MOVING tributes were paid to a soldier tipped for great things, when his funeral was held on Monday.
Corporal Jake Hartley was described by his brother, Ethan Taylor, as ‘the best brother, the best son, the best friend and the best soldier’.
Hundreds of mourners packed into Christ Church in New Mill for the service. Cpl Hartley, 20, from Dewsbury, was one of six soldiers killed when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on March 6.
His coffin was taken to the church in a white horse-drawn carriage, with ‘Hero’, ‘bro’ and Cpl Hartley’s nickname ‘JJ’ in floral tributes.
Wrapped in a Union Flag, the coffin was carried inside by six soldiers. Inside the church, members of Cpl Hartley’s family shared anecdotes from his life.
His uncle, Luke Kemp, said: “He was one in a million – I will never meet another person like Jake. We still face the fact that his life was cut so tragically short. He will stay in our hearts forever.”
Cpl Hartley’s brother, Ethan, spoke of the fun they had at home. He said: “The last time we talked on the phone... I was trying to make him laugh and I did eventually. That was the last time I spoke to him – laughing, which I’m happy about.”
The Rev Canon Sean Robertshaw, who led the service, said: “Jake was fun-loving and full of life, and that’s how he will be remembered.”
A private burial was held in the churchyard.
A three rifle salute was given and The Last Post was followed by a minute’s silence.