Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

From the Frontline to the Palace; Relax Your Majesty - Your Home Is Being Protected by Geordie Heroes Back from the Battlefield

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

From the Frontline to the Palace; Relax Your Majesty - Your Home Is Being Protected by Geordie Heroes Back from the Battlefield

Article excerpt

Byline: By GARETH DEIGHAN Industrial Reporter

IT'S about turn for these soldiers back home after months in the killing fields of Afghanistan.

And it's a big change for members from the Second Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Fresh from a two-year stint in the dust of Middle East war zones, the boys are now guarding Buckingham Palace.

It is the first time they have had the honour since 1975.

At 11.30am yesterday the troops took over from the RAF regiment in the sunshine in the palace's forecourt and will be there until October.

The soldiers have been training since March for yesterday's handover.

Lance Corporal Christopher Brown, 23, of Cram-lington, has been with the fusiliers for the past six years and was looking forward to his new duties.

L-Cpl Brown, who has served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Belfast, said: "It's definitely going to be different from the last couple of years. I am looking forward to it.

"We already did Windsor Castle and we enjoyed that so guarding the palace and St James's Palace will be good."

And Sgt Jamie Orange, 26, of Longbenton, who has been in the regiment for 10 years was also looking forward to the duty.

He said: "It was good to do Windsor Castle last week as it got us used to the kind of thing we will be doing but this one will be a bit bigger.

"It's good to be back in the UK as well after being based in Cyprus for two years and having been on quite a few tours.

"We've done a lot of practice for the guard work and it should be enjoyable."

As well as the Buckingham Palace guard duty, the battalion is also on five-day standby as a reserve force to go anywhere in the world.

Capt David Falconer, of Whickham, said his troops were enjoying being back in the UK, but ready for action if required.

He said: "It's a major honour for the troops to be given this after such a long time. Everybody in the battalion is looking forward to it. …

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