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Afghanistan

1st Battalion Coldstream Guards

It is with sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Lance Corporal Darren Hicks from 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards was killed in Afghanistan on Thursday 11 February 2010.

Lance Corporal Darren Hicks died as a result of an explosion that happened in the Babaji district of central Helmand province.

Lance Corporal Darren Hicks, aged 29 from Mousehole in Cornwall, was one of life's truly genuine people, immensely liked by his seniors and subordinates alike. He enlisted on 14 October 1999 and after training joined the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards stationed in Windsor in June 2000, in time to experience his first of many State Ceremonial occasions and Public Duties.

The Battalion was soon preparing for operations, but this time for a 2 year residential tour to Londonderry. On completion of the tour in Londonderry, Lance Corporal Hicks attended a Lance Corporal Drill and Tactics Cadre at the Foot Guards, and the Parachute Regiment Centralised Course, whereupon successful completion he was duly promoted to Lance Corporal.

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1st Battalion Grenadier Guards

Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh, 25, died instantly when his vehicle was struck by an Improvised Explosive Device. His Section was providing safe passage for a patrol near Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 13 February 2010.

Lance Sergeant Dave Greenhalgh was from Ilkeston, Derbyshire. He joined the Army in 2001 and had served on operations in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan. He took part in Op FRESCO during the Fire Service strikes and has spent time training in the Falkland Islands and Kenya. He was an experienced and dedicated soldier who had risen rapidly through the ranks. He had completed a vast array of courses qualifying him in almost every aspect of infantry soldiering. He was a Search Team Commander, a driver of almost every military vehicle, a Tactical Questioner, trained in psychological operations and keen to learn the local language.

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6th BATTALION, THE RIFLES - 3 RIFLES BATTLE GROUP

Rifleman Mark Marshall was born in Exeter on 24 March 1980. He went to Saint Peters Church of England High School in Exeter where he gained a BTEC in Public Services before joining the Police as a Community Support Officer. Rifleman Marshall joined 6 RIFLES, a Territorial Army Battalion, in October 2007 and attended training at the Infantry Training Centre in Catterick in October 2008. He completed an Assault Pioneer Cadre prior to mobilising to serve with the 3 RIFLES BG on Op HERRICK 11 in June 2009.

Rifleman Marshall was posted to C Company 3 RIFLES with whom he completed pre-deployment training before deploying to Kajaki in Northern Helmand. He served in Kajaki for two months before his Platoon was sent to occupy a Patrol Base in the northern part of the town of Sangin. Throughout this time Rifleman Marshall was employed as the point man in his patrol, charged with the clearance of the ground of Improvised Explosive Devices.

Rifleman Marshall was killed when an IED detonated while he was on a routine patrol providing reassurance and security to the local population.

He leaves behind his mother, Lynn, his girlfriend, Hayley, and his brother and sister, Alex and Jo.

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An index of U K Defence Viewpoints SixtySecondSoundbites (video clips) on Youtube (filmed by 17dragonsphotography )

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Senior Aircraftsman Marcin Wojtak
34 Squadron Royal Air Force Regiment

Senior Aircraftsman Marcin Wojtak was born on 13 Dec 1984 in Leicester. He joined the Royal Air Force in 2005 as a Gunner in the Royal Air Force Regiment. On completion of his basic training at Royal Air Force Honington, he was posted to 26 Sqn Royal Air Force Regiment, where he served as a Rapier operator. During his time on 26 Sqn Royal Air Force Regiment he completed operational tours in the Falkland Islands and Kandahar.

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2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment

It is with deepest regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Kingsman Sean Dawson of 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (2 LANCS) in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, 14 February 2010.

Kingsman (Kgn) Dawson was killed as a result of small arms fire during a contact with enemy insurgents in the Musa Qal'ah district of Helmand province.

Kingsman Sean Dawson was born in Ashton-Under-Lyne, Manchester on 28th December 1990. He attended the Army Training Regiment Bassingbourne, before completing his basic training at the Infantry Training Centre Catterick in August 2008. He joined the 2nd Battalion, The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment 'Lions of England' in September 2008 and served in Catterick and Cyprus. The Battalion is based in Episkopi in Cyprus and is undertaking the Theatre Reserve Battalion role. It provides acclimatised soldiers for reinforcement of UK operations and has been deployed in Afghanistan continually since August 2009.

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Guardsman Jamie Janes
1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards

It is with great sadness that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Guardsman Jamie Janes, of 1st Battalion The Grenadier Guards, in Afghanistan on 5 October 2009.

Guardsman Janes was killed as a result of an explosion that happened whilst on a foot patrol near to Nad Ali District Centre in central Helmand Province. He was mortally wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device, which also wounded three of his colleagues. The explosion was followed up by an insurgent ambush which the patrol then had to fight off before evacuating the wounded soldiers. Unfortunately Guardsman Janes died en route to hospital.

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Afghan News Roundup, 24 December 2012: Part One compiled by Elayne Jude, Great North News Service

Cruel Winter on the way

Life in winter in Afghan's internal refugee camps is a struggle to survive. Last winter, at least 42 people died of exposure or starvation in makeshift camps on Kabul's perimeters, according to the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriations. The French aid group Solidarites International estimates more than 100 children died.

