Second soldier this week dies in Afghanistan

 

A second soldier has been killed in Afghanistan this week, the Ministry of Defence said today.

The soldier from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment was killed during an operation to disrupt insurgent activity in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province. His family has been told.

The death was announced after the MoD named a soldier killed in a grenade blast on Wednesday as Lance Corporal James Ashworth from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

The soldier is the 419th member of UK forces to have died since operations in Afghanistan began in October 2001.

Spokesman for Task Force Helmand, Major Ian Lawrence said: "It is with deep sorrow that I must confirm that a soldier from 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment has been killed by enemy action whilst deployed on operations in the Nad-e Ali district of Helmand Province.

"The thoughts of all within Task Force Helmand are with his family and friends at this difficult time."

The death is just two days after L/Cpl Ashworth was killed in a grenade blast while on patrol in the north of Nahr-e Saraj district in Helmand Province on Wednesday. He died despite receiving immediate medical treatment.

The family of the 23-year-old from Kettering, Northamptonshire, said: "We are devastated by the loss of our son, brother, uncle and boyfriend.

"He meant the world to everyone and has left an irreplaceable hole in our hearts. We ask that we are given time to grieve and we sincerely thank everyone for their condolences."

L/Cpl Ashworth's father Duane served as a Grenadier Guard and his brother Coran, 21, is currently serving with the Army in Northern Ireland.

He lived with his mother Kerryann and his girlfriend Emily in Kettering, and also leaves sisters Lauren and Paige, brother Karl and four-year-old niece Darcy.

L/Cpl Ashworth was killed trying to protect his colleagues, said Captain Mike Dobbin, Commander of Reconnaissance Platoon, Nijmegen Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards.

"L/Cpl Ashworth was killed while fighting his way through compounds, leading his fire team from the front, whilst trying to protect his men and he showed extraordinary courage to close on a determined enemy.

"His professionalism under pressure and ability to remain calm in what was a chaotic situation is testament to his character.

"L/Cpl Ashworth was a pleasure to command and I will sorely miss his calming influence on the battlefield. Softly spoken, he stepped up to every task thrown in his direction."

He said the platoon had lost a "strong commander, outstanding soldier and dear friend".

L/Cpl Ashworth joined the Army at the age of 17 and completed a stint of ceremonial duty in London after joining Nijmegen Company Grenadier Guards. He spent three years with the Guards' Parachute Platoon, part of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, deploying in Afghanistan with them.

He returned to the Grenadiers, serving in Canada with The Queen's Company before moving to the Reconnaissance Platoon. He played for his battalion's football team, most recently during a French military tour, as well as a local team when at home.

L/Cpl Ashworth had recently been promoted to the role of non commissioned officer.

Lieutenant Colonel James Bowder, Commanding Officer of 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "L/Cpl Ashworth was an outstanding soldier whose loss has moved us all.

"A real self-starter, he excelled in everything that he undertook. Fit, strong and brilliant at his job, he set the bar very high.

"Indeed, such was his calmness under pressure, his charisma, and his selflessness that he made an exemplary junior leader."

He said the regiment would "never forget this quite exceptional man".

Colour Sergeant Andy Austin, Second in Command of Reconnaissance Platoon, Nijmegen Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, said: "His great love of the beautiful game was shared by myself and others in the platoon.

"After every match day in the Premier League we would discuss the day's events with great interest, especially the fortunes of his beloved Tottenham Hotspur - these conversations I will miss terribly.

"This was a man destined for great things in the Army and whose potential I watched flourish in the platoon."

Guardsman Gareth Loftus, Reconnaissance Platoon, Nijmegen Company, 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards, added: "Selfless, brave, courageous - words like these don't come close to what Ash demonstrated that day.

"He will be missed by all as a commander but most of all a good mate."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The 67P/CG comet as seen from the Philae lander
scienceThe most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Arts and Entertainment
Ian McKellen as Gandalf in The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies
film
Sport
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Koenig, creator of popular podcast Serial, which is to be broadcast by the BBC
tvReview: The secret to the programme's success is that it allows its audience to play detective
News
Ruby Wax has previously written about her mental health problems in her book Sane New World
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m