Thousands gather to honour fallen heroes

MoD handout photo of the repatriation ceremony for Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 20, 2012. Sergeant Nigel Coupe, Corporal Jake Hartley, Private Anthony Frampton, Private Christopher Kershaw, Private Daniel Wade and Private Daniel Wilford, were killed when their patrol vehicle was destroyed by a bomb as they patrolled through Helmand Province in Afghanistan. See PA story DEFENCE Afghanistan. Photo credit should read: Sergeant Adrian Harlen/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire'NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
MoD handout photo of the repatriation ceremony for Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday March 20, 2012. Sergeant Nigel Coupe, Corporal Jake Hartley, Private Anthony Frampton, Private Christopher Kershaw, Private Daniel Wade and Private Daniel Wilford, were killed when their patrol vehicle was destroyed by a bomb as they patrolled through Helmand Province in Afghanistan. See PA story DEFENCE Afghanistan. Photo credit should read: Sergeant Adrian Harlen/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire'NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
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THE body of Fylde coast hero soldier Sgt Nigel Coupe was repatriated to the UK yesterday alongside the five comrades he died serving with.

Sgt Coupe, 33, from St Annes, was one of six soldiers who arrived back on British soil after a Taliban bomb destroyed the armed vehicle they were travelling in while on patrol in Afghanistan.

And more than 2,000 people lined the streets in Oxfordshire to honour the fallen heroes.

A private service to honour the comrades was held at RAF Brize Norton air force base before the cortege continued to a memorial garden at nearby Carteton where crowds had gathered to pay their final respects.

Among those gathered were the family and friends of the brave soldiers who paid a poignant public roadside tribute to their memory.

Alongside them, thousands of well-wishers and fellow servicemen lined the streets as a convoy of hearses bearing the men’s coffins paused at the garden.

As the hearses came to a halt at the memorial, relatives of the tragic comrades placed dozens of red and white roses and carnations on top of the vehicles and comforted each other.

Those paying tribute to the six troops lined the roadside in order of the servicemen’s rank, with the lead hearse carrying the body of Sergeant Nigel Coupe.

A party of Royal British Legion standard bearers from various regimental associations also paid their respects to the soldiers as the hearses stopped beside a Union Flag flying at half-mast.

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