14/04/2012 15:00 BST | Updated 14/06/2012 10:12 BST

Captain Rupert Bowers' Funeral Sees Hundreds Pay Tribute To Afghanistan Soldier

More than 200 mourners gathered for the funeral of an Army officer who was killed by an improvised explosive device while leading a patrol in Afghanistan.

Family, friends and comrades paid tribute to Captain Rupert Bowers, 24, at St Bartholomew's Church in Moreton Corbet, near Shawbury, Shropshire on Saturday.

Reverend David Humphries led the hour-long service, which was held with full military honours.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "It was a full service which included tributes from his family and his regimental family, his fellow soldiers.

"People gave heartfelt tributes to Rupert. We prayed for his family and we prayed for those serving in Afghanistan."

The vicar said the church was filled to capacity with around 200 mourners inside and 50 more outside.

Capt Bowers, who was described by his colleagues as fiercely loyal to his men, was operating as an adviser to the Afghan National Army when he was killed on March 21 in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand province.

The Wolverhampton-born soldier, who attended Old Swinford Hospital School in Stourbridge, West Midlands, was commissioned into 1st Battalion, The Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, in April 2007 after studying at Sandhurst.

Capt Bowers, who was mentioned in dispatches for his actions during an insurgent ambush in Afghanistan in 2007, had returned to the UK in February this year for the birth of his son, Hugo.

In a tribute released shortly after his death, the serviceman's family stated: "Rupert was a kind, caring and thoughtful man who was selfless in his actions as a brave, courageous soldier.

"He was a devoted husband, son and father who leaves a wife that is proud to have known him and a sister and parents whose grief is immeasurable.

"He will be sorely missed and always in our thoughts."