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Troops pay tribute at Salisbury Cathedral

A service took place in Salisbury Cathedral today to mark the return - from Afghanistan - of the 1st Mechanised Brigade based in Wiltshire.

The brigade's main role while on tour was to support and train members of the Afghan Army and Police. As Martin Dowse reports - today was also a chance for the soldiers to remember those who didn't make it back.

Soldiers pay tribute to fallen comrades in Wiltshire

A memorial and thanksgiving service for 1st Mechanized Brigade has been held at Salisbury Cathedral Credit: MoD

The 1st Mechanized Brigade has held a Thanksgiving & Memorial Service at Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire to mark the troops' return from a tour in Afghanistan.

The Brigade Commander Brigadier Rupert Jones MBE said: “With the focus of the Brigade being Tidworth and Bulford it is a great privilege for us to be hosted in Salisbury today.

“I think it is very important at the end of a tour that you do commemorate your fallen and sadly we had others back here in Britain who died, it is important to remember them and also pause and remember the Afghans who died during the tour as well.

“This summer the Afghans took the lead for the first time, it was a genuinely decisive moment where they had to stand up and they did that very, very, effectively and exceeded everyone’s expectations, not least their own.

“Now the Brigade turns its attention to the next challenge with the Army restructuring.

“The Brigade will take its rotation on to readiness in due course as we re-role into an Armoured Infantry Brigade in 2014 and that is where our focus is.”

Soldiers fill Salisbury Cathedral at memorial service in Wiltshire Credit: MoD

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Soldiers commemorate fallen colleagues

Soldiers from 1 Mechanized Brigade have attended a Thanksgiving & Memorial Service at Salisbury Cathedral in Wiltshire.

The service marked the return of the Brigade from its recent tour of Afghanistan, and commemorated personnel who lost their lives in Helmand and the UK.

More than 6,000 personnel from the Brigade deployed on Operation Herrick 18 from April to October 2013 as Task Force Helmand (TFH), the first and last deployment that the Brigade will undertake.

“It was a very moving service we were unfortunately commemorating the loss of three personnel in Afghanistan and four from the Brigade who died in the UK.

“So it was a very touching service for all those who knew them including their families.

“This was also a thanksgiving both for the senior officers to thank the troops under their command and for the nation to thank the troops who have been serving in Afghanistan on Operation HERRICK 18 for the magnificent work they have done in support of the Afghan National Forces.”

– Philip Dunne MP, Minister for Defence, Equipment, Support and Technology,

Young musicians from Kent pay Dambusters tribute

by David Wood

Young musicians from Kent have paid tribute to another generation at a concert at the Royal Albert Hall last night. Students from the North Knatchbull School in Ashford were among the 3,000 performers who remembered the Dambusters from World War Two.

Kent played a vital role for the Dambusters training. The coastline at Reculver was used to test the "bouncing bomb" before the squadron flew on to Germany. David Wood reports.

Military vehicles gather in Museum

Among the vehicles will be an amphibious 6-wheel drive Stalwart Credit: Brooklands Museum

A museum in Surrey is hosting a range of assorted military vehicles as part of its celebrations for its 11th annual Military Vehicles Day.

The event has expanded this year to include re-enactment groups to represent some of the periods of the visiting vehicles.

The Royal Union Rifles will be representing the British Army of the Rhine, Infantry Battalion during the Cold War years of 1982 – 1989.

Sir Winston Churchill will also be in attendance, courtesy of Stan (Winstan) Streather.

The event will take place on Sunday 17th November alongside exhibitors and organisations including Help for Heroes and Scotties Little Soldiers- two charities which support those affected by conflict.

One of the cars at the museum on display to the public Credit: Brooklands Museum

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Defence Minister discusses Gosport's future

The new Defence Minister Anna Soubry MP will visit Gosport today to discuss key issues facing the area with MP Caroline Dinenage.

She will look at some of the key issues facing the area, such as the need to replace the Victorian Oil Fuel Depot for the new Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

The visit will include a tour of the military and ex-military sites around the constituency and Gosport MP Caroline will then hold a brief meeting with the Minister to consider the potential of these sites.

I'm really grateful that the Minister has found time in her busy schedule to visit Gosport. I'm looking forward to taking her on a tour of the peninsula and hope that we can secure even more MoD support for our area.

Gosport's close links with defence are essential to its heritage and a number of exciting plans are currently being drawn up for some of our former military sites. I am also pleased to have the opportunity to discuss policies affecting serving personnel."

– Caroline Dinenage, Gosport MP

Statue unveiled to soldiers killed in Malay conflict

by Iain McBride

A statue to commemorate Kent soldiers who lost their lives in the Malayan conflict of the 1950s has been unveiled in Maidstone.

The memorial is also a tribute to armed service personnel who served in other campaigns after World War Two. It stands outside the town's museum next to a statue of a Gurkha soldier. Iain McBride reports.

The interviewees are Colonel Peter Bishop - President, Queen's Own Buffs Regimental Association and the sculptor Peter Birkett, who made the statue.

Sovereign parade underway at Sandhurst

Sovereign parade
The Sovereign parade taking place in Sandhurst Credit: ITV Meridian

The Sovereign parade is taking place today to mark the completion of a year's intensive military training.

More than 200 cadets have passed out from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst today.

HRH the Countess of Wessex represented the Queen at the traditional Sovereign's Parade which brings 44 weeks of training to an end.

The cadets will now join their new regiments but they will not become official 2nd Lieutenants until the stroke of midnight tonight.

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