How we use Cookies

Hundreds attend service for fallen Yorkshire Regiment soldiers at Halifax Minster

PRAYERS were said and candles lit for the six soldiers killed in Afghanistan at a sombre service attended by hundreds of people paying their respects.

Related content

PRAYERS were said and candles lit for the six soldiers killed in Afghanistan at a sombre service attended by hundreds of people paying their respects.

On Sunday Halifax Minster filled with people of all ages, many among them old soldiers proudly wearing their campaign medals, to remember the men who died when a Taliban roadside bomb destroyed their Warrior armoured vehicle in Helmand Province on Tuesday.

The deadliest single enemy attack on UK forces in Afghanistan since 2001 killed Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, and Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Anton Frampton, 20, Private Christopher Kershaw, 19, Private Daniel Wade, 20, and Private Daniel Wilford, 21, all of 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire
Regiment.

Cpl Hartley was from New Mill, Pte Frampton from Longwood and Pte Wilford from Cowlersley.

Halifax is the former home of the Duke of Wellington's Regimental barracks until the unit was subsumed into the Yorkshire Regiment.

The ancient Minster also houses the Wellington's regimental chapel, where hundreds of members of the public have signed a book of condolence and lit candles.

Reverend Canon Hilary Barber, the Vicar of Halifax, opening the service - described as Evensong and Remembrance for the Yorkshire Regiment - said the Minster had borne witness to the Christian faith for 900 years
and they were gathered to pray for the fallen soldiers.

"And so we come here now, to express our sorrow," he said.

"To offer our solidarity with those soldiers who died, with those currently serving in Afghanistan and those who we know are preparing to leave these shores in April for their next six-month tour of duty."

On the altar, draped with the Duke of Wellington's Regimental flag, Canon Barber lit six candles, telling the congregation: "To remind us of the six soldiers who died for their Queen and country during this past
week."

The names were read out as the candles were lit.

Corporal Jake Hartley, who had joined the battalion in December 2008, promoted ahead of his young years through his ability and promise and "destined to achieve great things", his family said.

Private Anthony 'Anton' Frampton, 20, who joined the Army in January 2009 and who "loved" his job.

He was close friends with Private Daniel Wilford, 21, who trained as a gunner on the Warrior vehicle.

A candle was lit for Private Christopher Kershaw, from Bradford, the youngest of the six soldiers killed, then Private Daniel Wade, 20, from Warrington, Cheshire, whose fiance is expecting their child.

He was looking forward to coming home and was excited about becoming a father, his family have said.

Finally the name of Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, was read and his candle lit. The father-of-two from Lytham St Annes, was "fiercely proud" to serve as a Lancashire man in a Yorkshire regiment - no doubt sharing jokes with his fallen comrades over their respective counties of origin.

Revd Canon Barber spoke lines from Anthem For A Doomed Youth by First World War poet Wilfred Owen, which he said was a reminder of how young the victims of war can be.

He said the Minster's chapel showed "hard won" victories, whether it be "Waterloo, the Crimea or Afghanistan" and that war comes with a cost, "paid for with lives lost and taken".

The service was a multi-faith event, including readings from members of the local Hindi and Muslim communities.

Raja Taufiq Khan, a faith ambassador for the Calderdale area, read Islamic prayers.

He told the congregation: "As a member of the Muslim community, I offer my sincere condolences, my heartfelt grief and sorrow for the death of six soldiers who gave their lives for peace in the world.

"I also ask the almighty, Allah, peace for them, I also ask the almighty, Allah, grant peace and patience to their relatives."

After the hour-long service of prayers and evensong hymns a queue of people formed, adding their names to the book of condolence.

On the steps of the altar in the Wellington's side chapel, more floral tributes were laid, above them the regimental colours, flags bearing the names of past battles including Waterloo and the Somme which had claimed
the lives of so many local Yorkshiremen.

Attached to a white rose, the historic symbol of the county of Yorkshire, read the message: "RIP Lads. Gone but never forgotten.

"Watch over the rest of the lads."

The deaths of the six soldiers took the number of UK troops who have died since the Afghan campaign began in 2001 to 404.

 

Journalists

Doug Thomson
Huddersfield Town correspondent
Chris Roberts
Huddersfield Giants correspondent
Louise Cooper
Crime correspondent
Nick Lavigueur
Health Correspondent
Joanne Douglas
Local Government Correspondent
Linda Whitwam
Education Correspondent
Henryk Zientek
Business Correspondent
Val Javin
Features Editor
Martin Shaw
Mirfield Correspondent