Yorkshire Soldiers Repatriated

20 September 2012, 09:54

The bodies of three British servicemen, including two from Yorkshire, who were killed on duty in Afghanistan are being repatriated to the UK.

Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe, both of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, were shot by a rogue Afghan local policeman on Saturday.

A day earlier Lance Corporal Duane Groom, of The Queen's Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.

The servicemen 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.

Married father-of-two Sergeant Thursby, who was 29 years old, and 18 year old Private Wroe, were shot dead in the south of Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province.

The men were killed at a checkpoint when a man dressed as a local Afghan policeman pretended to be injured so they would help him.

Sgt Thursby from Skipton, is survived by his wife Louise and two children, Joshua and Ruby.

His wife said:
"Gareth was the love of my life. He was an amazing husband and father, happy, full of life and kind-hearted, with a passion for his work and family.

He was brave, hard working, a loving husband who was a devoted father to his children. Our hero.''

Pte Wroe who was  Holmfirth, was deployed to Afghanistan on July 1st, shortly after his 18th birthday.

He leaves his parents, Michael and Claire, and sister Demi.

His family said in a statement:
"We can't believe you have been taken so soon from us. You will always be in our hearts for ever and ever.''

The Ministry of Defence said an investigation was under way into the circumstances of the soldiers' deaths.

The shooting happened just a day after L/Cpl Groom was also killed during a bloody few days in the war-torn country.

The 32-year-old, who was born in Suva City, Fiji, was protecting his Afghan and British colleagues as they extracted from a successful operation when he was killed in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province. 

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