Afghanistan death marine and medic's bodies repatriated

The bodies of a Royal Marine and an Army medic killed in Afghanistan have been repatriated.

Cpl Channing Day, from Comber in County Down, and Cpl David O'Connor, from Havant in Hampshire, died in a gun battle on 24 October while on patrol.

Their union flag draped coffins were flown into RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

An initial MoD review has revealed their deaths were not caused by "friendly fire".

Following private services, the two families arrived at the memorial garden in Carterton where they stood in silence along with more than 200 friends and well-wishers as a bell began to toll.

Royal British Legion standard-bearers slowly lowered their flags as family and friends cried when they caught sight of the cortege.

The hearses paused briefly next to a Union flag hung at half mast to allow them to place flowers on top of the cars.

Afterwards the cortege continued to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

Cpl Day, 25, and Cpl O'Connor, 27, were overseeing the training of Afghan local police when their patrol came under fire near the village of Char Kutsa in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

They were fatally injured during the firefight. An Afghan man thought to be an off-duty policeman also died in the incident.

The MoD has said investigations into their deaths are continuing.

'Greatly saddened'

Royal Marine Cpl O'Connor was deployed to Afghanistan at the end of September, serving with Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines.

He lived with his mother Rosemary in Havant, Hampshire. He leaves behind his mother, father Roy, known as George, and brother Phil.

A statement released by his family said: "David's family and friends are greatly saddened by his loss and hope to be left to grieve privately."

Lt Col Matt Jackson, commanding officer, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said Cpl O'Connor "was one of the best".

Cpl Day is survived by her parents Leslie and Rosemary Day, her sisters Lauren and Laken, and brother Aaron.

In a statement her family said: "Channing was bubbly, sporty, beautiful and lived her life for the Army. She has died doing what she lived for and in the life that she loved."

The medic, who was deployed to Afghanistan earlier this month, was providing medical support to 40 Commando Royal Marines.

Lt Col Phillip de Rouffignac, commanding officer, 3 Medical Regiment, said she was a "star for the future".

The number of members of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 now stands at 435.

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