Returning soldiers were given a heroes’ reception by over 30,000 people after locals responded to plea from the Hull Daily Mail.
The Northcliffe daily launched a ‘Salute The Troops’ campaign which called for people to turn out in force for the homecoming parades by soldiers from the 1st Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, through Hull and Beverley on Thursday.
The plea prompted was the Mail called “an astonishing response” as crowds up to 20 deep paid tribute to the service personnell.
Around 130 soldiers from the unit, known as 1 Yorks, paraded to mark their return home from a six-month tour of duty in Iraq.
They will now enjoy a period of leave before training begins for their next tour in Afghanistan’s Helmand province.
Four servicemen from East Yorkshire have died in Iraq since the invasion in 2003.
Mail editor John Meehan said: “The response from the people of Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire was truly outstanding and heart-warming.
“The enormous numbers who paid tribute were a wonderful reminder to the troops that their dangerous work in the service of our country is truly appreciated.
“We are delighted that our rallying call helped to ensure the soldiers got the reception they deserved.
“I am sure that they will draw strength from the experience when they are fighting in Afghanistan.”
The Mail carried five pages of reports and pictures in Friday’s editions under the headline ‘Pride on Parade’ while online coverage included videos and slideshows.
Siegfried Sassoon (27/07/2009 16:06:33)
Cheerleaders for war. Marvellous.