MORE than 400 soldiers marked their homecoming today (Monday, April 29) with a march through a North Yorkshire market town.

Troops based at Catterick Garrison had their return from a six-month tour of Afghanistan honoured with a march to Richmond Castle from Richmond Cricket Club.

The soldiers are all members of 1 Close Support Battalion Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (1 CS BN REME) who were deployed to Task Force Helmand on Operation Herrick 17 under the command of Headquarters 4th Mechanized Brigade.

Guests invited to the parade include Richmond Mayor Councillor Stuart Parsons, Major General Ken Ferguson, Corps Colonel Commandant and Brigadier Bob Bruce, Commander 4th Mechanized Brigade.

Freedom of Richmond was granted to REME last year.

Coun Parsons said: “It was a superb day and there was a great turn out of local people who came to show their support and appreciation of the troops.

The Northern Echo:

“They had a very tough tour – nine lives were lost from the Brigade - so while we are pleased to have them home we also remembered those who did not return.

“It was great to see them with their families because it was just as difficult for them to wait for their loved ones to return.”

Coun Parsons added: “Major General Ken Ferguson spoke to the troops in Richmond Castle where they took their salute, and the town council confirmed REME’s Freedom of the town.

“They then marched through the town with drums beating and bayonets fixed – they put on a great show and did very well, it was very moving.”