Picture gallery: Honorary Colonel Jools Holland praises soldiers at Carver Barracks during medal parade

10:08 12 June 2014

Jools Holland joined family and friends of soldiers who returned from Afghanistan this month at their Operation Herrick medal parade. Pictures: Sgt Brian Gamble

Jools Holland joined family and friends of soldiers who returned from Afghanistan this month at their Operation Herrick medal parade. Pictures: Sgt Brian Gamble

© MOD / Crown Copyright, 2011. This image is for current news purposes only and is available for further use under the Open Gov

Honorary colonel Jools Holland welcomed home troops from their final tour of Afghanistan.

The composer, pianist, bandleader and broadcaster joined family and friends of 17 Field Squadron (EOD), 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment (EOD) at their Operation Herrick Medal parade at Carver Barracks, on Friday.

Mr Holland, acting in his capacity as honorary colonel of the regiment, said he was “honoured and privileged” to welcome back the soldiers.

“It is very humbling to be here with people who have done such an amazing job,” he added.

“It is the families I think of the most because they are left behind to provide the much needed support and we should be grateful for that.”

Prior to the parade a painting by Suffolk artist Jules George was unveiled in the Officers’ Mess. The painting was commissioned by the regiment to commemorate its contribution to operations in Afghanistan.

Commanding officer, Lt Col Simon Stockley, Royal Engineers, thanked Mr Holland for his ongoing support of the regiment, and also Mr George for the painting.

After the unveiling the servicemen – who returned from Operation Herrick 19 earlier this month – were awarded medals by Brigadier R J Walton-Knight on the parade square.

During his speech, Brig Walton-Knight said: “It was a highly successful tour and real progress had been made. We have taken Operation Herrick in time for the finishing line. You should all stand tall and stand proud.”

Throughout the tour the troops supported 67 operations, providing 24-hour support while also training almost 8,500 allied soldiers in counter Improvised Explosive Device (IED) techniques.

The teams located and destroyed a wide variety of IEDs and recovered explosive material, weapons and ammunition.

Major Ben Day, officer commanding the EOD and Search Group, spoke about the progress he has seen in Afghanistan.

He told the Reporter: “The last time I came back [from Afghanistan] I was not very optimistic when I heard we were coming out. Before there was no police, no army but now they have a very coherent structure.”

Major Day, who will be retiring from the Army and is looking forward to spending more time with his family, added: “It is awesome to be home.

“It is the first time I have been away while I have had family and that made such a difference.

“I have done everything I have wanted to do in the Army. I am now looking for a job where I don’t have to go away for nine months at a time.”

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Saffron Walden Reporter visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Saffron Walden Reporter staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Saffron Walden Reporter account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

11:37

Uttlesford District Council (UDC) has vowed to tweak its flawed Local Plan rather than scrap it and start again – after a final report by the Planning Inspector suggested not every aspect was ‘unsound’.

17:21
Stansted Aiport is currently experiencing flight delays, after a power outage this afternoon.

Thousands of passengers have been facing delays in the Christmas getaway, after a power outage this afternoon (Monday) at Stansted Airport.

09:22
Anyone who recognises the man in the E-fit is asked to call PC James Ireland at Saffron Walden Police Station on 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police want to hear from anyone who recognises an e-fit of a man who is a suspect in the theft of a white Vauxhall Combo van from the car park of the Duke of York pub in the High Street in Saffron Walden.

Friday, December 19, 2014
Brother and sister saffron team David Smale and Penny Attwood, with Mark Starte of Saffron Walden Tourist Information Centre.

A brother and sister have teamed up to put the spice back into Saffron Walden.

E-edition

Most read stories