VIDEO: Soldiers applauded by proud Luton crowd

The Poachers get a warm welcome home at big parade

Luton stood to attention today to honour 200 soldiers from the Royal Anglian Regiment who have played a vital role in bringing stability to Iraq.

Crowds lined George Street to applaud the regiment's 2nd Battalion, known as The Poachers, as they marched through the town to mark their homecoming from their second tour of the country.

With a mascot dressed as a poacher - with two dead rabbits hanging from his belt - leading the way, and accompanied by a military band playing Rule Britannia, the men made their way from Park Street West, along Flowers Way and Castle Street, before entering Market Square, where they were met by jubilant crowds.

The battalion, which is based in Celle, in Germany, recruits from Bedfordshire, and the occasion was an emotional one for many who attended.

Dominique Ahern, 18, of Elgar Path, whose fiance Danny Fowler is stationed in Germany with the same regiment, watched in Park Street West as the march got under way.

She said: "Danny's just come back from Iraq, he said it had gone really well out there. I'm very proud of him so we've come out to show our support."

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