Afghanistan death soldier Ian Fisher funeral held

Ian Fisher funeral
Image caption WO2 Fisher received a full military funeral at Lichfield Cathedral
Ian Fisher funeral
Image caption Soldiers from the Mercian Regiment formed a guard of honour
Floral tribute
Image caption There were floral tributes from his regiment, friends and family

Hundreds of people have gathered for the funeral of a British soldier killed in a suicide attack in Afghanistan.

Warrant Officer class 2 Ian Michael Fisher, 42, from Barking, east London died last month in a car bomb explosion in Kamparack, Helmand.

Soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, formed a guard of honour as his coffin was carried into Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire.

Close friend Capt Matt Odell said he would be "sorely missed."

"He was one of the key members in the warrant officers mess and his whole family was involved in everything that goes on in the military community, he was a great person," Capt Odell said.

Spontaneous applause

A number of floral tributes from family, friends and the regiment were placed outside the church.

Image caption WO2 Fisher is the eighth British solider killed in Afghanistan this year

They included one in the shape of a fish, which was WO2 Fisher's nickname, and the 3rd Battalion's symbol, the Staffordshire knot.

Capt Mick Whillock said: "I've known him over 20 years and he was like a brother in that sense.

"As much as there is remorse and sadness there are elements of joy because you see old comrades come to pay their respects and that's the greatest honour to pay for the calibre of the man who's left us all behind."

BBC reporter John Collins said that when the funeral cortege left the cathedral a spontaneous round of applause broke out from 100 people who were waiting outside.

Following the service, there was a private burial at a plot in the cathedral grounds.

WO2 Fisher leaves his wife, Emma, sons, James and William, and his parents, Simon and Helen.

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