Afghanistan deaths: Sgt Nigel Coupe's family pays tribute
The widow of a Lancashire soldier killed in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan has paid tribute to her "thoughtful, caring, selfless" husband.
Sgt Nigel Coupe, 33, from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, died on Tuesday alongside five colleagues in a Taliban attack on their vehicle.
His wife, Natalie, 28, from Lytham St Annes, said the father-of-two was "my husband, best friend and soulmate".
She added: "Our eldest daughter Ella said daddy is a star now."
Sgt Coupe joined the Queen's Lancashire Regiment in 1996 - a unit which subsequently became 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.
Mrs Coupe said: "Everyone who knew Nigel would know he has always been a star, the only difference is now he's shining in a different place.
"He was a thoughtful, caring, selfless person. Words can't describe the loss and hurt we feel."
Speaking at Fulwood Barracks in Preston, the regimental home of Sgt Coupe's unit, his mother, Elaine Freeman, 53, said he was "simply the best" adding "he was the son any mum and dad would be proud of".
She said: "Nigel joined the Army at the age of 17 and, like all soldiers' mums, I was so proud watching his passing-out parade, seeing the pride in him standing tall, becoming a 1 Lancs soldier - he was well chuffed.
"Nigel served in many conflicts and war zones. He went to Afghanistan knowing the risks and prepared his family well - but you never believe it would happen to your family.
"Our hearts go out to all the families who lost their boys alongside Nigel, we feel your pain."
Sgt Coupe was "fiercely proud" to serve his country and regiment, the family said.
He was the most senior soldier on the Warrior armoured personnel carrier destroyed in the bomb explosion on Tuesday.
Cpl Jake Hartley, 20, Pte Anthony Frampton, 20, Pte Christopher Kershaw, 19, Pte Daniel Wade, 20 and Pte Daniel Wilford, 21, also died when the bomb planted by the Taliban detonated.
They were from 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment.