The final group of Royal Marines from 40 Commando based near Taunton are spending the weekend with their families. Alpha Company flew back to Britain yesterday after completing a 6 month tour of duty.
The last Royal Marines from Taunton-based 40 Commando have returned home from Afghanistan this evening. A homecoming march will take place in Taunton next Thursday.
The last Royal Marines from Somerset-based 40 Commando are returning home from Afghanistan to Norton Manor camp in Taunton, marking the end of a decade of operations in the country.
22-year-old John Thornton was just a few weeks away from the end of his tour with 40 Commando five years ago when he was killed.
His diaries have just been published - alongside those of his older brother - who is still in the armed forces.
About 80 Royal Marines from Alpha Company are due to land at RAF Brize Norton at about 2pm. They'll then be transported to Norton Manor Camp near Taunton by coach, greeting friends and family at around 6pm.
The last Royal Marines from Taunton-based 40 Commando are returning home from Afghanistan this evening. About 80 marines from Alpha Company are due back at Norton Manor camp, marking the end of a decade of operations in the country.
A homecoming march will take place in Taunton on Thursday, May 2nd.
Three Royal Marines pleaded not guilty today to the murder of a unknown Afghan while on active service.
The men, known only as Marines A, B and C, entered their pleas in rank order from behind a screen amid tight security at the Military Court Centre in Bulford, Wiltshire.
The men denied the allegation under Section 42 of the Armed Forces Act 2006 that on or about September 15 2011 they murdered the captured person while on patrol in Afghanistan.
David Perry QC, prosecuting, said the core of the prosecution case would be video footage.
Judge Advocate General Jeff Blackett set a two-day pre-trial review hearing to start on August 5 with a trial due to last three to four weeks to commence on October 21.
All three marines were granted bail. Two further marines have been told that the murder charges against them have been dropped.
Murder charges against two of five Plymouth-based Royal Marines accused of killing a Taliban prisoner have been dropped. The remaining three men - from 3 Commando - are due before another court martial hearing next month. They are accused of killing the man in Afghanistan in September 2011.
The idea to create a nativity play for Marines in Afghanistan was the idea of family support worker Nicky Chubb. She says it will help create a two-way communication with children and their fathers.
On Christmas day Royal Marines serving with the 40 Commando will receive a surprise gift from their children.
The youngsters from Taunton have recorded their nativity play which is on its way to Afghanistan.