A moving tribute has been paid to six British soldiers killed in Afghanistan by their Commanding Officer. Lt Colonel Zac Stenning, of 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, read a eulogy to the men outside Battlesbury Barracks in Warminster, Wiltshire.
Describing them as ‘incredibly brave’ he took time to pay tribute to each of the men on what he said was a ‘sad’ day. People have been leaving floral tributes at the base throughout the day.
Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33, from 1st Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment was among the men killed when the armoured vehicle they were travelling in was caught in an explosion.
He was proud to be a Lancashire Soldier in a Yorkshire Battalion. His technical prowess was unmatched; he was, quite simply, the best. Today we have lost one of our brothers who led and mentored thoseabove and below him with true humility.
Known as 'JJ' to his friends Corporal Jake Joseph Hartley, 20, was described by his Commanding Officer as a ‘top soldier’.
His rise through the ranks had been swift and rightly so; he was a natural leader as exemplified by his top position on the gruelling Infantry Section Commanders Battle Course. He was a selfless, dedicated leader of men and a future Regimental Sergeant Major.
20-year-old Private Anthony Frampton was also killed in the blast on Tuesday evening. He has been described ‘the life and soul of his platoon’.
A thoroughly likeable young man, 'Framps' could motivate and encourage the entire battalion with his cheekiness and smile. Behind his cheeky nature, lay a truly dedicated infantry soldier, who was committed and brave; a true legend among his peers.
Expecting the birth of his first child, Private Daniel Wade, who had a real passion for motocross and superbikes, had only recently joined the battalion.
In a very short period, he had made a real mark.It is to his great credit that he successfully completed his Warrior Drivercourse so early in his career.
The youngest ofthe men to be killed was 19-year-old Private Christopher Kershaw.
Chris's natural love of the great outdoors shone through in everything he did. It was this passion, coupled with his drive to continuously develop himself, that made him stand out from his peers. A true Yorkshire Warrior, Chris was marked out as a star of the future.
Paying tribute to the last of his fallen comrades, Lt Colonel Zac Stenning described Private Daniel Wilford, 21, as “quiet, unassuming but with bags of character”.
Wilf, as he was known by all, was happy-go-lucky and confident, and his smile would light up any room. Honest and dedicated, hisfriends and colleagues trusted and respected him.
The men's death mark the biggest single loss of British lives in Afghanistan since 2006. It brings the total number of UK service personnel killed in Afghanistan since 2001 to 404.