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Final salute for Josh

By Fiona Reid
Annan and Eskdale
Final salute for Josh

A FULL military funeral took place at the Crichton Church in Dumfries on Thursday for Ecclefechan soldier Josh Hoole.

Members of the 1st Battalion, The Rifles, in which he served, carried his Union flag draped coffin into the church and gave him a final salute.
He was later cremated in a private family service at Roucan Loch.
Corporal Hoole’s last journey started in his home village just after 1 pm where locals and comrades lined the streets as his hearse passed by in the rain, led by a military piper, enroute to Dumfries.
A packed congregation at the Crichton Church heard tributes from his brother Tyrone, also in the Army, and his grandfather Jack Craig, himself a veteran.
And Captain Ian Cullen, of The Rifles, spoke on behalf of the regiment.
Prayers were led during the emotional service by  the infantry’s senior chaplain Paul Swinn and army padre Andy Oliver, and the hymns were Amazing Grace and I Vow To Thee.
Two of his favourite songs were also played: ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay and ‘Wake Me Up When September Ends’ by Green Day.
The 26-year-old died last week as he completed a run and fitness tests in Wales as part of his work towards becoming a platoon sergeant.
His father Phillip Hoole, a former sergeant major in the British Army, this week described his son as ‘extremely fit, extremely dedicated and professional.”
He added: “He was also a very caring young man who would help anybody.”
Josh was engaged to be married to his fiancee Rachael McKie, with whom he shared a house in Dumfries.
He was also due to be best man at his brother’s wedding near Edinburgh this weekend –  and that will still go ahead as planned.

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