Stuart Hamilton tragedy: Hundreds at funeral for ‘a mighty warrior’ and Royal Irish Corporal
Hundreds of people turned out near Tandragee yesterday to pay their last respects to Royal Irish Corporal Stuart Hamilton.Mr Hamilton died in a tragic climbing accident in Donegal last weekend.
Stuart, from Cloghoge Road, Tandragee, is the son of Alan and Alison Hamilton and brother of Helen, Gordon and Leanne.
His funeral was from his home yesterday to Clare Reformed Presbyterian Churchyard for a graveside service at 2.30pm.
Rev Peter Dundee of Clare Reformed Presbyterian Church said hundreds of people turned out, and that he could not see the full extent of the crowd.
He paid tribute to Stuart’s professional life with Dundia in Dungannon.
“He knew so many people in the farming community and was the face of a meat campaign in some supermarkets and in television adverts,” Rev Dundee said.
The military reservist and Afghanistan veteran had also attained a business-related Master degree and was an accomplished sportsman.
“He was a remarkable athlete and always tried to go higher, longer and faster. A few weeks ago he did the Antrim Coast Half marathon with a 60lb pack on his back and finished in a world record time.
”Stuart also had great community ties and and kept in contact with friends he went to school with and paraded locally in the loyal orders.”He was also a keen member of Clare Reformed Presbyterian church, he added.
Rev Dundee said he was given a full military funeral.
“It was very moving. The pallbearers were all in full ceremonial uniform and there was the flag and beret on the coffin. They carried the coffin into the cemetery with a piper leading them.”
The scripture for his address was, ‘The Lord is with us - a mighty warrior to save’.
“The whole theme was that Stuart was a mighty warrior, but even he could not defeat the final enemy of death - that is why he needed Christ as the final victor over it.”
He added that Stuart had a genuine personal faith, which his family is drawing great comfort from during their loss.
Earlier this week, the Commanding Officer of 2 R IRISH, Lt Col Simon Baxter, said Mr Hamilton or “Hammy” as he was known, was “a truly outstanding soldier and commander”.
He added: “Always going a little further, he consistently strived to go the extra mile. He was the best of his peer group and tested himself constantly. He was larger than life and a true battalion character, admired and respected by everyone he met. We will miss him dearly and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time.”
The regiment said it is continuing to provide Cpl Hamilton’s family support at this incredibly difficult time.
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