Guardsman Mathew Talbot, who served with 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, died in an incident involving a wild elephant inside Malawi’s Liwonde National Park on Sunday 5th May 2019. He had deployed to Malawi as part of the British Army’s Counter Poaching Operations.
The C17 Aircraft, belonging to 99 Squadron, carrying the coffin touched down at Royal Air Force Brize Norton at 1330hrs. On landing it was then prepared before taxiing to the front of the base’s repatriation centre on the far side of the airfield.
The ramp ceremony commenced at 1430hrs in front of his bereaved family, the Senior Military Officer attending, Major General Ben Bathurst accompanied by the Garrison Sergeant Major of London, Warrant Officer Class 1 Vern Stokes, Brigadier Tom Bateman and the Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, Lieutenant Colonel Ed Launders.
Guardsman Talbot’s coffin, borne by six of his comrades from 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards was delicately and immaculately taken from the rear of the aircraft and placed in a waiting hearse to be taken to the Chapel of Rest.
The funeral cortege left Royal Air Force Brize Norton via the Britannia Gate to proceed through the village of Brize Norton, passing the memorial garden and its tolling bell. There many of his closest friends, who had made the journey from the battalion’s home base, Victoria Barracks in Windsor, stood side by side with representatives from the British Legion and members of the public to pay their respects.