UK

Irish Guards widow voices pride over lantern memorial

The widow of a Merseyside soldier killed in Afghanistan said he would have been proud to know that crowds are preparing to honour him.

L/Sgt Mark Burgan, 28, who was killed by a roadside bomb, will be remembered by hundreds of people releasing lanterns at Wignall Park, Kirkby.

Leanne Burgan, who revealed that she wrote to her husband daily, said she was overwhelmed by people's response.

The Irish Guards soldier died six days before his tour of duty was due to end.

Image caption L/Sgt Burgan had been due to fly home less than a week after his death

Family and friends will be joined by people, who have heard of Tuesday's informal memorial at his parents' local park through press and social networking sites.

Mrs Burgan, whose father also served with the Irish Guards, said: "I can't take it all in. I know how much I love Mark and I know how much everybody who we know loved Mark.

"But to speak to people who have never met him and to know that they are doing these things for him, it's just that he would be so proud."

L/Sgt Burgan died alongside Major Matthew Collins, 38, from Backwell in Somerset, on 23 March, when their vehicle was caught in a blast from an improvised explosive device (IED).

The bodies of the men who both served with 1st Battalion The Irish Guards, are due to be flown back to the UK on Wednesday.

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