People brave the cold to show their support for 1st Battalion Welsh Guards in Swansea
PEOPLE braved the cold to line the streets of Swansea in a show of support for Welsh soldiers returning from Afghanistan.
Young and old alike were wrapped in coats and scarves as they cheered and applauded troops from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards as they marched through the city centre in their homecoming parade.
Cries of "thank you" and "welcome home" could be heard as the soldiers made their way from the city's Guildhall, where they were inspected by Swansea's Lord Mayor, Councillor Dennis James, and Lord Lieutenant of West Glamorgan, D Byron Lewis.
Some were waving Welsh flags as members of the Prince of Wales's Company made their way along St Helen's Road, Oxford Street and Princess Way before heading to Swansea's LC.
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And others shouted out the names of their sons, nephews and cousins as they made their way through the city centre led by the Band of the Welsh Guards, who were playing songs including We'll Keep A Welcome and Sosban Fach.
Proud mum Karen Rees, 47, of Sketty Park, held a "welcome home" banner bearing the name of her son, Guardsman Daniel Rees, 26.
It also featured an image of her grandson Jacob, 3.
Ms Rees, who has been cared for by her son since suffering a heart attack, said she wanted to be there to support the other soldiers in the regiment even though Daniel was not on parade.
She said: "They went out to Afghanistan as boys and came back as true men.
"I believe they left a part of their heart out there as three men did not return.
"My son Daniel went out there to make a difference, and so did every single one of the lads.
"I think it's just fab having him back."
The soldiers had a key role in training and mentoring the Afghan Police during their tour of Helmand Province between the spring and October last year.
Retired Peter Samuel, 65, of Bishopston, Swansea, said: "We are very, very proud of them." Pensioner Jean Gough, 73, of Blackpill, Swansea, added: "They do a marvellous job.
"I am so glad to see them here in Swansea and come out for the parade," she said.
Ammanford-based ground worker Gareth Richards, 42, said he wished even more people had shown their support for the regiment.
"They have seen more than the rest of us have in our lifetime," he added.
Major Ed Launders, commander of the Prince of Wales's company, added: "A big thank you to the people of Swansea for their brilliant support."