Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Sunday, 25 October 2009

Gurkha troops back with families

Ltn Corp Ajay Tamang recieves a welcome home hug from his daughter Sneha
More than 100 soldiers arrived back at the barracks in Shorncliffe

Gurkha soldiers have returned to their barracks in Kent after a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Troops from the 1st and 2nd Battalions The Royal Gurkha Rifles were greeted by family and friends at Sir John Moore Barracks in Shorncliffe, Folkestone.

More than 100 soldiers arrived in two coaches at the barracks which was decked out with banners and flags.

They suffered one fatality during the tour with the loss of Corporal Kumar Pun, who died in a bombing in May.

Pipes and drums greeted the Gurkhas, from Foxtrot Company, on Sunday afternoon, with each one presented with a ceremonial scarf known as a khada on the parade square.

Nepalese song

One soldier, Sunil Gurung, 35, said he was relieved to be back after his second tour of the country.

"It has been a tough time in Afghanistan. It was very difficult trying to mentor the police out there because it was not like trying to train a normal Army or police.

"But I'm glad to be back. Today has been a long time coming."

Some of the troops broke into Nepalese song as they stood on the parade square with their comrades and families.

Cpl Dilli Rai, 32, was greeted with hugs and kisses by his wife Lila Maya and their daughters, Upama, 13, and 10-year-old Anupama.

"It was extremely tough but the main thing is that we completed the tour successfully.

"We will now have some rest before getting back to normal work," he said.

Maj Chris Conroy, officer commanding Foxtrot Company, said: "The boys did an outstanding job in Afghanistan in difficult circumstances, not only because of the environment they were in but also because of the enemy threat in the areas in which they were working."



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