Live updates

  1. Keith Wilkinson

Full report on Rupert Bowers repatriation

The body of an army officer from the Midlands has been repatriated to RAF Brize Norton. Captain Rupert Bowers was killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb eight days ago.

Tonight, at his old school, members of the cadet force he once led will pay a special tribute to him.

His former headmaster has described him as an outstanding role model.

Captain Rupert Bowers repatriation in pictures

Captain Rupert Bowers repatriation at RAF Brize Norton Credit: ITV News
Comrades from the Second Battalion the Mercian Regiment carry Captain Rupert Bowers' coffin Credit: ITV News
Comrades from the Second Battalion the Mercian Regiment put Captain Rupert Bowers' coffin in hearse Credit: ITV News

Captain Rupert Bowers died in an explosion in Afghanistan last week.

Capt Bowers had been attached to the 2nd Battalion The Rifles and was an advisor to the Afghan National Army.

He’d been based in the Forward Operating Base at Ouellette in Nahr-e Saraj, Helmand.

Advertisement

Family of Captain Bowers release a statement

Statement from Captain Bowers family, who was killed by an explosive device on Wednesday:

"Rupert was a kind, caring and thoughtful man who was selfless in his actions as a brave courageous soldier. He was a devoted husband, son and father who leaves a wife that is proud to have known him and a sister and parents whose grief is immeasurable.

He will be sorely missed and always in our thoughts."

"Rupert was a kind, caring and thoughtful man who was selfless in his actions as a brave courageous soldier.

– Family of Captain Rupert Bowers

Advertisement

The Defence Secretary said Captain Bowers' death was tragic news.

The Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, said he was saddened to learn of the death of Captain Bowers who was killed when an improvised explosive device went off.

He was soldier whose bravery and professionalism was not only apparent to his colleagues every day on operations but had been recognised formally through the honours system with his Mention In Dispatches.

He died in the service of his country and his sacrifice will always be remembered.

This is, of course, the most tragic news for Captain Bowers’ family.

My thoughts and deepest sympathies are with them, as well as his friends and colleagues, at this painful time.”

Killed Army officer 'led from the front.'

Tributes have been paid to Captain Rupert Bowers, who was killed yesterday.

His Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Colin Marks, said he had the heart of a lion.

He was Mentioned in Dispatches and wounded in action in three tours of duty.

Col Marks said:

"The bravest of the brave, he died as he lived, leading from the front in the face of the enemy.

Rupert was fun to be around all the time and I enjoyed his company very much.

We talked for hours about his love of piano music and he always made me feel happy because he was such a sincere and fun-loving person.

His brother officers loved him dearly and we will remember him for his infectious smile and wicked sense of humour.

You will live in our hearts forever and we will never forget you.”