Territorial Army Fusiliers marched out on parade in front of their families and employers and were presented with their Afghanistan service medals in Alnwick, Northumberland, this week…

The 34 soldiers from 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers returned from a six-month deployment to Afghanistan in August. The soldiers undertook a force protection role in Kabul where they guarded bases of ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) troops, patrolled the city and escorted convoys in the region. They worked alongside Macedonian and Italian soldiers.

Lieutenant Colonel Steve Hopper, the battalion’s Commanding Officer, said: “This was a difficult and dangerous task and there was the ever-present threat of roadside bombs and suicide bombers in the city.”

The soldiers received their medals during a special parade at Alnwick Castle which is the Fusiliers’ heartland in Northumberland and is home to the Duke of Northumberland who is also the Colonel of the Regiment. The Duke presented the medals and took the salute in front of families and onlookers.

Lt Col Hopper added: “The majority of these soldiers have civilian jobs and they put these and their family lives on hold for six months to serve their country. They richly deserve this honour and their friends and families are justly proud of them for the role they played.”

The parade was followed by a Beating Retreat by the Band of the 5th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers and a private reception was held in the Great Hall of Alnwick Castle.