THE BODY of a young marine who died in an Afghan bomb blast has been repatriated.
Marine Sam Alexander, 28, was killed alongside Lt Ollie Augustin, 23, as they searched a compound in Helmand province on Friday.
Mne Alexander, of 42 Commando, grew up in Hamble and went to school in Titchfield.
His family attended a private service in the chapel at RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, before his coffin and that of Lt Augustin were taken through the streets of Wootton Bassett in a cortege.
Mr Alexander’s father, Stuart, who lives in Hamble and is sailing correspondent for The Independent newspaper.
Speaking to the BBC he said his son was a ‘pretty regular guy’ who had no ambition to join the Royal Marines when he was a boy.
Mne Alexander and wife Claire lived together in Plymouth, and became parents to son Leo in July.
Mr Alexander revealed his son planned to take a short trip back to the UK for his first birthday and to watch his first steps.
He added: ‘There were glowing references from his own mates – that guy was very well respected and there is no better esteem and no better praise than peer group praise.’
He went on to describe him as professional at work but ‘very, very much the family man when he came home’ and said: ‘He was very complex – everything he did, he did at a hundred miles an hour and he loved, loved, loved his son.’
Marine Alexander was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry two years ago after saving the life of a wounded colleague in Afghanistan.
He joined the Royal Marines in 2006 and had trained as a heavy weapons specialist.
The latest double tragedy brings the UK armed forces death toll in Afghanistan to 368.