Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Saturday, 22 May 2010 18:38 UK

Dead British marine named by MoD as Cpl Stephen Walker

Cpl Stephen Walker
Cpl Walker's wife described him as a 'perfect soulmate'

A marine killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan has been named by the Ministry of Defence.

Cpl Stephen Walker, of A Company 40 Commando Royal Marines, died on Friday morning after an explosion near Patrol Base Almas, in Sangin, Helmand.

His wife Leona said the 42-year-old, from Lisburn, Northern Ireland, was a "fantastic Dad".

His death brought the total number of British service personnel killed in Afghanistan to 286.

'Soul mate'

Cpl Walker, who had two children, lived in Exmouth, Devon.

Mrs Walker said: "Steve was passionate, loyal and determined. He enjoyed the role he had in the Marines but he was a family man at heart.

"He was a fantastic Dad to Greer and he was the perfect soulmate to me.

"Although this is a very sad time, Steve would want us to be positive. Remember the good times, the happy times.

Having served 20 years in the Royal Marines, he was my most experienced and probably my best corporal
Lieutenant Colonel Paul James

"A lot of people's lives will be deeply affected by Steve's all-to-early departure. Life goes on, but it will never be the same for us."

Lieutenant Colonel Paul James, commanding officer of 40 Commando Group, Combined Force Sangin, said Cpl Walker "was one of the most professionally astute men I have ever met".

"Brave, loyal, utterly dedicated and absolutely selfless, he died leading his section on patrol in southern Sangin.

"Having served 20 years in the Royal Marines, he was my most experienced and probably my best corporal. I valued his counsel greatly and, despite being his commanding officer, he taught me tactics."

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