Breaking news: Disbanded Pioneers say goodbye with a march through Grantham

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A farewell parade through the centre of Grantham was watched by hundreds of people cheering in thanks to a regiment with 17 years’ history in the town.

Soldiers of 168 Pioneer Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps proudly marched through through the streets to mark the end of an era at the Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, on Somerby Hill. The regiment is the first to disband as part of Army cuts.

Reservists were joined by former Pioneers and the Band of the Parachute Regiment.

Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Parry said: “Whilst this parade marks the end of an era it is also a time to celebrate the history and service of the regiment.”

The march stepped off from Brook Street, travelled through the centre of town and ended at the bus station in Wharf Road. Major General Mark Poffley took the salute on St Peter’s Hill, outside the Guildhall.

The emotional march followed a special service at St Wulfram’s Church. During the service, thanks was given to the regiment and to the service of its reservists, many of whom will go on to serve elsewhere. Present was Mayor of Grantham Frank Turner and chairman of South Kesteven District Council David Nalson.

Readings were given by Lt Col Parry and Private A. Curtis, followed by an address by Bishop of Lincoln the Rt Rev Christopher Lowson.

A memorial plaque to the regiment was blessed by the Rev Peter Hopkins and then the National Anthem was sung.

Once the march came to an end, the soliders were taken back to the barracks where a reception was held.

For full coverage, see Friday’s Journal.