Bournemouth Soldier Repatriated
8 March 2010, 06:38
Hundreds of people lined the streets of a Wiltshire town this afternoon to pay their respects to a teenage soldier from Bournemouth, killed in Afghanistan.
Jonathan Allott's girlfriend told of her ``pride and honour'' today, as she stood on the streets of Wootton Bassett to watch the bodies of five servicemen return home.
Stephanie Orr, 23, bravely took her place among the crowds for the repatriation of Riflemen Jonathon Allott, 19, from Bournemouth, Dorset.
Ms Orr, from Newcastle, proudly wore her green 3 Rifles T-shirt in tribute to Rifleman Allott who had ``the face of an angel and a heart of gold,'' she said.
She fought back tears surrounded by hundreds of well-wishers lining the streets of the market town to greet the men's cortege.
Rifleman Allott died following a blast from an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) near Sangin, in Helmand province.
Ms Orr, his partner of seven months, said today:
``He was just lovely. I'm thinking of all those people going through what I am going through. The army family are all together. I was the last person to speak to him on the phone. He wasn't even supposed to phone me. Jonny loved his job. He was proud to be a rifleman and wanted as many medals as he could. He didn't do it by halves and was out in the front before the other lads. I have two children but I've not been able to tell them yet. I don't think they've invented words to say how proud and honoured we are. He was a brave, charismatic man with the face of an angel and a heart of gold. That's why he had so many friends. I love him...''
He also leaves behind his parents, two sisters and two brothers.
Lieutenant Colonel Nick Kitson, Commanding Officer, 3 Rifles Battle Group said after his death:
``Rifleman Jonathon Allott was an inspirational young man in so many ways. His warm and friendly nature endeared him to all whose path he crossed but belied the streak of steel that ran through him making him a true warrior.''
Also flown home to nearby RAF Lyneham, in Wiltshire this morning were Corporal Richard Green and Liam Maughan, all of 3 Rifles, and Corporal Stephen Thompson, of 1 Rifles, and Lance Corporal Thomas Keogh, of 4 Rifles.
All died in the space of six days this month.
A private service was held at the base's chapel before the Union flag-draped coffins drove past the war memorial. Relatives placed flowers on top of the black cars, as has become tradition.