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Crowds remember Capt Thomas Clarke in Cowbridge

Crowds await the cortege in the centre of the town Credit: Alexandra Lodge/ITV News

Crowds have lined the streets of Cowbridge ahead of the funeral service for Captain Thomas Clarke

Captain Clarke's coffin is carried past onlookers Credit: Alexandra Lodge/ITV News

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Cowbridge shops close in memory of Capt Thomas Clarke

Businesses in Cowbridge will close temporarily today ahead of the funeral of Captain Thomas Clarke.

Funeral held for pilot killed in Afghanistan crash

The funeral of a pilot who was killed when his helicopter crashed in Afghanistan is taking place today.

30-year-old Captain Thomas Clarke was one of two pilots on board the Lynx helicopter when it went down, in what has been described as 'a tragic accident' by the Ministry of Defence.

Captain Thomas Clarke from Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan Credit: PA

Capt Clarke, from the Vale of Glamorgan, died alongside Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas, Warrant Officer Spencer Faulkner, Corporal James Walters and Flight Lieutenant Rakesh Chauhuan.

He has been described by his Army superiors as a 'rising star' of the Army Air Corps.

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Afghan Serviceman 'gentle as they come'

Cowbridge rugby coach Richard Killock has paid tribute to Captain Thomas Clarke.

Richard Killock coached the serviceman as a junior describing him 'as a very good rugby player, totally tough and committed but off the pitch he was as gentle as they come.'

Captain Clarke, 30, from Cowbridge, enlisted as an army officer in May 2007, undertaking officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He then joined the Army Air Corps as a pilot.

Deputy Prime Minister pays tribute to Afghan serviceman

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has paid tribute to one of the men who died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.

In a statement, he said: "My heartfelt sympathies go to the family, partner, friends and colleagues of Oliver Thomas.

Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas served with the Intelligence Corps Credit: MOD

"Oliver, or Olly as he was known, was taking a break from his role as a researcher in Westminster to Roger Williams. I understand from Roger that Olly was an incredibly popular and dedicated member of staff who will be greatly missed.

"It is very sad to hear about the death of a young man who had a promising future ahead of him. It is even sadder for those colleagues of Olly in the Liberal Democrats who have lost a fellow activist and dear friend".

Families pay tribute to crash victims

The families of Captain Thomas Clarke and Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas have paid tribute to them in statements released by the Ministry of Defence.

We cannot express enough our devastation at the loss of a truly wonderful husband, son, brother and friend. Tom brought so much happiness and love to everyone he knew with his sparkling blue eyes and cheeky smile.

He had an absolute passion for life and was the best part of us; we are all poorer today without him. We carry your heart, we carry it in our heart.

– Captain Thomas Clarke's family

Oliver was a truly amazing person, living his life to the full, while fulfilling some of his many dreams and adventures. He was very much loved and will be greatly missed by grieving family and friends.

– Lance Corporal Oliver Thomas's family
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