Family 'intensely shocked' by death of soldier son

Sapper Connor Ray died on Wednesday Credit: Ministry of Defence

The Ministry of Defence has confirmed that a soldier from Newport has died after being injured in Afghanistan.

21-year-old Sapper Connor Ray was serving with 33 Engineer Regiment. He died on April 18 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. He was flown home after being seriously injured, on the eve of his 21st birthday, in an explosion in Helmand Province last week.

On Wednesday April 11, Sapper Ray was involved in a bomb clearance operation in the Nad 'Ali district of Helmand Province. His team were trying to clear a compound previously used by insurgents, to allow the local population to return there safely. He was injured when a bomb exploded. He received immediate medical attention and was treated at Camp Bastion before being flown back to the UK.

Sapper Ray leaves behind his brother Vinnie, sisters Hollie and Bonnie, stepfather Steve, grandparents Leo and Linda, and girlfriend Hollie.

Paying tribute to the soldier, Lieutenant Colonel Simon Bell said he was a "hard-working" and "dedicated" member of the team, with a "natural ability to encourage and inspire others".

Sapper Ray is the 25th Welsh soldier to be killed due to operations in Afghanistan.

The Secretary of Defence Philip Hammond said he was "saddened" by the news, giving his condolences to Sapper Ray's family.