Body of former British soldier flown home to Hexham after fatal crash in Ukraine

Jay Thorn, from Wark, near Hexham, died in a car crash in Ukraine on 21 May. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

The body of a former soldier who died in Ukraine has been flown home to the UK.

Jay Thorn, from Wark, near Hexham in Northumberland, had been training soldiers in Ukraine when he was killed in a car crash on 21 May.

The 36-year-old former fusilier, who was engaged to be married, had travelled to the country to do humanitarian work in February 2022.

Jay Thorn and his fiancee Louise Lathbury. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

He then found work helping to train the Ukrainian soldiers trying to defend their homeland from Russia's invasion.

The Foreign Office confirmed Mr Thorn's death was not thought to be connected to the ongoing war.

Following his death, more than £18,000 was donated to an online fundraising page set up to cover the costs of the repatriation.

His fiancee Louise Lathbury has faced a long wait for his return to the UK as the collision was investigated by Ukrainian officials.

Former fusilier Jay Thorn had been training soldiers in Ukraine. Credit: NCJ MEDIA

His body has finally been returned to the UK and Ms Lathbury now waiting for the local coroner to release his body so she can finalise the arrangements for his funeral.

She said: "Some of his friends from when he was in the Army want to be the pallbearers. It's really touching. They have been amazing, I have never met them before but they have been really really good.

"Everyone seems to call him their brother. Everyone saw him as a brother."

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