Northampton prepares for Afghanistan soldiers’ homecoming

Homecoming parade from 12th/9th Lancers.
Homecoming parade from 12th/9th Lancers.

Preparations are underway in Northampton to welcome back soldiers back from Afghanistan on Armed Forces Day.

On Saturday, June 28, the 9th/12th Royal Lancers will parade through the town centre after an eight-month tour to Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

In preparation for the whole Armed Forces Week, Northampton Guildhall will be flying flags from 10am on Monday, June 23, and will host the beginning of the parade itself at 11am.

The Lancers, who will be parading in the town for the first time since 2012, will be welcomed at the Guildhall by Northampton mayor, John Caswell, and the new Lord Lieutenant, David Laing, before processing to Market Square.

Captain James Rickett, 9th/12th Royal Lancers said: “It is a huge honour to be welcomed home by the communities who are so supportive of our role when we are away from our families and loved ones. We have always enjoyed a brilliant welcome in Northampton, and it is a proud day for everyone connected to the Lancers.

“We are also privileged that we will be able to spend time with the community on Armed Forces Day.”

Northampton Borough Council leader, David Mackintosh, said: “In Northampton we are immensely proud of the brave men and women of the 9th/12th Royal Lancers. It is a huge honour that we will not only be the first town to welcome them back to the UK, but we will be welcoming them on Armed Forces Day.

“This year we have been remembering the sacrifices made by our armed forces in the past. So, on Armed Forces Day (28 June), I would like everyone to come into the town centre so we can honour the heroes who are protecting our nation and the freedoms of people around the world today.”

All are welcome to come to Northampton town centre to watch the parade and there will be free parking available at St John’s, St Michael’s, Grosvenor Centre and Mayorhold car parks.