England

Funeral for marine David O'Connor after Afghanistan death

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Media captionHundreds of people gathered outside the church to listen to the service

The funeral of a Royal Marine who was fatally injured in a gun battle in Afghanistan has taken place in Hampshire.

Cpl David O'Connor, 27, of 40 Commando, and Cpl Channing Day, 25, of 3 Medical Regiment, were killed on 24 October.

They were shot in a suspected attack by an off-duty Afghan policeman in Helmand's Nahr-e Saraj district.

Hundreds of people lined the streets of Cpl O'Connor's home town of Havant to pay their respects.

The main shopping street in Havant was closed to allow the cortege to pass through the town centre before a funeral service at St Faith's Church, the same church where Cpl O'Connor was christened.

The people who had gathered outside could hear the service through loud speakers.

'Exceptionally sharp'

Addressing the service, Cpl O'Connor's brother Philip said: "I honestly believe that my brother is a true hero in every sense of the word.

"To have been taken at such a young age is truly heart-breaking.

Image copyright MOD
Image caption Cpl David O'Connor, who joined the Royal Marines aged 17, was on patrol when he was shot

"But I think we can all take solace from the fact that I think he lived his life at 100 miles per hour. There was never a dull moment."

The church service was followed by a private family committal in Chichester.

Cpl O'Connor's commanding officer, Capt Steve Taylor, of Taunton-based 40 Commando, said: "David was utterly professional, and exceptionally sharp when it counted. He was the social epicentre of the troop.

"His ability to both inspire, and reduce you to tears of laughter within the same conversation was irreplaceable. As we press on, we will forever miss that unmistakable smile."

Across the Nato coalition, more than 60 soldiers have been killed so far this year by their Afghan colleagues in "green-on-blue" attacks.

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