Afghanistan bomb victim soldiers remembered

A candle was lit for each fallen soldier during the service at Halifax Minster

A service of remembrance has taken place at Halifax Minster to commemorate the lives of the six soldiers who died in Afghanistan.

Six candles were lit on the alter during the service led by Canon Hilary Barber, the vicar of Halifax Minster.

Canon Barber said they were there to "offer our solidarity with those soldiers who died".

The troops, including five from 3 Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, died on Tuesday.

The colours of the Yorkshire Regiment hang in the Minister where a book of condolence was opened on Thursday.

The dead were Cpl Jake Hartley, 20; Pte Anthony Frampton, 20; Pte Christopher Kershaw, 19; Pte Daniel Wade, 20; Pte Daniel Wilford, 21, and Sgt Nigel Coupe, 33, who were killed when their Warrior armoured vehicle was hit.

The five younger men were from 3 Battalion while Sgt Coupe was on secondment to the regiment from 1 Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

Pte Wilford, Pte Frampton and Cpl Hartley came from Huddersfield and Pte Kershaw came from Bradford.

Pte Wade was from Warrington in Cheshire and Sgt Coupe from St Annes in Lancashire.

Canon Barber said the candles were to "remind us of the six soldiers who died for their Queen and country during this past week".

From the service

About 700 worshippers came to Halifax Minster to pay their respects at this quietly dignified service of remembrance.

Hymns such as The Lord Is My Shepherd and Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer echoed among the stones of this 900-year-old church.

Silence fell as the names of the six dead soldiers were read out and the vicar of Halifax, Canon Hilary Barber, lit a candle in memory of each of them.

One former soldier told me that today was "just the beginning", and there would be more mourning when the soldiers were brought home.

As worshippers filed out the mother of one young soldier about to go to Afghanistan, said she had "taken strength from the service".

He spoke lines from Anthem For A Doomed Youth by First World War poet Wilfred Owen, which he said was a reminder of how young the victims of war can be.

The Minster's chapel, he said, showed "hard won" victories, whether it be "Waterloo, the Crimea or Afghanistan" and that war comes with a cost, "paid for with lives lost and taken".

"We deeply care for people who give their lives for Queen and country and for those left behind to mourn," he said.

The service, a multi-faith event, included readings from members of the Hindi and Muslim communities.

Raja Taufiq Khan, a faith ambassador for the Calderdale area, read Islamic prayers, telling the congregation: "As a member of the Muslim community, I offer my sincere condolences, my heartfelt grief and sorrow for the death of six soldiers who gave their lives for peace in the world."

Among the floral tributes was a white rose, the historic symbol of the county of Yorkshire, with the message: "RIP Lads. Gone but never forgotten. Watch over the rest of the lads".

The bodies of the men are expected to be repatriated on Thursday.

In Bradford a minute-long silence was held for Pte Kershaw at St Paul's in Buttershaw and the troops were remembered at services across the Bradford district.

Huddersfield Parish Church held prayers during the morning services at 08:00 and 10:00 GMT.

Eight churches across the Holme Valley were also open for prayers.

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