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Funeral for 'outstanding' soldier

Funeral for 'outstanding' soldier

Private Christopher Kershaw's father Brian and stepmother Sharon Wood follow his coffin as it is carried into Holy Trinity Church, Idle, Bradford

Private Christopher Kershaw's father Brian and stepmother Sharon Wood follow his coffin as it is carried into Holy Trinity Church, Idle, Bradford

First published in National News © by

A 19-year-old soldier who died along with five of his comrades when their armoured vehicle was blown up in Afghanistan has been described "as an outstanding young individual" at his funeral.

Hundreds of people turned out in baking sunshine in Bradford, West Yorkshire, to pay their last respects to Private Christopher Kershaw, of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment.

Pte Kershaw was killed on March 6 alongside Private Anthony Frampton, 20, Private Daniel Wade, 20, Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Daniel Wilford, 21, all also of 3 Yorks, and Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

Many attending the service at Holy Trinity Parish Church, in the Idle area of the city, said they were thinking in particular about the young soldier's father, Brian Kershaw, whose mother died on Wednesday.

Mr Kershaw followed his son's coffin into church with his partner, Sharon Wood, and his former wife Monica Kershaw - Pte Kershaw's mother.

Outside church, Major Malcolm Birkett, of 3 Yorks, said: "Private Christopher Kershaw was an outstanding young individual who epitomised everything that is right about the modern infantryman. He loved his job - a thorough professional. For somebody so young, he set the benchmark for how to be a good soldier."

The officer said: "We remember not only Pte Chris Kershaw but the other five fallen alongside. Today is the final journey for Chris and our thoughts and prayers are with all the families."

Major Birkett said his thoughts were especially with Pte Kershaw's father. He said Pte Kershaw's grandmother, Joan Kershaw, died yesterday aged 87.

She was married to his grandfather, Fred - a Black Watch soldier in the Second World War who had inspired his grandson's love of the Army, the major said.

The six soldiers were killed when their Warrior armoured vehicle was blown up by a massive improvised explosive device about 25 miles north of the capital of Helmand province, Lashkar Gah.

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