AN ELLESMERE Port soldier has returned home after serving six months in war-torn Iraq.
Karl Pritchard, 24, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was reunited with his family on Friday.
The former Whitby High School student revealed how he had a lucky escape when a vehicle he was due to be driving was bombed, killing two soldiers.
Karl said: “We had been given the night off and a detachment from another unit drove the Land Rover we were meant to be in.
“Sadly, two lads in the vehicle were killed by a roadside bomb.
“It’s scary to think that could have been me had we not been given the night off. But that is always the danger.
“I was quite nervous going out. The Iraqis know when one unit leaves and another arrives and as soon as we landed we had mortars hurled at us.
“Then we’d get between 10 and 15 rockets launched at the camp every day. It was something you had to adapt to.”
He added: “Without our operations the other units could not function as we were sustaining them.
“We would travel eight or nine hours a day in the car to get to Kuwait from Basra to provide ammunition and water. Then we’d have a few hours sleep and travel back.
“Some days it would be quiet and the local people would come out and speak to you. Then other days there would be roadside bombs going off.
“It’s great to see my family again. It’s a bit weird being back but I’ll soon get used to it.”
His proud mum June Graham said: “We had a lovely big party over the weekend with a lot of family and friends. It’s a big relief to have him home.
“It’s been awful over the past few months, worrying every time you turn on the news. I don’t want to go through that again.”
Karl is expecting to be deployed in Afghanistan in the near future.