Sergeant Barry Weston, 40, from Reading, was killed by an Improvised Explosive Device on Tuesday 30 August in a village near to Sukmanda in the southern Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province in Afghanistan whilst he was serving with Kilo Company, 42 Commando Royal Marines as part of the 1 Rifles Battlegroup.
After his flag draped coffin returned yesterday in a C17 transport aircraft a sombre repatriation ceremony for his family took place at the newly designed repatriation centre at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. After the service, the cortege left the base and drove through the small village of Carterton. The residents of the small village have found themselves taking on the responsibility of honoring British service personnel killed in places like Afghanistan following the recent changes in military repatriations from RAF Lyneham and, the now world renowned town of Wootton Bassett.
Yesterday was a challenge the people of Carterton and the surrounding areas met with dignity and honour as around 2,000 thousand people gathered and lined the roads near to the memorial garden, specially built for the repatriations, as the cortege passed slowly by.
As a reluctant new era begins in the history of the repatriations see HERE for my photofilm on the people of Wootton Bassett and the part they have played in the repatriation of British troops killed during recent operations.
But whether it is Wootton Bassett or Carterton that gains some reluctant notoriety for this unfortunate responsibility we should not lose sight of the most important part of this repatriation process…the serviceman who has been killed.