South Coast Soldiers Repatriated

The bodies of five British soldiers who died in Afghanistan within a week of each other have been repatriated to the UK.

Private Lewis Hendry, Private Conrad Lewis, Private Robert Wood, Private Dean Hutchinson and Lance Corporal Kyle Marshall were flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.

Private services were held for the soldiers' families at the base before the cortege passed through nearby Wootton Bassett.

22-year-old Private Conrad Lewis from Bournemouth, was serving in 4th Battalion The Parachute Regiment in Helmand province (February 9), when he and a colleague, Pte Hendry, were shot dead.

Private Conrad Lewis

His family's described him as someone who "made you feel good about life", and said he was "warm-hearted, handsome and brave".

Private Robert Wood from Marchwood, Hampshire and Pte Hutchinson, both of the Royal Logistic Corps, were killed in a fire at Camp Bastion - the main British military base in Afghanistan - on February 14.

The cause of the fire, which took place in the workplace, is under investigation but is not thought to be the result of enemy action.

The 28 year old who was nicknamed "Woody", had recently become a father to Noah, and was looking forward to returning home to Hampshire after his tour of duty.

Private Robert Wood

His parents and partner, Rebecca, said: "Rob was an adored and adoring son, partner, and father to his baby son.

"We are so immensely proud of him and he will live in our hearts forever."

L/Cpl Marshall, of 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was killed on the same day in an explosion in the Nahr-e Saraj district.

Commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Harrison said L/Cpl Marshall had led his team in the discovery of a "huge bomb-making factory" just minutes before his death.

"This discovery will undoubtedly save numerous colleagues and locals falling prey to the most insidious of insurgent threats," he added.

The men's deaths took the number of UK military personnel who have died since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001 to 357.