Jodie Henderson, a keen photographer and Year 10 student at Nova Hreod School, spent the week of 11 to 16 July with Swindon Link, covering stories with freelance Swindon professional photographer Richard Wintle of Calyx.tv.
On Tuesday 12 July they attended the repatriation of Highlander Scott McLaren of the 4th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland, who was killed in Afghanistan on 4 July. Jodie expressed the intense atmosphere and quiet dignity of the occasion.
The McLaren family were so touched by Jodie’s words that they incorporated them into Scott’s funeral service in Edinburgh on Tuesday 26 July.
People lined up by the roadside,
As the church bell rang out loud,
The lone chimes for the soldier
Remembered by the crowd.
The cortage drove by with honour,
Flags and heads bowed in unity,
Respect for his ultimate sacrifice,
Was present all around me.
The grief of the people,
The emotion of the day,
I couldn’t continue taking photographs,
Couldn’t capture the pain this way.
The silence was overwhelming,
I didn’t want to cry,
But I found it so unbearable,
Witnessing a family’s goodbyes.
A stranger passed me a tissue,
She noticed my upset,
That day at Wootton Bassett,
I will never forget.
Below, Scott McLaren’s parents, James and Ann witness the repatriation of their son in Wootton Bassett High Street. Images: Jodie Henderson