Page last updated at 23:17 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Dead soldier in Afghanistan named

Serjeant Steven Campbell
Sjt Campbell leaves a wife and son and his parents

A British soldier killed by an explosion in Afghanistan has been named as Serjeant Steven Campbell of 3rd Battalion The Rifles.

The 30-year-old father of one, from Pelton in County Durham, died while on foot patrol in Sangin, Helmand.

His commanding officer, Lt Col Nick Kitson, said Sjt Campbell was "one of the Army's rarest treasures".

"So positive and energetic, it was truly an honour and a pleasure to know him," he said.

'True professional'

He leaves his parents, wife and son.

In a statement, his family said: "He was a loving husband to Lisa and a loving father to Brandon, and he will be missed by all his family and friends."

Lt Col Kitson described Sjt Campbell, who died on Monday, as a "warrior to his core".

He added: "Fit, capable and versatile, he was a commanding officer's dream - guaranteed to complete any task in any sphere and to do it to the highest standard.

"He had such a promising future, it is impossible to quantify what this regiment has lost."

Colleagues talked of his devotion to his family and to Newcastle United Football Club.

Captain Alex Kealy, from 3 Rifles, said: "The more I got to know Stevie, the greater my respect for the man grew."

"He balanced his military career with spending as much time as possible with his beloved wife and son in Newcastle."

Sjt Campbell, who joined the Army at the age of 18, was described as a "true professional" by Sjt Rob Williams, of B Company, 3 Rifles.

He "was a mate, a colleague and above all a true professional in all he did", Sjt Williams added.

The number of British military personnel killed during operations in Afghanistan since 2001 is now 276.

The 3rd Battalion The Rifles retains the archaic spelling of serjeant and therefore BBC News uses this spelling in stories reporting deaths from this battalion.

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