Funeral in Peterborough Cathedral for dead soldier

The funeral of a soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan has taken place at Peterborough Cathedral.

Warrant Officer Class 2 (Company Sergeant Major) Colin Beckett, from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, was killed by a bomb on 5 February.

The 36-year-old died when an improvised explosive device (IED) blew up as he was moving into position to cover his comrades.

A gun salute took place in the cathedral precincts.

Sgt Maj Beckett, who was based in Colchester, Essex, joined the Army in 1990 and was known as "Tom". He was originally from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and had served in Iraq, Kosovo and Northern Ireland.

Sgt Maj Beckett's wife Rachel gave birth to their first child, Freya, shortly after his death. The little girl was at the service.

His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel James Coates, said: "Warrant Officer Class 2 Colin Beckett was one of the most talented sergeant majors of his generation.

"With a long and distinguished career spanning countless deployments and three tours in Afghanistan, he represented the very essence of a paratrooper - professional to the core, devoted to his men and hugely respected.

"He was a family man and a true gentleman. But most of all, to us, he will be remembered as a fellow paratrooper and trusted friend who unconditionally gave his all in life."

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