‘Lost heroes in our thoughts’ as soldiers return home from Afghanistan tour (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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‘Lost heroes in our thoughts’ as soldiers return home from Afghanistan tour
Soldiers returning from a difficult tour of Afghanistan, which claimed the lives of several colleagues including Bradford teenager Private Chris Kershaw , have been reunited with family and friends.
Coming home without six of its heroes made the occasion even more poignant, said Corunna Company’s Commanding Officer Major Ed Colver.
He said: “The six heroes who we lost have been in our thoughts and prayers for the last six months. Our thoughts go out to to their families and loved ones. It must be very difficult seeing us come home and their sons and dearest not. For us, this is a joyful occasion, but for them it is not.”
The 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (3 Yorks), returned home to Warminster yesterday following their deployment in Helmand province as part of Operation Herrick.
There were emotional scenes as the company, the Armoured Infantry Company with Warrior armoured vehicles, arrived back on home shores following the tragic tour which saw the six soldiers killed in an explosion on March 6.
Privates Kershaw, 19, Anthony Frampton, 20, Daniel Wade, 20, and Daniel Wilford, 21, Sgt Nigel Coupe, 33, and Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, were killed near the border between Helmand and Kandahar provinces.
They were patrolling in a Warrior armoured vehicle when it was hit by an improvised explosive device about 25 miles north of the province capital Lashkar Gah.
The force of the Taliban attack – the deadliest single attack on British forces in Afghanistan since 2001 – turned the Warrior upside down and blew off its gun turret.
Ammunition on board the vehicle ignited, causing a fierce fire that burned for many hours and severely hampered rescue attempts.
At Pte Kershaw’s funeral in May, family, friends and service-men who gathered at Holy Trinity Church in Idle were told how he, a former pupil of Hanson School, spoke of fulfiling his “dream job” in a message delivered to his father, Brian Kershaw, 45, after his death.
The company, which was working with the King’s Royal Hussars Battlegroup, left for Afghanistan in January before the regiment’s main deployment in April.
Yesterday saw 98 members off Corunna Company welcomed home at the Battlesbury Barracks after completing their tour.