James Townley: Somerset funeral for 'hero' soldier

Capt James Townley
Image caption Capt Townley died two weeks after being deployed to Afghanistan

The funeral of a soldier from Somerset who was killed in Afghanistan has taken place.

Capt James Townley, who grew up in Barton St David, died after a shooting incident on 21 September.

The 28 Engineer Regiment, Corps of Royal Engineers, soldier would have turned 30 the following day.

A guard of honour was held as some 250 people, including family, friends and colleagues, attended the funeral at St Peter's Church in West Lydford.

'Guardian angel'

His father, Peter Townley, gave a eulogy during the funeral and his mother, Jacqui, shared a bible reading.

Tributes were also paid to him by school friend James Read, university friend Neil Slinger and colleague Capt Richard Pearce

The vicar of St Peter's, Reverend Trevor Cranshaw, said: "He was a young man full of the joys of life, and all the tributes just reflected the joy he had - for living, adventure, and excitement.

"He was held in great love and great respect by so many people."

Cpt Townley died in Camp Bastion, Helmand province, from wounds sustained whilst serving at Forward Operating Base Shawqat.

Image caption The funeral took place in West Lydford

His death is not believed to be the result of hostile fire and an inquest date is yet to be arranged.

Mr and Mrs Townley, brother Nick, and girlfriend Helen, described him as "a wonderful, loving and caring son and brother" and "our guardian angel and our hero".

Cpt Townley had deployed to Afghanistan on 5 September and his body was repatriated back to the UK just over three weeks later.

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