THE Duke of York joined dignitaries to bid farewell to South Yorkshire soldiers as they prepare for deployment in Afghanistan – just a week after six of their comrades died in a bomb blast.
Some 400 members of Third Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, which recruits a large proportion of its members from South Yorkshire, marched before the Prince.
Following the parade, in Warminster, Wiltshire, where the battalion is based, Prince Andrew gave a reading during a farewell service at the town’s minster.
The prince, honorary Colonel in Chief of the Yorkshire Regiment, read a section of the Bible describing how Jesus helped a Roman centurion by healing his servant.
The service included a tribute to the six soldiers killed when their vehicle was blown up last week, who included five members of the battalion’s advance party.
During the service, an act of remembrance was paid to the six who died, which included further readings and the sounding of the last post.
Soldiers and their families were inside the church and the service was also relayed by loudspeaker to crowds of well-wishers outside.
About 350 soldiers from 3 Yorks are being deployed in total. They leave next month.
The parade lasted about 25 minutes during which the town came to a standstill.
Onlookers stood three to four people deep along the route of the march, led by a military band, which concluded with the hour-long church service.
Members of the battalion are being deployed to Afghanistan for the next six months alongside other units which recruit from South Yorkshire – Third Battalion The Rifles and the Light Dragoons.
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