Operational medals given on Minden Day
Troops of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment received operational medals on Minden Day from their Colonel-in-Chief, His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester.
The parade marked two highly successful tours in Afghanistan and South Sudan, at the Royal Artillery Barracks, in Woolwich.
Around 80 soldiers from the battalion, nicknamed The Vikings, deployed alongside 39 Engineer Regiment on a United Nations peacekeeping mission to South Sudan, known as Operation Trenton, they were deployed from February to July.
Based in Malakal and Bentiu, The Vikings’ tasks were base security and force protection for the engineers as they completed a wide range of construction projects, including building a hospital and new roads.
Major Matt Clarke, who led the team, said: “The final soldiers of A (Norfolk) Company returned to the UK just two weeks ago. They have all done a tremendous job in providing protection to the engineer group and ultimately supporting the UN mission in South Sudan. It was a tough austere environment and the medal presentation is recognition of their hard work.”
Also on parade to receive medals were 280 soldiers deployed on Operation Toral; the British contribution to NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan from September 2018 to April 2019.
The non-combat operation, centred on training, advising and assisting the Afghan National Defence and security forces to improve their capacity and capability.
The deployment saw The Vikings form part of the Kabul Security Force (KSF) providing protection and secure transport for UK and Coalition mentors – a role often referred to as a ‘guardian angel.’
The medal parade came on the day the regiment gathered to mark the 260th anniversary of the Battle of Minden. The 1759 battle saw six regiments including The Vikings’ predecessors, the 12th Foot, defeat the French cavalry.