A SERVICE of thanksgiving was held in St Edmundsbury Cathedral to welcome home the 16 Air Assault Brigade from Afghanistan and to remember those who had fallen.
Among the congregation of almost 1000 were the families of 22 soldiers who were killed in the line of duty between October last year and April.
During the moving service on Wednesday, candles for each of those killed in action were lit and walked up the aisle by fellow soldiers.
The Right Reverend Lord Eames OM said the main purposes of the service were ‘thanksgiving, remembrance and hope’.
On the soldiers who lost their lives he said: “While you cannot see them or hear them any more, they have written a very pertinent lesson in British military history of which we are proud and which we give thanks.
“In so doing you have reduced the threat to your own country and have given hope to a sad nation and given them extra space to find the way forward.”
After the service the head of 16 Assault Brigade and commander of the mission in Afghanistan, Brigadier James Chilswell said: “The primary emotion is reflection upon the lives of those that have been lost.
“We remember them with celebration for all they have achieved and we are here with the families to share in the grief of those families.
“It was a very poignant service, it was a very beautiful service and it was a fitting tribute to those soldiers that were lost.”