Somerset Royal Marine Repatriated
40 Commando Corporal Christopher Harrison died in an explosion in Helmand Province on Sunday morning.
His body was flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire before his coffin passed through the nearby town of Wootton Bassett. His family were there along with Mayor of Taunton Councillor Bob Bowrah.
During the emotional scenes both his wife Rebecca and his mother Gill reached out and touched the hearse carrying his coffin as it passed by with roses placed on top by family and friends.
The 26 year old, who lived in Taunton was killed whilst on foot patrol in the Sangin region - its thought his funeral will take place in his birthplace of Watford.
A special vigil was held at the church of All Saints in Norton Fitzwarren on Wednesday.
His family have paid tribute...
Corporal Harrison's wife Rebecca said:
"This is the most devastating news of my life. I have lost the most fantastic husband I could ever have wished for.
"Even though I knew and fully supported what Chris did as a Royal Marine and the dangers he was facing, I am still broken by his loss. Chris was my life, he was my motivator and my inspiration, my rock, the one person with whom I shared everything.
"It hurts me beyond words knowing that I will never have my beloved husband by my side ever again and we will never raise the family that we so desperately craved to complete our lives together. He will forever live in my heart."
Corporal Harrison's parents, Martin and Gill, said:
"We have lost a wonderful and loving son and brother who was devoted to 'Becky' his wife, and all of his family. He was an outstanding young man with qualities way beyond his young years.
"Although he had to be tough, demanding and in peak physical condition to do his job as a Royal Marine he was also caring, kind and considerate to those he truly loved. We are extremely proud of our son Chris and what he achieved in his short but exceptional life; we will preserve his memory forever."
Corporal Harrison's older brother Russ said:
"Chris was an outstanding bloke and Royal Marine who absolutely loved his job, his mates and his wife.
"Although this is the worst possible news for all of our family, I know that Chris would want his mates still serving out there to keep their minds focused on the job, come back safe and have a massive drink of port in his honour. His humour, generosity and kindness will be dearly missed by everyone, especially me.
"All of my memories are of him and the massive grin on his face, and I know that is how he would want to be remembered. RIP mate, I will never forget you. x"
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, Commanding Officer 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, said:
"Corporal Chris Harrison embodied the best of his generation; fit, bright, dedicated and incredibly courageous. He died leading his fellow marines in an Operation to disrupt an insurgency threat in Sangin.
"A larger than life character, both in stature and personality, he was one of the few men who was known across the whole of 40 Commando. He achieved legendary status amongst his cohort having overcome snakebites in Brunei and delivering rapid and accurate mortar fire support on this, his second deployment to Afghanistan.
"He is a man who will be sorely missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, family and friends. Corporal Chris Harrison was, and will always be, the model Commando."
40 Commando, based at Norton Manor Camp near Taunton, have been out in the country for one month of a 6 month tour.
His death brings the number of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan since operations began in 2001 to 285.
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