Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 18:04 UK

In Pictures: Soldiers on Parade

1st Battalion The Rifles Parade on their return from Afghanistan

Crowds lined the streets to welcome back members of the 1st Battalion The Rifles Parade on their return from Afghanistan in their home town of Chepstow.

1st Battalion The Rifles Parade on their return from Afghanistan (Photo by Barry Batchelor/PA Wire)

More than 400 soldiers took part in the homecoming parade to mark the end of their tour, that saw them lose eight of their colleagues during the six-month deployment in Helmand Province.

Crowds cheer as the soldiers pass. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

An estimated 5,000 people lined the route after the regiment, based at the nearby Beachley Barracks, were invited by the town council to parade through the streets.

Union flags waved as the troops pass (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

The 1 Rifles Commanding Officer, Lt Col Joe Cavanagh called it an "emotional march" with the sound of the crowd cheering.

A member of the public with a baby watches. (Photo by Barry Batchelor/PA Wire)

Young and old turned out to cheer, with the crowd gathered six deep at the roadside. Town council mayor Henry Ashby said: "It was absolutely amazing. I think the whole of the town turned out."

The parade through the town. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

After the march, the soldiers were presented with the Operation HERRICK medal in the presence of His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent, the Royal Colonel of 1st Battalion The Rifles.



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