L/Cpl Scott Hetherington buried with full military honours

The coffin for Lance Corporal Scott Hetherington is carried from All Saints and Martyrs Church in Middleton, Greater Manchester following a Military funeral Image copyright PA

Hundreds of mourners have paid tribute to a British soldier who died in an accidental shooting in Iraq.

L/Cpl Scott Hetherington, 22, died at Camp Taji, north of Baghdad, on 2 January, while training local forces fighting so-called Islamic State (IS).

The funeral, with full military honours, was held in his hometown of Middleton, Greater Manchester, earlier.

The father of one, who was nicknamed "Snowball", had been in Iraq for a month when he died.

Image copyright MoD

His death was described by Minister of State for the Armed Forces Mike Penning as a "tragic accident". A Ministry of Defence investigation is under way.

The soldier's partner Savannah Brown, and his parents Anne and Jason Hetherington, walked behind the hearse bearing floral tributes.

Hundreds waited outside All Saints and Martyrs Church for the start of the service, as a guard of honour of his comrades from the 2nd Battalion Duke of Lancaster Regiment stood to attention.

Image copyright PA

Six soldiers from his unit acted as pall-bearers as his coffin, draped in the union flag, was taken into the church.

Fr Philip Miller read a short eulogy by the soldier's mother, who said she felt like she "could burst with pride".

She promised his young daughter, born in October, would "know her daddy, love her daddy and be proud of her daddy".

Image copyright PA

L/Cpl Hetherington is the first UK soldier to die in Iraq in almost eight years.

He was one of 150 soldiers from his battalion deployed to Iraq in Britain's effort to combat IS.

His battalion was providing protection to other British troops training the local security forces in infantry skills, weapons maintenance, medical, engineering and counter IED measures.

L/Cpl Hetherington was a member of Blenheim Company and was a vehicle commander in the Force Protection Platoon. His regiment is based at Weeton Barracks near Blackpool.

Image copyright PA

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