Bargoed gives warm welcome to 1st Battalion Royal Welsh
3:31pm Saturday 28th September 2013 in News
THOUSANDS of proud Caerphilly residents turned out in Bargoed town centre this afternoon as soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh marched through.
The parade celebrated the third anniversary of the 1st Battalion Royal Welsh being granted the Freedom of Caerphilly county borough, which was conferred on the Regiment in 2010.
This year’s parade began at midday, starting at St Gwladys car park, along High Street, Hanbury Road and through to Bargoed square in the centre of town, where an official ceremony took place.
The regiment then requested permission to continue their march through the town along Gilfach Street before coming to a halt at the Capel pub junction.
Despite the rain, proud Caerphilly Borough residents turned out in their thousands to see Billy the Regimental Goat lead the parade with the Goat Major, closely followed by The Band of the Prince of Wales Division and soldiers from 1 R Welsh.
Captain Oliver Beard, Adjutant 1 R Welsh said it was always a pleasure for troops to be welcomed back to their home towns.
He said: “It is a great honour for the battalion to be able to march through the town of Bargoed.
“Many of our soldiers are from the surrounding area and it is a feeling of enormous pride to see the local community offer their support whilst on parade. It is important to those of us in uniform to continue the strong links with our local communities.”
Around 120 members of the regiment were joined by representatives of the Royal British Legion and the Army Cadet Force to parade through Bargoed town centre.
Local boy Fusilier David Williams, 25, from Aberbargoed, said: "It was a brilliant turnout from the people of Bargoed.
“We're really pleased with the amount of people who came here today. I've seen loads of friends and family here and it's been a very uplifting and emotional time for me."
Colonel Huw James addressed the crowd and said: “We will make every effort to prove ourselves worthy of this very high honour. On behalf of the 1st Battalion Royal Welsh, thank you.”
Joanna Powell, from Maesycwmmer said: “I came along today because my boyfriend, Ross Edwards, is in the Royal Welsh, although he’s actually in Canada at the moment.
“I wanted to show my support for the boys and girls - they do such a brilliant job I think it’s great we can show how proud we are somewhere local. I have seen them march in Chester when they got back from Afghanistan, but this is the first time I’ve seen them in Caerphilly.
“It would be really nice if he was ere taking part in it, but I’m taking loads of pictures to send him. He’s home in two weeks and I can’t wait – he’s been gone seven weeks already.”
Mayor of Caerphilly County Borough Cllr Michael Gray, said at the ceremony: “I am so pleased to see so many here today and I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone here when I saw thank you to the Royal Welsh for all they do.
“We are all very proud of what you do.”