A CITY came to a standstill for a funeral with full military honours for a young soldier from Redruth who showed "inspirational courage".
Sergeant Aaron Curtis, a 32-year-old father of two, was airlifted from Afghanistan suffering from severe head pains in June 2011.
And on Thursday fellow soldiers travelled from Germany to honour their colleague who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in February and died at the Royal Cornwall Hospital on October 7.
His commanding officer, Major Jamie Thompson, told the congregation at Truro Cathedral that Sergeant Curtis was "bold, tenacious and charismatic – where he led, his men followed".
The centre of Truro fell quiet for the funeral attended by hundreds of friends and family alongside two coachloads of soldiers from Hohne in Germany where Sergeant Curtis was previously based with the Royal Engineers.
"He was a great mentor to his junior soldiers, pushing them hard to develop their abilities and believe in themselves," said Major Thompson.
"Personable and compassionate, he had a knack of finding humour in the most testing situations, often at the expense, but never to the detriment of his fellow soldiers."
Having signed up as an apprentice in 1995 Sergeant Curtis served in Bosnia, Kosovo and two missions to Afghanistan.
"His truly inspirational courage has become legendary throughout the Corps – proving the very best of role models for a new generation of sappers," said Major Thompson.
Mourners were told the soldier was a devoted husband and father who represented his regiment in football, rugby and cricket. Last Post sounded from a bugler at the back of the cathedral and the coffin, wrapped in the Union flag, was carried out by colleagues to a gun salute that rang out through the city.
Sergeant Curtis leaves behind his wife, Joe nine-year-old son, Cirry and daughter, Megan, 11.
Mrs Curtis told the West Briton: "I could not fault him – he was a loving husband and dad and always there.
"We never went without anything. He was always doing things with the kids – just an amazing man and we were a very close family."
Mrs Curtis said her husband was devoted to the Army, adding: "He loved his lads and did everything for them. Everybody he met he touched their hearts in one way or another."
Mrs Curtis also said when her husband was ill their children "would even fight over who would do personal care for him. I'm really proud of them and I know Aaron would be too."