Repatriated soldiers' friends talk of their loss

Corporal Jake Hartley on a holiday to Ibiza with friend Jermaine Davies
Corporal Jake Hartley on a holiday to Ibiza with friend Jermaine Davies Photo: ITV News

The repatriation in Carterton, Oxfordshire is a chance for the country to mark its gratitude.

I was able to speak to the friends of two of the men who died as they travelled down together by coach from West Yorkshire.

When I asked them why they were making this trip they all said it was to pay their respects, but more than that, they wanted to show how proud they were. Proud of what their friends had done for their country and proud just to have been their friends.

Meeting them gives us an idea of what those lives meant and what they could have been.

Jake Hartley was the kind of man who people liked instantly. He had a tattoo done for a friend who was killed in Afghanistan. Now he has gone, his friends have his name and initials tattooed in his memory.

Corporal Jake Hartley
Corporal Jake Hartley Credit: MOD

Daniel Wilford had recently passed his driving test and wanted to buy a car. He was quiet on first meeting but open, caring and kind to everyone who knew him. One friend said today he was the kind of guy who would phone you up at 3 o’clock in the morning to go for a curry, and the kind of guy you would always end up saying ‘yes’ to.

Private Daniel Wilford
Private Daniel Wilford Credit: MOD