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26 July 2011, 05:00
A new web page has been set up to provide all the information you need about repatriations.
From September 1st, the bodies of troops who have lost their lives whilst serving the country will be flown back to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire as RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire is closing.
In preparation for this, Oxfordshire County Council has been working with organisations including West Oxfordshire District Council, Thames Valley Police, Brize Norton Parish Council, Carterton Town Council and the Royal British Legion to prepare for people wanting to visit the area to pay their respects along the repatriation route from RAF Brize Norton to The John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford- as is currently the case on the route from RAF Lyneham to the same hospital.
They've set up a dedicated web page with all the information you'll need, including dates and times of repatriations, how to get to Brize Norton, and facilities on the route.
Building work has already started on a Memorial Garden on Norton Way that will act as a focal point for people to pay their respects. At the centre of the garden will be a flag pole where the Union Flag from Royal Wootton Bassett will be flown on the days repatriations take place. The flag will be transported to the Memorial Garden on September 1 during a special handover ceremony.
Councillor David Robertson, the Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said:
"Whether people choose to attend a number of repatriation ceremonies or just one we hope we've gathered all the information they'll need in one place to help them plan their arrangements. If people feel that we have missed something out we'd be pleased to hear from them so that we can update the web page.
"All of the local organisations acknowledge that people's focus will be on paying their respects to fallen servicemen and the more information we can provide in advance about practical arrangements the easier it will be for people on the day. As a group of organisations we are trying very hard to make sure that everything is in place for these dignified and solemn occasions.
"We know that the Ministry of Defence and RAF are of the same view, which is why they have created a Repatriation Centre on the base itself and will be refurbishing the gate from which the cortege will exit and re-naming it Britannia Gate."