A “LION of England” who lost his life fighting in Iraq was honoured by family, friends and fellow servicemen as a new road was named after him.
Dozens of people turned out in cold, wet weather to commemorate Kearsley’s Kingsman Jamie Hancock, who died in 2006, aged just 19, in Iraq.
A memorial stone was unveiled on the newly-named Hancock Close, off Thomas Street, in Hindley Green, which hailed a “local lad killed in action”.
A traditional bugle call to mark fallen service personnel was sounded, with soldiers from the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment standing to attention.
Jamie’s father Eddie said he still “desperately” misses his son and restated his opposition to Britain’s intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr Hancock said: “It was very moving. Of course no one wants to see their son or daughter’s name on a memorial stone but it is nice to know that he will be remembered by the community.
“The army has been very supportive. Some of the lads here served with Jamie. It is such a waste so it is nice to know that they won’t be going back to Afghanistan again.
“Everyone says I am only against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan because my son died but that is not the case. I was opposed to it from the start.
“All this fighting has been for nothing.
“They say it is too soon to say whether anything has changed but it has been 10 years and I am appalled by it.
“There are so many soldiers as well starting a life sentence with a disability but we never hear about them.”
Kingsman Hancock, who attended Hesketh Fletcher High School in Atherton, died when he came under fire manning a watch tower in Basra in November, 2006. He was wearing body armour, but a bullet entered the armhole of his sleeveless protector.
Major George Briscoe, who laid a wreath of poppies at the foot of the stone, said: “Obviously this means a lot to the people of this area, for one of their lads.
“It is marvellous what Wigan has done for him. His parents were thrilled with what has gone on here today.
“This will always be here and ensure that the people of this community never forget Jamie.”
A remembrance message on the wreath laid by Major Briscoe read: “Never forgotten, brother in arms”.