THE body of a Royal Marine from Havant was repatriated to the UK today.
Corporal David O’Connor, of 40 Commando, 27, died alongside Army medic Corporal Channing Day, who served with the 3 Medical Regiment, after being attacked on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Wednesday.
They were due to carry out training with Afghan police when they came under fire.
Cpl O’Connor’s coffin, draped with the Union Flag, was flown into RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire ,arriving this afternoon.
He leaves his mother Rosemary, with whom who he lived in Havant, and father Roy and brother Phil.
He was a regular at the Prince of Wales pub, in West Street.
Lieutenant Colonel Matt Jackson, commanding officer, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said Cpl O’Connor ‘was one of the best.’ He served with Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, as part of Transition Support Unit Nahr-e Saraj, and was based in Patrol Base One in the southern part of Nahr-e-Saraj District.
Private ceremonies for their families will be held on the air base before the cortege leaves on its way to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
The cortege will be escorted at walking pace past the memorial garden in Carterton, where the union flag will be hung at half-mast and members of the public are expected to gather.
As Corporal O’Connor’s body was flown home, the Government said two British soldiers have been killed in Helmand Province by a man wearing an Afghan police uniform.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said the soldiers, from the 1st Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, were shot dead at a checkpoint in Nahr-e Saraj today.
Their families have been informed.