Ulster soldier killed in Iraq.

RIP Darren,
Thoughts are with your family & friends.

Ulster soldier killed in Iraq is buried with full military honours

[Published: Friday 3, August 2007 - 08:12]

By Will Ellison

The Londonderry-born soldier who died in Iraq has been laid to rest with full military honours at Portstewart Cemetery.

Lance Corporal Darren Flowers (25) was killed in Iraq two weeks ago while serving with the Royal Tank Regiment.

His coffin, draped with the Union flag, his cap bearing his regimental badge placed on top, was taken to the cemetery after a service at Burnside Presbyterian Church in Portstewart conducted by the family minister, Rev Richard Gregg and army chaplain Rev Chris Brodell.

His pallbearers, made up of family and friends, surrendered their duties to the military at the cemetery, where an honour guard had formed.

Rev Gregg told the soldier's family and relatives that they were there not just to mourn, but also to celebrate a wonderful life which had been cut short.

In a statement, his family said the past fortnight had been the hardest and most painful.

The statement added: "Darren, or Daz to his friends, was someone who was always full of life and energy. In many ways, he was like any young man and to the family he was unique.

"His officers in the army have nothing but praise for him and his commitment to the job he loved, while his work colleagues remember him as someone who would never leave a job undone or a colleague working late alone.

"The gap that Darren has left in the family can never be replaced and he will never be forgotten. For those who knew him and loved him, it was a great pleasure to have shared part of his short life with him."

Rev Gregg said of Darren's grandparents, with whom he lived: "They just loved their grandson; he was a super lad around the house. They just genuinely loved him."

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell also attended the funeral, as did Mayor of Derry Drew Thompson, who said: "My thoughts are with the whole family circle. Having known his mother so well, obviously, I want to pay my respects.

"Darren was a young lad whose comrades have all spoken very highly of him. It is very sad this has happened."

Lance Corporal Flowers, originally from the Waterside in Derry, was killed last month while working in a vehicle park in a military base in Basra which was hit by shrapnel.

He was attached to the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment and had been serving with the Irish Guards Battle Group since March this year.

The young man had joined the army in January 2003 after spending time in the RAF and was on his second tour in Iraq. He had been due to leave the army after his tour in Iraq ended.

R.I.P buddy
Rest Easy.

.............................He leaves a white
Unbroken glory, a gathered radiance,
A width, a shining peace, under the night.
Rest in peace...

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