Family feud at death punch soldier’s funeral


POLICE were called to the funeral of a soldier killed three years ago following a row between the dead man’s widow and mother.

Private Mark Connolly, 24, died in a bar fight in Paderborn, Germany in 2011.

The body of the Black Watch soldier, originally from Methil, Fife, has lain in a mortuary in London as his widow and mother argued over where he should be buried.

Private Connolly’s widow, Stacy, won a court battle to have him buried in Forfar, Angus, where they settled as a couple.

His mother, Linda McComiskie, went to yesterday’s funeral and the burial ceremony at the town’s Newmonthill Cemetery.

Mark Connolly on tour in Afghanistan
Mark Connolly on tour in Afghanistan



According to reports in a local newspaper, long-tensions between the two women and their families boiled over and three police officers intervened.

As the coffin was carried towards the grave by soldier colleagues of the dead man, Stacy is reported to have approached Linda who reportedly said: “Don’t you speak to me.”

The women are said to have argued and other members of their families jostled each other.


Mark and Stacy Connolly
Mark and Stacy Connolly


A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed there had been an incident.

She said: “Officers were in attendance at the funeral of soldier Mark Connelly and there was a minor altercation that was dealt with sensitively and with due respect.

“No complaint has been received and no arrests were made.”

Private Connolly was killed by a single punch thrown by a fellow soldier on a night out. The soldier was charged with manslaughter but cleared at a court martial.

Private Connolly had previously suffered severe arm injuries and burns in a Taliban bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2009.

His mother wanted him buried alongside his grandfather in Fife.

Mark Connolly and his mother Linda McComiskie
Mark Connolly and his mother Linda McComiskie


The court battle between the two women ended last year with a Sheriff criticising Mrs McComiskie for having “little regard for the body of her son languishing in storage in London for over three years”.

Mrs McComiskie has always insisted that her son wished to be buried in the family lair at MacDuff Cemetery in East Wemyss, Fife.

Mrs Connolly insisted he wanted to be laid to rest at a plot earmarked for her in Forfar.