Body of Suffolk based soldier arrives back in UK

THE body of a Suffolk based soldier killed last week in Afghanistan has been flown back to the UK.

Acting Corporal David Barnsdale, of 61 Squadron, 33 Engineer Regiment, (Explosive Ordnance), “embodied the finest traditions of a soldier”, according to his commanding officer.

The 24-year-old was based at Rock Barracks near Woodbridge and died on October 19, during his second tour of Afghanistan.

His body was flown back to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire this morning.

His coffin - draped with a Union Jack - was taken away for a private ceremony before the cortege passed through nearby Wootton Bassett.

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Cpl Barnsdale, of Tring, Hertfordshire, joined the Royal Engineers in September 2002, was a search team commander responsible for the detection of improvised explosive devices in areas deemed to be high risk.

His search team was deployed in an area east of Gereshk, Helmand Province, and was working towards the construction of a new check point and patrol base when he was caught in the blast.

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Lieutenant Colonel Mark Davis, commanding officer of Counter-IED, 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.”

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Bell, commanding officer of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal), said he had “boundless potential and the steely understated determination of a man you know you can rely on in difficult times”.

The 33 Engineer Regiment is mainly based in Wimbish, Essex, but its newest sub-unit, 61 Field Squadron (EOD), is located at Rock Barracks.

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

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