MOD name Britsh soldier killed in Afghanistan

THE Ministry of Defence (MoD) has named the soldier killed in Afghanistan this week as Acting Corporal David Barnsdale.

The 24-year old, based at Carver Barracks in Wimbish, was a member of 33 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal). He was clearing improvised explosive devices in an area east of Gereshk when one detonated on October 19.

In a statement released by the MoD, Secretary of State for Defence, Dr Liam Fox, said: “I was deeply saddened to hear of his death but I am also very proud of his contribution to this vital work. He was a brave and highly skilled operator with a bright future ahead of him and his loss will be keenly felt by all who knew him. My thoughts remain with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.”

Trained as the team commander of a Royal Engineers Search Team, Acting Cpl Barnsdale was responsible for the detection of improvised explosive devices in areas deemed to be high risk.

Acting Cpl Barnsdale joined the Royal Engineers in 2002 and, after spells in Afghanistan and Iraq; he was posted to 33 Engineer Regiment in 2009.

He was described as “an enthusiastic football player and sportsman” who was an avid supporter of Queens Park Rangers.

Lieutenant Colonel Mark Davis, Commanding Officer Counter-IED Task Force, described him as a “young, bright and incredibly likeable team leader”.

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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.”

Captain Luke Sinnott, Troop Commander and Royal Engineers Search Advisor, 33 Engineer Regiment, said: “I count Dave Barnsdale as one of the finest individuals I have ever had the pleasure of working with. He was a rock for his team and a good friend to all of us. He fearlessly led his team in a very difficult environment and I can think of no man I would have sooner trusted with so much responsibility.”

Lieutenant Colonel Simon Bell, Commanding Officer 33 Engineer Regiment, said: “My overwhelming memory of Acting Corporal Barnsdale will be his irrepressible enthusiasm and no nonsense approach. Always wearing a wry smile wherever he was and whatever he was doing, always happy to set you straight and voice an opinion, a truly refreshing trait.

“On behalf of the Regiment I convey my deepest heartfelt sympathies to Acting Corporal Barnsdale’s mother, Wendy, his father, Stephen, and his sister, Vanessa.

“David Barnsdale was simply a first rate soldier and leader of men.”

He leaves his mother Wendy, his father Stephen, his sister Vanessa and his girlfriend Helen.