A book of condolence will open today for Corporal Channing Day who was killed while on patrol in Afghanistan.
Hundreds of people are expected to pay tribute to the 25-year-old army medic, who died alongside Corporal David O'Connor after they were both injured on patrol with C Company in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Wednesday.
The book of condolence will be in St Mary's Church in the army medic's home town of Comber, near Newtownards, in Co Down.
The Mayor of Ards, Alderman Hamilton Gregory, said the people of Comber felt an enormous sadness at the terrible loss which the Day family had suffered and wished to show their sympathy and support.
An initial investigation into the deaths of a female Army medic and a Royal Marine in Afghanistan has ruled out friendly fire from British or American forces as the cause.
But the Ministry of Defence says it still cannot confirm if an off-duty Afghan policeman nearby fired the shots.
Corporal Channing Day was killed alongside Corporal David O'Connor on Wednesday.
Watch this report from Sascha Williams.
The mother of one of the British soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Wednesday has paid tribute to a "brave," "beautiful" and "determined" woman.
Corporal Channing Day's mother said: "If there was one thing she knew growing up, it was that she wanted to be a soldier, proven by the way she would march around the living room and never missed cadets."
"Channing grew up into the bravest, beautiful, determined woman."
"She has done more in her 25 years than most women her age and we are so very proud of everything she has achieved," Ms Day added.
An initial review into the deaths of a Royal Marine and an army medic in Afghanistan has revealed the killings were not caused by "friendly fire", the Ministry of Defence has said.
Corporal Channing Day, 25, who served with the 3 Medical Regiment, and Corporal David O'Connor, 27, of 40 Commando, where fatally injured while on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on Wednesday.
An Afghan man, who is believed to have been a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police but who was not wearing uniform at the time, also died during the incident, an MOD spokesperson confirmed.
He said the UK patrol was not working with any Afghan partners at the time.
A MOD spokesman said analysis of the event is "likely to take some time" while forensic examinations are carried out. A parallel Royal Military Police investigation is also being undertaken.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said the deaths of two British soldiers in Afghanistan on Wednesday was caused by a "third party or parties whose identities have yet to be established but who are not UK personnel".
Corporal Channing Day and Corporal David O'Connor were killed during an exchange of gunfire in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.
In a statement, the MoD said it is still investigating the role of a man, believed to be a member of the Afghan Uniformed Police, who also died in the incident.
– Ministry of Defence statement
A Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT), comprising specialists from ISAF, along with representatives from the Government of Afghanistan, have conducted an initial review at the scene and have concluded that this was not a Blue-on-Blue (‘friendly fire’) incident, and that the deaths of Cpl O’Connor and Cpl Day were caused by a third party or parties whose identities have yet to be established but who are not UK personnel.
Analysis of the events surrounding this complex incident continues and is likely to take some time while forensic and other tests are carried out.
– Philip Hammond MP, Defence Secretary
It is a terribly sad loss that we suffered in Afghanistan, our thoughts are with the families and friends of the two soldiers who died.
It was a tragic incident, the details of which are not yet entirely clear.
There is an ongoing investigation to establish exactly what did happen but of course the end result is two of our brave soldiers dead and our thought are with the families and friends in what is obviously a very difficult time for them.
Channing Day was taken away from us today, God bless her, a quirky Northern Irish girl who loved to play mother hen to the younger medics. Channing was a great medic and deeply cared about the lads’ welfare and well-being no matter who she was attached to. She was a perfect example of the ethos of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
– Sergeant Karl Hinton RAMC, Troop SNCO Combat Medical Technician, Force Support Medical Squadron, 3 Medical Regiment
Channing will be greatly missed and I had the honour of being her Troop Sergeant. In my eyes she is a true hero, giving her own life to help injured comrades; I will never forget her nor will any of her colleagues. My heart goes out to her family especially her Mum who she had a special bond with. Channing Day, a true legend, we will never forget.
Corporal Channing Day joined the Army at the age of 18 and has been described as a "natural medical leader".
- Born in Swindon, Wiltshire on 12 March 1987
- Joining Army in 2005
- Passed her Class One Combat Medical Technician course in 2007
- Posted to 3 Medical Regiment and joined 63 (Force Support) Squadron in January 2012, based in Preston
- Deployed to Afghanistan in October 2012
Corporal David O'Connor served on four operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan:
- Born on 16 June 1985
- Lived in Havant, Hampshire with his mother
- Joined Royal Marines in 2002 and passed for duty in 2003
- Deployed to Afghanistan in 2007 with 40 Commando on Operation Herrick 7
- Awarded a Commander Joint Operations’ Commendation in 2009 after a tour in the volatile Sangin District of northern Helmand
- Completed Royal Marines Junior Command Course in 2011
Corporal Channing Day as "a star for the future" according to Lieutenant Colonel Phillip de Rouffignac, Commanding Officer, 3 Medical Regiment.
"Although only 25, she had recently been promoted to Corporal, and her current operational experience in Iraq and Afghanistan made her a natural choice for the demanding role she was undertaking in support of 40 Commando Royal Marines.
"Diligent in every respect of her preparation, she had worked hard all the way through the build-up training and led by example in all that she did.
“Hugely popular with her friends in Preston, Catterick and in Afghanistan, Corporal Channing Day made the most of everything and had lived a lifetime in a short time.
"An Army footballer, she was a real team player in every sense."