VIDEO - Celebrations far away from home

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Sappers serving with the Ripon based 21 Engineers celebrated the New Year from their bases across Helmand province.

For the squadrons based at Camp Bastion, the night saw a BBQ and performances from the British Army’s Adjutant General’s Corps Band. Later, celebrations moved from the Regiment’s main home in Camp Bastion to 73 Squadron’s camp where a marathon charity challenge came to an end minutes into the new year.

Troops serving at Main Operating Base Lashkar Gah celebrate a Midnight Mass at Saint Albans, the base chapel tent.  The service was led by the Senior Chaplain of 4th Mechanized Brigade, Padre Dowell Conning, with the music led by The Black Rats Choir - a group of personnel from the base formed especially to perform at Christmas. Photo: Cpl Mike O'Neill/ Crown Copyright.

Troops serving at Main Operating Base Lashkar Gah celebrate a Midnight Mass at Saint Albans, the base chapel tent. The service was led by the Senior Chaplain of 4th Mechanized Brigade, Padre Dowell Conning, with the music led by The Black Rats Choir - a group of personnel from the base formed especially to perform at Christmas. Photo: Cpl Mike O'Neill/ Crown Copyright.

Further north in Camp Price, more 73 Squadron troops brought the new year in with a springbok race night, while for engineers working with Royal Marines at the remote patrol base Clifton the night saw a special service conducted by the camp’s padre.

A week earlier, Christmas was celebrated in Lashkar Gah - Headquarters to the UK-led Task Force Helmand - for some the work went on regardless.

But for others the day was marked with traditional celebrations starting with packed midnight mass in the camp’s tiny chapel with the camp’s choir. It comprise servicemen and women as well as civilian staff working at the base - singing carols.

Thefancy dress “Lash Dash” - a five kilometre race round the camp’s perimeter, set off at 10am and a traditional Christmas dinner

And across Afghanistan British soldiers received their “UK4U Thanks” boxes -gifts sent by companies in the UK for serving British forces.

 

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