Published: 00:00, 14 March 2006
IT'S the end of an era in Dover's history. Members of the 1st Battalion of the Parachute Regiment marched through Dover to mark the end of their five-year stay in the town and the end of a military presence after 1,000 years.
Connaught Barracks is set to close when the soldiers move out next month. Families of the Gurkha Regiment will live in some of the married quarters, but the regiment itself will not be replaced.
People braved the wet weather on Friday to line the streets and watch the parade, led by the Regimental Band, go by.
The salute was taken at Dover Town Hall and it was followed by a reception at which presentations were made between the regiment and the district.
Dover District Council Cllr Pat Heath said it was a very sad day occasion. "We all recognise the role the Parachute Regiment has played, and we thank them for the way they have served our Queen and country," he stressed.
"We wish them all the best as they move to their new barracks in Wales."
The role of the Parachute Regiment is changing to one of a special support force, and the units they will be supporting are based in the west of the country.
Connaught Barracks has become one of the victims of the Army's change to fewer and much larger garrisons.
FULL STORY AND MORE PICTURES IN NEXT THURSDAY'S DOVER MERCURY