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Soldiers remember fallen comrade

Soldiers have lined the streets of an Army garrison as a fallen comrade was laid to rest.

Corporal Matthew James Stenton, of the Royal Dragoon Guards, was killed by small arms fire after insurgents shot a fellow serviceman in the Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province.

Family, friends and colleagues packed the Garrison Memorial Church at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire to pay their respects to the 23-year-old.

After the service a committal was taking place at nearby Hipswell Military Cemetery at the request of his family.

Cpl Stenton's colleague, Lance Corporal Stephen Daniel Monkhouse, 28, of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, was killed in the same incident as he joined Cpl Stenton in the rescue bid.

During the fight, Cpl Stenton manoeuvred a Viking armoured vehicle to help remove the wounded soldier, while L/Cpl Monkhouse, the gunner of a Coyote vehicle, provided support. But the two were killed in ensuing gunfire.

Cpl Stenton, from Wakefield, West Yorkshire, leaves behind his father and stepmother, Michael and Gillian, and sister Charlotte.

Cpl Stenton's coffin, draped in a Union flag, was carried into the church with his regimental cap and belt and a wreath of poppies placed on to. A flag outside the church was flown at half-mast.

More than 300 mourners packed the church to pay tribute to the "brilliant lad".

Mourners were told during the 45-minute service that he joined the Army three weeks after leaving school. After an initial short spell with the Parachute Regiment he joined the Royal Dragoon Guards where his sense of humour made him a popular member.


From Belfast Telegraph