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All of us at the Welsh Guards Afghanistan Appeal were very distressed to hear about the suicide of Lance Sergeant Daniel Collins on New Year’s Day in Wales. Dan was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and was receiving treatment and other help from a number of sources, including the Welsh Guards family. His death is a painful reminder that our veterans sometimes need complex long-term support, which is just what the Appeal seeks to help provide.

Army parade

Dressed in ceremonial red tunics and bearskins, Welsh Guardsmen made history on 9th May as they marched in Red Square for Russia’s Victory Day celebrations marking the anniversary of the end of the Second World War, their first major parade since returning from Afghanistan.Members of Number 2 Company. A group of Welsh Guardsmen received a 5 minute standing ovation from Bluebirds fans at Cardiff City’s home match against Crystal Palace on Saturday, 18 October. The group, including injured Guardsmen, were treated as VIP guests by the club and scores of wristbands were sold in aid of the Appeal.

The Battalion has now returned to Lille Barracks, Aldershot after completing their gruelling but successful tour. There were emotional scenes as families met some of those returning on a rainy night on Wednesday 07 October. BBC ’s Kate Silverton reports on the reopening of the school in Basaran as ‘a poignant legacy of two soldiers from the Welsh Guards who were killed in Afghanistan shortly before the school they had been helping to renovate was completed’.

IX Company, Welsh Guards have been fulfilling commitments made to the local people of Basaran, Helmand by their Company Commander, the late Maj Sean Birchall, before he was killed in a roadside explosion in June. The only school in the area is about to be reopened after IX Company provided security and funds for its reconstruction, as part of a stabilization package for Basaran.

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