Kent

Funeral for 'friendly fire' soldier Mark Smith

A Kent soldier killed in what is thought to have been a friendly fire incident in Afghanistan has been buried with full military honours.

Sapper Mark Smith, 26, from Swanley, served with 36 Engineer Regiment, based in Maidstone.

His funeral took place at St Martin of Tours Church, Eynsford, earlier.

Sapper Smith died in Helmand Province on 26 July. It is thought he was caught in an explosion after a shell landed short of its intended target.

The funeral was conducted by Padre Patrick Aldridge, Chaplain to the Royal Engineers, and a public address system transmitted the service to people outside.

Sapper Smith was part of a search team supporting 40 Commando Royal Marines Battlegroup, Combined Force Sangin, carrying out a clearance of improvised explosive devices when he was killed.

He joined the Corps of Royal Engineers in 2001 and was posted to 36 Engineer Regiment a year later. When he died he was working as a searcher in the Royal Engineer Search Team.

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