Page last updated at 16:35 GMT, Wednesday, 26 May 2010 17:35 UK

Afghanistan marine and Bahrain crash sailor repatriated

Repatriation of marine and sailor

The bodies of two serving military personnel who died abroad have been repatriated to the UK.

Cpl Stephen Walker, of Taunton-based 40 Commando, was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol with the Afghan Army in Sangin last Friday.

The 42-year-old was born in Northern Ireland, but lived with his wife and two children in Exmouth, Devon.

Chief Petty Officer Andrew Brookes, of the UK Maritime Component Command, died following a car crash in Bahrain.

Their bodies were flown back to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.

Hundreds of people lined the high street in Wootton Bassett to pay tribute to the cortege which passed through the town following a private service at the chapel in Lyneham.

'Soul mate'

Cpl Walker's death brought the total number of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan to 286.

Lt Col Paul James, commanding officer of 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, said Cpl Walker was "brave, loyal, utterly dedicated and absolutely selfless" and was someone whose counsel he valued.

Leona Walker said her husband had been a family man at heart and described him as a "fantastic dad" and "perfect soulmate".

CPO Brookes, who trained at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, Cornwall, died from his injuries on 16 May after a crash in the Bahrain capital of Manama, on Sunday.

The Royal Navy has a base in Bahrain which co-ordinates ships in the Middle East and the wider region.

The MoD has released no further information.



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