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Last Updated: Monday, 4 April, 2005, 18:41 GMT 19:41 UK
Funeral held for air crash victim
Picture of Mark Gibson's funeral
Flt Sgt Gibson died when the plane crashed 20 miles from Baghdad
The funeral of Flight Sergeant Mark Gibson, one of the 10 servicemen who died when a Hercules aircraft crashed in Iraq, has been held in Wiltshire.

Family, friends, and colleagues from the 47 Squadron, based at RAF Lyneham, gathered at St Mary's Church, Lydiard Park, Swindon, for the service.

The 34-year-old married father-of-one was stationed at Lyneham for 16 years.

The funeral of fellow crew member Sgt Robert O'Conner was also held on Monday in Staffordshire.

Both men died when the RAF C-130K Hercules came down 20 miles north-west of Baghdad on 30 January.

The crash - the single largest loss of British life in Iraq since military action began in 2003 - happened on the day Iraq held historic elections.

Flt Sgt Mark Gibson
Flt Sgt Gibson leaves a wife and seven-year-old daughter

'A true character'

The cause is still being investigated.

Flt Sgt Gibson started his Hercules career in 1989.

An Air Load Master, he progressed to become an instructor and was also awarded Operational Service Medals after seeing action in Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq.

After his death, colleagues paid tribute to a man they described as "one of life's entertainers, a true character, a real giver - never a taker".

Flt Sgt Gibson, who lived in Swindon, leaves a wife and seven-year-old daughter.

Also killed in the crash were: Flt Lt David Stead, 35; Flt Lt Andrew Smith, 25; Flt Lt Paul Pardoel, 35; Master Engineer Gary Nicholson, 42; Chief Technician Richard Brown, 40; Cpl David Williams, 37; Sqn Ldr Patrick Marshall, 39; Acting L/Cpl Steven Jones, 25.

Three of the crew members' funerals have yet to be held. A memorial service is due to held within the next three weeks.

Hercules performs funeral fly-by
01 Apr 05 |  Wiltshire
Funeral of airman killed in Iraq
30 Mar 05 |  Lincolnshire
Hercules 'sent distress signal'
23 Mar 05 |  Wiltshire

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