Hundreds line streets of Haverfordwest to welcome troops home from Afghanistan
1:53pm Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
The rain held off as hundreds of people, young and old, lined the streets of Haverfordwest to welcome home 223 Signal Squadron from Afghanistan today (Wednesday).
The soldiers, led by a military band, paraded from the Old Bridge at 11am to the Cenotaph via Swan Square, Bridge Street, Castle Square,Victoria Place, New Bridge and Picton Place.
As the parade reached the cenotaph, crowds of people clapped and school children waved flags.
General Baxter, Haverfordwest town mayor Ken Wyburn, former BBC newsreader Sara Edwards and Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb presented medals to the soldiers.
People had come from all over Britain, with some from as far away as Cornwall and Lincolnshire.
Fred Etherington from Milford Haven said: "It's worth being here to show some support for the soldiers."
Robert Evans from St Clears was there to see his daughter. He said: "It's been very emotional and we're very proud.
"It's all finished just in time for the rain too," he added.
Barry and Carol Roberts from Cornwall organised their holiday around the parade to see their son, Michael. Carol said: "We are glad we are watching such a joyful occasion."
Holidaymakers Jean and John Westaway from Lincolnshire said : "It has just made our day to be here. It's been very emotional."
Linda McCarthy had travelled from Devon to welcome back her son and said: "I wouldn't have missed this for the world."
Master of Signals General Baxter welcomed the soldiers home and said: "One word I really would like you all to remember is 'pride' - a quiet and confident pride, pride in a task well done, pride in your individual skills, pride in your squadron and in the team.
"And of course you should have pride in your families and in your loved ones who have kept those home fires burning."
"You really should be proud of yourselves," he added. "I am."
MP Stephen Crabb said: "It's an enormous privilge for me to be asked to play a small role in the ceremony.
"It's fantastic to see such a great turnout from local people in Haverfordwest. There is a strong bond that has developed between the squadrons which have trained here and the people of Pembrokeshire, and I think today has confirmed that."