Our hero: First Bristol serviceman killed in Afghanistan laid to rest
GUN shots rang out across the city yesterday as The Rifles saluted the first Bristol soldier to lose his life in the Army's current mission in Afghanistan.
Around 1,000 mourners filled Bristol Cathedral to pay tribute to Lieutenant Andrew Chesterman, the 26-year-old from Stoke Bishop who was shot by insurgents on August 9, as he battled to gain control of an ambush after a vehicle in the patrol he was commanding struck a roadside bomb.
In a moving eulogy, Andrew's father, Paul Chesterman, said it was "impossible for a father to have greater pride in his son".
Earlier in the service, Mr Chesterman had comforted Andrew's two sisters, Anna and Olivia, as they led the procession into the cathedral behind the Union Flag-draped coffin – Andrew's mother, Julia, died of cancer five years ago.
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The young officer had been enjoying a flourishing military career since graduating from Sandhurst in 2010. In his dignified eulogy Mr Chesterman described his son as a "brigadier in waiting".
"Andrew died secure and confident in the love and pride in which his family held him," Mr Chesterman said.
Major Ian Cameron, commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion The Rifles, described Lt Chesterman as a "talented, determined and committed" officer.
The funeral was held with full military honours, culminating in a fusillade – a traditional Army salute being fired across College Green as Lt Chesterman's coffin left the city centre for a private cremation.