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Revamped ceremony for fallen Marine

The first homecoming ceremony for a fallen British serviceman since repatriations through Wootton Bassett ended is set to take place.

The body of Sergeant Barry Weston, 40, of 42 Commando, will be flown to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

The Royal Marine, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, becomes the first serviceman to be repatriated to the airbase since flights resumed on September 1.

They were moved to RAF Lyneham in April 2007 when Brize Norton was closed for runway repairs.

The quiet and humble way in which Wootton Bassett turned out to honour the fallen won a place in the hearts of the British public.

Last week a sunset ceremony marked the end of repatriations through the town when the Union flag on the high street was taken down and given to the people of Carterton, the village near Brize Norton.

On August 18 Wootton Bassett fell silent for the 167th and final time when the body of Lieutenant Daniel Clack, 24, of 1st Battalion The Rifles, was brought back to UK soil.

In March it was announced Wootton Bassett would be the first town in more than 100 years to get the title "royal" in recognition of its efforts to honour the war dead.

A purpose-built repatriation centre and memorial garden form part of new arrangements at Brize Norton for fallen troops' return to the UK.

Corteges will leave the base via the newly-restored Britannia Gate on route to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.


From Belfast Telegraph