Hundreds of mourners at funeral of Swansea hero Johnathan Smith
HUNDREDS of mourners have given an emotional final salute to a Swansea hero.
Some of former soldier Johnathan Smith’s Army friends travelled great distances to pay their respects at his funeral service today at Llanelli Crematorium.
The 45-year-old dad-of-two, previously served with Germany-based 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards — known as the Welsh Cavalry — and the hearse carrying his bouquet covered coffin was led by a party of standard bearers to the crematorium.
A poppy wreath was also given on behalf of the regiment in a mark of respect to their former comrade, who served in Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
His family said they hoped in time they would overcome the shock of losing Johnathan, who died after he was fatally injured when his Kawasaki motorbike was in collision with a Nissan Micra on Alexandra Road on the evening of September 24.
His brothers Kevin and Matthew paid tribute to him at the service, describing him as “a gentle person with a huge personality,” and added “he was a proud soldier and a proud Welshman.”
His family revealed he never talked about the dangerous situations either he or his comrades came up against while he was in the Army.
Although they said his time serving for the Welsh Cavalry helped to shape him, they said he was not just a hero to the military, but a real hero to his family and friends.
They also said he was “a force of nature,” along with “ambitious,” “imaginative,” who was “non-stop” and was “always laughing and always smiling.”
They told how he once drove a tank to his mum’s house while on training in Castlemartin in Pembrokeshire.
Johnathan also had a passion for scramblers, sci-fi films and music, along with rugby and the Swans.
He was also known as loyal by those who loved him best and they said they were thankful for the legacy he left, along with his wonderful memories and beautiful children.
His brothers said: “The family would like to express its sincere gratitude.
“We are so proud Johnathan touched so many lives.
“The tributes, messages, cards, the flowers and visitors we have received have been incredible. Thank you so very much.
“We are grateful to the QDG and Johnathan’s friends who have travelled to be here.
“I would like to thank South Wales Police who have been sensitive.”
They also praised his very close friends, including Ali, and added: “We will all miss Johnathan — he did not appreciate what he meant to us.”