Return of Lions

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TWO Leigh soldiers are back in the UK after taking part in a tough six-week military training exercise in Canada.

Lance Corporal Lee Pennington and Kingsman Daniel Thomas Catherall were part of Exercise Prairie Thunder, which was a live firing exercise involving more than 1,200 soldiers from 4 Mechanised Brigade based in Catterick, North Yorkshire.

Both men are based in Catterick as soldiers of the 1st Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment.

The Duke of Lancaster’s is the North West’s regiment and bears the title ‘Lions of England’.

Lance Corporal Pennington, 28, was deployed to Canada as a section second in command, responsible for the administration and welfare of his soldiers throughout the exercise.

The former St Mary’s Roman Catholic High School pupil, has enjoyed a brief leave period and now has his sights set on completing the Section Commanders Battle Course at the Infantry Battle School, in Brecon, Wales.

Kingsman Catherall was deployed as a machine gunner and as a Javelin gunner; an anti-tank weapon capable of destroying a target more than 2,500m away.

Whilst in Canada he also took part in a sky-diving course which saw him complete several parachute jumps near to the spectacular Canadian Rocky Mountains.

He said: “I really enjoyed the jumps but it was a hair raising experience.”

Now he is home, the 22 year-old Kingsman is looking forward to attending a basic leadership course which will prepare him for a role as a Junior Non-Commissioned Officer.

Following their training exercise in Canada, both men will now join up with the rest of their battalion as it continues to train for future operations.