Leicester

Royal Lancers march through Leicester

About 20,000 people lined the streets of Leicester for a homecoming parade by the 9th/12th Royal Lancers.

More than 200 soldiers marched through the city to mark their return home from Afghanistan.

The city's Lord Mayor, Councillor Robert Wann, awarded the Freedom Scroll to the regiment's general officer commanding at Humberstone Gate.

The parade began at Peacock Lane at 12:30 GMT and passed by Leicester Town Hall Square and the Clock Tower.

'Selfless work'

Mr Wann said: "This homecoming parade is a fitting way for the whole city to show its gratitude to the regiment for its selfless work in Afghanistan, and I am proud to be among those welcoming them home."

Lt Col Will Fooks, Commanding Officer of 9th/12th Lancers said: "The soldiers of this regiment make many sacrifices to fulfil their role; some have even given their lives.

"The recognition of this by those at home, and more importantly their unstinting support, make their sacrifice and efforts worthwhile.

"The granting of the freedom is the icing on the cake and a fitting finale to the end of our time in Afghanistan."

Leicester's elected mayor Sir Peter Soulsby allowed the soldiers to parade through the city.

He reversed the Leicester City Council decision that it could not accommodate the request because of the authority's relationship with the Royal Anglian regiment.

The 9th/12th Lancers were on a six-month tour of Afghanistan to carry out a variety of roles, including training, mentoring and fighting alongside the Afghan National Army.

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