Thousands See Reading Marine Repatriated

The family of the first fallen British serviceman to be repatriated since ceremonies ended in Wootton Bassett were "overwhelmed'' today as they were joined by thousands of people in Oxfordshire.

The body of Sergeant Barry Weston, 40, of 42 Commando, was flown to RAF Brize Norton.

The Royal Marine, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, was the first serviceman to be repatriated to the airbase since flights resumed on September 1.

They were moved to RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, in April 2007 when Brize Norton was closed for runway repairs.

The quiet and humble way in which Wootton Bassett turned out to honour the fallen won a place in the hearts of the British public.

Today, the Oxfordshire townsfolk of Carterton emulated the respect shown in Wootton Bassett as they stood silently and bowed their heads.

Forty standards were lowered opposite a purpose-built memorial garden in which the Union flag from Wootton Bassett was hung at half mast.

The cortege paused briefly as members of Sgt Weston's family laid white and red roses on the hearse.

Sgt Weston's wife, Joanne, was supported by family members as she clung tightly to her baby daughter and wept.

Members of 42 Commando from Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth also lined the road alongside Sgt  Weston's family and friends.

Sgt Weston, who was born in Reading, Berks, leaves Joanne and their three daughters, Jasmine, Poppy and Rose.

Steve Radband, family liaison repatriation officer for the Royal British Legion, said: "The family's reactions, especially Roy Weston, who is Barry Weston's father, was absolutely overwhelmed with the amount of people that turned out today to pay their respects to the family.

"They were overwhelmed with the memorial garden and I just think the amount of people they see in the street was overwhelming for them and a relief almost to see so many people that have turned out to show their respects to Barry and the family.''

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