THE flags were out in Old Brickfield off Boxalls Lane, Aldershot, at the weekend to celebrate the safe return from Iraq of 19-year-old Royal Marine John O'Hare.

John, who passed out as a Marine exactly a year ago, had been in the Gulf for five months. He was in the first helicopter to go into the Al-faw peninsula when the invasion began.

A former pupil of St Joseph's and All Hallows schools, John has five younger sisters. He is now looking forward to 11 weeks of leave.

Said his mother Angela: "I can't believe he's home. It has been a very worrying time and we are all very proud of him."

On Sunday the family staged a special homecoming party for all John's relatives and friends.