Trowbridge mourns serviceman killed in training exercise
Hundreds of people paid their respects to a reservist soldier who died during SAS selection training in Breacon Beacons at his funeral held in Trowbridge today.
Corporal James Dunsby, 31, of the Royal Yeomanry, based in Swindon, died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, in Birmingham, on July 30.
The funeral of Cpl Dunsby, who lived in Trowbridge with his wife Bryher, took place at the town’s St James’ Church with police closing off nearby streets.
His coffin was covered by a Union Jack flag during the military service which was attended by family, friends and fellow servicemen and taken by Rev Dr Rob Thomas, church rector.
Mrs Dunsby said: “I shall miss you more than words could ever convey. What a truly wonderful adventure we had together. You have enriched my life more than I could ever imagined.
"I shall carry your strength and love for life with me wherever I wander and talk of you to all that I meet.”
Cpl Dunsby collapsed on July 13, during a 40 mile hike in high temperatures and two of his colleagues, Lance Corporal Craig Roberts and Edward Maher, also died during the same exercise.
Brother Joseph Dunsby described Cp Dunsby as an extraordinary man who he always sought guidance from.
“There was not one person who was influenced more by James than me, I absolutely idolised him,” he said.
“I feel like a huge part of me is gone in the wind, rest in peace man. Pull up a pew next to grandad, Churchill and the rest of them and enjoy.”
Hymns, ‘I vow to thee, my country’, ‘He Who Would Valiant Be’ and ‘Jerusalem’ were sung during the funeral service.
Rev Thomas described Cpl Dunsby, who was born in Solihull and moved to Tasmania during his childhood, as being a loyal, determined leader of men who loved serving Queen and country.
When he moved back to England, he served with the Royal Yeomanry in London before moving to the south west.
Lieutenant colonel Kingsley Donaldson, commander of the Royal Yeomanry, said: “James was well liked, affable, self-effacing and most of all a very good soldier.
"Our principal priority at the moment is being here to support his wife Bryher and his family.”
At the end of the service, as Cpl Dunsby’s coffin left the churchyard, servicemen from the Royal Yeomanry gave him a 21-gun salute while donations were taken in aid of Help for Heroes and Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s Fisher House.
In 2008, Cpl Dunsby became friends with Prince Harry while the pair were serving together in Helmand Province, in Afghanistan.
They were part of a three-man crew of a Spartan armoured car with Cpl Dunsby being in control of the vehicle’s general purpose machine gun.
An investigation into the circumstances that lead to the deaths of the three men, who were part of the Brecon Beacons exercise, is underway.
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