Troops enjoy traditional dinner


The Ministry of Defence made Christmas fun for its troops in Afghanistan

British soldiers in Afghanistan enjoyed two tonnes of turkey for Christmas dinner.

The troops were also treated to one and a half tonnes of gammon, one and a half tonnes of Brussels sprouts and 200kg of cranberry sauce, the Ministry of Defence said.

There was a tonne of Christmas pudding, 1,000 iced Christmas cakes, 15,000 mince pies and 45,000 After Eight mints.

But while the main camps and forward operating bases are equipped with canteens and catering facilities, those on the frontline in the outlying bases faced more austere conditions.

Sergeant Rupert Frere, 30, from Colchester, of the Royal Logistic Corps, said: “Being deployed at Christmas is always difficult for any soldier, and it’s particularly hard for me this time as a new dad with my wife and daughter back at home in Colchester.

“But it’s a great comfort knowing that the Army, and the other services, do what they can to make Christmas as fun as it can be for the boys and girls out here.

“Although we all understand that we’re here to do a job and operations take priority, everyone appreciates the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves a bit at this time of year.

“It’ll never be the same as a Christmas at home, but the little things do make a massive difference.”

The troops also received packages from family and friends as well as 22,500 Christmas boxes from charity UK4U Thanks! containing goodies such as juggling balls, playing cards and sewing kits.

The Band of The Parachute Regiment has travelled to Afghanistan for a morale-boosting tour over the Christmas and New Year period. And as well as a busy schedule of performances across Helmand, and a traditional carol concert at Camp Bastion, the band provided some much needed practical relief on Saturday.

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