Page last updated at 14:33 GMT, Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Scores in tribute to 100th casualty of war in 2009


Large numbers of people turned out in Bury St Edmunds

The funeral of the 100th soldier killed during 2009 while on duty in Afghanistan has taken place in Suffolk.

Lance Corporal Adam Drane, 23, of the Royal Anglian Regiment, was shot in Helmand Province on 7 December.

His funeral at St Mary's Church, in his home town of Bury St Edmunds, was led by Fr Alex Strachan, chaplain to 1st Battalion, Royal Anglian Regiment.

Scores of people paid tribute and members of the public lined the streets for the funeral service.

Vicar Malcolm Rogers told Lance Corporal Drane's family the people of Britain were "proud" of soldiers like him and his comrades.

More than 500 mourners packed into the church, led by L/Cpl Drane's father Desmond, mother Jacqueline, brother Christopher and fiancee Sian Goodenough.

"We know this is one service you never wish to attend," Mr Rogers told the soldier's family.

L/Cpl Adam Drane
L/Cpl Adam Drane was described as an "effective and humble leader"

"I hope you know how proud the people of Suffolk, indeed the people of this country, are of your son."

One of L/Cpl Drane's colleagues said earlier that he died doing the job he loved but would be sorely missed by fellow Vikings, the name of his battalion in the Royal Anglian Regiment.

Sergeant Wayne Ward said: "His family and his comrades are so proud of Adam and now they just want to be left to grieve."

Major Chelsea Hall said the battalion would get on with their professional job once a few tears had been shed.

A military guard of honour from The Royal Anglians formed at the entrance to the church in Honey Hill to welcome the funeral cortege.

L/Cpl Drane's parents have said: "No words could adequately describe what our loss means to us."

They added that they wanted to honour his chosen profession "which taught him the true meaning of courage and self-sacrifice".

Friends described him as a kind and loving man who never stopped talking about his fiancee.

His colleagues said he had been "an extremely kind individual who had a wonderful sense of humour".

Maj Chris Barry, of 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, said: "His quiet and intelligent personality made him an effective and humble leader.

"His love of music, warm sense of humour and fun were appreciated by everybody and his death is felt by all."

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