Sad journey for MH17 victim's family

JO MOIR
Last updated 12:21 17/08/2014
Rob Ayley
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MISSED: Rob Ayley's parents and brother will visit family in the UK before bringing him back to New Zealand.

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The Wellington family of Malaysia Airlines victim Rob Ayley, who was on the plane that was shot down over eastern Ukraine a month ago, will travel to Amsterdam to collect his body.

Rob Ayley's parents John and Wendie Ayley and his brother, Tom Ayley, have flights booked to London early in the coming week.

There they would meet with extended family, including Rob's grandparents.

Speaking yesterday, Tom Ayley said his 29-year-old brother's wife, Sharlene, and their two sons, Seth, 4, and Taylor, 2, were staying with Sharlene's family in Nelson and would not be making the trip overseas.

''She's doing as well as could be expected...they will return home when we get back in a few weeks.''

Tom Ayley said the British consular had been providing assistance to his parents and would help them with the arrangements to get Rob home, which was expected to be in about three weeks time.

They planned to spend about two weeks in the United Kingdom with family before heading to Amsterdam to collect Rob's body, at which point they will return direct to New Zealand.

It was likely a memorial for Rob Ayley would be held in the UK while they're visiting, and a private funeral would be held on their return home.

A private memorial service was held at the St John's Anglican Church in Johnsonville on July 28.

Rob Ayley had been flying home from Amsterdam on the MH17 flight after a month with another New Zealand dog breeder travelling around Europe looking at rottweilers, which they bred.

The plane was shot down on July 17 while en route to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board.

British-born Rob Ayley emigrated to New Zealand with his family when he was 2.

Mary Menke, the only New Zealander on board the doomed plane, lived in Mallacoota, about 500 kilometres east of Melbourne, Australia, but died alongside husband Gerry in the crash. 

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