Hundreds of soldiers who took part in some of the fiercest fighting ever seen in Helmand Province will parade through their home towns in Worcestershire this week.
The 300 soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), who returned from a six-month tour of Afghanistan in September will take to the streets of Kidderminster on Thursday morning before moving on to Bewdley in the afternoon.
Pte Jason Williams, of Worcester, Pte Robbie Laws, of Bromsgrove, L/Cpl Kieron Hill, of Nottingham, Pte Gavin Elliott, of Worksop and Acting Sgt Michael Lockett MC, of Monifieth, Angus, lost their lives in one of the bloodiest years since British forces were deployed to Afghanistan in 2001.
The Battalion was responsible for the training of the Afghan National Army and during training, two Rifle companies, each of 110 men, took the fight direct to the Taliban playing a leading role in Operation Panther’s Claw.
The soldiers will begin the parade in Vicar St, Kidderminster at 11am before moving through the town via High Street, Worcester Street, Marlborough Street, Oxford Street, past the Town Hall and on to Hunsam Bridge before returning to their starting point in Vicar St.
By 2.30pm the Battalion will have moved to Bewdley where they will form up on Dog Lane car park, before marching down Dowles Road, to Load Street, past the Guildhall, finishing on Severnside South. Salutes will be led by the mayors of each town.