Page last updated at 15:08 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

Soldier killed rescuing fallen comrade in Afghanistan

British soldiers repatriated

A soldier was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan as he tried to recover the body of a fallen colleague, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

Cpl Liam Riley, 21, was among a team who were trying to reach the body of L/Cpl Graham Shaw when Cpl Riley was killed by an explosive device.

L/Cpl Shaw, 27, had been killed by a similar device.

The bodies of Cpl Riley, of Derbyshire, and L/Cpl Shaw, of West Yorkshire, were flown back to the UK earlier.

The soldiers, of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, were serving as part of the Coldstream Guards Battle Group in Helmand Province when they died on 1 February.

He [Cpl Riley] was a legend - a really special man who got us all going and heading in the right direction
Prince Harry

Their bodies arrived at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire on Friday morning before passing through nearby Wootton Bassett.

Residents, shopkeepers, ex-servicemen and women followed recent tradition by lining the high street to pay their respects in a moment's silence as the soldiers' Union flag-draped coffins were driven through the town.

The funeral cortege paused by the town's war memorial before travelling to the coroner at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital.

Cpl Riley's aunt Angela Stephens travelled to Wootton Bassett with other family members, including his mother Cheryl Routledge.

Cpl Liam Riley (left) and L/Cpl Graham Shaw
L/Cpl Graham Shaw, left, and Cpl Liam Riley, died in Helmand province

She said: "He was a wonderful lad, very honest, trustworthy and would do anything for anybody.

"From being a child, he always had a sword and a gun. His ambition was to be a soldier when he grew up and he has fulfilled that ambition."

Cpl Riley was from Killamarsh in Derbyshire and L/Cpl Shaw was from Golcar in Huddersfield.

Their deaths happened one day after L/Cpl Shaw's 27th birthday.

Prince Harry described Cpl Riley, who he served with in 2007, as a "legend".

"I remember Liam Riley so well from the time we spent serving together at the British Army Training Unit at Suffield in Canada," he said.

"He was a legend. A really special man who got us all going and heading in the right direction. It was a privilege to have worked alongside him."

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