Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Monday, 11 January 2010

Soldier's body is returned to UK

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Pte Robert Hayes died on foot patrol in Helmand Province

The body of the first British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan this year has been brought back to the UK.

Pte Robert Hayes, 19, of 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, died in an explosion while on patrol in Helmand Province on 3 January.

His body was flown to RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, and was due to pass through nearby Wootton Bassett where people were expected to line the streets.

His family said being a soldier had been a childhood ambition.

Pte Robert Hayes
Pte Robert Hayes died on foot patrol in Helmand Province

The soldier had been in the Army for a year, but his senior officers said he had already made a "real difference".

He completed his army training in March last year and joined 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment shortly afterwards.

Lt/Col James Woodham, commanding officer 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, said he was "shocked and saddened" at the death of Pte Hayes.

Pte Hayes, of Burwell, Cambridgeshire, had played for Newmarket Rugby Club.



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