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Hundreds turn out for TA parade

Hundreds of people have lined the streets to watch Territorial Army troops on parade in a rare public display of pomp and ceremony.

Some 150 of the soldiers, who have historically kept tight-lipped about their military life, marched through the west London borough of Kensington and Chelsea to a reception held in their honour.

Many of the troops, who belong to the The Royal Yeomanry, have served in Iraq and Afghanistan alongside the regular Army.

Others were hoping to deploy to Afghanistan in the coming months, insisting they were undeterred by the death of six soldiers this week in the deadliest single enemy attack on UK forces in the country since 2001.

Trooper Darren Thorpe, who has volunteered for a tour there later this year, said the killings did not change his feelings about deploying.

The 20-year-old electrician from Croydon in south London said: "When we sign up, we know the risks we're facing.

"There's obviously still danger out there but it doesn't change my opinion. We are still achieving our goals there."

He also expressed appreciation for those members of the public who had turned out to show their support for him and his comrades.

"Some people forget about the TA and don't realise how much TA soldiers deploy out there and do an equal job," he said.

Lance Corporal Chris Thompson, 27, from Kingston-upon-Thames in Surrey, said morale had been "fantastic" during his tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2009-10.


From Belfast Telegraph