THERE can be nothing sadder for a family to be informed that a loved one has died while on active service in a far-away land fighting for his or her country. Sadly, the war in Afghanistan is claiming a high death toll among British troops and there is no sign that the conflict will end soon.

I do believe that a representative of the royal family and the Prime Minister should be present when bodies of dead soldiers are repatriated to Britain, afterall they have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

A ceremony with full military honours should take place at the air base, away from the cameras. Taking all this into account I do not believe that the ceremony which takes place at Wootton Bassett everytime the body of a dead service-person is brought home, should take place. It is far too public and as we have seen this week, with an Islamist Group planning to march through Wootton Bassett, it can cause many problems. While I applaud the people of Wootton for their support for British troops I think it would be better if it was held elsewhere. The war in Afghanistan is always going to be controversial with many sections of the British public. The ceromony in Wootton has become far too public and it should take place at the air base and with full military honours.

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