England

Mercian soldiers return from Afghanistan

Soldiers from the Mercian Regiment have returned home from their tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Almost 100 soldiers from the 1st Battalion arrived back at Catterick in North Yorkshire on Friday.

Family and friends gathered at the barracks for an emotional reunion with the troops, who had been deployed to Helmand Province.

The 1st Battalion recruits troops mainly from Cheshire, Wirral and parts of Greater Manchester.

Stuart Reid, from Sale, said he was glad to finally be home.

"It's just an absolutely amazing feeling," he said.

"It's completely overwhelming to see everyone at once, it's good to see everyone coming down."

The regiment lost 12 men during the tour.

Lt Col Andy Hadfield said: "I know that very few days go by when they don't think about their friends.

"What they'll remember of course is what their friends did and how deeply committed their friends were to each other, to them and to the mission.

"That's really the memory that we want to hold."

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