THE son of a soldier killed by the Taliban said yesterday that his father’s memory will live on for ever after an Army block was named in his honour.

Colleagues of Serjeant Steven Campbell, of Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, fought back tears as his son, 12-year-old Brandon, officially opened the new accommodation unit at the Infantry Training Centre, in Catterick Garrison.

The ceremony at the North Yorkshire base took place on what would have been Sjt Campbell’s 33rd birthday.

Loading article content

Brandon attended the opening of the Campbell Block with the soldier’s widow, Lisa, parents Kathleen and Freddie, and sister Andrea.

He told the crowd: “My dad’s memory will live on for ever and his name will never be forgotten.

“It’s my dad’s birthday today and I know he would be so proud – happy birthday Dad.”

Sjt Campbell was killed in Afghanistan by a Taliban bomb in 2010.

His mother-in-law, Kathleen, described the recognition as “fantastic”, adding: “It means his name will live on for ever.”

The infantryman, of Pelton, near Chester-le-Street, died in an explosion near Sangin, Afghanistan, on March 22, 2010.

Sjt Campbell worked as an instructor at the centre between December 2007 and December 2009 before returning to his unit, 3rd Battalion The Rifles, and deploying to Afghanistan only weeks before his death.

Lieutenant Colonel Ian Astley described Sjt Campbell as a professional and well respected member of staff at the centre.

He 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.”

The opening ceremony was watched by the soldier’s former colleagues.

Paying tribute to his friend, Colour Serjeant 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.”

Brandon said his father had made him extremely proud.

He said: “He was a bit of a joker and he always knew how to make you laugh.”

The Campbell Block will provide accommodation for sergeants working as instructors at the centre.

Sjt Campbell died when a quad bike he was using to pull a trailer of mortar and ammunition between bases was blown up by the Taliban on a vulnerable bridge.

British Forces had reinforced the bridge with metal girders, but the steel supports left the Army’s metal detectors unable to locate bombs.

The bomber hid a command wire underwater, concealed the device under the bridge and watched from 100 yards away.