Events across the weekend to celebrate the work of our Armed Forces
Search Team Soldier Killed in Blast
An inquest has ruled a soldier from Hertfordshire was unlawfully killed while on active service in Afghanistan.
Corporal David Barnsdale, from Tring, was blown up by an improved explosive device (IED) while searching an area to enable a checkpoint to be set up.
The 24 year old, of 33 Engineer Regimentm, was killed last October during the operation north east of Gereshk.
The inquest at Hatfield today (Tuesday July 12th) heard that the pressure plate he stood on may have been just inside a previously searched area, but insurgents use low metal content to defeat detection. It will have been 5cm-6cm (2in-2.4in) below the ground, primarily designed to be triggered by vehicles.
Sergeant Tyrone Bowers, who was in the Royal Engineers search team (REST), said he had carried out an assessment before the sweep and concluded it was "high risk".
"I don't think we'd ever know whether the pressure plate was inside or outside (the cleared area). The job was going as we hoped, it was just the last one, really," he said.
Mr Thomas said Cpl Barnsdale would have died instantaneously. A pathologist gave cause of death as blast injuries caused by an explosion.
The coroner told Cpl Barnsdale's colleagues: "What has impressed me in this and other inquests is the support that you as colleagues give each other, and the professionalism you show when something happens."
He lightened the sombre mood by referring to Cpl Barnsdale's fondness for Queens Park Rangers, who have been promoted back to English football's top flight since the soldier's death.
He told the family: "How sad that he wasn't here to celebrate Premier League. He would have been ecstatic. I'll think of him when I see the results."
Great Get Together Comes Together For Jo Cox Across The East
Here are the local people honoured by the Queen
Koy Bentley Died From Chest Wound In Water Lane
Recently Played Tracks
Now playing: The best feel good music
Deposit £10 to get a £40 Welcome Bonus - That's £50 to play bingo, slots and more!*
Over 50 tracks to make you feel-good. New album out now...
Find your local four day weather report here.
What's happening on the roads where you are?
Find out more about some of the companies advertising on Heart Watford & Hemel Hemstead.
Get some great ideas on how to advertise your business on radio, online and on mobile.