Byline: KATE MANSEY
THEY came in their tens of thousands to honour Britain's heroic young servicemen and women.
Cardiff had never seen the likes of it - a ticker-tape parade that brought a touch of New York glitz to the pomp and ceremony.
And as the bright sunshine glistened on the rows of medals and the bright brass of the military bands the 80,000 spectators - including Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall - paid tribute to 1,000 soldiers on parade for the second Armed Forces Day.
Y e s t e r d a y ' s commemoration came at the end of the British Army's bloodiest week in Afghanistan.
Nine troops have died in the past week, including a 4th Regiment Royal Artillery soldier who died yesterday in hospital. A total of 308 troops have lost their lives since the war began in 2001. The toll includes the death of 19 UK soldiers and Royal Marines in the past month.
The Queen led the tributes to the combined services, including the 10,000 in Afghanistan. "The men and women of our Armed Forces have always been admirable examples of professionalism and courage," she told them in a special message. "They perform their duties in the most difficult and dangerous of circumstances."
And circumstances don't come any more dangerous than those endured by Lance Corporal Christopher Allen, of 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh, who was marching with his comrades.
During his six months in Helmand Province, Chris, 24, had painstakingly picked his way …