HUNDREDS of mourners gathered today to say goodbye to Sapper Richard Walker.
The Washington soldier died at Patrol Base Hazrat, in Helmand’s Nahr-e Saraj district, earlier this month after a rogue gunman began firing.
Today, the 23-year-old’s family and friends said their final goodbyes during a service at Our Blessed Lady Immaculate Church in Washington Village.
The full military funeral saw colleagues who had served with Sapper Walker paying their respects before a private service at Catterick Garrison later today.
Loud speakers conveyed the words of Father Sean Hall to those standing outside the church in the rain.
Lieutenant Colonel Chas Story, Commanding Officer of Sapper Walker’s regiment, said: “He was a young, bright man who was an inspiration to his friends and colleagues.
“He was someone who would take on a task and not stop until it was done. He loved his job and he was living the life that he wanted to.”
The dad-of-one, a former Washington School pupil, had been due to end his first tour of Afghanistan in March, when he was looking forward to being reunited with 21-month-old daughter, Lilly Faith.