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Funeral of 'finest' serviceman

7 August 07 14:02 GMT

A 24-year-old Flintshire airman who was killed in a mortar attack in Iraq has been buried with full military honours.

The funeral of Senior Aircraftman Peter McFerran, who died alongside two RAF servicemen near Basra in July, was in his hometown of Connah's Quay.

Following his death, his father Robert called on Prime Minister Gordon Brown to start withdrawing British troops.

Mr McFerran was described by his commanding officer as "utterly dependable" and "one of our finest".

He and colleagues Matthew Caulwell, 22, and Christopher Dunsmore, 29, were at an airbase resting from their duties protecting aircraft operating from Basra airport when they came under attack on 19 July.

Mr McFerran, a heavy machine gun operator with 1 Squadron RAF Regiment, had followed his father, now a college lecturer, into the RAF in 2004.

Speaking just before his son's body was flown back to the UK last month, Robert McFerran described him as "brave" and "patriotic".

Tributes were also paid by Officer Commanding No 1 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment, Squadron Leader Jason Sutton.

He said of Mr McFerran: "As his squadron commander I knew I could rely on him not only for the consummate skill he brought to the job but also for his honest, incisive opinion.

"His job was his life, his hobby, everything, and in Pete we have lost one of our finest."

The funeral was at St Mark's Parish Church, conducted by Major Mark McKenzie of the Salvation Army.

Mr McFerran's parents Robert and Ann had asked for donations in their son's memory go to No 1 Squadron RAF Regiment Fund and the Salvation Army.

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