Dorset Soldier's Body Brought Home

The bodies of two servicemen, including one from Dorset, killed in an explosion in Afghanistan were returned to Britain on Thursday September 23rd 2010.

Trooper Andrew Howarth, 20, of The Queen's Royal Lancers, from Wimborne, and Sergeant Andrew Jones, 35, of the Royal Engineers, were flown back to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.

Hundreds lined Wootton Bassett's High Street as the cortege carrying Trooper Howarth and Sgt Jones passed through the town.

Their families were joined by Royal British Legion members, soldiers, shopkeepers and members of the public, and the hearses carrying the Union Flag-draped coffins stopped for a minute's silence, as has become the custom.

Trooper Howarth's family, including parents John and Sarah and older brother Marcus, 23, also threw flowers on the roof of his hearse.

Sgt Jones, of Newport, South Wales, and Trooper Howarth both died when the the Jackal armoured vehicle they were travelling in was hit by an insurgent bomb in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand Province on September 18.

Trooper Howarth was the third generation of his family to serve in the same regiment. His family paid tribute to a "very loving son'' who "would light up any room''.

They said: "He was a very loving son who loved his family and friends. He would light up any room when he walked in and would do anything for anyone. He had a heart of gold and will be deeply missed. He was proud to serve his country. He quoted before he left for Afghanistan, 'We give our today so you can have your tomorrow'.''

Major Ben Cossens, officer commanding Fondouk Squadron of the Queen's Royal Lancers, said: "His verve, enthusiasm for life and incessant smile will remain with me indefinitely. He was an excellent soldier, able to find humour in the darkest of places and situations and never one to abandon a task.''

The hearses left Wootton Bassett for Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital where post-mortem examinations will be conducted.