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Crowds turn out in Malmesbury to cheer returning soldiers
Supporters applauded the bravery of 350 returning soldiers from 9 Theatre Logistic Corps and celebrated their safe return home during a medals ceremony in Malmesbury today.
The soldiers, based at Buckley Barracks, have returned after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan and will now enjoy spending leave time with their families.
They received medals from Sarah Troughton, Lord Lieutenant for Wiltshire, and 150 of the soldiers' children, who were given front row seats to watch the parade, also received medals.
Mum Kim Roberts, who travelled down from Birmingham for the day, received medals for her children Olivia, six, Lola, four, and Marley, who is only five-months-old.
She gave birth to Marley while her partner Lance Corporal Matthew Hanlon was away and now he is home they will get married on December 28.
She said: “Where we are from there’s not a lot of kids in the army so the kids can go back and say we’ve got this because our dad is in the army. I’m just so glad that he’s finally back.
“They came back two weeks ago but they have had to stay in Chippenham until the parade. We will have him for a couple of months and we’re getting married at the end of the year.”
The Corps provide the deployed British forces with everything from ammunition, body armour, vehicles, and weapons, to fuel, rations, medical supplies and water.
They marched through the town centre to the central car park, where they received their medals, and also took part in a church service at Malmesbury Abbey.
Russell Willocks travelled down from Shrewsbury to see his 19-year-old son Jordan, who is due to be promoted from a private to a lance corporal.
He said: “We’re pretty relieved to get him back home safe and sound and we’re very proud to see him marching in the square. It was a bit of a worry knowing he was safe.
“He’s worked hard out there, they work seven days a week. I’ve been out to Afghanistan so I know a little bit of what he has gone through.
“You work solidly when you’re out there because there’s nothing else to do, there’s no sight-seeing, you concentrate on what you’re trained to do.”
Margaret Boyd, of Lyneham, also watched her daughter lieutenant Debbie Boyd, who went out to Afghanistan for the first time, receive her first medal.
She said: “Although you might have the occasional worry as parents you recognise that they enjoy what they do and we support them in that.
“We’re very proud that she’s in the army. It’s lovely to see so many people out and it’s lovely to see the armed forces get the support of the community.”