British Army personnel are supporting the Olympic Torch relay in the South West of England after its arrival at Royal Navy Air Station Culdrose, Cornwall, today (18 May).
Regular, Reserve and University Officer Training Corps soldiers are getting involved as torchbearers and supporting the relay, which will pass within 10 miles of 95% of the UK population as it tours the country over the next two months.
In the South West:
On Saturday 19 May, soldiers from 155 Transport Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, The 6th Battalion, The Rifles, and instructors and cadets from Cornwall Army Cadet Force will help with the Olympic Torch reception at Land’s End at the very start of the relay. The torch arrives at RNAS Culdrose on Friday 18 May before being flown by Royal Navy helicopter to the start point at Land’s End, where 6 Rifles and 155 Tpt Regt RLC will run the landing pad before the torch sets off on its epic journey.
Corporal Andy Netherton, a medic from The 6th Battalion, The Rifles, a Territorial Army infantry battalion based in Exeter, will carry the torch through Plymouth in the morning of Sunday 20 May. Exeter University Officer Training Corps will be lining the relay route as the torch crosses Shaldon Bridge in Teignmouth, Devon. When the torch arrives in Exeter, the Salamanca Band and Bugles of The Rifles will be performing a concert on Exeter Quay. Buglers from the band, and from Cornwall and Devon Army Cadet Forces, will perform fanfares as the torch moves around the city, including at Cathedral Green.
The Territorial Army’s Royal Wessex Yeomanry are marshalling the relay route in Barnstaple on Monday 21 May, alongside the Commando Logistic Regiment from 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines. Later in the day, Somerset Army Cadet Force adult instructor Colour Serjeant Glyn Lancey will complete a leg of the torch relay in Taunton.
Amputee soldier Sergeant Gavin Harvey of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers will be a torchbearer in Frome, Somerset, on Tuesday 22 May. Later in the day, The 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment will line the relay route in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Throughout the day, 21 Regiment Royal Signals will be helping out at an Ancient Olympics festival at Bath University.
Four Army units will be marshalling the relay route on Wednesday 23 May: 4 Military Intelligence Battalion of the Intelligence Corps in Marlborough, Wiltshire, 29 Regiment, The Royal Logistic Corps in Cirencester, Bristol University Officer Training Corps in Bristol and the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC) Support Battalion in Cheltenham.
ARRC Sp Bn will be in action on Thursday 24 May in Cheltenham, as will the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, in Cirencester.
Watch this space for more news about the Army’s support for the Olympic Torch Relay.