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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 August, 2004, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Hundreds attend soldier's funeral
Colleagues carry Private Ferns' coffin at the church
Colleagues carry Private Ferns' coffin at the church
Hundreds of mourners have attended the funeral of a Scottish soldier who was killed in Iraq.

Private Marc Ferns, 21, died after an improvised bomb attack in the southern city of Basra on 12 August.

Colleagues from the Black Watch regiment were among those who gathered for the service at the Christ Kirk in his home town of Glenrothes.

The Reverend Alan Sharp said Pte Ferns had been working on a difficult task with "courage and professionalism".

The soldier, who was the third generation of his family to serve in the Black Watch, was killed during his second tour of duty in Iraq.

Marc was just 21, a fine young man, with a good and easy-going nature that made him many friends
Reverend Alan Sharp
He had previously served there with the regiment during the initial period of major combat operations in the spring of 2003.

After his death, Pte Ferns' mother Christine Morgan urged Prime Minister Tony Blair to bring British troops home.

She said she had not wanted her son to return to Iraq, adding that she would give "every penny in this world to have him here".

A bearer party, a piper and bugler provided full military honours at the ceremony on Thursday.

A picture of Private Marc Ferns, released by the army
Pte Ferns was killed in Basra
Mr Sharp said Pte Ferns was a loving son, grandson brother and a devoted father to his 15-month-old daughter Amy Louise.

He told mourners that as a youngster his ambition had been to join the armed forces, which he did at the age of 17.

"He was very proud to serve in the Black Watch," said Mr Sharp.

"Marc was just 21, a fine young man, with a good and easy-going nature that made him many friends.

"Marc was serving with his regiment in Basra, working with courage and professionalism in a dangerous task, preventing a very difficult situation from disintegrating into anarchy and civil war."

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