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Last Updated: Saturday, 22 September 2007, 23:11 GMT 00:11 UK
Soldier dies after Iraq accident
Sgt Mark Stansfield
Sgt Stansfield's family were at his bedside when he died
A British soldier has died following a forklift truck accident in Iraq.

Mark Stansfield, 32, of Oxfordshire, who was soon to be a father, had been flown to a Birmingham hospital after Wednesday's Basra Air Station accident.

Sgt Stansfield, of 32 Close Support Squadron, UK Logistic Battalion, was described as "a first class soldier" with a "bright career ahead".

Defence officials said he was carrying out security checks at a supply point to the base when the accident happened.

Operation

Doctors operated on him at the base's field hospital before he was flown the following day to Selly Oak Hospital, in Birmingham, for further treatment.

His condition deteriorated soon after his arrival and he died with his family at his bedside on Friday.

He was admired by the soldiers he led and respected by everyone
Lt Col David Roberts

Sgt Stansfield joined the Army at the age of 17 and trained to become a driver.

He went on to serve in the Balkans, Northern Ireland and Iraq.

As a keen footballer, he helped set up an army football team while in Iraq and had been in Basra almost four months.

'Respected and admired'

Lt Col David Roberts, Sgt Stansfield's commanding officer in Iraq, said: "He was a first-class soldier and a very fine senior non-commissioned officer, with an extremely bright career ahead of him.

"He was admired by the soldiers he led and respected by everyone."

His squadron commander in Iraq, Maj Dave Poole, described Sgt Stansfield as "a diligent man, who never accepted second best" and said he had been looking forward to returning home to his pregnant wife Joanne, whom he married last Christmas.

Defence Secretary Des Browne said Sgt Stansfield had been a "hugely brave, dedicated and ambitious soldier" who would be "sorely missed".

He added: "My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time."

Sgt Stansfield's death takes the total number of UK troops killed in operations in Iraq to 170 since the US-led invasion of 2003.






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