Page last updated at 20:50 GMT, Friday, 19 February 2010

Hereford soldier, 21, mourned at funeral

Hereford Cathedral
About 1,000 people were inside Hereford Cathedral for the service

More than 1,000 mourners have gathered to pay their respects to a Hereford soldier who died in Afghanistan.

L/Cpl Daniel Cooper, 21, of 3rd Battalion The Rifles, was killed as he tried to clear a path south of the Sangin district in northern Helmand.

The funeral was held with full military honours at Hereford Cathedral and a similar number lined the streets of the city.

It was followed by a private service at Hereford Crematorium.

'Very kind'

L/Cpl Cooper's parents, Karl and Caroline Cooper, have previously said he was a "caring son, brother and partner" who would be "sadly missed".

Reverend Jonathan Hyde, The Rifles chaplain, said: "There are a lot of soldiers who come from this area and it could have been any one of them.

L/Cpl Daniel Cooper
L/Cpl Daniel Cooper was killed in Helmand province

"I think this is really where the military community have flocked together along with so many people who are supporting the British troops in Afghanistan at this time."

Captain Palmer Winstanley, platoon commander, described L/Cpl Cooper, who was killed on 24 January, as "absolutely brilliant".

He said: "He was a very, very kind man, always smiling.

"No matter what the circumstances were, and you can guess we had some pretty hard times out there, he was absolutely fantastic."

Brigadier Richard Toomey said: "Dan was clearly a committed, dedicated, brave soldier and rifleman, who we're immensely proud of and his family are as well."

L/Cpl Cooper went to Whitecross High School before joining the Army and deploying to Afghanistan in October last year.



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