Condolence books set up to remember young Dereham soldier killed in action

The former school of a young Dereham soldier, killed while on patrol in Afghanistan, has set up condolence books to give people the chance to pay tribute to him.

Paratrooper Pte Lewis Hendry, 20, died last week along with comrade Pte Conrad Lewis, from Bournemouth when they were hit by small arms fire.

A repatriation ceremony will take place for the two soldiers on Thursday and a courtege will pass through the Wiltshire town of Wootton Bassett.

News of Pte Hendry's death has sent shockwaves around Dereham and friends and other local people are being given the chance to pay tribute to him as condolence books have been started by Northgate High School, where he attended before joining the Colchester-based 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment.

Several teachers who were at the school when he was a pupil there are still at Northgate and they want to share their memories and it has been opened up to anyone else who knew him.

There is an online condolence book via the Northgate High School website and also a book which people can sign in the school reception area.

Headteacher Paul Mitchell said: 'It is a way of the school expressing its grief and giving any young people who knew him and staff the chance to put down their thoughts and we decided to open it up to others in the town too.'

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Youth outreach worker Lyn Milns - known to many young people in Dereham as 'Why' - said: 'I feel so sad that this young life was taken. I first met Lewis when I started in Northgate High School and he was 13 years old then. Over the years I have been a youth outreach worker and Street Pastor in Dereham, it was always a pleasure to see Lewis and his friends around the town. That smiley face is going to be missed by many.'

*To leave a message on the online condolence book visit the website www.northgate.norfolk.sch.uk and follow the link from the home page.