Inquest opens into death of female chicksands soldier killed in afghanistan

THE inquest into the death of the only British female soldier to die in Afghanistan who was based at Chicksands was opened this week. Cpl Sarah Bryant, 26, was a member of 15 (UK) Psychological Operations at Chicksands near Shefford where her husband Cpl

THE inquest into the death of the only British female soldier to die in Afghanistan who was based at Chicksands was opened this week.

Cpl Sarah Bryant, 26, was a member of 15 (UK) Psychological Operations at Chicksands near Shefford where her husband Cpl Carl Bryant is also a member of the intelligence corps.

She died in June, 2008, when the Snatch Land Rover in which she was travelling with four Territorial Army Special Forces soldiers struck an improvised explosive device hidden in a ditch near Lashkar Gah also killing three of them.

The inquest at Trowbridge in Wiltshire heard from the only surviving soldier, who cannot be named for security reasons and was identified as Soldier E, who said their vehicle was "not adequate for the job".


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Soldier E, who broke down while giving evidence, said: "I've never actually operated the vehicle at all. There was a lot of worry these weren't the right vehicle in our opinion for the job in hand.

"It could go off-road, but as a platform to maintain operations, I believe it was not adequate for the job."

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When it came to giving evidence about the moment the vehicle struck the bomb Soldier E, hidden from public view behind a curtain, was unable to continue and his evidence was read by coroner David Masters who said: "I recall our vehicle being catapulted. I remember seeing the ground, then the sky, then the ground, then the sky. I remember being conscious throughout.

"I recall my driver was conscious, I could hear him. I tried to move to help him but could not, the dashboard was trapping me in my seat."

The coroner said the six-day inquest would look into the suitability of the Snatch Land Rovers for the patrol, the type of metal detectors used and the drills carried out for landmines and roadside bombs.

The inquest was told Cpl Bryant died of blast wounds.

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