Exmouth aircraftman Kinikki was 'our hero'

PUBLISHED: 09:28 12 August 2010

Draped in the Union flag the coffin is carried into the church.; Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 8325-32-10SH

Draped in the Union flag the coffin is carried into the church.; Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 8325-32-10SH

Archant

RAF airman Kinikki Griffiths, from Exmouth, was laid to rest this week in a moving service held at Littleham Parish Church.

Flowers cover the grave at the cemetary in Littleham.; Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 8353-32-10SH

A BRAVE aircraftman from Exmouth who died while serving in Afghanistan has been described by his father as nothing less than a hero.

Speaking at the funeral service of his son, Kinikki Griffiths, his dad, Nick, delivered a glowing tribute to the man who was killed just weeks before his 21st birthday.

He said: “We have wonderful memories of him that will last a life time. He was a bright person – bright as his smile.

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“His greatest gifts were he was professional, loyal, responsible, honest and always willing to help others. He loved to laugh and loved life.

“There are many words and phrases you could use to describe him but most of all, he was our hero.”

Tearful relatives, friends, and colleagues of Kinikki’s from the Royal Air Force, packed into St Margaret and St Andrew Church in Littleham for the funeral, held last Tuesday, August 10.

In a fitting tribute, a lone tornado jet flypast took place before the service which was conducted by The Reverend Andrew Turner, senior chaplain of the Royal Air Force, Honington.

The cortege makes its way to the church in Littleham.; Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 8302-32-10SH

The airman’s coffin, draped in a union jack flag, was then carried out of the hearse by members of the RAF and into the church.

A three gun salute rang out from regimental marksmen at the burial.

Kinikki, of 1 Squadron RAF Regiment, was killed in a road accident while on patrol near Camp Bastion in Helmand Province last month. He was laid to rest with full military honours.

The 20-year-old, who moved from Southampton to live in Exmouth three years ago, leaves his parents, Nick and Tracey, as well as siblings, Bianca-Jade, Sammy-Jo and Jake.

"His greatest gifts were he was professional, loyal, responsible, honest and always willing to help others. He loved to laugh and loved life.
There are many words and phrases you could use to describe him but most of all, he was our hero."

Kinikki’s dad, Nick, speaking at this week’s funeral

The service started with an audio recording of his brother Jake playing the drums – a poignant moment given this was a sound Kinikki would regularly hear while at his family home.

This was shortly followed by more memories of the aircraftman.

In a eulogy read by one of his close friends, it said: “He always kept a smile on his face. We used to joke and laugh around all the time.

“He never got depressed or let things get him down.

Personal messages accompany floral tributes.; Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 8344-32-10SH

“The thought never crossed my mind that I would be reading out such a letter. He died pursuing a job he loved.”

Rev Turner, speaking after Eva Cassidy’s Over The Rainbow song was played inside the church and before the commendation, said Kinikki always lived life to the full.

He added: “I do hope that Kinikki is starting to live an eternal party in heaven just like he lived life to the full on earth.”

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