Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Friday, 6 February 2009

Funeral for Afghan death marine

The coffin of Corporal Danny Winter is carried from his funeral service at St George's Church
Hundreds of mourners attended Cpl Winter's funeral

More than 600 people attended the funeral of a Royal Marine from Greater Manchester who was killed in an explosion in Afghanistan.

Cpl Danny Winter, 28, a mortar expert for 45 Commando, died in a suspected "friendly fire" incident in central Helmand province on 14 January.

His funeral took place at St George's Church in Heaviley.

Cpl Winter, from Marple, Stockport, was taking part in an operation to clear a Taleban stronghold when he was killed.

Capt Tom Sawyer, 26, of the Royal Artillery, from Hertfordshire, was also killed in the explosion and two other members of their patrol were injured.

They had been taking part in a joint operation with Danish forces and the Afghan National Army to clear a known Taliban stronghold.

Cpl Winter was given full military honours by the Royal Marines.

His mother, Carolyn Hughes, his father Malcolm, three brothers, stepfather Jez Arthur and other family, friends and fellow Royal Marines said a final farewell at the service on Friday.

Fellow marine and friend, Cpl Adam Swainston, gave a personal tribute.

Corporal Danny Winter
Cpl Danny Winter was killed in an explosion in Helmand province

"It was his sense of humour, his beaming smile, infectious laugh and his ability to put everyone else before himself," he said.

"He managed to touch the hearts of everyone he came across."

Cpl Swainston said he would be "talked about and toasted for the rest of our lives".

A tribute read on behalf of his mother spoke of her "treasured memories" of her eldest son, of how he was born a "perfect, beautiful, blond-haired baby" and grew to be a man who "always possessed true grit".

She said the British serviceman who may be responsible was now himself a "casualty" of war and sought no retribution for her son's death.

Cpl Winter had a girlfriend of two years, Amanda, from Arbroath, who he met while 45 Commando was stationed in Scotland.

A party of old soldiers with the Royal British Legion lowered their flags as his coffin, draped in the Union Flag, was carried into the church by a bearing party of six Royal Marine colleagues.

His coffin was then carried to the crematorium next to the church and a firing party delivered a gunfire salute before a Royal Marine bugler played the Last Post and Reveille.

An investigation by the Ministry of Defence has been launched into the suspected "blue on blue" incident involving other British forces.



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