FORMER servicemen and members of the Royal British Legion tonight paid their respects to the latest dead British soldier to be brought back from Afghanistan.

Sergeant Peter Rayner, 34, served with 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was killed in an explosion while on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province on October 8.

His body was flown back to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, where a private service was held.

His wife Wendy placed single red and white roses on the hearse as it later passed through Wootton Bassett, on its way to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

Veterans, pictured, lowered standards in tribute to the trooper as the hearse passed along Headley Way towards the hospital.

Sgt Rayner – nicknamed Skippy – was a keen mountain biker from Bradford. He had previously served in Bosnia and Iraq and died during his second tour of Afghanistan.

Mrs Rayner described him as a “fantastic loving husband and father, son, son-in-law, brother and brother-in-law, who loved his job and doing something he believed in.”

A total of 340 UK troops have died since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001.