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Body of Afghanistan soldier Daniel Holkham to be repatriated today

Rifleman Daniel Holkham, Lance Corporal of Horse Jonathan Woodgate and Serjeant Steven Campbell were all killed in separate incidents in Helmand Province.

The two brothers of Rifleman Holkham, who are serving soldiers in the same regiment, are at the repatriation ceremony.

His parents, Tracy and Rodney, two brothers Matthew, 20, and Andrew, 18, who also serve in the Rifles, and girlfriend Nikki Rudd were also there.

The Mayor of Wootton Bassett, Cllr Steve Bucknell, also paid his respects, along with numerous members of the Royal British Legion.

Cllr Crowther said the church bell tolled before the hearses made their way through the crowded streets.

The vehicles then stopped as the public showered them in flowers, before they moved on to a hospital in Oxford.

He said: "It was extremely emotional.

"It brings it home to you. You see it on the TV and you feel sad when another soldier has been killed, but when it's someone on your doorstep it hammers it home forcibly.

"It's very dramatic and something you don't experience every day. There were a lot of men openly crying and tears came to my eyes.

"I did meet with Mr and Mrs Holkham and it's very difficult to know what to say to them.

"Mr Holkham said it hasn't quite sunk in yet and it will take a day or two before he realises what has happened."

Cllr Crowther is hoping to organise a minute's silence at the Swale council planning meeting on Thursday.

Rifleman Daniel Holkham from Sheppey was part of the 3rd Battalion The Rifles and died on Saturday afternoon as a result of a blast from a suicide bomber.

The bodies are due to be being driven through the nearby town of Wootton Bassett.

The number of British military personnel killed during operations in Afghanistan is now 278.

Tributes paid after soldier dies in blast.

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