England

British soldier's body repatriated

Acting Corporal David Barnsdale
Image caption Acting Corporal David Barnsdale had served in Iraq and Afghanistan

The body of a soldier killed in an explosion in southern Afghanistan will be returned to the UK later.

Acting Corporal David Barnsdale, 24, from Tring in Hertfordshire, was clearing improvised explosive devices when one detonated on 19 October.

Cpl Barnsdale served with 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), based in Woodbridge, Suffolk.

His body will be flown to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire before the cortege passes through nearby Wootton Bassett.

The death took the total number of UK military personnel to have died since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001 to 341.

'Bucket loads of grit'

Acting Cpl Barnsdale leaves behind his mother Wendy, his father Stephen, his sister Vanessa and his girlfriend Helen.

Lt Col Mark Davis, commanding officer of the Counter-IED Task Force, said earlier Acting Cpl Barnsdale was a "young, bright and incredibly likeable team leader".

He said: "He died leading his men in what must be one of the most dangerous tasks in the Armed Forces - that of deliberately searching for IEDs.

"He embodied the finest traditions of a soldier, constantly displaying bucket loads of grit and determination; he was utterly professional but always with a dash of humility."

He joined the Royal Engineers in September 2002 and had spent time touring in Iraq and Afghanistan previously.

He was posted to 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) in October 2009.

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