Friday, August 12, 2011

Welcome Home, Marine James Wright

Wootton Bassett pays final tribute to war dead

Last respects ... silent crowd watch Marine James Wright pass by
Last respects ... silent crowd watch Marine James Wright pass by

FOR the 163rd and probably last time the people of Wootton Bassett lined the streets yesterday to pay tribute to a fallen hero.

Hero ... James Wright, 22
Hero ... James Wright, 22

Men, women and children stood ten deep in respectful silence and old soldiers saluted as the hearse bearing Marine James Wright passed by.

Such scenes have won the Wiltshire market town a special place in the nation's heart as a symbol of our gratitude and respect for our brave servicemen and women.

It started four years ago when repatriation flights were moved to RAF Lyneham from RAF Brize Norton, Oxon.

The town's people turned out in their hundreds 163 times as flag-draped hearses carried a total of 379 coffins on their way to the mortuary.

In September the flights will return to Brize Norton before Lyneham shuts next year - ending the tradition that is to see the town honoured as Royal Wootton Bassett.

Yesterday around 750 people paid their respects to Afghan hero Marine Wright of 42 Commando - more than the 500 who usually line the streets...

Please go read the rest here.

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