THE sister of a Glenrothes soldier who died in a tragic road crash fought back tears to deliver an emotional eulogy at his funeral.
More than 350 mourners packed Markinch Parish Church to pay tribute to private Stuart Young who died when his broken-down vehicle was involved in a collision on the A1 near Peterborough on January 5. During the full military funeral, his sister Amanda said: “The last two weeks have been heartbreaking, one of the worst times in my life. “But one comfort is hearing from people telling us stories about him.” Amanda’s words, along with eulogies from Stuart’s father, Kenny and friend Scott Bowie were followed by load applause.
Kenny Young, who was in the Army himself for 24 years told mourners: “The last week has been a living nightmare, but to have received the support, kind messages, cards, flowers and to see the messages on Facebook from all Stuart’s friends has helped us get through this difficult time.
“Stuart was a kind, generous and fun-loving person who would do anything for anyone. He was a loyal friend who kept in touch with his school friends despite leaving home to join the Army in 2007.
“Stuart was a committed dedicated soldier who would rise to any challenge and was at the top level of Army fitness. He was a top Army skier who represented the Army at Nordic skiing and was selected for the British Biathlon Ski Squad.”
He added: “Stuart was our hero; he brought so much to our life and will leave a massive hole in our hearts. He will be sorely missed not only by us, his family, but also by his friends and colleagues.”
Best friend Scott Bowie described his friendship with the former Glenwood High School pupil as “unconditional” and said Stuart was “one in a million”.
He added: He would do anything for his friends and he would do it with a smile on his face.
“We will all miss him terribly and feel privileged to have been part of his life. We will never forget him.”
Shortly before, a lone piper played as the coffin, draped in the Union flag, with the 24-year-olds beret on top, was carried into the church by six of his comrades.
Pte Young was a member of the 13 Air Assault Support Regiment and had been based at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan for seven months during a tour in 2012.
Lieutenant Colonel David Marshall, commanding officer 13 Air Assault Support Regiment RLC said: “As a close knit Regiment, we were shocked and saddened by the death of Private Stuart Young.
Private Young was the epitome of everything that was good in a soldier; intelligent, committed, utterly professional and a thoroughly good bloke, he made an immediate impact on his arrival in the Regiment.
“He endeared himself to all with his personality and character and had a bright future; his loss will be sorely felt by the Regiment.
“My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.”
Mourners later gathered at Leslie Cemetery for the burial where commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Marshall presented Stuart’s mum Jean with a folded Union flag as an Army bugler played the last post.