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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 17:36 GMT
Funeral for 100th conflict death
Funeral of Cpl Pritchard
Cpl Pritchard's wife Julie-Anne (far right) walks behind his coffin
Hundreds of people have attended the funeral of the 100th British serviceman to die in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

Corporal Gordon Pritchard, 31, who served with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, died in a blast in Umm Qasr, Basra province, on 31 January.

He was killed instantly and three other soldiers were hurt, one seriously.

The funeral for the married father of three from Edinburgh took place at St Nicholas and Writhington Church, in Radstock, Somerset.

About 250 family, friends and colleagues gathered for the service on Monday afternoon.

People lined the route to the church as six soldiers from Cpl Pritchard's regiment carried his coffin into the church. It was draped in the Union flag, with his regimental cap on top.

His wife Julie-Anne and parents Jenny and Bill led mourners as lone piper, Sgt Jimmy Johnston, played.

He was the epitome of the modern, professional soldier
Lt Col Ben Edwards

The corporal's commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Ben Edwards, told the mourners: "Cpl Pritchard had a quick sense of humour and a witty turn of phrase. He was naturally friendly with a positive and unaffected smile. He was a man who got on with everyone.

"He lived life to the full. There were two loves in his life. The first was for Julie-Ann and his family, that was the most enduring love. His second love was the Army and his career.

"He was the epitome of the modern, professional soldier. He enjoyed immense respect from the soldiers under him. He was a very compassionate man. He was courageous, supportive, never shirking responsibility."

'Extremely proud'

The Reverend Colin Turner and former Army chaplain Father Dick White led the private service.

Cpl Pritchard's coffin was carried out of the church by soldiers from his regiment as the piper played Flowers Of The Forest.

His wife and parents followed his coffin out into the graveyard and family and close friends left for a private cremation in Bath, with full military honours.

Cpl Pritchard was commanding the lead Land Rover in a three-vehicle convoy which was on a routine rations and water run when there was an explosion.

Tony Blair with Cpl Pritchard
The prime minister met Cpl Pritchard when he was in Basra

He joined the Army at the age of 17 in 1992 and served in Kosovo before training in Canada.

He is survived by his wife and three children - Stacey, Harrison and Summer.

In a statement issued shortly after his death, Cpl Pritchard's parents said he was "extremely proud" of his regiment and he had followed in a family tradition by serving with the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards.

They said: "He was a well-trained, well-motivated soldier serving in a regiment that he was extremely proud of, as did his father and elder brother.

"He was a loving son, and a very proud family man, and he will be deeply missed by us all."

It emerged that Cpl Pritchard had been pictured with Tony Blair when the prime minister visited a base near Basra in December.

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