Page last updated at 14:09 GMT, Friday, 20 November 2009

Town marking 100th repatriation


Crowds gather in Wootton Bassett to pay their respects

The bodies of two soldiers killed in Afghanistan have passed through the Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett, marking the 100th repatriation.

The cortege conveyed army bomb disposal expert Cpl Loren Marlton-Thomas, 28, from Essex, and TA Rifleman Andrew Fentiman, 23, of Cambridgeshire.

The bodies, flown in to RAF Lyneham, will be taken to Oxford for inquests.

The deaths brought the total number of UK service personnel killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 234.

Cpl Marlton-Thomas, from 33 Engineer Regiment, was killed by an explosion in on Sunday while searching for roadside bombs.

Territorial Army Rifleman Fentiman was shot on the same day.

He had been in the country for just two weeks and had volunteered to serve with 3 Rifles Battle Group in Afghanistan, in an attempt to become a regular Army officer.

Rifleman Andrew Fentiman (Copyright: MoD)
Rifleman Fentiman died after coming under fire while on a foot patrol

A mechanical engineering graduate, Rifleman Fentiman was killed while on foot patrol near Sangin, central Helmand.

Cpl Marlton-Thomas - known as Loz - came from Thornton-Cleveleys in Lancashire and lived in Braintree, Essex.

He had joined the Army in 1998 and deployed to Afghanistan in September as a search team commander.

His wife, Nicola, described him as "army barmy right back to being a cadet".

Rifleman Fentiman - nicknamed Fen - had been a regional sales manager for a software firm before volunteering for a tour of duty.

He died after coming under fire while on a foot patrol.

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