Devon

Royal Marines from 42 Commando return from Afghanistan

Royal Marines from 42 Commando have returned to Devon after a six-month deployment to Afghanistan.

During the tour in Helmand Province, the unit lost seven men.

The marines, based at Bickleigh Barracks near Plymouth, have been training the Afghan National Police and building relations with local people.

The aircraft carrying the 100 marines arrived at Exeter Airport at about 23:00 BST. The unit was deployed on 8 April.

'Sorely missed'

Lt Col Ewen Murchison said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of our seven brothers-in-arms who have tragically been killed during the tour: Lt Ollie Augustin, Sgt Barry Weston, L/Cpl Martin Gill and Marines Sam Alexander, Nigel Mead, James Wright and David Fairbrother.

"Their deaths are felt deeply across the commando and a sad reminder of the daily dangers we faced, they will be sorely missed," he added.

The marines have helped to develop two schools and clinics for women and children and have also trained and handed over two patrol bases to the Afghan National Police.

The majority of the unit were deployed to northern Nad-e Ali District in Helmand Province, the Royal Navy said.

About 80 marines from 42 Commando remain in Afghanistan, the Royal Navy added.

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