Bodies of servicemen who died in helicopter crash are repatriated

  • 6 May 2014
  • From the section Wales
Media captionA ceremony took place at the airbase before the cortege passed through the memorial garden

The bodies of two servicemen from Wales who were killed along with three others in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan have arrived back in Britain.

One of the pilots Capt Thomas Clarke, 30, of Cowbridge, and army reservist L/Cpl Oliver Thomas, 26, from Brecon, died on 26 April.

An aircraft carrying the bodies landed at RAF Brize Norton at about 13:44 BST.

An investigation has begun into how the Lynx helicopter came down in Kandahar province.

A ceremony was held at the airbase at 14.30 BST before the cortege passed through the site's memorial garden on its way to John Radcliffe Hospital.

Warrant Officer Class 2 Spencer Faulkner and Cpl James Walters from the Army Air Corps also died in the crash, along with RAF intelligence officer Flt Lt Rakesh Chauhan.

The helicopter went down in the Takhta Pul district of Kandahar, some 30 miles (48km) from the Pakistan border.

Image caption Crowds line the route the cortege takes
Image caption Veterans lower their standards as the cortege makes its way out of the airbase
Image caption Family and friends lay flowers on the roof of top of the hearse carrying the bodies of the servicemen


The Ministry of Defence has said the accident happened during "a routine flight".

Four of the dead were based at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.

Capt Clarke, was described by his army superiors as an "exceptional aviator and forthright leader" who always placed himself at the centre of squadron life.

L/Cpl Thomas, a researcher for Brecon and Radnorshire MP Roger Williams, joined the army reserves in 2011.

His commanding officer said he was a "young, enthusiastic and highly capable" soldier.

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