A 39-YEAR-OLD Scarborough soldier was laid to rest with full military honours in his home town yesterday.
Friends, family and colleagues from the armed forces gathered at St Mark’s Church, in Coldyhill Lane, to pay their last respects to Staff Sergeant Stuart Jones who passed away at his Ipswich home earlier this month.
He served with 4 Regiment Army Air Corps (AAC) and was based at Wattisham Airfield. Soldiers from his regiment formed a guard of honour to lead his coffin into the church.
Major Tom Hargreave, the regiment’s acting commanding officer, paid tribute to the keen sportsman during the service.
He said: “Staff Sgt Stu Jones was a highly valued soldier and senior NCO, having completed 22 years military service, including three operational tours – most recently in Afghanistan in 2008.”
Major Hargreave said that Staff Sgt Jones was an experienced soldier, and a keen sportsman, who was an active ice hockey player and ski instructor.
He added: “He was held in high regard by all who met him.”
Staff Sgt Jones had previously served with Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) and members of the Scarborough and District Branch of the REME Association attended the service.
Keith Hall, the branch president, said he had been honoured to be asked to attend the funeral of a colleague.
He said: “We never met him but we’ve heard a lot about him. It shows what type of person he was with the turnout – particularly the military turnout.”
John Anderson, the secretary of the Scarborough branch of the Royal British Legion and who formerly served with REME, said Staff Sgt Jones had been a friend who had visited the branch during his leave.
He said: “He was going to retire in the near future and return to the Scarborough area. I was looking forward to welcoming him to the legion – swelling the number of REME personnel to two.”
During the service his brother Chris and his friend Albie Hall made their own personal tributes. The former Raincliffe School student, who was the son of Ken and Susan, was later buried at Woodlands Cemetery.
His family requested no floral tributes and donations in his memory were made at the funeral service to The British Legion and the Army Benevolent Fund.