The 100th soldier killed in action

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The Independent Online

Second Lieutenant Jonathan Carlos Bracho-Cooke, 24, arrived in Basra in the south of Iraq less than two months ago. He was on a routine patrol when a roadside bomb exploded next to the Warrior vehicle he was travelling in. He was the 100th British soldier to be killed in action.

2nd Lt Bracho-Cooke, from Hove in East Sussex, was planning to get married on 9 August to his fiancée, Laura. He had trained at Sandhurst, passing out in May, and had previously served for six months in Bosnia as part of the Territorial Army.

His father, also named Jonathan, described him as "very warm, friendly person". Mr Cooke, 55, said: "Jonathan had a very attractive personality, he was outgoing and lively. We last spoke to him on Sunday afternoon. He was fine. We are all devastated; [Laura] is very distressed."

Lesley Stevens, who lives next door to the family in Hove, said: "Being a soldier was all Jonathan wanted to do. He loved it and it was his life. If he had to die then he would have wanted to have gone this way. He loved the Army so much. He fought to get into Sandhurst. Jonathan was a lovely man who would always wave and smile whenever you saw him. He has a sister, Lucy, who is two years older. They are such a lovely family.

"Friends have been coming and going all day," she added. "The close is full of cars. Everyone is devastated. He was very well liked."

His commanding officer in the 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment said 2nd Lt Bracho-Cooke was "bright, enthusiastic and charismatic".

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