Hampshire Marine Repatriated

The bodies of an Army medic and a Royal Marine killed on duty in Afghanistan will be repatriated to the UK today (Tues 30th Oct).

Corporal Channing Day, who served with the 3 Medical Regiment, died alongside Hampshire marine, Corporal David O'Connor, of 40 Commando, after being injured on patrol with C Company in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province on Wednesday.

Their union flag draped coffins will be flown into RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.

Private ceremonies for their families will be held on the air base before the cortege leaves on its way to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

The cortege will be escorted at walking pace past the memorial garden in Carterton, where the union flag will be hung at half-mast and members of the public are expected to gather.

Cpl Day, 25, and Cpl O'Connor, 27, were overseeing the training of Afghan local police when their patrol came under fire near the village of Char Kutsa. They were fatally injured during the firefight.

An initial review into their deaths has revealed the killings were not caused by ''friendly fire''. Investigations are continuing, the MoD said.

Cpl Day was born in Swindon, Wiltshire, and grew up in Newtownards, Co Down, before joining the Army in 2005.

She is survived by her parents Leslie and Rosemary Day, her sisters Lauren and Laken, and brother Aaron.

In a statement her family said:

 ''Channing was bubbly, sporty, beautiful and lived her life for the Army. She has died doing what she lived for and in the life that she loved.''

The medic, who was deployed to Afghanistan earlier this month, was based at Patrol Base One in the Nahr-e Saraj district, where she provided medical support to 40 Commando Royal Marines.

Lieutenant Colonel Phillip de Rouffignac, commanding officer, 3 Medical Regiment, said she was a ''star for the future''.

Royal Marine Cpl O'Connor was deployed to Afghanistan at the end of September as a section commander in the acting rank of corporal.

He lived with his mother Rosemary in Havant, Hampshire. He leaves behind his mother, brother Phil and father Roy, known as George.

A statement released by his family said: ''David's family and friends are greatly saddened by his loss and hope to be left to grieve privately.''

Lieutenant Colonel Matt Jackson, commanding officer, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said Cpl O'Connor ''was one of the best''.

He served with Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, as part of Transition Support Unit Nahr-e Saraj, and was based in Patrol Base One in the southern part of Nahr-e-Saraj District.

The number of members of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 now stands at 435.

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