Soldier's funeral may bring town to halt

PARKING chiefs have warned that a Suffolk town will be brought to a standstill when the funeral takes place of the 100th soldier to die in Afghanistan.

Laurence Cawley

PARKING chiefs have warned that a Suffolk town will be brought to a standstill when the funeral takes place of the 100th soldier to die in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Adam Drane was almost two months into his tour with 1st Battalion the Royal Anglian Regiment when he was killed by small arms fire at Check Point Paraang in Nad e-Ali, Helmand, almost two weeks ago.

A funeral for the 23-year-old, from Stanningfield, takes place next week in Bury St Edmunds.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council has been asked by the Army and Suffolk police to close a number of town car parks and Angel Hill during what is expected to be an extra busy market day in the lead up to Christmas.

A spokeswoman for the council said: “L/Cpl Drane's funeral is likely to get a lot of attention as many people, not just his family, may want to pay their respects. The borough council has been working closely with the regiment and police and at their request we are closing various car parks and Angel Hill itself at various times.

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“Wednesday is, of course, a market day - and just before Christmas - so the town will be packed before we add in the potential extra people for the funeral.”

Angel Hill and Chequer Square car parks will be closed from the night before the funeral to around 4pm on the Wednesday. Ram Meadow will be closed for part of the morning except to season ticket holders so that visitors coming for the funeral will be able to park.

Angel Hill too will be closed for the funeral cortege.

The funeral itself takes at 1pm at St Mary's Church with full military honours.

The cortege will arrive from the Abbey Gateway onto Angel Hill led by motorcycle riders from Suffolk Constabulary. It will then pass at walking pace along Angel Hill and Crown Street. A military guard of honour from The Royal Anglian Regiment will be formed at the entrance to St Mary's Church.

The service is expected to last approximately one hour. Afterwards, there will be a private committal at St Nicholas's Church, Stanningfield.

The public is welcome to line the route and attend the funeral - however the capacity for St Mary's Church is approximately 750.

The service will be taken by Father Alex Strachan, chaplain to 1st Battalion, The Royal Anglian Regiment. In attendance will be St Edmundsbury's mayor Patricia Warby and senior military officers.

Overflow parking spaces will available at West Suffolk College, off Beetons Way.

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