A soldier from the Midlands who was killed in Afghanistan will be repatriated today.
23-year-old Lance Corporal James Ashworth from Kettering died as a result of enemy action while on patrol with the Reconnaissance Platoon of 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand Province earlier this month.
He'll be repatriated at a private ceremony at RAF Brize Norton this afternoon.
Following the ceremony the cortege will make its way to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, via the Memorial Garden.
The family of Lance Corporal Ashworth have paid tribute to him:
– LANCE CORPORAL ASHWORTH'S FAMILY
We are devastated by the loss of our son, brother, uncle and boyfriend. He meant the world to everyone and has left an irreplaceable hole in our hearts.
We ask that we are given time to grieve and we sincerely thank everyone for their condolences.
– LIEUTENANT COLONEL JAMES BOWDER MBE
Lance Corporal Ashworth's death leaves a hole in the Battalion – we have lost one of our very best soldiers. The Battalion, and indeed the broader Regiment, will never forget this quite exceptional man. Moreover, our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult of times.
More tributes can be found on the MoD website.