Page last updated at 20:26 GMT, Thursday, 27 May 2010 21:26 UK

Memorial service for Somerset-based Royal Marines

Cpl Christopher Harrison (L) and Cpl Stephen Walker
Cpl Christopher Harrison, Cpl Stephen Walker and a third marine died

A service in memory of Royal Marines killed in Afghanistan has been held in Somerset.

Cpl Christopher Harrison, Cpl Stephen Walker, and another marine who has not yet been named, have died since 40 Commando was deployed in March.

The unit has now lost as many marines in the past six weeks as in the whole of its previous deployment to Afghanistan two years ago.

The service took place at All Saints Church in Norton Fitzwarren.

The unit is based in the village, near Taunton.

'Pent-up emotions'

The Reverend Stephen Kivett, Rector of Norton Fitzwarren, said: "The service is an opportunity for people to express their feelings, their grief, all the pent-up emotions that are there, and to express them with other people."

He said the service, during which candles were lit and hymns were sung, was also a chance to think about those who are still serving in Afghanistan.

Cpl Stephen Walker, 42, who was originally from Northern Ireland but lived in Exmouth in Devon, was killed in an explosion while on foot patrol with the Afghan Army in Sangin, Helmand, last Friday.

His body was repatriated on Wednesday along with that of Chief Petty Officer Andrew Brookes, of the UK Maritime Component Command.

CPO Brookes, who trained at HMS Raleigh in Torpoint, Cornwall, died following a car crash in Bahrain.

Cpl Christopher Harrison, 26, from Taunton, was killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand on 9 May.

On Wednesday, another marine from 40 Commando was killed in an explosion in Helmand. Their family have been told.

The latest death means the number of British military personnel killed on operations in Afghanistan since 2001 stands at 288.



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