Courage of Lincolnshire bomb squad officer

Image caption,
Captain Daniel Shepherd

Captain Daniel Shepherd was an "incredibly courageous" soldier who was "the first to put his own life on the line".

Those were the words of his commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Roger Lewis, read out by coroner Stuart Fisher at the conclusion of the 28-year-old's inquest.

His colleagues, family and some members of the court staff were reduced to tears by the tribute, in which the soldier was said to be "adored" by his men.

Lt Col Lewis added: "Captain Shepherd was an extraordinary officer; composed, compassionate, utterly charming and imbued with a single-minded determination to put others before himself."

Outside the Cathedral Centre in Lincoln, Captain Shepherd's sister-in-law Amy Shepherd read a statement from his family in which she said they would never recover from his death.

She said: "Daniel lived life to the full and worked very hard during his Army career with a passion to make a difference.

"With this he made the ultimate sacrifice. The only comfort is that Daniel died carrying out the job he loved, surrounded by his team who he trusted with his life, saving the lives of his fellow soldiers and the Afghan people."

During the inquest it emerged Captain Shepherd, who was posthumously awarded the George Medal for his bravery after he dealt with 13 bombs in 36 hours, worked under intense pressure.

Corporal Matthew Ashley, who was providing armed support and had a device to stop the bomb being detonated remotely, described his colleague's last moments.

Breaking down in tears, Cpl Ashley had said: "We were always talking to each other.

"We were like brothers when we were talking. After he had confirmed it was a device he laid down on his front.

"I asked: 'What have you got?' and he said it was a bog standard device."

Moments later there was an "almighty explosion" which killed Captain Shepherd instantly.

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