England

Christopher Kershaw funeral: Sister remembers 'Yorkshire warrior'

The sister of a Yorkshire soldier who died with five colleagues in a bomb attack in Afghanistan has described him as a "true hero" at his funeral.

Pte Christopher Kershaw, 19, of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, died on 6 March.

The 45-minute funeral service at Holy Trinity Parish Church in Idle, Bradford, was relayed through speakers to hundreds of people outside.

Pte Kershaw's sister Sarah-Louise said he had been her "Yorkshire warrior".

She told the congregation: "Christopher always was, and always will be, our true hero who fought for our country to keep us safe.

"I'm going to be so proud and always am proud to call you my brother."

'Outstanding individual'

Pte Kershaw died during his first tour of duty. He had been due to return home this week.

Maj Malcolm Birkett, of 3 Yorks, said Pte Kershaw was an "outstanding individual" and "epitomised everything that is right about the modern infantryman".

"For somebody so young, he set the benchmark for how to be a good soldier," he said.

Pte Kershaw's final letter to his father was also read out at the service.

It read: "This letter is to inform you of the untimely death of, well, me.

"First of all, I would like to explain that even though I don't know how I died, I'm sure it was from some heroic act and, in the long run, I was doing a job that I loved.

'Knew dangers'

"As I'm sure you are aware, this was my dream job.

Image caption Pte Kershaw was described at his funeral as "a thorough professional"

"Even though it had its ups and its downs, I enjoyed every second of it."

Earlier, Pte Kershaw's mother Monica told BBC Look North: "He felt proud in his uniform, he absolutely loved his uniform.

"About 14 years old he started ironing his own uniform because I put a crease in the wrong way. He always stood up proudly in it."

Mrs Kershaw said she had been worried when he had joined the army but knew he was living his dream.

"He knew about the dangers. I had discussed it with him and he said: 'It won't happen to me', but it has," said Mrs Kershaw.

Pte Kershaw died alongside Cpl Jake Hartley, 20; Pte Anthony Frampton, 20; Pte Daniel Wade, 20, and Pte Daniel Wilford, 21, all also of 3 Yorks, and Sgt Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

The soldiers, who had only been in Afghanistan for a few weeks, were killed when their Warrior armoured vehicle was blown up by a large bomb about 25 miles north of the capital of Helmand province, Lashkar Gah.

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