Return of the heroes
PUBLISHED: 14:44 27 May 2008 | UPDATED: 13:19 05 October 2010
SPECIAL place of honour went to Shenkin the Welsh goat when the Territorial Army marched proudly through the City of London to mark their centenary. The Royal Welsh Regimental mascot led the parade to the Guildhall. Among the soldiers was Rifleman James Froggatt, 22, from the East End, one of 900 part-time soldiers in the parade following a Thanksgiving service at St Paul's
A SPECIAL place of honour went to Shenkin the Welsh goat when the Territorial Army marched proudly through the City of London to mark their centenary.
The Royal Welsh regimental mascot led the parade after the service at St Paul's Cathedral for the Lord Mayor's reception at the Guildhall.
Among the proud marchers was Rifleman James Froggatt, was one of hundreds of part-time soldiers to march through the City following after the Thanksgiving service.
The 22-year-old East Ender, a part-time Special Constable, was one of 900 other Territorials and veterans from all over Britain who marched behind Shenkin to the Guildhall, with crowds of onlookers lining the pavements.
"It was amazing to be part of the parade through the streets," he said. "It gave us a real buzz."
The father of a two-year-old boy living in Tower Hamlets has been in the TA in West Ham for just over a year and was at St Paul's with his partner Amy.
The British Army's top chief of staff, General Sir Richard Dannatt, spoke of the Territorials' special first hundred years.
"In every operational theatre commanding officers tell me how vital their Territorials have been to each mission," he told the Guildhall reception.
"Finding the time to make the commitment needed of military life requires huge dedication. Our Territorials have my fullest admiration."
Nearly 15,000 Territorials have served alongside the Regulars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.
The TA, with 31,000 soldiers in Britain and Gibraltar, is today is an integral part of the British Army, representing a quarter of its total manpower.
They train as fighting soldiers in their own time. Many hold down full time civilian jobs like James Froggatt, who by day works for John Lewis department store in Oxford Street.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.