Swindon pays tribute to fallen soldiers
War heroes saluted on return from Afghanistan
The people of Swindon gathered today, to pay tribute to the latest casualties of the war in Afghanistan.
fellow soldiers and members of the public stand in sombre contemplation as the cortege stopped in Wootton Bassett
for a minute's silence
Over 300 people of all ages lined the streets of Wootton Bassett to witness the procession of five hearses as they carried the bodies of five paratroopers from the chapel at RAF Lyneham to the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford.
Paying their respects:
hundreds of people lined the
High Street in Wootton Bassett
With the Union Jack flag draped over every coffin, war veterans and local dignitaries saluted the war heroes, who were tragically killed in two attacks in Helmand Province last week.
The soldiers - all from the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment - Privates Nathan Cuthbertson and Charles Murray, both 19; Private Jeff Doherty, 20; Lance Corporal James Bateman, 29; and Private Daniel Gamble, 22 were the victims of Taliban suicide bombers while on routine patrols.
past war heroes pay their final respects
"It's another very very sad day," commented Wootton Bassett Mayor Mike Leighfield.
"We have had over 40 processions of this kind in the last year, and every one becomes more poignant."
the coffins were carried to Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital
The procession comes on the day Prime Minister Gordon Brown and US President George Bush announced more troops were being sent to Afganistan to combat a resurgent Taliban contingent.
A decision, one war veteran, who witnessed today's sad event, described as "totally ridiculous and ill thought-out".