Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Funeral for Black Watch soldier who died on holiday

L/Cpl Darren Lackie
Image caption L/Cpl Darren Lackie had served with the Black Watch in Afghanistan

A "gifted soldier" who died while on holiday in Portugal has been described as a "tremendous young man" as he received a full military funeral.

L/Cpl Darren Lackie, 22, of the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 Scots), died almost two weeks ago in Albufeira, Faro.

He was found unconscious on a pavement at the bottom of a flight of stairs and died three days later in hospital.

About 600 mourners attended St John's Church in his home town of Cupar, Fife.

Mourners heard of an "immensely keen and loyal soldier" whose motto in life was "the brave don't live long but the cautious don't live at all".

Amazing Grace

L/Cpl Lackie's coffin was draped with a Union flag, with his military medals from Northern Ireland and Afghanistan placed on top alongside his belt and glengarry.

At St John's and Dairsie United Parish Church in Cupar, the Reverend Gordon Jenkins spoke of the young soldier's life growing up in the town, on behalf of his parents, Graham and Helen Lackie.

As a boy his life was "all about outdoor activities".

He was "ever on the move", Reverend Jenkins said.

The order of service showed a photo of L/Cpl Lackie in his Army combat uniform and on the final page the words "laugh now, cry later" were written, which he had tattooed on his arms.

The mourners, who included fellow soldiers and school friends, also heard from company commander Major Al Steele, who gave testimony to L/Cpl Lackie's Army career.

During the service, company padre Seoras Mackenzie led the singing of the hymns Amazing Grace and Abide With Me.

The former Bell Baxter High School pupil had been living in Inverness, near the Black Watch's Fort George base.

His body was flown back to Scotland on Saturday.

Very popular

His commanding officer, Lt Col Ed Fenton, said: "It was with deep regret that we learned of the tragic death of L/Cpl Darren Lackie whilst on much deserved leave in Faro, Portugal.

"In L/Cpl Lackie, 3 Scots has lost one of its young rising stars who had already taken the first steps towards higher rank and greater responsibility.

"Having completed an operational tour of Afghanistan with the 3 Scots battle group in 2009, he was training in preparation for a possible return to Afghanistan later this year.

"Bright, enthusiastic, brave and entirely professional, he was a very popular member of B Company and the battalion."

He added: "L/Cpl Lackie will be very much missed by us all and his many close friends in B Company in particular.

"He leaves behind a loving family and girlfriend who are very much in our thoughts and prayers."

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