SOLDIERS from 214 Signal Squadron in York have commemorated their return from Afghanistan with a service at York Minster.

The signallers, who are based at Imphal Barracks, Fulford, are part of 21 Signal Regiment, and 65 officers and soldiers, including three Army Reserves, dealt with communications throughout the country for about seven months before returning earlier this month.

The soldiers who had completed their first tours were all issued with medals, and special commendations for exemplary service were also handed out by Lord Mayor of York Councillor Ian Gillies while the soldiers' families and friends watched.

Lance Corporal Steven Campbell, from Strensall, was awarded a medal after returning from his first tour and supported by his wife Lauren and seven-week-old daughter Ella.

He said: "It's been great, a good experience. I first saw Ella just over five weeks ago, it's been brilliant."

Lauren said: "It's nice to have him back.

"It's lovely to see him up in the Minster. Proud is the word I'm looking for."

Corporal Mark Code, from Camblesforth, attended the ceremony with his girlfriend Rebecca Houghton and brother Craig, after his second tour of Afghanistan He said: "It was a very long tour, very emotional sometimes. Long hours and we got very tired, but we just got up and got on with it.

"We get eight or nine weeks leave now, then back to York into the routine. I'm going to travel around Europe, so looking forward to that and spending time with my family and friends."

Officer Commanding Major Steve Bennett said: "I was keen to have a service here because at the end of the day this event is for about family and friends who have put up with us being away for seven and a half months, and they've been fantastic."