Soldiers to parade through Mansfield town centre

MASCOT -- Corporal Philip Thornton and Private Josh Roberts lead the Mercian Regiment's mascot, Swaledale ram Private Derby, on to parade.
MASCOT -- Corporal Philip Thornton and Private Josh Roberts lead the Mercian Regiment's mascot, Swaledale ram Private Derby, on to parade.
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The people of Mansfield get the chance next Friday (20th February) to salute brave soldiers who have served in Afghanistan and other warzones.

More than 60 troops from the 2nd Battalion, Mercian Regiment, which recruits across Nottinghamshire, will parade through the town centre.

They will be led by their regimental mascot, Private Derby, a Swaledale ram, who made national news headlines in November when switching on the Christmas lights at Ashbourne in Derbyshire.

The march will start on West Gate, off St John Street, before progressing to the Town Hall, where an official salute will be taken by local dignitaries.

On the parade will be Lance-Corporal Kurtis Massey (24), who is from Mansfield. He said: “Parades through our home towns are very enjoyable, especially when family and friends are able to watch. I get a real sense of pride as they allow the public to see another side to the Army. We have had a great response to previous parades, and we are really looking forward to this one.”

The Mercian Regiment, which was formed in 2007 through the amalgamation of three existing regiments, has already served on eight operations around the world, including Cyprus, Lithuania and Uganda, as well as Afghanistan. It is currently preparing for deployment to Kenya.