THE family of fallen Marine David O’Connor have thanked the public for their ‘overwhelming’ support.
The mother of Corporal O’Connor, Rosemary Turner, said the support she has received from well-wishers, as well as her son’s comrades in the forces, had been tremendous.
As reported, the 27-year-old, of West Street, of 40 Commando, died after being attacked on patrol in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, last month.
Hundreds of people are expected to gather in Havant to pay their respects as the funeral cortege travels along West Street on Thursday.
Mrs Turner said: ‘I have lost my beautiful son.
‘We have been quite overwhelmed by the support.
‘There’s been a lot of support from well-wishers from across the country and the services themselves.’
She added that David’s family were very private and needed time and space to grieve.
However, they welcome anyone who wishes to pay their respects and so the cortege will be passing along the pedestrian precinct towards St Faith’s Church.
People wishing to pay their respects to Cpl O’Connor should gather at 1.30pm.
The cortege will arrive at the church at 1.50pm and the service begins at 2pm.
The family have requested that the committal service at Chichester crematorium be private.
It will be attended by close family members only.
Warm tributes have been paid by Cpl O’Connor’s comrades.
Captain Steve Taylor, Officer Commanding 8 Troop, Charlie Company, 40 Commando Royal Marines, said: ‘More than anyone in the company, Corporal Dave O’Connor embodied the history and ethos of everything we stand for: utterly professional and exceptionally sharp when it counted and the social epicentre of the troop.
‘His ability to both inspire and reduce you to tears of laughter within the same conversation was irreplaceable.
‘As we press on we will forever miss that unmistakable smile.’
People can also donate in memory of Cpl O’Connor.
The family has chosen the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund as their charity.
Donations should be made payable to the funeral director, Chester Pearce Associates Ltd, and sent c/o 10, Brookside Road, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 2BL.