'A true hero' is remembered at funeral of soldier killed by blast in Afghanistan (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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'A true hero' is remembered at funeral of soldier killed by blast in Afghanistan
A ‘TRUE hero’ who ‘laid down his life for his comrades’ was remembered in an emotional funeral service today.
Corporal Jack Stanley, 26, from The Queen's Royal Hussars died two months after he was caught in an explosion from an improvised explosive device.
The former Todmorden High School pupil was a ‘consummate professional soldier’ who died after ‘just doing his job’ in Afghanistan, mourners at his funeral heard.
The soldier was a section commander who deployed to Afghanistan with C (Coriano) Company, Combined Force Lashkar Gah (The Queen's Royal Hussars Battle Group) last October.
Hundreds paid respects to him at Holy Trinity Church in Littleborough, including his mother Brenda, father Tom, sisters Rachel, Larissa and Joanne, and his girlfriend Sarah.
In an address to the congregation, the Queen's Royal Hussars chaplain the Rev Peter King said: "He routinely faced danger up close and personal while responsible for the safety of those in his command. The consummate professional soldier, he did his job extremely well.
"Jack would always say he was just doing his job."
Those sentiments were echoed by his family, who said in a statement issued before the service: "Jack disliked the terms hero and brave. He would say he was just doing his job.
"A beautiful soul, loving and generous, a true friend, he was the brightest star to shine in our life."
Mr King added that Cpl Stanley - nicknamed Stan and an avid Bolton Wanderers supporter - was ‘always optimistic’ and ‘a glass half-full man’.
"Jack was laidback, almost horizontal, with great humour," he said. "He never made his mum cry... until now."
He told mourners that Cpl Stanley had been commended for saving the life of an Afghan police sergeant during an blast from an IED and he had defied medical experts to regain consciousness in hospital in Birmingham - and have precious time with his loved ones.
"Just 10 days before he died he said Sarah (his girlfriend) was the best thing that happened to him," he said.
"He has laid down his life for his friends. I imagine he will be standing once more with highly polished boots ... possibly kicking a ball around, and definitely with a cheeky smile."
Floral tributes were sent by his beloved Bolton Wanderers and his close childhood friend Tom Parker, from the pop band The Wanted.
A message attached to the bouquet from Parker and his family read: "We shared so many memories together bro. All the footballing times in your backyard, on the park and the times we played music.
"You will be truly missed. A true hero."
A private committal service followed the funeral.