THE PADIHAM mum of a soldier killed in Afghanistan said she has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the support shown following his death.

Thousands of people attended the funeral of 29-year-old Sergeant Gareth Thursby in Skipton two weeks ago.

And his mum, Caroline Whittaker, who lives in Victoria Road, Padiham, said she was shocked at the number of people who had turned out for the service at Holy Trinity Church.

She said: “All those people who had come out – it was overwhelming. I expected a lot of people but nothing could have prepared me for the amount of people who were there.

“Everybody was so respectful. When we left the Howcrofts funeral services in Duckett Street there were some builders nearby. They downed tools and came out and stood outside with their hats off.”

Caroline has now called on people to support the Yorkshire Regiment charity which will send soldiers who have served in Afghanistan for adventure weekends.

Gareth was killed on September 15 in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand, just six days before his 30th birthday.

His killer was a rogue Afghan police officer who was shot dead in the incident