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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Tributes paid to a 'rising star'

Sapper Elijah Bond, 24, from 35 Engineer Regiment, Royal Engineers, was flown home after the explosion but lost his fight for life in hospital.

His family said in a statement: "Elijah Cooper Bond left the world in the way he chose to live his life.

"He was a beautiful son, amazing brother, a proud uncle and our best friend. From a wicked grin to a righteous smile he could light up a room as much as he lit up our lives, so mischievous and fun yet grounded and down to earth.

"He will forever be a piece of us and remain in our hearts. We are thankful for the memories we have been given and the precious time we spent together.

"We have faith in the sure and certain knowledge that we will be reunited together again."

The tribute came as friends and family attended the funeral of a second soldier killed by a roadside explosion last month.

Welshman L/Cpl Richard Scanlon, from Rhymney, Caerphilly, died alongside another member of the 1st The Queen's Dragoon Guards, Lieutenant David Boyce.

He had previously served in Bosnia and twice in Iraq.

In a statement, his mother Cherry, stepfather Robert, father Raymond and sisters Lisa and Emma described the 31-year-old as a remarkable individual.

It said: "His family are extremely proud of him and of the good work he carried out.

"They will miss him terribly but take great comfort in the fact he was loved and respected by all who met him."

Sapper Bond - known as Bondy to pals - died on Thursday in Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The soldier, from St Austell, Cornwall, had been on patrol in Nahr-e Saraj when he was caught by the blast on Tuesday.

Lieutenant Colonel Kevin Copsey, Commanding Officer, 35 Engineer Regiment, described him as a "rising star".

He said: "His lively and outgoing nature was founded on an inner confidence that saw him excel during his time in the Royal Engineers.

"He was a rising star within his squadron and he had a bright future ahead of him."

"It was whilst on an engineer reconnaissance patrol helping to plan vital infrastructure for the local population that he paid the ultimate price. Tragically he gave his life in order to improve the lives of others."

A total of 391 British troops have been killed since operations began in Afghanistan in 2001.

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