Multiple sources have confirmed that an 18-year-old guardsman who was present during the funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth II and who walked alongside the coffin as it was carried through the streets was tragically discovered dead at his barracks this week.
According to BBC News, Jack Burnell-Williams, a trooper from South Wales, was given a significant role in the funeral of the late monarch, which took place on September 19. During the magnificent display of pomp and pageantry, he stood guard over the casket of Her Majesty as it was transported from Westminster Hall to Wellington Arch.
It was reported in The Independent that a member of the Household Cavalry who is affectionately known as Jak was discovered unresponsive at the army barracks just before 4:00 PM on Wednesday (September 28). Police and paramedics from the London Ambulance Service rushed to Knightsbridge’s Hyde Park Barracks, but Jak was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to The Guardian, the Metropolitan Police have stated that the investigation will be turned over to the coroner even though they are not considering his death to be suspicious.
A statement regarding the tragedy was issued by a spokesperson for the Army, and it read as follows: “Our thoughts are with the soldier’s family and friends at this difficult time and we ask that their privacy is respected,” via the BBC.
The young soldier’s mother, Laura Williams, paid her respects to her late son by posting a tribute to him on Facebook, in which 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 woman, now 42 years old, had previously shared photos and videos of her son during his participation in the funeral procession for the late Queen Elizabeth II on her Facebook page, where she wrote: “Couldn’t be any prouder today.”
Elisha Williams, who is Jak’s sister, left a comment beneath the heartbreaking post in which she stated: “We will get through this together, as a team. We need to do him just as proud as he’s done us, love you all the world mum [heart emoji].”
“Forever going to miss u my love truly heartbroken [heart emoji],” Molly Holmes, Jak’s girlfriend, added.
On Saturday, October 1, those who were Jak’s closest friends and family from his hometown of Bridgend are planning to get together to pay their respects to the young man who passed away.
“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,” Jak’s sister, Elisha, wrote on Facebook.
A great number of individuals added their condolences in the comments section beneath the post that Jack’s mother had made. Jak’s teacher from year 7, Alison Markey, expressed her condolences and made the following observation: “This is dreadful, dreadful news. I taught Jak when he was in Year Seven and will always remember him as a happy polite young man. Devastating.”
“I taught Jack for two years. He was an absolute pleasure to teach. Such a lovely boy. Gutted. Thinking of your family at this incredibly hard time. Devastating,” another of the young guardsman’s teachers added.
During this trying time, our thoughts and prayers are with Jak’s family, friends, and coworkers. We are truly sorry for your loss.