Mum’s tears for her ‘warrior’ soldier son
The mother of a teenage soldier who became the 250th member of the British armed forces to die during the Afghanistan conflict wept as she described him as her “warrior” at his funeral.
Rifleman Peter Aldridge (19), of A Company 4 Rifles, was serving as part of 3 Rifles Battle Group when he died in an explosion near Sangin in central Helmand Province on January 22.
He was killed while on foot patrol as part of an operation to provide security for the local population in Sangin.
The teenager, from Folkestone, Kent, was on his first tour of duty. His last words to the medic treating him before he died were to tell his mother, Caroline, that he loved her. She wept as she stood in the pulpit with Rfn Aldridge's father, Andrew, and his younger brother Matthew, who took turns to pay tribute to him at the funeral at Holy Trinity Church in Folkestone.
Matthew (14) said Rfn Aldridge was “more than my brother, he was my best friend” while his mother described him as “my warrior and my protector”.
Hundreds of mourners attended the funeral, which was given with full military honours. During the hour-long service a eulogy was made by his commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Rupert Jones, who said he “embraced the mantra of being a Rifleman”.
Meanwhile, another British soldier has died in an explosion in Afghanistan.
The soldier, from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, was killed while on foot patrol in Babaji District in central Helmand Province yesterday morning.
Next of kin have been informed.
The number of British troops who have died in the Afghan conflict since 2001 now stands at 257.