Hundreds pay tribute to 100th forces victim of Afghan war

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets of a town yesterday to pay their respects to a soldier who became the 100th member of the British armed forces to die as a result of military operations in Afghanistan.

Irish Guardsman Christopher Davies, 22, from St Helens, Merseyside, who served in the same battalion as his brother, was shot during an ambush on November 17 in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

People lined the street outside St Mary's Lowe House Church as the cars arrived with a mounted escort of Merseyside Police officers in ceremonial uniform.

Retired servicemen staged a guard of honour as the coffin was carried into the church draped in the Union flag with the soldier's cap, service medals and a poppy wreath placed on top.

The soldier's mother, Catherine, and two brothers, Matt and John, led the mourners into the church as the Military Lament was played by a bagpiper.

His six-year-old daughter Lucy wore a Help For Heroes T-shirt which said "My Daddy is a hero".

Guardsman Davies, who served alongside his brother John, 21, was described as a "legend, a perfect dad and a soldier's soldier" who wanted to make a difference, in emotional tributes delivered by his family.

His brother Matt said Chris was a "genuinely decent" person who loved the Army and loved serving in Afghanistan.

"He had so much ahead of him. It's weird not having him around. I will miss his great sense of humour. I will miss just having games on the Xbox with him."

He said his brother and the sacrifice he made would never be forgotten.

Fighting back tears, Guardsman Davies's girlfriend Emma said: "I wish I could go back and live the last four years over and over."

Guardsman Davies's father Gary said his son could rest in peace knowing he was a true hero.