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  1. ITV Report

Final farewell for Afghan hero

Sgt Gareth Thursby Photo: Ministry of Defence

Skipton will come to a halt when the town pays its respects to brave soldier Gareth Thursby who was killed in Afghanistan.

Former South Craven School pupil Sgt Thursby, who served in the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, was shot dead by a man dressed as an Afghan policeman at a checkpoint in the south of Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province in September.

Also killed in the attack was comrade Private Thomas Wroe, 18, from Holmfirth.

Private Thomas Wroe Credit: Ministry of Defence

Sgt Thursby, who died just days before his 30th birthday, will be given a full military funeral at Skipton's Holy Trinity Church. More than 10,000 people are expected to pay tribute to the married father-of-two.**

His family decided to delay his funeral until after the regiment had finished its tour of duty so his comrades could attend the service. Other mourners are expected to include ex-servicemen and women from across the district, as well members of the Royal British Legion Riders Branch.

The service will be held at Holy Trinity at noon and will be relayed outside the church via speakers.**

It will be followed by a private cremation at the town's Waltonwrays where a firing party will discharge five volleys.**

Before the service, the cortege will leave Howcrofts funeral directors on Duckett Street at 11.50am and will make its way along Sackville Street, onto Keighley Road, through Caroline Square and up the High Street, which will be closed to other traffic between 11am and 2pm.**

After the service, the cortege will go down the High Street, through Caroline Square, along Keighley Road and down Carleton Road to Waltonwrays.**

Sgt Thursby, was brought up in the Broughton Road area of Skipton and joined the Army after leaving South Craven School, Cross Hills, in 1999. He married his wife, Louise, at St Thomas' Church, Sutton-in-Craven in 2005 and had two children, Joshua and Ruby