Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Tuesday, 18 August 2009 13:07 UK

Dead Afghanistan fusiliers named

(From left) Lance Corporal James Fullarton, Fusilier Simon Annis and Fusilier Louis Carter
The three soldiers were killed by an explosion while on patrol

The three British soldiers who were killed while out on patrol in Afghanistan on Sunday have been named by the Ministry of Defence.

They are Fusilier Simon Annis, Fusilier Louis Carter, and L/Cpl James Fullarton, of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.

The soldiers died following an explosion during a patrol near Sangin in Helmand province.

Their deaths took the number of UK military fatalities to 204.

L/Cpl Fullarton, 25, was from Coventry. He joined the army in November 2003.

He was leading the company on a patrol when the explosion took place.

His parents, Janice and Peter, and his fiancee, Leanne, said: "James was an outstanding soldier who was so proud to serve his Queen and country.

"He touched so many around him and has left a void in our lives that will never be filled. A treasured son, brother, grandson, fiance, nephew, cousin and friend. Gone but never forgotten."

True heroes

Fusilier Annis, 22, who was born in Salford, Greater Manchester and went to school in Warrington, was killed while evacuating his section commander.

Caroline, his wife, said: "Simon was the perfect husband, son and brother.

These three brave soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the security of all of us in the United Kingdom
Bob Ainsworth, Defence Secretary

"He will be sorely missed by all of us. He was a true hero who made all of us so very proud and he will always have a place in our hearts. We will love and miss him always."

Fusilier Carter also died while attempting to rescue his section commander.

The family of Fusilier Carter, who was 18 and from Nuneaton, issued a statement which said: "Louis's childhood dream and ambition was always to join the Army and ultimately serve his country.

"His dream was fulfilled but tragically cut short.

"Louis had many, many friends and relatives and was loved by all. He was also very aware of our love for him. We are all so proud of him.

"Louis will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He will live in our hearts forever."

Achieving democracy

Chancellor Alastair Darling - who is currently standing in for Prime Minister Gordon Brown while he is on holiday - said it was vital to complete the mission in Afghanistan.

"What happens in Afghanistan does affect people in this country," he said.

"We have seen that in the past with al-Qaeda, with terrorist attacks, and we have got to make sure that we see this through and we get the democratic process going in Afghanistan."

Defence Secretary Bob Ainsworth said: "These three brave soldiers have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the security of all of us in the United Kingdom.

"Their deaths are truly heart rending and their families are in my thoughts. The loved ones they have lost are true heroes."

Speaking from the 2nd Battalion's base in Hounslow, west London, Maj Mick McCarthy said: "All fusiliers in Afghanistan send their heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have given their lives, conscious of the immense sacrifices that have been made.

"Here in Hounslow there are many members of Second Fusiliers Rear Party who have very fond memories of our fallen comrades."

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