Her father would be so proud: Daughter of fallen soldier in landmark DNA case wears his medals to welcome home his regiment Emma Hickman, 19, won the right to
officially name killed soldier Daniel Wade as the father of their five-month-old after a legal wrangle over his DNAMother and daughter today watched his 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment return home after six-month tour of Afghanistan
Private Wade was one of 10 soldiers killed from the regiment
21:53 GMT, 5 December 2012
This heartbreaking picture shows the medals of a soldier killed in Afghanistan pinned to the coat of his five-month-old daughter – just a month after her mother proved his paternity in a landmark case.
Lexie-Mai Wade was pictured among the crowds at the homecoming parade of her father's 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment as they marched through the city of York today.
Her mother Emma Hickman, 19, won the right to officially name Daniel Wade, who died in a Taliban bomb attack in March, as the father of the five-month-old after a legal wrangle over his DNA.
Five-month-old Lexie-Mai Wade today wore the medals of her father Private Daniel Wade, who was killed in Afghanistan, during the homecoming parade of the 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment
It comes shortly after Emma Hickman, pictured left with Lexie-Mai, was forced to push the Ministry of Defence to release Private Daniel Wade's DNA to prove his paternity and name him on her daughter's birth certificate
Welcome home: Lexi-Mai was among hundreds of well-wishers to welcome home soldiers of 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, who lost ten comrades in Afghanistan including her father Private Wade
Because Private Wade and Miss Hickman were
unmarried, she had to press the Ministry of Defence to release his DNA
so she could prove paternity and name him on the birth certificate.
Mother and daughter were today among
the crowds to welcome home the soldiers who have recently completed a
six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan and to remember their ten fallen
comrades – including Private Wade.
The 500 soldiers of the 3rd
Battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment, based in Wiltshire, marched through
the city for an inspection and salute in front of guests, families and
onlookers before attending the service this afternoon.
Legal Battle: Emma Hickman, 19, who was engaged to Private Daniel Wade, struggled to officially name him as the father of five-month-old Lexie-Mai because the couple were not married
Tribute: Lexie-Mai's father Private Wade was one of ten soldiers from the regiment killed in Afghanistan
Home for Christmas: Fellow soldiers from 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment today returned from a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan
The Duke of York Andrew, who is
Colonel-in-Chief of the Yorkshire Regiment, took part in the service to
celebrate the regiment's return from Afghanistan.
He gave a reading during the ceremony at York Minster, where he met Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu.
The soldiers paid tribute to those
killed in out in Afghanistan – including Corporal Jake Hartley, Private
Anton Frampton and Private Daniel Wilford who died when their Warrior
armoured vehicle was blown up by a Taliban improvised explosive device
Private Wade and Private Christopher
Kershaw – also of 3rd Battalion – and Sergeant Nigel Coupe – of 1st
Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, on secondment to the
Yorkshire Regiment – were also killed in the attack.
A warm welcome: School children line the route to show support as soldiers from 3rd Battalion the Yorkshire Regiment marched through the city
Special service: Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment arrive at York Minster for a homecoming service
Private Tom Wroe and Sergeant Gareth Thursby were shot dead in Helmand province in September.
Private Gregg Stone was shot during
an operation to rescue a policeman kidnapped by insurgents in June.
Kingsman Ryan Ward died soon after returning home.
Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning,
commanding officer of 3rd Battalion, said the ceremony was an 'immensely
important' occasion for his troops.
He said: 'It captures two things –
the success of the tour and also the poignancy and dignity of
remembering our fallen brothers in arms who haven't come home this
He added that he was honoured that Andrew attended and said the prince had been keen to show his support.
Poppy Sterriker, one-year-old daughter of Cpl Gareth Lee Sterrika, walks up the aisle during the Church Service at Minster Church of St Denys after the parade of the 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment
Remembered: Ten candles were lit during the Church Service for the fallen soldiers of the 3rd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment at Minster Church of St Denys