St Helens funeral for soldier killed in Afghanistan
Hundreds of mourners lined the streets for the funeral of the 100th member of the UK armed forces to die in Afghanistan this year.
Irish Guardsman Christopher Davies, of St Helens, Merseyside, was shot last month while patrolling in the Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand province.
The service for the 22-year-old was held at St Mary's Lowe House Roman Catholic Church, St Helens.
Retired servicemen staged a guard of honour for the coffin.
The soldier's mother, Catherine, and two brothers, Matt and John, led the mourners as the Military Lament was played on bagpipes.
His six-year-old daughter, Lucy, wore a Help For Heroes T-shirt which said "My Daddy is a hero".
Guardsman Davies, who served alongside his brother John, 21, was described as a "legend, a perfect dad and a soldier's soldier" in tributes delivered by his family.
His brother Matt said Chris was a "genuinely decent" person who loved the Army and loved serving in Afghanistan.
Guardsman Davies's girlfriend Emma said: "I wish I could go back and live the last four years over and over.
"I love you Chris. To live in the hearts of others is not to die. I will love you forever," she added.
The soldier's father, Gary, described his son as a "cracking lad" and an "inspirational young man" who cared about serving in Afghanistan to help it become a safer place.
"Our Chris cared and wanted to make a difference," he said.
He added that his son could rest in peace knowing he was a true hero.
The final eulogy was delivered by Guardsman Davies's platoon commander Capt Sam O'Gorman, who said: "His calm exterior hid a steely inner core."
The service was followed by a burial at St Helens Cemetery, Rainford Road, for close family and friends.
A book of condolence was opened at St Helens Town Hall.