Soldier Repatriated

A Thames Valley-based Guardsman killed in Helmand Province last week is brought back to the UK.

Hi body will travel through Oxford passing St Anthony of Padua Church on Headley Way in Oxford at 14.45 and onto the John Radcliffe Hospital where a post mortem will be carried out.

22 year old Christopher Davies from 1st Battalion Irish Guards in Windsor was the 100th British member of the Armed Forces to die this year after being deployed to Afghanistan was a "cracking lad", his family from St Helens have said.

He died from a gunshot wound received during an ambush by insurgents on Wednesday in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.

It brings the number of British military personnel to die on duty or returning from theatre in the war-ravaged country into triple figures.

The family of Guardsman Davies, who was from St Helens. said:

"Christopher had always wanted to be in the Army ever since he was at school. He really enjoyed computer games and karaoke evenings with his cousins and friends. He loved singing and rock music so you always knew when he was in the shower, and he was a real joker with a vivid imagination.

"He was a loving son to Catherine and Gary; stepson to Nick; brother to Bernie, Matt and John; stepbrother to Mark, Emma and Jack; loving boyfriend to Emma; and father to Lucy.

"We are very proud of Christopher and all that he achieved. One of the last things that he told us was that he wanted to specialise within the Army - he was very focused on his job and enjoyed the work, his comrades and the lifestyle.

"Christopher was a cracking lad. His friends in the Army have told us that whenever they felt down he would cheer them up, often by singing. We will always love Christopher. He had an invincible personality and we will miss him so much. There is a big hole in our lives.''

His brother, Guardsman John Davies, 21, serves in the same battalion.

Paying tribute, Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Ghika, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Irish Guards, said:

"Guardsman Christopher Davies had been in the Micks for less than two years, but in a short space of time he forged a legendary reputation. Quiet and unassuming by nature, he had a deep military talent which shone out from his first day in the Battalion.''

In all, some 345 UK military personnel have died since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001.

Thanks to the MOD for the photo of Christopher.

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