Soldiers Jonathan Kups and James Townley repatriated

Sgt Kups (left) and Capt Townley Sgt Kups (left) and Capt Townley died in separate incidents in Helmand province

Two soldiers killed in separate incidents in Helmand Province, southern Afghanistan, have been repatriated at RAF Brize Norton.

Sergeant Jonathan Eric Kups, of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, was from Nuneaton and died at Camp Bastion last Friday.

Captain James Townley, from 28 Engineer Regiment, Corps of Royal Engineers, who grew up in Somerset, died the same day.

Neither death is believed to be the result of hostile fire.

Hundreds of people lined the streets as the bodies of the pair were taken to a private ceremony, before the cortege made its way on to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital.

Sgt Kups, who was a 38-year-old electronics technician based in Tidworth, Wiltshire, leaves behind his his wife and three children.

'Guardian angel'

A family statement released after his death said: "Jonathan was a wonderful husband and loving father to three children.

"He was a loyal man with a wide circle of friends, a devoted son, son-in-law, grandson and brother."

Body of a soldier is repatriated The bodies were repatriated at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire

His children said: "You're the best Dad; always in our hearts - our hero."

Capt Townley, 29, who was born in Tunbridge Wells and grew up in Barton St David, Somerset, leaves behind his parents Peter and Jacqui, brother Nick, and girlfriend Helen.

He died the day before his 30th birthday at Forward Operating Base Shawqat.

Capt Townley's family described him as their "guardian angel" and "hero".

They added: "He touched every part of our lives and his loss has left a huge chasm that we can never fill."

The Ministry of Defence said its investigations into the circumstances of the two deaths are continuing.

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