TWO Swindon-based soldiers have been recognised for their efforts overseas as they were awarded with Operational Service Medals for their time in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Andy Matthews and Trooper Phil Marshall, both of A Squadron, The Royal Yeomanry, were presented with their awards by Colonel Alistair Bruce at a special ceremony at the Swindon TA Headquarters on Thursday night.

Mike Dalzell, commanding officer for A Squadron, said he was delighted to have two of his soldiers formally recognised “We love to recognise the service of our soldiers in everything they do, but tonight is especially proud in that they will be recieving the Operational Service Medal for their tour of duty,” he said.

“They do this because they enjoy it, but the pride they will feel by recieving the medal is something they will cherish for the rest of their lives.”

The pair will now return to training after a five and a half month tour of duty.

L Cpl Matthews said while he was just doing his job, it is always an honour to be decorated for efforts in the field.

“I could not be prouder, this is one of the proudest moments of my career,” he said.

“It is one of the things you join up to do, to go out on duty. As well as all the fun stuff you have to do the serious stuff as well.”

Col Bruce said: “It is a great honour to pass on these medals.

“They represent so much in what we have been trying to do to deliver a peaceful environment in Afghanistan. It means an enormous amount to receive the medal and it is affirmation of all their hard work.

“Each one represents a bit of danger faced and a challenge overcome.”