Military funeral for South Yorkshire soldier

Tragedy: Soldier Lee Davidson's hearse at RAF Brize Norton, and inset, the married dad of two.
Tragedy: Soldier Lee Davidson's hearse at RAF Brize Norton, and inset, the married dad of two.
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A SOUTH Yorkshire town will come to a standstill on Monday for the funeral of soldier Lee Davidson.

A funeral with full military honours will be held at St Nicholas Church in Thorne, Doncaster, at 1pm for the Light Dragoon who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan earlier this month.

It is the same church where Sgt Davidson and his wife, Samantha, were married last year.

Because of the large number of mourners wanting to pay their respects a public address system is to be set up outside the church so those who cannot get inside will be able to hear the service and tributes to the fallen soldier.

The hearse carrying Sgt Davidson’s coffin will arrive at the church just before 1pm.

A pallbearers’ party of fellow soldiers from the Light Dragoons will carry his coffin inside followed by members of the family and other comrades and friends.

After the service is finished the coffin will be carried to the nearby Stonegate cemetery where a firing party will fire a volley over the grave and a bugler will sound the Last Post.

The service will be taken by the Rev David Green, vicar of St Nicholas, who married the couple in August 2011.

“It is with great sadness that I will be leading the service and the sadness is felt throughout the town,” he said.

“They were such a lovely couple and he was obviously very proud of his Army background and he was looking forward to finishing his tour of duty and coming back home.”

Sgt Davidson, who was 32, joined the Army in 1998 and his commanding officer, Lt Col Sam Plant, said he would be “remembered as a simply superb soldier and a wonderful man. He was the most natural leader of men and soldiers flourished under his command.”

He was the 427th member of the armed forces to be killed since British troops were sent to Afghanistan.

His widow, Samantha, is expecting their third child, a daughter. They already have two sons, Jayden and Jamie.

A Book of Condolence for Sgt Davidson has been placed in Thorne Cemetery chapel by Thorne Moorends Town Council, which can be signed by any member of the community between 9am and 4pm.