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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 16:55 GMT
Time of remembrance in Two Hangar
Sgt Gary Quilliam's wife Rayna and daughter Angela
Sgt Quilliam's wife Rayna and daughter Angela at his funeral
Schoolgirl Kirsten Dunford touched on the emotions of the families and friends of the 14 servicemen in a poem she penned in the wake of the crash.

A friend of Angela Quilliam, 14, whose father Gary was one of those who died, she wrote: "You were special guys to all of us.

"You did everything together,

"You brave men put your lives at risk.

"We will remember you forever."

Kirsten's piece, A Good Friend, was among the tributes to the fallen when the men's bodies were repatriated to the UK last September.

Her words retained their poignancy nearly five months later as those same families, friends and colleagues gathered again in remembrance in a cavernous Two Hangar at RAF Kinloss.

It wasn't your time, it was an accident
Kirsten Dunford

The station on the Moray coast received the shattering news that a Nimrod MR2 had gone down while operating in Afghanistan on 2 September.

Ten days later the 14 bodies were flown to Kinloss from Kandahar for a repatriation ceremony, at the families' request.

The giant C17 transport aircraft touched down briefly en-route to Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, so that a coroner's inquest into the accident could be carried out under English law. As is the practice with military incidents.

Funerals were held in November.

C17 transport aircraft flies the bodies to RAF Kinloss
A C17 transporter flies the bodies to Kinloss last September

Flt Sgt Stephen Beattie was buried on the 11th of the month, a date associated with remembrance of wartime and forces' casualties.

The father-of-two's widow Shona later spoke publicly of her belief that defence cutbacks were putting lives at risk.

She said her husband could not remember the last time he flew a plane "with all the parts working".

A technical fault was believed to be to blame for the Nimrod's crash.

It also gave Kirsten her opening lines.

She wrote: "It wasn't your time, it was an accident,

"The plane just had to go down,

"I believe there was a technical fault,

"That threw your plane to the ground."

Following Monday's memorial, thoughts among many of the 2,000 attending are likely turn to the inquest and Board of Inquiry and their hopes that they will reveal what happened that day last September.

Memorial for Nimrod crash victims
29 Jan 07 |  North East/N Isles
Daughter's Nimrod victim tribute
24 Nov 06 |  North East/N Isles
Funerals for Nimrod crash crewmen
17 Nov 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Nimrod crash victim laid to rest
16 Nov 06 |  North East/N Isles
Full Nimrod safety probe promised
31 Oct 06 |  North East/N Isles
Tribute to Nimrod death soldier
06 Sep 06 |  Southern Counties
RAF bodies return home to Kinloss
12 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles
Tribute for Afghan crash airman
09 Sep 06 |  Scotland

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