People lined London Road in Pulborough on Tuesday to watch the procession for Lance Corporal James Brynin, 22, as it approached St Mary’s Church.
Greeted by a troop of 30 men carrying tall flags embroidered with the Royal British Legion, James’ casket, cloaked in the Union Flag, was carried into the church, followed closely by his grieving family.
London Road was temporarily closed to allow the troop to perform the act of homage.
Killed in action when his section became the target of enemy fire in Afghanistan on October 15, James is the first soldier in the village to have lost his life since 1948.
The former Steyning Grammar School student played for Horsham Football Club’s youth team and worked at Bill-ingshurst Leisure Centre. His family live in Pulborough.
Elton John’s ‘Circle of Life’ could be heard echoing into the churchyard as the casket was taken down the aisle.
Around 600 people, along with 350 military personnel packed out the church, many of whom had to stand.
Led by Father Paul Welch, the family and James’ military comrades made heart-felt tributes to ‘Jay’, as he was fondly known.
Also in attendance was the soldier’s Golden Retriever who had been his companion since childhood.
For the full story, pick up Thursday’s County Times.