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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 April, 2003, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Irish Guards returned home
The body of Lance Corporal Ian Malone arrives at RAF Brize Norton
The body of Lance Corporal Ian Malone arrives at RAF Brize Norton

The bodies of two Irish Guards killed in the Iraq conflict were among seven dead British servicemen returned to a military base in the UK.

The dead included the youngest soldier lost in action.

The remains arrived at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Tuesday morning.

One of the Irish Guards was Ian Malone, 28, from Dublin. It is unclear when his body will arrive in Ireland.

The other was Piper Christopher Muzvuru, 20, from Gweru, Zimbabwe.

Both members of the Irish Guards were killed by sniper fire while on operations on 6 April.

The number of British dead repatriated now stands at 28, out of 30 UK servicemen killed in the war in Iraq.

The solemn repatriation ceremony was far removed from joyful scenes at Brize Norton on Monday, when 210 service personnel returned home to be reunited with their families.

Among the other soldiers believed to have been repatriated on Tuesday was 18-year-old Fusilier Kelan Turrington, from Haslingfield, Cambridgeshire, the youngest British serviceman killed since the conflict began.

Returning home
Fusilier Kelan Turrington
Corporal Stephen Allbutt
Trooper David Clarke
Lance Corporal Karl Shearer
Staff Sergeant Christopher Muir
Lance Corporal Ian Malone
Piper Christopher Muzvuru

A member of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, he was killed in action near Basra on 6 April.

Also brought back to British soil were the bodies of Corporal Stephen Allbutt, 35, and Trooper David Clarke, 19.

The two soldiers from the Queen's Royal Lancers were killed in a 'friendly fire' incident on 25 March near Basra, when another British tank mistakenly fired on their Challenger 2.

Kelan Turrington, left, and Stephen Allbutt
Victims Kelan Turrington, left, and Stephen Allbutt
Trooper Clarke, from Littleworth, Staffordshire, leaves a fiancee, Rachel.

Lance Corporal Karl Shearer, 24, of the Blues and Royals (Household Cavalry) was killed in Iraq when his armoured Scimitar light tank accidentally overturned.

Corporal Shearer, from Windsor, Berkshire, was married and leaves a three-year-old daughter.

Staff Sergeant Christopher Muir, 32, of the Royal Logistic Corp, died in an explosion while on a disposal operation in southern Iraq on 31 March.

Our son... can grow up knowing that his father was a good, honest, hard-working soldier who died trying to do the right thing
Gillian Muir
Staff Sergeant Muir, from Southam, Warwickshire, was married with a four-year-old son, Ben.

His wife Gillian said in a statement that her husband had been proud to wear his regiment's badge and would be sadly missed.

"I take small comfort from the knowledge that he died doing the job he loved," she said.

"He has left me and our families with the most fantastic of memories, the greatest one being our son, Ben, who can grow up knowing that his father was a good, honest, hard-working soldier who died trying to do the right thing."

Karl Shearer, left, and Christopher Muir
Victims Karl Shearer, left, and Christopher Muir
The bodies of 11 British servicemen arrived at Brize Norton last week.

Ten British war dead were brought home the week before.

The ceremony on the tarmac in front of families and friends of the war dead was attended by Defence Minister Lord Bach and the Duke of Kent, Colonel in Chief of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

Lieutenant General Cedric Delves, Commander Field Army, Air Vice Marshal Nigel Maddox, Air Officer Commanding No 2 Group, and Second Sea Lord, Vice Admiral James Burnell-Nugent, represented the three main branches of the British forces.

The Central Band of the RAF and the Band of the RAF College played at the service.


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Robert Hall
"Such homecomings may at least bring acceptance of the unthinkable"



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