Town pays tribute to fallen soldier

Private Daniel Prior
Private Daniel Prior

THE TOWN Hall flag was lowered to half-mast and the church bells of St Saviour’s rang out over Eastbourne for the funeral of fallen hero Private Daniel Prior last week.

Private Prior, died on March 18 from the injuries he suffered as a result of a bomb blast in Helmand province.

The 27-year-old was serving in Afghanistan with the 2nd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment. At his funeral on Monday, April 4, his parents, Ian and Gillian, who both live in Eastbourne, said they were proud of the work their “selfless and loving” son had carried out for his country.

Private Prior, who was originally from Peacehaven but living with his wife Emily in Colchester, became a father three weeks before his death.

His new son, Logan, attended the funeral in his mother’s arms and was dressed in a para’s red cap. There was also a floral tribute from little Logan which spelled out the word ‘daddy’.

Mrs Prior, 21, told mourners at his funeral that getting married and giving birth to Logan had been ‘the two happiest days of my life’.

She added, “One day the three of us will be a family again.”

Platoon Commander Jonny Mortimer Hendry said Pte Prior was very professional and an outstanding soldier.

He said, “He encapsulated the character of a paratrooper, but he was also a family man.

“He had tight bonds with his family and was a very caring and loving man who will be sorely missed by us all.”

Police closed South Street and there was a guard of honour as Private Prior’s coffin, which was draped in a Union flag, was carried in and out of the church by his para colleagues.

A lone bugler played the Last Post and Private Prior’s coffin was taken to Ocklynge Cemetery for a private burial.