Emsworth medal parade honours Thorney Island soldiers

Havant mayor Gerald Shimbart presents medals to members of the regiment
Havant mayor Gerald Shimbart presents medals to members of the regiment

CROWDS turned out in Emsworth to show their support for Thorney Island’s 12 Regiment of the Royal Artillery today.

Mayor of Havant Gerald Shimbart said it was ‘an honour’ to pin campaign medals onto the chests of members of the regiment, who have just returned from a six-month deployment in Afghanistan.

Prior to the parade, the Regis Jazz Band provided musical entertainment for the crowds in The Square, who sang along and applauded.

While this was occurring two tanks manoeuvred into position either side of a podium, from which the mayor later addressed the troops, and praised their bravery and dedication.

The regiment marched past The Square, proceeded by the Parachute Regiment Band, where they were applauded by the crowd, which was full of friends and family.

They then marched round and returned to the town centre, where they stood stationary for the presentation.

Brendan Gibb-Gray, the Havant borough councillor who helped organise the parade, said: “We were really lucky with the weather.

“It was a brilliant family event for the soldiers and their loved ones and once again Emsworth people came out in numbers to show their support and appreciation for the work that these guys and girls do on our behalf.”

For more reaction and photos from the medal parade see the Observer on October 25.