Son pays emotional tribute to ‘amazing’ soldier father

Funeral of Captain Walter Barrie. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Funeral of Captain Walter Barrie. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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THE tearful son of a soldier killed by a rogue Afghan gunman on Remembrance Sunday has thanked his dad for “lots of good memories”.

Callum Barrie, 15, spoke at the funeral of Captain Walter Barrie, who was shot in an “insider attack” on November 11 while serving with The Royal Scots Borderers, 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (1 Scots).

Captain Walter Barrie's son and wife, Callum and Sonia. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Captain Walter Barrie's son and wife, Callum and Sonia. Picture: Ian Georgeson

He was playing in a football match between British soldiers and members of the Afghan National Army at Patrol Base Shawqat in the Nad-e Ali area of Helmand province when he was attacked.

Callum told mourners at Glencorse Kirk in Penicuik, Midlothian, that his dad was “caring, funny and kind”.

He said: “One thing I will always remember is that he’d give anything a try and would always do it with a smile on his face. He treated everyone he met with respect and usually managed to have a laugh and joke.

“I was very close to my dad and have lots of good memories, the best of which included football.

“Whether we were playing in the garden or driving to see Rangers, we always had a good time.

“Today I come to say goodbye to an amazing father, but also my best friend. Thank you, dad, for all the memories.”

Capt Barrie, 41, had served in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Northern Ireland. He was also an instructor at Sandhurst, the elite military college, and was on his second tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was killed.

Originally from Glasgow, he was a keen skier, a football coach and a fanatical Rangers supporter. Club manager Ally McCoist was amongst the 900-strong congregation that filled the kirk and overspill area outside.

The coffin – bearing a Union flag and a poppy wreath – was carried into the service to a lone piper. It was later carried out to the Tina Turner song and Rangers anthem The Best.

Reverend Benjamin Abeledo, who led the service, spoke of Capt Barrie’s life.

He told the gathering: “There is no doubt that with the death of Walter a great man has fallen. Scotland has lost a great son. The regiment has lost a great soldier.”

A statement read out on behalf of Capt Barrie’s wife, Sonia, said: “Walter loved the short time he spent at 1 Scots. He felt welcome and part of the family and he made many friends.

“But his heart will always be with the Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2 Scots, but more so with C Company, where he spent many amazing years.

“Walter Reid Barrie was simply the best. Love and miss you forever, babes. Sonia.”