Son pays tribute to brave dad killed in Afghanistan

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A LASTING tribute has been paid to a courageous soldier killed in Afghanistan.

The family of former instructor Serjeant Steven Campbell unveiled a new centre named in his honour on what would have been his 33rd birthday.

Dated: 09/05/2012'Sgt Steven Campbell, who died in an explosion in the Taliban heartland of Sangin in Afghanistan while on patrol with the 3rd battalion the rifles. ''Today (Wed 9th May) His son Brandon, who brought tears to the eyes of the crowds lining the streets of his home village when he marched in his own cadet uniform behind the funeral cortege, was at the centre of another ceremony.''The youngster was performing the ceremonies in officially naming an annex to the Sergeant's mess at his dad's Vimy Barracks at catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire.'SEE STORY BY NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

Dated: 09/05/2012'Sgt Steven Campbell, who died in an explosion in the Taliban heartland of Sangin in Afghanistan while on patrol with the 3rd battalion the rifles. ''Today (Wed 9th May) His son Brandon, who brought tears to the eyes of the crowds lining the streets of his home village when he marched in his own cadet uniform behind the funeral cortege, was at the centre of another ceremony.''The youngster was performing the ceremonies in officially naming an annex to the Sergeant's mess at his dad's Vimy Barracks at catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire.'SEE STORY BY NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES

Sjt Campbell, from Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, died after an improvised explosive device detonated while he was on patrol in the Helmand Province.

There were tears yesterday as his son Brandon, 12, opened the new annexe to the mess at the Infantry Training Centre (ITC) in Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire, proudly wearing the Army’s new multi-terrain pattern uniform.

“My dad’s memory will live on forever,” he said.

“His name will never be forgotten.

Dated: 09/05/2012'A REMEMBERANCE FOR DAD.........Serjeant (correct)  Steven Campbell, died in an explosion in the Taliban heartland of Sangin in Afghanistan while on patrol with the 3rd battalion the Rifles just over two years ago. ''At his funeral his young son Brandon Campbell brough tears to the eyes of the crowds lining the streets of their small village in County Durham as he marched behind the cortege on the way to the Church with his mother Lisa. ''Today (Wed 9th May)  Brandon, was at the centre of another ceremony. Here performing the ceremonies to officially name an annexe to the Sergeant's mess at his dad's Vimy Barracks at Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire after his father..''(Note the Rifles Regiment spell the rank as Serjeant, uniquely in the British army,m but they call the Mess the Sergeant's Mess)'SEE STORY BY NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES *** Local Caption *** Picture  by Richard Rayner/NNP

Dated: 09/05/2012'A REMEMBERANCE FOR DAD.........Serjeant (correct) Steven Campbell, died in an explosion in the Taliban heartland of Sangin in Afghanistan while on patrol with the 3rd battalion the Rifles just over two years ago. ''At his funeral his young son Brandon Campbell brough tears to the eyes of the crowds lining the streets of their small village in County Durham as he marched behind the cortege on the way to the Church with his mother Lisa. ''Today (Wed 9th May) Brandon, was at the centre of another ceremony. Here performing the ceremonies to officially name an annexe to the Sergeant's mess at his dad's Vimy Barracks at Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire after his father..''(Note the Rifles Regiment spell the rank as Serjeant, uniquely in the British army,m but they call the Mess the Sergeant's Mess)'SEE STORY BY NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES *** Local Caption *** Picture by Richard Rayner/NNP

“It’s my dad’s birthday today and I know he would be proud. Happy Birthday Dad.”

Also there were Sjt Campbell’s widow Lisa, sister Andrea, parents Kathleen and Freddie and nephew Kieran.

The dad-of-one worked at the ITC between December 2007 and December 2009 before returning to his unit, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, which was then deployed to Afghanistan.

He was just 30 when he was killed by a bomb which had been planted under a bridge where it could not be detected.

Dated: 09/05/2012'A REMEMBERANCE FOR DAD.........Serjeant (correct)  Steven Campbell, died in an explosion in the Taliban heartland of Sangin in Afghanistan while on patrol with the 3rd battalion the Rifles just over two years ago. ''At his funeral his young son Brandon Campbell brough tears to the eyes of the crowds lining the streets of their small village in County Durham as he marched behind the cortege on the way to the Church with his mother Lisa. ''Today (Wed 9th May)  Brandon, was at the centre of another ceremony. Here performing the ceremonies to officially name an annexe to the Sergeant's mess at his dad's Vimy Barracks at Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire after his father..''(Note the Rifles Regiment spell the rank as Serjeant, uniquely in the British army,m but they call the Mess the Sergeant's Mess)'SEE STORY BY NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES *** Local Caption *** Picture  by Richard Rayner/NNP

Dated: 09/05/2012'A REMEMBERANCE FOR DAD.........Serjeant (correct) Steven Campbell, died in an explosion in the Taliban heartland of Sangin in Afghanistan while on patrol with the 3rd battalion the Rifles just over two years ago. ''At his funeral his young son Brandon Campbell brough tears to the eyes of the crowds lining the streets of their small village in County Durham as he marched behind the cortege on the way to the Church with his mother Lisa. ''Today (Wed 9th May) Brandon, was at the centre of another ceremony. Here performing the ceremonies to officially name an annexe to the Sergeant's mess at his dad's Vimy Barracks at Catterick Garrison, in North Yorkshire after his father..''(Note the Rifles Regiment spell the rank as Serjeant, uniquely in the British army,m but they call the Mess the Sergeant's Mess)'SEE STORY BY NORTH NEWS AND PICTURES' NOT AVAILABLE FOR PRINT SALES *** Local Caption *** Picture by Richard Rayner/NNP

It went off as the commended soldier rode a quad bike on patrol on March 22, 2010.

Senior officers described Sjt Campbell as a professional and well-respected member of staff at the ITC.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Astley said: “It is absolutely right that we honour those that have fallen in this way.

“This is a fitting way to honour and remember an infantryman from the North East in his home region.”

Sjt Campbell’s friend, Colour Sjt Jonpaul Greenwood, said: “He was a fantastic lad, a fantastic soldier and a true ambassador for The Rifles.

“His death broke a lot of people’s hearts.”

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets to say a final farewell to the brave soldier on the day of his funeral.

Bystanders applauded and threw flowers as the funeral cortege made its way to Holy Trinity Church in Pelton, where the 30-year-old lived with his wife and son.

Army colleagues gave the soldier a guard of honour as his coffin, draped in the Union flag, was taken to and from the chapel to the sound of Savage Garden’s To The Moon and Back.

Brandon and his cousin Kieran walked behind the cars, wearing military dress.

Brought up in Ouston, Sjt Campbell began his career as an Army cadet at the age of 13 and, after signing up to the force once he left school, quickly rose through the ranks, promoted to Corporal within two years. He also served in Ireland and Iraq.

He met wife Lisa in a Chester-le-Street nightclub in 1998 and married a year later.

Twitter: @janethejourno