Page last updated at 15:49 GMT, Tuesday, 19 August 2008 16:49 UK

Widow mourns 'heroic' UK soldier

Corporal Barry Dempsey with his children - daughter, Andie and son, Charlie
Since 2001, 116 British soldiers have died in Afghanistan

A British soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan died a hero, doing the job he loved, his widow has said.

Cpl Barry Dempsey, 29, from The Royal Highland Fusiliers, 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Scotland, was named by the Ministry of Defence.

Three others were injured when an explosion hit a joint UK-Afghan patrol at 0825 local time in the Gereshk area of Helmand province on Monday.

The father-of-two, from Ayrshire, will be "forever missed", widow Shelly said.

Cpl Dempsey, who leaves a son Charlie and daughter Andie, is the 116th British soldier to have been killed in Afghanistan since British operations began in 2001.

He joined The Royal Highland Fusiliers in 1998 and spent most of his career as a medic in the Regimental Aid Post.

'Died a hero'

Cpl Dempsey's widow said: "Barry was a devoted husband and father. He has died doing a job he loved. His family and the Army were his life. He will be forever missed by his wife, children and family.

"He will never be forgotten. He died a hero."

Insurgents detonated the roadside bomb as Cpl Dempsey and other members of the patrol left their vehicle.

Three other members of the patrol, a non-British international soldier, an Afghan National Army soldier and an interpreter, suffered shrapnel and blast injuries in the attack.

He was in Afghanistan to provide aid to his comrades, and served with bravery and dedication, doing what he was best at
Lt Col Nick Borton

They were flown to the medical unit at Camp Bastion.

Lt Col Nick Borton, commanding officer of the Royal Regiment of Scotland, described Cpl Dempsey as "calm and professional", naturally suited to a medical career.

He said: "Barry was a stalwart of the Medical Centre; a hard worker, he always volunteered for any task, and was always at the centre of the team, motivating and encouraging the younger medics."

He added: "He was in Afghanistan to provide aid to his comrades, and served with bravery and dedication, doing what he was best at.

"A thorough professional and a loving family man, we have lost a great friend and fellow soldier."

Defence Secretary Des Browne said: "I was extremely saddened to hear of the death of Cpl Dempsey yesterday morning.

"He was a selfless and brave professional, putting himself in harm's way to provide the very best of medical care to his colleagues and Afghans alike.

"My thoughts are with his family, friends and members of his regiment at this very difficult time."

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