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Under a leaden sky, mourners gathered to say farewell to a comrade, a son, a brother and a new dad.

Byline: Katie Davies Chief Reporter katie.davies@ncjmedia

THE young son of a fallen fusilier paid tribute to his daddy as hundreds gathered to remember him.

Friends, family and forces veterans gathered outside Birtley Crematorium in Gateshead to say their final goodbyes to Sean Foster.

And as the cortege pulled into the grounds a special wreath, which read "daddy" from Sean's seven-month-old baby Tyler could be seen.

Representatives from the Northumberland and North East Fusilier Association attended and a flag bearer led the procession into the crematorium.

During the emotional humanist service a poem written by Sean's mum Norma, entitled 'You made up your own rules', was read out.

Bette Midler's 'The Rose' was also played to the packed crematorium, as mourners took time to think about their own memories of Sean.

The dad-of-one, who was 23, plunged nearly 200ft to his death from the Tyne Bridge last month.

A major search and rescue operation was launched to find him and his body was recovered from the Tyne more than two weeks later.

Sean had left his sister Dawn Flett's home in Carr Hill, Gateshead, in seemingly good spirits. But soon after, the mum-of-two received a disturbing text message from Sean suggesting he was thinking about ending his life.

A frantic family search for the dad-of-one proved fruitless before the devastating news reached them that a man had been seen on the bridge.

During the service, tributes read out on behalf of Dawn described Sean as "the best kid brother".

Other floral tributes simply read: "Bro" and "Son".

At the end of the service a bugler played The Last Post, while fusiliers saluted the coffin.

The flag bearer then lowered the Colours before the curtains at the crematorium closed and members of the family could be heard saying "love you Sean".

Following the service NTrance's 'Set You Free' was played to the congregation - a song his family wanted everyone to remember Sean by.

Donations from yesterday's service were for the mental health charity Mind.

After leaving St Edmund Campion Catholic School at 16, Sean joined the army and was based in barracks in Tidworth, in Wiltshire.

His family were proud to see him at his passing out parade before he was sent to Germany. He left the army a year ago and his former partner gave birth to Tyler seven months ago.

Sean moved back to Gateshead to be with his sister and friends and has since started work at Tyneside Safety Glass on the Team Valley.

At 6ft, Sean was fit and healthy, loved the army and was wellknown when he represented his barracks in boxing.

CAPTION(S):

| Left, Sean with his newborn son Tyler. Above, the funeral cortege is solemnly led into |the Cremtorium, and inset, Sean in his army days. Below, mourners gather as the cortege arrives in silence

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 15, 2014
Words:472
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