Bodies of three soldiers brought home from Afghanistan

Author: By James Woodward, Press Association

Warrant Officer Class 2 Sean Upton, of the 5th Regiment Royal Artillery, and
Trooper Phillip Lawrence, of The Light Dragoons, died in separate explosions
in Helmand province on July 27.

Bombardier Craig Hopson, of 40th Regiment Royal Artillery, died on July 25 in
a roadside bomb attack.

The three men’s families are paying their respects in a private ceremony at
the chapel at RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire, before the cortege drives through
Wootton Bassett at 2pm.

A crowd of hundreds, including shopkeepers, British Legion members, families
and veterans, is expected to line the streets of the market town to pay
their respects, as has become tradition.

It is the second repatriation of British soldiers this week.

Bombardier Hopson was helping make arrangements for the Afghan elections as
part of Operation Panther’s Claw when the Jackal armoured vehicle in which
he was travelling was hit by an explosion.

The 24-year-old, from Castleford, West Yorkshire, had just returned from a
short trip home to see his three-month-old daughter, Amelia, and his partner
Eleanor, shortly before he was killed.

WO Upton, 35, from Nottinghamshire, died in an explosion during a foot patrol
in Sangin district.

He had been serving as second-in-command of Sangin’s Police Mentoring Team,
the MoD said, and had been in the Army for 19 years, serving in Northern
Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan, Cyprus and Bosnia.

He leaves a wife, Karen, and two children, Hollie and Ewan.

Trooper Lawrence, 22, from Birkenhead, Merseyside, was killed during a blast
while driving an armoured vehicle in Lashkar Gah district, Helmand. He had
been helping ensure the security of an area which had been cleared as part
of Operation Panther’s Claw – an offensive against the Taliban.

Trooper Lawrence leaves a wife, Amy, and baby daughter Jessica.

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