Hundreds at funeral of Navy officer
Hundreds of mourners from admiral to able seaman have joined mourners and heartbroken family for the funeral of a Royal Navy officer shot dead on a nuclear submarine.
Lieutenant Commander Ian Molyneux, 36, from Standish, Wigan, a father of four, died after being shot during an incident on board HMS Astute when it was docked in Southampton on April 8.
Gillian, his wife, accompanied his four children at the funeral service at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in his home town of Wigan.
Royal Navy sailors in uniform, many colleagues of Lt Cdr Molyneux during his 20 years in the Senior Service, lined the streets outside as the funeral cortege arrived for the midday service.
Touchingly Lt Cdr Molyneux's two eldest son's proudly displayed their own military uniforms; Jamie, 13, wore his Marine cadet's uniform and his grandfather's campaign medals, and Arron, 12, wore his own Navy Cadet uniform.
The boys flanked their mother, who clutched the hands of her two youngest children, Bethany, six and three-year-old Charlie, who was wearing a Wigan Warriors RLFC kit. Mrs Molyneux smiled and in turn stroked the cheeks of her elder sons, but other mourners were not so brave, with many filing into church in tears.
Veterans from the Royal British Legion gave the funeral cortege a guard of honour, old soldiers, sailors and airmen, standing to attention, as the pine coffin, draped in a Union flag with Lt Cdr Molyneux's naval cap and a single rose atop, was carried into church by six pall bearers, all friends and shipmates of the officer.
A card inside the hearse, amongst the floral tributes read: "My darling Ian, I will love you always, you will forever remain in my heart until we meet again, sleep well my forever love."
Another card read: "Dear Dad, you are the greatest dad in the world, I am proud to be your son, I will forever miss you, Jamie."
Alongside a third card from Arron read: "I miss you, I love you, I will never forget you dad."