Funeral for North Yorkshire Soldier

22 November 2011, 18:49

Hundreds of mourners packed a North Yorkshire village church for the funeral of a 21-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan just a few months after joining the Army.

Private Matthew Haseldin, from 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, was shot and killed while in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province on November 3.

School friends, fellow soldiers and family members packed St Alkelda's Church, Giggleswick, for the full military funeral.

He was remembered by his uncle, Barry Thompson, as someone who loved Manchester United and being with his family and friends.

``He was very competitive at everything he did. He wanted to be the best at everything he did,'' he told the mourners.

He said he was ``no quitter'' and had made his parents extremely proud when he joined the Army.

He told mourners of the various jobs his nephew had before joining the Army, including a stint as a hotel entertainer in Cyprus.

Mourners applauded when the tributes had finished.

Pte Haseldin was part of an operation to maintain freedom of movement for the local population when the group was attacked by insurgents.

His patrol was carrying out a check when they came under sustained fire.

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