Colchester: Soldier who died while trying to save another is repatriated to the UK

A PARATROOPER who gave his life while trying to save another soldier was repatriated to the UK today.

Private Martin Bell, of Colchester-based Second Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, died after he disobeyed a direct order so he could give aid to a wounded friend on January 25.

He was the 350th British serviceman to die since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001.

The 24-year-old, from Bradford, West Yorkshire, was flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire, where a private service was held for his family before the cortege passed through nearby Wootton Bassett.

Hundreds of people joined his family and friends in lining the town’s High Street in tribute.


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Pte Bell’s mother, Elaine, was supported by his two brothers as she wept for her son. She laid a red rose on top of the hearse and waved goodbye as it slowly drove away.

Pte Bell was south of Nahr-e-Saraj in Helmand province when he was struck by an improvised explosive device (IED).

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