Parade to honour heroes of the Rifles

EXMOUTH will, on Saturday, show its support for the armed forces and adopt The Rifles Regiment. The town will hold the civic honour of adoption by hosting a parade and service in the Strand Gardens at 11.45am, followed by a march through the town. A recep

EXMOUTH will, on Saturday, show its support for the armed forces and adopt The Rifles Regiment.The town will hold the civic honour of adoption by hosting a parade and service in the Strand Gardens at 11.45am, followed by a march through the town.A reception will be held in the Pavilion for all those on parade and at 1.45pm a spectacular musical sounding retreat ceremony will take place for all in front of the Pavilion, on the Esplanade.It is hoped as many people as possible will turn out to watch the event and support the regiment.The adoption is a combined project of the regiment and Exmouth Town Council.Rifles spokesman Lieutenant Colonel (retired) Geoff Nicholls said: "During the formal parade the mayor, councillor Joy Whipps, will hand a specially-commissioned adoption scroll to Brigadier Jolyon Jackson who represents The Rifles in the South West. "He, in turn, will present a silver bugle - the emblem of the regiment - to the mayor. "A wreath will be laid at the war memorial in memory of those from the town who have given their lives in the service of their country." Once the formal service has taken place the parade will march out of the Strand, up Chapel Hill, along Alexandra Terrace and the Esplanade. Represented in the parade will be some of the battalion's Territorial Army soldiers who served in Afghanistan.Also present will be elements of the 4th Battalion, based in Bulford near Salisbury, cadets from the Devon Army Cadet Force, and members of the Old Comrades. The music will be performed by the Salamanca Band of The Rifles, from Exeter, and the Devon Army Cadet Force Corps of Drums. The parade commander will be Lieutenant Colonel Tom Mereweather, Commanding Officer of the 6th Battalion of The Rifles, based in Wyvern Barracks, Exeter. Lieutenant Colonel Nicholls said: "The Rifles comprises five regular and two territorial battalions and is the only infantry regiment, like the Devon and Dorsets before, which recruits from the county. "They have been constantly involved on operations and currently have the 2nd battalion serving in Afghanistan. "The 1st battalion recently returned and 3rd battalion are likely to be deployed later this year. The 5th battalion are just returning from Iraq. Many of those on parade will have been on operations recently, or will shortly be deploying.


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