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Welsh soldiers welcomed home

More than 300 soldiers from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards have taken part in a Homecoming Parade in Cardiff following their tour in Afghanistan.

During the Parade, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales presented members of The Prince of Wales’ company with the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan. The Prince of Wales has been Colonel of the Welsh Guards since 1975. After the Parade, his Royal Highness met with members of the Battalion and their families.

We are always greatly touched by the warm welcome Col. (Retd) Tom Bonas

The Welsh Guards recently completed an eight-month tour of Afghanistan as part of Operation Toral, the British Army’s contribution to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force mission, called Operation Resolute Support.

“As the Welsh Regiment of Her Majesty’s Foot Guards we are always delighted to return to our roots and, where possible, we never miss an opportunity to do so,” said Colonel (Retd) Tom Bonas, the Regimental Adjutant.

“We are always greatly touched by the warm welcome we always receive throughout Wales and of course when we parade through the capital, where we were honoured to receive the Freedom of the City in 1957. Being home in Wales always means so much to all Guardsmen and, wherever we are deployed around the world, it remains at the very heart of all we do.”

The homecoming parade effectively closes the Operation Toral chapter for the battalion and marks the end of their time in 11th Infantry Brigade as a Light Mechanised Battalion. On February 27 the Welsh Guards revert to Light Infantry under Headquarters London District, which brings a return to state ceremonial and public duties.