Body of Bradford soldier to return home

3 February 2011, 10:56

A Yorkshire soldier who died in Afghanistan will be flown home later today.

Private Martin Bell, of the 2nd Battalion The Parachute Regiment died whilst disobeying orders as he attempted to help an injured friend.

The 24 year old from Bradford became the 350th British serviceman to die since operations began almost ten years ago in Afghanistan.

The body will be flown into RAF Lyneham in Wiltshire where the private service will take place. Hundreds of people are expected to line the town's high street in tribute.

Private Bell was a Police Community Support Officer with West Yorkshire Police for three years before joining the army in 2009.

His family released a statement saying "Martin was proud to serve his country and made us all very proud and he will leave behind a hole in all of our hearts that will never be replaced."

Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Harrison in paying tribute to Martin revealed that he attemped to give life saving first aid to his friend despite a direct order not to do so due to the danger.

Colonel Harrison said "for that exceptional valour he paid the ultimate price."

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