Peterborough soldier's pride at spending Christmas in Afghanistan

A Peterborough soldier has spoken of his pride at representing his country as he spends his first Christmas on tour.

Sunday, 30th December 2018, 3:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:08 am
Servicemen and women are briefed ahead of a mission

Former Woodston PrimarySchool pupil Private Kieran Cocker is currently in Afghanistan as part of The Royal Anglian Regiment maintaining a presence in the country.

Pte Cocker (22) only joined the army a year ago, and arrived in Afghanistan three months ago.

Speaking before Christmas, he said: “It is what I have always wanted to do. My dad was in the RAF, so I was brought up in a military family. I hope I can earn as many medals as my dad had, and do him proud.”

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While Pte Cocker said life in Afghanistan on the multi-national base was busy, with regular patrols and other duties, including training of Afghan servicemen, he said he was looking forward to a day off at Christmas.

He said: “We have had the Christmas post here, so I have a few presents. I will be making video calls to my Mrs, who is expecting a baby in the summer, my mum, my little sister - I will open presents with them.

“The Christmas menu is also up, and we are all looking forward to that. Decorations are up in the ‘scoff hut’ and it really boosts morale.”

Pte Cocker will return home in February - but said community spirit was high, thanks to messages from home. He said: “We see on Facebook lots of comments from people thanking the armed forces for what we are doing - which really helps keep all our spirits up.