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Full military honours for a young soldier

Several hundred members of the local community in Sandys Parish gathered at St James Church on Tuesday to pay their last respects to 24-year-old Lance Corporal Steven Pitts-Wade who died last week.

Lance Corporal Pitts-Wade was granted full military honours when the funeral cortège left the Pearman's Funeral Home led by the Royal Bermuda Regiment Band.

The cortège was accompanied by a contingent of soldiers who wore black armbands in honour and respect to their fallen colleague who died after suffering a 17-month battle with leukaemia.

Several members of the local community lined the streets as the cortège wound its way along the Main Road in Somerset for the half-mile journey to St James Church.

There were a host of local dignitaries that attended and participated in the celebration-of-life service that was officiated by Archdeacon Emeritus and Rector Dr Arnold Hollis.

A host of glowing tributes were offered by the Commanding Officer of the Royal Bermuda Regiment Lt Col David Curley, who highlighted Lance Corporal Pitts-Wade's tenure in the Regiment.

A further tribute of his sterling participation was offered by Warrant Officer Dean Rubaine. A personal tribute was offered by Bishop Steven Jones, the president of the United Holy Church in Bermuda. Acknowledgments and prayers were offered by the Acting Governor of Bermuda, Ginny Ferson, the Bishop of Bermuda Rev Nicholas Dill and the Chaplin of the Royal Bermuda Regiment, Lt Musa Daba. There were two musical selections that included a solo sung by Leanne Medeiros, and a duet sung by Malachi Johnson and Tariq Tucker.

The obituary, which was read by a cousin of the deceased, Harry Hunt, confirmed that Steven Pitts-Wade was born on Friday April 10, 1992.

He was a long-term resident of Sandys Parish and was the great-grandson of Amond Hunt and great-nephew of Alma “Champ” Hunt, two outstanding Somerset residents and former Cup Match cricketers who played in the last century for Somerset Cricket Club.

Steven, who was more affectionately known as “Boggie” to close family and friends, commenced his education at the Southampton Preschool where his teacher was retired principal Sylvia Caines. He subsequently attended Southampton Glebe School, Sandys Middle School, and the Berkeley Institute.

In his formative years, Steven exhibited a great passion for sports.

He played cricket for the Somerset Bridge Club, and football for the Somerset Cricket Club. He was also an ardent fan of Manchester United and the Boston Red Sox.

Steven had a host of dreams and life-long ambitions which he hoped to fulfil. It was his aspiration to become a Buyer for Marks & Spencer and ultimately pursue a professional career as a social worker. He was also interested in pursuing a long-term career with the Royal Bermuda Regiment and undertake a few courses one of which included sniper training.

Lance Corporal Pitts-Wade lived a brief, but impactful life, that was filled with a sense of vigour and vitality and one of which garnered the respect of his family members, neighbours and friends, all of whom paid their last respect at his funeral service earlier this week

Lance Corporal Pitts-Wade's funeral was somewhat of an historical note.

The last occasion in which I can recollect a funeral with full military honours conducted at St James Church was in the last two decades. I recall quite vividly when high military honours were granted to two former Somerset residents, both of whom were former Commanding Officers of the Bermuda Regiment. That included Lt Col Sir Jeffrey Astwood, former Member and Speaker of the House of Assembly, and Captain Craig Curtis.

They both died in a short span of each other and their funeral services were held within seven days of each other.

Filled with vitality: Lance Corporal Steven Pitts-Wade, who died after a 17-month battle with leukaemia

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Published August 13, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 13, 2016 at 3:22 am)

Full military honours for a young soldier

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