CLOSE family and friends of fallen Wearside soldier Richard Walker watched on as his body arrived home.
Sapper Walker, from Blackfell, Washington, was killed by a rogue Afghan soldier on Monday, January 7 in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand.
Today, his body was flown back to the UK as his devastated family make preparations for the former Washington School pupil’s funeral.
The Union flag draped coffin arrived into RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, carried from the aircraft by six military colleagues.
Hundreds are expected to line the streets when the 23-year-old’d funeral service takes place later this month.
The dad-of-one was serving with 28 Engineer Regiment, attached to 21 Engineer Regiment, on his first deployment to Afghanistan when he was shot and killed.
A private ceremony for members of his family was then held on the air base before the cortege left on its way to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.