Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Thursday, 31 July 2008 13:16 UK

Town turns out to honour marines

The parade in Taunton
The parade took place through the Taunton streets on Thursday

Hundreds of people lined the streets at a homecoming parade for Royal Marine unit 40 Commando on Thursday.

The crowd cheered and waved flags as 400 troops from Norton Manor Camp, near Taunton, were led through the town centre by the Marines band.

The marines paraded along Station Road before coming to a halt at the town centre war memorial.

Three marines who lost their lives while serving in Afghanistan earlier this year were remembered.

'Brave men'

Family and friends of Lieut John Thornton, Marine David Marsh and Cpl Damian Mulvihill, all killed on duty in Afghanistan, stood beside a civic party who greeted the marines.

The town's mayor, councillor Tim Slattery, said: "We pay tribute to your colleagues who did not return home - Lieutenant John Thornton, Marine David Marsh and Corporal Damian Mulvihill."

Wheelchair-bound former Royal Marine Tony Denley, 58, added: "They're all very brave men, and we should all be very grateful for what they've done."

Lieut Thornton and Marine Marsh both died when the vehicle they were travelling in was caught in an explosion in the vicinity of Kajaki, Helmand Province, in March.

Cpl Mulvihill was killed in an explosion while taking part in an outreach patrol to disrupt enemy forces north of Sangin, Helmand Province in February.

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