Family to pay tribute to soldier
FAMILY and friends of a soldier who died in Afghanistan will be paying special tribute to him at his funeral service in Swansea.
Sergeant Jonathan Eric Kups, from the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, died at Camp Bastion in Helmand Province.
The 38-year-old electronics technician, who was a dad of three, died on September 21.
The Ministry of Defence said his death was not thought to be due to hostile action and that an investigation has been carried out into the circumstances.
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His funeral will take place on Tuesday at Swansea Crematorium at 2.30pm.
The family of Sergeant Kups has paid an emotional tribute to the popular soldier in a statement.
It said: "Jonathan was a wonderful husband and loving father to three children.
"He was a loyal man with a wide circle of friends, a devoted son, son-in-law, grandson and brother."
His wife, who lives in Swansea, added: "I love you now, forever and always and evermore."
His children said: "You're the best Dad; always in our hearts — our hero."
The soldier was originally from Nuneaton, Warwickshire, and joined REME back in June 1992.
At the start of his career he specialised in radar and ground-to-air weapons, completing an operational tour in Northern Ireland. He later turned his expertise to the operation and repair of electronic warfare systems, subsequently leading him to be deployed with 14 Signal Regiment (Electronic Warfare).
Last year, the sergeant moved to 104 Force Support Battalion REME before being attached to 4 Close Support Battalion REME to go out to Afghanistan.
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Smyth, Commanding Officer, 104 Force Support Battalion REME, said: "Sergeant Jonathan Kups, or 'Koops' as he was known, arrived at the battalion in 2011.
"A man of real substance, Sergeant Kups's maturity and considerable experience enabled him to quickly become a vital member of the Electronics Platoon."
His relatives have asked for family flowers only at his funeral.
If anyone wishes to make a donation they should send cheques in aid of Help for Heroes, c/o the funeral director Clive Morgan, Bethlehem Funeral Home, 191 Frampton Road, Gorseinon, Swansea, SA4 4YG.