Oct 26 2012 By Cheryl Mullin
HUNDREDS of people lined the streets of a small market town to pay their last respects to an inspirational army sergeant who was known to his men as “dad”.
Scores of soldiers just back from Afghanistan were joined by crowds of mourners five-deep along the high street in Skipton, North Yorkshire, ahead of the funeral of Sergeant Gareth Thursby.
Sgt Thursby, 29, was killed by a rogue Afghan policeman last month.
The married father of two died with Private Thomas Wroe, 18, also of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, when a man dressed as a local Afghan policeman pretended to be injured so they would help him.
Major Malcolm Birkett explained that Sgt Thursby’s wife Louise wanted to leave today’s funeral until his company had arrived back from its tour.
He said the men got back to the UK this week.
Asked to describe the NCO, Maj Birkett said: “One word to sum him up - inspirational.
“A fantastic leader of men, a superb soldier. He had such an affiliation, a close bond with his men that actually he was called ’dad’ throughout the tour.
“That’s what they thought of him.