From Afghan with love...

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Soldiers from South Yorkshire are getting ready for Christmas in the blistering heat of Afghanistan.

The servicemen are stationed at a small base called Lashkar Gah – where between guard shifts and maintaining vehicles they sent messages back to loved ones in the UK.

LCpl James Addy from Sheffield, a Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineer attached to 3 Royal Horse Artillery, said he would like to wish his fiancee – and Sheffield United players and fans – a very Merry Christmas.

Gunner Daniel Willey from Barnsley, meanwhile, serving with 39 Royal Artillery, wanted to wish his parents and fiancee a Merry Christmas.

Most of the soldiers at the base are from the 2 Royal Anglian Battalion but there are soldiers from units across the UK.

The soldiers took part in a series of challenges in an attempt to be crowned omelette champion and header champions of Helmand Province, as football fever gripped the camp.

Despite the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers’ best efforts in the ‘header bin challenge’, they didn’t manage to break the record which is held by Manchester City Football Club

As UK forces withdraw from Afghanistan, the Lashkar Gah base is due to close early next year – and as the Afghan Forces continue to take responsibility for security the British forces have been focusing on the logistical challenges of returning all their kit to the UK.