Gallery: Hundreds mourn Suffolk soldier

UNDER slate grey skies and freezing rain, the people of Wootton Bassett joined family and friends of Lance Corporal Adam Drane to pay their final respects and to honour the sacrifice he made for his country.

UNDER slate grey skies and freezing rain, the people of Wootton Bassett joined family and friends of Lance Corporal Adam Drane to pay their final respects and to honour the sacrifice he made for his country.

The body of Suffolk soldier Adam Drane - the 100th British serviceman to die in Afghanistan - arrived back in the UK this morning.

The 23-year-old, from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, died on December 7 as a result of small arms fire at a checkpoint in the Nad-e Ali area in central Helmand Province.

He was the 100th British soldier to die in Afghanistan this year and the 11th serviceman from the Royal Anglians - also known as the Vikings - to have died since the start of the conflict.


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A private ceremony was held at RAF Lyneham at 11am before a procession through the Wiltshire market town.

As the church bell tolled, a respected silence fell across the town which has become the epicentre of the nation's grief during the conflict in Afghanistan.

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As the cort�ge passed the town's war memorial Lance Corporal Drane's mother and father, Des and Jacqueline, his fianc�e, Sian Goodenough, plus other relatives and friends, placed red and yellow roses onto the hearse.

Many openly sobbed, others simply stared in silence at the hearse carrying his body.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Captain Ian Robinson, welfare officer of 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment, described Lance Corporal Drane as a “fine young man, a happy man and a truly professional solider”.

He said: “He would have had a long career in the army and showed true potential. He was always enthusiast and typical of the great men who join our battalion.

“He came from a close and loving family, who loved him dearly as much as he loved them. He had a wonderful future to look forward too with his fianc�e Sian, which has now been taken away. He was one of the best young leaders we had and will be missed.”

Crowds began gathering at 11.30am on the High Street, and many spoke of their pride and admiration for Lance Corporal Drane.

Ex-Royal Marine Stuart Howard, 69, said this was the 42nd repatriation he had been to.

“I'll never miss one from now on. Lance Corporal Drane sacrificed his life for this country. This is the least we can do to show our respects.”

Following his death, his parents said there were “no words” to describe the loss of their son.

In a statement his parents said: “No words can describe what our loss means to us. But knowing we are united with all Service families brings comfort.

“As his parents - together with Sian, his fianc�e, and on behalf of Christopher, his younger brother - we wish to express our tremendous pride in Adam's achievements as a son, a brother and future husband.”

The former King Edward VI schoolboy, born on July 24, 1986, in Bury St Edmunds, was described by headteacher Geoff Barton as an “utterly likeable and reliable” former student.

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