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Last Updated:  Thursday, 3 April, 2003, 12:06 GMT 13:06 UK
Bomb expert dies in Iraq
Chris Muir
Mr Muir died 'trying to do the right thing'
A 32-year-old bomb disposal expert from Hampshire has been killed in Iraq.

Staff sergeant Chris Muir, from the Army School of Ammunition, based in Kineton, Warwickshire, died on Monday.

The soldier from Romsey, in Hampshire, was killed while dismantling munitions in southern Iraq, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.

The father-of-one is the UK's third bomb disposal specialist to die in the conflict, among a total of 27 British deaths.

His commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Mike Dolamore said he had been recently selected for promotion and it was a "sad fact that we will not see him wearing the new rank he so richly deserved".

Our son Ben can grow up knowing that his father was a good, honest, hardworking soldier, who died trying to do the right thing.
Gillian Muir
His wife Gillian said her husband had a fantastic sense of humour and could "light up a room".

"I know that Chris was very proud to wear the badge of an Ammunition Technician, and I take small comfort from the knowledge that he died doing the job that he loved," she said.

"He has left me and our families with the most fantastic of memories, the greatest one being our son, Ben, who can grow up knowing that his father was a good, honest, hardworking soldier, who died trying to do the right thing."

Mr Muir joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps at Deepcut in 1988 and became an ammunitions expert in 1989.

Colonel Dolamore said: "During his service in the Royal Logistic Corps, Chris travelled extensively, often in the explosive ordnance disposal area, where he had trained and qualified at the highest level.

Leadership

"His skills, drive and determination as an individual and a soldier ensured his quick promotion to staff sergeant and recent selection for promotion to warrant officer.

"He was a very strong character, an outstanding technician, and a highly effective leader."

Two other British bomb disposal experts who died went missing on 23 March, after their vehicles were attacked near al-Zubayr in southern Iraq.

Sapper Luke Allsopp, 24, of north London, and Staff Sergeant Simon Cullingworth, 36, from Essex, were two members of 33 (EOD) Engineer Regiment.

Their bodies were shown on Qatar-based satellite broadcaster al-Jazeera, which prompted condemnation from Prime Minister Tony Blair, who said they had been executed.

The Iraqi authorities denied this and after anger expressed by the men's relatives, a UK government minister later expressed "regret" at Mr Blair's comments.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Midlands Today's Giles Latcham
"His was one of the most dangerous jobs there is and it cost Chris Muir his life."



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