Soldier killed in Afghanistan blast named


A soldier killed in an explosion in Afghanistan was named today as Captain Rupert Bowers.

The 24-year-old, from the 2nd Battalion, The Mercian Regiment (Worcesters and Foresters), was working alongside an Afghan security forces patrol when he was struck by the blast from an improvised explosive device (IED) yesterday.

The soldier, from Wolverhampton, was attached to 2nd Battalion The Rifles, operating as an adviser to the Afghan National Army.

Captain Bowers commanded a small team responsible for the training and development of the Afghan National Army based in Forward Operating Base Ouellette in the Mirmandab region of Nahr-e Saraj in Helmand Province, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said.

He was leading a patrol to clear a position from the threat of insurgents when he was killed by the explosion.

After studying at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, he was commissioned into the 1st Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters Regiment in April 2007.

After successfully passing the Platoon Commanders' Battle Course in Brecon he joined his regiment in Afghanistan in 2007 where his actions during a complex insurgent ambush resulted in him being 'Mentioned in Dispatches'.

Upon return from Afghanistan he deployed on exercises in Jamaica and later to Kenya, as a Fire Support Group Commander after qualifying as a Machine Gun Specialist.

He leaves behind wife Victoria and his newly-born son Hugo, as well as parents Patrick and Jane and sister Juliet.