Anglians honoured with campaign medals

VIDEO Soldiers from the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment have today been presented with their campaign medals after returning from the battlefields of Afghanistan.

SOLDIERS from the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment have today been presented with their campaign medals after returning from the battlefields of Afghanistan.

More than 500 soldiers marched onto the parade square in front of families and friends at Elizabeth Barracks, Pirbright, in Surrey.

It comes as defence chiefs were due today to name a British soldier killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan.

The soldier, who was serving with the 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, was caught in a blast south of the district centre of Sangin in Helmand Province.

During the Royal Anglians' campaign in Helmand Province, the troops from the 1st Battalion played a key role in four Battlegroup operations and more than 100 Company level operations in their six-month tour.

They were in direct engagement with the enemy Taliban forces more than 350 times as they fought to improve security and stability in Afghanistan.

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The battalion lost nine soldiers killed in action and sustained about 120 casualties, including 57 directly from battlefield action.

The lost included Aaron McClure, of Ipswich, who was killed while on a tour of duty in Afghanistan in August in a friendly fire incident in the turbulent Helmand province.

The Commanding Officer of The 1st Battalion, Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Carver, paid tribute to the “tremendous support” received from families and friends, and communities in Pirbright and East Anglia.

He said: “While our return from Afghanistan is a very happy time for the soldiers, their families and friends, it is tinged with sadness as we remember the soldiers from our own and other Regiments and Battalions who have been killed and wounded whilst serving in Afghanistan.”

Next Friday , a poignant homecoming parade for the soldiers will be held in Bury St Edmunds where the regimental headquarters is based. There is another homecoming parade in Norwich next Thursday .

Anyone wanting to give to the 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment's memorial fund can make cheques payable to CB 1 R Anglian and send them to Major R C Barrett, Treasurer, 1 R Anglian Afghanistan Memorial Fund, Elizabeth Barracks, Pirbright, Surrey, GU24 0DT.

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