Belfast Telegraph

Family tributes to killed troops

The tearful family of the third British servicewoman to be killed in Afghanistan stood alongside the loved ones of a Royal Marine as their bodies were repatriated to the UK.

Corporal Channing Day, who served with the 3 Medical Regiment, died alongside Corporal David O'Connor, of 40 Commando, after being injured on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province on Wednesday.

Kevin Baines, who served with Cpl Day in Iraq and Germany, supported her friends as they wept at the roadside while watching the cortege of hearses approach them.

He said afterwards that Cpl Day was a "really good girl" who could always put a smile on your face.

The bodies of Cpl Day and Cpl O'Connor were earlier flown into RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, where the Union Flag-draped coffins were carried from the plane with full military honours.

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 who fell quiet as a bell began to toll.

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. They were fatally injured during the firefight.

An initial review into their deaths has revealed the killings were not caused by "friendly fire". Investigations are continuing, the MoD said.

Cpl Day was born in Swindon, Wiltshire, and grew up in Newtownards, Co Down, before joining the Army in 2005. She is survived by her parents Leslie and Rosemary Day, her sisters Lauren and Laken, and brother Aaron.

Royal Marine Cpl O'Connor was deployed to Afghanistan at the end of September as a section commander in the acting rank of corporal. He lived with his mother Rosemary in Havant, Hampshire. He leaves behind his mother, brother Phil and father Roy, known as George.

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