Friends run Seaford Half Marathon in memory of paratrooper Dan Prior

FRIENDS of the Peacehaven soldier who died in Afghanistan are raising money to put into a trust fund for his son.

They will be running or walking the Seaford Half Marathon on June 5 in memory of paratrooper Daniel Prior.

Chris Hearn and friend Jamie Linkson came up with the idea and set up an appeal on facebook to encourage people to sign up.

But they were overwhelmed when around 100 people volunteered to take part and raise money for Daniel’s son Logan.

They are printing t-shirts with Daniel’s picture on them to wear for the half marathon, which is taking place on Sunday June 5.

Chris, 26, of Bolney Avenue, Peacehaven, said: “We set up a group on facebook, expecting to gather about 25 people, and now two weeks later we already have almost 100 people attending and a wealth of stories.

“We are amazed and overwhelmed by the response.”

Private Daniel Prior, 27, was wounded by an improvised explosive device on March 17 this year, but died of his injuries the next day.

He was serving with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment and was based in the Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand province.

Daniel was tasked with providing fire support for his fellow paratroopers and the Afghan National Army during a reassurance patrol in a small village in the district. He was wounded by the IED at l Turn to page 2

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12.42pm. Despite medical care in Afghanistan and in the UK, he died of his wounds on March 18, in the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Queen Elizabeth NHS Hospital, Birmingham.

He left behind his father Ian, mother Gillian, his wife Emily and their baby Logan.

Chris, who has known Daniel since the age of 11 when they were at Tideway School together, said: “I was devastated. He is my best friend.

“I have been up and down but this is one of the reasons we decided to do this - it’s something positive out of something negative and something to get us focused and aim for.”

So far they have raised about £300 for Logan but they are hoping to reach £500.

Chris added: “Emily is coming down to support us. She knows about the trust fund and she likes the idea.”

Friends, family and colleagues paid tribute to Daniel, describing him as a lively young man with an amazing sense of humour, a wonderful son, husband and father.

Daniel completed his basic training in January 2008 and was then posted to the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment where he proved to be an exceptional soldier.

To contribute to Logan’s trust fund by sponsoring any of the runners visit Facebook, then events and type in Logan’s run - in memory of Dan Prior.