Family prepares emotional tribute for teenage soldier who walked behind Queen’s coffin


Relatives of Jack Burnell-Williams, the teenage soldier who played an important role escorting the Queen’s coffin during her funeral procession, are planning a balloon release in his memory after his sudden death. Jack, 18, also known as Jak, also known as Jak, died on Wednesday after he was found unresponsive at Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge just before 4pm, the Army announced.

Mum Laura Williams confirmed the news on her Facebook page, saying: “Never ever thought I would be saying this but we as a family are all heartbroken with the sudden passing of our wonderful son Jak Williams yesterday.”

She subsequently posted: “For all family & friends of Jak Williams, we will be setting off balloons in his memory tomorrow at 4pm at Bryntirion Football Club.

“Please spread the word and join us in celebrating my boys life. Blue colours to be worn preferably and also blue balloons.”

Devastated friends and family reacted with shock to the news, with hundreds of messages of condolence.

Janey Burrell said: “No words can express what are family is going through.

“My brother Dan’s first son Jak Williams, my handsome nephew, has sadly been taken from us.”

READ MORE: Soldier who walked with Queen’s coffin found dead at Army barracks

Brett Jones added: “So so sorry Laura what a lovely boy always smiling top top lad will be missed so much heartbroken. Take care of yourself.”

A statement issued by the army today said: “It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams on 28th September 2022 at Hyde Park Barracks.”

Our thoughts are with the soldier’s family and friends at this difficult time and we ask that their privacy is respected.”

Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “An 18-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene. His next of kin have been informed.

“The death was unexpected, it has been investigated and is not being treated as suspicious. Officers will assist with preparing a report for the coroner.”

The trooper is understood to have walked with the Queen’s coffin from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch during her state funeral on September 19.

Mrs Willaims posted several photographs of her son in his ceremonial uniform on June 8 during a passing out parade at Hyde Park barracks.

That same month, a few weeks after Jack turned 18, she posted TV footage of him taking part in the Trooping of the Colour RAF flyover during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

She captioned the clip: “One of the proudest days of my life.”

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