[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC News in video and audio
Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 12:16 GMT 13:16 UK
Comrades' tribute to dead soldier
Pallbearers carry the coffin of Lance Corporal Jonathan Hetherington
Members of the regiment carried the coffin into church
More than 250 soldiers have paid tribute to a fallen colleague in a full military service in Port Talbot.

Lance Corporal Jonathan Hetherington, 22, from 14 Signal Regiment based in Pembrokeshire, was shot dead in Afghanistan on 27 August.

His commanding officer vowed to continue fighting the "evil" forces responsible for taking his life.

Twelve soldiers formed an honour guard as his coffin draped in the union flag was carried into St Theodore's Church.

Friends and colleagues of L/Cpl Hetherington flew in from as far afield as Germany and Ireland and across the UK to pay tribute to him.

Lance Corporal Jonathan Hetherington
Jon has shown us all the true measure of himself
L/Cpl Sean Greener on L/Cpl Hetherington

His parents Sandra and Steven Hetherington, their heads bowed, led the mourners into church.

The soldier was the 14th British soldier to be killed in action in Afghanistan since November 2001.

He died during an attack on his platoon house in Musa Qaleh, in the northern Helmand province of Afghanistan.

Regimental Commanding Officer Lt Col Steve Vickery said L/Cpl Hetherington's death was the third tragedy for the regiment in two months.

He added: "Now is not the time or the place to debate the politics of the campaign in Afghanistan.

"Dark, satanic forces here and abroad seek to undermine the way we and our fellow people wish to live and, through Jon's inspiration and action, we are slowly but steadily smothering these evil forces.

A colleague pays his respects at L/Cpl Hetherington's funeral
Friends and colleagues paid tribute to him

"Jon was at the forefront of this fight and we can live in awe at his courage and commitment."

L/Cpl Hetherington's best friend L/ Cpl Sean Greener also paid tribute.

He said he had volunteered to fight in Afghanistan as soon as the opportunity had arisen.

"Those of us who were lucky enough to know Jon have seen the two sides of him- the Jon who liked to socialise and Jon the soldier," he said.

"Jon was keen to take up the challenges he knew he would face in Afghanistan, and volunteered to get into the thick of things when the opportunity came.

"Jon has shown us all the true measure of himself," added L/Cpl Greener.

The dead soldier, from 14 Signal Regiment based in Pembrokeshire, joined the Army in September 2000 and was trained as a radio operator.

The 14 Signal Regiment, based at Cawdor Barracks, Brawdy, specialises in electronic warfare including jamming communications.






FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific