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Private Daniel Wilford, 21, from Huddersfield was one of six soldiers on a patrol to dominate the area and maintain freedom of movement in Lashkar Gah Durai region in an operational area on the border of Helmand and Kandahar provinces when their Warrior Armoured Fighting Vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device . He joined the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (The Duke of Wellington's) in April 2010. He deployed to Canada as a Warrior Gunner in June 2011 before deploying to Afghanistan in the same role in February 2012. He was an extremely effective Warrior gunner and had a thorough knowledge of the vehicle and its weapon systems. Away from military life he enjoyed playing golf and darts with his friends. He was a truly sociable person.
Private Wilford was very popular within Corunna Company. He was always up for a laugh with the boys and was always willing to help his comrades. Private Wilford proved himself as a soldier and as a friend whilst in Corunna Company and his absence will be felt deeply by all that had the honour of serving with him. He will be missed.
He leaves behind his mother and stepfather, Diane and Paul, his brother Alex and his grandparents. The thoughts and prayers of all those in his Battalion and Combined Force Lashkar Gah are with them at this most difficult time.
Pte Wilford's family have paid the following tribute:
"Daniel was a kind and loving son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin who was always full of energy. He never rested and was always out and about living life to the full having fun. He will be very much missed by everyone who knew him."
Lieutenant Colonel Zac Stenning MBE, Commanding Officer, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Private Daniel Wilford was the archetypal Yorkshire infantry soldier; quiet, unassuming but with bags of character. He was unique, happy go lucky and confident, his smile could light up a room. A thoroughly honest and dedicated infantryman, his friends and colleagues trusted and respected him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family on this difficult day."
Lieutenant Colonel Ian Mortimer, Commanding Officer, Combined Force Lashkar Gah (The Queen's Royal Hussars Battle Group), said:
"We in Combined Force Lashkar Gah are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of Private Wilford. For those who knew him, Private Wilford was a real character who enjoyed a really good laugh. Hardworking and professional, he knew how to balance work and play and enjoyed a good party. Yet today we remember him as an excellent soldier who was committed to his mates in 7 Platoon and Corunna Company. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this most difficult and tragic time. We will remember him."
Major Edward Colver, Officer Commanding Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Private Wilford joined Corunna Company in June 2010. A quiet unassuming character he went about his daily business in a professional and competent manner. He was an exceptional Warrior gunner, it was often noted how proficient he was in the turret and his calmness put many a commander to shame. Private Wilford had proven himself as an extremely competent soldier and was being considered as a potential junior Non-Commissioned Officer, probably against his wishes! That was the man he was, unassuming, uncomplicated, and honest to the core.
"He was hugely popular amongst the lads and will be sorely missed by Corunna Company, his comrades and his friends. My sincerest condolences are with his family and friends at this difficult time, he will be sorely missed and forever be in our thoughts and prayers."
Lieutenant Daniel Brennan, 7 Platoon Commander, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Private Wilford was a very honest, gentle and hard working young man who found it easy to make friends. He touched the lives of all who knew him and will be missed by all."
Warrant Officer Class 2 Eric Whitehouse, Company Sergeant Major, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Private Wilford was an honest, quiet soldier, who excelled in his primary role. As a Warrior gunner few could question his skills. He proved himself to be an honest and dedicated soldier.
"He was a sociable but unassuming man. He was always smiling and could remain positive in the harshest of conditions. It was in this way he was an inspiration to those around him. He was very popular with the lads and a real professional soldier. He will be sorely missed by all."
Sergeant Stewart Watts, Platoon Sergeant, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Wilf was a very kind and good fun bloke who was always up for a laugh with the lads. He was very popular with the platoon and his absence will leave a great void in the platoon. He will be remembered."
Lance Corporal Lee Marshall, Section Commander 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"We will never forget your smile for years to come. We will remember you."
Private Zondwayo Jere, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"I can't believe that you have left us early like this. I will always remember you as you were such a good lad. You have left a gap that will never be filled. May your soul rest in peace. Until we meet again. May God bless you."
Private Luke Warriss, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"Wilf the man, he was someone who could get a laugh going. He had nothing but time for everyone. If you needed to smile he was the man you went to see. He is going to be missed by everyone."
Private Shaun Teale, 7 Platoon, Corunna Company, 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment (Duke of Wellington's), said:
"When Wilford came to 3 YORKS for the first time I was on guard. I thought he was lost, then he pulled out his ID card, and the next day he was in my platoon. He lived for the weekend but wasn't work-shy. He was always there when jobs needed to be done, and was an all-round good lad."