City tribute to fallen soldiers

FREEDOM OF THE CITY FOR YORKSHIRE REGIMENT - With bayonets fixed and Colours flying the Yorkshire Regiment march through Wakefield.
FREEDOM OF THE CITY FOR YORKSHIRE REGIMENT - With bayonets fixed and Colours flying the Yorkshire Regiment march through Wakefield.

PRAYERS were said and candles lit at Wakefield Cathedral in dedication to the young soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Five soldiers from the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment were killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on Tuesday.

They were named as Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, of Earlsheaton; Private Anthony Frampton, 20, of Huddersfield; Private Christopher Kershaw, 20, of Bradford; Private Daniel Wade, 20, of Warrington, and Private Daniel Wilford, 21, of Huddersfield.

Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of Lytham St Annes, from the 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, was also killed.

The 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment was adopted by Wakefield when it was granted the Freedom of the City in 2010.

Council leader Peter Box, and chief executive Joanne Roney paid their respects in a joint statement yesterday.

They said: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the soldiers’ families and friends during this difficult time.”

At the city’s cathedral special prayer services have taken place in honour of the servicemen.

The Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Rev Stephen Platten, said: “My prayers and condolences are with all those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.”

The troops from the Yorkshire Regiment had been in Afghanistan for less than a month when they were killed.

They were travelling in a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle when it was hit by an explosion on the border of Helmand and Kandahar provinces, near Lashkar Gar.

The tragedy is the single biggest loss of UK life in the country since 2006 when 14 lives were lost in an RAF Nimrod plane crash.

Since operations began in 2001, 404 British military personnel have lost their lives.

In December 2009, Wakefield-born Lance Corporal David Kirkness, 24, also of The Rifles, was killed trying to save hundreds of lives from suicide bombers at a busy Afghan market.

And in January 2010 Upton Rifleman Luke Farmer, 19, of the 3rd Battalion The Rifles, was killed in an explosion in Sanging, Helmand Province, while trying to keep his comrades safe.

And Cpl Matthew James Stenton, 23, of The Royal Dragoon Guards, was killed in July 2010.

The former Cathedral High School pupil was shot dead as he tried to rescue a wounded colleague in Helmand province.