Tees

Yorkshire Regiment parades through Middlesbrough

Thousands of people lined the streets of Middlesbrough town centre to watch a freedom parade by soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment.

The parade followed the return of the battalion from Afghanistan in March after a six-month tour of duty.

It began at the Albert Park gates at 1030 BST, with the troops, led by the band of the King's Division, heading for Middlesbrough Town Hall.

Many members of the battalion were recruited from the Middlesbrough area.

Mayor Ray Mallon said: "We are delighted and proud to welcome them back as a battalion and a regiment to Middlesbrough for the freedom parade.

"They have shown considerable bravery and professionalism in seeing through a very tough and risky task."

Image caption Children from dozens of schools waived the troops on

Hundreds of schoolchildren were among those lining the route, with many employers allowing staff to show their support.

The parade, which was attended by the Bishop of Whitby and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire John Foster, was shown on a large screen in Centre Square.

Battalion commanding officer Lt Col David Colthup said: "We have traditionally recruited from the Middlesbrough area.

"The battalion recently returned from Afghanistan having completed an arduous operational tour where its role was to train and mentor the Afghan National Army throughout Helmand province.

"This is an opportunity to show an appreciation to the public of Middlesbrough who have so wholeheartedly supported the battalion whilst it was deployed."

The Yorkshire Regiment was formed in 2006 from the merger of three historic infantry regiments: The Prince of Wales's Own Regiment of Yorkshire, The Green Howards and The Duke of Wellington's Regiment.

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