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14 September 2012, 09:13
A Norfolk based solider who died whilst on duty in Afghanistan has been repatriated.
32-year-old Sergeant Lee Davidson from Doncaster and of The Light Dragoons, based at Swanton Morley, died on Sunday after his Ridgeback vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb whilst on patrol in the Helmand province of Afghanistan.
The father-of-two's family stood side by side with close friends in the memorial garden in Carterton as the sound of a solemn bell tolled and the cortege approached them. Sgt Davidson leaves his wife Samantha, who is pregnant with his daughter, and sons Jayden and Jamie.
His body was flown into RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire, where the Union flag-draped coffin was carried by pall-bearers off a plane. A private ceremony for the family was held on the air base before the cortege left via the Britannia Gate on its way to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.
At the side of the road in Carterton, Royal British Legion standard-bearers slowly lowered their flags as family members sobbed. The cortege was escorted at walking pace before pausing briefly next to a Union flag hung at half mast. Family members and friends stepped forward to place red roses on top of the hearse. As the car pulled away there was a spontaneous round of applause by members of the public who came to pay their respects.
Following his death, Samantha paid tribute to her husband, "My gorgeous husband Lee, we all can't believe you have gone. You are my best friend, lover and the best husband and father I could have ever wished for."