A soldier who could not make it home for Christmas has sent his family a video message.

Crafstman Matthew Bailey, from Accrington, is attached to the 2 Royal Anglians REME Light Aid Detachment at the Main Operating Base Lashkar Gah in Afghanistan.

In the video, Matthew says: “I'd like to say Merry Christmas to all my family and friends back at home, Christmas won't be the same without you. “

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Military personal at the base have been getting in the festive spirit despite blistering heat.

Between guard shifts and maintaining vehicles the soldiers sent messages back to loved ones in the UK that could be watched on Christmas day.

The soldiers also took part in a series of challenges in an attempt to be crowned omelette challenge and header champions of Helmand Province.

As UK forces withdraw from Afghanistan, the Lashkar Gah base is due to close early next year. As the Afghan Forces continue to take responsibility for security in the area the UK forces have been focussing on the logistical challenges of returning all their kit back to the UK.