North Yorkshire soldiers enjoy Christmas in Helmand

WO2 Kevin Dade from Catterick takes part in a sack race on Christmas Day in main operating base (MOB)  Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province

WO2 Kevin Dade from Catterick takes part in a sack race on Christmas Day in main operating base (MOB) Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province

First published in News Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

MORE than 2,000 turkeys and 1,870lb of Brussels sprouts were brought in to feed British troops serving in Afghanistan on Christmas Day.

All 9,000 soldiers at every base in Helmand Province received a traditional lunch or dinner, and in many places festive activities were arranged.

Thousands of party hats, poppers, balloons and multi-coloured streamers were also ordered in advance to aid the festive spirit.

For dessert, more than 770lb of Christmas pudding was laid on, as well as cheesecake and Christmas cake.

Scottish troops got a taste of home as 1,188 packets of shortbread were dished out across Helmand, as well as 18,000 mince pies and 3,600 boxes of After Eight chocolate mints.

At the Main Operating Base in Lashkar Gah, capital of the province, squaddies pulled crackers with their comrades and donned silly hats.

Royal Dragoon Guard Captain Charlie Arrowsmith, 24 from Catterick, North Yorkshire, said: "It's been a brilliant Christmas.

"I had a bit of a lie-in today and a delicious lunch, which is great - they've done an outstanding job.

I'd like to be drinking heavily by this time of the day, but obviously there's no alcohol here, and I'm missing my family and girlfriend."

Outside the main dinner tent, a Santa's Grotto was set up where troops got a chance to meet Father Christmas, along with his elves and reindeer.

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