Crowds lined the streets of Skipton to extend a warm home-coming welcome to returning soldiers as the Yorkshire Regiment held its annual Freedom Parade.
In the first of a series of marches to be held across the county this week, hundreds watched as about 140 troops, including a Regimental Colour Party, two guards of 60, and a Corps of Drums accompanied by the Band of the King’s Division snaked through the town.
Regimental spokesman Oli Sparks said: “There was a really good turn-out. It’s a great opportunity for the guys to get back to their home towns to show off a bit to their friends and families.
“It can be a really proud moment, especially for the younger soldiers for whom this will be the first time.”
Today’s parade was due to be followed today by a similar march in Barnsley. The regiment will appear in Leeds tomorrow and Halifax and Huddersfield on Saturday.
It comes as, for the first time since 2008, a regular battalion of the regiment will now be based in Yorkshire alongside the Army Reserve Battalion. More than 600 officers and men of the 2nd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, will return to Catterick Garrison from Cyprus over the summer.
Lt Col (Retd) David O’Kelly, regimental secretary, said: “While not all our recruits come from Yorkshire, the majority of our soldiers do. Having a regular and our reserve battalions based in our home county will help promote who we are, allow us to be more visible and help us to integrate with local people.”