1 Rifles welcomed home

By Liam O'Callaghan in Community News

A LARGE crowd filled the centre of Chepstow as nearly 200 soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Rifles marched through town.

Prior to the parade Chepstow Military Wives Choir performed, then the soldiers, accompanied by the the Band and Bugles of the Rifles, exercised the Freedom Of Chepstow as they marched through the Chepstow Gatehouse down the High Street.

They were then inspected by HRH The Duke of Kent Prince Edward.

They formed up in front of the Chepstow War Memorial before circling around Bank Street twice.

The Battalion was watched on by HRH The Duke of Kent Prince Edward, who is Royal Colonel of 1 Rifles, along with the Lord Lieutenant of Gwent Brigadier Robert Aitken CBE.

The Duke presented a number of commendations to members of the Rifles.

Major Colin Oliver received the Queen’s Commendation for Valuable Service.

Major Matthew Forde received Chief of the General Staff’s Commendation.

Lieutenant Alex Creed received the Joint Commander’s Commendation.

Major Rich Hunt and Sergeant Nathan Peart each received a General Officer Commanding 1 UK Division’s Commendation.

The 160th Infantry Brigade Commander’s Coin was awarded to Staff Sergeant Benjamin Macleod-Needs

The 1 Rifles were granted the Freedom of Chepstow Town in 2011 to honour their return from their tour of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and a 1 Rifles spokesperson said it was great to continue the connection.

“It was a fantastic day and we were really pleased to see so many people come out to support us.

“We have a great connection with Chepstow which has been going for 10 years now and we are looking forward to continuing it.”

This parade comes after a busy 16-months for 1 Rifles. The soldiers have seen continuous commitments including in Iraq earlier this year have also been deployed to overseas training tasks in Kazakhstan and Uganda.

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