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Last Updated: Friday, 10 November 2006, 16:33 GMT
Funeral for Cornish Nimrod victim
Flt Lt Gareth Nicholas
Flt Lt Gareth Nicholas leaves a wife and daughter
The funeral has taken place of a Cornish airman who died in a plane crash in Afghanistan in September.

Flt Lt Gareth Nicholas, 40, from Newquay, was among 14 service personnel killed when an RAF Nimrod MR2 came down near Kandahar.

The funeral service was held at St Columb Minor Church, near Newquay.

Flt Lt Nicholas, who was married with a 10-year-old daughter, was one of 12 RAF crew on the plane. A Royal Marine and an army soldier were also on board.

'Seasoned maritime aviator'

It was the biggest loss for the RAF since a Hercules was shot down by enemy forces in Iraq two years previously.

Flt Lt Nicholas had served at RAF St Mawgan, near Newquay, before being posted to RAF Kinloss where he lived with his wife, Helen, and daughter, Athena. His parents and one of his sisters still live in Cornwall.

During the service, 10-year-old Athena read out a poem that she had written in memory of her father.

Gareth Nicholas's coffin with St Piran's flag
Flt Lt Nicholas's coffin was draped in St Piran's flag after the service
His wife described him as a fun-loving, caring, enthusiastic and energetic man who doted on his daughter. They had just celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary.

His coffin was draped in a union jack flag into the church, but his Cornish roots were acknowledged by its being draped in a St Piran's flag as it was brought out after the service.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "Flt Lt Gareth Nicholas was a seasoned maritime aviator, an experienced professional weapons systems officer and a former acoustics operator.

"Over the years, Gareth's cheerful and easy-going nature made him many friends in the maritime fleet and in the wider community."


SEE ALSO
Tributes given to Nimrod victim
04 Sep 06 |  Cornwall
Kinloss healing process under way
04 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles
RAF base 'in mourning' over crash
03 Sep 06 |  North East/N Isles

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