SUNDERLAND soldiers are heading home to honour fallen servicemen and women.
Bobbie Buchan, 33, from East Herrington, LCpl Anthony Nutton, 21, from Grindon, trooper Andrew Milley, 21 from Silksworth, and trooper David Scott, 23, from Southwick, are among the Wearside soldiers who will be marching in tomorrow’s Remembrance Parade in the city centre.
As part of The Light Dragoons, they will make the journey from their regimental home in Norfolk to their home town to march alongside other Forces personnel in one of the biggest Remembrance Parades outside of London.
Bobbie, a former Houghton Kepier School pupil, is a staff sergeant who has been deployed to Afghanistan three times as well as serving in Bosnia and other tours of duty. He said: “There are around 12 of us from The Light Dragoons marching on Sunday.
“The people of the North East have always been very supportive of troops so there’s always a fantastic atmosphere.
“It makes you feel particularly proud when your family can see you marching in uniform.”
Tomorrow’s parade will be led by the Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band and the Bearpark and Esh Colliery Band.
Hundreds of serving members of the armed forces are expected to travel from across the UK to take part in the parade from Sunderland Civic Centre to the city’s War Memorial in Burdon Road.
As well as The Light Dragoons, units taking part in this year’s parade include the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, 4th Regiment Royal Artillery and 3rd Regiment Royal Medical Corps.
They will be joined by contingents from 9th Army Air Corps and The Coldstream Guards.
The Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Bob Heron, said: “Remembrance Sunday is an opportunity for everyone in Sunderland to pay tribute to those who fought in conflicts past and present and the many who gave up their lives for their country.
“It’s also really important that we use this occasion to honour the servicemen and women of today and let them know how much we value what they do and appreciate the sacrifices they make on our behalf.”
As in previous years veteran Ted Hold, president of the Sunderland Branch of the Parachute Regimental Association, will recite the first four verses of the famous war poem For the Fallen before the two minute silence.
This will be followed by veteran Len Gibson, a member of 125 Anti Tank Regiment Royal Artillery and a prisoner of war on the notorious “Death Railway,” reciting the Far Eastern Prisoner of War Prayer before the wreath laying.
A special guest at this year’s ceremony is Joel Batteux, the Mayor of Sunderland’s twin town, Saint-Nazaire, who is attending the parade and service just a day before he receives the freedom of the city. He will also lay a wreath.
l Members of the public are welcome to attend. Anyone thinking of going is advised to dress warmly and be in place at the war memorial by 10.15am.
A limited amount of seating is available in the tiered seating from 9am.
Access to the disabled platform is available from the same time. Parking in the Civic Centre car park will be available free of charge. Road closures are in place from 9.30am – with access to Civic Car Park from Park Lane only after this point.