Royal Scots Borderers embark on homecoming parades

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Troops who endured a gruelling tour of duty in Afghanistan have held the first in a series of homecoming parades.

About 400 soldiers from The Royal Scots Borderers (1 Scots) have returned from Helmand province where they spent six months training the Afghan army.

The troops, based at Dreghorn barracks in Edinburgh, are taking part in four separate homecoming parades in the Lothians and Borders.

The first of the parades took place in Galashiels on Saturday.

The 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland will then march through Linlithgow on Wednesday and Colinton on Friday, before their final parade and presentation of medals takes place in Edinburgh city centre on Saturday 16 October.

Soldier killed

Commanding Officer, Lt Col Charlie Herbert said: "It's nice for the soldiers actually to see the degree of public support which is out there, but it's also an opportunity for us to say 'thank you' to all of the locals around Edinburgh and across Scotland for the support that they continue to give us.

"It does make our job a lot easier, there's no doubt about that."

The troops were deployed as part of the Catterick-based 4 Mechanised Brigade which commanded Task Force Helmand.

During the six-month tour, the battalion lost L/Cpl Joseph Pool, who was killed in action following an exchange of fire with insurgents on 5 September.

Earlier this week, Col Herbert spoke of his pride in the soldiers of 1 Scots and said they had left a "very rich legacy" in Afghanistan.

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