1. ITV Report

Family hails 'guardian angel and our hero' Captain James Townley

Captain James Townley died in Afghanistan on Friday. Photo: MoD

A soldier who died from wounds suffered in a shooting incident in Afghanistan has been described by his family as their "guardian angel" and "hero".

Captain James Townley, 29, from the Corps of Royal Engineers, died in Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, in southern Afghanistan from wounds sustained while serving at forward operating base Shawqat on Friday.

In a statement, his family said:

James was a wonderful, loving and caring son and brother. He was devoted to his girlfriend Helen.

He was our guardian angel and our hero. We were so proud of him. He touched every part of our lives and his loss has left a huge chasm that we can never fill.

James will never be forgotten and always in our hearts and thoughts.

The Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said he was "deeply saddened" to hear of the death of Captain Townley.

"I understand that he was an immensely talented and intelligent officer with a flourishing military career who was dedicated to supporting those around him.

"My thoughts are with his family at this difficult time."

Captain Townley was described as "an exceptional officer" Credit: MoD

Captain Townley was described as "an exceptional officer" by Lieutenant Colonel Chas Story, Commanding Officer, 28 Engineer Regiment:

James was an exceptional officer, a great character and unbelievably clever.

The Regiment is devastated that such a bright light has gone out – everyone knew him and it was impossible not to be drawn in by his passion and humour. He was on his third tour of Afghanistan and a volunteer for all three.

He joined to be a soldier and he was determined to make the most of all the opportunities he could. The Regiment will be a poorer place without James.

Captain Ash Greenwood, Operations Officer, 4 Armoured Engineer Squadron, 21 Engineer Regiment, said:

If life was for living then 'JT' made the most of every minute. Intelligent, astute and with a dry sense of humour, 'JT' made the best of every situation.

Words cannot express the grief caused by his passing and the thoughts of all of his friends within the Corps are with his family and his girlfriend Helen.

We will never forget you."