THE body of a Hemel Hempstead serviceman killed in action is due to be brought home to the UK on Thursday.
Senior Aircraftman Ryan Tomlin, 21, was fatally wounded by small arms fire from an insurgent attack while on patrol in Afghanistan on Monday, February 13.
The former Astley Cooper schoolboy was rushed to a field hospital at Camp Bastion by air but died of his wounds.
Ryan, pictured, joined the Royal Air Force in October 2008 after leaving school at the age of 16 in 2006.
His form tutor, Bex Howe, who is now deputy headteacher at Astley Cooper School, paid tribute to the much-loved pupil who was due to return to the classroom during his next visit home to talk to youngsters about his front line experiences.
>For the full report pick up a copy of this week’s Gazette.