On the 3rd September, Members of 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron joined hundreds of people who lined the streets for one of the most emotive funerals Nuneaton has ever seen, as 18 year old Fusilier Louis Carter was laid to rest.
The Squadron joined the ranks of the Cadet Forces, Standard Bearers and Ex-Service Associations as the town of Nuneaton turned out to say their final goodbye to teenager Louis Carter who, in an act of sheer bravery, lost his own life trying to save a colleague in Afghanistan.
The Squadron's Banner joined an impressive array of thirty six standards which were on parade as the cortège approached Our Lady of the Angels Church for the Requiem Mass which was conducted with full military honours. As Louis's coffin, draped in the Union Flag and born by members of the 2 nd Battalion the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers left the Church the silence was broken as seven members of the regiment fired off the traditional three volleys in salute to their fallen comrade. As the cortège left the Church the people of Nuneaton once again lined the streets with the uniformed contingents, ex-servicemen and the Standard Bearers who dipped their standards in salute as the fallen hero started his final journey to the Heart of England Crematorium for a private family service.
Flight Lieutenant Paul Hincks of 121 ( Nuneaton ) Squadron and a regular member of the congregation at Our Lady of the Angels Church said, “We are always touched with sadness each and every time we hear the news of the death of yet another member of our armed forces in Afghanistan . We always try to pay our respects by lowering our flag to half-mast during squadron parades when casualties are announced. Our thoughts go out to their families, friends and their colleagues who continue with their missions under extremely difficult conditions.”
“But when we heard about Louis Carter from the heart of our own community here in Nuneaton and Sergeant Simon Valentine from Bedworth it brought it all much closer to home. The realisation that Louis, only 18 years old who was a former member of the Army Cadet Force and the same age as some of our own cadets, several of whom were close friends of Louis and attended the same church and schools.”
“Louis was a true hero, who lost his life trying to save a colleague. The fact that so many local people turned out today was a wonderful tribute to him from the people of Nuneaton . It was one of the most moving events I have ever attended and I am glad that as a squadron we were there with the other cadet forces and ex-service contingents to give Fusilier Louis Carter a fitting send-off. I am in no doubt that we can all truly say, ‘We Will Remember Him'.”
The funeral of another local hero, Sergeant Simon Valentine from Bedworth, who also sadly lost his life in Afghanistan , will take place on Thursday, 10 th September.
Our thoughts are with the families of Fusilier Louis Carter and Sergeant Simon Valentine at this very difficult time.