3 Fallen Soldiers Brought Home

The body of a soldier who served at Dalton Barracks in Oxfordshire returns to the UK today.

Lance Corporal Michael Foley (pictured right) of the Adjutant General's Corps, was killed at the entrance to the UK headquarters in Helmand Province on Monday alongside Sergeant Luke Taylor, 33, of the Royal Marines.

The shooting at the base in Lashkar Gah was the latest in a string of "green on blue'' attacks in which members of the Afghan security forces have opened fire on international allies.

L/Cpl Foley, 25, was guarding the front gate of the base when he was killed.

His family, including his parents Craig and Debbie, sister Lisa and brother Jordan, said in a statement: 

"Michael passed away while on operational duty in Afghanistan where he was very proud to be serving his country in support of our combined forces in this theatre of operations.

"He will be sorely missed by his family and friends and everyone privileged to serve with him both on his last tour and during his military career.''

A third soldier's body is also being repatriated. Captain Rupert Bowers, 24, of 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, was killed just five days before in a roadside bomb blast on March 21.

Their bodies will be flown into RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, where a private ceremony for the men's families will be held 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.

The ceremony comes just over a week after hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects to six soldiers who died earlier this month when their Warrior armoured vehicle was caught by an explosion.

The incident marked the single worst enemy attack on British troops of the Afghan campaign.

A total of 407 British troops have died since the start of operations in Afghanistan in 2001.

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