England

Funeral is held for Irish Guard killed in Afghanistan

Major Matthew Collins
Image caption Maj Matthew Collins died when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb

The funeral of a soldier who died when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Afghanistan has taken place in Sandhurst, Berkshire.

Maj Matthew Collins, 38, from Backwell, North Somerset, died in March.

Maj Collins, who served with Windsor-based 1st Battalion Irish Guards, served in Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Northern Ireland and Iraq.

He was the company commander of Number 3 Company, and leaves behind two children and his wife, Lucy.

His family said in a statement: "Not only a soldier but a caring husband, devoted father to Freya and Charlie, caring son, wonderful brother and friend to many. We will all miss him and remember him always."

Maj Collins died alongside L/Sgt Mark Burgan, 28, from Liverpool.

The two men were returning to base from an operation aimed at disrupting insurgent groups in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province when their vehicle hit a roadside bomb.

Lt Col Christopher Ghika, commanding officer of 1st Battalion Irish Guards, said: "Two more committed and professional soldiers it would be hard to meet; they epitomised what it meant to be a member of this family regiment."

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