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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 November 2007, 23:28 GMT
Soldier killed in blast is named
Captain John McDermid and his wife Gill
Captain John McDermid pictured with his wife Gill (MoD)
A British soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan on Wednesday has been named by the Ministry of Defence as Captain John McDermid, 43.

Capt McDermid served with The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland.

He was killed when a blast hit his patrol in Sangin, Helmand Province.

Capt McDermid leaves his wife, Gill, and three children. In a statement, his family said: "His death has left a void that can never be filled."

The statement said: "John's family and friends are devastated by this loss. John was such an important part of their lives and his death has left a void that can never be filled.

'Distinguished career'

"Every one who knew John knew how loving, dedicated, strong, hilarious and truly wonderful he was. Although very much a family man, John's sense of duty and responsibility were never overlooked."

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the blast was the result of an improvised explosive device during a routine patrol by the Afghan National Army and the ISAF.

An Afghan interpreter who was accompanying Capt McDermid was also badly injured in the explosion and has been receiving treatment, the MoD said.

The MoD said that during the patrol, Capt McDermid was mentoring an Afghan National Army officer in leadership and infantry skills.

Capt McDermid was born in Glasgow and served 21 years as a soldier and three years as an officer. The MoD described his career as "distinguished".

He was a charismatic leader, who had vast experience
Major Barrie Terry, 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment

He served in Berlin, Canada, Kenya, Cyprus and Belize. He conducted two tours in Bosnia, one in Kosovo, and four in Northern Ireland, the MoD said.

"A further tour in Iraq cemented his standing as a hugely experienced, skilled, knowledgeable and capable soldier," the MoD added.

In early 2007, Capt McDermid was posted to a staff appointment at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, but he volunteered for operational service in Afghanistan.

Shortly afterwards he was attached to 2nd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment as a member of the Operational Mentoring and Liaison Team, tasked with training the Afghan National Army, the MoD said.

'Flair for command'

Captain McDermid's immediate commanding officer, Major Barrie Terry, said: "He was a charismatic leader, who had vast experience and a real flair for command.

"Characteristically, he was always at the forefront of everything his team did, leading by example...he will be very much missed by all who knew him."

Captain McDermid's death brings the number of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined to 255 - the same number as British personnel killed during the Falklands war.

The number of UK service personnel killed in Afghanistan since UK military operations began in November 2001 is now 84.

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