The head of the Army, General Sir Peter Wall, said the "timetable is set" for a handover to Afghan security forces who are "doing a very good job":
More top news
"Big Sam" was spotted letting his hair down in the seaside resort weeks after securing Premier League survival for Sunderland.
Greater Manchester Police visited a property twice on Saturday - finding a body on the second occasion.
163,000 French and 143,000 German soldiers were killed in the 10-month battle in 1916.