Unit at TA to be disbanded

56 Signals, Mayor Mike Thompson and Stephen Lloyd at the Sunshine Carnival
56 Signals, Mayor Mike Thompson and Stephen Lloyd at the Sunshine Carnival
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A unit based at the Territorial Army (TA) Centre in Eastbourne is set to be disbanded.

The town’s MP Stephen Lloyd said he was ‘saddened’ by the announcement in Parliament this week by the Secretary of State for Defence Phillip Hammond.

Mr Hammond said the long established reservist unit based in the town, the 56 Signals, is to be ‘withdrawn from the Army’s order of battle’.

However, it was announced that the B Company of the 3rd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment will move into Eastbourne’s TA Centre in Seaside.

He said, “On one hand I am very sad to lose our popular 56th Signals who are so appreciated in Eastbourne. I was particularly taken by the respectful applause they received from the crowd as they took part in our recent carnival. 56 Signals have been a stalwart of life in Eastbourne and many residents, myself included, are desperately sad to see a line drawn under such a fine unit.”

He added, “I am pleased, though, to hear that we will still have a TA presence in the town and that members of our existing force will be able to transfer to the incoming unit. The Princess of Wales Royal Regiment (the Tigers) has a long and exalted history, being able to trace its roots back to Charles II in the 17th Century. I’m confident that they’ll be welcomed to our town and will carry on the proud traditions of the military in Eastbourne.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said, “Adjustments to what was the Territorial Army have been made in order for the new Army Reserve to become a fully integrated component of the British Army. These are exciting times for those who serve as a reservist or anyone wishing to take advantage of the recruitment drive currently running in support of this significant uplift. 56 Signals Squadron has enjoyed wonderful support from the community in Eastbourne and I have no doubt that it will embrace the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, the South East’s home regiment, with the same verve and enthusiasm once they have re-badged.”