RETURNING South Yorkshire soldiers were honoured at their final homecoming march and thanksgiving service with a royal guest of honour.
The Duke of York, Colonel in Chief of the Yorkshire Regiment, attended the parade by members of Third Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment through the centre of York and a thanksgiving service at York Minster.
The battalion’s troops have served in Afghanistan between March and September, during which 10 soldiers were killed - including six in a single incident.
Major Ed Colver, officer commanding Corunna Company 3 Yorks, who grew up near Dungworth and attended Westbourne School, Broomhill, said: “The march and service was a culmination of our homecoming parades which also saw marches in Halifax and Warminster, where the battalion is based.
“Everyone is very proud. A lot of time and preparation has taken place on barracks parade squares in the cold and rain.
“There has been a fantastic turnout from families and the public.
“The last tour in Afghanistan was the hardest I have had to endure, not just for the austere environment but also because of the tragedy.”
Sgt Stewart Watts, of South Anston, said: “We have been hard at work rehearsing for the occasion and it has been nice to march out in front of our families.
“The support from the public has been terrific, thousands of people have lined the streets.”
Lance Corporal Nick Clark, from Richmond, Sheffield, and whose dad John and brother Joshua were at the parade in York, added: “The amount of support we have received on the three parades has been unbelievable and shows how much people value what we do.”