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Officer's praise for blast soldier

A solider who died in a bomb attack in Afghanistan was described as a "quiet, unassuming character" by one of his commanding officers at his funeral.

Private Daniel Wilford, 21, of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, died alongside five colleagues on March 6.

Corporal Jake Hartley, 20, Private Christopher Kershaw, 19, Private Daniel Wade, 20, and Private Anthony Frampton, 20, all also of 3 Yorks, and Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, of 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, were also killed in the attack.

The soldiers, who had been in Afghanistan for only a few weeks, were killed when their Warrior armoured vehicle was blown up by a massive improvised explosive device about 25 miles north of the capital of Helmand province, Lashkar Gah.

Speaking before Pte Wilford's funeral, Major Malcolm Birkett, the commanding officer of the 3 Yorks still based in the UK, said: "Private Wilford was a quiet, unassuming character that was deeply thought of by his company. An outstanding guy to be around, a fantastic shot that really, really epitomised everything that is right about the infantry soldier.

Hundreds of people lined the streets around Huddersfield Parish Church for the funeral. They applauded as the hearse carrying Pte Wilford's coffin, draped in the Union flag, drove past.

Pte Frampton's funeral had been held there on Wednesday. He was a good friend of Pte Wilford.

Speaking of their friendship, Maj Birkett said: "They thought well of each other, they looked out for each other. They went to Afghanistan together, the only grace and favour in this is that they die together as friends.

"They are remembered in the community spirit of this that they came home together. It's a sad, sombre occasion for this to happen but the families fully appreciate that as friends, they did everything together.

"They went out there together and they came home together."