Two soldiers killed in Afghanistan are due to be returned to Britain in the 100th repatriation ceremony to pass through the market town of Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, on its way to Oxford.

Rifleman Andrew Fentiman, 23, of 7th Battalion The Rifles, and Corporal Loren Marlton-Thomas, 28, of 33 Engineer Regiment, died in separate incidents in Helmand Province on Sunday.

The soldiers' bodies are being flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire.

After a private ceremony for their families, hearses carrying their Union Jack-draped coffins will pass along the high street of nearby Wootton Bassett.

Over the past two-and-a-half years the town has become the focus for the nation's mourning of the deaths of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. People have appeared along the route to pay their respects since the bodies of British service personnel began being brought home through RAF Lyneham in April 2007.

At first there were only a handful of mourners, led by members of the local branch of the Royal British Legion. But as awareness of the sombre ritual has grown, Wootton Bassett has seen crowds of hundreds and sometimes thousands turn out in all weathers to honour the dead.

The Royal British Legion's national president, Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely, said: "No-one organised it, no-one requested it. It happened because it was the right thing to do, and our members stood ready to give these fallen heroes the honour they so richly deserve."

After passing through Wootton Bassett, the cortege will continue to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

Rifleman Fentiman, from Cambridge, was killed a fortnight after saying he was "still waiting" for promised new body armour and helmets. The Territorial Army soldier, who volunteered to serve in Afghanistan to pursue his dream of becoming an officer in the regular military, was shot while on a foot patrol near Sangin in Helmand.

Bomb disposal expert Cpl Marlton-Thomas was killed by an improvised explosive device while clearing a route in Gereshk in Helmand. A total of 234 UK troops have died since the mission in Afghanistan began in October 2001, with 98 deaths this year alone.