Welcome home parade as Uttlesford says ‘thank you’ to the men and women of Carver Barracks

SAFFRON Walden will reverberate to the sound of marching feet again later this month when the town welcomes home 21 Field Squadron (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) from its latest tour of Afghanistan.

Members of 33 Engineer Regiment (EOD) and 101 (City of London) Engineer Regiment (EOD) will parade through the Market Square on Sunday July 28 accompanied by the Prince of Wales Marching Division Band.

The parade is being held to officially welcome home 21 Fd Sqn (EOD) from Operation Herrick 17, and to mark the disbanding of 49 Fd Sqn (EOD) and the formation of 821 EOD and Search Sqn (RLC).

Eighty-five soldiers from 21 Fd Sqn were deployed on the operation as part of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search Task Force in Helmand province. Working in teams and at great risk, Task Force members were responsible for finding and disposing of IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) as well as conventional munitions.

Members of 33 and 101 engineer regiments, both based at Carver Barracks in Wimbish, will parade to the Market Square after forming up at Uttlesford District Council’s HQ on London Road.

The ceremony to formally welcome back the squadron will take place at 1.30pm and members of the public are encouraged to attend.

After the parade members of both regiments will attend a Service of Thanksgiving at the town’s St Mary’s Church from 2-2.45pm.

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The parade is the culmination of a weekend of events taking place at Carver Barracks, the centre point of which will be the Wimbish Station Open Day on Saturday July 27.

Members of the public are invited to join Army families for the day, which the barracks is hosting to say a public ‘thank you’ to the residents of Uttlesford for their support.

It runs from 11.30am until 4pm and offers a host of displays, stalls and attractions to amuse the whole family.

These include:

• An air display

• Military working dogs

• An armoured fighting vehicle

• The Royal Engineers’ Air Balloon

• A children’s assault course

• Bouncy castles

• Remote control vehicle and night vision goggle mazes

• Clay pigeon shooting

• A bridge building demonstration

• Mine detecting, diving and sniping stands

• An archery ‘butts’ (practice range) and

• Numerous food, drink and refreshment stalls

A car boot sale will also take place at the barracks from 10am to 12.30pm prior to the start of the open day.

Captain Suze Marshall said: “This is our way of saying a big ‘thank you’ to residents for their unstinting support of the Armed Forces.

“We hugely appreciate the backing the Army receives from members of the public in general and the support the residents of Uttlesford give to soldiers from this barracks.

“There will be a host of brilliant attractions for the whole family at the open day and we would love to see as many members of the public coming along as possible.

“And to round off what promises to be a great weekend we will be parading through Saffron Walden on the Sunday to welcome home our comrades from their latest tour of Afghanistan.

“It promises to be a fantastic weekend which will once again showcase the tremendous links between the Army families at the barracks and members of the community.”