Funeral For Huddersfield Blast Soldier

4 May 2012, 10:05

A soldier who died in a bomb attack in Afghanistan has been described as a “quiet, unassuming character” by one of his commanding officers at his funeral in Huddersfield.

21 year old Private Daniel Wilford, of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, died alongside five colleagues on March 6.

Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Christopher Kershaw, 19, Private Daniel Wade, 20, and Private Anthony Frampton, 20, all also of 3 Yorks, and Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, were also killed in the attack.

The soldiers, who had been in Afghanistan for only a few weeks, were killed when their Warrior armoured vehicle was blown up by a massive improvised explosive device about 25 miles north of the capital of Helmand province, Lashkar Gah.

The force of the Taliban blast - the deadliest single attack on British forces in Afghanistan since 2001 - turned the Warrior upside down and blew off its gun turret.

Speaking before Pte Wilford's funeral, Major Malcolm Birkett, the commanding officer of the 3 Yorks still based in the UK, described him as “an outstanding guy to be around, a fantastic shot that really, really epitomised everything that is right about the infantry soldier.”

Hundreds of people lined the streets around Huddersfield Parish Church for the funeral. They applauded as the hearse carrying Pte Wilford's coffin, draped in the Union flag, drove past and as the coffin was carried out of the church and placed into a hearse to be taken to a private cremation.

The funerals of Cpl Hartley and Sgt Coupe were held last month and the funerals of the other soldiers killed in the explosion will follow later this month.

Pte Wilford, from Huddersfield, joined the Army at the age of 16 but left after a few weeks, to rejoin, with 3 Yorks, in April 2010.

He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Diane and Paul Sharples, his brother, Alex, and his grandparents.

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