Marine Funeral in Hampshire

Family, friends and colleagues will gather today for the funeral of the 300th British serviceman killed in Afghanistan who has been described as a ''lion'' and ''one of the finest''.

Marine Richard Hollington, of 40 Commando Royal Marines, was injured in a blast in the Sangin district but died from his wounds eight days later on June 20 in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.

A funeral with full military honours will be held at All Saints Church in his home village of Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire. This will be followed by a private cremation before the family joins friends for a party at a local pub.

His father Robin wrote on his son's Facebook page: ''Funeral 6th Jul - Big military style open to all, followed by private cremation (others can go to the local pub) then family return to the pub for a big big party.''

Marine Hollington leaves behind his parents Jenny and Robin, and younger brothers Nick and Charlie. The 23-year-old was deployed to the Sangin district in April. The marine, who was known as Dickie, was injured in a blast during a reassurance patrol on the afternoon of June 12.

He was evacuated to hospital where his condition was described as critical and was later transferred to Birmingham where he died. His family, who were by his side when he died, said: ''What can we say that hasn't been said so many times before and will be repeated so many times to come? Richard will leave a huge numbing hole in the lives of his family, friends and Royal Marine colleagues. The saying goes, ''It is better to live one day as a lion than your whole life as a worm" He chose to live his days as a lion and to us, and we believe his friends, he was the biggest, if softest, lion in the pride - how proud of him we all are. It was typical of Richard, and a crumb of comfort to us, that even in death he donated his organs to help others in accordance with his wishes.'

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