Bradford

Bradford soldier killed in Afghan blast repatriated

Sergeant Peter Rayner
Image caption Sergeant Peter Rayner, 34, was killed in an explosion in Helmand Province

The body of a soldier killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan has been flown back to the UK.

Sgt Peter Rayner, 34, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, was killed on 8 October.

His body was flown back to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire where a private service was held at the base's chapel.

Sgt Rayner's widow Wendy placed roses on his hearse as it later passed through the town of Wootton Bassett.

The couple's six-year-old son, Derek, also placed roses on the roof.

'Loved his job'

Hundreds of people, including colleagues of Sgt Rayner and regiment veterans, lined Wootton Bassett High Street in tribute as the cortege passed by.

Mrs Rayner was comforted by close members of her family as her husband's hearse stopped in front of the town's war memorial.

Sgt Rayner, a keen mountain biker, had previously served in Bosnia and Iraq and died during a second tour of Afghanistan.

Image caption Sgt Rayner's family attended a private service at the RAF base

Speaking after her husband's death Mrs Rayner said: "[He was a] fantastic loving husband and father, son, son-in-law, brother and brother-in-law, who loved his job and doing something which he believed in.

"He will be sincerely missed by all who knew him."

According to his parents Peter and Bernadette, Sgt Rayner was an "avid" Bradford City supporter.

They added: "A keen mountain biker, he was always full of energy and was someone who enjoyed life to the full.

"As a soldier he loved his job and was totally committed to the Army, as well as his family and friends.

"As a son and brother, he was a fun loving and caring person of whom we are all very proud. We loved him so dearly and will miss him with all our hearts."

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