Whitby to welcome soldiers

PEOPLE of Whitby and district will line the streets to pay tribute to more than 100 soldiers who will march through the town.

Details of the military parade on 19 July of soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment have been finalised.

It is a “Farewell Parade”, being staged ahead of the troops’ deployment to Cyprus and then Afghanistan.

Starting at 11.15am from the Church Street car park the soldiers will march with fixed bayonets towards Bridge Street, across the swing bridge and into Baxtergate.

They will cross Brunswick Street, proceed on to Bagdale before heading up Chubb Hill on to St Hilda’s Terrace and through the main entrance into Pannett Park where a service and civic reception will take place.

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cWhitby’s fallen soldiers will also be remembered, including Craftsmen Andrew Found, from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers who was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan last month.

His funeral, with full military honours, takes place today at 11am at St Hilda’s Church, West Cliff.

Coun Sean Rixham-Smith, chairman of the town council’s farewell parade steering group, said: “We want to give the men and women who serve with the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment and their families a welcome that will stay with them for a long time. “With the soldiers preparing for another tour of duty in Afghanistan, it’s more important than ever they leave knowing the thoughts and prayers of people in Whitby are with them. “I appreciate it’s a working day, but I hope as many people as possible will be able to spare the time, take an early lunch break and give soldiers from our local battalion a roaring send-off.” It is the first time in years such a parade has taken place in Whitby and Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) says the best viewing points are expected to be Bagdale and Chubb Hill. Rolling roadblocks will be in place throughout the 30-minute duration of the parade. There will be delays for drivers travelling through the centre of Whitby at that time and parking restrictions in place. Whitby Mayor, Coun John Freeman, added: “I want to extend the thanks of the town council to the business community and other people in Whitby who have supported the parade, either through monetary donations or donations in kind.

“It should be a wonderful occasion for the town and I hope people turn out in huge numbers to salute the soldiers from our local battalion.”

Following the success of the Armed Forces Day service in Whitby on 25 June it has been decided it will become an annual event.