FRIENDS of a soldier who died after being wounded by an improvised explosive device are taking part in the Seaford Half Marathon to raise funds for his baby son.
Private Daniel Prior, pictured, whose parents live in Eastbourne, was serving with the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment and was based in Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand province.
The 27-year-old was tasked with providing fire support for his fellow paratroopers and the Afghan National Army during a reassurance patrol in a small village in the district.
He was wounded by the IED and despite medical care in Afghanistan and in the UK, he died of his wounds on March 18, in the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at Queen Elizabeth NHS Hospital, Birmingham.
His funeral was held in Eastbourne earlier this year.
Now Chris Hearn and his friend Jamie Linkson have come up with the idea to raise money for a trust fund for Daniel’s son Logan and have been overwhelmed by the response.
The Peacehaven residents will be running or walking the half marathon on Sunday June 5 and have so far raised around £1,200.
Of the support Chris, 26, said, “It’s been really encouraging, it’s nice that Dan had a lot of friends and people who cared about him.”
More than 100 people have vowed to support the duo, either by taking part in the event, raising money or coming along to cheer them on.
Chris and Jamie, who have set up a group on Facebook where people can sponsor them, will be printing t-shirts with Daniel’s picture on to wear for the fundraiser.
Chris, who has known Daniel since the age of 11 when they were at Tideway School together, added, “Dan was a really, really genuine friend. He was very, very funny and he could always make you laugh. He was the best friend you could have asked for.
“As well as asking people to donate on Facebook we are also asking anyone who knew him to leave a message about him to create an album for Logan.”
Daniel’s wife Emily has welcomed the trust fund idea and will be coming down to support Chris and Jamie during the half marathon.
As well as Emily and Logan, Daniel also leaves behind his father Ian and mother Gillian.
He completed his basic training in January 2008 and was then posted to the 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment where he proved to be an exceptional soldier.
To contribute to Logan’s trust fund by sponsoring any of the runners visit Facebook, then events and type in Logan’s run - in memory of Dan Prior. There is also a PayPal link on the site.