South East Wales

Body of Capt Stephen Healey arrives back in the UK

Captain Stephen Healey Image copyright MOD
Image caption Capt Stephen Healey was described as a brilliant officer and "a truly outstanding individual".

The body of a Welsh soldier killed while on patrol in Afghanistan has arrived back in the UK.

Capt Stephen Healey, 29, from 1st Battalion, The Royal Welsh, was on patrol in the Nahr-e Saraj region of Helmand province when his vehicle was blown up by a bomb.

The plane carrying his coffin landed at RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on Thursday.

He was described as a brilliant officer and "truly outstanding".

A private ceremony was held at the base for Capt Healey before the cortege made its way to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, via the memorial garden.

His death brings the number of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan to 415.

Capt Healey, originally from Cardiff, was commanding the Combined Force Burma reconnaissance platoon.

After his vehicle was hit by a bomb, he was given immediate first aid before being flown to the military hospital at Camp Bastion where his death was confirmed.

'Charismatic'

He had been in the Army since 2007, and was most recently deployed to Afghanistan on 9 March.

He was awarded a Mention in Dispatches in 2009 for his actions on Operation Herrick 11 as the Officer Commanding 4 Platoon, B Company.

His family paid tribute to him, saying: "Stephen was all you could wish for in a son, brother, uncle and friend. He will be sadly missed by us all.

"He managed to do more in his 30 years than most people do in a lifetime".

Lt Col Stephen Webb, commanding officer of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh (The Royal Welch Fusiliers), said he would be remembered "as one of the most charismatic and professional leaders any of us will have had the privilege of serving with".

More on this story