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Christmas dinner for reservists


Christmas came early for Army reservists

Christmas came early for Army reservists

Christmas came early for Army reservists

Army reservists have tucked into an early Christmas dinner served by their officers, a long-standing tradition.

Around 200 soldiers from 3rd Battalion, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment enjoyed the meal to mark their final weekend training exercise of 2014.

After the cry "End-Ex", the soldier downed weapons and ate a full lunch, with all the trimmings, in the field.

The battalion's training weekend culminated in a major company level assault on the purpose-built village of Copehill Down on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire.

The assault began at dawn - meaning the soldier had spent six gruelling hours clearing each building room by room before lunch.

There is a long-standing tradition within the Armed Forces that the junior ranks' Christmas dinner is served by the officers.

The troops, still sporting their camouflage and caked in mud, pulled up sandbags to eat their turkey and Christmas pudding in the middle of Salisbury Plain.

They swapped their helmets for Santa hats and the sound of crackers replaced the earlier crackle of gun-fire.

Julian Brazier MP, minister for reserves, who visited the troops over the weekend, said: "It was a great pleasure to get down to Salisbury Plain and meet the men and women of 3rd Battalion Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment again.

"This is a fantastic unit, doing great things in the local community and for their country alongside their regular counterparts. I want to take the opportunity to wish them a very Merry Christmas."

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