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Christmas on the frontline: Messages from our troops in Afghanistan

Troops from the Meridian region serving in Afghanistan this Christmas have been sending their special messages to loved ones back home.

It comes as the Prime Minister David Cameron reiterated his pledge to pull soldiers out of the country by the end of 2014.

The troops included in this Christmas message are:

Sapper Ben Msichilli from Maidstone, Lance Corporal Nicola Thompson from Bournemouth, Air Trooper Leo Domeisen from Bournemouth, Corporal Matthew Rogerson from Reading and Signaller Tom Page from Hastings.

First man in UK with mind-controlled prosthetic arm

Corporal Andrew Garthwaite, who lost his arm whilst serving in Afghanistan, has become the first person in the UK to receive a mind-controlled prosthetic limb.

Andrew has shown off his prosthetic, which was fully funded by the Ministry of Defence, to his peers during his visit to the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre in Headley Court.

Corporal Andrew Garthwaite in Afghanistan Credit: Defence Imagery
The team using specialist software to link his mind and nerves to move the prosthetic Credit: Defence Imagery

Corporal Garthwaite was injured by a rocket propelled grenade on operations in 2010.

But after 18 months of world class rehabilitation, he is now able to control movement of his prosthetic arm with his mind, by focusing his thoughts on the nerves connected to muscles in his chest.

Testing the prosthetic by unwrapping a sweet Credit: Defence Imagery
Andrew showing colleagues at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre Credit: Defence Imagery

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PICTURES: Soldiers march in Windsor

The Princess Royal has take a salute from Soldiers of the Household Cavalry in Windsor this morning.

The soldiers are marching through the town, marking the regiment's final return from Afghanistan.

The troops will go on to file past Windsor Guildhall.

Soldiers marching in Windsor Credit: ITV News Meridian
The soldiers have returned from Afghanistan Credit: ITV News Meridian
The soldiers are of the Household of Calvary
They will go on to file past Windsor Guildhall Credit: ITV News Meridian

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Army medics to march through Gosport

A group of army medics will be officially welcomed home to Gosport today after working in Afghanistan.

The men and women of 33 Field Hospital provided care for troops serving in the country, as well as the local community. They will march out of the former Haslar Hospital site after receiving their Herrick medals.

"We sincerely hope that on 30th October the weather will be kind to us and the sun will shine as we gather to give thanks for the safe return of the extremely brave men and women of 33 Field Hospital. We hope that the people of Gosport will do us proud by coming along to show their support and to thank them all for the wonderful work they have done, in not only providing care for the service men and women based in Afghanistan, but also to the local community."

– Mayor of Gosport, Councillor John Beavis

Tributes paid to Lance Corporal Brynin

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Purves, Royal Signals, Commanding Officer 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare), said:

“Bright and engaging, Lance Corporal Brynin was immensely popular and an outstanding soldier in every respect. Having already completed one tour to Afghanistan, his appointment to support the Brigade Reconnaissance Force was indicative of his talent and leadership qualities.

He was fit, determined and genuinely wanted to make a difference. His selection for promotion to full Corporal earlier this year highlighted his flair for his chosen profession.

“Full of energy and an avid fan of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club, he was also involved in every aspect of Regimental life.

Always seeking excellence, he aspired to attend pre-parachute selection on his return fromAfghanistan; his quality was such that I am confident he would have passed with flying colours.

Soldier died protecting civilians and comrades

In a statement just released, the MOD says he died during an operation in the early hours of 15 October, when the BRF deployed from Camp Bastion into the Nahr-e Saraj District of Helmand Province.

They were deployed to counter an imminent threat to both the Afghan population and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Towards the end of the operation Lance Corporal Brynin’s section became the target of enemy fire.

Together with a sniper and machine gunner of the BRF, Lance Corporal Brynin returned fire, but while extracting from the area he received a fatal gunshot wound.

Soldier killed in Afghanistan from Sussex

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that Lance Corporal James Brynin of the Intelligence Corps, who was killed in action in Helmand province, Afghanistan, on Tuesday, 15 October 2013, came from Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex.

Lance Corporal Brynin, was attached to 14th Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare), and was deployed to Task Force Helmand in August 2013 as an intelligence analyst. He was working for a Light Electronic Warfare Team (LEWT) within the Brigade Reconnaissance Force (BRF) of 7th Armoured Brigade.

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