Troops welcome home march

Troops from 21 Engineer Regiment have taken part in a welcome home march in Ripon, North Yorkshire after a six-month tour of Afghanistan.

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Ceremony celebrates troops' return

More than 500 soldiers have paraded through Ripon, North Yorkshire to celebrate their return from Afghanistan.

21 Engineer Regiment lost two members during its six-month tour.

The regiment, which is based in the cathedral city's Claro Barracks, worked across Helmand Province.

It undertook a range of tasks including the closure or transfer of 33 security bases so security duties can be handed over to the Afghan National Security Forces.

Almost 240 of the 520 servicemen and women were given a medal at a ceremony at the barracks to mark their first tour of the region.

I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication shown by the soldiers and officers of my regiment during our time in Afghanistan.

There were many high points, but sadly also some very low ones. It is with great sadness that during the tour we sustained the tragic loss of Captain James Townley and Sapper Richard Walker - our thoughts, as ever, are with their friends and families.

Despite such setbacks, my boys and girls picked themselves up and got on with the job in hand - I could not have asked for more.

– Lieutenant Colonel Jack Nicholson, Commanding Officer of 21 Engineer Regiment

A service at Ripon Cathedral commemorated the two fallen soldiers.

Sapper Richard Walker, 23, was shot dead by a member of the Afghan National Army during construction work in Helmand in January and Capt James Townley died in a shooting last September.

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