolutely welcome the armed forces into The Bull and we apologise for any offence caused to the soldiers. We are talking to the team members involved and clarifying we welcome the armed forces into the pub.”

Latest Stories

Yesterday, 15:01
The Back to the Future preview of Secret Cinema has been cancelled

Secret Cinema have cancelled their Back to the Future events until July 31.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:49
The two parts of the chair were inspired by the curves of an anonymous male model [Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker][Photo courtesy of Gigi Barker]

A London designer has created a unique chair designed to look, feel and smell like human skin.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:50
Planned engineering works could affect your journey this weekend.

There is a relatively minor programme of planned closures on the Tube and Overground network this weekend - but they could still affect your journey. Read on for the lowdown.

Read more

Quirky London

Quizzes

How much do you really know about QPR legends like Les Ferdinand? Picture: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Test your knowledge of QPR’s greatest players with our fantastic legends quiz.

Read more
How much do you know about films in London? (Photo by Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Do you know your Lock Stock from your Long Good Friday, Sliding Doors from Shakespeare in Love?

Read more
How much about this great city do you really know? Take our true Londoner quiz and find out (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Do you know your apples from your pears? Take our Cockney quiz and see how much of a Londoner you really are.

Read more