Mercian regiment welcomed back from Afghanistan with Nottingham parade

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Media captionSeveral hundred soldiers from the regiment marched from St Mary's Church to the city's Old Market Square

Hundreds of people have lined the streets in Nottingham to welcome back soldiers from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

The Mercian Regiment's 2nd Battalion spent a six-month tour of duty in Helmand Province.

The soldiers attended a service at St Mary's Church before marching to the city's Old Market Square at noon.

Two soldiers who were killed in action during the tour were remembered at the service.

Honour roll

Capt Rupert Bowers, 24, from Rutland, died in a roadside bomb blast in March and Pte Matthew Haseldin, 21, from Settle in Yorkshire, died in an insurgent attack in November 2011.

Capt Mike Brigham, of the Mercian Regiment, said the two men were mentioned in the Honour Roll.

Image caption Capt Rupert Bowers and Pte Matthew Haseldin both died in Helmand Province

"Knowing that our friends and family will line the streets when we get home makes our job in Helmand a little easier," he said.

"We were there to support the local Afghanistan security forces - and it was a very successful tour for the battalion.

"It is a great honour to march through Nottingham city - last time we did there were hundreds of people to welcome us. It makes you feel like a rock star."

Several hundred soldiers from the regiment marched from the church to the city's Old Market Square and finished their parade at Nottingham Castle.

At noon on Tuesday the battalion will march through Derby in a parade from Back Sitwell Street to the Market Place.

The regiment was formed in 2007 when the Cheshire Regiment merged with the Staffordshire Regiment and the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters.

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