Funeral to remember Denbighshire Royal Marine

L/Cpl Michael Taylor, killed in Afghanistan, June 22 2010
Image caption L/Cpl Michael Taylor was described as a 'natural leader of men'

The funeral has taken place of a Denbighshire Royal Marine killed during a gun battle in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Michael Taylor, from Rhyl, who served with 40 Commando, was fatally wounded in the Sangin district of Helmand province on 22 June.

The father-of-three was protecting his patrol base. His partner, Sonia Fleming, said the 30-year-old was her "soul mate" who she said died a "hero".

The service took place at St Thomas' Church on Friday afternoon.

L/Cpl Taylor, a father of three boys, had been deployed to Sangin in March this year, where he was part of a team responsible for the patrol base's security. He had conducted dozens of patrols in support of local people.

A former British army soldier, he joined the Royal Marines in 2004.

Speaking after his death was announced, his partner added: "You lived to be a hero and died a hero. We are all extremely proud of you and always will be. Your legacy will live on through your three wonderful boys who will inspire to be just like you."

His commanding officer, Maj Ed Moorhouse, said he had lost "one of my best".

"Mike Taylor was a rare quality: modest, reserved, thoughtful and yet a natural leader of men," he continued.

"His leadership had an air of quiet accomplishment; there was no need for excess verbosity with Mike Taylor, his presence and manner alone inspired, mentored and guided those Royal Marines in his charge."

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