Soldiers march into barracks

Lieutenant colonel Jim Skelton
Lieutenant colonel Jim Skelton

A proud Army regiment which boasts 57 Victoria Crosses are marching into Kendrew Barracks in Cottesmore.

Members of the Second Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment are setting up camp in Rutland.

The bulk of the battalion flew in over the last few weeks from Cyprus where they have been based for the last three-years.

The remainder will soon head to the barracks in Cottesmore, where they will be for the next two years.

Known as the Tigers they are to replace the Second Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment which has gone to Cyprus in its place.

During its time abroad the battalion was deployed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and it also had duties on Cyprus.

Over the next four-months the troops will undergo training to ensure that they are ready for deployment around the world at short notice.

Lieutenant colonel Jim Skelton, 40, officer in command of the Tigers, said: “We have had three hard and rewarding years in Cyprus.

“We have been extremely fortunate to come back to this part of the UK.

“There is no better place in England then Rutland.

“It’s a beautiful, welcoming and friendly place to live.

“Rutland County Council have been incredible. I have moved about a lot and I have never known a local authority be as helpful to the Army as this one.

“The UK is home and while foreign postings are great it’s nice to come home.

“I think the Royal Anglians had a fantastic relationship with everyone here and we want to be no different.

“Please say hello to us and we will reciprocate the welcome.”

In total 560 soldiers are expected to move to Kendrew Barracks from the Alexandria Barracks, at Dhekelia, in Cyprus.

Including the troops families the total influx to Rutland is set to be 1,100 people.

At present an estimated 60 per cent of the total number of troops set for Rutland have arrived.

They brought with them from Cyprus to Kendrew Barracks 32 shipping containers filled full of military equipment.

The Royal Anglian regiment is known as The Poachers.

In Cyprus The Poachers will have the role of UK defence regional standby battalion ready to be deployed in the Middle East or North Africa.