Santa strikes early: Schoolgirl, 4, visiting grotto sees her wish come true as returning soldier father miraculously appears
All Summer North wanted for Christmas was to see her soldier father
Corporal Darren North, 27, surprised her as she visited Santa's grotto
19:23 GMT, 17 December 2012
A schoolgirl who wished for her soldier father to come home for Christmas saw her dream come true when he surprised her at Santa's grotto.
Summer North, four, told Father Christmas she missed her father Darren, who has been serving with the 2 Yorkshire Regiment in Cyprus since October.
Santa then asked her 'Who is this' and Corporal North, 27, walked into the grotto to the astonishment of his elder daughter, who flew into his arms.
Scroll down for video of the reunion
Best present ever: Four-year-old Summer North has her wish to see her father granted this Christmas
Summer said: 'It was a nice surprise to see my daddy'.
The surprise had been arranged by Summer's mother Kerri, 26, who'd kept it a secret from the St Bede Catholic Primary School pupil that her father was coming home for the festive season.
Mrs North, 26, who lives in Brotton, Cleveland, and is also mother to the couple's one-year-old daughter, Nevaeh, said: 'I'd seen someone do something similar in America and thought what a lovely idea it was.
'Summer has been going on about her dad coming home for a while now and so I thought it would be great to arrange this.'
Mrs North contacted staff at Kirkleatham Museum in Redcar, where she was planning to take her daughters to see Father Christmas, and they were happy to help with the surprise on Saturday.
Won't let go: Summer was thrilled when her father appeared as she told Father Christmas how much she missed him
Cpl North, who joined the army at 17 and has done three tours of Afghanistan before being posted to Cyprus, had already seen his younger daughter before surprising Summer in Father Christmas' grotto.
He said: 'When Kerri suggested it I thought it was a lovely idea. I do miss them when I am away.'
The North family moved to Cyprus in August 2011, but Mrs North and her daughters returned home to the UK earlier this year so that Summer could start school.
The family had not been together for weeks before the emotional reunion at the weekend.
Mrs North, who is studying sports massage at Redcar and Cleveland College, added: 'It was the best Christmas present Summer could have wished for.
'It is all she really wanted.'
Olwyn Peters, of Redcar and Cleveland Council, said: 'The surprise for little Summer is just amazing.
'We're delighted to have been able to help.'
So happy to be home: Cpl North looks as thrilled as his daughter as they embrace in Father Christmas' grotto
Together at Christmas: Four-year-old Summer North with her parents and her younger sister Nevaeh
VIDEO Little girl's joy as soldier father appears in Santa's grotto…
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