Hundreds gather to remember Sharron
A TOWN has celebrated the life of a Suffolk soldier killed in Iraq on what would have been her 35th birthday.Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott , who grew up and went to school in Hadleigh, was on her first tour of duty when tragedy struck.
A TOWN has celebrated the life of a Suffolk soldier killed in Iraq on what would have been her 35th birthday.
Staff Sgt Sharron Elliott , who grew up and went to school in Hadleigh, was on her first tour of duty when tragedy struck.
The 34-year-old was one of four soldiers killed when a bomb exploded near their boat on the Shatt al Arab waterway in Basra City on Remembrance Sunday last year.
Her mother, Elsie Manning, organised the memorial service at St Mary's in Hadleigh yesterday - attended by about 200 people - some of whom were moved to tears.
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Maureen Holland, Sharron's godmother, said: “We all loved her and I cherish my memories of her. I was not surprised she became a soldier, she was born into an Army family. The family served their country with honour and pride and Sharron did likewise.
“She was a no nonsense, professional soldier who showed strength and compassion. She had a steely determination to work for peace. All those who served under her spoke of her fairness.
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“Her family are so proud of all she had achieved, she had been brought up to have honour and principles. She was an intelligent girl with a beautiful smile.”
Tony Holland, Maureen's son who grew up with Sharron and was representing her friends, said people could just not believe she was no longer with them.
He quoted others thoughts about her, and said: “Sharron was like sunshine and you never met another person like her. “It was terrible news about her passing. No matter what your views or politics about Iraq, she left us doing a job she loved, and was happy.”
Staff Sgt Elliott joined the Army at the age of 18 as an aircraft technician, before transferring to the Intelligence Corps. She had been in Iraq for just over a week after being deployed there from Cyprus.
The blast that took her life also claimed the lives of warrant officer Lee Hopkins, 35, and two Royal Marines, Jason Hylton, 33, and 27-year-old corporal Ben Nowak.