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Pompey News: "Tribute to RM as he is laid to rest"


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Pompey News: "Tribute to Royal Marine Richard Hollington as he is laid to rest"

A village came to a standstill as a brave young hero was laid to rest.

A full military funeral was held yesterday in honour of Royal Marine Richard Hollington - the 300th British serviceman to be killed in Afghanistan.

As his coffin was taken from the hearse draped in the Union flag his devastated parents Robin and Jenny clung to each other.

Six of his closest friends from the Royal Marines acted as pall bearers while his younger brothers, Nick, 21, and Charlie, 18, looked on.

Royal Marine colleagues formed a guard of honour and veterans from the Royal Marines Association acted as standard bearers.

Mourners had started arriving up to two hours early for the midday service at the ancient All Saints' Church of Steep - the village near Petersfield his family call home.

So many people turned up to pay their respects that speakers had to be put up outside the church for the hundreds who could not get in for the service.

Families whose children had grown up with Richard and his brothers, hugged each other, while grown men, many veterans in green berets, wiped away tears for Mne Hollington, 23, who was killed by a roadside bomb while on reassurance patrol with 40 Commando last month.

Unable to make the service six colleagues from 1 Section, 11 Troop, still in Afghanistan sent a tribute which was read out by Brigadier Charlie Hobson: 'The day Dicky was hurt was a very hard day for our section.

'We took comfort in the fact he'd made it back to the UK.

'But a week later, when we found out he hadn't pulled through despite our best efforts that day, was harder still.

'Despite the severity of his injuries he showed his true spirit and courage by fighting until the very end.

'Dicky Hollington was an experienced and respected marine within 11 Troop.

'Because of this he was given one of the hardest, most dangerous jobs.

'He cleared the route from the front for the rest of the lads.

'He did this selflessly without complaint every time we went out.

'Despite the relentlessness of this role day in, day out, he did so always, wearing his huge characteristic smile.

'He was very professional and took his job extremely seriously.

'It was an important part of his life, something that we believe he would have undoubtedly made a highly successful career out of.

'Dicky wasn't just someone you worked with, he was one of the lads, a friend and a brother to us.

'He was always at the heart of the banter turning frowns upside down when morale was low.

'His strong character and upbeat personality will never be forgotten.

'Those who had the honour of meeting him should be proud, he was amongst the best of us.

'Dicky, we will remember you.'

The 11 Troop will pay their respects when they return to the UK from Afghanistan in the autumn.

War ballad The Green Fields of France, by folk band The Fureys, was played as Reverend John Owen asked the mourners to take time to remember the other servicemen who had passed away in the same month as Mne Hollington.

While the haunting sound of The Last Post rung out around the churchyard 12 Royal Marines, standing between ancient gravestones fired a volley of shots as Mne Hollington's body was put back into the funeral hearse, ready to be taken to Chichester Crematorium for a private, family committal.


A moving eulogy was read at the service by family friend Brigadier Charlie Hobson. This is an extract.

Richard Humphrey Hollington was born December 26 1986, to the proudest parents that you could imagine, Robin and Jenny and an extended family.

We have here today many of that family, but grandparents Rita and Sybil are two that deserve a special mention for helping out in the very early days when the family was young.

His first two characteristics that were apparent from an early age were an independence of thought and an ability to ensure that you knew he existed.

Unlike most first babies he arrived early and at a time that was most inconvenient for the family. He caused Jenny much sickness throughout the pregnancy and arrived a week early on Boxing Day after he decided Jen's Christmas cake was not to his liking.

That he inherited this stubbornness from his mother is clear when you hear she refused to believe he had decided to make his entrance during a half hour telephone call with an exasperated midwife at 2am.

One of Richard's greatest talents was for sport and football in particular. He played for Purbrook Athletic - who went through several seasons unbeaten - and Havant in his early days, then Horndean, before semi- professionally for Fareham Town. He was very skilled and captained Hampshire Youth.

Richard possessed kindness, compassion and a gentle side to his character that his mum adored. No mum should have to see this day. With Richard goes part of her, the part that tempered the warrior and turned him into a hero that others admired and looked up to.

She was proud that, whatever scrapes he got into, he never made the same mistakes twice, he apologised when wrong and protected those less well off than him.

Richard Hollington was a very young man who was cruelly taken from us. His courage, generous character and wonderful attributes have been praised by all those who knew him.

Not one of us knows what he might have become but all of us know that our lives are richer because we knew him and that the sense of loss is huge.

He was, by age and experience and was still, in many ways, an innocent young man with the greatest potential.


It was revealed at Marine Hollington's funeral that his death saved the lives of many others.

The fit and healthy young man believed in organ donations and made it clear that upon his death his organs should be used to save others.

Brigadier Charlie Hobson, the family friend who gave the moving eulogy, said: 'His generosity of spirit and care of others can be seen in his demand that his organs be donated.

'Today a 52-year-old father of two has life because of one of Richard's kidneys and a 19-year-old has the other.

'Two more have sight and a whole host of babies have good hearts now thanks to him.

'If he cannot be with us then he at least has spared some others.'

His family praised his decision and, speaking after his death, they said: 'It was typical of Richard, and a crumb of comfort to us, that even in death he donated his organs to help others in accordance with his wishes.'

Friends and family have also donated money to Help for Heroes, the charity which supports injured service personnel, after a request from Mne Hollington's family.

Since his death on June 20, a staggering £7,550 has been donated from those eager to make sure some good comes out of such a tragic loss.

To make a donation go to where you can also leave a message of condolence.

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