Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Funeral for soldier Lee Davidson killed in Afghanistan

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Media captionMore than 500 people gathered to remember a soldier from South Yorkshire killed in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral of a soldier from South Yorkshire, described as an "inspiration", who died in Afghanistan.

Sgt Lee Davidson, 32, from Thorne, near Doncaster, was killed last month when his armoured vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand.

The service was held at St Nicholas Church in Thorne, led by the Reverend David Green.

More than 500 people stood in silence on Church Road for the funeral cortege.

'Man of my dreams'

Some local shops closed as a mark of respect.

A letter to Sgt Davidson written and recorded by his wife Samantha, who is about seven months pregnant, was played at the service.

She said: "I met the man of my dreams and I knew I would marry this man.

"We had five-and-a-half years of great fun, love and memories and I will tell our children all of them.

"One day we will meet again. Until we do, I'm never letting you go. Love you always and forever."

Maj John Godfrey, of the Light Dragoons, said: "He truly was one of the highest regarded soldiers in the regiment.

Image copyright Ministry of Defence
Image caption Sgt Davidson was helping train Afghan police officers, the Ministry of Defence said.

"He was an optimist, he always gave his best and was an inspiration to so many. It's a terribly sad day."

Second tour

Mr Green, who married Sgt Davidson and his wife at the same church a year ago, said: "There are a mixture of emotions, there is the sadness of saying goodbye but also the good memories that Samantha, his wife and family have of Lee."

Sgt Davidson, who was married with two sons, had been helping to train Afghan police officers, the Ministry of Defence said.

The soldier, from the Light Dragoons, was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

Sgt Davidson was the 427th member of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

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