England

Afghanistan deaths: Royal Marines repatriated to UK

Lt Ollie Augustin and Marine Sam Alexander
Image caption Marine Alexander and Lt Augustin were searching a compound when an IED exploded

The bodies of two Royal Marines killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan have been repatriated to the UK.

Marine Sam Alexander, 28, of Plymouth, and Lt Ollie Augustin, 23, of Kent, both of 42 Commando, were flown to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.

A private service will be held at the base's chapel before the cortege passes through nearby Wootton Bassett.

The two men were killed in the Loy Mandeh area of the Nad-e Ali District of Helmand Province on 27 May.

They were searching a compound there when the device exploded, killing them and injuring several others.

'Passionate and selfless'

Marine Alexander, who grew up in Hampshire and lived in Hammersmith, was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry two years ago after saving the life of a wounded colleague in Afghanistan.

He joined the Royal Marines in 2006 and had trained as a heavy weapons specialist.

He married his wife, Claire, two years ago and the couple had a son, Leo, born in July last year.

He and Lt Augustin, from Dartford, were on patrol "disrupting insurgent activity" when they were killed.

Lt Augustin is survived by his father, Sean, his mother, Jane, and his sister, Sarah.

His colleagues said he was a passionate and selfless leader.

The battalion-sized formation of 42 Commando is based at Bickleigh Barracks in Plymouth, Devon.

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