Bodies of soldiers killed in Afghanistan flown home

The cortege passed through Carterton in Oxfordshire

Related Stories

The bodies of three soldiers killed in Afghanistan have been returned to the UK.

Sgt Gareth Thursby and Pte Thomas Wroe, both of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, were shot by a rogue Afghan policeman on Saturday.

L/Cpl Duane Groom, of the Aldershot-based Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, died on Friday when his vehicle struck an improvised bomb.

The servicemen were flown into RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire on Thursday.

Private ceremonies for their families were held on the air base before the cortege left for the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

'Our hero'

Married father-of-two Sgt Thursby, 29, and Pte Wroe, 18, were shot dead in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

The men were killed at a checkpoint when a man dressed as a local Afghan policeman pretended to be injured so they would help him.

Sgt Thursby was from Skipton, North Yorkshire. Pte Wroe had family from West Yorkshire.

Sgt Thursby's wife Louise described her husband as "our hero".

L/Cpl Duane Groom, Pte Thomas Wroe and Sgt Gareth Thursby L/Cpl Duane Groom, Pte Thomas Wroe and Sgt Gareth Thursby were killed in Afghanistan

"He was an amazing husband and father, happy, full of life and kind-hearted with a passion for his work and family," she said.

Pte Wroe was deployed to Afghanistan in July, shortly after his 18th birthday.

He leaves his parents, Michael and Claire, and sister Demi, from Holmfirth, West Yorkshire.

Pte Wroe's parents described their son as a "fun-loving guy who would do anything for anyone".

Mr Wroe said his son had been "itching" to go to Afghanistan.

"He couldn't go out there until he was aged 18. He was itching to go, to join his mates."

'Tremendously proud'

L/Cpl Groom, 32, who was born in Suva City, Fiji, was protecting his Afghan and British colleagues in the Nahr-e Saraj district when he was killed.

Lt Col James Bowder, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said L/Cpl Groom was "an outstanding soldier in every respect".

"Tough, keen, and unflappable, he was utterly committed to his fellows and the cause," he said.

"We are all tremendously proud of what he achieved during his time in the regiment, and particularly out here in Afghanistan where he contributed so much."

The soldiers' deaths take the total of British military personnel killed in Afghanistan to 430 since operations began 2001.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More England stories

RSS

Features

  • The OfficeIn pictures

    Fifty landmark shows from 50 years of BBC Two


  • French luxury Tea House, Mariage Freres display of tea pots Tea for tu

    France falls back in love with tea - but don't expect a British cuppa


  • Worcestershire flagFlying the flag

    Preserving the identities of England's counties


  • Female model's bottom in leopard skin trousers as she walks up the catwalkBum deal

    Why budget buttock ops can be bad for your health


  • Two women in  JohanesburgYour pictures

    Readers' photos on the theme of South Africa


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.