Page last updated at 14:00 GMT, Thursday, 5 November 2009

Killed soldier 'ready for risks'

Wootton Bassett procession
Staff Sgt Schmid's body was taken through Wootton Bassett

A soldier born in Cornwall who was killed trying to defuse a bomb in Afghanistan was "prepared to take the risks" to save lives, his brother says.

Staff Sergeant Olaf Schmid, 30, had made safe 64 explosive devices and found 11 bomb-making centres during his five months in the country.

His brother, Torben Schmid, said: "He would say 'Somebody's got to go out there and do this job'.

"His mindset was that of he was the man who would go out and preserve life."

He added: "He was prepared to take the risks and go out there and do it."

Staff Sgt Schmid had lived in Hampshire with his wife, Christina, and his five-year-old stepson.

He was born and educated in Truro and was a talented singer, having previously been the head chorister at the Truro Cathedral, where he is still remembered.

Christopher Gray of the cathedral said: "The most insightful thing said was from David Briggs, who was in charge of the choir during Olaf's time.

"He said he showed great leadership skills and qualities that we expect of head chorister here.

Staff Sgt Olaf Schmid
Staff Sgt Olaf Schmid had made safe more than 60 bombs

"Not only was he a good musician, but he managed the other boys and led very well."

Staff Sgt Schmid, of the Royal Logistic Corps, was a week off seeing his family again when he was killed on Saturday in Helmand province.

He had been in the Army 13 years and was commanding a bomb disposal team dealing with a roadside device near Sangin.

He was killed when the bomb went off as he was defusing it.

His wife, Christina, said she had lost her "soulmate". Colleagues paid tribute to a "courageous legend".

Staff Sgt Schmid's body was repatriated to RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire on Thursday.

A private ceremony was held at the base's chapel before his body was taken through the town of Wootton Bassett, where hundreds of people gathered to pay their respects.

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