Home For Christmas: Royal Irish Parade On Return From Afghanistan

Hundreds of people cheered on 250 troops in Shropshire on Saturday.

Two-hundred-and-fifty soldiers from 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment have been welcomed home from Afghanistan, as they marched on parade in Shropshire.

Based at Clive Barracks, Tern Hill, the troops were deployed to the Middle East for six months.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Market Drayton on Saturday to celebrate their return.

Regimental mascot, Brian Boru X - a pure-bred Irish Wolfhound - led the march, whilst the bugles, pipes and drums of the battalion's 1st and 2nd Battalions provided musical accompaniment.

On deployment, the soldiers carried out up to 70 personal security missions every day and responded to 11 high-profile attacks on Kabul.

Troops returned to their home country after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan (Picture: MOD).

Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Lewis, said:

“We had a very successful deployment in Kabul working as part of the multinational NATO coalition.

"Our troops’ tasks ranged from base force protection to responding to incidents in the city and providing protection for senior NATO advisers as they travelled round the city in armoured vehicles.”

Lt Col Lewis said the troops earned a "well-deserved Christmas break" as they returned just in time to spend the festivities with their families.

Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner JP, praised them for the work they carried out "standing up for safety and peace."

Cover image: 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment marched through Market Drayton upon return from Afghanistan (Picture: MOD).