Tribute to Jake

TRIBUTES to fallen soldier Cpl Jake Hartley have been etched forever on the hands of his friends at a Heckmondwike tattoo shop.

Monday, 19th March 2012, 1:00 pm

The Ink Station tattooists Kim Walsh and Lyndsay Bradford have inked Cpl Hartley’s initials, his date of birth and the date he died on to eight of his friends’ skin.

Cpl Hartley, of Third Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment, was on a mounted patrol when the Warrior armoured vehicle he was travelling in was caught in an explosion.

Five other soldiers died alongside him.

Lyndsay said: “We know a lot of people who knew Jake.

“Five of his friends came into the shop to ask about having the tattoo and we managed to squeeze them in.

“We did it for free, just because we thought it was a really nice thing they were doing for their friend.

“Since then we have had more people coming in to ask about it and have it done. They are all really good friends of Jake’s.

“They were all saying what a legend he was and how shaken up they all were. It seems like he was a really popular person.

“They couldn’t say enough nice things about him, and about how they were all missing him so much.

“We were honoured to be able to do it.”

More friends were expected to come into the shop in High Street, Heckmondwike, to have the tattoo done tomorrow.

l ARMY bosses have paid glowing tributes to Corporal Jake Hartley who they said was a natural leader.

Describing him as a star, Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning MBE said: “Cpl Hartley was the ultimate infantry soldier and naturally stood out from his peers. Fit, motivated, yet always understated, he was one of the best.”