Soldier who walked with Queen's coffin found dead at Army barracks

An 18-year-old Guardsman who played a key role in walking behind the Queen’s coffin during her state funeral procession earlier this month has been found dead at his barracks in London. Emergency services were called Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge at 3.48pm on Wednesday and depserately tried to save teenager Jack Burnell-Williams. But unfortunately there was nothing they could do and the young man was tragically pronounced dead at the scene. 

The soldier’s mother Laura, 42, shared a touching tribute to her young son – known as Jak to family and friends – alongside a picture of him.

She wrote: “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.”

The Metropolitan Police said the death was “unexpected” and after being investigated, it is “not being treated as suspicious”.

A spokesperson for the force 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.”

Jack’s family from Bridgend in South Wales are planning on setting off dozens of blue balloons in his memory tomorrow.

At the Queen’s funeral earlier this month, he guarded the late monarch’s coffin as it made its final journey – making his loved ones extremely proud.

His parents proudly declared that their son was “doing his duty for the Queen on her final journey”.

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Jak’s girlfriend Molly Holmes posted on Laura’s Facebook page: “Forever going to miss you my love. Truly heartbroken.”

His sister Elisha wrote: “We will get through this together as a team. We need to do him just as proud as he’s done us.”

She said loved ones will be setting off balloons in his memory at Bryntirion Football Club in Bridgend at 4pmtomorrow.

The trooper’s sister wrote on Facebook: “Please spread the word and join us in celebrating my boy’s life. Blue colours to be worn preferably and also blue balloons.”


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