Repatriation tributes in Headington

21 July 2011

Corporal Mark Anthony Palin (1st Battalion The Rifles)
Killed in Afghanistan on 18 July 2011

Lance Corporal Paul Watkins (9th/12th Royal Lancers)
Killed in Afghanistan on 16 July 2011

The pictures below show the repatriation tribute that took place in Headley Way
as the funeral cortège made its way to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Waiting for cortege to arrivePeople wait to pay their respects outside St Anthony of Padua Church in Headley Way

The British Legion waitThe standard-bearers take up position in the middle of Headley Way

First hearseThe first hearse arrives, with the coffin draped in the Union Flag

Second hearseThe second hearse follows behind

Lowering of flagsThe standards remain lowered as the hearses go around what soldiers call “the final turn”
leading to the John Radcliffe Hospital, and a police car brings up the rear


Photographs taken before the tribute

Lord Mayor
The Lord Mayor, Elise Benjamin, talks to members of the British Legion

Chairman of County Council
Patrick Greene, Chairman of the County Council is also present

Report from the Final Turn by John Walker, former RDG

We here at the Final Turn stood true and firm to honour these two soldiers.

There were 10 Royal British Legion standards paraded: Bicester & Launton, Bloxham, Chalgrove, Headington, Henley, Kidlington, Kidlington Womens Section, Marston and Wheatley. Association standards included The Coldstream Guards, Guards Division (Newbury), RAF Police, Royal Marines (Bicester), Royal Navy & Royal Marines (Oxon), The Royal Tank Regiment (Oxon) and The Banner of The Royal Dragoon Guards.

Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Oxford Rod Walker, Lord Mayor Councillor Elise Benjamin, Chairman Oxfordshire County Council Councillor Patrick Greene,  Colonel (Rtd) B. A. C. Duncan MBE, Royal Tank Regiment.

There were 54 veterans wearing berets and medals and 35 others from all three services. Thames Valley Police was out in force doing their normal duties and also standing alongside us on parade, under Chief Inspector C. Agger. There were also Graham Cloudcroft (Chaplain to the Thames Valley Police), Mary and John from the Church (John having half-masted the Union flag), and John Jones of the St John’s Ambulance. Two RBL Bikers, Tony and D. Dickinson joined us, Martyn being elsewhere on duty. The Oxford public was out in force, not only here at the Final Turn, with their huge Union flags and the Ulster flag, but also from the Oxford ring road into Marston and all the way up the hill to us.

Many thanks to Harry Mennie (former Para) for helping me put these lists together and also to the wives and partners of the veterans for their help in organising tea and coffee, etc. and for clearing away afterwards. We thank also Father Aldo for the use of the church facilities, not only for the wash area but also for the use of the large car park. The parade marshal was J. Lewendon (former RA). G. Whelan was away on other duties.

The weather was kind, with late sun and 15°C. The cortege passed us by at 1805hrs.

©Stephanie Jenkins

Last updated: 13 January, 2017

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