Risca to welcome Army heroes for homecoming parade

3:54pm Monday 10th February 2014

RISCA town centre will host a major homecoming event involving more than 100 local Army personnel on March 1.

Army heroes from 203 (Welsh) Field Hospital will parade through the town centre this St David’s Day, after Caerphilly council’s cabinet gave the event the green light on Wednesday, February 5.

It will mark the unit’s homecoming from a tour of duty in Afghanistan, and Field Hospital’s centenary year.

The unit will parade from Risca Primary School, along Graig View and Dan y Graig Road, turning right onto Tredegar Street and coming to a halt in front of the Tredegar Park entrance gates.

A medal presentation ceremony for 203 Field Hospital will then take place, before the unit continue to march through the town and come to a final halt at the war memorial.

Judging by similar events, including in Bargoed last year, the council believes thousands of residents and visitors will show their support by lining the parade route, as well as those attending the annual St David’s Day concert held in Tredegar Park on the same day.

Colonel Tina Donnelly, Commanding Officer for 203 Field Hospital, said the unit’s troops were all absolutely delighted to be coming to Risca for the procession.

She said: “Since the signing of the Community Covenant in June, Caerphilly council and this unit have enjoyed an excellent relationship, and we cannot commend the council enough for its work with the Armed Forces community within its boundaries.

“We were also very grateful for all the kind messages of support and encouragement that we received whilst on our recent operational tour at the Role 3 Hospital in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan.”

Harry Andrews, leader of the local authority, said: “Welcoming our Armed Forces Community Covenant partners, 203 Field Hospital, to Risca for their homecoming parade and medal presentation ceremony will be a wonderful opportunity for us and our county borough’s residents to show our support and appreciation for the unit and all that they and the wider armed forces community do.”

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