South West Wales

Marine Nigel Dean Mead mourned at Carmarthen funeral

Hundreds of mourners have packed into a church for the funeral of a Royal Marine killed in Afghanistan.

Nigel Dean Mead, aged 19 and from Carmarthen, died during an operation with 42 Commando Royal Marrines in Helmand province last month.

His funeral was held at St Peter's Church, which saw its 850-capacity filled with many more people standing outside.

The Rev Leigh Richardson described Marine Mead as an inspiration to many.

Speaking after the service, he said: "The number of people who came to pay their respects to Dean illustrated how highly regarded he was - and still is.

"He was a tremendously brave man, full of character and an inspiration to many."

Image caption Dean Mead was killed by a bomb in the Nad Ali district of Helmand province

Marine Mead joined the Royal Marines as his first job in October 2008 at the age of 17 and he was the youngest marine to pass out from his troop.

The former Queen Elizabeth High School pupil was fatally injured by a bomb on 15 May.

Two of his closest friends, Tom Boodeny, who had attended Johnstown Primary School with him, and Matt Courtney gave eulogies at the service.

Mr Boodeny said his friend adored his family and was never ashamed to admit it.

He also spoke of Marine Mead's success in running, becoming the Welsh 800m champion and a vital member of Carmarthen Harriers.

Mr Courtney paid tribute to his late friend's academic prowess, saying he had "walked though his exams" in getting A grades.

Military colleagues of Marine Mead said they have been "hit hard by his death" but would continue to "fight hard with Deano on their minds".

His family requested all those attending today's service not to bring flowers but to make a donation to the Marines Benevolent Fund as well as a meningitis charity.

Marine Mead is survived by his mother Amanda, father Phillip and sister Jessica.

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