Duke and Archbishop greet homecoming soldiers at Minster thanksgiving service

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The Duke of York attended a thanksgiving service in York Minster yesterday on the day Yorkshire Regiment soldiers, who have returned home from Afghanistan, paraded through the city.

Five hundred soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment marched from Tower Street to Duncombe Place for an inspection and salute in front of guests, families and onlookers before moving to York Minster for a service attended by the Duke and the Archbishop of York, John Sentamu.

The soldiers have returned from a six-month tour of duty in Helmand Province. Sadly, 10 of their soldiers were killed on operations and their families were invited to the parade and service.

Last week comrades of six soldiers killed when their armoured vehicle was blown up in Afghanistan honoured them in a remembrance service.

Five men from the company, and a sergeant attached from another regiment, died in March when their Warrior vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb.

Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Anthony Frampton, 20, Private Daniel Wilford, 21, all from Huddersfield, and Private Christopher Kershaw, 19, from Bradford, were killed in the blast on March 6.

They died alongside 3 Yorks comrade Private Daniel Wade, 20, from Warrington, and Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, from Lytham Saint Annes, who was serving with 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

Also remembered were Private Gregg Stone, of Hull, who was killed after coming under fire in June and Sergeant Gareth Thursby, of Skipton, and Private Thomas Wroe, of Meltham, near Huddersfield, who were shot and fatally wounded by a rogue Afghan policeman at a checkpoint in September.

The Duke is colonel-in-chief of the Yorkshire Regiment.

Yesterday, the parade, led by the Band of the King’s Division, stepped off from Tower Street, along Coney Street to halt on Duncombe Place. The parade was inspected by a team headed by the Lord Mayor of York, Coun Keith Hyman and the Colonel of The Yorkshire Regiment, Major General Graham Binns.

A thanksgiving service was held at York Minster during which the Warminster Military Wives’ Choir sang.