Talking Politics: Come celebrate safe return of brave troops

On the march: Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment
On the march: Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment

This year I was privileged to attend the Remembrance Day commemorations in Rishworth, Ripponden and Barkisland.

I’m sure, like many of those who attended similar services all over Calderdale and beyond, the stark reality of modern day conflict was brought firmly to mind alongside our thoughts for those who fell fighting for our freedom in wars past.

On a weekly basis the names of our recent fallen are read out in the House of Commons in order to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This is a time when political divide plays no part in the proceedings and all politicians are united in our respect. It is always extremely emotional and humbling but of course essential that the reality of our involvement in any conflict is kept to the fore.

My experience in the Armed Forces Parliamentary Scheme served to give me just an insight into what our troops contend with on a daily basis, and yet further increases my admiration for all our troops and their families.

The Homecoming Parade and Service for the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington’s) following its six month tour of duty in Afghanistan, takes place on Tuesday December 4.

Attending will be the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe, civic heads from Calderdale and surrounding boroughs along with members of bereaved families. Over 400 soldiers plus a military band and mounted police, will parade from The Shay Stadium at 11.40 am.

It’s always incredibly heart-warming – and I know appreciated by our troops - to see the welcome and support given nationally to them by the public at large. I know this support and pride will be very evident in Halifax as the battalion are welcomed back to their spiritual home.

For those wishing to be a part of what I’m sure will be a most memorable day by lining the route, the parade will take the following course. From the Shay to Union Street South, Union Street, Market Street, Crossley Street, Princess Street, Southgate Precinct, Ward’s End, Horton Street - arriving in the Piece Hall by 12noon (whilst here there will be a general salute, speeches and victory beating by drummers). The parade will then pass down Horton Street, Square Road, Alfred Street East, Church Street to Halifax Minster where there will be a homecoming service starting at 1.30 pm.

It’s difficult to imagine the feelings of the families as the safe return of the ‘Dukes’ is celebrated. I’m sure that Calderdale will do them as proud as they have done for their country. My whole-hearted thanks and appreciation goes to them all.