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Hundreds welcome home soldiers

Hundreds of well-wishers lined the streets to welcome home 250 soldiers from the King's Royal Hussars.

The soldiers returned to Leyland, near Preston in Lancashire from duty in Afghanistan and were given a rousing reception 24 hours ahead of Remembrance Sunday.

The regiment recruits from across the North West but is based in Tidworth, Wiltshire, and recently returned from a six month tour based around Lashkar Gah, the first district in Helmand to transition to Afghan control in 2011.

Lieutenant Colonel Alex Potts, commanding officer, said: "Today has been very special for us because many of our recruits come from the North West.

"We are stationed in Tidworth and many of our soldiers commute here weekly so it's very nice for all of us to be here in order that we can thank everybody in the area for the support they have given us in what has been a very challenging year.

"We really want to thank communities across the region for the support that we have had. It has made our job in Afghanistan a lot easier.

"This is a very special weekend for everyone in the Army and so for us to come to Leyland, have this parade and then hold our remembrance service on Sunday here in Lancashire is particularly special."

The Mayor of South Ribble, Councillor Colin Clark, added: "We are enormously pleased to have the King's Royal Hussars as Honorary Freemen of our borough, and it is a real pleasure and a privilege to welcome them home following their recent tour of duty in Afghanistan.

"This is a very special occasion for me personally, on what is a poignant weekend."

The regiment was honoured with the Freedom of South Ribble, the borough in which Leyland sits, in 1992.

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