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Troops welcomed home
THE first members of 12th Mechanized Brigade, 98 soldiers from Corunna Company, The 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment returned home last Tuesday after their deployment in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Operation Herrick 16.
Corunna Company was the Armoured Infantry Company (with Warrior armoured vehicles) working with the King’s Royal Hussars Battlegroup.
They were greeted by hundreds of families, friends, comrades and a huge media contingent from Yorkshire as they proudly marched back into Battlesbury Barracks.
The cheers were so loud that they could not hear the words of command and turned away from the waiting families, which provoked even louder cheers.
They were led by their Company Commander, Major Ed Colver, who briefly addressed the families before the soldiers were fallen out.
He thanked them for their support over the past seven months, which was met by cries of “you’re welcome”, and went on to say that it had been an extremely tough tour with a high price paid.
“Be assured that we will remember those who have fallen, however today is about those that have come home,” he said.
“The deployment has now ended, but our duty of care remains to the soldiers who have come back today. I implore every single one of you to look after them when they come home.
“You should all be very proud of what they have achieved; they have served the company, the battalion and the Yorkshire Regiment well.
Our thoughts remain with the remainder of the battalion who are still in Helmand Province, and we wish them a safe return home.”
During the tour the company lost six soldiers in an explosion.
Sergeant Nigel Coupe, from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, and Corporal Jake Hartley, Private Anthony Frampton, Private Christopher Kershaw, Private Daniel Wade and Private Daniel Wilford, all from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, were killed when their Warrior armoured vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in the Lashkar Gah Durai region on March 6.
Maj Colver said: “Nothing in our training, or in the world, could prepare you for a loss like this. There was no thought of revenge, but we had to push and take the fight to the enemy in memory of our six comrades.”