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Family bid farewell to beloved son and father Paul.

Byline: By Jackie Bow South Wales Echo

A young soldier's life and ultimate sacrifice has been commemorated with a special service. A plaque was unveiled and dedicated at Abercynon clock war memorial yesterday in honour of young dad Corporal Paul Joszko, who was killed by a roadside bomb in June in Iraq, at the age of 28.

A poignant sight for onlookers was the presence of his one-year-old son Dylan with his mum Kayleigh, Cpl Joszko's partner, who is expecting their second child next month.

They and Cpl Joszko's parents Linda and David and sister Maria, were joined by extended family, Cpl Joszko's friends, civic leaders, Regiment representatives, Royal British Legion members, standard bearers and people from the village.

The gathering of more than 150 heard Rev Pauline Williams, who conducted the service, speak of Cpl Joszko, who served with the Second Battalion the Royal Welsh, as "a young man that gave his all".

Prayers were read by Father Andrew Holmes, who had buried Cpl Joszko.

Retired Major Mike Hooley, who had broken the tragic news of the dedicated and respected soldier's death to the family, gave a reading.

The memorial plaque was unveiled by Cpl Joszko's sister Maria and Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Councillor Jane Ward. Among the poppy wreaths laid were those by Cpl Joszko's father David on behalf of the family and by Cynon Valley AM Christine Chapman.

Rev Williams said: "We were fortunate to have a window of dry, bright weather and the sun briefly broke through.

"It was a very difficult day for the family because their grief is still very raw. But it is also a day on which they were rightly and justly proud. "It was a very emotional time but I think they are pleased it had gone so well and that so many people attended.There is a permanent reminder now of a young man that gave his all. It was certainly poignant for onlookers to see his little one there." The Act of Remembrance was followed by the Last Post. Two minutes' silence was observed before Reveille and the hymn Abide With Me.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Oct 29, 2007
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