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Teen guardsman who walked alongside Queen's coffin found dead in barracks

Jess Hardiman

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| Last updated 

Teen guardsman who walked alongside Queen's coffin found dead in barracks

A teenage guardsman who walked alongside the Queen's coffin has been found dead at his barracks, the Army has confirmed.

Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams, 18, played a crucial role in the Queen's state funeral earlier this month, having helped guard the coffin as it was carried from Westminster Abbey through London.

Burnell-Williams - who also went by 'Jak' - was found dead at Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge, central London, on Wednesday (28 September), with police saying that while the death was 'unexpected', they are not treating it as suspicious.

His mother Laura, 42, confirmed the tragic news on Facebook, saying in an emotional tribute: "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."

Jack Burnell-Williams. Credit: Facebook
Jack Burnell-Williams. Credit: Facebook

An Army spokesperson said: "It is with sadness that we can confirm the death of Trooper Jack Burnell-Williams on September 28 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."

A Metropolitan Police spokesperson 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 State Hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, leaves Wellington Arch in London. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo
The State Hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, leaves Wellington Arch in London. Credit: REUTERS/Alamy Stock Photo

According to the Daily Mail, Burnell-Williams served in the Blues and Royals, and is thought to have been one of the Household Cavalry's newest recruits.

Earlier this year in June, just a month after Burnell-Williams turned 18, his mum Laura posted footage of her son taking part in the Trooping of the Colour as part of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations.

"One of the proudest days of my life," she wrote.

On the day of the Queen's state funeral, Laura also shared her pride for her son, writing: "So proud of my boy accompanying his Queen on her final journey."

His father Daniel Burnell, 41, also posted footage and images of the Household Cavalry's mounted soldiers taking part in the procession.

"My son doing his duty for the Queen on her final journey," he said.

"So proud of you Jak Williams. Very proud father."

Jak's family from Bridgend in South Wales, are planning to set off dozens of blue balloons in his memory tomorrow (Saturday 1 October) at Bryntirion Football Club.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Laura Williams/Jak Williams

Topics: UK News, Army

Jess Hardiman
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