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Homecoming parade for Military Medics in York

Military Medics from the world-famous military field hospital in Afghanistan will parade through York today, 22nd November 2014 for a homecoming and medals parade.

Over 200 medics from 65 units in all three Armed Forces will attend a Thanksgiving Service in York Minster.

A military parade through York earlier this year. Credit: PA

Following the service, the military medics will parade on Duncombe Place where 80 Operational Service medals will be presented by Director General of the Army Medical Services, Major General Jeremy Rowan OBE QHS and the Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Ian Gillies.

Led by the Band of the Royal Armoured Corps, the parade will march down Parliament Street and return via Coney Street where the salute will be taken by Major General Rowan accompanied by the Lord Mayor of York on the steps of the Mansion House.

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End of military operations in Afghanistan "great relief" for North East families

British soldiers on duty at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
People have paid their respects to soldiers gave their lives in conflicts old and new at this war memorial in Gosforth Central Park in Newcastle. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Families in the North East are relieved after the end of combat operations in Afghanistan, according to the soldiers' charity the Royal British Legion.

41 soldiers form the region have lost their lives in Afghanistan.

Keith Laws, the Chairman of the Royal British Legion's Northumbria branch, told ITV News Tyne Tees: "I think it will be a great relief not just to the service families and the dependents but to us all that our soldiers and our service personnel are not in harm's way in Afghanistan anymore."

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Ministry of Defence criticised over soldiers' tent fire deaths

Private Robert Wood (left) and Private Dean Hutchinson (right). Credit: Ministry of Defence

A coroner has criticised the Ministry of Defence for a series of failures over the deaths of two soldiers, including one from County Durham, in a fire which engulfed their tent as they slept at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan.

Wiltshire and Swindon Coroner David Ridley said he would be making a "preventing further deaths" report over the case of Privates Rob Wood, 28, and Dean Hutchinson, 23, of Spennymoor.

Mr Ridley recorded a narrative conclusion and listed eight areas where there was either a "systemic failure" or "failure" in the circumstances that led to the men's deaths.

The two soldiers, who served with the Royal Logistic Corps, were killed when fire swept through a logistical centre at Camp Bastion in Helmand on February 14 2011.

There were delays in alerting the military fire brigade because soldiers at the scene did not know the emergency 222 number.

Fire investigators have concluded that the blaze started in the vicinity of the electrical appliances and quickly spread, igniting combustible materials stored nearby.

The inquest heard that both senior commanders and fire safety officers did not know the soldiers were sleeping on duty during night shifts.

Had they known, the fire risk assessment for the tent would have had to have reflected it, with separate sleeping areas and an unobstructed rear exit.

The "unwritten rule" for the troop was that the duty non-commissioned officer should have remained awake while the other soldiers slept.

Army dog posthumous medal for Afghanistan bravery

Sasha has been awarded the highest military honour for her work in Afghanistan Credit: PDSA/PA

An army search dog killed in Afghanistan along with her handler, who's from Newcastle, is to receive the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Sasha will be posthumously awarded the PDSA Dickin Medal, at a ceremony today.

The labrador and her handler, Lance Corporal Kenneth Rowe, from West Moor, died in 2008, when they were ambushed on patrol.

MORE: Army dog killed in Afghanistan given highest military honour

Army dog killed in Afghanistan given highest military honour

Sasha has been awarded the highest military honour for her work in Afghanistan Credit: PDSA/PA

An army search dog killed in Afghanistan is to receive the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

Sasha, a four-year-old yellow Labrador, will be awarded the Dickin Medal by the PDSA animal charity.

She is thought to have saved the lives of dozens of soldiers and Afghan civilians by sniffing out explosive devices and weapons.

She died alongside her handler, Lance Corposal Kenneth Rowe - from West Moor, Newcastle - when they were ambushed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack.

L/Cpl Rowe, 24, was due to return home the day he died but asked to remain in Afghanistan as he was concerned about a lack of cover for his colleagues.

The soldier's mother Lyn said her son would be very happy to know about Sasha's award.

She said: "Kenneth always adored animals and loved working wit his dogs. He took his role protecting his fellow soldiers very seriously. We are so proud of him and he would be incredibly proud that Sasha's bravery is being recognised."

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