Shipley soldier marks return of 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment from Afghanistan (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting TANEWS to 80360, or email
Shipley soldier marks return of 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment from Afghanistan
9:00am Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
This was the poignant moment in which a soldier from Shipley blew out a candle to mark his battalion’s return from Afghanistan.
Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, known as 3 Yorks, have been reunited with their families after a six-month deployment in Helmand Province in which nine of their colleagues were killed.
Fifty-three members of the battalion were welcomed home to their base at Battlesbury Barracks in Wiltshire on Tuesday.
The youngest among them was Lance Corporal Dale Leadbetter, 25, of Shipley, who had been on his first tour of duty.
To mark their return, Lance Corporal Leadbetter was chosen to blow out a candle which had been burning at the entrance to the barracks since February, when the first of its soldiers were deployed. This advance party was followed by a larger group of the battalion’s soldiers, which went out in April.
During the deployment, nine 3 Yorks servicemen lost their lives, including Sergeant Gareth Thursby, 29, from Skipton, and Bradford’s Private Christopher Kershaw, 19.
Commanding officer of 3 Yorks, Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning, said: “The candle has been lit for nine long months and this event marks the return of the final elements of the Battalion to the UK.
“I am extremely proud of the soldiers and officers of 3 Yorks and all they have achieved in Afghanistan. The courage, dedication and selfless commitment of the soldiers has been of the highest possible standards.
“The support from the families and elements of 3 Yorks who remained behind has been truly humbling and clearly they have been critical to the overall success whilst deployed.”
Private Kershaw was among six 3 Yorks soldiers killed when their Warrior armoured vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device in March. Sergeant Thursby was one of two soldiers shot dead by a rogue Afghan policeman at a checkpoint in September.