Bishop of Wakefield expresses shock over the death of British Soldiers

Prayers are being offered today as the body of Private Thomas Wroe is repatriated to the United Kingdom.

Candles have been lit and prayers will be said at St Bartholomew’s, the church in Meltham, Private Wroe’s hometown, which has remained open for most of this week as a quiet space for the local community.

The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt. Revd. Stephen Platten, has expressed his shock and sympathy for the family of Thomas Wroe of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment who was killed in Afghanistan.

The young soldier – who turned 18 only in June – was one of two Yorkshire soldiers shot dead in Afghanistan at the weekend. He and the other victim, Sgt Gareth Thursby, from Skipton, will be carried from the plane when it lands at RAF Brize Norton early this afternoon with full military honours.

They will then be taken in a convoy through the streets of nearby Carterton, where family, friends and veterans will gather at the town’s Memorial Garden to pay their own tributes.

The Yorkshire Regiment's historic home is the town of Halifax within the Church of England’s Diocese of Wakefield.

Bishop Platten is the lead spokesperson for defence issues in the House of Lords, where he sits as one of 26 bishops. Last year he was heavily involved in securing the Military Covenant within the Armed Forces Bill.

Bishop Platten said, ‘This death will devastate the families and friends of those involved and the local community of Meltham. My prayers and condolences are with all those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. The Church will be doing all it can to support the communities and people affected.’ 

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