A TRAGIC Fylde coast soldier killed in Afghanistan will finally be laid to rest on Friday.
Sgt Nigel Coupe died alongside five of his comrades when their armoured vehicle was hit by a Taliban bomb in Helmand Province.
The blast happened last month and now, after weeks of delays, it has been announced a full military funeral for the 33-year-old will be held in St Annes Parish Church this Friday.
In the aftermath of his death Sgt Coupe’s wife, Natalie, described her husband, who was born and bred in St Annes, as her “soulmate” – and the family have said the soldier will be “greatly missed” by all his family and friends.
The father-of-two’s funeral will be held in the Church Road church at noon, followed by a private interment.
The funeral is subject to Sgt Coupe’s body being released by the coroner.
Sgt Coupe had been deployed to Afghanistan on February 14 and was on patrol with comrades Corporal Jack Hartley, 20, and Privates Anthony Frampton, 20, Christopher Kershaw, 19, Daniel Wade, 20, and Daniel Wilford, 21, when they were killed near the border between Helmand and Kandahar provinces on March 6.
They were patrolling in a Warrior armoured vehicle when it was hit by an improvised explosive device.
The St Annes soldier was a member of 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, but he was on secondment with the other soldiers’ battalion, the 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment.
Sgt Coupe’s funeral will be the first of the six to be held after their bodies were flown back on March 20.
Those who served alongside Sgt Coupe described him “the perfect gentleman” who always put others before himself.
His commanding officer described him as “simply the best” at what he did – words echoed by his mum Elaine Freeman, 53.
The former Lytham St Annes High School pupil leaves behind his wife Natalie and their two children, five-year-old Ella and two-year-old Jasmine.