A BRITISH soldier who was killed while trying to stop poachers in Malawi will be repatriated tomorrow. 

The body of Guardsman Mathew Talbot, of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, will be flown to the RAF Brize Norton base and then driven through Oxfordshire to the John Radcliffe Hospital tomorrow afternoon.

The 22-year-old died on Sunday, May 5, in the south African country in what was his first deployment after completing his training. 

A Ministry of Defence statement did not confirm the cause of his death but reports in the local press said he had been crushed by an elephant. 

Oxfordshire County Council confirmed the repatriation is due to take place. 

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A statement read: "We have been advised by RAF Brize Norton that the repatriation of Guardsman Mathew Talbot of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards will take place on Tuesday, May 14 2019.

"The plane will land at approx. 1.30pm and the cortege will pass the memorial garden around 3.30pm, reaching the John Radcliffe Hospital around 4.30pm."

When his death was confirmed last Tuesday, friends and colleagues paid tribute to Gdsm Talbot, describing him as an 'exceptionally kind and friendly individual'.

A keen photographer and Frank Sinatra fan, he spent his spare time learning the local language in Malawi and produced several photo albums documenting his life in the country.

His company commander Major Richard Wright said he was a 'real character' who was always full of wit and 'never short of a joke.'

Several roads will be closed to allow the repatriation to take place.

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The county council has advised that Norton Way, Carterton, will be closed from approximately 2.30pm, while Station Road, Brize Norton, will be closed for approximately 10 minutes once the cortege leaves Britannia Gate at RAF Brize Norton.

In Oxford, road closures will be in place at the Marston Ferry Road and Cherwell Drive Junction as well as the Marston Road and Cherwell Drive Junction and at the entrance to the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Drivers are being warned of 'severe delays' in the area while the road closures are in place.

Originally from Birmingham, Gdsm Talbot trained in Harrogate, West Yorkshire, and was based in Windsor.

Commanding Officer, Lt Col Ed Launders, said: "He was a determined and big-hearted Coldstreamer who devoted his life to serving his country.

"It was typical of his character to volunteer for an important and challenging role in Malawi.

"He was hugely proud to of his work as a counter-poaching operator, and tragically died doing great good.

"Mathew was loved by his brothers in arms in the Coldstream Guards. We will sorely miss his humour, selflessness and unbeatable spirit.

"My deepest condolences go to his parents, family and loved-ones. My thoughts and prayers are with them at this desperately sad time."

The timings are subject to change and anyone wishing to pay their respects should check the county council website in advance.