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The US Department of Defence has confirmed that the following members of US'Armed Forces have died in the service of their country during July 2009. It does not release eulogies as is the practice of the UK MoD so we are unable to provide further details.

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36 Engineer Regiment

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Sapper Guy Mellors from 36 Engineer Regiment, serving as part of the Counter-Improvised Explosive Device Task Force, was killed in Afghanistan on 15 February 2010.

Sapper Mellors died from wounds received as a result of an explosion which occurred while he was engaged in IED clearance operations in support of A Company, 3 Rifles, near Patrol Base Ezaray to the north east of Sangin district centre.

Sapper Guy Mellors deployed on his first operational tour in October 2009. He was trained as a Searcher in a Royal Engineers Advanced Search Team responsible for the detection of improvised explosive devices in areas deemed to be high risk.

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Lance Corporal James Hill
1st Battalion Coldstream Guards

Lance Corporal Hill was killed as a result of an explosion that happened near to Camp Bastion in Helmand Province.

Lance Corporal Hill (23) was an outstanding Junior Non Commissioned Officer with excellent prospects. He started training in Autumn 2005 and passed out into the Battalion in Spring 2006. He conducted State Ceremonial in London District throughout the summer of 2006 from Windsor before moving to the Mortar Platoon in time for Exercise African Thorn in South Africa during early 2007. Lance Corporal Hill then immersed himself into pre-deployment training for OP HERRICK 7. He was quickly identified as an excellent mortarman and he soon became a No 1 in a Section, the senior post for a mortar number. It was in

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Corporal James Oakland
Royal Military Police

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm that Corporal James Oakland of the Royal Military Police was killed in Afghanistan yesterday, Thursday 22 October 2009.

Corporal Oakland died after being mortally wounded by an improvised explosive device on a foot patrol in the Gereshk region of Helmand province. He was conducting a route search to clear devices to allow the Battle Group freedom of movement.

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Corporal Thomas Mason
The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS)

It is with deep regret that the Ministry of Defence must confirm the death of Corporal Thomas 'Tam' Mason from The Black Watch, 3rd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland (3 SCOTS), at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, Selly Oak Hospital, on Sunday 25 October 2009.

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The Ministry of Defence has confirmed the death of Staff Sergeant Olaf Sean George Schmid, of the Royal Logistic Corps, in Afghanistan on the afternoon of Saturday 31 October 2009.

SSgt Schmid died instantly following an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) explosion in the Sangin region of Helmand Province.

At the time he was commanding an Improvised Explosive Device Disposal (IEDD) team who were dealing with a confirmed IED.

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Warrant Officer Class 1 Darren Chant
1st Battalion Grenadier Guards

Warrant Officer Class 1 Darren Chant, was killed in Afghanistan on 3 November 2009 in an incident at a police checkpoint in Nad e-Ali.

He was part of a mixed team of soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and the Royal Military Police. The team had been tasked with mentoring a number of members of the Afghan National Police at the checkpoint.

The Grenadier Guards Battle Group had identified the need for increased mentoring of the Afghan National Police within its area of operations.

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The US and its allies should take a much harder look at our partners against the Taliban, says Dan Jarvis MP, as the Commons international development select committee says the UK should reconsider its ambition of building Afghan government institutions in favour of more traditional aid targets.

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Sergeant Matthew Telford
First Battalion Grenadier Guards

Sergeant Matthew Telford, was killed in Afghanistan on 3 November 2009 in an incident at a police checkpoint in Nad e-Ali.

He was part of a mixed team of soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and the Royal Military Police. The team had been tasked with mentoring a number of members of the Afghan National Police at the checkpoint.

The Grenadier Guards Battle Group had identified the need for increased mentoring of the Afghan National Police within its area of operations.

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Guardsman James 'Jimmy' Major
First Battalion Grenadier Guards

Guardsman James 'Jimmy' Major, was killed in Afghanistan on 3 November 2009 in an incident at a police checkpoint in Nad e-Ali.

He was part of a mixed team of soldiers from the 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards and the Royal Military Police. The team had been tasked with mentoring a number of members of the Afghan National Police at the checkpoint.

The Grenadier Guards Battle Group had identified the need for increased mentoring of the Afghan National Police within its area of operations.

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Corporal Steven Boote
Royal Military Police

Corporal Boote, known as Steven or Booty to his family, friends and colleagues, was 22, when he was killed in action whilst carrying out his duties at Blue 25, an ANP checkpoint in the Nad-e'Ali District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 3 November 2009.

Corporal Boote was a soldier in the Territorial Army and a member of the Manchester Detachment of 116 Provost Company, Royal Military Police (Volunteers). He was attached to 160 Provost Company for his deployment on Operation HERRICK 11.

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Corporal Nicholas Charles Webster-Smith
Royal Military Police

Corporal Nicholas Webster-Smith, known as Nic or W-S to his family, friends and colleagues, was 24, when he was killed in action whilst carrying out his duties at Blue 25, an ANP checkpoint in the Nad-e'Ali District of Helmand Province, Afghanistan on 3 November 2009.

Corporal Webster-Smith was born on 2nd May 1985 in Glangwilli Hospital, West Wales. He attended Llangunnor Primary School and Queen Elizabeth Cambria Secondary School in Carmarthen before moving to Tenby, West Wales where he completed his education at Greenhill School, Tenby. He lived latterly in Brackley, Northamptonshire.

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