Families pay tribute to soldiers
The families and friends of six soldiers killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan have paid poignant public tribute to their memory as their bodies were repatriated.
More than 2,000 well-wishers and fellow servicemen lined the streets in Carterton, Oxfordshire, as a convoy of hearses bearing the men's coffins paused at a memorial garden near RAF Brize Norton.
As the hearses came to a halt at the memorial, relatives of the tragic comrades placed dozens of red and white roses and carnations on top of the vehicles and comforted each other.
Those paying tribute to the six troops lined the roadside in order of the servicemen's rank, with the lead hearse carrying the body of Sergeant Nigel Coupe.
A party of Royal British Legion standard bearers from various regimental associations also paid their respects to the soldiers as the hearses stopped beside a Union Flag flying at half-mast.
Sgt Coupe, 33, Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, and Privates Anthony Frampton, 20, Christopher Kershaw, 19, Daniel Wade, 20, and Daniel Wilford, 21, were killed near the border between Helmand and Kandahar provinces two weeks ago.
Sgt Coupe, a member of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, and his comrades, all members of The Yorkshire Regiment's 3rd Battalion, were patrolling in a Warrior armoured vehicle when it was hit by an improvised explosive device on March 6.
The deaths of Sgt Coupe, a married father-of-two from Lytham St Annes, Lancashire; Pte Wade, from Warrington, Cheshire; and the other soldiers, all from West Yorkshire, took British armed forces' total number of deaths since operations began in Afghanistan to 404.
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