Tearful tributes as Skipton hero Sergeant Gareth Thursby is brought home (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Full military honours for father-of-two Sgt Thursby who was cut down in Afghanistan by a rebel gunman on Saturday, along with Private Thomas Wroe, both of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment
7:40pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in News
There were emotional scenes as the family of a hero soldier killed by a rogue Afghan policemen gathered to watch their loved one’s body repatriated to the UK.
The body of Sergeant Gareth Thursby, a former pupil at South Craven School in Cross Hills , near Keighley , was today day flown into RAF Brize Norton where his Union flag-draped coffin was carried from the plane with full military honours.
Sgt Thursby, of Skipton , and Private Thomas Wroe, both of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, were shot on Saturday when a man dressed as a local Afghan policeman pretended to be injured so they would help him.
A day earlier, Lance Corporal Duane Groom, of The Queen’s Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, was killed when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device.
The tearful families of the three fallen servicemen gathered to see the bodies brought home and stood side by side in the memorial garden in Carterton, in Oxfordshire, as they watched the cortege of three hearses approach.
At the side of the road in Carterton, more than 20 Royal British Legion standard-bearers slowly lowered their flags as family members started to sob.
They clutched bunches of flowers including white roses and held onto small wooden crosses. The families were supported by more than 300 friends and well-wishers. The cortege was escorted at walking pace past the memorial garden, where it paused briefly next to a Union flag hung at half mast.
Family and friends stepped forward to place their flowers on the hearses.
Married father-of-two Sgt Thursby, 29, and Pte Wroe, 18, were shot dead in the south of Nahr-e Saraj district, Helmand province.
Sgt Thursby is survived by his wife Louise and two children, Joshua and Ruby.