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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

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Hundreds pay last respects to Barrow soldier

HUNDREDS of people lined the streets of Barrow to pay their final respects to a “warrior, a lion of England, a friend and a marra”.

Kingsman Dave Shaw, of 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, was laid to rest yesterday with full military honours in Barrow Cemetery, on a bright but bitterly cold afternoon.

At St Mary of Furness Church in Duke Street, crowds of mourners fell silent as the hearse bearing the body of the 23-year-old, who had “always wanted to be a soldier”, came into view.

Kgn Shaw’s parents, David and Jenny, his sisters Michelle and Sarah and brother Charlie supported each other as six soldiers from his battalion carried their fallen comrade to the church.

Kgn Shaw lost his life after being shot by insurgents near Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province on January 14.

After emergency treatment in Camp Bastion, he was flown back to Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, but died surrounded by his family on January 16.

Last week his family revealed how their decision to allow their son’s organs to be donated had saved the lives of four seriously-ill people.

Canon John Watson, parish priest at the church, opened yesterday’s service.

He welcomed the crowds, which included Barrow MP John Woodcock, Mayor Wendy Maddox and Lord Lieutenant Claire Hensman.

For the many mourners who were unable to make their way into the packed church, the service was broadcast through a series of loudspeakers in the churchyard.

The first hymm, Day is Done, was followed by a speech from Kgn Shaw’s commanding officer in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Nick Wood.

A homily was also read by the Reverend Colin Butler MBE, army chaplain.

“On the way into Barrow a couple of days ago, there were a couple of young men, and I looked at the way they carried on and I thought they could just be David, because if we saw David in the street I doubt we would give him a second look,” Rev Butler said.

“He was just an ordinary man from a town called Barrow. But by our presence here today we see that he was far from ordinary.”

Rev Butler described how Kgn Shaw, who earned himself the nickname ‘Dr S’ after getting a tattoo on his neck and who loved drinking the energy drink Monster, always raised the morale of his colleagues with his sense of humour.

“He was always at the centre of any ‘outbreaks of morale’,” he said.

Revd Butler also recalled how Kgn Shaw’s quick actions administering first aid helped save the lives of four Afghan children after a car accident near his checkpoint.

After Rev Butler’s speech the poignant 19th century poem Remember Me, by Christina Rossetti, was read to the congregation by Anne McClintock.

The service finished with a rendition of Jerusalem, before Kgn Shaw’s body was taken to Barrow Cemetery.

He was laid to rest following a moving rendition of the last post, and an eight gun salute by his colleagues.

Have your say

The same as Phil Weathers.RIP duty done.
It's Tommy this an Tommy that an Tommy ows your soul.
But it's a thin red line of heroes when the drums begin to roll.

Posted by Paul Pitcher on 8 February 2013 at 05:26

True Hero taken from us too young! You have made your fellow countrymen proud. RIP xx

Posted by Helen on 7 February 2013 at 22:21

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