Essex-based Soldier Being Repatriated

The body of Corporal Steven Dunn is being flown back to the UK today after he was killed in Afghanistan.

Corporal Steven Thomas Dunn died on Tuesday December 21st, after his Jackal vehicle hit a roadside bomb in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

Colleagues said the 27 year old, from 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron based in Colchester, attached to 2nd Battalion the Parachute Regiment Battlegroup, was "always in the thick of it'' and "died doing a job he loved''.

Corporal Dunn, a Newcastle United fan, deployed to Afghanistan in September and was on his third tour of the country. He was killed when his vehicle hit an IED (improvised explosive device) in the Bowri desert.

His body will be flown into RAF Lyneham.

After a private ceremony for his family, the soldier's coffin will be driven through nearby Wootton Bassett High Street at around 1.15pm.

His family, including his wife Cheryl and daughter Emily, said in a statement:

"Steven was a loving husband to Cheryl, son to Vicky, and doting dad to Emily.

"He has left a huge hole in the lives of those he has left behind including his brothers Christopher and Michael.

"He will also be sorely missed by Kevin, an important person in his life and all his aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.

"He lived for the Army especially 216 Parachute (Signal) Squadron and worked hard to get his wings, of which he was very proud. It was his first love after Cheryl and Newcastle United.

"We are all immensely proud of all that he achieved in his short life. He died doing a job he loved and excelled at.''

A total of 347 UK military personnel have died since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001.