Huntingdon soldier's funeral with full military honours
OVER 500 mourners paid their respects on Monday at the funeral of a volunteer soldier shot dead in Afghanistan who had dreamed of becoming a leader of men . He wrote a blog just days before he was killed stating that his unit was still waiting for
OVER 500 mourners paid their respects on Monday at the funeral of a volunteer soldier shot dead in Afghanistan who had dreamed of becoming ''a leader of men''.
He wrote a blog just days before he was killed stating that his unit was still waiting for life-saving body armour to arrive.
Rifleman Andrew Ian Fentiman, 23, of 7th Battalion The Rifles, worked in Huntingdon at Team Studio Ltd, a software company based at Hinchingbrooke Business Park. He lived in Oakington.
He was killed by small arms fire while on foot patrol in Helmand Province on November 15.
The Territorial Army soldier had volunteered to serve with 3 Rifles Battle Group. His ambition was to become an officer in the regular army. He had delayed applying to Sandhurst because he thought military experience in Afghanistan would make him a better soldier.
Hundreds lined the streets for his funeral service at St Andrew' Church, Oakington, with full military honours. His coffin, draped in the Union Jack, was carried by members of his unit, followed by his devastated parents, Kevin and Lynda, brother Adam and sisters Elizabeth and Leanne.
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The group was flanked by 12 riflemen as they entered the church. Later, a volley of shots was fired into the air by his graveside.
Two of his best friends, David Young and Ben Turner, who had known Rifleman Fentiman since primary school, said he had joined the army to ''better himself''.
Speaking to the congregation, they described their friend as ''tall, elegant, handsome with great hair and a fantastic dancer''.
David added: ''He strove to be the best he could be. These were not just words to him, it was something which he believed would help him become a better man as he grew up.''
A message from his family in the ceremony's order of service booklet also described the young man as having ''strong principles that he was determined to defend throughout his life''.