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The ten who lost their lives within ten days

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1 A roadside bomb explosion near Nad-e-Ali, in central Helmand province, killed an unnamed soldier from the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment yesterday morning.

2 Another roadside explosion near Nad-e-Ali killed an unnamed soldier from the 4th Battalion The Rifles on Thursday.

3 The same day a soldier from The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, attached to the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was fatally shot near Lashkar Gah, Helmand. He has not yet been named.

4 Trooper Christopher Whiteside, 20, of The Light Dragoons, was killed by a roadside bomb near Gereshk on Tuesday. Whiteside was born in Blackpool and was known to his friends as “Norm” — after the former footballer Norman Whiteside. He joined the Army in July 2005 as an infanteer in the Queen’s Lancashire Regiment but was discharged after suffering a serious knee injury. He joined again, this time with The Light Dragoons, in March 2008, and was on his first tour of Afghanistan. He leaves a mother, Diane, her partner, Malcolm, and a younger brother, Dan.

5 Captain Ben Babington-Browne, 27, of 22 Engineer Regiment Royal Engineers died in a helicopter crash in Zabul province on Monday. Two Canadian soldiers died with him. He grew up in Maidstone, attended Sandhurst and joined 22 Engineer Regiment in April 2007. He showed exceptional leadership qualities during a tour of Iraq in 2007 and was viewed as a rising star. He leaves a mother, Nina, and a brother, Daniel.

6 Lance Corporal Dane Elson, 22, of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards was killed by a roadside bomb in Babaji, north of Lashkar Gah, on July 5. He was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, but his family now live in Bridgend, South Wales. He had served in Iraq and Bosnia and was promoted to lance corporal during training for Afghanistan. He was popular with his battalion and described by his peers as an awesome leader.

7 Lance Corporal David Dennis, 29, of The Light Dragoons, was killed by a roadside bomb north of Lashkar Gah. He was responsible for maintaining communications with tactical headquarters. He had just helped to secure a helicopter landing site for the extraction of casualties when he was killed. He joined the Army in February 2003 as a gunner in the Royal Artillery but applied for a transfer to The Light Dragoons in 2006 after six months with them in Iraq. He was the type of soldier who loved the banter that typifies army life. He leaves a mother, Adele, who lives in Llanelli, a twin brother, Gareth, and a fiancée, Lisa.

8 Private Robert Laws, 18, of the 2nd Battalion The Mercian Regiment, died after a rocket-propelled grenade was fired at his vehicle on July 4. Laws came from Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, and started his career at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. He had a cheeky wit and was popular with his comrades. He won the “best shot” honour on the light machinegun and had been eager to go to Afghanistan.

9 Lieutenant-Colonel Rupert Thorneloe, 39, commanding officer of the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, was killed on July 1 by a roadside bomb while travelling in a Viking armoured vehicle near Lashkar Gah. He was commissioned into the Welsh Guards in 1992 and served on operations in Northern Ireland. He spent a year as an intelligence liaison officer with the Royal Ulster Constabulary Special Branch in South Armagh and was also Military Assistant to the Defence Secretary. He took command of the Welsh Guards in October last year. He loved playing polo, as well as sailing and game-shooting, and was praised as a superb commanding officer. He leaves a wife, Sally, and two daughters, Hannah and Sophie.

10 Trooper Joshua Hammond, 18, of the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment, was killed in the same Viking in which Colonel Thorneloe was travelling. He enlisted in the Army when he was 16 and went to the Army Foundation College in Harrogate. He studied to become a Challenger 2 tank driver and was deployed to Afghanistan last month. He was always at the heart of everything. He died a week before his 19th birthday. He leaves his parents and a fiancée.


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