Touching message left for Army dad on tour return

Rob Hedley and his son Robbie Blackman.
Rob Hedley and his son Robbie Blackman.

The words on the banner said it all – ‘welcome home dad, my hero’.

It was this poignant message which awaited Rob Hedley on his return from military service.

Paul Know presents the picture to Rob Hedley.

Paul Know presents the picture to Rob Hedley.

The 34-year-old, from Alnwick, has just completed his fifth tour in Afghanistan.

And, after five months away from home, he was overwhelmed to see the banner, as well as a Union flag, proudly displayed on the front of his Windsor Gardens house.

The touching show of support was left by 12-year-old Robbie Blackman,

He was also presented with a special military-themed welcome home canvas by fellow Alnwick resident, Paul Knox.

Rob, who is marrying Vicky Blackman on Saturday, said: “It is absolutely brilliant to be honest.

“It shows just how much support there is for the Forces and that there are a lot of people waiting on you when you get back. I want to thank Paul for the canvas. If I don’t put it up in the house then I will put it up in the Squadron.”

Of his most recent tour, Rob, who is part of the Army Air Corps, said: “It has quietened down a lot. There has been a massive change. Camp Bastion has been down-sized.”

The canvas features military personnel and the Angel of the North. Paul, 40, from Clayport Gardens, has produced previous canvases, including works of Great Train robber Ronnie Biggs and his son Michael.