RESERVE soldiers have been welcomed to Banbury in a parade through the town.
Members of the Army Reserve – formerly the Territorial Army – have moved to the town from Lincolnshire, Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire.
The 50 members have joined 12 at Banbury’s Oxford Road base as part of a re-organisation of the Army.
The current Territorial Army Royal Signals Corps will be merged into the 142 Vehicle Squadron of the Royal Logistic Corps later this month.
The “Army 2020” plan will see reservists play a bigger role in a smaller armed forces due to budget cuts.
It began with a service of dedication at St Mary’s Church and went on to People’s Park for a ceremony with Mayor of Banbury Nicholas Turner and MP Sir Tony Baldry.
The parade then carried along Horsefair and High Street, before finishing in Broad Street, ending at the town hall.
There, the Royal Corps of Signals flag was lowered for the last time, replaced by the flag of the Royal Logistic Corps.
It was led by Banbury’s 1460 Squadron Air Training Corps under Flight Lieutenant Karl Kisley.
Banbury Town Council leader Kieron Mallon said: “Banbury has a proud military history and the Territorial Army has been a prominent part of local life for many years.
“While many military bases are being closed, it is a tribute Banbury has been chosen for such a high-profile role.”