Page last updated at 18:42 GMT, Saturday, 7 November 2009

Soldiers return from Afghan tour

Pt Robert Nightingale from Selkirk with nephew Jack
Pt Robert Nightingale from Selkirk is welcomed home by his nephew, Jack

The final group of Black Watch soldiers posted on a seven-month deployment to Afghanistan have returned to Scotland.

The members of 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS) flew into Edinburgh before setting off to Fort George, near Inverness.

Their homecoming comes just days after the funeral of Cpl Thomas Mason, 27, from Fife.

He died in hospital from wounds suffered in an explosion in Kandahar Province on 15 September.

He was flown back to the UK but died at Selly Oak Hospital in Birmingham on 25 October.

His funeral took place at Trinity Parish Church in Cowdenbeath, Fife, followed by a burial at Douglas Bank Cemetery on Thursday.

First time

Fort George is the battalion's home in Scotland.

The funeral for Sgt Stuart "Gus" Millar, another Black Watch soldier killed during the deployment, was held at the fort in September.

The 40-year-old's wedding to wife Gillian - mother of his two-year-old daughter - was held at the same venue.

Sgt Millar, from Inverness, died alongside Pte Kevin Elliott, 24, from Dundee, in Helmand on 31 August.

The soldiers were caught in an explosion when insurgents used rocket-propelled grenades to mount an ambush.

It was the first time the battalion had been posted to Afghanistan. The soldiers had previously seen action in Iraq.

The battalion moved back to Fort George in 2007 after eight years, during which they were stationed in Northern Ireland and Germany.



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