Page last updated at 11:57 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 12:57 UK

Soldier brothers home from Iraq

The Kilby brothers before they left
It was the first tour in Iraq for two of the brothers

Three soldier brothers from Wirral are being welcomed back to Britain later after a six month tour of duty in Iraq.

Michael, Darren and Chris Kilby, all from Birkenhead, will return home with the rest of the first battalion Mercian regiment of Cheshire.

The battalion of about 600 soldiers, mostly from Cheshire, will be welcomed home at their UK base in Catterick.

During the time they were stationed in Iraq they were deployed in Basra, Baghdad and the port city of Umm Qasr.

Corporal Chris Kilby, 21 Private Darren Kilby, 18, and his brothers and Private Mike Kilby, 20, left in November.

'Utter professionalism'

Major Rob Prentice said: "Our soldiers have conducted anti-smuggling operations on the borders, protection tasks for senior officers in Baghdad, heli-borne foot patrols to protect our base locations as well as training the Iraqi Army for operations in Basra.

"The men have been tested under fire and they have reacted with utter professionalism and compassion. We can all be proud of their actions.

"We are now looking forward to spending time with our families and friends. It has been a long tour and the company will now enjoy a hard earned rest."

The brothers' mother Jane Moitt, 39, who has recently remarried, said: "It has been nerve-wracking and scary while they've been away but they've phoned me a lot, particularly Chris.

"I'm really proud of them but it's good to have them back."

The Mercian Regiment is the Army's newest. It was formed last year by a merger between the 22nd (Cheshire) Regiment, the Staffordshire Regiment and the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters.

Younger brother Jonathan has now said he also wanted to join the Army.


SEE ALSO
County regiment marks end of era
31 Aug 07 |  Merseyside
Historic Midlands units to merge
31 Aug 07 |  Derbyshire

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