Washington Soldier Repatriated

The body of a soldier from Washington shot dead by a member of the Afghan National Army has been repatriated to the UK.

Sapper Richard Walker - a member of 28 Engineer Regiment attached to 21 Engineer Regiment - was killed in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on January 7. 

The Union flag draped coffin was flown into RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. A private ceremony for his family has been held on the air base before the cortege made its way to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. It was escorted at walking pace past the memorial garden in Carterton, where the union flag was hung at half-mast. 

Sapper Walker, 23, has left behind a young daughter, Lilly-Faith, who he had only known for 18 months before he was deployed for his first tour of Afghanistan in September. His family paid tribute to their son and brother in a statement, which read: ``Richard held two things close to his heart - his daughter and his colleagues in the Army. ``A proud, patriotic man, he died doing a job he loved, supporting his friends.'' 

Sapper Walker was killed and six others injured when the Afghan soldier opened fire on international and ANA troops. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the ``insider attack, which occurred at Patrol Base Hazrat. The number of members of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001 now stands at 440.