MOURNERS paid tribute as the body of a 19 year-old Royal Marine killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan was flown home to the UK last night.

Marine Nigel Dean Mead, from 42 Commando Royal Marines, was flown back to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire before the cortege headed towards the John Radcliffe Hospital, in Oxford.

Royal British Legion standard bearers and members of the public lined Headington’s Headley Way in tribute, above, as Marine Mead’s body arrived about 7pm last night.

The Marine died during an operation in the Loy Mandeh Wadi area of the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province on May 15.

His company was conducting a search of compounds, when he was killed by a bomb shortly after his helicopter landed.

He was the 365th British soldier to die in the country since operations began in 2001.

Lieutenant Colonel Ewen Murchison, commanding officer of Marine Mead’s unit, said: “Marine Nigel Dean Mead was the epitome of a Royal Marines commando.

“A young man with considerable inner strength, he was selfless, warm-hearted, utterly professional and took enormous pride in his job. He has made the ultimate sacrifice.”