Page last updated at 11:52 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 12:52 UK

Full honours for Army dog handler

Kenneth Rowe funeral
Mourners gathered both inside and outside St Bartholomew's Church

The funeral of a British Army dog handler killed in Afghanistan has been held in Newcastle.

L/Cpl Kenneth Rowe of the Royal Army Veterinary Corps, had been due to leave front line duties, but requested to stay on.

He and his explosives sniffer dog Sasha were killed after coming under Taleban fire in Helmand last month.

The funeral of the 24-year-old, who had a young daughter, was held with full military honours in Longbenton.

L/Cpl Rowe was attached to the 2nd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment.

On 23 July, the day before he was due to return to Tyneside, he opted to remain in Helmand because he was worried about the lack of cover.

He was killed the next day.

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The funeral of Lance Corporal Kenneth Rowe

Hundreds of friends, family and Army colleagues attended L/Cpl Rowe's funeral, with the service relayed via speakers to mourners gathered outside.

Speaking at the funeral, Maj Chris Ham of the Veterinary Corps, said: "He was a thoroughly lovely lad, a very professional, dedicated soldier and equally a very professional and dedicated dog handler.

"He was a brave, likeable young lad and very respected by everybody."

In a posting on the social networking site Facebook, L/Cpl Rowe's partner Helen Bell, 23, with whom he had a daughter Hannah, wrote: "Love you Ken, watch over Hannah for me, she will learn all about her daddy the hero."

The funeral was being followed by a private cremation on Friday afternoon.




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