Village mourns death of Royal Anglian soldier
Adam GrettonA village came to a standstill yesterday for the funeral of a soldier and passionate cricketer who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.Hundreds of mourners lined the streets to say a final farewell to Pte James Grigg, of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, a son, brother, friend, team-mate and Viking.Adam Gretton
A village came to a standstill yesterday for the funeral of a soldier and passionate cricketer who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan.
Hundreds of mourners lined the streets to say a final farewell to Pte James Grigg, of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment, a son, brother, friend, team-mate and Viking.
The 21-year-old serviceman, of Stradbroke, in Suffolk, was laid to rest in his home village with full military honours yesterday.
He died in an explosion in Helmand province almost a month ago.
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Fresh flowers covered the war memorial and hundreds of villagers gathered in the shadow of the mighty tower of All Saints' Church to mark his final journey.
Pte Grigg's coffin, draped with the union flag, was taken on the short journey from his family home to the church.
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It was followed by a walking procession headed by his parents, Michael and Pat, and sister, Victoria.
More than 300 mourners packed into the church, and hundreds more gathered outside to hear the funeral service relayed on loud-speakers in the churchyard before his burial at the village cemetery.
Glowing tributes were paid to the young military man, of A (Norfolk) Company, who was killed by a Taliban improvised explosive device in the Musa Qaleh area of Afghanistan on March 16 during his first operational tour with the Vikings.
He died alongside his section commander, L/Cpl Scott Hardy, 26, from Chelmsford, in Essex.
Capt Ian Robinson, welfare officer for 1st Battalion The Royal Anglians, said Pte Grigg's
A Company comrades - who are still in Afghanistan - would say their own farewell at a battalion memorial service when they completed their six-month tour.
'He was at the very early stages of his career, but there is no doubt that he had all the attributes to make a full career in the army,' he added.
'He was a quiet young man, but his time in Afghan-istan showed a different side to him. He had a quiet strength and real steel to him: the real qualities you would expect from a Suffolk solider.
'There was nothing flashy about him: he was a hard worker and a traditional young man and did the right thing by his family and regimental family.'
Pte Grigg, who was brought up in the village, between Diss and Dennington, had been looking forward to batting and bowling for Stradbroke Cricket Club this season and resuming his coaching of the junior teams.