HELD close by her mother, the baby daughter of fallen soldier Richard Walker watches on as the coffin of her devoted dad passes by.
Sapper Walker, 23, from Washington, was killed by a rogue Afghan soldier on Monday, January 7, in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand.
His 21-month-old daughter Lilly-Faith was among hundreds who lined the streets as the cortege drove through Carterton, Oxfordshire, after its arrival at RAF Brize Norton on Thursday.
Lilly-Faith’s mum, Abbie Revill, 23, was supported by friends and family as she clutched their young daughter.
The hearse paused briefly next to a Union flag hung at half mast, to allow people to place red roses on the car.
As it pulled away there was a round of applause from members of the public.
The scenes are expected to be repeated later this month during the funeral service of Sapper Walker.
Although a date is yet to be fixed, the Echo understands the cortege will pass through Blackfell before going on to Washington Village.
Sapper Walker had worked as a technician for Vauxhall Motors before joining the Royal Engineers in July 2008 where he trained as a driver.
He was deployed to Afghanistan at the start of September last year.
The former Washington School pupil had returned back to Wearside just before Christmas, spending precious time with his family before returning to Afghanistan on Christmas Eve.
Sapper Walker, a devoted Sunderland AFC fan, was killed and six others injured when the Afghan soldier opened fire on troops.
They were all taken to the Bastion Role 3 medical facility, where Sapper Walker was pronounced dead.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the “insider attack”, which occurred at Patrol Base Hazrat.