A private who never complained: the 101st Briton killed in action

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The Independent Online

The British soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on Friday was named yesterday as Private Luke Daniel Simpson of the Yorkshire Regiment, 1st Battalion. He is the 101st British soldier killed in action since the invasion in 2003.

Pte Simpson, 21, died from injuries received when his lightly armoured " Snatch" Land Rover was attacked three miles south-east of Basra. Three other soldiers were injured in the attack, one of them seriously. "The injured soldiers have been medically evacuated to a field hospital by helicopter and are receiving the best possible medical care in theatre," said a spokeswoman for the MoD.

Pte Simpson, from Howden in Yorkshire, joined the army at 16, following in the footsteps of his father, who had served as a sergeant- major in the 1st Battalion.

Pte Simpson's commanding officer, Lt Colonel Andrew Jackson, said: "Pte Simpson stood out as a young soldier with the highest personal and professional credentials.

"His zest for life touched everyone and we are all the poorer for his passing. We have lost a member of our close regimental family and we will not forget him."

Sgt Chris McConaghy said: "His loss is devastating, as he was such a positive influence on the platoon. He never complained and always made light of difficulties. He was simply a great soldier to have around and be around."

Scores of troops have been killed in the aged Snatch Land Rovers, whose thin-armoured shell offers little protection against the sophisticated munitions used by insurgent fighters.

Last week Des Browne, the Secretary of State for Defence, announced that a new range of Bulldog armoured troop carriers had started to arrive in southern Iraq. But military commanders say that heavily armoured vehicles are not suitable for urban patrols.

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