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Soldiers return from Afghanistan in time for Christmas

Soldiers serving in Afghanistan have been greeted by friends and family as they returned home in time for Christmas.

Kingsman Danny Gasgarth with his fiancee Grace Maltby and their daughter Lucy aged 2 Credit: Cpl G Moreno RLC/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

The troops from Burma Company of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment are the first batch of personnel to return from Helmand Province as part of the Government's decision to reduce the British commitment in Afghanistan by 500 soldiers.

They arrived at Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire, late last night.

Kingsman Kurt Pollack as troops from Burma Company of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment returned home Credit: Cpl G Moreno RLC/MoD/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Kingsman Kurt Pollock, 27, from Lancaster, whose wife was expecting their second baby, said: "We went to the area but the Afghan police had pretty much been leading most of the operations anyway. We're coming home early because the job has been done.

"I'm chuffed about going home, I'm looking forward to seeing my wife and son, as well as look at the photographs of the scan of the baby on the way."