A six-year-old girl broke down in tears as the body of her hero Royal Marine father is flown home from Afghanistan.
Tearful Greer Walker clutched a bouquet of lilies as she joined hundreds of mourners to line the streets and pay tribute to Corporal Stephen Walker.
Cpl Walker, 42, of 40 Commando, died from an explosion while carrying out a foot patrol in Sangin, Helmand Province on May 21.
He was conducting a reassurance patrol with members of the Afghanistan National Army when the blast occurred at around 9am.
His death brings the total number of British servicemen and woman killed in Afghanistan to 286 since operations began in October 2001.
Cpl Walker’s body was brought home alongside that of Navy Petty Officer Andrew Brookes, who died in a traffic accident in Bahrain on May 16.
No more details of his death are being released.
Yesterday, Cpl Walker’s body was flown back by a Hercules which landed at RAF Lyneham, Wilts., at 11am.
A procession then made its way along the A3102 in Wootton Bassett at where mourners stood silently at 2.15pm as the coffin, draped in a Union flag, passed through the town.
Tearful family and friends threw orange lilies onto the hearse as it stopped at the town’s war memorial, where regimental banners were lowered and church bells rang in respect.
Following the moving ceremony the vehicles continued up the High Street en route to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
Speaking after his death, widow Leona said Cpl Walker said he was a ”fantastic dad” to his daughter Greer and son Samuel.
Leona, who lived with Cpl Walker in Exmouth, Devon, said: ”Steve was passionate, loyal and determined.
”He enjoyed the role he had in the Marines but he was a family man at heart.
”He was a fantastic dad to Greer and he was the perfect soulmate to me.
”Although this is a very sad time, Steve would want us to be positive.
”Remember the good times, the happy times.”
She added: ”A lot of people’s lives will be deeply affected by Steve’s all-too-early departure.
”Life goes on, but it will never be the same for us.”
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