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Afghanistan and Iraq: Peacekeeping Operations

Volume 492: debated on Friday 8 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what ceremonial formalities are observed on the return from (a) Iraq and (b) Afghanistan of the remains of service personnel killed on active service; and if he will make a statement. (273656)

When the remains of Service personnel who lose their lives as a result of operations are returned to this country a formal repatriation ceremony is held.

These ceremonies are military and not governmental occasions. Such ceremonies are supported by an eight man Bearer party, usually drawn from the deceased's own regiment or service, and two buglers, all of whom are supervised by a senior ceremonial warrant officer. The ceremony, which is a service conducted by a military chaplain, is attended by a senior military representative, of at least two star rank, to convey the nation's respect.