Pictures: Troops from Carver Barracks’ 101 Eng Reg parade through Saffron Walden

TROOPS who have returned from a tour of Afghanistan have today paraded through Saffron Walden town centre after being given the Freedom of the District.

Thousands of people lined the streets of the town as 250 soliders from the 101 Engineer Regiment (EOD) paraded from the district council offices in London Road into the market square.

The Wimbish-based search teams of 17 Field Sqn and their advisors were joined on parade by fellow soldiers from the Royal Engineers and the Royal Logistic Corps, who together formed the C-IED Task Force in Afghanistan.

Working in teams the soldiers undertake one of the most dangerous and demanding jobs in Afghanistan – to find and isolate IEDs.

Following the parade the C-IED Task Force returned to Carver Barracks where they will this afternoon receive their Op Herrick Campaign Medals.

Addressing the gathering mass in the market square, the regiment’s commanding officer Lt Col Mark Budden said: “I must thank you for this kind acknowledgement of our achievements and sacrifice.

“We are a service that is drawn from the people - normal men and women that have become soliders and have chosen to serve their country in the most hazardous of theatres, in the most dangerous of jobs, displaying bravery and courage uncommon to most.

Most Read

“We are honoured to have served in your name.”

The event was organised by Saffron Walden Town Council and Uttlesford District Council in recognition of the regiment’s efforts.

Chairman of the district council Derek Jones handed over an Honorary Freedom of the District of Uttlesford scroll to Lt Col Budden.

Cllr Jones told the troops: “In the world we live in today the word ‘freedom’ is perhaps the most signifcant reason for the deployment of British forces abroad anywhere in the world.

“Freedom is something that we cherish in this country and for which many others in the world are still fighting.

“Today it gives me great pleasure to grant the Freedom of the district of Uttlesford to 101 Eng Reg (EOD) and to hand you this framed scroll as a token of that freedom, and a mark of the respect and esteem that we have for you all. We salute you.”

• For more pictures and video of the parade, and exclusive interviews with some of the troops, return to this website...