A British soldier killed in an attack on a base in southern Iraq on Sunday was named today as Lance Corporal Dennis Brady, a Royal Army Medical Corps Regular Reservist.
The Ministry of Defence said that L/Cpl Brady, 37, who had been attached to the 1st Battalion the Light Infantry, died as a result of wounds from a mortar round fired at the Shaat Al Arab Hotel base in northern Basra.
His commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Johnny Bowron, said: "His loss will be keenly felt, and the Battalion has lost a trusted member and a real friend."
The MoD revealed that just two days before his death, L/Cpl Brady - from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria - had helped to thwart an earlier attack on the base.
The patrol, on which L/Cpl Brady was acting as team medic, surprised a group of insurgents as they were preparing to launch a rocket attack, a statement said.
A former regular soldier who served in Kosovo and the initial phase of the Iraq conflict in 2003, L/Cpl Brady had spent time in civilian employment, including working for the fire service, before volunteering to return to the military.
His recent deployments took him first to Afghanistan with the Royal Gurkha Rifles and then to Iraq with the Light Infantry, where he was deployed as a Company Medic.
A former Army physical training instructor, he was described as a regular sight in the Company gym and was praised by colleagues for his fitness levels despite the heat of the Iraqi summer.
But he had been looking forward to again returning to civilian life in Barrow-in-Furness with his wife, Zoe, the MoD said.
Defence Secretary Des Browne said: "It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Lance Corporal Brady.
"I know that the British forces feel they are making a real difference in Iraq and L/Cpl Brady was part of this hugely important effort.
"My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."
Paying tribute to L/Cpl Brady, Lt Col Bowron said: "In the relatively short time he had been with us, he had become a full and trusted member of the battalion, admired by all he met and with that rare gift of universal popularity.
"He will be remembered for his calm and unflappable nature whatever the circumstance.
"This approach, coupled with a high level of medical competence, allowed the soldiers of D Company to carry out their duties secure in the knowledge that if the worst was to happen, they were in safe hands."
He added: "L/Cpl Brady was armed with a dry sense of humour, and was always ready with a barrage of friendly banter, as well as always being prepared to offer brutally honest advice regardless of the recipient's rank - advice that was nearly always correct.
"This slightly gruff exterior masked a deep concern for his fellow soldiers and an abiding loyalty to his adopted military home.
"He had a real and positive impact on those with whom he worked and his passing will leave a gap in all our hearts."
The MoD said that during his recent tour in Afghanistan, L/Cpl Brady served as a team medic to an eight-man Gurkha team, spending long periods in the mountains and desert.
"During this time he is remembered for winning the absolute trust and admiration of the Gurkhas he served with, a rare accolade for a British soldier," the statement added.Reuse content