THE family of a young British soldier killed as he stormed a German-held hill in southern Italy during the Second World War have spoken of their “euphoria” at finally being able to lay him to rest.

Lance Corporal Ronald George Blackham, of the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, was killed during a fierce battle on September 25 1943 as he fought to take Hill 270 near Salerno.

Just 22 when he died, his remains were found in February 2014 in a shallow grave near the village of Capezzano by a group of voluntary military historians.

On Thursday, more than 73 years on from his death, 19 members of his family – including younger sister Alma Williams, 80, nephew Michael Blackham, 63, and two-year-old great-grand-nephew Conan O’Grady – paid their final respects during a funeral at the Salerno War Cemetery, arranged by the MoD’s joint casualty and compassionate centre.

Speaking after the service, Mr Blackham said his uncle “couldn’t be in a better place” and that it was a relief for the family to now all be over.

For Mrs Williams, from Weaverham in Cheshire – L/Cpl Blackham’s only living sibling well enough to attend the funeral – the long-awaited service brought euphoria, along with mixed feelings.

She said: “All these years it’s been part of my life and now it’s being laid to rest, thank God.

“He gave his life, he gave his ultimate for it – you can’t give more than he gave.”

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Theresa May will pledge to forge a “more united” nation as she begins the Brexit process.

The speech on Friday comes after the Prime Minister rejected Nicola Sturgeon’s demand for a referendum on Scottish independence before Brexit is finalised.

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David Cameron has played down the significance of Conservative breaches of election spending rules which have left the party facing a record £70,000 fine.

Asked about the findings, Mr Cameron said: “In terms of a party being fined, this is not the first time this has happened. Other parties have been fined."

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