Warminster soldiers remembered at Minster service

This Is Wiltshire: Sgt Gareth Thursby Sgt Gareth Thursby

Two Warminster-based soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Saturday were remembered in a service at the Minster Church last night.
 

Married father-of-two Sergeant Gareth Thursby, 29, and Private Thomas Wroe, 18, both of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, were shot dead in Helmand province on Saturday, by a man wearing Afghan police uniform.
 

Speaking at the short service, assistant priest David Hayes said: “We remember Sergeant Gareth Thursby and Private Thomas Wroe, we pray for them and for all who serve in the Forces, their families and friends and all who mourn them.”
 

Prayers were also said for those involved in violence and conflict, and those pursuing peace.
 

The Royal British Legion will bring the standard to the church for the Act of Remembrance at the 9.30am service on Sunday.
 

The soldiers will also be remembered in a concert for the 3 Yorks Army Benevolent Fund, held at the church on September 29, with music from the town’s Army Wives Choir.
 

Assistant curate the Reverend Nick Brown said: “The Minster Church is saddened by the news of the deaths of a further two Warminster-based soldiers whilst serving in Afghanistan.
 

“All are welcome to attend these public services to offer their own prayers, or simply sit with their own thoughts.
 

“We have the lantern here which was lit when the battalion left for Afghanistan, and since then we have had families come in regularly to light candles in front of it.
 

“The lantern will be extinguished when they have all come back, at the service in November.”
 

Meanwhile, Warminster Town Council voted in a special meeting last night to grant Freedom of Entry to the Town to the Battalion, allowing them to parade with colours flying, bayonets fixed and bands playing.
 

The ceremonial gift will be awarded before 3 Yorks’ return parade in November.
 

Warminster mayor Rob Fryer said: “It is with great sadness that the town of Warminster has learnt of the deaths of Sgt Gareth Thursby and Pte Thomas Wroe.
 

“The closeness we feel as a community to our resident regiment makes any loss of life all the more poignant.
 

“We cannot express enough the sorrow we feel for the loss of their lives and our condolences go out to their families and friends.
 

“Individual books of remembrance are open at the Chapel of St Lawrence in the High Street for those who wish to record their sentiments in memory of these two brave young men.”

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