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St Paul's all set for Afghanistan memorial service

St Paul's Cathedral has shared images of the grand venue's preparations for today's special service honouring Afghanistan veterans.

Veterans pay tribute to those they left behind

Veterans of the Afghanistan conflict have paid tribute to those they left behind after leaving the warzone.

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Former Prime Ministers arrive at Afghanistan service

Tony Blair was Prime Minister when British troops were sent to Afghanistan in 2001.

Former Labour Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have arrived at a special service honouring British forces personnel who died during the Afghanistan campaign and veterans who survived the conflict.

Gordon Brown took over from Blair as PM in 2007.

Brown arrived shortly after Blair at St Paul's Cathedral, London, where the service is being held.

Afghan President's tribute to sacrifice of UK troops

The President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, has paid tribute to Britain's 453 war dead ahead of a special service honouring troops.

The President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani Credit: Reuters

Speaking to the BBC, President Ashraf Ghani the service personnel had "paid the ultimate sacrifice to enable us to live in freedom, in hope for peace, prosperity and dignity".

Service will honour 453 Afghanistan war dead

A commemoration service will today honour the 453 British forces personnel and Ministry of Defence workers who died, or are missing presumed dead, while serving in Afghanistan.

Operations in the country began in October 2001.

Captain Clarke, Warrant Officer Class 2 Faulkner, Corporal Walters and Lance Corporal Thomas. Credit: MoD/Crown Copyright

Among those to be honoured today will be five serving soldiers killed in a helicopter crash in April last year.

Capt Thomas Clarke, aged 30, from Cowbridge, of the Army Air Corps; Wt Ofcr Spencer Faulkner, 38, of the Army Air Corps; Cpl James Walters, 36, from Cornwall, of the Army Air Corps, were serving as the Lynx aircraft's three-man team when they died.

Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan, 29, from Birmingham, of the Royal Air Force; and Lc Cpl Oliver Thomas, 26, from Brecon, of the Intelligence Corps, were passengers on the flight.

Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhan Credit: Ministry of Defence

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Veterans to march past St Paul's Cathedral

The families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and veterans of the 13-year campaign will march past St Paul's Cathedral in a parade following today's commemoration service.

Families of soldiers to march past St Paul's Cathedral. Credit: PA

Members of the Royal Family will later meet those who took part in the commemorations or served in Afghanistan during a series of receptions.

Similar services will also be held at military bases, cathedrals and churches across the country, as well as in Germany for personnel serving there.

Commemoration for soldiers who died in Afghanistan

Servicemen and women who died during the Afghanistan campaign and veterans who fought in the conflict will be remembered at a service of commemoration later.

Commemoration for soldiers who died in Afghanistan. Credit: PA

At St Paul's Cathedral the Queen, joined by David Cameron, senior members of the Royal Family and veterans, will lead the nation in honouring all those who fought to free Afghanistan from the Taliban.

The Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke of Cambridge, his heavily-pregnant wife Kate, and Prince Harry - who served two tours during the conflict - will also attend the ceremony, held to mark the end of combat operations in the country.

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