The casket of Lt. Justin Boyes is taken into church for a funeral service in Saskatoon. ((Dan Zakreski/CBC))

A sombre military procession worked its way through the streets of Saskatoon on Saturday as funeral ceremonies took place for Lt. Justin Boyes, the Canadian soldier killed in Afghanistan on Oct. 28.

The service and burial were private, but the procession allowed members of the public to pay their respects.

As Boyes's casket arrived at Circle Drive Alliance Church, George Koch, an 89-year-old veteran of the Second World War, was there to greet it.

"[I'm] saying goodbye to a buddy who shouldn't be here today," Koch told CBC News. "It's not necessary, you know. I just can't see why a young fella should have to go to war for something he had no cause or reason to be put there. I just don't understand it."

Boyes, 26, was killed in an explosion while he was leading a foot patrol southwest of Kandahar City.


Veteran George Koch, 89, was among those paying their respects for Boyes. ((Dan Zakreski/CBC))

He was based in Edmonton with the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry.

Alanna Boyes, his widow, has said her husband was worried that Canadians aren't supporting the mission in Afghanistan as much as they used to.

She said her husband had recently told her that if the war against the Taliban is lost, it will be because "we lost it at home first."

With files from The Canadian Press