Family and friends of Private Daniel Wilford will gather today for his funeral. The 21-year-old soldier was killed by a Taliban bomb on March 6th, which also claimed the lives of five of his colleagues. All of the men were based at Battlesbury Barracks in Warminster and had been serving with 3rd Battalion, TheYorkshire Regiment.
Pte Daniel Wilford joined the regiment in April 2010 and deployed to Canada as a Warrior Gunner in June 2011. He was killed less than a month after being deployed to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, on Valentine’s Day of this year.
He leaves his mother and stepfather, Diane and Paul, his brother Alex and his grandparents.
– The family of Private Daniel Wilford
Daniel was a kind and loving son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin who was always full of energy. He never rested and was always out and about living life to the full having fun. He will be very much missed by everyone who knew him.
Killed alongside him, in what was the biggest single loss of British lives in the country since 2006, were Sergeant Nigel Coupe, Corporal Jake Hartley, Private Daniel Wade, Private Anthony Frampton and Private Christopher Kershaw.
The men had been travelling in a Warrior armoured fighting vehicle when it was caught in an explosion in Kandahar province. Their bodies were repatriated on March 20.
Pte Wilford was extremely popular with his colleagues, many who paid tribute to him following his death. Among them was his commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning.
– Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment
Private Daniel Wilford was the archetypal Yorkshire infantry soldier; quiet, unassuming but with bags of character. He was unique, happy go lucky and confident, his smile could light up a room. A thoroughly honest and dedicated infantryman, his friends and colleagues trusted and respected him.
The deaths of the men were a massive blow to Warminster. In the days following the news, floral tributes were left outside the base and hundreds of people turned out to pay their respects at a parade through the town. A memorial is to built at the barracks and £10,000 has already been raised towards it.
Funerals have already taken place for Sgt Nigel Coupe, Corporal Jake Hartley and Pte Anthony Frampton.
The funeral of Pte Daniel Wade will take place at St Elphin Parish Church in his home town of Warringtonin Cheshire on May 11. The funeral of the youngest of the soldiers killed in the blast, 19-year-old Pte Christopher Kershaw, will take place on May 24 at Holy Trinity Parish Church, Idle, Bradford.